§ Commons amendments to Lords amendments and Commons reasons for disagreeing to some of the amendments made by the Lords considered (according to order).
§ EARL GRANVILLE
My Lords, it is now, I believe, about five weeks ago that I most imperfectly endeavoured to state to your Lordships the reason why, in my opinion, it was desirable that you should adhere to the principles and main provisions of this Bill. A very short time before I moved the second reading it certainly was not the general opinon that any organized party attempt was to be made to reject the Bill at that stage. The attempt, however, was made; and I believe the decision at which the majority of the House arrived was received by the public with as little blame and as much praise as any decision on so momentous a question could possibly have been received. I need hardly allude to the character of the discussions which have taken place in this House on this Bill. I believe that the high intellectual standard that has been maintained in your Lordships' discussions has been justly appreciated by the country, and has given to this House whatever power and reputation the exhibition of ability, of knowledge, and of eloquence can give to any assembly. There are specks even upon the sun; and it certainly must have been remarked that during the earlier part of that discussion hard words were used, not only with regard to the measure itself, but with regard to persons who were connected with it; but I believe it was gratifying to your Lordships that that discussion— something like the process of generous wine undergoing fermentation—purified itself, and that, with very few exceptions, towards the end, the debate towards its close carried on in that calm and argumentative style which, after all, is the best adapted to the grave consideration of important subjects by your Lordships. I hope the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Cairns) will permit me to say that, while I entirely differ from his point of view with regard to this question, I think that, starting with his views, his fair manner of conducting the proceedings of this House, and the moderation of his language, contributed greatly to a result which, on reflection, I am sure your Lordships must approve. On going into Committee the course was not taken here which had been pursued in "another place," where the Leader of the Opposition, although at the head of a minority only, himself proposed a consecutive series of Amendments. I have not the slightest reason to complain of the noble and learned Lord opposite; but whether from the fault of circumstances or for any other reason, he confined himself, with the exception of one material Amendment—which I think was an afterthought, no notice being given of it till after we went into Committee—to Amendments of an inconsiderable and possibly of a more general character. Amendments were, however, proposed from every side of the House, representing the views of almost every shade and section of opinion in your 237 Lordships' House; and the result was that a very large mass of Amendments were adopted and sent down to "another place." Some of these, in the opinion of Her Majesty's Government, were important, some of them unimportant, some good, some bad, and some indifferent. There were two, at least, which even, if the substance of them could have been agreeable to the House of Commons, were so imperfectly worded that it would have been impossible to agree to them in their existing terms. Now, I have seen it stated that, at the instigation of Her Majesty's Government all your Lordships' Amendments were contumeliously rejected in "another place." May I be allowed to say a few words with regard to the tone of the two nights' debates in which your Lordships' Amendments were considered? It is quite true that the Prime Minister, using something of an aeronautical metaphor, suggested that we, in this Chamber, were somewhat elevated above the earth, and that we had not those special opportunities of knowing the feelings and wishes of the great constituencies of the United Kingdom as those had who last autumn were engaged in election contests, and who have since that time been in continual communication with those constituencies. I will also say—that the Leader of the Conservative party was so carried away by the heat of debate as to insinuate that on one most important question of the Bill your Lordships did not quite know your own minds. I think however it is a remarkable thing, and one which must be satisfactory to your Lordships, that when this Bill went back to the House of Commons, where an enormous majority had shown their approval and approbation of it—when it went down, according to the description of a representative of the Irish Church in that place, as entirely a different scheme —not one word, excepting the very mild expressions to which I have alluded, and which perhaps your Lordships will admit have some little truth in them—not one word that was uncourteous or disrespectful was uttered in that place with regard to any of your Lordships individually or collectively. As to the alleged supercilious rejection of your Lordships' Amendments, you will remember that I stated, on behalf of Her Majesty's 238 Government that they would be ready to welcome any Amendments which appeared to them to be improvements in the Bill, and that even if alterations were suggested which did not appear to them to be improvements, they would give them a respectful consideration. I am not quite sure of the words I used, but that was the substance of them. Now, I am aware that with regard to the mere letter of such a declaration, it would be easy to justify almost any course that might have been taken by Her Majesty's Government, but I have no hesitation in saying—what I think is due to myself and clue to your Lordships—that if it were true that the Amendments introduced by your Lordships had been all contumeliously rejected by the other House of Parliament, at the instigation of the Government, I should deem myself to have been repudiated by my Colleagues in that place, or to have been guilty of something like a breach of faith in dealing with your Lordships in this House. What, however, is the fact? Your Lordships sent down sixty-two Amendments—not counting those which are simply a repetition of exactly the same thing. Of these thirty-five were adopted in "another place," fourteen were re-amended, and thirteen were rejected. Now, it may be said in answer to this that the Government and the House of Commons merely adopted the absolutely unimportant Amendments, while we rejected en masse those which were really important or advantageous to the Irish Church. That, however, I entirely deny; and I will bring it to a somewhat vulgar but practical test. I do so more readily because the most rev. Primate (the Archbishop of Canterbury), making a sort of apology which was quite unnecessary for one who personally and officially occupies so high a rank in the Church, said he had been actuated by higher motives than mere money, but that money was a necessity in his view with regard to the future of the Irish Church. Now with reference to this question of money, I cannot help pointing out to your Lordships that the Government and the friends of the Irish Church as represented in this House do not stand exactly on a like basis of negotiation. On the second reading a distinction was made, which I could never quite understand, and which was certainly repudiated by myself and my Colleagues, it being argued that though the 239 principle of the Bill was the disestablishment of the Irish Church, there was no principle of disendowment involved in it. Her Majesty's Government, on the contrary, supported in this, as your Lordships know, by the great majority of the House of Commons, hold that both disestablishment and disendowment form the principle of the Bill. This shows that in coming to anything like an understanding between the two Houses the friends of the Irish Church could not say— "This is a mere question of degree; you have already given £10,000,000 for the maintenance of the Church; we do not think it enough; the most rev. Primate says we should have £3,000,000 more to float it, and we require £4,000,000 more for that purpose." All we could do was to act on the principle which he had maintained, and to see whether, in dealing with the vested interests of the clergy, or with those large means which very probably, but indirectly, will add to the revenue of the future Church, we could not go further than we had already gone. Well, what has been the result? We have added to the Bill, partly by the adoption of your Lordships' Amendments, partly by re-amendments to some of them, a sum which we estimate at £410,000, by a proposition to give 7 per cent in addition to the commutation of clergymen's lives. We have added, with regard to curates, an amount which I am not prepared to state precisely, but which is something between £50,000 and £150,000, and is certainly as much as the smaller sum. Then, with regard to private benefactions, Mr. Gladstone, in his speech on the 3rd of March, said that, in his opinion, the property from this source was worth £500,000. It was liable, however, to life interests, and if you deduct these life interests from that sum, the Amendment giving the Church £500,000 for these benefactions, amounts to an addition of £270,000 to the sum available to the Church which was originally proposed in the Bill. Taking the most rev. Primate's calculation, the value of the property is larger, while, according to the calculation of the noble Earl on the cross-Benches (Earl Grey), it amounts to £8,000 a year, which, at fifteen years' purchase, would be equal to a lump sum of £120,000. While adhering, therefore, to the principles we profess, we have added £840,000 to the amount 240 originally given to the Church by the Bill. It is impossible, then, for your Lordships to say that your Amendments were contumeliously put aside, and that the Bill has been returned to you in the very shape in which it was originally presented. I thought it necessary to state this fact, since it affects not only the respect due to your Lordships but my own private honour.
I have now to deal with the numerous Amendments in order; and I have in the first place to ask your Lordships to assent to the re-insertion in the first paragraph of the Preamble of the words—Held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion.Now the omission of those words was supported by noble Lords holding different opinions. It was supported by those who are anxious for the clause which was moved by the noble Earl (Earl Stanhope), giving concurrent endowment to the three great denominations in Ireland. It was also supported by many of your Lordships who are entirely opposed to anything like "levelling up," or concurrent endowment, but who disapprove the disposition of the surplus recommended by the Government, and wished for a postponement of the question. Now, it is impossible to separate these words and the omission of them from the larger question of concurrent endowment which has been argued with such great ability by Peers on both sides of the House. That proposal was objected to by some on abstract grounds, while many, though not all of us, said that if it was a perfectly open question and not at all connected with other circumstances, it would have appeared to us a plan not disadvantageous to the State. But our great objection was, that from the course of events and from the feeling that existed in England, in Ireland, and in Scotland, it was perfectly impossible to give effect to any such scheme. Now, we have derived some little information since that proposal was first rejected and subsequently accepted by your Lordships' House. I will not refer to the utter absence of anything like public demonstrations in favour of concurrent endowment, nor do I wish to refer to any of the great meetings which have been 241 held in different places, directed very much against that particular scheme; I will not refer to the almost innumerable memorials which, from all parts of the kingdom, have been forwarded to Members of Her Majesty's Government —but I will merely state what has passed in "another place." Your Lordships know that the Government—rightly or wrongly, as your Lordships may please to think — stated that they believed it would be a breach of faith towards the constituencies of the country, and entirely inconsistent with all they had said or done, if they could favour the proposal at the time at which we have now arrived. I ask your Lordships also to consider what was the language of Mr. Gathorne Hardy and of Mr. Disraeli. I ask you also to consider the fact that notwithstanding the able advocacy of men of such high reputation, great ability, and consequent influence in the House of Commons as Sir Roundell Palmer and Sir George Grey, it was not even ventured to take a division upon the question in its direct form; and that even in the less direct form of leaving the door open for the future consideration of the subject fifty-one Irish Members out of ninety-one voted against even such an indirect proposal. I venture to appeal to noble Lords opposite, as practical statesmen, whether it was possible, then, that we should regard concurrent endowment as a feasible proposition. I will almost venture to appeal to my noble Friend on the cross-Benches (Earl Grey). It is rather sanguine, I know, to expect any admission from him on a subject in which he takes great interest; but I venture to make the appeal, because it would be so singularly agreeable to me if he did make that admission, since I should then have a right to claim from him the fulfilment of something like a promise he made last year —that, if his own plan of endowing the different sects in Ireland was found to be impracticable, he should feel bound, though with regret, to vote for the disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church rather than allow it to remain in its present condition.
And now a very few words as to the proposal of suspending the question of the application of the surplus. The more I have thought on the proposal and the more I have seen it discussed the more convinced have I become that it is a pro- 242 position as un states man like and as little Conservative — using the word Conservative in the best sense — as it is possible to imagine. I cannot conceive that your Lordships should be blind to the great disadvantage of keeping this question open; for even if you disagree with the measure you must wish to give it a fair chance if it is to pass at all. Your Lordships must see that you would multiply irritating discussions, which could lead to no good, but to the greatest possible harm. As I ventured to point out the other day, it will take away all stimulus from the Irish Church to exert itself if some millions are kept dangling before its eyes; and, on the other hand, it will be a great discouragement to it when trying to obtain contributions from the laity. It will act exactly in the same way with regard to the requirements of the Roman Catholics. It is now a great advantage that, while this Bill generally is entirely approved by our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects in Ireland, they perfectly and cheerfully acquiesce in the arrangement as to the disposal of the fund which we propose. But will that last? Is it not likely that they will begin to clamour for the application of these millions of money in whatever way a majority of Irishmen some years hence choose to ask for? And, on the other hand, will it not be the greatest discouragement, when we wish to pass a measure which is to produce harmony among different religious sects, that you should have enormous bodies of people in this country, in the North of Ireland, and in Scotland, urged not only by religious principles but also by the strongest possible political principles to excite something like a ''No-Popery" feeling against those Roman Catholics who probably may then have changed their opinions and may desire to obtain these endowments? Your Lordships have produced no alternative whatever except that of concurrent endowment, which I feel convinced you will not pretend to say is in accordance with the national will. It is true my noble Friend (Earl Russell) has given notice of a proposition for applying the surplus to educational purposes; but I am sure he cannot seriously expect that the House should agree at this stage of the Bill to so vague a declaration of that nature. In "another place" some of the Liberal party voted in favour of 243 postponement, but for different reasons —some for the promotion of secular education in Ireland, others on account of a distant view of the probability of settling the land question upon such a basis; but as to any really practical alternative which has been offered to Parliament or the country with regard to the disposal of the surplus, I may assert most positively that the one solo alternative is that of the concurrent endowment of the three great denominations. For these reasons I ask your Lordships to assent to the restoration of the words—Held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion.It was moved,That this House do not insist on so much of the Amendment made in the Preamble, to which the Commons have disagreed, as consists in leaving out the words ("held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion.")— (The Earl Granville.)
§ LORD CAIRNS
It was not surprising, and I think it was not inconvenient, that the noble Earl in proposing the first Resolution of those which stand in his name, should have gone somewhat beyond the details of the particular Motion, and should have asked your Lordships to consider the general position of this measure. It may save time hereafter if, in a moderate degree, I follow the example of the noble Earl; and, following that example, I will reserve for the present what I have to say upon the precise Motion he has submitted with regard to the Preamble. Something fell from the noble Earl which made the nature of the Motion somewhat doubtful, but the ordinary and I suppose the only regular Motion is that the House should not insist on its Amendment of the Preamble.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
Perhaps I may be allowed to explain. If my Motion is agreed to, I shall propose, on Clause 68, not only to adopt the provision as to laying before Parliament any proposed application of the funds, but to re-amend that Amendment, with a view of making the provision more clear and unmistakable. At present my Motion is to restore in the Preamble the words— 244Held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion.
§ LORD CAIRNS
The noble Earl, in fact, asks your Lordships not to insist on your Amendment to the Preamble. If the noble Earl intends to ask us to insist on one part of our Amendment, and not on the other, I apprehend it is not in his power to do so; but if he wishes that we should not insist on the Amendment as a whole, that is the only form of Motion which I apprehend can be put. I will refer presently to the precise merits of that Motion; but, in the first place, your Lordships will allow me to consider the actual history and position of the measure. The noble Earl reminded your Lordships that it is only a few weeks since he asked your Lordships in a very imperfect way—depreciating, I think, greatly too much his own powers —to assent to the second reading of the Bill. Now, the question which your Lordships had then to consider was one of the most serious ever presented to this House. I believe I am right in saying that the merits of this Bill were such as did not commend themselves to the great majority of your Lordships. Many of your Lordships—I myself being among the number—felt that we were bound, in our consciences to vote against the second reading. There were others of your Lordships who, I believe, thought not more favourably of the Bill than we did, but who thought, notwithstanding, that it was their duty—having regard to what was called the verdict of the country, and to the approbation which the general principle of disestablishment had received—either to support the second reading or to abstain from rejecting the Bill at that stage. Those who adopted the latter course cannot certainly be accused of any want of candour or frankness in the view they took of the position in which they were placed. They stated very fairly that they intended to support the second reading; but that, at the same time, they considered that both justice and equity required that the position of the disestablished Church should be one much more favourable than the Bill contemplated, and that it was their intention, in Committee, to move or support Amendments which would have the effect of placing the disestablished Church in such a position as regarded its pro- 245 perty as in their opinion it was entitled to hold. I recollect that a noble Friend of mine below the Gangway (the Marquess of Salisbury), whose speech, as everyone must remember, produced so great an impression on your Lordships, not only stated in general terms that this was his view, but even went into some detail as regarded the Amendments which he would be prepared to support. Well, what was the course which the Government took at that time? I recollect that speaker after speaker supporting the Government, and Members of the Government themselves, expressed the strongest approbation of the views of noble Lords on this side who on those terms were prepared to vote for the second reading. Nothing in their view could be more statesmanlike, nothing could show a juster appreciation of the position of this House than the opinions which those noble Lords then indicated. The noble Earl opposite (Earl Granville) not only said it was his view that the Bill was subject to amendment in Committee, but, on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, he stated that if Amendments were proposed—not merely Amendments which were acceptable to the Government, for Amendments of that nature are always received, but Amendments not acceptable to the Government —they would be considered by the Government with respect and attention. The noble Lord has said to-night that it was a very vague pledge. Well, I thought so at the time. He says almost any course of conduct might have been pursued after a pledge of that kind. That was just what appeared to me to be the case. Well, what is the course of conduct that has been pursued? The Amendments which would be proposed were perfectly well known long before they were placed upon the Paper. They had been more or less considered "elsewhere." They had been indicated on the second reading. They were proposed in Committee and were carried by large majorities. The Bill then went down to the other House. We have had some information from the noble Earl of what occurred there. According to the practice of Parliament our information—the information on which we are supposed to act—is limited to the Message we receive from the other House, and we have received a Message with regard to our Amendments, to which I will refer 246 presently. What occurred in the other House when the Amendments were considered—what was said by the Prime Minister or by any other Member of the House—we have no reason to know and no right to refer to, except, indeed, as to the information derived from the noble Earl opposite. I will however say this—that it is one advantage of this rule which prevails between the two Houses that we know nothing except what is communicated formally of the proceedings of either House; that if anything were done in the other House which could bear the construction quoted by the noble Earl to the effect that our Amendments were rejected contumeliously or superciliously—even if the Prime Minister so far forgot what was due in point of respect to himself, and what was due in point of respect to your Lordships, as to state that your Lordships must necessarily be ignorant of the feeling of the country and of the constituencies, and must be regarded as persons in that exalted position which the noble Earl calls an aeronautical state—if the Prime Minister thought it worthy of himself and of the occasion to use language of that kind, at all events, we, from the advantageous rule to which I have referred, are happily ignorant of it, and have no right to take notice of anything but the Message which the other House has sent up to us. The noble Earl has counted the Amendments, and has counted those which were accepted by the House of Commons. Now, I remember several of those Amendments; they were Amendments made by your Lordships in clauses in which sentences wanted nominative cases, and I suppose they enter into the calculation of the noble Earl. I remember supplying some nominatives myself, and I am sensible of the compliment which the noble Earl was good enough to pay me when he said I had given assistance to the passing of the Bill. I think the English of many sentences was greatly improved in this House. I have not the least doubt that we made sixty-four Amendments, and that at least thirty-three of them have been accepted by the House of Commons. Whatever difference of opinion there may be on other subjects, I suppose we all agree that a sentence is the better for having a nominative case. But there are Amendments of some sub- 247 stance, involving something much more than the rules of grammar or correct diction; and what was the fate of those Amendments? Let us, my Lords, consider what they were. I find that as regards every Amendment of substance it received the general approbation of your Lordships. There were three in particular—one of which has been accepted, while two have been entertained by the other House and accepted with some modification. Let me remind your Lordships what they are. My noble Friend below the Gangway (the Marquess of Salisbury) proposed an Amendment which, I think, was essential to the good working of the Bill and to the efficacy of the future Church of Ireland—the Amendment referring to the relation of rectors and curates. As the Bill originally stood, the principle laid down was that there were certain ecclesiastical persons who were termed "permanent curates," whose annuities were to be deducted from the annuities or commutation of the rectors. The question whether these gentlemen were permanent curates or not was to be decided by the Commissioners, who were to inquire into all the circumstances of the living, its size, population, the state of health of the rector, the duty performed, the period during which a curate had been employed, and every other question which might enable them to form an opinion whether what I may term a chronic habit of employing a curate had prevailed. Now, the Amendment of my noble Friend—rightly as I think—severed the case of the curate from that of the rector; for absolute justice required that the compensation of the rector and that of the curate should be kept entirely distinct. But what is the concession which has been made upon this point by the other House of Parliament? The House of Commons has refused the Amendment severing the connection of the rector and the curate and their compensation, and has provided that for the future the test whether the curate is to be considered permanent or not, abandoning all the various considerations originally proposed, is to be this—whether during the last year the rector, in his return to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of Ireland, for the purpose of taxation, has claimed a deduction in respect of a curate. To show the beneficence of this Amendment I may 248 point out that if an unfortunate rector during last year, travelling for his health on the Continent, should have been obliged to employ a curate during that time, and should have returned the fact, as he is entitled to do, to the Commissioners, he would thereby fix upon himself indelibly, and for the rest of his life, the permanency of the curate, and would have that curate's salary deducted from his income. Now, by a process of finessing which has baffled me, and which I think no one but an ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer could have arrived at, it has been discovered that this concession, as the noble Earl calls it, amounts to something between £50,000 and £150,000, and the sum will fall to the Commissioners. Why, my Lords, this Amendment makes the Bill ten times worse than when it came up to us originally; for, in place of being a concession, it imposes on incumbents and rectors a burden which they have never known up to this time. What is the other concession for which we are indebted to the other House? A noble Friend of mine below the Gangway (the Earl of Carnarvon) proposed an Amendment on the subject of commutation, which I believe is absolutely vital to the efficiency and well-being of the Church, providing for a commutation on the principle of fourteen years' income. How was this Amendment dealt with by the other House? It was rejected. But another concession was made, and if these are concessions I must say I hope we shall have no more of the same kind. Your Lordships adopted fourteen years' commutation; but the Government have discovered that if you take 1,500 or 2,000 clerical lives, they being picked lives are worth more money, the chances of duration being much greater than with the same number of lives not selected in that way. They have found that this class of lives is 7 per cent more valuable than general lives, and the Prime Minister says no person had ever discovered that till the Government did so, and that it is owing to the anxiety of the Government to find out something for the benefit of the Church that the discovery has been made. Now, my Lords, I need not remind you that it was stated, over and over again in debate in this House, that that was the fact; but, as I understood, it was always controverted by the Government. But what is 249 the result of this concession? Why, the Government, now proposing to commute the annuities of the incumbents at 7 per cent over the tabulated value, do nothing more than say—" We find we have been in error. We have been trying to force upon you a commutation which was unjust and unfair. We have been trying up to the present time to make you surrender your annuities for a sum of money below the value of them; and having discovered the mistake we had made and the unfairness we were attempting to practice upon you, we will not confess it to be an error, but we will rectify it and call it a concession for the benefit of the Church." That there may be no mistake I will read the words which, rightly or wrongly, are reported to have been used by the Prime Minister. I am told he said—What we find is, that on an investigation of the respective values of ordinary lay lives and clerical lives, the clerical lives are worth in the market 7 per cent more than lay lives. This, as far as it goes, is a circumstance satisfactory to the clergy amid their many discouragements. If the clergyman's life is worth 7 per cent more than the ordinary lay life, it follows that you will have to continue his annuity for a correspondingly longer term; and the simple proposition I make to the House is this—that if we think commutation is desirable with a view to the complete success and despatch of this measure, it is wise, as on the other hand it is certainly equitable—indeed, equity almost requires it—that we should recognize that increased value of the annuity in the commutation which we offer as an equivalent to the annuity."—[3 Hansard, cxcvii. 1972.]Now, that is very much as if the Prime Minister had said—"If you want to buy a particular article—if you think it right and advantageous to buy it—if it is necessary to the operation you have to perform that you should buy it—equity suggests, wisdom suggests, nay even equity requires, that you should pay the value for it." That is the principle on which this great concession has been made, and we are asked to accept it as a great boon which the House of Commons and the Prime Minister have offered. That is the second Amendment — what is the third? It is the one introduced in this House relative to private endowments. Now, the financing of the Government, in regard to these private endowments, really baffles the comprehension of ordinary minds. Your Lordships will remember that it was originally provided in the Bill that private endowments from the year 1660 were to 250 be preserved to the Church. That was no great concession, for really I should have thought it—may we use hard words here?—simple robbery to take away the private endowments of the Church. Now, no person in the kingdom understood why the date of 1660 was taken, and we proposed to go back to 1560, the date of the Reformation. The Government did not venture to divide against that proposition; but in place of it they offered a lump sum of £500,000, as compensation for all these endowments, so as to avoid all dispute and difficulty and get rid of all litigation. Now, the ground on which the earlier date was proposed was the allegation on the part of the Church—whether right or wrong we cannot tell—that private endowments of great magnitude—one alone being worth £30,000ayear—were given to the Church anterior to the year 1660. Under these circumstances the compromise of the payment of £500,000 was offered. Surely that is not a concession; and the only way in which it is attempted to be made out a concession is this—The noble Earl assumes that on these private endowments there are life interests existing, that the holders of those life interests have their compensation, and that, notwithstanding those life interests being compensated, the £500,000 is to be paid down. The Government forget, however, that the £500,000 is paid in lieu of a very much larger sum which ought to have been paid; and, in the next place, I deny that there are life interests subsisting in a great part of these endowments. Some endowments, for instance, have been loft for the purpose of applying the income to the repair of particular churches. Therefore, I venture my protest against a calculation which asserts that although the original value was £200,000 or £300,000, the Church is getting£500,000 in the shape of private endowments. These, then, are the concessions relied upon by the noble Earl. Then comes the argument so greatly relied on by the noble Earl. There is a great difficulty, according to the noble Earl, in arguing the question of disendowment either upon this or the other side of the House, for he says there is an idea on this side of the House that the question of endowment is to a certain degree still open, whereas he and his Colleagues are pledged to the principle of disendowment as well as of disestablishment. 251 Now, I am very sorry to be under the necessity of reminding the noble Earl of the opinion expressed by one of his Colleagues on this point. The opinion, indeed, was so clearly and ably expressed that none of us who heard it are likely to forget it, and it cannot be too often read in this House. I refer to the opinion expressed last year by the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Argyll). The noble Duke said—Nobody has ever proposed to deprive the Church of endowments derived from private benefactions. But more than this, 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, so that it could not, in perfect strictness, be said that the Church, under that scheme, is to be wholly deprived of its endowments. Besides, it is at the option and discretion of Parliament to what extent disendowment shall go; and an uncertainty would be created if the word disendowment were introduced. Therefore those Members of the House of Commons who voted for that Resolution are perfectly free to vote for any sort of compromise in respect to the endowment of the Church." —[3 Hansard, cxciii. 174.]I apologize for having read this opinion to your Lordships once more; but let me now give one comment upon it in the way in which the finance of this Bill has been dealt with by Her Majesty's Government. I have already spoken of the magical manner in which figures can be used by an experienced financier, and I must say I have never seen a more singular proof of that dexterity than has been shown with regard to this Bill. What has been the course taken by the Prime Minister with regard to the finance of this Bill? Whenever he wants to tell you how great the property of the Church is he rates it at £16,000,000: but when he wants to show you how much he is giving to the Church he adopts a very different course. He says —" It is quite true that I talked of the property of the Irish Church being worth £16,000,000; but this sum was made up by the use of the public credit. It may be estimated that £4,000,000 is added by the use of the public credit—so that the value of the Church property is really only £12,000,000." Again, when the Prime Minister desires to show that the churches ought not to enter into the calculation, he says they would fetch nothing in the market, and are, consequently, of no value; but when he wants to show what the Church is receiving at his hands, he estimates their value at 252 £3,000,000. Then, when he wishes to justify in the House of Commons his mode of dealing with life interests, he says that the right of a life owner to his income and property is sacred; that it is a freehold and cannot be touched. "This," says the right hon. Gentleman, "is a question of absolute right, and I must have £6,000,000 of the property of the Church in order to compensate those tenants for life. They must have that money as one of the terms of taking possession of the rest of the property." But then he turns round on the Church and says—" While I am paying off these incumbrances on the property I insist that the Church receives the £6,000,000. Besides this £6,000,000 you have £3,000,000 in respect of the churches, and. the House of Lords has proposed to give you £2,000,000 more—so that, in fact, you go forth with eleven-twelfths of your whole property." Now, if figures can be dealt with thus, I must say I find it vain to follow them, and I think we had better put figures altogether out of the question. Let us, however, clearly understand what the result of the figures is. Three Amendments to which I have already referred were passed by your Lordships. With regard to the commutation, I do not believe that the Church, on any fair computation, could derive from it more than £1,000,000, and I think that sum represents exactly—and does not do more than represent, the value of the labour and risk which the Church would undertake by engaging in a large scheme of commutation. The sum would not be obtained by the Church but by individuals, and I do not accept but protest against the statement that it would amount to a gift to the Church of £500,000, at which figure it had been placed by the Prime Minister. My Lords, I will not pursue further the subject of these individual arrangements with regard to the Church; but I will come at once to the few remarks I have to make as to the particular Motion which the noble Earl (Earl Granville) has submitted to your Lordships' consideration. The noble Earl has endeavoured to persuade your Lordships that in the Preamble as amended by this House there lurked the germ of concurrent endowment. Now, I entirely dispute the correctness of that statement. I shall not be accused by your Lordships of being a favourer of concurrent endowment. I 253 have always opposed the principle, and. the debates on the subject in this House have not altered my opinions. I ventured, however, to propose the alteration of the Preamble to the form which it assumed when it left your Lordships' House, but my object was certainly not to advance the cause of concurrent endowment. I will now state exactly what I think are the objections to the Preamble, taken in connection with the 68th clause, which has regard to the disposition of the surplus. I thought the objections to the Preamble were very grave indeed when the Bill was here before; but I think them still more grave since it has been returned from the House of Commons. The first objection which I make to the Preamble is this— It will be made to state that the funds of the Church shall be '' held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any Church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion." Now, that is entirely at variance with your own disposition of the surplus funds of the Church in the provisions of the Bill. I say that the proposed disposition of the surplus is a disposal which necessarily involves the teaching of religion, and that you stultify yourselves if you assert that the disposition of the surplus under the latter part of the Bill is free from that objection. I say further that an objection to the Preamble and the 68th clause — an objection which has not yet been grappled with—is that it is proposed for the first time in the history of our legislation to place between £6,000,000 and £8,000,000 out of the control of Parliament, and within the exclusive control of the executive Government of the day, or of a Board even less responsible than the Executive Government of the day. It was said in this House on a former occasion, and with great truth, that no Member of either House of Parliament would ever dream of dealing in such a manner with £6,000,000 or £8,000,000 levied from the taxation of the country. Such a proposal never has been and never can be made. How, then, is it proposed to deal with the surplus? The 68th clause enumerates certain objects which are familiar to your Lordships — lunatic asylums, reformatories, refuges for the blind and the deaf and dumb. Among these institutions the income is to be divided in certain proportions to be declared by an Order 254 in Council; and after the Order in Council is made, the administration of the income is to devolve on the Poor Law Commissioners of Ireland—though the Bill states no rules to which they are to adhere. I do not forget the Amendment that has been made in the Commons—I will deal with that afterwards. Now. in the first place, what is the meaning of an Order in Council? We all know that it means an Order of the Government of the day; and therefore to say that a sum of £6,000,000 or £8,000,000 is to be distributed by Order in Council is equivalent to saying that the Prime Minister of the day shall have the disposition of that amount of money. Well, then, supposing it to have passed through the hands of the Prime Minister, it comes to the Poor Law Commissioners of Ireland; and who are they? The first is the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant; and the second is the Under Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant. There are a doctor of medicine and two very respectable gentlemen besides — and these are the Poor Law Commissioners of Ireland. And it should be borne in mind that these Commissioners are chosen for the purpose of seeing that the various poor-houses in Ireland comply with the provisions of the various Acts of Parliament passed on the subject of Poor Law administration. That is the sole purpose for which they were made Commissioners, and the sole work they have to do, and this they are competent to do. But I want to know what competence or qualification or fitness they possess for dealing with lunatic asylums, reformatories, and refuges for the blind and the deaf and dumb, and what confidence we can place in their ability to deal with an income between £300,000 and £400,000 a year. By virtue of their office they have no right to control expenditure, they have never had any money under their care, and they would be entirely new to the business imposed upon them by this Bill. I desire to say nothing invidious of the non-official members of the Board, but it is extremely improbable that they will like to put themselves into antagonism to the Lord Lieutenant. So that, practically, an Order in Council means the order of the Minister of the day, to distribute this income according to the dictates of Dublin Castle. How does the Amendment propose to remedy this state of things? I wish to call your Lord- 255 ships' attention to the phrase which has been introduced into it. In the 44th page of the Bill, in line 24, we have these words—If the income of the property to be vested in the Commissioners shall, under the provisions of this Act, be applied by Order in Council before Parliament has legislated further in respect thereto, every Order in Council so appropriating the income of such property shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament.Now, what is the meaning of the words "before Parliament has legislated further in respect thereto?" Is it not an admission at once on the part of the Government that they think it a natural and proper thing that Parliament should further legislate in regard to the disposal of this surplus? Is it not a proof that they were unable to put this Amendment in their Bill without confessing that the matter was not ripe for being acted upon until further legislation had taken place on the subject? But the matter does not stop there. If Parliament has not legislated, we are to have an Order in Council dealing with this income; that Order in Council is to be made in the name of the Sovereign, and is to lie on the table of Parliament for forty days, until the expiration of which it is to have no validity, and if there be an Address from Parliament in the mean time, it is to have no validity at all. I want to know whether that is a right position in which to put the Sovereign? Is it in accordance with constitutional practice and precedent to pass an Act of Parliament authorizing an Order in Council to be made in the name of the Sovereign professing to dispose of the income of this large fund, and then to say that the Order thus made in the name of the Sovereign is to have no validity for forty days, and Parliament is to be invited to put itself in antagonism with the Order made by the Sovereign in Council and to make it of no effect? Is that a proceeding consistent with the course of legislation in this country? Is that the way to deal with the solemn Acts of the Sovereign in Council—to declare that they are to have no force or efficacy, and to invite Parliament to render them nugatory? But we have some further information on this subject. Although we have not had much concession in the other House, we have had a considerable degree of new light thrown on the whole of this subject in the course of the debate in the 256 other House. I believe that when the Bill was here before your Lordships were under the impression—I certainly was, and I suspect others were also—that through the medium of Orders in Council, or through the medium of the Poor Law Commissioners of Ireland, there was to be some right of dealing not merely with the income of this fund, but with the capital. Now, we are told, as I understand, by the Prime Minister— and the wording of the Bill, I agree, runs in that direction—that the intention is, that there is to be nothing disposed of through the medium of Orders in Council, or of the Poor Law Commissioners in Ireland, except the income, and that the capital is not to be touched by them. But then there comes this most remarkable—I might almost say this astounding—statement from the Prime Minister—namely, that, although the income only is to be dealt with in this manner, this capital sum of £8,000,000—as to which it was such an object to close the whole matter this year, to have it put in such a state that no person could make any claim to it, to have it removed at once out of the range and area of debateable ground in Ireland as regarded its application—yet it is to be made, forsooth re-productive— that is to say, as explained by the Prime Minister, that if anybody wants to improve the navigation of the Shannon, or to drain the Bog of Allen, or has a new plan by which fisheries off the coast of Ireland may be set on foot, or if any person thinks the best thing that could be done with this money would be to lend it to the Irish railways or in any other scheme, all or any one of these persons is to be entitled to come forward, and (to use the phrase of a noble Earl on the cross-Benches) to scramble for any number of years for the application of the principal of this fund! And the same Minister who permits and allows the principal sum to be thus scrambled for, tells you that it is of vital interest and importance to the welfare of the country that the interest of the fund should not be scrambled for! My Lords, if I were to go in for a scramble for money I should infinitely prefer scrambling for the principal to scrambling for the interest of a fund. I know very well what making advances of money re-productive in Ireland is; and, if I were an agitator, I should not desire anything better than to go in for such a scramble. And, as 257 to the drainage of bogs, I venture to say that if the lunatics and the monthly nurses of Ireland are to wait for their share of the income of this fund until it is derived from the profits upon the draining of Irish bogs, they will have to wait a long time indeed. We are gravely told by the Prime Minister that we are to be asked on no account to leave open the appropriation of the income, while he himself leaves open all the time the question of the application of the principal, which he suggests may be used in a way that would produce no income at all. But, my Lords, even this remarkable proposal does not exhaust the fresh information that has been thrown upon the subject. I understand that, even since the Bill has left the House of Commons in its latest form, another view has presented itself of this matter. The Prime Minister has been asked—"What do you say as to the local application of these funds? These are Church funds, which do not come from all parts of Ireland alike; they come in greater amounts from one parish than they do from another; would it not be unfair to take no notice of the fact in the appropriation?" And the Prime Minister himself has been the first person to say that he should regard it as plunder to take the tithes of a parish in the South of Ireland, and apply it for the benefit of a parish in the North. Well, he was the other day asked whether he was to consider the place that this property came from in its re-distribution, whether he intended to give to particular places from the surplus in proportion to the contributions which those places made to it? The Prime Minister answers that he has not considered that point; he admits that if it can be done it would be very desirable to do it, but he says there is great difficulty in the matter, and that he lets it lie entirely open. In the mean time, what is the opinion of the House of Commons on the subject? I do not profess to have superior means of information on the point, but in the first place we have the admission made that this appropriation of the surplus was disposed of much too summarily when the Bill was in the House of Commons. In the next place, if I except the Members of the Government themselves, there was hardly a Member on either side of the House who stood lip to declare himself in fa- 258 vour of the proposed appropriation of the surplus. I will not refer to the reports of the proceedings of the other House, which would be irregular; but I may allude to a letter written by a Liberal Member of the other House, and published in The Times of this morning; and in which the writer makes this astounding statement. He says—As to my assertion, made in the course of the debate, that many Members, who afterwards voted for the clause, disapproved the proposed application of the money, I supposed that I was stating a fact sufficiently notorious to all. On Thursday last there was a large meeting of Irish Liberal Members, when I understand that the clause was almost unanimously, if not quite unanimously, condemned by the Members present, and a resolution was agreed to—only one or two Members being dissentient—in favour of the appropriation of the surplus to the development of the industrial resources of Ireland, and asking the Government accordingly to postpone the matter for a year. As an account of this meeting appeared in the Freeman's Journal of the day, which was then lying in the Commons' reading-room, I hope that there was no impropriety in my using the fact in the course of my argument, nor is the feeling of dissatisfaction confined to Irish Members alone.Well, my Lords, the discipline of party was, no doubt, brought to bear, and it was worth a good deal. It may be that hon. Members felt constrained, urged by the Government—who wished the principal, but not the interest, to be scrambled for—it may be that they voted for the surplus clause, as it has been restored in the Bill; but, at all events, we have the statement contained in this letter, which has not been contradicted.
§ LORD CAIRNS
Mr. Morrison. He says the Irish Members came almost unanimously to a resolution in favour of postponing the appropriation of the surplus. My Lords, I am certainly in the full hope and expectation that your Lordships will adhere to your Amendments introduced into the Preamble and the 68th clause of the Bill. I believe that if you do so you will have the assent to that course of the great majority of this House. I believe, however the votes of the other House of Parliament may have gone, that you will also have the approbation of a great majority of the other House of Parliament. But whether that be so or not I feel satisfied that you will have the approval of the public out-of-doors. I do not believe the public out-of-doors approve this squandering of £8,000,000, which I 259 do not believe would be squandered in the same way if it were raised by the taxation of the country. As to concurrent endowment, I maintain that that is entirely separate from this question of the postponement of the application of the surplus. A Motion directly raising the question of concurrent endowment was made in Committee in this House and negatived by a considerable majority. The proposal was again revived on the Report, and was carried, though only by a small majority. I agree with what the noble Earl (Earl Granville) has said as to that proposal having met with no favour in the other House of Parliament, where there was not even a division taken upon it; and I cannot believe that my noble Friend (Earl Stanhope), who moved that Amendment would feel much encouraged to ask your Lordships' House to adhere to its Amendment on concurrent endowment. I hope he will not ask this House to adhere to it. But I maintain that the question now before us is altogether distinct from that of concurrent endowment. I agree with the argument against concurrent endowment; but I should feel ashamed of the force of the arguments which I had to urge if, through fear and apprehension that at some future time the opinion I was combating might find favour, I was obliged to bury in a hole £8,000,000, lest somebody hereafter might be able to persuade Parliament to spend it in a way which I did not like. Therefore I maintain that this question is removed high and dry out of the atmosphere of concurrent endowment, and I ask you to leave this question of the surplus to the future disposal of Parliament, either as to its negative or affirmative application. I have heard it said —I know not whether accurately or not —that if this Amendment be adhered to by your Lordships, the Government will not proceed with this Bill, and will hold the Amendment to be fatal to the further progress of the measure. My Lords, I can hardly imagine that to be true. I think it would be the climax, not of logic, but of everything which is opposed to logic and reason. The Preamble and the surplus clause, as amended by your Lordships, leave the application of the surplus to Parliament—that is to say, to the Parliament of the future, the Parliament, if you like, of next year, 260 of the year after, or of any year when the assent of Parliament is obtained to a decision as to its application. Now, I can hardly imagine that the Government, on account of an Amendment of this kind, would relinquish the Bill, the effect of which would be to do in a violent way what, at the worst, the Amendment itself would do in a courteous way.
My Lords, it may be convenient that I should say a very few words with regard to some other questions which more or less connect themselves with the order of Business; I have spoken already of the Amendments introduced by my noble Friends below me with regard to the curates, and also with regard to commutation. These Amendments I hold to be vital to the well-being of the Church, and I trust that your Lordships will adhere to them. There are some other Amendments of minor importance to which I wish to refer. I am as sensible as anybody can be how desirable it is to avoid any unnecessary collision with the other House of Parliament. I hold that as far as in reason it can be done, without surrendering our own convictions and our own right as an independent branch of the Legislature, we should not unnecessarily complicate a question of this kind with disputes without having grave reasons to urge for so doing. Now, there are Amendments as to the date of disestablishment originally placed in the Bill to which I would not recommend your Lordships to adhere. The 1st of January, 1871, was the date originally named; it was afterwards agreed to substitute the 1st of January, 1872. I suggested, by way of compromise, that the 1st of May, 1871, should be the date, and your Lordships accepted it. I should have thought that, if only with a view to the mere progress of the measure, that date might have been accepted by the other House, but on the Motion of the Prime Minister it was refused. I do not wish to lead your Lordships into a controversy as to these four months, and therefore I recommend that you should accept the Amendment.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
was understood to say that he would support the reinsertion of the 1st of May if the noble and learned Lord wished it.
§ LORD CAIRNS
Well, my Lords, that of all things is to me the most surprising —that the Prime Minister should think 261 to make it his "horse of battle," while the Leader of this House thinks the point utterly immaterial, and says that if your Lordships wish to insert the 1st of May he will support it. With regard to the Amendment as to the ecclesiastical tax, I put it to the most rev. Primate (the Archbishop of Canterbury) who proposed it whether, as it is admitted that there is a great deal to be said on both sides of the question, it would be right to make it one of the points on which we are to maintain our opinions as material against those of the other House of Parliament. Then as to the Ulster glebes—I myself have never been more satisfied of the justice of anything than of what was asked with regard to these glebes. I do not exaggerate the importance of the question however, because the money amount is not at all so large as has been represented. But I know there is a difference of opinion on the subject, and I think that we, who are responsible for the introduction of the Amendment, ought to be careful not to complicate the questions upon which there may be a difference of opinion between the two Houses, or to mix them up with those as to which there may be no difference among ourselves, Therefore, appealing to the judgment of the most rev. Primate who proposed this Amendment (the Archbishop of Canterbury), I should say that I do not think it one to which your Lordships need adhere. Therefore with respect both to the Amendment of the right rev. Prelate who presides over the diocese of Peterborough, and to that of the most rev. Primate with regard to the Ulster glebes, I should desire that your Lordships would not insist upon them. I would only say, in conclusion, that if, through any causes not under our control, legislation with regard to this Bill should not proceed to its ultimate completion, I desire to hold myself and those who act with me perfectly free to take any course we may think right on a future occasion.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
I think it desirable, after the statement which the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) has made, to recall to your Lordships' recollection the precise Motion, which is now before the House—because the noble and learned Lord, pursuing a course which I admit was perfectly justified by the speech of my noble Friend 262 (Earl Granville), has gone into various Amendments which are not immediately before you, and in the course of his speech, in discussing the question of the surplus, has forgotten the fact that we are discussing now only one portion of the Amendment which we made to the Preamble. ["No!"] The Motion made by my noble Friend is that the words—Held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion,should be allowed to remain in the Preamble of the Bill.
§ LORD CAIRNS
There is no such Motion known to the practice of this House. The only Motion that can be made is that this House do or do not insist on its Amendments; and the noble Earl has proposed that this House do not insist on this Amendment. I propose to omit the word "not."
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
I am rather surprised to find that the practice of this House differs so much from that of the other House. There it was possible to divide the Question into two parts, which was done for the convenience of the House—here it seems we must take the Question as a whole. But I have not the slightest desire to press that matter; I was merely anxious to point out that we should bear in mind that there was a particular question on which we were going to divide, and as far as the argument goes it makes no difference. The first part of the Preamble relates to those words which prohibit the application of any portion of the surplus to religious uses, and the second part relates to the application of the surplus to certain specified purposes. Now, what I wish to point out to the House is this—The noble and learned Lord opposite, from an anxiety which I think extremely natural in the Leader of a party, is desirous to obtain the votes both of those who may be of opinion that concurrent endowment is desirable, and of those who, not being of that opinion, yet think it desirable to postpone the appropriation of the surplus. But the noble and learned Lord carefully guarded himself from its being supposed that he was in favour of concurrent endowment. Now, supposing your Lordships strike out those words in the Preamble which prohibit the application of 263 the surplus to any particular uses, and also that portion of your Amendments as to a precise scheme of concurrent endowment, will anybody regard it as anything else than as implying that this House intends to maintain the opinion which it has expressed in favour of concurrent endowment, notwithstanding the vote of the House of Commons with a majority of 124 against your Lordships' Amendment in the Preamble, and notwithstanding the fact that the Opposition did not venture to divide on the precise clause which relates to concurrent endowment? I should deeply regret that course, should it be taken by your Lordships, but it is not a course to which Her Majesty's Government can consent. Her Majesty's Government cannot consent to a distinct proposition that the application of this surplus may be made to religious uses, and it is for that reason that they desire that the words that have been objected to should be retained in the Preamble. The noble and learned Lord referred to a variety of other points raised by these Amendments. In the first place, he seemed to think that the Amendment made by the Commons with respect to the arrangement which this House proposes as to the compensation of curates is illusory. Now I wish to point out that, in point of fact, the Bill as it stands at present rather increases than diminishes the compensation which may be given to curates. There are three classes of curates now contemplated by the Bill. First of all, there are the curates whose salaries are deducted by the clergy in their returns to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and they are placed in the position of having their income deducted from the rector's incomes. There is, secondly, the class of permanent curates, who also will obtain compensation, to be fixed by the Commissioners. There is, likewise, a third class—the temporary curates—who will also be entitled to compensation. Therefore, with respect to the curates, the Bill is in a more favourable position than before. The number of curates to be affected by the Bill as it left this House would be exceedingly small; but that is not the case now. The noble and learned Lord referred to the Amendment of my noble Friend below the Gangway with regard to commutation, and said he should regard it as vital to the success of the Bill. That 264 is an Amendment which the noble and learned Lord himself said gave a bonus of £1,000,000 to the Church—and I will not now stop to consider whether it does not give more, though we believe it would be more—I will take it at that. It is admitted then that this gives to the Church over and above the compensation on account of vested interests, and everything else given under the Bill, £1,000,000. I enter into no controversy as to the length of the lives, nor do I know by what process the noble and learned Lord arrives at his conclusion; but I say that, granting a bonus of £1,000,000 to the Irish Church is contrary to the principles on which the Bill is framed.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
I deny that a bonus is given to Maynooth. ["Oh!"] I say that the compensation to Maynooth is not a bonus. If it is, why did not noble Lords opposite challenge us upon our dealing with Maynooth? I say the compensation to Maynooth is based on a perfectly fair average of all the life interests concerned, and my noble Friend's Amendment is not based on a fair average of the lives of the clergy affected by this Bill. The noble and learned Lord speaking of the application of the surplus said it was inconsistent with the words of the Preamble that the surplus should not be applied to the teaching of religion. The noble and learned Lord has not explained what were the arguments upon which he based that view; but I suppose he had in his mind the argument we have heard before, that because a certain number of reformatories were under the control of the Irish priests, therefore the teaching of religion would be indirectly involved in such a disposition of the surplus. This might almost be the case in the grants to reformatories; but surely the teaching of religion, as interpreted by this Bill, could not be involved in the granting of relief to the deaf and dumb. This is not a teaching of religion within the meaning of the clause—it is the relief of distress. You might as well say that grants in aid of workhouses supplementing the poor rates, must be said to involve the teaching of religion, because ministers of various denominations visited Irish workhouses and ministered to the spiritual wants of their co-re- 265 ligionists. The words in the Preamble mean what everybody means by those words—namely, that the surplus shall not be applied directly to the teaching of religion. If you were to say you must never apply money in any way which might become, even in an indirect manner, available for the teaching of religion, you would be demanding an impossibility. The noble and learned Lord seems discontented with the arrangement proposed in the Commons' Amendment, requiring that an Order in Council should lie upon the table for forty days before it shall come into operation; and he rather ridiculed the idea. The noble Lord behind me tells me he will have to move a slight Amendment to the proviso to make it more complete, but there is really nothing in the arrangement to cavil at. Indeed, a similar proviso exists in the Oxford and Cambridge Universities Act. Under that Act an Order in Council must lie on the table of both Houses a certain number of days before it can come into force. The noble and learned Lord was particularly severe on the noble Lord behind me because he said the alteration of the date from January to May was not a vital point in the Bill. Why, all along we said we should be guided by what we thought the true interests of the Church and the wishes of those who represent her. We had no wish to press any opinion of our own on this point; we merely said that there was great difference of opinion in the Church itself, and it seemed to us there was a predominance of opinion in favour of the earlier date. We, therefore, cannot set this up as a vital point. As far as I understand the noble and learned Lord, he does not support a very important Amendment made in the Bill with reference to the Ulster glebes, but that the Amendments with regard to commutation and giving the curates the compensation proposed by the noble Marquess opposite he does consider as vital. I also understood him to say that he supported the clause moved by the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury) giving to the clergy their glebe houses without payment, and lastly, not only to retain the Amendment made in this House as to the postponement of the surplus, but also to retain the words which distinctly convey to the country that it is the opinion of the House that the surplus is to be post- 266 poned, and one of the purposes for which it is to be postponed is that you may raise the question of concurrent endowment at any future time. ["No, no!"] I say that is so. If it be not so, why do you insist upon these words being struck out of the Preamble? If your intention be not as I have described it, you need not strike out the words ending, "nor for the teaching of religion;" it would be quite sufficient for your purpose to strike out the other words. The noble and learned Lord says the usage of this House does not permit you to divide the Amendment, and therefore you must strike out the words which refer to religious teaching. Now I say I am not in favour myself of applying this surplus to religious endowment, but I say also that the opinion of the country may possibly change; and I invite your Lordships to consider what would result from leaving the door open for demands to endow different religions. I therefore trust you will not take the unwise course of insisting on your Amendment.
I submit that, according to the ordinary practice of the House, the Motion to be made and the Question to be put to us when we agree or disagree with the decision of the House of Commons with regard to Amendments made by this House—is that we insist or do not insist upon the Amendment we have made. The noble Earl who has just sat down (the Earl of Kimberley) says it is competent to us to divide the question, and I think the House is competent to do so when we intend ultimately to agree to part of the Amendment; and therefore it is perfectly within the power of the noble Earl to move that we insist upon the whole of any Amendment, or that we insist upon only so much of it as will end at a particular word. But if that be not his intention—if the noble Earl means that we shall withdraw the whole of our Amendment, I submit that it is entirely contrary to all the ordinary practice of the House that it should be divided in the manner he proposes; and I must say I do not see what object he has in view. My noble Friend seems to be very desirous of dividing the Amendment in order, in some way or other, to connect it with the question of concurrent endowment. Now, I say that there is no connection whatever between the two propositions. Suppose it be the intention of the House to adhere to the 267 Amendment proposed by the noble Earl (Earl Stanhope) with regard to the glebes, which has been improperly described as "concurrent endowment," our agreeing to the Amendment made in the Preamble by the House of Commons would not be of the slightest consequence, because that part of the Preamble applies to what is left after the objects denned by the Bill are satisfied. But regarding it as having nothing to do with the subsequent proposition, I conceive we ought to insist upon this Amendment in the Preamble for good reasons. As I understand it, this House objected to the words which they struck out of the Preamble upon two grounds: in the first place, because they pointed to what was deemed to be an unwise allocation of an expected surplus of the property of the Irish Church; and, in the next place, because the words laid down one or other of two objectionable principles. The Preamble stated that no part of these funds was to be applied for the maintenance of any Church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion. Now, my Lords, it must have been intended by those words to assert one of two things—either a general condemnation of the system of applying public money to the religious instruction of the people, and a Parliamentary affirmation of the voluntary principle, and as applicable to England, as to Ireland. The words must have been inserted either for the purpose of thus giving a Parliamentary recognition to that principle, or else as implying the opinion of Parliament that although there is no objection generally to the application of public money to the religious instruction of the people, there is an insurmountable objection if that religious instruction is conveyed through the medium of that religious denomination conformed to by the great body of the Irish people—namely, the Roman Catholic religion. Now, my Lords, we all know that, in point of fact, it was this latter view which commended these words to the great body of their supporters. "We know, therefore, that, in point of fact, these words were intended to lay down this principle—that the Roman Catholic religion must be dealt with in a manner different from that in which we should deal with reformed systems of Christianity; and in that case this Bill, which professes to be brought forward upon the principle of religious 268 equality, and to be intended to establish the rights of conscience, and put an end to a crying injustice which has been inflicted upon the Irish people as Roman Catholics—that Bill which professes to be brought forward with these high objects in view is really tainted—as was well said in the other House—with the very worst spirit of the old Orange ascendancy. My Lords, I say one or the other of these interpretations must be put upon these words, if we attach the smallest importance to them, because, if they were not intended as a Parliamentary recognition of one of those two principles, I ask what object do they serve? They have no legislative force—they do not in the slightest degree alter the legal effect of the subsequent clauses of the Bill. The striking out of the words of the Preamble would not in the least affect the provisions of the Bill, which would be equally binding on our future legislation, whether we strike out these words or retain them. Why, this whole Bill is founded upon the principle that one Parliament cannot bind another. We have heard over and over again that even the Treaty of Union cannot fetter the legislation of a subsequent Parliament. I admit the argument; I say that no one Parliament can bind its successors; and if it is good for the Treaty of Union it is equally good for this Bill. I say, then, the introduction of these words, unless they are meant as a Parliamentary declaration in favour of one of the two principles to which I have referred, is entirely useless. The question arises, ought we so to lay down one or the other of these two principles? I, for one, say we ought not. I say it is not fitting that the British Parliament should resolve that the voluntary principle is just and right, and that therefore we should by implication condemn the national Church of England; and on the other hand it is not fitting it should adopt words which can only be considered as a deep insult to the whole Roman Catholic population. In either sense, I say these words are altogether objectionable. Why is it they are used? Why do the Government lay so much stress on their retention? If they are to have no legislative effect—if they are by common consent powerless to alter the main provisions of the Bill—why do the Government take so much pains to insist upon their being retained there? It would appear to me 269 that, if Her Majesty's Government desired to come to a conciliatory arrangement with this House, if they wished to remove any difficulty in the way of passing the Bill and of arriving at a settlement of this vexed question—when they found that these words were useless for any practical purpose, while at the same time they were justly offensive to many Members of this House, they would willingly consent to omit them. I say that would be a natural course if they desired, as regards this House, to pursue a conciliatory line of policy. But I much fear such was not their intention. I own I cannot look at their whole conduct with reference to this Bill without feeling impressed with the opinion—which I would gladly dismiss from my mind if I possibly could—that Her Majesty's Government are comparatively indifferent to the passing of this Bill, unless they can pass it in such a manner as to give a triumph over this House and to subject it to humiliation and degradation in the eyes of the public. Look at what they have done. As the noble and learned Lord behind me (Lord Cairns) justly said, nearly all your Lordships' Amendments that were of any importance have been rejected, or so altered as to make them of no value, and in some instances in minor matters Her Majesty's Government have actually gone out of their way to differ from this House. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) said he hoped your Lordships would not insist on the alteration in the date—but he also reminded you of the manner in which that alteration had been made. It had been proposed by himself, and had been acquiesced in by my noble Friend (Earl Granville)—the representative of the Government in this House. Surely, if there had been any desire to conciliate this House, at all events the Government might have accepted the Amendments which had been agreed to by their Colleagues in this House! The noble Lord who spoke last said that these Amendments were immaterial; but, surely, that makes the case much worse, as an indication of the spirit in which your Lordships' Amendments have been dealt with. That is exhibited not only in the alterations made in the substance of your Lordships' Amendments, but also in the mode in which those alterations have been effected. My noble Friend who introduced the subject this 270 evening took great credit for the Prime Minister for the character of the speech he made when he brought your Lordships' Amendments under the consideration of the other House. I heard that eulogy on the speech of his Colleague with no little amazement. The impression which the reading of the speech produced upon me—and I am told it produced the impression still more strongly on the minds of those who heard it—was that it was not a speech made by a man who wished to conciliate and persuade. It was characterized by scarcely-veiled sneers at your Lordships' House, and it was pervaded by a tone of contempt which must be manifest to all who will read it. I must say these are facts we cannot leave out of sight in considering what we have to do with those Amendments. I am the last man to say that we ought not to make concessions if we can; but there are cases in which concessions are asked in a manner which gives them more importance than of themselves they deserve, and which renders it impossible to yield without loss of that honour which, whether to private individuals or to public bodies is one of the main elements of strength and independence. I cannot therefore think that the manner in which our Amendments have been dealt with, and the tone in which they have been spoken of, is altogether immaterial. I cannot for a moment suppose that when the subject is seriously considered by the other House of Parliament the insertion of these words in the Preamble is a point upon which it will insist. Is it really worth while to stand out on a point which does not in the least affect the substance of the Bill, and of which the only possible value is that it would inflict mortification upon this House, and compel it apparently to assent to principles of which it disapproves without any necessity for doing so? I cannot believe it to be possible; if it is, all I would say is, if the loss of the Bill should arise from this cause, no just and reasonable person will say the fault rests with us. My Lords, I think the course we have pursued with regard to this Bill shows that we, at all events, have done our best to arrive at a fair settlement of this question. Let me remind you of the manner in which you have dealt with this Bill. You know how very large a proportion of your Lordships entertained opinions certainly 271 not favourable to the principle of the measure. I believe the number of those among you who would have willingly accepted that principle is exceedingly small. But we thought it our duty, in deference to public opinion, and looking to the whole course of this long controversy of five and thirty years' standing, to give the Bill a second reading. Having done so, we proceeded to consider it in Committee, and I think I am justified in saying that in Committee the clauses were most fairly and most fully discussed. We made many Amendments in the Bill; and although I cannot say that we sent it down to the House of Commons in precisely the shape I should have desired, I think that as it left this House it would have effected, on the whole, a fair and reasonable settlement of this vexed question. In acknowledgment of the claims of Roman Catholics we granted all that they asked with regard to disestablishment; and let it be remembered that we were often told that the great grievance of which they had to complain was the maintenance of a Church for a small minority of the population of Ireland, while the Church of the majority was wholly unrecognized by the State. The Established Church was absolutely and entirely swept away, and, by universal admission, no particle of that grievance was left behind. But more than that, we proceeded to disendow the Irish Church—although it is quite true that in adopting that principle we maintained that it was right that the Church should be left a certain portion of its property to enable it to make some small provision for the spiritual wants of the Protestant population of Ireland. We therefore so modified the Bill that we had reason to hope that some provision would be left which would enable the Anglican Church in Ireland to carry on its work at the expiry of the time during which it is to continue as an Establishment. My Lords, we did that in no narrow spirit, for if we had done so, we would have been unable to have justified our case. But whilst doing this we did not refuse to the other Churches the advantages which we claimed for our own. After a week's discussion in Committee we at length sent the Bill down again to the other House, containing clauses providing for the Presbyterians and the Roman Catholics a share —a fair share—of the advantages which 272 we obtained for ourselves. My Lords, I deeply regret that this Amendment of ours has not been adopted. I am quite aware that we cannot now hope to see that scheme carried into operation, it having been carried only by a small majority in this House against the Leaders of both the great parties, and having failed to obtain any distinct support in the other House except from three or four individuals. The Amendment of my noble Friend (Earl Stanhope) will therefore, no doubt, be rejected., and I deeply lament it. I must say that Her Majesty's Government in causing it to be rejected have incurred a heavy responsibility. My Lords, it is the opinion of the great majority of the educated classes of this country—it is the opinion even of many of Her Majesty's Ministers themselves—that the proposal of my noble Friend would be the best settlement of the question. But, as I have said, it has been summarily rejected, without any serious discussion upon the merits of the plan—without even any attempt being made to show that the Bill, as we sent it back, was less calculated to promote the welfare of Ireland and the Empire than the Bill as we received it—and rejected, too, upon the plea that the country had already decided against it, and that it was impossible to carry it into operation. It appears to me that such conduct is hardly justifiable on the part of Her Majesty's Government. We have been told that this scheme of concurrent endowment was only brought forward at the sixtieth minute of the twelfth hour, and that it was a scheme akin to what was proposed by the Earl of Mayo. But this is not the case. What was then understood by concurrent endowment was some grant from the Consolidated Fund to give compensation to the Roman Catholics in consequence of their being excluded from receiving any share of the Irish Church property, which was to continue as before exclusively applicable to the Church of the minority. That was what was then understood, and that was what was rejected. But this proposal for considering the Irish Church property as a great fund for Irish purposes, and especially for teaching religion in the form in which it will be most acceptable to the people, is a proposition that has never been laid before the country, and has never been discussed at all. And 273 yet we are called upon summarily to reject it on the ground that it has already been decided against by the people of this country. My Lords, is this the way in which great questions of this nature are to be disposed of? What, let me ask, is it that deters us from properly considering this question? There is nothing except certain speeches, delivered during the General Election by members of the Ministry, and others, in which the speakers pledged themselves to give nothing to the Roman Catholics. But is that a reason for dealing in the way we are asked to do with such a great question as this? Is it right, merely because certain persons thought proper in their election speeches to say that they would not approve of such a scheme, that Parliament should not deliberate upon a proposal which has for its advocates a very large proportion of the most intelligent of our fellow-subjects in England, Scotland, and Ireland? My Lords, I hold that such a thing is quite contrary to reason, I must however add this observation. When I was told that it was impossible to carry this measure in the form in which it passed this House, I asserted, without fear of being contradicted, that that impossibility consisted only in the determination of Her Majesty's Government. If they had recommended its adoption to the other House of Parliament, is there the slightest reason to believe that that recommendation would not have been adopted? We have heard that a meeting of the Irish Members was held to consider the subject, and that in that meeting there was a great preponderance of opinion as to the advantages that would arise from conferring this small boon upon the Roman Catholics. It was stated that a very large proportion of that meeting desired it; but that they, at the same time, held that they were bound in honour to support Her Majesty's Government in the course that they might think it proper to take. If, therefore, the Government had taken the other course, if they had recommended the adoption of the proposal, and if the Irish Members had said that, in their opinion, it was for the advantage of Ireland that it should be adopted, it would have been utterly impossible for the English and Scotch Members, whatever indiscreet speeches and pledges they might have been committed to, to have 274 said, in a matter so deeply concerning the welfare of Ireland, that they would not consent to the scheme. Therefore let us not forget for a moment that the responsibility for this measure not passing in the form in which we proposed it rests with Her Majesty's Government and with Her Majesty's Government, alone; and that if we fail to bring this Bill to a happy issue—if we fail during the present Session to pass a Bill to settle this long controverted question, it will be because Her Majesty's Government have preferred to leave the whole question in suspense to passing a measure which the great majority of the people believe would have been better than the one they themselves originally introduced—because they reject an offer which, among the most impartial men, is regarded as fair and equitable. But although my strong feeling on the subject has compelled me to speak thus, I will not abandon the hope that this Bill may pass during the present Session. I am quite aware that for the reasons I have stated it cannot pass in the best form. I am quite aware that it cannot pass in the form in which I have the slightest hope that it will effect any real settlement of the question, because if you should not insist upon the Amendment proposed by my noble Friend, and if you should adopt every other Amendment made by the House of Commons, I say you will effect no settlement. By your refusal to assent to the Amendment of my noble Friend you will leave an important and an exciting portion of the question behind—one that if it does not arise next year, will be certain to arise in the course of the next few years. But even though the Bill will not be calculated to confer all the advantages which I should wish, I still hope that it may pass in such a form, that it may do, at all events, much of the good which we expect from it—because I cannot conceal from myself that the failure of this Bill will be nothing short of a public calamity, while it will be no consolation to me to know that for that calamity Her Majesty's Government will be mainly responsible. That calamity, I trust, may be averted; and it is because I hope the confusion and ill-feeling which, on the failure of this Bill will prevail for the next few months, may be averted that I have heard with great pleasure the de- 275 claration of the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns), that it is his intention to modify his Amendments somewhat when they are reached; and without anticipating the discussion upon these Amendments, perhaps I may be permitted to express a hope that, upon further consideration, he will carry his concessions further than it appears he at present contemplates, in hopes of achieving what I desire. I beg to assure the noble and learned Lord that it will be good policy for him to follow the course I recommend. Our endeavour should be to draw a contrast between the spirit in which we have dealt with this measure and the spirit in which it has been dealt with by the other House, so as to assure the country that if it fails it is certainly not our fault, and that we, at all events, have done all in our power to secure its passing.
§ VISCOUNT HALIFAX
I have no intention of following my noble Friend in detail in the arguments he has addressed to your Lordships upon the policy pursued by the Government. I believe I shall best consult the convenience of your Lordships by confining my observations to the Amendment now under consideration. But, at the outset, I must say a word upon its form and substance. My noble Friend (Earl Granville) has moved that your Lordships do not insist on your Amendment in the Preamble as far as the word "religion;" but the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Cairns) says my noble Friend can make no distinction between one part of the Amendment in the Preamble and another, But must take the whole Amendment. [Lord CAIRNS dissented.] My noble Friend below me moves that your Lordships do not insist on so much of your Amendment as contains these words—
§ LORD CAIRNS
I said you must not take the Amendment word for word or sentence by sentence and divide on it in that way; but that you ought to take the Amendment as a whole, unless you objected to one part and agreed to another part.
§ VISCOUNT HALIFAX
I must say that in this particular case the reason for doing otherwise than the noble and learned Lord suggests is patent and evident, because the two parts of the Amendment made by your Lordships deal with totally distinct and different questions. More than that, the course recommended by my noble Friend is the one pursued in the other House of Parliament when that House was dealing with the Amendment. We are not bound within the four corners of the Message sent up from the House of Commons. I am not going to refer to speeches made in that House, because I think that would not be a very convenient course; but it is perfectly regular to refer to the proceedings of the House of Commons as they appear on the Votes; and on doing so I find that the House of Commons dealt with this Amendment as raising two separate and distinct questions. Though a young Member of your Lordships' House, I venture to think your Lordships can do the same thing. The practice of the two Houses cannot be so different as to involve this gross absurdity, that what raises two questions in one House must of necessity be dealt with as one in the other House. Having said so much on the point of Order, I may express my concurrence with my noble Friend who last addressed the House that, for any practical purpose, as far as this Bill is concerned, it makes very little matter whether the words are or are not retained in the Preamble. They bind us to nothing; they commit us to nothing; they decide nothing. I do not think that the proposal made by my noble Friend the noble Duke below the Gangway (the Duke of Cleveland) was inconsistent with the words in the Preamble. I refer to the proposal for giving glebes to the ministers of other denominations than those of the Irish Protestant Church. When the Bill came up here from the Commons originally the Preamble stated that—After satisfying so far as possible upon principles of equality as between the several religious denominations in Ireland all just and equitable claims, the property of the said Church should be held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion.The framers of the Bill and the House of Commons have considered it to be 277 quite consistent with the principle expressed in these words to allow the clergy of the Irish Protestant Church to purchase their glebe houses, and a certain quantity of glebe land for an amount less than they are avowedly worth. This is, in point of fact, giving to the clergy, towards their maintenance, the difference between the actual value of the property, and the sum which they are required to pay. Now it is obvious that, as a matter of principle, it is no more a violation of principle to give the whole than to give—say—the half of the value. The Amendment, made in your Lordships' House, gave the houses and some glebe land to the Protestant clergy without payment, and I cannot consider that this was any violation of the principle laid down in the Preamble. But if it was consistent with those words in the Preamble to provide glebes for the clergy of the Irish Protestant Church, I do not see how providing the clergy of the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian Churches with glebes could be inconsistent with them. I look upon it that the prohibition contained in the last part of the sentence I have quoted has reference to the disposition of the surplus—After satisfying so far as possible upon principles of equality as between the several religious denominations in Ireland all just and equitable claims.If glebes are provided for the Protestant clergy, the principle of equality which is laid down in the Preamble requires that glebes should be given to the clergy of the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian Churches. I do not wish, in the slightest degree, to raise the question of these glebes again, though I believe nothing will convince the Roman Catholic population in Ireland that they are treated on terms of equality with the Protestants as long as they see these Protestant clergy provided with well-built houses, while their priests are living in quite another and very inferior description of dwelling. I cannot but fear that the omission of any provision for this purpose will defeat the whole object of the Bill. But we have urged that view to the best of our ability —a majority of 33 in your Lordships' House decided against us, and though that vote was subsequently revoked by a majority of 7, the House of Commons refused to agree to the proposal. We have done what we could in the mat- 278 ter, and as the House of Commons has rejected our Amendment I think we ought to make the best of the Bill as it stands. Now, my Lords, while holding that those words are not of any great practical value in themselves, I believe that maintaining them in the Bill would tend to prolong that feeling of uncertainty and that spirit of agitation which it is the interest of all parties, and not least of the Irish Church, to put an end tp as soon as possible. It is totally impossible to deny that there is a very strong feeling in this country against what is called '' concurrent endowment." I do not myself hold that these words "concurrent endowment" are properly applicable to the proposal made by the noble Duke. They were properly applicable to the proposal made by Mr. Pitt in the beginning of the present century; and they were properly applied, perhaps, to the proposal of Lord Mayo, which was understood to be one for leaving the Irish Protestant Church in possession of all she had, and "levelling up" as it was termed as to the other Churches. This "levelling up," of course, could only have been done out of the taxation of the country. from that source it was that those other Churches must have been endowed. That course I never considered to be possible. I believe that to be the concurrent endowment on which an appeal was made to the country and against which the country gave a decided and decisive verdict. I say, with submission to your Lordships, that the tone taken in your Lordships' House led people to believe that concurrent endowment was proposed here. My noble Friend on the cross-Benches (Earl Grey) argued the question of concurrent endowment on its highest ground; and so thoroughly did this idea prevail, that even the noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Salisbury) though alive to the objections to the use of the words "concurrent endowment" could not avoid letting them escape from his lips. Now, my Lords, if that be so, I am very much afraid that if we omit these words it may be held that we are still looking to concurrent endowment. Your Lordships may recollect that the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Cairns) used the argument in favour of holding over the surplus, that if that proposal were accepted the surplus might, at some future time, 279 be applied to the purposes of concurrent endowment, although he was not in favour of such an application of the money. I am afraid, therefore, in the present excited feelings that prevail in some of the most populous districts of the country, that unless we retain these words the belief will be entertained that we are covertly but firmly intending at some future period to apply the surplus to the purposes of concurrent endowment. My Lords, I entirely concur in the whole scope and object of the Bill. I concur entirely in the disendowment and the disestablishment of the Irish Church; and I should be very sorry were we for no practical purpose to do any act that would tend to prolong the excitement and the agitation upon a subject in which the feelings of the people are so deeply concerned. I hope and trust, therefore, that your Lordships will not insist upon the omission of these words down to the word "religion." I will not, at the present moment, refer to the second part of the Amendment, but I do believe that, if we wish to contribute to the peaceable settlement of this question, and to avoid exciting a bad and a hostile feeling in the great mass of the people, we shall assent to the proposal of the noble Earl below me and not object to retaining these words.
THE MARQUESS OF CLANRICARDE
My Lords, I do not regard the words it is proposed to omit as being of much importance in themselves. Although they may be regarded in the light of a declaration which I am sincerely sorry to see inserted in a Bill of this kind, they enact nothing, and therefore I shall, on considerations entirely without reference to concurrent endowment, vote for their retention. While it is but right that we should, when necessary, stand upon our own dignity, still we should avoid every unnecessary conflict with the other House of Parliament, and where a conflict with that body is inevitable we should only proceed upon good and substantial reasons. The noble Lord (Viscount Halifax) has pointed out the reasons why great importance is attached to the retention of these words throughout the country by a very large and powerful party to which we greatly owe the introduction of this Bill. I allude to that party which desires to establish in the United Kingdom the voluntary principle. What benefit can accrue from 280 the retention of these words I confess I am unable to perceive. What would be said of a man who, having accidentally acquired a large property, were to announce that not 1s. of it would he apply to the purposes of religion? And even if we do consent to their retention, I believe they will be quite inoperative; because in the event of the surplus being applied to the purposes proposed, those who instruct the blind, the deaf, and the dumb will have to teach those so afflicted religion, and will have to be paid for doing so. However that may be, seeing that the House of Commons and a large party throughout the country attach so much importance to these words, I shall yield my own opinion upon the subject, and shall vote for their retention. Before I sit down I wish to say a few words upon the question of the postponement of the application of the surplus. Upon that question I recommend your Lordships to stand firm. You have the sense of the country with you—you have common sense with you—and it seems to me that it is only in order to go against and humiliate this House that the rational proposal you have made that the consideration of the application of the surplus should be postponed has been rejected. Did any man ever bind himself as to what he would do with a fortune he was to come into four or five years hence? If it is said that the reason for tying up the property at once is to prevent future discussion respecting its disposal, I say that it will have exactly the reverse effect. It is not with any view to concurrent endowment that I venture to ask your Lordships not to assent to this proposition. I look upon the Established Church in Ireland as completely gone, and I also look upon concurrent endowment as completely gone. However wise and judicious such an arrangement might have proved—and I believe it to have been a great mistake not to have adopted it—yet I believe the feeling which has destroyed the Established Church in Ireland to be too strong to permit concurrent endowment to be accepted as a principle for many years to come. But, whether such be the case or not, I think it would be against all common sense if we were to attempt to appropriate property which we shall not get into our hands for several years to come to any specific purposes at the 281 present moment. To the appropriation of the surplus for the specific purpose indicated, I, for one, have no particular objection, but I think that, at the present moment, it would be most unwise to decide upon the appropriation of it to any specific purpose whatever. I say that in postponing the application of the surplus for the next few years you will have the unanimous support of the country. For these reasons, and entirely apart from the question of concurrent endowment, when the proper time arrives I shall vote in favour of the postponement of the appropriation of the surplus. On the other hand, I hope that your Lordships will seriously consider the position in which you are placed with regard to this Bill. Considerable concessions have been made by the other House of Parliament, and I hope that your Lordships will also make such reasonable concessions as it may be in your power to grant. It is in this spirit that I shall record my vote in favour of the retention of the words in the Preamble re-inserted by the House of Commons.
§ THE EARL OF SHAFTESBURY
My Lords, I shall only address a very few observations to your Lordships upon the question before the House. At no time during the debate upon the Bill, nor during the discussions in Committee, did I venture to utter a single syllable with reference to this measure, nor should I undertake to address your Lordships now were it not for the deep conviction I entertain of the gravity and the importance and the danger of the crisis in which we are now involved. My Lords, I cannot help feeling the policy and—I say it with great regret — the necessity of our accepting the propositions of the House of Commons. I do not say this out of any affection for this Bill, because I regard it as being altogether the most revolutionary measure that has come under our consideration for many generations, and as calculated to produce, and that shortly, still larger changes in the existing relations between Church and State, in religion and in property, than any measure that has been laid before this country since England was a nation. But, my Lords, however wise or however unwise, however perilous, however wild, the Bill may be, the country has made up its mind upon it, and the country is determined, at all hazards, to have the measure as it stands. 282 We have to deal, as regards this question, not with the House of Commons— for that would be an easy and a simple matter if we had a portion of the country with us — but with the nation at large. Now, I think that your Lordships are placed in a worse position than you were some weeks back in your endeavour to offer resistance to these Amendments. The vote that was given by this House by a majority of 7 on the subject of concurrent endowment produced more anger, grief, and consternation in the country than any vote that is recorded in the whole history of Parliament. That vote was looked upon, not only by those opposed to "the endowment of error" as it is termed, but by those opposed to endowments of all kinds, as being an endeavour on the part of your Lordships to extend the system to which they have so great objections, and the result has been that it has very seriously injured your Lordships' position in the estimation of the country, and I have no doubt that it has even still more seriously injured the position of the Bishops, and the safety of the Established Church. I fear, my Lords, that we shall, as a consequence of this, have a cry not against concurrent endowment, but one that hereafter will arise universally in favour of concurrent disendowment throughout the whole of the British Empire. That, my Lords, is what we have looming before us, and it is a cry which may be echoed over all Europe. To prevent the possibility of such a step, by rejecting this Bill, we cannot save the Established Church of Ireland, nor even a shred of it. The fate of that Church is just as clear and distinct as anything can be that has not been actually accomplished, but by rejecting this Bill we may very much aggravate the misery and the danger of our situation. I am certain, from the knowledge I possess of the feelings of the middle classes and of the great mass of the people in this country, and of those who constitute the new constituencies which you have just called into existence, that their minds are fixed upon the passing of this measure, and that in the event of its being rejected by this House, one offering far less advantageous terms for the Church of Ireland will be shortly presented for our acceptance. My Lords, I implore 283 you not to add to the imminent dangers of the situation in which we are now placed, the further charge of entering into a conflict with the country, which may result in the overthrow of other institutions than the one which this measure proposes to destroy.
§ EARL RUSSELL
My Lords, I cannot refrain from addressing some observations to your Lordships after the remarks which have been made in the course of this debate, and especially after the address of the noble Earl (the Earl of Shaftesbury), who has touched the question of concurrent endowment boldly. The question appears to me very much in this light. I am ready to give my assent to the disestablishment of the Irish Church, and also to its disendowment, considering that the payment of the clergy is part of an Establishment. I will even go further, and say, that although I think the Established Church of Ireland has been hardly treated by the Bill which has been sent up to us, and although I think it is a very different thing to have a Church which from the beginning has been a voluntary Church, and to have a Church which has always been an Established Church, disestablished and disendowed and sent out into the world without adequate provision—yet, though that is my opinion, I confess I would rather assent even to the harsh provisions which have been sent up from the House of Commons, I would agree to every article of disendowment contained in the Bill, rather than lose the Bill altogether. I believe it would be better for the State, and better also for the Church of Ireland, that the Church should go out very partially endowed rather than that the Bill should be lost altogether. But having assented fully to disestablishment and disendowment as proposed by the House of Commons in the name of the country, there is this further question which I am obliged to encounter. We find, according to the Preamble, as sent up from the House of Commons, that the property hitherto belonging to the Irish Church is to be held and applied—For the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion.Now, I ask, in the first place, what is the necessity, for the purpose of the 284 disestablishment and disendowment of the Church of Ireland, to place in the Preamble any such declaration? It appears to me, I confess, a gratuitous, unnecessary, and imprudent declaration. I have seen it stated, on the authority of a Member of Parliament with whom I am well acquainted—on the authority of Mr. George Melly—that the result of the last elections was against any religious endowment whatsoever—that is to say, it was not against the endowment of the Church of Ireland, as representing only a minority of the people, but it was against the endowment of the Church of Scotland and against the endowment of the Church of England. I say, then, to my noble Friends, if that is the question which is meant to be raised indirectly by this Preamble—if it is meant to entrap your Lordships and to entrap the Crown, the House of Commons, and the country into a general declaration against religious Establishments, let us have that question fairly put; let us have the issue openly and intelligibly raised; and let us have the proposal itself placed, in words that cannot be mistaken, upon your Lordships' table. For the reasons I have stated, this declaration contained in the Preamble appears to me to be imprudent as well as unnecessary. But, in the next place, who is to be bound by it? Observe how easily some people will escape from the meaning which others will strive to attach to the words. Mr. Hadfield, Mr. Miall, and others, who are against all Establishments, will say they have obtained a great triumph in the insertion of this declaration in the Preamble. In the Motion which was proposed the other day for granting glebe houses and residences to the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian clergy, it was contended by my noble Friend (Viscount Halifax) that this was not concurrent endowment. I agree with my noble Friend in that interpretation; but I believe the greater part of the country have affixed to our vote the name of concurrent endowment, and my noble Friend who spoke last (the Earl of Shaftesbury) is afraid of dissensions and of the great cry which would be raised in the country by legislation in any such direction. My noble Friends on the Government Bench endeavour to fix upon us the charge of insincerity because we agreed to that proposal; but I 285 must say that I think the Government have themselves helped to create great confusion in this matter by the words they have introduced into the Preamble, declaring their willingness to satisfy, "upon principles of equality, as between the several religious denominations in Ireland, all just and equitable claims," and at the same time that the funds are not to be applied '' for the maintenance of any Church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion." How are these propositions to be reconciled one with the other? The Government are ready to put any interpretation that suits them upon these words. If noble Lords opposite say, as they have frequently said, that to give fourteen years' capitalization of the yearly grant to Maynooth is to give a fresh endowment to that College—the Government reply, "Not a bit of it; we are satisfying, upon principles of equality, a just and equitable claim." In the same way, if we give—as I should be disposed to do —glebe houses to the clergy, or give them for £200,000 less than they are worth, as was said by my noble Friend the Secretary for the Colonies—that I look upon as a very just and proper endowment of a clergy who have always been respected, and whom you are now going to turn loose upon the world. The limited proposal, however, which the Government favour is not, according to their view endowment, but the satisfying of a just and equitable claim. But when we say, give the same kind of advantages to the Roman Catholic parish priests and to the Presbyterian ministers —satisfying, upon principles of equality as between the different religious denominations in Ireland, this just and equitable claim, then the Government turn round and say—"Oh, no, that is not a just and equitable claim; that is concurrent endowment of different religions "—so that we are always confused and embarrassed by these various interpretations of what appear to me points depending upon the same principle. Your Lordships have been very much censured, and even ridiculed, for your supposed ignorance of the feeling of the country and the practical affairs of life; and your Lordships have been compared to men "up in a balloon," who do not know what is passing upon the face of the earth. Well, I have lived for a long while, and I have passed 286 I admit, much of my time in England; but I have always supposed that the noble Duke (the Duke of Leinster), whose Spartan brevity is so highly valued in this House, and that the noble Baron (Lord Athlumney), who for some time held the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland, living constantly in that country, attending to their large estates there, speaking daily to the clergymen of the Established Church, to the Roman Catholic priests, and to Presbyterian ministers, to landowners, farmers, men of all positions of life in Ireland—I should have supposed that these men, at least, would have known something of the feeling of that country. For my own part, I paid great deference to their opinions; but now we are told that they are men living in a balloon, and that nobody except the First Lord of the Treasury and the President of the Board of Trade have real practical notions respecting Ireland. I must say, my Lords, that I was much more astonished than convinced by such an assertion. I am not all sure that your Lordships would do wisely to listen to those counsellors who tell you they are so intimately acquainted with Ireland, and to neglect the advice of the noble Duke and of many noble Lords opposite who are well acquainted with the wants and wishes of that country. Why should not the Government be satisfied with their proposals for disestablishment and disendowment without proceeding to make abstract declarations, which are always extremely dangerous, and which may lead to a general disendowment of all Establishments throughout the world? You may rely upon it that there is on the Continent of Europe, in France, Prussia, Austria, and many other countries, a large party who say that there ought to be no endowment of religion; and when they see it proposed to place in the very front of this Bill a declaration that no religious teaching shall be supported out of a fund which for more than 500 years has been specially devoted to religious purposes, is it not probable that the agitation against endowment on the Continent of Europe, as well as in England, Scotland, and Ireland, would be helped forward by our adopting such a course? We were told the other day by the Lord Privy Seal that there had been a great advance of late towards the voluntary principle in religious 287 matters. If that be so, let the principle be openly raised—let us fight in a fair field; but do not let it be said that Parliament is committed by a declaration in the Preamble of a Bill. With regard to the proposition for reserving the surplus, some Members of the Government have endeavoured to frighten the Parliament and the country out of it by saying that it means concurrent endowment. I Bay, however, that it does not mean concurrent endowment. Nay, further, I assert that concurrent endowment has not yet been regularly proposed. I think the noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) made a very just remark on a former occasion when he said he was himself opposed to concurrent endowment; but that if at some future time the country should be of opinion that concurrent endowment was wise and proper, why should those who were in favour of the scheme be debarred from the opportunity of bringing it forward? Nothing could be more moderate than that declaration. We are told by the Members of the Government that it is impossible for them to approve concurrent endowment because the country is so much against it; but they do not say that the scheme is in itself unreasonable, or that it might not prove beneficial in Ireland. They say that the country is very much opposed to the project, although in the same voice and tone they say—"Do not agree to this proposal, because hereafter the country may be in favour of concurrent endowment, and we want to have a perpetual power of preventing that scheme being carried out." Can anything be more inconsistent than this? The Government has proposed—and, in my opinion, very properly—to do away with what was formerly regarded as an essential part of the Act of Union between England and Ireland. They say that the times have changed since that Act was passed, that the conditions of the country have altered, that the political spirit of the present day is unfavourable to the continued Establishment of the Church in Ireland, and that therefore they have a right to alter the Act of Union. Yet the very same men who proposed the alteration of that Act are now afraid lest the opinion of the country should hereafter change and become in favour of concurrent endowment, and therefore they propose an enactment which shall be binding for all time 288 to prevent concurrent endowment. For my own part I have no desire to carry concurrent endowment against the wishes of the country, and I do not expect that in my time the country will ever be in favour of it; but that is no reason why we should agree to the proposal contained in the 68th and 69th clauses. It must be remembered that the majority of 120 votes which usually supported the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on this measure dwindled down to 72 when this proposal was made. This shows, at all events, that there was a good deal of doubt on the subject. I was very much struck with the report of a speech by a Ro-man Catholic Gentleman (Mr. Maguire) in the other House, who declared on the part of his co-religionists that he did not wish to see the Roman Catholic Church endowed. This was very fair; but when I read the speech further I found that the hon. Gentleman who represented the city of Cork, remarked that he should be glad to see a portion of the surplus devoted to the improvement and extension of the Blind Asylum and Lunatic Asylum in Cork. Now, I ask you to look at what has lately taken place in France. In France an official candidate at an election is favoured by the Government giving him an order for a grant for some local job, and the Prefect tells the electors that they must vote for him because he brings a great subsidy for local works. Might not a similar course be adopted in Ireland? I remember being told long ago of a conversation that took place between Mr. Fox and a person who was about to go to Ireland to fill the very high office of Lord Lieutenant, who said that if he went there he hoped he would be allowed to take measures to put an end to jobbing. "Of course," Mr. Fox replied; "you may do what you please on the subject; but as to inducing the Irish to give up jobbing, you might as well ask them to speak without a brogue." By the declaration in the Preamble of this Bill, and by the 68th clause, you make a disposition of public money which will give rise to more jobbing—I do not say than ever has prevailed in Ireland—but than has prevailed there for the last twenty or thirty years. These are objections to the words of the Preamble and to the 68th clause, which seem to me to be very strong objections, and I shall therefore feel it my duty to 289 vote with the noble and learned Lord in respect to them. With regard to the giving of compensation to the clergy for their vested interests, I hold that such compensation is no more than what they have a positive right to. Blackstone says that the parson has a freehold in his tithe, his glebe, and his parsonage. Well, you cannot take away his freehold without giving him the value of his life interest in it. It has happened to me, as it no doubt has to others of your Lordships, to have a railway company take a bit of my land from me. I asked the company if they took my land to pay me for it at its true value, and they immediately did so; I did not feel bound to be grateful to the railway company. And so you must pay to the Irish parson proper compensation for the freehold you are about to take away from him. It is not an act of generosity, but an act of mere justice to do so; and your Lordships surely would not be less just than the railway companies all over the country.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
My Lords, I am so strongly impressed with the gravity of the position in which we are all now placed, that I think it is the first duty of every Member of the Government to resist the temptation to be betrayed into the use of any language savouring of violence or injustice, even although language should be addressed to us which we think most violent and most unjust. And I am sorry that I am obliged to notice, which I shall do with calmness, some of the language which fell from my noble Friend on the cross-Benches (Earl Grey). I know that my noble Friend is the chartered libertine of debate, and I assure him that nothing which ever falls from him can have the effect of irritating me, because I know the peculiarities of his vocabulary; but I did think that on the present occasion he violated the ordinary decencies of debate. My noble Friend told Her Majesty's Government that he verily believed it was their design and their desire to bring on a conflict between the two Houses of Parliament, with a view to damage some of the most fundamental institutions of the State. I say, my Lords, that if there was one grain of truth in that accusation, we should deserve not only to be dismissed as a Government, but to be impeached at the Bar of your Lordships' House. My 290 Lords, I will only say this—and your Lordships may believe me or not, as you please—but I say it in the face of this House and in the face of the British and the Irish people, that it has been the earnest and anxious desire of every Member of the Government, without exception, to meet this House to the utmost possible extent that was consistent with the principles on which we had gone to the country, and with which we had secured before the country a majority unprecedented in the present century. My Lords, what were the principles with which we went to the country? We went to the country on the principles of the disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church; and along with these and placed in the front rank with these—in a secondary rank, but along with them—we went upon this third principle, that there should be no re-endowment for the various religious bodies in Ireland. You may choose to take offence at the very innocent language used by my right hon. Friend at the head of the Government with regard to the comparative position of this House in respect to a knowledge of the feeling of the country; but do your Lordships mean to say that we, the Members of the House of Peers, who are not compelled to go to the hustings in any part of the country, who are not placed in immediate contact with the electoral body—do you think that we have that degree of sensitiveness to the feelings of the electoral body which is felt by the Members of the other House of Parliament, who are compelled to that trying ordeal? My Lords, among all sentient beings there is none so sentient as the Member of a House of Commons in a state of dissolution. He knows exactly, when he mounts the hustings, what he can and what he cannot stand upon before the electoral body; and when a new electoral body has been created by the act of the Conservative party, and when, by the acknowledgment of a Conservative Government, upon this and upon no other question was the appeal made, are you going to deny the verdict which the country has given, and which has been expressed through such an overwhelming majority of the House of Commons? Then, my Lords, I say that the verdict of the country was as distinct and emphatic against concurrent, or, as I call it, indiscriminate endowment, as 291 it was in favour of the disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church. I can conceive the argument used by the noble Viscount on the Bench above me (Viscount Halifax), and by other noble Friends of mine on this side, the other night, that the mere giving of glebes to the various religious bodies did not amount to what might be called concurrent endowment; and I listened to the speech of a noble Lord (Lord Athlumney) behind me with that deep attention which I am sure every noble Lord then present listened to it—a speech which I may say almost persuaded me to be in favour of the proposal that he advocated. No man better knows the Irish people than that noble Lord does, and if we could manage this matter as the noble Duke (the Duke of Leinster) does on his own particular estates, I think we should be bound to try the experiment generally. But I cannot help observing that the anecdote which the noble Duke told us led to this—that the giving on easy terms of bits of land to the clergy of the various religious bodies was a course to be left to the action of private individuals rather than that Parliament and the State ought to enter on that field of debate and of action. But I would appeal to my noble Friend behind me, and to the noble Duke and others who have been in favour of concurrent endowment to this very limited extent— I would ask them whether they do not agree with me that the position of that question has been materially altered since it was debated in this House? In the first place, I appeal to them whether concurrent endowment, as sanctioned by the majority in this House, was sanctioned on the grounds on which they would recommend it? I believe there were hardly twenty Members of this House who were in favour of concurrent endowment on that very philosophical, philanthropic, and, possibly, statesmanlike view on which it was supported on this side of the House? Is it pretended that the majority by which that vote was carried was not mainly composed of the Conservative side of the House? And how have they come round to the idea of concurrent endowment? Is it not notorious that up to the eleventh hour—up to the last moment —they had resisted 1s. of the property of the Irish Church being taken from it? Is it not positively clear 292 that the vote of this House in favour of concurrent endowment was obtained by the obvious truth that it was intended to cover a large re-endowment of the disestablished Church, and for no other purpose whatever? Did we not hear it argued by the noble Marquess whom I see in his place, and by other noble Lords, that this property was the property of the Irish Church, and that we had no right to take 1s. of it from that Church? And is it not the plain fact that that vote was come to very much upon the ground so frankly avowed by a noble Friend of mine not now in his place—I mean the Earl of Hardwicke—who said he would like to see this concurrent endowment carried out—and why?—because he knew it was the only way in which he could get a "large slice" of this property for the Irish Episcopal Church; but he added that he knew nothing which was so hateful to the people of this country as the very notion of concurrent endowment. Then, my Lords, consider that the question of concurrent endowment, even to the limited extent contemplated by your Lordships, is no longer in the same position as it was before. It has now gone back to "another place," and has been rejected by the largest majority that the Ministry has ever commanded during the debates on this Bill—
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
No, but on the nearest approach to it. That makes my case all the stronger. The friends of concurrent endowment did not venture to challenge a division, and upon the question which approached nearest to it the majority was, I think, 124; so that we have the rejection by the House of Commons, fresh from the constituenciencies which you created and to which you appealed—we have their decided rejection of indiscriminate endowment, even to the limited extent recommended by my noble Friend. And here I must say that I do not understand the reproaches of my noble Friend who has just sat down (Earl Russell), who says —"Oh, you say nothing of concurrent endowment upon its merits, but you oppose it because the people won't have it." But did I not hear my noble Friend himself say, on the second reading, that we all knew he had been in favour of concurrent endowment, but he 293 gave it up in deference to the opinion of the country? My noble Friend is of opinion that we did not look at the matter as philosophers, but opposed it because it was impossible. Well, I, for one, think that in politics that is very good ground to take. That is a very good reason; and I have known my noble Friend on various occasions give his vote in favour of taking a particular course simply because the thing was impossible. Then my noble Friend says—"Why put these words in the Preamble of the Bill? They are of no use." Nor would they be if not followed by enacting clauses. But this was the flag with which we went to the country, and it is right to put it in the fore-front of the Bill. It was one of the flags which we kept flying when we went to the country, and we will not haul it down—we will stand by it, because under it we have challenged the verdict of the country. Then my noble Friend objects to the declaration that it lays down an abstract principle, and that by it the Government give their assent to the voluntary principle. I entirely deny it. It is not an abstract declaration of principle—it is a practical declaration of the Government, having strict reference to this Bill and to the Irish Church. I am not a Voluntary—I do not hold the voluntary principle, though I do not, indeed, hold that servile doctrine of Establishments which has been repeatedly avowed in this House during these debates—namely, that the Christian, and, above all, the Protestant Church, cannot live in the world unless connected with an Establishment. I must say I am scandalized to see one paragraph of a Protest which has been signed by many noble Lords Members of this House, who, in the face of the Catholic world, are not ashamed, as Protestants, to say the Protestant Church in Ireland cannot compete with the organized system of the Church of Rome.
THE EARL OF DERBY
I beg to say there is nothing of the kind in the Protest. But what I did say was that it would be impossible to place on a footing of equality a disestablished and disendowed Church, in the position of the Church of England, by the side of a Church with all the organization and resources of the Church of Rome. I beg to say that I repeat it. You cannot 294 place the Church of England disestablished and disendowed, upon a footing of equality with all the organization and resources which the Church of Rome possesses.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLL
I am glad to accept that explanation. We all know what that explanation means. The Catholic world will understand it. But I should like to know why the noble and learned Lord the Leader of the Opposition (Lord Cairns) and the noble Duke (the Duke of Marlborough), whom I do not see present, refused to put their names to that paragraph. I should like very much to hear a good explanation of that. But I rejoice to say that there were two leading Members among noble Lords opposite who felt as I feel with regard to that declaration. Well, with respect to the Amendment before us, it is limited to this, that there should be no endowment or re-endowment of any Church. The noble and learned Lord has made a vigorous protest, with the view of inducing my noble Friend to alter the form of his Motion, to unite the negative and the affirmative with regard to this question; and I see very well the object of the noble and learned Lord. Like a party Leader and resorting to party tactics—to which as a party Leader he is perfectly entitled to resort, although the country will understand it—he strives to unite those Members of the House who hope for concurrent endowment at a future time, those who object to it, and those who wish for the postponement of the vote upon the surplus. The object is to keep open the question of indiscriminate endowments among the various sects. And here I must confess I am not at all satisfied with the appeal made to me on a former occasion when I used the same argument. I was asked whether I could conceive it possible that the noble and learned Lord would ever vote for concurrent endowment. I hope the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) is still quite satisfied—I hope he still entertains the confident belief—that noble Lords on the Bench opposite would never agree to any proposition which they had once opposed. I confess I should have hoped that the eyes of the noble Marquess and the noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) near him would have been opened by the events of 1866 and 1867. I confess I do not know anything more 295 advantageous to the country than that "Ten Minutes Bill." ["Question!"] This is strictly germane to the question. I was going to say that I hoped the noble Earl and noble Marquess had been enlightened by those previous events as to the possibility of the Leaders of the Tory party being persuaded to adopt measures under given circumstances which they had formerly opposed. Now, upon this question of concurrent endowment, I was very much struck by language used—I will not say where—but in "another place"—and I will not say by whom—but by a distinguished Member of the Tory party. I was struck with the ingenuity, the adroitness, with which he left it open to him to adopt concurrent endowment at a future time— and I believe it is his object, if ever he sees his way to it, to raise this question of indiscriminate endowment in Ireland. Not only did he leave the ground open, but remark with what adroitness he removed certain obstacles out of his way in case he should ever have to walk over it. He attacked the doctrine of the non-endowment of error, and said—"What do you mean by error? In Ireland, when there is no Established Church there will cease to be any standard of religious truth—the State knows nothing of religious truth, or error—and therefore the State will be at perfect liberty to endow all sects." According to the argument of the right hon. Gentleman, henceforward where there is no Church established there is no standard of religious truth. But there is another inference and conclusion different from that to which the right hon. Gentleman would drive us, and it is this—that where the State can have no knowledge and take no cognizance of religious truth, there the State should have nothing to do with religious sects. And that is the conclusion which the people will draw with reference to religious endowments. Then there is another matter. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns), though he spoke for some time with regard to this Amendment, announced the course he was about to take—I have no doubt supported by a majority of this House —with respect to other Amendments in the direction of re-endowing the disestablished Church. I wish to point out to your Lordships and the country that not only are these Amendments made with the view and purpose of keeping 296 open indiscriminate endowment, but— more than that—of laying the foundation which must inevitably lead to that superstructure, because they are made, not merely with the view of giving the Irish Church what is its due in life interests, but of giving something over and above, in the name and for the purpose of re-endowment. Then I say, and my noble Friend (Lord Athlumney) will agree with me, and the noble Duke (the Duke of Cleveland) and other noble Lords will agree with me, that if you secure for the Established Church this large slice for the purpose of re-endowment, you must follow it up by endowing all the other religious bodies in Ireland. I say, therefore, that these Amendments are not only for the purpose of keeping open indiscriminate endowment, but of making it necessary. I confess I cannot understand the credit taken by noble Lords opposite for having consented to disestablishment, when, at the same time, they propose to present to the disestablished Church a large sum out of the funds of the State for her use when she is no longer under the control and direction of the State. Who thanks anybody for disestablishing the Irish Church if you are to re-endow it and send it forth to the country as a Free Church? I say, small thanks to noble Lords opposite if, as the price of disestablishment they secure, to a large extent, the re-endowment of the Church. I say disestablishment and disendowment are tied together by the very necessities of the case. A noble Marquess who is not present (the Marquess of Bath), who voted for the second reading of the Bill, said he never should have done so had he not hoped for a certain amount of re-endowment. Let me point out a distinction, which is perfectly fair, upon this question of endowment. Government have not only been willing, but desirous, that in the arrangement made for the commutation of the life interests of the clergy, the Church should have it in her power to secure for herself, from the manner of dealing with those life interests, a certain amount of what may be called re-endowment, and great care has been taken by my right hon. Friend to provide her facilities in that respect. The Government have been most anxious to go to the utmost limit of their tether in this direction; but we are precluded by the pledges we 297 took before the country, and prevented by prevailing public opinion from entering upon the question of re-endowment, in as far as it brings us face to face with, the insuperable difficulties of indiscriminate endowment.. I have a few words to say upon another branch of the subject, and that is with reference to the general accusations expressed—I must say in the harshest language—against the Government of niggardliness, injustice, severity, and I know not what, in its dealings with the Irish Church. I say, on the contrary, that it has been treated with all the indulgence and generosity that it was possible for us to exhibit, consistent with the purpose of disestablishment. Let me put down what I conceive to be the points of the Bill in which we have shown a desire to provide for the future Church of Ireland. In the first place I will point out a distinction to which my noble Friend who addressed you last (Earl Russell) did not advert, when he said the Government were entitled to no credit for having given to the Irish Church that which was the Church's absolute property— namely, the life interests. He would not admit that there was any generosity —it was bare justice. I agree with my noble Friend that the life interests of the clergy are the absolute property of that clergy, and we have no right to take credit for giving 1s. of those life interests to them. But my noble Friend did not advert to something more that we have done. We have not only given the life interests, but we have secured by the enactments of this Bill the continued services of the clergy to the laity of the Church of Ireland. The Government would have been perfectly entitled to deal with the life interests of the clergy and with their life interests alone; they might have acted upon a suggestion which was made to them—and many thought they ought not to have deviated from it—they might have dealt with the clergy alone, and said—'"Here are your life interests, your stipends, which are your own property." But the Government did not take that course. They dealt with the Church of Ireland, not with the clergy, and they said to the laity—" We will secure that the services of your clergy shall be continued to you for the whole term of their lives." This enactment secures to the Free Church of Ireland a whole generation of clergy- 298 men and their continued services. This is an advantage to the disestablished Church which is given to it by this Bill, and which it is possible other Bills would not have given. Another advantage secured to the Church is that the whole of the churches are secured to the new Free Church. It is all very well to say, as the Prime Minister did say, that these churches are not of marketable value; that is not true in all respects, for in some parts of the country the churches would sell for a considerable sum. If this be so, it cannot be said that the new Free Church of Ireland will go forth naked into the world. But, more than that, they are to obtain their glebe houses and gardens at almost a nominal sum. The Free Irish Church will start, therefore, with these advantages—that they will have the services of a whole generation of clergymen; that they will have all their churches built for them: that they will have their glebe houses with their curtilages and gardens for a small sum, besides the private endowments, enhanced by the vote of parliament at least to the extent of £220,000 or £230,000. My Lords, if you were to inquire into the right of the Church to some of those private endowments before 1660 you would be sadly disappointed. I am very sorry I did not bring down to the House an extract from the correspondence between Wentworth and Laud upon this subject, which I was reading the other day; but I may describe the language used by Wentworth in writing to Laud upon the subject of a private endowment he had secured to the Church. Wentworth says—" Oh, we have found a man who has left a considerable endowment to the Catholic Bishop of Limerick; I'll teach him who is the Catholic Bishop of Limerick "he added, and then he told how he had seized the endowment for the Established Church. Knowledge of another sum left by an unfortunate man in Brussels was obtained by Wentworth, and he sent a letter to Laud enjoining him to send to Brussels to get the money. The correspondence ends by Laud promising to mend the Catholicity of the donor. I am sure, my Lords, that a large proportion of these private endowments consists of money plundered from the Roman Catholics; but the Government has not stayed to inquire into the facts, and has granted to the Established 299 Church £500,000, besides the life interests of the clergy and the glebes. Besides, this the Government has provided a liberal machinery which, whatever its fault, is in finitely better than the machinery the noble Earl below the Gangway (Earl Grey) provides for the commutation of life interests. These are the advantages with which the Free Church will start, and it cannot therefore be said that it is sent forth naked into the world. I am not, as I have already said, in favour of the voluntary system in the abstract; and I say again, what I have said before, that wherever an Established Church can be maintained in unison with the feelings, and supported by the memories and affections of the great body of the people, it should be upheld, and I trust it will long be upheld in England. But, my Lords, I say that in such circumstances as those existing in Ireland, you are driven to the adoption of the voluntary principle; because, you may depend upon it is not Mr. Miall, it is not the Liberation Society, it is the current of public opinion all over the world, which says that when existing endowments and existing Establishments fail, they that serve at the altar shall live by the altar, and by the free gifts of those who worship at the altar. Before I sit down, let me mention one fact with regard to the actions of voluntary Churches here, which may have some effect upon the hearts of those who look with hope and without perturbation to the actions of the Free Church in Ireland. Frequent allusion has been made in the course of these debates to the experience of the Free Church of Scotland, and we have been told that we cannot compare the future of the Irish Church with the success of a body which went out from the Church under the impulse of a strong enthusiasm which almost amounted to fanaticism. Admitting the force of that objection to a certain extent, and that the Irish Church will not have had experience in self-government, I refer you to another Church in Scotland which went out, not with enthusiasm—or else that enthusiasm has long since evaporated—and with no other incentive to stand their ground but that which all Churches should have —namely, faith in the rectitude of their opinions—I mean that body known as the United Presbyterians. I find that even the very weakest of their congre- 300 gations—those who are so poor as to require the assistance of others — contribute on an average for the purposes of their Church £1 4s. 6d. for every member, and I find that richer congregations contribute £1 14s. 6d. for every member. Therefore I say that if the Established Church in Ireland, going out with all their churches and glebes, with great advantages in the shape of commutation of tithe, and a considerable sum in the shape of private endowments, exercise but half the self-sacrifice which is exercised by this small body in Scotland, that Church will have at the end of fourteen years—at which time the lives of the existing clergy will cease — a larger income than it has at the present moment. I entreat this House to take a more hopeful view of the future of the disestablished Church in Ireland. We have no desire to treat that body with harshness or injustice; we have desired to give it all we could give it consistently with our principles and with our pledges to the people of this country; and for my part I have perfect confidence that, before twenty years are passed, we shall see that body infinitely more powerful than it ever has been for the maintenance of Protestantism.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
The noble Duke who has just sat down (the Duke of Argyll) has made- an eloquent oration, which must have impressed your Lordships; but I could not help thinking that in parts of it he was rather doubtful of his subject, and that in others he was doubtful of the enemy he was opposing. A great part of the speech appeared to me to have been originally devised as a speech upon the Motion in favour of concurrent endowment; and because the Fates did not permit of its production on that occasion, the noble Duke has not been willing that so much eloquence should be wasted. I should have been more thankful to the noble Duke if he had been a little more lucid in his explanation of the subject he was dealing with and of the enemy he was opposing, and if, before he addressed his reproaches to us, he had considered for a moment whether they were applicable or not. The noble Duke pointed to this side of the House, saying— "Concurrent endowment has been rejected by the constituencies you formed." I wish to know to whom the reproach was directed. The noble and 301 learned Lord (Lord Cairns), who may be accused of having had something to do with the formation of the constituencies, certainly had nothing to do with the proposal for concurrent endowment; and as for us below the Gangway— speaking for my noble Friend who sits near me (Earl Grey) and myself — we may have had something to do with concurrent endowment, but we certainly had nothing to do with forming the constituencies. The noble Duke read me a severe lecture upon my simplicity in believing too implicitly the utterances of statesmen, and forgetting the possibility that statesmen might change their opinions. I am in no danger of forgetting that; if I were, I should be taught it by the fact that it is possible for a statesman who, before he came into Office, declared that disendowment and disestablishment were perfectly independent, when he sits on the Treasury Bench to declare that they are inextricably tied up together. I should be taught it by the fact that it is possible a statesman who promised the clergy of the disestablished Church their parsonage houses and some land before he came into Office, says, when he sits on the Treasury Bench, that to grant them would be absolutely inconsistent with the principles on which he got there. As to the reproach that my noble and learned Friend (Lord Cairns) has changed his opinion on the matter of concurrent endowment, I must venture to correct the noble Duke's view of history. Whatever may be said of my noble and learned Friend, he did not in Opposition promise anything which when in Office he denied. I have regretted very much an effort made by the Government and by those who support them — an effort which scarcely seems to me consistent with the ingenuousness which ought to prevail in our debates — to fix on my noble and learned Friend a charge of trying by some sort of conspiracy to pass concurrent endowment. There is not the slightest evidence of that in any step my noble and learned Friend has taken or in any Motion he has moved. On the contrary, his speeches abound with evidence pointing in a contrary direction. There is not the slightest evidence that he is favourable to it; but there is evidence that he is strongly hostile to concurrent endowment. It appears to me hardly fair that noble Lords should 302 again and again attempt to fix upon the Motion which is now before the House a meaning and an intention which those who move it deliberately disclaim. The noble Duke is a very courteous man and certainly would not desire to say anything discourteous of anyone; but when my noble and learned Friend has distinctly said he is opposed to concurrent endowment and makes a Motion which has no reference to it, it does seem to me rather strong to seem to give him the lie, by saying—"You do desire it." I would say a word on behalf of those who are in favour of concurrent endowment. We believe in our cause, and we do not think it needs to skulk behind any ambiguous Amendments. We believe it to be true, and we believe that, if true, it will ultimately commend itself to the wishes and feelings of our fellow-countrymen, and we should not desire by any Parliamentary contrivance or ingeniously-framed Amendment to introduce that clandestinely which we are unable to carry openly. I repudiate, on behalf of those who have advocated that measure no less than on behalf of the noble and learned Lord who is opposed to it, the insinuation that there is anything pointing directly or indirectly at concurrent endowment in the Amendment. I may venture to say we did not need to have any such motive as concurrent endowment to induce us to oppose this Preamble. My motives in opposing it are very short and simple. I object to it because it is false and because it is foolish. I oppose it because it is false. Everyone of the objects to which the surplus is to be devoted involves the employment of some religious person. It is absurd to suppose you can have hospitals, lunatic asylums, reformatories, industrial schools, the education and maintenance of the blind, the deaf, and the dumb, and so on, without a considerable quantity of spiritual machinery. God forbid that I should object to any such result; any attempt to do it would be most irrational; but it is quite absurd to put into the Preamble of the Bill that money shall not be applied to the teaching of any religion, or the maintenance of any clergy, when it is quite clear that the objects you deliberately mark out must involve both these consequences. I further object to the Preamble because it is foolish. Nothing can be more foolish than. 303 for Parliament to pass words which can have no enacting effect—which cannot add to nor diminish from the force of the clauses that are in the Bill, and which cannot, in the slightest degree restrain the action of any future Parliament—and yet to think that they can do so. The course proposed appears to me comparable to the conduct of those who think to save themselves from drunkenness by taking the pledge. The House of Commons thoroughly mistrusts itself in the matter of concurrent endowment; its resolutions are now virtuous; but, from what has happened in the past, it thinks itself in danger at some future period; and, untaught by experience, it tries to bind its own will for the future, by the insertion of idle words in the Preamble of an Act of Parliament. It appears to me that that is an irrational course for the House of Commons and Parliament to take. If it believes that concurrent endowment is opposed to the will of the country, it ought to confide in its own resolutions. This argument seems to me sufficient for the exclusion of these words. Are there any arguments on the other side? There seems to me to be absolutely none, except that the House of Commons have passed the Preamble. Why did they pass it? Because the Prime Minister bid them. Why did he bid them? In the labyrinths of that mind I am lost. The only reasonable conjecture I can make is, that he did it in order to give this House a slap in the face. Until I hear some more reasonable ground for adhering to the words, I can have no choice but to vote with my noble and learned Friend, although I confess I do not for a moment attach any importance to the words in or out of the Preamble. We have had the whole policy of the Bill reviewed to-night. The noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) seemed to have taken offence at various epithets applied to the Bill pretty freely from both sides of the House: but, I confess, I have seen nothing in his explanation which seemed to me to make those epithets unjustifiable. Let us see what it is he has really given the Church. He says he has given us the services of the clergy for a certain period of time. I venture to say the liberality of that gift is very much diminished by the fact that it would not have been possible to have avoided it. Considering that the clergy, but for the pro- 304 visions of this Bill, would have gone on serving the Church, the boon is a very doubtful one. The truth is, as everybody who knows anything about the subject must be aware, the gift of the services of the clergy of an Established Church to a disestablished Church is of little value. The men you want in the one case are precisely the men you do not want in the other. The clergy of the disestablished Church must be clergymen who will draw — who will get money — because the disestablished Church will have to fight against sheer starvation at every turn of its career. The clergy of the Established Church must be a different kind of men. You do not require from them the duty of getting money. What you expect from them is the profession and the teaching of a sober and restrained religion, calculated to elevate and improve the souls of men; but not calculated to drive them into that enthusiasm which too often leads to lunacy. I therefore contend that the gift of the services of those clergymen, although not wholly worthless, is a boon of such slight value as to be of little account. Then, again, we know that if the churches are to be given to us, they are not given from any peculiar good-will, and that we need not feel any peculiar gratitude for a concession which Mr. Miall himself is prepared to make. The fact is, it is found desirable to avoid in this great change any great convulsion of society, and the transfer of these churches to the Roman Catholics—and, still more, their utter desecration — would, it was well known, have raised such a storm in Ireland as would have been attended by the most disastrous results. And now for the rest of these concessions. It is difficult to remember the bundle of the small gifts which the noble Duke laid upon the table, but I believe one of them was the gift of the £500,000 for the private endowments. The noble Duke told us that their value was considerably less than £500,000. But that, apparently, is not the opinion of the Prime Minister; for at the commencement of the Session, he told us that they were worth that amount. The noble Duke went on to say that this sum was given us in lieu of the charities bestowed upon the Church prior to the year 1660. But the Prime Minister took especial care in the House of Commons to say that this 305 gift had no reference whatever to any particular period, and that we had no right to any endowments made before that date. The truth is that the real value of the gift as stated to us by the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Kimberley) was that it would save the Irish Church from litigation; but that was too good a thing to be sent back from the House of Commons unaltered, and we now find it encumbered with the condition that those who are to receive this £500,000 shall not spend it, but that they shall be bound to hold it in trust, as far as possible, for the objects for which the endowments were originally made. Now, if that is what the Government understand by saving us from litigation, I only wish that we had been left open to any danger that might arise. I can understand nothing more likely to plunge the Church in litigation than a provision which prevents them from spending this money until they have discovered that they have fulfilled trusts, many of which must necessarily be very obscure, and some undiscoverable. Beyond that there is an alteration in the clause proposed by my noble Friend behind me. I will not now defend the clause of my noble Friend. It is sufficient to say that I believe it very acceptable to the Church. But it must be borne in mind that the additional 7 per cent granted on the lives of the clergy is not to take effect unless a considerable majority in each diocese agree to the commutation. In the same way throughout the Bill wherever these little gifts occur you always find at the tail of them some niggling and haggling condition, which deprives them of all their grace and value. I am not one of those who believe that on a fair field and equally weighted the Protestant Church is not as capable as any Church of making its own way and subsisting on the contribution of its own members; but what I maintain is that in this case there is no fair field, and that they do not start on equal terms with the rival Churches in Ireland. As I have already observed, the business of the Established Church is not to draw money from its members. For 300 years they have enjoyed the possession of this money, and hitherto they have had no reason for believing that it would cease; and it was only fifteen months ago that you made that discovery. For 300 years England and Scotland believed as tho- 306 roughly as the members of the Irish Church themselves believed that the Church held its endowments by indefeasible and indeterminable title. What need, therefore, had they to accumulate wealth? We know that they have not accumulated any large amount of private endowments. We know, on the other hand, that their rivals, who have been tempted into indulgence by no such argument, have been heaping up property year after year, century after century, that they are now possessed of a vast organization which is the result of centuries of labour, and against this organization this poor disorganized disestablished Church, deprived of the prop on which for three centuries it has been accustomed to lean, will be no match at all. That seems to me to be an argument which entitles us to the justice, or, if not to the justice, at all events to the clemency of the Government. Now, my Lords, we have heard a good deal about religious equality. I cannot help asking whether you have always bound up disestablishment with disendowment. We know, on the contrary, that the policy of this country has been, as far as possible, to preserve their endowments to even the most detestable religions, and we now only ask you to extend to us the principle you have applied to the Mussulmans and Hindoos of India. I feel that the noble Duke (the Duke of Argyll) in saying that the Government are forbidden by the principles on which they appealed to the constituencies at the last election from giving us more than they have hitherto given, is maligning the people of this country. There was nothing in the speeches delivered at the last election to indicate the harsh, and, I must say, the vindictive provisions of this Bill. There was, on the other hand, a good deal said about kindness and liberality; but to my mind the kindness and liberality which have been exhibited towards the State Church differ very little from the kindness and the liberality with which the sheriff's officer entertains the victims that he invites to his house. I do not believe that if the Bill had passed in the state in which it was originally presented to the House of Commons more than about £600,000 or £700,000 would have been left to a Church which has been hitherto in possession of something like £20,000,000. Now, my Lords, I maintain that in the verdict of the 307 country you cannot show any justification for such a policy. I regretted very much to hear the speech delivered this evening by the noble Earl below the Gangway (the Earl of Shaftesbury). I believe it is precisely in a case of this description—in the application of the details to great general principles—that it is the province of the House of Lords to interfere where interference is necessary, and certainly no consideration would induce me to abstain from performing that duty on this occasion. The noble Earl told us that this was the most revolutionary Bill he ever remembered, but that he was going to vote for it to avoid some evils which he said would result from its rejection. Now I confess I cannot conceive that greater evil with which we may be threatened in the future. If, on the ground that great principles are involved on which the nation has given its deliberate and sustained opinion, your Lordships are not permitted to alter the details—if you cannot decide upon the mere adjustment of private rights, upon mere questions of money—there is nothing as far as I can see upon which you will in the future be allowed to exercise an independent judgment. Do not tell me it is the verdict of the nation. I will try it by a simple test. Suppose the Prime Minister had proposed that your Amendments should be accepted, would they have been refused by the House of Commons? It is not the verdict of the nation, it is not even the verdict of the House of Commons, it is the will—the arrogant will— of a single man to which you are now called upon to submit. I have no wish to pursue any other than a conciliatory course upon this matter. If any consideration had been shown by the other side for the opinions of your Lordships, I should have been willing to act in the same spirit. No such disposition, however, has been manifested, and I believe that if you yield in this matter and allow all these Amendments to be rejected, in all future time, whenever there is a Minister with a strong majority at his back, you cannot dare to refuse your assent to even the most insignificant Bill that he sends up without being told that you are "up in a balloon" and must accept it. I feel, therefore, that if we were to follow the exhortation of the noble Earl and abandon the Amendments which, after so many sacrifices and 308 compromises we have arrived at, we should sacrifice both the future of the Irish Church and the honour and dignity of this House.
§ The Bishop of LONDON and Earl GRANVILLE rose at the same time to address the House.
§ LORD CAIRNS
My Lords, I think the right rev. Prelate who presides over the diocese of London should be heard now. He twice before attended to address the House, but did not succeed in getting an opportunity of doing so. ("Hear, hear!")
THE BISHOP OF LONDON
My Lords, I would not have presumed to stand in the way of the noble Earl had it not been that I believe, according to the practice of your Lordships' House, no one is permitted to speak after the reply. I have not the remotest intention of detaining your Lordships by a long speech. It is true that I have not had an opportunity of expressing my sentiments during the debates on this Bill; but I know my duty towards your Lordships' House too well to discuss the principles of the Bill when it has reached such a stage as this. Feeling constrained to vote for the Amendment of the noble and learned Lord, I am anxious to briefly state my reasons for so doing. Much pains have been taken to-night to cloud the issue on which we are to vote. The noble Earl who formerly held the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (the Earl of Kimberley) and the noble Duke who has spoken since (the Duke of Argyll) have both endeavoured to persuade us that those who vote for the noble and learned Lord's Amendment, not only may, but must actually thereby, profess their agreement with the principle of concurrent endowment. Of course, it is perfectly natural, in the possibility of this Bill going over to another Session, that the Government should ascribe that reason for its withdrawal which they think would be most popular with the country; but I must take the liberty of saying, for my own part—and I believe for many others who sit on these Benches—that when we give our vote for the Amendment of the noble and learned Lord, we do so in no sense whatever in favour of concurrent endowment. Whatever might have been its case at the beginning of the century, I believe concurrent endowment to be now an anachronism and an impossibility. The principle on which 309 I give my vote is that I cannot, and I will not, record my vote for the secularization of Church property which is now attempted for the first time in our modern history. I am not prepared to argue, nor am I disposed to assert, that the secularization of Church property is sacrilege, and that there may not be rare occasions on which the application of that principle may be not only expedient, but just; but under present circumstances it appears to me to be unjust and inexpedient—unjust because you are punishing a Church against which no charge has been proved —inexpedient because you are aggravating one party without conciliating or satisfying the other. I object to it also because the Bill establishes a principle which at no great distance of time may be applied to the Church to which I myself belong, and I refuse in nos legem sancire iniquam.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
I must apologize to the right rev. Prelate for having stood up at the same time that he did. ["Order!" "Spoke!"] I throw myself entirely on the House, but I believe I have a right of reply. However, whether that be so or not, I think that, after the extensive range of this debate and the language that has been used against Her Majesty's Government, your Lordships will be inclined to strain a point in my favour. My Lords, I only ask you to bear with me for a short time. No one is less averse than myself from the production of merriment at the proper season; but I cannot imagine a more singularly inopportune moment than that which has been chosen by the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) for the indulgence of such pleasure. I hardly remember any debate that I have listened to with greater interest, and I am bound to add, with greater sorrow and pain. The noble Earl on the cross-Benches (Earl Grey) used language towards myself and my Colleagues which, coming from any other lips— and I scarcely except his—I should have taken as offensive and utterly without foundation. He charged us with not being anxious for the success of this Bill, otherwise than putting this House in a humiliating position. My Lords, if I had any feeling of that sort I should not be grieved, as I am at this moment, at the scheme which is proposed to be carried out by those who have a large 310 majority in this House. Nothing could give me greater pleasure than that scheme if I were actuated by such motives. My Lords, the noble Marquess thought this a not unfitting time to make a number of small points, and to excite laughter at little circumstances which occurred in the debate. From the beginning to the end of his remarks that was the course he pursued. I should have thought that if any Member of your Lordships' House filled a position of grave responsibility from the influence he exercised here on the second reading of this Bill, in deference to public opinion, and what he believed to be growing opinion, it was the noble Marquess. I am therefore the more surprised that he should have treated in a light and jeering manner the scheme proposed by the noble and learned Lord. My Lords, the noble Marpuess began by objecting to the Amendment of the Commons on the Preamble, asking if there was any reason for it?—and then he stated that, though he thought the matter perfectly immaterial, he would vote for the omission of the words, these words having been re-inserted on full reflection in the other House of Parliament by one of the largest majorities that has voted on this Bill. The proposition before the House is not only whether you will change the words of the Preamble, thus giving a perfectly different character to the scheme brought before Parliament by the Government, but whether you will go on to the retention of no fewer than four Amendments which your Lordships are recommended to insist upon. The noble and learned Lord (Lord Cairns) fairly stated to us that his object was not only to change the Preamble and the surplus clause which is protected by it, but also to retain the Amendments of the noble Marquess—and it is a curious circumstance that three of those Amendments belong either to the noble Marquess or to the noble Earl near him. With respect to the rectors and curates it is proposed to give £450,000 more to the Irish Church. Then there is the clause of the noble Earl, which professedly gave £1,000,000 or £1,100,000. It is impossible to defend these clauses. Though the noble Earl attempted to defend them, so able a lawyer as Sir Roundell Palmer stated that he was perfectly unable to answer the objections 311 made to them. The legal Gentleman (Dr. Ball) who, in the House of Commons, has shown so much ability on this question of the Irish Church, said they were answerable; but he did not attempt to answer them. I pass on to a clause which is objectionable in itself, but is made ten times more objectionable after the debates which have taken place on concurrent endowment. I mean the clause giving the residences to the clergy free of all charge. Are these four Amendments on which your Lordships would think it wise to insist? Is the scheme now put before you one which your Lordships think calculated to prevent a collision between the two Houses of Parliament? These are questions raised by the noble Marquess which I should have been glad to answer in detail; but really I do not think this is the moment to do so. The noble Marquess objected to the imputation that this question was raised to catch votes. I am not one of those who are in the habit of imputing motives to those who differ from me; but, whether intended for that purpose or not, I certainly think, from what we have heard in the course of this debate, it is calculated to catch the votes of those who do not take a really practical view of the result of what we may do to-night. It is calculated to catch the votes of those who, like the right rev. Prelate (the Bishop of London), object to the whole scheme of secularization of the Church property, and it is calculated to catch the votes of those who take the same views as my noble Friend the noble Earl (Earl Russell), whose whole speech this evening was in favour of concurrent endowment; and who, in advocating it, made an extraordinary mistake as regards my argument and that of my Colleagues when he said we wanted to shut the doors against a future appropriation, because we thought that, in five or six years, the people of the country would come to be in favour of concurrent endowment; whereas, right or wrong, our argument is that we utterly dispute that such is the tendency of public opinion in this country. It is for that reason we object to leaving the question open— because we believe it will lead to interminable disputes, and to very mischievous irritation as between the different religious sects in Ireland. I promised not to trespass long on the attention of 312 your Lordships; but I feel it would be wrong in me not to make an appeal at least to those of our Friends who generally give their support to Her Majesty's Government. I believe this is a great and just measure, and one which, looked on as a whole, is likely to be productive of much good. I therefore ask them to support us at a critical moment; and not to join in doing that which, in the words of the noble Earl opposite—words stronger than I should have liked to use —must inevitably be attended with grave and serious consequences.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
then proceeded to put the Question—That this House do not insist on so much of the amendment made in the preamble, to which the Commons have disagreed, as consists in leaving out the words ("held and applied for the advantage of the Irish people, but not for the maintenance of any church or clergy or other ministry, nor for the teaching of religion").
THE EARL OF DERBY
The Amendments upon the Preamble should be put as one Amendment, and not as two. The House of Commons, in their Message to this House, disagrees with the "Amendment made by the Lords in the Preamble" for certain Reasons, and it is quite impossible for us to separate the Reasons of the House of Commons in order to apply some of them to one portion of the Amendment and others to the remaining portion of it.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
Before I made the Motion upon which the House is now about to divide, I made some inquiry as to the proper course of an authority which I have never found to be in error, and I was certainly startled by the extreme indignation with which it was received by the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Cairns), and by the way in which his objection was cheered by those around him. The first Amendment of the Commons dealt with the precise words in the Preamble which I have now moved to re-insert, and there was a subsequent Motion and division on the other part of the same Preamble; and, therefore, it appears to me perfectly impossible that there should be such a difference between the Orders of your Lordships' House and those of the House of Commons as to render the course which was perfectly regular in the latter irregular in the former. I have consulted the most eminent authorities upon the question, and I have been informed only 313 this evening that the mode of proceeding which I have adopted is the correct one.
§ LORD CAIRNS
Allow me to remind your Lordships that when we sent the amended Bill down to the House of Commons they were at liberty to consider our Amendments word by word if they thought fit to do so. When, however, the Bill comes back to us our hands are tied, and we can only regard the Commons' Amendments upon our Amendments as a whole. We cannot amend our own work. The question is, do we or do we not adhere to the Amendment we have made in the Preamble? If it were otherwise, we might be asked to divide upon our Amendments sentence by sentence. This is one entire Amendment. I do not see that the question admits of any doubt.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
To divide upon the Amendments sentence by sentence would be utterly impossible. I have followed the course which was adopted in the other House in dividing the Amendment in the Preamble. They disagreed to the two Amendments we introduced into the Preamble, and I now ask your Lordships not to insist upon the converse principle.
THE EARL OF DERBY
The noble Earl has—if he will permit me to say so —forgotten what is the ordinary course in cases of this kind. The House of Lords sent down the Bill with Amendments, and the House of Commons has sent back the Bill with a Message to say that they disagree with our Amendment in the Preamble; and the only question before us is whether we shall or shall not insist upon our Amendments to which the House of Commons has objected. With the course adopted by the House of Commons in dealing with our Amendments we have nothing to do; we have only to consider the Message sent up by that House to us. The Reason the House of Commons assign for their disagreement with our Amendment is this—Because it is right that the surplus property of the disestablished Church in Ireland should be applied for the advantage of the Irish people, and not for the purpose of re-endowing or endowing any Church in that country, and because it is proper for the final settlement of the question that the destination of the surplus should in principle be fixed and determined by the Act.Therefore, the Reasons assigned by the House of Commons for disagreeing with our Amendment in the Preamble apply 314 equally to both parts of that Amendment, and we have no power to separate them and to assign some of them to one part and others to the other part of the Amendment. All that we have to do is to say whether or not we insist upon our Amendment.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, I can assure your Lordships that it has not been without considerable forbearance that I have refrained from presenting myself before you to-night, after the things which have been said in this House on this occasion. But I merely observe in passing upon the question immediately before the House, that the noble Earl (the Earl of Derby) has produced no precedent for the course he has suggested. Had he done so, I, as one of the youngest Members of your Lordships' House, should at once have bowed to its authority; but, in the absence of such precedent, I think that we should adopt that course which is consistent with common sense, which, I say distinctly is in favour of our proceeding by the method suggested by the noble Earl (Earl Granville). ["No!" and cheers.] Of course I have only enunciated the proposition—but before I attempt to demonstrate it, noble Lords say "No!" ["Order!"] Common sense would teach us that there are two distinct propositions in the Preamble, one restraining the application of the surplus to religious uses, and the other contemplating the relief of unavoidable calamity. It is properly consistent with common sense that a large portion of your Lordships might be inclined to agree with one and to disagree with the other; but we are told that we are not at liberty to do this, but must accept the Amendments or disagree with them as a whole. Now, I have something of a precedent on the subject with which I have been furnished by the kindness of one of the clerks at your Lordships' table. On the Municipal Corporations Bill of 1835 there was a clause added by your Lordships to the Bill; the Commons disagreed with the whole clause; and it was ultimately agreed by your Lordships not to insist upon the said clause, but to insist on the proviso at the head of it. That was an objection, not to a Preamble containing two distinct and separate propositions, upon which anybody might conscientiously vote, white as to one and black as to the 315 other; it was a whole clause with which the Commons disagreed. In the absence of all precedent, I do not think I am presumptuous in arguing that it is contrary to common sense to say that you cannot split into two parts an Amendment which touches two totally distinct and separate points.
§ THE DUKE OP MARLBOROUGH
The precedent which the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack has brought forward tells, I think, emphatically against him. The noble Earl opposite (Earl Granville) was challenged by my noble and learned Friend behind me to state whether he was going to divide this Preamble into two parts, but he studiously refrained from giving an answer.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
The noble Duke is really stating what is contrary to the fact. I stated just now that the course I was about to take was exactly the converse of that which had been taken in the House of Commons.
§ THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH
I was not aware that the noble Earl had made that statement; but I still submit that the straightforward and proper course is to divide upon the Amendment as a whole. In order not to waste time, I do not move, as I otherwise should do, that the Clerk should read at the table the Message from the House of Commons; but, taking it as read, I say that our decision should be given upon that. And I beg to move that this House do insist on its Amendment to the Preamble.
An amendment moved—
To leave out from (" House ") to the end of the motion and insert (" do insist on the amendment made to the preamble to which the Commons have disagreed.")—(The Duke of Marlborough.)
§ VISCOUNT EVERSLEY
I cannot agree with what has fallen from the noble Duke who has just sat down. I understood him to contend that, inasmuch as the House of Commons have included in one paragraph their disagreement to two parts of the Preamble of the Bill, in stating their Reasons against the Amendment, your Lordships' House is thereby precluded from entertaining those two different parts of the Preamble as two different subjects. Nothing is more common when one House has amended a Bill that comes up or goes down from the other House than 316 for that House afterwards to abandon part of a clause which has been objected to, and to retain the remainder to be sent back again for approval. That is the case here; and, assuming that the noble Earl only wishes to take the sense of the House upon half the Amendment at a time, it is open to him to do so; it is only giving your Lordships the trouble of dividing twice instead of once upon the question. In point of principle, precisely the same thing as the noble Earl proposes might be done by amending the proposed Amendment, by leaving out all the words omitted by your Lordships' Amendment, and retaining only that part of the words which the House of Commons intend should be retained.
I think that a great deal more time is being wasted in discussing the point than its importance demands. I admit the power of the House to deal with the question. The only question before us is whether your Lordships will adopt the proposal of the noble Earl or the Amendment of the noble Duke, which certainly appears to me to simplify matters.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I must remind the noble Earl that we have not yet debated the second part of the question, upon which I, for one, should like to be heard. [" Hear! "] If your Lordships desire that I should go on, I am prepared to do so; but it would probably be more convenient to dispose now of the first of these Amendments. ["Go on! "] I am quite prepared—nay, I am anxious to say a few words—and it is with great difficulty that I have restrained myself, at a time which is, to my mind, the most important constitutional crisis which I have ever known. I have been, obliged to hear flippant jokes pass for argument; I have been obliged to sit by and hear one of the most eminent men in the country lightly spoken of—a man who has been honoured, not only by being returned to Parliament himself, but by having returned with him for the support of his views such a majority as has been unknown in the present century. And we have been told, and it is to go forth through this House to the country, that the Amendments of the House of Lords have been rejected by the House of Commons not as the result of deliberation and grave thought, but at the arro- 317 gant will of a single man. [Loud cheers and counter cheers.] I do not accuse any man of deciding upon any other principle than according to his conscience; but if the majority of your Lordships should think it your duty, acting according to your conscience, to reject these Amendments, you certainly will be taking a course anything but conciliatory in itself—more especially if you do so upon the ground which has been recommended for your adoption this evening, that the course taken by the House of Commons did not express the deliberate sense of that Assembly, but was a course taken under the dictation of one arrogant man. [Cheers and counter cheers.] I come now to the second part of the Amendment—the application of the surplus. This is a great and serious question, and I have a word to say as to the tone in which it has been treated by the same noble Marquess who told us the other day that all hollow enthusiasm had ceased on the subject of the application of the surplus. He told us on more than one occasion—nay, on three nights I noticed that in this debate he condescended to make remarks as to the proposed application for the benefit of lunatics, and he said that, after all, if he had to choose he would as soon hand over the surplus to the landlords as to the lunatics. As the noble Earl said, I can take a joke as well as any man. But there are some subjects that are hot to be joked upon; and I do say that the application of funds for the relief mainly of persons infirm and lunatics is not a subject for joking. He who was the greatest master of human nature that ever lived among us, in one of his plays makes the heroine say to her lover, who is described as——A man replete with mocks,Full of comparisons and wounding flouts;Which you on all estates will executeThat lie within the mercy of your wit.That to wean himself of this propensity he must visit an hospital, for—That's the way to choke a gibing spirit.Let me tell your Lordships what is involved in this matter. In the workhouses of Ireland, where there ought not to be a single lunatic, there are 2,700 of these miserable beings; and that at the very same moment that you are spending large sums of money to remove 2,000 lunatics from the workhouses in London, 318 where Parliament has decided that they ought not to stay. The Report of the Irish Lunatic Commissioners, published I believe, only this week, tells you that 6,500 more of these poor persons are at large and wholly uncared for. You are told that by this Bill you are putting money into the pockets of the landlords, who now pay these charges. The cess is not compulsory with reference to infirmaries beyond a certain fixed amount— some £300 per county. But who are the persons who pay that? There are 334,000 persons rated under £4 who pay the cess and contribute this money. These, then, are the landlords that you are going to aid. Brought up as, I have been mainly in another House, whore I gained such Parliamentary experience as I possess, I have been astonished and amazed to hear statements made to-night as to everything being-done by a Prime Minister, and by one arrogant man. Such statements as the noble Earl on the cross-Benches (Earl Grey) made to-night are very similar to those he used a night or two ago, when he told us that if we were men of honour and right mindedness we should have done so-and-so. To-night, he told us that we were not honest, that we were not in earnest about wishing to have this Bill passed, and that we had got some sinister design in wording the Preamble in the manner it has been drawn. The noble Earl was not present on the former occasion when I spoke; I hope he may be present now when I state that I do not allow the noble Earl to be the arbiter of my honour any more than I constitute myself the arbiter of his. But now, finally, let me say just one single word, and I assure you I say it with the deepest feeling—I do desire most heartily and from my soul to see this great matter settled once and for all, and in a manner which I am sure will conduce to the happiness and peace of that unhappy country, so long divided. I am anxious that we should be able to show an undivided front if assaulted, which we can hardly do at present. As an Englishman and a Churchman, I feel also that there is this danger, that among men now-a-days, as of old among the Greeks, there is a feeling that the Cross is foolishness, and, in the pride of intellect, men are despising the humility of love. I want to cherish that feeling of love, and I believe that this measure will do as much 319 to knit into one body of Christians, united against their spiritual foes, the professors of various shades of religious opinion, as, by the affection and harmony resulting from the measure, it will enable the State to show a firm front to its external foe. But I shall be denied this gratification if, on the one hand, those who ought not to despair of the future of the Church talk as if they had no hope of its ever again holding up its head; and if, on the other hand, the subject, great and noble in itself, is treated in a spirit of levity, at the very moment when it is occasioning serious division between the two branches of the Legislature.
§ THE DUKE OF MANCHESTER
said, he had never in the whole course of his life heard so extraordinary a speech as that of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. The Bill, instead of being a message of peace to Ireland, he regarded as a sword thrown in the face of the Protestants of that country.
said, the noble and learned Lord had found great fault with a statement he had made in the early part of the evening. He wished to explain that what he said was that, from the manner in which Her Majesty's Government had dealt with these Amendments, he could not infer their object was conciliation. He thought they had been comparatively indifferent to the passage of the Bill unless it was passed by way of triumph over their Lordships' House. Though willing to accept the explanation which Her Majesty's Government had given of their motives, he still thought their conduct was open to the interpretation he had put upon it.
THE MARQUESS OF BATH
wished to recall their Lordships' attention to the real question before the House, and to the arguments adduced on either side with respect to it. The question was simply whether their Lordships should insist on the exclusion of certain words which they had struck out of the Preamble of the Bill as it came up from the other House. Most of the speakers on his side had stated that the words in dispute were absolutely futile, while no speaker on the opposite side had ventured to assert that the omission or retention of the words could in any way affect the object aimed at by the Bill. The great argument urged against retaining the words was that they, to a certain extent, pledged the Legislature 320 to adopt a particular course, and that if the House adopted them, it would consent to the doctrine of the secularization of property which had been given for religious purposes. There were, however, some other questions which would be brought forward in the course of the debate. As far as he recollected, there were four Amendments besides that now under consideration, with regard to which there was a difference of opinion among noble Lords. That relating to the curates was a peculiarly valuable one, but it only affected the individual position of a certain portion of the clergy and not the interests of the Irish Church —therefore it was hardly likely to lead to any material difference of opinion between the two sides of the House. Next there was the Amendment for the commutation of life interests. As proposed by his noble Friend the commutation would give the disestablished Church about £1,000,000, whereas the counter proposal of Her Majesty's Government would give it only £420,000. Finally, there was the Amendment relating to the glebes and premises belonging to the present clergy, and this would involve a sum of between £50,000 and £90,000. The chief differences between the two sides of the House were as to the £580,000 in respect to the commutation, and the sum of from £50,000 to £90,000 involved in the Amendment giving glebe houses and lands free to the Church. He could hardly venture to give their Lordships any advice on these matters, but he had thought it right to point out to both sides what was the difference of opinion between them.
§ THE EARL OF WINCHILSEA, who spoke amid loud cries for a division, was understood to say that if the House was to be struck down it was not very material whether the blow was to be given by Jack Cade or any other public character. He thought that their Lordships owed it to themselves to make a determined stand upon this question. There was a time when they regarded the Roman Catholics as their greatest enemies—they need fear them no longer. They ought to fear much more the party from which another Oliver Cromwell might arise. The master of the moment was not always a wise one—Jack Cade was master of the moment at one time. There was another—yes, another person, master of the moment at present. He 321 (the Earl of Winchilsea) would never willingly submit to arbitrary power: rather than do that he was prepared, if necessary, to lay his head upon the block, put his neck within reach of a rope, or incur the responsibilities (if he might say so in a Parliamentary sense) of a civil war; but he would not tamely give way to a dictator, no matter how completely he might be master of the situation.
§ On Question, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Motion? — their Lordships divided: — Contents 95; Not-Contents 173: Majority 78.323
|Hatherley, L.(L. Chan-||Abercromby, L.|
|Devonshire, D.||Boyle, L. (E. Cork and|
|Saint Albans, D.||Calthorpe, L.|
|Somerset, D.||Camoys, L.|
|Ailesbury, M.||Carrington, L.|
|Anglesey, M.||Charlemont, L. (E.|
|Normanby, M.||Clandeboye, L. (L. Duf-|
|Townshend, M.||ferin and Claneboye.)|
|Abingdon, E.||Clifford of Chudleigh, L.|
|Airlie, E.||Dacre, L.|
|Albemarle, E.||De Tabley, L.|
|Camperdown, E.||Dunning, L. (L. Rollo.)|
|Clarendon, E.||Ebury, L.|
|Cottenham, E.||Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)|
|Cowper, E.||Foley, L. [Teller.]|
|Craven, E.||Granard, L. (E. Gra-|
|De Grey. E.||Harris, L.|
|De La Warr, E.||Hatherton, L.|
|Denbigh, E.||Keane, L.|
|Durham, E.||Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven|
|Effingham, E.||and Mount-Earl.)|
|Fitzwilliam, E.||Lawrence, L.|
|Fortescue, E.||Leigh, L.|
|Granville, E.||Lurgan, L.|
|Jersey, E.||Lyttelton, L.|
|Kimberley, E.||Meredyth, L. (L. Ath-|
|Minto, E.||Methuen, L.|
|Morley, E.||Minster, L. (M. Conyng-|
|Saint Germans, E.||ham.)|
|Shaftesbury, E.||Monck, L. (V. Monck.)|
|Spencer, E.||Monson, L.|
|Suffolk and Berkshire, E.||Mont Eagle, L. (M.|
|Eversley, V.||Mostyn, L.|
|Falmouth, V.||Northbrook, L.|
|Halifax, V.||Penzance, L.|
|Sydney, V.||Petre, L.|
|Torrington, V.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bess-|
|Oxford, Bp.||Romilly, L.|
|Rosebery, L. (E. Rose-||Sudeley, L,|
|Rossie, L.(L. Kinnaird.)||Sundridge, L. (D. Ar-|
|Saye and Sele, L.||Truro, L.|
|Seymour, L. (E. St.||Vernon, L.|
|Somerhill, L. (M. Clan-||Wentworth, L.|
|Canterbury, Archp.||Romney, E.|
|York, Archp.||Rosse, E.|
|Dublin, Archp.||Rosslyn, E.|
|Beaufort, D.||Selkirk, E.|
|Buckingham and Chan-||Shrewsbury, E.|
|dos, D.||Sommers, E.|
|Manchester, D.||Stamford and Warring-|
|Marlborough, D.||ton, E.|
|Northumberland, D.||Stanhope, E.|
|Rutland, D.||Stradbroke, E.|
|Strange, E. (D. Athol.)|
|Abercorn, M. (D. Aber-||Tankerville, E.|
|Bath, M.||Westmoreland, E.|
|Bristol, M.||Winchilsea and Notting-|
|Exeter, M.||ham, E.|
|Winchester, M.||Canterbury, V.|
|Clancarty, V. (E. Clan-|
|Amherst, E.||De Vesci, V.|
|Annesley, E.||Doneraile, V.|
|Bandon, E.||Exmouth, V.|
|Bantry, E.||Gough, V.|
|Bathurst, E.||Hardinge, V.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Hawarden, V. [Teller.]|
|Brooke and Warwick, E.||Hill, V.|
|Brownlow, E.||Hood, V.|
|Cadogan, E.||Leinster, V, (D. Lein-|
|Chesterfield, E.||Lifford, V.|
|Cowley, E.||Melville, V.|
|Dartmouth, E.||Sidmouth, V.|
|Derby, E.||Stratford de Redcliffe, V.|
|Devon, E.||Strathallan, V.|
|Eldon, E.||Templetown, V.|
|Feversham, E.||Bangor, Bp|
|Graham, E. (D. Mont-||Derry and Raphoe, Bp.|
|rose.)||Gloucester and Bristol.|
|Harewood, E.||Hereford, Bp.|
|Harrington, E.||Lichfield, Bp.|
|Harrowby, E.||London, Bp.|
|Home, E.||Peterborough, Bp.|
|Kellie E.||Rochester, Bp.|
|Lauderdale, E.||Tuam, &c, Bp.|
|Leven and Melville, E.|
|Lucan, E.||Abinger, L.|
|Macclesfield, E.||Aveland, L.|
|Malmesbury, E.||Bateman, L.|
|Mansfield, E.||Berners, L.|
|Manvers, E.||Bolton, L.|
|Morton, E.||Brancepeth, L. (V.|
|Mount Edgcumbe, E.||Boyne.)|
|Nelson, E.||Braybrooke, L.|
|Orkney, E.||Brodrick, L. (V. Midle-|
|Cairns, L.||Lovel and Holland, L.|
|Carleton, L. (E. Shan-||(E. Egmont.)|
|Chaworth, L. (E. Meath.)||Lyveden, L.|
|Chelmsford, L.||Moore, L. (M. Drog-|
|Churston, L.||Northwick, L.|
|Clarina, L.||O'Neill, L.|
|Clements, L. (E. Lei-||Oriel, L. (V. Massereene.)|
|Clifton, L. (E. Darnley.)||Penrhyn, L.|
|Clonbrock, L.||Raglan, L.|
|Cloncurry, L.||Rayleigh, L.|
|Colchester, L.||Redesdale, L.|
|Colonsay, L.||Rivers, L.|
|Colville of Culross, L.||Ross, L. (E. Glasgow.)|
|[Teller.]||Saltersford, L. [E. Cour-|
|Conyers, L||Saltoun, L.|
|Delamere, L.||Scarsdale, L.|
|De L'Isle and Dudley, L.||Sheffield, L. (E. Shef-|
|De Ros, L.||Sherborne, L.|
|Digby, L.||Silchester, L. (E. Long-|
|Dunsany, L.||Sinclair, L.|
|Egerton, L.||Sondes, L.|
|Elphinstone, L.||Southampton, L.|
|Fitzwalter, L.||Stanley of Alderley, L.|
|Forester, L.||Stewart of Garlies, L.|
|Foxford, L. (E. Lime-||(E. Galloway.)|
|Gage, L. (V. Gage.)||Strathnairn, L.|
|Grantley, L.||Strathspey, L. (E. Sea-|
|Grinstead, L. (E. Ennis-||field.)|
|Milne.)||Talbot de Malahide, L.|
|Hartismere, L. (L. Hen-||Templemore, L.|
|Heytesbury, L.||Tredegar, L.|
|Hylton, L.||Westbury, L.|
|Leconfield, L.||Willoughby de Broke, L.|
§ Resolved, in the Negative.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
My Lords, after the debate which has take a place this evening, and after the declaration, just made by the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, of the large majority of the Not-Contents in the division which has just been taken, I think your Lordships will see that I cannot take any further responsibility upon myself without having some opportunity of communicating with all my Colleagues. I therefore move that this debate be now adjourned.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
called attention to the fact that that which had now become the main Question—namely, that the House do insist on its Amendment in the Preamble—had not yet been put.
§ The main Question was then put and agreed to.
§ Further debate on Commons' amendments and reasons adjourned to Thursday next.