HC Deb 05 June 1868 vol 192 cc1185-211

Order for Committee read.


rose to move an Instruction to the Committee— That it be an Instruction to the Committee, that they have power to provide in the said Bill, that the tenure of every office connected with the College of Maynooth be subject to like conditions with those to which official tenures connected with the Established Church in Ireland will be subject after the passing of this Act, and that no money shall be payable under the Act 8 and 9 Vic. c. 25, to the Trustees of the College of Maynooth for or for the use of any senior student or other student to be admitted after the passing of this Act. He said, that in addition to the three Resolutions of the right lion. Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone) which had been carried, laying the foundation for the disestablishment of the Episcopal Church in Ireland on the principle of religious equality, a fourth Resolution had been carried, affirming the necessity of discontinuing the grant to Maynooth and the Regium Donum as soon as the Episcopal Church in Ireland should be disestablished. The Bill upon which they were about to go into Committee had been brought in to give effect to the intentions expressed in the first three Resolutions; but in order to place all denominations on an equality in Ireland, it appeared to him to be necessary to treat the grant to Maynooth in exactly the same manner as they were about to treat the Established Church. The Bill enacted that when any archbishopric, bishopric, or other benefice became vacant, no successor should be appointed to it, but that its revenues should be paid into a fund to be placed in the hands of certain Commissioners; and by a subsequent clause, in the case where any congregation would be deprived of the religious services to which they had been accustomed through the non-appointment of a successor to their clergyman, temporary provision was to be made by the Commission for continuing the services of their church. It appeared to him it would be only fair and consistent that some step should be taken with regard to Maynooth analogous to that adopted by the Bill towards the Established Church. Accordingly, understanding that it was only by an Instruction to the Committee that could be done, he had placed on the Notice Paper the Motion with which he would conclude, referring to any vacancies which might occur in the professorships or other offices connected with the College of Maynooth, and also to a large number of studentships in that institution, for which sums were paid out of the Consolidated Fund. The Bill provided against any extension of the Established Church in Ireland, the 3rd section being to this effect— It shall not be lawful for the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland to make any new grant for the building, rebuilding, or enlarging of any church or chapel, or for the building of any glebe house, or the augmentation of any benefice or the maintenance of any minister or the purchase of any house, land, or tithe-rent charge. That clause, taken in connection with the 1st clause, clearly pointed to the conclusion that, while all rights of property and all interests of individuals were to be re- spected, no extension of the Established Church was to be permitted. Therefore, if they were to deal in the same manner with Maynooth College, it would be necessary to enact that no money should continue to be payable out of the Consolidated Fund to the Trustees of that institution for the maintenance of any senior or other students admitted after the passing of the Act. The principle of the Resolutions was that all Churches in Ireland should be equally deprived of any assistance from the State; and the Bill based upon them having for its object to prevent the creation of any new life-interests connected with the Established Church, he thought that, in all fairness, the same rule ought to be applied to appointments in the College of Maynooth. In order that that might be done, he now begged to move his Instruction.

After a brief pause, during which no hon. Member rose to second the Motion, Mr. DARBY GRIFFITH said, he would second it.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That it be an Instruction to the Committee, that they have power to provide in the said Bill, that the tenure of every office connected with the College of Maynooth be subject, to like conditions with those to which official tenures connected with the Established Church in Ireland will be subject after the passing of this Act, and that no money shall be payable under the Act 8 and 9 Vic. c. 25, to the Trustees of the College of Maynooth for or for the use of any senior student or other student to be admitted after the passing of this Act."—(Mr. Sinclair Aytoun.)


said, he considered this Instruction quite unnecessary, and quite irrelevant to the Bill before the House. The object of the Bill was not to disestablish the Irish Church, but to prevent the growth of new personal interests in it between the present time and the period when the new Parliament, to which that matter was to be relegated, would come to deal with it. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Aytoun) desired to establish religious equality, but his proposal, if carried, would have a totally different result. It was a mistake to say that the Bill gave effect to the 1st Resolution of the right hon. Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone). That was remitted to the new Parliament. The Bill gave effect only to the 2nd Resolution, which was merely intended to prevent the growth of new vested interests in the interim. The hon. Member said he wished, by his Instruction, to carry out the 4th Resolution, but the 4th Resolution declared that when effect was given to the 1st by disestablishment of the Irish Church, then the grant to Maynooth and the Regium Donum should cease. But the hon. Gentleman proposed to prevent any students from entering the College of Maynooth between the present time and August, 1869; so that the operations of the College, as far as new students were concerned, would be immediately and entirely stopped. The hon. Member could not have understood the provisions of the Bill nor the explanation given of them by the right hon. Member for South Lancashire, who had said that those provisions, combined with the Church Temporalities Act and the general ecclesiastical law were sufficient to enable every function and operation of the Established Church in Ireland to go forward, in different hands, indeed, but as really and efficiently as if the Bill were not passed. If the proposed Instruction were agreed to the operations of Maynooth would not go on; while all that was contemplated by the Bill in respect of the Established Church was the prevention of the growth of any new interests, and the Church itself was left to be dealt with by the new Parliament. When they were going to establish religious equality he very much objected that they should take this small sum from the religion of the mass of the Irish people, while they allowed the Irish Church Establishment to be dealt with by the new Parliament. He thought nothing could be more unfair; and he would simply remark that the Regium Donum was left out of sight. He was quite satisfied with the assurance of the right hon. Member for South Lancashire that no more State funds should be applied to religious purposes, and if that were not sufficient for the hon. Member, let him look again at the 4th Resolution adopted by the House, which said that when the Church of Ireland had been disestablished the grant to Maynooth and the Regium Donum should be discontinued, It was therefore unnecessary to adopt the proposed Instruction. He would move as an Amendment, in the words of the 4th clause of the Bill, substituting Maynooth for the Established Church, that— Every person who shall be appointed to any office in the College of Maynooth, after the passing of this Act, shall hold the said office subject to the pleasure of Parliament.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the words "Bill, that" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "every person who shall be appointed to any office in the College of Maynooth, after the passing of this Act, shall hold the said office subject to the pleasure of Parliament," — (Colonel Greville-Nugent,) —instead thereof.


On a former evening when my hon. Friend behind me (Mr. Aytoun) made a Motion relating to this subject, before the Bill was introduced, we were necessarily led to enter upon questions by which deep feelings were likely to be excited, because religious differences and questions of principle were involved. But I am not aware that on the present occasion any topic of that hind can naturally or properly be introduced; because, in fact, on the former occasion we determined the principles on which we would proceed, and left for consideration nothing but questions, important indeed, but comparatively small, as to the mode in which effect was to be given to those principles. I wish just to point out to the hon. Gentleman that in my opinion he cannot consistently vote in favour of his own Instruction, because I am sure his intention is to adhere to the basis on which the House founded these proceedings, and his Instruction as it stands does not adhere to that principle As the hon. Member for Longford (Colonel Greville-Nugent) has pointed out, there are two stages in the process which we on this side of the House contemplate. One is the final and entire disestablishment of the Church in Ireland, and the other the establishment of a provisional and intermediate state of things under which, as we consider, every spiritual and pastoral office of the Church is to go forward without difficulty and with sufficient provision made for it from the same sources as before, but no new vested interest is to be created. The House has adopted a Resolution to the effect that when legislative effect is given to the 1st Resolution about the disestablishment of the Irish Church, then the grants connected with Presbyterian and Roman Catholic purposes shall be wound up. I think my hon. Friend will see that he cannot possibly found his Instruction upon that Resolution. It is too much, and it is too little. It is too much, because the 4th Resolution points simply to the period of the disestablishment as the period at which certain measures are to be taken with regard to bodies other than the Established Church; while this Instruction would stop absolutely, so far as the admission of new students is concerned, the operations of the College at Maynooth. It is entirely beyond the scope- of the 4th Resolution, which has really nothing to do with this intermediate period, and it is, as applying to the College of Maynooth, a measure and rule of procedure which we do not apply to any of the offices of the Established Church. Therefore the Instruction errs on the side of excess. But it also errs on the side of defect, because when the hon. Member makes that provision with regard to the College at Maynooth he takes no notice of the reference in the 4th Resolution to the Regium Donum. On the simple ground that this Instruction goes much beyond the rule that the Suspensory Bill proposes to apply to the Establishment in Ireland, I apprehend that it is totally impossible for the House with consistency or propriety to accede to it. But the hon. Member for Longford, basing his Amendment upon grounds which are perfectly just and intelligible as far as principle is concerned, does really raise the point which I think the House ought to consider, and which we may consider without prejudice from any controversial topic whatever. We who are friendly to the Bill are all agreed — and I do not think many of our opponents will differ from us in the opinion—that if the Irish Church be disestablished public grants should cease for other bodies; and not only so, but I think our agreement must extend one step further, and must go to this point, that if the Suspensory Bill be passed the two other bodies must be put substantially upon the same footing as the Established Church with reference to the operation of that Bill. That, I hope and believe, is the real object of my hon. Friend. Then comes the question as to the mode in which we can best give effect to that opinion. I quite agree that if the Suspensory Bill should become law, no person appointed to be a Presbyterian minister, or to be a professor or officer of Maynooth, or to be a student of Maynooth, ought to acquire any vested interest whatever in any shape. But ought we to legislate for that purpose? I do not think that is a matter in which any religious body, as such, has an interest. It is in my view a question for Parliamentary consideration, and it is a question on which I should be disposed to attach great weight to the opinion of the Government, who are the most natural and proper guardians of the privileges and powers of this House in these matters of form. My own opinion is that it would not be convenient to in- troduce into this Bill any provision on this subject. We are in the habit upon many occasions of barring by law the growth of new vested interests where those interests are derived from property; but I am not aware of any case in which we have by law barred vested interests where those interests had no other basis than the votes of this House or the provisions of an Act of Parliament, If any case can be produced it may materially alter my opinion. Last year from this side of the House it was proposed to relieve the Consolidated Fund, by repealing an Act of Parliament, from the grant which now supports certain Bishops and clergy in the West Indies. The Government did not think it convenient to do that by an Act which was to be passed last Session; but it was urged from this side that if the passing of an Act was postponed till the present Session, no Bishop or other dignitary or clergyman should take any vested interest if appointed in the meantime. We did not pass an Act of Parliament for that purpose, but if I remember right it was entrusted to the Executive Government to make sufficient provision through its officers to carry out the intention of Parliament, and to warn persons accepting offices not to expect that they would have any vested interests. That appears to me to be the proper course to follow on the present occasion. I entirely agree that these parties should be placed on the same footing, after the passing of the Suspensory Act, as the Members of the Established Church. The House is not bound to do that by the 4th Resolution; but I think they are bound to do it by the spirit of their proceedings. The only question I raise is as to the mode of doing it. There is another difficulty — namely, that if we were to legislate to the effect that no professor at Maynooth shall have a vested interest in his appointment after the passing of the Suspensory Act, the question would arise as to what course we should adopt with respect to the Presbyterian minister. You may say that he is paid by a vote of this House year by year, and that he has not the security which an Act of Parliament gives. But that is not the question. The question is whether a Presbyterian minister has that sort of vested interest which, though not recognized, this House is accustomed to respect. The 4th Resolution places the vested interests of the Presbyterians on the same footing as the Grant to Maynooth, for it declares that when legislative effect shall have been given to the 1st Resolution respecting the Established Church in Ireland it is right and necessary that the grant to Maynooth and the Regium Donum be discontinued, "due regard being had to all personal interests." The consequence is that the vested interests of the Presbyterians are to be respected. It would be unfair to prevent the growth of interests that are not regarded as legal interests at all, in the case of the Roman Catholics, and not in the case of the Presbyterians. It appears to me that the best method would be to look to the progress of this Bill; and when it becomes law that would be the period when the Executive Government, either of itself or on the Motion of this House, should convey to the parties interested a sufficiently distinct warning of the intentions of the House. I fear that what I have said may appear somewhat fastidious, but I do not wish to fetter the discretion of this House in the work of legislation; and I fear that if we pass a statute giving a legal form to vested interests which appear to be founded on a moral and equitable right, we may perhaps fetter the action of the House. I think we should pursue the wisest course if we were not now to attempt any measure of this kind, but at a later stage of the proceedings to revert to the subject. At the same time I, as an independent Member of this House, do not claim for myself any other than a secondary part in deciding a matter of this kind. I look to the Government as the natural guardians of the privileges of the House, and as the best advisers on that point; and any course I may take will be very much governed by the opinion which they may express.


said, he considered that the endowments of Maynooth would be placed by the Instruction on the same footing as those of the Established Church of Ireland under the Suspensory Act. The difference between the Resolution now proposed and the 4th Resolution adopted by the House was, that by this Resolution the action of the law would be simultaneous in reference to Maynooth with the action of the law in reference to the endowments of the Established Church. The endowment of Maynooth was a legislative creation. Prior to the Act of 1845, the provision for the officers of Maynooth, and also for the senior students, who were like the University scholars at Oxford, was voted from year to year in the Estimates. If it should be the pleasure of Parliament they might revert, to the system in use before that year. He thought the hon. Member for Kirkealdy (Mr. Aytoun) had done perfectly right in not including the provision for Presbyterian ministers, called the Regium Donum, in his Resolution, because that provision stood on a perfectly different footing, being made by an annual Vote of the House. When they heard so loudly proclaimed the intention of establishing religious equality, and were asked to pass with that view an Act suspending the functions of the Ecclesiastical Commission in Ireland, and suspending the permanent appointment of any clergyman of the Established Church, it seemed to him that the lion. Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Aytoun) was merely acting on the decision of the House, and preventing it from being betrayed by delay, in proposing the Resolution now placed in the Speaker's hands. Objecting; to the whole Bill as anticipating the decision of a future Parliament he felt that if it was right to legislate at all it was as right to legislate with regard to Maynooth as with regard to the Established Church.

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

The House divided:—Ayes 109; Noes 185: Majority 76.

Question proposed, That the words 'every person who shall be appointed to any office in the College of Maynooth, after the passing of this Act, shall hold the said office subject to the pleasure of Parliament,'' be added instead thereof.


said, he thought, after the exposition which had been given by his right hon. Friend below him (Mr. Gladstone), he should best consult the opinion of the House by asking leave to withdraw his Amendment. He should leave it to the new constituency to decide the question of the Regium Donum and Maynooth when the Irish Church had been disestablished.


asked whether it be the pleasure of the House that the hon. Member have leave to withdraw his Amendment? ["No, no!"]


said, he would again appeal to the Government on the question which now opened for their consideration; it was one simply as to the mode of procedure usual in the House, Here was an Act charging on the Consolidated Fund a certain sum of money for the purpose of providing for the expenses of Maynooth; and the proposal before them was that any person to be appointed to an office in the College of Maynooth after the passing of this Act should hold the said office subject to the pleasure of Parliament. He had pointed out what happened last year. It was contemplated to pass an Act at a future period withdrawing the salaries of the West India Bishops, and it was likewise contemplated and intended by the House that any person who was appointed before that Act should pass should take no vested interest, and this was a transaction wholly in the hands and under the guidance of the Government. He therefore wanted to know whether they thought the same plan they pursued last year should be followed on this occasion, or whether they thought that, in this case, the right of parties arising under Act of Parliament, the House of Commons should, through a previous Act, warn the parties that they would have no right, in case of being appointed after that date, to anything in the nature of a vested interest. This was a question of considerable importance as one of Parliamentary procedure. His gave his opinion before on it; but he thought it a matter on which they might naturally look for guidance to those who had a general charge over the Business of the House; and he should be very glad to have the opinion of the Government upon it—not disguising his own opinion that the course taken last year was, on the whole, the right one; but being quite aware that when the suspensory measure passed some measures must be taken to convey to parties that notice which he believed was common in like cases — although passing a statute was without precedent in cases of this kind, however proper it might be where there was a real endowment, and where parties held their emoluments by some title quite distinct from and beyond that of more vote.


Sir, so far as I am concerned, 1 had no wish that any further interference should take place at this stage of the Bill; but it seems to me that in principle the proposal of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Aytoun) and also that of the hon. Member for Longford (Colonel Greville-Nugent) is just in itself and in accordance with the provisions of the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gladstone). The mode of carrying out the object of this proposal appears to me to be comparatively immaterial as long as we give full notice to the persons who are to be affected by it. Upon that ground, therefore, I should not have objected to the proposal of either of the hon. Members, except upon the ground put by Mr. Speaker, that it would be inconvenient in a Bill of this kind to introduce a subject not absolutely kindred with it. Rut as the Instruction is before the House I cannot help saying that it seems to me to be in entire conformity with the principle of the Bill that those who take offices in Maynooth for the future should hold them subject to the pleasure of Parliament. Any probable case that might arise would be met by the Instruction moved by the hon. Member for Longford. I hope and believe that the Bill itself will not reach the stage which the right hon. Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone) contemplates; but, in the event of its becoming an Act of Parliament, the right hon. Gentleman says it would then become necessary to call the attention of Parliament to the question. But I think that by calling the attention of Parliament to it now we shall be giving clue notice to those who are likely to be affected by the provisions of the Bill. Should the matter go to a division, I shall vote for the Instruction which has been moved by the lion. Member for Longford.


said, he thought that the system of instructing Committees had been carried to too great a length. The House had agreed that it should be an Instruction to the Committee of the Whole House on the Scotch Reform Bill that certain English boroughs should be disfranchised, and now it was proposed that it should be an Instruction to the Committee of the Whole House upon a Bill relating to the Established Church that provisions should be introduced with regard to the College of Maynooth. There was no legal parity whatever between the benefices of the Irish Church, which were freeholds vested in the persons holding them, and the endowments of Maynooth, which were annuities created by Parliament, and therefore liable to be dealt with at the pleasure of Parliament. He did not understand why Her Majesty's Government, who were opposed to the suspension of appointments in the Established Church in Ireland should be in favour of the suspension of those in the College of Maynooth. He hoped that the House would reject this Instruction.


said, he hoped the House would not interpose to prevent the hon. Member for Longford (Colonel Greville- Nugent) withdrawing his Amendment. In such a case he should propose to his hon. and gallant Friend to vote against the Motion. He had witnessed with great surprise the course which had been taken by the Monsters of the Crown on the division which had just taken place. It was well the country should know the course the Government took, because then they would be all made acquainted with what the "truly Liberal policy" held out by the Government was, and what they meant by "religious equality," which the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland said was the policy they would pursue— although the Home Secretary repudiated the idea of religious equality. The Bill of the right hon. Member for South Lancashire would only suspend the creation of any further appointments in the Established Church for a year; whereas the Instruction of the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Aytoun) would be to put an end to the College of Maynooth for ever: for the Bill for suspending appointments in the Irish Church was merely a temporary measure, whereas the Instruction provided that no student shall be admitted to the College of Maynooth "after the passing of this Act." The Instruction did not say "during the continuance of the Act," but "after the passing of the Act." It was well that the country should know what course the Government took upon this question.


said, he was glad that the Government had not, by giving advice, fallen into the trap which had been laid for them by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, who was entitled to the whole discredit which might attach to the Bill, which he (Colonel Stuart Knox) hoped would never become law.


, in reply to the hon. Member for Kildare (Mr. Cogan), said, that of course the clause introduced in accordance with the Instruction would only last for the same time as the Bill.


observed that it was no use going to a division on a question on which there was no real difference of opinion. A division would very inadequately express the opinion of the House, and the only question was how the wish of the House was to be accomplished —that no new vested interests should be created in Maynooth or the Regium Donum, pending the settlement of the question of the Irish Church. He thought his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Greville-Nugent) should persevere with his Motion, and he would propose as an Amendment I to insert after the word "Maynooth," the following words "and likewise every Presbyterian minister hereafter to be appointed to receive a share of the Regium Donum."

Amendment proposed to the said proposed Amendment, by inserting after the word "Maynooth" the words— And likewise every Presbyterian Minister hereafter to be appointed to receive a share of the Regium Donum."—(Sir George Grey.)

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

Question, That the words 'every person who shall be appointed to any office in the College of Maynooth, and likewise every Presbyterian minister hereafter to be appointed to receive a share of the Regium Donum, after the passing of this Act, shall hold the said office subject to the pleasure of Parliament,' be added to the words ' Bill, that' in the Original Question, —put, and agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to. Ordered, That it be an Instruction to the Committee that they have power to provide in the said Bill, that every person who shall be appointed to any office in the College of Maynooth, and likewise every Presbyterian minister hereafter to be appointed to receive a share of the Regium Donum, after the passing of this Act, shall hold the said office subject to the pleasure of Parliament.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."

MR. NEWDEGATE moved that this House will upon this day six months resolve itself into the said Committee. As it now appeared that the Government had given up all idea of endowing either the Roman Catholic University or the Church, and as their declaration on the subject was much more explicit than that of the right hon. Member for South Lancashire, lie (Mr. Newdegate) thought that Protestants, including Protestant Dissenters and Voluntaries, were perfectly justified in taking the course of. supporting the Government. However much the Government might have committed themselves to an unwise proposal, they had withdrawn it in terms much more distinct than any used by the right hon Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire, as to his intention not to endow the Human Catholic Establishments, schools, or seminaries in Ireland with a portion of the revenues taken from the Established Church, though the right hon. Gentleman had been called upon to say that he would not apply any portion of the revenues of the Irish Church, or the equivalent of them, to the support of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland; and after the declarations of Dr. Moriarty with reference to the anticipations of, at all events, a section of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, he (Mr. Newdegate) thought that some pledge should be given on the subject, and that it should be distinctly understood that neither glebes nor glebe houses should he furnished for the Roman Catholic clergy. He opposed the apportionment of the revenues of the Irish Church to any such purpose. As to the 1st Resolution, he altogether dissented from its declarations. On a former occasion he had gone at length into the grounds of his dissent, and he would not repent them; but it was clear that the Bill before the House was based upon it, though ostensibly upon the 2nd or 3rd Resolution. The 1st Resolution declared that it seemed necessary to disestablish and disendow the Established Church. Why was this necessary? The Dublin Review, a publication patronized by the Papal hierarchy, assigned a reason, and that reason was the Fenian conspiracy. He admitted that the conspiracy was a formidable one, though he deemed it unbecoming that its influence should be omnipotent on a question of this kind. Since 1836 this Review had been considered as the organ of the Roman Catholic hierarchy of Ireland. In 1845 it was directly patronized by the late Dr., afterwards Cardinal, Wiseman; and it was now received everywhere as the exponent of the opinion of the Roman Catholic hierarchy; and, in the article in question, the writer boasted of the Fenian conspiracy as having been the means of bringing that House to its senses—meaning that they would lead the House to obey the wishes of His Holiness the Pope. The writer spoke, of the superiority of Stephens to O'Brien or to Mitchell. He referred to the movements of Stephens in France and America, and stated that this conspiracy had completely convinced the right hon. Member for South Lancashire, and the majority of that House, of the necessity of accomplishing, if not that, at all events the carrying out the mandates of the Papal hierarchy. He (Mr. Newdegate) thought it was disgraceful that a majority of that House should be under such an imputation. He rejoiced at the opposition to this Bill on the part of the Government, since it showed that they would not allow themselves to be influenced by threats emanating from such a conspiracy, when one of its members had recently endeavoured to murder a member of the Royal Family. The hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) had recently gone down amongst the Welsh people for the purpose of entreating them not to raise the cry of "No Popery." The lion. Gentleman no doubt thought that the Welsh were more accessible to such an application than the people of Birmingham would be. The people of Wales were a good deal isolated from the other inhabitants of Great Britain; but the hon. Member seemed to fear that the old spirit which characterized them would prevent them from looking with favour upon a measure which would indirectly carry out the Ultramontane principle; which proposed to sweep away the English Church from Ireland, and, as a consequence, to secure the existence of Papal establishments in that country. He would remind the House that they had a Bill before them—a Bill which had been introduced by the hon. Member for Meath (Mr. Mac Evoy), the object of which was to legalize the titles of the hierarchy of the Romish Church in Ireland. Well, then, what was their position? Whilst on the one hand they were asked by the measure of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire to abolish the Protestant Church as an Establishment in Ireland, on the other they were called upon by the Bill of the hon. Member for Meath to legalize the Papal Church in lieu thereof. There was a strong feeling in the country against both measures, and that feeling was becoming stronger every day. If the hon. Member for Birmingham had read the history of Wales he would have found that the people of that country from olden times had ever remained steadfast to their religions principles. When St. Augustin the Monk was sent over by the Pope, with forty other monks, to convert the people of England, he found that Christianity had been already established in Wales. He, however, proceeded there. Augustin vainly strove to induce the Welsh people to accept the Papal form of religion. They absolutely refused to do so. What happened? History much belied Monk Augustin if he did not compass the massacre of 1,200 Welshmen. ["Oh, oh !"] He (Mr. Newdegate) was aware of the tenderness of the Roman Catholic Members on subjects of ecclesiastical controversy. Dr. Manning, two years ago, rejoiced over the cessation of controversy, and proclaimed the satisfaction which he felt. The conclusion which he drew from that circumstance was the speedy conversion of England to the Romish Church. It appeared, then, according to Dr. Manning's view of the matter, that the avoidance of all controversy was the certain means of converting the English people to the Romish Church, and of securing their submission to the dictates of the Pope. Now, he was one of those persons who did not look forward with satisfaction to the prospect set before them. He was one of those who though probably considered by hon. Gentlemen opposite and the party with which they were connected as troublesome persons, nevertheless felt it to be his conscientious duty to raise his voice in defence of the national Church, and in tones of warning against the consequences that must follow its downfall. He sincerely wished that the House would leave this question to be dealt with by another Parliament. Having proclaimed its own inefficiency as a representative Assembly, he should have thought that it would at least have felt the propriety of leaviug this subject to be decided by the country. Dr. Manning (Roman Catholic Archbishop) wrote a pamphlet lately full of accusations against the Established Church, and against the tenure of property in Ireland. In that pamphlet the writer agreed to the letter in the declaration of Bishop Moriarty that the Papacy recognized no prescription of right as claimed by the holders of land, either clerical or lay, which land had ever been in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church. Although they had been told that this measure had been framed at the solicitation of the people of Ireland, he denied that the people of Ireland had ever asked for it. The House, by agreeing to it, was yielding to the dictation of Cardinal Cullen and the Romish hierarchy. It was only four years ago when Cardinal Cullen first raised this question. He said, on arriving from Rome in this country, in 1849, that his mission was to care for education and the land question; but four years ago he added that he would never be satisfied so long as the Established Church existed in Ireland. Where, then, did this movement come from? It came directly from Rome. It was to the dictates of Rome they were now yielding, enforced, as it seemed to him, by the Fenian conspiracy, which consisted entirely of Roman Catholics. He, for one, would never cease to lift his voice in the language of protest against this attempt to destroy the Irish branch of our National Church, especially under such dictation. This was nothing short of a conspiracy to undermine the Church in Ireland, with the view of establishing the Papal religion in its stead. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire, when he brought forward this question, seemed to go into history for facts to justify his conduct, and he attributed the discontent of Ireland to the existence of the Established Church. The right hon. Gentleman touched a little upon the Penal Laws. Why were the Penal Laws enacted? Was the enactment of those laws a gratuitous act of spite and malevolence on the part of the English Government and Parliament against the Catholics of Ireland? Now, no one know-better that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire that these Penal Laws were wrung from Parliament and the country by repeated rebellions which had always been fomented, nay, dictated from Rome. The right hon. Gentleman was very careful to omit all mention of these facts while he was denouncing the Penal Laws. He (Mr. Newdegate) did not wish to see those laws re-enacted; but he had no hesitation in saying that If this House by its conduct were to create an impression that it was yielding to terror upon this question, circumstances would probably arise to render necessary the re-enactment of those laws. Notwithstanding the boasted liberality of their concessions to I lie Irish Roman Catholics within the last few years, they had been obliged to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act over and over again. The Habeas Corpus Act was at the present moment suspended — the House were still afraid to restore the freedom which that Act conferred upon the Irish people. It seemed as though they were about to sweep away the Church Establishment of that country to propitiate the power which had rendered freedom impossible in Ireland. How could the conduct of that House in regard to this question be interpreted in any other way by the Roman Catholics of Ireland and their organs, than that it was yielding to Fenianism and intimidation in that country what it had denied to justice and their national good faith. It was his belief that those attacks upon the Established Church in Ireland had been influenced, not by a feeling that it had proved inefficient, but because it had become efficient and had succeeded in evangelizing many districts, particularly in the West of Ireland, it was well known that the Jesuits were now dominant in Rome. What had been their policy with respect to Ireland? It was to perpetuate Irish discontent. There was no better established fact than that, He would, with the leave of the House, quote an extract from the work of Cretineau Solly, an historian, who appeared to have been selected for the purpose of proving that the Jesuits had done no wrong. What, then, did he say in his History of the Jesuits (Volume VI. c. 2)? He was especially the advocate of the Jesuits— In the beginning of the 13th century … Little by little they (the English Government) allowed these Penal Laws to fall into disuse, which had reduced to slavery the faithful of the three kingdoms. Jesuits were no longer pursued as if they were public malefactors. If the faith had not been deeply rooted in the heart of Great Britain this well-judged toleration, following political commotions, might have proved fatal to Catholicism. But it was not thus. Prosperity had not engendered apathy, and by a zeal as full of prudence as of activity, the fathers of the Institute (Jesuits) profited by the calm which was granted them to cultivate and foster in the souls around them, devotion to their religious duties. Page 92— They (the Jesuits) felt the great disadvantages of that sort of cosmopolitan education which, by displacing children from their country in their youth, gives them less of patriotic feeling. Ireland, according to them, had a right to see her children reared upon her own proscribed soil, in order that, nourished in her misfortunes, they might at some future day, claim her emancipation with more energy. It was this thought that inspired Father Kenny with the project of forming a national College; and he did create one at Clougowes, not far from Dublin. The restoration of the Institute (in 1814) augmented its prosperity to such a degree, that in 1819 they had more than 250 pupils. In the same year the generosity of Mary O'Brien enabled them to build another in the district of King's County. It was necessary to raise the Irish from the state of moral debasement in which it had been the policy of England to keep them. To this people the great voice of Daniel O'Connell, a pupil of the Jesuits, first taught the meaning of liberty. It was necessary first to teach them their duties, and then their rights. The Company of Jesus undertook the first task, O'Connell fulfilled the second. Page 95 — The Fete Dieu was celebrated at Clougowes in 1822, in the midst of an enormous crowd. He had also before him an extract from the work of Mr. Thomas Wyse, showing the origin and character of the Irish Catholic Association, and the object of that association was the same. He thought that that extract would be sufficient to prove to the House how little this Ultramontanism would allow England to do in the way of providing for the future prosperity of Ireland by such concessions as they were making. It was not the Jesuits' object that Ireland should be prosperous and contented, and when the House was now obviously yielding to its fears he asked hon. Members to read this history which was written by an able man who was one of the greatest ornaments of the House. Mr. Wyse said that it was the object of the Association, which was conducted by Mr. O'Connell and other Ultramontane leaders— That without rendering its members amenable to the law it might make use of the free institutions of this country for every purpose of injury, that it could wield the Constitution against the Constitution, introduce a sullen, perpetual war into the bosom of peace; disturb every relation of society without violating a single enactment on which such relations repose, and finally produce such an order of things as to compel the Minister to choose between coercion and conciliation," &c. From an authority of the Roman Catholics themselves then he felt he was fully justified in describing this measure as a most unwise concession made not to a sense of justice but to the dictates of fear. ["Divide, divide !"] He should not be silenced by clamour when feeling it necessary to raise his voice against such a measure, and to express the opinions of his constituents that the policy pursued by the right lion. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire and his party upon this question was one that was highly detrimental to the true interests of their Protestant country.


, in seconding the Amendment, said, he wished to call attention to three proposals which had been made in the House in the course of the present Session, and which had electrified not the House only but the whole country. One of these proposals he would only refer to for the purpose of expressing his contempt for it. He regretted that it had come from an Irish Member. He might say that he had thought it his duty to give Notice to the hon. Gentleman, who was now in his place, and with whom it had originated, that it was his (Colonel Knox's) intention to allude to it, in order that that hon. Gentleman might have an opportunity of offering an explanation, if he deemed it necessary to do so.


rose to Order. He wished to know whether it was Parliamentary for an hon. Member to express his contempt for anything he (Mr. Rearden) had said or done?


said, he did not hear the hon. and gallant Member say anything to justify this interruption.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman said he should express his contempt for some remarks which, as implied, were made by me; for he pointedly referred to me. I want to know, Sir, whether that language of the hon. and gallant Member is Parliamentary?


I did not hear the expression referred to by the hon. Member, or I should have observed upon it at the moment.


said, the second proposal was that of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Clare (Sir Colman O'Loghlen), relating to the Oath taken by the Queen at her coronation. He believed, however, that the hon. Baronet himself asserted that his proposal did not affect the Coronation Oath; but, at all events, the document which had been placed upon the table was entitled, "The Oath taken at Her Majesty's Coronation." This proposal, therefore, indicated to the country the intentions of the right hon. Gentleman's supporters, if not of the right hon. Gentleman himself. The third proposal was that now under discussion. On a former occasion the right hon. Gentleman had admonished him that if he read his book he would improve his mind. He had since acted on that advice; and the conclusion he arrived at was that the inspired author of that work could not have come forward with his present proposal except with a perfect conviction that he was in the right. At the same time, he was of opinion that he had a right to pick up and make use of the book which the right hon. Gentleman had thrown into the gutter. In the first place, then, he would ask the right hon. Gentleman what was the present state of affairs. In the right hon. Gentleman's own words— Probably there never was a time in the history of this country when the connection between Church and State was threatened from quarters so manifold and various as at present. The infidel, with sagacious instinct, follows out all that j tends to general diminution of religious influences. The Romanist (with some exceptions), in order to erect his own structure of faith and discipline, now seems to aim first at the demolition of every; other, and to deem us so involved in fatal error that we must pass through the zero of national I infidelity in order to arrive at truth. Some others i of a different stamp are beginning to view the connection between Church and State with an eye of indifference, or even suspicion. Again I assert, in the words of the right hon. Gentleman, that— The mass of the people remains firm in its adhesion to the ancient principles of the Constitution and the Church. It appears still to be their belief that the connection of Church and State is conformable to the will of God, essential to the permanent well-being of a community, and calculated to extend and establish the vital influences of Christianity. Upon us of this day has fallen, and we shrink not from it, a glorious and righteous duty—the defence of the Reformed Church in Ireland as the religious Establishment of the country. These were the words of the right hon. Gentleman, and he believed they would find an echo in the minds of a majority of the English people of the present day. If the English Church was older and stronger than the Irish Church, the right hon. Gentleman should remember that though, by the law of primogeniture, the eldest got everything, the youngest was at least entitled to consideration and protection. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would soon change his mind upon this subject, and go back to those opinions which he formerly held, and which he (Colonel Knox) trusted he should hold and maintain so long as he lived.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House will, upon this day six months, resolve itself into the said Committee,"—(Mr. Newdegate,) —instead thereof.


said, as an independent Member of that House, sympathizing with those who held that Protestant ascendancy in Church and State had been the best work of civil and religious liberty in this country, and as representing a most important constituency, the great majority of whom were Church-going Protestants, and as officially representing 150,000 Orangemen, who felt strongly on this subject, and who were determined to defend the Established Church in Ireland, and to resist to the utmost any attempt to apply the resources of that Church to the purposes of the Roman Catholic religion, he protested against the legislation proposed by the right lion. Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone). It had been stated over and over again in that House, that the Roman Catholics of Ireland looked upon the Established Church there as a grievance, an injustice, and an insult. It was easy enough to make that assertion, but not so easy to prove it. He, on the I other hand, denied that one Roman Catholic in a thousand looked upon the Established Church as a grievance, or that ten in a thousand had been persuaded by the right hon. Member for South Lancashire and his coadjutors to regard it as an insult and an injustice. The Roman Catholics paid nothing for supporting the Establishment, and only felt its presence through the kindness and charity which they received from its ministers. What were the reasons advanced for the revolutionary measure proposed by the right hon. Member for South Lancashire—a measure, which, if carried, must lead to the separation of the State from all religion, and to the release of all religious corporations from State control and supervision? The hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) advocated the application of the voluntary principle to Ireland. Nothing could be more unjust, heartless, and ungenerous—unjust as depriving Protestants, without any fault, of property, which had been theirs for centuries, and which, if properly distributed, would not more than suffice to provide them with the ministrations of religion; and heartless and ungenerous, as partial and exceptional legislation, imposed by a powerful nation on a comparatively poor and struggling province. With regard to the utter failure of the Irish Church as a useful working institution as asserted by the right hon. Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe), in a speech where bitterness and misrepresentation culminated in the unhallowed, and, he might say, infidel cry, "Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground !" very little inquiry, and slight acquaintance with facts, would prove that the assertion was altogether untrue—on the contrary, it was notorious that, within the last fifty years, Protestant churches and congregations had largely increased, and large sums had been expended for those purposes for which Church property was devised and intended. It was also admit ted—and notably by the right hon. Member for South Lancashire—that the ministers of the Irish Church were distinguished for piety and zeal in their holy calling; in administering to the spiritual wants of those loyal Protestants upon whom England could surely rely in time of need, and in dispensing charity and extending civilization in parts of Ireland where they were probably the only resident gentry. But, if a reason were wanting why the Church in Ireland is entitled to the support of every true Protestant, it is this—that while the Church in England is distracted by internal divisions, scandalized by the abominations of the Confessional, and weakened by the advance of Ritualism, and the introduction of what Earl Russell calls "the mummeries of superstition," the Church in Ireland has remained sound in doctrine and pure in practice. The right hon. Member for South Lancashire had omitted no occasion during the debates on this question to put forward the disaffection of Ireland as a chief reason for the disestablishment of the Irish Church. Nothing, perhaps, had ever occurred in the history of our country more indiscreet, and un-statesmanlike, and expressly mischievous, both as to present effects and future consequences, than for an influential statesman, aspiring to the high honour of being England's Prime Minister, to advance such a reason for sudden and important changes in the Constitution and settled institutions of a nation. To rest the proposed legislation upon the disaffection of a portion, though a large portion of the people, was not like yielding to a steady constitutional agitation, or to popular wishes, strongly and peaceably expressed; but, under present circumstances, and after the speeches made on the other side of the House, it had the appearance, and should be received as due to the manner in which dissatisfaction has been exhibited—open rebellion, and setting the law at defiance in Ireland, and the bloodthirsty and indiscriminate spirit which has distinguished Fenianism in England. It would be regarded as the success of an appeal to arms, and as the reward of murder, assassination, and crime. Ireland wanted bread. The right hon. Member for South Lancashire would take from her the bread she had and give her a stone. He took from many and gave to none—not even a cup of cold water to those whom it was pretended to benefit and conciliate. She asked for peace, he gave her a scorpion. Insead of conferring a boon on Ireland, and sending that message of peace so much needed, this measure would throw in a firebrand, and let loose the bloodhounds of civil and religious strife. Irish Members who had been a much shorter time in the House of Commons than he had must have observed that Ireland could expect but little consideration when it suited professional statesmen to elect her as their battle-field, and to make her interests their bone of contention—powerless in their hands, she was tossed as a football between them; but her very helplessness gave her a claim on the fair play and generosity of the people of England; and he, for one, would not despair for the Irish Church until the country had given its verdict, "Aye" or "No," to the revolutionary policy of the right hon. Member for South Lancashire. Allusions had been made to the Oath taken by Her Majesty at her coronation. He contended that Parliament could not absolve the Queen from the obligations of that Oath. He was supported in this view by the authority of the Speaker, who had given his opinion that Roman Catholic Members who had taken the original Oath prescribed for Roman Catholics were bound by that Oath, notwithstanding its subsequent alteration. [The SPEAKER intimated that he had not given such an opinion.] He (Captain Archdall) would at once bow to the Chair; but, at the same time, he must assure Mr. Speaker that he was generally understood to have so expressed himself. Parliament might alter the Oath, or repeal it, as was practically proposed by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Clare (Sir Colman O'Loghlen), but that could only apply to future Sovereigns; and, whatever might be the fate of the present measure, be sincerely trusted that no man in that House would lire to see the day when the Protestant Sovereign of these realms would not rather vacate the Throne than sanction the monstrous scheme of spoliation proposed by the right hon. Member for South Lancashire.


said, he could not allow the opportunity to pass without offering a few remarks upon the subject, and at the same time he wished to address a question to the right hon Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire. One of his great arguments in favour of this Bill was, that the Roman Catholic population of Ireland was so great that they were entitled to this boon; and what he wished to ask was, whether the right hon. Gentleman intended to carry out his view with regard to Wales (where there was a national Church, and services were performed in the Welsh language? ["Oh !" "Hear, hear !" and "Divide !"] He thought it was not unreasonable—when the hon. Member for Birmingham went into the country and stirred up almost a spirit of rebellion—to address a few observations to the House in defence of an institution so dear to himself and so important to the country. It was admitted that in Wales a majority of the inhabitants did not belong to the Established Church. Would the right hon. Gentleman disestablish and disendow the Church in Wales? He wished to read a quotation or two in connection with this subject from one who was looked upon as a great authority. Mr. Burke, in his Letter on the French Revolution, said— It is said numbers ought to prevail. True, if the Constitution of a kingdom be a problem of arithmetic, this sort of discourse does well enough for the lamp-post as its second. To men who may reason calmly it is ridiculous. The will of the many and their interest must very often differ, and great will be the difference when they make an evil choice. Again, Mr. Burke, in his Letter to his Son, said— I would say, in justice to my own sentiments, that not one of those zealots for a Protestant interest wishes more sincerely than I do, perhaps not half so sincerely, for the support of the Established Church in both these Kingdoms. It is a great link towards holding fast the connection of Religion with the State, and for keeping these two islands in a close connection of opinion and affection. I wish it well as the religion of the greater numbers of the land proprietors of the Kingdom, with whom all establishments of Church and State, for strong political reasons, ought, in my opinion, to be warmly connected. I wish it well because it is more closely combined than any other of the Church systems with the Crown, which is the stay of the mixed Constitution; because it is, as things now stand, the sole connecting political principle between the Constitutions of the two Kingdoms. I have another, and infinitely a stronger reason for wishing it well—it is that, at the present lime, I consider it one of the main pillars of the Christian religion itself. … Its fall would leave a great void, which nothing else of which I can form any distinct idea might fill. And, again, in the same Letter, speaking of the Established Church not being the religion of the major part of the inhabitants, he adds— This is a state of things which no man in his senses can call perfectly happy. But it is the state of Ireland. Two hundred years of experiment show it to be unalterable. Many a fierce struggle has passed between the parties. The result is—you cannot make the people Protestant, and they cannot shake off a Protestant Government. This is what experience teaches, and what all men of sense, of all descriptions, know, He believed the day would come when the right hon. Gentleman would feel that he had made a great mistake. He would remind the right hon. Gentleman that Lord Althorpe and others on the same side had borne testimony to the importance of an Established Church in Ireland, and to the excellence of the clergy. He lamented deeply and sincerely the course pursued by the right hon. Gentleman, who was the last from whom he should have expected such a proceeding. He had always looked up to the right hon. Gentleman as the great supporter of the Church and Constitution, and he much regretted that the blow should have come from him.


said, as repre-presenting one of the largest Protestant constituencies in Ulster, he felt bound to enter his humble protest against the measure brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman. Insinuations had been made against the loyalty of Orangemen.


said, he rose to explain. What he said was, that there were hon. Members below the Bar creating a disturbance.


The Protestants of Ulster were invited to settle in that country, and their rights were guaranteed to them by the most solemn contracts. Had they not performed their part of these contracts? The Irish Church had for 300 years been in uninterrupted possession, guaranteed by Acts of Parliament, of her endowments, and it was with alarm, and he might say disgust, that the Protestants of Ireland contemplated this revolutionary movement, which would shake all confidence in the security of property. It was alleged that the Roman Catholics of Ireland looked upon the Established Church as a badge of conquest. That he denied. He had resided in Ireland the greater part of his life; he had bad many opportunities of knowing the sentiments of the people, and though he had often heard them speak of the repeal of the Union and the land question, he had never heard them utter a complaint on the subject of the Church Establishment. It should not be forgotten that nearly 300 years ago a great number of persons who professed the Reformed Faith had been induced to settle in Ireland on the faith that their rights would be protected. They had performed their part of the contract, and it was for this country to abide by hers. The measure of the right hon. Gentleman would not bring peace to Ireland; on the contrary, it would intensify those feelings of religious and political hostility which unhappily prevailed there. The principle of this measure, before many years had passed, would be applied to England and Scotland. He hoped that this great wrong would not be sanctioned by Parliament, that the feelings of the Protestants of Ireland, who were industrious, peaceable, and loyal, might be respected, and that those religious institutions to which they were so deeply attached might be left to them unimpaired.


I will not detain the House for more than a very few moments; but I think it due to the deep respect which I feel for my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Lefroy) to give a precise answer to the question he has put to me. That question, as I understand it, was whether I entertain the same views with respect to Wales, or rather, whether I think that my arguments with respect to the Church in Ireland do not extend to the Church in Wales. I must frankly say I do not. I will not enter into any detailed argument at this unseasonable moment on the case of Wales, because it is quite enough for me to refer to a speech made by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiganshire (Sir Thomas Lloyd) in which he showed in a very satisfactory manner the very broad distinctions which prevailed between the two cases. So far as I am concerned, I hope I have answered my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Dublin explicitly. But I will go one step further, and ask my hon. Friend—what I know he may find it difficult to do—to believe me when I tell him that I am assured that the measure which we propose—I do not mean merely the Suspensory Bill—and which has been sanctioned in this House by such large majorities, is not in the nature of a blow and discouragement, but is truly and really for the benefit of the religion to which my hon. Friend is so much attached.


said, that as the Head of the Government was not then in the House, he should withdraw his Amendment.

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

Main Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Preamble postponed.

Five clauses of the Bill agreed to.


proposed an extra clause: that the right of any person to a share in the future Maynooth Grant or the Regium Donum should be subject to the pleasure of Parliament.

Clause agreed to.

Clause added.

Preamble agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported: as amended, to be considered upon Wednesday next.