§ MR. WHALLEY
said, he rose to move the following Resolution:—That this House will immediately 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.At the outset he must claim the indulgence of the House while endeavouring to occupy a position which was extremely difficult and embarrassing for many reasons, and especially because he succeeded an hon. Gentleman who had very frequently brought the question forward, and who carried with him great weight and influence from his ability and personal character. Without some explanation it would appear presumptuous on his part to ask the attention of the House to a subject, which could be discussed to much greater advantage by other Members; but he might state that he had been encouraged to undertake the task by having had presented to him a memorial, signed by 7,000 leading Protestants, who might be said to be the exponents of the Protestant principle of the country. He felt, under these circumstances, he might without diffidence claim to be heard by the House while he brought before it the grounds upon which the grant to Maynooth was regarded now, more than ever, with unmitigated, uncompromising opposition by the Protestant feeling of the country. Before he had undertaken to bring the subject forward he had inquired into the state of public feeling, and he could assure the House that the subject was not brought forward as a mere annual exercitation of the question, nor as a matter of 549 form, But with the conviction that it would be successful, and that the agitation would be actively carried on until the grant was repealed. He intended to call particular attention to those reasons for the withdrawal of the grant which had never existed in the same force as they did at the present time. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) had been in the habit of reading extracts from various books which constituted, as was generally supposed, the elements of the education given at the College of Maynooth. Those extracts were undoubtedly essential in order to arrive at a full comprehension of the national wrong and injury—he might say, iniquity—involved in continuing the grant to the College; but he would not inflict upon the House an irksome repetition of painful arguments. If he were to read the whole canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, and the books of Dens, Liguori, and others, they could not have any further effect than the simple enunciation of the principle which underlaid the whole system of Roman Catholic teaching—namely, that the end justified the means—the end being the promotion of the interests of the Roman Catholic Church, and the means, whatever should tend to that end. By that principle treason was directly encouraged, and not only was murder tolerated as also every other offence which men of all times had agreed to denounce, recommended and adopted as justifiable, when the end was to promote the interests of the Roman Catholic Church; but in proportion as a pupil of the College had an opportunity of committing those crimes, of violating the ordinary moral sense which governed the community at large, and thereby placing himself in antagonism to public opinion—he, in the game proportion, established a claim to respect among his fellow students, and had a prospect of those temporal and eternal rewards which the Roman Catholic Church held out to its followers. He was fully prepared to establish that position. Let them look back to history, and see whether such teachings as those he had described as now carried on at Maynooth had not been in past ages carried out in practice to the fullest extent in the degree in which the Roman Catholic power was predominant. There they found proofs of a disregard of those moral laws which common sense had dictated, and which all mankind had agreed to look upon with respect and reverence. The modem history 550 of our own country also gave a practical exemplification of these doctrines of the Romish Church. In 1853 a Commission, was appointed by the Crown for the purpose of inquiring what doctrines were taught at Maynooth; and, after two or three years, they made a Report, in which they stated that they were unable satisfactorily to discharge their duty, in as much as it appeared from the evidence of the professors that there were no text-books to which they could refer as the authorities by which the teaching in the college was guided. They were asked to believe that' professors and students were left to form their own opinions, and, therefore, whatever astounding doctrines might be found in the works of Roman Catholic writers the ready answer would be that that part, at all events, might not be recognized in the college. Now, he put it as a distinct proposition to the House, whether any reasonable assembly ought to continue the grant to the? College of Maynooth, which, in the words of the Act of Parliament, was for the "better education of Roman Catholics," not "Roman Catholic priests," unless they had an opportunity of ascertaining clearly and beyond any doubt whatever, what was the course of teaching adopted? It was a palpable insult to the understanding of the Commissioners for the Professors to say that they had no text-books and no books of authority, and that fact of itself was a sufficient ground for withdrawing the grant. But while he did not press these details on the House at that moment, he reserved to himself the right at a fitting opportunity of investigating the course of teaching at the fullest length and in the completest manner. There were certain departments of that teaching which not even the Commissioners could give to the public, so revolting were they to the sense of decency and morality. He might say for himself, having investigated the subject, that no one could read so much on the subject as he had without feeling it to be his bounden duty to his country to endeavour to ensure for it a Parliamentary investigation, in its fullest details, if that should be found to be necessary. He should not, however, enter into those details on that occasion, because he believed that, whatever might be stated on that part of the subject in support of his Motion, there were independently of that abundant reasons of a political and public nature, such as more generally came within the view and consideration of the House, 551 which would afford sufficiently to make out the case he was contending for. The lion, and learned Gentleman the Member for Southampton (Mr. Digby Seymour) had given notice of an Amendment to his Motion, to the effect that the House should take into consideration all grants of a religious nature to all religious bodies whatsoever. Now, he (Mr. Whalley) felt himself at liberty to anticipate to some extent the discussion of that Amendment, because it appeared to assume that that question of Maynooth was a mere religious question, that all religious grants were pretty much on the same footing, and that if the Maynooth Grant should be withdrawn all others ought to be withdrawn also. In the first place he would observe that he might simplify the point which his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Southampton proposed to establish, by referring to the sentiments expressed by the hon. and learned Gentleman in reference to that very question on a former occasion. The grant in its actual application was undoubtedly applied to purposes of religion, but that was not the intention of the Maynooth Act—the object of that Act was to provide for the better education of Roman Catholics, and it did not say a word about religion in any other sense. Nothing could be more conclusive as to that, in fact, than the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman he had referred to. The hon. and learned Gentleman on a former occasion had very fully expressed his opinion on this subject, and I cannot better express my own views than by quoting the words of the hon. Gentleman. He then said—The State, cither wisely or unwisely, and I confess I am of the former opinion, has determined that there shall be an Established Church. Of course there can be but one, and that one maintained at the national expense. The State has further determined that the Established Church must be Protestant. Now, a Roman Catholic college, founded in perpetuity for purely Roman Catholic purposes, is inconsistent with the security of that Protestant Establishment, as a conscientious member of which I maintain that such a college should not receive encouragement or bounty.He said also that there should not be a Roman Catholic College for the education of Roman Catholic priests, for it would be their steady purpose to direct their strongest energies to the overthrow of those principles which the State had accepted for a national religion. And then he went on to state that if a fortress were erected at a great public cost, and he saw the Gene- 552 ral in command of that fortress endowing a school by its side for educating boys to undermine that fortress, he should pronounce that General a fool, a madman, or a traitor. He entirely concurred in the sentiments of his hon. and learned Friend. It would be fur his hon. and learned Friend to explain to this House what connection there was between the Maynooth Grant and grants to other religious bodies. He knew of no other grant that was at all in a similar position except the Regium Donum; and if some Gentlemen thought that this Regium Donum should be repealed or even that the Established Church in Ireland was too amply endowed, he would ask all those who thought so on what rational grounds they could deem it a remedy for that to endow this college or could withhold their consent from the Motion he was now making? So long as this grant remained no other could be repealed, withheld, or diminished.
He had promised to bring the question forward free from all the embittered feelings with which it was commonly associated, and he should strive to his utmost to observe that promise whilst asking the House to consider the position of the Maynooth question in reference to our foreign relations, and also in reference to the progress of Romanism at home. Sir Robert Kane, the President of the Queen's College at Cork, remarked that Maynooth was the only place in the world, not excepting Rome itself, where the principles of the Roman Catholic religion could be inculcated with perfect immunity from the supervision of the State. There, and only there, were Ultramontane doctrines freely taught, with what success might be judged from the fact of the extension of the college privileges, and of the college turning out 500 or 600 students annually. Maynooth supplied priests, not for Ireland alone, but for England and the Continent of Europe. Maynooth was the citadel of Popery, in fact, to which it had been at length driven by the awakened common sense of the nations of Europe. In 1795, when the college was first established, there were circumstances to justify its establishment to a limited extent. There was not a spot in Europe where the doctrines of Rome could at that time be taught; and the object was to resist even by Romanism the doctrines of Atheism and anarchy then predominant on the Continent; in then offering an asylum to it at Maynooth, we had to choose between that 553 and atheism, anarchy, and the other horrors of the French Revolution. But the grant was limited simply to the establishment of a college—for it was not ventured to propose a grant of money. But why should England now be the only place where such license was allowed? Since the period to which he referred, reason had asserted its sway on the Continent, and England and the nations of Europe were quietly watching the issue of the contest now being waged between the party of whom Garibaldi was the leader, a Roman Catholic nominally, but yet a Protestant by right of judgment, and that of which the Pope was the head, his officers being these priests, and especially those of the Ultramontano school. And where did he get those priests from? From England—from free, Protestant England. England became thus the citadel of the Pope; England was his greatest support in this unholy warfare against the civil and religious liberties of Italy. The material consequences of the sympathy thus manifested for him were seen in the formation of "the Pope's Brigade," and the honours that were conferred upon it after its return. Thus was England disgraced in the eyes of Europe. He submitted, therefore, that having due regard to the position of England, as having been for centuries the great Protestant bulwark of Europe, to continue the grant under such circumstances was inconsistent with the honour and dignity of the country. And as regarded the home question, what had the advocates of the grant to say in its defence? At the time of the foundation the college, assurances, the most solemn, were given of obedience to the law, and that the donors should never have to regret their benevolence. Yet how had that promise been observed? The priests had received instructions to teach St. Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, and the canons, doctrine, and discipline, of the Roman Catholic Church, the natural effect of which was treason to the Sovereign, and social and moral anarchy. Passing over the interval from 1795 there were two or three Acts passed which ought to have excited the gratitude of the Roman Catholics, one of them being the Catholic Emancipation Act. But instead of gratitude there was not to be found in the history of any people more outrageous ingratitude, more barefaced rebellion and treason than had from that time been manifested in the College of Maynooth, and most especially so in connection with 554 those measures which had boon taken with a wish to conciliate. He would now come, however, to a circumstance which seemed to imply a distinct repudiation of the grant by the Roman Catholics themselves. The grant as it existed now was given in 1845. In 1851 the canon law was introduced into this country by a bull addressed to Cardinal Wiseman. The whole system of Rome was introduced on this authority, in the same plenitude as it existed in other countries of Europe. The House would remember the extent to which that aggression roused public opinion in this country, and the attempts that the House made to repel that aggression, and the result showing the impotence of those attempts against the power of Romanism, which entirely defeated all the attempts of Parliament and the country to resist it, was also present to the mind of everyone. In 1852, the Earl of Derby, who proposed the grant in the House of Lords in 1845, stated that although he was not then prepared to withdraw the grant, yet could not but express his regret that the grant could not be any longer justified, and that the conduct of the Roman Catholic priests had entirely deprived him of the means of justifying the grant. Lord Derby then explained at length all the circumstances. He would now call the attention of the House to the reply, given apparently by way of challenge, by a society established by Dr. Paul Cullen, and called the Catholic Defence Association, of which Mr. Henry Wilberforce was the secretary. Mr. Henry Wilberforce replied to the statement of Lord Derby in the following terms:—It is quite true that you made this grant in the expectation that the people of Ireland would he conciliated, that they would become loyal subjects, and would recognize some degree of obligation to the Queen and the Parliament of England in respect of this grant.And then he went on to say—It was not likely that any Minister could suppose that the people of Ireland were going to sell their liberty of action and right of independence for a grant of £30,000 a year.And further—Lord Derby expected that the Catholic clergy would have obeyed the law, and they have openly refused obedience to the Ecclesiastical Titles Act. And who are they who have disobeyed the law? The archbishops and bishops of the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland; they have treated it as they were in duty bound—namely, as if it did not exist.The Roman Catholic Archbishops and Bishops who were the visitors of this college deliberately declared, and fulfilled that 555 declaration on all occasions by their acts, that they would continue openly to defy the law, and to set at nought the conditions on which the grant was made. These Roman Catholic prelates declared, therefore, in the most flagrant and express manner, by words and by acts, that they would set at defiance the supreme authority of the law of the country. Unfortunately the canon law, so long as it did not come home to the feelings of the people, was not deemed worthy of their investigation, and they found it difficult to understand what it was; but whatever it was, whether it was for good or for evil, it had been established by the Bull of 1851. In effect, the Roman Catholics of the United Kingdom said to Parliament, "Take back your grant if you like; nay, it is your duty to withdraw it, for we will not accept it on the conditions which the Earl of Derby, who moved it in the House of Lords, expressly declared to have accompanied it.
The danger and the mischief was greatly increased only last Session; an Act had been passed to raise money for the purpose of repairing the college upon the security of this grant. The trustees of the college are the Bishops and Archbishops of the Roman Church in Ireland, and all of them by their words and acts, openly defy the law of the land. That was the fruition of the system pursued at Maynooth; but, unhappily, its full effects did not come home to the business and bosoms of the people to the full extent it should do, because it was impossible for them to know what the canon law of Rome is; but whatever it might be—whether it was material or immaterial that we should know what that canon law was—one thing was certain, and that was, the Archbishops and Bishops, the trustees of this college, openly and constantly defy, and that too with impunity, the statute law of the land. On these grounds he contended that the House was bound to withdraw the grant. With regard to our foreign relations, he thought he had established his case; he would say that, however expedient it might formerly have been in the estimation of the then Government or the House to have made such a grant, there was no reason why it should be continued, when it was known that it taught doctrines which these Europeans nations have repudiated. With regard to the home interests affected, we were called upon to pay £26,000 a year for imparting an education of the nature of which 556 we were kept in ignorance. The authorities of the college refuse to acknowledge its text-books or submit its teaching to any practical supervision or inspection. In so doing, he contended that they had violated not only the spirit but the letter of the understanding, and agreement on which the grant had been made, and thereby rendered it inexpedient, to put it on the lowest ground, that it should be continued. The terms of the grant—the terms on which it had been paid from 1845 up to the present time—were that the money was to be applied "for the better education of persons professing the Roman Catholic religion." It might have been right to make such a provision at that time, because there was then no provision in existence for educating "persons professing the Roman Catholic religion." Yet how stood the case now? Why, since that time the "Queen's Colleges" had been established in Ireland for the express and avowed purposes of affording to Roman Catholics as well as others such education; but the grant itself, instead of being applied to this original purpose, was applied to the education of Roman Catholic priests alone, and, on behalf of the laity of that Church, he thought he might fairly insist that it should be discontinued. Looking at the practical results of the mission of these priests. The college was maintained for the purpose of teaching the priests a system which, not many years ago, had produced a famine in Ireland. In their interest he asked the withdrawal of a grant which had been wrested from its purpose, which was uncalled for, under the new circumstances which had arisen since it was first made, and the conditions of which were not fulfilled by those who received it. But there was another reason why the grant should be withdrawn. By the Constitution of this country the Roman Catholic religion was declared to be superstitious and idolatrous. How, therefore, could that House possibly justify or continue a grant the special object of which was the education of those whose special mission was the teaching of that religion. In 1845 the plea might have been urged that the Roman Catholics were very numerous in Ireland and very poor; but how was it now? The result of the aggression in 1851 had multiplied in every direction Roman Catholic cathedrals and chapels. The Roman Catholics were increasing in power and influence, and they had seen within these few days the very threshold of that House 557 invaded by those who propagated the tenets and the doctrines of the Church of Rome with a view to influence in secular matters the deliberations of that House. He would ask the House if, under these circumstances, he might not put in a word in favour of respect to the religious scruples of the people of this country? It was objected that the floor of that House was not the proper arena for the discussion of religious questions or the claims of religious parties; but it was not his fault that these questions were mooted there. It was the fault of the Act which granted money from the national purse for the promotion of purposes which religious and conscientious men could not approve of, and he said that these religious scruples were entitled to consideration. The noble Lord the Member for London had admitted in 1845 that, if there were any great and continued agitation arising out of the grant upon religious grounds, that might be a reason for its discontinuance. Upon that ground he asked for the vote of the noble lord. He said that ever since that time there had been an agitation against this grant, and that that of itself wag a reason for its withdrawal. That was one of the principal reasons why he, occupying so humble a position in that House, had brought the subject forward. He had been asked to do so in an address presented to him by 7,000 persons who had earnestly urged him to bring the question forward. That address was signed by persons of all classes and resident in every part of the kingdom, and petitions in favour of the withdrawal of the grant had been signed by 50,000 persons. He asked the House to agree to his Motion on another strong ground. The people of this country annually subscribed voluntarily £200,000 a year for the dissemination of the Bible; and other societies, with somewhat of similar objects,; subscribed annual amounts that would make the sum nearly a million a year contributed for the dissemination of the Bible and for other essentially Protestant purposes; but, confining himself simply to the £200,000 a year voluntarily subscribed for the dissemination of the Protestant Bible, he would ask how was it possible that these persons could acquiesce in the annual payment of £26,000 a year, from the national taxes, to persons who were totally opposed to the dissemination of the Bible 2 In Wales, the part of the country with which he was connected, there were a great number of Dissenters. They neither, asked for 558 nor received any grants; they subscribed for the diffusion of Scriptural knowledge and the great religious truths in which they conscientiously believed; and on their behalf, arid on the behalf of all Bible Christians, he asked the Government on what public ground either arising out of our relations to foreign countries this grant should be continued, or why the conscience and convictions of hundreds and thousands of persons at home should be insulted by the continuance of a grant which they looked upon in the light of a national sin? He would not, however, lay much stress on that argument then, that would hereafter arise and make itself heard throughout the country and in that House, but he did appeal to the statesmen on both sides of the House to do their duty on an important question. He asked them either to show some great national cause or purpose to justify the continuance of a course which was so much opposed to the judgments and consciences of the most loyal and religious of Her Majesty's subjects? or, in the absence of any such reason, he did hope that they would respect the religious scruples of the community at large, and withdraw this most obnoxious grant. The hon. Member concluded by moving the Resolution.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That this House will immediately 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.
§ SIR WILLIAM VERNER
rose to second the Motion of the hon. Member who had just sat down. He was happy to have an opportunity of joining in any measure calculated to put down an establishment in which doctrines were taught contrary to the Word of God, and detrimental to the best interests of mankind here and hereafter. He would take advantage of the opportunity to return his thanks, and the thanks of the loyal body of Protestants in Ireland with whom he was identified, to the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner), for the manner in which year after year he had come forward to endeavour to put an end to the State support of an institution which taught doctrines so repugnant to all Protestants. He (Sir William Verner) was fully aware that the House of Commons had now no power to withhold the annual grant from Maynooth, as it was paid out of the Consolidated Fund; but that was no reason why 559 it should not agree to the Motion of the hon. Member for Peterborough. It might be said that there had already been an inquiry into the Maynooth system. He (Sir William Verner) recollected that a Commission was appointed to inquire into the College of Maynooth, but it was a mere mockery. Several of the persons at the head of the establishment, and who joined in the mischievous course pursued in it, were placed upon the jury to try themselves. The consequence naturally was that they acquitted themselves. The doors of Maynooth were now closed, and they could know nothing of what was going forward within its walls. Their only mode of forming a correct judgment of what is taught within them was by watching the conduct of those who have been educated in it after they have left it. [The hon. Baronet then read to the House a document which was understood to be a declaration made by every person admitted to the college, and to which he was bound by oath before he could be collated to any parish. This declaration set forth the principle and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and was, the hon. Baronet said, a full exposition of the principles and doctrine taught in the college.] He (Sir William Verner) would now ask how any Government professing to be Protestant can feel justified in calling upon the country, still Protestant, to contribute to the support of an establishment where such an oath is required to be taken, and where such doctrines are not only taught, but those who are instructed in them are by oath bound to circulate, in whatever part of the universe they may be sent? In order to make the House aware of the sentiments entertained by the priests, and the means they take to circulate and impress them upon the public, he would mention a circumstance which took place in that House, and at which he was present. There was in the House, at the time to which he alluded, a Member of high character and position. He was put forward as the representative and mouthpiece of the Roman Catholic body, to speak their sentiments whenever an opportunity presented itself. A debate took place upon a subject connected with Romanism, upon which occasion this person spoke as follows:—The Church of Rome had been accused by many Members of persecution. He was not prepared to deny the imputation. He admitted that on many occasions members of the Church had been guilty of acts of persecution; but he might mention that each of those acts was to be esti- 560 mated according to the temper and spirit of the time. He might point to the Old Testament as containing much that might appear to authorize the persecution and extinction of unhallowed creeds.He (Sir William Verner) would beg to ask, who is to define what are "unhallowed creeds?" The same Member thus continued—The hon. Member who had just sat down had said that the Church of Rome was antagonistic to Protestantism. He perfectly agreed with him; and as long as the world lasted it would continue so, until Protestantism was extinct.This was language that could not be mistaken. Mr. Plumptre, who was then in Parliament, thanked the noble Lord for the candour and fairness with which he admitted that the contest between Popery and Protestantism must go on till Protestantism should become extinct. He would tell him that the Protestants of this country were prepared to meet these words with corresponding language. He (Sir William Verner) had several more documents which he intended to submit to the House but for the impatience expressed, lie would conclude by making one observation, which he would take the liberty of addressing to the noble Lord at the head of the Government. The noble Lord had been repeatedly appealed to, to "do justice to Ireland." It was well understood what sort of justice that meant. In this call he fully joined; but what he wanted was equal justice for Protestants as well as Roman Catholics. Did the noble Lord consider it justice to Protestants to appoint eight Popish Judges for Ireland? Would the noble Lord venture to say that it was not because they were Roman Catholics they were appointed? Could not the noble Lord find one Protestant member of the Irish bar sufficiently respectable or qualified to be placed upon the bench? And now a ninth may be said to have been appointed, in the person of a Roman Catholic Attorney General. This right hon. Gentleman was sent down by the Government to the assizes at Armagh, with a strong force at his back, to hang a Protestant of whose innocence there existed no doubt. He (Sir William Verner) could not say that the Attorney General knew that he was innocent—that might be to commit himself—but this he could say, that from his professional experience the Attorney General must have known that had he not-withheld the evidence of two witnesses, and suppressed the declaration of a dying man, he must have been acquitted notwithstanding which, a jury exclusively Protestant— 561 four of them masters of Orange lodges—found him guilty of manslaughter. But so disgraceful was the whole transaction, and so clear the man's innocence, that the Lord Lieutenant, exercising his prerogative of mercy, ordered the man to be liberated from prison, but not until he had suffered incarceration for upwards of eight months. And yet this individual still continues to fill the office of Attorney General, and has been rewarded by being presented to the Prince Consort.
MR. DIGBY SEYMOUR
, said, that he congratulated his hon. Friend on finding a seconder in the hon. Baronet, who united to English zeal and fervour the Orange loyalty of Northern Ireland. At the same time he regretted that his hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough had spoken of the Roman Catholics in a tone that was calculated to rouse bitter feelings. He did not yield to his hon. Friend in his zeal for Protestantism; but, however appropriate pulpits and platforms might be for anti-Roman Catholic harangues, he thought that Protestant feeling was not a proper basis for a vote given in a legislative assembly. He did not think that the Irish famine had any connection with the teaching or logic of Maynooth, or that Puseyism in the English Church was at all referable to Maynooth, and, therefore, he deplored the introduction of these topics by his hon. Friend. His hon. Friend had quoted an opinion of his; all he should say was that that opinion was given seventeen years ago, and when he was only twenty-two years of age. His language then was full of zeal, and he did not regret it. What he said in substance was this, that so long as the State, wisely or unwisely, maintained a Protestant establishment in Ireland—so long as the religion of the minority was forced by State props upon the majority of the Irish people—so long, he thought, there was an inconsistency in this country supporting the Popish College of Maynooth. lie guarded himself, however, by saying whether, "wisely or unwisely." The experience of many years and deeper acquaintance with the subject had led him to the conclusion that it was not wise, for the sake of the Protestant religion itself, to maintain in Ireland by the support of the State a Church which was opposed and in obnoxious hostility to the religion of the great majority of the inhabitants of the country. His Amendment was intended to place the subject before the House on a most satisfactory 562 footing. He begged to say that he was opposed to the Maynooth Grant on the same grounds that he was opposed to the Regium Donum, and to the Edinburgh annuity tax. That was the broad and charitable ground to take of the question. Religion unshackled would be better able to battle against the powers of untruth, because the people would be more ready to embrace the doctrines of a pure religion when unaccompanied by State aid. There were four parties in the House on the subject—the first were those who supported church rates and voted against Maynooth; they were entirely inconsistent. The second, the Roman Catholic Members for Ireland, who supported Maynooth and opposed church rates; they were inconsistent, for why were they not as tender to the consciences of Members of the Church of England, who supported church rates, as to those of the Roman Catholic Church? The other two parties were for both and against both. As he voted against church rates, he should vote against the Maynooth grant, and leave the support of pure religion as the free offering of a free people.
After the word 'Fund,' to insert the words 'and also to consider the expediency of withdrawing all other State Endowments and Grants for Ecclesiastical and Religious purposes in Great Britain and Ireland.'
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, he was glad to have collected from the course of the discussion, that it was not the pleasure of the House that the question should be discussed at length, and that they did not desire to re-open a question which by common consent, both in the present Parliament and in the last, was closed. It must not he forgotten that in the former Parliament, at the suggestion of his right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Walpole), who as Homo Secretary had then to answer the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, the House declined to re-open a question so full of angry feeling, and last Session it came to the same conclusion. Without meaning the slightest disrespect to the hon. Member for Peterborough he might be permitted to state that if this question could have been brought to a. successful issue in the way desired by the hon. Gentleman it would have been so terminated 563 by one for; whom they all sincerely felt regard, the lion. Member for North Warwickshire. The hon. Member went on advocating his sincere views on the subject up to the latest moment when he could obtain a favourable attention from Parliament, and the fact of his having now allowed the question to pass into other hands was a proof that the House would not permit it to be re-opened. In consequence of what had fallen from the lion. Member for Peterborough, he thought it right to state that, according to the Report of the Commission, there was nothing in the teaching of the college which was not consistent with unreserved allegiance to the Queen or with the rules of morality; and, further, it was only right to state that the conduct of the students of the college was acknowledged by those who were competent to speak on the subject to be most exemplary. The hon. Member for Peterborough had spoken of a new agitation, but he hoped the House would not encourage any such undertaking. The hon. Member, not feeling sanguine as to the result of his Motion had, like a cautious general, provided a line of retreat for himself, having given notice that in the event of bis Motion for repealing the grant to Maynooth College being negatived, it was his intention to propose a Select Committee on the doctrines and discipline of the college, intending to employ the Committee in considering the commentaries of Cabbasutius and Devoti. He hoped it was no proof of discreditable ignorance if he admitted himself to be profoundly ignorant of those writings. He was convinced, however, that if the House of Commons began to uproot the foundations of religious establishments throughout the country, they would have difficulties to encounter and anxieties to meet which they would find it most difficult to surmount.
§ [Loud cries of "Divide! Divide!" which were continued, with other manifestations of the extreme impatience of the Mouse, throughout the remainder of the debate.]
§ MR. SPOONER
said, he would trespass for a few minutes only on the indulgence of the House, which had been so often accorded to him. He wished to disabuse the House of the impression which seemed to have been conveyed by the right hon. Gentleman that he had withdrawn from this question, because he considered that Parliament was no longer willing to entertain 564 it. He assured the right hon. Gentleman that he felt it to be his duty, so far as he was able, to protest against the Maynooth grant. But if he had been desirous again to take the lead in this question, his health and strength would not permit him. His right hon. Friend had said that this question was silenced; but in this his right hon. Friend was mistaken. The Protestant feeling in this country was as strong as ever, and, in his humble judgment, the Protestants of this country were able to bring before the House so strong a case against Maynooth that it would not be possible for any Government to put it aside, or resist it. At the same time he was far from denying the Protestant right of private judgment. That, however, was a right not allowed by the Roman Catholic Church. They declared that their followers were to be guided, not by their own judgment, founded upon the Word of God, but by what their priests decided to be the right doctrine. He (Mr. Spooner) respected many Roman Catholics, with some of whom he had had a personal acquaintance of many years; but he was opposed to a system which he believed to be in principle completely subversive of the Constitution of the country, and contrary to the Word of God. He believed that the favour of Divine Providence had rested especially upon this country on account of its Protestant character and principles, and that whenever we had diverged from those principles we had incurred, as a nation, the Divine displeasure. The experience of this country of late years, during which we had unhappily lent ourselves to the propagation of Popish doctrines through Maynooth, and iii other ways, would, he contended, fully bear out this view of the question. The Sovereign, at the Coronation, took an oath that she would support on all occasions the Protestant Reformed Church of England. He was deeply grateful to his right hon. Friend the Secretary for Ireland for the kind manner in which he had mentioned his name, but he must say that he believed the feeling of the country was decidedly against this grant, and he should vote with the hon. Member for Peterborough.
§ MR. SOMES
—whose remarks were rendered almost inaudible—said, he rose with considerable diffidence to support the Motion which had been so ably brought forward by the hon. Member for Peterborough; but he thought that having that evening had the honour of presenting to the House a petition, signed by some 1,300 of the inhabi- 565 tants of Hull, against what he should call that unrighteous and inconsistent grant to the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth, he had some claim on the indulgence of the House while he said a few, and but a very few, words on the subject. He should consider himself utterly unworthy of a seat in the Parliament of a Christian and Protestant country, were he not to endeavour to overcome his reluctance to speaking on an occasion when such a matter was under discussion in the House. It could not be said that the Roman Catholics of Ireland were not able to bear the expenses of Maynooth College; for they could contribute some £8,000 or £10,000 a year to a society at Lyons for the propagation of Romish principles, and they also contributed largely to the fund called "Peter's Pence," to feed the Pope's armies, and repress the spirit of liberty and independence which Englishmen so much admire amongst the people of Italy. During the last twenty years the Papists, whose demands for other purposes are constantly increasing, have received from this country more than half a million of money for the support of a college where the Bible is excluded, while all support is withheld from those Scriptural schools in Ireland in which the Bible is taught to all the children. He had intended to make some further remarks on the subject, but, seeing the impatience of the House, he should refrain. However, he felt it his duty to make an attempt at being heard, and he could not sit down without protesting against the continuance of the grant to Maynooth, and stating that he should vote in favour of the Motion of the hon. Member for Peterborough.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
, who at first had some difficulty in obtaining a hearing, said, he felt that he stood in a somewhat difficult position; for sixteen years he had in that House, without intermission, promoted the object of the Motion now made by the hon. Member for Peterborough, and recently he had been strongly urged to introduce the subject, when it became inconvenient for his hon. Colleague (Mr. Spooner) any longer to bring it before the House. He, however, declined to accede to the request, and he rejoiced that he had done so; not in the least that his opinions on the subject had changed; not in the least that he believed the anticipations of the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for Ireland, would be fulfilled, but because he felt that when an hon. Member had for 566 many years urged on the attention of the House a very grave subject, the subject was apt to become overlaid by personal considerations in the estimation of the House, and lost that representative character which was essential to the due appreciation of the just value and importance which the people of the country attached to this question. He felt also that the subject was in danger of degenerating into a mere party question, and he rejoiced that he declined to bring it under the consideration of the House, because the choice of an advocate on the part of the Protestants of England had fallen upon an hon. Member who had brought it forward with ability, temper, and judgment, which he hoped would establish him in the good opinion of those whose gratitude he had fairly earned. The Amendment of the hon. Member for Southampton was to the effect, that whereas he, in common with others, felt a strong objection to the grant to Maynooth especially, because the teaching at Maynooth was directed against the very existence of the Church of England, that, therefore, the House should proceed to abolish all other endowments. What did that amount to? This fervent Protestant, not in the least denying that ultramontane doctrines were taught at Maynooth, asked the House to say that, because they were not prepared to grant £30,000 a year for the continuance of ultramontane opinions, they should proceed to abolish the endowments of the Church of England. The hon. and learned Member formerly entertained great objections to the endowment of Maynooth, because that establishment was specially organized to attack the Church of England; but now he proposed that the House should at once accomplish the object which he deprecated before. He thought he might easily anticipate the fate of the hon. Gentleman's Amendment. It was not to be denied that the teaching of Maynooth was ultramontane teaching—that it was the teaching of the Jesuits. Nothing could be more unprincipled, nothing more impolitic, than that Protestant England should pay for the dissemination of these doctrines. For what reason? Why did Roman Catholic Europe tolerate the position of the Emperor of the French, not only in Europe, but in Asia? He was tolerated because he restrained the tyrannical disposition generated by the Jesuits, and thus conferred an enormous benefit on Christendom. This fact stood forth, that the chosen ruler 567 of Roman Catholic France was exercising restraint upon the dissemination of these Jesuitical doctrines, and the tyranny which they generate, and that Roman Catholic France maintained herself in an exalted position because she rendered not only to Frenchmen, but to Roman Catholic Europe, that great service. What a contrast! The Parliament of England continued in a state of disgraceful ignorance on the subject, paying for the inculcation of doctrines which she condemned, and fostering the extension of a power not tolerated by Europe or the rest of the world. While the Austrians had so far freed themselves, as to compel their Government to rescind their Jesuit-coined Concordat with the Pope—when Baden-Baden, despite the exertions of the Archbishop of Friburgh and his allies, had discarded her Concordat—when the rest of the world were rejecting and restraining this spirit of Jesuitical domination and tyranny—the Parliament of England were paying for the dissemination of those very ultramoutane doctrines, for the extension of this very Jesuitical domination, against which almost the whole of the rest of the world were protesting. He was confident that those who choose to persevere in such a course would, sooner or later, find themselves severely corrected by the strongly expressed opinion of the country.
§ MR. VINCENT SCULLY
said, it was impossible for him to vote for the Amendment of the lion. Member for Southampton, and he, therefore, wished to state his reasons for not voting for it. He thought very few lion. Members understood the Amendment. On reading it, it appeared to him that it did not go beyond the Regium Donum in Ireland, and' the Annuity Tax in Scotland, and that it did not include the revenues of the Established Churches in England and Scotland. The Amendment was, however, not very clearly drawn up. He would suppose his lion. Friend to be addressed by a Protestant clergyman at Southampton, who would say to him, "How Can you suppose that I will give you my vote again in this borough when you propose to abolish all grants to the Church of England?" "Oh," the hon. Member would reply to him, "the Amendment did not mean that—it only meant the grants to the rascally Presbyterians and those Popish gentlemen." To make sure, he (Mr. Scully) went up to his lion. Friend twice, and questioned him as to his meaning, and his answer was that he (Mr. Scully) understood the Amendment in the 568 same manner that he (Mr. Seymour) understood it himself. Now, he was quite prepared to vote against religious endowments as a whole, but he would not single out small grants for abolition, while large ones were retained. Having now explained himself, he begged to say that he was prepared to vote against the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Southampton.
§ MR. WHALLEY
, in reply, said: I wish the House to note this fact—that neither the right hon, the Secretary for Ireland, nor any other Gentleman, has attempted to deny my statement, that this college teaches those doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church which, under the name of Ultramontane, have been virtually excluded from every other seminary in Europe, or one there taught under the direct supervision of the State; and that this Protestant country affords the only means by which the Pope can now train a priest brigade to carry out that system from which Europe, after centuries of struggle, is at length emancipating itself. No denial has been given, or can be given, to the fact that this system recognizes and recommends treason, perjury, and murder as laudable actions, when thereby the interests of the Pope can he promoted; and that the extraordinary spectacle, which Europe witnessed with amazement, that Ireland was the only country which sent the Pope a military brigade, is the natural result of a system which amongst ourselves we see daily manifesting itself in treasonable speeches and such preparations for rebellion as prudence allows. My lion, and learned Friend the Member for Southampton, objects to my connecting with Maynooth that Jesuitical clement which has of late years manifested itself in our own Church under the name of Puseyism; but I can show, if required, the very rules—the precise instructions as inculcated at Maynooth—by which men, who receive the pay and exercise all the privileges of our Church, are enabled to earn for themselves honour and immortality by treasonably availing themselves of our Churches, and, by direct violation of their oaths of ordination, using our pulpits for the purpose of perverting and denouncing all Protestant doctrine and practice. I consider this Puseyite form of Jesuitism is a direct illustration, intelligible and brought home by daily experience to every one of that teaching at Maynooth, to which we alone, of all the nations of the would, now 569 give Parliamentary sanction by this grant. When the right lion. Gentleman, the Secretary for the Homo Department, last year sent 200 policemen, each Sunday, to St. George's-in-the-East to repress the righteous indignation of the Protestant parishioners, and refused to recognize the gross outrage to which they were subjected, or to afford them any opportunity of resisting the desecration of their parish church to Romish purposes, their cause became a national one; for by the voice and act of the right lion. Gentleman, the Governor of the country, Mr. Bryan King, the present priest-parson, was justified and supported, and the high-spirited Protestants of that parish were compelled by police and by magistrates to submit in silence and subjection to Roman Catholic forms of worship. And I can only account for so gross an outrage being tolerated by this House from the fact that it considers itself, by this grant to Maynooth, bound to defend the Jesuitical purposes which it so appropriates the public money to teach and inculcate. But I do not believe this House is prepared to accept all such consequences of the grant. I admit these are religious questions, and that this is not the proper place for the discussion of such questions; but so long as you grant money for religious purposes you must submit to the discussion of them, and, to avoid and avert such discussions is, in addition to all other objections, an unanswerable argument, I submit, in favour of my Motion. My hon. and learned Friend also objected to my connecting with Maynooth the famine in Ireland; but that is a point on which I can speak with a personal knowledge—for I was amongst the people. I was one of those humble instruments which England sent forth to save them from starvation and pestilence; and the evidence which all countries have contributed to give that this priestly domination, which we sanction and pay for at Maynooth, is really the direct cause of poverty, misery, and crime amongst all people who are subjected to it, was confirmed by my own observation. I saw myself the practical working of the system which, under pretence of providing for eternal salvation, deprives them of that liberty of thought and action which is essential for the temporal and present necessities of mankind. By this grant to Maynooth we pay for this teaching, we qualify these priests to keep in bondage the naturally high-spirited people of Ireland; and if it be true, as I assert and am 570 prepared to prove that it is, that the qualifications which we thus impart to these priests consist primarily in conferring on them the ability to teach disobedience to the laws and a repudiation of the supremacy of the Queen and Parliament of England, what right have we to punish those poor deluded Irishmen for the acts which, in pursuance of such teaching, are carried out in their Ribbon lodges, and otherwise are repeatedly brought before our courts of justice and the public? The right hon. Gentleman says he has never heard of Cabbasutius and Devoti, and yet he quotes the Commission in which one of the objects of inquiry was the doctrines taught at Maynooth, as to which these names are amongst the most important. I have here the evidence that these doctrines are, primarily, detestation of England and Protestantism; and students, who enter that college loyal subjects, leave it, to use their own expression, "the vilest rebels, thirsting and praying for the destruction of England," and such is the spirit with which they go forth on their mission to our Colonies and elsewhere, with the stamp of Parliamentary sanction upon such mission. This the right hon. Gentleman chooses to ignore, and refers to the Report—as if a Report which, in the teeth of such evidence, says they know nothing of disloyalty, was not of itself evidence of the depth of the Jesuitism which prevails at Maynooth, and of the impossibility of exercising by Parliamentary means any sufficient control. That Report, this House well knows, was, if not written, revised and prepared for publication at Rome by the authority of the Vatican; and that the right hon. Gentleman should have ventured to quote that Report can only be accounted for by supposing that he relied upon such clamour as I have now to encounter in my reply to him rendering impossible in this House such refutation of his statements and arguments as I am prepared most fully to give. He may be assured that the Protestant feeling of this country will not be silenced by such interruption and clamour as its enemies can raise here. It does not depend on my voice, which may be easily silenced; driven back from the floor of this House, it will but spread wider and sink deeper into the hearts of the people—and what we saw in 1851, and lately in St. George's-in-the-East, will again be manifest so soon as the public begin to discover that this House, on which they are so well disposed to rely for the 571 efence and protection of national interests, is under the control of those who either perpetrate or tolerate such means of preventing discussion as that to which this debate has been subjected.
MR. PIGBY SEYMOUR
said, he would withdraw his Amendment, finding it was the wish of the House to take the Division on the Original Motion.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Main Question put,
§ The House divided:—Ayes 114; Noes 191: Majority 77.