House Of Commons
Monday, March 17, 1851.
MINUTES.] PUBLIC BILLS.—1a Medical Charities (Ireland); Prisons (Scotland).
Ceylon—Threatened Vote Of Censure On Ministers
said: Mr. Speaker, I will take this opportunity of asking the hon. Gentleman the Member for Inverness-shire whether he has made any arrange- ments with the other hon. Members who have precedence of him upon the Order of the Day, for bringing forward the Motion of censure upon Lord Torrington and Her Majesty's Government, of which he has given notice for the 25th instant?
Sir, I have in the first place to express to the noble Lord my regret that I was absent from the House on Friday last, when he wished to put a question to me; and in answering the question he has now put to me, I must take the liberty of observing that the course which the noble Lord has thought proper to adopt is one of which, I think, I have great reason to complain. The noble Lord has stated that the Motion of which I have given notice is a censure upon Her Majesty's Government, and that therefore it is not his intention to bring forward the great financial measures of the Government until that question is disposed of; thus placing me in the invidious position, not only of obstructing the public business of the country, but of placing the Motion itself not upon its real merits, but in the position of a question of confidence or no confidence in the Government, and that at a time when the noble Lord is perfectly well aware that there is no other party in the country prepared to take office. Now, I beg to remind the noble Lord that this is a question of long standing. The noble Lord has shown much virtuous indignation within a few days; but he must be perfectly well aware, as I am, that he has been looking forward to this Motion for the last three years. I myself gave formal notice of it in the last Session of Parliament, and it is only in consequence of the extraordinary course pursued by Government, in refusing to allow the evidence to be produced, that it has been delayed so long. I think, therefore, that under these circumstances the House will be disposed to admit that I am not liable to the charge of factious motives, or of having brought forward a Motion to impede the great and necessary public business of the country. Now, Sir, I can perfectly understood the difficulties of the noble Lord's position. I can perfectly well understand that the noble Lord is anxious to escape from those difficulties, and that, perhaps anticipating defeat on this Motion, he does not wish to have the trouble of preparing and bringing forward those measures which it is his duty, as the Minister of the Crown, to bring forward in this House. But the noble Lord is mistaken if he thinks that I shall allow myself to be made an instrument of enabling him to escape from those duties which the position that he has assumed, and the great public exigencies of the country, imperatively call upon him to perform. Under these circumstances the course which I shall pursue is perfectly clear. For the present I shall remove this notice from the books, reserving to myself the undoubted right to bring it forward again whenever I may think proper so to do; that is to say, whenever the public business of the country, or of this House, is in such a state that I may be enabled to do so, without rendering myself obnoxious to the charge of impeding the great financial measures of the country. The noble Lord stated the other day that he wished to ask me a question with respect to the terms of my resolution. Does he wish to put that question now?
Sir, the hon. Gentleman has mistaken the grounds upon which I stated the view I took of the Motion which he has given notice of his intention to bring forward. The hon. Gentleman has attended for about three years to the affairs of Ceylon. He stated at the commencement of these proceedings, in moving for the Ceylon Committee, that he wished to censure the conduct of the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the local Government. He has continued in these opinions, and he wishes to bring forward a resolution in conformity with those opinions. To that course I have no objection—I cannot object to any hon. Member taking that course which he thinks proper; but that to which I object, and to which I have a right to object, is, that any hon. Member, after making a charge involving an accusation of wanton cruelty against a late Governor of one of Her Majesty's possessions, and of full, complete, and unqualified approbation by the Colonial Secretary of State of those proceedings of wanton cruelty, should not immediately bring that question before the House. This I can venture to say, that not only among numerous precedents of accusation, but of Motions of censure brought before the House, there never has been an instance of an hon. Member giving notice of that which was clearly and distinctly a vote of censure against a great department of the Government, with a Secretary of State at the head, and refraining from bringing that question to an immediate issue. It was in reference to that point that I put my question to the hon. Gentleman. I did not complain of him, because I naturally supposed that he was anxious to bring on the Motion upon the day named by himself. The hon. Gentleman framed his own Motion, and named his own day, and I had no reason to suppose that he would not bring it forward on the day so named. What I said, and what I was justified in saying, was, that the Government, with such an accusation hanging over their heads—with a Motion of censure in abeyance upon which no opinion had been pronounced—could not begin any great measure not already introduced, and must pause until this House gave an affirmative or negative to that Motion. What I am about to state I am exceedingly sorry to say, because it may comprehend not only the hon. Gentleman, with respect to whose opinions I have nothing to say, but may regard others who intend to give support to the hon. Gentleman's Motion. With respect to late transactions it was said, and justly said, of all the parties in this country who might be expected to desire to assume the administration of affairs, that their conduct was perfectly fair and honourable to each other, and that, engaged as they had been in political conflicts, no feeling of personal dissatisfaction, still less of personal animosity, was exhibited. I rejoice that an opinion was thereby spread among the public of the honourable conduct of parties, and that such was the feeling of those engaged in those transactions; but I must say, if it is to be the conduct of a great party to say that they have a charge of wanton cruelty against a noble Lord, a Peer of the realm, and late governor of a colony, and a charge against the Secretary of State of the Colonies approving of that wanton cruelty, and at the same time to hang up the charge indefinitely, never to state when they will bring the question before the House, and put it to issue, I must say that the opinion with respect to the fair and honourable conduct of public parties, at least as regards the supporters of such a Motion, must be greatly changed.
I believe, Sir, there is no question before the House, but perhaps I may be allowed to say that I wish to remind the noble Lord at the head of the Government, that at this moment important documents which were submitted to the Ceylon Committee, are not in possession of hon. Members. A very large volume, containing the evidence received by that Committee, has been only recently delivered, and I am sure it has not yet been perused with sufficient attention. An important mass of public documents, of the greatest interest and importance, probably amounting in quantity to not less then the folio containing the evidence of the Ceylon Committee—absolutely necessary before any Member can form an opinion—is not yet delivered to Members; and this important volume of these documents will not, I am informed, be ready for a fortnight. Under these circumstances alone the noble Lord could not have been surprised that the hon. Member for Inverness-shire should not have brought forward his Motion, as, had he brought it on, he would have submitted it under disadvantages to which, I think, the House ought not to be subjected. Remember, this is a great judicial inquiry, and the hon. Member for Inverness-shire ought not to ask for the verdict of the House after the protracted investigations of a Committee on the conduct of the Government upon a day when the House cannot be in possession of the case, absolutely necessary to elucidate and to enable the House to form a complete and just opinion. True it is that the hon. Member for Inverness-shire put his name down for the Motion on the 25th. ["Hear, hear!"] The observation has been received by cheers, for which I waited. But remember this, he is the fifth down on that paper; and to give him a locus standi it is necessary to make those preliminary attempts. ["No, no!"] Then what is the state of the case? The noble Lord wishes us to decide on this question in the absence of the documents. Nor is this all. I have here a paper to which the attention of the House ought to be called. At the recommendation of the Committee on the affairs of Ceylon, a Commission was sent to Ceylon, to inquire into circumstances of very great interest. The report of that Commission has been recently laid before this House, but no copy of the evidence, although a copy of that evidence was sent to this country. When the hon. Member for Inverness-shire inquired of the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies the reason the report was laid on the table, but no copy of the evidence, he was informed that by some unfortunate circumstances that evidence was no sooner received than it had been sent back to Ceylon; and the reason given was, that it was necessary for the court-martial now proceeding in Ceylon as to the conduct of Captain Watson. But in these papers I find a letter to the Secretary of State fop the Colonies, and signed by the two special Commissioners that were sent out, in which they say they have sent an authenticated copy of the evidence, together with the original documents. Therefore, they did not send the evidence, but an authenticated copy of the evidence. Now, mark this; an authenticated copy of the evidence taken by those Commissioners cannot be required by the court-martial, for an authenticated copy of that evidence taken by the Commissioners would not be an official document which could be used at the court-martial. The court-martial is in possession of the actual evidence by proof of this very despatch to the Secretary of State; and therefore the unparalleled circumstance of the evidence being sent over by the officers appointed by a Committee of the House of Commons, and no sooner received than sent back to the colony, and the extraordinary reason given by the Under Secretary of State for this unparalleled circumstance is, to say the least of it, the most unsatisfactory ever presented to the House. Yet, under these remarkable circumstances, Members having only this moment received the evidence of two years' sittings of the Committee, the House not being in possession, or able to be in possession for upwards of a fortnight, of all the documents submitted to the Committee—having just experienced strong and suspicious circumstances with reference to the evidence taken by the Commissioners—under these circumstances the First Minister of the Crown gets up, and in a tone of virtuous indignation appeals to the House against what he calls the unfair conduct of a great party. Sir, if the Minister had been in the position in which he would wish to be, we could not have heard that expression; he would not himself have wished the House of Commons to have arrived at a judicial conclusion upon such an important charge in the absence of the necessary documents, and after such inexplicable conduct in the department whose conduct was impugned. The hon. Member for Inverness-shire has taken that course which good sense and good feeling dictated. I leave to the verdict of the country his conduct en this occasion.
Mr. Speaker, it is impossible the House can help observing the remarkable difference between the arguments of the hon. Member for Inverness- shire, and those of his Friend, his leader, and his protector on this occasion. I was in the House, as well as many hon. Gentlemen now present, when the hon. Member for Inverness-shire, occupying a front place on the Opposition benches, read distinctly in answer to his name when called out by you, Sir, from the chair, the notice which he proposed to place on the table, of a Motion which he distinctly said he should submit to the House on the 25th of this month. That was not an extensive margin which the hon. Gentleman had allowed himself; he might by the rules of the House have taken a more distant day; but slowly and deliberately he rose from his seat and read the terms of the Motion, which has been characterised by my noble Friend, and which he stated was the Motion he would submit to the consideration of the House. Now when my noble Friend asks whether he will proceed on the 25th, he does not say whether he is prepared to substantiate that charge; but he says he will not stand in the way of that important business which he holds it to be the imperative duty of my noble Friend to bring before the country, and he professes a desire not to stand in the way of more important business; whereas the real reason escaped from the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire—it is that the hon. Member for Inverness-shire is not prepared, and that he dares not under present circumstances bring it forward; and he says he will withdraw it from the paper, reserving the right to bring it forward on a future occasion. But what says the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire? He shows great zeal on the part of his Friend, but he has not mended his case. He says when the notice was put on the paper, the hon. Gentleman knew he had not the remotest chance of bringing it on. By giving the notice, he had had an opportunity of circulating the charge throughout the country, though he had neither the probability of bringing it on for discussion, nor the materials for substantiating the charge. I must say that as this is to be, as the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire called it, a grave judicial inquiry, I hope this at least is not a specimen of the spirit in which that inquiry will be commenced and acted upon by hon. Gentlemen opposite.
Sir, the hon. Member for Inverness-shire has all along, from the moment at which these transactions were reported, in respect to Lord Torrington, expressed a strong opinion respecting them. He has followed very steadily, and, I think, with great credit to himself, the investigation of the whole of these proceedings. Last Session he was unable to bring the charge before the House; but now, being well prepared, he seriously proposed to bring a charge against Lord Torrington. He gave formal notice of the day on which he proposed to bring forward the Motion, and he gave a statement which the noble Lord at the head of the Administration says, and says truly, contained a charge against one large portion of the Administration, which, if not worthy of the confidence of this House, affects the credit of the whole Administration. I acknowledge the proposition of the noble Lord to be perfectly correct. I am not, however, prepared to say if, under those circumstances, in former times the noble Lord would not have pursued steadily his own course respecting other proceedings, and allowed that to come on in due course. The noble Lord, as we all see, suffers from the present weakness of his position; and because of that weakness the great intersests of this country are to be sacrificed, and the hon. Member for Inverness-shire is allowed to hang over the head of a man, who has long represented this country in one of the colonies thereof, a grave charge which he has solemnly stated to the House he is prepared to make. The day on which he is to make it is stated beforehand; and now, for certain party purposes, the great interests of this country are to be sacrificed, and the character of one who has represented this country is to be hold up to public scorn. The hon. Member for Inverness-shire does not withdraw the charge, but postpones it; and postpones it upon what? Not upon the statement of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, which is an afterthought, a quibble, a mere pretence; but he says fairly and openly to the noble Lord, "I do not think you have behaved well on this occasion, therefore I will withdraw my charge," which is a distinct criminal charge. I apprehend both parties are wrong—the noble Lord for withholding the doing of his duty, and the hon. Member for Inverness-shire for having made a charge against an honourable man, as I believe, and then postponing the charge. But of all parties who are wrong, the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire is the most wrong. Totally unconnected with the whole matter, and moreover bringing forward some charge against the Colonial Office, wholly unconnected, as far as I can see, with the charges concerned, the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire actually fabricates—if I may use the term, without intending to break the rules of the House—he actually makes a reason which the hon. Member for Inverness-shire never thought of. The whole thing is really a party fight. Let the people of this country understand that all the great interests of the country are held in abeyance—colonies, finances, every great part of our administration and legislation, is all now in abeyance—because the Administration will not go on whilst censure is threatened. At the same time, of this I think there can be no doubt, that when a man has charged openly that which is a great crime—when it is gravely charged in this House by an hon. Member thereof in his place, and he has stated that he has evidence in proof of the accusation, common justice—ordinary good faith—plain, honest, good faith, and fair play, require that there should be no shrinking from that charge. Therefore I think it right he should do so. I know very little of the circumstances, except so far as investigating for the purpose of forming an opinion; but whatever may be my opinion as to the result, to the verdict of the jury, I say, the accuser is bound, as an honest man, to come forward and substantiate his charge, and I demand of the hon. Member for Inverness-shire, as he is represented to be the accuser of this man, that he shall make and, if he can, justify the charge. Let no man treat this lightly. Let him not suppose it is only a case of misgovernment. The noble Lord is charged with no less than murder. He is charged with having committed that murder when he represented this country in Ceylon. If there be a great crime, I honour the man who brings a great criminal to justice; but I cannot say I honour the man who skulks from proving the charge which he has made.
I entirely agree with what has fallen from the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield, and that it is utterly impossible that the Government could have taken any other course. On the present occasion it is admitted—and it must be admitted by every impartial person—that the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Inverness-shire was nothing more nor less than a censure on the Government; and with that feeling how could the noble Lord have brought forward the financial affairs of the country? I have no doubt hon. Gentlemen opposite desire that he should do so, that, in case of emergency' they may be relieved from the difficulty-The question at issue is put forward distinctly. Here you bring a deliberate charge of murder, and nothing less, against one of the Governors of one of our colonies, employed by the Government—a Peer of the realm, and we demand of you to go into this inquiry forthwith, according to your own notice. We see no reason for not going on with this Motion, if you thought proper to give the notice. Why do you give the notice, and why do you drop it? Is it for this reason—because at a meeting it has been determined that this question shall not be brought forward at this time? Is the hon. Member for Inverness-shire sincere in his statement, that he does not wish to prevent the noble Lord from bringing forward the great questions of finance, and therefore he withdraws it? Let me ask the hon. Gentleman and those hon. Gentlemen opposite, who are the accused? Two Peers of the realm. Is there no other place where the question can be brought forward—where an answer might be given to the accusation? If it is inconvenient to bring it forward in this House, because the financial affairs will be postponed, why not let some friends agree in this proposition who think that the noble Lords ought to be arraigned? Why not bring it forward in another place—where both Lord Grey and Lord Torrington will be present, and can answer the charge? Because you are following out the course pursued last Session, when no man would come forward in this House and attack my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; and it was left to the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield to bring forward the question here, that my noble Friend might have an opportunity to reply. Why not allow Lord Grey and Lord Torrington to meet their accusers man to man, and to answer the charges that are made? Why not bring those charges in the House of Peers, where those men sit? And, without giving any opinion whether the noble Lord the late Governor of Ceylon has been right or wrong in the admininistration of that colony, the question at issue is, if you wish to deal fairly with those men, whether you ought not to bring forward your charges in their own presence, where they can meet them and give a fair and legitimate account of their conduct? Do not let such a charge hang over them—do not postpone it, because you yourselves may have reasons for not bringing it forward, to which you cannot give utterance in this House.
Ecclesiastical Titles Assumption Bill—Adjourned Debate (Second Night)
Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment to Question [14th March],—Debate resumed.
said, the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department, towards the close of the debate which took place upon the first reading of this Bill, or rather of the Bill of which this was a fraction, undertook, to use his own expression, to clear the ground for the House. But the right hon. Gentleman entered into the question with so little calm consideration—he threw himself into the question with such noise and impetuosity—he kicked up such a dust on all sides, and comported himself in such a fashion, as not only not to clear up the ground that he found encumbered, but to encumber the ground he found clear, with an almost inconceivable amount of mystification. But whatever might have been the success of the right hon. Gentleman upon that occasion, he (Mr. Moore) thought it would be conceded they had cleared up the ground considerably since then. In the first place, for ten days, at all events, they had cleared the ground of the right Baronet himself and his colleagues—and since their restoration to the shadowy mimetic position which they now occupied, they had cleared the ground of three-fourths of the Bill. They had cleared the ground also of all pretence to character and consistency on the part of its promoters. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had openly avowed that the opinions of his former life were all blunders and misconceptions, and that the present Bill was founded upon an entire change in the opinions which he had formerly expressed. He (Mr. Moore) thought the proposition of the noble Lord had cleared the ground, in the course of the discussion, of every single, disinterested, earnest, zealous, and hearty supporter of the Government in that House. He had exposed the dirty strings which pulled the puppet of intolerance, showing that the same strings which pulled up its head, were ready to pull it down again, and that the same motives which prompted to de- ceive, were equally facile to betray. He (Mr. Moore) could not proceed to the merits of the case without first liberating his mind of certain feelings which were produced upon it by a speech made on Friday evening, on which he could not forbear commenting; at the same time that he did not wish to encumber with such topics the general merits of the discussion. He would not have thought it necessary to dwell on the erratic flights of an exceptional individual; and he had already passed over in silence the observations of another hon. Member, in respect for his age, and in compassion for his understanding; but when the cheers of the House were superadded to expressions which he thought he could prove no Gentleman ought to have used, the weight of the sanction given to such expressions forbade his silence, and called for remonstrance. He alluded to the speech of the hon. Baronet the Member for Tarn worth. That hon. Baronet's denunciations of Popery he was not surprised to hear. The low Jacobins of the Continent were said to be the Gamaliels at whose feet that hon. Baronet loved to sit, and the expressions he had used were worthy of his tutelage: the philosophy was redolent of Mazzini—the rhetoric reeked of Gavazzi; and he (Mr. Moore) entertained a charitable suspicion that the hon. Baronet was indebted to some such quarter for more than his style. He said, a charitable suspicion, for there were passages in the speech to which he alluded, which he could not conceive to have emanated from the mind of an English gentleman. A petition had been lately presented to the Queen, signed by 40,000 Englishmen. Those who presented that petition were English Peers and English gentlemen, though Papists. If the merits of the father conferred any consideration upon the son, as for the sake of the hon. Baronet it was to be hoped they did, a long line of loyal ancestors proclaimed them loyal—if high worth and unsullied character could protect gentlemen in England from the aspersions of a churl, their honour would have continued unimpeached; and yet the hon. Baronet, without a show of reason—without even the excuse of a motive—had thought proper to insinuate a most unworthy suspicion that four British noblemen, and 40,000 Englishmen, were but Jesuitical pretenders to a loyalty they did not feel. He tagged on to the assurance which the petitioners had conveyed, that they were ready to "render unto Caesar the things that were Cæsar's," a story of some "Jesuits and Roman Catholics," as the hon. Baronet was pleased to classify them, who in the reign of Queen Elizabeth had used the same words, who had been disbelieved, and who in the hon. Baronet's quaint phraseology "had been punished accordingly." But a long time before Queen Elizabeth, those words had been used by One who was also disbelieved—and "punished accordingly;" and with regard to the Jesuits of Queen Elizabeth's time—who in death as well as in life had endeavoured to follow the example of Jesus—he (Mr. Moore) would have thought that martyrdom would have been accepted as a proof of sincerity, even in a Jesuit; and that a cruel death for conscience sake would have disarmed slander, even in the recent diplomatist of Switzerland. With regard to the recent persecutions which had dyed Switzerland with blood, and to which the hon. Baronet had had the intrepidity to allude, he would not follow him; nor would he even allude to the manner in which the hon. Baronet had discharged his duties upon that occasion—recollections of which were still fresh in the memory of the House; but when the hon. Gentleman spoke of the orders of neutrality which he had received from the Foreign Secretary, and the rigid manner in which he had followed them, he might have supposed that Nemesis had joined in the loud laugh of derision with which the House had greeted the unmasking of the Jesuit. He would now proceed to state what he believed were the general subjects which entered into this discussion. The questions for consideration were properly these—First, had the late act of the Pope been an act of aggression, and had it been expressed in arrogant and insulting language? Secondly, had it been a temporal or a purely spiritual aggression? Thirdly, if the Pope had been guilty of any aggression, had that aggression been one which the Pope had reasonable grounds for believing would be offensive to the British Government and to the country; or, on the contrary, had he not reason to think that it would be considered innocent, if not acceptable? Fourthly, if any misconception had arisen in the mind of the Pope, not with regard to the intentions or wishes of Her Majesty's Ministers, but with regard to the manners, and customs, and wishes, and prejudices of the English people, had the relations which we maintain- ed with his court and government been in any degree calculated to prevent such error or misapprehension—in other words, did the blame lie with the Pope, or with the Government of this country? Fifthly, if it should be the opinion of the House that the ease called for the interference of the Legislature to protect the prerogatives of the Crown against foreign aggression, and the sovereignty of the Queen against foreign insolence, was the measure which had been introduced to the House by Her Majesty's Ministers well adapted to secure that end? As to the first point, he at once conceded that an act of spiritual aggression of the most decided character had been committed—neither more nor less than an attempt to facilitate the conversion of this country to the Roman Catholic religion; and he maintained the right of every man in a free country (be he native or alien) to make such an aggression, and to promulgate his own religious opinions, provided they were recognised and tolerated by the State. In religion, in particular, such a license became indispensable—every religion, at least every Christian religion, was aggressive. Aggression was, in fact, the vital principle of Christianity: it was the aggressive nature of His teaching that nailed our Lord to the cross; it was the aggressive character of the faith of his disciples that bared the sword of persecution against the early Christians; and faith on earth would cease to be Christian when it ceased to be aggressive. They must not imagine that they would be able to restrain the aggressions of religion by human laws. The Pope exercised an authority over our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects in this country which we could not control, an imperium in imperio, if they would call it so, but an empire which was not of this world, and which had already overcome stronger laws than the most reckless bigot would wish to see re-enacted. We might as well protest against the foreign influence of the moon upon the tides as attempt to resist that other unseen but resistless agency—the operation of mind upon mind, which might be called the gravitation of the intellectual world, and which was one of the first principles of creation. He did not care to deny the arrogance of the manner in which the aggression was made; but surely Parliament did not intend to legislate between the arrogance of sects, or the polemical pride of priests. They talked of political arrogance, but there was not a Turk who smoked his pipe by the hanks of the Euphrates, who in the supremacy of his conceit about his own religion even approached the ineffable arrogance of an English Protestant. He thought that if all the fallen angels had entered into the souls of the English people during the present saturnalia of spiritual pride, a more completely overbearing and insulting spirit could scarcely have been displayed. Look at the language of their own meek and tolerant prelates; look at the address which they presented to our Queen, and which was received by Her Majesty, by instruction no doubt, in terms of compliment. That address used language grossly, flagrantly, and deliberately insulting to one-third of the subjects of the Queen. If they spoke of the spiritual arrogance of one foreign Prelate, and the insulting language of one foreign prince, what must the Catholics of the empire think of the arrogance of a whole hierarchy who were paid in the coin of the realm for their anathemas? What of the implied insult put into the mouth of our own Queen—to whom they owed loyalty and reverence, and who owed to their feelings, in return, a reciprocal consideration? In spiritual arrogance Ireland was greatly the debtor of England, and though they were unable to pay, they did not forget their debts. England had the power to realise its insults, to brand its arrogance upon Ireland's forehead; but the feeling of Ireland was not the less indignant because it was forced to treasure up its wrongs and bide its time; and it claimed for itself the right to be as arrogant as it pleased, without let or hindrance, from the tenfold arrogance in which England gloried. Then, as to the character of this aggression, it was impossible to overrate that branch of the subject, because if it were proved that any invasion of the temporal sovereignty of the Queen had been attempted, there did not exist a man in that House who would not protest against so absurd and insolent an aggression. But this was a grave charge, involving heavy penalties, and some onus of proof lay upon those who called upon the House for its sentence of condemnation. Now he bad listened with attention to all the speeches upon this question, and subsequently read carefully all those in favour of the Bill; and it might be from prejudice or stupidity, but he could not find a speech in which it was even asserted, much less proved, how the Queen's sovereignty was invaded. The noble Lord at the head of the Government, in the course of a long speech, said he saw "an assumption of territorial sovereignty" in that part of the bull which alluded to the governing of Middlesex and other counties. But, with the exception of that wretched perversion of an eccesiastical letter, the speech did not contain a single argument, fact, or allegation, hearing out the assertion of the invasion of the Queen's sovereignty. In ordinary cases, where an insult was supposed to be conveyed by writing, the disavowal by the writer of any intention of the kind was considered sufficient, and was held to be the true intention of the writing; and if we were to take any act of our own country, and read it in the same spirit as this act of the Pope had been read, what mares' nests might be discovered? Not a deed of settlement or mortgage could be found in which there were not only palpable absurdities, but glaring falsehoods. But the noble Lord could not afford to be just upon this question. His case was not susceptible of a generous advocacy. It was in vain to state to him that the language used by the Pope was the same language which was used at the appointment of vicars-apostolic; that it was the language which was always used in cases of any similar appointment. The noble Lord could aford to forego his paltry advantage, "it was enough for him that there was an assumption of power; and he confined himself to the naked assertion that the "government" of a Catholic bishop was inconsistent with the Government of the Queen. That was nothing more than had been said, for a hundred years and more, by old women, with regard to the existence of Roman Catholics in this country, and which the noble Lord had himself scorned and derided in times gone by. The best answer to the noble Lord was to be found in the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Bath, who, speaking of the Wesleyans, said it was true that they had divided the country for the purpose of religious undertakings—
He would admit that if Cardinal Wiseman had claimed the temporal sovereignty with which he was charged, he also would have been a fit subject for an asylum; but he no more pretended to govern Middlesex than to be Governor General of Bombay; and the fact was, that no one believed Cardinal Wiseman to have any such intention. The hon. and learned Member for Oxford had been obliged to throw over altogether this assertion as to territorial sovereignty, and take refuge in another fine-drawn distinction between the ecclesiastical and the spiritual, which, however satisfactory to himself, he had as yet failed to make generally intelligible. The hon. and learned Member said, the whole matter at issue was the difference between the power in foro conscientiœ, and in foro externo, a difference which the hon. and learned Gentleman, on observing the somewhat mystified stare with which this lucid exposition was received, blandly and compassionately assured the House was "perfectly understood by those who knew anything about the matter." The country then, it would seem, had been convulsed with regard to a matter which could only be expressed in the language of the schools, and which a sound lawyer and lucid English speaker was unable to explain to an assembly of Englishmen in their mother tongue. The hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford had said that the Church of Rome claimed authority over every baptised person, that was to say, the Roman Catholic bishops claimed authority over the Protestant as well as the Roman Catholic inhabitants of this country. Well, but did not every church profess to claim de jure jurisdiction over every baptised person? [" No, no!"] Some hon. Gentlemen said, "No, no;" but the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Oxford said "yes" in the most equivocal and explicit terms. He said that every bishop of a diocese claimed to exercise jurisdiction, not over 200 or 100 persons in the diocese, but over every inhabitant. If the hon. Gentleman's ecclesiastical law were true therefore—if every bishop of the Episcopal Church in England, every bishop of the "garrison" Church in Ireland, and every bishop of the Episcopal Church in Scotland claimed jurisdiction over every inhabitant in his diocese, was not that circumstance sufficient to silence even simulated fears? The bishops of the Church of England, strong in the Legislature, in pecuniary re- sources, and, as was alleged, in the affections of a resolute majority of the people, claimed all this, and yet neither the Catholics nor Dissenters felt any apprehension upon that point. Similar jurisdiction was claimed by the Scotch bishops over the whole of the anti-prelatic inhabitants of Scotland, yet the Scotch people did not trouble themselves to waste a thought upon so puerile an assumption; and the people of Ireland, while they protested against the superfluous existence of the Protestant bishops in that country—while they protested against the appropriation of the ecclesiastical revenues, were perfectly indifferent as to their claim upon their souls, so long as they kept their hands out of their pockets. But the hon. and learned Member for the city of Oxford said that if the Roman Catholics went on with this assumption, the canon law might be introduced; if that were done, the edicts of the Pope might supersede the law of England; and if the edicts of the Pope came to supersede the law of the land, the Pope might depose the Sovereign, and absolve the subjects from their allegiance. The hon. and learned Member went on to say, that if the Roman Catholic priests in this country were allowed the full exercise of their privileges, the upshot would be that we should have them denying absolution to such of their communion as might refuse to obey the mandates of the Church of Rome; and then he referred to the case of the Sardinian archbishop and the Siccardi law, and other stories which he detailed to the House for the twentieth time during this discussion. He could only say that he would not defend that Sardinian prelate, if what had been alleged against him were true. But with regard to the list of evils which were anticipated by the hon. and learned Gentleman—look at Ireland, where the people were devoted to their clergy, and where, with all the facilities for the growth of the evils which the hon. and learned Gentleman predicted, those evils, he might almost say were the only ones which did not exist in Ireland. Who feared the canon law in Ireland, unless it were the cannon law of this country? Who looked to priests to absolve them from their oath of allegiance? English legislation was a far more efficient absolution. Who feared bringing an action against a priest if he had a claim against him? The only suitor who had reason to fear a verdict, was the Government when prosecuting under this Bill. And did the hon. and learned Gentleman believe that he could gull any one but a fanatic into the conviction that what had not succeeded in Ireland was to be apprehended amongst the people of this country? But the vague and inconclusive facts of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, and of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the city of Oxford, were set aside by the language of the hon. and learned Attorney General, who in a few plain and pregnant sentences completely demolished what might be called the sentimental view of the question. The hon. and learned Gentleman said—"but if the President of the Conference, having subdivided the country for the convenience of the Wesleyan ministers, were to make known what he had done in a pastoral, such as hon. Members had lately read, and say that he 'governed' the counties of York and Lancaster as President of the Conference, he (Lord Ashley) really thought that the next thing they would near of him would be that he was under the hands of a medical man, and had been declared of unsound mind."
So stood the question of the aggression against the sovereignty of the Queen, in the opinion of the first law officer of the Crown. "As to the insult that had been offered, it would be useless to say anything"—with regard to the spiritual inquiry, "they had nothing to do;" and as regarded the temporal aggression, it af- fected exclusively the Roman Catholic people of the country, who unanimously deprecated our interference; and for this their Christianity had been torn to shreds, and the passions of the people had been turned against each other in the name of Him who first preached charity to men. Then it was to he considered whether this aggression was one which the Pope might reasonably have conceived would be offensive to the Government, or whether he had not just ground for believing that it would be considered as innocent, if not acceptable. Upon that point the noble Lord had made a confession so complete, that it was hardly necessary to enter into that part of the question. The noble Lord acknowledged that what he was now doing was in contradiction to what he had said at a former period; he said he had changed his mind. In 1844 the noble Lord said that the clause prohibiting Roman Catholics from settling themselves by the names of dioceses was a very absurd provision. Now he thought it necessary for a new statute to enforce that absurdity. In 1845 he thought it necessary to "assign to Roman Catholic bishops titular districts which might not interfere with other persons;" and now he thought it insidious and audacious to carry out his own suggestion. In 1846 he said he considered the old statutes upon this subject to be puerile and absurd; and in 1851, for a consideration, he was willing to insert into those worn-out puerilities fresh grafts of fanaticism, of which we had already seen the blossoms, but of which we had yet to gather the fatal fruits. As for the answer which the noble Lord made to the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford, that he would not give his consent to the formation of dioceses in England, so far from bearing out the insinuation that he had intimated an intention to resist the formation of such dioceses, no one could read that carefully-worded declaration of the noble Lord, and understand it in any other sense than that it was not the part of the State either to consent to such appointments, or to resist them. And now, if any error had arisen on the part of the Pope in this matter, as to the wishes, the feelings, or even the prejudices of the people of England, had the relations which this country maintained with his Court been calculated to prevent misapprehension, or in accordance with the dignity of the Legislature, and with the duty which it owed to the Roman Catholic subjects of the Crown? Was it even in accordance with English truth and manliness to go on, generation after generation, ignoring facts that stared them in the face; knocking their heads against a post because they would not acknowledge that it was in their way, and then abusing the poor post as an insolent aggressor? There was no country but England in which such a stupid fiction as the non-existence of the Pope's spiritual authority could be maintained; but such arrogant fictions were not singular, or even unusual, in the history of their national conceit. They called their sovereigns Kings of France for centuries after they had ceased to possess a foot of the French soil; and Members still swore that the Pope had no spiritual authority within these realms, when the contrary was as well known to them as their own existence. He (Mr. Moore) verily believed that there was a time when this country would have gone to war, rather than have renounced the former arrogant falsehood; and they were now prepared to encounter even a worse evil than war itself—to convulse their own country, and embitter the hearts of their fellow-subjects, rather than surrender another falsehood as imbecile and presumptuous. Did any one, who now complained of the arrogance or folly of the Pope, remember the debate in that House on the diplomatic relations with Rome?—a debate in which an orator and a statesman, in proposing a great measure of policy to a great nation, instead of urging the important reasons of state which sustained his own connections, was obliged, in charity to the infirmity of their fanaticism, to fool them with a mock statement, to treat them like very children, to avoid the real circumstances that justified the Bill before the House, and to argue it on grounds that had nothing to do with the question at issue. And the noble Lord laughed in their faces as he went through this melancholy compromise between their general sense and their one weakness; and they laughed in return as they endured it. And what were the objections that had been raised to the measure? Why, the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford, who might be called the leader of his party in the House, and who was at least as reasonable and as well-informed as any of that party, had coolly informed the House that, as long as our relations with the Court of Rome were conducted in secret, surreptitiously, underhand, and by irresponsible agents, he had no objection to their continuance; but to any attempts to carry out the same objects openly, directly, and in the face of day, he felt it his duty to offer the most decided opposition. In this miserable fashion the Bill had struggled through the House; but in another place, through which the hon. Baronet had alleged that the measure had been hurried with breathless haste, so far from that having been the ease, an important antiministerial division had already taken place, by which a proviso, at once arrogant, uncourteous, and inexpedient had been added, which rendered the whole Bill inoperative and impracticable. And in this position our Government at that moment stood towards the spiritual and ecclesiastical head of ten millions of its subjects; and he (Mr. Moore) would ask all considerate and reflecting men, whether in thus acting they were doing their duty towards their Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, or justifying the claim of undivided allegiance with regard to which such unjust suspicions had been expressed? Government, like property, had its duties as well as its rights, and it could not assert the one so nobly or effectually as by the performance of the other. But if, notwithstanding all he had said, the House considered itself called upon to defend the Crown against aggression and insult in this matter, was the course recommended by Her Majesty's Government the best fitted to carry out that object? It appeared to him that it did not carry out that object at all. A Bill to prevent the assumption of ecclesiastical titles was not a Bill against foreign aggression, nor was it an enactment against the real evils of which they complained. It did not affect the foreign Power that conferred, but the subject that assumed, the ecclesiastical title; and the real crime of which they complained, the real and actual division of the country into dioceses, they did not attempt to interfere with. It appeared to him therefore, that, if anything was to he done, the resolutions of both Houses, such as Lord Aberdeen suggested, would meet both the foreign aggression and the assumed title more directly, and with more dignity. It would confirm their ancient fiction, if the House were determined to retain it, that the Pope neither had, nor ought to have, any power or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within these realms: while it would not weaken the majesty of the law itself by enacting statutes that were not intended to be enforced, or enforced in one part of the empire, and derided in the other; an aggression far more fatal to the national dignity, and far more insulting to the national sense, than could possibly be inflicted upon this country by any foreign Power."As to the insult that had been offered, it would be useless to say anything. With regard to tin; injury inflicted by the bull, it undoubtedly affected the Roman Catholic branches of the community, but it was, however, of a twofold nature. The first injury was of a spiritual, the second was of a temporal character. With the first he apprehended they had nothing to do; and if it was possible for them to separate completely any questions with respect to the spiritual and temporal effect of the introduction of the bull, and the assumption of titles thereupon, it would be well and fit for them to do so, apart from the question of what was due to the honour and dignity of the country. It was said the effect of the bull in temporal matters would be to give to certain persons assuming the titles of archbishops or bishops of dioceses and sees the power of dealing with appointments relating to religious endowments made by Roman Catholics; that it would enable them to deal with the property given to support charities, or for other religious purposes, in a different and more extensive manner than at present, and that the result would be to give to those prelates powers not intended to be conceded to them by the persons who founded those institutions. As to the spiritual power introduced, he had not heard it suggested, nor had he seen it in any of the publications he had read, that there were any specific powers which might be enforced by the bishops of those pretended sees, distinct or different from the powers which might have been enforced by the bishops in partibus and vicars-apostolic, or anything to show they were not as great in one case as in the other: but with respect to the temporal power, it was of importance, he apprehended, to stop the assumption by any person being, or pretending to be, as undoubtedly these bishops must profess themselves to be, under the canon law and dependent on the Pope of Rome, of dealing with the rights and interests of British subjects in a manner different from and inconsistent with the manner which had hitherto obtained."—[See 3 Hansard, cxiv., 292–3.]
said, he desired to state to the House the grounds which induced him to support the second reading of the Bill, and led him to think that on the present occasion legislative interference was called for. Before, however, he stated the reasons which induced him to take that view, he wished to observe, that although many Members had treated the recent, act of the Pope as one of very little consequence to this country, in respect either of its civil or religious liberties, and as one of speculative opinion merely, he was satisfied that such was not the ease; and he stated this not as matter of mere opinion, but because his conviction was confirmed by the example and the history of nations around us. Wherever they found the system and influence of Rome prevail, there they found also the liberty and prosperity of the people impaired. Where-ever they found that system and influence checked and restrained, there and in like proportion they found also liberty and prosperity prevailing. He must apologise to the House for calling its attention to examples so obvious; but he would mention only some that were most prominent. Look at Italy, a nation the most favoured, perhaps, in Europe, in every natural qualification. Under the system of Rome it had sunk into the lowest state of degradation. Look at Spain, at one time the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Under the system of Rome it had sunk to be the lowest. Turn to the United Provinces—a State not favoured, in comparison with surrounding nations, by any particular natural advantages; under its free Protestant institutions it had risen to a position quite out of proportion to its importance, in relation to surrounding Catholic nations; and that position it had retained for centuries. And in our own country, where was the starting point of our own greatness in commerce, in literature, in science, and in politics? His answer was, the Reformation. Again, compare the history of Scotland with that of Ireland. Under its free Protestant institutions, Scotland had been prosperous and happy; but of the condition of the sister kingdom of Ireland, it was melancholy to speak. Take the case of Switzerland, where there were Roman Catholic and Protestant cantons side by side. The traveller passing from one to the other might tell at once by the very aspect of the people whether the province they were in was Catholic or Protestant. Nor were these results confined to European experience. Look at America. They would find there the same results prevailing. In Protestant Upper Canada the people were prosperous and energetic; in Roman Catholic Lower Canada they were in a state of comparative stagnation. In the United States of America, where Protestantism prevailed, the people wore amongst the freest and most prosperous on the face of the globe. If they proceeded to Mexico, Peru, and Brazil, all Roman Catholic countries, they found the people, one and all, in a state of the greatest degradation. He did not wish for one moment to suggest that these results were to be attributed to the errors of the Romish faith. He could see, as a Protestant, much in that faith that was extremely erroneous; but he did not ascribe those peculiarities to the faith of Rome. He imputed them, however, to the ecclesiastical system of Rome. He found a cause uniformly accompanied with a result. He found that cause adequate to produce the result, and no other cause could be assigned for it. That read an example and gave instructions to the Government of every State in which the system of Rome prevailed, to endeavour, without infringing on the free exercise of religion, to keep that system within its proper limits and under due control. But, it was asked, what is there in the recent movement of the Pope which calls for legislative interference? He did not conceive that there was anything in that movement, so far as it was truly and clearly a religious movement, that did call for such interference. He was the last man who would wish to interfere with any truly and purely religious movement by any act of legislation. If movements of that kind were to be met adequately and effectually, they must be met by a very different movement from any legislative one; they must be met by counter movements of the like kind, and especially by diffusing among the people, in all parts of the United Kingdom, sound and scriptural education. No other means could he devised by the wisdom and wit of man effectually to oppose this, considered as a religious movement. But this movement bore also an aspect of a very different kind. A challenge had been thrown out, and we had been asked, "How is this movement to be termed an aggression, and upon what is it an aggression?" He apprehended that it clearly was an aggression upon those principles which ought to be held sacred in this country, and especially by Roman Catholics. The basis of the compact upon which the Emancipation Act of 1829 was passed was this—that Roman Catholics conceded and admitted that in respect of temporal matters the Pope of Rome had not, and ought not to have, any influence, power, or authority in this country. Those were the terms of the oath inserted in the Act. Now, he could not look at the introduction of this bull without considering it a direct infringement of that principle. He considered it to be an aggression, upon grounds which had been already stated, and which could not be too much dwelt upon and studied, namely, that the object, and the sole object, of the introduction of the Pope's bull, and the establishment of a hierarchy in this country, was to introduce here the canon law, which assumed to interfere directly with respect to temporal matters in this country. This had been already stated and proved; but they needed no proof of it, because this very thing was most distinctly affirmed by Cardinal Wiseman to be the sole object of the introduction of the bull. In his Address, he said it was suggested that provision for the religious wants of the Roman Catholic people of this country could be introduced only in one of the two following forms:—
It was plain, therefore, that when the See of Rome was considering how it should meet the application that had been made to it, it was decided not to frame a new constitution applicable to vicars-apostolic, because that would have been complicated and voluminous, and so it was determined that a hierarchy should be established here solely with a view to introduce the canon law. It was also equally clear, that the canon law that was to be so introduced, included in it that which was a direct violation and aggression of the principle of the Emancipation Act. For it includes an assumption as of right on the part of the Court of Rome to interfere in respect of temporal matters. So much had been already said on this being a feature of the canon law that he would not trouble the House with citing any further passages; except that he would notice one author to show that this doctrine of the canon law was no antiquated provision; it had been recognised and insisted on in modern times. In the most recent work on the canon law, that of Reiffenstuel—Jus Canonicum, Romœ, 1831, referred to by Mr. Bowyer, and other writers as of the first authority, after noticing that the legislative power of the Roman Pontiff was derived immediately from God, and the civil power from man, there was the following passage:—"Either the Holy See must issue another and full constitution, which would supply all wants, but which would be necessarily complicated and voluminous, and, as a special provision, would necessarily be temporary; or the real and complete code of the Church must be at once extended to the Catholic Church in England, so far as compatible with its social position; and this provision would be final. But, in order to adopt this second and more natural expedient, one condition was necessary, and that was, the Catholics must have a hierarchy. The canon law is inapplicable under vicars-apostolic."
He hoped that after that it would not be said, that the object of establishing a hierarchy here was not to establish a system which assumed the right to act in respect of temporal things. He said that the object was, to introduce into this country a foreign Power claiming jurisdiction in regard to temporal matters; and that was clearly a ground upon which the Legislature was called upon to interfere, and to uphold the principle upon which the Emancipation Act itself was passed—he meant the principle that the Pope was not to interfere in temporal matters. And now, with respect to the particular mode and manner in which that interference was intended to be made, he must say that, whether the proposed measure ought to be larger or smaller, it was at least directed to that which was the overt and ostensible act—that act which aimed at establishing here a hierarchy, in order to the introduction of the canon law, with its claims to power in temporal things. There was also a distinct ground for interference on this occasion, in the assumption in this country of territorial titles. That, he concurred in thinking, was a violation of the Queen's prerogative. Those titles might be ecclesiastical in part, but were most certainly also temporal. It was the exclusive right of the Queen to confer territorial titles here, and the Pope of Rome had no more jurisdiction to interfere by appointing a bishop with a territorial title than any other foreigner had to introduce hero a nobleman with a title taken from some English territory. The objection which seemed to him to have been most urged against legislation, was one that a good deal surprised him, namely, that whatever might have been at one time the objections to Papal interference, there was no ground to apprehend mischief from it in the present day—because, although the Pope formerly had political power, the world moved on, and at the present day his power was religious only. Now, he could find no mitigation or withdrawal of the old claims of the Popedom; and, if the interference of the Pope was not in some of the States around them so mischievous as in former days, it certainly arose from this fact, that in recent times every civilised nation resisted the domination of the Pope, and took care to restrain Papal interference within proper limits. The opponents of legislation on this subject I had insisted strongly that the Hill would, be an invasion of the principle of religious liberty. It was rather hard to he pressed so strongly with that argument in favour of a system which was not itself a friend of, but was opposed to religious liberty. It was not for him to doubt the sentiments in favour of liberty expressed by Roman Catholic Members; but those views were not common to Roman Catholics generally. Among large bodies of Roman Catholics, at least, very different views upon that point were entertained. Even in the present month of March, he took up a number of a Roman Catholic journal, extensively circulated, and he found that subject spoken of in these terms. It was in the Rambler:—"The Supreme Pontiff, by virtue of the power immediately granted to him, can, in matters spiritual, and concerning the salvation of souls and the right government of the Church, make ecclesiastical constitutions for the whole Christian world. It must be confessed, notwithstanding, that the Pope, as vicar of Christ on earth, has indirectly (or in respect of the spiritual power granted to him by God in order to the good government of the whole Church) a certain supreme power for the good estate of the Church, if it be necessary, of judging and disposing of all the temporal goods of all Christians."
He believed that that much more truly represented the views of Roman Catholics generally, than what they had heard in that House, on the principle of religious liberty. he was himself a firm friend to religious liberty, and would not countenance any act which infringed upon that principle. But besides religious liberty, there was civil liberty; and it was part of the civil liberty of every subject of this country that no foreigner should have the power of interfering here. No man had the right of bringing whatever he chose to call religious liberty into conflict with the civil liberty of the rest of the community. He should not wish to trespass longer on the time of the House. It was the duty of the House of Commons to protest against this movement; and if the measure introduced by Her Majesty's Ministers did not fully come up to the wishes of those who were most strongly opposed to this measure of the Pope, it was at least such as precluded the silence of acquiescence. He was quite sure that this practical good at least would arise from it—that they would protect themselves from the imputation of having acquiesced in a movement altogether wrong in itself, and that ought to be resisted. If this aggression were permitted, it would only form the stepping-stone to another; and when the other was introduced, they should be told that they had not protested against the first—that they had not objected to it—that there would be inconsistency in repelling it, as they had tacitly admitted and recognised the principle—and that they were too late with their objection. Therefore, the time to resist was, when the principles which we had always cherished were first invaded—the maxim to be acted on was principiis obsta—and not to let it be said they had abandoned the ground upon which they ought to have taken their stand. As to the form of the measure, he confessed he did not think it was so comprehensive as it ought to have been. He thought it should have been extended to condemning the introduction into this country of the Papal bull; and that it might be framed so as to give to the Queen a power by proclamation to prohibit any future steps of the same kind that might be taken. He was of opinion it would have been useful to vest in the Executive Government power for prohibiting any step of a similar kind. But cases of this nature ought to be undertaken by the Government. And believing that the Bill, though not as effectual as they might desire, had been framed in an honest and sincere spirit to repress this foreign encroachment, he would record his vote for the second reading."All that we plead against is the adoption in any measure of that preposterous cant of the age, that the secular power, as such, is bound by its duty to God to extend equal toleration to all reli- gions, irrespective of the peculiar circumstances which may attach to each separate case. To say that every man has a right to adopt such a religious creed as he pleases, is untrue; to say, also, that the temporal power is never called upon to put obstacles in the way of the propagation of religious errors, is also untrue; but it is perfectly true that the English law professes to tolerate us, and on that ground, as well as on our indefeasible rights as the only true Church, while we meddle not with the claims of the sects about us, we take our stand."
said, the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down had pointed to Ireland as a case in which the Catholicity of the country had rendered her unhappy, and caused her to be misgoverned. Now be (Mr. Roche) could not refrain from protesting against such an assertion, for Ireland was governed under the influence of the Protestant Church, maintained by Protestant bayonets, for the benefit of Protestant garrisons. Of all the countries in the world, Ireland bad been the least governed on Catholic principles, and the least in unison with the feelings of the people. Ireland was a stigma and a disgrace to this Protestant country, because she had been always legislated for with a view to sectarian principles, and in opposition to the feelings of her people. He objected to the measure because it was an infringement of the Emancipation Act; for the preamble, after stating that the Emancipation Act had given the Roman Catholics the power of taking titles from any places not already occupied by archbishops or bishops of the Church, went on to enact that it should not be lawful within the united kingdom to take titles from any places whatever in the united kingdom. This was a clear violation of the charter of the liberties of the Roman Catholics of both England and Ireland. The Government had stated their intention of altering the Bill so as to make it less stringent than when it was first introduced; but he doubted whether the erasure of the second and third clauses had effected any improvement in that respect. The Government had said that the erasure of these two clauses would leave the Roman Catholics the endowment of their churches. Now, if the Government were sincere, the first clause ought to go along with the others, because it was equally unfriendly to the endowment. The Bill in this case would be only a mockery and a snare, and for that reason he was bound to oppose it. It was important to know the effect of the alteration proposed, and he hoped the law officers of the Crown would give the House an exact definition, because a high legal opinion had been given to the effect that if the first clause were retained it would prevent the Roman Catholics from taking endowments from the laity for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church. With respect to the state of legislation on this subject, he would read the opinion of the highest authority. During the debates on the Emancipation Act, in the year 1829, the Duke of Wellington said—
Now, what was the effect of this? Previous to 1782 the Roman Catholic prelates could assume any titles they liked either in this country or in Ireland. In 1782 a stringent law was passed to prevent the assumption of titles. In 1793 that law was found to be so intolerant and unjust, and so much opposed to the true principles of religious liberty and freedom, that it was repealed; and from 1793 to 1829 the Roman Catholic prelates were free to assume any title whatever. In 1829 the Roman Catholics very improperly consented to abandon these liberties to a certain extent, and were prevented by law from assuming the titles of places occupied by Protestant archbishops and bishops in this country. From that time to the present, that law had been acted upon: but the present Bill would go back to the spirit of 1793. This was legislating on a principle of which this country ought to be ashamed. He opposed the Bill for another reason. It was called a comprehensive measure; but as the Government would never be able to extend it to Ireland, it would be to all intents and purposes a delusion on the country at large. If the measure was to be extended to Ireland, were the Government prepared to carry it out? Did they suppose they would be able to get a conviction from any Roman Catholic jury in Ireland? No. And if not, would they dare to venture to pack a Protestant jury to try a Roman Catholic bishop? If they introduced this Bill, and attempted to carry it out in Ireland, they would be shipwrecked on the rock on which all Governments had been lost. They were legislating for Ireland on the worst possible grounds. Heaven knew that that country had enough of bad laws, and by keeping them up they were encouraging a bad spirit there; but when they passed a law like the present, they were rousing a spirit of discontent and disaffection amongst Irishmen which every writer and speaker in this country had long been flinging in their face. They, the representatives of Ireland, warned the Government that laws like this never would be or could be obeyed in that country. But it was said that the measure was extended to Ireland because it was wanted to maintain the Queen's spiritual supremacy. Well, if that were the fact, was it not also necessary to extend it to the Colonies? Yet how had Earl Grey and even Lord Stanley—much to their honour—acted in respect to the same question in the Colonies? At Sydney, in Australia, a bull of which they complained here had been introduced some time ago for the same purposes as that which was sought to he effected by the one lately issued by the Pope for this country. The Protestant bishop of Sydney brought the matter before Lord Stanley, at that time Colonial Secretary, who acknowledged his letter, and gave him a very short answer, and not a very satisfactory one. He told him he did not think it was any affair of the Government. In North America they had the same thing, and Dr. Wiseman had brought it before the Colonial Government of Lord Stanley, who returned the following answer by his Under Secretary:—"In 1782 a law was passed in Ireland which prevented Catholic priests from assuming the titles of the Established Church; hut that law was repealed by the Act of 1793, and since then the assumption of these titles had increased." [2 Hansard, xxi., 560.]
Well, then, what became of the arguments of the noble Lord? for that bull which was identical with the bull introduced into England, was not considered to interfere with the Queen's supremacy in the Colonies. How could they turn round now and say that this Bill interfered with the Queen's supremacy? He did not believe that there was any man who had arrived at years of discretion who really thought that the hull interfered with the supremacy of the Crown; but there was a puritanical spirit of intolerance and bigotry abroad which had been got up by the Protestant bishops and clergy, and it was that bad spirit, and not any conviction that the Queen's supremacy was endangered, which made them now attack unfortunate Cardinal Wiseman, and the Romish hierarchy. But they were going to do something more absurd still, and to extend the Bill to Scotland, where there was nobody who admitted the doctrine of the Queen's spiritual supremacy. The right hon. the Home Secretary proposed to extend the measure to Scotland, but said he would introduce a clause exempting the episcopalian bishops of that country from any penalty for assuming titles to which they had no legal right. Could anything be more monstrous? The episcopalian bishops of Scotland were in precisely the same position as Dr. M'Hale occupied in Ireland, and yet they brought in a Bill to abolish Dr. M'Hale's right to assume the title of a bishop, while a clause was inserted exempting the Protestant bishops in Scotland from a penalty for doing the same thing. Why, this was most flagrant injustice. And the only reason that could be assigned for such a proceeding was, that there was no fixed principle of acting observed towards Ireland, but things were done to her at which their hair would stand on end if they were done in this country. The hon. and learned Member for the city of Oxford, a man of high principles and strong religious convictions, commenced his speech the other night by saying that he had the greatest deference and love for civil and religious liberty; but he nevertheless made a speech which, in his (Mr. Roche's) opinion, was as replete with bigotry and prejudice as any he had ever heard made by any man in that House, and it was unusually wanting in that first principle of Christianity, charity towards his neighbour. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, that he would not have the canon law introduced into England, because it would interfere with the temporal rights of the laity; and the hon. and learned Member who had just sat down said pretty much the same thing. He (Mr. Roche) was surprised how any man acquainted with the law could believe that the introduction of the canon law could interfere with the temporal rights of the laity. Why, how could the Pope enforce the canon law? Could he enforce it in any of the courts of law? It was perfectly monstrous to suppose so. The canon law would be only obeyed by those who thought they were warranted in obeying it; but no one—neither the Pope nor Cardinal Wiseman—could make them obey it if they did not please. If that were so, he wanted to know why this Bill had been introduced? For his part, he believed it had been introduced and extended to Ireland solely for the purpose of bolstering up the Protestant Church in that country. No rational man could find any other reason except that. The Protestant Church of Ireland had been found by an almost universal verdict to be based on injustice, and to be nothing but a badge of conquest. This consideration alone formed a good reason for voting, as he should do, against the present Bill. The Duke of Wellington had formerly made a direct declaration that the clause of the Emancipation Act, which they were now proposing to make more stringent, would be found of no effect. An Amendment was proposed, embodying pretty much the same principle as was contained in the present Bill. The Duke of Wellington opposed the Amendment; and as to the clause, said that—"It does not signify to us whether you call yourselves bishops or vicars-apostolic: so long as you do not ask us to do anything for you, we have no right to prevent you taking any titles amongst yourselves."
At the same time the Earl of Malmesbury, a consistent opponent of emancipation, said—"According to the law of England the title of a diocese belonged to persons appointed to it by His Majesty; but it was desirable that others appointed to it by an assumed authority should be discountenanced, and that was the reason why the clause was introduced. This was one of the instances which showed how difficult it was to legislate upon this subject at all. He was aware that this clause gave no security to the Established Church, nor strengthened it in any way, but it was inserted to give satisfaction to those who were disturbed by this assumption of title by the Catholic clergy."
The Protestant Church could have only one protection—it must have itself rooted in the hearts and affections of the people of this country; and if it were not so rooted and fixed, no legislative measures would do more than indicate its weakness. He believed there never would have been a word about this Papal aggression, if it had not been for the spirit of Tractarianism, which prevailed in the Protestant Establishment of England. The noble Lord at the head of the Government commenced the crusade by the Durham letter, which had obtained singular notoriety. In that letter the noble Lord said—"That he had on principle always opposed Catholic emancipation; but that point having been carried, he would not encumber emancipation with restrictions like these which were of no use. To exclude Catholics from seats in Parliament would have been a bonâ fide security; but to call these clauses securities was a joke, and worse than a joke, for they would only tend to keep up that irritation which it was the object of the Bill to allay."—[2 Hansard, xxi.,560.]
Now, he (Mr. Roche) wanted to know from the noble Lord at the head of the Government why it was that he had not attempted to set his own house in order before he entered into the house of another. What were the facts respecting Tractarianism in this country? It was perfectly notorious that, within the limits of this metropolis, there were no two churches in which the service was performed in accordance with the strict rules of the Act of Uniformity. They had all heard a great deal about the Rev. Mr. Bennett, of whom he (Mr. Roche) wished to speak with the greatest respect. It was said, you must screw Mr. Bennett down to the Rubric; but if that were so, why were not others screwed up to the Rubric? He would give the noble Lord some cases on which he might vent his reforming spirit if he pleased. Every one knew this, that the Book of Common Prayer was nothing more than an Act of Parliament. In that Prayer-book they had the Rubric, which was part of the statute law of the land. Now a book had been published by a society, called The Ecclesiastical History Society, which was patronised by Prince Albert, three archbishops, and forty bishops. The book was entitled Stephens's Book of Common Prayer, and in the introduction to the second volume he found the following passage:—"There is a danger, however, which alarms me much more than any aggression of a foreign sovereign. Clergymen of our own Church, who have subscribed the Thirty-nine Articles, and acknowledged in explicit terms the Queen's supremacy, have been the most forward in leading their flocks 'step by step, to the very verge of the precipice.'"
He also found in the introduction to the first volume this passage:—"It is remarkable, that at the Chapel Royal, St. James's, and at the chapel of Trinity College, Dublin, the holy table is placed east and west, close to the north wall, and consequently in such a position that it is impossible to get at its north side. At the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, the holy table is placed east and west, close to the south wall, so that the front of the holy table is its north side. In every one of these chapels, therefore, so sacred a rite as the holy communion is not performed in accordance with the Rubric—although they are places where it was to be expected that rubrical observance would have been the object of especial care."
And in confirmation of this statement, the Bishop of Meath, in a letter to the editor respecting the English and Irish Prayer Books, thus observes—"That the Book of Common Prayer should be presented to the members of the United Church of England and Ireland without the slightest omission or interpolation, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the Queen's printers, have had, for the avoiding of all disputes in time to come, peculiar privileges granted to them for the printing of that book; but they have violated the sacred trust that was reposed in them, and those bodies and printers cannot at the present moment produce a single edition which is in accordance with the sealed books."
In the same introduction, too, there is the following passage:—"I am fully sensible of the inaccuracies of the Oxford and Cambridge editions. The Oxford seems to me to be the most inaccurate of the two; so much so that when I was superintending the printing of the last edition of our Irish Prayer Book, I soon threw the Oxford edition aside, but compared every word with the Cambridge edition, folio, which, however, I found to have been corrected by several different hands, from various dissimilarities in different parts."
And with respect to the quarto edition of the Prayer Book, published by the University of Oxford in 1848, Mr. Stephens, in the introduction to his second volume, asserted that it contained above 12,500 deviations from the real matter it affected to reprint. Well, there was room enough for the reforming spirit of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, without meddling with the affairs of the minority in this country, and the majority of the people of Ireland. It would be useless to entreat the noble Lord not to proceed with the measure. He had raised up a spirit which he could not lay. If he persisted with the Bill, he must be prepared to find himself opposed by Ireland in every step that he took. The people of that country would not permit the exercise of their religion to be interfered with. For centuries they had been true and faithful to their religion, notwithstanding all the persecution they had endured, and true to it they would be still. They would be slaves, and worse than slaves, if they submitted to a law like this. He did not wish to use exciting language to the people of Ireland; but he warned the Government that the course upon which they were proceeding was a straight, wide, and open course towards rebellion in that country, and if they persisted, the result would be such as every man connected with Ireland would have to deplore. He would conclude with a remarkable sentence from the eminent writer, Montesquieu, who, in his Esprit des Loix, said—"Respecting the edition of the Prayer Book printed at the Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1796, it has no table of contents. It begins with the Table of Proper Lessons, and ends with the Psalter. Almost every Rubric is either omitted or altered, only six of the sentences at morning and evening prayer are given, many of the alternative canticles and prayers are omitted, and the four prayers and thanksgivings which appear, instead of the nineteen in the sealed books, are printed as part of the Litany. In the Communion Service, the second prayer for the Sovereign, and the second exhortation are omitted. The Offices of Baptism and Matrimony, &c, are also omitted."
"The threatenings of religion are so terrible, and its promises so great, that when they actuate the mind, whatever efforts the magistrate may use to oblige us to renounce it, he seems to leave us nothing when he deprives us of the exercise of our religion, and to bereave us of nothing when we are freely allowed to profess it."
wished to state why he had come to the determination of voting against the Government on this question, and in opposition to those with whom in general he most cordially agreed. He was aware of the almost superhuman efforts of the Roman Catholics to spread their religion, not only in this country, but throughout Europe. But that was a circumstance from which he drew consolation, because he did not think that hitherto any adequate means had been taken to resist them. The present crisis had not come upon him unexpectedly, for he had heard from Roman Catholic friends ten years ago that meetings were holding weekly in the principal cities of Europe to pray for the conversion of this country, and for the establishment of systematic efforts for that purpose such as we are now called upon, though by other means than by Acts of Parliament, to resist. He was aware that in many quarters in Europe there had been a regular crusade of one class of Roman Catholics against Protestants. That class was very far from consisting of the whole Roman Catholic communion, but only of those ultramontane Roman Catholics who were in favour equally of civil and religious despotism; and he believed if they were victorious over the Protestants, they would turn their arms with equal energy and perseverance against that part of their own communion, who formed what Hallam the historian had called the Whig party in the Roman Catholic Church. He should admit, indeed, that having seen a good deal of that party in various portions of Europe, there were amongst them many who would be as unscrupulous in their means and as despotic in the exercise of their spiritual power as they were in the reign of Philip II., or when the Jesuits established themselves in uncontrolled power in Paraguay. But while he acknowledged the gravity of the present religious crisis, he differed from a large majority in that House as to the means by which that crisis ought to he met. He did not agree with the measure before them, because it did that which it ought not to do, and it left other matters untouched to which it ought to have attended. He maintained that a bishop was not a territorial title; it was merely an office in the Church, as old as Christianity itself. The present question was one totally distinct and different from that of monastic establishments; he therefore thought it would be a violation of civil and religious liberty to interfere with those bishops, but at the same time considered that measures ought to be taken to inquire into the management of monastic establishments. He should be happy to support a measure which should have the effect of placing those establishments under some sort of inspection and control. They were springing up in all parts of the country, and if the Roman Catholics in England should be so infatuated as to go over again to the system of the Jesuits, and to place their children in the hands of those monastic institutions, he thought it was a case calling for legislative interference. Everybody should deplore that system which for the last 200 years existed on the Continent, or under which a young female was compelled at a certain age either to marry within a certain time, or to take the veil, and through the means of which, even in the opinion of many Roman Catholics themselves, the higher ranks of society, in many countries, had become so debased and disorganised. He would not have trespassed at all on the House, but he was anxious briefly to state the reason which induced him to vote against those with whom he generally acted, and in a manner which might endanger his seat for the borough he represented; hut he felt himself bound to record his opinion against the Bill, for he thought the proper mode of meeting this aggression, which, at any rate, in its present features he maintained to be purely a spiritual one, was not by restraints and penalties, but free discussion and fair persuasion, those legitimate means of propagating truth, to which the reformed religion owed its triumphs in the sixteenth century, and by which alone it could be perpetuated in our times.
was glad that he had given way to the hon. Gentleman who had just addressed them, and who had shown that in any vote which he might give he would he actuated by none but the best and most honourable motives. In much of what he had said he fully concurred, but he should nevertheless differ from him in the vote which he should give upon this occasion. The hon. Gentleman's statement as to there being a general crusade going on upon the part of the Absolutists of the Roman Catholic Church against the religion of this country was not a very strong argument for opposing a measure the object of which was to place a restraint on the assumption of temporal power by the Pope over the subjects of this country. The hon. Gentleman the Member for the county of Cork had told them that the proposed Bill was an invasion of the Act of 1829. If he (Mr. Goulburn) regarded it in that light, he would not support it. He had been a party to the framing of that compact between the Roman Catholic body and the people of this country, and he would not knowingly, either in favour of one party or the other, depart from its provisions, or consent to the violation of its spirit. But in the present measure he saw no violation of that Act, for the Act of 1829 contained a specific and direct prohibition of the assumption of the titles of any existing see by any bishop of the Roman Catholic Church; and when the hon. Gentleman told them, with a kind of threat, that if they attempted to enforce the prohibition which that Act imposed, they would not find a Catholic jury to convict a person indicted under the law, he did not think that the hon. Gentleman acted fairly by his Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen, in imputing to them that they would not be as ready, either honestly to administer the law, or to fulfil the provisions of a compact that had been entered into for their special benefit in the year 1829, as any Protestant. He (Mr. Goulburn) asserted that the act of the Pope was an act of aggression. He did not deny that with an act of aggression—taken in a purely religious sense—he might not he prepared to deal, for he believed that every religion that had sincere followers and believers was naturally aggressive. The Roman Catholics endeavoured, by teaching and preaching, to extend the doctrines they professed. To that there could be no objection. Protestants did the same; and to that extent he thought the conflict was a fair one, and so long as we had the Bible open to the people, and provided persons competent to instruct them, he should have no fear of the result of such a religious aggression. But what he did object to in the act of the Pope was, that it was an act of civil aggression—that it invaded the authority of the Crown by dealing with temporal titles, the conferring of which belonged to the Crown—that it invaded the privileges of the Established Church, and assailed the Protestantism of the country. Upon that ground he objected to the measure which the Pope had been advised to take—a measure utterly unprovoked by any act which had been done with respect to Roman Catholics. He had heard it said that the act of the Pope was in revenge for some supposed misconduct of the noble Lord opposite (the Foreign Secretary) in having lent himself to some proceedings in Rome which had led to the expulsion of the Pope. He could not believe such a statement, although he had heard it from authorities which he should not otherwise be disposed to doubt. If that were the motive, however—if the Pope thought that ecclesiastical arrangements were to be made in this country in resentment of political injury that he might suppose himself to have sustained in his character of temporal Sovereign, could the House have a stronger reason for controlling those ecclesiastical arrangements which were not necessary for religious objects, but were intended to introduce here a civil power which might disturb our peace and defeat our internal civil polity. He had said that this measure was unprovoked. Let them look back to the history of the last few years, and he asked when was there a period when there was a greater disposition on the part of that House and the country to give to Roman Catholics every equality of privilege, and to withdraw everything that could look like censure or distrust of them? Why, each year had been marked by some new concession, and by the withdrawal of laws which were supposed to reflect upon the character or hurt the feelings of Roman Catholics. The only reward for these concessions was, that on the part of the Sovereign Pontiff measures were now attempted to he inflicted upon us which amounted, in fact, to an invasion of the rights of the Crown, and an infringement of the constitution. Further, he contended that this act of the Pope, unprovoked as it was, was not necessary to the exorcise of the Roman Catholic religion. If it were true that they could not have episcopal superintendence without the adoption of this measure, he would have been content to have made great sacrifices in order to insure them such superintendence. But that was not the case. They had every benefit of a system of superintendence which could be required in a religious sense. He had been long enough in Parliament to remember twenty years of Roman Catholic grievances annually stated, annually debated, and at length terminated by the Act of 1829. He had heard reiterated over and over again every Roman Catholic grievance, real and imaginary; but during the whole course of that period, though he had heard of the grievous infliction of not being admitted into a vestry, and of not being allowed to become churchwarden, it had never been pretended for a moment, so far as he remembered, that vicars-apostolic in England did not amply satisfy every religious want of the Roman Catholic population. He remembered, moreover, a rescript of the Propaganda itself, in the year 1813, when it was under discussion what restrictions ought to be placed upon the Roman Catholic Church in case of emancipation, in which the grounds were stated upon which the Propaganda would consent to superintendence over their bishops by the Crown of England. Two systems were laid down in that rescript, one to apply to Ireland, where there was a system of bishops already established, and the other providing permanently for vicars-apostolic in England. The advocates of the Roman Catholics in Parliament maintained in classical English what the Propaganda admitted in barbarous Latin, the principle for which he was now contending, that the Roman Catholic religion did not require more than vicars-apostolic to secure a free and full exercise of episcopal superintendence. If, therefore, this measure had been unprovoked on the part of the Pope—if, also, it were not necessary to the establishment of the Roman Catholic religion, why had it been introduced? What was the end of exchanging vicars-apostolic in England for bishops of dioceses? The difference was immaterial to the Roman Catholics, but most material to the Protestant part of this community. There could be no doubt, as was stated with that clearness and ability with which he handled every subject, by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Plymouth, that in the commission appointing vicars-apostolic jurisdiction was given them over personas omnes; but when his hon. and learned Friend meant to say that they had thereby all the powers of a regularly appointed bishop of a diocese, he must have forgotten that the preamble of the commission appointing vicars-apostolic expressly stated that it applied only to Roman Catholics within the jurisdiction, and not to others who were not of the Roman Catholic religion. The jurisdiction was specially limited to Roman Catholics, for whom as resident in a heretical country the Pope felt compassion, and for whose religious exercise he desired to provide as it was expressed, Non sine magnâ viscerum commotione. But the bishop of a diocese stood in a very different position, for every one who had been baptised, equally with the members of the Roman Catholic Church, was subject to the laws which the Pope enabled him, so far as he had power, to give effect to. It was asked, however, "Where is the injury?—the Pope has no power to give effect to the canon law in this country, and therefore he cannot interfere with the rights and privileges of other persons who do not belong to the Roman Catholic religion?" His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Plymouth had much insisted upon this in his ablest arguments upon the subject; but he thought there were one or two expressions in the speech of his hon. and learned Friend which seemed to imply that the canon law, though not executed by means of the temporal or civil law of the country, might yet have effect. The excommunication of persons was part of the power conferred upon the bishop of a diocese; and would any one pretend to say, in a diocese where there were a large portion of Roman Catholics and a certain body of other communions, that excommunicating persons, treating them as heretics and schismatics, was not a subject of annoyance, of inconvenience, and of injury to those to whom it was applied? His hon. and learned Friend stated distinctly that if the Queen were excommunicated, there might be a case for interference; but upon this point he (Mr. Goulburn) saw no difference between the Queen and Her subjects. What carried with it injury to one, was equally injurious to the other. He asserted that by this measure the Pope had usurped a civil authority, which, if they intended to maintain the civil liberty of this country, they were bound to resist; or, if not, they must submit to consequences to which he certainly was not prepared to submit. At the same time, with respect to the mode in which this aggression had been met, he begged not to be supposed by the vote he should give, to approve the whole course of proceeding that had been taken upon that head. He thought that more modera-ration on the part of the Government, in the first instance, and a less disposition to aggravate the feeling that prevailed throughout the country, would have led to a more calm and deliberate discussion of the subject than had taken place; and he could not but feel that the discrepancy between the measure which it was proposed to introduce, and the original excitement to which the act of the Government had, in a great degree, contributed, was calculated to produce a prejudicial effect. But he was not now called upon to consider what would have been the best course had they now to deal with the question ab initio. They had a Bill before them, and the question was, should they reject or adopt that Bill? If they rejected it, had they the means of introducing other measures which they might think better calculated to resist a Power, the progress of which it was their duty to resist? and, if not, could they take a better mode of making a specific declaration that the measure of the Pope was one against which this country felt bound, with all its force and power, to remonstrate; and that they would maintain restrictions in reference to it until the time should come when the Pope, acting under better advice, should restore things to the state in which they were when he chose to invade us with this new weapon of annoyance and discord? He might be told that that time never would arrive, for that the Pope having issued a bull never could withdraw it. He knew that that was a very favourite argument, but it was not one that was sanctioned by history. The Pope, if he pleased, and wished to conciliate the good-will of this country, could recall the bull by which he had constituted these dioceses in England. He had the power of withdrawing the bull, as he had done in many preceding instances in other countries. He would, not detain the House, or he could mention precedents in which, when the monarchs of other countries had objected to the ap- pointment of bishops, the Pope had thought fit to make a change in his original determination. But he need not go back to history for them. Not later than two days since he saw by the newspapers, in the accounts from Rome, that the Pope himself had, with respect to the diocese of Goa, on the coast of Africa, thought fit to recall the bishop appointed to that see, and to consign it again to the charge of vicars-apostolic. He asked the Pope to do the same here—to withdraw his bull, to recall the bishops, and to restore again the vicars-apostolic, under whom for upwards of 300 years the Catholics of this country had been quietly and without complaint governed. These vicars-apostolic were in existence in this country during the period at which the Catholics possessed some power, he meant in "the happy times of James II." (to use the language of the brief), yet they were never objected to as being insufficient, or as fit to be abolished in favour of bishops. Let the Pope do that, and the restrictions of this Bill would become unnecessary, and would be readily repealed. They had been told that their course of proceeding was adverse to liberty, and was an act of persecution against the Roman Catholics. The hon. Member for the county of Cork had specially charged them with persecution in refusing to sanction the appointment of Roman Catholic bishops, with territorial titles, in lieu of vicars-apostolic, and had read the House a lesson upon charity. "How cruel you are," said the hon. Member, "to interfere with our episcopal arrangements, when I"—innocent man—"only wish to abolish the whole Irish Church Establishment, and to leave the Protestants in that country without any episcopacy at all." Those were the hon. Gentleman's ideas of charity and persecution. He (Mr. Goulburn) felt that those who made appeals on behalf of religious liberty, should beware lest, by the abuse of that liberty, they were themselves led into religious persecution. A distinguished lady unjustly condemned to death, once said of civil liberty, "O! liberty! under thy name how many crimes are committed!" So it was with religious liberty. Those who wished to make encroachments upon the liberty of others, and found their attempts resisted, cried out for religious liberty, forgetting that the first step towards religious liberty was to allow that liberty to those from whom they differed. What persecution, he asked, had been committed, especially with regard to Ireland? The Bill would inflict no injury upon Ireland, for that country had now its Roman Catholic bishops, who exercised spiritual jurisdiction within their particular districts, and who were, under a law of many years standing, prohibited from taking titles from them. The Roman Catholics did not demand more bishops in Ireland; they said they were content with their present episcopacy; but yet this Bill was designated as an act of tyranny, oppression, and persecution. He contended that there was no persecution in the Protestants of this country protecting themselves against the evil he had mentioned. There was in private life a persecution which was most offensive—that which an audacious and impudent bully sometimes displayed towards a man of quiet demeanour and Christian principles, who was induced to submit to injury, to loss of property, and to insult, rather than vindicate himself by litigation or hostility. The forbearance or submission of such a man was often construed to be cowardice, and led to repetition of injuries which was real persecution. In the same manner, if in public affairs they allowed a class of persons, or a foreign Power like the Pope, to go on gradually encroaching upon their forbearance and kind feeling towards their Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, they were sanctioning an exercise of tyrannous authority—be it of the Pope or any other power—and inflicting upon the mass of the community what was real persecution, what would be ultimately felt as persecution, and would rouse a spirit of hostility detrimental to the social happiness and general peace of the country. He would vote for the Bill, because he held it to be a protest directed against the encroachment made upon the sovereign power of the Queen, upon the Protestantism of England, and upon our Established Church.
said, that when a very talented woman in his country once published an essay on Irish Bulls, the president of a farmers' club moved that a copy of the work should be taken in by the society, with a view to the improvement of the breed of cattle in Galway. Now, he thought that the discussions which had taken place on Papal bulls, had tended as little to any useful legislation, on this or any other question, as Miss Edgeworth's essay had contributed to the improvement of Irish cattle. The manner in which the question had been discussed had only served to awaken feelings of religious discord in this country and Ireland—to set man against man—to create new religious feuds where all had been settling down to peace and quietness—to revive ancient disputes on the Catholic question—and to make the House of Commons the arena of ecclesiastical censure and religious rancour and intolerance. The manner in which some hon. Gentlemen had spoken, in these debates, of the consequences they feared and apprehended from what had been done by the Pope, was perfectly absurd; and they seemed to think, that unless they punished Cardinal Wiseman, they would have another St. Bartholomew massacre, and other Smithfield fires. But when they talked of horrors such as those, did they want others to retort upon them the horrors perpretrated under Henry VIII. in England, or John Knox in Scotland, or the infamous robberies, murders, and burnings of Cromwell in Ireland? Did they wish them to rake up such scenes as those? Why, then, go on in this miserable and disgraceful style of language? Let them not put down such things either to Catholics or to Protestants; but attribute such atrocities to their real cause—to the corruption of human nature, and the infamous passions of mankind. It was said that the Pope had insulted them—had insulted the Queen on the throne—and assumed temporal power and authority in this country. But he thought he could show them that nothing could have been more remote from the Pope's intention than to do anything of the sort. Why, indeed, should the Pope desire to insult the Queen of this country—of a country in which he was about to establish a hierarchy? There were very many reasons why such should not have been his intention. In the first place—as had been observed by the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken—the Pope was quite cognisant of the fact that the Parliament of this country had, for many years past, been removing one by one all causes of complaint on the part of the Roman Catholics. There was, first, the Act of 1829; then the Act relating to Charitable Bequests—by which, for the first time, he believed, Roman Catholic archbishops and bishops were recognised as such in an Act of the Legislature; then the Act granting very large additional allowances to the College of Maynooth, where the Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland received their education, and turning an annual grant into a permanent charge on the Consolidated Fund; then came the recognition of the Roman Catholic archbishops and bishops in Ireland by Her Majesty, and of the Government of that country; and there was likewise the acknowledgment by this country of the Roman Catholic bishops in the colonies. There was also the Bill for the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Court of Rome, which had been suspended for a great number of years. All these acts, no doubt, went to make the Pope believe that it would be no offence whatever to the British Crown, the British Government, or the British people, that he should regulate the spiritual matters of the Roman Catholic Church in the manner in which the Roman Catholic people in England or Ireland thought most conducive to the welfare of their church. But there was yet one other circumstance that was still more strongly calculated to confirm the Pope in that opinion—viz., the fact that the Pope had, within the last three years, constituted a new bishop in Ireland without giving offence to Her Majesty, to the British people, or to any person in the whole empire. What difference was there—as Ireland was a portion of this great kingdom—between Galway and Westminster or Birmingham? Where was the distinction, in point of offence or aggression, if offence or aggression such things could possibly be considered to be? But it was said that the wording, the manner, and the publication of the bull gave offence. And yet the very same words were used in the Galway rescript in 1847 as in the Westminster or the Birmingham ones of 1850; and they were the ipissima verba that had been used in similar cases for centuries past. But it had been said, "Why not go on with the vicars-apostolic, who had been quite sufficient and quite satisfactory?" His answer was, that the Roman Catholics alone were the proper judges as to whether they had been satisfactory. The noble Lord the Member for Arundel had stated that he and others had petitioned the Pope three years ago to appoint bishops in place of vicars-apostolic—a fact which at once contradicted the assertion that the vicars-apostolic were wholly satisfactory to the Roman Catholics, and disposed, at the same time, of the absurd statement that the Pope had committed this act to spite the noble Lord at the head of Foreign Affairs. The reason, for the most part, why the Roman Catholics preferred bishops to vicars-apostolic was because the former were more independent. It was that consideration, doubtless, which was alluded to in the passage quoted from the pastoral of the Cardinal by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge. The truth, is bishops ought to be preferred by the opponents of the Pope, because they cannot be removed by the Pope unless they have violated the written laws of the Church; whereas vicars-apostolic can he removed at pleasure. But it was said that the Roman Catholic religion "cramped the intellect and enslaved the soul;" and it had been said by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, the other Member for the Univerity of Cambridge, that certain countries were in a state of poverty and misery because the Roman Catholic religion there was in the ascendant. But did not the historic recollections of the hon. and learned Gentleman remind him that all countries had their days of prosperity and adversity, and that the Italian Republic, and the other lands alluded to were in the highest state of power and civilisation while this country was in a condition of comparative ignorance and insignificance? Did he not remember that the Popes had ever been the patrons of art, science, and civilisation? That they rescued science and literature from the dust and darkness that obscured them, caused by the invasion of the Huns, the Goths, and the Vandals? Did he forget that Roman Catholic ages had seen such men as Gregory the Great, Tasso, Ariosto, Dante, Guido, Raffaelle, Domenichino? Did the hon. Member forget that the two great nations in Europe are Belgium and France, both Catholic? He never could have heard of such names as Mazarin, Richelieu, Massillon, Bossuet, or Fenelon, or he never would have made such statements. But, leaving foreign countries, he would draw back the hon. and learned Member's memory to England. Were not our Henrys and Edwards, the winners of the proud fields of Cressy and Agincourt, Roman Catholics? Who won for Englishmen the grand foundation of their liberties and prosperity—Magna Charta? Was it not the proud Roman Catholic barons of England, headed by a Roman Catholic bishop, Stephen Langton, whom even the infidel Hume, who never lost an opportunity of scoffing at ecclesiastics, was obliged to eulogise? There was not a country in Europe that now enjoyed such liberty as Catholic France, or that had excelled more in arts, or science, or literature, in statesmanship, or war? Who erected the noble edifices dedicated to religion that studded our own country, York Minster, Salisbury, Westminster? Roman Catholics. Why should Christians, repeating the same creed, quarrel with their Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, because on some points they interpreted differently that holy book, which it would be well if all would study more devoutly before coming to debates in that House, for its first great principle was charity. In the words of that book he would say, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." This raking up of old musty chronicles was unworthy of Englishmen. No insult was meant; if there had been, the right course would have been to open a diplomatic communication with Rome. He implored the House, therefore, in the name of charity, in the name of their common Christianity, not to act as ferocious beasts towards each other, but to allow every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. This paltry foolish Bill would be an impotent measure, and a disgrace to the Statute-book. If Ireland, in times gone by, was the difficulty of a great statesman—a statesman greater than any now on the Treasury benches—it would, after the passing of this Bill, be a still greater difficulty. He implored them, if it was not too late, if they did not wish to drive every man who could put 10l. into his pocket out of Ireland, not to pursue this contemptible but insulting Bill any farther.
said, that he was sorry to interpose between the House and hon. Members who were so far more competent than himself to discuss the question: but if a strong sense of the importance of a subject, and a diligent effort to make himself acquainted with its merits, formed any grounds for asking the attention of the House, those claims be could certainly advance. Never had he entered upon the consideration of any question which seemed to him more pregnant with great and important consequences. Never had he approached any subject on which it had appeared that the course of legislation upon which the House was about to embark, was more likely to produce important results to all the great interests of the country. He would say one word as to the feelings with which he approached the consideration of the subject. They were told that if they supported the Bill now before the House, they would be guilty of persecution and of taking a retrograde step with reference to the Act of 1829. As to the charge of persecution, no man in that House felt a greater or a deeper interest in the welfare and progress of Ireland than himself. He often visited that country, and he never came from thence without feeling an earnest desire to witness the end of all the grievous calamities which he had found existing in different parts of that unhappy country. He could truly say also, with regard to the Roman Catholics of England, that a body of persons more loyal, more exemplary in their conduct, or more really deserving the attention and consideration of the Legislature, did not exist. He could never forget that in bygone days of darkness and danger, when a Roman Catholic admiral was at the head of the English fleet, many highly-respectable members of that communion, being prevented by their religion from serving as officers, embarked as private sailors and soldiers, and served their country in a far less elevated capacity than that to which their station and position entitled them. No one, therefore, could be more anxious than himself to do the fullest justice to Roman Catholics on both sides of the Channel. The Act of 1829 was passed simply with reference to civil privileges. It was an Act totally unconnected with the subject now under discussion, with the exception of one particular clause; and with that exception, from its commencement to its conclusion, there was not the slightest reference to matters of a spiritual character. That particular clause imposed a penalty on those Roman Catholic Prelates who should take the titles of existing sees of the Established Church; and it was said that the titles of other sees might be taken because they were not named in the Act. But those who advanced that argument forgot that any person who took titles by virtue of any bull or brief from the Pope, was, until the last four years, guilty of treason. It could not therefore be said, that in now passing a Bill upon the principle of that particular clause, the House was taking a retrograde step in reference to the Act of 1829. Those who charged the supporters of this Bill with persecution should remember who originated the transaction upon which the legislation now proposed was founded, and who were the parties attacked. He was a Protestant, and there had come into England a person armed with the instrument, and acting under the authority, of a foreign potentate, who asserted a spiritual jurisdic- tion over him. An archbishop's throne had been set up in the neighbourhood of Lambeth, by the authority of a foreign potentate, which claimed jurisdiction over all baptised persons. Because he, as an Englishman and the member of another communion, and that the national one, resisted this attack, was he to be charged with persecution? All he did was to take up a position of self-defence, and no construction of the English language that he had ever heard of, could bring that line of conduct within the term, persecution. Let the House consider precisely what the question now before it was. The question was not, what would have been most proper to have been done at the time when this aggression was first made known, or what ought to have been done when Parliament met; but under the circumstances in which they were placed, this Bill being now before the House, and the circumstances of the country precisely what they were at the present time, whether the measure should be read a second time? The principle now before them for discussion was not a new principle. By a long course of statutory enactments, extending over a period of 150 years, the principle involved in the question now at issue had been from time to time enforced in one uniform manner. The question really was, how is an Episcopacy to be dealt with in countries where it is not the Episcopacy of the established religion? This problem had been solved in respect to Scotland repeatedly, from the year 1710 to the present time; and the manner in which the subject had been treated in respect of Scotland, was deserving of peculiar attention. In the 5th of Queen Anne, cap. 8, sec. 10, instead of the language usual in Acts descriptive of the clergy of English parishes, the Episcopal clergy of Scotland were described as "the pastors of the Episcopal congregations in Scotland;" and in that Act the House would find that reference was not made to the clergy with reference to parishes or places, but studiously with reference only to congregations. That statute was most important to the point now at issue, and for this reason: Lord Somers, the most important by far of all the statesmen then connected with transactions of this nature, had the Articles of Union drawn under his direction, and that, too, only five years previous to the passing of that statute. It was reasonable to suppose that the use of these par- ticular words had attracted his attention, and received his sanction; and that the particular position of the Episcopal Church in Scotland had been kept in view when the Act was framed. In the 19th of George II., passed in the time of Lord Hardwicke, the same phraseology was carefully pursued—"pastors or ministers of any Episcopal congregation in Scotland;" the same expressions occurred in the 21st of George II., and the 32nd of George III., and so down through all the intermediate Acts to the 3rd and 4th Victoria, which was passed for the protection of the Episcopalians of Scotland; and that Act, enunciating the same principle, spoke of bishops in Scotland not as bishops of territorial dioceses, but as the "bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Scotland," and of the clergy as the clergy "canonically ordained by the bishops of that Church." From the first to the last, throughout all these Acts, the same form of expression was maintained, indicating clearly that where Parliament dealt with an episcopate which was not an episcopate of an Established Church, it had advisedly used language which marked a distinction between an authority over places, and an authority over congregations. Then came the Act of the 5th of Victoria, which had attracted a good deal of attention, and had been alluded to by Mr. Bowyer and Cardinal Wiseman; but in that Act, speaking of bishops in foreign countries, it only designated them as being placed over "British congregations, or other congregations desirous of being under their authority." Thus when our legislators were dealing with Episcopacy where it was not established, there was a careful adoption of the same form of expression. Again, the 7th and 8th of Victoria, the Charitable Bequests Act, spoke of the bishops of the Church of Rome as bishops over persons, and not over places. Throughout, then, all these Acts of Parliament, whether in reference to Scottish Episcopalians, to English Episcopalians, or Romish Episcopalians, there was the uniform adoption of the same phraseology. He could not, however, admit that the Scotch bishops ought to be looked upon in the same manner as the Romanist prelates. In point of fact, no doubt, both acted in defiance of the law; but Dr. M'Hale and the new Romanist bishops in England not only acted against the express letter of the law, but derived their titles from a foreign potentate, which could not be said of the Scot- tish bishops. That consideration, in his opinion, made a vast difference. The conduct of the Pope had been, with reference to those titles, ably reviewed by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goulburn), who had proved that it was in direct contravention to the general laws of Europe. It was also an equally manifest violation of the English law. Hon. Members had no doubt read the speech of Sir Edward Sugden, which showed most distinctly that not only the spirit but the letter of the law of England had been violated. He begged that the House would, for a moment, attend to the words in which Cardinal Wiseman had asserted the authority by which he acted in the late aggression he had made upon this country; in order that they might clearly see the offence which he had committed. In the Pastoral which had been published by the Cardinal, and which had been so often referred to in the House, that it would be unnecessary for him to read the words, he first recites the authority of the Pope, under which he was acting, and then goes on to assert, that thenceforth he, in consequence, "governs the land with ordinary jurisdiction," and so forth. The effect of the Pastoral was shortly this, that the Legislature having deliberately enacted that no one should, under any pretence whatsoever, cite and use the authority of the Pope, or act under the same, in this country, at the peril of being guilty of a grave offence, here was a man who came into the country to do certain things, and for the doing of these things distinctly traced his authority to the Pope himself, and thereby committed the very offence which was forbidden in the statute. But a much more important point was this. Without doubt the Queen was the fountain of all honour. Any person taking office under any foreign Government, without having first received the consent and authority of the Sovereign for such an act, was guilty of an offence. Now, as regarded the office of a bishop, that office in very early times was a merely spiritual office; under Constantine it was placed on the footing of a magistracy; and in the times of the Norman Conquerors it came to participate with the institutions of the country in the feudal nature of the Government, and was placed on a feudal basis. It thus became and has since continued to be a territorial office; he that assumed it took upon himself a territorial office, and he who assumed such an office at the bidding of a foreign prince, without the sanction and authority of the Sovereign of the country, offended against that Sovereign's prerogative. Another point in which he felt that Cardinal Wiseman had offended against the institutions of the country, and the Church especially of which Her Majesty was the supreme head, was, that the aggressive act was, in point of fact, a practical assertion that all the sacraments of our Church were nullities; and that all the appointments of bishops, the appointments of archbishops, and indeed all the appointments made in that Church, were entirely void and invalid. This point had been already explained at large; but that he was right in so interpreting the conduct of the prelate, would appear from the effect which Roman Catholics themselves attributed to the acts of which Cardinal Wiseman had been guilty. Another very serious consideration with him was, the introduction into this country of the canon law. They were told by the advocates of Cardinal Wiseman that the establishment of a regular hierarchy in this country was an act preliminary and necessary to the introduction of the canon law, because, without the hierarchy, that law could not take effect. Well, to illustrate the working of the canon law, let them take the question of the Irish colleges. If the Pope issue a brief, condemning these colleges, and there be no hierarchy in Ireland at the time, then it was a mere matter of option with the people, whether they would avail themselves of the colleges or not; but if, on the other hand, a hierarchy were established, then, by virtue of the canon law, every man was bound—there was no option left, but everyone must bow to the decision which the Pope had authoritatively promulgated in his brief. So great was the difference in Ireland or England, whether placed under the rule of vicars-apostolic, or made subordinate to the authority of a regularly-established hierarchy. The House had been reminded by the hon. Gentleman (Sir W. Barron) of those who had been the great champions of the country in our early constitutional struggles for freedom. These were, he said, Roman Catholics; but what did they do? What had been the great subject of contest in those times? Why, that the Pope of Rome should not reduce this country under his thraldom. What was the meaning of that well-known and oft-quoted declaration of which their posterity were still proud—Nolumus leges Angliœ mutari? Why, that they would not allow the introduction of the canon law. ["No, no! it was the civil law."] He begged their pardon, it was both the civil law and the canon law. ["No, no!"] Well, he must refer them to the history of the times. After debating this subject so long as the House had now been engaged with it, he would ask why no one of the many Roman Catholic Members who had spoken had pointed out any one spiritual want, which had not been satisfied under the system of the vicars-apostolic? He was not one who wished to deprive Roman Catholics of any one practical spiritual benefit; but they had been told over and over again that vicars-apostolic had not been able to supply all the spiritual wants of the country, yet no one of the Roman Catholic Members had pointed out one want which those vicars had not supplied. They had had various instances of change in the particular appointments made by the Pope, according to the exigencies of the country, now of arch-priests, then of vicars-apostolic, but not one instance had been given of a want which the vicars-apostolic had not been able to supply. The House, however, had been challenged to show that the Sovereign had been insulted; and, indeed, the hon. Member for Plymouth (Mr. Roundell Palmer) seemed in his argument to say that if that fact were established, he would vote for any measure of any kind which the noble Lord might think it necessary to propose. He laid down a rule, too, for ascertaining what it was that constituted an insult; he said he would not take that as an insult which was not intended to be one. A very good rule, no doubt; but he (Mr. Calvert) wished to know how they were to ascertain whether or not an insult was intended. By the precise facts of the case, without doubt. It was well known, of course, to the House, that an Act had been passed establishing relations with the Court of Rome. Then, if the Pope wished to make alterations in the government and organisation of the Roman Catholic Church in this country, he might have communicated his intention to the Government of this country under the Act so passed, and thus have seen whether or not his proposal would have been acceptable to the Sovereign of Great Britain. But instead of using any such alternative, he at once proceeded with the act, which was now viewed as an act of aggression upon Her Majesty's prerogative. His very words were chosen as if for the purpose of giving offence; he called this country Catholic England, meaning thereby, if the words meant anything, Roman Catholic England. This phrase entirely misrepresented Her Majesty's subjects; it had a still more serious import with regard to Her Majesty herself. For, if England were Roman Catholic, why were the Stuarts not still upon the throne? The words cannot he disconnected with the contest of 1688. They called in question the claim of Her Majesty to govern this realm. But, again, by this language the Pope meant to ignore the Reformation. Before the Reformation, "England" was the right name; the name of the kingdom with which the Popes were acquainted, when the country was Roman Catholic, but the kingdom of "England" now no longer existed; the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was now the name and style of Her Majesty's dominions. He (Mr. Calvert) thought that the Pope, by the use of this significant language, as well as by his acts, had been guilty of a direct and violent insult to the supreme authority in this country. The office of a bishop was in part a spiritual, and in part a temporal office; and the question always had been, how far the Sovereign should interfere so as not to leave the appointment exclusively in the hands of the Pope. Of late, however, the Pope had determined to encroach upon the prerogatives of foreign countries, so that in all the countries mentioned in the course of the debate, in Belgium, Sardinia, Switzerland, and Italy, indeed in every country in Europe, there had been encroachment more or less on the part of the Pope. In 1825, when this matter was under consideration before a Committee of that House, Dr. Doyle in his evidence stated that his feeling and his expression must be that the best security they (the Roman Catholics) could offer, the fairest and most effectual thing that could be wished was, that the bishops be "domestic;" that the election of them be in the hands of British subjects; and that, under this system, the authorities of this country should not interfere with them except to impose the oath of allegiance. Dr. Murray gave evidence to the same effect; and at a meeting in Dublin, held shortly after, they resolved that they would never consent to the veto, but that they would contend for domestic nomination. So, then, from domestic nomination the Pope had gone on with his gradual encroachments, to the nomination and creation of bishops, and thence to the appointment of an Archbishop of Westmin- ster. If they suffered this particular act to pass unnoticed, they would soon have another; and that again would be the foundation of successive encroachments. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Plymouth (Mr. Roundell Palmer), in discussing this question with great ability the other night, referred to the state of other religious denominations in this country, and said, "Why, if you allow them the liberty of free action, do you not allow the same liberty to Roman Catholics?" According to the view of his hon. and learned Friend, he (Mr. Calvert) could not imagine any event that he would consider a just provocation of resistance unless it were the ships of the Armada actually appearing within view of our coast. He begged to remind his hon. and learned Friend that there was no body of Dissenters in this country that questioned in any way the order or existence of the bishops of the Established Church; that there was no one with whom the spiritual power was attempted to be advanced over the temporal power. Now, this was a material matter. If they went through every one of the Dissenting Conferences or Assemblies, they would always find that they placed the temporal over the spiritual; whereas the essence of the Romish Church was, that it placed the spiritual over the temporal; and his belief was that no country was safe, unless the temporal was placed above the spiritual power. The noble Lord at the head of the Government, in his admirable speech in introducing the Bill, clearly showed that this was the point to which they should always address themselves; and he (Mr. Calvert) must say that if there was one lesson more than another taught, not only by that portion of our history when this country was Roman Catholic, but in that portion of our history since the country had been Protestant, it was this, that nothing should induce them to consent to the temporal power being subjected to the spiritual. There was another distinction between the Roman Catholics and every other religious body in this country: it was this, that the Wesleyan Conference, for example, was a conference composed of Englishmen, with English feelings and purposes only; that, whatever objects they might have in view, they never contemplated the accomplishment of anything for the benefit of a strange country. But could this be said of the Roman Catholics? Was there not in their case the danger that the power and pre-eminence of the Pope might be promoted in this country; and not merely of the, Pope, but of the Sovereigns or Governments influencing the Pope? At this moment the French were in possession of Rome. Now, he did not believe that France had at present any sinister feeling towards England; but was there no other Power which, if it were in possession of Rome, and if a bold and unscrupulous Minister happened to be in office at the time, might not make use of the influence of Rome, for the purpose of embarrassing an authority which it knew was favourable to the promotion of constitutional government? This, then, was another great and broad distinction between the acts of such a body as the Wesleyan Conference and the Episcopate of Cardinal Wiseman; and he believed that this distinction lay at the root of the liberty and independence of this country. It had been said that the present was a small measure. He admitted that it was a small measure, but he did not think that therefore it ought to be opposed. He had great confidence in the noble Lord at the head of the Ministry; he cordially concurred in those principles upon which the noble Lord had stated that he was prepared to legislate; and nothing would ever induce him to consent to the introduction of Papal authority in this country, if he could possibly avoid it. If the present course of aggression was pursued, still further legislation might be necessary; but, if so, he for one would not be sorry that they had afforded the Pontiff a locus pœnitentiœ; that they had given him an opportunity of withdrawing his brief, and retracing his steps, and preventing the enormous evils which this step was calculated to produce. When hon. Members talked of the dissension which would arise out of this discussion, he (Mr. Calvert) would remind them that the sin of that dissension lay with the Pontiff, who had made the act of aggression—that he alone was responsible for it, not those who resisted the aggression. The latter were only doing their duty in resisting the step, and in endeavouring to rescue their country from the consequences that would naturally ensue from it. The House might depend upon it that, of all the bodies in this country to whom their firmness in this matter was important, it was of most importance to the Roman Catholics themselves; for if the House should not be firm, the Catholic laity would be subjected to a grinding tyranny. It was, above all, essential that there should be as much una- nimity as possible in the decision at which they arrived. They might rest assured that the number 395 had re-echoed as a solemn warning to the Vatican that some caution was necessary in the future steps it took; and he (Mr. Calvert) would fain hope that there would be a still larger number on the second reading. He was aware that almost all the Roman Catholic Members had taken a part against this Bill. He did not know whether he ought to regard those as the advocates of liberty upon this occasion; but he begged to say that if they were the advocates of liberty it was not "because" they were Roman Catholics, but "although" they were Roman Catholics. For what country was there in which the Roman Catholic religion was dominant where spiritual freedom existed? The case of France could hardly be cited as an exception, because, in France, little deference was shown to religious authorities in matters of government. What was the case in Rome itself? Was there any religion allowed to be preached there but Popery? Was there a Protestant church admitted within the walls of Naples? A gentleman had lately been sent out of the island of Madeira for reading the Bible to some of his neighbours; and events of this kind were constantly occurring in Roman Catholic countries. He submitted to the House that hon. Members of every persuasion ought to combine to stop such events. The hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Bright) was, he believed, among the opponents of this Bill. He begged to ask that hon. Member if the Society of Friends had been able to establish themselves in any Roman Catholic country? He thanked the House for having so patiently listened to this his first address, and would implore them to stand fast in the assertion of their national independence and in the protection of the Protestant religion.
said, that having listened with the utmost care to the speeches of hon. Members opposite in support of this Bill, he had been struck with the logical inconsistency between their arguments and their votes. Their language, in effect, was this—"We are the friends of civil and religious liberty—we contend for complete toleration—and it is because we dread the establishment of a hierarchy in this country, and the introduction of the canon law, that we vote for a Bill which touches neither of these points." He confessed he was unable to reconcile this apparent inconsistency. He wished very shortly to state to the House the view which he took of this Bill; but, before he proceeded to discuss either the principle or the details of the Bill, he thought it right that they should come to a clear and explicit understanding of what the nature and character of this so-called Papal aggression really was, for upon that depended not only the character of their legislation, but whether or not they should legislate at all upon the subject. Now, from all that occurred, and from all that had been said, both within and without the walls of Parliament, he thought he was justified in saying that the view which was taken of this question was, that an act of temporal aggression had been committed—that the Pope's act was not regarded as a mere exercise of a spiritual right by the head of the Roman Catholic Church for the better guidance and government of that Church within this realm; but that it was considered to be an assumption of temporal power by the sovereign head of the Roman State. Such was the view taken by Her Majesty in Her Speech from the Throne; such was the view taken in all the addresses that had been presented to the Throne; such was the view taken by the noble Lord in his speech introducing the Bill, and in that of the right hon. Secretary of State for the Home Department in leaving out all the important clauses of the Bill; and such was the view taken on what remained of the Bill itself. Now, admitting, for the sake of argument, that a territorial aggression had been committed, how was this assumption of temporal power by a foreign Sovereign within these realms to be dealt with? The noble Lord at the head of the Government had stated that the law of England afforded no redress, for although there were some obsolete statutes in existence, yet they had been so long in disuse that it was extremely questionable whether a conviction under those statutes would ensue, and therefore he came to Parliament for further powers. But if an insult had really been offered to the Sovereign of these realms—if a foreign Power had really presumed to exercise authority within the dominions of Her Majesty, it was not to Parliament, he thought, that the Government should have appealed. He thought there was another tribunal—the public law of Europe—to which they might more fitly have appealed for redress; for, as was clearly shown by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the city of Oxford, in the course of the debate on Friday last, it was considered an essential prerogative of Majesty in foreign countries to prohibit the publication of bulls and the appointment of bishops without the consent of the Sovereign. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Plymouth, in his able and argumentative speech, in almost every word of which he cordially concurred, expressed a different opinion of the international law on this point, and said that the right in question was not inherent in the Sovereign of the State, but depended upon certain conditions, such as a concordat, or whether the Roman Catholic religion was more or less established in a State; so that doctors differed in law as well as in medicine. And he would read a passage upon the subject from the able pamphlet of Dr. Twiss, which would show that that learned Gentleman had arrived at a conclusion wholly different from that of his hon. and learned Friend. Dr. Twiss said—
And again he said—"There is no position in law so completely established with reference to the relations between the Holy See and the Sovereign Princes of Europe as that the exequatur of the Crown, or Royal placet, is requisite as an antecedent condition for the publication of a Papal rescript within the territory of a Sovereign Prince."
It was further stated by a German jurist that "the exequatur has been accounted so essentially connected with Royal Majesty that no Prince can abdicate or renounce it to the prejudice of his successor or the State." If, then, this right existed by international law, and if the Pope, by the creation of bishoprics in this country without the assent of the Sovereign, had infringed that law, it was not in the House of Commons that the matter ought to be argued, but in the Foreign Office, over which the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton presided; and he (Mr. Charteris) confessed he was surprised that the noble Lord had not taken the quarrel into his own hands, and settled it by summary process, with the help of Admiral Parker's fleet. But, before taking the law into our own hands, he could not but think that we ought to reflect whether we had not, to a certain extent, put ourselves out of court in dealing with this Sovereign Prince. This country stood in a different position from most of the countries of Europe. Other countries acknowledged the Pope as a temporal Prince; we had blindly attempted to ignore his existence, although, by one of the articles of the Treaty of Vienna, as contracting parties, we had acknowledged him to be one of the independent Sovereigns of Europe. And not only had we blindly persisted in the course of ignoring his existence, but when, in a lucid interval, the Legislature were induced to pass an Act enabling the Sovereign to enter into diplomatic relations with the Pope, they rendered the Bill wholly inoperative by attaching a particular clause to it which made it impossible for the Pope to act upon it. He thought it would be well to reflect whether or not it did not arise in a great measure from their own fault that they were at that moment discussing the question of Papal aggression; whether, in fact, the present measure had not arisen out of the same spirit of intolerance which had attributed the potato disease and the Irish famine to their having whitewashed the walls and mended the windows of Maynooth College. He felt confident, that if we had had a Minister at Rome the House would not at that moment be discussing this measure. But he, for one, could not bring himself to view the step which the Pope had taken in the light of a temporal aggression. It appeared to him to be a spiritual and a purely spiritual question, and that if they maintained inviolate the sacred principles of civil and religious liberty they would he incompetent to deal with it. What right had they to deny the Roman Catholics the liberty which they afforded to every other denomination within the realm, namely, the liberty of organising their church government according to their own forms? Was not episcopacy part and parcel of their ecclesiastical organisation? Nay, was not the episcopacy of the English Church derived from that of Rome? If he could see that any danger to this country was likely to accrue from the step taken by the Pope, he might be induced to support the Bill; but he confessed he was unable to see any. It established a hierarchy to superintend the Roman Catholic Church in this country; but it gave no power in civil matters. In the eye of the law they would be powerless. It would, no doubt, establish the canon law; but if that law, on any question of a temporal or civil kind, were to come into collision with the statute or common law, the canon law would have to bow before it. It ap- peared to him that it would be time enough to deal with a difficulty when it arose. If they should find from experience that the laws of this realm were not superior in temporal and civil matters to the canon law, let the Government then bring in a Bill to vindicate the common and statute law, and he would cordially support them. But he could not see why they should apprehend danger from the Roman Catholics, when in questions of civil and temporal affairs they themselves denied the supremacy of the Pope. What was the oath which was taken at the table of that House by every Roman Catholic Member? They declared that they "do not believe that the Pope of Rome, or any other foreign Prince, prelate, person, State, or potentate, hath or ought to have any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority, or pre-eminence, directly, or indirectly, within this realm." They further swore that they "will defend, to the utmost of their power, the settlement of property within this realm as established by the laws;" and this declaration they make "in the plain and ordinary sense of the words of the oath without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever." He would ask the House and the country whether they believed that the Roman Catholics took this oath with "mental reservation or equivocation?" He confessed it was with indignation that he heard the loyalty of the Roman Catholics questioned. They had given ample testimony of their loyalty. They had proved it in a hundred fights on flood and field, and in every clime; and he would ask hon. Gentlemen to say by whom the late Irish rebellion was suppressed, if not by the priests and the police? He would say, farther, that he believed the Roman Catholics were as loyal to their Sovereign and as attached to the institutions of the realm as the Protestants were; that the Roman Catholics and Protestant Anglo-Saxon equally inherited a love of liberty; and that neither of them would allow themselves to how the knee to any foreign potentate whatever. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the city of Oxford the other night referred to the attempts which were made in the times of Richard II. and Edward III., to curb the supremacy of Rome. Did the hon. and learned Gentleman suppose that when in those days of mental darkness, when all law and learning were centred in ecclesiastics, and when the Bible was a sealed book—the Roman Catholics were found vindicating their civil rights and liberties, that they were less likely to do so in these days, when education has shed a flood of light upon the world, and when the Bible is to he found in every cottage? He was opposed to all penal legislation on this subject. The safeguards of civil and religious liberty to which he looked were, the spread of education, the enlightenment of the people, the increased exertions of the clergy, and, above all, the influence of the divine truth of the Protestant faith, which he professed. He begged the attention of the House to the words of a distinguished statesman, who, speaking nearly half a century ago, said—"If there be any one principle of law which has received the sanction of that high usage and practice which constitutes a binding obligation on all the Powers of Christendom, it is this, that the Pope cannot set up the see of a bishop within the territory of an independent Sovereign without his consent."
Those were the words of Mr. Windham. A distinguished statesman of our own times said in that House not many days ago—"If conversion to Popery be an evil, law is not its proper remedy. If proselytism exists, it is a disgrace only to the clergyman in whose parish it takes place. What, if they do their duty, can members of the Church of England fear?"
Those were the words of the right hon. Secretary for the Home Department on moving the second reading of the Bill, and in the sentiments conveyed by them, he (Mr. Charteris) cordially concurred. Such sentiments, however, appeared not to find favour with hon. Gentlemen on the opposite (Ministerial) side of the House, who were desirous of legislation, however small—who were desirous of passing even the present measure, futile as it was for purposes of repression, though powerful to irritate. To induce the House to pass the Bill, the hon. and learned Member for the city of Oxford held out the prospect of something like another Spanish Armada or French invasion. But he (Mr. Charteris) would ask, whether at the period of our history when the Spanish Armada threatened England, a bloody penal code did not disgrace the Statute-book? He would ask whether the statute of the 13th of Elizabeth did not punish with death any one who might publish a bull of the Pope in England, and whether the 27th of Elizabeth did not inflict the penalty of death on any Roman Catholic priest who might be found in this country? It was at such a time, and not at a period of religious liberty like the present, that the Spanish Armada threatened our shores. Then with respect to a French invasion,—when, he asked, did the foot of a foreign invader last pollute our soil? It was at a time when Ireland was a prey to all the bitterness which can arise from religious animosities, and when the penal laws had excited a spirit of discontent in the people. Then it was that the French legions under Hoche trod the soil of Ireland, The historian Lingard stated—"It is not to any Act of Parliament that I look for the maintenance of the Protestant religion in these realms, but to that deep feeling of attachment to the Protestant faith which not only the members of the Established Church, but the members of every Protestant denomination, possess, and to which they have given utterance in language clear, unambiguous, and unmistakeable. It is to their just appreciation of the blessings connected with the maintenance of the Protestant faith in this country, that I look for the maintenance of that faith, accompanied, as it no doubt will be, with the increased diligence and activity of Protestant ministers in their respective spheres, armed, as I believe, with the armour of truth, to resist that spiritual aggression with which they have been threatened." [3 Hansard, cxiv,, 1135.]
On these grounds he was opposed to penal enactments. At the same time he thought the House ought not to pass over the arrogant and presumptuous tone assumed by the Pope. In his opinion it was not a fit subject for legislation, but he thought the House ought to pass resolutions as had been suggested in another place. He would also put an end to the absurdity of pretending to ignore the existence of the Pope as a temporal Power. Parliament might also revise the statutes of mortmain, with the view of guarding against evils now complained of; and, further, authorise in this country, as a measure of police, the exercise of a power which was exercised in every other country, namely, that of inspecting monasteries and other religious establishments. Such measures as those would prevent abuse, without interfering with the complete religious toleration which was the right of our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects. The Bill before the House, however, contained no such securities. It was a Bill which, in all probability, would never be enforced in England, while it was certain to be a dead letter in Ireland. It was viewed with contempt by the Protestants, and as an insult by the Roman Catholics. It would not prevent the complete organisation of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. It would not make Cardinal Wiseman one whit less Arch- bishop of Westminster than he was now. It would not prevent him from being designated by his title, and appearing under it at the altar. To futile legislation he was as much opposed as he was to penal enactments. He honoured and respected the Protestant feeling of the country, and though it had been roused by what had occurred, he hoped and believed that when the people saw the difficulty and danger with which all legislation on this subject was beset, they would be convinced of the inexpediency of encumbering the Statute-book with inoperative enactments, or of re-enacting penal laws, which, if effective, must necessarily interfere with our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects in the exercise of their religion, and thus violate the sacred principle of religious liberty."It is evident that neither Elizabeth nor her ministers understood the benefits of civil and religious liberty. The prerogatives which she so highly prized have long since withered away; the bloody code which she enacted against the rights of conscience has ceased to stain the pages of the Statute-book, and the result has proved that the abolition of despotism and intolerance adds no less to the stability of the Throne than to the happiness of the people."
said, that he would endeavour to deal with this question dispassionately. In the first place, he would state the position assumed by the opponents of the Bill. There was one set of arguments urged by those who took what might be called the Roman Catholic view of the controversy, and the pith and substance of their reasoning might be stated thus: an established and organised hierarchy, say they, is essential to the interests of our religion; we are therefore entitled to have such an organised hierarchy. We can obtain that hierarchy from the Roman Pontiff alone; we are therefore justified in having recourse to the Pope for the purpose of obtaining it; and the Pope is entitled to grant us that hierarchy, and to do all that is necessary for the purpose of establishing it. Now, that under the conclusions which they drew from their premises there lay an egregious fallacy, he thought it would not be difficult to show. But before proceeding to deal with it, he would add to this summary the substance of the arguments of those members of the Protant community who were also opposed to legislation on this subject. They said, "You have, by the whole course of your legislation in recent times, conceded to the Roman Catholics the right to the full, free, unrestricted exercise and enjoyment of their religion. Now, an established hierarchy is essential to such exercise and enjoyment: therefore you are bound to complete the work you have commenced, and to grant to them the establishment of that hierarchy." These were the substance of the arguments of the two sections of the opponents of the Bill; and, according to his view, it was impossible to reflect, for a moment, on these two propositions without detecting the enormous fallacies which they involved. The comment on these propositions was this: the end desired to be accomplished might be reasonable and just, but the means adopted to accomplish it, if in themselves illegal, were not necessarily sanctified and made legitimate by that end. He would assume, for the sake of argument, and only for the sake of argument (for he pledged himself to enter upon the positions thus advanced by the opponents of the Bill, and he believed he would be able to show their insufficiency), that an organised hierarchy was essential to the religious interests of Her Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects, and that the See of Rome was the only quarter through which that organisation could be effected. But did it follow, therefore, looking to the law as it now stood, that the means resorted to for the attainment of this object were not illegal and unconstitutional, that they did not involve a violation of our municipal and ecclesiastical law, a violation of the public law of Europe, an invasion of the rights of the Sovereign, and an outrage on the national independence? Were they to be told that the Government and Parliament of this country, whose bounden duty it was to preserve the sovereignty of these realms inviolate, and to maintain the national independence unimpaired, and the honour of the country untarnished, were to see these great things outraged and invaded, because, forsooth, some persons might think one class of the community would be better governed by archbishops and bishops than by vicars-apostolic? He, for one, would never concede so monstrous a proposition. The advocates of the Roman Catholic side of the question had, it seemed to him, omitted to take into consideration this important element in this discussion, namely, the legality of their proceedings. He would ask this question, to which he challenged attention—had the Roman Pontiff, by the course which he had taken in partitioning this realm of England into provinces and dioceses, and establishing archbishops and bishops therein, and an organised hierarchy for the government thereof, and establishing sees for the exercise of the jurisdiction of these archbishops and bishops, invaded the prerogative of the Crown, and outraged the independence of the country? He should be glad to have this question answered. They had had abundance of declamation and invective; and the supporters of this Bill had been reproached in unmeasured terms with intolerance and persecution. In fact, had this been a Bill to re-enact the penal laws, and to suppress the Roman Catholic religion altogether, it could not have excited more unreasoning passion than had been displayed. He now called upon the opponents of the Bill to meet him fairly in argument, and he respectfully though fearlessly challenged an answer to the question—were the proceedings of the Roman Pontiff, and of those who abetted him, in the recent establishment of a Roman Catholic hierarchy in this country, consistent with the law of this country, and with the law of nations? He would ask this question—when the Roman Catholic religion was the established religion of this country, and when, therefore, the people owed and paid obedience to the Pope of Rome in spiritual matters, as the head of their Church, could the Pope then have taken on himself to do as he had now done? Undoubtedly not; and that would be a bold man who, in this House or elsewhere, would stand up and reply in the affirmative to that question. Every one also who knew, however slightly, the history of England—every one who was acquainted, however superficially, with the tenor of our legislation in regard to the relations of England with the See of Rome, was well aware that at no period was the Pope of Rome ever permitted to exercise in this country any absolute jurisdiction whatever in the appointment of bishops. At this point of the discussion he would not go into needless details, but a rapid survey of the history of the country in this respect might not be without use. In the Saxon Christian period there was abundant evidence to show that the division of the country into dioceses was exercised solely and exclusively by the King. Edward the Confessor, for instance, finding two bishoprics in existence, and perceiving that they were not adequate, took upon himself, without any authority from, or, indeed, any communication with, the See of Rome, to add three new bishoprics to the number; and from that age down to the time of Henry I. not the slightest attempt was made by Rome to encroach upon that which was the undoubted prerogative of the Crown of England, There was no doubt that bishops sought and obtained confirmation from the See of Rome; but there was as little doubt that, in early ages, the bishops were elected by the clergy, and confirmed by the Crown, and that the sanction of the Pope was only ap- pealed to as a concluding formality. For the first time, in the reign of Henry I., an attempt at encroachment was made, and they all knew the result, which was a compromise on the subject of investitures. But from the time of Henry I. to the time of Henry VIII. every further encroachment was stoutly resisted, and expressly prohibited by Acts of Parliament. Let them glance for a moment at the spirit in which the English Parliament acted in those distant days. A very able pamphlet, from the pen of Mr. Edward James, of the Chancery bar, entitled, Has Cardinal Wiseman violated the Law? had been published on this subject; and this pamphlet contained a succinct summary of the points to which he (the Solicitor General) desired to call attention. In the year 1386, the Earls, Barons, and Commons of the realm petitioned the Sovereign for relief from the assumptions of the Roman See, which they characterised as destructive to the Church, prejudicial to the Crown, and injurious to the whole realm of England. The petitioners detailed their grievances, and among the rest that the Pope had presumed to institute persons who were in a state of heresy into benefices which were founded by the King for the purpose of instructing the people in the law of God. The result was the 35 Edward I., known as the Statute of Provisors, declaring the illegality of all such presentations. Rome, however, went on encroaching, and in 1343 it was enacted that no person, whether a subject, alien, or denizen, should presume to bring into England any letters, bulls, rescripts, briefs, or other instruments whatever, prejudicial to the kingdom. In a subsequent year, in answer to petitions, it was declared that any person who should presume to accept a bishopric by presentation of the Court of Rome should not be permitted to receive the temporalities of such see. In the 25th of King Edward III. the Commons, still pressed by Rome, again petitioned, and then was passed, in resistance, the statute known as the Second Statute of Provisors. Then came the Statutes of Præmunire, beginning with the 16th Richard II., c. 5. The object of these statutes and their effect were too well known to need explanation. He had referred to these points only for the purpose of establishing the proposition, that throughout the whole Roman Catholic period of our history the Legislature never for a moment admitted the right of the Papal See to nominate bishops in this country. They were elected by the clergy, and nominated or approved of by the Crown; but with their nomination the Pope never was permitted to interfere. Well, was this merely the law of England? Unquestionably not: it was the law of all the Roman Catholic States of Europe prior to the Reformation, and he might say, down to the moment at which he was speaking. The law of all Roman Catholic States was this—that no bishop could be appointed to a bishopric but by the Sovereign, or with the concurrence and assent of the Sovereign. From the evidence before the Committee that sat in 1816, this was proved to be the case. In Austria, the law to this effect was as old as the empire itself. In the Italian dominions of Austria there prevailed the same rule. In Spain—yes, even in priestridden Spain—the appointment of bishops rested exclusively in the Crown; and they did not permit the bulls for institution of bishops to be introduced until the sanction of the Government of the country had been obtained. In France, again, they found the same rigid law; Vigorously in all times had the rulers of that country asserted the independence of the Gallic Church. The law of England was then the same as the law of the rest of Europe. Repeatedly in England our courts of justice had put aside bulls received from Rome, and visited the parties who introduced them here with loss of liberty, fines, and imprisonment, and even with capital sentences, for in the reign of Edward I., a man was sentenced to death for introducing a Papal bull excommunicating another person into England; and only at the most earnest entreaty of the Chancellor and Treasurer, could the ting he prevailed on to commute the sentence into banishment from the realm. If that were so—if he had made out the proposition, that by the law of this country, supported by the law of all Europe, it was not competent for the Pope to appoint a bishop in England—if the Roman See had not that power in Catholic times, when the religion of England was Roman Catholic, he would ask by what law, or constitution, or process, had the Pope of Rome obtained such power now? He thought that was a fair question, and he was curious to see how it would be answered. The only argument of the Roman Catholics respecting the interference of temporal sovereigns in the appointment of archbishops and bishops, was, that in Roman Catholic times and in Roman Catholic countries bishops and archbishops possessed temporal posses- sions, and exercised power, authority, and jurisdiction, and that on this account the concurrence of sovereigns in their appointment, had been rendered necessary. He understood the distinction, and he agreed with those who said that a bishop might be appointed for purely spiritual purposes, as for consecration, for ordination, for confirmation, and the general administration of the offices and sacraments of the Church. He could understand that these things were purely spiritual; and if this Papal rescript had been entirely confined to appointing bishops for the purpose of exercising purely spiritual jurisdiction and authority, he would admit that there would be a good deal in the arguments advanced by the opponents of the Bill. But there was nothing whatever which made the proceeding of the Pope in this case at all analogous to what had been done with regard to sending a Protestant bishop to Jerusalem, there to exercise spiritual jurisdiction over the subjects of Her Majesty, or other Protestants residing in those parts, and voluntarily submitting themselves to his spiritual authority. The Protestant bishop at Jerusalem was there without a see, without a diocese; but when the Pope proceeded to divide an independent realm into districts and dioceses, and to appoint bishops to exercise complete jurisdiction over them, was not this exercising territorial sovereignty? ["No, no!"] Hon. Members called "No, no!" lustily; but he would turn to the rescript of the Pope, and what should he find there? He was reading from the translation "published by authority," which, as he took it, meant the authority of Dr. Wiseman. He found that the Pope proceeded, by his letter-apostolical, first to direct the appointment of two new sees or dioceses in the metropolitan district, being Westminster and Southwark. He then came to the northern district, where he found there was to be only one episcopal see, which was to receive its name from the city of Hexham, and this district was to be bounded by the same limits as hitherto. Then came the York district, which was to form one diocese, and the bishop to receive his title from the city of Beverley. Next followed the Lancashire district, in which there were to be two bishops, of whom one was to take his title from the see of Liverpool, having within his jurisdiction the Isle of Man, and other places including West Derby; and the other was to receive his from the city of Salford. The Pope then, after arranging many other districts came into the east, and in the city of Northampton constituted a single bishop. Now, he begged to ask by what authority did the Pope of Rome or those who supported him elevate the towns in Her Majesty's dominions into cities—towns which were not cities? It was well known that according to general usage and general practice if a town or place was named as the seat of episcopal jurisdiction, in which a bishop exercised his functions, it became elevated, ipso facto, to the rank of a city. He asked if the opponents of this Bill would deny that proposition? It was unquestionably as he had stated, that any city which enjoyed that name did so on account of its being at present or at some past time the seat of one exercising episcopal jurisdisction. The fact was so inherent, that although the bishopric were dissolved, as in the case of Westminster, the city would retain its title. Either the Pope intended to raise these towns into cities, or else it was contemplated that the elevation would be accomplished by making them the sees of bishops; but he could not see how it could be said that such a proceeding did not involve territorial jurisdiction and authority on the part of those who constituted the diocese. But it was alleged that it was not intended to assume territorial or temporal jurisdiction, but only purely spiritual authority. But he would turn to the brief again, and see how that matter stood; and he found that this was what the Pope directed with regard to the authority and jurisdiction of these bishops, and to which he prayed the attention of the House. The words of the rescript were these:—
Now, after these words, he would ask, what was the difference intended to he established between the archbishops and bishops in England and other countries, and whether territorial rights and authority did not follow spiritual functions in other countries? In those countries where Roman Catholic bishops exercised authority they wielded powers not merely spiritual, but all the functions attached to the pastoral office, many of which were of a temporal character. Now, all those powers were intended to he extended by this rescript to the Roman Catholic archbishops and bishops in England. The Pope said in that instrument that these new archbishops and bishops would be "equally bound by the obligations which bind the other archbishops and bishops according to the common discipline of the Catholic Church," and then the rescript went on thus:—"But in the sacred government of clergy and laity, and in all other things appertaining unto the pastoral office, the archbishop and bishops of England will henceforward enjoy all the rights and faculties which the other Catholic archbishops and bishops of other nations, according to the common ordinances of the sacred canons and apostolic constitutions, use, and may use; and are equally bound by the obligations which bind the other archbishops and bishops according to the same common discipline of the Catholic Church."
Was there not to be seen in that passage evidence of giving to the episcopacy power besides and beyond what was purely spiritual? Under the authority which the Pope had given to the new bishops, a priest might be suspended—or might be deprived; but it was obvious that the power of suspension or deprivation given to the Roman Catholic hierarchy was not only of a spiritual but an ecclesiastical and civil character, and involved rights and privileges of a temporal kind. For the office of a priest carried with it not only spiritual duties but a civil status; a cure of souls might have, and generally had, temporal emoluments attached to it: to deprive a priest of either of these implied, therefore, civil and temporal authority. Moreover, a priest thus deprived of temporal advantages might appeal to the courts of law in this country to enforce his rights; for the rights which Lord Mansfield held to belong to the Protestant Dissenters had since been admitted to belong to Roman Catholic priests; thus a court of law would be brought into conflict with what was called the spiritual jurisdiction of the Church of Rome. He used this argument for the purpose of showing that the jurisdiction proposed to be exercised by Roman Catholic bishops was a quasi civil jurisdiction, and something beyond a spiritual jurisdiction—a privilege which could not be given to any man but by the law of the land; for such powers and privileges could only come from the authority of the law, or from the grant of the Sovereign. Then they were told that this being a Protestant country, Roman Catholic ecclesiastics could not accept authority from the Sovereign, and that consequently it must emanate exclusively from the Supreme Pontiff. But what had taken place in other parts of Europe? In all Protestant States, in which Roman Catholic bishoprics had been established, this had been done by arrangement between the Sovereign and the Pope. As the See of Rome had obtained on all occasions, in the first instance, the consent of the reigning Sovereigns for the establishment of a hierarchy, what was there to prevent the Pope from pursuing the same course here? If the Catholics had any grievance to complain of, was there anything to prevent them from appealing to the Legislature, or from coming to that House for any alteration in the law, if necessary, in order to place them in the position they desired? There was nothing to prevent them from coming to the Legislature for the purpose of seeking protection for their religion by legal, by constitutional, and by authorised means, instead of by encroachment upon the rights and prerogatives of the Sovereign of these realms. It must he confessed on all hands that the Roman Catholics, if they wished for the establishment of a hierarchy, had not taken the right course to obtain it. If they did not choose to do so, that did not justify an assumption of temporal jurisdiction and sovereignty on the part of the Pope. It mattered not to him (the Solicitor General) whether there had been an intention of insult in such assumption. He did not care what had been the intention—he looked only to the results. Could any man for a single moment deny—whatever might have been the intention—that the result had been an invasion of the sovereignty of the Crown, and of the liberties of this free and independent country? But it had been said, that the Pope had done no more now than he had been doing for some few centuries back by means of the vicars-apostolic. He (the Solicitor General) altogether denied that proposition. The vicars-apostolic had no sees; they had no dioceses. The vicars-apostolic were not authorised to enforce a law foreign to the law of England; they had no power to introduce the canon law. They had nothing but the simple spiritual jurisdiction of ordinary ministers of religion. That was an essential difference. Then it had been said that the requirements of the Roman Catholic religion rendered the introduction of a hierarchy requisite. But no one had established this position by anything like proof. The noble Earl the Member for Arundel had indeed said, that certain irregularities which had taken place, rendered the appointment of the new bishops necessary. How far the noble Earl had stated this of his own knowledge he did not know. But according to general experience, the life and conduct of the Roman Catholic clergy had been exemplary in the extreme, and no one had heard of irregularities on their part. Why was then the change required? Dr. Wiseman had said—and he (the Solicitor General) thought there was a good deal of truth here—Dr. Wiseman had said, in his Appeal to the People of England, that they wanted to introduce the canon law into this country, and could not do it under the vicars-apostolic, and without a hierarchy. He said nothing, however, with regard to religion, and of the necessity of these bishops for its advancement. He (the Solicitor General) begged to ask if the Roman Catholic religion had declined under the vicars-apostolic? Did not the brief itself recite that the numbers of the Roman Catholics were increasing—that their religion was most flourishing and most prosperous? Then why was the hierarchy necessary? Dr. Wiseman had let out the facts in his Appeal, namely, that they wanted to establish the canon law, and wanted synodical action; but he had said nothing about the discipline of the Church. He (the Solicitor General) asked if any one amongst them desired to see archbishops and bishops appointed in this country not under the control of the Crown, and owing only a divided and secondary allegiance to the Sovereign and the laws of this country—the first being due to Rome, as the fountain of all jurisdiction? Did they wish to see a pontifical synod appointed by the Bishop of Rome? He, for one, did not. They had enough of it in the woeful experience of the sister country. They had not forgotten the Synod of Thurles. They knew that that synod of ecclesiastics had set itself in direct opposition to the enactments of that and the other House of Parliament. The Legislature has determined that there should be colleges established for the education of the people. A large sum had been voted for that purpose. The grant had been received with universal satisfaction by the reflecting portion of the Roman Catholic people of Ireland; but it had so happened that at that time the See of Rome had sent to Ireland and placed in the great Archbishopric of Armagh, if he were not mistaken with the name, Dr. Cullen."And whatever regulations, either in the ancient system of the Anglican churches or in the subsequent missionary state, may have been in force either in special constitutions or privileges or peculiar customs, will now henceforth carry no right nor obligation; and in order that no doubt may remain on this point, we, by the plenitude of our apostolic authority, repeal and abrogate all power whatsoever of imposing obligation or conferring right in those peculiar constitutions and privileges of whatever kind they may be, and in all customs, by whomsoever, or at whatever more ancient or immemorial time brought in. Hence it will for the future be solely competent for the archbishop and bishops of England to distinguish what things belong to the execution of the common ecclesiastical law, and what, according to the common discipline of the Church, is intrusted to the authority of the bishops."
said, that at the time referred to it was Dr. Crolly who was Archbishop of Armagh, and that it was not till fourteen months afterwards that Dr. Cullen had been sent.
said, that Dr. Crolly was, no doubt, an assenting party to the passing of the Act. But he unfortunately died, and was succeeded by Dr. Cullen, who, though an Irishman by name, was to all intents and purposes an Italian monk. [An Hon. MEMBER: He never was a monk. He was president of the Irish College at Rome.] In defiance of the usage of the Irish Roman Catholic Church, Dr. Cullen was elected. The established usage was, that upon a vacancy the clergy should send three names to Rome for the selection of the Pope. They were also in the habit of writing against one name the word dignus, against the other dignior, and against the third dignissimus, which last was usually appointed by the Pope. On this occasion the Irish clergy sent three names, but the Pope passed by them all, and, violating the established usage and practice of the Church, sent Dr. Cullen to Ireland as Archbishop of Armagh. Dr. Cullen had never exercised pastoral jurisdiction in Ireland before. He summoned the Synod of Thurles, and, by his casting vote, decided that the Roman Catholics should not adopt the colleges which were being established under the provisions of the Act of Parliament. Now, was that interference spiritual or ecclesiastical? Did the people of this country desire to see a synod of this description sitting in England? [Cries of "No!"] To their own established Church of England they did not allow the use of convocation, and yet the Convocation of the Church was subject to the control of the Crown, was summoned by the authority of the Crown, and presided over by a person authorised by the Crown: the Crown had power to prorogue it, and power to dissolve it. The bishops and persons who composed it were persons over whom the Crown had at all times control. But the Convocation had been found inconvenient, and was now disused. Yet they were asked to sanction the synodical action of a body over whom the Crown had no control—with whose convocation the Crown had nothing to do—and whose procedings the Crown had no means of controlling. Would they desire to see synods erected, composed of such materials, and, it might be, acting in direct competition with the Established Church, and perhaps in conflict with the Imperial Legislature? According to the spirit which they saw at present evinced in the Church of Rome, they would not find any reason to believe that these powers, prerogatives, and privileges, would be exercised with any degree of moderation and forbearance. The history of what was passing in other States did not inspire them with such a hope. In Belgium, the State and the clergy had been in conflict for a long time, and among other subjects on that of education. The education of the people there had been prevented and frustrated by the clergy, whose opposition had emanated from the See of Rome. In the kingdom of Sardinia the clergy had put forth most extraordinary pretensions. They had claimed immunity from the laws of the country; and because the Legislature had put an end to the equivocal state of things which had before existed, and had put the clergy on the same footing with the rest of the State—when one of the Ministers who had been a party to that legislation lay on his death-bed, the Archbishop of Turin had peremptorily forbidden the administration of the sacrament to him unless he would retract, and express his deep repentance for all participation in that legislation. These were pretensions which they might see set up in our own country if the evil were not checked in time. If he wanted any further illustration of the necessity which was laid on them to proceed with care and caution in this matter, he could not have better proof than in the Pontifical rescript itself. He wished to say nothing offensive to Roman Catholics. He entertained the greatest possible respect for their religion—he had had some of his dearest friends who were members of the Roman Catholic communion. He said, however, what he thought they themselves could not deny, what their ecclesiastical history proved, that on the part of the priesthood—he did not mean the working clergy, who were generally most exemplary men, but he meant the higher order—that on the part of the priesthood there was continual encroachment, assumption, and aggression, and a desire of unbounded dominion. They must be careful; for what was the intention of the recent movement? He turned to the language of the bull, and he found that the Pope said—
These were ominous words to his mind. A schism had been prevailing in their own Church arising from a mediaeval tendency in a certain class, and a fondness for the picturesque in religion. Many were passing over to the Catholic Church, and others were passing over to what, if it was not Catholicity, was at least something very like it. These were the "times and circumstances" when it was thought the time had come when a great blow might be struck—when the contest might be renewed for the prerogatives, power, advantages, and emoluments of the Church. It was, therefore, incumbent upon the House to be watchful and wary. Whatever was essential to the exercise of the Roman Catholic religion, let it be granted, not as a matter of favour, but of right. But, on the other hand, let them be careful to allow of no evasion or encroachment upon the law or the constitution. The hon. and learned Member for Plymouth had said that it was time enough to remedy the evil when it had actually occurred. In this he did not concur; he thought the time to check the mischief was before it had gathered to a head. Let them take their stand upon the law and the constitution of the country. An hon. Member had remarked that in every instance in which they admitted of an invasion of the law, it was afterwards set up as a claim. Thus, they had been told of the existence of vicars-apostolic, and it was said that we had permitted in Ireland for several centuries the evasion and infraction of the law by the appointment of bishops by the Pope. Ireland was undoubtedly an exceptional case. In Ireland we had a Roman Catholic population and an Established Church that could not minister to that population—there were Roman Catholic bishops there before the Emancipation Act—they were continued there after it passed—and we were told that the British Government had compromised matters by acquiescing in a passive evasion of the law. He admitted it. But was there no difference between the way in which the law was evaded in Ireland, and the manner in which it had been invaded in England? Had the Roman Catholics published their bulls in the face of the whole empire, and of the Government in Ireland? Had the Pope sent a cardinal there with his red stockings and his car-dinalitial hat? No. Had he assumed territorial titles there in the face of the Government and of the law? No. In all their communications, the Irish Roman Catholic bishops had exercised a wise forbearance and a moderation which they felt to be necessary. They knew there was an Established Church in the country, and an existing law. They knew that Government was desirous of giving them the full exercise of their episcopal jurisdiction, so far as that could be beneficial to their flocks, and they felt that it would not be consistent with reason and justice, or with a due and grateful sense of the forbearance exercised towards them, openly to evade, and avow, and exult in, a violation of the law; and therefore there was a great difference between what had taken place in Ireland and in England. But, mark the consequence. From a desire not to interfere with the Roman Catholic people of Ireland, we had allowed the law to be evaded; and what was the consequence? We were asked—now that an act of aggression had been made on the part of the Pope, and when it had become necessary to vindicate the majesty of the empire and the law—what right we had to do this when we had allowed a violation or invasion of the law in Ireland? So that that which was concession, had been transformed into a claim and a defence. He owned that he deeply regretted the necessity of including Ireland in the present Bill; but was the state of thing in Ire- land different from that in England? Why, when they found the Pope appointing to an archbishoprick in Ireland, contrary to established usage, a person not nominated by the members of the Roman Catholic Church, was not the state of things in both countries the same? What was to prevent, after a short time, the Pope from sending foreign ecclesiastics into this country, over whom we could exercise no control, seeing that they owed no allegiance to our laws, but were bound only by their canon law? It did appear to him, under those circumstances, that we were bound to protect the laws and realm of England by some act of the Legislature. He had heard it said that this matter ought to have been settled through the intervention of the Foreign Office. The right hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford had suggested that we might have sent a fleet to Civita Vecchia. Suppose we had. Suppose that, instead of coming to that House for an Act of Parliament to repel the aggression, it had been treated as a matter of national concern, and that the noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office had sent a fleet and bombarded Civita Vecchia: what an outcry would have been raised! How would it have been said—"Oh! look at this monstrous tyranny of the strong against the weak! Here is this mighty kingdom of Great Britain going to oppress and crush a poor old man, exercising in his own country great spiritual powers, it is true, but who, as respects his temporal kingdom, is no more than a prince of the lowest possible order." Did the hon. Baronet join in the same cry last year, when the noble Lord had sent the British fleet to Greece? Could any body entertain a doubt that to proceed in the matter suggested—to make this matter a casus belli—would have covered the English Government with ridicule beyond anything ever before heard of? No: it was not worth our while to enter into any hostilities with the Roman Pontiff. We had the remedy in our own hands. We could deal with our subjects be they Protestants or Roman Catholics; and if they did an act which involved an invasion of the sovereignty of this realm, and if they took territorial titles which by law they were not competent to take, it was for us, by new legislation and by laws adequate to the occasion, to prevent the perpetration of an offence against the constitution. He had to thank the House for their attention. It appeared to him that this was a case of the last importance; and it was not enough to say that the Bill was a small measure to meet an evil of great magnitude. It would be, he believed, sufficient to prevent the realisation of the scheme of territorial titles and of hierarchical encroachment. They told us themselves that they could not have territorial dioceses or full episcopal jurisdiction—that they could not introduce the canon law, or hold synods, most probably to frustrate British legislation, except they had bishops with local dioceses and territorial names. we should prevent that by the Bill; we should thereby frustrate the scheme now in agitation, and at the same time preserve the liberties and maintain the rights of this free and independent nation."Wherefore, after diligently weighing the state of Catholicity in England at the time that now is, and after reflecting upon the increase which, in various places, is manifest in the already largo number of Catholics, and after considering how the hindrances which stood in the way of the spreading of the Catholic faith are daily being removed, we have judged that the time has come in which that form of ecclesiastical government may be restored in England, which freely prevails in other countries where no special cause requires the extraordinary ministry of the vicars-apostolic. In forming this judgment, we feel that the circumstances of times and things had rendered the government of the Catholics of England by vicars-apostolic no longer necessary; and, indeed, that such a change had taken place that called for the establishment of the ordinary form of episcopal rule in that kingdom."
said, he had witnessed the rising of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General with great pleasure, not only because he expected to have a speech characterised by great ability and power, but because he hoped to have, at that late period of the debate, from one of the law officers of the Crown, a clear and full explanation of the measure under discussion, by which great evils were supposed to be redressed. In that hope he had been disappointed. The hon. and learned Gentleman had told the House that the municipal law of England, and the national law of Europe, had been alike violated, that the honour of the country had been attacked, and the rights of our Sovereign aggrieved. He asked the hon. and learned Gentleman, where had Her Majesty's Government been all the time? Did the hon. and learned Gentleman mean to say the municipal law had been disregarded, the international law scandalously infringed, a territorial invasion perpetrated, that a foreign Prince, and the representatives of a foreign Court, were governing Her Majesty's subjects with temporal jurisdiction, and that the Executive Government had all the time made no sign, and had not even remonstrated with that foreign Power? Did he mean to affirm that acts of treason had been committed within this realm, and against the positive law of this kingdom, and the law officers of the Crown had taken no steps for the vindication of the Sovereign? But, above all, did he mean to say Government now relied on the Bill before them for the vindication of the wrongs that had been done? He would now invite the House to the consideration of the Bill, which the House had, no doubt, observed the hon. and learned Gentleman had entirely omitted to speak about. The hon. and learned Member said there were two classes who opposed the Bill—the Roman Catholic party, who demanded, and thought they had aright to the hierarchy, and those Protestants who treated the menaces of the Papal power with indifference, and had no objection that the Roman Catholics should obtain their demands. But the hon. and learned Gentleman forgot there might be Protestants who regarded the act of the Pope with feelings akin to his own, and who did regard this act of the Pope as an aggression on the rights of this country of a serious and most important character, but who, nevertheless, could not give their sanction to the proposed measure. In the course of the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech, he had ingeniously endeavoured to show that the bishops nominated by the Pope had not only spiritual but temporal power, that they were about to introduce the canon law, and establish synods, with archbishops and bishops, whose acts should stand side by side with acts of the Imperial Parliament; and that they had invaded the prerogative of the Crown; but he would ask the hon. and learned Gentleman if the Bill was a measure by which he proposed to prevent all that? To his Roman Catholic fellow-subjects he (Mr. Cardwell) declared that he regarded what had been done as an aggression on the rights of his country, the more serious because unprovoked. In the course of that debate he had heard doctrines laid down respecting the nature of civil and religious liberty which were not consonant with those the people of England had been accustomed to regard as their true meaning, or as sanctioned by the law, or consistent with history or the legal authorities on which they were accustomed to rely. He could not forget that such doctrines were not those of Locke, or of Lord Somers, but were doctrines emphatically denounced by Blackstone, as fatal to all the duties and obligations of the social state. Surely these doctrines of civil and religious liberty, unlimited as regards the individual, were subject to a very important limitation as regarded ecclesiastical combinations, or churches. It was the right of every man to worship his Creator according to the dictates of his conscience, without limitation; but the rights of a Church, as an ecclesiastical body, must be bound by the law of the civil government of the State; and the exercise of its power must be confined by the safety and convenience of the State. Why did they close the Convocation of the Established Church, why did they subject her to writs of prohibition issuing from the temporal courts, and carry her appeals to the Privy Council? Why did they maintain the supremacy of the Queen, and the control of Parliament, but that no danger might arise to the State? An allusion had been made to the United States in the course of the debate; but he would ask was there any throne there to which the successor had been changed on account of his religion—had they a Bill of Rights, an Act of Settlement, a coronation oath, or an oath by which Roman Catholic Members took their seats? These institutions were firmly established here; and, consistently with them, we had secured for our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects perfect toleration by the Act of 1791, and perfect civil equality by the Act of 1829. He would ask the Roman Catholics if they, thus living on terms of freedom and equality, under the shelter of Protestant institutions, chose to make a change, was it not necessary to consult the convenience and the wishes of the country in which they lived? They had not consulted the convenience of the country, the wishes of the people, nor the safety of the Sovereign, and in doing as they had done they had committed a substantial aggression. He was not dwelling on mere words, phraseology, or shadow, but was dealing with a substance. The Roman Catholics had changed a missionary church into a normal church, and had done so under circumstances, as it proved, hazardous to the general tranquillity and content of this Protestant realm. But what remedy had the Government provided in their Bill? When it was incorporated with the Statute-book the red-stockinged Cardinal would still remain, and bulls, the introduction of which the hon. and learned Gentleman so much dreaded, would still be admitted. Of all things the hon. and learned Gentleman had the greatest objection to the introduction of the canon law. Whether he had been consulted in the drawing up of the Bill, he (Mr. Cardwell) could not say; but he knew that in the one clause to which it was now reduced, there was nothing whatever to prevent the introduction of canon law and the assembling of synods. Would it prevent the conversion of the money of young ladies to superstitious uses, to which the hon. and learned Gentleman alluded when he spoke of the pleasure with which he had heard the petition presented by the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford? But what effect would this Bill have upon such abuses? He had endeavoured to prove the bishops of a voluntary church exercised temporal authority because the courts of law would take cognisance of their by-laws made by the authority of the Church, and seemed to think the Bill defeated that power by preventing bequests and endowments. The hon. and learned Gentleman did not know that the three clauses designed to have that operation had been withdrawn, and therefore the only foundation on which he rested his argument as to temporal powers had fallen to the ground. What was the foundation laid when the Bill was introduced? They were told that when Dr. Cullen came from Rome and went to Ireland, he violated the law by taking the title of Archbishop of Armagh; that Lord Clarendon consulted the Attorney General and Solicitor General for Ireland, and received this answer—"Dr. Cullen appears to have violated the law; but we have only seen newspapers; we cannot get access to the fact in any other way than the newspapers; but they are not evidence; and we shall not obtain possession of the letter, and therefore Dr. Cullen cannot be prosecuted with success by the Irish Government." Now, would it be gravely believed that that was introduced as an argument for bringing in a Bill which would leave the law in England precisely as it was in Ireland, and that the day after the Bill was passed, the Government of England would consult the hon-and learned Gentlemen the Attorney General and the Solicitor General for England, who would say to them, "Dr. Wiseman has violated the law—we have only seen it in a newspaper; we cannot get access to the original letter, and therefore we cannot advise a prosecution of Dr. Wiseman?" The hon. and learned Gentleman had told them some remarkable cases in which foreign Powers did vindicate their authority against the Pope. He referred to the case of Henry I., but he had forgotten to tell them that Henry I., not content with that internal part of his proceedings, to which the hon. and learned Gentleman referred, addressed the Pope in these words:—
The hon. and learned Gentleman said they had passed a Bill by which they could negotiate with Rome. Then, he asked the hon. and learned Gentleman, if all those great calamities had happened which he spoke of—if the dignity of the Crown was insulted—if territorial rights were invaded—if a power to interfere in temporal matters had been assumed, why had they made no remonstrance—why was there nothing external done to relieve the country from the indignity which it had suffered? He asked that question for this reason, that he had been exceedingly struck by an observation made by the hon. and learned Gentleman. Appealing to the Roman Catholic Members, he used these words, "What is the meaning of all this ferment you have excited against us? You have spoken of us as if we were going to repeal the Emancipation Act.""Be it known unto you that by God's help the dignities and usages of the kingdom of England shall not, during my lifetime, suffer any diminution. And even were I, which God forbid, so far to suffer myself to be abased, my nobles, nay the whole people of the land, would not in anywise permit it."
What I said was, that they spoke as if we were going to re-enact the penal Acts.
That made good his argument. The Roman Catholics were as indignant with this futile Bill, as if it had been a stringent and effective measure. The Bill appeared to him to be just enough to irritate, but not enough to satisfy. It appeared to him as if they had suffered a great external grievance from the Pope, but were about to visit it on the loyal Catholic subjects of this country, and that they were doing it in this manner, not so as to vindicate the honour of the Crown, or repel the insult they had received, or add one iota to the security of Protestant institutions; but they were; creating in the vitals of this country a I little wound—a festering wound—the end of which they could not foresee, and the cure of which they could not undertake to; perform. It appeared to him they were called on to assent to a measure which contained within itself no possibility of remedying the evil; because they should bear in mind that, restrain the assumption of ecclesiastical titles as they would, they were dealing only with the name, I they would leave the thing just where they found it. There would be their archbishops, bishops, and synods; and there would be the canon law. There would be the whole usurpation entire and complete. They would have prohibited the usurpation of particular names under a penalty imposed by a clause which they knew they could not prevent being evaded, because they had seen it evaded in Ireland. He looked with as much jealousy as anybody upon the perpetual aggression of the Church of Rome. He feared there would be in this country a great public calamity, because he looked on religious discord and the perpetual dissent of one class of the community from another, as about the greatest calamity that could happen. He had uniformly endeavoured, adhering to the settlement of 1829, to remove all those obsolete enactments which had no force except that they were offensive to the feelings and irritating to the tranquillity of large bodies of his countrymen. He had done that in the earnest hope and expectation that by mutual moderation on both sides they might live together calmly and peacefully, believing as he did that truth was on his side, and that truth must prevail. But he must ask the forgiveness of his Roman Catholic friends if he said that that desire had not been without misgiving. He begged to remind the House of that remarkable passage in which the illustrious author of the Emancipation Act closed his speech in proposing it to that House. He said—
"It is very possible that we may have a struggle; but the struggle will be, not for the abolition of civil distinctions, but for the predominance of an intolerant religion. Sir, I contemplate the progress of that struggle with pain; but I look forward to its issue with perfect composure and confidence. We shall have dissolved the great moral alliance that has hitherto given strength to the cause of the Roman Catholics.
It might be that the spirit of the Roman Catholic religion and the Protestant religion could not harmoniously coalesce; it might be that we were now about to enter upon this struggle; though he earnestly hoped that the day of that struggle might be averted. But of all wars the worst was a little war; and of all little wars the worst was a little civil war about religious matters. He was persuaded that by assenting to this Bill they would not vindicate the honour of the Crown; that they would not protect the sovereignty of Great Britain; that they would not repel this territorial invasion; that they would not accomplish any object by a solitary clause which it was known would be evaded, and could not be carried into effect. He believed that if the other clauses had remained in the Bill, he could have demonstrated that there was not one of them that could not be evaded. He, therefore, considered that by supporting this Bill, he should rather offer an affront than comply with the desire of Protestant England; that he would be doing much to render Ireland ungovernable; and that upon him would rest a share of the responsibility of that social strife which might arise on a subject in which they were now in the right, and in which, he agreed with the hon. and learned Attorney General, they must ever be watchful and cautious in their beginning, because if they put themselves in a wrong position, the retribution would recoil on themselves. Believing that that would be the effect of giving his support to the second reading of this Bill in regard to the safety of the country and the honour of the Crown, and those justly-excited feelings which Protestant England had displayed, he should refuse his concurrence to the second reading of this Bill."We shall range on our side the illustrious authorities which have heretofore been enlisted on theirs; the rallying cry of' civil liberty' will then be all our own. We shall enter the field with the full assurance of victory, armed with the consciousness of having done justice, and of being in the right; backed by the unanimous feeling of England, by the firm union of orthodoxy and dissent; by the applauding voice of Scotland; and, if other aid be requisite, cheered by the sympathies of every free State in either hemisphere, and by the wishes and the prayers of every free man, in whatever clime, or under whatever form of government his lot may have been cast."—[2 Hansard, xx., 779.]
MR. M. MILNES moved that the debate be adjourned.
said, it would be well that the House should understand upon what day the debate would be resumed, as there were several important matters to come before the House which could not well be delayed.
said, that as the hon. Member for Bridport had consented to postpone his Motion, as there was no other notice of importance on the paper except that of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Carlow, he trusted there would be a general understanding that the adjourned debate should be pursued to-morrow.
said, the Government were well aware of the circumstances under which he had placed his Motion on the books, and it was hardly possible to decline proceeding with it. It was a question of great importance, which had been postponed last Session, and he should feel bound to proceed with it upon the present occasion.
wished to know whether the budget would come on for discussion on Friday?
said: No, not on Friday. It was impossible to say on what day it would come on, as it was impossible to tell when the present debate would close. It would be taken the first night after this debate concluded.
inquired whether the Motion with reference to the oath of abjuration would be taken to-morrow.
Debate further adjourned till To-morrow. The House adjourned at half after Twelve o'clock.