HC Deb 23 March 1869 vol 194 cc2004-132

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [18th March], "That the Bill be now read a second time;" and which Amendment was, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Disraeli.)

Question again proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

Debate resumed.


Sir, after the remarkable character of this debate, which has already been prolonged for three nights, and especially after the speeches of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University, (Dr. Ball) and of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer), I feel it would be unjustifiable in me to make any lengthened observations, which, under other other circumstances, I should possibly have done, on the question before the House. I therefore propose to confine myself solely to the important principles involved in the Bill. This measure was described, on its first introduction, as the most grave and arduous work of legislation ever submitted to the House of Commons, and I think it deserves that character. What are we invited by the Government to do? We are invited for the first time in English history—and, with one exception, I believe I might say for the first time in the history of Christendom—to do away with the religion of the country as a national religion, and thus to make what I think I may call a legislative revolution in our fundamental laws, upon that which is one of the most important of subjects—one of those subjects that are most dear to the convictions and feeling of a religious people. I have said that this is the first time in our history such a measure has been proposed. There may have been times, some of which were alluded to last night by the hon. and learned Member for Richmond, when disestablishment and disendowment were partially, and for a short period, carried into effect; but I know of no time when either the one or the other has been attempted except on occasions of what I may call rebellious anarchy, such as no one would desire to apply to the present state of things; or unless the trust on which the Church was founded, and the trust on which its property was given, had been so much abused and perverted as to call for the interference of the State. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Bright), in that most powerful and remarkable speech which we heard the other night, reminded us of a saying of Wycliffe, that "when endowments are abused Princes may take them away." And he added thereto an aphorism of his own—that when endowments are mischievous Parliament may divert them to other uses. I will not dispute either of those sayings, for, on the contrary, I believe in both of them, but I take them as the test by which I to contend that you cannot justify the passing of this measure on only such grounds; and, in the absence of any such justification, I venture to call a measure of this kind a legislative revolution. Now, I do not say that a legislative revolution is necessarily a bad thing. It may be either a good thing or a bad thing, according to circumstances, and in the present case I wish to try the question by the only test which it can be tried by—namely, by asking myself and the House this question—From what does such a revolution arise, and to what is it likely to lead us? We have had legislative revolutions in this country—revolutions in government and revolutions in religion. We had a revolution at the time of the Reformation. We had a revolution when we excluded the House of Stuart from the Throne. But from what, and to what, on those occasions did these revolutions tend? The revolution at the Reformation brought us from foreign interference, and what we believe to be corrupting errors, to national independence and Protestant purity of faith and worship, The revolution which took place when the House of Stuart was excluded from the Throne brought us from lawless usurpation and invaded liberty to responsible government and constitutional freedom. On both occasions, when we ask ourselves from what, and to what, did those revolutions tend, we find there was everything to justify them and nothing, in my opinion, to find fault with them. But let us ask ourselves the same question with reference to this measure—from what, and to what, is it likely to lead? On the two occasions to which I have referred there was no destruction of anything which formed part of our national system. They were Reformations and Restorations. But this is to a certain extent a measure of destruction. It violates fundamental laws. It invades prescriptive rights. It abolishes institutions hitherto deemed essential to the well-being of the community. Now, I will endeavour to apply my test to this measure, and I will apply it to both the objects which it proposes—disestablishment and disendowment; and as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond applied an adjective to the latter of those objects, I will take the liberty of adding an adjective to the former, because I think it will more fully illustrate the argument I wish to press upon the House. My hon. and learned Friend added "universal" to disendowment, and the adjective I would add is "entire" to disestablishment. I shall speak of entire disestablishment and "universal disendowment." My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond supports the measure upon the first principle involved in it—namely, entire disestablishment; but he objects to the measure with reference to the other principle it involves—universal disendowment. But why does he draw that distinction? As far as I can follow him—and he spoke so clearly that it was impossible not to follow him on every point—his reason for supporting the measure with reference to disestablishment was this—it was so important to give satisfaction and peace to Ireland that he would willingly remove all those symbols and tokens of civil superiority and political ascendancy which are in any way connected with the character of an Establishment. Well, that is an intelligible ground; and if disestablishment were confined to that point, and to that point only, I can understand why my hon. and learned Friend supported that portion of the Bill. But there are circumstances involved in an Establishment which are not necessarily connected either with civil superiority or political ascendancy; and if those circumstances, not being so connected, are connected with, your own people's religion and their rights, I say my hon. and learned Friend, ought, with reference even to disestablishment, to have opposed the first part of this Bill as well as the second part. Now, in order to test this question, let me ask what does an Establishment imply? It implies, in the first place, a parochial organization by which the State secures to the people the ordinances of religion and pastoral superintendence. It implies, in the second place, a continuous corporation in order that the benefits so intended to be secured to the people should not only be universal but permanent. It implies, in the third place, a rule of doctrine and a form of worship which the clergy and laity have equally agreed upon, and which ought not, therefore, to be taken away till the clergy and the laity agree so to do; and it implies, in the last place, the supremacy of the Crown as a guarantee for the good government of the Church, and as a further guarantee against any ecclesiastical usurpation, whether it comes from abroad or whether it originates at home; and this supremacy is, in fact, made manifest partly by the creation, of rights inherent in the Crown alone, that is to say, of sees and dioceses; partly by the appointment of Bishops to have the charge over those sees and dioceses, and partly by supporting the supremacy of the law which secures the faith so protected through the instrumentality of your own tribunals. If that be a fair description of what Establishment implies, it is perfectly obvious that a great many of those things do not touch either civil superiority or political ascendancy; and when it is necessary to preserve an Establishment for these things, I think my learned Friend went too far when he said that he could support the whole of the first part of this Bill, involving as it does the removal of many circumstances connnected with your Church, which are, in fact, necessary for the maintenance of the Church itself. What does the Bill do in all these particulars? One portion of the Bill dissolves every corporation, aggregate or sole, and effectually puts an end to parochial organization; it takes away all the property of the Church and vests it in Commissioners, so that what was intended to give a permanent benefit to any parish may be taken away from it without any substitute or any equivalent being provided. Another portion of the Bill deprives the Crown of the right of appointing Bishops; and that part of the Bill is so connected with Clause 21, which constitutes a New Governing Body, that it deprives the laity of the Church, in my humble opinion—till I know what the now government is to be—of the true guarantee they have always had for preserving the doctrine, discipline, and worship of their Church. If that be so, what are the consequences which such a change must necessarily involve? The moment you pass this Bill, if a vacancy occurs in any benefice, and somebody is not ready and. willing to supply means of his own for the purpose, so that it cannot be filled up, the congregation belonging to the church of that parish will be deprived of rights enjoyed for three centuries. Nor does it stop there; for unless you suppose the endowments you are going to take away to be casually replaced, there is nothing in the Bill to insure the continuance of the religious ministrations which that parish now possesses, and when you have taken away all the property of the Church that parish must rely entirely upon voluntary contributions to make good the spoliation which has deprived it of its property. But the strong point in my mind is the change which the Bill will effect as to the severance of the Royal supremacy from the Church of the country, and therefore removing that control which has been found necessary, and, I believe, will be found necessary, to the continued freedom of the Church. It is through that supremacy, and through that alone, that your doctrines and worship have been preserved. Through that supremacy, and through that alone, that, to a certain extent, innovations, and to a still further extent Ritualism, have been, and may be cheeked. Through that, and through that alone, a barrier is reared against the introduction into the Church of sceptical rationalism, on the one hand, or sacerdotal intolerance on the other. Now, Sir, the answer which is given to the objections that may be taken to this part of the Bill is two-fold. First, it is said—"There is a new body provided which will take care of these matters as well as they have been taken care of by the supremacy of the Crown." My answer is that the new body is such a shadowy substance at present, that I cannot judge what powers it will have, or how far it will exercise them to meet the difficulty I am pointing out. And my second answer would be that I doubt very much whether you can substitute such a new body as will effectually secure the same guarantees as we now possess. But then it is said—"Give freedom to the Church, and then your Church will do as other free Churches have done; all your difficulties will be met by the increased enthusiasm which you will excite among the people." The answer to that point given by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond last night was so powerful and so succinct that I will not weaken it by adding much of my own. But I supplement it to this extent, that I value freedom in ecclesiastical and temporal matters not less than any Gentleman in this House. I believe that freedom can do a great deal; but I also believe that the most perfect freedom you can give the Church, unaided and unassisted, will never meet all the difficulties by which you are surrounded. There are three Churches now in Ireland, and yet the ministers of those Churches, with all the appliances to meet the difficulties with which they are surrounded, and with all the activity to spread their own doctrine and discipline, are still insufficient to penetrate the dark recesses of ignorance and vice which, unhappily, exist around them. Take away one of those Churches, cripple its resources, curb its influence, and ignorance and vice will be added to more and more. No one can believe that ignorance or vice ever did or ever will seek, by its own aid, instruction from without or correction from within. I have quoted before in this House an observation of Dr. Chalmers, but I may be pardoned for citing again a remark that is as beautiful as it is true. Dr. Chalmers said that "Christianity must go forth in quest of human nature—for human nature unenlightened and uninstructed, would never go forth in quest of Christianity." Try the principle on a kindred subject. If anything would convince you that the mere voluntary principle cannot grapple with all its difficulties, let us see what has happened in the case of education. The voluntary principle is that on which we have have all been endeavouring to rely for the education of the people; but we have aided it by large contributions from the State. What is the result? Those who have been the greatest advocates of the voluntary principle are now becoming the greatest advocates of compulsory rates for building schools, and even of the compulsory attendance of the children. If, then, the voluntary principle has failed with reference to education, I fear it will also fail if that is the only thing to which you trust for preserving religion among our people. The conclusion, therefore, to which I come on this portion of the Bill is this—that disestablishment, although it might possibly be sanctioned to the extent to which it might remove any complaint on the ground of civil superiority or political ascendancy, ought not to be touched or shaken in the least degree when that Establishment is required for the maintenance of religion. I turn now to the question of disendowment, and here my hon. and learned Friend (Sir Roundell Palmer) has so grappled with and mastered the whole subject that it saves me from making any remarks that one might otherwise be tempted to urge to the House. There are, however, a few observations which occur to mo on this subject, and firstly, in consequence of the very singular speech which we heard last night from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The speech was so unsatisfactory as to make me desirous to offer to the House a few remarks upon it. If I understood him aright, he had the boldness to assert that the Government were only making new regulations which could not inflict injury on anyone. Now, let us examine that saying of the right hon. Gentleman. What is done by the Bill? You cannot deny, at any rate, that there is a forcible seizure of all the property of the Church, and the abnegation of all prescriptive rights to that property, without any pretence or allegation, and certainly without any proof that that property has been in any respect so perverted and abused that it ought to be taken away. And, having seized the; property, what are you going to do with the produce of the property—as it will be called on that side of the House, and which we on this side of the House may be permitted to call, without being reprimanded—the spoil to be derived from that property? First of all you considerately say that the Church may still retain the fabrics, but on the condition that it undertakes to support them. These churches have now, at this moment, a fund set apart for the sustentation of the fabrics, and that fund you are going to take away, and having taken it away, you say you are going to leave us possession of the churches, but on the condition that we support them. And then my right hon. Friend says that this is doing an act which does injury to no one. Then, what are you going to do with glebe houses? You indulgently leave them the property of the rectors, and on what condition? On this condition, that they buy them back again by purchasing the site on which they stand. This is a most considerate and condescending way of dealing with the owners of these glebe houses which have had so much money expended on them out of the savings of those who inhabit them, that I believe they have bought them ten times over. What do you do with the residue of the great bulk of the Church property? You divide it into three parts, and you say that you will convert, for the purpose of vested interests, a certain portion into terminable annuities; but as these will be exhausted one after another as lives fall in, you make no provision for the congregations attending those churches, and who are really the persons entitled to the benefit of those churches, of which the clergy, to whom you are going to give the terminable annuities, are simply and solely the trustees. And yet you say that in doing that by which you deprive the congregations of their churches, of the means of religious instruction they have hitherto possessed, you inflict injury on no one. With wonderful inconsistency you deal in a different manner with the Presbyterians and the Roman Catholics. You capitalize their incomes in order that they may possess that permanent endowment which you deny to the Church. I will not say that is done in order to deprive the Church of its endowments and means of worship, but you do it in a manner which has that effect. I now turn to the third portion of the fund—to that portion which the President of the Board of Trade calls surplus property. What are you going to do with that? You are going to divert it from the purpose for which alone it was originally given to other purposes, which, however beneficial they may be, are not the purposes of the original donors. Then hon. Members have heard a great deal on the subject of corporation and corporate funds. One would have thought in listening to these remarks that the mere circumstance of all these rectories being so many corporations is a reason why you are entitled to deal with the property of those corporations just as you wish. On what basis such a proposition rests I do not know. You may say that the State has a right to resume and to deal with this property. According to the principle of the ablest jurists and the profoundest Statesmen that ever lived, no such right has ever been recognized, and I hope never will be recognized, as that the State may seize hold of any property of that kind. The State is the guardian and regulator of this kind of property, but not its proprietor. The State has a right to lay down rules, to give directions, to prescribe conditions, on which any and all property, including the property of corporations, may be acquired, held, enjoyed, alienated, disposed of, and transmitted, either by purchase or descent. But if those rules, directions, and conditions are once complied with, then, as soon as any parties, whether individuals or corporations, possess the property, according to these rules, directions, and conditions, nothing can entitle you, either in reason or in justice, to take it away, unless you can show that the property has been so perverted and abused that the State has a right to resume it. Sir, I have heard it said that there is a distinction between the property in this case and other corporate property, inasmuch as it came to the Church by conquest and by wrong. [Ministerial cheers.] Hon. Members on the other side cheer that observation. Whether it has come to the Church by conquest and by wrong would embark us upon too long an argument at the present moment. But whether the consequence which you intend to draw from that proposition follows is a matter which I think may be very shortly disposed of. What does all prescription mean but a right to hold property which, for long periods of years, has been held by any person without challenge? Last Session we had in this House one who is not now among us—a great thinker and a great Liberal—one not unfriendly to those among our Irish fellow-countrymen who would desire to legislate with regard to Ireland in a way which those upon this side of the House might not always approve, would he have encouraged the holding of a doctrine such as I have adverted to about a title by conquest and by wrong? In a pamphlet on the subject of England and Ireland he told you what is; the real truth in regard to the case, that the property of Ireland—I am not speaking of Church property only, because it applies to both—that the hand of time had passed over them, and that the reversal of an injustice, if it was an injustice, might become in the minds of all reasonable men an injustice the more. I will take the liberty of reading the passage to the House— The alien Church indeed remains, but is no longer supported by a levy from the Catholic tillers of the soil; it has become a charge on the rent paid by them mostly to Protestant landlords. The confiscations have not been reversed, but the hand of time has passed over them; they have reached the stage at which, in the opinion of reasonable men, the reversal of an injustice is an injustice the more. I now pass to another portion of the subject—namely, the consequences of I admitting doctrines which you propose to act upon, and the application of those doctrines to the case before us. These doctrines may generally be described, as what the First Lord of the Treasury calls the doctrine of cy prês, which doctrine has been further illustrated by the President of the Board of Trade. Now, I according to that doctrine, the equitable; doctrine of cy prês to which this First Lord of the Treasury alluded, nothing is more sound, nothing is more true, I than that when property is impressed with a charitable object, and a part of this object fails, you may treat the property with respect to which the object has so failed as still impressed with the character of the trust, and, therefore, as properly applicable to the general purposes for which it was given. But what possible bearing can that doctrine have upon a case where the purpose for which the property was originally given has not failed, and where the original purpose is totally different from that to which you now propose to apply it? The two cases have no analogy, and cannot be argued or determined upon the same ground. But then the President of the Board of Trade steps in with that beautiful peroration to his most powerful speech—powerful as much in the moral sentiment which it inculcated as it was intellectually grand in itself—and he endeavours to impose on this property a religious character, suggesting that in following the advice that he would give us we are treading in the steps of our Divine Master. He pointed out, and very truly, that there was nothing more remarkable in the Founder of that religion than the way in which He went about doing good, healing the sick, giving speech to the dumb, hearing to the deaf, and sight to the blind; and though, he said, we could not hope to imitate Him in those miraculous gifts, we could do what was in our power to do—namely, to alleviate the sufferings of humanity in all those calamities which befall us. These, no doubt, wore some of the attributes and proofs of the Messiahship. But they were not the only proofs—they were not the only attributes. The right hon. Gentleman omitted that which was, perhaps, the most characteristic among His attributes—that "to the poor the Gospel was preached." It is the glory and the triumph of Christianity that it has founded and erected hospitals and infirmaries for all those afflictions which befall man. But it is not less the glory and the triumph of Christianity that it has provided means and offices of religion for all those who would otherwise be deprived of them, and of those by whom the establishments so founded are used and valued the great mass are the poor of the land. As a comment upon the text to which I have been alluding, let me remind the House of a sterling passage in the writings of M. Chateaubriand— The strength of Christianity lies in the cottage of the poor; for its basis is as durable as the misery of man on which it exists; 'to the poor the Gospel is preached.' What is the inference that we ought to draw? It is that the charitable object of providing for human suffering is a thing which we ought not only to encourage, but to defend and preserve; but that the other object of preserving and supporting religion for the benefit of all, and especially of the poor, is one not inferior, perhaps even superior, in importance to it. You can, therefore, in my opinion, no more take away those funds which were given for the benefit of the poor, and for the purpose of providing religious services for the poor, in order to give them to charitable institutions which, under other circumstances, might be entitled to receive them, than you would be justified in taking away from those institutions any of the funds which they possess to apply them to the preaching of the Gospel. The argument, therefore, of the President of the Board of Trade it seems to me will not support the application of the surplus which he proposes. I have said once or twice in the course of my observations that if the gifts of former times now vested in the Church have been perverted or abused—or, I will add, if you can show, as you sometimes think you can, that they are no longer useful for the purposes for which they were given—then I will admit that, under proper restrictions, you might have a claim to some of these funds for the charitable purposes to which you intend to apply them. But what is the state of things? You talk as if the Church of Ireland had entirely failed in its mission. You talk as if she were sleeping over her interests and neglecting her people; as if she had neither outward activity nor inward life. But what is the real state of things? There may undoubtedly have been abuses and anomalies in the Church, and possibly there may be some still. But during the last thirty years many of these have been removed; pluralities have been done away with; sinecures, in all cases, with the exception, I believe, of one, have been abolished; parishes have been in some cases united, in others divided, as union or division best tended to promote the interests of religion; contributions have been levied upon the richer livings to make good the smaller incomes of the clergy, and so active in all these material improvements has the Church been with its lay members, as well as its clergy, that I should just like to mention the progress which has been made within sixty-eight years of the present time, both as regards the number of clergy, the benefices, the churches, and the glebe houses. In 1800 there were 1,200 clergy, there are now 2,200; there were then, 1,120 benefices, there are now 1,510; there were then, 1,000 churches, there are now, 1,579; there were then, 295 glebe houses, there are now, 980, which you are kind and considerate enough to tell the rectors they may have liberty to purchase at their full value. But I do not wish to refer simply to the material improvement in the condition of the Irish Church; it has also made great advances in the way of spiritual improvement. I was astonished to hear the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer say last night that the Church in Ireland was set against the whole nation. Such exaggerated language as that ought not to fall from any person in this House, and still less from a Minister of the Crown. But is it true? I will not appeal for evidence on the point to the testimony of friends of the Irish Church, or to members of the Irish Church. I will not appeal, although I might fairly do so, to the striking testimony which was borne three years ago to the courage, zeal, and purity of the members of the Church in Ireland by the right hon. Gentleman at the Head of the Government; but I hope the House will allow me to appeal to the testimony of two witnesses, neither of whom could be suspected of partiality or prejudice. In the first place, I will appeal to the Roman Catholic Church, to the evidence of a Roman Catholic Bishop; and, secondly, to an English dignitary, who has had many opportunities of collecting information upon the subject, and who is cairn-judging, thoughtful, and fair-dealing. Now, what does Bishop Moriarty say? Bishop Moriarty, in his letter addressed to his clergy, in the diocese of Kerry, says— In every relation in life the Protestant clergy we find among us are not only blameless, but estimable and edifying; they are peaceful with all, and to their neighbours they are kind when they come into contact with them; and we know that on many occasions they would be more active and beneficent, but they do not wish to appear meddling, nor to incur the suspicion of tampering with the poor Catholics. In bearing, manners, and dress, they become their station. If not learned theologians, they are accomplished scholars and polished gentlemen. There is little intercourse between them and us, but they cannot escape our observation; and sometimes, when we notice their quiet, decorous, and modest course of life, we find ourselves giving expression to the wish— 'Talis cum sis utinam noster esses.' Will the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, after hearing that expression of opinion, say that the Irish Church has set itself up against the whole nation? With the permission of the House, I will advert to the other witness to whom I referred. What is the testimony of the Dean of Westminster upon the subject? In a book upon the Three Churches in Ireland, which he has recently published—and it must be remembered that he wrote this book before this measure was before the public—after alluding to the influence which the Established Church exercises even over Roman Catholics, he remarks— This position Irish established clergy owe to their connection with the English State and Church. Other changes may take place in their condition; their bishoprics may be retrenched; their parochial ministrations may be curtailed; their revenues may be diminished; but so long as their position is preserved, their peculiar usefulness remains; if this is taken away, they may still perform functions common to those of other Churches, but their peculiar vocation is gone. The Episcopal Church may become an aggressive Episcopal or Presbyterian sect; it will cease to be what, with all its faults, it has hitherto been—the one religious institution which most constantly fostered liberty of thought and action, most steadily exercised a moderating influence on the country. Will the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, after hearing that testimony, adhere to his statement that the endowments of the Church of Ireland have been so abused that they ought to be taken away—or that they are so mischievous that Parliament can divert them to other uses? I have endeavoured to express my views shortly, but I fear that I have trespassed upon the attention of the House at greater length than I intended. As I feel strongly upon the subject, however, I should wish to compress what I have said into a smaller compass, and, therefore, I trust that the House will forgive me when I put into a few short sentences my principal objections to the Bill before us. My broad objection to disestablishment is simply this—that for the first time the State is no longer to recognize their duty in securing religion and religious ordinances to the people, although they possess them now. My broad objection to disendowment is this—that you are taking away the means by which that religion and those religious ordinances can be secured to the people who belong to the Church, and are diverting it to purposes for which it was never intended. My broad objection to the Bill which proposes a combination of disestablishment and disendowment is that by it you will recognize the prin- ciple and introduce the mischief of an ecclesiastical communism; at all events, you will shake and unsettle the laws relating to ecclesiastical property, not only in Ireland, but, according to the way in which you argue the question, in England also. Possibly you will shake and unsettle the laws relating to other property; and certainly you will shake and unsettle the laws which relate to the property of corporations. Viewed in this way, I believe that this measure, instead of promoting the religious peace of Ireland, will impede religious progress; I believe it will alter the moral and religious condition of a great part of the Irish people; I believe it will create a void in the remoter districts of Ireland, and in the denser mass of the population of that country, which the utmost efforts of voluntaryism will never be able to fill up. Viewing the question politically, and having regard to the obligations which the Government of a country owes to its people, I cannot but see that you are destroying grants, annulling charters, and disturbing settlements upon which rest the rights, not only of the clergy, but of the laity also, while you are overturning at once the most solemn compact ever made between two independent Legislatures, which was declared to be essential, and which was covenanted to be perpetual; and you are doing this at the fiat of the stronger party against the will of the weaker party, whom, by that very compact, you have placed in such a position that it is no longer able to resist your acts. These are the objections I entertain to the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade said this measure will strengthen the Union, and restore harmony. If it would have that effect, we ought to make great sacrifices to secure such a result; but my belief and conviction is, that it will have a contrary effect. I, therefore, revert to what I said at the commencement—and say deliberately—that this is a revolution-—a legislative revolution, indeed—but still a revolution of the worst kind; and when I consider from what it is taking, and to what it is dragging us, I trust that Parliament will yet pause before it will allow such a measure as that to become the law of the land.


My right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole) seems to think that liberty and pros- perity were introduced in past times into Ireland by civil war and revolution. I hope that by introducing laws favourable to tranquillity and prosperity into Ireland to prevent future civil wars and revolutions. I shall not attempt, however, to argue the question before us either as a lawyer or a theologian, neither shall I enter deeply into subjects which would take me from the main point we have to decide—which is not merely how to deal with the Irish Church, but how to govern Ireland. For centuries that country has been governed under a system of inequality and partiality, and to the support of that system has been brought the greatest perseverance, the greatest talents, and all the resources of Imperial power. And yet, little by little, the ground upon which, we have stood has been crumbling from under our feet, so that we are now on the last spot on which the battle of equality or inequality, of partiality or impartiality has to be fought. Resistance at this period seems to me an anachronism. When England allowed the Roman Catholics to be electors in 1793, she made it certain that they would before long be elected. When in 1829 political supremacy was given to the Roman Catholic majority, it became certain that religious supremacy would not long remain to a Protestant minority. From the earliest period that I have thought upon this matter, I have entertained the opinions I now entertain. Many years ago, standing on the spot where I now stand, I said what I now repeat—namely, that I could conceive a Statesman following any policy except an impossible policy; and I then thought our policy impossible, for it had not adopted the justice which conciliated, and it had abandoned the authority which commanded. It is said that the measure now proposed is premature and inconsiderate in its provisions. I can bring forward an authority against this charge? In turning over the pages of the Grenville Memoirs the other day, I found a letter from Mr. Charles Wynn to the Duke of Buckingham, dated December 1st, a letter in which Mr. Wynn said that he had talked to Lord Liverpool that very day on the state of Ireland, and that Lord Liverpool avowed that he saw no way of finally settling Irish difficulties, except either giving up the Protestant Church or converting the Catholics to Protestantism. No one, I believe, now contends for the realization of the latter alternative, and we thus revert to the former one, and are only at this moment carrying out the conclusion come to more than forty years ago by one of the most moderate and practical of English Statesman—a Statesman whose zeal for the Protestant Church was only limited by his interest in the British Empire. I do not say that the Bill by which we do so is perfect in all its parts. Various hon. Gentlemen opposite have found fault with some of its details. Its supporters do not say they shall adopt all those details when the proper time arrives for discussing them; but we are now discussing its principles, and these we do say that we adopt with all our minds and all our hearts, and will defend against our antagonists, whose accusations we repudiate as based on erroneous suppositions, and mistaken prejudices. What are these accusations? First, that we intend to violate or repeal the Act of Union. Now, we do not intend to violate or repeal this Act. We intend to alter it. Why? because Ireland has altered. When this Act was passed only Protestants had political power in Ireland. At this time Protestants and Catholics exercise political power on equal terms. The political Ireland of to-day is not the political Ireland of seventy years ago, and therefore, wishing our political union with Ireland to be a political reality and not a political fiction, we change our arrangements with Ireland to suit the change which has occurred in Irish affairs. We are next accused of the confiscation of Church property. Now the nature of Church property is a question that has been debated during the last eighty years throughout Europe, and persons may be permitted to differ upon a matter on which the wisest and ablest men have differed. Unanimity does not prevail on the opposite Benches, nor on these where I am sitting. Some contend that Church property is in the same condition as private property; some that it is more like corporate property; some, that the State may not touch it; others that the State may deal with it, but only for ecclesiastical purposes; others that it may also be used for purposes of charity and education; while many contend that being applied to national uses it is national property, and that therefore Parliament, as the representative of the nation, may dispose of it as it thinks best for national interests. I do not wish to enter into this general controversy; since it appears to me that the Irish Church and its property stand upon a peculiar basis—a basis which is sui generis, and which is therefore to be judged of by its own particular merits. What is the position of the Irish Church? It is I not the Church of the Irish nation; it is exclusively the Church of the Irish State, and here it differs from the English Church, which, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, has always been the national Church. Any one who takes the trouble to open our history will find that the wars between the Yorkists and Lancastrians were succeeded by a conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants. Elizabeth gave the ascendancy to the one, as Henry VII. had done to the other; and the Protestants gaining the ascendancy in England became the State, and sought, as the State, to establish the same ascendancy in Ireland. The Protestant Church was one of the instruments they employed to obtain this ascendancy. It was easy for philosophers and historians to say that the State might at that time have taken up an independent position between religious parties. The State itself was then a religious party; and as long as it had been itself a religious party it was quite natural, and for its interests expedient, to pay and maintain a religious party Establishment. But now that the State, amid an entire change of circumstances, has ceased to be exclusively Protestant, it can no longer exclusively pay and patronize a Protestant priesthood. The Irish Church I say is, and ever has been, the shadow and servant of the State, and must follow the policy of the State, which was formerly to favour one religion, and is now to be impartial to all religions. It is possible for us, following out this policy of impartiality, to divide the property at our disposal among any clergy, or to withdraw it from any. The first course was recommended by some, and, considering the great advantage, in a country divided by religions, of collecting the sanction of religion, in all its shades, round political authority, I understand that this course has many partizans. It would be the most statesmanlike if it were the most practicable one. But "Don Fernando can do no more than he can do." To have accomplished the plan to which I have just alluded—a plan recommended by my hon. Friend the Member for the county of Galway (Mr. Gregory)—would have required the union of opposite political parties and the adhesion of rival sects. But we could not get this union, nor this adhesion; and, therefore, seeing that that we are unable to pay all religions, we pay none. It is said that we thus inflict a hardship on the Protestant Church by depriving it of property it has so long enjoyed; a hardship on the Protestant laity by forcing it to pay for the support of that Church which has been so long supported for it. But was it not a hardship for the Catholic Church to lose the property it had so long enjoyed? Has it not been a hardship for the Catholic laity to pay their clergy, to which the State has never made any contribution? We do not wish to be harsh, but we must be just. We only mean to be just. It is said, notwithstanding, that we shall alienate the Protestant clergy and laity, and by preventing them from looking hereafter to England, Link them with the large mass of the Irish people. With all respect for so valuable a class of the Queen's subjects, I desire that this prophecy or menace may be fulfilled; it will remove half our Irish difficulties, for it will not, I believe, be difficult for us to satisfy one Irish people. Our difficulty arises from having to satisfy two people in Ireland, the one being in constant hostility to the other. But I will pass by questions of worldly policy and come to a religious question which agitates many conscientious men in this Protestant country. Are we doing aught that can injure the Protestant religion in Ireland or that will arrest its progress? I do not think, and many Gentlemen opposite do not think, that it is wise or politic to maintain a religious Establishment for the sake of converting one Christian sect to the doctrines of another. Still, there are many who think we should not destroy a religious Establishment that is existing, if it is spreading the Protestant religion, and acting as a powerful auxiliary to the Protestant faith. I will ask them, has the Protestant Church Establishment in Ireland spread the Protestant religion in Ireland, or is it likely to do so in its present condition? Look at the Irish annals. We shall read there of famine, emigration, incendiarism, midnight and midday outrage, insurrection, rebellion, civil war, but we shall find little on the subject of Protestant conversion. The reason is simple. From the spire of every church of our Protestant Establishment the Irishman sees flying the flag of the conqueror. We have invoked patriotism against Protestantism. We have blended the religious feelings which the boy derives from his mother and his priest in the nursery and the schoolroom with the political feelings which he imbibes from his father when he steps on to the platform of public life. We have made Irishism, Catholicism—Protestantism, the symbol of foreign domination. It is only when we can blend Catholics and Protestants, English and Irish, into one common body of British subjects; it is only when Ireland, as a whole, is tranquil and satisfied with our rule that we can hope to get it to lend an attentive ear to our religion. But if we are forced, for the interests I have named, to disestablish and disendow the Protestant Church in Ireland, are we thereby affecting—what we do not mean or wish to affect—the Established Church, in England? I will not attempt to read the Sybil's book or predicate the future destiny of that beloved and respected institution. Safe from external enemies, it may fall a victim to internal dissensions. But this I will undertake to say, judging from all human experience, that it will not become weaker from the loss of an ally which always requires its aid and can never give it assistance. If there were any similarity in the position of the two Churches, I could understand how the fall of one would be menacing to the other. But is it so? In England we have a Church as yet, at all events, dear to the feelings of the large majority of the English people; in Ireland we have a Church opposed to the feelings of the great majority of the Irish people. In England we have a Church which it would require an army to put down; in Ireland we have a Church, which it requires an army to keep up. Can any analogy be established between these two Churches, so different in their position? Do we menace the Church of England when we pull down the Church of Ireland, because it wants the especial quality which the English Church possesses? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire wasted his eloquence when he insisted upon the advantages arising from the possession of a national Church. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that a national Church is an advantage; but we cannot have a national Church based on a national antipathy. A national Church must be the Church of the nation, and not the Church of a small section of a nation. I do not, therefore, think that this measure is attended with any of the injustice or any of the danger that has been imputed to it. But let us consider what would have been the danger and what the injustice if this measure had not been proposed, and what the danger and injustice if it were not now carried. We should have left, and we shall leave, the pressure of a heavy grievance on the mind, and imagination of a large, powerful, and high-spirited population which we have undertaken to govern—a grievance the more galling because it is exceptional. We do not take our State religion to the great Presbyterian kingdom of Scotland; we do not take it to the small Catholic island of Malta; we do not carry it with us to our immense Brahmin and Mahommedan Empire in India; we have not planted it as exclusive in Australia or maintained it in Canada. Ireland is almost the only part of our immense possessions in which we expect the devotion and ignore the religion of the inhabitants. Is this no danger? Is this no injustice? I lament that Ireland is discontented; but I lament far more that she is discontented with reason, for a reasonable discontent is an unlimited peril. I have said that we are not merely dealing with the Church of Ireland, but with the whole government of Ireland. I will now say that we are not only dealing with the whole government of Ireland, but with the strength or weakness of the whole British Empire, an Empire which has millions and millions of men under its sway in every quarter of the globe. Nor are we to measure the importance of this Empire by its mere territorial magnitude. On its power and prosperity—a power and prosperity that must always be in incer- titude as long as Ireland is dissatisfied—depend the colonization of desert lands, the civilization of semi-barbarous peoples, the extinction of slavery, the diffusion of commerce, the rising fortunes of a large portion of the New World, and the moral resurrection of those ancient races amidst which knowledge first dawned on the Old World. These immense interests are confided to the charge of 650 Gentlemen, who hold council within these walls. Let them, animated by patriotism, so elevate themselves as to be equal to their task! Let them look at the nations of Europe now aspiring to increase their power! There is Russia following her untiring eagles into the mountain fastnesses of Affghanistan. There is Prussia with her soldier and her scholar consolidating and extending her dominion over Southern Germany. There is Italy encircling Venice with one arm and pointing with the other to Imperial Rome. There is France with a Sovereign and a people desirous of peace, and an army which is said to be eager for war, keeping us in constant anxiety as to whether the wisdom of the one or the chivalry of the other will ultimately prevail. Has England no hopes to realize, no conquests to anticipate or achieve? Has she not before her the noblest conquest ambition can aspire to—the conquest of the hearts of a generous and unfortunate people? Shall we achieve this conquest with this measure alone? Certainly not; but we can not achieve it without this measure. We are not now expecting to satisfy, but to show that we are resolved to do all that impartial justice can demand to give ultimate satisfaction. I remember reading in distant lands a speech delivered in this House on the 17th of February, 1866, which made on me a profound impression. It called for statesmanship in the affairs of Ireland. It said what I have myself observed in various countries—that the Irish were happy and prosperous everywhere except in their native land. It adjured our rulers to inquire into and apply a remedy to the causes of this calamitous peculiarity. It prayed Heaven for a man of genius to direct our counsels. The man of genius is there (pointing to Mr. Gladstone), and the right hon. Gentleman who made the speech I have been alluding to (Mr. Bright), is sitting beside him. May we not hope that, by the union of these two eminent men, and by the co-operation of the great Liberal party behind them—at last to see commenced and carried out a compensating policy for that hitherto ill-fated land—from which patriotism should banish party—but which has been for years the battle-field of our party dissensions;—a policy which accomplishing that evening a large redress, may, by uniting boldness with wisdom, equity with energy, strengthen the weakness, heal the sores, develop the resources, and consolidate the elements of British greatness?


said, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth (Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer) had characterized the policy advocated by the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Walpole) as an anachronism; but the speech of the right hon. Gentleman was a still more remarkable anachronism. He commenced by taking them back to the times of Mr. Wynn, Lord Liverpool, and Lord Grenville, and reminded them that Ireland was not what she was fifty years ago, and then he carried them back to the wars of York and Lancaster. That might be an historical digression. But then he proceeded to propound a policy which was an anachronism in itself. The right hon. Gentleman said there were two ecclesiastical policies which might be pursued with respect to Ireland—that they might pay all the religious bodies in the country, or they might pay none. The former was the policy of Mr. Pitt, which in the plenitude of his power he did not venture to carry out; it was proposed forty-five years ago by Lord Francis Egerton; it was a policy which could not be carried out by Sir Robert Peel; it found its foremost and only prominent defender in the present day in that juvenile Statesman, Earl Russell. If this was the policy of the right hon. Gentleman, it was one which he was not likely to see carried out by any union of parties. The right hon. Gentleman said it was not proposed in this Bill to violate, but to alter the Act of Union; but he afterwards used language more in accordance with a different view—namely, that a fundamental change of the Act of Union was contemplated, for he spoke of our uniting ourselves afresh with a living body, which implied that there was to be a dissolution of the existing legislative union and a re-enactment of another. To return to the question raised by the present Bill, he agreed with the right hon. Gentleman that they must meet it as Statesmen of the 19th century, dealing with all the complications of the present moment; but they must not forget the history and traditions of the past, and the state of things which had arisen out of that history and those traditions. Looking at the question as a Member of the Imperial Legislature, he could not fail to see that at no period had there not been a national recognition of religion by the Government of England. They proposed to do away with the connection which had subsisted between the Church and the State in Ireland for 700 years, and in other parts of the kingdom for a much longer period. It was quite unnecessary for him to say a word in favour of Establishments. That principle had been put before them most forcibly by his right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge University. If it were proposed to do away with this Establishment of religion, the advantages of which had been proved, what was it proposed to set up in its place? Why, the voluntary principle; but what did we know of it? We were to subvert a state of things which we were thoroughly acquainted with, and which had lasted for centuries, and we were to set up a paper thing which in itself was a mere expression. ["No, no!"] He was aware hon. Members could point, as the Solicitor-General did last night, to the success of the voluntary principle in America, in Scotland, and in many of the British colonies. American institutions differed so widely from ours, that no conclusion could be drawn from them to guide the House. The experiment of our colonial Church government also had been too brief to be taken as a sure guide. Besides this, such was the diversity of the ecclesiastical arrangements existing in our colonies, that no principle either for or against Establishment could be traced in their constitution. In India Bishops were appointed under an Act of Parliament, and paid for out of the revenue of India. In our West Indian colonies again Parliament had sanctioned the erection of bishoprics, and charged the expenses of the Establishment on the Consolidated Fund. For the instances of the voluntary principle we had to go to Aus- tralia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and some other places which had been mentioned. But in all these places these Churches had been but recently founded by the Crown; their Bishops had been nominated by the Crown after conference with the prelates of the English Church; they formed the very flower of the clergy, and the real test of the efficiency of the constitution of these Churches would come when the present generation of Bishops had died out, and new Bishops to fill their places had to be chosen on the spot. Great stress had been laid on the efficiency of the Canadian Church, and in answer to the argument based upon it the right hon. and learned Member for the Dublin University (Dr. Ball) had brought forward an article in Macmillan, testifying to the present condition of that Church. The account Macmillan gave of the Canadian Church was certainly not re-assuring, but later and more unanswerable testimony was forthcoming. The Prime Minister had paid a high tribute to the late Bishop of Montreal, whose death had fallen as a great blow on the Canadian Church; but his death was not only a loss in itself, it had resulted in what was at present a breakdown of the colonial system; the Canadian Church had actually come to a dead-lock because the Synod had been unable to agree on the election of a successor. The Bishop died in the course of the summer: the Synod was held in November last, and was unable to come to an agreement; it had been adjourned until May next, and at present the Primacy of the Canadian Church was void, The Church presented the spectacle of a province without a Metropolitan, and a see without its Bishop. Was this what the Prime Minister promised us for Ireland? Last night they were referred to the voluntary system as it was in Scotland; but, in a letter published by the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. T. B. Potter), sufficient reason appeared to show that the state of the voluntary Church in Scotland was one which could not be quoted in support of the present Bill. They had been told that the voluntary system was no novelty, and that it was at work in Ireland. But they could not call the Church of Home a purely voluntary system. As Lord Macaulay had said, it combined all the pomp of a dominant hierarchy above with all the energy of the voluntary system be- low. It had some of the characteristics of a voluntary system—an ill-paid and uneducated priesthood and humble chapels, or, as some had described them, shabby hovels. That formed one side of the Romish Church; the other was made up of a Prelate, a Cardinal, and a Prince of the Church, encompassed with all the pomp of a dominant hierarchy which organized its operations under the direction of the Pope himself, a temporal Sovereign, and, therefore, falling back upon a State as well as on a Church. Now, any change of the present system of governing the English Church in Ireland would be followed by results all its well-wishers would deplore. It would no longer be a national Church, but a congregational Church, the evils of which had been well described by the hon. and learned Member for the Dublin University. Then as to the second part of the measure—disendowment. Both this and the proposal to disestablish were quite unprecedented, because the two precedents which had been set forth were inadequate. The case of Jamaica did not apply; the payment made to that Church was out of the National Exchequer, and was never designed to extend beyond a few years. The precedent of Canada, which had been dwelt on at considerable length by the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer), was also inapplicable; the case of Canada was that of a partial disendowment, done by the Colonial, not by the Imperial Legislature. And the Act of the Colonial Parliament related to the clergy reserves lands of comparatively small value, in outlying districts, and yielding but little immediate income to their owners. Besides, the amount dealt with was smaller. The House was asked to take £16,000,000 from the Irish Church; but £275,000 was an outside estimate of the Canada Reserve Fund. The Canadian Church had not enjoyed its property for more than sixty years, and had been informed as far back as 1828 that it must not reckon for its reserves being permanently secured to it. Again, the right hon. Gentleman proposed to deal suddenly with the property of the Irish Church. He proposed to commence in January, 1871; but in Canada many years elapsed after the passing of the Act before the new arrangement came into force, and in the interval the Church was able to re- organize itself and become a corporate body. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth (Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer) had said that he did not come there to discuss the details of the Bill, and he added frankly that he did not adopt all of them. Well, it was quite possible that there might be some I of the details to which the House would not be disposed to agree. He would say a word, however, as to one or two of those details, which illustrated very clearly the spirit in which the Bill was drawn up, and the different manner with which the Government proposed to deal with the Established Church of Ireland as compared with other denominations. Now, with regard to Maynooth. This College owed a debt of £20,000 for its buildings, and that debt was wholly remitted. The glebe houses of the clergy, on the other hand, had a debt of £232,000 on them, every shilling of which was to be paid back. Disendowment might commence to-morrow; be believed, indeed, it had already commenced, because, from a question that had been asked the other day, it appeared that the moment a Bishop, dean, or parochial incumbent in the Church of Ireland died, his place was not to be filled up, except in a temporary way, until the 1st of January, 1871. No new vested interests, therefore, could be acquired. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government said that Maynooth in getting fourteen years' compensation, would have somewhat about an average amount between the various compensations awarded to the Church; but he (Mr. Mowbray) contended that Maynooth got sixteen years' compensation, for the payment would date from the 1st of January, 1871, before the arrival of which period, therefore, nearly two years would elapse. During those two years Maynooth would receive £26,000 a year, and, therefore, £52,000 should be added to the amount of her compensation. But there was a still stronger point. Why had the right hon. Gentleman fixed on fourteen years' purchase as the proper amount of compensation to Maynooth? The endowment of Maynooth was divided into two portions—one a sum of £6,000 for the salaries of president, vice-president, and professors; the other a sum of £20,360 for the students. Now, the course of a student in Maynooth was eight years, and assuming that an equal proportion of students left every year, the sum to be paid would be gradually reduced until the last year it would be only£2,545, instead of £20,360. The total, therefore, for students at the end of the eight years' course would be £91,620, and if that were added to fourteen years' compensation for the professors, the entire sum to be given to the College would be £175,000, instead of £441,000, as proposed by the right hon. Gentleman. He would not trouble the House much about the application of the surplus. They had had a little discussion as to whom the origin of the Bill was due, and his noble Friend (Lord Claud Hamilton) last night said that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Bright) was the author. But he thought they might go back much further, and refer the origin of the Bill to Mr. O'Connell. As far back as 1834 Mr. O'Connell proposed that tithes should be abolished, and that the fund should be applied "in various counties of Ireland to relieve the occupiers of land from grand jury cess." My plan," said Mr. O'Connell, "is to defray all the expenses of dispensaries, infirmaries, hospitals, and asylums, and to multiply the number of these institutions until they become quite sufficient for the wants of the sick. Well, then, he would say, honour to him to whom houour was due, and that was in this case, not the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, but Daniel O'Connell, the great Liberator of Ireland. But the right hon. Gentleman had plagiarized from another source also. They had heard from the hon. Member for South-west Lancashire (Mr. Cross) quotations from the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman, and it appears that he said that it was his special vocation to hew down the deadly tree of noxious growth; but in those words he seemed to follow out the idea of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who, speaking of the Irish Church last year, said—"Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" But he found the right hon. Gentleman's metaphor was borrowed from a prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Dr. M'Hale, who, in 1833, had said— It is a consolation to reflect that the legislative axe is laid at last at the root of the Establishment. The ten overshadowing plants which spread their narcotic and poisonous influence all round them have been laid low. The right hon. Gentleman then appeared to have been indebted for his policy to Mr. O'Connell and for his rhetoric to Dr. M'Hale. The Solicitor General had said last night that this Establishment in Ireland was such that if it did not exist no Statesman would be prepared to set it up. But that was not the question. The question was—were we prepared to do away with the Church in the mode proposed in this Bill? He was sorry that the First Lord of the Treasury should have quitted the House, because he wished to call his attention to a passage from an eminent Statesman, a great authority in the Whig party—Lord Macaulay—who was known to have held strong opinions about the Irish Church. Lord Macaulay said— A statesman, judging on our principles, would pronounce without hesitation that such a Church never ought to have been set up. Further than this we will not venture to speak for him. He would doubtless remember that the world is full of institutions which, though they never ought to have been set up, yet having been set up ought not to be rudely pulled down, and that it is often wise in practice to be content with the mitigation of an abuse, which, looking at it in the abstract, we might feel impatient to destroy. They might infer from that that had Lord. Macaulay been now alive he would not be prepared to deal with the Irish Church in the way of total disestablishment and disendowment, as proposed in the Bill now before the House. He did not wish to trouble the House at any further length. He found in Ireland a Church which for 700 years had been connected with the State. It might be said that a change had occurred at the time of the Reformation; but he contended that the Irish Church was entitled to be viewed as the representative of the ancient Irish Church that was there before the time of Henry II. They would find an alliance between the Church and State in Ireland which, he believed, had been beneficial to the State, and not detrimental to the Church. They would find that for 300 years this Protestant Church had been connected with the Protestant institutions of the country. A national recognition of religion had been part and parcel of the Constitution of this country all the time the English monarchy had existed. Parliament met to consult on weighty affairs concerning the Church and the nation. The Sovereign, by the Act of Settlement, was obliged to profess the Protestant religion, and by the Coronation Oath was bound to profess a particular form of it. The national Es- tablishinents in the three countries, though there might be a difference in England, Ireland, and Scotland, were all equally Protestant; and speaking then as a Member of the British Legislature, viewing this as an Imperial question, and looking back to our past history and past traditions, he thought that they ought not to depart from principles under which this Empire had hitherto flourished, and under which he ventured to hope it would continue to flourish.


said, that, as an Irishman and a Churchman, he had long thought that the person most aggrieved by the Church of Ireland as it now existed was an Irish Churchman. As was confessed on all sides, the Establishment was a scandal, and on whom did the scandal recoil if not on the Churchman himself? Suppose a man had inherited what in times past might or might not have been a proper compensation for services rendered, and those services could be rendered no longer, what would be the course which any high-minded man would take? Would it not be to give up the sinecure? Well, that he thought was an apt illustration of the position which the Irish Church occupied. One thing which struck him most painfully in this debate was that the most stalwart defender of the Irish Church—he who had made the most magnificent oration in its behalf, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball)—and the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) had both made an ad misericordiam appeal, on the ground that the Irish Church could not exist unless it was supported by the State. His view of Protestantism in Ireland was that it could safely walk alone if left to itself, and he had no doubt that when the connection with the State was dissolved, it would walk alone, and with a surer footing than it had heretofore. This measure being virtually as good as passed, he was anxious that English Members should not expect too much from it. The immediate good accruing from it might indeed be said to have been already discounted, for it had already produced a good effect in Ireland. ["Oh!"] He believed he represented one of the most Roman Catholic constituencies in the United Kingdom (Kilkenny), and that he spoke with some knowledge of the facts when he asserted that this measure had already produced much good in Ireland. But he warned them that they must not look for further immediate good. That great advantages would eventually follow the passing of the measure he had not the smallest doubt; but they must not be disheartened if they did not see everything looking quite as rosy as they would wish. The first I good he anticipated from the Bill was the stoppage of the trade of the political agitator. Discontent and disaffection could not go side by side with even-handed justice. Ireland would be convinced that England was no longer deaf to her entreaties when she had really a tangible cause of complaint. The hands of the Executive would be so strengthened by the enactment of this measure, that that horrible system of government which had for centuries existed, the system of party or class government, would be extinguished for ever, and the Executive whilst being just, would be also perfectly equitable. With reference to the provisions of the Bill, he confessed under other circumstances he should be glad to see the amount of the composition proposed for the Regium Donum and the Maynooth Grant doubled. At the same time, after having been distinctly told by the leading Members of the Government that none of the money taken from the Established Church in Ireland should be applied to any other Church, he had a strong objection to the proposed arrangement. They had been further told that any surplus remaining would be devoted to Irish purposes exclusively. But according to the proposed scheme, the Consolidated Fund would be relieved of a considerable charge, an arrangement which would confer the greatest benefit upon the people of England and Scotland. He was prepared to vote for anything in reason in order to secure the passing of this Bill; but this part of the measure was a blot upon it, which in his opinion greatly weakened its value. The object being to remove every cause of vexation and discontent, it would surely be better to get rid of the tithe rent-charge at once, for how many of the present generation would be living forty-five years hence? It was true there was power of redemption at twenty-two-and a-half years' purchase, but this was not quite 4¼ per cent, and very few persons would be able to find the money all at once. It should be made possible for a landowner, and even for the holder of a life interest, to borrow the required sum on the security of his estate. On the whole he viewed the measure as one that would confer lasting benefits on both countries; that would fill the minds of the people of Ireland with hope and loyalty; that would remove what had hitherto been a source of danger and of weakness to this country, and establish in its stead an element of Imperial power and strength by the cordial union of the people of Great Britain and Ireland.


remarked that no Scotch Member had yet taken part in the debate, though, so far from Scotland taking no interest in the question, it had been said, with truth, that the elections turned upon it, so much so, indeed, that one would have thought that the elections had been occasioned by the Irish Church question, and not as was really the case, by the late Reform Bill. If the representatives of Scotland, seven-eighths of whom sat on the Ministerial side, should consider it their duty to continue silent, it would be an interesting study for them during the holidays to determine how far they should feel themselves justified in giving their consent to the details of a Bill, the main principle of which they had shown themselves so eager to support. Their demeanour during the present debate, at all events, appeared to be inconsistent with the declarations which they had constantly made previous to the General Election. The affirmation of the principle of disestabment—a stage which the friends and the enemies of the Irish Church must alike have anticipated—was nearly reached, and he had never doubted that hon. Members opposite would be united on this matter, most of them having been returned for the express purpose, and having, as it were, given a blank acceptance, which the Prime Minister could fill up for any amount he thought fit. The Members on his (Mr. Dalrymple's) side of the House had not been backward in declaring their fundamental objections to the principle of the measure under consideration and, however the subject might be overlaid by idle discussions connected with Established Churches generally, they must remember it was the existence of the Protestant Church in Ireland that was the immediate question before them, and nothing else. The disestablishment of the Irish Church he took to be as certain as anything that could be reasonably predicted. He rejoiced at the opportunity given them of recording their votes against the principle; but before doing so he claimed the right of making a few observations upon some of the features of the Bill. The proposed arrangement respecting the establishment of a Church Body was some evidence of that feeling of tenderness with which they were told they would be treated. He only wished that this body had more property than it was likely to have to dispose of. It appeared to him to be doubtful whether it would have any property to hold. He should have also desired to see a much larger sum paid to the Church itself. A great deal had been said about the proposition to preserve the life interests of incumbents. That was no more than a simple act of justice, for which he did not think any thanks were due to the Government. It appeared that Bishops, incumbents, and others connected with the Church were to be continued in the enjoyment of their life interests, or a sum equal in amount to the value of their livings was to be paid to the Church Body, from which they would receive their incomes, and even this small advantage ceased with the lives of the present incumbents. Now, he regretted that a larger jointure was not to be paid to the widowed Church, such as would have given it an element of certainty and permanence. A letter appeared in The Times of September 10, 1868, which he thought was full of wisdom. It bore the signature of "Rusticus." The writer said— If individual incumbents, curates, &c., are simply continued for their lives in the possession of existing emoluments, it is obvious that out of two or three contiguous parishes there may be one in which the Protestant Episcopalian worship will have ceased for thirty or fifty years before its discontinuance in another, and consequently there will be no one moment at which the strength of the whole communion is put forth in the work of sustentation or of re-endowment, but a ragged edge—so to say—will be left for half-a-century, while the old is passing out and the new coining in. In this respect the Irish Church will stand at an incalculable disadvantage in comparison with the Free Church, for example, or even the Episcopalian Church in Scotland. This paying off—in this form—of existing interests will be the severest blow of all to the expiring Establishment. Something seems to be due to a prescription of three centuries; something even to the communion of which we are acquiescing in the disestab- lishment.…But at last, after all such preliminaries are adjusted, let the Imperial Exchequer pay over to the Church corporation of Ireland the capital sum, the £4,000,000, or £5,000,000, or £6,000,000 agreed upon; let the Church, not the State, pay out of the annual proceeds the incomes—with such deductions as self-denial and public spirit may suggest—of surviving holders; and, as lives drop, provide for the continuance of Church pastors—in such number and on such terms as may be needful—in cures vacated; while the State re-pays itself for its outlay by receiving in perpetuity the various items of the present ecclesiastical revenue, in the nature of interest upon the capital sum by which it has purchased a final immunity from the burden of an Establishment which has failed, through fault or misfortune, to become, in deed as in name, the Church of the Irish people. He greatly desiderated some such plan as that, and it seemed to him that something was due not only to the interests of incumbents and to the fag ends of a lifetime, but to the interests arising out of the communion of the Church itself during a tenure of 300 years. The President of the Board of trade, in Ms eloquent speech on Friday, gave the weight of his authority to a comparison for which there was no foundation. There was no analogy whatever between the case of the Disestablished Church of Ireland as it was to be and the Free Church of Scotland. Surely, in proof of that it was enough to say that in the one case they had a free agent and in the other they had not? And, more than that, what were the facts with respect to the Free Church of Scotland? It was true, the ministers and people of that Church left the Establishment for the sake of principle, leaving behind churches, glebes and manses, but much of the wealth of the country went forth with the members of the Free Church; and they did not go forth in the presence of a great hostile Church, but they settled down side by side with the Established Church. Moreover, the Established Church always remained, so that if the Free Church had failed—which it had not—there was still a guarantee left for the maintenance of the services of the Church for the people. The nation, in fact divided itself into two Churches, and the satisfaction which the late Lord Aberdeen was said to have felt at that spectacle after a time was, he believed, owing to the fact that every instrumentality for good in Scotland had been been doubled. More than that, the movement of the Free Church had all the impetus given to it which sacrifice imparted to any such movement—an impetus which was something very different from the mere instinct of self-preservation or the courage and resolution of individuals. What was the case, on the other hand, of the Irish Church? Was she going forth to vindicate any principle and with no diminished wealth? Was she not to be confronted by a hostile communion, ready to seize every advantage while she was struggling to recover her equilibrium after the heavy blow dealt against her? Was there any impetus from sacrifice? Why the Irish Church, herself was the sacrifice in that ease, and the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government was the officiating priest at that sacrifice. For himself, he looked upon the arrangements of the measure in regard to the Church as very inadequate, and he asked whether justice was being meted out to all alike? The fourteen years' purchase of income to be given in the case of Maynooth, as compared with the inadequate provision to be made for the Church—which, it must be remembered, they were casting down from its position as an Establishment—did not appear to him to be a very equal and even-handed arrangement. However, he might have been content that Maynooth should go forth free from State control and with her capitalized income; but he could not help noticing the extraordinary difference between the proposed arrangement in regard to Maynooth and the view put forward in Scotland last autumn by the exponents of the Liberal policy. Maynooth had been a sore subject in Scotland; seats in that House had been lost there on account of it; and the crucial test of Scotch Members had long been whether or not they had gone into the same Division Lobby with the late Mr. Spooner upon it. Last autumn the exponents of Liberalism in Scotland came forward, not only as the Mends of oppressed Ireland, but they declared that they were going to withdraw the Maynooth Grant; and in one case, when the question was asked how, if they were such great Protestants as they professed to be, they were about to deal such a severe blow to Protestantism in Ireland? the reply given was that "Providence had so ordered that, through the disestablishment of the Irish Church, the grant to Maynooth might be abolished." The result of the elections in Scotland was due, he believed to that delusion more than to anything else. He had not made these remarks out of any feeling of jealousy towards the Roman Catholics of Ireland, but only when he remembered the political capital that was made in Scotland last year out of this fancied withdrawal of the Maynooth Grant, he wanted to know the meaning of the Maynooth surplus. With respect to the proposed application of the surplus revenues of the Church to the relief of suffering, that was essentially a question for Committee. It had been said lately, with truth, that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade could "delineate a picture of suffering and sorrow with marvellous vividness and truth," and any one who heard his speech of Friday last would confirm the statement. If they were dealing with abstract matters no one would differ from the right hon. Gentleman; but this was a practical matter, and he would then only say that, looking at the vast amount of that surplus, looking at the object on which they were to bestow it—an object already provided for, although inadequately, by law—and looking also at the inadequacy of their arrangements for the benefit of the Church, he did not believe the House of Commons would consent to such a fantastic application of so enormous a sum. In his Chapter of Autobiography the Prime Minister, speaking of the Irish Church, said— Such an Establishment will do well, for its own sake and for the sake of its creed, to divest itself as soon as may be of gauds and trappings, and to commence a new career in which, renouncing at once the credit and the discredit of the civil sanction, it shall seek its strength from within, and put a fearless trust in the message which it bears. Some of those of his own generation who had been brought up as willing learners in the right hon. Gentleman's earlier school on Church and State would naturally require some time before they could see how the connection between the Church and State could be compared to "gauds and trappings," or how the Church could receive any "discredit" from the "civil sanction." The language addressed by the right hon. Gentleman to the Church reminded him of the words of the American poet— Console, if you will,—I can bear it; 'Tis a well meant alms of breath; But not all the preaching since Adam Has made death other than death. He felt firmly convinced that the Church would "seek its strength within;" and he did not doubt in the least the power of "the message which she bears;" but if the Church survived the sorry plight in which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to place it, it would not have to thank the right hon. Gentleman for that fact. It would owe it to what a distinguished writer—the Dean of Westminster—had pointed to recently, when he spoke of that which— In spite of all her shortcomings, taking her at her best and not at her worst, was the free, magnanimous, and Imperial spirit of what had been for 700 years, the United Church of England and Ireland.


said, he fully agreed with the hon. Member for Bute (Mr. C. Dalrymple) that, at the last elections in Scotland, the great question of the day was the Irish Church; but the hon. Gentleman should bear in mind that the result of the agitation was that, out of the sixty Members returned for Scotland, no fewer than fifty-three had been sent to the House of Commons to support the Bill now under consideration. They did this simply as an act of justice to the sister country. In giving his support to the measure he was influenced by no desire either to exalt the Roman Catholic Church, or to depress the Protestant Episcopalian Church in Ireland. He wished to see both of them placed in the proper position to carry on the work which they had to do. As much had been said of the Church to which he had the privilege of belonging—the Free Church of Scotland—he wished to bring the state of that Church under the notice of the House, with the view of calming the alarm felt by hon. Members opposite as to what would occur in the event of the Irish Church being disestablished. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid-Surrey (Mr. Brodrick), asked the other night how the poor Irish along the coasts of the Atlantic were to be instructed if the Irish Church were disestablished and disendowed. Now, he (Mr. Miller) would point to the case of the Free Church of Scotland as affording an answer to that question, although he might content himself with saying that it would be taken care of if the Protestants of Ireland had faith in their religion. Was it not the case that the wealth of Ireland was to a large extent in the hands of the members of the Irish Church? It was true that they had not been much educated in habits of giving, but he had no doubt they would very soon learn that part of their duty. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) stated that the members of the Free Church went forth voluntarily, and that in that respect there was a difference between the cases of the two countries. The secession from the Established Church was not a voluntary act, except that sort of voluntaryism which would induce a man to jump overboard to prevent himself being shot; the secession involved a principle dearer than life. Those who went forth could only have remained on condition of submitting to an interference in the discipline of the Church to which they could not give their assent, and they were therefore compelled to secede. What was the case in Scotland twenty-six years ago? At that time a body of clergymen walked out of the Established Church, to the number of about half the parishes of that country—namely, from 460 to 470—that body formed the Free Church, and it now numbered something like 930 churches, some of which were situate in the remotest parts of Scotland, where the poorest people were amply supplied with religious teaching, and also with secular education. They were supported by the middle and lower classes, for they had not with them the landowners—they belonged chiefly to the Established or the Episcopalian Church. The strength of the Free Church lay lower down. The whole country now, from one end of it to the other, was occupied by the Free Church. Before a church was planted in a district, the question was not whether the people there would be able to pay enough to support it, but whether there was a population in need of instruction. He wished to draw the attention of hon. Gentlemen, members of the Irish Church, that in Scotland they had formed, in connection with the Free Church, a Sustentation Fund, from which every minister connected with it in every part of the country was paid a minimum sum of £150, exclusive of his manse and garden. Some ministers received as much as £600 or £700, but the lowest stipend was £150. The average sum paid last year; and derived from voluntary contributions, was £225, and he hoped it would be considerably increased this year. There had, of course, twenty-six years ago, been prophets of evil in Scotland, as there are prophets in England and Ireland now; but their prophecies had entirely failed. The people had not only supported the Free Church from the starting point, but the number of churches and the amounts of stipends had gone on increasing, and it was found that as the one increased the other increased also. It would not, he believed, be very long until the Established Church would lose itself in the number of churches which were springing up around it, belonging to the Free Church and to the United Presbyterians. These two great bodies occupied churches to the number of about 1,500, while the parishes of the Established Church were but 920 to 930. The Free Church, did not confine its work to Scotland—missionary work is by it carried on successfully in India and in other parts of the world. Besides all this they had about 600 schools maintained in the same way, supplying education in the Highlands and elsewhere, to the people who had no other means of obtaining it. He would suggest to hon. Gentlemen from Ireland that, instead of making a great to do about the disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church, they should have faith in their religion, and in the strength of Protestantism, and accept the position. If in a true spirit they buckled on their armour and fought against everthing which was opposed to Christianity, he had no doubt they would do a great work well and successfully. They had the upper classes with them, unlike the Free Church of Scotland, and surely they would be able to furnish all that is necessary for supporting their Church. The Scottish people looked upon the proposal of the Government as a matter of justice to the people of Ireland, and not as a matter which would injure a Protestant Church. They could not forget the struggle which Scotland had to engage in to throw off an alien religion attempted to be thrown upon them, but which they did throw off—not, however, by peaceful means, such as that in which we are now engaged—it was a struggle of war to the knife, and under cruelties of an extraordinary kind. Looking back upon that, the Scotch people have a desire to see the Irish people in the same position as they are themselves—free to carry on their religious work in the way that shall best benefit those who are engaged in it.


said, he rose, on the part of the Protestants of Ireland, and of Ulster in particular, to enter his protest against this Bill for two reasons: first, because it aimed a blow against religion; and, second, because it was absolutely and unqualifiedly founded on wrong and robbery. He did not mean to say that this Bill would legalize infidelity: but he believed it did offer an indirect sanction to it, for, as he believed it had been said in that House, the Devil was supported by voluntary contributions; and, by a large class of Her Majesty's subjects, the administrators of the law and the landlords of Ireland were supposed to be under his especial keeping. He might illustrate this by the instance of a farmer in his (Mr. Verner's) county, who had been prosecuted by his landlord, and who informed the sub-sheriff, in strict confidence, that he believed if the Devil did not take his landlord there was no use in having a Devil at all. As one who had lived in Ireland for the greater part of his life, who had mixed freely with its inhabitants, who had superintended the management of property that was leased to tenants of all denominations, he was perhaps entitled to think that he knew something of the peculiarities of Ireland and its people; but to his surprise he found that he knew nothing of the matter, and that his education must commence afresh under the teaching of the Prime Minister and his Colleagues, assisted by the perusal of a work written by a foreign Roman Catholic. He had listened to various lectures—first, on nicety of speech and Conservative presumption in quoting the somewhat unsavoury epithets applied to his Church; second, on the charge of obstinacy and hardness of heart and head applied to them by a Gentleman who ought to be a good judge, for he was an Irishman himself; and third, on the bigotry and perversity of his Protestant ancestors, upon whose shoulders—so the House had been told—rested all the cruelties and injustices ever perpetrated in Ireland. He had entered the House prepared to listen with great attention to the arguments urged by the old and practised debaters there, and though nothing would induce him to betray the trust which his constituents had reposed in him, still if he were convinced that opinions he formerly held were wrong, he would have resigned his seat rather than record a vote which his conscience did not ratify. He had heard it stated by the President of the Board of Trade that all the talents, the eloquence, and the research of our greatest orators here were simply declamatory, and that party alone must govern the votes of Members of this House. He could well understand why he saw such satisfied smiles exchanged, among the occupants of the Treasury Bench. The hon. Member for Kilkenny (Mr. Agar-Ellis) had just told them that Ireland had become more prosperous, more contented, and more happy since this Bill was introduced than she ever was before. Good gracious! Did the hon. Gentleman read the newspapers? Had he taken account of the Fenian meetings which had been held since the prisoners had been let loose? Had he seen the treasonable speeches these men had made, and the firm determination they expressed to go on troubling the peace of the country as long as they lived? The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade had been to Ireland, and though his reception there was not very cordial, or such as induced him to prolong his stay, yet he came back more convinced than ever that all the evils of Ireland were to be attributed to the Protestant Church and the Protestant proprietors, and that both ought to be destroyed. But if the right hon. Gentleman had studied the Census of 1861 with respect to Ireland, he would hardly have advocated the voluntary system in that House so warmly as he had done. In 1861 the population of Ireland was 5,798,000, of whom the members of the Church of England were 693,000, the Roman Catholics 4,505,000, the Presbyterians 523,000, the Methodists 45,000, the Independents 4,500, the Baptists 4,300, the Quakers 3,600, and there were 15,600 belonging to 112 other sects. The two bodies, the Independents and the Baptists, were those usually known in England as Dissenters, and they had had everywhere agencies in Ireland for the last twenty years; but the result of the voluntary system in their case was, when counted, the great sum of 8,800. Among the members of the Church of England he found there was 16 per cent who could neither read nor write, while among the Roman Catholics 45 per cent could neither read nor write; and of those who could, he would like to know how many owed their education to the kindness of the Protestant landlords living in the country, and who, without interfering with their religious creed, gave them the best education in their power. He had heard much said of the change of opinion in the rival Leaders, and the inconsistency of statements made by them at different times; but there was this difference between them. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, in calm and temperate language, stated, his convictions as the result of careful study and deliberation. The Prime Minister, on the other hand, had no words strong enough to revile and vilify the Church of which, to his (Mr. Verner's) surprise, he still professed himself an attached member. When that right hon. Gentleman urged his followers to The lawless siege, whose best success was sacrilege, by comparing the Church to a upas tree of noxious growth, which spread blight and desolation around—when he spoke of her as a monster of iniquity which must be levelled with the ground, he felt inclined to say to the right hon. Gentleman, in the language of the immortal bard quoted on the first reading of this Bill— Fie, fie, unreverend tongue! to call her bad, Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferred With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths. and he would ask whether an Assembly of Gentlemen, distinguished for their intelligence and independence, could be expected to follow the right hon. Gentleman in every change of principle as well as policy? No doubt there were earnest Protestants among those who walked in the Prime Minister's apparently triumphal procession; but he could only compare the car in which the right hon. Gentleman rode to the car of Juggernaut, which served to immolate the victims of their own credulity, and left nothing but ruin and devastation in its wake. He had heard a great deal said about the ill-will with which the Protestant Church and the Protestant clergy were regarded in Ireland. But it always struck him as extraordinary if the Church were regarded with so much dislike that they found the Protestant ministers living in remote and isolated parts of the country surrounded by Roman Catholics, and yet, as far as he knew, there was not a single case in which one of them had been made the subject of agrarian outrage. Adventurers whose trade of throat-cutting was terminated by the cessation of the American War, and who were too much accustomed to live by violence and rapine to settle down to any steady and useful pursuit, came over to Ireland and instituted a raid in that country, with nothing to lose and everything' to gain. These were the authors of the Fenian movement, which was coquetted with by the Roman Catholic priesthood to further their own ends, until they found that it was getting too strong for them, and was assuming a character of independence from priestly control. But even when the priests did repudiate the movement, they did so in cautious terms. The Pope, it was true, also denounced it, as he had done Freemasonry and Ribbonism, but it was merely as secret societies. But how often had they found the execution of a sanguinary decree following on altar denunciation? He positively denied on the part of the Protestants that they hated the Roman Catholics. They detested Fenians and priestly agitators, to whom the term upas tree might be more fitly applied than to the gentle curates of his own creed, who openly practiced those doctrines of forbearance and charity which they preached in the pulpit. He did not deny that there were bigots in every creed, just as there were dishonourable people on railway Boards; but it would be as unjust to condemn the many for the faults of the few as it would be to condemn all railway Boards because a few directors had broken the eleventh commandment. Seriously speaking, he believed that Irishmen would live together as amicably as it was possible for Irishmen to do if they were only left alone by those interested demagogues who lived by exciting the cupidity of the people and ministering to their worst passions. A great deal had been said about Irish pugnacity, but Englishmen wore not aware of the extent to which it was carried. Anyone who had witnessed the faction fights in the West of Ireland must be aware all were of the same way of thinking, and nothing was said about them, because it was impossible to dignify them with the name of Orange riots. No funeral could take place without a certain amount of broken heads, and even the cats devoured each other in a peculiar manner. A gentleman who had lately written a work on Ireland detailed a conversation which had taken place between two farmers, one of whom said to the other—"When all the Protestants and landlords are driven out of the country, how we shall fight among each other?" The object of his observations was to show that although the Government might play the Ultramontane part of disestablishing the Church of Ireland, they would not succeed thereby in inspiring the Irish peasantry with any feeling of order, loyalty, and respect for the laws. They were only swayed by their own passions and interests. The difference between the native Irishman and the Saxon was this—that Irishmen always allowed their interests to be injured by giving way to their passions, whilst the others always made their passions subordinate to their interests. If this proposition was allowed, it would be at once seen why all attempts to establish law and order in Ireland had failed. The fact was that the issue of this struggle was between Protestants, and Popery in Ireland. It must be so, because the Roman Catholic religion was essentially an aggressive one, and could not bear the existence of a rival Church. Archbishop Manning and the Roman Catholic Prelates told them so, and more—that if they had the power they would not tolerate the principles of civil and religious liberty for which they were now clamouring. The Penal Laws had been alluded to, but he believed they were only referred to for the sake of political capital, as they had long since been repealed, and were repudiated by both sides of the House. Those laws, however, were enacted, not so much against Roman Catholics as against traitors, and no laws of the kind were passed in consequence of that most atrocious conspiracy the Gunpowder Plot. No hon. Gentleman on that side of the House approved more of the Penal Laws than Roman Catholic Members on the other side would justify the infamous act of the infamous Pope who blessed the infamous massacre of St. Bartholomew, and had a medal struck to commemorate the event. He did not blame Roman Catholics for wishing to see what they considered truth exalted in the place of error; but he did blame Protestants—he did not wish to say anything disrespectful—who were fools enough to assist them in passing a measure for their own destruction. If justice demanded the repeal of all the Acts against the Roman Catholics, how were they to deal with the Act of Settlement? Could they suppose that the time would come when a Minister of the Crown would propose to substitute the authority of the Pope for the gracious title by which the Queen now ruled the country, and that was by the grace of God. He regarded the Constitution as the natural safeguard both for the Crown and the people. If one part was destroyed, what was to prevent the whole edifice from tumbling about their ears. They were the guardians of the Constitution, and all parties in the House would agree with him in saying that rash experiments ought not to be attempted, because those experiments were irrevocable, and if they did not turn out as they were expected to do their steps could not be retraced. There was an experiment that would find favour on both sides of the House, and test the loyalty of Ireland to the core. Let them abolish the senseless pageant of the Lord Lieutenancy, and send over a Royal Prince to maintain royally his Royal mother's state. The aristocracy of the land would rally round him, the country would flock to do him honour, the fire would burn again on many a deserted hearth, the sun would shine again through windows which had long been barred, and the sound of mirth and hospitality would rise from halls long deserted; the money taken out of the country would be returned to it, some of the wrinkles would disappear from the brow of Ireland, and the smile of prosperity, with its natural concomitant, contentment, would illumine once more the national face. Then they might safely try the experiment of a general amnesty, in the hope and belief that the good sense of the nation would back the law in proclaiming as traitors to the commonwealth all those who should attempt to disturb its peace.


said, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Walpole) who opened that debate, seemed to him to argue in favour of the necessity of an Established Church in a country where there was unity of religious faith, and, so far as his observations had no reference to the subject now before the House, he (The O'Donoghue) could have no part in dealing with a great deal of what the right hon. Gentleman said. The right hon. Gentleman appeared to him to forget that what he had to defend was the existence of an Established Church in a country where the majority of the people were all of one religion and the Established Church professed another. But what took him by surprise in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman was his quoting Mr. J. Stuart Mill as an advocate for the maintenance of the Established Church; and as Mr. Mill's name had been mentioned, he would take the opportunity of saying how greatly he deplored his absence from that House, and when the news that he had lost the Westminster election reached the part of the country where he resided he felt as if a national calamity had fallen upon the land. The right hon. Gentleman had given the House an erroneous view of the views of Mr. Mill. He quoted from Mr. Mill's pamphlet— An alien Church indeed remains, but is no longer supported by a levy from the Catholic tillers of the soil, but has become a charge upon the land, and is paid mostly by the Protestant landlords"— And here he (The O'Donoghue) would venture to remark that that seemed to him to be very much the same thing— The confiscations had not been reversed, but owing to the time that had passed over them they have reached a stage in which in the minds of reasonable men the removal of injustice would be itself an injustice. What he (The O'Donoghue) understood by that was that it would be an injustice to give back the revenues of the Church to the Roman Catholics. Mr. Mill considered the land question to be the chief of Irish questions, and at the conclusion of his pamphlet, talking of the land question, he said— Let no one suppose that while this question remained as it was the sum of all other things that could be done for Ireland would at all alleviate her condition, although an abundance of other things require to be done. Not only are religious endowments to be resumed, but their proceeds to be applied in the most effectual way possible to Irish improvements. Nothing could be more unreasonable than that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire should complain of the policy of Her Majesty's Government. The right hon. Gentleman and his Friends became instrumental in carrying a measure of Reform which had considerably increased the Parliamentary constituencies of this kingdom, for the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends avowed their readiness to appeal to, and their readiness to abide by, the verdict of the enlarged constituencies, and now that the verdict had been so emphatically pronounced, and so faithfully represented by the measure before them, he asked the Constitutional party how they could say that opposition to Her Majesty's Government did not mean opposition to the nation? The Commons were never so fairly represented as in the present Parliament, which would obviate that delay in legislation which had become an intolerable characteristic of the Parliament elected by a more contracted body. The right hon. Gentleman and his Friends had described the measure as confiscation, robbery, spoliation, sacrilege, as tending to substitute the supremacy of the Pope instead of that of the Queen, and as leading to the disruption of the Empire. He was not surprised that the hon. Member for Bandon (Mr. Shaw) should object to that high style of oratory, which consisted in the reckless use of words of great length and awful import. No one could see why they should charge, not them, but their countrymen generally, with those high crimes and misdemeanours. What had happened was simply this—the vast majority of the electors of the kingdom had declared it to be inexpedient and unjust that a small minority of the Irish people should monopolize the whole of the ecclesiastical revenues of Ireland, and they were now endeavouring to give practical effect to that declaration of the national opinion. As a Member of the House of Commons he was proud of the talents and solicitous for the fame of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, and he was always sorry when the right hon. Gentleman took the philosophical line, because he then invariably laid down propositions quite untenable. His theorizing the other evening on the union of Church and State, and the necessity of having an Established Church, appeared to him the merest special pleading. Now he (The O'Donoghue) thought the Government could be carried on quite as well without an Established Church as with one. He was far from saying that I there were not conditions in which great advantages might arise from having an Established Church, but only when there was unity of faith or something approaching to it. It was impossible to show the utility of an Established Church, or to defend its maintenance, when those who rejected its doctrines constituted the vast majority of the country. The aim of this Bill was to establish religious equality in Ireland, and to establish it on the principle of disestablishment and disendowment, instead of establishment and endowment. He had always felt that in a country where there was such a diversity of religious belief and so many different sects, religious equality could not be brought about in. any other way. What was called the "levelling up" system was only proposed to encourage squabbling, and thereby prolong the existing state of things. The Irish Church had many defenders, but it was impossible to reconcile her position with the principles of equality. If her defenders were asked whether they were for or against religious equality, they never gave a plain categorical answer. They did not wish to face the odium of declaring themselves the friends of religious inequality, and so set themselves to invent reasons why religious equality could not exist in Ireland. He would give one or two more specimens of what he called this harmless style of reasoning—"As a small minority of the Irish people had appropriated the ecclesiastical revenues of Ireland for the last 300 years, a small minority has a right to appropriate them for the next 300 years;" "As far the greater number of the Irish landlords are Protestants, the tithes must, as a matter of course, be devoted to support the form of worship which they profess;" "That it is immaterial to reflect that the tithes of a portion, or the value of all the land of Ireland, have from time immemorial been set aside for ecclesiastical purposes;" "That the Catholic occupiers who pay nearly all the rents, which include the tithes of Ireland, do not contribute directly or indirectly one farthing to the support of the Established Church;" "That in Ireland, Church property and private property are identical, and that you cannot interfere with one without endangering the title of the other;" "It is true that Church property has been interfered with in Italy, in Spain, in Portugal, and that private property has not sustained any injury in those countries, but this would not be the case in Ireland." The latest and newest of all these specimens came from the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball), who said that the Irish Protestants were so particular about the breeding of their parsons that they must be provided with ample means to induce fine gentlemen to enter their pulpits. This was what he called the harmless style of reasoning, because it could convince nobody, and only helped to illustrate the weakness of the cause it was intended to advocate. But there was another method which, although it did not convince the understanding, roused the passions of men on both sides of the question. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gathorne Hardy)—who might be taken as a full-blown sample of the English "No Surrender" politician—had argued that the Irish Catholics must be tolerated, but that they could not have equality; that the Irish Protestants were to be maintained in possession of the ecclesiastical revenues, because they were of the same race as the majority of that House; or, in other words, because he regards them as Englishmen and not as Irishmen—and because their ancestors had been the faithful allies of the political ancestors of hon. Gentlemen opposite in the misgovernment of Ireland. He also said that the revenues of the Protestant Church in Ireland were to be maintained for the purpose of "feeding the lamp of the Reformation"—or, in other words, to force the doctrines of the Protestant Church down the throats of people who for more than 300 years had continuously rejected them, and who, no matter what might be thought of their faith by others, must be admitted by all to have adhered to it with an enduring fervour. Happily those who adopted the style of reasoning to which he had referred were in a considerable minority in that House and out of it. If it were otherwise no Irishman would be warranted in telling his countrymen that they had anything to expect from the justice of England, or from the efficacy of constitutional action. Ireland would in that case still be governed by faction and held by force with a strain on the connection which rendered it liable to be snapped at any I moment, very possibly to be re-united, but with, blood-stained ligaments. So far as he was concerned he accepted this Bill as a most satisfactory settlement of the Irish Church question, and he should suspect any Liberal who opposed it of being actuated by the spirit of intolerance. He should be sorry to see it altered in any substantial particular—indeed, in any particular at all. The smallest concession to bigotry—either on the side of Protestants or Catholics—would defeat the object of this Bill. He did not disguise from himself that if the clergy and laity of the Protestant Church combined, and if they were animated by the zeal for which he gave them credit, the Bill afforded them opportunities for laying up rich treasures for their Church. He did not complain of this. All he asked for his Catholic fellow-countrymen was equality, and the Catholic who would be satisfied, with anything less than equality and the Catholic who at this moment revived old pretensions were as much enemies to the peace and prosperity of Ireland as the most rampant advocate of Protestant ascendancy. he expected great things from this Bill, although he did not expect instantaneous results, more especially when hon. Gentlemen opposite were endeavouring to create the impression that this Bill would never pass, or that it would only pass in a mutilated and useless form. It was only too true that there was much distrust of that House in Ireland, and it had yet to make its reputation in a favourable sense with the mass of the people of that country. There had been an infinity of bad legislation for Ireland, much abortive legislation, and a persistent disregard to the earnest appeals of Irishmen for justice. He was not the only person there who had staked his political career on the assertion that all this was about to be changed. He had made this venture because of the confidence he felt in Her Majesty's Government, and in that great Liberal majority, which he believed represented their countrymen in nothing so fully as in the kindness of their sentiments towards Ireland. It still remained for the great Liberal party to give the Irish people confidence in that House, and they could not make a better beginning than by an Act which would be not merely an act of justice, but to which, for the sake of the union of Ireland, they would have sacrificed some cherished English prejudices.


said, he was very unwilling to obtrude himself on the notice of the House; but as the great constituency which he represented (Middlesex) had, in a manner as unmistakable as it was remarkable, expressed their entire disapprobation of the first principles of that Bill, he hoped the House would feel that he had sufficient excuse for addressing them upon that occasion. In the course of that discussion he had been much struck by the malignant pleasure with which hon. Gentlemen opposite who professed the Protestant faith but represented Roman Catholic constituencies seemed to take in abusing their own religion. They had a remarkable instance of that in the amusing declamation of the hon. and learned Member for Londonderry (Mr. Serjeant Dowse). That hon. and. learned Gentleman had informed them that he was a Protestant Episcopalian, but no one could have suspected the fact from the general tenor of his address. He gave as a reason—"it was the cheapest and most respectable religion." If, however, this Bill passed, and the property of the Church were taken away, it would be no longer the cheapest religion, and, consequently, he supposed it would cease in the hon. and learned Member's opinion to be the most respectable. The constitutional part of the question had been so ably examined that he would say nothing upon that subject; but no sophistry, however ingenious—no eloquence, however sonorous—could disguise the fact that this Bill directly violated the Prerogatives of the Crown, infringed the fundamental principles of the Constitution, and deliberately ignored every compact entered into between the House and Ireland. It also violated the Union between England and Scotland, as would be seen by reference to the 11th clause of the 3rd Article. They had been told by the President of the Board of Trade that he did not care for parchment. The information was unnecessary, for that side of the House had learnt it by experience. It mattered not whether it was a postal contract or the guaranteed existence of a small State, if exigency required it the compact was disregarded. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, in his celebrated Letter which he wrote in 1865, when a candidate for the representation of the University of Oxford, said that he took the Act of Union as a landmark which must have important consequences, especially as regards the position of the hierarchy. The landmark, he (Lord George Hamilton) greatly feared, had now vanished. But perhaps that might be looked upon as what was called "a declaration of intention"—a thing which whatever might be its advantages had not the benefit of being binding. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had referred to past history, and expatiated on the enormity of the penal code. He did not wish for a moment to defend that code, but it ought to be remembered that this same penal code which had been so much denounced was forced upon the Protestant Church of Ireland by the policy adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. These hon. Gentlemen forgot that in those days men were rougher and ruder than they were now, and the sole means of defence which were suggested were retaliatory, and if the former erred in doing this she merely erred in adopting the policy of her ancient rival the Roman Catholic Church. Hon. Gentlemen, again, in referring to history did not paint both sides fairly. Much had been said about the massacres of Cromwell and William III., but they seemed to forget that these were the natural consequences of the massacre of 1641, when upwards of 80,000 Protestants were butchered in cold blood, and that under religious auspices. In referring to these things he had no wish to increase political rancour. He was not in favour of making political capital in that House or out of it by raking out of the graveyards of past times the records of crimes and atrocities committed hundreds of years ago. He called attention to the facts merely for the purpose of showing that if history were referred to it would not be so completely in favour of hon. Gentlemen opposite as they were willing to suppose. The argument had been adduced against the Church of Ireland that some hundreds of years ago it was most venal and corrupt; that its ministers did not faithfully fulfil their obligations; and that, in short, it was full of evil and all that was of bad report. Now he contended that the more venality, the more vice, the more corruption, and the more evil that existed formerly in the Church was only a stronger argument for maintaining it, because hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House admitted that there nowhere existed a better body of men than the Protestant clergymen of Ireland, or a body of men who fulfilled their duties more zealously and uprightly, and with the anxious desire to do all which they undertook. Therefore, he repeated, that the more corruption and crime and vice were proved to have existed hundreds of years ago in the Church of Ireland only showed the great improvement which had taken place in that Church, and the desirability of keeping up such an institution. What reason or justification, then, existed for bringing in a Bill to sweep it off the face of the earth, to prevent it—in the words of one of its most eminent opponents from "cumbering the earth?" Into the question of disendowment he would not enter. That had been already done by the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) in an argument which not only was unanswerable, but which nobody down to that moment had attempted to answer. He confessed that h e did not know how weak the case of the Government really was till last night, when a right hon. Gentleman of the eminent ability of the Chancellor of the Exchequer could only make so lame and stilted a reply. However, the speech threw this new light upon the question; the right hon. Gentleman said that everybody ought to "walk into his own creed," but he did not explain how this extraordinary performance was to be accomplished. Into the details of the plan of disendowment nobody yet seemed to have entered; but he ventured to say that a more extraordinary plan had never yet been proposed to Parliament. He did not count much upon his own experience; but he candidly asked hon. Gentlemen on either side if they ever remembered a Bill of such importance the Preamble of which was directly at variance with the clauses? The Bill contained a wholesale system of bribery. Everybody was to be bribed excepting those for whom the endowments were made—namely, the laity of the Church of Ireland. But if one thing had struck him as being more curious than another in the course of this discussion it was those professions of political morality with which hon. Gentlemen opposite always thought it necessary to preface their observations in support of the Bill. When he listened to these protestations he was reminded of the story of the sanctimonious pirate who kept the Ten Commandments hung up in his cabin, with the exception of the eighth, which was carefully erased. With regard to the surplus to be derived from disendowment he confessed that at first sight it appeared fair to give it for the purposes contemplated; for if it was thought necessary to apply money originally devoted to religious purposes to secular purposes, it certainly seemed that it could not be applied to better ends than the relief of suffering. But the more he looked into the plans for the distribution of the surplus the more he thought it no exaggeration to say that out of the proceeds of the disendowment of the Church a new endowment and a new Establishment were to be formed, an endowment, in short, of a gigantic monastic and conventual system, to be supported out of the spoils of the plundered Church of the Reformation. The surplus was to be devoted to five purposes. First of all, it was to be given to the support of hospitals and infirmaries for lunatics, and the county cess was to be relieved. Now, anybody who new Ireland knew perfectly well that there were lunatic asylums in that country which were not supported by the county cess. He need only mention three—the Mater Misericordia Asylum, the hospital of St. Vincent, and the hospital in Jarvis Street. All these were attached either to monasteries or to nunneries. He wanted, therefore, to know if the surplus was to be applied for the benefit of lunatics how they were to prevent a portion of the money going to the support of the three asylums he had mentioned, and thus finally to the support of monasteries? The application of the money, of course, was intended to be secular; but perhaps this was a mere declaration of intention. The second purpose to which the surplus was to be devoted was to the maintenance of industrial and reformatory schools. Now, almost all these institutions had been established for Roman Catholics in connection with monasteries and nunneries, especially those at Monaghan, Cork, and other places. He asked, again, then, how they were to prevent the Church's funds going to the support of monasteries and nunneries if money were given to these schools? A third object to which the money was to be appled was to schools for trained or skilled nurses for the poor. Now, who were the skilled nurses for the poor in Ireland? Why, the nuns. He did not wish to say one syllable against those ladies; one could not but admire the consistency with which they performed the duties which they undertook. But the opinion of the English people was that the advantages of the system were more than counterbalanced by its disadvantages, and that opinion had been strengthened by a recent trial not very far from the walls of that House. It did seem to him incredible that a Government could come down seriously to the House and propose a scheme, one of the features of which was the endowment on a large scale of nunneries, when one of the ablest and best of that Government had been so lately employing his energy and ability in exposing the drawbacks and cruelties of that system, and whose appeal to the jury had been applauded to the echo by the thousands who filled the Court and its approaches. As regarded the care of the deaf and dumb and blind, this hitherto had been achieved by voluntary effort, and the proposals of the Government in that respect could only have the effect of stopping private contributions and freezing up the sources of charity. Of the operation of the Bill upon the curates, he would only say that it did seem a miserable thing to enact that no matter what energy or ability a clergyman might display in his office, he never was to receive one sixpence more than the miserable pittance which was at present paid to him. By the very nature of his employment a clergyman could not better himself elsewhere as a layman might do, and the terms of the Bill actually made his pittance conditional upon his remaining in the place where he might be at the passing of the Bill. He had not been in the House when the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Sir John Gray) made some remarks affecting a near relative of his, the Duke of Abercorn, stating that by the Commissioners' Report the Duke appeared to be in possession of 5,736 acres of Church land in the bishopric of Derry at 2s. 7d. an acre, and describing those lands as princely in their character, surrounding the mansion of Baronscourt, and having in their very heart the prosperous town of Newtownstewart; and the hon. Member went on to suggest that somehow or other the Duke of Abercorn had also got possession of the lands and ancient castle of the O'Neills. The hon. Member for Kilkenny, in making that statement appeared to intend to show that the Duke of Abercorn, in his desire to maintain the Church, was influenced by the fact that he had perpetrated some job as to the lands of the Church and wished to carry it on. It was perfectly true that thirty-five years ago the Duke did purchase these lands, and whether the Church were established or disestablished made not one sixpence of difference to him. The lands, so far from being princely in their character, were, perhaps, among the worst class of land in the county, and they could not be said to surround the family mansion of Baronscourt, inasmuch as they were not visible from the house. Further, he had to say that the prosperous town of Newtownstewart was not in their very heart, and that the lands and castle of the O'Neills never did belong to the Duke of Abercorn, and very possibly never would do so. Next time the hon. Member for Kilkenny thought proper to attack the character of any private individual, he would probably think it right to ascertain beforehand that his facts corresponded with his assertions. On the subject of voluntaryism, he would only say that the strongest argument which he had yet heard against it was the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland (Mr. Sullivan), who expatiated on the numbers of the Roman Catholics and their religious zeal, which, he said, was superior to that of the Protestants, but he said that their chapels were in ruins, their priests dwelt in miserable cottages. If the Protestants were inferior in religious zeal and in numbers to the Roman Catholics, their contributions would also be inferior to those of the Roman Catholics, and in that case what would happen if their chapels and the houses of their clergy were in a more ruinous state than those of other religious denominations? Why, they would cry out that they had a sentimental grievance, and would demand that the chapels and the houses of the Roman Catholic clergy should be reduced to the same miserable condition as their own. Surely that would be the same argument as had been made use of in support of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, while asserting that voluntaryism would succeed in Ireland, had at the same time taken care to provide for the repair of St. Patrick and Christchurch Cathedrals. But, surely, if voluntaryism was to succeed anywhere it would be in one of the richest cities in Ireland, and yet the right hon. Gentleman was afraid to trust the repair of those historical relics to that feeling among the Protestants in Dublin. If the Protestants in that City were unlikely to contribute towards the expenses of repairing their churches, how could it be expected that the thinly scattered inhabitants of the rural districts would maintain their churches? The Bill before the House was the only measure in connection with Ireland which human ingenuity could devise that would inflict a permanent wrong upon a large part of the population without conferring any benefit upon the general community. He was speaking, not on behalf of the richer Protestants, but on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of poor Protestant farmers and artizans who would be deprived by the Bill of all religious ministrations. What would be their feelings? Their ancestors had been induced to settle in that country on the distinct understanding that their Church should be endowed, and that its endowments had been secured by every tie that legal ingenuity could suggest. They had been devoted to England and the Crown, and the result of that devotion and loyalty was that they were to be deprived of that which they revered above all things. He did not fear for their future loyalty, because their chief fault had been that their loyalty had been at times too exuberant. But was what Parliament was about to do likely to increase that loyalty? for when the time came that we should have again to appeal to their loyalty, might they not say—"We have always been England's best friends, but how have you treated us?" and when the necessity came which would require us to appeal to the Roman Catholics, would not they say—"We recollect how you treated your friends the Protestant; we won't run the risk of being treated so ourselves." The Protestants said this question of the Irish Church had been viewed through the smoke of the ruins of Clerkenwell, as some persons hoped that the land question would be viewed through the smoke of the assassin's pistol. Last year the late Government were taunted with having been influenced by a presiding genius outside the Cabinet; but when a Government depends for its existence upon the support of sixty Members from the sister island, who were returned, not by the will of their constituents, but by the will of one ecclesiastic in Dublin, was it too much to say that that ecclesiastic is the presiding genius of the present Cabinet? The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade hit the right nail on the head when he said that Ireland was the most Roman country in Europe. He did not wish to say a single word against the Roman Catholics, the great majority of whom he regarded as loyal subjects and devoted to the Crown, but we all know the system of Rome; it is to place unbounded power in the hands of those holding high position in the Church, a power which no men should have, a power which could be used for good or for evil, but which recent events in Ireland had shown could be used unscrupulously. Therefore, even if he approved of disestablishment and disendowment, even if he did think it right to sever all connection between the Church and State, he should feel bound to oppose this Bill, which was merely a specious excuse for transferring the chief part of the property of the Irish Church in Ireland to the aggrandizement and advancement of a Church whose ascendancy was incompatible with civil liberty, uncongenial to temperate religious freedom. He must thank the House for the kindness and attention with which they had listened to his remarks. Feeling strongly upon the subject, and representing a constituency which also felt strongly upon it, he had spoken plainly what he meant; but, at the same time he trusted he had not in any way hurt the feelings of hon. Members opposite, for that would have been his last intention and wish.


said, that he was very much rejoiced that the Government had at last been induced to extend to Ireland that amount of consideration, and was endeavouring to extend to it that amount of justice to which that country was undoubtedly entitled, and which had been withheld from it for so long a period. He was also glad to be able to entertain the belief that a victory was at hand which would be creditable to Parliament, and which would give gratification and he hoped some degree of peace to Ireland. He had for many years taken a deep interest in the religious and political affairs of Ireland, and, as one of its representatives, he now rejoiced at the display of sincerity and earnestness which the present Government had shown in regard to that country. Many years ago the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire gave expression to opinions which certainly he was not prepared to hear him abandon in this debate. Ho had been quite aware that his own was but a very ineffective voice in the wilderness; but a voice had been heard in the desert before his, which he had felt was one destined to be listened to. The splendid genius which dictated the utterances of that voice had caused it many years ago to speak some plain truths and pregnant sentences on the position occupied by the Established Church in Ireland. He could not but admire the coruscations of that fascinating imagination which, like the loadstone, seemed to attract all that came near it; but when he heard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, the other evening he was reminded of Samson in the hands of the Philistines. In that speech the right hon. Gentleman spoke of the advantages which the State must derive from the influences of religion, and said the duty of the State was not to maintain a position of isolation from, but to give direct encouragement to the religion of the country. He said that freedom and toleration had grown up in England under the Established Church; he laid down that it was the duty of the State to carry out with fidelity the purposes of its trust towards the Church of the country. He did not think that all the inferences drawn by the right hon. Gentleman from his propositions were utterly devoid of truth. He could scarcely believe that the right hon. Gentleman himself was quite satisfied with the reasons he had given against the principle of the Bill; but he believed, on the other hand, that Her Majesty's' Government were not quite satisfied with the details of the measure. Certainly he was not satisfied that it would be impossible to pass this Bill without all the jobbery and waste involved in some of its details. He presumed, that the Bill required to be greased and manipulated to make it pass through the narrow passage lately opened in the wall of Scotch prejudice, and that it must be further lubricated and salivated in order that it might be swallowed by the boa constrictor of Irish landed proprietorship. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire and the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) were of opinion that funds of the Established Church should be devoted to their original use. It was his own opinion, too, that they ought to be devoted to the religious uses of the whole of the Irish people, not in a spirit of narrow and sectarian prejudice, but in a spirit of mutual charity and justice. It had been said that the Irish Catholic Bishops had distinctly objected to any portion of those funds being allocated to Catholic purposes. They had done nothing of the kind. If such an allocation were made in a manner otherwise unobjectionable the Irish Catholic Bishops would have no power to reject it. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire said that the Government would require the co-operation of the ministers of the Established Church in Ireland to enable them to carry out this Bill. It appeared to him that the only co-operation required of these rev. gentlemen was the acceptance by them of the money which it was proposed to give them. He had no doubt that this cooperation would be given; nor did he doubt that from the Catholic Bishops the Government would receive the same considerate assistance. An old proverb said—"There is nothing new under the sun," and from some of the speeches he had heard in this debate, he thought that nothing under the sun could be considered obsolete. One hon. Gentleman, whom he had neither the pleasure of knowing nor the pain of hearing, was reported not only to have revived the old notion about the Coronation Oath, but to have warned his Sovereign against adopting the opinions of the most eminent jurists in preference to his own. Another hon. Gentleman, whom he might designate as the Scipio Africanus of South-west Lancashire, had ventured to inform the House that the one religious institution which had fostered liberty of thought and action, and had most steadily exercised a moderate and civilizing influence over the whole of the country, was the Irish Church. But the fact was that the Penal Laws of which so much had been said were passed at the suggestion and desire of the Irish Church and Irish Parliament, and were frequently met by remonstrance on the part of the English Legislature. The intent and object of those laws was not only to inflict upon the Irish people every possible evil, but absolutely to stimulate them to the commission of the worst crimes of which human nature was capable. ["Divide!"] He was not going to hold Irish gentlemen of the present day responsible for the sins of their fathers; but it should be remembered that the most iniquitous of the penal enactments were passed in spite of remonstrances from this country, and that each generation of the defenders of the Irish Church opposed and resisted each new and progressive step in religion and legislation. He might venture to say that the wrong with which they were now dealing had received the most indignant condemnation from the greatest men who had lived during the last half century. It had been condemned by English Lord Chancellors, Chief Justices, Prime Ministers, and Leaders of the Opposition; by the constituencies of England at the last election; by the majority of the House consequent upon that opinion of the constituencies; and by the opinion of the two most eminent men in the ranks of the Opposition. The verdict against that Church had also been expressed in terse and unequivocal language by a great political philosopher—Lord Macaulay—who said— When a Legislature is called upon to decide whether an institution shall be retained or not, they ought first to ask whether it is a good or a bad institution. I think that the Established Church of Ireland is a very bad institution. I will go further—I am not speaking in anger, or with rhetorical exaggeration; I am calmly expressing, in the only appropriate terms, an opinion which I formed many years ago, and which all my observation and reflection have confirmed, and which I am prepared to support by reasons, when I say that of all institutions now existing in the civiized world, the Established Church of Ireland is the worst. He did not ask hon. Members to pin their faith to Lord Macaulay; but such an expression, used by such a man, was not without weight. The right Hon. Baronet (Sir Stafford Northcote) had asked the meaning of the two terms "Protestant ascendancy" and "religious equality," as these phrases were used in Ireland. Now he (Mr. Moore) would endeavour to inform him. "Protestant ascendancy" was no phrase of the Catholic party—it was a Protestant phrase, and one of great significance, long used by a body of men who knew their own meaning probably a great deal bettor than the right hon. Baronet know his own. Protestant ascendancy at that time meant, as it was described by Burke to be, a division of the people of Ireland into two classes—the one to have all the rights, the property, and the education of the people exclusively to themselves, the other to be the mere hewers of wood and drawers of water. Protestant ascendancy, in a subsequent generation, meant just as much of all those advantages as the Irish Protestants could manage to retain for themselves and prevent their fellow-countrymen having, At the present day Protestant ascendancy meant the Irish Church and all those concomitant advantages which the Irish Protestants could still use to their own profit and to the injury of their neighbours. Religious equality meant the obliteration of all those differences of caste which Mr. Burke had described as I being claimed and possessed by Irishmen of one religion over Irishmen of another. He understood it to mean the abolition of Protestant ascendancy, or—to use an agricultural figure—the pruning of those sectarian trees whose branches shut out the light, and whose roots impoverish the soil. The hon. Member for South- west Lancashire (Mr. Cross) said that the great question of disestablishment and disendowment was never discussed as an abstract principle last Session, and these things were never traced to their sources and examined in their consequences. At all events they had been discussed abstractly enough in the course of the present debate The Attorney General for Ireland was wrong in stating that the right hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) abandoned the principle laid down by the Leader of the Opposition in opening the debate; on the contrary, his chief merit was that he interpreted clearly into the vernacular the more lofty phrases of his political Leader. The purpose of both was to prove—first, that the object was to overthrow the principle of Church Establishment in this country and to establish the voluntary principle; second, that the principle of voluntaryism was a bad principle, and the principle of Church Establishment a good one; and third, that, irrespective of the merits of the two systems, it was unconstitutional and even sacrilegious to divert the funds of a Church once established to secular objects. Allowing these propositions, for the sake of argument, at all events, it must be admitted that, to justify the maintenance of any religious institution, the primary purpose of that institution must be fulfilled. The principle or which Church Establishment was founded was the right of every man, poor or rich, lord or peasant, to religious instruction in life, and religious consolation at death. It was on this principle the early Christian Church was founded and the early Reformers proceeded. The acts of the first Reformers were cruel, but their purposes were not, for their intolerance was a large and hopeful one, founded on a hope and an intense conviction that they would ultimately force all mankind into one Church. When it was said that there was not a single precedent for the confiscation of the property of a Church once endowed for secular purposes, he referred to what had occurred in Scotland, and also to the Act passed in 1690, after the Scotch abolished prelacy, declaring that all the property of all the Bishops, prelates, and other dignitaries who had ceased to exist under the Scotch law should be thereby confiscated to the uses and purposes of the King and Queen and their successors. And accordingly the whole of the property of the prelacy and episcopacy of Scotland had remained in the possession of the Crown from that time. The arguments now addressed to them in this debate would have been just as strong if they had been addressed to the Scotch Convention on the occasion to which he referred. No one could doubt that it was to disestablishment and disendowment that Scotland was indebted for the possession of religious freedom, and the like results might be expected in Ireland.


*: The hon. Member who has just sat down has used language which we have certainly not been accustomed to hear from that side of the House. He has stated as a fact what every one of his Companions has hitherto absolutely denied, for he has told us that this great question has been brought before the House in consequence of the political exigencies of party. When such a charge as that has ever been hinted at from this side of the House, we have been hushed by a cry of shame at the mere idea of imputing such derogatory motives to those who sit on the Treasury Bench; but now they have heard the charge from one of their own supporters, though it must be admitted he has supported them in a somewhat Irish fashion. The hon. Member says he supports the Bill which proposes, as everyone knows, entire disestablishment and disendowment, because he thinks there ought to be universal establishment and universal endowment. He has told us he objects to the application of the surplus funds in the way proposed because of the waste and jobbery which will ensue in the course of its administration; still he says this is the measure which will pacify Ireland, and which, despite its unsatisfactory details, pacifies him. With respect to the remarks of the speaker who preceded him (The O'Donoghue), who did me the honour to comment upon some remarks of mine made last year—though I think he somewhat misinterpreted them—I have little to say. The hon. Member tells us that we who were in Office last year were bound, when we had appealed to the country, to abide by the verdict of the country, and, having been defeated by a majority on the hustings, that we have no right to come here and maintain principles which we ourselves advocated on the hustings. But the hon. Member should recollect that he himself has not always been in a majority in this House. There have been occasions in which he and others, his co-patriots, would have been ready to die upon the floor of the House in behalf of principles supported but by a very small band. He has thought right, no doubt, in deference to the principles which guided him, to maintain his opinions in the face of a majority; and if he has had the satisfaction of converting the Treasury Bench by his eloquence and patriotism, let him exult in the possession of such allies; but at the same time allow us, who are deputed to speak in another sense, and to represent the opinions of those who have sent us here, to speak boldly that which we believe, and to contend to the end against measures which we believe to be detrimental to the State. After the Reform Bill of 1832 the Conservatives who mustered in this House formed a much smaller band than sit upon these Benches now. In 1832, it was supposed the majority was about to sweep everything before it, and yet, in 1834, Sir Robert Peel was summoned from Rome. Already the signs of what they were attempting to do against the Church in Ireland had raised the feeling of the country against them. They went on step by step in their downward, career, till at length the time came when Sir Robert Peel, in 1841, supported by the country, returned to the House with a majority of 91, and the great majority which followed the passing of the Reform Bill was thus dissipated as mist before the sun. I have faith in the principles we are professing, and when I am told by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, and by others who have spoken like him, that all thoughtful men are against the Irish Church, that for fifty years every Statesman has looked forward to some such consummation. [Mr. BRIGHT: Every Liberal Statesman.] Every Liberal Statesman! I admit the right hon. Gentleman's consistency, and I admire it; but let him look at those by whom he is surrounded. Are they the Liberal Statesmen who have so looked forward; I see the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Morpeth (Sir George Grey) behind him. It is but two years since he told us that such a measure would produce a revolution. I look upon my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford (Mr. Cardwell), and the language he employed fell very little short of that. I could name others. There is my right hon. Friend, the representative for Limerick (Mr. Monsell); he said there was no one who wished to destroy the Irish Church, and no intention of destroying it. These things are in our recollection. They are not mere matters of history; they have happened within the time that we have been in this House. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Bright) may exult in his own consistency; but when he speaks of Liberal Statesmen who have advocated this measure I must ask him to look back and tell me who they are. Let him look back at Plunket. Was Plunket a Liberal statesman? If ever there was a Liberal statesman he was, and yet he declared that the measures which he advocated, with an eloquence never rivalled in this House, were not in any sense in hostility to the Established Church. I might name others, but I will pass onwards. I am not going now to give any extracts in proof of what I say, because I believe the House is wearied of extracts, and there are some with which I may have to trouble it later in the evening. We were asked by the right hon. Gentleman who introduced this Bill to give him credit for having carried out his promises. Sir, I give him credit for having carried out his promises, in the sense of destructiveness, to the fullest possible extent; for having done his best to destroy and sweep away all that he once held precious. But when I look for the leniency and generosity which were to be expected, when I remember the words used by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade last year—"Let us be generous, let us be gracious, let us be even tender in dealing with this subject," and then remember the terms in which this matter has been spoken of as "a winding-up," as the right hon. Gentleman opposite called it, and see the name of the President of the Board of Trade on the back of a Church Bill—a most unusual place for it—I think I can see what counsels have prevailed. But the right hon. Gentleman's name was put there, I suppose, to satisfy the extreme Liberationists and to show them that Her Majesty's Government were prepared to go the extreme length of destruction. We are told that this is a great question, and that practically there was no alternative. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland informed us that no internal reforms in the Church would by any means meet the necessities of the case. It is therefore of no use that I should address myself in any sense to the question of these reforms. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER made an observation across the table.] I hear my right hon. Friend (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) murmur something across the table. From his speech last night every one knows there is not the slightest use in addressing any arguments to my right hon. Friend. He has told us that he is determined to alter the position of the Church in Ireland, and I am sure, with that firmness which he possesses—but which some would call by a harsher name—he will persist in his determination. I may assume, then, that alterations have been made such as to fit the Irish Church for the peculiar position in which she is placed, and to make her perfectly adapted to fulfil her functions in that sphere. I have a right to assume this, because I am told that it would be no use to argue the matter. But then I am told that however improved or perfect in herself she may be, she is an "anomaly," a "monstrosity," an "injury to Protestantism," and that there is but one remedy, the "severe and sweeping" remedy of disestablishment and disendowment. When I look back within my own recollection, and remember the great changes which have occurred with respect to the Roman Catholic hierarchy, the Roman Catholic priesthood, and the Roman Catholic laity; when I see the privileges which have been conferred upon them, the equality to which they have attained in all civil matters—I will come to the question of religious equality afterwards—when I recall all the civil privileges which have been conceded, that they are placed on the same footing as their Protestant fellow-countrymen, having their chaplains in many of the institutions of the country, who are recognized as ministers in almost as great a degree as those who belong to the Established Church—when I find all these things, and find, too, that they have still something more to demand, founded on—I will not use the term sentimental grievance, which has given so much offence—but on something which rankles in the mind of Ireland, I cannot help being reminded of that which was the great cause of the envy and malice and cruelty of one who was once in a very high position—namely, that "Mordecai sits in the King's gate." All availed nothing so long as Mordecai sat in the King's gate. That is alleged to be the feeling in the breasts of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. No matter what good the Church may have done, no matter how exemplary its ministers may be, the very respect in which they are held seems to be the cause of all this jealousy, and they must be pulled down. Now, the Dean of Westminster has said that the "demand for the destruction of a rival without advantage to ourselves may be vengeance, but it is not justice." Yes, it is vengeance; that is what is asked for in this case with respect to the Establishment. Now, I have some difficulty in dealing with this question of disestablishment, because we are not met in a bold and straightforward manner except by some hon. Member below the Gangway, such as the hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. H. Richard) who spoke last night. When I appeal to some hon. Members, they say—"We are not against Establishments. We think them excellent things." The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bright), I admit, does not say they are excellent things; he says, "Put England and Scotland out of the question—we have nothing to say about them at present." Others say it is a question of time or of circumstance, and that we are not now dealing with Establishments generally, but only with the Irish Establishment. Well, I am bound to say that, in my opinion, the Irish Establishment does a good work. I look upon it, and especially since the period of the Union, as a part of the Imperial Establishment; but you are trying to separate Ireland from the Imperial Government; you are setting up a new system, totally contrary to that which used to be contended for in this House. Mr. O'Connell and others used to say—"Give us like institutions;" but now the demand is—"Give us unlike institutions; let Ireland be governed on Irish principles," and you are endeavouring to make a severance in this Imperial realm, and to put Ireland on a different footing from England. I believe that in Ireland the parochial clergy are doing an excellent work. You go through a list of parishes and say—"There are only thirty Protestants here and only forty there;" and you turn round on the Commissioners—whom it is not my business to defend—and say that they themselves admitted that you should not keep a resident minister among forty people, but should leave them to be scattered from the fold. In answer, I say, in the first place, you are misrepresenting the Commissioners and misrepresenting I think also the hon. and learned Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) for I understood both him and them to recommend, not that spiritual sustenance should be altogether withdrawn from such people, but that parishes should be combined and the strength of the Church so distributed as to make it most efficient. When you speak of the clergyman's work in an English parish you do not speak of the number of people who have sittings in his church, or who are communicants, but you say there are so many residents in the parish, and by that you measure his work. When, however, you speak of the Irish clergyman's work you adopt a totally different principle. You say,—"We have a Census, and we find that he has only so many belonging to his Church." That, however, by no means measures his work—for though the clergy in Ireland may confine their religious ministrations to their own flock, they do not so confine those ministrations which are ministrations of charity—visits to the houses of the people, attention to their temporal wants, and the watching over their educational interests. In many such ways their attention is directed to the poorer members of their flock throughout the whole parish; and it is absurd—nay, more, it is cruel and unjust—to measure their work merely by the number of people who belong to their congregations. Again, I maintain, in spite of all the protestations from the other side of the House, that the Established Church is the nation's distinct recognition of an Almighty superintendence. It must make that recognition in some way on public occasions, in public ceremonies, in matters of State connected with the head of the Executive. In all these matters the State is put forward as religious and as Protestant, and the Sovereign at this moment is represented alike by her lay representative and by the Church in Ireland, in accordance with that religion which you have entailed upon the Crown by the Act of Settlement. She is represented in Ireland as the head of the Executive by the Church. Is the Monarch, then, to be regarded as "a badge of conquest?" Is the settlement of the Crown to be abolished in deference to the cry for religious equality, and are the 24,000,000 or 25,000,000 of Protestants in this country to give way to the 5,000,000 or 6,000,000 who may feel aggrieved in their minds, though not injured in any way otherwise, by the fact that their Sovereign is a Protestant? You are going on that account to deprive the Church in Ireland of her position, and degrade her from the position to which the State has exalted her, a position, which brings with it nothing of insult or of arrogance, or injury or of oppression, to those who have not the same privileges? That position does not injure the Roman Catholic any more than it injures the Presbyterian, the Wesleyan, or the Baptist; and if you base your measure on the ground of religious equality, you cannot test that by numbers. It is a question which goes to the root of Establishments, and of endowments, also; for if there is to be absolute religious equality, you must reduce all to the same level. It does not matter, therefore, whether there are 5,000,000 or 500,000 who differ from you, for if you are to act on that principle you must put all religions on a level, not only in Ireland, but in the whole Empire. Indeed, there are plenty of people who hold that principle, and the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Bright) is one of them. He does not, it is true, press it forward at this moment; he is a great deal too prudent for that; nor do I blame him for keeping it back. He has got quite enough on his hands already, for he has a work which has been described by the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government as gigantic, and one such as has never been performed in any period of tranquillity. Members opposite who treat the matter so lightly should really pay some attention to their Leader, and should not take away from him the credit of a "gigantic" work by representing it as an easy one.

I am not going over the ground so ably traversed by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Richmond—the question of disendowment. He asked what wrong the Irish Church had done that it should be deprived of its property, and he showed that much of the evil that had been prevalent in it was owing to the State. I fully agree with him in that question, and I also agree with him that the State crippled the Church—nay, worse than crippled it, for it filled it with its own minions, persons unfit for the duties of the clerical office, who were only sent to Ireland in order to fill their own pockets and those of their relations, while they served the supposed interests of those who appointed them. These things were bad enough; but they have passed away, and I need only address myself therefore to the present position and work of the Church? It has been said that it supported the Penal Laws. Now, I am not going to defend those laws, and they have been sufficiently condemned by every Member who has spoken; but they were passed by and have had their advocates among those who are called Liberal Statesmen. Even in recent times, indeed as recently as within the last year or two, they have been spoken of by a Liberal Statesmen without that indignation which one would have expected him to exhibit. Some years ago I read something written by Lord Russell in his Essay on the Constitution—published originally, I think, in 1823. Being curious to see what he had said I referred to the book, and I find that after going through the various outrages, as he said, committed by the Roman Catholics during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., he added in reference to the Penal Laws— Whether the precautions adopted by Parliament were wise I will not decide, but I am clearly of opinion they were just. It is only just towards the noble Lord that we should look at what he says in the last edition, and in the edition published in 1865 I find the sentence a little altered. As it stands there it is this— That the precautions adopted were wise I will not affirm, but I cannot deny that they were the result of many injuries. And in both editions occurs the following passage:— It must not to be supposed that a nation so humane as the English acted in this harsh and unusual spirit of bitterness without deep provocation. Therefore, with respect to the Penal Laws, I say that not only were they passed by Liberal Statesmen, but they have also been upheld in these days as just by one of the Leaders of Liberal Statesmen. Now, has the Church of Ireland left something undone which she ought to have done? I quite admit—it would be folly to deny—that in the time of Queen Elizabeth it was the intention that the Irish Church should be the Church of the whole nation. It was intended—although they went in a very extraordinary way about effecting their intentions—that that Church should gradually obtain a hold over the minds of the Irish people as the Church of England had obtained a hold over the minds of the English people. But in order to effect that they sent there those who were not able to speak Irish, the tongue of the country, those who preached in Latin or English if they preached at all and said prayers in Latin if they said prayers at all; and who, in fact, did everything in their power to prevent the spread of the religion which it was their mission and professed intention to spread. And in addition to that, in Queen Elizabeth's time, Ireland was in such a state that beyond the English Pale there was really no security; that those who went there found it much safer to live within than without the Pale, and that, except within those limits, very little was done for the religious instruction of the natives. But, coming down to more recent times, the Church of Ireland has long been in much the same position as she is now in as the Church of a minority. As was stated by the right hon. Gentleman, her numbers at one period were 100,000; now they are 690,000, or, in round numbers, about 700,000; so that she has increased, at all events, numerically, and she has also increased in proportion to the other communions. Now, the right hon. Gentleman last year spoke of the emigration from Ireland as having much more materially affected the Celtic, or, as I may call them, the Roman Catholic, population than the Protestant. I have endeavoured to ascertain the facts as far as I could. I find that the Lord Lieutenant had an inquiry made into the emigration from Ireland, whether it was true that it consisted more of the Celtic part of the population than of the other races. Dr. Handcock who was appointed to examine into this matter, says— It is manifest that the causes which have led to such a large emigration to England and Scotland, and such a still more extensive emigration abroad, have affected the people of Ireland alike, whether descended from native Celts, or from English and Irish settlers. The causes must, therefore, be general; and it is impossible to ascribe them to any policy of the Legislature or the Government directed against a particular race or creed. I am bound to say that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government dealt fairly in one respect, for he said he did not think it would be just, at the time when the Irish Church was so ill-used as she used to be, to look to her for great results, although I myself think the results were considerable, even at that period. But the right hon. Gentleman took some thirty-five years ago as the time at which the Church was practically set free—and then he asked, what has she done? Well, Sir, she has done much. I shall probably be contradicted on that point; and I must, therefore, endeavour to fortify myself as far as I can with evidence, and with such authority as I think the House will not dispute. I say that the Church of Ireland has made many converts; not, it may be, by violent controversial proceedings, but by a quiet influence which has affected the minds of those who have been around her clergy, and who have gradually become leavened by their sentiments. Besides that, in special instances, there have been great efforts made for conversion, as, for example, in the West of Ireland; and, I may just say, that I hold in my hand an extract from one of the Roman Catholic newspapers of Ireland at the time, the Nation, and quoted in a pamphlet published at Belfast, in February last, by the Rev. J. Seymour— Witnesses more trustworthy than Sir Francis Head; Catholic Irishmen who grieved to behold the spread and success of the apostacy, tell us that the West of Ireland is deserting the ancient fold; and that a class of Protestants, more bigoted and anti-Irish, if possible, than the followers of the old Establishment, is grown up from the recreant peasantry and their children. That showed that by inquiries on the same side as those who were being affected by the influence of Protestant teaching, the same conclusion was arrived at, and that there was a reality in these conversions. I will quote further evidence from a letter of a Mr. Cowan, an Independent clergyman, who was connected with a New York regiment of artillery during the late civil war. He says—I quote from a pamphlet published by the Rev. Dr. Massingham— In this country I have frequently heard it said that the Irish Church has been a failure in its mission, &c. But this only shows how very little is known on this side of the Atlantic of the great and all-important work done in Ireland by those holy men in the Established Church. But we ministers in the United States see the fruit from the labours of the Established Church. I was Chaplain to the sixth Regiment New York Heavy Artillery, in the late war, and I have generally had about 300 Irish emigrants, who carefully attended my services, Bible classes, and singing classes, and all testified to me that they had re- ceived the truth as it is in Jesus, from ministers of the Established Church in Ireland. The hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Mr. Vernon Harcourt), in a speech which he delivered at the time of the elections, referred to something which I had said about conversion. He said—"Look at the reasoning of the right hon. Member for the University of Oxford, who says that the Irish went to America and were converted there. That shows the advantage of the voluntary system." And he went on to remark—"Think of our using such an argument as that, in favour of the Irish Church." Now, no doubt, my hon. and learned Friend is fond of turning sarcastic sentences, both in speaking and writing, and I do not grudge him that turn respecting what I said. I will bear the indignity of being supposed to argue that because people were converted in America, the Irish Church was shown to be a success. I think I have shown that in America it is found that the people who go over have been affected by the teaching of the clergy in Ireland, and that whereas a certain number of millions emigrated as Roman Catholics, there is only a proportion who have there declared themselves such. On this point I might quote Archbishop Whately, who in his conversations with Mr. Senior, said— The emigration diminishes the apparent number of the conversions, for many emigrate because they have been converted, but do not like to encounter the persecution which almost inevitably awaits them here."—["Journals, &c., relating to Ireland," by Nassau W. Senior. London, 1868. Vol. 2, p. 130.] I would rather take the opinion, however, of a hostile witness, of a person who was adverse to the Established Church. Dr. Andrews, Vice President of the Queen's College at Belfast, is averse from the system of proselytism in operation in the "West of Ireland. The passage I am going to read shows that at all events certain consequences result, although he does not attribute them to the same cause that I do—namely, the effect of the Established Church. He condemns proselytism, but says— As one result of this overbearing conduct (of the Roman Catholic parish priest), I may refer to the indifference to his old religious habits usually exhibited by the Irish emigrant when he lands on the Continent of America. Among the many inducements to abandon the old country for that land of promise, the prospect of escaping from his spiritual taskmaster at home is not the least considerable. I will not dwell further on that point. I think I have made out that the Church of Ireland has held up the light of the Reformation in that country, and that she has held it up in parishes where otherwise it would not have found its way; that she has introduced it into the minds of many who, although while they were in Ireland they appeared to be adverse to the Church, yet, when they withdrew from the influence of those who had power over them and arrived in America, acted on their own convictions. You say that the Church has not had so great an effect as she ought. But it ought to be borne in mind that there is a resistance to all religious teaching, and more especially of one religion against another. Yet I think I have shown that the Church of Ireland has increased the number of her members under circumstances of great difficulty, and in spite of the immense emigration of Protestants in the last century. She has increased her proportionate numbers in Ireland, and has besides children in America and Canada to bear witness that she has testified to the truth of the principles of the Reformation. I am surprised that the advocates of the Church of Rome should complain of her missionary work, for I never take up a Roman Catholic paper published in England without seeing advertisements of missions being established for the purpose of attracting converts. They go into places where there are no Roman Catholics, importing a few and converting some. In fact, their system is to compass sea and land to make a proselyte. They cannot, therefore, justly reproach others for doing the same thing, so long as no bribery or unfair means are used. No one would palliate or justify anything like bribery, and I, for one, should be the last to do so.

I have now shown that nothing has I been done or has been left undone by the Church of Ireland which would justify us in taking away that which belongs to her. But the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Bright) remarked that my noble Friend (Lord Stanley) said at Bristol—"There is an Irish question." Now what is the Irish question? It is this, that the Imperial Government of this country does not succeed satisfactorily in the government of Ireland. We admit it. Difficulties arise with every Government. But is that the fault of the Church of Ireland or of the State of England? You say it is the fault of the Church of Ireland, and in order to prove that it is so you at once propose to make an experiment on it as in corpore vili, and think to conciliate the feelings of those who are adverse to our Government in Ireland by throwing this sop to them. But if the sacrifice is to be made it ought to be made by the State. If the Church has been in fault, the State in former days made her what she is, and is responsible for the evils within her. At all events, she is now doing her duty and using her endowments well. You may tell me, perhaps, that, however well she may use her endowments, she is such an offence in the eyes of the people of Ireland that she and they must be swept away. Now, I assert that the State did not endow the Church of Ireland. The State may be responsible for the establishment of the Church, but not for its endowments, although she is responsible for the protection of those endowments. Therefore, I think, looking back on all that has passed, that it is an unwise course which the Government have adopted, instead of adhering to that temperate line of policy which was commenced some time ago, and which, although it may not have succeeded to the extent that some people hoped for, yet has met with constantly increasing success up to the present time. If that temperate course were steadily persevered in, we should have arrived at a better state of things much sooner than we shall do by the revolution that is intended. The hon. and lively Member for Derry (Mr. Serjeant Dowse)—I mean the hon. and learned Member—in the speech which he made yesterday, said this was only the opening of the gate, and he told us something about social equality and other things which he shadowed forth that would enter through the revolutionary gate now opened by the Government. You sacrifice the Church first for the faults of the State. It is like the story told by Sidney Smith, that when a hungry mob came to the Bishops while they were at dinner and demanded that the dinners should be given to them, the right reverend Prelates threw out the dinners of the deans. So the State proposes now to throw out to the hungry mob the Church of Ireland, to be devoured, but it will whet the appetite for more, as vaguely indicated by the hon. and learned Member for Derry. But we are told by some that the endowment is corporate property, and that, because it was given to a national Church, the State has a right to do what it likes with it. I think that argument has been already sufficiently answered. It does not belong to you now, it never did, and, in fact, you admit this by bringing in a Bill to take it from those to whom it does belong. I saw it stated in one of the great organs of public opinion that nothing was so easy as to prove that the public gave these endowments. Why are you then going to throw the onus of proof on the Church? I think it rests with you. Let us be free from the difficulty which you are going to impose upon us—a difficulty which my right hon. and learned Friend (Dr. Ball) explained when he alluded to the obstacles which stood in the way of producing title-deeds with respect to these endowments. I will not go back to the time of the Reformation, or discuss with the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland (Mr. Sullivan) the question of how many Bishops conformed. On that point I will merely observe that I think it has been abundantly proved that, instead of only one Bishop having gone over, as he stated, they conformed in large numbers, with what sincerity is not the question. Passing by, however, the pre-Reformation endowments, but by no means renouncing the right to them, I wish now to say a word on the post-Reformation endowments, which were clearly meant for the Church as it is, and I would call the attention of the House on this subject to a few words of Mr. Shirley, one of the Commissioners, who ought to be well-informed, and who says— In conclusion it may be said that of the original patrimony of the Church before the Anglo-Norman invasion but little remains, and that little consists solely of lands. Of the tithes and lands granted to the Church between the eras of the invasion and the Reformation probably the whole of the lands, and one moiety at least of the tithes, are in the hands of the laity, having been dissevered from the Church at the fall of the monasteries in 1536. Of the remaining property of the Church,—namely, the glebe lands, no less than five-sixths were granted to the Reformed Church since the Reformation; the same may be said of the Bishops' lands in Ulster which were granted in 1609. It is evident, therefore, that the Church at the present time, is in possession of much smaller endowments than she was once entitled to, and that a large proportion of the remaining endowments have been acquired since the Reformation. I think my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) has shown that you cannot make a distinction in the case of these endowments, between those given by private persons, by Kings, or by the State. They all go into the same property in the bulk, though they may be severed in this sense that there are a number of corporations, for the purpose of handing them down in the several districts to which they are appropriated. They, nevertheless, yet remain the property of the whole Church, and as such have been recognized by various Acts of Parliament. Here I am bound to say that, in my opinion, the argument of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond went a little beyond the point at which he stopped. I think that his arguments in favour of these endowments cover the Bishops' property in Ireland, and the property in those parishes which have not 200 members of the Established Church in them. All I take to be part of the property of the Church as a whole, though it may be applied to the purposes of different districts. I shall not enter at length into that point on which my hon. and learned Friend dwelt with such force—I mean the vested interest of the laity. No one who heard his argument can, it seems to me, doubt that it is mainly for them that the property of the Church exists, and that for them it ought to be preserved. I come now to that which appears to be so beloved by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer—the voluntary system. So much does he regard that system that, even in the case of the meteorologists of Scotland, my right hon. Friend will not give a single farthing, trusting to meteorological enthusiasts by the voluntary system to afford them the necessary support. Now, I am by no means going to attack that system. It has done wonders both in England and in Ireland. I trust that it will accomplish even still more, for with all the appliances which the Established Church may possess, there are numbers whom it cannot reach, and with a greatly increasing population growing up around us, the difficulties of its position are becoming daily more and more apparent. The voluntary system has not done, nor can it do, all that is required alone. But are there no legal and moral impediments to your resorting to it in Ireland?

I am now about to touch on a point which to many persons may seem antiquated and absurd. It does not belong, perhaps, to the class of subjects which engage the attention of philosophic inquirers; yet I feel called upon to speak of it, if not as an impediment in itself, yet as calculated to operate as a moral impediment in its effect on the feelings of those with whom you are about so rudely to interfere by your legislation. You are anxious, you say, to secure the peace of Ireland, and you are dealing with 700,000 persons, besides a large number of Presbyterians and Methodists, who are deeply interested in the fortunes and prosperity of the Established Church. You are therefore dealing with a very large, influential, and thoughtful class of persons, who are sensible of their rights, and anxious to maintain them. In speaking, then, of the Act of Union, I must speak of it as they look upon it. They regard it as an Act guaranteeing to them their rights in the position in which they now stand, for at the time of the passing of the Act the Church of England was, as it is at the present day, the Church of the minority. Well, that being so, you are now about to change the Act of Union. When, last year, I said that an eminent lawyer told me that in taking this step you would be ipso facto repealing that Act, by doing away with that which was an essential part of it, and that it would be necessary to introduce a saving clause into your Bill, the statement was ridiculed by those who now sit on the opposite side of the House. But, how does the Bill under discussion actually stand? Why, have not eminent lawyers advised you to insert in the Bill a clause, stating in substance that it only affects the Act of Union so far as the two Churches are concerned, and saving it in other respects? When, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade says that you make no change in the Act of Union by your measure, I point to the clause introduced by yourselves to show that that statement is not exactly in accordance with the fact. Has time altered the position of things since the Union? Suppose a Bill of this nature had been brought forward within five or ten years after the passing of the Union, what would have been said? Would it not have been denounced as a gross breach of faith? Would it not have been described as a violation of the treaty of Union? Would it not have aroused great indignation throughout Ireland? How has the state of things altered since that time? The Church has had longer possession. She has been year by year changing her condition, because Churchmen have been spending their money upon her, they have been educated for particular positions within her, they have done everything to show that they rely upon your legislation. When, therefore, you now turn round upon them with such a measure as this, I say that in their view—and I am speaking now from their view—they have a right to say that you are committing upon them an injury, and, instead of causing peace you will be arousing irritation and exasperation which will not be easily allayed.

Now, one word with respect to another subject upon which I speak with great reluctance, and, I trust, with becoming delicacy. I say that in this Bill, in order to avoid all difficulty hereafter, in order that there may be no misleading of the public mind, that the public may not think you are doing that which is contrary to what the Monarch of the country is obliged to swear, you should have taken steps to alter the Coronation Oath. I do not at all say that the nation cannot absolve the Monarch from an Oath which is taken as between the nation and the Monarch, but that Oath, as it stands, places the Monarch in a most invidious position. I ask any one to read the Coronation Service, and see what a formal and elaborate Oath is imposed by that ceremony—an Oath which, taken in its literal sense, may mean that no action should be taken by the Sovereign at all, either in her legislative or in her executive capacity, to interfere with the property or rights of the Reformed Bishops in Ireland or England. I say that that is an opinion which has laid hold of the minds of the people of Ireland, and it would have been far better both for the present and the future that some notice should have been taken of it, and that the Oath should have been abrogated by those who are desirous to act in contravention of its supposed intention, in order that no Monarch hereafter may be placed in so invidious a position. I pass from that. Much has been said with respect to a disinterestedness of the Roman Catholics in Ireland, and we are told that they ask for nothing. That is not absolutely the case, for there are some who would be glad to get something. The hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. G. H. Moore), for example, said that if the money were ready there would be plenty found to take it, and I have a shrewd suspicion that that is the case. A very excellent Roman Catholic Bishop has written a letter, full of eulogy of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, in which he has dropped certain hints which I think may be construed into something like what the hon. Member for Mayo spoke of. Bishop Moriarty is evidently very much annoyed that there should be any prospect of the commutation of the life interests of the clergy. He said— What need is there of the commutation of life interests? Is not this a wilful waste of a large portion of the national property? Suppose, however, that you thus create a re-endowment out of the property of the Irish Church. Will you have heard the last and latest of the question? It is obvious that he desires the income of the Church to remain as a reserve—for whom? Again he adds in reference to the Church Body— It should be noted that there is no such corporation in the Irish Catholic Church, and that for the possession and transmission of property we are obliged to have recourse to trustees. If this disparity continued, we should consider the Protestant Church specially protected by your law. These opinions show that grievances are prepared for future use; but listen to the language of another Bishop, though not an Irish Bishop. Bishop Goss—Bishop of Liverpool, as I believe he is called—speaks much more openly on the subject. He said— That he could not for the life of him see how the Prime Minister could, with any show of justice, allow the Irish Church, on ceasing to be established, to take away with it whatsoever it might have acquired by private benefactions since the date of its establishment, and yet should refuse to give back to the Roman Catholics the property which came to them by private benefactions, and of which they were despoiled and robbed at the time of the Reformation. It was said that the Catholics did not wish it, but that was not the question; justice was justice, and they might rest assured that if men under the influence of good feeling had for a time declined to receive it, they would eventually be free to consider the justice of accepting it. Besides the present Bishops, the clergy of Ireland had only a life interest in the property; therefore no act of theirs could bar a just claim which existed on the part of their successors; hence—he did not speak as a politician, but as a simple man—he did not think it was a just measure; for if the Prime Minister respected private benefactions since the Reformation he ought also, in common justice, to respect private benefactions made prior to the Reformation. It appears, therefore, that some of the Bishops would be very glad to obtain this money. And now is it not a fact that establishment of religion is a thing which the Roman Catholic clergy and laity consider a duty on the part of the State, and the advantage of which is a right on their part? Has this not been expressed by the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the strongest terms, and is it not avowed in all cases in which it can be safely avowed? Therefore, though a common jealousy of the Church now unites the Roman Catholics with sectarians against us, I cannot help feeling that there must be at heart among the Roman Catholics a feeling that in assisting to destroy Establishments they are making a precedent which may one day act most injuriously against themselves. But we have been told that we have no right to think that the effects of this measure will extend beyond Ireland. Well, when we hear some of the speeches made in this House, we might well distrust such a statement. But what of speeches outside? What have we to say of Wales? An hon. Member has spoken to us of Wales, and we know how many have spoken outside this House on the same subject. I could have wearied this House with most wonderful extracts of speeches of ministers and others in Wales, who speak with all the glowing language of the Principality, and express intense hatred of the Church, desiring to throw her down as strongly as anybody in Ireland can desire it. Here I must turn aside for a moment to a personal question. The hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. H. Richards) referred to a speech which, three or four years ago, I made upon church rates, now abolished. I can only say that in then stating that money was borrowed for the purpose of building chapels in Wales, I spoke on information received from a gentleman of high authority, and who, I have no doubt, would be ready to stand by what he said. As I only heard the hon. Member's denial of this statement last night, I have had no opportunity of looking for papers or making investigation so as to give a satisfactory answer. But if he, being thoroughly acquainted with Wales, tells me that no such thing exists, I am ready to withdraw the statement, and am sorry that I have been misinformed. You say that the Irish Church is a hindrance to the spread of Protestantism. Do you think that your Roman Catholic allies are of that opinion? Do you think that the Irish Church forms no obstacle to the spread of Roman Catholicism? Do you imagine that the language used by you and by the Dissenters represents accurately the feelings of the Roman Catholics on this subject? If the possession by the Church of the endowments constituted a real impediment to her action the Roman Catholics would be the last persons to desire to take them away. The hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn) argued that the Church was a mere department of the State, and that you have a right to deal with the Church as you dealt with the municipal corporations. Well, how did you deal with the corporations? You took the property from the old corporations, and gave it to the reformed corporations. You dealt with them exactly in the same way as the Church was in a former day dealt with—that is to say, the property, that is, the pre-Reformation endowments, passed from the old institution to the reformed institution. The title in each case, then, is the same. There is a point upon which my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond touched which may well be urged again, for it is of great importance. I refer to the case of the Dissenting chapels, the possession of which for twenty-five years was made an indefeasible title by Act of Parliament. Although the congregations in possession had changed from Trinitarian to Unitarian, a creed different in the most essential point from that of the founders of the chapels, legislation was actually undertaken to preserve the title to these buildings only held for twenty-five years. If such was the recent action of Parliament, does it not appear the strangest and most incongruous proceeding to take away from the Church in Ireland that which she has held for centuries, and to leave her only a part of that which she has had for the shortest time—namely, the private endowments most recently acquired? You say you are going to conciliate Ireland by this measure; but if that were likely to be the result, I should have thought that the time of hope would have been the moment when people would be more disposed to look at the bright side of things than the time of fruition. Well, during this time of hope how are the Irish people employed? I will not speak of Fenian meetings held by Fenians themselves, but what strikes me as a deplorable feature is that men who have dishonoured themselves, not only by disloyalty, but by the schemes of such diabolical cruelty as showed them to be the enemies of mankind—who, though their own hands may not have been imbrued in blood, have, nevertheless, been the associates of assassins—have been, on their liberation from imprisonment, received as heroes and martyrs. Do not tell me that such people will be conciliated by the sacrifice of the Irish Church, for, the very moment when you are making the sacrifice—when you nave the knife lifted prepared to slay—these people mock you, and say—"This is what we have forced from you; this is what we have made you do; these are the fruits of the blowing up of Clerkenwell." The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but he (Mr. Gladstone) made the "intensity of Fenianism" a ground for his course last year. I hold in my hand an extract from the Cork Examiner, in which an advertisement appears to obtain funds for the Fenian convicts who had been released. In it occurs the following words, which manifest the truth of my remarks:— We would also remind those who look on the proposed disendowment of the Established Church as a boon, that—according to the statement of the present Premier—they are indebted to the Fenian movement for that tardy measure of justice. This shows the encouragement to disloyalty given by this measure. I admit that the Irish Church, though it never was before mentioned as a popular grievance by the Irish people generally and still less by the Fenians, as has been strongly urged by Dean Stanley, may have been an object of animosity to the Roman Catholic priests, and perhaps to some of the higher classes of Roman Catholics. I have received private letters which confirm me in this opinion, and from one I learn that, in one instance, a Roman Catholic paid his tithe rent-charge in full, without deducting the charge for tithes and rates, and on being made acquainted with the mistake, he wrote back to the clergyman, stating that he was perfectly willing to pay as he had done, and that he looked upon him as a great advantage to the parish in which he resided. If it had been the case of an absentee nobleman who never appears in his parish, he added, the case would have been very different, for they owed nothing to the absentee. That is the spirit in which the Protestant clergy are regarded by the populations among whom they live. The President of the Board of Trade drew an halcyon picture of what was to follow the passing of this Bill, and he did not, as on a former occasion, qualify his observations by saying that more must be done before the prospects he depicted could be realized. Last year, in a speech of wonderful ability, he stated that dealing with the Church alone would not effect the objects he had in view. In a speech of the right hon. Gentleman at Edinburgh, in November last, he spoke still more strongly, and his language appears to bear most materially on this question. We say that if you carry out this measure in its entirety, in many parts of Ireland there will be such an effect that the Protestants will be entirely overwhelmed so that, being as sheep without a shepherd, they will either remove from their parishes or become absorbed among the Roman Catholic population. Now, mark what the right hon. Gentleman said, pointing to a corollary to this Bill—something that is to follow it. He says that— In Ireland the land is not really in the possession of what I may call native proprietors or natives of the country, to a large extent. It seems to me to be an essential thing for the peace of every country that its soil should at least be in the possession of its own people. I believe that in Ireland it will be necessary to adopt some plan, and I believe there is a plan which can be adopted, without injury or wrong to any man, by which gradually the land of Ireland may be, to a considerable extent, transferred from the foreign, alien, or absentee Protestant proprietor,—transferred into the hands of the Catholic resident population of the country. I do not anticipate myself that until something of that kind is in process and in operation we shall find the tranquillity and content in Ireland, such as we would wish to see in it.


I explained that.


When? Last night?


Last Session.


The right hon. Gentleman said the other night—and I give him full credit for it—that he would do nothing that is not approved by the principles of political economy. And no doubt he would treat these proprietors as Isaak Walton tells you to treat the frog—as if he loved them. He would not do them an injury consciously. If he removed them from their property it would be done in such a way as, in his opinion, to cause no injury to them. But what I cannot help remarking on is the object that is presented to the excitable minds of the population of Ireland when the advocacy of their cause has been taken up with such enormous ability as the right hon. Gentleman has shown—when he expresses himself in this way, and confines the expression even of absentees to Protestant landlords, and the gift of their lands, in whatever way, to Catholic residents the impression which must be produced is that he is going to assist them in Romanizing Ireland. Now, we who know the religious opinions of the right hon. Gentleman know that that cannot be his object; but I say the language used, carelessly—recklessly, in some sense, I may say—has its effect on the minds of the population of Ireland, and leads them to suppose that something will be done for them that you never can in justice do, and therefore the failure of their hopes and wishes will lead to more discontent, to more agrarian outrage and hostility. Now, Sir, a great deal of exasperation exists already. Do not let me place undue value upon the language used by persons in a moment of irritation; but I see with great regret that language has been used and spoken by men of high position—dignitaries of the Church and others. Some have written letters, and some have made addresses, in which they look forward to the repeal of the Union as a mode of healing discontent and of redressing the grievances under which they labour. I regret that such should be the case. Now when I say that such and such results will follow from the action of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of her Majesty's Government, I am told—"You are suggesting these things and putting them in the minds of people, and for any injury to the Church of England you are responsible." [Cheers.] The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) I observe, cheers me. By whom were they told to distrust the English Parliament, and to go in for repeal of the Union? Who suggested to them it was useless to seek redress from the English Parlia- ment? It was a most remarkable thing if this were done by the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government. It is a very remarkable thing, because he has both written and spoken in that sense. He wrote this, moreover, in no state of exasperation. He did this in the first place when he was writing a book, again when he published a third edition, and again in his place in Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman might say, "Oh! I have repented of these things;" but still they have gone forth to the world, and remained, as far as the public knew, the opinions of the right hon. Gentleman, at least up to 1865. It is all very well to say that if we suggest these things and put them in people's heads we are responsible for them. In his work on Church and State, 3rd edit., p. 79–81, he says— A common form of faith binds Irish Protants to ourselves, while they, on the other hand, are fast linked to Ireland; and thus they supply the most natural bond of connection between the countries. But if England by overthrowing their Church should weaken their moral position, they would no longer be able—perhaps no longer willing—to counteract the desires of the majority tending under the direction of their leaders—however by a wise policy revocable from that fatal course—to what is termed national independence. In his place in Parliament on March 31, 1835, he says— The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) invited them to invade the property of the Church of Ireland. He considered that there were abundant reasons for maintaining that Church; and if it should be removed, he believed they would not long resist the repeal of the Union, and then they would become fully aware of the evil of surrendering the principle which the noble Lord asked them to give up. These were the suggestions of the right hon. Gentleman, that what was going to be done would cause the people to cry out for national independence. That very result may happen. You cannot deal with people in a moment of great excitement as if they were chessmen, or as if they were people without passions or affections, for they may be hurried by that excitement into the utterance of words and commission of acts which they would deprecate in their cooler moments. And you may give rise to a cry for a repeal of the Union, backed up and sanctioned by those who have hitherto supported you. We said in the Address in answer to the Speech of Her Majesty, that we would endeavour to secure the action of "the undivided feel- ing and opinion of Ireland on the side of loyalty and law." Now, it does not seem to me that we are making a very good business of it at present. We have before us a measure of a "sweeping and severe" character, advocated in such harsh and unsympathizing terms by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland (Mr. Sullivan), spoken upon with such cold indifference by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer:—I ask is there anything in the details of the Bill to modify or to soothe the feelings of those who consider themselves aggrieved by its operation? We have always heard that the best thing you can provide for an enemy is a golden bridge by which he can make his escape. By those who spoke last year on this subject we were told that the Church was to be treated with generosity. But I ask now whether, from end to end of the Bill, there is anything that in any sense represents the golden bridge of which I have spoken? You deprive the Irish Church of everything. As the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General said—"This is a Bill for disestablishment, not for giving them anything;" and the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated—"We deal with them liberally," but he was careful to explain that liberality of Liberals by no means means generosity. So much has been said upon the different points of the Bill that I will not attempt to discuss them. I will run them over rapidly. You give us the life interests—that you admit is the barest justice; but you combine with these conditions of the most arbitrary and inexcusable character. You endeavour to stereotype the Church of Ireland so that she cannot possibly move to benefit herself. But that is not the course which you take in the case of the life interests of the Presbyterian; he may remove where he likes, and take the money with him so long as he works for his Church. In the Church alone the clergyman is tied to the spot where he is placed, and you cannot remove him. Take the case of any particular man—a rector, say, of a parish, receiving £300 a year. You secure to him his salary for life, provided he remains there and performs the services; it may be, however, that he would be much more beneficially employed in the neighbouring town or parish, but he cannot go there without losing his annuity, which is taken from him the moment that he leaves. You therefore tie him down, as you tie down the curates also. What happens in their case? You give to them—I can hardly call it a life interest, but such an interest as you think they should have, and you give it to them on condition that they shall continue to serve in the same place; that is to say, you make a compulsory marriage between the rector and the curate. If the curate remove or should happen to die, the rector who was generous enough to employ him to meet the wants of the district suffers still further: he is deprived at the same time of the money and the curate. I say that is wrong—it is a wrong done both to the incumbent, to the curate, and to the Church.

Now as to capitalization. Though there has been many an invitation given to the Members of the Government, not one of them has addressed himself to that subject. Not one Member of the Government hitherto, though their attention has been specially called to it, has ventured to shape out such a capitalization of the revenues of the Irish Church under this Bill as will leave anything to that Church when the life interests are paid up; not a single fact has been laid before us which can induce us to form any such conclusions; and therefore we must assume that the Church is to go out naked into the world, with nothing but that £100,000—which you call £500,000—which my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) says the Church can really under the hard terms of your measure prove to belong to her. The churches, as shown by my right hon. and learned Friend, have had £600,000 of the private money of Church people spent upon them, in addition to what was spent out of the Church property; and as you cannot possibly separate one part of the church buildings from another, it follows that you must give over the churches to the Church Body; but here again the gift is clogged with harsh and restrictive conditions. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) also spoke—and in this, I will not doubt he meant kindly by the Church and the Irish nation—of certain national monuments, and of something which was to be provided for their maintenance. I do not know whether he meant that those monuments were to be handed over absolutely to the Church, or were to be handed over with any trust attached to them, or subject to any control or conditions of resumption. My advice to the Church would be—accept nothing unless it is given to you absolutely, without control and without power of withdrawal. This was what the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bright) said last year. He then told the House that what was given to the Church should be given in such a war that no vestige of control should be left to the State; no condition, no continuing trust—nothing that could be construed in any shape into a national endowment. Therefore, if you leave any fund to them, do it in such a shape that the Church may understand that the present Parliament mean to give it absolutely and for ever. I recommend the Church, if disestablished, to have nothing whatever to do with "national" property, because, as the nation has shown such an aptitude for taking what does not belong to it, it would be certain to finish by taking that property also which it would say did. I was much amused by seeing in one of the Irish newspapers that a parish priest, of considerable influence in his, neighbourhood, speaks in such a manner I so as to show how little you will gain by this measure, and how subjects are being reserved for future agitation. I have shown how two Bishops are reserving such subjects, and I will now show you how a parish priest is attempting to follow in their steps. In a letter written by the Rev. F. O'Reilly, he says— A Protestant church indeed a national monument! There is an old tree near this town, upon which it is said the Croppies used to be hanged long ago, and not so long ago either. It might as well be allowed to stand on the ground of its being a national monument. Believe me, that any remnant of the accursed Establishment in the hands of Protestants will never be looked on as a monument of anything but ascendancy, oppression, and injustice. Such are the hopes held out to the House by the parish priests, or, at all events, by this individual parish priest, of Ireland of what we are to expect when this Bill is passed. This priest tells the Protestant Church that "as soon as you have got possession of these churches I will endeavour to deprive you of them, because I regard it as a mockery to place any national monuments in the hands of the Protestant Church." Then as to glebes, we have heard from the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister that they may be purchased by the incumbents at their full value. Last Session the right hon. Gentleman said that the residences of the clergy, being inseparable from the churches, ought to be given upon the same conditions as the churches themselves. The right hon. Gentleman no doubt mean at that time to act graciously and generously towards the Irish clergy; but is it acting graciously and generously towards them to say that they may purchase the glebes at what is actually more than their full value? Look how you have dealt with Maynooth. This House some time since refused to pay the money for the repairs of Maynooth, the cost of which at the time was said to amount to £1,260 annually. The result has been that the College has got into debt to the amount of £20,000, and you are now going to pay that debt out of the funds of the Irish Church. I may say, without disrespect to the College, that this was a debt contracted in their own wrong, and contrary to the voice of Parliament, which said that it would not sanction such an obligation. You now intend to pay off this debt while making the Church buy up her own glebes, upon which the clergy have expended so much of their own money, at a cost of £232,000, or to pay for the sites upon which they stand. And this you call even-handed justice?

Now, Sir, the scheme for the purchase of the tithe rent-charge, I confess, is a puzzle that gives me a great deal of difficulty to comprehend. I do not affect to be a great financier; but, as I understand the scheme, a man is to obtain possession of £100 a year for ever by the payment of £100 a year for forty-five years. I do not wish to speak disrespectfully; but not being a great financier, it appears to me that by a sort of hocus pocus management, by entering something into a book, a man obtains a loan which he never gets, and pays interest which he never pays, and so he obtains at the end of forty-five years, £100 a year in perpetuity, without actually paying anything for it. Out of the £100 a year which he pays at present, £1 a year is to be sunk for forty-five years, at the end of which time the person who pays the money is to be relieved from further liability. Suppose you were to deal with a tenant in the same way, would it not be an ingenious method of enabling a tenant to purchase up his landlord's property? Now, suppose a tenant paid £100 a year rack-rent—and that you said, "You can pay the rent for forty-five years, your landlord making a sinking fund of it, and at the end of that time the land will be yours." I think that might be done by some of the gentlemen skilled in financial puzzles, and no doubt tenants anxious for fixity of tenure will remember this boon to the landlords. It appears to me that you are dealing unjustly in taking away from the Church what was intended for the service of God, and thus giving it to man for his own purposes. There is a question respecting rates now deducted from the tithe rent-charge which requires explanation; but it is a matter which, perhaps, it would not be worth while to go into now, and therefore I come to Maynooth. Now, with respect to Maynooth, I say that, leaving aside any prejudice with respect to its being a Roman Catholic establishment, or to its having been founded for purposes connected with religion, I cannot but express my opinion that you propose to treat Maynooth in a very different way from that in which you are about to treat the Established Church. There are in the College of Maynooth certain officers or professors who receive £6,000 a year. They may have a life interest; but can any one say that the students on the Dunboyne establishment, who receive £800 a year, and some hundreds of other students who are in Maynooth for only a short time have a life interest for which they ought to receive compensation? Why, it is a mockery; and, knowing it to be a mockery, something was held out in the shape of a threat to make the House consent to it. It was said in effect, "If you do not let us make this compensation to Maynooth, we must deal more harshly with Trinity College." Now, I do not want threats about the future; but I do want to know on what principle in this particular Bill life interests amounting to £6,000 a year are to be compensated for by £25,600 a year? I should like to know how that arrangement is consistent with the principle on which you propose to compensate the Church?—and I have no doubt the point is one to which the right hon. Gentleman will address himself. Then, you talk of a Church Body to take the place of the Established Church as a corporation, as if a Church Body was already an established thing in Ireland, and as if the Church there had not been maintained with the assistance of the State. You have forbidden to that Church convocations, synods, and free assemblies. Do you expect, then, that when this Bill passes, the 700,000 members of the Established Church will meet on the Curragh plains to elect representatives. They will have no power to bind a minority; they will have no power to bind the clergy. You leave them to their own devices I admit; but, giving them no power of binding any one, you call on them to be prepared as a corporation to deal with you in a few months. Why, nothing more difficult than the task you impose on them can well be imagined. I believe it is eighteen months—[Mr. BRIGHT: Yes, to the beginning of 1871.]—Very well. I believe the difficulty is one which cannot be easily surmounted; but it is one of those points which can hardly be discussed now, when we are dealing with the principle of the Bill, and I will pass on, especially as the matter was fully treated of by my hon. and learned Friend opposite.

And this brings me to the last point upon which I shall have to trouble the House. I certainly was rather amused, but not at all surprised, to find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer altogether abstained from saying a single word about the surplus. The right hon. Gentleman has lately been publishing his views upon endowments, and I cannot quite understand how it is that the right hon. Gentleman, who is gifted with such a tender conscience as to those with whom he acts, should agree in the proposal to make these new endowments, when he says that endowments contain within themselves the elements of failure and must bring down upon whatever is connected with them nothing but distress and confusion. We have heard the opinion of the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. G. H. Moore), who can see nothing but probable waste and jobbery in what is now proposed. If these asylums are placed under local management, who does not know, when the money is found by others than those who are interested in these asylums, what sort of management that will be? I do not dwell upon the argument put forward by my noble Friend the Member for Middlesex (Lord George Hamilton) that in a great many instances you will be giving practically very large religious endowments. Into the question whether that is right or wrong I will not enter; but if, as I believe, that be the case, it is a violation of the pledges of the Government, and, instead of leading to harmony, can be productive of nothing but ill-will. But in this surplus there is a seizure for Imperial purposes. The State has paid for a great number of years the Regium Donnum and the Maynooth Grant, and it is now proposed that these should cease, and that out of the revenues of the Irish Church £1,100,000 should be devoted to this new way of paying old debts. Now, is that payment of money for Irish purposes or for the relief of the Imperial Exchequer? It is absurd to suggest that such a payment is to be made for Irish purposes. And who is the author of this great scheme? It comes from a distinguished source. It does not belong to any Member of the Government, for it is the invention of a remarkable agitator, the great "Liberator"—it is the scheme of Mr. O'Connell, who suggested the plan in a letter which he wrote to Mr. Crawford in 1834, and which was quoted by Sir James Graham in the following year— My plan is to apply that fund in the various counties in Ireland, to relieve the occupiers of I land from grand jury cess. My plan is to defray all the expenses of dispensaries, infirmaries, hospitals, and asylums, and to multiply the number of these institutions until they become quite sufficient for the wants of the sick. That was the plan of Mr. O'Connell, and that is the plan which the Government have now adopted. The right hon. Gentleman opposite was then acting in harmony with Sir James Graham, who remarked upon it— That is to say that Church property is to be granted to the landlords of Ireland to enable them to do that which without confiscation they are bound to do by the law of humanity, if not by the law of the land—namely, to provide for the relief of their poorer brethren. I do say by the course you are adopting you are virtually putting money into the hands of the landlords in Ireland. You are professing that the landlords, particularly the absentees, are the objects of your hostility, and something must be done to bring them to a better state; in the meantime, in order to pass this Bill, you give them this alleviation of the grand jury cess, and you also dry up the fountain of charity. I say when you are urging the adoption of the voluntary system, it is an unfortunate thing that the fountain of charity should be dried up by filling its place in this manner with money never intended for such charities, which never ought to be given to them, and, still more, ought never to be given in alleviation of that which, although it may be paid in the first instance by the occupier, is a charge upon the land. You have had it argued over and over again in this House, and I do not think the head of the Government will venture to say that in the result the county cess is not charged upon the land in Ireland. If it is, you are giving £8,000,000 in alleviation of that charge; and say you that that is just, either to the Church in Ireland, the people of Ireland, or anybody that is interested in the prosperity of Ireland? I now go from the details of the Bill in order to notice a point which I cannot pass by: it is the question of the principles which are laid down in this Bill as affecting the Empire generally. We have heard to-night a definition of religious equality; we heard many definitions of it last year; and practically they come to this—that no man has a right, as far as regards any political privilege, or civil privilege, or social privilege, to have anything given him by or preserved to him by the State which his fellow has not, whatever his religion may be. Well, I say it is impossible to confine that to Ireland—it is absolutely impossible. I know we are told when we say this we are bringing down upon the Church of England the very destruction which we say we apprehend; but it is impossible to fix the blame of that upon us. You may as well say that anybody who prophesies that a storm will follow a certain state of the atmosphere is bringing it upon himself. It is a consequence which follows this cause which you have put in operation, and which follows inevitably. If principles are applied to legislation for other parts of the Empire they cannot fail to be applied here, nor are there wanting here those who have avowed they will apply them. Hon. Members for Wales are eager to apply them, plenty of hon. Members for Scotland long to apply them, and in Eng- land there are those who hate any privilege, who are anxious to see those who are above them levelled in the dust, and who would pull down the Church of England with the greatest pleasure. I could quote Members of this House and newspapers in support of that assertion. A gentleman whom I quoted before, who is against the Irish Church, who wishes it to be dealt with much, though not exactly, in the same way as the right hon. Gentleman is dealing with it—Dr. Andrews, Vice President of the College at Belfast, whom, though I do not agree with him, I admire for his vigorous, terse, and pointed writing, says— The defenders of the Irish Church may justly complain that the artifices of party have never been more freely used than on this occasion. The Church of England has been assured that, living in the affections of the English people and commanding a majority of the inhabitants, she has nothing to fear from the removal of such an excrescence as the Irish Church. No one can value more highly than the writer the services rendered by the Church of England to the highest purposes of humanity, nor is anyone less anxious to disturb so grand and noble an edifice. But the course of events is inexorable, and the equality of all men in the eye of the law, irrespective of religious belief, is manifestly incompatible with the existence of a privileged caste.…The Established Church of Scotland is in some respects scarcely more defensible than that of Ireland. When the Irish Church falls, the days of the Scottish Establishment may easily be numbered. To declare that the fall of the Irish branch will not affect the stability of the Church of England is manifestly absurd; the arguments adduced in support of this paradoxical assertion carry weight with none except those who are willing to be deceived. There are stratagems in political as in actual warfare, and to lull the defenders of an ancient stronghold into false security by pacific assurances is the usual precursor of an intended attack. The party of action finds it convenient to suspend operations in England while their new allies require aid in the campaign they have opened in Ireland. In this I heartily concur; but, Sir, the issue becomes an awfully momentous one. Its results cannot, as I have said, be confined to Ireland; and, therefore, though I feel warmly as an advocate for that part of the Established Church which is situated in Ireland, I necessarily feel far more deeply interested in that part of the United Church of England and Ireland which does so much good in my own country. If it should happen that the disestablishment and disendowment now sought for should ensue, I foresee continual contests upon the painful subject of still further disestablishment. I foresee interminable discussions upon this subject in the House of Commons, which, will give rise to irritation, exasperation, and bad feeling in the belief that we who have the privilege of an Establishment are hostile to the Dissenters, no matter that they are in no way injured by that Establishment enjoying the privileges which it has without any oppression, interference, or intolerance towards them. We are told we should trust in our cause, in the truth, and in all that we believe to be good in the Church to which we belong. Sir, I have never heard yet that you could fix the time at which a Church is to be prosperous, or at which it will arrive at the establishment of those truths it may profess. There may be many difficulties and trials through which it has to go, and although it is true, as my hon. and learned Friend has said—"Truth will prevail in the end," yet we inquire when is the end? If we wait for this end, sure of its coming, it is not the less our duty to use those human aids and means by the withdrawal of which you may be in the mean time impeding the usefulness of our Church, and be detracting from its ability to do its work upon earth. You are even now inviting it to controversy about its temporalities instead of assisting it as you could. Many of you differ from the principle of its constitution; can you not differ without interfering with its operations, and leave it to its noble work, in which it was never more earnestly engaged than at present, the work of evangelizing the great masses of the people, too poor to build churches for themselves, too poor to be reached by your voluntary system, because they have not means to pay for pastors to live among them? Well, you have been decrying the Church in Ireland on the ground of inefficiency, and some have been speaking of the efficiency of the Church of Rome in Ireland. I will not speak of it as the Church of Rome. It is a Church, whatever may be its creed, acting with vast influence in Ireland. We were told by the Attorney General for Ireland that in the South of Ireland he could show us examples of devotion on the part of both priests and people such as we had never seen elsewhere. I believe him, indeed I have seen what he has described myself. The signs of devotion are unmistakable; crowds assemble round the chapels, great numbers are hardly ever absent from them; the priests are among them, and have enormous influence over them; but has this influence, I am bound to ask, been exercised in the way in which it should be exercised? What means this general sympathy with crime, and the abettors of treason? In a case we heard of with sorrow in former days—the case, I think, of an attack upon the Rev. Marcus Beresford, who was fired at in his gig; having been missed the clergyman pursued the would-be assassins, but they threw off their coats in their flight, and were received by a crowd of worshippers coming from the Roman Catholic chapel, who all pulled off their coats in order that the guilty should not be discovered. Sir, though that may not be done now, yet what has been done? Does anyone believe that the perpetrators of the murders which have recently been committed in Tipperary are not known widely among the population? I speak it with sorrow, and in no degree in anger, but I lament with the deepest sorrow that the influence of the priests should be so little with these men—who come to their devotions, who kneel to them at confession, who are under their influence so much in other matters, that they should either sympathize with crime or conceal it—some of them having been witnesses of it and not revealing it, as they ought to do. I do not say this without warrant. I quote the words of a Roman Catholic Judge, Baron Deasy, pronounced in Tipperary not a month ago, in 1869, this year. He mentions several murders undetected and unpunished— So far as I can form any opinion, this failure of justice seems to arise from one of three causes—sympathy with the offender, sympathy with the crime, or terrorism which closes the mouths of witnesses. The present state of this riding presents a sad contrast to its condition on my former visit to it. Then tranquillity appeared to exist, but now it appears that beneath the surface there lies a spirit of lawlessness and turbulence which has developed into open crime. I cannot tell to what we have to attribute this turbulence (not distress or pressure—harvest abundant). There are no wrongs unredressed. Well, the cause of these crimes is not found in the Established Church—that Church which you are about to take away in order to restore tranquillity. They arise from something deeper and more lasting. They are found in that which began, not since the Protestant Church was established, but since the Celt and the Saxon race came into collision in Ireland, perhaps, long before. When the Church within the Pale was Roman as well as the Church without the Pale, I believe there was the same animosity, the same hostile feeling, between the two parties as exist at the present moment. Now, do you think by what you are proposing to do that you will get rid of that state of things which has been described by Baron Deasy in Tipperary, which has been confirmed by what has occurred at the election of Drogheda, as noticed by Mr. Justice Keogh, and in Galway, though not to the same extent? Do you think that what you propose will serve the interests of religion? I do not want to decry the Bishops and priests of Ireland, but I ask you does it subserve the true interests of religion in Ireland that from the altars, in the middle of what they consider the most solemn sacrifice of the Mass, election addresses should, by order of the Bishop, be delivered to the multitude? Can these things be done without giving a stimulus to discontent in the minds of the people, especially when accompanied by language alike strong with respect to the Church and to the land, such as misleads the people into the belief that they have grievances unredressed, though the Judge, in his solemn and impartial position, says there are no wrongs unredressed? Are you going to conciliate Ireland by giving a triumph to one party and by exasperating the other? Is it in this way you expect to secure "undivided loyalty and allegiance?" Is it in this way you think to bring Ireland to a peaceful condition? You say that because the endowments of the Church in Ireland have been for centuries alienated from the Roman Catholics they have never forgotten the wrong, that it rankles in their breasts, and prevents peace and tranquillity from prevailing in Ireland, and yet in the same breath you propose to those who have had these endowments for 300 years, who believe that they have a right to them, that they have been guaranteed to them by treaties—sanctioned by Acts of Parliament—sanctioned also by the language of the first Statesmen of this country, by those who have filled the highest offices—sanctioned also after the Emancipation Bill by the oaths of prelates, by the declarations of canonists, by the oaths of Members of Parliament—now, I admit, abolished—in trust that they would feel something of what they had professed on former occasions—you propose to sweep all these things aside and to make naked and desolate the Church which you have placed in that position. I look in vain in the speeches made at those meetings where the wrongs of Ireland are dilated upon for a statement of those wrongs. I find only a funereal wail over the departed greatness of Ireland, a greatness which never existed, and over the glories of Ireland in the Dark Ages, which glories were never seen. That sunburst, if it is meant to represent the glories of Ireland in former days ought rather to be the burst of a shell, which was scattering devastation and ruin in every direction, for that was the state of Ireland at that time. Then they go back to the Penal Laws, but those wrongs have been redressed. What, in point of fact, is it that those speeches complain of? The complaint, and it is made in every speech, is that which was whispered to us tonight by the hon. Member for Tralee (The O'Donoghue)—it is of Imperial legislation, and what they want is that Ireland shall be free from what they term the domination of England. If you ask what their needs are, that is a very different thing from their grievances. Their needs are absolutely little. What have we in England? We have absolute freedom of speech. Well, they have it in Ireland; yes, and with a license such as is not exhibited in this country. Is there any honest act which cannot be performed in Ireland as freely as in England? Is the Press free? If not, I do not know what licentiousness means. Trade and commerce are as free as in England. In times past there were wrongs connected with trade and commerce; but there is now absolute freedom. Manufactures flourish now in places where they did not flourish before. Look at the commercial activity of the North of Ireland, and I do not see why Cork and Limerick, and other cities in the South, if the people were only quiet and peaceable, should not present the same gratifying spectacle as Belfast and the towns in the North: manufactures, industry, everything is free. Is agriculture improved? We know that it is. All the Returns on the table show that it is. What does that indicate? That habits are improving. Peace, tranquillity, freedom from agitation, good habits of in- dustry for a few years—these things would do far more good than this insane and revolutionary measure. I say also that there is absolute religious freedom. You say there is not absolute religious equality. I grant it you. Any man who holds that there ought to be an established religion connected with the State must admit that it is in a different position from creeds that are not established. But in what way does that interfere with your religious freedom? Or how, again, does it interfere with your social equality? The Roman Catholic gentry in Ireland mingle on equal terms with the Protestant gentry of that country; although unfortunately in some instances, where the squires have been living on familiar terms with the Roman Catholic priests in their parishes, there has intervened a shadow from without, not Protestant but priestly, or from episcopal or some higher quarter; and the parish priest who would gladly hold familiar intercourse with his Protestant neighbour, has bowed and passed him coldly by, regretting that he has had orders not to continue on such friendly relationships. I say, Sir, that the danger which you are incurring is the danger of yielding to sedition and clamour. That is the danger. It is misleading to the people of Ireland. You are raising hopes which you can never satisfy. Well, the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Bright) said he trusted the time would come when I should recant the opinion I expressed and see things in a brighter light.

Sir, if I believed that the measure on which we are engaged or that the measures which the right hon. Gentleman recommends us to follow it with, would bring peace to Ireland, that they would unite sections so long divided, that they would enable religion to be inculcated without at the same time inculcating violence and acrimony—if all these things could be done, I should indeed begin to distrust the opinions which I have expressed. As the prophet who said—"If thou return at all in peace" admitted that in that event no prophetic voice was uttered by him, so I say that if peace ensues—although I do not think there is any chance of its ensuing in my time—but if peace should ensue from these measures, then I shall be wrong in the opinion I have expressed, and I shall also have wronged those who have been instrumental in promoting them. I have not endeavoured to quote passages to show that any one differs now from the sentiments which he may have formerly uttered. I will try to believe, I wish to believe, that those who have engaged in a work so great, so awful as this must have measured the task before they undertook it, and cannot have undertaken it in any party or any mere captious spirit. I trust they are doing it from a higher and nobler motive. I will believe that is the case. I trust they will also give us credit—although we may not be among those whom they speak of as thoughtful and philosophical—for real, and sincere, and genuine feelings on behalf of the institutions which we seek to defend. Sir, if that peace should occur in my time, following and consequent upon this measure, I trust I should have the candour to say that I believed it. I do not expect that I shall be called upon to do so; but when I find that by this Bill the principle of Establishments is destroyed—when I find endowments, which I believe are sacred to the service of Almighty God, given to purposes for which they were never intended, and taken away from those who have done no wrong and who have left nothing undone that justifies the perpetration of such an act—when I find, as I believe, that division and strife are imminent, that you will exasperate those from whom you take them, and that those who are exulting in the deprivation of others will themselves not be satisfied with what you do for them—when I see good reason to fear that oppression and isolation await many of my poor Church brethren in Ireland—when (as I know has happened in districts in Canada) Protestants are likely to be obliged to retire from amid the dense Roman Catholic population around them, or when left, without clergy to look, after them, be absorbed in the Roman Catholic body—when, as I believe also, distrust in English legislation will be created in the minds of all, and especially in the minds of the possessors of property in Ireland, and that, at the same time, a hope for things which English legislation never can do will be excited in the breasts of others—then, I say to myself, that I accept the responsibility which the right hon. Gentleman has imposed upon us all in the opening of his speech on the 1st of March; and, believing as I do, that, to the best of my judgment and to the best of the light of my conscience, that this Bill is alike wrong in the sight of God and against the interests of my country, I do not hesitate to denounce and oppose this sacrilegious measure.


Mr. Speaker, I think, Sir, that both sides of the House must be agreed at least in this—that the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has drawn a picture of the state of Ireland which is equally remarkable; and deplorable. The right hon. Gentleman's picture consists of two parts. On the one side he looks at the system of law, government, and institutions in Ireland, and there all is well. On the other hand, he looks at the people of Ireland—at the religion of the people of Ireland, at the relations between the people of Ireland and the ministers of their religion, and there, unfortunately, all is ill. Mr. Burke said in one of his memorable compositions that he did not; know how to bring an indictment against a nation. For bringing an indictment against a nation commend me to the right hon. Gentleman. Irish grievances—where are they? The right hon. Gentleman says he looks in vain for the grievances of Ireland. On the state of land tenure the right hon. Gentleman has nothing to say, except to indulge in criticisms on the language of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. With regard to the Established Church of Ireland, though theoretically it may involve some departure from religious equality, has he not proved to us that it is a great blessing to that country? Has he not told us, grossly, as I think, though no doubt unintentionally, misinterpreting the terms used by a Judge, that in Ireland there are no wrongs unredressed? And yet what does he complain of? Of the wholesale sympathy on the part of the great part of the population with Fenian agitators and criminals. Of sympathy, not only with political, but with private crime; and in the relations between the people and their clergy the right hon. Gentleman can see nothing but influence misused. This is the state of things which he depicts as existing in Ireland; and I ask him, where are his remedies? The picture which he presents to us is, so far as the Irish people are concerned, nothing but a picture of black despair. He speaks of promoting the repeal of the Union, and because some clergyman in Ireland, dignified, it appears, by the title of archdeacon, has lately become a Repealer, the right hon. Gentleman, searching for the cause of this strange opinion, thinks it can be found nowhere except in a line and a half of a speech delivered by myself some thirty-three years ago. There are, however, I would remind him, other modes of promoting a repeal of the Union, and of these no mode is so cogent in its effect in tending to bring about what I, for one, must regard as so deplorable a result, as that which is made use of by an English Statesman who gives us such highly-coloured statements with respect to the condition of the Irish people, as to the origin of which he has, it seems to me, furnished us with a most inaccurate account. By leaving on record his charges against the Irish people with his vindication of the Government and laws of this country, he does, I cannot help feeling, all that in him lies to drive that people to despair. The right hon. Gentleman reminds us that the Fenians have not asked for the abolition of the Church in Ireland. No, that is very true; so far as that goes, the Fenians and the right hon. Gentleman are exactly in the same position. ["Oh!"] In precisely the same position, I was about to say, with respect to that demand. I hope I was not understood as imputing it to the right hon. Gentleman for a moment that he does not support the Irish Church Establishment from the most honourable and conscientious, though I think, mistaken motives. The Fenians, differing from him entirely in their views with respect to that Church, are the very last persons to demand its abolition, because it serves their purpose that it should remain as it now stands. Whatever serves to estrange the minds of the Irish population from Imperial rule, British sympathies, and from their Protestant fellow-countrymen on both sides of the water, is of all things the most precious part of the Fenian stock-in-trade, and it would ill suit their purpose indeed to ask to have the Church in Ireland abolished. The right hon. Gentleman at the commencement of his speech vindicated, as I thought, with perfect propriety, his right to overlook, that is to go back beyond, the occurrences of the last twelve or fifteen months, to argue this question as if it were a new question, as if there had been no vote of the last Parliament, as if there had been no declaration of the national conviction at the election, as if there had been no resignation of the late Government, no abandonment of Office by the right hon. Gentleman himself without soliciting the judgment of the House of Commons, because the opinions and principles on which he sought to govern Ireland, and which he has set forth with great force to-night, were opinions and principles which he knew could not be accepted by the country. I might, indeed, say, as far as the right hon. Gentleman is concerned, it appears, after all, that the appeal made the other night by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade was utterly vain—for, with respect to the right hon. Gentleman, there is no Irish crisis and there is no Irish question. All he says we want is a few years of peaceful industry, as though peaceful industry can be adopted at a moment's notice by a whole people; or else, if not so adopted, the entire responsibility of the want of it, and of the evils that may ensue, rests with that people itself, and in no respect with those under whose tutelage, under whose care, and under whose Government that people has been for the last 600 years. Upon this point the right hon. Gentleman has materially retrograded. For him there is no Irish question now, but surely there was an Irish question last year when he was a Member of a Cabinet sitting upon this Bench, and heard in silence the speech of Lord Mayo, also a Member of that Cabinet, in which Lord Mayo asserted the gravity of this Irish question, and did not tell us that we were to bring home to the door of the Irish peasant, and there leave, the whole charge of the evils and mischief with which Ireland teems. Surely there was an Irish question when the right hon. Gentleman heard Lord Mayo tell us that he thought the state of the land question so grave that he should introduce a Bill on the following Monday—though unfortunately we never saw the Bill—giving to Irish tenants compensation for their improvements; and when, with respect to education, he told us that the time was come when it would be well to found a Roman Catholic University, supported from the Consolidated Fund; and when, thirdly, with respect to the Church question, so far from seeing that happy, beneficent state of things which the right hon. Gentleman delights to contemplate, he said that there were serious evils, that the absence of religious equality was a grievance, and that there would be no objection to remove that grievance and that religious inequality, provided it were done by the endowment of new Churches and not by the disendowment of old ones. I am sorry to remind the right hon. Gentleman in this somewhat pointed manner of the difference of his conduct now, when he is loosened from the trammels of Office, and enjoys the freedom of Opposition. The right hon. Gentleman, having recovered his freedom, makes a very liberal use of it, for he seems to think that he has nothing to do but to state that if there have been any evils connected with the people of Ireland they have been removed long ago, and that it is invidious to lead us to believe that any of the evils remain, and further that if, in fact, there are any evils remaining, no part of the responsibility rests with us, and that the whole responsibility is upon the shoulders of the people of Ireland and of her clergy. Our situation, certainly, is broadly different from that of the right hon. Gentleman. He draws this hopeless picture, and for it he does not offer even the shadow of a remedy; but he hinted that he had a right to assume that some measure would pass to put the Church Establishment in Ireland in a satisfactory condition. If I may say so without offence, I think that this is a most audacious assumption to be made by a public man. Not to cite any measure, carefully to avoid identifying himself with its provisions, in no way explaining the propositions which he would have brought forward, making himself responsible for nothing, not having said so much as this—that evils of any kind would have been redressed by it, the right hon. Gentleman thinks that he is entitled to assume that a measure has been imagined and invented, and which, if he has imagined and invented it, he takes care not to describe, and that having been so imagined and invented would have been passed into a law, and that it would have had an operation which would be for the purposes of his argument and for those purposes alone. I think that I am justified in saying that the right hon. Gentleman offers us nothing. He has presented to us a sad and griev- ous picture; but I think it is so unjust to the people of Ireland as to amount to a libel on their character. He has nothing to suggest or promise by way of producing a better state of things beyond that salutary precept that he inculcates that habits of industry, and a uniform regard for the laws should be adopted by the people. Our position is very different. We do not see in the state of Ireland anything but the aggravated result of the inveterate mischiefs which raged with fury in these islands until within the last generation, and which, though abated in many and important respects, have left behind so much of painful and angry recollections, and so much also of actual difficulty and suffering and grievance—while as yet no sufficient attempt has been made to apply a remedy, that we have had reason to regard the condition of Ireland as a problem beyond our powers to solve. We have, of course, as the people of Ireland have, to lament, and as everyone has to lament in himself the corruptions, the impurities, and the weaknesses of human nature; but those imperfections have been found in equal proportion in their rulers, and it is an axiom in politics that where these inveterate mischiefs prevail, and have prevailed for centuries, the final judgment of posterity, and the sentence of just men will be that the chief responsibility lies where the chief power has been—with the rulers of the country, and with the classes possessing property in it. We, therefore, Sir attempt to propose a remedy, and that remedy the right hon. Gentleman knows must be proposed piecemeal. We cannot lay upon the table at one and the same moment all the measures for which the state of Ireland appears to us to call. We come forward, therefore, with a Bill for the purpose of disestablishing and disendowing the now Established Church of Ireland. Of course, it was to be expected that the right hon. Gentleman would be merciless and unsparing in his criticisms on the details of the Bill. I am sorry it has not been better understood. He complains, for example—and that was the main head of his complaint—that the annuities we offered to incumbents are accompanied with conditions of service. Has he inquired of his friends in the Irish Church how they would have liked that those annuities should be absolutely given? No, Sir, he has not; at least, I will venture to say he knows not the sentiment in the Irish Church on the subject. But it has been our duty to make inquiry into the matter, and the truth is that, consistently with the very sentiments expressed by the right hon. Gentleman near me, and which he thinks we have abjured, we do attach conditions of service to the annuities of incumbents for the sake of their congregations—["Oh, oh!"]—yes, for the sake of their congregations, who, we thought, had a right to retain the benefit of their labours, and for the sake of the religious body with which they are connected, and we think that if we had proposed these annuities without conditions, and knowing that to be the general opinion, we should have done much to disorganize and possibly to destroy. But if the right hon. Gentleman opposite wishes to bring this particular matter to a test, let him give notice of a Motion in Committee to substitute for the proposition we make an unconditional, instead of a conditional, annuity, and I venture to say he will find himself mistaken as to the result.


You did not let the incumbent take other preferment.


I say he can take other preferment in concert with the authorities of his Church. Without any interference from us to settle with the authorities of his Church the terms of his commutation, he may retain his right under it to the end, and take any preferment he likes. I therefore challenge the right hon. Gentleman to give notice of the Amendment at which he has glanced, when we shall see what left-handed service he has been endeavouring to give to his friends in the Irish Church, in whom he, no doubt, takes a great interest. The House may be assured that I will not follow the right hon. Gentleman in detail over the extensive ground he has traversed in his able speech. I think that, so far as criticisms on the details are concerned, there are none of them on which we are to give our opinion to-night can possibly depend, and therefore it is better to let them pass by in the fewest words. I will only say that I think when we come into Committee it will not be found practicable to induce the House to see, as he sees, that in the £350,000 or £400,000 —it is somewhere between the two—which the 4,500,000 of Roman Catholics in Ireland may get out of this arrangement, there is any monstrous or undue favouritism, while the £6,500,000, besides the churches and glebe houses, may go to the ministers or servants of the Church, or the body representing it. There is nothing to be read but the evidence of our harshness and injustice. With regard to the disputed question of the date of the private endowments, of 1660, I know very well that this is a matter on which much may be said pro and con. But I own to my belief that if the opponents of this Bill succeed in shaking the conviction I entertain with regard to the propriety of the choice of that epoch, I, for one, am more likely to be shaken in the sense of doubting whether we ought to go so far back than in the sense of raising the question of being driven back farther. I may claim to know something of the matter when I am stating what are likely to be the processes of my own mind. I am not so audacious as to assume that the processes of the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite may sympathize with my own. Several Gentlemen said that it would be extremely unjust to charge the Maynooth compensation and the Regium Donum upon the Church Fund of Ireland rather than upon the Consolidated Fund of this country. It has also been said that the proceeding we have adopted is not in conformity with the pledges we have given, and some have said, I think, with the Preamble of the Bill. At the proper time we shall be able to show that this proceeding is in strict conformity with all the words that we have spoken, and with the Preamble of the Bill. Neither of these things, perhaps, much affects the merits of the question; but upon the merits we shall state to the House at the proper time the reasons—and I think they are sufficient and conclusive reasons—which have led us to propose that these compensations should be paid out of the Church Fund of Ireland. Without in any manner raising a prejudice to the question which the Irish Members may think fit to found on the subject of a claim on the Consolidated Fund, or any other claim of a financial kind on behalf of that country, that is not one of the corner stones of the Bill. I do think that justice requires us to hold firmly—subject always to considerations of mere detail—by the moderate compensation we propose for Roman Catholics and Presbyterians; but as regards the question of the source from which those compensations are to be derived, there is no such foregone conclusion, I presume to say, in the minds of the Government as to prevent the fairest and freest discussion of the question.

So much for the criticism upon our plan in its details. What is far more important is to consider what are the plans or methods, if any, that have been placed in competition with the plan of the Government as the best method of dealing with the great ecclesiastical difficulty of Ireland. And I have shown that the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has no method whatever. Nor can I fail to remark one most extraordinary circumstance. It will be remembered that upon every occasion, during the debates of last year, our conduct in proposing Resolutions and legislation with respect to the Irish Church, was denounced by Gentlemen opposite, not only as unwise, but as eminently factious. And what was the reason adduced in proof that our conduct was thus factious? It was this—that the question of the Irish Church had been referred to a Royal Commission, that the Commission was to produce a plan for its settlement, and we, without waiting for their plan, insisted upon propositions of our own. That was the proof of the factious character of our conduct. At different times during the Session—when I suppose it was thought expedient in connection with the progress of debate—hopes were held out that the Commission was very hard at work, and likely to report—I remember the Home Secretary promising—almost immediately. However, we were not drawn off from the track; and I am thankful to say we went on with our work, and performed it, as to all that depended upon us, giving thereby to the country those pledges of the reality and solidity of our intentions which enabled the country to meet us in a corresponding spirit, resulting in that manifestation of the national will of which we are to look for another sign in the division of to-night. The Report of the Commission has appeared. No doubt, every Gentleman on that side has read not only the Report, but the whole of the Schedules. They must, every one of them, be intimately acquainted with it, and yet not a man in this debate has ventured to set up as a mode of dealing with the Church question of Ireland the plan proposed by the Report of the Commission. Surely that is a fact remarkable enough in itself; but it is more remarkable still, when you consider whom you have got in the House—not the official head of the Commission, but its working mind. Great injustice is done to the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University (Dr. Ball) if he is not the father of that Report. And yet, with a total absence of parental feeling he delivers, for two hours, a speech of the utmost ability and learning in this House, going over everything, condemning on this side, approving on that, having a word to say for all things and for everybody, except for the Report of his own Commission. Really, Sir, if it were possible for an inanimate production to be conscious of that sort of compassion which we ought to bestow on the woes and miseries of a fellow-creature, I should feel it all for the Report of this Commission. Ushered into the world with promisings and trumpetings sufficient for a Royal birth—the period for the preparation of its entering into light equal to that taken by the longest-lived animals in the business of gestation—it was considered by every member of the great party then constituting the Government to be certain to contain in itself the means of solving this most difficult problem; then to issue forth, and to be brought into the light, to be treated worse than the child of a beggar woman, for even such a child would be looked after by the parish—this Report seems to be put behind the fire, and the act of murder is performed by the hands of the father. The Report of the Commission, however, would not have attracted this kind of criticism for the purpose of attempting to fix anything in the nature of ridicule upon the labours of the persons who composed that Commission. They have failed, and failed egregiously, not from their own fault, but because they undertook a hopeless problem. They undertook the task of reforming that which is irreformable—that which you cannot reform in one sense without worsening its case in, perhaps, twenty other senses. If they committed an error, it was in undertaking to examine the question of re-constructing an institution like the Established Church in Ireland, that has entirely outlived its day. It had outlived its day, in my opinion, when it became evident that the plans of Queen Elizabeth could not possibly be fulfilled for the conversion of the people of Ireland to the Protestant religion. They may have erred in this respect. But I refer to this Report because the plans it has proposed represent to us the utmost and the best that the ablest man can do, fortified with Government authority, having the advantage of a lengthened period of time for consideration, and of unbroken consultation; and when such a Report as this proceeds from such men as these, and is so treated by its parents, I say we are justified, if ever there was a negative demonstration in the world, in saying that the time has come when every man standing on this floor is entitled and bound to say that what is called the reform of the Church of Ireland, by cutting and clipping and paring, by talking away a little here, and putting in a little there, and shifting money from one part of the country to another, has become utterly hopeless, and ought to be discarded from the category of those objects which are to be taken into the view of practical politicians. The right hon. and learned Gentleman, I must say, I think, treated the Report more favourably than the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, for he did point out methods of proceeding in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman disclaimed any intention of offering any disrespect to the Roman Catholics in Ireland. I accept that disclaimer in good part—it was most sincerely offered, and not only offered, but proved; because the right hon. Gentleman instead of that niggardly line of comment, so to call it, which has been adopted by the right hon. Gentleman the late Home Secretary, who thinks he can possibly scrape two or three years from the Maynooth compensation, commented not only in a different but in a contradictory sense, and said that the proposal in respect of Maynooth was insufficient and ungenerous. The right hon. Gentleman announced pretty distinctly a mode of dealing with the Church question in Ireland. I think that he was in some degree, in this matter, a disciple of the school of reticence, but he certainly went beyond the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire last year did not express his opinions at the time when we heard that speech from Lord Mayo; but he has been extremely cautious and cir- cumspect with regard to the repetition of those opinions ever since. Sir, when we cannot live on the food placed upon the table we must live on the crumbs that fall from it. In dealing with the real substantial and responsible scheme of the Government for dealing with the Irish Church, it is a matter of great importance to know whether any hon. Gentlemen, and especially hon. Gentlemen opposite, have on any occasion brought any scheme into competition with it. The hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore), speaking his mind like a man, said that he tended towards an endowment of the three Churches—a general endowment; and my hon. Friend the Member for Galway (Mr. Gregory), with that frankness and courage which he always displays, avowed that this plan of general endowment was the plan and the policy which he would prefer, though I think he added that it was now too late to propose it. There can, therefore, be no room for hesitation or doubt as to the policy of those two hon. Gentlemen, though both I think accompanied their opinions with the expression of a fear that the time for its establishment had gone by. But when I come to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, I found much greater difficulty in understanding what he means; because he said that one of the great causes—indeed, it was the only cause he mentioned—of the discontent and disorder in Ireland was the complaint that she had one unendowed Church and clergy. He went on to say that, if this, Bill passed instead of having one unendowed Church and clergy we should have three, and he suggested that this, instead of being a remedy for a mischief, would be a means of aggravating it. I am therefore driven to the conclusion that either the right hon. Gentleman, like his Colleague who sits near him (Mr. Gathorne Hardy), has no plan for dealing with the Church of Ireland or that, if he has a plan, it is the same one as was announced by his Government from these Benches twelve months ago—the plan vulgarly called "levelling up"—leaving the Established Church her endowments, raising the endowments of the Presbyterians to a worthier standard, and combining that with a liberal endowment for the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. This, at all events, I am safe in saying is the only plan indicated from the other side. I have heard very nearly the whole of this debate, and if any hon. Gentleman has intimated a latent kindness for the Report of the Commission, and I have done him a wrong in supposing that no one has given such an intimation, I hope he will forgive me; but, as far as I am aware, the plan of endowing the three Churches, which must, of course, be accompanied by some scheme of endowment for the Methodists and other sects, is the only one—I will not say laid down—but glanced at or insinuated as a rival to the plan of the Government. What are we to say to that plan? It is to be disposed of very briefly. A phrase has come into use among some of the Irish clergy. Some of them say—"We are prepared to accept the inevitable," but I have not-heard that any of them have said—"We are prepared to accept the impossible." If this plan of the three Churches was really entertained by the right hon. Gentleman, why was it not announced at the hustings—at those hustings where every effort was made to represent us as being in secret league with the Pope of Rome, and when the honour and credit of Protestantism were in nearly every case—to his honour, I except the name of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Lancashire (Colonel Wilson-Patten)—sought to be monopolized by the party opposite? Why was not this plan, which is the only one about which they have ventured to hint as a remedy for the Church difficulties of Ireland, proposed, or at least mentioned, at the hustings? The voices were very inarticulate voices, and it is either the plan of the party opposite—in which case, as it is an impossible plan, it is needless to discuss it—or they have no plan at all. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Richmond (Sir Roundell Palmer) came to the rescue, and he certainly proposed a plan, and this plan, the product of a mind as ingenuous as it is powerful and accomplished, was received as a kind of godsend by a large number of hon. Gentlemen opposite. As every suggestion made by my hon. and learned Friend is entitled to respectful consideration, I shall not apologize for adverting to the character of that plan even at this late hour. The opinions of my hon. and learned Friend were the more important, because his doctrine of property has been much accepted by authorities and speakers on the other side of the House, and because of the general cheer- ing with which his declaration was greeted. I understand the fundamental doctrine of my hon. and learned Friend to be that property given for the purposes and use of a portion of the community ought not to be withdrawn from that portion of the community except in certain definite cases. One of those cases I understood to be where the property was excessive in amount, in which case, according to my hon. and learned Friend, it might be reduced. Another definite case was when the purpose to which the property was addressed was either absurd or bad in itself. And my hon. and learned Friend, I think, finally glanced at a third cause which would justify the interposition of the Legislature—such misconduct in the administration of the funds as would be sufficient to warrant a forfeiture. Though I think that enumeration very well as far as it goes, I must claim on the part of the Legislature a larger and more extended right, and acknowledge myself bound by a much more comprehensive duty. It seems to me that when property has been given for a purpose that is not attained, and that cannot be attained, it is then the duty of the Legislature to see that that property is no longer wasted. I am putting the matter low, because, instead of being no longer wasted, if I were to state the full justification of our measure it would be rather this—where, even without the fault of the parties immediately concerned, the actual use and administration of a property, being totally different from that for which it is given, is likewise attended with the gravest political and social mischiefs, then the obligation of the Legislature to interfere is imperative. So far I listened with satisfaction to the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman, for he rose above the purely legal doctrine of trust, and claimed that there was a trust for the whole community of the Church. I agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman in his extension of the doctrine; but I ask him to go with me to extend it still further, and to say there is a trust—whether in the legal sense I know not—but in the political, the social, the moral sense there is a trust impressed upon this property, from first to last, for the benefit of the nation. It was for the nation that the property was given. It is true it was given to corporations. Yes; but why? Not that they might enjoy it as private property, but that they might hold it on condition of duty. They were, as the hon. and learned Gentleman truly says, only convenient symbols—convenient media for its conveyance from generation to generation. The real meaning, scope, and object was that through them it should be applied for all time to the benefit of the entire population of the kingdom, and this was a natural and intelligent arrangement when the entire nation was of one faith. In proportion as Dissent and difference of opinion creep into the country, the foundation of the religious Establishment so endowed comes to be by degrees more or less weakened and impaired, partly in proportion as the number of Dissenters is strong, partly in proportion as they are disposed or not disposed to acquiesce in the continuance of the Establishment. But when we come to a case like that of Ireland; when that which was given for the whole people has come to be appropriated for the enjoyment of a mere handful of the people; and when at the same time the property so enjoyed, while it remains in the hands of those who now hold it, is associated with the recollection of all the grievances and bitter misfortunes that have afflicted that country, so that the chain of the ecclesiastical and civil history of Ireland consists in fact of two strands, one of which cannot possibly be unwound and separated from the other, I must decline to go into any court of justice, created for the purpose of administering the laws, in order to ascertain the rules by which they are bound. We are called to a function and avocation which, in my opinion, is a yet higher one; we are to look for the principles of right in a broader, and, for such a case, a truer aspect, and from that responsibility we cannot escape. We ought to be grateful to my hon. and learned Friend for the distance in respect of that portion of our journey which he is content to travel in our company, because, considering the hard words of which we are the object, I think it requires some courage on his part to acknowledge us and to recognize us in any degree. My hon. and learned Friend gives up the Establishment of the Church. I do not wonder that my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Walpole) entered a protest on this subject. In giving up the establishment of the Church my hon. and learned Friend gives up the greater part, and I think the higher part, I am bound to say the higher and the worthier part, of the whole argument. All that relates to the consecration of the State by its union with the Church—all that relates to the supremacy of the Crown—all that relates to the constitutional argument as well as to the religious argument, disappears along with disestablishment; and my hon. and learned Friend becomes open to that withering accusation which was delivered in a moment of extraordinary fervour by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire last year, when he described that awful conspiracy between Romanists and Ritualists for undermining the Throne by the denial of the Royal supremacy. But permit me to say the Royal supremacy is not denied or taken away by this Bill. The Royal supremacy has been developed in various forms at various periods of our history. It is the greatest mistake to suppose that since the Reformation the Royal supremacy has always been flowing, as it were, through the same channel. Most important and vital changes have been made with respect to the methods of its operation; but I know of no legal or authoritative definition of the Law of Supremacy, except it be that which describes it as the fundamental principle which makes the Sovereign of this country supreme over all persons and in all causes ecclesiastical as well as civil. That which is an ecclesiastical cause at one period of our history may not be an ecclesiastical cause at another period of our history; that which was an ecclesiastical cause before the Court of High Commission has no existence as such in the present generation; but as long as the Queen is supreme in every cause that can be brought into a court for the purpose whether of primary adjudication or of review, so long the Royal supremacy exists. If anyone be prepared to question that doctrine, I ask them whether the Royal supremacy exists in Scotland at this moment or not? If you hold that by this Bill the Royal supremacy is set aside, I defy you to maintain that there is a single rag or thread of Royal supremacy in Scotland. My hon. and learned Friend is prepared—I do not say that he proposes—but he is prepared to give up the estates of the sees, the property of the Commissioners, and he says he is prepared to give up certain of the parochial endowments of benefices. Of course, it would be impossible to fix any figure off-hand with precision; but I believe he confined these cases of parochial endowments to populations of 200 persons. Whether he intended to reserve out of the revenues of these benefices any portion for the supply of spiritual instruction and ordinances I do not know, and I do not think he said; but in this way my hon. and learned Friend gives up one-third of the Church property of Ireland, and he proposes to retain the rest upon a rule which is, at any rate perfectly intelligible.


intimated that he would thus dispose of about one-half of that property.


I am extremely glad to hear it is one-half instead of a third. I am delighted to hear he accompanies us only one inch further on our road. It gives me hope that possibly some day he will greatly improve his fractions. But my hon. and learned Friend would retain the endowments in those cases where there is what I may call a congregation, not as denying that twenty people, or even ten people, may be a Christian congregation; but, using the expression in the sense that he employs it when he speaks of "a substantive congregation," of which he thinks the law may take notice and cognizance. In this case my hon. and learned Friend would retain the endowments. The first question which I should like to ask my hon. and learned Friend is, whether there is upon the face of the earth, or in the history of legislation, any precedent for such a proceeding as he proposes? and the reason I put that question to him is because he put that question to us. Now, I think it is quite plain that he has no precedent for it. I would not, however, condemn it on that ground alone, because in the circumstances of Ireland, such as they are, we are dealing with a case for which, I believe, there is no precedent in the civilized world. My hon. and learned Friend certainly will not tell me that the case in which the courts of the United States adjudged to the Episcopal Church of New York the property of which, I believe, the value at the time of the adjudication was somewhere about £2,000 a year—my hon. and learned Friend, I say, will not tell me that that was a case in point; especially upon this ground, that although that was a proof of a great regard of the American Government for corporate property, it was not property which had belonged to a religious communion of the State of New York in the character of an Established Church. My hon. and learned Friend will correct me if I am wrong; but I do not think that the Anglican Church was ever an Established Church in the State of New York as it was in Virginia, and therefore it was a private society in which this endowment was continued. Well, then, let us see how this case stands in other matters. My hon. and learned Friend by giving up the Establishment gives up the argument with regard to State religion and supremacy. Now, with respect to the means of spreading the doctrines of the Reformation, how does his plan recommend itself? If we are to maintain the Established Church for the purpose of spreading the doctrines of the Reformation, we ought to maintain it all the more assiduously and zealously in those places where it is improbable that it would be able to maintain itself. Even the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Gathorne Hardy) has come down somewhat from the high ground of last year, when he spoke of its being the glory of the Church to hold out the light of the Reformation all over Ireland, and he seems now to be disposed to withdraw—[Mr. GATHORNE HARDY: No, no!]—Well, then, he does not withdraw, but wishes to keep it in every parish of the land; but my hon. and learned Friend does not propose to do so—and even if he were to have certain flying curates passing from one village to another, serving different congregations as they passed along in the course of the Sunday, my hon. and learned Friend will never tell me that this is the plan he would recommend for gaining proselytes, or the way he thinks the work of the Irish Church should be carried out.

Well, let me try the plan of my hon. and learned Friend by the rules of general prudence. When you have a fund to distribute, and have not enough for everybody, to whom are you to give it? Is it to those who want it and cannot do without it, or to those who do not want it and can supply themselves? I should certainly have thought that on those principles the proper course was the former; but my hon. and learned Friend's plan takes away funds from those scattered and poor Protestants on whose behalf appeals are constantly made to our commiseration, and gives it to those congregations which, according to every understood principle of reckoning in such matters, are capable of providing religious worship and religious instruction for themselves. Well, how does this plan stand as regards a great object which we have in view—namely, that of conciliating the Roman Catholic population of Ireland? My hon. and learned Friend must know that it is not the possession of a larger or smaller portion of these endowments as national endowments that is objected to by the Roman Catholic population. It is that they should be held by the Protestants at all, and if he ruthlessly cuts away a moiety of the endowments, but leaves the other moiety in their hands, the cause of offence remains, and all the festering recollections connected with it would still continue to afflict the mass of the Irish people. My hon. and learned Friend criticized the Bill with respect to the observance of the local principle. He quoted from a speech of mine a declaration in which I had said that in my opinion it was dangerously resembling an act of public plunder if—on the part of that handful of the Irish people who are in the possession of the ecclesiastical endowments—we were to take the tithes of a parish in Mayo or Galway to supply the wants of wealthy congregations in Dublin or Belfast; and he thought he had found—what I am quite sure he will be forward to admit when the matter is explained, he has not found—a great deviation in this Bill from that regard for the local purposes of these funds, which I had so strongly professed. If we had found it necessary to centralize those funds for a purpose of national and general benefit, it would have been a totally different matter from transferring them from the handful of Protestants in one neighbourhood for the uses of another handful in another; but we have done neither the one nor the other. I stated to the House in introducing the measure that, in our view, it was essential to the satisfactory character of any plan for disposing of the residue of the property that it should be equal in its application to the various parts of Ireland, and if my hon. and learned Friend examines the matter he will find that it is not possible to devise any scheme which shall more exactly re-distribute the benefit of these funds than the scheme we have proposed. There is not one purpose to which we propose to apply them that does not reach over the whole of Ireland; there is not one purpose that does not regard and concern wants that are rising day by day in every parish of every county, nor is there one to which we do not propose by this plan to give an easy and practicable access to institutions which will be either maintained or assisted out of these funds. I am bound to say there yet remains one more objection to the plan of my hon. and learned Friend. If he retains these endowments in the wealthier parishes of Ireland, it is quite plain to me that he cannot give to the Irish Church that which I find it determined to assert for itself—namely, an absolute legal freedom—for he proposes to maintain benefices, and he will have to maintain the incidents of benefices, to maintain that part of the legal Church system which concerns the enjoyment of property under straight, rigid, and inflexible rules. Now, such retention of rules would, I am afraid, greatly interfere with that power of elastic adaptation of arrangements to wants and necessities all over Ireland to which members of the Established Church in Ireland look with sanguine hope as a principle enabling them to cope with the difficulties of the position. I therefore, Sir, feel bound to say that, great as is the respect which we have for the authority of my hon. and learned Friend, it appears to me that we should do wrong were we to deviate from the plans we have adopted in the direction which he indicates to us.

And here let me say a word with regard to the application of the funds to lunatic asylums in answer to what fell from the noble Lord the Member for Middlesex (Lord George Hamilton)—a word which I say with great satisfaction, because it affords me an agreeable opportunity of acknowledging the remarkable ability that distinguished his first address to the House. But the noble Lord has not examined into the case of these institutions. He stated that the money of the Church would be given to sectarian lunatic asylums of which he gave three or four examples. [Lord GEORGE HAMILTON: I said it might be.] I think the noble Lord, naturally perhaps, assuming that we could not have any other but the worst and darkest intentions, went a little further and said they would be so applied. But those three instances named by the noble Lord were not instances of lunatic asylums at all, but were instances of hospitals which would not come within the provisions of the Bill. Now, instead of replying in detail on such a point, I would simply say this—that in the whole application of these residuary funds there is not involved the adoption of a single principle which is new to Parliament. If we are told that reformatories are not fit to receive any portion of these funds because reformatories are denominational, my answer is that these reformatories receive from year to year grants of the public money voted by Parliament; and if they are fit to receive money contributed by the taxpayers of the three countries they are fit to receive money proceeding from the Church funds of Ireland. With regard to lunatic asylums, those asylums are exclusively governed by persons who are appointed by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—that is to say, by officers who arc responsible to Parliament. With respect to county infirmaries, the noble Lord knows very well that although these institutions are very ill-governed at present, yet they are under government of a legal character, which must be fixed and appointed by us, and which must be under any new and amended system—if our policy is allowed to have its way—of a perfectly impartial and secular description.

Well, Sir, there is more that I should have liked to have said, were it not that the hands of the clock warn me that I ought to hasten to a close; and I will, therefore, proceed to what—to use a phrase that I am afraid has given some offence, although it was not used with the intention of giving any—I may call the "winding up" of my speech; but I applied the phrase "winding up" to these money arrangements because it is one which I thought conveniently expressed what I meant. This measure has been—and I do not much complain of it—the object undoubtedly of very hard words—sacrilege, spoliation, perfidy. All these and two more have been used; to which two I will now refer, because they were used by my right hon. Friend the Member for North Devon; (Sir Stafford Northcote) at a Conservative dinner, unless he be wronged by the reporters, on the 3rd of March, when he delivered a speech on this subject, which appears to me more highly sea- soned than the one he addressed to the House. If I might venture to express an opinion on such a matter, I would recommend that when hon. Gentlemen have strong things to say about public measures the best place is to say them in this House.


I shall be quite prepared to say it here at the proper time.


I should say the proper time was in the course of this debate. I want to refer to his remarks, because I am satisfied with and somewhat proud of them. My right hon. Friend said that when the English people understand the measure they will feel that it is unparalleled in its character, and that it combines a gigantic scheme of robbery, with a still worse system of bribery. Those words have given satisfaction to me for two reasons. In the first place, because my right hon. Friend, having used those words, cannot possibly hereafter use any others that are worse, and therefore we know that we have touched the bottom. I have another source of satisfaction. It is just the kind of delineation and picture which, when drawn by a hostile hand, shows me that we have succeeded in the framing of our measure. When my right hon. Friend says we have committed robbery, what he means is that we have been faithful to the principles of disestablishment and general disendowment which we announced last year, and which we professed to our constituents; and when he says we have committed bribery he means that, in the application of those principles, we have studied carefully and to the best of our ability to ensure that there should be every mitigation and every softening which they could receive in their practical application. Therefore I accept the involuntary but most conclusive testimony given by my right hon. Friend that the spirit in which we have proceeded, as one, among a variety of evidences afforded me by the demeanour of the House, that they think the Government has not failed in embodying in this important measure the main considerations which it was their duty to include in it.

I have nothing else to say which is essential or material. I wish to release this House; and I will therefore conclude by thanking the House for the patience with which they have listened to me at this advanced hour of the night or of the morning, whichever we may think fit to call it. As the clock points rapidly towards the dawn, so we are rapidly flowing out the years, the months, the days, that remain to the existence of the Irish Established Church. An hon. Member last night assured us, speaking, I have no doubt, his own honest conviction, that we were but at the beginning of this question. I believe that not only every man who sits on this side of the House, but every man who sits on that, carries within his breast a silent monitor, which tells him that this controversy is fast moving to a close. It is for the interest of us all that we should not keep this Establishment of religion in a prolonged agony. Nothing can come from that prolongation but an increase of pain, an increase of exasperation, and a diminution of that temper which now happily prevails—a temper which is disposed to mitigate the adjustment of this great question in its details. There may also come from that prolongation the very evil which the right hon. Gentleman opposite made it a charge against us that we were labouring to produce, but which we think likely to be rather the probable consequence of his line of argument—namely, the drawing into this Irish controversy that English question which we conceive to be wholly different. We think so, because, although in the two countries there may be and there are Establishments of religions, we never can admit that an Establishment which we think, in the main, good and efficient for its purposes, is to be regarded as being endangered by the course which we may adopt in reference to an Establishment which we look upon as being inefficient and bad. The day, therefore, it seems to me, is rapidly approaching when this controversy will come to an end, and I feel that I am not wrong in appealing to that silent witness to the justice of my anticipations which I am satisfied exists on both sides of the House. Not now are we opening this great question. Opened, perhaps, it was, when the Parliament which expired last year pronounced upon it that emphatic judgment which can never be recalled. Opened it was, further, when in the months of autumn the discussions which were held in every quarter of the country turned mainly on the subject of the Irish Church. Prosecuted another stage it was, when the completed elec- tions discovered to us a manifestation of the national verdict more emphatic than, with the rarest exceptions, has been witnessed during the whole of our Parliamentary history. The good cause was further advanced towards its triumphant issue when the silent acknowledgment of the late Government that they declined to contest the question was given by their retirement from Office, and their choosing a less responsible position from which to carry on a more desultory warfare against the policy which they had in the previous Session unsuccessfully attempted to resist. Another blow will soon be struck in the same good cause, and I will not intercept it one single moment more.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 368; Noes 250: Majority 118.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday 15th April.

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

House adjourned at Three o'clock, till Thursday, 1st April.