HC Deb 24 July 1867 vol 189 cc3-34

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [18th June], That, in the opinion of this House, it is undesirable that the Fellowships and Foundation Scholarships of Trinity College, Dublin, should be exclusively appropriated to those who are members of the Established Church,"—(Mr. Fawcett,) and which Amendment was, To leave out from the word "House" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "The constitution of the University of Dublin should be altered so as to enable and fit it to include Colleges connected with other forms of religion than that of the Established Church, and that the members of such Colleges should be entitled to share in all the benefits now enjoyed by the members of Trinity College,"—(Mr. Monsell,) —instead thereof.

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

Debate resumed.


said, that during the debate which took place on that question some five weeks ago—a most important admission had been made by the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Lord Naas)—namely, that the state of collegiate education in that country was most unsatisfactory. Such an admission could not but be regarded by the House as tantamount to a declaration that the Government were prepared to consider the subject; and although it could not be expected that the Government should be in a position now to announce what their policy was with regard to it, at the same time it was most desirable that there should be some declaration of opinion on the part of the House as to what that policy ought to be. At present they had before them two propositions — that of the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) for throwing open the Fellowships and foundation scholarships of Trinity College, Dublin, to all religious denominations; and that of the right hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. Monsell) for altering the constitution of the University of Dublin so as to enable it and fit it to include Colleges connected with other forms of religion than that of the Established Church, and to entitle the members of such Colleges to some of the benefits now exclusively enjoyed by the members of Trinity College. If the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton stood alone, he should have had no hesitation in giving it its support; but still he entertained some objections to it, which were met by the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Limerick, and therefore he preferred to support the Amendment. There was an ample provision for the higher education of members of the Established Church in Trinity College. There were also the Queen's Colleges, which provided nominally indeed for all, and which substantially met the requirements of the Presbyterians, especially in Belfast; but the benefits of which, unfortunately, owing to the strong feeling prevalent among the Roman Catholics in favour of a denominational system, reached only a portion of that numerous community. It was impossible that things could be allowed to remain as they were. Parliament, if it wished to produce contentment and satisfaction in Ireland, ought to show that it was prepared to treat all sections of the Irish people in an equal and impartial spirit, and to meet the wants and requirements of all religious denominations with an even-handed justice which recognizes no distinction of creed. His own desire in reference to that question was not to degrade the Protestants of Ireland in matters of religion to the level of the Roman Catholics, but to raise the Roman Catholics to the level of the Protestants; and he thought that object might be most fully attained by adopting the Motion of the right hon. Member for Limerick. The Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton was open to the objection that it would give deep offence to a large and important class in Ireland, and would ultimately have the effect of depriving the Members of the Established Church of the means of giving a high denominational education, especially to their own clergy, whom it was most desirable to educate together with the laity, and that, after all, its only result would be to create another Queen's College in Ireland—a result, under present circumstances and in the actual state of public feeling, hardly desirable. He should prefer to leave Trinity College as it was, a denominational College for the education of all, but with certain advantages for Members of the Established Church; but he thought it was a matter of great importance that the examining body should be altogether independent of the teaching body, whose functions were perfectly distinct and could not be confounded without injury, and he would therefore desire to separate the University of Dublin from Trinity College, and to make them two distinct bodies independent of each other. His right hon. Friend the Member for Limerick had read a quotation from a contemporary despatch with the view of showing that the original object of the foundation of Dublin University was broadly national. However that might be, it seemed to him clear that Trinity College, at least, was destined for education in the principles of the Protestant religion and for purposes of proselytism. But whatever may have been the original object of Queen Elizabeth, he believed it was her intention, as it decidedly was that of the two succeeding Sovereigns, that the University should be a University in reality, not in name, and that other Colleges besides Trinity College should, sooner or later, be established. There was a most explicit statement in the charter of James I. on that subject; and when they recollected that the foundation of Trinity College took place in 1592, only a few years before the termination of the reign of Elizabeth, they might gather that the declaration contained in the charter of James I. was made with a full knowledge of what were the original intentions with which the University of Dublin was founded. In the charter of James I. the reason assigned for giving Dublin University a representative in Parliament was that Bills were frequently brought before the House which were intended (as it was expressed in the barbarous Latin of those days)— Pro dispositione et preservatione reddituum, revenditionum et possessionum dicti Collegii ac aliorum collegiorum sive aularum in diclâ Universitate in posterum erigendarum et stabiliendarum." It was clear that, in the opinion of James I., there would be brought before the House, measures for increasing; the number of the Colleges and Halls in connection with the University. Charles I. extended further the charter of the University; and although those three Sovereigns were not actuated by a philosophical persuasion of the righteousness of religious toleration, at any rate it was known that they entertained a very strong sympathy towards the professors of the old religion, both in England and Ireland; and, but for the deep prejudice then existing in the minds of the English people towards the Roman Catholics, some provision might have been made for the education of the latter. Even by an Act passed in the reign of a later monarch, to whom nobody would attribute any strong attachment to the principle of religious toleration — namely, by 33 Geo. III., c. 21—it was provided— That it should be lawful for Papists to take or hold degrees or any professorship, or to be Masters or Fellows of any College to be hereafter founded in this kingdom (Ireland), provided that such College shall be a member of the University of Dublin, and shall not be founded exclusively for the education of Papists. He thought the time had come when they ought to consider how justice might be done to the Roman Catholics of Ireland in this matter. The Roman Catholic people of that country, in spite of the enormous burdens imposed on them by the necessity of building and maintaining their churches, supporting their clergy, and sustaining all those charitable institutions which were an honour to the voluntary spirit of Ireland, had raised a sum of not less than £120,000 for the foundation of a Roman Catholic College. That sum was, of course, found altogether insufficient at once to build and properly endow the College; and it would be for the interest, not only of the people of Ireland, but of the whole Empire, if the State were to show itself liberal in providing the means of furnishing an efficient staff of professors and tutors for such an institution. He knew it might be said that the Queen's Colleges would be adequate to supply the wants of the Roman Catholic population of Ireland were it not for the opposition of the priests; but he asked whether, in this country, where priestly influence was certainly not predominant, there was not a decided preference shown for denominational education? In Ireland religious differences were broader and deeper than in England, and therefore it was not unnatural to suppose that both among the Protestants and the Roman Catholics there should exist a widespread and deep seated feeling in favour of denominational education. But when it was urged that this opposition was entirely owing to the priests, it was fair to ask themselves what had given the priests such influence? Was it not the policy pursued towards Ireland by this country for centuries? Acts of violence and confiscations had placed almost the whole property of Ireland in the hands of men different in religion, different in many cases in race, from the majority of the Irish people. For many centuries the notion of extending to the mass of the people the political and religious advantages enjoyed by the favoured minority, would have appeared to their rulers the height of folly and absurdity. Political equality had been secured; but even to this day, the vast majority of the Irish people laboured under serious and irritating disadvantages both as regarded religious equality and the provision of education in its higher branches. Under such circumstances, whenever the people of Ireland required support or sympathy, they naturally turned to their clergy, and it was not surprising that they should now have followed their advice in this question of denominational education. That they should do so was the result of our own policy, and one which could be neither wondered at nor disregarded. In all legislation for Ireland they were bound to consider what were the deep feelings and convictions of the people, and the attempt to legislate for them on the opposite principle must, in future, as in times past, end in failure and mischief. If, instead of vehemently denouncing priestly influence in Ireland, they sought, by improving the education and intelligence of their flocks, to raise the feeling entertained by the people towards their spiritual teachers into a sentiment of enlightened reverence and respect, they would see the same result as was seen in France, Belgium, and other countries where the Human Catholic religion existed, and where it was not in permanent antagonism to the State. The plan he advocated was to grant subsidies to a Roman Catholic College or Colleges on proper conditions, in order to enable them to employ a competent staff of tutors and professors; and these conditions should provide for the just influence of the State in fixing the constitution of the governing bodies. It was right that the clergy should have their due influence in such institutions; but it was not desirable that the arrangements for providing secular instruction in them should be left entirely in the hands of the clergy of any denomination whatever. He believed that the time was not far distant when, both in this country and in Ireland, they must provide greater means than they had done for a more advanced education, both of the middle and upper classes in Ireland. They would be obliged to scatter all over their great centres of population, institutions—whether they called them Colleges or Universities — having professors who should be able to give systematic instruction to the people, and thus to raise the middle classes of this country to a level with those of Germany and France, in respect to the means of obtaining a cheap and complete education. The noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland stated that a system, such as that pursued at the London University, would be repugnant to the feelings of all sects in Ireland; but what, he would ask, was the system of the London University? It was nothing but an examining body which acted indirectly on education by refusing to admit students to matriculation or honours unless they proved themselves worthy of those distinctions by passing an examination of a high standard. No attempt, he might add, was made to interfere with the existence of Trinity College, Dublin, as a collegiate institution. All that he, and those who supported his view of the question, sought to effect was to add to the existing educational institutions of Ireland one great examining body, to which students from Roman Catholic or any other Colleges in that country might go for examination, and be subjected to a certain standard of proficiency. And had not Trinity College itself, after all, made some approach to the system of the London University? Had it not done largely that which the late Government had been blamed for doing in the case of the Queen's University in Ireland? At the present moment the students of Trinity College amounted, in round numbers, to 1,200; and of those 300 only enjoyed the benefits resulting from residence within its walls on which his noble Friend had recently dilated. 300 more resided in Dublin in the vicinity of the College, and had the advantage of being able to attend lectures there, many of them living at home, while others occupied lodgings. The remaining 600 were placed precisely in the same position as those students who, from all parts of England, came up for examination to the University of London. But then it was said that, under the system proposed, it was utterly impossible to constitute a governing body such as was suggested, whose members would act cordially together, and command the respect and confidence of all parties. His noble Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland had asked whether it was possible to conceive two such men as the Provost of Trinity College and the President of Maynooth acting together in that manner? His answer was that nothing was, to his mind, more simple. He had not the pleasure of knowing the actual Head of Trinity College; but he did know some of the most distinguished of its Fellows, any one of whom might, some day, with great propriety, be selected to be its Head; and; he was sure they would find no difficulty in acting with such a man as Dr. Russell; while, from the slight acquaintance which he had with that gentleman, he was convinced it would be to him an easy and agreeable duty to act with either the Head, or any of the Fellows of Trinity College, for the purpose of conferring a great national benefit on the people of Ireland. Such a course as that which he advocated had been already tried, and with complete success. Whatever might be the objections to the London University, nobody had ever ventured to assert that its examinations were not conducted with perfect impartiality. The Examiners were appointed without regard to the religion of the students whom they would have to examine, who consisted of members of every persuasion, including Roman Catholics, who came up to London to be examined from all quarters of the kingdom, and who were thus subjected to a test which was admitted on all hands to have worked most satisfactorily. As things at present stood, there were no means provided in Ireland for stimulating its various educational institutions into active exertion by enabling their students to submit themselves to some such high standard of examination. That being so, the question arose whether the want could be supplied by creating ad hoc a new University in that country? From what had fallen from the Chief Secretary for Ireland, it might be supposed that the Government proposed to take some such course; but then no specific assurance had been given by the noble Lord on the subject. For his own part, he must contend that what was required was not so much to multiply as to reduce the number of the examining bodies in that country. One well-constituted body of Examiners would, he thought, be amply sufficient to secure the object which he desired to see attained, and the voice of all intelligent people in Ireland, with the exception of those who were animated by extreme party feeling, was, he believed, in favour of that view. But, be that as it might, it was, at all events, impossible, after the declarations which had been made on the part of the Government, that the question should be allowed to rest, or that a policy should be much longer pursued which presented constantly to the eyes of the Roman Catholic population of Ireland a prospect of a great preference given to the members of the Protestant persuasion in reference to the education of their children, while adequate means of education were denied to their own. Under those circumstances, he hoped that some Member of the Government would rise in his place, and, if not in a position to give some specific assurance on the subject, would, at all events, inform the House that it would be fully considered by them during the Recess. Meantime, he was prepared to express his opinion with respect to it by supporting the Amendment of his right hon. Friend the Member for Limerick should he press it to a division. Should that Amendment be withdrawn, he would give his vote in favour of the proposal of the hon. Member for Brighton, and thus show the people of Ireland that he, at all events, was determined to aid them in seeking to obtain that equality in the matter of education to which he thought they were entitled.


said, the Roman Catholics of Ireland would never be satisfied unless they were placed in reference to the question of education in a position of perfect equality with their Protestant fellow-subjects. That object could, in his opinion, best be attained by leaving the members of each religious persuasion free to carry on the teaching of their children in the manner they preferred, and then bringing the results of that teaching to a common test by examination. There was one thing, at all events, which was not to be endured, and that was that great institutions should exist largely endowed by the State, for the benefit of one section of the community to the prejudice of the just claims of another. The Roman Catholics of Ireland, therefore, were not satisfied with the position which Trinity College occupied. Though it had taken considerable steps in the path of toleration, Roman Catholics were excluded from the government of that body and from an equal share in some of the privileges of the establishment. The Government of this country, seeing how just were the claims of the Irish Roman Catholics with regard to education, had instituted the Queen's Colleges. But the mistake committed by the Government was that they established as a system, not what the people of Ireland desired, but what they thought would be good for them. It was not advantageous to the teaching of history, or of ethics, that the professors of those branches of education should have constantly to come to a halt lest they should trench on the religious opinions of their hearers. Instruction in such subjects would be better given in separate institutions, where they might be taught freely. The Roman Catholics of Ireland claimed an equal share of the rewards of education with their Protestant brethren, provided they showed equal ability and equal aptitude to pass the necessary tests. How was that to be ascertained? A separate charter might be given to the Roman Catholic University in Ireland; while Trinity College might be allowed to retain the special advantages of its education for members of the Church of England, granting degrees to persons belonging to other religious denominations. But he should prefer to have an examining University in Ireland, where students of all classes might meet together for the purpose of submitting to an examination without at the same time surrendering their peculiar religious opinions. The advantages of such a system would be great, in a literary point of view, inasmuch as it would tend to promote a noble and generous emulation between the students of the various educational establishments throughout the country. Such was the proposal of the Government, with the one exception, which was the great blot of their plan, that the University of Dublin should retain special advantages as a separate University. If there was to be one examining University in Ireland, it must include Trinity College as well as the students of all other institutions; and it should be borne in mind that from its first establishment the University of Dublin was separate from the College of the Holy Trinity, and was founded with the intention of adding other Colleges to it. By the proposal of the right hon. Member for Limerick, Trinity College would lose nothing of its own government, its influence over education, its prestige, or its high standing in the literary world. The Protestants of Ireland were entitled to retain in their own hands the education of their own children and of the ministers of their own religion; and the only effect of the proposal would be that the students would in the test of their education enter into competition with the students of other establishments throughout the country. Why Trinity College, with all its prestige and great resources, should shrink from throwing in its destiny with those institutions he was at a loss to understand. The noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland, indeed, objected to such a scheme as that which he had indicated. He (Lord Naas) could not perceive how the Provost of Trinity College and the President of Maynooth could sit on the same Board and settle the course of education to be adopted. Nobody, however, proposed that they should settle the course of education. [Lord NAAS: They must.] Persons of different religious persuasions were members of the Senate of the University of London, but they did not deem it to be any part of their duty to settle, for instance, what the course of education should be at the Roman Catholic College of Ushaw, where he (Mr. O'Reilly) was educated. It was only proposed that a Board, consisting of the representatives of both religions, should settle the tests of education. So far as Latin and Greek and mathematics were concerned there was, no doubt, a certain scheme of examination laid down. But on the subject of history, was any course settled as to the system of instruction which should be pursued? At Ushaw, Lingard's History of England was taken as the text-book, whereas in other Colleges connected with the London University the text-book was Hume. At Ushaw the students learnt history, and when they came up to be examined in London they were not asked how they had learnt it, for he himself had passed through the examination with others who held, on religious questions, totally different opinions. No two men would be likely to agree better in determining the rules to be laid down for the examination of students than the Provost of Trinity College and Dr. Russell, the President of Maynooth—the two eminent persons to whom the noble Lord had referred. Trinity College was largely endowed by the action of the State in former ages, but those endowments were always subject to the revision of Parliament. The Motion before the House in effect stated that those endowments should no longer be held for the exclusive advantage of the Protestants of Ireland, but should be extended so as to enable the University to afford equal benefits to the Roman Catholics and the other religious communities in that country. The Roman Catholics of Ireland would not seek to force their way into Trinity College if its members would consent to join them in the establishment of a common institution, such as he had mentioned, to supply the test of education throughout the country. If Trinity College refused to do that, the lo- gical conclusion to be drawn from the refusal was that they claimed to hold exclusively the privileges with which they had been endowed by the action of the State for the benefit of the whole people of Ireland. In that case the Roman Catholics would contend that those endowments must be opened to every Irish citizen, whatever might be the religious opinions he entertained. He, however, should cordially support the Amendment of his right hon. Friend the Member for Limerick. He hoped to see it accepted by the House. He believed it contained the safest, broadest and easiest solution of the difficulties connected with the question of education in Ireland. If, however, the House should reject the proposal of his right hon. Friend, he should vote in favour of the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton.


said, he thought it was of the greatest importance to Ireland that the question of education should be settled on a fair basis, and the only fair basis, in his opinion, was that the members of all religious denominations in that country should be placed, in dealing with the subject, in a position of pefect equality. The Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton would, if carried, attain that end, and if it were the only means of securing what he looked upon as a sine quâ non he should be prepared to give it his support. Such was not, however, the case, and believing that the Amendment of his right hon. Friend the Member for Limerick suggested a more satisfactory mode of settling the question he should vote in its favour. The proposal of the hon. Member for Brighton would not satisfy any party in Ireland. It would be distasteful alike to Roman Catholics and Protestants, and would produce results which would, he feared, be seriously detrimental to the interests of an institution of which Ireland had just reason to be proud. It was very natural that the Roman Catholics should wish for a system of education strictly in accordance with their religious feeling. The members of other religious denominations also usually acted on similar principles, and sent their sons to schools conducted in accordance with their own religious convictions. A third plan had been suggested—namely, the establishment of a third University which would bear the same relationship to the Roman Catholics as Trinity College did to the Protestants of Ireland. This scheme was well worthy of attention, but for his own part he was disposed to think that a single University with affiliated Colleges would be found to answer best. The plan of the right hon. Member for Limerick had the advantage of leaving the collegiate system untouched, and a single University would, in all probability, as compared with three Universities, maintain a much higher standard of education; for, whereas in the case of three Universities, the tendency might be to lower the standard of qualification in the competition for students, the rivalry between the various Colleges would have the opposite effect, if the students of each were ultimately to be subjected to the same educational test. He was afraid that, in the event of three Universities being established, the present high standard of education in the Dublin University would not be maintained, and that the competition amongst them would, by lowering the standard, prove injurious to the interests of all classes. He hoped that, during the Recess, Her Majesty's Government would give their earnest attention to the subject, so that when Parliament met next Session, they could announce to the House what their intentions were with respect to this subject, which was one of the highest importance to Ireland. Whatever settlement might be proposed, he trusted it would embrace a perfect equality between the different religious bodies in Ireland. Nothing else could be expected to give satisfaction to the people. There must also be an endowment for the Roman Catholic College, such as would place it on a complete equality with the Protestant institutions; without that he believed a satisfactory settlement would not be arrived at. Believing that the Amendment of his right hon. Friend the Member for Limerick suggested a more satisfactory mode of settling the question than the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton he should vote in its favour.


said, that the question was how to provide for what was an admitted want in respect to education in Ireland. No one felt more than he did the necessity of some change in the collegiate system as regarded the Roman Catholics of Ireland. The House had before it two propositions. He would first consider that of the hon. Member for Brighton. It was not one that would meet the views of the people of Ireland. Without meaning to use words offensive to the hon. Member for Brighton, it showed an utter ignorance of the wants and feelings of the people of Ireland. It was another effort to force a system of mixed education, which was only another name for godless education, upon she sister country. Looking to the past as regarded the course of mixed education in Ireland, he regarded this as another effort to exclude all religious teaching from the general education of the Irish people. The right hon. Member for Limerick's proposition dealt more practically with the question; it was also more comprehensive and more likely to give satisfaction; but he was unable to agree in the views of the right hon. Gentleman. The whole question was as to the possibility of having a mixed Board of Education working in perfect unity and dealing out perfect justice to all parties. That was the issue raised, to which they ought to apply their minds. The hon. and gallant Member for Longford pointed to the success of the London University in respect to the tests of education established for various Colleges; but he thought that the hon. and gallant Gentleman ought to have looked to Ireland for a board of a similar character to that he had referred to, when he wanted to prove the success of a mixed board. The hon. and gallant Gentleman, then, need not have gone far for this example, for he need only point to the University of the Queen's Colleges, where the system he was advocating was admittedly a failure. He doubted much if such an institution was calculated to secure that perfect unity of thought, purpose, and aim, which was necessary to the efficient control of the educational system of Irish Universities. He hesitated to follow the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Limerick in his Amendment. He did not think that that proposition would at all meet the difficulty. He (Mr. Graves) feared that they were not proceeding in the right direction. In place of dealing with that eminently successful institution, the University of Dublin, he thought that they should rather let it proceed in its prosperous course without interference, and see whether they could not build up another institution equally well suited to its special wants, where the religion of its students would be carefully looked after, and where they would be all brought up in their own creed, without exposing them to the difficulties and inconveniences of a mixed education, such as was proposed by the hon. Member for Brighton. He was also afraid that great jealousy would arise in Trinity College, from any system by which the national stamp would be placed as it were upon what he would call the manufacture of other religions. The education given in Trinity College was of a very high standard and had impressed upon it the stamp of a national character. Under such a system as that proposed by the hon. Member for Brighton, he thought that that standard would be much reduced. In the Petition presented that day on the subject by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, he could not discover one word in favour of either of the propositions before the House, and it might therefore be considered that neither of them would meet with the cordial co-operation of the Roman Catholic priesthood or people of Ireland. If he might make a suggestion it would be one rather in the direction of the view of the late Vice President of the Council of Education (Mr. Bruce), when he suggested the withdrawal of both propositions, and that this question should be left to her Majesty's Government, to be dealt with in the coming Recess, not by abstract propositions, but by a carefully considered measure—framed after consulting the best authorities—which would meet the wishes of the masses of the Irish people, and at the same time impart equal justice to all.


said, he thought that the view taken by the hon. Member for Liverpool as to the impossibility of Roman Catholics, and members of the Established Church, and of the various Dissenting bodies, meeting together on common ground in the University of Dublin, was altogether contradictory to experience as gathered from the existing systems in other countries. No educational institutions in the United Kingdom had been more prosperous than the Colleges and Universities of Scotland. There every man might walk in without any question as to his religious opinions being asked him. He was simply told that he must attend the regular classes if be wished to take the degree of A.M. or M.D.; that he would be examined in due time by the proper Examiners, and if he came up to the required standard would obtain a degree and be entitled to any honours or emoluments which the University could bestow. No question was raised as to difference of faith in any class, unless it were the divinity classes, and even there young men belonging to any religious denomination might attend if they chose. When they saw such a system existing as it had done for centuries without any quarrels being engendered, it could not be contended that it was impossible to work such a system in Ireland. To make such an assertion implied that the people of Ireland were more unreasonable than the people of other countries; that they would quarrel about matters respecting which others were content to remain at peace; and that in order to afford a likelihood of any improvement, they must create new institutions, which would probably turn out more objectionable than the old. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Limerick had suggested a Roman Catholic University; that was a proposal of which he could not approve. The present University of Dublin was a national institution. Men who were educated there got the stamp of the nation in the form of a degree. If they established a Roman Catholic University it would be not national but sectarian. A sectarian institution had no more right to give a national degree than a Lord Mayor of London had to confer the honour of knighthood. Within the last twenty years a splendid new College had been established in Edinburgh by the Free Church of Scotland, with a staff of professors and without any Government aid; but that College had never asked for power to confer degrees. They educated men up to the required standard, and when degrees were granted it was to those who conformed to the rules and attended the additional classes necessary to enable them to undergo the examination with credit in the national University. That system was attempted to be carried into effect to some extent last year by the late Government, with whose measures, as a whole, he did not concur. But he considered that proposal, enabling young men educated in any school to be examined in the University of Dublin and get their degrees if found qualified, to be most admirable. Next to that proposal, the Motion for the hon. Member for Brighton met his approval. It opened up—at least to a great extent—the existing honours and emoluments of the University to Roman Catholics, who had as good a right to share in those honours and emoluments as the members of the Church of England.


said, he was obliged to the hon. Member for Edinburgh for the expression of his approval of the attempt made by the Government last year to do something for the settlement of this great question of University education in Ireland. He thought the change proposed by the late Government with regard to the Queen's University was a wise one. He begged Scotch and other Members not to judge the question of Irish education too exclusively by Scotch ideas and experience, because if they did they would miss the real difficulties of the question, and fail to do justice to the people of Ireland. The differences existing between the various Protestant denominations with regard to University education ought to be of a comparatively trifling character; but in dealing with Protestants and Roman Catholics—the latter considering themselves not a sect but a nation in Ireland, feeling its own claims and the position it ought to hold in its own country—the difficulties were enormously increased. Therefore the examples of England and Scotland would not settle the question in Ireland. It was not his intention to go over again the ground so well traversed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. Bruce) for he went along with his right hon. Friend in everything he said in regard to the duty of the Legislature to bring about a perfect system of equality in educational as well as ecclesiastical matters between the different portions of the population of Ireland. He agreed with him also as to applying to this subject that fertile and vital principle laid down by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone)—namely, that in these matters, which, as regards Ireland, were domestic and internal, the feelings and wishes of the Irish people should be considered first and above all things, and that, without taking that principle into account, they were not likely to do justice and give satisfaction to the people of Ireland upon this subject. The hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Graves) made an attack on the system of mixed education, and said that the Senate of the Queen's University afforded an example of the discord that system produced. This was said because the Senate had had a debate on one question—the acceptance of the supplemental charter. But that body had acted together with remarkable harmony and facility on all ordinary educational questions which had come before them, both previously to and after the acceptance of the supplemental charter. If the hon. Member for Liverpool read the programme drawn up last year for the future examinations of the students, under the supplemental charter, which was now unfortunately suspended, he would see that distinguished persons of different religious views had been able to agree on a programme of the most enlightened, practical, and satisfactory kind. It was to him a matter of great sorrow that it was not to be carried out, and the responsibility of its rejection rested with the present Government. He hoped the hon. Member for Liverpool would not be the only Member who would speak on the Ministerial side of the House on this subject. [Lord NAAS: I have already spoken in this debate.] He was aware of it. The noble Lord made an excellent speech of three quarters of an hour, but it was entirely of a negative character. The noble Lord pointed out the difficulties of the question before the House, but gave no information as to whether the Government had any plan for the remedy of the evils complained of. He trusted that the Government would make some more decided declaration before allowing the House to go to a division on the present Motion. He differed from the noble Lord, who thought that anything like the system of the London University was totally unsuited to Ireland. There was room in that country for both the systems, which might be described as the College and Examination systems. He had a strong feeling as to the advantages of the College system, but half a loaf was better than no bread. If the system of the London University was found suitable to England, in Ireland it would be even more suitable; because Ireland was a poor country, and a great number of Irish families found it impossible to afford the expense of sending their sons to reside at Trinity and other Colleges. The best course would probably be to open the University of Dublin in connection with a variety of Colleges, including Trinity College, the Queen's Colleges, and the Catholic University College. But unless the Government had in view some system of University education for Ireland, superior to that proposed last year, there would be good ground for condemning their conduct in refusing to carry into effect the change recommended by the late Government. It would only have been necessary for the present Government to have brought in a Bill to remove all doubts as to the validity of the supplemental charter, which the late Government would have done had they remained in office, and then a change satisfactory to large classes in Ireland would have been carried into effect. It was impossible to see how diligently and wisely the Senate of the Queen's University had applied themselves to carry out the powers conferred on them by the supplemental charter without coming to the conclusion that the Queen's University, if it were to be maintained at all, must be made an infinitely wider and larger institution for the people of Ireland then it had been as confined to the Queen's Colleges. He regretted that the Government, through the Attorney General for Ireland, had sanctioned an application to a Court of Low in order to do away with powers conferred by the late Government on the Queen's University. He would support the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Limerick.


said, that observations had been made respecting his action, as Attorney General, with regard to the Chancery proceedings in reference to the supplemental charter to the Queen's University. Similar observations had been made elsewhere, where he had had no opportunity of replying to them, and he was glad now to be able to do so. The facts were these — an objection had been raised to the validity of that charter, when the present Government came into office, and he had been applied to officially to allow his name to be used in the suit as Attorney General. That was a matter of form, which he could not have refused, and what he had done was merely Ministerial. He had given no opinion in the matter one way or another. It would have been a dereliction of duty had he declined to accede to the application. With regard to the suggestion that the Government should have brought in a Bill on the subject of the supplemental charter, what right would the Government have had to decide by a legislation a question between private parties while it was still sub judice.


said, that what he meant was that the Government might have brought in a Bill at a later period when the question had been decided.


observed, with regard to the question under discussion, that he thought there was no case for the interference of the House, and neither the Motion nor the Amendment should be adopted. The question was exceedingly embarrassed by the manner in which it had been brought before the House, for the Motion and the Amendment were not more opposed to the subject before the House than they were to each other. The object of the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton was to break down all distinctions, and throw open the endowments and privileges of Trinity College to persons of every religious denomination, The Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Limerick was for preserving intact all the privileges of the College as distinguished from the University, and allowing other Colleges to be affiliated to it. Both, while opposed to each other, were hostile to the institution of Trinity College, Dublin, whose rights it was his duty and privilege to defend. He was amazed when he heard the hon. Member for Brighton state the other day that that institution had an endowment amounting to £92,000 a year. A Return had been made, pursuant to the order of the House, of the income of Trinity College, from which it appeared that the net annual income of its property, which was incapable of increase, was £31,369 19s. 8d., a sum very little exceeding that—£30,000—derived annually from the Consolidated Fund exclusively for the support of the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth. Besides this there was an estate—not part of the corporate property—which belonged to the Provost of the College, amounting to £1,500 a year net. But even if that were added to the £31,369 19s. 8d., how much did the actual annual income fall short of the sum of £92,000? The hon. Member for Brighton also said that it was the fault of Trinity College that its revenues were not much greater; but the entire property was regulated by Act of Parliament, and each tenant paid a rental which was definitively fixed for ever. The College also derived a revenue from property which had belonged to private donors, amounting to between £5,000 and £6,000, and; about £10,000 was received in College fees; so that the whole income derived from all these sources amounted to about £50,000. The education at Trinity College was as free as at any institution in the realm. Men of any religious denomination, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, Turk, Jew, or infidel, had a perfect right to go up to Trinity College, enter there, matriculate and be examined, just as freely as at the University of Edinburgh, to which the hon. Member (Mr. M'Laren) had referred. There was nothing exclusive but the corporate body and the Divinity professorships. A Divinity school must be exclusive from its very nature. The corporate body, which had existed for 300 years, consisted of the Provost, seven senior Fellows, and eighteen junior Fellows, and seventy foundation scholars, who must all be members of the United Church of England and Ireland, but no other person connected with the College was necessarily of any religious denomination whatever. The seventy foundation scholarships were established in the reign of Elizabeth, candidates for which must be of the Established Church. Was it desirable that these should be thrown open to persons of any, and every, religious belief? The late Mr. O'Connell—whose opinion, it was to be presumed would carry weight with the opponents of the College—when examined on oath before a Committee of the House of Lords in 1825, was asked (vide Evidence, p. 158)— Would not one measure tend very much to conciliate the Roman Catholics, and to do away the unpleasantness to which you have referred—namely, that of leaving the election of scholarships open to both religions, which they are not now? His reply was as follows:— I doubt that, and I will state why. As Trinity College, Dublin, is constituted, it is intended for the education of the Protestant clergy. I do not think it would be a wise thing to give the scholarships to Catholic young men. I think that young men of talent, who are intended for the Protestant Church, ought to have those scholarships. Some years ago, with the view of obviating objections to the exclusive nature of these scholarships, the Board of Trinity College established a number of non-foundation scholarships which were in all respects equal to these, and were open to every man on examination without distinction of religious creed. The candidates for both classes of scholarships were examined together, and every man who was found equal in merit to any one who obtained a foundation scholarship was awarded a non-foundation scholarship equal in value to the foundation scholarship. Yet this was put forward by the hon. Member for Brighton as a matter of complaint. Now, as to the governing body—namely, the Provost and Fellows—would it, in the present state of Ireland, be advantageous that that governing body should consist of men belonging to different religious persuasions? Unfortunately, the experiments which had been made in that direction had not been successful. One of these was the National Board of Education, consisting of Prelates of the two Churches, the United Church of England and Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church, and it was matter of experience how badly that had worked. The tenets of the Roman Catholic religion were aggressive. Roman Catholics considered it to be their duty to propagate their religion by all legitimate means, and especially by education. One principle of that Church was, that they could not join in mixed education. Bishop Moriarty, when examined before the Select Committee, said, the reason of the withdrawal of the Roman Catholic Prelates from the Board of Education was a matter of principle—that it was inconsistent with the doctrines of their Church for the clergy to take a part in any education that was not entirely under their own control.


said, he rose to Order. The right hon. and learned Gentleman was not entitled to quote the proceedings of a Committee which had not yet reported.


If the right hon. Gentleman is doing so, it is irregular.


, said, he would then merely put it as a matter of public notoriety. Every hon. Member knew what had actually taken place—that the Roman Catholic Prelates had withdrawn from the National Board avowedly because it was inconsistent with the doctrine of their Church to take part in any education which was not entirely under their own control. But to come to the proposition of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Limerick, why did he propose that— The constitution of the University of Dublin should be altered so as to enable and fit it to include Colleges connected with other forms of religion than that of the Established Church, and that the members of such Colleges should be entitled to share in all the benefits now enjoyed by the Members of Trinity College? Would he include the Queen's University of Ireland? Taking Dublin University as a College, how could there he any hope of having a united governing body when Roman Catholics would object even to the history of England being taught, except one particular history, written by a Roman Catholic, was adopted. They would not be able to read even Hume and Smollett in such a College. How could any curriculum of education be agreed on? Trinity College was an avowedly Protestant institution, and that was the reason why it had been attacked by Roman Catholic Members. The estates which were granted in the time of Elizabeth and James to Trinity College were granted on the same principle as the grants to the nobility, and were wholly different from a Parliamentary grant, which might give the Parliament a primâ facie right to interfere. The estates of Trinity College were as good in title as those, for instance, of the Duke of Devonshire. What, then, was the cause for the proposed interference with the right of property enjoyed by the College? Every man, of whatever religion, could go to Trinity College and attain all the advantages of the College—degrees in arts, law, medicine. Why was the Legislature to interfere with the sacred rights of property? Trinity College had done its duty faithfully and well in furthering the education of the youth of the country—the object for which it was founded. Its system of education was enlightened, extended, and liberal; and why should the State interfere? The objection urged was a mere sentimental one; there was no single practical grievance. Twenty-five years ago, when at Trinity College, he was in the habit of associating daily with many gentlemen of the Roman Catholic religion who were being educated there, and in no institution could there be more harmony than then existed among them. The Roman Catholic gentlemen who had attended there would bear advantageous comparison with any who had been educated elsewhere; and they looked back to the days they had passed in Trinity College, Dublin, as some of the happiest days in their lives. They enjoyed every freedom; every facility and advantage was open to them, with the exception of the Fellowships connected with the governing body. Those who insisted on separate education for themselves were not justified in taking from Protestants the advantage they enjoyed in the existing College. Trinity College said to Roman Catholics, "Walk in; the doors are open to you to be educated if you like." But because they would not walk in, because they said they would have an education of their own, was that a reason why they should say that Protestants should not govern their own College? Was it because the Roman Catholic clergy would not allow the Roman Catholic youth to go there that the privilege of free education at that University should be denied to Protestants? In Dublin there were 6,000 graduates, and 1,218 students last year received education in the College. The education differed from the English system to the advantage of the students. They had more facilities offered for residence, which was in itself good; but, at the same time, it did not compel residence, because persons might come up from private schools or private tutors, and offer themselves for examination without a day's residence. If they chose to reside in Dublin the students could go to the tutors free of expense, and get the best education which Ireland could afford; so that while; every inducement was held out to students to reside, it by no means made that residence essential. Was not the real nature of the Amendment to compel the University to shave their endowments among other Colleges which Roman Catholics liked better? He would call attention to the skilful manner in which the Amendment had been framed. It proposed that the members of other Colleges should be entitled to share in all the benefits of Trinity College. Did this not mean that they were to share in the emoluments? The sum was not too great for the duties attached to the teaching; it was very little more than that given at Maynooth. Roman Catholics were as free to go to Trinity College as anybody else. If anything had been altered it was to their advantage. But if they did not wish to go there, let not the privilege be taken away from those who now enjoyed it. No case had been made out either for the original Motion or for the Amendment. For the sake of peace and harmony he hoped neither would be adopted. The smart of such a change would not be got over for many generations. Would it be wise or politic to create such a sore and grievous wrong? He appealed with confidence to the good sense and feeling of hon. Members on both sides of the House. It was better to let things alone, and not to create another subject of annoyance and sectarian animosity in Ireland, which it would take years on years to overcome, merely to meet a sentimental objection where there was no practical grievance whatever.


said, that he found no fault with the Ministerial action of the right hon. and learned Gentleman in the matter of the supplemental charter. What he said was, that the legal proceedings might have been avoided if the Government had decided by their own action a matter of public policy. He did not deny that a grievance might be made if the Amendment were carried, but he thought if the change de- sired were proposed by the Government it would not be felt as a grievance.


said, that the right hon. and learned Gentleman had ably defended Trinity College; but he regretted that he had not stated what the Government would agree to with regard to the great question of Roman Catholic University education in Ireland, if they rejected both the Motion and the Amendment. As to the Roman Catholic grievance being only sentimental, the right hon. and learned Gentleman had shown that a sentimental grievance might also be felt among Protestants. He said that tampering with the College in the way proposed would create a sore which it would require years to heal; but, if the change were made, the Protestants would enjoy the same education as now. They would therefore be in the same position as the Roman Catholics, of whom the right hon. and learned Gentleman said that they could now get all they wanted, and that their grievance was only sentimental. But a grievance did not cease to be a grievance because it was sentimental. A great many grievances in Ireland were sentimental grievances. It was all very well to tell an Irish Roman Catholic that he could obtain his degree at the London University; but were the hon. Members sitting on the Ministerial Benches in favour of denominational education or not? They were in favour of it in England; but they advocated mixed education in Ireland. What course had the Government taken with respect to the supplemental charter of last year? What they had said came to this—that they would use the University degree as a means of forcing Roman Catholics into mixed schools. If hon. Members opposite would act in the spirit of compromise it might be possible to preserve the denominational system in both England and Ireland. Why should there not be a University in Dublin which should represent not only the 500,000 Protestants, but the 4,000,000 of Roman Catholics? He wanted to know what course the Government were going to adopt with reference to this question. They opposed every plan brought forward on the denominational system, and yet they had neither the courage nor the straightforwardness to say whether they accepted or objected to the supplemental charter, nor to bring in a measure themselves dealing with the matter. The question was, whether the system of mixed education in Ireland had succeeded or not? If it had failed, why should any attempt be made to continue it, and why did not the Government come forward with a proposal for denominational education instead? But if, as he supposed, this view was entertained by no great number of hon. Gentlemen opposite, why was the Motion of the hon. Member for Brighton resisted? Whatever differences of opinion might prevail between the two sides of the House on some points of this subject, he supposed that no one would deny that the Roman Catholics in Ireland ought to enjoy the benefit of University education. If hon. Gentlemen opposite continued to reject every attempt at a compromise, the Church of England party on the Liberal Benches would be compelled, under a view of the absolute necessity of extending education at all hazards, to vote with those who were in favour of a secular as against a denominational system. He trusted that before the debate closed they would hear from the Ministerial Bench ft definite announcement of the policy that the Government intended to pursue.


said, he did not rise to defend the course which had been taken by the Government on this question, but merely to point out the difficulty in which the Liberal party found themselves with reference to all questions of a religious or an educational character. The Liberal party in this country in supporting the Roman Catholic hierarchy of Ireland virtually accepted the Ultramontane opinions pronounced by the Papacy, and were, therefore, at variance with the Liberal party throughout the world. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gosehen) had said that the only satisfactory basis in Ireland was one of complete religious equality. But what would be the position of Ireland if such a policy was carried out? The Roman Catholics, governed by an Ultramontane hierarchy, would be in an immense majority, and would absolutely decide all questions relating to religion, education, and learning, upon their own principles. That would be the inevitable sequence of the policy adopted by the Liberal party. The policy of England, on the contrary, had always been that, whatever might be the numbers or creed of those who sought education, toleration should be extended to them. The Church of Rome, on the contrary, was both intolerant and aggressive. As he thought it improper to make an assertion of this nature in the House without supporting its accuracy by confirmation and proof, he desired to ask their attention to two or three instances in confirmation and proof of what he had said. He held in his hand the despatch, a Copy of which he had moved for a short time since, addressed by Prince Gortschak off to the Russian representatives abroad in reference to the rupture of the relations between the Holy See and the Court of Russia, and the abrogation of the Concordat of 1847. In this despatch the following sentence occurred:— The Emperor's word was loyally fulfilled by the conclusion of the Concordat of 1847; it granted to the Roman Catholic Church all that it was possible to grant within those limits (the limits assigned by the Constitution and laws of Russia). But in Russia the Holy See has pretended at all times to the faculty of going beyond those limits.' In confirmation of this there was appended a note—"'The essence of the Catholic religion is to be intolerant,' wrote, in June, 1804, the Cardinal Secretary of State, Gonsalvi, to Cardinal Caprara." He (Mr. Newdegate) would show that this intolerance was not peculiar to the Church of Home in her relations with Russia only, by two extracts, with which he would trouble the House from the syllabus of the "Errors of our Time," which were condemned in the encyclical letter of the Pope, issued in 1864. One opinion which was condemned ran thus— The entire direction of public schools in which the youth of Christian states are educated, except—to a certain extent—in the case of episcopal seminaries, may and must appertain to the civil power, and belong to it so far that no other authority whatever shall be recognized as having any right to interfere in the discipline of the schools, the arrangement of the studies, the taking of degrees, or the choice and approval of the teachers. This was condemned by the Pope as one "error," because the supremacy which he claimed for himself and his Church was ignored. The following was condemned as another heretical opinion:— The system of instructing youth which consists in separating it from the Catholic faith and from the power of the Church, and in teaching it exclusively the knowledge of external things, and the earthly ends of social life, alone, may be perfectly approved by Catholics. If any illustration were needed to satisfy the House that the doctrines of the Papacy, in these points, were entertained or practised in full force by the Bishops of that persuasion in Ireland, it would be found in the pastoral address of the Roman Catholic Archbishops and Bishops, to the Roman Catholic clergy and people of Ire- land, which contained a series of resolutions expressing the judgment of the Roman Catholic Archbishops and Bishops on the subject of mixed education in reference to the Roman Catholics of Ireland. One of those resolutions was— That school for Catholic youth should be such as to ensure for them the benefit of a safe secular education and adequate religious instruction in the faith and practices of the Catholic Church. They should, therefore, be so subordinated to bishops in their respective dioceses as that no books may be used in them for secular instruction to obstruct the ordinary objects; and that the teachers, both as to appointment and removal, and the selection of all books for religious instruction, and the arrangements for it, be under the instruction of the same ordinary. And again— That, in accordance with the decision already pronounced by the Holy See, we reiterate our condemnation of the present system of education established in the Queen's Colleges; that we cannot but declare that the said system has failed signally, notwithstanding the enormous expense entailed by it upon the country; and that we consider that the only means for the Government to free itself from the responsibility of maintaining the present useless, expensive, and obnoxious system would be to give over the Colleges of Cork and Galway, situated in Catholic provinces, to be conducted on Catholic principles, while the Presbyterians are provided for in the College of Belfast, and the members of the Established Church in the University of Dublin. These were the principles of the Church of Rome. When the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, talked about adopting the basis of perfect religious equality in Ireland the principle carried out would really amount to the enthronization of intolerance in that country. The Liberal party were in considerable difficulty, for they wished to adopt the principle of equality, and yet saw that if they did so they must enthrone intolerance in Ireland. The United Church of England and Ireland was tolerant, and because she was tolerant, she preserved her power and position. But if the Roman Catholic Church was to be allowed equality with the Established Church by virtue of the numerical predominance of her worshippers in Ireland, she must attain the supremacy at which she aimed, and nothing could then restrain her intolerance except the establishment of a civil power based upon the principles of absolutism. Nothing would be left but to repeal the Union, which was based upon the toleration of the Established Church, and to supplant the present beneficent and tolerant system, by a Government whose despotic powers might be found sufficiently powerful to check the intolerant assumptions of the Church of Rome. The House had had before its eyes the example of Poland, and of the bloody revolution which was the result of the attempt of the Czar to establish toleration there in spite of the Roman Catholic Church, while acting upon the principle of equality. The example was one that ought not to be forgotten.


said, he had never heard before, either that the Union was based upon toleration, or that the Church of England was particularly distinguished by the possession of that characteristic. The predominance of the Established Church in Ireland was a strange illustration of the universal toleration which the hon. Member (Mr. Newdegate) supposed to form the basis of the Irish Union, and he thought that English Dissenters would be able to dispel the theory that in this country the Church of England was remarkable for toleration. Those Members who represented the Church in that House had bitterly, wickedly, and pertinaciously opposed every attempt to give the Dissenters the rights which the Roman Catholic Members of the House were most desirous to obtain for them. It was said that the Roman Catholic Church was an aggressive Church, but how, in reference to the question before them, had the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland shown itself to be aggressive? The Roman Catholic Bishops of Ireland only asked to be allowed to educate their youth according to their own principles. They asked for denominational education — the same thing that was insisted upon by the Protestant Bishops of England and which the Government demanded for the people at large. And when Roman Catholic Bishops of Ireland asked for the same thing they were denounced, not only as bigots, but as aggressors. Was it repugnant to reason or liberty to ask for the Roman Catholics the rights they were so willing to concede to others? He could not understand why the Roman Catholic Bishops in Ireland should be considered bigots because they asked for in Ireland what the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury asked for in England. The Roman Catholic Bishops were governed by conscience, and why should not their conscientious feelings be respected when the conscientious feelings of the Protestant Bishops of England were treated with consideration? The Roman Catholic Bishops did not want to interfere with the faith of the Protestants; they only wanted to have their own men, youth, and children protected from aggression. The Roman Catholics wished simply to establish protection for themselves; they did not assail the religious liberties of other people. The evidence of Daniel O'Connell was quoted by the Attorney General for Ireland, but he would remind the right hon. Gentleman that that evidence was given forty-two years ago, before emancipation, when the Roman Catholics scarcely dared to ask or hope for anything. The right hon. Gentleman quoted the opinion of O'Connell in this matter because it served his purpose; but he refused to accept the opinions of that great man in regard to matters of even greater and more urgent importance than the question under the consideration of the House. It was the duty of the Government to have brought in a Bill for the purpose of removing any doubts which might exist in reference to the validity of the supplemental charter. They had insinuated a vague promise of what they might be prepared to do in reference to this question; whereas they ought to have had the courage to declare, "Here is a great difficulty and the cause of much contention; we have given to it a fair and due consideration, and this is the decision at which we have arrived." They knew that there was an earnest desire on the part of the Roman Catholics to have the matter settled, but they would not do anything to settle it. The feelings of the great majority of the people must be respected. What was to be done? Was there any Member of the Government present who would give, not a supplemental charter, but a supplemental statement of their opinions or policy? The Roman Catholics had been taunted with taking £30,000 a year for Maynooth. They did not ask for that. The grant was made as a matter of Imperial policy, and he should be glad to get rid of it as soon as possible. But the Roman Catholics would be great fools if they gave it up before the settlement of the Irish Church question and all its anomalies, and so long as the Regium Donum was maintained he should vote for the grant to Maynooth. The Government, and any future Government, would disappoint the people of Ireland and every liberal-minded man and damage their own reputation if they did not deal with the matter in a bold and comprehensive spirit. One great inconsistency which characterized the conduct of the Protestant gentlemen in Ireland in dealing with the question of education in Ireland was that they maintained that the Roman Catholics ought to be content with any system of education, while they themselves would not be content with anything of the kind. The fact could not be denied that sooner or later this question would have to be settled, for the feelings of the great majority of the Irish people would have to be respected.


said, he wished that, instead of merely asserting it, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cork had pointed out some instance of the intolerance of the Church of England. Take the case of church rates. Had the Church of England been intolerant in that matter? The members of that Church had used all their efforts to settle that question in a just and equitable manner. And who had thrown obstacles in their way? Hon. Gentlemen opposite, who were the advocates of unconditional abolition. Who were the most intolerant parties—those who approached the matter in a spirit of fairness, or those who demand the complete surrender of the rates? With regard to the Universities, hon. Gentlemen opposite were not disposed to settle that question unless all the endowments which belonged to the Church of England were given up. The friends of the Church had always said, "Come to these institutions to be educated;" but their opponents said, "We will not settle the question until you give up all the endowments left for the Established Church." Who, then, had been the tolerant party upon that subject? The point in this case was whether or not the Fellowships and foundations of Trinity College were to be appropriated to others than Members of the Established Church in Ireland, and he could not support such a proposition. The hon. Member had stated that the Roman Catholics had always been ready to advocate the rights of the Dissenters in England; but might there not have been a tacit understanding between those parties that if the Roman Catholics helped the Dissenters to pull down the Established Church in England, the Dissenters would help the Roman Catholics to pull down the Irish Church? The hon. Member had made use of terms in reference to the King of Italy for which he ought to rise in his place and offer an apology. He (Mr. Bentinck) had always personally been in favour of denominational education; on that ground he had steadily supported the Maynooth grant. Still, however, the toleration exhibited by himself and hon Members in his neighbour- hood ought to meet with some return, and all they asked was that, having permitted denominational education in respect to a Church of which they were not members, the members of that Church should extend the same privilege to them. If the Roman Catholics enjoyed the advantages of denominational education, why should they seek to deprive the members of the Church of England, which included all the upper and middle classes of this kingdom, of the same benefits?


said, that having for many years, during which he had endeavoured to bring under the notice of the House the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholics, recognized the disinclination of the House to enter into a discussion of these matters, he intended to abandon further attempts in that direction within the House. He would not discuss the details of the question until the occupants of the Treasury Bench stated whether in their opinion it was desirable to encourage the spread of the Roman Catholic religion. He wished, however, that the House should consider what it was the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church aimed at when they spoke of equality. In a local newspaper of the 15th of July, Dr. Goss, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Liverpool, was reported to have used certain words, on a former occasion, in reference to the Queen's Supremacy, which had a particular significance, when taken in connection with a book lately published by Dr. Cullen, in reference to claims to the allegiance of the people of England superior to those of Her Majesty, and containing an exposition of the indefeasible right of a descendant of the Stuarts to the Throne of England. Dr. Goss was reported to have stated— They knew that Queen Victoria held Her power, not by Divine right, but by the will of the people, for the Stuart was set aside first by his own unnatural daughter, aided by William of Orange, who usurped the Throne, and then subscribed an Act of Parliament which vested the succession in the English Crown. Therefore, the Queen did not assume Her power by Divine right, but by the will of the nation. She had the same power exercised by Cromwell, the Protector, who beheaded Charles the First, because he held his power by the voice of the nation. In reading this passage to the House he had discharged aduty—to bring this subject under the notice of the Attorney General.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


said, he could not have voted for the Amendment, not because he objected to its principle, but because it raised an issue different from that which he had endeavoured to raise as clearly, as distinctly, and as simply as he could in the Resolution he had submitted. The Amendment related simply to the University. His Resolution had reference to the endowments of the Colleges, and sought to do in respect of Trinity College what had been done by the House with regard to the Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge—namely, to give to all classes of Her Majesty's subjects, whatever their religious opinions, the right to enjoy the endowments of the Colleges.

Main Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 108; Noes 108:

And the Numbers being equal, Mr. Speaker stated that this was an abstract Resolution, which if agreed to by the House would not even form the basis of legislation; but undoubtedly the principle involved in it was one of great importance, and if affirmed by a majority of the House it would have much force. It should, however, be affirmed by a majority of the House, and not merely by the casting vote of its presiding Officer. For these reasons he declared himself with the Noes.