lithattsuü rntrrtungn in vultruntut.
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS OF THE WEEK.
Rotate OP Loans. Tuesday, Feb. 4. The Session opened by the Queen in person. Address to the Crewn in reply to the Royal Speech.
Thursday, Feb. 6. Lord Minto and the Pope's Rescript—Constitution for the Cape of Good Hope ; Earl Grey defers publication of Correspondence—Pension to Mr. Nicholls of the Poor-law Board.
Friday, Feb. 7. Law of Evidence Bill read a second time ; and a Bill to Transfer the Business of Bankruptcy to the Jurisdiction of the County Courts, introduced by Lord Brougham.
House Or COMIONS. Tuesday, Feb. 4. Address to the Crown in reply to the Queen's Speech. Wednesday, Feb. 5. Writ for Dung,arvon superseded—Mr. Ley and his Successor —Sessional Order respecting Money Votes ; Motion by Mr. Hume, negatived by 116 to 47—Midnight Sittings ; Mr. Brotherton's Annual Motion, negatived by 108 to P2— Report on the Address brought up, and agreed to.
Thursday, Feb. 6. Measures on Jewish Disabilities, Ministers-money in Ireland, and Law of Setlement, announced by Govenunent—Order of Business in reference to Addresses to the Crown; Lord John Russell's Motion withdrawn, to be renewed an Tuesday.
Friday, Feb. 7. The Queen's Answer to the Address announced—Duties of LawAdviser to the Speaker ; Select Committee at the instance of Mr. Wilson Patten— Agricultural Interest; Mr. DieraelFs Motion for Tuesday next—Papal Aggression; Lord John Russell's Motion for leave to bring in a Bill against the Assumption of certain Ecclesiastical Titles; debate adjourned till Monday.
OPENING OF THE SESSION.
The fourth session of the third Parliament assembled in the present reign was opened by the Queen in person on Tuesday. Temporary circumstances rendered the ceremony of unusual interest, and led to an unusual attendance of Peers, Members of the House of Commons, and distinguished personages not connected with Parliament. At least six hundred ladies, noble and gentle, crowded the galleries and a considerable portion of the benches usually occupied by Peers.
The Duke of Wellington arrived about one o'clock wearing a FieldMarshal's uniform under his Peer's robes : he looked hearty and well, but appeared to be prevented by increased deafness from entering much into conversation ; and he continued in a standing posture until her Majesty's departure. Among the earlier arrivals, were Lord Gough, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of Oxford and Hereford, Lord Chief Justice Campbell, Chief Baron Pollock, Lord Cranworth, the Earl of Cardigan, the Earl of Carlisle, Earl Grey, the Dukes of Devonshire and Buceleuch, the Marquis of Clanricarde, Earl Granville, and the Earl of Minto. The Bishop of Exeter, who came in late, seemed much enfeebled by illness. About half-past one the Duke of Cambridge arrived, and was received with the honours due to his rank. The Judges occupied their usual places between the cross-benches. The Corps Diploniatique attended in considerable numbers. Among the more distinguished members of the Upper House whom the eye sought in vain, might be mentioned Lord Stanley and Lord Brougham.
At the time of the arrival of the Lord Chancellor, the attendance of Peers was so numerous that additional seats had to be provided ; and the ardour with which several Peers rushed to secure seats on the forma as they were brought in, caused no little merriment amongst the fair occupants of the galleries and benches.
The Queen entered the House of Lords at twenty minutes past two, led by Prince Albert ; the Great Officers of State preceding her with the usual ceremonial insignia, and a suite of attendants forming her train. Her Majesty was attired in a white satin brocade embroidered with gold, and wore a tiara of diamonds. She appeared in excellent health and spirits, and conversed in a lively tone withthe Duchess of Sutherland, her Mistress of the Robes, while the Commons were summoned. The "faithful Commons" rushed into the presence with that boisterous impetuosity which they seem to preserve as an invaluable portion of their prescriptive privileges. As soon as they were somewhat orderly, her Majesty read the following Speech.
"My Lords and Gentlemen—It is with great satisfaction that I again meet my Parliament, and resort to your advice and assistance in the consideration of measures which affect the welfare of our country.
"I continue to maintain the relations of peace and amity with Foreign Powers. It has been my 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. I am much gratified in being able to inform you that the Gernian 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.
"I trust 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.
"I have concluded with the King of Sardinia articles additional to the treaty of September 1811, and I have directed that those articles shall be laid before you.
"The Government of Brazil has taken new and I hope efficient measures for the suppression of the atrocious traffic in slaves. " Gentlemen of the House of Commons—I have directed the Estimates of the year to be prepared and laid before you withontdelay. They have been framed with a due regard to econotiy,and to the necessities of the public service.
"My Lords and Gentlemen—Notwithstanding the large reductions of taxation which have been effected in late years, the receipts of the revenue have been satisfactory.
"The state of the commerce and manufactures of tho United Kingdom has been such as to afford general employment to the labouring classes.
" 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.
" 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 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.
,'The administration of justice in the several depattnieliffied Law and Equity will no doubt receive the serious attention of Parliament ; and-I feel confident that themeasures 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.
"A measure will be laid before you providing for the establishment of a system of registration of deeds and instruments relating to the transfer of property. This measure is the result of inquiries which I have caused to be made into the practicability of adopting a system of registration calculated to give security to titles, and to diminish the causes of litigation to which they have hitherto been liable, and to reduce the cost of transfers.
"To combine the progress of improvement with the stability of our institutions, will, I am confident, be your constant care. We may esteem ourselves fortunate that we can pursue, without disturbance, the course of calm and peaceable amelioration; and we have every cause to be thankful to Almighty God for the measure of tranquillity and happiness which has been vouchsafed to us."
The reporters give their habitual meed of admiring praise to the" clear, musical, and happily modulated tone of voice," in which her Majesty delivered the Speech: the account of the lima adds remarks which complete the picture of the ceremony— "The Queen was distinctly audible in every part of the Royal speech, except in the first paragraph, which she began before the noise occasioned by the arrival of the Commons had quite subsided. Having finished this opening sentence, she suspended the further reading of the Speech for a few instants until silence was restored. When the paragraph relative to the Papal aggression was commenced, there was a general and suppressed cry of Hush!" and the most intense interest was evinced. We think a slight sensation of disappointment was felt throughout the body of the House when this paragraph was read ; and there were some who, drinking in every tone ofher Majesty's voice at this instant, thought she was conscious of this disappointment and sympathized with it. It was also noticeable, that the Queen, raising her voice, uttered with marked emphasis her resolution 'to maintain the rights of my crown and the independencesof the nation against all encroachment, from whatever quarter it may proceed.' The rest of the Speech fell from the Royallips almost unheeded.'
As the Queen finished reading, she gave the Speech to the Lord Chincellor ; who received it kneeling. Then, giving her hand to Prince Albert, her Majesty quitted the Meuse with the same ceremonial dignity that marked her entry. On the retirement of the Sovereign, the
mons hastened to their own chamber, and the Peers adjourned during pleasure.
The Peers reassembled at five o'clock. The Earl of EFFINGHAM moved the Address, with remarks of considerable length, delivered in a tone so low that he was heard with great difficulty by the reporters. In the usual manner of detailed reference he touched seriatim on each of the points of the Royal Speech. We select only the More prOminent.
The excess of revenue-receipts beyond anticipation at once proves the
greatness of our resources and the wisdom of the anticipation, reductions which have been followed by that increase. The augmented produce of the Excise-duties, and the diminished relief to paupers, give most pleasing evidence that the bulk of the people find employment, and obtain the command of the necessaries and even the comforts of life to an extent seldom if ever previously reached. These benefits extend even to the labouring population of the agricultural districts; and if considerable distress exists among the owners and especially the farmers the occupiers of land, Lord Effingbam was of opinion that the landlords are generally better off now, though with reduced rents, than they were when they had to contend against the high prices of other commodities. The recent act of the Bishop of Rome was touched with delicacy, and a desire to avoid offence to the feelings and prejudices of the Roman Catholic community. He deemed the act an aggression that would not have been submitted to by our Roman Catholic ancestors, or by any Roman Catholic country of Europe. It should be met with firm resistance; by such a measure as will do justice to the country, and yet not deprive any of our countrymen of their rights and privileges or a full toleration of their religion. But if they cannot develop their religion without instituting a hierarchy with territorial dignities, they cannot do it without infringements on the prerogative of the Crown and the security of the Established Church, which the people will not tole-. rate. The other topics of the Speech Lord Effingham dismissed with a reference of their peculiar subjects to the more able and suitable comment of others.
Lord CREMORNE seconded the Address. He subscribed to the general view of the preceding speaker, and added some distinctive sentences on particular points. He had great hopes that many of the Roman Catholic Peers in that House, indeed he might say that the majority of them, and of the Roman Catholic Members of the other House of Parliament, would approve of the measures which Government intended to propose. With reference to Ireland, he declared, from his own personal observation, that there is much cause for congratulation. The distress has greatly diminished, and the poor-rates have become less burdensome. A short while ago, the respectable classes in Ireland were so despondent that they looked only to emigration for relief. A better feeling now prevails among them. l be Encumbered Estates At is introducing into Ireland a new class of proprietors, whose capital will enable them to devote part of it to the improvement of the soil; and the estates sold under that act have been sold on the whole as well as could be expected. The rapidity with which the sales have been effected ha ti prevented the landlords from being overwhelmed by ruinous arrears of interest; and the advantage of such a system has been proved by the number of landlords who
have become petitioners under the act. 'The purchases have been made, with one or two exceptions, by Irish capitalists,—a circumstance which disproves the assertion that the land of Ireland was about to fall into the hands of English capitalists, and which proves that Ireland is in possession of greater capital and greater resources than was generally supposed.
Lord STANLEY opened the Opposition campaign in a tone moderate and even patronizing. "My Lords, I think, unless the Address presented in her Majesty's name to both Houses of Parliament contains a declaration of principles which it is impeasible for a large portion of the House to adopt—unless it speaks in terms which it is impassible 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 should acknow ledge the Address and receive it as an indication merely of the principal measures and the principal topics which are likely to come under the consi
deration of Parliament, without expressing any -opinion on the merits of the
measures themselves: 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 appro priate terms, yet, on the whole, I will preface my observations with the declaration, for my own part at all events, and I believe I may adds great • part of those with whom I act, that it is not our intention to call on your • Lordships to negative or to alter the Address which has been proposed in reply to the Speech from the Throne."
Some parts of the Speech are mere commonplace. Others—as those parts referrina' to proposed changes in the administration of justice and equity, -and the establishment of a registration of deeds—are difficult enough : he would judge of those measures when he saw them ; and Parliament would ,doubtlese give them that dispassionate consideration which their importance deserves.
With regard to the Foreign affairs of the country, he would only say that, as far as he was at present informed, the Foreign Office appeared to have been less actively employed than usual. It would undoubtedly be satisfac tory to the people of this country, that the dangers which had threatened the peace of Europe from the dissensions between the German Confederation, or rather between Prussia (under whose influence the German Confederation had been acting) and the Court of Denmark, were likely to be brought to a peaceful termination. How far that result might be due to the intervention of her Majesty's Government, it was not forhim to determine ; for, although he believed the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office had done nothing to thwart the endeavours made by others to effect an arrangement, but had contributed his humble part towards the promotion of that object, that part had been by no means so prominent a one as the noble Lord had taken upon other and less justifiable occasions. The reference to Brazil would give more pleasure if it could be hoped that that country would give bona fide force and execution to the laws there already enacted for the suppression of the abominable traffic in slaves. But, though he looked with some hope—a hope not very sanguine—to the execution of the treaties entered into by Brazil for the suppression of that traffic, he could not refrain from calling their Lordships' attention to the fact that this coun try could apply a more powerful engine than any treaties for the prevention of the slave-trade, which they yearly deprecated, for the suppression of which they expended lame amounts of money and much valuable blood, but Which their commercial regulations most effectually encouraged. (Great cheering from the Opposition.) The allusion in the Speech to agricultural distress afforded a basis for some criticisms. Last year, her Majesty stated that she had heard with regret the complaints" which had proceeded from a certain portion of the owners and women, of land ; but added, that cheapness and plenty had bestowed an increased enjoyment of the necessaries and comforts of life upon the great
body of the people. This year, however' they were told that her Majesty lamented "the difficulties Which are still felt by that important body "—no
longer a small fraction, whose interests were to be separated from those of the mass, "who are owners and occupiers of land." It is a melancholy satisfaction to the general class thus to have the extent and reality of its dis tress and the reasonableness of its complaints, thus acknowledged by the Government. The sympathy, however, should in consistency have been more active. They were told that there was great and general prosperity throughout the country, and that the manufacturing classes were largely
profiting ; but that concurrently with this general prosperity of the great bulk of the people, one class—and that the most important of all interests—
was suffering severely. They were informed also, that, notwithstanding the large reductions of taxation which had been effected in late years, the state of the revenue was satisfactory ; which meant, he supposed, that there was at the disposal of the Government a very large surplus applicable for the re mission of taxation. If, then, all interests in the country, with the exception of the most important, are prospering, and if it were possible to ap ply any relief in the shape of remission of taxation, he asked her Majesty's Government what is the interest in favour of which such remission of taxation might be most fitly and justly adopted ? Lord Stanley did not deny that us certain parts of the country, and with regard to certain productions, the condition of the agricultural interest is prosperous,—as near manufacturing towns, where the profits are more derived from stock than from wheat ; but he retained his impression of the impolicy of the measure of 1846 as a whole. He would not deceive or delude the producer of this country by holding out any false hopes. He would therefore say, that he be lieved the present prices are permanent ; he believed they are the effect of recent legislation ; he believed that at those prices the production of this country must be materially diminished ; that with that decrease of production the comfort and happiness of the most Important portion of the population would also be greatly diminished ; and that the diminution of the amount of real capital would render the people less able to sustain that enormous weight el taxation which they had hitherto borne. The aggression, dangerous and unconstitutional, which had been made upon the supremacy of the Crown of England by the head of the Roman Catholic Church, is an aggression made the more insolent and offensive by the manner in which it was carried into effect. This is no question of religious controversy, and he trusted that in neither House of Parliament would it be treated as a question of the comparative purity of the doctrines of the Reformed and of the Roman Catholic faith. With that subject we have nothing to do. God forbid that he should desire, on account of their religious principles, to deprive his Roman Catholic fellow-countiymen of the full, per fect, and entire exercise of their religious freedom, or to seek to strip them of one jot of the civil rights which had been conferred upon them. If that were demanded by the Protestantism of the country, he would not grant such a request. tut the question was, should the Roman Catholic Prelates, with the head of the Roman Catholic Church, be permitted to exercise in this country, uncontrolled and unchecked by law, a mischievous and danger ous interference, not with trifles, or shadows, or ideas, but with substantial realities and with the government of the country ? A noble Lord holding a responsible office under the Crown had written a letter which had attained
great celebrity.: that noble Lord could not but have been well aware of the stature of the flame he was about to kindle in the country ; he could hardly
have taken such a step without having deliberately counted the cost and calculated the magnitude of the struggle on which he was about to enter. Ile must mean to vindicate the supremacy of the Crown, to vindicate the rights of the Bishops and the clergy, to vindicate the undivided sway of her Majesty and of Parliament over the domestic concerns of this country, and to put down any interference with the administration of this realm and the authority of its Queen and Parliament. Or the Government must mean nothing. If they meant nothing—if they introduced some mea sure which was to be evaded, or not enforced—if they meant to put down the recently-created Roman Catholic sees, but allowed the Raman Catholic Bishops to complete their synodical organization,. and thus exercise bound less control over the consciences of their coreligaomsts—they would do nothing to meet the circumstances of the case. They would leave their Roman Ca tholic fellow-subjects the victims of a tyranny which their Roman Catholic ancestors, under a Roman Catholic Sovereign, never would have consented to tolerate. He held that what they did in the case of England they must also do with regard to Ireland. (Cheers front the Opposition.) That which was a violation of the supremacy of the Crown in England was an equal violation of the supremacy of the Crown in Ireland. If they meant to palter with this question, after having raised the expectations and strong religious feelings, for he would not call them prejudices, of the Protestants of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and brought forward some lame and impotent measure affecting to touch the shadow but not dealing with the substance of the injuries of which the people complained, there would rest upon their heads the responsibility of having trifled with the strongest and holiest feelings of the people of this country, and of having raised but to deceive the hopes and expectations
of the Protestants—ay, and he believed, if they would speak out, of a largo portion of the most enlightened and liberal of the Roman Catholics also of this king
dom. The Government ought to consider deliberately, dispassionately, tempe rately, but firmly, all the difficulties of the question of the relation in which the Roman Catholic subjects of this country stand to the Crown. In the year 1829 there were certain securities introduced into the great measure of Eman cipation, which it was supposed would be an effectual security to the Protestant Church against Roman Catholic aggression. He thought that it would be the duty of the Government deliberately to examine those se curities; and if there are any of them which, whilst they are offensive to the Roman Catholics, yet give no real security to the interests of Pro testantism—any which are incapable of being enforced, and only lie encum bering the statute-book as a dead letter—he would say, Sweep them off at once, and don't leave yourselves the odium of having enacted them when you derive no benefit from enforcing them." But if there are any eases in which the law, however well intended, does not reach the point it was meant to touch—if it does not reach this encroachment upon our liberties by the See of Rome, which at the time of the passing of the set of 1829 was never con templated—then he said that it would be no violation of the civil or religious liberties of the Roman Catholics that those securities should be made, as they had always been intended to be, effectual. Let them look the whold case in the face boldly, but dispassionately—not contenting themselves with trifling legislation, but legislating unflinchingly to the extent which the imminence of the danger called for. He ventured to say, that if that course should be pursued by the Government, no feeling of political or party differences could preclude them from obtaining the as
sistance of that great body. with whom he had the honour of acting, and who
would not attempt to deprive them of the just popularity which they might thus obtain. He conjured them to deal manfully and boldly with the ques tion, or not at all. Don't let them assume to control a power by merely ig noring its exercise, but let them deal with the question boldly aud fearlessly, and they would have the assent and support of the whole ofatheir political opponents, and of the country at large. If they palter with this great measure, flinch from it, seek to mitigate and palliate but not to remedy, they will incur the contempt of their country, and will prove their own incompetents) to deal with evils the magnitude of which they have not hesitated to declare.
The Duke of Riercaoarn spoke briefly, but sharply, on the conagination given to his anticipations, and justifying his conduct as a consistent opponent both' of Catholic Emancipation and of Free Trade from the first mooting of either of those measures to the present moment.
The Earl of WINCIIILSEA assured the House, that all liberty not based upon religion is spurious ; and that a struggle must ensue, which if not guarded against will involve England in a civil war. Lord CAMOY8 confined himself to the topic on which his recent letter had promised further explanations of his sentiments. Their Lordships were aware that he is a Roman Catholic, and that his family. had been for many generations Roman Catholic : he confessed his
pride m that ancient and unchangeable faith ; but at the same time he remembers that he is an Englishman, and the rights and liberties of England are as dear to him as to any of their Lordships. Ile admits the spiritual supremacy of the Queen over the Established Church to the fullest extentthat the most orthodox member of that church could desire, and he acknowledges the supremacy of the Pope over the Roman Catholic population of this country in spiritual matters ; but as to any other assumption of power over this country on the part of the Pope, or any undue exercise of his spiritual
power over its population, against any such assumption he feels it to be hie duty to protest. Lord Camoys reviewed the history of the Emancipation
struggle; acknowledged the implied obligations imposed on Catholics, in honour, by the concessions which issued from that struggle ; and asserted that the conduct of the Roman Catholic laity has been in honourable con formity with their duty. He then proceeded' to take "a fair and impartial view of the establishment of the Roman Catholics in this country." He wished "to defend them where they could fairly be defended, but at thd same time to censure and condemn where censure and condemnation are due." And first of all, let him look at the policy of the late hierarchical' introductions as regards the Roman Catholics themselves. At the period of Chose introductions, the Roman Catholics of England were on the best poesible terms with the Protestants ; they were in the full enjoyment of reli gious 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 churches and cha pels, 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 profession, their conversion having been the work not of Roman Ca tholic 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. Linder 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 n ligious condition of England. It was supposed that because a few clergymen of inc Established Church had joined the Roman Catholic faith, at least onehalf the people of 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. But 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, not at all ignorant on that subject, 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 constitution, Protestant; the Crown is eminently Protestant; the people, with the exception of the Roman Catholic Members, are thoroughly Protestant."
On the law of the subject he quoted Lord Lyndhurst against Sir Edward Su en ; giving prominence to an essential point of the question, that the prohibition agiunst maintaining the spiritual authority of the Pope is liable to this restriction—that to be criminal such maintenance must be "for a purpose mischievous to the realm, or injurious to the authority of the Crown ; for that would be an offence at common law."
Lord Camoys gave his opinion on the celebrated letter of Lord John Russell. In common with an other Roman Catholics throughout the world,
when he read that letter, and found his religion stigmatized as a mummery and superstition, he felt insulted. He had not, however, looked upon that letter as the letter of the Cabinet or of the country. He would refine upon the distinction : he had not looked upon the letter as the letter of the Prime Minister ; he had looked upon it as the letter of an 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 offend 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— when he saw Roman Catholics in the House of Commons representing popu lar 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 majorityof the people of Ireland, composing, in the aggregate, one-third of the population of the country, were Roman Catholics—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 rela
tions, and with the rulers of which our own rulers were allied by close family ties, were Roman Catholics—he could not conceive it possible that Lord John Russell had deliberately 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 John Russell. It was clearly
the duty of Cardinal Wiseman invested with the title of Cardinal, and bearjag the Papal letters he proposed to publish in England, to have sought an
interview with Lord Johu Russell, for the purpose at least, of informing him of his intentions ; and it was perfectly natural that Lord John Russell should 'have been greatly annoyed at the omission. In conclusion, Lord Camoys expressed great satisfaction at observing the liberal feeling which had pervaded all the public meetings on this subject : at none of them had any resolution been passed which went beyond the points which the meeting deemed it essential to maintain for the defence of their own religious rights and liberties ; at none of them had there been any manifestations of intolerance towards others—of a desire to withdraw from others the toleration conceded to them.
The Marquis of LANSDOWNE made a short but hearty speech ; eons
.mencino. with acknowledgments to Lord Camoys..
It afforded reason for additional admiration of those sentiments, that they emanated from a man connected by hereditary ties for centuries with the Roman Catholic body in England; and he believed he might safely -assert, that such sentiments, emanating from such a quarter, would outweigh a hundredfold with the nation the effect of proceedings originating in the most profound ignorance of the past history and present condition and feeling of this country.
With reference to some particular matters of the Address, his noble friend opposite (Lord Stanley) had indeedhinted a fault and hesitated dislike, but on all its leading topics and on the general policy it indicated expressed his entire concurrence. He suggested that our foreign policy has flourished more from inaction and indifference than from active operation : but throughout all the transactions, throughout all the difficult negotiations which had been taking place in relation to the affairs of the various German States, the policy of this country, so far from having been a merely acquiescing policy, had been eminently active and eminently effective. Not a week had passed in which the interference of this country had not been employed, and beneficially employed, and acknowledged to have been so employed, by the various States which had been involved in the conflicting interests engaged. The animadversions on our financial policy are best answered by the facts. While Lord Lansdowne admits, of course, that distress may prevail in some particular districts, he is prepared to contend that the condition of the great bulk of the population—and he included in his view the agricultural population—has been gradually and materially improving. Year after year have great taxes been taken off, yet now again this year the Government finds itself in a position to hold out to the country the prospect of still further re,ductions of taxation.
Lord Lansdowne brieflyspoke his own sentiments on the most interesting topic of the Address. 1Thatever the variety of sentiment which had been put forward in debate upon that topic, he rejoiced to find that not a word tad been put forward—not even by the noble Earl [of Winchilseq—to the prejudice of that free toleration which ought to be extended, and which had been extended, and which he trusted would always be extended, to the Roman Catholic inhabitants of Great Britain ; and God forbid that, under the pressure of any circumstances, of any provocation, we should think of withdrawing the rights and privileges we had given to our Roman Catholic fellowsubjects—of going back to what he considered the practical oppression they had been for many centuries subjected to in this country. If all that the Tope had intended in his bull was to assume a spiritual jurisdiction over Roman Catholics only, why was that not expressed ? There was no difficulty in .Ohalking out that course, or in finding words to impart that object. This • proceeding has issued from a power remarkable for its attention to forms and a to words ; and if he saw that throughout the document in question the rights -of the Crown and the existence of the Protestant hierarchy were studiously and carefully ignored, no person would persuade him that it was by accident -that the inference of nothing more than spiritual dominion over Roman Ca-tholics being intended was to be drawn. He hoped, therefore, that their Lordships would entertain the measure that would shortly be introduced on this subject. The Earl of RODEN expressed a general concurrence. Whatever the intended measure might be, he trusted it would be one that, whilst it ad! mite full toleration to aU persons and distinctions, would gain and maintain the end in view, by grappling with the real difficulties of the .ease. He expressed his admiration of the fairness and openness of the declarations made by Lord Carney& The Address, which as usual was an adaptation of the Royal Speech itself, was agreed to nem. con. In the House of Commons, the Marquis of KILDMIE was very concise in the observations with which he moved the echo to the Royal Speech. With reference to the unjustifiable proceeding of a Foreign Sovereign, it would be the duty of the House, taking care that the profession of religion should be free to all her Majesty's subjects, to maintain entire her Majesty's supremacy, as well as the religious liberty of the country.
Mr. PETO seconded the motion, with statistical developments in support of the reference by the Speech to the satisfactory state of commerce and manufactures, and the consequent general employment afforded to the working classes.
The immense increase of our manufactured exports had occurred in the face of an increased price of cotton, the chief staple of those manufactures, of at least 75 per cent. In spite of that adverse circumstance, 50,000 additional hands were employed in the factories : if the price had continued low, the increase of hands would have been 300,000. Notwithstanding all disadvantages, such is our superiority that in finer fabrics we beat all competition, and shut up the American mills. Shipping has felt the onward movement. In 1849, the increase of British shipping over the preceding year was 226,207 tons ; in 1850, the further increase of British shipping was 162,843 tons. Shipbuilding is in a state of unparalleled activity : within the last few days an eminent shipbuilder stated to Mr. Peto that his orders for ships exceed 400,0001. in value. One of the largest Liverpool houses says in its circular for 18o0, that the amount of tonnage sold exceeds that of last year by 36 per cent; "and we have felt the want of a larger supply of good vessels." Land participates in the prosperity of trade and manufactures. There are in this country 19,000,000 acres of amble and 38,000,000 acres of pasture and meadow, and of the former smaller quantity not more than 4,000,000 grow wheat ; it is manifest, therefore, that agriculturists derive a large portion of their income from stock : now at least 60,000 more beasts were slaughtered in 1850 than in 1849. Beef and mutton are dearer than in 1843, '4, '5—years of protection. In general reference to Ireland, it may be stated that while in England the increase of persons employed in manufactures has been 67 per cent, and in Scotland 51 per cent, in Ireland it has been 158 per cent. On the subject of the Papal hierarchy in England, Mr. Pete expressed his intention to show a devoted loyalty and love to the Sovereign in the protection of her prerogative against all aggression.
Mr. ROEBUCK declared that he never before addressed the House with
so much pain : for now, for the first time since he held a seat in Parliament, he found a Liberal Administration, headed by one who had gained the honour and distinction of being leader in the cause of religious liberty, taking a backward step. Mr. Roebuck addressed the House at great length with a development of the arguments which group themselves round this text, and quoting from Lord John's old speeches to show his present inconsistency. Recalling the warning of Mr. Canning, that so soon as you should relieve m the Dissenters from their disabilities, you would find them your bitterest opponents in seeking to remove the disabilities of the Roman Catholics, he pointed to the fulfilment of this saying in the present attitude of _parties, especially exemplified by the position of Mr. Pete as the seconder of this motion. But he begged to caution the Dissenters, that they are not yet out of the wood : the principle they now apply to the Roman Catholics may yet be applied to themselves ; and no man alive would rejoice more than Mr. Roebuck to see that retribution. He would ask the House, seriously, whether after all it was worth while to run the risk of the course now indicated by Ministers. In Great Britain and Ireland there are 8,000,000 of Catholics ; and is this the time, when spiritual bigotry is disappearing, when kindness and good-will are superseding all ancient hatreds and religious feuds,when they most one another as brethren, and are becoming an united people—is it worthy of the noble Lord, so long the advocate of religious as well as civil liberty, to aid a feeling which has its source in religious hatred— which takes the name and sanction of her Majesty's prerogative to cover a most detestable thing ? The noble Lord is forgetting his past history, and is thinking only of a fleeting popularity ; he is lending the sanction of a great name to cover a great vice.
Sir R OBERT INGLIS hoped the House would not be deterred by any remarks of Mr. Roebuck from acting up not only to the letter but to the spirit of Lord John Russell's communication to the Bishop of Durham ; it had struck fire into the very heart of England. Mr. JOHN O'Cos-zer.m. denied the inference of Mr. Peto that prosperity is returning to Ireland. He referred his hearers to the Pope's instrument appointing the Vicars-Apostolic in 1840, for proof that a precisely similar allotment was then made to what is now stigmatized as an intolerable territorial allotment ; and declared that Lord John Russell, after insulting the Catholic faith, has shrunk back in a manner that will earn the contempt of every friend of religious liberty.
Mr. B. Hors, as a member of the Church of England, concurred with Sir Robert Inglis in the strong expression of indignation at the Papal aggression ; but in the House of Commons be felt not as a member of the Church of England, but as one of the representatives of that country which is foremost in civilization, intellect, and enlightenment ; and in that capacity he launched sarcasms at those Protestants who think that if Dr. Wiseman did certain things as Bishop of Melipotamus they were all safe but that if he did them as Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster they would all be made Papists. Mr. Arm= condemned "the Papal aggression," and as a Roman Catholic avowed himself "not ashamed to call it by that name." He proceeded to give the House information in his possession as an actor in former negotiations with the head of his Church for modification of its English branch.
The Roman Catholic Church in England had long been in an anomalous position. A contest had been maintained between the Prelates on the one hand and the secondary order of clergy and the laity on the other. The Prelates maintained that the secondary order of clergy and the laity were subject, unreservedly and exclusively, to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which included temporal as well as spiritual things in matters religious. Petitions were sent to Rome by English Catholics praying for the establishment of a hierarchy in this country ; but counter-petitions were forwarded to the same quarter by the Catholic Bishops, praying that the hierarchy might not be elected • by the clergy—that the canon law might not be applied to the secondary order of the clergy, and that the Bishops might be armed with absolute power over them and the laity. Owing to the difference of opinion which prevailed on those points, the Pope held his hand. Mr. Anstey has in his possession a a copy of a document signed by the late Pope Gregory XVL, and professedly founded on thii petitions of the English Catholics. It was called Statuta Proposita, and was founded on the basis of clerical election. In that document the Pope declined to give the Bishops territorial titles, because the state of the Church did not call for them. The Catholic laity unanimously approved of this scheme, but the Catholic Bishops as unanimously objected to it, and consequently it was not carried into effect. Now, however, a hierarchy is established, invested with full authority over the clergy of the secondary order, and with power to decide on the temporal and spiritual concerns of the Catholic laity, under the name of spiritual affairs. Was not that an aggression on the rights of Roman Catholic subjects of her Majesty? It is necessary to protect the Catholic laity ; and for that purpose he believed that the existing law is sufficient, if the Government would appeal to it. As a lawyer, he deliberately affirmed, that unless the Pope's letter were annulled by some adequate temporal authority ; it became quasi Jaw to the Roman Catholics of England in the first place, and to the courts of justice in the second place. It would be an extraordinary spectacle to behold the Court of Chancery occupied in enforcing a Papal bull by which the vested rights of English subjects would be taken away, owing to the abrogation of the canon law. This might happen in the ease of a patron of a chapel, and, if the Pope's bull should be maintained, a Catholic who should attempt to exercise the rights which his forefathers had exercised for centuries might be brought before the Court of Chancery by his Bishop, with the bull in his hand, and restrained by a prerogative writ of injunction. We must either acquiesce in the Papal bull and its consequences, or we must annul or regulate it. This is certainly a matter sufficiently important to justify her Majesty in referring it to the consideration of Parliament. The numerical amount of Catholics in England and Wales is estimated at 1,500,000, and there is scarcely a Catholic congregation which does not possess temporalities of sufficient magnitude to become the subject of a suit in Chancery. Thus, under the cover of directing purely ecclesiastical affairs, the Catholic Bishops would be able to interfere in temporal concerns ; for, as Lord Mansfield observed in the ease of a Dissenting chapel, temporalities follow spiritual functions just as the gold chain follows the office of Mayor. It might be said that this is a matter which concerns Catholics specially, and that if they choose to submit to the tyranny of their Prelates it is their own fault. That is not a sufficient answer. Unless the State interposes an obstacle to the Papal assumption, it is physically impossible for Catholics to escape from the consequences of the bull. Human nature could not endure the deprivation of the sacraments, which would be the penalty imposed on them for refusing to obey their Bishops. The Legislature has in various instances interfered between parties—as in the case of. the factory children, for instance—on the ground that one of them was subject to undue influence. That principle should be applied to the case of the Catholic laity. If the Legislature would take the question into consideration in the spirit in which her Majesty has addressed them, it would do well; but merely to raise the barren and idle question of title, would be only a waste of time. Parliament must take into its consideration that which it has for years refused to do' —namely, the securities enacted at the time of the passing of the Relief Act, which involves the whole question of the status of the Roman Catholic Church in this country and the position of its members towards each other and towards the State. When Parliament does that, it will deal with things, not names.
Mr. PLUMPTRE advised the Premier, if some of his colleagues were not disposed to cooperate with him, to get rid of them ; the country will be more willing to dispense with them than with him. The Earl of ARUNDELL and SURREY would oppose any attack on the liberty of the Roman Catholic Church, from whatever quarter it come, but temperately and constitutionally : if persecution should be imposed, he trusted that his coreligionists knew how to suffer with firmness and dignity. Mr. PAGAN altogether dissented from the assertion in the Speech that certain ecclesiastical titles have been conferred by a foreign power : they have been conferred by the Pope as spiritual head of the Church, and not as Sovereign of the Roman States.
Mr. HUME remarked, that a stranger, judging the House by its talk, would take it for an assembly of ecclesiastics. He endeavoured to call attention to the paragraphs of the Speech not ecclesiastical. The settlement in Denmark by no means gratified him, ending as it does with the occupation of the free city of Hamburg by the troops of Austria against the solemn protest of its rulers and people. His approval of the paragraphs referring to legal reform was the more lively as he believes the expenses entailed on the country by the Court of Chancery to be "more oppressive than the ordinary taxation." Regretting that the general prosperity has not reached the whole of the agricultural class, he thought the present a good opportunity for giving to that important part of the community their Constitutional rights in the choice of Parliamentary Representatives. The Bible monopoly should be abolished. The Queen should disband her useless and unnecessary armies, and, like Queen Elizabeth, rely on her subjects as her guards.
Colonel SIBTRORP hoped to God that some hail-storm or some visitation of lightning might descend to defeat the ill-advised project in Hyde Park. When the foreigners come he warned the people of this Metropolis to "beware of thieves, pickpockets, and whoremongers—take care of your wives and daughters, take care of your lives and property." Mr. G. C. G: F. BERKELEY withheld his opinion on the measure against the assumption of ecclesiastical titles till he should sec the bill; when he would scan it in a true Protestant spirit. Mr. Gnarrax would move to strike out of the bill the words "United Kingdom," and substitute the words "England and Ireland." Mr. Bernms acknowledged with pleasure, that agricultural distress is now mentioned in the Royal Speech with less contempt ; but asked how many more years of "temporary depression" are to be endured before that interest gets relief? Would that Lord John were in the power to give them a fixed duty ; no man is a wanner friend to them than he.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL rejoiced to find that there was no likelihood of a division on the Address, and that it would be passed if not unanimously yet with very general consent.
Touching briefly on the German question, with a prayer for the welfare of Germany, but a disclaimer of interference with the concerns of forty millions of people to carry out his hopes for their increased freedom, he passed to the economic questions mooted. Certainly he would once have preferred a fixed duty on corn ; but even his former opinion had been that such a duty should be a transitional one and if such a duty had been imposed when he desired, the progress of opinion, and the increase of the commercial and manufacturing classes, would have led, perhaps before now, to some such law as we now possess. The system must be taken as a whole—as affecting many articles of manufacture and many articles of agricultural produce, and among the latter not wheat alone : tried by this test it is consonant to the great interests of the country, and to its moral and political tranquillity. Proceeding to the question on which a great part of the debate had turned, Lord John Russell suggested to Mr. Roebuck, that the pain which he so acutely felt in addressing the House might have been lessened by himself. "Perhaps the honounible and learned gentleman may in future save himself the trouble to himself which attends that pain, if he will take rather a more charitable view of the conduct of others, and refrain from exposing himself to the reproach conveyed in an observation made by the great Prince of Conde, when he was reading some pamphlets written against him at the instigation of Cardinal de Retz--‘ These gentlemen make us act just as they would act if they were in our places.'" (Cheers and laughter.) Not doubt ing the sincerity of Mr. Roebuck in his opinion that the matter is one only of the use of titles and one of perfect indifference, LOrd John Russell expressed his strong opinion, on the contrary, that the Court of Rome, as distinguished from the Church of Rome, is ever wishing for opportunities of making aggression, not merely on the spiritual but on the temporal interests of the kingdoms with which they have concern. It has been represented as. if the Protestants of the country, and Lord John among the foremost of them, are filled with a rage for persecuting the Roman Catholics : Lord John met this charge by rapidly recalling the recent current of concession and consideration to the Roman Catholics, especially in Ireland. Indeed, this contluct is cited on the other side as the most reprehensible part of the Government conduct. Of one instance of favour shown to the Irish Roman Catholics he did not till lately know the history. " It was stated that in the Lord Chamberlain's department the Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ireland had entree, as such, to the Queen's drawingroom : that was inserted in the Gazette by a subordinate in the hurry of the Queen's reception ; and I am not prepared to defend the giving to Roman Catholics honours to which they were not entitled." In the midst of every token of a spirit the opposite of persecuting, what could induce the Court of Rome to issue an edict declaring that this country is to be divided into bishoprics under an Archbishop of Westminster, of all places, who immediately proclaimed, " We govern and shall continue to govern the counties of Middlesex, Essex, and Hertfordshire"? Was that a spiritual charge ? The answer is given by Mr. Newman, the loss of whose learning and talents to the Protestant Church all must deplore ; and by the usual organs of the Roman Catholics both in this country and in France. "The honourable Member for Kent (Mr. Plumptre) has warned me, that in dealing with this subject I should bear in mind the very strong sentiments Which are entertained with regard to it, and should not fall short of the expectations of the people of this country. I shall be prepared to propose a measure as strong as my own convictions lead use to consider necessary—I shall not bate any part of what I think necessary ; but, on the other hand, I cannot introduce measures which I consider to go beyond the occasion, or which would in any way trench upon what I think due to the religious liberty of all classes of her Majesty's subjects. I shall not deem it necessary on this occasion to say more on this topic than that I consider the 'resent authority possessed by Parliament is fully sufficient to deal with the whole of these transactions, and the questions arising out of them. I believe that the specific measure I shall on a future day propose for the adoption of this House will be found to tend to the establishment of harmony and good feeling among all the various classes and professions of Christians in this country. That measure will be general in its application to the whole United Kingdom. (Cheers.) I know it has been doubted whether, after what has taken place, this would be so; I know it has been surmised that one portion of the United Kingdom would be excluded from it. But such is not the fact. It never has been in the contemplation of Government to observe any such limitation."
Lord John briefly justified his letter to the Bishop of Durham • and vindicated himself from the charge of having insulted the feelings of lila Roman Catholic fellow-subjects. "1 beg to declare that I have never insulted the feelings of may Roman Catholic countrymen. I made some observations which had reference not to those to whom the honourable gentleman would. apply them, but to a section or body of the Church to which I myself belong. (Loud cheers.) The matter of those observations may have been right or it may have been wrong; I do not conceive that any candid Roman Catholic, on perusing them, would feel that they were intended to apply to him ;ut it is sufficient for me to state, that in making them I used no stronger terms than I had heard the Bishop of my own diocese employ in speaking of the same body in our own Church."
Declaring his conviction that Parliament will not listen to the proposition that has been mooted for the arrangement of these affairs by the sort of treaty called a "concordat," Lord John concluded with these sentences—" I am:firmly persuaded that we have already, in our own public feeling, our own polity, our own public discussion, and in the existing law and authority of Parliament, sufficient to protect the integrity of that civil and religious freedom that all classes of her Majesty's subjects are so earnest to maintain against all aggressions of this kind that may be attempted upon them. After all that has arisen to call forth the expression of that feeling, it is upon that feeling that I rely with the greatest confidence. It is on the attachment of the people to those institutions, on their deep and earnest feeling for all that regards their welfare and integrity, that I look for the surest protection of this kingdom from the machinations and aggressions of the Court of Rome, or of any other foreign power, spiritual or temporal, whatever."
Mr. DISRAELI criticized the language of the Speech in reference to agricultural distress, as "the language of hope adopted only to lead us to despair." The difficulties are again acknowledged, but again there is nothing vouchsafed beyond hopes that those difficulties will themselves . disappear. Having in vain called for a statement of any propositions on this question, Mr. Disraeli now announced his final alternative " What I propose to do on Tuesday next, is to ask the House to enter into. consideration of the distress of the agricultural interest, of the whole existing scheme of our taxation. I shall ask them to inquire whether one of the greatest interests of this country, having been nourished to a pitch at which, under a system fiscal or otherwise, its resources have been mule most extensively available to the general welfare of the country, any reason can be assigned, whilst an enormous revenue is raised on the other interests of the empire, this should be declared in the Speech from the Throne to be the most failing of all ? I shall ask the House to consider whether the noble Lord and his colleagues can have done right in adopting. a course of policy which at such a period has abolished the former prosperity of this interest, and left it in such a state of artificial distress ? And if I do not succeed in producing a proposition for applying a remedy to this evil—a remedy entitled to the sanction of Parliament and the confidence of the country—/ now undertake never again to bring forward any motion connected with this great subject." The letter for which Lord John Russell had made a sort of apology, Mr. Disraeli regarded as the manifesto of a Cabinet. "I take the paragraph in the Queen's Speech in connexion with this letter, because I look upon it as. the manifesto of a Cabinet, as the matured manifesto of a Cabinet. I feel convinced that no individual in the most eminent position in this country could, in a moment of levity, have signed his name to a document of such surpassing interest and awful responsibility. The noble Lord was of course perfectly acquainted with the feelings and opinions of all his colleagues upon this great subject, even if they were not at his elbow when he signed his name. I am bound to state my opinion, which I have stated elsewhere,. that I do not think the aggression of the Pope was, at any rate, insidious. I think it was a frank aggression, frank almost to an indiscretion. I never knew a proceeding more free from any pretence of subtilty or cunning. I think that his Holiness had due encouragement for the step he took. I do not think that when the noble Lord had resolved to deal with anything so important as that, he was thinking of the honours paid to Roman Catholic priests of Ireland with the consent of the Government and of the noble Lord himself. No; I think the noble Lord thought the time had arrived, from information which no doubt had reached his ears, and from thoughts which bad long occupied his mind, that a great change was perhaps taking place between the relations which must hereafter subsist between the Crown of England and the Pope of Rome, and the noble Lord took the occasion of this last drop in the cup to adopt the policy which he had probably long meditated. The noble Lord has proposed to solve the most difficult of political problems. He and his Government are going to reconcile a due observance of the civil and religious liberties of the Roman Catholic subjects of the Queen,—liberties which I for one trust will never be impugned,—he is about to solve this problem, whether as a statesman he can reconcile the due observance and respect of these civil and religious liberties with the Queen's supremacy, with the rights of our bishops and clergy, and with the spiritual independerace of the nation. That is a problem which may not be incapable of solution, but it will tax his powers of statesmanship to the utmost. Less than this I cannot suppose that the noble Lord contemplates. He cannot be about to bring in a bill merely to prevent a Roman Catholic priest from styling himeelf the Archbishop of any town or city in England. He cannot be about to bring in any such measure as that, because he:would not be justified in stirring up the passions of a mighty people, in exciting their highest and holiest feelings, and in rousins.' in this country a spirit of controversy and of polemical dispute which recalls the days of the Stuarts, and the end of which none of us may live to witness. The noble Lord, as a wise and sagacious man, has weighed the great advantages which he contemplates in his statesmanlike measure against the vast evils which his course has hitherto alone produced. That is the measure which I for one expect the noble Lord to produce. That he is going to produce merely the insignificant project to which I have referred, I say it would be better to do nothing, and, even at this last hour, to endeavour by
doins nothing to appease the excitement which he has caus:d. But if the noble Lord is prepared to solve the °neat political problem which no Minister yet has succeeded in solving, then indeed he may have been justified in the course which he has taken, then indeed he may lay a claim to the reputation and character of a great Minister : but such is the measure which he must bring in to authorize the course he has taken ; such is the measure which I for one would humbly support ; such, I believe, is the measure which the country expects • and if it does not receive it, I believe the verdict of Protestant and Roman Catholic will be on one point unanimous—that the conduct of the noble Lord cannot be justified."
The motion was agreed to, and a Committee was appointed to draw up the Address,