HC Deb 09 May 1856 vol 142 cc259-61

said, that a document had that day reached him, purporting to be an advertisement connected with certain ragged schools in Dublin, in which it was put forward that one of the objects of the supporters of those schools was to carry out a system of proselytising among the Roman Catholic children in that city. The name of his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant was placed at the head of the document, and it was stated that a bazaar was to be held for the benefit of those schools under his patronage. He (Mr. DeVere) begged leave to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland whether it was true that the Lord Lieutenant, for whose character he entertained the highest respect, had given the sanction of his name and authority to any such proceeding.


said, it was not true that the Lord Lieutenant had in any way given his sanction to the issuing of any placard containing matter such as that referred to by his hon. Friend, painful and offensive to any portion of Her Majesty's subjects. The principle which the Lord Lieutenant had laid down for his own guidance, and which he impressed upon all persons connected with the Government of Ireland, was, to refrain from associating themselves directly or indirectly with any society whose proceedings were of a religious character, or calculated to give offence to any portion of the population of that country. The facts of the case referred to by his hon. Friend were these:—There were ragged schools in Dublin established by the Roman Catholics, and others established by Protestants. Early in the year—in the month of February, he believed—an application had been made to the Lord Lieutenant by the committee of the Roman Catholic Ragged Schools, stating that they were about to open a bazaar for the benefit of those schools, and requesting him to allow his name to appear as the patron of that bazaar. He replied that they might so use his name, but that he would not himself be present upon the occasion. Within the last fortnight a similar application had been addressed to him, in the same terms, for the same purpose, by the committee of the Protestant Ragged Schools; and to that application he had given a precisely similar answer. Subsequently a placard had appeared, stating that the bazaar was to be held, and announcing in very conspicuous letters that it was to be under the patronage of the Lord Lieutenant; and then followed in smaller type a number of extracts from speeches and reports of Protestant societies on the subject of the advertisement, and containing matter calculated to give pain to Roman Catholics. He (Mr. Horsman) could only state that the association of the Lord Lieutenant's name with the offensive matter in the placard had been made entirely without the knowledge of the Lord Lieutenant, and certainly did not meet with his approval.