House Of Commons
Thursday, 4th August, 1870.
MINUTES.] — PUBLIC BILLS— Ordered— First Reading—Oaths of Allegiance on Naturalization * .
Second Reading—Consolidated Fund (Appropriation); Ecclesiastical Titles Act Repeal ; British Columbia* .
Committee — Report — Foreign Enlistment ( re-comm.) ; Stamp Duties ( re-comm.) ; Stamp Duties Management* ; Inland Revenue Acts Repeal* ; Truck Commission * ; Expiring Laws * ; Sanitary Act (Dublin) Amendment ; Queen Anne's Bounty (Superannuation) ; Joint Stock Companies' Arrangement .
Considered as amended — Foreign Enlistment ( re-comm.)* .
Third Reading—Passengers Act Amendment* , and passed.
Withdrawn—Prayer Book (Tables of Lessons) * ; Inclosure .
Consolidation Of Ecclesiastical Law—Question
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If it is the intention of the Government to introduce next Session any Measure for the reform or for the consolidation of the Ecclesiastical Law?
, in reply, said, there was no present intention on the part of the Government to bring in any such measure.
said, he would beg to ask the honourable Member for the City of London, Whether it is the intention of the authorities to remove the obstruction "Temple Bar," which contracts one of the principal thoroughfares in the Metropolis to such an extent that only two carriages can pass abreast, and has been the annoyance and loss of time to the community for ages past?
, in reply, said, it was true that at Temple Bar there was only room for two lines of carriages, as it was situated at the narrowest part of Fleet Street. There was at the present moment a large amount of traffic passing under Temple Bar, which would be much increased during the building of the new Courts of Justice, and still further increased when they were opened. The traffic was also impeded by the cross traffic to and from Chancery Lane. Mr. Street, the architect of the new Courts of Justice, in accordance with instructions from the Royal Commissioners, sanctioned by the Treasury, provided in his original design for the removal of Temple Bar, the widening of Fleet Street at that point, and the erection of a new Temple Bar bridge, with a wide archway, which should form a communication between the Temple and the now Law Courts. This scheme the City of London was, he believed, prepared to accept. The present Temple Bar was erected by Sir Christopher Wren, and its removal without at the same time widening Fleet Street would not facilitate the passage of traffic, as there would still only be room for two lines of carriages.
Science Examinations In May
said, he wished to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether he has received numerous complaints from the teachers regarding the science examinations in May last; and, whether these complaints have just foundation?
Sir, out of about 930 science teachers whose classes were examined this year, I have received about eight written complaints. I believe some dissatisfaction has also been expressed verbally. The complaints relate almost entirely to two subjects—practical geometry and building construction, and I cannot find that they are based on just grounds. We do not believe that the examination papers were too difficult, and, in fact, the standard of marks in building construction was specially lowered this year. We had, however, found that the pupils were prepared to meet a purely drawing examination rather than one requiring a scientific knowledge, and we therefore made a change in the form of examination, of which full notice was given in the syllabus. At the same time, the teachers were enabled to obtain payments for their students under the Art grants for the purely drawing portion of their instruction.
Trades Union Bill—Question
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether before the close of the Session he can give the working classes of the country an assurance that the Trades Union Bill will be made one of the earliest and most prominent Bills of the next Session?
Sir, I have no hesitation in assuring my hon. Friend that it will be the duty of the Government to introduce a Trades Union Bill early next Session.
Army—The Artillery In India
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for India, If the usual six months' compensation has been refused to the Inspectors and Brigade Majors of Artillery in India whose five years' appointments have been abolished, their duties being of a regimental character, and entitling them to the above compensation, granted to other regimental officers under similar circumstances; and, if so, why the compensation has been refused?
Sir, in reply to my hon. and gallant Friend I can only say that we have not even heard of any compensation having been asked for by the officers whose appointments have been reduced, much less of its having been refused.
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Is it true that there are at the present time 600 or more young gentlemen undergoing their examination for Direct Commissions; and, if so, as a large number of them must be rejected, Will they be allowed to have the usual two more trials, as laid down in the Regulations, provided they do not exceed the ages also laid down; and, if so, when will those who are rejected be informed when they may expect to be called upon to undergo their examinations?
Sir, I am not prepared to give any pledge in respect of future examinations until the result of this examination and the prospect of commissions for those who pass out shall be ascertained.
Bavaria—French Legation At Munich—Question
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If his attention has been called to a telegram in "The Times" of Monday to the following effect:—
and, whether he is able to give any explanation of the circumstance alluded to?"Munich, July 30. Considerable surprise is expressed here at M. Hory, the Chancellor of the French Legation, remaining in Munich, and at the British Legation taking him under their protection on the pretext of his having entered their service;"
, in reply, said, if considerable surprise was expressed at Munich in consequence of the occurrence to which his hon. Friend's Question referred, it must have been because persons were not aware of the circumstances; they were very simple. The French Government and the Bavarian Government, after the declaration of war, mutually agreed that the Chancellor of the Legation should remain. The Chancellor of the Bavarian Legation accordingly remained in Paris, and the Chancellor of the French Legation remained at Munich. The explanation of the circumstance of the Chancellor of the French Legation being taken under the protection of the British Minister there was simply this—when war was declared the French Government applied to Her Majesty's Government to undertake the protection of French subjects remaining in Germany. And Her Majesty's Government allowed its agents to accept the charge on condition that they should be free to exercise the same protection in regard to German subjects in France, if requested to do so.
said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, When the present mode of taxing Mounted Officers of Militia for horses kept for the public service is likely to be remedied?
said, he believed that the commanding officers — not all officers of Volunteers—were entitled to claim exemption, while commanding officers of the Militia had not that right. The distinction was without justification, but required legislative action to remedy it.
Army—Quartermasters Of Militia—Question
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether, considering the probability of the embodiment of the Militia at no distant day, he is prepared to adhere to his arrangements for reducing the Quartermasters of that branch of the Service; also, whether there is any objection to complete the equipment of the Militia in Breech-loading Rifles immediately from the three hundred thousand now in store?
Sir, embodied regiments have quartermasters, and whenever Her Majesty's Government contemplate the embodiment of any portion of the Militia provision will be made accordingly. I have stated before that I have already armed the greater part of the Militia with breech-loaders, and that I intend to take immediate steps for completing the equipment of the Militia with the same arm.
Army — Volunteers — Additional Capitation Grant—Question
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, If he will re-consider his proposal in reference to the additional Capitation Grant to the officers and non-commissioned officers of the Volunteer Service, for the following reasons:—1st. Because it cannot take effect at this late season of the year, and will therefore be useless as a guide in framing the Volunteer Estimates for 1871; 2nd. Because it appears to be based upon an erroneous calculation that there are three officers in every corps or company even of eighty men; 3rd. Because if carried into effect it would throw an undue responsibility upon an important body of men who are obviously difficult to obtain; and, 4th. Because it would be a source of embarrassment to commanding officers who are responsible for the financial condition of their regiments and corps; and, whether it would not be advisable to institute a more practical inquiry into the necessary expenses entailed upon Volunteer Regiments, with the view of arriving at some more satisfactory conclusion to the Service in general?
Sir, I cannot admit that the inquiry has not been practical, since it was instituted in communication with a large number of Volunteer officers, who admitted that the items were, except in some few particulars, sufficiently comprehensive, and the amount was arrived at upon a comparison of a large number of the actual accounts of some of the principal corps in the country. I have already said that the Regulations are in a forward state, and I hope to issue them very shortly.
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If any arrangement has yet been made for settlement of the Claims of British Subjects against Brazil, and what prospect there is of any?
, in reply, said, that this subject had been under the consideration of the Foreign Office. It was not unattended with difficulty; but he hoped to be able to make some proposition to the Brazilian Government on the subject.
Army—Revised Drill Book
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, How soon the Revised Drill Book, stated to have been "sanctioned several months ago for experimental use" in five specified Regiments and now finally approved, will be generally accessible to Commanding Officers and Drill Instructors; and whether, the prior publication of a work called "A Key to the Field Exercise and Evolutions of Infantry, as revised in 1870," of which a second edition is now "offered to the Military public," has taken place with the cognizance and sanction of any Military authority?
Sir, the Revised Drill Book has been approved of by the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief, and is now ready for binding. It will be accessible to commanding officers as soon as a sufficient number can be bound. The 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards and four Line regiments have already got it. The key alluded to has not been issued by authority; but the authorities at the Horse Guards have been cognizant of its issue, and consider it a very useful publication.
Factories And Workshops Act
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether Sub-Inspectors of Factories are authorized to request Boards of Guardians in the manufacturing districts to appoint Police Constables Inspectors, for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the Factories and Workshops Act; and, whether Boards of Guardians can legally make such appointments, the Police not being subject to their control?
said, in reply, that a Sub-Inspector of Factories did ask a Board of Guardians to appoint an Inspector. This was an error on the part of the Sub-Inspector of Factories, and he had been so informed by Mr. Redgrave. Boards of Guardians were, in no case, the local authority, nor had they power to appoint a police-constable to enforce the statutes. The local authorities in boroughs were the Common Council, in districts where there were local Boards of Health these local Boards, and in country parishes the Vestries, but never the Boards of Guardians.
Consular Jurisdiction In Siam
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether, considering that by the terms of the Treaty between Great Britain and Siam, it was agreed that British subjects guilty of crimes in the latter country should be punished by our Consul, and considering that without the consent of the Siamese certain jurisdiction in such matters has been transferred to Singapore, distant 865 miles from Bangkok, and that hardships arise from the transfer, it would not be possible that one of the Judges in the Straits Settlements should make a circuit to Bangkok after the practice followed in China?
said, in reply, that he had submitted his hon. Friend's Question to the Foreign Office, and was informed that the right of appeal to the Singapore Court was given by the Order in Council of July 28, 1856, and had been in existence from that time to the present without any objection being made to it by the Siamese Government or by litigants in Siam. The Return laid before Parliament on the 14th of February last showed that the right of appeal had not been exercised during the 10 years 1859 to 1868. The case was altogether different to that of China, where at Shanghai there was a thriving British mercantile community and an established Bar. To send a Judge from Singapore to Bangkok on circuit in pursuit of appeals would unnecessarily encourage litigation and be a great expense. Moreover, it was doubtful whether a Judge could be spared, or would be willing to make such a journey. By the terms of the Treaty British jurisdiction in Siam was limited to the Consul, and could not be exorcised by a Singapore Judge without further international agreement with Siam and a fresh Order in Council. In short, neither the Siamese Government nor British merchants had expressed any wish for a local Court of Appeal, and there was, as far as Her Majesty's Government were aware, no foundation for the statement that any hardships arose under the present state of Consular jurisdiction in Siam.
Army—Royal Horse Artillery
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether, under present circumstances, the depôt of the Royal Horse Artillery at Canterbury, the Vote for which had been omitted from the Estimates that year, will be re-established?
NO, Sir; there is no such proposal.
The New Forest—Question
said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether pending the decision of the Government on the application of the rights of the Crown in the New Forest, it is not expedient to authorize the Commissioners of Woods and Forests to abstain from destroying ancient picturesque woods for the purpose of replanting them with saplings; and if this is not a sacrifice of present value for a doubtful prospect of future returns?
said, in reply, that there was no intention on the part of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, or of the Treasury, to destroy the ancient and picturesque woods of the New Forest. Such a proceeding, in their opinion, would be both barbarous and unprofitable.
British Guiana — Demerara Commission—Question
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Why the opening of the Commission to inquire into the treatment of the Coolies in the Colony of Demerara has been postponed; whether it is true that the Judge Advocate of Bengal has been retained by the Planters as their Counsel; and, whether the Government approve of a Law Officer of the Crown holding a brief for private parties in an inquiry of this nature?
said, in reply, that the opening of the Commission had been postponed on account of difficulties as to its composition. It was now complete, and either was already or would be immediately at work. The Advocate General of Bengal had been retained by the planters as their counsel, and Her Majesty's Government, although they did not forbid him to act, to prevent any evil consequences from his doing so had desired the Governor of British Guiana to make known publicly that English Law Officers took briefs from private individuals, and that the Advocate General in no way represented either the Imperial Government or the Government of India. An experienced Indian officer had been appointed a Commissioner, and he did not anticipate any evil consequences from the Advocate General's position, but would take care to prevent any misapprehensions arising from it in the minds of the Coolies.
Post Office Telegraphs
said, he wished to ask the Postmaster General, Why the telegraph wires have not yet been erected between Wigtown, Whithorn, Garlieston, the Isle of Whithorn, and Port William; and when there is any prospect of their being commenced and completed?
said, in reply, that the wires referred to could not be laid down at present, on account of work of a more pressing character, and though there would be no unnecessary delay, he was unable to assign a date when they would be laid. The wires, however, would not go direct from Wigtown to Port William, as the noble Lord seemed to anticipate.
Treaties Of 1815—Question
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether there will be any objection to lay on the Table of the House a reprint of" the Treaty of Paris in 1815, and also the Supplementary Treaty of the same date for the exclusion of the Buonaparte family from the Throne of France, whereby England and other Countries were bound to use force in certain events; also, whether he will produce Copies of the Protocol donning the territories to be ceded by France, under the Treaties aforesaid?
Sir, the Treaties to which my hon. Friend alludes are in the Library of this House, and are, therefore, accessible to hon. Members. But I may add that this is not the reason why I must decline to reprint and lay these Treaties on the Table at the present moment. Since the date at which they were signed this country has wisely determined not to interfere in the choice of the French people as regards their form of government, or the rulers whom they may appoint. And, therefore, as the Treaty has for the last 18 years practically been a dead letter, it is unnecessary to reprint it.
Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill
Order for Second Reading read.
, in moving the second reading of this Bill, said, that its form had been simplified and condensed. For instance, instead of having a different clause for each Schedule, all the Schedules were covered by one clause. No point of principle, however, was involved in the changes.
said, he had intended that evening to call attention to the naval portion of the Vote recently sanctioned. Understanding, however, that the First Lord of the Admiralty was unable, from causes which the House must very much regret, to be in his place on that occasion, he would beg to give Notice that to-morrow, on going into Committee, he should call attention to the state of the Navy in general, to its stores, and to the condition of the dockyards in connection with the present aspect of European affairs.
Motion agreed to.
Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow.
Ecclesiastical Titles Act Repeal Bill—Bill 231
Lords Second Reading
Order for Second Reading read.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—( Mr. Secretary Bruce.)
Sir, I hope that Her Majesty's Government do not expect that the House will accept this Bill without discussion, simply because it has been sent down to us from the House of Lords. Without wishing to impugn their Lordships' judgment, I think that there are circumstances connected with this Session, and with the present period — circumstances which have transpired in the course of a very few days — which render it necessary that the House should, at all events, consider the provisions of a Bill which purports to alter, if not to reverse, a settlement with inspect to the claim of the Papacy to exercise jurisdiction in this country, that was made with the full concurrence of the great body of the English and Scotch people in the year 1851. Now this Act of 1851 is, it may be said, a merely declaratory Act; because the law of this country from the most ancient period, according to the testimony of William the Conqueror himself, vindicated the independence of the civil power against the pretensions of the Pope of Rome. Hon. Members of this House, who consider this subject either beneath or above their comprehension, and therefore unworthy of their study, may possibly conceive that it is as well that his Holiness should have full scope to assume for his Bishops any titles that he chooses to confer upon them, and to arm them with any powers that he may think fit, provided it is understood that obedience to this usurped authority is limited to the Roman Catholic community. Sir, I regard that as a short-sighted view, for we have evidence enough in this House, from Session to Session, that the representatives of the Roman Catholic community exercise, at least, their full share of influence upon the legislation which is intended to govern the people of the United Kingdom. With this short preface, and feeling the disadvantage under which I rise, I will now proceed to call the attention of the House to the nature of this Bill. The statute of the year 1851 prohibited, under penalties, the assumption of territorial titles by the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Rome; assumed in obedience to the Papal brief of the 29th of September of the previous year, by which the Pope of Rome undertook to parcel out this country into dioceses, to be governed, as the expression is in his brief, by his own nominees. Well, Sir, a Committee of this House was appointed two Sessions ago to consider this statute of 1851, which imposes penalties upon the assumption of these titles, or the acceptance of these titles, in the Roman Catholic sense, as connected with jurisdiction—a jurisdiction which, according to the evidence given before a Committee of this House by Dr. Moriarty in 1851, the Pope claims to exercise, and is only prevented from enforcing by the refusal of the temporal power of this country to furnish him with officers and instruments for its exercise. Such is the substance of the evidence which was given by Dr. Moriarty. In the Committee to which I refer a Report was proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge, and he suggested that no sufficient grievance had been alleged to justify the repeal of the statute of 1851. An hon. Member for an Irish constituency was in the Chair of that Committee, and that Report was rejected by a majority of 1, in favour of a Report condemning the assertion of the independence of the United Kingdom, and condemning the assertion of Her Majesty's authority as supreme within it; because this Act had provided penalties whereby the infringement of the national independence and of Her Majesty's authority might be repressed. In the following Session—the Session of 1868—the House of Lords appointed a Committee, who went fully into evidence, and with the evidence before them which was taken by the Committee of this House, the proceedings also and the Report of our Committee had also been communicated to the Committee of the House of Lords; they reported that it would be unwise to disturb the settlement of 1851, seeing that no practical grievance had been proved to justify the alteration of the statute But this Session the House of Lords found that a Member of Her Majesty's Government had again proposed to repeal the statute of 1851, so far, at all events, as the coercive provisions of that statute en-forcible by penalties are concerned; and the Bill has been sent down which is now before this House. Hon. Members who have scarcely read the Bill will forgive me if I advert for a moment to its provisions. By this Bill, then, all penalties upon the assumption of titles connected with territorial jurisdiction, in the sense of the Papacy, and in the sense in which every Roman Catholic is bound to accept the decrees of the Papacy, can no longer be exacted; all that is declared is this—that no assumption of coercive jurisdiction shall be recognized by the law of this country—that is to say, no assumption of a coercive jurisdiction by Roman Catholic Prelates: in other words, as yet the State is to refuse the aid of the temporal power to enforce the decrees of the Papacy, and yet the assumption of those territorial titles, inseparably connected, by the decrees of the Papacy, and in the mind of every Roman Catholic who accepts those decrees, with coercive jurisdiction, is to be permitted by law. Let the House remark, that hencefor- ward this is to be permitted and recognized by law. All that is to be done, if this Bill pass, will be that the Secretary of State cannot be called upon to use the civil power for the enforcement of the decrees either of the Archbishop of Westminster in England, or of Cardinal Cullen in Ireland. That may seem to be a very innocent proposition in the eyes of some hon. Gentlemen; but what is the effect of it? I must here refer to the Bill which has lately passed this House, and passed under extraordinary circumstances—in short, without discussion apparent to the public; certainly the discussions which took place upon it, after the second reading, were so very late at night that, so far as the public are informed, there might as well have been no discussion at all. What is the substance of that Bill? The substance of that Bill, which we have sent to the House of Lords, is that, at the suggestion of the Board of Public Works in Ireland, the Treasury may appropriate any of the funds which Parliament has supplied, or may supply, for the construction by loan of roads, harbours, drainage, and for buildings on land, and divert the money voted for those purposes to loans for the purchase of globes, and loans for the erection of globe-houses. In the Bill this expression is used—The loan is to be made for the purchase of a glebe, or for the erection of a house for the officiating minister or priest—let the House mark not "in," but "of" any parish. Now, Sir, as long as this Act of 1851 remains on the statute book, there can be no doubt that the parish does not mean a Roman Catholic parish, a parish divided, limited, and established by Roman Catholic authority, but it must mean a pariah established by the authority of Her Majesty and her Parliament. But if this Bill, which we are now considering, passes, the assumption of the title of Archbishop, Bishop, or priest, as connected respectively with a province, a diocese, or a parish, the limits of which are described by the Papacy in a brief from Rome, and by that authority only; the territorial division, and the connection of those ecclesiastics with that territorial division will, for the first time since the Reformation, be not only recognized and permitted by law, but be recognized in this manner — that the Treasury will be empowered to advance money for the purchase of land to constitute a glebe, and to erect a house within a parish so designated by a foreign authority. I hope I have made this distinct and clear to the House; for I think it is right that the House should consider the provisions of this Bill in connection with the Bill which we have just sent to the House of Lords. I perceive that the House is somewhat unwilling to consider the subject; nevertheless, I feel it to be my duty to call attention to the circumstances of the period at which this combination of measures is passing the British Parliament. It is impossible that the Members of this House should be ignorant of a circumstance which has produced a great sensation throughout Europe and the world—I mean the convening of the Papal Council, and the decree of that Council, declaring the infallibility of the Pope, acting personally in the discharge of his office. Well, I ask the House to consider the effect of these two Bills with reference to that circumstance Other States are taking very different stops with respect to their relations to the Papacy from those which the Parliament of England is adopting. Within the last few days Austria has finally declared that the Government of the Emperor finds it impossible to continue any longer the relations between the Government of the Empire and the Holy See, which are prescribed by the subsisting Concordat, and is therefore about to abrogate that Concordat. Then, what do we see in France? When, in 1864, the Encyclical and Syllabus were issued, by the present Pope, the Government of France, acting under the powers reserved to the State by the Concordat of 1802, which still subsists between the Empire and the Papacy, found it necessary to forbid the publication of those documents within its dominions. In 1865 it pleased his Holiness the Pope to issue a letter to the Archbishop of Paris, wherein he formally condemned the terms of the Concordat between the Government of France and the Holy See; because, by the terms of that Concordat, his authority was restrained, inasmuch as they did not permit him, as supreme Pontiff, to supersede the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Bishops in France. But why does the Pope think fit to condemn the Archbishop of Paris with reference to this Concordat? Because the Arch- bishop of Paris refused to violate the fundamental laws of the French Empire, which are guarded by the Concordat, and insisted upon—what? upon visiting the regular Orders in their establishments within his diocese! And, further, the Pope declared that neither the privileges of the Church of France, established in connection with the fundamental laws of the Empire, nor the terms of the Concordat subsisting between the French Government and the Holy See, should prevent him from interrupting the Archbishop of Paris in the performance of his duty as a French Senator. Such, Sir, are the circumstances connected with France. And we must all remember what occurred in 1864 and 1865 with respect to Russia. Russia had sought a Concordat, but upon the same terms as the Concordat which exists between France and the Holy See—that is to say, a Concordat reserving the independence of the internal administration of the Empire free from the interference of the Papacy. What happened? The negotiations were protracted, and, pending the negotiations, acting chiefly through the regular Orders in Poland, his Holiness encouraged an insurrection in that country, which led to the most bloody and lamentable consequences; and that was the reply of the Papacy—the reply of the present Pope, to the application of Russia for a Concordat! Why do I advert to these facts? Because I wish to call the attention of the House to certain considerations. You are about to permit Cardinal Cullen to assume the title of Archbishop of Dublin. By the Glebes Loan Bill, which you have passed, he being, according to the Papal constitution, supreme administrator of all property belonging, or which hereafter may belong, to any Roman Catholic establishment of a parochial nature within Ireland, you are preparing to place the Treasury in communication with the persons whom you permit to assume a territorial connection with Ireland, and you virtually make him the negotiator between the Treasury and the authorities of the Papacy, as to the terms upon which the Roman Catholic Church shall be established in Ireland. I say "established" for this reason. It is idle to tell me, when you use the power of the State by way of loan to effect the purchase of land or the erection of houses for priests within the parishes of Ireland, that you do not establish the Church for whose ministers you thus provide these estates and houses. If these glebes and houses could be provided without loans, why do you make loans? It is perfectly obvious that, by the joint operation of this Bill, if it be passed, permitting the assumption of the titles of Archbishops, Bishops, and priests, of particular parishes, with the Bill providing means for the establishment, with estates, of these Archbishops, Bishops, and priests, you virtually and beyond all doubt establish the Church which they represent in the country with which you thus deal. Therefore, I want the House distinctly to understand, and whether it pleases to sanction this Bill or not, that the sanctioning of it is the distinct establishment of the Church of Rome, in Ireland at all events, by the aid of the Imperial Treasury; that, without a Concordat, you are about to open negotiations between Cardinal Legate Cullen and the Treasury with respect to those establishments; and, therefore, with respect to everything, in which he may see fit to concern himself, connected with the temporal as well as the spiritual affairs of the Roman Catholic community in Ireland. I hope the House will forgive me for detaining it at some length; but I believe that my exposition is a correct one, and that the effect of this Bill, if it passes, jointly with the effect of the Bill which you have sent to the House of Lords, will be the distinct and direct establishment of the Papal Church in Ireland. That I firmly believe will be its effect; but, I dare say, some of the right hon. Gentlemen of the Treasury Bench will reply—"You might as well declare that we establish the Presbyterian Church." My answer to that is, that the Presbyterian Church is established, and that that which is not established is the Roman Catholic Church. And what you are about to do is this. You are about to establish the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. It is all very well to say that you are going to proceed upon the principle of equality—that is, equality as between the several denominations. I see an hon. Member opposite, who served on the Committee, which the House appointed in the present Session to inquire into the monastic and conventual establishments that are growing up in this coun- try; and the hon. Gentleman mil remember that Lord Clifford — I have a right to refer to this — appeared as a witness before that Committee. On that occasion his Lordship, in reply to several questions, said—
Then I put a question to his Lordship. I asked him this—"All that we, the Roman Catholics, ask is, that the law should take no notice of these monastic and conventual establishments; that they should be considered as so many clubs or private families; and that otherwise the law should not interfere with the Roman Catholic Church or the regular Orders connected with them, because we claim to be placed on terms of equality with all other religious denominations. You do not interfere with the Wesleyans," he said. "You do not interfere with the Independents. You do not interfere with any of the sects of Protestant Dissenters. Therefore we claim that you should not interfere with our Church."
I meant by that question—"Do you, as one of the Roman Catholic Peers who signed a declaration against this Act in 1851, mean to assert that, if the law attempts to establish an equality between the Roman Catholic Church and all other denominations by taking notice of none, the Roman Catholic Church will then remain, and be content to remain, upon terms of equality with other denominations?" Sir, Lord Clifford is an honourable man. I pressed him hard on that point, and his Lordship very prudently, very honourably, and very properly refused to answer the question. Because it is notorious that, although the Legislature of this country may choose to close its eyes and shut its ears against the information which reaches it from every quarter of the world, and although it may choose to render itself blind and deaf to the proceedings of the Papacy in Rome and elsewhere, yet this assumed blindness and deafness will not alter the circumstances; and the ambition, the intrigues, and the usurping despotism of Rome will continue in full force, but embittered by the result of the deliberations of this Papal Council, which, by declaring the Pope personally infallible, when acting ex cathedrâ, appointed him to be at all times, in the estimation of such as can accept the doctrine, the exponent of divine truth in all matters, and therefore the supreme authority not only over his own Church but over all mankind; and that not in matters spiritual only, in the sense in which the laws of this country recognize them, but for all purposes, and this without appeal. Hon. Members may say that the success which has at last attended the labours of the Jesuits, who have at length established an uncontrolled despotism at Rome, a despotism in the Pope personally, but controlled by themselves, is a phantasm too absurd to deserve the attention of so intelligent and august an Assembly as the House of Commons. But hon. Members who hold such language as this condemn the universal opinion of mankind. I do not wish to characterize so arrogant an assumption in the terms which it deserves; but if this House chooses to ignore the proceedings at Rome, it condemns the Government of Russia; it condemns the Government of Austria; it condemns the Government of Spain, now republican; it condemns the Government of every country in the world for lending itself to vague apprehensions which are unworthy the consideration of any sensible man! Sir, I have great respect for the intellect of this House; but if the House should take upon itself thus to condemn the whole world, I am afraid it will constitute me a dissenter from its judgment. I wish to show that this is not merely a matter of ecclesiastical designation as it has been presented to us. Some will say—"Why interfere with those poor priests who fancy these territorial designations? True, 'tis a foolish fancy; but why not gratify these poor priests?" But there is in this a kind of contemptuous pity which has in it the very essence of insult. I know that some hon. Members will say that I am actuated by a very persevering bigotry, which can be the result of nothing but miserable ignorance There are people in the world who are supposed to have some knowledge of the circumstances of the Papacy and of its action, and of the position of the Roman Catholic Church in various countries in the world with respect to the civil power and the social condition of those countries. Amongst these perhaps the most distinguished was the late Count de Montalembert; and, in justification of my thus venturing to intrude upon the House, I should like to read to the House an extract from a letter which was written by the Count de Montalembert a very short time previous to his lamented death. The Count de Montalembert is acknowledged by Roman Catholic organs in this country, and is known throughout the world, as having been, during the last 35 years, the most distinguished advocate of the Roman Catholic Church in France. He was, in short, the admiration of his country. It so happens that Count de Montalembert sympathized strongly with the Archbishop of Paris and Father Gratry, and other Roman Catholic ecclesiastics, who deprecated the declaration of the Pope's personal infallibility as a measure which was likely to be productive of consequences eminently detrimental in their opinion not only to the whole Church, but to the peace of the world; and I really think that, as the House is now dealing with this subject, and considering that we are only separated from France by a narrow channel, it cannot be a matter of indifference to the Protestant Members of this House — some of whom may not have studied the subject—to be informed of the opinion of a person so eminent as the late Count de Montalembert. The remarkable letter to which I am about to refer as having been written by this distinguished man, has been accepted by the Roman Catholic journals as authentic. In The Times of March 7th, 1870, this letter appears in a communication from the Paris correspondent of that paper, dated Paris, March 5th; and the correspondent writes in these terms—"Supposing that the law of England takes no notice of the organization of the Roman Catholic Church or of the organisation and intrusion of the regular Orders; supposing that that is your object and that that object is accomplished; I ask your Lordship, will the position of the Roman Catholic Church and that of other denominations then be one of real equality?"
Then comes the comment of The Times correspondent on this letter. He says—"I am certain you will read with interest the subjoined translation of a letter which Count Montalembert has felt himself called upon to write, in reply to a person who had pointed out to him what he considered a flagrant contradiction between his former speeches in the Chamber of Peers against Gallicanism and his present adhesion to the protest of Father Gratry against the absolute supremacy and separate infallibility of the Pope. The letter is dated Paris, the 28th of February, 1870:—'.… Never, thank Heaven, have I thought, said, or written anything favourable to the personal and separate infallibility of the Pope, such as it is sought to impose upon us; nor to the theocracy, the dictatorship of the Church, which I did my best to reprobate in that history of the Monks of the West of winch you are pleased to appreciate the laborious fabric; nor to that Absolutism of Rome of which the speech that you quote disputed the existence, even in the Middle Ages, but which to-day forms the symbol and the programme of the faction dominant among us.… At the same time, I willingly admit that if I have nothing to cancel I should have a great deal to add. I sinned by omission, or rather by want of foresight. I said—"Gallicanism is dead, because it made itself the servant of the State; you have now only to inter it." I think I then spoke the truth. It was dead, and completely dead. How, then, has it risen again? I do not hesitate to reply. In consequence of the lavish encouragement given, under the Pontificate of Pius IX., to exaggerated doctrines, outraging the good sense as well as the honour of the human race—doctrines of which not even the coming shadow was perceptible under the Parliamentary Monarchy. There is wanting, then, to that speech, as to the one I made in the National Assembly on the Roman Expedition, essential reservations against spiritual despotism, against absolute monarchy, which I have always detested in the State, and which does not inspire me with less repugnance in the Church. But, in 1847, what could give rise to a suspicion that the liberal Pontificate of Pius IX., acclaimed by all the Liberals of the two worlds, would become the Pontificate represented and personified by the Univers and the Civilta? In the midst of the unanimous cries then uttered by the clergy in favour of liberty as in Belgium, of liberty in everything and for all, how could we foresee as possible the incredible wheelabout of almost all that same clergy in 1852—the enthusiasm of most of the Ultramontane doctors for the revival of Cæsarism? The harangues of Monseigneur Parisis, the charges of Monseigneur de Salinis, and especially the permanent triumph of those lay theologians of absolutism, who began by squandering all our liberties, all our principles, all our former ideas, before Napoleon III., and afterwards immolated justice and truth, reason and history, in one great holocaust to the idol they raised up for themselves at the Vatican? If that word idol seems to you too strong, be pleased to lay the blame on what Monseigneur Sibour, Archbishop of Paris, wrote to me on the 10th of September, 1853—"The new Ultramontane school leads us to a double idolatry—the idolatry of the temporal power and of the spiritual power. When you formerly, like ourselves, M. le Comte, made loud professions of Ultramontanism, you did not understand things thus. We defended the independence of the spiritual power against the pretensions and encroachments of the temporal power, but we respected the constitution of the State and the constitution of the Church. We did not do away with all intermediate power, all hierarchy, all reasonable discussion, all legitimate resistance, all individuality, all spontaneity. The Pope and the Emperor were not one the whole Church and the other the whole State. Doubtless there are times when the Pope may set himself above all the rules which are only for ordinary times, and when his power is as extensive as the necessities of the Church. The old Ultramontanes kept this in mind, but they did not make of the exception a rule. The new Ultramontanes have pushed everything to extremes, and have abounded in hostile arguments against all liberties—those of the State as well as those of the Church. If such systems were not calculated to compromise the most serious religious interests at the present time, and especially at a future day, one might be content with despising them, but when one has a presentiment of the evils they are preparing for us it is difficult to be silent and resigned. You have there- fore done well, M. le Comte, to stigmatize them." Thus, Sir, did the pastor of the vastest diocese in Christendom express himself 17 years ago, congratulating me upon one of my first protests against the spirit which, since then, I have never ceased to combat. For it is not to-day, it was in 1852 that I began to struggle against the detestable political and religious aberrations which make up contemporary Ultramontanism. Here, then, traced by the pen of an Archbishop of Paris, is the explanation of the mystery that pre-occupies you, and of the contrast you point out between my Ultramontanism of 1847 and my Gallicanism of 1870. Therefore, without having either the will or the power to discuss the question now debating in the Council, I hail with the most grateful admiration; first, the great and generous Bishop of Orleans; then the eloquent and intrepid priests who have had the courage to place themselves across the path of the torrent of adulation, imposture, and servility by which we risk being swallowed up. Thanks to them, Catholic France wilt not have remained too much below Germany, Hungary, and America.….'"
Sir, I think I cannot be accused either of bigotry or ignorance if, with this letter in my hand, I look with suspicion upon the effects likely to arise out of the recent decision of the Papal Council, and with distrust upon the probable action of Cardinal Cullen, who, I will show the House, is recognized as one of the chief propagators and supporters of the decree which has been stigmatized in the terms I have read to the House by the late Count de Montalembert in almost the last letter that he ever wrote. I do not choose to make that assertion without proof—I repeat that Cardinal Cullen, the chief authority, to whom you are about to entrust the administration of the money which, under the Glebe Loans Bill, will be dispensed by the Treasury, has avowed himself at Rome one of the chief propagators and promoters of the declaration of the personal infallibility of the Pope; and I will show you what are the consequences which he expects to flow from that declaration. The House will excuse me for quoting this, because I do not like to make what might be considered imputations upon my own authority. There is no organ of the Ultramontane Roman Catholics better known in this country than The Tablet. That paper was established under the auspices of the late Cardinal Wiseman, and it is supposed to be peculiarly in the confidence of Dr. Manning at the present time. Here, Sir, in The Tablet of June 30, 1870, is a copy of an address of the Irish Bishops to his Eminence Cardinal Cullen. The Tablet says—"I need only remind some of your readers that Archbishop Sibour, whose curious and really admirable letter Count Montalembert quotes, was appointed to the See of Paris by General Changarnier, after the death (so truly glorious and worthy of a Christian Bishop) of Monseigneur Afire, in Juno, 1818, and that he himself was murdered by a wretched priest, named Verger, in 1857."
I quote now from Cardinal Cullen's reply—"On the evening of Monday, the 18th, after the public session of St. Peter's, an important re-union was held at the Irish College in Rome, through the kind invitation of the Very Rev. Mgr. Kirby, the venerable and respected President. Not only the Irish Bishops at present in Rome, but the most distinguished Prelates from France, Spain, the United States, Canada, and other countries enjoyed his hospitality on this occasion. Several Bishops representing the children of St. Patrick not only in Ireland, but throughout the British Colonies, availed themselves of the opportunity to present the following address to his Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin—'To his Eminence Paul Cardinal Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland, &c. May it please your Eminence, on this most memorable day in the history of the Vatican Council, we, the Archbishops and Bishops, representatives of the Irish race, respectfully approach your Eminence, and offer our heartfelt congratulations on your most able and successful vindication in the Council Hall of the rights of the Holy Sec, and of the tradition of the Irish Church concerning them. Your Eminence truly represented on the occasion the faith and feelings of the Irish people, and we are proud of the manner in which you have testified to both.—Signed by D. M'GETTIGAN, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland'—followed by 29 other signatures."
Now, Sir, Cardinal Cullen here accepts the congratulations of this Ultramontane assembly upon having promoted the condemnation of the Gallican system, by which the independent and national rights of the Roman Catholic community in France are secured to them under the terms of the Concordat between that country and the Holy See. This reminds me, Sir, of a letter which was written by my late Friend Lord Beaumont to the late Duke of Norfolk, the grandfather of the present Duke, whom I was proud also to call my friend, and both were Roman Catholics. In that letter Lord Beaumont lamented the issue of the Brief of 1850 constituting the aggression, which the Legislature of this country resisted by the statute that you are now asked to repeal; and declared that the doctrines of which that Brief was the exposition were so extreme in the sense of sanctioning the usurped authority of the Papacy, and so dangerous in their tendency with respect to society and politics, that, to use his own expression—"Rome spued all moderation out of her mouth;" and added, that the doctrines of which that Brief was the embodiment would render it extremely difficult for any Roman Catholic, who yielded the obedience which that Brief required, to reconcile his allegiance to Her Majesty with his acceptance of the supremacy of the Pope. I have mentioned that it is only a few days since it pleased the Council called "Œcumenical" to sanction in the present Pope all the assumptions which the various Governments of Europe have found it necessary to resist, and I have shown that Cardinal Cullen has congratulated the Pope upon having succeeded, as he hopes, in crushing within France the last remnants of nationality—as reserved in the national Church of France; that he has congratulated the Pope upon the acts by which he has attempted to invade the terms of the Concordat; and I venture to represent to this House that this is not the time at which it is prudent to condone the assumption of territorial titles by such Prelates as Cardinal Cullen, knowing full well that they are imbued with those very, I must say, rebellious principles — rebellious against the just Prerogative of the Crown, and rebellious against the principle of independence which has been expressed in the laws of this country for 800 years. I say that this is not the time at which the Parliament of England should separate itself from the action of the Governments throughout the world, for the purpose of placing under the control of this presumptuous hierarchy the means of oppressing the most loyal and most moderate portion of the Roman Catholic community; the means also of moving the least intelligent of their flocks to condemn, as unrighteous, the laws of this country, which are no more restrictive than the laws of France or than the laws of Germany, and not so restrictive as the laws of Russia. I repeat, Sir, that this is not the time at which it is wise, prudent, or expedient for the Parliament of England to stir in this matter, and that we ought to wait until we have had an opportunity of judging of the effects of this Papal decree, which has been and is celebrated by the Ultramontane party in the Church of Rome as the fulfilment of their hopes. I have now to move that the Bill be read a second time this day three months."In progress of time the decisions of such a body will be the source of great blessings to the Church, condemning, as they do, so many forms of modern error, upholding the cause of justice and authority, defining the rights of religion, and, above all, banishing Gallicanism from the pale of the Church. This form of teaching, notwithstanding the name it bears, was never adopted by the great Church of France, but was violently forced into a sort of official existence by an ambitious king. Its tendencies always were to undermine the foundation of the Church, to divide the faithful of different countries into hostile camps, and to promote schisms and dissensions among those who should live together like brethren. Having been now solemnly condemned by a General Council, it is to be hoped that itself and its offshoots will soon be forgotten."
Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."—( Mr. Newdegate.)
said, he would not attempt to follow the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), for he was quite unable to do so. He should vote for the second reading of the Bill, on the assumption that its provisions would be greatly modified in Committee, so as to bring the measure back to what it was when it was originally introduced in the House of Lords. As the Bill at present stood he considered it to be more mischievous and more insulting to a large body of their fellow-subjects than the Bill which it proposed to repeal. In the first place, it was not to be forgotten that the present Bill extended to the whole of the realm, whereas the former Bill excepted Scotland from its operation, and excepted it for the same reason which now also applied to Ireland. If therefore, the Bill were to pass in its present shape, it would prevent Bishops of the disestablished Church of Ireland and Bishops of the Scotch Episcopal Church from assuming the titles which they had hitherto borne, and would therefore be insulting and injurious not only to Roman Catholics, but to a large body of Protestants. But this was not his only objection to the Bill. The old Act of 1851 ought to be repealed in his judgment, if for no other reason than it had been nominally in operation for 20 years, and had never been enforced. He did not think a stronger objection could be stated to any Act of Parliament. But he ob- jected further to the present Bill, because it took away one great safeguard which existed in the former enactment, which prevented bigoted and violent men from molesting and annoying with legal process and criminal indictments clergymen and priests of various denominations. That safeguard was, that before the Act could be enforced, the sanction of the Attorney General was requisite. A consideration of the provisions of this Bill would show that in the case of any offence committed against it, no such sanction was required. The framers of this Bill, not adverting to the fact that any offence committed in contempt of an Act of Parliament was a misdemeanour, enabled every person who thought fit to put this Act into operation by indictment at every quarter sessions in England. Instead of repealing what was objectionable in the former Act they were extending it; instead of limiting the penalty to £100, they were inflicting any penalty which the discretion of the Judge might consider to be right. It was said that by repealing the former and obsolete Act they would be helping to establish the Church of Rome. That was a perfectly groundless fear. The real question was whether a respectable and venerable gentleman should call himself Archbishop of Dublin or Archbishop of Mesopotamia in partibus infidelium. He did not think that the fact of his calling himself by one title or the other would in the least establish the Church of Rome. That Church was already established in the sense that it was tolerated by law; but it was not established in the sense that it was endowed by law, nor was any establishment of the Church of Rome in that sense contemplated by this Bill. In giving their sanction to the measure, however, improved as he hoped it would be in Committee, this would remove from the statute book an Act of Parliament which, whether rightly or wrongly, was looked upon by a large portion of their fellow-subjects as an insult to them and their religion.
said, he would support the second reading of this Bill on the understanding laid down by the hon. and learned Member for Dover (Mr. Jessel), with whose arguments he entirely concurred. He looked upon the Bill as a measure of simple justice. The present Act was, no doubt, provoked by proceedings very unwise, and in many respects insolent. The people of England were excited to absolute fury, and did a very illogical thing. They passed an Act of Parliament full of sound and fury; but the penalties were futile and nugatory. While it did not accomplish the object which was aimed at, the Act of 1851 did a great deal of harm by giving a shock to the general respect and esteem in which England had been held as a land of toleration for every form of religious belief. He himself had voted against the Bill, and had lost his seat for several years in consequence. He did not regret that, for he felt that he had taken the only course consistent with his honour. If the present Bill had come down from the House of Lords in its original shape he should have been prepared to accept it. But Clause 1, which had been introduced, did either too much or too little. It either affirmed a mere truism, and as such was beneath the dignity of Parliament, or if it did more it was a penal statute of such stringency that it ought not to be accepted. The original Act of 1851, by a clause specially framed it was said by the right hon. Gentleman now at the head of the Government, had been prevented from affecting the Episcopal Church of Scotland, but the words "assumed or used" in Clause 1 of the present Bill would clearly apply to that Church, and bring it within the provisions of the measure This, he thought, must clearly not have been the intention of those who had brought it in, and they were therefore responsible for setting it right in Committee. He meant to vote against the Motion of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) hoping that the House in Committee would take a rational view, and bring back the Bill more nearly to its original shape, so as to make it a measure of toleration and send it forth a message of peace, and not of persecution.
said, the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) was plainly entitled to claim the support of the Members for Dover (Mr. Jessel) and for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope), their voices having clearly been given against the Bill, though their votes might be recorded in its favour. Both hon. Gentlemen declared that they only supported the Bill in the expectation that it would be entirely changed in Committee. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dover, whose practice did not lie as largely in the Criminal as in the Equity Courts, imagined that this Bill would create a new misdemeanour. But such was not the case, for it prohibited nothing, and there were, consequently, no provisions to be infringed. It merely said that if certain steps were taken, they should be null and void, and in that lay the difference from the Act of 1851, which did create a penalty for acts done in contravention of its provisions. Those penalties, however, had never been enforced, and admittedly were not going to be enforced. Who, then, was injured by the continuance of the statute, or who would be benefited by the substitution for it of another statute which provided that the same acts, if attempted, should be null and void? Generally, he was not in favour of retaining penalties on the statute book which were never enforced; but the present time was ill-chosen for altogether repealing the Act, which would be unnecessarily alarming the scruples of large numbers of the English people. He could see no adequate reason or justification for the change proposed. The Ecclesiastical Titles Act remained on the statute book simply as a protest against the aggression of a foreign Power, and what good end was to be attained by the passing of this new Act he was at a loss to understand.
Sir, I object to this Bill, but for very opposite reasons to those put forward by the hon. Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope). I object as regards that part of the Bill which includes Scotland. The Act which it is now sought to repeal, it has been argued, in effect sanctioned the assumption of ecclesiastical titles by persons in Scotland connected with the Episcopal Church in that country. But, Sir, I deny the effect of the clause was to give any such sanction; because the conclusion of the clause of the Bill of which the second reading is now proposed, declares that nothing in that Act contained shall confer any right on those persons which they did not possess before the passing of the Act. The Ministers of the Episcopal Church of Scotland never had a shadow of a right by law to assume any episcopal title, and the effect of that clause, I will venture to say, was what I will state. I admit that the Act was most offensive, inasmuch as it distinguished between the assumption of titles by Episcopalian ministers to which they had no legal right, and the assumption of titles by Roman Catholics to which they had no legal right; for while it stigmatized the Roman Catholics, and made them liable to a penalty of £100, it did not stigmatize the Episcopalian clergymen, and did not make them liable. To that extent it was very unjust, and calculated to wound the Roman Catholics; but I deny altogether that it gave to the Episcopal Church of Scotland any right to assume territorial titles. In point of fact, in many districts they do not assume them. We speak not of the Bishop of Edinburgh, but of Bishop Terrot, and we spoke of his predecessor as Bishop Sandford. We know that there are some who assume titles in different districts of Scotland; but those who may call themselves Bishop of Argyle or Bishop of Aberdeen—to which they have not a shadow of a right—are just in the same position as any of the other ministers of religion in Scotland, with this difference, that they have the smallest influence of any ministers in Scotland with regard to the extent of their flocks. A man may call himself Bishop of Argyle and the Isles, and yet have only a handful of people in connection with his denomination; and there may be 50 ministers of other denominations, each of whom has a larger number of people to attend to than the so-called Bishop of Argyle and the Isles. The assumption of territorial titles by Catholics and Episcopalians in Scotland is not respected. On the contrary, it is laughed at and sneered at; and if you go to a mooting for some benevolent and useful object, you will see on the same platform the Roman Catholic Bishop who has never called himself Bishop of Edinburgh, but Bishop Gilles or Bishop Strain, standing on the same platform with Bishop Terrot of the Episcopal Church and other ministers, and no difference made between them. No assumption of superiority ever took place; and, in fact, such an assumption of superiority in a Presbyterian country, where Presbyterianism is enacted by law, would be altogether out of the question. Now, I take exception to this Bill, because it is quite plain that, although it does not profess to have for its object the giving of any sanction to the assumption of titles; but, on the contrary, denies to them any legal sanction, yet the purport of it is to enable all those parties to assume such titles of superiority over other ministers. To that extent I object to the measure. The first part of the Bill shows that the Ecclesisastical Titles Act only applies to England and Ireland. In the 9th line there is a reference to deaneries in England or Ireland, and one would have supposed that when the alleged grievance was confined to England and Ireland, we should have met with a clause in the Bill providing that the remedy should not apply to Scotland; but, in place of that, the Enacting Clauses, four or five times over, provide that it shall be operative within "this realm," thus making it as applicable to Scotland as it is to England or Ireland. I will not say one word about Ireland, or the effect of Catholicism there; I will leave that to other parties; but I object to the apparent sanction which you are going to give to the thrusting upon a Presbyterian community of two classes of ministers of religion, who are to assume titles of superiority over other ministers in Scotland, to which titles they have no claim in law; and because they are not, either by talent, or influence, or learning, or in any other shape or way entitled to those distinctions. On these grounds I entirely object to this Bill, and shall vote against the second reading, although not for the same reasons as have been stated by the hon. Member near me.
said, he could well understand the impatience of hon. Gentlemen, because he know it was not pleasant to have to discuss the old subject of the effect of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill on the 4th of August and with the thermometer at 84 degrees in the shade. But he declined to discuss the Bill or to vote upon it on the narrow grounds put forward by the two learned Gentlemen of the long robe who had addressed the House. He thought hon. Members would be inclined to vote for the Bill on the ground that it would remove a flagrant injustice and insult to their Roman Catholic brethren. He was one of those who in 1851 resisted the original Bill. So far from that being passed at the instigation of the nation, it was brought in as a clap-trap appeal on the part of a Whig Ministry, who were shaking in Office, to the bigotry of the country to support them. He separated himself from that party, and like the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Beresford Hope), he paid the penalty for his vote by losing his seat in that House. The Act of 1851 was worse than a crime; it was a blunder. It effectually estranged the Roman Catholic nation of Ireland from this country, and the disaffection caused by the Bill was felt to this day. He was not surprised at the line taken by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), for he had always been consistent; but he thought it a little hard that he should detain the House now by reading the same letter from Count Montalembert that he occupied one whole day in reading before the Committee. He ought not to come down to the House, make the same speech, and read the same letter.
said, the hon. Member misrepresented him. The letter he had quoted was written on the 28th of February last.
said, it was strangely like the one read in Committee, and he suspected that it was a corrected copy prepared for the House. As he had said, he was not surprised at the course taken by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, and his Colleague the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley),
"…. Arcades ambo,
But he warned the Members of that House that if they were going to take that line they must be prepared to have a greater force in Ireland than they had at present. The hon. Member for Marylebone (Mr. M. Chambers) said this was a bad time to repeal the Act. But he would ask whether it was intended, while there was a war on the Continent and recruiting was proceeding in this country, to ask the recruits for an explanation of their religion? Was it wise at such a moment to place a stigma upon the priests of the national religion in Ireland, saying they should not call themselves Bishops of Down or Derry? He was astonished that the hon. Member for Dover (Mr. Jessel), who was an acute lawyer, should suffer his reason to be run away with in this matter; and he was equally surprised to find the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren) drawing distinctions on behalf of the Presbyterians of Scotland. What possible harm could be done to the Presby- terians if a gentleman chose to call himself Bishop of Edinburgh? Why could not clergymen he allowed to call themselves what they liked? They did not on that account take any money out of the hon. Member's pocket. He could have understood an objection on such a score from a Scotchman; but he could not comprehend the sentimental reasons which had been advanced. He hoped the House would not be led away by such considerations. This was no time for having useless protests upon our statute book, and when a protest was a wrong and an insult the British House of Commons should wipe it out. If they wished to unite Ireland to England they would not accomplish that object by continuing debates of this sort, and still less would they succeed in that direction by placing a stigma upon their Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen.Et cantare pares, et respondere parati."
said, as he intended, on the part of the Government, to support the second reading of the Bill, he would state shortly his reasons for taking that course The hon. Member for Marylebone (Mr. M. Chambers) claimed the votes of two hon. Members (Mr. Jessel and Mr. Beresford Hope) on the ground that they had spoken against the Bill, but he overlooked the important clause which repealed 14 & 15 Vict. The Bill did its work quite as effectually and much less offensively as originally framed by the Government and introduced into the House of Lords than in its amended form, and for that reason it was proposed to make Amendments in Committee restoring the Bill to its original shape. The provisions would, however, remain intact, so far as they were directed against the conferring of titles by a foreign potentate; but the Government was not disposed to inflict penalties on religious bodies for the use of distinctions among themselves. He thought it very inexpedient to retain on the statute book laws which were not enforced; and when a number of new Bishops were putting themselves under the ban of the law, it seemed to be very necessary to repeal a law which did not commend itself to the moderation or good sense of the community.
said, he wished to know what would be the legal position of the Bishops of the disestablished Church in Ireland and their successors if the existing law remained unaltered?
said, he believed the present Bishops would be entitled to retain their titles and precedence without any interference or prosecution, but under the existing law any new Bishop appointed after the 1st of January 1871, would be subject to a penalty of £100 if he assumed the title of his see.
Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
The House divided:—Ayes 111; Noes 34: Majority 77.
Main Question put, and agreed to.
Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow, at Two of the clock.
Foreign Enlistment Bill—Bill 258
( Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Solicitor General, Mr. Secretary Bruce.)
Bill, as amended, considered.
said, he was surprised that, in framing this Bill, an opportunity was not taken for dealing with some other branches of the same subject. Why should ships alone be selected as being contraband of war within the terms of the Bill? Other articles of war were manufactured in this country, and practical people would be apt to inquire why it was so heinous a crime to construct for the service of one belligerent a ship in the Mersey, while arms and ammunition for use by another belligerent might be manufactured with impunity at Birmingham or elsewhere. This was not a question of International but of Municipal Law, and as they were assembled there to remedy glaring defects in our Municipal Law, he wished to know whether the Government were prepared to accept words which he proposed to add to Clause 8, placing arms and munitions of war in the same category as ships. Already a very serious feeling existed abroad as to our partiality in time of war; and he would remind the House that whereas during the American War a great disturbance was made about certain vessels which escaped from this country, whole cargoes of munitions of war were constantly leaving this country for the Northern States. Would not certain parties during the present war be dissatisfied if they were prohibited from obtaining ships, which they wanted, while their opponents were allowed to buy guns and munitions of war to their heart's content? It might be said that to stop a suspected vessel of war was easy, while it was by no means easy to identify and stop a rifle and canister of powder. This was true, but, at all events, it would not be difficult to stop any wholesale infraction of the law. What must be the feelings of a belligerent who found that his opponent had free access to our markets for that which he required, while he himself was debarred by special statute, passed subsequently to the commencement of hostilities, from supplying his own special wants? Such legislation was contrary to the spirit of neutrality; and to put himself in Order in making those observations, though with no desire to delay the Bill, he would move that the further consideration of the measure be postponed for a month.
said, he wished to know from the Attorney General whether he thought the 4th sub-section of the 8th clause would meet the case of any individual or corporation who might sell, or contract to sell, a vessel to a belligerent to be used as a transport for the purposes of war. He read in The Times of that morning that one of the large screw steamers belonging to the West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Company had been sold to French buyers, and that she was to be used as a transport. Would such a sale come under the purview of the clause? If not, he would move a 5th sub-section to meet what he considered the omission.
said, the point was made clear by the Interpretation Clause, which defined "military and naval service" to mean "any user of a ship as a transport or storeship." He admitted that the point was an important one, and he proposed, in order that there should be no doubt as to the intention of the clause, to add the words "for or in aid of any naval or military operation." The Amendment suggested by the hon. Member for York (Mr. J. Lowther) would be more properly considered when they came to the clause to which it referred.
said, he would propose, in page 4, line 5, to insert after the word "ship" the words "arm or munition of war." We were anxious that this country should be really neutral, and it had on all former occasions been subject of regret that our Municipal Law did not extend to the prohibition of supplying warlike stores to a belligerent. He was aware that it was not so easy to find out where Chassepots or needle-guns might be manufactured as where a ship was built, but the principle involved was the same, and the object of his Amendment was to make the clause applicable to both. He would not occupy the time of the House, and he trusted no one else would, by irrelevant observations about International Law, with which this question had nothing whatever to do. The House would not be influenced by the quotation of judgments of Lord Stowell or other high authorities upon International Law from remedying a glaring and almost universally regretted defect in our Municipal Law.
Amendment proposed, in page 4, line 5, after the word "ship," to insert the words "arm or munition of war."—( Mr. James Lowther.)
said, he must remind the hon. Gentleman that the point had already been discussed in Committee, and decided against the hon. Gentleman. The Bill, as it stood, went far beyond our own law or, he believed, that of any other country for the enforcement of neutrality. If the Amendment were carried it would involve us in great difficulties indeed. It would, in fact, be enacting that which might be construed into imposing on ourselves an obligation which no neutral had over yet admitted. The question raised had been determined between ourselves and America in 1793, when she supplied France not only with ships, but with arms and munitions of war. We remonstrated at the time, and the Government of Washington admitted that, so far as ships were concerned, we were right; but they said that, with regard to arms and munitions of war, they could not comply with our request—that to do so would require the establishment of a belligerent excise throughout the country, and that every gun-shop and manufactory would have to be watched. If, indeed, we were to undertake such an obligation as the Amendment would impose, we should have to double or treble our police force, in order to keep watch over every manufactory of arms at Birmingham, and every coal-store in every port of the kingdom, and to interfere with trade in a manner which would be almost intolerable; and such were the grounds on which the American Government refused to establish a surveillance of that kind. We concurred with them in the view which they took of the matter; and, so far as he was aware, that was the view which was acted upon from 1793 up to the present time. Such was the law during the Crimean War, when Belgium and Holland supplied Russia with arms, while during the American War we supplied both Federals and Confederates with arms to a considerable extent. The trade in contraband of war was one which he must not be understood as at all approving. He wished our merchants and manufacturers could be persuaded to give it up, but the question was whether the Government should take upon itself the responsibility which the Amendment would impose; and ho, for one, thought it would be very unwise for them to do so. The Americans had made no complaint that we had not prohibited the exportation of arms during the civil war. The question had been well considered by the Royal Commission which sat upon this subject, and he trusted the House would not involve the country in additional responsibilities which it would be impossible to discharge, and which, if we were belligerents, we should probably find no neutral willing to undertake.
Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
The House divided:—Ayes 29; Noes 90: Majority 61.
said, he would beg to move, in page 4, line 9, after the word "state" to insert—
He was satisfied that under the clause, as it stood, an individual or a company might with impunity sell a ship, with a full knowledge that it was to be used in war against a friendly nation, and we might have another Alabama case. The clause only restrained persons from despatching vessels or causing them to be despatched; and he felt convinced that his Amendment would strengthen the hands of a Government which desired to remain on terms of amity with its neighbours."Or (5.) sells, or contracts to sell, any ship with intent or knowledge, or having reasonable cause to believe that the same shall or will be employed in the military or naval service of any foreign state at war with any friendly state."
In page 4, line 9, after the word "state," to insert the words "or (5.) Sells, or contracts to sell, any ship with intent or knowledge, or having reasonable cause to believe that the same shall or will be employed in the military or naval service of any foreign state at war with any friendly state."—(Mr. Monk.)
said, he hoped the Attorney General would not accept the Amendment. It was a highly inconvenient practice to propose, without Notice, on the bringing up of the Report Amendments to Bills of such importance as this.
explained that as the Bill passed through Committee only yesterday, he had had no opportunity of placing his Amendment on the Paper.
said, he thought it would not be right for the House to insert at this stage of the Bill an Amendment which would seriously affect the trade of the country.
said, the only question for the House to consider was whether the Amendment was a right and proper one. Ought the Bill to pass without some such Amendment in it? He would put it to the House whether we ought to risk getting into another Alabama difficulty, which would be obviated by the common sense Amendment improvised by his hon. Friend. It struck him that the Amendment was a most excellent one, and he should certainly not be deterred from supporting it merely because it was proposed at a late period.
said, no one could be more anxious than he to prevent the escape of Alabamas; but he could not help thinking that the Bill already went far enough in that direction. It prohibited the building, equipping, or despatching of any ship by any person having a knowledge, or intent, or reasonable cause to suppose that she was to be employed in the service of a belligerent; but, in his judgment, it would be going somewhat too far to prohibit a mere contract of sale without delivery. He might remark that the moment a person attempted to deliver a vessel, he would come within the provi- sions of the Bill. The Commissioners had come to the conclusion that a mere contract of sale ought not to be prohibited, and he confessed that, on the whole, he was of the same opinion.
said, he thought that sub-section 4 would meet the case sufficiently.
said, he was of opinion that the Bill did all that it was incumbent upon the Government to do. The Amendment would interfere greatly with the trade of the country, while a ship would be no use to a belligerent unless equipped or despatched.
said, that if the Amendment were an error, it would, at the most, be an error on the right side.
Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
The House divided:—Ayes 36; Noes 67: Majority 31.
said, he would propose to omit Clause 11.
said, he hoped this would not be done, otherwise vessels corresponding with the Alabama could be succoured in our colonial ports.
said, he had to explain that, although the Royal Commissioners made a recommendation to the effect of this clause, they did not intend that it should be embodied in an Act of Parliament, but that it should be carried out under the Queen's Regulations. The Governor of a Colony would, under this clause have to determine whether a ship entering his ports was illegally fitted out or not; and this was enough to show the object the Comissioners had in view could not be carried out by an Act of Parliament. It was intended, instead, to advise colonial Governors of the escape of any illegally-fitted vessel.
Clause struck out.
said, he wished to call attention to Clause 21. It provided that any Custom House officer might detain a suspected ship, so that the power would be vested in a tide-waiter who received, perhaps, 18s. a week. This was an extraordinary power to vest in such hands, and he would propose that the power should only be exercised by the chief officer of Customs in any port of the United Kingdom. The hon. Member concluded by moving his Amendment.
Amendment proposed, in page 8, line 7, "to leave out the word 'any,' and insert the words 'the chief,'"—( Mr. Candlish,)—instead thereof.
said, he questioned the propriety of giving so much power to Custom House officers of the lower class as was proposed by this Bill to confer on them.
said, that those officers of Customs were, in fact, the police of ports and harbours. No more power was conferred on them by the Bill than was already exercised by every parish constable throughout the kingdom. If the power of acting under the Bill were confined to the chief officer of Customs, as was proposed, it might happen that in a case of emergency that officer would be absent, and serious inconvenience would be the result. The principle of the clause was in operation in the Merchant Shipping Act and in all the Prize Acts. He quite admitted that the issue was more important than any that could be raised on the Merchant Shipping Act, but it was because it was more important that greater restrictions should be used. The great thing was to prevent the departure from our ports of any ships of the Alabama character.
Question, "That the word 'any,' stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
said, he would propose, in line 32, after "officer of customs" to insert "harbourmaster and dockmaster" with the view of enabling the dockmaster or harbourmaster to co-operate with the Government officers in the detention of a suspicious vessel.
said, he would offer no objection to the insertion of the words, but could give no indemnity to those officers.
Bill re-committed, to consider a now Clause and an Amendment to the Title; considered in Committee, and reported, with an amended Title; as amended, considered; to be read the third time To-morrow, at Two of the clock.
Inclosure Bill—Bill, 206
( Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen, Mr. Secretary Bruce.)
Second Reading Adjourned Debate
Order for resuming Adjourned Debate on Second Reading [2nd August] read.
said, considering the late period of the Session, and the opposition that was likely to arise with respect to this Bill the Government had come to the determination to withdraw it. He therefore begged to move that the Order be discharged.
said, he had presented a Petition from the inhabitants of Stamford in favour of the Bill, and he must make an appeal to the Government and the House to allow the Schedule to be altered, and to pass the Bill as regarded Stamford. The case of Stamford was not like that of other places mentioned in the Schedule. The Report of the Commissioners had shown not only that there was no opposition to the proposed inclosure, but that it would be attended with great benefit to the inhabitants, who, in exchange for the waste lands which were now of no use, would got good land for garden allotments and recreation purposes. Certain detached pieces of waste in the neighbourhood, varying from an acre to an acre and a-half, with one about six acres, two miles from the town, would be enclosed, and the lord of the manor had consented to give up 18 acres of land, eight of which were to be devoted to a public park and 10 to garden allotments for the poorer people. He would propose, therefore, to the Government that they should, as it were, turn the Bill into a private one, confining its operation to Stamford, and changing its title. With this view he should say no to the Question that the Order be discharged.
said, he must admit that the case of Stamford was very different from most others; but, although his objections to the measure would not apply to it if it were altered as proposed by the hon. and gallant Baronet, nevertheless as he stated a few nights ago when a similar proposition was made by the Prime Minister he thought it impossible to deal by any Bill of the kind with these questions of property until the General Inclosure Act was amended. He heartily thanked the Government for withdrawing the Bill, and also those hon. Members who had remained morning after morning till 2 or 3 o'clock to support him in his successful attempt to resist the passing of this Bill.
Motion agreed to.
Order discharged: Bill withdrawn.
Elementary Education Bill
Lords' Amendments considered.
said, he would propose that this House do disagree with the Amendment, as it had been carried in the other House by a small majority only, and, as he thought it was only fair, when they were imposing the duty of providing education for the people on the school Boards, that those bodies should have the power of opening free schools where special circumstances rendered them necessary.
Amendment disagreed to.
said, he had to propose to agree to the Amendment, as far as requiring the Minutes to be laid on the Table of both Houses went—a regulation which now existed under the Education Code, and which the Government had no intention of withdrawing; but he would suggest that the period should be limited to one month instead of six weeks.
Lords' Amendment agreed to.
moved that the House do agree with the Lords' Amendments in respect of the Ballot at elections for school Boards.
said, he wished, in perfect good humour, to say that as the House of Commons had sat up till 5 o'clock to insert in the Bill the plan of voting by Ballot, he should have expected that the Government would have insisted on retaining it. He only rose to point out that hon. Members on the Opposition side had been successful. Very little satisfaction had been given by the Government to Members on their own side during the passage of the Bill through the House of Commons. Having first adopted a real Ballot the Government afterwards turned it into a sham Ballot, and subsequently with, as it appeared to him, the acquiescence of the Government, the House of Lords struck out even the sham, and the Ballot was to be buried for this year without one mourner from the Treasury Bench to follow it to the grave. It was the one little concession that had been made to the Gentlemen below the Gangway. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were in a hopeless condition last year when assorting principles which they had now the gratification of seeing embodied in this Bill; but as a minority had been thus successful, those who were in a minority below the Gangway might hope to be successful in their turn. Members on his side of the House had had their little success in reference to the Inclosure Bill, and now Gentlemen opposite had their great success in getting rid of the Ballot; but even with regard to the Ballot he hoped that the good fortune of hon. Gentlemen opposite to-day would be that of hon. Gentlemen on his side of the House at no distant day. As to the Bill itself, adopting words which Scott used in the conclusion of Rob Roy, he would say—"There are many things owre bad for blessing and owre gude for banning, like Rob Roy."
said, he was glad that his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Vernon Harcourt) had treated the matter good-humouredly, and had concluded the long discussion on that subject with such a pleasant quotation. He thought the honours of the battle remained with those who had fought for the Ballot, because the election would be by Ballot in the metropolis, and it was in the metropolis the most important elections would be held between this and the time when it would be necessary to have fresh legislation in respect of the mode of election. The mode of election provided by this Bill would remain in force for only a year. He hoped his hon. and learned Friend would not be able to say after the next elections that the Ballot which would be applied was a sham. He thought that it would not be expedient to fight the question further in the present year. It was not a minority on either side who had succeeded in the case of this Bill. The success was on the part of an enormous majority in that House who were resolved to establish a system of truly national education.
said, that he had sat up till half-past 5 in the morning for the purpose of supporting the Ballot principle when it was proposed in this Bill. His hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Vernon Harcourt) had left the House and gone to his bed at 1 o'clock. He thought that was a fair measure of the degree of zeal which each of them respectively had for the Ballot. He rejoiced to think that the vast majority of the House had shown that they were more anxious about national education than about individual crotchets. He was very grateful for what the House had done for education, and he would express his thanks to his right hon. Friend the Vice President of the Council for the manner in which he had carried the measure through the House. He did not believe that any other man in England could have done the work so well; and as his hon. and learned Friend had concluded with a prose quotation, he would conclude with a poetical one, and, referring to the Vice President, use words of Tennyson—
"One still strong man in a blatant land,
Who can act, and dare not lie."
said, this matter of the Ballot was one of the greatest consequence, and he protested against its being treated in a humorous manner.
said, he must deny that the advocates of the Ballot had shown any want of interest in the question of national education. He did not regard the measure which was now passing through Parliament as by any means final, for it was not national in its proportions, was eleemosynary in its character, and it was unworthy of a popular and reformed House of Commons.
said, this was not the occasion for a discussion on the measure.
Lords' Amendments agreed to.
Committee appointed, "to draw up Reasons to be assigned to The Lords for disagreeing to the Amendment to which this House hath disagreed:"—Mr. WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER, Mr. GLADSTONE, Mr. Secretary BRUCE, Mr. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN, Mr. STANSFELD, Mr. ARTHUR PEEL, Mr. DODSON, Mr. CRAWFORD, Mr. KAY-SHUTTLE-WORTH, and Mr. GLYN:—To withdraw immediately; Three to be the quorum.
Reason for disagreeing to Lords Amendment reported, and agreed to.
To be communicated to The Lords.
Stamp Duties (Re-Committed) Bill
( Mr. Dodson, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Stansfeld.)
Bill 256 Committee
Bill considered in Committee.
(In the Committee).
Clauses 1 to 48, inclusive, agreed to.
Clause 49 (Interpretation of term "Promissory note").
said that, taking the clause in connection with the Schedule, it appeared that the stamp duty on a promissory note payable on demand would be charged at an ad valorem rate, while the duty chargeable on a bill of exchange would be only 1d. There was no reason for this difference, under which the promissory note would cease to exist.
said, he failed to see any hardship in the provisions of the clause. He believed promissory notes payable on demand were very rare. [An hon. MEMBER: Not at all.] However, he was willing to consider the representations that had been made before the Report.
said, that a promissory note and a bill of exchange were substantially the same thing.
thought a case had been made out which had not been answered.
said, the Government had taken into consideration the suggestions of practical men, and had amended the Bill, so that, in its present form, there was no great objection to it; but he wished the Government to consider the propriety of changing the mode of distributing stamps and of utilizing some of the 8,000 post-offices of the country instead of paying poundage to distributors.
said, he thought there was a good deal of difference between a bill of exchange and a promissory note. The latter was not payable at sight, or on demand, and it might be for a year in the cash-box and never get into circulation. If hon. Members thought differently, let them try to discount a promissory note.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 50 agreed to.
Clause 51 (Ad valorem duties to be denoted in certain cases by adhesive stamps).
said, he would suggest that it would be a great advantage to the commercial world if the use of adhesive stamps were allowed in all cases upon bills of exchange, promissory notes, and other mercantile obligations, instead of the ordinary bill stamps. He did not believe the Revenue would suffer. He hoped the Government would consider the question during the Recess.
hoped that this common-sense view would be adopted by the Department. Where an impressed stamp was spoilt by the bill being wrongly drawn, the principal was obliged to go before an official and make oath to that effect. This inconvenience would be avoided if adhesive stamps were used.
said, he would remind the right hon. Gentleman of the importance in any case of preserving evidence of the date at which the bill was drawn.
said, he would ask that adhesive bill stamps should be sold at the post offices throughout the kingdom.
said, he feared that the Revenue would suffer if adhesive stamps were used. Such an arrangement might open the door to fraud, as the use of stamps could be avoided altogether in cases where no litigation resulted, and if litigation did arise, an adhesive stamp could be put on the bill at any time, months after the bill was really drawn.
said, that could not happen, because the bill must be stamped before it could go through a banker's hands.
said, while he admitted the importance of the subject, it was impossible to discuss it now on a measure which was merely a consolidating measure.
said, that every civilized country in the world except our own used adhesive stamps for these purposes, and no fraud could arise if the person drawing the bill had to write his signature across the stamp when the bill was drawn. He regretted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not listened to the appeal which had been made to him by an influential commercial body.
said, he wished to have it clearly understood that the Government did not in the least go into the merits of the question. Their object simply being to effect a consolidation of the Stamp Laws, with a view to future improvement, they had declined to make any changes of the nature proposed.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 52 to 97, inclusive, agreed to.
Clause 98 (Directions as to duty in certain cases).
said, he had to move the insertion of an additional subsection, which had been drawn up in consequence of a suggestion made to him by his hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren). His hon. Friend had pointed out that in Scotland houses of £10 a year, or under, were never let for a shorter time than a year. Under the Bill, as it stood, tenements of that value would not have the benefit of the reduced stamp duty which similar property would have in England, because persons who were in the habit of renting their houses quarterly would only have to pay 1d. instead of 1s. stamp duty on leases for less than a year. He begged, therefore, to move a 5th sub-section, to the effect that no "lease or tack, in Scotland, of any dwelling-house or tenement, for any definite term not exceeding a year, at a rent not exceeding the rate of ten pounds per annum, is to be charged with any higher duty than one penny."
Amendment agreed to.
Clause agreed to.
Remaining clauses agreed to.
Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow, at Two of the clock.
British Columbia Bill—(Lords)
Bill 257 Second Reading
Order for Second Reading read.
said, he would beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Colonies to state the nature of the new constitution proposed to be given to the Colony?
said, in reply, that under the provisions of the Bill the Governing Body would not be entirely nominated by the Crown as at present, but 12 out of the 15 members would be nominated by the people.
Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow at Two of the clock.
Sheriffs (Scotland) Act (1853) Amendment, &C Bill
Lords' Amendments considered.
Sir, I propose that this House should agree to the Lords' Amendments to this Bill, with one exception. I will explain in a few words how this matter stands. It was a subject of debate in this House when the Bill was read a second tune, whether the provisions of the Act of 1838, which requires that each sheriff in Scotland be an habitual attendant of the Court of Session during the sitting of that Court was one that ought to be continued. The House resolved that question in the negative, and accordingly as the Bill passed this House and went to the House of Lords, Clause 13—the clause in question — contained these words—
The House of Lords have deleted these words, and, adverting to the Amendment which omits them, I have to propose that they should in substance be re-inserted, although with a difference which I believe will be satisfactory—at least I have reason to hope so—to some of the noble and learned Lords who thought that there was something objectionable in the form in which they originally stood in the Bill. The Act of 1838 contains three substantive provisions relating to the subject—ono regulating the qualification for the appointment to the office of sheriff, the qualification being that the appointee should be an advocate of three years' standing in practice, and in habitual attendance on the Court of Session. The second provision is, that every sheriff after his appointment shall continue not in practice, because that is a matter which is almost beyond the power of the Legislature, but shall continue an habitual attendance on the Court of Session. I have some reason to believe that it is supposed by some noble and learned persons "elsewhere" that the purpose of the clause in this enactment which the Lords have omitted, was to interfere with the qualification for the appointment to the office of sheriff prescribed by Act of 1838. That is not so. The purpose was not to interfere with the qualification for the appointment at all, but merely to relieve those sheriffs having been appointed who had ceased, whether from their own inclination or without reference to their own desire, from any active practice before the Court of Session, and the neces- sity of habitual attendance in that Court, before which they were not practising; and accordingly I propose to omit the words as originally inserted in the Bill, and to substitute those words—"All sheriffs, whether appointed before or subsequent to the passing of this Act, are hereby relieved of the duty of attending the sitting of the Court of Session."
And I propose further to add, in order to prevent the possibility of any misconception as to interference with the qualification at present required for the appointment to the office of sheriff—"And so much of the Act of the first and second Victoria, chapter one hundred and nineteen [that is, the Act of 1838] as provides that every sheriff, with the exception of the Sheriffs of the counties of Edinburgh and Lanark, shall, after his appointment, be in habitual attendance upon the Court of Session during the sittings thereof, shall be, and is hereby repealed."
The clause, as I now propose to amend it, has therefore no other effect than to relieve the sheriffs, who are now reduced to the number of 15, from the necessity of attending habitually on the Supreme Court of Edinburgh, whether they are in practice before that Court or not. Of course, those who are now in practice will continue to attend the sitting of the Court without the necessity of any statutory obligations; but it appears to me and to those who framed the Bill that it was not required by those who are not in practice Certainly, now that the jurisdiction of the sheriffs is largely extended and the number diminished, that restriction is more objectionable, and I would venture to say—if it is not too strong a word—more mischievous than it was before."That nothing herein contained shall affect the qualification for appointment to the office of Sheriff, as prescribed by the said Act."
Amendment to the Lords' Amendment agreed to.
Lords' Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
I have now to propose to the House to disagree with the Lords' Amendment as to the omission of Clause 14. This clause proposes to confer upon the Government a power, to be used by one of Her Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, from time to time to prescribe the number of sheriff-deputes to each sheriff town, and such places where they shall reside and attend to the performance of their duty. It is absolutely necessary that that power should be vested somewhere, and it humbly appears to me, and was the opinion of the House when the Bill was here formerly, that Her Majesty's Government—the Government of the day—is the proper quarter in which to vest this power. The Government is the most direct and immediately responsible body in the country, and it would be entirely out of the question to regulate the number of sheriffs-substitute, or prescribe the places where they were to reside in the discharge of their duties, by Act of Parliament. For the exigencies of public business in the various districts of the country, it is desirable and necessary that there should be some intelligence to regulate the matter for the necessities of the particular districts at the particular time. The Royal Commissioners appointed to report on Scotch Judicature have recommended a variety of changes, and no doubt they will be in the main carried out; but they must undoubtedly be experimental, and from time to time the arrangements will be modified. As I said before, the power of doing so must be vested somewhere, and I have respectfully to submit that it ought to be vested in a body which is responsible like the Government.
Amendment disagreed to.
Committee appointed, "to draw up Reasons to be assigned to The Lords for disagreeing to the Amendment to which this House hath disagreed:"—The LORD ADVOCATE, Mr. Secretary BRUCE, Mr. STANSFELD, Mr. DODSON, Mr. GLYN, and Mr. ADAM:—To withdraw immediately; Three to be the quorum.
Reasons for disagreeing to Lords Amendment reported, and agreed to.
To be communicated to The Lords.
Annuity Tax Abolition (Edinburgh And Montrose, &C) Act (1860) Amendment Bill
Lords' Amendment considered.
said, he rose to move in Clause 20, page 9, line 7, to leave out the word "male." If the word were retained, the patronage would be invested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who would have to appoint the minister in accordance with the desire expressed by the majority of the male communicants. Now, he thought that in a matter of this kind, the female members of the congregation would take a very strong interest, and would be glad to give effect to their opinions by taking part in the election of the minis- ter. He might mention that the former Acts, which were somewhat numerous, vested the patronage in the hands of the communicants generally, and not in those of the male communicants exclusively. The present might, perhaps, be an unfavourable occasion for raising this question, and if he found that the learned Lord Advocate was unwilling to support his Amendment, he would not venture to press it.
Sir, I shall not now go into the merits of the question which has been raised by the hon. Baronet. Indeed, the present is not a suitable opportunity for discussing the matter. This is almost a local Bill. There has been a long and bitter strife in Scotland as to its adoption, and large sacrifices and concessions have been made on both sides, in order to arrive at a settlement of the question. This is not a suitable occasion for determining the general question of woman's rights; and I am not disposed to send back the Bill to the House of Lords in order that that subject should be re-considered there. Consequently, I shall support the Lords' Amendment.
Motion made, and Question, "That this House doth disagree with The Lords in the said Amendment,"—( Sir David Wedderburn,)—put, and negatived.
Lords' Amendment agreed to.
Blank in the Bill filled up.
Sanitary Act (Dublin) Amendment Bill—Bill 254
( Mr. Stansfeld, Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland.)
Order for Committee read.
said, he wished to know whether sufficient security had been taken for the repayment of the one-third of a million of money to be advanced to the City of Dublin for the execution of sanitary works. He desired to be informed what was the rateable value of the property upon the security of the rates of which the money was to be advanced, what was the rating limit, and how far the rates were already charged?
said, that the Public Loan Commissioners, who were to advance the money, could not by law charge less than 5 per cent interest; but it was in the discretion of the Treasury to reduce that amount. The Loan Commissioners were an independent body of gentlemen, receiving no salaries from the Government, and exercising their own judgment in obtaining adequate security for the money—a duty which they had always discharged with the greatest fidelity, and it was a beneficial arrangement that that duty should not be thrown on the Government, who might be biased by political or Parliamentary pressure. In this particular case it was in the power of the Public Loan Commissioners to lend the money without an Act of Parliament, were it not that the Commissioners required more security than could be given without a special Act. The money was lent upon the security of the rates of the city of Dublin, for the purification of the river Liffey, which had become so offensive that the Judges administering the law in Dublin had applied to have some other place to hold their sittings at. The Government gave a guarantee in the case of London when the Embankment was made and other works undertaken. He durst say that Dublin would be glad to get a guarantee too; but instead of a guarantee they would advance the money. As the Public Loan Commissioners required power to appoint a receiver to receive the rates in case of default on the part of the Corporation, the present Bill was introduced to give them that power.
said, in spite of the explanations of the right hon. Gentleman, the Bill was, in his opinion, most objectionable. The House ought not to allow it to pass, unless Parliament were always prepared to make advances to any town requiring similar aid for carrying out sanitary works.
said, he must protest against the system of borrowing from the Government for improvement purposes. The Bill was altogether peculiar.
said, he could not agree that the measure was a peculiar one, because on several occasions the metropolis had borrowed money from the Government for improvement purposes.
said, the authorities of Dublin were required to carry out the Sanitary Act of 1866, and the Bill was necessary to enable them to improve the Liffey, which was in a very noxious condition.
Bill considered in Committee, and reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow, at Two of the clock.
Queen Anne's Bounty (Superannuation) Bill—Bill 114
( Mr. Bouverie, Mr. Gathorne Hardy.)
Order for Committee read.
said, he objected to proceeding with the Bill. The Bill involved principles which could not be properly discussed at the present time, more particularly as next year the propriety of placing the management of the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and of the Commissioners of Queen Anne's Bounty in the hands of one Board was to be considered by a Select Committee.
said, he hoped they would not listen to the charmer on the other side, and hang up the question, merely because the Bill might give superannuation to an old gentleman who was 87 years of age, and had rendered to the commonwealth a service of 48 years. The Bill had been fully discussed on a former occasion, and he, having charge of the Bill, was prepared to accept all the Amendments proposed by the Government. He therefore hoped the hon. Member for Warrington (Mr. Rylands) would allow them to go into Committee.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
The House divided:—Ayes 64; Noes 18: Majority 46.
Bill considered in Committee, and reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow, at Two of the clock.
Joint-Stock Companies' Arrangement Bill—Bill 143
( Mr. Henry B. Sheridan, Mr. Serjeant Simon, Mr. Brogden.)
Order for Committee read.
said, he would beg to move that it be an Instruction to the Committee to extend the Joint Stock Companies' Arrangement Bill to other Companies in liquidation.
Motion agreed to.
Instruction to the Committee to extend the Joint Stock Companies' Arrangement Bill to other Companies in liquidation.
Bill considered in Committee.
(In the Committee.)
Clause 1 agreed to.
Clause 2 (Where compromise proposed Court of Chancery may order a meeting of creditors, &c. to decide as to such compromise).
Amendment proposed, in Clause 2, line 10, to leave out all the words after "between," to end of Clause, in order to add the words—
"A Company which is being or shall be wound up, either voluntarily or by the Court, under the Companies' Acts 1862 and 1867, or either of them, and the creditors of such Company, or any class of such creditors, it shall be lawful for the Court of Chancery on the application in a summary way of any creditor or the liquidator, to order that a meeting of such creditors or class of creditors shall be summoned in such manner as the Court shall direct, and if a majority in number, representing three-fourths in value of such creditors or class of creditors present either in person or by proxy at such meeting shall agree to any arrangement or compromise, such arrangement or compromise shall, if duly confirmed by an order of the Court, be binding on all such creditors or class of creditors, as the case may be, and also on the liquidator and contributories of the said Company,"—(Mr. Chadwick.)
Amendment agreed to.
Clause agreed to.
Remaining clauses agreed to.
Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow.
Oaths Of Allegiance On Naturalization Bill
On Motion of Mr. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Bill to amend the Law relating to the taking of Oaths of Allegiance on Naturalization, ordered to be brought in by Mr. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Mr. Secretary BRUCE, and Mr. SOLICITOR GENERAL.
Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 261.]
House adjourned at a quarter after Eleven o'clock.