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Amendments Made

Volume 117: debated on Friday 27 June 1851

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then moved an Amendment—

"In Clause 1, line 21, to leave out the words 'the said Brief, Rescript,' for the purpose of inserting the words 'all such Briefs, Rescripts.'"

Clause 1, line 21, Amendment proposed, to leave out the words "the said Brief, Rescript."

said, it now remained to the House to deal with the enacting parts of the Bill, and they would do well to consider a little the course on which they had entered. He was not opposed to these Amendments because they effected any great alteration in the Bill, but rather for a contrary reason, for it might be doubted whether by the adoption of them they were not leading the public to suppose, that in these alterations the towers of our Church and the bulwarks of our Protestant Zion were to be found. ["Oh, oh!"] Those were the words of the hon. and learned Member for Abingdon. That hon. and learned Gentleman said, he would confine his Amendments to make the Bill complete and effective, and concluded a speech of great ability and eloquence, by stating that he thought they had arrived at a period of the history of the Church, when every step they took was of the utmost importance; that they were approaching to a crisis in their history when it behoved the Church to mark well for towers, and set up her bulwarks; and his hon. and learned Friend added, that he proposed to strengthen the Church by substituting his own effective masonry for the rubbish of their Bill. That was not his (the Solicitor General's) view of the measure. He did not consider that the Church of England was to rely upon such a Bill as this for her efficiency: his notion of the Bill had been throughout of a very contrary character. He believed the Bill to he important chiefly as a public declaration, on the part of the Parliament of England, of those great political principles which animated our ancestors, and prevented any foreign interference whatsoever with our domestic concerns; he believed it to be a measure which pointed to a species of aggression, which was no doubt thought by those who were its authors as simply bearing a spiritual aspect, but which it was deemed right should be resisted, not as a spiritual but as a political aggression. He should have been sorry to lead the people of England to expect that they were to look at this measure as a protection and a security for their religious faith. That stood on a far higher principle, and one which required no Act of Parliament to be its guarantee. It stood on a principle which found its way to the hearts of the people of this country, who were a sincerely religious people, and firmly attached to the Church. In taking the steps which the Legislature had done in this matter, he did not believe the object was such as the hon. and learned Member for Abingdon had expounded. But, since he had taken that view of the subject, it might be useful to see how far the master builder had completed the work in his sense of the expression. What was his first master-stroke? The Government, in their Bill, recited that there had been introduced into this country a certain Bull from the Pope of Rome, which had occasioned the greatest indignation throughout the length and breadth of the land, bearing, as it did, not only a religious but also a political aspect, and they denounced it by a legislative enactment. It was moreover declared, that this Bull was a violation of the law of the land, inasmuch as it attempted to revive a spiritual supremacy in this country which had been rejected three centuries ago, and which the people of England would never again suffer to exist. The Government had recited in their Preamble that the Rescript was null and void. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Midhurst, thought it right that there should be added to this recital a declaration that the Rescript was null and void; but the hon. and learned Gentleman, in the Amendment proposed by him, directed his attention solely to that Bull of the Pope. It was not that hon. and learned Gentleman's intention to add another bulwark to the Church, by stating in the Bill, that besides this great Rescript, besides this letter of the Pope, which had pulled down the Archbishop of Canterbury and set up a new see at Westminster, and which had deranged all our ancient systems, and had substituted a wholly new hierarchy in its stead, it was not his intention to set forth other bulls and other rescripts. But the hon. and learned Member for Abingdon (Sir F. Thesiger) was not content with this plan—he said, "I have discovered another Bull; I have found that the Pope has actually created a Bishop of Ross. While you have been giving your minds to this rubbish, and looking only to this little Rescript, I have found out that the Pope has positively created a Bishop of Ross, and that, some twenty or thirty years ago, he created the see of Galway." Now, if the House thought it would give completeness to the Bill to go beyond the Rescript, which had been the real cause of the offence, then they would do right in supporting the Amendment, and in saying that they ought to have some provision more perfect to meet all those minor bulls. But if they did, it could not be upon the principle which the hon. and learned Gentleman advocated. He did not understand him to go the length of saying, with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone), that by directing their attention to a single rescript they would thereby give validity to other rescripts not specifically mentioned in the Bill; but his hon. and learned Friend said, that the measure would create embarrassment in the minds of the Judges in Ireland, for when by Act of Parliament one particular rescript was declared void, it was supposed the Judges would naturally enough conclude that all other rescripts were in a different position. The answer to this was, that when a Judge had to decide on the validity of a will, or any other instrument, he did not experience much embarrassment in coming to a decision on discovering that some other will or instrument of a like nature had been previously declared to be illegal and void. That would be precisely the effect of the declaration of this Bill with regard to any of those minor bulls and rescripts to which the hon. and learned Gentleman referred. But what was the hon. and learned Gentleman's second bulwark? He proposed to introduce a clause which would impose the penalty of 100l. on any person who should procure from the Sec of Rome, or publish or put in use any such Bull or Rescript. Now his hon. and learned Friend perfectly well knew that all that was illegal, as the law now stood; and that the Act of the 2nd of Elizabeth made the parties so acting guilty of a misdemeanour. His hon. and learned Friend also knew that so lately as the year 1846, the Legislature refused to repeal that Act. The Act of Elizabeth made it penal to "put in effect" the authority or jurisdiction of the Pope; and the publishing of a Bull was certainly putting such authority into effect. The House, therefore, would now have to consider what additional effect would be given to the law by imposing a penalty of 100l. beyond the punishment of fine and imprisonment which the law already imposed. The last guarantee which his hon. and learned Friend proposed was, that whereas by the present Bill the Attorney General could alone prosecute, he would give a power to any other party to prosecute with the consent of the Attorney General. He (the Solicitor General) did not see any very enormous advantage in this proposition; but if there were any additional security to be derived from it, why, then, let it be adopted. Now why had he said all this? ["Hear, hear!"] He was very glad to hear that cheer, because it showed him that the Gentlemen on the Opposition side of the House did not understand exactly why he had made those observations on his hon. and learned Friend's Amendments. He deemed it to be a matter of serious consideration, if, by the adoption of these Amendments they were not attaining any great additional security, or were not setting up any now bulwark, that they should calmly and deliberately ask themselves what it was that they were really doing. In his opinion they were destroying the whole moral effect of the manner in which this Bill had hitherto been carried through the House. The real object of the Bill was to make an effective declaration by the British Legislature, which should go forth not only to this country but to foreign countries—aye, and which should reach even the Pope himself, of the sense entertained by this great country of one particular act of aggression. That was the first object of this measure. The second object was to make more clear and distinct the provisions of the Act of 1829, and to show that those provisions were not to be trifled with. The first object was attained in a most effective manner, when the House divided with somewhere about 430 or 440 Members in favour of the Bill, and some 50 or 60 Members against it. They were then an united body, making a united declaration; and the question they now had to consider was, whether such immense advantages would be gained by the adoption of these Amendment as to make it worth while to sacrifice that unanimity with which they had hitherto proceeded? Was it worth while telling the country, and telling Europe, that instead of being a united body in this one pursuit—that of affirming and maintaining the authority of the Crown—they were turning aside to points and subdivisions, and questions of so petty a nature, that scarcely any real and solid advantage could be obtained from them? He put it, therefore, again to the House, whether it was worth while for such purposes to adopt those partial Amendments, which could not in any way improve the spirit and effectiveness of the Bill, but which still were such as to create a division of opinion and to destroy that unanimity which had hitherto characterised their proceedings.

Question put, "That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided:—Ayes 109; Noes 165: Majority 56.

List of the AYES.

Adair, R. A. S.Dashwood, Sir G. H.
Aglionby, H. A.Dawes, E.
Alcock, T.Dawson, hon. T. V.
Anstey, T. C.Duncan, Visct.
Armstrong, Sir A.Duncan, G.
Baines, rt. hon. M. T.Dundas, Adm.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F.T.Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.
Bass, M. T.Elliot, hon. J. E.
Bell, J.Fergus, J.
Berkeley, Adm.Ferguson, Col.
Bernal, R.FitzPatrick, rt. hon. J.
Bethell, R.Foley, J. H. H.
Birch, Sir T. B.Forster, M.
Blewitt, R. J.Fortescue, C.
Brocklehurst, J.Freestun, Col.
Brockman, E. D.French, F.
Brotherton, J.Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Brown, W.Granger, T. C.
Chaplin, W. J.Grenfell, C. P.
Clay, J.Grey, R. W.
Clay, Sir W.Hanmer, Sir J.
Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.Hardcastle, J. A.
Collins, W.Harris, R.
Cowper, hon. W. F.Hastie, A.
Craig, Sir W. G.Hatchell, rt. hon. J.
Crawford, R. W.Hawes, B.
Crowder, R. B.Headlam, T. E.

Heneage, G. H. W.Russell, F. C. H.
Hobhouse, T. B.Scrope, G. P.
Hollond, R.Seymour, Lord
Humphery, Ald.Shafto, R. D.
Hutt, W.Sheridan, R. B.
Jackson, W.Slaney, R. A.
Kershaw, J.Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Labouchcre, rt. hon. H.Smith, J. A.
Lewis, G. C.Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.
Mackinnon, W. A.Spearman, H. J.
M'Gregor, J.Stanton, W. H.
M'Taggart, Sir J.Tancred, H. W.
Mahon, The O'GormanThicknesse, R. A.
Matheson, Col.Thompson, Col.
Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.Verney, Sir H.
Mulgrave, Earl ofVilliers, hon. C.
Murphy, F. S.Wakley, T.
O'Connell, M. J.Watkins, Col. L.
Ord, W.Wawn, J. T.
Owen, Sir J.Wegg-Prosser, F. R.
Paget, Lord C.Willcox, B. M.
Palmerston, Visct.Williams, W.
Parker, J.Wilson, J.
Pilkington, J.Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Rawdon, Col.Wood, Sir W. P.
Rice, E. R.Wyvill, M.
Rich, H.

TELLERS.

Romilly, Sir J.Hayter, W. G.
Russell, Lord J.Hill, Lord M.

List of the NOES.

Arbuthnott, hon. H.Dod, J.W.
Archdall, Capt. M.Dodd, G.
Arkwright, G.Douro, Marq. of
Ballie, H. J.Drummond, H.
Baird, J.Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.
Baldock, E. H.Duncombe, hon. A.
Baldwin, C. B.Duncombe, hon. O.
Bankes, G.Duncuft, J.
Barrow, W. H.Dundas, G.
Bateson, T.Du Pre, C. G.
Bennet, P.Edwards, H.
Bentinck, Lord H.Egerton, W. T.
Bernard, Visct.Evans, W.
Blakemore, R.Evelyn, W. J.
Blandford, Marq. ofFarnham, E. B.
Boldero, H. G.Farrer, J.
Booker, T. W.Fitzroy, hon. H.
Bowles, Adm.Floyer, J.
Boyd, J.Forbes, W.
Brisco, M.Fox, S. W. L.
Broadley, H.Freshfield, J. W.
Broadwood, H.Fuller, A. E.
Brooke, LordGalway, Visct.
Brooke, Sir A. B.Gilpin, Col.
Bunbury, W. M.Gooch, E. S.
Burghley, LordGordon, Adm.
Buxton, Sir E. N.Granby, Marq. of
Cabbell, B. B.Greenall, G.
Campbell, Sir A. I.Grogan, E.
Chichester, Lord J. L.Gwyn, H.
Child, S.Hale, R. B.
Christopher, R. A.Halford, Sir H.
Christy, S.Hall, Sir B.
Clive, H. B.Hall, Col.
Cobbold, J.C.Hallewell, E. G.
Codrington, Sir W.Halsey, T. P.
Compton, H. C.Hamilton, G. A.
Corry, rt. hon. H. L.Hamilton, J. H.
Cotton, hon. W. H. S.Hamilton, Lord C.
Cubitt, W.Harcourt, G. G.
Davies, D. A. S.Harris, hon. Capt
Disraeli, B.Heald, J.

Henley, J. W.Palmer, R.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C.Plumptre, J. P.
Hildyard, R. C.Prime, R.
Hildyard, T. B. T.Pugh, D.
Hodgson, W.N.Reid, Col.
Hornby, J.Repton, G. W. J.
Hotham, LordRichards, R.
Hudson, G.Rushout, Capt.
Hughes, W. B.Sandars, G.
Inglis, Sir R. H.Scott, hon. F.
Jermyn, EarlSeaham, Visct.
Jolliffe. Sir W. G. H.Sibthorp, Col.
Jones, Capt.Smyth, J. G.
Knightley, Sir C.Smollett, A.
Knox, hon. W. S.Spooner, R.
Lacy, H. C.Stafford, A.
Legh, G. C.Stanford, J. F.
Lennox, Lord A, G.Stanley, hon. E.H.
Lennox, Lord H. G.Stephenson, R.
Lindsay, hon. Col.Stuart, H.
Lockhart, W.Stuart, J.
Long, W.Taylor, T. E.
Lopes, Sir R.Thesiger, Sir F.
Lowther, H.Thornhill, G.
Lygon, hon. Gen.Tollemache, J.
Mackie, J.Tyler, Sir G.
Macnaghten, Sir E.Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Manners, Lord C. S.Vivian, J. E.
March, Earl ofVyse, R. H. R. H.
Maunsell, T. P.Walpole, S. H.
Meux, Sir H.Walsh, Sir J. B.
Moody, C. A.Welby, G. E.
Morgan, O.Whiteside, J.
Morris, D.Wigram, L. T.
Mullings, J. R.Willoughby, Sir H.
Napier, J.Wodehouse, E.
Neeld, J.Wynn, H. W. W.
Newdegate, C.N.Wynn, Sir W. W.
Ossulston, LordYorke, hon. E. T.
Packe, C. W.

TELLERS.

Paget, Lord G.Beresford, W.
Pakington, Sir J.Mackenzie, W. F.

then proposed, in Clause 2, page 2, line 25, after the word "Act," to insert these words:—

"Any person shall obtain or cause to be procured from the Bishop or See of Rome, or shall publish or put in use within any part of the United Kingdom, any such Bull, Brief, Rescript, or Letters Apostolical, or any other instrument or writing, for the purpose of constituting such Archbishops or Bishops of such pretended Provinces, Sees, or Dioceses within the United Kingdom, or if."
And also another Amendment, in Clause 2, page 2, line 39, after the word 'thereof,' to add the words—
"Or by action of debt at the suit of any person in one of Her Majesty's superior courts of law, with the consent of Her Majesty's Attorney General in England and Ireland, or Her Majesty's Advocate in Scotland, as the case may be."

wished to know whether the noble Lord intended to ask the House to divide on this Amendment? He did not care much for the divisions that had taken place; but he thought great danger would result if this Amendment were allowed to be carried.

said, he would not take a division now on this and the other Amendment; but on the third reading of the Bill he should take a division on them.

said, that as he understood the noble Lord, the Government did not intend to offer any further opposition at present to the Amendments which had boon moved by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Abingdon. They now came to the conclusion of those Amendments, and the Bill had assumed the altered shape which those Amendments gave it. Under these circumstances, which were somewhat peculiar, he wished to call the attention of the House to the fact that the Bill now consisted of a preamble of more than usual length, and only there clauses. The preamble had, as the House was aware, been materially altered, and the two principal clauses had also been altered in a manner against which the Government had strongly protested, declaring that the changes had, in their opinion, materially deteriorated the quality of the measure. [Cries of "No!"] As he understood the Bill, it affected at least one-third of Her Majesty's subjects; and he thought that, considering the extensive changes that had been made in the Bill, against the opinion of Her Majesty's Government, who had yet avowed their intention to adhere to the measure, it was most desirable that the Bill, in its altered form, should be reprinted, and that the House should have a reasonable time before the third reading to consider the Bill in its altered form. He wished to ask the noble Lord, therefore, whether he had any objections to the Bill being reprinted, and on what day he meant to take the third reading?

replied, that he had no objection to the Bill being reprinted in its altered form, and that he proposed taking the third reading on Friday next, if that would suit his right hon. Friend.

would not object to Friday next, but he thought that sufficient time should be given to allow the Bill to be sent to Ireland in its altered form, that the people of that country might have an opportunity of seeing it.

Amendments made. Bill to be read 3° on Friday next, and to be printed.