HL Deb 22 June 1858 vol 151 cc154-6



said, he proposed to move for a Committee to draw up Reasons for their Lordships adhering to the Amendments they had made on the Oaths Bill, and he would propose that those Reasons should be sent down to their Lordships on Thursday next. And he would take the opportunity of asking his noble and learned Friend (Lord Lyndhurst) if he would consent, in consequence of the absence of his noble Friend at the head of the Government, to postpone his Motion for the second reading of his Bill on Jewish Disabilities until Thursday week.


said, he was sorry for the cause, and could not but acquiesce in the request made to him. It was im- possible to discuss this Bill in the absence of the noble Earl at the head of the Government, and he would, therefore, with their Lordships' consent, postpone his Bill until Thursday week.


said, he would postpone the Motion for the second reading of his Bill till the same day.


was understood to object to any further delay. He did not see why they should not take either the Bill of his noble and learned Friend, or the Bill of the gallant Earl, to whom they were so much indebted for the course he had taken, and proceed with either the one or the other of them in this House.


said, the Bills were separate and distinct measures, but as they referred to the same subject it would be desirable that they should be considered on the same night.


thought it was not likely that the House of Commons, on receiving these Reasons, would proceed immediately with the consideration of them, but would wait till they saw the fate of the two new Bills that had been introduced to their Lordships' House.


said, that as the House had by a majority resolved to adhere to their Amendments, it was necessary that a Committee should be appointed to draw up their Reasons. That was the ordinary and proper course. But it would be quite inconsistent to ask those who were in the minority to agree in those Reasons; he would content himself, however, with entering his dissent from the propositions. He hoped the Reasons would be printed and placed in the hands of their Lordships, in order that they might know what they were, before they were called on to consider them.


said, he understood that the postponement of the two Bills was solely on the ground of the illness of the noble Earl at the head of the Government. The noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Lyndhurst) did not think there would be any inconvenience in sending the Reasons down to the House of Commons to be dealt with in the meanwhile.

Second Reading (which stands appointed for Friday next) put off to Thursday the 1st of July next.

Committee appointed to prepare Reasons to be offered to the Commons for the Lords insisting on their Amendments to the Bill to which the Commons disagree, named; to meet immediately. The Committee report- ed Reasons prepared by them. Said Reasons to be printed; and to be taken into Consideration on Thursday next. Which Reasons are as follow:—

  1. "1. Because, although the words 'on the true faith of a Christian' were originally introduced into the oath for the immediate purpose of binding certain Roman Catholics, it is unreasonable to assume that the Parliament which so introduced them did not intend that the profession of Christianity should be a necessary qualification for admission to the Legislature when they enacted that a declaration of that faith should form part of the oath required to be taken by every Member of both Houses.
  2. "2. Because the constant intention of the Legislature may be further inferred from the fact that, neither at the time of the introduction of these words were the Jews admissible, nor have they at any subsequent period been admitted to sit and vote in either House of Parliament.
  3. "3. Because exclusion from seats in Parliament and offices of the State on the ground of religious opinion, and for other reasons when the general good of the State appears to require it, is a principle recognized in the settlement of the succession to the Crown, and in other cases; and has moreover been further and recently sanctioned by the House of Commons in some of the provisions of the present Bill.
  4. "4. Because in the prayers with which both Houses daily commence their proceedings they implore in Christ's name the divine assistance and guidance in all their undertakings, professing themselves His unworthy servants; and this act of worship will become a mockery when among those who are therein declared to be gathered together in His name are numbered some who deny Him through whose merits alone those prayers can be acceptable.
  5. "5. Because, when the Commons plead in support of their views, in a matter which equally concerns the constitution of both branches of the Legislature, their repeated recognition of the expediency of removing this disability of the Jews, and admitting them to their councils, the Lords desire to refer to their equally firm adherence to the principle of retaining those privileges which they believe to be peculiarly and inseparably attached to Parliament as an exclusively Christian assembly.
  6. "6. Because, in regard to the 8th and 9th of the Commons' Reasons, the Lords are advised that the 1st and 3rd clauses of the Bill are not open to the construction which the Commons conceive them to be in consequence of the rejection of the 5th clause, and that the Jews will not be subject to any new disabilities under the Bill as amended by the Lords."