§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
My Lords, I have to ask your Lordships to give a second reading to a Bill for the relief of the Consolidated Fund from an annual payment of £20,300 for purposes connected with the Church of England in the West Indies. That grant originated in 1824, when the condition of the slave population having attracted much attention, among other measures for improving their condition preparatory to emancipation was one introduced on the Motion of Mr. Canning, for increasing the efficiency of the Church of England in those colonies. The Church had been established there for a long series of years, the parochial system having been introduced, and the clergy being subject to the Bishop of London; but the wants of the landowners and white population had been regarded in those arrangements rather than those of the slaves. Under these circumstances an immediate and considerable increase in the numbers of the clergy was necessary, and it was also requisite that ecclesiastical supervision nearer than that of Bishops in this country should be provided. Mr. Canning, in proposing the grant, said—To provide the means of religious instruction and worship is an object first, indeed, in importance, but necessarily subsequent in order to those which I have already mentioned, because it is not till the slave population are raised in the scale of nature that they can be capable of comprehending or fitted to receive the blessings of Christianity. It is intended to increase the amount and widen the basis of the Ecclesiastical Establishment in the West Indies. That Establishment was founded for the benefit of the white population alone. It was no more calculated for the negro than for the brute animal that shares his toils. I am not stating this as a matter of charge, but as a matter of fact."—[2 Hansard, x. 1097.]It was not proposed by Mr. Canning as a permanent grant; but its object was to meet immediate and pressing wants, and from the first it was avowedly subject to such modifications as might be required from time to time, or to entire withdrawal; and, as a matter of course, it has been more than once discussed both with regard to the amount of the sum given and as to the mode of its application. Mr. Canning further said— 785One of the Episcopal Establishments is intended to be fixed at Jamaica, the other in the Leeward Islands. For the support of these Establishments it will not be necessary, for a time at least"—Your Lordships will remark these words, "for a time at least"—that any demand should be made on the finances of the Islands.The grant was accordingly made, and in the first instance £14,000 of it was appropriated to the Bishops and archdeacons, while the remaining £6,300 was distributed among rectors and catechists. An alteration was soon found necessary with regard to the bishoprics, and a third see was constituted, the income originally allotted to two bishoprics being divided among three. Some years later the sees were further increased to five, and the amount paid to each Bishop has therefore been materially reduced, while the payment to the clergy has been distributed among a larger number of persons, new churches and rectors being admitted to a share in it. Among the changes also was a total repeal of the clause which gave pensions to Bishops appointed under the provisions of the Act. The reason why the withdrawal of the grant is now proposed is this—Last year a measure having that object, passed through several stages in the House of Commons without opposition, and that House was evidently of opinion that the grant had done its work, and that, while respecting existing interests, its continuance was unnecessary. That that is a correct view of the case is evident from the fact that when the giant was first made the whole sum appropriated by the various colonies to the maintenance of their clergy did not exceed £14,000 or £15,000 a year, so that the addition of the grant more than doubled the amount; whereas the sum now appropriated by them is about £60,000, so that the Imperial Votes form an augmentation of only a third. Moreover, the slaves were at that time incapable of holding property, and had no means of providing such spiritual ministrations as they might desire; but their descendants are now in many cases landed proprietors, and are not only able to subscribe, but do, in fact, subscribe considerable sums for religious purposes. Circumstances have thus entirely changed, and there is no reason why the Church in the West Indian colonies should be assisted out of the Imperial Revenue any more than those of our other colonies. Now, the provision for the West Indian 786 clergy being made, in most cases, by Ordinances or Acts renewable at intervals of eight or ten years, and it being in some of the islands about to undergo consideration, it is desirable that Parliament should declare its intentions with regard to the grant, in order that the colonies may know, in making their arrangements, whether it will be continued, and whether the appointments which have been allowed to remain vacant will be filled up. Now, as for some years, under the Governments of different parties, it has not been the practice to fill up appointments in the case of the higher order of clergy, it seems to me most desirable that these circumstances should be put an end to, and, therefore, in accordance with the general policy, the Government have come to the determination to propose the withdrawal of the grant, respect being had to vested interests. Before moving the second reading, I think it right to explain to the House that this question, of the abolition of the grant has no connection with the question of the suspension of certain appointments in Jamaica, with which the discussion the other night appears to have been to some extent mixed up. On the latter question a correspondence had arisen between my immediate predecessor and the Governor of Jamaica; but the question with which this Bill deals, on the contrary, has arisen altogether since I have had the honour of holding the Seals of the Colonial Office. Although this question has been mooted many years in Parliament as to whether the grant should be repealed, yet my predecessor in Office has not been mixed up with this particular Bill, to which I ask your Lordships now to give a second reading.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a"—(The Duke of Buckingham).
THE EARL OF CARNARVON
My Lords, I do not rise to offer a single word in opposition to the Bill, the second reading of which has been just moved by my noble Friend. I do not object to the Bill; though I can hardly concur in some of the reasons which he assigned for asking your Lordships to support the Bill. My noble Friend stated, as his first reason, that this measure, or many stages of it, had passed the House of Commons last Session without opposition. That, I hold, would be in itself a very poor and insufficient justification for asking your Lordships to agree to a measure if objectionable on other grounds. Nor do I quite 787 go along with my noble Friend when he says that the second reason which induced him to move the second reading is the great change which has occurred in the character of the population of the West Indies. I am afraid that population—changed possibly as it may be for the better in some respects—is still by no means in such a position as to dispense easily with the annual £20,000 which this Bill will take away from them. But, my Lords, as I said before, I shall not offer the smallest opposition to tills Bill; though I am bound to state to the House that it will fall as a very serious loss upon the Church in the West Indies. When I had the honour to hold the Seals of the Colonial Office, I was well aware that some considerable change—the ecclesiastical establishment of the West Indian Church—was coming. I foresaw from the temper of Parliament that it would not be disposed for very long to continue the grants which had been made; and when taking preparatory steps to endeavour to place the Church in the colonies in a somewhat better situation, I incurred at the time considerable reproach—reproach from those who thought this change was distant, but who now find that it is near. My Lords, the Church in the West Indies must fare like almost every other colonial Church. She must stand upon her own resources—so far, at least, as help and aid from this country are concerned; and I do not myself doubt, though her situation is not as favourable to her as in many other colonies, that she may gather strength and extend her ministrations by evoking sources of new latent strength—perhaps by means of Native clergy and Native catechists. My Lords, before I leave this point, I would suggest that when this Bill goes into Committee an Amendment may be introduced which will probably meet with the assent of both sides, to correspond with the clause introduced in the Canadian Clergy Reserves Act, and to enable the holders of life-interests to compound those interests for a gross sum which shall be paid into the hands of some trustees or other authorities. My Lords, I should be glad now to pause; but after the remarks which fell from the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack a few nights ago, when alluding to this Bill, I feel it due to the House and to myself to say a few words. My Lords, I may safely say my whole object, my chief desire whenever I have had the honour to address your Lordships, has been to confine myself 788 as closely and with as much accuracy as possible to any statement of facts which I may have to make, and in return for the constant kindness and indulgence which this House has shown me never to state any fact which, without full care and consideration on my part, I do not believe to be correct. But, my Lords, the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack coming down upon me a few nights since, I must say, with all that forensic skill of which he is so great a master, and with all that long professional training and practice which distinguish him so much in this House and elsewhere—left upon your Lordships the impression that I had grossly exaggerated, not to say misrepresented, certain facts, and that I had endeavoured to mislead your Lordships upon matters on which as having lately had the honour to hold the seals of the Colonial Office I was bound to be especially correct. Now, upon that point I will ask your Lordships' attention for a very few minutes—and I will beg the House to believe that I have no wish whatever to revive any asperities of the past debate or to say one word which can give reasonable offence to Her Majesty's Government or those who supported them on that occasion. My only and my sole controversy is with the statement of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. Now, there are two questions which the noble Duke who has just spoken (the Duke of Buckingham) carefully distinguished at the end of his speech; the first is the question with regard to the suspension of ecclesiastical appointments in the island of Jamaica, and the other is the question of the disendowment of the Church of England in the West Indies under this Bill to the extent of £20,000. My Lords, that first question of the suspension of ecclesiastical appointments requires little notice, because it is, as the noble Duke said, not immediately and directly connected with the Bill before your Lordships, and if it had been that the noble and learned Lord had charged me with an inaccuracy on that point I should not have thought it worth while to allude further to the subject. My noble Friend (Earl Granville) who moved the second reading of the Established Church (Ireland) Bill the other evening stated that a parallel existed between the suspension of ecclesiastical appointments in Jamaica and their proposed suspension in Ireland in the Bill which your Lordships have rejected; and I, following on a subsequent evening, en- 789 dorsed entirely all that my noble Friend had said on that part of the subject. For this I was taken to task by the noble and learned Lord, who stated that there was nothing whatever parallel between the two cases. Now, my Lords, I, on the contrary, can, without taking up your Lordships' time, show that there is a great deal that is parallel. The Established Church of England in the West Indies, as in Ireland, is the Church of the few; it is also the Church of the rich few; it is a Church whose clergy, as educated men scattered in the midst of a far less educated race, stand in very much the same relation to the population in the West Indies as the clergy of the Established Church do to the population of Ireland. And what was the suspension of these ecclesiastical appointments? In Ireland, the Irish Suspensory Bill provided that the vacancies of sees and certain ecclesiastical offices that occurred should not be filled up for the space of one year—to do what?—to enable Parliament to consider whether, at the end of that time, it should not make modifications, reductions, and, on the admission of Her Majesty's Government itself, even a total abolition of the Ecclesiastical Establishment. And what was the Suspensory measure with regard to Jamaica? It provided that ecclesiastical vacancies among the clergy—not the Bishops—should not be filled up for the space of between two and three years, with the view that at the end of that period Her Majesty's Government might consider whether or not modifications, reductions, and even total abolition should not be enacted. And I say "total abolition" on the authority of a report which I saw in the paper of an Answer given by my right hon. Friend (Mr. Adderley) about ten days since, in which he stated that no steps Her Majesty's Government were taking in this matter would preclude if desirable in the opinion of Parliament, the total abolition of the West Indian Church. My Lords, that, I think, is sufficient to justify the noble Earl and myself in saying that there was a strong parallel in principle between the two cases. But then the noble and learned Lord read a despatch from Sir John Grant, recommending to the Secretary of State this scheme, and he subsequently read a despatch from the Secretary of State approving it; and then be turned round on me, and, in a manner which brought down cheers unnumbered on my head, he said, "Shall I tell the House how the case really stands? Why, can it be possibly believed that the sig- 790 nature appended to that despatch was the signature of the Earl of Carnarvon?" Why, my Lords, I never denied—I never dreamt of denying—that I sanctioned the Suspensory scheme in Jamaica just as I voted for a Suspensory scheme in Ireland. I am at a loss to understand where is the inconsistency. The noble and learned Lord seems to have given me even greater credit for consistency than I ventured to claim for myself. And now I come to the subject really before the House—namely, this Bill—and upon this ground the noble and learned Lord attacked me severely. I had stated that this Bill, which withdraws the £20,000 originally granted to the West Indian Church, was a disendowment. The noble and learned Lord denied the justice of the term so applied. He said—and I will give you his very words—referring to the West Indian Church—Nothing whatever has been done, nothing whatever is proposed to be done altering in any manner the establishment of Bishops, archdeacons, and clergy in the way in which it has subsisted ever since it had any existence."—[3 Hansard, cxciii. 261.]Now, let me ask your Lordships to consider what the real facts are. My noble Friend the noble Duke stated them to your Lordships. Allow me to re-state them in a few words. The West Indian bishoprics had no existence before the year 1824. In that year the Crown, by letters patent, created these bishoprics. In the very next Session Parliament passed the Act which is here repealed, and that Act recited that the Crown had by letters patent constituted these three bishoprics; that the right of appointment was in the Crown; and it then proceeded to assign for the support and sustentation of these bishoprics the sum of £20,000 from the Consolidated Fund; providing, lastly, that if the 4½ per cent duties in the colony should reach a certain point, that sum of £20,000 should be transferred from the Consolidated Fund to the 4½ per cents. In the following year—1826—there was another Act, an amending Act, which simply apportioned part of this £20,000 among some of the minor clergy. From 1826 to 1842 I can find no trace of any legislative action on the subject; but, in 1842, another Act was passed, enabling the Crown to subdivide these dioceses, and diminish the stipends assigned to the clergy and Bishops without any increase of the gross sum of £20,000. Your Lordships will see, therefore, that no bishoprics were in existence prior to 1824, that then they 791 were created by letters patent; that an endowment was provided for them; that that endowment remained untouched up to 1842, though power was given and has been used of re-distributing the grant within the sphere and limits of the West Indian Church, just in the same way as the noble and learned Lord on a former occasion argued that the funds of the Irish Church ought to be re-distributed for the benefit of the Irish Church itself. I say, therefore, that so far as Act of Parliaments are concerned, if this is not the case of an endowment I am really at a loss to understand what an endowment is. But I may make my ground stronger still. In 1842, when my noble Friend Lord Derby, then Lord Stanley, introduced the Bill as Colonial Secretary, what did he state to the House of Commons? Why, that he proposed this measure for the subdivision of the existing dioceses only after consultation with the heads of the Church, and after receiving their approbation; thus clearly implying that the West Indian Church was intimately connected in interests and policy with the Established Church of this country. In the debate which followed Mr. Pakington thanked Lord Stanley for what he had done, and went on to state that for his part he always declared that wherever the authority of the British Crown existed, proper provision should be made for the Established Church. On the other hand, a noble Lord opposite (Lord Lyveden), then Mr. Vernon Smith, warned Lord Stanley not to establish Bishops in every colony, because nothing could be more detrimental, especially to the Church of England itself, than the establishment in all the colonies of the State religion of this country. That, therefore, in general, public, Parliamentary repute was the view taken of this Act.And if you go further you find undoubtedly the same view taken. I find no further allusion to these bishoprics until 1866, when Mr. Remington Mills complained that these Bishops were to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of this country; and what was the answer of my predecessor, Mr. Cardwell, upon the subject? He said that the general views of Parliament and the country with respect to—what?—with respect to these "ecclesiastical endowments" had very much changed since the passing of the Act imposing the charge upon the Consolidated Fund. Therefore, I think I was warranted in speaking of this Church in the West Indies as an Estab- 792 lished Church, and of the money granted to it as an endowment. It is possible that—though I do not stop to argue the point—some persons may attempt to draw a distinction between income derived by the Church from tithe and income derived under statute. I confess I am at a loss to understand the grounds for such a distinction. The tithes rest on the security of the land from which those tithes are derived; money granted out of the Consolidated Fund by Act of Parliament is based on the security, not of one piece of land, but of the whole of the land and property of the country; and I am at a loss to understand what can be more binding or trustworthy than an Act of Parliament passed under such conditions as I have described. But the noble and learned Lord did not content himself with contradicting the accuracy of my statement with regard to the use of the word endowment. He went on to say that this was simply a transfer from Imperial to colonial funds. In order that there may be no mistake he will allow me to read his very words, He said—The colonists are, I believe, perfectly ready to make provision for the payment of the Bishops and parochial clergy; and the whole of this great question of the disendowment of the Church in Jamaica turns out to be simply this—the transfer of the burden of £20,000 from the Imperial Exchequer to the Colonial Exchequer."—[3 Hansard, cxciii. 261.]Now, I have examined these three Acts and I take on myself to say that there is not a word in any one of them with reference to such a transfer; and if it is not effected by virtue of anything in these Acts, how else can the transfer take place? As to the alleged readiness of the colonists to accept those burdens, it is true that I have resigned the Seals of the Colonial Office for a year and a half, and of course can know nothing of what may have passed since then; but no satisfied am I that the noble and learned Lord could have had no warrant for this statement that I will take the responsibility of saying that I am fully satisfied there can be no disposition on the part of these colonists to accept the burden; I am satisfied that there is little power on their part to accept it, even if they were so disposed; and I cannot, therefore, believe the statement which the noble and learned Lord unadvisedly, and I am sure unintentionally, made to this House. I must ask the noble and learned Lord whether he can produce any evidence, direct or indirect, 793 great or small, to show that the colonists have ever expressed in the smallest degree their readiness to accept this burden. I think I might safely go further, and ask the noble and learned Lord to produce a single despatch previous to the debate on the Irish Church in this House, in which the colonists have been even invited by the Government to accept that burden. If I am wrong in this statement which I now make I shall be the first to apologize for it; but if, on the other hand, the noble and learned Lord has no evidence to produce in support of his statement, I hope that his sense of candour and fairness will lead him to acknowledge that that statement was wholly without foundation. Thirdly, the noble and learned Lord has contradicted me equally pointedly on another question of fact, and I beg the House to pay particular attention to it. He says—From a very early period the dignitaries of the Church were supported by the colonies. The distress in the islands arising from emancipation was so great for the time, that the Parliament of England, as a matter of charity and as an eleemosynary gift, was content to pay out of the funds of the mother country, a sum of £20,000 a year in order to eke out and complete the salaries of some, not all, but a certain number of the Bishops and their archdeacons in those islands."—[3 Hansard, cxciii. 261.]Now I am sorry to say that in these half-dozen lines the noble and learned Lord has fallen into not less than three distinct errors. In the first place, before emancipation, these Bishops as I have shown, were not supported by the colonies at all. In the next place, this sum of £20,000 has not been granted to eke out and complete the salaries. I believe that the Bishops have almost if not wholly and solely depended upon that grant. Thirdly, I deny that the distress arising from emancipation was in any degree or shape the cause of this endowment of the bishoprics. It is obvious it could not be so. Negro emancipation was passed in 1833, and the Act which gave this endowment was passed in 1825. That is my answer to this charge, and I do not care to make any further comment on it. Lastly, the noble and learned Lord told me I was so blinded with anger against the Government that I was ready to make a thrust whenever I could, and therefore that I had magnified what was "a very simple and commonplace transaction" into a matter of great importance Now, let this question be judged, whether or no it is a very simple and commonplace transaction, not from anything I say, but 794 from the words of a Colleague of the noble and learned Lord. I find that on the 13th of April last year Mr. Remington Mills, a Gentleman I believe of advanced Liberal opinions in the House of Commons, introduced a Bill which, with the exception of a single clause, was substantially the same as the measure now before the House. Mr. Adderley, on behalf of the Government and the Colonial Office, said he should not oppose the Bill, but he pointed out that it was in a very improper state to pass, and he went on to say—The measure ought to be accompanied by considerable safeguards, for anything like a precipitate repeal of the Acts in question might lead to the production of great mischief, to injustice to individuals, and injury to the Church, and might even involve a breach of faith with the colonists of the West Indies. Not only must existing interests be saved, but the power of gradual reduction must be somewhere reserved, as also the power of anticipating vacancies.That Bill then and this being substantially the same, I must ask the noble and learned Lord whether it is fair to describe a measure which is "fraught with great mischief, injustice to individuals, injury to the Church, and possible breach of faith with the colonists of the West Indies," as a simple and commonplace transaction. I do not care to pursue this any further. I am indebted to your Lordships for the patience with which you have listened to me. I have studiously avoided by any word of mine reopening any part of the debate on the Irish Church. What I have said has been said in vindication of my own character, which was assailed for inaccuracy. The noble and learned Lord lectured me very severely, and he lamented that he was obliged to point out to me, who had been Colonial Secretary, the errors I had made in the matter of colonial fact. I leave it now to the House and to every impartial person to judge between the noble and learned Lord and myself, and to say which of the two has been most accurate. My Lords, I did not wish to say one word more, but when the noble and learned Lord uses that great skill and forensic power, to which I am the first to pay my tribute of respect, to charge an humble Member of your Lordships' House like myself with attempting to exaggerate and to mislead, and when that individual labours as I did under the disadvantage of being unable from the rules of the House to reply, and feels himself very far inferior to the noble and learned Lord 795 in rhetorical power, I think it would have been fairer and more generous if the noble and learned Lord himself were to measure his own statements of fact by a standard of the most precise accuracy.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I do not rise for the purpose of reopening the debate on the Irish Church. The noble Earl who has just sat down (the Earl of Carnarvon) laments that statements were made by me when he had not the opportunity of replying. The noble Earl has had an opportunity, not often the lot of those who take part in debate, of replying, after an interval of several days, to the statements which I made. That advantage I do not in the slightest degree grudge the noble Earl. And now first as to the question he has asked me. He has asked me whether the statements I made in reference to the position of the Church in Jamaica were correct. I said that the grant of £20,000 a year had been made by Parliament as an eleemosynary grant in consequence of the state to which the islands had been reduced by emancipation. In point of fact the grant was made some years before emancipation took place. If the noble Lord thinks that material to the argument,—if he thinks it in the slightest degree affects the argument I advanced, he is perfectly welcome to my full admission. Even as to that I must remind the noble Earl that in a speech of Mr. Canning, which has been quoted to-night, he spoke of the ground of the grant as being the condition of the colony, not by reason of emancipation, which had not then been granted, but by reason of the necessity of ameliorating the condition of the people, which was one of the grounds of the subsequent emancipation. The noble Earl asked me further whether I was correct in saying that the grant of £20,000 was for the purpose of eking out the resources of the Church in the Islands. I certainly maintain that it was, and the noble Earl, had he heard the statement of my noble Friend to-night, would have known that the Church in the islands had possessions which brought in something like £50,000 a year, and this £20,000 a year went to eke out and supplement that income. I do not know in what shape the property was, but I think the noble Duke said it was worth something like £50,000 or £60,000 a year. The noble Earl also asked me what authority I had for saying that the colonists were willing to take upon themselves the burden. I said I believed the colonists 796 were prepared to provide for their Bishops and their parochial ministers; I said that, as soon as the present Bill received the Royal Assent, they would be invited by the Home Government so to do; and I added, whether they did or did not, in my opinion it did not matter a pin's point in the argument. I maintained that the donation we gave in aid of the funds of the island was not in any sense establishment or endowment, and that the action which would take effect under the Bill would amount to neither disendowment nor disestablishment. I have already stated that I do not in any respect grudge the noble Earl the advantage of his reply to-night; but with reference to the arguments I advanced and the statements I made, beyond what I have now said I have nothing to retract, qualify, or explain. I am perfectly willing that the statements I made and the arguments I urged should go forth to your Lordships and the country with the reply of the noble Earl to-night, and I leave your Lordships and the public to judge whether that which was the main topic of my observations, the original attack of the noble Earl on Her Majesty's Government, was or was not warranted.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
I do not rise to re-open the Irish Church debate, but to say that I am most willing on my part to rest what little share of responsibility I have in introducing this matter first to your Lordships' notice upon the statement which was made by the noble Earl opposite, and the reply of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. In reply to the noble and learned Lord, however, there is one other question I should like to ask; and I wish to do it in guarded words, so as not to re-open what is past. Your Lordships may remember the severe censure which was passed upon us by Her Majesty's Ministers for not immediately retracting and apologizing for certain declarations, and it was said that it was usual in this House, when an attack was made on any Member of this House for anything he might have said, and he had completely and fully answered, that attack, that a retractation of that charge should be made. I will not go into what might be said to show the difficulties of our position at that moment, but I admit in the fullest degree the general principle which was laid down by noble Lords opposite. I really wish to know what are the peculiar circumstances in which the noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) stands that, twice during the last ten days, he has been made a 797 marked exception to this rule? The other day he made a statement, to which he has referred this evening, with regard to the Church in the colonies. He was taunted with being inaccurate; but I think he has proved that he was absolutely correct in what he then stated. And yet no single word of apology has been offered him. On the other occasion I refer to, an opinion was imputed to the noble Earl on quite another subject—that of the Abyssinian War. The noble Earl denied that he had ever held that opinion, and the only excuse or retractation he got was that the noble Earl who made the imputation said that for the future he should never believe his own cars. I should be glad to hear it stated what are the peculiar circumstances which prevent the application of an honourable rule in his case.
THE MARQUESS OF BATH
The speech of the noble Earl who has just sat down (Earl Granville) is a most extraordinary one. He says that he brought a totally unfounded charge against Her Majesty's Ministers and refused to retract it; and then, because two perfectly fair charges are brought against my noble Friend (the Earl of Carnarvon), he complains that those who bring them do not retract them.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
I do not wish to continue the criminations and recriminations of the discussion; but I have to offer an explanation in reference to what the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) said the other evening as to the expression made use of by the noble Earl behind me (the Earl of Carnarvon) respecting the Abyssinian War. I have to state that the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) afterwards referred to Hansard, in which there was a report of a speech by my noble Friend (the Earl of Carnarvon) which entirely justified the reference that was made to it. I think it right to make this statement in justification of Lord Derby, who is not now in the House.
THE EARL OF CARNARVON
I am extremely sorry the noble and learned Lord should have made that statement, because I also referred to Hansard, and satisfied myself that I was in the right. I am prepared to submit to any impartial jury the question whether there was the smallest foundation for what my noble Friend said. On the contrary, I totally deny having offered the recommendation imputed to me that a military dash should be made into Abyssinia. I recommended 798 a diplomatic mission, and the two things are wholly inconsistent.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
The noble Earl thought that a regiment or a regiment and a half would be quite sufficient to enforce that mission.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
I am getting quite accustomed to the character of these debates, and I venture to suggest that we are already travelling in the direction of those warm latitudes to which I alluded the other night. Although I have not long been a Member of your Lordships' House, I diligently read the reports of your Lordships' proceedings in the newspapers, and if my recollection serves me it is quite clear that what my noble Friend behind me (the Earl of Carnarvon) wanted was an Embassy which should be properly protected. Lord Derby, however, understood my noble Friend to say that the Embassy was to fulfil all the purposes of a military expedition. Now I think a little consideration will show that the two things are wholly distinct from each other; but whether my noble Friend was right or wrong, his proposal had nothing to do with the Expedition under Sir Robert Napier. As to the thorny subject which has been brought forward this evening, I think that in reference to one, and that to the smallest part of it, my noble Friend was distinctly right; while in reference to the other, he, in reality, merely begged the question which is at issue between those who are in favour of and those who are opposed to the Irish Church Establishment. As far as the Maynooth Grant and the Regium Donum are concerned, I hold that the parallel between Ireland and Jamaica is complete. To withdraw those two grants is exactly the same thing as the withdrawal of the support which Parliament gave to the West Indian Church. In regard, however, to the Irish Church, I think my noble Friend, who alluded contemptuously to certain persons who believe there is a difference between the inherited property of a corporation and sums voted annually by Parliament, thereby indicated the confusion which had arisen in his own mind. We on this side of the House contend, whether rightly or wrongly, that the property of the Irish Church depends on something totally different from the sanction given by Parliament, when sums are voted out of the Consolidated Fund, We contend, in point of fact, that the Church depends on sanctions analogous in character to those by virtue of which my 799 noble Friend holds his own property. That, I believe, constitutes the great difference between us and the noble Lords opposite on the subject of the Irish Church property. It is a difference of principle; and if my noble Friend overlooked that difference of principle, and also the fact that numbers of people hold the views which he thinks absurd, I can easily understand how he imagined that in withdrawing the grant to the West Indian Church the Government were going in an opposite direction to that indicated by the policy which they pursued on the question of the Irish Church. That, I think, was the way in which the confusion of the noble Earl arose. I have ventured to make these few remarks, but, although only a young Member of your Lordships' House, I must earnestly protest against the growing practice of devoting, in the midst of the important questions which we have to decide, and of the serious problems which come up to us for solution, so much valuable time to the discussion of purely personal questions.
§ THE DUKE OF CLEVELAND
thought the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Carnarvon) had completely vindicated himself from the charge of inaccuracy that had been brought against him. With respect to the general subject then under their Lordships' consideration he was of opinion that it would not be possible to continue the policy hitherto pursued towards the colonies; and he was therefore prepared to support the Bill.
said, that if he might trust to his memory the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) said he thought the noble Earl near him (the Earl of Carnarvon) wished to have a flying squadron sent to Abyssinia, and suggested that perhaps the noble Earl might wish to have the Hampshire Yeomanry Cavalry despatched to that country. ["Question !"]
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
said, he would not enter into the general question, but wished to ask the noble Duke the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the colonists were ready, or had at any time been invited, to take this increased burden upon themselves?
THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
No application has yet been made to the colonies asking them to assume the charge for the episcopal supervision of those sees, which will be unprovided for, as far as regards the Imperial salaries, on the death of the present holders. The communications 800 which I have had with those who hold the most important sees in the West Indian colonies lead me to believe that there will not be any difficulty on the part of the colonists in providing out of their own resources for episcopal supervision, on the scale which is usual at present in our colonial dioceses. It is true that that is not such a provision as was contemplated years ago, when the grant was established, but still it has been found sufficient throughout our colonial possessions. With regard to the houses, lands, and certain allowances appertaining to the bishops, and which have been granted in the colonies, they will, of course, stand just as they did before the passing of the Bill.
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Thursday next.