* Sir, pursuant to the notice which has long been given, I rise to move an Address to the Crown upon a subject which I feel presents such a strong claim to the consideration of the House, a claim so just and so reasonable—I had almost said so irresistible—that I hope the attention of the House will be granted to me while I state the grounds upon which it rests. The grounds upon which I rest that claim are simply these, that where you make from the public funds large grants for a great national purpose, and these grants are drawn from the general taxation of the country, it is neither just nor reasonable to preclude any persons from receiving a portion of them when they themselves are bound to contribute to, and therefore in justice are entitled to have a share in them. This however is what has taken place with regard to the grant for the establishment and promotion of the 1581 system of national education in Ireland. There is one class of persons, and one only, which is precluded from receiving any portion of that grant, and for that class of persons I now make my appeal. The question is whether that can be right.
In considering such a question, Sir, it is my first duty to inquire what are the views and what are the principles upon which this House is prepared to act. These views and these principles have been distinctly manifested during the present Session, and it is in accordance with them and in furtherance of them that I press the claim which I am about to prefer. At starting, therefore, I wish it to be understood that I am not going to enter upon any matters of controversy. I shall carefully avoid it. I rest my case upon this, and upon this only, that the points upon which this House is substantially agreed justify me in asking you to assent to the address which I shall end in moving for. Well, what are the points upon which this House is substantially agreed? I take it they are these. In the first place, I think, we are agreed that we must mainly depend for the promotion of the education of the people upon the voluntary efforts of different religious societies, at the same time that we aid those efforts by large contributions from the public funds. We work, therefore, by two agencies—private benevolence and public grants. Mere private efforts without public grants would be weak and unavailing, and public grants without the stimulus of private exertions would be sterile and indifferent. By the combination of the two we gain all that stability and all that certainty which public grants alone can secure, with all that interest, sympathy and zeal which nothing but private benevolence can supply. Now, in the case which I have to submit to the House, the private efforts made by one class of society are totally unaided by any portion of the public grant, although that grant is contributed by them as much as by others. But if your principles are sound and just, unless you can show some strong countervailing reason, you ought to be willing to do for them what you do for the rest. The second principle upon which we are agreed is that, as you aid these voluntary efforts by large contributions from the public funds raised by the general taxation of the country, you are bound to dispense these funds with an even hand; you ought not to show any partiality or favour, and you should give to all or give 1582 to none. In this case, however, you do not give to all, but you give to all except one, and, therefore, your principle is distinctly violated. The third point upon which we are agreed, and the last to which I shall at present refer is, that all education to be worth anything must be based upon religion. This is the principle upon which you have properly and wisely acted. But in acting upon that principle great difficulties have arisen, as we know from the discussions that from time to time have taken place in this House. There may be and there is considerable danger that by having recourse to the dogmatic teaching of any formulary, catechism, or creed, we may militate against the conscientious convictions and feelings of the parents whose children we desire and profess to educate. If then we are right in this reasoning, we have a religious element to be preserved and a religious difficulty to be avoided. The religious element is preserved in England by giving our grants to religious bodies only, for they will take care that religious instruction shall not be excluded. The religious difficulty is avoided by extending these grants to every one of the religious bodies without exception; for if an exception should once be made, the religious views of the class excepted are not provided for. These are the great principles upon which we have acted here in England—1st, the encouragement of private efforts for the purposes of education; 2ndly, a large contribution from the public funds to assist these efforts; 3rdly, no compulsion upon any persons to adopt a particular scheme; and, 4thly, no exclusion of any religious body from a portion of the grant to which all contribute. These principles are essentially just. They are so just that I cannot conceive that you will withhold the application of them from one class of persons, and one only. And yet the members of the first part of the United Church of England and Ireland are practically excluded. And why are they excluded? It is not because they are unwilling to promote the cause of education, for no class of men is more active or more zealous in promoting that object than the Irish clergy. It is not because they refuse to submit to Government inspection; for they are willing to acquiesce in it as soon as you give them a portion of the grant. It is not because they desire to force upon any of the children taught in their schools their own formulary, catechism, and creed, for it is one of the rules 1583 of the Church Education Society that none of these shall ever be imposed upon any child whose parents may object. Then why are they excluded? The only reason why they are refused a share in the grant—and the House, I think, will blush to hear it—is, because they require, conscientiously require, that in carrying on the great purposes for which the society was established, the free use of the Holy Scriptures shall not be shut out from their schools. I cannot believe that such a refusal will be long persisted in. I appeal to you whether such a system is consistent with your own principles of action here—I appeal to you whether you would allow such a system to prevail in England; and, if not, I confidently appeal to you whether you will allow a similar system to continue in Ireland?
To my mind the imposition of regulations precluding the clergy and the members of the Church of Ireland from receiving any portion of this public grant is so obviously unjust, that if it were not for one argument which I have often heard advanced, I do not believe there could be a single objection to the Address I am about to move. That argument is—an argument which has been urged from various quarters—that the principle for which I am now contending would, if acted upon, destroy that combined system of education, which we have taken so much pains to establish in Ireland. But, in answer to this, I will presently show that a combined system does not exist in the non-vested schools. I will further show that it is in the non-vested schools, and in those only, that I seek to make any alteration; and, lastly, I will show that in those schools for which I ask your assistance, combined education does exist to a much greater extent than it does elsewhere; and I therefore shall require you to give to them some portion of the grant, because they work out your own views more completely and more effectually than the schools attached to the National Board.
Allow me first to remind the House of the cause and origin of the present system. The National system was established as a substitute for the Kildare-place Society schools, with the object of giving the benefit of education as extensively as possible to the poor of Ireland, and of uniting children of different creeds in the same schools without disturbing their religious principles. In the Kildare-place Society schools it was always considered a primary 1584 condition that the Scriptures should be read. Objections were taken to that condition by the Roman Catholics, on the ground that their Church did not permit the unaided study and interpretation of the Scriptures without the guidance of a clerical superior. To satisfy these conscientious scruples of the Roman Catholics, the present system was introduced in the year 1831, and the free use of the Scriptures in the National schools was in effect prohibited. Thus, in deference to a religious scruple, you got rid altogether of the old system; but in getting rid of it you ran into the opposite extreme, and neither the Presbyterians, nor the Wesleyans, nor the members of our own Church would assent to the rule that the Scriptures should not be admitted into the schools as a part of the scheme of national education. To meet the objections of the Presbyterians and other Protestants, you then agreed to allow the use and reading of the Scriptures under certain regulations, and from that time you materially altered the fundamental principles upon which this system had been originally established.
The truth is, that several great changes have taken place in this system since its first introduction; and the only change I now ask you to make is one which corresponds, and which is almost identical with others which in fact are already allowed. At the time when the system was first established, Lord Derby, then Lord Stanley, foresaw that the only means by which the great object of joint instruction could well be accomplished, was joint management; and accordingly, in his celebrated letter to the Duke of Leinster, and in order to insure this joint management, he recommended almost as a fundamental rule that one of these three things should be observed:—either that the application for the grant should come from the Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy of the same parish; or that it should come from the clergy of the one denomination and the parishioners of the other; or that it should come from two sets of parishioners who did not profess the same creed. The object of this rule was to insure joint management consequent on a joint application for the fund. Here, then—and I am now stating nothing but what I can prove from the two great volumes which were the result of the inquiry instituted by the House of Lords into this important subject—here, then, commenced the 1585 changes which have so materially altered the intended system. The Presbyterians objected to the joint application, and insisted that they were entitled to a portion of the grant upon their own application. What happened? The fundamental rule was overturned. The Presbyterians and others were allowed to apply by themselves alone for a portion of the grant, and so, in the words of Mr. Cross, the secretary of the National Board, the consequence has been that applications for a long time have only come from one denomination, and the three conditions to which I just now adverted are a dead letter. This is the first great change which has been made.
The second change has an important bearing on my present Motion. At first when the system was originally established it was deemed necessary, for the purpose of obtaining a combined system of secular instruction, together with separate religious education, that all the schools should be vested in the Board; and that is the reason why they go by the name of "vested" schools. But to this the Presbyterians also objected. They said, as appears from the evidence of Dr. Cooke and Dr. Henry, that if they organised any schools of their own, they had a right to have them in their own power. That objection was admitted; schools, instead of being all vested, were allowed to become what is called "non-vested," and your system, instead of being one of combined instruction, carried on through the medium of vested schools, established by joint applications, and placed under joint management, has become a system of non-vested schools, established by the application of separate religious bodies, and carried on under separate management. So much has this been the case, that out of about 5,000 schools mentioned in the Report of the House of Lords' Committee, only 1,600 are vested, the remainder being non-vested. And what is the consequence? The consequence is, that a combined system of education can hardly anywhere be said to exist in three at least out of the four provinces. It has been superseded by the alterations you have made in favour of the Presbyterians, when they conscientiously objected to having their schools subjected to the power of the National Commissioners. This is a matter far too important to be passed over slightly, and I will therefore now be specific in my 1586 proofs. Archdeacon Stopford, who was at first very adverse to the National school system, but who has since become one of its warmest supporters, gave the following evidence before the Committee:—You are aware," he is asked at Question 4585, "that the system, as originally contemplated, comprised only vested schools?—I am.4586. You are aware that subsequently the non-vested system was introduced and added to the other? Yes.4587. Are you not of opinion that while the principle of the vested schools was one of united education, the principle of the non-vested schools was as clearly one of separate education?—I think it was, and I think it was tacitly admitted by the Board themselves in their sixth Report; for they said that such schools must be looked upon as bearing a peculiar religious aspect.4588. So that, from the moment that the Board began to give aid to the non-vested schools, they departed from the great principle of their system, which was united education?—Practically, they did establish a system of separate schools, under the name of a system of united education.Such was the testimony of Archdeacon Stopford. I have another testimony still stronger—that of the Secretary of the National Board itself. At the conclusion of his evidence, he was asked whether he had any more to say, and in these words he commenced his answer:—Perhaps I may be permitted by the Committee to state, as a conclusion to my examination, that the national system of education, as a united system, has failed to a considerable extent.Again, in reply to question 119, the same Secretary put in a tabular statement furnishing the Committee with the amplest materials for judging of those schools under joint management and those under separate management; and the result of that table, in reference to Roman Catholic and Protestant schools, is, that there were 4,600 schools in all, and only forty-eight were under joint management. Lord Derby then inquired whether he rightly understood the statement, as showing that the whole number of schools under joint management was only forty-eight of persons of different denominations; and the answer of the Secretary was:—Up to the date specified in these returns there are very few schools under joint management; and I should add that, as far as my experience goes, those under joint management have given the Commissioners more trouble than any others for they have found it very difficult to unite parties of various religious communions.Here you have testimony not only to the effect that the combined system was 1587 not carried on, but that the greatest difficulty was experienced in attempting in Ireland what we know to be impossible in England. But I will not stop here. We have had discussions on this subject before and it has often been attempted to obtain official and accurate information as to whether this system was separate or united. A return was moved for in the House of Lords in 1835, with the view of obtaining that information, and the Commissioners replied that it was contrary to the spirit of their instructions to give it. From that time down to the period when Lord Eglinton required the information as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the return was not furnished, nor was it dreamt of being furnished until the Committee of the House of Lords sat; at length, however, the return was obtained, and what is the result? The result is, that there is scarcely the semblance of united education in three of the provinces. In Connaught the return of Roman Catholics to Protestants is thirty-one to one; in Leinster, thirty-seven to one; in Munster, ninety-seven to one. In Ulster, indeed, there is not so much difference; but the joint education is chiefly found in Protestant schools.
I have now pointed out two great changes which have been made, and rightly made, in the original system, for the purpose of carrying on the education of the people, and satisfying at the same time the conscientious scruples of those who differed. But were those the only changes made? No. Another change quite as important, if not more important for my present argument, was also effected. The Presbyterians entertained another objection. They objected to their books, whether secular or religious, being placed under the control of the Board, and also to the exclusion of the use of the Scriptures during school hours. A favourable answer was given to that objection; and now the Presbyterians have the choice and control of their own books (subject, of course, to proper information being given to the Board); and, with respect to the Scriptural part of the question, it is thus stated by Dr. Cooke in his evidence—"Our schools," he says, "begin with prayer; we have the Scriptures and the catechisms freely in school hours." The Secretary for Ireland looks astonished, as well he may, for this was a complete subversion of the system. No doubt he thinks that there must be some explanation of this; and to a certain extent there is. But so 1588 firmly convinced am I, that I am right in my position, that I do not scruple to read the continuation of Dr. Cooke's evidence, in order to furnish the right hon. Gentleman with every argument that can by possibility be used against me. Dr. Cooke goes on to say—While we will not by any rule, privation, or penalty compel any children to attend during the reading of the Scriptures or the repetition of the catechisms, we will not be accountable for their leaving the school; they are at liberty to go or to stay; we will not provide a place for their separate religious instruction, nor in any way become accountable for it.Now the argument against me will probably be this, that in the Presbyterian schools the children are at liberty to go or to stay; whereas, in Church schools, the reading of the Scriptures is positively required as a sine quâ non, and the child must use them whether he will or no. To this I answer that, as all other denominations of Christians have got their own schools, as the Church only wants to educate its children according to its own views, as every child whose parent objects need never go to the Church schools at all, there is no constraint and compulsion used, and therefore the argument on that score falls to the ground.
I have now pointed out the three great changes which have been made in this system. The opponents of my proposition refuse to accede to it, because it would destroy the combined system of education. Well, but I have shown that no such system exists in the National schools, and I will now show you that if it does exist at all, it is in the Church Education schools more than any other; that is to say, it is in the very schools excluded from the benefit of your public grant. The proof of this is clear. When the Rev. H. Verschoyle was asked by the Lords' Committee whether the number of Roman Catholics attending the Church schools was greater or less than it was a few years back, he replied that it was less, and he furnished the Committee with the following figures:—The attendance," he said, "was at its highest point in 1848. There were then, of Church children, 58,122; Dissenters, 15,713; Roman Catholics, 46,367. In 1849, there were 58,533 Church children; 15,562 Dissenters; 37,857 Roman Catholics. In 1850, there were 60,000 Church children; 15,000 Dissenters; and 33,000 Roman Catholics. In 1851, there were 59,000 Church children; 14,000 Dissenters; and 29,000 Roman Catholics. In 1852, there were 61,000 Church children; 15,000 Dissenters; and 28,000 Roman 1589 Catholics. In 1853, there were 61,000 Church children; 15,000 Dissenters; and 22,000 Roman Catholics.Now, it is perfectly true, that the number of Roman Catholic children attending these schools in 1853 was less than in 1848, but the next answer of the Rev. H. Verschoyle will explain that point. Lord Clancarty asks:—May not that diminution of Roman Catholic attendance be in some degree owing to the withdrawal of the schools from connection with the Church Education Society, for the purpose of establishing schools of entirely a missionary character in the west of Ireland?And the rev. Gentleman replies:—Yes; I believe some of the schools on your Lordship's estate have been withdrawn upon that ground. There are a great number of schools established in the west of Ireland in connection with the Irish Church Missions which, not being conducted exactly on the principles of the Church Education Society, but on the principles of the National Society of England, we do not get credit for.That accounts, then, to a certain extent, for the diminution of the proportion of Catholics to Protestants in the Church Education Schools since 1848; but the whole statement shows that united instruction does expand in the Church schools, and that the Roman Catholics do not object to it. In confirmation of this, if confirmation were needed, I need only refer to the evidence furnished by the right hon. Alexander Macdonnell, the resident Commissioner on the Board of National Education:—Do you know," he is asked at Question 1930, "that the Church Education Society has attained, notwithstanding its compulsory order with respect to reading the Scriptures, a vastly greater measure of mixed and united education than the National system has with all its freedom?—I believe that is so.1932. To what extent do you think the National system has attained that great object, as it has been considered, of united education?—I do not think the National system has attained any great degree of success with regard to united education; that is, united education, as understood in the literal sense of Protestant and Roman Catholic children being educated within the same walls.The real truth is, that about every third child on the rolls of the Church schools is a Roman Catholic; but few, if any, of the National Roman Catholic schools have Protestant children within them.
I have now proved by the plainest statement that it is absurd to put forward the necessity of supporting the combined system as an answer to the Motion which I 1590 am about to make. The combined system of education does not exist in your National non-vested schools, but it does exist in your Church schools, and it is to those very schools that you deny all participation in your grant. Can any thing be more unreasonable or more unjust? The present system was established out of regard for the conscientious convictions of our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects; and its fundamental rules were materially relaxed out of regard to the conscientious convictions of the Presbyterians. I do not grudge to either of those bodies the advantages which they have derived—I hope they may long enjoy them—but I maintain that some respect ought at least to be paid to the conscientious scruples of the members of the Established Church. You have relaxed the system to meet the reasonable objections of those from whom as a nation you differ, but you will not relax it, even in the smallest degree, to gratify the honourable, sincere, and praiseworthy scruples of those with whom you agree. Can you persevere in so partial a scheme? I am confident you cannot. But whether you accede to my request now, or whether you refuse it, the time will come when you must attend to it. With such one-sided partiality and favour, it is but right that we should inquire the reason why all participation in the public grants is denied to the members of our own Church. Every hon. Gentleman is bound to ask himself why it is that the Established Church has thus been placed under the ban of the State. Have the members of that Church done any thing to deserve it? Have they declined to aid in the good work of educating the people? No; on the contrary, there is no class in the United Kingdom which is more conscientiously desirous of promoting education than the Irish clergy. Their efforts have been discountenanced and discouraged by the Government and by Parliament; but, in spite of that, they have at this moment 1,800 schools in which there are about 100,000 scholars at a cost of some £40,000 a year. That Church does more to promote your united system of education than you are doing yourselves by means of the National schools, and yet you refuse to assist them by a shilling. Depend upon it, your present mode of dealing with this question cannot last. Many sincere and honourable men who were originally opposed to it have changed their opinions. They see its injustice, and will not support it. On this point I will 1591 call your attention to the evidence given by Mr. Buxton. That gentleman went to Ireland for the purpose of inquiring into this subject; he went a prejudiced man, deeply convinced of the danger of disturbing the combined system, but his views were changed by what he saw for himself. He was examined before the House of Lords' Committee, and there he stated that, having gone to Ireland favourably impressed with the principles of the National system as a means of uniting different creeds, the result of his observations was that the objects of the National system were better and more fully carried out by a system founded upon scriptural instruction than they are in the schools under the National Board. Being asked whether he did not think that the present position of the clergy, with reference to the system of education of the people which is established and supported by the State in Ireland, was a very disadvantageous one, not only to the interests of the Church, but to the cause of education, his answer is:—No doubt of it at all. One could not help feeling, on visiting the Protestant schools, that there was a great want of the advantages which the State could give in the way of books and apparatus, and salaries for teachers, and so on.His examination then proceeds thus, and I particularly crave the attention of the Government to the following questions and answers:—On all those grounds you probably think it would be very desirable if there could be a settlement of the question, which, without interfering with any good, be it small or great, which the national system is doing in Ireland, would satisfy the scruples of the clergy so as to allow their schools to be connected with the National Board?—I think so, certainly.Have you, in considering the question, been able to arrive at any scheme for such a settlement?—I do not see why the system which has answered so well in England should not be applied in Ireland, though, perhaps, with some modifications.Will you suggest any modifications which you think it ought to undergo?—I think, as I have heard suggested by Dr. Trench, that the plan of the Church Education Society should be to a certain extent adopted—that is, the plan of only giving aid in proportion to the qualifications of the children in the school. It appears to me that the schools I visited in Ireland, particularly the national schools, wanted a stimulus; many of them were in a very languid state indeed; and if the system were altered, it would be an excellent thing to let the teachers feel that the grant to the school would be in proportion to the advance of the children in learning.In the last answer Mr. Buxton intimates the kind of plan which I shall presently 1592 suggest. And this leads me to the terms of my Motion. From what I have said, I think it is clear that the system cannot remain as it is; some alteration must be introduced. What I ask is, "that such modifications may be made in the rules of the National system of education in Ireland as will extend the advantages now enjoyed by the non-vested schools to any other than vested schools now existing or hereafter to be established, whatever their regulations may be as to the mode of religious instruction." But I guard against abuse by the following provisos—1st, that no child shall be required to learn any formulary or creed which his parent objects to; 2ndly, that the patrons shall place these schools in connection with the Board; and, 3rdly, that they shall submit to government inspection. Now in considering the effect of this change, it is important to bear in mind the distinction between vested and non-vested schools. Vested schools are those to the building of which the Commissioners have contributed a part of the public money; non-vested schools are those the cost of erecting which has been defrayed by the contributions and benefactions of lay patrons. The former class of schools are placed under the control of the Board; the latter are left under the direction of the lay patrons, and they only receive from the State the salaries of teachers, books, and other school requisites. In vested shools the rooms are, after school hours, accessible to any persons whom the parents may desire to instruct their children in religious matters; while in non-vested schools the religion to be taught is prescribed by the lay patrons; but opportunities are afforded for the instruction of the children out of school hours by other ministers. With vested schools I do not propose in the least degree to interfere; nor do I seek for any alteration in the model schools, in the workhouse schools, or in the schools for training teachers. I believe that they are good—not to say excellent—and that they ought to remain as they are. In the non-vested schools also, I do not propose to make any alteration which would deprive Presbyterians or others of any of the advantages which they now enjoy. All these, if my Motion is carried, would be left undisturbed. But what I do ask is, that you shall so modify the rules with relation to non-vested schools as to enable the members of the Church in Ireland to educate their children in their own way, and to re- 1593 ceive for that purpose aid from the State. Even this, however, I only ask upon certain conditions. On receiving such aid I think that the schools ought to put themselves in connection with the Board, that they ought to submit to Government inspection, and that they ought not to force upon any child whose parents or guardians are not members of the Church of England, the formularies, or catechisms, or creeds of that Church. In making this request I am asking no more than I believe the House of Lords, after having instituted this full inquiry which resulted in these two enormous volumes, containing ten thousand questions and answers, and I do not know how many pages of appendices, would have ultimately agreed to. Unfortunately, however, they did not come to any conclusion; for whether it was owing to the lateness of the period of the Session and consequent want of time, or whether it was owing to some other cause I cannot say, but in the result no Report was agreed to by the Committee.
Several Reports, however were drawn up, and to five of these I will briefly advert. One of these Reports was prepared by Lord Eglinton, one by the Bishop of Ossory, one by Lord Derby, the author of this scheme, one by Lord Granville, the President of the Council and the representative of the Government on matters of education, and one by Lord Monteagle. Of three of these I will only say a few words in passing. Lord Eglinton's Report was framed to provide for the making of such new regulations as might prevent the recurrence of such a difference as that which has led to the retirement from the Board of Mr. Blackburn and the Archbishop of Dublin. The Report of Lord Monteagle was in favour of the system. That of the Bishop of Ossory was a most able document, which set forth the views of the Church Education Society in the fullest and ablest manner. But the two Reports which bear more particularly upon my present Motion are those suggested by Lord Derby and Lord Granville. The House will remember that when this question was last before it my right hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Sir J. Graham), for whose opinion I always entertain the sincerest respect, made an earnest appeal to the Conservative party not to uproot or disturb a system which their great leader, Lord Derby, had established for the benefit of Ireland. For myself, I can truly say that, owing as I do to that great man (and 1594 proud to owe it) my political allegiance, I should be extremely sorry to utter here a single word which was contrary to any opinion of his, unless I was unable to bring my mind to concur in that opinion. Fortunately in this case I am not driven to the painful dilemma of differing from the views of the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby). The noble Earl was the author of that measure at a time when the system of education was imperfectly understood, when no one would have dreamed of giving grants to all religious bodies, as is now done in England; when it was necessary to make education more extensive and more general in Ireland, and to remove the religious objections and scruples which the Roman Catholics entertained to the previous system. Since then twenty years have passed over our heads, and during that period material changes have taken place both in England and Ireland. Most of these changes recognise the principles upon which I proceed, and such principles are almost identical with those propositions which were made by Lord Derby to the Committee of the House of Lords. The propositions of Lord Derby were contained in four Resolutions, of which those that bore upon this question were the third and fourth.
The third was in these words—That the adoption of the rules as to religious instruction in free or vested schools be earnestly recommended to patrons of non-vested schols receiving aid from the Board.And the fourth was this—That the Board be authorised, if they shall think fit, to grant similar advantages to those enjoyed by the non-vested schools to any schools now existing, or hereafter to be built, whatever their regulations as to religious instruction, the patrons of which shall be willing to place them in connection with the Board, and to receive officially the visits of the Government inspectors.If you compare these Resolutions with the terms of my Motion, you will find in point of fact that they are quite similar to, and almost identical with, the Address which I am about to move. Nor did the views of Lord Granville materially differ. That noble Lord proposed certain Resolutions which were to a certain extent in conformity with those of Lord Derby; but unfortunately he afterwards withdrew them, and substituted others which did not include the important point which he had agreed to recommend. The nature of his first Resolutions we can only ascertain through the instrumentality of a Member of the Committee. They are preserved in 1595 charge of the Bishop of Ossory's. In that charge the Bishop observed that Lord Granville had alluded to the different objections which had been made against the national system at its first introduction by a large portion of the Church of Ireland; that he did not acknowledge the reasonableness of these objections; but still, as it was plain from the evidence that, whether well or ill founded, those objections were conscientiously entertained and steadily acted upon by a great number of respectable persons, it had become desirable to consider whether anything could be done to satisfy them without interfering with the system. And then he states that Lord Granville suggested, as what appeared to be the best plan for securing both objects, that Church Education schools should receive grants of school books and school requisites from the National Board; and that the benefit of inspection by the officers of the Board and of access to the training school should also be extended to them. But he added that Government would only be prepared to act on these suggestions, if they were recommended by a clear majority of the Committee, and also accompanied by a recommendation that under no circumstances should a grant in money be made to any school, either for building or for the teacher's salary, unless it were conducted strictly in accordance with the rules of the national system.
Of course I am not in a position to speak authoritatively on any subject which passed in the Committee of the House of Lords, except so far as it appears from their proceedings; but I think it not improbable that the reason why the noble Lord did not propose the Resolutions I have mentioned, may have been that he had not ascertained that they were sure of being approved by a clear majority of that body. However that may be, this is at least certain; that recommendations substantially the same were urged with equal earnestness by Lord Derby and Lord Granville; and the only difference between the schemes of the two noble Lords was, that one of them contemplated a salary to the teacher in addition to a grant for books and school requisites, whereas the other was purposely limited to the latter object only. The distinction is obviously one of degree, and not one of principle. In principle both these statesmen were agreed; and I know that Lord Derby adheres to his Resolutions. Upon this subject I have recently had some conversation with him, 1596 and I am authorised to say that my noble Friend approves of this Address—and if acceded to, he deems it to be a fair and reasonable modification to meet a just and equitable demand. He adds, however, that it would be judicious to annex a condition to the grant by which it should be made to depend more or less on the actual progress of education in the school—and this to my mind would be a fair arrangement, and one to which no valid objection can properly be taken.
That the Bishop of Ossory has correctly interpreted the views entertained by Lord Granville and Lord Derby is obvious from the passage which I am about to quote from the charge of the right rev. Prelate—The whole difference," as he says, "between them was (that is to say, between Lord Granville and Lord Derby), that Lord Derby would grant salaries to the masters, or rather, as he explained himself, an allowance for the actual progress of the scholars, founded upon the report of the inspector. He agreed with Lord Granville in refusing building grants to such schools, and Lord Granville agreed with him in giving them books, school requisites, inspections, and the use of a training school. The only advantage that Lord Derby proposed to give which Lord Granville refused was, as I said, the money grants for teachers' salaries.Such, in effect, is the object of my Motion. In principle at least it is the same as that which Lord Granville and Lord Derby were willing to recommend. And now, supported by such authorities, let me earnestly solicit your acquiescence and concurrence in an Address to the Crown, with a view to obtain such a modification of the present educational system in Ireland as will enable members of the Established Church to obtain out of the public funds, to which with others they themselves contribute, some assistance in aid of the good work which for years they have been carrying on under great discouragements, but with commendable zeal, aye, and, let me add, in a manner more consonant with your own desires than that which is customary with the National Board itself. The appeal I make to you is sound in principle and wise in policy, and I confidently assert that it ought to be granted. Time and the interests of the cause I advocate alike admonish me that I must now conclude. I will not trespass too long on your attention. I will not spoil the proper weight which will always be given to a plain statement of facts and reasons by attempting to set them off with those ornaments of speech which a 1597 worse cause than this might readily supply. Sedulously avoiding all appeals to passion and prejudice, I am content to present my case to you simply on its merits. I know that the House of Commons is always willing to do an act of justice. I believe that the power as well as the opportunity of doing such an act is now in your hands. Believing that, I shall say no more. I will merely request you, Sir, to put from the chair the Motion which stands in my name on the paper.
§ SIR WILLIAM HEATHCOTE
said, that in seconding the Motion, he would not weaken the cause his right hon. Friend had so ably advocated, by going at any great length into the arguments. The admirable tone and temper in which his right hon. Friend had introduced it would, he was satisfied, carry with it a friendly and kindly reception for his case, and induce the House to weigh well the reasons which he had urged before they came to a decision on the subject. Another circumstance also induced him to look with hope to the result of that night's debate on the subject, namely, that the terms of the Amendment of which notice had been given by the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Kennedy) were conceived in a spirit of moderation and fairness which caused him to conclude that the hon. Member, and those hon. Gentlemen who sympathised with him, would not meet the Motion in a spirit of hostility—that they would not desire to refuse to the Church the advantages sought by his right hon. Friend, but only to impose restrictions upon any possible abuse which might arise from the grant of them—that they felt a not unnatural jealousy of any proposal to alter the present system from which they had derived such advantage for their own communion; but that if they were assured against losing that advantage they would not grudge its extension to others. The great importance of the Motion could not be denied or doubted. Its objects were twofold, and both of them to be desired even by those who were most favourably disposed towards the national system of education. His right hon. Friend wished, in the first place, to conciliate to the national system the great bulk of the clergy and laity of the Church of Ireland, who were now opposed to it; and, secondly, to bring under the National Board nearly 2,000 schools, equal in number to more than one-third of all the national schools, and containing scholars exceeding in num- 1598 ber one-fifth of the national scholars. The only doubt in connection with the Motion was whether the advantages sought might not be purchased too dearly; and the only objections he (Sir W. Heathcote) had heard were two, which mutually destroyed each other. It was said, on the one hand that the alteration proposed would tend to break up the system of united education, and, on the other hand, that it would tend to proselytism—each being incompatible with the other. If the schools were separate, there could be no proselytism. If there was opportunity for proselytism, it implied union. But, in truth, both these fears were visionary. If the present state of the schools were looked at it would be seen that the union of religions in the national schools was rather theoretical than practical. In three of the provinces of Ireland there was scarce a trace of united education; while in the fourth, it amounted to this, that the Presbyterians and Roman Catholics, though united so far as to be both in union with the National Board, had, nevertheless, separate schools, and that there was no great amount of united education, even in Ulster, while in not one of the provinces is there practically any union with church schools. The truth is, that the national system has developed itself into a denominational system, with only this peculiar anomaly, that while the Roman Catholic schools received State assistance, and the Presbyterians also, it is denied to those of the Established Church. The Motion of his right hon. Friend was directed to remove that anomaly, and to enable the National Board to cover ground on which it had not set its foot up to the present time. It was so desirable to avoid anything like a controversy that he would rather rest his case on the lowest and narrowest ground which would sustain it, than obtain advantages in argument which might provoke an angry reply, and have a tendency to divert the House, by exciting passion, from an act of justice. He did not found himself on the fact of the Church thus excluded being the Established Church, and therefore the most natural channel for educational grants, but, on the contrary, was willing, for the present purpose, to look on all religionists as being on a par, and only to ask why they were not, in fact, treated on a footing of the equality which is alleged. Neither was he concerned to maintain that, in his opinion, the scruple which withheld the 1599 clergy and laity of the Church from acceding to the terms of the Board was originally a wise one, or their difficulty vital. It was enough, according to the practical mode of dealing with such matters in this country, that the experience of twenty years, and the continued sacrifice of self-interest, had demonstrated that the scruple was conscientious, and the difficulty, in fact, insurmountable. Again, it was no part of his case to depreciate the original scheme of the National, by which no education was to be given under their auspices, excepting in schools uniting all modes of religious belief. No doubt that scheme raised very grave questions, involving the very principles of educational enactments, and he might be indisposed to assent to it; but it was unnecessary to discuss it now, because the progress of events in Ireland had shown that it was not applicable there. It had not produced united education, while the very efforts to make it united prevented it from being national; and the failure was admitted by the very attempts which were made to account for and to excuse it. That the Commissioners had practically recognised the fruitlessness of their efforts to produce united education is proved in evidence, both by their custom of establishing additional national schools in districts already provided with such, with the avowed object of facilitating, by separation, instruction in different religions, and also by the remarkable transactions which ended in the retirement of the Archbishop of Dublin, and two other eminent Commissioners, who still cling to the original principles, and were opposed to the sanction given by the Board to denominational teaching. All this would tend to show that his right hon. Friend would have been justified if he had asked for the English system of completely denominational grants, but he did not aim at so much. His Motion amounted simply to this—that whereas the Irish system aimed at being united, and aimed at being national, but was, in fact, neither one nor the other; it might be made, by a slight modification, not less united than at present, and much more national. He (Sir W. Heathcote) hoped that the House would by every consideration of justice, prudence, and authority, be disposed to promote a concession so small in its departure from the actual practice, so important in the largeness of its probable results, that they would not lose the opportunity of conciliating to the system of national edu- 1600 cation in Ireland the support of those who were yet its conscientious and powerful opponents; and of bringing from antagonism into union schools which were already numbered by thousands, and their scholars by tens of thousands, and that they would make the attempt to get rid of an injustice which irritated many and benefited none, and which only served to aggravate and inflame the unhappy divisions of Ireland.
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will be graciously pleased to direct that such modifications may be made in the Rules of the National System of Education in Ireland, as will extend the advantages now enjoyed by non-vested schools to any other than vested schools now existing, or hereafter to be established, whatever their regulations may be as to the mode of religious instruction; provided that no children shall be compelled to learn any catechism, creed, or formulary to which their parents or guardians may object; and provided that the patrons shall be willing to place such schools in connection with the Board, to permit the Board's control over books to be used in general instruction, and to receive officially the visits of the Government Inspectors.
§ MR. KENNEDY
, who had given notice of an Amendment—To leave out from the first word 'That,' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words 'whilst this House feels it to be its duty to facilitate the extension of those advantages now enjoyed by schools in connection with the Board of National Education in Ireland, to other suitable schools now existing or hereafter to be established, it feels it to be equally a duty to express its conviction that no such extension can be carried into effectual operation unless it be explicitly avowed and clearly understood in each such school open to children of different religious denominations, that no attempt shall be made to influence or disturb the peculiar religious tenets of any sect or denomination of Christians, and that the rules therein be so explicit as to remove all grounds for apprehending any such interference with their respective religious principles,'said, that coinciding fully in the tribute which had been paid by the hon. Baronet to the admirable temper in which the Motion had been brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman, he must take serious exception to the Motion he had submitted to the House—he complained not of the manner but of the matter in hand. The question was one of the most serious importance, disturbing, as it proposed to do, the uniform operation of three-fourths of about 5,000 schools now existing in Ireland, and making satisfactory and successful progress. Why should the House 1601 be asked to do so? Was there not an ample field for the amendment of the social, secular, and religious education of England, without disturbing what was going on so well in Ireland? Why did not hon. and right hon. Gentlemen work that field, and leave the greatest boon—it might be said the only boon which Ireland had received at the hands of England—untouched? What was the excuse offered for throwing the apple of discord into the midst of a system, the successful operation of which was admitted by all parties. It was alleged that sufficient opportunities for the inculcation of the religious tenets of the patrons of the schools was not afforded under the present system. But, according to the rules of the Commissioners, four hours per diem were the extreme limit insisted on for secular instruction; and the patron might use the school for the rest of the day, provided he gave no room for suspicion of designs of proselyting The proposition now was to overturn that system. If it was carried, however, its effect would be to revive old jealousies, to create fresh heartburnings, to promote bickerings on the subject of religion, to check the spread of education, and to drive out three-fourths of the ordinary inmates of the national schools. He (Mr. Kennedy) gleaned from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman that he appeared on behalf of some religious body in Ireland who derived no benefit from the system. To what denomination of Christians did that religious body belong? Did the right hon. Gentleman appear on the part of that monster Church establishment which, with ample revenues at its disposal, had failed to provide for the religious instruction of the poor of Ireland? What was the state of the schools? In the evidence given before the House of Lords in 1854, it was found by analysis that the schools of the Established Church were 606 in number, the patrons of which were—clergymen, 154; laymen, 452. The number of Presbyterian schools was 687, of which 474 were presided over by clergymen, and 195 by laymen. The number of Dissenting schools was 33; while the number of Roman Catholic schools was 3,077, of which 2,080 were presided over by clergymen, and 277 by laymen. Were these proportions in accordance with the relative number of the population? Had the Roman Catholics more or the Established Church less than their due proportion? He (Mr. Kennedy) could only approximate to the fact through the Census returns of 1835, the 1602 sole Census returns which gave the religious distinctions of the population of Ireland. An hon. Member appears to question the application of that census as a test of present proportions in the several denominations. He (Mr. Kennedy) would therefore ask was that hon. Gentleman prepared to contend that whilst either famine or extirmination reduced the population of Ireland, an undue proportion of Roman Catholics had been removed by either means, and if so, the cause of such result might properly be made the subject of future inquiry in that House. However as large an abatement could be made as hon. Gentlemen might think proper for the reduction of the Roman Catholic population by famine, by emigration, and by extermination; the following were the results of the comparison. The Roman Catholics had, as he said, 3,077 schools at this moment, but according to the Census calculation they should have 3,561; they were, therefore, nearly 500 short of their due proportion. The Established Church had at present 606 schools, but by the Census returns, which gave them relative numbers as one to nine, they should have only 500. They had, therefore, 106 schools more than their due proportion. The Presbyterians had 607 schools, but their due proportion, in relation to numbers, was only 307. If the Established Church had been equally vigilant as the Presbyterian, it would have had an equal result in the advantages, as the national system was progressive. As it was, however, it had more than its due share, in proportion to its numbers, relatively to the whole population; and the question at issue, therefore, resolved itself into a matter of justice as between man and man. There had been two Royal Commissions in 1812 and 1824, and one Committee of the House of Commons in 1828, to inquire into a system of national education for Ireland, and the language of each was uniform as regarded the principle upon which that system should be established. All these laid it down as a primary principle that no system of national education in that country was possible unless it set out with an explicit disavowal of any intention to disturb the religious tenets of any Christian sect. The Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman, however, had a direct tendency to negative that principle, inasmuch as it placed the whole system, as regarded each school, at the discretion of the individual who might preside over that school, and no child could enter a national school without 1603 being amenable to the religious scheme of the patron, whatever the scheme might be. In fact, it was proposed in order to meet the views or prejudices of some undefined portion of one-eighth of the population to sacrifice the other seven-eighths. The Motion, when it was brought forward on a former occasion, was different from what it then was, and he (Mr. Kennedy) then pointed out the proper remedy for the alleged evil. He suggested that it all arose from the want of a separate schoolroom for religious instruction. At present all the expenses for head quarters, staff officers, inspectors, &c. were incurred, and all that was necessary to meet the evil was to provide school-rooms in which separate instruction could be imparted at any time. The time now devoted to religious teaching was very limited. In ordinary schools secular instruction occupied eight hours a day; and he had known a diocesan school in Ireland, the patron of which was the Bishop of the diocese, and the masters of which were clergymen of the Church of England, where only ten minutes at the commencement of each day, for the first five days of the week, and two hours after the close of school business on the Saturday, were devoted to religious instruction. Under the national system, however, only four hours were devoted to secular education, and any portion of the remaining twenty hours that might seem fit might be devoted to religious instruction. Nevertheless, it was proposed to overthrow this system. He (Mr. Kennedy) had intended to move the Amendment of which he gave notice on the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman; but understanding it to be the wish of several hon. Members that the Motion should be met with a direct negative, he was willing to waive his own opinions, and act as the House should wish in not pressing his Amendment.
§ MR. HORSMAN
regretted that he was compelled to disappoint the hopes of the hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Sir W. Heathcote) by offering opposition to the Resolutions proposed by the right hon. and learned Gentleman. He quite agreed with all that had been said of the earnestness, the ability, and the moderation of that right hon. Gentleman, but there was such a difference of principle and policy between that right hon. Member and Her Majesty's Government that they could not assent to the Resolutions proposed, the consequences of which, if adopted, would, he was convinced, be highly detrimental to the public interests and the 1604 cause of education, as well as prejudicial to the tranquillity of Ireland. His right hon. Friend said he had shown the House that the national system had failed in accomplishing the objects for which it was designed; that it was not a united system; that his Motion, if carried, would be a prelude to the concord and tranquillity of Ireland; and that his object was to render the reading of the Scriptures permissive to the Protestants. Now, he (Mr. Horsman) thought, on the contrary, he could show that the present system had succeeded; that, as far as circumstances admitted, and as far as reasonable expectations could be formed on the subject, it had completely succeeded us a united system; that his right hon. Friend's Motion would be a prelude to discord; and that the effect of the Motion, if carried, would be to render the reading of the Bible compulsory upon the Roman Catholics. The right hon. Gentleman had cited authorities to show that the system upon which they had been hitherto acting, if it was not altogether a failure, must at all events be considerably relaxed. He (Mr. Horsman) would cite authorities of greater weight to show that that system was a decided success, and that so far from there being any necessity to relax it, it was the policy and the duty of the Legislature firmly to act up to it. In one point he certainly agreed, and he thought the House generally would agree, with the right hon. Gentleman—that religion should be the basis of education in Ireland; but the right hon. Gentleman had failed to show by any evidence whatever that religion did not enter very largely into the system of instruction given throughout all the national schools in that country. The great point of difference between the right hon. Gentleman and himself was as to what really constituted the fundamental principles of the national system of education, for he (Mr. Horsman) had not been accustomed to consider that these schools had been founded on the three principles propounded by the right hon. Gentleman; and, in order to show what these fundamental principles really were, he would not refer to the circumstances of the present year, but he would go further back and would show what our past experience had been, and what were the grounds upon which the present system rested. Now, it had been acknowledged through many successive reigns, and the principle had been perpetually affirmed by the Legislature, that the education of the Irish people should be a national concern; 1605 but invariably throughout that time the ignorance of the Irish people had been constantly attributed to their religion, and it was always believed that their conversion from their religion was a necessary preliminary to their receiving the blessings of education. So strongly was this principle maintained that schools taught by Roman Catholics were put down by Act of Parliament, and Roman Catholics were subject to heavy penalties if they continued to teach in schools. This having been the principle upon which Parliament acted through successive reigns, it resulted that education in Ireland was reduced to a most lamentable state. At the beginning of the present century the schools of Ireland were the hotbeds of vice, immorality, and disloyalty, and the condition of education was such that Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Committees were appointed one after another to investigate the cause and suggest the remedy. Every one of these Commissions and Committees traced the evil to the same source, and suggested the same remedy. They said, "You don't endeavour to extirpate ignorance so much as to extirpate Popery, and therefore it results that the great mass of the Irish people stand aloof from your schools because they believe them to be either secret traps or open assaults upon their religion." Now, he begged the House to see how strongly and how unmistakeably public men, who were most adverse to the Roman Catholics, expressed their convictions on this point. He would only now allude to what had occurred in the course of the present century. In 1806 a Royal Commission was issued, the final report of which was given in 1812. At the head of that Commission was the Archbishop of Armagh; and upon it were also the Archbishop of Cashel; the Protestant Bishop of Killaloe; Mr. Isaac Corry, Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer; the Provost of Trinity College, Dublin; Mr. Richard Lovell Edgeworth; Mr. J. Whitehorn; and Mr. J. L. Forster, M.P. for Dublin county. Every one of those Gentlemen, except Mr. Edgeworth, was opposed to any concession of the Roman Catholic claims. Two of them were Archbishops of the Protestant Church; another was a Prelate of that Church; and they reported in the year 1812, long before any concession to the Roman Catholic claims was dreamt of. What was their Report? They said—That, no plan of education, however wisely and unexceptionably contrived in other respects, can be carried into effectual operation, unless it 1606 be explicitly avowed and clearly understood as its leading principle that no attempt shall be made to influence or disturb the peculiar religious tenets of any sect or denomination of Christians.Now, here was a public acknowledgment, on the part of these distinguished opponents of the Catholics, of a great national error; they thought, for the sake of the public safety, and of the improvement and tranquillity of Ireland, that a new principle should be established as the basis of our education, and that "no attempt should be made to influence or disturb the peculiar religious tenets of any denomination of Christians." A second Royal Commission was appointed in 1824, and that Commission, after sixteen years' experience, reported in these terms:—That, in a country where mutual divisions exist between different classes of the people, schools should be established for the purpose of giving to the children of all religious persuasions such useful instruction as they may severally be capable and desirous of receiving, without having any ground to apprehend any interference with their respective religious principles.These were the opinions and this was the advice of the two Royal Commissions. A Committee of the House of Commons followed in 1828. The Reports of the Commissioners were referred to that Committee; and that Committee also reported their conviction that no system of education would be expedient or could be successful in Ireland which was calculated "to influence or disturb the peculiar religious tenets of any sect or denomination of Christians"—thus adopting the very words of the Commission of 1812. Then, in 1830, just previous to the adoption of the system, another Parliamentary Committee was appointed to inquire into this matter, and they recommended—That no further time be lost in giving the public the benefit of the experience and long-protracted inquiries before the Royal Commission of 1806 and 1825, and the practical recommendations of the Committee of 1828.This was the fourth Report, the last and most urgent of all, desiring that no further time should be lost in acting upon what they believed to be the only sound or successful principle that could be adopted with regard to education in Ireland—namely, the principle of non-interference with the religious opinions of the people. Was Parliament now to pronounce the opinions of these Committees and Commissions to be wrong, and to declare that a system of education in Ireland, to be successful, must endeavour to interfere with the religious convictions of the great mass of the 1607 population? If they were not prepared to do this, then he thought he could show that the House ought not to assent to the Motion of his right hon. Friend; for, if they did assent to it—if they adopted the principles of the Church Education Society—which was what in effect this Motion asked them to do—he believed they would be declaring in effect that, in the Irish system of education it was right and advisable to interfere with the religious persuasions of those who differed from the national Church. His right hon. Friend had referred to the Kildare-place Society, which subscribed to the very words of the Commission of 1812, laying down the condition that they would not interfere with the religious tenets of any of the children who came to their schools. That Society entirely failed in its scheme of education. It failed because it could not and did not acquire the confidence of those whose confidence was necessary to its success. But in what respect was the Church Education Society likely to be more successful? What was the difference between these two societies? The difference was very considerable, but, as far as acquiring the confidence of the great mass of the population of Ireland was concerned, that difference appeared to him to be in favour of the Kildare-place Society. That Society, in the first place, subscribed to the pledge he had mentioned—that they would not interfere with the religious tenets of the children who came to their schools. No such pledge, however, had been given, nor would it be given, by the Church Education Society. The Kildare-place Society asked no questions as to the religion of the teachers; in the Church Education Society all the teachers were of the Established Church. The Kildare-place Society allowed the Scriptures to be read either in the Douay version or the Authorised version, without note or comment; the Church Education Society only allowed one version of the Scriptures to be used. The Kildare-place Society did not allow the Catechism or formularies of the Established Church; the Church Education Society did. Notwithstanding, then, that of the two plans the Kildare-place Society was the more likely to be acceptable to the Roman Catholics it was given up; and instead of it, the Government, acting upon the recommendation of the Commission, determined to institute the system which was established in 1833. Before referring to Lord Stanley's language upon this question, he (Mr. Horsman) begged the House 1608 to observe that the fundamental principle of the system which was then established was, that no attempt should be made in any way to interfere with the religious creed of any of the children. Lord Stanley founded his system upon the Report of the Commission of 1812, and acting upon the experience which he had before him in that Report, he said in his letter to the Duke of Leinster:—The Commissioners in 1812 recommended the appointment of a Board of this description to superintend a system of education, from which should be banished even the suspicion of proselytism.Thus adopting that principle which had been recommended by the Commissioners as the only principle upon which national education in Ireland could be carried out. Lord Stanley further explained the system in answer to a deputation from the Synod of Ulster. They had asked him whether the Bible was to be used in the schools, because, from the very earliest moment they had been extremely sensitive upon that point; and his answer was—But there is not (nor ever was) any objection to the Reading of the Scriptures, or the giving of any other religious instruction on days and hours specified by the local patrons to those children whose parents choose that they should attend. Those days and hours, however, must be specified in order to remove from the mind of the Roman Catholic parent the possibility of a suspicion that his children may be influenced to join in studies of which he does not approve.The House would observe how Lord Stanley's language gathered strength as he proceeded and acquired more knowledge of the subject. Again, in a letter to the Dean of St. Patrick, Lord Stanley thus stated the object and aim of the system. He said—The objects are—first, to diminish the violence of religious animosities, by the association of Protestant and Roman Catholic children in a system of education in which both might join, and in which the large majority, who were opposed to the religion of the State, might practically see how much there was in that religion common with their own; and, secondly, to give to the great bulk of the Roman Catholic population as extensive a knowledge of Scripture truth as they would be induced to receive.Subsequently, when Lord Stanley announced his plan in the House of Commons, he expressed himself in these terms:—The plan which he had in view would, for the future, afford the people of Ireland the advantage of a combined literary and separate religious education. Experience teaches that endless controversy must arise from any attempt to give religious 1609 instruction to children of different religious persuasions.He (Mr. Horsman) did not gather from his right hon. Friend that he meant to state that, so far as the great mass of the poor population of Ireland was concerned, the system had not been successful—at least to this extent, that it was acceptable and serviceable to them. He did not understand his right hon. Friend to deny the fact that the laity and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church availed themselves of the system. He did not understand him to say that the clergy, ministry, and laity of the Presbyterian Church did not all avail themselves of the system; but he understood him to say that one section, and one section only of the clergy, with a few of the laity, of the Established Church, had refused to subscribe to it. And, then, "What crime," asked his right hon. Friend, "have they committed that you should refuse to them what you give to others?" The answer was very simple; it was, "We have a system of education established in Ireland as the result of experience, which is to be carried on upon certain principles and under certain rules. All the rest of the population have welcomed those principles and have assented to those rules; and, because a certain portion of the clergy of the Established Church, objecting to the system, refuse to subscribe to those rules, they exclude themselves from the benefits which it affords. The House must remember, that the system of Lord Stanley encountered at its outset the opposition of the clergy of every denomination in Ireland; that the Presbyterians only gave in their allegiance to it so lately as 1840; that the Roman Catholics did not subscribe to it until a more recent period, and that a section of the Established Church still objected to it. He would now show the House how the system had progressed in spite of those difficulties. It began in 1833 with 789 schools and 107,000 pupils; and it had gone on from that time down to the end of 1854, which was the date of the last returns, increasing in every year, until at that period it numbered 5,178 schools, with no fewer than 551,120 scholars. That embracing of the system by nearly the whole population of Ireland was very remarkable; and it must be borne in mind that that increase in schools and scholars had gone on in a greater ratio even than appeared from the tables, because the diminution of the population was an element which ought to be taken into 1610 consideration. Another fact which was still more remarkable was that, although children of all the different denominations in Ireland had been educated in those schools, there had been as much harmony among them as if they had all professed one creed. No less than 2,500,000 children of different religions had gone through those schools, and not one single case of proselytism had been alleged. Moreover, there had been employed in them about 20,000 teachers—young men of an age when religious feeling and intolerance were most ardent, and there was not an instance of one single religious quarrel having occurred. In spite of the opposition which it had encountered the system was slowly, surely, steadily, and successfully advancing and overcoming every difficulty, until now it was embraced by nine-tenths of the population of Ireland, and accepted as a blessing by them all. But there was another fact which was yet more remarkable, and it was this. The Census returns, showing the state of education in all the different counties of Ireland, had been recently published, and they incontrovertibly proved that the education of the population was making the greatest progress in those districts where the system was being most completely carried out. It appeared from those returns that there were in the province of Ulster 1,875 schools; in Leinster, 1,151, in Munster, 988; and in Connaught, 588; that the three counties which stood highest in point of education were in the province of Ulster, while the three which stood lowest were in the province of Connaught; and that in the three former counties the average proportion of those who could neither read nor write was from twenty to twenty-four per cent, while in the three latter counties the average was from seventy-two to seventy-five per cent. That state of things said a great deal for the success which had attended the efforts of the National Board and the National Board system of education. The National Board system had been commenced under disadvantages, and had sustained many heavy blows. It had at the outset been opposed by a great body of the clergy, and also by a large number of the influential landowners; but it had nevertheless succeeded, because it had been supported by the feeling of the great mass of the people, who had rebelled against the domination of their priests of whatever creed they might be, and who had determined that they would receive that education of which their clergy wished 1611 to deprive them. Its success had also been secured by the exertions and by the honest adherence to the principle upon which they started of those by whom the system had been administered. His right hon. Friend had passed lightly over the proceedings of the Church Education Society; but he would state to the House a few circumstances in the history of that society. When the grant to the Kildare-place Society was withdrawn, the clergy had associated themselves into a society, and had raised contributions for the purpose of extending education. After a short time, however, it was found that the existence of a central body would give unity and strength to their efforts, and, consequently, in the year 1838 the Church Education Society was established. The principles of that Society had been expressed by the Bishop of Ossory, who, under the sanction of the Primate, was one of its chief promoters. That right rev. Prelate stated that the difference between the Church Education Society and the National Board was, that in the schools of the National Board the reading of the Holy Scriptures was permissive, while in those of the Church Education Society it was compulsory. The fact then was, that in the schools of the National Board the children might receive secular instruction while Roman Catholics might absent themselves when the Scriptures were being read, while in those of the Church Education Society the children were, it was true, allowed to receive secular instruction, but at the same time they were compelled to receive such religious instruction as the society might choose to impart to them; so that while in the national schools any child of any persuasion might receive both religious and secular instruction without any offence to the conscience of its parents, in the schools of the Church Education Society the price for secular instruction was that a child should receive a religious instruction which might offend the conscience of its parents. The Bishop of Ossory said:—The rules for the use of the Holy Scriptures in the two systems—the Church educational system and the national system—are not merely different but opposite, and mutually incompatible. We require not merely that the Bible should be read daily in all our schools, but that all our children in attendance who are able to read should be instructed daily in the Bible. The State system not only does not require that the Bible should be read daily, or at any time, in its schools; but it requires that if it be read all children, whose parents or guardians object to their reading the Bible, should be permitted to 1612 leave the school while such instruction is going on. This seems a difference hard enough to reconcile, and the difficulty seems to be increased when we look to the views and feelings of the parties. On the one hand, we are resolved not to rescind or to modify, or to relax our rule. And on the other hand, we must be prepared to find Government resolved not to adopt it, and to make it the rule of the State system.Then, again, the Bishop of Cashel said:—The National Board endeavours to secure that the light of God's Word should be excluded from the Roman Catholic population,—that the priests were afraid to allow the Bible to be read, because otherwise their system could not stand, He did not dissent from the National Board on account of Protestants, because they could be taught at other times. His principal objection to the Board was that it helped to keep in darkness that part of the people they (the Society) wished to enlighten.From that statement it appeared that attendance upon the reading of the Holy Scriptures was a necessary condition for obtaining secular instruction, and in consequence of that condition the society had been viewed with distrust, as being a proselyting society. He did not for a moment mean to impute to any member of the Church Education Society anything but the most conscientious motives; but, at the same time, he believed that that society was acting in direct antagonism to the principles laid down by every high authority upon the subject; and he thought that by the Resolution before the House his right hon. Friend was asking the House to resort to a principle which experience had proved to be injurious. He would ask the House to compare the principles of the two systems. The National Board declared that no child should be compelled to attend the reading of the Scriptures against the parent's consent; while the Church Education Society said that every child should receive religious instruction, even although the parent disapproved it. The National Board said that due regard should be paid to parental authority, and that the time of religious instruction should be so fixed that no child should by non-attendance be excluded from secular instruction. The Church Education Society went upon a principle directly opposite. They said that no regard should be paid to parental authority, but that the time for religious instruction should be so fixed that any child who did not then attend should be deprived of the advantnge of attending the secular instruction. What, then, had been the comparative success that had attended the two systems? The right hon. Gentleman had referred to a statistical table 1613 setting forth the operations of the society; but there was one column which he had passed over; and yet it was one by no means unimportant to consider—the column, namely, in which the yearly income of the society was stated. Now, it was a remarkable circumstance, that as the funds of the society increased, the number of scholars decreased. The greatest number of children the society had ever had under its control was in the year of the famine. In that year (1848) it had 120,000 scholars, of whom 46,000 were Roman Catholics. Its income was £37,000. In the next year the income rose to £39,000, but the number of children was reduced to 111,000. In 1850, the amount of income was £38,000, and the number of scholars 108,000. In 1851 the income was £40,000, the number of scholars 103,000. In 1852 the income was £40,000, the number of scholars 105,000. In 1853 the income was £44,000, the number of scholars £99,000. In 1854 the income was £44,000, the number of scholars 95,000. Last year the amount of income was £45,000, while the number of scholars was only 90,000. Compare this with the figures of the National Board. The Church Society had suffered a diminution of 30,000 scholars, notwithstanding an increase of revenue equal to £8,000 a year; and the National Board had seen the number of children under its care gradually rise from 107,000 in 1833, to 551,000 last year. It was clear that it was not the want of income which had diminished the operations of the society, because, while their income increased, their scholars fell away; but it was the false principle upon which it acted, a principle which did not attract, but which repelled the population of Ireland, because it induced them to look upon the schools as engines of proselytism. He had, he thought, shown from figures the success of the one system and the failure of the other. But he did not rely on statistics alone—he would refer to the authority of statesmen of the greatest eminence, who had at one time been greatly prejudiced against the national system, but had ultimately come to acknowledge its value. He meant Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington. The system of education in Ireland was agitated against strongly, honestly, and perseveringly, from 1831 till 1841, when Sir Robert Peel came into office. It was known that Sir Robert Peel and his friends had been much opposed to 1614 the system—that they were strongly committed against it; and the expectation was entertained that, when they came into office, they would make a change. Sir Robert Peel took an opportunity soon after the formation of his Government, in answer to the severe pressure which was put upon him, to make a declaration of his opinion. That declaration was in the following words:—It was not because the late Government had adopted that system that the present Administration had subscribed to it. From the accounts which, two or three years ago, he had heard of it, he had feared that it had proved unsuccessful, and under that impression he came to consider its claims and its merits, without much prepossession in their favour; but when he had inquired into it—when he had seen it in all its forms—he had come to the conclusion that it was their duty to maintain it as they had found it; and, further, that he felt it his duty to state that, in maintaining the present system of national education in Ireland, the present Government did not adopt it because they found it established, but because they believed that the greatest practical benefits were now derived from it.In the same year the Duke of Wellington made a retractation of his opposition to the system. He did not deny that for a long time he had entertained strong opinions against a united system of education, but stated that experience had shown those opinions to be erroneous—that the national system in Ireland had done a great deal of good, and that he had actually co-operated in carrying it into execution. But it might be said that Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington, on a question relating to the Roman Catholics, were not to be relied upon as authorities, because they had already made concessions to that body in carrying the Emancipation Act in opposition to their former opinions. Happily, however, there had been other statesmen and ministers against whom that objection could not be urged, who had made similar declarations with respect to the national system of education in Ireland. He now came to the memorable year of 1852, in which the prospects of the Church educationists were much brightened, and the hearts of their opponents much depressed by the formation of a Government which was known to be adverse to the system of education in Ireland, At that time a Motion stood on the paper under the name of the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier), and it was to be discussed the very week in which the Government of Lord Derby was formed. The very first question, indeed, on which 1615 the new Administration gave an indication of their intended policy was the question of national education in Ireland, and the appropriate mouthpiece of the Government on that occasion was the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin. He had been from the first a powerful, leading, and consistent opponent of the national system, and, when asked to take office under Lord Derby, he inquired what the intentions of that noble Lord were with respect to it. In a speech which he delivered to his constituents on his re-election, he thus stated the result of his interview with the Prime Minister:—This he was assured of, that the Government were desirous that the facts with regard to the working of the national education in this country should be clearly ascertained. No honest man could object to that. He was told there should be an honest and fair inquiry to see exactly what had been the working of the national system of education in Ireland, and, inasmuch as the original purpose and object had been to have a system comprehensive and united, the inquiry should go to ascertaining how and why it was that so important a body as the clergy of the Established Church, and a large number of the Protestants throughout the country, had been debarred from a benefit in which it had been intended they should share. For the intention had never been to exclude them and to hand the matter over to other parties, but rather to enlarge their system of education; and, the facts of the case being ascertained, it was the determination of Government honestly and immediately to propose a plan which would rectify, as far as possible, the defect in the so-called national system of education, and obtain the co-operation of the clergy of the Established Church in carrying out the great work of educating the people of Ireland.So it appeared that the right hon. and learned Gentleman was authorised by Lord Derby to state that the Government were not only resolved to have an inquiry, but were determined to follow it up by a plan the effect of which was that the clergy, who were now petitioning the House through the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge, were to lay aside their objections to the national system, and to do that which, he for one, would rejoice if they were to do now—namely, come in and cooperate in the work of national education in Ireland. The speech of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, as was to be expected, excited considerable apprehension among the supporters of the national system, and the Marquess of Clanricarde immediately asked Lord Derby how far the declarations of his Irish Attorney General had been authorised by him. Lord Derby replied as follows:— 1616I hope it will not be regarded as a thing which would derogate from or diminish the influence of the existing system if we enter upon a calm inquiry how far, under the superintendence of the Board, assistance might not in a certain degree be given even to schools which do not strictly come within the letter of the law laid down by the Board."—[3 Hansard, cxix. 1137.]The statement of the noble Earl was certainly guarded, but at the same time it confirmed the announcement made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin, that the Government were prepared to institute an inquiry into the working of the national system. In reply to a similar question put in the House of Commons by the hon. Member for Middlesex, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Walpole), who then filled the office of Home Secretary, stated what his views were of the duty of the Government. He said:—But in endeavouring to carry out that system he might say that, hitherto, an injustice had been done. Certain members of the Established Church in Ireland who, from conscientious motives, objected to the mode in which a portion of the grant was applied, complained that they did not receive any aid from the grant in support of the schools immediately conducted under their notice. The answer of the present Government as to any change in that respect was this—that certainly, with a view of encouraging members of the Established Church, as well as members of every other religious body in promoting education in Ireland, the Government thought that a variation ought to take place from the practice that had previously prevailed in the distribution of the grant. … The Government were anxious that those who desired to support the National system should have the combined system carried on; but they did not think that they ought to exclude from sharing in the grant, or from partaking of the patronage of the Government, those who from conscientious motives were opposed to that system.The House would observe that at the period in question the mind of the Government was already made up on the question. They did not ask time to consider it, nor shelter themselves, on first taking office, under official reserve, but at once, and without hesitation, committed themselves to an inquiry, and gave it to be understood that they had a plan in view by which that inquiry was to be followed up. Next came a great meeting of the Church Educational Society, at which the Bishop of Ossory propounded his scheme, taking that opportunity of giving the Government every facility for settling the question by availing themselves, if they could, of the co-operation of the clergy. For it was important to remember that when the na- 1617 tional schools were first established the Church Educational Society and the great body of the Established Church opposed the system in toto, denouncing it as anti-scriptural and unchristian, and calling for its immediate and complete demolition. After a few years, not succeeding in that, they, to a certain extent, mitigated their hostility, assented to the continuance of the National Board, but suggested that there should be separate grants, and that they should he permitted to share in them. In 1852, a further mitigation took place. The Church Educational Society then offered to put themselves under the Board, subscribing to their rules as to secular instruction, but wishing to maintain their entire independence with respect to religious teaching. At their great meeting in that year they congratulated themselves on the prospect before them. They said that the clouds were at last breaking,—that they would soon have a gleam of sunshine—that the national system was evidently in great danger, and their feelings were altogether of the most triumphant description. What was the result? At the end of nine months, after a patient inquiry had taken place. Lord Derby communicated the result to the House of Lords in the following words:—During the recess, my attention and that of my colleagues in the Government, and more especially my noble Friend the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, has been directed most anxiously to the question of national education in Ireland. My noble Friend has felt it his duty to devote very great consideration to this question, and, with every desire to remove, as far as possible, the feelings or prejudices of those who are opposed to that system, and who desire certain alterations in it, neither I nor my noble Friend can see our way to the introduction of any change which would have that effect without disturbing or materially altering the present system of education in that country. All that I can say is, that I consider that it would be a very great evil if we were seriously to disturb the present system, and the Government, not seeing their way to make any alteration with the view to which I have alluded, have no intention to bring forward any measure to effect what one party had in view, seeing that it could not be effected without incurring evils which they would greatly deplore."—[3 Hansard, cxxiii. 771.]When Lord Derby made that statement three Bishops of the Irish Church, members of the Church Education Society, said not a single word. Lord Derby followed it up by offering those who were dissatisfied an inquiry, and the offer was not accepted. The Government had seen their way very clearly as long as they were in 1618 opposition, but when they came into office they were struck with blindness. After three years' banishment from office they had again recovered their vision, and they asked the present Government to do that which, as a Government, they had shrunk from doing. In the following year Lord Derby said:—The serious difficulty which he urged his noble Friend deliberately to consider was—he did not say whether the existing rules might not be modified, or acted up to more in accordance with the original intention—but whether they should depart from the original intention with which the system was introduced, not by the Government of which he was the organ alone, but on the previous recommendations of a Commission composed of most eminent and pious persons. If they did away with the fundamental principle of the system so introduced and established, they ran the greatest risk of sacrificing all the advantages which even his noble Friend (the Earl of Clancarty) could not deny had been gained by the twenty years' practice of the system."—[3 Hansard, cxxiv. 1216.]The fundamental principle was the same which was adopted by the Government in 1831, upon the recommendation of the Commissioners to whose report he referred. Lord Derby went on to say:—He felt confident that, however desirable it might be to consult the views of the Protestant clergy, to meet their just wishes, and even their religious prejudices—if he might use the word—that the introduction of a separate system of instruction according to the principles of each separate denomination in Ireland would produce infinitely more disadvantage than the country could derive benefit; and, in endeavouring to avoid a partial evil, there would be inflicted on Ireland a great calamity by the sacrifice of that system which, he hoped and believed, was working for the good of the people."—[Ibid. 1217.]Too much importance could not be attached to the conviction of Lord Derby, considering the manner in which it was obtained. But if there were any authority even more important, it was the opinion of Lord Eglinton, to whom the inquiry was committed. In the same Session Lord Eglington stated that—After paying the most unremitted attention to the subject, he had come to the conclusion that, although he thought there was much which might with advantage be altered, he could see no plan by which the wishes of the party represented by the noble Earl could be satisfied without running the risk—he might say, without almost incurririg the certainty—of driving all the Roman Catholics from the schools."—[Ibid. 1190.]In 1854 Lord Eglinton moved for a Committee in the House of Lords, and in referring to it, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) had expressed surprise that they made no Report. The explanation 1619 was, that every one member differed from the other, and they could only agree to report the evidence without expressing any opinion upon it. In moving for that Committee Lord Eglinton made this statement:—When his noble Friend who was at the head of the late Administration (the Earl of Derby) entrusted him with the government of Ireland, he imposed no conditions upon him. … … The noble Earl in no way fettered his judgment, but urged him to give his earnest attention to this important subject of national education, and to see whether it might not be possible to devise some modifications by which the objections of the Protestants of Ireland might be done away with, without creating ill-feeling among the Roman Catholics. He (the Earl of Eglinton) thought his noble Friend would admit that he had spared neither time nor trouble in doing so. If he came to an erroneous conclusion, which he was far from admitting, it was an error of judgment, and from no want of attention or consideration. After that investigation, he told his noble Friend, while still at the head of the Government, that, although he saw much to lament and much to disapprove of in the system, he still thought that under all the peculiar circumstances of Ireland, it was, perhaps, the one best suited to the wants of the country; that he could make no suggestion which would, in his opinion, satisfy the Protestants without having the effect of driving away the Roman Catholics from the schools, and that he could not be a party to any proceeding which might result in throwing on the world about 400,000 children without even the means of secular education."—[3 Hansard, cxxx. 784.]Lord Eglinton arrived at precisely the same conclusion, after the same process of inquiry, as Sir Robert Peel. In the highest and best sense of the term, Lord Eglinton went to Ireland a very strong party man, and there was no question to which his party was more deeply committed than the question of national education. Lord Eglinton had not a single confidential adviser who was not committed against this system, and had he listened to the counsel of those, high in character, great in ability, but still, on this question violent partisans—had he gone headlong with the passions of his party—he would have rendered his administration in Ireland a curse to that country. But, instead of that, Lord Eglinton applied his own masculine good sense to inquire into the subject, formed his own conclusions, made them known honestly and manfully to Lord Derby, and by so doing saved his party from a great blunder, saved his country from a great calamity, and, for so doing, he deserved the gratitude of his friends and the respect of his opponents. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) had failed to reconcile his conduct as a Member of Lord Derby's Cabinet, 1620 in 1852, with the course he had taken as a Member of the Opposition in 1856. The right hon. Gentleman could not deny that the plan which Lord Derby said would be fraught with great evils to Ireland, and which Lord Eglinton said would result in driving 400,000 children from the schools, was the plan of the Bishop of Ossory. And he wished to know how it was that, without a single new argument or fact, and without any change of circumstances, save that the right hon. Gentleman was denuded of the responsibility of office, he now asked the Government to adopt a plan which was rejected by the Government of Lord Derby. The right hon. Gentleman said that, as a united system of education, the national system had entirely failed. In his opinion it had completely succeeded. In districts where there was a great preponderance on one side or the other there could not be an equal number of children of Protestants and Catholics in the same school; but that was no reason for saying the system had failed as a united system. The system had not failed, because the great object was to give good secular education, and its being a united education was a merely secondary consideration. Where the great majority of the population were Roman Catholics they could not have an equal admixture of children in the schools, nor could they have it where the great majority were Protestants. Then there were districts where the Roman Catholics lived in the mountains and the Protestants in the valleys, and in such cases the children of both classes could not be taught together. But when the right hon. Gentleman quoted Mr. Macdonnell to show that the national system of education had failed as a united system, he neglected to quote the statement of that gentleman, that one cause of the failure was the opposition of the clergy of the Established Church. He was not, however, prepared to admit that the united system had been such a failure as his right hon. Friend stated it to be; on the contrary, it had succeeded in a manner equal to the expectations that had been formed of it. He found, for example, that in one part of Ulster there was only 10 per cent of what were called exclusive schools, and 90 per cent of schools taught on the united system; while, in another part of the same province, the united schools amounted to 80 percent, and the exclusive schools to only 20 per cent of the whole. In other parts 1621 of Ireland similar results were shown, so that the failure was not such as the right hon. Gentleman had represented. The right hon. Gentleman said, the clergy were excluded from the schools. Now, the rule as to the clergy visiting was, that in the vested schools parents might agree to let their children be visited by a particular clergyman, while in the non-vested schools the patrons decided what religious instruction should be given to the children, leaving it to those who wished to do so to absent themselves. There was, however, one fact in connection with this point which it was important to notice, as proving the fact of the opposition of the established clergy. While in all other denominations the number of schools established by the clergy preponderated over those established by the laity; in the Established Church the very opposite was the case, for while 156 schools only had been established by the clergy, 425 had been originated by the laity. It was also somewhat remarkable that, though with few exceptions, the workhouse schools had been placed under the National Board—out of 163 unions there being 139 in which the schools were so placed—yet the clergy of the Established Church, who conscientiously objected to visit the national schools in their parishes, had not the same conscientious scruples with regard to these workhouse schools. They visited the workhouse schools because they were paid by the Boards of Guardians for so doing; but he could not understand how the mere fact of their being retained by the Boards of Guardians should allow them conscientiously to teach the children in those schools, while they were unable conscientiously to teach the poor in the schools in their own parishes. The right hon. Gentleman asked why the clergy of the Established Church should be excluded from the advantages of this grant. Now, he held in his hand expressions of regret by almost all public men at the course which the clergy had thought it their duty to take in this matter. Lord Derby expressed, in strong terms indeed, the regret he felt that the clergy should have thought it their duty to adopt this line of procedure, and the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel both employed similar language. Indeed, he could quote the opinions of almost all public men—and of those belonging to the right hon. Gentleman's party among others—that the system of the National Board had been eminently successful, and that if there had 1622 been failures in any point it was only because the established clergy of Ireland had set themselves in hostility to it. It was a system which had been established by the Legislature, which many successive Administrations had maintained, which two Committees of the House of Lords had failed to shake, and it was opposed only by the clergy of the Established Church, who insisted on the abandonment of the principle on which alone its success depended. The Bishop of Ossory said, in 1852—As long as there is a State system of education, in the carrying out of which the great body of the clergy cannot co-operate with the Government, so long the Church must stand in an anomalous and disadvantageous position in relation to the State.And again—The national system has existed in this country for nearly twenty years. And after this long trial we have the testimony of nineteen-twentieths of the clergy that they cannot avail themselves of it in the education of the poor of the Church.He regretted that the clergy of the Irish Church stood in their present position. Was it nothing that every public man who had held high office in this country had regretted and condemned the position they had taken up? They were at war with the people of Ireland on religious subjects; they were at war with the Legislature upon the education of the people; and there had been recent indications that they were not altogether in unity with their brethren of the Church of England upon subjects equally interesting and important. And it was in this state of isolation that this injudicious and unfortunate claim had been made. He could not congratulate them upon having obtained the advocacy of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) because his high character might induce them to prolong a controversy which would be sure to be the more disastrous the longer it was continued. The clergy had taught Parliament and the people of this country that the success of the system did not depend upon them, because it had prospered in spite of their hostility. But their co-operation was most desirable, and he would admit that every concession ought to be made to obtain it, short of sacrificing the principle of the system. But the principle of the system was one from vindicating which the House ought not to shrink, and from which they ought not to abate one jot or atom. It was the principle of religious freedom, of religious 1623 liberty, and religious equality, which was the only basis of sound education in Ireland. That principle had been long fought for and tardily conceded in England and in Scotland, but having been once established in Ireland, it was never to be withdrawn or abandoned.
§ MR. G. A. HAMILTON
said, that feeling a very deep interest in the question of education in Ireland, and it having been his duty on several occasions to bring the subject before the House, he was desirous of making some observations upon the Motion of his right hon. Friend. And in the first instance he was anxious, on the part of those whom he had the honour to represent, and on the part of the Protestants of Ireland who, for the last twenty years, had been complaining of hardship and injustice in the matter of education, to offer to his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge, and his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford, his grateful acknowledgments for having brought the case before the House, and for the efforts they were now making to have the hardship and injustice redressed; and he was bound to state, without in any way expressing his individual approval of the national system of education in Ireland, even with the modifications proposed, that those alterations would have the effect of settling the question, of placing it on a satisfactory footing, of remedying the injustice, and of so far constituting the system a national one as to enable all persons to avail themselves of its advantages. He regretted that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland, in the tenor of his observations, should have departed from that conciliatory tone which his right hon. Friend had adopted in bringing his proposition under their consideration, and that he should have introduced into his speech, as he (Mr. Hamilton) thought unnecessarily, topics which tended to create feelings of animosity in the discussion. The right hon. Gentleman had not hesitated to impute to Lord Derby inconsistency and impropriety in reference to the question of education in Ireland. [Mr. HORSMAN: No.] The right hon. Gentleman then referring to an interview which Mr. Napier had with Lord Derby, in 1852, had intimated, that after Lord Derby had expressed his willingness to submit the question of education to inquiry, he had suffered his Administration to expire without fulfilling the promises he had made; and in corroboration of that insinuation, 1624 he had quoted a statement made by Lord Derby at the close of the year 1852, to the effect that he then saw no means of settling the question. But what were the real facts of the case? During the period of Lord Derby's Administration, no possible opportunity had presented itself for holding that inquiry which Lord Derby had declared himself ready to support; and if he had expressed a doubt with respect to the possibility of a satisfactory settlement of the question without inquiry, surely a proposition like that of his right hon. Friend, sanctioned by Lord Derby after such inquiry, ought to come before the House with peculiar force. Lord Derby, as the founder of the National system, must be supposed to regard with peculiar jealousy any plan for altering that system, and if the proposition now before the House, after having received Lord Derby's full consideration, had received also, as stated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University, Lord Derby's full approbation, what better or stronger argument could be used with the view of proving that the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman was not intended to subvert the system? The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Horsman) had grounded his whole speech upon the supposition that the plan of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole) was to establish a new system of national education in Ireland in lieu of the present system. But what was his right hon. Friend's proposition? Why, it was simply this—that there being upwards of 5,000 national schools in Ireland, with more than 550,000 children on their rolls, founded by persons who approve of the present system, it is proposed that other persons, who are unable conscientiously to place their schools under the system, by reason of the restriction with regard to the use of the Scriptures, should be permitted to establish additional non-vested schools, in which there should be no restrictions or prohibitions respecting the use of the Scriptures, but in which no catechism or human formulary shall be taught to any child whose parent or guardian may object. Subject to this one restriction, which creates no conscientious objection, the effect of the alteration would be to enlarge the national system, and to permit Protestants who are of opinion, as all Protestants are in England, that the Bible should form an essential part of a child's education in school, to establish non-vested schools from which the Bible shall not be excluded. 1625 It was said that this alteration would disturb the system; but how would it do so? There are at present 5,000 schools in operation, the patrons of which must be supposed to be favourable to the present system. What reason is there for supposing that these patrons would make any change in the rules of their schools? The effect, therefore, of his right hon. Friend's proposition would be simply this—that the country being already supplied with schools under the present system, he proposes not to disturb but to supplement—to enlarge the limits of the system so as to admit those whose conscientious convictions do not at present enable them to avail themselves of it. But he (Mr. Hamilton) would like to examine this charge of disturbing the present system a little more in detail. There were 5,000 schools vested and non-vested. His right hon. Friend's proposition would not touch the vested schools at all—they were secured by deed, and could not be altered—that would take off 1,621 schools. But taking the 4,700 schools at the time of the inquiry in 1853, there were of these 3,159 under the patronage of Roman Catholics, 2,825 being under the patronage of Roman Catholic priests, and 103 in connection with convents or monastic institutions. Deduct these 3,159 schools from the 4,700, there remain but 1,541 subject to any disturbance from the adoption of Mr. Walpole's proposition. But you must next deduct 134 workhouse and gaol schools, which would not be in any way affected, and 28 model schools: this would reduce the number to 1,379. But then you must further deduct the schools under the patronage of Presbyterians and Dissenters. 706 in number for the Presbyterians, as stated by Dr. Cooke, of Belfast, in his evidence, do not feel it necessary to instruct every child in the Scriptures, or at least do not feel that it is wrong to exclude a child whose parent or guardian may object to that child being instructed in the Scriptures. This deduction will reduce the number to 673; then you must deduct 79 schools under mixed patronage—that is, under the joint patronage of a Protestant and a Roman Catholic; and you must obviously deduct the 214 schools in which there are actually or virtually no children except members of the Established Church. This brings the number of schools down to 380, of which one-third, or 127, may be taken to be vested schools: leaving only 253 schools which will possibly be affected 1626 by the proposition now before the House. So that if the House should adopt the alteration, and every Protestant patron of every school in Ireland containing any Roman Catholic children—every Protestant patron who now approves of the present system, and has been conducting his school under the present system—was to turn round and say, I will adopt the modification now proposed by his right hon. Friend, the maximum amount of disturbance in such an extreme and improbable case, would extend to just 253 schools out of the 4,700. But upon what principle, he would like to know, can this modification be resisted? The evidence before the Lords' Committee in 1853 forced upon all parties the conviction that the injustice to the members of the Established Church in Ireland could be no longer tolerated; and while Lord Derby, the founder of the system, was on the one side seeking to remedy the injustice, Lord Granville, on the other, proposed a modification, which equally admitted, though it did not go so far in remedying, the hardship. What imaginable difference in point of principle, he would ask, was there between the proposition of Lord Granville, that books and appliances and inspection should be granted to the Church schools, and the proposition of his right hon. Friend, under which salaries of masters as well as books and requisites, would be granted to schools in which the Bible should be read by every scholar. It had not been his (Mr. Hamilton's) practice, when bringing the case of the clergy of Ireland before the House on former occasions, to make any severe comments upon the national system; on the contrary, he had always rendered to it the acknowledgments that were due as regarded the excellence of many of its publications, and the advantages which in some respects had been derived from it. His object had always been rather to bring the injustice under which the members of the Established Church suffered under the notice of the House, than the defects or demerits of the national system. But when the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland asserted that the national system had been completely successful, and when he made that alleged success the grounds for continuing the injustice, it was necessary that he (Mr. Hamilton) should exercise such forbearance no longer. In the course of the inquiry before the Committee of the House of Lords, Mr. Cross, the Secretary of the Board, had 1627 been questioned with regard to Mr. M'Creedy, and had pronounced him one of the ablest and most zealous of the head inspectors. What did Mr. M'Creedy, who had thus been spoken of by Mr. Cross, say as regards national schools?—Low, however, as in my eyes appears the average proficiency of the pupils included in the preceding table, I have been not a little surprised, and at the same time greatly pained, to find that on the whole it is higher than any yet returned by any of my colleagues. I say I have been both surprised and pained at this discovery. Surprised, for I had thought that worse schools, I speak generally with reference to the greater number only, not of all, than those I visited last year could hardly anywhere be met with; pained to think that these same schools that I had looked upon as altogether exceptional in character, and as I had hoped unparalleled in their inferiority, yield results as regards the proficiency of their pupils superior in many points to those set forth by my brother head inspectors for some 200 schools scattered over every part of the country. This, certainly, exhibits no very flattering condition of things, and when it is further considered that the schools to which those details refer, far from being what we would willingly believe those of mere probationers, or others of inferior classification only, are the two-fifths of them under first and second-class teachers, of whom again more than one-half are of the former class, and, therefore, necessarily trained, it becomes at once evident, I think, that there is much reason to apprehend that there are large numbers of our schools in whose state generally, as regards the instruction imparted in them, there would be found much to blame and little to commend.This unfavourable statement made in the report of Mr. M'Creedy, whom Mr. Cross, the secretary, states to be one of the ablest and most zealous of the head inspectors, receives a very remarkable corroboration from another public document, the accuracy and authenticity of which cannot be questioned, "the Census of 1851." This census was prepared with great care and industry by Mr. Donnelly, the Registrar-General in Ireland, and reflects, in all respects, the very highest credit upon that most useful and deservedly popular public officer. Following the precedent of the Census prepared in 1841, under the direction of Colonel Larcom, the present Under-Secretary, Mr. Donnelly gives a diagram, which may be seen at page 18 of the Census Report. In this diagram the state of education amongst the present population is represented by decades when they were within the educational ages (5 to 15); and it represents as fairly as possible, and as accurately as can be ascertained, the state of education at different periods. The diagram represents male and female population in civic 1628 and rural districts, and in each province. It is a very remarkable fact, in corroboration of the report of Mr. M'Creedy, that the per centage of the population who can neither read nor write is smallest (in other words, the state of education is most advanced among those who were in their educational age) between 1818 and 1837. That was precisely the period when the system of education preceding the present national system was in its fullest operation; and in the periods since 1837 there appears in the diagram a considerable retrogression in the state of education. There is another fact stated by the Census Commissioners, equally, if not even more strongly corroborative. They state, in page 14, as follows:—There has been a remarkable increase in the proportion of males who can neither read nor write in the class of ages between 16 and 25 (just the period when the national system of education was in its fullest operation), 11 counties only with a decrease in the relative numbers of illiterate males at those ages. There are, therefore, 21 counties in which the proportion of males between 16 and 25, who can neither read nor write, has remarkably increased, comparing the census of 1851 with that of 1841. In Wexford, 4 per cent; in Wicklow, 4 do.; in Westmeath, 2 do.; in Clare, 1 do.; and so in varying proportions throughout the 21 counties. While ignorance has been so increasing what has been the progress of the national system in those very same counties? Why, in every one of those counties, while ignorance has been increasing, national schools have been increasing likewise. Take Wexford—There has been an increase of 4 per cent of ignorant persons between 16 and 25, since 1841. In 1841 there were 44 national schools; in 1851 there were 108. Take Wicklow—An increase of ignorance, 4 per cent; national schools, 1841, 39; 1851, 72. Take Clare—Increase of ignorance 1 per cent; national schools, 1841, 33; 1851, 130. In the 21 counties in which this increase of ignorance has taken place there were in 1841, national schools, 1,505; in 1851, national schools 2,971. Considering the large sums of money granted by Parliament every year for the promotion of education in Ireland, the country had a right to expect a very considerable improvement and increase in education, whereas it appears from the Census and the returns of the number of national schools in these 21 counties, in certain classes of the male population—those, namely, amongst whom it was most important that there should be improvement—ignorance was on the increase during the ten years between 1840 and 1851, at the very same time when the national schools in the same counties were doubled in number.So much for the results of the national system. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Horsman) had intimated, in a manner which amounted almost to a threat, that it was unwise on the part of the clergy, under existing circumstances, to attempt what he 1629 termed an aggression; but he (Mr. Hamilton) should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman who, in a preceding part of his speech, seemed disposed to do justice to the motives which actuated the clergy, and to admit that, whether they were right or wrong, they were influenced by high principles—he should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman, though he might have differed from them in opinion, would have found more to praise than to blame in the conduct of Protestant clergymen who, under privations, injuries, and calumnies, and in spite, too, of inducements held out to them, had maintained the integrity of the Holy Scriptures, and that great right established at the Reformation, that every one shall have free access to the Word of God. The clergy of Ireland had been true to their principles for more than twenty years under a variety of circumstances; they had adhered to them under the rule of Governments avowedly opposed to their views—they had adhered to them under the disappointment at the hands of Governments with whom they had expected their views would have been received with favour. When Sir Robert Peel came into office in 1841, there was every reason to think he would have made concessions to meet the views of the Irish clergy; but Sir Robert Peel soon declared that he found it impossible to make any alteration in the system. Notwithstanding that declaration, when there must have been every inclination to conform to the views of Sir Robert Peel, the clergy maintained their principles with the most unyielding fidelity; and at the present moment, after nearly twenty-four years of trial, the number of clergymen of the Established Church who were patrons of national schools had actually decreased. He believed the number of clergymen of the Established Church, who were patrons of national schools, were now about seventy-seven, whereas he thought that a few years after the system was established there were upwards of eighty. He thought it was impossible, under such circumstances, for any one not to acknowledge the consistency and disinterestedness which had characterised the clergy of the Established Church, as regards the question of education. Before he sat down, he was desirous of saying a few words upon the subject of national education generally, which would not, he hoped, be considered as irrelevant on the present occasion. Whatever may have been the result, and whatever 1630 may have been the differences of opinion, it was impossible not to admire the efforts that were made in the last Session by his right hon. Friend the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), and the noble Lord the Member for London, in the present Session, to extend and improve education in connection with the State; the result, he (Mr. Hamilton) thought, had proved that it was impossible to establish in these countries as in Prussia, and some of the states in America, any one uniform fixed system of State education, and he supected it would be some time before any Minister would rise in his place and propose a plan for such a purpose. For his own part, he thought it better it should be so. He did not think a system of State education was adapted to the feelings and habits of the people of these countries. Henceforth, he thought it would be the policy of the State to aid, as heretofore, the voluntary efforts of individuals or societies; and such also appeared to have been the original intention of the framers of the national system of education in Ireland—for by the rules in every case it was originally required that local aid should be given towards the maintenance of the school. Assuming, then, that aid was to be given by the State to local efforts, on what principles was it the duty of the State to grant that aid? He spoke with great deference upon so important and difficult a question, but there appeared to him to be four principles by which the State ought to be guided. First, it was admitted to be the opinion of the House and of the country that religion should be the basis of any education assisted or recognised by the State. But what did that mean? Did it mean that the children in a school were to be assembled on a certain day or at a certain hour to learn the formularies of their Church, whatever it might be? It was quite right that the formularies of the Church should be taught to the children of the Church at a proper time; but every one knew that to be taught such formularies was a task, and that was not the religious teaching which ought to constitute the basis of education. Neither in his (Mr. Hamilton's) opinion, was it to teach children religion dogmatically, so as to swell the numbers of any particular persuasion. No; the great objection of education, whether in reference to this life, or in reference to eternity, was to inculcate, not at stated periods, but whenever the 1631 opportunity presented itself, not the mere formularies of a particular Church, but the great fundamental truths of Christianity. There were certain facts and certain inferences from these facts, common to many forms of Christianity. These facts, and the plain inferences which flow from them, when understood and believed and appreciated—under God's blessing—alter and rectify, and renew and elevate man's nature; they furnish him with motives for good conduct in every position and relation of life which nothing else can furnish, and elevate him to his right position in the scale of creation. These facts and inferences could be understood and appreciated by the child as well as by the man. Sometimes—indeed generally—they are inculcated with most effect in the occasional opportunities of general instruction, and it was the business of education to inculcate those facts and inferences not merely in the abstract but in their bearing upon the conduct and character of the pupil. Does a child in school give way to the natural passion of animosity or revenge? Who is it that says, "forgive, and it shall be forgiven you;" and what is his relation to us? If a child tells a lie, who is the father of lies, and where is the fountain of truth? If a child's sympathy or affections are evoked, to whom are our affections supremely due, and by what wonderful act of condescension and love ought the highest affections and sympathies of our minds and hearts to be engaged? Therefore, if you mean to make religion the basis of education, you must allow the patron or the master to inculcate religious truths and motives whenever the opportunity offers. The second principle, he would venture to suggest, which, perhaps, might be considered as rather a corollary of the first, was this, that if religion is to be taught at all to the children of the great mass of our population, provision must be made for teaching it in school. Considering the deplorable amount of ignorance which prevailed, it was vain to suppose that children generally can be taught religion at home; and the clergy have no time to teach them adequately. The third principle which he (Mr.Hamilton) thought should belong to any system of national education was this, that the Bible should be held out as the revealed will of God pre-eminently to every child; he should be taught to regard it as the Book, different from all other books—as the Book in which he is to find his standard of right and wrong, as the rule and motive 1632 for all his actions. It was said the master makes the school; but he (Mr. Hamilton) was of opinion that the efficiency of a school depends as much, if not more, upon the patron as on the master. If the master makes the school, the patron makes the master. It is vain to expect that a school will be efficiently and well conducted unless the patron takes an interest in the progress of the children. He (Mr. Hamilton) therefore held it to be the fourth principle in any system of education that the patron is to be made to feel himself in some degree responsible for the school; but no patron would undertake and discharge that responsibility if the rules and principles of the school were to be left subject to the caprice or opinion of the parent of every child that attends, and if no regard is to be paid to his conscientious convictions as respects the principles on which his school is to be conducted. It was because he (Mr. Hamilton) considered the national system of education deficient in respect of each of these principles that he had been unable to give it his humble support. It was deficient as regards the principle of making religion the basis of education; it was deficient as regards holding out the Word of God as the standard of right and wrong; it was deficient as regards the duties and responsibilities of patrons. The Motion of his right hon. Friend was calculated to allow patrons to establish supplemental schools on sounder and better principles, and to remedy the injustice under which the clergy and laity of the Established Church had so long suffered, and therefore he should give it his cordial support.
§ MR. H. G. HUGHES
said, that when the national system was established in Ireland a guarantee was given by the Legislature and the Government that there should be no interference, directly or indirectly, in respect to the religious faith and tenets of the children; and he believed it to be impossible to adopt the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman without a direct violation of that engagement. The Roman Catholics of Ireland had for a long period looked with suspicion upon the system of education offered them by the Protestant Parliament of England; but that suspicion had since been removed, when they found that the national system was not used as an instrument for attacking the religion of the people, and under the confidence thus generated no less than 2,500,000 of the population of Ireland had passed through these schools, and at the present 1633 550,000 were receiving their education in them. The people of Ireland had entrusted this large proportion of the population to these schools on the faith of the guarantee given and hitherto acted upon by the Government. The Motion of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) contained two conditions, one expressed, and the other omitted but implied. The omitted condition he (Mr. Hughes) would now take the liberty of reading in connection with the Motion. The right hon. Gentleman asked for assistance from the National Board on the following terms:—Provided that no children should be compelled to learn any catechism, creed, or formulary to which any parent or guardian may object.So far as that went, the condition was expressed; but the condition that was not expressed was the following:—Provided always that every child shall be compelled to read the whole Scriptures, whether his parent or guardian shall object or not.That was a condition which the House had a right to discuss as being involved in the Motion, and it would be his (Mr. Hughes's) duty to show that it was irreconcilable with the guarantee given by the Government and Legislature on the establishment of the national system, and would consequently constitute a breach of faith. After the commencement of the national system in Ireland, it was for a considerable period regarded with suspicion by the Roman Catholics, who believed that a trap was intended with the view of proselytising the people of their church. They scarcely could believe that it was intended to educate, secularly, the people without interfering with their religion; but after the experience of years they found that no such attempt had been made, and they now yielded that confidence to the system which at first they withheld. At the present moment there were 5,178 schools in Ireland operating under the system, and 550,000 children in course of education in those Schools. What was to become of the education of the people of Ireland if a change were made in the guarantee which was given in 1832, and which had not been withdrawn up to the present moment? If the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman were carried, there would be a manifest departure from the principle on which the schools were originally established—there would be a breach of faith on the part of the Government and of the Legislature, and there would be this farther consequence 1634 —that, whereas at present they only had to regard the non-vested and the vested branches, both being equally bound by the principle of non-interference in religious matters; if this Motion passed, a new class would be brought in, in which interference would be introduced under the guardianship of the National Board of Education. At present the inquiry made by a peasant who had removed from one district to another was merely "Where is the nearest national school?" but if this proposition were agreed to, it would be changed to "What is the character of the school? Is it a proselytising school?" and, of course, as they would have no means of obtaining the information they desired, except through the priest, he would inform him that the school was neither a national nor a secular school, but one in which religious interference existed, the consequence of which would be, that the parent would refuse to send his child there, and the country would relapse into the condition in which it was previous to 1832. Nothing could be more injurious to the interests of that country than the withdrawal of that guarantee of non-interference; for if withdrawn, the effect would be to debase the country not only in an educational but in a political point of view. They would have Protestant landlords establishing Protestant schools, and instead of there being unity and concord, there would be nothing but discord and disunion. The introduction of a general system of education in Ireland, without religious interference, was described by the late Dr. Murray, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, as the greatest boon which England had ever conferred upon Ireland, and, therefore, he hoped it was not at this time of day to be withdrawn. Possessing, as he conceived he did, some knowledge of the working of the system, he felt it due not only to his constituents but to the House, to trespass upon them, being unwilling to give a silent vote upon this important question, as he could state from his own knowledge that districts, which before the introduction of the system had been considered turbulent, were now as peaceable as any district in Ireland. Twelve years ago not a single national school existed in a district ten miles square. The people therein were accused of forming secret associations and of ribbonism; and although the schoolmaster was of the lowest order, yet from the 1635 difficulty of finding a person of from twenty to thirty years of age, who was able to rend or write, the schoolmaster was not only the writer but the composer of almost every letter written in the district, which gave him a power and influence not always compatible with safety to society. Since, however, the introduction of national schools, education had spread, confidence had increased—a feeling had grown up that there was a disposition upon the part of England to deal fairly and uprightly with Ireland with respect to the establishment of schools, and the system had accordingly been hailed with satisfaction. If the house wanted the people to relapse into the condition in which they were in 1832, they would agree to this Motion, but not otherwise.
Sir, it appears tome that there is a fallacy which has run through all the speeches which have been made upon this question upon the other side of the House. The hon. Members who have spoken seem to think that the effect of this Motion, if carried, would be to deprive Roman Catholics of the opportunity of receiving education in national schools that now exist, and they enlarge upon the advantages which these schools have conferred upon them. No one can more fully admit that they are specially favoured. I admit that the funds of the State are now available for the education of their children in these schools at their own free will and pleasure; and if the effect of this Motion would be to take away from them that opportunity they now possess—to destroy, as far as they are concerned, any of their schools, and to force upon them as the only alternative, the schools of the Church Education Society, the arguments which have been urged in this House against the Motion would apply. But I altogether deny that such arguments are applicable to the case before the House, the object of the Motion being—whatever opinion we as individuals may entertain with regard to the national school system—to extend it, to bring other schools in connection with it, and thus to enlarge and improve the system. The hon. and learned Gentleman who last addressed the House stated that there is another condition which had been kept out of sight in the Motion of my right hon. Friend. He says that you must import into the Motion the condition that every child educated at our schools will be compelled to read the Holy Scriptures; and he argues—and I pray the attention 1636 of the House to this important part of the question—that you (the Church Education Society) can have no public aid given to you because you introduce a system of compulsion. Now, what is the rule of the National Board by which our schools are excluded? I will ask the hon. and learned Gentleman this question. Suppose a Protestant child lives in the neighbourhood of one of the national schools, whose parents are extremely anxious to have him taught—and of course the Protestant parent, considering the Word of God a rule of life as well as of faith, wishes his child to be Scripturally taught—can he get any such religious teaching in that school? But suppose there are twenty Protestants in the neighbourhood, who, believing in their conscience that their children ought to be taught the Bible, and make the demand that they should be taught the Bible in the course of their education in that school, would the patron be obliged to yield to the demand? No. The objection to the non-vested system is, that it is compulsory on the side of exclusion to meet the case of the Roman Catholics, but when it comes to be applied to Protestants the objection is that it is not impartial in providing for the admission of the Scriptures, for it practically excludes all those who require the daily use of the Scriptures. Lord Derby has always protested against the non-vested system; but it arose out of the circumstances of the country—the original system of education sought being a united system—a national system. But the system has become at present neither a united nor a national system; it is a partial—a separate system. All the witnesses—and with one exception, I will not quote any who are friends of the Church Education Society—Mr. Buxton, Mr. Heald, the Archdeacon of Meath, and other witnesses—admit that non-vested schools are really and virtually separate schools, for the use of the Roman Catholic portion of the people. The plan Lord Derby proposed in the first instance was intended as an experiment, and interfered with a principle. I always differed with Lord Derby upon that point, not concealing that difference—not making any mystery of it, but fairly and honestly avowing it, and acting consistently on a broad principle. The great object, however, was to obtain a united and national education; but I ask you now, after your experience of the working of the schools, whether the effect has been to obtain a national or united system of education; but whether, on the contrary, 1637 it is not a separate system confined to one class of the community? What I ask you, therefore, is simply to extend that system, and to make it apply to another class, but not to disturb a single school. Now, take the case of the schools alluded to by my hon. and learned Friend. At present, I take it, all the patrons of those schools are in connection with the Board, and no restriction is put upon them that they object to subscribe to. Do we propose to add any restrictions to which they cannot conscientiously subscribe? We propose to reduce the restrictions. We do not fetter them one iota: what we propose, being the inclusion of other schools with the view I have mentioned. I ask this House, and I ask it fearlessly, are the Protestants of Ireland to be put under a ban of excommunication because they uphold the principle which every non-conformist in England belonging to a Protestant denomination upholds? Are we to get no portion of the fund to which we have contributed, for the education of our children, because we assert a rule common to all the Protestants of England? I say it is most unjust. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Horsman) talks of maintaining a principle, and he speaks of our request as something so unreasonable that one would almost be led to suppose that we suffer justly. I put this case to him—not only the case of the members of the Established Church of Ireland, but a stronger one—namely, the case of the Wesleyans. The Wesleyan body in the whole of Ireland unite with the Church on this question. Could there be a more successful proof of the gross injustice than the case of the Wesleyan offers for consideration? By the system in England, when a Wesleyan school is supplied out of the Imperial Fund, you have a trust-deed prepared under the sanction of the Committee of Council. One of the conditions in that trust-deed is, that the children shall be daily instructed in the Holy Scriptures; and yet in Ireland the Wesleyan school on the same model is, for acting on this very condition, denied all assistance, notwithstanding that there is such a condition embodied in the trust-deed in England, Is that justice? On what principle have you been acting with regard to national education? In England you began on the principle of disseminating religious truth, and you have got now to the system which acts on the principle of religious liberty. All the Minutes of the Committee of Council bearing date 1638 before 1847, and still in force as to Protestant schools, distinctly require that the Holy Scriptures should be taught in the schools participating in the grant, and the Committee add that they will give the preference to those schools in which religious instruction from the Bible is given—at all events, no school will be admitted to participate which does not fulfil the primary condition laid down by the Committee of Council—and is it not shamefully unjust that the Protestants of Ireland, contributing as they do to the general tax, should be refused participation in the benefits derivable from an Education grant. They did not ask that the Church catechism should be forced on any of the children, but that particular schools with which Protestant patrons are connected, and where the Scriptures are read by all who attend them, should participate in the grant. See the substantial injustice which is inflicted upon them. When in England the Wesleyan body and others demurred to the introduction of the Church catechism into the national schools, the Committee of Council did not refuse to allow the Church schools, in which the catechism was required to be learned by all the children, to participate in the grant, but you allowed the English clergy to do with the catechism what you will not allow the members of the Church in Ireland to do with the Scriptures. But will the House allow me to refer to what has been done in India, as stated in a despatch, dated August, 1845, and communicated to this House:—We have, therefore, resolved to adopt in India the system of grants in aid, which has been carried out in this country with very great success; and we confidently anticipate, by thus drawing support from local resources, in addition to contributions from the State, a far more rapid progress of education than would follow a mere increase of expenditure by the Government; while it possesses the additional advantage of fostering a spirit of reliance upon local exertions and combination for local purposes, which is of itself of no mean importance to the well-being of a nation.The system of grants in aid which we propose to establish in India will be based on an entire abstinence from interference with the religious instruction conveyed in the schools assisted. Aid will be given (so far as the requirements of each particular district, as compared with others, and the funds at the disposal of Government may render it possible) to all schools which impart a good secular education, provided that they are under adequate local management (by the term 'local management' we understand one or more persons, such as private patrons, voluntary subscribers, or the trustees of endowments, who will 1639 undertake the general superintendence of the school, and be answerable for its permanence for some given time); and provided also that their managers consent that the school shall be subject to Government inspection, and agree to any conditions which may be laid down for the regulation of such grants.And on the 8th of August, 1854, Sir C. Wood stated, in referring to this despatch:—As is stated in the despatch, we propose to give assistance to all schools of every class in India which will submit to inspection, and afford an education sound in quality and sufficient in scope; we propose to do this totally irrespective and without taking the slightest notice of any religious instruction which may be given in the school. Hon. Gentlemen are aware, that in India as in this country, religious opinions are a great obstacle to education. We proceed on the system of grants and aids to schools, according to their wants and means; we propose to put them all under inspection, requiring certain things to be done and taught, and carefully abstaining from interference with all points connected with religious teaching. This is the more necessary from the peculiar circumstances of India, and I am perfectly convinced, that if the Government of India were to attempt to do anything that would produce the idea that they wished to proselytisc, it would bring the whole cause of education and the system we wish to establish into discredit amongst the native inhabitants. We give assistance, therefore, to missionary schools, to Mahomedan schools, to Hindoo schools, whatever the religious tenets may be, looking only to the secular education they propose to give, and requiring that that shall be of a sufficiently high standard.That is the system at present pursued in India. Do you expect us in Ireland to be so abject, so servile as to submit to a worse treatment? You have successively relaxed your system in England to embrace Dissenters, Jews, Roman Catholics; and you have deemed this was enlarging and improving the system. Is it just to leave out the Irish Protestants because they stand by that which is the principle of Protestantism, especially with respect to the parochial schools—because they will not part with that which must be the life and soul of their educational system? It is a gross and manifest injustice to give to every other denomination advantages which you deny to the Protestant in Ireland. There is one instance of the practical operation of this injustice which has come under my notice, and which I will mention. There was in one of the largest parishes in Dublin a Scriptural school, to which there had been large contributions, even among Roman Catholics, and the late Mr. O'Connell was one of those who subscribed to it. Well, the Archdeacon of Dublin, who is the rector, 1640 wanted to bring it under the national system, but the parishioners interposed. Now this school got no assistance from the grant; and why? Because every child was taught to read the Scriptures. And the rector was obliged to appeal for its support to the friends of unrestricted Scriptural education. So far as to the injustice of your system. Now a word as to its policy. You heard the instructive statistics quoted by my hon. Friend (Mr. Hamilton) as to the increase of ignorance in the districts in which the national schools have multiplied. Why, that is explained in the evidence. The fact is, the national schools are used sometimes to obstruct education. Mr. Macdonnell, the Commissioner, stated:—We do not consider the existence of a Church education school any reason for our not giving a grant to an applicant for a national school, for the moral education of the people requires to be free from all suspicion of proselytism; and if in a particular neighbourhood they are not satisfied with having a Church education school, under a patron teaching a different religion from their own, we wish to establish a national school in the neighbourhood; and we consider ourselves bound, if we have the means, to establish a national school there to give an education free from proselytism.So, whenever the priests are pressed, they set up a national school to take away the children from the Church schools; and by giving little or none of good general education, they rather obstruct education than promote it. The evidence of the Archdeacon of Meath shows that the source of all the mischief is the rule of the Board as to religious instruction. If you had the schools working in connection with the Protestant gentry and clergy, the effect would be to elevate the system of education, and greatly improve and extend it. Upon this subject the evidence of Mr. Buxton is most remarkable, for he states that he was at first opposed to the change asked for by the Protestant clergy; but he went into the question carefully, and found that their claim was just, and that the change proposed would have the effect of greatly improving the quality of the education, and of extending the system and making it truly national. It would not discourage any school now in connection with the Board under the non-vested system. No additional restrictions are proposed. If you have schools willing to submit to the present regulations we do not propose to add any, which can interfere with conscience. And how could such a change disturb the present system as to 1641 schools which now submit to it? It may be said that it will give a benefit to the Protestants, and that the Roman Catholics will consider that as a disadvantage to themselves. No doubt. Let us look at it in the light of truth and justice. We have two rival Churches in Ireland. There is no use in trying to disguise the fact of their rivalry. Let us not talk sentiment about it. You talk about education based on religion; but can you have a combined system of education any more than a compound religion, except in the way which my right hon. Friend proposes? And if you are to encourage a united religious education, what is the best principle for it? The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Horsman) has quoted the opinions of public men about it; and he has read the clergy of Ireland rather a saucy lecture for their unreasonable zeal in upholding Scriptural education. I will read the opinion of a member of the present Cabinet, delivered in 1855:—The Duke of Argyll said the Society should be looked upon, not only as practically undertaking certain operations connected with education, but as the monument and standard of certain great principles. So far from believing that those principles were less appreciated by the public than hitherto, he believed that public opinion was every day more and more tending to some such practical solution as had been long offered by the Society's rules. It must be very gratifying to the friends of education that there were in the present Session no less than five or six different Bills on the subject, competing with each other for the support of the representatives of the people in Parliament. No opportunity of discussing educational principles should be lost, because he believed that the more they were discussed, the smaller those differences which separated the advocates of various schemes would appear. They would, indeed, be found to be differences in theory rather than of any great practical value, and such as might be overcome by the exercise of a little toleration and good sense on the part of the English people. It was a great mistake, for example, to suppose the secular party to be indifferent to religion. He knew many persons who set a very high value upon religious education, but considered the secular to be the only practicable plan, on account of the religious differences existing in the country. His objection to this scheme had more reference to practice than to theory. Its advocates seemed to forget that we had to deal with a vast number of children whose parents and guardians were not in a position to give them that education which it was so difficult to impart in the school. The denominational or sectarian system, as it was sometimes called, would also be objectionable, and would leave a large part of the people uneducated; because, although the parents of the destitute classes might not have any strong religious opinions of their own, yet they belonged nominally, to a very large extent, to some Church 1642 or other, and would resent and discountenance any system which imposed absolutely upon their children instruction in a particular form of faith, to which they themselves did not belong. At the same time, it should always be remembered that the denominational system was perfectly consistent with the larger and more liberal view that was being gradually taken by the great religious bodies interested in the education of the young; and he was not sure that it was not owing to the practical operations of this Society that such a pleasing advance was taking place. It was perfectly possible for the various Churches to open their schools to the children of all denominations, and communicate secular instruction, with the option of religious in addition; and he believed that plan was now being very generally adopted. Many parents consequently sent their children to school who would not otherwise do so, and never took the trouble to put a veto upon their being taught religion. There was, however, a third mode, the one adopted by the British and Foreign School Society, and the only one, he thought, upon which secular and religious education could ever be practically joined together on a large scale—that having for its basis the Scriptures, and the Scriptures alone. He was sure that those were in error who held that the Christian religion could not be taught by the Bible alone, but only in the form of catechisms and creeds; and any one who had heard the examination that morning must be convinced that such was not the fact. He thought, therefore, that the system of that society was the only one that could possibly be made the basis of a great and general system of education; and he trusted that the good sense which had prescribed and carried out the original rules of the Society would be reflected in the two Houses of Parliament, so that before the close of another Session some measure might be passed which would overtake the waste places of the country, and educate the poor in a Scriptural and yet liberal manner.Those are the opinions of the Duke of Argyll! Observe, he takes the secular education with the option of religion; then he takes the denominational; but he says that the third system (which is precisely that of the Church Education Society) is the best of all. Yet, for adhering to that, the best system, the Protestants of Ireland are put in a worse position than Dissenters, Roman Catholics, or Jews. And the noble Lord opposite (Lord J. Russell) has spoken on the subject. He said at a recent meeting of the British and Foreign School Society:—Seeing the divisions of opinion among us—seeing that the Established Church, on the one hand, is not content with schools in which the Church catechism is not taught—seeing that various denominations, on the other hand, are not satisfied with any species of education in which their own peculiar doctrines have not an adequate expression—too many friends of education have concluded that the only mode that can be considered national, and that can unite opinions, is to give only secular instruction, and leave religious instruction to be given by the ministers of 1643 religion. I own that to me," said Lord John, "looking at this as a practical question, innumerable difficulties rise up against the adoption of such a proposition. In the first place, I could not but be struck with the answer of one of the boys at the examination to-day, when he was asked for what purpose the Holy Scriptures were given to mankind, and he answered—"To be the guide of our conduct in life.' Well, now, what an imperfect, what a lame system must that be which proposes, either by state assistance or voluntary effort, to educate the great body of the people of this country, and yet leaves out the knowledge of that which is to guide our conduct in life! Can any omission be more unwise or more fatal to the object we have in view? The children who receive only secular instruction will conclude, most naturally, that they have the sum and substance of that which is most necessary for them. That they might attend religious instruction elsewhere is no doubt possible; but when you consider the time that is taken up at school, and the occupations of the various ministers of religion, you will see that it is hardly possible in practice that in one place children should receive an adequate secular instruction, and that in another place they should find a minister of religion capable of giving them the whole of the instruction which is required for their religious education. If that is the case, and if it is so important that their conduct in life should be regulated, will you give them moral instruction apart from the Bible—apart from any religious sanction? That, again, appears to me to be an equally unwise and an equally fatal course; because, if these precepts of morality—these rules for the guidance of their conduct, have a Divine sanction, it ought to be revealed to them, and the counsel of God should not be withheld.And the clergy of Ireland are to be reproached for maintaining these very principles! They are to be denied the benefit of the grant because they adhere to the principles of your own Cabinet Ministers. Again, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Horsman), after taunting us with holding the vaunted opinions of Members of his own Cabinet, tried to raise a personal question about Lord Derby and myself. Why, Sir, I hope I stand unassailable on that subject; and certainly nothing could have been kinder, or fairer, or more honourable than the conduct of Lord Derby. He did me the honour to offer me office (it was the only favour I have received from any Government), and he said frankly that he knew my opinions upon this question, but that in the first place he would put down the odious practice of bestowing Church patronage as a bribe to induce the clergy to acquiesce in the Government system. That pledge he nobly redeemed. In the next place, the noble Earl said he would leave me free, and would not seek to fetter me; and that he would have a 1644 searching inquiry into the system, and endeavour to the utmost to meet the claims of the clergy. Well, Sir, I admit that in the course of that short winter Session—when we were expected to be able to set many things right in the country, whilst all kinds of machinations were going on to turn us out and embarrass us to the utmost—I admit that up to that time the Government of Lord Derby did not see their way to a satisfactory conclusion of the matter. But when the inquiry was afterwards had, and when the whole subject was gone into, and when witnesses had come from all parts of Ireland, and it appeared that what was talked about as being a "united" education, was all moonshine—then, indeed, Lord Derby was satisfied—and from what he heard from the officers of the Board—that what is now proposed by the present Motion would really carry out his plan, and enlarge and extend it, and make it truly national; and then the noble Earl said most fairly and honourably that the system ought to be altered. Sir, let not this be made a party or personal question. We ought, for the good of the nation, to seek to improve the educational system, and bring into cooperation the Protestant clergy and gentry of the country. Is it no object to carry them with you? If you make this professedly national system dependent upon the exclusion of the Protestants, you may drive them more and more into open opposition. And I think they ought never to submit to their exclusion; it is so gross and palpable an injustice that they should be put in a worse position than English Dissenters, Roman Catholics, and Jews. They ought to be in as good a position in regard to this question as their brethren in England. Why should a poor Protestant in Ireland not be enabled to obtain for his child as freely and as fully a sound Protestant education, as he can in this country? Why is it that in a non-vested school the parent cannot secure a Scriptural education for his child according to his conscience? It is idle to say that it is a system equal in its operation, when it fits one class who can take advantage of it, but gives not to another that religious element of education which we believe peculiarly necessary, because we hold that religion is not merely the basis, but the essence of education. When you say that there is the same rule for all, you might as well tell the Jew seeking to enter this House that there is the same oath for all; there is the same 1645 rule, but it is so framed as to exclude the faithful Protestant It is so framed as to include the Roman Catholics, but exclude the Protestants. Sir, believing that the redress we seek has justice and policy on its side, that it would at once improve and extend the system of education, and make it really "national," and seeing that our proposal is founded upon principles put forth even by Members of the Government, I hope that they will have the grace and justice to recognise our claim.
said, that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) had alleged that the Protestant clergy of Ireland were precluded by the present system from giving that religious instruction to the youth of their flocks, which they conscientiously believed it their duty to impart, yet he had failed to adduce a single rule of the Board imposing any restriction of the character thus complained of. The real grievance—if grievance it were—of the Protestant clergy was, not that they could not teach their religious tenets to the children of their own persuasion, but that they were not permitted to force instruction in those tenets upon the children of parents who conscientiously dissented from them. That was the true ground of controversy on this subject; and if the House acceded to this Motion, it would take a second step in that retrograde policy of which the recent Vote on the Maynooth question was the commencement. The object of the present Motion was to remove and conciliate the scruples of a large portion of the Protestant clergy of Ireland—men who had consistently opposed the national system, and whose consistency he respected; but after the most careful consideration he had arrived at the conclusion that those scruples could only be removed at the expense of an invasion of the scruples of others. Was it consistent with the maintenance of the national system to conciliate those scruples? The Bishop of Ossory had himself laid down that the inevitable consequence of such a change as was involved in this Resolution would be to produce a complete revolution in the national system of education in Ireland. Even the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself, when Home Secretary, did not think it consistent with his duty to propose such a change; the then Prime Minister (the Earl of Derby) declared it would be destructive to the national system, and injurious to the interests of Ireland; the noble Lord (Lord Naas), then 1646 Secretary for Ireland, and the noble Earl (the Earl of Eglinton), who administered an unpopular Government with great popularity, entertained similar opinions. It had been said truly that such a change would in all probability lead to an utter exclusion of religious teaching from the system of education to be adopted in Ireland. They had all heard about "Godless colleges;" but he thought that the withdrawal of all control from religious teaching would prove a system much more worthy of the epithet "Godless" than any other. The only other system that could be adopted was that of separate grants, which had been denounced by the Bishops of Ossory and Limerick as destructive to the Protestantism of Ireland, and certainly the experience of Parliament in the case of the Maynooth grant did not warrant any extension of that system. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Walpole) had said that the present system had failed as a system of united education; and to some extent that observation was well founded, for in the majority of schools the education was a separate education. But this tendency to separate education had been promoted by the opposition of the clergy in carrying out their own scruples; the majority exercised an indefinable influence over the minority, and it was the tendency of the majority to be exclusive. One main objection to the adoption of the right hon. Gentleman's Motion was, that it would increase the tendencies to proselytism—tendencies which were unfortunately too strong in Ireland at present. A large and influential class in this country firmly believed that the social and moral prosperity of Ireland would be best promoted by eradicating the Roman Catholic religion, and this class of persons had possession of great pecuniary resources, and were actuated by a zeal which often led them to forget what was due to the conscientious convictions of others. From this tendency the Church Education Society was by no means free; and such a tendency must be indefinitely increased by the adoption of the system recommended by the right hon. Gentleman. Now, he asked that Parliament should at least be neutral in the contest between the Churches. Let not the gold of the Treasury be flung into the scale against the Roman Catholics. Before the House acceded to the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman let them reflect upon the mighty consequences which would result from such a policy—consequences which would be felt not alone at 1647 the present moment, but in far distant times. Hon. Members should consider that they were dealing with, perhaps, the only institution of British origin that had thriven and grown in Irish soil—the only institution in which the Irish people had placed any degree of confidence. With that institution, meriting and receiving as it did the support of the Irish people, the name of Stanley was indissolubly connected; yet now the institution was assailed in its new foundations by one who had been the colleague of Lord Derby, and was still his ally. He trusted that the possessor of the honoured name of Stanley now in the House of Commons would record his vote in favour of the system which his father had originated. In conclusion, he hoped the House would act upon the maxim quieta non movere, would not disturb the tranquillity of Ireland, would not infuse another element of discord into that long distracted land, would not interfere with or interrupt the working of an institution which, whatever fault might be found with it, at least bestowed the inestimable benefits of moral, literary, religious, industrial education, upon 550,000 young minds, and which would yet distribute those benefits among millions now unborn.
§ MR. DISRAELI
hoped the hon. Member would remember that they were now in the middle of the month of June, and that although the subject might not have been discussed at great length, it had been discussed with great ability. He trusted that by pressing a Motion for the adjournment, the hon. Member would not defeat the prospect of a decision on the main question.
§ Motion made and Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 32; Noes 184: Majority 152.
§ After a few words from Sir JOHN FITZGERALD, which were quite inaudible,
§ Main Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 113; Noes 103: Majority 10.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Bramston, T. W.|
|Alexander, J.||Buck, Col.|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||Buller, Sir J. Y.|
|Bennet, P.||Bunbury, W. B. M'C.|
|Bernard, Visct.||Burrowes, R.|
|Blackburn, P.||Butt, I.|
|Boldero, Col.||Cairns, H. M'C.|
|Child, S.||Maxwell, hon. Col.|
|Cholmondeley, Lord H.||Michell, W.|
|Christy, S.||Montgomery, H. L.|
|Cocks, T. S.||Montgomery, Sir G.|
|Cole, hon. H. A.||Moody, C. A.|
|Coles, H. B.||Morgan, O.|
|Colvile, C. R.||Mowbray, J. R.|
|Conolly, T.||Mullings, J. R.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H. L.||Naas, Lord|
|Cubitt, Mr. Ald.||Napier, rt. hon. J.|
|Davison, R.||Newark, Visct.|
|Disraeli, rt. hon. B.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Duncombe, hon. Col.||Northcote, Sir S. H.|
|Dundas, G.||Pakenham, T. H.|
|Du Pre, C. G.||Palmer, R.|
|East, Sir J. B.||Robertson, P. F.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Rushout, G.|
|Egerton, E. C.||Rust, J.|
|Farnham, E. B.||Seymer, H. K.|
|Fellowes, E.||Shirley, E. P.|
|Floyer, J.||Sibthorp, Major|
|Forster, Sir G.||Smollett, A.|
|Franklyn, G. W.||Spooner, R.|
|Frewen, C. H.||Stafford, A.|
|George, J.||Stanhope, J. B.|
|Graham, Lord M. W.||Starkie, Le G. N.|
|Greenall, G.||Stracey, Sir H. J.|
|Grogan, E.||Stewart, Sir M. R. S.|
|Guinness, R. S.||Stuart, Capt.|
|Gwyn, H.||Taylor, Col.|
|Hamilton, Lord C.||Thesiger, Sir F.|
|Hardinge, hon. C. S.||Tollemache, J.|
|Hardy, G.||Vance, J.|
|Herbert, Sir T.||Vansittart, G. H.|
|Hill, Lord A. E.||Verner, Sir W.|
|Holford, R. S.||Vernon, L. V.|
|Hume, W. F.||Waddington, H. S.|
|Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.||Walcott, Adm.|
|Jolliffe, H. H.||Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.|
|Jones, Adm.||Warner, E.|
|Kendall, N.||Warren, S.|
|Kinnaird, hon. A. F.||Whiteside, J.|
|Lacon, Sir E.||Whitmore, H.|
|Leslie, C. P.||Wigram, L. T.|
|Lindsay, hon. Col.||Williams, T. P.|
|Lockhart, W.||Wyndham, Gen.|
|Lushington, C. M.||Wynn, Lieut. Col.|
|Macartney, G.||Wynne, rt. hon. J.|
|Malins, R.||Heathcote, Sir W.|
|March, Earl of||Hamilton, G. A.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Agnew, Sir A.||Cowan, C.|
|Antrobus, E.||Cowper, rt. hon. W. F.|
|Baines, rt. hon. M. T.||Craufurd, E. H. J.|
|Ball, J.||Deasy, R.|
|Bass, M. T.||Denison, J. E.|
|Beamish, F. B.||De Vere, S. E.|
|Bellew, T. A.||Dillwyn, L. L.|
|Berkeley, F. W. F.||Duncan, Visct.|
|Bethell, Sir R.||Duncan, G.|
|Black, A.||Esmonde, J.|
|Bland, L. H.||Fagan, W.|
|Bowyer, G.||Fenwick, H.|
|Brady, J.||Ferguson, Sir R.|
|Brand, hon. H.||FitzGerald, Sir J.|
|Burke, Sir T. J.||FitzGerald, J. D.|
|Byng, hon. G. H. C.||Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W.|
|Cobbett, J. M.||Forster, C.|
|Cockburne, Sir A. J. E.||Fox, W. J.|
|Corbally, M. E.||Gallwey, Sir W. P.|
|Gladstone, rt. hon. W.||North, F.|
|Glyn, G. C.||O'Brien, P.|
|Grace, O. D. J.||O'Brien, J.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||O'Connell, Capt. J.|
|Greene, J.||O'Flaherty, A.|
|Greville, Col. F.||Palmerston, Visct,|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Peel, Sir R.|
|Grey, R. W.||Pilkington, J.|
|Hadfteld, G.||Pollard-Urquhart, W.|
|Hastie, Alex.||Price, Sir R.|
|Heard, J. A.||Price, W. P.|
|Heywood, J.||Ramsden, Sir J. W.|
|Holland, E.||Ricardo, S.|
|Horsman, rt. hon. E.||Ridley, G.|
|Howard, Lord E.||Sawle, C. B. G.|
|Hughes, H. G.||Scully, F.|
|Hutchins, E. J.||Seymour, H. D.|
|Ingham, R.||Smith, rt. hon. R. V.|
|Keating, R.||Stanley, Lord|
|Kennedy, T.||Stanley, hon. W. O.|
|Kershaw, J.||Steel, J.|
|Kirk, W.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||Thompson, G.|
|Luce, T.||Thornhill, W. P.|
|MacEvoy, E.||Tite, W.|
|M'Cann, J.||Walmsley, Sir J.|
|Magan, W. H.||Wells, W.|
|Maguire, J. F.||Wickham, H. W.|
|Martin, P. W.||Wilson, J.|
|Milligan, R.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Milnes, R. M.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Moore, G. H.||TELLERS.|
|Morris, D.||Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.|
|Murrough, J. P.||Monck, Visct.|
§ Address to be presented by Privy Councillors.
§ The House adjourned at a Quarter after One o'clock.