HC Deb 21 May 1857 vol 145 cc644-73

MR. SPOONER rose, and presented fifty petitions, from Glasgow, the General Assembly of Scotland, Greenock, and Edinburgh, praying for the abolition of the grant to the College of Maynooth.


, presented petitions to the same effect.


* I crave the kind indulgence of the House whilst I endeavour, to the best of my ability, to state the reasons which induce me to ask it to go into Committee on the acts for the endownment of Maynooth, with a view to their repeal.

But first, Sir, I would assure those hon. Gentlemen who are of the Roman Catholic faith that I have no ground of quarrel with them at all. I attack no individual opinion; I respect individual opinion; and as a Protestant I would do all I could to assert the right and maintain the privilege of private judgment. I believe that many Roman Catholics, both in this House and out of it, and with whom I am on terms of intimacy, give me full credit for the sincerity with which I now declare that I am actuated by no individual dislike to Roman Catholics themselves; that I am actuated by no wish to curtail their privileges, or dictate to them what religion they shall follow, or in any way whatever to interfere with the full and free exercise of religious opinions, which every man has a right to exercise and maintain, within the due bounds of law and morality.

Having said thus much, I must request the House to believe that I have no personal motive to serve in bringing this subject forward. I have no ambitious purpose to satisfy. I can safely say, that it is a very painful task which I have undertaken, and that an imperative sense of duty alone compels me to undertake it. I do not pretend to hide from the House that there are several hon. Friends, with whom I am in the habit of acting, as well as those with whom I do not act, who would be much better pleased if I had not brought this Motion forward. I can assure them that nothing but the conviction that I should have otherwise deserted a most bounden duty compels me to bring forward a subject without the cordial support of those with whom I generally act. But I will not, I cannot, sacrifice what I believe to be my duty, even that I may receive cheers such as I have just heard. And I wish here to allude to another point.

I have been accused, and in no very courteous terms, by the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck), whom I do not now see in his place, of venturing to lay down my own opinion as the test of truth to be followed by others. I may refer to the language used by the hon. and learned Member, as, although it was uttered in February last, it has passed into the records of Parliament. I am anxious to notice this accusation now, as at the termination of the last debate on this subject, I had not an opportunity of doing so.

The hon. and learned gentleman not only accused me of venturing to lay down my own opinion as the rule for others, but he said that I was bigoted to my own opinions: and he asked me, rather sneeringly, what I supposed there was, either in my intellect or position, justifying me in setting myself up as a dictator as to truth.

The hon. and learned Member mistook my argument. I then expressed no mere opinion of my own. I did not ground my accusation against the College of Maynooth on any of my own opinions; I grounded them on the Articles and Rubric of the Church of England, of which he professes to be a member. I certainly have used no arguments whatever except those founded on the principles of the Church of England, and on the Oath taken by the Sovereign. That was the ground which I took then, and which I intend to take now. But knowing that hon. Members may get up and make assertions to which I should not have an opportunity of adverting in reply, and to which the House might not be in a temper to listen, I will proceed to anticipate some of the objections with which I may be met on the present occasion.

The object I have in view, in bringing this matter before the House, is to show, that Parliament is at the present moment paying for the teaching of doctrines hostile to the Protestant Constitution—hostile to the principles of civil and religious liberty—destructive of true morality—and completely antagonistic to the doctrines of the Established Church, and which the Sovereign is bound by oath to maintain; and which we are by the oath of allegiance sworn to enable her, to the best of our power, to maintain. It is perfectly unjust that we should be called upon to pay for the teachings of doctrines antagonistic to that Church which the Sovereign is bound by her solemn oath to uphold.

What is it, Sir, that the Sovereign is bound to maintain? I will read shortly the 31st Article on "The Sacrifice of Masses." ["Oh!" from the Ministerial benches.] I do not know what that exclamation means. Do hon. Members mean to say that this does not form a legitimate ground of argument? Do they mean to say that if the Church lays down a certain doctrine we are to pay Roman Catholic Priests for teaching a perfectly antagonistic doctrine?

The Article of the Church is this—"The Sacrifice of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the priest did offer Christ for the quick and dead to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits." The doctrine of the mass is clearly upheld and supported in the College of Maynooth; Parliament, therefore, by supporting that College, is aiding to teach "blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits." What says the Rubric of the Church? Many of my opponents are known as mighty sticklers for the Rubric. It declares, (after the Communion Service,) "The Sacramental bread and wine remain still in their very natural substance. They therefore may not be adored, for that were Idolatry to be abhorred of all faithful Christians." By the missal or prayer book of Roman Catholics they are taught to adore the bread and wine, and they are therefore doing that which the Rubric declares is "idolatry to be abhorred of all true Christians." I ask those who support our Rubric, how they can contribute to that "idolatry?" That, Sir, is the first ground on which I hold the justice of repealing this grant. Three times has this House declared by a majority in favour of my proposition. [Colonel FRENCH: In the last Parliament.] Certainly, in the last Parliament; and I hope that that which the last Parliament deliberately considered, if it did not determine, will have some weight and influence on those hon. Gentlemen who form the present Parliament; for not any one of the charges I brought forward was disproved, not a single quotation I used received a contradiction. They were all assented to, and were even confirmed by the evidence taken before the Commission of Inquiry, in 1855. And what, Sir, is the oath of the Sovereign? Some hon. Members may not know how solemn an oath it is. The Sovereign is asked, "Will you, to the utmost of your power, maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, and the Protestant reformed religion, as established by law?" To which the Sovereign's answer was, "All these I solemnly swear to maintain." That is the form of oath; and I ask whether it is consistent in a House of Commons, representing a great nation, to require from the Sovereign, a solemn oath, and then ask the consent of the Crown to money grants in order to bring up and educate a priesthood in the College of Maynooth, who are to teach the people the exact contrary of that oath—to teach, also, that it is a duty to put down the Established Church, and that all who belong to the Established Church, and others who are true Protestants, are heretics, and ought to be punished? I repeat, that the oath taken by the Sovereign is inconsistent with the teaching of Maynooth.

The next point is the supposed "Parliamentary compact." A great many hon. Members, for whom I entertain a high respect, who totally disagree with the teaching and doctrines held at Maynooth, would be glad to see the College done away with, but consider themselves to be met with the difficulty of the Parliamentary compact. Where is that compact? Up to 1845, no one can maintain that there was one. I do not think, moreover, that by any construction could any compact be inferred from the articles of the Union. Those articles alluded to certain medical and other charities, and limited the extension of assistance to twenty years. I very much question if Maynooth could properly be included at all under the category. But I will give you that point. It was an annual grant, continually subject to the will of Parliament, and was not at first meant for the education of Priests only, but to help the Roman Catholics to build and support a College, in order to prevent the foreign education of their priests, so that these persons might be brought up in their own way in Ireland. This, by the way, I would observe, was a great mistake.

Any departure from sound principle for the sake of expediency, no matter how plausible the arguments in favour of such a course, was always sure to end badly, and the nation was sure to suffer the consequences of wrong-doing. In this instance, however, no compact could be said to exist, when it was every year within the power of Parliament to say "Aye" or "No" as to the continuance of the grant. But then, it was said the compact began in 1845. Well, if it were contended that an Act of Parliament conferred a Parliamentary title, and that this title could in no shape or way be altered, all I can say is, that those hon. Gentlemen who voted the other night with the hon. Member for Cork, to abolish "ministers' money," by no means recognized such a principle. And the compact as regards ministers' money, was a much stronger one than any agreement on the subject of Maynooth; for the former was a grant made in order to induce Protestant settlers to go over to Ireland, and to maintain their religion in that country; it was a grant in return for a consideration, and, as such, was a very different thing from a free gift. But what said Sir Robert Peel upon this question of compact? These were his words, in 1845:— It is, I trust, conceived in, a liberal and a confiding spirit. We have not introduced it without a communication with the leading members of the Roman Catholic Church, but it has not been a subject of stipulation or of contract with them. These were the motives which influenced the statesman who induced Parliament to pass the measure of 1845, and who said distinctly that it was a free gift, made without any sort of stipulation or compact. I will quote another authority on this point—that of the noble Lord the Member for the City of London—who said— I do not mean to argue the question of compact; but if you found that there was ground sufficient to refuse the grant,…then I can see no valid reason why any compact should restrain you from so doing. This, I think, disposes of the argument that a compact existed, I should be the last to countenance any breach of faith; but as I understand them, the Roman Catholic Members in this House did not rest their case upon any such ground.

I now come to the question of the public code of social morals taught at Maynooth; and I beg the hon. Members to listen, for I shall show that those morals were not taken merely from old musty books, seldom lifted from the shelves, but were contained in new publications, recognized by the highest possible authority. What said Scavini upon social morals? I must first, however, tell you who Scavini is. He is, I believe, a living authority. The work quoted was Theologia Moralis Universa, Pio IX., Pontifici Maximo, dicata; Paris, 1853. And the present Pope had condescended to write a commendatory letter to Scavini himself, extolling his work; and specially so, because he so closely followed "the salutary doctrines of the most holy and most learned Alphonsus Maria Liguori." Now, that is no "musty volume." The works of this writer are introduced to supersede those of Bailly, and are at present made use of by the students at Maynooth.

In vol. ii., page 234, this passage occurs— What are we to think as to a fictitious promissory oath? Ans. Anything may be fictitiously promised in three ways: either, first, without the mind to swear; or secondly, without the mind to be bound; or thirdly, without the mind to fulfil. Scavini then lays down, that he who evades the truth in the first manner, sins, and he refers to a proposition of this kind, condemned by Innocent IX.; but he says that "All the doctors teach that he sins only venially." He then adds— He who promises any thing with an oath, without the mind of being bound by his oath, the doctors commonly teach, sins grievously, since it appears to be a grave irreverence to call God to witness, and to be unwilling to be bound by His testimony. But there are who teach this to be only a venial sin, and that indeed very probably, for without the intention of binding himself, there is no oath, and therefore he cannot violate the oath; and, therefore, there has only been a vain use of the name of God. And in a note at the foot of page 235, Scavini adds— Indeed, this is more probable, because, in swearing, he is not bound to observe his oath, as well because from his words it is invalid, as also because God did not accept his promissory oath except according to the intention of the person swearing. Can we wonder, then, that juries give improper verdicts, or refuse to find any verdicts at all, when we ourselves pay priests to teach the doctrine that a man might call God to witness and be guilty of no sin if he broke his oath, having at the time a secret intention in his mind not to keep it? I beg hon. Members to lay aside their prejudices, for I am sure if they would do so, and would exercise their independent judgment on this question, they would not be prepared to follow the noble Viscount, who is now in the ascendant into the commission of so vile a sin as the active sanctioning of these doctrines.

But now for a little more of Scavini, the Pope's special divine. He deals largely in quotations from that great saint and high authority, Liguori, Theologia Moralis, Book iii., No 172, &c.; and who states, in that Book at No. 151, that to Swear with equivocation when there is a just cause, and equivocation itself is lawful, is not a bad thing; but if truly it be done without a just cause it is not necessarily perjury, since, according to one sense of the word, or according to his mental reservation, he might swear to what was true; yet such swearing would be of its own nature a mortal sin against religion. All depended, evidently, upon what was a just cause; and Liguori very distinctly explained what was a "just cause;" his answer being "any honest end for the preservation of good things for the spirit or useful things for the body." That was a "just cause" which authorized false swearing and made the breaking of an oath no sin against religion, and in no way punishable!

Liguori proceeds— But whether it is a mortal sin to swear with amphibology, or not purely mental restriction, and without a just cause? He then quotes Sanches, &c., who says it is not mortal— The reason of this more probable opinion is, that in such an oath already truth and justice are present, and only judgment and discretion are wanting, which detect is only a venial sin. Neither does what Viva says oppose this view, namely, that a person swearing in such a manner invokes God to witness a falsehood, for in very deed he invokes God to witness what is true, according to his own sense, though he allows, for a just cause, another person, through his own carelessness or inadvertence, to be deceived. Will hon. Members suffer such a system to continue? Will they make themselves partakers in that iniquity by contributing money to propagate such doctrine among the ignorant people of Ireland or anywhere? I trust that they will not look upon this as a trifling matter, or as a party question. I have no party views in the affair, as is perfectly clear from the state of the benches on this side of the House. But although this is no party subject, and although I have been opposed by a powerful Ministry on one side, and by a dead and defunct Ministry, hoping to be resuscitated, on the other side, I have thrice, in the last Parliament, obtained the vote of the majority of the House in favour of my proposition. There must therefore, I contend, be something of vital importance in the question, which appeals to the feelings of independent men, when in spite of these adverse circumstances I could succeed in obtaining such a result as I have adverted to. I appeal to this Christian assembly whether this is a system which this great Protestant nation should continue to uphold, whether it is a system which ought longer to enjoy the countenance of Parliament and the support of Ministers? I am satisfied that if you will lay aside your prejudices and view the question as unconnected with politics, there is not one of you who would endeavour to justify such a system. And yet the Sovereign of this country is actually coerced into sanctioning the teaching of these abominable doctrines. The consequences of such a system are not yet half developed. There is something looming in the future to which I will yet call the noble Viscount's earnest attention; for I believe that it will be realized in a way which is little imagined.

Now, let hon. Members understand what are the notions of Scavini with respect to family morals, and let them then say if they would like the following doctrine to be acted upon by their clerks and servants— You ask whether it may be permitted to servants, that they should secretly compensate themselves from their masters' goods upon pretence that their masters have not given them sufficient? A. I say generally speaking they are not (quoting a proposition condemned by Pope Innocent XI.); but we say generally speaking, for the Salamanca doctors teach two things relating to this opinion of Pope Innocent; … one, that the pontifical decree was not meant to bind servants contrary to justice. Then, in a note— Hence, if a servant be compelled by necessity to agree for a small sum (insufficient price), he may compensate himself up to the lowest price (paid to other servants). A second teaching of the Salamanca school is, that if a servant, of his own choice, augments his work, he can make himself no amends; … but if he adds to his stipulated work by the expressed or tacit consent of his master, compensation will be due, for the labourer is worthy of his reward. Then, in a note, he continues— But you say, is every one to judge for himself as to the justice or injustice of his stipend as compared with other servants similarly employed? The Salamancas hold that of himself the servant himself may so judge, and according to his own conscience compensate himself for his work. And this appears to us (Scavini) sufficiently probable; provided the servant be prudent, modest, judicious, correct, &c., which rarely happens. Then he refers to Liguori on the subject, B. iii., No. 522. Liguori says, 521, n. 2— Compensation should be regularly sought by an appeal to law; but to omit this is only a venial sin, nay, it is no sin (citing authorities) if hostilities, expenses, and other similar evils are dreaded. Let the House remember that Professor Furlong, of Maynooth, second part of Report, 1855, p. 91, and Professor Neville, p. 51, both mention Liguori as an authority at Maynooth.

Is this the morality for the teaching of which, among ignorant classes completely subject to the priesthood, any Christian assembly ought to pay? And this, let it be remarked, is in no ancient book, but in one recently introduced (see Appendix B).

I have almost done with quotations on this point. I could yet furnish an abundance more of them, but I give what I have submitted to the House as samples only, and any hon. Gentleman who would take half as much pains in examining these books as I and an hon. Friend of mine who assisted me in the translations have done, will soon see that the samples, fair and not garbled, which I have adduced, form but a very small portion of the large mass of this most abominable teaching which is carried on.

Well, we now come to the power of the Pope, and first of all I will quote the evidence of the Rev. James O'Kane, the junior dean of Maynooth, as given before the Commission. He is asked:— Question (241).— Have you reason to suppose that the students are in the habit of reading books … conflicting with that doctrine (of the Pope having no temporal or deposing power)?—A. I have no reason to suppose that they do so, except controversial works, as Bellarmine, for instance; of course they are in the habit of reading these. Now I remember the noble Lord at the head of the Government reminded us upon a former occasion that in our classical studies we used necessarily to read many things that were objectionable, and so he would have us excuse the peculiar teachings of Maynooth. But, mark, these abominable doctrines are not casually put forward, but they come before the students in their works on controversy, which all must read and study. The works of Bellarmine are not read for their language merely. Bellarmine, as my hon. Friend the Member for Dundalk (Mr. Bowyer) knows, is a great authority with his Church, and was the champion of Rome at the time of the Reformation. Now what does he say as to the power of the Pope:—(Bellarmine de Rom. Pont, lib, vi., cap. 6, Venice, 1599.) The Pope, as Pope, cannot ordinarily establish civil laws or annul them, hut he can do all this in the case where a civil law is necessary to the salvation of souls, and kings are not willing to make such a law; or where other laws are established hurtful to the salvation of souls, and kings are unwilling to repeal them. But, it may be said, what care we about such doctrines, they can have no effect here? Now, I tell you that they have effect here, and that you are suffering men to go about with all the authority which their Church gives them, propagating this amongst an ignorant and superstitious people. This is a doctrine which is taught at Maynooth, at the expense of the people of this country, and I would warn you that the time may come when you may be told, "You cannot complain of the deposition of your Sovereign, because you have paid for teaching that the power of deposition is inherent in the Pope."

I am sorry to say these doctrines are but little known amongst Protestants as being taught at their expense; if they were, my task would be comparatively easy. I will, therefore, continue my extracts, and here is what Bellarmine says as to the power of the Pope over princes:— Ordinarily the Pope, as Pope, cannot depose princes, &c., but he can change (the rulers of) kingdoms—can take a kingdom from one king and give it to another, as the chief spiritual prince, if it be necessary to the salvation of souls. Where the matter of law endangers the salvation of souls the Imperial law may be abrogated by the Papal law."—[Bell., tom. i. p. 889.) Well, will you subscribe to that doctrine? and yet remember that you are paying for its inculcation? You find fault occasionally with the people for obeying the teaching of the priests, but you have no right to do so, for it is you who pay the priests who teach them. Now a word as to what may be termed "a just cause." Bellarmine continues:— It is not lawful to Christians to tolerate an infidel or heretical king, if he endeavours to draw away his subjects to his own heresy or infidelity; but it belongs to the Pope to judge as to this, to whom is committed the care of religion. Therefore, it also belongs to the Pope to judge whether the sovereign is to be deposed or not … And if such princes attempt to turn their people from the faith, they may, by the consent of all, and ought to be deprived of their dominion. Now, let us not forget that our Sovereign is, in their view, a heretic. By-and-bye, no doubt, we shall hear something about "material" heresies and "formal," and other nice Jesuitical quibbles; but, be that as it may, we are told plainly enough what are the consequences of endeavouring to pervert the subjects of this realm to "heresy." Now surely the noble Lord will allow that the time has come for putting a stop to the propagation of such doctrines.

The majority of us are all heretics in Rome's esteem; and if we have not as yet been punished, it is because we are powerful. Prudence in dealing with the strong and powerful is enjoined by Rome on her agents; but where they are merely confronted by the weak and powerless, energy and despatch are to be the rule. The Pope, according to the doctrines here disclosed, may cause one of his vassals to send over an army to assist the Roman Catholics of this country in a struggle against the authority of the Crown. Again, here is further evidence as to the power of the Pope according to the teaching at Maynooth. Dr. Moriarty, a gentleman well known, then president of All Hallowes College, Drumcondra, is asked:— Are there no circumstances under which the Pope could release a citizen from his oath of allegiance?—A. Most emphatically I say, none. But as our greatest constitutional lawyers, and, as I think, our best theologians, hold that there are cases when the allegiance of the subject ceases, and when the Government of a country may be justly overthrown, I consider that the Pope is the fittest authority to decide in many cases whether such circumstances have arisen. The Pope, therefore, was to have the power of deciding whether any differences of opinion which might arise between a sovereign and his people, justified his subjects in violating their allegiance. Dr. Moriarty further said:— In many cases he (the Pope) could not decide, and I firmly believe that in such cases he would not undertake to do so. In no case can he cause the allegiance of a subject to cease, his power in such a matter being simply declaratory, not enabling, The examination of Dr. Moriarty proceeded:— But he (the Pope) would have removed the obligation from the conscience?— A. He would declare it removed by circumstances. But it would have the effect of removing the obligation from the conscience, would it not?— A. No; he merely decides and declares that it is removed, and thus he may enlighten a conscience which was in error, which erroneously judged itself under an obligation that had ceased to exist. With whom does the responsibility rest? Is the responsibility of disobeying removed from the party by virtue of the opinion expressed by the superior authority?—A. Were we to consult the Holy See upon our allegiance or obedience to our temporal Sovereign, and that an answer were given us, it ought to satisfy the consciences of Catholics, considering the maturity with which the Holy See proceeds, and considering, also, that we know it to be an authority divinely appointed and divinely assisted for our guidance in the way of salvation, and consequently in the path of duty. Does not that leave the question of the allegiance of all the subjects of the world to their several sovereigns entirely dependent upon the opinions that may be pronounced by the Pope from time to time? And now see how this Jesuit evades the question:— I think it would be well for the sovereigns and the subjects of the world that the matter were left to the Pope; but it seems to me that this opinion leaves allegiance no more dependent on the Pope, than Protestant theology leaves it dependent on individual conscience. True, yet the decision or consultation of individuals in a nation, all responsible for their decisions, is one thing; but the dogmas of a foreign Prince thus interfering in our concerns is another thing—is intolerable. The question is, who rules the Roman Catholics here, the Pope or the Queen?

Yet, with these answers before them, the Commissioners came to the notable resolution, that they did not find from the evidence, that the Roman Catholic doctrines had a tendency to destroy or weaken the allegiance of subjects to the Crown!

There is another very important question, and there is a great deal more in it than appears at first sight to a superficial observer—that is, the question of teaching with respect to marriage. This is the doctrine which Scavini laid down on that subject, vol. iv., p. 378:—

In those places where the Council of Trent is published—which applied to Ireland, for it was published there—"every marriage entered into otherwise than in the presence of a priest,"—a Romish priest being meant, of course,—"and two or three witnesses, is null and void." As see the words of the Council, in its Decree, Session 24, cap. 1:— Those who shall attempt to contract marriage otherwise (than as above), them doth the Holy Synod render incapable of thus contracting, and declares such contracts void and null. The House is, therefore, in point of fact, sanctioning the expenditure of the public money in teaching that the Queen is illegitimate, for, according to the doctrine there laid down and inculcated by the Romish Church, her parents were not married, and it follows, also, that she herself is not married, in a valid sense. It is important to bear in mind, that Parliament is now paying for the dissemination of that doctrine, the danger of which cannot be overrated, should any contest ever arise about the succession to the throne. Again, according to Dr. O'Hanlon, Bailly held a different doctrine from that of Scavini, and one very distasteful to the Pope of Rome—namely, the separability of the contract of marriage from the sacrament; but Bailly's book, in which that doctrine was laid down, is now prohibited from being taught at Maynooth, while that of Scavini, who inculcated an opposite one, is allowed; so that the result is, that the Pope, "as Pope," has formally laid down, at Maynooth, the maxim, that no marriage among Christians can be valid, unless it is celebrated as a sacrament. Here, again, the doctrine, which Parliament pays for teaching, is that the marriage of our Most Gracious Sovereign is not a valid marriage, and, therefore, according to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, all the consequences must attach to it that result from a marriage that is not valid.

The time may come—God grant it may not!—when disputes might arise in reference to the Act of Settlement of William III.; for I may remind the House that Mr. Burke, the well-known writer on the Peerage, &c., in his Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, vol. ii., p. 27, demonstrates that though there are no descendants of James II., there are descendants in the female line of Charles I. Once establish that fact, and once admit the truth of the doctrines on marriage now taught at Maynooth, and such descendants of Charles I. will no longer be hors decombat as respects any pretensions they may have to the throne of this realm. The present Duke of Modena, Francis V., is a nearer claimant of the throne than Her Most Gracious Majesty, barring the Act of Settlement of Will. III. and her Protestant oath. I therefore warn the House how they continue to sanction such dangerous delusions.

On the same subject of marriage, the Rev. H. Neville, a Maynooth Professor, states (p. 407, part ii.), in answer to the question— Is it taught at Maynooth, that a, man who enters into a marriage contract, which is valid by the law of the land, but invalid by the law of the Roman Catholic Church, may, on that account, abandon the woman, and contract marriage with another woman?— A. The man in the case proposed is free to abandon the woman, and contract marriage with another, as far as any obligation from the ecclesiastical contract is concerned. And we know that whatever be the civil "inconveniences," the ecclesiastical effects are paramount with Romanists.

I now come to another point, touching the light in which heretics and schismatics are viewed by the Romish Church.

Every Member of this House who is not a member of the Romish Church, is, in the estimation of that Church, a heretic; and subject to the denunciations laid down in the book from which I am quoting. This celebrated author, Devoti, takes great pains to show that none are to be tolerated who dissent from that Church. Let the friends of civil and religious liberty bear this in mind. Give that Church the power, and it will soon he seen what are its notions of civil and religious liberty. In the College of Maynooth, the doctrine that heretics and schismatics are to be punished is now taught; and Parliament itself is sanctioning the expenditure of public money in teaching that doctrine. I contend, therefore, that the time has come when Parliament ought to tell the Roman Catholic priesthood that if they continue to teach such doctrines to the people of their communion they will do it at their own cost, and their own risk and responsibility.

Devoti, in this Institutionum Canonicarum, lays down the most intolerant doctrines.

This book has been adopted by the College, and is returned in the Report of Evidence, 1826; and has lately been put forth in a new edition—the one now quoted. As regards the punishment of heretics, the author of this work says (vol. ii. p. 259)— Many punishments are appointed for heretics in both the civil and ecclesiastical laws. By the civil laws are decreed infamy and the prohibition to devise property or receive any donation of property. Especially their goods are confiscated and their money, and similar punishments are inflicted. Moreover the Roman law punishes certain heretics with death." (Vol. ii., pp. 264 and 271), "To schismatics who separate from the universal Church the same punishments are awarded as to heretics. … None are to be tolerated who dissent from the truth. … But the prince placed over the civil state ought to coerce, and with punishments to expel the enemies of the Catholic religion … Wherefore when any one is adjudged by the Church to be an enemy of true religion, the prince should endeavour by all means to remove the moral contagion by which the whole State may be corrupted … But if the fear of great evil and danger should not allow him (the prince), to expel heretics and the like, from the city or State, the law of necessity must be obeyed. Then heretics must remain in the city or State, if they cannot be expelled.'' The doctrine is, that all who are baptized are subject to the Romish Church—that there is truly but this one Church, and consequently the very moment that we separate from that Church we become heretics, and are subject to the denunciations above laid down. We, having dissented from the doctrines of the Romish Church, are not to be tolerated—we must suffer the pains and penalties of heretics. Give the Church of Rome but that power which she is every day aiming at, and you will soon see, to your cost, what her notions of civil and religious liberty are. And recollect that, by endowing this College, you are, in effect, teaching those doctrines respecting heretics and schismatics to which I have just referred. These are books which, with your money, you are contributing to teach. And yet you assume the character of defenders and supporters of civil and religious liberty. [A laugh.] Some hon. Members may attempt to ridicule these facts; but it ought to be made the subject of serious reflection by the Members of the Government, who are participators in the sin arising from the teaching of doctrines which are subversive of all order and propriety, and of the civil and religious liberties of this country.

Bellarmine also teaches as to the extirpation of heretics— When, therefore, our Lord prohibits us to extirpate all the wicked, he does not prohibit that individuals should be slain. If, indeed, it can be done, they (heretics) ought undoubtedly to be extirpated; but if they are stronger than we, and there is danger if we attack them in war that more of us would fall than of them, then are we to keep quiet." De Laicis, chap. 22. Appendix C.) Here then are books whose doctrines you help to spread all over the country; justify this if you can!

There is a document actually before the House, to which I wish to call the noble Lord's attention. It is a document in the shape of a petition; not from any Protestant individual or body, but from a Roman Catholic gentleman. I do not mean to express any opinion whatever as to whether the statements made in it are true or not. That is a question which is yet to be tried. But observe the way in which the priests exercised their power at the last election, as described by this Roman Catholic gentleman. This, Sir, is a petition from Colonel Higgins, who was a Member of this House in the last Parliament. I did not myself know that gentleman intimately, but I always heard him spoken of as a man of great veracity, of highly honourable principles. Well, here are the allegations of Colonel Higgins, as set forth in this petition. He says— The Roman Catholic clergy of the county of Mayo, previous to and during the late election, convened large meetings, at which, and in their chapels, they openly denounced your petitioner, and made the people believe that the electors and others would be advancing the glory of God, and saving their own souls from eternal damnation, and bringing blessings upon their own families, by voting for the present sitting Member for the county. "… … "The said Roman Catholic clergy openly invoked the curses of the Almighty on all who should refuse to vote for the said sitting Member, and stated that the souls of those who voted against the sitting Member, or who declined to vote for him, would be consigned to eternal punishment hereafter; and that the said priests had acted at the election as tally agents. Now, recollect, that these are the statements of a Roman Catholic gentleman, and who states that he is ready upon oath to produce witnesses to prove his statements.

Now, what does Professor O'Hanlon say, in effect, in his evidence, upon this subject of the interference of priests at elections? He says, "Oh, no, the priests have no right to interfere at elections"—then comes the "but"— "but the vote may be one that may occasion sin, and, therefore, although they have no right to interfere with the right of voting, yet if the vote occasion sin, they have a right to refuse to the sinning voter all the rites and sacraments of his Church." Now, I ask you, can you believe that the priests educated by such men as O'Hanlon, who go out amongst the voters, and who tell them that these are the doctrines of Maynooth, which England maintains with her money—which the Crown and Parliament sanctioned—can you, I say, doubt but that the voters will assent to them, and will implicitly believe what their priests tell them?

There is a gentleman who, by the negligence and non-performance of his duty by the Attorney General, assumes to himself a title which is directly contrary to the intentions of the law that was passed to prevent such pretensions. This gentleman assumes to himself the forbidden title of "Bishop of Liverpool." The following appears in a newspaper called The Tablet, which I believe is a special organ of the Roman Catholics of this country— Diocese of Liverpool, May 9, 1857.—Laying the Foundation-stone of St. Peter's new Church, at Lancaster.—Referring to the maintenance of their civil privileges, the Bishop said, 'They must prove their rights, by standing up for them. The day had gone by when Catholics should bow their heads and live; but they must claim their rights, and have them. He considered that either bishops or priests degraded their position, when they appeared at the hustings, but when they had the right of voting he hoped they would always be found at the head of their people. [And here in the petition of Colonel Higgins, the House may see how they 'head their people.'] For 300 years they had been taken as they were described to be, but now they were beginning to be seen as they really were, and were found to be not quite so bad as they were represented.'" Rather, are they not much worse? Now, these observations of the bishop remind me of the old story of a father's advice to his son, "Get money honestly if you can; but, if not honestly, get money at all events." The bishop advises them to stand up for their rights, and they should get them. [Cries of Hear, hear!] Oh! these cheers of hon. Members will be well understood—the public will understand them. I say to the Romanists, "You shall have your rights as loyal subjects, but you shall not have that domination you are contending for. You shall never be allowed to make your Church the dominant Church in the land." I have heard it said over and over again—and I was cheered when I challenged the fact—that you would never be content with what you were pleased to sneer at, toleration. [Ironical cheers from the Roman Catholic Members.] No! it is quite evident that your party will never be content until they have placed themselves on a level with the Established Church; and that only as a step to supplanting her entirely. That Church, however, calls upon the Sovereign to take care that you shall not stand on a level with it; nor supplant that Church. For every step we give you, you take three or four more without our leave. You have shown what your intentions are. You aim at supremacy, and you will use your utmost to gain your object. If that time should ever arrive, it is easy to conjecture the manner which Protestants would be dealt with. That treatment may be gleaned from the doctrines put forth by the priests to whom I have referred. ["Hear!" from the Roman Catholic Members.] I perceive that I am telling you too many home truths which you do not wish to hear. These truths, however, will be read in the organs of public opinion. I call upon this House and the Government to defend the integrity of the Protestant Church, for which our ancestors have fought and bled, and which you may rely upon it we shall never quietly surrender. I wish to tell the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston), that this House has been and will be a party to those pernicious doctrines, if we continue to maintain with our money the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth. I say, further, that this endowment will furnish a reasonable excuse for the conduct of those persons, both priests and people, who are instructed in such pernicious principles. The seed you have sown at Maynooth is bearing abundant fruit; and I can give you a very recent instance of it. I find the following report in a Dublin newspaper, called Saunders's News Letter, which has been sent to me. It relates to the Rev. Mr. Bradby and his pretensions—


Thomas Bradby v. James Reilly.

"This was an action, brought by the Roman Catholic Archdeacon of Kilmore, for recovery of dues and emoluments, claimed to be due by the defendant, according to the Roman Catholic Church, Mr. Swanzy, who was retained by the Rev. Mr. Bradby, said the present case was a most peculiar one, and he would say that it was the first one of the kind that had ever been tried before in Ireland. It was a claim made by the plaintiff to recover from the defendant the just and legitimate dues which the plaintiff considered he was entitled to by the usages and customs of the Roman Catholic Church. The Court: Mr. Swanzy, I should wish to know how you can sustain your claim in point of law? Mr. Swanzy: The recognition of it by usages and custom, in my opinion, legalises it. Usages and custom proved an implied contract. The Court: Do you rest your case upon usage and custom? I should like you to show me what legal obligation there is to pay it, and what sanction you have by law. Mr. Swanzy: I can give you no further proofs to be guided by than usage and custom. The Court: Usage and custom are not recognised by law; and even the tendering of the money would not establish your right. Mr. Swanzy: The claim is a just and righteous one. The Court: That may be. But the law says that the Rev. Thomas Bradby is there, teaching doctrines which are 'damnable and idolatrous.' Then will you expect the law to pay him for that? Even the late Prime Minister called the Roman Catholic religion the 'mummery of superstition.' Mr. Magauran: And yet the Government sanctions the teaching of such doctrines, because they give us the Maynooth Grant, and pay our clergy for teaching the Catholic religion in our workhouses and our gaols. After some other cross-firing, The Court decided that Archdeacon Bradby (the Priest) bad no law upon his side to support him in his claim, and dismissed the process."—Anglo-Celt.

Doubtless, these arguments will be made use of in times perhaps not distant, in answer to your prosecutions for rebellion. The poor ignorant people will naturally say that they have been instructed by their priests to act in the way they have done—that they could not doubt the propriety of following their advice, because their priests were educated in these principles (as I have proved already), and maintained by the money of the State, and with the approbation of the Crown and the Parliament.

Remember, also, what are the necessary consequences of the debasing and destructive system of the Confessional, as practised by the Romish Church. Instead of uttering my own language upon this subject, I much prefer reminding you of the language used by the late Sir R. Peel, in regard to the practice of confession. [Mr. ROEBUCK: What is the date?] I presume the question of the hon. and learned Gentleman is meant to imply, that Sir Robert Peel, after the delivery of the speech from which I propose to make an extract changed his opinion. Such was the fact, but Sir Robert changed his opinion more than once. When a Statesman of such eminence was found to have laid down certain principles, supporting them by powerful and convincing arguments, those who agreed with him were not bound to follow him in all his subsequent changes, and his words might fairly be quoted, even after he had altered his views. The speech in question was delivered at the time when the late Mr. Canning was at the head of the Government, mid when the Duke of Wellington and Sir R. Peel were resisting the measure for the emancipation of the Roman Catholics, proposed by Mr. Canning.

Although I disagreed with the right hon. Baronet in his notions at that time, on the emancipation of the Roman Catholics, having been much influenced by the arguments and unrivalled eloquence of Mr. Canning, as well as those of my brother-in-law, the late Mr. Wilberforce, I have since been convinced that I made a great mistake in assenting to the principle of that measure. I now believe that that was a fatal step, for, having secured the right of sitting in the Legislature, the Roman Catholics have ever since been using, or rather abusing, their power, to gain for their Church a supremacy over the Protestant Church, contrary to their oaths most solemnly given. With the conviction that I committed a great mistake in respect to the measure of Catholic emancipation, I feel it is my imperative duty to use the position which a large constituency has given me, to do the best I can to remedy the evil to which I had been a party, and to take care that the Roman Catholics shall, if possible, be kept within such bounds as will prevent injury to the Crown and to the country.

The late Sir R. Peel said—and I concur in what he says—of confession:— I will candidly and fairly admit that I entertain a distrust of the Roman Catholic priesthood; I object not to the Roman Catholics on account of their faith—on the contrary, I entertain towards them feelings of the highest respect. In private life I have never made any distinction between persons on account of their religion. Their doctrine of transubstantiation is a matter of perfect indifference to me; but if they add to this doctrine a scheme of worldly policy of a marked character, I have a right to inquire into its nature, and to observe its effects upon mankind. Can any one acquainted with the relations of society doubt for a moment that there is engrafted upon the Roman Catholic religion something more than a scheme to promote religion? There is in view the furtherance of means by which one may acquire power over his fellow-men. Can we know what the doctrines (and practice) of absolution, of confession, or of indulgences are, without feeling a suspicion that those doctrines are entertained for the purpose of establishing a power in favour of the priests over the hearts and minds of the people? I will leave it to hon. Members to judge, when a man has told all his sins and all his faults to another man, how soon he becomes the slave of that individual—a slave in the very worst sense of the term. Yet that is the system taught in Maynooth—the doctrine and practice of confession, thus forcibly and truly described, is virtually being maintained by the money of the State, and the assent of Parliament. Well, I ask you whether such a system is to be continued? Depend upon it you will he called to account for this sooner or later.

I ask you to agree with me in voting for the resolution which I have the honour of moving, and which I have placed, Sir, in your hands:— That this House do resolve itself into a Committee to consider the Acts for the Endowment of Maynooth, with a view to the withdrawal of any Endowment out of the Consolidated Fund, due regard being had to vested rights and interests. That Resolution binds us to pay respect to vested rights and interests. But further than that I could not go.

You may tell me, that at the last election the Maynooth question formed but a small part of the discussion. I know it; but do not lay the flattering unction to your soul, that the Protestant people of this country have forgotten the principles or the object of this grant. The noble Lord opposite took care to go to the country with an appeal which Englishmen always respond to. He knew that his budget was objected to by a large party in this House. He thought it dangerous to go on with it, and, like an able Statesman as he is—having devoted his whole time to the country—he looked about for the best cry upon which to go to John Bull. He told him that his flag was insulted, and thus hoisted his flag against any other cry, "Palmerston and our Flag." That cry stopped every mouth, diverted every idea, except that of placing the noble Lord in the high position which he now fills, and from which I have no wish to depose him. I believe the noble Lord possesses talents above those of any other man in this House, and if he, applies his great abilities and vast experience to maintain, unshaken and unbroken, the British constitution, to resist dangerous innovations while promoting real reforms, he will have no opposition from me. I would impress upon the Members of this House, who are not Roman Catholics, that they ought, as professing Protestant Christianity, at least to sec the Bill which I intend to ask leave to introduce. I am prepared to show, by that Bill, that no injustice would be done, and that its only effect would be, to preserve the Protestant Christianity of the nation, and to satisfy the feelings of a Protestant people. I wish to say to Roman Catholics—"You shall enjoy all civil rights, all your religious privileges, but your Church shall not be allowed to obtain that supremacy which is the first object of its ambition;" and I also wish to show that the Protestant spirit is still alive—that the nation, if called upon, will soon respond in a manner that will enable, and I believe constrain, Parliament and the Government to maintain that which we and the Sovereign are alike bound by oath to maintain. I have thus endeavoured to discharge my duty, believing the doctrines taught at Maynooth to be antagonistic to the Holy Word of God; and that to teach such doctrines is a grievous national sin, and will, if persisted in, sooner or later, bring down the judgments of Almighty God upon this hitherto highly favoured nation.


seconded the Motion. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do resolve itself into a Committee to consider the Acts for the Endowment of the College of Maynooth, with a view to the withdrawal of any Endowment out of the Consolidated Fund, due regard being had to vested rights and interests.


said, the arguments of the hon. Gentleman reduced themselves to a statement of his conviction—very sincere no doubt, but possibly not well founded—that when clashing sects put their contributions into the same box, his sect ought to prevent any other from taking anything out, because his sect was right and every other wrong. Was that, or was it not, the pith of the argument which the hon. Gentleman had propounded to the House? He would invite hon. Gentlemen who had any hesitation on this subject, to consider the effect if the circumstances were reversed, and the case arose of a Protestant interest in Prance or Sardinia struggling for a portion of the money which they themselves, out of their own pockets, had contributed. Did any man doubt that the Roman Catholics had contributed to the public fund out of which the Maynooth grant came? If so, let him state the reason why. Did any man doubt that, if the case existed which he had put, the Protestants in those continental countries would feel the injustice of being told that they were not to have a portion of the money, because the Catholic religion was the only true one? If the question were put to sects in general, there was not one which would not declare itself the only right one. He would leave the consideration of the question of mortal and venial sins to those better able to do it justice. "Between two horses, which doth bear him best, he had, perhaps, some shallow spirit of judgment;" but on the knotty distinctions to which the hon. Member had referred, his care should be confined to keeping himself as clear as he could of either.


—who had on the paper an Amendment to the Motion, to add the words, "and to consider the expediency of withdrawing all further grants of public money for religious purposes in Ireland"—said that, seeing the feeling of the House was anxious to proceed at once to a division, he would not press his Amendment, although he would have been glad of an opportunity to make a few observations upon this subject.


who was received with loud calls for a division, assured the House—first, that he did not intend to occupy much of their time, and next, that although a young Member, he was not a man to be put down by clamour at any time or in any place. He did not intend to attempt any reply to the speech of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, but he wished to express his regret that the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Scholefield) had not brought forward his Amendment, which he (Mr. Gilpin) had consented to second, although it did not go as far as he desired. He objected to the Maynooth Grant as strongly as the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, but he did so upon quite different principles; still he should feel great pleasure in going into the same lobby with the hon. Gentleman. If the question before the House had been, as he hoped it soon would be, whether the State ought to support any particular religious sect, he should have said, "No; all religions should stand, in the eye of the State, upon a footing of perfect equality." The Roman Catholics were justified in standing up for their rights; but then came the question of what these rights were. He would support them in their endeavours to be placed on the same footing as any other sect; but he protested against the House being made the arena for theological controversy. Nor were these lobbies proper places to settle questions of doctrine. It was his earnest hope, in which he represented the feelings of a large body in the House, that all religious grants by the State would speedily be abolished, upon the simple and intelligible proposition that Parliament was not intended to decide upon questions of orthodoxy and heterodoxy, but to maintain the equal rights of all good citizens throughout the Empire.


took this opportunity of expressing his regret that a time had not come for putting an end to these controversies in that House. He trusted, however, that after the division of Monday night on the question of ministers' money that time would soon come; and he recommended the Catholics to put themselves in a position of independence with regard to the State, which would relieve them from the necessity and opprobrium of submitting to such discussions as these. If he were a Catholic he would not for the sake of this paltry grant of £26,000 a year incur the shame which was brought upon them by this grant. Although the Protestant Dissenters contended that they were the majority of the inhabitants of this country, they had never been heard coming to that House whining and whimpering for grants in aid of their religion. In Ireland the Catholics had only this small grant, and the only other bodies who had the meanness to take the taxes of the people for the support of their institutions were the Presbyterians and the Unitarians. It was not a little singular that the bodies that were most able to support their own clergy were precisely those that sought for State aid. He thought that it was unjust to tax any man for the support of the religion of another, and for that reason he should vote with the hon. Member for Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner); and he must at the same time appeal to the Roman Catholics to say, whether the period had not arrived for terminating these heartburnings and these painful controversies by a surrender of the grant to Maynooth, now that ministers' money was abolished.


put the Question.

MR. NEWDEGATE rose—but Mr. SPEAKER informed the hon. Gentleman that he was too late.

The House divided:£Ayes 91; Noes 125: Majority 34.

List of the AYES.
Anderson, Sir J. Jolliffe, H. H.
Arbuthnott, hon. Gen. Jones, D.
Ball, E. Keating, H. S.
Barrow, W. H. Kendall, N.
Baxter, W. E. King, hon. P. J. L.
Beach, W. W. B. King, E. B.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Langton, H. G.
Bernard, T. T. Luce, T.
Blackburn, P. Mackie, J.
Bramley-Moore, J. Matheson, A.
Bridges, Sir B. W. Miller, T. J.
Butler, C. S. Miller, S. B.
Caird, J. Mills, A.
Campbell, R. J. R. Morris, D.
Carden, Sir R. W. Mowbray, J. R.
Cheetham, J. Muntz, G. F.
Child, S. Napier, rt. hon. J.
Cobbold, J. C. Nicoll, D.
Collier, R. P. Packe, C. W.
Coningham, W. Pevensey, Visct.
Cowan, C. Pigott, F.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Platt, J.
Davies, D. A. S. Rebow, J. G.
Davison, R. Robertson, P. F.
Dobbs, W. C. Rolt, J.
Duke, Sir J. Roupell, W.
Dunbar, Sir W. Rust, J.
Dundas, F. Salisbury, E. G.
Dunlop, A. M. Stapleton, J.
Dutton, hon. R. H. Steuart, A.
Ellice, E. Sturt, C. N.
Elphinstone, Sir J. Tite, W.
Finlay, A. S. Tollemache, J.
Gard, R. S. Vance, J.
Goddard, A. L. Vansittart, W.
Greenall, G. Verney, Sir H.
Griffith, C. D. Walcott, Adm.
Grogan, E. Warren, S.
Gurney, J. H. White, J.
Hadfield, G. Whiteside, J.
Hamilton, G. A. Williams, W.
Hanbury, R. Willoughby, J. P.
Harris, J. D. Wise, J. A.
Hay, Lord J. Wyld, J.
Hopwood, J. T. TELLERS.
Horsfall, T. B. Spooner, R.
Hotham, Lord Newdegate, C. N.
List of the NOES.
Adeane, H. J. Baines, rt. hon. M. T.
Bagwell, J. Barnard, T.
Bailey, C. Beamish, F. B.
Bethell, Sir R. Knatchbull-Hugessen, E
Biggs, J. Langston, J. H.
Black, A. Levinge, Sir R.
Blake, J. Lincoln, Earl of
Bland, L. H. Locke, J.
Botfield, B. Macarthy, A.
Bowyer, G. M'Cann, J.
Brady, J. MacEvoy, E.
Bramston, T. W. M'Clintock, J.
Briscoe, J. I. M'Mahon, P.
Brown, W. Magan, W. H.
Buchanan, W. Maguire, J. F.
Buckley, Gen. Manners, Lord J.
Buller, J. W. Merry, J.
Bury, Visct. Moore, G. H.
Calcutt, F. M. Nente, C.
Clark, J. J. Norris, J. T.
Cogan, W. H. F. O'Brien, P.
Cowper, rt. hon. W. F. O'Brien, Sir T.
Conyngham, Lord F. O'Brien, J.
Corbally, M. E. O'Donaghoe, The
Cotterell, Sir H. G. O'Flaherty, A.
Cox, W. Ogilvy, Sir J.
Dalgleish, R. Paget, C.
Davey, R. Paget, Lord C.
Deasy, R. Palmerston, Visct.
De Vere, S. E. Pease, H.
Devereux, J. T. Philipps, J. H.
Dillwyn, L. L. Pinney, Col.
Drummond, H. Potter, Sir J.
Dunne, M. Power, N.
Elton, Sir A. H. Ramsay, Sir A.
Ennis, J. Roebuck, J. A.
Esmonde, J. Russell, Lord J.
Evans, T. W. Russell, F. W.
Fagan, W. Schneider. H. W.
Farquhar, Sir W. M. Scholefield, W.
Fenwick, H. Somers, J. P.
Ferguson, Sir R. Stuart, Lord J.
FitzGerald, rt. hon. J. D. Stuart, Col.
Fortescue, C. S. Sullivan, M.
French, Col. Tancred, H. W.
Garnett, W. J. Thompson. Gen.
Grace, O. D. J. Thornely, T.
Greer, S. M'C. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Gregory, W. H. Townsend, J.
Greville, Col. F. Trefusis, hon. C. H. R.
Hackblock, W. Trelawny, Sir J. S.
Harcourt, G. G. Turner, J. A.
Hassard, M. Tynte, Col. K.
Hatchell, J. Waldron, L.
Heard, J. I. Warre, J. A.
Henchy, D. O'C. Westhead, J. P. B.
Herbert, H. A. Williams, M.
Hope, A. J. B. B. Williams, E. W. B.
Hornby, W. H. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Howard, Lord E. Woods, H.
Ingrain, H. Worsley, Lord
Jermyn, Earl TELLERS.
Kinglake, A. W. Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.
Kirk, W. Mulgrave, Earl of

then moved the adjournment of the House, for the purpose, as he said, of explaining what had passed amongst some Members who were not accustomed to the forms of the House. They were not aware that they could rise after the Speaker had put the question. He (Mr. Newdegate) expected they would rise, and thus waited till he was too late to catch the Speaker's eye. He mentioned this without in the least impugning the decision of the chair.

MR. ROEBUCK rose to order. There was no question before the House, and therefore the hon. Member had no right to speak.


intimated that the hon. Member for Warwickshire had moved the adjournment of the House, and was therefore at liberty to proceed.


said, he had been induced to adopt the invidious course of moving the adjournment for the purpose of allowing him to explain how many hon. Members had been precluded from expressing their opinions on a subject which deeply interested their feelings, and from the decision on which many had been excluded. He would not withdraw his Motion for the adjournment until the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield had taken any exception which he might think fit. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn.


, after the remarks which had just fallen from the hon. Member for Warwickshire, felt bound to say that the House had appeared so utterly indifferent to the subject that during the eloquent and stirring speech of the hon. Member there were only two Members on the benches near him. The hon. Member (Mr. Newdegate) was perfectly aware of the forms of the House, and ought to have known better than to miss his opportunity. If the hon. Member intended to convey to the country the idea that there had been any surprise—


declared that he had not made any such insinuation.


or that the interest of hon. Members was very great, those who had been present since the commencement of the debate could testify that the Opposition benches had been empty nearly the whole time.


I do not rise to complain, Sir, of what has fallen from the hon. Member opposite. It is perfectly true. None of the Members on this side of the House appear to have thought it worth their while to attend. They must exercise their own judgment, and I don't mean to find fault with them. But recollect, Sir, that none of the Members on the other side could answer my arguments. Hon. Members on this side being satisfied with the arguments, I am content to leave hon. Gentlemen opposite in full joy of their triumph, while it will go to the country that with force of numbers they defeated what they could not meet with force of argument.


congratulated the House on having escaped the dreary miseries of a Maynooth debate. They had had a specimen of such debates in the hon. Gentleman's speech, and they all knew the infliction. He had heard the greater part of it, and only spoke his own feelings; but the majority of Members opposite were at dinner during the time—a very much more agreeable operation, no doubt. Again he congratulated the House on having escaped the misery of that bigoted appeal which was constantly being made to them. He was glad, too, that it had been answered merely by votes, and that no one had attempted a refutation of that which did not deserve to be refuted.

MR. WHITESIDE rose to ask the noble Lord at the head of the Government what were the intentions of the Government with regard to the College of Maynooth? A Commission was issued—

MR. ESMONDE rose to order. The question before the House was the adjournment.


I do not understand what the hon. Gentleman means.


What I mean is this—


The hon. Gentleman has risen to order, and must confine himself strictly to stating the reasons why he thinks the hon. Member for Enniskillen is out of order.


In my humble opinion the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen is out of order, because the question being the adjournment of the House he was entering into the question of Maynooth, which had just been decided on by the House.


The hon. and learned Member who was addressing the House was perfectly in order.


said, he had always remarked that those who were most clamorous in favour of liberty of discussion, and the free expression of opinion, invariably endeavoured to stifle the expression of opinions which they did not like. But he wished to know what course the noble Lord intended to take in reference to the report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into Maynooth College. That Commission had been issued, he believed, when the noble Lord was Home Secretary, and had reported that there was no branch of education pursued there which met their entire approval, and in the conduct of which some alterations were not requisite. Now, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge had been overhauled. The University of Dublin had been very properly reformed, and scholarships had been founded—and he fully approved of the step—to which Roman Catholic gentlemen were admissible. He wished to know whether anything was to be done in order to carry out the report of the Commissioners, and to effect the reforms recommended by them in the system pursued at Maynooth. Were they to be told that hon. Gentlemen opposite might express their opinion on ministers' money, and that the hon. Member for Cork might put a Motion on the paper for an inquiry into almost every matter connected with the Irish Church, and yet that those on that side of the House were not to ask what was to be done with an institution upon which there was a Report of a Commission that had never been complied with?


I hope the House will not be led into renewing the discussion of the main question on the question of adjournment, although it is competent for it to do so, as you, Sir, have very properly decided. With regard to the boast of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, that his speech was not answered because it could not be answered—those who heard it might infer in their own minds other reasons why Gentlemen who differ from the hon. Gentleman were unwilling to enter into a course of discussion upon a polemical question, which, if entered into, could not be carried on without creating irritation which it is desirable to avoid. I have heard many speeches from the hon. Gentleman, but I never heard one which invited, to a greater degree, dissent on the part of those who do not agree with him in regard to the topics which he was discussing. With regard to the question just addressed to me by the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen, the report of the Commissioners did recommend certain alterations, not of a very material character, in the course of education at Maynooth, and I believe those alterations are now in course of being carried into effect by those who have the conduct of that establishment. I am not able to say whether they have all been carried out or not, but as far as I am informed they are in train.


pointed out the loss of time which would arise from the practice of hon. Members reopening the discussion of a Motion which had been disposed of by resorting to the expedient of moving the adjournment of the House. It would be most unfair to other hon. Members who had Motions on the paper, particularly as there were only two nights in the week on which Motions could be brought on.

After a few words from Mr. NEWDEGATE,

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.