HC Deb 08 April 1864 vol 174 cc633-63

said: Mr. Speaker, it will be in the recollection of those Members of the House and of the Government, who were present here at the close of last Session, (I mean during the two last days of the Session,) that I gave notice of my intention to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with respect to the circumstances under which the right hon. Gentleman had granted a licence for the Use of a certain piece of ground at Sydenham, for the purposes of burial by a religious community known as the Oratorians, who possess an establishment at Brompton, and declare themselves to be of the Roman Catholic order of St. Philip Neri. In order that I might have an opportunity of entering into an explanation of the circumstances which had led me to think it my duty to put this question (the statement of which appears to excite some feelings of irritation among Members on the other side of the House, and on this side of the House, who are connected with the Roman Catholic body), I moved the adjournment of the House. This afforded the right hon. Member for the County of Limerick (Mr. Monsell), and the hon. and learned Member for Dundalk (Sir George Bowyer), an opportunity to speak, and the right hon. Member for Limerick thought fit to accuse me of having hounded to death a Mr. Turnbull, who had been appointed one of the Calendarers in the State Paper Office, but was afterwards removed, through the intervention of the noble Lord at the bead of the Government, at the instance of a large number of gentlemen, who thought that Mr. Turnbull's antecedents, particularly as connected with certain Roman Catholic publishing societies, were not such as to render it advisable that he should be continued in that office. This House being summoned to the House of Lords for the purpose of prorogation, prevented my then replying to the accusation which had been levelled against me, but in a letter, which after the close of the Session I addressed to the right hon. Member for Limerick, and which appeared in The Times and other newspapers, I think I completely disposed of the imputation that I had joined in "hounding Mr. Turnbull to death." I believe, Sir, that that gentleman died under the pressure of difficulties that affected his health; but these were caused by his connection with these Roman Catholic publishing societies. I wish now to call the attention of the House to the subject of the Motion before it, which is connected with the circumstances that induced me to put the question at the end of last Session, to which I have alluded, since by the termination of the last Session the discussion of this subject was then precluded. There are some singular circumstances connected with this burial ground at Sydenham, and with the burials which have taken place within it. And, first, let me state that so secretly was the application made for licence to perform burials in this ground—made at the instance of the late Duke of Norfolk—that none but the parties immediately concerned was aware of the application having been made to the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Home Department. It appears, Sir, the right hon. Baronet sent down an Inspector, who subsequently reported that, as the burials were likely to be few—those only of members of the community of St. Philip Neri—he thought that the piece of ground might be used with safety, although the situation of the soil was not eminently favourable for the purpose. Thereupon the right hon. Baronet granted a licence, but that licence was never published in the Gazette, and I have the authority of Mr. Saxton, whose property and land adjoin the ground belonging to this community, that neither he nor the incumbent of the parish of Sydenham, nor the rate-collectors, nor any of the neighbours, nor, as I have been informed, the persons who have conducted the ordnance survey of that vicinity, had the slightest idea that the application had been made, or that the licence had been granted for the use of this piece of ground, or any part of it, as a burial ground. Now, in the Acts of Parliament which regulate burials, particularly within the metropolitan district, there are very stringent provisions that notice shall be given to the neighbouring proprietors and to the residents in the immediate neighbourhood, of any ground which is to be constituted a burial ground, in order that if there are any valid objections to the use of such ground, the persons who will be affected should have the opportunity of stating them. In the present case, no such opportunity was afforded; and, Sir, this matter might have passed without notice, but that a Mr. William Hutchison, who was brother-in-law of Mr. Smee, the medical officer to the Bank of England, died, and was buried in this piece of ground at Sydenham. I believe that many Members of the House are by this time familiar with the circumstances under which this Mr. William Hutchison joined the community of St. Philip Neri. He was the relative of the late Mr. Smee, who was formerly a well known officer of the Bank of England, the eminent accountant in that great establishment. Mr. Smee, whose petition I presented, was brought up in his father's house with Mr. Hutchison, on terms of the greatest intimacy and affection: to use his own expression, they lived together as brothers; and eventually Mr. Smee married the sister of Mr. Hutchison. Well, Mr. Hutchison, after studying at King's College, and reading with an eminent Conveyancer in London, entered the University of Cambridge, and there he came into contact with the Rev. Mr. Faber, who, I am informed, is now no more. Here I may observe, that I remember this person (Mr. Faber) when I was an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford; he was one of the tutors of the College, and passed for a clergyman of the Church of England. There were surmises, however, that he was not in heart a member of that Church; his opinions were extreme; and finally he declared himself to be a member of the Church of Rome, and became a Roman Catholic priest. But, during his transition from one Church to the other, he seems to have been actively employed; for five or six of my own contemporaries at the University changed their religion, and one of them at least became a priest. I can easily understand, therefore, the influence which this Mr. Faber may have exercised on the mind of Mr. Hutchison. Suffice it, that he persuaded him to become a Roman Catholic. He then persuaded him to go to Birmingham, to the house of the Roman Catholic Bishop there. He next persuaded him, or rather Faber and his allies persuaded Mr. Hutchison, that it was his duty to leave his family; and then Mr. Faber took Mr. Hutchison to Rome, impressed with the idea that his eternal salvation depended upon his implicit obedience to Mr. Faber. And when they returned, Mr. Hutchison became a priest of the Church of Rome, and entered this community of St. Philip Neri. The attachment of Mr. Smee to his brother-in-law never failed. At all times his house was open to him: at all times his family were but too anxious to receive him back. About the period in this sad history to which I have brought my narrative, Mr. Smee, himself an eminent medical man, became very apprehensive that the discipline to which his relative was being subjected was undermining his health. Moreover, he became apprehensive, that the religious excitement to which he was exposed was affecting his intellect; he prayed him to come to his old home were it but for a short time. But no: Priest Faber's influence was supreme; obedience was exacted; there must be no change of life. The disease increased, and the health of Mr. Hutchison gradually failed under this process. About this time Mr. Faber told Mr. Hutchison that he would die, and that in virtue of the obedience which Mr. Hutchison owed him as head of the Oratory he must make his will, and Mr. Faber made Mr. Hutchison's will at first in favour of the late Duke of Norfolk, no doubt with the intention that the Duke of Norfolk should be trustee for the Order; but owing to some legal difficulties, I know not what, the intention was changed, and the will was made in favour of Mr. Faber by himself as the head of this Community. Now observe: a member of this Community, bound by this implicit obedience, makes a will at the bidding of his Superior, the document being witnessed by two other members of this Community in favour of whose Superior this instrument is executed. Now if this is a Community in the sense of having a community of property, every one of these persons—the person who made the will and the witnesses who attested it—had an interest in the property bequeathed under that document. In my belief there is in that establishment no community except the community of implicit obedience to the Superior, and the circumstances which are stated in the petition presented this night from Mr. Harrison, whose son, when captain of Westminster School, was induced by this same Mr. Faber to join the Oratory, convince me that there is no community but a community of implicit obedience to the Superior in this so-called Community, and that he has as much the sole control of the property, which may be devised to that Community, as if it were devised to him in his capacity of being the head of it. Thus, Sir, the will was executed, and the illness of Mr. Hutchison increased; but I will do the Oratorians the justice of saying, that when Mr. Hut- chison's illness was near its climax, they permitted his relative, Mr. Smee, as an eminent medical man, to attend him in this, which proved to be his last illness. Two years after Mr. Faber had told Mr. Hutchison that he would die, Mr, Hutchison did die, and was buried in this private burial ground — private as it is called, secret as I think I can show you that it should be termed—because, as I have stated to the House, before its inauguration none of the means of publicity were afforded which are by law treated necessary before a piece of ground is constituted a burial ground within the limits of the metropolitan district were used. At the funeral of this poor man there was, indeed, a ceremony. Mr. Smee states that members of the family of the Duke of Norfolk attended, but that when all was over, a day or two afterwards, as the representative of the nearest of kin to Mr. Hutchison, Mr. Smee adopted the course which is usual with the Bank of England and all the great Insurance Companies. He applied for an extract of the register of burials kept within this place, or a certificate of the burial of his relative contained therein, Mr. Smee, who is a person perfectly cognizant of the usual practice in these matters from his position as medical officer of the Bank of England, had observed and was distressed by this fact, that when he went to visit the grave of his relative, he found that his was the third burial in this secret burial ground. There was the mark of the grave of some one, but no tombstone to tell the antecedents of that man, or what his name had been. Mr. Smee inquired who was there buried. The Oratorian in attendance only said, "Oh! that is the grave of a lay brother." One grave with a tombstone was there previous to the; burial of Mr. Hutchison, that of a Mr, Wells, whose real names were "Frederick; Fortescue Wells," which were the names in his will, and by which he was known previous to his joining this Community; but the names on the tombstone are simply "Albanus Wells." And so with Mr. Hutchison's tombstone. The names were not simply "William Hutchison," the name by which he had been christened, the name on his will, but the name "Anthony" had been interpolated between the true Christian name and the surname, and so it read, on the tombstone, "William Anthony Hutchison." Now, any man who is cognizant of the practice in the courts will easily see the immense confusion that might be caused by the interpolation of another Christian name. The public means, the simplest public means, of identifying the dead, was destroyed by this change of name on the tombstone. Cases have been known where heirs of law have been enabled to discover and prove their right to large properties by means much less likely to afford information than the correct statement of a name upon a tomsbtone. But it appears that when persons join this Community or Order of St. Philip Neri, they are expected to adopt another Christian name, a proceeding which is typical of the fact that they have left the world, abandoned their families, and cut themselves off from all the natural relations which endear the life of man, for the purpose of absolute devotion to this Order and absolute submission to the obedience which it exacts. Such is the character of the proceeding recorded on the tombstone of this Mr. Hutchison by the change of his name. And all these circumstances raise the presumption that this Community, this Order, established at Brompton, with its country house and secret burial ground at Sydenham, is one of those Orders which under the clauses of the liberal Act of 1829, which gave relief from their civil disabilities to all the laity of the Roman Catholic persuasion in the kingdom, is illegal within this country. Beyond what I have stated, also, there is presumptive evidence for believing that those who have founded, those who inhabit, and those who have devised property to this establishment or community, are perfectly aware that it is illegal. For I am told that the trust deed or settlement, designate it as you will, under which this property is held is of a most complicated nature, evidently drawn up by the hand of some skilful lawyer intent upon evading some provisions of the general law. Now, all the circumstances to which I have ventured to call the attention of the House render this narrative peculiarly significant, and the number of petitions which I have to-day presented show that the people of England, in common with the people of Italy, and in common with the Legislature of France, are of opinion that the existence, the increase, and the nature of these Establishments, Societies, Communities, or Orders, which are now on the in crease in England and Wales, are matters that ought to be inquired into; because there is in all the actions which I have detailed the exhibition of a desire to evade the general operation of the law. For what is the law of England with respect to burials? Why, Sir, it is felony to tamper with the register of burials. In every public burial ground there must be kept a register of burials, free of access to every one upon payment of one shilling. For the same fee we can obtain a certificate from the authority in charge of the register, and if that register or the authorized certificate is tampered with, the crime is felony. That is the provision under the Burial Laws. But how stands the matter under the Forgery Laws? If any one tamper with a register of burials; if any one tamper with, change, or alter a certificate of burials for the purpose of presenting it, in order to deal with property in any court, the penalty is at the discretion of the court, varied from penal servitude for life to a minimum of penal servitude for three years. It is clear, therefore, that the law of England attaches no small importance to the registration of burials, for it was said to me by a competent authority, the registration of death may be evaded. It is sometimes difficult to prove the identity of the person who is dead. Therefore the Bank of England and the large Insurance Companies are not satisfied with the mere register of death, but insist upon the production of certified extracts from the register of the burial, because the means of identification after death are most important with a view to the due transmission of the property of the deceased to his heirs. Thus the practice of the great institutions of this country which deal with property and the law agree that the preservation of proper registers of burials and the due production of certificates is of the last importance to the transmission of property; aye, and it may be to the tracing of the cause of death. I ask the House, then, to grant a Committee; because, from the best advice I have been able to obtain, this place, this private, this secret burial ground has not been contemplated by the law and is beyond the law. I believe that no register is kept there. I believe there can be no legally produced certificates; and, unless the Legislature shall interpose, this burial ground may be a place for secret burials for ever, and others may be established characterized by the same objectionable features. That is one ground on which I ask for a Committee to inquire into the state of the law as to Burial. My belief is, that this burial ground and this community are both beyond the purview of the law, and that it is not consistent with the safety of England, that it is not right, that it is not safe, that any large number of persons combined under a rigid discipline should exist in this free country of England beyond the purview of the law. Sir, I come now to what may be termed the second part of the case. I have stated all I have to say with respect to the St. Mary's Sydenham Burial Ground, with respect to the late Mr. Hutchison, and with respect to Mr. Smee. Of the latter gentleman, however, I would add, that having been brought into contact with him by accident, he appears to me to be a person who is well deserving the confidence which is reposed in him by that great establishment whose servant, whose competent servant, he is. Mr. Smee has written a letter and published it yesterday which certainly grieves me; that letter he has addressed to the Duchess of Norfolk. Well, Sir, I think that that letter ought to have been written. I think that a man who has had such bitter experience of the effects of the practices of this Order in his own family, does right in publicly warning others to beware how they intrust the members of their families to the keeping of such Bodies. But, then, the letter should have been addressed to Mr. Hope Scott and Mr. Sergeant Bellasis, the guardians of the daughter of the Duchess of Norfolk, who has been consigned to a convent not in England but in Paris. Had Mr. Smee remonstrated with these gentlemen, he would have done right; I think, however, he has made a mistake in addressing his letter to the Duchess of Norfolk. I knew nothing of it myself, and deeply lament it. But I say this, that as a man versed and employed in so many matters connected with the transmission of property after death, having this sad experience in his own family, and knowing that Mr. Hutchison was a friend of the late Duke of Norfolk, Mr. Smee pursued a manly course in beseeching those who have charge of this poor lady not to allow her to fall a victim to the fate which is the lot of so many nuns, for a short-lived race are nuns, This I say upon the authority of Mr. Hobart Seymour, a gentleman and clergyman, who, some years ago, prosecuted a close inquiry in Italy with regard to the dowering of nuns who enter convents, and the terms upon which unhappy ladies were consigned to those establishments. He found that, on a calcu- lation of their average lives, the dowry, on the average, was so large, and the lives of the nuns so short, that a very handsome profit was left from year to year to these Communities, as they are called, and in the Papal States, through these Communities, to the Papal Treasury. Now all these nice calculations and details as to what may be got by the safe keeping, as it is called, but, as we believe, the imprisonment of these helpless women, grate upon our English feelings; and let me say to the Roman Catholic Members of this House that they must make allowance for those feelings. I sometimes think that they are uncharitable. They may be of opinion, that the consigning of ladies to these convents is, on the part of their families, a sacrifice grateful to their religion. They may think, when they procure a change of religion in the members of some of our families, when they induce those who were once Protestants, as in the case of Mr. Hutchison, to enter such a Community as that of St. Philip Neri, that it is a sacrifice which is due to religion. But that is not our feeling. Our feeling is, that a person who is consigned to one of these establishments is a dead loss to his family; is a dead loss to his country; is a dead loss to himself. Gentlemen who are of the Roman Catholic persuasion must there fore make allowance for the point of view in which we, Protestants, regard these establishments and their inmates. Now, last August, Cardinal Wiseman attended the Roman Catholic Congress which was held at Malines, and since I suppose the Roman Catholic Members of the House will accept him as an authority, with the permission of the House, I will show that Cardinal Wiseman boasts of the vast increase of these establishments of late years in England, Wales, and Scotland, where their existence, in the case of monasteries, is contrary to law. I hold in my hand the translation of part of the speech made by Cardinal Wiseman during the Roman Catholic Congress which sat at Malines from the 18th to the 22nd of August last. In that speech he said— Allow me now to present to you, by means of statistics, a rapid view of the effect produced by these different measures. The Census gives the population in England—

For the year 1831 13,896,797
For the year 1841 15,914,148
For the year 1851 17,927,609
For the year 1861 20,066,224
an increase of about two millions in each decennial period from 1831 to 1841. The population, therefore, increased 14 per cent. In the same period the number of priests increased about 25 per cent, or nearly double. During the following 10 years the population increased 13 per cent, the number of priests 45 percent. Lastly, from 1851 to 1861, while the population increased 12 per cent, the number of priests increased about 37 per cent. Here, again, are the precise statistics which will allow you to judge of the continued increase of the Roman Catholic Church in England. In 1830 we numbered but 434 priests for the whole of England. At present, we have 1,242, that is to say, three times as many. The number of our churches which was 410 has now increased to 872; from 16 convents which we possessed in 1830 in the United Kingdom, we have now, in 1863, 162. Lastly, in 1830 we had not a single religious house of men, in 1850 there were already 11, and to-day their number is 55. He then goes on to mention other societies, such as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which I shall have to refer to afterwards,; showing the enormous proportion by which; the priests and the Communities of the Church of Rome had exceeded the rate of the increase of the population of this country. Sir, Cardinal Wiseman's statement is borne out by the facts. I have here an account taken from the Roman Catholic Directory of these religious houses—of these monasteries and convents. I find that the numbers given in this record exceed the numbers stated by the Cardinal; at Malines, for it gives for England, Wales, and Scotland, 186 convents and 58 monasteries, or communities of men; this. Sir, betokens a vast change and a great increase in those organizations, part of which continues illegal by the declaration of law. This is one of the characteristics of the present times, not only in England, but in France and Germany, I have no doubt that the attention of the Government has been drawn to the Report of a Committee of the Legislature of France in 1861, of which M. Dupin, then Procureur Général, was the chairman. This Committee, in their Report, advert in strong terms to the enormous increase, not of the communities—the orders, monasteries, and convents—which are sanctioned by law in France, but those which are unauthorized. I have made inquiries as to what are the terms of authorization in France; that is, the terms upon which, under the constitution of France, these establishments may be formed, and are protected by the law. France, be it remembered, is a Roman Catholic country, and I find, that under the law of 1852, the existence of monastic vows is recognized as rightful in the inhabitants of those convents and monasteries, but only for a period of five years. Five years after the acceptance of the vow, it ceases to be operative, and it is especially provided that if any person have taken these vows, whether monk or nun, may leave the convent and marry, aided by the civil power, which would have enforced that person's remaining within the convent during the five years for which the profession had been made. There are many other provisions, I have them all here, but I will not detain the House by reading them, which go to secure in every way the safe establishment of these religious houses. But with all this, what do we find? Why, that the ambitious spirit which now guides the Roman Catholic hierarchy and organizations in France will not accept the assistance of the State upon these terms, and that the number of unauthorized communities has vastly increased in that country. We see the same thing in England. Now, three works have lately been published in Paris, to which I wish particularly to draw the attention of the Government, and of Members of this House. The first of these is a work by M. Charles Habeneek, entitled Les Jesuites en 1861. The second is a work by M. Cayla, published by Dentu, intituled Ces bons Messieurs de St. Vincent de Paul; and the third is a work by M. Charles Souvestre, Instructions secretes des Jesuites. Now, in all these works, and they support each other by independent evidence, it is clearly shown that this Society of St. Vincent de Paul is organized on the principle of the ancient League, which existed in the 16th century, and like the League is under the auspices of the Jesuits. I need not remind the House how many troubles on the Continent, how many religious wars that League produced. This society is organized upon the principle of the Congregation des Messieurs, of which Louis XIV. became a member, and history records the ambition of that prince, the wars which he carried on, and the intolerance of which he was guilty. This society is organized upon the principle of the Congregation which was so active after the close of the war ended in 1816, that it obtained influence with the Court and Ministers of Charles X., and by its operation upon the people of France, its everlasting interference with their families, its rapacious spirit, its bigotry and its tyranny, brought about the Revolution of 1830. I think, Sir, it is clearly proved in these works that these unauthorized societies, particularly the society of St. Vincent de Paul, al- though that was formed originally by certain law students in the sacred cause of charity, have become subjected to a political influence, that of the Jesuits, of which it is enough to say that the strong Government of the Emperor of the French stands somewhat in awe of; and the proof of that fact is recorded in the Circular, Order, or Decree of M. Persigny, by which he strikes down, so far as the withdrawal of the legal authorization can do so, the central power of this association, declaring it to be unnecessary for the purposes of charity, and that politically it was inconsistent with the authority of the Emperor. Let me now come back to the community of St. Philip Neri, near our own doors—the establishment of the Oratory. When heard that these persons were members of the society of St. Philip Neri, I asked myself, "Who was this St. Philip Neri?" I thought I could learn something of the character of the community from that of their patron saint, and so I did. I found in a work by Mr. Samuel Phillips Day, who was himself formerly a member of the order of the Presentation, that Neri or Nerius, who was afterwards canonized, was born in Florence in the year 1515, during the pontificate of Leo X.; that his father followed the occupation of an attorney, and was a great friend of the monks, especially the Dominicans; and that his mother was the descendant of a noble family who held distinguished offices in the state in the time of the republic. It appears to me that these Oratorians, by the acquisitive disposition they have shown, manifest that they have succeeded to some of the "sharp practice" which their patron saint may be supposed to have derived from his father's occupation. The present Superior of this society, M. Dalgairns, has declared that its members are not bound by religious vows; but that seems to me an evasion, for we know that they are bound by that extraordinary obligation of obedience which seems stronger than any vow, and is especially characteristic of the Jesuit system. We see that they are subjected to all the influence by which the strict discipline of the regular orders in the Church of Rome has ever been maintained. And, Sir, I believe that M. Faber, in his work on this very Order of St. Philip Neri, told the truth when he said it is a society eminently adapted to work its way under the free constitution of this country, and to establish a power as alien to our laws, no less alien to our constitution, than this same power has proved itself to the Government of Prance in the political organization of the society of St. Vincent de Paul, which has a central organization conducted under the auspices of a Cardinal at Rome, and extends its ramifications throughout the Continent. The society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded on the pretence of charity, but is used for the dissemination of those Jesuit doctrines, and the extension of that Jesuit power, which have proved so often—aye, and are proving now—fatal to the peace of Europe, and destructive of human happiness, and I am convinced that this order of St. Philip Neri is of the same stamp and character. Then, I inquired, what are the laws in Germany and in Prussia with respect to these religious Communities, and what do I find? That in Prussia, up to the Revolution of 1850, due security had been taken by law for tracing these establishments, for ascertaining their property, and so far as may be necessary for limiting the operation of their discipline. But in 1850 a wild spirit of liberalism prevailed. All the former laws were swept away, and subsequently there has been an enormous increase of these establishments under laws so lax that the Prussian Government can no longer exercise the control essential for the preservation of the peace and good feeling among the various religionists of the country. The Jesuits have established themselves again in Prussia; and I ask this House whether they have heard nothing of the difficulties of the Prussian Government, and of their incapability to restrain the outburst of popular violence? Have we not had the weakness of that Government tendered to us as an excuse for the outrage which has been committed by that Prussian Government upon inoffensive Denmark, our neighbour just across the channel? That is the disposition which has grown up with the increase of these establishments. But now let us see what the Italians are doing. I have in my hand a copy of the Bill for suppressing many, and regulating some, of the Roman Catholic establishments which is now before the Italian Parliament, and with the permission of the House I will rend a few words from the preamble to that Bill, which will best explain to the House the feelings of the Roman Catholic population of Italy, and the measures that they deem it necessary to take, with a view to preserving among themselves the blessings of peace and that sanctity of the family which these religious orders have been too often known to violate. It says— The Government (of Italy) is not induced to promote the suppression of religious houses by motives of hostility or anger, but by the conviction that the nature and effects of such institutions are repugnant to the spirit of the times, and burdensome to the new political and economical position of the nation, against which tendency the Government, and you yourselves, gentlemen (addressing the Italian Parliament) desire to guard yourselves in tranquillity, and free from the prepossessions of party. Thus we have the Italians, as a means of consolidating peace among themselves, suppressing many of these establishments. in no spirit of blind hostility, but, as it appears to me, acting much in accordance with the advice of the Rev. Canon Wordsworth, who has written an able book on the present state of Italy, recommending the retention of some few of these institutions, which are thought to be really useful for the purposes of charity or of education, but suppressing those which they find to be the organs of a power that is hostile to their domestic peace, hostile to their freedom, hostile to their national independence, and likely to bring them in collision with the other nations of Europe.

Sir, I have to apologize to the House for the length of the remarks into which I have been drawn in directing your attention to the very peculiar circumstances which characterize the establishment of this secret burial ground at Sydenhnm; and in showing, that if you would avoid the establishment of other burial grounds under similar circumstances, it is necessary that a Committee of this House should consider and review the law of burials. Within the last ten years there has been an unprecedented increase of these monastic and conventual establishments in this country—of monastic establishments that are contrary to law—and I humbly trust that the House and the Government may be warned, may be induced by these circumstances and by the conduct of Foreign Governments — the other Governments of Europe—to follow the example of the Government of France; and that, bearing in mind the misfortunes that are opening up to Prussia, for they are misfortunes, and the measures which the Italians find necessary for consolidating their polity, that this House will permit a Select Committee to examine these matters, with a view to their reporting the evidence taken before them, and their opinion thereon for the further consideration of the House.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "a Select Committee he appointed to inquire into the Allegations contained in the Petition of Mr. Alfred Smee, which was presented upon the 19th day of February last, relative to the Saint Mary's, Sydenham, Burial Ground; and further into the existence, increase, and nature of the Conventual and Monastic Communities, Societies, or Institutions in England, Wales, and Scotland."—(Mr. Newdegate.) —instead thereof.


said, it appeared to him that the petition of Mr. Smee, which had been printed upon the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), upon which this Motion was founded, did not in itself afford sufficient reasons for the appointment of the Committee which had been asked for. He must express the same opinion with regard to the correspondence which had taken place between Mr. Smee and the Home Office which had been laid before the House. At the same time, he could not but sympathize with that gentleman's feelings when he found that a near relative with whom he had been brought up on terms of intimacy, and with whom he afterwards became closely connected by ties of marriage, had been induced to change the religion in which he had been brought up, and to adopt the creed of a Church from which Mr. Smee, no doubt, conscientiously dissented. Referring to the oilier circumstances mentioned by the hon. Gentleman, it was much to be regretted that a youth imperfectly instructed in the truths and doctrines of his own Church should, on his first entrance into active life, be exposed to the influence of a man of deep learning, great persuasive powers, and very attractive manners, such as was the late Dr. Faber; but he scarcely thought the House could be recommended to agree to a Committee for the purpose of considering and suggesting measures to counteract such influence. The only practicable way of counteracting that influence would be by taking care that, as far as possible, the youth of this country should be well grounded in the doctrines and truths of their own Church before sending them out into the world, and should thus be better enabled to resist such influence. Having said this, it appeared to him that the hon. Gentleman had wrongly interpreted the object and effect of the Act for the regulation of Burial Grounds, an Act which was framed entirely on sanitary grounds, and solely for the pur- pose of affording protection to the health of the public; and that he also entertained an erroneous opinion as to the powers by that Act vested in the Secretary of State. Although the Secretary of State was required to give his consent to the opening of burial grounds within the metropolitan district, it was never intended that this power should be exercised arbitrarily, and still less that it should be exercised with reference to the religious creed of the persons applying. The approval of cemeteries had never been granted or withheld by the Government on account of the religious creeds of the parties for whose use they were intended. In this case the requisite application had been made to the Home Office, and referred to an Inspector, who, after examining the ground, made, as was usual, a detailed Report, from which it appeared there was no objection to the burial ground in a sanitary point of view. Mr. Smee was evidently under the impression that some extraordinary course had been adopted with regard to the cemetery at Sydenham, and that the permission of the Government had been unfairly obtained. That was not the case, and he hoped the publication of the correspondence would remove the impression. He regretted that the hon. Member should have thought it necessary to associate the name of the late Duke of Norfolk with these proceedings. The facts were simply as follows:—Dr. Faber, being at the time the principal of this Roman Catholic College at Brompton, made application to the Home Office to be permitted to open a burial ground for the use of the college. On receipt of the application the matter was referred in the usual manner to the Inspector, who, being then occupied with other matters, did not make his Report for some time. The Duke of Norfolk then wrote a letter, which was now before the House, calling attention to the application, and stating the importance which the members of the Roman Catholic Church attached to the privilege of having such a burial ground. That letter was sent to the Inspector, who afterwards reported in detail and showed that, as regarded sanitary objects, there was not the slightest cause for apprehension; and accordingly, as in several other cases, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, the burial ground was granted for the exclusive use of the religious community on whose behalf the application was made. The hon. Gentleman had said that the members of the community referred to had belonged to the order of St. Philip Neri. He did not know whether the statement was correct or not; but there was nothing on the face of the proceedings to show him that the college for which the burial ground was required was an institution not recognized by law, or that the members were of the order of St. Philip Neri. In order to establish the illegality of such a society, it would be necessary to ascertain by whom vows were administered and by whom they were received before any proceedings could be taken against them for a violation of the law. Last year, upon Mr. Smee making a complaint as to certain irregularities in the management of the burial ground, the Inspector was ordered to report upon that complaint; but the Report was to the effect that, in the course of seven years, only three interments had taken place in the cemetery, so that persons living in the neighbourhood could not have been at all affected on account of their proximity to the ground. So far, therefore, there was no reason for the appointment of a Committee. He was informed that access was given to the friends of persons buried there, as in any other burial ground. With respect to the inscriptions upon the tombstones, that was a matter with respect to which the Government had no right to interfere. If real names were not inscribed upon the graves, no doubt that might be productive of inconvenience in cases where it might be necessary to establish a title to property. But they all knew the inconvenience was much greater when no names at all were inscribed upon them, and there was no law in this country compelling the erection of tombstones, or providing for the nature of the inscription to be put upon them if erected. The hon. Gentleman had alluded to the case of Mr. Hutchison, who, according to Mr. Smee's account, was possessed of considerable property, and had been induced by undue spiritual influence to dispose of it in a manner different from that in which he would otherwise have done had he been free from that influence. That might, or might not, be true; but, if correct, the law provided a remedy.


said, he rose to explain. He believed the law to be totally inefficient in the present case.


said, that could only be so if the Court should decide that no undue influence had been exercised upon the mind of Mr. Hutchison. If undue influence of a spiritual nature were exercised upon a man in his dying moments for the purpose of affecting the disposal of his property, that would be a reason for setting aside the will. The hon. Gentleman had stated that the Italian Parliament had legislated for the suppression of monasteries, but he must remember that this country possessed a remedy in the statute of Mortmain against the serious evils which had arisen in Italy from the large amount of property acquired and held by monasteries. He did not think that any good results would arise from an inquiry into the subject, but that it would rather tend to foster religious discussions and disputes; and, so far as the documents before the House were concerned, he did not consider that there was any ground for granting the Select Committee asked for by the hon. Gentleman.


Sir, I would willingly have been spared intruding myself upon the House on this occasion. I beg to observe that in anything I may say, it will be remembered I speak in defence. I, and those connected with me, have been attacked, and it is proper I should defend my family from the charges brought against it. No one can deprecate more than myself the introduction of discussions on religious subjects into this House; but if they are to be brought on at all, they ought to be conducted in the same manner as other discussions, and to be accompanied by the same gentlemanlike feeling and propriety of bearing which characterize all the proceedings of the House, and which are more or less adhered to in all ranks and conditions of life. Even prize-fighters shake hands before they begin their contest, and give some semblance of an adherence to formality and decorum. In the present case, however, there has been manifested a most remarkable want of that propriety, inasmuch as a violent personal attack has been made upon a family to whom I am nearly related; but not one word of previous intimation has been given to me on the matter, and the broadest assertions have been made by the hon. Member for Warwickshire, without any attempt at proof. Not only have the hon. Gentleman's calumnies been aimed at the gentlemen who lived at the Oratory, but they have been, by implication, extended to myself. I feel sure that the House will, with its usual generosity and kindliness of feeling, permit me to reply, which I wish to do in no strenuous manner, to the slan- derous statements which the hon. Gentleman has been made the vehicle for publishing. In this petition, with which the hon. Gentleman by presenting it to the House has identified himself, the statement has been made, that the family of the Duke of Norfolk has been, and is, in close connection with the members of the Order of St. Philip Neri, at Brompton, and assist them in their various schemes. A little further down it adds, that young men of position and wealth are concealed from their friends by the members of that Order. What is this but an assertion that the family to which I have the honour to belong, is engaged with others in conspiracy, in fraud, and in concealment? Upon this part of the case I shall really dwell no further, because I do trust that both my family and myself have many valued friends among members of all religious persuasions; and I am quite sure that no person in this country, except Mr. Smee and the hon. Gentleman, would give any member of my family, or myself, credit for taking part in such disgraceful proceedings. In another clause of the petition it is stated that the heir to the dukedom of Norfolk—and I think it says his brother also—have been seen assisting in ecclesiastical garments in the public performance of services at the Oratory. Now, I think the hon. Gentleman stated that he belonged to the University of Oxford. I myself belonged to Cambridge, and when I went to the chapel in the University, which I did, I was in the habit of putting on a surplice, and I should suppose that the hon. Gentleman also wore his surplice on the same occasions. Is there anything disgraceful in assisting in the public service of a public Church? And, if not, if the hon. Gentleman wore a surplice while attending his College chapel service, might not other people, in a public church like the Oratory at Brompton, also take part in the service clad in the same way? I have seen my nephew assisting there; and, perhaps I may also say, that on that occasion when I saw him assisting there—perhaps more than once—I then had a little boy who had grown to an age when one's feelings are bound up very deeply with his well-being, as a son who promised to be a hope to one's family, and a prop to one's declining years. I am proud to say that that little boy also assisted in the service with my nephew, dressed in the garments which the hon. Gentleman has described. That little boy died within a short period of so assisting at the public services of the church; and I can tell the hon. Gentleman that, so far from being ashamed of it, it is the greatest possible comfort to me that, at the solicitation of his mother, I allowed him to pay that small meed of devotion and service to his Creator. He has passed to his account, into a purer world, where certainly there is no malignity like that to which my family has been to-night exposed. I do not believe he has a less bright place there because in that instance he paid his little meed of homage to his God; nor do I believe that his mother, who since then has also died, has a less bright place there, because she wished that he should take that part in the service of the church. The grief which I have had to sustain in the loss of these two loved ones, coupled within the short space of twenty months with the loss of the father of the young Duke, one of the best of brothers—that grief is to be ripped open, the lids of the coffins of those who are gone are, as it were, to be torn away, and their graves are to be exposed to public desecration because such a person as Mr. Smee chooses to allege these untruths in a petition for which the hon. Member for Warwickshire becomes the sponsor to this House. Having said so much on matters which affect me personally, although I am not at all undertaking the defence of the Oratory, still it is, perhaps, fair that I should advert to one or two points mentioned by the hon. Gentleman. He stated the case of a Mr. Harrison. As I understand it, Mr. Harrison was brought to the Oratory by an elder brother, who was an officer in the army; he became a convert, returned to Westminster School the same night, and a very short time afterwards he returned to his father's house. What took place was clear and open. Respecting the case with which Mr. Smee's name is connected in the petition, it certainly does seem to me extraordinary that an hon. Gentleman, in the position of a county Member, should endeavour, by animadversions in this House, to influence a case which is before the ordinary tribunals of the country. Whatever the will to which reference has been made may be, and I know nothing of it, it will no doubt be properly decided upon by the high authorities before whom it has now been placed. Then the hon. Gentleman endeavoured to make a strong case out of the omission of names on the tombstones in the burial ground at Sydenham. But it is the register of deaths by the properly cer- tified officers, and not the names on tombstones, which are resorted to for the purposes of identification. On his way to this House, the hon. Member must have walked over the churchyard of St. Margaret's, where upon ninny of the stones not a single name can be traced. This is the same in other places. The tombstone inscription may be obliterated by time, and it is the public and official record by which identification is established.

I pass now from the petition to one of the most extraordinary documents which I certainly ever read—"The Public Appeal to the Duchess of Norfolk," dated from Finsbury Circus, April 9. I had been detained in the country, and on arriving in town last night, I found to my great surprise a copy of this letter. I believe it has been published elsewhere. The hon. Gentleman says, he does not object to the writing of this letter; but, while he condemns its address to the Duchess, he thinks it should have been addressed to two gentlemen of the learned profession whom he inaccurately described as the guardians of a certain person. [Mr. NEWDEGATE: I said they were the trustees.] One of the statements in the letter is— But the high position of your Grace's family has been used to assist the schemes of the members of the Oratory, to obtain his money from his family. Now, the truth no doubt was, that Mr. Hutchison, whose fortune has been exaggerated, was a charitable and generous man, and chose to give his money accordingly. Some persons squander their money; others dispose of it in charity. Some even sacrifice their lives in works of charity. But who blames Howard for such a sacrifice? Who blames Wilberforce and Clarkson for their efforts in the cause of the slave? And who blames those benevolent persons who give bountifully of the means at their disposal to promote works of charity? Why, we do not even blame those persons who leave their money to help to pay off the National Debt, and why should Mr. Hutchison be blamed because he chose to give some of his fortune in charity, mid some of it to the Oratory for certain purposes indicated? Sir, I deny that, so far as the Duchess of Norfolk is concerned, there is the smallest ground for this calumny, which is so improperly brought forward in this letter, and with which, in some degree, the hon. Gentleman identifies himself.


I knew nothing about the letters.


I am glad to hear it, and I trust, then, that this will be a caution in future to the hon. Member as to the company in which he trusts himself, and the use to which he allows himself and his name to be put by others. We all hear of young men coming to the metropolis and there being taken advantage of by designing persons; but I should hardly have expected that a Gentleman of the age of the hon. Member would get into such a position as this. Allow me, Sir, in the most friendly way, to suggest to the hon. Member, that if he has not been prudent hitherto, he should henceforth take care that he is not led by others into such a position as to be made the medium for advancing, if not of countenancing, accusations of the most flagrant and unfounded character. In a further part of this letter—I am not quoting the words—the Duchess of Norfolk is accused by direct implication of the murder—the prospective murder—of her daughter, by immuring her in a certain convent into which she had gone. I should not, of course, think of saying a word in refutation of that. That young lady is my niece; and this I will say, that I never saw any person more anxious to enter a religious order than she was to enter the one which she has adopted. She was perfectly aware of the practice of that order, and she was most anxious to attach herself to it, I am quite sure, and all Catholics know, that there are many young women who could never be happy in the tumult of the world, but elect of themselves to enter a convent. This was the case with my niece; and no young woman ever took that step or any other with a greater prospect of happiness, Mr. Smee then goes on to say, "Your grace stood by the grave of my relative as the cold clay, sod by sod, was thrown upon his noble form, in a sort of ecstasy at the music of the requiem." Surely, if the Duchess attended this funeral she must have done so from the most praiseworthy motives. How absurd are those observations! Having taken the trouble to go down, was the Duchess to have laughed during the solemn ceremony? Is that the hon. Member for North Warwickshire's idea of the kind of behaviour becoming at a funeral? I do not know what his experience on those occasions has been, but mine would lead me to think that the observations contained in this letter with re- ference to the conduct of the Duchess of Norfolk are not only uncalled for, but absurd.. Then the hon. Member talks of the increase in the number of convents in this country. Now, this is a point on which, with the permission of the House. I should wish to say a word. The fact is, that in 99 cases out of 100, convents are established in this way:—Two or three nuns are invited by some philanthropic persons to come and teach at a school which may have been set up in their neighbourhood. Catholic ladies and gentlemen know by experience that nuns are the best instructors of children — that they generally succeed in winning them from evil courses, and accordingly they are glad to induce nuns to commence such schools. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire and other persons of his way of thinking are always accusing Catholics of keeping their people in ignorance and allowing them to become drunkards and commit offences which bring them before the police magistrates; but when Catholic gentlemen are doing all they can to make the poor of their creed good members of society, the hon. Gentleman and his friends not only will not help them, but seem to be actuated by a desire to hinder them from effecting that object. I wish to apologize to the House for the length of the statement I have made. It really has been a most painful one to me. Circumstances that have caused me sorrow deeper than can be described have been raked up in a manner most unjustifiable, and my duty was clear that I ought to come down to the House and defend my family and myself from such attacks. If I had allowed a feeling of diffidence to prevail, and had not relied on that kindness which the House has so generously extended to me, I must have submitted to be brow-beaten by those statements which the hon. Member has made in so positive a tone. The hon. Gentleman has spoken of those whom I feel it my duty to defend. Unfortunately my family has been diminished considerably of late by successive casualties; but I am happy that I have been spared to defend it from calumny; and I should have hoped that no hon. Member of this House would have stood godfather to such statements as those which the hon. Member for North Warwickshire has sanctioned. I can, however, assure him on behalf of my family, whether on the part of those who are now living, or of those who have departed from this life, that we wish him no further harm than that he may see the error of his ways, and that as he becomes an older he may also become a wiser, juster, and fairer man. Again, thanking the House most cordially for the manner in which it has received my explanation, I beg to express my confidence in the fairness and justness of the British public. It will know in what quarter to bestow its sympathy, and where to place its confidence; for, though the judgment of the people of this country is sometimes misled, it is, in the main, solid and sound. With the utmost confidence, I leave this case in the hands of the House.


said, that the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) was not, in his opinion, fairly open to the charge made by the noble Lord the Member for Arundel (Lord Edward Howard), that he had brought on the present Motion without due notice. He had had no communication with the hon. Member, but he knew all the circumstances of this case, and that it would be brought forward; and the noble Lord himself seemed to know more about it than the hon. Member. It was no sufficient legal reason for setting aside a will that such will had been made under religious influence. The only question was whether such cases as that brought forward by the hon. Gentleman were sufficiently numerous to call for legislative interference; for, as the law stood, he believed it was quite possible to bring to bear upon a dying person religious influence which it might be found difficult to resist, and which might result in great injury being done to the relatives of a testator. He thought that, so far from deserving blame, the hon. Member for North Warwickshire was entitled to the thanks of the House for calling attention to an institution which in his opinion, in this and other similar instances, deserved the just reprobation of the House.


said, that the observations made by the bon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Oxford City (Mr. Neate) required a reply, and he thought it not unbecoming that he should give one. It had not been his intention to have interfered at all in the discussion, especially after the touching and beautiful address of the noble Lord the Member for Arundel, but that he had the honour and happiness of knowing some of the Members of that Community which, to adopt the words of the noble Lord, had been grossly slandered in the House that night. He would not follow the speech with which that discussion opened, in regard either to the living or the dead who had been assailed in that speech; he would not say a word in reference to the character of the late Father Faber, who, he believed, whether as a man of intellect or a man of conscience, or a distinguished Englishman, would always be spoken of with extreme respect. Every one belonging to his religious creed knew that which it was no shame to the hon. Member for North Warwickshire if he did not know, that the constitution of the Community at Brompton did not, in the smallest degree, bring them within the purview of the law. Persons who belonged to the Oratory at Brompton—those who belonged to any Community of that distinguished order—were not bound by vows such as the hon. Member appeared to suppose. It was a matter of perfect notoriety that they lived together in Community—they were secular priests associating voluntarily, not bound to remain together for a single hour, each holding his property, and able to dispose of it just as he desired. He would say nothing as to the burial ground; that point had been answered conclusively by the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for Home Affairs, although he could not for the life of him see that there was any illegality or ground for suspicion in the fact of the name adopted at confirmation being the one inscribed upon the tombstone of one of the members of the Oratory. He wished to reply to an observation made by the hon. and learned Member for Oxford City (Mr. Neate), that according to the law of this land no amount of spiritual influence would nullify a will. It was notorious, that in the Probate Courts of England as well as in Ireland, cases constantly arose where the question for the jury and the Court was whether undue religious influences had been exercised. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), who introduced this Motion, had referred to the ease of Father Hutchison, a man of intellect and an accomplished scholar. That gentleman was forty years of age at the period of his death; he had been eighteen years a member of the Oratory, and died in full possession of his faculties. When he joined that Community he possessed a fortune of £30,000 or thereabouts. It was entirely under his own control, Portions of this property be devoted to the establishment of ragged schools in Holborn, and to the support of charities of various kinds; and at the period of his death, in his fortieth or forty-first year, he had by these acts of charity and benevolence denuded himself of the whole of the property, with the exception of £4,000 or £5,000. He was the friend of Father Faber, to whom he was deeply attached, and with whom he had lived for many years, trusting him, not only as a friend, but as a religious man; and he bequeathed this £4,000 or £5,000 to Father Faber, and that bequest was at this moment undergoing consideration in the Court of Probate. Was it not then monstrous that members of that distinguished religious Community—men of the highest character, men of the brightest accomplishments, men of the greatest devotion to their own religion, and also men of great devotion to the poor—should be assailed in the manner they had been, when the question upon which the charges were founded was before the properly constituted tribunal, to be determined there, not upon suggestion, not upon insinuations, not upon assertions without a particle of proof such as had been presented to the House and to the country that night, but on solemn inquiry and legal evidence? It did appear very monstrous. If, in this kingdom of England, twelve or twenty gentlemen of any other religious denomination than Roman Catholic chose to live together, no man would have ventured to assail those twelve or twenty gentlemen, as the priests of the Oratory had been assailed in that House. It was not manly thus to assail persons who were unable to defend themselves, who from their position, their character, and their profession had to be defended by others. So far as the present case went there was no evidence before the House, and no ground for the proposition of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire. It was a principle of British law that we had no right to assume guilt against any man; that we were not to assume that any individual of any Community whatever had broken the law of the land without hearing evidence in support of the charge, and afterwards what he had to say—in defence. Speaking now only of his own country he would say that if there was one thing which more than another mitigated the miseries of Ireland, it was the existence among its poor and wretched people of religious Communities, always ready to administer consolation and relief, to teach, to comfort, and to support the poor. Unless the Community of the Oratory at Brompton could be proved to be contrary to the law of the land, he trusted that the day was far distant when that House would assent to such a proposition as that of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire.


said, he would occupy the attention of the House for a few minutes only. One of the allegations of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire was that the Christian name of Father Hutchison inscribed on the tombstone was not the name by which he was baptized. The fact was that Father Hutchison changed his name at confirmation, or rather added to his existing name that of his particular patron saint. And he must tell the hon. Member for North Warwickshire that the law of England allowed any person to change his name at confirmation. If he would look into the highest legal authority, Coke upon Littleton, he would find it there laid down that any one could lawfully change his name at confirmation, and an instance was cited of a learned Judge who had done so, and the change was held valid in law. He would briefly touch upon one other point. It seemed to be inferred by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, that some advantage of Father Hutchison in his dying moments was taken by the Oratorians. The fact was that the will of Father Hutchison, so far from being a death-bed will, was made three years before his death. He lived for fifteen years at the Oratory. And he would ask, what was more natural than that he should wish to leave his remaining property to those with whom he had so long lived, and from whom he had received daily acts of kindness for many years, rather than to Mr. Smee, between whom and himself there had long existed, in consequence of his change of religion, a want of cordiality.


said, that as his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire was precluded, by the forms of the House, from replying, it was due to him that some hon. Member should stand up in his behalf, and say that nothing was further from his intention than to state anything that could be construed and twisted even by the disingenuous and tortuous practices of Roman Catholics into anything savouring of disrespect towards any member of the noble family of Howard. His hon. Friend's Motion was directed, not against individuals, but against institutions. At the outset of his remarks, his hon. Friend stated that he knew nothing of the letter alluding to the Duchess of Norfolk; and the noble Lord's speech, painful as it was to listen to, was a most ingenious perversion of the remarks of his hon. Friend. The points chiefly dwelt on by his hon. Friend were that there was no registrar's certificate, and that the name on the tombstone had been falsified. Were he a Roman Catholic he would not oppose the appointment of the Committee for an inquiry into conventual and monastic establishments. He thought the country was entitled to have evidence of the practices carried on within their walls. That very morning he had received a paper, which, no doubt, other hon. Members had seen, and which, if not true, was a libel. It was entitled "Facts; or, Nuns and Nunneries." Many instances were given of the maltreatment of unfortunate females in these establishments, he would call them prisons, in which their property was confiscated. These assertions were either true or false; and if he were a Roman Catholic he would defy the most bitter Protestant, as the Catholics would call him, to prove them. Instead of keeping those establishments hermetically sealed, he would have light let into them. At all events, let England have the same opportunity as was possessed in France, and even in bigoted Austria, of knowing what was going on in those establishments, and ascertaining whether any of the inmates were confined against their will, by the legal visitation of the civil power. That was all that was asked by the Motion of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire. Let the Committee be appointed, and he would undertake to prove instances of innocent, unfortunate, trusting females being seduced—he did not mean to use the word in its offensive sense — but cases of innocent, trusting girls drawn from their families by clever designing priests—drawn, into establishments, shut up there, kept there contrary to their will, their property confiscated, and their persons denied to their relations. Appoint a Committee, and they would prove that those assertions were facts. He did not wish to say anything offensive to Roman Catholic Members; but, were he a Catholic, that was the course lie would take. He could not sit still and hear the observations of his hon. Friend misrepresented and himself abused without offering those remarks.


I ask the hon. Member whether, in using the phrase "disingenuous and tortuous practices peculiar to Roman Catholics," he meant to apply it to me? [Cries of "Order!" and "Chair!"]


said that, as a Roman Catholic, he could not allow the observations of the hon. Member for North Wilts (Mr. Long) to pass without expressing the contempt which be felt for them. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire was a follower of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli). If the hon. Member had studied the speeches of his political leader, he might have seen in one of them a maxim which it would have been well for him to have borne in mind on the present occasion—namely, that "insolence is not sarcasm, and that violence is not invective." [Cries of "Order!" "Chair!" "Divide!"]


[amid renewed cries of "Order!" and "Chair," said: A violent attack has been made on me. I beg to explain that the Motion which I submit to the House is, as expressed in the terms of it, "for an inquiry into certain allegations made in the petition of Mr, Smee, the medical officer of the Bank of England;" and further, that, this Motion is "for an inquiry into the—[Cries of "Chair!")


If the hon. Member has been misunderstood on any point an opportunity of explanation is afforded to him. But he cannot go beyond explanation.


I beg your pardon, Sir, if I have erred; but I have been misrepresented, and I beg to explain that the Motion I submit to the House is a Motion for an inquiry into Monastic and Conventual establishments, and it is substantially the same as those which have been repeatedly supported by majorities in this House. ["No, no!"]

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question,"

The House divided:—Ayes 113; Noes 80: Majority 33.

Acton, Sir J. D. Beamish, F. B.
Agar-Ellis, hon. L.G.F. Beaumont, W. B.
Alcock, T. Beaumont, S. A,
Anson, hon. Major Beecroft, G. S.
Ayrton, A, S. Bellew, R. M.
Bagwell, J. Bowyer, Sir G.
Baring, T. G. Brady, Dr.
Bright, J. Lewis, H.
Browne, Lord J. T. Liddell, hon. H. G.
Bruce, H. A. Locke, J.
Butt, I. Lygon, hon. F.
Castlerosse, Viscount M'Cann, J.
Clay, J. MacEvoy, E.
Clifton, Sir R. J. M'Mahon, P.
Cochrane, A. D. R.W. B. Maguire, J. F.
Coke, hon. Colonel Malins, R.
Collier, Sir R. P. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Collins, T. Martin, J.
Cowper, rt. hon. W. F. Moffatt, G.
Cox, W. Norris, J. T.
Crawford, R. W, North, F.
Cubitt, G, O'Brien, Sir P.
Dalglish, R. O'Conor Don, The
Davey, R. O'Hagan, rt. hon. T.
Dent J. D. O'Loghlen, Sir C. M.
Dillwyn, L. L. Packe, Colonel
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Paget, C.
Doulton, F. Paget, Lord C.
Duff, M. E. G. Palk, Sir L.
Dunkellin, Lord Palmer, Sir R.
Ewart, J. C. Palmerston, Viscount
Fitzroy, Lord F. J. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Forster, C. Pinney, Colonel
Forster, W. E. Pollard-Urquhart, W.
Fortescue, C. S. Potter, E.
French, Colonel Ricardo, O.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Russell, A.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W. Russell, F. W.
Glynn, G. G. Seymour, H. D.
Goschen, G. J. Sidney, T.
Gregory, W. H. Smith, J. B.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Stansfeld, J.
Hardcastle, J. A. Taylor, P. A.
Hartington, Marquess of Thornhill, W. P.
Headlam, rt. hon. T. E. Tottenham, Lieut. -Col. C. G.
Henley, rt. hon. J.W.
Herbert, rt. hon. H. A. Tracy, hn C.R. D. H.
Heygate, W. U. Vane, Lord H.
Hibbert, J. T. Vernon, H. F.
Hodgson, K. D. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Horsman, rt. hon. E. Walter, J.
Howard. Lord E. Whitbread, S.
Humphery, W. H. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Hutt, rt. hon. W. Woods, H.
Jackson, W. Yorke, J. R.
Kinglake, A. W.
Kingscote, Colonel TELLERS.
Layard, A. H. Brand, Mr.
Lefevre, G. J. S. White, Colonel
Adderley, rt. hon. C. B. Dunlop, A. M.
Agnew, Sir A. Edwards, Colonel
Archdall, Captain M. Elphinstone, Sir J. D.
Aytoun, R. S. Ewing, H. E. C.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Fane, Colonel J. W.
Beresford, rt. hon. W. Fellowes, E.
Bramley-Moore, J. Fleming, T. W.
Bridges, Sir B. W. Foley, H. W.
Burghley, Lord Gard, R. S.
Burrell, Sir P. Gore, J. R. O.
Butler, C. S. Gray, Captain
Caird, J. Grogan, Sir E.
Calthorpe, hon. F. H. W. G. Gurney, J. H.
Gurney, S.
Carnegie, hon. C. Haliburton, T. C.
Clive, Capt. hon. G. W. Hardy, J.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Holland, E.
Du Cane, C. Holmesdale, Viscount
Duncombe, hon. A, Horsfall, T. B.
Hunt, G. W. Shirley, E. P.
Kendall, N. Smith, A.
Knightley, R. Somes, J.
Knox, hon. Major S. Stuart, Lieut.-Col. W.
Langton, W. H. G. Stracey, Sir H.
Leslie W. Stronge, J. M.
Lopes, Sir M. Sykes, Colonel W. H.
Lysley, W. J. Tempest, Lord A. V.
Mackie, J. Thynne, Lord H.
Maxwell, hon. Colonel Torrens, R.
Miller, W. Treherne, M.
Mills, A. Vance, J.
Mills, J. R. Verner, Sir W.
Montagu, Lord R. Walcott, Admiral
Murray, W. Watlington, J. W. P.
Neate, C. White, J.
North, Colonel Willoughby Sir H.
O'Neill, E. Wynne, W. W. E.
Parker, Major W. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Pease, H.
Robertson, D. Mr. Newdegate
Rose, W. A. Mr. R. Long.
Selwyn, C. J.

Question again proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair,"