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Commons Chamber

Volume 117: debated on Monday 23 June 1851

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House Of Commons

Monday, June 23, 1851.

MINUTES.] PUBLIC BILLS.—2° Court of Chancery and Judicial Committee; Land Clauses Consolidation (Ireland).

Reported—Oath of Abjuration (Jews).

3° Lodging Houses.

Metropolitan Sewerage

, pursuant to notice, rose to ask Viscount Ebrington why the sewerage works in St. James's, Westminster, promised to be executed last year, have not been, up to the present time, executed or commenced; and whether the sum of about 120,000l., proposed to be levied by a rate of 6d. in the pound, on the northern side of the Thames, is intended to cover existing liabilities, or to execute new works; and, if partly for the former purpose, how much of that sum is proposed to be so appropriated; and whether it is intended, as has been reported, that the parties residing in the streets or localities in St. James's, hitherto left without any sewerage, shall be subject to a special rate in addition to the rate of 6d. in the pound now in course of collection?

, before answering the question, begged to state, that the legal difficulties having all been overcome, the Minutes of the Board of Commissioners had all been regularly entered up of all the courts to the end of last month, and those of this month were in an advanced state of preparation. With re- gard to the works ordered in the parish of St. James's, the reason why they had not been executed was precisely the same which had prevented the execution of many other important works fully planned and quite ready for execution, namely, the impossibility of procuring the necessary funds on loan in consequence of the defective wording of the Sewers Act. It had been the earnest desire of the Commissioners to execute all these works with as little pressure on the ratepayers as possible, by carrying out the intentions of Parliament; but they had been unable to borrow more than 10,000l., and therefore some of the works which had been planned, and which were ready for carrying out, were obliged to be postponed. He had some difficulty in understanding what his hon. and gallant Friend meant by his question about the sum of 120,000l.; because different rates had been laid at different times and in different places on the north side. The large sum of money levied in the different districts was intended to be applied—as might be supposed from the report of the Secretary to the Commission lately laid before Parliament, which showed a large increase of liabilities incurred before the rates alluded to had been collected—partly to the discharge of those liabilities, and partly to the execution of new works. In the two divisions of Westminster, various works had been executed, and were ready planned, besides the Victoria sewer and its intended extension, of which he held a list in his hand—such as the Tothill and Broadway sewer, &c., with which he would not trouble the House. With regard to the last question, he must explain that it had been long the practice of the former Commissioners to levy, in addition to the regular district rate, from each person who made an entrance into a sewer for the drainage of his house, a contribution in the shape of a frontage-charge, varying from a few shillings to more than a pound per foot frontage. These frontage charges were now put an end to by the present Act, and it seemed to the Commissioners only fair that persons who had never had any sewers, and therefore never paid any contributions, should, in the shape of a special rate, pay in lieu a portion of the expense of constructing sewers for the more especial drainage of their houses. It was to be presumed that all the persons who at present drained into sewers, however defective, had not only paid sewers rate, but also frontage contributions; when new drains, therefore, were substituted for old ones, the Commissioners' practice was to make them at the expense of the district, when altogether new drains were put into an undrained place.

wished to know whether, in addition to the great amount of rate already levied, it was intended to impose any further rates?

replied, that it was not intended that the great expense of the works should be borne by the landlords or inhabitants of houses within the year, but that it should be spread over a number of years. There was a Bill on the subject which was intended to be brought in immediately, when hon. Members would see what was intended by its provisions.

Metropolitan Water Supply—The Wandle Water Company

The Standing Orders Committee having reported that in the case of the Metropolitan Water Supply (Control of by Representative Body) Bill, the Standing Orders ought not to be dispensed with,

said, he wished to call the attention of the Government to an advertisement which had that morning appeared in the Times newspaper, and he also wished to put a question to the right hon. Secretary for the Home Department as to the Water Supply to the Metropolis. The advertisement to which he alluded was that of a company called the Wandle Water and Sewerage Company, and was in these terms:—

"The Company is formed for the supply of the metropolitan districts south of the Thames at constant and high service. Capital, 300,000l., in 30,000 shares of 10l. each. Deposit, 12s. 6d. per share, of which 7s. will he returned in the event of an Act not being obtained in the present Session of Parliament."
The Trustee was Joseph Somes, Esq., of Blackwall; and the Chairman, John Macgregor Esq., M.P.; and the advertisement went on to state—
"The Bill for the incorporation of this company has been read a second time, and referred to a Select Committee of the House of Commons."
But the part of the advertisement on which he wished to ask the right hon. Baronet a question, ran as follows:—
"It is satisfactory to announce that there will be no opposition on the part of the Government to the passing of the Bill, as its sole object is to procure an available constant supply of pure water in bulk to parochial, public, or other bodies, and for distribution to the public in places where there is no supply."
It was signed "William Holloway, Secretary." Having brought this advertisement under the notice of the right hon. Gentleman, he would observe that one of two things must have happened. Either the Government must have pursued an unusual and improper course, if they had given any assurance of the kind referred to in the advertisement; because this Bill having been referred to a Select Committee, they were to give the opinion which was to guide the conduct of the House in respect of the measure; if the Government had not given that assurance, as stated in the advertisement, it was clear that a gross fraud and imposition was practised upon the public to induce them to take shares in this company. He begged leave, therefore, to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the Government had given any assurance in the terms of the announcement he had just read.

replied that he had only a few minutes before seen the advertisement, which had been pointed out to him by an hon. Friend; and his answer was, that that advertisement was totally unauthorised by the Government, and that no communication had taken place between the Government and the company, which could justify that announcement with respect to that Bill, if it should come before the House.

Postage Stamps

wished to put a question to the Secretary to the Treasury, respecting an operation of great mechanical ingenuity, and which, it was stated by competent authority, would certainly prevent forgeries in respect of letter stamps, and prove of great convenience to the public at large. He wished to know whether the machine for perforating the sheets of postage labels which was furnished by the patentee to the Commissioners of Stamps in the year 1849, had been found to answer the purpose for which it was intended, and, if so, why perforated postage stamps have not been supplied to the public in accordance with the terms of the arrangement entered into between the Commissioners and the patentee, namely, that he was "to furnish the machine on the understanding that he was not to be repaid the cost thereof, or to receive, compensation for his invention, until the plan was brought into successful operation, or had received the unqualified approbation of the public;" also, whether the perforated postage labels which have been in use in both Houses of Parliament for the last three months have been supplied by the patentee, or, in the usual way, by the postmaster of the district? The noble Lord said, he had heard that the invention was a safeguard against forgery.

said, that the invention had been found to succeed, and a certain sum of money had been awarded by the Treasury to the inventor, Mr. Archer, partly as a reward, and partly for compensation for his machine; but the inventor was not satisfied with the amount awarded, and declined to accept it, and had expressed a wish to remove the machine. Under these circumstances, the Department of Inland Revenue did not feel justified in making use of the machinery, and it remained in the office, without being used. There had, however, been a certain number of perforated stamped sheets furnished, in conformity with the understood wish of the inventor, partly to Members in the library of that House, and partly to the Postmaster, in Bridge-street, Westminster.

Ecclesiastical Titles Assumption Bill

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee; Mr. Bernal in the Chair.


said, that as it was an unusual course to move alterations in the preamble of Bills, and as he had alterations to propose in the preamble of the present Bill, he must crave the indulgence of the Committee while he stated the reasons which had induced him to suggest the present Amendments. Ordinarily preambles to Bills might pass unnoticed; but there were occasions when they were all-important. The present, in his opinion, was one of those occasions. He had two reasons for saying so. In the first place, the Committee would bear in mind, that throughout the debates on this measure it had been stated by many Members of that House, that considerable ambiguity existed in the declaratory clause as it stands in the Bill now. Without agreeing in that opinion, he must say he thought it essential that all ambiguity, if any really existed, should be cleared up, and it could only be cleared up in that part of the Bill which was the key to the clauses, namely, the preamble. He thought this as essential—perhaps in some respects it was even more so—in declaring an old law, as in intro- ducing anew one; for in the latter case the authority of Parliament was in itself a sufficient guarantee for the propriety of the law which it was intended to pass; whereas, with respect to the declaration of an old law, they were hound to go back to precedents, and to see that they declared with accuracy and precision the law of the land as it stood on the Statute-book; in order that their exposition of it might be as clear and correct as the principle on which they proceeded was sound and just. This, however, was not his only, nor his principal, reason for proposing these alterations. His chief reason was this—that in his opinion they ought to make the Bill effective as a national protest, since they had not made it effective as a remedial measure. The Bill, as originally introduced, was directed to one purpose only—the condemnation of the assumption and use of titles not allowed by law; but the Bill as it now stood was diverted to another purpose in addition—viz., the condemnation of the Brief of the Pope, introduced into this country in the course of the autumn, upon the ground that it was an illegal instrument, since titles derived from places under the sway of the Crown of England could not be conferred or used or assumed by any party without denying the Crown authority. Now, in his opinion the Bill was defective in both these particulars, for with regard to the first, although it condemned this particular brief, it did not anticipate nor in any way prevent the renewal and repetition of similar acts; and, with regard to the second, although the Bill had made it penal to assume or use these territorial titles, they had, by the rejection of the proposition of the hon. and learned Member for Abingdon, no guarantee that the law would be observed and enforced throughout the country. Seeing, then, that the Bill was defective as a remedial measure, it behoved the House to make it operative as a national protest, or, as the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire expressed it, as a measure of retaliation. He therefore wished the subject to be dealt with as their ancestors would have dealt with it. The two statutes which had been so often quoted in the course of these debates—namely, the statute of Richard II. and that of Elizabeth—were couched in a similar way to that which he proposed in the present instance. He begged the Committee to bear in mind that, both before and subsequent to the Reformation, the Parliaments of those days were not satisfied with simply repelling an aggression by a foreign potentate on the prerogatives of the Crown and on the independence of this country by substantive enactments, but that on both the occasions to which he referred preambles were agreed to, which set forth clearly the constitutional principles on which they proceeded, asserting in clear and unmistakeable terms the entire freedom and independence of this country, pointing out the way in which that freedom and independence had been assailed, and declaring that such assaults could not be submitted to by the Crown or the people. The preamble proposed for the present Bill was not of this character. It was simply a preamble, adverting to the operative portion of the Bill, without adverting at all to the declaratory clause. In his opinion, therefore, it was absolutely necessary that some alteration should be made in the preamble, and he now proposed such Amendments as were necessary, the object of which would be to set up the rightful authority of the Crown over the usurping authority of the Pope—to state plainly and emphatically the entire freedom and independence of this kingdom—and to declare again, since such a declaration had again become necessary, that no foreign Power either had, or ought to have, any jurisdiction or authority within this realm. He also wished to point out distinctly, instead of evading the question, as the Government preamble did, that the Pope had pretended, by his recent Brief, to constitute a hierarchy derived from places belonging to the Crown of England. He would then take up the Government preamble, so far as it related to the illegal assumption and use of such titles; and here he would refer, as the Government also did, to the Act of George IV., since that Act was the compact made when the Roman Catholics obtained their rights, the condition being that they should not interfere with the Established Church, or attempt to weaken the Protestant constitution of this country. In conclusion, he would embody the whole offence in one recital, to the effect that the introduction of the Brief in question into the kingdom, the claim to such power on the part of the Pope, and the constitution and assumption of such territorial titles, were in fact, as they were in law, usurpations and encroachments, in manifest derogation of the Queen's authority, opposed to the spirit and intent, if not to the letter, of the statute of George IV., and plainly contrary to the laws of the realm, and therefore they ought not to be allowed, by our acquiescence, to ripen into usage, or to receive the sanction of time and custom. He had now stated what he meant by these Amendments. If they were adopted, it would tend much to allay the disappointment which prevailed in many quarters as to the inefficiency of the measure. If they were not adopted, he felt convinced that the different constituencies of the country would tell their representatives that the legislation on this subject was inadequate, and unsuitable to the purpose which it was intended to effect; that in fact their legislation had been thrown away; and that it had been of a character which could not redound to their own credit, nor prove satisfactory in guarding the country against similar assaults in future. Under these circumstances he begged to propose, after the word "whereas," to introduce the first paragraph of his proposed alterations, in order that we might state at the very commencement the constitutional principle on which our legislation on this subject was meant to be based.

Amendment proposed—

"In page 1, line 1, after the word 'Whereas,' to insert the words, 'this Kingdom is and has been at all times so free and independent that no Foreign Prince, Prelate, or Potentate hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction or authority within the same or any part thereof; whereas the Bishop of Rome, by a certain Brief, Rescript, or Letters Apostolical, purporting to have been given at Rome on the 29th day ef September, 1850, hath recently pretended to constitute within this Realm, according to the common rules of the Church of Rome, a Hierarchy of Bishops named from Sees, and with titles derived from places, belonging to the Crown of England; and whereas—"

called the attention of the Committee to the form of oath administered to Members of Parliament before and after the passing of the Act of 1829. The oath taken by Members of the House before the passing of the Act of 1829 was to the effect that no foreign prince, prelate, or potentate was entitled to pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. By the Act of 1829 it was provided that Members of that House, being Roman Catholics, should be only required to declare that no foreign prince, prelate, or potentate hath or ought to have any "temporal or civil jurisdiction" in this realm. It was therefore very clear that by the Act of 1829 the spiritual pre-eminence of a foreign potentate had been left a moot point, and those who believed in the spiritual supremacy of the Pope were not required to take an oath against it. The hon. and learned Member (Mr. Walpole) admitted the fact, that the Act of 1829 was a compromise and a compact; but he said that that compact had been broken, and, inasmuch as it had been broken, he now proposed to repeal the Act altogether. If hon. Gentlemen were disposed to repeal the Act of 1829, let it be done fairly and without subterfuge, and not in the specious manner now attempted.

observed that the present Bill, as reprinted, had been brought forward with its existing preamble and clauses. With respect to the latter, no alteration had been made in them since the reprint, and he apprehended that the Committee would find that the preamble most carefully pointed to the clauses which the Committee had already passed. The first clause of the Bill was a declaration that the Rescript of the Pope, which had been so often referred to, and all authority pretended to be conferred by it, were illegal and void; and there was a recital in the preamble to the effect that certain persons under colour of that Rescript, which by this Bill was declared to be unlawful, had assumed to themselves certain titles. It, therefore, appeared to him that the recital met the clause which the Committee had passed. The second clause was an obvious one, and framed in the spirit of the Act of 1829, and in the preamble was found a recital of that Act, together with a declaration that there might be a question whether the Act of 1829, according to its mere wording, included sees not at present occupied by prelates of the Established Church; the second clause then declared the assumption of such titles illegal and void. Thus the preamble and the clause hung together; and he did not see what advantage the hon. and learned Member proposed to gain by introducing a new preamble. He understood the hon. and learned Member to argue that there was not sufficient precision in the Bill with respect to the declaration against the usurpation on the part of the Pope, and he proposed to introduce into the preamble a recital that no foreign Power had or ought to have jurisdiction within this kingdom. There could be no question that that was the law, and that the only effect of the Act of 1829 was to free the Roman Catholics from scruples of conscience in respect to the oath they were called on to take, but in no way whatever to modify the law or change the question of the sole jurisdiction of the Crown in all matters ecclesiastical as well as civil. If such a course had been thought wise and prudent then, would it be now prudent or conciliatory needlessly, and without enacting anything—for the preamble could not add to the law—to call upon their Roman Catholic Members to concur in a declaration from swearing which at their table they had already been excused? With regard to the phrase in the proposed Amendment, "according to the common rules of the Church of Rome," he did not see the wisdom of that House taking on itself to make that statement; in whatever way the act of the Pope was done, it was equally offensive and equally against the law. He also thought there was an inaccuracy, since Ireland was now united with England, in the phrase in the Amendment, "titles derived from places belonging to the Crown of England." He thought there was no adequate reason for the introduction of the words of the Amendment. The Government preamble was directed against such of Her Majesty's subjects as assumed these illegal titles; whereas the proposed preamble of the hon. and learned Member began by stating that the Pope had issued this Bull; and, afterwards, that under it some of Her Majesty's subjects had taken on themselves to assume these titles. But the legislation of the Parliament was not to be directed against the Pope or a foreign prince; for, if this country had to quarrel with him, it should not proceed by recitals in Acts of Parliament, but in the usual way in which one Government acted in the case of a quarrel with another. With regard to the latter part of the preamble, he considered that the proposal of the Government had the advantage of saying the same thing in fewer words; for, whereas the hon. and learned Member proposed to say in another Amendment that the usurpations referred to ought not to ripen into usage, the Government preamble denounced them as illegal and void. He did not think that the addition to the preamble which the hon. and learned Gentleman proposed to make, would injure or vary the effect of the Bill; but, at present, every word in the preamble as it stood had a clause attached to it. The preamble was long enough already, and it was not desirable to add half a dozen lines to it which had no enacting effect whatever. He trusted that the Committee would allow the preamble to remain in its present shape.

thought the hon. Member for Mayo had given a good reason for adopting some declaration like that proposed in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Midhurst, for he had asserted that the spiritual jurisdiction of the Pope had been left a moot question; it was therefore very essential that the Parliament and the country should come to some decision on the point. It was fair as well to Roman Catholics as to Protestants that a decision should be had by Parliament. The hon. and learned Solicitor General asserted that nobody doubted that no foreign Prince hath or ought to have any jurisdiction or authority in these realms; but the hon. Member for Mayo disputed the law on that point: it was therefore right that there should be an explicit declaration by Parliament. The House would not be doing the duty expected of them if they passed a measure less efficacious than those statutes which it bad been said had fallen into desuetude. There were still some notices of Amendments on the paper, and if those were carried the preamble would have to be altered to correspond with them; the argument of the Solicitor General against altering the preamble because the clauses had been agreed to, was, therefore, of no force. If these future Amendments, which wore contemplated to be proposed, were carried, they would really impart effective powers to the Bill. He (Mr. Bankes) was not without hope that the Bill would yet be made not unworthy of a more stringent preamble, and that it would be rendered more satisfactory to the people of this country, than it was in its present shape. Why not revive that portion of the statute of Elizabeth which was generally admitted to be valuable, and which was now a dead letter? He confessed he had heard with surprise for the first time that evening, in that House, that the power of the Pope in this country was a matter open to discussion; that it had been revived by the Act of 1829. Such had been asserted by the hon. Member for Mayo, and such might be the opinion of other Roman Catholic Members, although he believed the noble Lord opposite (Lord Arundel and Surrey) had declined to enter upon any such discussion. However, that impression being entertained by some hon. Members of that persuasion, made it more necessary to insert the words proposed by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Midhurst in the preamble of the Bill, as a declaration of the real state of the law in the case.

thought the Committee would hardly agree with the hon. Member who had just spoken, that it would be desirable to introduce these words into the preamble in the expectation that upon the report other clauses of a more stringent kind would be agreed to, and that it would be desirable to be ready beforehand with a preamble suited to the clauses which the House might hereafter adopt. What the Committee had to do was to consider whether the present preamble were suited to the present Bill; or whether the words now proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst ought to be introduced. He thought the Committee would gain nothing by the introduction of these words, and that, on the contrary, they might give rise to an inconvenience of no slight nature. He repeated, that they would gain nothing by the insertion of these words, because he differed with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Mayo (Mr. Moore) in thinking that the Act of 1829 diminished the effect of the law that "no foreign prince, prelate, or potentate, hath or ought to have any jurisdiction or authority within this kingdom, or any part thereof," whether that authority were spiritual or temporal. The Committee must recollect what was done by the Act of 1829. He believed that all Roman Catholics would admit that the Act of 1829 did not alter the meaning of the words in question in the sense in which they were used by Protestants—namely, that no foreign Prince, &c., had any jurisdiction or authority within this realm which could be enforced by law, whether that were spiritual or temporal. But the Roman Catholics did object to using these words in the oath of supremacy; and Mr. O'Connell, who was heard at the bar, objected to use those words of the oath. By the Act of 1829 Parliament admitted the Roman Catholics to seats upon the denial by them that "any foreign prince, prelate, person, State, or potentate, hath or ought to have any temporal or civil jurisdiction, &c., within this realm." That omission of the words "ecclesiastical or spiritual" was made in order to meet the scruples of the Roman Catholics. With regard to persons not Roman Catholics, the Act of 1829 did not alter the law; but with reference to the Roman Catholics it did alter the law so far as their right to take their seats in that House was concerned. The hon. and learned Member for Midhurst proposed to introduce words, in terms of which he (Lord John Russell) did not deny the force, that "no foreign prince, prelate, or potentate, hath or ought to have any jurisdiction or authority within the kingdom." But the question was obvious; did the hon. and learned Member mean, or did he not mean, to make any alteration in the Act of 1829? If he did not—and he (Lord J. Russell) certainly intended to make no alteration in that Act—he submitted that no object would be gained by the insertion of these words, and that the hon. and learned Member would receive no satisfaction by the introduction of words by which the Roman Catholic Members would not be bound. But he was afraid that the insertion of these words would give rise to a suspicion that the House was not satisfied with the words of the Act of 1829, and that there was some covert intention of altering it. He supposed that there could be no such intention on the part of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst; but if there were no such intention on his part, and if the House had no such intention, it would be far better not to throw any doubt on the subject by the insertion of these words. He objected to the assertion in the proposed Amendment that the Pope had pretended to constitute a hierarchy "according to the common rules of the Church of Rome." He thought that whether the Pope had gone beyond, or whether he had proceeded according to the common rules of the Church of Rome, in constituting this pretended hierarchy, the act would be equally objectionable to the House, and he saw some possible inconvenience in agreeing to such a statement. Thinking the words of the preamble, as they were proposed by the Government, quite sufficient, he could not agree to the Amendment.

said, the oath in the Act of 1829 had been originally taken from the 13th and 14th of Geo. III. in Ireland. The distinction between the oaths taken by Protestants and Roman Catholics had been made in order to relieve the conscientious scruples of the latter; but the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Midhurst touched no oaths or declaration which any Roman Catholic Member would have to take, and therefore was not calculated to create any embarrassment; while, if the constitutional state of England had been altered by the Act of 1829, as the hon. Member for Mayo had stated, and if this Amendment would have the effect of settling the doubts which existed since that period, he thought that circumstance in itself furnished a reason for its adoption. Now, although a good deal of time might be said to have been consumed in those discussions, he could not think it ought to be considered wasted if they could at last come to a clear understanding on that Bill. The opinion of Sir Edward Sugden relative to those oaths, expressed at a public meeting in Surrey, he conceived was sufficiently explanatory, and coming from such an authority, that opinion could not be controverted. Sir Edward Sugden stated that the omission of the words from the Act of 1829, by which Roman Catholics were relieved from the necessity of swearing that the Pope had no ecclesiastical or spiritual jurisdiction in these realms, was dictated solely with the view of relieving their consciences, and no change was introduced by that Act into the constitutional principles of this country. In the Act regulating the diplomatic relations with Rome, the Duke of Wellington had been careful to introduce a proviso preserving all the original Acts in their integrity, by which the powers of the sovereignty of this country were secured. With respect to the title of Head of the Church, that had been objected to by Elizabeth. The special statute of Henry VIII. had never been in force in Ireland, although the common law still preserved the right to the Sovereign. There ought to be no confusion about the meaning of the present Act—no misunderstanding whatsoever relative to it. He thought there was no substantial difference between the words and the principle involved in the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst, and the preamble of the Government; but the hon. Member's Amendment had this advantage, that it was not framed for another Act. The hon. Member's Amendment also pointed to a particular offence which was set out distinctly. There was, however, no principle in the preamble or other parts of the Bill of the Government which was not contained in the womb of the ancient constitution of this country.

said, that his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Dublin seemed to have based his argument upon the assumption that the Act of 1829 had introduced some doubts as to the constitutional doc- trine that no foreign prince or potentate has any authority in the realm of England. Now, he (the Attorney General) could not admit that there existed any doubt on the subject, though the hon. Member for Mayo had made some observations to that effect. He could not concede that ground at all, and he did not think it worth the while of the Committee, or of his hon. and learned Friend, to discuss the opinion which the indiscretion of the hon. Member for Mayo had induced him to utter. He could not, therefore, agree to the introduction of anything into the preamble which they should not have introduced if those doubts had not existed, or anything that could be supposed to justify such doubts. But if, as his hon. and learned Friend appeared to admit, there was no substantial difference between the two preambles, why introduce into the preamble something which would be unnecessarily painful and offensive to the Roman Catholic Members of that House? for it should be recollected that the present measure was to be the united act of the whole Legislature, and therefore he could not help thinking that the introduction of such a clause as that proposed by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Midhurst could not be justified unless the negation of the authority of any foreign prince or potentate were essential as a ground of legislation.

begged leave to state, in explanation, that what he had said was, that whereas before the Act of 1829 the rejection of the spiritual authority of the Pope was imperative, by the Act of 1829 the belief in that authority became a reserved point, which any Member of that House might assent to or not, as he pleased. The hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin appeared to think that the Roman Catholics only were affected by that Bill. If he merely meant to claim for himself the right to hold a different opinion respecting the authority of the Pope, he (Mr. Moore) would agree with him; but what he said was, that by the Act of 1829 Roman Catholics were empowered, without any impeachment of their duty or loyalty to the Crown, to believe in the spiritual authority of the Pope in this country.

thought, that although it had suited the purpose of illiberal and bigoted men to deny that the Pope had spiritual authority in this realm, that authority had been practically recognised even before the passing of the Act of 1829. That measure was only a legal and technical acknowledgment of what was practically admitted in all ages. Long before the passing of the Act of 1829, Dr. Troy was styled "Archbishop of Dublin;" and a petition signed by him in that style and designation was presented to the King upon his throne. Who had made him an Archbishop? Who but the Pope? The present Bill involved an absurdity in every clause, and would have no other operation but that detestable one of sowing the seeds of disunion between Catholics and Protestants, who were now united in the bonds of peace and harmony. All the difficulties of this question arose from a Protestant people attempting to legislate for a Catholic people; and they might rely upon it, that if they legislated for a Catholic people, they must do so upon Catholic principles. He could only say that the effect of their present legislation would be to make it entirely impossible to live in Ireland; and he regretted that Ministers seemed ignorant of the real difficulties of that country, which were to be found in the present condition of its landed property. If hon. Members went on legislating in this way for Ireland, it would soon cease to be worth keeping as one of the dependencies of the British Crown.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 131; Noes 140: Majority 9.

List of the AYES.

Arbuthnott, hon. H.Coles, H. B.
Archdall, Capt. M.Colvile, C. R.
Arkwright, G.Cowan, C.
Bailey, J.Damer, hon. Col.
Baillie, H. J.Davies, D. A. S.
Baldock, E. H.Denison, E.
Baldwin, C. B.Disraeli, B.
Baring, T.Dod, J. W.
Bateson, T.Dodd, G.
Beckett, W.East, Sir J. B.
Benbow, J.Fellowes, E.
Bernard, Visct.Fitzroy, hon. H.
Blandford, Marq. ofFloyer, J.
Bowles, Adm.Forbes, W.
Boyd, J.Forester, hon. G. C. W.
Bremridge, R.Fox, S. W. L.
Brisco, M.Gallwey, Sir W. P.
Broadley, H.Galway, Visct.
Buller, Sir J. Y.Gilpin, Col.
Bunbury, W. M.Glyn, G. C.
Campbell, Sir A. I.Goddard, A. L.
Chichester, Lord J. L.Gordon, Adm.
Child, S.Granby, Marq. of
Christopher, R. A.Greenall, G.
Clive, H. B.Gwyn, H.
Cobbold, J. C.Halford, Sir H.
Codrington, Sir W.Hall, Sir B.

Hallewell, E. G.Noel, hon. G. J.
Hamilton, G. A.Packe, C. W.
Hamilton, Lord C.Pakington, Sir J.
Harris, hon. Capt.Palmer, R.
Hastie, A.Pennant, hon. Col.
Heald, J.Plowden, W. H. C.
Henley, J. W.Plumptre, J. P.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C.Powell, Col.
Hervey, Lord A.Powlett, Lord W.
Hill, Lord E.Pugh, D.
Hodgson, W. N.Reid, Col.
Hope, Sir J.Richards, R.
Hornby, J.Rushout, Capt.
Hotham, LordSandars, G.
Hudson, G.Seaham, Visct.
Hughes, W. B.Sibthorp, Col.
Inglis, Sir R. H.Smyth, J. G.
Johnstone, J.Somerset, Capt.
Jones, Capt.Spooner, R.
Knightley, Sir C.Stafford, A.
Lacy, H. C.Stanley, E.
Langton, W. H. P. G.Stanley, hon. E. H.
Legh, G. C.Stauuton, Sir G. T.
Lindsay, hon. Col.Stuart, H.
Lockhart, W.Stuart, J.
Long, W.Thornhill, G.
Lygon, hon. Gen.Trollope, Sir J.
Mackenzie, W. F.Tyler, Sir G.
Macnaghten, Sir E.Verner, Sir W.
Manners, Lord C. S.Vesey, hon. T.
Maunsell, T. P.Vivian, J. E.
Miles, P. W. S.Waddington, H. S.
Miles, W.Walsh, Sir J. B.
Milner, W. M. E.Wellesley, Lord C.
Mitchell, T. A.Wigram, L. T.
Morgan, O.Willoughby, Sir H.
Morris, D.Wynn, H. W. W.
Napier, J.


Neeld, J.Walpole, S. H.
Newdegate, C. N.Bankes, J.

List of the NOES.

Abdy, Sir T. N.Divett, E.
Adair, R. A. S.Duncan, G.
Aglionby, H. A.Dundas, Adm.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl ofDundas, rt. hon. Sir D.
Ebrington, Visct.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T.Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T.Ellice, E.
Barron, Sir H. W.Ellis, J.
Bell, J.Estcourt, J. B. B.
Berkeley, Adm.Evans, J.
Bethell, R.Evans, W.
Birch, Sir T. B.Ewart, W.
Blake, M. J.Fergus, J.
Bouverie, hon. E. P.Ferguson, Col.
Boyle, hon. Col.Ferguson, Sir R. A.
Brockman, E. D.Fitz Patrick, rt. hon. J.
Brotherton, J.Foley, J. H. H.
Brown, W.Freestun, Col.
Cayley, E. S.French, F.
Clay, J.Grace, O. D. J.
Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Corbally, M. E.Granger, T.C.
Cowper, hon. W. F.Grattan, H.
Craig, Sir W. G.Grenfell, C. P.
Crawford, R. W.Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Crowder, R. B.Grey, R. W.
Davie, Sir H. R. F.Guest, Sir J.
Dawes, E.Harris, R.
Dawson, hon. T. V.Hastie, A.
Denison, J. E.Hatchell, rt. hon. J.
Devereux, J. T.Hawes, B.

Heywood, J.Pusey, P.
Higgins, G. G. O.Rawdon, Col.
Hindley, C.Reynolds, J.
Hodges, T. L.Ricardo, O.
Howard, P. H.Rich, H.
Hume, J.Roche, E. B.
Jackson, W.Rumbold, C. E.
Jermyn, EarlRussell, Lord J.
Keating, R.Seymour, Lord
Keogh, W.Shafto, R. D.
Kershaw, J.Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H.Smith, J. A.
Langston, J. H.Smith, M. T.
Lawless, hon. C.Somers, J. P.
Lewis, G. C.Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.
Mackie, J.Stansfield, W. R. C.
M'Cullagh, W. T.Stanton, W. H.
Meagher, T.Strickland, Sir G.
Mahon, The O'GormanSutton, J. H. M.
Mangles, R. D.Tennent, R. J.
Martin, C. W.Thicknesse, R. A.
Matheson, Col.Thompson, Col.
Monsell, W.Thornely, T.
Moore, G. H.Towneley, J.
Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.Traill, G.
Murphy, F. S.Trelawny, J. S.
Norreys, LordTufnell, rt. hon. H.
Norreys, Sir D. J.Vane, Lord H.
O'Brien, Sir T.Villiers, hon. C.
O'Connell, J.Walmsley, Sir J.
O'Connell, M. J.Wawn, J. T.
O'Connor, F.Westhead, J. P. B.
O'Flaherty, A.Willyams, H.
Ogle, S. C. H.Williamson, Sir H.
Ord, W.Wilson, J.
Osborne, R.Wilson, M.
Oswald, A.Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Parker, J.Wood, Sir W. P.
Pechell, Sir G. B.


Pinney, W.Hayter, W. G.
Power, Dr.Hill, Lord M.

said, he was convinced that unless the preamble were made to contain a distinct and peremptory affirmation of the constitutional doctrine of England with respect to the Pope's pretended authority, there would be no foundation on which to base the Bill. He hoped the Government would consent to introduce such an affirmation as he referred to.

, having read the preamble, submitted that it was worded in such a manner as to preclude the necessity of any such declaration as the hon. and learned Member wished to insert. He believed that the preamble proposed by the Government was well adapted to the purposes of the Bill, and that it had this additional advantage over the preamble suggested by the hon. and learned Gentleman, that it was better English.

was still of opinion that a peremptory affirmation of the state of the law in this respect was absolutely essential in a Bill of this description. He begged leave, therefore, to move that after the words, "under colour of the said brief, rescript, or letters apostolical," there be inserted the following words:—"And constituted within this realm, contrary to the laws and customs thereof, a hierarchy of bishops named from sees and with titles derived from places in this realm."

Amendment proposed—

"In line 8, after the words 'one thousand eight hundred and fifty,' to insert the words 'and purporting to constitute within this Realm, contrary to the laws and customs thereof, a Hierarchy of Bishops named from Sees, and with titles derived from places within this Realm.'"

thought these words unnecessary. Their purport was already implied in the Bill.

did not think that the meaning of this Act ought to be interpreted by implication. He believed that the Amendment proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Midhurst would be a valuable improvement, and he should vote for it accordingly.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 117; Noes 141: Majority 24.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Preamble stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 200; Noes 39: Majority 161.

House resumed. Bill reported as amended.

Oath Of Abjuration (Jews) Bill

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee; Mr. Bernal in the Chair.

Clause 1.

said, that entertaining as he did the strongest objections to the principle of this Bill, and feeling much anxiety to arrest its progress, he still thought that he should best consult the interests which he represented, and the convenience of the House, by neither making any lengthened observations on the subject, nor by dividing the Committee. What might be done by those with whom he had the honour to act, on another stage of the Bill, he could not pretend to say; but he was bound to admit that he had no objection to the details of the measure.

said he would follow the course taken by the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford, and not oppose the Bill in Committee. He did not believe that so monstrous a proposition as the Bill in question had ever been presented to a Parliament before. He looked upon the question in a religious point of view only, and, as such, he was prepared to combat it. Whatever might be the decision of the House of Commons on the remaining stages of the Bill, it was quite clear that the division on the second reading had affixed a stigma to it, which would not be lost sight of in the proper quarter. When the Government were only able to get a majority of 25 out of a House of nearly 400 Members, it was not likely that the House of Lords would sanction the measure. He hoped he was justified in saying that ours was a Christian Legislature, and, if so, we ought always to keep in view the honour and the praise of Him who was the fountain of all religion. He felt as much for the position of the Jew as any man in that House, and perhaps more so, and he would never relax his efforts to bring him to a sense of his condition; but if the Legislature were to pass a Bill of this nature, they would be taking by the hand the very men who, if the tragedy of Mount Calvary were to be again enacted, would play the same part. He earnestly and solemnly protested against legislation of this sort, as he believed it would be fatal to the best interests of a Christian country.

said, that, as the law stood, Roman Catholics were excluded from filling high offices of State, such as those of Lord Chancellor, First Minister of the Crown, or Archbishop of Canterbury. Should the Bill before the House place the Jews in a situation to fill those offices, it would be utterly inconsistent with past legislation on this subject.

expressed his confidence that the Bill would never pass the other House. He should be glad to be informed whether the noble Lord at the head of the Government recognised any distinction between Jews and other Members of that House. Some special arrangements with respect to Saturday sittings and to reading prayers in the House would be necessary. By this Bill, they would obtain a liberty and a license which other Members did not enjoy. He must protest against the whole proceeding. As this Bill came close on the heels of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, it was evident the noble Lord did not care one farthing for the religion of the country, or he would not insist on the passing the Bill.

said, he was satisfied, if this Bill, as had been stated by the learned Member for Midhurst, would place Jews in a better position than Roman Catholics, that this inconsistency must have arisen from an oversight, because he was sure the Government, in a measure of what they called justice, could not have intended that it should be more favourable to one class than it was to another.

said, the exclusion of Roman Catholics from certain offices of State did not depend merely on religious grounds, but on grounds that were entirely political; because the course of our legislation at the present time recognised the principle that the mere holding of one set of religious opinions more than another had no effect on the subject's civil privileges. But with respect to Roman Catholics, the Act of Settlement provided securities for the Protestant succession to the Throne, and it was clear that the numerous livings in the Protestant Church the appointment to which was vested in the Lord Chancellor, could not be vested in any Roman Catholic. But all this had arisen from political considerations, and according to the Act of Settlement. These considerations did not at all apply to the Jew, who had all the privileges of a British subject, and was only prevented from enjoying them, as had been repeatedly stated, by an accident. Lord Eldon had decided that a Jew could present to a living. A living in the city of London was elective, and the question arose who had the right to vote; and the decision was that Catholics had no right, but Jews had—every elector to the living being a fractional patron.

considered it a species of persecution to prevent any man from taking a seat in that House on the ground of his religious tenets. The noble Lord at the head of the Government was entitled to much praise for having introduced this Bill, and he hoped that he would press it forward. How absurd and anomalous must that law appear to a foreigner which permitted a Jew to enjoy all the privileges that could be enjoyed by an Englishman, except that of taking a seat in that House, simply through the operation of a few words accidentally introduced into an oath. He maintained that such an exception was never intended by the framers of that law. He hoped the noble Lord would press the measure forward; for a general election was likely to take place very shortly, and several Jews might be returned. He was surprised to hear people express alarm at the idea of one Jew taking a seat in that House. He should not be at all alarmed if there were dozens instead of one Jew sitting as legislators. Did the alarmists I fancy that the Jews had some power of conjuration whereby, if they were but once admitted into Parliament, they could alter the constitution of the country? He should be very happy to see several Jews sitting in that House. The possibility of a Jew becoming Lord High Chancellor of England had been hinted at. Well, that question would remain to be decided by those that followed us. If a Jew should, in the course of time, be elected to that high office, he had no doubt that it would not be degraded by a Jewish occupant. In other countries Jews had filled some of the most important offices with the greatest honour to themselves and their country; and why should they not do the same here? The House would do itself more credit than by anything they had done this Session, by passing this Bill.

had often heard it stated that the exclusion of the Jew from that House turned upon some accidental words in an Act of Parliament. If that were so, he would admit that the exclusion was an absurdity; but the proper inference to be drawn from the insertion in an Act of Parliament of those "accidental words" was, that the Legislature at that time assumed that every Member thereof was a Christian; for according to the common-law principles of the constitution, it was plain that every Member of an assembly having to legislate for a community, the whole of which was overruled by the principles of Christianity and the Word of God, should himself be a Christian. He therefore conceived that no enlightened foreigner could be surprised at the exclusion of a Jew from that Christian Legislature. For months past they had been legislating in vindication of the claim of our earthly Sovereign to earthly supremacy in these realms; and could they at the same time think of denying a supremacy incomparably greater than that of Queen Victoria, namely, that of our Lord and Saviour? He maintained that the only sure guarantee for the peace and prosperity of the empire was the adoption of laws founded upon the Word of God—that was to say, upon Christianity.

I heard not very long ago the hon. and learned Gentleman declare—and I heard it with great pleasure—that we in these days are accustomed to consider not the belief or religious tenets, but the conduct and ability, of the candidate when legislating with respect to admission to public offices. That opinion is, I think, a very just one, and I am sorry to find that the hon. Gentleman is now departing so far from that opinion. With reference to what he has said, and with reference likewise to what was said by the hon. Member for Kent, who spoke at the commencement of this short discussion, I must say that it appears to me that while we are perfectly right in doing everything that we can to promote the Christian religion, and to spread Christianity over the globe, I do not think that Christianity will derive any force from any mode which can in any way be called civil persecution. It does appear to me that to exclude persons from office, or any of the loyal subjects of Her Majesty from the power of legislation, is a species of persecution, and not at all consistent with the principles and spirit of Christianity.

said, this Bill was most objectionable, as giving to the enemies of Christianity the right to fill the highest offices in a Christian community. He put it to the House and to the country, whether it was decent or fit that the selection of clergymen to the cures of this country should be vested in those who rejected Christianity from its very foundation. He considered the measure repugnant to the strong religious feelings of the people of England.

said, it would appear from the observation of some of the hon. Gentlemen who had preceded him, that the people of this country were opposed to the emancipation of the Jews; but he believed that that assertion was not, whilst the contrary thereof he believed was, capable of proof. What were the facts? The immediate object of introducing this Bill was to enable one of the representatives of the city of London to take his seat. That hon. Gentleman had been elected on two occasions—not by a community of Jews, but by a community of Christians, as sincere as the hon. Gentleman who had preceded him could pretend to be. He should be glad to know what evidence these hon. Gentlemen had to justify their assertion that the people of England were opposed to the emancipation of the Jews. Such evidence was certainly not forthcoming in the shape of enormous petitions protesting against the admission of Jews into that House. And if he might be permitted to refer to that country with which he was more immediately connected—Ireland—he might observe that the feeling of Ireland was almost unanimously in favour of the emancipation of the Jews. They had in that House thirty-seven Members of the Catholic persuasion, and upon every occasion on which this subject had boon discussed, the vote of all those Catholic Members (with one exception) was in favour of the emancipation of the Jews. And yet, in the teeth of these facts, hon. Gentlemen got up night after night and asserted that the feeling out of doors was against the emancipation of the Jews. As a lover of civil and religious liberty, he could not but congratulate the Committee upon the noble work in which they were then engaged. They had just been engaged in a work of a very different description, and they had just been forging pains and penalties upon the Roman Catholics of this country. He was happy that the House was about to redeem its character by emancipating the Jew. An observation of the Solicitor General struck him as being peculiarly worthy of attention. That hon. and learned Gentleman had stated, and no doubt most truly, as was ever his wont in such matters, that Lord Eldon had decided that a Jew could appoint a Protestant rector to the cure of souls in a parish, but a Jew could not enter that House. Now, the reverse was the case with respect to the Roman Catholics, for whilst a Roman Catholic could sit in that House, he could not appoint a Protestant minister to the cure of a parish. This was another sample of the sort of laws under which we live in these "enlightened times."

said, the argument from the opposite side of the House amounted to asserting the principle that a majority ought to expel a minority—a principle not as yet universally received and acted on. Had it been asserted on a late occasion, a good deal of trouble might have been saved; but happily it was not. If he had on that occasion differed from the minority alluded to, it was not because his heart was not in the right place on the general question of religious toleration. One other point, he would take the opportunity to note. When the House had gone the length of putting the Old Testament into the hands of a candidate for admission, it was great pity advantage had not been taken of the step so gained, to propose the substitution in the oath, of the words "on the true faith of a believer in the book put into my hand." There was something so inconsequent in putting a book into a man's hand because he believed in it, and then asking him to swear on something else, that he was sure searching questions would be asked about it at the next general election, and the reputation of the House be found concerned.

Clause agreed to, as was the Preamble. House resumed.

Bill reported without Amendment.

Supply—The Kaffir, War

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [16th June]—

"That the Resolution reported [16th June] from the Committee of Supply, 'That a sum, not exceeding 300,000l., be granted to Her Majesty towards defraying the Expenses of the Kaffir War, beyond the ordinary Grants for Army, Navy, Ordnance, and Commissariat Services, for the years 1850–51 and 1851–52,' be now read a Second Time."

Question again proposed: Debate resumed.

said, he had objected to this Report being confirmed, on account of some statements which were calculated to mislead and give offence in the colony. The Vote was for 300,000l. for a first instalment of the expenses of the Kaffir war. He was sorry to say, he differed altogether from the Government in the statement they had made as to the necessity for this call on the finances of the country. Nothing but gross mismanagement had led to the present state of affairs in the Cape colony; and he objected to the Vote, as burdensome, not only to this country, but to the colonists. The money was to be applied in aid of a war, not at the Cape, but in the remote district of Kaffraria, which was governed by a separate commission from the Queen. If the people of this country were from day to day to be heavily amerced for carrying on discreditable wars in our own Colonies, and contrary to the wishes of the inhabitants, the policy would prove a ruinous one. He had long advocated representative institutions for the colony. The war now raging was most wild and visionary. To talk of extending British rule to the Equator, as was contemplated by Lord Grey and Sir H. Smith, was most outrageous. Unless the colonists of the Cape could assist in putting down the military inroads of the Kaffirs, this country would be amerced to an enormous extent. No matter what might have been the cause of the war—he believed it to have been aggression and injustice on our part—the only thing now to be done was to put down war and hostile inroads on the frontier, and it was essential that this should be done without delay. He hoped the Government would reconsider their determination of not giving the Cape representative government till the war was at an end. Let this objection to the co-operation of the colonists be removed at once, by carrying out the letters patent, and then the colonists would be ready to assist heart and hand in putting an end to the war: were they disappointed in the object they had so long sought, he feared they would not be so ready to co-operate with our troops. But if the colonists were not to obtain their civil rights, the noble Lord should explain the grounds on which they were to be kept out of them. Having said so much, it was not his intention to oppose the Vote. However, he should observe the war was not a war of the colony, but one caused by the Governor, and which would not have taken place were there a responsible electoral government. The noble Lord (Lord John Russell) had done a great injustice in stating that the gentlemen called into the Council by Sir Harry Smith, instead of aiding, thwarted the proceedings of that Council from the outset. The noble Lord of course spoke from the despatches laid before him; but he (Mr. Hume) asserted that these documents were incorrect, as he could prove that the noble Lord in that respect was very much mistaken or misinformed. On the arrival of intelligence at the Cape that the Imperial Government was about to confer constitutional government on the colony, it caused great rejoicing amongst the inhabitants; and, so far from difficulties being thrown in the way, the people readily responded to the call of Sir Harry Smith to elect five representatives to sit in Council to prepare the basis and outlines of the constitution. Whatever opinion he (Mr. Hume) entertained of Sir Harry Smith as regarded other matters, yet in that particular he considered him worthy of great praise and credit. He placed the right of election in the hands of the people themselves to fill five vacancies, the men to be considered as elected who should have the highest number of votes. Now these gentlemen considered they were elected, not with a view to prepare the estimates, or to transact any of the other ordinary business, but simply to prepare a form of constitution. The speech of the Governor to the Council, as might be seen by the despatch of the 6th of September, informed the gentlemen to that effect; for he (the Governor) said—

"You are aware that one of the principal objects for which you are now called together is to pass an ordinance to frame a basis of new government for the colony on the principle of popular election."
After such a statement as that, he did not think it was fair of the noble Lord to lay such an accusation as he did against those gentlemen, simply for declining to do that which they conceived they had no right to do. They regretted much that the constitution was not framed: but they expressed no regret whatever, nor did they entertain any, in reference to the course they had adopted; rather, on the contrary, they would, if placed in the same position, act again in the very same manner. The views entertained by these gentlemen as to their non-interference in the preparation of the estimates, or other general business of the Council, were supported by large numbers of the colonists in public meetings assembled; and, therefore, in his opinion, the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) was bound to relieve these gentlemen from the charge uttered against them—uttered, he believed, on misunderstanding. Therefore, he appealed to the noble Lord, as he regarded the state of the colony, the state of the finances of the empire, and for the sake of peace, not to allow further time to pass without giving to that colony the blessings of a constitution which its inhabitants so earnestly desired. He had prepared an Amendment to be added to the vote, to the effect that "it was the opinion of that House that the speediest way of terminating the war, was, by granting to the colony the constitution guaranteed it by letters patent."

The speech of the hon. Gentleman who last addressed the House may be divided into two parts—the one upon the subject of a representative constitution to the Cape of Good Hope, and the other the present war upon our frontier in that colony. Now, I do not know that I can add much to what I have stated on a former occasion, in expressing the views of the Government on this subject; but if I can make those views more clear, I will endeavour to do so. With respect to the question of granting a constitution to the Cape, letters patent were transmitted from this country; but those letters patent did not contain the complete detail of the scheme of representative government that was to be established. They contained the outline of a scheme which was to be filled up at the Cape of Good Hope, and when so filled up the constitution was not immediately to be put in force, but the details were to be sent back to this country in the shape of Ordinances. Those Ordinances were to be considered by the Government at home, and such advice tendered to Her Majesty thereon as Her Majesty's Ministers might deem fitting to the occasion, and suitable for the welfare of the colonists. What happened upon the occasion of those letters patent was this: Sir Harry Smith, instead of appointing nominees to the vacant seats in the Council, thought that it would give greater weight in the colony to any opinions that might be given in the Council, and to the results at which they might arrive, if a certain number of members of the Council were chosen by election, and thus formed, as it were, a kind of representation even in the body by which the new Ordinances were to be proposed. He was not very fortunate in the result of that operation; because whatever might have been the motives of the four gentlemen who were elected to these seats in the Council—and I do not mean to impugn their motives—they certainly differed so considerably from the majority of the Council (the greater part of them consisting of official members, but with the addition of two who represented the eastern district of the colony), that at length they, considering that after the difficulties which had occurred a reconciliation was not to be expected, quitted the Council, and the majority were thus left to consider what should next be done. It was resolved, with the advice of the law officers of the colony, to constitute a Commission to take further proceedings independent of the Legislative Council, and to consider in that Commission the whole of the details concerning the representation of the colony. Now, it is evident that that proceeding could not lead to the result which was originally contemplated by Her Majesty's Government, because such a Commission could not send home to this country Ordinances in such a shape that they could be taken into consideration here, and sent out again to be put in force in the colony. Still less could they have done what the hon. Member seems to suppose was practicable; that is, put in force immediately in the country, without further deliberation, such a constitution as they thought advisable. Then comes the question of the representations made in this House with regard to the conduct of those who formed this Council; and if I have at all given a wrong colour to their motives, or imputed to them intentions which they did not entertain, I am exceedingly sorry so to have represented them. But the authority on which I spoke is Sir Harry Smith's letters home; for he thought, whether justly or unjustly, that they had intended to resign before they actually did so. He says—

"It was clear to every one that the four Members who afterwards resigned had determined not to proceed with the estimates, or transact any general business. The adjournment was only moved with a view to popular agitation, in order to bring the matter to an issue at once. These gentlemen had from the first meeting of the Council acted together as a party, and having been defeated on several questions in Committee, it was quite clear to every one that they had determined to resing their seats."
That was in a despatch of date September 24, 1850. In a subsequent despatch, dated November 30, he says—
"The fact is, as stated in my despatch of the 2nd of October last, the four Members who have resigned had evidently determined to do so when defeated in the Committee on the question of the qualification of Members of the Upper House."
I think that in so acting, those four members, with Sir A. Stockenstroem at their head, took a most unfortunate course. My hon. Friend says it was impossible for them to proceed with the estimates and the ordinary business of a Legislative Council; but there was nothing whatever in the constitution of that Council which was to induce them to think that it was a Constituent Assembly, and that it was not to take into consideration the ordinary business of a Legislative Council. It was part, as I have said, of the general intention, that any Ordinances which they framed, as the groundwork of a representative constitution, should be sent back here, and should only be put in effect, when they had been considered here; so that it was impossible for Sir Harry Smith not to bring before that Council the ordinary business of a Legislative Council, and more especially the estimates of the year. In the writs of summons for the election of those Gentlemen, there was nothing implying that they were to serve only for the purpose of framing a constitution; but, on the contrary, that they were to serve as members of a Legislative Council. My hon. Friend himself has referred to an address by the Governor to the Legislative Council, in which he says, "One of the principal subjects we shall have to consider is the framing of a representative constitu- tion." That expression clearly implies that this was not the whole business they had to consider; because the Governor would in that case have said, that not the principal but the sole end for which they were called together, was to consider of framing a constitution. They formed, however, a different opinion of their duty; they decided that they ought not to consider the estimates; and the whole work was at once brought to a close. The hon. Gentleman says they were supported in the course they took by the opinion of the colony. They were supported by a considerable number of the inhabitants, no doubt; there was a large party in their favour; and I believe there is also a large party which takes the opposite view of the interests of the colony. What is, at all events, sufficiently clear is, that if the Legislative Council had agreed to despatch the immediate business before them—if they had proceeded to consider the estimates, and settled them by a majority of the Council—if they had considered and decided, likewise by a majority, what should be the plan and the qualification for the Upper House of the Legislature—if they had drawn up ordinances on all those points and sent them home—those ordinances would before this time have received the observation and comment of the Government at home, Her Majesty's assent would have been procured to the whole constitution, and a representative constitution would now have existed in the Cape colony. It was for that reason that I said I thought those gentlemen must regret the course they had pursued. I am sorry to learn that they do not regret it. I certainly would not impute any motive to them beyond a wish, according to their views, to promote the prosperity of the country to which they belong. Sir Andries Stockenstroem is a man who for many years has taken a deep interest in the affairs of the Cape, of which he is a native, and I have no doubt has formed a conscientious opinion as to what his duties are; but I do think it was most unfortunate that he should come to that opinion, and my own belief is that it would have been far more dignified, and far more conducive to the interests of the colony, that he should have continued his services in the Legislative Council, and have submitted, as members of a Legislative Council do, to the decision of the majority. But in the present state of affairs, there is no doubt that very-great difficulties have arisen. Lord Grey has done the only thing that was to be done in the circumstances—directed the Governor for the time to form a Legislative Council which can go on with the current business of the colony. I quite agree with my hon. Friend, that if letters patent had been issued establishing a constitution, and the Government had afterwards proposed to revoke them, and to put an end to the constitution, this would not have been in accordance with the laws and constitution of this country. But the case at present is far more difficult and complicated; because here is a constitution which is merely an outline, and cannot have vigour and effect until it shall be first filled up at the Cape, and afterwards approved and sanctioned by the Government at home; therefore it is at present only an imperfect instrument, and it wants that which is essential in order to give it force and efficacy. I very much regret that state of things. I believe it would be far better that there should be a representative constitution in force; but I own I see great temporary difficulties in the way, when the Governor, who is to be the chief of the Executive, and many of the principal inhabitants of the Cape, are at a distance, employed in defending the frontier of the colony. Still it would not be right to say, if the war should last an indefinite time, that the representative constitution should be withheld during that indefinite time. I quite agree that there must come a day when, in some way or other, more or less imperfectly, according to the best of our judgments, we must put that representative constitution in force. With regard to the second part of this great subject, I think my hon. Friend has not made clear to the House what is the proposition which those hon. Gentlemen to whom he alludes wish to see prevail, and to which they wish to gain the assent of the House. The real fact is, that the existence of this district of British Kaffraria is an extension of the frontier for the purpose, for the sole purpose, of defending the inhabitants and settlers of the Cape of Good Hope against hostile incursions. It is not, as I stated before, for the sake of augmented empire; it is of no other advantage to this country than as enabling us to defend the settlers in that colony; and I do believe that never was an opinion entertained so generally in a country as the opinion that the best mode of securing the safety of the colonists, the best mode by which their lives can be protected, and they can be enabled to cultivate their properties in peace, was the extension of the frontier as originally proposed by Sir Benjamin D'Urban. The way in which that ensued was very obvious; because, in the former state of things, great numbers of Kaffirs, not so well furnished with weapons and offensive arms as they are at present, being on the immediate frontier of the settled parts of the colony, there occurred, from time to time, irruptions—sometimes by a few, sometimes by numerous bands, and, on one occasion, amounting to so many as 10,000 men, sweeping all before them, and invading the country without any warning being given that such an event was likely to happen, it being discovered only by the presence of thousands of enemies, who overspread the country, destroying and burning the farmhouses, carrying away the herds, and murdering the families of the settlers. They argued then—and Sir Benjamin D'Urban approved of that view of the subject—that if there were a country beyond the frontier in which the Kaffirs could be kept in order, and governed by means of their chiefs, with certainly an imperfect allegiance, but still in a state of quasi subjection to the British Crown, that then they would be able to prevent those savages from invading the colony. Well, that is the plan which has been adopted. But now it is said by some of the colonists, or my hon. Friend says it on their behalf, "If it is a question of defending the frontier and our own farms and possessions, we are ready to appear in arms for that purpose; but if the question is as to the defence of British Kaffraria, that is no affair of ours—that is a territory which you are bound, with the money of Great Britain and the arms of Her Majesty's troops, to defend and keep quiet, and you are not to appeal to us for the purpose." I must say that is not a very reasonable proposition; it is rather a deception to say, "Give us a representative constitution, and we will defend our frontier, and save you from the expenses contingent on it." This appears tempting enough; but when you inquire further you find it means, "We will defend that part of the frontier where there is no prospect of aggression, and where there are no persons to attack us; but where the invading tribes live and are likely to be troublesome and aggressive, that part of the territory you must keep quiet yourselves." However, I hope these difficulties will come to an end. For my own part, I believe that the Cape colonists ought to have representative institutions, because men who have such institutions do feel far more zeal and ardour in defending the country to which they belong, than they would if governed by any single person or nominee council, and therefore I expect that, when a representative assembly is established, you will see a more general and more potent spirit in favour of defending the frontier; but I think it would be imprudent to suppose that if you at once send out a constitution for the adoption of the colony, you would be freed from the burden and losses of the war. It is not to be doubted that this colony will yet form, like some other great colonies in which we had formerly losses and disasters to sustain, a prosperous and flourishing community. We ask for a Vote of money to enable us to carry the colony through this contest in which it is now engaged. I differ from my hon. Friend as to time, and other particulars of his arguments; but I hope the day is not far distant when we shall agree both as to the means and all other particulars in establishing this representative government.

Question put, and agreed to: Resolution agreed to.

Civil Bills, &C (Ireland) Bill

Order for Committee read.

said, that as this Bill had passed through the ordeal of a Select Committee, he should not oppose it. But he wished to call attention to the fact that notice of three Amendments had been given by the hon. Member for the county of Dublin (Captain Taylor), for Rochdale (Mr. S. Crawford), and for Dundalk (Mr. M'Cullagh), and to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland, whether he would postpone the clauses to which those Amendments referred (the 73rd and 82nd) together with the schedules of professional fees, which required amendment and correction, to a sufficiently distant day to give parties interested in them an opportunity of considering them, and representing their views to the House.

said, that he must protest against certain clauses in the Bill which had the effect of taking from tenants at will in Ireland some of the advantages which they at present possessed. As, however, the Attorney General had promised to postpone these clauses, he would not oppose the Speaker leaving the Chair.

said, that there were no clauses which would at all affect the position of tenants at will. The clause to which the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. S. Crawford) seemed to refer, would do no more than make clear what one of the Judges had already decided to be the effect of the original Civil Bills Act.

said, that the 73rd clause would give the landlord increased powers, for it gave him power to eject his tenant by process in the Civil Bills Court, provided he did not owe more than one year's rent, amounting to 50l. He objected to piecemeal legislation on this subject, which was most injurious to the country, especially as while Bills were brought forward which gave additional powers to the landlord, no measures were adopted to give additional security to the tenants, such as compensation for permanent improvements. He thought that if the Irish landlords would give up the right of distraining for rent altogether, it would be the best way of settling this question. This Bill, in its present form, would operate unjustly, because it gave the landlord new powers of ejectment without giving the tenant any means of obtaining compensation for the permanent improvements he might make upon the land.

House in Committee; Mr. Bernal in the Chair.

said, that he should oppose any progress being made in Committee, unless he received a promise from the Attorney General for Ireland that the schedules for fixing the amount of professional fees should be postponed to a sufficiently distant day.

said, that his right hon. Friend the Attorney General had already promised to postpone certain clauses, and this, by the rules of the House, would imply the postponement of the schedules, which could not be taken until all the clauses had been considered.

In answer to Mr. REYNOLDS,

said, that he proposed to take the postponed clauses and the schedules on Thursday next.

said, that he feared that that would not be a sufficiently distant day to allow time for the correction of these schedules, which were in a very imperfect state. He should persevere in opposing any progress being made in Com- mittee unless the Attorney General for Ireland would consent to postpone these schedules to Monday next.

asked if he was to understand that the 73rd and 82nd clauses were to be postponed to Thursday?

said, that he could not consent to postpone the consideration of the schedules beyond Thursday next. The measure had been several months before the House, the Session had far advanced, and it was necessary now to proceed. He thought that his right hon. Friend the Attorney General for Ireland had already promised to postpone the clauses referred to.

would withdraw his opposition to the Committee proceeding with the Bill, reserving to himself the right of subsequently opposing the consideration of the schedules on Thursday.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2.

moved as an Amendment, that the present Chairman of the county of Dublin should, so long as he remained in office, be not ineligible to sit in Parliament.

said that, considering the age of the present occupant of the office, the Government was disposed to give way and agree to the Amendment.

thought it was inconsistent that a person holding a judicial office under the Crown should be eligible to hold a seat in that House. Mr. Shaw, the recorder, had felt it necessary to retire from the House because his judicial and legislative functions clashed, and he thought it would be unwise on the part of the House to admit the principle that the one was compatible with the other.

was of opinion, that the present chairman of the county of Dublin had a right by Act of Parliament to a seat in that House, if he were elected, although no other assistant barrister had. The present holder of the office was seventy years of age, and he no doubt thought that it would be a feather in his cap if he were permitted, although it was not likely that he would avail himself of the privilege, to hold a seat in the House. Under these circumstances he hoped the Committee would agree to the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to, as were all the subsequent clauses, up to Clause 34.

Clause 35 (Jurisdiction in ordinary cases, what actions assistant barristers may hear and determine).

said, he could not see any reason why actions amounting to 50l. might not be tried in those courts, as they were in England in the County Courts, and he therefore proposed as an Amendment that 50l. should be substituted for 40l.

Amendment proposed, "In line 37, to leave out the word 'forty' in order to insert the word 'fifty' instead thereof."

stated that, although he was himself in favour of extending the jurisdiction of the Assistant Barrister's Court, to 50l., still, as an understanding had been come to in the Committee upstairs that the amount should be limited to 40l., and that the Bill should pass in its present form, he would oppose the Amendment.

thought the Committee was not bound by any understanding which had been come to upstairs.

said, it had been proposed to limit the jurisdiction of the Assistant Barrister's Court to 30l., but it having been also proposed that it should be extended to 50l., the Committee upstairs had, for the sake of unanimity, fixed upon 40l.

said, the clause had been very carefully considered upstairs, and although he was himself in favour of a limitation of 30l., under all the circumstances he had consented to the sum of 40l.

Question put, "That the word 'forty' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 82; Noes 39: Majority 43.

Clause agreed to: as were Clauses 36 to 72. Clause 73 postponed. Clauses 74 to 81 agreed to. Clauses 82, 157, and 158 postponed. Remaining clauses agreed to.

said, there was a clause in the Bill as originally introduced by Government, which he wished to see in the present Bill, and which was thrown out by a small portion of the Committee. That clause was, that if an action should be brought in the Superior Courts, when the proceedings might have been by civil bill, the person bringing that action should not get costs larger than those which he would have been entitled to, had he proceeded in the inferior court, unless the Judge who tried it gave a certificate that it was right to bring the action in a Superior Court.

Clause ("If in any action brought after the commencement of this Act in any of Her Majesty's Superior Courts of Record in Dublin, in debt, covenant, detinue, or assumpsit (save for breach of promise of marriage), the plaintiff shall recover, for debt or damages, exclusive of costs, a sum not exceeding twenty pounds, or if in any action (brought as last aforesaid) of trespass, trover, or trespass on the case (not being in replevin, or for slander, libel, malicious prosecution, breach of promise of marriage, seduction, or criminal conversation with a man's wife), the plaintiff shall recover for damages, exclusive of costs, a sum not exceeding five pounds, the plaintiff in any such action shall not be entitled to any costs, unless at the trial of such cause the Judge shall certify on the back of the record, either that the case was one which could not have been tried in the Civil Bill Court, or that, although within the jurisdiction of the Civil Bill Court, it nevertheless was a fit case to be tried in one of such Superior Courts, or (in case there shall be no trial) unless the Court or a Judge shall, on Motion, make an Order to the like effect; and in case there shall be no such Certificate or Order, it shall not be necessary to enter any suggestion on the Record to deprive such plantiff of costs, nor shall any such plaintiff be entitled to costs by reason of any privilege in consequence of either the plaintiff or defendant being an attorney or officer of such Court or otherwise.")

Brought up, and read 1°.

said, that in consequence of the inconvenience which it was feared would attend such a clause, the opinion of the Committee was that it should not be admitted; and therefore, after much discussion, it was rejected, as it would entail great hardships on plaintiffs who had to come from a distance, and who were entitled to higher costs than others.

approved of the clause as being in conformity with the general object of the Bill, which was to cheapen the administration of the law for the benefit of the poor.

After a few words from Mr. O'FLAHERTY, Mr. NAPIER, and Mr. KEOGH,

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second Time."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 63; Noes 92: Majority 29.

House resumed; Committee report progress.

Lands Clauses Consolidation (Ireland) Bill

Order for Second Reading read.

, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, said, he had explained on another occasion the object of the measure, which was to supply a cheap and summary method of conveyance of land in Ireland in the transactions of railway companies. It had been introduced in consequence of what he believed to be a prevailing feeling in Ireland, that it would be most beneficial to the interests of that country that some more summary and cheaper mode of valuing land for compensation, when taken for railways, should be substituted for a jury trial. Owing to the nature of the tenure of land in Ireland, the law which worked well in England was inapplicable to that country, and the expense and delay which attended the valuation of land there operated as a serious obstruction to the construction of railways, and consequently, to the development of the resources of Ireland. He had, in the present measure, adopted the course which was followed in the Shannon Navigation Bill, and constructed a system of arbitration. The arbitrator, after inquiry into the value of land, would in the first instance make a draught award, and after that was published he would at another sitting give his final award. He was aware that there was an opinion that the mode adopted in the Galway Act was preferable, which also established a system of arbitration, but allowed an appeal to a jury at quarter-sessions. He should be sorry to set any opinion of his own against that entertained by the gentlemen of Ireland. All he desired was, the opportunity of fairly considering the merits of the two systems with the gentlemen interested in the subject. He therefore proposed, if the House allowed him to read the Bill a second time, to put himself in communication with the Irish Members on both sides of the House; and, deferring the Committee on the Bill to a distant day, he should be willing to adopt whichever of the two modes had the weight of Irish authority in its favour. All he asked was an opportunity of fairly considering the remedy; and be believed that there would be no objection to the course he suggested, inasmuch as he believed the principle of the Bill was very generally approved of.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

said, that the speech just made by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade appeared to him one of the most remarkable, and, indeed, one of the most dangerous, that he had ever heard in that House. The right hon. Gentleman, with all the authority of high official position, had introduced that evening a new method of conducting the business of the country. The Government were no longer to introduce their measures and to induce the House of Commons to support them by open discussion; but the right hon. Gentleman, in reference to this Bill, asked the House to approve of the principle of it, and then intimated that with regard to the details, he would settle them with the Irish Members on both sides of the House—wherever he might meet them, at whatever time, and under whatever circumstances. In other words, the discussion of the measure was not to take place in the House of Commons at all, but under circumstances over which the House of Commons could have no control. It might be doubtful, in this case, whether the right hon. Gentleman would have been justified in proposing a Select Committee; but that was a question which might have been fairly debated; and if such a proposition had been agreed to, and the right hon. Gentleman had come back to the House with the report of a Select Committee, and had thus attempted to influence the opinion of the House, it would at least have been apparent that the House would be influenced by a legitimate and recognised authority, and the right hon. Gentleman would have acted in the manner usual with Ministers and with Members of the House. What the light hon. Gentleman now proposed was to come back to the House to report that he had privately settled the matter with the Irish Members—it might be in an impartial, but certainly not in a constitutional manner. It was no longer a matter for the House of Commons to decide; but it was to be decided in another place, in another manner, and all discussion was now to be stopped as quite unnecessary. He begged the House to consider what would be the end of a system like that, and he entirely protested against the conduct which the right hon. Gentleman recommended them to adopt. If the right hon. Gentleman wanted a Select Committee, let him move for it; let it be formed in a proper and constitutional manner, and no doubt the House of Commons, without being bound by the decision of the Committee, would allow it to exercise that proper influence which was always willingly and gratefully accorded to the opinions of a Committee. But, for his own part, he entirely protested against this new system by which Government was to carry on business, and deprive the House of Commons of its ancient, proper, and constitutional attributes.

was disposed to meet the right hon. Gentleman in the spirit in which he had appealed to the Irish Members.

thought the question before the House was a great constitutional question, and that the Bill was a direct invasion of public rights. The Bill enabled any railway company wanting land to apply to the Railway Commissioners, who might appoint a single arbitrator to value the property, whose decision should he absolute and final. He could not consent to any Bill which made a single arbitrator the sole judge of the property of another without the right of appeal. He was quite willing to consider any Amendment which the Government might propose, with the view of modifying this objectionable provision, but he would never sanction the measure as it now stood.

said, that the principle of the Bill had been applied to the Gal-way Railway Bill, and some other private measures, and had given such general satisfaction in Ireland, that its extension was much desired.

agreed that the principle of the Bill had given great satisfaction in Ireland. He could not, however, agree to some of the details, more especially that which gave a single arbitrator the power of determining the value of another man's property. He begged to differ from the hon. Member for Bucks, who had charged the Government with consulting the Irish Members with reference to the Bill. He believed that the practice had always been to consult Scotch Members on Scotch matters, and English Members on English matters. Why then should not the Irish Members be consulted upon that which was a purely local matter? If the principle of consulting hon. Members on such matters were more generally adopted, it would much facilitate the business of the House, and tend to make legislation more satisfactory.

could say, as Chairman of Committees of that House, that it was time such a Bill should be passed. The principle of the present Bill was, to vary the law with regard to Irish railways, and not to bind down the companies to the Land Clauses Consolidation Act. The House would only affirm the principle of arbitration by agree- ing to the second reading. He (Mr. Bernal) dissented from the proposal to have only one arbitrator, and to make his decision final; but that was a matter of minor detail. He (Mr. Bernal) as Chairman of Committees had called upon his right hon. Friend (Mr. Labouchere) to introduce such a Bill, because many Irish Members introduced Bills to depart from the Land Clauses Consolidation Act, on the ground that the holdings in Ireland were so small, and the tenure of land was so different from that in this country, that great and ruinous expense and delay would be caused if a different principle were not adopted. He had accordingly requested his right hon. Friend to address his attention to the subject, and not to leave it to each Committee to determine whether the Land Clauses Act should be departed from in that particular case. The present he regarded as a purely local matter, and one not affecting any constitutional right of the subject, and therefore the Government might very well derive assistance from the Irish Members on the question of details.

was not prepared to offer an opinion on the merits of this Bill; but he agreed with his hon. Friend (Mr. Disraeli) that the Government had not adopted the best and most constitutional mode of proceeding. His hon. Friend did not object that the Irish Members should be consulted, but he objected that a part of that House should be consulted out of that House, and then that the House should be called upon to agree to what they proposed. Why had not the right hon. Gentleman consulted these Irish Members before he brought in his Bill.

had, in common with other Irish Members, been consulted by the Government, and they all agreed that some alteration of the law with regard to the assessing the value of land was necessary, because the system of juries had created great difficulties in carrying out railways in Ireland. By agreeing to the second reading, the House would not pledge itself to the details, or to the principle of arbitration; and he was grateful to the President of the Board of Trade for the course the right hon. Gentleman had taken.

said, that if the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire had left any doubt on his mind as to the propriety of the course proposed, the hon. Member for Queen's County had shown that, at least, it was doubtful, if not altogether inexpedient. The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire had been censured from an entire misunderstanding of what he had said. The hon. Member had never said that the Government had no right to consult hon. Members; but he objected to the time and mode of consulting them. It was said they were called on now to pledge themselves to the principle of the Bill, and not to the principle of arbitration. But the principle of the Bill was arbitration by a single person, who was to be appointed by the Commissioners of Railways. That was a principle such as he had never heard of in any law; and it was one upon which English Members had a right to be consulted.

respectfully wished Irish Members to consider what the land clauses, and particularly arbitration clauses, were, because it seemed to him that if he lived in Ireland he should be very sorry to exempt his land from the operation of the Land Clauses Act, for by that Act the owner of land had the option of obtaining a valuation of his land either by a jury or an arbitrator. He thought that the principle of this Bill was altogether unconstitutional. The principle of the Bill was, that it should be in the power of the Commissioner acting under it—that was to say, of a Government officer, to appoint an arbitrator. The third clause declared that only two clauses, namely, the 16th and 17th of the Land Clauses Act, which regulate land in England, should be applied to Ireland. And to what matters did these two clauses refer? Simply to the capital subscribed. With respect to every other matter, the Irish landlord was left to the mercy of an arbitrator, to be appointed by an officer of the Government. In his (Mr. Stuart's) opinion, this Bill ought to be withdrawn, with the view of introducing another in accordance with the wishes of the Irish Members, and the rights due to the Irish landowner.

viewed with great distrust any departure from the English law in Bills relating to Ireland. They had already seen vast sacrifices of property under the operation of the Encumbered Estates Act, and he did not desire to see any further departure from the law which regulated land in England. He tendered his thanks to Mr. Disraeli for the candid manner in which he had endeavoured to submit this important question to the consideration of that great tribunal.

was greatly interested in the railways of the south of Ireland, and had found that Bills of this nature had worked admirably. He, there- fore, hoped that this Bill might be adopted without delay. He thought it would be a great pity to throw any obstacle in the way of Irish railways, and thanked the right hon. Gentleman for introducing it.

said, that the principle of arbitration had already been tried in Ireland, where it had succeeded well. In voting for the second reading of this Bill, he considered that he should be voting in favour of the principle of arbitration.

thanked the right hon. Gentleman for the introduction of the measure. Nobody could say that railways in Ireland were not most desirable; but he hoped a clause of appeal to a jury would be added, and another as regarded the rights of occupying tenants under the Land Clauses Consolidation Act.

said, he felt that he should be acting inconsistently with the general opinion of the House if he did not support the Bill; and he trusted the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire would not press his view of the question on the present occasion. He must also tender his thanks to the right hon. Gentleman opposite for this attempt to adapt the law to the peculiar circumstances of Ireland.

said, the Land Clauses Act did not work well in Ireland, but the clauses in the Galway Bill, subsequently introduced, had proved advantageous. He would not say he approved of all the details, but he certainly would vote in favour of the principle of the measure.

said, a remarkable misconception appeared to prevail in some quarters respecting the purport of the observations he had addressed to the House. The hon. Member for Galway supposed him to have said, that the Irish Members ought not to be consulted on Irish subjects. He said nothing of the kind. It was his opinion that the Irish Members might properly be consulted, not only on Irish, but other subjects; but then, their opinion upon measures before the House ought to be solicited, according to the custom and usage of Parliament, either by discussion or by investigation before a Select Committee.

The explanation of the hon. Gentleman made it necessary for him to explain, so that all misconception might be removed. The hon. Gentleman seems to think that I did not consult Irish Members until an advanced stage of the measure. Now, so far from this being the case, the Bill had its origin in consultations with Irish Members. In questions where party matters do not interfere, I shall never be ashamed of taking that course, for I think the Government and the public may be benefited by the experience of those best acquainted with what, after all, must form the groundwork of legislation. I would consult English and Scotch Members upon an English or Scotch Bill; and notwithstanding the rebuke this has brought upon me from the hon. Gentleman, I will take the same line respecting Irish Members of Parliament, and others, upon Irish questions.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 2°.

Church Building Acts Amendment Bill

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

opposed the second reading of so important a Bill at so late an hour. It was a most extraordinary measure, as it went to confiscate the free sittings in churches, and he hoped the second reading would not now be pressed.

said, the Bill had emanated from a Parliamentary Commission. One of the clauses did subject a portion of the free sittings to payment; and, after communication with the Earl of Carlisle, who conducted it through the other House, he hoped to make some alteration in it before going to Committee. If the hon. Gentleman would now consent to the second reading, he would state the nature of those alterations before the next stage of the Bill.

hoped that the right hon. Baronet would not press the second reading of the Bill at this late hour—half-past twelve.

said, there were a number of objections to the Bill. Many of his constituents had subscribed to the building of churches on the understanding that the seats were to be rent free, whereas this Bill would have the opposite effect.

said, he had understood his noble Friend to express his entire satisfaction with the measure.

said, this was a measure of practical reform, which was greatly needed, and great anxiety was felt in the manufacturing districts concern- ing it. He thought the sooner they went into Committee the better.

hoped the right hon. Baronet would not press the House to a division. The principle of the Bill was to take away the free seats that had been subscribed for.

hoped the House would have consented to the second reading. His noble Friend (Viscount Duncan) had certainly given him the impression that he approved of the measure.

explained, that he had only expressed his opinion on the first clause.

then moved the adjournment of the debate till To-morrow at Twelve o'clock.

Debate adjourned till To-morrow.

General Board Of Health Bill

On Motion for consideration of the Amendments to this Bill,

Amendment proposed, "That 'Hastings' be inserted in the Schedule."

said, he had seen a petition presented to this House, in April, by the hon. Member for Hastings, praying that Hastings might be excluded; and on that ground he thought it right to exclude it from this Bill, with the understanding that he should be at liberty to insert it in any future Bill he might introduce.

said, that all the medical men in Hastings and St. Leonard's had strongly expressed their opinion in favour of the necessity of extending the Bill to the town. He knew that an anxious desire existed on the part of the majority of the inhabitants of the town to be included in the Bill.

said, that the borough of Hastings consisted of the old town of Hastings and the new one of St. Leonard's, and a large proportion of the borough and county voters lived in St. Leonard's, and that was the reason why the hon. Members who had spoken were in favour of this Amendment. The question was, whether the entire borough of Hastings was to be excluded from the Bill. He had read the report of the Local Commissioners on the town of Hastings; and its state in regard to sanitary arrangements was a disgrace to any civilised country. It required sanitary improvements much more than St. Leonard's. The object of the Amendment was to cause the inhabitants of St. Leonard's to contribute to the undertaking. The result would place the people of St. Leonard's entirely at the mercy of the Town Council of Hastings. Under all these circumstances, he should certainly give his vote in favour of the course of proceeding of the noble Lord.

said, that the proposition of the hon. Member would defeat the intentions of Parliament, because it was intended to give the Queen in Council power to carry out these sanitary measures, even if the inhabitants of any place should not request it to be done.

After a few words from Mr. HENLEY,

said, that he believed the medical profession of Hastings were anxious that this Bill should be made to apply to that town.

Question put, "That 'Hastings' be there inserted."

The House divided:—Ayes 46; Noes 48: Majority 2.

Report was then received.

The House adjourned at a quarter after One o'clock.