HL Deb 04 March 1850 vol 109 cc295-310

, in presenting a petition from the promoters of the erection of a school of the National Society at Rockfield in Monmouthshire, intimated to the Bishop of Chichester that, in his opin- ion, it would not be for the general benefit that a full discussion should take place that evening on the question of the management of the grants of public money for the purposes of education by the Committee of the Privy Council. In the parish from which the petition came which he then held in his hand there was at present no school for the education of the children of the poor labourers. The promoters of a project for erecting a school in that parish were all members of the Church of England; so, too, was the donor of the site for the school. They had furnished a title for the school, which the legal advisers of the Committee of the Privy Council for Education had declared to be unobjectionable, and had prayed the Committee to make them a grant for a school on the basis of the National Society. They had complied with all the preliminary conditions required before a grant could be made; and the only distinction which he could see between the case of these petitioners and the case of other petitioners to the Committee of Privy Council was, that they, being all members of the Church of England, were desirous that in all cases where any difference might arise among themselves, that difference should be left to the bishop of the diocese as arbitrator. He thought that no reasonable objection could be made to this proposal; and yet upon that proposal they had been told that they could receive no assistance from the Privy Council.


observed, that with regard to the proceedings of the Committee of Privy Council on Education, he would follow the judgment of the noble Baron opposite, and would abstain from entering into details at present. He would simply state that, in his opinion, the objections taken by these petitioners against the ordinary course of proceeding, did not entitle them to partake of the public grant. The noble Lord had said that he was of opinion that it would not be convenient now to enter into a full discussion on the education question. He (the Marquess of Lansdowne) was not desirous of entering into that full discussion that evening, if no one else was; but notice had been given in the usual way, by a right rev. Prelate, of his intention to make some general remarks on the subject in presenting a petition; and he should feel it to be highly inconvenient to the public service to allow vague statements to be made on one side, without entering, on the other, into a full exposition of all the erroneous opinions and facts which had recently been propounded to the public. Into that exposition he was then prepared, if necessary, to enter, in order to refute the misrepresentations and falsehoods which had been so sedulously propagated to the injury of the Committee.


was induced to address their Lordships in consequence of the concluding observations of the noble Marquess. He hoped that he might be instrumental in preventing that full discussion on the merits of the conduct of the Committee of the Privy Council which the noble Baron had just deprecated. Their Lordships would remember that when, in the year 1839, the constitution of this Committee was under discussion in that House, an address to Her Majesty on the subject was moved by his venerated Friend the late Archbishop of Canterbury. He had at that time expressed his opinion strongly in favour of the Address; but though their point was not then gained practically—for the Government of the day had disappointed their expectations—he had ever since exerted himself to the utmost of his ability to promote a good understanding between the Committee of Privy Council and the National Society for the Education of the Poor. The noble Marquess was no doubt aware of his desire to put an end to the dissatisfaction and discontent which then existed. He would not say how far he complained of the partiality of the Committee of Privy Council in the distribution of these grants. Certainly he did not go the length of the petitioners; but he had always understood that the process by which the Committee distributed the public bounty in aid of education was, to a great extent, merely experimental—it was then a new process. He thought that the time had now come in which, after the experiment had been so long in progress, we might fairly hope that a calm and dispassionate inquiry might be instituted into its results. He admitted that many misrepresentations were abroad on that subject; but he hoped that by inquiry we might at last come to the truth in an undoubted form, by hearing the evidence of persons on both sides of the question; and he believed that no tribunal was better calculated to elicit the truth on this question than a Select Committee of their Lordships' House. Such a Committee ought, in his opinion, to be appointed forthwith by their Lordships; for, considering that it would have great national objects in view, inasmuch as the political interests of the State were inseparably bound up with its religious interests; and that a strong opinion prevailed among the great body of the clergy as to the mode in which this grant was disposed of, it imposed on their Lordships the responsibility of granting inquiry; and, therefore, he trusted that the noble Marquess would hold out some hope of the appointment of a Select Committee, as such a measure would greatly tend to quiet the apprehensions now existing in the public mind. Such an inquiry was rendered the more necessary by recent proceedings which had taken place elsewhere, and which must be known to their Lordships. Looking at the proposition which had recently been made in the House of Commons—comprehending, as it did, all secular education in its grasp, and proposing means for carrying it out, to which he would not at that moment further refer—he must say that it imposed on their Lordships the duty of instituting an inquiry without delay into the whole subject, so that, if that Bill, in any modified shape, should find its way into their Lordships' House, they might be prepared with information which would enable them to judge of its probable results. It was impossible to overstate the extent of the feeling upon the subject of education which existed not only among the clergy of the Established Church, but also among the laity connected with it. He held in his possession a number of petitions regarding it, one of which was signed by ninety-two members of the Stock Exchange, and which requested a Committee of Inquiry. Before he sat down he must say one word on the subject of female education, which he considered to be of first-rate importance. There was a great and, he believed, a well-founded apprehension, that with regard to female education, the system of inspection had not been so judiciously carried out as to answer what he believed to be the intentions of the Government. This subject in particular deserved inquiry. The right rev. Prelate concluded by declaring that he had endeavoured to carry out the views of the Privy Council of Education, so far as he had been able conscientiously to do so.


observed, that the measure which had just been proposed by his right rev. brother the Bishop of London did not require any additional support from him. It had not, perhaps, been suggested to the noble Marquess before, but he trusted that the noble Marquess would take it into consideration. The state of popular education in England at present was quite anomalous. There were two parties, both equally anxious to promote education. It could only he successfully promoted by their co-operation; and yet there was danger, lest they should impede rather than assist each other, and so defeat their own purpose. These two parties were the clergy of the Church and the Committee of Privy Council. No one could doubt the anxiety of each party to promote the good work. No man could doubt the anxiety of the clergy, who knew, as he did, the pains and efforts, the personal sacrifices, and he might even say the personal embarrassments, to which they subjected themselves in this cause. On the other hand, no man could doubt the earnestness of the Government, and especially of the noble Marquess who was at the head of the Privy Council. The la-hour which the noble Marquess had undergone in devising plans to carry his objects into execution were above all praise; and at a moment when the national finances were not at all flourishing, but in some embarrassment, the only grant which was neither grudged nor retrenched was the liberal grant for the purpose of education, in which men of every political creed cordially concurred. No one, then, could doubt the sincerity of both parties. And these two parties, thus engaged in the same cause, and desiring the same end, could only promote their common object, as he had before said, by co-operation. The Church could never, from its own funds, provide accommodation for its daily-increasing population. Even those institutions which were in existence at present could not have been raised without the liberal aid of Parliament. On the other hand, the State could not carry out its objects without the assistance of the Church; for, let men do what they would, the success of the parochial school must depend on the assistance and supervision of the parochial clergy. It was by their activity, energy, and influence, that parents were stirred up to send their children to school; and the education of the school was either efficient or worthless according to the degree of care bestowed on it by the clergy. We do not undervalue the assistance of the laity; we court it, and desire it; but it is not regular, it is not certain, it cannot be commanded; whereas the clergyman was always on the spot, and the number of the scholars, and the usefulness of the school, alike depended on the attention of the clergyman. It would be just ground of regret if, between these two parties, animated by the same desire, and necessary to one another, there should be any jealousy or suspicion, hindering that co-operation which is needful to their success. There had been much jealousy on both sides, and not, perhaps, without some grounds. Claims had been set up on the one side which had no foundation either in the civil or in the ecclesiastical constitution of the land; and, on the other, concessions had been refused which would have given confidence to the clergy, and which seemed to be refused through an apprehension of adding weight and influence to the Church. Any measure, therefore, like that of his right rev. Friend, which might tend to bring these parties to a better understanding, was well worthy the attention of the noble Marquess, as likely to promote the success of a cause in which he was so earnestly engaged.


said, it was well known he had always taken the deepest interest in the cause of education. It was now thirty-five years since he commenced his labours in that cause, and his only sorrow was, that they had not been so successful as he could have wished. It was impossible to over-estimate the high importance of education to all the religious, moral, and (to borrow a phrase from a neighbouring country) material interests of the country—to the interests of our worldly prosperity, and to those of our immortal happiness. He had laboured long in this cause; but he had been doomed to perpetual disappointment in the prosecution of his plans. The first Bill—a measure which he considered the most innocent and moderate step that could be taken in the cause of education—which he introduced in 1820, had been thrown out—not by the Church, for the members of the Church had been the supporters of his Bill as often as it was urged upon Parliament—but by the Dissenters, who took up an unfounded alarm; and, because there was a veto given to the pastor of the parish on the appointment of the schoolmaster, declared that religious liberty would be at an end in case that veto should have the sanction of the Legislature. He had then, as a Member of their Lordships' House, brought in two or three other Bills for the promotion of education, but all with the same success. He had then addressed a letter on the whole subject of education to his respected and beloved Friend the late Duke of Bedford; and as in that letter he stated all the difficulties of the question, and made some just and liberal admissions in favour of the Church, the author of that letter, as well as the party to whom it was addressed, became the objects of the most unmeasured abuse by the organs of the Government of that day. What had been the result? Nothing could be more zealous or honest than the disposition of the Dissenters in favour of the education of the people—nothing could be more zealous or honest than the disposition of the Church. But there was in all human feelings a degree of perverseness. We do not anything absolutely, but all things relatively; and all this zeal of the Dissenters was overcome by a little wish to get a victory over the Church; and all this conscientious zeal of the Church for education was exceeded a little by another feeling, which was a wish to gain a victory over the Dissenters; so that between these conflicting sects education had fallen to the ground, or if not to the ground was near the earth, instead of winging its way through mid-air and mounting aloft to its kindred skies. The question, then, was, "How are these difficulties to be overcome, and how is popular education to be given to the country?" It could not be said, "Why don't you do as is done in Scotland? and for this reason, that though in Scotland there were Dissenters, there was no difference between them and the Church as to doctrine—the difference was as to discipline. In England the difference was as to doctrine; but, unfortunately, the difference as to discipline was doing in Scotland the very same work which the difference as to doctrine was doing in England. The controversy regarding patronage, which had cleft in twain the venerable structure of the Church of Scotland, was now stunting and dwarfing in Scotland the efforts of the wise for educational purposes. He agreed with the right rev. Prelate opposite, that their Lordships ought to be setting their House in order for the Education Bill which had been introduced elsewhere, and that they should be procuring information, in order to judge the better on what had been done, on what had been left undone, and on what yet remained to be done. Such a subject ought not to be left in the hands of any private individual, however respectable— such a subject, surely, was not unworthy that attention of the Imperial Legislature. He was inclined to think that their Lordships ought to assent to the previous inquiry, suggested by the right rev. Prelate. His difficulty, however, arose from the boundless length to which such an inquiry was likely to be protracted, from the quantity of time which it would occupy, and from a doubt whether it would not give rise to the introduction of much controversial matter, which would mar, and not advance, the common object of all parties. If the right rev. Prelate, on further consideration, should make a deliberate proposal for a Select Committee, he should feel inclined to support him, for we could not stop now where we were. We had either gone too far, or not far enough—we had either done too much, or too little. He ought to apologise for having detained their Lordships so long on this subject; but when they reflected how much of his life had been expended in attempts to gain education for the people, and when they were informed that the average expenditure for schools in this country was about four times less ample than it was in Switzerland, and about half as ample as it was in Scotland, and when they found that there were such scanty funds for the education of the children of the poor in our large towns, where education was most wanted, he hoped that they would agree with him in thinking that no time could be considered as wasted which was spent in the discussion of this important question.


said, that he had been entrusted with the presentation of numerous petitions on this important subject, and he felt that, considering the number of persons who had assented to these petitions, and the influential character of those who had signed them, he should not have performed his duty had he presented them in the ordinary form, with the mere proposal that they be laid upon the table. He had therefore given notice that he had such petitions, and that he would present them on the present day. He did not thereby pledge himself to do more than represent to their Lordships that the petitions were important, on an important subject, and well deserving of the attention of their Lordships. When the Lord President of the Council inquired of him in private whether the presentation of his petitions would lead to any discussion, his answer had been, he was afraid, too general, and had not con- veyed to the noble Marquess his intention of not entering into any discussion on the management clauses, or on the proceedings of the Committee of Privy Council. His intention was to represent to their Lordships on the part of the petitioners that they had something to complain of, and that they were at the bar entreating that their complaints—whether they were right or wrong he would not determine—should be taken into consideration. As this question was before the House, having originated in the presentation of a petition upon the subject by a noble Lord, in respect of which the question, that it do lie upon the table, was not yet disposed of, he trusted he was not altogether informal, and, if he were not, he did not think it unbecoming in him to take the opportunity for stating that he also had a petition to present to the House, and for accompanying it with a few observations, in the hope of obtaining for it that attention which was its due. The friends of education, as represented by the Educational Committee of the Privy Council, and the clergy of the Established Church, were reduced to a condition in which he could not contemplate any successful issue to their efforts; nay, to a condition in which he could not see anything but the chance of a disastrous conclusion. It would require the intervention of some powerful influence to bring the two parties back to that condition in which the Committee of Privy Council and the National Society could co-operate with benefit to the cause of education and to the welfare of the country generally. Since the last communication was made to the National Society by the Committee of Privy Council, he had become convinced that it would be desirable to find some medium by which the difference between them could be readjusted. He rejoiced to hear from his right rev. Brother that an inquiry into these matters by a Select Committee of their Lordships was a thing not to be despaired of. If such an inquiry could be obtained, it would prove a very beneficial and healing measure. In presenting the petition which he then held in his hand—if, indeed, it were not informal to present it before the petition of the noble Baron was disposed of—in presenting that petition, he should do nothing more than lay it on the table, in the ardent hope that due consideration would be given to the proposition of the Bishop of London for a Select Committee of Inquiry. There was much dissatisfac- tion in the country upon this subject. There were now lying by his side nearly 700 petitions emanating from different districts and places, and all complaining, to a certain extent, of the management clauses. Surely that mass of petitions must convince their Lordships that there was a deep feeling in the country. A great portion of those petitions coincided in the prayer for inquiry. He trusted that their Lordships would concede it. He did not accord with the petitioners in all their statements; but he thought that they ought to be carefully heard by their Lordships.

[The right rev. Prelate being informed that it would be informal to present at that time the petition to which he referred, presented it at a later period of the evening.


said, he did not rise to offer any objection to the suggestion that an inquiry, by a Committee, should be made into all the circumstances raised by the petitioners, and hoped some benefit and advantage might proceed from it. He was sorry to say, however, he could not at all share in the expectations which had been expressed by the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of London), or lead himself to believe that the inquiry would be followed by any of the consequences the right rev. Prelate anticipated. He had very properly called their Lordships' attention to the unquestionable fact that great excitement and great dissatisfaction existed in the body of the Church of England, among the clergy as well as the laity, with respect to the vital and important subject of education, and had expressed a hope that that excitement and dissatisfaction would be allayed by the labours of a Committee of their Lordships. If he (the Bishop of St. David's) believed that those feelings arose from one source only, he might entertain a similar hope; but it was his belief that they had arisen from two distinct sources, widely different in their nature. The first of these consisted of matters of fact, which fell within a very narrow compass, and had been long before the public in printed documents, so as to render all persons of intelligence competent to form an opinion respecting them. He did not believe the suggested inquiry could throw a great deal of additional light on these facts and documents, or would alter the opinion of any one who had attentively studied them. The second cause of the deep dissatisfaction which was producing the most deplorable consequences by obstructing the course of popular education, and which had inflicted incalculable damage on the Church and on the country, was of a very different character, and of a much larger measure. He referred to the persons who had mainly produced the excitement to which the right rev. Prelate alluded, and who had not contented themselves with an appeal to facts or to arguments grounded upon them, but had largely indulged in surmises, conjectures, insinuations, and imputations of motives—in prophecies of evil for the future, as in misrepresentations of the past, which were adapted to operate on sensitive and excitable imaginations in proportion as they were vague and indefinite, and which, the more unsubstantial and impalpable they were, became the less capable of being made the subject of such special investigation as might lead to a satisfactory result. He did not at all deprecate inquiry on the ground that the question was a large one, but because he did not consider the time and labour of the Committee would be well employed. After a vast expenditure of both one and the other, the inquiry would lead to no result, unless they were able to discriminate between the excitement founded on facts and that which had been raised on the unsubstantial basis he had described, and they would eventually be forced to go back to those great first principles staked in the question, and consider whether or not they were to be, and how they should be, carried into effect. He hoped those principles never would be abandoned, because he believed they were the only barrier against the danger to which the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of London) had adverted, and, in case they should be relinquished, he was satisfied no alternative remained but the admission of measures which he, for one, should most earnestly deprecate.


considered that Parliament had been experimenting on the subject of education, and that it was time for them to come to some definite result. The Government scheme had never yet been laid before their Lordships in one complete and comprehensive form, and it was full time to see if there were not points which might be settled in some degree, so that the public mind might be quieted as to the uncertainty which existed as to the future course that would be taken respecting the education of the people. He felt the importance of the question to be so great that he would take an early opportunity of bringing it before their Lordships, that some steps might be taken to set it at rest.


was apprehensive that his fellow-labourers on the Committee of 1816, 1817, and 1818, in the other House might justly complain of him if he merely enumerated the abortive Bills which had been introduced on the subject of education, and omitted to state that the plan adopted by the Government of Earl Grey in 1833 was founded on the report of the Committee laid before Parliament in 1818.


said, that the course taken on this occasion did not make it incumbent on him to enter into a full discussion, or to make any statement of the proceedings of Her Majesty's Government. He would, however, observe as to the meeting at which the petition entrusted to the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Chichester) had originated, that there was scarcely one single statement made at the meeting, in reference to matters of fact, which he was not able on the most unquestionable evidence—evidence laid on the table of that House—most decisively to controvert, and to prove that persons unacquainted with this subject were induced to sign that petition, by statements which might have been contradicted on the spot. It would be sufficient for him to tell their Lordships that when a clergyman of the Church of England, a manager of one of the Church schools, who was present at that meeting, rose to contradict them, he was told that that was not the fitting opportunity to do so—they wanted no information from him, and he was refused a hearing;—thus showing that those gentlemen who were assembled at that meeting in the spirit of religious liberty, as they said, were disposed to accord that religious liberty to none who ventured to inform the meeting of the facts. He was aware that this was a subject on which the public mind had been much excited, and many various and conflicting views had been formed; but however excited a man's feelings might be, that formed no excuse, in a matter in which the cause of religion and charity was so deeply concerned, for perverting the truth, and for countenancing and disseminating statements which those who put them forward, had they made themselves acquainted with the facts as they might have done, must have known to be wholly and entirely unfounded. He would simply state two or three facts which were material as proving the nature of the misrepresentations under which this petition had been signed. It was stated that the Church of England, under the administration of the Educational Committee of the Privy Council, had not received its due proportion of the public money voted by Parliament. Now, he would inform their Lordships, without entering into any argument as to the principles on which these grants have been apportioned, that of that considerable fund, so liberally allowed by Parliament, not loss than four-fifths of the money had gone to the Church of England—that, in fact, he expected if any complaint were made from any quarter on this subject, it would have come not from the Church, but from the Dissenting body, who might undoubtedly have stated that in proportion to the amount of their population they had not received their due. But with respect to the Church of England, their schools, as shown by the paper he held in his hand, had received at least four-fifths of the whole of the grants made for building schools, and, what was not less important, had had a still greater proportion, as he believed, but at least the same of the grants for maintaining the schools when founded. Yet, notwithstanding these facts, it was asserted, and confidently asserted, at that meeting, that not one shilling of the public money voted by Parliament had gone to any school, the congregation promoting which had not been required to subscribe to what were called the management clauses. Now, that statement was perfectly unfounded. He had in his possession at that moment, and could at once lay it on the table of their Lordships' House, a list of no less than 400 schools, which had received for various purposes connected with education out of the Parliamentary grant, sums for books, for masters, and other items of expenditure amounting altogether to a great many thousand pounds which had been so applied, which were being so applied, and which would continue to be so applied. That was a matter of fact which, under the circumstances, their Lordships would agree with him that he was fully justified in stating. It was also stated on the occasion he alluded to that in some part of the proceedings of the Committee of the Privy Council there had been a determination shown to prevent religion from being connected with the education given in the schools aided by those funds. Yet there were at that mo- ment—and the fact must have been known to the person who made that statement, but whom he would not name, and who ought undoubtedly to have acquainted his audience with the minutes on which he was commenting—there were at that time in existence a series of regulations (which he had in his possession, and which it would have been his duty to read to their Lordships had they gone into the discussion of this question)—making in the first year, in the second year, the third year, and even down to the fifth year, examination and instruction by a clergyman of the Church of England in the catechism and formularies of the Church of England an indispensable condition. Yet such was the obliquity of mind—such the peculiar construction of the understanding of this gentleman who made that statement—that he could bring himself to assert that there was to be found in those minutes and regulations only a disposition to separate religious from secular education. Now, these were material facts, these were statements which he could not allow to pass uncontradicted, because such was his feeling on this subject, so deeply was he persuaded that it was indispensable to the course of sound education to connect it, and to connect it inseparably, with religious instruction, that if one tithe of what was stated at that meeting were true, it would have been his duty instantly to have discontinued having any share in the administration of these grants, and, far from opposing, to have seconded any Motion that might be proposed for putting a stop to such a system. It seemed to have been the prevailing opinion that the distribution of the grant, and the proceedings of the Government as connected with it, had not led to a successful issue. Certainly it might not have been as successful as some had expected, but he would not admit that their exertions had not led to any successful issue. He could inform their Lordships that at that moment there were scattered throughout the country upwards of 800 schools founded with the assistance of the Parliamentary grant, in close accord with the Committee of Privy Council, and under the superintendence of the zealous clergymen who were their patrons and managers. From them he was daily in the habit of receiving testimony as to the benefits derived from inspection, and from the system adopted with regard to teachers and masters. All of those communications stated that the schools fully realised the expectations held out, and that being the case, he could not admit that 800 schools, founded on a regular system, were not an improvement, and a very great improvement, on the no system that had previously prevailed. To a certain extent, then, he thought the experiment had been successful; but he earnestly wished for its greater success, and therefore he was more anxious that public attention should be directed to every fact and circumstance connected with the subject. He believed he might say that there had been no indisposition exhibited on the part of the Government to lay upon the table every document and fact that could enable their Lordships to form a right and constitutional judgment. A desire had been expressed that there should be a Committee to inquire into the subject, and an opinion had been stated in favour of that course, to which he bowed with great deference, well knowing the great authority from which it proceeded; but he should be doing great injustice to the most rev. Prelate at the head of the Church, or the right rev. Prelate who sat near him, if he did not state that both had exhibited a constant desire to come to a good understanding with all parties concerned in this difficult question. He should also be doing injustice to his noble and learned Friend on the opposite side of the House (Lord Brougham) if he did not say that that noble and learned Lord had been, for a series of years, unremitting in his exertions in the good cause, and that even under circumstances which gave but slight prospect of an successful result to his labours. But he would remind his noble and learned Friend of the great difficulties he had himself encountered, and would express his hope that his noble and learned Friend would, from experience, be induced to make allowance for the obstacles with which the Committee of Privy Council had to contend. Whether those difficulties could be met by a Committee, was a question which he was not then going to discuss, nor could he decide; but thus far he would say, that he had not heard any Parliamentary ground laid for such a Committee. However, although he could not say that he was prepared, as at present advised, to support such a Motion, he would promise it the most attentive consideration. But he was appalled by the magnitude of the task which their Lordships proposed to undertake—a magnitude arising not only from the importance of the question of education as it affected the habits and morals of the country, but from the various religious interests which must be considered in discussing that question as a national measure. The right rev. Bench must not think that they could enter into such an investigation as regarded the Church of England, and at the same time exclude other sects and other churches. It might be admitted that every religious denomination in the country should share in any public bounty granted for educational purposes, but it was not so easy to settle the proportions in which that bounty was to be distributed, or the nature of the safeguards you were to have from each. He spoke with a knowledge which even the right rev. Prelates could not have—a knowledge derived from the experience of the last three years—of the difficulty of dealing with sectarian scruples in the allocation of public grants. He could assure their Lordships that they would find the task no easy one, either in deciding on the system they should recommend, or in satisfying those classes of the community whose numbers and importance entitled them to consideration. [A Noble LORD made an observation across the table.] He could assure his noble Friend that he had found difficulty enough in dealing with the question in England, without extending his labours to Ireland. Whatever might be their Lordships' decision, he trusted that they would not insist on suspending the present system pending inquiry, because if they stopped the schools until they had hit upon a system calculated to satisfy all parties, he feared that a very serious injury would be done to great national interests. He merely threw out these suggestions for the purpose of showing that the question required the most cautious consideration, and should only observe, in conclusion, that he quite concurred in the opinion expressed by the noble Earl, that whenever a grant was about to be made for educational purposes by the Committee of Privy Council, the amount of that grant, and the principle upon which it was dispensed, should be submitted to Parliament.

Petition read, and ordered to lie on the table; as were a large number of petitions on the same subject.