§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved—That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.
§ On Question, agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ Clause I read.
§ The EARL of DERBY
My Lords, before the question is put, that this clause stand part of the Bill, I am desirous of having the opportunity of submitting to your Lordships the Amendment of which I have given notice, the effect of which I will now state. The Amendment of which I have given notice is one in itself so 382 moderate, so just, and so reasonable—it appears to me to rest upon a principle so sacred, and of such universal application—that I confess I entertain a very sanguine hope that it will be favoured with your Lordships' support; and I should feel still more sanguine of such a result if I could believe that your Lordships will come to the discussion of this question setting aside political and party considerations, and looking calmly at the different arguments offered in favour of it, and will give it—I will not say an impartial, but also a judicial hearing. If your Lordships will consent to look at this question in your judicial character, you will find that rights are infringed by this Bill, which it is your duty to protect, and which may be protected to a certain extent by the Amendment I am about to propose. That Amendment is so moderate that I fear I shall be open to the argument and answer, that the proposition I have to submit does not come up to the realisation of the assertion of those rights. After the able and powerful speech of my noble and learned Friend (Lord St. Leonards), I confess I felt a doubt whether I should be justified in submitting an Amendment that falls so far short of the strict claims of justice to the Protestant clergy of Canada; but I trust your Lordships will give me credit, if I fall short of the assertion of the principle on which my Amendment proceeds, for desiring not to meet the proposition of the Government by any factious opposition, or any extreme assertion of my own opinions; but that I wished to find a mode by which we, to a certain extent, might be able to reconcile the claim of public principle with those objects which the Government have in view in offering to the Canadian Legislature powers larger than they have as yet possessed—and a power which, if good policy were alone to be considered, I should consider it right to say that they ought not to have. The effect of the Amendment will be to grant to the Colonial Legislature all that the Bill proposes to grant with regard to all the appropriations of the clergy reserves not hitherto appropriated or allotted under the authority of grants of the Crown and Acts of Parliament for the specific use and benefit of the clergy of the several Churches in Canada. I do not propose, by my Amendment, to limit the powers which the Bill proposes to give to those prospective appropriations the policy of which I do not deny. I shall waive now all other considerations. I am content to rest the case 383 on the assumption only that it will be wise or desirable on the ground of policy to give the Colonial Legislature an absolute control over the existing revenues of the Churches of England and Scotland; and all I ask is, that the operation of the Bill be not, as it ought not to be, made retrospective. The noble Earl (Earl Grey), who has had long experience in the colonial department of the Government, and who may be considered the original author of this measure, stated that this Amendment, if carried, would as effectually destroy the object of the Bill as if it were rejected upon the second reading. I must demur to that statement, and I propose to show to your Lordships the practical distinction between these two courses. By the Amendment, I propose the Colonial Legislature will be left in the absolute disposal of those hitherto unappropriated lands of the clergy, amounting to no less than 1,500,000 acres, and to the value of 430,000l.; of which one-half is by the existing law absolutely tied up and withdrawn from any control of the Colonial Legislature. The noble Duke (the Duke of Newcastle) who moved the second reading of the Bill, stated that the measure in effect would only restore to the Legislature of Canada the power which the Legislature of Upper Canada possessed under the Constitutional Act of 1791. The noble Duke will pardon me if I say that he is mistaken. The Bill as amended in the way I propose, will give to the united Legislature all the powers, and more than all the powers, the Legislature of Upper Canada ever possessed under the Act of 1791. The Act of 1791 gave to the Colonial Legislature the power to vary and repeal the provisions of the Act in regard to the endowment of the Protestant clergy, subject to this control—this most important control, and more important in those days than in the present—that no alteration could be made by the Colonial Legislature, or could be assented to by the Crown, until the Bill for that purpose had lain on the table of both Houses of Parliament for thirty days, each House having the power to interpose by an address to the Crown, praying Her Majesty not to give Her assent to the Bill. So that to each House was left a practical veto upon the disposal of those clergy reserves. I do not say whether such a veto was wise or not; but I think that such a control was more fitting for the days in which it was enacted, and the then state of the 384 colony, than it is at the present day. I do not think it desirable to maintain any longer over the Legislature of the colony any special control by way of veto. But the Bill, as I proposed to amend it, does away with that restriction, and gives to the local Legislature the power of dealing in prospective with the clergy reserves. I assert that this was all the power ever possessed by the Legislature of Upper Canada under the Act of 1791. I do not make this assertion without being supported by high authority. This very point has been submitted to the opinion of the Judges of England, and they are unanimously, and without a single dissentient voice, of opinion that the powers given by that Act to the Colonial Legislature were purely prospective and not retrospective. They say—We are all of opinion that the effect of the 41st section of the statute is prospective only, and that the power thereby given to the Legislative Council and Assembly of either of the provinces cannot be extended to affect lands which have been already allotted and appropriated under former grants; for the manifest import of the 41st section appears to us to be limited to this—namely, 'the varying or repealing the provisions respecting the allotment and appropriation of lands,' and not to comprehend 'the varying or repealing allotments or appropriations which have been already made under provisions of the Act, while such provisions continued unrepealed and in full force.'Therefore I think I am justified in the position with which I set out, that if this Bill should pass with the Amendment I propose, it will give to the Canadian Legislature not only all the power previously possessed, but more power than was ever possessed by the Legislature of Upper Canada under the Act of 1791. But it is undoubtedly true that the Act of 1840 limited, in regard to the Colonial Legislature, the powers conferred on the Legislature of Upper Canada by the Act of 1791. It will be necessary to call attention to the circumstances under which that Act of 1840 was passed. The course of proceeding of the Government in regard to this Bill before the House, has been marked, I must say, by considerable vacillation and uncertainty, not to say insincerity of purpose. The Bill appears to have been introduced without sufficient consideration or knowledge of facts. The noble Duke, the Secretary for the Colonies, in a despatch to Lord Elgin, dated March 24, 1853, said—At the time when this provision of the Bill was adopted, I was not aware of any peculiar cir- 385 cumstances connected with, the introduction of the guarantee clause into the Act of 1810 which should take that clause out of the ordinary case of similar enactments.Now I do not wish to expect too much of the noble Duke, but it seems to me only reasonable that he should take the trouble to satisfy himself of the circumstances under which the Act of 1840 was passed, and what peculiar assurances were held out to justify the assent of Parliament to that Bill. In this despatch the noble Duke refers to the debate in the House of Commons of July 6, 1840. With reference to that debate, it is contended by the noble Earl opposite (Earl Grey) that no compact had taken place at that time. Now who were the contracting parties to the understanding come to in 1840, when this Bill was passed, which was to prevent the necessity for future legislation on this subject? I will not stop to inquire into the precise meaning of the word "compact." But the noble Duke, in his despatch to Lord Elgin of the 24th of March, 1853, admits that there was an understanding upon the subject of the Act of 1840 between Her Majesty's Ministers on the one hand, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, representing the Protestant Church in the colony, on the other. I will not go the length of saying that it is possible for any public man to enter into any undertaking by which all future Parliaments should be bound; but I say it is a very strong case, when a Minister of the Crown in 1840 introduces a Bill, which he carries through the House of Commons and Parliament on a specific understanding or compact that that Bill embodies particular provisions, and that these provisions are inserted at the request and to obtain the assent of those who were in a condition to have successfully resisted it, and when in the passing of the Bill the successful issue of another great question depended—namely, the union of two provinces—when the same Minister who made the proposition twelve years ago now repudiates that agreement and rejects that portion of it which was introduced under that solemn understanding or compact—it is, I say, a very strong case; and the noble Duke has referred to the conversations that had taken place upon the subject in the House of Commons in 1840; and I must now refer your Lordships to the sanction under which the Act of 1840 was passed. It appears that on the 6th of July, 1840, Lord John Russell said— 386He had now to state to the House that another proposition had been made to bin), the full particulars of which he had not yet seen, but which he was told was likely to obtain the assent of those who had the most right to represent the Church of England in Parliament, and who had communicated with some members of the colonial committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and he understood that they considered it perfectly fair and just towards the Church of Scotland. The proposition was to this effect—it was founded on the opinion of the Judges which had been given in the other House of Parliament with respect to the clergy reserves."—[3 Hansard, lv. 464, 465.]The noble Lord then proceeds to refer to the general acquiescence which the House had shown to the measure, notwithstanding the strong adverse opinions expressed by some important men, amongst others by the late lamented Duke (the Duke of Wellington), who, though he had strong objections to the measure, yet gave it his sanction and support in consideration of the proposed modifications. Lord Sydenham stated, that unless a final arrangement were made in regard to the clergy reserves, the measure of the union would be rather a curse than a blessing. But the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) again goes on to say—He could not but refer to these circumstances, and he would be most unwilling, when another question was introduced relative to Canada, not to endeavour to obtain for it something of the same general assent. He should be anxious to send to the Canadas the measures of the union and of the clergy reserves, not only by the authority of the Government, but with the general consent of the whole House. He could not persuade himself that any person deeply and extensively considering the whole interests of Canada would disappoint the hopes which were entertained, that in the present Session we shall be able to settle the affairs of Canada. Though one measure may be preferred to another—though he was not prepared to say that another measure might not be better than the union of the Ca-nadas—yet it would be most dangerous to induce in Canada a belief that the Legislature were not acting upon any settled plan with respect to that province, but with capricious and party views. Believing this to be the case, and feeling that he should be responsible if in Canada parties should make it an excuse that one Church had been treated with undue favour rather than another, yet, feeling the greater responsibility if he opposed any obstacle on his part to the settlement of a question on which the welfare of Canada depended, he should move, on Thursday next, in the form of an Amendment, the propositions which he had detailed. Though they were not the propositions which he might think the best, yet, considering that those who had made them had conceded much of their own opinions as to what they think due to the Church of England in making these propositions, he should willingly accept, them in the way he proposed, and offer them to the consideration of the House."—[3 Hansard, lv. 467]387 Now, there is the offer—there is the reason assigned, and there is the statement made by a leading Member of the Government in his place in Parliament. And here is the mode in which it was received by the late Sir Robert Peel, to whose high authority I think that many of the noble Lords opposite would be willing to defer. That late right hon. Baronet undoubtedly accepted the measure as a compact, and he was ready, on the part of the Church, to give his general concurrence to the measure, providing these provisions to which I have referred were inserted. On that occasion the late Sir Robert Peel said—With respect to the clergy reserves, I hope that this measure will be discussed in the same spirit as the union of the Canadas—and I would appeal to the House if it could he asserted, of the propositions made to the noble Lord, and by him to the House, that the Church of England had been governed by a rigid adherence to its own interests. I think that the proposition made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, distinguished as well for his high station as for his moderation, comes recommended by justice as well as forbearance. On the part of the Church of England all obstacles are removed from the disposal of the whole of the reserve lands. The Church seeks not to reserve to herself any of these lands. After the decision of the Judges the Church of Scotland is admitted to the same right as the Church of England; and the only difference which exists is, the difference arising from the number of adherents which belong to each. With this proposition, acquiesced in by the two Churches, permitting the sale of the whole of the reserve lands, with the guarantee in perpetuity of the present amount with one-third of the proceeds of the future sale, that is a proposal recommended by its intrinsic importance as well as by its justice and moderation. It would be unfortunate indeed if this question should remain unsettled. It is to me a source of the greatest satisfaction that the noble Lord acquiesces in the proposal made by the Church of England. In acceding to that proposal I think the noble Lord has acted wisely, and I sincerely hope that this measure will be discussed in the same spirit as the question of the union, and I trust that the two measures will pass in to a law with the general concurrence of the House, and by doing so be the foundation of a happy relation between this country and Canada."—[3 Hansard, lv. 468.]Now upon that understanding, and upon that declaration, made by the leader of the Government in the House of Commons, and adopted by Sir Robert Peel, and the noble Lord speaking in the name and by the authority of the Churches of England and Scotland—it was under those circumstances that the Act was passed as a final settlement of the question of the clergy reserves—that Act which we are now called upon to reverse by the adoption of a measure which is retrospective in its principle. I would now recall to your Lordships the 388 circumstances under which that compact or understanding was come to; and though I do not carry my argument so far as to say that those circumstances deprive all future Parliaments of the legislative power of dealing with the enactment of 1840, yet I do say that with the statesmen who proposed, and the Government which carried it, its conditions and its powers ought to be sacred and inviolable. So long as the party for whose benefit and for whose interest the provisions were inserted, were willing to waive any objection which they might have entertained to any alteration in the enactments, Parliament and Government might, with some species of justification, have modified the Bill; but if you deal with this measure in any other way, then you leave Parliament open to the imputation of passing an Act on a mere pretended principle, which is not to be borne out in practice, but to be thrown over when your purpose is attained. And yet, my Lords, what were the provisions of the Act of 1840? There has been some confusion with regard to this subject, as to a point of the question to which I shall have to refer—namely, as to the temporary or permanent character of the endowments. My Lords, it has no doubt been a matter for no little consideration amongst such of your Lordships as have not previously directed your attention to it, how it happened that on the passing of the Act of 1840 it was ordained that payments to the Roman Catholic priesthood should form a charge—a primary charge—on funds devoted by Act of Parliament to the maintenance of Protestant clergymen. Now, my Lords, let it be well observed that it was not until the Act of 1840 that this charge was made—for previous to that Act the casual and territorial revenues of the Crown in Canada were under the absolute and uncontrolled dominion of the Crown, and were applied as the Crown thought fit, without being in any way liable to be interfered with by the Colonial Legislature; but out of those casual and territorial revenues the Crown was in the habit of granting certain allowances to certain ministers of religion, partly in aid of the clergy reserves and of the Protestant Church, and partly in favour of the Roman Catholics and other bodies of dissenting clergymen. These payments rested upon the will of the Crown, and, as stated in the Act of 1840, they were payments which were annually made from the casual and territorial revenues of the 389 Crown; but of course being so made by the free pleasure of the Crown they could have no binding force, except so far as the personal obligations of the Crown were concerned, towards the individuals who were in the habit of receiving these aids. But upon the passing of the Act of 1840, the casual and territorial revenues of the Crown were made over to the local Legislature, in return for the appropriation of the civil list to the Crown; but they were made over subject to the continuance of such payments as they had hitherto been liable to by the previous Acts of the Crown. When the casual and' territorial revenues were merged in the general revenue of the Crown, the Act of the same year, chap. 78, was passed regulating the clergy reserves, and then for the first time a provision was inserted making those grants, to which the faith of the Crown was pledged, a first charge upon the clergy reserves, subject to the condition that if those reserves were insufficient to meet those charges, then those who were in the habit of receiving them should receive compensation out of the casual and territorial revenue surrendered to the local Legislature. So far, therefore, the provision was of a temporary character made to meet a temporary arrangement entered into on the part of the Crown, and therefore, strictly speaking, limited to the parties who had previously been in the receipt of those monies. But when you come to deal with the subsequent part of the question, then there is no such limitation as that which has been suggested, and has often been confounded with a provision in this Bill, by which the funds are distributed, and the clergy reserves were appropriated for ever to the purposes of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. They were appropriated under certain provisions, which made a new distribution of these revenues, and to which I will beg to call your Lordships' attention, inasmuch as they had an important bearing upon the Amendment which I am about to submit, making as they do a broad distinction in the manner of dealing, retrospectively and prospectively, with existing revenues, and those which should thereafter be realised. My Lords, the Act of 1791 maintains a disinction between the retrospective and prospective character of the reserves—a distinction still maintained by the Act of 1840: and in dealing with the proceeds of the sales hereafter to be realised, it sedulously maintains and upholds the right of the Churches of 390 England and Scotland to the possession and enjoyment of the whole of the revenue which had been realised previous to the passing of the Act of 1840, inasmuch as the local Legislature had not the right—though it might have the power—to deprive those bodies of property which had been legally vested in them. My Lords, I propose in this Amendment to take precisely the same course. I propose, in 1853, to follow out the same principle which the Government of the day did in 1840; and I even propose to do so much further and more liberally towards the colonists. I propose, with regard to all future appropriations, to give to the Colonial Legislature a control, not over one-half, but absolutely over the whole of them; but I propose, with regard to those endowments which were sanctioned and confirmed by the grant of the Crown and authority of the Legislature, by being vested in the public funds—by the nomination of trustees for their administration—that their annual destination should be unaltered—for I must most earnestly impress upon your Lordships that in exercising the power—though the right is not with you—of alienating these funds, you strike at the very root of all settled property in the colony. Now, what is the intention of the Government with regard to the finality of their arrangements, or with regard to the permanency of the endowments? My Lords, Lord John Russell on a former occasion used this language:—Now, the proposition which I wish to mention to the House proposes to deal differently with those lands that have been sold under the Act of 1827 (the 7 & 8 Geo. IV.) from the manner in which it is proposed to deal with the other parts of the clergy reserves. It is proposed that one-fourth, or rather the proceeds of that one-fourth which has already been sold, shall be given absolutely to the Church of England and the Church of Scotland, in the proportion of two to one; that is, being divided into three equal parts, two of those parts shall be given to the Church of England; and one to the Church of Scotland."—[3 Hansard, lv. 464,]My Lords, I would ask you, could words express in a more clear and emphatic manner that the arrangement then proposed was one not to be altered at the mere caprice or pleasure of Parliament—not one merely concerning interests of individuals, but one which gave absolutely—gave the inalienable possession and property in these reserves to the Churches of England and Scotland? My Lords, his Lordship then, in the speech from which I have quoted, proceeded to say— 391It is proposed, further, with regard to the remaining three-fourths of the clergy reserves, that they shall be divided into two equal parts; of which one shall be given to the Church of England and Church of Scotland, and the other part be left at the disposal of the Governor and Executive Council of Canada, for the purpose of religious worship and instruction generally.Now, my Lords, following that announcement of the noble Lord, an Act of Parliament was passed—the 3 & 4 Vict., c. 78—by which the revenues were so appropriated, and I beg your Lordships to listen to the terms in which they were so appropriated. I should here state to your Lordships a remarkable fact, that, so far from these funds being at any time previously under the control of the local Legislature, it was not until the year 1827 that permission was given to invest the proceeds of the sales in any other funds than those of this country; for in 1827, for the first time, upon the representation being made as to the low rate of interest in England and the high rate of interest in the colony, that security was taken away, and for the first time power was given to invest the proceeds of the sales in the colonial funds, instead of in those of this country. Now, my Lords, I would ask—after the statement of this fact, that permission had actually to be sought for the investment of the proceeds of lands sold in Canada in other than the British funds—I ask what shadow of ground or colour of pretext can there be for the Colonial Legislature maintaining their uncontrolled right to dispose of these funds? And, my Lords, if under the sanction of Parliament these proceeds were subsequently invested by the Colonial Legislature in colonial funds, will your Lordships give your assent to such a monstrous proposition as to declare that the mere fact of investment in the colonial funds can create any difference as to their ownership or proprietorship? The third clause of the Bill provides, as I have already mentioned, for the discharge in the first instance out of the clergy reserves already realised of those charges with regard to which the faith of the Crown was pledged, and that if the funds should be insufficient, the balance should be defrayed out of the casual and territorial revenues of the Crown in the province of Canada. Then comes the application of the residue of the fund. By the fourth clause, as soon as the fund should exceed the amount of the stipends and allowances which at that time were charged in favour of the clergy of the Church of England 392 and the Church of Scotland, then a proviso is made for sanctioning the disposal of the reserve lands and the appropriation of the proceeds for the purposes of the Churches of England and Scotland, and the share allotted and appropriated to each of the said Churches is made payable by the Receiver General of the province, by warrant from the Governor, in favour, not of this or that individual, nor of this or that incumbent, but of certain bodies named in the Bill, who were to act as trustees—namely, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts on the part of the Church of England, and of a Board of nine Commissioners to be elected by the synod or synods of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in connexion with the Church of Scotland. Now, my Lords, under the provisions of that Act, and at that period, the particular sum to be divided between the Church of England and the Church of Scotland amounted to 20,000l. or 25,000l.; and, as I have already stated, a further sum was calculated to be produced reaching to 430,000l. Well, then, my Lords, what I ask your Lordships to do is to affirm the proposition made by Lord John Russell in 1840, that the fund actually placed in the hands of trustees for these respective bodies—funds appropriated under the sanction of Acts of Parliament—shall be maintained sacred and inviolable in favour of those persons whose property they have now become. My Lords, suppose the case to have been, that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, having regard to the future endowment of the Church of England in Canada, had at that remarkable period purchased a portion of the waste lands of Canada, and that subsequently, when, as the noble Duke opposite has said, additional value was given to the lands by proper cultivation and industry of the inhabitants—suppose the Society had thought fit to sell the land again, and to invest the proceeds in the English or colonial funds; in such a case can any one be prepared to contend that the proceeds of such a sale, so effected by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, if invested in the public funds, could be dealt with, with any show or shadow of justice, by the Colonial or the Imperial Legislature; or that, because the lands so purchased or disposed of had been increased in value by the labour or industry of the people of Canada, therefore the Legislature of Canada could appropriate the money derived therefrom, 393 and afterwards invested? Well, my Lords, there is no dispute as to the right of the Crown to grant' the land in question—there is no dispute as to the fact of the Crown having granted those lands, neither is there a dispute as to the fact of Parliament having sanctioned their disposal and the application of the revenue for the purpose of making permanent provision for the Churches of England and Scotland, and having for that purpose constituted a body of the trustees to administer those funds. And, my Lords, I dwell upon this point because I feel it is one of the deepest and most vital interest—it is a question which touches not a wretched 5,000L. or 20,000l. a year, but a question which goes to the very foundation of all property vested in corporate bodies. And, my Lords, here I cannot help adverting to a declaration which fell from a noble Earl opposite (Earl Grey), and in which I am sure, my Lords, you will be slow to coincide—and it is a doctrine which flows naturally from the adoption of the present Bill—that there was no such thing as the permanence of interests in the case of property invested in the Church of England; that the Church was dependent on the State; that its revenues were at the absolute disposal of the State; and that it was perfectly at the option of the State at any time to take and appropriate to any purposes whatever the revenues and property of that Church. My Lords, it appears to me that that declaration of the noble Earl is entirely consistent with—in fact, it may be accounted as a corollary to—the measure of the Government, should your Lordships be induced to adopt it. My Lords, if you should pass this Bill, enabling the Legislature of Canada to deal retrospectively with the already realised revenue and property of the Church, I say you are laying down practically a principle which I defy you to prevent being extended further, so as to be brought to bear against the revenues of the Church of England in this country, but still more against the revenues of the Church in Ireland. Nay, my Lords, I defy you to prevent the principle being extended even further, and being made to reach to every corporate body, to every body, with a permanent succession; for, pass this Bill, and you will deal with them henceforward as merely a body of individuals, whose single and personal rights being satisfied, Parliament will consider itself perfectly entitled to deal with the remainder of their property as they may 394 please. But, my Lords, the noble Earl opposite (Earl Grey), on a former occasion, cited your Lordships a great authority—a great constitutional authority, no less than that of wise King Henry VIII.—as participating in his view of the position in which the State stands in reference to the property of the Church, and as one who had not hesitated to carry those views into effect by alienating the property of the Church. Now, although, my Lords, I am not going to enter the lists in favour of that Royal personage, I certainly must confess that, though I do not cavil with the noble Earl in his assertion that Henry had enacted a transference of funds from one Church to another, I do not think that he is correct in the historical view of the transaction which he has enunciated. The noble Earl spoke of Henry VIII. as having transferred the funds of one Church to another; and in the same breath the noble Earl charged me with having bribed the landlords of Ireland by the sacrifice of the Church property. Now, my Lords, if he had said that Henry VIII. had bribed the principal nobles of this country—that he had bribed a large part of his followers by transferring a portion of those funds—not to another Church, but—to laymen in his favour, while being more accurate in his historical enunciations, he might have found a more correct parallel to the imputation which he has cast upon me. My Lords, the noble Earl referred to a Bill which I had the honour of introducing, and to which I look back—notwithstanding all the personal attacks levelled against me at the time—I look back upon, I say, with every feeling of satisfaction, believing as I do that that measure, in conjunction with another which followed it a short time afterwards, has proved the means of preserving inviolate the property of the Irish Church; preserving in peace and safety the enjoyment of its possessions to the present time at all events; but how much longer, my Lords, should you be induced to recognise the principle of this Bill, it would be rash to speculate upon. My Lords, it is certainly true that I advised the Crown to diminish the number of the Irish bishops; and it is true that about the same time I relieved the Roman Catholic inhabitants—after all the great majority of the people of Ireland—from the payment which they were called upon to make in aid of the funds which had been appropriated to the Church in Ireland—at the same time I relieved the people from the payment of those first fruits which were appropriated in Ireland 395 to the maintenance of the Established Church. But, my Lords, I also induced Parliament to impose in lieu of that first penny and first fruits, a tax upon benefices; and out of the sums so derived was created a fund for the purpose—a purpose which has been answered effectually—of ncreasing the incomes of small livings in Ireland, and increasing the means at the disposal of the poorer clergy, as well as making a more effectual and a better provision for them. But, my Lords, in that Bill no bribery, no offer, no advantage of any kind whatsoever was held out to the landed proprietors of Ireland. And, my Lords, let me, before I quit the topic introduced into this discussion by the noble Earl opposite—let me remind you that a new generation has now sprung up around us which know not the Appropriation Clause—but I have, I am sure, little wish to revive the forgotten discusions of a period now long gone by. Well, now, my Lords, it becomes necessary for me to notice the only statement of which I have to complain in the able statement of the noble Duke (the Duke of Newcastle). My Lords, the noble Duke, the other evening, made a quotation from a speech of mine to prove that I was in favour of the alienation of the clergy reserves—a speech made twenty years ago, in support of a proposition of Mr. Wilmot Horton, in 1827, for the sale of the reserves. [The Duke of NEWCASTLE was understood to dissent.] Well, my Lords, I will only say that the noble Duke quoted so much of my speech as would prove I entertained certain objections to the clergy reserves, though he did not quote the paragraph immediately following, and which would have made clear to your Lordships the grounds on which these objections rested. Those grounds, your Lordships would have seen, wore—that the reserves, circumstanced as they were, interfered with the agricultural improvement of the country, and that the arrangements with respect to so peculiar a description of property were most unsatisfactory; and then the noble Duke, quoting the sentence in which I spoke of the sale of a portion of the reserves, omitted the reason gave on that occasion for supporting the Bill—that, by the sale of a portion of the lands, the remainder of the property would be made more valuable, and at the same time more beneficial to the country. [The Duke of NEWCASTLE again interposed.] Your Lordships will see, on reference to my speech, that I distinctly stated the grounds upon which I objected to the reserves, and 396 the grounds upon which I assented to the sale of a portion of them—namely, not because I would alienate, but because I wished to improve the value of the remainder of the property. Now, my Lords, if you sanction this Bill introduced by Her Majesty's Government, you sanction the principle that Church property, as property, is at the disposal of the State; and you declare that, provided that due consideration is paid to the vested interests of existing incumbents, you are perfectly at liberty to deal with that property as you may at any juncture think fit. But, my Lords, I entreat you not, now for the first time, to lay down so dangerous a doctrine. If that he the opinion of the House of Lords, let that opinion be declared by a broad general assertion of a principle; but do not—I beg of you do not—let it be insinuated, from its adoption in a comparatively insignificant case, pointing to an inference from which it is impossible to escape hereafter. My Lords, with regard to the question of the guarantee, I confess I cannot understand the course of conduct followed by Her Majesty's Government; nor can I comprehend their reasoning with regard to it. My Lords, the noble Duke has told us that he had written to the Governor of Canada in the first instance to announce the intentions of Her Majesty's Government; that he had made himself acquainted with the circumstances of the compact or understanding which was entered into in the year 1840, and in consequence of the information received, it may be, it was that the noble Duke said—This being the case, it may be thought that considerations of good faith are involved in its maintenance. Under these circumstances, Her Majesty's Government have thought it advisable to propose the withdrawal of the third section, which was accordingly struck out of the Bill by the House of Commons in Committee on the 18th current.My Lords, I, too, declare that considerations of good faith are involved; but since the regard for good faith has become of paramount importance with the present Government, what has happened? Why, my Lords, the third section of the Bill—which declared the withdrawal of the guarantee, which provided that in the event of the reserves not proving sufficient to meet the requirements a guarantee was to be given on the Consolidated Fund—has been given up. And I would beg your Lordships to observe that that clause repealed the guarantee of 1840, and was not limited in point of time or in respect of individuals, 397 but in the briefest and most distinct manner stated that if at any time the fund arising from the clergy reserves should fall short of the sum of 7,700l. for the Church of England, and of 1,500l. for the Church of Scotland in Canada, on the fact being properly certified to the Accountant General, the Consolidated Fund of England should he made liable for the payment of the difference, not to the incumbents or to individuals, but to the trustees nominated for all time to come for these Churches. I was not surprised to hear the noble Earl say he thought it judicious to withdraw the third clause, because I certainly think that if the Legislature made up their minds to deal with this property in the way of confiscation, they could not be expected to stultify their acts by continuing the guarantee. That, however, was not the view taken by Her Majesty's Government when dealing with the question on the principle of equity and good faith alluded to by the noble Duke. In dealing with a compact which the noble Lord the leader of the House of Commons declared to be binding in its obligation—which the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his place, if I am not misinformed, characterised, not as a virtual but as an actual and positive compact—I say, my Lords, it was in pursuance of such a view, which I hold to be a just and sound view of the case, that Her Majesty's Government determined upon withdrawing the clause. Yes, my Lords, they did withdraw it, and they conceded its withdrawal in opposition to a large part of their Radical supporters, but backed and assisted by that portion of the House of Commons which I must still be permitted to call the Conservative body, in contradistinction, my Lords, to that mongrel Liberal-Conservative-Republican Administration, which seems to hold, it must be confessed, Radical views in such particular favour. Well, my Lords, with respect to the sum of 7,700l. for the Church of. England, and of 1,500l. for the Church of Scotland, we still had the guarantee of 1840, which the declarations of Government have announced that they feel it an obligation to respect; and the noble Duke then wrote to the Governor of the colony, stating that the effect of the omission of the clause will be that the contingent charge imposed upon the Consolidated Fund will remain unaffected by the Bill now before your Lordships. But, my Lords, after having heard that acknowledgment of solemn obligation—after having witnessed 398 the withdrawal of the clause, it is with mingled feelings of shame and astonishment, mingled with feelings of a different and stronger character, that I have heard it stated as the opinion of the law officers of the Crown, that the guarantee, as originally given, is worthless. Is it possible, my Lords, that any course can be pursued, not only so utterly inconsistent in itself, but so utterly subversive of all confidence in the statements of public men, as first to retain a guarantee declaring they are bound by it; secondly, telling the colonists the results of their measure are to maintain the guarantee unimpaired; and then to say that, by some legal construction or other (which I am not able to understand) the provisions in that Bill fell to the ground; when, by their act and permission, the Legislature of Canada has availed itself of the powers they gave? The fund, indeed, remains as valuable and efficient as ever; but it is alienated and confiscated, though the property still exists, by the operation of an ex-post facto act of the Legislature. That act to which they invited us is to have the effect of relieving us from the guarantee which we have declared ourselves bound in honour and honesty to fulfil. I defy them to vindicate that transaction. If the guarantee is to be held valid, then it is our imperative duty, before we go any further, to see that in our Bill the guarantee is maintained in its integrity, and not by suffling evasions to enable ourselves to frustrate and shift out of that guarantee, the obligations of which we declare we are called upon in honour and honesty to observe. My Lords, the Government contend that, while they have given the Colonial Legislature power to deal generally with the question, they have made reservations in favour of existing endowments; but the noble Duke who says So appears to have confounded the two cases of the obligations entered into before 1840, and of the charges arising out of the maintenance of the Churches, omitting the distinction they have inserted in the words of the Bill, maintaining the rights of the present incumbents as their rights, while they belong in reality to another class of men. But, even on their own showing, that restriction is absolutely inconsistent with their argument, which is, that we ought to give absolute and uncontrolled power to the Colonial Legislature. And here you are about to give the whole property of the Church into the hands of men whom you yourselves declare 399 you cannot trust with the maintenance of existing interests, and whom you prevent from laying their unhallowed hands on rights they suppose to be vested and desired to maintain. And yet the House is told to hope for the best, to deal generously with the local Legislature, and they will see they would not do that which was feared, and effect the abolition of the reserves. My Lords, I must own I would rather that you passed this Bill without even the reservation you have made; because, in making it you are endorsing, you are sanctioning, the principle contended for by the local Legislature—that the endowments are only to be considered with reference to existing incumbents, and are not the property of the body of communicants and churchmen—and that, provided the interests of the incumbents are provided for, it will be open to them to deal as they may think best with the property of the Church. My Lords, the principle of my case is this: if property has been assigned by competent- authority to trustees or existing bodies—if, under the authority of Acts of Parliament, that investment has been made in British and Colonial lands—if, on the faith of that investment, new churches have been built, new parishes formed—if Christianity has spread and extended over the face of the country: have you a right by the mere exercise of the authority of Parliament—for I will presume you have the authority—on your conscience do you believe you have the right to look to the pecuniary interests of individuals only? Is there a Member of your Lordships' House—particularly, I would ask, is there a Member sitting on the right rev. Bench—who would say, as to the alienation of Church property, "So long as my own interests in my see are preserved, I care not. So long as the interests of the incumbent are safe, I care not. I care not what becomes of the Church—I care not what becomes of the parishioners. The endowment is a stipend which the State may withdraw. We are only the salaried servants of the State. The prescription of 400 years may be done away with. We will fling all these claims to the winds; you are at liberty to deal with the incomes of our sees, and with the incomes of the clergy under our guardianship. We are prepared to deal with the pecuniary interests of the Church of which we are the representatives in this House. We leave all to depend on the caprice of a representative assembly or of a popular 400 House of Commons." My Lords, I do not think such language would be held by any one of your Lordships. But the noble Earl (Earl Grey), the other night, in commenting on this measure, said that the security of the Church of England rests on the deep attachment of the people of England. I do not doubt the attachment of a very large portion of the people of this country to the Church; but if that security rests on attachment to the doctrines and discipline of the Church of England of a large portion of those who now are or who may hereafter be the representatives of the people in Parliament, I say that the possessions and the temporalities of the Church rest on a much more narrow and dangerous basis than the regard of the people. I believe, my Lords, the Church possesses the confidence of the people and the affections of a large portion of them. I believe, too, there are many who view her with no affection, and look upon her with no regard, but who would hesitate before they would confiscate her revenues, because they venerate the established rights of property, and because they would resist the beginning of a system of confiscation of which none could see the end. If, then, you believe the principle of retrospective legislation unsafe in this country—if you think it unwise and unconstitutional to deal with grants from the Crown, sanctioned by the Legislature, and involving the rights and obligations of property, do nothing, I entreat you, for any purpose whatever, or under any pretext whatsoever—do nothing by which you can cast a doubt upon the sincerity of your convictions—he not under any plea, how specious soever, induced to prefer expediency to the claims of truth and justice—do not apply to the colony of Canada and the Church of Canada that doctrine which you hold to be in principle indefensible as applied to England. My Lords, I entreat you to pause before you pass this most dangerous measure. Grant, if you will, to the colonists, full control for the future. Sanction, if you please—I do not say whether it will be wise or just to do so—but, sanction, if you please, the violation of those expectations which the Church has been reasonably allowed to form of increasing emoluments and endowments in proportion to the spread of religion and to the advance of population in the provinces—but mind well the sacred rights of settled and invested property. Do not confer on the Legislature of Canada a power which you 401 yourselves do not possess. Remember there are some principles which you desire to be maintained here in England, and do not fear but that there are sufficient intelligence and justice in Canada itself, if the feelings and opinions of the great bulk of the loyal population of that country are to weigh with your Lordships in the consideration of the question, and that there is enough of good sense and discrimination in that great and loyal people to lead them to say, "Parliament has dealt liberally with us. She has given us all that was hers to give, and she has refused us nothing but that which, from conscientious and honest motives, she has refused to herself, and which she could not give to us without a violation of justice."
Amendment moved:—At the end of Clause I insert—
Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to affect the interest and dividends accruing upon the investment of the proceeds of clergy reserves sold or to be sold, or the interest to accrue upon sales on credit of clergy reserves under the authority of an Act passed in the eighth year of the reign of King George IV., intituled 'An Act to authorise the sale of a part of the clergy reserves in the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada,' nor any rents arising from clergy reserves that may have been or may be demised for any term of years under the authority of the said Act, nor the interest or dividends accruing upon the investment of such portions of the proceeds of any sales of such clergy reserves effected before the passing of this Act, under the authority of an Act passed in the fourth year of Her present Majesty, intituled 'An Act to provide for the Sale of the Clergy Reserves in the Province of Canada, and for the distribution of the proceeds thereof,' as are by the said Act appropriated respectively to the Churches of England and Scotland in Canada; but that all and every the proceeds of such investments, and all such interest and rents as aforesaid, shall continue to be appropriated and paid in such manner as is directed by the said last-recited Act; that is to say, the share allotted and appropriated to the Church of England shall be paid to such person as shall be from time to time appointed to receive the same by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts; and the share allotted to the Church of Scotland to such person as shall be from time to time appointed by the Board of Commissioners elected or to be elected under the provisions of the said Act.
§ The DUKE of NEWCASTLE
My Lords, I am under such manifold obligations to your Lordships for listening to me for a considerable time upon this subject on Friday night last, that I will trespass on your attention on this occasion as shortly as possible, and I will follow as little as possible the example of the noble Earl opposite, who, in an address of nearly an 402 hour and a half in duration, has dealt not merely with his own Amendment, but with the principle of the Bill; and has delivered a speech which should have been made on the second reading of the Bill on Friday last, but has been reserved for this occasion. [Cheers.] I know, although noble Lords may cheer, and I understand their cheer, that the noble Earl is a great tactician, as well as a great orator. I have no doubt, too, that his tactics are good; but I would ask noble Lords who sit behind him and cheer him, how far tactics are appropriate upon a Bill of this kind—how far it is right to endeavour to obtain a chance majority on an Amendment to a measure which he did not venture to divide against on the second reading. Although we were told by noble Lords that its principle was most vicious—although we were told by a right rev. Prelate that the Bill was sacrilege, and by a noble and learned Lord that it was one of the grossests infractions of the rights of private property—yet the Conservative party, as the noble Earl has again called them in contradistinction to those who sit on this side of the House, are so conservative of the Church of England and of the rights of property, that for the sake of a chance party triumph, they will not divide against the principle of the Bill which they themselves declare to be sacrilege, and a gross violation of the rights of property. Well, I say that the noble Earl is not only a great tactician, but a great artist, and he has so proved himself on this occasion, for in this speech in which he has discussed almost every principle of the Bill, he has most carefully wrapped up and concealed from your Lordships the vicious principle of his own Amendment. He has led you astray into every possible question connected with this subject, and has discussed at great length the various points discussed on Friday last. He occupied one-third of his speech in discussing a clause no longer in the Bill as it came up to your Lordships' House, but he studiously concealed from you that if this Bill be what it has been declared to be by those who support his views, the Amendment which he has himself proposed is liable to the same objections, and is as defective and vicious in principle as the Bill itself can be. What is it that the noble Earl has done? He, the Conservative leader—he, the proud leader of the landed aristocracy of England—has absolutely come down to-night to call upon your Lordships to pay a respect to, and to give a stability to, realised property 403 which he denies to land. He says that he is ready, as an act of conciliation to the colony, to permit the Legislature of the colony, as he says, to "confiscate" the whole of the land appropriated to the clergy reserves, but now unsold, amounting to 1,500,000 acres—he is ready to abandon all this—he is ready to commit this gross infraction of the rights of property, but he says, That part of the property which has been sold, that which has been invested in the funds, must be held sacred, that you must not touch"—and that, therefore, he calls upon your Lordships to protect. Is this conservatism? Is this the maintenance of the rights of property? The noble and learned Lord who sits behind him, the late Lord Chancellor, told us on Friday night last, that respect for property, if good for anything, must be universal; and yet, in the teeth of that declaration, the noble Earl, the late Prime Minister of England, comes down here and tells you that you may give up one-half of these clergy reserves to save the other—thus violating the principle upon which Her Majesty's Government have introduced this Bill, that of colonial freedom, that of the right of every colony to deal with their own local concerns, but at the same time not establishing any principle of his own, nor maintaining for one instant, or establishing in any way, the inviolability of this property which is declared to be so sacred. The noble Earl devoted about three quarters of an hour of his speech to criticism of a very minute character upon the nature of the third clause, which was omitted in the House of Commons, and of the guarantee inserted in the Act of 1840. Now, this clause was introduced under the circumstances I mentioned on Friday last, and was withdrawn for the reasons I then assigned. The noble Earl, no doubt, is at perfect liberty to criticise my despatch assigning the reasons for omitting that clause—but the noble Earl, in his speech, has greatly misrepresented our position with reference to that guarantee. When the noble Earl says that the law officers of the Crown have declared that notwithstanding the omission of the third clause, the guarantee given in 1840 is not worth the paper upon which it is written if this Bill is passed, I tell him that it will then stand on precisely the same footing as that upon which it stands at the present moment. If the noble Earl means that these lands and this money will not be so secure when in the hands of the Legislature of Canada, 404 as in those of the Legislature of England, then I say that that is an argument against the whole Bill in its integrity, and one which does not apply particularly to this guarantee clause, This Bill, I repeat it, makes no difference in the position of this guarantee. This guarantee was introduced for a specific purpose—namely, under the apprehension that the funds appropriated to the Church might, through some accidental mismanagement of the property, or some other cause, fall below a given amount; and the clause in question was therefore inserted to secure that amount in such a case., That guarantee will remain on precisely the same footing; and should the same accident occur when the reserves are handed over to the Legislature of Canada, it will then become efficient. If it ever meant anything else than what I have stated, or provided for any other conjuncture—which I do not believe, and which the law officers of the Crown have declared it does not—it will have the same effect then as now; and. there will be no difference in any respect, except that difference which is the whole and sole object of the Bill to effect—the removal of the jurisdiction from this to the Canadian Legislature—the removal of the trust from this country to the other. The noble Earl at the close of his speech said, that he wished that if this Bill should pass, the second clause should be omitted from it; and that he would have infinitely preferred that in that case existing interests should not be respected. This is certainly a novel doctrine. A novel doctrine, especially from the "Conservative" leader, that we are to pass a measure of this kind regardless of existing interests! And then he turned round to the right rev. Bench, and appealed to them whether, on questions affecting the Church of England, they would be content that we should legislate for the withdrawal of any part of the revenue of the Church, provided we left their revenue intact. I feel confident that those right rev. Prelates will, in a matter of this kind, act with that disinterestedness which they have ever shown. But what has been the course of our legislation on matters of this kind? How did the noble Earl himself legislate with respect to the Church of Ireland? When he brought in a Bill to abolish ten of the bishoprics of the Irish Church, saving the rights of the then existing bishops, did he say that it was wrong to legislate for existing interests, and that if we legislated 405 at all we must legislate at once? No; he passed that measure, saving the rights of existing interests, and it was only as the Irish bishoprics fell vacant by death that that enactment took effect. The noble Earl then acted in strict conformity with all legislation upon this subject; but now to obtain a chance vote from the right rev. Bench, who, I think, are not to be caught by an argument of this kind, he turns round and appeals to them against this very clause, which does not go the whole length he would wish. The right rev. Prelate who moved the Amendment to the second reading (the Bishop of Exeter) said, using rather strong terms—strong at least from most Peers, but moderate and mild from him—with reference to my personal honour in this matter, that I was bound to introduce a clause making provision that any legislation which should take place on this subject by the Canadian Parliament should be first laid on the table of this House, because I had misrepresented the condition of the Roman Catholic endowments in Canada; and the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord St. Leonards) followed in the same course. Let me, however, be permitted to say that the lawyer was less cautious and careful than the right rev. Prelate. The latter said that it was the undeniable fact that the dues and rights of the Roman Catholic priesthood of Canada could not be changed by the Canadian Legislature without such a measure being laid on the table of your Lordships' House; and, so far as the words went, he was strictly and literally and legally accurate. Not so, permit me to say, the noble and learned Lord; for he expressly said that the property of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada had this security—that if the Canadian Parliament attempted to legislate upon it, the Bill for that purpose must first be laid upon the table of this House. Now the noble and learned Lord is here entirely ignorant of, and cannot, I think, have read the words of the clause upon which he commented. The words used in the Act of 1774 are, "the dues and rights of the Roman Catholic Church." The same words are again used in the Act of 1791, where the provision is, for the first time, introduced, that any legislation upon that subject must be laid upon the table of the Houses for thirty days before the Crown can give its assent. The same words, "dues and rights," are again repeated in a clause of the Act of 1840, and in others. And it 406 is to "dues and rights" alone that this provision refers. Now, what are these dues and rights? They are, as I have ascertained from a very high legal authority, the tithes and the tithes alone, in Lower Canada, amounting to not one-tenth but to one-twenty-sixth upon cereals, and levied not upon lands belonging to persons of all denominations, but solely upon those belonging to Roman Catholics. I admit there may be a power of legally enforcing the payment, but it is at the same time easily evaded, and is in fact so evaded in Canada, merely by the person charged as a Roman Catholic declaring that he does not belong to that religion; that declaration being sufficient to exempt him.
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
remarked that he had not misrepresented the effect of the clause in question, for he had read it to the House with perfect accuracy.
§ The DUKE of NEWCASTLE
The noble and learned Lord will not deny having used the words "property of the Roman Catholic Church?"
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
remarked that he concluded that any clergyman would call his tithes his "property."
§ The DUKE of NEWCASTLE
I think that the noble and learned Lord cannot mean to state that tithes held as I have described are to be compared as to tenure with the clergy reserves, or with those great estates and seignories which have been discussed in this House, and understood less as the "property" of the Roman Catholic Church. When we talk of the property of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada, every one conversant with the subject supposes that what is meant are the great seignorial rights of Montreal, of St. Sulpice, and others. And it is attempting to mystify the subject, and to mislead this House, if we are told that the "property" of the Roman Catholic Church is in the position represented the other night. I repeat that the whole of the "property," so properly called, of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada, does stand on precisely the same footing as that upon which the clergy reserves will stand if this Bill passes into law. Indeed, if you mean to hold out, with reference to this miserable sum of 6,000L. or 7,000l. a year—for that is what these dues and rights, so guarded, amount to—that they are protected by this enactment that any Bill affecting them must lie on the table of both Houses of Parliament for thirty days, I must say that I think it is a security to 407 which very few of your Lordships would attach much value if he were personally concerned. Does any one believe that in the event of this Bill passing into law there will be the slightest obstacle placed in the way of any Act that the Canadian Parliament may pass upon the subject, beyond the exercise of that control over the acts of the Crown which exists in other matters of legislation? The noble Earl has stated that he believes this to be in general an undesirable provision, and I admit it. I know that, practically, the Colonial Office find it a difficulty, and that practically the Colonial Secretary is, to a great extent, relieved from the responsibility which should attach to him as the adviser of the Crown, and that he is often placed in an inconvenient position. The noble Earl (the Earl of Derby), in moving his Amendment, said that nothing could be more just and moderate than it is. Just and moderate, my Lords, no doubt it is, if we were now discussing a measure of confiscation or secularisation; and if there were now siting, the one on one side, and the other on the other—the Canadian Parliament on the one side, and the British House of Commons on the other—it is exactly that just and moderate arrangement of a matter between a party who has the power and no right, and the other the right but no power, which is commonly called "splitting the difference." It says, "We will give over to you one portion of that which you claim as your right, and will retain the other part to ourselves, dividing it in such a way as we choose." But recollect, my Lords, upon what principle this measure is based. It is not based upon any question of whether the Act of 1840 was right or not—not upon any discussion of whether these clergy reserves shall continue to be appropriated, as heretofore, to the different religious denominations in that colony; but upon the question whether it is our business to dictate in this matter, or whether its decision belongs only to the Legislature of the country and of the people to whom these clergy reserves belong. That is the question before the House; and I say that this Amendment is not a just and moderate arrangement; that it is not a concession which is likely to be palatable to that colony, that you should now propose to hand over to them the management of the land, and assume to yourselves the proceeds from that land, which are already received and invested. The noble Earl said that he must consider that Her Majesty's Govern- 408 ment has shown great uncertainty and vacillation of purpose in this matter. Vacillation and uncertainty of purpose! We have aimed at one object throughout; we have avowed no other, and avow no other now. But there is abundance of vacillation and uncertainty of purpose in the career of the noble Earl himself. In the other House of Parliament his late Colonial Secretary and his late Home Secretary attacked this Bill on the highest grounds of principle on which it is possible to object to a measure. The noble and learned Lord by his side (Lord St. Leonards) did the same while supporting the Amendment of the right rev. Prelate; and then the noble Earl steps in at the close of the debate, and says that he is willing to affirm the principle of the Bill; but that he will in Committee move an Amendment to abandon one-half of it and keep the other. I do not know what vacillation means if there is not vacillation on the part of the noble Earl. Whether it is dictated by a certain consciousness that he could not accomplish the whole—with an anxiety, if possible, to accomplish half—I do not know; but of this I am certain, that so far as any object of the Bill is concerned, I think it would have been more right, more just, and far more desirable, both as regards this country and the colony, that the Bill should have been rejected on the second reading rather than that it should go out to the colony with this principle engrafted upon it. Do you think this would he accepted by Canada as a boon? It appears that the noble Earl will never take warning, but that he is determined to pursue the same course on all occasions. Why did the Act of 1840 fail? Was it because the arrangement then made was unjust or bad? I do not believe that it was. But it failed because it was made by this House and the other House of Parliament, and was not made with the consent, the approbation, and the approval of the Canadian Parliament of that day. It has failed, however; and I tell you that if you now repeat that experiment and send to Canada this Bill, with this provision engrafted upon it, you will not be more successful. You will have abandoned one half of the Church property; you will have done that which you have declared to be sacrilege and a breach of the rights of property; and yet you will not have obtained peace or conciliated that colony, which the noble Earl says it is his anxious desire to make happy and con- 409 tented. But the noble Earl has gone even further. He has made this broad distinction, as I have said, between the property in land, which, so far as I have understood the law of this country, was always held to be at least as sacred as any other property, and what he called on one occasion a realised fund, and on another invested property. But so anxious was he to deprive the Bill of any advantage for the purpose for which it was introduced—so desirous was he to prevent its being a boon to the colony—that he would not allow it to be a clear matter as to the land itself. If I could understand that the Legislature of this country was the proper arbiter in the matter, I could well understand that we might say, "Now, let us make an arrangement by which you take the land and we keep the money. The money is out of your sight. It is not perpetually amongst you. It is not liable to the same objections which apply to land." But the noble Earl will not allow that distinction. He keeps up this festering sore in the colony even as regards land, for he not only provides that the invested funds shall be secured to the Churches in their present mode of appropriation, and in the hands of the present trustees; but he says that all the rents accruing from any of the lands which may now be demised for terms of years, shall equally be appropriated. So that we are to draw this distinction—that so long as leases exist, the rents received for these lands are to be paid into the hands of the present trustees, and appropriated for the purposes of the Act of 1840; but as soon as the leases expire, the land shall revert again to the disposition of the Canadian Legislature. [Lord ST. LEONARDS: No, no!] I dare say the noble and learned Lord who cheers me drew the provision, and can explain what it means. I have consulted two eminent lawyers, who both say that the nature of the provision is what I have described.
§ The DUKE of NEWCASTLE
The noble Earl, then, has not drawn the clause with so much accuracy as the noble and learned Lord would have done.
§ The EARL of DERBY
said, that he would not vouch for the entire accuracy of the legal phraseology; but with regard to the reserves, it was copied verbatim et literatim from the Act of 1840.
§ The DUKE of NEWCASTLE
I know 410 that, and could have told the noble Earl so before he said it. It is quite true that he copied verbatim et literatim from the old Act—"That the proceeds of the clergy reserves sold and to be sold," &c. Well, I again must tell him that there is no more land to be sold under the provisions of that Act. That Act provided that only one quarter of the land was to be sold; and a larger proportion than that, or than could legally be sold, has been already disposed of, and therefore legally and properly no more can be sold. But I wish the issue to be distinctly understood upon a question of such large importance to national interests as this. When we are told by a right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter) that if we pass this Bill we shall be incurring the guilt of Belshazzar, I call upon him to be true to his principles; and if he really believes that the sacrifice of the Act of 1840 would be a flagrant case of sacrilege; if he really believes that in this measure we shall be doing an act hateful to God, such as called down the Divine vengeance on the Assyrian tyrant in his gorgeous halls—I ask him if he, sitting in this gorgeous hall, will give his vote in favour of the act of sacrilege prescribed by this Amendment, as bad in principle, though only half in amount of that which Her Majesty's Government has been sinful enough, in his opinion, to propose? I say, moreover, again, reverting to the argument of the noble and learned Lord, that if it be true that we are about to violate the rights of property, which, if maintained at all, must be maintained universally—and he told us that the rights of the Church to the possession of this property were as sacred as those of any of your Lordships to his domains—I call upon your Lordships to vote in consistency against this proviso in its due order. If it be a sacrilege and an infraction of the rights of property, then you may vote equally against my Bill afterwards; but if you believe in the dictum either of the right rev. Prelate or of the noble and learned Lord, then you are bound in common consistency to reject this Amendment.
The EARL of WICKLOW
confessed he had not yet had time to consider the clause as proposed to be amended by the noble Earl; and it appeared from the speech of the noble Duke who had just sat down, that there was some ambiguity in that clause—[The Duke of NEWCASTLE: NO, no!] At all events, he understood the noble Duke to argue that the clause did 411 not bear out the interpretation given it by the noble Earl. If their Lordships would look at the end of the second clause, they would see that it contained an exemption—that it exempted those possessions which were in the hands of living incumbents. If it was the noble Earl's object that the proviso should be confined to the lands which have been already appropriated to the Church in Canada, and which should be exempted from the power of the Canadian Legislature, then he, for one, should be ready to give his support to the Amendment; but if it went further, and were to extend to unappropriated reserves, then he should certainly feel it his duty to oppose it. He would suggest, that if the former were the object, it would be better effected by the omission of the words at the end of the clause containing life interests "during the natural lives or incumbencies of the parties now receiving the same." He was perfectly willing to continue all those rights of property which the present incumbents possessed, and he trusted their Lordships would adopt the Amendment to that extent. He had listened to the noble Duke with great anxiety to hear what reasons he would allege against the Amendment, and he confessed he had heard none. He should vote against his noble Friend with very great regret; but he felt it a solemn duty to maintain those rights of property, as against the Canadian Legislature, which in his conscience he believed that the Legislature of this country would never infringe. He had but just met with a dictum of Lord Camden's, in the life of that eminent Judge, by the Lord Chief Justice, which seemed to him very apposite:—"One thing the Legislature has not the power to do; the Legislature has not the right to deprive any persons of their property without giving them compensation." The Church, both in this country and in Canada, he looked upon as substantially in the same position as to the question of property, and therefore he considered that the Canadian Legislature had no more power whatever over the property of the Church in Canada, than the Imperial Legislature possessed, or had ever professed to possess, over the property of the Church in England. The only argument he had heard from the noble Duke in support of the course he advocated was, that the Canadians would not be satisfied with any other. He believed, with the noble Earl opposite, that the Canadians were a wise and sensible people, able to exercise, and meriting 412 to exercise, the rights of freemen; and that the day was not far distant when they would exercise those rights in perfect fulness; but if he were told that they should be alarmed at the prospect of Canada taking those rights into her own hands, he would at once say that the apprehension of any such step had not the slightest effect on him. He believed that Canada know well that her best interests were only to be maintained by a connexion with this country; but if the day should ever arrive when they had reason to believe that Canada had altered that opinion, and imagined that she would prosper better when separated from this country, the only language we should address to her would be, "Go in peace!" His conviction was, that this country would be benefited by separation from Canada; but it should be left to her own choice whether such an event should take place, and until then we must continue to look on the withdrawal of the guarantee as involving a breach of faith and honour towards the colony. With regard to the withdrawal of the third clause, he thought it rather extraordinary that the House was about to pass this Bill without knowing the precise effect of the alteration. When the noble Lord the leader of the Government in the other House withdrew the clause, he did not say that the law officers of the Crown had assured him that it was totally useless; it was withdrawn on the very opposite ground, and as involving a breach of faith if it should be retained in the Bill. But they were now told that it did not matter the least whether the clause stood or not, inasmuch as it would be totally inoperative according to the opinion of the law officers of the Crown.
The EARL of WICKLOW
said, that clause annulled the guarantee, but as it had been withdrawn, he concluded that the guarantee stood untouched. [The Duke of NEWCASTLE: Hear, hear!] Suppose the Legislature of Canada should reduce the funds set apart for the support of religion by 800,000l. or 900,000l., did the guarantee on the Consolidated Fund stand or not? He (the Earl of Wicklow) maintained that it did, and that the Consolidated Fund of this country would be called upon to make good the deficiency if the Canadian Legislature confiscated any portion of that property. Was that just or fair towards this country? It was a direct 413 bonus to the Canadians to confiscate the rights of the existing incumbents. At the time of arranging the terms of the compact with the colony, we took the guarantee on ourselves, reserving possession of the property to such an extent as to protect this country in the due exercise of their guarantee; whereas now it was an inducement to those who wished to disturb the present settlement to continue their operations, because they knew that individuals could not suffer, and that the Consolidated Fund of this country would be called upon to make good a deficiency. He wished that, before the Bill passed, their Lordships might be favoured with an explanation on this head.
§ The EARL of DERBY
asked the indulgence of their Lordships for a few moments, having been requested personally by the noble Earl who had just sat down to explain the extent to which the Amendment went. The intention, and, he believed, the effect, of the Amendment he had stated precisely to be that which the noble Earl supposed—namely, to preserve to the Churches of England and Ireland all the proceeds of the revenues guaranteed to them and already appropriated under the Acts of 1827 and 1840; but to give to the Colonial Legislature the free and unlimited power of dealing with any portion of the clergy reserves which were not already so appropriated and allotted to the clergy of either of those Churches. With respect to the terms of the Amendment, he believed that they would carry out that view; but, at all events, he had stated when he put that Amendment into the hands of the clerk on Friday, that be hoped to make that opinion clearly intelligible, and that if the Amendment was adopted on that principle, and there were any technical difficulty with respect to the wording, he should make amendments so as to effectuate the intention in the progress of the Bill in Committee or on the third reading.
§ LORD WHARNCLIFFE
said, he hoped for their Lordships' indulgence, notwithstanding the time already occupied by this discussion, whilst he explained the reasons why, feeling strongly on this question, he thought it his imperative duty to vote against the Amendment which had been offered by his noble Friend opposite, and to support the provisions of the Bill as proposed by the noble Duke. Having listened to the very able speech of his noble Friend in introducing the Amendment, he had heard 414 nothing throughout it to convince him that it would be either fair towards the public of this country, or just or fair to the people of Canada, to adopt it. Its proposal had, however, at least done this service, that it had diverted the question from the broad and general grounds of argument taken up in the discussion of the former night, and placed it on the simple issue, whether they were bound by any distinct pledge implied in the Act of 1840. If it were maintained that that pledge was to be binding on the Imperial Legislature, whatever the amount of public dissatisfaction it might create in the colony itself, he must altogether protest against that view. It was important to ascertain the original views of the framers of the Act of 1791. Looking at the general tenor of the speeches then delivered, as well as at the terms of the Act itself, his strong feeling was that it was intended by its authors that it should be subject to alteration without any reservation. They had the words of Mr. Pitt, and they knew that he then said that all the parts of the Act would be subject to alteration. When the Act passed, making provision for the establishment and support of religion in that colony, it was regarded by the Government of the day in the light of an experiment. The great object of the Act was, to regulate the constitution of Canada; and it was intended, on the occasion of dividing the colony, to erect in it a constitution which should be as nearly as possible the counterpart of that of England. The reservation of a proportion of the public lands for the support of the clergy was a part of the experiment; but there could be no doubt whatever that the authors of the measure contemplated the possibility of its failing, and that, in case of failure, it should be subject to alteration. His noble Friend (the Earl of Derby) had laid great stress upon what he thought the enormity of the proposal for interfering with the strict engagement taken in 1840. If the Act of 1840 was to be taken as an engagement on the part of the Imperial Parliament to maintain the provisions then made, the Amendment of his noble Friend would be by no means sufficient to fulfil that obligation. He could not but regard it as an extraordinary and unwarranted course to propose an Amendment giving effect to this guarantee or engagement, so far as regarded the Churches of England and Scotland, but ignoring altogether the existence, the requirements, and the Parliamentary recog- 415 nition of other religious communities in Canada. By the Act of 1840, the clergy reserves were not to be confined to the maintenance of the Churches of England and Scotland; it had been decided by the law officers of the Crown beforehand, that that would not he a correct construction of the original words, and that there were various other denominations which had precisely the same claim under that Act. The settlement of 1840 was not simply a redistribution of ecclesiastical property within the same Church, without any alteration in the distribution as regarded other bodies; it did not leave the funds to be managed by the same parties; but enacted a total change in the destination of those funds, thus showing that there was a substantial alteration taking place in the condition of the population which was to benefit by their legislation. They were told that it was their duty upon higher grounds to insist on the present application of those funds, in order to provide for the Canadian people that religious instruction which was so essential for their moral and spiritual welfare. Now he could, without hesitation, say that he most anxiously wished that the Legislature of Canada might think fit to preserve either the whole or a large portion of those funds for the purposes to which they were at present applied; for he was far from agreeing with the admirers of republican institutions, that the voluntary system had altogether succeeded in providing what was required for those purposes in America; indeed, he had seen enough of the state of that country to know that, except in a few large towns and the more populous districts, the voluntary system had proved an entire failure; therefore he thought it would be an essential blessing to the people of Canada to retain a fund of this description, not so much to support religion in those parts of the country which were well peopled, and where the inhabitants were able to provide an adequate maintenance for the ministers of religion, but to provide a missionary church, to labour in poor and thinly-inhabited districts, where there were no means of properly supporting such an institution. He did not, however, consider that even if the people of Canada should apply these funds to the promotion of education in the colony, they would be thereby transferring them to a system devoid of religious instruction. Still, these were not questions to be settled either in their Lordships' 416 House or anywhere else without a consideration of the peculiar circumstances in which the people were placed, and also of the views held by the great majority of them on such subjects as an Established Church. He was not willing, after they had affirmed the principle that the control of the funds in question should be left to the Colonial Legislature, to concur with his noble Friend in introducing into the Bill an Amendment of which the effect would be, in the first place, to impair the completeness of the concessions made to the Provincial Legislature, and, next, to leave the whole question, in consequence of the rigid restriction of the benefits of the fund to the Churches of England and Scotland, in a posture of exclusion which did not even now exist. He thought it would be most unfair towards the people of Canada, and also most impolitic, to interfere with that principle of local self-government to which the noble Earl himself had given a considerable adhesion; and he should, therefore, do his best to co-operate in the endeavour to carry this Bill as it was proposed by Her Majesty's Government.
The EARL of DESART
said, the noble Lord who had just sat down was still harping on the hope that the Canadian Legislature would not secularise the clergy reserves; but, in his opinion, the noble Lord was still mistaken in that hope. He (the Earl of Desart), thought that the noble Lord had, at the commencement of his speech, laid himself open to the accusation brought—and brought wrongfully—against the noble Earl who moved the Amendment. He (the Earl of Desart) should not touch on the question of whether a guarantee had been given to the Churches of England and Scotland by the Act of 1840, because it had been answered by the lucid explanation of the noble Earl below him; but he was not surprised that the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Wicklow) should have found it difficult to discover much in the barrenness of the noble Duke's reply to the noble Earl who moved the Amendment. The noble Duke (the Duke of Newcastle) had accused the noble Earl of wandering from the subject of his Amendment; but he (the Earl of Desart) thought the noble Duke had himself wandered in his reply, because he found it difficult to answer the arguments of the noble Earl, or to prove that this property was not guaranteed to the Churches in question to be maintained for them inviolate. The noble Earl, in moving the Amendment, conscientiously 417 thought that in so doing he was doing the best thing that could now be done for the Churches of England and Scotland in Canada, in preventing them from being robbed of that property which the State had consecrated to their endowment. There was a wide difference between prospective and retrospective legislation on the subject; and the noble Duke strangely confounded the independence of Canada with the right of spoliation in that colony. These lands in the colony did not belong to the colony, but to the British Crown; and the loyal subjects of her Majesty in the colony were one and all anxious that they should be continued in the Crown for the purposes of religious endowment. The pressure of the colony was spoken of, but he (the Earl of Desart) did not think they had anything to apprehend from that: even if they had, however, he held that it would not justify an abandonment of the course of strict justice. But the majority of the Assembly in Canada in favour of the measure now proposed by the Government, was not increasing; on the contrary, it was diminishing; and the majority as it stood did not, as had been already stated, represent the majority of the constituencies. It was a strong point in a weak argument. In passing this Bill, the Government were trying to conciliate two opposite factions—the Radicals of Upper Canada, who had formed an alliance with the French of Lower Canada, in the same manner as the malcontents of Toronto had evinced on a former occasion, by their sympathy with the latter, their hatred of British institutions. He (the Earl of Desart) hoped that this alliance might not have a similar result, and he should therefore cordially support the Amendment. He supported it with pain, he admitted, as his wish was to carry out in their integrity the principles of the Acts of 1791 and 1840; but as that could not be done, he would support that which was next best, and do everything in his power to preserve the property to the Churches of England and Scotland, which had been dedicated by the Crown and consecrated by the Legislature for their religious endowment. On the grounds of justice, therefore, as well as of sound policy, he called on the House to vote for the Amendment.
The BISHOP of ST. DAVID'S
said, that the noble Earl who had moved the Amendment had placed his opponents in this most painful had embarrassing difficulty, that it was absolutely impossible for any of them 418 to address themselves exactly to the question then before their Lordships, and at the same time to discuss it upon the ground of any principle whatever. The noble Earl himself had distinctly acknowledged that his Amendment was a mere measure of compromise, and one the necessity of which he deplored; and that being so the question must undoubtedly be argued as simply one of expediency. If they did not all know the noble Earl's respect for the Church, they might really have supposed that he set little account by the understanding of that part of the House (the right rev. Bench), because the noble' Earl had endeavoured to persuade them that if they affirmed the principle of this Bill, which merely declared that the Imperial Legislature chose to delegate a part of its supremacy to a Provincial Legislature, and to enable that Provincial Legislature to deal with a matter of local concern, they would thereby of necessity be precluding themselves on any future occasion from opposing any attempt to deprive the Church of its property. The real question now before their Lordships lay within a very narrow compass. The Imperial Legislature had had a request made to it by a Colonial Legislature. He apprehended that if such a request was refused, it must be upon either one or other of these two grounds—want of will, or want of power to comply with it. The noble Earl himself had not ventured to affirm in the abstract the proposition that the Imperial Legislature had not the power to accede to this request. But it was said that their compliance would involve an act of spoliation, of sacrilege, and bad faith. Now, if their Lordships were prepared to affirm that whenever property of any kind, real or personal, was once assigned for the maintenance of religion it could never be diverted from that purpose without those who effected that diversion incurring the guilt of sacrilege, then he admitted they had an answer which they might give to the demand of the Canadian Legislature; but unless they were prepared to take their stand upon that general principle, they had no colourable ground for refusing their assent to this measure. He was not now going to discuss the question, whether this really was an act by which they would incur the guilt of sacrilege, nor to inquire whether it was necessary for the interests of religion that that general principle should be affirmed; all he said was that it was too late for the Imperial Par- 419 liament to lay down any such principle, and to expect that it would be received by the Colonial Legislature as a good reason for refusing their request. To give such an answer to the people of Canada, would be to betray the grossest want of consistency, and to forget, not merely the main features of Parliamentary history, but the very history of the measure itself; and if the description that had been given of sacrilege was a true one, they had certainly incurred the guilt of sacrilege long ago, by the disposal they had already made of the very property which was the subject of the present discussion. There was more plausibility in the argument that this Bill involved a breach of faith on the part of the Imperial Parliament. The assumption upon which that argument was based was, that a compact existed, of such a nature as to bind the Imperial Parliament not to interfere with the arrangement of 1840. Now, so far from the Act of 1840 having been accepted in Canada as a final settlement, the letter to the Secretary of State for the Colonies of the right rev. Prelate who had so strenuously opposed this Bill, distinctly admitted that the Act of 1840 was introduced in the same Session as the Act of Union, for the very reason that if it had not been introduced then, there was not the remotest chance of settlement of the question of the Clergy Reserves. At the time that the union of the two provinces was proposed, the greatest impediment to the satisfactory adjustment of the affairs of Canada was these Clergy Reserves; and the friends of true peace and order in the colon, in concurrence with Lord Sydenham, thought a settlement of the question of the Clergy Reserves ought to precede the Act of Union. This at once showed that the Act of 1840 was an experiment, and that at the time it was passed it was doubtful whether it would be held to be a permanent settlement by the people of Canada. It was clear that there was no compact—that the question was not in any way withdrawn from the control of the Imperial Legislature—and that the arrangement of 1840 was never accepted as final by Canada. Well, then, Parliament having the power to reopen this question, and being able to exercise it without guilt or reproach, was it expedient to consent to the request made by the Canadian Legislature? Were their Lordships to say to the people of Canada, "We are of opinion that permanent endowments are the best provision for the maintenance of religion all over the world 420 —we do not think you proper judges of this question—it is one that we reserve to ourselves to decide for you." Would not the people of Canada reply, "If the question as to whether religion should be maintained among us by permanent endowments or by voluntary contributions, is not purely a local and domestic concern, which concerns us and us solely, what is a local and domestic concern?—for what can be more intimately associated with our altars and hearths than this question?" There might be other considerations with regard to this Bill upon which he as well as others of their Lordships entertained strong feelings; but these considerations were but of secondary importance, and ought not to sway their final determination with respect to this measure. He could not, however, help reflecting upon the probable effects of a refusal to pass this measure in its integrity upon the interests of the Church to which he belonged in Canada. The rejection of this Bill on the ground of any supposed interest of that Church, would, in his opinion, place the Church in a position of very great danger to itself; because it would, in the first place, become the source of an indefinitely prolonged irritation, animosity, heartburning, and bitterness in the feelings of the population of that province. In the next place, the Church would be regarded as having been the means of inducing their Lordships to depart from the great principle which was essential to the stability of our colonial empire—namely, that it is the right of every colony to manage its own local and domestic concerns with unlimited freedom, so far as it did not affect the union between it and the Imperial Government. And besides this, it would be incurring that danger which he, for one, could not but most earnestly deprecate, although the noble Earl opposite seemed to contemplate it with indifference—namely, that of breaking the integrity of this Empire in one of its noblest and most vital parts, by the separation, whether in the form of independence, or of annexation, of the province of Canada from the dominions of this realm. Under these circumstances, the rejection of this Bill—so he conceived—would place the Church in a position that would be neither honourable nor safe. He might be told that those who had the interests of the Church in Canada most deeply at heart were willing to run all this risk; but whilst he respected the motives of the opposition which had been so strenuously made to this measure 421 by the right rev. Prelate, whose letter to the Government had been alluded to, and those who shared in his views, he was afraid that their zeal, however laudable, prevented them from dispassionately weighing all the bearings and remote consequences of the course they so warmly advocated. He (the Bishop of St. David's) did not shut his eyes to the possibility—nay, the probability—that the forebodings of the right rev. Prelate might be realised—namely, that, if this concession were refused, the Canadian Legislature might take a step which—without imputing to it the guilt of sacrilege or spoliation—was sincerely to be deprecated on grounds of wisdom and policy. It might he that such would be the result; but he was sure the noble Earl's Amendment would do very little to better the case. If he believed that the Amendment of the noble Earl would be accepted as a final settlement of this question by the people of Canada, he should rejoice at it with all his heart. He saw, however, no rational ground whatever for expecting that such would be the case; and, therefore, in making up his mind to support this Bill, he thought they ought to be prepared for what in all respects he regarded as the worst. There might be a season of hardship, of difficulty, and of painful struggle for the Church of England in Canada; yet he feared that while underrating the danger of rejecting this measure, its opponents also exaggerated what they conceived to be its evil consequences to the Church. If the moderate provision which the Church in Canada now enjoyed were taken away from her, he ventured to hope that her own inherent vigour and elasticity would supply the means of making up her loss. But of this he was quite sure, that if they allowed the Church to incur the odium of being the occasion of producing the evils which he had described, she would not be one iota more secure against the calamity which she now apprehended from this measure; and should such a season be reserved for her, she would, at all events, have the satisfaction of being enabled, to pass through it without the slightest degree of self-reproach for any evil which she might have brought upon the general interests of the Empire—she would have preserved unimpaired and unabated the respect, the affection, the love, and the esteem of the Church of England in this country, and would ensure on all occasions her zealous co-operation and support; and he could 422 not so despair of the blessing of Providence, either here or abroad, as to believe that any measure of human legislation which might deprive her of her temporal resources, would in the end prove fatal to the interests of the Church of England or of religion in the Colonies.
The BISHOP of LONDON
said, that his right rev. Brother who had just sat down had treated the subject as though it were simply a question of right, and had talked of a right inherent in the Colonial Legislature to discuss and decide upon all matters relating to their own internal affairs. But, if they possessed that power already, where was the necessity for this Bill? There could be no doubt that the first step consequent upon the passing of this measure would be the secularisation of the reserves; but he denied the justice or the propriety of the Home Government shifting to others the responsibility which belonged to themselves. For himself, he felt no doubt, on the other hand, if they did not possess the right, the solemn responsibility rested upon the House of saying whether they could, consistently with the principles of justice, confer that right upon them. If the prospect before them were such as to leave no doubt upon any reasonable mind that the almost certain consequence of this measure would be the secularisation of Church property in Canada, then to confer upon the Canadian Legislature the right to effect that secularisation, was a mere shifting to others' shoulders a sacred and solemn responsibility which at this moment rested upon their own. He could not have the slightest doubt as to the strength and firmness of the principle laid down by the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord St. Leonards), and by the noble Earl who had proposed the Amendment to night—namely, that no such right was inherent in the Canadian Legislature; and he would go farther, and say that no such right, according to any principle of safe government, was vested in this House as that which the Bill proposed to transfer to the Legislature of Canada. A noble Lord said, the other night, that there was no such thing as a Church in Canada. No Church in Canada! Why, it was a true branch of the Catholic Church, and had been so recognised by Act of Parliament. He contended, therefore, that it was a Church—an acknowledged Church—and an effective Church; but that it would be neither acknowledged nor in an equal degree effective if the present measure were passed into a law. In standing 423 up there to assert the rights of the Church in Canada, he did not refer to the rights of the clergy alone—he extended his sympathies further. He could not forget the attached and loyal body of men in that colony, who now constituted the strength of the connexion with this country; and he stood up in defence of the rights of thousands and hundreds of thousands of his poorer fellow-countrymen, members of the Church at home, who, when they transplanted their families, and founded new homes in that distant colony of the British Empire, carried with them the right which was the birthright of every Englishman—the right to participate in the consolations, the administrations, the sacraments of the Church, the preaching of God's Holy Word, and the pastoral superintendence of the clergy. With regard to the terms in which the most interesting and solemn appeal of the Bishop of Toronto to the English Government had been spoken of, he thought that no reasonable objection whatever had been urged to the statements and arguments contained in it; and he would further say, that if there were one man who more than another was intimately acquainted with the state of the colony, it was his excellent and venerable Friend, who had spent so large a portion of his life in unwearied toil and self-sacrifice there. He believed that they were about to take away from the existing population in Canada even the inadequate means which they at present possessed of providing for their Church. The tide of colonisation, far from having been stemmed or diminished, was still rolling on to those distant shores. Thousands of our countrymen were in these days forming settlements in districts where very little provision had been made for the enjoyment of the ministrations and comforts of religion; and if the scanty means the Church now possessed there were taken from her, it was not too much to say that the people in those parts would be left in a state of spiritual destitution. He said, then, that he was not at all speaking for the clergy, except as he regarded them as instruments in carrying out the work of the Church, as soldiers engaged in the warfare which they had to wage. He could not reconcile himself to the belief that the majority in Canada were in favour of this measure. He believed, on the contrary, that the majority were the other way, and he could not consent, for the sake of the minority, to sacrifice that Church which was their dearest and most valuable inheri- 424 tance. He should give his vote without the slightest hesitation for the Amendment of the noble Earl, although he was sensible that it was open to some objections.
§ LORD LYTTELTON
explained that what he had stated on Friday night was, that this question was one of strictly local concern, on which the Canadian Legislature had not an inherent right to decide, but a right to decide that had been conceded to it by the Imperial Parliament.
The DUKE of ARGYLL
said,' that as a member of the Established Church of Scotland, he was desirous of explaining to the House the grounds on which he felt himself unable to agree to the Amendment of the noble Earl, and the reasons on which he held not only that it was uncalled for by considerations of justice, but that its adoption would be a violation of sound colonial policy, and even of every principle of justice itself. He had listened with the greatest attention to the able speech of the noble Earl; but, he confessed, that at its close, he had found himself wholly unconvinced by his arguments. He entreated their Lordships to look at the position in which they would be placed, if, after having consented to the second reading of this Bill, they should afterwards adopt the Amendment of the noble Earl. The second reading of a Bill was usually considered to imply the assent of the House to its principle. He was, indeed, aware that the noble Earl and his friends had entered a protest against being supposed to give any willing assent to that principle; but he (the Duke of Argyll) was speaking of the position of the House. Now, what was the principle of this measure to which their Lordships had already given their consent, and from which they could not now recede? It was that great principle of colonial policy that it was the natural right of every colony to exercise exclusive control over all matters of purely internal concern. He did not mean mere legal right or power:—he fully admitted that the Imperial Parliament had the legal power of interfering in all the concerns of the colony—but he was arguing for the principle of natural right, and he submitted that that was a principle which they could not refuse to recognise, especially in the case of one of the oldest of our colonies, numbering 2,000,000 of inhabitants. Sir John Pakington, in his despatch, distinctly stated that he regarded it as a principle of justice, that in all internal matters the Colonies 425 should be left to regulate their own affairs. The principle was allowed by the noble Earl himself; but the Amendment he had now proposed was in direct contravention of this principle. The Churches of England and of Scotland were not the only bodies interested in the funds to which the Amendment of the noble Earl related. He (the Duke of Argyll) knew that there had been a dispute respecting the meaning of the words "Protestant clergy" in the Act of 1791; and the noble Earl had on a former occasion intimated his own individual belief that, as far as regarded the intentions of the Government and Parliament of the day, by these words the clergy of the Church of England were alone meant. That opinion of the noble Earl had been, however, distinctly contradicted by all the Judges of England, who were consulted on the subject in 1840; and he (the Duke of Argyll) contended that the interpretation of the Judges was upheld by the language which had been employed about the time of the passing of the Act of 1791 by some of the chief statesmen of the day. It was one of the objections brought by Mr. Fox against the Act of 1791, that it would hand over one-seventh of the province of Canada to dissent; and from the language of Mr. Dundas also it was perfectly apparent that the interpretation put upon the words in the Act of 1791 by the Judges recently was the generally received interpretation at the time the Act was passed. During a long series of years, however, dissenting bodies had not been allowed to enjoy any portion of the funds. An opinion of the law officers of the Crown had been given as early as the year 1819 on behalf of the Church of Scotland, and it was somewhat discreditable to the Government of that day that that opinion did not seem to have been made public; and, although a certain sort of hush money was given, the grant was not made out of the clergy reserves, but from the territorial revenues. But, in the year 1840, the Judges of England were asked, "Is it your opinion that by the words 'Protestant clergy' were meant other than members of the Church of England, and if so, what others?" They replied, that by the words "Protestant clergy" were undoubtedly meant others besides members of the Church of England, and that the Established Church of Scotland was certainly one of the other bodies so included, though they did not say how many others might be included also. This was a most important fact, and it clearly showed that so far as the faith of Par- 426 liament was pledged by the original Act of 1791, it had been pledged equally to all religious bodies who, by law, were entitled to come under the denomination of Protestant clergy; and, accordingly, in winding up the whole question of the clergy reserves, they had, in the Act of 1840, dealt with those religious bodies as having as-vested and as clear a right to participate in these reserves, under the Act of 1791, as the clergy of the Churches of England and Scotland. The Act of 1840 provided that with regard to all the sales which had taken place prior to that period, subject merely to the life interest of the parties to whom previous grants had been made, the whole of the funds should be appropriated to the Churches of England and Scotland, but of future sales that one-half should be set apart for those two Churches, and the other half for distribution among the other religious bodies of Canada. He contended, that both under the Act of 1791, and the Act of 1840, Parliament, if pledged at all to churches as churches, was pledged to all the dissenting bodies of Canada. Now, let their Lordships consider the position in which they would be placed in case they adopted the Amendment of the noble Earl. Except a noble Marquess, who was, he believed, a member of the Scotch Free Church, almost all of their Lordships, who were not Roman Catholics, were members of the Churches of England and Scotland. Now, would it not be said in Canada, "The House of Lords, which is entirely composed of members of the Churches of England and Scotland, take great care of the rights and interests of the Churches to which they belong; but when they come to deal with dissenting bodies, who have no representatives in that House, vested interests and rights are not cared for." He (the Duke of Argyll) protested against the doctrine which had been advanced, that these reserve funds stood on exactly the same footing as the endowments of the Churches of England and Scotland in this country. Let their Lordships recollect that the value of these reserve lands had arisen wholly from the labour of the people of Canada, and that for twenty years the lands had remained valueless because the labour of the people had not been brought to bear upon them. Now, he would say that, under those circumstances, whatever might be the legal rights of the Crown, we had no moral right to dispose of those reserves without reference to the wishes and feelings of the people of Canada. But then it 427 was said, "Supposing we give up these reserves, how will the Legislature of Canada deal with them?" He was not willing to commit himself to any opinion about the future disposal of the reserves which events might possibly falsify. Undoubtedly, in giving up the uncontrolled disposal of these funds, we placed it in the power of the Canadian Parliament, if they should think fit, to dispose and alienate them, either for education, or for purely secular purposes. But the question for their Lordships to decide was, whether that power by policy and by natural right ought, or ought not, to be given to Canada. The noble Earl opposite had argued that this question was now beset with dangers which did not exist formerly, owing to the union of the two provinces. But let him remind the noble Earl that during fourteen or fifteen years before the union of the two provinces, there were no less than fourteen votes come to by different Parliaments of Upper Canada, pledging the Parliament of Protestant Upper Canada to the total and immediate secularisation of these funds; and there was at present more reason to fear the opinions and feelings of the people of Upper Canada than those of Lower Canada in regard to this question. The noble and learned Lord opposite had said that the sweeping away of the Protestant tithes had been due to the hostile feelings of the Roman Catholics of Canada—
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
said, that he had done no more than refer to the fact that the Colonial Legislature had abolished Protestant tithes, but had not attributed the act to Roman Catholics.
The DUKE of ARGYLL
begged the noble and learned Lord's pardon for unintentionally misrepresenting him. The opinion adverted to, however, was commonly entertained out of doors, although it was altogether erroneous. The tithes due to the Protestant clergy were never paid, because the Protestants were unwilling to pay them; and the Protestant Legislature of Upper Canada abolished them, on the ground that they were unnecessary, in consequence of reserved lands being set apart for the clergy. So far as we had opportunities of knowing, there was no reason to believe that the Roman Catholics of Lower Canada were likely to go against the Protestant feelings of Upper Canada. Then, as regards present apportionment of the reserve fund, it constituted a practical grievance of which the people of Canada had a right to complain. The proceeds of these reserves in Upper Canada, in 428 1852, had been 31,000l.; of which more than half had gone to the Church of England, upwards of 7,000l. to the Church of Scotland, and the remainder, amounting to about 5,000l., was all that remained for division amongst the various Protestant bodies. He submitted to their Lordships that this was a state of things which presented a strong practical grievance, of which there was good reason to complain. Another point which had been dwelt upon during the debate upon this Bill was, that it was not a measure of peace but of religious war in Canada. Her Majesty's Government did not, in proposing this measure, suppose that it would be likely at once to put an end to all religious animosities in Canada, They knew very well that in conceding to Canada the privileges of freedom, they cast upon them its burdens also, and among the heaviest of these burdens, and the most difficult to deal with well and wisely, was that of religious divisions. One noble Earl had said that, rather than agree to this measure, he would consent to the dismemberment of the empire, and the final separation of Canada from England. [The Earl of WICKLOW denied that he had said so.] He (the Duke of Argyll) was glad to find that he had misunderstood the noble Earl, for he could never hear such language applied with reference to one of our colonies without feeling desirous of at least entering his protest against it. He was aware that there were some persons who thought that the only advantage we could derive from our colonies was that obtained by exclusive commercial dealings. That opinion was now finally exploded; others, again, were disposed to withhold their sympathy from the colonies unless they saw in them an exact reproduction of the institutions of the Parent State. But though deriving from us the spirit and principles of their law, there were institutions which they could not copy. And among those of which it was hopeless to expect the reproduction in colonies, were Established Churches, with the endowments and privileges which their originals in the old world had acquired through a long series of ages. Nevertheless, the colonies had an important destiny to fulfil in connexion with the English Crown. They were able to exercise a powerful influence over an agent which was every day becoming of more importance—namely, the public opinion of the world. Gratified as We might be with the progress made by the United States—seeing that they were a people sprung from 429 ourselveg'—it, nevertheless, was for the good of the world, and the high interests of humanity, that a separate nation should exist on the North American continent, and continue as long as possible in connexion with the British Crown, because of the influence it must exercise on many important social and political questions. We could not doubt, for example, that, even at this moment, the laws of England, as existing among the people of Canada, were having a powerful influence throughout the American continent upon that cause—the greatest now being pled at the bar of the Christian world—which, so far as our own country was concerned, was immortally associated with the names of Clarkson, Wilberfbrce, and Brougham.
§ EARL GREY
said, that notwithstanding all that he had heard in the course of this debate, he felt more and more persuaded that the common sense of every man did recognise a most material difference between the property of individuals and that left for great national institutions, or for corporate bodies. If, for instance, the whole of the people of this country were to give up the Church of England, and to think its doctrines and existence injurious, would it be right that its property should still remain intact? Yet that was the principle involved in the argument of those who were opposed to this Bill. If he was not mistaken, the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby), a few days since, when discussing the propriety of continuing the arrangements with Maynooth, made use of an argument which appeared to him (Earl Grey) to have considerable weight in favour of this Bill. The noble Earl said, that if the arrangements made in 1845 with respect to Maynooth were binding now, they were only binding upon those who recommended them to the House so long as the circumstances existing at the time of the recommendation remained the same, and no ground was shown to exist for taking away the grant to the college. Upon this argument he (Earl Grey) would contend that, with respect to the clergy reserves in Canada, the Legislature was induced to pass a Bill in 1840, because it was believed that the arrangement it proposed would be acceptable in Canada, that the people of that Colony would acquiesce in this settlement of a long-agitated question, and that they would thereby be enabled to pass the Act of Union. Were these the circumstances now? Quite the reverse. It was admitted that under the Union Act—for the sake of 430 which the Clergy Reserves Act was passed—that very system of government which was established by it would become utterly impracticable if the Imperial Government insisted upon preserving the clergy reserves. But a right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter) had said that it would be sacrilege to touch this Church property) and that the Act of 1840 was a compact which they were about to break. If he (Earl Grey) were to concur in that opinion, how would it help him with respect to this proposed Amendment? The noble Earl, in his Amendment, wished to draw a distinction between two portions of the property, and said there was one portion of it in Canada invested in trustees for the benefit of the Church, and that the Legislature of this country had no more right to take it, or sanction its being taken away, than the private estate of any individual. Now he (Earl Grey) denied that there was any property conveyed to trustees for the benefit of the Church. The Act of 1840 provided that the clergy reserves were to be sold, and that the produce was to be invested in the public funds of Canada and England, and that the produce of these funds was to be paid to the Receiver General of the province—an officer charged with the custody of the whole revenue—on behalf of the Government of Canada, who upon the receipt of a certificate stating the amount due to the Church of England and other denominations, was required to pay to each body the amount it was entitled to receive—the fund in fact stood upon the same footing as an appropriation of the Consolidated Fund in this country. How could these receipts be considered as being in any way more sacred than the lands? As the lands were sold, the Receiver General received the money, invested it in the funds, carried it to the general account of the State, and divided it in the mode already described. Their Lordships might reject the Bill altogether if they pleased; but, in the name of common sense and consistency, he thought they Were not entitled to adopt the Amendment proposed. If it were sacrilege to touch Church property, it was sacrilege to deal with the land still unsold estimated at the value of 300,000l., or with the income of the 31,000l. the proceeds of that already disposed of: if it were a breach of compact in the one case it was equally so in the other. The Legislature of Upper Canada proposed an arrangement which Would have secured for ever a large portion of the property to the Church: the principle adopted was that of distributing it among the 431 various religious bodies nearly in the proportion of their numbers. But what was the practical effect of the arrangement of 1840, which the Imperial Parliament had, very unadvisedly, substituted for the Act which had obtained the assent of the local Legislature? In Upper Canada, in 1852, the total income of the fund was 31,400l. Out of that income the Churches of England and Scotland received 22,664l.; the Church of Rome, 1,666l.; and all other denominations of Christians, 8,073l. Among those included in the other denominations were about two-thirds of the whole Presbyterian body, who had joined the Free Church, and the whole of the powerful and numerous body of Wesleyan Methodists. The total number of all these other denominations, to which but about one-third of the whole income was given, was something short of three-fourths of the whole population. That was the unjust arrangement which it was proposed to perpetuate by the Amendment of the noble Earl, giving to the local Legislature no power of control whatever, and leaving it only to deal with the lands unsold, and which in the space of fifty years might probably realise 300,000l. Considerable confusion appeared to prevail in the minds of some noble Lords with respect to encouraging religion, and merely perpetuating endowments. There was, however, a broad and distinct difference between the two objects. He would appeal to those who wished to encourage the spread of religion in Canada, whether they thought it worth while, for the sake of a miserable sum of 22.000l., to make that Church, in whose welfare they were interested, odious to the whole people of Canada?—to connect that Church in their minds with a great grievance, and to produce those bitter feelings which such a connexion would inevitably create? He believed there was no greater mistake than to suppose that they could promote religion, or the substantial interests of the Church, or of religion, merely by heaping money upon it. Religion was too high and too sacred an object to be thus treated, and its influence over the minds of men was not to be purchased, but attained by far different means. Some years since, when he sat in the other House, large votes were annually given for the Church in Canada, partly under the head of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and the others included in the Army Estimates. One of the first questions in which he took an interest was, the impropriety that the people of England should be taxed 432 for the religious instruction of the people of Canada. In 1831, when he held office under Lord Ripon, it was determined that the system should not be any longer continued, and it was decided that all those clergymen who were in the possession of stipends supplied by this means should hold them for their lives only, and that the charges should gradually drop. These charges are now in process of extinction, and at present they amounted but to a comparatively small sum. When this arrangement was first proposed, there was a general cry that the interests of religion in Canada were about to be sacrificed, and that the moment you ceased to treat the Church as a favoured establishment it would droop. The result, however, had been found to be the reverse, and it had been clearly shown that in proportion as they had thrown the Church in the colony more upon its own resources—as they had adopted a system less invidious in the eyes of the people of Canada—precisely in that proportion the Church had continued to gain strength, and was at present in a far more flourishing state than at the time it was receiving large grants from the people of this country. The interests of the Church, therefore, as well as the political interests of the empire, called upon their Lordships to pass this Bill in the shape in which it had been introduced; but if their Lordships were determined to reject the Bill, he appealed to them to reject it in a plain and straightforward manner by a vote upon the third reading, and not to concur in an Amendment which had no principle to stand upon, and which was open to every objection which might be urged against the maintenance of the existing system, and which, at the same time, had none of even those partial advantages which the advocates of the existing might contend for in its favour.
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
said, that, having occupied their Lordships at such a length upon a former occasion, he wished now only to make a few observations upon the Amendment of his noble Friend; and he would beg in the first place to observe, that that Amendment in no way touched the question of the expediency of the original endowment. The question rather was, whether or not they should take from Canada the property of the Crown, which had been given by the Crown and vested by Parliament with the knowledge of the Crown, in order to endow and maintain a Protestant clergy in that country. And he would here beg to remind their Lord- 433 ships that the Church in Canada consisted of others besides the clergy, and that their Lordships had to consider something more than the vested interests of the clergy. They must remember the interests of those of the laity who knew that their whole chance of continuing to receive religious ministration depended upon the life of a person under arrangements which conferred only a stipend for life, and that the accident of his death would deprive them of the means of receiving religious instruction. Was it a light matter that their places of worship should be shut up, because the Canadian Legislature desired to have a control over property to which it was not entitled? The question had been argued as though it were one between the Church of England and the Dissenters; but if the Colonial Legislature were to acquire the control over these lands, it would cease to be a question between the Church and the Dissenters, because, if secularised, the whole fund would be devoted to other purposes. It had been asked, what was the difference between the two funds referred to in the Amendment of his noble Friend? There was this important difference. In the one case there was a fund actually existing formed from the moneys received from the sale of the lands, and which had been already appropriated to religious uses. In the other case there was a quantity of 1,400,000 acres of land, the value of which was not less than 300,000l., which had not yet been sold, and not, of course, appropriated to any religious purposes, and this it was proposed by way of compromise to hand over to the Colonial Legislature to deal with as it might think fit. His noble Friend was willing to make a compromise, and to give up the prospective appropriation, on condition that the retrospective appropriation should not be dealt with by the Canadian Parliament. The noble Earl (Earl Grey) asked why his noble Friend gave up one fund and not the other? But if a man by the right of the stronger took away from him the whole contents of his purse and gave him half back, which he accepted, was he to be told if he complained that he was a sad fellow, and that it could not be called robbing him, when he was content to take half his property? His noble Friend had been anxious, as far as he could, to save what could be saved for the Churches of England and Scotland. One point worthy of consideration was, as to the practical working of this Bill. If the Bill passed, it was not as if the en- 434 dowment to be preserved was itself land. If the land was all that remained, and that land was to be preserved as an endowment, it might not be immediately broken into; but with a very large sum in ready money, would the Canadian Legislature hesitate to take that fund and appropriate it to secular purposes? The question before the House was not whether they were to endow, or not to endow, but whether they would destroy an actual endowment which the Church possessed in Canada, and possessed by as good a title as could possibly exist. The opponents of this Bill did not deny, and had never denied, that the Imperial Parliament might have the power of undoing that which it had done. The Act of Union was an Act of the Imperial Parliament, and one upon which the whole depended. Now, if they could deal with the clergy reserves, they could deal also with the Act of Union, and in the same way they could take away the system of representative government conferred upon the colony. No one, however, would venture to do this, not because it would be more unjust than to take away the clergy reserves, but because they dare not—because they ought not. But so, also, they ought not to do that which the present Bill proposed. The noble Earl (Earl Grey) had endeavoured to show that the money fund formed a portion of the consolidated fund of Canada, and must be dealt with as public money. In that, however, he was quite mistaken. It formed no portion of the consolidated fund—[Earl GREY: I never said it did]—nor did it form part of any public fund.
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
did not wish to fix certain words upon the noble Earl; but the noble Earl had said it was part of the public fund of Canada, as plainly as language could speak:—the whole purport of his argument had been to show that the money produced by the sale of clergy reserves formed part of the public fund, under the control of a public officer, and that, therefore, there was nothing exclusive on the part of the Churches of England and Scotland as to their possession. Then the noble Earl had likened the clergy reserves 435 in' Canada to the case of Maynooth. But the case of the clergy reserves was perfectly different from that of Maynooth. The grant to Maynooth was paid out of the Consolidated Fund, upon which it was entirely dependent, and the object of making it permanent was to prevent those squabbles which ensued every year when the money for the maintenance of that institution was voted annually. The grant to Maynooth, therefore, stood upon totally different grounds from the clergy reserves, and the noble Earl entirely failed in endeavouring to bring the case within the same category. The noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Argyll) had stated that the Dissenters had a vested interest in this property in Canada, because the Judges had decided that the term "Protestant" included the Scotch Church. Nobody doubted that; but they did not say that the whole body of Protestant Dissenters were included. He must remind the House that it was by the Act of 1840 that provision was made, not only for the Church of England and for the Church of Scotland, but also for every class of Dissenters; and his noble Friend's Amendment left 1,400,000 acres of land to be distributed among the different dissenting claimants, after securing the Churches of England and Scotland in the enjoyment of the funds which had been appropriated to them by law. The real matter for their Lordships to decide was this:—their Lordships were not now dealing with a Canadian Act of Parliament, they were not considering whether they would or would not give their sanction to an act of the Canadian Legislature; but they were to decide solemnly whether they would now consent to repeal the settlement of 1840—a settlement which, although he had been in opposition in the House of Commons at the time, he had not hesitated to vote for as he would again, Upon the ground of its being a national settlement. Nothing Would have surprised him more at that time than to be told that, after the lapse of a few years, the very men who had propounded and obtained the sanction of Parliament to that measure, as an act of peace and justice, and one necessary to cement the union then agreed to, would come forward and ask the Legislature to undo all that had been done, and deprive the Church of the provision which had then been stipulated for and conceded. On account of these clergy reserves the Canadian Legislature had abolished tithes 436 to the Protestant clergy; and if this measure passed it would cut their support from under them; whilst the tithes of the Roman Catholic clergy would remain untouched. He cordially acquiesced in the reasonable Amendment of his noble Friend, though open, as he admitted it was, to objection upon principle as giving way at all in the matter, and he hoped their Lordships would, by adopting it, show that they also considered it a reasonable compromise of the question.
The BISHOP of OXFORD
My Lords, I think that if any argument was needed at this late period of the night to convince the greater number of your Lordships of the inconvenience, and, I must say, as it seems to me, the inconsistency into which the noble Earl opposite has fallen in proposing this Amendment, it will be found in the speech of the noble and learned Lord who has just sat down, when that speech is compared with that which the noble and learned Lord delivered on Friday night. Whether you agree or disagree with that speech of Friday night, I think you could not fail to admire the strong masculine understanding, the vigour of intellect, the perspicuity of expression, and the graceful courtesy which dignified the address which the noble and learned Lord delivered oft that occasion. Granting the principle laid down by the noble and learned Lord on Friday night to be correct, I should say his speech was unanswerable; but I deny the principle, and therefore I cannot agree to the speech. I confess I do not see anything like the masculine vigour and perspicuity in the speech of the noble and learned Lord to-night which characterised his address on Friday—it is enveloped in doubts and difficulties from the impossibility of his making clear the difficult position he has had to occupy. The noble and learned Lord had at once to argue—and I will presently bring him back to the illustration he has used this evening—he had to argue at once that what you are going to do is sacrilegious, and yet that it is your bounden duty to do it. And what was the noble and learned Lord's illustration to-night? He said, "Oh, it is a compromise. It is like saying to a man 'Give me your purse and you shall have half of it back, and I will keep the other half.'" But is that exactly the position of matters Which the noble and learned Lord intended to illustrate? Is not the illustration this, that your Lordships are going to be parties with the Canadian Legislature in 437 pillaging third parties? The illustration, therefore, to be correct, ought to be this—that your Lordships are joining with a man who is going to take another's purse, and join with him contentedly, and then you take half the victim's money, and after-Wards say because you only took half you are free from the guilt of having taken the whole. That is the difficulty which, it appears to me, inevitably attaches to the proposition of the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby). No man listened with greater anxiety than I did when the noble Earl stated that he had an Amendment to propose which your Lordships might adopt. It seems to me, however, that, like most other half measures, it exactly falls into the predicament that it neither saves the principle contended for by the noble Earl himself, nor that which the Bill before your Lordships seeks to establish. It seems to me that it completely sacrifices both, and is therefore completely inadmissible. I think the noble Earl urged the other night that this was the final settlement of a great question, twice guaranteed by Parliament, by two separate Acts of the Legislature, once in 1791, and again in 1840. But does not the noble Earl's Amendment just as completely overturn that settlement as the Bill before your Lordships? To me it appears that his Amendment overturns that settlement as completely as the Bill proposed by the Government, and perhaps in a more dangerous Way than if you gave to the Canadian Legislature the power sought for by them of dealing with the reserves in question, and they should pro-deed as the noble Earl thinks they will proceed. The noble Earl says this property stands on precisely the same footing as the property of the Church of England and Ireland, and that we are leaving it to the Canadian Parliament to set an example of confiscation in this matter; but I think the noble Earl has been led away by a confusion of the words "appropriation" and "allotment." In the one case certain estates have been given—many by the charity of private individuals—to particular parishes to provide for the inhabitants of those parishes a particular form of religious instruction; but they are altogether alien from all public funds, and are placed in this respect exactly upon the footing of private property. Can the noble Earl tell your Lordships that this is the same as the property comprised in the clergy reserves? Those reserves were granted by the Crown, as possessed of common right in the land 438 of an acquired province; that grant of the Crown was afterwards established by Parliament; and the original object of that grant was the maintenance of the Protestant clergy. But your Lordships will see what a distinction there is between the two cases. They are not allotted to any particular parishes, and one point respecting the object of the Bill has been wholly misunderstood, out of doors at least. It is alleged that it is proposed to give the Canadian Legislature power to strip the' various rectories which were endowed of their endowments. Now, there is no such power whatever in this Bill. The endowments given to the various rectories are given in the same way as to the rectories in England, and there is no power whatever in the Bill to take away those endowments. It is important to remember that this common fund was intended to be administered, as Parliament ordered it should be administered, in the province of Canada. In the original Act it is expressly provided that this fund should be so administered until it should be altered by the power that originally created it. Instead of being a grant in perpetuity allotted to specific grantees, it was ordained to be from time to time administered by the Legislature of Canada. Is there, then, any clear analogy between the two cases as put by the noble Earl, and how does the Amendment pro-posed meet the matter? The noble Earl goes perniciously on in the exact direction which the measure of the Government seeks to avoid. He says, "We will secure for the Canadian Legislature one half, and you shall confiscate the other half." He there-fore makes you do the very thing which he and my right rev. Brother condemns as sacrilege. It is proposed now that we should take on ourselves the dealing With one-half of the property, while we are told that the dealing with it at all is a sacrilegious act. The Amendment, therefore, entirely fails in carrying out its own principle. The principle involved in the question is a very simple one. The principle on which the original measure was supported was not on the ground that it is good to confiscate an acre of the land; it was simply that we are bound, as a matter of right, to allow the Canadian Legislature to deal with it. The noble and learned Lord (Lord St; Leonards), on a previous occasion, did to the honour to say that I had failed to establish that the Canadian Legislature had any Such right; that if anybody could have established that right, I would hate done 439 so; and that as I had not done so, he concluded there was no such right in existence. That was certainly a most courteous and flattering remark, only I venture to say I think that right can he established. I do not mean for a single moment to say that there is any legal right in the Canadian Legislature to settle this question; for if there is a legal right, why in the world are we now discussing it? A right may mean different things; it may stand for a legal right, that proper laws will enforce, or that far higher right—that basis of moral right—that claim of high moral equity which every written law ought to embody; and, I maintain, my Lords, that by the higher law of moral equity the Canadians have a right to deal with this question. The analogy of natural rights will show noble Lords what I mean. I say that the child, as he approaches to maturity, has a right to be treated by the father with increasing liberty. He has not a legal right, but he has a high moral right to be so treated; and as the child approaches to maturity, if the father binds himself by obligation to give him a certain allowance, there comes a new right then, and the father has no right afterwards, when he has made that promise, because he disapproves of the way that child may spend the money, to withdraw that grant altogether. The example may be applied to a Colonial Legislature. You have given a Colonial Legislature to Canada, and in despatch after despatch you continually told them that you intended that Imperial questions should be reserved for the Imperial Parliament, and that domestic concerns should be left to the Colonial Parliament. Therefore, you are under a moral obligation to them not to interfere with their rights. It was of that species of right I spoke. You have given to this colony a responsible government—responsible to the people of Canada on the one side, and to the Crown of England on the other side; but that Government is a mockery and a lie if Parliament the moment they think the Colonial Legislature is about to use their power for what they may think an injurious purpose, interpose and say, "This is an imperial matter, we reserve the right of dealing with it to ourselves, and you shall not meddle with it." It was this argument of right and justice that was so complete an answer to the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter); and as this may be, in fact, considered an adjourned debate, I will refer to one thing in the speech of the right rev. Prelate 440 on Friday evening. I know he did not mean what he said unkindly, but it will be in the recollection of noble Lords that he drew a very long, a very plausible, and I am sure I may call it a very ingenious argument, to disprove this right, from the conduct of one very dear to me, and whose name to bear is my highest honour and greatest blessing. The right rev. Prelate declared that I had robbed that name of its highest honour by the argument I had used on this question. My Lords, I must beg your Lordships to pause before you agree with the right rev. Prelate in that opinion; for I can assure you that there is no feeling dearer to my heart than the honour of that honourable name. I deem it to be my greatest boast to be sprung from one, who, gifted with the vastest opportunities—with the friendship, the closest friendship of England's greatest Minister—the highest powers, and the most commanding social position—used them all for no personal aggrandisement, and died a poor commoner—a poorer man than when he entered public life, seeing every one of his contemporaries raised to wealth and hereditary honours, leaving to his children no high rank or dignity according to the notions of this world—but bequeathing to them the perilous inheritance of a name which the Christian world venerated. My Lords, I cannot bear that it should be said, though in the most oblique way, or that by any deduction from what I say it should be held, that I for an instant have derogated from his fame; but I cannot admit, my Lords, that I have done so. There is no sort of parallel between the cases of Canada and of the West Indies. In the first place, the subject on which we were engaged in relation to the West Indies, was a great imperial question with which this country could deal. This country had encouraged slavery; it had set up the slave trade, and had made slavery throughout its colonial possessions one of the great features of its imperial rule. But the country, mainly through God's blessing on his (Mr. Wilber-force's) efforts, came to a sense of this evil, and began to redress this injustice. On beholding that bright star of liberty that began to rise on its colonial subjects, it was the duty of this country, in her Imperial capacity, to prepare the way for a total change of things; and I feel on behalf of the Canadian Legislature, somewhat indignant when the West Indian Legislatures, as they then were, are spoken of as a parallel to it. It is known that the Legisla- 441 tures of the West Indies were not at that time the deliberative bodies of young States that were springing forth into a beautiful maturity, but of bigoted colonies, whose councils were governed by the slave planters', representatives and overseers, I almost feel indignation when the right rev. Prelate likens the Canadian Legislature to such bodies as these, as if he were adopting those opinions that were too current some years back, but are now happily passed away, and which were embodied in a saying of the great moralist, Dr. Johnson, who, speaking of our American brethren, said, "After all, Sir, they are but a nation of convicts, and if we let them escape hanging, it is good enough for them." My right rev. Brother, when he endeavoured to convince your Lordships that the West Indian Legislatures were proper exemplars of the Canadian Parliament, forgets the responsibility that belongs to it. The case now shown why there should be an alteration of the law of 1840 is plain. At that time a large share of the proceeds of those reserves were given to the Church of Scotland. They were so given before the frightful disruption that had taken place in that body; and in Canada the greater number of those who formerly profited, and who it was intended should profit, by that grant, do not profit by it at all, because it is given only to those who have not separated from the Presbyterian Church as established in Scotland, and he left off at the most remarkable part of it—they say that a necessity, therefore, exists for altering the arrangement, and they are the proper persons to make it, and neither demand can Parliament gainsay. The settlement proposed by the noble Earl, in his Amendment, neither grants their request nor saves our honour. The right rev. Prelate, the other night, quoted the beautiful description by Burke of the imperial power of Parliament—its grandeur, and the singleness and nobleness of its aims; but my right rev. Friend went but a little way in that speech, and he had a convenient memory when he stopped where he did. It happened that within a week before I had been reading this very speech myself, and the matter was fresh in my mind, and I ask your Lordships to let me read three or four sentences additional to show you that the opinions of Edmund Burke were different after all from what you would infer from that quotation of my right rev. Friend. That nobleminded and truly great man 442 spoke in this way:—"An ardent love of freedom is the predominating feature of your American Colonies; and as an ardent is always a jealous affection, your Colonies become suspicious, restive, and intractable when they see the least attempt to wrest from them by force"—(he seemed almost to have foreseen what occurred on Friday night, and, if your Lordships will allow me, I will put in on Friday evening)—"or to shuffle from them by chicanery, as is perhaps attempted now, "what they think the only advantage worth living for." The fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English colonists than in any other people of the earth, because they are the descendants of Englishmen. My Lords, I do declare that, if I may venture to believe that if the faintest echoes of our voices shall approach those still and calm shades where I rejoice to think the spirit of that mighty patriot rests, he would be moved almost to indignation at hearing that his name was quoted, not to assert for those American Colonies the right to manage their own affairs, but was quoted because we so distrust them that we will not give them the power of dealing with the question of the endowment of their own clergy. Late as it is, there is one single consideration with which I must trouble your Lordships before I sit down. I ask your Lordships solemnly to put this question to yourselves as statesmen, before, by a direct negative, or by the adoption of this Amendment, you destroy this measure—Can you hope that you will be able to prevent the speedy passing of this Bill? Does any one noble Lord in this House believe that if this Bill be thrown out it will settle the question? Does he not know perfectly well that, instead of settling the question, it will embitter the question, and excite still warmer feelings in the colony? Will it not come back again to you with redoubled force, so that it will be impossible to put off beyond a few years the settlement of it? The noble and learned Lord argued that there would be particular danger in granting this measure, because the money could be easily handled; but he must first kill off the immediate receivers of the money before the money can be touched at all. The immediate seizure of it is impossible, because the lifeowners will have possession of it; and before those men who are now secured by the Bill shall have passed away, you will be compelled, whatever your present decision is, to pass a measure similar to the present Bill, and 443 you will not gain one single advantage, while you alienate all the generous feelings of the people of Canada from the nation, and, what is far more important, from the Church for which you are legislating. I know it is said that the right rev. Bench to which I belong are to judge of the measure not by its policy, but by what is called its religious aspect; but I deny altogether that there is any difference between them. It would be tantamount to a profession of atheism to avow that we have any other policy than the will of God, and that which' is not the will of God is not a true policy; therefore there is in my mind no difference between the political and religious aspect of the question, because the object of both must be to do His will. I know how much better many of my right rev. Brethren are than I am; but not one of them can possess a more ardent love for the Colonial Church than I do. I ask them to weigh well what will be the result of their causing the members of the Canadian Church to trust to their support, instead of to their own efforts to preserve those endowments? No person regrets more than I do that I should be obliged to differ from the opinion of my right rev. Friend the Bishop of Toronto; but I have a fear which is greater than the fear of differing with him on this question—the fear of leading upright, generous and devoted men to think that the House of Lords can defend the Church in that colony, or maintain them on ground that must sink from under them, thereby causing them to incur the distrust and suspicion of the people by identifying themselves with the party that refuses to the Colonies the power of self-regulation. When a few years shall have passed, the question will come with increased force; we will be obliged to give them up, and we must leave them to place their trust and confidence in their fellow-citizens. I declare I believe that no gift could be more deadly to that Church than the gift of that endowment, if it were to be preserved, against the will of the Canadian people, by the power of your Lordships' House. It has been said in the other House that the endowments of my see might be fairly confiscated because I had said I was ready to give them up, which I certainly beg to assure your Lordships was quite a mistake. I have not the smallest intention to do so. But rather than our Church should be maintained in the possession of its estates by the force of a foreign power, I would see it beg from 444 door to door for the maintenance of its altars and the support of its ministers. And if you say to the Canadian Legislature that you distrust them, and will not allow them on this question to legislate for themselves, are you not putting yourself in the position of a foreign Power maintaining a home Church? For the sake of the quiet of this great colony, for the sake, above all, of the peace and prosperity and spiritual strength of the Church, I beseech your Lordships not to be led away from this simple question—whether, with a responsible government, and whether with a Colonial Legislature, they, and not we, are the persons justly entitled to deal with this great question?
The BISHOP of EXETER
said, his right rev. Brother had misinterpreted a good deal of what had fallen from him on Friday night, and had, besides, accused him of misquotation. [The Bishop of OXFORD explained he had not done so.] Certainly the right rev. Prelate, after what he said, ought to have adduced some words from the passage in Mr. Burke to show that he (the Bishop of Exeter) had purposely abstained from quoting the rest of the passage because it would be against his argument; but the words of Mr. Burke, cited in proof of this charge or insinuation by the right rev. Prelate, had no bearing whatever on the great principle, which was, whether or not the Imperial Parliament sat, "as it were, on the throne of Heaven," to direct, guide, and control all local and colonial Legislatures. The right rev. Prelate had thought fit to represent him as depriving his father of his highest glory: now certainly nothing could have been further from his thoughts. What he said was, that the position taken up by his right rev. Friend did virtually rob his father of his highest glory; for, if the Legislatures of the West Indies ought not to be subject to the Imperial Legislature, then that great man was acting on one lengthened course of wrong and oppression with regard to them. The right rev. Prelate asserted it was an imperial question to the Parliament of this country to protect the slaves living in the West Indies. He (the Bishop of Exeter) admitted that; but he also held that it was clearly the imperial duty of the Crown and Legislature of Great Britain to protect the provision by George III. for the clergy in our colonies—he held it was as much an imperial duty of the Legislature to protect the provision of the clergy in Canada, as it 445 was, to protect the slaves in the West India islands. Were they to be told that the highest, the spiritual, interests of one hundred millions of people who, it might easily be believed, would at some future day people the vast extent of the province of Canada, were to be dealt with at plea-pure by the two millions at present scattered through the country? They had heard that night from the Lord Privy Seal (the Duke of Argyll), for the first time that it had ever been heard in that House from the bench on which the Ministers of the Crown sat, the assertion of the principle that because the value of the lands in, question arose from the capital and labour employed upon them by the Canadians, therefore they had the sole right to deal with them. The same assertion had been made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in another place. Why, this was the merest Chartism; it was clear that there would be no lack of persons to succeed Feargus O'Connor, who had been lately declared incompetent to fill the post of Chartist leader, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer could assert that those had a right to lands who gave them value by the employment of their labour upon them. He had been taunted with gross inconsistency, if he should vote for the noble Earl's Amendment. But nothing, he thought, could be plainer than the course which it behoved him to take upon the present occasion. He held that these reserves had been given to the Church, and that they could not be taken away without sacrilege. Those who did not believe that the Canadian Legislature would secularise them if this Bill were passed, were no doubt not guilty of sacrilege in supporting it; but those who like himself thought that would be its effect, would undoubtedly be so guilty. In that case, the noble Duke the Secretary for the Colonies, said that he (the Bishop of Exeter) must vote against the Amendment of the noble Earl, because it disposed of a portion of the clergy reserves. Now the fact was that that Amendment did not give the Colonial Legislature the power to secularise any part of these reserves, but it deprived them of dealing with the invested portion. For that reason he should support the Amendment; but as he thought that it was equally sacrilege to give up the other portion of the reserves, he should, even if the Amendment were carried, vote against the third reading of the Bill.
The EARI of DERBY
My Lords, after the long debate that has taken place 446 upon this question, I shall not trespass on your Lordships' attention for more than a few minutes. It is impossible, however, for my noble Friend near me, or for myself, to accept the designation or pass over the language of the right rev. Prelate who spoke last but one (the Bishop of Oxford). I cannot admit that my Amendment seeks to obtain, either by force or by shuffling and chicane, the control of the Canadian Legislature; and if I know anything of the right rev. Prelate, I think he will feel with me that some apology is due to these noble Lords who act with me in this ease, as well as to myself, for having so pointedly characterised the Amendment. The right rev. Prelate thought fit to say, whether the Bill was rejected the second reading or altered by the Amendment, the rights of the Canadians were about to be wrested by violence or shuffled away by chicane. I disclaim the offensive imputation on my own part and on the part of my noble Friends, and the right rev. Prelate will, I hope, see, on reflection, that however he may have been led away in the heat of argument, by what he thought the strong point he made in his speech, the application of such terms to us was neither true nor justifiable. Neither can I accept the character which the right rev. Prelate has given the Bill, when he said it was solely to leave the local Legislature their own undoubted rights in this matter, nor of the Amendment, which he said appropriated one-half of the clergy reserves in Canada. What the Amendment does is this—I never said a syllable about sacrilege—what the Amendment does is this—that whereas the Bill, as introduced by Her Majesty's Government, proposes to leave to the local Legislature the whole appropriation of the clergy reserves without distinction, the Amendment proposes precisely in the same manner, and neither more nor less, to leave to that Legislature—it does not affect to itself to appropriate—the appropriation of so much as—straining the point for the purpose of making a concession to our Canadian fellow-subjects—as much as we think we can leave to them without a distinct violation of the principles of justice. We do not propose to appropriate a shilling, or even a halfpenny, but we propose that, one-half of the amount having been appropriated to special purposes, we believe it to be vested with all the rights of property, and therefore nothing can induce us to consent to its sacrifice to the Canadian Legislature. I have heard with surprise a right rev. 447 Prelate of the Established Church compare our endeavours to maintain inviolate the rights of that Church in Canada to the interposition of a foreign Power—
The BISHOP of OXFORD
explained. What he did say was, that such was the strong feeling in the American colonies of Great Britain on the subject of local self-legislation that the sentiment excited by the Amendment on their minds would bear a clear analogy to what would be the feeling of England in the case of foreign legislation upon a similar subject.
§ The EARL of DERBY
The explanation of the right rev. Prelate certainly conveys quite a different meaning from that which I understood him to convey. While I am disposed to give the Canadian Legislature, therefore, all the power of local self-legislation which they can desire, or which they can exercise in all that concerns their domestic matters, I am not prepared to say that I look upon that Legislature as so absolutely independent of the Imperial Parliament that we should abandon altogether to it those rights of property which we hold sacred, so long as that colony remains nominally subject to the Crown of England. The noble Duke (the Duke of Newcastle) has said that, according to the principles I have laid down, the rights of property should be maintained as in favour of the dissenting bodies in Canada, in the same manner as in favour of the Established Churches of England and Scotland. I deny the analogy, because I deny that by the Act of Parliament constituting those reserves any body or bodies whatever, excepting the Churches of England and Scotland, have a right to any portion of their appropriation. It is quite clear that the only interpretation of the Act of 1791, and the Act of 1840, is, that a certain definite proportion should go to the Churches in question. Another definite proportion was given, not to any denomination of Dissenters, but handed over to the local Legislature to be by them appropriated to the purpose of distribution among bodies. Under the terms of the Act there is no dissenting body whatever that has any right or any power to lay claim to any portion of it. Let us see now in what manner the local Legislature of Canada has dealt with these clergy reserves in the past, as data for the future; and I beg the attention of those members of Her Majesty's Government who are deluding themselves with the idea that they are as safe in the hands of the Canadian as in the hands of the Imperial Legisla- 448 ture. The noble Duke said the sum appropriated to the Churches of England and Scotland was 25,000l., that to Dissenting bodies 5,600l. The noble Duke, however, was not quite right. Half the new fund allotted for distribution was 7,000l., and the noble Duke was doubtlessly misled by the figures on the paper. The noble Duke, however, on looking more closely, will see that this is only the balance which the local Legislature locks up in its coffers, and which it does not appropriate to any denomination of Dissenters whatever. The Church of England had two-sixths; the Church of Scotland one-sixth; the Roman Catholics 900l., and the Wesleyan Methodists, 203l. The balance remaining was 5,618l.; therefore, when the noble Duke asserted that 5,000l. were appropriated, it was only the balance of 7,000.,l 2,000l. being locked up and unappropriated. The noble Duke will find also, that from 1847 to 1852 there has been a gradually accumulating balance which now amounts to 20,000l., and which locked up, because unappropriated to the dissenting bodies, will be liberated if the present Bill shall pass, and placed entirely at the disposal of the Canadian Parliament. I am placing the question on its proper ground. The noble Lord opposite places it on the absolute and indefeasible right of the Colonial Legislature to dispose of the clergy reserves. I do not admit this claim. I am willing to concede it in all cases over which the local Legislature has legitimate authority and control; but I maintain that it has no such authority or control in respect to that portion of this property made over to the Established Church of England and Scotland. That is the plain principle on which I proceed; I admit that the Amendment does not go to the full extent of my own views or of this principle; but I have adopted this course in a spirit of concession, and it stands on the broad claim to distinction that exists between the portion of the property in question applied to civil and that portion applied to religious purposes. I ask the House, therefore, to maintain to the utmost extent the rights of property, and, while conceding all that should be conceded to the principle of self-government, to relinquish in nothing the principle of the sacredness of property.
The BISHOP of OXFORD
I must entreat your Lordships' indulgence while I briefly refer to one point in the noble Earl's speech. I think your Lordships must have remarked that when I made the quotation to which he has referred, I did so with a 449 smile, and not with the intention of imputing anything to noble Lords opposite. I have many friends amongst them, and nothing could be further from me than the intention to say anything offensive to them. All that I meant to say was, that you (the Opposition) would have been defeated in a division on the second reading of the Bill on Friday evening, and that thinking you could secure the same effect as would have attended upon success then, by a judicious Amendment in Committee, you took that course. I did not think that unparliamentary. At the same time, I must remind the noble Earl that to speak of the promoters of this Bill as advocating a shuffling and shifting policy, was calculated to prove offensive to them, as I believe it did prove to my noble Friends near me.
§ The EARL of DERBY
My Lords, I accept at once the explanation which has been offered by the right rev. Prelate; but when he tells me that it is impossible for him to say anything offensive because he has a smiling face, he will forgive me if I quote in his presence from a well-known author, without intending, in the least, to apply the words to him,—A matt may smile and smile, and be a villain.[Cheers, laughter, and some deprecatory remarks from the Ministerial benches.] I am at a loss to conceive to whom what I say can be offensive.
§ The EARL of CLARENDON
It is to me. [loud cheers.] It is to me, I say. [Renewed cheering.] I and my noble Friends near me were offended by that expression. We are not accustomed to hear such expressions. We are not accustomed even in the language of poetry, to hear such a word as "villain" applied to any noble Lord in this House.
§ The EARL of DERBY
I must say, my Lords, that I think the indignation of the noble Earl is wholly uncalled for, and is especially unbecoming the position he holds in Her Majesty's Government. He must have heard me say, before I used the expression to which he refers, that I was simply making a quotation, and that I was quite certain that the right rev. Prelate would feel that I was not applying to him the expression which occurred in that quotation, any more than that I believed, after his explanation, that he intended anything personally offensive to me. I think, therefore, it will be quite time enough for the noble Earl to vent his indignation when he happens himself to be the object of per- 450 sonal attack. I can assure your Lordships that I had not the slightest intention of doing so in this instance; and I do not think that the general feeling of the House at all joins in what, I must say, is a somewhat singular demonstration—a waste of indignation, which I suppose was called forth by the protracted length of the debate.
§ On Question—Content, 78; Not content, 117: Majority, 39.
§ Resolved in the Negative; Bill reported without Amendment; and to be read 3a on Thursday next.
§ House adjourned till To-morrow.