HC Deb 29 January 1897 vol 45 cc875-6

in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, explained that it was intended to settle a difference which had arisen between two Judicial Commissioners of great eminence in Ireland as to certain intentions of a pious founder in an educational endowment. As the Act was at present drawn there were no means of settling this difference and bringing it to a close. He was quite willing to accept the suggestion that the difference between the two Judges should be remitted in the first place to the Irish Privy Council, a body which would have to settle the scheme finally. Rut in any case it was absurd to allow the Act to remain a dead letter. He moved that the Bill be now read a Second time.


said the Government were not opposed to the principle of the Bill. He was by no means certain that the method proposed for settling the question was the best that could be suggested, and he should reserve on the part of the Government the right after Second Beading to move extensive Amendments, and, if it should turn out that the Bill as it stood could not be amended in the sense the Government desired, he should further reserve the right to oppose the Bill at a later stage.

MR. W. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

was sorry the Government had given its assent to the Second Reading. This was another attempt to meddle with Protestant endowments in Ireland. Erasmus Smith made a certain endowment for a number of Protestant children in Ireland, and the matter was before two eminent Judges, the Protestant Judge taking one view and the Roman Catholic Judge another view, and the result was that the endowment remained as it was originally intended by the will of the founder. He trusted the Government would pause before they inflicted another blow upon, and fresh discouragement to, the loyal people in Ireland who had done their utmost to uphold the union and integrity of the Empire.

Bill read a Second time and commited for Monday next.