§ Mr. Goulburn
said, that as far as he was concerned, he had no objection to allow the bill to pass through its present stage, provided the committee were postponed till some day after the Irish assizes, so that an opportunity might be afforded to many Irish Gentlemen, now absent to take part in the discussion.
§ Sir R. Inglis
was opposed to the principle of the bill, and he should certainly not consent to its passing the second reading at that hour of the night. He would take the sense of the House on the motion.
§ Sir R. Bateson
concurred in the propriety of postponing the bill. He regarded the bill with jealousy; for he believed it would take all power from the Protestants, and throw it into the hands of the Catholics. He called upon the Protestants 1125 of Ireland to rally and oppose a measure, which was only the beginning of an attempt to put down every Protestant institution in that country. He felt justified in making a stand now, when he heard, that a certain noble individual, after making an extraordinary speech in that House, was to be appointed Lord-lieutenant of Ireland. That speech was not known to him merely through a report, for he had heard it himself, and never was he more astonished than when he did hear it. Little had he thought, that an individual, who as a Member of that House had solemnly declared, that he voted for the Tithe Act with the view of increasing the warfare against the Irish Church, and who had stated, that he considered the Protestant Church there a disgrace, would ever have been appointed Governor of Ireland. When he contemplated that individual taking the oaths of office as Lord-lieutenant, he felt, that it was time to pause ere he gave further power to the enemies of Protestantism in that unfortunate country. Every day he saw, that efforts were making to put down Protestantism in general—to weaken not only the Church of England, but her twin sister the Church of Scotland. When he saw, that such was the object of a powerful party in Ireland, who ruled the present Cabinet, on whose smiles they existed, and whose frowns would annihilate them, he thought the time had come when the Protestants of Ireland must look to themselves. They must resist the efforts of Popish domination, and preserve the remnants of that constitution which their forefathers had handed down to them. Having been intrusted with a petition signed by upwards of 1,000 inhabitants of Dublin against the bill, he felt called on to make these remarks; and he should certainly oppose the bill, which had been brought forward under the specious denomination of reform. Considering the lateness of the hour (half-past eleven o'clock), he must call on the noble Lord in common decency not to press forward the measure.
§ Viscount Dungannon
would divide, if no other Member did, with the hon. Baronet who had addressed the House in a manner which did him credit, against the bill. Though called by the specious name of "A Bill for the Reform of the Irish Municipal Corporations," the measure was nothing more nor less than an insidious 1126 attempt to put down Protestantism in Ireland. It did not deal out equal-handed justice, for its object was to strengthen the baneful influence of a party, and thereby to endanger the institutions of the empire. He could not contemplate without indignation the conduct of those who, to the misfortune of the country, were at the head of affairs, and any man who had any feeling or regard for the Protestant institutions of the state, and for real and rational liberty, must view with suspicion and alarm the acts of a Government which only existed, as the hon. Baronet had truly said, by the smiles of a particular body of individuals—indeed, he might say, of a particular faction in Ireland. It was well known that the frowns of that party would hurl the present Government from their seats; and, however small might be the number of those who divided with the hon. Baronet, they would show to the country, that they were bold enough to record their votes in favour of the Protestant institutions of the country. As a landed proprietor in the sister kingdom, he felt it his duty to oppose the bill.
§ Mr. Hume
would then assume, that the question must be answered in the affirmative. He would call the attention of the House to a report of the resolutions passed at that meeting, one of which was to the effect, that the miseries of Ireland were to be attributed to the laws which fostered a sect whose doctrines were idolatrous and damnable, and that where Popery existed nothing but anarchy and confusion could prevail. This resolution was seconded by the rev. Mr. Gregg, who declared, that in consequence of the existence of Popery, the curse of God was upon the land, and read the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy as descriptive of the present state of Ireland. Now he (Mr. Hume) had referred to that chapter, and he would read to the House the 16th verse of it:—"Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field." The hon. Member then went on to read other verses—"Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The 1127 Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly, because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me." Now, he thought the noble Lord (Dungannon) would admit, that this was scarcely language to be applied to any party, but when they saw a meeting, at which the Lord Mayor of Dublin presided, passing such resolutions, and clergymen supporting them with such language, he would leave it to the House to judge who they were who produced anarchy and confusion. Did the noble Lord mean to exterminate the Catholics of Ireland? It was impossible to suppose, that that meeting, numerous as it was, did not agree in that sentiment. But let the noble Lord picture to himself a meeting of Catholics, twenty times as numerous, and echoing, but against Protestants, the sentiments which Protestants had avowed they felt with respect to Catholics. He put it to the noble Lord whether, if the Catholics were to act in accordance with those sentiments, it would be possible for the Protestants to resist them.
§ Sir R. Bateson
said, be had been called on by the hon. Member for Kilkenny to give an answer to a question which had been put to him, and in doing so the hon. Member had been making a long speech with his usual accuracy and information as to the state of Ireland. He could only say, that he never heard the slightest rumour with respect to such a petition as the hon. Member had read. He did not say, that no such petition was in existence; perhaps it had been intrusted to the hon. Member. But if the hon. Member wished to know what was the petition which he (Sir R. Bateson) had that night presented, he would tell him, that it was one signed by 1,042 respectable inhabitants of the city of Dublin; not a petition agreed to at any public meeting. There was no quoting or misquoting, or profanation of scripture in it, and as the petition had been presented in a very thin House, and was only five or six lines in length, he would, with the permission of the House, read it. The hon. Baronet accordingly proceeded to read the petition, in which it was stated, that the petitioners, inhabitants of the city of Dublin, had seen with much apprehension a bill introduced into that House, for the professed purpose of a 1128 better regulation of municipal corporations in Ireland, but which, it was submitted, would have the effect of transferring the power now possessed by the corporations of Ireland in all instances from the friends of the Protestant religion and of British connexion to the implacable enemies of those principles on which the House of Brunswick was called to the Throne of these realms, and therefore they called upon the House not to agree to such a measure. This was the petition against which the hon. Member for Kilkenny had been declaiming.
§ Lord Castlereagh
was very glad, that the hon. Baronet had answered the question of the hon. Member for Kilkenny, because it had brought back the House to the question, whether the order of the day for the second reading of the bill should be now read. He should, however, before he adverted to that question, like to know, whether the recent appointment of the noble Lord, who had been made Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, could be defended? The hon Member for Kilkenny inquired, "Are you going to exterminate the Catholics?" He would ask hon. Gentlemen opposite if they were going to put down the Protestant Church by the appointment of their new Lord-lieutenant. The sentiments of that noble Lord were perfectly well known, and if no other hon. Member moved for it, he himself should be very much tempted to move for a copy of the oath which the Lord-lieutenant of Ireland took upon his appointment, and to put it in juxtaposition with the speech which the noble Lord delivered in July, last year. He would ask her Majesty's Government, if they would condescend to give him an answer, and he would ask the Protestants of Ireland if such an appointment was likely in any degree to strengthen the Protestant Church, as had been said by a noble Lord in another place. One thing was clear, that the heavy blow and great discouragement to the Church of Ireland was now to be followed up by strong measures. He should only further say, that he should, because this nomination had taken place, vote with the hon. Baronet below him in his opposition to the second reading of the bill.
§ Lord John Russell
had hoped, after what passed last year, that all parties in that House were agreed in the principle of this bill. Then he very much misunderstood the character and meaning of the debates 1129 which took place upon the subject on several nights in the last Session. From these debates he gathered that the principle was admitted, that there should be a reform of the Municipal Corporations in Ireland; and that the great points in dispute were points relating to the amount of the franchise and other matters of detail, which could only be properly discussed in committee. But it seemed that a new line of conduct was now about to be adopted by some of the hon. Gentlemen opposite, and that the whole bill was to be resisted upon principle. It was now, as he understood, declared, that as the Government would not consent to the total destruction of Muncipal Corporations in Ireland, this measure for the reform of them was to be resisted altogether. He was quite ready to agree with the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goulburn), that as there was some alteration in the details of the bill as now introduced, sufficient time should be allowed for the due consideration of them before the measure was pressed to a committee. He should not wish to proceed to that stage of the bill whilst any hon. Gentlemen were absent at the Assizes; therefore, if a convenient day should not present itself before Easter, he should not be anxious to press the committal of the bill until after the recess. But as to affirming the principle of the bill, he should wish the House not to delay that step for a single instant. The House had repeatedly affirmed it before, and he saw no reason why it should not again affirm a principle so just and reasonable. The hon. Baronet, the Member for Londonderry (Sir R. Bateson), told the House that he was persuaded, and that certain petitioners were persuaded with him, that the persons returned as town councillors under this bill would, for the greater part, be Roman Catholics. He, however, would say that, whether the electors were He, householders, or merely the occupiers of houses or tenements rated to the relief of the poor, if the majority of them felt that the persons in whom they could place confidence as the representatives and managers of their local interests were Roman Catholics, by all means let the town councils of Ireland be composed of Roman Catholics. On the other hand, in towns where the Protestant interest prevailed—where the great majority of the inhabitants were Protestants—he said, let the town councils be Protestant. But he knew not why good, respectable, and loyal Roman Catholics should not stand on a 1130 perfect equality with good, respectable, and loyal Protestants. That was the principle of this bill—a principle to which he believed the House was ready to agree. It certainly was not a principle from which he should at any time be prepared to depart, or to shrink from avowing, and steadfastly determined to adhere to the principle of the bill, he would not consent to any alteration of its details which would deprive the majority in the corporations of Ireland whether Roman Catholics or Protestants, of the power which they ought to enjoy. The hon. Baronet, the Member for Londonderry (Sir R. Bateson) and the noble Lord (Lord Castlereagh) who spoke last, had gone into two other subjects which had no reference to the question before the House. The hon. Baronet had made the very wonderful discovery—a discovery it was true which some others had made before him—that Ministers who held a station in that House must hold it in consequence of the votes of their supporters. He (Lord John Russell) was ready to admit, that that must always be the case. They divided in that House majority and minority, and those who formed the majority being usually the supporters of Ministers it must necessarily be owned, however odd it might appear to the hon. Baronet, that it was to that majority that Ministers owed their station. He must admit, that it was to that circumstance that the present Ministry were indebted for the place they hold; and he was also quite as ready to admit, that if some of the majority who voted with them were Roman Catholics, they were as happy to receive their support as other persons might be to receive the support of those of that party to which the hon. Baronet (Sir R. Bateson) belonged, and which had been for many years an exclusive and intolerant party in Ireland. The other question to which the hon. Baronet and the noble Lord (Lord Castlereagh) had referred was the appointment which her Majesty had been pleased to make of Lord Ebrington to the Lord-lieutenancy to that part of the United Kingdom. Neither upon that question any more than upon the previous one was hp at all disposed to shrink from, or to apologize for, the course which Ministers had pursued. On the contrary, he bad known Lord Ebrington for many years—had had the satisfaction and pleasure of enjoying his friendship—and he knew, as everybody who had the honour and advantage of the acquaintance of that noble Lord knew, that 1131 a man of higher character, of purer public principle, did not exist amongst politicians in this country. He knew also that her Majesty could not have appointed a man more attached to the constitution, or more attached to the Protestant religion as established in this country. He was perfectly aware that Lord Ebrington made a speech in the course of the debates upon the Irish Tithe Bill last year, which speech he (Lord John Russell) stated at the time he thought had been misunderstood by those who followed him. He would not refer to any report which might or might not be correct, but would mention that he heard his noble Friend make upon that occasion, a statement which he had heard also from many others—it was this: that while he was disposed to support the established religion, he thought the Protestant Church in Ireland was too large and ought to be reduced; and he went on to argue that if there were to be a contest upon the subject, it would be much better that that contest should be carried on by tithe-owners and tithe-payers of substance, than by the poor peasantry and the clergy. That was, as he understood, and as he stated immediately in the course of the same debate, the substance of the observations made by his noble Friend. Did he say because his noble Friend was of opinion that the Established Church in Ireland might be safely and properly reduced that therefore he was unfit to be Lord-lieutenant of Ireland? By no means. It was an opinion which he had always held himself, and had frequently stated in that House. He had stated repeatedly that he thought part of the revenue of the Established Church in Ireland ought to be applied to the moral and religious education of the people of that country. And if Lord Ebrington held that opinion, and had stated it in that House, the circumstance of his doing so was in his view no disqualification for holding the high office to which he had been appointed. This he was sure of, that Lord Ebrington in holding that opinion, held it steadfastly—thinking that such a diminution of the revenues of the Established Church would tend to the greater security and stability of the Protestant institutions of Ireland. That was an opinion which he thought might be very consistently held by one who filled the office of Lord-lieutenant of that country. At all events, having to exercise the delegated authority of her Majesty in Ireland, he was quite ready to take his share of respon- 1132 sibility in the appointment of Lord Ebrington. And, though an opportunity had been taken—the very earliest possible—to excite a prejudice against that nobleman. He believed, that the excellent and sterling qualities by which his noble Friend was distinguished, would be known, in spite of all the observations that had been made to the people of Ireland. His opinion was, that his noble Friend would be received by them as one who was attached to their welfare, and if he should be of opinion that the interests, the privileges, the rights and powers of the people should not be confined to the few and small minority, he did not think that that opinion would ruin him in the eyes of the people.
§ Mr. Sergeant Jackson
regretted that this discussion had arisen at so late an hour (twelve o'clock). He regretted extremely, that the noble Lord had not yielded to the suggestion which had been thrown out, that it would be better not to bring the question forward at so advanced a period of the evening. It seemed that they had wandered from the main question before the House. Perhaps that was one of the inevitable consequences of pressing forward a question of this magnitude and importance against the sense of a great proportion of the House at so late an hour. He believed, that no one in that House, or elsewhere, had impugned the high moral character of the Nobleman to whom the noble Lord had referred. He believed, that no man, either in or out of that House, would venture so to do. He believed, that no man possessed a higher character than that distinguished individual. But he regretted to learn from the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) that he espoused, admitted, and justified the expressions used by that Nobleman upon a question of vital importance to the sister country. Did the noble Lord adopt the language which fell from Lord Ebrington when he was a Member of that House. Did he understand the noble Lord to profess his acquiescence in all that fell from Lord Ebrington upon the occasion in question? Did he not understand the noble Lord to say, that he held the same sentiments? Let him see, if the noble Lord would venture in the face of that House—in the face of England—in the face of that measure which he himself proposed, to admit and repeat the sentiments which he would now take the liberty of reading to the House. What was the 1133 language of Lord Ebrington, then a Member of that House, when speaking upon the bill brought in for the settlement, as the noble Lord (J. Russell) said of the question of tithes in Ireland?—language which, he would venture to say, no individual had ever held upon a similar occasion:—"I shall vote for the bill said the noble Lord, only because I expect that, so far from preventing a thorough reform of the Irish Church, it will, by throwing the payment of tithes into the hands of those who have more power and influence than the present payers, render the war now waged against the Church—more formidable." The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) adopted that language; the noble Lord who brought forward a bill for settling the question of tithes—for putting it completely and for ever at rest—now declared, that he adopted the language of Lord Ebrington. Then, the noble Lord only brought forward his tithe bill for the purpose of making the war waged against the Protestant Established Church more formidable. Did the noble Lord imagine, that it would be possible to wage a formidable and successful war against the Protestant Church in Ireland, without at the same time waging a formidable war against the Protestant Church in England? Were they separate Churches now? Was it not the united Church of England and Ireland? Did the noble Lord venture to wage war against that united Church? And was it fit or decent at that time of day, to say to a country in the predicament in which Ireland now was, after a period of the grossest misgovernment—a period of misgovernment which had completely disjointed the whole frame of society—which had paltered with the administration of the law, and rendered life and property utterly insecure? Was it not monstrous—was it not an outrage to the public feeling in a country so situated, to send an individual to conduct the government of that country who had publicly stated in his place in Parliament that he had only voted for the Tithe Bill introduced by the noble Lord, for the sake of making the war then waging against the Established Church, more formidable? What must be the effect of such an appointment upon the people of Ireland? Must it not, upon the one hand, depress the spirit of the loyal Protestant people of that country, and, on the other, raise the spirit and encourage the attacks of the 1134 precursor societies, the agitators, the discontented, and disloyal portion of the community? What other effect could it produce? He did not mind the gestures of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin.—[Mr. O' Connell: Nor do I mind yours.] The hon. and learned Member had no right to gesticulate in that way, He should be sorry to transgress the rules of order: it was not his habit to do so. He should not have condescended to have taken any notice of the hon. and learned Member's conduct, except that he thought proper to interrupt him. He returned to the subject, and asked what would be the effect of this appointment upon the people of Ireland? And he asked the noble Lord, whether it were reasonable to expect that men should be prepared to go along with him in his present proposition for the establishment of municipal corporations in Ireland upon a different footing, and thereby to increase the power of the party which was waging this war against the Protestant establishment and Protestant institution in Ireland—was it reasonable, that the noble Lord should expect support from that side of the House upon a measure of this kind, immediately after the declaration he had just made? He should conclude the observations he had felt it his duty to make, by moving, "That the House do now adjourn." He took this course, because he did not think it fit or proper that this question should be pressed forward at such an hour of the night against the sense of the great majority of the representatives of Ireland.
§ Sir R. Inglis
rose to second the motion. ["Cries of Chair, chair, Order, order!"] He would not yield to cries of order, whether they proceeded from one side of the House or the other, unless he was called to order by Mr. Speaker. He would take the liberty of saying, that when the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland moved the order of the day for the second reading of the Irish Municipal Corporation Bill, he rose in the hope, that the noble Lord would not press such a motion. His right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge, from whom it always gave him great pain to differ, rose and wished that some compromise might be made, and that the bill might be allowed to pass the second reading, but that some time should elapse before it went into Committee. To that he (Sir Robert Inglis) could not agree, but he had hoped, that some understanding 1135 would be come to, not that the Committee should be postponed till after Easter, but that the second reading should be postponed. He stated this in justice to his hon. Friend the Member for the county of Londonderry, and his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Dublin. One observation only he begged leave to make with reference to the late appointment. A complaint had been made, that this appointment had been questioned, for the purpose of taking the earliest opportunity to create a prejudice. If they had waited till a later period, the noble Lord would have had good reason for saying why had nothing been said until the noble Viscount had gone to Ireland? His noble Friend the Member for the county of Down, had more reason to remember than any one, that a noble person had scarcely been appointed to a most important office, before advantage was sought to to be taken of a speech made in another place as a sufficient disqualification for the office. The course that had been taken was as fair to the noble Viscount who had been appointed as the former motion was to the then Government—in conclusion, he begged to second the motion, that the House do now adjourn.
§ Lord J. Russell
said, the hon. and learned Member for Bandon had by no means correctly represented what he had stated in the House. The hon. and learned Member had read something from a newspaper or from some Report, and had said those were sentiments which he (Lord J. Russell) had said he meant to abide by. [Mr. Sergeant Jackson— From the "Mirror of Parliament."] As to those words in the "Mirror of Parliament," he neither concurred in them, nor did he adopt any one of the expressions. What he had said was, that he thought there ought to be a reduction in the revenues of the Irish Church Establishment, and that those reductions would be better effected by the Irish Tithe Bill than in any other way. With respect to the sentiments that had been alluded to, he had only said, that he agreed with them so far as this—that he thought that the revenues of the Church of Ireland might be properly reduced. He did not say even that he concurred in that, nor did he even now concur in the sentiments that that bill was likely to produce any agitation. His opinion at the time the bill was introduced, and his opinion still was, that that bill was more likely to settle difficulties than to raise further contention. As a measure of peace he had introduced it, and as a measure of peace he regarded it.
§ Mr. Blackstone
was glad to hear the hon. Baronet, the Member for the University of Oxford declare, that he would take the sense of the House on the motion for postponing the second reading. He trusted the noble Lord would not at this time of night go into a discussion of a general question. Although he had watched the bill for three years, he had never had an opportunity of expressing his sentiments, although he had not on former occasions been able to concur with his friends in voting for the abolition of Corporations. He conceived these corporations were instituted originally for Protestant purposes, and he was unwilling that those principles should be passed over without discussion. He did not wish to enter into the topics which had been discussed that night, but he did hope the noble Lord would give them an opportunity of discussing the merits of that bill.
§ Mr. Maxwell
promised the House the hand of the clock should not reach the quarter (it then being ten minutes past twelve) before he finished his observations. He disclaimed being any party to the understanding to which the noble Lord had alluded. He came into that House, attached to no party, his principles were preeminently Conservative, but he was the representative of a large and populous county in Ireland, and he represented the feelings and wishes of nine-tenths of the Protestants of Ireland, with reference to the subject before the House. He meant to say, that it was the feeling of the Protestants in Ireland, that they would never consent to those Corporations, one of the principal objects of which were to protect the rates and institutions, being the means of transferring power into the hands of the Roman Catholics, and he tendered his hearty thanks to those English and Irish Members who had taken this subject in hand.
§ Mr. Sheil
The hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford announced at the outset, that he would divide the House upon this question. He was sustained in that view by the hon. Gentleman who followed him; and the hon. Baronet the Member for Londonderry (Sir Robert Bateson), and the noble Lord, the Member for Down (Lord Castlereagh), undertook to adopt the same course. Might he (Mr. Sheil) venture to ask them this question—"How does it come to pass that you have taken a step so important in the ab- 1137 sence of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth?" When hon. Members on the opposite side were perpetually referring to the compact alliance which existed on the Ministerial side of the House, was he not justified, without the slightest degree of impropriety, in asking whether those of hon. Members had themselves come forward in concert, and in conformity with a previous determination. ["No! No!"] Then he presumed he was to understand, that the proceeding on this occasion was an isolated one. He presumed, that it was an open question with the Gentlemen on the other side of the House. After all, however, it was not against her Majesty's Ministers, that such strong indignation should be expressed, but against the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, who said, last Session, that this question had already been carried by public opinion. The House must needs remember his memorable words, "when I find," said the right hon. Baronet, "that this bill has been carried by great majorities of the House of Commons, and when I find, that the public mind of England is made up upon the subject, I must give way." If that was the undertaking on his part then, was not he (Mr. Sheil) justified in asking whether the opposition now offered to the progress of this measure, was a preconcerted opposition. Had they not also the solemn pledge of the Duke of Wellington, that this question should be settled? Did he not say, "Give me a Poor-law bill—give me a tithe bill, and when you have done that, I will use my best exertions to carry a measure for establishing municipal corporations in Ireland"? With these facts before him, he would appeal to the right hon. Gentleman opposite, who, in the absence of the right hon. Member for Tam-worth, was the most conspicuous Member on the Opposition benches, he meant the Member for the University of Cambridge—he would ask that right hon. Gentleman, whether he would concnr with those who had announced their predetermination to divide the House?—was the House, after the solemn declaration made by the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth—after the equally solemn declaration made by the Duke of Wellington—after the declaration made by the noble Lord, the Member for north Lancashire—and after the declaration of the right hon. Baronet, who was formerly Member for Cumberland—after these repeated declarations, after this species of pledge, was the House to understand, 1138 that they were now to have a division? Let us have a division. Don't shrink from it. Again and again he had heard Conservatives state, that when they came to that House they would take a certain course, they would make certain motions, and move certain resolutions of censure; but he never afterwards saw them fulfil their undertakings. Those announcements were made out of doors; but here was an undertaking given in the House itself, and he now challenged them to persevere in it and perform their pledge. He might now be permitted, for a moment, to diverge from the consideration of this question to a matter to which great importance had been attached he meant the appointment of Lord Ebrington. Surely it must have struck the House, that if that appointment were an objection to the Government by hon. Gentlemen opposite, they had the opportunity of addressing her Majesty to rescind it. Would not that be a fairer course of dealing with it? Would it not be a more direct mode of proceeding, and would it not show the real character of their opposition, if they were to adopt a course for which precedents were not wanting, instead of casting imputations, which were not followed by any motion on the subject. Let them make the speech of Lord Ebrington matter of deliberate censure, let them try the sense of the House upon it. But, at the same time, let it be remembered, that Lord Ebrington was not the only Lord-lieutenant by whom such opinions had been announced. Had the House forgotten, that in the month of April, 1834, when the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, (Lord Stanley), acted, in conjunction with the Marquess of Anglesey, a letter from the Marquess of Anglesey to Earl Grey was produced by the hon. Member for Kilkenny (then Member for Middlesex), and that it contained the following remarkable words, which he begged the House to compare with the speech of Lord Ebrington? They were contained in an official letter written by the Marquess of Anglesey to Earl Grey, when Lord Stanley was Secretary for Ireland:—This establishment which has always exceeded the religious wants of the Protestant congregations has hitherto been upheld by the State merely on the ground, that it consolidated the connection between the two countries. But this service it no longer performs. Instead of strengthening the connection, it weakens it. Any Government henceforth pledged to main- 1139 tain that establishment as it now exists, mast be brought into constant and permanent collision with the public opinion, and the prejudices and passions of the Irish people. However attached myself, to the doctrines of the Protestant Church, and however anxious to discountenance any violent changes in its temporal condition, it is impossible for me not to see, that the prevailing resistance to its legal pecuniary claims is only symptomatic of a deep rooted, wide-spread conviction, in the minds of the Irish community, that the continuance of this establishment in its present extent and splendor is no longer justified by the condition of this country; and that the time has arrived for such just and practicable reforms in respect of it as may eventually place at the disposal of the State a national fund, to be applied to necessary national purposes. Such, I have been reluctantly compelled to feel is the general and unchangeable opinion of the Irish people upon this subject; and I am equally impressed with the apprehension, that unless the Parliament takes the lead in the work of now inevitable innovation, the recent confederacy against tithes will prove to have been only the first of a series of deplorable struggles between the Government and the national antipathies—that every day during which those struggles are protracted, the Government will find itself less in a condition of imposing its own terms—and that sooner or later the final result must be, an extorted and undignified compliance with demands which we had not the foresight, or rather, perhaps, the power, to concede. I know, that the times have passed when the will of the Minister could determine the acts of the Legislature, still I cannot refrain from urging on the attention of my colleagues the claims of this suffering and too long neglected country to a participation in the benefit of that enlightened policy which has already conferred so much benefit on other parts of the Empire.That letter was to be found at page 243 of Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, and in the 23rd volume of that work. This was the language of the Marquess of Anglesey, when Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and addressed to Earl Grey when Prime Minister. The noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, was Secretary for Ireland at the time, and must have had perfect cognizance, that this letter was written, and yet he did not resign. Let hon. Members read this letter, and then he would ask them with what face they could make a complaint against her Majesty's Government, that Lord Ebrington had been appointed Lord-lieutenant of Ireland.
§ Lord Castlereagh
said, as the hon. Member who had just sat down had asked him how he had ventured to oppose the 1140 second reading of the bill before the House in the absence of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, he would beg to say, in reply, that he should always do what he felt to be his duty, whoever might or might not be in the House.
§ The Speaker
said, the noble Lord had already addressed the House on the subject, and it would be highly inconvenient were hon. Members to be allowed to address the House a second time in reply to questions which might be put to them.
thought the noble Lord was perfectly in order. Since he had last addressed the House a new question had been put. The hon. and learned Member for Bandon had moved the adjournment of the House, and the noble Lord, he apprehended, had a right to address the House again on the question of adjournment.
§ The Speaker
said, if the noble Lord claimed a right to speak on the new question before the House, he bad a perfect right to do so; but, as it was his duty to preserve order and regularity in the debates, he could not but notice the remark which the noble Lord had made on rising. The noble Lord had said, he rose to reply to a question, and were such a proceeding sanctioned the greatest inconvenience would result from it.
§ Lord Castlereagh
should always bow with deference to the Chair. A question had been put to him, and in reply he begged to state distinctly, that in his place in Parliament, and in the discharge of his duty as the Representative of a large and populous county, he owed no allegiance to any chief, and would bow to the dictates of no man, nor follow the course which any hon. Member might pursue, unless be was persuaded, that that course was one likely to be productive of beneficial consequences to his country. He was always anxious to perform his duty uprightly and conscientiously, and to do all the good which was in his power, and he trusted, that he should ever discharge that duty in the manner most likely to promote the best interests of the nation, and to secure the good opinion of the important constituency which he had the honour to represent. He had opposed the second reading of the bill before the House, because it was not usual, and because he thought it improper to bring on so important 1141 a measure at so late an hour, and more particularly because he considered it to be a measure of the most vital importance to the Protestant Church of Ireland, and one which ought therefore to have the most mature deliberation.
§ Dr. Lefroy
said, the letter from Lord Anglesey to Earl Grey, which had been read by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, was a private and confidential communication, and the circumstances of the case were therefore totally different from the speech of Lord Ebrington, which had been under consideration.
§ The House divided on the question of the Adjournment:—Ayes 65; Noes 151:—Majority 86.
§ On the question being again put, Colonel Sibthorp moved, that the House, at its rising, adjourn to Monday next.
§ The House again divided on the question, that the Order of the Day be now read:—Ayes 147; Noes 61: Majority 86.
|List of the AYES.|
|Abercromby, hn. R.||Duke, Sir J.|
|Acheson, Lord||Dundas, C. W. D.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Dundas, F.|
|Aglionby, Major||Elliot, hon. J. E.|
|Archbold, R.||Ellice, E.|
|Baines, E.||Evans, W.|
|Bannerman, A.||Finch, F.|
|Baring, F. T.||Fitzalan, Lord|
|Barry, G. S.||Fort, J.|
|Beamish, F. B.||Gladstone, W. E.|
|Bellew, R. M.||Gordon, R.|
|Berkeley, hon. C.||Grattan, H.|
|Bernal, R.||Grey, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Bewes, T.||Grey, Sir G.|
|Blake, M. J.||Handley, H.|
|Blake, W. J.||Harland, W. C.|
|Bodkin, J. J.||Hastie, A.|
|Bridgeman, H.||Hawes, B.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Hawkins, J. H.|
|Browne, R. D.||Heathcoat, J.|
|Bryan, G.||Hill, Lord A. M. C.|
|Buller, C.||Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Bulwer, Sir L.||Hobhouse, T. B.|
|Busfeild, W.||Hollond, R.|
|Byng, rt. hon. G.||Hope, hon. C.|
|Callaghan, D.||Hope, G. W.|
|Campbell, Sir J.||Horsman, E.|
|Cavendish, hn. G. H.||Howard, F. J.|
|Cayley, E. S.||Howard, P. H.|
|Chalmers, P.||Howick, Viscount|
|Chichester, J. P. B.||Hume, J.|
|Collier, J.||Hutton, R.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Labouchere, rt. hon. H.|
|Crompton, Sir S.||Langdale, hon. C.|
|Curry, W.||Lefevre, C. S.|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Lennox, Lord A.|
|Donkin, Sir R. S.||Lister, E. C.|
|Douglas, Sir C. E.||Lushington, C.|
|Duff, J.||Lushington, rt. hon. S.|
|Lynch, A. H.||Rolfe, Sir R. M.|
|Macleod, R.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Macnamara, Major||Salwey, Col.|
|M'Taggart, J.||Sanford, E. A.|
|Maher, J.||Seymour, Lord|
|Marshall, W.||Sheil, R. L.|
|Marsland, H.||Slaney, R. A.|
|Martin, J.||Smith, J. A.|
|Maule, hon. F.||Speirs, A.|
|Melgund, Lord Visct.||Stanley, W. O.|
|Mildmay, P. St. J.||Stansfield, W. R. C.|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Steuart, R.|
|Morris, D.||Stock, Dr.|
|Murray, rt. hn. J. A.||Stuart, V.|
|Norreys, Sir D. J.||Strutt, E.|
|O'Brien, C.||Style, Sir C.|
|O'Connell, D.||Thorneley, T.|
|O'Connell, M. J.||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|O'Connell, M.||Vigors, N. A.|
|O'Ferrall, R. M.||Wakley, T.|
|Paget, Lord A.||Wallace, R.|
|Palmer, C. F.||Warburton, H.|
|Palmerston, Viscount||Wemyss, J. E.|
|Parnell, rt. hon. Sir H.||Westenra, hon. J. C.|
|Parrott, J.||Wilbraham, G.|
|Philips, M.||Williams, W.|
|Philips, G. R.||Williams, W. A.|
|Protheroe, E.||Wilshere, W.|
|Pryme, G.||Winnington, T. E.|
|Pusey, P.||Winnington, H. J.|
|Redington, T. N.||Wood, C.|
|Rice, E. R.||Wyse, T.|
|Rice, rt. hon. T. S.||Yates, J. A.|
|Roche, E. B.||TELLERS.|
|Roche, W.||Parker, J.|
|Roche, Sir D.||Stanley, E. J.|
|List of the NOES.|
|A'Court, Captain||Hinde, J. H.|
|Alsager, Captain||Hodgson, R.|
|Archdall, M.||Holmes, W.|
|Bateson, Sir R.||Hughes, W. B.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||Irton, S.|
|Blandford, Mar. of||Jackson, Mr. Serg.|
|Blennerhasset, A.||Lefroy, right hon. T.|
|Bramston, T. W.||Lockhart, A. M.|
|Broadley, H.||Lucas, E.|
|Broadwood, H.||Master, T. W. C.|
|Brotherton, J.||Maxwell, hon. S. R.|
|Bruges, W. H. L.||Miles, P. W. S.|
|Burr, H.||O'Neill, hon. J. B. R.|
|Cantilupe, Lord Visct.||Packe, C. W.|
|Castlereagh, Lord||Pakington, J. S.|
|Cole, hon. A. H.||Parker, R. T.|
|Conolly, E.||Perceval, Colonel|
|Courtenay, P.||Plumptre, J. P.|
|Darby, G.||Powerscourt, Lord|
|De Horsey, S. H.||Pringle, A.|
|D'Israeli, B.||Reid, Sir J. R.|
|Dunbar, G.||Round, C. G.|
|Duncombe, hon. W.||Rushbrook, Col.|
|Dungannon, Viscount||Scarlett, hon. J. Y.|
|Du Pre, G.||Sheppard, T.|
|Eaton. R. J.||Sibthorp, Colonel|
|Fector, J. M.||Sinclair, Sir G.|
|Grimston, Lord Visct.||Stormont, Lord Visc,|
|Grimston, hon. E. H.||Thomas, Col. H.|
|Vere, Sir C. B.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Whitmore, T. C.||Jones, J.|
§ Lord J. Russell
stated, that as he found a disposition on the part of hon. Members opposite to oppose the second reading of the bill at the present hour, he would postpone the second reading until Friday next.
§ The Order of the Day read, and the second reading postponed until Friday.
§ [We publish only the names on the second division, they were so alike on both, that to publish both divisions would be needless repetition.]