Elebatryi ant1 taraceettingtin tintlinment. I. THE IRISH CHURCH.
Lord MORPETII, On Monday, moved the House of Commons to go into Committee on the Church of Ireland Bill.
On the question being put that the Speaker leave the chair, Sir GEORGE SINCLAIR rose, not, as he said, to discuss the principles or examine the provisions of the bill, but to denounce and protest against the disingenuous conduct of Ministers with respect to it. Five months load elapsed since the session commenced, and now the bill was reluc- tantly dragged forward for committal by Ministers, under the perfect conviction that it never could become law.—that they had not the power, supposing that they possessed the inclination, to carry it through Parliament. Did ever any body of statesmen lay themselves more open to the charge of tergiversation, or more unceremoniously kick down the ladder by which they clambered into place ? Being called upon to settle the question of precedence between Municipal Reform and the Irish Tithe question, they were guilty of the unparalleled sole- ism in the heraldry of polities, of giving precedence to the former.
4, Was there, in point of urgency, the most remote comparison between these 'questions ? But, then, it was manifest that the Government would strengthen their own hands, and secure their own tenure of office, and therefore, 'the clergy starve, that Ministers may dine.' lithe prominence which the two mea- Sures respectively occupied in the colloquial intercourse of private life might be assumed as a standard for estimating their relative importance, I should say, that for one quidnunc who ever broached the subject of corporate abuses, there *ere at least tify anxiously inquiring from day today.—' Well, pray when does the Irish Tithe question come on ? Have you heard what Ministers mean to do with regard to the A ppropriation clause?' After several intervening weeks of silence and procrastination, the answer to the last interrogatory uniformly was—, Do? why they mean to do nothing at all. The clause, you may rest assured, will 'henceforth be a mere brutum fulmen, now that it has fairly answered its pur- pose of ousting a rival Administration.' Some persons likened it to an old hat suspended on the top of a pole half enveloped in a tattered red jacket, with a rude wooden III u•ket at its right hand, and a clumsy old broomstick on its left, and stationed in the middle of the Treasury Gardens, to -care away the whole feathered tribe of the Tories, and prevent any unwelcome internaeddlen from nibbing any portion of its golden fruit. Others again, compared it to a train of artillery, brought up fur the purpose of compelling some obstinate fortress to surrender, but which is quietly replaced in the arsenal as soon as the garrison has capitu- lated and marched out wish all the honour§ of war. No one, indeed, either thought then, or eau imagine now, that the principle would ever be formally avowed and openly abandoned by his Majesty's Ministers, or that they could; without a total inss uf character, resort to any expedient for shaking it off; but is there any essential difference between such ignominious inconsistency and the annual reiteration of the Machiavehan farce of postponing the question until the fag-end of the session, when most of the Members of both Houses are out of
town, out of health, or out of patience ; so that discomfiture may be instantly succeeded and palliated by a convenient prorogation of Parliament,—a discorn- fiture, permit me to observe, which his Majesty's Ministers endure with philo- sophic equanimity, and indeed with a display of every virtue under heaven except that of a becoming resignation."
But the aim of Ministers was sufficiently clear: they desired to se- cure the distribution of offices in the Church, the Law, and the Magistracy, during the recess- " Never were Utopian simpletons more palpably the dupes of their own cre- dulity, than those who fondly imagined that the age of influence, like that of chivalry was past ; that the /era of economists and calculators had succeeded, and that the glory of patronage was extinguished for ever. Why, Sir, the verialth system is openly avowed to be one of the principal engines for maintaining Ministers in office. There never was a period in our history when offices of every description were so eagerly grasped and so tenaciously monopolized by those who subscribe to all the articles of a certain political creed, and when the decisions of the Government in this department were watched by jealous sup- porters with such lively and lynx-eyed vigilance. It is become almost a sine qua non even for admission into the Magistracy, that every candidate should be faithful and bear true allegiance to his Majesty's Ministers as well as to his ;Majesty himself. It must, however, be admitted, that with regard to the dis- tribution of official patronage, his Majesty's Ministers, though much to be blamed, are, perhaps still more to be pitied. There are amongst them some who, if left to themselves, are not indisposed to be liberal, in the old and obso- lete acceptation of the term,—that is to say, not harsh, not unkind, not un- generous, not exclusive ; but they are in a state of abject and ignominious vassal- age to imperious and importunate pal tisans; and, above all, to a ruthless and rapacious ptess, without whose countenance and cooperation neither their places nor their popularity would be worth a fortnight's purchase. Of them it may be said, as of the Jews in Egypt, that their lives are made bitter with hard bondage. The grasping greediness of their satellites out of doors is become a by-word and a reproach in every district throughout the empire. They are beset, besieged, and bullied, by a countless legion of hornets, harpies, and horse- leeches, vociferating without intermission not only Give, give to us,' but ' Take away, take away horn every one besides.' If the power of these inquisitorial autocrats were commensurate with their vindictive avidity, they would, with- out ceremony, distinction, or remorse, rend the coif from every Tory Judge, and snatch the mitre from every Tory Bishop, and cashier every Tory Lord- Lieutenant, and dismiss every Tory public functionary, however blameless his conduct, however amiable his character, however eminent his dent ts, however moderate his political opinions. Sir George maintained that the country was anxious for a Ministry formed under the auspices of Sir Robert Peel and Lord Stanley; and he concluded by declining, that if, a few years ago, the members of the present 'Ministry had been told that they should be engaged in the mea- sures they now brought forward, there was scarcely one among them who would not have said, in the words of Hanel to the prophet, " Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?'
The House went into Committee on the bill.
Lord MORPETH moved a proviso to the 50th clause; which was agreed to. Lord MAHON then protested against the Appropriation principle; insisted on the necessity of stopping the inundation of spoliation ; and moved to strike out the clause.
Mr. PoULTER and Mr. MORGAN JOHN O'CONNELL spoke in favour of the clause. Mr. PLIUMPTRE, Mr. EMERSON TENNENT, and Mr. HARDY, spoke against it.
Mr. TENNENT contended that Parliament could justly transfer the property of the Church from the Catholics to the Protestants, but that it would now be a breach of faith to alter its appropriation—
The Roman Catholic Church claimed to hold its property altogether as an inde- pendent and irresponsible corporation, confessing its allegiance to Rome alone, and acknowledging no authority or right of into ference in the Crown or the Perlis. ment. Even the power of their own taxation was then, and till a period long i subsequent, solely n the hands of the Convocation of the Clergy. One great constitutional effect of the Reformation was the destruction of this imperinm in imperio, and the transfer of its property to the Protestant Church and other lay subjects of the realm, who acknowledged the Crown as their head, and received their endovvinents under the guardianship and protection of the Legis- lature. Parliament, in fact, neither claimed our exercised over Clive!) pro- perty any species of authority till it had been transferred from the Monasteries to those who acknowledged themselves reinjects of the Crown ; and the effects of the change were amply attested in the reign of Queen Mary, who, having
'enured the R an Catholic religion, applied for the sanction of Parliainent to restore to it its property likewise ; which Parliament, although chiefly com- posed of Roman Catholics, theinselvee resolutely lefused, on the ground that having, by its confiscation from the Church of Rome, become vested in their trust for the subjecta of the Crown, they could not, without a violation of all faith, permit it to be alienated. The conduct of the Parliament in the reign of Queen Mary, therefore, rather than in that of Henry the Eighth, affords the precedent by which this House ought to be guided : its transfer to the Church of England by the latter was an act rif power without involving a brea
trust ; but its reconveyance now would be a violation of the faith of the Le lature and the honour of the Crown.
Sir F. TRENCH said, that the Irish Members Were mere tools in the hands of the great political Briareits, Mr. O'Connell. He considered that their object Was to transfer the property of the Protestant Church to the Catholics ; and really, when he found the A tturney-General and the Solicitor. General opposing the legal claims of the tithe-owners in time Court of Exchequer, he must conclude that the Government entertained a similar project. Dr. BALDWIN strongly supported the clause ; and denied that the Irish Liberal Members were Mr. O'Connell's tools ; although they accepted his guidance, on account of the great services he had rendered his country, and his superior Lord MoRPETH remided Sir Frederick Trench of an attack which he once made on Lord Plunket when Attorney- General for Ireland, and the reply he received ; and he though!. that the recollection of that reply could not be among the most agreeable uf his reminiscences, end ought to have served him as a warning not to attack . n Attorney- General. Lord Morpeth proceeded to defend some of hi- calculations from the attacks of Sir Robert Peel and Mr. Sergeant Jackson ; and read letters from the Secretary of the Commissioners of Public In- struction, and from Mr. Acheson Lyle, one of the Comn issioners, in defence of the correctness of their reports. He then urged the adop- tion of the bill, on the grovrid it afforded the only chance of a peace- able settlement of the question— He had never pretended that this was a perfect measure : he lad never pre- tended that, if they were perfectly masters over the eircumstal ces connected with the question, they might not have proposed a different adji stment of it : but what they contended fur, and what he on their part persisted in contending for was, that in comparison with the existing state of thing., this measure went far to correct the glaring inequalities of the present eystem- He was prepared to maintain, that this meaeure would have the effect of much more ready upper ti- ening ecclesiastical revenues awl duties; and, in addition to this ad% antage, it had this sovereign and crowning recommendation, that in the present perverse and lamentable state exhibited by the Church in Ireland—the clergy of which might Well be said ta be composed of militants or litigants—of men wlo were either starving or enduring the worst privations, or who were drawing (keen upon their .beads the curse.; of those who were supposed to be their flocks—( Cheers from the Ministerial, and some faint cries of " Oh" from the Opposition benches) --" I don't say that it is a right state of things ; I don't say that it is either proper or Christian that it should so continue ; but I only lament that etch is the fact. (Renewed cheers.) Much better would it be, in my cpinion, if, in- rtead of sanctioning a system by which the clergy of the Established Church are either compelled to eat the bitter crust of want and dependence, or to spill the blood of those intrusted to their spiritual care, as well as to endeavour in vain to hush the cries of their families for bread, the Committee were to secede to the present bill, unshorn and undivested of that principle, which perhaps for the last time may be now made available towards effecting an immediate set- tlement of this question, and supplying an assured provision to the existing clergy. Coupling, then, the other provisions of this measure with that which has, I am hid to believe, the sanction of public opinion' without which no ad- justment can be real or satisfactory, we hope and think that there is sufficient advantage resulting from it to the bulk of the people to induce them to give it their cordial acquiescence." (Much cheering.) Mr. Sergeant JACKSON defended the accuracy of his statements) derived from the returns furnished him by the Kildare Street Society ; and impugned the correctness of the Commissioners' Report, AS far as it represented the number of schools in Ireland for the education of Protestants. He strongly eulogized the proceedings of the Kildare Street Society ; and lamented the neglect it suffered at the hands of men in power.
Mr. SIIEIL next addressed the House ; beginning his speech as follows- " The honnurable and learned gentleman has pronounced a funeral oration upon the Kildare Street Society. That body is, for all Parliamentary pur- poses, extinct. The honourable Member for Tamworth withheld the grant to at, and it is somewhat singular that the learned Sergeant did not recollect, while Jae was inveighing against the new system of education, that the Members for North Lancashire and for Tamworth, with one of whom the new system origi- nated, the other of whom continued, and even augmented, the grant, were beside him. But let not our attention be diverted by any thing of so small account as the Kildare Street Society, and the minutiae of its merits, from the great question on which the destinies of Ireland depend, which is before the House. I come to that question, and to the great principle on which it rests; for it has been agreed that the discussion upon its principle shall to-night be taken. Some persons are of opinioh, that after the very significant intimation .which has been given by that House which is sometimes called the Upper (and it must be owned that its tone corresponds with its designation), it is useless to tarry this bill through its remaining stages in this House, and worse than useless to send it, for the purposes of abrupt repudiation, to the House of Lords. I do Dot concur in that view. I do not think that this bill will suffer by the con- demnation of those to whom every opportunity ought to be afforded of confirm- ing the impression which they have taken no much pains to produce in their own regard. If they will not do justice to Ireland, let us give them means enough to perform another act of justice, of which Ireland will not be the object. For any pai t, notwithstanding the temporary obstacles in the way of this measure, its ts ultimate success I have no doubt. I believe, I feel, I know the truth to be on our side; and in the greatness of truth, and in its inevitable triumph, I enthusiastically confide. Mark the progress which this question has made
within the last four years. In 1832, it was treated with a disregard amounting almost to disdain ; and now we not only command a majority of this House, but I firmly believe that the majority of the English people are on our side.
(Loud ironical cheers front the Opposition.) I repeat it. In this, the Peel Parliament, we have a majority of the Representatives of the people • and by
that test I abide. The People of England begin to feel that the ecclesiastical institutions of Ireland are not adapted to its condition ; that its wealth is far more than commensurate with any service which it has rendered, or is capable of rendering ; that it has not answered any one purpose for which an establish- ment ought to exist ; that while the money of the people circulates amidst the Church, the religion of the Church does not circulate amongst the People ; that
even with the aid of the Exchequer as a propaganda, it is not likely that Pro-
testantism will be diffused, and that the interests of true religion are not likely to be advanced by the recurrence of such incidents as those which have attended the exaction of the ecclesiastical revenues. And when the people of England see Ireland distracted by the Church, every project for her improvement arrested by the Church,—when they see that you are yourselves infested by our rabid animosities, and that Cabinet after Cabinet having been dissolved by this fatal question, the two Houses of Parliament are advancing to a collision, by "hose shock the whole fabric of our legislative system may be shaken to the ee.entre,—when, I say, they see these things passing before their eyes, the People of England ask themselves this plain and pregnant question, where are the ad- vantages by which such results shall be countervailed ? "
The tithe question had been always the main source of disturbance and disaffection in Ireland ; and, to quote the words of Mr. Grattan, "the Riot Act was a Tithe Act and the White-boy Act was a Tithe Act." These were the words of Mr. Grattan seventy years ago. Against the monstrous abuse of the tithe system, Mr. Grattan unre- mittingly and vehemently inveighed--
' That illustrious man, whose devotion to his country, whose elevation, moral and intellectual, was never disputed, is 110 more : he lies hard by—the
depository of the glorious dead ; one of the greatest statesmen ever produced by Ireland was borne by its greatest warrior. It was a noble and heal t-touch- ing sight to see Arthur Duke of Wellington sustaining the remains of Henry Grattan to the grave. I wonder if—I shall be pardoned by the illustrious sur- vivor for wondering—when sadly and slowly he laid him down, the Cleat Captain whispered to himself, that it would have been well if the policy of his great compatriot, from whom he differed in life, but whom in death he honoured, with regard to their common country, bad at an earlier period been adopted. He has lived to carry that policy upon one great question into eeeet. I re. member—it would indeed be difficult to forget—his exclamation, when, in speaking of the necessity by which concession was dictated, he protested that, rather than his country should for a single month be exposed to the horrors of
a civil war, he would gladly lay down his life. It was a noble sentimeet, worthy of that conjunction of humanity and of heroism which is found in the truly brave. Would that those who are perpetually giving way to a dark and sanguinary wish—who say that it must come to a fight at last—who deal in frightful inuendos, and who would shed blood as heedlessly as they quaff wine— would that they could impress that merciful sentiment upon their own hearts, and that the celebrated person who gave it utterance would extend it beyond the question to which it was applied ; and in following up that great measure to its necessary consequences, in order to avert the evils that impend upon his country, he would wake to the crowning immolation."
It was said that there was no surplus ! In the province of Tuam- quite as rich an the other Protestant Episcopal provinces in Ireland— there were 45,000 Protestants, and 1,100,100 Catholics ! Talk of no surplus—talk of a new distribution, in the face of that fact ! But of new distribution the Tories never spoke till the question of appropria- tion was started : no, not even when Queen Mab was with them, and tickled them with a tithe-pig's tail, of new distribution did they ever dream. He contended that the purpose to which the bill devoted the surplus of the Church revenues was really an ecclesiastical—a Pro- testant purpose-
" It is, I hope, a Protestant purpose ; it is I am sure, a gospel purpose. When, to shepherds abiding in the mountains, attending flocks by night, it was announced that there should be glory to God in the highest, with that angelic intimation there was associated a prediction scarcely less holy, that there should be peace on earth. But for us there is in the name of religion to be no peace ; there is in the name of religion to be malice, hatred, and ill-will : in the name of religion, our distractions are to be perpetuated, and our rancour. are to be exasperated : every bitter spring of calamity, every fountain of atrocity, is to he unsealed ; the soil is to be drenched in the blood of the people; and at last, in the name of religion, the fell horrors of civil warfare are to be let loose. To God, we were told a few days ago, to none but God, are the men on whose decision our destinies must rest responsible. In the smile to which that un- expected announcement gave rise, I did not participate: Oh that they would feel that the men who abuse the power to do good, by the infliction of incal- culable harm, to the power which reads the secrets of the heart are indeed re- sponsible, and that for the calamities in which they will have been instrumen- tal, they will have to pass a terrible account."
Lord STANLEY said, that they who expected from Mr. Sheil the display of a vivid imagination, and a flow of brilliant and polished eloquence, would seldom be disappointed ; certainly not on the present occasion.
But they who had listened to the honourable and learned gentleman's speech, in the hope that they should find in it evidence of a commanding mind grap- pling with the numerous difficulties of a great and important national question, treating the subject with logical precision, and arguing on premises the solidity of which could not be disputed, must in every respect have been completely disappointed ; notwithstanding the ingenuity and consummate talent with which the honourable and learned gentleman had endeavoured to veil from the House the real purpose in view. (" Hear, hear, hear! ") He challenged any one of those who implied their difference from him by cheer, to point out a single argument, a single sentence, a single word, in Mr. Sheil's speech, which really bore on the question under the consideration of the Committee. The honourable and learned gentleman had observed that at the first annunciation of the gospel it had been declared that its object was to bring on earth peace and good-will amongst men. To an authority so solemn he should be sorry to refer with any thing like levity; but he must be allowed to remind Mr. Sheil, that it was one of the first principles of Christianity to adapt itself to every state of society, and that it inculcated on its disciples that they should not resist the ordinances of man, that they should submit themselves to the authorities of their country, and that they should render to every man what was his due. Mr. Sheil said that the People of Englind were favourable to his views; and that it would otherwise be strange that the majority of their Representatives should maintain the same opinions. But let him speak out at once, and tell the People of England what his objects really were. Let not him delude himself with the belief—let not his Majesty's Government delude themselves with the belief—that because a bare and insignificant majority of that House might be prepared to give their sanction to the delusive and mischievous provisions of the bill under consideration, therefore a majority of the People of England—ay, or a majority of the Members of that House—would be disposed to proceed to the consummation which the honourable and learned gentleman showed was the true aim which he had in view—namely, the abolition of the Protestant Church Esta- blishment in Ireland. The People of England were with them, were they? Did the People of England, then, wish for the abolition of the Protestant Church Esta- blishment in Ireland? What the People of England wished to see in Ireland WU, the restoration of that peace of which the expectation held out by the bill was utterly delusive. Let the honourable and learned gentleman and his friends say to the People of England openly and publicly what many of them said in private. Let his noble Mend look to his majority, and ask himself in his closet of how many of that majority the object was the abolition of the Pro- testant Church Establishment in Ireland. Let his noble friend ask himself whether, if the question was merely to purify the Protestant Establishment in Ireland, or to go further, and put an end to that Establishment, there were not many who would vote for the former, but who would not vote for the latter part of the alternative? The honourable and learned Member for Tipperary asserted that the People of England began to ask themselves of what use was
a Church Establishment at all in Ireland : if that really were the question, in God's name let it be discussed fairly and openly. Let the People of England, and of Scotland, and of Ireland, join issue on the question whether or not there should be Church Establishment in Ireland. He should be glad of so undisguised a proposition; for he hated this kind of bush-fighting.
It was most important to see in whose hands the power of working this bill would be placed—
In whom were the powers comprehended in the bill to he vested ? In the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and in them alone. The Lord-Lieutenant of
Ireland would be a mere cipher in their hands. What were they to be em- powered to do ? To divide or to unite benefices; to fix boundaries for new benefices, and to give names to them ; to fix the incomes of new ministers.' to
consider the suitableness of glebes; to decide on the appropriation of glebes to churches, chapels, &c. and other matters of equal importance. And who were to be thus empowered? Were they persons celebrated for their attachineat to the Protestant Church? Were any of them persons at the head of that Church ? No such thing. They were to be members of the Established Church; but it was evident that they would be the creatures of his noble friend, or of any other Minister, let him be adverse, favourable, or indifferent to the interests of the Protestant Establishment. They would be his nominees ; bound
to do his bidding, and removable at his pleasure. Would they he enjoined to take care that the Protestant clergy had enough ? no ; their duty would be to take care that they had not too much, to take care that their stipends just passed
the point of starvation. It was not merely a question of 50,000/. a year : it was a question of establishing a principle which might hereafter be applied to dishonest purposes.
It had been stated by the Prime Minister, with a degree of rashness which surprised him in one s'ho talked of the rashness of voutiger men, that this bill would inflict a heavy blow on the Protestant Church— Let it go forth to the People, that the Prime Minister of England acknow- ledged that the measure he proposed would inflict a severe blow on Protestant. ism in Ireland. " I know," said the Premier, " that we are inflicting a severe blow upon Protestantism in Ireland, bnt"—let the House mark the sequel- " we cannot help it." Was this a lit argument for the l'rime Minister of Eng- land to use ? " We know our measure is dangerous to the Protestant Este- 'dished Church—we know that it inflicts a severe blow upon Protestantism ; but we cannot help it, and we cannot help it because we are driven on to it by those who are aiming at other things, because we can neither defend our mea- sure on its own merits nor resist the power of those who compel us to adopt it." The House was told they must give contentment to seven millions of Irishmen. ( Great cheering, and laughter, in the midst of which Me cheer of Mr. Paul Methuen was loud and peculiar.) Perhaps the honourable gentleman whose cheers were always so significant, and which sometimes drew down upon hint a degree of notice not usually extended to other Members, would tell him, from the accurate investigation he hail made into all the merits of the bill, whether, when by his significant cheer he expressed so ready and decisive an opinion, he thought, varying in that respect from all the rest of the House, that this measure would afford the slightest degree of contentment to the seven millions of Irishmen who were spoken of? He would say, that out of this seven mil- lions there were somewhere about fifteen hundred thousand who had no direct interest whatever in the settlement of this question. But then it was said, it was not the amount of the reduction that was to be considered, but the feelings of the people. ( Cheers.) The right honourable gentleman the Member for Nottingham cheered that expression : then of course he was quite prepared to go to the full extent required to gratify the feelings of the People of Ireland. That being the case, let the right honourable gentleman take, not his authority upon the point of what would be requisite to gratify the feelings of the People, but the authority of the honourable and learned Member for Kilkenny, who upon all occasions declared himself to be the representative of all Ireland,—that was to say, of the seven millions whose perfect contentment this bill was to insure. And let him ask, whether the honourable Member for Kilkenny, in a recent publication addressed to the People of England, had held out a prospect of that peace on earth and good-will towards men, which it had been promised should follow the adoption of this bill.
He proceeded to quote passages from Mr. O'Connell's last letter to the People of Great Britain, commenting upon them as he went along, and inferring that Mr. O'Connell would still continue his opposition to tithes, although the bill should pass.
In the course of this process of comment and quotation, carried on in a tone of voice which rendered it difficult to distinguish when he was quoting and when be was stating his own inferences from what he read, Lord STANLEY made a remark which induced Mr. O'CONNELL to say, "That is untrue." Lord STANLEY observed, that Mr. O'Connell was the last man who should use personally offensive expressions to another Member.
Mr. O'CONNELL rose, and, amidst much noise and interruption, maintained his right to contradict a false statement made against him- self; and remarked that Lord Stanley always "shrunk from every one but him."
Lord STORMONT called upon Mr. Bernal, the Chairman, to say whether Mr. O'Connell was not out of order.
Mr. BERNAL said, that, according to the strict rules of the House, Mr. O'Connell's expression was disorderly.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL perfectly agreed with the Chairman ; but ap- pealed to him to prevent Lord Stanley, in the remainder of his speech, from imputing to Members on the Ministerial benches that they were not acting on their own opinions, but were driven by others— Loud exclamations from the Opposition benches drowned the conclu- sion of Lord John's remark. The noise was constant and deafening for some minutes. At length Mr. BERNAL, having been appealed to by Sir EDWARD KNATCHBULL, who rose together with Lord STANLEY and Lord STORMONT, decided that Mr. O'Connell should retract the disorderly word "untrue."
Mr. O'CONNELL immediately withdrew it.
Mr. METHUEN said, that the House might thank Lord Stanley for the heat and acrimony which had entered into the discussion.
Lord STANLEY proceeded ; and again quoted Lord Melbourne's ex- pression that be knew the measure would inflict injury on Protestant- ism, but that he could not help it, as the ground of his charge against Ministers of being "driven."
Lord Ions RUSSELL rose to order. He maintained that it was dis- orderly to impute such dishonourable conduct to Ministers ; and called upon Mr. Bernal to say whether it was so or not.
Mr. BERNAL, after saying a few words on the difficulty of his posi- tion,(which elicited sarcastic cheers from the Opposition,) decided, i
that t was not disorderly to impute unworthy motives to Government as a body, though it would be to charge any individual member of it with acting from improper motives.
Lord STANLEY continued his speech, and read several other passages from Mr. O'Connell's letter, especially animadverting on that in which the writer spoke of the Church property as belonging of right to the Catholics. If the inference drawn from this assertion was that the property should be restored, and that the bill should be supported as tending to that consequence, then he saw the reason and sound logic of it ; but they were told that at present less than the restoration of the Church property—that the provisions of the present bill would con- tent the Catholics : yes, but for how long ? Did Lord Morpeth recollect, that, a few evening ago, eighteen Irishmen, out of twenty-two then present, voted for a measure for the total abolition of tithes ?- This, then, was a specimen of the sort of contentment which was to be afforded by this bill to the seven millions of Irishmen who professed the Catholic faith. With such an instance before him, he thought it was not too much to say that the arrangement proposed to be made by this bill would be neither final nor satisfactory. His noble friend knew, and knew well, that it was perfect illusion to suppose that the measure could be final, or that it could be satis- factory. In the adoption of the present bill, Government would be intro- ducing a dangerous principle, carried into effect by dangerous machinery, and guarded by no provisions of a proper kind. It was a measure which would tend to the destruction of the Protestant Church in Ireland. The Prime Minister himself admitted that it would give a great blow to Protestantism in that country. It was obvious that it would give no contentment ; and yet all the arguments in favour of the bill were rested upon the geueral assertion, that it would not injure the Protestant Church, and that it would give contintinent to the Irish People. He said that it would do neither one nor the other ; and he trusted that the Government would see before long, by their diminishing majo_ city in that House, that they had the People of England against them, and against their plan of dealing with the property of the Church in Ireland, in the same way as he was satisfied that plain sense and plain reason were against it: and that they would never be permitted, under the fallacious hope of effecting a compromise, to sacrifice the Irish Protestant Church, and the maintenance of the Protestant religion in Ireland, to arguments which, if they meant any thing at all, led to this necessary conclusion, that for the Protestant there should be instituted a Catholic ascendancy in Ireland. (Loud cheers.) Mr. O'CostsEm. said, he had not intended to speak again on a ques- tion with which the House must be already weary : but Lord Stanley had rendered it impossible for him to remain silent— The noble lord had selected a happy illustration in favour of the peseta mea- sure from that very letter of his from which he hail quoted some passages. It was stated in that letter, that in one parish in Ireland, 9990 Roman Catholics were made to pay tithes to a Protestant pastor, who had only a congregation of 77 Protestants, being the whole amount of the Protestants in that parish. Ile supposed that this was all in consonance with the reason, the common sense, amt.& the sound logic, of which they bad heard so much from the noble Mid : but was it Protestantism? While such things were allowed to continue, who was it that gave the blow to l'rotestantism ? Was it he who insisted on the plunder of the 9990 Roman Catholics to supply the spiritual wants of 77 Protestants, who never saw their clegyman? Or was it he who said that this was a state of things which brought scandal upon the Protestant Church; inflicted an injury upon the Catholic people, and ought, therefore, to be discontinued ? Nay, it was a fact, that in the instance to which he had referred, the Protestant clergy- man had never slept three nights in his parish since he had been in posFassion of the living ; though it was true that he had on one occasion taken the trouble to go all the way from Bath or Cheltenham to Ireland for the purpose of giving a vote against him at his election for Kerry. Was this Protestantism? lie maintained that Lord Stanley was himself the bitterest enemy to Protestantism. The noble lord's disposition towards Ireland was very well known ; and when he spoke of the condition of that country it was with pleasure, with animation —nay, for once, there was even a smile upon his countenance which reminded him, as Curran happily said of another man, of a silver plate upon a coffin. The noble lord had read a passage from his letter, which would imply that lie was against any compromise on the subject of tithes. If the noble lord had stopped short in his extract, such an inference might have been drawn from the first part of the passage; but, luckily for him, the noble lord had in the vehe- mence of his feelings at the moment, a little overshot the mark, and instead of confining himself to a portion, read the whole of the passage ; in the latter part of which it was not only implied, but directly stated in the broadest and most direct terms, that there was now a prospect of a moderate and reasonable ar- rangement ; and he said further in his letter, and he repeated the same assertion now, that all those who refused to accede to that moderate and reasonable arrangement, were enemies to the Peotestant Church in Ireland. Ile was ready to prove this. What was the first bill brought into Parliament upon the sub- ject by Lord Hatherton ? h was a measure which would have given to the -Protestant clergy in Ireland 771. 10s. per cent. upon their tithe composition throughout Ireland, payable at the Treasury. That bill Lord Stanley opposed ; and then, to be sure, he talked to them of his " noble friends." He thought he bad shamed the noble lord out of the use of that term. Instead of noble friends, noble thimbleriggers he should have called them. (Loud cheers.) Ile had heard the noble lord call his previous colleagues his noble friends one moment, and the moment after describe them all as thimbleriggers. (Laughter and cheers.) No phrase, indeed, was too vulgar for the noble lord, provided it wele virulent enough. (Loud cheers.) He almost scorned to speak on this ques- tion; since he well knew, that in spite of reason and argument, the House of Lords would reject the bill,—for there was an appropriation clause in it. When the Member for Tamworth cause into power, what was the bill which Sir Henry Hardinge brought in ? A bill reducing the income of the clergy from 771. lOs. which was the amount fixed by his (Mr. O'Connell's) bill, to 75/.
a year. Lord Stanley supported that bill ; and it would have been carriea through the House of Lords if it had met the sanction of the Commons. But was that all? Last year another bill was brought in and passed this House: it contained an appropriation clause. How much did that bill give the clergy? It gave them 72/. 10/., five per cent, less than his bill gave theni. In the Com- mittee of the House of Lords that part of the bill was adopted. And these were the friends of the Protestant Church. These were the friends of the clergy, who charged him with wishing to deprive them of their property. If the majority had consented to have given up the appropriation clause, that bill
would have been law at the present moment. What had happened since? By the bill now before the House, the clergy would get 67/. 10s., exactly 10 per
cent, less than the bill which he had proposed would have given them. This was what the common sense and logic of the noble lord had done.
He would tell Lord Stanley, that be might get a compromise this year—the next he might not get it ; "nay," said Mr. O'Connell. "I may almost tell him, he shall not get it next year." Lord Stanley talked of the diminishing majority in favour of the bill : did the increased majo- rity in favour of the Municipal Bill procure it a better reception from the Lords ? No, the measure was treated with as much contempt as if it bad been carried by a solitary unit. The Lords cared not for their majority— He bad heard it asked, what harm hail accrued to the Lords from the course they had taken ? What harm ! Was it no harm to be convicted in the mind of every just and honest man of injustice ? But nothing would operate upon such minds. Persuasion had no force with them. He had heard one young gentleman to-night, while talking of the rights of the Irish, by way of a set- off, ask, had not the English rights too? Ile would ask, whether any English Member had ever stood up in that House for the rights of Englishmen vellar had not been supported by Irishmen? Why, then, did the honourable Member taunt him with the rights of Englishmen ? Did lie conceive that the English were not powerful or free without having the pleasure of trampling upon Ire- land, and without being able to gratify that spirit embodied in the noble lord, who was governed by a species of half fanaticism, which might be religion but was not charity? But no matter what the majority of the Commons was, this bill would be rejected by the House of Lords, with an alacrity of rejection peculiar to that body when acting for evil. He should not have risen if the noble lord had not spoken ; but he had now declared his mind freely.. This bill, if passed, might conciliate the People of Ireland. It contained a principle which was valuable—the principle of appropriation, which, if honestly and justly applied, might put an end to that spirit of ascendancy which was origi- nated in crime and maintained in blood. Yes, it might have that effect ; but be despaired of its being allowed to pass. He was ready now to give his utmost aid in carrying it into effect ; but he would not promise to do so ano- ther year. (Loud cheers.)
After some words almost inaudible, owing to the noise, from Mr. SHAW,
Lord JOHN RUSSELL rose to defend the conduct of Ministers against the attack of Lord Stanley. He said, that of all men, Lord Stanley was the very last who should have charged him with adopting his pre- sent principles in order to secure Mr. O'Connell's support. He re- ferred to what passed in the Cabinet of Earl Grey, when he and Lord Stanley sat in it together, as well as to his well-known declaration in the House that he would quit the Ministry rather than abandon his principles on this question, as proof that Lord Stanley must have known that he was not influenced by the motives he had most unjusti- fiably imputed to him. His " right honourable friend " ( Sir James Gniham) as %veil as " the noble lord " knew that he had mitten a letter to Lord Grey expressing his opinions cn this subject ; with which he had intended to send his resignation, but was dissuaded from taking this step, because he was assured that Lord Althorp would re- sign with him, and that the Ministry would then be broken up. He had also personally assured Lord Stanley, that although he would sup- port his Temporalities Bill as a step, he reserved the right of going further at a future time, in reference to that question. During the greater part of this time, Mr. O'Connell was in strong opposition to the Government. Ile denied that Ministers were answerable for the opinions of Mr. O'Connell. As to the support—the honourable, strong, and effective support given by Mr. O'Connell to Ministers—it did not imply any abandonment of his own opinions by that gentleman, any more than the support of the Reform Act by persons who were in favour of a more extensive measure implied that they were satisfied with the Reform Act. But, on that account, was their support re- jected in 1832? He gave the real version of Lord Melbourne's speech, which had been incorrectly quoted by Lord Stanley— He had been informed, that what his noble friend at the head of the Govern- ment had said was, that though the measure of last year might be felt as a severe blow, or severe shock, by the Protestants of Ireland, yet that he con- sidered that there could not le framed a measure which would more firmly secure the Church of Ireland, and that at all events the Church would be thereby rendered far more secure than by letting the question alone. Sod, were the sentiments which hail fallen from his noble friend at the head of the Government.
Lord John went on to defend the bill ; which he said was not valu- able so much for the amount of the surplus it would appropriate to the purposes of education, as for the pledge it would give the Irish that the principles of Government were not those of insult and dis- dain adopted by their opponents to the great body of the Irish People. He was told by Lord Stanley to look to his majority— He would say that, if instead of a small majority, or instead of a majority at all, he were left in a minority on this subject, that he would not be responsible either as a Minister of the Crown or as a Member of Parliament, for any other attempt to carry into effect the settlement of this question; because it could only be carried Into effect by means that were dreadful to contemplate—because it could not be carried into effect without bloodshed—because it could not be carried into effect without arraying the military, force of the empire against the great portion of the people of Ireland. He had no wish to take that responsi- bility. This was not the why to subdue the resentment to tithes that pre- vailed in Ireland : if they wish to do that, they must mix kindness with their measures; and having this opinion, whether in the place he was then in or whether in any other place, he would oppose any vote of the House of Com- mons—those necessary votes to carry on an extensive and sanguinary campaign. (Loud cheers.) Mr. Shaw had entreated them not to insist upon an abstract principle. Ile asked the right honourable gentleman and others, not, for the sake of an abstract principle, to prevent the fair prospect of the settlement of this question. Ile asked them, for the sake of the clergy, who were suffering under their defence, and who would gladly be relieved from the obligation—he asked them, for the sake of religion, for religion was suffering—he asked them, for the sake of the State, for the State was divided and paralyzed by the pre- sent state of things—he asked them, not for an abstract principle to continue these troubles and this opposition against what they believed to be a just prin- ciple, and what the great portion of the people of Ireland felt to be a just cau‘e of complaint. With these few observations he would leave the question to the decision of the House. If they were convinced that this proposition was most for the benefit of the country—if they thought it best calculated to insure the peace of Ireland—they would approve of the bill: if they were of a contrary opinion, they would reverse their former opinion : but he did trust that he might venture to hope that they would be satisfied that this was an honest and fair proposition. (Loud cheers.)
The Committee divided ; for the clause, 290; against it, 264; ma- jority, 26. So the clause was agreed to.
On Tuesday, the remaining clauses of the bill were agreed to in Committee, and the Report was ordered to be brought up on Friday.
2. MUNICIPAL CORPORATION ACT AMENDMENT BILL.
On Tuesday, Sir JOHN CAMPBELL moved the order of the day for the consideration of the Lords' amendments to this bill. He was happy to say that it would only be necessary for him to object to two or three of the alterations of the Peers— The first point related to the course of proceedings to be adopted in boroughs, where, owing to the Town-Councillors having been equally divided in the choice of the Mayor and Aldermen, no election of those functionaries to.olr place. The bill originally proposed, that in cases of this kind the choice at the Aldermen and Mayor should be referred to the general voice of the con- stituent body, which seemed to him to be the fairest course that could be adopted under such an emergency. By the amendment introduced by the House of Lords, however, it was proposed to refer the matter to mere chance ; so that the question whether the Conservative or Reforming parties should be successful, was made to depend not upon the sentiments of the constituent rate- payers,, but upon mere accident. This amendment proposed that it should be determined by lot which of the Town-Councillors should preside at the election for Aldermen, and that such Councillor should have two votes, one in his own right as Councillor, the other a castin,g-vote as President. Now to this he could not agree, and he should propose- to reinstate the original provision of the bill.
The other point on which he disagreed with the Lords related to the trusteeship of charitable funds— It would he recollected, that a clause had been introduced into the bill of last year by the House of Lords, constituting the old Corporations temporarily the trustees of these charities; the House of Lords now introduced a clause into the present bill for the purpose of extending the trust of the old Corporations for another twelvemonth; and in that amendment he could not concur. He was more particularly averse to this arrangement, because a bill had been already introduced into that House by his honourable friend the Mem- ber for Northampton, for the purpose of arrranging those charitable trusts upon a new, and, he thought, a fair and impartial footing. That bill had passed through the Committee, and stood for report on an early day ; and in a very few day s it would probably be sent up to the House of Lords. The other House might perhaps not have been aware of the existence of that bill at the time they framed this amendment, which, under such circumstances, it appeared to him to be highly inconvenient for the House to agree to. Another point upon which he had to remark in the amendments of the House of Lords, Was one relating to the smaller courts of the different boroughs, in which it was proposed by the Lords that the Recorder should preside. As it was deemed expedient, however, in many cases, that these courts should sit oftener than the Recorder usually attended, it was now about to be proposed that the Recorder should have the power of appointing a deputy to sit in his stead, under certain circumstances of the kind. There was another minor point, relating to the little disputes between the " Town and Gown " parties, as they were called, at Cambridge, which, as the right honourable Member for Cambridge was not in his place just now, he would not enter upon at present. The motion of Sir John Campbell was agreed to ; and the original clauses restored in the cases specifiedosexcept in the last ; the consider- ation of which was postponed.
3. REFORM OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
Lord JOHN RUSSELL last night moved the order of the day for going into Committee on the bill to carry into effect the recommendations of the Fourth Report of the Commissioners on Ecclesiastical Revenues and Ditties. He entered into a variety of details explanatory of the proposed measure. He stated that the income to be allotted to the English Bishops would be 150,0001., divided as follows—
Ai chbishop of Canterbury £15,000 Archbishop of York 10,000 Bishop of London 10,000
Bishop of Durham 8,000
Bishop of Winchester 7,000
The other Bishops to have incomes varying from 4,500/. to .5,500/.
About 130,000/. would be taken from the revenues of cathedral dig- nitaries, and applied in various ways to the augmentation of poor livings ; the number of canons and prebendaries would be reduced, and bishops would be prevented from holding any subordinate cathedral office with their sees. Lord John also referred to the bill passed by the House of Lords, for preventing pluralities and non-residence of the clergy ; which prohibited the same clergyman from holding two livings together, unless they were within ten miles of each other ; and a person holding any living worth 500/. a year from taking another, unless under peculiar circumstances. Lord John spoke in favour of the connexion of the Church with the State. The placing of Church patronage in the hands of the Crown gave an assurance that the Church would not act in opposition to the general policy of the state. He concluded by pay- ing a high compliment to the zeal and ability of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other Commissioners.
Mr. CHARLES LUSHINGTON moved as an amendment on the motion of Lord John Russell, that an address be presented to the King pray- ing him to direct the Commissioners to inquire into the expediency of abolishing the translation of Bishops from one see to another.
Mr. Ewant and Mr. lirasoN supported the amendment, and ob- jected to the bill as being quite inefficient for the purposes of a real reform of the Church.
Mr. HARLAND expressed dissatisfaction with many parts of the mea- sure, and wished it to be postponed to next session. The surplus re- venues of the wealthier sees should be used to augment poor livings, not the other bishoprics.
Mr. HustE could not see why one bishop should be paid more than another ; and he should oppose the measure, which could only be con- sidered a temporary one.
Sir ROBERT PEEL approved of the principle of the bill, and generally of the details; and would oppose any attempt to equalize the revenues of the Bishops. He also expressed himself strongly in favour of al- lowing Bishops to take part in the conduct of political affairs.
Mr. LENNARD supported, and Sir R. INGLIS and MI. A. TREVOR opposed the amendment.
Mr. IitivroN said the measure should have gone much further to effect a substantial reform of the Church. The House should provide for the poorer clergy before they took such good care of the dignitaries of the Establishment. Before 15,000/. a year was paid to an Arch- bishop the religious instruction of the poorer classes should be better provided for.
Mr. GOULBURN was opposed to the views of Mr. Buxton, which Mr. POULTER strongly supported. Mr. C. BULLER said the bill was a miserably deficient measure. Mr. RICE defended it.
On a division the amendment was rejected by 124 to 44. The question was then put that the Speaker leave the chair, on which
Mr. A. TRE"OR moved that the bill be committed that day six months : his objection to it was the detriment it would occasion to the see of Durham.
Mr. LAMBTON, Sir H. WILLIAMSON, and Mr. POTTER, supported the :notion ; which was opposed by Mr. G. F. YOUNG and Mr. Wvsite, and negatived by 142 to 22.
The House then went into Committee, and agreed to eight clauses. After some opposition from Sir LOVE PARRY, Mr. WasoN, and Mr. HINDLEY.
4. ENGLISH TITHE BILL.
In the House of Peers, on Thursday, the Marquis of LANSDOWNE moved the second reading of the bill for the Commutation of Tithes in England and Wales. He dwelt upon the importance of effecting a satisfactory adjustment of the tithe question ; and then explained and defended the chief provisions of the bill; promising to give every at- tention to suggestions and further explanations of details in the Com- mittee.
Lord MANSFIELD said, be did not concur in all the details of the measure, but being satisfied that, upon the whole, it would be produc- tive of great benefit, was anxious to see it carried into effect.
Lord Dacia spoke to the same purport.
Lord ASHBURTON hoped that the bill would be considered without reference to party politics; and then he thought there was a fair chance that the country would benefited by it. He wished if it could be done on
equitable terms, that a potion of the rent might be taken for tithe—that would simplify the question so much. He also should have preferred to extend the period for voluntary commutation beyond October 1837, which was fixed by the bill. On the whole, however, he was inclined to think the present measure as good as, perhaps better than, that of Sir Robert Peel.
The Archbishop of CANTERBURY saw every reason to expect that the bill would effect a satisfactory adjustment of the question. He thought that the measure more nearly attained perfection than could have been supposed possible, considering the difficulty of the subject ; and that the country was much indebted to the Ministers who bad framed and brought it forward.
Lord WYNFORD was of opinion, that the tithe-owner would be a great gainer by the bill; and that more land was likely to go out of
cultivation, in consequence of its operation, than to come in. He approved, however, of the principle of the bill, and would aim at im. proving it in the Committee.
Lord LANSDOWNE briefly replied ; and said that if the period for voluntary commutation was considered too short, he was ready to make It two years instead of one.
The bill was then read a second time, and ordered to be ctm flitted next Tuesday.
WAR IN SPAIN. In the House of Commons, on Tuesday, Sir RO- BERT PEEL asked Lord Palmer:atm whether a proclamation, bearing the signature of the officer commanding the Auxiliary British force in Spain, was a genuine document ; for, from internal evidence, he should suppose it to be a forgery.
This general order professed to state that, as the Auxiliary Legion was acting with the British naval force belonging to his Majesty, on that account all lb i- tish subjects found in the service of Don Carlos would be treated as rebels punishable with death, and would be dealt with according to law. Ile pre- sumed that such A document could not be authentic ; but as it was receiving general circulation, and as the noble lord was possibly in possession of ioforina. ton enabling him to pronounce it genuine or spurious, perhaps lie would think It important to do so, and would be glad of the earliest opportunity of adver ting to it.
Lord PALMERSTON replied, that he haul no official cognizance of, nor was be officially responsible for, the acts of an oflieer in the Spanish service ; but, individually, he felt bound to state that Ire believed stud) a proclamation had been issued. It was unnecessary for iiim to add, that an order issued by a General in the Spanish service could never be con- sidered aim interpretation of the laws of Great Britain.
Lord Mattota said, he wished to put a plain question to Lord Pal- merston : Was Great Britain at peace or war That was a very plain question, and he thought it must be a very tortuous policy not to give a plain answer to it. ( Cries (If " Order !")
The SPEAKER reminded Lord Mahon, that he had no right, in putting a question, to enter into an argument. Lord PALMERSTON thought that Lord Mahon might have put his question without going into any remarks on his tortuous policy. His reply was this—
Great Britain had signed a treaty with Spain, under which she was bound to give to the Queen of Spain the cooperation ief a naval force, if necessary ; and the British Government was executing fully and efficiently the tenor of the obligation.
RELIGIOUS SCRUPLES OF BRITISH OFFICERS. On Tuesday. Mr. PLUMPTRE moved time House to address the King, to relieve British officers serving abroad from assisting at religious ceremonies to which their own tenets were opposed.
Mr. HARDY, Captain Bol.DERO, Mr. Wyse, Dr. LEFROY, Mr. A. JOHNSTON, Sir CHARLES BURRELL, Mr. T. DUNCOMBE, Mr. O'CON- NELL, Lord DARLINGTON, Dr. BOWRING, arid Colonel THOMPSON, supported the motion ; which was opposed by Lord HOWICK, Mr. H. BULWER, Sir JOHN BECKETT, and Mr. CUTLAR FERGUSSON; and rejected, by 44 to 38.
IRISH CORPORATIONS: CONDUCT OF TIIE PEERS. Mr. SMITH O'BRIEN, on Tuesday, withdrew his resolutions on the treatment of Ireland by the Peers, and the right of that country to reformed insti- tutions, at the suggestion of Mr. WASoN and Mr. O'CONNELL.
PAPER-DUTIES BILL. The House being in a Committee on this bill on Tuesday, Mr. SPRING RICE stated the arrangement he intended to make respecting the allowance of duty on the stock on hand, when the reduction of duty came into operation— First, he intended, under the provisions of this bill, to postpone the com- mencement of the repeal of the duty to the 10th of October. The effect of that would be to allow parties to work off their existing stocks before the alteration was effected. This period, he thought, would be fully sufficieut for the purpose which he had mentioned, particularly when it was considered that the-e parties had quite sufficient notice of the intention of Government— Ent, by the report presented by his right honourable friend Sir H. Parnell; next, by the discussion which took place when the noble lord the Aleinher for South Lancashire (Lord Egerton) presented a petition on the subject ; and finally, by his (the Chancellor of the Exchequer's) notice of it in the Budget speech. But it might be said, that if things were left in that state, no pur- chase would be made from the manufacturer. Now, to obviate that objection, he contended that it should be open to parties to take from the mill paper to any extent they pleased, which should bear not only the Excise mark, but be so identified and distinguished as to exclude all attempts at fraud. They might take this paper into their stock ; and on every portion of it that remained on band :on the 10th of October, a drawback would be allowed, and return made of the amount of duty upon it. That was the way in which he proposed that relief should be afforded; and he did not think it would be just or expedient to go further. Mr. Rica proposed a resolution to the effect he had stated ; which, after some opposition from Mr. HOME, Mr. ROBINSON, Mr. G. F. YOUNG, and Mr. BAINES, was adopted.
SCOTTISH COURT OF SESSION BILL. The remaining clauses, with the schedules of this bill, were agreed to on Thursday.
THE PooLE CORPORATION BILL was considered in Committee, on Thursday. Mr. Forbes moved to expunge the first clause. Mr. Sergeant GOUI.BURN, Mr. ARTHUR TREVOR, Mr. PRAED, and Mr. WYNN, supported the motion. It was opposed by Mr. BLAcKBURN, Mr. LEADER, and Mr. POULTER; and rejected, by 98 to 64. The Chairman then repotted progress. ALIENATION OF CORPORATE PROPERTY. Last night, Lord Moa- PETH obtained leave to bring in a bill to prevent the alienation of their property by the Irish Corporations.
POST-OFF:CE. Mr. SPRING RICE bad leave to bring in a bill for the regulatiomm of the Post-office.
MARRIAGE BILL : IMPORTANT MISTAKE. On Thursday, Mr. WILES called attention to a mistake of considerable importance which had crept into the Marriage Bill— That bill cautained a proviso, that a declaration should he made by the .par- ties about to have the marriage solemnly performed before the civil authurniee, to time following effect—" I have a conscientious scruple against being married in church or chapel, or by u religious ceremony." In the Votes of that House it appeared, that a question had been raised to leave out the clause containing this declaration, and the tnotion was mamle that the words left out do stand part of the hill. On which the House divided : when there appeared—Ayes, 67, noes, 106. This decision determined that the proviso should be left out. With very great surprise, he found that his proviso formed part of the bill in the other House, and was in the printed Orders of the Loids. This discovery excited great dismay and alai an among all the Dissenters; who held a meeting yester- day, at which he attended, sad the alarm excited was limiest:lila:able. They re- solved to petition Parliament on the subject ; as, rather than have the bill passed with such an obnoxious clause, they would abandon it altogether. On irquiry, he ascertained that the proviso was iuserted through mistake in the erigrossiog. lie would therefore move, that a message be wait to the Lords requesting to have the Dissenters' Bill returned, to have the objectionable parts expunged.
Sir Jamas GRAHAM said, a precedent was necessary before adopting Mr. NVilks's resolution.
The SPEAKER said, that no doubt the engrossing clerks were to blame for committing an error of such importance; but there bad been so many alterations in the bill, that there were ample grounds for palli- ation of the error. The House, however, must decide how the bill could be altered to the state in which it passed the House.
Lord Jolts: Ressem. thought, that an understanding might be come to, and the mistake rectified. There was, lie believed, a precedent for returning bills from the Lords under nearly similar circumstances. It would be best to send a message to the Lords, and be prepared with a precedent. Mr. IVIi.xs withdrew his motion, intending to bring it one the next day.
Last night, accordingly, Mr. Wimcs moved a resolution to the effect above stated. Sir JAMES GRAHAM seconded the motion, and a mes- sage was sent to the Lords; who, on the motion of Lord MELBOURNE, rescinded the first reading of the bill, expunged the proviso, then read the bill a first time, and ordered it to be read a second time on Mon- day. A message was sent to the Commons stating what the Lords Lad done. Two precedents which occurred in 1797 were quoted by Lord Melbourne in support of this mode of getting out of the difficulty.
PETITION FROM THE IRISH CLERGY. On Thursday, the Bishop Of ',LAND/UT presented a petition signed by fifty-two Irish clergymen, praying, That a plan might be adopted by which their episcopal riders should nomi- nate a eonsmisdon as a hotly corporate to collect the revenues and assign them to the several incumbents, with power to alter and correct, under the sanction of the Bishops, the state of the several parishes, and, when an opportunity should occur, to transfer some of the superfluities of over-endowed parishes to those where the duty was high and inadequately paid. The petitioners also suggested that the Government of this country should purchase the whole tithes of Ireland, and pay the amount over to the Ecclesiastical Commission, with power to invest it in the purchase of real property for the benefit of the Church.