HL Deb 02 July 1869 vol 197 cc996-1081

House again in Committee (according to Order).

Clause 24 (Building charge to be paid on commutation of annuity) agreed to.

Clause 25 (Enactments with respect to churches).


said, that the clause disposed of all churches in Ireland, whether in use or ruinous. It provided, amongst other things, that— Where any church was in use at the time of the passing of this Act, and no application in respect thereof is made by the said representative body of the said church within the said prescribed period, and such church was erected at the private expense of any person, the commissioners shall, on the application of the person who erected such church, if alive, or of his representatives if he died since the year one thousand eight hundred, by order vest such church in the applicant or applicants, or in such person or persons, as he or they may direct. Now, he wished to propose, the omission of the words "if he died since the year 1800;" for he could not see why such a limitation should be imposed, or why a church built by a person who died in 1799 should be dealt with differently from one the founder of which survived a year or two longer. He thought, moreover, that the Bill contained no provision for churches in course of repair or re-construction, and he presumed that, under the 4th sub-section, the Commissioners could dispose of them as they thought fit.

Amendment moved, line 28, to leave out ("if he died since the year one thousand eight hundred.")—(Lord Dunsany.)


said, a limitation of time must necessarily be somewhat arbitrary; but he thought the date selected was a very fair arrangement, and to go much further back would lead to great difficulty in the way of ascertaining facts. He did not quite understand the noble Lord's objection to the 4th subsection.


explained that he feared the Commissioners would be unable in strict law to treat churches undergoing repair or re-construction as churches in actual use.


believed that in the original Bill the 3rd sub-section was limited to cases where persons had died within twenty years, but the extension of time to 1800 was afterwards conceded; and, unless his noble Friend had reason to think that there were some particular churches which might be unfairly dealt with, he thought the present arrangement was satisfactory.

Amendment, by leave of the Committee, withdrawn.

Amendment made, line 38, after ("therewith") insert ("together with any land occupied with such school-house.")—(Lord Cairns.)

Amendment agreed to.


asked whether a provision was not necessary for applying to secular purposes consecrated buildings not claimed by the Church Body?


said, there was no difficulty on this point; the Bank of England stood on the site of a church, and a great many churches had been pulled down for the construction of railways.


said, that in those cases application was made to the Bishop for his consent to the removal of a church.


said, he hoped that, on the Report, a provision would be inserted in this clause for capitalizing the first fruits and deducting them from the commutation, to which the clergy were said to be favourable. This fund might be applied to keeping cathedrals and churches in repair.


said, as the Bill was originally drawn, provision was made for the repair of cathedrals, and the churches that were specified in the Bill. But that provision was agreeable to neither party in Ireland. The Protestants objected to it, because they said these edifices might be regarded in some manner as not belonging to the Protestant Church, and might be given hereafter to the Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholics objected, because they said the provision was a relic of endowment. For these reasons the Government withdrew the clause.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 26 (Enactments with respect to burial-grounds).


moved, in line 9, after ("thereto") leave out ("but not separated therefrom by any public highway"). The clause proposed that a burial-ground annexed, or adjacent to a church should continue under Church management, subject to the rights of all parties; but in many cases a church had been re-built at a short distance from the burial-ground, and separated from it by a highway. The burial-ground ought surely to remain with the Church Body, irrespective of this circumstance.


said, the Bill proposed that a burial-ground surrounding a church should be vested in the Church Body; but, in other cases, it was thought better for the general interests of the Irish population that the burial-ground should be separated from the control of the Church Body, and vested in the Poor Law Guardians. An Act was passed last year, of which he took charge in this House, which prevented clergymen from obstructing the interment of Roman Catholics and Dissenters; but, although this was necessary in order to prevent disturbances, such legislation was of an exceptional kind, and it would be better to place burial-grounds separated from churches under a distinct authority.


doubted whether the guardians would possess sufficient powers. Many burial-grounds were formerly attached to monasteries and convents, and had never been connected with churches; but though the interment of persons of all communions was allowed, disputes often arose. He knew a case where a gentleman, having one of these burial-grounds on his property, refused access to it for the interment of the member of a family with which he was on unfriendly terms; nor was this a solitary occurrence. Would the guardians, under such circumstances, have power to enforce access?


said, his objection had not been met by the reply of the noble Earl. Why should a burial-ground, accidentally separated from the church by a public highway, be handed over to guardians, not one of whom might be an attendant at the church?


remarked, that the Board of Guardians represented rate-payers of all denominations, and that all had the right of interment. The compromise proposed by the Bill was in the interest of the Church, a claim having been made that all these burial-grounds without distinction should be handed over to the guardians. It was useless to make Amendments, to be struck out in the other House.


said, he hoped the Government would accept the Amendment. A footpath often crossed a burial-ground, and under this clause that part which lay on one side of the path would belong to the church, and the other part to the guardians.


said, he thought a sufficient concession had been made in allowing burial-grounds which were not separated from the church to be vested in the Church Body.


said, he would withdraw his Amendment, not wishing to divide on so small a point, and hoping that the Government would re-consider the question. Although the concession had not been made, he would endeavour to return good for evil by pointing out the absence of a nominative in line 18.

The verbal defect pointed out by the noble and learned Lord having been supplied,


suggested that something might be done in the case of burial-grounds situated in the centre of gentlemen's parks, so as to avoid annoyances which might arise from their being vested in the Boards of Guardians.


said, he would consider, before the Report, whether any provision was necessary to meet the contingency.


said, having conferred with the noble Earl (Earl Granville), he would defer until the Report two Amendments, one vesting the custody of interesting ruins in the Board of Works, instead of in the Poor Law Guardians; and the other relating to buildings licensed for Divine service other than churches.

Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 27 (Enactments with respect to ecclesiastical residences).

THE DUKE OF CLEVELAND, who had given notice of an Amendment said,: My Lords, I feel it necessary to make a short statement in limine of the course I propose to take. It has been urged upon me by one or two noble Lords on the opposite side of the House that, though I am entitled to precedence, yet, the principle of my Amendment being identical with that given notice of by the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury), I should waive that right in his favour, so far as regards the first part of the Amendment, and should subsequently undertake the second portion of it. In requesting me to do so they acted, I presume, on the principle "Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes," thinking that I am more connected with the Liberal side. I intend to move the second portion as part and parcel of the whole Amendment, and I regard the one as contingent on the other. My only reason for leaving the first portion of it, which in my opinion is entirely founded on justice and expediency, is, that it will be more elaborately developed by the noble Marquess, who is more particularly connected with the opposite side of the House. I wish it to be distinctly understood that I regard the two parts as a continuous whole, and that I will be no party to the one unless the other is granted. If both are adopted they are consistent with the principle of the Bill; but if only one were adopted it would be inconsistent with that principle, and I am convinced that there is no chance of the acceptance of the first portion by the other House, unless we join with it the second portion which I shall subsequently propose to the Committee.


I beg also to be permitted to state the course which I shall adopt with regard to the Amendment on this clause which stands upon the Paper in my name. My sole reason for moving in this matter at all was because I, and some Peers with whom I have the honour of acting, took great exception to the form of words placed upon the table by my noble Relative the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Cleveland). We felt that as the Amendment stands first in his name and in the terms in which it was expressed we should scarcely be able to support it; and I, therefore, acting under the suggestion of my Friends, placed upon the Paper an Amendment giving better expression to our particular views. But as I now find, to my great satisfaction, that my noble Relative does not intend to proceed with the first part of his Amendment, but will substantially adopt that of the noble Marquess near me (the Marquess of Salisbury), I shall withdraw the Amendment which I have placed upon the Paper, and shall give my cordial support to my noble Relative.


then rose for the purpose of moving his Amendment, the effect of which was to give the glebe houses to the Church free of charge. He said: My Lords, I thoroughly appreciate the courtesy of the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland) in giving way to me on the present occasion. I can assure you, however, that I was not one of the Peers who pressed upon him the desirability of doing so. [A laugh.] The noble Earl (Earl Granville), judging from his laughter, seems to see something very wicked in my simple statement; but I can assure him that all I meant to convey was that I should much rather have seen this Amendment in the hands of the noble Duke, who, I feel sure, would have done more justice to it. In the few words which the noble Duke saw fit to address to your Lordships, he seemed to hint at some development which the subject was to receive from my treatment, and in saying that he may have frightened your notions with the belief that I was about to inflict upon you an elaborate speech. I assure your Lordships that you need entertain no apprehensions on that score. My Amendment is a very simple one, and I hope to be able to lay before you the grounds upon which I rest it in a very few words. All that I ask of you is to give to the Church Body the glebe houses at present inhabited by the clergymen of the Established Church, without the onerous conditions which have been imposed by Her Majesty's Government. Under the Bill these glebe houses may be divided into two classes. First of all there are those which have no building charge, and, secondly, there are those which have a building charge. With respect to those which have none the Bill requires that the Church Body should pay ten years' purchase of the land on which 'these glebe houses stand, estimated according to the value of the land. Now, the first observation which I have to make upon that provision is that it is extremely and even dangerously ambiguous. It appears to me to bequeath to the future Church Body not only a heavy charge for payment, but also the prospect of heavy litigation. I am quite aware that questions arising out of clauses like the one under discussion are to be settled by arbitration; but I have no hesitation in saying that all those who have had experience of that mode of settling disputes will agree with me when I say that, after the Court of Chancery, the next great evil which can befal a man is to get into an arbitration. To my mind the chief ambiguity of the clause rests upon the word "land." We are told in the other House of Parliament that the meaning of that is building land; but it ought to be remembered that statutes are not interpreted by Parliamentary debates, but by the exact meaning of the words contained in them. It is obvious that there is nothing in the world which ought to exclude the interpretation of building land from it. Moreover, it is obvious that if they are to pay ten years' purchase on the land as building land, they will have to pay a great deal more for the value of the glebe house than if the land were not building land. Then, again, further ambiguities may arise in connection with this word land embraced in the clause. If the land is not building land, does it cover coal? and if so, are the Commissioners to purchase the coal? What are we to understand by ten years' purchase of coal? Again, if it is merely agricultural land, perplexities will arise. Some land of this description pays £6 an acre, and some only 5s. Which of these extremes is to be adopted? Or are the purchasers to knock down the buildings and plough up the land so as to ascertain its value? Or by what means are they to ascertain it? The clause is, I maintain, as ambiguous as it could possibly be made, and upon that ground alone it would be unworthy of your Lordships' acceptance. But I contend that on the strictest principles of the Bill itself this land could only be charged for at all upon the buyer's price of mere waste land. There is no ground for charging it with any other value. If the land in its immediate neighbourhood has acquired any greater value, it has acquired it not through any action taken by the State, but through the industry of successive generations of clergymen. Nothing, I think, could be harder than to say that a thrifty man with thrifty predecessors shall pay a penalty for that thrift. We hear a great deal about improvements and the necessity of compensating them in Ireland, but this is the first proposal we have heard that those who have made improvements shall be by law punished for those improvements. I now come to the other and much larger class of parsonage houses—namely, those upon which a building charge remains. These, I fear, form a very much larger class, because I think we were told in "another place" that the value of the parsonage houses was £18,000 a year, whereas the debt upon them was £250,000. Now, if the value be £18,000 a year, it is obvious, according to the present price of land and building land in Ireland, that it will not fall very short of the ultimate value of the parsonage houses. Therefore I think the parsonage houses come within the category of those who have a building charge upon them. Well these represent the thrift of the poor clergy. Some clergymen, anxious to have good parsonages to their livings, paid during their lifetime, out of their own revenues, a heavy payment in order to insure the building of good houses; and they obtained Acts of Parliament to charge their successors also. That is what this building charge represents in the Bill. Well these subscriptions of the poor clergymen are essentially of the nature of private endowments, and you have no right to confiscate them. If you do you confiscate contributions to which you have no right whatever. Certain, men have subscribed their money upon a certain understanding; you make out the contract entirely in your favour; and you confiscate the very property which has been built out of their revenues. I therefore maintain that, proceeding upon the bare principles of justice contained within the four corners of the Bill, you ought to accept my Amendment. But, my Lords, I have a still stronger case to make out in my favour—I have the pledges of Her Majesty's Government upon the subject, confirmed by the verdict of the country. We have often had that verdict cited to us for our guidance, and I myself shall now take the liberty of citing it. We can only know what Her Majesty's Government really said by knowing what was the question proposed by them, and we can only know the question proposed by looking at the speeches that were made. When I talk of speeches, I, of course, refer to those which were made before the election by those who are now among the most eminent Ministers of the Crown. I do not care for the speeches which were made after the election, as they do not bear in the same manner upon the case; although I may say, whilst upon this point, that the speech which the Privy Seal (the Earl of Kimberley) made last night was one that he would not have dared to make before the last election; and if that very remarkable change of tone in the language of the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) which we were witnesses to last night had manifested itself before the verdict of the country, which he and his party were challenging, had been given he would have been restrained by his more prudent friends. In order to arrive at a sound conclusion on this point we must go back to the promise which was made before the verdict was given, and not to the interpretation of the promise given when the desired result was achieved. The other night the noble Duke was pleased to get out of a dilemma, caused by certain language which he had used, by saying that we had attributed a great deal too much importance to his words. I have no intention of wounding the bashful-ness of the noble Duke by quoting his words again, but in excusing himself as he did he very much underrated the position which he occupied last year, and which he now occupies. The noble Duke has long been known as one of the ablest leaders of the party with which he acts; he is known as the friend of the present Prime Minister, and he was known as one of those who framed the famous Resolutions upon which the verdict of the country was to be taken. Consequently any words uttered by him at the time the Resolutions were being discussed must be taken as part of the issue submitted to the country in order to obtain its verdict. The noble Duke then said— Under the scheme sketched by Mr. Gladstone, the Church is to be left in possession of the churches and parsonages, and of some land adjacent."—[3 Hansard, cxciii. 174.] Such was the language made use of by the noble Duke previous to the elections. But I shall not confine myself to him, but will cite also the instance of another Member of the present Government. I suppose there is no doubt about the position occupied by Mr. Bright upon this question before the election. And with that right hon. Gentleman, as with the noble Duke, we have the satisfaction of dealing with a man who does not ordinarily practice unnecessary reticence, and therefore we need have no difficulty in learning really what he meant. On the 13th of March, last year, Mr. Bright said— Now, if I were asked to give my advice—and if I am not asked I shall give it—I should propose that where there are congregations in Ireland—and I am speaking now, of course, of the present Established Church—who would undertake to keep in repair the church in which they have been accustomed to worship, and the parsonage house in which their minister lives, Parliament should leave them in the possession of their churches and their parsonage houses."—[3 Hansard, cxc. 1659.] Now, Mr. Bright made that promise under the impression that there was to be a demand for concurrent endowment, and that what was to be given to the Church should also be given to others; but, deferring the full consideration of this part of the question until it is before the Committee, I wish to show now that the two things are perfectly independent, and that they were independent in the mind of Mr. Bright, for he went on to say— All State connection would be entirely abolished. You would then have all sects on an equality. The Protestants would have their churches and parsonage houses, as they have now; but the repairs of them and the support of their ministers, would be provided by their congregations, or by such an organization as they choose to form. The Catholics would provide, as they have hitherto done so meritoriously, and with such wonderful generosity, for themselves."—[Ibid.] It is obvious from this that when Mr. Bright made the promise I have referred to with respect to the parsonage houses, he never dreamt of making concessions to the other denominations. I do not, of course, in saying this, wish to be understood as expressing any objection to giving compensation to the whole of the denominations. Mr. Bright made one other observation, not bearing strictly upon the parsonage houses, but which bears upon all the Amendments that have been submitted, and which I would earnestly press upon the attention of the Ministers of the Crown. He said— If this question ever comes to be dealt with by a great and powerful Minister, let it be dealt with in a great and generous spirit.—[Ibid 1662.] My Lords, I cannot explain how it has come to pass that a measure conceived with these lofty and generous impulses has sunk down into a measure which Shylock himself might envy. I am utterly unable to understand it. I can only conceive that some such process has been adopted by the Government with respect to the Irish Church, as was adopted by the Triumvirs of old with respect to their friends. The Triumvirs found themselves quite unable to agree upon any plan for dealing with their friends, but at last they hit upon the happy expedient of allowing each other to kill as many of his colleagues' friends as he liked. The Irish Church, I presume, has been submitted to some such process. Each Member of the Cabinet has been allowed to obliterate from the Government scheme what portion he pleased, and I am sure that, after the Bill had passed round, it must have been the most mercenary and avaricious of all the Ministers—I will not say who that was—who cut off these glebe honses from the remnant of her possessions left to the Irish Church. In the same debate to which I have already referred, Mr. Gladstone himself said— I entirely agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) in what I understood to be the purport of his speech, as to the mode of effecting this great operation. We must, in my opinion, respect every vested interest, every proprietary right, every legitimate feeling, and, in every case of doubt that arises, we must honestly endeavour to strike a balance in favour of the other party and against ourselves. The operation is rude enough after all: the mitigation which we can impart to it by the spirit in which we may endeavour to approach it."—[Ibid. 1767.] I will not detain your Lordships longer. I have only, in the first place, to ask the Government to consider the reason of the case; and, secondly, to abide by their own pledges. I have only to say that if they do not abide by those pledges, given before the verdict of this country was asked, they have no claim to come to this House and ask us to acquiesce in that verdict.

Amendment moved, line 33, to leave out from ("therein") to the end of the clause.—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)


The noble Marquess was good enough to interpret my notice of his opening statement as an indication that I saw something wicked in his remark; I am sure nothing of the sort was passing in my mind, but I must confess to the impression that some arrangement had been made which was evidently distasteful to the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland), and with which the noble Marquess was evidently anxious to disclaim having had anything to do; and I think it just possible that some active Member of your Lordships' House may have undertaken to manipulate the Amendment in such a way as to secure the greatest number of votes from both sides of the House. It is unnecessary for me to go into the question of the difficulty of valuing the land so ingeniously put by the noble Marquess. I would leave it to the common sense of your Lordships to say whether, under the clauses of this Bill, men of great eminence in different ways would have the slightest difficulty in coming to a fair valuation of the sites of these parsonage houses. Should the clause as it stands in the Bill be passed, I shall be surprised if even a single case for arbitration were to arise owing to the decision of the Commissioners with respect to the value of the land. The noble Marquess has told us that what the Bill proposes to do is in direct opposition to the pledges which we gave when we were in Opposition. That is, however, a very incorrect way of stating the case. However eminent particular persons may be, certainly no declaration of theirs as individuals can overrule the declaration of a united Government afterwards constructed, and of which they happen to form a part; and the noble Marquess evidently understands the language of the Government now—the language, for instance, about the Bill of Pains and Penalties which the noble Earl near me (the Earl of Kimberley) made use of last night—as applicable to the whole character of the measure, whereas it was only in answer to one particular argument of the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Peterborough). The noble Marquess showed the inconsistency of his argument by reading a passage in which Mr. Gladstone, being in Opposition last year, before the verdict of the country was actually passed, stated that it must necessarily be "a rude measure" as regards the Irish Church. It was not a necessary part of the disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church that the houses of the clergy should be given to them for nothing, any more than was that plan of Mr. Miall's which the noble Earl (the Earl of Harrowby) nearly persuaded some of your Lordships was identical with the Bill before us. There certainly was a hope expressed that these houses should be given; but that hope was expressed in ignorance of the most important fact that since the Union £250,000 had been given to the Irish Church for these parsonage houses, and this sum was made up of an actual grant, and £150,000 the remission of interest on loans. The plan of the Government does nothing more. It will come exactly to the same thing if the building charges with respect to these houses were put upon the clergy, instead of adopting the plan now proposed. I do believe my noble Friend will gain nothing by the bargain, putting entirely aside the £250,000 that was granted. I think that this vast sum may and must be repaid; and it would have been a dereliction of duty if, when the Government came to consider what was right, and to apply the principle of equity with regard to other persons, they had entirely ignored what they found out for the first time, and had made no difference whatever in consequence of that discovery. I believe the arrangement, as proposed in the Bill, will prove highly advantageous to the clergy. There is at present a building charge upon the houses of £130,000 for repairs, but the clergy will be allowed to have them for the mere market value of the land on which they stand. Therefore, I think the illustration derived from Shakespeare with regard to the usurious character of this arrangement is exceedingly exaggerated, and not fair. I would follow the example of the noble Marquess in not making a long speech upon this occasion, for, as the Amendment of the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland) is to come afterwards, we shall all of us, doubtless, have an opportunity of making speeches on it. I would only declare on the part of the Government that they cannot assent to the Amendment which the noble Marquess has proposed.


I am anxious to offer a few observations upon this subject; and lest there should be any misconception based upon what fell from the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Cleveland), I desire to make one explanation. The noble Duke said he was anxious that the Amendment moved by my noble Friend (the Marquess of Salisbury), dealing with the glebe houses of the clergy of the Church of Ireland, should come first in point of order. He said he was prepared, to consider it, and he looked upon it and the Amendment which he is afterwards to propose, going in the direction of what is termed, comparative and sometimes indiscriminate endowment as part of one whole, and for his part he was prepared to support the present Amendment, for retaining the houses only upon the terms of which he has given notice as to their future maintenance. Lest there should be any misconception, I would say I do not intend to support this Amendment on these grounds. I desire to keep the two quite distinct. I shall vote for this, and I think I can satisfy your Lordships it is thoroughly just, oven if the other were not to be proposed. When the proper time arrives I shall ask permission to offer reasons why I cannot support the Amendment of the noble Duke. Let me state to your Lordships what is the present question before us. It does not deal with the glebe lands of a parish, it deals simply and entirely with the houses and the curtilages attached to them. As to the glebes, the provision of this Bill is that if the future and reconstructed Church of Ireland wants glebes of from ten to thirty acres it must pay for them at the market price of the land. It is important, therefore, that we should keep in view this distinction between the question of houses and glebes. Now, with regard to the first question, I wish to direct your Lordships' attention to this point. What are these houses, when were they built, what is their history? It happens that we have precise information on this point. A large number, by far the majority, of these houses have been built since the Union. In 1800 there were only 295 glebe houses in Ireland, and now there are 980. We find that since 1833 enormous sums of money, which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have been able to trace the greater part of, have been spent upon the building and repairing of these houses by the clergymen out of their incomes, and that if they have borrowed for that purpose from the public funds, with an exception, which I will afterwards mention, the whole has been repaid. The whole amount so spent has been £1,200,000, and that is quite distinct from the grant the noble Earl (Earl Granville) spoke of. The money was derived in the first instance from the income of the clergymen, which they might have spent otherwise, but which they chose to spend in the erection and repair of their houses. And now let me say one word about the value of the land. The noble Marquess put the question how they proposed to estimate the value of the land on which the houses stood. I listened with great anxiety to the speech of the noble Earl on this point, in order to know how the problem was to be solved. But did the noble Earl give us any information? None whatever. He said the valuation was so easy that there could be no doubt whatever how it was to be done. But, my Lords, I venture to say that this problem can only be solved in one of two ways. Either the land on which the house is built must be valued as so much waste or barren land, utterly unproductive—in which case it is worth nothing—or it must be valued as part of the large glebe by which it is surrounded—you will take the value of the surrounding glebe as your estimate. But what is that surrounding glebe? It is land which has been occupied by clergyman after clergyman from time immemorial; from time immemorial it has been improved by clergyman after clergyman out of their own resources, and in consequence of the value they have thus imparted to it you will charge for these one or two acres as if it were highly improved agricultural land. Let me remind your Lordships of what a high authority in Ireland (Mr. Bence Jones) has told us of a case within his own knowledge. He says— Ten years ago a layman got a lease for ever of five acres of bad land at 7s. per acre, as a glebe for his parish. £400 was borrowed on the tithes of the parish. The layman gave £150, and the clergyman spent £100. Thus a small house, &c, were built. By draining and manuring this land is now as well worth 27s. per acre as it was 7s. ten years ago. Then what you must do by the Bill is this—you must value the land on which the house stands, and which is only worth 7s. an acre, and you will value it at the value of the surrounding land, which is worth 27s. an acre, though all the improved value of the land has been imparted to it by the labour of the clergyman himself? Now, I ask is that fair? But let us come to the other facts in the Bill. The noble Earl says that at one time a grant was made of £150,000 for the purposes of these buildings; but he forgot to tell us when it was made. That grant was not a grant from Parliament, but, as I understand, it was a grant from the Board of First Fruits; it was derived from revenues which had come from the livings of the clergy, and the whole money was expended long before the Church Temporalities Act, long before 1833. And does the noble Earl mean to say that in the glebe houses there remains any portion of that expenditure which occurred many years before 1833? It is perfectly absurd to suppose that these houses, which are now to be handed over to the Church Body, have any remnant of that expenditure remaining in them. I want to ask your Lordships to observe what is to be done with regard to Maynooth upon this subject. Year after year grants from the public treasury were spent upon the repairs of Maynooth—some £30,000 to £50,000; and has it been proposed, in consequence of that expenditure, to say that Maynooth, or any part of it, is public property, and that it should not be appropriated by those who have found the residue of what has been spent upon it without their paying back the sums which have been granted? Nothing of the kind. What difference is there between grants made to Maynooth and grants made to the Board of First Fruits for the purpose of erecting these houses? There is a building charge upon Maynooth, a charge of £20,000, and of this the Bill proposes that Maynooth should be entirely released. What consistency is there in the two cases? The noble Earl said there had been some breach of faith by Parliament on this subject. I will tell you what it is; it is described in a Report upon Maynooth, to be found in the Library. It was thus—There was a sum annually granted to Maynooth for repairs; the College used it, not for repairs, but for enlargement; and, in consequence of that misappropriation, Parliament unanimously refused the continuance of the grant. An expenditure for repairs being still required, a sum of £20,000 was lent for that purpose; and from the payment of that sum the trustees are to be entirely released. Her Majesty's Government feel the embarrassment of the position they are placed in, because they have acted with regard to these houses upon no principle whatever. If the Government are prepared to maintain this proposition that the new Irish Church shall have no portion of these glebes except by becoming purchasers of them, I want to know on what principle the sum to be paid for the glebe houses is to be ten times the value of the ground they stand upon. I can understand it if you say they must pay the market value of the houses; but I cannot understand your saying that they may buy them, but you will not sell them at what they are worth. The Government recoils from the application of the principle they have laid down, and they are obliged to confess that it is one they cannot act upon, and therefore they have produced this arrangement, which is a middle course between what is right and what is wrong. Now, I will refer to the other grant made for the building of houses to which the noble Earl referred. There was a loan of £120,000 made by Parliament; but the charge for that loan was laid, by Act of Parliament, upon the profits of the living—not upon the house at all, but upon the tithes and the glebe lands, and the other profits of the living of which the Government is going to take possession, and of which the Church is to be deprived. It is the Government, through the Commissioners, who will be the proprietors of the property on which the charge is imposed; and the Church remains proprietor of that part of the property on which the charge never was imposed. This is clear from the first section of the Act of Parliament. What it says is that the sums so advanced shall be charges or incumbrances on the ecclesiastical emoluments and profits of the see, benefice, or preferment on which it is expended. In point of fact, if it ever become necessary to enforce those charges in the only way in which they could be enforced, it could only be by a sequestration of the profits of the benefice, but the houses on which the money was expended were never made subject to the charge. But the noble Earl tells us that when Members of the Government made these promises last year they did not know of these charges. They were ignorant of these charges. Why, my Lords, this was one of the topics of conversation—it was one of the topics of the debate on the Suspensory Bill, when it was pointed out what the effect would be upon those charges if the clergymen then in possession should die, and the amount of the building charge then due was strongly pressed upon your Lordships' notice. Ignorance of these facts cannot be pleaded except through total want of attention. My Lords, I have no desire to add to the quotations which have already been made by my noble Friend (the Marquess of Salisbury) with respect to these promises, but there is one quotation more which I must ask the leave of the Committee to read. In the debate upon the Resolutions of last year Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright expressed in the clearest way their opinions on the subject of the parsonage houses. When Mr. Gladstone went down to Lancashire I find the statement which he made to the country, and on which he asked for their verdict, was this— My opinion, gentlemen, is that the feeling of this country, apart from logic, never would endure, if these clergy and laity are disposed to continue the use of their parsonages and churches for public worship, that they should be taken from them. That was the case which was presented to Lancashire, and what was stated to the electors of Lancashire at the last election was, of course, read throughout the country. Why, my Lords, would the Members of the Government have dared to go to the country, and to say—"We intend to disestablish and disendow the Irish Church; we intend to compensate Maynooth out of the property of the Irish Church; we intend to compensate the recipients of the Regium Donum; we intend to remit the building charges upon Maynooth; we intend to leave the clergy of the Establishment in possession of their churches, but we will refuse to give them their parsonages unless they pay the building charges?" In the eye of the law, judged by the common sense of the country and, above all, by the ecclesiastical law, the churches and the parsonage houses are one and the same thing. You admit that you cannot take the churches; you ought, consequently, to leave the parsonage houses in the possession of those to whom you hand over the churches. I cannot help reminding your Lordships that in the House of Commons, and even among the supporters of the Government, there was a considerable difference of opinion upon this point, and that the strongest remonstrances were made from the Liberal side of the House against the proposal of the Government, though these remonstrances were, no doubt, stifled when the time for voting arrived.


I would remind the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) that the probable way of ascertaining the value of the glebe and land would be to ascertain the value of the land in the neighbourhood, and make that the basis of the estimate. But, it should also be remembered that we have a trustworthy guide in the existing valuations, and it is remarkable at how little these glebes are estimated. The noble and learned Lord said that £1,200,000 had been expended upon these glebe houses; but the Poor Law valuation in Ireland estimates these glebe houses at the yearly value of not more than £18,000 a year. That valuation has been in force for some time, and is not likely to be considerably altered by the passing of this Bill. The noble and learned Lord objects to the proposal of the Government, on the ground that we do not treat Maynooth on the same footing. I would, however, remind the noble and learned Lord that there is another point which the Bill does not touch. Maynooth is an educational establishment for the training of Roman Catholics; the educational establishment for Protestants is Trinity College. The noble and learned Lord should bear in mind that this Bill does not touch Trinity College in any way. I do not wish to push this argument too far; but if Maynooth is to be included in this question, it will be well to remember the position of Trinity College. Now, the building charge is, no doubt, a charge upon the whole of the benefice; but it is a charge created for the purpose of constructing buildings; and when the noble and learned Lord proposes that the Church should take the houses and the Government the building charge, I cannot help thinking that he proposes to divide the oyster by giving us the shell. The noble and learned Lord's arguments, however, I must say, are not calculated to offer much encouragement to the Government to exercise leniency, for the noble and learned Lord instanced the leniency of the Government as an argument in favour of the proposal which he advocates. It is a fact that the Government have gone in this matter even beyond what they thought was strictly fair. The building charge will be taken entirely by the Government; but, upon the other hand, the Church will be enabled to purchase the glebe houses, and to take as the terms for the purchase the smaller of the two charges—that is to say, when the building charge amounts to less than the value of the land they may take the building charge, or vice versa. The consequence is, that there is considerable alleviation in the plan proposed by the Government, though I fear I shall be unable to convince the noble and learned Lord that these houses ought not to be given to the Church without any payment whatever-EARL RUSSELL: It appears to me that throughout this Bill we ought to keep in mind the distinction which was made by the right rev. Prelate on the second reading between justice and policy. I think it very evident that if we are to disestablish and disendow the Established Church, certain things will require to be done beyond bare justice. I think it unfortunate that the Government have confounded these two questions in several provisions of this Bill—and in none more than in the present clause. Strict justice only requires that we should pay to clergymen their life interests. Any improvements they may have made in the lands they have possessed they will not be entitled to retain. All they can claim on the ground of bare justice is the value of their life interests. In considering what these glebe lands are worth, we must bear in mind that land is of different value in different parts of the country. In some of the remoter parts it is of very little value indeed; but if it happens to be near a town, and can be used for market gardens, it is worth £3 or £4 an acre. But if the question of justice be satisfied, I come to the other question—that of policy. There does arise, in this case, the question, whether it is right, whether it is politic, whether it is advisable, with a view to the future welfare of Ireland, that you should give these glebes and glebe lands to the Church which you are about to disestablish. It can make no great difference to the existing clergy whether these houses and lands should belong to the Church Body in 100 years to come. Even if the Church were to remain untouched by any disestablishment and disendowment, the matter could make no great difference to them. But I contend that it is a great public question whether, in disestablishing this Church, which has been in connection with the State for so many hundred years, you should allow those residences, with a small portion of land attached to them, to remain with the Church for the use of the future clergy. The clergy of the Established Church in Ireland, keep up pure religious teaching in that country, and they are a body of men whom everyone respects. I say, then, we ought to consider whether it is desirable or not as a matter of public policy that those residences should be kept up. My Lords, I have no hesitation in answering that question. I see that, looking on the matter as one of State policy, it is desirable that they should be kept up, and therefore I do not think the Government have done very well in putting into this Bill provisions which would compel the Church Body to pay ten years' value for these glebe lands, calculating the value on their use for building purposes. The Government say it is just that certain charges on the glebes should be paid off; but as you are about to destroy this Church as an Established Church, I say—"Don't require the payment of these paltry charges. You should look to the future of this Church, and in dealing with so great a question, you ought not to haggle about those charges." Then there is the question of Maynooth. That College is in a similar condition as regards building charges. You say that bare justice requires a compensation of fourteen years for the interests of the Professors and students now receiving their education at Maynooth. Everyone sees that the fourteen years' compensation you are about to give Maynooth will enable the managers of that institution to keep up a College for the education of Roman Catholic clergy in future times. I agree with the Government in the principle adopted in respect of Maynooth, though I may have some doubts as to the data on which the fourteen years' compensation for Professors and students has been arrived at. The compensation to the Professors and students and that to the Presbyterian Ministers who receive the Regiwm Donum may be put in the same clauses, but the two things have no connection. I do not object to justice being done to the Professors and students of Maynooth; but I do not think it is a very just process to cut off three or four years from the vested interests of the Presbyterian Ministers who receive the Regiwm Donum and give them to Maynooth. I will not now enter upon the question to be raised presently by my noble Friend (the Duke of Cleveland), in respect of what may be done for the clergy of other creeds; but, looking on the question now before us, as a large question of public policy, I am entirely favourable to the proposition of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury), and I shall give my vote for it.


My noble Friend who has just sat down puts the demand he makes for the Irish Church on the fairest ground. He puts it on the ground of policy, and not on that of justice. My noble Friend is quite consistent in making this demand, because he advocates concurrent or indiscriminate endowment, and would do for other creeds what he proposes to do for the members of the Irish Church. I shall not enter into the wider question now; but I am anxious to say a word or two with respect to the other and different ground on which this proposition is supported by my noble Friend (the Marquess of Salisbury) below the Gangway. I admitted the other day, and I admit again now, that there is a discrepancy—an apparent discrepancy, at least—between a statement which I made last year and which, as the noble Marquess correctly observed, was a mere re-echo of words used by the Prime Minister in "another place"—that there is a certain discrepancy between that statement and the Bill as now drawn; but I deny that this clause can be put forward as evidence of a promise unredeemed. If the noble Marquess had read through the speech of the First Minister of the Crown, he would find that not in one passage only, but in two or three passages, Mr. Gladstone carefully guarded himself against any definite promise. My right hon. Friend in that speech distinctly stated that he was not in a position to make any definite statement. I will now read to the House a passage in Mr. Gladstone's speech, immediately following the passage to which reference has been made. He said— This is but an imperfect statement, it has no pretension whatever to be a definite statement. A little farther on Mr. Gladstone says— I do not think it would become me, either at the present moment or at any subsequent stage of the debate which may or may not follow, to make myself responsible, in all its important and complex details, for a plan which shall have for its aim to give effect to my purpose. It would show, I think, entire forgetfulness both of the limits of my duty and of the resources which I have at my command … were I to undertake responsibility for the details of such a plan."—[3 Hansard, cxci. 471.] I think those extracts entirely destroy the claim which the noble Marquess made, founded on the words of Mr. Gladstone. Again, in reference to what has been said by my noble Friend behind me (the Earl of Kimberley), I must reiterate emphatically that at the time those statements were made, as far as I know, the building charges were not before Mr. Gladstone. I believe they were not in his mind, and certainly I knew nothing about them. What are the facts of those building charges? I shall not go into minute questions as to the origin of them; but, with the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Cairns), I admit that in the main the advances came from the clergy, and that the debt is one due to them. But in destroying the tithes we take the debt on ourselves, and with it we propose to take the buildings on which it is charged. The State will thus become possessed of the residences of the clergy. And what is the course we propose? We propose to give those residences back to the laity of the Church, for the benefit of their future ministers, at a sum very much below what is charged on them as encumbrances. Is this very hard or very cruel dealing with the Church? Is this not something very nearly approaching to the sketch originally laid down by Mr. Gladstone? If the laity wished to acquire these buildings now, they could not do so without paying every shilling of the charges on them. Well, we give them back to the laity of the Church for a sum very much below the sum charged on them, and the truth is that the accusation brought against us by the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Cairns) is that we are departing from our principle of strict logical justice in giving more than in strict equity can be demanded. Well, that at least destroys the force of the counter accusation that we are dealing with the Church in the spirit of Shylock. I, for one, say that we are acting in a handsome and liberal spirit with regard to those glebes. My noble Friend who has just sat down (Earl Russell) asks us not to haggle about mere sums of money. Now, that language is perfectly consistent in the mouth of my noble Friend, because he does not care how many millions we give to the Established Church provided we give as much more to the other Churches in Ireland. But I would warn your Lordships and the House, especially after what has occurred this evening, that we are running up very close to the question of concurrent endowment. What have we heard from my noble Friend the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland)? He, by agreement with noble Lords opposite, consents to divide his Amendment into two divisions; but I would warn him that while noble Lords opposite may support him in giving a large sum of money to the Established Church, he will not get their support in giving one farthing of compensation to other Churches in Ireland. This ought to indicate to noble Lords opposite some of the difficulties with which Her Majesty's Government have to deal, and they ought in can dour and frankness to acknowledge that in what we have done we have acted in no grudging or niggardly spirit towards the Irish Church. I wish now to say one word with reference to the most unjust accusation which my noble Friend the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) has brought against the Members of the Government on the ground of their alleged change of tone between this Session and the past. It is perfectly true that in the course of the discussion last night, when pressed by Amendments and arguments which it appeared to us involved the whole principle of the Bill, my noble Friend the Lord Privy Seal and myself might have expressed ourselves with something more of energy than the particular point in debate at the time demanded. But we were, I maintain, right in thinking that the whole principle of the Bill was involved in those arguments and Amendments; and I wish to point out that there is no justification for the statement that my noble Friend and myself in what we said last night, to the effect that the principle of the Bill is, in the main, to give life interests and nothing more, were departing from the language used by Members of the present Government last Session. The noble Marquess referred to the Resolution passed by the House of Commons. What was that Resolution? I beg to remind the noble Lord that in it the principle that the compensation to the Church should be limited to life interests was strictly defined. The Resolution has been read before in the course of the debates on the Bill, but I will read it again. It is as follows:— That in the opinion of this House it is necessary that the Established Church of Ireland should cease to exist as an Establishment, due regard being had to all personal interests and to all individual rights of property. These words indicate, as clearly and distinctly as the English language can define, that in the view of Mr. Gladstone and his Friends compensation to the Established Church should be based solely on the personal interests of the members of that Church. This was the principle which we maintained in our speeches last night; and as to the declaration of my noble Friend the Lord Privy Seal that this was a measure of Pains and Penalties against the Irish Church, I would only observe that that can be regarded as nothing else than a true description of it, seeing that the disestablishment and disendowment of the Church is the very principle on which it is based. Our position is—and the statement has been over and over again repeated in this House—that the exceptional privileges which that Church has enjoyed for upwards of 300 years—enjoyed as they were by a small minority of the Irish people, constituted a great injustice, and were inconsistent with the good government of that country. That was our position, but we never denied, and we do not deny, that in proposing this Bill we are giving offence to the feelings of many persons interested in the Church and its memories, and we never concealed from ourselves—to use the language of Mr. Gladstone, not in the present but last Session—that this is at best but a "rude operation." That was the language of Mr. Gladstone, quoted by the noble Marquess himself, and yet in the face of that quotation he has the courage to tell us that we hold different language now from that which we held last year.


wished to know what right the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) had to assume that he was unwilling to make concessions in the way of compensation to any but the Protestant Church in Ireland? He stated the very contrary in the Amendment which stood on the Paper in his name, and which had for its aim to provide glebes also for the Roman Catholic priests and the Presbyterian ministers. It was, he thought, not too much to expect that a Minister of the Crown should read through the Amendments before he proceeded to make comments upon them.


I beg the noble Earl's pardon. I do not know to which he is referring. I spoke of noble Lords opposite generally; but I may add that I understood the noble Earl to say to-night that he would vote with the noble Duke on the first but not on the second part of his Amendment.


said, that the question immediately under the consideration of the House was quite different from that of concurrent endow- ment. Mr. Gladstone might, perhaps, have made no distinct promise last Session as to the exact provisions of the Bill which he meant to lay before Parliament; but then he maintained that the recent elections were influenced by the assurances which had been given that the Irish Church would be dealt with in a generous spirit, and the expectations which had been held out that the glebes and parsonages would be handed over to the ministers of the Protestant religion. He altogether objected to the use of the words mercy and leniency in the matter, and there was very little of either, he thought, in the proposal to take away the glebes from the Church.

On Question. That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause?—Their Lordships divided:—Contents 69; Not-Contents 213: Majority 144.

Hatherley, L. (L. Chancellor.) Carew, L.
Carrington, L.
Carysfort, L.(E. Carysfort.)
Devonshire, D.
Norfolk, D, Chesham, L.
Saint Albans, D. Churchill, L.
Clandeboye, L. (L. Dufferin and Claneboye.)
Ailesbury, M.
Camden, M. Clifford of Chudleigh, L.
Lansdowne, M. Dacre, L.
Normanby, M. De Mauley, L.
De Tabley, L.
Abingdon, E. Dunning, L. (L. Rollo.)
Airlie, E. Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)
Albemarle, E. Foley, L. (Teller.)
Camperdown, E. Granard, L. (E. Granard.)
Clarendon, E.
De Grey, E. Harris, L.
Ducie, E. Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)
Durham, E.
Fitzwilliam, E. Leigh, L.
Granville, E. Lurgan, L.
Kimberley, E. Methuen, L.
Morley, E. Minster, L. (M. Conyngham.)
Saint Germans, E.
Spencer, E. Monck, L. (V. Monck.)
Zetland, E. Monson, L.
Mostyn, L.
Falmouth, V. Northbrook, L.
Powerscourt, V. Panmure, L. (E. Dalhousie.)
Sydney, V.
Torrington, V. Petre, L.
Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.) [Teller.]
Abercromby, L.
Barrogill, L. (E. Caithness.) Rosober'y, L. (E. Basebery.)
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) Seaton, L.
Sefton, L. (E. Sefton.)
Calthorpe, L. Stafford, L.
Camoys, L. Suffield, L.
Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll.) Wenlook, L.
Wentworth, L.
Truro, L: Wrottesley, L.
Canterbury, Archp. Mansfield, E.
York, Archp. Manvers, E.
Dublin, Archp. Minto, E.
Morton, E.
Beaufort, D. Mount Edgcumbe, E.
Buckingham and Chandos, D. Nelson, E.
Orkney, E.
Cleveland, D. Portarlington, E.
Grafton, D. Powis, E.
Marlborough, D. Romney, E.
Northumberland, D. Rosse, E.
Richmond, D. Rosslyn, E.
Rutland, D. Russell, E.
Somerset, D. Scarbrough, E.
Wellington, D. Selkirk, E.
Shaftesbury, E.
Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.) Sommers, E.
Stanhope, E.
Ailsa, M. Stradbroke, E.
Bath, M. Suffolk and Berkshire, E.
Bristol, M. Tankerville, E.
Exeter, M. Vane, E.
Salisbury, M. [Teller.] Verulam, E.
Tweeddale, M.
Winchester, M. Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty,)
De Vesci, V.
Abergavenny, E. Doneraile, V.
Amherst, E. Eversley, V.
Annesley E. Exmouth, V.
Aylesford E. Gough, V.
Bandon, E. Halifax, V.
Beauchamp, E. Hardinge, V.
Bradford, E. Hawarden, V.
Brooke and Warwick, E. Hill, V.
Brownlow E. Leinster, V. (D. Leinster.)
Cadogan, E.
Carnarvon, E. Lifford, V.
Cawdor, E. Melville, V.
Coventry E. Sidmouth, V.
Cowley, E. Strathallan, V.
Cowper, E. Templetown, V.
Dartmouth, E.
Dartrey, E. Bangor, Bp.
De La Warr, E. Chester, Bp.
Derby, E. Derry and Raphoe, Bp.
Devon, E. Durham, Bp.
Effingham, E. Ely, Bp.
Ellenborough, E. Gloucester and Bristol, Bp.
Ellesmere, E.
Erne, E. Lichfield, Bp.
Essex, E. Llandaff, Bp.
Feversham, E. London, Bp.
Grey, E. Oxford, Bp.
Haddington, E. Peterborough, Bp.
Hardwicke, E. Rochester, Bp.
Harewood, E. St. David's, Bp.
Harrowby, E. Tuam, &c. Bp.
Hillsborough, E. (M. Downshire.)
Abinger, L.
Home, E. Ashburton, L.
Jersey, E. Belper, L.
Lauderdale, E. Berners, L.
Leven and Melville, E. Blantyre, L,
Lichfield, E. Blayney, L.
Lucan, E. Bolton, L.
Macclesfield, E. Brodrick, L. (V. Midleton.)
Malmesbury, E.
Cairns, L. Lytton, L.
Charlemont, L. (E. Charlemont.) Lyveden, L.
Meredyth, L. (L. Athlumney.)
Chaworth, L, (E. Meath)
Churston, L. Mont Eagle, L. (M. Sligo.)
Clarina, L.
Clermont, L. Moore, L. (M. Drogheda.)
Clifton, L. (E. Darnley.)
Clinton, L. Northwick, L.
Clonbrock, L. O'Neill, L.
Colchester, L. Oriel, L. (V. Massereene.)
Colonsay, L. Ormathwaite, L.
Colville of Culross, L. [Teller.] Penrhyn, L.
Poltimore, L.
Congleton, L. Portman, L.
Crofton, L. Raglan, L.
Delamere, L. Ravensworth, L.
De L'Isle and Dudley, L. Rayleigh, L.
Denman, L. Redesdale, L.
De Ros, L. Rivers, L.
De Saumarez, L. Ross, L. (E. Glasgow.)
Digby, L. Rossie, L. (L. Kinnaird.)
Dunboyne, L. Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.)
Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)
Saltoun, L.
Dunsandle and Clanconal, L. Seymour, L. (E. St. Maur.)
Dunsany, L. Sheffield, L.(E. Sheffield.)
Egerton, L. Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)
Elphinstone, L.
Fitzwalter, L. Sinclair, L.
Foxford, L. (E. Limerich.) Skelmersdale, L.
Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)
Gormanston, L. (V. Gormanston.)
Sondes, L.
Grantley, L. Southampton, L.
Grinstead, L. (E. Enniskillen.) Stanley of Alderley, L.
Stourton, L.
Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.) Stratheden, L.
Strathnairn, L.
Hatherton, L. Strathspey, L. (E. Seafield.)
Headley, L.
Heytesbury, L. Sudeley, L.
Houghton, L. Talbot de Malahide, L.
Hylton, L. Taunton, L.
Keane, L. Templemore, L.
Kesteven, L. Tredegar, L.
Kilmaine, L. Vernon, L.
Lawrence, L. Vivian, L.
Leconfield, L. Walsingham, L.
Lismore, L. (V. Lismore.) Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)
Lovel and Holland, L. (E. Egmont.) Westbury, L.
Wharncliffe, L.
Lyttelton, L. Willoughby de Broke, L.

Resolved in the Negative.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 28 (Power to convey additional land to church body).


moved, in line 21 to leave out ("exceeding,") and insert ("less than,") the object being to substitute a minimum for a maximum of thirty acres in the case of a see house. He hoped that no objection would be taken to that proposal, which did not trench in any way on the principle of the Bill.


said, he could not accept the Amendment, which would change the character of the clause. There was a proviso enabling the Commissioners to increase the quantity of land if they thought it necessary for the convenient enjoyment of the house.


said, he thought that the limitation might be dispensed with, and the Commissioners allowed to exercise their discretion as to what the quantity of land should be.

Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.


said, that before the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland) brought forward his Amendment, the the House ought to know exactly arrangement which had been come to respecting it. Last week it was understood that the noble Duke was to move certain Amendments to the 27th clause, but no Amendment stood in his name at the present time. Of course, the noble Duke would be at liberty to move his Amendments at any stage of the Bill; but it would tend to the convenience of their Lordships generally if they were informed of the nature of the arrangement which had been made.


said, that whichever of the Amendments of which notice had been given should be moved, it would have to be considered as an Amendment dealing with the surplus, and he could not help thinking, therefore, that it would be more convenient to postpone it until the clauses which related to the surplus were reached.


said, he hoped the noble Duke would proceed with his Amendment at once.


trusted the noble Duke would not allow his good nature to be practiced upon, as the suggestion of the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Cairns) was not made with a view to facilitate the passing of the Amendment.


observed that the Amendment of the noble Duke was in spirit precisely similar to his own, and that the other Amendments on the Paper respecting the same point were also somewhat similar in their object. This being so, he thought it would have been much better for noble Lords who intended to move those Amendments to have con- ferred together beforehand, with the object of deciding which of the propositions should be brought forward. He himself thought that the noble Dukes's Amendment would fully realize what was desired.


said, he sympathized with the noble Duke's opinions on the subject of concurrent endowment, but, at the same time, he should regret the noble Duke's refusal to agree to the proposal of his noble and learned Friend. Indeed, if the noble Duke should not assent to the proposal, he should be most decidedly prevented from voting with him on the present occasion. The proper time for discussing the Amendment would be on Clause 68.


I am very sorry I cannot accede to the proposal which has been made by the noble and learned Lord opposite. Part of the proposition which I originally intended to move has already received the sanction of the House on the Motion of the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury), and I think I should not be discharging my duty if I consented to any further postponement. The noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Malmesbury) has stated that he shall not give me his support on the present occasion; but I really do not see the necessity for deferring the consideration of this question until we reach the 68th clause, which deals with the surplus. The noble Earl who leads on behalf of the Government in this House has asked me a question about the arrangement which has been entered into. In the few remarks which I previously addressed to the House I endeavoured to explain the reason why I gave up a part of my original Amendment. Then some noble Friends of mine thought the words I had proposed were not sufficiently ample and would not carry out the object we have in view. Accordingly, I have altered the terms of the Amendment. My Lords, I thought it was right in the new state of things about to be created in Ireland that we should endeavour to act with equal justice towards all the three great religious denominations in that country. My clauses are framed on that principle. We have heard from my noble Friend behind me (Earl Granville) something about concurrent endowment. I can scarcely call my proposal one that goes to the extent of concurrent endowment. It is certainly a very small measure if it is to be taken in that sense. There was a proposition shadowed out by a noble and learned Friend behind me (Lord Westbury) of a much larger character, and which would have been entitled to the name of the concurrent endowment of all the three Churches; but I believe he does not intend to persevere with that proposition. My Lords, if I were treating this question as an abstract one, and were laying down in the closet the best theoretical principles which should guide us in this matter—if I did not feel that the opinion of the country militated against such a proceeding, and. that such a course was impracticable, I might have been willing to consider a large plan of concurrent endowment. But thinking that such a scheme was not likely to find acceptance, perhaps, with your Lordships, and certainly not with the other House or with the public at large, I could not undertake to propose it for your adoption. My proposal is a very small one, and one of a very unpretending character. I merely propose in parishes where there are no suitable residences or glebe houses for the accommodation of the ministers of religion to give, at the instance of the Roman Catholic congregations, and, in the case of the Presbyterian clergy, also at the instance of the Presbyterian congregations, residences for their clergy with ten acres of land attached to each glebe house. That is the full length and breadth of the proposition which I now have the honour to submit to your Lordships. My reason for confining the quantity of land to ten acres is that I find that quantity fixed upon by the Bill as applied to the Episcopalian clergy; and I think equal advantages in this respect, should, as far as possible, be extended to the Roman Catholic and the Presbyterian clergy. If, in taking that limit, some of my noble Friends think I have gone too far, I must say I cannot share their opinion. On the other hand, there were propositions which were to have been brought before the House of a much more extensive description. My noble Friend the noble Earl (Earl Russell), who is so well entitled to place his views before your Lordships, gave notice of his intention to suggest thirty-five acres as the proper limit. Judging of the matter to the best of my ability, I have thought that the quantity I have fixed upon—namely, ten acres—is the best to adopt under all the circumstances. I do not pretend, for a moment, that ten acres of land is anything like a sufficient provision in itself for a clergyman of any denomination; but such a grant, together with a residence, where no suitable residence now exists, would, I believe, be acceptable both to the clergy and the laity of the denominations to whom it was given. My Lords, it must be remembered that, in the main, Ireland must be regarded as a Roman Catholic country, and that the Irish Protestant Established Church is not the national Church in any real sense of the term. It is not the Church of the people at large, as it was intended and expected that it would become when it was originally established. We cannot pretend that it is the Church of the people at large; and therefore it does not fulfil the first condition of a national Church. On the other hand, as the priesthood of the Church of the majority, the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland must necessarily exercise a great influence over their flocks. Indeed, I believe there is no country in Europe where the Roman Catholic priesthood exercise greater influence than in Ireland. That influence may be exercised for good, or it may be exercised for evil. Now, in what a position do you place that priesthood? In many a remote district the Roman Catholic priest is located in a miserable hovel on a wretched pittance, and depends entirely for his subsistence on the voluntary contributions of his people. In every case those voluntary contributions will still remain to be the principal support of the priest; but by my proposition the priest will be led to feel that he is not an outcast; he will be led to feel that he is connected with the land—a very important consideration, I think, although it is true his interest in the land may be small in its pecuniary value. Still, he will feel that he is treated fairly and generously; the acerbity engendered by his existence in a miserable cabin will be removed. Of course, in the richer parts of the country his condition may be different; but in many districts his lot is such as I have described. There is no country in Europe where, on the whole, the mass of the people is poorer than in Ireland; and yet they are called on to support their priesthood, and they do support it in every case by religious contributions. Considering the religious character of the Irish people, and the influence which their priesthood possesses over them, I have no doubt that, under all circumstances, they will continue to make those voluntary contributions. But, at the same time, in many instances, the priests have no suitable residences, and the provision of such residences for them, with a small quantity of land, would place them in a very improved position. If he were in any other country in Europe, the Irish Roman Catholic priest would be paid out of the national Exchequer. Here that is impossible; and I do not pretend to propose anything of that kind. The small endowment I suggest—if you choose to call it so—is not to be taken out of the public taxes, and the English or the Scotch tax-payers will not be asked to contribute towards a religion of which they disapprove. The property with which we are dealing is Irish property, and applicable to Irish purposes. The original trust on which it might be said to have been given has failed, and my proposal goes upon the cy près doctrine well recognized by our courts of law—namely, that, when any charities are dissolved or failed you apply the proceeds of its charitable endowments to the purposes most closely analogous to those for which they were first given. In this way, though no longer devoted indeed to the Anglican Church in Ireland, this property will still be applicable to purposes connected with the religious instruction of the people. You will be acting in perfect conformity with the original intentions of the donors. With respect to the Presbyterians of Ireland, I have had the honour of seeing some of the adherents of that Church. They claim equality with the Anglican Church, and demand that their clergy shall be placed in the same position as the Anglican clergy in Ireland. The justice and equity of my present proposal in regard to them cannot, I think, be be fairly disputed. It is perfectly true that my proposition is not consistent with the words in the Preamble of the Bill which profess to give nothing for religious purposes; but, my Lords, I confess that I no not agree in that principle. I think it is erroneous, and I believe it would be better if no such principle were set forth in the Preamble. My Lords, the Amendment I propose will produce equality among the different Churches in Ireland in a more satisfactory manner than that proposed by the Bill. It has been objected that my scheme is inconsistent with the Bill; but I maintain that it is connected with its main object—that of producing equality among the Churches of Ireland; it will satisfy the Roman Catholics, and no Bill will be satisfactory which does not do this. What does it matter if the process by which the object is attained is not in all its parts consistent, as long as the main object is consistently pursued? Reference has been made to the verdict of the country. Now, I desire to follow that verdict, and I believe the country decided for disestablishment; but I also believe the Bill is more thorough in its dealing with the question than the country expected. It was not expected that nothing would be left to the Church; for, in point of fact, although the Bill provides life interests, and it could do no less, it is impossible to deny that the Church itself has nothing. And what will be the future of the Church if the Government plan be agreed to? At present the Church enjoys very large revenues; in the future it will have to trust to the voluntary system. And how will it fare? It is notorious that Ireland has a very large number of absentee proprietors; and, although it is perfectly true that many of these absentees do their duty by those on their estates, it is also perfectly true that no absentee proprietor does as much as he would do if he were resident; and, for this reason, I doubt very much whether subscriptions in aid of the Church of the future will be forthcoming from the proprietors to the extent anticipated. The voluntary system must, therefore, be considered as it affects the poorer classes of the country; and, viewed in this way, the voluntary system will be rather a hard one for the Anglican Church in Ireland. But it is said we must not have general endowment, and with this I perfectly agree, because such a course would be unwise, if not impracticable. I am, therefore, restricted within very narrow limits, but I have endeavoured to confine my proposal within the bounds of possibility. Some, however, think my proposal amounts to endowment, though small in extent; and they think the Government should have nothing to do with such a proposal. But, my Lords, in India we respect endowments of even an idolatrous character; and when we do this, we need not be so tender as to decline to support in any way the Roman Catholic Church. Then, look at Canada. The French portion of Canada was ceded to us in 1763, with a Roman Catholic Establishment which we have uniformly respected, and that Establishment remains in full possession of its endowments. General Williams, who commanded in Canada three or four years ago, told me that he had to receive a deputation of clergy in the course of his duty, among whom was the Archbishop of Quebec, who assured him that no nation in the world would have respected their endowments in Canada in the way the English had done. And the Archbishop added— We are attached to the English nation; we know well that if we were joined to the United States our endowments would not be respected; but you have carried out all our stipulations, and there are no more faithful subjects of the Crown than we are. Why, then, should we not, in the same way, support endowments to the Irish Roman Catholics to a limited extent? I can see no difference whatevever between the two cases. Much stress was laid the other night by the noble Earl on the fact that we were very rapidly parting with the possible surplus of the Irish Church fund. I cannot pretend to say what will be the exact cost of carrying out the proposal I now make; but, at any rate, it is far within the Emits of any surplus the Commissioners may have to administer. Certain it is that the surplus is altogether out of proportion to the limited objects mentioned in the Bill; and, after all the demands for glebe houses have been satisfied, abundance of surplus will be left for those objects. If the surplus amounted to some £500,000, it might well be used for some of those small matters; and without wishing to exaggerate the sacred-ness of Church property, I must say that the building of dwellings for Roman Catholic priests is a far more fit purpose to which to devote these Church funds than making grants to infirmaries and reformatories, however desirable it may be to encourage such institutions. I believe the clergy have acted in an exemplary manner, and I should be the last to make any complaint against them; but, at the same time, they are not the clergy of a national Church. It would be most unjust and improper to treat them with anything like disrespect, and they ought to have their full share of what is given by way of endowment, if this grant of residences may be so called. It will be a great advantage to all the clergy—Catholic, Anglican, and Presbyterian—to have comfortable residences. If you reject this Amendment, it is obvious that the former Amendment on the subject of Anglican residences will not be allowed to stand. You must give an equal measure of rights and advantages to all three Churches. I may not obtain a majority as large as the last; but I believe your Lordships feel deeply the responsibility of the situation in which you are placed, and I hope you will not be unduly influenced by minute differences of opinion. Your decision on this point will be taken as a measure of what you intend to do hereafter, and as showing whether you intend to treat Roman Catholics with equal justice. It is impossible to disguise the magnitude of the issue before us, and I do hope your Lordships will give evidence of your anxiety to do justice to the great mass of the people.

Amendment moved, in line 32, to leave out from ("body") to ("Any") in line 36, and in line 38, after ("vested") to insert— ("Provided also, and it is hereby enacted, that in any instances in which there are not at present houses of residence or glebe lands to the extent aforesaid for the clergy of the said church, and in which the representative church body shall report that the services of a resident clergyman are required for the spiritual care of a separate district, it shall be lawful for the commissioners, with the approbation and according to the directions of the Lord Lieutenant in council, to purchase glebe lands to the extent aforesaid, and to purchase or defray the expense of erecting houses of residence for such clergymen, and in like manner it shall be lawful for the said commissioners, with the like approbation and according to the like directions in the instances where glebe lands and houses of residence have not been provided for the Roman Catholic prelates or for the Roman Catholic or Presbyterian clergy having spiritual care of separate congregations or districts, by and out of the proceeds of the property hereby vested in the said commissioners, to purchase for such Roman Catholic prelates glebe lands to the extent hereinbefore denned as the limit in the case of the lands to be conveyed to the church body with see houses, and also to purchase or defray the expense of erecting suitable houses of residence for such prelates; and also on the application of the Roman Catholic prelates and General Assemby of the Presbyterian church in Ireland respectively to purchase for the parish priests of the said Roman Catholic church in Ireland and for the clergy of the said Presbyterian church in Ireland having spiritual charge of separate congregations or districts, glebe lands to the aforesaid extent in any one case of ten acres, and also to purchase or defray the expense of erecting suitable houses of residence for such Roman Catholic and Presbyterian clergymen respectively.")—(The Duke of Cleveland.)


I have placed upon the Paper an Amendment somewhat analogous to that of the noble Duke. I have had the honour of conferring with a noble Lord, not now present, (Earl Stanhope), and I felt so completely convinced of the wisdom of the terms in which he had drawn up his Amendment that I simultaneously published an expression of my desire that the surplus might be applied in the way indicated in the Amendment of the noble Earl—that, in fact, it should be applied to religious and not to secular purposes. In saying this I give your Lordships the key to the remarks I wish to make. I am about to enter upon a most difficult subject, and I am in a position which makes the difficulty still greater. I have arrived at my decision as regards the noble Duke's Amendment slowly and maturely, and well weighing my own position. There are three ways of looking at the subject—three foundations on which arguments may be supposed to rest. There is the argument that can be deduced from the morality of the case, as conditioned by your Lordships having read this Bill a second time—there is the argument of religious expediency, and there is that of political expediency. I shall not argue the case upon the two latter grounds. While deeply deploring the mischief which I believe this Bill will work, I accept the pronounced decision of the majority, and consider that I am in a far different position from that I should have been in if such a vote had not been arrived at. I will attempt to argue on this conditioned morality of the case. It is always best to argue first upon the morality of any great question. I think it is Bacon who says—" Nothing that is morally wrong can ever be politically right;" and I am for referring to first principles in this case. I fear, however, my thesis will ultimately come out rather in this form, that that which is least morally wrong—alas! that I should be driven to such an argument—will probably be found to be most politically right. I demur greatly to the way in which this case has been put forward. It is commonly said that it is profoundly wrong to take the endowments of the Irish Protestant Church and to give those endowments to Roman Catholics, and so to propagate a system of error. I demur to that statement altogether. That might be a true way of putting the case if the Bill had not been read a second time; but it is not so now. In the first place, Parliament has taken the money; and all that is now in our power is to allocate it. There is this further,—that the question now before your Lordships is not one to be answered by a plain "Aye" or "No," but it is a question and a choice between two grave moral difficulties. The question also is not simply whether we would with this money ''endow'' the different religious bodies, but whether we would allocate funds for certain limited and defined purposes. In this I agree with some of the speakers, and particularly with the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury) who objected, and I think most rightly, to the term of "concurrent endowment." If any term can be applied to the proposal before your Lordships it is, I think, that of co-ordinate grants. "What we have then to decide is which we shall adopt of two very anxious courses—to use no harder expression—whether it is best to allocate a portion of what must be a residual fund for religious purposes, as indicated in the Amendment, or whether it is best to assign it to purposes of an alien kind. Now, what are the two religions that it is proposed favourably to consider? I venture to touch upon a very difficult question, because I yield to no Member of your Lordships' House in my devotion to the Church of which I am a Bishop. I am, moreover, one of those who defend, and I shall defend to the last, the old-fashioned term of "Protestant." I stand before you a Protestant Bishop; and God grant that a Protestant, in its best and true sense, I may remain to the end. Now, let us deal fairly with the religion whose claims it is proposed to consider. Is there any one in this House who can come forward and say that the Church of Rome does not acknowledge the three creeds which we believe to be necessary to our salvation? Does she not believe that which is the dearest doctrine with some of us, and in defence of which we would shed our best life's blood—the Divinity of our Lord and Master? It may be that she has added to her system much that we consider deplorable, much even that we consider dangerous, but the belief in our Lord, in the four great Councils, and the three great creeds she shares in common with ourselves. This is the Church to which it is proposed to give a small been by way of a grant to her ministers. Of the Presbyterian Church I need say nothing. I might, however, remark that, if I were to enter into the theological questions connected with the Presbyterian Church, I should have a more difficult matter than I should have had in speaking of the Roman Catholic Church, because in the examination into theological principles, especially in reference to the great doctrine to which I have just alluded, and a due estimate of the distinctions between Presbyterianism and Remonstrant Presbyterianism, there is much that would make an anxious inquirer pause. We have, then, two Churches before us from which we may honestly differ. From both I differ; but I do not deny in either case that the members hold those doctrines which we regard as the foundation of our religious faith. On the other hand, what are we to do with the surplus that may accrue in consequence of the passing of this measure? Now, my Lords, I shall make no small jokes nor attempt to catch any unmeaning laugh by any description of the application of funds which, after all, are to be devoted to the relief of human misery. I will take the highest definition that can be given, and say that this money is to be applied to the purposes of philanthropy, and philanthropy and religion are confessedly very nearly allied. But things that are very near to each other in one sense are often very wide apart in another, and that is the case in the present instance. Does not each one of us owe two great debts? The one owe we not to our fellow-men, the other owe we not to our God? Now, what does this proposal really come to? Does it not really amount to paying one of these debts with the money which should be devoted to the other—in other words, is it not taking religious money for the purpose of paying our philanthropic debts? I firmly believe that in voting with the noble Duke I have selected the lesser of the two difficulties in which I am placed. But, my Lords, there are arguments derived from the Bill which, to my profound sorrow, your Lordships have adopted, and which must be considered as conditioning and defining our future course. We are pledged to the principle of religious equality, and we have now a further consideration besides the abstract ones to which I have alluded. There is a voice behind us which says—"Go on; you must go on if you are honest and moral men." We are told, too, that it is sought to attain peace, and in its attainment I should be willing to sacrifice much, if, in addition to reconciling it with the moral argument to which I have alluded, I can by my vote bring peace where of peace there is at present but little. If I may raise the tone of religion, if I may snap some of these Ultramontane bonds which press so tightly upon some of these ministers, may I not hold all these things as very sufficient reasons why I should adhere to the abstract moral reasoning I first put before your Lordships? But it may be said—"No claim has been made for this surplus; your offer is perfectly gratuitous. You are going to do something you have never been asked to do." My Lords, one community at least has asked for it, and in a very plain way. We have all seen the temperate letter of the Moderator of the Presbyterian Assembly in Ireland. We have seen it noticed in the public papers that he has put in his claim for his co-religionists definitely and plainly, and what has occurred in this House this very night has given that claim its full force. He has said in effect—"If you give these glebes and manses to the Episcopalian Church then we put in our claim." It may be that the Roman Catholics have not made any demand of that kind, but I accept the statement of the noble Duke and others that the Roman Catholics are not indisposed to accept what the noble Duke proposes should be given to them. My Lords, as we are now bound to religious equality, I think those who follow the noble Duke into the Lobby will rightly discharge their duty as Members of your Lordships' House. I have not touched and I will hardly touch on other points; but I think it would scarcely be respectful to your Lordships if I did not anticipate some of the objections which I suppose will be made to the proposition of the noble Duke. I pass over the objections which may be raised on political or on religious expediency. I have resolved to consider the subject in a deeper way; but there are other objections to which I think it right to make some reference. First, it may be said that it is impossible to do what the noble Duke asks us to do. "Impossible!" Why, my Lords, I venture to say that there is no such word known in this House as an objection to anything. recommended to us by considerations of justice and of peace. Se- condly, it may be said, that the proposition is "premature." It may be said that it would be for the public convenience to let the proposition ripen a little, to have it debated in the House of Commons, and discussed in the public journals. My Lords, is it our mission to await events in that way? Is not our mission a higher one? Is it not by calm argument and well-considered measures to lead public opinion? I dismiss, and I venture to say that I rightly dismiss, the word "premature." Thirdly, it may be urged that this provision would be inconsistent with the promises which were made on the hustings. My Lords, have we anything to do here with the promises which were made in exciting circumstances, and to those who may not have had the question fully put before them in all its reasonable aspects? Are we to be bound by such things? Are we to have quotations of expressions addressed to motley assemblages at the hustings, used here in the discussion of a question which ought to be dealt with on its own merits? Lastly, it may be said that this proposition is politically inadmissible. This, I suppose, implies that if this Amendment passed in your Lordships' House and went to the House of Commons, it would be rejected by the Ministers of the Crown and by that House. My Lords, on so great a question far be it from me to speculate on what may be in the minds of the Ministers of the Crown, or on what may be the decision of the House of Commons; but this I may say, that I read with interest, and something more than interest, words that are reported to have been spoken by the Prime Minister at a recent banquet in the City. That right hon. Gentleman is reported to have said that the principle would be adhered to of making the surplus funds of the Irish Church available for the benefit of the Irish people. In words well chosen—as all the words of that eloquent man are—he said that the surplus would be applied "not for the maintenance of a Church or the support of a clergy." Can anyone say that what the noble Duke proposes to have given would be for the maintenance of a Church or the support of a clergy? Poor as the Irish clergy are, I do not think that a gift of ten acres of land to each of them could be called supporting them. I speak with profound respect for those who conscientiously differ from me on this sub- ject. I know that there will be many speakers who will say they object to this proposal, on the ground that the House of Lords ought not to grant money to propagate error, and I feel that such expressions of feeling deserve all possible consideration. But, my Lords, that objection cannot be very just now. What have we done by our recent vote? We have declared by our vote—may I not say our disastrous vote?—that to the State all religions are alike. We have heard many definitions of an Established Church. Burke defined a Church Establishment to be the indication of the national preference for one form of religion over every other. Consider this definition with reference to the present case. How stands it now? Why thus—At the very time when the Protestants of Ireland were gathering strength, you have withdrawn the national preference for their Church. That being so, we must encounter the new difficulty; we must do what remains of justice—we must move onward as far as we may in the direction, of peace. I have a deep feeling for all who experience a spiritual difficulty in arriving at a conclusion on this matter, and the more their conscience touches them, the more I sympathize with them; but I can only say to them—" You must decide for yourselves; it is now thrown upon you; the nation has withdrawn her national preference for the religion you love." Let me add this concluding, but not unimportant consideration. Even if you doubt the wisdom of applying this surplus in the manner proposed in the Amendment, I would ask you to beware whether you would not be ministering more to the religion against which you have such strong objections by applying the surplus in the way the Bill proposes. If the surplus was given in the latter way the Roman Catholics might make use of it insidiously to promote their religion; nay, they could hardly fail so to use it. They might say—"As the money you have taken from the Irish Protestant Church is not given to us, but comes indirectly to us, only generally, as Irishmen, we certainly will use it as far as we can to spread and propagate our faith. Money given to philanthropy shall covertly be made to further our religion. We were treated unfairly when we most expected consideration, and now we will proselytize, and proselytize with all our hearts. Our hospitals and asy- lums shall be our convenient centres. Protestant money shall aid Catholic purposes." Such obvious applications of the surplus may well warn us that the argument of propagating error may just as fittingly be urged against the original proposal in the Bill as against the present Amendment. Last of all, however, let me not forget that this may be said, and will be said—" There is a way out of the difficulty." Hang up the surplus, and leave Parliament to settle the question of its distribution at another time." Why, my Lords, by adopting that course we should be placing before this people, already too excited, a sum of money to obtain which there would be unceasing strife. I am sure that such a course would prolong the agitation on this most difficult subject until such time as the money was disposed of. I have, my Lords, only a few more words to add. In the course which we take with respect to this Bill we must all be prepared for a certain amount of self-sacrifice. Many of us who vote for this Amendment may have our motives seriously misconstrued. I, who now address you, may have my words brought up against me as one who secretly favours what he ought most to oppose. Instead of being regarded as one who anxiously chooses the least of two evils, having had that choice now forced upon him, I maybe denounced as one who would vote away public money to advance and propagate religious error. Be it so. I humbly feel convinced that, in the present position into which we are now driven, the course of the Amendment is the best course; nay, even the right course. Permit me, then, to urge your Lordships to follow this course, and to listen to the old maxim—"Take heed unto the thing that is right, for that shall bring a man peace at the last."


My Lords, a great deal has been said in the debate that has taken place on the second reading, as well as in the debates in Committee, as to what has been the verdict of the country on this question. I venture to state, and I think I may do so without contradiction, that if this question of concurrent endowment had been submitted to the constituencies at the recent elections, and if it had then formed the burden of the speeches of those who now hold the reins of government, a very different verdict would have been pronounced by the country from that which it has returned. But if there was one thing which was assiduously kept back at the elections—I would go further, and observe that if there was any one point on which a distinct understanding was come to—it was that there should be no concurrent endowment as a consequence of the disestablishment of the Irish Church. So far as the the theory of concurrent endowment goes, I cannot say that I personally have any objection to it. The policy which has hitherto been adopted by this country is one which has, I think, been very plainly laid down. The State has found it necessary to recognize the existence of various religions among its people, to protect and, even to a certain extent, to encourage those religions. If we look to the fact that large sums of money have been voted for the purposes of education, we must at once see that a considerable portion of that money has been expended in the teaching of the Roman Catholic religion in this country. Now, I by no means complain of that arrangement. I regard it, on the contrary, as just and equitable; but we cannot conceal from ourselves, as honest men, that, if we give funds for the education of Roman Catholic children in the precepts of their religion, it is idle as well as hypocritical to contend that it is impossible to contribute anything to the teaching of that religion in Roman Catholic places of worship. One of the chief objections which I entertain to the Amendment under our consideration is that we are invited by it to endow the Roman Catholic Church out of funds which have hitherto belonged to the Protestant Church in Ireland. It is perfectly true that by this Bill a grant is made out of those funds to Maynooth, and the principle which I have sought to lay down is, no doubt, to a certain extent, invaded by that provision. I am not, however, prepared to quarrel with the grant to Maynooth, because it forms an important part of the whole scheme as it has come before us, and because it is impossible that the present grant to Maynooth should cease without compensation in lieu of it being given. But when we go further, and it is proposed to give endowments, as this Amendment would provide them, out of the funds of the Episcopal Church, I confess I am not prepared to go to that extent. It was stated, I may add, in evidence before the Commissioners, as will be seen in the Appendix in Mr. Shirley's Report— That the general result of the various measures affecting tithes, church rates, and ministers' money was to diminish the revenue of the Church by nearly £250,000 per annum, or about one-third of the whole. It is self-evident, then," the Report goes on to say, "from what has been stated, that but a fraction of the original 'tenth' remains with the clergy of the Established Church; not a larger portion than would fall to their lot if the whole tithe had been a national provision, and had been divided between the adherents of the Church of Rome in Ireland and the members of the Church itself. In addition to that, we have the fact that "of the glebe lands no less than five-sixths were granted to the Reformed Church since the Reformation," so that whether they are retained by that Church or not, it is perfectly clear that they were originally granted for Protestant uses; and for this reason, if for no other, I should feel great hesitation in diverting any portion of those funds to the maintenance of the Roman Catholic or any other religion in Ireland. In that respect I am inclined to agree with the Government, though we have probably arrived at our conclusions upon the point by a different road. Another reason why I think these funds should not be applied in the manner proposed is that it seems to me you would not by that means be effecting a settlement of the question. If any one thing has been made more clear than another in the course of this question it is the line taken by the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the Roman Catholic organs on this point. At a general meeting of the Roman Catholic Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland, which was held in Dublin on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of October, 1867, the following resolution was unanimously passed:— That, not with standing the rightful claim of the Catholic Church in Ireland to have restored to it the property and revenues of which it was unjustly deprived, the Irish Catholic Bishops hereby re-affirm the subjoined resolutions of the Bishops assembled in the years 1833, 1841, and 1843; and, adhering to [the letter and spirit of those resolutions, distinctly declare that they will not accept endowment from the State out of the property and revenues now held by the Protestant Establishment, nor any State endowment whatever. Those were the opinions entertained by the Roman Catholic hierarchy in 1867, and how has Roman Catholic opinion progressed in the meantime? Have we seen any alteration in their views? So far from there being any alteration in that respect, we have the most decided expression of opinion from Ireland that no endowment whatever would be accepted by the Roman Catholic Church. In the face of that fact, however benevolent and however just in theory this idea may have been, I cannot help feeling that it is one which would fail in practice. On this point we have a most extraordinary coincidence of opinion, both from the Roman Catholics and from the Protestants of Ireland. They both unite in condemning this scheme; and while the Protestants declare that they would sooner lose all their endowments than that one farthing of them should be given to the Roman Catholics, the Roman Catholics, on their side, equally repudiate such a project. The question, then, remains, what is to be done with the property which has to be disposed of? I, for one, will not anticipate the discussion which must hereafter arise on this subject, if your Lordships should not agree to the proposal now before you; but I cannot help saying that the Amendments of which notice has been given by my noble and learned Friend behind me, and which raises the question whether it is advisable or proper, before the surplus shall accrue, to designate what its future application may be, will form a fair subject for discussion by your Lordships. I am not, however, prepared to dissent altogether from the proposal of Her Majesty's Government on this subject, which I think may be a not unsatisfactory settlement of the matter. So far as concerns the proposal to give to Roman Catholic reformatories, and other institutions, which are under the express direction of the Roman Catholics, the Bill of the Government is very inconsistent; for after stating that none of the money shall be applied to the purposes of religious teaching, it proposes that some part of the funds shall be placed in the hands of Roman Catholics for teaching in Roman Catholic reformatories, and surely that is as much as devoting them to the purposes of religious teaching as it would be to give them to schools where religion is taught. There is, however, another and perhaps a wider view of the matter. The property of the Irish Church consists of tithes and what may be raised from the sale of the glebe lands, and the Government propose that the tithes should be sold at fifty-two years' purchase, which, virtually, is a sort of hocus pocus transaction, by which the tithes will ultimately lapse into the pockets of the landowners. It has been contended that this is the great blot of the measure of Her Majesty's Government; but I cannot so consider it myself, because I think it should not be forgotten that the distribution of the property has been one of the greatest difficulties which have arisen in regard to the Bill. We have had proposals that the money should be employed in loans for the benefit of the poorer population of Ireland; that it should be expended in the reduction of taxation in that country; and there have been other suggestions which show the great difficulty which exists as to the distribution of the surplus. By the proposal of Her Majesty's Government the money will return to the pockets of the original donors—the owners of the soil—and, I think, that when property has been given for a particular purpose which is no longer to be fulfilled, the best and simplest mode of dealing with it is to give it back to those from whom it came. I have only one word more to say, and that is with regard to the ultimate consequences of this measure—consequences which may possibly be very serious and dangerous. We should not conceal from ourselves, my Lords, the effect which this example may have upon the Established Churches of England and Scotland. A very great change will result from the passing of this Bill. It is all very well to say that the Church of Ireland has been a weight and a drag upon the Church of England, and that the removal of that drag would give the Church of England more strength and vigour, but I do not believe in that way of looking at the matter. If you open the sluice gates for the flood you may be overwhelmed. The time will come when it will be impossible to resist the example which has been set by this measure, and, unless a great change takes place in the minds of the people, and the result of this Bill is recognized as disastrous instead of happy, I much fear what may happen. I look with great alarm on this principle of concurrent endowment, and I cannot conceal from myself that the Bill may lead to the disestablishment of the Churches of England and Scotland. For these reasons, though I do not agree with Her Majesty's Government in the expediency of this measure, I shall support them in their opposition to this Amendment.

Viscount HALIFAX

and the Earl of CARNARVON rose together, and there being loud calls for either speaker, both the noble Lords remained standing.


rose to Order. He said, their Lordships had the advantage of two Motions before them, one that Lord Halifax and the other that Lord Carnarvon be heard. He ventured to suggest to their Lordships whether, as this was the first time Lord Halifax had expressed a desire to speak, it might not be convenient to give him precedence.


I am obliged to the noble and learned Lord for having interfered. I have not yet addressed a syllable to the House on the subject of this Bill, and as the noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) has more than once had the opportunity of addressing your Lordships, I thought that in desiring to do so I was not guilty of any want of courtesy to him. I will not attempt to follow the noble Duke (the Duke of Marlborough) in the observations which he has made, and which would have been, I think, better addressed to the House on the second reading of the Bill. And I certainly will not argue the two proposals which he made, and neither of which, I believe, will be acceptable to your Lordships—first, that the whole of the surplus should be put into the pockets of the Irish landlords; and, secondly, that the funds should be held in suspense, to become the subject of perpetual applications, till such time as the contending parties can bring their contentions to a close. Voting as I did, I should be glad to say a word or two in explanation of the course which I adopted. I voted for the Motion of the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury), as he fairly put it, as part and parcel of a more generous measure, the first part of which was intrusted to his hands, and the second has been moved by the noble Duke at this side of the House (the Duke of Cleveland). I wish distinctly to state that if the Motion of the noble Marquess had been one and alone I should not have voted for it. I should not have voted for the Amendment of the noble Marquess except as part and parcel of a large measure to give to all alike; and if it should happen that the Motion of the noble Duke should be rejected I shall feel myself at liberty upon the Report to vote as I please upon the proposal to give to the Protestant Church alone. I am for giving to all or to none. I agree generally in the views which Her Majesty's Government entertain upon the subject of this Bill. I entirely agree in the injustice of continuing to endow exclusively the ministers of a religion which is that of a very small minority of the people of Ireland. I believe that to be a crying injustice to the people of Ireland—an injustice unexampled in any other country, and only forced upon the Irish people by the superior power of England. We cannot be surprised that, as long as that state of things continues, Ireland should be disaffected, and we cannot hope for contentment there until that source of discontent is removed. A good deal has been said about concurrent endowment. My Lords, I find in this Amendment nothing worthy of the name of concurrent endowment, and I think much mischief has been done by applying words of great significance to a thing of very small dimensions. Whatever my opinions may be in favour of an endowed as against a voluntary Church, no question of that nature is really under discussion at present. What I and what your Lordships have to consider is the question of some small endowment in Ireland. Now I, for one, am not prepared to advocate the principle of concurrent endowment. Everyone knows perfectly well that a Protestant Parliament would not consent to endow the Roman Catholic religion in Ireland, and we know also that the Roman Catholics would not accept endowment. It seems, therefore, perfectly childish to discuss the question of general concurrent endowment on this occasion. But the Amendment now before the House to give houses and some few acres of land—a garden and a croft—to the clergy, and to ministers of the other great denominations in Ireland, cannot surely be called anything like endowments. The arguments which are properly used against general endowment in Ireland, and in which I entirely concur, are misapplied when directed against this Amendment. The principle which is avowed by all, as that upon which we are to proceed in dealing with different religions in Ireland, is to treat them equally. This is not a principle avowed by this side alone, but by the late Prime Minister twenty-five years ago, and by the late Government when, through Lord Mayo, they pro- posed that all Churches should be equal. I confess that I heard that declaration with joy, because I thought that a new era would commence for Ireland. I must admit, however, that the measures which the late Government proposed were very inadequate to produce anything like religious equality in Ireland. Where the inequality is most felt is in parishes where the Protestant clergymen is paid by the State, has a good church and a fair residence, while, as the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland) told us, the Roman Catholic priest depends for his sustenance upon the contributions of his flock, conducts the service of his Church. in a barn or in the open air, and dwells in what is no better than a hovel. Can your Lordships feel surprised that the Irish people, influenced as they are by their priests, should be dissatisfied with a state of inequality such as that? I admit fairly that, theoretically, it might be equality if no houses were given to the clergy of any denomination, and if the Protestant ministers were compelled to buy their houses as the Roman Catholic clergy are. But while this might be theoretical equality, I do not think that, practically, in the sight of the people of Ireland, it would be so. You would have a Protestant minister in a good house, the Roman Catholic priest in a hovel. The people who saw this would not know what price had been paid by the Protestant minister. He would see the difference, he would not ask how it came about; and I do not believe he would feel that the minsters of his religion had been treated on a footing of equality. If, however, you place the ministers of both religions upon an equality—I, of course, include the Presbyterians—if the Roman Catholics see their priests in decent manses, with gardens—it will then be patent to them that, thanks to the Legislature, the principle of equality upon which we profess to act has been carried out, not only in theory but in fact. I was surprised to hear from the noble Duke that in Ireland the feeling is that this plan will not work. Now, I have heard opinions expressed by many Irishmen—Protestants and Catholics—landlords well acquainted with the country, deeply interested in its welfare, and, with the exception of a few gentlemen from the North, whose opinions might be naturally anticipated, and they believe and declare that this is the one measure which would be acceptable in Ireland, and which, more than any other measure, would produce peace and contentment among the mass of the people. Your Lordships will remember that we are dealing with an Irish question, and that we are dealing with Irish money; and upon a question of that kind, I think it is wise and politic to be guided by the advice of those Irish gentlemen who are best acquainted with the question, and who have the deepest interest in its satisfactory settlement. I cannot see that the Amendment is any serious infringement upon the principle on which the Government have acted in framing their Bill, or that they are precluded from adopting the advice of some of their best friends on this subject. Principles when carried to an extreme are apt to degenerate into harshness. The question is, how we can best attain that which is considered by the wisest men of all parties to be the end sought for. In saying this I do not shut my eyes to the difficulties of the Government, and I do not attach much importance to the declarations which have been quoted to-night, because they were made without that full knowledge of the subject which was necessary before dealing with the same. It is true that some of these declarations appear to be inconsistent with the course now proposed. On the other hand, it is indisputable that, though not bound by these assurances, some Members of the Government have given assurances which are in conformity with the principle of the Amendment. But, my Lords, let us see what our position now is. We have given houses and glebes to the Protestant clergy. Are we prepared so far to depart from the principle of equality, upon which, as we all avow, this Bill is to be based, by giving these advantages to Protestants and not to Roman Catholics? If so, do you hope to restore peace and content to Ireland, when the only ground of such a hope was the treatment of the Churches of Ireland upon a footing of equality? I am well aware that, in dealing with this subject, one other difficulty presents itself, which was alluded to by the right rev. Prelate, and which consists in the opinions of a considerable number of the supporters of the Government in the House of Commons—a party strongly opposed both to Roman Catholicism and to endowments—I mean the Nonconformists. We who know what we owe to their exertions in the cause of liberty, both civil and religious, will not be disposed to disregard their feelings. But anyone acquainted with the history of this country knows that English Nonconformists have never served their country better than by sometimes sacrificing their own immediate interest and feeling for the general good. If they have a strong feeling upon this question, I believe they never could make a sacrifice of feeling for a better purpose than in supporting a measure like this. If it be true, as I believe it is, that all moderate Irishmen, of whatever party, consider that some such plan as that now before your Lordships is better calculated than any other to promote peace and good-will throughout Ireland, I cannot but think that the Government and their supporters will do well to accept the measure, if it be carried by a large majority in this House, as I hope and trust it will be. It is well that this measure should pass, and an end be put to religious discord in Ireland, and if it can only be done by the sacrifice of some amount of feeling, I hope that the sacrifice will be cheerfully made for the promotion of that which we all have at heart—the peace and contentment of Ireland, without which the Empire will never be strong nor prosperous.


and the Earl of CARNARVON rose to address the House. On the latter giving way—


said: The noble Earl opposite will, no doubt, take the same line of policy as has been advocated by the noble Viscount who has just addressed your Lordships, and I think it is time that some Member of Her Majesty's Government should explain the opinions entertained by the Government with regard to the Motion of the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland). Much as I shall regret voting against any proposition made by the noble Duke, that feeling of regret will be increased by the moderation with which he expressed himself during the greater part of his speech, in which he enunciated principles with which I entirely agree. Indeed, if I have any fault at all to find with the noble Duke, it is on account of the humility with which he consented to an arrangement that has not, I think, proved very satisfactory, although in a practical point of view it has puzzled some noble Lords with respect to the way in which they should record their votes. I am also bound to say I also think Ms humility was misplaced when he so very much preferred the words he has moved to those which he originally intended to move, for it really does not appear to me that the Amendment now under consideration is particularly well worded. I will make but one criticism upon it. I find that the intention of the Amendment is to give to the Catholics and Presbyterians the advantages which would be offered to the disestablished Church with regard to the residences and glebe lands of the clergy. With regard to the Irish Church, applications are very properly to be made by the representative body of that Church. The applications on behalf of Presbyterians are to be made by the General Assembly, and those on behalf of the Roman Catholics by the Roman Catholic Prelates. But, as far as I can understand the Amendment, the see houses and lands proposed to be given to the Roman Catholic Prelates can only be granted on the application of the new representative body of the Irish Church. Therefore, as far as the wording of the Amendment goes, I think the noble Duke ought to have been a little more careful. My Lords, I agree personally with many of the principles of that large toleration which the noble Duke has dilated upon to-night. With respect to the endowment of the Roman Catholic religion, if circumstances were not such as they are, I should not object personally to some arrangement similar to that proposed by the noble Duke, though smaller in degree; but I do not at all join with him in that larger, and, as it is considered, that statesmanlike view that by endowing the Roman Catholics we should obtain a sort of control, partly of a political and partly of an ecclesiastical character, which I believe nothing on earth would induce the Roman Catholics to accept, and which would be so fatal a power to possess that I believe it would lead the Protestant Government of this country into a confusion and a mess from which it could not possibly extricate itself. I should be sorry to say that I thought the very superior residences of the Protestant clergy ought not to be compensated for by equally good residences for the Catholic clergy. Indeed, I do not disguise from your Lordships the fact that many of my Colleagues have publicly stated this to be their opinion; but this is not the whole consider- ation of the matter; it is not for a Legislative Assembly or for a Government merely to consider the question exactly as a debating society would, and to discuss whether certain details might not in the abstract be better than others. We had to consider—and no Government in this country will ever succeed in carrying a great measure unless they do consider—what are the wishes of the nation at large. On this point I have no doubt whatever. We have been told that this is no question of concurrent endowment. The noble Duke said that what he proposed was a very different thing from concurrent endowment; but that what the noble and learned Lord (Lord Westbury) proposed—namely, to give £2,000,000 to the Roman Catholics—did amount to endowment. I confess that I am unable to perceive the distinction. If you propose to give not only to the Irish Church of the future, but also to the Catholics and the Presbyterians, the right of claiming from you residences for their clergy and gardens comprising ten acres of land, I cannot understand that that does not amount to an endowment; and, as to the sum to be bestowed, I am unable to see the slightest distinction in principle between paying £500,000 or £1,000,000 or £2,000,000 in order to grant such valuable property to the different religious bodies. The way in which your Lordships promote this Amendment indicates to me that at the bottom of your hearts you believe that the concurrent endowment you recommend is entirely opposed to the feelings of the great majority "elsewhere,'' who have been able to carry this great, but much-blamed, measure, as far as it has at present gone, to so successful a conclusion. "We are all aware that a large portion of the people of the country understood that Her Majesty's late Government sketched out some plan of concurrent endowment. Well, the scheme was not withdrawn by the late Government, but entirely denied. It was said by them that concurrent endowment was not their intention; and I must say that that explanation has been confirmed by the course taken to-night by the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Marlborough), and by the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns). But, if anything can be more clear than another it is the use that was made at the elections of the supposed scheme. Indeed, now that the electioneering bustle is over, I may, perhaps, say that it was rather unfairly used; but it was certainly one of the weapons by means of which, the glorious majority in favour of the Government was returned to the House of Commons. Then, when the Resolutions were under discussion, were there many voices raised in the House of Commons in favour of concurrent endowment? I certainly am not aware that there were. In this House two or three noble Lords stated the opinions they held on this subject, and what was the result? They had absolutely no support. The noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland) has stated this evening that his Motion is contrary to the principle of the Bill, and the right rev. Prelate who followed him (the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol), and who argued in its favour, admitted that there was a little difficulty. That difficulty was that in his opinion neither the constituencies nor their representatives were sufficiently educated at present—"prepared," I think, was the word—to agree to such a proposal. And the noble Duke (the Duke of Marlborough) stated in the most emphatic terms that if we had adopted at the time of the elections the cry of concurrent endowment, the verdict of the country, instead of being in our favour, would have been exactly the reverse. Now, what has happened since that time? This Bill has been prepared by men who understood the feelings of their countrymen, and who knew it was impossible to do what some of us abstractedly would have wished to do. That Bill was presented to the House of Commons, which did not pass it without paying great attention to it. The question of concurrent endowment was raised by some few hon. Members; but as soon as one of them sat down, another, in exactly the same position as regards politics, rose to entirely repudiate the idea, and by the great majority on both sides of the House, a strong feeling was expressed against the proposed change. My Lords, I believe—and I never said anything with more sincerity in my life—that the great majority of the House of Commons will not agree to such an Amendment as the present; and, when we find so many noble Lords on the opposite side of this House who are ready to vote for concurrent endowment, we ought not entirely to lose sight of the fact that in the other House the great Conservative party have not given any sign in favour of the proposed change. I admit, indeed, that there has been a change of opinion in this House. The language used last year by my noble Friend on the cross-Benches, (Earl Grey), and by the noble Earl at the table (Earl Russell) met with the chilliest reception; but now the same language has been received most unexpectedly with great approbation and applause in various quarters. I am exceedingly rejoiced at this, for it gives the greatest pleasure to notice the significant fact that even in this House, which is somewhat slow in adopting new ideas, the general principles of equality among religions are more widely spread than they were before. Individually, too, I feel some satisfaction at finding that the opinions which I have entertained so long should have met with more general support than they have gained hitherto. But whether it will be wise, fair, and statesmanlike for Her Majesty's Government, at the instance of some individual Peers, to change the policy they have adopted with regard to this Bill, I must leave your Lordships on both sides of the House to decide.


I was one who voted against the second reading of the Bill, because I thought it went to destroy the Constitution of England in one of its most important features. I think that if the great revolution is to commence in Ireland, we ought to do everything in our power to soften the asperities of the measure. I am one of those who think that while we are dealing with this property we should endeavour to put the Protestant Church on the best possible footing—that we should take measures so to soften this policy as that the Protestant Church may reap all the benefit we can secure for her. I should like to see the tithe rent-charge and the other property of the Church, which is now to be handed over to secular uses and to the relief of the county cess, again used in the service of Almighty God. And that is why I should wish to make an arrangement by which the large sum to be realized by the sale of the rent-charge would be given among the various religions of Ireland. I believe that by that means we should gain for the Protestants in that country a very large slice; and it is for that alone that I would do it. It is not that I am very anxious to endow Roman Catholicism; but that I should like to get the best terms I could for the Protestant Church, instead of this property being devoted to secular purposes. If the question now before us were merely the taking of a portion of this money, and building houses for the Roman Catholic clergy with it, I would vote for it, excepting for one thing, and that is, that I am desirous as a Member of this House, to agree with my countrymen. I feel sure that this proposal is more hateful to the people of England than anything we could offer them. I differ from them; but I think that if the measure went down to the House of Commons with this Amendment in it they would reject it, and great confusion and difficulty would be the result. I must therefore vote against this Amendment.


said, he believed that the peace, prosperity, and happiness of Ireland would, in a great measure, depend on the manner in which their Lordships dealt with the proposal now before them. He had long been a friend to the principle of concurrent endowment; and now that an opportunity presented itself to him of giving a vote in favour of that principle, although applied in a very small and modified form, he could not consistently with his own conscientious feelings refrain from embracing it. And really, remembering that that was a measure professedly for the pacification of Ireland—that it was meant to be, as had been said, "a message of peace" to that country, it was astonishing that, in that discussion, Ireland seemed altogether to be left out of sight, and they were considering how they should please this person and that person, this constituency and that constituency, just as though the feelings of the people of Ireland were of no account. That was not the way to satisfy Ireland on that solemn occasion. The great reason which he had heard urged against the adoption of that principle was that the great body of the Irish people—that was to say, the Roman Catholics, represented by their Prelates and those in whom they trusted—were unwilling to receive at the hands of the Parliament of England any endowment of any kind for their Church. But their Lordships should recollect that they now stood on a totally different footing from that which they had hitherto occupied. They had now taken the all-important step of disestablishing the Protestant Church in Ireland. He had voted for the disestablishment of that Church without hesitation, but still with much pain; because, by many whom he loved and revered, it was regarded as a mortal blow to the Chucrh to which he belonged. Yet he believed that he had voted according to the dictates of justice and of right. The Protestant people of England would never have submitted for one year to an injustice like that involved in the Establishment of the Irish Church had it been inflicted on themselves; and now they were endeavouring, in that matter, to do to others as they would have others do to them. It might have been possible in past times—in Mr. Pitt's time, and perhaps later—to have endowed the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland; and perhaps at that time the Prelates of that Church, and those who were trusted by the people of that country, might possibly have accepted such endowment. But while Parliament was lingering and refusing to adopt that course, the Irish people were being educated; and, being educated, they acquired that sense of independence which always accompanies education; and as long as the Irish Protestant Church remained established, they never would have received any endowment whatever from the British Parliament. The common phrase was—"Oh, pay the priests, and they will be quiet." That was not the way to settle that question. But now the Protestant Church was disestablished—ascendancy was at an end; the Irish Roman Catholics stood on the same common platform of religious equality with the rest of their fellow-subjects, as far as regarded any stigma upon their religion. Their Lordships were now concerned with only the very minor question of disendowment. The Protestant Church being disestablished, if, in a spirit of frankness and of kindness, they were to say to the Roman Catholic Prelates of Ireland—"Now that ascendancy is at an end, now that the stigma of inferiority is removed from you, there are certain funds belonging to the State for religious purposes. Will you, without any onerous or improper conditions, without any undue interference—will you, as our fellow-subjects, now accept at the hands of Parliament such a sum of money as will provide for the clergy of your Church suitable residences?" If the offer were made in that spirit and manner, he believed it would not be rejected. In a certain sense that might, of course, be called an endowment; but it was so only in an indi- rect and very modified way, and many of the stoutest and strictest Irish Protestants would not oppose it. If the money were to be given directly to Roman Catholic chapels, such persons, no doubt, would resist the proposal. But if those same Protestants were told—"We are not asking you for money for chapels, nor for a direct contribution towards the maintenance of the Roman Catholic religion in any way whatsoever, but will you give something towards providing a suitable residence for the priest of the parish?" He believed that hundreds and thousands of the Protestants of Ireland, who would not subscribe for a chapel, would gladly put their hands in their pockets for that object. They were standing in a new position, and his noble Friend proposed that the Roman Catholic priests should share in the kindness of the State. He could not agree in the sentiments of the noble Lord who had just sat down. If those sentiments were to prevail he feared the prospects before them in Ireland were very alarming. But he did not believe that the people of England would take the view of the matter which the noble Lord suggested. He believed that if they explained to the people of England what it was they asked for; that it was not a grant from the Consolidated Fund to be expended in the direct encouragement of Popery—if it was explained to them that all that was asked for was that Irish money should be expended in providing decent residences for the priests of the great majority of the Irish people, his conviction of the sense of justice and fairness of the people of this country was such that he did not believe they would refuse. He believed that they would cheerfully assent to the expenditure of the money for such a purpose. His strong and decided conviction was that the success of this measure, as a message of peace to Ireland, depended upon their treatment of this question. He voted in the majority that the glebe houses should be preserved for the Protestants—he wished the same advantage to be extended to the Roman Catholics and the Presbyterians. But he would say this, that even if they refused the glebes to Roman Catholics and Presbyterians, and decided as they had decided, to give them to the Protestant Episcopalians, he believed in his heart that the Roman Catholics would not object. The people were a generous, kind-hearted, and forgiving people. Since this Bill had been brought forward he had never—to the credit of the Roman Catholics he must say it—heard from them a single word or song of triumph. On the contrary, he had heard this—aye, and from the lips of Roman Catholic priests too—that they would be sorry to see the clergymen of the Established Church deprived of their glebes and manses. Such being the feelings of the people, he would say this, that this particular proposition, beyond any other that could be devised, would have a beneficial effect. He did not mean to say that this was the only measure that was necessary, or that it would have an immediate effect on the tranquility of the country. But he said this, that this measure was the necessary and indispensable foundation of every other measure. It was in this spirit that he would vote in favour of the Amendment, being confident that the offer would not be refused by the Roman Catholic priests. But even if the offer were refused—though he trusted it would not be—still the offer would be kindly received by the Roman Catholics. Above all it would be kindly received by the poor mountain peasant who was devotedly attached to his priest, and to whom it would be a source of joy and congratulation if he saw a glebe and a small piece of land set apart for the use of his priest by the country. He apologized for having detained their Lordships, but having been all his life connected with Ireland, he could not refrain from expressing his opinion on this measure, which he believed would draw closer than ever the bond of union between the two countries.


My Lords, when this large and important subject was introduced for the first time to the Committee, I did not venture to trouble your Lordships with any observations upon it, because I thought it better to reserve my remarks until the direct issue was raised. I now desire, in the first place, to enter my dissent from what fell from the noble Viscount who sits at the table (Viscount Halifax) when he said that we are now about to vote upon a proposition which really was part and parcel of the question upon which we last divided, and that it was impossible to adopt one without the other. The noble Viscount went so far as to say that my noble Friend who sits below the Gangway (the Marquess of Salisbury) had proposed the Amendment upon which we lately di- vided as part of this entire proposition; but I venture now to repeat that I at least am of opinion that these are two entirely distinct propositions. If the present question had not been proposed to-night at all, I venture to think the division upon the last question would have been exactly the same as it was. We supported that Amendment on its own merits, standing alone; and, whatever may be the conclusion come to upon the present proposal of the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland), I venture to think the merits of the former Amendment would remain entirely unaffected. It is a singular thing that when we are some way advanced in Committee with this Bill—a Bill which has passed through all its stages in the other House of Parliament, after some three months' discussion, and which occupied some amount of your Lordships' time on the Motion for the second reading—and we are now for the first time in the whole history of this controversy, I might almost say, if the subject were not too serious, at the fag end of a great contest, confronted with a proposition which, as regards the principle on which it is founded and the extent to which it may be carried, changes the entire face of the controversy which has hitherto prevailed. Now, I do not know whether any of your Lordships have taken the trouble to consider, even in a rough way, the extent to which this proposal would go. The noble Duke who introduced it said it was a very small matter, and that it was not worthy of being described by that sonorous description "concurrent or indiscriminate endowment." My Lords, I care very little about names; but I think we had better understand exactly what is the substance with which we are invited to deal. The proposal is, in the first place, to provide dwellings and ten acres of land for the clergy of various denominations, and I will take the Roman Catholic Church first. I am right in saying that in Ireland there are 1,000 Roman Catholic parishes; the division is not the same as the division is in the Established Church, but some of these parishes are extremely large. It would be impossible to suppose that the duty of the whole parish could be done by one priest, or that there were not several congregations in the same parish; but I put it at the low estimate of a house for each parish. Now, the proposition is to provide glebes when there is no sufficient place of residence. My Lords, there is no doubt that there are no residences at all in several of those parishes, and only poor ones in many others; but without being disrespectful to any denomination, I say that if it be given out that at the end of two or three years sufficient houses will be provided with glebes in those parishes where the houses are not sufficient there will not be a parish in Ireland where you will find a sufficient ministerial residence. Therefore, my first calculation that 1,000 Roman Catholic residences would be asked for is not an exaggerated one; the congregations that receive the Regium Donum number 500; and thus, for Roman Catholics and Presbyterians, we get 1,500. But noble Lords suppose there is nobody else to talk about. What about the Methodists? They are a respectable body, and very numerous, and as well worthy of glebes and residences as other denominations. The Independents or Congregationalists have been overlooked; they also must be treated in the same way. What about the Church now established? What is the position of the congregations of that Church? There are 1,500 parishes, but only about 1,000 residences and glebes. Therefore you have over 500 parishes unprovided for; and, unfortunately, these are the parishes with the largest congregations, and for which the provision is most needed. The Bill omits all consideration of what are called district churches, whose congregations are large, and for which in hardly any instance is there a glebe or residence. All these facts produce in my mind this conviction—under this scheme it is impossible to imagine you will require to provide a smaller number of residences and glebes than 2,000; and I believe 2,500 would be much nearer the mark. If you remember that you will require ten acres of land for each residence just where land is most valuable, and that you must build houses of some pretensions, I do not think it is at all a high estimate to say that the annual value of land and house may be put down at £60 a year. Take 2,000 or 2,500 glebes and houses worth £60 a year, and you get a capital sum of between £2,000,000 and £3,000,000—nearer £3,000,000, which it is proposed to take out of the funds of the Church. Do not let us use fine names which people out-of-doors will not understand. They will understand this to be a provision for the clergy of all denominations to the extent of £60 a year. If you do not call it concurrent and general endowment, depend upon it the people of this country will. I cannot understand those who say that £200 a year is an endowment, but that £60 a year is so small a sum that it is not worth the name of endowment. That is not a theory which will be adopted in this country. Therefore, as regards the principle of this proposal, I maintain there is no difference whatever between what is now proposed and a general proposal to divide the whole surplus between the different denominations in Ireland. I can understand the argument that the proposition is more expedient and better for the various denominations than one to divide the surplus; but in point of principle it is much the same thing. I never disguised my own opinion; I am not in favour of indiscriminate endowment. I see many reasons against it; and I own frankly I have not heard any reasons advanced sufficient to alter my opinion. I am not going to trouble your Lordships now with arguments in favour of my opinions, or observations to show the fallacy of contrary opinions, because there is a question altogether preliminary. It is this—What will be the effect of any legislation of this kind commencing in your Lordships' House, and taking the form proposed by the noble Duke? The right rev. Prelate who presides over the diocese of St. David's said the other night that the whole principle of this question was long since settled; that twenty years ago, when you assented to the grant to Maynooth, a principle was adopted, and that this was nothing more than following up the same principle. I could not help thinking at the moment that the right rev. Prelate had forgotten that by this Bill we were winding up and closing the question of Maynooth; and one of the strong reasons for winding-up the question of this Bill is that is has been found so troublesome and it has caused so much uneasiness in this country that it was quite evident that when the ecclesiastical arrangements of Ireland came to be considered it would be necessary to put an end to the grant to the establishment. I do not think any of your Lordships would consider it a wise or an expedient thing to revive the Maynooth agitation. I foresee that the adoption of the Amendment of the noble Duke, in the present state of the public mind, would have no effect in the country short of an agitation similar to that which occurred at the time the Maynooth Grant was made. The noble Earl (Earl Granville) fairly, but not accurately, referred to what happened last year. Lord Mayo made a statement in the House of Commons which was by some persons held to amount to an opinion expressed in favour of concurrent endowment. My noble Friend denied the justice of that interpretation of his words. I am quite prepared to admit that while the last Government were in Office they were responsible for words uttered by any Member of their body, and were bound to submit to any fair criticism which might be made upon them. I am equally free to state that, agreeing with my noble Friend that the interpretation placed upon his words was an unfair interpretation, I must add this also, that the interpretation represented a policy which not only never was adopted but never was considered by the Government of the day. But what was the consequence of that construction attempted to be put upon the words of Lord Mayo? In the first place the present Prime Minister said that these words, interpreted as he interpreted them, were the origin of his Motion upon the subject of the Irish Church. What happened at the elections? There was hardly a speech made by the Prime Minister in the county of Lancaster in which he did not refer to the declaration of Lord Mayo, and to his interpretation of it; and in which he did not hold it up to the people of the country as a declaration in favour of or tending to concurrent endowment, and in which he did not ask for support upon the ground and plea that he was opposed to any policy of that kind. Not only was it so, but this was done in such a way as to put altogether out of the question the suggestion that has fallen from the noble Lord who has just sat down. He said that what the people were afraid of was that there would be some taxation for the purpose of concurrent endowment. The whole question at the elections was this—"What are you going to do with the money taken from the Irish Church? How are you going to apply the surplus?" Was not that question asked at every hustings? Was not every candidate pledged to oppose any attempt to apply any portion of it to the support of any religion? The noble Earl said fairly that any Liberal candidate who had gone down to the country and said—"I am for disestablishing and disendowing the Irish Church; but I will give compensation for Maynooth and the Regiurn Donum out of the proceeds, and I will divide the remainder among the various denominations in Ireland," might as well have returned to London without going to the poll. Again, how did it come to pass that this question was never brought to a vote by any Amendment proposed in the House of Commons? I fully believe that many Members of the House of Commons—and I daresay on both sides of the House—in a private room would say that the tendency of their private opinion was towards adopting the principle of concurrent endowment; yet so utterly hopeless was it to make any proposition of the kind in the House of Commons that I believe no Amendment of the kind, even if one were put upon the Paper, of which I am not sure, was ever brought to a vote in the progress of the Bill. The right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol) said it was our business to lead public opinion. That is not the principle acted upon as regards the second reading of the Bill; and I do not think your Lordships professed to lead public opinion. If I am right in saying that this whole matter was before the nation at the late elections; that the verdict of the country was pronounced in favour of those who had declared themselves opposed on any terms to concurrent endowment, it is rather a strong proposition to say that we are to attempt to lead public opinion, not by speeches, not by arguments, but by means of Amendments in a measure of this kind, introduced at the last moment after it has passed the House of Commons. I will ask you to consider this—Suppose the House of Commons were to reject the Amendment, what are you prepared to do? Are you prepared to go to an issue with the House of Commons upon this Amendment—to ask the country whether you or the House of Commons are right:—That is the question we have to consider. It is not whether we can, by our speeches, lead the people of the country to think that our matured opinion is right and theirs wrong, but whether we can persuade the country we are right in altering this measure without the country having an opportunity to express an opinion different from that which it has already expressed. A noble Lord asked last night—"Why talk about the House of Commons?" And he said the question was what the people of Ireland wanted? So far as I can learn, the Protestants of Ireland are opposed to the policy of this Amendment; and I have not heard anything which justifies the belief that the Catholics of Ireland are in favour of it. Unfortunately—and I think it is an answer to what has fallen from the noble Lord—by the constitution of this country you are obliged to legislate for Ireland through the medium of the constituencies of England and Scotland, with, of course, Ireland as well, and you are obliged to be guided by the opinion of the constituencies of the three countries, so that you are not at liberty to act upon the undivided opinion of Ireland, even if you were satisfied that that opinion had been or could be obtained. Now, I would ask your Lordships' attention to another point, one connected with the surplus. We have talked, hitherto, about a surplus as if we were dealing with a Budget which had been introduced in happy times by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and by which we should have a few millions to dispose of in any manner we thought proper. But I am afraid that is not exactly the case, and I want you to consider whether there is any surplus to come from this Bill. Now, there was one observation made which your Lordships may remember. Mr. Gladstone said the first question was, what was the amount of the revenue of the Irish Church. He said the Commissioners who had examined into the matter had put it down at £600,000 a year, but that, he thought, the true figure would be about £700,000. Personally, I think the safer course would be to assume that the Commissioners, who bestowed very great care upon this subject, and who had materials before them upon which to form a tolerably accurate opinion, were more likely to be right than the Prime Minister. If the annual revenue is £600,000 the whole property would only amount to £13,700,000; if the annual revenue is £700,000 the amount of the capital would be £16,000,000. Now, I will assume that £600,000 is the true figure, and then, we shall have a capital of £13,700,000. Now, the charges upon that are not less than £9,000,000, so that your surplus could only amount to £4,700,000. And we have heard of such things as a surplus apparently considerable turning out to be very much less than was expected. But assume that you have the expected surplus of £4,700,000. If I am correct in my conclusions with regard to the glebes there willgo£3,000,000. Then, too, as the matter now stands the Commissioners will not be able to touch 1s. of the property for two and a-half years. The first things they have to do will be to compensate the owners of life interests and to provide for all the expenses of carrying on this gigantic operation in which they will be engaged, and anyone looking at the work they have to do, the sales they have to effect, and the length of time they have to carry things over, will, I think, acknowledge that I am not overstating the matter when I say that no considerable or substantial amount of surplus can be in their hands and be at their disposal in less than from five to ten years. Now, I ask, is it a wise thing for us to be allocating in so uncertain a manner a surplus that, even if realized, will not be in our hands for five or ten years? And how can you tell what will be the state of public opinion five years hence? The matter will not be in the least degree more settled by your proceeding at once to allocate this money. Do you think, supposing you determine the application of this money now, that your determination will be allowed to stand supposing at the end of five years there should be a change in public opinion? They will tear your arrangement to pieces and will laugh at you as they would at a man who writes down what he will do with his money ten years hence. Now, in arguing this question, I have not stated what my opinion is upon the question of concurrent endowment; but I will frankly state that I think a very great change has occurred in public opinion, and that in the metropolis, and I may even say in Parliament itself, there has been a change of opinion on the subject of concurrent endowments. I will not venture to prophesy either one way or another, but it is very possible that on this point public opinion may be matured and brought to look at the matter in a very different light from that in which it is at present regarded. But if you are anxious that public opinion should be brought to favour your view, you will only thwart and injure your own prospects by attempting to force this principle upon them before they are prepared to receive it, and when it is tolerably certain they will not agree with you. It is for these reasons that I have placed upon the Paper an Amendment, which, though this is not the moment when I am to propose it, it is impossible for me to pass over in silence. What I propose is when we have gone through the other provisions of this Bill, simply to provide that the surplus of this property should remain at the disposal of Parliament hereafter. With this view I propose to remove from the Bill those portions which relate to the application of the surplus, and to omit from the Preamble those words which have been so generally objected to, and which prescribe in what direct manner the surplus property of the Church shall now be applied. The noble Earl who introduced this measure told us that a friend had said to him—"You may get on very well with the rest of this measure, but you will find yourselves in difficulty as soon as you get to the surplus clauses." The noble Earl regarded it as a matter for congratulation that that prophecy had not been borne out by what had occurred but since the Bill has reached your Lordships' House, the noble Earl must, I think, have altered his opinion, because no portion of the Bill has been subjected to more criticism than that which provides for the fantastic application of the surplus that I have described. Now, my Lords, we have arrived at a stage of the deliberations on this measure when we have got rid of those eloquent perorations in which its charitable merits have been so much vaunted; but in reality it is in aid of those persons who, if left alone, would have to provide for these charities themselves. Therefore, we are not at all embarrassed by any of those moving descriptions of the humane effects of the Bill with which we have been so frequently favoured. We know what it is. It is a provision in aid of the county cess. I would, therefore, suggest to noble Lords who are anxious that these funds should be applied in the direction indicated by the noble Duke, whether it would not be really better for the present to suspend the application of this surplus for a time. Let us see what the opinion of the country is upon the point. If it is in favour of the noble Duke, depend upon it the plan he suggests will be adopted; if it is against the plan, its postponement can do no harm, because it will only offend the country to place a provision of this kind in the Bill. There is one other observation, and only one, I have to make. I do not want to criticize the Amendment of the noble Duke, but I desire to call attention to the utter impracticability of the plan he proposes. It fails to deal with the various denominations with which you must deal if you are going to adopt a policy of indiscriminate and concurrent endowment. Again, has the noble Duke considered what is to be done with this property? Has it occurred to him to appoint those to whom it is to belong? Is he going to provide that these various endowments should be inalienable, because if that is not the case they may be turned into money the next day, and so all his solicitude about the fixed and settled comfort of the ministers of the various denominations will be thrown away? These are all matters which require to be considered in dealing with a matter of this kind. But I only point to these things for the purpose of directing the noble Duke's attention to the want of' finish about his proposal. It is undoubtedly a crude proposal, and one which might have been as well suggested in the form of a Resolution. My objections stand on a broad ground. I do not say that public opinion may not in the end turn out differently from what I expect; but I think that the proposition is calculated to do more harm than good, and therefore I must give my vote against it.


I have observed that the proposal now before your Lordships has been advocated entirely on principle, while the various objections taken to it have all been on detail. I think it is better we should take the issue simply on the principle, and not on mere questions of machinery. No one can have listened to the able speeches of my noble Friends without feeling that there is this singular peculiarity in the arguments used in this debate—that on the side of those who support the Amendment the arguments all went to the substance of the matter. They all relied upon the benefits which this proposal would confer upon Ireland, and upon the effect which it would have in reconciling the Irish people to English rule—in converting the Irish priesthood, by no forced or severe means, into friends of social order and supporters of British rule. They pointed out the wretched condition of the pauper priests of a pauper population, and they reminded us that their position could be raised without any imposition of taxes on the people, but simply by the application of the large surplus already at your disposal; and they asked whether, if you passed over such real and terrible distress, which it is in your power to alleviate, you will not be inflicting a deeper insult and injury than that which it is the object of the Bill to remove? This has been the character of the arguments addressed to you in favour of the Amendment, and they have been enforced so ably by the noble Lords who have used them, that I should be wasting your Lordships' time and patience if I were to attempt to travel over the ground again. But what has been said on the other side? Has any statesman got up and said the policy of concurrent endowment is wrong? Has any statesman stood up and said that the policy of concurrent endowment is inexpedient? Has anybody stated the opinions of any distinguished statesman against it? Have we not, on the contrary, had a most extraordinary catena of distinguished opinion in favour of it? The names of those who were ever used to walking in the paths of conserving ancient institutions; the names of those who certainly never supported any revolutionary changes; the names of Pitt, of Castlereagh, of Wellington and Peel, can be quoted in support of this proposal, not to mention a host of living men; and can anyone say that the principle is inexpedient or wrong? There has been one string, and only one, on which those who oppose the Amendment have harped—namely, that it would not please the constituencies of the country. My noble and learned Friend (Lord Cairns) met the point frankly, after his wont, and said that we should be acting inconsistently with the principle on which we read the Bill the second time if we did not recognize and abide by the opinion of the constituencies against concurrent endowment. Now, I was one of those who voted for the second reading on the ground of the verdict of the nation. But I must for myself protest that I never intended any such application of that vote as that which my noble and learned Friend has made. I do not look merely to the verdict of the nation as delivered at the election, though I fully acknowledge that as one element for our consideration. But I venture to take a further and a wider range of view. I ask what are the grounds upon which opinion is formed—what is the feeling among the educated class? Whether in any quarter of the political horizon I could see the signs of a different feeling, or whether, indeed, the spirit of the age was against us, and there was no appearance of our views being adopted? Will anyone tell me that the "No Popery" cry is the goal towards which the nation is travelling? That is a feeling which has influenced many parts of our history, and which, no doubt, is powerful still; but will anyone say that it is on the increase, or that it is likely at any future election to govern the policy of the country, or to decide the councils of statesmen? Is not the ease precisely the reverse? I believe that feeling to be old and decayed, though undoubtedly it once existed; but, on the contary, I think the opposite feeling, embodied in the Amendment of the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland), is a young and a growing one. It is the opinion entertained almost universally among those classes of society where opinion is formed, and from which it extends down to the masses. Nothing is more remarkable than the gradual fading away of that "No Popery" feeling which used to be so powerful. Anybody who recollects even the state of public agitation at the time of Papal aggression, and the violence that marked it, and compares it with the feeling of the present day in regard to Roman Catholicism, will be struck by the enormous change that has taken place. My noble Friend has said that in both Houses of Parliament, and in London society, opinion is advancing rapidly in favour of concurrent endowment. This case is not a hopeless one. On the contrary, every year adds strength to it. The question then arises—what is the duty of the Members of this House in respect of this question? I frankly own that I think the opinion of the constituencies has been over-rated on this point. We do not allow for the play and exigencies of our electioneering machinery. We have a large number of voters probably equally divided between the two parties of the State, and attached to them by habit and feeling, but not caring very keenly for political opinions. Between them come those people who have strong opinions, and who are perfectly ready to join the standard of that candidate who will swallow their particular Shibboleth. Now, I believe, the Nonconformists have acted on this question just in the manner which is so familiar to us in the case of what is called the Permissive Bill. They go to a candidate and say—" Take our cry or renounce our support;" and the candidate, who finds no counter enthusiasm on the other side, is obliged to accept the condition on pain of losing the seat. But it is quite a mistake to suppose that the opinions of persons who may possess such influence as that at elections represent to a large extent the deliberate opinion of the country. Well, what is the duty of the House of Lords in this case? I do not address myself to those who have conscientious objection to the Amendment. I leave them to reconcile, as best they may, with their opinions the fact that we also sustain in our colonies the Roman Catholic religion, that a large grant is annually paid out of the Imperial Exchequer for the support of a Roman Catholic educational institution—nay, that all the surplus of the Bill, as at present constructed, will infallibly go into the hands of monks and nuns. But those noble Lords who believe in their hearts that the Amendment is right are oppressed, perhaps, by the fear that the constituencies will not accept it, and the House of Commons will reject it. I will ask them to consider whether that is taking a fair and proper view of the function of the House. I do not ask whether the Government will accept the Amendment or not. If the Government be got into difficulties by making electioneering promises that they ought not to have made, it is not our business to extricate them; nor do I ask whether this Amendment will be santioned in the first instance. I do not know if the House of Commons will take upon itself the responsibility of jeopardizing the Bill rather than accept the Amendment. I believe that that would be an enormous responsibility for them to assume, knowing, as we all do, that the opinion of the majority of the Members is really in favour of the policy of the Amendment. But, whatever the course they might adopt, I venture to remind your Lordships that unless you raise a standard, you cannot expect men to flock to it—unless you have the courage to act upon your opinions, you cannot expect them to prevail. I am sure that the shadow of an opinion in this country falls upon men's minds long after the substance and life of it have passed away; and, if you wish to dispel this evil spectre of the "No Popery" cry, you must be courageous. Some one must "bell the cat." If you wish your countrymen to consider this question fairly, you must fairly bring it under their notice. This is the duty and function of the House of Lords. Your maxim should be—"Be just, and fear not." For myself, whatever may be the opinion of noble Lords, I cannot refuse my vote for the Amendment, which I believe to be just in itself; which, to my mind, is the only one that opens any tolerable hope of pacifying Ireland; and which, in my opinion, is the only one that gives any compensation for the motley evils which I believe the Bill will bring upon her.


I wish, my Lords, very briefly to state why I entirely concur in the course taken by the Government with reference to the question now under our consideration. The noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) has spoken with great force as to the progress of opinion with respect to it. In dealing with it—and it is a question on which, as having had charge for a time of the Government of Ireland, I have much reflected—I am bound to confess that it would, in my opinion, be probably the wisest and safest mode of settling this difficult subject to have recourse to what is called a scheme of concurrent endowment. The question is one, I may add, which was fully discussed before the present Bill was submitted to the consideration of the country. In 1866 my noble Friend the noble Earl on the cross-Benches (Earl Grey) brought the subject before this House, when he made a Motion by which he proposed to your Lordships an elaborate scheme of concurrent endowment. That scheme, however, met with no support in the country. Again, in 1867, my noble Friend who formerly held the Office of Prime Minister (Earl Russell) brought the question again under the consideration of the House. He, too, contemplated a system of concurrent endowment, and I voted with him on that occasion; but we were but 38, and there was a majority of 52 against us. I supported my noble Friend on the ground that I thought his Motion af- forded a very fair opportunity of trying the pulse of the country on the subject. I entirely differ from those who think that the opinion of the country has been favourable to the scheme of concurrent endowment. It seems to me that you fall into a grave error when, in dealing with a question of this kind, you pay regard merely to the private conversations or the private opinions of men, however eminent, and cite them in support of your argument as against public demonstrations of opinion. What has been the course of opinion in Ireland upon this question? The noble Duke the late President of the Council (the Duke of Marlborough) referred to-night to a resolution which was passed by the Roman Catholic Prelates on the subject in 1867. I will not go back so far. Observe what occurred quite lately. There has been a meeting of the principal members of the Established Church, and they have declared against concurrent endowment. Then, again, at a meeting of the Presbyterian Assembly within a few days, it was in the most decided terms declared that in no form or shape would they consent to a proposal for "levelling up," as it is termed. I am not now saying whether they are wise or not in adopting this course; but I must look to these authoritative meetings, rather than to the expression of private opinions, to ascertain the views of the country on the subject. And now let me ask your Lordships to consider for a moment whether the general course of opinion throughout the world is in favour of concurrent endowment. Whatever may be our opinions or our natural desire to maintain the Established Church in this country—and I, for one, as a member of it, most earnestly desire to see it maintained—I cannot conceive how anyone who watches the changes of opinion in the world can fail to observe that that opinion, instead of being in favour of general endowment, is tending more and more towards the voluntary system. To turn that current of opinion I believe to be beyond even the great abilities of the noble Marquess, and the great authority of this House. The noble Marquess has alluded to the "No Popery" cry, and has said that he thinks it is fast fading away. In that respect I agree with him; but if you wish to prevent that diminution of fanaticism at which I, for one, greatly rejoice, and to retard the progress of toleration, you can, I venture to say, take no better course to secure your object than to pass this Amendment. Depend upon it, the people of England and Scotland feel really upon this subject. I regret that feeling should prevail as it does in some quarters; but you must not look upon the views of the people of England and Scotland on the question as mere fanaticism and bigotry. Those views are deeply connected with our Protestant institutions, and wise men and statesmen ought, I think, to hesitate to confront them directly, while they continue to exist. There is one other point to which I wish to advert before I sit down. The noble Marquess opposite appealed to the great names of Pitt, Fox, the Duke of Wellington, and Sir Robert Peel in support of his argument. Now, I have great respect for the authority of those great men. I have studied their opinions on this subject, and I have been greatly influenced in my opinion by them; but, is it not somewhat remarkable that, notwithstanding the high positions which they occupied in the councils of their country, their great power, and the eloquence which they were able to bring to bear in support of their views, they were totally unable to carry into practice their opinions on this question of concurrent endowment? Why, then, my Lords, may we not plead the same reason which prevented them from giving effect to their views, and acknowledge that we are obliged to look to the general wish of the nation? In dealing with a matter of this kind you must look at the measure as a whole, and this Amendment concerns but a small detail. But, although a detail, it is not consistent with the principle of the Bill, and your Lordships will not, I hope, therefore, adopt it.


I wish to say a few words before the House goes to a division, for I own I look upon this as a most important question. We must recollect that in dealing with it we do not stand in the same position as we did at the beginning of the evening. A great change has been introduced into the Bill by the Amendment moved by the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury), which, in fact, adds £100,000 to the £200,000 that was before proposed to be given to the disestablished Protestant Church. A noble Earl (the Earl of Denbigh), who is very much attached to the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) opposite, wrote to him a letter last year, publicly declaring that he was obliged to separate from his political course upon the Suspensory Bill, inasmuch as the contrast between the position of the Protestant and Roman Catholic clergymen was odious and offensive in his eyes. Your Lordships are told that if you do not reject this Amendment serious consequences will ensue. But if you do reject it, after adding to the endowment of the Protestant Church, what will happen? In the eyes of the Roman Catholics of Ireland this will be the position—that the House of Commons and the Government proposed a considerable endowment for the purpose of furnishing residences and glebe lands to the Protestant clergy, while the Government, the House of Commons, and the House of Lords refused to give any money whatever, or any part of the large surplus which they declare to be in their control, for the purpose of providing residences for the parish priests of the Roman Catholics of Ireland. When the announcement goes to Ireland that such is the determination of the Government, aggravated by the decision of the House of Lords, what can it produce but a new sense of degradation—a new feeling of bitterness against the Government of England, that acts in a manner so unequal? To announce to the parish priests that not 1d. will be given to benefit their condition, while you are dealing liberally and generously with the clergy of another and smaller denomination must, I say, be productive of very great evils in Ireland. What it was hoped would prove a message of peace will, in reality, aggravate the bitterness that exists. Much stress has been laid to-night upon the word "endowment," but the word is misapplied when it is used in reference to this proposal. This is quite clear, that a Church which is separated from the State, but accepts a certain number of glebe houses for its parish priests, cannot be called either an endowed or an Established Church. Under the Amendment of my noble Friend (the Duke of Cleveland) neither the present Church of Ireland, the Roman Catholic, nor the Presbyterian Church would be established or endowed; and it would be contrary to all ordinary words of speech to treat them so. Nobody calls the Roman Catholic Church endowed because it has the grant to Maynooth; and nobody calls the Presbyterian an endowed Church because it has the Regium Donun. But I say the effect of carrying this Amendment would be to spread a feeling of satisfaction throughout the Roman Catholic body, clergy, and laity, for the parish priests of Ireland would then say—" We are no longer neglected or frowned upon; we are no longer excluded from measures of justice; our houses are comfortable, and we ourselves are treated with fairness." My Lords, there is one thing more. The topic has been much insisted upon that Ministers have no free will in the matter, and are bound by the result of the last election. There have been Ministers in former times, who by dissolving Parliament have suddenly obtained great majorities in the House of Commons. It was done by Mr. Pitt, it was done by Lord Grey, it was done by Sir Robert Peel, and by Lord Palmerston; but I have always thought that, on those occasions, the General Elections having been advised by high-minded men, these great Ministers were not thereby placed in a position of degradation, but that a large and generous confidence was given to them by the people of England. Now, my belief is that, when the election was held last November, a similar confidence was extended to Mr. Gladstone, who had declared that he meant to disestablish and disendow the Church, and not to erect any new Church in its place. To that policy the people of England will expect him to be faithful, and no doubt he will be; but the people of England never insisted on his introducing a new kind of penal exclusion, making the Catholic priesthood and the people of Ireland more bitterly offended than ever they were before. I believe further, that if, after this measure were passed, the state of Ireland became worse than before the people of this country would reproach the Government with the step which they had taken, and would not accept the plea that the mischief was done in following out the orders of the people themselves. And if your Lordships came to the conclusion that it was for the peace and welfare of Ireland that by some solid proof the Catholic people and priesthood should be led to feel that they were hereafter to receive equal justice and to be well governed, so far from being blamed for what they had done, the Government would receive that reward which would be justly due to Ministers who had healed the wounds of many centuries.


I venture to ask your Lordships to allow one of the Bench on which I sit to say a very few words in explanation of the vote I am about to give. In voting, as I intend to do, for the Amendment of the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland), I cannot profess that I do so with any desire whatever of advancing the Roman Catholic priests of Ireland. But I think there are three very important points to consider, and I earnestly desire your Lordships to consider them: they are these, that in the Roman Catholic faith there is the first element of Catholicism, and secondly, the element of Romanism. As far as you promote the power of the teachers of that faith by promoting the element of Catholicism, you strengthen them in the work which you desire they should do. As far as you help them to set forward the peculiar views which over and above Catholicism divide their teaching from the teaching of the early Church, you make them the great legionaries of Romanism in the land. I believe that by giving to the Roman Catholic priesthood in Ireland the status and position of holding these glebe houses independently, you will enable them to maintain for themselves a liberty of teaching which it is of the utmost importance that they should be enabled to preserve. And therefore it is—and not because I have any sympathy with the peculiarities of their teaching—that I heartily desire to help them out of the sectional difficulties of their position into something like a grander and more general teaching of Christianity. And as far as that portion of the subject goes, I shall give my vote fearlessly and openly for giving them these glebes. I do not think this is a question of concurrent endowment at all. You have a certain surplus, and in bestowing a portion of it in this way you are not endowing any particular form of Christianity. The evil of so doing lies in making it the paid servant of the State from year to year. What do you do by this proposition more than you have done with regard to Maynooth? You are winding up the question, once for all, and you are not creating any fund for the sustentation of a particular religion. It is said that the sum proposed to be given is large; but, after all, what is it you are taking from the £8,000,000 of Church property? It seems to me therefore, that this is a question which your Lordships ought to settle. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) talked about the importance of this House leading the opinion of the country by speeches, and not by votes. But when were Englishmen ever led by words, unaccompanied by deeds? It has always been said that the difference between the English armies and other armies was that the ordinary officer said, "Gentlemen, go on!"—while the English officer said "Gentlemen, follow me!" In the same way, your speeches here may be as loud as you like; but you will not carry public opinion with you, unless you show that you have the courage to follow up your words by the necessary action. If that is the case, it seems to me that we have at this moment the duty set upon us of showing that we are not afraid of doing that which we believe to be right. I make the greatest possible allowance for the Government in not proposing such a measure as this. All Governments must be subject to a certain gentle pressure. I believe that the convictions of every noble Lord upon the Ministerial Bench are with me in this matter; but they are not able to march with us, unless they receive a gentle pressure, to which I believe they will yield with the greatest possible satisfaction. I believe that the country at large, after a very short space of time, will agree with you in the justice of this measure. For what is it you are going to do? The question is not between the Church of Ireland and these competing religious bodies. If it were, however bigoted I may be thought for saying so, I would not give one single halfpenny of the Church's money to any competing sect. The question is, when you have created a considerable surplus of money, whether you are to give it to the Roman Catholics, not as an endowment, but in a form which will give to the Roman Catholic priest and the Presbyterian teacher a certain independence which will lift him above the position in which he is at present? It is on this ground that I venture to say, in common with every statesmen for these many years past who has dared to state his opinion on this subject, that I believe you will, in passing this Amendment, be doing an act of consummate policy, as well as of the greatest justice, in so administering these remaining funds.


In justice to myself and to the Catholic Peers who will act with me, I wish to explain the vote that I shall be obliged to give on this question. I cannot do otherwise than express, on the part of all the Catholics in this kingdom, our grateful acknowledgments to those—more especially the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland) and the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns)—who, during this discussion, have so generously advocated the claims of the Catholics of Ireland. It may be thought an act of cowardice to have abstained from voting on the last Amendment which was before the House, and I wish to explain why I did abstain. I have felt the greatest desire to act generously towards all our fellow-Protestants who are affected by this Bill, but I could not vote for that Amendment, because in the way in which it was put to the House by the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) it would certainly appear unjust in the eyes of the country. I fully acquit the noble and learned Lord of any wish to rest that Amendment upon grounds of injustice; but I say that if it goes to the country as it does now it will have an air of strong injustice. I therefore abstained from voting on that proposal. With regard to the present Amendment, the noble Duke (the Duke of Marlborough) who spoke this evening said that the Catholic clergy had distinctly repudiated all participation in any State grant. No doubt they did so, because they wished to acquit themselves of all appearance of sordid motives in supporting the Bill, and did not desire to embarrass the Government. But I have informed myself of the views of the Catholics on this subject, and I am convinced that if such a measure as this were offered as an act of justice—of pure justice—it would not be refused. It may be thought that the vote I am about to give against this Amendment is inconsistent with that view. I wish to explain, therefore, why I cannot support the Amendment. It has been said that this is not concurrent endowment; but I feel convinced that the country itself will look upon it as concurrent endowment. I cannot hide from myself that the feeling of the country is de- cidedly against concurrent endowment. The Government also have spoken plainly on the subject, and have said that they will not accept this plan. If, therefore, I support it, I shall perhaps be helping to do that which may endanger the Bill. Now, the Irish set great store by this Bill. The other day I presided at a meeting attended by 1,000 Irishmen belonging to the working classes. The Bill was only spoken of incidentally, but it elicited a universal expression of kindly feeling towards England, because they felt that England now desired to act justly towards Ireland. To risk the loss of this Bill would be an immense injury to Ireland; and for these reasons, though very reluctantly, I shall feel it my duty, in common with other Catholic Peers, to vote against the Amendment.


It is quite impossible for me to give my vote without saying a few words, the more so as I do not quite agree with my right rev. Brother (the Bishop of Oxford) in the reasons which will guide his vote on this question. My reason for supporting the Amendment of the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland) is this—that ever since I was able to think on polities I have conceived that the policy indicated by the noble Earl (Earl Russell) who lately addressed the House was the only policy likely to bring peace to Ireland. I have in my humble way supported that policy in matters of education. I have supported it in the matter of the Queen's Colleges. I have always thought it right and fair that the Maynooth Grant should be made. I have thought that, though we were not bound in Ireland, as in Canada, by an actual treaty, yet, being brought into close relations with our Roman Catholic brethren, we could not deny them that small meed of justice which the Maynooth Grant gave them without treating them as if they were our slaves. Therefore, when an opportunity occurs—unexpectedly to me, not willingly—and I am called upon to say whether I still maintain the policy which I have always supported, I am constrained to adhere to the opinions which I have entertained for the last twenty years. In doing so I am consoled by the thought that, after all, there is no difference in principle, though there is considerable difference in policy, between the two proposals before the Committee. And upon the whole, as the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) said, I prefer making a respectable secular priest comfortable in his house to paying an indefinite number of monks and nuns for services in lunatic and other asylums, and think that the Amendment supports that form of Romanism which is the least objectionable. I believe the day has passed long ago when you could say that you did not recognize the existence of Romanism in Ireland. I believe I am not wrong in saying that a fair salary—two-thirds above that given to any Protestant clergyman—is given in every union in Ireland to the priest out of the poor rate. And I think that this is just, because a vast majority of the poor are Roman Catholics; they must be attended to by somebody, and as they cannot be attended to by the Protestant clergyman, the Roman Catholic priest must be employed and paid for his services. I know also that this mode of paying the chaplain of the workhouse really provides a Roman Catholic curate in a very large number of parishes in Ireland, because the priest has a salary far larger than is required for his service in the workhouse, and the greater part of his time is spent in teaching Roman Catholics who are not in the poor house. This being the ease, it appears to me to be something not very real to say that there is a great principle at stake in an Amendment which proposes to put the Roman Catholic priests into comfortable dwellings. The only thing to make one hesitate to do this is that the money, unlike the money in the case of the workhouses, and unlike that which used to be voted for Maynooth, comes out of the funds of the Irish Church. Still, it must be remembered that that money is to be taken from the Church and applied to Irish purposes. Being forced to pronounce an opinion between what seems to me the sham scheme proposed by the Government as to the disposal of the surplus and the real scheme of the noble Duke, I shall record my vote in favour of the latter.

On Question, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause?—Their Lordships divided:—Contents 146; Not-Contents 113: Majority 33.

Hatherley, L. (L. Chancellor.) Strathallan, V.
Torrington, V.
Buckingham and Chandos, D. Chester, Bp.
Derry and Raphoe, Bp.
Marlborough, D. Durham, Bp.
Norfolk, D Llandaff, Bp.
Richmond, D. Tuam, &c, Bp.
Rutland, D.
Saint Albans, D. Abercromby, L.
Sutherland, D. Ashburton, L.
Wellington, D. Barrogill, L. (E. Caithness.)
Ailesbury, M. Bateman, L.
Ailsa, M. Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.)
Bristol, M.
Camden, M. Brodrick, L.(V. Midleton.)
Exeter, M.
Lansdowne, M. Cairns, L.
Normanby, M. Calthorpe, L.
Townshend, M. Camoys, L.
Tweeddale, M. Carrington, L.
Carysfort, L. (E. Carysfort.)
Abergavenny, E.
Abingdon, E. Chesham, L.
Airlie, E. Churston, L.
Albemarle, E. Clandeboye, L. (L. Dufferin and Claneboye.)
Bandon, E.
Bathurst, E. Clarina, L.
Benuchamp, E. Clifford of Chudleigh, L.
Cadogan, E. Clinton, L.
Camperdown, E. Colville of Culross, L.
Chichester, E. Dacre, L.
Clarendon, E. De Mauley, L.
De Grey, E. De Tabley, L.
Denbigh, E. Dunboyne, L.
Derby, E. Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)
Ducie, E.
Durham, E. Dunning, L. (L. Rollo.)
Effingham, E. Egerton, L.
Erne, E. Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)
Granville, E. Fitzwalter, L.
Haddington, E. Foley, L. [Teller.]
Hardwicke, E. Granard, L. (E. Granard.)
Harewood, E.
Harrowby, E. Grantley, L.
Hillsborough, E. (M. Downshire.) Grinstead, L. (E. Enniskillen.)
Jersey, E. Hartismere, L. (L. Henniker.)
Kimberley, E.
Lauderdale, E. Hastings, L.
Macclesfield, E. Hylton, L,
Malmesbury, E. Kesteven, L.
Mansfield, E. Kilmaine, L.
Rosslyn, E. Leigh, L.
Saint Germans, E. Lurgan, L.
Shaftesbury, E. Meldrum, L, (M. Huntly.)
Spencer, E.
Tankerville, E. Methuen, L.
Vane, E. Monck, L. (V. Monck.)
Zetland, E. Monson, L.
Moore, L. (M. Drogheda.)
Canterbury, V.
Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty.) Mostyn, L.
Northbrook, L.
Falmouth, V. O'Neill, L.
Gough, V. Oriel, L. (V. Massereene.
Hawarden, V. Ormathwaite, L.
Hill, V. Oxenfoord, L. (E. Stair.)
Melville, V. Panmure, L. (E. Dalhousie.)
Powerscourt, V.
Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough)[Teller.] Sondes, L.
Southampton, L.
Rayleigh, L. Stafford, L.
Redesdale, L. Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)
Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.)
Strathspey, L. (E. Seafield.)
Ross, L. (E. Glasgow.)
Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.) Suffield, L.
Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll.)
Saltoun, L.
Seaton, L. Tredegar, L.
Selton, L. (E. Sefton.) Truro, L.
Sheffield, L. (E. Sheffield.) Walsingham, L.
Wentworth, L.
Sherborne, L. Willoughby de Broke, L.
Silchester, L. (E. Longford.) Wrottesley, L.
Wynford, L.
Canterbury, Archp. Eversley, V.
York, Archp. Exmouth, V.
Halifax, V.
Cleveland, D. [Teller.] Hardinge, V.
Devonshire, D. Leinster, V. (D. Leinster.)
Grafton, D.
Northumberland, D. Lifford, V.
Somerset, D. Sidmouth, V.
Bath, M. Ely, Bp
Salisbury, M. Gloucester and Bristol, Bp.
Winchester, M.
Lichfield, Bp.
Amherst, E. Oxford, Bp.
Annesley, E. Peterborough, Bp.
Brownlow, E. Rochester, Bp.
Carnarvon, E. St. David's, Bp.
Cawdor, E.
Cowley, E. Belper, L.
Cowper, E. Blantyre, L.
Dartrey, E. Blayney, L.
De La Warr, E. Bolton, L.
Devon, E. Carew, L.
Ellenborough, E. Charlemont, L. (E. Charlemont.)
Ellesmere, E.
Feversham, E. Chaworth, L. (E. Meath.)
Fitzwilliam, E. Clermont, L.
Fortescue, E. Colchester, L.
Grey, E. Crewe, L.
Harrington, E. Crofton, L.
Home, E. Delamere, L.
Lichfield, E. De L'Isle and Dudley, L.
Manvers, E. De Ros, L.
Minto, E. Digby, L.
Morton, E. Dunsandle and Clanconal, L.
Mount Edgecumbe, E.
Nelson, E. Ebury, L.
Orford, E. Elphinstone, L.
Orkney, E. Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Portarlington, E.
Powis, E. Hatherton, L.
Romney, E. Houghton, L.
Rosse, E. Keane, L.
Russell, E. Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)
Sommers, E.
Stanhope, E. Leconfield, L.
Stradbroke, E. Lilford, L.
Verulam, E. Lismore, L. (V. Lismore.)
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E. Lyttelton, L.
Lytton, L.
Lyveden, L.
De Vesci, V. Meredyth, L. (L. Athlumney.)
Doneraile, V.
Minster, L. (M. Conyngham.) Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.) [Teller.]
Mont Eagle, L.(M. Sligo.) Stanley of Alderley, L.
Northwick, L. Stratheden, L.
Poltimore, L. Strathnairn, L.
Portman, L. Sudeley, L.
Ravensworth, L. Talbot de Malahide, L.
Rivers, L. Taunton, L.
Rossie, L. (L. Kinnaird.) Templemore, L.
Vernon, L.
Seymour, L. (E. St. Maur.) Vivian, L.
Wharncliffe, L.
Skelmersdale, L.

Resolved in the Affirmative.

Clause agreed to.

House resumed.

House to be in Committee again on Monday next.

House adjourned at a quarter before One o'clock, A.M., to Monday next, Eleven o'clock.