HC Deb 15 April 1869 vol 195 cc847-941

Order for Committee read.


said, he rose for the purpose of making the Motion which stood in his name— That it be an Instruction to the Committee that they have power to dissolve the Corporation of the Trustees of the College of Maynooth, and to provide that no money be paid over to the said trustees, but that only compensation fairly due to the Professors and Students consequent on the loss suffered by them by the withdrawal of the Maynooth Grant be paid to them by the Commissioners appointed by the Bill, in the same manner and according to the same principles as is provided by the Bill with regard to the Incumbents of the Anglican Church and the recipients of the Regium Donum.


It is my duty to inform the hon. Member in public, as I have already done in private, that his Instruction is not in Order, for this reason, that the Committee already possesses the power he proposes to give it by the Instruction. In order to prevent the necessity of special Instructions to Committees, a Standing Order was passed, in 1854, that all Committees should have the power to make such Amendments as they deem fit in Bills, provided they are relevant to the subject of the Bill. The matter involved in this Instruction is certainly relevant to the subject of the Bill; but what is yet more forcible is that Clause 39 deals specially with the subject-matter of the hon. Gentleman's Amendment. It would not, therefore, be in Order that he should move the Instruction.

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


* Sir, I feel that some apology is due from me to the House in rising to make the Motion of which I have given notice in my capacity as an individual Member of the House; but, Sir, I make that Motion, not as the humble individual whom you have just named, but upon the part of the constituency whom I have had the honour of representing now for twenty-six years; and if the House should find that the representation of the opinion of North Warwickshire is imperfect, owing to any deficiency on my part, the blame rests with that constituency—a constituency extending over 460,000 of the population of the centre of England—and not with the humble individual who simply obeys their behests in this case. At the last election, I was returned distinctly as an independent Member. I was returned after I had taken the utmost pains to come to a clear understanding with all classes, and almost every section of political opinion, in that constituency, as to what should be my duty with respect to this proposal; and we considered—and when I say "we" I mean that the inhabitants of Warwickshire considered it particularly in this light, that the disestablishment and the disendowment of the Protestant Church in Ireland would pave the way for, and must entail, the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church in its stead. We considered the evidence, which was given before the Committees of both Houses of Parliament with respect to the grounds upon which the repeal of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act is demanded, and we came to the clear conclusion that, if the Establishment of the Protestant Church in Ireland is swept away, nothing can prevent the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, because the Pope rejects Establishments by virtue of the laws of any State, and claims to erect his Establishment by his own authority. And now, Sir, before I proceed further, one word with reference to the state of parties in this House. A division has been taken upon the second reading of this Bill, and that may be considered as a party division; I approach this question upon purely distinct grounds, representing the objections of persons of all parties—objections not al- ways avowed, but entertained to my certain knowledge by many Gentlemen, who sit behind the Government. I have never known any case in which party obligations have been strained as they have been in this instance. Many hon. Gentlemen are sitting on those Benches who, from their antecedents, ought to have some regard for the preservation of the supremacy of the Crown and of the law in Ireland unimpaired; and yet I have seen them vote almost to a man for a measure which I am convinced will directly impair the operation of the supremacy and the Prerogative of the Crown, and the supremacy of the law in Ireland. I have said, the supremacy of the law, because the Crown of these realms is held by law, and represents the chiefdom of the executive of the law. I can only say, Sir, that I am exceedingly sorry for those hon. Gentlemen. There they sit, with the Government in their front, committed to this measure, and on their right they have the Roman Catholic Members, whose organization, whatever else we may say of it, is certainly complete, and who were once called the "Pope's Brass Band," a title which they seem to have forfeited by their exemplary silence during the present Session. I appeal to every Member who has had a seat in this House during the last two Sessions, whether the contrast between the extraordinary activity, the constant appeals of the section to which I refer, last Session, whilst this measure was brewing, and their wonderful silence this Session does not indicate that they have received orders—as I know they have received orders—not to disturb the progress of this measure by any display of injudicious loquacity. Well, Sir, it may be said, and the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister has told the House, that the principle of this measure was decided last Session, that it has been debated in the country during the elections, that no question, touching the principle of this measure, ought now to be raised for discussion among the representatives of the people; and the right hon. Gentleman has set us an example of abstinence from discussing the principle of the measure when he introduced it. He assumed the decision of the country, and I blame the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire for having, by resigning the Office which he filled, afforded an excuse for the assumption, that this, a new Parliament, elected by an altered constituency, and which, it was hoped, would afford a fairer representation of the opinions of the people of the United Kingdom, is to be held, by the two Leaders of the House, incompetent to discuss the principle of a measure, when, for the first time, it is submitted in its formulated shape for the consideration of Parliament. We, the opponents of this measure, may be told, that we are a minority. Be it so. Let those who make that remark with a view to staying legitimate discussion look at the Forms and Orders of this House, which have lasted now for 200 years, and in those Forms and Standing Orders they will find that, in the Parliament of England, the minority have always been held to be intrusted with peculiar duties, and are by these very Orders armed with power and with functions which secure the full, free, and deliberate discussion of every great measure that may be submitted to us. I, therefore, Sir, in the performance of my duty, as one of the minority, if it is a minority, now challenge the principle of this Bill; and I will show that I challenge it on points that have not been adequately discussed either in the present or the late Parliament. For one, Sir, I refuse in any way to be bound by the decision of the late House of Commons, which, by its own act in passing the Reform Bill, died self-condemned. I object to this measure on the ground that it will impair the supremacy of the Crown, and the supremacy of the law in Ireland; that it is a preparation for the direct invasion of the Prerogative of the Crown. The Prerogative, according to our Constitution, is important only as expressing the functions of the head of the Executive and this measure is preparatory to the subversion of the exercise of the functions of the head of the Executive. Why do I make this assertion? I will give an illustration on this point from a circumstance which is familiar to the Members of the House, with whom I have had the pleasure of serving in former Parliaments, and exemplifies my reasons for saying that this measure will impair the completeness and universality of the supremacy of the law and the Crown in Ireland. It was not until the year 1866 that the oaths were altered; that the oath taken by the Protestant Members was abrogated, and that the oath of the Roman Catholic Members was also abrogated, so that now we take one uniform oath. Up to that period the oath taken by Roman Catholic Members was the oath which was framed by Sir Robert Peel's Government, who passed what is called the Relief Act of 1829; this oath as touching this matter of the supremacy fell short of that which we, the Protestant Members of the House, were required to take and subscribe. We swore that we would maintain and would adopt no proposition, and that we would vote for no Bill, inconsistent with the supremacy of the Crown; not only in matters temporal and civil, but also with respect to matters spiritual and ecclesiastical. It was represented to the Parliament of 1829 that the Roman Catholics could not take that oath, because they admitted a qualification of the supremacy of the Crown in all matters spiritual and ecclesiastical by their obedience to the Pope. It stands, Sir, upon record in the laws of this country, under which these oaths were enacted, that the allegiance of the Roman Catholic body to the supremacy of the Crown is a qualified allegiance, qualified by the laws, which permitted them to deny the ecclesiastical and the spiritual supremacy of the Crown; but in the oath of 1829, taken by Roman Catholics, there was a distinct provision which bound the juror to use no influence or opportunity that he might obtain through having a seat in this House, for the purpose of weakening or disturbing the Protestant Church of the United Kingdom by law established. When that oath was discussed at the instance of the right hon. Gentleman, the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, we were assured that our thus abrogating this obligation of the oath taken on the part of the Roman Catholic Members of this House would in no sense endanger the security of the Establishment in Ireland; and it was on the faith of that assurance that the oath was swept away, and that the obligations were removed. What were those assurances worth? With this measure now before the House, is it not perfectly clean that hon. Members of the Roman Catholic persuasion feel themselves and have, ever since the period when the oaths were altered, felt themselves relieved from the obligation not to assail the Protestant Establishment in Ireland f Warned by the vanity of the assurances which we then received, let us look at the subsequent history of this question. In the year 1864, the Pope issued an Encyclical and a Syllabus, remarkable documents, which were so invasive of the supremacy of the Crown in every country of Europe, that the Emperor Napoleon and his Government refused to permit their publication in Prance; they were circulated by Monsignor Dupanloup and by some of the French Bishops, but they and the Nuncio were obliged to apologize and to say that this had been done by mistake. The 37th article of that important document the Syllabus, denies, on the part of the Papacy and. of the Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, that any Church not in communion with, I might say not in subjection to, the Holy See, can be of right established anywhere, whether it be in Russia or whether it be in England. Do Russia and her Church admit or acknowledge as rightful the power asserted in that document? No. Messengers were lately sent from the Pope to the Patriarch of the Eastern Church to invite, or rather to command, his attendance at the intended council, the so-called (Ecumenical Council, projected by the Pope, and what was the reception the messengers met with? Courteous in every way. They bore a letter intended for presentation from the head of the Roman to the head of the Greek Church; but the Patriarch, pointing to the table before him, said, "Let it lie there. I do not receive it. I know its purport. I know from previous experience that the Pope of Rome summons me as his inferior to attend an Œcumenical Council." And it appears that the Pope did so; and that he did it on the strength of the Council of Florence; the Patriarch, exhibiting a courtesy, a learning, and a determination in every way worthy of the high position he fills, at once impugned the Council of Florence, which he declared was an assembly convened—for what? For political purposes, and he rejected the message thus sent him by the Pope. This is an illustration of how the pretensions of the Pope are received by a Church, which commands the acceptance and belief of many millions of Christians in Europe. But what happened in Ireland? At the close of the year 1864 and the commencement of 1865, Cardinal Cullen founded a new association, which, as if in irony, he called the "National Association of Ireland;" and what was the declaration which he made for the first time on that occasion? He had some few years before arrived as Legate from Rome to Ireland with a commission, and that commission, as we may judge from the Synod that he first convened, was to represent the Papacy with respect to the education of the Roman Catholics in Ireland; and further, it was to comprehend an agitation on the subject of the tenure of land in Ireland; but, in 1864, and 1865, this commission was made to comprehend another matter. And what was that other matter? The abolition of the Establishment of the Protestant Church in Ireland. How did Cardinal Cullen begin the movement? He commenced by attacking the oath which was taken by Roman Catholic Members, and which bound them not to assail the Established Church. It was thus he fulfilled the commission which he received from Rome, and the fresh instructions which the Encyclical of 1864 convoyed. Can we doubt, then, whence this measure comes? It is said to be a demand on the part of the people of Ireland. I say that it has no such origin. I say that it is a demand on the part of the Papacy, that the Government of this country shall sanction a more direct interference with the supremacy of the Crown and of the law in Ireland, which the Emperor Napoleon has rejected in the case of France. I have, I think, shown that this question does involve the supremacy of the Crown. But what is it that is alleged against the Irish Church Establishment? That it is the type and the symbol of ascendancy. Of what ascendancy? Of the supremacy of the Crown of the United Kingdom. Hon. Members opposite will scarcely deny that fact. After what I have shown of the history of the oaths formerly taken in this House, they cannot do so. Nay more, it is clear that this whole agitation is directed against the supremacy of the Crown, as held subject to the laws enacted by the United Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland. The hon. Members cannot dispute that position. What were the grounds on which at first this measure was recommended? It was said that the majority of the people in Ireland are Roman Catholics, and that, therefore, in justice to that majority, the Protestant Establishment ought to be abolished in Ireland. Why is the existence of the Church unjust? You an- swer, because it is a type of Protestant supremacy. But the Crown is Protestant, and therefore the Protestant Church should be suffered to exist as an Establishment in Ireland. Does not your answer admit the very ground which I am endeavouring to prove? That the Roman Catholics have been taught that because the Church is the symbol of the supremacy of the Crown, being a Protestant Crown, it is an offence to the Roman Catholic majority of Ireland, or ought to be an offence to them. Sir, the argument that the majority of the Irish people are Roman Catholics might be good if we were to legislate upon the assumption that the Act of Union is to be repealed; perfectly good if the premises are good. But I deny that the value of a religion can be measured by the number of its adherents. Were I to admit that, I must assume that Christianity in the days of its blessed Founder was an imposture. I will not, therefore, admit that argument myself, but will take it as used by others. Is a majority, then, to decide whether the supremacy of the Crown is to have the symbol of an ecclesiastical organization to represent it throughout the dominion, over which the immediate power of the law extends, that law with which the Crown is identified? ["Hear."] If you take that ground then you are met by this fact, that the majority of the people of the United Kingdom are Protestants, and that, therefore, the Protestant Church ought to remain as a symbol of the supremacy of the Crown in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, at the close of the last debate, tried to defeat this argument by saying that there is not a rag or a vestige of the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Crown remaining in Scotland. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister whether he is not aware that Her Majesty attends the services of the Church of Scotland; whether the Sovereign of these realms is not bound to be a Protestant in the sense of the Church of Scotland, as well as in the sense of the Church of England? May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he does not know that Her Majesty's Commissioner presides over the General Assembly? And when he has made these admissions, I would ask him for an example of any Scotch Presbyterian having complained that the connection of Her Majesty, as the Sovereign of these realms, with the Church of Scotland is an offence? I ask whether he has ever heard a Scotch Member of this House lament that Her Majesty is of necessity, so long as she occupies the Throne, to be a Protestant? Yet the right hon. Gentleman tells us that there is not a rag or a vestige of the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Crown remaining in Scotland! No Sir, this is a plea that will not stand. It is quite true that, for political purposes, a union between some of the Presbyterians, too many of the Dissenters, and certain Ultramontane Roman Catholics has been effected; but the only conscientious objection to the supremacy of the Crown is represented by those who assert the ecclesiastical and spiritual supremacy of the Pope; and they, in fact, recognize the authority of the Pope in matters temporal and civil, as well as religious and spiritual, so far that is as the Pope may decide that matters temporal and civil are included in matters religious and spiritual; these are the persons who raise the objection in deference to which we are now asked to sweep away the Establishment of the United Church of England and Ireland from Ireland, because that Church is the symbol, the exemplar, and the official exponent of the supremacy of the Crown in Ireland. I do not wish to trouble the House with many historical reminiscences; but I am sure the hon. Members will recollect the force with which the observation of the Prime Minister fell amongst us when he was introducing this measure, when he said— My object is the same—the object of this measure is the same as that of Mr. Pitt when he carried the Union. That object was, he said, to establish religious equality; and that the only difference between his proposal and that of Mr. Pitt was as to the means for its accomplishment. Well, I find that that qualification was very necessary. I have looked in Pitt's letter to the King, when resigning Office, because George III. had objected to granting political privileges to the Roman Catholics. In that letter he describes in accurate terms the conditions upon which he would have sanctioned and rendered safe that admission. And safe—for what purpose? Safe for the preservation of the supremacy of the Crown; and safe for the preservation of the Protestant Establishment in Ireland as the symbol and exponent of that supremacy. But, Sir, it was not Mr. Pitt who originated the proposal to grant political privileges to the Roman Catholics. This was suggested to him by Lord Cornwallis. It was suggested to him by Lord Castlereagh. In the work of Sir George Lewis on the Administrations of Great Britain, it is admitted that, at the time of the Union, the proposal was never made for the unqualified granting of political power to those who were called Papists, nor was it proposed that provision be made for the Roman Catholic priesthood without conditions. It was evident that, acting upon the experience of his father, who could remember all the troubles that prevailed in Europe through the disturbances created by the political agitation which the Jesuits carried on until they were suppressed by Pope Clement XIV., Pitt, when he contemplated the granting of salaries to the Roman Catholic priesthood, when he contemplated the admission of Roman Catholics to political and official functions in this House, at the same time contemplated the exaction from the Roman Catholic priesthood and from Rome of these conditions, as Lord Clare tells us in the Castlereagh Correspondence: that no priest should be permitted to officiate in Ireland publicly without a license from the Crown; and elsewhere in that same correspondence it appears that no document was to be published as brought from Rome touching the ecclesiastical, spiritual, or other affairs of Ireland without being submitted to the civil power; and that no Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church should be nominated to preside over any province or diocese unless his name had been submitted to the civil power representing the Crown and approved. Were these conditions unreasonable? They are the very conditions of the Concordat, or the greater part of them, under which all the relations of the Roman Catholic priesthood in Prance are held to be regulated, so far as they relate to Rome. How stands this matter with regard to Russia? for Russia had a Concordat particularly with regard to Poland. The terms of that Concordat were not such as to give the Russian Government security against unwholesome agitation on the part of the Roman Catholic priesthood in Poland. What was the origin of the insurrection in that country? It was this. Russia requested of the Holy See, that a Concordat similar to that which was concluded with France should be obtained for Poland. The unhappy distuabances in Poland began in 1859, and the House will mark the close similarity that exists both in time and in manner between the proceedings in Poland and those in Ireland. There is a document on the table of the House—the circular despatch of Prince Gortschakoff—which fully explains those circumstances. The document was laid on the table of the House in the year 1867, and I would recommend it to the attention of those hon. Members who were not in the House at that time. They will find from it that the demands of the Russian Government were met with perpetual evasion on the part of the Papacy. When the Russian Government represented to the Papacy that the authority of law in Poland was undermined; when they represented that they had granted every privilege to the Roman Catholic clergy, and secured them in the possession of large property and great wealth, and submitted, that as a matter of gratitude, and as a return for services continually rendered, the priesthood ought not to foment a dangerous sedition against the Government, they were met with perpetual evasions, until at last the Cardinal Secretary was directed to ask the Russian Government to agree that a Nuncio, with legatine powers, should be received at the Court of Russia. To this the Emperor replied most willingly, and a Nuncio was nominated; but the Russian Government observed, if the Nuncio was to be received—"Give us the same security which France possesses, that these legatine powers shall not be used in the dereliction of the supremacy of the Imperial Crown." Rome refused. Disturbances continued to be fomented. There was the same silent sullen discontent kept up by the priesthood among the Polish people which Mr. Justice Deasy lately complained of as now existing in Ireland. There were assassinations and outrages committed, just as they are now in Ireland, till at last the time came when the Emperor of Russia determined to be the author of that great and noble act, the liberation of the serfs throughout the whole of his wide dominions, and therefore in Poland. The liberation of the serfs brought the Polish rebellion to a crisis. Unhappily the influence of the priesthood upon the Polish aristocracy was such, that they persuaded them to consider the liberation of millions of serfs as an offence against themselves. The liberation of the serfs was inconsistent, I admit, with the policy of the Papacy; it was inconsistent with the treatment of their serfs by the monastic orders in Poland; it was inconsistent with the state of ignorance in which the lower classes have been kept in every country where the monastic orders have had sway, as is proved especially in the case of Naples, where it is found that wherever the monastic orders have had the greatest power and wealth, there the ignorance of the people is the grossest. On examining the Russian Circular of 1867, then, you will find that the emancipation of the serfs was held to be an offence on the part of the Emperor of Russia and justified the insurrection. Read the briefs of the Pope denouncing the Russian Government. From first to last you will find that the Pope refused any qualification of his intrusive pretensions; that he refused any Concordat with terms that should limit his interference; and then consider, with this ex-ample before us, what will be the operation of this measure if it leads, as it must lead, to the establishment of a Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, with no provisions made, such as exist and are in operation in France for the limitation of the power of the Papacy. But, in addition to this, a remarkable document, which is not yet generally known, has appeared. It has not yet been published in this country. Up to 1865 negotiations were going on between Russia and the Papacy. Russia accepted a Nuncio to be resident at her Court, only stipulating for the same terms as had been agreed to in the Concordat with France. And what are the terms which France possesses? The very terms, the very conditions which Mr. Pitt seemed to think necessary, if the Roman Catholics were to be admitted to political and official privileges at the time of the Union, and their priesthood were to be admitted, to a recognized status. The conditions are identical. Let hon. Members read the Castlereagh Papers; let them also read the document to which I have referred—the despatch of Prince Gortschakoff, in which it is shown that Russia demanded a Concordat with terms the same as exist in that between the Papacy and France; and though this requirement on the part of Russia was evaded, it might be supposed that at any rate the French Concordat would be respected. It might be supposed that the Pope felt the obligations he is under to the Emperor of the French. At this moment he is sustained in the Chair of St. Peter by the soldiers of the Emperor; the Emperor is his guardian against Italian aggression, and for these services it might be supposed the Pope would be grateful. But very recently a member of the French Assembly, M. Ollivier, a representative from the Gironde, has published what he calls a compte rendu to his constituents, and to this he has attached a brief or letter from the Pope to the Archbishop of Paris, dated in 1865, the very date at which the difficulty between the Russian Government and the Papacy had culminated in the manner I have described. I will quote a few words from this document, which has not yet been made public in this country. What does the Pope say in that letter to the Archbishop of Paris? It appears that the Archbishop, in obedience to the canon law of the Roman Church, in obedience to the organic laws of France, as set forth in Prince Gortschakoff's despatch and in obedience to his duty as a Senator, had made a visitation of the establishments in Paris of the Jesuits, the Franciscans, and the Dominicans. He was bound to see that the canon law was not evaded, that the supremacy of the civil law was not defied; and he justified his visitation on the plea that these orders were not authorized by the law, and were not permitted to hold property; in short, that they violate the laws. And these are the terms in which the Pope addresses him— But you say the religious orders who reside in Paris cannot enjoy exemption from episcopal visitation, because the laws of the State do not allow of their existence, and because these same laws do not permit religious houses to possess property of any kind or for any object … As to the laws of the State, which refuse legal or civil existence to religious orders, and forbid the possession by their houses of property of any kind, what can be the force of laws of that kind as against ecclesiastical right and order? Then the Pope goes on to speak of the Exequatur, which forms part of the terms of the Concordat, and this is what he says— You affirm that the 'Instruction' added to the Convention between Benedict XIII. and the King of Sardinia proves 'that Papal regulations for the discipline of a country (with the exception of those which refer to doctrine and morals) ought to be submitted for the information of Parliament, and need the Royal Exequatur in order to acquire legal force.' This very false assertion would never have been uttered by you, venerable brother, if you had had before you, and carefully examined, the terms of that Instruction. Sir, I will not read further; but this is a document I should like to see in the hands of hon. Members, for it shows that, in the ease even of the power which is his best friend and supporter, the Pope defies the terms of the Concordat with his See, and sets at nought the organic laws of France—in short, defies the authority of his friend the Emperor in everything that touches or affects the regular orders. And why? Because he declares that these regular orders, especially the Jesuits are, mind you, through his own, the Pope's authority, exempted from the jurisdiction of the visitation and jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Episcopate in France, even when canonically exercised; and this, that they may be his instruments in undermining the organic laws of a State that is most friendly to him, and defy the terms of the convention agreed to by his predecessors with respect to the relations between France and Rome. And what this House is asked to do is to sweep away the Protestant Establishment, the symbol, the exemplar, the exponent of the supremacy of the Crown in matters spiritual, and to admit unconditionally the authority of the Pope, which is struggling in every State in Europe for supremacy. I thank the House for allowing me to lay the question so fully before them, because it is painful to me, as a humble disciple of Mr. Pitt, to hear the right hon. Gentleman quote that great man as an authority for a measure the idea of which Pitt to the end of his days emphatically condemned. I defy any man to bring forward a single word or sentence ever written, uttered, or attributed to Pitt, which goes to show that he would have sanctioned the abolition of the Established Church in Ireland. Liberal he would have been to the Roman Catholics, but only upon the condition that they would not attempt to change the Constitution of the country. Liberal he would have been to the Roman Catholics, if they would have consented to accept, within reasonable limits, the principle of obedience to the Crown. But, Sir, without these necessary qualifications, Mr. Pitt would never have permitted such an opportunity for the introduction of the Papal power into Ireland as the First Minister of the Crown has by this measure submitted to the House of Commons. I have touched on these grounds, because the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, in answer to the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) the other night said—"You have declared your readiness to consent to disestablishment; and in doing that you have given up the noblest part of your case to your opponents." He might have added—"You have abandoned the principle" which justifies the retention of her endowments by the Church, and yet you defend these endowments. It is but a very small part of this property that was ever enjoyed by the Roman Catholic Church. The endowments of the Church are derived chiefly from gifts on the part of the Crown of lands in Ulster and in different parts of the country, and of tithes beyond the Pale; this measure is contrary to all precedent, for there might be some excuse if an abuse of this property could be shown, that the Crown should resume its grants. But where, I ask, is the abuse? If confiscation is permitted in this case, where is it to end? When you say that the Church of Ireland is the cause of evil in Ireland, I ask you, have you ever read the history of Ireland? Do you know that the Irish nation deliberately accepted the establishment of this Church as Protestant? ["Never."] Yes, freely and fully. Nineteen Bishops of the Irish Church accepted the Reformation, and only two dissented. Do you know that in Roman Catholic times no tithes were possessed beyond the Pale? Do you know that the tithes which you are about to confiscate are almost entirely the gift of the Crown and Parliament of Ireland after the Reformation? A very small portion of the present property of the Irish Church was over in Roman Catholic hands. ["Oh! oh!"] I can prove it if any hon. Member disputes it. I ask then, what is your justification for the resumption of that property. You say it is because the Established Church is the badge of Protestant ascendancy. So it is. It is the symbol of the authority of the State—of the State of the United Kingdom. Is it unjust that the Church of Ireland has been maintained? Has she ever been in rebellion against the Parliament of England? And if she has been faithful and loyal to the Crown and the law, whom do you represent? You represent her assailants. And who are the assailants? I have told you distinctly that the assailants of the Established Church are the Pope of Rome and his instruments. [A laugh.] The hon. Member sitting there (Mr. Synan) raises a senseless laugh. He entertains extreme views as a Roman Catholic, and has a relative in the roman Catholic priesthood who has expressed opinions still more extreme. Let him rise and dispute the fact which I assert, that ever since the Reformation the cause of disturbance in Ireland has been the constant, the perpetual incitements from Rome. The hon. Member's relative glories in the fact. He lately spoke at a public meeting, and declared that Ireland as Roman Catholic should never be content whilst she was subject to the supremacy of the law of England. That is the substance of the Limerick declaration, which declaration is signed by 1,600 priests. Do you tell me then, that it is through any act of the Protestant Church of Ireland that discontent exists? I say no; for now, as during the whole period of our history since the Reformation in this country, the real cause of the disturbance is to be found at Rome. I do not say that the enmity of the Papacy is exclusively directed against England; for it is manifested just as much, and as systematically, against the Empire of Russia, according to the showing of the Pope himself. It has been exemplified by the disturbances which were stirred up recently in Poland, as it has been perpetually exemplified by the disturbances and discontent in Ireland against England. So that there is nothing peculiar in the origin of our difficulties. The action of the Papacy has come to this, that every State in Europe is compelled to resist the Pope. Spain has rejected his temporal authority. Even Austria, devout Austria, has been obliged to throw off the yoke. Russia, in her strength, still maintains her laws restraining the intrusion of the Papacy. The hon. Member for Galway (Mr. W. H. Gregory) the other night cited the case of Prussia; but what is the case with Prussia? She permits no endowments to Roman Catholic Bishops; and let me remind the hon. Member that she expelled Cardinal Albani for encouraging rebellion, that she imprisoned the Archbishop of Cologne, and that she retains the Roman Catholic Bishops in her territory without endowments, and only upon condition that they acknowledge the supremacy of the State. Where do we find such a condition imposed in connection with the measure before us? As a further illustration of the temper of the Papacy, and the contrast between that temper in 1800 when the Union with Ireland was agreed to and now, let me call to the recollection of the House that in 1800 the Pope was at the mercy of the first Napoleon, that the Emperor imprisoned him, that he commanded his successor to crown him, which he did, and that he exacted a Concordat in almost the same terms as that which now exists with France. At that time Mr. Pitt was of opinion that the Papacy was unjustly treated and oppressed. He was, therefore, willing to aid the Pope, but he expected, as a condition of his granting payments to the priesthood in Ireland and extending political privileges to Roman Catholics, that the Pope would concede the same terms to England as he did to France. The right hon. Gentleman, the Prime Minister, however, does not profess to expect from the Pope any such conditions now, and for a very good reason. The present position of the Pope is, that he is not on good terms with the State of any country in the world. The Pope has summoned what he is pleased to call an Œcumenical Council. Hitherto all such councils, and notably the Council of Trent, have been summoned by addresses delivered to the heads of the different States of Europe. But the Pope knows that, at the present time, such a summons would not be listened to, and, therefore, he has addressed himself to the various Bishops of Christendom. This is altogether a new phase, and if the anticipations of the Patriarch of the Eastern Church be correct, and if he drew a right deduction from the allusions made by the messengers of the Pope to the Council of Florence, the result of the intended Council will be to carry out the principle unhappily adopted at the Council of Florence, and decree the personal infallibility of the Pope, to justify his interference with the internal polities of every European State; in fact, to accomplish that Ultramontane programme which lies at the foundation of the reactionary revolution throughout the Continent. Let me now turn for a moment to another question. How has England behaved towards the Roman Catholic Church in those parts of her dominions where that Church holds property under treaty? In Lower Canada, for instance, the roman Catholic Church has large territorial possessions, secured to her by the Treaty of Quebec, and never yet has any proposal been made to violate that treaty. I remember the time when there were disturbances in Lower Canada, and the Province was disloyal; and the disloyalty such as could never be attributed to the Church of Ireland; nevertheless, England remained faithful to the treaty; the property of the Roman Catholic Church, which extends for miles around the principal towns, is daily and hourly increasing in value. Every Roman Catholic priest in Lower Canada, were the property of the Church equally divided among them, would enjoy an income of £300 a year, or £100 a year more than the whole of the property of the Irish Church would give to its clergy supposing it were divided equally amongst them. Well, what is the Union with Ireland but a treaty made between two independent Legislatures, though subject to the same Crown? But the Church of Ireland has been always loyal, and the penalty of her loyalty is this measure of confiscation The Church of Ireland has striven to maintain the supremacy of the Crown and the law, and therefore she is to be the object of plunder, whilst the Roman Catholic Church in Canada is perfectly secure in the possession of her great and increasing wealth, although at one time there was every reason for distrusting her loyalty. That single comparison is sufficient to show the want of equity in the present case. The measure is brought forward on the plea of establishing equality in Ireland; but as the hon. Member for Devonshire declared in his able speech on another occasion—and it is a truth which ought never to be forgotten—"Equality is not equity." And I say, that the idea that Cardinal Cullen will accept the principle that he is the equal of the head of the Wesleyan Conference in Ireland, that he is the equal of the dispossessed Archbishop of Armagh; that he, the representative of the Papacy, a Cardinal and a Prince of the Romish Church, and the temporal officer of the Pope in Ireland, is ready to accept in good faith the doctrine of religious equality, is an idea which reverses the principle of the message that was sent by the Pope to the Greek Patriarch. Sir, it is absurd. It is quite true that in France and other countries, but particularly in Prance, the doctrine of religious equality is nominally established by the Constitution; but, as appears from the conduct of the Papacy in its communications with the Archbishop of Paris, it is also clear that if any French prelate accepts the doctrine of religious equality, he will at once be condemned by his master the Pope. Is it not notorious, indeed, that the Church of Rome is dominant in that country, notwithstanding that the Constitution professes to be founded upon the doctrine of religious equality? Although the House may decide, for whatever reason, upon accepting the measure, yet, for its own sake, let it discard the idea that it has the power to establish religious equality in Ireland. The attempt to introduce religious equality has throughout the world always had one effect—namely, to induce the State to become despotic, and to induce the people to submit to despotism. The Mahometans have ceased to propagate their religion by the sword, They have adopted the doctrine of religious equality between all sects, as distinct from their own. They have adopted the old Mahometan maxim, as between different sects of Christians and Pagans, let the dog eat the hog, or the hog eat the dog, we care not how it goes between them. But can you establish a constitutional monarchy on these terms? No; and wherever the doctrine of religious equality prevails, even in the United States of America, it has a tendency to become despotic, and the despotism is not the less because it is democratic. On the contrary, it is greater. And so sensible are the people of the United States of this that they are trying to confine the despotic power of their President in every way that they can. If we would maintain freedom in Ireland we must maintain the supremacy of a free Constitution. We must not qualify it. We must not narrow its scope. We must not leave so wide a field for the entrance of the despotism of the Papacy, and therefore I condemn the principle of this measure as tending to the establishment of despotism in Ireland. I con- demn it on another ground. We want no more representatives of despotism in this House. Already we have seen Roman Catholic Members drilled from day to day in the Lobby of this House by Dr. Manning—that most insinuating of priests. I have known all about Dr. Manning from his boyhood. Dr. Manning once did me the honour of desiring to be introduced to me in the Tea Room. I told the hon. Member who brought me the message that I thanked Dr. Manning, but that I disapproved so much of that he was doing that I would rather not. Why did I say that? Because I have quoted in this House a passage from a sermon which Dr. Manning had preached, when he occupied a high position under Cardinal Wiseman, in which sermon he proclaimed that the object of the Roman Catholic Church—that the object of all his colleagues—was the subjugation of this country. I put this to these hon. Members. What Member in this House, six years ago, would have expected to see the majority of this House obeying the behests of Rome, and seeking the disestablishment of the Protestant Church in Ireland according to directions transmitted to Cardinal Cullen from Rome? It is an object with the Ultramontanes that the influence they exercise should be laughed at—the Jesuit wishes himself to be considered as a most devout man, given to charity and prayer, an agreeable companion, and that his order is politically insignificant, and yet is worthy of all acceptance throughout the world. If it be represented to him that his order has been expelled from Spain and Italy, and that the authorities of Vienna have in earnest terms remonstrated against their intrusions, he will say this conduct was the effect of wild prejudices, if not of ignorance, and affords proof of infidelity, and that unless that spirit can be subdued no sovereign is safe upon his throne. And he will remind you—" Were we not the best of friends to the Stuart dynasty?" Dr. Manning contradicted an hon. Member, who had cited rather inaccurately the passage to which I have referred, respecting the object which he and those under his influence and command in England had in view. I procured a copy of the second edition of the sermon in which the passage I had quoted from the first edition remains somewhat thus expressed—"It is the duty of the Roman See to seek the subjugation of England." Other parts of the sermon have been qualified and pared down, but that expression still remains. And next to that sermon in the volume is a sermon preached in a Jesuit Church, in which Dr. Manning lauded to the skies the Jesuits who were concerned in and executed for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot, and said that they now stood at the right hand of Christ, dressed in white robes. It may be seen in the newspapers of today that the Fenians have approached that eminent person, Dr. Manning, and asked him to allow his priests to collect money for the liberated Fenians. And what did Dr. Manning say? That he was identified with them in their general objects, and only differed as to the means; it is only necessary to read The Times of to-day in order to see the nice distinction between them. When the Fenians were asked—"Are you in favour of murdering Her Majesty? "Would you murder Her Majesty in order to establish a Republic?"—the Republic described by that wretched man O'Farrell, in a document which ought to have been before the House, and which I have been compelled to move for, because the Government would not present it—the reply was—"We would not enter into a conspiracy to the murder of Her Majesty." Dr. Manning and the Fenians parted on the most amicable terms, but he did not give an answer he would support the Fenian brotherhood by funds, as many of the priests in Ireland have done, he left that matter open and said he would consider it. Now is not that aiding in the scattering of treason? Treason in the sense in which the Americans understand treason against the Commonwealth? The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister when he first introduced this subject last Session, said that concession was made to the Roman Catholics in 1778, because England was then engaged in hostilities abroad. Marking the next period, he came to 1829, and said that the measure of Catholic emancipation was not granted by the free will of England but was extorted by fear. And in replying to the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, when that right hon. Gentleman asked, why he (Mr. Gladstone) had not brought forward this measure in 1866, his answer was that matters were not then ripe, that the Fenian conspiracy had not then assumed the importance it has since acquired. It appears, therefore, that one motive on the part of the right hon. Gentleman for sacrificing an institution which has upheld the supremacy of the law in Ireland in its fulness, is apprehension—fear. I am told that it is likely, because I am an independent Member and make this Motion on the part of an important constituency, from a sense of duty and on my own responsibility, that the Government will abstain from all debate. If the motive on which they are acting is fear they make a wise choice, for the suggestions of fear afford sorry arguments. No man can argue with fear, which is a hopeless yielding of humanity. Is this the motive, then, I ask in conclusion, that has induced you thus to imperil the supremacy of the Crown in Ireland, and to contemplate a gross and flagrant injustice upon one of the most loyal portion of Her Majesty's subjects? Entertaining these opinions, I beg to move that the House go into Committee on this day six months.


in seconding the Motion, said, that he could not hope to interest the House after the admirable speech to which they had just listened, but he merely wished to enter his protest against proceeding with a measure so iniquitous as the present. It had been stated by some of the Press and by Gentlemen opposite that any Member who opposed going into Committee on this Bill was taking a factious course. If it was factious to stand up for what one held most dear and for the rights and privileges of millions of his fellow-countrymen, he was factious. The right hon. Gentleman who brought the debate on the second reading to a close with such apparent ecstacy—stated that he would not detain the clock a single hour—nay, not even a single minute,—meaning that they must swallow their dose without delay. Let the right hon. Gentleman at least give the "sufferers" credit for deep feeling in the matter. The right hon. Gentleman no doubt believed them desperate; but they would tell him and the world that, their cause being just, and the Bill from beginning to end spoliation and robbery, they adhered to the motto of their ancestors—"No surrender." Did that mean that they were refusing to allow the right hon. Gentleman to put their House in order? No; they acknowledged that reform was necessary, however disagreeable. They accepted the Report of the Commissioners as a basis, and should be happy to assist in remedying anomalies; but they did not see that destruction was a remedy for their ailments. What did Lord Palmerston say, in 1856? He said— If that 5th Article has any meaning at all—and it is preposterous to suppose that it is a vain delusion, and that it has no real and substantive intention—it must mean, in the common sense of mankind, that the Church of Ireland, in harmony with the Church of England, is to be maintained. … Parliament is competent to deal either with the Church of England or the Church of; Ireland, according to varying circumstances; but it must deal with those Churches, not in order to destroy them, but for the purpose of rendering them more effective in their operation."—[3 Hansard, cxlii. 766–7.] Who were the Ministers then, and who stood by Lord Palmerston? Why, the Members of the present Government. They heard of reservations and inducements. Were they really such? The Government, no doubt, protected the vested interests of the clergy; those they dared not touch. England was not yet sufficiently Americanized for any statesman to venture to propose such an attack on the rights of individuals. But what of the rights of the laity? Had they no claim on the property enjoyed for 300 years? Did he believe they could destroy the Protestant worship in Ireland? No, that would be protected by a higher Power; but they would maim in every way, they would lower the standard and usefulness of the ministers, and make them dependent on the will of others. What of the poor, whether Protestant of any denomination or Roman Catholic? Would they not lose the friend in each parish to whom they were accustomed to rush in time of need, who was ever ready to help either in regard to their temporal or spiritual wants? If they went upon the ground that Ireland, as a whole, was Roman Catholic, and therefore that the majority was against the Established Church, why not apply the test to the Empire and see whether the Church of England could hold its ground? But if they would not, why ask whether the people of Ulster might not retain what they valued? Ulster was not only a province of Ireland, but of the Empire, and entitled to have her wishes considered. They had heard from Protestants of late that the consequences of this measure would make them Repealers. He regretted it, for he believed Repeal would be the ruin of his country, as she would fall back in civilization; and England would also suffer by always having a thorn in her side. They would then disgust and alienate the most loyal by this manner. Lord Russell, in 1846, when he held the responsible position of First Minister of the Crown, said he believed it would be injurious to destroy the Church, because many of the most loyal in Ireland—many of those most attached to the connection with this country would be alienated by the destruction of that Church to which they were fondly attached. Was it the opinion of the Roman Catholics generally that the Established Church was the grievance represented? Why, a circular of the Tenant-right Society of the county of Meath, issued some time ago, sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Bishop and clergy, and signed by Roman Catholic priests, said— The one, the great, the sole question for Ireland is the land question; other agitations, such as that against the Irish Church, are got up for party purposes, would infuse an element of bigotry into the already sufficiently disturbed relations between landlord and tenant, would effect the ruin of thousands of tenants and precipitate that social catastrophe we are anxious to avert. Had not men like the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Morpeth (Sir George Grey) repudiated the idea of overthrowing the Church? Did he not say in 1863— That the Church having existed for centuries has become interwoven with the institutions of the country, and could not be subverted without a revolution."—[3 Hansard, clxxi. 1714] He saw the right hon. Gentleman in his place, and he trusted he would stand up and acknowledge and reiterate those sentiments. Was the Church a grievance to the Presbyterians? He would quote on this point the words of the well- known and respected Dr. Cooke. At the great Protestant meeting, held at Hills-borough in 1867, he said— We recognize in the Established Church a noble branch of the great Protestant tree, planted in Europe by the hands of the Reformers in the 16th century. We hear in her voice the primitive evangelical doctrine and the dying testimony of that glorious company of martyrs and confessors by whom the liberty of conscience, the right of private judgment, and the unrestricted access to the Scriptures have been asserted, recovered, and secured. The Presbytery of Omagh, in Tyrone, and many others, had petitioned Parliament, and used these words— That, while we should gladly see such re-arrangement of the revenues of the Episcopal Church as would better provide for the working clergy and curates of the Establishment, we consider that its proposed sweeping disendowment, after so lengthened an enjoyment, and the arrangement made at the Union, is calculated seriously to shake public confidence, alienate the sympathies, and do great injustice to a large and influential section of our countrymen, without in any way propitiating the disloyal and disaffected classes in Ireland. He denied that they had a right to take away any of the property or money belonging to the Church, and give it to the Presbyterians, or any one else; but, if the majority of this House were determined to abuse their power, he would say, at any rate treat the Presbyterians liberally; do not take from them the Regium Donum, which they are as fully entitled to as the Church to its property; but if you do take it away, do not give them a miserable pittance of £700,000, which would hardly give the ministers £36 a year in lieu of the £70 they now enjoy. Do not prevent them from providing for their widows and orphans. They were as much entitled to a grant to pay off their building debts as the College of Maynooth, and he regretted to hear the Prime Minister had declined to give them anything towards these expenses. He did not wish to detain the House longer; but he must again protest against the Bill, and assert that from beginning to end it was but spoliation and robbery. He trusted in the good sense of the people of England to support those who voted against it.

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.

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


(whose address was frequently interrupted by cries for a division) said, as he had been deprived of the opportunity he had hoped to have had of expressing his views on the part of the Bill now before the House, in consequence of the decision come to by the Speaker with regard to the Instruction of which he had given notice, he hoped now to be allowed to explain very briefly his objections to one part of the Bill. He approved generally of the Bill, and he had supported it, and should again support it by his vote, but he disapproved of the partial manner in which it dealt with the College of Maynooth. He would briefly call attention to the manner in which the Bill dealt with the three religious denominations which were affected by it. With regard to the Established Church in Ireland, the Bill severed the connection between Church and State, dissolved all the ecclesiastical corporations, and transferred the property of the Church to Commissioners, restoring again, however, that portion of Church property which had been derived from private bequests, and giving compensation to private individuals whose interests would suffer from the Bill. The compensation was provided in the shape of annuities to be paid by the Church Commissioners to those persons whose interests would be affected, such annuities being equal to the revenues they would lose. With regard to the Presbyterians, their interests would be provided for in a similar fashion. Out of the Regium Donum hitherto certain salaries had been provided for a number of Presbyterian clergymen, and salaries were also paid to the professors of the Presbyterian College at Belfast, and those persons were to be compensated by life annuities. There were also certain other cases of compensation. There was a small sum of £160, which had been annually paid to the widows of Presbyterian ministers, and that amount was to be multiplied by fourteen into a capital sum which was to be paid over to an association on behalf of the persons whose interests would be affected. That compensation therefore was not in the nature of a direct personal payment, but the money would be handed over to an association which would have to make the compensation. There was also a small sum of £152 for clerks of the Synod or Presbytery of Ulster, and that would be multiplied, by fourteen, and capitalized, as would also be the case with a sum of about £250 a year for the incidental expenses of the College of Ulster. He thought, by the way, that the College had no claim to that last sum at all, and he thought the same objection might be raised to it which he was about to raise to the capital sum proposed to be handed over to the trustees of the College of Maynooth. He came now to the case of the College of Maynooth. In the cases of the Established Church and of the Presbyterian Church the Bill provided that compensation should be given to individuals personally; but in the case of the College of Maynooth the Bill made no provision of that kind at all. It was proposed to hand over a capital sum of fourteen times the annual grant of £26,000 a year, or £364,000, to the College of Maynooth, and that sum was to be handed over unconditionally. While the Bill provided that compensation should be given to persons interested in the case of the Established and Presbyterian Churches, no such provision was made with regard to the College of Maynooth; the trustees would be under no obligation, that he could discover, to pay anything whatever to the professors or students. But even if it was a fair and proper course to hand over a capital sum to the trustees of the College, still the sum of money to be handed over in this case was more than double what it should be upon the principle of "compensation with due regard to personal interests." In the annual grants to Maynooth there were various clauses by which portions of these grants were devoted to different purposes in the College. Clause 4 of the Maynooth Grant secured £6,000 a year to the trustees for the purpose of paying the salaries of the professors; while Clauses 5, 6, and 7 provided that various sums should be paid over annually to the trustees for the purpose of maintaining a certain number of students. If the £6,000 a year for professors were capitalized at fourteen years the compensation would amount to £84,000. As to the students, their interests had been provided for on the same principle as those of the professors, upon the assumption that they were life interests. But the students were not sent to the College for life—they were only there for the purpose of getting an education. He had calculated the interests of the students, and he found it amounted to £80,000, so that full compensation would be made to the College for the withdrawal of the grant by the payment of £164,000. He had seen the calculation of an actuary as to the amount of money required to compensate the professors and students, and that calculation was even less favourable to the proposal of the Government than that which he (Mr. Aytoun) had made. In point of fact, then, the Government proposed to hand over £200,000 more than was necessary to the trustees of the College of Maynooth, in order to satisfy all personal claims. Then they were asked to give that sum in order that it might form a permanent endowment for the College of Maynooth. Now, when he was asked to sanction the donation of a sum for providing a perpetual endowment for Maynooth, he was entitled to ask what had been the result of that institution as affecting the condition of Ireland, and, in all probability, what would be its effects in time to come? If the money was asked for simply as a matter of justice, he would say—"Let us do what is just: we have no right to do violence to the principles of equity in order to prevent what we conceive to be an evil." But he would just call attention to a few facts in connection with the College of Maynooth of a peculiar nature. The grant to Maynooth had enabled the Roman Catholic hierarchy to provide a sufficient number of priests for that country drawn from the peasant class, and chiefly from among the cleverest boys to be found in that class, and he believed the Maynooth Grant, combined with the past misery and present condition of Ireland, had had a considerable effect in rendering the Irish priesthood the most powerful priesthood in Europe. There was no country in the world in which the priesthood exercised such an influence over the people, and especially over the poorest classes, as in Ireland. What was the influence which the hierarchy and the priesthood had exercised with regard to education, and especially with regard to these Queen's Colleges which were founded by Sir Robert Peel, and which he believed formed the best measure ever devised for putting an end to the separation between different classes in Ireland, and for providing a good liberal education for young men of all denominations, and giving them an opportunity of meeting together and of gradually obliterating those prejudices of religion and race which had hitherto so widely separated the different denominations? The hierarchy and the priesthood had set their faces against those Queen's Colleges, and had done all they possibly could to prevent their success; and, to a considerable extent, he believed, they had succeeded. The priesthood exercised a great influence even upon our foreign politics. When the insurrection in Poland took place, it was true that the people of Ireland felt a great sympathy for the Polish insurgents, and he Believed they would have been willing for an immediate war with Russia in order to afford assistance to the Poles. But when the people of Italy were dissatisfied with a government that they felt to be oppressive; what did the people of Ireland do then? Instead of sympathizing with the people of Italy, as they had sympathized with the people of Poland, their sympathies were on the side of the oppressive Government; and he regarded that as a conclusive proof that the people of Ireland were completely under the influence of the priesthood. The reason why they sympathized with the oppressed people in one case and with the oppressing Government in the other, was simply that in the case of Poland the people oppressed were Roman Catholics, and the Government was a schismatic Government; while in Italy, although the people were of the same religion as themselves, the Government was the Government of the head of the Roman Catholic Church. The priesthood in Ireland possessed an enormous power over the population of that country, to which there was no parallel in any other part of Europe. In the domestic policy of their own country also their influence was very great, and in proof of that he would give the evidence of the Roman Catholic priesthood themselves. Everyone remembered that a body of Roman Catholic priests assembled at Limerick, at the beginning of 1868, and had a long conference on the condition of Ireland. They drew up a long declaration, or statement, recapitulating the wrongs of Ireland from the time of the landing of the Anglo-Normans until the time of the occurrence of the potato blight, and they came to the conclusion that all the miseries that had been inflicted on the people of Ireland had arisen from foreign conquest, and from Ireland having been governed by rulers belonging to a hostile religion. After recapitulating some of the remedies necessary to make Ireland a contented and prosperous country, they added that, although the disestablishment and dis- endowment of the Church, the settlement of the land question, and the settlement of education in the sense in which they desired to see it settled, by placing it in their own hands, might do something, still that was not enough, and what was really wanted was the repeal of the Union. The Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland were at liberty to agitate for the repeal of the Union if they chose; but when he was asked to sanction the donation of a sum of money, not required by any principle of equity, but simply offered as a free gift from this House, he most decidedly should refuse to sanction any such gift to people holding such opinions. There was another reason why this permanent endowment ought not to be given by this House to Maynooth—namely, that at the General Election of last autumn the understanding with which the Liberal party went to the country was that the principle of levelling downwards had been adopted; that equality was to be established among different denominations, not by providing that everyone should have something, but that all should equally have nothing. That was the principle on which the Leaders of the Liberal party went to the country, and he appealed to the House whether the Fourth Resolution of the last Session might not have been taken by any intelligent politician as a sufficient guarantee that no endowment was to be given to Maynooth. A Resolution proposed by himself was amended by the hon. Member (Mr. Whitbread), and, with the concurrence of the right hon. Gentleman now at the head of the Government, it was adopted in the following terms:— That when legislative effect shall have been given to the First Resolution of this Committee respecting the Established Church of 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. He regarded this Resolution as a sufficient guarantee to the country that nothing was to be given to the College of Maynooth. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) was understood to express in his election speeches a determination that nothing was to be given as an endowment to Maynooth. The same determination was expressed in a letter written by the right hon. Gentleman to a Dissenting clergyman at Oldbury, near Birmingham. The clergyman told the right hon. Gentleman that the electors in his neighbourhood, although Liberal in all other respects, had pledged themselves to vote for the Conservative candidates from the fear that the right hon. Gentleman intended to give something to Maynooth. The right hon. Gentleman, in reply, said that he considered himself bound that the grant to Maynooth should cease and be wound up. The right hon. Gentleman used the fittest and most powerful expression that suggested itself to him, because they all knew what winding up a commercial undertaking meant—paying its debts and bringing the whole affair to a close. The proposition in the Bill, however, if it could be called a winding-up, was a winding-up of a very different character. [Cries of "Divide, divide!" and "Order, order!"]


rose to Order, and asked the Speaker to be kind enough to keep order in the House.


said, he was about to state the reasons against giving a permanent endowment to Maynooth. [Cries of "Spoke!" "Divide!" and "Order!"]


rose to Order, and, in consequence of the continued unwillingness of hon. Members to hear the discussion, moved that the debate be adjourned.


assured the House that he should not long trespass on their attention. Two arguments were put forward in support of the Government proposals with regard to Maynooth; and the words which fell from the right hon. Gentleman upon the recond reading of the Bill well deserved the attention of the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman said that the House could hardly object to the amount of the donation to Maynooth, when they were about to give a sum of money so much larger to the Established Church. Now, that argument might be a very good one if it had not been for previous arguments advanced by the right hon. Gentleman. [Cries of "Divide!" "Order!"]


Sir, I rise to Order. A Motion for adjournment of the debate has been moved and seconded.


The hon. Member is himself out of Order.


again attempted to address the Committee.


At this early hour of the evening I hope the House will not refuse to hear the hon. Gentleman.


said, the words of the right hon. Gentleman to which he had referred, if they meant anything, had a tendency towards levelling up. But the right hon. Gentleman must be consistent. He might fairly say, as he had said to the Irish Church, individual interests shall not suffer. But having gone to the country upon a cry of levelling downwards, and having gained his point, he had no right when he came into Parliament to turn round and argue in favour of levelling upwards. Another argument in favour of the Government plan for giving all this money to Maynooth was that, if it were done, the House would get rid of the question, and never again be brought into collision with the Ultramontane party. He believed that there could be no greater delusion. The Roman Catholic priesthood had shown that they were prepared with a good many questions which they meant to have settled in their own way; and after all these were got rid of they would be content with nothing less than the repeal of the Union. Furthermore, they wished to exercise influence in this country, and endeavoured to do so by acting upon the Government of this country in regard to the domestic affairs of England. As long, therefore, as an Ultramontane party existed there was not the smallest chance of avoiding collision with them. Two parties existed in the Roman Catholic Church, and there were undeniably Continental countries in which the Ultramontane spirit did not prevail; but, unhappily, in Ireland it was the guiding influence of by far the largest section. Of all the arguments, therefore, which had ever been used in favour of the bestowal of a sum of money upon Maynooth, this argument about satisfying the Ultramontane party was by far the weakest. He would not further detain the House. He would merely express a hope that, when the time came in Committee for rectifying defects in the Bill, the House would not allow itself to be guided by this short-sighted expectation of getting rid of the difficulties by which we were encompassed in Ireland, by making any grant which the principles of justice and equity would not justify to the people of Ire- land; but, having once adopted the principle upon which the Bill was founded, they would carry out that principle with impartiality to all sects alike.


said, it was desirable that the House should pause before entering upon the course to which they were urged. ["Oh, oh!"]


I must call upon the Serjeant to keep order at the Bar.


said, the reasons which induced him to take part in this discussion were the same which had induced his constituents to return him to that House. They had been told by no mean authority that the voice of Lancashire was but preliminary to the voice of England, and that what Lancashire thought to-day England would think to-morrow; and Lancashire had both thought and spoken upon this question with great unanimity. There, if in no other part of the country, the measure recommended by the Government had been discussed and investigated; there, certainly, the people were alive to the importance of the legislation proposed; and there, likewise, the real nature of the interests at stake was understood and appreciated. Lancashire had enjoyed the advantage of hearing the policy of the Government advocated by no less a person than the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister himself. He laid before his audience what he considered to be a full and elaborate exposition of his policy; and he told them, upon one occasion, that the country understood the case which was laid before it. Lancashire replied to his challenge that she understood the question only too well, and that she would have neither the right hon. Gentleman nor his policy. Therefore, as representing one of the divisions of Lancashire, he asked permission to address to the House a few remarks upon the subject of the Motion. In the recent debate the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) and the hon. and learned Member for Londonderry (Mr. Serjeant Dowse) brought two charges against the opponents of the Bill: one complained that all the speeches from the Opposition Benches were unreal; and the other advised the speakers to be practical. In what he was about to say he would be thoroughly real, and he would endeavour to be as practical, though he could not hope to be as amusing as the hon. and learned Member for Londonderry. No Member, he thought, would deny that the measure under consideration was an attack on the Constitution of this country—whether the Constitution were regarded as stereotyped, and under no circumstances to be altered, or as one capable of being adapted to the varying circumstances of the country. In either case, before taking any step involving serious change, good cause should be shown for the alterations. Had that cause been shown? He conceived not. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, in introducing this measure to the House, did not in the course of his observations argue the question of principle at all, but contented himself with referring to the speeches that had been made upon that point in the debate in the last Parliament. He had thought it his duty carefully to examine those speeches, for the purpose of ascertaining upon what grounds this measure was supported, and he must confess that he had been unable to find any arguments in favour of the Bill which appeared to Mm to be sound and substantial. He desired to approach this subject, not as a partizan of the Church, but as an English citizen, and he was thankful that he lived under a Constitution which enabled a Member of that House to advocate the interests of both Church and State, without at the same time sacrificing the interests of either. At present the interests of the Church and of the Crown were not antagonistic; but, if the policy of the right hon. Gentleman were carried out to its full extent, a time would inevitably arrive when such antagonism of interests between them would arise. The House, in arriving at a determination upon this question, should be guided by facts and logical proofs, and should not be led away by strong expressions of opinion or by exaggerated terms. They had been told by hon. Members on the other side of the House, first, that the subject was worn threadbare; and, secondly, that it was surprising that so few arguments had been adduced in support of the Irish Establishment. The speeches by which the subject had been worn threadbare on the other side of the House contained statements unsupported by proof; while, if the arguments that had been adduced on that side of the House were but few in number, they had at all events never been answered. If the speeches which had been delivered by those who were opposed to the measure were deficient in quantity they were excellent in quality. The two propositions to which he intended to address himself were—first, that no case had been made out in support of the policy of the Government; and, secondly, that sound and substantial reasons exist why that policy should not be adopted. What were the reasons on which the House was asked to pass this measure? In the first place hon. Members opposite talked about justice; but was not that a cry that might be raised with equal effect by those who objected to the Bill? Hon. Members who opposed the Government measure were also desirous that justice should be done to Ireland, and were prepared to investigate most carefully any complaint which emanated from, and to redress any grievances that might be proved to exist in, that country, in the same way as they were prepared to redress English grievances. It was impossible, however, to expect that complaints from either country could be accepted unless supported by proofs. It was said that the matter must be looked at from an Irish point of view, and that the House must endeavour to legislate for Ireland according to the views of the majority of the Irish people. But was the right hon. Gentleman prepared to yield all the demands advanced by the majority of the Irish people? If he were not prepared to fulfil the hopes to which his language had given rise it was to be feared that the disappointment of the Irish people would be bitter and their resentment strong when they found that they had been betrayed by Her Majesty's Government. The next argument in favour of the Bill was that of numbers, but numbers were no test of truth. Upon this point he should call the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister himself as a witness. The right hon. Gentleman in his work upon Church and State had recorded his deliberate opinion as follows:— We support it, albeit the Church of the minority, on the high ground of conscientious necessity, for its truth. But was the right hon. Gentleman prepared to follow the argument of numbers to its legitimate conclusion? The landowners of Ireland were far inferior in numbers to those who possessed no land, and therefore the argument of numbers would apply with equal force in favour of a measure depriving the former of their property and distributing it among the latter. It was further said that the Establishment in Ireland had proved a grievous failure; but the right hon. Gentleman had himself answered that objection by telling the House that the Irish Church had never had a fair trial until within the last few years. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Bright) had declared that the Church in Ireland was established for the purpose of converting the people of Ireland, and of knitting them into union with England. The right hon. Gentleman, with his knowledge of the New Testament, must be a, ware that the primary object for which the Church was founded was that it should be a witness for truth. Undoubtedly we are entitled to expect as a result of that witness that the people should be converted and more closely united to this country; but, it did not follow, that because the effects expected from it had not been seen, therefore the testimony to the truth had not been faithfully given. A careless mariner might neglect the warning given by the friendly beacon; but we never heard a man argue, that, because a ship had been wrecked in its neighbourhood, therefore a lighthouse should be pulled down, or the light put out. But had the Irish Establishment been altogether a failure? He had it on the authority of gentlemen well acquainted with the subject that the average congregations attending the churches in Ireland were equal to those who attended churches in this country. ["Oh!"] If hon. Members would turn to the official Report of the Commissioners, published in 1834, they would find that the Church population in parishes in Connemara and Joyce, in the county of Galway, which only amounted, in that year to 692, had increased to 2,379, in the year 1861, according to the Census Returns. The Bishop of Tuam, in a speech which he delivered about two years ago, had stated that the number of the Church population in his diocese had also largely increased. Moreover, large numbers of converts from Romanism had left for England and Scotland, or for emigration to America, and large numbers of young men had enlisted in the army or joined the navy. The next point alleged in favour of the measure was that the Church of Ireland was the cause of the discontent, which had culminated in Fenianism; but that remained to be proved. What had been the result of the promise which had been held out by the Government that the Establishment in that country should be abolished? He read in The Times of the 20th of March, 1869, under the head of "Ireland," the following statement:— The spirit of the misguided patriots is as perverse as ever. Colonel Warner counsels union against the common enemy … The people of Ireland are determined to be free. England is beginning to believe we have made up our minds to the end. I believe in the eloquence of the sabre. The Establishment was the cause of discontent, not because of itself, but because it was associated with British power. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade asserted that it was objectionable as being a badge of conquest; but were not the tax collectors, the British army, and the presence of the Lord Lieutenant, as the representative of the Crown, equally with the Irish Church badges of conquest? Were they to be abolished also? If so, the right hon. Gentleman should go a little further, and should bring in a Bill to repeal the Union. The true cause of the discontent in Ireland was pointed out by a gentleman who was formerly the representative in that House of Sheffield, and he must express the regret he felt that that gentleman no longer occupied his accustomed seat. In addressing his constituents last month, Mr. Roebuck said— The real difficulty of Ireland is the priesthood. … We do now to Ireland what we do to ourselves, and the only reason why we are not at peace with Ireland is the priesthood of that country. … You cannot allow a power in Ireland to be supreme over the Protestant power of England. Give the Irish people what they are entitled to, and no more, but recollect that the Catholic priest is never satisfied. He is never satisfied unless he is dominant. Then they were told that this measure would do no injury to Protestantism. It might be that Irish Protestantism was no mere sickly plant, likely to die without a struggle, and that Irish Churchmen would rise to the occasion, but that was no reason why they should be treated with injustice. If this measure were carried out in its entirety, would it or would it not give an impetus to Roman- ism in Ireland? Surely that was the view of the matter that Roman Catholics took, or otherwise they would not be found among the advocates of the Bill. They support it, and they have good reasons for so doing. First, it removes a rival from a post of advantage; then, it provides a permanent endowment for Maynooth; and, further, it will place other funds under the control of the Roman Catholic Bishops. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, in answer to the remarks of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for South-west Lancashire, asked how could the people of Ireland be benefited by this measure if the surplus of the money of the Irish Church did not go to the Roman Catholics? But the objection which the hon. and learned Member made and which the right hon. Gentleman ought to have answered was, that the surplus funds of the Irish Church property would find their way into the hands of the Roman Catholic Bishops in Ireland, and be administered by them for their own purposes. If this were the case, the House of Commons by this Bill would be giving an impetus to Romanism; and if they did that, they would be giving an impetus to the deadly enemy of Protestantism. The consequence would be that either one of the two must at once go down, or there must be a long and deadly struggle between them. And yet this was set before them as the measure which was to produce peace in Ireland. Another hint had been thrown out that the history of Ireland was just about to commence; that Ireland was no longer to be treated as an integral portion of the Empire, but as a colony, like Canada; that her present Government was provisional. But what had been done for Canada? Canada possessed a Legislative Assembly. Did they mean to give a Legislative Assembly to Ireland? The Secretary for Ireland said that this Bill ought to be passed because the Irish people had demanded religious equality. A portion of them might have done so, but had they never demanded Repeal? Was it also to be given to them? Why did Her Majesty's Government resist the one demand and yield to the other? The demand for disestablishment, made by only a portion of the people, was to be granted. How long could they hereafter resist the demand for Repeal, made, as it would be, by the voice of united Ireland? Another reason for the Bill, urged from the Government Benches, was that the time had come. The Prime Minister told the House that there was a crisis in the affairs of Ireland—that— Venit summa dies et ineluctabile fatum. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had put it in an epigrammatic manner—"The hour is come and the man;" but was it not the man who had made the hour'? The fact was, there was a perpetual crisis in Ireland, and they ought to show that the measure proposed would remedy the evil. But this had not been done. Another reason, recently offered to the House, in support of the policy of the Government was, that a good use would be made of the money. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade in very touching language reminded the House of the many phases of human woe and human suffering which could not possibly be removed, but which the kindly provisions of the Bill might tend to relieve; and he reminded them of the spirit of Him whose life was pourtrayed in the Gospel, and of His sympathy for human suffering; and he seemed to intimate that they would be rendering an acceptable service to the Almighty by appropriating the money taken from the Church in the manner proposed. The right hon. Gentleman appeared to have forgotten that the same Volume of Inspiration forbade in express terms robbery for burnt offerings. If they examined the reasons that had been alleged on behalf of the measure—if they carefully removed all irrelevant matter—what was left? Did any substantial reason remain why the House should adopt the policy of Her Majesty's Government? After a careful analysis, the only residuum to be found was that which was expressed by the old satirist— Hoc volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas. He thought that no cause had been shown for going into Committee. The fact was, three principles were assumed in the arguments of the supporters of Government which could not be proved to be true. They were these—that the inhabitants of a nation collectively and the individuals who governed were not severally responsible for their public acts; that numbers or population were to be regarded as the test of truth, and that ecclesiastical property might be correctly represented as national property, that is, as held under an entirely different tenure from any other property. The first and second of these principles referred to disestablishment; and any hon. Member who doubted on the subject would do well to read the book of the Prime Minister, which had never yet been answered. The right hon. Gentleman had explained the reason which had induced him to change his opinion; but he had not answered his own book. The third proposition related to disendowment. It was stated that the property of the Irish Church was national property. "Was this so? What were the facts of the case? He spoke subject to correction by any hon. and learned Gentleman present, and he asserted that, according to English law, all property in the country, whether that of individuals, or that of corporate bodies, was held of the Crown. Undoubtedly, the Crown might, for sufficient reasons, with the advice of Parliament, resume possession of any property. But that applied to property held by an individual as well as to that held by a corporate body. The House did sometimes legislate as regarded private property. For instance, in the case of felony, the felon forfeited his property; but it did not follow from this that the Crown was to seize the property of an individual without assigning any reason for so doing. If Parliament declared that any man who wore a white hat should be deemed guilty of felony, it would not be right of it to deprive of their property all men who wore white hats without giving them previous notice of it and assigning a reason. The title of the Irish Church to retain her property was now disputed; but he would quote Roman Catholic authority on that point. The Rev. Nicolas Slevin, in his evidence before the Commission on Irish Education, in 1826, made this statement— I consider present possessors of Church property in Ireland, of whatever description they may be, have a just title to it on various grounds. … They have been bonâ fide possessors for all the time required by any law for prescription, even according to the pretensions of the Court of Rome, which requires 100 years, and even on ground of express consent of those who might have any pretension to it. The rev. gentleman referred to a rescript of Pope Benedict XIV., in 1752. Did the House want any more proofs' ["No."] Then he might assume that he had proved his case, and that hon. Gentlemen on the other side were going to vote against going into Committee. What was the view taken of the rights of property by lawyers in the United States? He commended the opinion of Chief Justice Redfield on this point to the notice of the President of the Board of Trade. That right hon. Gentleman was loud in his praise of everything American, both in the House and out of it. Chief Justice Redfield says, with reference to the case of property belonging to Trinity Church in New York, that— The humblest citizen and the mightiest corporation hold their pecuniary rights by the same tenure, the public sense of justice. The same act of legislation which distributes the property of Trinity Church for such objects and purposes as seem meet to the Legislature, or what is the same thing in principle, subjects it to control foreign to its charter, might also deprive the humblest citizen of his home, or his bed, or his Bible. And, if the first is allowed now, the day will come when the others cannot be successfully resisted. He thought it was due to the House that the Government should offer some explanation of their intended invasion of the rights of property. He wished now to state some substantial reasons against the Bill. He believed it would add to the Irish difficulty. It was unjust to the Protestants of Ireland. The mode in which the First Minister proposed to deal with them reminded one of the stories of those Arab robbers, who, having taken all a man possessed, looked out for the most ragged shirt they could find in his wardrobe, and gave it to him as an act of unparalleled generosity. But this was the course taken by the Bill. They were told that this measure would give the Roman Catholic population in Ireland confidence in the English government. The measure could not be intended to deceive the Irish people; and if it were not Parliament would have to re-model our whole system of government in Ireland, so as to make it accord with Fenian policy. He believed the policy of this Bill would recoil on the people of England, the Church of England, on the Crown of England, and on the tenure of property in England. To show that the latter was no rash assertion, he would refer the House to certain proceedings at the International Working Men's Congress held at Brussels, in 1868. It was said that our fears were chimerical; but at this Congress, according to the report in The Times, the following resolutions were passed:— The soil ought to be common property. Private property in soil, as it at present exists, has been created by legislative Acts, and can be abolished by legislative Acts, as humanity has abolished other institutions when they have become hurtful to society. What was the feeling of Ireland upon this question? The measure did not produce much quiet there, for The Times of April 12 reported that— The Ribband conspiracy has again reared its head in more formidable proportions than usual. … Criminal justice is almost paralyzed by a secret organization. … It aims at the redress by violent and lawless means of supposed agrarian wrongs, The population of Ireland, therefore, was looking forward to a change in the tenure of property. He had been surprised to hear it urged by the hon. Member for Galway (Mr. W. H. Gregory) as a justification of this measure, that Parliament enabled railway companies to take private property for the purposes of their works. Why, Parliament never allowed this to be done without ample compensation. Had there ever been an instance in which Parliament permitted a private company to cut through Church land, and had said that no compensation need be made because it was national property? This was, in fact, a step towards the overthrow of the Protestant Constitution in England. One by one the distinctive marks had been removed, and now it was said that Protestant ascendancy must perish. Why? What evil had it done? On this point he would read the opinion of a hon. Member of the House (Mr. Sadler), in 1829, who said— Protestant ascendancy the source of the disorders of Ireland! Why, Sir, any man who knows anything of the history of that unhappy country—and I speak in the hearing of many who will correct me if I err—must be well aware that the state of things now sought to be remedied, and the turbulence and the misery which it occasions, existed in a still greater degree, and produced far more lamentable consequences before the Reformation, when, consequently, there was only one religion in the country."—[2 Hansard, xx., 1151.] The change to be effected by this measure in the relation between Church and State appeared to him to be an act of national apostacy. As he understood the argument of the hon. and learned Member opposite (Sir Roundell Palmer) respecting this point, it went to prove that a change of form in the national religion was not necessarily an act of national apostacy. In that he concurred. But he could not agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman that the religion of each individual would remain the same as it was before the change, where the individuals in their collective capacity had cast off all religion. The nation was but an aggregate of individuals. If these collectively decline to recognize God, could it be said that the relationship of each individual to Him had undergone no change? The voice of the multitude forming the State was the voice of individuals, and the responsibility of each individual constituted national responsibility. He believed that national sin must be followed by national punishment, and therefore he urged the House to reject the Bill. He urged this not in the interest of the Church, but of the nation. They were told that God would defend His own truth. No doubt; but would He bless the nation who deliberately cast off all recognition of His truth? What was the feeling of the people of America on this subject? The same copy of The Times which contained the speech of the Prime Minister introducing the Bill contained a quotation from the New York Times with which he would trouble the House— A great number of petitions have been presented to Congress of late asking for an amendment of the Constitution that will recognize the existence and authority of the Almighty, and some of them ask for an acknowledgment of the Christian religion. Then there was a notice of a Convention, consisting of a hundred delegates from different religious denominations, which met at Ohio, February 2, to consider the claims of God and of the Christian religion upon the State and the nation. This was one of the resolutions— Nations are moral persons and bound by moral law … Like a family, the nation may, and ought to, worship God. While we, therefore, were casting off all national recognition of religion, the Americans were beginning to see the importance of such a recognition. He thought he had shown conclusively that the arguments and assertions by which this Bill was supported were not based on proof, and that sound reasons exist against the adoption of the policy of the Government. This measure would not bring peace to Ireland or strengthen the United Kingdom. It would alienate the Protestants of Ireland. They were planted in Ulster for the purposes of England; they were persuaded to accept the Act of Union under the idea that thereby they would acquire greater security, and now we turned round and said—"You are no longer to be considered as a part, of the United Kingdom; you are but a minority in a Roman Catholic country; we will no longer respect the solemn compact by which we bound ourselves; oaths and promises go for nothing: we will cut you adrift and you must take care of yourselves." They would do so probably, and at our cost. What was there to set against this? Was it probable that the majority in Ireland would be won over by this act of perfidy? Fenianism was as perverse as ever. Ribbandism, according to The Times, was reviving and worse than ever; the majority, stimulated by the measures of the right hon. Gentleman, would, as of yore, plot sedition; and the minority, who had been our allies, would be driven by our own act into the ranks of our opponents. There was no prospect of peace for poor Ireland; no prospect of increased friendship towards England. We had been told that the vessel of the State was about to enter troubled waters. Was this a time to fling away our compass, to tear up our chart, to abandon the helm of principle, and let the good ship drift before the wind of a false and miscalled expediency? Who could tell whither it would drift? Yet this was the advice offered to the House and the country by Her Majesty's Government. He believed that it was not sound advice, and in the name of his constituents he protested against it.


said, he wished to offer a few remarks as to the way in which it was proposed to deal with the College of Maynooth. As he understood the proposal of the Government, the effect would be that Maynooth would receive a lump sum of £360,000 in lieu of the grants of £26,000 a year from the Consolidated Fund. Now if in 1845 Maynooth had been offered a lump sum of £360,000, could there be a doubt that she would have gladly accepted it in place of the annual grant of £26,000? The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the Irish Church was to be disestablished because it was the religion of the minority; and that when- ever he cut across an educational institution it must be treated with a tender hand. The right hon. Gentleman also said that, when the time came to treat with Trinity College, Dublin, they would have to treat it also with the same tender hand. But there was no analogy between the two cases. Maynooth was not an educational institution in the sense in which the right hon. Gentleman used that word. It was simply an institution for the education of the priests of the Roman Catholic Church. He did not say this in hostility to Maynooth, for he would apply the same test to an institution for educating Protestant clergymen; but Trinity College sent out a vast number of laymen every year. He was one of those who thought that the proposed change was one with which the Irish people, taken as a whole, had no sympathy, and one which would be regarded not as a concession to what the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government called the irresistible tendency of the age to religious liberty, but as a mere sop to men who were supposed to be disloyal.


having referred to the fact that the Motion which he had made last year to the effect that the funds of the Irish Church should not be devoted to the support of any religious denomination whatsoever, had been supported by Mr. Mill and other Liberal Members, expressed his regret that the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Sinclair Aytoun) had not been able to bring forward his Instruction that day; he also regretted that it had been his own lot to come into that House to meet men who, in his opinion, were departing so far from the paths of honesty in the example they were setting to the country. [''Oh, oh!"] The question under discussion he maintained had been brought forward for mere party purposes. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government could not lay his hand on his heart and say that he had not taken it up with the view to gaining Office; and he certainly must give him credit for having, at least, displayed considerable tact in the matter, for he had adopted a course in following which he knew he must draw along with him Dissenters, Roman Catholics, Infidels, Atheists, and. all extreme men of that kind. Against the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman he must, however, in the strongest manner protest, and there was no opposition to it of which the forms of the House would permit to which he would not be a party at every stage. The fact was the country had not had time to consider the question. The measure of the right hon. Gentleman and the sketch which he gave of his proposals in his election speeches were not one and the same thing, and it was necessary that the constituencies should be further educated before a decision upon it was arrived at. He, for one, most decidedly objected to having a measure involving consequences so important hurried through Parliament because a large majority chose to oppress a minority. Many hon. Members, no doubt, were by no means anxious to go back again to their constituents, but to him it was a pleasure to visit his, living, as he did, constantly among them. If, after the constituencies had been consulted on a Bill which assumed a new form, and which involved proposals which at the recent election were not thoroughly understood, the verdict of the country were favourable to the policy of the Government, he for one would submit to that verdict, but he declined to entertain the Bill as things stood. He should like to know how it was that such silence was maintained on the other side of the House that evening; and how no attempt was made to answer the convincing speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for North-east Lancashire (Mr. Holt). He was convinced that that speech was not answered because it could not be answered. They were asked to degrade the Protestant Church in favour of the Romish Church. If the House had been asked to divide the funds of the Protestant Church in Ireland with the members of the Roman Catholic persuasion in that country, there might have been something like justice in such a proposal, but it was unjust to take the funds of the Irish Church and distribute them amongst poorhouses, that ought to be supported by the land. There seemed to be a great desire among those who sat on the Ministerial Benches to stifle discussion on the subject, and the Speaker had expressed himself in stronger terms on that point that evening than he had ever heard him use on any previous occasion. Men expressing Liberal views had altered their opinions about the Irish Church. Let them answer on the Ministerial side, and let it not go forth that, having been challenged from the Opposition side, nothing was said by the supporters of the Bill in reply. He hoped the debate would be continued, and that they should not go into Committee that night. Gentlemen who supported the Bill might rely upon it that the country was not with them. [Laughter.] Gentlemen might laugh; but they would not laugh so much when Parliament was dissolved. Nothing made a man so serious as to talk to him of re-election.


said, that he should reserve any comments upon the details of that measure until he had an opportunity of bringing his own Amendments before the Committee. With respect to its principles—or, rather, its no-principles—of disendowment and disestablishment, he should not trespass upon the attention of the House, for the dangers of those steps had been so ably commented upon by right hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House, and especially by his right hon. Colleague the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball), that he did not feel at liberty to dwell at greater length upon the subject. He would only say with respect to the powerful speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer), that whilst he fully sympathized with his views regarding disendowment, he regretted that the learned Gentleman did not go as far as he himself did on the question of disestablishment. He thought, however, that if he had enjoyed his experience of the importance of connecting the State with religion in Ireland, and if he knew the dangers that would issue from their separation, and could anticipate the disappointment that would be occasioned to the residents in the country, he would not, he was sure, have yielded as much upon the question of disestablishment as he had done. He must also express a difference of opinion from his learned Colleague (Dr. Ball) on a subject which had been considered of late—the subject of levelling up. He would never for any object vary the line of conduct he thought it was his duty to pursue, and in accordance with that feeling he must express a difference of opinion from his learned Friend. He felt more compelled to do that, inasmuch as the great proportion of the constituency they both represented, expected him to take that op- portunity of expressing their dissent from the opinions which the Learned Gentleman had so eloquently expressed upon that point in his speech on the second reading of the Bill. He protested against that Bill being hurried through the House without its receiving the fullest consideration. Neither he nor any of those with whom he acted, had been shaken for one moment in their opposition to the dangerous principles of the Bill; but looking to the interests of his constituents, to their future hopes and prospects, he considered that he would be a bad friend to them, if, after the majority of the House had carried the principle of the measure in a constitutional manner, he refused to give any assistance to the improvement of the terms it had made with the Church. On that ground, if the Bill were carried through Committee, he should do his best to improve it, and would join with either side of the House in the endeavour: he was not disposed to join with those who attributed unworthy motives to those who had brought forward the Bill; but, at the same time, he thought that they had been greatly mistaken, and that the measure was dangerous to the country and prejudicial to the interests of the Church. Disestablishment was a dangerous alienation of religion from the State; and the Bill was unjust and ungenerous—unjust to the laity, and ungenerous to the clergy. All he trusted was that in their legislation the House would respect the cause of religion.


asserted that there was not in the House any Member more anxious than he to hasten the settlement of this question. The principle of the measure was that the Church in Ireland should be disestablished—and, incidentally, disendowed. That principle had been approved by the country, and therefore the sooner the House acted upon it the better. In spite of the taunts of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) he would venture to express his thanks to the Prime Minister for having brought the measure forward, though he trusted the right hon. Gentleman would be willing to listen to any suggestions that might be made on either side of the House with regard to the details. The names of the right hon. Gentleman and of the President of the Board of Trade, if guarantees for anything, were guarantees for the principles of Free Trade, and of a fair stage and no favour. He believed that no fewer than seventeen seats had been won by the Opposition in consequence of a person of unhappy reputation named Murphy having raised the Protestant standard in the county of Lancaster. Now, he had been to a certain extent associated with that individual, and he would confess, in spite of what had fallen the other day from the Home Secretary, that he was at the present time endeavouring to get a dozen Mr. Murphys to go about the country raising the Protestant standard when this question was got rid of. He regretted to find himself separated from the hon. Member (Mr. Newdegate) by this question of the flesh pots of Egypt, and he trusted that when the Bill had once passed there would remain nothing to keep Protestants asunder. Since he had sat in that House he had given expression to views which he believed were those of the great majority of the people of this country. He differed from Roman Catholics, not on account of their religion, but because he would not recognize any foreign Power within the realm. He wished to make an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, who, according to the newspapers, was in frequent communication with the heads of the Roman Catholic hierarchy as to the arrangement of the details of that Bill. The heads of the Roman Catholic hierarchy evidently took the same view as he (Mr. Whalley) did of that matter—namely, that the Protestant Establishment in Ireland was their great buttress and support—that it afforded a pretext for the continuance of the Maynooth Grant and the £1,000,000 sterling obtained from the public for Roman Catholic purposes in England and Ireland, and they consequently objected to allowing the Irish Church to be disestablished unless Maynooth were at the same time endowed, and the surplus funds of the Church were applied to lunatic asylums, Sisters of Mercy, and other institutions in connection with which the money so applied would inevitably come under their control. He would, therefore, ask the right hon. Gentleman, with regard to the further appropriation of those funds, whether it was not in direct opposition to every principle which he had recognized to endow permanently those institutions under the guise of charities. Such a measure would, in fact, inflict the greatest possible curse upon Ireland, sow the seed of future discord in that distracted country, and retard indefinitely the great objects which they all had in view. He had given notice early in the evening of a proposal that the surplus funds of the Irish Church should be devoted to paying off the National Debt; and, although the forms of the House might preclude his bringing that Motion forward, he submitted that it offered a fair and reasonable solution of their present difficulty. When, he would ask, had Ireland applied for any money for lunatics, idiots, and other afflicted persons without getting it? And he maintained that for every pound appropriated in Scotland, England, or Wales to the purposes to which the surplus funds of the Irish Church were intended to be devoted five at least were at this moment so applied in Ireland. He, therefore, entreated them to pause before they created, by means of these funds, a gigantic system of charity in a country in which, above all others, it was most essential that all such money should be strictly kept under the control of the givers.


congratulated the Prime Minister on having received the benediction of the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley) who had been reconciled to the Church of Rome over the prostrate form of the Protestant Church in Ireland. He also congratulated the Romish Church on the convert she had made in the person of the hon. Member. The hon. Member had spoken of Mr. Murphy in no complimentary terms; but he believed the hon. Member was one of the executive of the Protestant Electoral Union, who, it was generally understood, employed Mr. Murphy to go about the country lecturing. They were told that this question had been amply discussed. It would take years to discuss it amply, and they were now only at the beginning of the discussion. He had no wish to say anything disrespectful of the Prime Minister; but he must say that the right hon. Gentleman owed his present position to the united bigotry of England, Scotland, and Ireland. To the bigotry of English liberationists, who were opposed to all Established Churches; to the bigotry of Scotch Presbyterians, who were opposed to prelacy; and to the bigotry of the Irish Roman Catholics, who were opposed to Protestantism. The Liberal Press, Gallic like, "cared for none of these things," but it cared a great deal for secularizing the institutions of the country; and the Liberal Press had gathered up these elements, this unholy trinity, and baptized it "Liberalism." The Liberal Press of this country, he was sorry to say, had resorted to the suppressio veri and the suggestio falsi, and it was by these means that statements had been circulated through the country and accepted by the country as true which were not true. Thus, last week, the Pall Mall Gazette reported resolutions passed at a meeting of what purported to be "the Belfast Presbyterian Association," warmly extolling Mr. Gladstone's policy—the fact being that the Resolutions were passed at a meeting not of an association representing the Presbyterians of Belfast, but a knot of noisy agitators called "the Belfast Liberal Presbyterian Association," some of the members of which were so fanatical as to object to the compensation of vested interests. A clear case of the suppressio veri, on the strength of which the Echo this week represented the Presbyterians of Belfast as "warm supporters of Mr. Gladstone." He knew something of the Presbyterian feelings of the Presbyterians of Ulster. He had been brought up amongst them. The hon. and gallant Member for Dungannon (Colonel Stuart Knox) had to thank the moderator of the Irish General Assembly for standing by his side when he canvassed the constituency, and Newry and Derry would not have returned Liberal Members if the elections had depended on the Presbyterian electors. The hon. Member for Newry had polled only thirty Presbyterian votes. The hon. and learned Member for Derry (Mr. Serjeant Dowse) made a great parade the other night about his being an Irish Episcopalian, but only thirteen Episcopalians voted for him, whilst of the Presbyterian electors only 177 voted for the learned Serjeant and 280 for Lord Claud John Hamilton. And in Belfast the junior Member owed his election entirely to the split in the Conservative camp. ["Question!"] He was speaking to the question—namely, whether the Presbyterians of Ulster were in favour of this Bill. The hon. Member for Carrickfergus (Mr. Dalway) had shown that he was a hearty supporter of the Protestant institutions of the country. They were told in the Telegraph that the Tory party had accepted the Irish Church Bill in the face of the Amendment placed on the Paper by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire to leave out the second clause which went to the root of the question of disestablishment. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government told them that this Bill would show them what metal they were made of. It was not difficult to see what metal the right hon. Gentleman was made of—he was made of quicksilver, equally fluent and equally unstable. He (Mr. Charley) trusted that the Constitutional party would be as adamant on the question of disestablishment. They were told that this question had been argued out; but he had not heard anything whatever in the nature of an argument from the other side—nothing but taunts against the Conservatives that they had no policy for Ireland and stale quotations from former speeches of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire. All the arguments had come from his side of the House, except the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer), and that, The Times had declared, remained unanswered from the Ministerial Bench. How did The Times answer it? On the 23rd of March The Times said— Mr. Gladstone touched, but wholly failed to meet, the argument of prescription. It is impossible to plead the principle of prescription in favour of the Protestant Establishment. The only Court open to Catholic claimants is Parliament, and that was not open to them before 1829. Add to this that they have never acquiesced in the Protestant occupation of the religious endowments of the island, and the conclusion is inevitable that, if the principle that tithes are local endowments be true, the moral right of the Catholic Church to their use cannot be evaded. This is sufficient to displace all title on the part of the Protestant Establishment. But would not that argument apply with equal force to England; and were Englishmen prepared to admit that the Roman Catholic Church was entitled to the endowments of the Church of England? It was argued that no prescription ought to be allowed to the Protestant Church in Ireland; but a few years ago the right hon. Gentleman, in company with the late Sir Robert Peel, Lord Lyndhurst, and Sir William Follett, earned the thanks of the Unitarian body for having passed a law by which the prescription of twenty-five years gave them a right to their chapels against all claimants. As to the taunt about the Conservatives having no policy with respect to Ireland, admitting, for the sake of argument only, that the Conservatives have no policy with respect to Ireland, was it right or just to punish the Protestants of Ireland for the shortcomings of the Conservatives? As to the stale quotations from the speeches of the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, these might be more than matched with former speeches of the First Minister of the Crown, who declared that the Protestants of Ireland formed the most natural bond of union between the two countries. The party opposite had deserted the policy of the great Whig statesmen of 1688—the policy of Somers and Halifax—who were content to rest a new dynasty on the victories of Irish Protestants. The right hon. Gentleman wished to efface the memory of those victories and Protestant ascendancy, but he could not efface them without at the same time effacing the title of the House of Brunswick to the Throne. What, he asked, would be the position of the small Protestant bodies in the West and South of Ireland if this Bill should pass into a law, which God forbid? They were exposed to many temptations to change their faith; they were breathing a Roman Catholic atmosphere; their children attended schools of which the Roman Catholic priests were patrons, and these priests were ever whispering in the ear of the Roman Catholic wife and mother that she ought to bring up the children in the Roman Catholic faith. Had it not been for the parochial system and the watchful care of the Protestant clergy, the Protestants of the South and West would long ago have been absorbed into the Church of Rome. The priests would be able to do what they liked if the eye of public opinion was not on them, and public opinion would be withdrawn if the Protestant ministers were withdrawn. It was supposed by some that the police and the military would be able to hold Ireland; but trust who would in the bayonet of the soldier and the truncheon of the policeman, give him the peaceful influence of the quiet parsonage house nest- ling among the trees, the church with its taper spire pointing to Heaven, and the clergyman armed with the sword of the Spirit, and weapons tempered in the armoury of Heaven. This was not a question between the right hon. Gentleman and the Leaders of the Opposition merely, it was a question between him and the great constituencies, such as Lancashire, and he thought the Prime Minister who could neglect such constituencies, and ride over them rough-shod with a tyrant majority, was hardly competent to undertake the delicate task of legislating for the Church. He had no doubt that the verdict, if not of this House, at least the verdict of another House, would be that of the great and bold Barons, when it was proposed to them by the Prelates of the Church of Rome to alter the fundamental laws of the realm—"Nolumus leges Angliœ mutari."


said, he felt bound to inform the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), that the Roman Catholic Members of that House were not to be dictated to in the performance of their duties by any authority whatever but their own consciences and their sense of right. He had spent many years on the shores of the Mediterranean, and of all countries in Europe the least priest-ridden were those which professed the Roman Catholic religion. In Italy, Spain, France, and Austria, the people were warmly—he might say intensely—attached to their religion; but in the performance of public duty they had come into collision with the ecclesiastical authorities of those countries, and had carried their point, still remaining devotedly attached to the Roman Catholic religion. He would make one observation more. It had been asserted that the Prime Minister had brought forward this Bill for the purpose of creating political capital for himself. Now, no one could have studied the history of England's greatness without observing how many opportunities of settling this question English statesmen had thrown away. At the time of the Union it might have been settled with ease, and Ireland would have been made prosperous and content. But Pitt was in advance of his age—he was out-voted—the opportunity was lost, and there followed twenty-seven miserable years of ascendancy. In 1829, the question might again have been settled, though not so satisfactorily, but again the opportunity was neglected. Now once more, the opportunity was before them—once more the Sybil offered her books at undiminished price—he hoped they would not again return a negative. For the information of the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley), he would remind the House that, at the Congress of Vienna, a claim was made on the part of British subjects in respect of large endowments for the support of priests, contributed by Catholic families, subjects of Great Britain; and after some negotiation the clause was conceded, and a large sum paid to the British Government as compensation for confiscated property; but of that sum not a penny was ever given to the support of the Irish priesthood. He believed the facts were stated by Sir Robert Peel when he brought forward his measure for the endowment of Maynooth, which endowment was in truth only a small portion of the money which had been paid in the way of compensation to the British Government.


said, he wished to add one or two arguments to what he looked upon as the overwhelming mass of reasons that had already come from his (the Opposition) side of the House, and which appeared to have prevented hon. Gentlemen opposite from replying to them. He should avoid saying a word which could cause pain to any Roman Catholic, as Protestants all acknowledged and revered the rights of individual conscience. The Prime Minister and the Solicitor General in their recent speeches had, in a tone which he ventured to say was not calculated to promote the objects they had in view, advised them not to contend against the inevitable. Now those on his (the Opposition) side of the House had a right to claim to be met with arguments, and not with such appeals which generally betrayed a sense of intellectual weakness, and a reliance upon material force. Was it, he asked, the wish of the country, after a measure of this immense importance had been before the public for only eighteen months, that it should be hurried through the House as if the matter had been settled with one voice? Whether they were right or wrong large masses of the people were devoted to the Reformation cause, and that was not a matter to be laughed down or ridiculed by the hon. Members opposite. It was a matter for quiet and sober argument. It was no light thing to stir up ill-blood between great masses of Her Majesty's subjects, and it would be a very dangerous matter if the country got hold of the notion that whenever a topic connected with the Protestant Reformation was started in that House it was received with laughter and sneers. He respected every man's religious feelings, and he said above all things let us not attempt to sneer them down by laughter. He wished to address the House on a single definite point, because it seemed to him absurd that each speaker should endeavour to review the whole subject. His point was this—Is it a matter of total indifference to a free State with free institutions whether one or other of those great forms of religious belief—Protestantism and Roman Catholicism—is prevalent within its territories? Is it a matter of policy to such a State which wishes to maintain such institutions to discourage Protestantism? He asked this question from a layman's point of view and from a civil point of view; and he would not touch on the theological or ecclesiastical aspect of it. Before answering these questions it was necessary to consider whether the Bill which had been brought forward with the very best motives by the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government was or was not a blow to the Protestant cause. He would pass by the question of disestablishment, though no one felt more strongly than himself on that subject; for he believed | that it was the duty of the State to place within the reach of every subject of the realm the ministrations of that religion which it believes to be true, while it forces it upon none. He also believed that one of the great advantages of establishment was to secure the ministers of religion from the tyranny of the lay members of the Church, and to check the sacerdotal; spirit. He thought another advantage was that it protected lay members of the Church from the tyranny of the priests; that the nomination of Bishops by the Crown promoted peace within the Church, and prevented difficulties that had befallen Canada since nomination by the Crown had ceased there; and that it was of the greatest service to a religious body that those at its head should be brought into contact with the lay element in Parliament, and should know what was going on among the leading laymen of the country. Deeply as he had always valued the supremacy of Her Majesty, he valued it much more since he had learned what very great importance was attached to supremacy by Archbishop Manning, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in this country. Archbishop Manning, in his Essays on Literature and Religion, stated— It is visibly providential that at this moment the supremacy of the Crown, which is the Reformation in concrete, has come to nought… The providence of God has poured shame and confusion on the Tudor statutes. The Royal supremacy has perished by the law of mortality which consumes all earthly things. At this period of our history the supremacy of the Vicar of Jesus Christ re-enters as full of life as when Henry VIII. resisted Clement VII., and Elizabeth withstood St. Pius V. The undying authority of the Holy See is once more an active power in England; the shadow of Peter has fallen again upon it. Hon. Members doubtless would agree with him that if these views of the Archbishop were to be taken as true, they would begin to value the supremacy of the Crown of England much more highly than they had ever done before, instead of aiding to lessen or destroy it. But was it or was it not good for a Church to be stripped of its property? Hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House had alluded a good deal to the case of the Free Kirk of Scotland. We all admired the great works accomplished by that Church after the secession, but were apt to forget that it was made voluntarily, and as the result of strong devotion to one great principle. And therefore it was worth while to consider the verdict passed by that eminent leader of the Free Kirk, Dr. Chalmers, in the very year that his honoured life was closed, and nobody, he presumed, was so good a witness on that point as Dr. Chalmers himself. He said— We rejoice in the testimony of the Free Church for the principle of a national Establishment, and most sincerely do we hope she will never fall away from it. Little do her enemies know that she is at this moment lifting a far more influential testimony on the side of ecclesiastical endowments than can possibly be given in any other quarter of society. Did it not seem to upset the whole argument drawn from the supposed example of the Free Kirk when so great a leader as Dr. Chalmers declared, notwithstanding the money which the Church had got, and the noble position which it had assumed, that he would still hold fast the great principles of establishment and endowment? Was it good or not for a Church to be stripped of its endowments? The Noncofnormist Colleges of the land, as they knew, were—much to the credit of the members of their Churches—possessed of large endowments—they were most eager for the cause which they had at heart; but, if it were proposed to strip them of their endowments would they be of opinion that that course would increase their efficiency? Then, again, look at the Roman Catholic Church in Lower Canada, to which very large endowments had been secured by treaty. A very great change in the proportions of the population of Upper and Lower Canada was going on at the present moment, and the day was not far distant when the same disproportion which existed in Ireland between the Protestant and Roman Catholic populations would exist in Canada between the Roman Catholics and the rest of the population. Did the House expect, or was it at all likely, that the Roman Catholic body in Lower Canada, who were anxious for the spread of their faith, would come forward and say—"We want to progress at the modern rate, and, therefore, we ask you to take away our endowments?" What was the case in Italy? In Italy Roman Catholic Church property had been largely confiscated, and the whole of Europe was ringing with their denunciation of the spoilers, and of the iniquity and abomination of stripping the Roman Catholic Church of her lands. They, at least, did not seem to think that their religion would benefit very much by this oppression. Again, in Spain there had been a large absorption of Church property, and just now it was proposed to disestablish the Church. Did the Roman Catholic Church, which certainly did not wish to recede, acquiesce in this attack? Why, all Spain was full of complaints of the iniquity that was to be accomplished. But was it good for a Protestant Church and for Protestantism that the property of that Church should be taken away in the manner proposed by the right hon. Gentleman? The House probably was not aware that at the late election in Lancashire, and particularly in the division which the right hon. Gentleman contested, there was a very remarkable change of feeling on the part of a great body of Roman Catholic voters. The great majority of these people, being tenant-farmers, had voted on former occasions with the Conservative party. But on this occasion, somewhat to the astonishment of those who knew their ordinary proclivities, a considerable number voted with the right hon. Gentleman opposite. Was it likely that they did so because they thought his measure one that was likely to benefit the Protestant cause? Then, again, the astute and honoured head of the Roman Catholic Church in England—Archbishop Manning—had taken very great trouble upon this subject of the disestablishment of the Irish Church. His pulpit had spoken out, he had issued addresses, and his attention to the deliberations of that House had been most marked. Would anybody assert that what Archbishop Manning was so very anxious about could be for the interests of Protestantism? Was it according to common sense to suppose that what that most astute of prelates, that cleverest of Churchmen wished to see accomplished was likely to be a good move for Protestantism? Then, cross the Channel; Cardinal Cullen strongly urged the adoption of this measure, and every priest in every diocese was invited to urge it from the altar. Surely, it implied an amount of ignorance upon the part of that House that was scarcely credible to assert that a measure so recommended was for the advancement of Protestant ideas? To go further; in every newspaper on the Continent there was the same sound of triumph over the measure of the right hon. Gentleman. Better, therefore, be frank in the matter. If a great and grave State necessity existed overweighing and counterbalancing the injury to Protestantism which must follow from the measure, let it be declared and recognized. Let the Government repeat the memorable words which Lord Melbourne did not shrink from using upon an issue much less important than that now raised—the Appropriation Clause—let them acknowledge this measure will be a heavy blow and great discouragement to the Protestant cause throughout the Empire. Better face the thing at once, and not be beating about the bush; saying at one time that this measure would be a benefit to the Protestant cause, and at another moment acting in close alli- ance with the Roman Catholic clergy, who certainly would not co-operate with. Ministers if for one moment they believed the Protestant cause would be benefited. The measure then was really what Lord Melbourne has described as a heavy blow and great discouragement to the Protestant cause throughout the Empire. ["No!"] The right hon. Gentleman, in the wonderful speech with which he opened this subject, no doubt had disclaimed any such intention; but facts made it almost impossible not to feel that this disclaimer was consistent rather with the wish of his heart than the conviction of his reason. Taking it for granted, then, that this would be a heavy blow and great discouragement to the Protestant cause, he reverted to his original question—was it the true policy of a free State to discourage and inflict a blow upon the Protestant religion? He replied emphatically, "No"; and he believed that was the feeling of a very large mass of the people of this country. It certainly was a point upon which he and his Friends would not be afraid once more to test the feeling of the country. Why could it not be the true policy of a free State to discourage the Protestant Faith? What were the principles which a free State most jealously guards and most studiously favours? Every Gentleman present would probably agree that the most important of these were—liberty of opinion, liberty of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of the Press, and the liberty of establishing schools of every kind that might be thought desirable for the education of children through the length and breadth of the land. In what light did the governing head of the Roman Catholic body look upon these rights which free States so much valued? Upon this subject he felt it right to refer only to official documents. In the Papal Allocution published only last year the Pope denounced as an "odious law" a law upon the subject of education passed by the Austrian Government— That law," said the Pope, "establishes free liberty for all opinions; liberty of the Press, of every faith; and it grants to members of every confession the right of establishing public schools and Colleges. Schools are to be subject to supreme of the State. It is necessary strongly to reprove and condemn these abominable laws; we declare them null and powerless as regards present and future; we intreat the authors not to forget the censures and spiritual punishments which the decrees of Œcumenical Councils inflict as having been deserved ipso facto by violators of the rights of the Church. There was a pretty clear expression of the view taken by the Pope as to these matters. But it might be said this was but a loving remonstrance addressed to Roman Catholics who had deserted their former faith. But see how the same thing applied to England. In his Essays on Literature and Religion, published only last year, Archbishop Manning asked— What is there in respect to the temporal power of the Holy See, the prerogatives of the Pope as teacher of the Faithful, the relation of faith to science and to society, which Pius IX. has not gone before and beyond us in asserting? The most Ultramontane assertions among us fall within the range and, therefore, under the shelter of authoritative documents emanating from the Holy See. It is remarkable that such critics as The Times and Blackwood's Magazine clearly perceive the identity of what is denounced as Ultramontanism and the teaching of the Sovereign Pontiff. What was Ultramontanism? The answer was contained in the same Essays— The Church, in virtue of the power which she has received from God, has the right to require from the Civil Governor that he should receive at her hands the Divine Law, and act in obedience to her interpretation of its precepts. She has the right to require of every one to accept her doctrine, and whosoever obstinately refuses is against her. … The right of deposing Kings is inherent in the supreme sovereignty which the Popes, as vicegerents of Christ, exercise over all Christian nations. … Writers have argued and nations declared that Popes have no power to depose Kings, but no Pope, that I am aware of, has accepted such arguments or endorsed such declarations, and therefore I will follow what Popes have said and done rather than the opinions of Gallican legists, or the declarations of heretical Parliaments. It might be said that these were extreme opinions held only by individuals. But the passages he had already read were clinched by the Encyclical of the Pope issued in December, 1864, in which His Highness condemned as an error the supposition that— It is no longer necessary that the Catholic religion shall be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other modes of worship. And having said this, the same Encyclical letter went on to say— People of the present day, actuated by an idea of social government so absolutely false, do not hesitate further to propagate their erroneous opinion, termed delirium by Gregory XVI., that liberty of conscience and of worship is the right of every one, and that citizens are entitled to make known, with a liberty neither ecclesiastical nor civil authority can limit, their convictions, of whatever kind, by word or by the Press. He thought this established his assertion, that the civil principles which were most cherished in this country as attributes of a free form of government were opposed not only in detail but in theory by every known authority of the Papal world at this moment. But it might be said that free institutions are in themselves a safeguard against the carrying out of these principles, and America might be quoted against him. He believed that an answer would be found in the Report of Mr. Eraser to the School Commission, who went out to examine into the common school system in the United States. He gave various reasons why he supposed the common school system would probably crumble within twenty-five years, and one of these reasons was the undying hostility of the Roman Catholic hierarchy to it throughout America; surely, therefore, if one of the most cherished of the free institutions of America is in danger of succumbing before the attacks of the Roman Catholic Church, no one has a right to deride us if we doubt the sufficiency of free institutions alone to prevent the success of the civil policy of that Church. He believed that many hon. Gentlemen had been led to concur in the proposed legislation by falling into two great mistakes. One was that of supposing that the Ultramontane party was the only party of Roman Catholics. He believed that Church was now as much as she was formerly, divided into two distinct parties, and that hon. Gentlemen opposite were playing into the hands of the Ultramontane party, which was not the most enlightened party in the Roman Catholic Church, nor the most influential. But they were a body which had been able to get the ear of the Press of late years, and it was the party which had been the most noisy. It was not the party which had produced Bossuet and Pascal in France, or Murray and Doyle in Ireland. The second mistake was the confusing of the ecclesiastical leaders of the people with the people themselves. It had been said that this was the cause of progress, and that the Prime Minister was going on gallantly in the course of progress. But might it not be a question whether he was not gliding back into the way of re-action? It was a very old trick of governing bodies to govern the people by means of ecclesiastical rulers. That had been tried in Russia, and had completely failed there. Did not the family of the Bourbons try it in one-half the countries of Europe? Had it not failed in Spain, and in France years ago? And did it not fail in Naples a few years ago, to the great joy and delight of the right hon. Gentleman who was now allied with that very body which said that the revolution in Naples was a curse and an abomination? Justice was supposed to over-ride every other consideration, and in the few short speeches which had been made on the other side in answer to the deep learning which had been displayed not only on that (the Opposition) side of the House, but on the Bench behind the right hon. Gentleman, they always came back to that one watchword "justice." No one could appreciate justice more than he did; but in old-fashioned times it was supposed that an act of injustice could not be done without accompanying it by an act of restitution—giving back that which had been unjustly taken away. But this measure seemed to him to be a halting justice, and a very doubtful salve for the woes of Ireland. He implored hon. Gentlemen to consider whether this great measure was not making a sacrifice of present and future good for the sake of carrying out a theory which they were not prepared to follow out on this side of the Channel, and which never had its birth in Ireland itself. There was one other point to which he wished to allude, for he thought it essential to call attention to the effect which this measure might have on the Act of Union with Scotland. That Act said that after the demise of Her Majesty (Queen Anne) the Sovereign next succeeding to Her Majesty in the government of Great Britain and Ireland should take an Oath at the Coronation to preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England as by law established in England, Ireland, Wales, and Berwick-on-Tweed. It did not appear, then, that hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side of the House were aware of the importance of what they were now doing, and it seemed necessary that another clause should be added to the Bill in order to prevent the Union with Scotland being broken up. In conclusion, he expressed a hope that, putting private feelings aside, they would look at this question with the honest and earnest desire—which he believed actuated every one in that House—to take care that under their hands the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland should suffer no deterioration.


observed that the debate showed hon. Members the disagreeable prospect of having twenty or thirty Mr. Murphys going about the country lecturing upon the subject of the Irish Church. He was apprehensive that when the great body of the clergy were removed from that Church, there would be a great inundation of lecturers from this country whoso efforts would produce everything but good. What was to be the result of this measure? A great Liberal, towards the close of his life, said, he had learned one lesson, to insist on the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian. But with regard to this measure it lay between one denomination of Christians and another, and it would secure, so far as the State was concerned, the abolition of Christianity altogether. He was most anxious to see Ireland pacified; but he could not, for the life of him, understand how taking away endowments from one party without doing anything for the other would bring about this result. If they did their duty they need not trouble themselves about the consequences. But if they took away religious endowments they would be responsible for the consequences; and if improvement in Ireland followed, it would occur in spite of what they had done, not in consequence of it.


said, that he wished to make a few observations upon the question whether they should go into Committee upon the vital question—no less vital to England than to Ireland—which had occupied so much of the attention of the House. It was not necessary to enter in detail into the clauses of the Bill to show that it had proceeded far enough in its course. Take it from beginning to end, from the Preamble to the 63rd clause, and they would find it was not only a measure full of injustice, but in addition to this, that it was a deception and a snare. It had been very aptly likened to a man deserting his wife, and carrying off her goods with him. "Justice to Ireland, justice to Irishmen," was the cry. Let them examine it. If the clergy and laity of the Established Church were hardly dealt with; if they were humiliated and robbed; if by a crafty manipulation of dates £500,000 of private money was seized, a very different fate was meted out to the rival Church. The bargain made with Cardinal Cullen was carried out to the letter by the perpetual endowment of Maynooth, nay more, the extraordinary gift was enhanced by being unaccompanied by any such conditions as were laid on the Established Church, and the money could be diverted to any purpose pleasing to the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Generosity had certainly been extended in this case. It had been said that people of feeble minds and lunatics were chiefly to be found in Ireland, and the concoctors of this Bill seemed to be of some such opinion. The real meaning of the present movement was not understood by the majority of Englishmen; they weakly imagined that there was some truth in the cry raised by the Ultramontanes of religious equality. They did not see that disendowment as placed before them meant the endowment direct and indirect of the Church of Home in Ireland; but if they yielded from feelings of liberality, they would find even before a generation passed away that they had been greatly mistaken and grossly deceived. If the present Bill should pass, and the Ecclesiastical Titles Act were repealed, the notions of religious equality entertained by the Roman Catholic hierarchy would soon be made manifest. England was employed by Adrian IV. to effect that which he feared the right hon. Gentleman intended repeating—to rivet the chains of Rome upon the people of Ireland. Lord Grey, in his letter last year, to the then hon. Member for Birmingham, said— Any attempt to bring the Roman Catholic Church in the slightest degree under the influence of the Crown would be rejected alike by Roman Catholics and by Protestants. In a certain sense—namely, what was called levelling up—it assuredly would, and it assuredly had been rejected by Protestants; but could not the noble Lord see the kernel of the nut lay in the words—"to bring the Church of Rome in the slightest degree under the influence of the Crown." It was the continued position of antagonism and rivalry to the rights and Prerogatives of the Crown on the part of the Roman Ca- tholic Church which lay at the root of all our troubles, and that would continue so long as the Crown rested on a Protestant head. The Church of Rome, that was to be so richly endowed, had never made any concession to the Crown or to Parliament, so far as doctrine or revenue was concerned. They had only to look to the pastorals of the Bishops, and they would see the cultivation of a system of passive resistance to the laws and institutions of Great Britain, that had now become chronic. He would refer to another point, which he could assure the right hon. Gentleman opposite was considered in Ireland of great moment, but must before doing so have it understood that he was not advocating the repeal of the Union. He must, however, allude to the bearings of this Bill upon the Act of Union. The Imperial Parliament having obtained the absolute direction of Irish affairs upon certain defined principles, and by virtue of certain treaties concluded between two separate and independent legislative assemblies, was now proposing to ignore those principles and annul those treaties. He denied the right of one party to withdraw from the conditions of a treaty without the sanction of the other party to them; and, as the consequence of the treaty between Great Britain and Ireland was the dissolution of the Free Parliament of the latter, he asserted that ere such a proposition as that introduced by the right hon. Gentleman, the First Minister of the Crown, was made, the two countries should be re-instated in the position which they occupied at the close of the last century. The proposal of the right hon. Gentleman by repealing the 5th and fundamental Article of the Act of Union, thus virtually broke up that Act, and left the weaker country at the mercy of the stronger. Irishmen would be placed in a position of inferiority, for they would no longer have any guarantee that they should not be overtaxed, or that they should henceforth have their fair share of representation. An argument was sometimes put forward that the colonies afforded a model for the government and the institutions of Ireland, but this did not hold good for a moment. Ireland was an integral part of the United Kingdom. The Parliament of Great Britain became on certain conditions her Parliament, and hitherto the sister countries had moved onwards hand in hand. The loyal among their peoples had made joint efforts to consolidate the two countries into one Empire; and although, at various times, false and dangerous policies had been attempted by English Governments in Ireland it had remained for our time to behold the exigencies of party—not the exigencies of country—drive political leaders into courting even the avowed enemies of our Protestant monarchy and institutions. He would recommend to the right hon. Gentleman the warning of Mr. Coleridge, who thus wrote— In our association with Ireland we have in many most vital particulars violated the principles of the British Constitution, solely for the purpose of conciliating the Irish agitators, and of endeavouring—a vain endeavour—to find room for them under the same Government. Yes, the principles of the British Constitution were to be violated, and Irish Protestants were cruelly taunted because they stood by them; but English Protestants should be the last to taunt Irish Protestants, whose forefathers had been beguiled into settling in that land, trusting in what once was British honour. A common form of faith bound the Irish Protestants to England, while they were also fast linked to Ireland. He accepted that description of them given by the right hon. Gentleman in better days, and he deeply regretted to see that now, in his ascent of a perilous height, he little cared for the destruction which his heedless foot, in dislodging the avalanche, hurled on a large and peaceful community. He (the right hon. Gentleman) marched onward and waved aloft his banner, but he could hardly expect the few survivors of his desolating act to listen with grateful or willing ears to a cry of "Excelsior" which was applied only to himself. The Protestants of Ireland had called upon their representatives—and no doubt the un-Ultramontane Roman Catholics would do the same if they dared—to fight this battle inch by inch, and clause by clause, and, by the blessing of God, fight it they would.


said, he would have hesitated to throw himself into the debate, and would have preferred to hear the opinions of English and Scotch Members on the subject; but when he saw the mode in which Her Majesty's Government and hon. Gentlemen opposite met the Opposition upon this occasion, he thought they would ill do their duty to their constituents or to the great party to which they belonged if they sat silent while the Government sat silent, relying on the brute force behind them? ["Order!"] Perhaps the word was a strong one; he would correct it to great strength. He asked, was it dignified for a Government strong in power, in intellect, and in votes, to meet those who differed from them in this way, on a question which was perhaps one of the most momentous that Parliament and the country had ever been called upon to decide? Was it: dignified in them to sit silent now, and to tell the public in the Press tomorrow and in the future speeches that no arguments were advanced against them? That would not do. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen might laugh; many of the cries he had heard that evening from the other side reminded him of the jolly days of old in Vauxhall, when some peculiarly brilliant firework was let off, and when everybody indulged in a prolonged cry of "O-O-O-O!" But when such cries, either of approbation or disapprobation, went up from the crowd, there was never a single word of argument or of reasoning. On the Opposition side the subject had been pretty well exhausted. [Cheers.] He liked' the cheer; he listened to it with pleasure. The arguments in favour of the Bill have been long since exhausted, but the arguments on our side are thoroughly inexhaustible. Where were the arguments in answer to the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer)? The only argument used in reply was that of fear—all the Government could say was that they were afraid of an insurrection in Ireland. But was this the way to stop it—to offer an illusory premium to the disaffected, at the expense of those who have always shown unswerving loyalty to the English Crown? Where were the arguments in reply to the unanswerable arguments of the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball), and of the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gathorne Hardy)? It was said that a great injustice had been done for many years to the Roman Catholics of Ireland, but the bulk of the people had. not complained—only a few of those most disaffected to the English Crown. Did the Government hope to quell the Fenian rebellion by letting out the rebels on the country? Had that policy succeeded? He asked the House to consider well and deeply before they passed this measure. He himself would be most willing to do anything for the peace of Ireland—he would even sacrifice some principles which he believed right. [Laughter.] Gentlemen might laugh; but, in these days of sacrificing all principles which had been hitherto held dear by Englishmen—their pledged word and plighted honour—he thought he would not be wrong in willingly sacrificing some small principle for the general welfare. He would yield to Gentlemen opposite a great deal—he would even do what he believed he might almost say to be wrong, if he thought he could thereby tranquillize his country. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen might laugh, it was perfectly indifferent to him; but he knew their policy. Was a question of this importance to be met in a manner which he might almost term contemptible by a great party in the State? With the known and boasted strength which hon. Gentlemen opposite possessed they ought to meet their opponents by argument, and not content themselves with relying on the number they knew would go with them to a division. The Conservative party knew their policy, and, unless the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury met them in a different spirit from that which he had hitherto shown, it would be their duty to oppose him in every way that the rules of the House allowed. How did the right hon. Gentleman close the debate on the occasion when he made that magnificent speech in which he explained the provisions of this Bill? At the close of that debate the right hon. Gentleman did not throw one single crumb of comfort to hon. Gentlemen opposed to him; but he said the debate had taught him he had not gone far enough, and he would endeavour to rob the Church of even more than was contemplated by the Bill as originally framed. He (Sir Hervey Bruce), had been willing at one time—contrary to the opinions of many with whom he was accustomed to act—to endeavour to make the best of the Bill and to improve it, had they been met in anything like a conciliatory spirit by the sacrilegious Ministry who were its authors. ["Oh, oh!"] Yes, there was Vauxhall going up again. How the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government could reconcile to himself the course which he had taken he was at a loss to understand. If it had been the President of the Board of Trade he should have respected his argument, because he had, all through his life, entertained views that the Protestant Church had no right to be established in Ireland; but when he looked to the right hon. gentleman (the First Minister) and considered all the circumstances which surrounded him—that he, till a year ago, had been one of the most prominent, if not the foremost, champion of the Irish Church—he could not help imputing to him this—that the time and opportunity which he had chosen to bring forward this measure would not raise his reputation in the opinion of the country. ["Oh!" and "Divide!"] Hon. Gentlemen opposite must not forget that he (Sir Hervey Bruce), was an Irishman, and that when he believed his duty called upon him to speak he was not so easily frightened as to sit down because hon. Gentlemen, even if they numbered all the Members upon the Benches opposite cried "Oh, oh!" and "Divide." He had not troubled the House often or unduly upon this subject, and he would not have spoken to night if hon. Gentlemen opposite had met their opponents in a fair and reasonable spirit instead of by dumb show and "Oh, oh!" speeches. This was a question which should not be hurried over in a single night, and he agreed with the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) that to destroy the Irish Church was a work of profligacy. ["Oh, oh!"] He used the word advisedly. He did not quite understand the force of the arguments of one hon. Gentleman opposite. If that hon. Gentleman meant to give it as his opinion that the Roman Catholic hierarchy and priesthood of Ireland ought to have been endowed in times past, he did not differ from him, and he thought that might have been a great blessing to the two countries. But now he had always understood that the Roman Catholic hierarchy would not receive any endowment or anything else from the English Government for that purpose. ["Divide!"] If hon. Gentlemen opposite really wished to divide, the division, when it came, would have the effect of putting an end to the prevalent noises; if they did not wish either to argue or to divide he could remain silent while they talked the language which they best understood. ["Oh, oh!"] If this interruption continued he would move the adjournment of the debate. He did not under-stand what Gentlemen on both sides of the House meant by "levelling up." It had been a cant phrase for the last year. If "levelling up" meant that there should be two Established Churches in the country he was opposed to it; if it meant that the Roman Catholic priest-hood should have had in times past a State provision to assist them in the religious teaching of their flocks, in that sense he should not be altogether opposed to levelling up, and he would not say that he should be altogether opposed to it now. Being a Protestant, and representing an essentially Protestant constituency, he wished that Mr. Pitt had, at the time of the Union, established the principle of endowing the Roman Catholic priesthood for those who were brought up in their faith. As to Maynooth, he looked upon that as standing on a different foundation, because he never should have been for educating any body of men in what he believed to be error. He begged to thank the House generally for the attention with which they had listened to him, and he was not in the least angry with those who had interrupted him. He should take every opportunity of opposing a measure fraught with such great injustice, unless the right hon. Gentleman opposite, in the future conduct of the Bill, expressed himself in very different terms from those in which he dosed the debate on the second reading.


said, he would not weary the House by reiterating arguments that had been already laid before them, but would state very shortly a view which had not yet been taken of the question. It would be absurd at that late period of the controversy to enter upon a lengthened discussion as to the precise meaning of the two words "disestablishment" and "disendowment," but he wished to point out one or two facts with regard to the first of them that might have escaped observation. He presumed he was not misinterpreting the words of hon. Members opposite when he said that the meaning they attached to the word "disestablishment" was simply that of severance of the connection between Church and State. But were those hon. Members quite certain that the effect of this Bill would be to sever the existing connection between the Church of Ireland and the State? In the first place, the connection between Church and State consisted solely in the supremacy of the Crown. But this Bill did not propose to repeal the Act of Supremacy, which was to be allowed to remain upon the statute book in full force. The House had heard a great deal about a sentimental grievance, and that it was an intolerable evil for the Irish people that they should have to submit to the spiritual supremacy of a Protestant Crown in matters ecclesiastical; and yet the Bill that was to remedy that grievance did not, in any way, touch the Royal Supremacy. It was, doubtless, quite competent for any of those Roman Catholic Members who had been silent in the course of this debate, so far as speech was concerned, but who had been vocal as far as other utterances went, to propose a clause in Committee to repeal the Act of Supremacy, but he was not aware, from the tone of the right hon. Gentleman, that any such clause would receive the support of her Majesty's Government. What the Bill as it now stood proposed to do was not to disestablish the Church of Ireland, but to reduce the Establishment. But even were they to repeal the Act of Supremacy, still another obstacle would remain to be overcome before the connection between the Church in Ireland and the State could be severed—namely, the Thirty-seventh Article of the Church of England, which prescribed that the Sovereign shall be supreme Governor of the Church; and he was not aware that it was possible for the House to repeal an Article of Faith of any religious body in the kingdom. He was satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman was not the man to attempt such a measure as the one he had indicated. It was true that the right hon. Gentleman had been educating himself, or rather he was being educated; but, although his education had progressed so far as to permit him to bring in a measure for the confiscation of the whole property of the Irish Church, he had not yet reached the point that would allow him to attempt to deal by Act of Parliament with the belief of any religious body in the country. As long, therefore, as the Articles of the Church remained unrepealed, the connection between the Church of Ireland and the State would continue to subsist. They were going to reduce the Irish Church, to take away its honours, its rank, its position, and its property, but they could not disestablish it. He knew there were many gentlemen, both Roman Catholics and others, who were opposed to State endowments; but was it right for the purpose of carrying out an abstract principle, to commit such an act of great and grievous injury to the Church of Ireland? It was said by whose who supported the Bill that justice to Ireland demanded that the Irish Church should cease to exist as at present established; but, from the conduct of the Irish people, it might be gathered that they were not very much interested in the question. The silence observed by the Irish Members, coupled with the singular unanimity with which they had voted in favour of the measure, was to him a convincing proof that to find the real agitation on this question the House must look beyond the Irish people. It was a matter of fact that day after day Petitions signed by Irish Roman Catholics were presented to that House against the Bill. It appeared to him not improbable that the Irish people might be induced to believe what they had been recently told, that the Irish Church was another of their grievances, but those who really regarded it as a grievance were the Roman Catholic priests of Ireland. He did not say that it was unnatural that the Irish Roman Catholic priesthood should be anxious to get rid of their successful rival; but he contended that their demand for its disestablishment and disendowment, even if natural, was not on that account legitimate. Then, again, a great deal had been said about religious equality. Now, religious equality was a very good thing—in fact, too good a thing for Ireland to monopolize. But in what did it consist? Hon. Members on the opposite side of the House must have been asleep for the last forty years, inasmuch as they appeared to ignore the course that legislation had taken during that period. The great measures which it was the boast of the Liberal party to have passed—the Catholic Emancipation Act, the Test and Corporation Act, and the Jewish Disabilities Act—what were they but the establishment of religious equality. It was not religious equality they were about to bestow upon Ireland, for Ireland possessed that been already; but they were about to confer upon her ecclesiastical equality, which was as different from religious equality as political was from civil equality. The one was an equality of rights, the other an equality of privileges. Every man was equal before the law, but our Constitution was built upon privilege. What was the House of Lords but a privileged order? What was the Royal Family but a privileged family? Why did the Speaker go to the Bar of the House of Lords at the commencement of every Parliament but to ask for certain privileges? What was household suffrage but the granting of a privilege of a certain character? They were asked to do that in matters ecclesiastical which they could not do in matters political. In seeking to do this let them beware that they did not bring down a house upon their heads. They were told that the proposed change would be a splendid thing for the Church, which was to be deprived of all its property. When he heard that argument he was reminded of a cartoon that had appeared in one of the popular periodicals about a month since, in which the right hon. Gentleman was represented as Prospero and the Irish Church as Ariel, and he was bidding her to be "free" and "farewell." Whether from regard to the feelings of the Lord Chamberlain or from a sense of public decorum, the figure was represented as draped; but he thought that in order to carry out the allegory it should have been stripped of every article of raiment. Two hypotheses were brought forward to justify this measure. First, there was the so-called historical hypothesis. It was said that the property of the Established Church formerly belonged to the Roman Catholics. That was "the badge of conquest" argument, and if it was a legitimate one, what did it lead to? That they should restore the property to the Roman Catholics. Why did they not do that? He came now to what might be described as the philosophical hypothesis, which was that the Church was the trustee of the nation, and that as the trust had been misapplied it ought to be confiscated. But when in any other case a trustee did not fulfil the trust, what did they do? Did they confiscate the property? No. They got rid of the trustee. This brought them to the policy which, when proposed, or supposed to have been proposed, by Gentlemen on the Opposition side of the House, was called "the levelling-up policy," and which when proposed by Gentlemen on the Ministerial side was called one of "concurrent endowment." If the Church of Ireland was the Church of only a small portion of the Irish people, and ought to be ousted from her trusteeship, why did not the Government propose the levelling-up policy? Because they dare not do so. An illustration applicable to the case of the Irish Church might be taken from a judgment pronounced some thousands of years ago by a very wise man. The dispute in that ancient case was between two ladies, which made it all the more interesting. The Judge proposed that the article in dispute should be dismembered and divided between them, or rather that it should cease to exist. One of the ladies assented; but her anxiety to accept those terms was accepted by Solomon as evidence which deprived her of all claim to any portion of the article. What he had said in the course of his remarks must not be regarded as his own views, or those of any other individual on that side of the House. He had endeavoured to put forward the propositions which had been advanced by Gentlemen on the other side of the House; but he had not expressed any opinion as to the truth of the hypotheses with which he had dealt. No one had contradicted him when he said that those hypotheses had been advanced. He had dealt with them because he thought they ought to secure some attention, and they had received more attention from the House than he had ventured to anticipate for them.


said, he was aware that when a party was determined to carry a question by the force of a great majority they might think it safe to go to a division without discussion, but he thought that there ought to have been some explanation from the Government as to the details of so important a measure when they asked the House to go into Committee on its clauses. No doubt it would be said by hon. Gentle- men on the Ministerial side that in Committee they would be perfectly prepared to discuss the Bill clause by clause; but he did not think it right that a measure which the Opposition believed would be so disastrous to the country should be hurried into Committee without discussion. What was the object of this Bill? To disestablish and disendow the Irish Church. Did the supporters of the Bill bear in mind that they were going to separate religion from the State, and to tell the people that religion was a matter with which the State would have nothing to do? The Bill was recommended on the grounds of religious equality; but the hon. Gentleman who had spoken last had pointed out the difference between religious equality and ecclesiastical equality. It was right that there should be religious equality; but if we destroyed the connection between Church and State we should become a godless nation. What would be the position of the right hon. Gentleman the head of Her Majesty's Government, when, having passed this Bill, he should be hounded on to disestablish the Church in Wales, and the Church in Scotland? Would he be as powerless then to resist such demands as he was now? Certainly he would, for the disestablishment of the Church in Ireland would be employed as an argument against him. Why, in Scotland especially, with which he was well acquainted, some such argument was already being employed. Every one who knew anything about Scotland knew perfectly well that the Established Church there was in a great minority. The Dissenters were in the ascendant, and those Dissenters said—"We look upon this Irish Church measure as merely a means towards the disestablishment of the Church of Scotland. We have supported Her Majesty's Government in this matter because we do not like Church Establishments of any kind. We, Dissenters in Scotland, are in the position of something like three to one to the Establishment, and we have supported the Government because we know that they must in time do the same thing in Scotland as they are about to do in Ireland." That was undoubtedly the view which Scotch Liberal Members took of the subject, who were ready to swallow the Maynooth bait, in the hope that they would be able ultimately to pull down the Scotch Establishment. It was not a matter upon which any doubt need exist, for the Scotch Members did not make any concealment of their opinions. Moreover, so high a personage as the President of the Board of Trade did not hesitate to write a letter to the people of Wales in which he urged upon them to support Her Majesty's Government on this occasion, because it would be a stepping stone towards the disestablishment of the Church in that country. He held that the House would do well to consider what it was about in this matter, and to weigh well the course which it was on the eve of adopting. True, it was not possible for the opponents of the Bill to defeat it by a numerical majority; but it was nevertheless their duty, both as a party and as men holding conscientious views upon the subject, to strive to have the country well informed upon the whole matter. He was persuaded that had not this question of the Irish Church been mixed up with a political party triumph, many people who supported the cry for disestablishment would not have done so. Had the country been properly informed upon what was to be done he felt sure it would have expressed a different opinion. He was sure that the country would in that case have repudiated a measure which must tend ultimately to its ruin. He should like to ask what was going to be done by this Bill? It might be said that the measure was an act of justice to Ireland. But it must be well known that the passing of the Bill would not make a single man in Ireland more loyal. If hon. Gentlemen opposite asserted that the disestablishment of the Church was to be made useful in the way of repressing Fenianism they knew nothing of the real facts of the case, for it was perfectly notorious that there was no connection whatever between Fenianism and the Church of Ireland. Moreover, granting that disestablishment would be an act of justice to Ireland, was it necessary to include disendowment in order to promote that object? Most certainly not. That had been made abundantly manifest by the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) whose arguments had not yet been answered nor were they capable of being answered. There could be no question that the way in which the Church property was to be dealt with was most unjust in principle. No object, for instance, was to be gained by not allowing the incumbents to purchase the glebe farms and the estates attached to them. If they were going to put the Church of Ireland upon the voluntary principle, and make the clergy support themselves, they should certainly be allowed to retain the lands which had been in their possession for centuries. His own opinion was that the glebes were being taken away from the clergy in order to prevent them holding the same rank and status in society which they at present did. He hoped that this portion of the Bill, at least, would be amended in Committee. Some hon. Gentlemen seemed to think that the various clauses of the Bill should be allowed to pass in dumb show, without the expression of any opinion on the part of those who opposed it, but that was an opinion which the country would not endorse. He trusted the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government—who, he believed, notwithstanding the policy which he now advocated, was sincerely attached to the Church of which he was a member,—would pause for a moment in the reckless career into which he was probably hurried by the forces behind him to ascertain whether he could not, at all events, mitigate to a greater degree the severity of the blow which he was about to inflict. He hoped, too, that hon. Gentlemen opposite would look upon the clauses relating to disendowment in a spirit more favourable to the Church, and would not regard any Amendments which might be proposed by those whose views on the subject were similar to his own as being brought forward merely for the purpose of obstructing the progress of the measure, but with the desire to preserve to the Church as much as possible of that property of which they sincerely believed she was about to be unjustly deprived.


I am sorry to have learnt, from what has fallen from many hon. Gentlemen who sit on the opposite side of the House, that they are not satisfied with the preponderance—the undoubted preponderance—which they have enjoyed during the evening in the number, the length, and, as they may probably think, the weight of their speeches. They have made it a charge against those on this side of the House that we have not been equally forward in exhibiting the desire which they have shown to prolong the debate on this question. It may, perhaps, be enough for us to shelter ourselves from that charge by the observation that many hon. Gentlemen of the highest authority on the Benches opposite—many Members of the late Government—appear to concur with us in the opinion that the time has come when discussion on this subject, as to its general principles, has reached such a stage that the most business-like course of proceeding for us to pursue would be to go into Committee to consider the details of the Bill. But surely nothing-can be more easy than for us to supply an answer to those who make it a ground of complaint against us that we have shown no great forwardness to prolong this debate, because in making that complaint they simply charge Gentlemen on this side of the House with declining to make speeches which they regard to be unnecessary, and every one of which would tend to postpone still further their arrival at that stage of the Bill which they think it useful and desirable to reach. In saying this, do not let it be for a moment supposed that, on my own part or on the part of anybody else, I complain of the course which has been pursued by the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), and by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Colonel Stuart Knox). If the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool (Viscount Sandon), who spoke to-night with his usual marked courtesy towards the House, considers that the eighteen months of discussion to which he referred are insufficient, undoubtedly he has a perfect right to ask for further debate. It is impossible to exaggerate the weight of this question, and though we may think it has been—to use an old form of expression—"bolted to the bran," and that all the arguments which exhibit its general bearings have been exhausted, yet it is fair to ask that we should be tolerant towards others who differ from us, and, accordingly, we do not make the smallest complaint of the desire of hon. Gentlemen to prolong the discussion this evening. But, indeed, I should be disposed to go further, and to state the reasons for the dissatisfaction we may entertain as to the course of the debate. In the first instance, I wish to notice very briefly two points in speeches delivered upon this side of the House—one by the hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs (Mr. Sinclair Aytoun), and the other by my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley). The hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs objects to the unconditional character of the provisions of the Bill with respect to the College of Maynooth, and thinks there is some exceptional favour indicated by our having laid down no special terms for the disposal of the money which will be paid over to the Maynooth trustees, whereas we have dealt particularly with the clergy of the Established Church and of the Presbyterian Church. Now, this distinction grows simply as a matter of form out of the fact that there are already in existence Acts of Parliament which prescribe the duties of the trustees of Maynooth. That there may be no doubt on the subject, I have placed words on the Paper in the nature of an Amendment, declaring the trusts under which this money will be vested in the trustees of Maynooth. I wish also to say that, although I do not think this is a convenient moment for entering into details, I will undertake to show my hon. Friend in Committee that the figures by which he thinks he proves that £200,000 is about to be granted by way of a sheer present to the trustees of Maynooth are figures which cannot be sustained, and that he has very greatly under-estimated the amount of irrefragable claims made on that fund by the parties interested. There was an observation of my hon. Friend which greatly struck me. It was that the Roman Catholic priesthood are more powerful in Ireland over their flocks than they are in any other Roman Catholic country. Well, Sir, as far as my knowledge goes, I believe there is great truth in that remark. It would probably be difficult to point out any European country in which the same amount of influence is wielded by the Roman Catholic clergy. But surely my hon. Friend himself will not fail to perceive the inference which ought to be drawn from this circumstance. If there does exist that great and extraordinary, and it may be—though it is not for me to enter into the question—that excessive power, surely it is owing to the policy which has been pursued by this county—the long-continued penal and restrictive system, the slow and imperfect relaxations to which, step by step, we have been driven. And if the fact on which my hon. Friend relies be irre- fragable, it is for us to quote that fact as the marked justification of what we deem the more complete and effectual policy which we are now pursuing. My hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley) intimated an opinion of which I am bound to take notice. He stated it was evident—and the allegation coming from him cannot be passed by—that the details of this Bill had been settled by myself and the Government in concert with the heads of the Roman Catholic Church. He referred, I presume, partly to the College of Maynooth, but he likewise referred, and in a pointed way, to the manner in which we proposed to deal with the disposal of the surplus. Now, I venture to tell my hon. Friend, both with regard to the College of Maynooth and to the disposal of the surplus, that the first intimation which the heads of the Roman Catholic Church received of the intentions of the Government was when those intentions were explained by me in this place. But now, Sir, with respect to the debate which we have heard, and of which I, for one, do not think we have any reason to complain, I cannot but observe that this debate has tended to illustrate what appears to me a most weighty and important proposition—namely, that the majority by which this Bill was read a second time does not really represent the full preponderance of weight and strength which is arrayed in its behalf, and for this simple reason, that I believe those who sit on this side of the House are perfectly aware of one another's meaning and intention with regard to all the main provisions of the Bill, and that they are entirely united in one and the same desire. That, however, cannot be said to be the case on the other side of the House. Is there the same union of sentiment? The hon. Member for South-west Lancashire (Mr. Cross) appears to assert the affirmative. Well, I do not deny that there is union of sentiment up to this point—a union of sentiment which leads Gentlemen, and which, no doubt, justifies them in crying "No!" when we cry "Aye!" on the subject of the Bill. But with that monosyllable the union terminates. I do not ask the hon. Member to accept that proposition on the strength of my assertion. I am not disposed to deal too much in general and unsustained assertions. I am challenged to-night by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Greene) to lay my hand on my heart and declare that I have taken a share in the introduction of the measure on its own merits, and not from party considerations. Well, Sir, I should have every disposition to accept the challenge of the hon. Member, and to perform the operation he referred to, except for the sad conviction which I entertain that, even if I went through it in the most unexceptionable manner, I should fail in producing the slightest effect upon his stubborn incredulity. I ask neither my hon. Friend nor any one else to accept my assertion; but I will go to particulars. What said an hon. Gentleman, who is one of the stoutest and sternest opponents of the Bill—the Member for Bury St. Edmunds? He said that if this were a proposal to divide the property of the Church between the present Establishment and the Church of Rome, he should think there would be a great deal to be said for it. But what said the seconder of the Motion (Colonel Stuart Knox)? The seconder of the Motion had the merit of originality. He struck out for himself a way in which no other Member of Parliament, as far as my attention to this debate has informed me, has thought proper to walk. The hon. and gallant Gentleman hoisted his banner for himself, and on his banner, as a remedy and as a mode of settlement for this great question, was inscribed, "The Report of the Church Commission." Such was his proposal. But the hon. Gentleman the Member for Coleraine (Sir Hervey Bruce) said he was prepared to accept the doctrine of concurrent endowment up to a certain point, and he echoed the opinions which have been propounded with great weight and authority from the Bench immediately opposite me. But at an interesting period of the debate there arose in his place a speaker who referred to the remarkable declaration of the right hon. and learned Member for the University, of Dublin (Dr. Ball), in which he distinctly pointed to concurrent endowment as the only true solution of this question. Another hon. Gentleman, however, the senior Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Leroy) rose in his place, and declared that he did so because he was compelled by his conscience and by the convictions of the great majority of his constituents, to disavow the sentiments of his right hon. and learned Colleague, and to assert that, in his opinion, the endowment of the Roman Catholic priesthood was a measure to which they entertained insurmountable objections. Am I nut, then, justified in saying, without asking- for the slightest credit to be given to any mere words of mine, that even the declarations of to-night are full of discrepancies as to the positive policy intended to be pursued by hon. Gentlemen opposite? And how are these opinions which I have quoted relished by the hon. Member who brings forward the present Motion (Mr. Newdegate)? I wish I could read the mind and heart of the hon. Member, and ascertain what he thinks of the plan of the Church Commission—of the plan of endowing the Roman Catholic clergy from the public funds, and last—though not least—of the plan of one of the stoutest champions on his side for dividing the property of the Establishment with the Roman Catholic priesthood. Sir, the noble Lord the Member for Liverpool (Viscount Sandon) made an elaborate argument in two parts, in which he said that, in the first place, he thought he had proved that the measure now proposed by the Government would be a heavy blow and a great discouragement to Protestants; and he next contended that it would also tend to encourage the Ultramontane party in the Church of Rome. And he thought it was the duty of the State to give encouragement to Protestantism. Well, Sir, that is a subject of difficulty, inasmuch as there may be differences of opinion in regard to the degree in which a Legislature professing to recognize the principles of religious tolerance and religious liberty can interfere to bias, one way or another, the religion of its people. But it is not necessary to enter into that question, for I join issue altogether with the noble Lord, and decline to admit that, in his language, this measure is a heavy blow and great discouragement, or in any sense—any true sense—a blow or a discouragement to Protestantism. The noble Lord thinks that he proves it by showing that the measure has the support of Roman Catholics. Well, Sir, is it by a Roman Catholic; majority that this measure has been carried? The Roman Catholic, I am thankful to say, in the enjoyment of equal rights, gives his vote on the same footing of full free- dom as every other Member of this House. But if every Roman Catholic Member chose of his own free will to walk out of the House, what influence would it have on the division? The voice of England, the voice of Scotland, the voice of Ireland have all separately and distinctly, as well as jointly, been given, and given conclusively, in support of this measure. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Lisburn (Mr. E. W. Verner) said he wished to consider the measure in its bearing on the Act of Union. But then he found a difficulty, that, inasmuch as this Parliament was not in the position of the Parliaments by which the basis of the Act of Union was laid, he required, as a preliminary to our considering the bearing of the measure on the Act of Union, that we should re-establish the two Parliaments which existed before the Act of Union. Sir, that is a most ingenious method on the part of the hon. Gentleman. I am quite sure it was not by one of those in cautions of language into which he or anybody else might be betrayed that he imposed an impossible condition to a demand which he thought himself justified in making. But our answer is this—We are perfectly satisfied, so far as Ireland is concerned, with the conclusive answer which she gave at the election to the appeal which was then made to her, and with the large majority of her representatives which she sent here to support the policy of Her Majesty's Government with respect to the Church Establishment. When it is said that we show an unwillingness to tread again a beaten path of argument on this subject, we may say that it is a beaten path, and that there is a time finall things and a limit to that time. But I must also say that there are some descriptions of argument much in vogue on the opposite side of the House with which it is difficult to deal. T own it was difficult to deal with the arguments used in the speech of the Mover of this Motion. What said the hon. Member? He said—"If you pass this Bill, nothing can prevent the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland." And why? He went on to give his reasons. Because, he said, his Holiness the Pope at Rome demanded and required it. Now, Sir, what astonishes me is this—that the hon. Gentleman, with his sound Protestantism, should recognize the demand of the Pope of Rome as an adequate and sufficient reason; or that he should have the credulity to suppose that the majority of his countrymen were ready to recognize such a demand. Whether that demand will be made I do not presume to say. The hon. Member, I dare say, is much better informed of the intentions of the Pope than I am. He has evidently acquired a familiarity with the probable movements of that great personage, for he meets him at every turn. When we point out to him the Presbyterians of Scotland ardently desiring this measure, his answer is that he can see under the gown of John Knox nothing but the spectre of the Pope of Rome. If we refer to the Nonconformists of England—that powerful body who certainly, as far as I can understand, will not consent to take a second place as compared with any other portion of the community or of the Christian world in claiming the honours of Protestantism—still the hon. Member cannot dislodge from his mind this extraordinary phantom, or free himself from the delusion that the whole agency, and the entire convictions of the Nonconformists, are to be referred to the secret and subtle influence of the Pope. Now, is it not pardonable in us if we decline to enter into detailed argumentation upon such wild chimeras as these. And am I not justified in offering one general reply to the hon. Gentleman in a few pithy words which occurred towards the close of his speech, where he said—"No man can argue with fears." The fears of the hon. Gentleman are so wakeful and so subtle that I think they would fairly elude any grasp that one might endeavour to lay on them. Be it recollected, then, in what position we stand with regard to this measure—the point that we have now reached when we are about to go into Committee on the Bill—that we have in this House the variety and diversity of declarations and intentions to which I have referred; and that we have in Ireland at least this advantage, although it is one that I cannot accept in a polemical sense without recording my personal regret that, by an authoritative manifestation of what may be called substantially a representative assembly—at least an assembly representative of the majority in the Irish Established Church, we have had within the last two days enunciated in the presence of the chief Prelates of the Church, and under the solemnities of an inauguration by the observance of Divine worship, declarations the most uncompromising, putting aside with contempt all those intermediate courses to which some Gentlemen here would allude, denouncing the Report of the Commissioners, denouncing the plan of concurrent endowment, and claiming of the Parliament that, under pain of being regarded as sacrilegious plunderers, we are to recognize and maintain that state of ecclesiastical arrangements which at present subsists in Ireland. Well, Sir, having the issue thus plainly before us, we understand our duty, and I think I may say we shall perform it. But one other challenge I have to notice—namely, that of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Salford (Mr. Charley), who told us that the Throne of this country rested upon Protestant ascendancy. Sir, the Throne of this country is connected with the profession of Protestantism. Par be it from me to deny that, nor do I know that that fact has ever been made the subject of complaint by our Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen. I think they feel that the respect which is due to the majority of British subjects, and to their convictions, would stop their mouths against complaining of such a constitutional arrangement. But, Sir, that is one thing to say. It is quite another thing to hold that the Throne of this country rests upon Protestant ascendancy. The Protestant profession of the Sovereign or of the Heir Apparent does not imply that which we understand, and that which Ireland has experienced, under the name of Protestant ascendancy. I dispute and deny the doctrine of the hon. and learned Gentleman in any form in which he can place it. I deny that it is true at this moment—I deny that it has been true at any period of our history. It certainly was not true at the time when the negotiations of Charles I. substantially proceeded to the point of a perfect willingness to recognize that which was then the status quo—the actual condition of things in Ireland at the time when, in the year 1644, the Roman Catholics were in possession of the larger portion both of the churches and of the Church property of the country. But perhaps you may say, and say with truth, that at that time the battle of the Churches, so to speak, had not been fought out, and that Charles I. himself was not to be regarded as an orthodox champion of Protestantism or foe of the Church of Rome. "Well, supposing it to be so, what are we to say to William III.? At any rate there is no doubt of his Protestantism. The faith of all Englishmen, and particularly of all Irishmen, in the convictions of William III. has not been shaken, and he will be regarded as no hostile witness in a matter that concerns the relations of the two Churches or the two religions of Ireland. Yet we find it upon record that William III. did not believe it to be necessary to maintain even in that day this system of Protestant ascendancy towards the Roman Catholics. Unfortunately the conflict and struggle in Ireland gave a new course, it is true, to events, and that sagacious King conceived there, as he had previously conceived in Scotland, that he was compelled to choose his part, and when he thought that the time had come he chose it. But what had he done in the meantime? It is upon record, in the letters of Dean Swift, written by Sir Charles Wogan, a person immediately connected with those who gave the direct evidence in the case, that William III. made an offer to the Roman Catholics shortly after his arrival in this country which is described in the passage that I am about to read— The Prince was touched with the fate of a gallant nation that had made itself a victim of French promises, and ran headlong to its ruin for the only purpose in fact of advancing the French conquests in the Netherlands, under the favour of that hopeless diversion in Ireland which gave work enough to 40,000 of the best troops of the grand alliance of Augsburg. He longed to find himself at the head of so strong a reinforcement. In this anxiety he offered the Irish Catholics the free exercise of their religion, half the churches of the kingdom, half the employments civil and military too, if they pleased, and even the moiety of their ancient properties. That offer was made at a time when the Roman Catholics of Ireland were sanguine in the anticipation that they would, by their courage and devotion, succeed in re-establishing a monarch of their own religion. It was—perhaps we ought to gay unhappily, but at any rate it was upon those grounds declined; and the consequence has been that the history of Ireland from that day to this has run in an unhappy channel. Do not let it be supposed by the hon. and learned Gen- tleman, or anyone else, that we, who stand here, stand here as the promoters of an unheard-of innovation, and that we are not prepared to travel back into the scenes of former days, and show that long generations ago there was the authority of the greatest and the wisest men for measures which in principle are associated with those which we now propose. Sir, it is unnecessary for me to detain the House. I thought that in the debate which has-occurred to-night, as a mark of due respect from the Government, some at least of the main points which have been referred to should be noticed; and I own I was not sorry to have an opportunity of pointing to that division of counsels declared to-night within the hearing of us all, which ought to operate as a lesson of prudence to hon. Gentlemen who pit opposite, and which must undoubtedly operate as a lesson of encouragement to those who sit on this side of the House.


I do not intend to detain the House at any length, but I wish to explain the course which I shall take upon a division, if a division is asked for. I think I have given ample evidence to the House of my sincerity in consenting to go into Committee, as I have already prepared some work for consideration which will probably take up some of our time and attention, and I came down to the House tonight ready to enter into the discussions which were likely to arise in connection with these matters. At the same time, I must say that I do not think the right hon. Gentleman or his Friends can be astonished that discussion upon the principle of the Bill should have been desired by Gentlemen on this side. When the right hon. Gentleman introduced his measure to us, he described it, and properly described it, as one of the greatest issues that had ever been submitted to Parliament; and the right hon. Gentleman, with his experience of the House of Commons, must feel that probably no measure of so vast a character had been discussed in so short a period. I believe the whole discussion lasted only four days, and that, certainly, for the most important issue that had ever been submitted to Parliament was not extravagant. In point of fact, it was recognized by myself, and by those with whom I act, that it was just to the Government to give them an opportunity before Easter of taking the decision of the House upon the second reading, and therefore every attempt was made compatible with a fairly adequate discussion to arrive at that result. But I felt at the time, and all must have felt, that a great many hon. Gentlemen—and hon. Gentlemen who had a right to express their opinions—were debarred of the opportunity which they were entitled to count upon. And considering that the debate of to-night has been kept up only by one side, and that to keep up a debate in that manner is one of the most difficult things in the world, I must say—it would be invidious to point to any speeches in particular—that, generally speaking, they have been some of the best I ever heard. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) himself has referred to the speech of my noble Friend the Member for Liverpool (Viscount Sandon), which I think reflected great credit on the House, and there were other speeches to which I listened with interest and attention. I make these observations because some who are not so experienced in the ways of the House may conclude, from the tone—I thought the not very Parliamentary tone—of those who have condemned the course that has been taken by my hon. Friends that something had been done which is unwarrantable and unusual. It is not unusual, and, in the present state of the case, it was not unwarrantable; on the contrary, I think it was perfectly justified. I do not know what is the course that the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) intends to take—whether he intends to call for a division on his Motion or not. I myself should regret it if he does, because I think it is impolitic to perpetually have divisions upon the principles of great measures and so realizing results not so favourable as those previously. But, of course, the hon. Gentleman will take the line which he thinks proper. I can only express for myself a hope that, after that division, there will be no further obstacle to the right hon. Gentleman's Motion for going into Committee. It will receive no opposition from me, or from those with whom I act. I do not, however, consider this evening as wasted. I think it was desirable that on the principle of the measure there should have been more discussion than took place under the peculiar circumstances of the case, before Easter, and that an opportunity of expressing their views should have been given to those hon. Gentlemen who wished to address the House on the subject. At the same time I must express a hope—and it is most desirable for the sake of Public Business, and, indeed, for the sake of those principles and arrangements which we on this side are anxious to uphold—that no further obstacle should be offered to the right hon. Gentleman in going into Committee, because one of the advantages which I anticipate from going into Committee is not only that we may possibly achieve some important results, which is obvious, but I think we shall find a solution of those difficulties which haunt and amuse the imagination of the right hon. Gentleman as to the difference of opinions and counsels prevailing on this side of the House. I do look forward to the Committee as giving an opportunity of showing that our opinions on all important points are compact and well-considered, and I trust may even recommend themselves to the House so generally that we may have in their support some assistance from hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 355; Noes 229: Majority 126.

Acland, T. D. Blennerhassett, Sir R.
Agar-Ellis, hn. L. G. F. Bolckow, H. W. F.
Akroyd, E. Bonham-Carter, J.
Allen, W. S. Bowring, E. A.
Amcotts, Col. W. C. Brady, J.
Amory, J. H. Brand, right hon. H.
Anderson, G. Brand, H. R.
Anstruther, Sir R. Brassey, H. A.
Antrobus, E. Brewer, Dr.
Armitstead, G. Bright, J. (Manchester)
Ayrton, A. S. Bright, rt. hon. J.
Aytoun, R. S. Brinckman, Capt.
Backhouse, E. Brocklehurst, W. C.
Baines, E. Brown, A. H.
Baker, R. B. W. Bruce, Lord C.
Barclay, A. C. Bruce, Lord E.
Barry, A. H. S. Bruce, rt. hon. H. A.
Bass, M. A. Buller, Sir E. M.
Baxter, W. E. Burke, Viscount
Bazley, T. Bury, Viscount
Beaumont, Capt. F. Butler-Johnstone, H. A.
Beaumont, S. A. Buxton, C.
Beaumont, W. B. Cadogan, hon. F. W.
Bentall, E. H. Campbell, H.
Biddulph, M. Candlish, J.
Bingham, Lord Cardwell, rt. hon. E.
Blake, J. A. Carington, hon. Cap. W.
Carnegie, hon. C. Forster, rt. hon. W, E.
Cartwright, W. C. Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P.
Castlerosse, Viscount Fortescue, hon. D. F.
Cave, T. Fothergill, R.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Fowler, W.
Cavendish, Lord G. French, rt. hon. Col.
Chadwick, D. Gavin, Major
Chambers, T. Gilpin, C.
Childers, rt. hn. H. C. E. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Cholmeley, Capt. Gladstone, W. H.
Cholmeley, Sir M. Goldsmid, Sir F. H.
Clay, J. Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Clement, W. J. Gower, Lord R.
Clive, Col. E. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Cogan, rt. hn. W. H. F. Gourley, E. T.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Graham, W.
Coleridge, Sir J. D. Grant, Colonel hon. J.
Collier, Sir R. P. Gray, Sir J.
Colthurst, Sir G. C. Gregory, W. H.
Corbally, M. E. Greville, Captain
Cowen, J. Greville-Nugent, Col.
Cowper, hon. H. F. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Cowper, rt. hon. W. F. Grieve, J. J.
Craufurd, E. H. J. Grosvenor, Earl
Crawford, R. W. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Crossley, Sir F. Grosvenor, Capt. R. W
Dalglish, R. Grove, T. F.
Dalrymple, D. Hadfield, G.
D'Arcey, M. P. Hamilton, E. W. T.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Hamilton, J. G. C.
Davies, R. Hanmer, Sir J.
Davison, J. R. Harcourt. W. G. G. V. V.
De La Poer, E. Hardcastle, J. A.
Denison, E. Harris, J. D.
Denman, hon. G. Hartington, Marquess of
Dent, J. D. Haviland-Burke, E.
Devereux, R. J. Hay, Lord J.
Dickinson, S. S. Headlam, rt. hon. T. E.
Digby, K. T. Henderson, J.
Dilke, C. W. Henley, Lord
Dillwyn, L. L. Herbert, H. A.
Dixon, G. Hibbert, J. T.
Dodds, J. Hoare, Sir H. A.
Dodson, J. G. Hodgkinson, G.
Downing, M'C. Holms, J.
Dowse, R. Hoskyns, C. Wren-
Duff, M. E. G. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Duff, R. W. Hughes, T.
Dundas, F. Hughes, W. B.
Edwardes, hon. Col. W. Hutt, rt. hon. Sir W.
Edwards, H. Illingworth, A.
Egerton, Capt. hon. F. James, H.
Ellice, E. Jardine, R.
Enfield, Viscount Jessel, G.
Ennis, J. J. Johnston, A.
Erskine, Vice-Ad. J. E. Johnstone, Sir H.
Esmonde, Sir J. King, hon. P. J. L.
Ewing, A. O. Kinglake, J. A.
Ewing, H. E. C. Kingscote, Colonel
Eykyn, R. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Fagan, Captain Kirk, W.
Fawcett, H. Knatchbull - Hugessen
Finnie, W.
FitzGerald, right hon. Lord O. A. Layard, rt. hon. A. H.
Lambert, N. G.
Fitzmaurice, Lord E. Lancaster, J.
FitzPatrick, rt. hn. J. W. Lawrence, J. C.
Fitzwilliam, hn. C. W. W. Lawrence, W.
Fitzwilliam, hon. H. W. Lawson, Sir W.
Fletcher, I. Lea, T.
Foljambe, F.J. S. Leatham, E. A.
Fordyce, W. D. Lee, W.
Forster, C. Lefevre, G. J. S.
Lewis, J. D. Potter, E.
Loch, G. Potter, T. B.
Locke, J. Power, J. T.
Lorne, Marquess of Price, W. E.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Price, W. P.
Lush, Dr. Ramsden, Sir J. W.
Lusk, A. Rathbone, W.
Lyttelton, hon. C. G. Rebow, J. G.
M'Arthur, W. Reed, C.
M'Clean, J. R. Richard, H.
M'Clure, T. Richards, E. M.
M'Combie, W. Robertson, D.
MacEvoy, E. Roden, W. S.
Macfie, R. A. Rothschild, Brn. L. N. de
Mackintosh, E. W. Rothschild, N. M. de
M'Lagan, P. Russell, A.
M'Laren, D. Russell, F. W.
M'Mahon, P. Russell, H.
Magniac, C. Russell, Sir W.
Maguire, J. F. Rylands, P.
Maitland, Sir A. C. R. G. St. Aubyn, J.
Marling, S. S. St. Lawrence, Viscount
Martin, C. W. Salomons, Mr. Ald.
Martin, P. W. Samuda, J. D'A.
Matheson, A. Samuelson, B.
Mathews, H. Samuelson, H. B.
Melly, G. Sartoris, E. J.
Merry, J. Scott, Sir W.
Miall, E. Seely, C.
Milbank, F. A. Shaw, R.
Miller, J. Shaw, W.
Milton, Viscount Sheridan, H. B.
Mitchell, T. A. Sherlock, D.
Moncreiff, rt. hon. J. Sherriff, A. C.
Monk, C. J. Simeon, Sir J.
Monsell, rt. hon. W. Simon, Mr. Serjeant
Moore, C. Smith, J. B.
Moore, G. H. Smith, T. E.
Morgan, G. O. Stacpoole, W.
Morley, S. Stanley, hon. W. O.
Morrison, W. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Mundella, A. J. Stapleton, J.
Muntz, P. H. Stepney, Colonel
Murphy, N. D. Stevenson, J. C.
Nicholson, W. Stone, W. H.
Nicol, J. D. Strutt, hon. H.
Norwood, C. M. Sullivan, rt. hon. E.
O'Brien, Sir P. Sykes, Colonel W. H.
O'Conor, D. M. Synan, E. J.
O'Conor Don, The Talbot, C. R. M.
O'Donoghue, The Taylor, P. A.
Ogilvy, Sir J. Tite, W.
O'Loghlen, rt. hon. Sir C. M. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Tomline, G.
Onslow, G. Torrens, R. R.
O'Reilly-Dease, M. Torrens, W. T. M'C.
O'Reilly, M. W. Tracy, hon. C. R. D. H.
Otway, A. J. Trelawny, Sir J. S.
Palmer, J. H. Trevelyan, G. O.
Parker, C. S. Vandeleur, Colonel
Parry, L. Jones- Verney, Sir H.
Pease, J. W. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Vivian, A. P.
Peel, A. W. Vivian, H. H.
Pelham, Lord Vivian, Capt. hn. J. C. W.
Philips, R. N. Walter, J.
Pim, J. Wedderburn, Sir D.
Platt, J. Weguelin, T. M.
Playfair, L. Wells, W.
Plimsoll, S. West, H. W.
Pochin, H. D. Westhead, J. P. B.
Pollard-Urquhart, W. Whalley, G. H.
Portman, hon. W. H. B. Whatman, J.
Whitbread, S. Winterbotham, H. S. P.
White, hon. Capt. C. Woods, H.
White, J. Young, A. W.
Whitwell, J. Young, G. [356]
Whitworth, T.
Williams, W. TELLERS.
Williamson, Sir H. Glyn, G. G.
Willyams, E. W. B. Adam, W. P.
Wingfield, Sir C.
Adderley, rt. hn. C. B. Dickson, Major A. G.
Allen, Major Dimsdale, R.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Disraeli, rt. hon. B.
Archdall, Capt. M. Drax, J. S. W. S. E.
Arkwright, A. P. Duncombe, hon. Col.
Arkwright, R. Du Pre, C. G.
Assheton, R. Dyke, W. H.
Bagge, Sir W. Dyott, Colonel R.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Eastwick, E. B.
Ball, J. T. Eaton, H. W.
Baring, T. Egerton, hon. A. F.
Barnett, H. Egerton, E. C.
Barrington, Viscount Egerton, Sir P. G.
Barrow, W. H. Egerton, hon. W.
Barttelot, Colonel Elcho, Lord
Bateson, Sir T. Elliot, G.
Bathurst, A. A. Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H.
Beach, Sir M. H. Feilden, H. M.
Beach, W. W. B. Fellowes, E.
Bective, Earl of Fielden, J.
Bentinck, G. C. Figgins, J.
Benyon, R. Finch, G. H.
Booth, Sir R. G. Floyer, J.
Bourke, Hon. R. Forde, Colonel
Bourne, Colonel Forester, rt. hon. Gen.
Bright, R. Fowler, R. N.
Brise, Colonel R. Garlies, Lord
Brodrick, hon. W. Gilpin, Colonel
Bruce, Sir H. H. Goldney, G.
Bruen, H. Gore, J. R. O.
Buckley, E. Gore, W. R. O.
Burrell, Sir P. Graves, S. R.
Cameron, D. Gray, Lieut.-Col.
Cartwright, F. Greaves, E.
Cave, right hon. S. Greene, E.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. Gregory, G. B.
Chaplin, H. Guest, A. E.
Charley, W. T. Gurney, rt. hon. R.
Child, Sir S. Hambro, C. T.
Clifton, Sir R. J. Hamilton, Lord C.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W. Hamilton, Lord G.
Clowes, S. W. Hamilton, I. T.
Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Hamilton, Marquess of
Corbett, Colonel Hardy, rt. hon. G.
Corrance, F. S. Hardy, J.
Corry, rt. hon. H. T. L. Hardy, J. S.
Courtenay, Viscount Hay, Sir J. C. D.
Crichton, Viscount Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Croft, Sir H. G. D. Henniker-Major, hon. J. M.
Cross, R. A.
Cubitt, G. Henry, J. S.
Cunliffe, J. C. P. Herbert, rt. hn. Gen. P.
Curzon, Viscount Hermon, E.
Dalrymple, C. Hervey, Lord A. H. C.
Dalway, M. R. Hesketh, Sir T. G.
Damer, Capt. Dawson- Heygate, Sir F. W.
Davenport, W. B. Hick, J.
Dawson, R. P. Hildyard, T. B. T.
De Grey, hon. T. Hill, A. S.
Denison, C. B. Hoare, P. M.
Dick, F. Hodgson, W. N.
Holford, R. S. Powell, W.
Holmesdale, Viscount Raikes, H. C.
Holt, J. M. Read, C. S.
Hood, Captain hon. A. W. A. N. Ridley, M. W.
Round, J.
Hope, A. J. B. B. Royston, Viscount
Hornby, E. K. Sandon, Viscount
Howes, E. Sclater-Booth, G.
Hunt, right hn. G. W. Scott, Lord H. J. M. D.
Ingram, H. F. M. Scourfield, J. H.
Jackson, R. W. Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.
Jenkinson, Sir G. S.
Johnston, W. Shirley, S. E.
Kavanagh, A. M. Sidebottom, J.
Kekewich, S. T. Simonds, W. B.
Keown, W. Smith, A.
Knightley, Sir R. Smith, F. C.
Lacon, Sir E. H. K. Smith, R.
Laird, J. Smith, S. G.
Langton, W. H. P. G. Smith, W. H.
Lefroy, A. Stanley, hon. F.
Legh, W. J. Starkie, J. P. C.
Lennox, Lord G. G. Stopford, S. G.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Stronge, Sir J. M.
Leslie, C. P. Sturt, H. G.
Lindsay, Col. R. L. Sturt, Lieut.-Col. N.
Lopes, H. C. Sykes, C.
Lopes, Sir M. Talbot, J. G.
Lowther, W. Taylor, rt. hon. Col.
Manners, rt. hon. Ld. J. Thynne, Lord H. F.
Maxwell, W. H. Tipping, W.
Meller, Colonel Tollemache, J.
Meyrick, T. Trevor, Lord A. E. H.
Milles, hon. G. W. Turner, C.
Mills, C. H. Turnor, E.
Mitford, W. T. Vance, J.
Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R. Verner, E. W.
Montgomery, Sir G. G. Verner, W.
Morgan, C. O. Vickers, S.
Morgan, hon. Major Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Mowbray, rt. hn. J. R. Walsh, hon. A.
Neville-Grenville, R. Waterhouse, S.
Newport, Viscount Welby, W. E.
Noel, Hon. G. J. Wethered, T. O.
North, Colonel Wheelhouse, W. S. J.
Northcote, right hon. Sir S. H. Whitmore, H.
Williams, F. M.
O'Neill, hon. E. Wilmot, H.
Paget, R. H. Wise, H. C.
Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J. Wright, Colonel
Palk, Sir L. Wyndham, hon. P.
Parker, Major W. Wynn, C. W. W.
Patten, rt. hn. Col. W. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Peek, H. W.
Pemberton, E. L. Newdegate, C. N.
Percy, Earl Knox, hon. Colonel S.
Phipps, C. P.

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

Bill considered in Committee.


I rise, Sir, to move that the Committee report Progress, and I take this opportunity of appealing to the hon. Baronet the Member for North Wiltshire to ask him, in deference, I think, to the general wishes of the House, to forbear pressing his Motion to-morrow evening in order to allow of our proceeding with this Bill.

House resumed.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.


in answer to the appeal from the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, said, that he would consult with his Friends between this and to-morrow evening, and give an answer at the re-assembling of the House.

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