HC Deb 27 May 1856 vol 142 cc715-70

MR. G. A. HAMILTON moved that before going into the Motion of Mr. Miall respecting the Established Church in Ireland, that the 5th Article of the Treaty of the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, embodied in the Act of Union, 40 Geo. III. c. 67, be read by the Clerk.

Motion agreed to; and the said Article read by the Clerk, as follows— That it be the Fifth Article of Union, that the Churches of England and Ireland as now by Law established, be united into one Protestant Episcopal Church, to be called, the United Church of England and Ireland; and that the Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government of the said United Church shall be and shall remain in full force for ever, as the same are by Law now established for the Church of England; and that the Continuance and Preservation of the said United Church, as the established Church of England and Ireland, shall be deemed and taken to be an essential and fundamental part of the Union; and that in like manner the Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government of the Church of Scotland, shall remain and be preserved as the same are now established by Law, and by the Acts for the Union of the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland.


* Sir, I am very glad that, in discharge of the duty now before me, I shall not need to utter a word offensive to the religious feelings of any hon. Member of this House. I am very glad that the Motion with which I shall have the honour to conclude does not require me to canvass the merits or demerits of any Church, either in respect of its creed, discipline, or ethics—to assail the character or efficiency of any body of clergy whatever—nor to cast aspersions upon any ecclesiastical community, Protestant or Roman Catholic, Episcopalian or Presbyterian. The arguments I shall adduce in support of the Motion will be based exclusively on principles of justice and considerations of State policy; and as they will be urged, I trust, in a spirit of moderation and catholicity, I venture to hope that the House may find it practicable to debate an important religious question without even a momentary excitement of sectarian animosity.

Sir, I shall probably, and very properly, be expected to state the reasons which have induced me just now to bring under the consideration of the House the vexed question of our Irish ecclesiastical policy. I may be told, possibly, that I am taking an officious and obtrusive course, and one that the state of feeling which has prevailed of late years in Ireland does not demand. The policy I am about to critieise and arraign, it may, perhaps, be urged, if not theoretically defensible, has been practically acquiesced in—if it does not square with principles of abstract justice, it is productive of no very grievous oppression; for under it Ireland is as tranquil as could well be wished—is blessed with a yearly diminution of sectarian strife, and rejoices in a rapid development of social prosperity. You may ask me, and you have a right to ask, why not let well alone? At a time when religious feuds in Ireland are visibly subsiding, why launch again a question which has stirred such stormy passions? Why waste time in exposing discrepancies which have almost ceased to attract attention, and in meddling with anomalies which, it is easy enough to render irritating, but not by any means so easy to remove?

Now, Sir, without denying that interrogations of this nature have some force, I presume to think that in this instance they may be successfully answered. I venture to suggest in limine that they take a great deal too much for granted in regard to the present state of feeling in Ireland. Indeed, I feel pretty sure that hon. Members from that part of the United Kingdom will be very far from unanimous in endorsing as correct so flattering a description of the ecclesiastical truce established there.

Moreover, it would be childish to shut our eyes to the obvious fact, that it is only a truce. Why, Sir, the man who walks amongst explosive materials with a naked candle in his hand has as good a right to reckon on complete personal security as we have to calculate upon permanent tranquillity in Ireland under our present ecclesiastical policy. It is true that of late unusual care on the part of the Executive, whether Whig or Conservative, coupled with an unprecedented combination of peculiar circumstances affecting the social condition of Ireland, has produced an unwonted calm. But it would be but poor statesmanship to mistake a temporary lull of agitation for settled popular contentment. Is the calm such as may be relied on? Are our existing ecclesiastical arrangements so well suited to the temper and wants of the Irish people, and so firmly grounded in their convictions, as to warrant the hope that the "great difficulty" of Sir Robert Peel has at length and for ever ceased to exist? Will the right hon. Secretary for Ireland undertake to assure us that the religious strife which for three centuries has been the bane of that country is at last effectually quelled? that there can be no reasonable fear of its resuscitation, and that rival sects in that part of the United Kingdom are so far satisfied with their respective relationships to the State that no apprehension need be felt of their contentions in future? Sir, it would be idle to conceal from ourselves the fact that our Irish ecclesiastical policy is not satisfactory to the great bulk of the inhabitants of Ireland. Left as it is, it cannot, in the nature of things, be satisfactory, and if the Irish people cherish any self-respect, as I believe they do, it ought not to be satisfactory. Therefore it is, I think, that this House, warned by the past, and reasonably apprehensive of the future, may be very properly invited to avail itself of the present interval of popular quiet to lay the foundation of a more stable order of things.

But, Sir, this is not the main consideration by which I have been moved to bring this subject before the House at the present moment. I place my chief justification in the fact, that existing ecclesiastical arrangements are in imminent danger from another hand. If it were true that the Roman Catholics of Ireland were disposed to acquiesce in them, it is notorious that the Protestants of Great Britain are not. Every Member of the House must be aware how impossible it will be to preserve inviolate that compromise on which our Irish ecclesiastical policy is based, in defiance of the strong Protestant feeling which pervades the constituencies of England, Wales, and Scotland. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire, the representative of that feeling, has already obtained the assent of the House to the introduction of a Bill for the repeal of the Maynooth College Endowment Act. No doubt that assent was most reluctantly given, and was wrung from the House by the extreme pressure of constituent bodies. Very likely the hon. Gentleman may find it impracticable to carry his measure through all its stages in the present Parliament. But if it should be so, the difficulty is only evaded for a season. The same strong feeling which has compelled you to assent to the preliminary Resolution, may also compel you to pass the Bill. Even if the present Parliament should contrive to avoid giving legislative effect to their own Resolution, the next Parliament will, in all probability, be returned upon a clear understanding that the compromise shall be put an end to, and the question settled.

Well, but should such be the case—should Parliament withdraw a small State endowment from a Roman Catholic institution, the only one it grants to that body, leaving its endowment of other religious bodies untouched—where will be the boasted tranquillity of Ireland? Can you hope to maintain it? I speak not now of physical violence—that, I rejoice to believe, you would have no reason to apprehend. But are there not consequences of a more subtle, but not less mischievous character, which would flow from the success of the hon. Member's proposition, taken alone? Sir, we have already had ample experience of the social devastation wrought by the demon, of religious discord, even where it stops short of actual outrage. We have seen how, wherever it fairly gets head, it withers as with a cleaving curse, all a nation's better capabilities—how it loosens all the tics by which society is held together—how it dries up the kindly feelings which spring out of the common relationships of life—how it weakens mutual confidence—discourages enterprise—checks industrial development—and substitutes for the glow of a healthy national activity, the wasting fever of popular excitement. It is among the greatest calamities which can befall a nation. You can attempt nothing hopefully for the social amelioration of a people among whom this spirit is rife. But this is the spirit that you must look to see evoked, by carrying, as an isolated measure, the disendowment of Maynooth College. Sir, spite of these consequences, I believe the Protestant feeling of this country will compel you to disendow that institution. I believe you will have to do it at no distant date. I believe, further, that it is in the category of things which ought to be done. And because I am convinced that it cannot safely be done alone—because I think that the real difficulty in the way of dealing, not only with it, but with the bitter sectarian animosity which the Maynooth grant was meant to allay, lies coiled up in the very core of our Irish ecclesiastical policy, I have felt not merely justified, but constrained, to invite the House to go into Committee on religious teaching and worship in Ireland.

And now, Sir, having accounted to the House for moving at all in this matter just now, I am bound to say that, in my opinion, even as matters now stand, it would be worse than useless to go into Committee, unless with a firm determination to reconsider our Irish ecclesiastical policy in its essential principle, as well as in the various forms of its application. Few men of observation, I imagine, will be disposed to deny, that whatever may be said in favour of the Church Establishment theory, the test to which we have put that theory in Ireland has been uniformly and deplorably unfortunate. There are three different phases in which the Church Establishment principle may be exemplified—that of persecution—that of ascendancy—and that of indiscriminate endowments. If, then, I can show you, as I hope to do, that you have tried each of these in your ecclesiastical government of Ireland, and in each have signally failed, I shall have made my ground good for asking you to review, with an eye, if need be, to its abandonment, the primary principle of a policy so invariably unsuccessful.

Sir, the rudest form in which the authority and power of the State can be applied in support of the Church with which it may chance to be united, is that of prohibiting, punishing, and crushing adherence to and profession of any creed and discipline but its own. This is persecution; and this your Imperial policy formerly tried in Ireland with savage and relentless vigour. The time comprised in this trial ranged from the earlier part of Elizabeth's reign down to the battle of the Boyne. The problem which your policy attempted to solve was, how to transfer from Roman Catholic to Protestant hands the ownership of the soil in Ireland, together with all political influence, all social distinctions, all the ordinary powers of achieving gain, all the potentialities of civilisation, comfort, and affluence. The agencies chiefly relied upon in solving this problem were arbitrary laws, wholesale confiscation, cold steel, and gunpowder. And what are the staple materials which make up the history of that period? Robbery by the civil power, and retaliation by the outraged people; tyranny without limit, followed by insurrections without pity; desperate sieges and hideous massacres; a country laid waste; a population alternating between the extremes of rage and terror; a priesthood hunted down like noxious vermin; a whole race crushed beneath a heavier doom than slavery! Sir, seldom, indeed, has a bloodier drama than this been played out upon God's earth. You cannot read it, even at this distance of time, without feeling your blood curdle in your veins. And in what did it all issue? Why, in this: that, in the reign of William III., Protestantism had got possession of the wealth of the country, while Roman Catholicism still retained its hold on the hearts of the people.

Such was the first great failure of your Irish ecclesiastical policy. I will give but a hasty glance at the next. The second phase of the Church Establishment principle is that of ascendancy—that is, the application of the power of the State to the elevation of the Church with which it is united above all others in worldly position, privilege, and security. You tried this modification of the State Church theory in Ireland, from 1689 down to 1829. Your attempt was to foster Protestantism into strength by privilege—to depress and weary out Roman Catholicism by civil proscriptions and penal laws. The story of that period is a very familiar one; but, familiar as it is, it falls within my purpose to repeat it—and it may be condensed into a very few sentences. I will not go into detail to show the peculiar favour your policy displayed towards Protestants—how you allowed them to appropriate to their exclusive advantage the land, the Church, the franchise, the Parliament, the municipalities, the learned professions, the university. Let us see what were the tender mercies of that policy to Catholics. They may be read in the Irish statute-book, from 1690 to 1790. Well, look first at the disadvantageous position in which Irish Roman Catholics were placed by law, as respects the offices and ministrations of their own Church. Their higher ecclesiastics were sentenced to perpetual exile, and large rewards offered for their discovery within the kingdom. The parochial priests were compelled to register themselves, as a kind of ticket-of-leave functionaries, to give heavy bail that they would not go beyond the limits of their respective counties, and to engage that they would never exercise their functions out of their own parish. They were forbidden to assume any ecclesiastical title and to wear any professional dress—to erect any steeple, to toll any bell, to officiate in any graveyard. Their images were to be destroyed, their crosses thrown down, and their pilgrimages prohibited. But, on the other hand, handsome annuities were offered by law to those priests who should apostatize from the Romish faith. How were the Irish Roman Catholics treated in regard to education? Every Catholic school was closed, every Catholic schoolmaster subject to transportation for life, with the penalty of death in case of his return. No child of Catholic parents could be sent abroad for education without a special licence—and, lest the Act should be evaded, any magistrate might at any moment demand that the child should be produced in his presence. What was their case in regard to the ordinary occupations of life? They were incapacitated from holding any commission in the army or navy, and from serving in any office under the Crown. They were excluded from every liberal profession but that of medicine. They could purchase no landed estate, nor occupy any farm the profits of which exceeded a third of the rent. If they betook themselves to industrial or commercial pursuits, they were literally at the mercy of Protestant municipalities. If, in spite of these restrictions, they acquired some property, what was their control over it? It was taxed, ad libitum, by the State, county, municipal, and parochial authorities. No one belonging to the discouraged sect was allowed even to possess a horse of above £5 value. He could receive no real property from Protestants, either by deed of gift or by bequest; and if, during his lifetime, his eldest son turned Protestant, he lost all legal control over him, and became incapable of charging his estate with portions for his other children. Finally, in regard to the general privileges of citizenship, no Roman Catholic could marry a Protestant lady, nor entrust, at his death, the guardianship of his children to his wife or friends, nor exercise the elective franchise, nor sit in Parliament.

Well, Sir, what was the issue of this execrable system of legal and political ascendancy in regard to the rival Churches? Dead failure—worse than failure. Roman Catholicism grew, as all persecuted religions will, the more it was trampled upon—grew until its resentment became formidable. When once it became necessary, either for her own purposes, or for the resistance of foreign invasion, to unite the whole population of Ireland, this elaborate framework of ecclesiastical tyranny was obliged to be pulled to pieces more rapidly than it had been put together. During the last decade of the last century most of these penal laws were repealed; and, in 1829, at the bidding of an inexorable necessity, you condemned the very principle of Protestant ascendancy by passing the Catholic Emancipation Act.

Sir, I say you gave up the principle of Protestant ascendancy, because you surrendered the only means by which it could be effectually maintained. But, Sir, it was impossible for you to rest there, for you had in Ireland an exclusive Church Establishment, endowed with national funds; and, as you still held firmly by the principle of a State-endowment of religion, you were compelled to entertain various propositions tending to place the Church of the majority in a relation of approximate equity, at least, towards the Church of the minority. Slowly and cautiously your policy took a direction towards the third and last development of the State Church principle—namely, equality of favour by means of indiscriminate endowments. By the Church Temporalities Act of 1833 you professed to cut down the Protestant Church Establishment in Ireland to the wants of the Protestant inhabitants. By the abolition of churchcess you recognised the inexpediency, not to say injustice, of levying upon the members of one Church a direct tax for the exclusive benefit of another. By removing the charge of tithe from the Roman Catholic occupier to the Protestant landowner, you sought to veil the hardship of quartering the clergy of the few upon the resources of the many. All these, however, were but negative changes—changes calculated to tone down into harmony, with the milder spirit of the age, a harsh and indefensible expression of the State endowment policy. But, in 1845, you deliberately took your first positive step towards establishing equitable relations between the two Churches and the State. It was only a first step—for the Maynooth College Endowment Act was not regarded by anybody as a full realisation of the principle it embodied. It only showed—it was only meant to show—that you had turned your faces in a new direction. It was a tentative measure, accepted and supported by the great Liberal party in this House, as an earnest of something more to come. I could prove this, if it were necessary, by numerous quotations from the debates on the Bill in both Houses of Parliament. I will trouble the House with only one. It is from a speech of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London. He is reported to have thus expressed himself— I think the right hon. Baronet, in his opening speech on this subject, showed very clearly the grounds of this grant. But I must confess that when hon. Gentlemen who oppose it urge the argument that both in the proposal itself of settling the grant by a Bill making it a permanent endowment, and in the reasons the right hon. Gentleman gave, as the organ of the Government, for that endowment, there is the indication of further measures than he himself has proposed to-night, or than the measure itself contains, I am inclined to say I agree with them in this opinion. That is a ground of opposition with them, but a ground of concurrence on my part. The noble Lord presently added— But this I say, that the arguments which are so sound, and, as I think, so incontrovertible to induce this House to found an endowment for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood, will prove, upon another occasion, as sound and as incontrovertible with respect to an endowment for the maintenance of that priesthood. For my own part, preferring more and more strongly, and more and more by reflection, a religious establishment to that which is called the voluntary principle. I am anxious to see the spiritual and religious institutions of the great majority of the people in Ireland endowed and maintained by a provision furnished by the State. Now, it is well known that the noble Lord spoke on that occasion the sentiments of the bulk of the Liberal party in Parliament; and in those sentiments, I believe, some Members of the Conservative party concurred. At any rate, when, at a subsequent period, the noble Lord intimated his desire to see the government of Ireland placed upon a broad and comprehensive basis, the country gave the noble Lord credit for the intention, whenever the reins of power might he again entrusted to him, to propose a general plan for the endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland. But the noble Lord's scheme never saw the light; for, in addition to the fact that the Irish Roman Catholic hierarchy were indisposed at that time to become the stipendiaries of the State, popular opinion in this country was too unequivocally expressed against taking any further step in the direction of indiscriminate endowments. The policy initiated by the Maynooth College Endowment Act was nipped in the bud. Then came the absurd excitement on the subject of ecclesiastical titles, in which the noble Lord took a conspicuous part; and out of it grew that determination on the part of the public to withdraw the endowment recently settled on Maynooth College, before which, I am convinced, you will be compelled, sooner or later, to bow.

Assuming that such will be the case, let the House consider bow our Irish ecclesiastical policy will then stand. It is clear, I think, that in passing the Maynooth Endowment Act, Parliament meant to recognise the principle of equity, as the principle which ought in future to determine the relation of the State to the great ecclesiastical sects in Ireland. It is no less clear, I submit, that Parliament intended to proceed in the development of that principle, as opportunity and the feelings of the British people, would allow. And I believe it is by this time equally evident that your attempt to realise that principle by means of indiscriminate endowments is perfectly hopeless. You find yourselves unable to follow up your first tentative step—you are called upon to retrace it. If, as I hope, you should be compelled by the pressure from without to give practical effect to the demand of the constituent bodies, then the third and last form in which the endowment principle can be practically applied, will have turned out to be inapplicable to the circumstances of Ireland. You will have exhausted the experiment. And then. Sir, I would ask, what next? You cannot if you would, you would not if you could, go back to the old, exploded, and disastrous policy of Protestant ascendancy; and you are barred by insuperable obstacles from following up the principle of equity by the path you would have preferred—I mean that of indiscriminate endowments. Now, what I ask of you is this,—that you should pursue that policy of equity by another and a surer path—that you should aim at the same noble object by simple and more effective means.

What is that path? What are those means? I will tell the House in a few sentences. I respectfully submit, then, that inasmuch as the divided religious feeling of the country prevents you, and ever will prevent you, from placing the different sects in Ireland upon an equitable footing, as it regards the State, by means of indiscriminate endowments, you should accomplish it by means of impartial disendowment; and that, as you cannot hope to render justice to the Irish people by a public support of the religious institutions of all sects, you should, withdraw that support alike from all. And here let me say that in recommending the House to adopt the policy of impartial disendowment, I am far from desiring a hasty, sweeping, inconsiderate application of that policy. When I come to lay before you an outline of the plan I would suggest for carrying this policy into effect, I think you will see that it is quite possible to combine with the disendowment policy, the most scrupulous regard to the equitable rights both of religious communities, as such, and also of individuals.

But, Sir, saving all such rights intact, I own that my proposition, would be worth nothing, unless it covered the entire ground—unless the policy of disendowment reached everything which the State has an equitable right to deal with. A simple and determinate principle of this sort appears to me to have an immense advantage over every kind of compromise. The statesmanship of the present day, I am aware, is adverse to this simplicity of purpose, and aims rather at producing a kind of composite policy, by an amalgamation of conflicting principles. Well, Sir, I am not very confident in the superior wisdom of that statesmanship. I admit, indeed, that political changes, involving a great variety and extent of interests, ought to be very carefully and cautiously effected. That is one thing. But it is another and very different thing to produce a conglomerate of heterogeneous principles, none of which are consistently carried out. Such is not the course I venture to recommend. I am anxious that the House should express itself in favour of religious equality in Ireland, by the only practicable means—namely, impartial disendowment. I wish you to let the people of Ireland understand that this is to be your future policy, pure and simple. This resolution will not preclude you from taking whatever time you may think necessary for effecting your object with safety—nor from using whatever precautions you will, to avoid or surmount the practical difficulties lying between you and your object—nor from displaying all the qualifications of true statesmanship in your choice of opportunities and means. The vote which I ask to night is, in fact, a vote pledging you to complete religious equality in Ireland, by the only means in your power.

Sir, I venture to think that the slight historical survey I have just taken of our Irish ecclesiastical policy is itself the most decisive condemnation of employing the authority and resources of the State to force upon an unwilling people a Church with which they have no sympathy. I have no need, on this occasion, to discuss the abstract principle of a Church Establishment. I content myself with the simple avowal that I regard it as essentially unsound, calculated to involve the civil power in numberless embarrassments, to degrade the Church into humiliating bondage, and to injure religion by misrepresenting the true secret of its strength. But I rest my argument to night upon no such abstract opinion. Because, if the theory of a State Church be ever so tenable, the application of that theory to Ireland has been proved by the issue to have been a profound mistake. To it, without doubt, that country may trace much the greater part of the wretchedness it has endured. For surely, if there be any one thing in respect of which a dominant nation ought to be forbearing and indulgent, it is the religion of the people subjected to their control. This wise maxim of State policy you have all along set at nought in your government of Ireland. You thrust into the midst of a people whom your arms had subjugated, a Church with which they could have no communion, and you endowed that Church with property snatched from a communion to which they were ardently attached, and which received their implicit confidence. State necessity may be pleaded in excuse of the original perpetration of this political crime, but cannot be accepted as a justification of it. Nor can it be said, as it may of some crimes, that time has transmuted its results into a blessing. The original vice remains. The great bulk of the people of Ireland—the peasantry—the poor—for whom, if for any, a Church Establishment should be maintained, are not, even after the lapse of three centuries, benefited by the spiritual teaching and offices of your Establishment. It is still maintained for the Saxon rather than the Celt, for the gentry rather than the humbler classes, for the well-to-do minority rather than the helpless majority. Such a system as this can only be regarded by the people of Ireland, as it is by all disinterested on lookers, as at once the offspring of tyranny and the badge of conquest. Nothing on earth can justify it. We may disguise it as we will, but in the eyes of man and of God it is not the less a crime.

That existing ecclesiastical arrangements in regard to Ireland ought to be, or can be, permanently maintained, is a proposition which I imagine no one will undertake to affirm. The choice of the House will eventually lie between dealing with them separately, or, as I suggest, with all together. The practical question with the House will be, no doubt, whether the remedy I propose is not more violent than the disease? Well, Sir, as far as Ireland is concerned, the effect of applying the policy of disendowment will not be by any means so extensive as it seems. It can hardly be pretended, for instance, that you would thereby leave the bulk of the people destitute of religious teaching. Probably five-sixths of the inhabitants, comprising, too, the lowest and most needy classes, are shut out already from the benefit of your existing endowments. Whatever may be the case on this side St. George's Channel, in Ireland the Established Church can hardly be looked upon as "the poor man's Church." The extinction of the Maynooth College endowment, one of the objects I propose, would not touch those means which the Roman Catholics have found adequate to maintain their religious institutions for the last three centuries. The discontinuance of the Regium Donum would cut away a portion only of the stipends of Presbyterian ministers—a portion which the wealth of the Presbyterian body in Ireland is well able to supply. Even your disendowment of the Irish Church would affect but a small minority of the people, constituting, moreover, the wealthiest section of society in Ireland. And, therefore, although it is true that in this last case you would have to deal with a large amount of property at present set apart for religious purposes, it is equally true that you would thereby disturb but a comparatively small amount of spiritual means. The policy I recommend would derange but to a trifling extent the machinery of religious instruction in Ireland; and in that regard, therefore, the great bulk of the people would be quite as well off as they are at this moment.

Sir, I am fully convinced that the judgment and the conscience of the majority of this House will go along with me in affirming the desirableness of the policy I recommend, considered in itself. I am quite aware, however, that it is not sufficient to present to this House a case unanswerable in the abstract, nor to assume a position logically impregnable to prevail upon the House to adopt it as their own. The House is accustomed, in all matters of grave importance, to look not only at what might be best if it should chance to become an actual fact, but also at the difficulties and obstacles, whether of a constitutional or a practical nature, which must first be overcome in order to realise it. I feel bound, therefore, to look two or three of the graver objections, which may be urged against my proposed line of ecclesiastical policy for Ireland, fairly in the face.

The first serious objection which will doubtless be urged in condemnation of that policy, is indicated by the ceremonial which preceded my speech—that it is barred by the Fifth Article of the Act of Union. Sir, I gather no such conclusion from the words of that article. I will read them to the House, for I look upon them as specially significant. They are as follows:— That the Church of England and Ireland, as now by law established, shall be united into one Protestant Episcopal Church, to be called the United Church of England and Ireland; and that the doctrine, discipline, worship, and government of the said United Church shall be, and shall remain, in full force, for ever, as the same are now by law established. Well, Sir, I do not propose to interfere, in the slightest degree, with either the doctrine, discipline, worship, or government of that Church. I wish to deal only with the temporalities, about which there is no mention whatever in the article. And the omission from this article of the word "temporalities," is, as I have already intimated, peculiarly significant. Did Mr. Pitt, who framed the Act, foresee the inconvenience which might result from the insertion of that word? Judging from his correspondence on the subject, I apprehend he did, and that he meant to leave the Imperial Legislature free to deal with these temporalities, as future circumstances might require. But be this as it may, the words of Lord Brougham, uttered in this House in 1825, seem to me to be pregnant with reason. Taking into consideration," he says, "the state of the Church in Ireland, and the state of the population which, though obliged to support that Church, received no benefit from it, it was monstrous to assert that such a system should never undergo legislative revision. But, Sir, in this instance, I am not driven to shelter myself under the authority of great names. I stand upon the ground of what the Imperial Parliament has already done. I say, the abolition of church cess, and the application of the revenues resulting from the extinction of ten bishoprics in Ireland to make good that loss, give me a right to plead Parliamentary precedent in favour of the view I take of the Fifth Article of the Act of Union. If you tell me that this was but a redistribution of the temporalities of the Irish Church, what will you say of the actual extinction of twenty-five per cent of the tithe property of the Church, effected by the Tithe Commutation Act? As a matter of State policy you gave up one-fourth with a view to secure the other three-fourths. Now, I do not ask you to extinguish, but to reappropriate—to extinguish only so far as ecclesiastical purposes are concerned—and the right which you have already asserted to deal with twenty-five per cent of these revenues, notwithstanding the Act of Union, you may justly assert, if you will, to deal with the whole.

The next objection which I apprehend will be urged against the policy of disendowment, impartially applied, is, that in regard to the Church Establishment of Ireland it would amount to nothing less than wholesale confiscation. The revenues, it will be said, that I seek to withdraw from the Irish Church, are her own by the same right as that by which a gentleman holds his estate—her title to them, indeed, is older than can be produced for any private property, and can only be set aside by an act of legislative spoliation. This, Sir, is a grave objection—fatal, if well founded—and therefore the House will bear with me, I trust, if I examine it somewhat closely.

The broadest and most obvious reply to this assertion of exclusive and inherent right on behalf of the Irish Church is, that it rests entirely on a fiction. For, what is the implication contained in the plea that the title of the Irish Church to her revenues dates further back than that of any private property? Manifestly that the Church holds her estates in right of donations and bequests made to her some ages back. Sir, I call this a miserable fiction, because it is notorious that between the donors of these estates and the present beneficiaries there is no line of equitable and moral connection. If a valid title to these estates can be traced back by any party to the will of the original donors, then they belong of right to the Roman Catholics. Such an inference, however, which I should have supposed no one acquainted with history would deny, has been set aside by a quibble. These revenues, it has been said, were originally bestowed on the Church of Ireland, and by the Church of Ireland they are still possessed. It was competent to that Church to reform herself, and to purge out the errors which had grown up within her, without forfeiting her claim to her property. She has never lost her identity, though she has undergone a reformatory process. Sir, this is a mere play upon words falsified by all the known facts of Irish history. When did the Roman Catholic Church of Ireland, to whom these revenues were given and bequeathed, reform herself? At what period did she change her views and become Protestant? Never! No, Sir, she was ejected—forcibly, ruthlessly ejected by the State, and another tenant put in. She was thrust forth without ceremony, and her inheritance given to a stranger. There never was a grosser perversion of historical fact than that which represents the Church of Ireland before the Reformation, and the Church of Ireland after the Reformation, as one and the same body. The one was indigenous —the other was an importation. The only semblance of identity between the two was, that the Protestant Church took possession of the title and the property of which the Catholic Church had been in previous possession.

The only title, then, which the Protestant Church of Ireland has to her revenues is to be found in the will of the State—a good and valid title, in my opinion, so long as it lasts. Apart from the will of the State she has no proprietary rights. There may have been the essential substance of Protestantism in Ireland before the Papal authority was for the first time recognised there, at the Synod of Kells, in A.D. 1152. But will any man pretend to find in it the germ of the Protestant Church as it now exists? No, Sir, the Church of the Thirty-nine Articles, the Church of the Common Prayer-book, the Church of the Protestant Episcopal hierarchy, never had a being in Ireland apart from the Legislature. It was the civil power that said "Let it be!" and it was. It never had an independent existence. It was, I may say, born a State Church—it did not become so. State policy was its parent, and, apart from State policy, it never had and never can have a claim to its revenues. And so the State has ever dealt with it—most constitutionally and most justly, Parliament has imposed the conditions under which the Church of Ireland should enjoy her property, has freely, regulated the distribution of it, and within the last thirty years, as I have shown, the State surrendered and extinguished not less than a fourth of the entire income with a view to the easier collection of the remainder.

But there is another aspect under which this question may be viewed. And it may be viewed most advantageously, because most simply and clearly, in the case of a single parish rather than of the whole Church. Take now any one parish in Ireland, and try to satisfy yourselves to whom the ecclesiastical property of that parish legally and morally belongs. There is the sacred edifice—there is the glebe-house and land—and there is what was formerly the tithe, but is now the rent charge. Whose are they? I suppose it will be admitted on all hands that they are not the clergyman's. He has but a life-use of them, and his use of them is associated with a trust. It will not be pretended that they belong to the bishop of the diocese. He may have the privilege of collating to the living, but he also is under conditions prescribed for him by others; he is but a life-tenant, and the property does not exist for his sake. Does it then belong to those of the parishioners who, being Protestants, worship at the church? It is true that by State regulation they have the exclusive advantage of it; but it is only because the regulations of the State happen to be in accordance with their ecclesiastical views. But the property is, both in theory and right, the property of the parishioners at large, and for their supposed benefit it exists and is maintained. Until a recent period they were taxed to keep the buildings in repair. The rent-charge, which goes to the support of the clergyman, is a charge upon the entire produce of the parish, and, subject to State supervision and control, the ecclesiastical property of the parish belongs to the parishioners. But now suppose that, with the consent of Parliament, the parishioners in vestry assembled should agree to apply their parish ecclesiastical property to other parish uses, preserving inviolate, of course, all existing life-interests. Who would be entitled to complain that he had been robbed? Recollect that the question now is not a question of the extinction of property, but of its application to other purposes, for the benefit of the same parties. Well, but the Irish Church is but the organised aggregate of Irish parishioners. In other words, the property which is said to belong to the Church is that portion of the property of the whole Irish people which the civil power, acting on their behalf, has hitherto applied to the spiritual instruction of that people in a particular faith. But if the civil power, otherwise the Legislature, should resolve that the property can be more wisely, more impartially, and more beneficially employed for the advantage of the Irish people, by a totally different mode of applying it, no portion of the community would have just ground of complaint that their property is being wrung from them by confiscation. Looking, then, at the undeniable historical fact, that the Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland did not derive her revenues from the original donors—looking at the fact that she never existed except as a State institution, and never had a farthing of property except by the will of the State—looking at the fact that the object of that property has always been, or is supposed to be, the benefit of the people at large—I contend that a re-appropriation of that property to purposes in which, not a small minority only, but the whole nation is interested, so far from being confiscation, would be but a tardy return to the policy of justice.

But I shall perhaps be told that it is impossible to deal as I propose with the temporalities of the Irish Church without exposing those of the Church of England to danger; and that even if in all respects the one Church does not fulfil the functions of a national institution, it must be religiously preserved to shield the other from the operation of a bad precedent. Sir, I ask whether this objection is founded in fact? Do the two Churches really rest upon the same, or even a similar basis? Why, Sir, our Irish Ecclesiastical Establishment is condemned by almost every one of those arguments by which the Establishment in England is usually justified. It is not the Church of the majority. It is not the instructress of the poor. It does not live in the affections of the people. It is connected with no glorious historical associations. It has ever been as a sharp thorn in the side of Ireland, irritating and inflaming her whole political and social constitution. Is it, then, meant, that in respect to any of these characteristics, the cases of the two Churches are at all similar? And if not, why attempt to confound that which is obviously exceptional with that which is, according to your own theory, normal? You made this mistake for many a long year with regard to the Church of England in Canada, and whilst that mistake prevailed Canada was never quiet, prosperous, nor happy. You kept watch over the Clergy Reserves, because you were told that to surrender them would strike at the very principle of Church Establishments. But, as a matter of fact, are the endowments of the Church of England one whit the less secure, because you have seen fit to give up the Clergy Reserves in Canada? Oh, if Ireland had but been 3.000 miles away, how differently would her case appear at this moment! But, I ask again, is it wise thus to identify the rights and interests of the two Churches? Is it prudent in regard to Ireland? For what is it you tell her but this—that she must be content to submit to a galling anomaly and injustice, not for her own ultimate advantage, but for the security of an English institution? What stronger argument than that could be put forward for the repeal of the Union? Is it prudent in regard to England? No powers of this House can conceal from unsophisticated minds the fact that the Irish Church is an enormous social wrong. Well, you have "but to familiarise the minds of the people of this country with the assertion that it embodies the same principle and policy as the English Church, to involve the latter in the same condemnation with the former. The Church Establishment of this country, Sir, will stand as long as it is sustained by public opinion. But public opinion will be all the less likely to shield it from attack, if it is associated with an institution which nobody can justify.

Lastly, my proposal will, no doubt, be denounced as calculated to inflict upon Protestantism in Ireland "a heavy blow and sore discouragement." Sir, in my conscience, I do not believe it. But, Sir, I draw a wide distinction between Protestantism as a spiritual principle, and Protestantism as a political institution. This House may rest assured that the strength of Protestantism does not reside in wealth unjustly obtained, nor in State favour improperly bestowed upon it. I assert that your policy has weakened Protestantism in Ireland, by placing it in a false position. You have sent her upon a mission of love, in a garb which does not belong to her— a garb of exclusiveness, insolence, and enmity. If she is not heeded, the fault is yours, not hers. You have done your best—unconsciously, of course—to render her odious to the population; and your mistaken policy has hut too well succeeded. Sir, I have faith in her principles—I have faith in her clergy—I have faith in her members—but I have no faith in your preposterous arrangements on her behalf. Hitherto those arrangements have resulted in nothing but failure; and it appears to me that Protestantism in Ireland has infinite reason to pray that above and beyond all things she may be "saved from the folly of her own friends."

And now, Sir, although I am conscious of having trespassed upon the patience of the House at too great length, I feel myself bound to present a rough sketch of the plan by which I conceive the principle of impartial disendowment might be reduced to practice. The House will allow me, I hope, for the sake of showing the entire extent of that plan, to suppose that I am free to deal with all existing State Endowments of religion in Ireland. I am aware that such is not the case at the present moment, the abolition of Ministers' Money having been negatived by a vote of the House during the present Session, and the Maynooth Endowment having been taken out of my hands by the Bill of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire. Still, for the sake of unity, I will assume that I have to make provision for carrying into effect the policy of disendowment in all the directions in which Parliament can now apply it.

Well, Sir, I would suggest, with a view to this, the constitution of a special Court—for a limited term—analogous to the present Encumbered Estates Court, and having at once the powers of an executive Commission, and also of a Court of Equity. I would vest in that court the fee simple, if I may so call it, of all State Ecclesiastical Endowments in Ireland. It would take possession at once of the fund standing in the name of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in Ireland, and to it would he annually paid the sum charged upon the Consolidated Fund for the endowment of Maynooth College, and the grants voted by this House for Belfast Professors and Nonconforming Ministers. But in the case of the endowments and property of the Protestant Episcopal Church, with the exception I have already named, it would come into possession only upon the decease of each existing beneficiary. The first claimants upon the funds thus accruing would be those clergymen who, in case of the abolition of Ministers' Money, the repeal of the Maynooth Endowment Act, and the discontinuance of the Regium Donum, are entitled to receive whatever they now receive from the State during the remainder of life. This list, of course, would be gradually cleared off by the death of the recipients. The second class of claimants would be the private patrons of livings, who have a right to expect full compensation for the somewhat anomalous, but yet legally recognised, property which State policy would extinguish. They, however, do not number in Ireland above 300 altogether. The third class of claimants would be Protestant congregations, who have voluntarily expended their own money in the improvement of the Church property of their respective parishes. I suggest that the Court should act as a Court of Equity in determining the validity and amount of such claims, subject to appeal, if it be wished, to a superior tribunal, and that it should be authorised to pay over, to individual claimants, or to trustees on behalf of Protestant congregations, such compensation as may be legally awarded. The property left in the hands of the Court for the benefit of the Irish public would comprise church edifices, glebe houses, lands, rents, rent-charges, &c. With respect to sacred edifices, I think, perhaps, the most satisfactory arrangement would be to leave Protestant Episcopalian congregations in undisturbed possession of them; and in respect of lands and glebes, the Court would have the power of sale. The rent-charges would constitute the main difficulty; because, if left in their present shape, it would be necessary to maintain an extensive and costly machinery for their collection. I would suggest that power be given to the landowners to redeem them at—say ten or twelve years' purchase.

Well, Sir, the whole of the net property thus accruing to the proposed Court, by the falling in of life-interests, ought, I think, in common fairness, to be expended in Ireland. I suggest that this property should be made available, in the first place, to the founding and supporting of infirmaries, hospitals, lunatic asylums, and reformatories; and that what is not required for these objects should be laid out, under the direction of a Board of Works, in the construction of piers, harbours, light-houses, and quays—in providing arterial drainage, in deepening rivers, and in such other public undertakings as would best develop the great natural resources of the country.

Sir, having thus submitted a rude outline of the plan which I should recommend as the fittest for carrying the policy of impartial disendowment into effect, I am most anxious that the House should understand that I do not ask the House to pronounce any opinion on that plan, by the vote which it will give to-night. But it would hardly be candid to conceal from the House the resolutions I should propose in Committee, if the House should consent to resolve itself into one. I have no need to include the question of Maynooth—a Bill on that subject being already before the House. I cannot, in accordance with the forms of the House, embrace the abolition of Ministers' Money—that matter having been decided by an adverse vote of the House this Session. The three Resolutions I should propose would be the following:— 1. That it is expedient to make provision for the application to other than ecclesiastical uses, of all sites, glebes, tithes, rent-charges, and estates, at present enjoyed or received by any clerical person of the Protestant Episcopal Communion in Ireland, for the support of Divine worship according to the rites of the said communion—but so as not to affect in any manner existing life-interests, and to pay due regard to any equitable claims which may arise out of the secularisation of such property. 2. That it is expedient to exclude from the estimates annually presented to this House on account of the grant commonly called the Regium Donum, all sums on account of new congregations—and also to reduce the said grant, and the grant now annually made for the professorships of the Belfast College, according as the lives fall in of any persons at present in the receipt of any monies out of either of such grants. 3. That the Chairman ask leave to bring in a Bill to carry these resolutions into effect. And now, Sir, my whole proposition is before the House. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for having been permitted to make it, and for the patience and kind indulgence with which I have been listened to. I will not further abuse that patience by making any appeal. What I ask for is, in one word, justice— justice to a people whose long endurance of wrong entitles them to this reparation. And I venture to add the expression of my belief, that in doing justice to Ireland, you will at the same time gain the respect and subserve the best interests of the people of England. Sir, I move the Resolution I have placed in your hands.

Motion made, and Question put— That this House do resolve itself into a Committee, to consider the Temporalities of the Irish Church, and other pecuniary provisions made by Law for Religious Teaching and Worship in Ireland.


said, that he had hesitated to present himself to the House in the hope that some hon. Member connected with the Established Church in Ireland would have replied to the speech of the hon. Member for Rochdale. That Church, no doubt, would find abler defenders among hon. Gentlemen opposite than he could be; but as the Church to which he belonged had been attacked by a side wind, he wished to say a few words on the present occasion. As regarded the Established Church in Ireland, he would content himself by simply observing that she was established on a basis from which she would not easily be overthrown. Her vast revenues might, no doubt, be more evenly distributed and more wisely applied; but that was a matter of internal regulation with which, he had nothing to do. As to the Regium Donum, he could not but feel that the facts which he was about to state to the House fully justified him in opposing the Motion of the hon. Gentleman. This sum of £40,000 a year was a grant to the Presbyterians in Ireland in lieu of tithes of which they had been dispossessed—in fact, it ought rather to be considered in the light of a restitution, than of a grant. There was no doubt that the money thus bestowed was well applied, for it was applied to the maintenance of ministers who were labouring amongst the poorest, and, at the same time, the most orderly, industrious, and peaceful subjects of the Crown. It was said that the Presbyterians in the north of Ireland were rich. This was not so. It was true that Belfast was a flourishing town; but even there it was a proverb that when a Presbyterian became rich and set up his carriage, he drove not to the meeting-house or chapel, but to the Established Church. In fact, the Presbyterians were by no means rich, and stood in great need of this grant. So far, therefore, from admitting that the grant should either be reduced or taken away, he would say that by so doing they would deprive themselves of machinery most valuable to the empire. By voluntary exertions chapels were built, manses were erected, and missionaries were supported; but this could not be done if the grant was discontinued. It certainly was much better to pay this sum of £40,000 for the prevention, than paying double that sum for the repression and punishment of crime. £5,000,000 a year were remitted from Ireland to absentee landlords in England, who were consuming exciseable articles here. These gentlemen spent here the money which they drew from poor Ireland—a state of things which was the natural result of the Union. £275,000,000 of Irish money had been spent here since the Union. He had at one time thought the late Mr. O'Connell was dishonest in advocating repeal, but he now believed that O'Connell was far nearer being right than he had supposed him to be. Let the English pay their own local taxation—let Ireland pay hers, and see who would be the gainers. He believed this grant of £40,000 a year was well spent among the Presbyterian clergy. The Presbyterians of Ireland maintained their missionaries and Scripture-readers, built and supported chapels, erected manses and purchased the sites for them, and paid the rent for the lands around them; but whilst they did this there were a number of congregations constantly springing up in various parts of the country, and they were obliged to pay annually considerable sums for the maintenance of their ministers while these congregations were in course of formation. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland was altogether in a different position from that of the voluntary Churches of this country. According to the rules of the Presbyterian Church, every minister must not merely preach and perform Divine service twice on the Sunday, but visit from house to house on the week days; and his visits were not confined to the houses of his stated hearers, but extended to every person who was willing to receive them. Those alone who were aware of the working of such a system as this could fully appreciate its valuable effects upon the religious and moral tone of society. They built their chapels, then, and kept and maintained them free. But how did voluntaryism proceed here? Generally the chapel was built as a matter of pecuniary speculation. The chapel being built, the next thing was to let the seats at a rent, out of which the minister received his stipend, and if there were any balance, which was seldom or never the case, it was applied, with the collections made at periodical intervals, among the congregation, in defraying the cost of public worship, the payment of interest so long as a debt remained on the building, and to meet what was, in short, generally known as the "incidental expenses." Of the two systems judged by the results, and the standard of morality existing in the two countries, as tested by the criminal statistics of both, there could be no doubt that the voluntary system in England was vastly inferior to the Presbyterian system in Ireland. It was true, agrarian outrage existed in Ireland, and not here; but what was needed to produce a better state of things in Ireland, than at present existed, was not so much the change proposed by the hon. Member for Rochdale as the settlement of the relations between landlord and tenant on a footing suitable to the country. He would tell the hon. Member for Rochdale and his friends there to begin their reforms at home, among their own people, before they showed such anxiety to carry the reformation to India, China, and Ireland. There was a fearful depravity in this country, and the fatal evils of the system of betting had arisen to a terrific height. He, therefore, upon those grounds, felt that it would be far better for English Members to turn their attention to their own country, and try to elevate its social and religious condition, rather than to be continually intermeddling in Ireland. Let Englishmen reform themselves, and then reform Ireland.


, as an instance of what voluntaryism did in Scotland, would refer to the Free Kirk, which, in 1855, raised no less a sum than £307,653 by voluntary contributions. Then, again, compare the United Presbyterian Church in Scotland with the Presbyterian Church of Ireland. The Presbyterian congregations in Ireland amounted to 518, which in one year had raised only £21,471, while the 504 Presbyterian churches in Scotland had raised, in the course of one year—1853, to which year the last return applied—£156,000, by voluntary contributions. This showed what a people, though poor, could do when left to themselves in support of the Church and its ministers, and how State aid chilled and repressed charity. True, the people of Ireland were poor; but so, in many districts, were the people of Scotland, who, however felt it to be a duty to support their own clergy. The fact was, that wherever religion had most spread it had been owing to voluntary exertions. If ministers of the Church of England sent missionaries abroad they adopted the voluntary principle, and he believed that if the Presbyterian Church in Ireland were to give up these endowments, and depend on their own exertions, it would, in the end, be better for them. He hoped the House would give its support to the proposal of his hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale.


Sir, it was with deep regret that I listened to the speech of the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Miall), for it was with pain I found that the Roman Catholic Members had persuaded a Protestant to make an attack on the property of the Church. It is more seemly, at all events, that Members of the Roman Catholic persuasion, after the engagements they contracted by oath on their admission to this House should, when Motions are brought forward calculated to destroy the. Established Church, encourage a Protestant to make the attack, rather than violate all decency by doing so themselves. I hope they will at least adhere to the silence they have hitherto (with the exception of three) observed; and that they will leave their case to the championship of such nominally Protestant Members as may be found to support it. Sir, I was struck with the course of the argument which the hon. Member adopted. He said he was stimulated to this attack upon the Irish Church by the fact that the House had consented to the abolition of the Maynooth grant. It appears that this movement has alarmed him. He fears this success of Protestantism. It is painful to him that the Church of Ireland should continue to diffuse her benefits in that country, while the Roman Catholic establishment at Maynooth is no longer to be enabled to provide more priests than Parliament ever imagined would be necessary for the population of that country at the time the grant was sanctioned. It is painful to him that Maynooth should not continue to provide, not that number of priests which Parliament originally contemplated, but one-third more. And this earnest Protestant has now adopted, as a substantive Motion, that old-fashioned Amendment which those who defended the College of Maynooth always moved on the Motion for the discontinuance of the annual grant, but which the House never allowed to be imposed upon it, in order to divert its attention from that object. The hon. Member, actuated by his fears for Protestant success, has now determined that as Protestantism has advanced in that House, he will, if possible, import some element of disunion which may defeat those who object to the Maynooth grant by diverting public attention from it, so as to save the College from the fate that hangs over it. Sir, there are some Nonconformists whose Protestantism I cannot understand. They are resolved that either all religions shall be endowed or that all shall be disendowed; and the hon. Member would apparently, consider it just that Nonconformists should be endowed by the State. For the scheme proposed by the hon. Gentleman at the end of his speech, provided that a portion of the funds to be taken from the Church of Ireland should be devoted to the construction of Nonconformist schools or churches. [Mr. MIALL: I never entertained such an idea.] Then the hon. Member is so far consistent. But he certainly urged that the Church of Ireland should be disendowed unless all other sects were endowed. And I hope the House will mark with reprobation this attempt to disendow the Church of Ireland at the very time when, as the hon. Member himself acknowledges, that country is in a state of quietude and improvement. The hon. Member could not deny the fact that the efforts of the Protestant missionaries and the exertions of the clergy of the Irish Church are being crowned with success—that in large districts in Ireland the Protestant faith is disseminated ["Oh, oh!"] It is no use to deny it; I boldly state it as a fact, that not only has there taken place a great diminution of the number of Roman Catholics in Ireland from the effects of famine, fever, and emigration, but a simultaneous increase in the numbers of the Protestants is occurring. This is shown by the report of the Church Missionary Society. At the same time we hear from the United States great lamentations of the decrease of Catholicism among the Irish who emigrate there, corresponding with its diminution at home. And this is the time selected by a Protestant Member for a Motion to disendow the Protestant Church, covering his assault under the shallow profession of a belief, that the disendowment he proposes will not at all impede the usefulness of the Church; this at the very time, too, that he is labouring to the utmost to deprive the sister Church of England of the means of support for the fabrics of her sacred edifices. Sir, there is a certain section of Protestant Dissenters whom I never see act on such occasions as the present, except in concert with the Church of Rome. We have this evening a remarkable instance of this, when we see a Protestant dissenter labouring for the destruction of the Church of Ireland, which is the object of the Roman Catholics. And it was so in the reign of Elizabeth. I have a little book published by the Protestant Association, which I have long preserved on account of the value of the references it contains, and which shows this was so. It is entitled The Jesuits by Mr. Dalton. It gives an account of the proceedings of that remarkable body—one of the most powerful organisations the world ever saw—at no time more active than now. Dominant at Rome, triumphant in many Roman Catholic countries, established in Austria to the surprise and consternation of all who prize religious freedom, even in the modified form in which any Roman Catholic nation is capable of it—this little work gives an account of the machinations of this body in the reign of Elizabeth. The author said that, in Elizabeth's time, when Parsons and Campion came to this country, "they changed their habits and apparel in order that they might reman unknown." He next quoted from Richard Baxter, who said that the Jesuits "crept into all societies and acted all parts." After quoting various other authentic words to the same effect, the author writes— That there were disguised Jesuits in the time of Elizabeth who pretended to be Protestant ministers, and who excited Churchmen against Dissenters, and Dissenters against Churchmen, and there could be little doubt that in our own times the same work had been carried on by Jesuits in the reign of Victoria. The author concludes his chapter with an anecdote to the following effect:— A Dominican friar, of the name of John Commine, preached against the Pope and railed against Popery in the Church of England. John Clarkson and his wife deposed that Commine was not a true Protestant, but a false impostor, and a sower of sedition amongst Her Majesty's subjects. He was examined before the Council, when he said that he was a preacher of the Gospel, and that he only wished to make the Church of England more pure. He escaped from England and went to Rome, where he was first imprisoned for having reviled the Pope. He was taken before the Pope, when he stated that he bad been actuated by a very different motive from that which was supposed. He said, 'Your Highness will think that I have done you a most considerable service, notwithstanding that I have reviled you.' 'How, in the name of Jesus, Mary, and all the Saints?' inquired the Pope. The reply was, 'I preached against set forms of prayer, and called the English Prayer the English mass, and thus it was made distasteful to the people.' Upon hearing which the Pope richly rewarded him. Let the House mark the parallel here presented to what is now occurring. The hon. Member (Mr. Miall) has often distinguished himself by his denunciations of the Church of England and her ordinances [Mr. MIALL: No, no.] Now the hon. Member doubtless desired to be deemed a good friend of the Church of England, in advising her to desert and separate herself from the Church of Ireland, yet every Motion directed against the Church of England has the hon. Member's most earnest support. Sir, the Church of England may well beware of advice offered to her by such friends. Let her adhere to her sister Church, which is now extending her sphere of usefulness, and for that very reason is subjected to these attacks. Sir, it will be long before the conduct of the clergy of that Church during the famine is forgotten in Ireland. The people of England remember that conduct with pride, and although the Government as yet are silent, I cannot believe that they so misinterpret the feelings of the great body of the people as to think that it will be in accordance with their wishes to abandon to the attacks of her enemies a Church which has conferred such benefits on Ireland. Sir, I hope the House will mark their sense of the Motion of the hon. Member, who is here the advocate of the Roman Catholic views. Disguise it as he may, he here represents those views. It was not necessary for me to observe the quarter from which the cheers that greeted him chiefly came; my experience in this House leaves me no room to doubt the true character of this Motion, and I hope the House will reject and resist this Roman Catholic attack upon the Church of Ireland.


* Sir, as the principle involved in the Motion of the hon. Member for Rochdale has come before the House in various forms during the four years that I have had the honour of having had a seat therein, and as it has been my lot to have taken part in it on more than one occasion, and as the hon. Member himself, in the masterly speech you have just heard, has so completely exhausted the subject, I should not now have troubled the House with the very few observations that I intend to make relative thereto, if the question did not now appear to stand in a totally different light from that in which it did before the division on the Motion of the hon. Member for Warwickshire. I would now ask the hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench, and others on this side of the House, who have so long endeavoured to parry or to fence with this question, what single argument now remains in favour of the existing state of religious endowments? One by one, as the hon. Member for Rochdale has shown you, have the defences of the present Ecclesiastical system in Ireland been carried. Year after year, Session after Session, Parliament after Parliament, I might almost say generation after generation, have the reasons that were so long urged with great plausibility, and which for a time found some degree of favour even with the reflecting and sensible portion of the public, either been utterly refuted, or been shown to be quite inapplicable to the existing system of Government, or to the existing state of religious opinion. There was a time when even liberal and enlightened men thought that there was something in the Roman Catholic religion, and more especially in the religion, of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, that rendered it necessary that its adherents should be treated in a different manner from that in which others who differed from themselves in religious opinion should be treated,—when liberal and enlightened men, who would place every denomination of religious dissenters, every sect of Anabaptists, Independents, Socinians, Arians, or Unitarians, on a perfect equality as regarded all political, religious, and even ecclesiastical advantages, thought nevertheless they were doing God a service by endeavouring to exterminate the Irish Papist by a slow persecution. Yet, withal, the Roman Catholics continued to gain strength in Ireland like the Israelites in the land of Egypt. After that came a long denial of civil and political privileges. These times have likewise passed away. Still it was thought the duty of the English Government to maintain, in the midst of this Roman Catholic multitude, one pure Catholic Apostolic and reformed Church, with four Archbishops and sixteen Bishops, and a goodly staff of other dignitaries, with a parochial clergy paid by the produce immediately taken from the fields of the poorest cottier peasantry in the world, to the great majority of whom this Church was an abomination, under the alleged hope that it would, in time, bring within its pale the great bulk of the inhabitants of the country in which it was planted. Well, Sir, this hope again was disappointed. The proportion of Roman Catholics to Protestants continued to increase till the absurdity, I may say the iniquity, of such an institution, in the name of religion, became more apparent than before. Still, for a time, the Protestant Archbishops and Bishops were defended as the divinely instituted successors of the Apostles, whose offices could not be abrogated without sacrilege. Well, at last this abuse became too great even for the feeling of Protestant England, and a partial modification was introduced in the year 1833. But still it was said that a State must ally itself with one form of Christianity—that it could offer support and encouragement to no other—that as England was a Protestant country it could support no other but a Protestant Church in Ireland. Well, Sir, after public opinion compelled the granting of salaries to Roman Catholic chaplains in workhouses and gaols, and Roman Catholic chaplains in the army, it was evident that this argument was no longer applicable to the state of the times. Again there were many people who, while they admitted that no abstract ground of argument could justify the assigning the whole of the Ecclesiastical revenues in Ireland to the Church of a tenth part of the population, yet they thought that, as conscientious Protestants, they were bound to support any institution, however strange and anamolous it might seem, which would have the effect of extending and propagating the form of Christianity which they believed to be true. Sir, if experience had shown that the effects which such persons had expected from the Protestant Church Establishment had actually taken place, I could very well fancy their supporting it, on conscientious and religious principles. But have not all anticipations of this nature signally failed? And is there any reason to believe that they are more likely to be realised in future times than they have been in times gone by. Is not the religious opinion of mankind every day paying less deference to the authority of establishments than it did? I could fancy, indeed, a conscientious Protestant supporting a Church on these principles in the time of Queen Elizabeth, when the clergy were perhaps almost the only individuals in the remote districts who could either read or write—when it was not supposed that the common people were capable of thinking for themselves on religious matters, or of adopting any religious opinions save such as they heard from the state clergy—when it could have scarcely entered the heads of our rulers to conceive that poor people could support any minister save the one who was paid by the State. But, Sir, if the Church of England in the sixteenth century failed to bring men within its fold with all these advantages, can it be supposed that it will succeed better in the nineteenth century, when the most vital religion is found in connection with voluntaryism, and when many people have begun to regard establishments as old and effete institutions adapted only to times gone by. Let gentlemen who, in their zeal for Protestantism, would still maintain the Protestant Church Establishment in Ireland, recollect that, in the opinion of many, the people of Ireland were prevented from embracing the doctrines of the new religion in the sixteenth century principally out of dislike to England. Are they more likely to embrace these doctrines now, when they are offered to them in connection with an establishment, associated in their recollections with English intolerance, English jobbery, and English misrule? I would entreat them also to reflect what sort of people they are likely to bring to their religion by connecting it with such an establishment as the Church of Ireland. The Irish Church establishment makes the Protestant religion the most fashionable, as being connected with the State; it also makes it the cheapest religion, inasmuch as it has funds to provide for its own ministers; it will, therefore, draw within its fold all those who are likely to be swayed by any such motives, in their choice of a religion; it will hold out attractions to all those who are likely to become members of a Church because it is the most fashionable, or because it will save their pockets anything; but it will naturally repel all those who have sufficient regard for their characters as to fear the imputations of such motives,—all those who would wish to be thought above being guided by avarice or fashion in their choice of a religion. Thus this very institution, which so many in their zeal for Protestantism wish to be maintained, seems to be the means for recruiting the Protestant Church with the worshippers of Mammon, or of fashion, but of keeping out of its fold all those who have sufficient self-respect to be desirous to be thought above such an imputation.

Sir, I hear a great deal said in defence of the present Church establishment about the rights of property, and the inalienability of the property of the Church, as of that of any private individual. Sir, the hon. Member for Rochdale has so completely answered this objection, that it would be superfluous in me to attempt to deal with it. I will not, therefore, detain the House by referring to the oft-quoted passage from Mr. Hallam, in which he so distinctly shows the difference between corporate and private property, and the modes in which each may equitably be dealt with; but I would entreat Gentlemen to reflect on the very absurd conclusion to which this doctrine, pushed to its legitimate consequences, will lead. Suppose now that there were no Protestants remaining in Ireland, would not the argument of the inalienability of the property of the church be equally applicable? would a due regard to the rights of property still prevent you from applying to any national, religious, or charitable purpose, all the revenues which nearly three centuries ago were assigned to the support of so many Protestant Bishops and Archbishops? Does not the very supposition of such a case at once show the absurdity of such an argument? Well, then, if the argument is absurd in such a case, where will you draw the line? Would you, out of mere regard to the right of property, maintain the establishment for the sake of only one Protestant,—for the sake of two, or of ten? I am sure you will say no.

Will you then maintain in a country where there is one Protestant to every 100 of other religions? I cannot help thinking you will still say no. Will you maintain it for one Protestant in ten inhabitants? Why, such is the establishment which it is alleged should be maintained out of due regard to the rights of property. I hear it said, indeed, that glaring and absurd as is the disproportion between the number of Church of England Protestants and the total population of Ireland, yet that the present revenues of the Church are not more than sufficient for supplying the spiritual wants of the former. Now, Sir, I must say that ecclesiastical sufficiency has always appeared to me a very indefinite quantity, capable of great expansion or contraction, according to the peculiar circumstances and the political convenience of parties,—something like what for many years we used to hear about the paying price of corn. How many different figures have been assigned as the paying price of wheat? For a long time the people were told that 80s. per quarter was the lowest price at which wheat could be grown in this country; then 64s.; then 56s.; then 53s., the price that was to have been guaranteed under the eight shilling fixed duty; all of which were said to have been calculated with the nicest agricultural and mathematical accuracy. Yet now it is found that wheat still continues to grow without the guarantee of any Parliamentary price. Are the hon. Gentlemen quite sure that their estimates of Ecclesiastical sufficiency are grounded upon any better calculation? Are they certain that their fears of Ireland becoming a moral desert, without the present Church Establishment, are better grounded than were the apprehensions of some that, without a sliding scale or fixed duty, the whole of England would become a desert pasture? If the argument about the inalienability of Church revenues means anything, it means that the Church revenues are the property of the people designed for their religious instruction, and to me at least it seems a strange misappropriation of such property, allotting them to the supposed benefit of a small number of the community, the best able to provide religious instruction for themselves.

Sir, the hon. Member who has preceded me (Mr. Newdegate) has referred to the zeal and charity exhibited by the clergy of the Established Church during the famine of 1846 and 1847, as a reason for maintaining the existing establishment. I for one bear my most willing testimony to the zeal and charity of the body to which he has referred; but does not the hon. Member see that this argument may cut both ways, for the Roman Catholic clergy were fully as zealous and charitable as the Protestant clergy, and there was this difference between their charities and those of others—the Roman Catholic clergy were entirely dependent for support on the voluntary contributions of a people, most of whom were at the best of times very poor; so in a year, when their poor supporters were starving, many of them must have had no income at all, and yet their little nothing, if I may so say, they gave away in charity. Nil habuit Codrus, quis enim negat, et tamen illud Perdidit infélix totum nihil. Their charities, indeed, might be said to exceed those of all others, as much as the two mites cast in by the poor widow exceeded the offerings contributed by the rich men out of their abundance. Again, the hon. Member has asserted as a further reason for the maintenance of the establishment, that a large majority of the Irish who emigrated to America became Protestants after a short sojourn there. I do not know whether such is the case or not but if it is it forms one of the strongest reasons I have heard why every Protestant should support the Motion of the hon. Member for Rochdale, for it went to prove that the Irish would not embrace Protestantism when offered to them in connection with the Established Church of Ireland but were brought over to it when it was strengthened by the vitality of voluntaryism. On this very ground I must claim the vote of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, as an ardent supporter of Protestantism.

Before I sit down I would entreat the present occupants of the Treasury bench to reflect how much their own character as statesmen depends upon the course which they pursue, with respect to this question. Has not the course pursued by them hitherto with respect to it given too much reason to their enemies to say that their conduct has been regulated entirely with a view to their own party advancement, that they admitted the abuse and professed their anxiety to deal with it as long as that seemed the most likely course to gain power or popularity, but abandoned it the instant it ceased to be useful for such purposes. So strong did they profess their feelings on the subject to be in 1834 that they then submitted to the loss of several of their ablest colleagues in consequence. So strong did they still continue to feel on it that, in the April of the following year, 1835, they framed a series of abstract Resolutions respecting it, which were the means of displacing a Ministry. In 1844, just before the conclusion of Mr. O'Connell's trial, they framed a Motion on the state of Ireland, in which all the leaders of the party, several of whom are still in the Cabinet, expressed an opinion to the effect that the continued existence of such an anomaly was in itself almost enough to justify the agitation for a repeal of the Union. And in 1846 they were not ashamed to join a Protectionist Opposition for the sake of turning out a Ministry, because it had not tried measures of conciliation or justice, as they then said they ought to be called, before introducing any measure of coercion. Since that time the party now in power have introduced several coercion Bills, but what single one of the then anticipated measures of justice or conciliation have they since introduced? They have introduced some unpopular measures, but none that could in any way claim to be popular. Sir, those that had the honour of a seat in this House during the Ministry of Sir Robert Peel must recollect having heard, as I well recollect having read, the magnificent philippics of Mr. Macaulay directed against the Government of the day, in which he so frequently and unsparingly applied the term "deep degradation," to their conduct in dealing with several questions in a more liberal spirit than might formerly have been expected by either their friends or by their opponents. May not the same term be applied to those who the instant they get into power abandon all those opinions, by the possession of which they attained their places. Deep degradation, indeed! When did they, to whom you were so glad to apply this expression, ever try to excite unreasonable hopes or expectations on the part of the people, and abandon all their promises the instant the people placed them in power? Twice, indeed, had they lost power by advancing in the popular cause; but never did they seek to retain power by abandoning popular measures. I remember, shortly after I was elected a Member of this House, but before I had taken my seat in it, a friend of mine saying to me that I should get sick of any Whiggish tendencies I might hen have, as I should find the promises of the Whigs, who were then out of office, like the vows of sinners in a storm at sea, who are described by Lord Byron as making vows of repentance and amendment— ——which, keep they won't, For if they're drown'd, they can't; if saved, they don't. Such, alas, were the promises of the Whigs; if they were kept out of power, they could not perform them; if restored to power, they did not.

I heard it said, indeed, by the noble Lord the Member for London, whom I am sorry not to see in his place, that the arrogant tone assumed lately by the Roman Catholic clergy prevented him attempting to deal with the question as he once tried to do. The arrogant tone, indeed! Will anybody who is acquainted with the state of Ireland say that the tone of the Roman Catholic clergy, or the other popular readers, is anything like as strong now as was at the time that the party now in power thought it necessary to deal with the Church question—as it was, for instance, twenty-two years ago, at the time of the tithe agitation, or as it was twelve years ago, at the time of the agitation for the repeal of the Union? Anybody mixed up in the politics of the country, during all that period, cannot have failed to have observed a marked difference between their present and their former tone, a difference that might well justify a Government in yielding to reason now what they might then have refused to have had extorted from them by violence. But even if the case had been such as the noble Lord described, if their expressions had been more unmeasured, if their general conduct had been more arrogant than formerly, are the noble Lords and the right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury bench so little embued with statesmen-like qualities as not to know that the surest way to destroy the power of the popular leaders is to take away all just cause of discontent from the people? How often used the late Mr. O'Connell to say, "If you wish to reduce me to a mere nonentity, do perfect justice to Ireland"? I say now, if you think the power of the priests, as popular leaders, too great, deal resolutely with what you have so often declared, and what, I believe, every thinking man in Europe declares to be an unparalleled abuse. When you were restored to power in 1846, and, indeed, for some years after, you might have thought that the physical wants of the people, and the social state to which Ireland was reduced by the famine, demanded all your attention. This state of things has happily passed away. Again, for the last three years you might have thought the war demanded all your attention. This, too, has come to an end. For a time, indeed, you might have maintained that the Maynooth Grant had set the question at rest—that as long as it lasted the existing state of ecclesiastical endowments in Ireland might be regarded as a compromise, justified by a regard to old institutions and existing prejudices. Well, it is evident that the time for any such compromise is now gone by. For whatever obstacles you may throw in the way of the Motion of the hon. Member for Warwickshire, depend upon it you cannot long continue to maintain Maynooth in opposition to the expressly declared opinions of the people of England and the people of Scotland. Nor will they admit of any other compromise, such as endowing the Roman Catholic Church out of the Consolidated Fund. If you think that the same opinion will also prevent you dealing in a spirit of fairness with this question, let me remind you of the words of the noble Lord the Member for London, in his resigning speech in 1841, that if the consequence of his pursuing the course he thought to be right were loss of power, then "welcome the consequences." These words were well, in every way, worthy of a British statesman and a Liberal. Would that he and his party had acted up to them. But I call upon you to act up to them now. If you approve of the Motion of the hon. Member for Rochdale, but fear that by supporting it you may lose power, support it as your conscience directs, and say, "welcome the consequences."


said, that if he had refrained from rising to address the House immediately after the hon. Gentleman the Member for Rochdale had made his Motion, it was not because he was not ready to join issue with that hon. Member, but because he thought, when a proposition such as that made by the hon. Member, affecting the Established Church, was submitted to the House, it was the duty of the Secretary for Ireland to have taken the initiative, and to have expressed the opinion of the Government on the subject. The Member for Rochdale proposed to deal with one of the great institutions of the empire. He proposed that the property of the Church in Ireland should be sold; that the property realised, after paying the present incumbents, should be applied in building hospitals, lunatic asylums, reformatory schools, and in deepening rivers, erecting lighthouses, and other objects of public utility; and this proposition the hon. Member declared was not to be considered an act of confiscation. He (Mr. Hamilton) certainly thought that it was the proper function of the Secretary for Ireland to answer such a proposition as that. He had always considered that it was the duty of the Executive Government in the House of Commons to take the initiative when it was proposed to deal with any of the great institutions of the country; and he did not feel it incumbent upon him to relieve Her Majesty's Government of that part of their duties. The hon. Member for Rochdale had made a very able speech, and with the exception of the proposition itself, there was nothing in it that was calculated to excite any angry feeling. But with respect to the proposition itself, he must at once join issue with the hon. Member, and at the same time express his surprise that such arguments as he had used should have proceeded from the hon. Member. He (Mr. Miall) stood prominently forward as the representative in that house of the Voluntary system, and yet he had advocated that which he called indiscriminate endowment. [Mr. MIALL: No.] He had understood the hon. Member to have argued that the equity of the case required what he called indiscriminate endowment—that all sects ought to be endowed—and that Sir Robert Peel, as a consequence of the Maynooth endowment, had contemplated the endowment of the Roman Catholic Church, which in equity ought to have been endowed, but that he was prevented from doing so by the feeling in England.


begged to explain. He had argued that the indiscriminate endowment of all sects was the mode which Parliament had preferred, in order to deal with the principle equitably, but that he himself objected to the expediency of that course, although he admitted the justice of it.


would not, of course, press the argument farther, as the hon. Member disclaimed it. He had always thought that the principle of endowments rested upon higher grounds than those which the hon. Member had adverted to in arguing against it. He (Mr. Hamilton) considered that it was the duty of a Christian State to acknowledge some definite system of religious truth, as a homage to religion, and as a means of teaching and circulating religious truth. That appeared to him to be the principle upon which endowments rest. It was not a question of expediency or policy, but it was in accordance with a great Christian duty, which a Christian State was bound to perform; and that duty, under the British constitution, required the endowment of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and, in accordance with that principle, he had always resisted the endowment of two systems of religions which were inconsistent with each other. He could understand the argument that there ought to be no endowment, but the principle of indiscriminate endowment, encouraging at the same time truth and error, was what he could not understand. The hon. Member had remarked upon his having called upon the clerk to read the fifth Article of the Union at the table, and he had argued that the Article had no reference to the temporalities of the Church; but if the hon. Member had read the words attentively, or had referred to the highest authorities on the subject, he must have arrived at a different result. Lord Castlereagh, speaking at the very time of the Union, states— One State, one Legislature, one Church, these are the leading features of the system; and without identity with Great Britain on these three great points of connection, we can never hope for any real or permanent security. The Church, in particular, while we remain a separate country, will ever be liable to be impeached on local grounds. When it shall once be completely incorporated with the Church of England, it will be placed on such a strong and natural foundation that it will be above every apprehension and fear from abuse, interest, and from all the fretting and irritating circumstances connected with our colonial situation. As soon as the Church Establishment of the two kingdoms shall be incorporated into one Church, the Protestant will feel himself at once identified with the population and property of the Empire, and the Establishment will be placed on its natural basis. Such was the authority of Lord Castlereagh when speaking at the time on the subject of the Union. He would quote another authority as regarded the proper construction of the Article, which could not, he thought, be questioned. Lord Ellenborough, when Chief Justice of England, in 1805, when commenting upon the Fifth Article of Union, made the following statement:— By the fifth Article of Union it is declared, that the continuance and preservation of the United Church, as the Established Church of England and Ireland, shall be deemed and taken to be an essential and fundamental part of the Union. By fundamental is meant, with reference to the subject matter, such an integral part of the compact and Union formed between the two kingdoms as is absolutely necessary to the support and sustaining of the whole fabric and superstructure of Union raised and built thereupon, and such as being removed, would produce the ruin and overthrow of the political Union founded upon this Article as its immediate basis. The words 'the Established Church' import that there shall be only one Church of that description, and which alone shall have the privileges, charter, and denomination of an Established Church annexed to it. These terms necessarily exclude any other co-ordinate and concurrent establishment. Every other Church which has anything beyond what we commonly understand by the word toleration allowed to it, may be considered as so far established within the meaning of this Article; and the Union, of course, in virtue of such allowed establishment, not only to a degree impugned and violated, but, by the express letter of the precise and preremptory provision referred to, absolutely deprived of its very essence and foundation—in other words, substantially destroyed and subverted. He (Mr. Hamilton) did not know how far it might be considered competent for Parliament to deal with that or any other Act of Parliament; but he thought it was impossible to deny that the proposition of the hon. Member for Rochdale would be a complete violation of it. The hon. Member had expressed an opinion that the Church in Ireland had proved a failure. He (Mr. Hamilton) totally denied that assertion. He denied that as an institution it had failed. The hon. Member had admitted the excellence and value of the clergy as individuals but as regards the Church, as an institution, he would quote the opinions of Dr Chalmers—himself not a member of the Church, and possessing many opportunities of seeing and judging for himself Dr. Chalmers declared the maintenance of the Established Church in Ireland to be an object of great national policy—that it was an organ of greater moral and spiritual blessings to the land than could be achieved by any other machinery that it was possible to devise. Dr. Chalmers adds— The truth is, that among the Established Churches of our empire, that in Ireland, in the vital and spiritual sense of the word, is the most prosperous of the three. It was unnecessary to add anything to this testimony, coming from so eminent a man, and he would conclude by expressing his confident belief, that the House of Commons would never consent to a proposition for subverting the Established Church, and calculated to deprive Ireland of the highest religious, political, and social blessings.


said, the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had taken even higher ground in opposing the Motion than the hon. Member for Rochdale; for he held it to be the duty of a Christian State that the teaching of Christianity should be supported and endowed. One must respect such a sentiment; but still the question arose, how was it that no such duty was enjoined by Christianity? how was it Christianity had not prospered since it had been endowed?—how was it that Christianity had given rise to such a diversity of opinions that no one could be endowed without injustice to the rest? And what, then, became of the duty? But the House was not now dealing in the abstract—with the general principle of endowments: the Resolution dealt with a specific case, and contemplated a specific object, The omission of all mention of the temporalities of the Church from the 5th Article of the Act of Union was a remarkable circumstance, and quite coincided with what was known of the principles of many leading statesmen of that day. Lord Castlereagh, who had been quoted as an authority, had unquestionably looked forward to an endowment of the Roman Catholic as well as of the Protestant Church. We were bound to regard what was the real object of the Union. It must also be assumed that the Union was intended for the benefit of the two countries, and if Ireland did not insist upon retaining this portion of her bargain, it did not become the House to compel her to retain it. The case was stronger still if the Irish Church Establishment had benefited neither England nor Ireland. The debate had taken a very rambling form. The hon. Member for Newry (Mr. Kirk), amidst much that was irrelevant, had drawn a very striking picture of a poor Presbyterian trudging to chapel on foot, until more prosperous circumstances enabled him to drive to church in his carriage; but the moral of that picture was, that the patronage and favouritism of the State was the cause of apostacy in religious matters. Surely that could be no recommendation of an establishment as an agency for the promotion of religion or morality. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) had said, he could not comprehend the Protestantism of the hon. Member for Rochdale, and he (Mr. Fox) believed in the hon. Gentleman's inability. The hon. Gentleman's Protestantism was bounded by dogmas and ecclesiastical forms; while the hon. Member for Rochdale regarded Protestantism as a protest against any domination over conscience, the assertion of the right of free inquiry, and the equality of individuals in regard to religion. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire was also as much mistaken in the hon. Gentleman's motives as in his principles—he supposed that the Present Motion was intended to ward off any danger that might be threatened to the Maynooth Grant. The conception which he (Mr. Fox) had formed of it was just the reverse. To his idea, the object of the hon. Gentleman who moved the Resolutions was to strike at that Roman Catholic Endowment; but he could not single out one Church and act differently towards all others. What was wanted, therefore, was a plain, broad and universally applicable principle, and therefore in the present Motion he attacked the evil in its most obnoxious and prominent form. The hon. Member (Mr. Newdegate) had moreover alluded to the number of Roman Catholics who became Protestants after emigration to the United States. He (Mr. Fox) thought that was attributable to the different aspects in which Protestantism appeared to Roman Catholic minds in Ireland and in the United States. The way in which Protestantism exhibited itself in Ireland created hatred and prejudice against it; while in America it produced a feeling in its favour. As to the Motion itself, he would not go into the details. The question resolved itself simply into the disendowment of all the various religious hodies in Ireland; and the question which next presented itself was this—had they a right to deal with what was called the Church property of Ireland, and if they had the right, was it expedient to do so? The right, he thought, had been manifested by a long series of events. They had altered tenets and ceremonies with which that property was connected. That was, in fact, a transfer of the property. They had given up possession of the church cess. That was dealing with the same property. They had made the Irish landlords a present of twenty-five per cent. of the tithes. That was taking a large share of that property. They had cut down ten bishoprics in Ireland. In short, Parliament had, by a multiplicity of acts, shown that they assumed and exercised without dispute the power of dealing with this property as they would with any charitable bequests which were abused and perverted. The expediency rested upon this, that notwithstanding all that had been said, notwithstanding the testimony of Dr. Chalmers, he could not regard the Irish Church but as a failure. It had no claim to nationality. It was not, it never had been, and it had no chance of becoming, national. If they looked at it as a missionary Church, why as a missionary Church let it be supported. But as a missionary Church it had altogether failed. Generation after generation had gone on seeing the Roman Catholics multiplying in numbers, and fully keeping up their relative proportion to the entire population. It was a confessed failure. Various means had been taken to prop it up, by the endowment of Maynooth, by the bonus to the Irish Presbyterians, which were, in fact, so many inducements held out to let the Irish Church continue as it was; but, continuing as it was, it could never cease to be the occasion of terrible conflict and animosity. Its churches were monuments all over the country of the victory of one party and the defeat of another party, its very existence being a standing insult to the Irish people. Thus regarding it, he should support the Motion of his hon. Friend, not desiring, perhaps, that every minute item of his propositions should be adopted; but seeing the right on the one hand, and the urgent necessity on the other, of revising the distribution of moneys which were appropriated to religious teaching and worship, he thought that urgency had become more pressing than ever, since the votes which had been come to on the Maynooth Grant. He sympathized in the antagonism to Maynooth. The Roman Catholic Church was the very last to which he would give money; but he would deal justly, fairly, and honourably with it, and so give no cause of complaint to its sincere and pious members. They could not do that in their present position. Protestants urged the abolition of this grant, and an urgent sense of justice denied it, unless they dealt impartially with all the other forms and religions, and which, he apprehended, they were called upon to do by this Motion, seriously and earnestly inviting them to consider whether a redistribution of moneys appropriated to teaching and worship in Ireland ought not to be adapted to promote the purpose for which they were intended, namely, to secure the peace of the country and the best interests of the people.


said, that as an Irish proprietor, as well as for other considerations, he wished to say a few words. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. J. Fox) had said that he would not enter into the details of the proposed disposal of Church property. But the real question was, whether or not the House would alienate from the Established Church the property which it enjoyed? The hon. Gentleman doubtless knew from his Parliamentary experience that it was much easier to introduce a subject of contention into that House than to deal fully with a question. The hon. Member had also remarked that the debate had assumed a very rambling course. In that he (Mr. Stafford) agreed with him; but there was one part of the House from which no opinion had been elicited, and from which, judging by the mode in which the debate had hitherto been permitted to proceed, no opinion would be elicited—he meant the bench occupied by Her Majesty's Ministers. He had been for many years a Member of that House; and it had fallen to his lot frequently to hear questions brought forward, by English, by Irish, or by Scotch Members respecting the Irish Church and fully discussed; but it was reserved for the present occasion to hear a discussion of nearly four hours, in the course of which opinions had been stated favourable and adverse to the appropriation of the property of the Irish Church, and arguments used based upon historical, theological, and constitutional grounds, without any Member of Her Majesty's Government offering to enunciate the views of Her Majesty's present Ministers. He did not blame the noble Lord at the head of the Government, because, according to the precedents of other and better times, some subordinate member of the Government connected with the particular department to which the subject belonged, should have risen after the mover, and 'stated the course which the Government intended to pursue, and then it would have been for the Prime Minister, or leader of the House, at the end of the discussion, to have answered subsequent speakers. But the Government ought to know and feel that, whether the House or the country were divided upon this question or not, they were, at all events, in earnest, and would ill support any Government which imagined they could, by withholding their opinion, or shifting the question, deal with this in the manner in which other subjects had been dealt with. When he expressed a wish, at the commencement of the evening, that the discussion should not be brought forward, he did not suppose that speaker after speaker would have risen and the debate proceeded to its present point without any statement or intimation from the Treasury Bench. He challenged the Secretary for Ireland to answer; but if that right hon. Gentleman found it difficult, from his antecedents, to undertake the task—if he dreaded to be reminded of past speeches—if his votes on former occasions would supply a disagreeable contrast to the vote which, it was to be assumed, he must give on this occasion, at all events some other Member of the Government should get up, and not keep the House in the dark with regard to the course they intended to pursue. If he understood the hon. Member for Rochdale, he did not intend to withdraw his Motion, but to press it to a division, so that, sooner or later, avoid it as they might, shirk it as they would, the votes of the Members of Her Majesty's Government must be decided. It would therefore be better for the right hon. Gentleman or some other Member of the Government, even at this eleventh hour, to state what course they would take and the reasons by which they were actuated, although it was too late to do it with the same credit which they might have obtained at an earlier period of the evening. He did not hesitate to state that his opinions were diametrically opposed to the details of the Motion. He would again call upon the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland to come forward and say what he thought of the appropriation of the property of the Irish Church. The right hon. Gentleman had, however, been so long absent from the debate, and had apparently paid so little attention to it, he might not perhaps be quite aware of the subject propounded for discussion. For the advantage of the right hon. Gentleman he would briefly state it. The hon. Member for Rochdale proposed by his Motion to dispose of the whole property of the Irish Church, on terms peculiarly advantageous to the holders of landed property in Ireland. He proposed to allow landowners to purchase the tithe rent-charge upon a very reasonable term of years. He proposed to relieve real property, by appropriating some of the present pay of ministers of the Established Church to certain charges upon it; and he proposed altogether to get rid of religious differences in Ireland. It was now half-past ten o'clock and it was not asking too much of the Government that some member of it should get up and tell the House the opinion entertained by Her Majesty's Ministers of the Motion.


thought his hon. Friend (Mr. Miall) had made the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down much too good an offer in promising him the Irish tithe rent-charge at ten or twelve years' purchase, and he hoped to see the hon. Gentleman come to that side of the House and help his hon. Friend on this question. The hon. Gentleman complained that no Member sitting on the Treasury bench had got up to state the views of the Government on the question under discussion. But the hon. Gentleman had himself been a Minister of the Crown, and did he find that religious affairs were pleasant to handle? If so, how did it happen that some of the zealous supporters and the leaders of his party gave no vote upon the Maynooth question? Why, they knew if they voted against the Maynooth grant what a predicament they would be in when they, in turn, came to sit upon the Ministerial bench. The noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government, too, had stated that he would be glad if his hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale would consent to postpone his Motion. No doubt the noble Lord would be glad, and very glad, too, if the Motion were to be postponed altogether; and so would the hon. Gentlemen opposite. But this was a question that must be settled, for by voting money in this indiscriminate way to various sects, they were doing more to promote irreligion throughout the country than could well be conceived. There were in the United Kingdom 27,000,000 of inhabitants, and how many of them were Episcopalian Protestants? Not quite one-third the number. [Cries of "No, no."] Well, he (Mr. Hadfield) would argue that point. In all Scotland they did not exceed 100,000. In Ireland they were not more numerous than one in eight; and although this country was the place where they were most numerous, yet, according to the Census returns of 1851, there was in England and Wales a majority of Nonconformists. He, therefore, thought he was right in saying that the Protestant Episcopalians were not one-third of the population. Was it, therefore, for the sake of that minority, Government would continue to keep alive this fruitful source of religious dissension? Now, his opinion was, that both the grant to Maynooth and the Regium Donum should be taken away. If they took away both those grants the Church of Ireland must fall, and with that fall would begin religious peace in that country. He must confess he was oftentimes grieved to see the Roman Catholic Members, because they had got a grant for Maynooth, go into the lobby in support of grants to Presbyterians, and the Presbyterians, who are Calvinistie Protestants, in return support Maynooth. The hon. Member for Newry, for instance, voted for continuing the Maynooth endowment, and he also supported votes of public money to the Socinian professors in Ireland, with whose religious views he in no way agreed. No regard was shown in this House for religious truth, but all doctrines and professions were confounded and blended together, and were subsidized by the State. These controversies were most pernicious and offensive, and the conduct of religious bodies in accepting these grants made good men hang their heads in shame and sorrow. He did, therefore, hope that his hon. Friend would not only divide the House, but still persevere in the matter, and he hoped he might live to see the grievance of the Irish Church removed, and Christianity exercise a healing influence on the wounds of the people.


said, he had waited in vain for some Member of the Government to address the House on this subject, and, therefore, would proceed to direct the attention of the House to the real question on which they would have to pass a judgment. He believed that this was the first time that it was proposed so to desecrate that portion of the Church property in Ireland left by their ancestors for pious uses and religious purposes; but now both the Irish Protestants and the Roman Catholics were asked to surrender property dedicated to pious and religious purposes that the money might be spent in deepening rivers, or building light-houses and piers. The hon. Member for Rochdale, in the spirit of plunder, said, "I want your money, but not your life;" while the hon. Member for Sheffield said, "I want your life as well as your money." If he appealed to the results of voluntaryism to justify such a demand, he (Mr. Napier) was at a loss to know on what he could found an argument in its favour. What had it accomplished in this country, in the way of advancing general civilisation compared with the influence of the Established Church? The property of that Church was the most sacred of all properties, and its title the most ancient of any in the country. It was said, that it was intended to deal with the property of the Irish Church as in the case of an abused trust; but if it was to be dealt with as an abused trust, they must refer back to its original object; but that was not the proposition here. The present measure was nothing but a measure of direct and downright confiscation and misappropriation. Before they would rend the garment, now they would cast lots for it; and, although the hon. Member said he was about to try an experiment, he very much mistook the spirit of the people of Ireland if he expected them to stand quietly by and submit to such a daring insult. If the hon. Member fancied that such a project could be carried out without a conflict (which he feared to contemplate), he was much mistaken. He warned the House that if ever such an attempt succeeded, the struggle would be a fierce one, and would light up the flame of religious discord from one end of that island to the other. To make a proper re-distribution of Church property in Ireland on an adequate scale to meet the claims of the Protestant parishioners, would, as he had taken occasion to point out in a former debate, actually require £70,000 more than the whole income of the Church. The hon. Gentleman had bound up together in one, this question—the grant to Maynooth and the Regium Donum. But this was an entirely distinct question from either. What was the title by which the Church held its property? The title of the Church to her property was founded not upon Act of Parliament, but upon the common law of the land. He was speaking now of a period long before the Reformation and even before the English invasion, consequently before the introduction of the Papacy. The Irish clergy derived their Church property under strict ecclesiastical succession as far as one portion was concerned, and another portion had been obtained after the Reformation in consequence of grants from the Crown and from many pious donors. These grants were subsequently confirmed by Act of Parliament; they were part of the settlement of property to which the oath of Roman Catholics referred, and therefore ought not to be interfered with. This property was given to the Church for all time—for after ages as well as the then present. The title, however, was a Parliamentary as well as a historical and scriptural title; for at the time of the Union it was confirmed to the Irish Church. It was plainly provided by the 5th Article of the Union that the Irish Church should be secured from spoliation; Sir James Graham himself had expressed an opinion that to interfere with its property was contrary to this Article, and to apply the revenues of the Church of Ireland to any secular uses would be clearly a violation of the Act of Union; and that he would never give his consent to any proposal to transfer any part of these revenues in any shape to any other party. That, also, was the opinion of Lord Plun-ket, the greatest advocate of the civil claims of the Roman Catholics, who said that the moment the property of the Irish church was touched, the Union of the kingdoms was doomed. He should be quite ready if any one would come forward with a proper plan, for increasing the utility of the Church in Ireland, to give his best assistance to expand its parochial agencies. Under the wing of the United Church, every one, whether differing from or agreeing with the principles of the Church, enjoyed the most perfect liberty of conscience; but the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Hadfield) wished to strike at that very liberty, and deny to the Established Church the same freedom which he himself enjoyed, Let him ask the House, ought he not, as an Episcopalian living in Ireland, to have the same privileges as an Episcopalian living in England? The hon. Gentleman declared he was willing to respect the rights of the present generation, but they might call upon him to say why he would deprive them of the right, or, rather, interfere with the duty of handing down to their children coming after them those Church privileges, unimpaired, the blessings of which they had the happiness to enjoy for themselves. It was quite evident that this was an attempt upon the part of the hon. Member to take advantage of the peculiar circumstances of Ireland to raise his favourite question of compulsory voluntaryism. But did any one in his senses imagine that the Church in England could stand after that in Ireland had fallen? With regard to the Regium Donum, his opinion was, that in the nature of its endowment it differed from the property of the Church. It was not strictly a religious endowment—it was a grant made to the Presbyterians of Ireland by Parliament on grounds of public policy, and the faith of Parliament and of the Crown was pledged to its maintenance. The Presbyterians were invited to settle in Ireland, and they acted on that invitation. They required some support, and assistance was, therefore, extended to them in the shape of this grant, in order to the maintenance of a suitable ministry. The members of the Irish Church and the Presbyterians differed, for the most part, only in questions of discipline, and he would stand by them in the same way as he would by his own Church, and would say that the faith of Parliament was pledged to them, and they deserved to be assisted. On the other hand, as regarded the Maynooth grant, that stood upon an entirely different ground. Hon. Gentlemen opposite might cheer, but they must remember at all events that he had never shunned the open discussion of that question, never having suppressed his opinion upon it. At the same time a sacred title, based upon more than twelve centuries' duration, was somewhat different from the title to a Parliamentary grant made so late as the year 1845, for a professed purpose, and with a particular object; and if, upon inquiry and investigation, it appeared that that particular purpose and object had failed, and was frustrated, why, then, he thought it was a reasonable question for Parliament to consider, whether the grant ought not to be withdrawn, or, at least, reconsidered and remodelled. He held that the title to the property of the Irish Church was a most sacred one, and that it was the duty of the Government above all things to maintain the parochial system in Ireland. The national faith was pledged to the Regium Donum; and Parliament had not the right, though it might have the power, to take away either the Regium Donum or the property of the Church. They had no right to attempt to avenge upon the Irish Protestants of the present day the crimes and iniquities of English policy in former days. He confessed he had often felt indignation, not merely as an Irish Protestant, but as an Irishman, at the way in which his country had been dealt with under the rule of England. He believed the object had been, not so much to maintain the Protestant religion as the English Government. That time, however, ought to have long since passed away, and he hoped that the House would show itself firm upon the present occasion. He hoped at all events that the noble Lord at the head of the Government would speak out with frankness and manliness. Speaking for the Protestants of Ireland he would say, valuing their Church as they did, they wished at the same time to live in a friendly spirit and good feeling with their countrymen of the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches. Stand by their Church with firmness and determination the Protestants would to the death; and it was not by any miserable sophistry or daring spoliation that they would be deprived of that which they meant to hand down unimpaired to their children's children.


I must in the first place, return my thanks to hon. Gentlemen opposite, and say how much flattered I and my colleagues feel at the extreme anxiety which has been expressed by hon. Members on that side of the House to know the opinions of Her Majesty's Government as a guide to the course which they themselves, I presume, intend to pursue. I hope that we may infer the future from the present, and that upon all great subjects we shall find hon. Gentlemen sitting on the other side of the House undecided in their policy and undetermined in their opinions until they are favoured by an intimation of the course to be followed by Her Majesty's Government. I presume it will not be supposed that, upon a question of this importance, Her Majesty's Government have not formed an opinion, and are not prepared to express it to the House. I must at the outset repeat the opinion which I expressed in the early part of the evening, that I regret very much discussions of this kind when they take place in Parliament; for when matters bearing upon religious beliefs come to be debated as they have been to-night, it is impossible for any man not to feel that unchristian feelings and prejudices are frequently entertained by those who are themselves the most sincere in their own creed. People dwell upon points of difference when they might, I think, more advantageously dwell upon points of common accord. The different denominations into which the Christian community are divided seem to me to be more apprehensive that the particular points on which they vary should not be brought prominently into view, than anxious that the common truths in which they concur should be as widely as possible diffused. The more sincere and zealous different sects are, the more they seem determined to use every possible exertion to prevent those who don't agree with them in all respects from receiving any assistance for the diffusion of religious instruction and the propagation of those common doctrines which are the foundation of the belief of all. On the present occasion we have been led into a religious discussion; but I shall confine myself to the more political part of the question. The debate, has been divided into two portions, the one applying more particularly to Ireland, and the other to the question between an establishment and the voluntary system. Now, with regard to the Irish question, I cannot agree with those who maintain that no value is to be attached to the 5th Article of the Union between England and Ireland. It seems to me that those who argue this question on the ground that there is no mention in that Article of the temporalities of the Irish Church, use an argument that resolves itself into this, that the Article has no meaning at all. If the Article simply means that the doctrine and discipline of the established religion of England shall be maintained in Ireland, that is what no Act of Parliament could enforce, for it is an obligation upon opinions and consciences which it would be vain to endeavour to enforce by a legislative enactment, or by the article of a treaty. If that 5th Article has any meaning at all—and it is preposterous to suppose that it is a vain delusion, and that it has no real and substantive intention—it must mean, in the common sense of mankind, that the Church of Ireland, in harmony with the Church of England, is to be maintained. No other meaning can possibly be attached to the Article. I do not, however, go so far as those who would argue that that Article prevents you from dealing with the Irish Church. In order to maintain that position you must go further, and say that Parliament is precluded from dealing with the English Church. There was nothing inconsistent with a faithful observance of the Article in the arrangements which were made, I think, in 1845, when great modifications were effected in the establishment of the Irish Church. Parliament is competent to deal either with the Church of England or the Church of Ireland, according to varying circumstances; but it must deal with those Churches not in order to destroy them, but for the purpose of rendering them more effective in their operation. We have been told by the hon. Gentleman that the endowments of the Irish Church have been diverted from the purposes for which they were granted, and that they are now possessed illegally, and against the intentions of the founders, by a Church differing from that upon which such endowments were originally conferred. That argument applies quite as much to the English as to the Irish Church. The endowments of the English Church, or, at least, part of them, were held by the Church while it was a Roman Catholic Church, and there is, therefore, as strong reason for abolishing the English, as for abolishing the Irish, Church. That argument appears to me to be destitute of force. These endowments were given to the ministers of religion for the purposes of religious instruction, and if, in the course of events, the creed of the Church has been changed, the endowments are still those of the Church, and I hold that there is no perversion of the endowments, or misapplication of the property, so long as it is possessed by the ministers of the established religion of the country. I do not agree with those who maintain that what is called the property of the Church is so strictly belonging to the ministers of religion that Parliament cannot deal with it; I do not concur with the hon. Gentleman who has described the property of the Church as the property of the people,—the property of this parish or of that parish, of this county or of that county. Undoubtedly the property of the Church belongs to the State, and the State represented by its proper organ, the Legislature, has the power and the right of dealing with that property as the circumstances of the time may require. The real question, however, between the hon. Gentleman who moved the Resolution and those who differ with him, is not the question of the Irish Church. Although the Motion of the hon. Gentleman relates directly and chiefly to Ireland, yet the whole course of his argument, and of those hon. Members who have supported the Motion, takes a much wider range and raises the question of Establishment or no Establishment—of the voluntary system or the ecclesiastical system which at present exists. I, for one, am decidedly of opinion that a Church Establishment is a proper part of the organisation of a civilised country. If example is to be our guide, that is the invariable practice of all nations which have any regard for religion, with the single exception of the republican States of North America. I hold that an Established Church is essential to the well-being of a community. It is said, however, that that Established Church ought to be the Church of the majority of the people. Now, if that argument is good for anything, you can have no Established Church in the United Kingdom, because, I apprehend, there is no section of the Christian community which, as compared with the various denominations that differ from it, could claim a decided majority. Take the Presbyterians and the Catholics, and set them against those who belong to the Church of England; take the Church of England and the Presbyterians, and set them against the Catholics; take the Church of England and the Catholics and set them against the Presbyterians, and, I apprehend, if you were bound by the exact rule of making the Established Church that of the actual majority of the population, you would find it very difficult to maintain upon that principle any Established Church at all. Holding, therefore, the opinion that it is essential for the well-being of a community that there should be an Established Church, I cannot admit that that Church should vary in its creed from time to time, according to the fluctuating proportions of the different sections of the Christian community. I am now brought to consider the state in which things are at present. We find the Church of England the Established Church in England and Ireland, and I am called upon by the hon. Member for Rochdale, not absolutely by his Motion, but decidedly by his speech and by his arguments, to concur with him in substituting for that Establishment the voluntary principle. I cannot go with him to that extent; and as I am not prepared to aid him in attaining the end which is obviously the object of his Motion, I cannot concur in a proposition that would lead to a result at which I have no desire to arrive. As a general rule it is much more easy for a person to object than to propose, and I must say that my hon. Friend (Mr. Miall) has, without seeing his danger, involved himself in considerable embarrassment by not contenting himself with objections, but by proposing a substitute for the present system. He proposes a plan with regard to the Irish Church, which, if it is applied to Ireland, must, upon the same principle, be adopted in this country. He proposes the establishment of a Board, which is to be invested with all the property of the Church, and he suggests an arrangement which is certainly well adapted to conciliate different interests. To landlords he offers redemption of their tithe rents at ten years' purchase—a very advantageous bargain indeed, and one which the hon. Member for Northamptonshire (Mr. Stafford), as a landowner, would doubtless be very willing to accept. For the advantage of counties he proposes the construction of prisons, lunatic asylums, and arterial drainage; and the "lights of the Church" are to be converted into lights of navigation. This arrangement is no doubt calculated to produce great satisfaction, but I think such a proposal can hardly be seriously entertained. If Parliament really contemplated the abolition of Church establishments in this kingdom and the substitution of voluntary contributions for the endowments which now exist, I think, in all probability, some better and more fitting application of these great revenues could be devised than that which my hon. Friend has suggested. I purposely abstain from entering into those topics connected with religious differences which, I think it is, if possible, most desirable to avoid in discussions in this House; but entertaining a deep, a settled, and a rooted conviction that a Church establishment is essential in every country in which it is thought desirable that religion should be diffused and inculcated on the minds of the population, being perfectly determined never to agree to the substitution of the voluntary system for that of an establishment, seeing that the Motion goes directly to a point which I am anxious to avoid, and believing also, with reference to that part of the Motion relating to Ireland, that it would be at variance with the engagements contracted between the two countries at the period of the Union, I feel compelled to give my vote against the proposition of my hon. Friend.

MR. JOHN MACGREGOR rose to speak amidst loud cries for a division. The hon. Member's speech was so continuously interrupted that scarce a sentence could be heard. He was understood, however, to denounce the Irish Church in very strong terms and to declare his intention of voting for the Motion. He also remarked that Lord Chesterfield, who had so well governed Ireland, had said in an original letter (in Mr. MacGregor's possession) that the Irish were easily governed by dispensing to all impartial justice.

The House divided:—Ayes 93; Noes 163: Majority 70.

List of the AYES.
Anderson, Sir J. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Bass, M. T. Hughes, H. G.
Baxter, W. E. Johnstone, J.
Bell, J. Keating, R.
Biggs, W. Kennedy, T.
Black, A. Kershaw, J.
Blake, M. J. Kingscote, R. N. F.
Bland, L. H. Lindsay, W. S.
Brady, J. Littleton, hon. E. R.
Brocklehurst, J. MacEvoy, E.
Castlerosse, Visct. M'Cann, E.
Challis, Mr. Ald. MacGregor, John
Cheetham, J. Magan, W. H.
Clay, Sir W. Maguire, J. F.
Cogan, W. H. F. Martin, J.
Cowan, C. Milligan, R.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Moore, G. H.
Crook, J. Mowatt, F.
Crossley, F. Murrough, J. P.
Currie, R. Napier, Sir C.
De Vere, S. E. O'Connell, Capt. D.
Dillwyn, L. L. O'Connell, Capt.
Duncan, G. O'Flaherty, A.
Dunne, M. Oliveira, B.
Esmonde, J. Pechell, Sir G. B.
Ewart, J. C. Pellatt, A.
Fergus, J. Perry, Sir T. E.
Forster, C. Phillimore, J. G.
Fortescue, C. S. Pigott, F.
Fox, W. J. Pilkington, J.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Price, W. P.
Goderich, Visct. Ricardo, S.
Gower, hon. F. L. Ricardo, S.
Greene, J. Russell, F. C. H.
Greville, Col. F. Scholefield, W.
Hadfield, G. Scully, F.
Hastie, Alexander Seymour, W. D.
Henchy, D. O'C. Shee, W.
Heywood, J. Shelley, Sir J. V.
Hindley, C. Smith, J. B.
Strickland, Sir G. Watson, W. H.
Strutt, rt. hon. E. Whitbread, S.
Swift, R. Wilkinson, W. A.
Talbot, C. R. M. Willcox, B. M'G.
Thompson, G. Williams, W.
Thornely, T. TELLERS.
Tite, W. Miall, E.
Walmsley, Sir J. Pollard-Urquhart, W.
List of the NOES.
Adair, Col. Greene, T.
Agnew, Sir A. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Alexander, J. Grey, R. W.
Bailey, C. Grogan, E.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T. Gwyn, H.
Baird, J. Hamilton, G. A.
Ball, E. Hamilton, rt. hn. R. C. N.
Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T. Handcock, hon. Capt.
Baring, T. Hankey, T.
Baring, hon. F. Harcourt, Col.
Barrow, W. H. Hardinge, hon. C. S.
Bernard, Visct. Hayes, Sir E.
Blackburn, P. Heathcote, Sir W.
Boldero, Col. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Bond, J. W. M'G. Herbert, H. A.
Bonham-Carter, J. Herbert, rt. hon. S.
Booth, Sir R. G. Herbert, Sir T.
Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P. Hervey, Lord A.
Bramley-Moore, J. Hill, Lord A. E.
Bramston, T. W. Horsfall, T. B.
Brand, hon. H. Horsman, rt. hon. E.
Buck, Col. Hotham, Lord
Buckley, Gen. Ingham, R.
Bunbury, W. B. M'C. Johnstone, Sir J.
Burrell, Sir C. M. Jones, Adm.
Burrowes, R. Kendall, N.
Cairns, H. M'C. Kerrison, Sir E. C.
Campbell, Sir A. I. Kirk, W.
Cardwell, rt. hon. E. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Cayley, E. S. Langton, W. G.
Cecil, Lord R. Leslie, C. P.
Chelsea, Visct. Lewis, rt. hon. Sir G. C.
Child, S. Liddell, hon. H. G.
Cole, hon. H. A. Lisburne, Earl of
Colville, C. R. Lockhart, W.
Conolly, T. Lowther, hon. C.
Coote, Sir C. H. Lushington, C. M.
Corry, rt. hon. H. L. Mangles, R. D.
Dering, Sir E. Marjoribanks, D. C.
Dod, J. W. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Drummond, H. Michell, W.
Duncan, Visct. Monck, Visct.
Duncombe, hon. Col. Montgomery, Sir G.
Duncombe, hon, W. E. Moody, C. A.
Dunne, Col. Mowbray, J. R.
East, Sir J. B. Mundy, W.
Egerton, W. T. Napier, rt. hon. J.
Egerton, E. C. Newark, Visct.
Estcourt, T. H. S. Newdegate, C. N.
Fellowes, E. Newport, Visct.
Ferguson, Sir R. North, Col.
Ferguson, J. Oakes, J. H. P.
Filmer, Sir E. Pakenham, T. H.
FitzRoy, rt. hon. H. Palmer, Robt.
Frewen, C. H. Palmer, Roundell
Gallwey, Sir W. P. Palmerston, Visct.
Galway, Visct. Percy, hon. J. W.
Gaskell, J. M. Philipps, J. H.
George, J. Portal, M.
Gilpin, Col. Pritchard, J.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W. Ridley, G.
Greenall, G. Robertson, P. F.
Rolt, P. Vance, J.
Sawle, C. B. G. Vansittart, G. H.
Scobell, Capt. Verner, Sir W.
Seymer, H. K. Vernon, L. V.
Sheridan, R. B. Walcott, Adm.
Shirley, E. P. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Sibthorp, Maj, Walter, J.
Smith, A. Warren, S.
Spooner, R. Watkins, Col. L.
Stafford, A. Whiteside, J.
Stanhope, J. B. Whitmore, H.
Steel, J. Wickham, H. W.
Stracey, Sir H. J. Wigram, L. T.
Stewart, Sir M. R. S. Woodd, B. T.
Stuart, Capt. Wyndham, Gen.
Sturt, H. G. Wynne, W. W. E.
Taylor, Col. Wynne, rt. hon. J.
Tollemache, J. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Tottenham, C. TELLEBS.
Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J. Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.
Tyler, Sir G. Mulgrave, Earl of