§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ The EARL of ABERDEEN
My Lords, I have now to move your Lordships to give a second reading to the Bill for the relief of Her Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish religion. The subject has already so much engaged the attention of your Lordships, and has been so fully discussed in this House, that it would be difficult for any man, and certainly impossible for me, to attempt to place it before you in any new point of view. Before, however, I proceed very shortly to remark upon the principle involved in this Bill, and to offer a few observations in its support, I am desirous of adverting for a few moments to the position in which its present advocate stands. When this question was last before the House, two years since, although taking no part in the discussion, my vote 754 was given against the measure of relief then proposed. Now, although I am not aware that a change of opinion on this subject necessarily calls for any remark, yet I am desirous of stating that the change of opinion upon my part took place more than a year since. In the month of January or February of the last year—certainly before the accession of the noble Earl opposite to office—I communicated to my right hon. Friend the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, then and now a Member for the University of Oxford, my intention of supporting the Removal of the Jewish Disabilities Bill upon the next occasion of its being brought forward in this House. I subsequently made the same communication to my noble Friend near me (the Duke of Newcastle), who now fills the office of Secretary for the Colonies. I wish to mention this circumstance, lest by any possibility it should be supposed that this change of opinion had any relation to recent political combinations, but with which it could not by possibility have anything to do. There is, however, less cause for remarking on such a change as this, because I apprehend the same change has also taken place in the minds of most of those who are now the most favourably disposed towards the measure. I apprehend that most of your Lordships in favour of the measure must recollect a time when your feelings on this subject were in a different direction, and it is natural that this should be the case. I look upon the feeling on this measure not as the result of argument or of reason, but as a matter of religious obligation, which, so long as it is felt to be well founded, must be stronger than all reason and all argument on the subject. I consider the opposition to the Bill, by which I was formerly myself actuated, as a remnant of that feeling which formerly prevailed throughout Christendom. In former times it existed, no doubt with greater intensity than at present, and was then turned to account by cruel men and atrocious tyrants, and by interested statesmen, for the purpose of persecution; but many who were engaged in the work of persecution no doubt did so in the sincere belief that they were doing God good service. I have no occasion now to speak of persecution among those who oppose the claims sought to be granted by this Bill; I suppose that the whole of your Lordships entertain and express feelings of good-will and kindliness towards persons of the Jewish persuasion. Yet it is my belief that this feeling of oppo- 755 sition to what I consider to be their just claim, to equal privileges with their fellow-subjects, is a remnant of that prejudice which in former times existed so strongly in every country of Europe. I look upon the prejudice against the Jewish nation as having arisen from the circumstance that the Jews were under the obloquy of a crime of inconceivable magnitude, and as having imprecated upon their own heads the curse which is to pursue them from that event. We have by our conduct made ourselves partakers of the Divine wrath, and have taken upon ourselves, more or less, to give effect to the decree of the Most High, and to carry into effect the vengeance of the Almighty. We should have remembered, however, that "vengeance was not ours," and that it was not for us to "repay;" that it was our duty to regard with kindliness and fellow-feeling our erring, it might be, fellow-creatures; to abstain from wrath, and mitigate our resentment. This country, at least in recent times, has proclaimed the absolute freedom of all religious opinion; we have declared that religious truth or religious error shall not be among us the test of any qualification for civil rights. The Jew, in this country, is the only person who is excluded from full civil and political rights in consequence of his religious belief. Unchristian and cruel as were those laws which persecuted our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, still they were not founded upon their religious belief: they were mainly adopted as compendious tests of political belief, and in many respects were not inadequately chosen as indicating a political faith. But the exclusion of the Jews from civil rights is simply on the ground that he entertains a religious belief which we undoubtedly think most erroneous; still he is the only man who, in the present day, is proscribed in consequence of his religious opinion. Now, the notion that by acting towards the Jew upon the principle of religious equality—a principle which we have fully adopted since the abolition of the Test and Corporation Act, more than twenty years ago, and the emancipation of the Roman Catholics which followed close upon that measure—the notion that by extending to the Jews the same privileges which we extend to all other persuasions, however they may differ from ourselves, is founded mainly—I think almost exclusively—upon this feeling, that we are doing something at variance with the Christian character of this country. The notion is, I think, one which cannot be sup- 756 ported even for an hour. Nor is it easy to understand how the argument is applied. My Lords, the existence of the Jews in this country is, pro tanto, an unchristianising of the nation. The only country that is consistent in this is Spain, No doubt, you may imitate the example of Spain, and, to be consistent, expel the Jews from your community; but to admit them among you, to confer privileges, rights, honours, a social condition, and even electoral privileges, and then to say their admission to Parliament would unchristianise the nation—I cannot clearly comprehend how this is to happen. My Lords, it is true, no doubt, that Christianity is a part and parcel of the law of the land; but your Lordships will recollect that, so far as Parliament is concerned, it is not Christianity only that has been the law of Parliament, but the Established Church also has been the law of Parliament; for you have had Parliament excluding various Christian sects, and by means of an Act of Indemnity you have contrived to admit Dissenters into the Houses of Parliament; but the principle of exclusion rested upon the circumstance of Parliament being exclusively a body composed of members of the Established Church of the country. Now, when that state of things no longer exists, I apprehend that in no sense can it be said that Parliament is exclusively a Christian Parliament, in the sense in which that term was wont to be used—that is to say, I mean there are modes of belief admitted into Parliament which are erroneous, though not so erroneous as that which is opposed to the Christian belief, but such as we should be sorry to recognise as anything but grievous error. Now, if we admit these—if we extend the admission to Parliament to persons holding opinions so grievous and so monstrous, I think the principle fails entirely of looking to this as a body exclusively Christian in its character. My Lords, you have not only admitted to Parliament modes of belief and persons entertaining doctrines most at variance with the persuasion of the State, but you have actually—although you have not unchristianised Parliament—unchristianised legislative bodies by Act of Parliament, which you have established by Act of Parliament; you have admitted Jews into the Legislature of Canada and the Legislature of Jamaica; and why you are to unchristianise those legislative bodies any more than this, I see no logical reason. The truth is, that you unchristianise neither the one nor the other; 757 for whether half-a-dozen Jews be in the Legislative Assembly of Canada or in the House of Commons, there is no difference in the Christian character of either body. After all, this exclusion which you value so much, your Lordships are perfectly well aware, rests only on accident. There is no law at this moment to exclude Jews from a seat in Parliament—none whatever. There is an oath the whole of which they are not able to take, and which I must say is one of the most unnecessary and useless oaths that can well be imagined. The Jews are ready to take this oath of abjuration in all its substance and essential character; all that they cannot take is an assertion, adding nothing whatever to the substance of the oath, but merely an additional asseveration to what they are ready to swear. My Lords, this, in many instances, you have dispensed with by Acts of Parliament; you have by various Acts of Parliament allowed Jews to take the oath of abjuration, omitting this asseveration. That is the mode in which you have extended the faculty of admission to your Colonial Legislatures—it is the mode by which you have, over and over again, permitted Jews to take that oath in this country, I say, therefore, this oath, which in all its substance and essential value they are prepared to take, you, in consequence of this addition, which is not binding on their conscience, prevent them from taking. I would ask any one of your Lordships if you would venture to enact this oath at this moment? I think I recollect, on a former occasion, a noble Friend of mine opposite—whom I see in his place, and therefore I will not name, but whom I will describe as being the very foremost in every good work—saying he took this oath as he found it, but that he would not be prepared to enact such a provision now. If my noble Friend would hesitate to enact such an oath, what becomes of the religious ground on which the exclusion of the Jews is based? If you would hesitate to enact such an exclusion now, surely the objection to the admission of the Jews ought not to be made to depend on the mere accident of this condition existing at the end of the oath. It has also been said that these persons do not in truth belong to our nation—that they are aliens, that they are a distinct people, and therefore have nothing in common with us, and hence ought to be excluded from our legislative assemblies. That they are, in one sense, a distinct people, is no doubt true, 758 and they will continue to be so until their mysterious destiny is fulfilled; but that, in any common sense, they are anything but Englishmen, and not as good Englishmen as any among us, I utterly deny.
My Lords, you impose the burdens of Englishmen upon them—you give them the rights of Englishmen, and they act as Englishmen—I hold therefore this notion, that they are aliens, to be utterly untenable, and without any foundation. I recollect hearing a right rev. Prelate make use of an argument on a former occasion which struck me very much at the time, and has since impressed itself more strongly on my mind; it was this: that in excluding the Jews from Parliament, you are, in fact, inflicting a penalty upon Christian electors"; that it is they who are injured, and that it was not from love to the Jews, but from a regard to the privileges of Christians, that the right rev. Prelate urged the admission of those persons. And this is the case; for if you confer electoral privileges not only on the Jews, but also enable Christian electors to select whom they please as their representatives, it is surely a hardship and an injustice to deny those persons the right of choosing any man, Jew or Christian, to represent them, not legally incapacitated. I do not know any legal incapacity in a Jew to be elected a Member of Parliament, and therefore to prohibit electors, whether Jews or Christians, to return persons of their creed and of their choice to Parliament, is decidedly an act of injustice to that body.
My Lords, I think it is always unwise for your Lordships, unless under very extraordinary circumstances indeed, to oppose yourselves determinedly and obstinately to the voice of the House of Commons in a case which peculiarly touches the institutions of that House. Now, on repeated occasions and in various Parliaments, con-firmed by Parliament after Parliament, there have been decisions of the House of Commons on this subject. It is true that you need not fear on this occasion the pressure of popular agitation, or the dangers of civil war. There is no such fear, as I recollect hearing the great Duke, whom we have lost, declare in this very place, when he said that he assented to Catholic emancipation for fear of a civil war. Now, my Lords, certainly there is no danger of that. These are a weak people, small in numbers, peaceable in character, and easily controlled. But although there is no danger of civil war, your Lordships must 759 allow me to Bay there is danger of a very serious collision of another kind. I say if you go on, year after year, refusing the just demands of the House of Commons in a matter in which their own body and composition are essentially concerned, you expose yourself to a risk which I should be sorry to see carried much further. My Lords, does any man suppose, although you may not have the pressure of that alarming motive to which I have referred, that this question can long remain without a settlement? My Lords, it is not in the nature of things. Whether it be by the progress of reason, or by the increasing demands of the other House of Parliament, you will be compelled before long to give relief to these persons. My Lords, I am the last man to refuse your Lordships that just prerogative of negativing any measure which is sent up from the other House for your consideration. Your Lordships do well to resist, when you find it right to do so; and at all reasonable times your Lordships have properly and wisely done so. But in this matter, which touches so nearly the character of the House of Commons and its composition, I do maintain that, although the law has invested you with the full and free voice to pronounce an opinion, yet that you will do well to be cautious how far you press your perseverance in this matter.
My Lords, believing as I do, and as I think all your Lordships in your inmost hearts must be fully convinced, that this is merely a question of time, more or less—and as I think not long—I do hope that we may on this occasion arrive at that stage in which we may see the prospect of a settlement of this long-agitated controversy. My Lords, I think the time has now come when we may cast to the winds this last rag of intolerance, and when we may make our practice conform to that principle of religious freedom which we profess to honour.
§ Moved—That the Bill be now read 2a.
§ The EARL of SHAFTESBURY
My Lords, if anything could add to the importance of the discussion that now occupies the attention of your Lordships, it would be that the noble Earl who has just sat down, having for many years opposed these claims as a private individual, has now become, not only the supporter, but the propounder of them as the First Minister of the Crown. My Lords, a "city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid," and I doubt not that many of your Lordships 760 will follow the example of so high a personage. But, my Lords, the gravity of the noble Earl's character, and the known sincerity of his heart, preclude me from making any observations upon that change; I will, therefore, only express a hope—nay, more, a belief—that the grounds upon which he will give his vote this night are as solemn and as true as those which he formerly entertained. Now, my Lords, I am astonished to hear that it can be said that the popular voice is in favour of this measure. Why, my Lords, the popular voice, to take it in the full extent of the term, is neither upon one side or the other. There is, upon the whole, a general apathy upon the question. Where any feeling is entertained in its regard, that feeling is deep and serious; but that feeling has not, however, pervaded the whole mass of the community. And I cannot do better to prove that position than by giving the last statement of the returns made by the House of Commons of the petitions for and against this measure. My Lords, it appears from these returns that the number of petitions for the removal of Jewish disabilities was 39, and the number of signatures 1,734; while against the removal there were four petitions, and 329 signatures. Again, for the alteration of Parliamentary oaths the petitions were only one, the signatures being 198; while against the alteration the petitions were 846, and the signatures 42,289—clearly showing that, so far as the national expression is concerned, there has been no national expression of opinion on one side or the other. But, my Lords, a variety of arguments have been urged by the advocates of these claims, and I think it is desirable to call your Lordships' attention to a few of them in succession. Now, the first argument that we have is, that the Jews have a constitutional right to a seat in Parliament. I would undertake to argue that case with you, my Lords, if I thought that you really believed so yourselves, or that your opinions went to that effect; but this Bill which has been laid upon the table of the House, and must be taken as the embodiment of these opinions, so far from stating that, seems to me to state the very reverse. For one enabling clause you have a dozen disenabling clauses. For one privilege that you confer, there are eight or ten that you refuse. Now, just let me read to your Lordships the enactment which is proposed. By the 3rd clause you say that this Bill shall not allow any person professing the 761 Jewish religion to hold the office of Guardian or Regent of the United Kingdom, or to hold the office of Lord Chancellor, or Keeper of the Great Seal: under the 4th Clause, also, you disable them from a great number of offices: the 5th Clause prohibits Jews from presenting to benefices: and under the 6th Clause you restrain them from advising the Crown in reference to the Established Church. Now, my Lords, I maintain this, that if they have a constitutional right to seats in Parliament, they have also a constitutional right to all the privileges and consequences of the seats. And if they have those seats by constitutional right, and not by concession, there is no more justice in refusing them the privilege of exercising those great offices, to advise the Crown, or in fact to perform the duties of any appointment which Her Majesty may choose to confer upon them—there is no more justice in refusing them those privileges, than there would be in saying that they should not be bankers or lend money. The measure has taken a strange course—you are reversing your arguments. I remember, in the year 1847, it was urged that by their admission to corporate offices we had borne our part in allowing them legislative functions. We deny that. We maintain that the functions are in their nature diametrically different, and that we might entrust to them the one, but not the other. But you now reverse the order, and you say that they will be trusted with legislative functions, while you preclude them from a very large share in the executive. Well, my Lords, it is next asserted that this is demanded by all the principles of civil and religious liberty. So far as civil liberty is concerned, so far as it enacts that a man should be free in mind and body and estate, I believe we are all free enough in that particular. But as far as religious liberty is concerned, I see perfectly well, how, under this proposition, the Jew will have his civil liberty; but how are we to maintain ours? For if it be the principle of civil liberty that a man is to be tried by his peers, I hold it to be equally the principle of religious liberty that none but Christians should be allowed to make laws that may bind or affect a Christian Church. But, my Lords, we are also told that this is the last remnant of religious bigotry; it might have been so until this Bill was laid upon your Lordships' table. But see the number of remnants you have concocted, the number 762 of last words to be uttered, There will be a fight upon each: for do you suppose that those who are candidates for seats in Parliament, that the Jews who demand admission into the Legislature, intend to be satisfied with the negative result of obtaining their wish of eligibility to Parliament? Do you think they have no ultimate views? Do you think that any spirited people will remain quiet until they have also gained eligibility to every office? Depend upon it that that is their ultimate view, and when the demand is made, how will you refuse it? It would be difficult enough for us—but for you it would be impossible. But it is a favourite argument that the words were not intended for the purpose which they now serve. It may be so; but then, while it is a fair and just argument for the Jews and their advocates, it produces no effect on their opponents' convictions. The words are there; I and my friends think they declare and sustain a great and sound principle—that in retaining them we assert that principle—that in withdrawing them we renounce it—and that even if our ancestors, by the insertion of those words, effected a result which they did not foresee, we will not, by the cancelling of those words, be parties to an objectionable result which we plainly foresee.
But to wind up the whole appeal—and it was an argument touched upon by the noble Earl—we are told that there can be no possible hazard in admitting a few Jews to the Houses of Parliament; that the Jews are few in number, without political aspirations and connexions to render them formidable:—and it is true that you must regard this people as few and feeble, though a deeply interesting race, and therefore in these respects they are neither to be feared or propitiated. But that greatly disencumbers the argument, and brings it to the level of a plain and simple principle, and in that situation I maintain that it becomes a million fold more serious. It is possible for us to estimate the results of political changes, and to make preparation against them; but it is not possible for any one to predicate the consequences of a wilful departure from a sacred principle. But the noble Earl says, will you, in the maintenance of that principle, continue to defy the recorded wishes of the House of Commons? To be sure we will. I am bound, my Lords, both by station and duty, to pay the greatest respect to the feelings and wishes of that august body; 763 but when they summon us to depart from a principle which we hold to be sacred—which we consider to be grounded upon the great truths of the religion we profess—I am ready to encounter any consequences of the indignation of the Commons, nor shall any power on the earth, or below it, turn me from the maintenance of that principle to the last hour of my existence. Now, my Lords, I am taunted with having stated on a former occasion that if I were to find Jews admitted Members of the Legislature, then I should not be prepared to propose their exclusion. But, my Lords, I think I can justify to your Lordships the adoption of such a course; for I think there is a very wide difference between depriving a body of men who are exercising a right which they have long possessed, and conceding a privilege which has not before been granted—that there is a very wide difference between conforming to a state of things which you find, and for which others are responsible, and making the act your own by a specific principle of conduct on your own part. We maintain, my Lords, that the words "on the true faith of a Christian" assert the authority, the growth, and the predominance of Christianity; that it ought to be, if it is not, the governing rule and spirit of all our legislation; that it ought to be the professed belief of every one who undertakes to legislate for this Christian country. But you demand the removal of these words—and why? Because they are useless? No such thing. You never touched them when you were engaged in the abolition of useless oaths; but they were considered of value until such time as they were found to give offence, not to Christianity but to Judaism—to be an impediment, not in the way of the Christians, but of the Jews—of the Jews demanding a share in the rule and governance of a Christian State. Thus, to bestow on the Jew privilege and power to exercise an influence and give a vote on laws affecting directly the Church of England, and indirectly perhaps the whole Church of Christ—to allow him to riot and revel legislatively in the indulgence of that peculiar antipathy which is the character and distinction of his name and nation—we are summoned to suppress all mention of that Name which is our glory, our safeguard, and our strength. Well, my Lords, whose freedom is there concerned? I say it is ours. We are called upon to retreat before a man who tells you that his religion 764 solely exists by the denial of yours; and that he must and will have a seat in Parliament, to possess at least the privilege of asserting that religion, and of making laws which will have an effect upon that religion which is the opprobrium of his race. The proposers, however, of the measure were good enough to offer an oath to be taken by the Jew. Now, my Lords, it is clear—and I must say that on the present consideration that oath is of no value at all—that it is a Parliamentary oath—and I would ask you to reflect for a moment, my Lords, upon the distinction between a Parliamentary and a judicial oath. The judicial oath altogether, or certainly for the most part, states the thing said or done, or to be done; a Parliamentary oath has reference, on the contrary, to a state of mind or to a course of conduct. We are required to know what is to be the governing principle and spirit of those opinions and of that conduct. We say "Christianity;" you say "no." You ordain us an oath, it is true, but you take from it all its characteristic force and validity. Now, my Lords, I do entertain a very deep and a very solemn objection to this mode of tampering with oaths for the purpose of meeting a special occasion. My Lords, I say it is irreverent, it is perilous. It is irreverent to twist and turn these solemn attestations to suit our political convenience; and perilous to exhibit to the people at large that we handle those declarations not for the great and solemn purposes of government and truth, but to serve the purposes of each theory as it arises. My Lords, I feel that it would be far wiser and better to require the repeal of the oath altogether. I speak, my Lords, seriously, with due reflection, and from the heart. I say it is better to repeal the oath altogether. If we are no longer to have a form of oath which implies that the profession of Christianity is essential to the character of the Legislature, then, I say, abolish it altogether. Some of your Lordships have been in the habit of arguing upon the inutility of Parliamentary oaths, inasmuch as they did not keep out Gibbon, Bolingbroke, and other sceptics. It certainly is true that Gibbon and Bolingbroke took the oaths, but in so doing they paid not a personal but the national testimony to Christianity. But if Parliament henceforward is not to be exclusively Christian, then I think we may as well get rid of these oaths altogether, and derive all the possible benefit we can from such a state 765 of things. Why, look around you and see whether, if you repeal the oath, you may not be able to turn to account the state of freedom in which you will then find yourselves. See if you cannot bind by stronger ties our eastern dependencies and remote possessions. Why, my Lords, I can see no reason, if our Christianity is to be ignored, why a preference should be given as to Parliamentary honours to the Jew over Rammohun Roy, Dwarkanauth, Tagore, or any other Hindoo or Mahometan subject of Her Majesty, who may be desirous to represent the interests, the feelings, and sympathies of India; for by extending the privileges to them, you are thereby rendering more secure the loyal attachment of those Oriental subjects of the Crown. In affirming that Parliament should not be exclusively Christian, it is desirable to weigh fairly and deliberately the effect we shall produce on the nation at large. But admitting, for the sake of argument, the possibility of political benefits, by the large inclusion, and consequent satisfaction, of many discontented and restless spirits, are there no moral mischiefs to make us pause? It is nothing to declare that Christianity is good for a Gentile but useless for a Jewish Member of Parliament; that it is excellent in private life, but occasionally misplaced in public life; that the principles of the Christian faith to the character of the legislator were so utterly unimportant that when the Jew came to the table to be sworn, and protested against the name which his soul repudiated—the usage of many hundred years-the feelings and convictions of a vast majority of the realm, and the faith itself, were to retreat in silence before his imperious declaration? I confess, my Lords, this seems to me to be a very novel way of conferring a privilege. At various times Parliament has suspended these great principles of exclusion, but always on the ground that the parties admitted to the Legislature were eminent for their zeal in the cause of Christianity. The Houses of Parliament abolished the Test and Corporation Acts, and admitted the Dissenters on the ground that they were zealous in the cause of Christian truth. They admitted the Roman Catholics, who made the same protestation. They ignored the difficulties in the way of the Quakers, because they stood forward on the grounds of Christianity. But you are altogether reversing the order. The Jews are to be admitted, because they so stoutly deny what the others believe; because 766 they are as fierce against the truth as the others are vigorous in their assertion of it. This argument appears to me so monstrous that I think many who are not antagonistic to the admission of the Jews, would shrink from doing so in such a mode as this. To effect their admission is a legislative declaration, every time the oath is taken, that Christianity is not necessary for the character or functions of the Legislature. We tremble, my Lords, at such a prospect a "that." Oh, "it is replied," Christianity, if it be true, can take care of itself. "We know it can. But we are not sitting here to take care of Christianity, but to endeavour that Christianity shall take care of us. Measures such as these, my Lords, cannot expel religion from the earth, but they may destroy its existence in Great Britain.
My Lords, the noble Earl has alluded to a subject to which, from its solemn character, I will only solemnly refer in this deliberative assembly. He says that those who oppose this measure are animated with the spirit of the Middle Ages, which vented itself in bigotry against the Jews. Answering for myself, and I believe for many others, I say there cannot be in the whole range of human feeling anything further from our hearts than such motives. I cannot give a stronger proof, my Lords, than by asserting my deep, my solemn, my conscientious belief, confirmed by many devout and learned men with whom I have discoursed on this subject, that the Crucifixion—that inconceivable crime- was no more the act of the Jews than of the Gentiles; that the Gentiles were as guilty before God as the Jews, to whom it is imputed. My Lords, in resisting these demands, let me not, and those with whom I act, be looked upon as enemies to the Jewish people. All personal antipathy has long ceased. I assure your Lordships that there is no such feeling as that which broke forth against the Jews in 1753. We respect them (I can answer at least for myself and for many others); we remember their past, we contemplate their future. We see them to be now under a cloud, but hereafter to be the sovereign family of the human race. The difficulty is not in them, but in ourselves; not in our estimate of their inferiority, but in the depth and force of our own principles. I and my friends desire not to be harsh in language, or even in thought. We wish the Jews well, and would cheerfully give them what-ever is ours to give; but when they they or their advocates—authoritatively declare 767 that, for the purposes of empire, all religions are alike, and, in order that they might enter on a Parliamentary career, demand the suppression of "that worthy name by which we are called," why, then we say, emphatically, "No;" and that we declare on "the true faith of a Christian."
§ The noble Earl then moved that the Bill be read a second time on that day six months.
§ Amendment moved, to leave out ("now") and insert ("this day Six Months.")
§ The EARL of ALBEMARLE
conceived that when they saw a distinguished statesman stand up for the first time that evening in defence of their Hebrew fellow-subjects, and when they also had an expectation that some equally distinguished statesmen would raise their voices in favour of those people for the first time, such authorities ought to exercise clue weight on such of their Lordships as had not yet recorded their opinions in favour of removing the disabilities from that class of their fellow-subjects. It was now two hundred years ago since the Protector Cromwell sought to relieve the Jews in England from a portion of the civil disabilities that affected them at that period; but that most Protestant prince was too enlightened for his time, and was unsuccessful in his attempt. Exactly one century ago—in that very month of April, but in the year 1753—an attempt of a somewhat similar nature was made. A Bill was introduced "for the benefit of our Hebrew fellow-subjects," and that Bill passed both Houses of Parliament, and received the Royal assent; but so powerful a clamour was raised against the measure that it was necessary to repeal it in the selfsame year. The Tories then occupied the Opposition benches—they were in disgrace with the country—and a general election was at hand, and they sought to regain the power they had lost by an appeal to the religious prejudices of the several constituencies—by exciting religious discord and sectarian hatred. At that time there were no godless colleges—no endowments of Popery to denounce, yet there was a strong family likeness between the hustings cry of that time and those with which they were now familiar: the cry at the hustings then was "No Mass-house," "No Conventicle," "No Synagogue;" but since that period the frequenters of the "Mass-house" and of the "Conventicle" had been declared eligible 768 for seats in Parliament, and he trusted their Lordships would that evening declare by their votes that the members of "the Synagogue" should be placed in the same position. Amongst those who had incurred great obloquy at the period to which he referred, in consequence of the course which they adopted in supporting the claims of the Jews, was the Bishop of Norwich; and, as a mode of insulting him, it was said, when he went to hold an ordination in his disocese, that he intended to ordain the Jews on the Saturday, and the Christians on the Sunday. He (the Earl of Albemarle) saw before him his much honoured diocesan, and he felt confident that the right rev. Prelate would advance the true principles of Christianity, and act in the spirit of that Gospel which told them to bear persecution, but not to inflict it. One great advance towards that end had been made. The City of London had been the great focus at that former period of the agitation against the Jews; but now, with 20,000 electors, and with increased numbers and intelligence, it had chosen a Jew to be one of its representatives. On the debate on this quession "in another place," he had heard a distinguished member of the legal profession say that inconvenience would arise—["Order!"] Well, then, they must imagine that some person had used the argument, that inconvenience might happen if they admitted the Jews to Parliament, because there might be a call of the House for Friday night, the beginning of the Jews' Sabbath; but, unfortunately for the argument, the Jews' Sabbath had commenced at the very time when the question was under discussion, and a friend near him pointed out that, with the exception of the two sheriffs of the City of London, they were themselves the only Christions under the gallery; so that this argument was not worth much. Another argument which had been used was, that the Jews were receivers of stolen goods; but there was an old saying, "whom the State degrades, criminals may vilify." The opposition against the Jews was a prejudice which would die away, as prejudices against other classes had done, unless they were fostered by legal enactments; for example, let them recollect what a prejudice existed in the last century against Scotchmen. Who had not heard of Charles Churchill's poetry, and Charles Macklin's prose, or of the mode in which the Scotch nation was satirised as— 769——Those high-born beggars,M'Leods, Mackenzies, and Macgregors?In the beginning of the reign of George III., that most incapable of all men that ever entered upon the management of public affairs, John Earl of Bute, was in office, and was excessively unpopular; but one-half of the obloquy thrown upon him was not on account of his blunders or mismanagement, but was owing to the land of his birth. They must all remember George Selwyn's joke when a mob had assembled in the neighbourhood of Downing-street, and a spectator asked what was the matter—"Oh! a Scotchman has got into the Treasury, and we can't get him out." For the first time after ninety years a countryman of John Earl of Bute was First Minister of the Crown, but there were no disabilities or prejudices against him. Had their Lordships ever heard the land of his birth thrown in the noble Earl's teeth at this time? Though he had not the honour of a personal acquaintance with the noble Earl, and owed him no party allegiance, he hoped that so long as the noble Earl would stand up manfully, as he did that evening, in support-of the principle of civil and religious liberty, it would not be in the power of any one to turn him out of the Treasury. It was not argument, but prejudice, which hindered the Jews from obtaining admission into Parliament, and this would soon die away. He took the law to be this—that any Jew or any other person who took the oath of allegiance, but not the oath of abjuration, might give a vote that was valid, provided he paid a penalty of 500?. If so, what was to prevent Baron Rothschild from going to the table, and afterwards giving a vote which might keep the Ministers in place? ["No, no!"] This showed the unsatisfactory state of the law at present. It was said that the Jews had no national feelings; but he thought they were more essentially English than many of us. They were not more so probably than those who came in at the period of the Conquest; but he (the Earl of Albemarle) was not one of them. They had a considerable precedence of the French who came here, to the great advantage of the country, in consequence of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and also of those who came in like himself with the Dutchman, William of Orange, whose "pious memory" they all revered. The treatment of the Jews was not a bad test of the enlightenment of a country. The most in- 770 tolerant people had treated the Jews worst, and they had been most favourably treated by the most enlightened. In Spain and Portugal they had been treated with great intolerance and hardship. In Russia they suffered cruel restrictions; and in Rome, under the eyes of the Pope, they were restricted to the dirtiest part of the city and were under severe restraints. In France, on the other hand, for forty-five years, they had been admitted to an equality of privileges with their fellow-subjects; and when France had a representative government they were among its representatives. But the land of his forefathers—Holland—furnished the most striking example of a tolerant and enlightened treatment of the Jew. Holland was the most Protestant of all countries upon the Continent, and was, therefore, the best possible model for us to follow. In Holland for 250 years the Jews had been on a perfect equality of rights with all other subjects of the King. He believed that in the time of Oliver Cromwell, when attempts were made to improve their condition, and again in 1753, both these movements occurred in consequence of the extraordinary prosperity which Holland enjoyed, in great part from the equality of rights permitted to the Jews. Now, as the Dutch were a nation of shopkeepers, like ourselves, that argument ought not to be lost sight of in a consideration of this question. He was sensible that, unused as he was to address any kind of assembly he needed their Lordships indulgence; but he hoped their Lordships would prove by their vote that they were not inferior in toleration to States and Governments who were far below them in every other form of liberty.
The EARL of DARNLEY
besought the indulgence which their Lordships never refused to those who addressed the House for the first time, while he briefly explained the grounds upon which he should give his vote against this Bill—a vote which he should be ashamed to attempt to justify, except upon grounds of religion. Without asserting that the Bill was open to objection upon no other grounds, he would say that it was upon religious grounds alone that their Lordships could be warranted in rejecting it. He thought that the discussion might be properly confined to the question as to whether Christianity had been already dispensed with as an element in the constitution of the Legislature, or not. He would be told that to all intents and purposes it was so; he would be reminded 771 of the cases of the Socinian and the Unitarian; but he would not be told that there had as yet been any open, avowed, and ostensible innovation upon the Christian character of the Legislature. But they were now called upon to do for the Jews what they had never been called upon to do for any other sect—they were called upon to make an open abnegation of Christianity in the eyes of the world; and however this abnegation might be explained away by noble Lords opposite, it would, if carried this Session, date from 1853 in spite of them. He must vote against the second reading of the Bill; but not without once more declaring that he did so upon religious grounds alone, and not from any distrust of the elastic vigour of our glorious constitution, which did not require to be shored up by such paltry propping posts as these Jewish disabilities. But there were blessings of still greater value than those of civil liberty—duties still more imperative than that of generous toleration;—not that he yielded to any noble Lord in love of that toleration, but he nevertheless maintained that it was perfectly compatible with such toleration to preserve inviolate the Christian character of the Legislature. The view which he, in common with others, took of this measure, had been called mere prejudice; but Locke had said that "every man should let alone other's prejudices and examine his own." Was the prejudice all one way in this case? Noble Lords opposite might fancy that they who objected to this Bill on religious grounds were inclined to lay excessive stress on theological scruples; but if there was this sort of prejudice on the one hand, was there not upon the other a predisposition to sacrifice the honour of Christianity to the comparatively paltry considerations of secular policy? Was it prejudice to revere their religion; prejudice to refuse to allow others to argue away their conscience; prejudice to decline to exchange a standing display of national respect to their national religion for a mere political—equivalent he could not call it, for a mere political—consideration? They might call it prejudice, or what they pleased: it mattered very little what it was called; the feeling remained the same—a feeling which no enlightened mind would confound with bigotry, of profound attachment to the Christian religion and reverential gratitude to its Founder, which recoiled from the notion of offering to that religion so much as the shadow of an insult. That feeling prevailed through- 772 out the length and breadth of the land; and although it might be a while forgotten amidst the turmoil of business, or smothered by the bitterness of faction, it still existed in its full vitality deep seated in the hearts of the people, sooner or later to vindicate the course which he trusted their Lordships would adopt upon this occasion.
The ARCHBISHOP of DUBLIN
said, that although he had on several occasions expressed his opinions on this subject, and although for many years his opinion had been before the public in various modes, he wished to trespass upon their Lordships for a few moments, because the peculiar views he entertained on this point were liable to misconstruction, being different from those not only of the opponents of the Bill, but also from those of its advocates. He was far from approving the whole of the present Bill; he had no hostile feeling against the Jews, but he did not think that this should be called a Bill "for removing the disabilities of the Jews," but should be considered as a measure "for the relief of electors," whereby they would be enabled to elect to Parliament those whom they thought fit, unless a strong case could be made out of public evils resulting from it. Much had been said on that evening, and on former occasions, as to the strong feelings that existed on this subject; but he found generally that the feeling on both sides was totally irrespective of the ground on which he took his stand. It was generally considered a question "for," or "against" the admission of the Jews to Parliament; and he was neither for nor against it; he was not anxious to see the Jews in Parliament, but he was anxious that all restriction of the freedom of electors to elect Jews to Parliament should be removed from Christians, so that they might be at liberty to elect those whom they thought fit. If he (the Archbishop of Dublin) were to recommend another to give his vote at an election, it would be that he should give it to one not only who was a professing Christian—or one whom he believed to be a professing Christian—but also one whom he believed to be a sound member of their Church. But though he might do that, he would be guilty of no inconsistency in wishing that all other electors should be at liberty to follow their own judgment, and should not be compelled to adopt the judgment of others. He contended that the electors had a right to choose as their representatives those whom they thought 773 fit, Unless any public danger or inconvenience Could fairly be shown to result there from. Now, he admitted that the evil complained of by the electors was not one of very great magnitude; but on the conscientious ground of religion he thought there was great evil in having restrictions of this kind at all. It was generally argued by the opponents of this measure that to remove this last barrier which operated to exclude the Jews from Parliament argued indifference to Christianity. If, however, after voting on that ground against the present measure, he were asked whether, in supporting the law as it now stood with regard to other bodies—in admitting, for example, Roman Catholics and Dissenters to Parliament—he was not exhibiting indifference to Protestantism, or to the Church to which he belonged, he really did not know what answer he could give. It was quite in vain to tell him that the Jew was the adherent of a faith more erroneous than that of the Catholic or the Dissenter; for this was not a question of more or less, but one of principle; and they Were altogether in a false position when they proclaimed that it would unchristianise the Legislature by removing these disabilities, and yet said that it did not unprotestantise the Legislature to admit Roman Catholics, and that it did not unchurch the Legislature to admit Dissenters to Parliament. He was himself opposed, not on irreligious, but on Christian grounds, to any law which should exclude religionists of any description from Parliament on the ground of their peculiar views; but if Parliament took that ground, it should at least, in order to be Consistent, proclaim its absence of indifference not only as to Christianity, but as to the particular form in which it might be professed. Now, as far as Christianity consisted in a mere name, he confessed that he was very indifferent about it. Most of their Lordships were aware that there were persons, many of them adherents of certain German schools, who professed to be Christians, and were so in this manner—that they believed that our Saviour was sent from heaven in the same way in which every great philosopher or legislator was sent from heaven; that he Was an erring mortal, though no doubt a wise and good man; that he taught many valuable truths, mixed, however, With many errors; that his history is in great measure a myth, though having some foundation of historical truth. These per- 774 sons, denominating themselves Christians, were so in all but the doctrines and the history of Christianity; and they held that every man was to seek his Christianity in his own breast; that is, to find it in whatever approved itself to his own judgment. Now, he had indeed never seen the force of the argument in favour of this measure derived from the fact that infidels and sceptics of all sorts might find admission by a hypocritical profession of Christianity, because profession was all for which the Legislature could call. But the persons to whom he had alluded declared and professed openly what they meant by Christianity; and he contended that a person of this school was much further removed from Christianity than a Jew; and for that reason he was indifferent to Christianity as far as it consisted in the name. When a man said plainly that by "black" he meant what every one else called "white," you certainly could not accuse him of hypocrisy if he said that snow was black. But he did not see how, if it was maintained that it would unchristianise the Legislature to remove these disabilities, it could be maintained that it did not unprotestantise the Legislature to admit Roman Catholics—did not overthrow the Established Church to admit dissenters of various descriptions—or did not unchristianise the Legislature to admit those who stated that by Christianity they meant what every one else called Deism or Atheism. It was altogether inconsistent with his view of the character of Christianity to retain the exclusion of the Jews. It was indeed perfectly allowable for every voter to be influenced by considerations with respect to the religious opinions of another, in every matter which was a subject for his own private judgment—in his vote for a Member of Parliament—in his matrimonial engagements—in his choice of servants—or anything of that kind; but a law which excluded a person from taking his seat in Parliament, on the ground of his religious belief, seemed to him (the Archbishop of Dublin) quite contrary to the spirit of Christianity as it was described to us by its Founder. If, however, their Lordships were of opinion that persons ought to profess Christianity in order to be eligible to any place in the Legislature, they should take care to have not only a Christian Parliament, but a Christian constituency. They were told that Parliament would be unchristianised by admitting a Jew who had been elected, to take his seat; but 775 Members were now elected by Jews along with other electors; and he did not see how the Legislature would, if this Bill passed, be less Christian than the constituency now was. In fact, the case would not be so strong with regard to the former as to the latter; for, as the law now stood, the Jewish freeholder could claim to exercise his right of voting, whereas no man could claim a right to a seat in Parliament unless a constituency elected him. If, therefore, they wished to fortify Christianity by any such safeguards as these—for his own part he should say non tali auxilio—they must go a step further and secure a Christian constituency as well as a Christian Legislature. Nay, more, if they were sincere Protestants, they must secure a Protestant constituency; and if sincere friends to the Church of England, a Church of England constituency—in short, they must retrace their steps, and reimpose all those disabilities which had been removed by the Legislature of late years. He must acknowledge that he was dissatisfied with the present Bill, not merely on account of what he conceived to be its erroneous title—that it purported to be a Bill for the relief of the Jews, instead of for the relief of electors—but because it did not do away altogether with all declarations required from Members of Parliament. He would do away entirely with the declaration "on the true faith of a Christian," instead of merely excepting the Jews from the obligation of taking it. He did not approve of this patchwork legislation—this passing of laws, first for the relief of Separatists, then of Quakers, and then of Jews. He thought all religious disabilities should be removed together. Nor did he think that such a measure would be a triumph over Christianity, but that it would, in fact, be the triumph of Christianity; for he, and those who thought with him, supported this Bill not from indifference to Christianity, but because that the retention of these disabilities was contrary to its spirit.
The BISHOP of SALISBURY
said, he should not have spoken had no argument been adduced from the bench on which he sat in favour of the measure; and he should hare been glad to have given a silent vote upon the occasion; but as the most rev. Prelate had once more given the weight of his advocacy and authority in favour of this measure, and those who would have spoken with more power and authority than himself were indisposed to repeat the 776 arguments which had before prevailed with their Lordships' House, he felt on that account constrained to state the reasons why he retained the opinion he had always held in opposition to it, though he had never before expressed it in that House. He was glad that they had not heard in that House the arguments that had been used in another place, such as that there was no essential difference, or but little, between the Jewish and the Christian religion; that it was a mere matter of degree, the Jew believing a little less, and the Christian a little more; that they had not the maintenance of the essential principles of Christianity spoken of as "sectarianism;" or approval expressed of the selection of a Jew by a Christian constituency as a representative. The most rev. Prelate had carefully grounded himself on all those points, and had placed his argument on the tangible ground that it was unfit that there should be any distinction either in the way of political disability, or advantage on the ground of any religious belief. He could have felt that there was more weight in that argument if he only was convinced that there was no such thing as religious truth, or if that religious truth had never been embodied in any outward form, or if that outward form had not been adopted into the institutions of this country by direct acknowledgment, by ancient usage, and by continued legislation. It appeared to him that the most rev. Prelate was in his own person an answer to that argument. The most rev. Prelate sat in their Lordships' House solely because it had always seemed fitting in the institutions of the country to adopt and distinguish religious truth, and to invest men with privileges in respect of it. He opposed the Bill in the first place on the ground that it was a direct attack upon the Christian character of the Legislature. He was well aware that that was no new argument, and they had heard it already advanced and replied to in the course of that debate. But if the argument was not new, neither was the answer. The only answer he had heard given to it was that given by the noble Earl who had introduced the Bill. The answer simply was, that this measure would not affect the Christian character of the Legislature, because the Christian character of the country was not affected, although it counted a large number of Jews among its inhabitants. He confessed that did not appear to him to be a true or just analogy. It appeared to him that the character of the 777 country was not to be taken so much from the accidental circumstance of the majority of those who composed its inhabitants, as from the character of the institutions by which they were connected into one society, and by which they expressed their corporate will, and by which, so to speak, they lived and acted; and therefore, in the event of the present measure being passed, and a change being made in their institutions, instead of its being able to be said, that the Christianity of the Legislature would not be affected, because the Christian character of the country was not affected, in his humble judgment, it would appear that the Christian character of the country was impaired, if not destroyed, by the injury which was inflicted on the character of the institutions on which alone the character of the country depended. But while on this ground he held that the answer given to the argument, drawn from the injury done to the Christian character of the Legislature, was insufficient, that was a part only of the objection on which he rested his opposition to the Bill. Whatever might be the religious character of the country at large, he, at least, could not forget that there was a community essentially Christian in its character, that there was a City having foundations, whose builder and maker was God. That community and that City was the Church of Christ, and it was with regard to the effect which this measure would produce upon the character of the Church of Christ, as established in this country, that he now ventured to address a few words to their Lordships. The Church of Christ in this country was not only recognised and established by law, but established in such sort that the authority of the civil power was intimately blended with that Church through every part of its action. Not only was the Queen supreme Governor of the Church—not only was the Legislature supreme as regarded all matters relating to her endowments, but its authority, always supreme, was now that which was alone in practical action as regarded all that was most sacred and essential and holy in the doctrines, or of highest importance in the discipline, of the Church; and if any legal change was to be made, that change could only be made by the authority of the Imperial Legislature. It might be that the admission of a few Jews into either House of Parliament would not have any great practical effect upon the character of their legislation, or the nature of the measures which 778 might there be brought forward, though even this was by no means certain; but as a matter of principle, he contended, the case would be entirely different. Their Lordships were asked by their votes to say that it was not unseemly to enact that those who blasphemed and denied the name of our Lord Jesus, should yet legislate for Him, pronounce upon His doctrines, and regulate His ordinances. The most rev. Prelate had urged that the law, as at present constituted, did not secure that those who did obtain admission into the Legislature of the country were really believers in the faith of Christ, and that as it was probable that some were admitted who were not believers, and as it was certain that others who dissented in many important points from their doctrines were already admitted, it was now too late to make any distinction. As regarded the first point, it was merely that which was a necessary condition of the imperfection of the Church in its militant state, in which the evil throughout, and therefore in the Legislature as well as elsewhere, were mingled with the faithful servants of their Lord; and therefore, if there were among them, or had been admitted among them, men of that class, it was by their own hypocrisy that they obtained admission—their sin would be upon their own heads, and no stain would rest upon those who were not participators in it, because they were unable, by the test of an oath, to exclude them. With regard to the other point urged by the right rev. Prelate, of the admission of those who dissented from various portions of the doctrines of the Church, but who being admitted into Parliament, were enabled to take part in the legislation of matters affecting the Church, he held it to be a great evil and a grievous wrong. But because they suffered a lesser wrong—because those were able to participate in the legislation for the Church who were not members of it, though at least they professed and called themselves by the name of Christians—were they on that ground to admit those who denied and blasphemed the very name of Christ? He must remind their Lordships that the sense of the wrong that was done to the Church by the power of legislation in respect of it, which was given to those who dissented from its doctrines, was clearly marked in the oath which was administered to Roman Catholics, that they would not use any power conferred on them to injure the Established Church. Their Lordships would observe that there 779 was no trace of that restriction in the measure for the admission of Jews. It was upon these grounds that he rested his opposition to the Bill. He had no wish to enter upon other political considerations, to the force of which he was nevertheless not insensible: he addressed himself to these two main religious grounds of objection; and on these he was constrained to say that neither as a Member of their Lordships' House, nor still less in respect of that office by virtue of which he had the honour of being a Member—namely, as a Bishop of the Church of Christ—could he conscientiously pursue any other course than that which he was about to take with a clear and decided conviction—namely, to say "Not Content" to the Bill.
The BISHOP of ST. DAVID'S
said, he thought the objections of his right rev. Brother (the Bishop of Salisbury) to the Bill were founded on a series of erroneous assumptions. He most fully concurred with the most rev. Prelate (the Archbishop of Dublin) that it was a circumstance very much to be deplored, that the title of the Bill conveyed not only a partial and incomplete but a very erroneous view of its real object and character; inasmuch as if that had been correctly described, its title would have been "a Bill to enable the constituencies of the kingdom to be represented in Parliament by persons whom they might choose to elect, without reference to any religious distinction prevailing among Her Majesty's subjects in this realm." That title, or some such, would have conveyed a better idea of the object of the measure, and would at once have raised the question whether there could be any satisfactory reason adduced for the limitation which had hitherto existed on the electoral franchise. It was not enough to argue that the limitation was to be preserved, however accidental in its origin, and useless, or even mischievous, in its effects, because it had been allowed to continue for centuries; some substantial reason must be given for its continuance. Then came the question, what there was in the opinions of that portion of Her Majesty's subjects who professed the Jewish religion, that should disqualify them for the faithful discharge of the duties of representatives in Parliament? And again, how the line was to be drawn between the duties of municipal offices to which they were already admitted, and those which would devolve upon them in the position of Members of the House of Commons, from which they were at 780 present excluded? He was not arguing the question on the ground of an absolute right, but only on the ground that no satisfactory answer had been given to those questions. It was true, there was one answer to them which had been repeated in every variety of shape—that the effect of removing the limitation would be to "unchristianise" the Legislature. He was aware that this topic had been worn almost threadbare; but still he must venture to submit that a very great and general misapprehension prevailed on that point. He had always regarded with admiration the unknown individual, and thought he must have been a great man, who first devised the phrase of "unchristianising the Legislature," because, of all the phrases that could have been invented, none could have been more admirably chosen for the purpose, inasmuch as it was excellently adapted to get up "a cry," while it conveyed no definite notion whatever. He would venture to affirm that this celebrated phrase rested on nothing more than a perfectly arbitrary and precarious definition, which he could show was a very bad one besides. It rested, in fact, on the assumption that the only definition of a Christian Legislature was a Legislature into which none but Christians were admissible. He did not know by what right that definition could be assumed to be necessary. It certainly was perfectly arbitrary, because he could give another. Why had he not an equal right to say that a Christian Legislature was one which represented the constituencies of a Christian country? He thought this not only as good, but a much better definition than the others, and he was prepared to give a plain and solid reason for preferring it; and it was this: if they adopted the former definition, they would involve themselves in this absurdity—that the Legislature would be unchristianised by the passing of this Bill, and yet might very possibly be constituted of precisely the same elements as before; or it might be from time to time sometimes Christian and sometimes unchristian, according as members of the Jewish persuasion happened to have seats in it or not; for it must be admitted it was perfectly possible that, after the passing of this Bill, not one single Jew might be admitted to a seat in the House of Commons, and yet the Legislature would be, as it was said, unchristianised. Now, if his definition was adopted, this absurdity would be got rid of. When he considered the influence of this equivocal phrase, he 781 did not wonder at the number of petitions which had been addressed to their Lordships against the measure, and at the alarm which had been excited in the country; in fact, he only wondered there had not been more; but the native good sense of the people had enabled them, if not to see, yet to feel, their way through the sophism involved in that most unmeaning phrase. He quite agreed with the noble Earl who had moved the Amendment, that the great bulk of the people of this country regarded this measure with utter indifference; and he believed that this indifference arose from their profound conviction that it in no way affected their civil or religious interests. He had never heard of any tangible evil which this measure would produce in its working. The tenets of Christianity in the abstract could never become a topic of discussion in Parliament. The questions which came under the consideration of the House of Commons related only to the temporal interests of the various Christian communities; and with regard to all these, persons professing the Jewish religion stood in a position of perfect neutrality. Whatever might be the interests of a particular Church or religious body, those interests must remain entirely unaffected by the introduction of Members of the Jewish persuasion. He did not know how his right rev. Brother (the Bishop of Salisbury) might feel, but for his own part, he most solemnly declared that if a question were to be introduced into the House of Commons affecting the rights and privileges of the Established Church, there were not a few Members of that assembly whose place he should be glad to see occupied on that occasion by as many taken at random from the Synagogue in Duke's Place. He held these points to be the main considerations respecting this Bill; but he was aware there were other reasons which influenced the opinions and feelings of many who opposed this measure, and he was not quite sure that the minds of many of their Lordships might not be swayed by them also. They had heard again the old cry, that the Jews were not sufficiently rooted in our soil to be permitted to exercise the functions of legislation. Perhaps that argument might have had a little more weight some time ago; but the events of the last few years must have considerably weakened its force. For when he considered the vast stream of emigration which was carrying away to distant shores 782 such numbers of our people—not merely the poor and indigent who were driven by necessity, but many of the middle and higher classes of society, who voluntarily left their native soil, allured by some slight prospect of improvement in their worldly condition—he really did not understand how they could allege as an argument against the Jews that they were not sufficiently attached to this country, because they entertained a hope—floating at an indefinite distance—which attracted them to a remoter region. He would not deny that there were modes of religious belief which might at first sight appear inconsistent with the duties of a Member of Parliament. It might at first sight seem dangerous to admit into Parliament persons who professed to make the part they took in legislation entirely depend on the will of a foreigner—it might seem dangerous to admit those who professed that the constituencies whom they represented were not the people, but the priests of their religion; but that was not a danger which threatened them in the case of the Jews—they would never see a Jewish Member of the House of Commons declaring that he was sent to Parliament, not by the will of the electors, but by the rabbis and doctors of his creed. It might also appear somewhat inconsistent with the duties of a legislator that they should be exercised by persons whose belief was that we ought to make no resistance to foreign aggression, and who held doctrines which rendered it incumbent on them to the utmost of their ability to prevent the nation from offering such resistance—persons who would feel it to be their duty, if they had the power, to disband our Army, to lay up our Navy, to melt down our ordnance, and to lay this country prostrate at the feet of the first invader who might assail our shores—such opinions might indeed raise many grave questions of policy; but certainly the objections involved in them did not apply to the tenets of those who professed the Jewish religion. His right rev. Friend (the Bishop of Salisbury) had adverted to another topic to which he would not have alluded if his right rev. Friend had not assumed what he (the Bishop of St. David's) believed to be a totally unfounded view of the case. His right rev. Brother, in resting his arguments against the measure on the ground that it was admitting to a share in legislative functions persons who viewed with feelings of hostility and irreverence that which Christians considered as the 783 most awful and fundamental principle of their religion, and who blasphemed the holy name which they regarded with the greatest veneration, had assumed a view of the case which he (the Bishop of St. David's) thought unfounded. He knew the opinion was very widely prevalent, and it was one which he had himself entertained for some time—indeed it was but lately that he had been led slowly to abandon it—but as soon as he had turned his mind to the subject, he found more reason every day for questioning its accuracy, and he now saw that the charge that there was a necessary and essential hostility on the part of persons professing the Jewish religion toward Christianity was, at all events, distinctly repudiated by the Jews themselves—not simply in a way which might suggest the suspicion that they did so to serve some temporary purpose, but according to statements and opinions delivered by their most celebrated doctors and divines in distant periods. He said so on the authority of a journal which represented the opinions of the Jewish community in this metropolis; in this journal this charge was made the subject of complaint; and the writer cited passages from the writings of some of their most eminent Rabbis, in which Christianity was spoken of as a holy and venerable religion, and it was stated that Christians were favoured by the special aid of Almighty God to spread themselves over the world for the purpose of abolishing the superstitions and banishing the abominations of Paganism. He did not mean to say that this opinion was held universally by all persons of the Jewish persuasion; it was quite sufficient for his purpose if he showed that it was held at all, and that there was no necessary and essential ground of connexion between the Jewish religion and the hostility and irreverence toward Christianity, imputed to them by his right rev. Friend. [The Bishop of SALISBURY made a remark which was inaudible.] He denied the necessity which his right rev. Friend affirmed, and he said the passages in the authorities to which he had referred showed that this hostility and irreverence was not a necessary article of the Jewish belief. A human being they undoubtedly believed the Founder of our religion to be. He knew their belief stopped short of that which we believe to be the true faith; but that it was a necessary part of their religion, not only to hold Him to be a mere man, as was the case with many Christian heretics of the 784 early ages; but to look upon Him as an impostor, he denied. He did not think that those who believed our religion to have been designed by Divine Providence to spread such blessings over the world, were likely to regard its Author with feelings such as had been imputed to them. In fact, he believed that they looked upon Him very nearly in the same light as many of those who were already admitted to the privilege of being Members of the Legislature. He must, however, remind their Lordships that the real question was not whether Jews should be admitted into Parliament, but whether the electoral franchise should be so far enlarged that those who were entrusted with the election of Members of Parliament should be at liberty to select any person of the Jewish religion to represent them; and then he would ask what right they had to assume that this privilege would in any case be so improperly exercised by Christian constituencies that they would elect those who professed irreverence and hostility towards their own religion. Their Lordships would perhaps recollect, that before this discussion came on, a petition had been presented by a right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Chichester), who was not now present, and that the right rev. Prelate accompanied the presentation with the statement that the petitioner, a member of the Jewish persuasion, had granted a piece of land for the erection of a Christian church. He was prepared to show that this was not by any means a solitary case; and that there were Jewish manufacturers who employed great numbers of Christian workmen, and who provided for the spiritual instruction of those whom they employed, with—he had almost said—a Christian generosity, which he should be glad to see more extensively imitated by those who bore that worthy name by which they were called. He could produce instances in which these Jewish masters, without sacrificing any of their peculiar opinions, had built Christian churches and Christian schools for the benefit of their Christian workmen:—and he would ask their Lordships whether men who were capable of doing such Christianlike actions, were to be denounced as implacable enemies of our faith, and as on that ground, though allowed to exercise the electoral franchise, yet unworthy to take a seat in the British Legislature?
§ The EARL of HARROWBY
said, that in opposing the second reading of this Bill, it was not from a want of apprecia- 785 tion of the liberality of their Jewish fellow subjects on many occasions; it was not because he was afraid of their numbers; it was not because he was afraid of their personal hostility towards the constitution of the country; but it was because he believed that it would be extremely injurious to the religious feelings and religious interests of the people of this country, without any adequate advantage. He did not think there was any great force in the argument used by the most rev. Prelate that evening, that if those who opposed this Bill were to carry out their principles effectually, they ought to repeal the Roman Catholic Emancipation Act—to re-enact the Test and Corporation Acts. He did not admit the logical sequence in itself; but even if it were correct, he confessed he should not feel himself bound in such a case by a mere logical conclusion. On a question of political action he should conceive himself, as a practical man, not only at liberty, but bound, to look to the result of his actions in each case, whatever argument might be raised upon some previous step. But in the case of the Roman Catholics and the Dissenters, the circumstances were very different. It would, no doubt, be more convenient if the Members of the Legislature were all of one faith. But we had the fact to deal with, that we had millions of Roman Catholics and Dissenters as fellow subjects; and, although it would have been a great advantage if the Legislature could have been of one faith; yet, having that vast number of British subjects to deal with, out of two evils the Legislature chose the lesser, and admitted into their body both Roman Catholics and Dissenters. Indeed it seemed hardly consistent with the principles of representative government to exclude from political power so important an element of your population. But they had no such embarrassing circumstances to deal with in regard to the Jews. Though many of them were of a highly respectable character, yet they were but a handful in this country; they had come to England in pursuit of their own interest, and enjoyed an amount of protection from our laws and liberties, and advantages in every way, such as they found in no other country in the world. Their number did not exceed 40,000; and this handful of people came and asked their Lordships to alter the principles of their constitution for the purpose of admitting some two or three among them who were ambitious to become Members of Parliament, and who should be able to find con- 786 stituencies to elect them. Surely that was a very unreasonable demand. If a great good could be shown on one side, to counterbalance the evil on the other, that might be a reason, as in the case of the Roman Catholics and Dissenters, for admitting persons to legislate for a Church to which they did not belong. But no such inducements could be shown in this case. There was no temptation for their Lordships to take such a step. It had been said that this was not so much a measure for the relief of the Jews, as for the relief of the electors of England, who were now stinted in their choice. But could it be really said that the constituency were suffering a grievance from the fact of not being able to find a sufficient number of persons out of the twenty-seven millions of their own countrymen, who were not Jews, to represent them; and that it was necessary they should be allowed to choose among the 8,000 or 10,000 adult male Jews in addition? Surely if this was a grievance it was the smallest grievance that ever was complained of. Again, it was said that the exclusion of the Jews from Parliament was owing to the mere accident of the form of the oath which was taken by Members of Parliament—a form not adopted for their exclusion, but for a totally different purpose. He admitted the fact, but he denied the inference. Would any one tell him that if the Jews had not been excluded by that form, they would not have been excluded by another form specifically provided for the purpose? It was found that the exclusion of the Jews from the Legislature was effected by the oath, and therefore it was seen that there was no necessity for excluding them by any other provision. Why, it was but a very little while ago when Jews were not capable of holding an estate in land in this country; and by that circumstance alone, by-the-by, they would have been excluded by want of the qualification of landed property from any English or Irish representation; but, while they were thus looked upon as aliens, was it reasonable to suppose that care would not have been taken to exclude them from the Legislature, if it had not been found that the form of the existing oath was already sufficient for that purpose? In considering what was the real effect of this measure, and how vitally it affected the character of this country, he could not forget that Christianity was interwoven with all our institutions. He could not cast his eyes around, even within their Lordships' House, without beholding some Christian 787 symbol, some Christian emblem. The baptism of a Saxon King was recorded on their walls, as the starting point of their history, over the very throne itself. Christianity was part and parcel of the laws, the customs, and the constitution of the country. It was not wise, for the sake of admitting an inconceivably small portion of a people into the Legislature who were not Christians, to risk the eradication of a single atom of that principle which was so deeply rooted in our institutions. The danger was not in the numbers, but in the principle; and he had now seen enough of political life to know the value of a principle for good or for evil. Like the smallest seed, a new principle in political institutions seemed to have a vital germinating power within it, which under favourable circumstances expanded, and had power to lift and rend asunder the most solid superstructure. It had been said that this measure was in accordance with the public mind and feeling of the country: in his opinion, it was not. There was no political necessity for it, no political advantage to be attained by it. The feelings of the people were not to be controlled by the devices of logic, but were to be influenced by an appeal to their common sense and common feelings; and they felt that, by striking out from the oath the words "on the true faith of a Christian," one of the bonds by which the Legislature was knit together to one common and essential principle would be cut asunder. Their Lordships had no choice of difficulties to encounter, no political necessity to embarrass them. They had no real grievance to redress; and seeing that the Jews enjoyed social and political advantages in England which they enjoyed in no other country in the world, he, for his part, would not lend his hand to give one impulse, however small, to a measure that would be so dangerous to the future destinies of the country.
The DUKE of ARGYLL
said, he could assure the House that it was with some reluctance he rose to address them—first, because he felt that the subject was exhausted; and, secondly, because on three or four previous occasions, he had already stated the grounds on which he was prepared to vote for the admission of the Jews to Parliament. But there were some observations which had been addressed to their Lordships, particularly by the noble Earl who had just sat down, and by the noble Earl who moved the rejection of the second reading, on which he was anxious to say a few words; and he trusted that nothing 788 which fell from him would be an exception to the rule which had hitherto prevailed in the debate, namely, that the utmost respect should be paid by the supporters of the measure to the prejudices of those who differed from them. The noble Earl who had just sat down appeared to him (the Duke of Argyll) to have abandoned the principle insisted on by former speakers who resisted the Bill. The noble Earl had said that he did not feel bound by the strict rules of logic laid down by the most rev. Prelate (the Archbishop of Dublin), since he held that, on questions of policy, they were not to be bound by the strict rules of logic, but that they ought to consider all the circumstances connected with each particular occasion. He (the Duke of Argyll) would entirely agree with the noble Earl, if the noble Earl was prepared to admit this to be a question of expediency and policy. But the noble Earl had forgotten that all the previous speakers had addressed themselves to the question of religious principle alone; and he (the Duke of Argyll) maintained that, when you apply to a religious principle a logical argument derived from religious commands, you are bound to show that you are acting consistently on the principle you have avowed, or to reconsider your arguments, and see whether that principle is applicable to the question before you. The noble Earl proceeded to say that if any great political advantage could be derived from this measure, he possibly might experience some difficulty in coming to a decision upon it; but he rested his argument upon the fact that there were no embarrassing circumstances connected with the question. He (the Duke of Argyll) agreed that there were none, so far as a pressure from out of doors was concerned. But that was not the question before the House. No human being would vote for the admission of Jews into Parliament merely on the ground of any supposed danger arising from their exclusion, or for the rejection of the Jews from any apprehension of danger arising from their presence in Parliament. Such arguments had been long: abandoned. Those who objected to this measure grounded their objections on religious principle alone. The noble Earl had referred to another argument which had been used with some effect in this and previous debates. The noble Earl admitted that the exclusion of the Jews was owing to an accident in the form of the oath; but he asked if it could be imagined that, if the Jews had not been excluded by that means, 789 other means would not have been taken for the purpose? He (the Duke of Argyll) would contend, in conjunction with his noble Friend behind him, that that was a most inconclusive argument, Let them look to existing facts. The Jews were at this moment exercising the functions of electors. How came they to obtain the elective franchise? Did the noble Earl imagine that in the times of cruelty and persecution, to which he had referred, the Jews would have been allowed to have votes any more than to sit as Members of the House of Commons? How had the Jews come by the enjoyment of that privilege, which they enjoyed in common with all Her Majesty's subjects? Simply because there was no accidental form of oath which interposed between the voter and the polling booth, similar to that which stood between an elected Member and his seat in Parliament. No such accident intervening, the gradual progress of enlightenment had left the Jew to possess the right of voting; and it was a legitimate conclusion that the same causes would have operated to admit them without hindrance to the benches of the House of Commons. He would now notice some of the observations of the other noble Earl (the Earl of Shaftesbury). That noble Earl had said that his noble Friend (the Earl of Aberdeen) had asserted that the Jews bad a constitutional right to sit in Parliament. He (the Duke of Argyll) did not understand his noble Friend to say that they had a constitutional and certainly not a legal right—for if they had, there would be no necessity for this measure—but that they had a natural right, and that their position in the country made it reasonably just that they should be allowed to sit in Parliament. Again, the noble Earl urged that the Jews had admittedly no natural right to exercise executive functions, since they were by this very Bill excluded from several executive offices, and that for one enabling proviso there were several disabling clauses. If the noble Earl had looked at the Bill, he would have found that the disabling clauses referred chiefly to offices with which ecclesiastical patronage was connected, and from several of those offices Roman Catholics were also excluded. The noble Earl also said that the question should be considered by the House on the ground of religious principle; and he repeated what he bad before said, that if the Jews had been already possessed of this privilege, he would not have been prepared to exclude them by a new enactment, 790 but that he was not prepared to give them the privilege by a new enactment. If this was a question of policy, he (the Duke of Argyll) would have admitted that distinction; but when the question was put on religious grounds, he thought that if you were bound to exclude in the one case, you were equally bound to exclude in the other. If this was a Christian nation, and therefore Jews ought not to be allowed to exercise the functions of the Legislature, it would have been equally a duty to exclude them from possession. With regard to what, after all, was the main question, the noble Earl said that the oath required to be taken was a distinct assertion of a profession of Christianity. He (the Duke of Argyll) maintained that it was not, but that it had been adopted as a form specially binding on those who took the oath, but forming in reality no part of the oath itself; so much so, indeed, that it had been argued by some that it might be taken by a man who was not a Christian. He agreed with the most rev. Prelate that there would not be much value in it even if it wove an assertion of Christianity, for many persons might take it who were not really Christians, and it was impossible to say that it could effectually preserve the Christian character of any assembly. He (the Duke of Argyll) believed that, after all, it was a question of feeling much more than a question of argument. He believed, that although those who opposed the admission of the Jews into Parliament had no wish to carry on any proceeding of persecution towards that people, yet that the feeling which actuated them was a remnant of those prejudices which existed in former ages, and which were wholly inconsistent with the existing facts and circumstances of the present day. There was one more argument to which he wished to advert before he closed his remarks, He alluded to the fact that the House of Commons had voted in favour of this question a great number of times. He could only gay that he was as jealous as any of their Lordships of the honour and independence of their Lordships' House. Their Lordships were unquestionably entitled to maintain their high position and independence upon all questions in connexion with the interests of the State, and more especially in connexion with the interests of religion. Nevertheless, be did feel it right to refer to the fact be bad stated; and he really hoped that the fact of this measure having been carried by a considerable majority of the House of Commons 791 —not in one Parliament only, but in different Parliaments, and under different Administrations—would convince their Lordships that the feeling with which they resisted this measure was at variance with the existing facts and circumstances in society; and would show them that a confident feeling pervaded the other House of Parliament that the only proper policy which they ought to adopt was to leave the electors of this country to choose for their representatives in Parliament whomsoever they pleased, being otherwise qualified according to law.
The EARL of WINCHILSEA
said, he would detain their Lordships but for a few moments. In giving his most strenuous and determined opposition to the measure under consideration, he utterly disclaimed being influenced by personal prejudices against the Jews. So far from that, he thought it was impossible to reflect upon their past history, and witness their present dispersion throughout the world, without having every feeling of Christian charity excited towards them. The question before their Lordships was one which affected the Christian character of the Legislature of this country; and they were now asked, as a Christian Legislature and a Christian people, to surrender their distinctive religious principles, and remove them altogether from the Statute-book, for the purpose of admitting to seats in Parliament, and to the exercise of legislative functions, those who denied the very foundation upon which their religion rested—the divinity of the Saviour. Now, what had been the cause of the severe and heavy judgment which had fallen on the Jewish people? It was the denial of that very Saviour and God who died for their salvation, whom they spurned, and whose advent was the greatest blessing the earth had ever witnessed. It was for this that the judgment of the Almighty had fallen so heavily upon that race. But it had been urged that the question was one of freedom to choose their representatives on the part of the electors of this kingdom, and that the exclusion of the Jews from seats in Parliament was a restraint upon that freedom of choice. He (the Earl of Winchilsea) contended that it was no such thing. Were there not other restrictions upon the choice of the electors as well as this? Were there not the restrictions of age and property? All he asked was, that the Christian character of the Legislature of this nation should be maintained and defended; for the Jews still remained a peculiar people, and he thought 792 it would be a fearful act to declare in the face of Heaven that those who had committed the act which God had so severely punished should form part of a Christian Legislature. He said, therefore, to the Jews, "We cannot permit you to legislate or frame our laws for us, because you deny the very foundation on which those laws now rest." He did think that if their Lordships consented to this measure they would thereby inflict the severest blow that had ever been dealt against the religious interests of this country. And he warned the right rev. Bench, that if this measure should ever be carried by their votes, the feelings of the people of this Christian country with regard to the views of that right rev. Bench, who had been placed in the station that they held within the walls of their Lordships' House to guard the best and dearest interests of the land—if ever the day arrived that they abandoned that sacred duty, so sure as he now spoke, and so sure as that day arrived, the country would cry out, and justly cry out, for a separation of the Church from the State, and those right rev. Prelates would no longer occupy the station they now held in that House. For himself he honestly declared, that if ever the day arrived when that question should be mooted in consequence of the measure before their Lordships being carried by the votes of that right rev. Bench, from his heart and soul it should receive his support.
said, he thought that his noble Friend who had just sat clown laboured under a somewhat needless alarm. He much feared, he greatly grieved to say, that it was not probable the votes of the right reverend Prelates would enable Her Majesty's Government to carry the present measure through Parliament. He wished that he could partake of the alarm of the noble Earl. But he could not at all share in it; for he very much feared although some considerable portion of the right reverend Bench would be found to support the Bill, that would not be the case with the greater number. There was another point on which he differed from his noble Friend who last addressed their Lordships. He could not at all join in the apprehensions entertained by many persons, for whose conscientious feelings on this subject he had the most profound respect, that if this measure should pass, it would stigmatise the divine religion which they professed, and unchristianise the Legislature. His noble Friend must surely be aware of what had been 793 done in past times by the Legislature, and the concessions it had made on questions of this kind, and that, notwithstanding these concessions, up to the present day the Legislature had remained as Christian as it was before; and during all the long time to which he referred, the country too had been as much within the pale of Christianity. His noble Friend must be aware that the admission of the Quakers to take the oath of abjuration without the words "on the true faith of a Christian"—the words which alone excluded the Jews—took place upwards of a century ago; and upon what ground was this omission and other concessions made in behalf of that most worthy and amiable sect? Upon the accession of the illustrious House of Hanover to the throne of these realms, the words in question were left out of the abjuration oath for the relief of the Quakers; but other words were retained in that oath, which the Quakers at that time took, and continued to take for six or seven years, with some scruple and great reluctance. The oath began with these words, "In the presence of God, the witness of what I affirm." Now, according to the argument of his noble Friend, and those who thought with him, here was to a certain extent the objectionable process of the Legislature giving up that which kept Deists out of Parliament, but still requiring that they should be Deists, that they should believe in a God, by retaining the words, "In the presence of God." Well, what happened six years afterwards—he thought in the year 1721? The Legislature then proceeded to strike out the words "In the presence of God," just as it had before struck out "On the true faith of a Christian;" so that, having by the first omission allowed the Deist to sit, and take the oath, by the second they went further, and allowed the Atheist to sit. And just observe for what reason this further relief was given to the Quaker—for this showed how entirely it was a civil and political matter, and not a religious one. The reason of the second Act to which he was referring was not the one which the noble Earl who moved the Amendment supposed, namely, that the Quakers and the other sects were favoured because, although differing with us, they were yet religious persons, and Christians, too, of their own kind. The Act of Parliament alleged no such ground for the relief which it gave. It said no such thing as that—"Whereas the Quakers, since the year 1714, when 794 the words 'on the true faith of a Christian' were left out, but the words 'in the presence of God' were retained in his affirmation—"whereas the Quakers have been very religious persons, very moral persons, and very good Christians of a kind, of their own kind, and according to their own views," which was the supposition of the noble Earl who moved the Amendment. But no such thing. The Act said, "Whereas they have proved themselves to be loyal and peaceable subjects, and faithful and zealous supporters of the House of Hanover." Therefore, for civil, for political reasons, with secular and temporal views entirely, and without a word about religious or spiritual views, the second change was made, by which, strictly speaking, Atheists might be admitted, the first change having admitted Deists; and this was done in favour of the Quakers, who, God knew, were neither the one nor the other. But it was said that, being Quakers, that was a security that they were Christians. But then the words, "I being a Quaker," were left out also, so that they were not then called to affirm as Quakers, although by a subsequent Act they were required to affirm that, which was some security for their religion. But that was not to be found in the original affirmation, and was not introduced for 100 years afterwards; and yet all that time the country and the Legislature remained as little unchristianised as before. Heaven forbid that he should join either directly or indirectly, by a declaration on the face of an Act of Parliament, or by the enactments in any statute, in any the slightest approach towards showing either irreverence to that sacred religion which they not only professed but believed, or disregard of those conscientious feelings which their fellow Christians there and elsewhere entertained! It was not with that view—it was not, he hoped and trusted, with the possibility of showing his disregard either to the one or the other—that he should join in again giving his support to this Bill. It was most satisfactory to reflect that, upon every occasion when this question had been before their Lordships, there had, in the first place, been no asperity and no party feeling shown on either side of the House; and, in the next place, that there had been even among those who entirely differed with the advocates of this measure, no want of friendly feeling evinced towards that most respectable, and he would add amiable, body of men, the Jews. He called them amiable 795 as well as respectable, because they were' men zealous in all good works; and no one who in this great town was acquainted with the charities which adorned it, and with those who supported them, could feel otherwise than lively gratitude for the assistance which all those institutions constantly received from members of the Jewish persuasion according to their means; and in this their conduct, he wa3 afraid he might add, was easier to be admired than imitated, for their beneficence was liberally and generally bestowed, without the least regard to differences of religious creed.
§ LORD COLCHESTER
was understood to say that the question before the House did not merely concern a technical form of words, but involved the substantial, and he believed indisputable, principle that no man should enter a Christian Legislature unless he was a Christian. There was, in his opinion, no analogy between the case of the Quaker and that of the Jew, because it was well known, and notorious at the time that the Quaker was relieved from disability, that he professed Christianity. He therefore felt it to be his duty to oppose this Bill.
§ On Question, That ("now") stand part of the Motion, their Lordships then divided:—Content, Present, 69; Content, Proxies, 46; Total, 115: Not-Content, Present, 96; Not-Content, Proxies, 68; Total, 164: Majority, 49.796
|List of the CONTENT.|
|The Lord Chancellor||Gosford|
|Londesborough||Say and Sele|
|Manners||Stanley of Alderley|
|Rosebery||Howard de Wald|
§ Resolved in the Negative, and Bill to be read 2a on this day Six Months.
§ House adjourned to Monday next.