§ Order of the Day for Consideration of the Lords Amendments read.
In rising to move, Sir, that the House do proceed to consider the Lords' Amendments to the Irish Church Bill I shall designedly, for the convenience of the House and for other reasons, avoid making any general statement of the character of those Amendments, which might, possibly, be the occasion of debate; but, of course, I do not presume to interfere with the discretion of other Members. I think, however, it will be for the convenience of the House that I should, very briefly, and in the way of Parliamentary notice, run over, not the whole of the Amendments made by the other House—which are necessarily very numerous, and some of only secondary importance—but the principal ones, and that I should describe the course the Government propose to take upon them. The first is the Amendment in the Preamble, and I shall move to disagree from that Amendment, and to replace it by the original words. The second Amendment refers to the date at which the Bill shall come into operation, and I shall move to replace the date adopted by this House. The third is the Amendment with regard to curates, and I shall move to disagree from that Amendment as it stands, but shall propose a substitute, which will be a modification of the plan as it went from this House. With regard to the fourth Amendment, as to the tax on the clerical income to be handed over to the Church Body, I shall move that it be not agreed to. The fifth Amendment provides, in the 20th clause, for the protection of annuitants—a subject which was not disposed of in this House, and I shall move that that should be agreed to, with Amendments. The 1892 sixth Amendment is the fourteen years' clause, or commutation clause, and I shall move to disagree from that clause; but I shall propose, by way of amendment to the original plan, an addition to the clause, the nature of which I will state at the proper time. The seventh Amendment relates to the glebe and house, and removes all conditions on the possession of them and gives them without payment. I shall move to disagree from that Amendment. The eighth Amendment relates to what is called the Ulster glebes, or what are more properly described as the Royal grants. I shall move to disagree from that Amendment. The ninth Amendment relates to the deduction of the poor rate from the price of the tithe rent-charge. I shall move to disagree from that. The tenth Amendment relates to the residuary property, and with respect to that I shall move an Amendment consequential on the Amendment in the Preamble, and shall propose to insert words to provide against the loss by Parliament of the control of the surplus in the interval which might elapse before further legislation. There is another consequential Amendment in respect to the restoration of words in the Preamble—I mean the Amendment with respect to the clause aiming at what is called concurrent endowment; I shall move when the time comes to strike out that clause. I now move, Sir, that we consider the Lords' Amendments.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, I feel less surprise, after the right hon. Gentleman's statement, than I otherwise should have done that he has offered to us so short an explanation of the course he intends to pursue, because I learn with sorrow from the right hon. Gentleman that he is going to advise the House—as I infer from his statement—to disagree, generally speaking, with the Loads' Amendments. Now, Sir, there is no position more difficult at all times in our Parliamentary life than when the two Houses of the Legislature are not in accord upon matters of great public moment; but, at the same time, I think it is exactly the position which requires from this House great forbearance and temperate feeling in discussing the points on which the two Houses differ. Before proceeding to consider the Amendments of the Lords, I would remind the House that, though there may be differences of opinion between this and the other House 1893 of Parliament on many points in respect to this Bill, those differences have occurred under circumstances which do not for a moment justify the relative position of the two Houses towards each other being described as one of a hostile character. There have been occasions when the two Houses have differed, and differed under circumstances which made it impossible that it should not be felt in this House that the other House of Parliament had taken with respect to us a position of defiance and extreme antagonism. That cannot be said in the present case. ["Oh, oh!"] Well, I do not know what might be the feeling of the other House if they heard those sounds; but I am sure they give us credit for being willing to consider these grave matters with the responsibility that becomes our position. I say that there is not on this subject that spirit of hostility and antagonism which upon some important occasions has unfortunately existed between the two Houses of Parliament. Because, we must remember this, that the other House of Parliament commenced its labours on the Bill by a very significant testimony to it, which showed that it was their desire to act in no hostile spirit towards this House. There can be no doubt that the great, or a considerable, majority of the Members of the other House were opposed to the principle of the measure, and to the policy of the right hon. Gentleman; but, in deference to what they believed to be the opinion of the country, and seeing that the policy of the Government was approved by a commanding majority in the House of Commons, the other House did, by no insignificant majority, accept the principle of this measure. And many of those who did accept the principle of the measure were themselves opposed to it. That is significant testimony that the other House of Parliament was anxious, if possible, to come to an understanding on this important subject with the House of Commons. Under these circumstances—though I do not say that this House ought to relinquish its opinions—yet we are bound to admit that the Amendments of the Lords are entitled to peculiar attention. In referring to the position—the painful and perilous position in which the two Houses are always necessarily placed when differences occur between them—I must say 1894 that I attribute that position to two causes. In the first place the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, when he adopted a course which I am willing to admit (and I have given unequivocal proof of the sincerity of my opinion in this respect) the nation adopted and the House of Commons supported, made certain declarations which form one of the causes of the misconception which has occurred in respect of this matter, and of the difficult position in which we find ourselves placed in reference to the other House of Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman, in reference to a measure of an important political matter, and of a most complicated nature, made a declaration of certain abstract principles. Now, I do not think it possible to treat successfully political matters of any kind by the application of abstract principles, and I do not think we can have any better proof of this than what has occurred in the case of the right hon. Gentleman, for, having announced his abstract principles, we found the moment he introduced the measure he deviated from those abstract principles in every instance. For example the light hon. Gentleman laid down as one of his abstract principles on which the measure was to be founded that there should be complete and perfect ecclesiastical equality. Well, that was an abstract principle, no doubt, of much pretension; but when the Bill was introduced, and the right hon. Gentleman had to deal practically with the question, he found it necessary to deviate from that principle. He made a proposal that did not establish complete ecclesiastical equality. He proposed that churches and glebe houses should be possessed by the ministers of one Church, but he did not profess to give them to those of any other Church. That is an instance showing that, though it may be easy to lay down abstract principles in political matters, it is not so easy to abide by them. The right hon. Gentleman announced another chief principle of this measure, and that was that no part of the confiscated funds of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Ireland should be applied to any religious purpose. Yet in the Bill, as introduced, we found a remarkable deviation from that principle. There are other instances, which I cannot recollect at this moment, but which, no doubt, will recur 1895 to the minds of those who take an interest in this subject, of deviations from what were said to be the leading principles of the Bill; but what I wish to impress upon the House is that the great majority of the Lords' Amendments are not any deviation from the policy laid down in the Bill. They may be deviations from the abstract principles laid down by the right hon. Gentleman in his speeches, and which hon. Gentlemen opposite sometimes quote in vindication of their votes; but I say that the great majority of the Amendments only carry out to a greater degree the abstract principles announced by the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman, for example, proposes that the Protestant Episcopal Church shall have her churches and glebe houses; the House of Lords, considering the question, have indicated their opinion that something more should be done in the same direction, and that, Sir, is a question of degree between the two Houses. In fact, so far as the great majority of these Amendments are concerned, it is a question of degree, and therefore it is, I apprehend, a question to which the House should address itself, whatever may be individual opinions, with a temperate feeling, and with some desire to arrive at a common conclusion. There is, to my mind, no opposition to the principles on which the policy of the right hon. Gentleman is founded in any of these Amendments; they merely pursue the policy he introduced and recommended to a greater degree than the right hon. Gentleman himself recommended in the Bill which passed this House. I think, therefore, we have arrived at some of the difficulties we experience in this matter because, having introduced a measure founded on abstract principles which the House accepted, the right hon. Gentleman in carrying them into effect necessarily, as in all political matters, in order to bring about a particular result, was obliged to deviate from those abstract principles. The question, then, for us to consider is whether the deviation he proposes, or that suggested in these matters by the House of Lords, is, on the whole, the most satisfactory. There is another reason why I think we have arrived at a less agreeable position than we might have held in this matter, and that is from the very slight and imperfect manner in which the details of the 1896 measure have been debated in this House. Unquestionably there was a very fair, and, I will say, adequate discussion of the principle of the measure. It was not more than an adequate discussion—it was not an excessive discussion. I myself endeavoured, as far as I could, to prevent it from reaching an extravagant point, because I thought it was of importance to the Government, and it was for the interest of the country, that before Easter we should come to some decision upon the measure. But no one can pretend that time was wasted, or the attention of the House extravagantly or unreasonably appealed to, so far as regards the discussion of the principle of the measure. I do not complain of that; I think there was, if not an excessive, an adequate discussion of the principle; but when we come to the Committee, I do not consider that there was a fair and complete discussion of the provisions of the measure. So far as we are concerned on this side of the House—although we highly objected to the principle of the measure, yet looking to the great majority by which the second reading was carried, we did, so far as we could, in all sincerity propose a variety of Amendments carrying into effect a policy not dissimilar in principle to that adopted by the right hon. Gentleman, but which carried out that policy to a further extent, and which we believed would have mitigated many evils, and, perhaps, removed them. But on all these Amendments there was no real discussion so far as the body of the House is concerned. The Amendments were brought forward either by myself or by one of my Friends, and they were immediately answered by the right hon. Gentleman or one of his Friends; but we never could get at the opinion of independent Members of the House. ["Oh, oh!"] That is my impression. I have had some experience in this House. I may be mistaken, but if it is a mistake on my part it is shared by a great many Gentleman on both sides of the House. I think it would have been very advantageous if these propositions had been well discussed in Committee. If we could have obtained the opinion of hon. Gentlemen opposite more completely on these matters the Bill would have gone up to the House of Lords probably in a different shape, and there would have been less cause 1897 for discussion upon the Amendments now before us. Well, Sir, I have ventured to make these observations. I think these are the two causes which have conduced to place us in the difficult—certainly not agreeable—position in which we find ourselves. Following the example of the right hon. Gentleman, however, I will not now enter into any general discussion upon the policy which has been pursued by the Government with respect to these Amendments. It will be more convenient that we should enter into their discussion as the different Amendments are brought forward. I am glad to hear from the right hon. Gentleman that he at once proposes to come to the consideration of the Amendment in the Preamble; because it seems to me that the Amendment in the Preamble involves almost all the important considerations, and I should hope that the division on that subject may probably prevent us from trespassing more than is necessary upon the indulgence of the House. With these observations I am quite prepared to proceed with the consideration of the Amendments seriatim.
§ Lords' Amendments considered.
The first Amendment, in page 1, lines 8 to 15, to leave out the words—
Held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any Church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion: And it is further expedient that the said property, or the proceeds thereof, should be appropriated mainly to the relief of unavoidable calamity and suffering, yet so as not to cancel or impair the obligations now attached to property under the Acts for the relief of the poor," and insert the words "applied in such manner as Parliament shall hereafter direct,
—read a second time.
I now, Sir, propose that the Lords' Amendment to the Preamble be considered; and I must beg the House to remember the announcement I formerly made was merely intended to signify our intentions as to the points that should be raised for the convenience of the House, and I have not, further than my words absolutely implied, indicated the intentions of the Government with respect to the precise mode of dealing with the subjects. Indeed, I wish now to repair one omission I made with respect to the Royal grants or Ulster glebes. Our intention is to 1898 move that the House do disagree from that Amendment; but I ought to have prefaced that with the statement that we propose to agree to the Amendment which gave the sum of £500,000 as the estimate made by Government for the private endowments of the Irish Church. Now, with respect to the Amendment in the Preamble, the first words struck out by the Lords are these—(after satisfying, so far as possible, upon principles of equality as between the several religious denominations in Ireland, all just and equitable claims, the property of the said Church of Ireland, or the proceeds thereof, should)—now follow the words omitted—Be held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any Church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion: And it is further expedient that the said property, or the proceeds thereof, should be appropriated mainly to the relief of unavoidable calamity and suffering, yet so as not to cancel or impair the obligations now attached to property under the Acts for the relief of the poor.These are the words which were struck out of the Preamble by the House of Lords, and I shall endeavour briefly, and without raising more than I can help, points of controversy, in the spirit, if I may say so, of business rather than of rhetoric, or even of general argument, to state the considerations which bind us with regard to the course we mean to take. The first portion of the words struck out by the Lords raises at once, as has been properly observed by the right hon. Gentleman, the question of what is commonly termed concurrent endowment. Now, I shall not discuss the Preamble with reference to the principal propositions of the clause inserted in the Bill by the Lords, which is the 27th, dealing with ecclesiastical residences; but I shall consider the question generally, and endeavour to appreciate the position of this House. Now, I would first of all observe, with reference to concurrent endowment, that the House must remember that the concurrent endowment proposed, talked of, discussed, and recommended by anyone within the last few weeks or months is not the plan or policy which in other times received the sanction of great statesmen, and which we charged it on the Government of last year—I will not say whether rightly or wrongly—that they appeared to contemplate. When Mr. Pitt spoke of concurrent endowment, he meant to 1899 create a real Roman Catholic Church. Establishment by the side of the Established Church in Ireland; and that Roman Catholic Church Establishment was to correspond with what has always been held fundamental in this country—namely, an Establishment which, on the one hand, should be endowed by the State, and, on the other hand, be controlled by the State. These two ideas have never been separated, either in the minds of our great statesmen, or at any moment in our history. But the concurrent endowment now recommended is something totally and absolutely new. As regards endowment, indeed, it is undoubtedly reduced to very modest dimensions, for the funds at command do not admit of much more; but, as regards its essence, control there is none. Endowment is to be given, and the responsibility on the part of the State, which cannot be wholly separated from endowment, is to be incurred; but there is to be no exercise of control or, direction on the part of the State. Now, whether that policy be a good or a bad policy, it is wholly distinct from that of the great men of former times; and, in my opinion the attempt to identify the opinions of those men with it, and to publish and propagate them to the world, as if only the adherents of this doctrine were the sincere followers of those men, is not worthy of a more honourable description than that it is a piece of pure political superstition. I will not debate whether this mode of endowment is good or bad, or pronounce any opinion upon its abstract merits. In the Committee of this House, which the right hon. Gentleman said instituted a very slight and inadequate examination of the details of the Bill, my right hon. Friends and myself sat not less than nine or ten unbroken nights in the constant and minute discussion of every line of the measure, giving it, if it were measured by time, about twice or three times the amount of time which it received in "another place." One reason for that may have been that the subject of concurrent endowment was never mentioned, I think, until the Report, and with regard to this matter we spent rather less time upon the measure than was otherwise necessary, because it was not necessary to go back or to reverse our own proceedings. Some allowance must, therefore, be made for that. Concurrent endowment was, I think, 1900 proposed in the first place by my hon. Friend the Member for the City of Dublin (Mr. Pim), and being proposed by him on the Report, I think we were precluded absolutely by what we had done in Committee from even entertaining or arguing the question. My meaning was this, that our last act in Committee was to seal the Bill by attaching to it the Preamble—the Preamble which contains this solemn and momentous declaration. Consequently, from that time forward, it appeared to me undoubtedly that this House—the Government had been precluded before; but from that time I was prepared to contend that this House was precluded by its own deliberate act from entertaining the question of concurrent endowment. So far as its merits are concerned, I fully agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the matter was very slightly considered. I doubt, indeed, whether more than an hour was spent in discussing it on the Report of the Bill. I can very well appreciate and sympathize with the feeling which has led some hon. Gentlemen on each side of the House; and, in what I have to state on concurrent endowment, I do not aspire to be the arbiter or to express the sentiments of one side of the House exclusively. The difficulty is one which is just as much felt on that side of the House as on this, and that will be disclosed if we come to close quarters on this question of concurrent endowment. I say I sympathize with those who think that, after what has happened in Ireland, the winding up of this great question should suggest subsidiary and collateral proceedings which should leave kindly and genial recollections in the minds of all parties in that country. Apart from this, however, much may be said against this description of partial and limited endowment. In the first place, it is a mistake to suppose that people can be made good subjects by the possession of these little bits of land. Treat them with equity and justice, and they will be good subjects whether they are supplied with little bits of land or not. It is, however, material to consider that there has been an unhappy conflict between the friends and enemies of the law in Ireland, and that the Roman Catholic priesthood and the Presbyterian clergy have maintained a steady testimony on behalf of law and order during all the Fenian agitation 1901 and uncertainty, and while the deliverance they made to their flocks was perfectly unbought and independent. I am by no means certain that the credit of that testimony and the weight of that authority, either in the one body or the other, would be so great and so indubitable if once they had received, in whatever shape, a gift from the State. But, as I said, it appears to me that this question is narrowed for us in such a way that we are shut out from the broad field of discussion in which it might be met. Let us consider how we stand. Suppose, for argument's sake, that when we met together in February, and when in March we addressed ourselves to the consideration of this great subject, we had been free as a Parliament representing the people, and free to give effect not only to its own convictions, but to what, before the people, we had declared to be also our own convictions, suppose we had been free at that time to have included provisions such as we are now considering in the measure we were about to send to the House of Lords. Is it possible for any impartial man not to see that, in the main, first of all the Government, and after the Government the House, placed its own authoritative interpretation upon the nature of the mission it had received from the nation by the provisions of the Bill introduced by the Government, and afterwards sanctioned by the House? Even had we been free on the 1st of March to frame a Bill on the principle of promiscuous endowment, my affirmation is that our proceedings in the face of the country, and the convictions we have since then conveyed to the country, as to the nature of our views and the construction of our duty would have put it out of the question to entertain this matter. But I must go further. I do not dwell simply upon the fact that four or five months had elapsed before the very idea of concurrent endowment had been placed before the popular mind. I think I may say that during the circumstances to which I have referred it was hardly presented to the popular mind, and not at all in this House, until it arises at the sixtieth minute of the twelfth hour of the day. And so far as the declarations and acts of the last Parliament are concerned, and so far as the acts and declarations of the great majority of the Members of this House, 1902 on both sides, are concerned, they never were free to base their measure upon the principle of concurrent endowment. Now what occurred last year? The noble Earl then Minister for Ireland (the Earl of Mayo)—I am not going to make anything in the nature of a charge, or to endeavour to extract political credit from anything I may say, but to place an impartial narrative before the House—the noble Earl, I say, and the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government (Mr. Disraeli), were understood by us, whether rightly or wrongly, to declare that their intention was not to take to pieces the present Established Church in Ireland, but to found in some manner or degree other Churches by its side. One universal burst of condemnation and resistance came from the whole Liberal party; and not only so, but the construction we put upon those speeches was indignantly resented by the other side. This was the case in every town in the kingdom, in every county in the country, and on every hustings. I see opposite to me the Gentlemen who have the honour of representing South-west Lancashire, and who had the honour, not of overturning me, but of being the favoured candidates when I was unhappy enough to undergo a great defeat—and I should like to know what their position would have been, or what would have been the position of any of those triumphant Lancashire Conservatives, had they travelled throughout the length and breadth of that county with the banner of concurrent endowment. [Cheers and laughter.] I am delighted to draw forth a more sympathetic response to my appeal from them than it is sometimes my good fortune to obtain. But I am only treating of things patent and within the everyday knowledge and recollection of every hon. Member of this House. We all went to the country on the same principle—some to defend the Established Church, and others saying that they would, if possible, bring its condition as an Establishment to an end. But with rare individual exceptions—I know there were such, and there was one conspicuous exception within Lancashire itself—we were all agreed that, whether we maintained the Irish Church or not, to concurrent endowment we were opposed. And there is a larger question than concurrent endowment involved in this matter—namely, whether the nations that in- 1903 habit these islands are to be enabled and encouraged to believe the pledges of those who represent them in Parliament. I am not prepared to strike the fatal blow at public confidence which would be struck if we were to adopt such a plan. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) says, truly, that we ought to approach in a spirit of respect the Amendments made by the House of Lords. As I come to discuss them, I shall endeavour, and my Colleagues I am sure will do the same, to conform to that rule. We can hardly expect of the House of Lords that they should appreciate the humble considerations which govern the special relations between each. Member of Parliament and the portion of the British people that he represents. From the great eminence upon which they sit they can no more discern the minute particulars of our transactions than a man in a balloon can see all that is passing on the earth below. Had the House of Lords gone through the experience of such an election as the last it would be absolutely impossible for them, as honourable politicians, to have consented to the clause which they have put into this Bill.
Now, Sir, in this discussion I have spoken slightly of policy, and more of good faith. I have not adverted to that which, at the same time, is a very important consideration, and which may be settled in a sentence—it is impossible, Sir, to carry concurrent endowment. We should not only be faithless to our pledges, but should prove ourselves to be totally unfit for the solemn charge laid upon us of conducting the administration or the legislation of this country, because we would show that we are wholly incapable of appreciating facts clear and glaring as the sun at noonday. As to the tale of re-action upon this subject, I will ask anyone who has been in contact, within the last few days, with those great communities which have so much to do in leading public opinion in this country—I will ask them, and I will ask hon. Gentlemen opposite, whether they think that the bulk of their constituents, of whatever class or shade of opinion they may be, would be found disposed to array themselves in support of such a policy. Sir, the convictions of this nation are absolutely opposed to the adoption of such a principle. There are higher considerations in my mind than that of a mere submission to the 1904 necessity of facts, which absolutely point out the course that we should pursue on this important subject. But, both on the one ground and the other, the Government have no choice, and I think the House will support us in replacing in the Preamble of the Bill words which we regard as expressive of a solemn covenant which we are not prepared to tamper with. Then comes the second question in the Preamble, the declaration that the proceeds of the property shall be devoted mainly to the relief of unavoidable calamity and distress. And I must say a very few words, partly for the purpose of explanation and partly likewise in order to remove a misapprehension as to the possibility of a misappropriation of those funds, which was, I think, due to one of the circumstances noticed by the right hon. Gentleman opposite. Undoubtedly, when we came to the consideration of the disposal of the surplus, the subject did receive very slight discussion in this House. We, of the Government, may consider that as a testimony to the prudence of the plan that we recommended; but the fact is unquestioned, that on a point which many may regard as essential, the nature of the plan has not been observed or understood. It has been taken for granted in "another place," and by some who are not unfriendly to the proposal, that the terms of the Bill as they stood when it went from this House appropriated not only the income of the property, but the capital of the property to the objects designated in the 68th clause. That is an entire mistake. There is in the Preamble of the Bill a distinction drawn, and it is declared that—"it is expedient that the said property, or the proceeds thereof, should be appropriated." In the 68th clause it will be found that there is no power of appropriation given to Her Majesty's Government, except with respect to the income of the property. This, although it may seem at first sight shadowy, is a very important distinction, and it is very desirable that the scope of its operation should be understood, because there are two classes of plans which have been conceived and suggested for dealing with the property of the Irish Church. The one plan proposes to dispose of the income for the purposes of education, and the other would employ the income for the purposes of reproduction. If I 1905 might judge I should say the plans for bestowing the income upon education have not been met with favour. The plans which have met with most favour have proposed to employ the income as a fund to be made use of as loans in Ireland for some useful public purpose. I am not going to enter upon a discussion of those plans, but will simply say that, as far as they are concerned, they are not in the slightest degree excluded by the Bill as it stood when it passed through this House. It would be entirely consistent with the Bill as it passed through this House if the wisdom of Parliament should recommend that this money should be employed in loans, whether, as some Gentlemen would wish, for Shannon navigation—[Colonel FRENCH: Hear!]—or, as others would wish, for sea fisheries, or, as others might wish, for harbours or drainage. There are, in fact, a multitude of public purposes to which the surplus might be applied, but none of which are reconcilable with the Preamble of the Bill as it left this House. Thus much I would say with regard to the nature of our plan, but objection has been taken to it, and, acting in the spirit I have described, we have endeavoured to see whether we could meet that objection. It is said that an extravagant amount of discretion was vested in the Executive Government by the Bill as it left this House, and that in the room of my right hon. Friend the Secretary for Ireland some £7,000,000 might be disposed of. Now, we do not feel that there is great force in that objection, because we think that the provisions of the Bill effectually controlled the Executive in the application of the money. Still we have to ask ourselves whether we can advance a step in order to meet the fair jealousy on the subject which may be entertained by any portion of either House of Parliament. I shall therefore propose, when we come to that part of the Bill, that a discretionary power shall be reserved in a shape which I had better at once describe, because it is material to the consideration of this portion of the Preamble. It will be recollected that the power to be vested in the Government is to be given by means of an Order in Council. Now, I intend to propose a proviso to the following effect—By Order in Council, before Parliament has legislated further in respect thereto1906 —for purposes directing the mode of application—every Order in Council so appropriating the income of such property shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament within fourteen days after the making thereof, if Parliament is then sitting, or if Parliament be not sitting, then within fourteen days after the commencement of their next session; and such order shall not be of any validity until the expiration of forty days after the same has been so laid before both Houses of Parliament, nor shall it be of any validity at all if within such period of forty days an address be presented to Her Majesty by both Houses of Parliament praying Her Majesty to revoke such order.That will limit the discretion of the Executive. I have pointed out to the House what I hope may be sufficient to obviate a very serious misapprehension as to the nature of the plan itself, which has no effect whatsoever in obstructing any measure which may be adopted for the intermediate investment or use of the capital in a reproductive manner. With regard to the plan itself which the Government have proposed, I believe that observations have been made upon it and weapons have been aimed at it which it does not deserve. I should have thought that the lunatics, the blind, the deaf and dumb, and the rest of the objects for whose relief the proceeds were reserved, were not the most appropriate objects for the exercise of the otherwise charming and genial gifts of the noble critic. The plan has, at all events, been condemned apparently in the House of Lords; but so far as I have been able to make myself acquainted with the proceedings of that Assembly I find myself at liberty to observe that the sort of criticism which was there indulged in is very much like what is known as the negative system in philosophy. There are an immense number of people, I may add, who try to pull Christianity to pieces; but no one, as far as I know, has been able to succeed in setting up anything effectual in its stead. Much the same state of things I find prevails with regard to the disposal of the property of the Irish Church. No man has sufficient confidence in his own views, nor has any number of men been found to unite in the adoption of any one view, to replace this plan of relieving distress of certain kinds by any scheme whatsoever. This, I would remind the House, is not a new proposal. The original author of the proposition was Mr. O'Connell; and the time when he 1907 roughly sketched it out was about five-and-thirty years ago. We are charged with having borrowed our scheme from my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. Miall), who, I believe, propagated some such appropriation of Church property a few years ago; but there can be no doubt that such a scheme was shadowed out by Mr. O'Connell at a much earlier date. I wish to point out one other misapprehension. It is said that this plan is merely intended to relieve the land and the real property of Ireland from burdens to which it is properly subject. If that were so, I should be disposed to say, looking at all the questions which are pending with respect to the land in that country, you might do wisely and equitably to regard, them as a whole, and that there would not be in my mind conclusive objections even to that proposition. The statement is, however, I submit, in the main, not true, but untrue. What are the obligations in respect of the relief of distress to which land or real property are commonly, by the laws of civilized Christian countries, held to be subject? They are these—You are bound to deal with the destitute and to meet the wants of the destitute as far as necessity can be said to exist, but not beyond. Hospitals in this country are not established for the destitute. They are intended for that large margin of the population which lies between opulence and destitution. In what country in the world, I would ask, is adequate provision made for the sick by its land or real property? Nay, more, it is not owing to any unworthy shrinking on the part of the owners of real property from the performance of their duty that this is the case. I deny that it would be right or just to impose on the real property of a country by the compulsory machinery of the law the burden of making general provision for the relief of the sick in the sense and within the social margin embraced by the hospitals in England. Ireland, unhappily, has not generally speaking, got such hospitals. Her hospitals are for the most part supported by a county cess; but that county cess is optional. [Colonel FRENCH: I beg your pardon; it is imperative. It is levied by the grand jury.] Not for lunatic asylums? ["Yes."] I need not press the point further, because I have ample materials for the purposes of my argument. There 1908 is no law, either in Ireland or in any other country, which declares that persons of unsound mind generally shall have a right to receive that treatment which their peculiar state of mind requires. The Poor Law imposes no such obligation. The Poor Law obliges you to relieve the destitution of a lunatic, but no more. ["Yes, yes!"] Well, the laws in force in this country compel you to relieve lunatics only as you relieve other persons, and to prevent them from doing mischief; but it does not require you to apply to their case the difficult and costly processes to which recourse is had in those most benevolent institutions, the lunatic asylums. I believe I am stating that which is strictly the fact. ["No, no!"] Then hon. Gentlemen opposite can by-and-by state their own views on the matter. Is there, I would ask, in any country an Act of Parliament making its property liable for the cure of the blind? If so, why is not that done, and why are they left entirely dependent for the costly processes necessary in their case to voluntary contributions? What is the state of things in Ireland at this moment? What is the number of persons, who being of unsound mind, are now in the workhouses of that country? I want to see how these things work. The number of persons in Ireland who, at this moment being lunatics, are in workhouses is 2,742; in workhouses, remember, not in lunatic asylums. But the number of lunatics at large in Ireland is 6,564. I do not mean to say that all these are persons who ought to be provided for by legal provision; but I do mean to say that legal provision is not, and I believe, with all respect to those who may dissent from me, that legal provision was not intended to be made, and cannot indeed be made, applicable in general to those descriptions of distress which require costly relief. And for this plain reason—that a legal provision must be raised from classes of society which go down to the verge of destitution themselves, and you would inflict injustice if you trusted to the law solely for the relief of this kind of calamity. If you look into this matter you will find that as far as £250,000 a year is concerned—which I believe to be the outside amount of the fund with which we are now dealing—there is ample room, without removing any part of the burden now 1909 imposed upon property, for the beneficial application of that fund to the relief of distress which undoubtedly ought to be relieved, but which at the same time is not relieved, and the relief of which you cannot secure by the mere operation of the law. These are the considerations which I urge with respect to the particular plan we have proposed. The merits of the plan we have proposed will, I believe, bear being placed in comparison with those of any other scheme, but I cannot say that that is the only object which we have had in view.
When I ventured to submit this measure originally to the House it was with the statement that, as regards the residuary property of the Church, any plan which was to be satisfactory must, in our judgment, be of a final character. It must be final, that is to say, in this sense—that it must shut out from our doors for ever, as far as lies within our power, the risk of a revival of those painful, agitating, and dangerous controversies which for centuries have been connected with the state of religion in Ireland. We are unwilling to be responsible for the revival of those controversies. We have undertaken a grave responsibility in raising this question. We have never attempted to disguise or to diminish that responsibility. With a great object in view, and with an adequate plan for the attainment of it, human strength and human courage may well bear such a responsibility as that. But the responsibility of re-opening these questions without closing them—the responsibility of aggravating for the moment, as probably we have aggravated, the bitterness of those controversies, without at the same time finding a means whereby they may be finally extinguished and set aside—that is a responsibility which we dare not undertake. It must be for the conclusive judgment of Parliament, and not for our judgment, to adopt a legislative provision which we think so unwise. If better plans can be devised we are in a position to consider them, not only as far as details are concerned, but also the bases of those plans. But I entreat the House, after having now spent two years of the life of the nation mainly in the consideration of this great and vital question, not to hand down to those who are to follow us the evil, perilous, and destructive policy of renewed contentions 1910 respecting the ultimate disposal of the surplus of the Irish Church property. Some, idly, perhaps, yet not unnaturally, cherish the fond idea that, by a Parliament of a different colour, it may be restored to those who are now the Established Church; others, with a dreamy longing and yearning for the renewal of the visions of two generations ago, think that the time, though it has not yet come, may possibly arrive when the people of England, Scotland, and Ireland will become enamoured of concurrent endowment; while others, again, are determined to make the disposal of the surplus a battle-field on which they can display their theories and views of denominational or unsectarian education. Let us, however, do what lies within our power to make this great measure, which has necessarily been attended with strife, a means of allaying strife. Do not let us voluntarily leave ourselves charged with the responsibility of handing down so much food for future debate, so much fuel for future conflagrations with regard to Irish questions; and do not let us cause the first of our great experiments in the work of pacifying and satisfying Ireland to be a failure, not only in a negative sense, but in the sense, more painfully positive and real, of insuring and necessitating the continuance in future years of the very conflicts which it is our main object to put an end to. I beg now to move that the House disagree with the Lords' Amendment in line 8, page 1, of the Preamble to the Bill.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."—(Mr. Gladstone.)
§ MR. DISRAELI
I am of opinion that the House ought to agree to the Amendment made in the Preamble by the House of Lords. It is very important, Sir, that the House should clearly understand the nature of this Amendment, and what is really under their consideration. I do not find any fault with the right hon. Gentleman for introducing subjects on which we are not now called upon specifically to decide by agreeing to the Amendment before us, because I think that matters which are not included in this Amendment have been so mixed up in the debates in "another place" upon the Amendment, and have 1911 been so associated in the public mind one with the other, that it was quite fair for the right hon. Gentleman to advert to the subject on which he has dwelt at some length, and which, indeed, formed a principal part of his speech—that which is commonly called by the name of concurrent endowment. But I would call upon the House to remark that they are not called upon in any way to decide that question on this Amendment. And let me also remind them that the Peer in Parliament who moved this Amendment (Lord Cairns) is much opposed to concurrent endowment, and that he gave Notice of the Amendment before that question was originated in the other House of Parliament by a political Friend and supporter of the right hon. Gentleman. But, as the right hon. Gentleman has touched upon the question of appropriating part of the confiscated property of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Ireland to the relief of the Roman Catholic clergy, I wish, with the permission of the House, to make one or two remarks in order that our views on the subject may not be misunderstood.
Now, Sir, if the Protestant Episcopal Church is disestablished in Ireland, if its estates are confiscated, and if Parliament is of opinion that the proceeds of those estates should be appropriated to Irish purposes, I do not think it is open for anyone, as far as Ireland is concerned, to oppose the appropriation of a portion of the proceeds of those confiscated estates to the relief and support of any clergy or any body of men in Ireland. I do not think that hereafter, if the Protestant Church is disestablished, it will be open to anyone, as far as Ireland is concerned, to object in a public capacity to what he calls the endowment of error. As far as Ireland is concerned there will be no standard of religious truth or knowledge maintained by the State; and in a public capacity I do not see that any person, as far as Ireland is concerned, can object to any appropriation of that property on the ground of endowment of religious error. He may have Ms private opinions and conscientious convictions; but I do not think that, as far as Ireland is concerned, an objection on the score of the endowment of religious error could any longer be held, because, by the policy of this Bill, no standard of religious truth is acknowledged as far as Ireland is concerned. Therefore objec- 1912 tions on that ground could certainly no longer be urged with any effect. But whatever might be the opinion of any Gentleman upon such grounds, whatever might be his objection to appropriating any portion, for example, of the proceeds of the confiscated property of the Protestant Church in Ireland to the maintenance or the support in any degree of the Roman Catholic clergy, it still would be open to that Gentleman—if forced to decide between such a proposal, as is called concurrent endowment in this case, and the proposition contained in this Bill for the appropriation of the surplus—it would still be open for him to decide which was the plan which, on the whole, would, in his judgment, be the least offensive to his private convictions, and he might then decide in favour of concurrent endowment. But on neither of these grounds do I wish to support this Amendment. The Amendment of the House of Lords, in favour of what, for convenience sake, the right hon. Gentleman calls concurrent endowment, appears to me to come down to us under circumstances which do not, on the whole, entitle it to the confidence of this House. The House of Lords themselves changed their opinion on the subject, and in neither case was their decision supported by a large majority. In that respect, I believe, they very much, and perhaps justly, represented the public feelings and opinions of the United Kingdom. It is a subject which public opinion is not ripe in any way to decide, and I certainly shall not feel myself called upon to support an Amendment expressing the opinions of the House of Lords on a question of policy of so grave a character, and one on which, they themselves have arrived at contrary conclusions, and which on neither occasion has been supported by a commanding majority. Therefore I shall decline supporting, under any circumstances, the policy of what is called concurrent endowment. But I want the House clearly to understand that we are not now called upon in any way to give a decision on that subject. There may be a subsequent opportunity for doing that; but we are called upon, in the language of this Amendment, to postpone the appropriation of the surplus that will remain after the various provisions of this Bill have been complied with, and to leave it to be applied in such manner as Parlia- 1913 ment snail hereafter direct. That is an Amendment which was brought forward by one who is opposed to the scheme of concurrent endowment, and which has been supported, let me say, in "another place" by the most eminent members of all parties; and it has been sent down here by a commanding majority of 70, which at least entitles it to our respectful consideration. I say it was supported by the leading men of all parties, because, with the exception of those absolutely representing the Ministry, there is hardly a class of political opinions in the House of Lords which by its distinguished adherents did not accede to this Amendment. Now, the right hon. Gentleman, in the first place, felt the difficulty of the case, because he has a new combination to meet it. He proposes a proviso, and, doubtless, he has consulted authorities before proposing it; but otherwise, so far as I could collect from hearing it, it is not an Amendment on the Lords' Amendment; and I cannot clearly understand how it can now be introduced. That is a technical objection; and if there be anything in it it will find its way. If there be nothing in it, of course that difficulty will be removed. But I have more than a technical objection to it. The whole purport of his argument and his declamation is this—that we must finally conclude ourselves. Well, what is this proviso? That a scheme shall be laid on the table of both Houses of Parliament, which may be discussed and probably rejected, and thus give an opportunity for every other scheme, perhaps, to be introduced to the notice of this House. Therefore I say that the proviso of the right hon. Gentleman, even if he can introduce it, of which I have doubts, is one that ought not to be sanctioned by the House, nor would it remedy the evils of which he is conscious.
Let us come to the great consideration which induced the House of Lords to propose that this appropriation should be postponed until public opinion should be matured as to the best manner in which, and the purposes for which, the surplus should be appropriated, and that this should be left for the wisdom of Parliament hereafter to decide. Now, I apprehend that what induced the House of Lords to adopt this Amendment was certainly not a feeling on the part of the majority in favour of what is called 1914 concurrent endowment, but a desire to prevent the precipitate waste of Irish property. When this Bill was under consideration in this House we had an estimate from the Ministerial Bench that the surplus would probably reach £400,000 a year. To-night it is reduced to £200,000. [Mr. GLADSTONE dissented.] I will not enter into any controversy about the amount; but I am under the impression that a greater sum than £200,000 a year, which is a considerable sum, is the question at issue. I have listened with attention to the right hon. Gentleman to-night; and of course—perfectly aware that this was a point on which the country required considerable satisfaction—he has given to it his utmost ability and consideration. Well, I ask the House, did he satisfactorily meet the objection taken to the appropriation made under the Bill, on the ground that it is vague and indefinite, that it will lead to wastefulness, and that it will fulfil duties which ought to be fulfilled by property at present? Were the circumstances which the right hon. Gentleman alleged at all of a character to bring conviction or give satisfaction to the House? I did not understand him really to maintain that the pauper lunatic in Ireland has not at this moment the same claim on the land as, in consequence of the wise statutes passed by Parliament, he possesses also in England. I am necessarily—as every gentleman, particularly if connected with a county, must be—aware of the effect of recent legislation for England as to pauper lunatics, and I know the great cost which every county is put to for their benefit. I did not know that Ireland was an exception to that, and I have not heard from any Irish gentleman that it is an exception. The right hon. Gentleman says—"Take the case of the poor blind man; how is he provided for?" Why, the blind pauper is provided for in Ireland by the Poor Law. But I ask the House, are they satisfied that, in a manner so vague as is suggested by the Bill, so large a portion of the property of Ireland, which certainly we all agree is to be allotted for the advantage of that country, should be left in the loose and unbusiness-like way in which it appears in the measure that we are called on to pass? This I conceive to have been what impressed itself on 1915 the attention of the House of Lords. The House of Lords may be in a balloon. They may be in the eminent position which those who wish to speak of them with respect so picturesquely describe. But I apprehend that, although in a balloon, the House of Lords have in this matter set an example to the House of Commons; and that we, the House of Commons, who will not vote a £5 note without a precise knowledge of what it is intended for, how it is to be raised, how it is to be appropriated, and how audited—that we should take a great portion of the property of the Irish nation and pass a proviso which, as far as I can form an opinion, would lead only to endless and competitive jobbery, is a conclusion at which I cannot bring myself to believe we shall arrive.
We have now a limited issue before us. We must get rid of all those schemes of concurrent endowment which have been introduced into the discussion of this measure by the political friends of the right hon. Gentleman, not by us; and we must not allow any prejudice to be raised against a business-like Amendment, like that which the House of Lords have passed, to prevent wastefulness and secure the wise appropriation of national funds, by discussions such as the right hon. Gentleman has introduced. We have, I say, a simple issue before us, and it is this—whether it would not be wiser, as there is no satisfactory proposition made to us with regard to the appropriation of the surplus, to allow that appropriation to rest until the matured opinion of the country, and especially of Ireland, shall have decided to what purpose it may be most beneficially applied? That is the only issue that we have before us. I think the Amendment of the House of Lords is an excellent Amendment—that it is full of good sense; I believe it commends itself to public opinion. It has come down to us supported by the opinions of the leading men of all political parties in the House of Lords, and supported, not like the question of concurrent endowment, ambiguously and equivocally by a small majority of 7, but by a majority of 70; and therefore I think it is fairly entitled to the respectful consideration of this House. I trust it will receive that consideration, and that the House will adopt it.
I now wish to explain one point, as I did not like to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman. I said there was a great margin of distress in the shape of sickness which was above absolute destitution and yet below abundance; and I stated that hospitals and infirmaries in Ireland were not compulsorily supported by law. That I understood to be contradicted. ["No, no!"] I have no doubt there is a legal machinery with respect to lunatic asylums in Ireland; but what I pointed out is that it is applicable to only a portion of the lunatics. So in regard to infirmaries. I am very glad to hear there is no legal compulsion on grand juries to levy county cess for the support of the sick in Ireland, for that makes out my case.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, that although thoroughly disapproving the measure, both in its principle and its details, it was absolutely impossible for him to agree to the whole of the Lords' Amendments. He could not agree to the striking out of those words "be held and applied to the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any Church or clergy or any other ministry." It would be grossly inconsistent on his part, after the objections he had raised to the endowment granted to Maynooth College, on the very ground, that the Government were pledged not to appropriate the funds taken from the Irish Church to the maintenance or dissemination of any other religion—it would be grossly inconsistent on his part, and also, he ventured to think, on the part of all who voted with him in those divisions—if they were now to sanction the excision of those words, which precluded the application of the property of the Irish Protestant Church to the maintenance of any other religion. He lamented the course taken by the House of Lords in this matter. He lamented that they did not at once object to the disestablishment of the Protestant religion in Ireland. He thought they were actuated by an apprehension of some democratic outbreak, which he was convinced was totally unfounded; he feared their Lordships had not yet recovered from the panic, which they seemed to have taken after the passing of the Reform Act. The Amendment which the House was now considering seemed to indicate that the majority of the Peers were inclined from fear to lean for support upon the 1917 Roman Catholic clergy. He hoped he was mistaken in that interpretation of the action of the House of Lords; but this he knew, that hon. Members on both sides of the House of Commons were deeply pledged against concurrent endowment. He excepted the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, for he had distinctly spoken in favour of concurrent Establishments in 1843; and again in 1844, he spoke in favour of that idea. He differed from the right hon. Gentleman then, and he differed from him now; and the more strongly, because this concurrent endowment was to be tendered, just as the Maynooth endowment was originally tendered in 1845, without conditions, and without communication with the Roman Catholic authorities; and he asked the House whether they had any great reason for satisfaction with the result of the Maynooth endowment. When had there been a period marked by a blacker catalogue of crime and outrage in Ireland, for many preceding years, than signalized the passing of the Maynooth Act of 1845? Had Ireland been more peaceable since then? No; Parliament passed the Maynooth endowment, and there was an abiding conviction in the country, that they had made a great mistake. The noble Lord, who made this proposal of concurrent endowment, appealed to the action of Mr. Pitt, and he ought to know what the conduct pf Mr. Pitt was, for he was his biographer; and, in his biography, he strove to excuse and to explain away the fact, that Mr. Pitt offered to take Office within a year after his proposal for the payment of the Roman Catholic clergy and to enfranchise the Roman Catholics was rejected by the King and the nation. Lord Stanhope, in his history, excused Mr. Pitt for what he considered gross inconsistency. But who first suggested the proposals which Mr. Pitt adopted? Lord Cornwallis, of whom Sir George Lewis said, that he was a man eminent for anything but statesmanlike perspicuity, though a good man of business as a subordinate. And by whom was Lord Cornwallis supported? By Lord Castlereagh, then a very young man. There was no reason to suppose that Mr. Canning was not right, when he said that Mr. Pitt had not left Office, because the proposal for the payment of the Roman Catholic priesthood was op- 1918 posed, but because he knew that his position in the Cabinet would thereby be altered, and that he should virtually be placed in an inferior position if he remained in Office. He (Mr. Newdegate) knew that there was evidence to show that Mr. Pitt had found that he could not obtain those which he deemed the requisite safeguards, if the Roman Catholic priests were not to be endowed, as was now proposed, but for giving them stipends. Mr. Pitt, therefore, virtually receded from his proposal, and he left Office; not so much on account of the rejection of his proposal, as on account of the altered position in which he would have found himself in the Government. He was, therefore, as much surprised as the right hon. Gentleman the Premier that the authority of Mr. Pitt should have been cited in favour of unconditional endowment, when Mr. Pitt's proposal never went beyond the granting of stipends to the Roman Catholic priests; and on this condition, that if they should officiate without license from the Crown, they should be immediately subjected to perpetual banishment. So far, therefore, as his vote could go, no property of the Irish Church should be appropriated to the maintenance of any other form of religion. Mr. Pitt never made that proposal; he proposed that the property of the Irish Church should be maintained, but that the payment of the Roman Catholic priests should come out of the public funds. Mr. Pitt would never have sanctioned such a proposal as had been made in the House of Lords, and sent down to that House—he must say with little consideration for the pledges, which it was well known that the majority of that House had given against any such endowment. This was a most dangerous measure. He hoped the controversy which it had raised might soon cease, although he did not at all expect that it would; but if anything could aggravate that controversy, it was the kind of surreptitious act—if the Lords' Amendment to that effect were adopted—by which the property of the Irish Church would be transferred to other denominations, and particularly to the Roman Catholics, because they had it on the authority of Bishops of that persuasion—he would cite for one, that of Dr. Goss of Liverpool—that any such proposal must be submitted to the Pope before it could be accepted; and, therefore, when the House 1919 of Lords thought they were dealing with the Roman Catholic priesthood only—they, in the House of Commons, knew that they were dealing with that Power which, at this moment, had proved itself revolutionary in every country in Europe. It was now known that, notwithstanding the most ample provision made for the Roman Catholic priesthood in Poland—because the Russian Government asked for a Concordat such as France had with the Holy See, a rebellion was stirred up by the Pope in Poland. They knew, also, that so lately as 1865, notwithstanding the existence of the Concordat between France and the Holy See, the Pope issued directions to the Archbishop of Paris to disregard and violate the terms of the Concordat and the fundamental laws of France, which the Archbishop, as a Senator of France, had obeyed and defended. His Holiness condemned this conduct on the part of the Archbishop, and told him that, as he was so unfaithful as to think himself bound to obey the laws of his country, he would not allow him to visit the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Jesuits, or other Regulars, whom the Pope claimed as his own peculiar agents. For his own part, he would never consent to the transfer of the property of the Irish Church to any other body.
§ MR. ASSHETON CROSS
said, he rose for the purpose of asking a question as to a point of Order, but he could not help saying, in the first place, that they were in danger of dividing on a totally false issue. He could not but think that the speech of the Prime Minister had put the matter in such a way that the votes to be given on the question might be misconstrued by the constituencies which they represented. Now, differing as he did totally from the Prime Minister in his reasons for touching the property of the Irish Church at all, and from the conclusions which he drew as to the differences between the Church of the majority and the Church of the minority, he had always said, both in that House and out of it, that the only logical conclusion which the right hon. Gentleman or anybody else could draw from his premises was that he ought to hand over the funds of the Irish Church, or the greater part of those funds, to the Church of that majority; and the only reason why he did not do so, and dared not do so, was that it was that English 1920 ascendancy—it was that very Protestant ascendancy which the right hon. Gentle-professed to be seeking to destroy—which prevented him from applying the funds in the only logical way. In the speech of the right hon. Gentleman on the introduction of the measure he argued that public opinion was against it, and the words that had fallen from him to-night confirmed him in the statement that it was English feeling and Scotch feeling that prevented the right hon. Gentleman from coming forward with a scheme for concurrent endowment. In giving their votes, therefore, on the question before the House, he hoped it would be understood that they were not voting for that concurrent endowment. There was another question upon which they would very shortly have to vote, and upon which they might fairly give an opinion, and the reasons upon which they should vote. Since the scheme for the distribution of the surplus brought forward by the Government not a single man had lifted up his voice in favour of it. The whole Press was against it, and not a single Member of the House of Lords had a word to say for it. Was it not wise, therefore, to say that, for the present, they would postpone their judgment, as to the distribution of the surplus? When the question was before that House on a former occasion there was an objection made to the application of the surplus by the noble Lord the Member for Middlesex (Lord George Hamilton), who said that if they adopted that mode of distribution it would be a practical endowment of the Roman Catholic Church in another form. The question which he wished to ask was whether it was not competent to a Member of that House to move that the division on this matter should be taken in two parts, and that the question of the surplus might be postponed and a separate vote be taken upon it after the first part of the Preamble had been disposed of. It should be remembered that they would have no funds to apply for a space of about ten years. ["No."] Well, then, for a great number of years. [An hon. MEMBER: One year.] It would certainly be about ten years before the Commissioners would get the whole of the funds. But the right hon. Gentleman wished to force the House to his own conclusions, and to do that which no Prime Minister ever did before—namely, 1921 to make a sort of political will as to how Parliament should deal with these funds long after the Ministry on those Benches should have ceased to exist. He wished to ask whether it was in Order to move that the proposition be divided, and that the Question be put as to the first part, stopping at the word "religion?"
§ MR. SPEAKER
It is possible to move an Amendment upon the proposition before the House, and if the hon. Member proceeds to move an Amendment such as he has suggested, it may be done without infringing the Rules of Order.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
I quite agree with the hon. Member who has last spoken that we are involved in a great difficulty in discussing this Amendment as a whole, and that great inconvenience arises from discussing the Preamble at all at this stage. When we are in Committee on a Bill we postpone the Preamble, because we regard it as a flexible statement of the objects of the enactment, to be altered at the close of the Committee so as to correspond to the clauses as they stand in their amended form. But I believe the strict rule of the House has been to take the Amendments sent down from the Lords as they stand upon the Paper, and I suppose we must follow it in this case, notwithstanding the inconvenience of discussing Amendments in two clauses not before us, and without having our attention specifically called to what the terms of those Amendments are. Yet, if we agree to the Motion of the Prime Minister, and disagree from the Lords' Amendments in the Preamble, we shall insert words in the Preamble which will virtually decide the Amendment on Clause 27; and if, on the other hand, we agree with the Lords' Amendment, we absolutely determine, without considering the precise Amendment, that the appropriation of the surplus shall be postponed for an indefinite period. Now, Sir, I know that my opinions differ from those of most of my hon. Friends who are sitting around me—I do not know that they differ from the individual opinions of the Members of Her Majesty's Government—I have strong convictions upon this subject, and I am bound to assert my opinion that the Amendment introduced into the 27th clause, from the consideration of which we shall be excluded if we disagree altogether with the Lords' 1922 Amendment in the Preamble, is wise and politic. The question has been unjustly prejudiced by having the words "concurrent endowment" applied to it. The term "concurrent endowment," as explained by my right hon. Friend, applies to the scheme originally proposed by Mr. Pitt, and sanctioned by a later Resolution of the House of Commons—namely, the endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy, setting them up side by side with the Protestant Church of Ireland, and giving the State some control over them. That plan would have resulted in the establishment of two Churches, an utterly impracticable plan now; but I think Mr. Pitt was wise, under the circumstances he was placed, in the view he then took; and if his plan had been carried out we should not now be driven to the necessity, in order to do justice between the various denominations, to—I will not say disestablish, because it might be right in any case to destroy the political ascendancy of the Protestant Church in Ireland as connected with the State—but to disendow the Established Church, which I, for one, regret. I am now obliged to advert to this Amendment, because my right hon. Friend, after having stated the distinction between concurrent endowment, as generally understood, as proposed by Mr. Pitt, and as advocated by many statesmen since Mr. Pitt's time, and the proposal contained in the Amendment sent down from the Lords, argued against concurrent endowment generally in the abstract, as if we were asked by the Lords' Amendment to sanction what is called "concurrent endowment." If we were discussing this Amendment now, it would be easy to show that the term "concurrent endowment" is improperly applied to it, and that the Amendment really gives effect to the principle of the Bill, that of establishing religious equality among the various religious bodies. But it goes further than we originally did in acting up to the language of the Preamble, and satisfying those principles of religious equality by dealing justly between the different religious bodies. Disendowment will be only partial under this Bill; it must necessarily be so owing to the private endowments of the Church and to the consideration which must be given to private interests. But, independently of that, referring for a moment to the 1923 clause relating to the glebes, as the Bill went from this House these glebes were not to be given to the clergy, but the Church Body were to have the right to pre-emption of the residences and the curtilages surrounding them, and they had such right of pre-emption at a favourable rate. Now, what will be the result, either if the Bill stands as we originally passed it, or as it stands now, with regard to the glebes for the Protestant clergy, without the Amendment for providing parsonage houses for other denominations? The inevitable result will be that the clergy of the Established Church, after the life interests are extinguished, will remain in permanent possession of those houses; and, perhaps, in many cases, with a very trifling congregation—while the Roman Catholic priest or Presbyterian minister, attending to the spiritual wants of the bulk of the population of the parish, will be housed in a wretched but, unfit for a minister of religion. Now the proposition is, that a certain sum of money, not from the Consolidated Fund, but to be realized by disendowment, should be devoted, in accordance with justice, to providing for the clergy of the three denominations into which the people of Ireland are divided, decent residences. Would public opinion support a Protestant landed proprietor, having his estate occupied by Roman Catholics, in withholding sites for Roman Catholic priests? Would not public opinion rather sanction his giving out of his estate sites for those residences, and even contributing to the building of the residences, without suspecting him for a moment of having compromised himself in the matter of religious consistency by so doing. From a statement made "elsewhere," we know that course has been adopted by a nobleman in Ireland; and, although he has not himself told us so, one of the results of his generosity has, no doubt, been an increased feeling of respect and attachment to himself—but he did say the result had been that, instead of the animosity and hatred which too often prevail between the different sects in Ireland, a feeling of harmony and good fellowship had arisen among the people. If the Amendment of the Prime Minister is made, the result will be a permanent inequality between the Protestant clergy and the clergy of the Presbyterians and the Ro- 1924 man Catholics; and not only so, but an equality which will meet the eye every day. I, therefore, think we should do very wisely if we agreed to this Amendment of the Lords. I deeply regret that the Government opposes it; for I suppose, as the right hon. Gentleman speaks in the name of the party, there is very little chance of the House agreeing to it; but, judging by the speeches which we have read, coming from the Members of the Government, and even from what we have heard to-night, I cannot help feeling that the Members of the Government are individually in favour of this scheme, but that they think they are bound in honour to the country not to assent to it. If we had this question before us on its merits, I should vote for agreeing with the Lords in this Amendment to the 27th clause; but to the latter part of the Amendment, made in the Preamble, I am opposed; and, in this respect, I differ from the hon. Member for Southwest Lancashire (Mr. Cross). I agree with my right hon. Friend below, that it would be unwise to say nothing in this Bill as to the appropriation of the funds, but leave them to be scrambled for. If we did that, we should have meetings all over the country, suggesting and discussing all manner of appropriation; and it would, perhaps, make it necessary to bring in a Bill next Session raising the whole question again. I would recommend an alteration of the Amendment, so as to raise the questions involved independently of each other.
I am not desirous at all to give the hon. Member for South-west Lancashire (Mr. Cross) the trouble of moving an Amendment upon my Amendment. I naturally moved to disagree with the whole of the Amendment, the whole of which I disapproved of; but after the wish expressed by the hon. Member, I will move, in the first instance, to disagree with the Amendment down to the words "teaching of religion." Of course I shall subsequently move that we disagree with the rest.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment as far as the word 'religion,' in line 10, inclusive."—(Mr. Gladstone.)1925
§ DR. BALL
said, the words proposed by the Motion to be restored to the Preamble were those words which declared that the surplus arising from the disendowment of the Church should not be applied to any clergy or ministry, or for the teaching of religion. He had objected to the insertion of these words before, and he now repeated that those words formed a declaration by this House, for the first time in the legislation of England, of a direct prohibition of maintaining religious education from public sources. The matter had been heretofore debated as if no question were involved in the retention of the words, except the Lords' Amendment providing glebes for the ministers of the three religions; but the words were just as much opposed to exclusive grants for the benefit of the Protestant Episcopal Church as to grants for that Church in conjunction with the Roman Catholic clergy. If the Lords' Amendment were rejected, how could they afterwards consistently make provision in favour of the Amendment which gave to the Church the Ulster glebes? What was that Amendment but an application of property for the maintenance of the clergy and for the teaching of religion? The insertion of the words sought to be restored, was absolutely essential to the policy of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government. For what was that policy? From the commencement it was what he termed religious equality, to be attained by conferring no benefit upon any religion as a religion. If this policy were laid down, then, no doubt, the words ought to be introduced; but every man who thought it the duty of a nation to make that public acknowledgment of its obligation to a Supreme Being which was involved in the maintenance of a ministry to teach religion and virtue, ought to be opposed to the introduction of these words. He made these observations because of the speech of the hon. Member (Mr. Newdegate), who had totally misunderstood the operation of the words to which he objected. Did the hon. Member mean to tell the House that in his opinion a nation should not have religious teaching? [Mr. NEWDEGATE: No.] Well, if not, why record ostentatiously on the face of the Bill a declaration that there was one mode of applying the money which alone was prohibited, and which 1926 alone was pronounced impossible and unjustifiable, its application to the teaching of religion? Everyone knew why the hon. Member would do this—because he was alarmed and terrified lest a particle of the money should by any chance reach his Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen, and therefore he now discarded the very principle of religious teaching and the acknowledgment of religious obligation to which he at other times professed to be attached. Now, he (Dr. Ball) objected to the restoration of those words—first, because of the alarming and extensive principle involved in such a declaration, and again, with relation to this particular Bill and the Amendments before the House, because if the words were restored, they would place in the mouth of the right hon. Gentleman a powerful argument against every subsequent Amendment of the House of Lords. It was perfectly consistent on the part of the right hon. Gentleman to restore the words, because he had announced that he would oppose any Amendments conferring a benefit on the Church, that is, a benefit on it as an institution. But the restoration of the words was not consistent with the policy of the Conservatives, either those who thought that there ought to be religious teaching by one Church selected by the State, or those who thought the teaching should be not confined to one religious denomination. In fact, if the words were restored you negatived the Amendments of the Lords in favour not only of the Church, but of the Catholics and the Presbyterians. You involved the whole in one sweeping condemnation. He was in favour of supporting the Lords' Amendments, which he viewed as, when taken together, presenting a scheme of legislation as favourable to the Church as could, under existing circumstances, be obtained, and as yet being fair to other religious systems. He hoped to be excused if he added that no one could charge him with now, for the first time, supporting the view taken by the House of Lords upon this question. He had learned what principles he held on the subject from the writings of Mr. Burke, and from the study of the great statesmen who followed in his footsteps, and on the first occasion on which he spoke in this House he spoke in favour of a generous acknowledgment of all denominations of Christians. The 1927 right hon. Gentleman was perfectly right in saying that this was not the plan of Mr. Pitt; that it was not surrounded by the various safeguards by which Mr. Pitt surrounded his plan, or which were contemplated when Lord Francis Leveson Gower moved his Resolutions with respect to the payment of the Roman Catholic clergy as a measure which ought to accompany Catholic Emancipation. But the House had now before it a very limited matter, and not the large measure which was then spoken of; and it did appear to him that a person might vote for giving glebes to the clergy of different denominations even though he was opposed to an extensive plan of general endowment. For the State to give land for glebes was but a slight extension of the principles which induced Protestant proprietors of land to give a house for the use of Roman Catholic clergymen. This had often been done by those who would wholly object to subscribe for their maintenance. The objection to the Amendment giving the glebes from the Government surprised him. He would name one person on the Treasury Bench who actually brought forward this scheme of giving glebes, though he would never have assented to any large scheme of endowment. This was the President of the Board of Trade, who in a letter to the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Sir John Gray), published in the second volume of his speeches, spoke of the grant of a house and a small piece of land from ten to twenty acres to the Roman Catholic Church. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bright) estimated the amount required at about £1,000,000, and said that from Scotland, and probably from certain quarters "of England, there might be opposition to the great crime of handing over £1,000,000 sterling to the Roman Catholics of Ireland. Many would think it, he said, a national sin, and others would honestly doubt the wisdom of such a course. He (Mr. Bright) then went on to say that he was as much opposed as any man could be to religious endowments; but the right hon. Gentleman, while an enemy to establishments, felt that he could consistently support a proposal for giving glebe houses to the Irish Catholics, and said of any man who could object to it that his statesmanship "was as wanting in wisdom as his Protestantism lacked the spirit of true Christianity." Now, when 1928 he (Dr. Ball) was told that the English people had decided on this question, and that the right hon. Gentleman and those around him were returned to carry out no other view than one of the total demolition of every possible endowment, and the complete isolation of the State from connection with every form of religion, what security had he that the constituencies did not return the right hon. Gentleman because they approved of his letter? The right hon. Gentleman was not a humble person whose words were as nothing. And this was no hasty expression, but a deliberate manifesto, made by the right hon. Gentleman when going to Ireland as a missionary and an apostle of the new doctrines which he was to promulgate for the regeneration of the Irish people. It was an elaborate and matured manifesto, one which there could be little doubt Mr. Pitt would have read with approbation, and yet they were told that the right hon. Gentleman's return, among others, proved conclusively that it would be wrong to deal with this question in the way which he had himself suggested. He (Dr. Ball) thought that it was not open to this House, after its legislation in respect to Canada and Maynooth, to assert that the State disclaimed as objectionable in principle either pecuniary assistance or other bounty for the benefit of Roman Catholic clergymen. Besides, as the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) had well observed, it was a consequence of the disestablishment of the Church, that, as there was no system of religion which had their preference in Ireland, so there was no system of religion which had their condemnation. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government made a declaration on the subject long since. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had expressed similar views as those he (Dr. Ball) now put forward as to the effect of the Maynooth Grant. He abandoned Office in 1845 on the Maynooth question, and said, with reference to the grant to Maynooth—I am far from saying that it virtually decides upon the payment of the Roman Catholic priests of Ireland by the State; but I do not deny that it disposes of the religious objections to such a project.He cited these authorities from the Treasury Bench for the purpose of im- 1929 pressing upon the House that this particular objection to the course which the Lords had pursued, founded upon the impropriety of an endowment of Roman Catholicism, was an objection which their own legislation had controverted upon previous occasions. He (Dr. Ball) must also remind the House of an old Act of Parliament which had been very much over-looked in the course of these debates. At the time of the conquest of Canada there was inserted in the Articles of Capitulation a provision that the Roman Catholic religion was to be respected with reference to its rights, and, expanding the letter of this engagement, a Bill was introduced into the British—not the Canadian—Parliament to endow and establish the Catholic Church in Lower Canada, and that Bill was carried in the face of every one of the objections urged on the present occasion to the Lords' Amendment giving glebes. He did not ask them to originate an extensive scheme now, but here they had Amendments by the Lords conceived in the spirit towards the Roman Catholics of Ireland which the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade had recommended. Take the Amendments as a whole, and they were neither excessive nor unfair. For the present question it was enough to say, that no one who respected the principle of religious endowment could support the Government.
Mr. Speaker, I think it unfortunate that this debate has fallen, necessarily, perhaps, into some confusion, because one portion of it has been devoted to the question of the distribution of the surplus, and the question as to the distribution is whether it should be distributed now or at some future time. The right hon. and learned Gentleman (Dr. Ball) has turned the debate to another point, which I admit to be one of very great importance, and on which I believe there is a remarkable unanimity of opinion in this House. He has done me the honour to appeal to a letter which I wrote on the subject about seventeen years ago—not at a time when, as he said, I was meditating an invasion of Ireland, but a little time after I paid a visit to Ireland. It was a letter written to the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Sir John Gray) at a time when there was about to be held in Dublin some conference of Irish Members 1930 and other Irish gentlemen, with a view to the general consideration of Irish questions. I was invited to that conference. I could not attend, and I wrote a letter giving my opinion as to the Church question. I believe it was a wise letter at that moment. I am prepared to adhere to every word that was in it. At the same time there can be no doubt whatever that the proposition that letter contained met with no support from the Protestants of Ireland, and has certainly met with no support from the great body of the Protestants of Great Britain. I was regarding the question as one of the most difficult that could come before the country or the Government, and I was looking at it merely as a question of political justice without reference to the small matters of endowment. I proposed that on the abolition of the Established Church in Ireland there should be given to it £1,000,000 as a nucleus for a sustentation fund; £1,000,000 to the Roman Catholics of Ireland—about £1,000 for each parish—to provide priests' houses and some ten acres of land; and £1,000,000 to the Presbyterians of Ireland; that the Maynooth Grant and the Regium Donum should thereupon cease; and that the whole of these should in future be considered totally disconnected as religious societies from the State, and be in the same position as the Wesleyan body in England and the Tree Church in Scotland. That would have been a measure of great political justice—a measure of political equality; but we know perfectly well that in this country there has grown up from that time to this an increasing hostility to religious endowments. At this very moment we hear by every post that the Protestants of Ireland would rather go out naked on the hill-side with their Church than take anything from the funds they hitherto possessed and hand it over to their Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen. If I were in favour of religious endowments I would be ashamed of uttering such a sentiment as that. I find in Scotland, apart from the hostility to the Roman Catholic religion, that if it were a question to endow the Presbyterians or Wesleyans of Ireland there would be a universal cry of condemnation on the part of Scotland, and I believe there would be an equally universal cry of condemnation on the part of England and of 1931 Wales. The question offered for consideration in my letter to the hon. Member for Kilkenny is not one that it is competent now for any Member to carry. There has not been in our time any Minister more powerful than my right hon. Friend at the head of the Government; but the right hon. Gentleman the late Home Secretary knows, and the hon. Member for South-west Lancashire (Mr. Cross) knows, that all my right hon. Friend's influence and power would break and shiver like broken glass if we were to propose by these funds to endow the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. And if that be so, why should we not dismiss that question? I do not blame my right hon. Friend the Member for Morpeth (Sir George Grey) for his observations. He was one of those who, more than thirty years ago, was voting upon this question of money, on the principle of political equality to which he refers; and, doubtless, he sympathizes with his noble Friend who, on the Liberal Benches in the other House of Parliament, supports the principle of concurrent endowment. But he is obliged to admit that he cannot expect that support from either side of the House; and though I am not sure that he said, I am certain that he will admit, that he could not look for any kind of support from the country that would enable any Minister to carry such a scheme through this House. Leaving that, let me, for one moment, address myself to the question that is before the House. Some hon. Members want to make it appear that there are two questions before the House—-one for delay in the appropriation of the surplus, and the other for endowment; but the fact is that the one question depends upon the other. What did the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) say to-night? He said, if this question were determined against him, it would settle other propositions further on in the Bill. He knows perfectly well that the Preamble, as it stands, as it has come down to us from the Lords, is tied up indissolubly with other propositions in the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman says himself, with the question of the Ulster glebes; and the right hon. Gentleman knows that it is tied up with the delay in the distribution of the surplus. I think, Sir, that as we are upon the House of Lords we are not kept to that rigid 1932 avoidance of mentioning that Assembly that we are upon other occasions. You will recollect, when the question came on in that House, how Lord Grey proposed an alteration in the Preamble. Why did he do it? For the very purpose that he might eliminate these words, and that he might leave the course open for his own ancient—not newly taken up—opinions and policy, which was to distribute a portion of the surplus to the Roman Catholic Church—I hope in proportion to the numbers of that Church in the population. Lord Grey's view has been laid before the public in a letter which he did me the honour to write to me only last Session. He proposed to give the Roman Catholic clergy what he thought their fair share in proportion to the Roman Catholic population. He said—Let us take these words out of the Preamble, and when we come to the clauses we will be able to give what we like to the Protestant Church in Ireland, and give what our opponents will allow to the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland.Therefore it is quite clear, and I have not the smallest doubt, that if it had not been for the proposition for concurrent endowment no one in the House of Lords would have proposed to delay and leave undetermined the distribution of the surplus. The fact is that we know perfectly well that all the Whig Peers that voted against the Government acted on that principle, and we know that a portion of the House of Lords acted on it when the Marquess of Salisbury adopted that principle. And we know also how those who wished to embarrass the Bill of the Government acted with Lord Cairns. The conclusion to which I am compelled to come is, that the sole effect of delaying the distribution of the surplus is to leave that surplus in hand, so that hereafter, when public opinion—which has not yet begun to grow in that direction—is right for a more extended endowment, then some future Minister may take these £5,000,000, £6,000,000, or £7,000,000, and make some distribution of it towards the teaching of the religion of various sects in Ireland, to which, I believe, the House and the country are not ready to consent. The right hon. Gentleman says that this question has been slightly discussed. All I know is, that I sat continually in this House for twelve nights, from four o'clock till midnight, almost without 1933 leaving. I was here a great deal more than the right hon. Gentleman. He looked to me excessively weary on many occasions, and did not sit out the whole of the discussions. The real reason why this question of the distribution of the surplus was not much discussed was this—that we could not discuss it upon the basis upon which it was discussed in the House of Lords. Unless you could say in the Preamble that you wanted the surplus for concurrent endowment at some future time, that was not open to you when you came to consider the actual plan in the Bill. It is easy to cavil at it, as I believe it would be at any other plan; but still, looking at the whole difficulty of the case, it was a measure fair in proposition, and you were not entitled to find fault with it. Why, the interest of this surplus is only about the income derived from some rich nobleman's estate. I believe there are some half-dozen great proprietors in this country whose annual income will amount to as much as the whole of the interest of this surplus. It is not a question that the two sides of the House need very much quarrel about. Least of all is it, I think, a question that the two Houses of Parliament ought to come to an irreconcilable conflict about. It is a matter of importance; but I defy any man to show any other mode of the distribution of the fund which would not at least be as liable to as much objection as can be raised to this mode. As to education nothing would be more reasonable, nothing would be more proper, than to apply the fund in promoting education; but that question is surrounded with difficulties. They are known quite as much on that Bench as on this. You might use the fund for the purpose of making some transfer of landed property, such as I ventured to suggest. That is a mode of distributing the fund that would recommend itself, as the House may suppose, very much to my feelings. Indeed, when hon. Gentlemen have learned a little more with regard to this question, it is possible that the surplus might be employed for that purpose without actually disturbing the income from it. But that is not a plan I am recommending. I am recommending what is in the Bill, as it is my honest duty, on principle, to do, because I believe that the plan proposed is the only one which will give relief to classes 1934 to whom the relief given by law is a very bare kind of relief. Let the House remember this—that all the persons to whom this relief is given are not voluntary sufferers. There will not be one blind man, one dumb man, one lunatic man the more in Ireland in consequence of the money that you offer in charity for their relief. They are the classes of our fellow-creatures to whom the law in this country as yet has not adequately and kindly enough ministered, therefore, I say that in coming to a settlement of this great question, in doing something that I hope will tend to the healing of these three nations, we may feel the satisfaction at the same time that it was done for the purpose of giving unusual relief to those whom God has permitted to be amongst the greatest sufferers of His creatures; and if they are unable, in their blighted and hopeless condition, to thank you, in their hearts they will do so, and at least Heaven will bless the distribution you make of the funds thus coming into your hands.
§ MR. CAWLEY
said, he could not give a silent vote on this question, particularly after the direct allusion made by the Prime Minister to the Lancashire Members and to the speeches delivered from the front Opposition Bench. At all events, he was one of those who could not give his consent to concurrent endowment, and he, therefore, could not vote for the omission from the Preamble of the words which the Lords had struck out, because their omission would leave it open to use the surplus for concurrent endowment. Any hon. Member who believed the clauses introduced by the Lords were consistent with justice might vote for them, and still vote for retaining the words of the Preamble having reference to the surplus hereafter to be divided, for those words after the passing of the Act could refer to nothing but the surplus. One word in reference to the endowment of Roman Catholics. He should be sorry if it were supposed that he, for one, was objecting, as had been suggested by some hon. Members, to the endowment of error as error. He objected to the endowment of the Roman Catholic Church, not on the ground of its error, but on the ground of its independent political organization. He agreed that if there were to be an endowment of religion in any form whatever, the State must re- 1935 tain its control; but the Roman Catholic Church would not brook the control of the State, and, therefore, he objected to endowing it. He dissented altogether from the proposition that the recognition of any religion by the State rendered necessary the recognition of all religions; what he would say was, either we must have an Established Church, or, if we had none, we must not endow any religious body whatever. He was thoroughly opposed to the Bill; but he would not on that ground consent to any modification of it which would leave it open hereafter to apply the surplus to the endowment of the Roman Catholic, or of any Church whatever.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
I agree with one remark made by the hon. Member who has just sat down. It seems to me that, even if the Preamble be restored to the exact and precise shape in which it left the House of Lords, there would be nothing to prevent any Members of this House, who believe that the Church to which we ourselves belong has a just and equitable claim to those terms which the Amendments of the House of Lords have conceded to it, voting for the Amendments made in the subsequent clauses. Nay, more, there would be nothing to prevent those who think that, under the circumstances, the Roman Catholics of Ireland have a just and equitable claim, in order to carry out the principle of equality as between the several religious denominations in Ireland, to that which the Lords have given them by the 27th clause, also voting for the Lords' Amendments, even if the Preamble were restored to its original state. Have we not over and over again heard it imputed to my right hon. Friend that he has done that which was inconsistent with his own Preamble in giving Maynooth College, out of the property of the Church, that compensation which by the Bill he proposes to give? And what has always been the answer of my right hon. Friend? That the pledge against giving anything to religious purposes applies only to the residue or surplus after answering all just and equitable claims; and, therefore, anyone who thinks that the Roman Catholics, or any other body of Christians in Ireland, have just and equitable claims which ought to be satisfied in a certain manner, certainly would not be precluded from 1936 giving effect to that opinion, in whatever form you leave the Preamble of the Bill. I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman above me (Sir George Grey), and with my right hon. Friend in deprecating the course of leaving open to future discussions in future Parliaments the distribution of this surplus. I do not believe that that would mitigate any evil effect which the Bill would otherwise produce. I do not think it would be conducive to or promote any good effect which the supporters of the Bill expect from it, and, therefore, it is impossible for me to support this Amendment of the Lords.
With regard to that other large and important question which has been introduced into this discussion, the House will permit me to express candidly the opinion which I entertain. I have never been an advocate of concurrent endowment, because I have sympathized largely with those who are unwilling to take active measures towards the endowment and support of a religious system not in accordance with their own convictions. Partly under the influence of that feeling, and partly recognizing the fact which everyone must observe—the actual state of public opinion on this subject—I have acquiesced—contrary to my own sense of what the logic and reason of the case would require, and contrary to the inevitable result of the views of justice on which this Bill is founded—I have acquiesced in what appears to be the determination of the country not to admit anything in the shape of concurrent endowment. But when this Bill comes down from the other House of Parliament with this Amendment, intended to give better and fuller effect to the statement in the Preamble, that, upon principles of equality as between all denominations, all just and equitable claims shall, as far as possible, be satisfied; when, despite the resistance of the friends of the Irish Church, the greater portion of the property of that Church is to be taken away from her—certainly not in accordance with my sense of what is equitable and just, I find it quite impossible to refuse to the great majority of the Irish people this very moderate boon, which the Lords have proposed to confer upon them. I cannot admit the assertion, that it is contrary to the principle of the Bill. Do not imagine you make the principle of the Bill by 1937 putting particular words into the Preamble. The real principle of the Bill is that the property of the Irish Church is now to be dealt with as the property of the State; that this property is held by the State in trust for the Irish people; that ages ago it was taken from the great majority of the people for whose religious purposes it was intended, and that it ought now to be devoted to Irish purposes on principles of strict equality. This being so, can anyone pretend that in justice no portion of the property so taken from the Irish Church should be enjoyed by the great majority of the Irish people for religious purposes? Let it never be forgotten that you have not been quite so unjust and ungenerous to the Irish Protestants as some persons in their zeal for the cause of the Irish Church seem to imagine. There are traces of generosity towards the Protestants in this Bill, considering always the principle on which the Bill proceeds. On terms very different from those which would require the payment of the full value, it leaves them the residences of the clergy; and it leaves them free the churches themselves, including the magnificent cathedrals—these churches and cathedrals being the most visible signs on the face of the country of what has been as well as what is now. All those things remain, because you have not been able to steel your hearts to such violent wrong as would have been done to the Protestants if they had not been suffered to remain; but having left so much to the Protestants, you say that not even residences shall be given to the clergy of the great majority of the people of Ireland out of the funds taken from the Irish Church, and which are no longer to be applied to their original purposes. Now, what is the principle on which this is refused? Is it on the principle that you cannot consistently give any portion of what is State property to be used for the religious purposes of a majority of the people, unless you agree with that majority in their religious system? If we are to proceed on such a principle as that, are we not telling all who do not agree with our own religious system—all Roman Catholics and Presbyterians—that they are compromising their religious principles by permitting any portion of what this Bill regards as public national property to 1938 be enjoyed by an Established Church to which they do not belong, either in Scotland or England? It is manifest that we should not like to have all these questions dealt with on such principles. Therefore I say, without any violation of conscience, we may be passive when that is done which, upon the principles which we profess, would be just and logical towards a religious community to which we do not belong—that, in short, we do in Lower Canada, what we do in the cases of our workhouses and gaols, and in the more extreme case wherever we support by law religious endowments among heathen nations over which we bear rule. Well, if that be so, what is the real and true reason why this is now impossible? I do not at all deny what has been said by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, that, perhaps, it may be impossible; but we must look at the fact in a straightforward manner, and when we come to deal with the rest of the Amendments to this Bill, and with the question of how you are to treat the disestablished Church, it would be well to tear the masks from our faces, if we have been imagining that we are proceeding upon different principles from those upon which we really have proceeded. What is the impediment in this case? Can anyone doubt that if an Irish Parliament had to decide this question, they would give the money, or some part of it, either to these particular purposes specified in the 27th clause, or to the religious education of the people of Ireland? Can anyone believe for a moment that if an Irish Parliament, dealing on Irish principles, with a view to Irish interests, had to dispose of this surplus, they would affirm the principle that no part of it was to go to the maintenance of religion in any shape or form whatever? Those who believe that such would be the decision of an Irish Parliament are, perhaps, perfectly right in opposing a proposition of this kind; but I take the liberty of saying that I am of an entirely different opinion; and I think my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade expressed an entirely different opinion. Did he refer to the general opinion of the Roman Catholics of Ireland as an opinion which would be opposed to such a use of these funds, if they were able to make that ficial effects expected from it, while it 1939 use of them? He referred to the opinion of those persons in Ireland who would rather go naked to the hills with their disestablished Church than see a single shilling given for the endowment of the Roman Catholic religion. He referred to the opinion of those Orangemen of Ulster, whose address lately received a very courteous answer from the Prime Minister. He referred to the opinion of those in Scotland and in England, who put an absolute veto on that plan, which he himself said was in its principles just, which he himself propounded seventeen years ago, and which, unless my memory deceives me, he has in substance repeated much more recently. Well, then, what is the real impediment? It has received a name, and its true name, from the hon. Member for South-west Lancashire (Mr. Cross). It is Protestant ascendancy, and nothing else. That may be a very good thing and a very right thing in the eyes of some persons; but I am sure my right hon. Friend at the head of the Government is not willingly acting in accordance with its spirit. He told us that Protestant ascendancy was a up as tree which ought to be extirpated from Ireland, as being the cause of all the evils regarding the Church, the land, and education. If that be so, are we really acting on those principles of equality which we profess? Are we truly disposing of this fund as an Irish fund, for Irish purposes, and upon Irish principles? It was Protestant ascendancy—by which I mean the power of Protestantism in Great Britain, as opposed to the Roman Catholic persuasion,—which set up the Established Church in Ireland, which enacted the Penal Laws formerly, and which is now dictating the specific form and character of this Bill. We must not disguise that from ourselves. Of the advocates of the voluntary system I have always spoken with the greatest respect. They would apply to themselves, and to all other Protestants, as well as to the Roman Catholics, the principle that there should be no public endowments, and no Esblished Church. There is nothing inconsistent on their part in endeavouring to apply to Ireland that principle which they would not shrink from applying anywhere else. In England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy—wherever there is a religious Establishment, they would 1940 apply that principle impartially. I honour them for it; and I do not pretend to say they cannot justify the application of their principles to Ireland without setting up Protestant ascendancy; but I say that without that majority in these countries, which is to be attributed not to their principle, but to the principle of Protestant ascendancy, the advocates of voluntaryism would not have been able to imprint upon this Bill the character which it now bears. Again, the Roman Catholics of Ireland, adopting a policy which they have often acted on before, are on this occasion shaking hands with Protestant ascendancy in order that success may be secured in a battle against the Irish Church. Those who do not want to see the principles of voluntaryism established in England and Scotland join with the voluntaries to produce this effect. Together, they dictate the form of the Bill. Do you suppose it will not be understood when it is all done why it has been done, and that this will not have some effect upon the ultimate ends which you have in view? Will you really have produced the equality of which you talk, or have created in the minds of the Irish people a sense that full justice has been done to all equitable claims; or, on the other hand, will the sentiments expressed in the strong terms of a pamphlet, which I read this morning, by an Irish Protestant clergyman, ably advocating the doctrine of concurrent endowment, be likely to be felt very widely, not merely among those who are the immediate sufferers by the Bill, but also among those to whom you will have refused even the small been of houses and glebes? The writer says—Tour Government has insisted that both Houses of Parliament shall concentrate their attention on a single Bill, and shall pass it with high-handed haste: a Bill which possesses none of the attributes we hoped for; but is in the last degree anti-Irish, illiberal, and intolerant; which confers no been on any one class of the Irish people, except the class of absentees, impoverishing and despoiling all the rest; a Bill which builds nothing, enlarges nothing, reforms nothing, improves nothing, and encourages nothing, but only destroys and dissipates the partial good we have, and by confiscating and re-distributing our means leaves it out of your own power, or the power of anyone, to re-construct, except at the expense of still larger confiscations and derangements.I have always been apprehensive that this Bill would not produce the bene- 1941 must necessarily produce great irritation on the class with whom it proposes to deal. The question is, will the merely destructive and negative been which Her Majesty's Government propose to give to the majority of Irish people have the effect of conciliating them? I think it will not; and, therefore, I shall feel compelled, on this subject, to give my vote for assenting to the Lords' Amendments.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
Sir, I do not propose to detain the House for more than a few moments. I entirely differ from the speech of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), inasmuch as he appears to me to put an altogether erroneous interpretation upon the Preamble of the Bill. I also differ from the view taken of the matter by the hon. Member for Southwest Lancashire (Mr. Cross), because I believe that it is the duty of the State to teach religion, and therefore I have no desire to be a party to restoring the words in the Preamble which have been struck out by the Lords' Amendment. Upon the Amendment proposed upon the Report by the hon. Member for Dublin (Mr. Pim), I should feel at liberty to vote against the clause itself which deals with the question of conferring the glebes, as I expressed my opinion against it when the hon. Member originally brought it forward; nor can I conceive upon what possible grounds the hon. Member for South-west Lancashire has thought it reasonable to replace those words in the Bill, because that hon. Gentleman was against the clause afterwards to be voted upon. By suggesting to the right hon. Gentleman that those words should be restored simply, he has put the House in an entirely false position, because he himself entertains as strongly as myself the belief that it is the duty of the State to teach religion. I hope that on the question of the reservation of the surplus effect may be given to the principle that it is the duty of the State to teach religion. I shall vote against the restoration of the words struck out by the Lords' Amendment.
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, that this being a new Question, the hon. Member for North Warwickshire was perfectly in Order.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, he wished to explain to the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball), and to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. G. Hardy), that he had not the slightest intention of voting against the devotion of the funds to be taken from the Irish Church for the purpose of teaching religion, and in proof of his holding a contrary opinion be begged to move the omission of all the words it was proposed to restore before the word "nor" in the 10th line of the Preamble, which would then run—"the proceeds thereof shall be for the teaching of religion."
§ MR. ASSHETON CROSS
also explained that the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford was mistaken in supposing that he objected to the funds to be taken from the Irish Church being applied for the teaching of religion.
§ The Amendment, not being seconded, was not put.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 346; Noes 222: Majority 124.1946
|Acland, T. D.||Bowring, E. A.|
|Adair, H. E.||Brady, J.|
|Akroyd, E.||Brand, right hon. H.|
|Allen, W. S.||Brand, H. R.|
|Amcotts, Col. W. C.||Brassey, H. A.|
|Amory, J. H.||Brassey, T.|
|Anderson, G.||Brewer, Dr.|
|Anstruther, Sir R.||Bright, rt. hon. J.|
|Antrobus, E.||Bright, J. (Manchester)|
|Armitstead, G.||Brinckman, Capt.|
|Ayrton, A. S.||Brocklehurst, W. C.|
|Aytoun, R. S.||Brogden, A.|
|Bagwell, J.||Brown, A. H.|
|Baines, E.||Bruce, Lord C.|
|Baker, R. B. W.||Bruce, rt. hon. H. A.|
|Barclay, A. C.||Bryan, G. L.|
|Barry, A. H. S.||Buller, Sir E. M.|
|Bass, M. A.||Bulwer, rt. hn. Sir H. L|
|Bass, M. T.||Bury, Viscount|
|Baxter, W. E.||Cadogan, hon. F. W.|
|Bazley, T.||Callan, P.|
|Beach, W. W. B.||Campbell, H.|
|Beaumont, Capt. F.||Candlish, J.|
|Beaumont, H. F.||Cardwell, rt. hon. E.|
|Beaumont, S. A.||Carington, hn. Cap. W.|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Carnegie, hon. C.|
|Bentall, E. H.||Carter, Mr. Alderman|
|Biddulph, M.||Cartwright, W. C.|
|Blake, J. A.||Castlerosse, Viscount|
|Blennerhassett, Sir R.||Cave, T.|
|Bolckow, H. W. F.||Cavendish, Lord F. C.|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||Cavendish, Lord G.|
|Cawley, C. E.||Gladstone, W. H.|
|Chambers, M.||Gower, hon. E. F. L.|
|Chambers, T.||Gower, Lord R.|
|Childers, rt. hn. H. C. E.||Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.|
|Cholmeley, Capt.||Gourley, E. T.|
|Cholmele y, Sir M.||Graham, W.|
|Clay, J.||Grant, Col. hon. J.|
|Clement, W. J.||Gray, Sir J.|
|Clive, Col. E.||Gregory, W. H.|
|Cogan, rt. hn. W. H. F.||Greville, Captain|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Grieve, J. J.|
|Coleridge, Sir J. D.||Grosvenor, Earl|
|Collier, Sir R. P.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Colthurst, Sir G. C.||Guest, M. J.|
|Cowen, J.||Hadfield, G.|
|Cowper, hon. H. F.||Hamilton, E. W. T.|
|Cowper, rt. hon. W. F.||Hanmer, Sir J.|
|Craufurd, E. H. J.||Harcourt, W. G. G. V.V.|
|Crawford, R. W.||Hardcastle, J. A.|
|Crossley, Sir F.||Harris, J. D.|
|Dalglish, R.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Dalrymple, D.||Haviland-Burke, E.|
|D'Arcy, M. P.||Hay, Lord J.|
|Davie, Sir H. R. F.||Henderson, J.|
|Davies, R.||Henley, rt. hon. J. W.|
|Delahunty, J.||Henley, Lord|
|Denison, E.||Herbert, H. A.|
|Denman, hon. G.||Hibbert, J. T.|
|Dent, J. D.||Hodgkinson, G.|
|Devereux, R. J.||Holms, J.|
|Dickinson, S. S.||Holt, J. M.|
|Digby, K. T.||Horsman, right hon. E.|
|Dilke, Sir C. W.||Howard, hon. C. W. G.|
|Dillwyn, L. L.||Howard, J.|
|Dixon, G.||Hughes, T.|
|Dodds, J.||Hughes, W. B.|
|Dodson, J. G.||Hurst, R. H.|
|Downing, M'C.||Hutt, rt. hon. Sir W.|
|Dowse, R.||Hyde, Lord|
|Duff, M. E. G.||Illingworth, A.|
|Duff, R. W.||James, H.|
|Edwardes, hon. Col. W.||Jardine, R.|
|Edwards, H.||Jessel, G.|
|Egerton, Capt. hon. F.||Johnston, A.|
|Ellice, E.||Johnston, W.|
|Enfield, Viscount||Johnstone, Sir H.|
|Ennis, J. J.||Keown, W.|
|Erskine, Vice-Ad. J. E.||King, hon. P. J. L.|
|Esmonde, Sir J.||Kinglake, J. A.|
|Ewing, H. E. C.||Kingscote, Colonel|
|Eykyn, R.||Kinnaird, hon. A. F.|
|Fagan, Captain||Kirk, W.|
|Fawcett, H.||Knatchbull-Hugessen, E. H.|
|FitzGerald, right hon. Lord O. A.||Layard, rt. hon. A. H.|
|Lambert, N. G.|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord E.||Lancaster, J.|
|Fitz-Patrick, rt. hn. J. W.||Lawrence, J. C.|
|Fitzwilliam, hn. C. W. W.||Lawrence, W.|
|Fitzwilliam, hon. H. W.||Lea, T.|
|Fletcher, I.||Leatham, E. A.|
|Foljambe, F. J. S.||Lee, W.|
|Fordyce, W. D.||Lefevre, G. J. S.|
|Forster, C.||Lewis, J. D.|
|Forster, rt. hon. W. E.||Lloyd, Sir T. D.|
|Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P.||Loch, G.|
|Fothergill, R.||Locke, J.|
|Fowler, W.||Lorne, Marquess of|
|French, rt. hon. Col.||Lowe, rt. hon. R.|
|Gavin, Major||Lowther, J.|
|Gilpin, C.||Lush, Dr.|
|Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.||Lusk, A.|
|Lyttelton, hon. C. G.||Roden, W. S.|
|M'Arthur, W.||Rothschild, Brn. L. N. de|
|M'Clean, J. R.||Rothschild, Brn. M. A. de|
|M'Clure, T.||Rothschild, N. M. de|
|MacEvoy, E.||Russell, A.|
|Macfie, R. A.||Russell, F. W.|
|Mackintosh, E. W.||Russell, Sir W.|
|M'Lagan, P.||Rylands, P.|
|M'Laren, D.||St. Aubyn, J.|
|M'Mahon, P.||Samuda, J. D'A.|
|Maguire, J. F.||Samuelson, B.|
|Maitland, Sir A. C. R. G.||Samuelson, H. B.|
|Magniac, C.||Scott, Sir W.|
|Marling, S. S.||Seely, C. (Lincoln)|
|Martin, C. W.||Seely, C. (Nottingham)|
|Martin, P. W.||Shaw, R.|
|Matheson, A.||Shaw, W.|
|Mellor, T. W.||Sheridan, H. B.|
|Melly, G.||Sherlock, D.|
|Merry, J.||Sherriff, A. C.|
|Miall, E.||Simeon, Sir J.|
|Milbank, F. A.||Simon, Mr. Serjeant|
|Miller, J.||Smith, J. B.|
|Milton, Viscount||Smith, T. E.|
|Mitchell, T. A.||Stacpoole, W.|
|Moncreiff, rt. hon. J.||Stanley, hon. W. O.|
|Monk, C. J.||Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.|
|Monsell, rt. hon. W.||Stapleton, J.|
|Morgan, G. O.||Stepney, Colonel|
|Morley, S.||Stevenson, J. C.|
|Morrison, W.||Stone, W. H.|
|Mundella, A. J.||Sullivan, rt. hon. E.|
|Muntz, P. H.||Sykes, Colonel W. H.|
|Murphy, N. D.||Synan, E. J.|
|Nicol, J. D.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|North, F.||Taylor, P. A.|
|Norwood, C. M.||Tite, Sir W.|
|O'Brien, Sir P.||Tollemache, hon. F. J.|
|O'Conor, D. M.||Tollemache, J.|
|O'Conor Don, The||Torrens, R. R.|
|O'Donoghue, The||Torrens, W. T. M'C.|
|Ogilvy, Sir J.||Tracy, hon. C. R. D. H.|
|O'Loghlen, rt. hon. Sir C. M.||Trelawny, Sir J. S.|
|Trevelyan, G. O.|
|Onslow, G.||Verney, Sir H.|
|O'Reilly, M. W.||Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.|
|O'Reilly-Dease, M.||Vivian, A. P.|
|Otway, A. J.||Vivian. H. H.|
|Palmer, J. H.||Vivian, Capt. hn. J. C. W.|
|Parker, C. S.||Walter, J.|
|Parry, L. Jones.||Wedderburn, Sir D.|
|Pease, J. W.||Weguelin, T. M.|
|Peel, A. W.||West, H. W.|
|Pelham, Lord||Westhead, J. P. B.|
|Pell, A.||Whalley, G. H.|
|Philips, R. N.||Whatman, J.|
|Platt, J.||Whitbread, S.|
|Playfair, L.||White, hon. Capt. C.|
|Plimsoll, S.||White, J.|
|Portman, hon. W. H. B.||Whitwell, J.|
|Potter, E.||Whitworth, T.|
|Potter, T. B.||Williams, W.|
|Power, J. T.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Price, W. E.||Willyams, E. W. B.|
|Price, W. P.||Wingfield, Sir C.|
|Ramsden, Sir J. W.||Winterbotham, H. S. P.|
|Rathbone, W.||Woods, H.|
|Reed, C.||Young, A. W.|
|Rebow, J. G.||Young, G.|
|Richards, E. M.||Glyn, G. G.|
|Robertson, D.||Adam, W. P.|
|Adderley, rt. hn. C. B.||Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H.|
|Allen, Major||Ewing, A. O.|
|Amphlett, R. P.||Feilden, H. M.|
|Annesley, hon. Col. H.||Fellowes, E.|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||Fielden, J.|
|Arkwright, A. P.||Figgins, J.|
|Assheton, R.||Finch, G. H.|
|Bagge, Sir W.||Floyer, J.|
|Bailey, Sir J. R.||Forde, Colonel|
|Ball, J. T.||Forester, rt. hon. Gen.|
|Baring, T.||Fortescue, hon. D. F.|
|Barnett, H.||Fowler, R. N.|
|Barrington, Viscount||Galway, Viscount|
|Barrow, W. H.||Gallwey, Sir W. P.|
|Barttelot, Colonel||Garlies, Lord|
|Bateson, Sir T.||Gilpin, Colonel|
|Bathurst, A. A.||Goldney, G.|
|Beach, Sir M. H.||Gore, J. R. O.|
|Bective, Earl of||Graves, S. R.|
|Bentinck, G. C.||Gray, Lieut.-Colonel|
|Benyon, R.||Gregory, G. B.|
|Birley, H.||Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.|
|Bonham-Carter, J.||Guest, A. E.|
|Booth, Sir R. G.||Hambro, C.|
|Bourke, hon. R.||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Bourne, Colonel||Hamilton, I. T.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Hamilton, Lord G.|
|Brise, Colonel R.||Hamilton, Marquess of|
|Broadley, W. H. H.||Hardy, right hon. G.|
|Brodrick, hon. W.||Hardy, J.|
|Bruce, Sir H. H.||Hardy, J. S.|
|Bruen, H.||Hay, Sir J. C. D.|
|Buckley, Sir E.||Hendlam, rt. hon. T. E.|
|Burke, Viscount||Henniker-Major, hon. J. M.|
|Burrell, Sir P.|
|Butler-Johnstone, H. A.||Henry, J. S.|
|Cameron, D.||Herbert, right hon. Gen. Sir P.|
|Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G.||Hermon, E.|
|Chaplin, H.||Hervey, Lord A. H. C.|
|Charley, W. T.||Hesketh, Sir T. G.|
|Child, Sir S.||Heygate, Sir F. W.|
|Clive, Col. hon. G. W.||Hick, J.|
|Clowes, S. W.||Hildyard, T. B. T.|
|Cole, Col. hon. H. A.||Hill, A. S.|
|Collins, T.||Hoare, P. M.|
|Corbett, Colonel||Hodgson, W. N.|
|Crichton, Viscount||Holford, R. S.|
|Croft, Sir H. G. D.||Holmesdale, Viscount|
|Cross, R. A.||Hood, Captain hon. A. W. A. N.|
|Curzon, Viscount||Hope, A. J. B. B.|
|Dalrymple, C.||Howes, E.|
|Damer, Capt. Dawson.||Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.|
|Davenport, W. B.||Hutton, J.|
|Dawson, R. P.||Ingram, H. F. M.|
|De Grey, hon. T.||Jackson, R. W.|
|Be La Poer, E.||Jenkinson, Sir G. S.|
|Denison, C. B.||Kavanagh, A. Mac M.|
|Dick, F.||Kekewich, S. T.|
|Dickson, Major A. G.||Knight, F. W.|
|Dimsdale, R.||Knox, hon. Colonel S.|
|Disraeli, rt. hon. B.||Laird, J.|
|Duncombe, hon. Col.||Langton, W. H. P. G.|
|Dyott, Colonel R.||Laslett, W.|
|Eastwick, E. B.||Lefroy, A.|
|Eaton, H. W.||Legh, W. J.|
|Egerton, hon. A. F.||Lennox, Lord G. G.|
|Egerton, E. C.||Lennox, Lord H. G.|
|Egerton, hon. W.||Liddell, hon. H. G.|
|Elliot, G.||Lindsay, hon. Col. C.|
|Lindsay, Col. R. L.||Sclater-Booth, G.|
|Lopes, H. C.||Scott, Lord H. J. M. D.|
|Lopes, Sir M.||Scourfield, J. H.|
|Lowther, W.||Sidebottom, J.|
|Manners, Lord G. J.||Simonds, W. B.|
|Manners, rt. hon. Ld. J.||Smith, A.|
|March, Earl of||Smith, F. C.|
|Matthews, H.||Smith, R.|
|Maxwell, W. H.||Smith, S. G.|
|Meyrick, T.||Smith, W. H.|
|Milles, hon. G. W.||Stanley, hon. F.|
|Mills, C. H.||Stanley, Lord|
|Mitford, W. T.||Starkie, J. P. C.|
|Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R.||Stopford, S. G.|
|Montgomery, Sir G. G.||Stronge, Sir J. M.|
|Moore, G. H.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Morgan, C. O.||Sturt, Lieut.-Col. N.|
|Morgan, hon. Major||Sykes, C.|
|Mowbray, rt. hn. J. R.||Talbot, J. G.|
|Neville-Grenville, R.||Taylor, rt. hon. Col.|
|Newport, Viscount||Tipping, W.|
|Nicholson, W.||Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill.|
|North, Colonel||Turner, C.|
|Northcote, right hon. Sir S. H.||Turnor, E.|
|O'Neill, hon. E.||Verner, E. W.|
|Paget, R. H.||Verner, W.|
|Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.||Vickers, S.|
|Palmer, Sir R.||Walker, Major G. G.|
|Parker, Lieut.-Col. W.||Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.|
|Patten, rt. hon. Col. W.||Waterhouse, S.|
|Peek, H. W.||Welby, W. E.|
|Pemberton, E. L.||Wethered, T. O.|
|Percy, Earl||Whitmore, H.|
|Phipps, C. P.||Williams, C. H.|
|Pim, J.||Winn, R.|
|Powell, W.||Wise, H. C.|
|Raikes, H. C.||Wright, Colonel|
|Read, C. S.||Wyndham, hon. P.|
|Ridley, M. W.||Wynn, C. W. W.|
|Salt, T.||Noel, G. J.|
|Sandon, Viscount||Dyke, W. H.|
I have now to move the restoration of the remaining words of the Preamble which have been struck out by the Lords. The words are—And it is further expedient that the said property, or the proceeds thereof, should be appropriated mainly to the relief of unavoidable calamity and, suffering, yet so as not to cancel or impair the obligations now attached to property under the Acts for the relief of the poor.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the remainder of the said Amendment."—(Mr. Gladstone.)
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
With respect to this Amendment, I shall vote in favour of the Lords' Amendment, and on these grounds—that, in the first place, as I stated on the second reading, the plan proposed by the Government is calculated to lead to waste and jobbery. 1947 Having heard the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government make a statement as to the disposal of the surplus, I am convinced that he has not made himself acquainted with the facts of the case, and that he really does not know how it is to be disposed of. ["Oh!"] He has given notice of a proviso which, so far from being a final arrangement, will provide materials for discussion in every Session of Parliament. I wish to know in what way his proposal differs from leaving to a future Parliament the disposal of the surplus. The right hon. Gentleman says that a scheme is to be prepared by an Order in Council, which amounts to a Government scheme, and which would be laid before the House. He must expect that all sorts of schemes will be suggested, and that a number of them will have to be considered by the Government. What is the state of the case, as the right hon. Gentleman puts it, with respect to lunatics? There is no new provision that is not now provided for by the laws of the country. With respect to hospitals, there is no difference between England and Ireland, and there is no more reason why there should be a public provision on this subject in Ireland than in England. When he tells us that there are special needs in Ireland, I tell him that if there are special needs in Ireland there are special medical charities in that country, and that there is more medical provision for the destitute than in England. In every county and in every district there is a medical provision applicable to every destitute person, while in England no such provision exists. With regard to the blind and dumb, no one would sympathize more with those unfortunate persons than myself; but in England the blind and dumb have provision made for them by funds of a private character, by means of which they are instructed in trades, and put in a position to earn their own living. I do not see why, except in the case of very destitute persons, we should take a different course in Ireland by providing public funds for this purpose. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade has said that there would be objections to every scheme, and when the Orders in Council are laid before Parliament there will be objections to each, and we shall have all these discussions, which it is said to be the inten- 1948 tion of the Bill to avoid. But then, it is said, this alteration was made by the House of Lords in order to obtain concurrent endowment. That, however, is a perfect fiction, and the right hon. Gentleman has not, I think, represented exactly what happened. A noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland) moved a clause giving glebes to the Roman Catholic priests and the Presbyterian clergy, and that was objected to and negatived. The Motion on this subject, which was subsequently carried, was put down for discussion when the Bill stood for a third reading, and when the Preamble was complete. It was a noble Lord (the Earl of Carnarvon) who was opposed to concurrent endowment, and who spoke against it, who moved this Amendment, and it was moved without reference to concurrent endowment, and solely because it was not a proper distribution of the funds. ["Oh!"] I am only stating facts, and the hon. Gentleman who disputes would be unable to contradict any of the statements I have made. On these grounds, therefore, that no finality is obtained by restoring these words to the Preamble' or by the clause which follows in the Bill, and because the system proposed by the Government would inevitably lead to endless discussions in future Parliaments, I shall support the Lords' Amendment.
I am sorry to renew the debate, but I thought the right hon. Gentleman recollected more distinctly—
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
I rise to Order. The right hon. Gentleman, having spoken once, cannot speak again, unless upon some question of personal explanation. The right hon. Gentleman moved to disagree with the Lords in their Amendment, and that was his speech on the occasion. I submit that, having made a speech, he Cannot speak again, unless an Amendment is moved to his proposition.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I beg to say that that question has been decided in the case of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), who, having made a speech on the first occasion, proposed to speak after the original Motion had been withdrawn, and the first portion of it had been proposed again. That was a new proposition, and I decided that he could be heard.
§ MR. SPEAKER
The original Motion was that the House disagree to the Lords' Amendment, and I was obliged to put it to the House, whether it was their pleasure that the Amendment be withdrawn. It was withdrawn, and then it was moved again down to the words "teaching of religion." And upon that, as being a new Motion, I stated that the hon. Member for North Warwickshire had power to speak.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
And then, afterwards, the right hon. Gentleman moved that the House disagree with the Lords upon the subsequent part of the Amendment. I do not wish to stop the right hon. Gentleman from explaining anything; but with a view to the regularity of our debates, I wish the point of Order to be decided. The right hon. Gentleman will have plenty of opportunities of speaking in the course of the debate; but, having made his Motion, he has no right to speak, unless an Amendment is moved.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I think the right hon. Gentleman, having made that Motion, did deprive himself of the power of speaking upon it.
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
I wish to say one word in order to correct the entire misapprehension which ran through the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. G. Hardy) as to the Orders in Council. He is mistaken in supposing that the Orders in Council can possibly give rise to debate, as to the distribution of the surplus, beyond the provisions of this Act, when it shall become law. They will only regulate the mode in which the provisions of the Act shall be carried into effect. Highly important questions will arise, as to the mode of providing for the objects specified in the Act by subsidiary legislation. That legislation will have to be effected; but, in default of that legislation, the House, by these Orders in Council, will have full control over the whole of these subsidiary arrangements.
§ MR. FAWCETT
, who rose amid cries of "Divide," said, he did not think it would very much conduce to the dignity of the House, or indeed to a settlement of that question, if, immediately a Liberal Member rose to object to one portion of that scheme, he were not allowed to speak. He thought he had some right to speak on that question. He was the only Member on that side of the House 1950 who ventured to object to the scheme of appropriation when it was originally introduced, and the Prime Minister had, with great candour, admitted it was a great misfortune that scheme was not more fully discussed in that House, because if it had it would have been better understood. He was quite certain that if they wished to get that question settled they must do the House of Lords the common respect of discussing its Amendments. That was simply a duty they owed to their opponents. In voting against the proposal of the Government in regard to the appropriation of that surplus, no one who knew his opinions could say that he did so because he was in favour of concurrent endowment, for from his youth he had always been strongly opposed to such a principle. But the question of appropriating the surplus had nothing whatever to do with concurrent endowment. He still objected to the appropriation scheme of the Government, as he had objected to it before; and if it could be shown that his arguments were fallacious he was willing to change his vote. He objected to that scheme because it gave the largest portion of the surplus, not to the relief of the poor or to the relief of unavoidable distress, but directly in aid of the rates which were paid by the land. He regarded every independent Member of that House, however humble his position, as a trustee for the administration of those funds. No responsibility, in his view, was more sacred than that of such a trustee; and nothing in the world would induce him to give a vote which was not in accordance with his sense of public duty. It had been argued that the surplus was to be appropriated to purposes that were not met by the rates; but that was not correct. No one could deny—and, indeed, the Prime Minister in introducing the Bill admitted—that a large portion of the surplus would go in aid of the county cess. Therefore, a large portion of it would go directly into the pockets of the landlords. When, in addition to that, they gave gratuitously to the Irish landlords £8,600,000—and it had been admitted over and over again in the House of Lords—he ventured to make this assertion, and he challenged contradiction, that ultimately the persons who would get the largest portion of the revenues of the Irish. Church would not be the disestablished 1951 Protestants, nor the Roman Catholics, nor the poor, the afflicted, and distressed in Ireland, but the absentee landlords of that country. ["No, no!"] He hoped that would be contradicted; but, believing it to be the fact, he would certainly vote with the Lords for postponing the appropriation of the surplus. He knew it was said that if they did not decide on its appropriation at once they would keep the question constantly open; but it seemed to him that the scheme contained in the proviso which had been mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government was especially framed with the view of keeping the question open. Every Irishman who represented a seaport where there were nets to be mended or boats to be repaired, and every Irishman who represented a county in which there was a bog to be drained or a river to be dammed, would come clamorously to that House, and ask not for a grant—he was quite aware of that—but for a loan of the capital of those revenues of the Irish Church. The Prime Minister had argued that whatever might be the objections to which the proposed method of appropriation was liable no better scheme had been devised in its stead. Well, but what opportunity had there been of discussing any other scheme? Some Liberal Members of that House were, to his own knowledge, prepared with different schemes; but there had been no chance when the Bill was in Committee, of obtaining even a discussion for them. The application of the surplus to the purposes of Irish education, or to the purchase of waste lands, would have found more than one advocate, if there had been any disposition on the part of the House or of the Government to accept independent suggestions from the Liberal Benches. If the appropriation were now postponed for a year, suggestions of that description would have time to make themselves heard; and if they were found impracticable the scheme of the Government—for the benefit of the Irish landlords could always be resorted to. He would be the last man to object to applying the surplus in aid of suffering and distress which were not chargeable on the rates; but even if he were the only Liberal who voted against the appropriation scheme which was now proposed, he would unhesitatingly vote against it.
§ MR. BLAKE
said, he wished to point out a discrepancy between the statement made by the Prime Minister early in the evening and that just made by the Chief Secretary for Ireland. He understood the Prime Minister to say that he proposed to introduce a proviso to enable the surplus to be applied to other objects than those included in Clause 68. One of those objects, in which he was exceedingly interested, was the sea fisheries of Ireland. Irishmen had learnt by this time that nothing was to be hoped for from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. However important the object might be, however consistent with the rules of the soundest political economy, the Imperial Exchequer was absolutely closed to them. It would be satisfactory if part of that surplus, which was Irish money, were devoted to such an object as he had just mentioned. But the Chief Secretary had just stated that these funds could not be appropriated in any such manner without a special Act of Parliament having to be brought in for the purpose, which would involve the necessity of their fighting the battle over again in that House. He hoped that the Prime Minister's proviso would obviate any such necessity.
Although it is contrary to ordinary rule, I dare say I shall be allowed to explain what I stated. What I stated, and wished to convey, was this—that the principles of final appropriation were laid down in the Bill, and were intended by us to be fixed and final, so as to get rid of any doubt at all about it. But I pointed out that that applied simply to the income from the fund, and that, therefore, it would be fatal to any plan like that of my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett), who proposes, as I understand him, to apply this fund, not in alleviation of Irish rates, but of British taxes, by giving it to defray the expense of education—[Mr. FAWCETT dissented]—but that it was perfectly compatible with any plan which Parliament might think fit to adopt in regard to the intermediate use of the money. Any mode of investing the money—its investment in loans that would be reproductive—for fisheries, or in any other form, would be perfectly compatible with the Bill. But the proviso of which I gave notice will have no reference whatever to any new definition of objects, and will be simply intended 1953 to secure this end, that in the subsidiary arrangements which may be attempted by Order in Council it shall be in the power of either House of Parliament, if it sees fit, to interfere and arrest the action of the Executive Government.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 246; Noes 164: Majority 82.
rose to move the re-insertion of the date originally fixed on for the disestablishment of the Church—namely, the 1st of January, 1871. On the introduction of the Bill he stated that this was not a question upon which the Government felt pledged, and he repeated this now, but believing it was in the interest of the public that the act of disestablishment should come as soon as possible after the passing of the Act, the Government fixed on the 1st of January, and waited for expressions of opinion from those best informed to see whether that date met with the approval of those connected with the Church itself. The four months which had since elapsed convinced him that the great proportion of intelligent persons connected with the Church preferred the earlier to the later day. He did not like to allude to what took place in the other House, or else he should sustain what he had to say by what took place there. The only ground on which the 1st of May could be preferred was that the 1st of May and the 1st of November are the periods on which the half-year's tithe commutation rent-charge is payable, and that if the 1st of January stood, two months of the charge would belong to the clergyman and four months to the Commissioners. Now, some trouble would be given to the Commissioners by this arrangement, but none to the clergyman. The Commissioners would be the collectors instead of the clergyman, and instead of the clergy having to collect this fragment of their income, they would receive it in one sum from the Commissioners. The 1st of January was preferable to the 1st of May on three grounds—that the clergy would be put to no inconvenience by the earlier date being fixed on; that so far as the state of opinion in the Irish Church goes, the Government were convinced that people generally preferred the earlier date,; and that it was greatly to the interests of all parties concerned that the matter should 1954 be brought to a close at the earliest practicable period. He therefore moved that the House disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
§ MR. DISRAELI
This is a subject on which, in spite of what the right hon. Gentleman has said, there is much difference of opinion amongst the persons best informed upon it. The date as it now stands in the Bill is really a compromise, and might well have been allowed to stand; but I shall not call upon the House to divide in opposition to the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. CHARLEY
said, it would have been a "gracious and generous" thing on the part of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government to have conceded this small point; but the right hon. Gentleman held over the Irish Church the axe of his tyrant majority ready to descend, and would not allow her time to settle her affairs. The right hon. Gentleman gave her short shrift indeed. He (Mr. Charley) wished that the Lords had adhered to the date first adopted by them—the 1st of January, 1872, and that that date had been adopted universally throughout the Bill. By this clause the Church was not to be disestablished till 1871; but, by the 10th clause, the date of disestablishment was practically accelerated and fixed for certain purposes at the passing of the Bill. If the 1st of January, 1872, had been fixed for all purposes as the date of disestablishment, the falling in of vested interests prior to total disestablishment would have been avoided, and there would have been no need of any "temporary provisions." He regretted that the House of Lords had undone the work they had originally done in changing the date a second time, as well as in rescinding their Motion for retaining the right of the existing Irish Bishops to seats in the House of Lords. In expelling these Prelates the Lords had assisted the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade to dig the grave of their own order. Practically, the Constitution was at an end. The Prime Minister gathered up in his own person, like Augustus, all the powers of the State. The balance of power, of which they had heard so much, no longer existed. "Her Most Gracious Majesty" meant the right hon. Gentleman; the House of Lords his most obedient humble ser- 1955 vants. The Lords were told that they had no alternative but to submit to the policy of the right hon. Gentleman. Talk of Americanizing the institutions of the country! ["Question!"]
§ MR. SPEAKER
I have to invite the attention of the hon. Gentleman to the Question immediately before the House, which relates to the day upon which the Bill shall come into operation.
§ MR. CHARLEY
trusted the right hon. Gentleman would kindly concede to the Church an extension of four months in the interval preceding disestablishment.
§ Motion agreed to.
There are a variety of changes which the Lords have made in the clauses relating to the Commissioners and their powers, and other kindred matters, with respect to which some of them seem to us to be improvements, and others of them are not open to such objections as to make it our duty to resist them; and therefore I shall move to agree to all the Amendments—except in the case of the substitution of the 1st of May for the 1st of January—until we come down to Clause 13.
§ Motion agreed, to.
§ Clause 14 (Compensation to ecclesiastical persons other than curates).
said, he proposed to agree to the Amendment of the Lords, striking out lines 21, 22, and 23; and in line 24, from the words "salaries of curates employed under the obligation of the law," he proposed to amend the Lords' Amendment by striking out the words "employed under the obligation of the law." The clause raised, he said, the whole question of conferring endowments—and it involved two points. As the Bill went to the Lords, the salaries of curates, whom the Commissioners should judge to be permanent curates, were made deductions from the income of the incumbent. In estimating the income of the incumbent for valuation, a tax payable by him under the Temporalities Act of 1833, to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, was not to be deducted. The Lords had made changes upon both these points. Upon the first point the Lords had limited the deduction of the curate's salary from the incumbent's income, in cases in which the incumbent was under an absolute legal obligation 1956 to employ him. He would not say that there were any such cases in Ireland; he presumed that there were; but probably they were numbered by one or two tens or scores. Practically, the Amendment got rid of the whole charge on incumbents' incomes for curates; it took away £519,000 from the surplus, and it added £519,000 to the compensation available for the ministers of the Church. That was one of the Amendments that had been made. The other Amendment was, that the tax on clerical incomes now payable to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and available for certain public purposes of the Church, was not to be deducted from the income of the incumbents—that was to say, it was not to be a portion of the surplus; and this tax, although it was not to become a portion of the surplus, yet, by the clause as it stood, it was not to be a part of the profit of the incumbent; it was to be paid by the incumbent to the Church Body—upon what principle, except that of pure, naked, and confessed re-endowment, he found it totally impossible to conceive. There was no doubt of this imaginary explanation—that a large part of the proceeds of the tax went to provide the necessaries of public worship—and it might be said that the necessaries of public worship would, hereafter, not be provided by the State. Most certainly not. The necessaries of public worship ought evidently to be provided by the congregations. A fatal mistake would be made by those responsible for the policy of the disestablished Church, were they to import into their new system the very worst of all the bad regulations under the system of Establishment—namely, that which left the surplice, the cowl, the elements for Holy Communion, and all these requisites to be supplied from a central fund in London. The Bill, as it stood, directly perpetuated that system, because it made the money available for providing these exigencies payable to the Church Body, which was an indication that it was to go in relief of the congregations from the first and most necessary charges which the congregations ought to bear. The effect of that upon the surplus was to take away £274,000, throwing in a small sum, which it was not worth while to discuss, with respect to visitation fees, which were now legal, charged on the incumbent. These were the objections 1957 he entertained to the deduction of the tax; and he objected to the sweeping away of the provisions under which the curate's salary was deducted from the incumbent's income. This was a question of which the Government had never disguised from themselves the difficulty; and he might state to hon. Gentlemen opposite, and to the House, that they should proceed in this case, as they had proceeded in every doubtful case, by adopting the most lenient course that their duty would allow. What they proposed, with regard to the curates, was—and the House would see that it involved a material concession, though nothing like the concession that was demanded from them by the Lords, who would take from the fund the sum of £519,000—they proposed that the salary of the curates should be deducted from the incumbents in those cases, and in those cases alone, where the deduction had been made heretofore, and the remedial measure they proposed was to introduce a proviso at the end of this clause, to the effect that no deductions should be made in respect of curates' salaries, unless a like reduction should have been made in the case of incumbents by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners within the year preceding the 1st of January, 1869. They thought they offered fair and liberal terms when they said that the curates' salaries should be only deducted in those cases where, for legal purposes, they had been deducted already. They were aware that, in taking that course, a charge of £150,000 might be brought upon the fund—it might be more—but he hoped the House would consider it as an indication of their willingness to go as far as they could in concession to all reasonable demands. But this demand they could not concede—that they were to compensate for ecclesiastical services twice over—first the rector, and then the curate. When they came to the end of the clause, he should move the provision to which he had referred. At present, he should only move to strike out the words "employed under the obligation of the law."
§ DR. BALL
said, he did not intend to divide upon this Amendment, and he hoped this would induce the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government to make some concession with regard to other points. The Amendment which provided that the tax heretofore paid by 1958 incumbents for the repair of the churches should be commuted into a capital sum, and handed over to the representative body was originally proposed in the House of Lords by a right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Peterborough), on the ground that the tax was applied by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for a particular object, and now that that object was no longer to exist the tax ought to revert to the Church. It therefore appeared to him that it was not exactly, as the right hon. Gentleman stated, a new endowment. It was only to be given during the lives of the present incumbents. With regard to another point relating to deduction for curates, he was not sure that he understood the effect of it. Unless it exempted incumbents whose livings were under £300 a year, it would be no great concession.
§ MR. CHARLEY
regretted that the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Dr. Ball) did not intend to divide the House on this Amendment. A portion of the tax was applied by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in payment of the expenses of maintaining the fabrics of churches. Fifteen hundred churches were to be handed over to the Church Body, but no promise was made for maintaining the fabrics. He thought the Amendment would assist the Church to pass over the difficulties of her transition state.
wished clearly to understand that the effect of the Government proviso would exempt from the deduction incumbents whose incomes were under £300 a year.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. SULLIVAN)
said, there was no doubt that would be so. The proviso would settle that no deductions should be made for curates' salaries unless where a like deduction had been made by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners within the year 1869. Now under the Ecclesiastical Commissioners' Act no deductions could be made from incumbents whose salaries were under £300 a year.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
moved that the House disagree with the Lords' Amendment, omitting Clause 8.
§ Motion agreed to1959
§ Clause A (Payment of persons discharging duties of disabled Archbishops, &c).
moved the omission of the clause, which he did not consider suitable to the Bill. There was no harm in it; but the matter to which it was referred was a matter for Church regulation, in which the Commissioners ought not to interfere. It referred to the case of holders of incumbencies becoming disabled, and provided that the Commissioners should be chargeable with the payment of a portion of the annuity of the holder to the person discharging the duties as long as he discharged them; but that did not appear to be a matter in which they should make a new ecclesiastical law in reference to the concerns of the disestablished Church. It would take them off their proper ground; and he hoped there would be a general disposition to think they should remit this matter to the Church Body to deal with it, and not introduce it into the Bill.
§ Motion agreed to.
The next Amendment, in Clause 15, line 19, to leave out from the word "shall," to the word "curacy," in line 31, and insert the words—
Inquire whether any curate, serving as such at any time between the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine and first day of May one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one, is to be deemed a permanent curate, and shall determine the same, having regard to the length or term of his service, the duties to be discharged in the benefice, the non-residence, infirmity, or other incapacity of the incumbent, or his habit of employing a curate. The commissioners shall ascertain and declare by order the amount of yearly income received by any such permanent curate, and shall pay to every such curate so long as he lives and continues to discharge the duties of his said curacy, or any other spiritual duties in Ireland, which with his own consent and with the consent of the church body hereinafter mentioned may be substituted for them, or if not discharging such duties shall be disabled from so doing by age, sickness, or permanent infirmity, or any cause other than his own wilful default, an annuity commencing on the first day of May one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one equal to the amount of such yearly income, or shall on the application of such curate, made at any time between the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one and the first day of May one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, and, with the consent of the church body hereinafter mentioned, cause the present value of such life annuity to be estimated, and pay the same to such curate or to such curate and church body in such proportions as they shall agree,
—read a second time.
said, that he would agree substantially to this Amendment, by which three instead of two classes of curates would be created. He, however, must move to substitute the word "January" for "May" in line 24, and to omit the following words coming in line 35—Or if not discharging such duties shall be disabled from doing so by age, sickness, or permanent infirmity, or any cause other than his own wilful default.If the curates became incapacitated from age, sickness, or permanent infirmity, he was afraid under the system of the Established Church there was no possibility of preserving to him his stipend, and it was not the purpose of the Act to make better provision for him than the law now allowed.
Amendment proposed to be made thereunto, by leaving out the words—
Or if not discharging such duties shall be disabled from so doing by age, sickness, or permanent infirmity, or any cause other than his own wilful default."—(Mr. Gladstone.)
§ LORD JOHN MANNERS
said, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not persevere in his Motion. The charge would be an inconsiderable one as far as the surplus was concerned, but would be of the utmost importance to the very limited class who would be affected by it.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR, IRELAND (Mr. SULLIVAN)
said, that the objection of the right hon. Gentleman was a substantial one, as it proposed to make State pensioners of those curates who were unable to perform their duties.
§ DR. BALL
said, the House was passing a measure which would take away from the curates their profession, their hopes of promotion, and all the advantages open to them by reason of their belonging to an Establishment. The concession contained in the Lords' Amendment, extending the payment of an annuity to a curate when unable to discharge his duties, was, after all, but a very slight one. The Government had already made a concession for the benefit of incumbents; but the Amendment now under consideration was the only one which would give any tangible benefit to the curates. He, therefore, hoped the Government would re-consider the matter.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, the Government could not put the curates 1961 in a better position than they occupied at the present time. They could not give curates an annuity for life, independently of their duties.
§ MR. PIM
regretted the refusal of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government to grant this small concession. As several matters of principle had been given up, he could not understand why so trifling a concession should not be made. The amount was very small, and the curates would be greatly disappointed if the concession was not made, especially after the expectations which had been held out to them.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, that if the curates commuted they would get the annuity, and only those who did not commute would be affected. This made the matter a very small one indeed, and he trusted the right hon. Gentleman would give way.
§ COLONEL WILSON-PATTEN
said, the curates would be more damaged than any other class of persons affected by the Bill, and he hoped the Government would not refuse to grant this small concession, which would be much appreciated.
§ MR. LEFROY
said, there was no body of men who were more deserving than the curates of Ireland, and they would be exceedingly disappointed if a concession were not made to them in so small a matter as this.
said, he hoped the Government would re-consider the point. He agreed with the Attorney General and the Prime Minister that there was a difficulty in regard to principle in compensating a curate by continuing his life annuity when he was no longer able to discharge his duties, but the end of the clause contemplated that which he understood the right hon. Gentleman to indicate last year—namely, that the expectations of the clergy, and of the curates especially, should be taken into consideration. Those curates who commuted before 1872 were to be paid a capital sum. In his opinion, the clause as it originally stood was oppressive.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the said Amendment."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 181; Noes 277: Majority 96.
MR. GLADSTONE moved in line 4, page 9, to insert—
Provided that where the salary of the curate has been deducted under section 14 from the income of any incumbent, such curate shall be deemed to be a permanent curate within the meaning of this section, and no commutation of his salary, and no change in his duties, for the purpose of this Act, shall be made without the consent of the incumbent from whose income the salary of such curate has been deducted.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. SULLIVAN)
moved to disagree with the Lords' Amendment referring to the compensation to be given to persons filling certain cathedral offices, "held during good behaviour." He proposed that those words should be struck out, and the words "a freehold office of a similar character connected with it" should be substituted. This matter was a good deal discussed when the Bill was before the House. The Government then would not undertake to define what were and what were not freehold offices in cathedrals, but agreed that where it could be proved to the satisfaction of the Commissioners that the office was a freehold the holder should receive compensation for his life, but in other cases he should receive such compensation as the Commissioners thought proper. There was a manifest distinction between the two cases. When a man held a freehold office he acquired a vested interest in the income for his life; but if the office was not a freehold the holder could not fairly be compensated on the same principle. The words put in by the House of Lords were ambiguous, and under them the pew-opener and the organ-blower would receive full compensation.
§ Moved, to amend the Amendment made by the Lords, by striking out the words "held during good behaviour," and to insert the words "a freehold office of a similar character connected with it," instead thereof.
said, this question referred to certain cathedral officers—organists, lay clerks, and others—who had been appointed to offices equivalent to freeholds. There were very few of such offices, but the holders had entered into a distinct contract with the Dean and Chapter that they should enjoy these offices for life, during good behaviour. He admitted that the words introduced in the other House had rather too wide a scope; but the Amendment was never objected to in the other House, the Go- 1963 vernment there surrendering at discretion without a division. There were instances of persons who had given up freehold offices in English cathedrals in order to take such offices in Irish cathedrals, in the belief that those offices were precisely similar to freeholds; and the claims of those persons would not be satisfied by telling them that they should receive full compensation if they could show that they held a freehold office.
§ MR. VANCE
said, he feared the words proposed by the Attorney General for Ireland would hardly meet the case, and suggested that they should be somewhat enlarged, instancing the case of certain choristers in the cathedral of Armagh, who were not vicars choral, but were dependent on estates held by the vicars choral in trust exclusively for their benefit. They only held offices equal to freeholds, and the organists were in exactly the same position. Great hardship would be inflicted if they were not put in the position of being able to obtain some compensation. He proposed to insert the words, "or office equivalent to freehold."
said, there was a misunderstanding on this point. The persons named in the clause were to receive their salary for life, and another clause provided for those who had less than a freehold in their office, and empowered the Commissioners to give them, with the consent of the Treasury, such sums as they might determine. He did not think it possible to make a more liberal provision.
again urged the claims of those whose offices were not freehold. He was in a position to say that the statement of the hon. Member (Mr. Kirk) was incorrect, and that the choristers at Armagh were not engaged by the year, but held their office during good behaviour, and could not be dismissed at the caprice of the Dean and Chapter. The salary attached to the 1964 office of clerk and sexton was very small—namely, £5, or £10, or £20 a year, and the income of the holder was made up out of a fund called the economic fund, which would be confiscated by the present Bill, and unless some other provision than that contained in the Bill were adopted great injustice would be done.
§ Amendment to Amendment made by the Lords agreed, to.
§ Clauses 18 and 19 read the second time, amended, and agreed, to.
§ Clause 20 (Existing law to subsist by contract).
stated that the Lords had remodelled the language of the clause. He did not know that there would be any particular advantage gained by the alterations, but as he did not think there would be any serious disadvantage attending them, he proposed to agree to the Lords' Amendments, except as to the proviso for the protection of annuitants against changes of the Liturgy. The alterations he proposed would bring back the proviso very much to the form in which it was moved by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer), except that the six months' notice which had been given to annuitants to make up their minds would be reduced to one month. There was another limitation in the clause—that new regulations should not be so binding as to deprive annuitants of their annuity. He moved that the House agree to the Lords' Amendments in this clause with the exceptions he had pointed out.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
said, he entirely agreed with the Motion of his right hon. Friend. It seemed to him that it gave effect to the substance of the proposal he submitted to the House, and with an improvement as to limitation of time. It appeared to him that the Amendment of the Lords went beyond the protection of individuals, and might have tended to interfere with the future freedom of action of the religious body.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, he thought the term of one month too short; but he 1965 had such confidence in the judgment of his hon. And learned Friend (Sir Roundell Palmer) that he should not oppose the proviso.
§ Lords' Amendments, with Amendments, agreed to.
§ Clause 23 (Redemption of annuities and life interest of ecclesiastical persons).
§ Amendment read a second time.
This is a clause of very great importance, and I desire to call the attention of the whole House to its provisions. This is the commutation clause, and the original clause has been struck out, with the exception of certain words at the commencement, and a new clause has been put in, which gives the power of commutation exclusively into the hands of the representative Church Body. It imposes certain conditions upon the commutation, and provides that when it takes effect it shall be done by paying fourteen times the annual value of the whole amount of the annuity. This is a clause which, in the first place, the Government has concluded it is impossible for us to admit. But I go much further, and I say that the practical objections to it are such as must convince hon. Gentlemen opposite that it will be impossible for them to press it. They will be, of course, the judges of that; but I think the objections I shall state will convince and satisfy them that, although they may set to work to re-cast the clause, it will be quite impossible, as it now stands, to insert it in the Bill. In the first place, it gives to the representatives of the Church Body £1,220,000 over and above the value of the annuities, which we had commuted at a fair computation—that is, beyond the full value of the ordinary lives, at the age at which the lives of the clergy are known to stand. This obliges me to call the attention of the House to the enormous changes which have taken place in the provisions of the Bill since it left us with regard to disendowment. I will not enter into any debate with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) upon the inquiry whether these changes are, as he thinks, changes of degree, or whether they are, as I think, such as to involve a principle. But I must state in figures the condition of the account now that the Bill has come back to us from 1966 the Lords. With regard to the property that is left either to the disendowed Church, or else to the ministers and members of that Church, and on condition of the performance of certain duties, available for all the purposes of that Church, I stated to the House, on the introduction of the Bill, that we estimated the total value of the ecclesiastical property of Ireland at £16,000,000, independently of the churches and glebe houses. But of this £16,000,000 a sum approaching £4,000,000 was created entirely by the liberal use of the public credit. The public credit was to be made use of in respect of nearly the whole property of the Church, and the effect was to realize for the tithe commutation between £2,000,000 and £3,000,000 more than could have been got for it in the open market, and further to realize an additional large sum for Church lands by the arrangements which the use of the public credit enabled us to make for their sale. So that, in fact, nearly £4,000,000 out of the £16,000,000 was the product of the use of the public credit, and did not in any sense belong to the market value of the Church property of Ireland. But, then, in addition to this £12,000,000, there are the churches and glebe lands. The churches are hardly the subject of possible sale—the glebe houses not, in all cases, of convenient sale. But, speaking of them as representing value, it would be impossible to attach to them a value of less than £3,000,000, even after allowing for the very large payments to be made for the glebe houses. That would make the whole property of the Irish Church—without any addition for the use of the public credit—to stand. at £15,000,000, and that was the sum at which I ventured to estimate it in the discussions of last year. Now, how was the disposal of that sum settled when the Bill left this House? Out of that sum there was given, or, if you like, left to the Church—excluding churches and glebe houses, an estimated value of £3,000,000—under the various heads of life interest and private endowments, property equal in value to £7,000,000. So that really £10,000,000 out of the £15,000,000 remained either with the Church itself, or with the ministers and members of it, on condition of duty and service to be performed in connection with the Church. How does the Bill 1967 stand on returning to us? We have made the most careful valuation in our power of the primary effect of the Amendments of the House of Lords, and I will now give the list. The Amendment relative to the tax on annuities deducted from the surplus, £274,000; the Amendment relative to curates, £519,000; the private endowments, £213,000; the Ulster glebes—I am speaking throughout of present values, after deducting life interests—£422,000; the glebe houses, £153,000; the fourteen years' commutation, £1,222,000; and the Church's share of the concurrent endowment is £1,100,000; in the whole, £3,903,000, or, in round numbers, £4,000,000 to be added to the£10,000,000 of which the Church, in one shape or other, had the benefit by the Bill as it left this House. So that as it comes back to us the Church has £14,000,000 out of the £15,000,000, and in its disendowed state it retains fourteen-fifteenths of the property which it had when it was endowed. Now, as regards disestablishment it is only fair to state that the tale is very different. The disestablishment of the Church is complete. The words, "Royal supremacy," "Church and State," "Protestant ascendancy" as connected with the Church, "National religion," are now, by the judgment of the House of Lords, not less than the House of Commons, nothing but the notes and traces of a buried controversy. Even the last shadow of Establishment, if it were one—the existence of Irish Bishops with seats in the House of Lords—has disappeared. And I cannot notice that disappearance, now finally settled by the vote of the House of Lords itself, without stating that which to me and to us has been an exceedingly painful, though necessary, result of the logic and reason of the case. It is exceedingly painful upon a man like Archbishop Trench, and other distinguished and excellent persons, that anything, be it great or small, in the nature of personal disparagement should be imported into this controversy. I hope his personal epitaph will not be written for many years, but his political epitaph was written 2,000 years ago by Virgil in describing the fate of the high priest at the sack of Troy—Nec te tua plurima, Pantheu,Labentem pietas, nec Apollinis infula texit.He is the victim to the necessities of the 1968 measure. "Well, Sir, the disestablishment of the Irish Church is, undoubtedly, complete.
I have pointed out as briefly as I could the state of the case, and the figures I have quoted cannot be materially impeached. In addition to the large possessions to which the Church was entitled under our Bill, nearly £4,000,000 is now bestowed; the result actually being to render the Bill, as one of disendowment—I will not use stronger words—wholly unreal and fallacious. This clause gives £1,222,000 to the Church. We are not prepared to assent to such a gift. There are many other objections. The first of them is the unfortunate, and, I must say, the offensive element of inequality, which the clause introduces into the Bill. I will only observe upon the comparison to be made between the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians of Ireland. In the case of the Episcopalians, the older men are in possession of by much the larger incomes, and the consequence is that the average of life, estimated as to income, is low, while of the clerical annuities converted for commutation, it will only give the average number of years purchase of eleven three-fifths. Now the Lords, by their Amendment, have introduced a change which raises the eleven three-fifths to fourteen, and that is an addition I think, of rather more than 21 per cent. But, how have they dealt with the Presbyterians? Has 21 per cent being added in like manner to the annuities or commutations which they are to receive, not upon splendid or even sufficient incomes, but upon paltry pittances of £70 per annum? Their income, upon which they are compensated, is absolutely uniform. Their average age is very young—for young men of twenty-two, twenty-three, or twenty-four years old, come, in the majority of cases, into the possession of a church. The value of their annuities, estimated ever so strictly, instead of being eleven three-fifths, is fifteen years. [An Hon. MEMBER: Why not give it to them?] Why not give it to them? We are going to give them the fifteen years' value to which they are strictly entitled, but the House of Lords, while adding 21 per cent to the value of the commutations of the Bishops and clergy of the Episcopalian Church, have left the Presbyterians without any addition at all to their commutations. It 1969 is impossible for us to agree to any such inequality as that. The scheme of compensation must be so adjusted as to deal with Presbyterian and Episcopalian alike where they fall under the same circumstances. I am bound to say that, having given this great sum to the Church Body, the clause next proceeds to waste a great deal of it; for the clause imposes on the Church Body most laborious, slow, and costly investigations, which, in my opinion, are totally unnecessary to be imposed upon it, but wasting a great amount of its money. It does more; it gives to every clerical and lay annuitant in Ireland, who can be the subject of commutation, the right to require that before commutation is received in respect to his annuity, a Government annuity in the funds, if he chooses to claim it, shall be purchased by the representative body for him. That is to say, we reckon a commutation of 3¾ per cent, and pay it to the Church Body, and then leave it to the annuitant if he likes to compel the Church Body, in order to give him the best security—and, therefore, he is very likely to require it—to purchase for him a Government annuity which can only pay £3 3s. 6d. per cent a year or thereabouts. This is giving with one hand and taking with the other; but, as it is a giving beyond all reason, it is taking without reason, and will involve a great waste of money.
Now, I invite the scrutiny of hon. Gentlemen opposite to the assertion I am about to make, for it is, as they will see, one of great importance. It is this—It is the opinion, not of the Government alone, nor of Liberals alone, but of some of the stoutest and most intelligent champions of the Irish Church, that the conditions imposed on commutation by this clause are so ill-constructed and so impracticable in their nature, that, if you pass the clause, it is equivalent to prohibiting commutation altogether. That is a fair issue to challenge, because I think that, on whatever points we differ, on both sides of the House we are all agreed, both in regard to the Presbyterian and to the disestablished bodies, the promotion of commutation is of the most weighty consequence for the interests and the future operations of those bodies, in order that they may reconstruct their organization and economize their resources. Let the House, then, observe what must occur under 1970 this clause with each of those annuitants in Ireland before there can be any commutation at all in the case of any one of their number. And there is the fatal error of this clause. It has locked up altogether the whole of this body, so that if in any one case, in a body including 1,500 Bishops and incumbents, there occurs any failure to satisfy any one of the conditions, even although the other 1,499 have had all the conditions fulfilled, and have all consented to commute, the failure in that single case out of the whole 1,500 absolutely bars commutation altogether! I hardly think either the framers of the clause, or the House which passed it, or hon. Gentlemen opposite—unless they have closely examined the clause—are in the least aware of this astounding result. But I proceed to make it good thus far. The clause states that within a certain period of time the representative body of the Church may apply to the Commissioners, and thereupon the Commissioners shall ascertain and declare the aggregate amount of the yearly income of the annuitants and the aggregate yearly value of the ecclesiastical property reserved to them under the Act and not having passed to the representative body of the Church under the provisions of the Act. So far the labour is placed on the Commissioners. I now come to the share which the representative Church Body has to take in it. That body is to satisfy the Commissioners that the whole of these life interests are unencumbered. The representative body is to inquire into and ascertain the private circumstances of every one of those annuitants; having no power, being armed with no inquisitorial authority for the purpose, it is to ascertain whether their benefices are subject to any and what encumbrances. How do we know that every one of them would consent to give such information to the representative body, to disclose and open up his private affairs for such a purpose? I think that nothing is so improbable as that in a body of 1,500 clerical annuitants it should be possible for the representative body to ascertain, in respect of each of them, whether their annuities, benefices, and ecclesiastical incomes are or are not subject to encumbrances of any and what description. But it does not stop with ascertaining the encumbrances. They must obtain the consent of every encumbrancer; and 1971 if a single encumbrancer on a single benefice in Ireland chooses to demur and state that he will not consent to the commutation of his annuitant, in that case there can be no commutation whatever for any annuitant in the Church of Ireland.
I think if the House has followed me through this statement, which I have intended to make strictly one of fact, they will be able to judge for themselves, quite irrespectively of the question whether they sit on this or on the other side of the House, whether I have not been justified in saying that while apparently an extravagant and unwarrantable been is bestowed on the Church in the nominal amount of this commutation, the provisions and conditions attending it are such that it is, humanly speaking, not possible that any commutation whatever can take place. Another point I have to mention is this. If an incumbent holds out he may require the representative body of the Church to purchase for him a Government annuity. Now, supposing one-fourth only of the whole number of these annuitants, seeing that the Government annuity gives a much better security than anything else, should require Government annuities to be purchased for them. For the purchase of these Government annuities the representative body of the Church will require to have the command of £1,500,000 or £2,000,000. That is a condition previous to commutation. The engagement, be it observed, is not an engagement that they will purchase a Government annuity at some subsequent time; but it must be done in the first instance, and I want to know where in the world is the Church Body, before the commutation, to discover this £1,500,000 or £2,000,000 without which it cannot purchase these Government annuities. The whole thing, I am bound to say—and I invite strict investigation of the statement I have made—the whole thing, under the name and no doubt with the intention of giving a very great been to the Church, is unwittingly the heaviest blow inflicted on it by any portion of the Bill, because it stops commutation altogether. Therefore I propose to disagree to this Amendment. But we have considered the matter, and have asked ourselves whether it is more equitable, and, therefore, consistent, with the principle of the Bill to make any improvement in 1972 the terms on which commutation is offered. We can only do that as far as is consistent with the principles of the Bill; and if we make that improvement it is essential in our eyes that it should be an improvement perfectly equal in its application to the Episcopalian and the Presbyterian communities. The Roman Catholics it does not effect. They derive none of the benefit of it, because the trust in the case of Maynooth stands between us and the personal life interests in the annuities. What we find is, that on an investigation of the respective values of ordinary lay lives and clerical lives the clerical lives are worth in the market 7 per cent more than lay lives. This, as far as it goes, is a circumstance satisfactory to the clergy amid their many discouragements. If the clergyman's life is worth 7 per cent more than the ordinary lay life, it follows that you will have to continue his annuity for a correspondingly longer term; and the simple proposition I make to the House is this—that if we think commutation is desirable with a view to the complete success and despatch of this measure, it is wise, as on the other hand it is certainly equitable—indeed, equity almost requires it—that we should recognize that increased value of the annuity in the commutation which we offer as an equivalent to the annuity. The only objection I know of to that is one of a practical kind—namely, that if you raise too much the inducements to commute you incur a risk—not so much by the individual action of the clergy as by the intervention of middle-men and societies—of creating a system under which you will find that all your good lives would run on with the annuity, and all your bad and indifferent lives would commute. In order to guard against that, we propose to add this 7 per cent, but to add it only in cases where the great mass of the annuitants have already signified their willingness to commute. And, so guarded, the proposition will be a safe and equitable one, equal in its application to the various classes of persons affected by it, and tending greatly to promote and facilitate that commutation, which is undoubtedly desirable for the purpose of bringing to a close the relations between the Government and the clerical annuitants in Ireland. I shall therefore propose to replace our own words in the 1973 clause, and then in lieu of the words introduced by the Lords, to introduce new words of our own to this effect—If it appears to them as respects any diocese or united dioceses in Ireland, as the case may be, or as respects any Protestant non-conforming body or communion that not less than four-fifths of the whole number of ecclesiastical persons in such diocese or united dioceses, or of the whole number of the ministers of such body or communion authorized to commute under this Act, have commuted or agreed to commute their life interests, the commissioners shall thereupon pay in addition to the monies otherwise payable by them a sum equal to seven pounds in the hundred on the commutation money payable in respect of each life interest; such addition to be disposed of in the same manner as the commutation money in respect of which it is added.It might appear as if we were falling into the same trap as the House of Lords in making the operation of the whole dependent upon the consent of each one. But that is not so, because we leave in operation our original proposition of each individual having the power to commute. But, in addition to that, if a large body of the clergy agree together to commute, then this additional benefit is given to this body collectively, while it will remain open to any individual to commute upon the terms originally proposed in the Bill. This is the plan we propose, and if we are right in the view we take of the impracticable and insurmountable difficulties of the plan proposed by the Lords, together with the other objections to which I have urged, I cannot help thinking that the House will be disposed to adopt our Amendment.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
I have taken great interest in this clause, believing it to be a matter of very great importance to the future Church that if possible the system of commutation should be adopted. I am bound to say, after hearing the speech of my right Friend the Prime Minister, that he has pointed out objections to the Amendment of the Lords which I at least am unable to answer. It appears to me that the difficulties in the way of dealing with encumbrancers, and the necessity of having the consent of every encumbrancer, and the difficulty that the Church Body may have in finding the money to purchase Government annuities are such that, if this House were to adopt this scheme, there would be a serious risk that it might fail in the working. On the other hand, I cannot 1974 but recognize a disposition to advance a certain way towards liberality in dealing with the Church in the proposition of my right hon. Friend. There is one thing, however, which I desiderate in this plan, and for which I think the Lords' Amendments provide better than the scheme of my right hon. Friend, and it is this—the Lords' Amendment sought to provide at once for the interests of the individual and the interests of the general body, which would include the laity, and to make the operation general as far as possible, so that no individual should have a right to claim the entire benefit of the commutation to himself, though he would have a right to have his annuity secured by the Church Body, and, if necessary, purchased from the Government. Now, as I understand the proposition suggested by my right hon. Friend, every individual incumbent could, if he chose, insist upon his proportion of the commutation being secured to himself personally. I confess I should have been glad if the proposition of the Government had been in terms which did not give so much power to the choice of the individual, provided always that his absolute right was properly secured; but if the Church Body and the individuals concerned act with that degree of self-denial which I hope we may expect from them, I think it is a proposal which may prove of some benefit to the Church. On the other hand, I should have been better pleased if the scheme of the original Bill, which seems, subject to the consent of the Church Body, to leave every individual at liberty to claim the entire benefit to himself, could have been remodelled; but unless the objections to the Lords' Amendments can be answered the House may, perhaps, do wisely in the interests of the Church to accede to the proposition of the Government.
§ DR. BALL
I think that the clause of the Lords is practicable, and that it will work, notwithstanding some defects in its language. The construction which I put upon the clause is that whenever an incumbent claims it, a Government annuity shall be bought for him. If everybody consents then there is no difficulty; but if an interested person object to the method of compensation security must be given him even by the purchase of a Government annuity. Now, it may be that the words of the 1975 proposition do not clearly express the object in view; but I entertain no doubt that it is the object, and I think the House will be right in considering whether it would do wisely to accept that proposition. As I before said, the Lords' Amendments must be considered as a whole, because the Lords have sent down to us a scheme complete in itself, conferring certain benefits on the Church, and balancing those benefits by others granted in other directions. I do not accept the Prime Minister's statement as to the exact sum the Lords have given the Church; there is very great difficulty in ascertaining the precise amount the Church will obtain, but we can form some estimate of the probable result of the proposition now before us. If we give the Church fourteen years' purchase and enable every Bishop and other incumbent to demand the purchase of a Government annuity, we oblige the Church Body to take the fourteen years and to purchase in the dearest market the annuities for its clergy, so that, upon the best calculation I can make, instead of allowing £1,200,000 on this clause to the Church, it would be nearer the truth to say that, looking to the expense of management and the cost of Government annuities, the Church would by this plan relieve the Government of a great deal of expense, and have to put up with a net result of some £700,000. Now, the Prime Minister has made a proposition of a different character from that contained in the original Bill.
§ DR. BALL
I grant that. In the House of Lords Earl Granville made the proposition; but it was made only in general terms, and has never been debated, and is now mentioned in detail for the first time; and I say it is not fair to call on us to decide upon it until we have time to calculate the result it will have in figures. Although I am very conversant with these matters, I really cannot undertake to decide upon the matter at this moment. The question is one of calculation as to whether the proposition now presented to us offers not a larger margin than the original proposition, but offers a fair margin over and above the value of the life interests to secure the Church Body from loss in consequence of the obligations the new pro- 1976 position would throw upon it. In the Lords' Amendments fourteen years' purchase was fixed, because the Government have adopted it in dealing with Maynooth. Besides, the difference between fourteen years all round and the figures given by the Prime Minister of thirteen years for incumbents, and twelve for Bishops, is not so very great. I cannot concur in the opinion that this clause is absolutely unworkable. However, the proposition of the Government is totally new, and we have not had time to consider it, and what we have to do is to contrast the clause with the new plan, which would deal with each diocese separately. I suggest to give a majority of the clergy in each diocese the power of binding the minority.
All the old propositions remain in force, and this is an alternative one with certain advantages.
§ DR. BALL
It is of course better for us to have both the old and new plans. But the majority should bind the minority. What is the use of fixing any proportion unless it bind the minority? Why not enable us to deal with the minority as the Lords' Amendment does. I would suggest that the matter should be postponed until the clause, as now proposed, has been printed?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. SULLIVAN)
said, the objections of the Prime Minister to the clause as it came from the Lords remained unanswered; and anyone who read the clause, though not a lawyer, could see in it what was fatal to its working. The House of Lords might have meant otherwise; but unfortunately they had not said so. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said that only £700,000 had been made to the Church property. But that was in addition to the Royal and other grants. The advantage of the Government proposal was clear; it compelled no man to commute, and if four-fifths of the ecclesiastical persons in a diocese commuted they would get the value of the additional seven years' average of the clerical life. There was no binding of the minority at all. The plan was distinctly shadowed forth in the House of Lords both by a noble Lord, not a member of the Government, who moved an Amendment, and by Earl Granville. In his (the Attorney General's for Ireland) opinion the clause inserted 1977 by the Lords would not work, and in addition to handing over £1,500,000 there would be £700,000 or £800,000 squandered for commutation, which he believed to be impossible. He had no objection to accede to the suggestion which had been made for the postponement of the clause.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
trusted the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government would accede to the proposition for postponing the clause. As he understood, the first commutation proposed by the Government was on an ordinary life. But it was admitted that there were certain of the clergy whose lives were higher than the ordinary rate. What he wanted to know was why the same advantages should not be given to those who commuted separately and those who commuted in a body.
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
said, that if the higher scale of payment were to be applied to every chance applicant, without requiring a certain number to agree in the application, the effect would be that all the bad lives would apply, and the good lives would not do so.
§ Clause postponed.
§ Clause 26 (Enactments with respect to burial grounds).
said, this clause raised the question about the portion of a graveyard which was separated by a highway from the portion of the graveyard immediately attached to a church. The House would no doubt recollect the argument upon the matter in that House. He believed the House of Lords thought a footpath might be held to be a highway, and that as many footpaths went through the middle of churchyards, the churchyard might be divided in that way. The Government were quite willing to meet that objection, but they were not willing, on the other hand, to put in connection with the Church such part of a churchyard as might be separated by a carriage way. Therefore they proposed to amend the Lords' Amendment by restoring the words originally inserted in the Bill, but with the Amendment of substituting "carriage way" for "highway."
§ Amendment agreed to.1978
§ Clause 27, page 13, line 33, to leave out from the word "therein," to the word "section," in line 40, the next Amendment, read a second time."
This is the clause relating to glebe houses, and in substance we have to ask the House to disagree with the Amendment of the Lords. The clause is the one connected with the subject of concurrent endowment, and we must all have felt a difficulty; we felt it ourselves in dealing with the glebe houses. It was impossible absolutely to withold the glebe houses from the Church, as it was difficult to get at the bottom of the argument which was used, and to know whether the contribution levied upon clerical incomes for the building of glebe houses ought to be considered a public or private endowment. Exercising the best judgment we could, we asked the House to determine, and the House did determine, that the glebe houses should go to the Church upon a very moderate payment. We felt it was impossible to give them absolutely to the Church, unless we were prepared to enter into the question of giving glebe houses also to the ministers of other communions. The Lords have given glebe houses absolutely to the Church, and have accompanied the gift with an addition to the clause, involving a variety of propositions with regard to glebe houses and to glebes on behalf of the ministers of other communions. To that addition to the clause we propose to object when we come to it, and therefore we feel, as seems to have been felt in the other House, that we have no alternative except to retain the very moderate charges given upon the glebe houses as they went up from this House. I now move that this House disagree with the Lords' Amendment giving the glebe houses to the Protestants free of charge.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."—(Mr. Gladstone.)
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
This Amendment raises the question of giving the Church glebes to the Church Body without payment. This Amendment was carried by the Lords without reference to concurrent endowment. No doubt, in the first instance, some of the Lords voted for it in the hope that the 1979 proposition for concurrent endowment would be carried; but when an attempt was made subsequently to reverse this Amendment that attempt failed, and therefore it stands now without any reference to the question of concurrent endowment. I think it is only fair and just to the Church that this Amendment should be agreed to; and therefore I shall divide the House on the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
I am prepared to acquiesce in what the House of Lords has done in favour of other bodies; but, independently of that consideration, I am in favour of this Amendment, because I think the question of the glebe houses comes within the same view as that adopted in favour of Maynooth, and because justice in this case does not depend on the adoption of exact numerical equality, which is a thing you cannot obtain. Why should we be so very nice in the measurement of these matters. The question has been asked—Will you do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you?" Without hesitation I say that if the Roman Catholics bore the same proportion to the Protestants of this country as the Protestants do to the Roman Catholics in Ireland, I should be prepared in a measure of this kind, if it were for the disestablishment of the Church of the Roman Catholics, to give them what is now asked for the Irish Protestants. The Government propose to give the Church Body those glebe houses for not a very large payment, but still a payment. I believe they are valued at £200,000 or £300,000. Now, having regard to the numerical proportion of the Protestants, I do not think the proposal would leave them more than their fair proportion of the Church property, and I do not think that in discussing this matter the commutation of life interests ought to be taken into account.
I think the House will see that on the principle of this Bill—that is, the principle that there shall be no general endowment—there can be no pretence, in strict justice, for saying that to offer these glebes at a moderate price—and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) says the price is moderate—is not a fair proposition. We have heard it said that in this Bill, while a strict principle has been adhered to with re- 1980 gard to the life interests of the clergy, nothing has been done for the laity. I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) has made use of that argument. At all events, it has been used here very often. But let the House bear this in mind, that the average expectation of the life of an Irish clergyman being sixteen years, during the whole of that time out of the funds of the Church the congregation are provided with church, glebe house, and minister; because for the whole of that time, on the average, the congregations of the new Church will not be called upon to subscribe any sums for the sustenance of their ministers. Now, when looking on a transaction of this kind—assuming that it is to be done—I think the man must be very unreasonable who says that the glebes should be given entirely free of the charge that is upon them. I bear in mind further that that which is the average expectation of life in clergymen is equal to the average expectation of life of all the men and women who form the congregation of the Church in Ireland, and therefore during the lifetime of all the existing congregations, and all the individuals who compose them, Parliament is making a provision under which they will have their ministers paid for as heretofore; while for succeeding generations Parliament also provides the church buildings and parsonage houses, liable only to this small charge, amounting to from £200,000 to £250,000, but so far remitted that the sum actually borne will only be from £100,000 to £150,000. No doubt some hon. Members do not concur with us in thinking that this Bill will confer a great advantage on the country; but we, who are responsible to Parliament for the Bill, do think it will, and in completing a great transaction like this we should wish to treat the Church with liberality. I believe that the Bill does what I always hoped it would do, that it treats the Irish Church graciously and generously.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
said, he was prepared to support this Amendment, even in the naked form in which it was presented to the House; but he should not do so with so easy a conscience if he were not to have an opportunity, at a later period, of also supporting a somewhat similar proposition in 1981 favour of the two other forms of Christianity which made up the majority of the Irish people. Right rev. and learned Prelates had argued in the other House as to the nature and definition of sacrilege. He should not follow them into those debates, but he appealed to the sentiment of every Christian man whether there was not a true, instinctive feeling upon the matter;—he asked if there was not a patent incongruity in applying property which had once been dedicated to the service of God, to other uses—beneficial, it may be, in themselves, but lower in their character. He appealed, in proof of his assertion, to the Government's own proposal for the disposal of the surplus. It had been blamed on different grounds by many persons. The exception he should take to it was its double-faced character. It was palpably an attempt to sail as near the wind as possible, and invent some disposition of the surplus which should, and yet should not be, religious. It was devised as a scheme which might be vindicated in political circles upon the ground of its probable social advantage to Ireland; while elsewhere it would be applied to salve the scruples of those who objected to see God's property diverted to other objects by the insinuation that, after all, the proposed use was very near indeed to religious uses. Much as he regretted it, he accepted the fixed conclusion that the Irish Church must be prepared to lose a large proportion of its property, and he should therefore—if he had not the opportunity of voting—at least, as a matter of conscience, lift up his voice in favour of its application to the next best, the most congruous object—that of its being so devoted as to procure some little material comfort, some outward show of modest independence, something which should tangibly and really create that equality which the Bill, as it stood, merely pretended to bestow, in favour of the clergy of the majority of the Irish people, the ministers of the Roman Catholic, and of the Presbyterian bodies.
§ MR. WALTER
said, he had given this clause his hearty support when it was originally proposed, because he considered then, as, indeed, he did now, that it was a just and liberal arrangement as regards the glebes. He had regarded the exaction of a moderate 1982 payment for the sites of the glebe houses as being rather an ingenious device to cover what was really a gift to the Established Church than as a matter of strict bargain and sale. Holding that view, he had been perfectly content with the clause as it went up to the House of Lords, and it was only in consequence of that House having disturbed the existing equilibrium that the proposal for concurrent endowment was first raised. With that proposal he had no hesitation in saying that he heartily agreed. He believed that had it been in the power of the House—which he regretted it was not—to have carried that principle, no single proposal could have been made in connection with this subject which would have done so much to pacify the great mass of the Irish people, and to take out of the measure that sting which at present rankled in their minds, because after all that had as yet been done, the religious feelings of the great mass of the population of Ireland had been but little considered on this subject. It was, however, a point of paramount importance to his mind, far outweighing any private opinions of his own, that this question should be disposed of finally and for ever. Believing that to be the case, he should yield his private conviction on the matter and should vote in support of the Government proposal as it originally stood, because he regarded the speedy passage of the Bill through Parliament as being of the first importance. He might observe that the question of concurrent endowment was a matter of principle with those who opposed it, but that it was merely regarded by those who supported it as a question of expediency. Being convinced, however, that the general opinion of the country was against that principle he should believe it to be his duty to vote in support of the Government in this matter.
§ SIR FREDERICK W. HEYGATE
said, in arriving at a conclusion adverse to concurrent endowment, he had not been influenced by any prejudice against the Roman Catholic ministers. The ministers of all congregations, in his opinion, should be properly housed; but the present proposal was not only opposed to the general opinion of the country, but was in itself impracticable and unjust. There were in Ireland a large number of ministers belonging to 1983 religious denominations other than those of the Established Church, the Roman Catholic, and the Presbyterian, for whom, in the event of the principle of concurrent endowment being adopted, glebes and houses would have to be provided. Thus there were of the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster, 24 ministers; Presbytery of Antrim, 13; Northern Presbytery of Antrim, 7; United Presbytery of Munster, 5; Eastern Reformed Presbyterian Synod, 8; United Presbyterian Presbytery of Ireland, 10; United. Presbyterian Church, Dublin, 1; Secession Church, 11; the Independent Church in Ireland, 28; Reformed Presbyterian Synod of Ireland, 32; Methodist Church, about 178; Primitive Wesleyan Methodist, 80; Methodist New Connection, 7; Association of Baptist Churches of Ireland, 19;—total, 423, besides the Presbyterian ministers of the Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic priests. It would be most unjust not to provide houses and glebes for these ministers if they were to be provided for those of other religious denominations. Another point was that as long as the disestablished clergy possessed large and handsome houses, there could be no complete equality between them and those of other denominations who had smaller houses. Another reason for opposing the proposal was the bad precedent it would afford in the event of any proposition being brought forward for the disestablishment and disendowment of the Church of England. The determination to permit the Church of Ireland to retain its private endowments would operate greatly in favour of the Church of England in the event of such a proposal being carried. He did not think that this could be carried out, because it would be an outrage upon public opinion at the present moment. For the information of the House he might state that he had long ago done all he could in private to secure proper residences for the ministers of all denominations. If it was right and reasonable that the congregations which were sufficiently large should be provided with sites for their ministers' houses, money might be lent to them by the State at a low rate of interest, as it was lent at present to landowners for the purposes of drainage. Money might be thus lent to congregations which gave a guarantee of their number, and they ought also to be required to contribute a 1984 considerable portion of the cost of the ministers' houses. This was a proposal which he hoped to see adopted at some future time. Then, as Ireland was to be judged of by herself instead of being connected as heretofore with the majority of the people of the Empire, it was an utterly wrong principle for English and Scotch Members to insist upon the Irish Members adopting a certain application of the surplus. If in the future the opinion of Irish Members should be in favour of making comfortable the ministers of various denominations, by all means let that be done when the time arrived. The question should, however, be relegated to the time when the surplus accrued. He preferred to see this question, which was entirely an Irish question, and this fund, which was entirely an Irish fund, left open to the future decision of the House, notwithstanding that some inconvenience might in the meantime arise in consequence of applications from all classes of theorists.
§ MR. WHALLEY
said, he thought the general feeling of the country was that this was not an Irish question, but an English question, and a Church of England question—an attempt to put all religions on a basis of equality. He thanked the Government for having opposed concurrent endowment, for the reason that in his opinion there ought to be free trade in religion as in everything else. The laity were quite prepared to respond to the opinion he now ventured to express.
§ MR. VERNON HARCOURT
expressed his acknowledgments to the hon. Baronet the Member for Londonderry (Sir Frederick Heygate) for his very frank and candid speech. One of the greatest difficulties he had formerly felt with regard to the Bill was on the subject of the charge made upon the glebe houses of the Protestant clergy in Ireland, but that difficulty had now been entirely removed by the speech of the hon. Baronet, who, as representing very adequately the sentiments of the Protestant population of Ireland, had most candidly admitted that this question could not be dissevered from the other question of the endowment, as far as glebe houses were concerned, of all the other sects in Ireland. He should now vote against the proposal embodied in the Bill by the House of Lords.
§ MR. CONOLLY
said, he regretted that the House of Lords should have originated the scheme of concurrent endowment. The Lower House had got through the whole of the discussions on the Bill without such a matter being mentioned, and he could have hoped that it had rested there. Such a scheme had never been put forward by any Irish Member, and it was one which found no favour whatever in Ireland either from Protestant or Roman Catholic. Concurrent endowment was, in fact, simply impossible. There was a demonstration held in the North of Ireland a few days ago, at which it appeared 300,000 persons assembled to complain of the treatment which they were receiving at the hands of the Government, and he hoped their claims would have some consideration from the right hon. Gentleman who was at its head. ["Divide!"]
§ MR. PIM
said, that having, when the Bill was in Committee, advocated the giving of glebes and manses to the clergy and ministers of the three principal religious bodies in Ireland, he wished to say a few words respecting the Amendment which had been introduced in the House of Lords in favour of what was improperly called "concurrent endowment." He did not consider this as an endowment, but rather as an attempt to carry out the Preamble of the Bill, and to—Satisfy so far as possible, upon principles of equality as between the several religious denominations in Ireland, all just and equitable claims.The great question which had been brought before the constituencies of Ireland at the last election was that of "religious equality," and to that he had pledged himself. Now, this Bill, as it left the House of Commons, did not secure this equality. It gave the cathedrals and other churches to the disestablished Church, and it offered the glebes and glebe houses at a price below their market value. He fully approved of this policy, believing it to be necessary if the House did not want a civil war in Ireland; but it was not in accordance with that equality which had been held out as the principle to be acted on. Therefore he advocated the giving of glebes and manses to the Presbyterian ministers and to the Roman Catholic clergy, in order to make the 1986 provisions of the Bill more consistent with justice and fair dealing, and thus secure a nearer approach to equality between the different religious communities in Ireland. He would not enlarge on the benefits to the country which might be expected from this measure, or on the injurious consequences which he feared would result from its refusal. They had been fully stated that evening in the noble speech of the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer); and if the arguments of his hon. and learned Friend had not convinced the House it was useless for him (Mr. Pim) to attempt it. He knew there were practical difficulties, as had been shown by the hon. Baronet the Member for Londonderry (Sir Frederick Heygate); but similar difficulties attended every new measure, and he was confident they would vanish before a resolute determination to carry it into effect. He was very unwilling to separate himself from his friends of the Liberal party; but he felt bound by the pledges he had given to his constituents to do what he could to promote religious equality, and therefore, if there was a division, he would give his vote in favour of the Amendment proposed by the Lords, as he had already voted for the omission from the Preamble of the words which had been understood as precluding the application of the Church funds to any religious purpose.
moved the adjournment of the debate, and said that the Lords' Amendments, whether accepted or rejected, ought, in common decency, to be attentively listened to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Colonel Gilpin.)
trusted that, now they were so near to a decision, it would not be interrupted with any view of reopening the debate hereafter. An adjournment of the debate upon the discussion of Lords' Amendments was totally different from an adjournment when the Bill was entirely in the hands of this House. Much time must necessarily be consumed in preparing and exchanging Reasons between the two Houses, and very great practical inconvenience would arise to Members themselves in the event of any adjournment.
§ MR. DISRAELI
rose to enforce the advice of the right hon. Gentleman, and hoped that if his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Gilpin) considered the position of this House, especially with reference to the other House of Parliament, he would not press his Amendment. At the same time his hon. and gallant Friend was perfectly justified in making this appeal to the Chair, because the House had got into a state which was not satisfactory. That state of affairs arose from an attempt to argue upon a provision which was hardly yet before the House. They had now to decide upon a very simple issue—whether the Protestant clergy should possess their glebe houses free of charge or not. This point was thoroughly understood, and did not seem to require further discussion. After that, they would, no doubt, come to the provisions upon concurrent endowment substituted by the Lords. He himself held that they had really discussed that question, and that when they came to it it would not be necessary to enter into any lengthened or further discussion upon it. That question, however, was not yet before the House. The simple issue was whether this House was of opinion with the House of Lords that the Protestant clergy in Ireland should possess their glebe houses free of charge.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. COLLINS
differed from the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli), and thought they should take the clause as a whole. Now, he was not prepared to vote for a clause which might give an advantage to one religious community over another. At the same time he believed that if this question had been discussed in a Parliament of Irishmen, and not of Englishmen and Scotchmen, their decision would have been that it was for the interests of Ireland to do something for the clergy of all denominations.
§ Question put, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 326; Noes 237: Majority 89.1992
|Acland, T. D.||Clement, W. J.|
|Adair, H. E.||Cogan, rt. hon. W. H. F.|
|Agar-Ellis, hn. L. G. F.||Colebrooke, Sir T. E.|
|Akroyd, E.||Coleridge, Sir J. D.|
|Allen, W. S.||Collier, Sir R. P.|
|Amcotts, Colonel W. C.||Colthurst, Sir G. C.|
|Amory, J. H.||Cowen, J.|
|Anderson, G.||Cowper, hon. H. F.|
|Anson, hon. A. H. A.||Craufurd, E. H. J.|
|Anstruther, Sir R.||Crawford, R. W.|
|Antrobus, E.||Crossley, Sir F.|
|Armitstead, G.||Dalglish, R.|
|Ayrton, A. S.||Dalrymple, D.|
|Aytoun, R. S.||D'Arcy, M. P.|
|Backhouse, E.||Davie, Sir H. R. F.|
|Bagwell, J.||Davies, R.|
|Baines, E.||Davison, J. R|
|Baker, R. B. W.||Delahunty, J.|
|Barclay, A. C.||De La Poer, E.|
|Barry, A. H. S.||Denison, E.|
|Bass, M. A.||Denman, hon. G.|
|Baxter, W. E.||Dent, J. D.|
|Bazley, T.||Dickinson, S. S.|
|Beaumont, Captain F.||Digby, K. T.|
|Beaumont, H. F.||Dilke, Sir C. W|
|Beaumont, S. A.||Dillwyn, L. L.|
|Bentall, E. H.||Dixon, G.|
|Biddulph, M.||Dodds, J.|
|Blake, J. A.||Dodson, J. G.|
|Blennerhasset, Sir R.||Downing, M'C.|
|Bolckow, H. W. F.||Dowse, R.|
|Bonham-Carter, J.||Duff, M. E. G.|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||Duff, R. W.|
|Bowring, E. A.||Dundas, F.|
|Brady, J.||Edwardes, hon. Col. W.|
|Brand, rt. hon. H.||Edwards, H.|
|Brand, H. R.||Egerton, Capt. hon. F.|
|Brassey, H. A.||Ellice, E.|
|Brassey, T.||Enfield, Viscount|
|Brewer, Dr.||Ennis, J. J.|
|Bright, rt. hon. J.||Erskine, Vice-Adm. J. E.|
|Bright, J. (Manchester)||Esmonde, Sir J.|
|Brinckman, Captain||Ewing, H. E. C.|
|Brocklehurst, W. C.||Eykyn, R.|
|Brown, A. H.||Fagan, Captain|
|Bruce, Lord C.||Fawcett, H.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Finnie, W.|
|Bruce, rt. hon. H. A.||FitzGerald, rt. hn. Lord O. A.|
|Bryan, G. L.|
|Buller, Sir E. M.||Fitzmaurice, Lord E.|
|Bulwer, rt. hn. Sir H. L.||Fitz Patrick, rt. hn. J. W.|
|Bury, Viscount||Fletcher, I.|
|Cadogan, hon. F. W.||Foljambe, F. J. S.|
|Callan, P.||Fordyce, W. D.|
|Campbell, H.||Forster, C.|
|Candlish, J.||Forster, rt. hon. W. E.|
|Cardwell, rt. hon. E.||Fortescue, rt. hn. C. P.|
|Carington, hn. Capt. W.||Fothergill, R.|
|Carnegie, hon. C.||Fowler, W.|
|Carter, R. M.||Gavin, Major|
|Castlerosse, Viscount||Gladstone, rt hn. W. E.|
|Cave, T.||Gladstone, W. H.|
|Cavendish, Lord F. C.||Gower, hon. E. F. L.|
|Cavendish, Lord G.||Gower, Lord R.|
|Chadwick, D.||Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.|
|Chambers, M.||Gourley, E. T.|
|Chambers, T.||Graham, W.|
|Childers, rt. hon. H. C. E.||Gray, Sir J.|
|Cholmely, Captain||Gregory, W. H.|
|Cholmely, Sir M.||Greville, Captain|
|Grieve, J. J.||Matthews, H.|
|Grosvenor, Lord R.||Melly, G.|
|Grosvenor, Capt. R. W.||Merry, J.|
|Grove, T. F.||Miall, E.|
|Guest, M. J.||Milbank, F. A.|
|Hamilton, E. W. T.||Miller, J.|
|Hamilton, J. G. C.||Milton, Viscount|
|Hanmer, Sir J.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Harcourt, W. G. G. V. V.||Moncrieff, rt. hon. J.|
|Harris, J. D.||Monk, C. J.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Monsell, rt. hon. W.|
|Haviland-Burke, E.||Morgan, G. O.|
|Hay, Lord J.||Morley, S.|
|Headlam, rt. hon. T. E.||Morrison, W.|
|Henderson, J.||Mundella, A. J.|
|Henley, Lord||Muntz, P. H.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Murphy, N. D.|
|Hibbert, J. T.||Nicol, J. D.|
|Hoare, Sir H. A.||North, F.|
|Hodgkinson, G.||Norwood, C. M.|
|Holms, J.||O'Brien, Sir P.|
|Horsman, rt. hon. E.||O'Conor, D. M.|
|Howard, J.||O'Conor Don, The|
|Hughes, T.||O'Donoghue, The|
|Hughes, W. B.||Ogilvy, Sir J.|
|Hurst, R. H.||Onslow, G.|
|Hutt, rt. hon. Sir W.||O'Reilly, M. W.|
|Hyde, Lord||O'Reilly-Dease, M.|
|Illingworth, A.||Otway, A. J.|
|James, H.||Palmer, J. H.|
|Jardine, R.||Parker, C. S.|
|Jessel, G.||Parry, L. Jones.|
|Johnston, A.||Pease, J. W.|
|Johnstone, Sir H.||Peel, A. W.|
|King, hon. P. J. L.||Pelham, Lord|
|Kinglake, J. A.||Philips, R. N.|
|Kingscote, Colonel||Pim, J.|
|Kinnaird, hon. A. F.||Platt, J.|
|Kirk, W.||Playfair, L.|
|Knatchbull-Hugessen, E. H.||Plimsoll, S.|
|Layard, rt. hon. A. H.||Portman, hn. H. W. B.|
|Lambert, N. G.||Potter, E.|
|Lancaster, J.||Potter, T. B.|
|Lawrence, J. C.||Power, J. T.|
|Lawrence, W.||Price, W. E.|
|Lawson, Sir W.||Price, W. P.|
|Lea, T.||Ramsden, Sir J. W.|
|Leatham, E. A.||Rathbone, W.|
|Lee, W.||Rebow, J. G.|
|Lefevre, G. J. S.||Richard, H.|
|Loch, G.||Richards, E. M.|
|Locke, J.||Robertson, D.|
|Lorne, Marquess of||Roden, W. S.|
|Lowe, rt. hon. R.||Rothschild, Brn. M. A. de|
|Lush, Dr.||Russell, A.|
|Lusk, A.||Russell, F. W.|
|Lyttelton, hon. C. G.||Russell, Sir W.|
|M'Arthur, W.||Rylands, P.|
|M'Clean, J. R.||St. Aubyn, J.|
|M'Clure, T.||Salomons, Mr. Ald.|
|MacEvoy, E.||Samuda, J. D' A.|
|Macfie, R. A.||Samuelson, B.|
|M'Lagan, P.||Samuelson, H. B.|
|M'Laren, D.||Sartoris, E. J.|
|M'Mahon, P.||Scott, Sir W.|
|Magniac, C.||Seely, C. (Lincoln)|
|Maguire, J. F.||Seely, C. (Nottingham)|
|Maitland, Sir A. C. R. G.||Shaw, R.|
|Marling, S. S.||Shaw, W.|
|Martin, C. W.||Sherlock, D.|
|Martin, P. W.||Sherriff, A. C.|
|Matheson, A.||Simeon, Sir J.|
|Simon, Mr. Serjeant||Weguelin, T. M.|
|Smith, T. E.||Wells, W.|
|Stacpoole, W.||West, H. W.|
|Stanley, hon. W. O.||Westhead, J. P. B.|
|Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.||Whalley, G. H.|
|Stapleton, J.||Whatman, J.|
|Stepney, Colonel||Whitbread, S.|
|Stevenson, J. C.||White, hon. Captain C.|
|Stone, W. H.||White, J.|
|Sullivan, rt. hon. E.||Whitwell, J.|
|Sykes, Colonel W. H.||Whitworth, T.|
|Synan, E. J.||Williams, W.|
|Talbot, C. R. M.||Williamson, Sir H.|
|Taylor, P. A.||Willyams, E. W. B.|
|Tollemache, hon. F. J.||Wingfield, Sir C.|
|Torrens, R. R.||Winterbotham, H. S. P.|
|Torrens, W. T. M' C,||Woods, H.|
|Tracy, hon. C. R. D. H.||Young, A. W.|
|Trevelyan, G. O.||Young, G.|
|Vivian, A. P.|
|Vivian, H. H.||TELLERS.|
|Vivian, hn. Capt. J. C. W.||Adam, W. P.|
|Walter, J.||Glyn, G. G.|
|Wedderburn, Sir D.|
|Adderley, rt. hn. Sir C. B.||Cowper, rt. hon. W. F|
|Allen, Major||Crichton, Viscount|
|Amphlett, R. P.||Croft, Sir H. G. D.|
|Annesley, hon. Col. H.||Cross, R. A.|
|Archdall, Captain M.||Cubitt, G.|
|Assheton, R.||Curzon, Viscount|
|Bagge, Sir W.||Dalrymple, C.|
|Bailey, Sir J. R.||Dalway, M. R.|
|Ball, J. T.||Damer, Capt. Dawson.|
|Barnett, H.||Davenport, W. B.|
|Barrington, Viscount||De Grey, hon. T.|
|Barttelot, Colonel||Denison, C. B.|
|Bateson, Sir T.||Dick, F.|
|Bathurst, A. A.||Dickson, Major A. G.|
|Beach, Sir M. H.||Dimsdale, R.|
|Beach, W. W. B.||Disraeli, rt. hon. B.|
|Bective, Earl of||Dowdeswell, W. E.|
|Bentinck, G. C.||Duncombe, hn. Colonel|
|Benyon, R.||Du Pre, C. G.|
|Bingham, Lord||Dyott, Colonel R.|
|Birley, H.||Eastwick, E. B.|
|Booth, Sir R. G.||Eaton, H. W.|
|Bourke, hon. R.||Egerton, hon. A. F.|
|Bourne, Colonel||Egerton, Sir P. G.|
|Brise, Colonel R.||Egerton, hon. W.|
|Broadley, W. H. H.||Elliot, G.|
|Brodrick, hon. W.||Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H.|
|Bruce, Sir H. H.||Ewing, A. O.|
|Bruen, H.||Feilden, H. M.|
|Buckley, Sir E.||Fellowes, E.|
|Burrell, Sir P.||Fielden, J.|
|Butler-Johnstone, H. A.||Figgins, J.|
|Cameron, D.||Finch, G. H.|
|Cartwright, F.||Fitzwilliam, hn. C. W. W.|
|Cawley, C. E.||Fitzwilliam, hon. H. W.|
|Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G.||Floyer, J.|
|Chaplin, H.||Forde, Colonel|
|Charley, W. T.||Forester, rt. hn. General|
|Child, Sir S.||Fowler, R. N.|
|Clive, Colonel E.||Gallwey, Sir W. P.|
|Clive, hon. Col. G. W.||Galway, Viscount|
|Clowes, S. W.||Garlies, Lord|
|Cole, hon. Col. H. A.||Gilpin, Colonel|
|Conolly, T.||Gore, J. R. O.|
|Corbett, Colonel||Grant, Colonel hon. J.|
|Corrance, F. S.||Graves, S. R.|
|Gray, Lieut.-Colonel||Liddell, hon. H. G.|
|Gregory, G. B.||Lindsay, hon. Col. C.|
|Guest, A. E.||Lindsay, Colonel R. L.|
|Gurney, rt. hon. R.||Lopes, Sir M.|
|Hambro, C.||Lowther, J.|
|Hamilton, Lord C.||Lowther, W.|
|Hamilton, I. T.||Malcolm, J. W.|
|Hamilton, Lord G.||Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.|
|Hamilton, Marquess of||Manners, Lord G. J.|
|Hardy, rt. hon. G.||March, Earl of|
|Hardy, J.||Maxwell, W. H.|
|Hardy, J. S.||Mellor, T. W.|
|Hay, Sir J. C. D.||Meyrick, T.|
|Henley, rt. hon. J. W.||Milles, hon. G. W.|
|Henniker-Major, hon. J. M.||Mills, C. H.|
|Mitford, W. T.|
|Henry, J. S.||Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R.|
|Herbert, rt. hn. General Sir P.||Montgomery, Sir G. G.|
|Morgan, C. O.|
|Hermon, E.||Morgan, hon. Major|
|Hervey, Lord A. H. C.||Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.|
|Hick, J.||Neville-Grenville, R.|
|Hildyard, T. B. T.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Hill, A. S.||Newport, Viscount|
|Hoare, P. M.||Nicholson, W.|
|Hodgson, W. N.||North, Colonel|
|Holford, R. S.||Northcote, rt. hn. Sir S. H.|
|Holmesdale, Viscount||O'Neill, hon. E.|
|Holt, J. M.||Paget, R. H.|
|Hood, Capt. hon. A. W. A. N.||Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.|
|Palmer, Sir R.|
|Hope, A. J. B. B.||Parker, Lt.-Colonel W.|
|Hornby, E. K.||Patten, rt. hn. Col. W.|
|Howes, E.||Peek, H. W.|
|Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.||Pell, A.|
|Hutton, J.||Pemberton, E. L.|
|Ingram, H. F. M.||Percy, Earl|
|Jackson, R. W.||Phipps, C. P.|
|Jenkinson, Sir G. S.||Powell, W.|
|Johnston, W.||Raikes, H. C.|
|Kavanagh, A M'M.||Read, C. S.|
|Kekewich, S. T.||Ridley, M. W.|
|Keown, W.||Round, J.|
|Knight, F. W.||Royston, Viscount|
|Knightley, Sir R.||Salt, T.|
|Knox, hon. Colonel S.||Sandon, Viscount|
|Lacon, Sir E. H. K.||Sclater-Booth, G.|
|Laird, J.||Scott, Lord H. J. M. D.|
|Langton, W. H. P. G.||Scourfield, J. H.|
|Laslett, W.||Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.|
|Legh, W. J.||Shirley, S. E.|
|Lennox, Lord G. G.||Sidebottom, J.|
|Lennox, Lord H. G.||Simonds, W. B.|
|Leslie, C. P.||Smith, A.|
|Smith, F. C.||Verner, W.|
|Smith, R.||Walker, Major G. G.|
|Smith, S. G.||Walpole, hon. F.|
|Smith, W. H.||Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.|
|Somerset, Colonel||Waterhouse, S.|
|Stanley, hon. F.||Welby, W. E.|
|Stanley, Lord||Wethered, T. O.|
|Starkie, J. P. C.||Wheelhouse, W. S. J.|
|Stopford, S. G.||Whitmore, H.|
|Stronge, Sir J. M.||Williams, C. H.|
|Sturt, H. G.||Williams, F. M.|
|Sykes, C.||Wilmot, H.|
|Talbot, J. G.||Wright, Colonel|
|Talbot, hon. R. A. J.||Winn, R.|
|Taylor, rt. hon. Colonel||Wise, H. C.|
|Tipping, W.||Wynn, C. W. W.|
|Tollemache, J.||Wynn, Sir W. W.|
|Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill.|
|Turnor, E.||Noel, hon. G. J.|
|Vandeleur, Colonel||Dyke, W. H.|
|Verner, E. W.|
then moved that the Lords' Amendments to the remainder of the clause—with reference to concurrent endowment—be disagreed to.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, after the division which had just been come to he should not oppose the Motion.
§ The next Amendment to Clause 27, disagreed to.
said, that, agreeably to the understanding arrived at yesterday, he should propose that the House should meet to-morrow at four o'clock, and that they should proceed with this subject—as far as the Government had power—as the first subject. He was aware that the Order for Supply would stand first; but, no doubt, they would, by the kindness and consideration of Members, be allowed to go forward with this subject without delay.
§ Further Consideration of Lords' Amendments deferred till To-morrow.
§ House adjourned at a quarter after Two o'clock.