25 MARCH 1882, Page 2

On Thursday, the House of Lords negatived without a division

the second reading of Lord Redesdale's Bill proposing a declaration of belief in "an Almighty God" for all Members of Parliament, after a debate in which nobody supported Lord Redesdale's proposal, unless, indeed, it were Lord Oranmore and Browne, whose speech we understand in this sense. Lord Shaftesbury moved the previous question, asserting in the strongest manner that the drift of opinion in this country is absolutely opposed to theological tests, and that many most re- ligious people thoroughly disapprove them. He ended, how- ever, very disappointingly, by proposing to cling to the miserable test still existing, seeing that "it is as effective as anything can be in the present day, and in the state of men's minds." The Duke of Argyll declared himself strongly in favour of substituting an affirmation for the oath, for all who do not attach the religious meaning to the oath, and then launched out into a long tirade against those who maintain, as we have always done, that the House of Commons acted illegally in refusing to let Mr. Brad- laugh take the oath. The Bishop of London deprecated the Bill, on the rather strange ground that it would exclude agnostics, whom he did not wish to exclude from Parliament, as well as atheists, whom he does wish to exclude,—though, so far as we understand the matter, the present oath ought to exclude agnostics rather more effectually than it would atheists,—and after a few other speeches, and a little battle between Lord Granville, who referred with some indignation to Lord Salle-

I bury's attempt to identify Mr. Gladstone with Mr. Brad- laugh, and the noble Marquis himself, who hardly seemed proud of his own tactics, the Bill was rejected without a division, which Lord Redesdale himself deprecated taking.