HL Deb 16 April 1866 vol 182 cc1354-5


"1, Because in my View 'The Parliamentary Oaths Bill' has the Aspect in the Hands of Her Majesty's Ministers of being the Result of a Demand on the Part of some One or more of the Irish Roman Catholic Members of Parliament for a Concession to be made to them of One of the Bulwarks of the Protestant Constitution and to the Spirit of the Papacy,

"2. Because the Roman Catholic Body in and previous to 1829 were Parties, through their Sponsors, to the Contract involved in the present Oath, and the sacred Cause of Morality is now violated before the Country by the Conspiracy at work to overthrow it.

"3, Because no Reason whatever has been advanced by the Government for this extraordinary Step. The Suggestion that the Oath is offensive to Roman Catholic Ears is not worthy of Attention, in comparison with the Fact that this Bill removes the Security from the Crown, Government, and Constitution of the Country involved in the worn Protest of One thousand Protestant Members of both Houses of Parliament against the Papal Supremacy, at a Time when it is boldly asserted and maintained by the Papal Party throughout the Kingdom. The entire Protestant Institutions of the Empire, including the Protestantism of the Throne itself, might be thus alleged as a Grievance, to he redressed on a similar Principle.

"4. Because, That in the new Oath there are very serious Omissions, such as that of binding all Members of Parliament to disclose traitorous Conspiracies against the Sovereign, and withdrawing the Protection from the Throne involved in the Words 'to defend' it; Omissions which at a Time when the Habeas Corpus Act is suspended in one Portion of Her Majesty's Dominions in consequence of a wide-spread Conspiracy are calculated to promote an Anti-Monarchical Spirit, and encourage a seditious Feeling, especially in that Country.

"5. Because my Objection to the present Bill is strengthened by the Intention it evidently indicates on the Part of Her Majesty's Government to make further Concessions to the Anti-British Spirit of the Papacy and its Aggressions.