HC Deb 05 August 1872 vol 213 cc513-42

Resolutions [August 3] reported.

Resolutions 1 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.

Resolution 5— That a sum, not exceeding £9,450, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1873, for Grants in aid of the Expenditure of certain Learned Societies in Great Britain and Ireland, read a second time.


called the attention of the Secretary to the Treasury to the terms in which the Vote was described, terms which were calculated to create, and, in fact, had created, an erroneous impression. The Vote was described as required "to pay Grants in aid of the expenditure of certain Learned Societies;" but, in fact, out of the total amount of £12,000 only a very small proportion really fell under this head. £10,000 were spent on the Meteorological Department, conducted, it was true, through a committee appointed by the royal Society at the request of Government; but that really represented an important service rendered by the Society to the Government, and was in no sense a contribution by the Government to the funds of the Society. Another £1,000 was set down as intended "to enable the royal Society to carry on certain experiments for public objects." That also was a misdescription. The fact was, that under the old system when any person applied to Government for assistance in carrying out any inquiry of public interest, the Government were in the habit of consulting the Council of the Royal Society as to the desirability of making such a grant, and in almost all eases acted, he believed, on the advice so given. Some years ago, however, it was suggested that it would be simpler that Government should ask Parliament to vote a certain sum for scientific researches, and that the Royal Society should be requested to distribute the sums so voted. This had been done; but the experiments were not carried on by the Society, nor were the funds confined to members of the Royal Society. They were open, not only to all Englishmen, and he might add all Scotchmen and Irishmen, but also to foreigners; the one principle which guided the Committee being an anxious desire to render the fund as useful as possible for the advancement of science. Without troubling the Committee with further details, he believed he had shown that £11,000, at least out of the £12,000 were not in any way Grants in aid of Learned Societies. The scientific Societies of this country did not rest on the Government, as was the case with similar bodies on the Continent. Except that in some cases they were supplied with house-room, they provided for every penny of their expenditure by their own subscriptions. He made no complaint of this; the Societies preferred their independence, they had no wish to be subsidized by Government; but it seemed to them unfair that Parliament should be annually asked to vote a considerable sum for Learned Societies, when, as he had shown, the money was not really devoted to any such purpose. He hoped, therefore, that next year the Vote would be submitted to the House in a different form. He had mentioned that some of the Societies were provided by Government with house-room; but there were a considerable number which were not so fortunate. Nine of these had constituted a committee, with a view to the erection, if possible, of a suitable building. These were all societies of importance and standing. He need only mention the first on the list—the Statistical Society—whose journal was, no doubt, well known to many hon. Members, the value of which would be generally admitted. They applied some time ago to the Government offering to erect a building at their own expense, if Government could grant them a site on reasonable terms. His right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer received them with courtesy, and expressed his desire to meet their views, if possible; but as they had heard nothing more on the subject, they were anxious to learn whether he had been able to arrange anything in the matter. Before sitting down, he wished to say a word on the subject of the annual grant of £1,000 allotted to the prosecution of inquiries of public interest. The Royal Society had never made any application for an increase of this grant, and the Council had not requested him to do so. Speaking, however, as an individual deeply impressed with the importance of scientific progress to the welfare of the general community, more especially in a thickly-populated country like ours, where the general well-being and comfort of the people depended so much on an acquaintance with the general physical laws by which the universe was governed, he confessed that to devote £1,000 a-year to such a purpose seemed to him hardly worthy of an enlightened people, and he believed that if the Government next year were to propose an increase in this grant, it would be a most wise expenditure of public money, they would receive the support of this House, and would give general satisfaction to the country.


said, he must admit that his hon. Friend's criticism of the wording of the Vote was just, and would take care to correct it before next year. The suggestion, however, as to the propriety of giving house accommodation to the Learned Societies had taken him quite by surprise, for he had not heard of the matter before. A deputation, he believed, had waited upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer; but he could hold out no hope that the Government would entertain their request.

Resolution agreed to.

Resolutions 6 to 9, inclusive, agreed to.

Resolution 10— That a sum, not exceeding £406,081, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1873, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, read a second time.


rose to call attention to the Petition of the Reverend Mr. O'Keeffe and his treatment by the Irish Education Commissioners; and to move to reduce the Vote by £1,000. He regretted that he should have to call the attention of the House to such a matter at so late a period of the Session, for he thought that if the House had not been jaded and exhausted with the business of a long Session, a subject of so much importance would have justified much more deliberate attention being paid to it than was now likely to be the case. Six weeks ago he presented a Petition from the Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe, who had been, and claimed still to be, the parish priest of Callan, in Kilkenny. That gentleman was, he understood, a person of irreproachable private character, and of considerable literary distinction, and he complained of the treatment he had received at the hands of the National Education Commissioners for Ireland. Mr. O'Keeffe stated that he had been suspended by the Roman Catholic Bishop of his diocese; that that suspension had been confirmed by the Cardinal Legate in Ireland; and that the Education Commissioners, without hearing him or giving him an opportunity to state his ease, or express his views on the subject, dismissed Mm from the office of manager of the five parish schools which he held up to that time. Now, that was not merely a question of a squabble between a parish priest and his ecclesiastical superiors—it was no less a question than whether the civil authorities of this country were to be the instruments of a foreign ecclesiastical Power, and were to use the powers intrusted to them by the State for civil purposes, in order to enforce the arbitrary decrees of ecclesiastical rulers. Mr. O'Keeffe was suspended by Cardinal Cullen in November of last year. The decree of suspension was an elaborate document in indifferent Latin, and a copy of it was to be found in the Papers which had been laid before Parliament. In the middle of March the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ossory brought to the notice of the Commissioners of National Education the suspension of Mr. O'Keeffe, and requested that that gentleman might be pronounced incapable of discharging any functions in connection with the parish schools of Callan. He also informed the Commissioners that another gentleman, Mr. Martin, had been appointed parish priest in Mr. O'Keeffe's place. By a letter of the same date, Mr. Martin requested of the Commissioners that he might be substituted for the Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe in the management of the schools. On the 9th of April, which appeared to have been the first day of meeting after the receipt of the letters from the Bishop and Mr. Martin, the Commissioners considered the application. A proposal was made by one of the Commissioners that the proceedings should be adjourned for a fortnight, to which an amendment was moved that a copy of Mr. Martin's letter should be sent to Mr. O'Keeffe, who up to that time was manager. The amendment was lost by a majority of 1, and the original motion was carried. On the 23rd of April, accordingly, the Commissioners again met, and it was then proposed by Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, and seconded by the Lord Chancellor of Ireland— That the certificate of the Roman Catholic Coadjutor Bishop of Ossory (that the Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe had been suspended) be received and acted upon by the Board, until the suspension therein contained should have been removed or declared invalid by a competent tribunal. An amendment was moved by Mr. Justice Morris, and seconded by Mr. Waldron— That before any action should be taken on the letter of the Rev. Mr. Martin to the Board, or on the letter of Dr. Moran, Coadjutor Bishop of Ossory, to the Resident Commissioner, the Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe get the opportunity of knowing the nature of the application made, and of offering an explanation. Upon that there was a division. The amendment was put first, when there voted for it eight—namely, Mr. Justice Morris, Mr. Waldron, Chief Justice Monahan, Mr. Jellett, Mr. Morell, the Lord Primate, Judge Lawson, and Mr. Murland. Against it were—Mr. Gibson, Judge Longfield, Lord O'Hagan, Chief Baron Pigot, Mr. Lentaigne, Mr. O'Hagan, Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, Viscount Monck, and Mr. Keeman. The amendment was therefore lost by a majority of 1. The consequence was, that Mr. O'Keeffe never had communicated to him in any manner or form the intention of the Commissioners to consider his dismissal. The first intimation he received was the letter dismissing him from his functions as manager. Without going into the particulars of this case, he ventured to say decidedly that this proceeding of the National Education Commissioners, great personages as they might be, was contrary to the very first principles of elementary justice, for it was a universal rule of justice that before dealing with any person to his damnification, either in character, person, or purse, he should have an opportunity of being heard in answer to the charge made against him. That rule was universally acted upon in English Courts of Justice, and he should have supposed that persons of eminence at the Irish Bar would have thought it right to have acted upon it in dealing with Mr. O'Keeffe. He heard a story from a gentleman who was present on the occasion, that upon a similar question being raised before Lord Chief Justice Campbell—as great a lawyer as ever sat upon the Bench—he said— This is contrary to every principle of justice. Why even at the commencement of the world the Lord God said to the woman—'What is this that thou hast done?' before she was turned out of the Garden of Eden. But the Commissioners in this case took the certificate of the Bishop as absolutely conclusive evidence that the clergyman was suspended, and should, therefore, be dismissed from his functions as parish priest. But it was quite conceivable, without resorting to an extreme case, that a parish priest might be dismissed for doing what they should all consider his duty as a subject of this Realm. He could conceive, at least some time ago, a priest being called upon to announce from the altar that the Queen was not the legitimate Sovereign of these Realms, and yet it would be his duty as a loyal subject to disobey. It had been said that the Board acted in accordance with the precedents they had themselves created on similar occasions. All he could say was that if there were any such precedents they were bad precedents. But he had inquired into those precedents, and he found that none of them could be taken as an authority in point, inasmuch as in those so-called precedents there was really no one person found to question the authority or decision in his case. There was, however, another point upon which he wished to make an observation as involving a departure from the ordinary practice of this country. A great deal of the proceedings in which Mr. O'Keeffe was concerned had been in litigation in the Common Law Courts with his ecclesiastical brethren, and one of the Commissioners who voted for his suspension as manager of the schools was one of the counsel engaged against him. He did not know what was the practice in Ireland; but in this country no gentleman at the Bar who had been engaged in any case as counsel would think it right to take part for or against a litigant should he be brought before him subsequently in a matter touching such litigation. He must say, therefore, that Mr. O'Hagan, if he had been counsel against Mr. O'Keeffe, would have done better if he had taken no part when that gentleman's case was before the Commissioners. The facts of the case were these:—It appeared that Mr. O'Keeffe had got into some dispute with his Bishop, and in the course of the dispute one of his curates denounced him from the altar as a liar, as he said by order of his Bishop. Mr. O'Keeffe thereupon brought an action against the Bishop for slander; but the action failed, because it could not be proved that the Bishop had given the curate authority for what he had said. In the course of the action Mr. O'Keeffe received the two following letters from the Vicar General. The first was as follows:— St. Kyran's College, Kilkenny. Rev. Sir,—In punishment for the action-at-law taken by you against the Right Rev. E. Walsh, R. C. Bishop of Ossory, I, vested with requisite powers, do hereby suspend you from your office.—Your humble servant, E. M'DONALD, V. G. The Rev. R. O'Keeffe. Two days afterwards, he received the second, from the same person, acknowledging the receipt of a communication from him (Mr. O'Keeffe), in the following terms:— St. Kyran's College, Kilkenny, October 13,1870. Rev. Sir,—I have received and filed your communication. It is no part of my duty to argue with you. Whether you take my word for it or not, I am certain that I possess the powers necessary for dealing with your case; it is my fixed purpose to exercise them. Therefore, I repeat the sentence of your suspension.—Your obedient servant, E. M'DONALD, V. G. The Rev. R. O'Keeffe. Indeed, Mr. O'Keeffe appeared to have been suspended five times. But he was suspended by the Vicar General for having dared to bring an action at Common Law against the Bishop for slander, a thing which he had a perfect right to do as a subject of Her Majesty. Mr. O'Keeffe having been non-suited in his action against the Bishop, brought an action then against the curate. In December, 1870, this action against the curate was tried, and in the course of the trial the following letter was handed to Mr. O'Keeffe from the Vicar General:— St. Kyran's College, Kilkenny, Dec. 10,1870. Rev. Sir,—From a subpoena served on me and in other ways, I have become aware of your action-at-law against the Rev. John Walsh, to be tried before the Court of Queen's Bench in Dublin. It is my duty to tell you that your proceeding is a grave offence against the sacred canons. Of course, I do not find fault with the eminent and impartial Judges who preside in the Court referred to, hut, in common with every other Catholic, I feel that respect for the discipline of your own Church should keep you from bringing a brother priest before any lay tribunal. Some communications already received from you leave me no grounds to hope that you will desist from your present proceeding by reason of mere remonstrance of mine. At the same time, it is my duty to employ the powers which I possess to stop it if I can. Therefore, I hereby command you to withdraw the case of the Rev. Robert O'Keeffe against the Rev. John Walsh from the Court of Queen's Bench under pain of suspension, at officio et beneficio to be ipso facto incurred the moment your counsel begins to state the case to the Court and jury.—Your obedient servant, E. M'DONALD. The Rev. R. O'Keeffe. That letter was shortly after followed up by another to this effect from the Bishop of the diocese himself— Kilkenny, Jan. 11, 1871. Rev. Sir,—As you have disregarded the ordinary mode of procedure, I, after mature deliberation, send you hereby a suspension 'ex informata conscientia ab ordine officio ee beneficio.' You are aware that from this suspension there is no appeal; and that should you violate it, you will incur an irregularity. †EDWARD WALSH. The Rev. R. O'Keeffe. Mr. O'Keeffe did not appear to have been at all satisfied with the result, and he continued to perform the functions of a priest, in spite of his suspension, greatly to the satisfaction of his parishioners. This conduct brought down Cardinal Cullen upon his head. Cardinal Cullen, in a letter to Mr. O'Keeffe, first expressed the distress felt by the Pope at the disturbances that had happened at Cullen. He was gratified to find that in the midst of his anxieties at home the Pope could take an interest in what was going on in a remote corner of an Irish county. The Cardinal then went on to say— I will not merely add that the present Pope, while limiting and abrogating other censures, confirmed all penalties of the canon law against those who drag ecclesiastics, and especially Bishops, before lay tribunals, and there charge them with canonical offences. The Pope's Bull regarding censures was handed to every Bishop in the Vatican (Ecumenical Council last December twelve months, and is now known over the whole world. While such penalties as those I refer to are hanging over his head, I cannot conceive how any priest can venture to charge ecclesiastics with calumny, lying, and drunkenness, and endeavour to prove such charges before a Protestant Judge, and in the presence of numbers of persons who must be sorely scandalized by what they hear in such a case. Moreover, I cannot understand how any priest, having once incurred the censures reserved by the Pope, can continue to officiate and to bring on himself innumerable irregularities. After some further correspondence had passed, Cardinal Cullen proceeded to fulminate against Mr. O'Keeffe that alarming Latin document which had appeared in the Parliamentary Papers. This was not a new-fangled claim on the part of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. It was an old controversy which dated back almost to the earliest times of Christianity, when already the clergy claimed to be exempt from the control of the ordinary tribunals of the country, and insisted that no clerical person should dare to bring another ecclesiastic before the Courts of Law. Against that doctrine our forefathers had strenuously contended, and yet we now found it introduced into and flourishing in Ireland and favoured by the National Education Commissioners, for it was obvious that the only object that Cardinal Cullen had in view in this sentence of suspension, was to intimidate Mr. O'Keeffe and to prevent him from enforcing his common-law right against a brother ecclesiastic, and, when that course had failed in its effect, to punish him for having dared to disobey his ecclesiastical superiors. Not only that, but the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland were essentially a civil body spending the money of the State and constituted by Parliament, and yet it turned out that they had been assisting and co-operating with the Irish Roman Catholic ecclesiastical authorities in intimidating and punishing an ecclesiastic for having sought to establish his right in a Court of Common Law. Under these circumstances, he could not help thinking that the rule of the Commissioners was a bad one. Had Mr. O'Keeffe been afforded a fair opportunity of stating his case, the Commissioners would have ascertained that there was a conflict of jurisdiction between the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical authorities and the lay tribunal, in which they were bound to withhold their judgment until the question had been settled by the proper authority. The Commissioners, moreover, had proposed to suspend Mr. O'Keeffe only until his suspension by Cardinal Cullen was removed or declared invalid by a competent tribunal, for Mr. O'Keeffe, who appeared to be a very bold fellow, dad brought an action against the Cardinal for illegally suspending him, and a Commission had been sent out to Rome in order to ascertain what was the power of suspension under the Canon Law. Now, assuming that the result of the action against Cardinal Cullen to be that the suspension was decided to be invalid, were the Commissioners prepared to reinstate Mr. O'Keeffe as manager of the schools, although Cardinal Cullen would keep him suspended as a priest? It was clear that Cardinal Cullen would not be influenced by the decision of a lay tribunal against him. The Cardinal would still hold that he was right. Were the School Commissioners willing to confirm the Cardinal in his position? Would hey hold that Mr. O'Keeffe was properly suspended, if the Common Law Court decided that he was right? The act was, that the Commissioners appeared to have got themselves into a lice dilemma. He (Mr. Bouverie) did lot like to set up his judgment against that of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland and Mr. Justice Fitzgerald; but he should lave thought that not only was it according to the first principles of justice to ask Mr. O'Keeffe what he had to say to his suspension, but that it was according to the first principles of prudence to do so. When Mr. O'Keeffe, if he had had an opportunity of stating his case, had informed them that the case was lis pendens, the natural course for the Board would have been, that while the case before the lay tribunals was in suspense, they themselves would likewise suspend any judgment with regard to Mr. O'Keeffe continuing to be manager of the schools. But that was not all Mr. O'Keeffe's case. Mr. O'Keeffe in his Petition said it was true with regard to four of the schools that they came to him as parish priest from his predecessors, but that with regard to the fifth, it was founded by himself, and with his own money, and that he had requested the Commissioners of National Education to adopt it. Yet, that school was one of the management of which he had been dispossessed by the arbitrary proceedings of the Commissioners. It seemed to him (Mr. Bouverie) that if the National Education Commissioners had been made aware of these facts, Mr. O'Keeffe could never have been dismissed from retaining the management of that one school; for the rules under which these schools were founded neither gave any explicit or implicit sanction to the idea that any manager or patron would be dismissed by the Commissioners on account of the acts of the ecclesiastical authorities. On the contrary, if a patron wished to resign his office, he had the power of appointing his successor, subject to the approbation of the Board. He wished to ask what chance a priest of independent character in Ireland would have of asserting his rights as a subject of Her Majesty, if the ecclesiastical authorities were to be thus assisted by the civil authorities? That was but a part of something they had heard of during the present Session—a system of priestly intimidation—intimidation by a class, of which it might be said that to whatever Church they belonged, they had never wielded their authority to the advantage of the human race. They had heard that the Rev. Mr. Walsh had been inhibited from performing some ecclesiastical function, because he gave evidence before the Galway Commissioners. ["No, no!"] He was glad to hear the statement contradicted. But he had a statement written by Mr. O'Keeffe, who seemed to be a gentleman of character, ability, and veracity, which was dated July 17, to the effect that the Roman Catholic police at the station at Cullen were prohibited from attending mass in his chapel, where he still celebrated mass as a Roman Catholic priest, by the authorities, and had been informed, under pain of removal, that they must hear mass in the Priory chapel although his chapel, where they were accustomed to hear mass, was not ten doors from the barracks. That was another instance in which the civil authorities appeared to have been called on to co-operate with the ecclesiastical Roman Catholic authorities in an act of oppression. As he had said, this was only a very old question revived. It was a struggle which he supposed would go on to the end of time; but it was a struggle in which they had always supposed hitherto in this country that the lay tribunals and the lay authorities had triumphed. Yet in the year 1872 they found the lay Board of Education Commissioners, composed of distinguished lawyers and laymen, co-operating with the ecclesiastical authorities of the Roman Catholic Church in punishing a poor priest for venturing to assert his rights before the lay tribunal of his country. Was that a condition of things to be tolerated? Was it right that the National Education Board should have done this? He said distinctly that it was not. He was sure it would not be tolerated in England or Scotland, or even in Ireland; for he believed the bulk of the Irish people would not approve of such proceedings towards a priest. It was repugnant to all our opinions of what was due to a fellow-subject. This gentleman had a perfect right to appear in the Common Law Courts to sue anyone whom he justly thought had given him offence; but for suing another priest he was punished by his ecclesiastical superiors, who suspended him from ecclesiastical functions; and for that the National Education Commissioners dismissed him from the managership, not only of the schools of which he was manager, but from the very school he had himself founded, and of which he was the patron. He could not imagine that anyone would defend the course which had been taken, for it was contrary to sound policy, prudence, and the first principles of justice; and he therefore asked the House of Commons to co-operate with him in expressing their sense of the conduct of the majority of the National Education Commissioners in the matter. He would move that the Vote be reduced by £1,000.

Amendment proposed, to leave out "£406,081," in order to insert "£405,081,"—(Mr. Bouverie,)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That '£406,081' stand part of the said Resolution."


said, that was one of the most difficult cases that had ever come under his notice, and he hoped the House would give it their most careful consideration. He thought that when the House had heard what was to be said on both sides, it would come to the conclusion that it had not before it at present the materials for giving a decision on the subject, and certainly not such a decision as the right hon. Gentleman desired; for he supposed the reduction of the Vote was intended as a direct vote of censure upon the National Board for their conduct in the case. It would be well, in the first instance, to correct some misapprehensions. The right hon. Gentleman had raised a great prejudice in favour of Father O'Keeffe, and against his ecclesiastical superiors, and the Board of Education, by stating that the sole ground on which he incurred ecclesiastical displeasure was that he availed himself of his right as a British subject to appeal to the tribunals of his country. That might be so; but the rule or law mentioned was not confined to the Roman Catholic Church, for there were Protestant communities in this country of which it was equally a rule that one member was not allowed to take legal proceedings against another member of the community. [Cries of "Name!"] He was informed that such a rule prevailed in the Independent and Baptist Churches. ["No, no!"] At any rate, it was only fair that no prejudice should be created against the proceedings of the Roman Catholic authorities on that account. Another statement was not entirely accurate. The right hon. Gentleman stated that Father O'Keeffe had been removed from the managership of a school which he had actually founded at his own resources. That was not the fact. [Mr. BOUVERIE said, he made the statement on Mr. O'Keeffe's authority.] He was sorry to say, then, that Mr. O'Keeffe did not represent what was entirely the fact. Shortly after Father O'Keeffe succeeded to the parish he applied to the National Board for aid for the Cullen Infant National School. In his application he stated that the rooms of the school were provided by means of a public subscription, and he applied for and obtained the management of the school not as a private individual, but as the parish priest of Cullen. He (the Marquess of Hartington) had never heard before of the instructions said to have been issued to the constabulary force not to attend Father O'Keeffe's chapel, and until he had it from a competent authority he should be inclined to doubt whether such instructions had been issued. It was necessary to consider for a moment the position of managers, and especially clerical managers, under the national system of education in Ireland. Their position was defined by rules of the Board, one of which had already been referred to by the right hon. Gentleman; and the object and meaning of those rules was explained by evidence given before the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the system of education. Sir Alexander Macdonald, when examined by the Commissioners, stated that, generally speaking, the person who applied became the manager of the school, and that they considered that the clergyman of the parish, or an owner of property in the parish, was the person whom it was intended should be the manager, for he, as a rule, represented the feelings of one portion of the locality. The system, therefore, was one partly of lay managers and partly of clerical managers, and the latter class had been as distinctly recognized as the former. It was not necessary now to discuss the merits of that system. Perhaps a good deal might be urged against employing clerical managers; but it was only fair to say that the system of employing them had greatly tended to give the National system of education in Ireland that degree of success which had attended it, and that if any other principle had been adopted it was probable that that system would not have commanded, as it had done, the confidence and support of the great body of the Roman Catholic clergy and laity. Practically, though not technically, according to the rule of the Board, the parish priest was recognized as an ex-officio manager, and more as parish priest than as an individual. Father O'Keeffe had been recognized as manager of these schools. With regard to the power of dismissal, the Board, acting, as he had explained, to a great extent through the agency of clerical managers, had from their first foundation adopted the system of acting in all matters affecting the status of the clerical managers through the recognized heads of the denominations to which they belonged, and upon that principle they had acted impartially. It was perfectly true that there was no rule of the Board which laid down in so many words this power of dismissal. That appeared to him, to a certain extent, to be an omission; but in practice the Board had constantly exercised this power. The practice upon that point had been very ably stated by Sir Alexander Macdonald in his evidence before the Committee of Inquiry. There had been numerous precedents where the Board had dismissed managers who had incurred the censure of their ecclesiastical superiors. In 1845 they dismissed the Rev. Dr. Keenan. Dr. Keenan appealed; but the Commissioners refused to enter into the merits of the dispute between him and his ecclesiastical superiors, and removed him from the management of the schools until his suspension should be reversed by competent authority. Again, in 1851 the Rev. E. K. Wilson was deposed by a General Assembly. He also appealed to the Board against his removal from the management of the schools, but the Commissioners refused to deal with the question. There were other cases—those, for instance, of the Rev. Mr. O'Farrell and the Rev. Mr. Sheridan—but they partook of no exceptional features. Now, there was only one point to which he need refer on the present occasion in explanation of the conduct of the Board. It must be quite clear—and he was sorry that his right hon. Friend had not referred to it in his remarks—that whether the Board had acted rightly or wrongly in this particular case, they had acted in no sectarian spirit. They had acted strictly in accordance with the usual practice, and in no undue subservience to the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the reports of the proceedings of the Commissioners had not been put upon record; but the Rev. Dr. Henry, who was unable to be present at the meeting, had sent a letter to the Commissioners stating the grounds of his decision, and so his letter fortunately appeared upon the minutes of the proceedings. Dr. Henry took the very strongest view that it was the duty of the Commissioners to remove Father O'Keeffe. Dr. Henry was a Presbyterian minister and the President of the College of Belfast—an institution not particularly patronized by Cardinal Cullen and the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Then, again, how was the majority of the Commissioners composed? Apart from the Roman Catholic Members, it consisted of Lord Monck, who was a member of the Church of Ireland, and who was appointed by the universal consent of that House a Church Commissioner; of Mr. Gibson, a Presbyterian, and who enjoyed the confidence of the Presbyterian Body; of Judge Longfield, who enjoyed the confidence of the Disestablished Church. These men were not influenced by unworthy sectarian motives. His right hon. Friend criticized the conduct of the Commissioners, because they had not given Father O'Keeffe the opportunity of stating the grounds on which he was prepared to protest against his removal. If the majority had felt that their opinion would be reversed by that course, they would have asked for a statement from him. But the majority, no doubt, felt that it was not their business to enter into the merits of the case, but to act upon the statement of the recognized head of the Body. It was stated that though Father O'Keeffe might have appealed to the legal tribunals, that would not have re-instated him in his former clerical position. If the majority of the Commissioners held these views, it would have been useless to have asked Father O'Keeffe to state his views. He now came to the other side of the question. It was urged that the precedents he had quoted did not cover the whole of the case, and that in those cases of suspension which had hitherto occurred, the person suspended, though appealing against the sentence, had acknowledged the competency of the authority by whom he was suspended. In this case, however, the competency of the authority was denied by Father O'Keeffe. He had the opportunity of seeing some of the pleas about to be laid before the Court of Law, and it was somewhat remarkable that Cardinal Cullen did not shirk the question, but was prepared to go into Court and to maintain that he was invested with the necessary authority for what he did, and that he exercised the authority in a legal and proper manner. He did not mean to say that Cardinal Cullen would feel himself bound by the decision of the Court, but the Cardinal did not shrink from arguing the question. Under these circumstances, it would have been better, in his opinion, if the Commissioners had waited until the question had been decided in a Court of Law. He thought that the Commissioners, when they came to the determination at which they arrived, were not so well informed as the Government as to the nature of the plea which Father O'Keeffe was about to make. If they had been, they might have modified their decision; but they appeared to look to precedents, and thought it highly undesirable to enter into the merits of a dispute between an ecclesiastical person and his superior. Under these circumstances, and looking to the perfectly bonâ fide manner in which the Commissioners had acted, he, on the part of the Government, was not prepared to censure them, or to ask them at present to reconsider their decision. What the Government was prepared to do was to wait until the action which Father O'Keeffe had brought against Cardinal Cullen was decided. It was perfectly impossible at present to say not only how the issues would be decided, but what issues would be decided in that action, or how far the decision might affect the position of Father O'Keeffe as parish priest of Cullen; but whatever the decision of the Court of Law should be, it would be carefully considered by the Government, with the aid of the legal advice at their disposal; but until then it would be unreasonable to expect that the Government should be called on to state what steps they would take. He knew that it would be said by some hon. Members below the gangway that the decision of a Court of Law, whatever it might be, could not alter the ecclesiastical status of Father O'Keeffe; but he was not prepared to give an opinion on that point until the issue before the Court was decided. He did not commit himself or the Government to an absolute agreement with the opinion of Dr. Henry. On the contrary, it appeared to him that no Government or Board could altogether ignore the decision of the Court of Law, but must be guided by that decision; which, again, so far as it affected Father O'Keeffe's position as parish priest, could only be based on the laws and rules of the Catholic Church, to which Father O'Keeffe belonged. Under these circumstances, he hoped that the House would not think it necessary to come to any decision on the question to-night, and, having regard to the perfect sincerity with which the Board had acted in this matter, would not deem it right to pass a vote of censure on the Board; and he therefore hoped the right hon. Gentleman would withdraw the Motion.


said, he agreed with the noble Lord that the Board had not had before them all the necessary information in this case; but the reason why they had not was because when Judge Morris, Chief Justice Monahan, and Justice Lawson pressed on the Board the necessity of making inquiry of Father O'Keeffe what he had to say for himself, the head of the law in Ireland, a Member of Her Majesty's Government, refused any inquiry whatever. That was the simple point. The Board said they had got the document of Cardinal Cullen; but what knowledge had the Board of the discipline of the Roman Catholic Church except what they chose to assume and adopt for themselves? The Board must have required some authoritative exposition of the law of the Church. In this case the discipline was the matter in dispute. What was the suspension sent to the Board? Solely and wholly Cardinal Cullen's. Now, the Cardinal's suspension was furnished by himself. Mr. O'Keeffe was in the diocese of Ossory, and the Archbishop could not issue that document except by way of appeal. By the canon law the Archbishop had no right to go into another Bishop's diocese, and assume an original jurisdiction; and Cardinal Cullen therefore recited on the face of the document that he was the Legate of the Pope, and commissioned in that capacity to inquire into the matter. This was not a question as to whether there was an authority from which the Commissioners could have been informed whether the document was valid or not; they took the document as valid, and acted upon it, though they knew that its validity was disputed. That document proceeded from an extraordinary preeminent over-riding authority, acknowledged to have been acting outside the ordinary rules of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Commissioners ought to have ascertained whether that authority had acted in accordance with the discipline of the Church; but instead of that, they assumed the validity of the whole proceeding, although two Roman Catholics sitting upon the Board refused to act upon it. The whole question resolved itself into this—was any body of men to act against an individual without asking him what he had to say in his own defence? It was a consideration of that kind that had led Chief Justice Monahan, and Mr. Justice Morris to decide as they had done in the matter. Mr. O'Keeffe had a right to believe that he had an independent position, and it was not just that an arbitrary rule should be laid down afterwards when there was no printed rule to guide him in his conduct. The clergy who were similarly placed ought to know whether they occupied an independent position or one which was dependent on their ecclesiastical superiors. This matter had attracted considerable attention in Ireland, especially as the Commissioners had not acted upon any of their printed rules in regard to it, but had made a new rule for themselves in order to meet the case—a proceeding which had necessarily given rise to great suspicion, especially as the Cardinal was concerned in it. Everyone knew that the Cardinal had enormous power, and the belief in Ireland was that he had a very illegitimate power, such as he ought not to have, in relation to the patronage and government of Ireland. The idea which was entertained in that country by many people was—"Of course, the Government officials voted for the Cardinal because they are all in combination—there is an agreement between them." It was a great evil that, in consequence of Commissioners having acted upon no printed rule, their action should be attributed to the relations which existed between the Cardinal and the Government.


said, that when Mr. O'Keeffe laid his case before him, he (Mr. Agar-Ellis) told him he would have nothing to do with it if it was simply a question between him and his ecclesiastical superiors, but that he had no objection to take it up in the light of a matter affecting a distressed constituent. It was very difficult for Protestants to know what was the actual position of Father O'Keeffe, and whether he was really suspended or not; but this much was certain, that a great majority of that gentleman's parishioners still followed him, and believed him to be their parish priest, and they had subscribed liberally—to the extent of £600—towards the expenses of his action against the Cardinal. The great feature of this case was, that it was different from any that had ever happened before; for though clergymen had been dismissed from the management of schools, the validity of such dismissals had never before been disputed. He thought that Father O'Keeffe had not had justice done to him, and he believed it would have been not only just, but politic in the Commissioners, if they had acceded to that gentleman's request, that he should be heard before they deprived him of his position.


said, that until he had read the Papers in the case, he could not have believed it possible that any public body could be so painfully subservient to priestly power as the Education Commissioners of Ireland seemed to have been to the ecclesiastical authorities of the Romish Church. The Papers disclosed another thing which was also far from pleasant, and that was that the priestly power of which he was speaking went out of its way to flaunt in the face of those with whom it was dealing that it was directly authorized by Rome. A good many hon. Members in that House had sworn a good deal about foreign Powers having no authority in this country; and they had been told by an eminent counsel that the law on the subject might be repealed, because the oath of allegiance was the same thing. The Papers before the House, however, contained, in his opinion, a warning which ought not to be lost sight of when Parliament came to legislate on what was known as the Prison Ministers Bill. Everybody had a great wish to do what was for the good of the people in that matter; but there would now be a strong reason, at all events, against giving the official status which was asked for. All he need add was, that if a public body living in this country had received such a notice from the Pope as that to which his right hon. Friend opposite had called attention, the probability was they would put it behind the fire. The House was, he thought, much indebted to the right hon. Gentleman for the manner in which he had brought the subject forward.


said, the debate was verging on a theological discussion. It would have that aspect if the subject of discussion was the ecclesiastical position of the Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe. In his opinion, the Board of Education had no duty to inquire into the merits of the question whether the Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe had been properly suspended or not, for the fact was they had recognized the ecclesiastical authority by which he was appointed to the office of parish priest, and they only recognized the same authority in taking notice of his suspension. Further than that, they could not effectually inquire into it, without assuming the right to revise what certain ecclesiastical authorities had done in a matter peculiarly within their own province. It was to be borne in mind, moreover, that there was no tribunal before which the legality of the Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe's suspension could be tested, for although an action might be brought in a Court of Law for libel, no Court in this realm could deal with questions relating to the internal organization of the Roman Catholic Church. It had been said that the Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe should have been heard before the Board of Education; but those tribunals only were bound to hear that had jurisdiction to try the question. The Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe was not like a lay patron—he derived his right to be a patron from his having been appointed parish priest of Cullen; he was so appointed by the authority of the Roman Pontiff, and the tribunal which appointed him was the same tribunal by which he was suspended, and upon due notice from that tribunal he was removed by the Board, as in the original instance it was upon the authority of that tribunal he was appointed to his office. To impose on the Board of Education the duty of investigating the canonical status of every parish priest in Ireland who sought to be a patron by virtue of his office, was imposing on them a duty which they were entirely inadequate to perform, and which it was not necessary for them to discharge.


The argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. Serjeant Sherlock) proceeds on the assumption that no Roman Catholic priest has personal rights, as an individual. [Mr. Serjeant SHERLOCK: No, not at all.] Such, nevertheless, I understood to be the basis of the hon. and learned Gentleman's argument. At all events, he approves of the deprivation of this priest on the sole dictum of his ecclesiastical superior. Now, I do not think that that is the understanding upon which this House voted the money for public education in the elementary schools of Ireland, nor is it the sense in which this House has voted money for the purchase of glebes, the erection of glebe houses, and so forth. In this country, we do not act upon the assumption that any subject of Her Majesty can be held devoid of civil rights as an individual. That is a fact, and the fault which the National Board of Education in Ireland has committed in this instance is, that it has hastily accepted the dictum of an authority which, according to the hon. and learned Member, denies the civil rights of the Roman Catholic priests as individuals, and denies the individual right of this priest to do anything connected with the parish in which he has served, even though it be with property which he himself has been the means of procuring. Well, Sir, there is nothing new in this. I hold in my hand a rather thick volume. It contains the evidence which was taken before a Select Committee of this House in the year 1853, on the law of mortmain, and before that Committee there appeared at the instance of Mr. Chisholm Anstey, a very learned Roman Catholic lawyer, the Rev. Mr. Trappes, a Roman Catholic priest, and other Roman Catholics, who declared that, by the Brief of 1850, and by the action taken upon it by the late Cardinal Wiseman, they had been, or would be, deprived of property as individuals; that the canon law under which their right in such charitable property—chapels and the like—had been changed, and that the manner of their trial for ecclesiastical offences had been altered; for that, whereas, up to the issue of that Brief they had a right, for all ecclesiastical offences, to be tried before 12 ecclesiastics of their own district by regular process, after the issue of that Brief, and by virtue of that Brief; it was to rest with the Bishops in Synod whether they were to have any regular trials at all, or whether they were to be condemned unheard by whoever might be their ecclesiastical superior. The evidence also goes to show that, at that time, this new system of ecclesiastical jurisdiction had not been introduced into Ireland. It now appears that, simultaneously with the introduction of a Cardinal Legate, the arbitrary system of which the priest here complains, and which the priests of a whole Roman Catholic deanery in the North of England in 1850 deprecated the introduction by the late Cardinal Wiseman into England, has now been introduced throughout Ireland. It is of this that Mr. O'Keeffe complains. He complains that an ancient canon law of Ireland, which would have ensured to him a fair trial before suspension, by the authority of the Cardinal Legate, just as the Roman Catholic priests of a Northern district in England complained that the ancient canon law prevalent among them here in England was superseded by the authority of Cardinal Wiseman; and I hesitate not to say that the Board of Education in Ireland has been guilty of a gross misfeasance in not giving this ill-used person the opportunity of stating before the Commissioners that he had been dispossessed by a process which was unusual, and which did not prevail at the time when he was instituted into this so-called benefice of Cullen, and that he had been deprived of property in which, according to the ordinary law of this country, he has an interest, by a foreign process which ignored and set aside the jurisdiction of the Courts of this country, and under which he was entitled to a regular trial or a hearing. I refer the House to the evidence taken before their own Committee on Mortmain, which fully explains the just cause of complaint which Mr. O'Keeffe has against his ecclesiastical superiors and the despotic system they now administer for having, in the first instance, condemned him unheard, and next against the Board of Education for pursuing that same system of condemnation, and carrying out his condemnation just pronounced by his ecclesiastical superiors without giving him a hearing.


said, he was anxious to remind the House that the Motion of his right hon. Friend (Mr. Bouverie) could afford no redress whatever to Father O'Keeffe, and was practically one of censure upon the Board of Education in Ireland. With regard to the case of Father O'Keeffe, his right hon. Friend had, in his opinion, done quite right in bringing the matter forward, and he had obtained from his noble Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland a statement of the motives and reasons which had induced the Board to dismiss that gentleman. As regarded the case itself, however, he was not able to concur in the opinion which appeared to be entertained by the hon. and learned Member for King's County (Mr. Serjeant Sherlock). That hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to adopt without any qualification the opinion given by Dr. Henry, a most eminent Presbyterian minister—namely, that upon receiving from the recognized ecclesiastical superior of a priest or clergyman who might be manager of a school a certificated statement that he was suspended from his office of priest, the Board was at once to act irrespective of any other consideration. That was a position which the Government were not able to accept. He must, however, own that he was surprised at the statement of the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley), when he complained of a great and incredible subserviency to an ecclesiastical Power, and went on to import the opinions he had formed in this case into a discussion upon the Prison Ministers Bill, proceeding distinctly upon the ground that the Board of Education in Ireland had shown a favour and regard to the Roman Catholic authorities which it had declined to show to others. Nothing could be more unjust. He would make no comparison of the modes of proceeding adopted in this and other cases by the Board. But when it appeared from the history of the precedents that the conduct of the Board had been uniform in all cases, he could not but express his regret that the right hon. Gentleman should have brought such a charge. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) stated the case fairly, when he pointed out that it was necessary that the Board should proceed upon a distinct rule, and at the same time said that it was scarcely fair to managers that they should be brought into a position from which, without knowing it, they might at a subsequent period be dismissed. He would pass now from the case of Mr. O'Keeffe to the Motion before the House, which was entirely distinct from Mr. O'Keeffe's case, and had nothing to do with it. The Motion proposed to inflict a disgrace and dishonour upon the Board of Education in Ireland. Was it expedient or becoming that such a punishment should be inflicted upon the Board? It might be said that it was inflicted only upon its majority; but that was hardly a distinction which would be taken in this House. The majority of the Board was the Board, and must be looked upon as the Board. Was it desirable that this condemnation should be passed? What was this Board? It was a body which for 40 years had served most important purposes of State in Ireland. It was a body without which we could hardly ever have established National Education in Ireland. When the system was founded, it was extremely difficult to give to it anything like solidity or permanence. It was met by determined and angry hostility from various quarters, and much of character, much of ability, much of prudence and policy were required in order to obtain for that system anything like fair play. For that purpose, the best and wisest men that could be found in Ireland were selected by successive Governments; they had undertaken this most important, difficult, and invidious labour, and by that labour, which seemed almost hopelessly exerted for a long series of years, they brought the system to such a state that, instead of a condition of things in which the supporters of the National Board were continually threatened by their opponents—and it was hard to say which way the balance would incline; now, on the contrary, there was a competition between all parties of politicians in this country, each declaring that they were the most zealous advocates of the National system. This, too, was an unpaid Board—that was a point which ought to be mentioned; but the main point to which he wished to direct attention was the arduous nature of its labours, the difficulties it had had to encounter, and the success which had attended its patriotic efforts. He would, therefore, ask his right hon. Friend whether he would call upon the House to pass a Vote of Censure on such a body. Should his right hon. Friend succeed in getting the House to reflect this stigma on the Board after its 40 years' services, the only effect of such a decision would be to plunge into deeper confusion that difficult question of Irish education which was at all times in a condition sufficiently critical, but in respect of which, and especially its greatest branch—the popular part—if they made a good use of their opportunities he would say that he believed they would save it from danger, and secure to it still greater efficiency than it at the present time possessed.


, as a lawyer, felt bound to say that the Board had acted in a manner wholly illegal and altogether contrary to the principles of English law, and he thought that it was high time that the House laid down a rule for the future conduct of the Board, so that they might be set right, and that without any censure being passed upon them.


said, the question before the House was whether the Board of National Education had acted illegally with reference to Mr. O'Keeffe, and with respect to this he differed entirely from the last speaker. He could not agree that this was a question of law at all. He believed that it would have been better for the Board to have heard Mr. O'Keeffe; but their not having done so was, in his opinion, no ground for passing a vote of censure upon the Board, which might possibly lead to its being broken up. The Board were bonâ fide of opinion that the course adopted by them could not be influenced in any way by what Mr. O'Keeffe would say. The House might think that Mr. O'Keeffe should have been heard, but that was no reason why this Vote should be rejected. If Mr. O'Keeffe succeeded in his litigation, then would come an opportunity for the Board to reconsider its decision. In the meantime, things must remain as they were, which would be in accordance with the precedents followed by the Board in dealing with this case.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 57; Noes 49: Majority 8.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Resolution agreed to.

Eight subsequent Resolutions agreed to.

Resolution 19— That a sum, not exceeding £183,826, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1873, for the Expenses of Her Majesty's Embassies and Missions Abroad, read a second time.


, in rising to move, according to Notice, the reduction of the Vote by £200, the amount of the allowance to Mr. Clarke Jervoise, for house rent at Rome, said: Sir, the Committee divided on the question which I am about to renew only on Saturday last, but it happened that on that day the House met at 12 o'clock, and a great number of Members believed that it would rise either at 4 or at 6 o'clock. On my arrival here, however, I found that there was no Standing Order to prevent the House sitting until Church time on Sunday morning. A great number of hon. Members were surprised at this. Several to my knowledge had given up the idea of coming down, being under the impression that the House would have risen before they reached it. The debate that took place on Saturday evening was signalized by a most surprising announcement from the hon. and learned Attorney General. The Diplomatic Relations Act, which we believe to have been violated by Her Majesty's Government maintaining at Rome a diplomatic agent in the person of Mr. Clarke Jervoise, prescribes distinctly that it shall be lawful for Her Majesty to accredit a diplomatic agent to the Sovereign of the Roman States. By the Bill which afterwards became the Diplomatic Relations Act, and which was introduced into the House of Lords by the late Lord Lansdowne, it was proposed that Her Majesty should accredit a diplomatic Envoy to the Sovereign Pontiff; but in the Committee of the House of Lords the description of His Holiness as the Sovereign Pontiff was struck out of the Bill, because it was held in the House of Lords, before the Bill reached this House, that the title Sovereign Pontiff ascribed to the Pope his ecclesiastical character, his spiritual authority, and function. Well, it is almost needless for me to assert that His Holiness the Pope is no longer Sovereign of any portion of the Roman States. That is well known. The natural presumption, therefore, is that the faculty which the Diplomatic Relations Act of 1848 conferred upon Her Majesty was limited, and it was so argued in the debate, and that by the limitation of this particular faculty it was the intention of Parliament to limit the Prerogative of the Crown. It was maintained at the time that the Act passed that by that Act the Prerogative of Her Majesty was limited to this to sending a diplomatic Envoy to the Sovereign of the Roman States, and not, as appears in debates, to the Sovereign Pontiff. Parliament rejected the proposal that Her Majesty should enter into diplomatic relations with the Pope in any other character than as the temporal Sovereign of the Roman States; and Lord Palmerston, in moving the second reading of the Bill in this House, emphatically declared that the powers to be conferred by the Bill were to be limited solely to the temporal interests of the two countries, the smaller State, that of the Roman States and the great Empire of England. By a division in the House of Lords, it was decided that, by way of further marking the intention of Parliament, Her Majesty's Prerogative should be thus far further limited—that it should be incompetent in Her Majesty to receive in this country any ecclesiastical Nuncio, Envoy, or Ambassador from the Court of Rome. Therefore, the prohibition against that, which the opponents of this Vote hold to be the state of things now, attempted by Her Majesty's Government was doubly enacted in 1848. One question I desire to ask, and I ask it of the noble Lord the Under Secretary for the Foreign Department. It is this—whether Mr. Clarke Jervoise is in any way accredited to the Court of Rome? And when the noble Lord rises, this is the direct question, which I hope he will answer. There is nothing apparent to show that Mr. Clarke Jervoise may not be accredited in the fact that His Holiness the Pope has not sent an Envoy here; for Lord Palmerston, in the Committee of this House on the Diplomatic Relations Bill, when this Act was passed in 1848, declared that the same condition against the reception at their respective Courts of an ecclesiastical Envoy from Rome was enforced both by the Empire of Russia and the Kingdom of Prussia. Therefore, it is perfectly possible and consistent with these precedents that Mr. Clarke Jervoise may be accredited to the Court of His Holiness the Pope; and I humbly hold, that if Mr. Clarke Jervoise be so accredited he is so in direct contravention of the whole purport of the Act, for in the course of the debate upon the Diplomatic Relations Bill in 1848, Mr. Chisholm Anstey, whose knowledge of these matters was extensive, condemned the Bill for these reasons—that it was not only a declaratory Bill, declaring the law which had been supposed for 180 years to have prohibited diplomatic relations with the Pope; but because it would, if passed, become an enacting statute, whereby the Prerogative of Her Majesty would be limited to diplomatic relations, not with the Pope in his ecclesiastical character, for Parliament had decided against that, but only with the Sovereign of the Roman States in virtue of his Sovereignty over those States which has now passed away from the Pope. Well, the hon. and learned Attorney General has told us that, inasmuch as the Pope is the same person, therefore, although he may have lost his States, it is perfectly legitimate for Her Majesty to enter into diplomatic relation with him in the same manner as if he continued to hold them. Why, Sir, it would be just as reasonable for Her Majesty to accredit an Ambassador or an Envoy to the ex-Queen of Spain, or to the ex-Emperor of the French! The question which I have to put, then, is this—Is Mr. Clarke Jervoise in any way accredited to the Court of His Holiness the Pope? for, if he be so, I hold that his being so is not only illegal, but that it is a direct affront to the King of Italy, who is the present Sovereign of the Roman States, and is now the person to whom the Diplomatic Relations Act distinctly points as the only person to whom Her Majesty is, by law, empowered to send an Embassy. For these reasons, Sir, I propose the Motion of which I have given Notice, and unless the noble Lord the Representative of the Foreign Office can declare in this House that Mr. Clarke Jervoise is in no way accredited to His Holiness the Pope, I shall feel it my duty to divide the House by way of marking my sense and the sense of many others that by this Embassy, and through this Envoy Her Majesty's Government are distinctly contravening the avowed intentions of an Act of Parliament.

Amendment proposed, to leave out "£183,826," in order to insert "£183,626,"—(Mr. Newdegate,)—instead thereof.


replied that Mr. Clarke Jervoise was not accredited to the Pope. The law of the subject he was very well contented to leave to his hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General, who had explained it fully on Saturday last.


asked what were the duties which Mr. Clarke Jervoise had to perform at the Court of the Pope? Was it to present to His Holiness ladies and others who desired it? If those were his duties, and the only ones he had to perform, he did not think his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire need divide the House.


After the answer I have received from the noble Lord the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, I should be content to withdraw the Motion. ["No!" "Divide!"] My Motion, however, is in the hands of the House, though after the distinct assurance given me on behalf of the Government that Mr. Clarke Jervoise is not accredited to the Pope, I should not be disposed myself to divide the House.

Question put, "That '£183,826' stand part of the said Resolution."

The House divided:—Ayes 56; Noes 30: Majority 26.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Resolution agreed to.

Remaining Resolutions agreed to.