My Lords, in bringing forward the Motion which stands in my name I wish to avoid as far as possible delaying your Lordships, by giving an account of my own conduct in regard to the Irish Church. Whether I was right or wrong in wishing, in common with others, that some inquiry should be instituted in 1833 and 1834, and whether I was right or wrong in proposing the arrangement of 1835, or in dropping that proposal in 1838, it is certain that this question has been regarded for many years past as one of vast importance, and such a crisis has now arisen in connection with it that it has appeared to me it will be necessary for me to take all the time which your Lordships would be able to spare in bringing under your consideration the present state of the Established Church in Ireland. It appears to me, my Lords, that the course which Parliament has adopted during the last two years is sufficient to induce us to give our very serious attention to the state of Ireland. We have consented, not by a small majority, but almost unanimously, to suspend the ordinary law of that country for two years, and to deprive the people of Ireland of the benefit of the Habeas Corpus Act during that period. At the same time, in this extraordinary state of affairs, there is apparently a far greater disposition towards conciliatory conduct on the part of Parliament and on the part of bodies belonging to different religious communities in Ireland than has existed for a long time. You will find that whenever persons belonging to the Roman Catholic Church speak of Protestant clergymen they use the highest terms of commendation, while, on the other hand, there may be found many persons, and even some ministers of the Established Church, who no longer think there would be any profanation or impiety in endowing the Roman Catholic 355 Church provided that the revenues of the Established Church were not in any way affected. This conciliatory disposition is more wide-spread than I ever remember it to have been before, and therefore it seems to me that although no one would wish or would attempt to settle this important question during the present Session, when we have another question of surpassing importance to solve, yet that the tendency of circumstances is such that Parliament would do ill if it did not prepare itself by every possible means for the full consideration of the subject in the early part of next Session. It is, then, with a view of preparing your Lordships, and preparing Parliament for that deliberation, that I now bring this question before you. And it is, as I have already stated, without reference, or at all events with but slight and passing reference, to other subjects that I wish to call your Lordships' attention to the position—the abnormal position—of the Established Church in Ireland. Now, this question can hardly be considered without turning one's mind to the theory of an Established Church. It is declared by Archdeacon Paley and Bishop Warburton that a Church is established by a State for purposes of utility. It appears to me that while the State is in one sense an instrument for enforcing obedience to the rules of morality, yet other influences may add greatly to the efficacy of legislation. The State can say that if a man steals he shall be imprisoned, and that if he commits murder he shall be hanged; but the influences of religion go far beyond this. The Old Testament teaches us, as a Divine command, that a man shall not steal or kill, and the New Testament contains numerous and most affecting precepts, urging the cultivation of those dispositions of love and good-will which make a man unwilling to injure his neighbour by depriving him either of his property or of his life. It is, therefore, in my opinion an advantage to a State to have an Established Church which can enforce those precepts of religion and those doctrines of morality which are of essential importance in regard to the order and the welfare of the State. But, unfortunately, statesmen have very often thought that they had only to consider what was good in their own eyes with respect to the form of religion, and to endeavour to force that form of religion upon those who were subjected to their care.
356 Let us take an example from our own history. We may say, and say most truly, that we consider the Articles of the Church of England, excluding, as they do, the extremes of the Church of Rome and the extremes of the Church of Geneva, to offer a reasonable settlement of the religious question. There is an order of bishops in our Church, and it has a Liturgy which is a most beautiful work for the purposes of devotion. With this conviction upon their minds, the governors and rulers of England thought, in the year 1637, that they could enforce the adoption of that beautiful Liturgy in Scotland, The first effect of the attempt was that a violent feeling was expressed by hissing and hooting against the book which we look upon with so much reverence, and when a Bishop got up in order to quell the tumult a three-legged stool was thrown at his head. That showed how very little the people of Scotland respected the lesson which they were being taught. Well, we went on for fifty years endeavouring to enforce the Liturgy and the episcopal system of the Church of England by every means of violence and oppression, by imprisonment, by torture, by banishment. But the people of Scotland were well aware how they ought to get rid of this tyranny when the Revolution took place, and James II. was expelled from the throne. They decided against the advice of many wise persons, who said, "Why should you interfere thus hastily with regard to the Church and the Bishops?"—in spite of all those wise and cautious remonstrances which were addressed to them they persevered in their resolution, and told King William that, unless he would drive the Bishops out of Scotland and refuse them the support of the State, they could not offer him the Crown. King William was a wise man, and, though he had adopted the principles of the Church of England for England, he at once agreed that in the Church of Scotland there should be no Bishops. Lord Somers, whose wisdom was equal to that of William III. took care that in the Articles of Union there should be one declaring that the Crown of England accepted the Church of Scotland; and one of the first acts of the Sovereign is to sign a declaration that the Established Church of Scotland shall be maintained. Thus these statesmen acted as skilful physicians who, when they prescribe, consult their patient, and administer remedies suited to his constitution, and adapted to his palate. What, my Lords, 357 has been the consequence of that policy? That the peace of Scotland has been preserved; that order has been preserved. The state of Scotland at the time of the Revolution has been described by Fletcher of Saltoun; it was as bad as that of Ireland at any time; but since the Union manufactures have extended and commerce has flourished in Scotland. In her prosperity you see the consequence of the wisdom of William III. and Lord Somers in not contradicting the people of Scotland in regard to the form of religion. Unhappily, a different policy has been acted on in the case of Ireland. The income of the Established Church in Ireland appears to be £586,428. In 1833 and 1834, when the Irish Church Temporalities Act was passed, there was an arrangement made by which leases for twenty-one years were to be renewed perpetually at a sum little more than the rent then paid. In that way £100,000 a year has been entirely lost to the Irish Church; or, in other words, that is the difference between the revenue and what it would have been if the system acted on in England were in force in Ireland. There are other sums connected with the expenses of the Church which some ministers of the Church of Ireland think ought to be furnished by the congregations themselves; I allude to the sums necessary for furnishing the requisites for the celebration of divine service. But while these things are proper matters of inquiry; while it is desirable, at all events, that they should be examined, it strikes me that even if a careful inquiry were made, and every penny which could be found to be part of the revenues of the Established Church in Ireland were applied for the benefit of the Established Church, you would not obtain satisfaction or confidence from the Irish people. On this point I might make quotations, not only from men of the highest authority among Liberal statesmen of this country, but also from some who have taken a very distinguished part as Conservatives. I will not refer to the opinions of Brougham, Macaulay, Sir George Grey, and others, but I will state to you what was written by Lord Castlereagh after the Union. Although he was able to do very little to carry out his wishes, it is clear that Lord Castlereagh had the improvement of Ireland at heart; and these are words used by him—If the same internal struggle continues, Great Britain will derive little beyond an increase of 358 expense from the Union. In uniting with Ireland, she has abdicated the colonial relation; and if hereafter that country is to prove a resource rather than a burden to Great Britain an effort must be made to govern it through the public mind.On this subject, my Lords, I wish to call your attention to very remarkable language used fifty years ago by Sir Robert Peel, who was then Secretary for Ireland. Mr. George Ponsonby declared the speech to which I am about to refer to be one shewing that Mr. Peel was the most influential Member of the House of Commons. On the 9th of May, 1817, two statements were put forward by Grattan and his friends in supporting a Motion which he made on that occasion. One, that it would be right to admit the Roman Catholics to Parliament and office; the other, that if they were so admitted, satisfaction would at once prevail in Ireland. Sir Robert Peel, having in his early days that sagacity which he afterwards displayed, passed over the first of those statements, which he could not easily refute, and applied himself to proving that, unless Parliament did something regarding the Church—if it did nothing more than admit Roman Catholics to office and to Parliament—there would come to pass exactly what we have since seen. He said—In that country there exist two religious establishments—two co-extensive hierarchies; the one sedulously affecting, the other legally possessing the same dignities, titles, and spiritual authorities: the latter superintending the religious concerns of the great majority of the people, not endowed, indeed, nor encouraged by the State, but exercising over the minds of its adherents, from the very nature of its doctrines and the solemnity of its ceremonies, an almost unbounded influence; the other, the Church of the minority, splendidly endowed, no doubt, but endowed with the temporalities which once belonged to its excluded but aspiring rival. Recollect under what circumstances the transfer of those temporalities took place—recollect that in Ireland there was, in fact, no Reformation; there was no conversion of the mass of the people from one religions creed to another; no conviction brought home to their minds of the errors or abuses of their ancient Church. Attempts were made to effect that conversion by other means and they failed, and have left the natural consequences of such attempts—irritation and hostility.—[1 Hansard, xxxvi. 412.]No one who has consulted history will deny that Sir Robert Peel drew a true picture of what had taken place in Ireland. He went on, in reference to the measure then introduced, to use this language—Do you mean to give them that fair proportion of political power to which their numbers, wealth, talents, and education will entitle them? If you 359 do, can you believe that they will or can remain contented with the limits which you assign to them? Do you think that when they constitute, as they must do, not this year or the next, but in the natural, and therefore certain, order of things, by far the most powerful body in Ireland, the body most controlling and directing the government of it,—do you think, I say, that they will view with satisfaction the state of your Church or of their own? Do you think that if they are constituted like other men, if they have organs, senses, affections, passions like yourselves; if they are, as no doubt they are, sincere and zealous professors of that religious faith to which they belong, if they believe your 'intrusive Church' to have usurped the temporalities which it possesses, do you think they will not aspire to the re-establishment of their own Church in all its ancient splendour?—[1 Hansard, xxxvi. 416.]Do you confer any direct and immediate benefit upon the lower orders? You argue, indeed, that the ultimate effects of emancipation will be to ameliorate their condition, to raise up new classes in society, and to unite the upper and lower orders by gradations which are now wanting. Will the peasant understand this? Will he feel any immediate benefit? Will he receive any practical proof that his condition is improved? Will he be less subject to the influence of that most powerful body, the Roman Catholic clergy? … You confer certain privileges—substantial benefits, perhaps—on the aristocracy and the bar, but you confer none on the clergy. … You confirm the Protestant Establishment as an essential part of the Government, and then assume that the Protestants and Roman Catholics will have the same interests in maintaining that Government! You may declaim as you will, and make what preambles you please, but the force of nature and the spirit of religion are opposed to you; they contradict your preambles and confute your declamation."—[Ibid. 418.]That is what was said fifty years ago, in the month of August, 1817, by Mr. Peel, then Secretary for Ireland. I will now beg leave to read a description of the present state of things written by Bishop Moriarty, a prelate who, as we know, was commended by the present Chief Secretary for Ireland for his patriotic sentiments, who used all the influence in his power to oppose and defeat the schemes of the Fenians, and who, on every occasion, has professed his loyalty to the Crown. What he says is this—There was and is sympathy with rebellion, simply because of its antagonism with an authority they hate, and which they hate because it maintains, in the face of reason and of justice, a Protestant ascendancy by the Established Church. We well know that through the lower orders of the people the opinion is unquestioned that if revolution could be successful it would be lawful. The very reverse must be said of the nobility, gentry, mercantile men, and of all who are in the upper ranks of society. We speak, of course, of Catholics. They are not only loyal, but warmly attached to our Constitution and to British connection. The reason is obvious. For that class 360 emancipation had been a reality. It has given them the rights and privileges which follow rank and wealth.He then goes on to describe the benefits derived from the English constitution, how much they value it, how fair it is to everybody, and how much better it is to live under the British constitution with these advantages than to live under any government whatever. But he goes on to say—It is not so with the millions, for whom emancipation has had no practical or appreciable result. For them the past lives in the present; they think they are an oppressed race; England is for them an enemy's country. … They live in the hope of what they call a deliverance of their native land.He asks—Now, is there any patent wrong which can account for this most unhappy state of national feeling? There is one, and that is the Church Establishment.Now, I beg your Lordships to observe how what is said in the month of May, 1867, completely confirms and almost repeats what Sir Robert Peel uttered as a prophecy in the month of May, 1817. If this be so, and if there be at present—and from all I can hear such is the case—among the farming and peasant classes, I will not say a disposition to assist the Fenians, for they showed that they were not willing to give them active assistance, but a sympathy with men who, if they had proposed to themselves more practical objects, and had received greater support, would, according to their view, have been deserving of their regard, as men who wished to improve the condition of the country, can we feel surprised? Are we to wonder that men deeply attached to their Church should be discontented when they see that one-seventh of the people are in possession of all the endowments, and of all the revenues of the State, while their own religion and their own Bishops are entirely deprived of any of these advantages? I am told by some persons that this is a sentimental wrong. I own I am surprised that any person at all conversant with politics should speak with indifference of a sentimental wrong. What but a sentimental wrong has been the great cause of movement throughout Europe and throughout the world? What was the wrong inflicted upon the Scotch when they first heard the English Liturgy and deserted the churches? What but a sentimental grievance induced them to discard the Liturgy and Bishops of the English Church and to resort to a religion and a form of 361 Church Government more agreeable to their own notions of what was fit and true? Look to the separation of the United States from England. Does any one believe that it was the tax upon tea, of £15,000 levied upon 3,000,000 people, which induced the whole of the United States to sever from Great Britain and declare their independence? It was because England insisted that her taxes should extend to America, that her laws of trade should govern America, that her orders passing across the Atlantic should be the rules by which Americans should live—it was that sentimental wrong which induced the United States to rise against England, and to separate from her altogether as an independent State. What happened, not so long ago, in the insurrection in Belgium? It was not pretended that there was any tyranny on the part of the Dutch. The Dutch, I believe, governed Belgium very well, but they kept too great a part of the power to themselves; they would hardly admit anybody except one of themselves to office, and this sentimental wrong so affected the people of Belgium that they could stand it no longer, and they rose in arms to get rid of it. Therefore, when persons talk of the motives which excite men in Ireland, and provoke them to discontent, as nothing but a sentimental wrong, they offer an objection which has no reality. The statistics on this subject, although they are very short, are worth many arguments; they are worth a great deal of rhetoric, and explain at once the feeling of the Irish peasantry. The last Census of the population in Ireland in 1861 represented the total numbers as 5,798,957; of these the Roman Catholics were in round numbers 4,505,000; members of the Established Church, 693,000; Presbyterians, 523,000; and other Protestants, 76,000. It therefore appears that the entire revenues of Church of Ireland are applied for the advantage of 693,000 persons, and no portion of them for the benefit of 4,505,000 Roman Catholics. You may say that from 1778 to the present time, with the exception of the year 1792 and the years which followed 1798, the whole course of the Parliament of Ireland and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom has been one of concession and conciliation; and that, especially since the Roman Catholic Relief Act, a few men of the very highest eminence and merit—men such as my excellent Friends Chief Justice Monahan and 362 Chief Baron Pigott—have been promoted, by reason of their attainments and their services, to very high office; and therefore it is ungrateful to ask for more, and to blame a generous, a confiding, and a liberal Parliament. This question of gratitude due for concession was a good deal agitated even before the granting of the Roman Catholic Relief Act. The author of Peter Plymley imagined a case which he thought would be a very good parallel for it. He supposed that there were certain persons in a village who had been proscribed by the chief authority; and when the annual feast came round these persons were tied up, confined in fetters, and not allowed anything to eat, while all the rest of the village were feasting. Some people urged that this was very cruel, and by degrees they were allowed more liberty, and to have their limbs unschackled. Eventually, a piece of bread was given to them, and they were allowed toast and water in abundance to drink with it. But still they asked for more. Thereupon there was a great scandal. The majority exclaimed—Ten years ago were you not laid upon your backs? Don't you remember what a great thing you thought it to get a piece of bread? How thankful you were for cheese parings? Have you forgotten that memorable era when the lord of the manor interposed to obtain for you a slice of the public pudding? And now, with an audacity only equalled by your ingratitude, you have the impudence to ask for knives and forks, and to request, in terms too plain to be mistaken, that you may sit down to table with the rest, and be indulged even with beef and beer …… Beef, mutton, lamb, pork, and veal are ours; and if you were not the most restless and dissatisfied of human beings, you would never think of aspiring to enjoy them.That is the case with the people of Ireland; they have, no doubt, had great concessions made to them, but they still ask to have their Church treated as if they were the equals of the rest of their fellow subjects; in short, they ask for religious equality. Let me now ask, therefore, what is there to be said against their claim for religious equality? I must say that it appears to me to be just in principle. I will now consider the mode by which the object we have in view may be accomplished. I confess that the question is surrounded by difficulties; I have changed my mind more than once while thinking of the course that might be adopted; but, as something must be done, I have come to the conclusion that a course based on the principle of religious equality will be the best, and if it be in the nature 363 of a compromise so much the better; at all events, the course adopted must be fair in its terms. Mr. Grattan said in the year 1817 very much as Mr. Pitt had said and intended in 1801, at the time of the Union—"Incorporate the Catholic Chinch with the State, pay that Church, and thus give the State an influence among the clergy." Mr. Grattan did not intend to fall under the rebuke which Sir Robert Peel gave to those who were advocates of nothing more than emancipation; he did not mean to leave the Roman Catholics entirely out of the question in the provisions he would make. My Lords, I believe Mr. Pitt exhibited great wisdom in conceiving the plan I have quoted; it was the right policy for the year 1801. I believe that if Mr. Pitt had been allowed to have his own way, that if the Union had been made according to his ideas—if it had been a fair union between England and Ireland, and not between England and the intolerant and monopolizing part of Ireland only—if Mr. Pitt's policy had been carried into effect, we should have had Ireland before this time making progress and living contented in its prosperity. We all know that Mr. Pitt was not so allowed, that the Union which was carried was but half what he intended. Mr. Canning told us in the House of Commons that, when he was breakfasting one day with Mr. Pitt at Walmer, the subject of the proposed Union was raised by dispatches or letters from Lord Cornwallis, saying that the Union could be carried, but Catholic emancipation could not. Mr. Canning, being young and impetuous, said, "If I were you, I would have neither." Mr. Pitt, he said, rather rebuked his impatience, and was contented with half. Still, I must say that it has always seemed to me a doubtful question whether the youth and haste of Mr. Canning did not show more wisdom than the experience of Mr. Pitt; this, at least, is certain, the refusal of any law authorizing the Roman Catholics to be in office and in Parliament and the absence of any provisions for the Roman Catholic clergy at the time of the Union produced evil consequences for numbers and numbers of years. But, whatever good effect might have attended the full adoption of Mr. Pitt's policy at the time of the Union, I cannot believe that if you now proposed to make the Roman Catholic priests in Ireland a stipendiary clergy, your endeavours would be followed with success. I believe, in the first place, 364 that the Roman Catholic clergy would naturally apprehend that their flocks would be set against them, if they received money from the State; and, beyond that, I do not believe the House of Commons would keep up the whole of the present Church Establishment in Ireland, and grant besides a large annual sum for the purpose of paying the Roman Catholic clergy. I do not think the Vote could be obtained, whatever might be the inducements for granting it, and whatever the eloquence with which those inducements might be set forth.
Another proposal might be made similar to that which was adopted in Scotland—to put the Roman Catholic clergy in the place of the Established Church of Ireland. That would be a most violent change, destructive to the present Established Church, and most injurious to the clergy and laity belonging to it, so I leave that solution out of the question. A third course would be to "secularize" the Church funds; that is, to adopt the voluntary principle in regard to the Church in Ireland, to establish no new Church, and to abolish the Establishment which at present exists, giving to education or to any other object of public utility the revenues which are now absorbed by the Established Church in Ireland. Of course this proposal contemplates securing a life interest to the present holders of benefices in the Church. This is a plan which I have often thought might be realized, but it has very great defects in it. In the first place you immediately destroy, as far as Ireland is concerned, the principle of Establishment. Such an example would hardly be lost on the Dissenters of this country. Although the cases might be very dissimilar, those who strove for the destruction of the Church Establishment in England in favour of the voluntary principle would avail themselves of the precedent to overthrow the Established Church here. I therefore think it would be unwise in us to assent to a Bill embodying that view, even if it came from the House of Commons. I come next to what is, in fact, the plan which my noble Friend (Earl Grey) whom I see sitting on the cross-benches, suggested last year. Without going into details, his proposal was to diminish the revenues of the Established Church, leaving a part of them for its Bishops and clergy, and giving part to the Roman Catholic Church and clergy. We meet with difficulties on all hands in our endeavours to settle this question, but this 365 plan, in my opinion, has fewest difficulties, and is to be preferred, though that was not my opinion last year, when I stated to my noble Friend my objections to it. I thought there would be a great deal of contention between the Roman Catholics and Protestants if that plan were adopted, yet seeing that it is based upon principles of equality, and would bring about a state of things in which Roman Catholics would no longer look with dislike, jealousy, and illwill on the Protestant clergy, and would no longer encourage among the peasantry that feeling of ill-treatment under which they now seem to labour. I cannot but think, therefore, that the principle upon which my noble Friend's plan is based is that which it would be advisable for Parliament to adopt in the hope of establishing permanent peace in Ireland. This plan has been put forward by many persons, and an able pamphlet has been written on it by Mr. Aubrey de Vere. Its principle consists in the division of the revenues of the Church among the Established Church and the Roman Catholics, and also among the Presbyterians. Mr. Justice Shee, when a Member of the House of Commons, in 1854, made a very able speech in support of a proposition of his own devising, which he embodied in the shape of a Bill; he did not introduce this Bill, but he printed it soon afterwards; it was very carefully framed; he proposed that two-fifths of the Church revenues should be left to the Established Church, that two-fifths should be given to the Roman Catholic Church, for the repair of churches and the purchase of glebes, and that one-fifth should be distributed to the Presbyterians.
Now, my Lords, it is no triumph—it is a disgrace to England that we have not yet been able to obtain religious harmony and peace. What is done in other States in Europe? I have made inquiry into the course pursued by Prussia, and I find that it is similar in character to the one I have described. Your Lordships know that more than a century ago Prussia obtained Silesia, which was at that time chiefly inhabited by Roman Catholics. Silesia at the present moment is inhabited by Roman Catholics and Protestants in pretty equal proportions. I believe that they carry on their ministrations with perfect harmony; that those who are Protestants collect money for their own ministers and churches from the householders and inhabitants who profess their religion, while the Roman 366 Catholics obtain contributions in a similar manner from those who believe in their doctrines. The State gives some support, though by no means large, to each of them. Some of the Rhine provinces, again, of which Prussia obtained posession in 1814, were formerly under the dominion of Prelates of the Roman Catholic Church; by the adoption of this plan both Protestants and Roman Catholics live together in perfect harmony and peace. Now, my Lords, I would ask, is there not some feeling of national humiliation in the reflection that this country, great as she is, free and enlightened as she is, should fall below Prussia in respect of the religious harmony which she has been able to secure to her people? I confess, my Lords, I have brought this question forward partly because it seems to me inevitable that in the course of a short time you will have it forced on. The noble Earl opposite is now inducing Parliament to assent to a great change in the entire basis of the construction of the House of Commons. The noble Earl, in referring to the subject on a former occasion, seemed to think that legislation might go on as usual after that change. My belief is, that when you get new men elected by new bodies far more democratic than the bodies by whom the House of Commons has hitherto been elected, an inquiry will at once be made with a view to find what is amiss and what is faulty in our institutions, and with a view, moreover, to subject them to a thorough Amendment. They will be apt to say—the Church of England has been a great support to the Church of Ireland; the English aristocracy have been a great support to the Irish aristocracy; it is uow necessary to govern in such a manner as to show that the people of England bear no ill-will towards the people of Ireland, and that they desire that their brethren in Ireland may live in the enjoyment of equal rights and of equal freedom, and of equal privileges with themselves, in spite of the opposition that may arise front the existence of ignorant prejudices. If this is likely to happen, would it not be wise in Parliament to look these things in the face, to see what is ahead, and make some provision against the storm? I think, my Lords, there can be no doubt, whatever may happen, that if you refuse altogether to consider this question, and will not consent to deal with it in a manner far more effectual than any that has hitherto been tried, especially when it is remembered 367 that, with regard to the Fenians in Canada and the Fenians in Ireland, the Roman Catholics have proved themselves to be among the best supporters of the Throne, and the most zealous upholders of the honour of the Crown, you will have an unhappy time to look forward to. The Roman Catholic Church has outlived all the persecutions to which she has been subjected in times past, and almost seems to realize the idea of the poet—Yet had she oft been chased with horns and hounds,And Scythian shafts and many winged woundsAim'd at her heart; was often forced to fly,And doom'd to death, though fated not to die.Numerous questions, such as the titles of Roman Catholic Bishops, will doubtless arise, but let a thorough determination be evinced on both sides to arrive at a settlement on this subject, and I feel certain that the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church may flourish side by side without the existence of a continual heartburning and ill-will among the members of the two communities. I can only say for my own part that I have addressed these observations to your Lordships in the hope that they may be seriously considered. My own belief is that there is no question with which the future fate of this country is so much connected. You had difficulties in the time of Queen Elizabeth, when the Sovereign of this country was so hated by the Roman Catholics that she was constantly in danger of assassination. You had difficulties in the time of William III., when the Revolution which took place in this country was unacceptable to a great part of the people of Ireland. But those days and those difficulties are now past. Let us so act that the people of Ireland may understand that the unfortunate policy, or, I may rather say, the unfortunate necessity of former times, has passed away, and that we have now arrived at a more fortunate era, when, by consulting the wishes and feelings of our people, we may at the same time gain the heart, and promote the strength of the country.
§ Moved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that Her Majesty will be pleased to give Directions that by the Operation of a Royal Commission or otherwise full and accurate Information be procured as to the Nature and Amount of the Property and Revenues of the Established Church in Ireland, with a view to their more productive Management, and to their more equitable application for the Benefit of the Irish People."—(The Earl Russell.)368
My Lords, it is now some weeks since the noble Earl (Earl Russell) gave notice of his intention to call your attention to the state of the Irish Church. If I recollect right, the noble Earl, in giving that notice, stated that he had drawn it up with some care, because he desired that it should not express any foregone conclusion, or commit any of your Lordships to any particular opinion. Accordingly, the notice in its original form was one simply for an inquiry into the revenues of the Irish Church, and in that form it remained on the Notice Paper for some time.That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that Her Majesty will be graciously pleased to give Directions that by the Operation of a Commission or otherwise, full and accurate Information be procured as to the Amount and Nature of the Property and Revenues of the Established Church in Ireland, and as to the Means of rendering that Property more productive.I myself thought that the Motion was one which might have been productive of very useful consequences, and that the time of a Commission might have been very advantageously employed in the manner proposed. We have had, unfortunately, very varying statements made of late years with reference to the amount of the revenues of the Irish Church, and, if the noble Earl will permit me to say so, no person has contributed more than he has done to the perplexity in which this question has been involved. In a recent publication of the noble Earl's, written, no doubt, many years ago originally, but re-published about a couple of years since, without any notes explanatory of the changes on this subject which have taken place—although notes explanatory of other changes are to be found in abundance—the noble Earl informed the public that the revenues of the Irish Church amounted to a sum almost three-fold as large as they really are.
§ EARL RUSSELL
I beg the noble and learned Lord's pardon. I said that was the case in 1823, and you will find it so stated either at the beginning or end of the volume.
§ LORD CAIRNS
I am speaking of the edition of 1865, where I find the statement, as originally given in that of 1823, is reproduced without any note or comment; and the introduction to the work, although it takes notice of many general changes, in no way exhibits the inaccuracy of the original detail of figures. It is not alone in this country that the statements 369 contained in that work have received credence, because I am told that an intelligent foreigner, in writing upon the subject, repeated the statements of the noble Earl as facts, and said that there could be no doubt about their accuracy, because the noble Earl was so minutely accurate in bringing down matters to the present time as to go out of his way to state in a note that, in 1864, the public schools of England had agreed upon a common form of grammar for the use of their pupils—and that, therefore, it was impossible that any change could have taken place in the Irish Church, or he would have mentioned it. In my opinion, a Commission to inquire into the amount and application of these revenues would be highly desirable. But the notice that the noble Earl placed upon the paper a few days ago has assumed a very different form from that in which it originally appeared, and has been coupled with a statement of great significance. With regard to the views of the noble Earl I think he did himself injustice when he compared his views of to-night with those he expressed at the period of the Appropriation Clause. The Appropriation Clause comes far short, indeed, of what the noble Earl has stated to-night. The Appropriation Clause, in mercy and consideration to the Irish Church, showed such a degree of tenderness to it as to propose that it should be considered to have the first claim upon its revenues as far as they could be applied usefully to the purposes of that Church, and that its surplus revenues only should be taken from it and applied to other purposes. But the noble Earl to-night has recommended for our adoption a scheme totally different. If I understand him aright, the noble Earl has proposed that the revenues of the Irish Church shall be divided into aliquot parts and applied to the purposes of the various religious denominations in Ireland. Far be it from me to taunt the noble Earl with the change that has taken place in his opinions during the past year. The subject is much too important to be determined by an inconsistency in the opinions of the noble Earl at different times. But it may be useful to observe the opinions which the same person can hold when charged with the responsibility of office and when freed from that responsibility. It is only a short year since the noble Earl was at the head of Her Majesty's Government. At that time the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act — the measure suspending the 370 right of personal liberty in that country—had been passed, and the spread of Fenianism, which had required the passing of that measure, was a recognized fact; and what was the language then used by the noble Earl with reference to the subject now under discussion? In referring to the Motion which had been made by the noble Earl who sits upon the cross-benches (Earl Grey), a Motion which was almost identical with the present proposition of the noble Earl, he said—My noble Friend, however, lays chief stress, in supporting his Motion, on the subject of the Church of Ireland. Now, my Lords, I can very well believe that the majority of the people of Ireland, seeing that the Church Establishment remains for the benefit of a minority, may feel that an evil and a grievance. But, when the question is as to what should be done by the Government and by Parliament in regard to the subject, I must say that any such violent measure as my noble Friend proposes would, in my opinion, instead of remedying the evil, increase it to a very great extent. I am afraid that if my noble Friend were permitted to carry his proposed Act of Parliament into effect, and divide the Church Property of Ireland between the Established Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and Presbyterian Church, he would create more religious discord, more heartburning, and more division than we have ever yet seen in Ireland. ….And, really, it seems to me that the whole purport of the proposition of my noble Friend is in order to upset the present Established Church, and to establish a sort of hybrid Church of Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, and Protestants. To that proposal I cannot consent."—[3 Hansard, clxxxii. 414.]Yet, in the space of one short year, the noble Earl, who then announced his opinion upon the subject in language as strong as I could have desired to use, sees no difficulty whatever on this project, except that which I should have supposed no one but one so conversant with Ecclesiastical Titles as the noble Lord would have thought of referring to—namely, the difficulty of a conflict between titles which might be taken from the same localities in Ireland, a difficulty which the noble Earl told us a little good feeling and forbearance on each side might, in his opinion, soon get over. Now, my Lords, I am extremely unwilling to weary you by entering into the subject of the title to the revenues of the Irish Church, but I am bound to do so briefly, seeing that the noble Earl has made a statement to-night that has frequently been made before, but which I should not have thought, with his knowledge of history, the noble Earl would have been disposed to follow—namely, that the greatest portion of the temporalities of the Irish 371 Church have been usurped from its rival. I should not wish it to be supposed that I acquiesced in such a view of the matter. The property of the Church of Ireland may be looked upon as consisting of two portions—glebe lands and tithe-rent charges. Where do the glebe lands, which are very extensive and of considerable value, come from? I find that the number of acres of glebe lands in the province of Ulster, which constitute five-sixths of the glebe lands in Ireland, is 111,151. There never was a greater mistake than to suppose that those glebe lands in Ulster ever belonged to the Roman Catholic Church. The Commission for the plantation of Ulster in 1608–9 provided that Commissioners should proceed to Ulster and deal with the estates forfeited — not by the Roman Catholic Church, but by individual landowners—and that they should allot threescore out of every 1,000 acres for the support of the ministers of the Protestant Church in Ireland. Under that title, therefore, the glebe lands were acquired by the Irish Church. But again the Act of Settlement passed in 1662 is a document hardly so much read as it deserves. It confirms the titles of many of those who were ancestors of some of your Lordships. I find that the titles of the Lord Clanricarde, of Lord Gormanstown, of Erasmus Smith, and some of the most eminent of the present landowners of Ireland, both among the nobility and the laity, were secured by that Act of Parliament. Here is a special section declaring the title of Sir Henry Petty, the ancestor of Lord Lansdowne. But this same Act takes the impropriate tithes which had belonged to individuals and had been forfeited—tithes which in no way belonged to the Roman Catholic Church—and gave them to the Protestant Incumbents. I further find that large endowments were made, by way of addition to the Bishops' Sees, and that in every town where there was not an appropriate residence for the minister, a house was assigned to him out of the forfeited estates. I find instructions here again to allot glebes out of the forfeited estates in all parts of Ireland. Now I entirely share in the admiration which the noble Earl has expressed as to the wisdom displayed by William III. and Lord Somers, who, in dealing with the Church of Scotland, did not, as the noble Earl said, seek to enter into conflict with the views of the people of that country as to what should be their established religion. It may indeed be 372 doubted whether, even as regards Scotland the policy of the King was guided by the wishes of the people, so much as by the politics of the episcopal clergy; but whether this be so or not, I venture to think if what the noble Earl styles the religion of the majority of the people of Ireland had at that time been established by King William III. and Lord Somers in Ireland, the adoption of such a course would hardly have succeeded in establishing in that country the dynasty which has effected so much good for the United Kingdom. So much with regard to the title of glebe lands depending on the plantation of Ireland, and so much also for the title as to the tithe-rent charge founded on the Act of Settlement. With regard to the title to the other portion of the tithe-rent charge, it may well be rested on what in this country has always been considered the best title to any property—the title of prescription. My Lords, the title of prescription is as applicable to ecclesiastical as to any other property. There is an opinion on this subject which will have weight with the noble Earl, I mean that of Lord Macaulay. He was advocating the policy of the Dissenters Chapel Bill, by which, as to property of this kind, the possession of thirty years was held to give a perfect title. Lord Macaulay said—I never could have imagined that, in an assembly of reasonable, civilized, and educated men, it would be necessary to offer a word in defence of prescription as a general principle. … I should have thought it as much a waste of time of the House as to make a speech against the impropriety of burning witches, or of trying a right by wager of battle, or of testing the guilt or innocence of a culprit by making him walk over burning ploughshares. … It is in every known part of the world, in every civilized age; it was familar to the old tribunals of Athens; it formed part of the Roman jurisprudence; it was spread with the Imperial power over the whole of Europe. … It is not clear that the principle of prescription is essential to the institutions of property itself, and that if you take it away, it is not some or a few evils that must follow, but general confusion."—[3 Hansard, clxxv. 338.]And one sentence more, perhaps, your Lordships will allow me to add, on the same subject from an authority perhaps of greater weight—the authority of a distinguished Roman Catholic Professor at Maynooth, who was examined before your Lordships—I mean Dr. Slevin, who was asked what was his view of the title of the Church of Ireland to the possession of its revenues, and he said—I consider that the present possessors of Church property in Ireland, of whatever description 373 they may be, have a just title to it. They have been bonâ fide possessors of it for all the time required by any law for prescription—even according to the pretensions of the Church of Rome, which require one hundred years.The noble Earl has referred to-night to the opinion expressed by Bishop Moriarty as to the Irish Church. I could not help contrasting a sentence of Bishop Moriarty with this opinion of Dr. Slevin. Dr. Moriarty says—We acknowledge no prescription in this case. The Church does not allow a Statute of Limitation to bar our claim. The title of the Protestant Church has not even a colour of validity. Our right is in abeyance, but it is unimpaired.I ask your Lordships to contrast the doctrine of Dr. Slevin, given at the time when it was material to represent to Parliament the views of the Roman Catholic Church in their mildest form, and that given by Dr. Moriarty, in the present year.
My Lords, I do not propose to dwell any longer on the question of title. Nor do I now propose to inquire into a subject very much discussed at different periods—namely, what is the rightful power of Parliament to deal with Ecclesiastical property—because in the hottest debates on that subject there was always one point which every person admitted, and is quite sufficient for my present purpose—it was always admitted that so long as the corporate body which possesses the title to Ecclesiastical property remains, so long as the property is not greater in amount than can be usefully applied by that corporate body, I do not say it is not in the power of Parliament to interfere—for Parliament may interfere with regard to any of the private possessions of your Lordships, although it is not to be supposed that Parliament ever would so interfere; but there is no right of principle on which Parliament can interfere to alienate property of that kind. That leads me to ask your Lordships to consider how the question stands as to the revenues which the Church of Ireland possesses, and as to the mode of their application. And I can assure your Lordships nothing can be farther from my intention than to enter into any question of elaborate statistics. I will enter on no debateable ground, but simply give facts, as to which there is no dispute. I apprehend a very pertinent inquiry is to consider whether, with regard to the admitted revenues of the Church in Ireland, there is or is not in the Irish Church as much comparative need of those revenues as there is in the English branch of the 374 Church. I recollect a late colleague of the noble Earl instituting a comparison between the revenues of the Church of Ireland and the revenues of the Church of England. He stated that he found that the average cost of every member of the Church population in Ireland was something like £1 a year, and the average cost of every member of the population of England was something like 6s. or 7s. a year, and he drew the conclusion that the Church of Ireland was much more richly endowed than that of England. Now, we have had a statement on that subject compiled by very high authority in Ireland—a synoptical account has been published—perhaps your Lordships may have seen it—by a Member by no means favourable to the view taken by the strongest defenders of that Church; but he admits that taking the Church population of Ireland, the parochial revenues for the support of the Church of Ireland divided among the Church population would give something like 10s. to 11s. a head for every member of that population. The great fallacy of comparing the case of Ireland with England is this—every person who compares England with Ireland takes the Church population of Ireland and considers how far the revenues would go for providing for the religious requirements of the Church population; but when he comes to England he takes the whole population, and assumes that every member of that population is a member of the Church. In that way you make a comparison, and say that every head in the population of England costs in religious provision 6s. or 7s. a year; but I believe if you take the Church population of England, I may affirm, without fear of contradiction, that the revenues of the Church of England are very much higher—nearly double those of the Church of Ireland. Let me ask your Lordships to observe another comparison between the two countries. I avoid again all debateable ground. I find that in Ireland, if you take benefices and holders of benefices, the average income of every holder of a benefice would be something like £250. The average number of members of the Church in a town parish is 1,590—that is, in a parish in the towns with over 10,000 inhabitants, 1,590. The average number in a rural parish is 376. A country parish averages twenty square miles. In England the average income is £285. The average population of a rural parish in 375 England is 387 members of the Established Church, and in Wales 248, and in place of parishes of twenty square miles the average is only five square miles. It may be said it is not fair to judge of this question by averages, and that instances may be given of parishes in Ireland where there is a very small number of the population members of the Established Church, and where, therefore, the revenues are altogether disproportioned to the duties performed. I have always been ready to admit that the revenues of the Established Church in Ireland were unequally distributed, and I have ever regretted that much which has been done in England since the passing of the Reform Bill has not been done on the same principle in Ireland. You have from time to time remedied anomalies in England; you have, through the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, altered ecclesiastical arrangements so as to equalize more fairly the revenues with the services performed. Very little since 1834 has been done in this direction in Ireland, and consequently it is very easy to put your hand on anomalies; but what I venture to state is, that, in a discussion going to the very root and principle of an Establishment, we have not to consider these questions. These are questions with regard to the internal economy of the Church; they are utterly immaterial in face of the proposition of the noble Earl to transfer the revenues, or part of them, from the Established Church to some other body. I pass, therefore, from the statistics of the question, and ask your Lordships simply to go with me to this extent, there is not shown to be any surplus whatever of the revenues of the Established Church, after providing for the whole service of the Church.
I now ask your Lordships to look at this question in another and a most important point of view. I wish to ask your Lordships to look at the matter in its social and political bearings. You have at present in Ireland a body of resident gentry, and of noblemen also, in the persons of the Clergy and Prelates of the Established Church. The noble Earl has admitted, as every one who speaks on the subject is always forced to admit, that a body more exemplary for the performance of their duty and more devoted to the high service with which they are charged, more in sympathy with the people and more worthy of praise, more self-denying and assiduous labourers in their sacred office, 376 could not be found in any part of the world. It has always been the great want for Ireland in the view of every one who has spoken on the subject, to provide for Ireland to the greatest possible extent a body of resident gentry who should live among the people of the country. Consider what the effect in this respect would be, either of the total overthrow of the Established Church, or of the alienation of the revenues of the Established Church in the manner proposed by the noble Earl. You would destroy, in the first place, this large—indeed, the largest—body of resident gentry at present in Ireland. You would at the same time seriously affect the position of all those other resident landowners who, at present, have staked their fortunes and property in Ireland upon the faith of having these ministrations of the Church to which they belong, with a resident clergy and all associations of the kind to which I have referred, around them. Is it possible to suppose that, in a country like Ireland, this can be done without producing, by such legislation on the part of owners of property there, feelings the most insecure, the most bitter, the most dissatisfied? This is no mere opinion of my own—no opinion stated now for the first time. The expressions from time to time used upon this subject by those to whose words your Lordships would listen with the greatest attention are stronger and more emphatic than any language of mine. The noble Earl said that he need not quote the opinion of Lord Plunket on this subject. I wish he had quoted the opinion of Lord Plunket, for a better opinion on this subject I could not desire to have. Lord Plunket was a strenuous advocate for Roman Catholic equality, and for the removal of every restraint upon Roman Catholics of which they could justly complain. What did he say upon this subject? He said—I feel that the Protestant Establishment of Ireland is the very cement of the Union; I find it interwoven with all the essential relations and institutions of the two kingdoms; and I have no hesitation in admitting that, if it were destroyed, the very foundations of public security would be shaken, the connection between England and Ireland dissolved, and the annihilation of private property must follow the ruin of the property of the Church.He said, further addressing your Lordships—My Lords, I say, sure I am that, if the alternative were put to him, the Roman Catholic would 377 prefer the Protestant Establishment in Church and State, under which security is afforded to his property, his family, and his life, to the wild and bad chimerical attempt to uproot the Protestant Establishment, which could only be done by shaking the foundation of the empire. The two countries must be separated before the Establishment can be abandoned. It should not be supposed that the Roman Catholics entertain any wish for the accomplishment of such an object.That was an opinion the noble Earl might have read, but he abstained from doing so. Take the opinion of a Roman Catholic—one who took a most active and intelligent part in the affairs and government of Ireland. The right hon. A. Blake said—The Protestant Church is rooted in the Constitution; it is established by the fundamental laws of the realm; it is rendered, as far as the most solemn Acts of the Legislature can render any institution, fundamental and perpetual; it is so declared by the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland. I think it could not now be disturbed without danger to the general securities we possess for liberty, property, and order—without danger to all the blessings we derive from being under a lawful Government and a free Constitution. Feeling thus, the very conscience which dictates to me a determined adherence to the Roman Catholic religion would dictate to me a determined resistance to any attempt to subvert the Protestant Establishment, or wresting from the Church the possessions which the law has given it.I come to more recent times. I take the opinion of another eminent Roman Catholic, recently a Member of the House of Commons, and distinguished by his uncompromising advocacy of what, he considered to be the fair claims of the Roman Catholics. Mr. Serjeant (now Mr. Justice) Shee said—The Church by law established is the Church of a community everywhere considerable in respect of property, rank, and intelligence; it is strong in a prescription of three centuries, and in the support which it derives from the supposed identity of its interests with those of the Church of England. Nothing short of a convulsion tearing up both Establishments by the roots could accomplish its overthrow.These are strong words coming from a Roman Catholic. The noble Earl said that he need not cite the words of Lord Plunket, nor of Members of the Liberal party, and he instanced one whose name will ever be mentioned in Parliament with respect—Sir George Grey. What did Sir George Grey, when a Colleague of the noble Earl, say on behalf of Government upon this subject, a few years ago? In 1863 Sir George Grey, speaking on behalf of the Government of Lord Palmerston in the House of Commons, and speaking, 378 therefore, on behalf of the noble Earl, said—Whatever I may think of the wisdom and policy of establishing an exclusive Church of the religion of a minority in a country, without making any provision for the religion of the majority of the inhabitants, it is impossibile to get rid of the fact that this Church has existed for centuries, has become interwoven with the institutions of the country, and could not be subverted without a revolution. That revolution I, for one, am not prepared to recommend.That was the view of the Government of which the noble Earl was a Member in 1863, and the noble Earl, when himself at the head of the Government last year, repeated this sentiment almost in the same words; but now, in the short space of one year, he is prepared to recommend a course which three years ago it was stated, on behalf of his Government, would be a course that must lead to revolution.
The noble Earl referred to a subject which I own seems to me to go to the root of the matter. He said, that among the many alternative modes of dealing with the Irish Church which had occurred to his mind, he had resolved to put aside the proposition which would secularize the incomes of the Established Church. He said that this was a proposition which would go to the very root of an Establishment in Ireland. I want your Lordships to consider what is the root, what is the principle of an Establishment either in Ireland or any other country. Depend upon it we are coming to times when our minds must be made up on this subject, and when we must be prepared, both in this House and elsewhere, to state what are the principles upon which an Establishment can be supported in part of this country. I listened to the noble Earl, and I expected he would lay down some principle upon which he would maintain it could be supported; but what did he say? He turned to Paley, who said an Establishment existed for "morality," if I rightly caught the word. [Earl RUSSELL: Utility.] "Utility!" Well, that is a very vague and comprehensive description of the purpose for which an Establishment exists. But, putting the purpose aside, I want to ask what is the principle which justifies the maintenance of an Establishment in any country? There are but two principles which I have ever heard advanced; and I am afraid we must make our selection between them. One is a principle plain and easy to be understood, and I have found it expressed, by a right 379 rev. Prelate, a Member of your Lordships' House, in words so precise that I will not attempt to substitute for them any language of my own. The right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Ossory) said—The true ground on which to justify an Ecclesiastical Establishment is, that the State is bound, by its duty both to God and to the people whom He has committed to its care, to provide for all who will avail themselves of the provision, the means of public worship, according to a pure ritual, and the means of public instruction, according to a sound and Scriptural confession of faith. This is the true ground for defending the Established Church in either country, and it is an equally valid defence for it in both.That is one principle. Whether your Lordships will all agree with it is another matter; but it is clearly, plainly, and eloquently expressed. I have the satisfaction of thinking, so far as principle is concerned, that we have the agreement of the highest authority in the Roman Catholic Church. Does Dr. Cullen disapprove of the Establishment in Ireland because it is not the Church of a majority in the country? Does he disapprove of it because it violates the rule of Paley, and does not exist for "utility?" Nothing of the kind; his objections are much more precise, and accord much more with the definition of the principle of an Establishment which I have read. Dr. Cullen says—Can we reconcile ourselves to the existence of an Establishment which proclaims the Bible, and nothing but the Bible, as the rule of faith, and grants to every one the right of thinking and acting as he wishes in religious matters?Of course, Dr. Cullen is quite at liberty to hold that opinion. I honour him for going to the root of the matter, and telling frankly his reason for objecting to the existence of the Church now established. But what is the other principle on which the right to religious endowments has been supported? It is the principle involved in the proposal of the noble Earl, and which was also shadowed forth a few years ago by an eminent statesman, a Colleague of the noble Earl (Mr. Gladstone) in the House of Commons, a right of all denominations to a proportionate share of the religious endowments of the country. Mr. Gladstone rested his argument against the Established Church in Ireland on this, that in a nation of between 5,000,000 and 6,000,000 of people, about 600,000 or 700,000 had exclusive possession of the ecclesiastical property of the country, intended to be applied to the religious instruction of all. Is that, or is it not, the 380 principle your Lordships are prepared to accept in regard to the religious endowments of this country? by which I mean not Ireland only, but England, Scotland, or any division of the Empire. Have the people of any part of the United Kingdom, of any parish in the United Kingdom, a right to say that the religious endowments of a country were intended to be appropriated for the religious purposes of all—that is to say, of all according to their varying and separate creeds and denominations? If that is to be the principle, I desire the fullest investigation of it. I think it ought to be laid down and agreed upon by Parliament, and acted upon afterwards consistently. If that is the principle, the conclusion is irresistible; every denomination in the country have a right, equivalent to a right of property, to say, "We shall have an aliquot share and proportion of the religious endowments of the country." That is not a principle for Ireland alone, but for the whole country. The noble Earl speaks of the degradation which a member of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland must feel when he considers that the ecclesiastical revenues of the country are monopolized by the Established Church. But why should not the same sense of degradation be felt by Nonconformists in England? I know that many Dissenters in this country would be content to accept endowments, and why could not a Dissenter of that class say, "I feel myself degraded because the religious endowments, which were intended for the instruction and use of all, are monopolized by the Established Church of the country?" Why, it appears from a statement which I believe may be relied upon that there are in Wales about 1,000 benefices, having each, according to the religious census of 1851, an average population of 1,300, and out of that number of persons in each parish 400 belonged, on the average, and according to the test then employed, to the Established Church, and 900 to the Dissenting communities. May not, then, the Dissenters of Wales say with as much justice as the Roman Catholics of Ireland, "We feel it a degradation that the revenues which were intended for the benefit of all should be given to a minority?" And, with regard to majorities and minorities, I hold that, if there is one man in a minority, the wrong to that individual man is, on this principle, as great as the wrong to each individual in a minority of thousands, if he 381 had not his aliquot share of the endowments which were intended for the benefit of all. This principle goes beyond the question of the Established Church in Ireland, for the Church of England must be tried by that principle as well as the branch of it in Ireland. My Lords, these questions might be pressed much further. Are the endowments to be shifted and varied from time to time as the minorities and majorities may change in their relative proportions? And does the noble Earl imagine that, admitting this principle, he will satisfy the Roman Catholic four-fifths of the population of Ireland with a share of two-fifths of the religious endowments?
And now, I want your Lordships to consider from what quarter the movement, of which the noble Earl opposite makes himself the pioneer, really comes. I believe your Lordships can make no greater mistake than to suppose it is a movement coming from Ireland. The fact is, that it originated about two years ago with a body in this country of whom I desire to speak with perfect respect, for, though they entertain very strong views, they urge them, as they have a right to do, with great consistency and vigour—I refer to the Liberation Society. That body is conscientiously opposed to all Ecclesiastical Establishments. But they select the branch of the Establishment in Ireland because they think it is the weakest branch, and the one which would be most ready to yield to an assault, and they accordingly proposed, about a couple of years ago, co-operation with the persons whom they regarded as the leaders of popular opinion in Ireland. It seems to have been thought that those who in Ireland were anxious for an alteration of the laws affecting the tenure of land would unite with those who, in this country, wished to attack all Church Establishments, in order that both parties might co-operate and form a strong party for the purpose of Parliamentary action. Now, I have no fault to find with that course of proceeding, but it is material to bear these circumstances in mind when we are told that this movement comes from Ireland. I am fortunately able to show your Lordships, on very sufficient authority, that there could be no greater mistake than to suppose that this question is the cause of any political agitation in Ireland. I remember that, not more than two years ago, a very eminent Member of the other House of 382 Parliament — himself a Roman Catholic and a very strong advocate of Roman Catholic questions—asserted that the relations between landlord and tenant in Ireland were the great question of the day, and that all other questions, without any exception, were trivial in comparison with it, and, in fact, mere questions of sentiment. I will not stop to examine into what the noble Earl has said about sentimental grievances, but I must say I think the cases he referred to of the American colonies, of Scotland and Belgium, were not cases of mere sentiment. However, I pass that by. And now let me call your Lordships' attention to a high authority on this matter. A very authoritative publication on behalf of the Roman Catholics is the Tablet newspaper, and it has expressed itself on this point in a way which I think is extremely instructive. In 1863 the Tablet said—We may perhaps be told that the distribution of the revenues of the Established Church in Ireland does not concern us (Roman) Catholics; and our answer will be that, for our own part, we do not feel much concern about it. As long as the greater part of the soil of Ireland is the property of Protestants, and as long as they, being the great majority of the tithe-payers, choose to spend their money in this particular way, we do not believe that Mr. Dillwyn or anybody else will hinder them. When the question comes to be settled (whether we live to see the settlement or not), it will, we believe, be settled as a question of money and of property, by those who at the time bear the burden and desire to change it.Again, the Cork Reporter, another Roman Catholic newspaper, said—The question of the Irish Established Church has, after a long interval, been again brought under the notice of the Legislature. We are glad that the subject has been introduced by a Protestant and an Englishman, and we shall be well pleased if no Roman Catholic take part in its discussion. The Irish Roman Catholics, it seems to us, have little interests in the temporalities of the Establishment. The income derived from the tithe-rent charges comes out of the pockets of the proprietors of the soil, the great majority of whom are Protestants; and the (Roman) Catholics would gain very little, in a pecuniary sense, were that source of Church revenue abandoned to-morrow. The only aspect in which the Establishment can be said to present itself offensively to the Irish (Roman) Catholics is as an emblem of conquest, upheld in pomp and privilege by the power of England. That, in this aspect, it is objectionable and injurious no sane man can doubt. But, regarded simply as an institution which it costs so much per annum to maintain, it is a burden on a handful of Protestant landowners, and not on the (Roman) Catholic people, who derive more actual benefit from the income of the resident parson than they would from the same 383 money if it were paid over to the absentee landlord.My Lords, I will not deal farther with newspaper statements, because they may not carry sufficient weight with your Lordships; but I will cite the opinions expressed by dignitaries of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. An address was published at the end of the year 1865 by the Tenant-right Society of the county of Meath. It is a very remarkable document, and the more so because the Society was inaugurated at a meeting of priests of the county of Meath, which meeting was attended by the Bight Rev. Dr. Nulty, Roman Catholic Bishop of the diocese, and because the address was issued at an adjourned meeting, presided over by the Roman Catholic Vicar-General. The address was signed by the Chairman and by the two Secretaries, who are both of them priests, and was in the following terms:—If the Government likes to conciliate and pacify the Irish mind, now in such a state of wild commotion, we frankly believe it has it in its power to do so by granting to the industrial property of this country as large and as satisfactory a measure of security as that enjoyed by the landed property of Ireland. When the right of the whole people to anything virtually concerning their very existence is clear, it should be secured to them by Government, if it be a Government at all. The one, the great, the sole question for Ireland is the land question. Other agitations, such as that against the Established Church, are got up for party purposes—would infuse an element of bigotry into the already sufficiently disturbed relations between landlord and tenant; would effect the ruin of thousands of tenants, and precipitate that social catastrophe which we are anxious to avert.I think I have now established this position—that this is an agitation which proceeds not from Ireland, not from Roman Catholics as against Protestants, but one which proceeds from those who are opposed to all Ecclesiastical Establishments as against those who are in favour of such Establishments. I say again that this is a fair question to be argued, but I beseech your Lordships not to make Ireland the battle-field on which it is to be fought, because the moment you transfer it to be argued in Ireland you make it what it ought not to be—namely, a question between Protestant and Roman Catholic, whereas it is in reality a question between Establishment and no Establishment. We have sources enough, God knows, of animosities between Roman Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, and I beseech your Lordships not to make this another of 384 them. Look back for a moment on the history of the Church question in that country. About thirty years ago you had heart-rending accounts day by day of collisions between the peasantry and the soldiery, and of assaults, loss of life, riot and disorder, all directly occasioned by the collisions to which I have referred, arising out of the collection of tithes. But wise legislation put an end to that sad state of things, and for nearly a quarter of a century there has been perfect peace and quiet throughout the country as far as that subject is concerned. The Church property has been so completely isolated that it cannot become the cause of collisions between different classes of the inhabitants. The glebe-lands are peaceably occupied by the clergy, the tithe-rent charge is paid by the landlords, and improvements have been introduced in regard to Bishops' leases. But you are now asked to re-open a question pregnant with all the consequences which I have endeavoured to point out. My Lords, because I feel the gravity of these objections to the scheme of the noble Earl; because I see in its conception injustice, and even confiscation; in its execution strife—bitter and enduring strife and animosity; and because, above all, I see in its result insecurity to property, and peril—perhaps not immediate, but not the less certain peril — to the Established Church in this country, I beseech your Lordships to give no assent and no encouragement to the Motion of the noble Earl in its present form.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
My Lords, I think it must have been a relief to some of the noble Lords opposite to hear the speech of the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns), which, without at all detracting from his talents and character, I may characterize as a speech of "no surrender." The noble and learned Lord, speaking with his wonted ability, has put forward the arguments usually put forward on behalf of the Established Church in Ireland; but I think your Lordships will feel that the noble and learned Lord has proved too much, because he has proved that the Established Church in Ireland is no grievance at all, and that, if you touch it, you bring to the ground the Established Church in England. Now, if that proposition be adopted, it will be impossible for any Government, now or hereafter, to deal with the Established Church in Ireland, no 385 matter what may be its position or what the condition of that country. I pass over the observations with which the noble and learned Lord commenced. He thought it worth his while to notice a mistake in the preface of a book written by my noble Friend; which may have been a mistake in figures; but I. do not think that such an error is of importance in the discussion of such a question as that now under your Lordship's consideration. The noble and learned Lord then proceeded in a manner which I must say astonished me. He quoted a series of speeches made by noble Lords and right hon. Gentlemen belonging to the party with which I have the honour to be connected; but I think noble Lords opposite must have felt, when they heard those extracts, that if any noble Lord had thought proper to rake up speeches delivered in former times he might have made some very curious quotations from speeches by Members of their own party. I think, were I disposed to follow the example thus set to the House, that I might show how the Conservatives have resisted every kind of Reform, until the time arrived when, compelled by the voice of the country and the necessities of the times, they turned round and carried those very measure which they had before condemned. First of all there was the great question of Catholic Emancipation—a subject germane to this one now under discussion. The demand for Catholic emancipation was resisted for years by the party opposite; but they afterwards supported it when they found it could no longer be resisted. Then there was the Corn Law question: but those are questions of ancient date, which we might suppose to be forgotten except as matters of history. We may ask, however, what happened last Session, and what has taken place in this present Session of Parliament? Would it be any use to come here and say that noble Lords opposite held certain opinions on Reform last Session, but have turned round now and adopted contrary opinions—that last year they thought a moderate reduction in the franchise could not be made without imminent danger to the Constitution; and that this Session they have themselves introduced a very much larger measure of Reform, in order that by it the Constitution might be saved? I am quite sure that either side is liable to attacks of this kind—the Liberal party for having advanced opinions which, when in office, they were 386 prevented by the circumstances of the times from carrying into effect—the Conservative party for having, when in Opposition, opposed measures which they ask Parliament to pass when they find themselves pressed with the responsibilities of office. The noble and learned Lord took very high, though very old, ground. He argued that the possessions of ecclesiastical corporations are like those of individuals, and should always remain inviolate, and that, therefore, no Government may touch the property of the Established Church in Ireland.
§ LORD CAIRNS
Allow me to say that I expressly avoided that proposition. What I said was, that so long as an ecclesiastical corporation had a proper means of applying the funds intended for its use, every one agreed those funds could not be taken away.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
I accept the explanation; but I must say that the noble and learned Lord referred to the titles of noble Lords in this House, alluded to the Act of Settlement, and told us that the property of the Established Church was held on exactly the same basis as that of any of those noble Lords. At least I understood him to do so; but of course I am open to correction, I do not think the noble and learned Lord is singular in the view he takes; I believe it is held by a great many other persons. But is it to be supposed that there is no point at which the Government would be justified in dealing with the Irish Church. Let us bring it to a practical test in this way:—Suppose that the Members of the Established Church in Ireland dwindled down to 100,000, should we still be bound not to interfere with the temporalities of that Church? If the principle laid down by the noble and learned Lord be good, we should be so bound; but if, as I hold it to be, it is a question of degree, though, as a rule, it is not desirable to touch the property of an ecclesiastical corporation so long as you respect the vested rights of the present holders, the State has a just right to deal with the reversion, if by so doing it works for the good of the whole nation. But my noble Friend (Earl Russell) makes a proposal which, I think, is more moderate and just. He does not hold by the old proposal so well known as the Appropriation Clause. When it was proposed to secularize a portion of the property, of the Established Church, many men felt a conscientious objection to 387 that course. My noble Friend proposes to avoid the rock on which that measure split by providing that the Church property shall still continue to be devoted to the purposes of religion. In considering this proposition, let me call attention to the history of Ireland and her present position. What are the facts of the case? The Established Church in Ireland has been regarded by the great bulk of the population as an emblem of conquest. My noble Friend who introduced the question (Earl Russell) pointed out that the Established Church in Ireland is the Church of a very small minority of the whole Irish population; and when the noble and learned Lord compares it with the English Establishment, or the Scotch Establishment, he omits that very important point. At the present time the members of the Established Church in Ireland scarcely number one-eighth of the population. Apply that to Scotland. Taking the population of Scotland at 3,000,000, a minority of one-eighth would be 375,000. If James II. had succeeded in forcing the Episcopalian Church on Scotland, and that at the present day its members only amounted to 375,000, do you think the Scotch people would be satisfied with the existence of such an Establishment? I am convinced that no such arguments as we have heard from the noble and learned Lord would be heard in support of such a state of things either in England or Scotland. If ever the Established Church of England or the Established Church of Scotland should find itself in the position of the Irish Established Church, I venture to say its days will be numbered — or, rather, the numbering its days would be impracticable, so swift, so rapid, would be the destruction which would fall upon it. Why, then, should we not apply the same principle, in justice and equity, to Ireland? The question is, on what principle ought we to proceed? In former times we proceeded on an obvious and intelligible principle. We said it was the duty of the State to teach the truth, and that, as the Established Church taught the truth, we must press it on the entire population, though it was only the Church of the minority, and that minority to some extent alien. We pressed it by persecution; and it is possible that such a system might have succeeded under other circumstances. It has succeeded in other places, such as Spain. But we were not logical. In 1829 we turned round and adopted 388 quite another policy. We gave strength to the Roman Catholics; we raised their spirit, and made them feel that they ought to have equal rights; yet we do not give them that equality which we led them by our measures to ask. Can we suppose that this question can long remain in its present state? No one, even the most extreme person, proposes that you should touch existing interests; but, adopting one of the alternatives referred to by the noble and learned Lord, is the voluntary system one which we ought to contemplate with satisfaction? That, no doubt, is what the Liberation Society would desire, because they are anxious to have that system adopted in England and Scotland. But those who desire the maintenance of the Established Church in England, of whom I am one, would not like to see such a result arrived at in Ireland; and I am convinced that it will be arrived at if some such plan as that recommended by the noble Earl be not adopted. The other course is to carry out still further the principle of the Regium Donum and the grant to Maynooth.
I am very far from saying that I do not see grave and serious difficulties in the proposal of my noble Friend. But I think my noble Friend was perfectly justified in bringing this subject again under the consideration of Parliament, as was done last year by my noble Friend on the cross-benches (Earl Grey). There was once an opportunity, when Mr. Pitt was in power, of bringing about a settlement of this question. There may be another opportunity now; but depend upon it will be the last; and I am quite certain that, whatever the difficulties, it will be well worth the while of Parliament and of the country to consider what would be the advantages of such a scheme. What I greatly fear, in dealing with this question of the Church, is, that if you are not very careful you will alienate the Protestants from you, and you will not conciliate the Catholics. Nothing could be a greater mistake than to alienate the sympathies of the Protestant population. There cannot be a doubt that they are the strongest friends of England, and that on all occasions they have shown themselves deeply and warmly attached to the English connection. We are bound by our own interests and by the tenour of our whole history to see that they are supported and cherished. While we do justice to the Roman Catholics, I, for one, will never consent to any 389 measure which will abandon or desert the Protestants. But I cannot conceive why a compromise, such as my noble Friend by his Motion has pointed out, should not be accepted, why Protestants should repel it with abhorrence, or why they should desire that Roman Catholics should be treated otherwise than with justice. They cannot object to it as a recognition on the part of the State of that which they believe to be evil and wrong, because the State not only does not endorse such a view, but by its endowment of Maynooth expressly recognizes and supports the Roman Catholic Religion. They cannot deny that it would be a national measure, because the Churches of all the principal sects that make up the nation would then be recognized, and the Church system would be adapted to the requirements of the various sections of the population. If such a proposition can be carried into effect, it affords a means of escape from an alternative much to be deplored. It has often been said that the Roman Catholics themselves would reject a scheme of endowment; and I believe that as long as they think that by a scheme of endowment you have some plan to obtain State control over the appointment of their Bishops, or to interfere with their peculiar mode of managing their own Church, so long will the indisposition to endowment continue. But I see no reason why, if you bring them to believe that, you will give them a share of Church revenues without any such interference, they should not be perfectly willing to accept their share of religious endowment. In the grant of the Regium Donum there is a clear precedent for giving to Irishmen not belonging to the Established Church a share in the endowments of the State; and in this way some fair settlement is capable, I believe, of being accomplished of a great and difficult question, which has been called a sentimental grievance, but which, because it is a sentimental, is therefore a dangerous grievance. If you deal with it, I believe you will make the population feel—what it is most important they should feel—that they are treated equally. Let me say a word in answer to those who think that remedial measures have no effect upon opinion in Ireland. I remember having been much struck with an article in one of the Fenian newspapers, headed "Remedial Measures"—for one may be taught even by an enemy. What did the Fenians say on this subject? They 390 said, "Let us hear no more of remedial measures. Remedial measures have done us too much injury already. They have alienated from us the professional classes"—and those who remember the part which barristers took in former outbreaks will see the force of that remark—"they have alienated from us the high commercial classes, the class of Catholic landed proprietors, who otherwise would have favoured us. Let there be no more such measures, or it may happen that they will alienate from us the mass of the population, and rebellion in Ireland will then become impossible." What the Fenian writer did not desire is precisely what I wish to see accomplished. I wish to see the passing of remedial measures; and believing that a measure such as my noble Friend has recommended is one that will do something to meet the wants of Ireland, I cordially support the Motion which he has brought forward.
THE BISHOP OF OSSORY
expressed a hope that the terms of the Amendment of which he had given notice, and to which he hoped their Lordships would assent, would show that the friends of the Church in Ireland did not fear the results of such an inquiry as the noble Earl's Motion proposed to institute. He believed that, on the contrary, there was not a well-judging friend of the Church who did not feel that it had a great deal more to hope than to dread from the most searching inquiry, provided it were honestly conducted, and embraced all the facts of the case. The friends of the Church were well aware that such an inquiry would bring out some weak points in its case; but they felt sure that it would bring out some strong points also. And while they readily acknowledged that an institution like the Church was not to be judged by its strong points, they submitted that neither was it to be judged by its weak points—but by a fair consideration of both—both the strong points and the weak—by a fair consideration in fact of the whole case, fairly presented for consideration. Hitherto the Church in Ireland had suffered in public estimation in England, not merely by partial exhibitions of its case, in which all the strong points were kept out of eight and the weak ones only put forward—but by exaggerations of its weak points, so gross and extravagant as never had been ventured upon with reference to any other subject in which the public took any interest whatever. Nor were these exaggerations confined to rhetoric, for the 391 successes of which some abatement is generally made; but the most extravagant general misrepresentations were sustained by precise statistical statements, from which no one thinks of making similar deductions for the simple reason that if they are erroneous, it cannot be from heat, or haste, or inadvertence. It can only be the result of design. And yet these arithmetical statements contained exaggerations, to the full, as gross as any of the flights of oratory which they were brought forward to sustain. In charges against the Church in Ireland, the force of which entirely depended upon the contrast between the small Church population of Irish parishes and dioceses, and the corresponding large population in England, the small numbers were made deliberately smaller, and the large numbers larger, before they were used. Incredible as it must sound, he said, the true numbers for Ireland were divided by five, by ten, by twelve, and even by twenty and more, in these statements. And the large numbers were multiplied in the same way, though not to the same extent. He felt that such a statement was not to be made without proof; and, unwilling as he was to trespass on the attention of their Lordships, who must be little disposed after the excellent speech of the noble and learned Lord who spoke after the noble Earl, to listen to everything on the same side, he must ask leave to bring forward a few examples in support of the strong statement which he had made. And after adducing some examples from Hansard, he proceeded to say, that he trusted that few as these instances were, they would be felt to justify all that he had stated of the grossness and extravagance of the misrepresentations of the Church in Ireland which had been put forward even in Parliament. And if the proposed inquiry conferred no other benefit upon the Church than securing it from a repetition of such shameless misrepresentation, there would be a sufficient reason for not opposing the Motion. But he hoped that it would not only put on record an authoritative contradiction of such calumnies, but would also record authoritatively the true state of the case. This had been long ago ascertained, and had been stated again and again. And the same might be said of everything with reference to the Church into which the Motion proposed to inquire; but some advantage might be expected from restating it on the authority of the proposed Commission as the result of their investigation of 392 the case. And, in addition to these reasons for expecting benefit to the Church from such an inquiry, he might add that, as a matter of experiment, it had actually derived no small benefit from more limited inquiries in times past. It had more than once happened that the Papist calumnies against the Church had been perseveringly circulated and fully believed until the results of official inquiries into the points so misrepresented were made known, and that they had then come to an end. He gave as examples of this effect of inquiry the calumnies against the clergy as exacting and rigorous in the collecting of tithe, which were believed for generations in England and on the Continent, and which were finally and triumphantly refuted by the inquiry into the amount of tithe collected in Ireland, when the composition for tithe was introduced by law. And, again, another instance was supplied by the extravagant exaggerations of the wealth of the Church, which were continually repeated until Lord Althorp was enabled by official examination of the case to expose and denounce them. He anticipated similar results from the proposed inquiry, and therefore his Amendment did not propose to restrain or limit it. He only desired to interpose a safeguard to prevent the inquiry from being made the foundation of an attempt to divert a portion of the Church revenues from their proper purposes. The part of the Motion which he proposed to leave out was, in fact, a revival of the old Appropriation Clause in rather a stronger form than the noble Earl had ventured to propose it more than thirty years ago. It was then resisted strenuously by the friends of the Church, both on grounds of policy and of principle, and, after a few years contest the noble Author of it was forced to abandon it. All the reasons which were then successfully urged against it were at least as strong against this revival of it. He had no doubt that they would be brought forward again with the same effect if the question should be again debated. He trusted, however, that it would not be necessary to re-argue that question; but that the vote of their Lordships' House on his Amendment would prevent this renewed attempt to despoil the Church from reaching a stage in which it would be necessary to reproduce the powerful arguments by which the defenders of the Church of a former day had defeated it.
§ An Amendment moved to leave out the Words after "Management" to the end of the Motion for the Purpose of inserting the Words "and also as to the Means by which they may be made best to promote the Efficiency of the Established Church in Ireland."—(The Lord Bishop of Ossory, &c.)
THE BISHOP OF DOWN AND CONNOR
said, he should have preferred to remain silent upon this occasion, but he was so deeply impressed with the gravity of the proposal to reconstruct the temporalities of the Irish Church Establishment that he felt bound to speak. He well remembered that on one occasion the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) when Member for Belfast had visited his diocese, and had spoken forcibly with reference to the anomalies existing in the Irish Church. He said those anomalies should not be permitted to exist, and that statesmen should apply themselves as practical men to the task of doing away with them. He (the Bishop of Down and Connor) fully concurred in those sentiments; but, while thanking the noble and learned Lord for the manner in which he had on several occasions defended the Irish Church, and for the kind and generous manner in which he had spoken of the Prelates and clergy of Ireland, he could not help regretting that in his speech of this evening he had not suggested a single expedient for redressing the anomalies of which he had before so grievously complained. He (the Bishop of Down and Connor) fully concurred in the opinion that the surplus revenues of the Church should be devoted to subjects not purely ecclesiastical, but of a kindred character, and he would state therefore what he believed would be a just and reasonable compromise, and what his reasons were for so thinking. He would not weary their Lordships by going at any length at that hour into dry statistics, but it was necessary to refer to a few of the most striking anomalies, because it was to the existence and the defence of such as these that he believed the greater portion of the agitation and irritation which prevailed both in and out of the Church was attributable. There were thirty-four benefices in Ireland, in which the whole population belonging to the Established Church numbered only 199 persons, whilst the population not belonging to the Established Church numbered no fewer than 45,000, and the per 394 centage of revenue per head was £20 for each Protestant. Anomalies, however, of an isolated character were no doubt to be found in every Church; but many more instances of this kind could be adduced. In three dioceses in Ireland, presided over by three Bishops, and containing 4,500,000 statute acres, out of 1,110,000 inhabitants, only 44,000 were members of the Established Church, for whose spiritual necessities three Bishops, ten deans, eleven archdeacons, and 315 clergymen were maintained. While this was the case, there were other districts in which the revenues were perfectly inadequate to the spiritual necessities. The see, for instance, over which he himself presided, contained one-fourth of all the members of the Established Church in Ireland; but instead of possessing a corresponding proportion of the total revenue, the income derived for the purposes of the Church did not exceed one-eleventh. He would now suggest a remedy for the existing state of things—though he was perfectly aware that in so doing he was undertaking a very unpopular and thankless task. He did not feel called upon to enter upon the question which had been introduced into the debate—the endowment of the Roman Catholic Church; he would simply confine himself, as a Prelate of the Church of Ireland, to considering how that Church might be rendered more efficient for the discharge of the important and responsible duties confided to her. He would, in the first place, take all the revenues of the Established Church in Ireland, from whatever source derived, and have them distributed from one common fund, a plan which would, he believed, in itself go far towards allaying the present agitation. He would then give to landlords the power of redeeming the revenues by so many years' purchase, and would sell the extra glebes, not wanted for the purposes of the clergy, to the landholders in the neighbourhood of whose property they were situated. In reference to his own order, he might state that, with 1,500 benefices, and 2,100 clergymen, Ireland possessed two Archbishops and ten Bishops—a state of things which even the most zealous supporter of an increase to the Episcopate could never hope to see in England. The 1,500 benefices and the 2,980 clergymen might fairly be reduced by amalgamation to 1,300 of the former and 2,000 of the latter, while six Bishops and one Archbishop might fairly undertake 395 their management. This would not give an average of more than 186 benefices and 286 churches for each Bishop. The benefices should be classed according to their population; the income of each clergyman being regulated by the class in which his benefice was placed. Speaking on behalf of the working clergy of Ireland, he desired to see the funds of that Church supplemented by private benevolence to be applied to the education of the children of the clergy. He should not object to the surplus revenues of the Church being applied to such objects as the education of the Church's children, and to the relief of the Church's poor. In order to fully carry out such a proposition, it would be necessary for the landowners in Ireland to sacrifice a portion of their tithe rent-charges. If this proposal were carried into effect they would no longer see clergymen without benefices and flocks in a state of spiritual destitution. In reference to what had been said of the feelings of the Irish peasantry towards the clergy of the Established Church, he denied that those feelings were embittered by anything like a general tone of animosity. It was a mistake that the Roman Catholic population in Ireland regarded the Protestant clergy with hostility. Except in parishes where local agitation prevailed, the Roman Catholic population regarded the Protestant clergymen in the light of a kind friend and a generous neighbour. The Roman Catholics of Ireland had not forgotten that when a dark shadow was cast over her land, when her children were being wasted by famine and pestilence, the clergy of the Established Church endeavoured to relieve their wants, and gave them their sympathy and succour regardless of party or religious differences. He did not know whether or not Her Majesty's Government had determined to issue the Commission now moved for; but he warned the noble Earl at the head of Her Majesty's Government, in case he decided to grant the application — the policy of which course he very much doubted—not to permit the Commission to represent the views or be bound by the rules or objects of a Society called the Church Institution. To that society he once belonged; but he had withdrawn from it because he conceived it to be a mere political organization for party purposes; and he ventured, with all courtesy and deference, to inform the Goverment that if it consented to receive deputations 396 from that Society it would ill discharge its solemn obligations to the State or show its attachment to the Church. Their Lordships might have heard this statement with surprise; but their surprise would cease when he told them that that Institution had drawn up a code of instructions to bind and govern the Commission, and that that code had been placed in the hands of the noble Earl at the head of the Government. [The EARL OF DERBY said, that he had not received such a document.] He had been misinformed upon that point; but he could assure their Lordships that to carry out the views of that Society would not conduce to the happiness of the people of Ireland. He would conclude by warning their Lordships that it was the mistaken friends of the Church who endeavoured to palliate or excuse the anomalies which he had attempted to bring before them. Let those mistaken friends beware of what they are doing, and recollect the warning contained in the Sibylline Leaves—Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat.
THE EARL OF CLANCARTY
My Lords, the importance of the subject under discussion to that part of the United Kingdom with which I am connected will, I trust, justify my addressing to your Lordships a few observations. To the Amendment that the right rev. Prelate has moved to the Address proposed by the noble Earl opposite (Earl Russell), I should give a most cordial support, were it not for the views expressed by the right rev. Prelate who has just sat down, who contemplates, as the result of the proposed inquiry, the introduction of very extensive changes in the Church Establishment, including a reduction of the Episcopate from ten to seven, and of the parochial clergy from its present number (already inadequate to the requirements of the ministry) to 2,000, and the creation thereby of a surplus revenue to be made applicable to educational purposes—in fact a revival of the old Appropriation Clause. But, although I cannot subscribe to the peculiar views of that right rev. Prelate, I am so strongly of opinion that a more economical application of the revenues of the Church would, by increasing its efficiency, conduce to the spread of religion in Ireland, that I hope the noble Earl at the head of the Government will concur in the Amendment of the proposed Address. It would, however, be desirable, nay, necessary, should the Amendment be 397 agreed to, that the Commissioners should be instructed to take up the question of Church patronage, and to report whether any and what changes could be made in it consistently with vested rights, inasmuch as any measures that would affect the value of benefices favourably, or otherwise, would proportionately affect the value of advowsons. It would also be very desirable, as the endeavour has been made to exhibit the Establishment as wealthy beyond its requirements, to inquire and report what aids it receives from voluntary sources, from the Spiritual Aid Society, the Society for Irish Church Missions, the Irish Society, private benefactions, and from the endowments of proprietary churches. The amount of voluntary aid to the ministry of the Church, I think would show, not only that it has much need of such aid, but that its ministrations are highly valued. Although the Motion of the noble Earl would appear to involve the case of Ireland only, none who consider from whence the agitation against the Established Church in Ireland proceeds—for I do not concur with the noble and learned Lord who spoke second (Lord Cairns) that the anti-Church endowment party or the Liberation Society is the originator of the movement this evening inaugurated—none who are aware that it springs from the inveterate hostility of the Roman Catholic hierarchy to the Protestant religion and Protestant Government of the United Kingdom can, unless a total stranger to the policy of Rome, feel any doubt that the uprooting of both one and the other, and the establishment of Papal rule upon the ruins of British Protestantism, is the object that the hierarchy will constantly aim at until it is accomplished. It may be said that I am speaking in direct contradiction of a solemn declaration made and subscribed by no less than thirty Archbishops and Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland—in fact, by the whole body of that prelacy—and so I am. The following declaration of theirs in 1826 is recorded by one of their own body, the celebrated Dr. Doyle, Roman Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin:—The Catholics of Ireland, far from claiming any right or title to forfeited lands, resulting from any right, title, or interest which their ancestors may have had therein, declare upon oath that they will defend to the utmost of their power the settlement and arrangement of property in this country as established by the laws now in being. They also disclaim, disavow, and solemnly adjure, any intention to subvert the present Church Establishment 398 for the purpose of substituting a Catholic Establishment in its stead; and further, they swear that they will not exercise any privilege, to which they are or may be entitled, to disturb and weaken the Protestant religion and Protestant Government in Ireland.But this declaration, at once so solemn and so full on the part of the hierarchy, while the Relief Bill was in the balance, does not appear to have been held in respect by their successors at the present day, for we find the assurances then given flung to the winds by Archbishop Cullen, who, at the head of seven Roman Catholic Bishops, were parties, on the 29th of December, 1864, to a Resolution to this effect—That we demand the dis-endowment of the Established Church in Ireland as a condition without which social peace and stability, general respect for the laws, and unity of sentiment and of action for national objects can never prevail in Ireland.Does the noble Earl (Earl Russell) truly believe that the prosperity of Ireland will be advanced by his agitation against the Established Church? Does he really believe that the happiness and well-being of the Irish people would be promoted by its subversion? Why, then, did he not during the long series of years that he either presided over, or was an influential Member of the Cabinet, and while he was supported by a strong party and favoured with the full confidence of his Sovereign — and when, therefore, the duty was more especially laid upon him to advise and to act for the good of the people, why did he not then attempt to remove the anomaly and the grievance that he now represents the Church to be? Was it not his duty to do so then, when he had the power, and would properly have been held responsible for its exercise, rather than now, when I hope he has not the power, and, when acting with the immunity of an irresponsible agent, he can only disturb the public mind by his proceedings? Has Ireland not suffered enough from the Fenian conspiracy that was allowed, under the late Government, to mature unchecked until it was upon the eve of producing a bloody rebellion, that the noble Earl now comes forward to add to her sorrows by evoking, with all the influence of his character as a statesman and philanthropist, the demon of sectarian hatred with which it is but justice to the Fenians to say that Fenianism, though confined to the Roman Catholic population, was untainted? While the noble Earl was in office, he appeared to be actuated by very different views. The Administration 399 with which he was connected gave no countenance to the agitation of the Church question; but, on the contrary, when the Church was attacked, took up its defence. Thus, in 1865, we find Sir George Grey, in opposition to Mr. Ayrton's Motion, thus speaking of the Irish Church—It rests upon the prescription of centuries, it is rooted in our institutions. The firm belief of the Government is that it could not be subverted without revolution, with all the horrors that attended revolution."—[3 Hansard, clxxviii. 400.]The late Chancellor of the Exchequer also, in vindication of the character of the Church, thus expressed himself—My belief is that as far as abuses, in the common sense of the word, are concerned—that is, those which depend on the conduct of the bishops and clergy, and which are remediable by the wisdom and energy of the clerical body, or the purity of life of its lay members—it is my belief that the Irish Church is perfectly free from such abuses. We must all accord to that Church this praise; that the clergy are a body of zealous and devoted ministers, who give themselves to the high purposes of their sacerdotal functions in a degree not inferior to those of any Christian Church."—[Ibid, 420.]Such were the sentiments of those who, in the noble Earl's Government, very lately defended the Church he is now assailing. His Protestantism stood high in public estimation. As the advocate of the open Bible, his words at a meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society have been often quoted and always carried great weight, as well from their intrinsic good sense as from the personal character of him by whom they were spoken, and it will not readily be forgotten in what strong—I may say unmeasured—terms, at the period of the Papal aggression, he denounced, in his celebrated Durham Letter, the character of the Papal system, as one that "confined the intellect and enslaved the soul." The noble Earl, in now coming forward to attack the Church, may assist the designs of the Roman Catholic hierarchy; but unless he goes over and reads his recantation he will not be accepted by them as a trustworthy ally. They will regard him only as a rash, fickle, and inconsistent Protestant. Neither will he thus win the confidence of the Roman Catholic laity. The testimonies of Roman Catholic gentlemen of such respectability as the late Mr. Anthony Blake and Mr. Serjeant Shee, as well as of the great advocate of the Roman Catholic claims, the late Lord Chancellor Plunket, are conclusive of the feeling of the educated portion of the Roman Catholic laity upon the subject of the Established 400 Church; and if any man more than another knew what his countrymen regarded as grievances, that man was the late Mr. O'Connell. Yet not one word does he utter of hostility to the Protestant Church on that occasion on which of all others he endeavoured to collect and detail the grievances of the Irish people—I mean on the occasion of his Motion for the Repeal of the Union. In his long and able speech he reviewed all the grievances, both before and after the Union, arising from Ireland's connection with England, and the Protestant Church was not among them, and in noticing the articles of the Union itself, of which the inviolability of the Church Establishment is named as a fundamental condition, not one word of complaint does there appear of the provision therein made for the security of the Church. This is, it is true, but negative evidence. I do not say that he was attached to the Church; but a few years after the Church Temporalities Act had passed, reducing the number of bishops and archbishops by half, his only observation on it was a taunt to the Government that they had deprived the country of so many respectable resident gentlemen. I do not suppose that the noble Earl knows the Irish people better than Mr. O'Connell, or than the authorities regarding their sentiments that have been quoted here this evening. It is therefore probable that he will not earn by his proceeding this evening the popularity for which he seeks. A much stronger argument, however, against the Establishment than any we have heard this evening has lately been suggested in "another place" by Mr. Gladstone, who is reported to have said that the Protestant Church cannot be upheld on the ground of truth. My Lords, if this argument could be justified as one to be brought against the Church, I would say, not that the Church cannot, but that it ought not, to be upheld, for the State is not justified in teaching as Divine truth that which it does not believe to be so. But how does Mr. Gladstone attempt to establish his argument. His words do not lead me to believe that he spoke from his own convictions. But he refers to the establishment of Maynooth College. "If, says he, "you maintain the Established Church in Ireland on the ground of truth, you cannot, at the same time, maintain a priesthood who teach the people that the truth is not in that Church." My Lords, I must leave to the supporters of the Maynooth Act to 401 defend its inconsistency with their Protestantism—a creed that rests upon God's Word. Very evil, indeed, will be the day, if ever it arrives, that the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall not be able, by an overwhelming majority, including even supporters of the Maynooth grant, to affirm that the Bible—the religion of the Bible, which is the Protestant religion—is the truth. Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and other nonconformist Protestants form a great Protestant community, and the Church established in connection with the State is a guarantee for its maintenance; and I trust that the light of a pure and Scriptural Christianity will ever be thereby maintained by it in this free country.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
My Lords, I hope the time may soon come—I wish heartily it had come already—when we might adopt in regard to the affairs of Ireland the same course which is almost uniformly adopted in regard to the affairs of Scotland—when we may leave to those Members of both Houses of Parliament who are connected with those countries the debating and the management of their own affairs. As matters now stand, we cannot help thinking and feeling that the affairs of Ireland are matters of Imperial concern. In intruding myself in a matter which is undoubtedly, eminently, and peculiarly Irish, I come to the consideration of it from a point of view somewhat different from that of the noble Earl, but I think it will not be found less favourable to the people of Ireland. I cannot help asking myself—and I am led to do it again, by the admirable and solid speech of the noble Earl who opened the discussion—what would have been the condition of Scotland, what would have been the feeling of its people now, if a religious communion numbering less than one-eighth or one-seventh of the whole population had been placed by the Imperial Parliament, or rather, I ought to say, by the English Parliament and by the force of English troops, in exclusive possession of the whole ecclesiastical property of the country? I can only say that if my most rev. Friend who now presides over the see of Dublin had been sent to preside over the diocese of Edinburgh, much and deeply as I respect and admire him—I will not say that I should have thrown at him the three-legged stool to which my noble Friend referred—but I do say I should have left no stone unturned, with the great majority of my countrymen, until 402 by legal and constitutional means I had asserted for the Presbyterian majority of the people that equality of civil rights which is due to them by English justice. It is the misfortune of every discussion on the Church of Ireland—shall I say it is the misfortune?—in some respects it is the advantage—but it is a peculiarity of every discussion in regard to the Church of Ireland that we are plunged at once into a discussion of first principles. I was delighted, therefore, to hear the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns), who answered the noble Earl in a speech characterized by much acuteness and ability, direct the attention of your Lordships and the country to a question of fundamental principle—namely, how are we to define an Established Church? I would rather put the question in another form. It is a more definite question, and goes more directly to the point. The question is, what are tithes? That is a fundamental question as regards the argument founded upon property. Here I would direct the attention of the House to the wording of the Motion of my noble Friend. It asks for an inquiry into the property and revenues of the Established Church of Ireland. I do not know whether the noble Earl meant to indicate a distinction between property and revenues, which is nevertheless important; and it is an answer to one of the arguments of the noble and learned Lord. The Established Church of Ireland is in possession of funds which, in the strictest sense of the word, may be called property. It is also in possession of funds which are not property, but are in the nature of revenue, at the disposal of the Imperial Legislature. Since the Reformation, the Established Church of Ireland has received very large benefactions from private persons. It has also received these glebe lands to which the noble and learned Lord referred. In regard to them, various questions, into which I shall not now enter, may fairly be raised. Whether or not they belong to the same category as tithes; undoubtedly they stand upon a somewhat different footing from tithes. I ask what are tithes? I venture to maintain, against the authority of the noble and learned Lord—although I am not sure that he committed his authority upon that question—that tithes are a fund, not strictly a tax, but rather a reserve of rent, charged upon the land of the country, which are entirely at the disposal of the supreme Legislature of the country. They are 403 not private property, they are not even corporate property, they are not, as Sir James Graham argued in 1835, trust property; but revenue at the disposal of the State, to be disposed of with those considerations of prudence and of respect for existing rights which Parliament ought always to follow. What is the proof of the principle I have now laid down? In the first place, we have the great fact that tithes were at the Reformation transferred from the Roman Catholic to the Protestant community. There is only one argument I have heard against this. Here I would observe it is quite as important to maintian religious doctrines against the Roman Catholics as it is against the extreme view of the Protestants in Ireland. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) referred to an able and remarkable pamphlet which has been published by Dr. Moriarty, Catholic Bishop of Kerry. I wish also to ask attention to a sentence in this pamphlet, because it shows how indispensable it is, if Parliament is to take a firm line on this great question, to maintain its own freedom of discretion, that it shall take a strong ground not only against ultra-Protestantism, but also against the claims of the Catholic priesthood. What does Bishop Moriarty say? He is guilty of great inconsistency, because in arguing against the claim to property as advanced by the Protestant Church, he distinctly calls tithes a national tax, at present devoted to the maintenance of Protestantism. In the same page he says—The tithe rent-charge is a tax on the land of the country, of which the landlord pays his share, and of which he is the collector.A few pages on, when he comes to plead his own claim in regard to the disposal of these tithes, if they are dealt with by Parliament, we find him laying down this remarkable doctrine—Before answering the objections which we stated at the outset, we must bear in mind that the Catholic Church is the rightful owner of all ecclesiastical property in this country, with the exception of what the Protestant Church may have acquired since its separation. There has been no Concordat ceding this property to the British Crown or sanctioning its secularization, We acknowledge no prescription in this case. The Church does not allow a Statute of Limitation to bar our claim. The title of the Protestant Church has not even a colour of validity. Our right is in abeyance, but it is unimpaired. We must also bear in mind that while the Catholic Church, as a spiritual corporation, is the rightful owner of the ecclesiastical property, we, the bishops and priests, could be only possessors of it for the time being, with right of use or usufruct, according as 404 the property might be personal or real. We have therefore no power to aieniate it, or to demand its secularization, unless with the sanction of the Pope, who is, by Christ's appointment, the supreme ruler of our great spiritual commonwealth.Now, I protest against this monstrous claim of Bishop Moriarty, and likewise against the claims urged by ultra-Protestants. I maintain that tithes are the property of no one, but they are at the absolute and free disposal of the State for any purposes to which the State may think fit to devote them. The only way by which we can oppose the claims of Bishop Moriarty is to maintain the doctrine which I have laid down — because unquestionably there was a transfer at the time of the Reformation to the Protestant minority of the Irish people. One favourite argument — which, however, I am glad to say I have not heard in the course of the present debate — is, that the Established Church of Ireland is the legitimate descendant of the Church of St. Patrick, and that, indeed, the same Church holds the same property. I believe the only foundation for this argument is that a certain number of the then existing Bishops did undoubtedly conform to the Protestant faith at the time of the Reformation; but I think it has been sufficiently proved by Mr. Froude that only a very small minority of the Prelates adopted that course, and that the vast majority of the Bishops, of the clergy, and of the people, remained in communion with the Roman Catholic Church; and I must maintain that even if every Bishop and priest in Ireland had become Protestants, and the people had refused to follow them, the clergy would not have had the right to the enjoyment of these funds. This, then, being the state of the matter, and Parliament being free to deal with the tithes of Ireland, the question arises whether there are any considerations of Imperial policy which should preclude us from interfering with the present state of things. An argument used on behalf of the Irish Church by a right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Oxford) is that these tithes ought to be continued in the possession of the Protestant Church, on the ground that, although the people do not belong to it, it is a missionary Church. Now, I hold that it is not the duty of the State to support missionary Churches—at all events, where the people forming the State are disunited on the subject of religion. In such a case, I deny absolutely that it is the duty of Government to maintain a Church for the purpose of 405 proselytizing any portion of the inhabitants of this kingdom. But this argument is inconsistent with the admission made to-night by a right rev. Prelate opposite (the Bishop of Down and Connor) in regard to the statistics of certain Irish parishes. He admits that there are many abuses and anomalies in the distribution of the funds of the Irish Church, one of them being that there is a large number of parishes containing between 100 and 200 inhabitants, in every one of which there are fewer than twenty-five Protestants belonging to the Irish Establishment. Now this is a great anomaly, if the Church is the Church of the people; but it is no anomaly whatever if it is a missionary Church, for then there ought to be a Protestant clergyman in every parish, and more particularly in those parishes almost exclusively Catholic. Then there is another argument in favour of the existing state of things, and it has been alluded to in connection with the Treaty of Union, or at least with the Act of Settlement by the noble and learned Lord. It is asserted that a bargain was struck at the time of the Union between the two countries, and it was said that the Protestant Church ought to be upheld by the united Legislature of the two countries. If the bargain had been made under equal circumstances between the two countries that argument would be of some avail; but considering that it was struck by the Imperial Parliament and by a small minority, although the nominal majority, of the Irish people it does not hold good as a bargain. If the majority of the representatives of the Irish people are at the present time in favour of continuing the Protestant Established Church in Ireland, by all means let neither the Scotch nor the English Members interfere with those Members who represent the Irish people. If, however, you find that the great majority of the Irish people are not in favour of the existing state of things, but that, on the contrary, they insist upon great changes being made respecting the Established Church we, as the representatives of the other two great kingdoms of this empire, are released from the bargain, such as it was, which was entered into, and are free to deal with the altered circumstances of the case. Now, if Parliament is free to deal with the Irish Church, and if we are called upon to deal with it in reference to an altered state of things which has since 406 arisen, the question arises as to the direction in which we ought to move. My Lords, I confess that for myself, where an Established Church ceases to be desirable or possible, I should very greatly prefer that we should have recourse to the system of free, unpaid, and dis-Established Churches. No man can doubt that Free Churches are the future of the world. This is the system adopted in all the colonies of this country, with the single exception of the Lower Province of Canada which inherited its system from France. This system of Free Churches has also been adopted in the United States, and it has been shewn to be, in my belief, a system not injurious to the interests of religion. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) asked on what principle were Established Churches founded. Well, it is impossible to answer that inquiry, because all Established Churches are historical institutions. They were not formed and planted by particular statesmen or at particular times, but grew up out of mediæval Europe. They are admirable institutions where certain conditions of society co-exist with them, and I should regret to see the time when the conditions of society in this country cease to be compatible with the maintenance of the Established Church. But there is one theory now prevalent in regard to Established Churches, against which I shall individually protest, namely, that they are devices by which men who absolutely disagree on the most fundamental principles of Christian dogma are held together by considerations of pecuniary interest and legal obligation within one ecclesiastical organization. If the time should arrive when the Church of England should be so interpreted generally, I think it would be infinitely better for the State and also for the interests of Christian truth that the connection between Church and State should be severed. But this is speculative matter, whereas we have to deal with the practical case before us. In Ireland, and in Ireland alone, we have already entered on that course which has been pursued by many continental nations, in which more than one communion receives support and encouragement from the State. You have in Ireland the Episcopal Church in exclusive possession of the glebe land and tithes, the Presbyterian people and clergy in the North in possession of the Regium Donum, and the Roman Catholics in possession of the College of Maynooth. 407 You have, therefore, to a certain extent already entered upon and are, to a great extent, committed to the principle adopted by so many continental States of thus paying in various proportions more than one religious body. You have not now in Ireland what you have in Scotland—an Established Church in the sense of a Church in respect to which the State pronounces a judgment that its teaching is religiously true, and to which alone the State gives encouragement and support; you have in Ireland — and I am astonished that the noble and learned Lord seemed to forget it—the State committed to the support of three different forms of religious belief. How does the noble and learned Lord reconcile that with his doctrine of an Established Church—namely, that it is the duty of the State to select religious truth and endow that alone? That, however, is a theory of bygone days. To a certain extent, indeed, it is retained in England; but we have not now to deal with it in Ireland. In regard to the general direction in which we shall move, I think that has been already determined to a great extent by the existing state of things. I repeat that I should infinitely prefer to see the withdrawal of the Regium Donum and the grant to Maynooth than a further extension of such a system—and I have the very strongest opinion that Parliament will never sanction further grants for the support of religion out of the Consolidated Fund. As I understand it, no noble Lord will be committed to any particular plan by voting for the Motion of my noble Friend. The noble Earl (Earl Russell) has sketched out a plan which he avows he adopted after many changes, as was most natural with a question of such importance, but I did not understand him as intending that any noble Lord should be bound to any particular plan of distribution, such as he himself has sketched out. Therefore, the Motion of my noble Friend is simply a Motion for inquiry—with words, no doubt, added to the end of it, that no mere re-distribution of funds within the Established Church would give satisfaction to those who are advocating a change in Ireland. And can any man doubt that a mere re-distribution of funds within a body comprising only one-seventh or one-eighth of the whole population can answer the objection of those who complain that such a minority should be in exclusive possession of the ecclesiastical funds of the country? My 408 Lords, I could not but think that one argument, put forward in favour of preserving the temporalities of the Established Church for that Church, tells as strongly against those who used it as it can possibly do for them. I would ask the right rev. Prelate who advocated the plan (the Bishop of Down and Connor) what justice would there be in abstracting from certain parishes in the South, where there are only a few or no Protestants, the ecclesiastical funds, and distributing them over parishes in another part of the country where there are more Protestants? There is a natural sense of justice which we ought to maintain in all our laws; and the ecclesiastical funds of a particular parish or district were intended for the particular benefit of that parish or district. I concur with the right rev. Prelate that we cannot stand still in the matter; but I believe he is mistaken in supposing that by any mere re-distribution of the ecclesiastical funds or any abstraction of the tithes of parishes we can either satisfy the people of Ireland or deal justly with them. My Lords, you may be able to defend the Irish Church by your votes; you may be able to defend it by standing with your back to the wall and fighting against all comers; but the moment you move principles will be urged on the adoption of Parliament which will go a great deal further than the right rev. Prelate supposes. For my own part, I am very glad that my noble Friend did add the words which have been so much commented on to the words of his Notice. When I read that Notice first, it appeared to me it might indicate the conviction or belief that a mere re-distribution within the bounds of the Established Church might be accepted as a solution of the question. But my noble Friend can hardly suppose that the Motion in its altered form would be acceded to by the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Derby), because, though we have had some experience this Session of how much the Conservative party may be made to yield on important questions, I should be very much surprised if we found the noble Earl departing from the position taken up by him some years ago. I think the noble Earl must have felt those words in the Motion of my noble Friend as the sound of a trumpet calling him to fight once more the battles of his earlier years. They must have reminded him of his triumph in former years. I say his triumph, for no one can doubt that by the reform he 409 effected thirty-four years ago, and the gallant resistance he made to the appropriation of the funds of the Church to any purposes other than those connected with the Church herself, he procured a new lease for her; but, to use an Irish simile, it was a lease of lives, not renewable for ever. The lives in that lease are dying out; a new generation has sprung up, with new ideas and new principles, and no mere re-distribution of funds within the Irish Church will again secure for her that renewal of existence and that peace which undoubtedly were secured by the noble Earl's triumph in 1834. I hope that if the House means to enter into this question, they will not content themselves with any plan for a mere re-distribution, but go into the whole of the facts, and deal with the matter in a comprehensive manner. We are now entering on a period of renewed political activity. Parliament is now considering the first principles of onr political institutions. We are told on high authority that the new state of things will be favourable to the Conservative party, and satisfactory to the country. I am no prophet; but I cannot help looking at the fact that the class below the middle class are men less bound to Established Churches than the classes above them. They have less feeling with the ecclesiastical arrangements of the country; they are less under the influence of churches. I believe and hope that there is what may be called a strong "No-Popery" feeling still among the people; but I hope that feeling has taken a more intelligent direction than it took in former times. If the people see any danger of a Roman Catholic re-action, it is among the higher classes. But whatever may be said as to the danger from Popery, I trust the people will feel more every day that the interests of religion cannot be forwarded by a close and intimate alliance with political injustice.
§ THE EARL OF DENBIGH
said, he would congratulate the House on the good feeling with which the debate had been conducted, and he hoped that he might look upon that as an earnest that their Lordships would apply themselves to consider how best to legislate for the good of the people of Ireland. He believed that the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) had made as good a defence as it was possible to make for the Established Church in Ireland; but the Irish people did not enter into subtle distinctions, and no one could 410 deny that the Established Church in Ireland was an anomaly. If such an Establishment existed in any other country we should regard it as a scandalous anomaly. It was not at all to be wondered at that the Irish people, quick as they were to appreciate injustice, should regard the existence of the Established Church in Ireland as a real and substantial grievance. He could not say that the Church was considered as the greatest grievance in Ireland. On the contrary, he thought the land question and the question of education interested the people still more; but the Church question was the one which could be most easily used by demagogues to rouse the passions of the Irish people and influence them against the Government, because it was the most patent injustice. He trusted the Government would consider whether it was not possible so to deal with the question as to satisfy all parties. Even were they to appropriate part of the revenues of the Established Church to the use of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland, he doubted whether that clergy would accept it, and in any way put themselves under the control of the State. He had often heard it said by Prelates of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland that they did not wish to despoil the Protestant clergy of their revenues. They looked upon them as a very amiable and able body of men, doing their duty to their country as good neighbours and kind friends of the poor. If they confined themselves to these ordinary duties not a finger would be held up against them. But the mistake was unhappily made of holding out the Irish Church as a missionary Church—and he had read with great pain the speech made by the Bishop of that Church most recently appointed, who stated on the occasion of his enthronization that he believed it to be his duty to act as a missionary among the Roman Catholic population—for he thought such a declaration was calculated to excite hostile feelings in the people of Ireland. He did not question the perfect liberty of the right rev. Prelate to adopt that view, but he believed it to be an entire mistake, and it would be well if all were to act upon the principle that religion was a thing between a man and his God, and everyone was to be at liberty to worship as he thought best, using no influence but moral persuasion. He hoped and believed from the declarations of Her Majesty's Government at the commencement 411 of the Session, and from the spirit which they had since evinced, that they would deal with this question upon its own merits, and without reference to anything which previous Conservative Governments might have done. He could not agree with the view which the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) had put forward respecting the noble Earl at the head of the Government, for he did not believe it to be the duty of a legislator always to take a line and abide by it. We lived and learnt, and it was never too late to mend. He had every reason to believe that the Government desired to look fairly at the grievances of Ireland; and he hoped they would consider this question on its merits and grant the Commission. Personally he had to thank the noble Earl and Her Majesty's Government for the courteous and ready attention which they had given to his representations of Catholic claims and grievances on various occasions; and he had also to thank their Lordships for the patience with which they had listened to his observations.
THE MARQUESS OF CLANRICARDE
said, he desired to say a few words on the subject, as the Motion was one to which he had himself given notice of an Amendment. He differed altogether from the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll), entertaining as he did a strong opinion in favour of payment of the Catholic clergy of Ireland, and he thought the House ought to have an opportunity of discussing the point. As regards the Established Church, he wished to know with what view the inquiry was proposed. What end had the noble Earl (Earl Russell) in view respecting the revenues of the Established Church? If he meant to do nothing why did he seek to institute the inquiry? The noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) who spoke early in the debate with the acuteness and learning for which he had long been celebrated, argued the case on behalf of the Irish Church; but he thought he had omitted to notice the real point of the question, for he spoke throughout as if the people of Ireland existed for the Irish Church, and not the Irish Church for the people. He proved, no doubt, if his figures were correct, that the endowments of the Church were not too large for the Protestant inhabitants of Ireland. But taking these at 600,000 or 700,000, if it cost £500,000 to support a Church for Protestants, what must the poor Roman Catholics of Ireland be paying to 412 support their Church, which was more ritualistic and ceremonious than our own? This was not a sentimental grievance, but a real practical grievance pressing upon the people. Like his noble Friend who brought forward this Motion, he had not been able entirely to approve the Motion proposed last year by his noble Friend on the cross-benches (Earl Grey), and he much wished that the questions of the Established Church and of payment to the Roman Catholic clergy could have been kept distinct. Even if there were no Establishment existing in Ireland, he should wish to see one created for the sake of giving payment to the Roman Catholic clergy. All the best authorities for the last fifty years had concurred in the opinion that Parliamentary provision ought to be made for the Roman Catholic clergy. He might instance such names as Lord Cornwallis, Pitt, Castlereagh, Canning, Lord Plunket, and Lord Wellesley. Sir Robert Peel also—then Mr. Peel, and the most formidable and able opponent of the Roman Catholic claims—declared, in 1825, that if emanci-to pation were carried he should not object provision being made for the priests. He was not sure that he might not add to the list the name likewise of the noble Earl at the head of the Government. The common object was to produce contentment among the people of Ireland; that could be done, in a great degree, by endowing the Roman Catholic clergy, so that they and their people might feel that they were on an equality with their Protestant fellow-subjects in all respects. Equality was the natural right of all British subjects without reference to their religious opinions, and the Roman Catholics were justified in their demands. The statement that the Church of England was a missionary Church had an appearance of absurdity, because, if it were so, its clergy should be found not where Protestants, but where Roman Catholics lived. For these reasons he was of opinion that, unless the right rev. Prelate's Amendment were adopted, it would be better to resolve upon nothing on the present occasion.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
My Lords, at an earlier period of the evening, I had intended to address your Lordships at some length upon this subject, but, under the present circumstances, I have not the slightest intention of trespassing upon you for more than a few minutes. The noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Argyll) seems to think that the reference to the old Appropriation 413 Clause would sound in my ears like the sound of a trumpet. I can assure my noble Friend that it had quite a contrary effect. I had hoped we had heard the last of that; we fought that battle some five and thirty years ago, and I thought we had had enough of it; but now the noble Earl (Earl Russell) has renewed his youthful vigour and comes again to the combat. Now, although I have not changed my opinion with regard to the principle involved in this matter, yet I am satisfied to waive discussion, and to rest the proposal I am about to make on grounds which I hope will meet with your general acceptance if not with your general agreement. When the noble Earl first placed his Motion upon the table, it was simply to this effect. He proposed to move—That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will be pleased to give directions that, by the operation of a Royal Commission or otherwise, full and accurate information be procured as to the nature and amount of the property and revenues of the Established Church in Ireland, with a view to their more productive management.The only objection I had to that original proposition is that I thought the Motion was not sufficiently extensive; a Commission of the description sought for should not confine itself to the consideration of the mere pecuniary question. Then the noble Earl, in placing the Motion on the table, informed us that although he intended to bring forward a tolerably extensive scheme of his own he did not desire the House to bind itself, and meant to frame his motion in such a manner as not to assert any particular principle. But I cannot help thinking that nothing could be more completely binding on the House than the words which the noble Earl has added to his original Motion, which I have quoted. It is true that the noble Earl's addenda would not commit us to any particular scheme, but they would commit us to the principle of alienation of Church property. When I first looked to the Amendment of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Clanricarde), which I understand he does not intend to press, I interpreted it as asserting that the noble Earl proposed to alienate the Church revenues for any purpose, religious or temporal, and that the noble Marquess desired to confine the revenues to religious uses only. But the noble Earl has been kind enough to give up the notion of altogether uprooting the Established Church in Ireland, and is 414 willing to content himself with simply taking from her another little slice of her property beyond that 25 per cent which he obtained from her some years ago, and he proposes to apply this money to the religious instruction of the Roman Catholics. If you add words to this effect to the Motion, you make it propose to divert the revenues of the Church for some other purpose than that they are now applied to; and whether that purpose be right or wrong, it is impossible to say, that the Motion would not pledge the House to some principle if carried. The object of the Commission, as stated by the noble Earl's Motion, is to secure the more equitable application of the funds of the Irish Church for the relief of the Irish people generally; and that negatives the proposal to dispense the funds of the Church for the religious teaching of any particular sect. The right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Down and Connor) has introduced an Amendment which proposes to pledge the House in another way. There are a number of questions involved in this proposition which I do not wish to raise. I have my own strong opinion upon the subject, but do not intend to raise the question now; I simply ask the House to bind itself to no particular object, but to appoint a Commission with a view to get all the information it can, and to leave Parliament unfettered to deal with the question at some future time in the light of the information so gained. Surely, the noble Earl desires by his proposition to invert the natural order of things. He says, "We will issue a Commission, but will issue it with a view to divide the revenues of the Irish Church." The noble and learned Lord who followed him (Lord Cairns) laid down a proposition which I believe met with the concurrence of the whole House. Setting aside the abstract question as to the justness of the course pursued by the Church of England in Ireland in monopolizing the Church revenues, he laid down the principle, which can be hardly disputed, that when there is a corporate body in possession of revenues which can be beneficially and usefully applied to the purposes of that corporate body, it has the first claim to the use of these revenues. Then surely the noble Earl should ascertain, before he considers how he shall distribute the funds, whether there is a distributable surplus after providing for the needs of the Irish Church. But what does the noble 415 Earl propose to do; He says it is an injustice that one-sixth or one-eighth of the Irish people should receive the whole of the Church revenues, and he proposes to divide them — how I do not know, and I suppose he has not troubled himself much about details—he proposes to divide them into three portions, two-fifths to go to the Church of England, two-fifths to Roman Catholics, and the remaining fiifth to the Presbyterians and all the other denominations in Ireland. I do not think that would be an arrangement satisfactory to any one. The Roman Catholics would get a portion of the spoil; but they would be left this grievance—they number six-sevenths of the population, and they would require to have that proportion of the Church property, while the noble Earl proposes to give them only two-fifths. If the Church revenues are to be laid out in proportion to the number of professors of the various religions, how can we hope that the Roman Catholics will be satisfied with two-fifths? This scheme would certainly lay the foundation for more quarrels in the future, more animosities, and more bickerings with regard to the shares each set of claimants is entitled to than any scheme that I have yet heard advanced. Is there any reason to suppose that this scheme would remove the grievances or satisfy the wishes of the Roman Catholics? I hold in my hand an article from The Tablet, the Roman Catholic organ, upon this very question, as late in date as the 11th of May last. The noble Earl hopes that his scheme for taking away that which the Protestants of Ireland regard as their legitimate property will produce general satisfaction, or, if it does not satisfy the Protestants, it will surely please the Roman Catholics. But this is what The Tablet says—We are of those who think that the notion of settling the Irish Church question by simply confiscating the property of the Protestant Church and abolishing its privileges is a foolish notion, and that it ought to be opposed as being foolish, futile, and wrong.This is a Roman Catholic announcement of the satisfaction with which they would regard the proposal of the noble Earl—The arguments by which this proposal is generally supported appear to us either inconclusive or injurious—that is to say, inconclusive when harmless, and wrong when inconclusive.I do not quite understand that, I must admit.For example, when it is argued that the property of the Irish Protestant Church ought to be confiscated, 416 because State endowments for religious purposes are objectionable in principle, because the voluntary system is the best, because the State has no right to compel any man to pay anything for the support of any particular religion, the conclusion follows from the premisses, but the premises are false, detestable, and condemned by the Church. So when it is argued that it is desirable that discontent, disaffection, and intestine strife should be replaced by content, loyalty, and concord between the profession of different creeds, and, therefore, that it is desirable to confiscate the property of the Protestant Church in Ireland and to abolish its privileges, the principle is good and harmless; but the conclusion is not warranted, for it rests on a suppressed premise, which is not admitted to be true—namely, that the confiscation of the property of the Protestant Church and the abolition of its privileges will cause discontent, disaffection, and intestine strife, to be replaced by content, loyalty, and concord between the professors of different creeds.Now, in point of fact, the Roman Catholic authorities contend that what you propose is unjust in principle, and, instead of giving universal satisfaction, is founded upon false premises, and would give no satisfaction whatever. I do not say we may by the investigations of the Commission be satisfied that these are erroneous views; but I entreat your Lordships, before receiving the Report of the Commissioners and hearing the facts of the case, not to pledge yourselves to a distribution which would offend the Protestants, and which, setting aside all questions of justice, equity, and rights of property, will certainly fail to satisfy the Roman Catholics. I only ask the House not to pledge themselves to a course which holds out a prospect of such little success. I do not ask you to affirm the principle that the property of the Church is inalienable. ["Hear, hear!"] Noble Lords opposite cheer. I certainly do entertain very strong opinions, though I do not ask the House to adopt them, upon the injustice of Parliament depriving the Irish Church of property which rests upon as strong security as any other system of property. It rests, at all events, upon a ground as strong as that by which the noble House of Russell holds Woburn Abbey and property in the neighbourhood of Covent Garden; and one can trace the possession of it as far back as any Protestant and Catholic landlords in Ireland can trace the possession of theirs. One noble Lord contended that we had sanctioned the principle of making provision for more than one religion in Ireland. We have done so; but, except in the case of Maynooth, it is not a fact that we have 417 consented to the endowment of any other body. As the noble Lord is well aware the Regium Donum is voted by Parliament every year, and is not in the nature of an endowment. But admitting that it is of that nature, it is taken from the property of the State, and not from the property of the Church. A noble Lord has said that it has been found convenient in many other States to endow various religious denominations. That is quite another question. It may or may not be right; it may or may not be politic in a State to endow more than one religion; but I do not know what precedent can be discovered in the conduct of any European State to justify our depriving a Church of property of which she has had the exclusive possession for 300 years in order to endow a different denomination. I do not, therefore, think that any argument can fairly be drawn from the fact that certain States have endowed more than one religion. I did not, my Lords, intend to go into the question as fully as I have done. Let me only warn you. There are anomalies in the Church of Ireland that require correction. No doubt in many instances a better distribution of property can be made than that at present adopted; no doubt the Act which I introduced in 1834 may be further and beneficially extended; but I warn you how you apply the argument derived from the mere number of the population in any particular parish. Are you aware that in England there are nearly 700 parishes where the population, Churchmen, Dissenters, and all, does not average more than seventy-nine, and where the benefice on the average, is worth £150 a year, the amount being in several instances considerably larger, and with a very small population? Beware, therefore, how you deal with this question in the case of Ireland, because you may have it brought back in a very inconvenient form. I did not intend to trespass so long upon your Lordships' attention. I only wish that through the means of a Commission all the circumstances connected with the Irish Church, such as its revenues, their distribution, the duties of its Bishops and clergy, may be placed fairly and fully before the consideration of Parliament, and I am certain that though there may be found anomalies which may be deserving of removal, a fair, accurate, and impartial statement will go far to dispel many of those erroneous impressions to-wards the creation of which, as my noble Friend remarked, the noble Earl opposite 418 has largely contributed. So far, therefore, I must adopt the omission of the words in the latter part of the Motion, as suggested by the right rev. Prelate. Still, however, though I agree in principle with the right rev. Prelate, I think it would be inconvenient, and it would certainly be inconsistent with the view to which I have given expression, that the House should be pledged to any view on this question. I therefore trust the right rev. Prelate will withdraw his Amendment, and that the words to which I have referred in the original Motion be struck out. The Motion will then stand simply for an Address to the Crown, praying for the appointment of a Commission for the purpose of inquiring into the revenues and property of the Irish Church.
My Lords, it would be unpardonable in me, after having brought this subject before the House last Session, to trespass upon upon your Lordships for any length of time; but I am anxious that upon this great question, which must before long occupy the attention of Parliament, we should not go to a division, which does not raise the right issue. I agree with the noble Earl who has just sat down that the Motion in the form in which it has been moved by my noble Friend (Earl Russell) does imply the expression of an opinion on this subject. While, however, I agree in that opinion I must say that the question appears to me to be far too grave and serious to be raised by mere implication at the end of a Motion for the appointment of a Commission; but, on the other hand, I think that the Motion having been made in this form it is equally undesirable that it should be passed after striking out these words—because, as the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Derby) has said, the proposal of the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Down and Connor) would pledge the House as much on one side as the Motion of my noble Friend would on the other. A similar objection would apply to the mere omission of the words, because it would imply that we ought to make no change in the possession of the property and revenues of the Irish Church. If we go to a division, therefore, I must vote against the omission of those words. But I feel so strongly that this is a question which ought not to be disposed of in this manner that I hope my noble Friend will either withdraw his motion or allow it to be negatived without a division. I for one 419 cannot be a party to referring a question of such great national importance to a Commission. It is a question which should be considered by the Government of the country, and if the Government intend, as I hope they do, to look into this great question, it is perfectly competent for them, without any Address from this House, to appoint a Commission to collect such information as may be necessary to enable them to form a sound judgment upon it. I listened with great pleasure to the speech of my noble Friend (Earl Russell). I was extremely glad to find that since last year he has come to a different conclusion as regards the policy which ought to regulate our treatment of this question. I am not surprised that that change should have taken place in the opinions of the noble Earl. A man must indeed be insensible to the most ordinary considerations of prudence who can look at the present state of Ireland and not feel that this great question is one which cannot be much longer delayed, but must be looked at in the face and dealt with boldly. But, notwithstanding the pleasure with which I listened to his speech, I must now request him not to prejudice this great question by calling upon the House to divide upon what may turn out to be a false issue. I, therefore, most strongly recommend that, on the one hand the right rev. Prelate should consent not to press his Amendment; and that, on the other, the noble Earl should withdraw his Motion, or consent that it shall be negatived without a division.
§ EARL RUSSELL
, in reply, said—My Lords, I cannot consent to the withdrawal of my Motion, or to the omission of the words proposed to be left out by the noble Earl opposite. I think it is a very important matter that this House shall consider fairly and deliberately the present position of the Church in Ireland, as such consideration will render your Lordships more alive to the state of that Church, and better prepared to come, not, perhaps, this year, but next year, to a decision upon this important question. I am not content to withdraw the words which the noble Earl has proposed to omit, because they show distinctly the object of the Motion, while they are not in any way likely to influence the Commission in the inquiry it will have to undertake. At the same time I do not wish to divide the House, and will not do so unless the right rev. Prelate should think proper to press his Amendment. In 420 referring to what took place in the House of Commons on this subject, I find that a Motion was set down on the Votes that on the 29th of May that House should resolve itself into a Committee to consider the temporalities and privileges of the Established Church in Ireland. That Motion was directly aimed at the temporalities of the Church of Ireland; and if the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) who has addressed your Lordships this evening had still been a Member of that House, he could not have done otherwise than give a negative to that Motion. Every person will be of opinion that it was not desirable that on the 29th of May the House of Commons, occupied as it was with the Reform Bill, should have resolved itself into Committee to consider this subject; and your Lordships will not not be surprised to hear that the House of Commons, by carrying the Previous Question, determined to defer the consideration of the matter until next year, when your Lordships will probably be called upon to determine what shall be done with regard to the Irish Church. It would, therefore, be most undesirable for this House to express any definite opinion at this time upon this subject, seeing that it may be called upon in March next to give its sanction to a plan very different from that it might now approve. During the last few years we have all heard a good deal about a lateral extension of the franchise—a plan which has, however, been totally abandoned this year—and I think there might well be a lateral extension of the endowments of the Church to the Presbyterian Church of Ireland—an extension that would give great satisfaction to a large majority of the people of that country. If the noble Earl opposite is really desirous that the House should come to a conclusion that the Church of Ireland shall be perpetually maintained, that conclusion will be best shown by your Lordships agreeing to the Amendment of the right rev. Prelate. If that Amendment is carried it will definitely show that in the opinion of the House of Lords the Church of Ireland shall continue to exist, such Amendments only being made in its constitution as are consistent with its maintenance. In that event, however, I think it will be desirable to know the names of those noble Lords who are determined, whatever may happen between the present time and next year, to maintain the Church of Ireland as it at present exists. I have 421 no wish whatever to divide the House if the noble Earl opposite will consent to the appointment of a Commission.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
The first question is as to the omission of the words in the noble Earl's Motion, and upon that point I feel myself bound to insist, in the first place. I cannot propose to negative the whole of that Motion, because in so doing I should be negativing that which I think very desirable. I have, however, not the slightest objection to the noble Earl withdrawing the Motion altogether; but should he agree to omit the words to which I object, I shall be happy to consent to his Motion.
said, he would be quite content that no vote whatever should be come to upon the question. He should move the previous question.
THE EARL OF WINCHELSEA
said, that he was opposed to the taking away the property of the Irish Church, which was a work of spoliation that could not stop there. It would be much better, and much more dignified on the part of a great country, if they were to put their hands into their pockets and make the necessary provision for the Roman Catholic Church out of the national funds, in the shape of a vote of money for the purchase of land in Ireland as an endowment for the Roman Catholic Church. This would be a more intelligible and a more creditable course, instead of making that Church a present that cost nothing. He knew that his proposition would be unpopular, but he felt that it was his duty to make it. He agreed in thinking that a division now would be undesirable. In reference to what had been said by the noble Earl of what might happen next year, he thought it was impossible to say anything on this point; but he believed that many time-honoured institutions—quite as time-honoured as the Protestant Establishment in Ireland — would perhaps by that time be in considerable danger.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The noble Earl (Earl Grey) is out of order in moving the previous Question. The original Question is—That an humble address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will be pleased to give directions that by the operation of a Royal Commission, or otherwise, full and accurate information be procured as to the nature and amount 422 of the property and revenues of the Established Church in Ireland, with a view to their more productive management, and to their more equitable application for the benefit of the Irish people.It is now proposed to leave out all the words after the word "management," and to insert the words—and also to the means by which they may be best made to promote the efficiency of the Established Church in Ireland.The Question is, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ On Question, That the Words proposed to be left out stand Part of the Motion? their Lordships divided:—Contents 38; Not-Contents 90: Majority 52.423
|Devonshire, D.||Foley, L.|
|Granard, L, (E. Granard.)|
|Airlie, E.||Houghton, L.|
|Albemarle, E.||Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)|
|De Grey, E.||Lyttelton, L.|
|Denbigh, E.||Lyveden, L. [Teller.]|
|Fitzwilliam, E.||Monson, L.|
|Granville, E.||Monteagle, L. (M. Sligo.)|
|Grey, E. [Teller.]||Mostyn, L.|
|Kimberley, E.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)|
|Russell, E.||Romilly, L.|
|Halifax, V.||Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)|
|Annaly, L.||Stafford, L.|
|Belper, L.||Stanley of Alderley, L.|
|Camoys, L.||Stratheden, L.|
|Carew, L.||Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll.)|
|Chelmsford, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Devon, E.|
|Dublin, Archp.||Hillsborough, E. (M. Downshire.)|
|Beaufort, D.||Lauderdale, E.|
|Buckingham and Chandos, D.||Leven and Melville, E.|
|Manchester, D.||Mansfield, E.|
|Marlborough, D.||Nelson, E.|
|Richmond, D.||Powis, E.|
|Ailsa, M.||Rosse, E.|
|Exeter, M.||Shaftesbury, E.|
|Winchester, M.||Shrewsbury, E.|
|Amherst, E.||Verulam, E.|
|Bandon, E.||Wilton, E.|
|Bantry, E.||Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.|
|Belmore, E.||Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty.)|
|Derby, E.||De Vesci, V.|
|Doneraile, V.||Dunsany, L.|
|Hardinge, V.||Feversham, L.|
|Hawarden, V. [Teller.]||Gage, L. (V. Gage.)|
|Templetown, V.||Grinstead, L. (E. Enniskillen.)|
|Bangor, Bp.||Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)|
|Cork, &c., Bp.|
|Down, &c., Bp.||Hylton, L.|
|Gloucester and Bristol, Bp.||Inchiquin, L.|
|Lovel and Holland, L. (E. Egmont.)|
|Llandaff, Bp.||Northwick, L.|
|Ossory, &c., Bp.||Penrhyn, L.|
|Bagot, L.||Rayleigh, L.|
|Berners, L.||Redesdale, L.|
|Brancepeth, L. (V. Boyne.)||Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.)|
|Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)||Sherborne, L.|
|Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)|
|Castlemaine, L.||Skelmersdale, L.|
|Churston, L.||Sondes, L.|
|Clifton, L. (E. Darnley.)||Southampton, L.|
|Clonbrock, L.||Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)|
|Colville of Culross, L. [Teller.]||Talbot de Malahide, L.|
|Delamere, L.||Thurlow, L.|
|Denman, L.||Tredegar, L.|
|De Ros, L.||Tyrone, L. (M. Waterford.)|
|De Saumarez, L.|
|Digby, L.||Wentworth, L.|
§ Then the said Amendment, so far as regards the Insertion of the said Words "and also as to the Means by which they may be made best to promote the Efficiency of the Established Church in Ireland" (by Leave of the House) withdrawn; and the original Motion, as amended by the omission of the said Words "and to their more equitable Application for the Benefit of the Irish People," agreed to: The said Address to be presented to Her Majesty by the Lords with White Staves.
§ House adjourned at Eleven o'clock, till To-morrow, half past Ten o'clock.