NEWS OF THE WEEK.
THE Tory Opposition in the House of Commons put forth their svhole strength on Monday against the Appropriation principle in the Irish Tithe Bill. The question was raised on the motion to agree to the 50th clause of the bill; which was carried, after an animated debate, by a vote of 290 to 264—majority 26. When the same point was contested on the 4th of June, the Liberal majority was 39: the Tory gain, therefore, has been 13 votes. The Morning Chronicle has, with undoubted well-meaning, en- deavoured to break the effect of this fall by statements of losses by elections and of the presumed votes of absentees. As to losses by elections, it is small consolation to be told that Liberal Members have been replaced by Tories; and as to the absentees, we fear it will be found, that had the House been full, the majo- rity would certainly not have been increased. According to the list given in the Chronicle, there were 47 absentees; but of those only 20 would have supported Ministers had they been present. Mr. HARVEY, who is on this list, would not have voted with the Tories; but the remaining 26 would have opposed Ministers, and thereby reduced their majority to 20. This appears to be the real state of the case. On the Church question, Ministers cannot, in a full House, count upon a greater majority than 20 votes. It is unsatisfactory to arrive at such a result ; but it would be miserable policy either to practise or connive at deception on the point. Let us know our real strength, or weakness—our actual position ; and take measures accordingly. On the eve of a ge- neral registration, it is especially important that the necessity for exertion should be manifested. Be it remembered, therefore, that if the Tories gain eleven votes at the next election, they secure a majority in the House of Commons on the Irish Church question —that question on which their defeat last year was fatal to the PEEL Administration. It was, no doubt, with the view to ascer- tain the amount of their reliable strength, and of the addition necessary to give them a majority, that the muster on Monday night was so complete. The result of the division has encouraged their friends; but the Reformers also have derived from it the benefit of a warning. We question whether, on the whole, the Tories would not have acted more cunningly for their own purpose had they concealed their real numbers.
Looking at the division from another point of view, it is not so favourable for the Opposition. It has been made a reproach to the Liberals that they owe their majority to the Irish Members. On Irish subjects, it is very desirable to have a majority of the Representatives of Ireland; and a Minister is not justified in pressing a measure for Ireland distasteful to that majority. It is therefore a circumstance very much in favour of Lord MORPETH'S bill, that out of 82 Irish Members who voted, he had 53 on his side. But the ignorant and prejudiced will still say that no mea- sure can be a safe or wise one which is carried by a majority of Irish Members. Take, then, the Irish names of both parties from the division, and there will remain a majority of 237 to 235 of :Fnglish and Scotch Members in favour of the Ministerial Bill. .t.t?izgain, to moderate the exultation of the Tories, let us recom- mend them to reckon the Members in the minority who upon every other question but this one of Church Revenue Appropria- tion would vote in the Liberal ranks—who would probably go so far as to support a motion for the removal of any Tory Ministry— and they will find 6 or 7 (counting 13 or 14 on a division) besides 3 or 4 among the absentees.
Making, hovrever, every allowance for the Liberal party,
it is undeniable that the least relaxation or want of zeal on their part would give the Tories an excellent chance of obtaining a majority by a new election. It is likely that they take a more favourable view of their position and prospects than we do; and Intliat case, knowing their influence at Court, we must think it
i very unwise n any Liberal to indulge in the notion that a dig solution of Parliament by the Tories is impossible. Our advice is 10 expect and prepare for a struggle in the autumn. The debate on Monday does not call for much reniark. Lord STANLEY was energetically acrimonious and bitterly personal. Even the apathetic Lord Jonsr RUSSELL was roused; and in his reply, took care to drop the " noble friend " which till then he had sedulously reciprocated with his quondam colleague. The plaudits from the Opposition benches were frequent, loud, and hearty, while Lord STANLEY was speaking : PEEL has not been so greeted for many a day. It was plain that the downright, bigoted, and
atrabilious Lord was their favourite. He scorned to trim or mince matters ; he pretended no regard for the Irish people, whom he scarcely alluded to ; but reserved all his sympathy for the Church
and Clergy of the Ascendancy party. If to excite the fierce hatred
of seven millions of his Majesty's subjects is the way to become one of his Majesty's Ministers, Lord ST A N LEY will soon be in office; but if extensive unpopularity is any bar to the acquirement of power in England, Sir ROBERT PEEL will find in Lord STANLEY a most detrimental ally, not an able colleague. STANLEY'S junc- tion with any Ministry would be enough to sink it.
Mr. SMITH O'BRIEN'S announced motion for an address to the King on the present posture of affairs, was cushioned on Tuesday.
Our Representatives shrink from manly conflict with the Peers; who advance constantly like an invading army, which overthrows every thing in its march, and is daily strengthening itself in pos-
session of the enemy's country—gaining victories, bloodless but triumphant, and almost decisive. It might be supposed from their conduct, that the aim and end of the Commons was to afford an example of serf-like patience and submission to baronial contumely and insult. The leaders of the Liberal party are in this respect fully as blameworthy as the Ministers. The best possible occa- sion for opening the inevitable discussion of Peerage Reform, in the proper forum, has been suffered to pass unimproved. The journals of Parliament will contain no record that the Commons, in "collision" with the Lords, have maintained the dignty of the People's House. The confidence of the country will be apt to be withdrawn from the men who show such faint hearts when resolution is required, and cower and shrink when they should deal two blows for one.
The Peers read the English Tithe Bill a second time on Thurs- day. From the reception given to it, there is no doubt of its passing with little alteration. Lord MANSFIELD, Lord ASHBUR- TO1V, Lord WYNFORD, and the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, pro-. mised it their support. Lord ASHBURTON expressed his opinion that it was a better measure, upon the whole, than the Tithe Bill of the PEEL Administration ; and the Archbishop said it approached as nearly to perfection as could be expected when the complication and difficulty of the question were considered. Lord MANSFIELD decidedly approved of the _compulsory principle of commutation, though he had been formerly opposed to it ; and he also spoke of the admirable working of the new Poor-law. From all this we gather, that both titheowners and landowners see great advantages to themselves in the bill.
Last night, the House of Commons was engaged for some
time in the discussion of a measure, introduced by Lord JOHN RUSSELL, for reforming the Church of England. It is founded on the Fourth Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, of whom the Archbishop of CANTERBURY was the chief. As might be expected from the auspices under which the bill was framed, it deals tenderly with abuses and provides liberally for dignitaries. It will be seen by reference to the debate, that while the bill re- ceives the support of Government and the Tories, the more earnest and religious Reformers condemn it as quite inefficient. It is, however, an instalment ; and establishes a precedent for "chopping and changing" the property of the Church, which may be of some value when the time for a real reform is arrived.