The Irish Tithe Bill passed through the Committee in the House of Lords last night ; the only important amendment being the removal of the clauses for reopening tithe-compositions. Two clauses were substituted, which assimilated this part of the measure to Lord Stanley's Act, allowing appeals up to the 1st of October. Ministers opposed the alteration, but were defeated on a division, by 77 to 38. The report is to be received this day ; and further amendments, if any,
are to be moved on the third reading.
The discussion was opened by a brief speech from Lord MEL- BOURNE, delivered in a very subdued tone. The Premier did not pre- tend to regard his bill with much affection ; but said that it was the best, and most prudent, that could be brought forward with any pos• zihte chance of success. He inculcated the wisdom of abstaining from all " superfluous discussion " of questions which were of " grave and deep importance," and of "extremely sensitive and inflammable nature." In conformity with this maxim, Lord Melbourne confined himself to a dry explanation of the chief objects of the bill. Lord BROUGHAM assailed Ministers, for their abandonment of the Appropriation principle, with bitter sarcasm. To this topic be recurred again and again in the course of his discursive but most effective and amusing speech. We have not room for a fifth part of what he said on this subject alone ; but the following bits will give some idea of the castigation which he inflicted on the passive Ministers. He reminded Lord Lyndhurst, that on the day when the Peel Ministry went out of office, they had conversed together, and he had made some prophecies which had since been fulfilled— But amongst the predictions in which their fancy then indulged, he would freely confess that he never reckoned—and he really believed that his noble and learned friend was as guiltless of It as himself—that they should ever have lived to see the day—within three short years—when Appropriation would be given to the winds, as if it had never been made the means of unsettling a Ministry. So much for Appropriation ; so much for the chapter of A ppropriat ion, its origin, yil,tory, flourishing, decline, and fall—its uses, how it could be taken up, how it could be used for the purpose of unsettling one Government and settling another, and how, in the fulness of time, having answered every purpose, it was laid gently aside without a simple requiem—not with a mingle sentence, but only one or two words—" as good a measure as, every thing taken into the account, we can hope to pass." To have passed over so valuable a treasure, so serviceable a hien& without a word, would have been worse than the worst kind of witch. craft which had been employed in effecting seine alterations of the measure ; it would have been most unnatural and unkind to a deceased and valued friend : but to have said less on such an occasion—to have paid a slighter tribute to the great merits, to the vast services, to the immense utility—dem filit—of such a fiiend, was absolutely impossible for the most concise of all the orators who ever uttered a funeral oration in the city of Lacedemon. * • 11' lie remembered, that when the Appropriation question was discussed, it was said to be a mere matter of principle. The opponents of that principle said that the sum was very trifling, and that there could be no surplus for many years. "True," said they, "it may not come soon, and it may not be much ; but, come it soon or come it late, be it much or little, at all events it's a beginning—. at all events, it's a principle asserted ; and we are upon principle—we are men of principles, %Ouch we would sooner die than give up—the principles of civil and religious liberty ; and we would stiffer the loss of any thing, we would do any thing, except committing actual suicide—(Lond laughter)—rather than give up that dear, sacred, cherished principle." How it came to be given up, he could not understand. • • • It was like some animal, who, when pressed by the hunters in the chase, emasculated itself, for the purpose of effreting its escape, and threw in the face of its pursuers that in which its whole vigour consisted, for the purpose of stopping them, and thus being allowed to escape ; so the pursuers opposite in this chase of the bill, when they would be satisfied with nothing short of the emasculation of the bill—when nothing could satisfy them except that the Appropriation principle should be ruinously and ruth. lessly cut out, cotnpelled the noble viscount to have recourse to that operatiun- (Great laughter)—he meant on his measure—( Continued hrervirter)—aunt it was now reduced to so woful a plight, and presented to his contemplation so wretched a figure, that he would infinitely rather that the measure had expired altogether ' • for he would rather that it should have died by their Lordships' na- tural hands, than by the less natural hands, of its parents.
The other speakers were Lords FITZGERALD, WICKLOW, and MANS- FIELD, and the Marquis of LANSDOWNE. Lord FITZGERALD spoke to the question before the House like one who wished the bill to pass ; and he avoided all topics of irritation. Lord 11'1(1:Low lectured
Ministers on their entire conduct with respect to the Irish Church
question. Lord MANSFIELD wished Ministers to disavow participa- tion in Lord Ilowick's opinion respecting the Irish Church : but they did not. Lord LANSDOWNE admitted, that great and painful sacrifices had been made, but for the sake of public peace'. I i the course of a brief reply, Lord MELBOURNE declared that he had nor abandoned his opinion of the Appropriation principle, though he did not think it wise to press it at that moment.
The consideration of the Lords' amendments to the Irish Municipal Bill was resumed in the House of COUDDOns. The discussion was dry and uninteresting. The amendments struck out, were those for retaining the administration of charity trusts in the hounds of corpora- tors, and for making it necessary that all trustees of Protestant funds should themselves be Protestants. By a vote of 116 to 97. it was decided to extend the provisions of the Act 9th George the Fourth to towns in which corporations were abolished. Lord STANI.EY and Sir ROBERT PEEL strongly objected to this alteration; which Sir ROBERT said, proved that Lord John did not intend the' bill should pass. Lord JOHN declared that Sir Robert had no right to make such tt charge, because " he would not submit his neck to the yoke :" Sir lionEaT rejoined—that Lord John Russell knew he was departing from the rule of Parliament, in bringing forward so important au alteration Without notice ; and so he found it convenient to " talk big ; " but nothing had been said to justify the unnecessary display of determi- nation," The schedules were agreed to, and a Committee was appointed to draw up reasons for disagreeing to the amendments of the Lords. The Pensions Bill was "committed,"--after a clever speech from Mr. HARVEY, who suggested that a public meeting of pensioners should be called to pass a vote of thanks to those who had procured the inquiry; and a motion by Mr. HUME., to postpone the Committee for three months ; which motion was feebly supported, and negatived without a division. The pensions, amounting to 136,0001. per annum` were charged by the bill on the Consolidated Fund, and would not be affected by the life of the Queen. The bill went through the Com- mittee, with very slight discussion.
Before the commencement of the regular business of the night, Mr. ELLis called Mr. Spring Rice's attention to the omission of the note on page 93 of the Report by the Irish Railway Commissioners, which was alluded to in the Spectator last week. In the early copies of the Report this note had appeared ; it had been expunged from the later copies ; and Mr. Ellis wished to know why? Mr. SPRING RICE was not aware of the fact, but would make inquiries. Mr. ELLIS said that Mr. Rice must see the importance of the question, and he hoped would be prepared with a satisfactory explanation.
The House adjourned at a quarter past two in the morning ; to meet at half-past three this afternoon.