§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
reminded the House that there had been but one division taken upon this Bill. The reason assigned for the repeal of this declaration was that its terms were offensive. In order to obviate that he had proposed an Amendment embodying two articles of our religion which did not contain a single offensive word, but which comprehended the substance of this declaration. The Amendment was rejected, and it was perfectly clear that the object of the Bill was not merely to get rid of any offensive terms, but to forbid any officer of the State from making the declaration or one equivalent to it under the Act of Settlement which the Sovereign of this country was compelled on his or her coronation to make; and if the House of Lords passed the Bill the Sovereign would be called upon to make a declaration which Parliament had declared to be unfit to be taken by any officer of State. The declaration was a declaration of adhesion to the Protestant faith; and if the Bill passed in its present form it was perfectly obvious that the Act of Settlement would be very soon assailed, and they would lose the safeguard of having a Sovereign who declared himself or herself of the religion professed by the majority of the people.
§ MR. WHALLEY
pointed to the empty state of the Treasury Bench as an indication of the feeling of Her Majesty's Government and the House with regard to this question. He urged that the Government had abdicated its functions with regard to these matters, and he asked whether it was not time, now that they had reversed their policy, that some other means should be taken similar to those adopted by Roman Catholic countries for 575 dealing with the pestilent power of the Papacy. England was the only country in the world where six young ladies who had escaped from a convent would be allowed to be kidnapped and sent back as soon as possible.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed.