Edda ad torttluuto iu Varliamtut.
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OF THII WEER.
Horst or LORDS. Monday, May10. Convocation of the Province of York; Con- versation—Appeal to the Judicial Committee on Doctrine.; the Bishop of London announces a measure for next session.
11tesday. May 11. Disabilities Repeal Bill, passed through Committee—fday- nooth ; Petitions from Scotland presented by tbe Duke of Argyll. _Friday, May 14. Bishopric of Christchurch (New Zealand) Bill read a second time Captain Warner's Inventions ; Earl Talbot obtains a Select Committee.
House or COMMONS. Monday, May 10. West Indian Distress ; Statement—Re- freshments for Members; Gonversation—Betting-houses in London; Statement— Forfeited Seats in the House of Commons; Mr. Disraeli's Motion for a Bill, rejected by 234 to I48—Militia Bill; further considered in Committee—Payment of Law- Officers by Salaries; Bill introduced by -the Attorney-General, and read a first time. Tuesday, May 11. Ministerial Statements respecting the Porte and the Pacha, the Cape Constitution, and the Reverend Mr. Bennett—Maynooth; Mr. Spooner% Mo- tion for a Select Committee debated, and debate adjourned till next Tuesday. Wednesday, May 12. Qualification of Members ; Mr. Tuffnell's Bill withdrawn- " Taxes on Knowledge"; adjourned debate on Mr. Gibson's Resolutions finished, and Resolutions negatived, by 195 to 107, 199 to 100, and 181 to116—House adjourn- ed over the Queen's Birthday, till Friday. Friday, May 14. Australian Gold Discoveries; Statement by Sir John Pakington —Metropolitan Water Supply; a Government Bill next week—Savings-banks in Ireland ; no Government measure this session—Militia Bill; further debated in Com- mittee, to clause 9.
Hour of Roar of
Meeting. Adjournment. 5h ... 611 65m
Hour of Hour of Meeting. Adjournment, Sh .(m) 12h 30r1 Tuesday
6h . Sh Om
Tuesday 411 .(es) 12h 30m
Wednesday No Sitting.
Noon 811 fins
Thursday No Sitting. Thursday No Sitting.
Friday 511 .... 61; 53m Friday th . (sal lit 15m
Vi ma, 5; Tune, 4n Amu Sittings this
Week, 4; Time, 3211 16m
this Session, 43; — Ills Om — this Session, 53; — 355h 45nt
Tice FORFEITED SEATS IN TEE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
The Government measure to assign the four seats in lieu of St. Albans and Sudbury was expounded by the CHA16CELLOR of the EXCHEQUER, in a motion for leave to bring in a bill for that purpose.
• Shortly before the discussion came on, Mr. Las/mann had given notice that if the Government bill should get to the stage of Committee, he would move that two of the four seats should be assigned to London University.
In opening the subject, the CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER first vindi- cated himseU from a charge which had been freely circulated, that in bringing forward this measure the Government were committing a breach of trust, and were tampering with that honourable understanding which subsisted betireen them and the House. He quoted from his own ex*. fiefdom of tie policy and intentions of the present Government, given in reply to the interrogatories of Mr. Villiers immediately after the new AdMinistration came into office to show that this was one of the three measures then expressly mentioned concerning which the Government thought " the greatest efforts should be made to secure their speedy passing." Thus he hoped be should be exonerated from any charge of not having behaved toward the House "in that candid, open, end straightforward manner which it becomes us to adopt in the conduct of the public business." He then entered on the reasons for asking the House to assist in corn. pleting " the constitutional numbers" which hitherto have formed the aggregate of the Members of the House of Commons. He admitted that there is no magic or cabalistic charm in the numerals 658 ; but in the same way he would be perplexed to say why the numerals twelve should be those fixed upon for that tribunal which is the most popular in this country. There are good arguments why a jury might be an odd number instead of an even one, and why the number should be thirteen rather than twelve, or some smaller number rather than so large a one. But the real foundation of all these arrangements is prescription—created by experience, sanctioned by custom, and after all the most important element of order, of liberty, and or progress. Her Majesty's Ministers, deeply convinced of the inconvenience and peril of indulging in a continuous and systematic deficiency in the numbers of the House of Commons, felt it their 'duty to express that opinion to the House. It would be difficult at any time for a Ministry to recommend a measure of this sort without encountering the ancient traditions and the political sentiments of opposite parties, but particularly so of late years, when another element has entered into such discussions embittering jealousies and increasing difficulties—the unhappy misunderstandings between town and country; but a paramount sense of duty had forbidden the Government to avoid interfering in the settlement of the question. The beat of all times for completing the " constitutional numbers" of the House is that previous to a dissolution. " If there are persons not represented, and who ought to be represented in this House, what time can be more apposite for doing to than one which would give them the opportunity of exercising the fran- chise ? and, if it be the opinion of the House that there ought to be four more Members than are at present in existence, what time can be more fit for saying so than when we are able constitutionally to call them together for the fulfilment of their duties ?"
Many plans had been proposed, entitled to respect Mr. Lennard had asked to have two seats apportioned to London University, and others had urged the claims of the other Universities not repreeented in the House; the claims of the Inns of Court had been very strongly pressed; end representa- tions had been made in favour of the learned societies, both corporate and incorporate. The claims of science are captivating to the imagination, and the proposition based on them has engaged the approbation of many respect- able individuals; but that proposition was met by difficulties not incon- siderable. The Royal Society, for instance, was ancient, royally founded, and both celebrated in the historic names by which it has been adorned and justly proud of those by whom it is at present distinguished. "But in these times learned societies no longer consist of learned men. The necessity of having a large revenue, the necessity of raising that re- venue by public subscription, permits a large number of individuals to become members of learned societies without any claim to the distinc- tion beyond that of their wealth and general respectability of character." Again where could you draw the line ? "On what principle could we shut out the Geographical Society, or the Zoological Society, or the Astronomical Society ? And what is there to prevent from starting up tomorrow a new geographical society, or a new zoological society, or a new astronomical so- ciety, which, on the same plea might urge a claim for the suffrage? It would be in the power of any plea, of men—a club, for example—to give themselves a scientific name, and affect scientific pursuits, and upon the strength of these pretensions to claim the exercise of the franchise." The Royal Corporations—the Colleges of Surgeons and of Physicians, and the Academy of Arts—are self-elected bodies : without impugning their conduct, and though their career may be satisfactory to the country, he did not think we could look for the elements of a popular constituency among a group of self-elected corporations. The claims of the Universities of Scotland are plausible, but the elements of a popular constituency would be wholly want- ing in them. "There is no body in the Scotch Universities like the Convo- cation in the English 'Universities. The students never or at least very rarely become graduates. There are no privileges given to the students who graduate, and therefore they very seldom take a degree. If, therefore, you invest the Universities of Scotland with the privilege of sending representa- tives to Parliament, the privilege would be in the possession of only a few rectors and some hundred professors." The claim of the London University is at present too immature, and its development too imperfect ; at the ut- most, a scattered constituency of a few hundreds would be collected. That of the four Inns of Court was founded on a most respectable constituency of some thousands; but the Government felt that it would be a hopeless task to propose to the House of Commons to allocate one or two Members to the Inns of Court, "unless there were ancillary constituencies of the same kind enfranchised." In seeking the elements of a new constituency, the Government had con- sidered "that the relative claims of different portions of the community very much depend upon the relative degree of the representation which they at present possess, and that the relative degree of that representation could not on the whole be more fairly tested than by ascertaining the numbers of the existing constituencies, and the number of the population by whom the ex- isting constituencies are, as it wets, fed, supplied, and sustained." Apply- ing this clue, they came to a constituency "the claims of which seemed to them to be paramount "—that of the West Riding of Yorkshire. They there- fore recommended that two of the seats should be assigned to the West Ri- ding of Yorkshire. The West Riding constituency is 37,000. The agricul- tural interests and the manufacturing interests are so nicely balanced, that, generally speaking, they have divided the representation ; but in times of high and pervading political excitement, two Members of the same opinions have been returned, and on those occasions almost a moiety of the consti- tuency has been practically disfranchised. Thus, in 1841, two Conservative Members were returned by a majority barely- exceeding 1000. The division of the West Riding could not take place by an apportionment of its ten "hundreds" or " wapentakes," for it so happens that one of those waPen- takes comprises more than a third of the whole constituency ; nor could it be made by the existing electoral districts for polling purposes, because retch districts are not permanent, but may be varied by the Justices at Quarter Sessions. But the county Magistrates have in fact already, for county pur- poses, made a division of the 'West Riding: it was shown by a plan in his band; and it adopted the simple and intelligible division-boundary of the Midland Railway. The West Riding is a long oval lying North-west and South-east of the other two Ridings, the East Riding end North Riding. The Midland Railway coming from Derbyshire enters it at its South-eastern angle, at Rotherhani; and proceeding near Wakefield to Leeds, it goes on to skipton and enters Lancashire at Coln; It thus cuts off the South-western bulge of the oval of the West Biding; and separates from the rest of the county an area of about one-third of the whole, which includes most of the manufacturing towns, and is inhabited by about half of the whole popula- tion of the Riding. Under the division proposed, Leeds alone would be left in the North-eastern half of the West Riding., and thus it would result that the constituencies would be nearly exactly equal, and that one of them would be chiefly a constituency representing manufactures, and the other of them one mainly representing agriculture. The North-eastern and agri- cultural constituency would number 17,965, the South-western and manu- facturing one 18,785. It might be narrowly objected to this division of the county between manufactures and agriculture, that it would leave one of the Members for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) "in for life." It might be mid, "You leave him a constituency entirely devoted to him; and instead of those great elections which gave us sometimes two Conservative repre- sentatives, the Member for the West Riding will now continue to hold his seat" Mr. Disraeli was prepared for that. "I can only observe that if the result should be that that honourable gentleman (Mr. Cobden) remains in this House, and has a permanent seat here, I cannot say that I should at all regret it. I should be very sorry to see the honourable Member for the West Riding absent from this House. Whenever a man has the power of influencing public opinion, I think it is much better that he should be re- sponsible to an assembly like the House of Commons, than that he should ex- ercise his great talents in other scenes and in other places." But if any more advantageous demarcation than the one he had adopted could be con- ceived and applied, he would be only too well pleased to support it.
With regard to the other two seats, applying the same test, Mr. Disraeli enumerated the population and the enfranchised numbers of all the great English constituencies,—Westminster, Liverpool, Lambeth, Finsbury, Mary- lebone, London, Tower Hamlets, Middlesex, Manchester, and South Lanca- shire. At the end of his enumeration he said, "Taking into consideration the number of the oonstituency—taking into consideration what I may call in a county the surplus population, irrespective of that population which is located within the limits of the boroughs—and taking into consideration also what may fairly be called the permanent elements of national character and national wealth, her Majesty's Government have resolved to recommend to the House to apportion the two other Members to the Southern division of the county of Lancaster." The division there would be simple—into the two hundreds of Salford, containing the flourishing city of Manchester, and West Derby, containing the famous port of Liverpool. The first constituency would number about 12,000, and the second about 9500 electors.
An objection might be urged against the whole measure, that as the for- feited seats had been lost to the towns, they ought to have been given to the towns but he thought the objection most dfficult to sustain. " In these two county constituencies are scores of towns four times larger than your Sudburys and your St. Albanses. If you look to the population of any of the great boroughs and counties which I have brought under your notice, you will not find one of them that equals either the surplus population of the West Riding or of South Lancashire • and you will not find any two any three, or, I believe I may say, any four of those great constituencies, where the population that supports them, if united, would equal the united popula- tion which is not included in the borough constituencies of the West Riding and of South Lancashire."
In fine, he repeated his conviction, that it was of the utmost importance that the "constitutional number" of the House of Commons should be completed before a general election; that the "continuous and systematic deficiency in our numbers is perilous to the welfare of the country and the honour of the House" ; and that the sanction of his proposition would "tend to increase the strength and lustre of the House of Commons."
Mr. GLADSTONE rose to move an amendment. He did not feel entitled or disposed to impute any sinister object in the introduction of this mea- sure, any surprise of the House, or any tampering with the honourable understanding between the House and the Government : nor should he join issue on the merits of the proposition made • he should only deal with the question whether the measure were one of that immediate urgency that what had been imaginatively and emphatically described [by Lord John Manners] as a "moribund Parliament" should enter upon it at the present moment.
A special affection had been manifested by Mr. Disraeli for the phrase "constitutional number" : master of diction in all its forms as he is, he had tecurred to that phrase again and again 111 the course of his speech; so that it was perfectly evident that in his own mind it indicated some idea of the greatest dignity and importance. But he had very imperfectly, or not at all, developed the test of Ins idea—"prescription" ; and his test was fallacious. "The right honourable gentleman thinks that he makes an admission to us when he says that there is no magical or cabalistic virtue in the number 658. There is not, but is there any virtue of law, any principle of the constitu- tion any solemn decision of .Parliament, anything in fact, beyond accident,
and duration of about fifty years which he has decorated with the title of prescription to recommend the number of 658? I do not believe he will
be able to find number designated in one single act of Parliament rela- ting to the representation." It was an error and an entire misapprehen- sion in the popular mind, that this number represented an emirate balance of interests ascertained by the study of our statesmen and legislator; and which it was their duty to guard with fidelity and jealousy. The Act of
Union with Scotland was a contract, on the junction of a weaker country With a stronger one, which secured that the weaker should not have less than 45 Members; and in the case of Ireland the minimum number was to be 100. Why should it be thought dangerous to the country and threatening to the honour of the House that there is a reduction of number consequent on an accident, as the original fixing of the standard was consequent on an accident? Rather, was not the question a pure question of convenience and Policy, and nothing else ? But if there were nothing of constitutional sacredness or of venerable pre- ' Beription attaching to the numbers 658, and there could be no claim upon the urgent attention of the House on that ground, the reasons for an opposite coarse rested on no ground of mere etiquette. The understanding between the Government and the House, without dwelling on the particular expres- sions at different times used to express it, was clear to the mind of every man, that no measures except those of immediate urgency were to be submitted to Parliament before a dissolution: and that understanding was founded on Principles of the highest importance and vindicated by objects of the greatest moment. "It was in vindication Of the constitutional principle that a Go- vernment which found itself at issue with the existing Parliament upon a cardinal point of its policy was bound either to resign, (which of course no one recommended under the circumstances,) or else to make its appeal to the People. But there was another object which Parliament, I think, hal in view ; apd th4 was, to discharge its solemn duty to those great principles of commer- cial policy which we are bound, I think, to see well brought home into haven,
and that at the earliest moment." It is a folly against which every man ought tn guard, to suppose that because the Government are in power, and the prin- ciples of our law in regard to commerce have not been altered by past ma- !urea, therefore we are to rest satisfied. It would be, I think, no fulfilment, °la an abandonment of our duty, to be contented that the matter should so
remain. It has been admitted on the other side, that it is the solemn duty of us all to bring this question to a formal and final issue; and that can only be done, as the head of the Government stated, and all its members, I believe, have allowed, by an appeal to the people at a dissolution ; and therefore, in seeking a dissolution, it is not for any partial or party object, but it is be- cause, if there be one duty more clearly incumbent than another at the present time upon that large majority of the House of Commons who have on repeated occasions testified their own cordial adhesion to the principles of Free-trade, it is this—that they should not be content to leave those principles to exist upon sufferance—to leave them at the mercy of the chapter of accidents; that they should not be content (I frankly own it) to leave these principles as matters now stand, in the guardianship of gentlemen whose own inclinations, without doubt or disguise, are opposed to them, but that we should expedite that process which the Prime Minister himself has justly and fairly proposed,—namely, that of obtaining the deliberate judg- ment of the constituency in regard to the principles of our commercial legis- lation; and then we should find the Government in a position to lay down the course . of policy by which they intend to be guided, and, if they found the opinion of the public adverse to the policy they had pursued, they might frankly and finally own and submit to that state of facts ; so that, at length, this great controverx may be ended, and the ma- chinery of the constitution fall into its mhial course and order." There are grave inconveniences attending the introduction of such a measure on the eve of a dissolution, when local and personal interests are most alive, and most powerful to prevent Members from giving a deliberate and dispassionate judgment. The number of seats is small, but the questions involved are great. " These seats ought not to be held up to the country as a prize for every man to snatch at. The matter ought to be discussed and disposed of, not in an unsettled and provisional state of things like the present, but when you have an Administration in full possession of political power. Besides that, there is the multitude of parties who think they can make a fair and plausible claim to the possession of these seats ; and we are bound to consider what is due to them and to their opinions. I do not say you can please them all, but I do say you are bound to satisfy them all that they have had a fair hearing—a fair consideration of their case." As he did not join issue upon the merits or demerits of the measure itself, he would not meet the proposal with a direct negative, but would suggest another course, by moving, in the usual phrase, " that the Howie do pass to the orders of the day."
As soon as Mr. Gladstone sat down there were ories for a division. No other speaker attempted to address the House, and the division took place.
For Mr. Gladstone's amendment 234 Against it 148 Majority against the Government 86
The House of Commons advanced but a short step in Committee on the Militia Bill on Monday, after the two-speech debate on the Government measure for assigning the forfeited seats of Sudbury and St. Albans. A good deal of time was spent in the expression of new demurrage on the new ground that the adverse division upon the latter measure against Ministers was a vote of want of confidence. When the debate at last settled on the clauses of the measure formally before the House, it assumed a character of detailed criticism of no popular interest. Mr. MILNER Guam; Mr. Romnunt, Mr. Waxixy, and others, put a multitude of " eases " and questions to Mr. Walpole, with a view to elucidate the provisions relating to the working of the measure in distribution of the quotas among the counties, and soon; and Mr. WALPOLE "explained" with patient good-nature. Two divisions were taken on the 7th clause, fixing the number of the force, in which the Government obtained majorities of 156 to 85 and 169 to 82;. and another division was taken on an amendment of a technical nature moved by Mr. GIBSON, in which the Government had a majority of 214 to 99.
Upon clause 9th being proposed, at about midnight, Mr. COBDEN moved that progress be reported; and the motion was agreed to. The Committee to be resumed on Friday.
" TAXES ON ICNOWLEDOE."
The debate on Mr. MILNER GIBSON'S three resolutions concerning the paper-duty, the newspaper stamp-duty, and the advertisement-duty, which was adjourned from the 221 of April., in order that the Budget statement should be first heard by the House, was finished at Wednesday's morning sitting. The interesting feature of it was a speech by Mr. GLAD- STONE, on "the most important struggle now in progress on the book- trade," decidedly siding with the " undersellers " who are resisting the restrictions attempted by the Booksellers' Association.
He thought it most imprudent, unfortunate, and unwarrantable, that the body of booksellers—whether, as some say, led on by the publishers, or, as others say, using the publishers as their instruments—should attempt to prevent the price of books, which is so enormously high, from being miti- gated, even to the extent of a few shillings per cent, by the enterprise and energy of those among the retail-dealers who are disposed to give the public the advantage of that enterprise and energy. He said that the state of the book-market, except so far as it is mitigated by what are called cheap pub- lications, is a disgrace to the present state of civilization: monopoly and combination have been so long applied to the whole subject, that they have really gone near, lie did not say to the extinction of the trade, but to reduee it to its minimum. We have the largest reading class in Europe, and the wealthiest., and we have the greatest facilities for the cheap production of books ; and yet the purchasers of new publications are hardly known as a class, and the price of books here is above the price in all other countries. Not more than five per cent, or at the most from five to ten per cent of the new books published, attains a sale of 500, or pays its expenses. The buyers of books are chiefly the circulating libraries and book-clubs, which have been forced into existence to cure the evil of the high prices. One system of mo- nopoly generates another ; the book-trade combined against the public, and now the printers are combined against the booksellers; so that printing in London, Oxford, and Cambridge, is at least 25 or 30 per cent higher than any- where else. Individuals can do little to break down this system, the circula- ting libraries and book-clubs being little affected by a little more ?rims cheap- ness of books ; but Parliament might do something by the abolition of these taxes ; aud the necessity is the greater since the Foreign Copyright Act hos put a restriction on the injurious spread of piratical publications. He was con- fident that books ought to be produced cheaper here than anywhere in the world. He was pleased that the booksellers and publishers had submitted their case to the judgment of Lord Campbell, Dean Ullman, and Mr. Grote : those arbitrators were at that moment engaged on the subject; and he had no doubt of the result. In his opinion, the retail dealers who have struggled againet the power that has come down against them deserve great credit for their energy, and he hoped they would have the sympathy of the House and of the public. But for the present session, Mr. Gladstone said he thought it was understood they should all rally round the Chancellor of the Exche- quer to resist all these proposals for reducing taxation. The parenthetical remarks of Mr. Gladstone did not elicit the opinions of any other speakers on the particular subject of the book-trade. The other Members who spoke on the resolutions before the House were, Mr. Cowan, Mr. Mow&Tr, Mr. REYNOLDS, Mr. M‘Gra.aoon„ Mr. RICARDO, Mr. HUME, and Mr. WALLET, in favour of all the resolutions ; Sir WILLIAM CLAY particularly in support of the last two of the three re- solutions, respecting the advertisement-duty and the stamp-duty. Mr. Kan SEYMER, who had formerly supported the resolutions, now withheld his vote for them, only on the ground of the particular financial juncture. The ArroaNav-Garrariaa informed Mr. RICARDO, that he intends to try again the question about the liability of Household Words to a stamp, as he and the other Law-officers hold with Baron Parke, who was overruled by the three other Judges. A case is to be drawn up by Baron Martin, one of the three Judges who were against the Stamp-office authorities.
The House divided on each resolution separately—
For the first (proposing the abolition of the paper-duty) 107 Against it 195 Majority —88 For the second (proposing the abolition of the stamp-duty) 100 Against it 199 Majority -99 For the third (proposing the abolition of the advertise- ment-duty) 116 Against it 181 Majority —65 MAYNOOTH.
Mr. SPOONER has moved for a Select Committee to inquire into the system of education carried on at the College of Maynooth. Professing an anxious desire to abstain from saying anything which should hurt the feelings or wound the prejudices of Roman Catholic gentlemen pre- sent, and declaring that he only quarrelled with a system, he proceeded to charge the system of education at Maynooth with being injurious to society, with tending to create immorality, and with being subversive of the true principles of allegiance. The mass of his proofs to support these charges were a multitude of extracts which he read from the text-books of the Ro- man Catholic teachers, and the commentaries on the canon-law by the Ro- man Catholic doctors—Bailley, Reiffenstuel, and Thomas Aquinas. These extracts he poured out with a running commentary in his own style. But he also supported his charges by matenals chosen from the political events and situation of the present day. Quoting from the speeches delivered by Sir Robert Peel, to show that the policy of endowing Maynooth was a gene- rous one, which it was hoped and expected would be repaid by the infusion of a better feeling into the institution, and securing a more liberal order of the priesthood, he asked how had that generous spirit been met ? and by the answers which facts gave to the question he assumed that Maynooth would be condemned. One of the latest and most marked indications of the spirit in which the generous policy of the grant had been met, was afforded
• in a declaration to the Roman Catholic electors of Ireland lately issued by the Catholic Defence Association, under the signature of its Secretary, Mr. Henry Wilberforce. Speaking of Lord Derby, Mr. Wilberforce writes— lie is disappointed. When he agreed to endow Maynooth, he expected that, in consideration of this endowment the supreme head of the Catholic Church upon earth would abandon the measures which he thought necessary for the good of the Catholic Church ! He really believed, it seems, that he could bring the holy Catholic Church to abandon her own principles and duties, and that not in Ireland only but in other countries, for the sum of 26,0001. per annum to the College of St. Patrick, Idaynooth."
In fine, Mr. Spooner said he knew that the Papal aggression opened the eyes of the people ; that from one end of the kingdom to the other there ex- isted a desire to put a stop to the system. He had shown the House, that the rebellious, contumacious, disloyal conduct of the Irish Catholics, was completely in consonance with the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. To those who denied those allegations he said, it was their bounden duty to challenge investigation. The country would not be satisfied unless a full in- vestigation were to take place before a Committee impartially chosen.
The Marquis of BLANDFORD seconded the motion. Dieslaiming eonnexion with any party out of doors entertaining narrow views, and admitting that he was one of those who when he did not think so strongly as he now does upon the subject, had voted with Sir Robert Peel for an increased grant, he maintained that the House was now bound by the conduct of the Roman Catholic Church to recall the grant ; and he supported his present opinion chiefly by the quotation of extracts from the published writings of Th.. Cullen, and of French prelates referred to by Dr. Cullen. Mr. ANSTBY observed, that the speeches of the mover and seconder proved, if they proved anything, not that inquiry was needed, but that the House already possessed sufficient grounds to justify the repeal of the grant.
But the notice of motion had undergone a transformation. It was origi- nally to be one against the grant to Maynooth, but then it became one for an inquiry on a subject needing no inquiry. It was doubtless brought for- ward for a purpose not openly avowed, though sufficiently obvious—as a sort of couch to assist Mr. Spooner in his fall from the great principle on which he had originally stood down to the easy level of modification he had since found it so expedient to seek. Mr. Anstey objected both to the motion and the grant; on the general principle, which he believed was every day making great way both in this country and in Ireland, "that there should be no ecclesiastical or religious endowments of any sort charged on the re- venue of the nation." Having enforced by arguments the "voluntary prin- ciple" of support to religion, be moved, as an amendment, "That this House will resolve itself into a Committee for the purpose of considering a bill for repealing the Maynooth Endowment Act, and all other acts for charging the public revenue in aid of ecclesiastical or religious purposes." Mr. SCHOLEPIELD, though knowing that he differed in this matter from a large body of his most strenuous supporters in 1847, must vote against his friend Mr. Spooner.
Mr. WALPOLE said, he would endeavour, without exciting any polemical difficulties, to state thus early in the discussion the course her Majesty's Government intended to take on this question of no ordinary difficulty. On Mr. Anstey's amendment he observed, that if it were to be brought forward at all, it would be better brought forward as a substantive motion. The question raised by the original motion depended on the further question, whether the grant to Maynooth had or had not answered the pur- pose for which it was given. The grant was first given in 1795, with the object, that as Roman Catholics had no seminaries or colleges of their own by law, and were forced to be educated abroad, where pernicious political doc- trines were in vogue thenceforth the Roman Catholics should be pro- vided in Ireland with a well-educated and domestic priesthood. There was a pledge to maintain the grant for twenty years after the Union, but after the expiration , of those years the grant was wholly volun- tary. When Sir Robert Peel proposed the essential change of increasing it greatly and making it permanent, he stated his grounds. They were, first, to obtain a well-educated, loyal, and domestic priesthood ; second, to provide for the instruction of the priesthood, which Roman Catholics were supposed to be too poor to give for themselves, in order that their priesthood might be bred up in a manner suitable to their holy calling and profession; and third, " to break up by generosity a formidable confederacy against the British Government and connexion." These were the objects for which this grant was made and perpetuated. " Well, now, I ask you these questions-- Has or has not, in any of these three instances, grant answered the par_ poses for which it was given ?" Rumour says that many of the students at Maynooth are of different orders, who are sent out abroad, and do not re. main a domestic priesthood. He suspected that the character of the priest. hood had changed of late years; and that, instead of forming a domestic in. fluence and character, it had assumed an aggressive character, constituting a confederacy, "I do not say a formidable one, but still a confederacy agaiast the Britian] Crown and the British connexion. I allude more particularly to what has taken place since Dr. Callen came into Ireland, and was ratto the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church. Since you had Dr. Cullen over here, you have had an influence exercised which, as recent events, even those of the last year, distinctly showed, has changed the character of the educe. Lion of the priesthood, so that it has not been of that domestic character the promoters of the grant intended it to be." In reference to the necessity arising out of the poverty of the clergy, then are two main features of the facts. Concurrently with the act for eatablish. bag Maynooth College was passed an act for establishing the Queen's Col- leges in Ireland. Since Dr. Cullen's appointment, the "Synod of Thurles" had been held; the Queen's Colleges had been denounced ; the laity had been enjoined to abstain from sending their children to them. " But that is not all. Since that happened, you (addressing the Irish benches) have established Colleges, or endeavoured to establish Colleges, of your own ; and I do not in itself deprecate that attempt ; but it is for the purpose, be it re- membered, of separating. the Roman Catholics from the Protestants—(aries of " No, no ! ")—it was in order to keep them educated in a distinct manner, to keep the Catholics under foreign guidance--("No, no !")--and to main- tain Ultramontane influence. (" No, no ! ") I state that distinctly ; but it as you say, that has not been the case—if it has not had the effect of intro- ducing a foreip system to a great extent in Ireland—well, then, the inquiry will turn out in your favour."
Upon the last point, that the grant was a messenger of peace, he might appeal to all for answer. Had it broken up the "formidable confederacy"; or had the system of education it established shown a tendency that way ? The most ardent supporters of the grant have confessed their disappointment, —a disappointment the more bitter, because perhaps those means were felt to be the last foundation of hope for the beneficial results which they failed to produce.
The amendment to be moved by Mr. Herbert reminded the House that there are already Visitors to inquire into the management, discipline' and government of the College, and therefore affirmed that no Parliamentary in. quiry could be needed : but the functions of the Visitors do not go to in- quiry into any of the matters on which the people of this country now de- mand inquiry—they refer chiefly to discipline, and internal rule. Mr. Walpole therefore concluded, that "some inquiry ought to be granted." He had no desire to prejudge the question, and wished his own opinions to abide the result of that Inquiry. Mr. OSBORNE said, he would be consulting his own ease, and probably his interest, on the eve of a general election, if he avoided the question before the House ; but he regarded the motion as a mean attempt to raise a No-Popery cry for a party at the hustings, and though it should lose him his seat he would not pander to a base fanaticism, nor shrink from expressing his true opinions. The motion of Mr. Spooner was not really for inquiry, but for the purpose of destroying the Roman Catholic religion. The quotations he had made out of the casuists and politicians front Thomas Aquinas down to Sir Robert Peel were the same he made in 1845; and the motto now was, as it always was, "Delenda est." Mr. Osborne quoted from Hansard some passages from speeches made in the discussions of 1845 on this question—by members of the Ministry—Sir John Pakington' Lord John Manners, and Mr. Disraeli. Lord John Manners was not then First Commissioner of Woods and Forests, but pronounced his opinion "free as Nature first made man, When wild in woods the noble savage ran." The attention of the electors of Colchester should be called to these senti- ments— " The cry is raised, The Church is in danger.' I admit that it is ; but not from this grant to Maynooth, nor from the Vatican, nor the Jesuits, that the Irish Church is in peril; it is from herself, from her own self-willed and disobedient laity, that she is in danger—they who would have her isolate herself from the rest of Catholic Christendom, fraternize with the Puritan, and denounce priestcraft with the Presby- terian! I admit the Church to be in danger. I am irresistibly reminded of the dying words of the martyred Laud on the scaffold. They may who list trace ell the glory, renown, and magnificence of the old English Monarchy to the Dutch con- quest of 1888, and see in the Penal code and Protestant Ascendancy the safeguards of the empire; but, for myself, I claim a liberty to mount higher, and to act in 1815 as though William the Third had died Stadtholder of Holland." How was the noble Lord acting in 1852? was he ping to act now "a8 though William the Third had died Stadtholder of Holland " ?— " acknowledge frankly, and at once, that power which you admit to be so great, and which hitherto, with a fatal obstinacy, you pretended to ignore. Accredit a Minister to the Vatican ; receive a Nuncio at St. James's With every feeling of confidence that as a Churchman I am not acting disloyally towards the Church in sanctioning this measure, and as a statesman that I am promoting the best into- rests of my country, I give my vote for the permanent endowment of the College of Maynooth.',
Mr. Disraeli had given this forcible and graphic picture of Ireland-
" The present condition of Ireland was to be traced not to Protestantism, but to Puritanism They had a starving population, an absentee aristocraoy, and an alien church, and the weakest executive in the world ! That was the Irish question ! . . . . The moment they had a strong executive, ajust adrainietratioo, and ecclesiastical equality, they would have order in Ireland." Since 1845 the Established Church had received no less than 5,209,0001.; the Protestant Dissenters had received 1,019,0001. ; and the Roman Ca- tholic colleges—let them hear and blush—had only received 365,6701. For himself, Mr. Osborne did not look on the grant as a compact alone, but as in the nature of a restitution ; and that was the amiiment used by Lord Bandon, now Earl of Harrowby, and Lord John Runll It could not be said that the money was in any sense the money of this country. The public revenue of Ireland paid into the Exchequer for the year ending the 5th of January 1851 was—Customs, 1,827,2891.; Excise, 1,312,1221.; StFolle, 462,691!.; Fees, 5,744!.; total, 3,607,8471. Upon examining this tariff of taxation, it was found that the Roman Catholic population contributed a lar- ger portion than any other class in Ireland. The entire public income of Ireland, combining taxes, Church estates, and tithe rent-charge, amounted to 6,000,0001. per annum. Of this, L000,0001. was assigned to the Protest- ant clergy, 32,0001. to the Regium Donum, and 26,0001. to the Roman Co. tholies : and yet honourable gentlemen opposite had the presumption to take away from the Catholic population this wretched 26,0001. He asserted that it was Catholic money, and that they had a right to it. But if the money were Protestant moiley, voted for Romanist error, was there not money equally voted for the propagation of Romanist error in our Colonial de- pendencies ? Did not Mr. Spooner know that the House every year voted money for Roman Catholic endowments at Malta, Gibraltar, the Mauritius, and Canada, and that from India to Newfoundland Roman catholic endowments were guaranteed by direct votes in that Rouse? ba baked, 280 Roman Catholic chaplains for gaols and workhouses were paid and supported by the votes of the House of Commons. The Govern- ment had done more, for, since 1832, they had laid the foundation of a Ilin- d00 College in India, and had also endowed a Mahommedan College with lee- ova and professors. Now what did they think of some of the peculiar rites af the Ifincloo divines ? and what did they think of the odour of sanctity wbich attained at the Roman Catholic gnat and swallowed the Brahminical coo ?—which considered as idolatrous the doctrines taught at Maynooth, and overlooked the indecent doctrines inculcated at Benares ? Then, as to the results of the teaching at Maynooth, if it were possible that there could yet have flowed any results, did Mr. Spooner know that Trinity College, Dublin, bad furnished a great many more troops and sympathizers to Smith O'Brien than Maynooth ? The author of the song "Who fears to speak of 'es?" was not brought up at Maynooth, but was a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. Then why not also have an inquiry into Trinity College ? The Rome Secretary, of all men, had no business to assent to this motion. He had forsaken his position as a Minister of the British Crown, to become the Minister of a.party of fanatics. He realized the prophecy of the late Mr. She% who said in 1845, that if this country should ever fall so low as that Sir Robert Peel should be succeeded by a Minister who would pander to the base passions of religious bigotry in this country, a party would arise in Ireland of which they had little conception—a party who would call for the repeal of the Union, not on futile grounds, but because that statesman had abdicated the position of a Minister, and had split up the empire by pander- ing to the fanatical passions of a portion of the people. [The potations from Mr. Disraeles former speeches gave rise to a little some. Mr. Walpole went out for Hansard, and having returned with the book, Mr. Disraeli conned over the speech referred to ; Mr. Osborne, with rattling gayety, crying out to them the year and the page of the volume where they would find it. When Mr. Osborne sat down, Mr. Dismizu rose and said, that he and the Attorney-General had both read over the speech, and there was not one single syllable of the above quo- tation. Mr. OSBORNE replied instantly, that if the honourable gentleman was "trying to get off in his usual quibbling manner "—or if the House preferred the phrase, "in his usual ingenious manner "—the main quota- tions were from a speech delivered in 1845, but the one denied was from a speech delivered in 1844.] Mr. MONSELL expressed his deep regret that Mr. Walpole had risen after a tirade of abuse had been pointed at one-third of her Majesty's objects, and yet had not said a word in reprobation of the language employed.
As a Roman Catholic, he would not oppose this inquiry. Let the inquiry be a fair one, and he would be satisfied. In that opinion he was confirmed by the Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, who said, "My opinion is, that it would not be wise to oppose Mr. Spooner's motion ; that College can defy all its enemies. Its proceedings are conducted in the most open manner—there is no secrecy, no occult practices. The lectures are given in public, and the books used are well known to every bookseller."
Mr. GLADSTONE proposed to give his vote in favour of inquiry, but not with Mr. Spoonees views. He maintained the existence of no irrevocable compact; but unless it were shown by substantial proofs that the objects and purposes of the endowment had failed, then both prudence and justice in their highest forms demanded the maintenance of the endowment; and if the endowment were withdrawn, the Parliament which withdrew it must be prepared to enter on the whole subject of the reconstruction of the ecclesiastical arrangements in Ireland. (General cries of "Hear! ") He was not speaking of what was right or wrong, or what was to be desired or deprecated. For his own part, he de- precated the serious changes which such a course would precipitate ; but he was speaking of the necessary consequences of it. At present he thought no serious case had been made out for withdrawing the grant. The College had not existed so long that a single student had left it after the regular course of theological education ; and no reasonable man could have expected that the endowment would operate by magic on the sentiments and habits of an entire generation and an entire people. He was pained at the language with which the motion was moved, and at the motion itself; but now the motion had been made, it must be considered not with reference to the expediency of making it, but in reference to public interests, and the consequences of resist- ing it. The mover and seconder seemed to ask only the means of establishing before the House certain charges upon which they had already made up their own minds, and that as "a step towards the repeal" of the grant. Mr. Gladstone hoped Mr. S ner would not think he was treating him with disrespect if he stated, t t a Select Committee appointed on the motion of a pntleman who expressed such views must not be intrusted to his guidance. The question was too large and important for the guidance of any individuaL It was a great national question, whether you should or should not withdraw the endowment from Maynooth, and at all times to be dealt with by the Executive Government ; and what he ventured to claim was, that the inquiry now proposed should likewise be conducted under the imme- diate superintendence and responsibility of the Executive Government. It should not be a general inquiry into the "doctrines, discipline, and wor- ship" of the Roman Catholic clergy, but, as in the instance of previous in- quiry by the Royal Commission issued in 1824, into the "nature and extent of the instruction afforded" by the College of Maynooth "for the purpose of education" ; avoiding any examination into tenets "except where they appeared connected with the civil duties and relations of Roman Catholics either towards the state or towards their fellow subjects." "Nothing could be more clear on the statutes or precedents, than that when Parliament entered into this arrangement it did not intend to place the members of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland perpetually on tenter-hooks from fear of being brought into opposition with those who hold the religious tenets of the Established Church. Parliament had approached this subject in a states- manlike spirit. It proceeded on the belief that the Roman Catholic Church, whatever it was, was a system well known to history—a system whose merits or demerits had been tested by a sufficiently long experience• so that they could say Aye' or 'No' on a question whether they would have relations With it or not. Proceeding in that spirit, Parliament did not condescend to accompany this boon with conditions that would have made it insufferably degrading and painful to the receivers ; but they secured from the assaults of theological rivalry the doctrines and the feelings of the persons who held those doctrines, for whose benefit this endowment was intended; and in so doing they left to theresent Parliament a clear pattern and rule which should direct their course." • 'lord PALMERSTON stated shortly, that it was his intention to vote against both the amendment and the original motion. The House was entering on a very dangerous course. No ground was made by Mr. Spooner for his motion. His details might have evoked the spectre of "Dr. Duigenan to survey the scene with grim delight ; but he had told them nothing of the system of education at Maynooth, nothing of what were the doctrines inculcated by the lectures there, that would defeat the purpftes for which the establishment was framed : he had confined himself to the quotation of Roman Catholic tenets, which he considered at variance with the welfare of a Protestant country. That was an important question, but not one to be entertained by inquiry into Maynooth. And if foreign and Dltramontane influences be still prevailing in lreland—a great and ascer- tained evil—will they be remedied by abolishing Maynooth ?—which is the avowed object of the mover and seconder. Would the priests driven abroad for education come home less imbued with foreign and Ultramontane doc- trines than if you educated them at Maynooth ? The motion sprung from the deep feeling out of doors, which had been unfortunately raised among the Roman Catholic portion of the people, at what he did not shrink from characterizing as the aggressive and violent proceedings of the Church of Rome. That feeling was natural; but indulgence in this consequence of it would only inflict injury on ourselves. The motion WRS one of vengeance; and as a vindictive motion he thought it at variance with the souud prin- ciples of policy on which the Government and Parliament had acted on the question. On that broad ground he resisted it. If the motion went to a division, he should vote against it, and he hoped the House would resist it ; but if inquiry were thought expedient, then he hoped the inquiry would be conducted by Commissioners appointed by Government; because it is obvious that a subject of such a delicate nature, involving questions so deeply affect- ing the interests of a large portion of the community, is not a subject suited to the rough handling of the members of a Select Committee of this House. Sir ROBERT INGLIS briefly remarked upon the opinion of his colleague Mr. Gladstone, that if the grant were withdrawn they must be prepared for a new arrangement of the ecclesiastical system of Ireland.
It was not so much the words of his right honourable friend, as the signifi- cant cheers which they had evoked, and which had again been repeated. Now, to put that language into simpler terms, did not it mean a further confiscation of the property of the Irish Church ? He did not say that his right honourable friend was to be held bound to such a confiscation as some of those who cheered him would desire ; but at any rate these words must mean a con- tinuation of that system of alteration which was begun fifteen years ago, and in which part of the Irish hierarchy was sacrificed. In reference to the motion, he thought the ere of a dissolution an inopportune time for it ; but he should vote for it as a recognition of the principle of inquiry, believing that nothing further would result from the motion during the present session.
The other speakers in the debate were—in favour of the motion, Mr. NEWDEGATE; against it, Mr. A. ROPE, Mr. Gakertie, and Mr. Huma.
At about midnight there were calla for a division ; but several Mem- bers expressing a desire to speak on the subject, the debate was adjourned till next Tuesday.
CONVOCATION OF THE CLERGY.
The proceedings in the Ecclesiastical Province of York on the late occasion when certain of the clergy assembled in readiness to form Con- vocation, but were not permitted by the Archbishop to enter the Chapter- house, were reviewed by Lord REDESDALE on Monday. The object of his speech was to recall the forgotten history of Convocations in the Pro- vince of York, to justify the clergy of that province who desire a prac- tical restoration of the synodal action of their Convocation—at least to the same extent as is enjoyed by the clergy of the Province of Canterbury ; and to suggest a reconsideration of the subject by the Archbishop of York. Lord Redeadale's tone was conciliatory, and kindly deferential to the Archbishop. He was supported by Lord Lxrisurox. The Archbishop of Yomf went over the subject to justify his own conduct, by founding it on the usage of his archdiocese for a period of some hundred years ; but at the end of his explanations he said, without giving any pledge, that the temperate address of Lord Bodesdale should receive his best consider- ation.
DOCTRINAL JURISDICTION OF THE JUDICIAL COMMTITEE.
The Bishop of LoNnoN stated on Monday, that he hopes early in the next session of Parliament to bring in a measure to regulate the court of last appeal—the Judicial Committee of Privy Council—in all questions of religious doctrine. In his former measures, he had made the deliberate opinion of the Bishops binding on the Committee : in his measure of next session he would not make their opinion binding, but would have it com- municated by way of advice,—a difference which would do away with the objection against the former bills that they invaded the prerogative of the Crown. The Earl of DERBY, without pledging himself in any way on the coining measure, said that he thought it was very like a suggestion made by himself in the session of 1850, that as their Lordships called in the Judges to direct their judgment on law, so the Bishops might be called upon to give their opinion with respect to questions of sound doc- trine or of heresy.
In reply to questions, the CHANCELLOR of the Excenicitza has in- formed Mr. ANDERSON, that the Government has received official informa- tion that the differences between the Ottoman Porte and the Pacha of Egypt have been terminated : the Pacha retains the power of capital punishment for seven years, and considers that compromise as perfectly satisfactory. Sir JOHN PAKINGTON informed Sir WILLIAM MOLES WORTH that the draught Constitution Ordinances for the Cape of Good Hope are still unconsummated ; Governor Cathcart having suspended his assent, on the ground of the alterations made by the Legislative Council. The CHANCELLOR of the EXCREQUER informed Mr. HORSMAN, that the atten- tion of the Government to the affair of the Reverend Mr. Bennett of Frome has been unlimited, and that he hoped to be able to communicate something definite to the House very speedily.
WEST INDIA DISTRESS.
On the presentation of some petitions, Sir ROBERT INGLIS inquired whether the Government proposed in this session or the next to relieve the distress in Jamaica, and the other West India Islands, by dealing with the Sugar-duties or otherwise. Sir Jolts PAKINGTON said, that there would be no attempt to legislate in this session ; though the distress is undoubtedly great and severe. With regard to next session, it would be hardly proper to say what may be the precise course of the Govern- ment' but undoubtedly the anxious consideration. of the Government will be directed to the matter, "as indeed it will be to such allega- tions of suffering on the part of any of the Colonies of her Majesty."