§ The EARL of EFFINGHAM
rose and said, that he had ventured to take upon himself the office of moving an humble Address to Her Majesty in answer to Her gracious Speech from the Throne. He could assure their Lordships without affectation that on no former occasion of the kind had any Member of that House stood in greater need of their indulgence and forbearance. He craved indulgence at their Lordships' hands, not only because he was conscious of his inability to address their Lordships as he could wish on such an occasion, or because it was the first time he had ever attempted to do so since he had had the honour of a seat among their Lordships, but also on account of the great importance of the topics contained in Her Majesty's most gracious Speech, and especially of one subject to which allusion was therein made, and which had created apprehension in the minus of vast numbers, and produced great public excitement throughout the country, and which would necessarily occupy much of their Lordships' attention, and yet a subject which he thought their Lordships would agree with him ought to be discussed with moderation and forbearance, however strong might be the feelings and however decided the opinions we entertained regarding it. Trusting, therefore, to their Lordships' indulgence, lie would proceed 6 at once to call their Lordships' attention to some of the points contained in Her Majesty's Speech. In the first place, their Lordships would readily concur in expressing their satisfaction at the announcement made in the Royal Speech of the maintenance of the peace of Europe, and the continuance of friendly relations between this country and the other nations of Europe. This announcement, he thought, would be a subject of congratulation when we considered the state in which a great part of the continent of Europe had been placed for some time past, the circumstances of which were well known to their Lordships, and which certainly at one time bore an ominous appearance, and threatened to disturb the tranquillity of Europe, lie need not say he alluded more particularly to the difficulties which had existed for some time past with regard to the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, as well as to the state of affairs in Germany and in some other parts of Europe. We had seen large bodies of troops collected together; at one time nearly the whole adult male population had been placed under arms, whereby, beyond doubt, the utmost danger was incurred of a collision between two great neighbouring States. That danger, he trusted, had now passed away, and their Lordships, he was sure, would participate most cordially in the satisfaction which Her Majesty expressed, that the German Confederation and the Government of Denmark were now engaged in fulfilling the stipulations of a treaty which had put an end to hostilities, and was likely to prevent the peace of Europe from being again disturbed in that quarter. With regard to the state of affairs in Germany, their Lordships were told that there was every prospect of things being brought to an amicable, settlement; and they might, he thought, concur with Her Majesty in hoping that the independence and freedom of the separate States would be preserved. He could not avoid here referring to an event to which so many in this county, and many persons in other parts of the world, were looking forward with extreme interest, and which was to take place in a short time in this country—an event which, he hoped and believed, would tend to increase the desire amongst ail nations for the continuance of that peace, and all its concomitant advantages, which are so essential to the transactions of commerce, as well as to the happiness and prosperity of nations. Amongst the various topics al- 7 luded to in the Speech from the Throne, none, he thought, would be received with greater satisfaction by their Lordships and the country than the announcement that the Government of Brazil had at last taken a new and, as we hoped, an efficient step for the suppression of the slave trade. All the late accounts from the coast of Africa and from Brazil tended to show that a great check had been given to that nefarious traffic both on the coast of Africa and in Brazil; and therefore he trusted the recent measure of the Government of Brazil would be effectual for the object which we were all so desirous to see attained. The next subject in the Royal Speech was also a matter of great congratulation, namely, the prosperous state of the finances of the country, and of its commercial and manufacturing industry. Notwithstanding the large reduction of duties which had taken place during the last few years on articles of general consumption, it was most satisfactory to find that the state of the revenue was most healthy and sound; and this circumstance, he thought, might be taken as a fair test both of the wisdom of those reductions and of the elasticity of our national resources. With regard to the manufacturing districts, there could not he any doubt that they were in a state of general prosperity, and affording the people full employment and comfort from their activity. He would not enter minutely into the consideration of these questions, nor trouble their Lordships with figures, but he would just mention that, from the revenue returns for the last year it would be found that there had been a large increase in the Excise, as well as in those items of the Customs which, together with the Excise, affected the necessaries and comforts of life enjoyed by the great body of the people; and that, therefore, concurrently with the increasing prosperity of manufactures had the comforts of the humbler classes increased—facts which were sufficiently proved by the increase in the consumption of exciseable articles, and by the diminution of pauperism. Again, in regard to commerce, the same grounds existed for congratulation. In 1849 there was an excess in the exports over the preceding year of ten millions; and last year, though the increase did not go to the same extent, still it showed a large excess upon the year 1849. This, he thought, might be taken as a general indication that the whole of the population dependent upon commerce and 8 manufactures was in a state of remunerative employment. In that part of the country with which he was more particularly connected (Yorkshire), he was informed by those who were thoroughly acquainted with the facts, that trade was never better nor more sound and prosperous than it was now. Next, as to the relief administered under the poor-law. On the 1st of January last, as compared with the 1st January, 1850, there was a considerable decrease, both in the cost of the relief given, and in the numbers relieved; and, further, when the returns of those relieved were examined, it would be found that there was a considerable decrease in the numbers of ablebodied paupers receiving relief—a very strong proof of the alteration for the better which had taken place in the condition of the poor; and this was not only the case in those counties where a large proportion of the population were engaged in manufactures, but he believed it was the case with all the agricultural counties, with one or two unimportant exceptions. Perhaps it might be said that this arose from the employment given in works of improvement now going on, such as in drainage, and in other works connected with agriculture. But even if this were so, it was still most satisfactory; because, if these improvements were for the good of the labourer, they were also for the benefit of the landowner and occupier: as it was only fair to assume that the money so laid out would yield a profitable return. Now, he wished he could speak in similar terms of congratulation as to the condition of those more dependent on land, and engaged in agriculture. Her Majesty said—" I have to lament, however, the difficulties which are still felt by that important body among my people who are owners and occupiers of land. But it is my confident hope that the prosperous condition of other classes of my subjects will have a favourable effect in diminishing those difficulties, and promoting the interests of agriculture." Amongst these classes he could not deny that considerable distress at this moment existed, especially amongst the tenant farmers; but, as regarded the labourers, he believed that, although their wages might have been reduced, still the price of their food had been reduced in more than the same proportion; and therefore the agricultural labourer was in a better condition than he had been. But with regard to 9 the tenant-farmer, no doubt considerable distress existed, owing to the low price of corn; but he could only say lie had no doubt that the energy and activity of the British farmers would carry them through their difficulties by the kind consideration of their landlords, and by the application of that skill and science which were so universally diffused and brought to bear with so much success on the cultivation of the soil. The next topic to which attention was called in Her Majesty's Speech was that to which he had already alluded as having so completely engrossed the public mind—namely, the late attack of the Pope of Rome against the independence of this country. Considering the nature of that attempt, their Lordships, he thought, would not be surprised at the excitement which prevailed out of doors on the subject, and he trusted they would not fail to sympathise in those feelings of indignation manifested by almost. all classes of Her Majesty's subjects. In alluding to this question, he was anxious to do so without acrimony, and without uttering one word which was justly calculated to give offence to the religious sentiments of any man. He most certainly would not wish to do so; but at the same time he could not consent to conceal his opinions, or hesitate on any occasion to express them openly. Now, all must admit that there has been no such invasion of the rights and independence of this country by the Bishop of Rome since the time of the Reformation. Our Roman Catholic forefathers had refused to submit to such an infringement upon the rights and privileges of their Sovereign, and upon the dignity and independence of their country. Such an attempt would not be endured by any Roman Catholic State now, and why should England submit to it? Her Majesty said—"The recent assumption of certain ecclesiastical titles conferred by a foreign Power has excited strong feelings in this country, and large bodies of my subjects have presented addresses to me expressing attachment to the Throne, and praying that such assumptions should be resisted. I have assured them of my resolution to maintain the rights of my crown, and the independence of the nation, against all encroachment, from whatever quarter it may proceed. I have, at the same time, expressed my earnest desire and firm determination, under God's blessing, to maintain unimpaired the religious liberty 10 which is so justly prized by the people of this country. It will be for you to consider the measure which will be laid before you on this subject." It must be most gratifying, he was sure, to hear the expression of such sentiments from the Sovereign. He could not but congratulate their Lordships on the existence of that sound Protestant feeling exhibited by this country on this occasion; showing, he thought, beyond all doubt, that the heart of the country was sound, and that it had no sympathy with Rome, either in its real form, or under whatever other name it might be disguised. The attempt of the Pope to interfere with our internal and domestic concerns must, he thought, be met by a legislative enactment; but what that measure might be it was not for him to consider now, nor could he anticipate what the measures were which it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to bring forward; he would only express a hope that it would be such as would satisfy their Lordships themselves, meet the just expectations of the people of this realm, and he adequate to effect the object for which it was intended. He trusted that their Lordships would continue to be the maintainers of the full enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and that they would uphold their Roman Catholic fellow-subjects in the full possession and free exercise of their civil rights and privileges, so long as they did not encroach on the rights of others. But in establishing a hierarchy of their own, subject to a foreign potentate, he thought that they were infringing on the rights of the Grown, as well as those of the Established Church. He had no objection, and he thought their Lordships would not object, to give to the Roman Catholics every facility for the exorcise of their religion; but if they pretended they could not enjoy the exercise of their religion without instituting a hierarchy of their own, with bishops holding territorial dioceses, and exercising ordinary jurisdiction, then he thought their Lordships would be perfectly justified in saying to the Roman Catholics—they could not do so here without infringing on the prerogative of the Crown and on the security of the Established Church, and that their Lordships and the people of England were not prepared to sacrifice these, though both might be ignored and set aside by a foreign Power. He could not but remind their Lordships that one object of establishing this Roman 11 Catholic hierarchy was avowed by its originator to be the reduction of England under the operation of the canon law. Now, if that were so, it was incumbent on their Lordships to inquire how far that law was compatible with our own laws and constitution, and with the general interests and good of society. Now, it was to him quite clear that that law would not agree with the independence of any Protestant country, and could not be introduced into England consistently with the supremacy of English law. The Pope, by dividing England into dioceses, and by making, of his own authority, appointments to them, had been guilty of an attack upon the supremacy of Her Majesty, which he trusted all their Lordships were prepared to maintain. It had been stated that, if this act had been promulgated less offensively, it would not have been complained of by the country. He could not believe any such statement, and he would, therefore, contend that the act itself was that of which we had a right to complain, and that the offensive manner in which it was announced was only an aggravation of the insult. It must be met by some legislative measure, at once securing the just supremacy of the Crown, and increasing the efficiency of the Established Church, which would be the most effectual way of opposing a barrier to the encroachments of the Church of Rome. There were other subjects of great importance in Her Majesty's Speech, relating to the administration of justice in the several departments of law and equity, to which the attention of the Parliament was to be called in the course of the present Session. He would rather leave those subjects for the consideration of others, who were better qualified to deal with them than he was; but with regard to the measure providing for the establishment of a system of registration of deeds and improvements relating to the transfer of property, he thought that every one of their Lordships would understand its importance. He was quite sure that there was one topic in the Speech in which their Lordships, however they might differ in other respects, would one and all agree—he alluded to Her Majesty's declaration that "we have every cause, to be thankful to Almighty God for the measure of tranquillity and happiness which has been vouchsafed to us." The noble Earl concluded by moving the following humble Address:— 12MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN,WE, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to return Your Majesty our humble Thanks for Your Majesty's most gracious Speech from the Throne.WE beg leave humbly to thank Your Majesty for the Assurance of Your Majesty's great Satisfaction in again meeting Your Parliament, and resorting to our Advice and Assistance in the Consideration of Measures which affect the Welfare of our Country.WE beg leave humbly to express the Satisfaction with which we learn that Your Majesty continues to maintain the Relations of Peace and Amity with Foreign Powers.WE thank Your Majesty for informing us that it has been Your Endeavour to induce the States of Germany to carry into full Effect the Provisions of the Treaty with Denmark, which was concluded at Berlin in the Month of July of last Year; and we assure Your Majesty that we participate in the Gratification which Your Majesty has been pleased to express in being able to inform us that the German Confederation and the Government of Denmark are now engaged in fulfilling the Stipulations of that Treaty, and thereby putting an end to Hostilities which at one Time appeared full of Danger to the Peace of Europe.WE beg leave humbly to assure Your Majesty, that we participate in the Hope which Your Majesty has been pleased to express that the Affairs of Germany may be arranged by mutual Agreement in such a manner as to preserve the Strength of the Confederation, and to maintain the Freedom of its separate States.WE thank Your Majesty for informing us that Your Majesty has concluded with the King of Sardinia Articles additional to the Treaty of September 1811, and for having directed that those Articles shall be laid before us.WE rejoice to learn that the Government of Brazil has taken new, and, as Your Majesty hopes, efficient, Measures for the Suppression of the atrocious Traffic in Slaves.WE thank Your Majesty for informing us, that, notwithstanding the large Reductions of Taxation which have been effected in late Years, the Receipts of the Revenue have been satisfactory.WE learn with Satisfaction that the State of the Commerce and Manufactures. of the United Kingdom has been such as to afford general Employment to the Labouring Classes.WE concur with Your Majesty in lamenting the Difficulties which are still felt by that important Body among Your Majesty's People who are 13 Owners and Occupiers of Land; but we unite with Your Majesty in the confident Hope that the prosperous Condition of other Classes of Your Majesty's Subjects will have a favourable Effect in diminishing those Difficulties, and promoting the Interests of Agriculture.WE beg leave humbly to state to Your Majesty that we have observed that the recent Assumption of certain Ecclesiastical Titles conferred by a Foreign Power has excited strong Feeling-, in this Country; and we thank Your Majesty for informing us that large Bodies of Your Majesty's Subjects have presented Addresses to Your Majesty, expressing Attachment to the Throne, and praying that such Assumptions should be resisted. We rejoice to learn that Your Majesty has assured them of Your Resolution to maintain the Rights of Your Majesty's Crown, and the Independence of the Nation, against all Encroachment, from whatever Quarter it may proceed. We also learn with Satisfaction that Your Majesty has at the same Time expressed Your earnest Desire and firm Determination, under God's Blessing, to maintain unimpaired the Religious Liberty which is so justly prized by the People of this Country.WE beg leave to assure Your Majesty that we will devote our best Consideration to the Measure which will be laid before us on this Subject.WE beg leave humbly to state to Your Majesty that it will be our Duty to give our serious Attention to the Administration of Justice in the several Departments of Law and Equity; and we thank Your Majesty for the Confidence which Your Majesty feels that the Measures which may be submitted with a view of improving that Administration will be discussed with that mature Deliberation which important Changes in the highest Courts of Judicature in the Kingdom imperatively demand.WE thank Your Majesty for acquainting us that a Measure will be laid before us providing for the Establishment of a System of Registration of Deeds and Instruments relating to the Transfer of Property, and for informing us that this Measure is the Result of Inquiries which Your Majesty has caused to be made into the Practicability of adopting a System of Registration calculated to give Security to Titles, to diminish the Causes of Litigation to which they have hitherto been liable, and to reduce the Cost of Transfers.WE thank Your Majesty for the Confidence which Your Majesty has been pleased to express that it will be our constant Care to combine the Progress of Improvement with the Stability of our Institutions; and we unite with Your Majesty in the Conviction that we may esteem ourselves fortunate that we can pursue without Dis- 14 turbance the Course of calm and peaceable Amelioration; and we beg Leave to assure Your; Majesty that we feel we have every Cause to be thankful to Almighty God for the Measure of Tranquillity and Happiness which has been vouchsafed to us.
§ LORD CREMORNE
said, he rose with much diffidence to second the Address to Her Majesty, which had been proposed by the noble Earl. In doing so he could assure their Lordships that he felt need of that indulgence which was usually conceded to those occupying the position he was in. After the manner in which the noble Earl who had preceded him had reviewed the different topics alluded to in Her Majesty's Speech, he felt that it was not necessary, and that he would be only trespassing on their Lordships' time, if he, too, were to go through them in detail; but there were one or two upon which it would not he altogether fitting that he should remain silent. In making some observations on these topics, he sincerely trusted that nothing he should say might give rise to any hostile discussion, or turn the attention of their Lordships from unanimously concurring in the adoption of the Address now under consideration. The important subject which had for some time past been agitating the public mind—he meant the late proceeding of the Papal See—naturally attracted the largest share of attention. The noble Earl had already alluded to this subject, and he (Lord Cremorne) need hardly say how entirely he concurred with him in the sentiments he had expressed. He felt much gratification at the circumstance of Her Majesty's recommending this subject to the attention of the House; and he sincerely trusted that their Lordships would be prepared to co-operate with Her Majesty's Government in imposing restrictions on the exercise of the Papal power in this country. It was also most satisfactory to him to find this recommendation in Her Majesty's Speech coupled with an assurance, from which they might infer that, whatever measures might be proposed, they would in nowise curtail the civil and religious liberties of any of Her Majesty's subjects; that these measures would not be measures of persecution against our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, but would only be calculated to resist aggression on the part of the Court of Rome. He thought he might say that many—he hoped he might say that most—of the Roman Catholic Peers and Members of the other House of Parliament would 15 approve of this policy, and that they, in common with their and our Roman Catholic ancestors, would think it necessary to defend the Royal prerogative, and to check, by Act of Parliament, that spirit of aggression which had always animated, and still did animate, the Court of Rome. He would now refer to another subject. Her Majesty had congratulated them on the general prosperity of the country. Whether it was regarded in a national, commercial, or social point of view, he thought there could be no doubt that the nation never appeared in a more flourishing condition. There was, however, one exception, and that was a most important one, to this general prosperity. Her Majesty proceeded to lament that distress prevailed to a great extent amongst the owners and occupiers of land. This was a subject well worthy of most serious consideration. It was a subject most intimately connected with the well-being of the most important class of our manufacturers—he meant that one which was engaged in the production of human food. Were he to proceed to investigate the causes of agricultural distress, he feared he should only be commencing a discordant debate, not leading to any practical result. He should therefore content himself with saying, that as all classes and interests of this country were so intimately connected and bound up with one another, so the prosperity of manufactures and commerce must ultimately react upon the agricultural interests, and mitigate the evils under which they laboured. With regard to Ireland, he could speak from experience and personal observation, and he would say, that in that part of the united kingdom there was much cause for congratulation. He might point as a proof of this assertion to the large reduction in the amount of poor-rates, and of the number of poor in the workhouses, which, together with other causes, had contributed to lighten the burdens upon land, and to restore confidence amongst the tenant-farmers, a large portion of whom, and he feared he might say the most respectable portion, had been formerly despondent, and looked to emigration as the means of remedying their condition. Another means of improvement had been the satisfactory manner in which the Incumbered Estates Act had worked, by the gradual introduction of new classes of solvent proprietors, whose circumstances enabled them to devote an adequate portion of capital to the improvement of their property and the employment of the population 16 might be said that this prosperity had been obtained at the expense of the old landlords. That was not his opinion. It was his opinion that land had sold quite as well as could be expected, when the recurrence of the potato failure for several years, and the diminished value of all agricultural produce, were taken into consideration. Besides this, vast sums of money which would otherwise have been wasted in litigation had been saved; and the rapidity with which sales had been effected had prevented ruinous arrears of interest from accumulating. That these advantages were appreciated, was manifest from the circumstance that so many proprietors had become petitioners for the sale of their own estates. With one or two exceptions also, all the purchases had been effected by Irish capital, thereby disproving the assertion that the land was about to pass by wholesale into the hands of absentee proprietors, and showing, moreover, that Ireland had within herself a much greater amount of capital and resources than was commonly supposed. In fact, so well did he (Lord Cremorne) appreciate the consequences of this Act, that if, among the legal reforms hinted at in Her Majesty's Speech, it should be contemplated to provide a similar measure for England, he would give it his support and concurrence. The satisfactory state of our relations with foreign Powers was another topic of Her Majesty's Speech; but as that had been already brought under their Lordships' attention, he would not longer trespass upon their time than to thank them for having so kindly given their attention, and to ask them to adopt the Address to Her Majesty, which he had the honour to second.
§ On the Question being proposed,
said: My Lords, I have always been of opinion, that as a general rule, unless the Address proposed in answer to Her Majesty's Speech to both Houses of Parliament contains a declaration of principles which it is impossible for a large portion of the House to adopt—unless it speaks in terms which it is impossible to concur with or assent to—it is in general most respectful to the Crown, most convenient to the House, and best adapted for the discharge of business, that this and the other House of Parliament should upon the first evening of the Session, receive the Speech with that respect which is due to everything which proceeds from Her Majesty, and receive it as an indication merely of the principal measures and the 17 principal topics which are likely to come under the consideration of Parliament, without expressing any opinion on the merits of the measures themselves, or as to the course which Parliament ought to adopt with respect to them. And although, on my own part, I must confess that I am not altogether satisfied with the language of this Speech, and although I think there are some things in it which might be couched in more appropriate terms, some things which might well have been omitted, and although there are some things omitted which I think might have found a place in it, yet upon the whole, I will preface the observations which I have to make to your Lordships, by declaring for my own part at all events, and I believe for the great body of those with whom I have the honour and the satisfaction to act, that it is not our intention to call upon your Lordships by any hostile amendment to negative or to alter any portion of the Address which has been proposed in reply to the Speech from the Throne. My Lords, there are some topics in this Speech of no ordinary and common-place kind. There are references to amendments in the law on the most important and difficult subjects. With regard to any alteration of the law as to the registration of deeds and the facilitating of the transfer of property, I need only say that when such measures, involving no political or party interest, shall be submitted to the consideration of this or the other House of Parliament, I am sure that they will meet with that dispassionate and calm consideration which the importance of the subject demands. My Lords, with regard to the foreign affairs of this country, I am happy to see, from the Speech itself, that the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs has been actively employed. My Lord, it is no doubt satisfactory to this country—the more satisfactory because prolonged uncertainty had caused, no doubt, a reasonable apprehension to be entertained for the peace of Europe—it is satisfactory to learn that those contentions which prevailed between the German Confederation—orrather, I would say, between Prussia, under whoso influence the German Confederation has been acting, and the Court of Denmark, have at last been brought to a termination. My Lords, how far that termination may be due to the intervention of Her Majesty's Government, it is not for me to say. I confess, that although I believe that the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign 18 Office has done nothing to thwart the attempts which may have been made by others to bring about a reconciliation, and that that noble Lord may have contributed his humble part to that attempt at reconciliation, yet that part has by no means been so pre-eminent as that noble Lord has found it expedient for him to take upon some other less justifiable occasions. My Lords, I believe that the pacification of Denmark and the German Confederation, is due partly to the returning good sense of the Prussians, partly to the unanimous expression of the sentiments of all civilised Europe as to the unjustifiable character of the aggression upon Denmark which was intended—much more to the firm and dignified attitude which has been assumed by the Emperor of Austria—and perhaps it is not too much to say, most of all by the forcible inducements, by arguments backed by the most powerful influences, which have been unsparingly used by the Emperor of Russia. But, my Lords, from whatever cause this is owing, I cordially rejoice that the threatened disturbance of the general peace of Europe has, through some instrumentality or another, been, for the present at least, put an end to. My Lords, the noble Lord who moved the Address, stated that Parliament would no doubt receive with great satisfaction, and that there was no subject which would give more satisfaction to the country, than the assurance that the Government of Brazil had taken new measures, and, Her Majesty hoped, efficient measures, for the suppression of the atrocious traffic in slaves. My Lords, I wish I could share in the hope which has been expressed by Her Majesty on that subject. I wish that I had good grounds for hoping—not that they would adopt any new measures or pass any new laws—but that they would give bonâ fide execution to the laws which they have already passed on the subject of the traffic in slaves—but I cannot forget that no Power has done so much to foster and promote that atrocious system as Brazil, and that no Power has greater means of mitigating and putting an end to its horrors. But while I look with some hope to the execution of existing laws and to the sincere exertions of the Government of Brazil, I cannot refrain from calling your Lordships' attention to the fact that you have a more powerful means for the suppression of that atrocious traffic in slaves, which you yearly deprecate and spend hundreds of thousands, and much valuable 19 blood, to put down, but which your commercial regulations strongly and effectually encourage. My Lords, there are two topics which have been introduced into the Speech from the Throne of the deepest importance; and while I do justice to the general ability with which the noble Lord who moved this Address addressed your Lordships, I concur with him in nothing that he has said, more than in the terms in which he spoke of that portion of the Address which refers to the difficulties that are felt by owners and occupiers of land. I rejoice to find that the important class of landowners and occupiers are now spoken of with somewhat more of respect—I had almost said with less of neglect—than has been observed in preceding years. It is a melancholy satisfaction to us occupiers and landowners, aye, and I will add, labourers—to know that the reasonableness of our complaints, and the extent and the reality of our distress, is at length acknowledged by Her Majesty's Government. Last year, my Lords, Her Majesty had heard with regret, not the distress, but the complaints of certain portions of owners and occupiers of land; but Her Majesty was consoled by the reflection that the great body of her people, from cheapness and abundance, were partaking generally of the comforts of life. Now, this year we are told that Her Majesty laments "the difficulties which are still felt by that important body" (no longer a small fraction, whose interests are to be separated from the great mass of the community), but that "important body" connected with the occupation and cultivation of the land. The noble Lord who seconded the Address gave utterance to a declaration, which I hope embodies the views of Her Majesty's Government, that of all the manufacturers of this country, the most important interest, that which is most deeply and vitally connected with the well-being of the country, the manufacturers of human food, the great class connected with the cultivation of the land, are the most important. My Lords, we are grateful for the sympathy which authorised an expression of condolence with that suffering and important interest, that formerly wealthy, that still loyal though deeply suffering, portion of the community. But I confess, my Lords, that I should have received this Speech with more satisfaction, I should have concurred more readily in the language of the Address, if I had seen held out, either in the Speech itself, or in the language of 20 either of the noble Lords, who might have boon so far authorised on the part of the Government, any expression, any hope, however feeble, of the diminution of those difficulties by moans of legislative measures. My Lords, we are told that there is great and very general prosperity in the country, that the manufacturing classes are generally employed, on which I shall have a word or two to say in a moment. It appears that the prosperity of the great bulk of the country is such that Her Majesty's Government have means at their disposal to justify a remission of taxation. My Lords, if it be the fact that all other interests are prospering—if it be the fact that the most important interest of all is suffering—if it be possible to apply relief in the shape of a remission of taxation, I ask Her Majesty's Government to what purposes could that remission of taxation be more fitly and more justly applied than to the relief of those who, whilst the other classes of the country are in the opinion of the country enjoying unparalleled prosperity, are suffering under difficulties of the utmost severity. Yet, my Lords, throughout the Speech from the Throne, and throughout the speeches of the noble Lords who moved and seconded the Address, I find no indication on the part of Her Majesty's Government, by any legislative measures, by relief from taxation, or by any other mode, to put forth a single finger for the relief of that distress which they admit and acknowledge. My Lords, I ask Her Majesty's Government—the noble Lord has shrunk from that inquiry-—but I will ask Her Majesty's Government to what it is that they attribute this long-continued distress? I ask whether any man can deny that that distress among the owners and occupiers of land is attributable to that system of legislation which, be it right or wrong, to it for the general advantage of the community, or be it not for that general advantage, you have introduced within the last few years, and which is bearing heavily upon the agricultural resources of the country? I ask, can any one deny that the present agricultural distress is owing to the legislation which you have adopted; and if it be owing to your course of legislation, and by legislation you can relieve that distress which you have created—I ask what excuse do you make to yourselves or to your country for your obstinate refusal to alleviate that cause of distress? My Lords, I ask Her Majesty's Government, is the 21 present condition of the landed interest, as they called it last year, an exceptional case? I ask what are the circumstances which are exceptional? The year before last it was an exceptional case because there had been a large importation of foreign corn to make up for the deficiency of a bad harvest at home. Last year the cause of distress was the reverse. The cause of distress then was an abundant harvest at home, coincidal with an abundant harvest abroad; and, my Lords, the last time we met the price of wheat was far below that which we were led to anticipate. At the commencement of the Session, the lowest price of wheat was 42s. We were assured that that was so ruinous a price that no foreign importers would be induced at such a price to bring their agricultural produce to this country, and we were in fact assured that there would speedily be so great a reaction that this year the prices would be extravagantly high. If, by any chance, there was a rise of a penny or two pence one week over another, we were told with joy by the free-traders, who at first desired an indefinite cheapness in corn, "You see the reaction is beginning to set in. Look, the prices are rising; you may all hope for the best now, for the prices which we have done our best to cut down are actually rising in spite of us." from 42s. last year the price went down to 40s., to 39s., to 38s., and, I believe, at the moment I am now addressing your Lordships, the price of wheat in this country is but 37s. 2d. At a price varying from 42s. to 37s. 2d., there has been poured into this country a continued stream of wheat and wheat flour, and that stream is still increasing. There has been an importation of not less than 4,500,000 quarters of wheat alone; and according to every advice that comes, so far from finding the producers sick of their bargain, "the cry is still they come," and our markets are swamped with the inundation of foreign corn. I say to those who rejoiced in repealing the corn laws that the results have not verified their anticipations and expectations—that many men who supported that measure, did so in the confident expectation that, although some diminution would take place in the price of corn, yet that no permanent diminution would be experienced to any such extent as we have experienced. I may remind the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies that he anticipated a rise in the value of land, 22 and an improvement in the price of corn. [Earl GREY here made a remark which did not reach the gallery.] I thought that the noble Lord had some reason to believe that the value of land in the market—certainly of agricultural land—would not be lowered by the adoption of free trade. The noble Lord who seconded the Address spoke of the benefit which has been derived from the operation of the Incumbered Estates Act, and threw out a hint that he should not object to an extension of the measure to this country. In speaking of the operation of that Act, by which lauds have been transferred from one person to another, or rather in many cases from debtor to creditor, the noble Lord noticed that prices had been as good as could be expected under existing circumstances. And when we inquire what the existing circumstances are, we are told, not the large amount of land in the market at once, but the depreciation in the value of all agricultural produce, and the consequent depreciation thereby caused in the value of the land which raises that produce. The Incumbered Estates Act may be a convenience to some nominal proprietors, whose incumbrances amount to fifty or sixty years' purchase, and who have been able to obtain friendly purchases at five or six years' purchase, and have transferred their land. It may undoubtedly be true that in many cases those incumbered estates may have been purchased by creditors upon the estates as a bad debt, which there was no other chance of recovering; but I cannot congratulate the noble Lord on the success of an experiment which has caused a large amount of property throughout Ireland to be sold at prices varying from four to nine or ten years' purchase of the net profit rents of the estate. I thought when the Incumbered Estates Bill was obtained, that Ireland was to be renovated by the introduction of a new class of capitalists—by the I application of English capital and English enterprise for the supplying the vacancy which had been created by the exhaustion of late years. But no such thing. The noble Lord congratulates us on the fact, that there has hardly been an investment of English money to the extent of 100l. in the purchase of Irish property; and consequently all this sacrifice of estates has been made without the addition of a single shilling to the circulating capital of Ireland. I beg to enter my very humble protest on this subject. The Act may 23 have worked satisfactorily to some parties, but it really has operated most cruelly in many cases. It has performed, and is performing, and will continue to perform, that operation which the noble Lord treats with indifference, or rather, which he considers desirable. It has substituted a new set of proprietors for the ancient owners of the soil. This might have been desirable in some cases where the proprietors were merely nominal proprietors, and in those instances I have no doubt the transfer has been beneficial; but, as a general rule, it is not desirable for the social interests of the country—it is not an object to be aimed at, to break up the old connexion between landlord and tenant, and to substitute a new class of proprietors for those whose families have owned and occupied the land for years and centuries. I am desirous to maintain, if it be possible—I am desirous, at all events, of doing nothing to accelerate the fall of—the ancient landed proprietary of the country. I believe the tie which binds them to the soil is one of the greatest securities for the stability of our institutions, and for the general contentment and happiness of the country. And it is no satisfaction to me to be told that, if, by your legislation, the difficulties which now crowd upon and press the owner and occupier of the land are found insuperable, a new class of proprietors may be set in the place of those whom your legislation may have driven from their paternal homes. The noble Lord will forgive me, when I say, that it is impossible that the owner and occupier of the soil should have their means curtailed, their resources diminished, and their capital reduced almost to nothing, and that the condition of the agricultural labourer should at the same time be improved. I may be told that there is great improvement going on in agriculture, and great employment given to agricultural labourers. I do not believe, my Lords, that, generally speaking, employment is given by the occupier of the land; in most instances it is, to an extraordinary amount, given by the owners of the land, who, rather than part with their property, are ruining themselves by making improvements in order to prevent the labouring classes from being thrown on the poor-law; the owners of the land are making those disinterested exertions, even though by doing so they may be furnishing the free-traders with an argument of the increased prosperity of the country, deduced 24 from the diminished number of paupers in the workhouses, as compared with last year. There is one paragraph to which I do not wish to be supposed to express my assent—that in which Her Majesty says, "It is my confident hope that the prosperous condition of other classes of my subjects will have a favourable effect in diminishing those difficulties, and promoting the interests of agriculture." We receive with every respect the expression of Her Majesty's "hope;" but I trust we shall not be called upon to share in the expression of a "confidence" that those difficulties will be diminished to any material extent, or their interests greatly promoted by the prosperous condition of other classes of Her Majesty's subjects. I do not deny that in certain parts of the country the agricultural interest may be benefited by an increased consumption. The prosperity of the manufacturing county with which I am closely connected will undoubtedly bear upon the prosperity of that class of the agricultural community who are not engaged in the cultivation of wheat or corn crops; but with regard to the grower of corn, with regard to all that produce to which the immediate nearness of the market does not give a preponderating preference, the extent of the connexion between the two classes has been materially weakened by the effect of the repeal of the corn laws. It is true that, previous to the Act of 1846, the improved and prosperous condition of the manufacturers bore directly with beneficial results on the agriculturists; but the community of interest which then existed between those classes has since been severed. Your ability to consume more corn now may be advantageous to the agriculture of France—of that France by which we were treated with ridicule and contempt for supposing it ever to be an exporting country; it may be for the advantage of Prussia and the United States of America—that boundless continent which shares the English market in more than an equal proportion with the British producer. The measure by which you professed to legislate against class interests, dissolved the close community of interest which bound together the prosperity of the manufacturer and agriculturist. My Lords, I remain unaltered, nay, strengthened in my opinion, as to the impolicy of the measure of 1846—at all events, to the extent to which it went. I can see no permanency of price which the existing law can cause, unless there be 25 some alteration in your financial system; and I will not deceive the producers of this country, by holding out to them expectations which I do not share. I believe that prices will remain permanently low under the present system—that at those prices the production of the country must materially be diminished, and with it a corresponding diminution in the comfort and the happiness of the most important portion of our population—and in their ability to bear that enormous amount of taxation and debt which no other country in the world could have borne, and which this county never could have borne, if not for the support and encouragement—the factitious encouragement, if you so please to call it—which the policy of this country gave to its own productions and its own industry, My Lords, I now come to another topic of a most serious nature, which I am anxious to handle in the manner recommended by the advice and example of the noble Mover of the Address. It is impossible not to feel that, by recent measures—I do not say by a recent measure, but by recent measures—of the Head of the Roman Catholic Church, there has been an aggression most dangerous and unconstitutional—I will not say insidious—but I will say an insolent aggression upon the supremacy of the Crown of England, rendered more insolent and more offensive by the manner in which it has been carried into effect. My Lords, it is impossible that I should condemn the proceedings which have taken place in stronger terms than those by which they have been characterised by the noble Lord who holds the responsible situation of principal adviser of the Crown. The noble Lord, in a letter which has attained great celebrity, which has produced no small effect on the public mind, says—There is an assumption of power in all the documents which have come from Rome—a pretension to supremacy over the realm of England—and a claim to sole and undivided sway, which is inconsistent with the Queen's supremacy, with the rights of our bishops and clergy, and with the spiritual independence of the nation, as asserted even in Roman Catholic times.When the noble Lord penned that sentence—when he sent it forth as the deliberate opinion of the head of the Government—when he announced to the people of this country that the Queen's supremacy had been insulted, that the religious independence of the country was threatened, that the rights of the bishops and clergy of the Established Church were invaded, he could not have written, still less have published, that 26 sentence without being aware of the nature of the flame which was about to be kindled. He must have realised to himself the extent and amount of that genuine, spontaneous, firm, Protestant feeling, which has burst forth from one end of the country to the other; and although occasionally in language the intemperance of which I cannot justify, yet not for the most part in terms of hostility against the persons or even the religion of our Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen, but against an assumption of authority and power on the part of a foreign prelate—potentate, under existing circumstances, I can hardly call him—which has been denounced in the strongest terms by the Prime Minister of the Crown. But when the noble Lord made that appeal to the feelings of the people of Great Britain and Ireland—when he called forth that expression of Protestant feeling from all parts of the kingdom—when he obtained for himself a popularity which the profession of sincere Protestant and religious feeling, and the maintenance of the honour and authority of the Crown will always obtain in this country, when the noble Lord did this, I think he could hardly have taken that step without having deliberately calculated the cost, and considered the magnitude and of the struggle in which he was about to engage. My Lords, we are not now entering upon the question of this or that act; we are not dealing with a single act, but with a succession of acts of aggression on the part of the Pope of Rome, which the noble Lord has characterised in the strongest terms. We are protesting against the interference, the insolent, and unauthorised, and illegal interference of a foreign Power in the domestic affairs of this country. This is no question of religious controversy. I trust that neither in this nor the other House of Parliament will it be treated as a question of the comparative purity or corruption of the doctrines of the Reformed or of the Roman Catholic Church. With that we have nothing to do. God forbid that I should desire on account of their religion to deprive my Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen of the full, perfect, and entire exercise of their religious freedom, or restrict them in the enjoyment of any civil right which has been conferred upon them! If that be what is demanded by the Protestantism of the country, I cannot share the triumph or partake the gale; for these are not my views, these are not the feelings with which I approach the question. But, my Lords, the question is this—shall the 27 Roman Catholic Prelate, shall the head of this Roman Catholic Church, be permitted to exercise in this country, uncontrolled and unchecked, a mischievous and dangerous interference, not with names and titles, not with shadows and ideas, but with substantial realities, in the government of the country? That is the question you have to ask—that is the struggle on which you are about to enter. If the letter of the noble Lord means anything, it means this—I will vindicate the supremacy of the Crown—I will vindicate the rights of the bishops and clergy—I will vindicate the undivided sway of Her Majesty and the Parliament over the domestic concerns of this country—and I will not permit any foreign Power or authority to interfere with the administration of this country and the authority of the Queen and the Parliament. I can understand the feeling which since 1829 has led successive Governments and successive Parliaments to shut their eyes to matters which they flattered themselves were insignificant. I may regret now that the evil has not been checked at the outset; for I find that every act of concession and toleration, and every manifestation of reluctance to enforce the law when any violation of it has taken place, has been looked upon as indications of weakness; and growing by impunity, growing by continual success, these encroachments have become greater and more formidable, more determined, and more resolute, until at last they have reached a pitch at which the Prime Minister of the Crown declares in the most solemn manner that to tolerate them is inconsistent with the supremacy of the Crown and the religious and political interests of the country. Don't let us underrate the magnitude of the struggle on which, if you mean anything; you are about to enter. If you mean nothing—if you mean to introduce some measure, to put some new enactment on the Statute-book, which is to be evaded or not enforced—if you disallow the title of Bishop of Nottingham, but enable the Bishop of Nottingham and other bishops to complete their synodical organisation, and, through that means, to exercise boundless control over the consciences of their Roman Catholic fellow-subjects—I tell you you have done nothing towards meeting the emergency—I tell you that you will make your Roman Catholic fellow-subjects the victims of a tyranny which their Roman Catholic ancestors in Roman Catholic times, and under a Roman Catholic sovereign, would never have submitted to. I do not 28 altogether agree in the conclusions of my noble Friend on the cross benches (Earl of St. Germans). I say that which you do with regard to England you must do with regard to Ireland—that that which is a violation of the supremacy of the Crown in England is an equal violation, and to the same extent, of the supremacy of the Crown in Ireland. You cannot separate the Church which, once for all, was indissolubly united at the period of the Union. Do not shut your eyes to the gravity of the occasion. If you mean to palter with this question, after having roused the feelings, the expectations, the religious—I will not call them prejudices—but the strong religious feelings of the Protestants of England, of Scotland, and of Ireland, you finish by a most "lame and impotent conclusion." Affecting to touch the shadow, but not dealing with the substance of the injuries of which you complain, you will rekindle that religious animosity, the kindling of which, under any circumstances, I should deeply deplore, instead of coming to a satisfactory determination of the question by the intervention of Parliament. I have already said that, for one, I will not consent to deprive my Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen of one jot or tittle of those civil rights which were conferred upon them by the Act of 1829. I know not, my Lords, what may be the measure which we shall be invited to consider on the part of Her Majesty's Government. Whatever it may be, we will approach the consideration of it with the hope of finding that, at all events, it will realise those expectations which the Prime Minister has excited. We will hope to find in it a law by which the free exercise of Roman Catholic worship, by which the full performance, the full possession, of civil rights on the part of the Roman Catholics may be reconciled with the clear and substantial vindication of the supremacy of the Crown; and, not in words but in actions, a practical repudiation of foreign interference by prelate or by cardinal, which shall render it impossible for the Roman Catholic hierarchy to impede—as I fear, in the case of the Irish colleges, there is some danger they may impede—a measure desired and claimed as highly beneficial by a large portion of the Roman Catholics themselves, and by one-half the Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland. I say, I trust, with the maintenance of entire religious liberty, with the maintenance of the full civil rights of the Roman Catholics, the measure which you introduce will pre- 29 vent the dangerous and mischievous and I successful intermeddling of a foreign Prelate, whose infallibility, as we are told, has been deceived by false representations relative to the affairs of Ireland by interested parties; and that we shall maintain for the Crown and Parliament of England the entire administration of our own internal affairs, whether ecclesiastical or civil. We shall look with great anxiety for the measure to be submitted to Parliament by Her Majesty's Government. I warn them that if it falls short of the just expectations of the country—I warn them that if, in appearance only and not in substance, it provides a security against those wrongs and insults of which the Prime Minister complains in such forcible terms—then will rest upon the heads of the Government a heavy responsibility, for having trifled with the feelings—with the strongest and holiest feelings of the people of this country—for having unfairly roused the hopes and expectations of Protestants, and I believe, if they would speak out, of a large portion of the more enlightened and liberal Roman Catholics, who will not be contentedly reduced to a state of submission to which Roman Catholic Parliaments never submitted. I do not hesitate to say that you ought now to consider fully and deliberately, dispassionately, temperately, but at the same time firmly, the whole of the difficult question of the relation in which the Roman Catholic subjects of this country stand to the Crown. In the year 1829 certain securities were introduced, which it was supposed would be effectual securities to the Protestant Church. My Lords, I think it the duty of the Government deliberately to examine those securities. If they are offensive, as they may be, to Roman Catholics, and at the same time, give no real security, and no real protection to the interests of Protestantism—if they are incapable of being enforced—if they encumber the Statute-book as a dead letter—sweep them off, and do not leave yourselves the odium of enacting them without gaining the advantage to be derived from enforcing them. But if there be cases in which the securities intended to be effectual have proved, from whatever cause, incapable of being applied—if the law does not touch the cases which it was intended to touch—if encroachments not then contemplated have been committed on our liberties by the See of Rome and the prelates either in England or Ireland—I say it is no violation of liberty, civil or reli- 30 gious, that you should make those securities what they were intended to be. The dangers of which the Prime Minister speaks must be met. You must look at the whole matter in the case calmly and dispassionately. You must not content yourselves with trifling legislation, but to the extent to which the danger exists, to that extent you must boldly and unflinchingly apply a remedy. If that be the course pursued the Government, no feeling of political difference, no feeling of party, shall preclude them from obtaining the assistance of that great body with which I have the honour to act. We do not desire to deprive them of the just popularity which they will obtain by enforcing the rights of the Crown, and the independence of the Church of these realms, without injury to the civil rights of those who dissent from the Church. But on the other hand, I warn them, if they do not deal firmly with the whole case, far better would it be that they should not attempt to legislate at all—far better still would it have been had they submitted even to this last and greatest encroachment which we have sustained from Rome. Deal manfully and boldly with the question, or deal with it not at all. Don't assume to control a power by merely ignoring, its exercise, or imposing an irrecoverable penalty upon its evasion or violation. Deal with it boldly. You will have the assent and support of your political opponents and the country at large. Palter with the question—flinch from it, seek to mitigate and palliate, but not to remedy, and you will incur the contempt of the country at large; you will prove your own incompetence to deal with evils the magnitude of which you have not hesitated to proclaim. I wait with deep anxiety the measure which Her Majesty's Government intend to submit to the consideration of Parliament, and I earnestly hope that the question may be dealt with in a manner suitable to the emergency of the case.
§ The DUKE of RICHMOND
was not at all surprised at the result of free trade. Prom the commencement of the system he could not conceive it possible for the British agriculturist to compete with the foreigner with any decree of success. It was idle to talk to the British farmer of the necessity of persevering and improving his land and farming high, when the capital now laid out did not produce any reasonable return. They had been told by the noble Seconder of the Address, that he had no doubt the prosperity of the manufacturing and com- 31 mercial interests would ultimately reach the agriculturists; but he wished to know what was to become of the tenant-farmers of Great Britain and Ireland whilst they were waiting for the change. He feared that instead of agriculture being more flourishing than manufactures and commerce, it would become more depressed, and the whole be involved in ruin. The farmers were, he was happy to say, at the present moment loyal, but he declared to Heaven that he feared they might not long remain so unless justice was done them. A great number of the small landed proprietors had been driven to the Continent; and when a reference was made to the poor-rate, they should re member the enormous number of agricultural labourers who had been obliged to emigrate to foreign lands. He did not know how many hundred thousand went out during last year, and many at the expense of the poor-rate. By the measure of free trade they had done neither more nor less than this—they had entirely crippled the landed interest of the country—they had forced many of the occupiers to leave the occupations which they and their forefathers had for centuries held, and to proceed to far distant lands, and under other Governments and other laws to obtain the justice which was denied them in the land of their birth. He had no hesitation in saying, that if free trade was for the benefit of the great mass of the people, he should not feel so strongly as he did; but it had ruined the landed proprietors, crushed the tenantry, and forced the labourers to emigrate; and for what? Why, to give money to the avaricious cotton spinner of Manchester, who, to sell his cotton goods, would sacrifice every law, both human and divine. He agreed with his noble Friend that, after the Speech which they had heard from the Throne, the Government should not be expected to relieve those who were wealthy, but that they should take off some of those burdens which affected and oppressed the landed interest; and, more than that, he considered that attention should especially be directed to the relief of those who were paying a rental of 100l., 150l., to 200l., for their farms. If this were not done, he predicted that a feeling of a most serious nature would arise amongst the agriculturists of this country. The unjust and unequal taxes which oppressed them ought to be removed: even if this was done it would not be sufficient, and the agricul- 32 turists of this country would not be satisfied unless they had a restoration of their rights—fair protection to domestic industry—and if they followed his advice, this should be their demand. There ought to have been more said in the Address upon the subject of this distress; and he believed there would have been, but for the reasons given by his noble Friend. Therefore, as their Lordships would shortly have an opportunity of considering that question, not once, but repeatedly, he, for one, should certainly not move an Amendment upon the present occasion; but he warned their Lordships that they must not neglect to do a great act of justice to that large and influential body of the middle classes—the tenant-farmers of this country. And now with respect to the Papal aggression, he must say two or three words upon that subject, because he was one of those who opposed the Roman Catholic Emancipation Act to the very last, and believed it to be one of the most dangerous measures which their Lordships had ever passed. They chose, however, to pass it, and now they had this aggression, which might have been anticipated. He had always found that when the two great political parties—the Government and the Opposition parties—agreed upon any important question, they were sure to be wrong; as instances of which, he mentioned the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act, and the free-trade measure of 1846, which was now found to be an injustice to the people of England. He did not agree in all the abuse which had been heaped upon the Bishop of Rome; for he was not surprised at what the Bishop of Rome had done. He saw that the Government patronised and consulted the Roman Catholic bishops and clergy in Ireland. He had found the House of Commons always disposed to concessions; and the Bishop of Rome had made the mistake of supposing that the House of Commons represented the people of England, which every one in England knew was not the case. Besides this, the Bishop of Rome had seen the House of Commons passing Bills to introduce Jews into a Christian Parliament; and a good many of the right reverend bench voting for the admission of Jews. Why, after that, the Bishop of Rome naturally thought that there was not a very strong Protestant feeling in this country. Now, he considered that the letter of Lord John Russell to the Bishop of Durham must be taken as the letter of the British Cabinet. They 33 had never contradicted it, though they had had opportunities of doing so, had it not embraced their sentiments, and he must, therefore, believe that the Cabinet Council concurred in it, He trusted, then, with respect to that part of it which spoke of the Papal aggression, that the Ministry would not allow themselves to be humbugged; and that with regard to the agriculturists they would return to protection, in order to restore the energies of the British farmers. He had expended a large sum of money, as most men had done, in improving the land of this country; but he would most distinctly say, that if free trade continued, and if the prices which now ruled continued, he would never spend another shilling of money for such a purpose; for he was one of those who did not like to spend good money in search of bad.
The EARL of WINCHILSEA
was prepared to contend that no man could place his finger upon any point in English history in which the political horizon presented so dark a prospect, or in which England stood in so humiliating and degrading a position. Great and imminent as were the dangers which had threatened this country throughout that long and eventful war in which the contest had been for national liberty, in his opinion those dangers sunk into perfect insignificance when compared with the domestic calamities which were now impending. At that period England was a united country, and a Protestant country. The Legislature was Protestant—the Sovereign, that House, and the House of Commons, were Protestant. But from the passing of the measure of 1829—that measure to which he had given so strenuous an opposition—the country had ceased to be a Protestant country as far as the Legislature was concerned. It was, however, perfectly true that the great body of the people were Protestant, and the strong feeling which had gone through the length and breadth of the land in reference to the recent aggression on the part of the Church of Rome, must have convinced their Lordships that there was in this country a strong attachment to the Protestant faith, and to our Protestant institutions. He hoped that nothing would fall from him in the course of the debate which would be likely to hurt the feelings of any one; for he was a true friend to religious liberty, and God forbid that in this country any man should not have full liberty to enjoy his own religious opinions! No man 34 would do more than he to ensure that liberty; but he contended the right exercise of political power was to uphold those laws which had been enacted for the benefit of the great majority of the people of that country; and as he had warned them on previous occasions, he never would cease to use that political power against that Church which gave no toleration to those who differed from it on any point. He remembered reading several extracts from a book published in 1826, entitled Catholicism in Austria, written by an Italian nobleman—Count dal Pozzo—a member of the Church of Rome, which described the policy of the Romish Church in the most exact manner. [The noble Lord then proceeded to read extracts at considerable length from the book in his hand.] The author, as their Lordships would see, described the Church of Rome as long-suffering, patiently waiting until the times changed in her favour. That long endurance would not cease until the Romish religion was established in this country. He contended that in every instance in which we abandoned the sound principles of the Reformation—the scriptural principles of those Protestant men who were the instruments, in God's hands, in bringing about the Reformation—in every instance in which the Legislature had consented to give increased power to the Church of Rome, national reverses and domestic difficulties had resulted. He knew not what measures would be presented by Her Majesty's Government; but if they were measures founded upon the principle of expediency, they might avert the evil for a few short years; but, most certainly, a great struggle must speedily take place between the Protestant feeling of this country and the Church of Rome, and against the return of her power, which never would be effected without first involving England in the horrors of a civil war. What a melancholy prospect this held out, and what a fearful result might they not anticipate! The Protestant feeling of this country rested upon sound principles, and he was sure, upon an occasion like this, there would but be one feeling of resentment at the aggression and insult which had been offered to the Sovereign, he for one would redeem the pledge which he had made in 1829, and should oppose every attempt to increase the power which had been placed in the Church of Rome on every occasion. No sacrifice could be too 35 great to prevent such a result. He, and many other Members of their Lordships' House, remembered the time when almost every Power in Europe was banded against this country; but England had triumphed over every difficulty, and her arms had been attended with unparalleled success. Such, too, he hoped would be the case now. He was aware that the emissaries of Rome had been sent into this country by thousands in all disguises. The Jesuits, under the garb of Protestant teachers, had got possession of our village schools through the length and breadth of the land. They must be prepared for a mighty struggle. He would tell them his honest opinion, that, if they allowed the Church of Rome to gain any further footing in this country, England would speedily sink into the same degraded state as Ireland. With regard to the other subjects of the Address, he must tell them that he came from one of the largest agricultural counties in England; and, at the present moment, in that county of Lincoln there were more labourers out of employment than had ever been remembered at any period. The farmers felt that they were abandoned. The foreign market was preferred to the home market; but they might depend upon it the home market was the true market to which they should turn their attention. It was his firm conviction that this neglect of the agricultural interest—this abandonment of it to unrelieved distress—would most certainly end in throwing the country into the last state of discontent.
§ LORD CAMOYS
said, he must apologise to the House for claiming their attention, but there were occasions on which the least important Member of the House might be pardoned for intruding his opinion upon them. It was not his intention to enter into all the topics contained in Her Majesty's Speech, but he would confine himself to one most important to their Lordships, most interesting to him. He was, as was well known to their Lordships, a Roman Catholic—his family had been so for many generations, and he was not ashamed to confess that he took pride in belonging to that ancient and unchangeable faith. At the same time, he was an Englishman, and the rights and liberties of this country were no less dear to him than to any one of their Lordships. He admitted the spiritual supremacy of the Queen over the Church of England, to the fullest extent that the most orthodox member of 36 that Church could desire, and he acknowledged the supremacy of the Pope over the Roman Catholics of this country in spiritual matters; but he protested against the exercise of any temporal power on the part of the Pope in this country, and it was his duty also to protest against any undue or unnecessary exercise of spiritual power violating the constitution of the country. He had watched the struggle for Catholic Emancipation with the deepest interest, and had witnessed with heartfelt satisfaction the triumph which the principles of religious liberty then obtained. Without stopping to inquire into the motives of passing that measure, as others had done, whether it was yielded as a concession to the renewed importunities of the Catholics, or granted to their just claims in a matter of right—whether it was the gift of generosity or the concession of expediency—it was liberally granted, and acquiesced in by the nation. At the passing of that Act, no written or express compact was made between the Roman Catholics and Protestants, but there was this moral compact understood between them. The Protestants said to the Roman Catholics, "You shall be admitted to all the rights and privileges of the British constitution—you shall enjoy, with us, all the benefits of civil and religious liberty; but you shall not seek to molest us in our Protestantism." And the Roman Catholics, on their part, said, "We agree to that arrangement, and we are ready to take an oath to that effect." There was this moral compact entered into, and he was prepared to say, on the part of the Roman Catholics of England, that it had not been violated. The duty and the policy of the Roman Catholics of England, after emancipation, was by their conduct to convinee those who had supported them that they should have no reason to repent the service performed, and to show those who had opposed them that there was no justification for the opposition they had made. He believed he might safely assert that this, which was the duty and the policy of the Roman Catholics of England after emancipation, had also been their conduct as a body, although it could not be disputed that the conduct of many of the Roman Catholics, and especially of many Roman Catholic clergymen, had been such as apparently to confirm those who had opposed Roman Catholic emancipation in the justice of their opposition. He was anxious to take 37 a fair and impartial view of the establishment of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in this country, to defend it where it could fairly be defended, hut, at the same time, to censure and condemn where censure and condemnation were due. And first of all let him look at the policy of the late hierarchical introductions, as regarded the Roman Catholics themselves. At the period of those introductions the Roman Catholics of England were on the best possible terms with the Protestants; they were in the full enjoyment of religious toleration; they had the benefit of perfect equality before the law; they were increasing in numbers; they were increasing, though not largely, but still increasing, in wealth; they were building new churchy and chapels, and many of these very beautiful structures, in various parts of the country; many persons were coming over to them from the upper ranks of Protestant society; several clergymen of the Established Church had joined their communion, their conversion having been the work not of Roman Catholic priests, but of their own close investigation of the question between the two religions, resulting in the conviction—right or wrong, it was not his business there to determine—that the religion they quitted was wrong, and the religion they joined was right. The whole tendency of things was to give stability to the Roman Catholic body in this country, to enlarge and to adorn it. Under such circumstances, it was obviously the very worst policy—the most culpable error—to seek to introduce into this country a Roman Catholic hierarchy. The attempt was manifestly founded on the most entire ignorance of the religious condition of the people of this country. Any person, indeed, who had been of late years in Rome, and had conversed with its people, must be aware what extravagant ideas prevailed there as to the religious condition of England. It was supposed that because a few clergymen of the Established Church had joined the Roman Catholic faith, at least one-half of the people of I England were also ready to join it; this important fact being entirely overlooked, that although it was true several Protestant clergymen had gone over to the Roman Catholic persuasion, in no one instance had their congregations followed them. It was said that the persons called Puseyites had been to a great extent the cause of the late step on the part of the Pope. If by this it was meant that the Puseyites 38 had directly interfered to invite this proceeding, he was prepared to deny the statement; but, so far as the quarrels which had arisen in the bosom of the Established Church itself might be chargeable indirectly as the cause of that aggression, the Puseyites, no doubt, must take their full share of the responsibility. It would be, however, very bad taste in him to make any further reference to these quarrels in the bosom of the Protestant Established Church. With reference to the establishment of the hierarchy itself, he did not so much blame for it the Papal Government, ignorant as that Government was of the religious condition of England, as he blamed those Englishmen who had advised the Papal Government in the course it had taken. Those persons he considered to have very much indeed of the responsibility weighing upon them. They ought to have told the Pope—England is a Protestant country—her constitution, though extending its benefits politically and socially to all, is essentially Protestant—the Crown is eminently Protestant—the people, with the exception of the Roman Catholic Members, are universally Protestant. He would not now enter into the question of the difference between vicars-apostolic and bishops, but he would briefly advert to the question which had been dwelt on, both in that House and elsewhere, whether in the establishment of a Roman Catholic hierarchy any actual law had been violated? It was said the Roman Catholics had violated three Acts of Parliament, the 1st Elizabeth, the 13th Elizabeth, and the 24th clause of the Emancipation Act of 1829. The penalties imposed by the 1st Elizabeth had been repealed by statute, but the rest of the statute remained in force. What did the 1st Elizabeth prohibit? It prohibited the acknowledgment by any English subject of the supremacy of the Pope of Rome. When, however, by Acts of toleration and the Emancipation Act, you tolerated the Roman Catholic faith in England, you tolerated therein the essentials of that faith, and, tolerating these, you tolerated the recognition by the Roman Catholics of England of the spiritual supremacy of the Pope. Yet that was a point strictly provided against in the 1st Elizabeth. But it was not too much to say, that if the provisions of a subsequent Act were incompatible with, or contrary to, those of a prior Act of Parliament, the provisions of the prior 39 Act were thereby repealed. He therefore asserted that the provisions of the 1st Elizabeth were practically repealed, and that the Roman Catholics had not by their recent acts offended against the laws of this country. He wished now to read to their Lordships a very valuable opinion given on the occasion of the passing of the 9th and 10th Victoria, by Lord Lyndhurst, then Lord Chancellor. His Lordship most distinctly declared that it was no crime for a Roman Catholic in England to maintain and defend the spiritual supremacy of the Pope; that, on the contrary, he was, as a Roman Catholic, bound to do so, with this restriction, that he must not maintain or defend it with any purpose mischievous to the realm, or injurious to the authority of the Crown, for that would be an offence at common law. [Hansard, vol. xcv. 1252; xcvi. 310.] But if he maintained and defended, as he was bound to do, the dignity and position of his spiritual superiors, he (Lord Lyndhurst) was bound to say, such was no offender at the common law. But, at the same time, that was to be done in a way that would leave intact the constitution of this country, involving the supremacy of the Queen of England and her temporal power. Such was the opinion of that great authority on this point; and he (Lord Camoys) had quoted it with the greatest satisfaction, because it was an answer to a contrary opinion expressed by a distinguished individual at a public meeting in the country. What he had said was equally applicable to the 13th Elizabeth, which forbade any communication with the Pope of Rome on the part of British subjects; but this prohibition, equally with the enactment of the 1st of Elizabeth, had been virtually repealed, and on precisely the same principle, by the Acts of toleration and the Emancipation Act. If they tolerated the Roman Catholic religion, they must tolerate communications with the Pope. He turned now to the 24th clause of the Act of 1829. The 24th section of that Act, after setting forth that the Protestant religion is the established religion in England, Ireland, and Scotland, went on to enact that any person assuming the style, title, and dignity of any archbishop, bishop, or dean belonging to the Established Church in England or Ireland (Scotland not being recited, there being no such titles in Scotland to appropriate), should be liable to a penalty of 100l. Their Lordships would observe that, as far as the Roman Catholic hierarchy were concerned, it was not ne- 40 cessary for the Legislature to include England, for at that time no such title had been assumed by the Roman Catholics in England; they were laying the foundation for, and were paving the way for establishing a similar state of things in England to that which then existed in Ireland. That, too, was well known, and yet the Act of 1829 had been so framed; and therefore he concluded that, so long as the Roman Catholics refrained from assuming the title of any Protestant dignity, they did not offend against the law. In reference to the Royal prerogative, if you compared the titles derived from the fountain of honour in England with those emanating from the Pope, there was no analogy between them: the former gave legal rights and precedence; the latter none whatever, and in no way whatever practically trenched upon the prerogative of the Crown. If he (Lord Camoys) were to call the next person he met in the street Archbishop of Westminster, he would be as much Archbishop of Westminster in point of law as Cardinal Wiseman. The Roman Catholic bishops had assumed titles in various parts of the country from places untouched by the Protestant hierarchy; but, in case the Government should think proper to establish a bishopric in one of such places, if, for instance, they were to constitute a Bishop of Birmingham, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Birmingham, if he should persist in retaining his title, would render himself liable to the penalty of 100l. But, until that occurred, or something similar, the Roman Catholics could not be said to have violated the law. He said he must notice an opinion published by his noble Friend (Lord Beaumont) who he was sorry had left the House, to the effect, that the Roman Catholics were reduced to this alternative, that either they must violate the constitution, or they must break from Rome. He (Lord Camoys) denied that they were reduced to that alternative; he denied that they must violate the constitution, because the Roman Catholics had kept within the law. But, in addressing himself to their Lordships in such a debate, he could not pass over one of the features connected with this transaction: he referred to the celebrated letter of Lord John Russell. In common with all other Roman Catholics throughout the world, when he (Lord Camoys) read the letter, and found his religion stigmatized as a mummery and superstition, he felt insulted. He had not, 41 however, looked upon that letter as the letter of the Cabinet or of the Government. He would refine upon the distinction; lie had not looked upon the letter as the letter of the Prime Minister; he had looked upon it as the letter of the individual, and he was confirmed in that opinion when he saw that the Cabinet, on meeting the Parliament, did not act up to the spirit of that letter. He had asked himself next the question, could Lord John Russell have really meant to insult the Roman Catholics? and he had been brought to the conclusion that such could not have been the case. When he looked around him and saw Roman Catholics in the House of Peers, representing families of ancient descent nearly related to many Protestant Peers, and even to some on the episcopal bench—when he saw Roman Catholics in the House of Commons representing popular constituencies—when he saw Roman Catholics about the person of the Sovereign—when he saw Roman Catholics in office, in various stations, superior and inferior—when he saw that a minority of the people of England, and the large majority of the people of Ireland, composing, in the aggregate, one-third of the population of the country, were Roman Catholics; and when, moreover, looking abroad, he saw that the population of Spain, of Portugal of France, and other countries, with all of which we were on friendly relations, as stated this day in Her Majesty's Speech, and with the Royal Families of which our own Royal Family were allied by close family ties, were Roman Catholics, he could not conceive it possible that Lord J. Russell had intended to insult the Roman Catholics. There was this circumstance, too, to be borne in mind with relation to this letter, that it was written under circumstances which might very fairly be supposed to have been most annoying to Lord J. Russell. It was clearly the duty of Cardinal Wiseman, invested with the title of Cardinal, and bearing the Papal letters he proposed to publish in England, to have sought an interview with Lord J. Russell for the purpose, at least, of informing him of his intentions; and it was perfectly natural that Lord J. Russell should have been greatly annoyed at this want of duty and courtesy. That the letter should have been shown, in the first instance, to our ambassador abroad (Lord Minto) did not alter the matter. It was totally immaterial whether it was shown, or whether that person approved of it or not. Car- 42 dinal Wiseman ought to have sought an interview with the Prime Minister of this country. Before he sat down, let him express the great satisfaction he had felt at observing the liberal feeling which had pervaded all the public meetings on this subject; seldom had any resolution been passed which went beyond what the meeting deemed it essential to maintain for the defence of their own religious rights and liberties; at few of them had there been any manifestations of a desire to withdraw from others the toleration conceded to them. He concluded by thanking them for the indulgence they had shown him.
§ The MARQUESS of LANSDOWNE
The noble Lord behind me (Lord Camoys) has delivered his sentiments in a manner which all your Lordships must have felt indicated a degree of good judgment, of candour, and of manliness upon his part, which re-fleets on him the highest honour. I have, and must have, the greatest satisfaction when I refer to those sentiments, coming, as they do, from a person connected by hereditary ties, for centuries past, with the Roman Catholic body of England, and expressing, as they do, the result: of his own observation and knowledge of this country. Such sentiments, emanating I from such a quarter, I am justified in observing, outweigh a hundredfold those sentiments and those proceedings which have originated in the most profound ignorance of the past history and the present condition of this country. With regard to the topics adverted to in the course of this debate, it would be quite unjustifiable in me to detain your Lordships by going into them in detail. I may, however, be allowed to advert to one or two points which will, I dare say, be deemed of some importance by noble Lords on all sides of this House. The noble Lord opposite (Lord Stanley), in alluding to particular points in Her Majesty's Speech, made some remarks which deserve notice. Although he has maintained some reserve, and hesitated to strike, yet with regard to the most important propositions in the Speech, and the outline of the policy which it indicates, he has expressed his entire concurrence and full approbation of the sentiments so ably uttered, both by my noble Friend who moved, and my noble Friend who seconded, the Address—sentiments, in every one of which I am able to express my entire concurrence, and which I believe met with the general ap- 43 probation of this House. I shall refer to two or three points to which the noble Lord more especially adverted. The foremost in point of order was the foreign policy of this country. To that the noble Lord had nothing to object, except that the Government betrayed somewhat of indifference to the affairs of foreign countries, and did not take those active measures of interference which in some quarters were deemed essential—in fact, that our foreign policy had flourished more from inaction and indifference than from active operation. I can refer you to the transactions which have lately taken place in Germany—-to the difficult negotiations intended to have settled a question of right—a question which was complicated by other questions of policy throughout the German empire, which presented at one time every sort of difficulty, and referring you to these, I ask if the policy of this country has been at all indifferent in its character? On the contrary, although it did not become this country—which was not directly interested—to bring itself forward as a principal in, a contest in which it had no legitimate share except from a regard to the general interests of Europe, it did interfere; and I am quite warranted in saying that, during the whole of these transactions, there was not an instance in which the interference of this country was not beneficially employed, and was not acknowledged in a proper manner by every one of the States brought into direct conflict with the dispute. I am not disposed in any degree to diminish the tribute of respect which has been paid by the noble Lord to the Governments of almost all other countries. I can, however, assure the noble Lord, and this House, that the Government of this country has made itself heard, and heard with effect, during the whole course of the progress of these transactions. The noble Lord afterwards referred to the state of distress in this country, under the influence of what is called free trade. I am not prepared to raise the general question now. I shall take the opportunity, at the proper time, of pronouncing my opinions on the subject. In the meantime, however, I deny the proposition which he has laid down, for although it be admitted that considerable distress may exist amongst particular classes of the community, it is not for one moment to be allowed that the bulk of the population is affected by that distress, or even that the whole of the population in agricultural counties are in 44 a state of distress, for a considerable proportion of the agricultural counties enjoy general prosperity. It is impossible it distress were universal among them, that there would be visible those unmistakeable signs, those unequivocal proofs of prosperity, which are certainly visible. We have seen an increasing consumption, which nothing but the welfare of the great masses of the country could produce. That consumption has been going on from year to year, not by starts, nor suddenly, nor accidentally, but with a slow and measured pace, affording ground for the most perfect security that consumption would go on increasing, and justifying the policy of Her Majesty's Ministers in recommending Parliament, year after year, to take off great and productive taxes. The effect of the remission of these taxes in stimulating consumption, only serves the better to show the soundness of the financial system of this country; for, notwithstanding the abolition of the bread tax, the revenue has been buoyant, and has risen beyond the necessities of the State, thereby enabling the country not only to dispense with a portion of taxation in the past, but which holds out the prospect of some still further reduction in taxation. I wish to ask the noble Lord, when he points to the supplies derived by this country from France, whether he thinks the amount of agricultural distress now existing there, and bearing down that country to a much greater degree than this country, because the agricultural population in France is much greater in proportion than it is in this country—I ask the noble Lord whether he is prepared to attribute the agricultural depression in France to the want of a system of protection? In that country free trade has been proscribed from year to year, under different Governments—monarchies and republics—yet what was the condition of the agricultural population of France? Why, that for the least three years agricultural produce in France had been so falling off, that there was not a market throughout France to be compared with the poorest market in England. The state of France, and the prices of its produce, do not afford any argument in favour of protection; for in this country, at this very moment, articles of agricultural produce command a much higher price. As regards the question of Papal agression, whatever variety of sentiment may have arisen in the course of this debate on this subject, I rejoice to find that 45 there has not been a sentiment uttered—not even by the noble Earl (the Earl of Winchilsea) opposite—there has not been a sentiment uttered against the fullest toleration. Toleration has been extended, and, I trust, will always be extended to the Roman Catholic body, and every other religious community in the country. Civil privileges have been granted to the Roman Catholics; and God forbid that under the pressure of any circumstances, however just, we should think of restracing our steps, and going back to a system of what I must call the practical persecution they had been for so many centuries subjected to in this country! I entirely differ from the noble Earl in considering that Catholic emancipation is in any degree to be made responsible for the recent usurpation on the part of the Pope, which has aroused throughout the country such a feeling of indignation. Had the Catholic Emancipation Act not been passed, there would have been afforded the same facility—nay, a great deal more facility—for the perpetration of such a usurpation, for then we would have been on a foundation of injustice while we resisted this attempt on the honour of the Crown, and the feelings of the subject. My Lords, that act has been charactised—and justly characterised—as an act of usurpation. I have heard that attempts have been made by the ablest of the apologists of the Pope to explain away the offensive character of this measure. I have heard it stated that when the Pope in his bull or letters apostolic called on Cardinal Wiseman to assume the dominion of the country, all that could be intended was, that he meant he should assume only spiritual dominion over the Roman Catholic body. I venture to ask if that was the intention, why was not that intention expressed? Was there any difficulty in chalking out the line? Were there no words to be found which could impart it? Was there no language in his power which could impress the intention—which could state that while asserting spiritual control over the Roman Catholics, he meant to respect, and intended to respect, the rights of the Crown and the institutions of this country? Your Lordships should also remember that this proceeding has issued from a Power, remarkable for its attention to forms and to words; and if I saw that throughout the document in question the rights of the Crown and the existence of the Protestant hierarchy were studiously and carefully 46 ignored, no person should persuade me that it was by accident that the inference of nothing more than spiritual dominion over Roman Catholics being intended was to be drawn. I trust that your Lordships will entertain the measure which will shortly be introduced on this subject. A noble Lord has anticipated in that measure certain defects. I do not wish to anticipate the discussion which will take place on the subject, but I will answer the noble Lord on one point by stating, that already—at this moment—notice has been given in the other House of Parliament of a Bill relating to this usurpation as affecting the united kingdom. There is but one other point to which I will now advert, namely, with respect to the arrangements proposed for effecting an improvement in the administration of the law; I may here remark that they are surrounded with difficulty, although this is the most important of all practical legislation. It is intended to provide that security which the noble Lord desiderates, although it is no easy matter to proceed where so many interests are implicated. It is, however, expected that means will be found of effecting a great diminution in the expense of the law, while, at the same time, greater security may be given to the holders of property by an improvement in the registration of deeds and instruments relating to the transfer of property. All these measures will be formally and deliberately considered by this House, and will doubtless secure that attention which their great importance merits.
The EARL of RODEN
could not help expressing his satisfaction at the sentiments which had been expressed by his noble Friend who had moved the Address, with every word of which he heartily concurred. With respect, however, to the Speech from the Throne itself, he must say that he had felt great disappointment, and he believed that great disappointment would be felt by the country at large, who were so anxious—who had been raised to such a pitch of excitement—with respect to the subject of Papal aggression. In that Speech there was no reference whatever to the importance of maintaining Protestant principles in this country. He had heard with great satisfaction from the noble Marquess who had just sat down, that it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government speedily to introduce a measure on the subject. Whatever this measure might be, he trusted it would be a 47 measure which, while it admitted the fullest toleration to all parties and sections of religionists, would securely maintain the Protestant institutions from the aggression of the Papal Power. He trusted that this Power would not he permitted to appoint bishops in this country, a prerogative which only belonged to Her Majesty. At present it appeared to be admitted, that if the Pope pleased to appoint bishops and archbishops in Ireland, the individuals so appointed took precedence of barons of this realm and Members of the House, without any reference to Her Majesty, thus taking away from Her Majesty the power of giving precedence. For instance, the Bishop of Ross, who was appointed the other day by the Pope, might assume such precedence; and that such precedence would be allowed, was proved by certain letters made public some time ago, in which the Colonial Secretary desired the authorities to give a precedence to the Roman Catholic dignitaries which had not been granted by Act of Parliament. He trusted that the measure about to be introduced would meet the real difficulty of the case. He would await its introduction with patience, and would be gratified should it prove of a character suited to the remedy of so great an evil. With respect to what had been stated by the noble Lord (Lord Camoys), nothing could be more fair or more open, though perhaps he differed from the noble Lord in some of his views as to the transgression of the law by the appointment of a Romish hierarchy in this country; but whether that appointment was a transgression of the law or not, it appeared that the reason of the appointment was that the canon law might be introduced into this country. Now, he had only to implore their Lordships to become acquainted with what the canon law was, and he believed that if they did so, they would concur in the necessity of preventing its introduction here.
§ Motion agreed to, nemine dissentiente; and a Committee was appointed to prepare the Address. The Committee withdrew; and, after some time, Report was made of an Address drawn by them, which, being read, was agreed to, and ordered to be presented to Her Majesty by the Lords with white staves.