• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Title Page
 April 1825
 May 1825
 June 1825
 July 1825
 Appendix
 Index














Group Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Title: The parliamentary debates
ALL VOLUMES CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073533/00013
 Material Information
Title: The parliamentary debates
Uniform Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Physical Description: 20 v. : ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Great Britain -- Parliament
Hansard, T. C ( Thomas Curson ), 1776-1833
Publisher: Published under the superintendence of T.C. Hansard
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1820-1829
 Subjects
Subject: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 1820-1830   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: New ser., v. 1 (1820)-v. 20 (1829).
Numbering Peculiarities: Covers Mar. 1820-Feb./Mar. 1829.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073533
Volume ID: VID00013
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 07655703
lccn - sn 85062629
 Related Items
Preceded by: Parliamentary debates for the year 1803 to the present time
Succeeded by: Hansard's parliamentary debates

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
        Table of Contents 3
        Table of Contents 4
        Table of Contents 5
        Table of Contents 6
    Title Page
        Title Page
    April 1825
        House of Lords - Tuesday, April 19
            Page 1
        House of Commons - Tuesday, April 19
            Page 1
            Page 3-4
            Page 5-6
            Page 7-8
            Page 9-10
            Page 11-12
            Page 13-14
            Page 15-16
            Page 17-18
            Page 19-20
            Page 21-22
            Page 23-24
            Page 25-26
            Page 27-28
            Page 29-30
            Page 31-32
            Page 33-34
            Page 35-36
            Page 37-38
            Page 39-40
            Page 41-42
            Page 43-44
            Page 45-46
            Page 47-48
            Page 49-50
            Page 51-52
            Page 53-54
            Page 55-56
            Page 57-58
            Page 59-60
            Page 61-62
        House of Lords - Thursday, April 21
            Page 63-64
            Page 61-62
        House of Commons - Thursday, April 21
            Page 63-64
            Page 65-66
            Page 67-68
            Page 69-70
            Page 71-72
            Page 73-74
            Page 75-76
            Page 77-78
            Page 79-80
            Page 81-82
            Page 83-84
            Page 85-86
            Page 87-88
            Page 89-90
            Page 91-92
            Page 93-94
            Page 95-96
            Page 97-98
            Page 99-100
            Page 101-102
            Page 103-104
            Page 105-106
            Page 107-108
            Page 109-110
            Page 111-112
            Page 113-114
            Page 115-116
            Page 117-118
            Page 119-120
            Page 121-122
            Page 123-124
        House of Lords - Friday, April 22
            Page 123-124
        House of Commons - Friday, April 22
            Page 125-126
            Page 127-128
            Page 129-130
            Page 131-132
            Page 133-134
            Page 135-136
            Page 137-138
            Page 123-124
        House of Lords - Monday, April 25
            Page 139-140
            Page 141-142
            Page 143-144
            Page 145-146
            Page 147-148
            Page 149-150
            Page 137-138
        House of Commons - Monday, April 25
            Page 151-152
            Page 153-154
            Page 155-156
            Page 157-158
            Page 159-160
            Page 149-150
            Page 161-162
            Page 163-164
        House of Lords - Tuesday, April 26
            Page 165-166
            Page 167-168
            Page 169-170
            Page 163-164
        House of Commons - Tuesday, April 26
            Page 171-172
            Page 173-174
            Page 175-176
            Page 177-178
            Page 179-180
            Page 181-182
            Page 183-184
            Page 185-186
            Page 187-188
            Page 189-190
            Page 191-192
            Page 193-194
            Page 195-196
            Page 197-198
            Page 199-200
            Page 201-202
            Page 203-204
            Page 205-206
            Page 207-208
            Page 209-210
            Page 211-212
            Page 213-214
            Page 215-216
            Page 217-218
            Page 219-220
            Page 221-222
            Page 223-224
            Page 225-226
            Page 227-228
            Page 229-230
            Page 231-232
            Page 233-234
            Page 235-236
            Page 237-238
            Page 239-240
            Page 241-242
            Page 243-244
            Page 245-246
            Page 247-248
        House of Lords - Thursday, April 28
            Page 249-250
            Page 247-248
        House of Commons - Thursday, April 28
            Page 249-250
            Page 251-252
            Page 253-254
            Page 255-256
            Page 257-258
            Page 259-260
            Page 261-262
            Page 263-264
            Page 265-266
            Page 267-268
            Page 269-270
            Page 271-272
            Page 273-274
            Page 275-276
            Page 277-278
            Page 279-280
            Page 281-282
            Page 283-284
            Page 285-286
            Page 287-288
            Page 289-290
            Page 291-292
            Page 293-294
            Page 295-296
            Page 297-298
        House of Commons - Friday, April 29
            Page 299-300
            Page 301-302
            Page 303-304
            Page 305-306
            Page 307-308
            Page 309-310
            Page 311-312
            Page 313-314
            Page 315-316
            Page 317-318
            Page 319-320
            Page 321-322
            Page 323-324
            Page 325-326
            Page 327-328
            Page 329-330
            Page 331-332
            Page 333-334
            Page 335-336
            Page 297-298
    May 1825
        House of Commons - Monday, May 2
            Page 337-338
            Page 339-340
            Page 341-342
            Page 343-344
            Page 345-346
            Page 347-348
            Page 349-350
            Page 351-352
            Page 353-354
            Page 335-336
        House of Commons - Tuesday, May 3
            Page 355-356
            Page 357-358
            Page 359-360
            Page 361-362
            Page 353-354
        House of Commons - Wednesday, May 4
            Page 363-364
            Page 365-366
            Page 367-368
            Page 361-362
            Page 369-370
            Page 371-372
            Page 373-374
        House of Lords - Thursday, May 5
            Page 373-374
        House of Commons - Thursday, May 5
            Page 375-376
            Page 377-378
            Page 379-380
            Page 381-382
            Page 383-384
            Page 373-374
            Page 385-386
            Page 387-388
            Page 389-390
            Page 391-392
            Page 393-394
            Page 395-396
            Page 397-398
            Page 399-400
            Page 401-402
            Page 403-404
            Page 405-406
            Page 407-408
            Page 409-410
            Page 411-412
            Page 413-414
            Page 415-416
            Page 417-418
            Page 419-420
            Page 421-422
        House of Commons - Friday, May 6
            Page 423-424
            Page 425-426
            Page 427-428
            Page 429-430
            Page 431-432
            Page 433-434
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            Page 445-446
            Page 447-448
            Page 449-450
            Page 421-422
        House of Lords - Monday, May 9
            Page 451-452
            Page 453-454
            Page 455-456
            Page 457-458
            Page 459-460
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            Page 473-474
            Page 475-476
            Page 449-450
            Page 477-478
            Page 479-480
        House of Commons - Tuesday, May 10
            Page 481-482
            Page 483-484
            Page 485-486
            Page 487-488
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            Page 479-480
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            Page 519-520
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            Page 561-562
        House of Lords - Wednesday, May 11
            Page 563-564
            Page 561-562
        House of Commons - Wednesday, May 11
            Page 563-564
            Page 565-566
        House of Commons - Thursday, May 12
            Page 565-566
            Page 567-568
            Page 569-570
            Page 571-572
            Page 573-574
            Page 575-576
            Page 577-578
            Page 579-580
            Page 581-582
        House of Lords - Friday, May 13
            Page 583-584
            Page 585-586
            Page 581-582
        House of Commons - Friday, May 13
            Page 587-588
            Page 585-586
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            Page 599-600
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            Page 605-606
        House of Commons - Monday, May 16
            Page 607-608
            Page 609-610
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            Page 605-606
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            Page 647-648
            Page 649-650
        House of Lords - Tuesday, May 17
            Page 651-652
            Page 653-654
            Page 655-656
            Page 657-658
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            Page 761-762
            Page 763-764
            Page 765-766
            Page 767-768
        House of Commons - Tuesday, May 17
            Page 769-770
            Page 771-772
            Page 773-774
            Page 775-776
            Page 777-778
            Page 779-780
            Page 781-782
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            Page 767-768
        House of Commons - Wednesday, May 18
            Page 785-786
            Page 787-788
            Page 783-784
        House of Commons - Thursday, May 19
            Page 789-790
            Page 787-788
            Page 791-792
        House of Commons - Friday, May 20
            Page 793-794
            Page 791-792
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            Page 819-820
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            Page 823-824
        House of Lords - Thursday, May 26
            Page 825-826
            Page 827-828
            Page 829-830
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        House of Commons - Thursday, May 26
            Page 837-838
            Page 839-840
            Page 841-842
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        House of Lords - Friday, May 27
            Page 899-900
            Page 901-902
            Page 897-898
        House of Commons - Friday, May 27
            Page 903-904
            Page 901-902
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        House of Commons - Monday, May 30
            Page 935-936
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, May 31
            Page 953-954
            Page 955-956
            Page 957-958
            Page 959-960
            Page 951-952
        House of Commons - Tuesday, May 31
            Page 961-962
            Page 963-964
            Page 965-966
            Page 959-960
            Page 967-968
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    June 1825
        House of Lords - Thursday, June 2
            Page 1011-1012
        House of Commons - Thursday, June 2
            Page 1013-1014
            Page 1015-1016
            Page 1017-1018
            Page 1019-1020
            Page 1021-1022
            Page 1023-1024
            Page 1025-1026
            Page 1011-1012
        House of Lords - Friday, June 3
            Page 1027-1028
            Page 1029-1030
            Page 1031-1032
            Page 1025-1026
        House of Commons - Friday, June 3
            Page 1033-1034
            Page 1035-1036
            Page 1031-1032
            Page 1037-1038
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        House of Commons - Monday, June 6
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, June 7
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, June 7
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        House of Commons - Friday, June 10
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, June 14
            Page 1133-1134
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, June 14
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        House of Commons - Friday, June 17
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        House of Lords - Monday, June 27
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, June 28
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, June 29
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        House of Lords - Thursday, June 30
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        House of Commons - Thursday, June 30
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    July 1825
        House of Commons - Friday, July 1
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        House of Lords - Monday, July 4
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, July 5
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, July 5
            Page 1485-1486
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        House of Lords - Wednesday, July 6
            Page 1487-1488
    Appendix
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
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        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Index
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
Full Text




THE


PARLIAMENTARY


DEBATES:


FORMING A CONTINUATION OF THE WORK ENTITLED

"THE PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF ENGLAND,

FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE YEAR 1803."


PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF
T. C. HANSARD.


Neo Syrit0;
COMMENCING WITH THE ACCESSION OF GEORGE IV.



V 0 L. XIII.

COMPRISING THE PERIOD
FROM
THE NINETEENTH DAY OF APRIL.
TO
THE SIXTH DAY OF JULY, 1825,




LONDON:
printeb bp (. C. Wanuarbv at tle platt rnofter-ltoto pret,
FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY; J. BOOKER; LONGMAN, TREES, ORME, AND CO.;
J. M. RICHARDSON; KINGSBURY AND CO.; J. HATCHARD AND SON; J. RIDGWAY
AND SONS; E. JEFFERY AND SON; RODWELL AND MARTIN; R. II. EVANS;
BUDD AND CALKIN; J. BOOTH; AND T. C. HANSARD.

1826.

















'I'A IBII OF CONTIEN'IS

'FO

V(OUMNE XIll.

X 'I I S' SER / I s






1. Dl)i:nAT IN VIr llos.: i IO I. KNu', ,hMl.S ,
Lolnu s. \. 'Aitli A.A tNTA In' A lteR .f.
II. D)EIIATEs 1In uFi lot.st op,
COMMOlNS.. L P -I'II.IoNs.
111. KIN:'s .S Et'K s. i VII. LJ.isrts.




1. DEBATES IN T'I'll, 1101S OP LORDI)S.

180.':. loa;ge
Apr. 1.). Quarantine IL.aws, ................. .................. I
21. lIoman C (aholit' Cliaims ............... ................. (1i
'22. T'reasoln I:orfl itlurt I'|,,l;w l Iill .......................... I :'
''. Ilonnn Calholic ('l:aims ................................ 1:1:
Corn laws ............................................ II
(i. Equitable Loan IIll .................................... ItI;
Corn La;ws ............................................ I6
2-'. Corn Laws............................................ 1-'
May 5. lonman Catholic Claims ................................ :17:
9.. (Game Laws Amcndment Bill ............................ I1P
II. IHoman Catholic IH1lief IBill .............................. .r;'
1:I. IRoman Catholic ('lims ............................... .!'
17. lonan Catholic Claims ................................ (; 1
Roman Catholic lIRlicf Iill .............................. 60;
(. Oaths of Naturalization, and Heversal of Attaindcr .......... 2 I
Treason Forfeiture lRepeal Bill .......................... 8'23
27. King's Message respecting the D)uch'ss of Kent and Duke of
Cumberland ..................... .................. H9t>
Elquitahle L.oan Hill ................... ............... S8!1
Sl1. Iondid Corn Bill ...................................... .


_ __ _I










TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
une 2. Burials in Ireland Bill ................................. 1011
3. Unitarian Marriages Bill ............................... 1025
7. Law of Merchant Bill-Principal and Factor .............. 1058
Equitable Loan Bill ................................... 1061
14. Colonial Intercourse Bill ................................ 1152
Equitable Loan Bill ................................... 1154
17. Rate of Interest in India .............................. 1207
22. Rate of Interest in India ............. .................. 1270
23. Judges Salaries Bill .......................... ......... 1280
24. Equitable Loan Bill ................................... 1349
27. Judges' Salaries Bill ............ ...................... 1378
Rate of Interest in India ............................... 1380
30. Customs Consolidation Bill ............................. 1461
July 4. State of Ireland-Catholic Question ..................... 1477
Combination of Workmen Bill............................ 1478
Country Banks ........................... ... ........ 1479
5. Unitarians ............................................ 1480
6. The King's Speech at the Close of the Session .............. 1487



II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Apr. 19. Roman Catholic Claims-Petitions for and against .......... 2
Roman Catholic Relief Bill .............................. 21
21. Breach of Privilege-Forgery of a Petition ................ 63
Roman Catholic Claims ................................ 64
Roman Catholic Relief Bill .............................. 71
22. Elective Franchise in Ireland ............................ 124
Butter Trade in Ireland ................................ 125
Elective Franchise in Ireland Bill ........................ 126
Spirit Duties .......................................... 132
British Museum-Mr. Rich's Collection.................... 137
25. Combination Laws .................................. 149
Corn Laws............................................ 150
Case of Mr. Gourlay ................................... 161
County Transfer of Land Bill ............................ 162
Delays in the Court of Chancery.......................... 163
26. Corn Laws.......................................... 171
Roman Catholic Claims.................................. 172
Elective Franchise in Ireland Bill ....................... 176
28. Corn Laws.......................................... 249
Coronation Oath ................................ ... 252
Mr. Whitmore's Motion for a Committee on the Corn Laws ,, 252
29. Combination Laws ................................... 298
Game Laws Amendment Bill ........................... 300
Lord F. L. Gower's Motion for a Provision for the Roman Ca-
tholic Clergy of Ireland ............................... 308
May 2. Roman Catholic Relief Bill .............................. 336










TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
May 2. Bonded Corn ........................................ 337
Protestant Dissenters Marriages Bill ..................... 53
3. Combination Laws.................................... 353
Roman Catholic Claims .............................. 361
4. Combination Laws .................................. 362
5. Mr. Maberly's Motion for the Repeal of the Beer Duties .... 374
Wrongous Imprisonment and Delays in Trials in Scotland Bill 386
Cattle Ill-treatment Bill .............................. 418
Abuses and Mismanagement of Bradford Castle ........... 419
Working Hours of Children in Cotton Mills ................ 421
6. Roman Catholic Relief Bill .............................. 422
9. Elective Franchise in Ireland Bill ....................... 453
10. Roman Catholic Claims .............................. 480
Roman Catholic Relief Bill .............................. 486
11. Votes of Members in Private Committees ................. 563
12. Elective Franchise in Ireland Bill ....................... 565
Payment of Labourers' Wages out of the Poor Rates ........ 571
Assimilation of the Currencies of Great Britain and Ireland.... 573
13. East India Judges Bill ................................ 586
Roman Catholic Claims-Rev. Dr. Doyle ................ 589
Warehoused Corn Bill ................................. 590
Grant to Mr. M'Adam ...................... ......... 593
County Courts Bill .................................. 599
Quarantine Laws Bill ................................ 601
16. West-India Company Bill .............................. 605
Judges' Salaries........................................ 611
Cotton Mills Regulation Bill ........................... 64,3
17. London Tithes Bill .................................. 768
Mr. Hobhouse's Motion for the Repeal of the Window Tax .. 771
Slave Trade in the Mauritius .......................... 781
18. Private Committees-Welch Iron and Mining Company Bill .. 783
Roman Catholic Contribution to Protestant Church-Petition
from Taghadoe ..................................... 785
19. Quarantine Laws Bill ................................ 788
Salmon Fishery Bill ................................... 792
20. Leith Docks Bill ..................................... 792
Forgery of a Petition-Breach of Privilege ................ 796
Juries Bill ......... .............. .... ............. 798
Judges' Salaries.......................................... 801
26. King's Message respecting the Duchess of Kent and Duke of
Cumberland ...................................... 836
Petition of B. Coile complaining of Imprisonment ............ 837
Forgery of a Petition-Breach of Privilege................. 838
London College Bill................................... 840
Mr. Spring Rice's Motion on the State of Ireland, with regard
to Religious Animosities .............................. 841
27. Elective Franchise in Ireland Bill ........................ 902
Conduct of Lord C. Somerset at the Cape of Good Hope-Pe-
tition of John Cainall ................,............... 903










TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
May 27. Provision for the Duchess of Kent and Duke of Cumberland .. 909
Judges' Salaries................ ...................... 927
30. Provision for the Duchess of Kent and Duke of Cumberland .. 934
31. Mr. John Williams's Motion respecting Delays in the Court of
Chancery .......... .............................. 959
Cotton Mills Regulation Bill .......................... 1008
June 2. Private Committees-London and Westminster Oil Gas Bill .. 1012
Law of Merchant-Principal and Factor ................. 1014
Imprisonment for Religious Opinions-Petition of R. Carlile .. 1015
Repeal of the Bubble Act .............................. 1018
Judges' Salaries................................ ...... 1023
3. Western Ship Canal Company Bill....................... 1032
London College Bill o .. ........... .............. 1033
Quarantine Laws Bill ................................ 1036
Mauritius Trade Bill.................................. 1039
6. Hindoo Widows-Female Immolation ................... 1043
Duke of Cumberland's Annuity Bill ..................... 1047
7. Constitution of Committees on Private Bills ................ 1063
Writs of Error Bill ................................... 1063
Mr. Sykes's Motion for the Reduction of the Duties on Soap
and Tallow...................................... 1064
Sir Francis Burdett's Motion respecting Delays in the Court of
Chancery .......................................... 1068
9. Flogging in the Navy ................................ 1097
Charter Schools of Ireland ............................. 1110
Duke of Cumberland's Annuity Bill ..................... 1118
Corn Trade-Canada Corn-Warehoused Corn ............ 1118
Buckingham House ................................. 1120
10. Duke of Cumberland's Annuity Bill .................... 1121
14. Exportation of Machinery ............................ 1135
Conduct of Mr. Kenrick, a Surry Magistrate-Petition of M. M.
Canfor ............................................ 1138
Mr. Hume's Motion on the State of the Church Establishment
in Ireland ......................................... 1149
16. Conduct of Lord Charles Somerset at the Cape of Good Hope
--Petition of Mr. Bishop Burnett ..................... 1166
Dr. Lushington's Motion respecting the Deportation of Messrs.
Lecesne and Escoffery from Jamaica ..................... 1173
Buckingham House Bill ............................... 1205
17. Judges' Salaries Bill..................................... 1209
Case of Sir Robert Wilson ..... ...... ................ 1211
Customs Consolidation Bill ............................ 1215
20. Shooting and Stabbing (Scotland) Bill ................... 1245
21. Conduct of Mr. Kenrick .............................. 1247
Unitarians-Toleration Act ............................ ... 1250
Cruel Treatment of Cattle Bill ......................... 1252
Spring Guns Bill .................................... 1254
22. Petition of F. Jones, complaining of Country Bank Notes not
being paid in Gold.................................. 1271
Conduct of Lord Charles Somerset, at the Cape of Good Hope 1274








TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
June 22. Newspapers Bill....................................... 1275
Navigation Laws-British Shipping Bill.................... 1277
Partnerships Societies (Scotland) Bill ....................... 1279
23. Mr. Fowell Buxton's Motion on the Expulsion of Mr. Shrews.
bury, the Missionary, from Barbadoes ................... 1285
24. Conduct of Mr. Kenrick, in the Case of Canfor ............. 1350.
27. Petition of F. Jones, complaining of Country Bank Notes not
being paid in Gold.................................... 1381
Combination of Workmen Bill............................ 1400
Conduct of Mr. Kenrick in the Case of Franks .............. 1407
28. Deccan Prize Money .................................. 1407
Conduct of Mr. Kenrick, in the Case of Franks ............ 140S
Conduct of Mr. Kenrick, in the Case of Canfor.............. 1010
Law of Merchants Bill-Principal and Factor .............. 143&
29. Combination of Workmen Bill..... ......... ............. 1458
Spring Guns Bill ..................................... 1459
30. Combination of Workmen Bill........................... 1462
July 1. Deccan Prize Money ............................... 1465
Military Occupation of Spain ........................... 1472
South America-Foreign Enlistment Bill .................. 1473
Conduct of Lord Charles Somerset at the Cape of Good Hope 1483.
5. South America ....................................... 1485


III. KING'S SPEECHES.

July 6. KING's SPEECH at the Close of the Session ............... t


IV. KING'S MESSAGES.

May 26. KiNr's MESSAGE respecting a provision for the Duchess of
Kent, and Duke of Cumberland, ....................... 83;



V. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.

Finance Accounts for the Year ended 5th of.lanuary 1825 .. A4pp:. i.


VI. PETITIONS.

June 14. PTITION of M. M. Canfor, complaining of the Conduct of Mr.
Kenrick, a Magistrate of Surrey ............... 11%
16 - of Mr. Bishop Burnett, complaining of the Conduct
of Lord Charles Somerset, at the Cape of Good Hope 116%
22. --- of F. Jones, complaining of Country Bank Notes not
being paid in Gold ............................ I 1
VOL. XIII. b









TABLE OF CONTENTS.


VII. LISTS.

Page
Apr. 28. LIST of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Whit-
more's Motion for a Committee on the State of the
Corn Laws ................................... 298
May 5. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Ma-
berly's Motion for the Repeal of the Duties on Beer .. 386
10. -of the Majority and Minority, in the House of Commons,
on the third Reading of the Roman Catholic Relief
Bill .......................................... 558
17. -of the Majority and Minority, in the House of Lords, on
the second Reading of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill 766
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hob-
house's Motion, for the Repeal of the Window Tax.... 780
20. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Judges'
Salaries Bill .................................. 824
27. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Pro-
vision for the Duke of Cumberland ................ 927
30. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Grant
to the Duke of Cumberland................. .... 951
June 6. -of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Duke
of Cumberland's Annuity Bill ................... 1051
7. -of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Sir F. Bur-
dett's Motion respecting Delays in the Court of Chan-
cery ......................................... 1097
9. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion respecting Flogging in the Navy ............ 1110





















PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES.











THE


ParliamentaryDebates


During the Sixth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Third Day of
February 1825, in the Sixth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


IOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, April 19.
QUARANTINE LAWS.] The Earl
otDarnley rose, to call their lordships' at-
tention to this subject; but as his inten-
tion was only to move for certain papers,
to the production of which he expected
no opposition, it would not, he said, be
necessary to trespass long on their lord-
ships' attention. A committee of the
House of Commons had made a report on
the subject of the Quarantine laws, in
consequence of which, an alteration had
been proposed in laws which had preserved
the health of this country for more than a
century. Some ships, he had heard, had
lately arrived from Alexandria, laden with
cotton, which had been admitted imme-
diately to pratique. He knew that these
ships had clean bills of health. By the
former practice, ships with foul bills of
health were obliged to remain forty days
in quarantine, and those with clean bills,
twenty-one days: by the system now to
be adopted, ships with foul bills of health,
were to remain only fifteen days in qua-
rantine, while those which had clean bills
of health might be admitted immediately
to pratique. This he thought was a deli-
cate and important subject, and required
that all the information possible should be
laid before their lordships. He would,
therefore, move, for copies of the report
made to the House of Commons by the
committee, and also the number of vessels,
with their names, which have arrived from
Alexandria, and been immediately ad-
mitted to pratique; as well as the orders
in council for so admitting them.
VOL. XIII. {I }


The Earl of Liverpool said, that the
alteration which had been suggested, after
a full consideration, was not to do away
the Quarantine laws; but, by some new
regulations on the old system, to relax
the severity of those laws. It was the
opinion of persons the best qualified to
form an opinion, that these laws were
not necessary in all their rigour, to pre-
serve the health of the people; and that
they were very inconvenient and injurious
to the trading interests of this country.
He had no objection to the production of
the documents moved for by the noble
lord, but their lordships would have an
opportunity of fully discussing the ques-
tion, when the bill on the subject came
from the other House.
Lord Holland was ready to admit, that,
if any abuse existed, derived from the
Quarantine laws, it ought to be remedied.
But he hoped their lordships would recol-
lect, that the plague frequently devastated
every country in Europe, before the pre-
sent system of Quarantine was generally
established; and that since the Quarantine
laws had been in existence, its return had
been comparatively rare. It was the case
not only with England, but with every
country in Europe; and he hoped their
lordships would consider the delicate and
important subject with the fullest atten-
tion, and not hastily sanction any de-
parture from the present system.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, April 19.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS-PETI-
TIONS FOR AND AGAINST.] Numerous
B











THE


ParliamentaryDebates


During the Sixth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Third Day of
February 1825, in the Sixth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


IOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, April 19.
QUARANTINE LAWS.] The Earl
otDarnley rose, to call their lordships' at-
tention to this subject; but as his inten-
tion was only to move for certain papers,
to the production of which he expected
no opposition, it would not, he said, be
necessary to trespass long on their lord-
ships' attention. A committee of the
House of Commons had made a report on
the subject of the Quarantine laws, in
consequence of which, an alteration had
been proposed in laws which had preserved
the health of this country for more than a
century. Some ships, he had heard, had
lately arrived from Alexandria, laden with
cotton, which had been admitted imme-
diately to pratique. He knew that these
ships had clean bills of health. By the
former practice, ships with foul bills of
health were obliged to remain forty days
in quarantine, and those with clean bills,
twenty-one days: by the system now to
be adopted, ships with foul bills of health,
were to remain only fifteen days in qua-
rantine, while those which had clean bills
of health might be admitted immediately
to pratique. This he thought was a deli-
cate and important subject, and required
that all the information possible should be
laid before their lordships. He would,
therefore, move, for copies of the report
made to the House of Commons by the
committee, and also the number of vessels,
with their names, which have arrived from
Alexandria, and been immediately ad-
mitted to pratique; as well as the orders
in council for so admitting them.
VOL. XIII. {I }


The Earl of Liverpool said, that the
alteration which had been suggested, after
a full consideration, was not to do away
the Quarantine laws; but, by some new
regulations on the old system, to relax
the severity of those laws. It was the
opinion of persons the best qualified to
form an opinion, that these laws were
not necessary in all their rigour, to pre-
serve the health of the people; and that
they were very inconvenient and injurious
to the trading interests of this country.
He had no objection to the production of
the documents moved for by the noble
lord, but their lordships would have an
opportunity of fully discussing the ques-
tion, when the bill on the subject came
from the other House.
Lord Holland was ready to admit, that,
if any abuse existed, derived from the
Quarantine laws, it ought to be remedied.
But he hoped their lordships would recol-
lect, that the plague frequently devastated
every country in Europe, before the pre-
sent system of Quarantine was generally
established; and that since the Quarantine
laws had been in existence, its return had
been comparatively rare. It was the case
not only with England, but with every
country in Europe; and he hoped their
lordships would consider the delicate and
important subject with the fullest atten-
tion, and not hastily sanction any de-
parture from the present system.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, April 19.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS-PETI-
TIONS FOR AND AGAINST.] Numerous
B










3] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
petitions were presented both for and
against the claims of the Roman Catholics.
Mr. Hart Davis having presented a peti-
tion from the clergy of Bristol against
those claims,
Mr. Leycester avowed it as his opinion,
that the persons who had so strongly ex-
pressed sentiments hostile to any further
concession to the Catholics, had done so
in profound ignorance of the subject, and
labouring under great mistakes as to the
religious belief of the Roman Catholics.
His own errors on the subject were of the
same description, until the investigation
of the committee on Irish affairs had
thrown a new light upon the question.
Until that information had been commu-
nicated, he had believed, that all those
monstrous mummeries, so long attributed
to the Popish faith, were articles of fai{h
with all Roman Catholiqs. That was now
entirely denied. But all denial was useless;
the, opinions which the Catholics enter-
tained centuries ago were supposed by
the petitioners against their claims to be
the opinions which they still cherished.
Their cry was-
Delicta majorum immeritus lues,
Romane."
Mr. Bright denied that the opinions of
the petitioners had been formed in the
ignorance attributed to them by the hon.
gentleman. The petitioners had read-
what the lion. gentleman seemed to have
neglected, the history of this country
and the Christian world. In that history
they had seen the real character of Catho-
licism. Could the Protestant people of
this country forget the times that were
past ? When had the Catholics shown
themselves favourable to the religious and
civil liberties of the people of England ?
Never. And as to intolerance, let the
House observe on which side it lay.
Whenever a petition was presented un-
favourable to the Catholic Claims, with
what accuracy was it not criticised, with
what scorn was it not treated? Let the
House look back to what had taken place
on the continent but a few years after the
peace. Let them recollect the motion
made in the year 1815, by a learned and
lamented individual, sir S. Romilly, with
respect to the prosecution of the Pro-
testants at Nismes. Did not that event
show that persecution was the essence of
popery, whenever popery was restored to
power? If the lion. gentleman who had
just spoken had looked to general history,
instead of the ex-parte examination of
individuals before the committee on Irish


Roman Catholic Claims- [4
affairs, he would have arrived at a very
different conclusion. He disclaimed all
disposition to stir up religious animosities;
but, when he was incited by such state-
ments as those which had fallen from the
hon. gentleman, he felt the necessity of
standing forward, and declaring his opi-
nion of the unchanged character of the
religion of Rome.
Mr. A. Smith presented a petition from
Portsmouth and Portsea, against further
concessions to the Catholics.
Mr. Carter begged to say a few words
as to the mode in which this petition was
produced, in order to show that the de-
claration that these anti-Catholic petitions
generally spoke the sense of the country
was unfounded. In the original advertise-
ment to call together a meeting for the pur-
pose of framing this petition, the mayor of
Portsmouth had introduced an expression
intimating that the meeting was for the
purpose of" discussing" the question. As
the day of meeting, however, approached,
discussion was thought to be dangerous
to the cause of anti-Catholicism; and an
attempt was made to prevent the meeting.
It took place, however, and a counter re-
solution was carried, expressive of the
sense of the meeting, and, he firmly be-
lieved, the sense of the great majority of
the population of the country, that it was
inexpedient to express any opinion on the
subject; and that it might be safely left
to the wisdom of the legislature.
Mr. A. Smith observed, that the peti-
tion was most numerously and respectably
signed.
Colonel Johnson rose, to present a peti-
tion from a Roman Catholic gentleman of
the name of Newton, residing in the county
of Lincoln, against the pending bill for
the relief of the Roman Catholics. The
petitioner begged to represent, that if
such a bill should pass into a law, it would
not materially benefit the condition of the
Roman Catholics, at the same time that
it would certainly be most degrading to
them as a body. The hon. gentleman
took that opportunity of declaring, that
were he himself a Roman Catholic, he
certainly could not take the oath to be
enjoined by the bill in question.
Sir Robert Heron, in presenting two
petitions in favour of the bill, complained
of the manner in which a petition from
Grantham had been got up, that was pre-
sented on Friday. That petition did not
at all represent the sense of the inhabitants
of the town.
Mr. Brougham begged to thank his hon.










5] Petitionsfor and against.
friend for the light he had thrown upon
the mode in which some of the petitions
against the bill had been got up; and he
himself was able, not only to bear out the
hon. baronet's statement, as to the very
pretty manner in which the petition al-
luded to had been manufactured, but to
add one or two facts, that might show the
Christian spirit and wisdom that must
have prevailed over some of the sub-
scribers to it, and have induced that ex-
pression of extreme anxiety for the wel-
fare of the Established Church, and dread
of the direful effects of relief to the Roman
Catholics, which the petition set forth.
Now, as to Grantham and its soke, that
district contained about 14 parishes, and
a population of 10,000 persons. The
meeting at which the petition in ques-
tion had been agreed to was composed of
twenty-nine persons. It was got up rather
in the manner of a Scotch than of an Eng-
lish meeting. Twenty-nine persons were
the small per centage who were found on
that occasion to attend, in order to testify
the serious apprehensions that the petition
intended to express. With respect to
the petition itself, it should be observed,
that it was signed by 439 persons, 24.2 of
whom, or above half, stood in this situa-
tion-(and he was now speaking upon the
information of a most respectable indivi-
dual whom he knew and could rely on)-
15 of them were clergymen; but as for
the rest, they were the very reverse of
clergymen; for no less than 198 of these
petitioners, who had weighed so maturely
the great interests of the Catholic ques-
tion, and who, according to the petition,
had carried their minds back to the earlier
pages of our history, and had considered
the character of the Roman Catholic re-
ligion in past ages (and all this they must
have heard in speeches, and not have
learned in books, with which, of necessity,
they could have been but little occupied),
198 of them could not write [hear, hear] ;
or at least the whole of that number-
perhaps, indeed, for the sake of concise-
ness-signed their names with a cross.
They were marksmen, who preferred this
mode of subscription by a cross, in order
to manifest at once their love of concise-
ness and their hatred of the Catholic reli-
gion. Four others were, perhaps, not so
much to blame for the mode they had
resorted to of expressing their opinions;
because it happened, in respect of them,
that they had not properly exercised be-
forehand the faculties that nature had


APRIL 19, 1825. [6
given to then. In short, they were con-
victs [a laugh]-he begged pardon of the
House, he should more correctly say, that
two of the four were convicts, the oiler
two were keepers of brothels. Perhaps
the latter two had been induced, from a
religious horror of the rival trade of the
lady of Babylon, to protest that they
could not bear any other religion but
their own. Many of the other petitioners
had been previously in the receipt of
parochial relief.
Sir M. Cholmeley was here about to
address the chair, but was called to order.,
Mr. Brougham resumed. He had his
information from a party of whose accu-
racy lie had no doubt, and who could not
be mistaken. He understood that every
one of these 198 persons [a cry of No"]
-perhaps the hon. baronet knew them
all, and could distinctly state whether
such was the fact or not-every one of
them had made his cross. Possible it
was that they could write; but, at any
rate, they had not chosen to favour the
House with a specimen of their penman.
ship. Surely the lion. baronet knew as
well as he did what a marksman was; and
thus, therefore, lie must allow, that as
marksmen 198 of these petitioners were
disposed of. In respect of the other four,
he dared to say that the hon. baronet
could give his negative evidence, at least
to the character of those two housekeepers
whom he had before named; if not, it did
not follow that other gentlemen might not
have been in their houses, and be able to
speak more directly to the matter. Al-
together there were in this way 242 out
of the 439 petitioners' names accounted
for; leaving a per centage of somewhat
less that 5 per cent as upon the whole
population, whose sentiments this petition
affected to represent.
Sir Montague Cholnmeley said, that lie
knew of no such proceedings, in the mi,-
nufacture of the petitions in question, as
had been just stated. He could only say
for himself, that le hal never entered a
house of the description mentioned by the
hon. and learned gentleman [a laugh].
He was very sure that the attack which
had been made by the hon. and learned
gentleman and the hon. baronet was most
unjust as to the petitioners, and most un-
fair in the absence of the hon. member
who had presented their petition. For
his own part, hie was rather warm at pre-
sent; and, though lie felt disposed to
speak upon the subject of the Catholic











claims, he considered that he was too described as having been signed in such
much excited to address himself to it with an extraordinary manner, but other avo-
all that calmness which so important a cations had prevented him from doing so.
question demanded. Having said thus much, he had only to
Lord Nugent said, lie had received add, that he should in future use more
similar information to that which his hon. caution in receiving information from a
and learned friend had submitted to the quarter upon which he had hitherto relied;
Iou'e, from a person of high respectabi- as the gentleman was not only a supporter
lity, whose name, he was sure, must be but a member of the Catholic body, yet
well known to the lion. baronet [" name, even there he should receive his informa-
name!']. Ile was not authorized to de- tion with that grain of allowance and
dare who the individual was; but lie caution which the experience of that night
would communicate his name with plea- had taught him. Hie had looked over the
sure to the lion. baronet, petition, and it certainly contained no
Mr. Broughlam said, that in his infor- more than one name to which a cross was
nation the 198 persons who had signed affixed. There were, indeed, perhaps
with a cross were marked illiterate;" by i forty names, in all, subscribed by one and
which lie conceived lie was to understand, the same hand; but, upon the whole, tihe
either that they could not write their names said to be signed by crosses were
names, and had therefore put a cross, or as good specimens of average penmanship
that some person had signed for a great as were usually found in petitions of this
number of others. nature.
Mr. Secretary Peel said, lie had been Mr. Secretary Pcrl said, lie had several
surprised when he heard the statements petitions to present against this bill, all of
made by hon. gentlemen on the other which had been forwarded to him under
side, and, conceiving that they must have the circumstancvs lihe had mentioned on
gone upon information on which they the preceding evening. One of these lhe
could rely, he had felt it necessary to begged particularly to call the attention
send for the petition itself. That petition I of the lHouse to. It was from tlhe minis-
he held in his hand; and, after strict ex- ters, elders, and provincial synod of Glas-
amination, lie could lind no more than one gow, and was signed by Mr. M' arlane,
name to which a cross was affixed [hear, their moderator; and a written claim had
hear ]. been transmitted by that gentleman to
Sir 11. Heron said, it was not his inten- have this petition considered, not as that
tion to make any observation upon the oftheindividualsbywhiomit was sosignd,
nature of the signatures, nor the manner but as that of a part of the established
in which they had been obtained, as lie church of Scotland. Now, he was not
did not know whether the parties had exactly certain whether the House could,
signed themselves, or had procured others in point of form, receive this petition with
to sign for them. This, however, lie could this single signature, though lie found a
say, that be it as it might, it was never similar one entered as received upon their
dreamt of to impute the slightest blame Journals in 1813. Perhaps the House
to the lion. member who presented the made a distinction between corporate
petition, or those who supported it. bodies having seals, and corporate bodies,
The original petition, presented on Fri- like that from which the petition in his
day last, having been handed over the hand professed to emanate, having no seal.
table by the clerk, to Mr. Brougham and The Speaker thought the safer course
lord Nugent, the latter quitted the Iouse would be, to be governed bythe precedent
for a few moments. On his return, on their Journals, uponthe understanding,
Lord Nugent said, lie wished to take that though this corporation did not pos-
that opportunity of explaining to the sess, like either of tile universities, a
House an error into which he had been common seal, their petition was to he
led with respect to the petition. Having received as the petition of a corporation,
heard what had been stated, lie had felt but of a corporation having no seal.
it hid duty to apply to the party for in. Mr. 'Wynn coincided in the opinion of
formation, and he found that it was totally the Speaker.
incorrect. lie regretted that lie had led Mr... Grant stated, that, to render
the House astray upon such information. the petition fit to be received by the
Mr. Brouglhan said, it had been origi- House, it was not necessary that the body
nally his intention to look into a petition, presenting it should possess a seal. Many


7] HOUSE OF: COMMONS,


Roman Catholic Claims-










9] PI'titionsfor and against.
of tle corporations of Scotland, particu-
larly the ecclesiastical corporations, had
no seal.
Mr. WV. Smith said, le did not object
to the exercise of the right of petition pn
the part of any of those individuals who
had thought proper to address the House
on this occasion, whether Dissenters or
others, whatever their opinions might be.
Neither did he object to any thing they
bad done, in order to show their feelings
with reference to the Catholic question. It
certainly did, however, happen yesterday,
that his learned friend (Mr. Brougham)
was so far mistaken, as to attribute to the
Protestant dissenters a strong feeling
against the bill for the relief of the Roman
Catholics. Now, lie believed, that up to
yesterday, not more than nine or ten peti.
tions from Protestant dissenters had been
presented. lie had that morning looked
over an alphabetical list of 2,000 congre-
gations in England; and amongst those
he could find but five or six congregations
that had appeared before the House.
Gentlemen might easily calculate how
small a proportion this number bore to the
general mass of Protestant dissenters.
lie held in his handt a list (comprising
the period front the year 1732 down to
the present time) of Protestant dissenters,
properly so called. These were divided
into three classes-Presbyterians, Inde-
pendents, and Baptists. When they
agreed on any public act, that act was
performed by a number deputed from tihe
general body. In that listhe found ninety-
seven congregations. lie had dissected
the list ot petitions as well as the time
would allow him, and lie could discover
no more than five which came from per-
sons who could be said to belong to the
sects he had mentioned. There were a
great number of persons wlo belonged to
the class of Methodists (which was chiefly
divided into the Whitfieldite and Wesleyan
connexion), who were sometimes con-
founded with the Protestant dissenters,
but did not in reality belong to them. lHe
meant to cast no reflection on those
parties. He merely wished to put every
gentleman on his guard, lest he should be
led to suppose that, because twenty peti-
tions, emanating from this heterogeneous
mixture, had been presented against the
Catholic Claims, that therefore the great
body of Protestant dissenters were op-
posed to them. They had, in fact, ex-
pressed no opinion about it. He would
maintain, that not one in a hundred of the


APRIL 19, 1825. (10
Protestant dissenting congregations in
England had given any opinion at all upon
this question. lie believed the feeling of
the Protestant dissenters throughout the
country, was, to leave the subject to be
dealt with as parliament in its wisdom
should think fit. Speaking of them as a
body, lie believed they were desirous that
justice should be done to the Roman Ca-
tholics. He should be sorry if tle suspi-
cion which appeared to have entered the
minds of some gentlemen near him, as to
the feelings of the Protestant dissenters,
was in any degree well-founded. It would
give him much pain, if the body of which
lie was speaking stood forward as the foes
of religious liberty in its widest extent.
If they came forward and demanded that
the claims of the Catholics should be re-
fused, lie should be both surprised and
grieved. The Protestant dissenters were
not so bound together as to have amongst
them but one opinion. They, of course,
had their own opinions on political matters.
They were tied up to no one common
opinion, except that whicl was connected
with the religion they professed. They
maintained most liberal opinions in poli-
tics; and he knew no shorter or better
mode of expressing their feelings, than by
quoting the rule of their conduct; namely,
that of doing unto others as they wished
others to do unto them. This, the best
of all possible maxims, was their motto,
and lie believed they were most anxious
to act up to it.

Mr. Spring Rice said, he held in his
hard a declaration in favour of the Catho-
lic Claims, which had emanated from a
most respectable body of the Protestant
dissenters of Ireland. The Presbyterians
of the north of Ireland were as ready as
any set of men to admit the claims which
the Catholics had on the justice of that
House. They were as liberal a body of
men as any in the empire. lie said this,
because an idea had gone forth, and was,
indeed, embodied in tile evidence given
relative to the state of Ireland, that the
Presbyterians of the north of Ireland had
become more than ever adverse to the
claims of the Catholics. lie had that
day, in contradiction to that assertion, to
lay before the House a statement (for the
parties had not time to put it in the shape
of a petition) from the ministers and
elders of' the Presbyterian profession in
the county of Down and Belfast, to which
they requested him to call tle attention
of parliament. Those individuals said,










11] HOUSE OF COMMONS,.
that, so far from being adverse to the
Catholic Claims, if the Presbyterians de-
clared themselves hostile to civil and reli-
gious liberty, they would belie the prin-
ciples of the church to which they be-
longed. On all occasions they had de-
clared their opinions in favour of that
liberality which became them as followers
of the Christian faith. In 1812, no less
than 139 members of the synod of Ulster
had called on the House to do away with
all civil disabilities on account of religious
opinions. The individuals whose senti-
ments he was now speaking, begged of
him to state, that any person acting as
moderator could express nothing more
than his own opinion. If he assumed a
representative capacity, he passed the
line and boundary of his office; since he
had a right only to act in his individual
capacity. The parties stated that, as the
cause of Catholic emancipation was gain-
ing ground in the north, they wished,
both in justice to the Dissenters and to
the Catholics, to record these their opi-
nions. If a general declaration on the
subject had been necessary, they could
have procured thousands of respectable
signatures to it; and they stated, that
they never felt greater chagrin than they
did on the publication of the evidence, in
which the Protestant dissenters were de-
scribed as entertaining hostility against
the Roman Catholics. He should cer-
tainly think very ill of any of that class,
who, having a monopoly of toleration, en-
deavoured to prevent others from enjoying
those benefits which they themselves pos-
sessed.
Mr. Scarlett said, that the petition
which he rose to present, in favour of the
bill for removing the disabilities under
which the Roman Catholics laboured, was
signed by 163 individuals; and he believed
that a greater mass of intelligence than
was to be found amongst the petitioners
could not be met with amongst those who
affixed their names to many other petitions,
though the number of signatures might be
ten times as great. There were not 163
gentlemen in that House, or out of it,
who could form a more competent judg-
ment on the subject of this petition than
those individuals to whose sentiments he
begged leave to call the attention of the
House. No body of men were better
fitted to give an opinion on this moment-
ous question, uninfluenced by any of those
motives which might be supposed to at-
tach themselves to other petitions which


Roman Catholic Claims- [ 12
had been presented on this subject, than
the gentlemen whose petition he then
held in his hand. It was the petition of a
number of sergeants and barristers at law,
of that part of the united kingdom called
England; and, as it was very short, he
would take the liberty of reading it. [The
learned gentleman here read the petition,
which briefly prayed, that the civil dis-
abilities which affected his majesty's lio-
man Catholic subjects should be forthwith
removed.j This petition, he observed,
was signed by 163 gentlemen of the de-
scription he had mentioned; but the
House must by no means conclude, that
the whole number of the individuals at
the bar of England who were favourable
to Catholic emancipation, was comprised
in those signatures. He could speak from
his own observation, of individuals of high
character, and of profound knowledge,
who, concurring entirely in the prayer of
this petition, had nevertheless, from a
dislike to affix their names to it, lest the
petition might be supposed to come from
the bar of England as a body, declined
signing the document. They, however,
desired most anxiously, that the House
should sanction the measure now in pro-
gress. If this petition was worthy of
consideration, on account of the respecta-
bility of the gentlemen who had signed it,
he would ask, were there not other cir-
cumstances which ought more especially
to direct the attention of the House to-
wards those petitioners? He would say,
that if there were any body of men, to
whom, more than to any others, it was
beneficial to exclude as much as possible
all competitors from their honours, emo-
luments, and dignities, that body was the
bar of England. Another circumstance
to which he would call the attention of
the House was this-that the gentlemen
signing this petition, as well as many
others professing sentiments favourable to
Catholic emancipation, knew perfectly
well, that an avowal of those sentiments
was not now, and had not been for some
years back, the most ready road to pre-
ferment. It was not necessary to allude
to facts which were matter of history;
but perhaps it would be found, that the
best mode which a barrister of intelligence
could take, for the purpose of securing
honours, was to become an apostate from
those principles of liberality and tolerance
which he might have professed at a former
period of his life. The House, he thought,
would agree with him when he said, that










13] Petitionsfor and against.
those who, under such circumstances, had
the courage to sign this petition, deserved
all the attention which any number of
gentlemen could receive in approaching
parliament with their sentiments. The
petitioners were possessed of knowledge,
information, and intelligence, and certainly
they had a right to expect that the le-
gislature would pay due attention to
their opinions. He could not conclude
without expressing the high sense which
he entertained of the honour conferred on
him by intrusting such a petition to his
hands. He felt it deeply and sensibly.
He was not apprised of the existence of
the petition until lately. It was not
signed by any member of that House;
and could not therefore be traced to the
influence of any gentleman who had a
seat there. He believed there never was
a time when a larger number of gentle-
men, highly educated, possessing greater
knowledge, more indefatigable zeal, or
more unbending integrity, could be found
at the bar than at the present moment.
He knew it was asserted, and that too, in
a high quarter, that the bar was deficient
in talent; that it was not now so fruitful
in ability as it formerly was. He unfor-
tunately was growing old amongst that
body; but, he would say, that for learn-
ing and ability, the bar of the present day
might enter into competition with the bar
of former times. Anciently there were
but a few men of learning at the bar, and
that learning was chiefly confined to their
own profession; but he would assert, that
for general information, and for extent
and variety of knowledge, there never was
such a body of men at the bar as those
who now supported its character.
Mr. Brougham observed, that he should
not discharge his duty to that illustrious
body, the professors of the law, whose
importance to the constitution, to the
preservation of the rights of the subject,
and to the stability of the government, as
well as to the due administration of jus-
tice, was undoubted, if he did not join his
testimony to the clear and forcible state-
ment of his learned friend. With regard
to the petition itself, he wished to add
one or two particulars, in his view, of
some moment. His learned friend had
justly observed, that it was set on foot
and signed, before it was known to hinm,
and to .those who might be termed the
leaders at the bar, that such a project was
entertained. Afterwards it had been
adopted by others of more distinguished


APRIL 19, 1825. [14
rank, or of greater standing, though cer-
tainly not of greater learning or ability,
than those who, in the first instance, had
affixed their signatures. No member of
that House had either signed it, or taken
part in its preparation; and it did not
contain the names of any of the Roman
Catholic members of the profession. He
begged leave most distinctly to add his
evidence to the assertion of his learned
friend, that the House would form a most
inadequate estimate of the numbers of the
members of the bar who were in favour of
the petition, if it judged merely from the
number of the signatures. The northern
circuit consisted of about ninety members;
it might be termed a floating body of from
ninety to a hundred members; upwards
of fifty of these barristers had signed the
petition, and from-his own personal know-
ledge, he would assert, that thirty-four or
thirty-five of the remainder had expressed
their warm concurrence in the object of
the petition, but at the same time had ob-
jected to sign it, because they entertained
some scruple, how far it was fit for the
bar, as a body, to petition the legislature.
Out of the whole circuit, he believed he
might say, that there were not half a
dozen, and certainly not twelve, members
of it, who held opinions adverse to the
claims of the Catholics. He entertain-
ed the highest respect for the circuit-
of which he was an unworthy member,
and had no reason to think, that opinions
favourable to emancipation were more
prevalent upon that than upon other cir-
cuits. He therefore called upon the
House to observe the prodigious majority
on behalf of concession. The same ob-
servation could not have been truly made
even ten or twelve years ago. When Mr.
Fox brought forward the question in 1805,
seconded by Mr. Grattan, the majority
was the other way, and disposed to com-
bine against the Catholic Claims. Now,
however, a great and salutary change had
occurred; and the opinion of the English
bar might fairly be taken as an exponent
of the sentiments of the enlightened por-
tion of the community. Not more than
six in the hundred, or about one-twentieth
part of the whole bar, objected to the
grant of what the Catholics so justly re-
quired. Those who cast their eyes over
the petition would observe, that the sig-
natures were not those of men of one re-
ligious or political persuasion-Church-
men and Dissenters, Whigs and Tories,
the enemies and the friends of the minister










'15] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
of the day, joined in one prayer; naraely,
that disabilities, on account of religious
opinions, should be immediately removed.
Lord Nugent moved for leave to bring
up the petition of the Roman Catholics
of Great Britain, a most considerable,
exemplary, and deeply aggrieved portion
of the community; considerable in number
and station, exemplary in character and
conduct, and deeply aggrieved, by being
shut out from many of the most valuable'
privileges, which both by right of birth
and title they ought to enjoy. They ap-
pr6ached the House on the present occa-
sion with renewed, and he did not disguise
it, with most sanguine hopes ofsuccess-
hopes founded on the justice of their
claim, and on the increased prevalence of
liberal and enlightened principles-hopes
also increased and confirmed by the pro-
gress of the bill upon the table, placed as
it was in the hands of the one mat in this
country, whom, in his conscience, he
believed best qualified to carry it through
the House [hear, heart]. The Catholics
of Great Britain felt, that the cause of
humanity, justice, and liberality must be
advanced under his auspices: the sincerity,
the energy and ability of his proceedings
could only be equalled by the spirit of
moderation and forbearance to which it
was known he had made most important
sacrifices [hear, hear!]. Whatever might
be the result of the bill this year, it must
triumph ere long: he said this year, be-
cause he agreed with those who said, that
the opposition to it was reduced to a mere
calculation, whether for one, two, or three
more sessions it might still be possible to
protract the expiring life of this extensive
and hazardous injustice. Whatever,
therefore, he repeated, might be the result
this year, the hon. baronet (sir F. Bur-
dett) might enjoy the proud satisfaction
of knowing how much he had contributed
to advance the cause of Catholic Emanci-
pation. He had advanced it, he believed,
in the opinion even of a majority of the
House, not by any compromise of his own
feelings or principles, but by raising the
popular sentiment upon this question a
little nearer to the level of his own virtue
[hear!]. The petition he had to offer
was signed by upwards of 32,000 persons,
but he did not state the number for the
sake of any impression to be made by it;
because it was easy to conceive that, out
of the gross amount of the Catholic popu-
lation of'Great Britain, exceeding 200,000,
the mere circumstance, that a few thou-


Roman Catholic Claims- [ 16
sands more or less had signed the peti-
tion, was not of much importance, when
tha whole body was united in one com-
mon hope and solicitation. Neither did
he feel it necessary to advert to the illus-
trious names usually standing first on the
petition; but he mentioned the facts only
to slew, that, under all the circumstances
of the affairs of Ireland, under all the
appeals, not, he thought, to the best
feelings of the Protestant population of
this country, the petitioners had not been
deterred, by any consideration unworthy
of themselves, from doing what they con-
sider justice, not only to themselves, but
to their suffering brethren of the sister
island. Upon this subject he would not
for the world be misunderstood, or run
the slightest risk of misrepresentation.-
The petitioners of Great Britain joined
their eager prayer to that of the petitioners
of Ireland, and they held their cause in-
separable. High as were the personal
and hereditary claims of the duke of Nor-
folk; forcible as were the appeals of the
ancient aristocracy of this country, and
just as were the demands of 200,000 Ca-
tholics to be relieved from disabilities,they
would be weak and worthless, compared
with the rights of a whole nation, from
many individuals of which the House, to
its shame, had year after year received peti-
tions. The right lion. the Secretary of
State for the Home Department had said
from the first day of the debate on the sub-
ject matterof the present bill, thatheshould
be ready to rest his vote upon this question
on the articles of the treaty of Limerick.
Perhaps, before the conclusion of the
debate the House might hear the articles
of that treaty discussed by the hon.
member for Westminster; they might hear
the case discussed upon that very point.
They might hear the question argued,
not on the narrow and partial view of the
case, said to be made by the Catholics
themselves, but the broad principles of
the law-on the letter of the statute of
the 9th William 3rd ;-of that statute,
known as the act passed in confirmation
of the treaty of Limerick. If the conduct
of the Irish people, and of the English par-
liament, could be reviewed from the time
of the infraction of that treaty almost to
the present moment, he was afraid, the
House would appear no better than faith-
less debtors-than men, whose conduct
had been as little directed by moral justice
as by political wisdom. He had not the
folly or the madness to insult the peti-









17] Petitionsfor and against.
tioners by defending them against the
general imputations which some persons
might think proper to cast out against
them. He wished, on behalf of these
petitioners, that the House would believe,
not merely from the evidence of one
witness, but from the whole body of proof
now before them, that the despair at times
exhibited by the Irish people-the tone
sometimes maintained by that Association
which was now put down-nay, even that
the very existence of that Association
itself, might be dated from the rejection
of that very important measure which had
been proposed, in order to place English,
Scottihli, and Irish Catholics upon the
same footing. The Irish Catholics had
never considered their cause as Catholics,
distinctly and separately from that of
England, or from that of universal religious
liberty. They had always felt that reli-
gious liberty ought to be extended to all
the subjects of the empire alike; and dif-
ferring in this from those who had this
night presented petitions against them,
they prayed that all others who, like them-
selves, were suffering disabilities under
unwise and unjust laws, should be freed
from those disabilities. They prayed, too,
on their own account, that they might be
relieved from oaths which were at least
needless; since by them the political inte-
grity of the Catholics could not be ascer-
tained; from oathswhich had been imposed
as the consequence of a plot that no man
of commonsense and honesty did not attri-
bute more to political faction than to re-
ligious frenzy. One of the oaths which
a Catholic was required to take, in order
to free himself from the disabilities under
whici he now laboured, was an oath
against transubstantiation-against that
very doctrine which one of the greatest
sovereigns, queen Elizabeth, would not
suffer to be questioned, and which Henry
Sth, going still further, had actually burnt
people for denying. All the questions,
however, resolved themselves into this-
Did the Catholics admit the right of
foreign interference by any power what-
ever? The answer to this was too evi-
dent to admit of doubt. No one could
believe that the Catholics would acknow-
ledge the political supremacy of any
foreign power at the present time; what-
ever they might have been inclined to do
in former ages. Did the duke of Norfolk,
that illustrious descendant of so many
noble families,feel no higher duty-did
he acknowledge no clearer interest a
VOL. XIII.


APrnL 19, 1825. ( IS
a public man, or as a private individual-
than to be the mere English agent of a
foreign power ? But, he was prepared to
deny that the English Catholics had ever
been the willing slaves of foreign powers.
If hon. members were willing to go back
to remote periods of history, he was
equally willing to meet them ; and lie was
prepared to shew, that from the time of
Magna Charta downwards, through the
statutes of mortmain and prrimunire,c
when the people were engaged in a con-
test with the church, which was then
Catholic, no instance could be found, in
which the interference of the pope had
been even for a moment allowed [hear!].
He had lately heard it said, that it was
in the contemplation of the Catholic
powers of Europe to restore the order of
the Jesuits, and that the intended re-
establishment of that order met with the
sanction of the pope. That statement
had been advanced as an additional reason
why the Catholics of this kingdom were
not to be relieved from their disabilities.
Now, though he was as unfriendly as any
man could be to the re-establishmcnt of
an order which, in his opinion, had always
done its utmost in support of absolute
power, yet he could not admit the force
of the argument to which lie had alluded,
for he denied the statement, that the order
of the Jesuits was to be re-established
in Ireland, under the sanction of the
Papal government. On the contrary, the
fact was, that the pope had uniformly re-
fused to permit the re-establishment of
that order. The union between the
Catholic priesthood and people had some-
times been objected to; he besought the
House to take the shortest mode todissolve
it. Let them give the laity the means oi
representing the interests of the people-
let them thus unite the laity and the people
together, and by passing the bill to-niii.lt,
destroy that influence of the priesthoio.l
which they affected so much to dread.
He was sure that when a few years hadl
elapsed after the bill now about to coman
before the House should have been passed
(and that it would be passed lhe confi-
dently hoped), men would look back with
wonder that it had been so long delayed.
There was no man living who would now
propose the enactment of such laws as
were in existence; and le did not believe
there was any man in the House who
could lay his hand upon his heart and
say, that their continuance was now ne-
cessary. He would read an extract from
C









19] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
a letter written by one who was an Irish-
man, and who had been a Catholic, but
who afterwards abandoned and betrayed
his country and his faith: he meant Dr.
Duigenan. In writing to Mr. Grattan in
1797, and advocating the Union, he said,
"If we were one people, the preponderance
of the Protestant interest would be so
great, that there would be no necessity for
the continuance of any restrictions on the
Catholics;" and yet, to the hour of his
death, that person who had thus offered
an unanswerable argument in favour of
the Catholics, persisted in excluding them.
The effect of that exclusion was obviously
as impolitic as it was unjust; for it accu-
mulated the motives which the Catholics
felt to adhere to their faith. It was im-
possible that any man of honour could
abandon a claim which he felt was just,
and for his pretension to which he was
invidiously deprived of rights to which, as
a member of the community, he was en-
titled. At this moment a very large body
of men would receive as a boon that which
he demanded for them on grounds of po-
litical justice; but, if there were only one
man who for conscience sake was sub-
ject to these unwise and unjust laws, he
would, with undiminished zeal and ear-
nestness, claim for that man, as he did now
for millions, the relief to which he would
be entitled. He recommended to the
serious attention of the House, the peti-
tion which he now presented, and remind-
ed them, that by granting the prayer of
it they would benefit themselves, at the
same time that they did justice to more
than six millions of their fellow-subjects.
Mr. John Smith feared it was not gene-
rally known of what materials the body of
the British Catholics was composed. He
could assure the House, that for moral
conduct, for integrity of principle, for
property and industry, they were not
exceeded by any body of men in the
kingdom-excepting, perhaps, only the
Quakers, with whom he believed no sect
could be put in competition. Thequestion
was, whether the House would be justified
in preventing such men as he had de-
scribed, from enjoying those rights which
were freely possessed by all their fellow
subjects.
Mr. Robertson said, the House were
already aware of his sentiments upon this
subject. He had before stated, that he
considered every concession ought to be
made to the Irish Catholics, and he had
given his reasons for saying, that their


Roman Catholic Claims. [20
claim to equality of rights ought to be
admitted. He could not, however, help
saying, that he looked upon the present
petitioners in a very different manner.
He had a great respect for the Catholics
of Ireland, but he felt somewhat differently
toward the Catholics of England and
Scotland; at least in a political point of
view. He would give the Irish Catholics
the emancipation they required; but he
should feel it necessary to move, that a
clausebe inserted in the bill,declaring that
no Catholic member should sit for any
county, city or Borough in Great Britain
[a laugh].
Mr. Cokesaid, hehad to present petition
in favour of the Catholic claims from the
archdeaconry of Norwich, and seventy
clergymen of that diocese. He should
be extremely happy if he should be able
to congratulate that great and good man,
the present bishop of Norwich, on the
success of the measure, which that right
reverend prelate had so long and so ably
advocated. The petitioners would not
have intruded themselves upon the notice
of the House, but that they saw some of
their clerical brethren using every ex-
ertion to get up petitions against the
claims of the Catholics. The exertions
of the persons to whom he alluded had
not been suspended even in Passion Week;
and on Good Friday-perhaps they
thought the better day the better deed-
they had been peculiarly active. Under
these circumstances, the petitioners had
felt it their duty to come forward. He
should not now saymore than confirm what
had been stated by the hon. member for

Norwich; namely, that the Dissenters of
Notrfolkentertained themost sincerewishes
ftr the extension of civil and religious
liberty to all classes of their fellow sub-
jects. He could not better express the
opinions of the petitioners than by reading
a part of the prayer of their petition:
" As ministers of the church of England,
we are not behind any of our brethren
in attachment to that church, and in
anxious regard for its prosperity and
welfare; but we consider its true strength
to consist in the purity and excellence of
its doctrines, rather than in any restraint
imposed upon those who may differ from
them." A petition founded on such a
spirit of toleration offered a worthy ex-
ample for all the ministers of the estab-
lished church to follow.
Colonel Wodehouse bore testimony to
the extreme respectability of the petition.










APRIL 19, 1825. [22


ers. He knew no persons of more honour-
able or unexceptionable character. When
these petitions were first introduced into
parliament, they had been treated by
some members with an asperity that was
quite disgraceful, and which did not ac-
cord with the frame and temper of mind
of those who sincerely professed the
Protestant form of worship. It was,
however, impossible for any words to con-
vey a greater propriety of sentiment, than
those of this petition. With every word
of this petition he heartily concurred.
Lord Milton took that opportunity of
adding his thanks to those of the hon.
gentleman, for the sentiments contained
in this petition. It had been too much
the practice of those who advocated the
pre-eminence of the Protestant religion,
instead of founding it upon its own high
grounds, to endeavour to establish a sys-
tem of exclusion which was degrading to
its purity and dignity. Friend as he was
to Catholic emancipation, he was not
blind to the corruptions of the Catholic
church. He thought that those.clerical
petitioners had a very unbecoming sense
of the excellence of the religion they pro-
fessed, who, instead of leaving its defence
and protection to its own excellence, and
to the piety and learning of its ministry,
called in the assistance of the strong arm
of the law, and would punish all who dis-
sented from its doctrines, by depriving
them of political advantages. The law
as it stood at present had this operation,
and degraded the church of England, by
making it a pretence for persecuting other
sects. The word persecution," might
sound ill in the ears of some gentlemen,
but what less than persecution was it, to
deprive men of those political rights to
which, as citizens, they were entitled, on
no other ground than that of religious
dissent ?
The several petitions were ordered to
lie on the table.

ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIEF BILL.] Sir
Francis Burdett moved the order of the
day for the second reading of this bill.
Mr. Brotonlow said:-I rise on this im-
portant question at a crisis as eventful, as
any which has ever yet balanced the fate of
Ireland,with,I hope the feelings of serious-
ness that should attend a man presuming
to bear a part in so momentous a discus-
sion, and with an anxiety, as far as it is
possible for an Irishman to feel it, to treat
this subject on its own peculiar merits,
2*


divested of past recollections, and the sore-
ness resulting from them which must be
common not only to me, but to all of
Both parties who have ever engaged in
this painful conflict. It is a sentiment
which I hear almost universally expressed
in private, and which I trust I shall not
hear this evening less strongly marked
on responsibility in public-that circum-
stanced as we are in Ireland, we cannot
remain-that life is miserable in that
country-that the two great parties are
little removed from a state of actual con-
flict-that no effect can be given to the
opening prospects of improvement for
Ireland-that according to the natural
growth and tendency of things, few Irish-
men can pronounce the connexion of their
country with England to be secure, and
few Englishmen I fear can pronounce it
to be desirable-therefore something or
other must be done. What will you do ?
Will you go back ? Will you re-enact
the penal code? there is one short an-
swer to this which is as good as a thou-
sand -you cannot do it- since there-
fore, you cannot go back, and since
to remain as you are, no man in his
senses is content; what remains but to
go forward fully and speedily on the prin-
ciple of concession?-all are worn out
with this unprofitable conflict; victory has
brought with itno cessation ofhostilities-
the baffled party still presses forward, and
triumph in its turn comes to all but to the
country; therefore, I say, give us some
comprehensive settlement-some measure
of tranquillity for that distracted country,
whose destinies are now collected within
the compass of the evening on which we
have entered. If I am asked, did I now
appear clad in that old hostility, which
has hitherto marked me for good or bad
towards six millions of my countrymen, I
answer cheerfully-and I feel the lighter
for the confession-by no means-quite
the contrary, the grounds on which I
formerly professed to stand are gone-
many of the arguments which I have been
in the habit of using and hearing used on
this occasion, are taken away-those that
remain are weakened-and in common
sense, justice and consistency, what re-
mains of a man whose arguments are gone
but to reconsider his conclusions-and
what atonement more reasonable or more
due, than finding he has adopted an erro-
neous opinion to say so and to abjure it.
I know how much a change of opinion
affords ground of ridicule, and ground of


Roman Catholic Relief Bill.











suspicion, and almost every ground but a growing spirit of Information throughout
charitable presumptioninfavorofsincerity the world has found its way within the
-and therefore I do not rise so much in lofty ramparts of the church of Rome,
the hope of explaining myself, as for the and the colossal power which threatened
purpose of earnestly praying-that many minds and oppressed consciences, and
who like myselfhave looked at this subject scared mighty princes-no longer pos-
apart from inquiry, and apart from dispas- sesses the slightest temporal influence save
sionate examination, misled by old alarms, within its own limited territory. This is
and old prejudices-and I must say some- not apart from the question. If it were
what misled by the warning notes of the true that British subjects gave only a
Catholics themselves-may, on coming to divided allegiance to their king, if it were
contend with the facts, be overcome by true that the king did not enjoy the full,
them--may, on examining the evidence, perfect, and undivided allegiance of his
yield their understandings to it-I do subjects, as far as he is entitled to it in
hope that both parties when brought consequence of either his legal, civil, or
fairly into the clear view of each other, political rights, then would I say that
and to a clear apprehension of each other's such subjects were still fit objects for ex-
opinions, may be seized with the com- clusion, and, acknowledging a sovereignty
function of brethren who have too long superior to the sovereignty of the realm,
stood aloof, more on imaginary differences that they could not complain of the law
than substantial separation, and for the of that realm which refused to treat them
sake of their common country, its present as good and loyal subjects. But how
peace and future welfare, may, with a stands this matter ? If the information we
common impulse, be prepared to give up have lately obtained be good for any
the causes of its past embitterment. The thing, and if not, let us boldly say so,
Roman Catholic religion I will not pre- and give up the farce of inquiry, and
sume to speak of as a form of belief, or admit that into the mystery of Irish affairs
mode of worship between man and his no light can ever penetrate. If high-
Maker. Judge not lest ye be judged; minded, intellectual men, have not come
this is a great and a wise principle be- over here to fill the ear and delude the
tween differing religious communities, as understanding, and to lead us, through
well as between the members composing ignorance and error, into irretrievable
these communities; the Roman Catholic ruin; or, in other words, and here I-must
religion in the only view in which we are make common cause with my countrymen
concerned with it, in its practical con- -if Irishmen have not come over here to
sequences as affecting the discharge of lie on a great and devilish scale-if the
social duties,-as invalidating the duty evidence of pious men be admissible-if
of man to man,-as detracting from the the solemn oaths of Christian bishops be
allegiance which subjects owe to their not regarded as a thing of nought-then
king-as weakening the authority which I is this part of the question up, and any
governors should exercise over those be- man talking of the divided allegiance of
neath them.-The Roman Catholic reli- Catholics in this country must be looked
gion in all these points is now free from upon as wilfully ignorant, or incurably
objection; it is so because it has freed blind. I will read to the House an extract
itself from the corruptions of the Roman from the examination of Dr. Doyle:-
Curia. The Roman Catholics of Ireland "Question: If the pope were to intermed-
consider the pope the chief pastor of die with the rights of the king, or with
their church; they consider him the suc- the allegiance which Catholics owe to
cessor of St. Peter; but as such, they re- the king, what would be the consequence
cognize in him a pure spiritual supremacy so far as the Catholic clergy were con-
only, and nothing more. That power cerned ?-Answer: The consequence
which sported with crowns-which placed would be, that we should oppose him by
kingdoms under interdict, which compel- every means in our power, even by the
led emperors and kings to bend in slavish exercise of our spiritual authority.-
submission before it; that power, in Ire- Quetion: In what manner would you ex-
land as in the other countries of Europe, ercise that spiritual authority?-Answer:
has been reduced to comparative insigni- By preaching to the people that their
ficance. duty to God as Catholics required of
Time has laid its hand on this insti- them to oppose every person who would
tuition, as well as on every other. The interfere in any way with that right


23] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Roman Catholic Reliff BW,.









AaRIL 19, 1825. [26


which the law of nature, and the positive
law of God, established in their prince, a
prince whom we, as subjects, were bound
to support. We should therefore exercise
our spiritual authority by preaching the
gospel to the people, and by teaching them
to oppose the pope ifhe interfered with the
temporal rights of our king." Dr. Doyle
would teach the people to oppose the
pope. Surely there is not much of the
papist here. What says Dr. Murray?
The pope's authority is wholly confined
to a spiritual authority, according to the
words of our Saviour, "My kingdom is
not of this world." So say several other
prelates who have been examined upon
the subject. All agree in protesting
against the authority of the pope to inter-
fere with the independence of this or any
other state evils!
Has the pope a dispensing power?
Why do I dwell on these grounds?-be-
cause they are still occupied as the strong
holds of resistance to the Catholic peti-
tion. Has the pope a dispensing power?
How is this ascertained? The question
is put to Dr. Doyle, what authority has
Gother amongst Roman Catholics? Dr.
Doyle answers,-Gother is esteemed by
us a very venerable writer, and perfectly
orthodox in all that he has written. It
is then read from Gother. Cursed is
he that believes there is authority in the
pope, or any other, that can give leave to
commit sins; or that can forgive him his
sins for a sum of money." I affirm that
doctrine, sas Dr. Doyle: the other is a
frightful and impious position, and most
accursed is he that holds it.
Do the Roman Catholics seek to re-
cover the confiscated property ? I beg
the House to observe how such an at-
tempt would operate. The- Catholics
are persons very much engaged in com-
merce; they have also, within the last
thirty years, entered very much into
professions. They make money in com-
merce and professions. That money
settles into land, and thus the landed in-
terest of the Roman Catholics is increas-
ing to a great extent. To the extent of
the interest the Catholics have in the land,
they are of course equally interested in
preserving property with the Protestants:
all lawyers consider, that no title is so
good for the purchaser of a property,
whether the person be Catholic or Pro-
testant,'as the title to confiscated proper-
ty, for then the title is traced to a lawful
origin ; after the usurpation, all those who


obtained forfeited property, took out pa-
tents for it, the patent is easily found, and
a lawyer directs searches merely for the
subsequent period.
Why, then, the case stands thus:-
Roman Catholics are possessed of large
confiscated estates Roman Catholics
have long and valuable leases on confis-
cated estates-Roman Catholics have lent
considerable sums on mortgages of con-
fiscated estates-and yet some people
have the madness to say, that Roman
Catholics will be parties to an attempt to
restore these estates to the nameless and
generally unknown descendants of the old
proprietors. The thing is utterly impos-
sible: no man in his senses can seriously
think otherwise. Is faith not to be kept
with heretics? Certainly the Catholics
do hold that faith is not to be held with he-
retics-but in what sense? Why, Dr.
Murray tells us, that the Roman Catholic
code of faith is not the same as the Pro-
testant code of faith; that is, that the
Roman Catholics do not hold spiritual
communion with us any more than we
with them. In this sense only is faith not
to be kept with heretics; but if by faith
is understood fidelity to engagements
-then are Roman Catholics bound to
observe their oaths, their pledges, their
contracts, as much with persons differing
from them in religion as with persons
agreeing with them in religion: and in
the last sense Roman Catholics reject and
detest as an unchristian and impious prin-
ciple, that faith is not to be kept with
heretics. The Rev. Mr. Burnett, a Pro-
testant dissenting clergyman, thinks that
some persons still imputes the doctrine to
pure Catholics in its odious sense-but on
being asked what was the most modern
act of their not keeping faith with heretics,
he could recollect no act of the kind sub-
sequent to the persecution of the Wal-
denses, and the case of Huss. Why,
then, the Roman Catholics hold no divided
allegiance-they reject as impious and
unchristian the doctrine that faith is not
to be kept with heretics-they seek not
the confiscated estates-they deny that
the pope, or any one else, can give a
power for the commission of sin. They
have, therefore, in my mind, a fair claim
to come into the enjoyment of civil privi-
leges-you can state no bar against them
-and if you cannot, they have a right to
complain-and they will complain, as long
as the law shall refuse to treat them on
the footing of good subjects-things tem-


Roman Catholic 11elkf Bfill.









27] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
poral with them are easily divisible frbm
things spiritual-the man least in the
habit of splitting differences may make
the distinction-the coarsest understand-
ing may perceive it-and no man but the
most timid can be alarmed at the possibi-
lity of their confusion. That is the sum
and substance of the whole dispute.
Do you object to Roman Catholics on
the ground of their seven sacraments--
their confession and transubstantiation-
Such never was the policy of the law.
We never have desired, under pain of
penalties, to force the Catholics to abjure
their religion and embrace our own, as
superior to it; for, as the law now stands,
provided a man will deny transubstan-
tiation, he may be an Atheist, he may be
a Deist, he may deny the atonement, he
may worship thesigns of the heavensor the
creeping things of the earth, and yet he
may come into participation with the le-
gislature, and into offices of the highest
trust in the kingdom; but the Catholic,
your brother, your Christian brother,
bought with the same price, acknowledg-
ing the same Saviour, bending before the
same Creator, is branded with exclusion
from all offices of trust and honour in the
state-arid yet you wonder that he is in-
temperate.
I will vote for the second reading of the
bill. I by no means think it the best pos-
sible settlement of the affairs of Ireland.
Taken alone, it appears to me to lack two
measures, which all parties and persons
consider proper parts of the arrangement.
I mean a provision from the state for the
Roman Catholic clergy, and an increased
qualification for the exercise of the elective
franchise in Ireland. No man has ever said
that these two measures can go forward
without Catholic emancipation. Any at-
tempt at their enactment, unaccompanied
by that great and righteous measure which
mustbethefoundation ofallothermeasures,
would put Ireland in a flame; but accom-
panying emancipation, they will give satis-
faction to every reflecting man in Ireland.
In the hope, then, that Catholic emanci-
pation will draw after it these two other
measures, iny hearty support shall be
given to the hon. baronet's proposition,
whilst I reserve to myself the full privilege
of dealing with this bill on the third read-
ing as may appear to me most meet on
the occurrences in the interim. I will
by no means support a provision for the
Roman Catholic priesthood as a debt of
gratitude due from- the state to these


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [28
meritorious conservators of the peace.
Quite otherwise, for I cannot help think-
ing, that, considering the intimacy of the
priesthood with their flocks, and the in.
fluence they exercise over their minds-
less they couldn't well have done, and much
more very easily for the good of the coun-
try they might have done; but if I under-
stand the meaning of emancipation, it is
this: to bring all classes of his majesty's
subjects, withoutreference to theirreligion,
intoanintimateincorporation with thestate.
Why then will you exclude the clergy ?
Are they of less importance in your judg-
ment than the laity, less influential, less
educated, less regarded ? Every man
who knows Ireland knows the contrary,
and therefore the poorest policy and
meanest economy in this incorporation of
the Irish people with the state, will be to
leave the Catholic clergy excluded, pos-
sessed of undoubted influence to lead the
people in any way they like, but pos-
sessed of no interest to lead them in
the way they should go-in the way of
allegiance and dutiful affection for the
laws and the country. Give them a
reasonable provision. Studiously beware
of interfering with the independence of
their religion. They will thank you for
your consideration, and yield a becoming
gratitude to the state which yields to them
increased comfort and increased respect
in the eyes of their people; and the peo-
ple, for the substantial relief which by
such a measure you will bring home to
their doors-to the door of the poorest
man in the country, will thank you and
bless you, and serve you with fidelity so
long as Irish gratitude shall be proverbial.
With respect to the elective franchise,
my view is shortly this, and I will give
more weight to my opinions by stating
that I hold them in common with Mr.
Blake, to whom so much is due for his
admirable exposition of this subject. In
1793 you went wrong. A formidable
species of political power, the elective
franchise, was given to the Roman Catho-
lics, subject to so small a qualification as
to vest it in the very lowest orders, whilst
at the same time that political power
which is exercised through seats in parlia-
ment, was withheld from Roman Catholics
of property and intelligence, and in whose
exercise of power most confidence may
be placed. Therefore, emancipation would
not for the first time give political power
to the Roman Catholics; they possess it,
and who can say they do not exercise it;









29] Roman Catholic Relief Bill.
but emancipation, accompanied with a
higher qualification for the exercise of the
franchise, will change the nature of the
power intrusted to them. It will take
away the power of electing from a de-
pendant multitude, and it will give the
capacity of being elected to station and
to property. Who can say such a change
is not desirable for Ireland? Let it not
here be said that violence will be done to
the freeholders of Ireland. They are not
freeholders, but hold in right of vassalage.
They act under the lash of the aristocrat,
and under dread of the priest-whichever
triumphs, the freedom of election sinks-
whichever triumphs, the freeholder suffers;
foreither the landlord punishes him in time,
or the priest threatens him with eternity.
Amend this system then-and if such an
amendment follows in the train of emanci-
pation, increased tenfold in value will be
this measure ofjustice, and policy, and ex-
pediency. Here, then, is your measure
indicated to you, after long inquiry, by
persons of the most conflicting opinions.
Now is your time: how admirable is the
state of Ireland for the introduction of it.
The voice of party is quiet-scarcely has
anindividual opinionbeen breathed against
it-nothing is heard but the stillness of
suspense and anxiety to submit to the
wisdom of parliament. Oh! seize these
golden moments-neglect not such great
salvation as now presents itself, and so at
length will you give repose to Ireland,
and increased stability to the whole em-
pire.
Mr. Bankes said, that, objectionable as
the measure was in its original state, it
was ten times more so when accompanied
by the two measures which had been just
alluded to. The disfranchising the forty-
shilling freeholders would be a most ty-
rannical exercise of power. From what
fund was the provision for the clergy to
be drawn ? Ireland was not able to pay
the interest of her own debt; it was there-
fore out of the revenues of Great Britain
that these large stipends for the Catholic
clergy were to be paid. And, while all
the odium of the tithes would be thrown
upon the Protestant clergy, the Catholic
would be paid by the state. Allowing
6001. or 8001. a-year for each parish, as
one priest was in general unequal to the
duty, and there being 2,500 parishes, a
little multiplication would show, that
there would be a pretty large draft upon
the consolidated fund. But the expense
would not stop here. Mr. O'Connell had


APRIL 19, 1825. [0S
stated, that the priests ought to be paid
twice or three times as much as they
now received. Then they should have
glebes and glebe-houses, and their semi.
naries should be more amply provided
for. He trusted that parliament would
not enter blindly upon such an expensive
project. It was impossible that the peo-
ple of this country could long bear the
burthen which the payment of the Catholic
clergy would impose upon them; and then
it would be found necessary to have re-
course to the tithes of the Protestant
church in Ireland. As he thought, there-
fore, that nothing was likely to arise from
the concession but anarchy and confusion,
he would move as an amendment, That
the bill be read a second time on that day
six months."
Mr. William Peel rose, to second the
amendment. It had been urged, he said,
that there was a change in the public
mind on this question; but, if he might
be allowed to judge of that fact from the
opinions held in Staffordshire, the county
with which he was more immediately con-
nected, he should say, that the people of
that county were as decidedly against
granting further concessions to the Roman
Catholics as ever they were. For himself,
after listening to the arguments that had
been adduced in its favour by men of the
most splendid and most eloquent talents,
he bad no hesitation in saying that, so far
from being converted, the longer he lived
the more danger he saw in granting to
the Catholics emancipation. But, even
if he had been generally friendly to the
cause of Catholic emancipation, he should
consider the present time a most unfit one
for carrying the question. It would really
be putting too high a premium upon fac-
tion and violence, to let it be supposed
that the late proceedings of the Catholic
Association had tended to promote any
thing in the way of concession from par-
liament or the country. God forbid that
the British legislature should be intimi-
dated in the performance of its duty by
the violence of that or of any other Asso-
ciation. He granted that it was not just
to make the many suffer for the errors of
the few, but the Catholics of Ireland had,
in fact, recognized the Association as the
public organ of its proceedings and opi-
nions, and they had, therefore, made
themselves a party to all that might be
done by that Association; they had
adopted the leaders of that body as their
chiefs, and made themselves parties to









31] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
their opinions and proceedings. He be-
lieved it was an exaggeration to say that
the cause of Catholic emancipation was
the cause of six million of people in Ire-
land; but the fact mattered little, for the
greater their number the greater was the
danger of granting what they desired. It
was only necessary to observe the influ-
ence that the Catholic priests had over
the minds of their flocks, to look forward
with terror to the time when Catholic
members should be admitted to take their
seats within the walls of that House. He
was not one who thought that the politi-
cal consequences would be trifling of car-
rying the present measure. If parliament
once was thrown open to the Catholics, a
decided change could not fail to take
place in the state of the Irish representa-
tion. A large body of Catholics would
soon be found sitting in that House, to
legislate upon matters connected with
Protestant interests and Protestant supre-
macy. If these were good Catholics,
they would most certainly endeavour to
exalt their own establishment at the
expense of the rival faith ; and therefore,
taking them to be zealous followers of
their own system, he would never consent
to intrust them with political power. The
grant proposed to the Catholic clergy by
the present measure, in his view, only
rendered it additionally objectionable. He
was opposed to the principle of such a
grant rather than to the mere pecuniary
expense; because, if once it was carried,
what was to hinder every other sect
opposed to the established church from
claiming a similar provision ? That the
grant of what was called Catholic eman-
cipation would end the miseries of Ire-
land, it would be ridiculous to expect;
he personally, was not of opinion that it
would in any way decrease them. The
evils which afflicted Ireland were the want
of a resident gentry, the want of capital,
the want of commerce, and of moral and
religious education. These were difficul-
ties not to be got over-not to be
touched-by a measure which, to him,
seemed pregnant with danger to the
community; and certainly, so long as he
continued to think the religion in which
lie had been educated the best religion
on. the face of the earth, so long should
he feel it his duty to oppose any extension
of the political privileges of the Catholics.
Colonel Bagwell supported the bill.
He trusted that, by a seasonable conces-
sion of the just claims of the Catholics,


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [S
all painful recollections on both sides
would be buried in oblivion; and with
respect to any security against the Catho-
lics, he was satisfied that the best secu-
rity would be found in consulting the
interests of every portion of his majesty's
subjects, without reference to religious
distinctions.
Mr.Dawson said;-Often as the subject
has been discussed, and tired as the public
attention might be supposed to be from
repeated debates, yet, strange to say, the
Catholic Question seems to acquire a new
interest every day. In England, from the
peace and prosperity of the country, from
the unvarying success which has pursued
all public measures adopted by the pre-
sent Parliament, it is viewed as the only
question which portends a doubtful result,
and it is considered and discussed by all
classes with that caution and judgment
which is so peculiarly national; it seems,
however, to be the great political question
of the day; all parties have their opinions,
differing in character and discordant as to
the result, but all agreeing in the great im-
portance and the vast changes which the
alteration of the present law must intro-
duce into the constitution of the country.
In Ireland the interest created by this
question is intense beyond description:
the ordinary business of life is suspended
in order to give an undivided attention to
this great question; every individual be-
comes a politician, and before the ques-
tion is settled, there will be found to be
as many opinions as there are individuals.
In cities, in towns, in villages, the in-
terest is equally intense; the press is ex-
clusively devoted to it; orators are found
without number to inflame, both in public
and private, the passions of the people, to
work upon those passions at the expense
of their judgment, and to unite the people
into one great mass of discontent, for ob-
jects, the attainment of which will neither
confer universal good, nor relieve individ-
ual suffering. The clergy of all persua-
sions, of the Established Church, Presby-
terian and Catholic, are equally zealous in
propagating and supporting their own
opinions; in short, no class of persons
is neuter, and the whole of conversation
in private life, and of discussion in pub-
lic meetings, is engrossed in this one
great and overwhelming subject. Nor is
the interest confined to these islands;
throughout Europe a general expectation
prevails tpon the subject; and both the
friends and enemies of England are look-










APRIL. 19, 1825. [34


ing to the discussion of this great question
as involving in it the most serious con-
sequences to this mighty empire, and con-
ferring, according to the wishes of the
friend or foe, the principles of increased
strength or of certain disorganization.
It is not surprising, therefore, that any
man should approach this question with
feelings of the greatest alarm; it is not sur-
prising that he should almost shrink from
the responsibility of deciding upon the fate
of millions ; as for himself, he could truly
state that he was haunted with the appre-
hensions of what may be the consequences,
whichever way the question may be de-
cided. In no point of view could he con-
template a result which is safe for the
country, honourable for the legislature,
or satisfactory to the parties interested.
On the one side, he feared to perpe-
tuate a system, which is called by some,
and is felt by a great body, as a system of
injustice against millions of fellow-coun-
trymen; on the other, he feared to in-
troduce a change, which has been re-
garded by the best and wisest men of Eng-
land as fatal to the constitution and liber-
ties of this great empire. On the one side,
he feared to impede a prosperity which
after centuries of misery and bloodshed,
is predicted for Ireland, by the adoption of
a new system; on the other hand, that the
upsetting of every thing established in
that country, will lead to consequences by
no means calculated topromote its welfare.
On the one side, he dreaded to have a ques-
tion unsettled, stimulating all the passions
of the multitude, provoking them to acts
of outrage and bloodshed, disturbing the
tranquillity, and leaving the people a
prey to any mischievous agitators who
may work upon their passions for their
own selfish purposes; on the other hand,
he dreaded the introduction of a system
which will consolidate the strength of a
party in Ireland, adverse to all the esta-
blished institutions, hostile to the esta-
blished religion, full of rancour for past
triumphs, and ready to take advantage of
the first opportunity to mark their ven-
gance, and to enjoy their triumphs in return.
When such conflicting consequences, ari-
sing from the nature of the Catholic Ques-
tion, are poised and balanced in the state,
it is no pleasant duty to have the decision
imposed upon you; most willingly would
he avoid the performance of the duty, for
in truth the responsibility is most awful
and alarming; and, without affectation, he
could assure the House, that it had cost
VOL. XIII


him many hours of uneasiness and anxiety.
Were lie convinced that the advantages
outweighed the disadvantages; were he
convinced that peace and tranquillity, that
the oblivion of ancient struggles, that sub-
ordination to the laws, that respect for the
established institutions of the country, that
industry, and in consequence wealth and
prosperity, were probable or even possible
by concession to the Catholic Claims, he
would willingly abandon all the notions
which he had so long entertained upon the
subject, would expose himself to all the
obloquy and all the unpopularity of a
change of opinion, and seek for comfort in
the prospect of these new advantages for
Ireland.
But, Sir, I own that I am not so con-
vinced; whatever doubts I entertained be-
fore, when relying upon my own weak
judgment, and imperfect opportunities of
observation, as to the effect produced by
the discussion of the Catholic Question
upon the people of Ireland, those doubts
are confirmed by the evidence and experi-
ence of others, much better able to form
an opinion upon the subject, whose evi-
dence is now upon the table of the House,
and which ought to be read with eagerness
by every man interested for the welfare of
Ireland. It is, he conceived, a most for-
tunate circumstance, that the evidence
from the committee appointed to inquire
into the state of Ireland, is laid before
the public at this particular time; it con-
tains a volume of information respecting
the condition of the people, their habits
and circumstances; respecting the opera-
tions of the laws, both local and general;
respecting the nature and effect of every
institution both public and private, such
as never up to this time has been conden-
sed together. In this evidence, an impar-
tial mind will discover, without difficulty,
the condition of every class, Church-of-
England man, Presbyteriansand Catholics,
portrayed by those most qualified to give
a description, from constant intercourse;
it will lead you into the cabin ofthe peasant
in every part of the country; into the
house of the landlord; into the mysterious
recesses of the land agent and thetitheproc-
tor; into the halls of justice, whether at
assize, quarter sessions, petty sessions, or
manor courts; it will lead you into the
Protestant church, the Presbyterian meet-
ing-house, and the Catholic chapel; it
presents a view of the population in their
domestic habits, as labourers, mechanics,
and tenants;.and details the obstacles
D


Rowacn Cathorlic Rerlif Bill.









35] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
against theirimprovement, arising not more
from their own habits, than from the ad-
ministration of the laws; it presents a view
of the population as part of a political bo-
dy, influenced by the disabilities which
the law has imposed upon a great portion
of the people; and it presents a view of
the characteristic marks of distinction
which the profession of different creeds
has stamped respectively upon Protestant
and Catholic.
With this mass of information, it will
not be difficultto discover the exact effect
which the Catholic disabilities produce
upon the Catholic population; and he was
greatly surprised to hear from such com-
petent witnesses as Mr. O'Connell, Dr.
Doyle and Dr. Kelly, how very little the
great body of the people was affected by
the disqualifying laws. That the greatest
wretchedness exists among them, is be-
yond doubt; that poverty, that want of
employment, insubordination, distrusts in
all the established institutions of the
country; fraud, perjury and immorality,
arising from that distrust, exist to a
frightful extent, is beyond all doubt;
but that Catholic Emancipation is the
cure for these evils, or one which is
regarded by the peasantry in any other
light than the gratification of religious
bigotry, is what these gentlemen have
not ventured to assert. Let us for a mo-
ment consider the picture which Mr.
O'Connell has drawn of the Catholic po-
pulation in the counties of Cork, Kerry,
Limerick and Clare. It is to be remarked
first, that he describes the effect of the
disqualifying laws of the Catholics to be
among the upper classes, discontent at be-
ing excluded from certain offices in the
state, which lead to honour and profit, and
among the lower classes, a soreness and
irritation on account of the spirit of dom-
ination and superiority exhibited by the
Protestants; let us contemplate for an in-
stant the picture which he has given of the
population in those four great counties,
and see, according to his own statement,
how insignificant the operation of such
feelings must be, and how perfectly hope-
less the repeal of all the disqualifying laws
would be, in improving the condition of
the people. We must recollect that he
describes the Catholic population in the
counties of Limerick, Clare and Kerry,
compared with the Protestants, as 100 to
one; he says, the protestants are univer-
sally in favour of Catholic Emancipation;
it is evident, therefore, that in that part


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [S6
of the country there can be no insolence
or domination on the one side, no soreness
nor irritation on the other ; it is in fact, a
Catholic population, the habits and pur-
suits of the people are all Catholic, the
common business of life is carried on ac-
cording to Catholic maxims and Catho-
lic regulations, and unless Mr. O'Connell
periodically came down to tell them that
they were the most oppressed people in
the world, because he could not become a
member of Parliament or a judge, they
would not trouble their heads about Catho-
lic Etiiancipation, as long as they found
the causes of their misery and degradation
so much more tangible, so much more in
telligible to them, so much more felt in the
every-day intercourse of life. But what is
the condition of the people? Mr. O'Con-
nell says, that the condition of the labour-
ing classes is so bad, that it is astonish-
ing how they preserve health, there is a
total privation of every thing like comfort,
and their existence is such, thattheinferior
animals of this country would not endure
it. Their houses or cabins, than which it
would be impossible to have any thing
worse, are built of mud, covered partly
with thatch, and partly what are called
scraws, and but miserably defended a-
gainst the winds and rains of heaven; that
they have no furniture, not a box, nor a
dresser, nor a plate, and indeed scarcely
any utensil except a cast metal pot to
boil their potatoes in; that their bedding
consists in general of straw; that a blanket
is a rarity, that they are without bed-
steads; and whole families, both male and
female, sleep in the same apartment; that
they have but one suit of clothes or more
properly rags; no change in case of wet
or accident, and that their food through-
out the greatestpart of the year consistsof
potatoes and water; during the rest of the
year, of potatoes and sour milk; that there
is no regular employment for the people,
and that the rate of wages when they are
employed, varies from sixpence to four-
pence a day; that money is an article
hardly known by the Irish peasant, and
yet notwithstanding the scarcity of this
commodity, that the land-jobbers set their
land according to the conacre system, at
the enormous rent of eight or ten pounds
an acre. The consequence of these enor-
mous rents, and the great avidity of the
Irish peasant to possess land,which in fact,
for want of employment, is necessary for
his subsistence, the consequence is an ex-
traordinary increase in the number of sub-









APRIL 19, 1825. [38


lettings,soithappens not unfrequently, that
there are six or seven persons between the
proprietor in fee and the actual occupier.
But, how does Mr. O'Connell describe
the state of society, in which such a state
of things is suffered to exist ? how does he
describe the effect of the law passed to
check these evils, and the conduct of the
people towards each other, in the daily in-
tercourse of life ? In consequence of these
sublettings, the spirit of litigation is in.
creased, their dealings with one another
are frequently complicated, and they are
invariably harsh and unfeeling towards
each other in pecuniary matters. These
appeals to courts of law are numerous,
and on the most trivial occasions; but
when they do appear the most frightful
immorality is exhibited. The obligation
of an oath is disregarded; the flippant and
distinct swearer is always successful; to
have a conscience is an inconvenience, and
parents employ their children, at the ear-
liest age, to be their witnesses in courts of
justice; to get rid, as soon as possible, of
the ties of conscience, and to think false-
hood and perjury the only means of suc-
cessful litigation.
Mr. O'Connell then proceeds to de-
scribe the effect which the laws have had
in checking the evil habits of the peasantry
in these counties; and no wonder that he
is much disappointed in their result. Laws
are made to regulate and guide society,
to guard against the frailty of human
nature, to protect the weak against the
strong, and to give a practical evidence of
the advantages of order and regularity
over force and lawlessness; but, in order
to be useful, laws must be kindly admin-
istered, and unless there are agents to
carry theminto execution, it would be just
as well to have no laws at all. Such is
the unfortunate condition of this part of the
country; the material for executing tile
laws is so bad, that justice is a total stran-
ger to these districts; the laws which have
been found good in more favoured parts,
are here the very cause of tyranny and
oppression. The unfortunate people seem
to labour under a political curse; the or-
der of nature is reversed, and the vine-tree
is made to produce the thorn, and the fig-
tree to bear the thistle. Mr. O'Connell
says, that every act of Parliament passed
since the peace, has had the effect of de-
pressing the people, and rendering their
condition worse; nor does he confine
himself to the laws passed since the peace;
he seems totally to forget that it is the


administration of the laws by the Catholics
themselves, and not the laws, which is the
cause of the depraved condition of the
people. How else could a law be found
useful in Ulster and injurious in Munster ?
But, it is right to mention some at least
of the laws which he condemns, and which
have wrought such different results in
different parts of the country. In 1817,
a law was passed to regulate the deal-
ings between landlord and tenant; the
effect of this law was to give the landlord
a certain and expeditious process of get-
ting possession of his land from a.tenant
under the yearly rent of 501. who did not
pay his rent, and also to give the occupy-
ing tenant a cheap and speedy remedy
against the middleman, who had allowed
the head landlord to distrain the oc-
cupying tenant for rent due by the mid-
dleman. Now, that law is described by
Mr. O'Connell as leading to murder and
insurrection in the south, whilst it is de-
scribed byhis honourable friend, the mem-
ber for Louth, as the most important and
the most useful law to the landed interest
in the north, which has ever passed the
legislature. In another part of his evi-
dence, Mr. O'Connell says, in his
conscience he is thoroughly convinced,
that if a society were instituted to discou-
rage virtue, and to countenance vice, it
would be ingenious indeed if it had disco-
vered such a system as the Assistant Bar-
risters Court;" but, in other parts of the
country, in the north, and in the counties

of Leinster, the most honourable testimo-
ny is given in favour of this court, and the
administration of justice in it is described
to be satisfactory to the people who bring
their cases before it, honourable to the
magistrates presiding, and creditable to
the juries who are engaged in it. How
different to Mr. O'Connell's statement!
the barristers are incompetent, the juries
corrupt, the witnesses and litigants per-
jured. Even tithes, the grand cause of
discontent in other parts, assume a differ-
ent complexion in these ill-fated regions.
The Protestant clergyman, the owner and
proprietor of the tithe, ceases to be an
object of hatred, as in other places; but
the proctor, who is invariably a Catholic, is
merciless and unrelenting, and encounters
the double portion of hatred, and often of
vengeance, which is due to his Protestant
master and to his own exactions.
Such is a small, a very small portion of
the evils described by Mr. O'Connell as
pervading the counties of Kerry, Cork,


Romaon Catholic ReliefBill.









39] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Limerick and Clare. He had not men-
tioned a tenth part of the practical misery
detailed in his evidence, as a matter of
every day occurrence, but it must strike
every body, that in a country so circum-
stanced, the Catholic disabilities are evils
of the very least consequence; indeed, it
is not quite clear whether Catholic Eman-
cipation would not follow the fate of all
the other laws intended for their advan-
tage, and become an evil instead of a
benefit. But, Sir, who will undertake to
say, that Catholic Emancipation will tran-
quillize a country so circumstanced; what
men will be hold enough to send their
capital into such districts; to employ the
population, and teach them habits of in-
dustry and peace? What a reformation
must take place, totally independent of the
Catholic question, before order and regu-
larity will be introduced; before confi-
dence is inspired; before the reciprocal
duties of man towards man are understood;
before morality is considered as a matter of
duty, and not of speculation, and before
the rights of property are understood and
protected! Who will undertake to say,
that Catholic Emancipation, the payment
of the Catholic priesthood, and the quali.
fiction of the elective franchise, will
render one soldier less necessary, one
policeman less indispensable, in a state of
society such as is described by Mr. O'Con-
nell to exist in the counties of Clare,
Kerry, Cork and Limerick? The country
may secure his attachment by opening
parliament and the bench to his ambition,
but the great body of the people will be
left in the same state of nakedness and
misery, and England will still be called
upon to supply her arms and her gold, to
keep the mass of the people in subjection
to those laws, which are as much calcu-
lated for their protection now, as if they
had been enacted by Mr. O'Connell him-
self in propria personA.
But, though he was doubtful of the bene-
fits which the removal of the disqualifying
laws against the Catholics would confer
upon Ireland, he was by no means doubt.
ful of the evil consequences which would
arise from it. It is said that Catholic
Emancipation would unite the Protestant
and the Catholic; that it would confer
upon the Catholic all the advantages to
which a just ambition might aspire, and
that it would take away from the Protestant
nothing but his prejudices and his fears. If
he was convinced that such would be the
case, he should be ashamed to continue an


opposition to their claims. But, when he
considered the position of the two parties;
when he considered the declarations which
have been made, and the signs which have
been given, he could never expect that the
two parties will amalgamate together. The
Protestants are in possession of all that is
valuable in Ireland; their estates, no mat-
ter whether rightly or wrongfully, have
been wrested from the Catholics. The
establishments of the country, conferring
emolument and honour, are all Protes-
tant; the Church conferring a splendid
provision upon its ministers, and the cor-
porations giving station and power and
influence to its members, are all Protes-
tants, and have all, at no distant period,
been in possession of Catholics. Is it pos-
sible therefore to think, that all the solid
advantages can be on the one side, without
exciting a hope of enjoyment on the
other ? Can Protestants and Catholics
really unite together when such tempting
objects are open to the Catholics, and
when a public clamour has already been
begun against the Protestants ? Will the
Catholic be satisfied to see every Pro-
testant institution rolling in wealth and
splendor, whilst his own are in poverty
and distress? Will he submit to have his
churches, his convents, his schools, his
colleges, supported by alms, whilst his
Protestant rival revels in the enjoyment
of Catholic possessions? Human nature
forbids us to think so; and he must do
the Catholics the justice to say, that they
have been no hypocrites on this occasion,
but have proclaimed boldly and naturally
their expectations. If power be given to
the Catholics, it was his firm conviction,
that a struggle for ascendancy will take
place: it will no longer be a question of
equal rights and equal privileges, but it
will be a question whether Ireland shall
be a Catholic country, with Catholic
institutions, Catholic establishments, and
Catholic supremacy. If power be given
to the Catholics, it is in vain to think
that the two establishments can be co-
existent. The wealth and influence of
the Protestants are too great to be
viewed with passive indifference; and the
ambition and overbearing disposition of
the Catholic hierarchy and Catholic laity
are too notorious to be satisfied with the
empty sounds of equal rights. Their gen-
try and nobility are ambitious; their priest-
hood is overbearing, arrogant, and intole-
rant ; and their people, on account of their
physical misery and degradation, will be-


R' oman Caiholic ReliPS Bill.










Roman Catholic Relief Bill.


come their ready tools for any change,
and will make their grievances, no matter
whether arising from rents, tithes, or
taxes, as much a cause of complaint against
their ruler, in order to bring on Catholic
Supremacy, as they have already done to
bring on Catholic Emancipation. The
Catholic people of Ireland will never
think that Ireland can be prosperous under
n Protestant government. The Catholic
institutions must clash with the spirit of
Protestant liberality, and unless the great-
est encouragement be given to those insti-
tutions, the people will become propor-
tionably discontented. Will any man
undertake to say, that the order of the
Jesuits ought to be encouraged, or even
tolerated, by a Protestant government;
an order which has been proscribed by
almost every state in Europe, and which
is tie more dangerous on account of the
ability and unpretending ambition of its
leaders: and yet such an institution is in
perfect activity in Ireland. Notwithstand-
ing the positive contradiction of his hon.
friend the member for the Queen's County
(sir H. Parnell), and his contradiction,
in his opinion, proves the suspicion in
which the establishment regards its own
friends, yet notwithstanding his contra-
diction, Mr. O'Connell has allowed that
the Jesuits are in full activity in Ireland.
Will a Protestant government encourage
the Jesuits ? If it does not, the Jesuits will
soon rouse the people against such a
government. Will a Protestant govern.
ment allow an unlimited endowment of
monasteries, abbeys, and convents? Will
it relax the laws of mortmain in favour
of Catholic establishment, and exempt
the bequests of pious Catholics from the
same degree of jealousy and scrutiny,
which they have adopted with respect to
Protestant institutions? And yet, if there
is any jealousy on the subject, what a cla-
mour will be raised by the Catholic party!
Already the laws are considered unjust,
inquisitorial, and partial, which subject
these bequests to any limitation; but if
Catholicism shall become a part and par-
cel of the constitution, what denunciations
we shall hear against any minister who
shall dare to interfere with the disposition
of private property for such pious purpo-
ses! With respect to schools and colleges,
the same clashing principles will prevail.
If the Catholics be admitted to power, will
not their laity and their priesthood be
naturally anxious to procure pecuniary as-
sistance for their schools and colleges?


And yet, let any man read the evidence of
Mr. O'Connell respecting the college of
Maynooth, and ask himself, if a parlia-
ment would be justified in encouraging
such a system of education in a free coun-
try? He describes it to be carried on ac-
cording to the most rigid principles of
monastic discipline; to be the abode of
gloom, secresy, and retirement, to teach
nothing but theology, and that too the
theology of the Jesuits, and to deaden the
hearts of its youthful inhabitants by shut-
ting them out from all intercourse with
the world, their friends and relations.
Under any circumstances, is it not the
duty of a government to superintend such
an establishment; but, if increased funds
were added to it, and if Catholicism were
to be incorporated in our constitution,
would a Protestant government be justified
in exempting it from the same jurisdiction
which theFrench government extends over
the colleges and seminaries in that coun-
try, in order to protect them from the in-
troduction of principles subversive of the
rights of the Gallican church ?-And yet,
we know enough of the Catholic disposi-
tion in Ireland to be assured, that if any
scrutiny, much more a scrutiny of the jea-
lous character of the French government,
was exercised over Maynooth college, the
whole Catholic body, clergy and laity,
would be in arms against such unjust in-
terference.
But, Sir, it is unnecessary to go on de-
tailing how Catholic objects and Protes-
tant principles must clash together; let
any man refer to the evidence on the table,
and in every page lie will see, not only
how incompatible the two establishments
are to exist together, but how decided
and certain are the expectations of the
Catholics to make their religion ascendant
in Ireland. And here, he would make one
or two observations with respect to the
prominent characters who have given evi-
dence, and to warn the House against
their tone and manner. Like many others
he was greatly struck with the manner and
moderation of several of those gentlemen;
it was impossible not to admire the infor-
mation and the abilities displayed by Mr.
Blake and Mr. O'Connell; it was impossi-
ble also not to admire the demeanour of
the Catholic bishops, Dr. Murray and Dr.
Doyle, and particularly the eloquence,
learning and zeal displayed by those two
prelates; but, he was obliged to say,
though his admiration of their talents still
continues, his confidence in their testimony


Arnr. 19, 1825.










43] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
is very much abated; it is impossible on
any rational grounds to reconcile the tur-
bulence and vehemence of Mr. O'Connell
in Ireland with his moderation and for-
bearance before the committee; it is im-
possible to reconcile the exaggeratedstate-
ments of his speeches in Ireland with the
palliations and admissions of his evidence;
it is impossible to reconcile his advice and
counsel to his countrymen with the pic-
ture which he has drawn in his evidence
of the history and condition of Ireland; it
is impossible to reconcile his political prin-
ciples with his political remedies, and I
know not how the same man can be the
friend of Cobbett and the hon. member
for Westminster, of universal suffrage
and the disqualification of the Irish free-
holders; I am reduced, therefore, to the
disagreeable necessity of viewing all his
testimony with considerable diffidence,
and as tending to show more the strength
of his wishes than of his conviction.
But, he was still more astonished at the
evidence of Dr. Doyle. There is the great-
est inconsistency between his evidence as
a political writer and a parliamentary wit-
ness; it is impossible to believe that both
should come from the brain of the same
man ; and in whatever manner it is viewed,
whether in the meekness exhibited before
the committee, or in the hatred and ran-
cour pervading his political writings, it
must excite the most lively apprehensions
respecting the truth and justice of a cause,
which is advocated by a man of his abili-
ties, and his station in this double charac-
ter. It is quite notorious, that during the
last two years Dr. Doyle has sent into the
world several political pamphlets, or ra-
ther books, under the signature of J. K.
L.; there is no doubt that he is the author
of these works, as an address was voted
to him by name, Dr. Doyle, by the Ca-
tholic Association, conveying the thanks
of that body for his works, which address
he accepted; these pamphlets, together
with twelve letters on the state of Ireland,
published a few weeks since, contain the
grossest attacks upon every Protestant
institution in Ireland, and must excite
the fears of every man attached to the
church and the Protestant Establish-
ment. In every page, whether as a le-
gislator, as a divine, or as a citizen of
the world, he breathes the most rancorous
spirit against the laws, against the church
establishment, against the Protestant po-
pulation; as a legislator he teaches the
people to despise the laws, and to regard


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [44
them as formed much more for their de-
pression and degradation than for their
improvement; as a divine he cannot con-
ceal his fury against the Protestant church;
at the bare mention of the name of Protes-
tant church he is thrown into agonies, in
which he gives vent to the most undigni-
fied reproaches, and to the most unfounded
calumnies against all its members: he
reviles its ceremonies, condemns its prin-
ciples, and abuses all the ministers of its
church in the most unmeasured terms.
In speaking of his own church, he is arro-
gant and intolerant, and presents one of
the truest pictures of an obedient son to
the see of Rome which these countries
ever produced. If Dr. Doyle had power,
Popes Gregory or Boniface could not de-
sire a more able or willing instrument to
lay Ireland in shackles at the feet of their
Holinesses. Such are his sentiments, such
are his principles, when he appears before
the world as a political writer; but, when
he appears before the Parliamentary Com-
mittee he changes his character altogether;
he is moderate in his views, measured in
his language, liberal in his principles;
he is an admirer of the British constitu-
tion hle is an admirer of its laws; he ab-
jures the power of the Pope except in
matters purely spiritual, and he is as
sturdy as any old covenanter in refusing
him any power except the institutions of
bishops; he has his answers ready for every
question, and those answers always hap-
pen to be precisely the answers which the
warmest friend of Catholic Emancipation
would desire to get; they are copious,
learned and eloquent. But, take him on
doubtful or forbidden ground, and his
whole manner changes; ask him about the
letters ofJ. K. L.; ask him about the prin-
ciples contained in those letters, his an-
swers are short and pithy. "Have you seen
a late publication, entitled, Letters on the
State of Ireland by J. K. L. ?-I have
seen them. Do you hold the same opini-
ons with the author of those letters ?-I
dare say I do. Do you hold the same
opinions with respect to the forty-shilling
freeholders ?" here was the touchstone;
he saw he was getting upon dangerous
ground; his letters had been written and
published before he was let into the secret
of the compromise of effecting Catholic
Emancipation at the expense of the Ca-
tholic freeholders; like a good general,
but like an indifferent ecclesiastic, he de-
termined to parry the question; he ap-
pealed therefore to the kindness and cour-










45] Roman Catholic Relief Bill.
tesy of the committee to spare him an
examination upon that subject; his appeal
prevailed, and he was allowed to escape
from the dilemma to which he must inevi-
tably have been exposed by further exami-
nation; the artifice, however, cannot suc-
ceed; his books are published, his evidence
is published, and every reflecting mind
ought to compare them together, before
implicit credence can be given to the evi-
dence of Dr. Doyle.
Now, Sir, the mischiefs of this double
dealing are incalculable, and render the
settlement of this question almost impos-
sible. In Ireland, the public opinion,
among the Catholics, is governed entirely
by the opinions of Dr. Doyle and Mr.
O'Connell. Dr. Doyle undertakes the
management of the ecclesiastical, Mr.
O'Connell the management of the lay part
of the population. The former teaches
the Catholic clergy to consider the Pro-
testant church as heretical, intrusive,
tyrannical and useless; he points to its
wealth as wrested from the Catholic
church; its places of worship as insulting
to the Catholic population, and its minis-
ters as spoliators and scorpions. He is
believed in Ireland by the Catholic clergy,
and he is dreaded by the Protestant clergy.
Mr. O'Connell pursues the same system
in alienating the minds of the lay popula-
tion from every thing which is established
and Protestant; the consequence is, that
there is scarcely a Protestant in Ireland
who does not dread some great convulsion
from concession to the Roman Catholic
Claims, and scarcely a Catholic who does
not expect to gain something more than
eligibility to either. But in this country
they both adopt a different language, and
mould their opinions according to those of
their auditory. The result of this artifice
is, that the Protestants in Ireland have
a well-grounded alarm that the British
Parliament is deceived; they think their
own cause abandoned, and they attribute
this defection to the hollow, deceitful and
dangerous tone adopted by the Catholic
leaders in this country; they compare this
moderation, and the effect it has had upon
the English mind, with the fury and vio-
lence which is practised in Ireland; and
they anticipate nothing but ruin and deso-
lation to the Protestant cause. To expect
a union ofsentiment, to expect an oblivion
of ancient struggles, to expect the tran-
quillization of present fears, and to anti-
cipate a brighter prospect in future, is,
under such circumstances, impossible;
3


APRIL 19, 1825. [46
nay, the Catholics themselves take good
care that the Protestants in England shall
not be deceived upon the subject. Already
they see their prey within their grasp;
already they have sent forth their mani-
festos, and have begun to sing their songs
of triumph. If the Protestants look to
the proceedings of the Catholic body in
the present day; if they look to their
speeches and resolutions; if they look to
the records of history to contemplate what
their future condition must be, when the
Catholics have succeeded in obtaining
power, they can find nothing consolatory,
nothing but the ruin and overthrow of
their own establishments. The menaces
and the intentions of the Catholics are too
manifest, and the examples of history are
too convincing to leave any doubt upon
the subject.
And here he should beg to call the
attention of the House to a most curious
historical coincidence which cannot fail to
prove that the objects of the Catholics in
Ireland are unchanged and unchangeable.
On the 31st of May 1824, a petition was
presented to this House by the hon. and
learned member for Winchelsea, from the
Catholic Association. The petition itself
was long and comprehensive, and so
general was its censure of every thing
established in Ireland, that it called forth
the reprobation of even the hon. and
learned member himself, who declined to
found any measure upon it, from the cer-
tain conviction,that the House would mark
its indignation of the matter contained in
it. The petition, however, concluded with
this prayer :-" The petitioners therefore
praythat the House will cause a thorough
reform to be made in the temporalities of
the Established Church; that the House
will render Orangemen ineligible to serve
as magistrates or jurors ; that the House
will disfranchise the corporations, and
that the House will pass an Act to eman-
cipate the Roman Catholics of Ireland."
Now, in order to know what the Catholics
mean by a reform in the temporalities of
the Established Church, he must refer to
the works of J. K. L. and there he will
find, that a reform in the temporalities
means, to strip the Protestant church of
all its property, and to give its ministers
a stipend proportioned to their duties;
to take away the churches, in order to
restore them to the Catholics; and to put
the schools, colleges, and endowments
of the Protestant establishment upon a
new footing. The disfranchisement of the










47] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
corporations, and disqualification of Pro-
testants-to serve as judges or jurors, is
clear enough. Now, it is a curious coin-
cidence, that every, one of these objects,
which are so fervently sought for by the
Catholics in 182,' were actually carried
into execution in 1687 and 1688, when
the Catholics had unrestrained power in
Ireland; and with the permission of the
House he should mention how this was
effected, and its consequences. In the
year 1687, when lord Tyrconnel was
appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and
when it was determined in king James's
cabinet to root out the Protestant esta-
blishment in Ireland, the first act of his
administration, in order to secure this
object, was to remove every Protestant
from the administration of justice. The
Protestant judges were accordingly re-
moved from the bench, Protestant magis-
trates from the commission of the peace,
Papists were put into their places; every
office of justice, from a sheriff to a consta-
ble, was filled by a Papist.
Having succeeded in getting complete
power over the lives and properties of the
Protestants by the appointmentof Catholic
ministers of justice, the next object of at-
tackwasagainst thecorporations. Accord-
ingly, to use the language of the Catholic
petition, the corporations were all dis-
franchised; their charters were taken
away, and new charters given, by which
the king reserved to himself the power of
displacing any mayor, alderman or bur-
gess. The corporations, therefore, be-
came the slaves of the king's will, and
by displacing all the Protestant mem-
bers, and filling up their places with
Papists, he in fact secured to himself a
complete and uncontrollable power over
the legislature, and commanded the cor-
porations to return such men to parlia-
ment as best suited his purposes. Having
settled these preliminaries, the next step
was, to summon a parliament, in order to
have the colour of law for the great and
comprehensive scheme of destroying the
Protestant religion. In 1689 a parliament
met in Dublin; and from the precautions
taken by the government to give orders
to the sheriffs to return none but Papists
from the counties, and from the complete
possession of the corporations by the
Catholics, it was just such a parliament as
the most sanguine Catholic could desire.
The House of Commons consisted of 228
members, eight of whom only were Pro-
testants; the House of Lords consisted


Roman Catholic ReliefBill. [48
of forty-six members, of whom only eight
or nine were Protestants. Behold, there-
fore, the Catholics in full power, and what
-was the use which they made of it? Their
first act was to repeal the Act of Settle-
ment, an act which had been passed in
the reign of king Charles 2nd, for con-
firmihg the titles of the forfeited estates,
and which then, as it does now, formed
the title by which more than two-thirds
of the Protestant proprietary of Ireland
held their lands. This act was repealed,
and more than twelve millions of acres
left at the disposal of the crown for repay-
ing the fidelity of its Catholic subjects.
In vain some Papists who had purchased
estates under the Act of Settlement and
explanation, remonstrated against being
deprived of their possessions. Their re-
monstrances were useless; they were told
they must suffer for the general good;
and he begged to submit this proceed-
ing for the consideration of those gentle-
men who think they can find a security
against any attempt on the part of the
Catholics to recover the forfeited estates,
in the argument that Catholics themselves
have become purchasers. The next act,
in order to give a more fatal blow to the
Protestants, and to make their extirpation
complete, was an Act of attainder, by
which all Protestants, of all ranks and
degrees, and of all sexes, were attainted
of high treason, on the pretence that they
were out of the kingdom at the passing of
the act. According to archbishop King,
2,600 were included in this proscription,
and the manner of their condemnation
was no less uyjust than the motive, for sir
R. Nagle, mn presenting the act to the
king for his assent, informed him, tlat
many in the act were condemned upon
such evidence as satisfied the House; the
rest upon common fame.
But, sweeping and comprehensive as
these measures were for the extirpation
of the Protestant religion, they were not
enough to satisfy the Catholics. The
parliament of 1689 proceeds in the spirit
of the Catholic Association of 1824, to
reform the temporalities of the church:
and we have the definition of Dr. Doyle's
reform carried into complete execution
by the votes of the Catholic legislature.. In
the first place, all the diocesan and parish
schools, which had been formed for the
encouragement of the Protestant religion,
were taken away from the Protestant
schoolmasters, and their places were filled
up by Catholics. The king exercised his









49] Roman Catholic Relief Bill.
right of regulating the statutes of the uni-
versity, by dispensing with the oaths, and
sending a mandamus to the fellows to
elect whomsoever he should nominate; he
accordingly filled up several fellowships
with Papists, and appointed a Popish
priest as provost. An act passed this
parliament whereby all tithes payable by
the Catholics to the Protestant clergy,
were taken away and given to Popish
priests; and in order to make the recovery
of them more easy, and to save the trouble
and expense of suing under the ecclesi-
astical jurisdiction, the priest might bring
his action at common law. The appro-
priate tithes belonging also to bishops and
other dignitaries of the church were
wrested from them and given to the
Papists, and the revenues of the vacant
bishopricks were also expended in main-
taining the Catholic clergy. But, it was
not enough to deprive the Protestant
clergy of the means of maintenance, the
jurisdiction of the church was also de-
stroyed by an act of this same parliament,
and all dissenters were declared free from
the punishments, cognizable in the eccle-
siastical courts; but as the finishingstroke
to the Protestant religion, and the most
effectual specimen of the reform, which
Dr. Doyle has so much at heart, an act
of this same parliament deprived the
Protestants of their churches and the ca-
thedral of Christ Church, in Dublin, with
26 churches in that diocese, were imme-
diately seized by the Catholics; orders
were sent to the provinces for the same
purposes, and no doubt every church in
Ireland would have been in their posses-
sion, if the career of this Catholic Parlia-
ment had not been stopped by the battle
of the Boyne.
But, why did he mention these events ?
It may be said, that the revival of these
circumstances serves only to rip open
old wounds, and to perpetuate the unfor-
tunate causes of irritation which have so
long agitated Ireland. He had no such
intention ; he wished they could, but they
will not be forgotten; and when his right
hon. and learned friend the attorney-ge-
neral for Ireland appeals to history, and in
his forcible diction says, that it is nothing
better than an old almanack, unless we
take warning from its illustrations and
examples, he was forced, unwillingly
forced, to draw his inference of Catholic
principles from Catholic precedents, and
to confess that he could view the Catholic
petition of 1824 as nothing but the corrol-
VOL. XIII.


APRIL 19, 1825. [50
lary of the acts of the Catholic parliament
of 1689.
Upon the whole, he would not give his
vote in support of the present bill ; he was
not convinced that the Catholic disabilities
are the causes of the moral and physical
degradation of the people of Ireland; no
doubt they form a strong ingredient in the
national discontent, but the concession of
power to the Catholics would only change
the sources of discontent, it would leave
the struggle for power more formidable,
more bitter than it is at present, and it
would finally end in the overthrow of the
Protestant establishment. In his opinion,
he had only to make a choice between
two evils; he preferred the Protestant es-
tablishment,because it had led to the glory
and prosperity of England, because it had
conferred blessings upon Ireland wherever
it had been fostered, and because it com-
prehends now the soundest, the most in-
dustrious, the most loyal portion of the
kingdom, he dreaded Catholicism because
it was hostile to the spirit of the British
constitution, and he thought it his duty
to raise his voice to warn the House
against encouraging for a third or fourth
time the introduction of a political and
religious system which the wisdom of our
forefathers considered fatal to the liberties
of the country.. The monster now, like
the Trojan horse, threatened to introduce
danger and destruction into the very vitals
of the constitution, and he trusted that
he would not have occasion to exclaim,
in the words of the Roman poet,-
Quater ipso in limine porthe,
Substitit, atque utero sonitum quarter ar ma dedere.
Instamus tamen immemores, cerique furore,
Et monstrum infelix, sacrat.i sistimus arc."
Lord Milton said, that the desire which
he felt for the accomplishment of thi,;
great question was in no wise diminished
by the speech of the hon. member who
had just sat down, and he felt great plea-
sure in having, in support of his view of
the subject, the authority of the lion.
member for Armagh, who had very pro-
perly expressed a hope, that we should
forget past times and look only to the
future. He did not stand there as the
apologist of the Catholic church, the Ca-
tholic prelates, or the Catholic advocates.
He had nothing to do with reconciling
the opinions of J. K. L. with the evidence
of the bishop of Kildare, or to explain
away the differences between the senti-
ments of Mr. O'Connell in Ireland, and
Mr. O'Connell before the committee.
E









51] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Their consistency was in their own keep-
ing, and it was not his business, nor that
of any member of that House, to reconcile
any variations in their conduct or opinions.
He could trace, in the speech of the hon.
member who spoke last, many of the
causes of the opinions which he enter-
tained. In the early part of his speech
he had endeavoured, with great ability,
to recommend to the attention of the
House those inconsistencies which he
thought he perceived in the evidence,
with a view to raise an alarm, upon the
supposition that the Catholic ascendancy
in Ireland was contemplated-a disposi-
tion to do which he inferred by a refer-
ence to the Catholic parliament of king
James in Ireland; the proceedings of
which parliament he could no more be
astonished at, than at the counteracting
measures by which those proceedings
were followed up. The hon. member had
only looked at half of the case; but he
prayed the attention of the House to the
whole of it. Let the House not forget,
that king James was at that period in
Ireland, struggling for the crown of Eng-
land, and struggling, too, by the co-ope-
ration of the party who had endeavoured
to overthrow the liberties of the country.
Could any thing then have been more
natural, than that he should endeavour to
put down those Protestant establishments
by which he had been resisted ? Those
were the men who were the partisans of
James- the partisans of tyranny both
here and there. But he would ask the
lion. member, where was the king James
now to alarm and frighten us ? He trusted
the hon. member did not mean even to
insinuate that the family now upon the
throne could contemplate the nefarious
project of destroying the liberties of the
country by foreign interference. For his
own part, he was far from entertaining
any such suspicion, or that even if such
an attempt could be entertained, recourse
would be had to Catholic instruments.
The hon. member had referred to the
statement of his right hon. friend, the
Attorney-general for Ireland, that if men
did not profit by experience, history was
no better than an old almanack. He cer-
tainly was not surprised at the reference;
for he had never known history to have
been used more like an old almanack, than
by the lion. member. Nobody could
have been surprised at the subsequent
measures of revenge which were adopted
at that period towards the Roman Catho-


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [52
lies. He felt no astonishment at them;
nor could he go the length of saying that
those measures were wholly unjustifiable.
The Protestants had suffered under the
tyranny of James and the Catholic par-
liament; and, in the re-establishment of
their power, they enacted laws which,
whether they were wise or unwise, were
at least consistent. Their object was to
reduce the power of their adversaries, and
for that purpose they endeavoured to re-
duce the population to a state of barbarism.
In this they unfortunately succeeded; but
those times were now gone by. From
that state the great mass of the Irish peo-
ple had long been released. They had
now acquired wealth, and with that wealth,
political influence. Of that influence it
was impossible to deprive them. We
could not now, as had been observed by
the hon. member for Armagh, re-enact
the penal code; and it was impossible to
stand still. We should, therefore, if we
sought for the tranquillity of Ireland, go
on, and grant that emancipation willingly,
which might hereafter be wrung from us
by necessity. With respect to the influ-
ence of the proposed measure on the
established church, he thought that any
measure which would tend-as he had no
doubt this would-to the tranquillity of
Ireland, would also afford increased secu-
rity to the Protestant religion in that
country.
Mr. North said, he did not rise in the
vain hope of being able to add any thing
to the persuasive eloquence, which, on
various occasions, had been displayed on
this important question. Feeling as he
did, most strongly, that Catholic conces-
sions were essential to the security of the
empire, no less than to the tranquillity of
Ireland, it was impossible lie could con-
tent himself with a silent vote. Enter-
taining those opinions, he could not ex-
press the lively feelings of satisfaction and
delight with which lie had heard the
speech of the hon. member for Armagh.
He rejoiced to witness in that speech the
power of truth obtaining triumphant vic-
tory over error of the most pure and
honourable kind. And at the same time,
while he admired the perfect candour and
manliness of that statement, he was also
prepared to give his entire assent and ac-
quiescence to all his arguments. He
confessed it was to him a matter of sur-
prise, that his hon. friend (Mr. Dawson)
should by the same eloquence, which was
so satisfactory to the lion. member for










Roman Catholic Relief Bill.


Armagh, have been conducted to a con-
clusion so completely different. Hishon.
friend had quoted the same evidence
which had led to the conversion of the
hon. member for Armagh, on this mo-
mentous question, as the strongest argu-
ment against it. He apprehended he
stated the argument of his hon. friend
correctly, when he stated, that he traced
the inconsistency between the conduct
and the evidence of the same persons be-
fore the committee to insincerity. He
said, that the violence and turbulence of
Mr. O'Connell, and other leaders of the
Catholic body, while in Ireland, were
inconsistent with the calm and moderate
tone which the same persons assumed be-
fore the committee. But, could his hon.
friend find .no means of accounting for
this difference of feeling ? Let him only
consider the different circumstances of
the two periods which he brought into
juxta-position, and in the comparison he
would find a satisfactory solution. In one
light, they appeared as oppressed and in-
jured men; in another, as men to whom
we held out the hand of conciliation, I
hold," said Mr. Burke, one sort of
language to a kind and conciliating friend;
another to the proud and insolent foe."
In Ireland, these gentlemen, smarting
under disappointment and injustice, spoke
the language of passion and disappoint-
ment; but, the moment a change of con-
duct was adopted towards them, and
they were called to discuss with you
calmly in a committee, those measures
which might lead to an adjustment of the
grievances of Ireland, that moment their
sentiments and feelings were changed,
and their expressions were changed along
with them. So totally did he differ from
his hon. friend, that he looked upon this
moderate tone as a foretaste of that con-
ciliation and contentment which would
follow this measure, if carried into exe-
cution. If we found those persons so
changed when the smallest gleam of hope
shone upon their minds, must we not
reasonably infer, that that satisfaction
would go on increasing as the dawn went
on changing to perfect day? He, there-
fore, dissented totally from the interfer-
ence of his hon. friend, and declared, that
if he had not previously to the appoint-
ment of a committee, had his mind made
up on this important question, he should
derive from the evidence the same con-
viction which the hon. member for Armagh
had so justly drawn, and so powerfully


and manfully avowed. He could not
help auguring most favourably for the
great 'nderteking in which they were
engaged, from the arguments of its oppo-
nents, and more especially from those of
the hon. member for Corfe Captle. It
was most remarkable, that when this
question was brought forward, it should
be met, not on the grounds of Catholic
emancipation, but that we should be called
upon to discuss, not the merits of this par-
ticular question, but of some collateral
topics with which it was connected. How-
ever, he should not follow this example;
but would endeavour to confine himself
to the bill before the House. The most
important, leading, and, if satisfactory,
most conclusive argument made use of by
the hon. member on the floor was this-
that the grievances said to be sustained
by the Catholics of Ireland were altoge-
ther imaginary and unreal. The best
way, perhaps, of replying to that argu-
ment, and of showing the real existence
of some grievances, would be to apply
the laws as they now were to any particu-
lar individual or profession in Ireland, and
then ask the hon. member to place his
hand upon his breast, and say that the
case made out was not a grievance. Let
the law be taken as it affected the Catho-
lic country gentleman, and the Catholic
professional man. He would take the
country gentleman-supposing him a man
of considerable influence in the country,
distinguishing himself upon grand juries,
and in all his undertakings, by calm good
sense and sound discretion, and enjoying
the esteem and confidence of all the gen-
tlemen in his county. He is to derive
from all those distinctions, what privilege?
what advantage? Nothing more than
the poorest forty-shilling freeholder in the
county. Let us next take the professional
man ; take, for instance, the case of a
gentleman who has been so often alluded
to in these discussions. You allow him
to enter into an ambitious profession-
you urge him on to spend the best years
of his life in the tedious studies of that
profession-and when at length he has
surmounted the difficulties, and begun to
acquire for himself the esteem of the pub-
lic, and to enjoy the advantages which
attend it; when, flushed with success and
burning to go on, he is impeded by your
law in his honourable career, and held fast,
whilst his Protestant competitor passes
over him to distinction. This, surely, was
a grievance, harassing, vexatious, and gall-


APRIL 19, 1825.









55J HOUSE OF COMMONS,
ing; such as no man of spirit could bear
without complaint, and, so long as such a
system continued, the country must re-
main discontented: Was he to be told
that men of great talents, high considera-
tion, a.id vast intellectual acquirements,
would toil on all their lives in a profitless
struggle, placed as it were amongst the
money-changers in the porch, whilst the
holier and diviner places were reserved
for the more favoured? Could such
things be, and discontent not follow?
These were the grievances of the whole
community: the country had a right-the
Crown had a right-to the services of all
its subjects ; and it was a national griev-
ance when the country was deprived of
them.-But, it had been said, that, ad-
mitting the grievances to be real, still
there was something in the constitution
which required their continuance. The
constitution had been described as exclu-
sive. He denied it. He believed the
aim and scope of those who framed our
constitution was, that all the members of
the state should enjoy as much political
power as could be conferred, consistently
with the security of the state. He knew
no other definition of the constitution;
and in no part of it could he find that
exclusive spirit. But, had the Catholic,
indeed, no power at present? If you
place him at the head of an association in
Ireland, has he there no power? Can
you prevent him from enjoying the confi-
dence of millions of his countrymen in
Ireland? Can you deprive him of the
power of alternately agitating and tran-
quillizing the country, or making a drawn
battle with the government; and, would
you tell him that this was no power? In
Ireland, such a man might easily become
a giant; whereas, here, he might very
possibly become a pigmy. Whether you
confer it or not, power he will possess;
and it was for the House to consider
what direction they would give it; whe-
ther they would make it their own, or
continue it in hostility. Six centuries had
elapsed since the English power had
been established in Ireland; and during
that period, what changes had taken place
-a new world had been discovered; the
Reformation had been brought about; but
the Irish remained the same, resisting
the assaults of time. Did gentlemen be-
lieve, that, during that long period, the
Catholic religion had remained unaltered;
and that it was now professed with the same
zeal, and in the same blindness as then ?


Roman Catholic ReliefBill. [56
There was but one thing immutable, and
that was human nature. If the policy of
the state were based on its principles, it
would be permanent as the rock on
which it was fixed. Feelings of gratitude
and affection would be called forth by
kindness; and resentment would always
be excited by insult, and injury. Let the
House choose this basis for their proceed-
ings; and whatever theologians or doctors
might say-whatever they might urge of
professions not changing, the House
might rely, that the Catholics would re-
ceive kindness with gratitude, and favour
with augmented loyalty. Gould any man
believe that the religion which had
been professed and adorned by a Pascal
and a Fenelon, those lights and ornaments
of their age-could any man.believe that
the religion of our own ancestors rendered
the Catholic ungrateful or deceitful? No
man practically held such a belief, nei-
ther in public nor private life; for the
state contracted treaties with Catholics,
and individual Protestants intermarried
with Catholics, and found them as just
and as honourable in their dealings as
other men. 'It had been rightly stated,
that it was no longer a question whether
the claims of the Catholics were ever to
be granted, but whether they should now
be conceded, or how long they should
be postponed. Until what period, he
would ask, of embarrassment and danger
was concession to be delayed? For what
misfortunes, and for what critical situa-
tions, were the legislature to wait? The
Catholics had acquired property, and
were still increasing in wealth; and mea-
sures were now taking to give them edu-
cation. Would the House wait until
multiplied numbers added wealth, and
increased knowledge united and concen-
trated their strength, and enabled them
to overwhelm every opposing barrier?
ConCession would then lose every charac-
teristic of beneficence; it would come
without grace, and be received without
gratitude. The dangers apprehended
from concession were remote and ima-
'ginary: while those which resulted from
denying the claims of the Catholics were
near and imminent. Was it wise, he would
ask, to add to the discontent of six
millions of men; to look only to remote
and barely possible dangers, and exclude
from our view present disasters? Was it
prudent to direct the political telescope
towards the clouds, and shut the senses
to the dangers lying in our paths ? Some









57] Roman Catholic Relief Bill. APRIL 19, 1825. [58
boldness was consistent with true wisdom; I reading of the bill, in order to give the
some inconvenience must be encountered; House an opportunity of introducing into
some dangers must be met; and he it the clauses which he recommended;
thought it was better to meet the dangers after which, if they were not introduced,
which were seen, than to legislate for he might consistently withhold his support
those which could not be known. There from the third reading. He should vote
was no principle that he knew, on which in favour of the present measure, because
the claims of the Catholics could now be he considered it one of the very first
resisted. The Catholics were judges, importance. The system of liberality on
and sat in judgment both on life and pro- which it was founded was calculated to
perty. A judge sat in the court of Ex- put an end to the party animosities of
chequer, who was a Catholic, and univer- Ireland for ever. The Catholics had of
sally respected; and another judge presi- late years advanced in numbers, in pro-
ded in Clare. Would any person say, perty, in education, and in liberality of
that those who were fit to administer feeling. Was it extraordinary that,
justice in that county, were unfit to under such circumstances, they should
administer it in Dublin? Were those ask for a remission of the laws under
who presided in the court of Exchequer which they smarted, and should claim an
unworthy to sit in the King's-bench ? equality of rights with the rest of their
Either the legislature had gone too far in fellow-countrymen? One hon. member
the concessions already made to the had opposed this measure, because part
Catholics, or, in now withholding further of it tended to disfranchise the freehold-
concessions, not far enough. Having ers of Ireland. He knew nothing as yet
remitted part of the penal laws, it was of such a measure, and should therefore
necessary either to remit the whole, or consider this bill entirely upon its own
re-enact them all. In his opinion, the merits. He was persuaded that the dif-
House should adopt that measure of ferent parties in Ireland were kept alive by
conciliation which had been recommended these persecuting laws. Mr. O'Connell,
by the wisest and most eloquent states- though he possessed great talents, owed
men. That measure, he was persuaded, his importance to the laws which kept up
would restore peace to Ireland, and give the distinction between Catholics and
safety and security to the empire. Protestants. It was said that if the claims
Colonel Forde addressed the House, in of the Catholics were granted, they
a very low tone of voice. We understood would not be contented, and would be
him to say, that, like the hon. member ready to ask for something more. But,
for Armagh, he had been lately made a was their ingratitude, or discontent,
convert to this cause, but that -he now supposing it to exist, a reason why the
earnestly supported it. He felt the whole legislature should commit injustice? The
force of all that had been said by that Catholics had not decreased in loyalty
hon. member. Some alterations were by the acquisition of property. They
necessary; for the penal laws could not had now, for many years both in our
remain as they were. Army and Navy, given conspicuous proofs
Lord Ennismore said, that he intended of loyalty; and, was it to be credited,
to vote against the second reading of this that further concessions would make
bill. He had voted in favour of the them disloyal? He thought the present
motion for going into a committee on this time a very critical one for Ireland. The
subject, in the hope that some arrange- calm which existed in that country was
ment might have been devised in it, not the calm of apathy; it was the solemn
which would have been satisfactory to all stillness of intense interest and expecta-
parties. No such arrangement was visible tion, and would be interrupted as soon
in the present bill. If, however, when it as the Catholics heard that their just
went into the committee, clauses should claims had been denied. He could not
be introduced, providing for the Catholic contemplate without dismay, the pros-
clergy and regulating the elective fran- pect of so many discontented men as
chise, he should have no objection to would be roused into activity, should
vote in favour of the third reading. this measure be rejected. They were
Mr. James Daly expressed great sur- now obedient from hope: they had sub-
prise at the inconsistent conduct of his mitted at the first word, from the ex-
noble friend who had just sat down. His pectation that their grievances would be
noble friend ought to vote for the second redressed; but, let the House not flatter









59] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
themselves, if they threw out this bill,
that the calm of Ireland would be preser-
ved, and its tranquillity remain uninter-
rupted. Complaints had been made of
the influence of the Catholic Association,
but its influence had been as nothing to
what it would be, if this bill were to be
lost. It would then unite, which it had
not before done, all Ireland in its support.
It would find some means of meeting in
spite of the law; and uniting all hearts in
Ireland in its favour, all the Catholics of
England, and many of the Protestants; it
would go on gathering strength, until
it was in a condition to take by force
what was not granted by fair means. He
did not mean to say, that with arms in
their hands, they would conquer from
the Protestants of England their just
rights; but, they would bring the whole
empire into danger. He felt himself
bound to state his opinions freely. He
had a deep stake in the country, and was
persuaded, if this measure were lost, that
property in Ireland would lose half its
value. If the House should now dash
the cup of hope from the lips of the Ca-
tholics, he would answer neither for the
safety nor security of property in Ireland.
Before he sat down he must state, in
opposition to the hon. memberfor Armagh,
that he had seen the Catholic clergy give
very efficacious assistance in a season of
distress: had seen them pointed at by the
people like the Protestant clergy; and
had known them receive the thanks of
the magistrates for their conduct. He
gave his warm and cordial support to the
motion.
Sir N. Colthurst said, he should vote in
favour of the measure, because he con-
ceived it unjust to exclude any class of
men from the benefits of the constitution,
without the existence of an adequate ne-
cessity, or of some great danger being
fully proved. Now, he thought that a
necessity was proved for their admission
into the pale of the constitution; and that
great danger would arise if they were any
longer excluded from it. He would also
vote in favour of this measure, because he
was convinced that by so doing, he should
diminish the number of Catholics, and
consequently increase the stability of the
established church. Things could not re-
main long in the situation in which they
were at present. The question must be
settled in some way or other; and in no
other way could it be safely settled, than
by conceding to the Catholics the rights


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [60
they demanded. Until such concessions
were made to them, the prosperity of Ire-
land must inevitably be retarded.
Mr. Goulburn said, that if he could be
induced to believe, that by acceding to
the present bill, the House would produce
general conciliation and tranquillity in
Ireland, he should have no hesitation in
following the honest and manly course of
the hon. member for Armagh, and in giv-
ing to it his decided approbation. He
could not, however, bring himself to en-
tertain such a belief; and he must there-
fore repeat the objections which he had
formerly urged against this measure. He
could not agree in the sentiments ex-
pressed by the lion. member for the county
of Galway. To tell him that the Catho-
licsof Ireland demanded these concessions,
and that if they were refused, they would
take them by force, was not an argument
to which he could listen. lHe was willing
to yield to the voice of reason, but he
would be the last man to give way to any
thing like a threat on a question of this
nature. He had been hostile to this mea-
sure on former occasions, on the very
same grounds that he was now. He held
it to be inconsistent with the British con-
stitution, which was indissolubly united
with the church establishment; he held it
to be inconsistent with the first principles
of that constitution, to admit those within
its pale, who were actuated by religious
feelings of the most bitter hostility to the
church of England. He agreed with the
hon. member for Corfe-castle in thinking,
that if they should give their sanction to
this bill, they would depart from the an-
cient recognized principle of the consti-
tution. The constitution was built upon
this principle-to exclude every thing
that was dangerous to its existence, and
to guard against any evil which it fore-
saw, by checking its operation. Now
they were told to neglect that principle,
and to trust to the securities which had
been formed to neutralize the effects of
the evil apprehended in the present in-
stance. He was not disposed to take
that advice; but felt inclined to adhere to
the old principle, and not to desert it for
the new. His hon. and learned friend
behind him (Mr. North), in one part of
his speech, had doubted whether any
danger could arise from granting these
concessions to the Catholics; and yet, in
another part of his speech had admitted,
that he did behold some danger, but a
danger that was remote in its operation.









61] Roman Catholic Claims.
IHe left his lion. and learned friend to re-
concile this inconsistency as lie could.
He should merely remark, that the bill
itself admitted that there was some dan-
ger. If there were not, why should it
contain so many precautions? Why should
it contain a special certificate as to the
loyalty of the bishops? [Loud cries of
question !] The securities which the bill
gave against the apprehended danger were
of three kinds-the first was the declara-
tions in the preamble; the second the
oaths in the bill itself; and the third, the
commission formed to control the inter-
course of the bishops with the see of
Rome.-The right lion. gentleman was
proceeding to show, that they were all
inefficient, when the increasing noise in
the House, and the cries of adjourn,"
compelled him to desist.
Mr. Peel complained of the interruption
which was given to his right hon. friend.
His right hon. friend had had no oppor-
tunity of declaring his sentiments upon
this question, and had been anxious to
declare them on the present evening. If
it should be the opinion of the House that
the time was now come at which they
ought to adjourn, he had no objection to
it, provided it was understood, that his
right hon. friend was in possession of the
House on the next evening.
Mr. Brougham said, that from the man-
ner in which hon. members were leaving
the House, it was evident that it would
be very inconvenient to proceed further
at that moment. He believed that no
disrespect was intended to the right lion.
secretary, but that gentlemen were leav-
ing the House because they were aware
that their votes would not be wanted on
the present evening. He fully concurred
with Mr. Peel, that the right lion. gentle-
man should be considered in possession of
the House, when the debate should be
resumed on a future evening.
The debate was then adjourned till
Thursday.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, April 21.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] A pe-
tition having been presented against the
Catholic Claims, from the Protestant Dis-
senters of Margate,
Lord King said, he thought it somewhat
strange, that the Dissenters should stand
forward as they had done, against the
Catholics, and in support of an establish-


ArPnt 21, 1825. [62
ment that had never evinced any very
kindly feeling towards them. He re-
membered a great ornament of the reve-
rend Bench saying, that the Catholics
were far nearer and dearer to them than
the dissenters.
Lord Holland said, that with respect to
the petition which had been just presented,
he was not sufficiently acquainted with
the sentiments of the dissenters generally
to presume any opinion upon it. He
knew there were many dissenters who did
not come under any of the three great de-
nominations which were in some respect
sanctioned by government; but he had
not heard that any of these denominations
had sent up petitions against the Catholic
Claims. On the contrary, he had him-
self had the honour to receive petitions
from them in favour of those claims. It
was, therefore, too much' to say that the
Protestant dissenters' were generally ad-
verse to any further concessions to the
Catholics.
The Bishop of Chester said, he had a
petition to present, singular in its nature,
and remarkable from the circumstance of
its having been confided to his hands. It
was the petition of the minister, deacons,
and congregation of the Protestant dis-
senting chapel in Jewry-street, London.
Their lordships were aware that each con-
gregation of the dissenters formed a church
of their own, and their petitions expressed
only the opinion of those who signed them.
The petition of one congregation was not
supposed to express the opinion of the
whole body of the dissenters. The peti-
tion had excited his surprise; for it not
only deprecated the removal of any re-
strictions to which the Catholics were
subjected, but it expressed the entire
satisfaction of the petitioners, that such
restrictions were imposed on them. The
petitioners were anxious that no change
should take place which might in any
way endanger the safety of the church of
England, which they considered the great
bulwark of the Protestant religion. While
that church was secured, their religion
was placed on a rock. He was persuaded
that the greatbody of Protestant dissenters
viewed with no dissatisfaction the church
of England, and were sensible that under
no other were they likely to enjoy the
large and liberal toleration which they
enjoyed under it. He had great satisfac-
tion in presenting a petition of this nature;
and was glad to see the dissenters alive to
the dangers of the Protestant religion.









63] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
He was glad to see among them a spirit
of candour, which, while they were com-
pelled conscientiously to differ with the
church of England on points of faith,
made them come forward and acknow-
ledge the merits of the church establish-
ment; which he thought was the best
support of the Protestant religion, and
which, he prayed to God, might long
continue unimpaired.
Lord Calthorpe observed, that, from all
he had heard, he did not believe, however
numerous the signatures to the petitions
might be, that the great body of Protes-
tant dissenters were hostile to the claims
of the Catholics. On the contrary, he
was persuaded that those among the dis-
senters, who, from their education and
rank in life, were best qualified to form
an accurate opinion on the subject, were
decidedly favourable to concession.
Ordered to lie on the table.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, April 21.
BREACH OF PRIVILEGE-FORGERY OF
A PETITION.] Sir John Newport took
that opportunity of stating, that in con-
sequence of inquiries he had made con-
cerning the fabrication of a petition from
Ballinasloe, it had now been traced to its
fountain head. He held in his hand a
declaration on the part of persons con-
cerned, stating that he was aware of the
getting up the petition, and that he was
ready to testify on oath that no Catholic
was concerned in, or a party to the act.
In answer, therefore, to the persons who
framed the petition presented by the right
hon. Secretary for the Home Department,
which stated how miserable must that
cause be which could thus stoop to the
adoption of such foul expedients, he would
say, that the cause of those must be foul
indeed, who could attempt to throw on
parties not concerned the blame of having
fabricated this petition. The whole bu-
siness was before a committee. To that
committee he would deliver up the docu-
ment he now held, and there, he trusted,
the matter would be traced to its origin,
and whoever had been guilty of it would
be visited with the punishment of the
House. He thought it right to state thus
much, to take off the impression which
the assertion, that the petition was fabri-
cated by Roman Catholics, might have
made upon the House.
Mr. Peel said, he believed no gentle-


Roman Catholic Claims. [64
man entertained an idea that the petition
was fabricated by Roman Catholics. If
it was fabricated by a Protestant, he
should have equal pleasure in bringing
the individual to the punishment he de-
served.

ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] Sir J.
Mackintosh said, he held in his hand a
petition from the merchants and bankers
of Glasgow, in favour of the Catholic
Claims. He would not occupy a single
minute of the time of the House at that
moment, were it not that he considered
the petition in question to be entitled to
a more than ordinary share of considera-
tion. The House could not form a juster
notion of the real nature of the petition,
than that which they might derive from a
description of it in a letter which he had
received from a gentleman, not long ago
a member of that House-he meant Mr.
Kirkman Finlay; a gentleman, whose
character was too well known to require
any testimony from him. In that letter,
Mr. Finlay assured him, that no endeav-
ours had been used to have the petition
numerously signed; that the only wish
entertained by the supporters of the peti-
tion was, to give an opportunity to gen-
tlemen resident in Glasgow to state what
had long been their deliberate opinion
upon the great subject at issue; that the
names affixed to the petition were those
of persons of the highest respectability;
many of them differing very widely on
political questions. He had been informed,
that the number of signatures might have
been tenfold, had the slightest exertion
been resorted to. As it was, the list
comprehended most of the first merchants
in Glasgow, many of them zealous politi-
cal supporters of the present administra-
tion. The sentiments of the petitioners
did them so much honour, that he would
repeat them in their own words. [Here
the hon. and learned gentleman read seve-
ral extracts from the petition.] These
petitioners formed a very fair representa-
tion of Glasgow as to intellect, property,
and education; and in saying this, he was
fully aware that he was speaking of the
second city in point of magnitude in Great
Britain. This petition was signed by a
hundred merchants and bankers of Glas-
gow, who were at least as much entitled
to respect as the company of butchers and
corporation of hammermen, who had peti-
tioned against the Catholics. The hosti-
lity against the Catholics in Scotland was









61] Roman Catholic Claims.
IHe left his lion. and learned friend to re-
concile this inconsistency as lie could.
He should merely remark, that the bill
itself admitted that there was some dan-
ger. If there were not, why should it
contain so many precautions? Why should
it contain a special certificate as to the
loyalty of the bishops? [Loud cries of
question !] The securities which the bill
gave against the apprehended danger were
of three kinds-the first was the declara-
tions in the preamble; the second the
oaths in the bill itself; and the third, the
commission formed to control the inter-
course of the bishops with the see of
Rome.-The right lion. gentleman was
proceeding to show, that they were all
inefficient, when the increasing noise in
the House, and the cries of adjourn,"
compelled him to desist.
Mr. Peel complained of the interruption
which was given to his right hon. friend.
His right hon. friend had had no oppor-
tunity of declaring his sentiments upon
this question, and had been anxious to
declare them on the present evening. If
it should be the opinion of the House that
the time was now come at which they
ought to adjourn, he had no objection to
it, provided it was understood, that his
right hon. friend was in possession of the
House on the next evening.
Mr. Brougham said, that from the man-
ner in which hon. members were leaving
the House, it was evident that it would
be very inconvenient to proceed further
at that moment. He believed that no
disrespect was intended to the right lion.
secretary, but that gentlemen were leav-
ing the House because they were aware
that their votes would not be wanted on
the present evening. He fully concurred
with Mr. Peel, that the right lion. gentle-
man should be considered in possession of
the House, when the debate should be
resumed on a future evening.
The debate was then adjourned till
Thursday.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, April 21.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] A pe-
tition having been presented against the
Catholic Claims, from the Protestant Dis-
senters of Margate,
Lord King said, he thought it somewhat
strange, that the Dissenters should stand
forward as they had done, against the
Catholics, and in support of an establish-


ArPnt 21, 1825. [62
ment that had never evinced any very
kindly feeling towards them. He re-
membered a great ornament of the reve-
rend Bench saying, that the Catholics
were far nearer and dearer to them than
the dissenters.
Lord Holland said, that with respect to
the petition which had been just presented,
he was not sufficiently acquainted with
the sentiments of the dissenters generally
to presume any opinion upon it. He
knew there were many dissenters who did
not come under any of the three great de-
nominations which were in some respect
sanctioned by government; but he had
not heard that any of these denominations
had sent up petitions against the Catholic
Claims. On the contrary, he had him-
self had the honour to receive petitions
from them in favour of those claims. It
was, therefore, too much' to say that the
Protestant dissenters' were generally ad-
verse to any further concessions to the
Catholics.
The Bishop of Chester said, he had a
petition to present, singular in its nature,
and remarkable from the circumstance of
its having been confided to his hands. It
was the petition of the minister, deacons,
and congregation of the Protestant dis-
senting chapel in Jewry-street, London.
Their lordships were aware that each con-
gregation of the dissenters formed a church
of their own, and their petitions expressed
only the opinion of those who signed them.
The petition of one congregation was not
supposed to express the opinion of the
whole body of the dissenters. The peti-
tion had excited his surprise; for it not
only deprecated the removal of any re-
strictions to which the Catholics were
subjected, but it expressed the entire
satisfaction of the petitioners, that such
restrictions were imposed on them. The
petitioners were anxious that no change
should take place which might in any
way endanger the safety of the church of
England, which they considered the great
bulwark of the Protestant religion. While
that church was secured, their religion
was placed on a rock. He was persuaded
that the greatbody of Protestant dissenters
viewed with no dissatisfaction the church
of England, and were sensible that under
no other were they likely to enjoy the
large and liberal toleration which they
enjoyed under it. He had great satisfac-
tion in presenting a petition of this nature;
and was glad to see the dissenters alive to
the dangers of the Protestant religion.









63] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
He was glad to see among them a spirit
of candour, which, while they were com-
pelled conscientiously to differ with the
church of England on points of faith,
made them come forward and acknow-
ledge the merits of the church establish-
ment; which he thought was the best
support of the Protestant religion, and
which, he prayed to God, might long
continue unimpaired.
Lord Calthorpe observed, that, from all
he had heard, he did not believe, however
numerous the signatures to the petitions
might be, that the great body of Protes-
tant dissenters were hostile to the claims
of the Catholics. On the contrary, he
was persuaded that those among the dis-
senters, who, from their education and
rank in life, were best qualified to form
an accurate opinion on the subject, were
decidedly favourable to concession.
Ordered to lie on the table.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, April 21.
BREACH OF PRIVILEGE-FORGERY OF
A PETITION.] Sir John Newport took
that opportunity of stating, that in con-
sequence of inquiries he had made con-
cerning the fabrication of a petition from
Ballinasloe, it had now been traced to its
fountain head. He held in his hand a
declaration on the part of persons con-
cerned, stating that he was aware of the
getting up the petition, and that he was
ready to testify on oath that no Catholic
was concerned in, or a party to the act.
In answer, therefore, to the persons who
framed the petition presented by the right
hon. Secretary for the Home Department,
which stated how miserable must that
cause be which could thus stoop to the
adoption of such foul expedients, he would
say, that the cause of those must be foul
indeed, who could attempt to throw on
parties not concerned the blame of having
fabricated this petition. The whole bu-
siness was before a committee. To that
committee he would deliver up the docu-
ment he now held, and there, he trusted,
the matter would be traced to its origin,
and whoever had been guilty of it would
be visited with the punishment of the
House. He thought it right to state thus
much, to take off the impression which
the assertion, that the petition was fabri-
cated by Roman Catholics, might have
made upon the House.
Mr. Peel said, he believed no gentle-


Roman Catholic Claims. [64
man entertained an idea that the petition
was fabricated by Roman Catholics. If
it was fabricated by a Protestant, he
should have equal pleasure in bringing
the individual to the punishment he de-
served.

ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] Sir J.
Mackintosh said, he held in his hand a
petition from the merchants and bankers
of Glasgow, in favour of the Catholic
Claims. He would not occupy a single
minute of the time of the House at that
moment, were it not that he considered
the petition in question to be entitled to
a more than ordinary share of considera-
tion. The House could not form a juster
notion of the real nature of the petition,
than that which they might derive from a
description of it in a letter which he had
received from a gentleman, not long ago
a member of that House-he meant Mr.
Kirkman Finlay; a gentleman, whose
character was too well known to require
any testimony from him. In that letter,
Mr. Finlay assured him, that no endeav-
ours had been used to have the petition
numerously signed; that the only wish
entertained by the supporters of the peti-
tion was, to give an opportunity to gen-
tlemen resident in Glasgow to state what
had long been their deliberate opinion
upon the great subject at issue; that the
names affixed to the petition were those
of persons of the highest respectability;
many of them differing very widely on
political questions. He had been informed,
that the number of signatures might have
been tenfold, had the slightest exertion
been resorted to. As it was, the list
comprehended most of the first merchants
in Glasgow, many of them zealous politi-
cal supporters of the present administra-
tion. The sentiments of the petitioners
did them so much honour, that he would
repeat them in their own words. [Here
the hon. and learned gentleman read seve-
ral extracts from the petition.] These
petitioners formed a very fair representa-
tion of Glasgow as to intellect, property,
and education; and in saying this, he was
fully aware that he was speaking of the
second city in point of magnitude in Great
Britain. This petition was signed by a
hundred merchants and bankers of Glas-
gow, who were at least as much entitled
to respect as the company of butchers and
corporation of hammermen, who had peti-
tioned against the Catholics. The hosti-
lity against the Catholics in Scotland was










nothing more than a vestige of the ancient church in past ages. At the same time,
puritanical spirit, which was not yet an- he freely admitted, that much of that
nihilated in some parts of that country, persecution was fairly attributable to the
That puritanical zeal was once necessary episcopal reformed church of those days.
to civil and religious liberty, but he had Mr. J. P. Grant contended, that the
to complain of the chronology of this zeal; change of opinion for which the hon. and
it was now too late in its operation by 150 learned gentleman gave Scotland credit,
years. It formerly resisted religious ty- in respect to religious toleration, was not
ranny: it was now employed almost as a change of recent date; for, in 1813, a
zealously against toleration. But, how petition was presented to parliament from
were recent authorities balanced on this the general synod, calling upon the legis-
question ? In favour of the Catholics, lature to extend such relief to the Roman-
were Mr. Fox and Mr. Pitt; and against Catholics as might be compatible with the
them, were the great names of sir IHar- safety of the state.
court Lees and Archdeacon Dennis. Mr. Carus Wilson vindicated the con-
With respect to the clergy of Scotland, duct of the clergy of the established
not one-twentieth of that body were hos- church in regard to this great question.
tile to the Catholic claims; and, if the Their motives were surely entitled to as
influence and the patronage, used to ex- much respect as those of any other body
cite the hostility of the church of Eng- of petitioners; even if it should appear,
land against Catholic emancipation were that they were opposed to the bill now
fairly considered, he was convinced that pending.
not one-sixth of the established clergy Mr. Hume presented a petition from
were against the Catholic rights, Mr. John Lawless, objecting to the pend-
Mr. Hume observed, that this petition, ing bill for the reliefof the Roman Catho-
so respectably signed, would have the lies, on the principle that, in its present
effect of removing the impressions which form, it was incumbered with a variety of
were created by the other petitions from conditions derogatory to the character
Glasgow. The opinions of the well-in- and claims of those to whom it applied;
formed classes of Glasgow were decidedly and particularly with the provisions for
in favour of the Catholic claims, abolishing the franchise of the forty-shil-
Mr. Hutchinson said, he had never ling freeholders, and for paying the Ro-
heard a more important petition than that man Catholic clergy. The hon. gentle-
which had been introduced by the hon. man begged to observe, that, in his view
and learned gentleman. He had, how- of the bill, it was not incumbered with
ever, to complain of the veryindecorous either of the provisions alluded to by the
language which was stated to have been petitioner: but, whenever they came be-
made use of in the synod of Glasgow, on fore the House, that they should receive
a recent occasion, in respect to this ques- from him the fullest consideration. At the
tion; for some parties in that synod had same time he thought it would be most
dared to denounce the peasantry of Ire- injurious to the great cause of Catholic
land as the most turbulent and barbarous emancipation, if the present discussions
of all peasantries; and to depreciate the were at all interrupted by the considera-
character of their clergy, who were, how- tion of those provisions.
ever, the most conscientiously assiduous Mr. Alderman Thompson rose to pre-
in the discharge of all their clerical duties sent a petition from the inhabitants of
of any clergy in the empire. London and Westminster, and the bo-
Mr. Maxwell bore a willing testimony rough of Southwark, which was nume-
to the great respectability of these peti- rously and respectably subscribed by
tioners. With regard to the complaint about 3,000 persons, praying that no
just made by the hon. member for Cork, further concessions may be granted to the
he would fairly state, that he did regret Roman Catholics. As some erroneous
some part of the language which he un- impression seemed to have got abroad in
derstood to have been held on the occa- respect to this petition, he would state
sion in question; but, the hon.'member the manner in which it had been got up.
was bound to make considerable allowance It did not proceed from any public meet-
for the anti-Catholic feeling which pre- ing; but a number of highly respectable
failed in Scotland, on account of the persons having agreed to meet together,
persecution which was attributed by the in order to petition parliament against
people generally to the Roman Catholic further concessions to the Catholics, a
VOL. XIII. F


Roman Catholic Claims.


APRIL 21, 1829. [66i










67J HOUSE OF COMMONS,
petition was agreed bpon; and then left
at the bar of the City of London Tavern
for signatures. A copy of it was left at
a house in the Strand, and another copy
at a house in Southwark: and this being
done, the petition was signed, in the
course of a very few days, by about 3,000
persons,
Mr. J. Martin said, he wished to put
the House in possession of a few facts,
relative to the real history of this peti-
tion. On Saturday last, a friend of his had
called upon him, and stated, that the day
after this petition was agreed to, he was
passing the City of London Tavern, at
the door of which there stood a boy,
dressed in the ordinary dress of a charity-
school.boy, who begged him to walk in
and sign the petition. "What petition?"
asked his friend, "Oh, Sir," said the boy,
"a petition against the Roman Catholics."
Hereupon his friend was induced to go
in to see it. On a table in the room into
which he was shown, there were four
sheets of parchment, pen and ink, and
the names of one or two persons written
on the parchment. His friend observed,
that these sheets were without any prayer
attached to them; and asked, if he could
see the petition ? "Dear me, no-Sir"
was the reply; "the petition is not here."
The gentleman asked, if they could shew
him any copy of the petition; but he
was answered in the negative. He then
asked whether the original petition had
been agreed to, at any public meeting ?
Still the answer was "No;" but a waiter
informed him that some gentlemen had
met together, and agreed to it; and that
if his friend was so inclined, he was at
liberty to pay 5s. towards defraying the
expenses incurred on that occasion. Ha-
ving received this information, he and his
hon. friend, the member for Midhurst,
repaired to the City of London Tavern ;
and at the door they were accosted by
the same charity-boy, who requested
them to walk in and sign the petition.
They demanded a sight of it: no such
thing was there. Having stated these
facts, he left it to the House to determine
how far the petition was entitled to be
considered the petition of the inhabitants
of London and Westminster, and South-
wark to boot? No person asked him at
the tavern, whence they came, or who
they were; so that it was impossible for
the parties who conducted the business
to know who or what the persons might
be % ho subscribed their names. He had do


Roman Catholic Claims. [68
doubt that a great many petitions against
the bill had been got up in the same
way; and he was induced to think so,
not only from information that had been
communicated to him, but from the fact,
that very few or no public meetings
[hear] had been called for the purpose
of agreeing to such petitions. That used
formerly to be the mode of originating
them, but it was not had recourse to
now; from which circumstance he argued
that the public feeling that once prevailed
against concessions to the Roman Catho-
lics was now greatly and generally on the
decline [hear].
Mr. John Smith confirmed the state-
ment of his hon. friend, and reprobated
the means that were resorted to for sig-
natures of such petitions. Some persons,
acting under the delusions, or some
worse motive, chose to revive the fears
and prejudices of the people, by talking
of the fires of Smithfield being about to
be rekindled, and by always dealing with
this simply as a question ofreligious prin-
ciples, keeping out of view altogether its
immense importance as a political ques-
tion. Such disingenuous artifices he could
not too strongly deprecate.
Mr. Alderman Wood was satisfied, that
the great majority of the citizens of
London were favourable to the pending
bill-an assertion which he felt called
upon conscientiously to make, and which
he might be supposed to make the more
advisedly, because in a few months, pro-
bably, he might have again to meet his
constituents as a candidate once more
for their favour. So strong, however,
was his conviction of the immense impor-
tance of the measure of relief now con-
templated, that he should continue to
give it his support, even if such a course
should involve the forfeiture of the seat
which he had the honour to fill in that
house [cheers].
Mr. Brougham, as a sincere friend to
religious toleration, begged to return his
thanks to the worthy alderman, who had
just now distinguished himself, by an
honest, manly, and conscientious avowal
of his opinions on this great question. If
every hon. gentleman who had been
threatened with the loss of his seat as the
consequence of a similar line of conduct,
would act the same open and manly part,
he would soon discover that he would
run no danger whatever by adopting such
a course. The danger, in fact, existed
only in the mouths of those who uttered










69] Roman Catholic Claims.
the threat; and the constituents them-
selves would thank their representative
for so ingenuous and upright an avowal
of his sentiments.
Mr. Alderman Thompson stated, that
ie had just discovered, that u-on the
occasions to which the members for Mid-
hurst and Tewkesbury had alluded, the
individual, in whose custody the petition
was lodged, had been most unavoidably
out of the way. He could not at all
agree with the worthy alderman opposite
that the majority of the citizens of Lon-
don were in favour of further concessions
to the Roman Catholics. He believed
directly the reverse.
Mr. Carus Wilson thought, that the
opinions of these petitioners were dealt
with, by some gentlemen who were advo-
cates for toleration, most intolerantly.
Mr. Calcraft considered it perfectly
ridiculous to affect to consider a petition
signed by no more than 3,000 persons as
the petition of the inhabitants of London
and Westminster, and the borough of
Southwark besides. He was quite satis-
fied, that the parties who met to agree to
a petition would have called a public
meeting for that purpose, if they could
have been sure, as formerly, of a majority
in their favour. He recollected attending
a public meeting himself, in 1813, when
the public feeling was strong against the
Catholic claims. No meetings of the
kind being now called, he naturally infer-
red, that the public feeling had greatly
altered on this subject.
Sir E. Knatchbull defended the meetings
of individuals at which petitions like that
now before the House had been agreed
to. What were they who were adverse
to the Catholic claims to do? If they
met in this private way in districts adjoin-
ing their residences, they were charged
with unfairly getting up petitions: if they
called public meetings, they were taxed
with raising the cry of "No Popery."
Some lion. gentlemen really dealt most
unfairly with them.
Mr. Baring wished the House to con-
sider how far this petition could be
received, as representing the opinion of
the great mass of the inhabitants of
London, Westminster, and Southwark.
Let gentlemen look to the manner in
which it was got up, and then consider
what weight was to be attached to it. No
doubt it contained the representations of
many persons who entertained very
horiest and conscientious feelings on this


APRIL 21, 1825. [70
subject; and, so far, he had no objection
to it. But, it was not the petition of
that immense body whose sentiments it
affected to state. It was the petition of
individuals, and was got up in the most
secure, most secret, and, he would say,
least creditable manner that could be im-
agined. There was, he observed, pretty
considerable petitioning on the part of
the clergy; nothing, however, approach-
ing to a call from the majority of that
body: and with respect to the petitions
against the Catholic Claims, he might
fairly state, that not one of the counties
of England, that no one considerable
town in the country, had been fairly con-
vened to speak their sentiments on this
important question.
Mr. R. Martin differed entirely from
the lion. baronet, the member for Kent,
as to the necessity of having petitions
agreed to at private meetings. On the
contrary, he would suggest, that every
means should be used to excite public
discussion and investigation, by which
course truth was sure to be elicited, and
the real feelings of the people were cer-
tain of being made known. If those meet-
ings were held openly, there were num-
bers of gentlemen from Ireland, who were
perfectly well able to tell their own story
on this question, and who would not fail
to attend them.
Mr. Abercromby denied that any gen-
tleman on his side of the House had ever
complained of the conduct of individuals
who had endeavoured fairly to collect the
sense and feelings of the people on any
particular question. What he and others
complained of was, that appeals should
be made to the prejudices and to the worst
passions of the people. In the present
instance, this system had been resorted
to. An attempt had been made to raise
a No popery" cry, on allegations that
were unfounded. It was but the other
day that he had read an account of a
meeting, at which a rev. gentleman was
described as having asked, Are you pre-
pared to see Protestants burned by the
Catholics, as was the practice formerly?"
It was this sort of unfair conduct to which
he objected. He did not complain of any
honest appeal to the judgment of the peo-
ple; because, on their judgment, when
they were suffered to exercise it without
influence or bias, he most confidently re-
lied. But when appeals were made to the
passions of the people-when every thing
was done to awaken their worst feelings,









711 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
and to put their reason asleep-he must
condemn such a proceeding, because it
was manifestly unjust and ungenerous.
Ordered to lie on the table.

ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIEF BILL.] Sir
Francis Burdett moved the order of the
day, for resuming the adjourned debate
on the amendment proposed to be made
to the question, "That the bill be now
read a second time; which amendment
was, to leave out the word now,' and at
the end of the question to add the words
upon this day six months,' "
Mr. Goulburn proceeded to address the
chair. He said he had, on the former
evening, endeavoured to impress on the
minds of gentlemen, that the contents of
the bill now before the House afforded
evidence that they would incur danger by
adopting the course that they were now
called upon to pursue. He had stated
then, and he would repeat it, that he
could not comprehend the necessity of
introducing all these securities, unless
danger was apprehended. He proposed
now to examine the nature of those secu.
cities, to see how far they were applica-
ble to meet the danger which they were
intended to guard against, and to inquire
in what degree they were calculated to
afford protection against the risks which
were likely to be incurred. Those secu-
rities were of three descriptions :-first,
the declarations which were contained in
the preamble of the bill; second, the
oaths required to be taken in certain
cases; and thirdly, that which was con.
sidered the great security, the commission
for the purpose of assuring the Crown of
the loyalty of those who were hereafter to
hold high situations in the Roman Catholic
church, by superintending and controlling
the correspondence between the catholic
bishops and foreign powers. With respect
to the first class of securities-those con-
tained in the preamble of the bill-they
did not appear to him to be in any
degree valid. The first part of the pream-
ble relates to the Protestant Succession
to the throne of these realms, which it
sets forth was established permanently
and inviolably." At present, the Protes-
tantism of the throne, and also the Pro-
testantism of parliament, were provided
for ; but, the moment this bill was passed,
the Protestantism of the Crown being pre-
served, it was declared, that it would be
of no consequence what was the religious
persuasion of those who filled high politi-


Roman Catholic ReliefBill. [72
cal offices in the state. It was important
to know how far this arrangement was
satisfactory to those with whom they were
now treating, They ought to consider
how far this established Protestantism of
the Crown, on which they so much relied,
was likely to be attended to: they ought
to examine into the degree of dependence
which they could fairly place on those
who called for this bill. IHe thought he
saw, in this measure, no slight indication
of the feeling, on this point, of those who
were to be benefitted by this bill. In his
opinion, so far from this Protestantism of
the Crown being viewed by this measure
as inviolably fixed, it was considered as a
matter that had its limits. It was quite
clear, that those who were connected will
the measure, cast forward their views to
that period when the Crown would be no
longer Protestant. This was apparent
from the letter of a gentleman, whose
opinions on this question had very great
weight, and whose evidence before the
committee had tended to alter the senti-
ments of the hon. member for A rmagh on
this subject. He alluded to Mr. O'Con-
nel, who had taken care to guard himself
most sedulously in his expressions on this
point. That gentleman said, that the
inviolability of the Protestant Succession
would be maintained in the present suc-
cession. There was not one, he observed,
amongst the Roman Catholics, who would
wish to see it altered-in that feeling the
Roman Catholics all concurred." But,
did not this point at a period, when the
present family might become extinct ?-a
contingency to which he adverted with
the most anxious desire and feeling that
such a period might be far distant. Did
not this seem to suppose that a period
might arrive, when Roman Catholics
might become eligible to the throne?
The next point to which the preamble
adverted was the discipline of the Protes-
tant episcopal church of England and
Ireland, which was to be permanently
and inviolably established, in conformity
with the act of union. If he correctly
understood the act of Union, the fair con-
struction of that act was, that the only
establishment should be, the Protestant
episcopal church of England and Ireland,
as it existed at the time of the Union. He
did not think it was intended, at any pe-
riod whatever, to place any other religion
on a level with the Protestant episcopal
church of England and Ireland; but, he
had no difficulty in saying, that there was,










73] Roman Catholic Relief Bii
in the bill before the House, the first re-
cognition of the Roman Catholic church
of Ireland. He had heard his right hon.
and learned friend, the Attorney-general
for Ireland, discuss this question. And
what had he said ? He had stated, that so
long as individuals remained merely bi-
shops of the Roman Catholic church in
Ireland, it was legal and proper; but that
when they denominated themselvesbishops
of the Roman Catholic church of Ireland,
it was illegal and improper. And yet,
what were they now called upon to do ?
They were asked to recognize perma-
nently a body of bishops of the Roman
Catholic church of Ireland, who were to
be paid out of the general funds of this
country. There was no one provision
which he could discover, that went to
preserve the established Protestant epis-
copal church of England and Ireland, as
it was recognized at the Union. The
Protestant church of Ireland was, at the
Union, permanently fixed, as the estab-
lished church of that country. But now
an attempt was made to place on a level
with it the Roman Catholic church of
Ireland. When they saw this, could they
be idle enough to suppose that any con-
fidence could be placed in the pompous
declarations with which the measure was
accompanied ?
He came, in the next place, to the
supposed security which would be derived
from the oaths that were to be adminis-
tered to Roman Catholics. And here he
agreed with the hon. member for Corfe
Castle in the view which he had taken of
those oaths. They applied only to tem-
poral matters, but left untouched the spi-
ritual and ecclesiastical authority of a
foreign power, He would ask gentlemen,
as that honourable member had done, to
look at the situation in which they would
be placed, if this bill passed. They were
obliged to take the oath of supremacy,
declaring that the ecclesiastical and spi-
ritual authority of the pope was not, and
never should be recognized in this realm.
And yet, by this act, other persons would
be allowed to sit in parliament who did
recognize that spiritual and ecclesiastical
dominion. He thought that the hon.
baronet, and those who drew up the bill,
ought not to have placed the House in
such a difficult situation as this. Gentle.
men were called on, either to perjure
themselves, or to alter the plain and evi-
dent meaning of words. A considerable
portion of those oaths was, he knew, taken


7. ArnIL 21, 1825. [74
from the acts already passed for the gene-
ral relief of the Roman Catholics; but,
notwithstanding that, he could not help
looking at the measure with very great
jealousy and suspicion. He conceived
that those concessions were fraught with
danger to the church establishment; and,
in his opinion, the oaths attached to the
bill afforded the Protestants but very little
security. The Roman Catholics were
called on by the oath, to disclaim and
disavow any intention to subvert the
established church. That was clear and
decisive; but, when it was accompanied
with the words for the purpose of sub-
stituting a Roman Catholic establishment
in its stead," he would ask, whether it did
not allow a considerable degree of latitude
for invading the rights of the Protestant
establishment, so long as there was not, in
the mind of the invader, a desire to esta-
blish tile Catholic church in its room ?
He could acquit the Roman Catholics of
any wish to overturn the Protestant
church ; but, for all that, he could easily
conceive, that a conscientious Catholic
might think himself justified in removing
an establishment which he looked upon as
a monstrous heresy and a great evil. Such
a man might think it a moral duty, inti-
mately connected with moral principle, to
remove a church, which appeared to him
to produce no benefit, but to create evil.
And while he was on this point, he
wished the House to look at the senti-
ments promulgated by an individual who
was highly respected by the Catholic
body. He meant Dr. Doyle. Gentle-
men had, in the course of the debate, re-
ferred to that reverend prelate, and he
wished them to examine the terms in
which he had spoken of the Protestant
establishment. He had stated, that such
an establishment did not exist in any
other civilized country, and that it was
peculiarly unsuited to a nation almost ex-
clusively devoted to tillage. He had
asked, what did the Protestant clergyman
give to the peasant for the tithes he re-
ceived from him ? Speaking of the Pro-
testant church, he exclaimed, From
what heaven have you fallen! Tell us
the names of the bishops by whom your
establishment was founded. Turn over
books, and point out to us the names of
the apostles who were members of your
church-a church jointly formed, in its
early history, of laymen and ecclesiastics,
whose hypocrisy, lies, and crimes, were
most disgraceful." .









75] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
But, there was another circumstance to
which he begged to call the attention of
the House. In the bill which had been
formerly introduced into this House by
his right hon. friend, the Secretary of
State for the Foreign Department, some
efficient security had been proposed by
means of an oath. The oath prescribed
by that bill was to be administered to all
ranks of the clergy; but, in the bill now
before the House, the oaths substituted
for that to which he alluded was only re-
quired to be taken by persons who were
admitted to the office of dean or bishop.
As far, therefore, as an oath could be ob-
ligatory, the one contained in the former
bill bound all the Roman Catholic clergy
of the kingdom against any attempt to-
wards subverting the established religion.
The present bill, however, seemed to be
in this respect framed rather with a defe-
rence to Catholic prejudices, than with
any view towards the feelings of the Pro-
testants, or towards providing a protection
against any possible danger.
He came now to the third security
which the bill proposed to establish. This
was the appointment of a commission of
four Catholic bishops, for the purpose of
regulating the intercourse of the see of
Rome with his majesty's subjects in Ire-
land. But, even here the bill did not
provide that they should disclose all that
might be contained in such intercourse,
nor, indeed, any part of it, unless they
should be of opinion that it was injurious
to the tranquillity of the kingdom ; thus
leaving them to be the sole judges of the
question. He did not know by whose
advice, nor at whose suggestion, this new
cabinet had been formed, or upon what
principle of constitutional policy it was,
that a commission of four Catholic bishops
was thought necessary to advise his ma-
jesty on matters of such importance as
the tranquillity and safety of the state.
Still less could he perceive what great
advantages might be expected to result
from this commission, whose chief, if not
sole duty would be, to report only such
matters as would be perfectly innoxious.
That much mischief might be done by
a commission intrusted with such powers,
he saw too plainly; and, if he were a per-
son desirous of carrying on an intercourse
dangerous in time of peace, or traitorous
in time of war, he would wish for no
more efficient engine than this commission.
He congratulated England upon the pro-
tection which had been thus provided for


Roman Catholic ReliefBill. [76
her establishments, for the security of her
religious and civil liberties, and upon the
appointment of four Catholic bishops to
be the guardians of the Protestant reli-
gion I So much for the protection which
it was said had been raised against the
possibility of innovation! so much for the
premium which was held out for making
concessions to the Catholics !
But, he should perhaps be told, that
not only these but other advantages were
afterwards to spring up and to be intro-
duced, when the law now proposed should
have been carried into full effect. He
knew that it was the favourite policy of
those gentlemen who advocated this bill,
to keep out of sight many of the ulterior
measures with which, if it should once be
carried, they hoped to follow it up. On
such, however, as met the public view, he
should make a very few observations. In
the first place, it was offered to give up
the franchise of the forty-shilling free-
holders; and this was presented as a sort
of bonus, either to induce the House to
pass this bill, or to reward them for hav-
ing done so. He wished, however, to ask
the lion. members who had espoused that
proposition, whether they intended to
effect this disfranchisement at once?
They admitted that the existence of the
forty-shilling freeholders was an evil in the
system of Ireland, and that it ought to be
abolished. Could they abolish it at pre-
sent; or, must they not wait the expira-
tion of leases now in existence ? One of
these two things they must be prepared to
do. The first, for his own part, he thought
practicable; and if they proposed to do the
second, then, he asked the hon. members
for Armagh and for Downe, what became,
in the mean time,ofthe security against the
evils which they admitted ? To the pro-
position for paying the Roman Catholic
clergy in such manner as befitted their rank
and utility, he had no hesitation in agree-
ing. But, to recognize the several digni-
ties which they enjoyed in their own
church, and to give to them all the cha-
racter and station of a regular establish-
ment, he could not consent, because he
thought that to do so would be to inflict a
great evil on Ireland. To have iB every
diocese two bishops of opposite principles
in religion, would give rise to frequent
disputes, and still more frequent inconve-
niencies, and must, ultimately, be attended
with danger to the country. Such a
course, too, would be directly at variance
with the principles of the Reformation.










APRIL 21, 1825. [78


If, as had been said more than once on
recent occasions, the Catholic religion
had lost some of those features, which
used to be its distinguishing characteris-
tics-if it was so altered as to have nearly
approximated to the church of England,
as some of the persons who had given
evidence on the committee would have it
believed, why should not steps be taken
to unite them, to reconcile opinions now
so nearly the same, and to remove that
odium theologicum, which an hon. and
learned gentleman had said became al-
ways more violent in an inverse proper.
tion, as the disputants approached nearer
to each other. But, had gentlemen who
advocated the creating an establishment
for the Roman Catholic clergy well con-
sidered whether the country would be
disposed to pay additional taxes for the
support of that church? If the Protes-
tants of England, and the episcopalians
of Scotland, even were content to do so,
what feeling would be entertained upon
the subject by the numerous body of dis-
senters ? If the Catholic clergy permitted
their flocks to consult the Scriptures as
the rule of their moral conduct, then,
perhaps, some of the danger with which
the present measure appeared to be
fraught would be removed; but while, by
the authority of the pope, that which was
obviously a crime in morals, was held to
be no crime in religion, it was impossible
to deny the existence of that danger.
The objections which the Catholics had
against the differences of the Scriptures
could not be forgotten; and, notwith-
standing the explanations which had been
attempted on this point, the fact remained
sufficiently proved. Even Dr. Doyle, in
his recent examination, had said, in an-
swering a question as to the infallibility
of the church, that it was held to be in-
fallible on all the articles of faith, and
with respect to the moral virtues.
The bill before the House gave to the
Catholics a power of combining, which
they did not possess at present; and,
since the church was believed by them to
be infallible on all points of moral duty,
they might not only be induced but com-
pelled to combine for any purpose which
might seem desirable to the head of the
church. Without attempting to magnify
this danger, it was enough for him to
point out its existence, for the purpose
ofjustifying his refusal to assent to any
thing which might by a possibility, how-
ever remote, bring the established church


of England into jeopardy. Attempts had
already been made to invade the property
of the church, and particularly the pos-
sessions attached to it in Ireland. The
hon. member for Montrose, whose activity
would prevent him from letting slip any
advantage that might offer for effecting
that system of reduction of which he was
the advocate, would find his efforts coun-
tenanced and fortified by Catholic mem-
bers, who could not be expected to have
any other feelings than those of hostility
towards the church establishment. It was
impossible to foresee what might be the
success of a renewal of those attempts
which had been hitherto defeated, when
they should be backed by the influence
to which he alluded. Looking, therefore,
at the bill in the various points of view
which presented themselves, he believed
that it would aggravate the evils which
it pretended to remedy. Such were the
objections which he felt against this mea-
sure ; and a sense of the duty which rested
upon him, and an earnest desire to pre-
serve the established religion and the li-
berties of the country from all crafty de-
vices and open attacks which should be
attempted against them, compelled him
to express those objections. From a
sincere belief that the bill now before the
House was only the opening to a series
of measures, the ultimate object of which
was the subversion of those principles on
which the Reformation was effected, and
the Revolution was established, he offered
it his decided opposition, and he trusted
that he should have the support of the
House in the vote which he intended to
give.
Mr. J. W. Maxtvell rose at the same
time with Lord Binning, but the latter
gave way. We understood the hon.
member to say, that he had changed his
opinion upon the question of granting fur-
ther concessions to the Catholics, and
that under that feeling he should give his
vote in favour of the bill.
Lord Binning said, that although he
had given way to the hon. member who
had just sat down, under the mistake that
it was the first time he had risen to address
the House, he was not sorry for it, because
it gave him an opportunity of seeing how
much the power of conviction had gained
upon the gentlemen ofIreland,inreference
to the question now before the House.
In the course of his parliamentary life, he
had never experienced more pleasure than
that which he had derived from the speech


Roman Cathonlic Relief Bill.









79] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
of the hon. member for Armagh, who had
commenced the debate on the former
evening-a speech not more distinguished
for the talent which that hon. member
displayed whenever he addressed the
House, than it must be admired for the
candour, the courage, and the ingenuous-
ness with which it was delivered. With
the same pleasure did he hear the speech
of the gallant officer (colonel Forde) who,
after a long absence in the discharge of
his duty, returned to his native country,
and, overcoming all the prejudices of early
associations, came down to the House to
act upon the conviction of his conscience,
that such a measure was demanded by
actual necessity, and give his support
to this bill. The right hon. Secretary
for Ireland, in the conclusion of his
speech, had given an alarming but a true
picture of the state of Ireland. In that
picture he agreed with the right hon gen-
tleman, but not in the conclusion which
he had drawn from it.-The right hon.
gentleman had described the established
church as not being the church of the
great body of the people; and he had
stated, that the people were discontented
with, and hostile to, that church. And,
what was the conclusion to which the
right hon. gentleman had come from this
picture? What was his remedy ? Why,
to leave things as they were. In this he
differed with the right hon. Secretary.
He looked at the subject differently. He
thought the church insecure: his object
was to strengthen it; and this he would
effect, by taking away those ramparts
which only tended to weaken it. He
would, as well as the right hon. gen-
tleman, retain to the church the support
of the law ;- but he would superadd to it
the chance of extending itself in the affec-
tions of the people, by the respect it
would command. The best security of
the church was the truth of its doctrines.
In these he believed; as well as in the re-
spectability of its ministers; and, if they
but broke away the disadvantages under
which it laboured, by the handle with
which it furnished its enemies, they would
thereby give it more security, than could
be given to it by all the laws now in ex-
istence, or which might be hereafter en-
acted. Of all the remarkable circum-
stances which attended the discussion of
this question, none was more remarkable
than the change of the grounds upon
which it was opposed. Those who, like
himself, had sat long enough in parlia-


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [8(
ment to hear the good old No popery"
cry, must recollect the time when a learned
member of that House (Dr. Duigenan)
used to come down with a load of old
documents and books, to abuse and ana-
thematise all the popes, and the councils
of the darkened ages of popery, and to
impute to the Catholics of the present
day, the absurd doctrines which he then
exposed. They must also recollect how
that learned doctor was followed on the
other side by an hon. baronet (sir J. C.
Hippesley), who, too, used to come down
loaded with old books, to impugn and
refute the doctrines advanced on the op-
posite side. Fortunately, all that rubbish
was now at an end. It was no longer
imputed to Catholics, that it was a princi-
ple of their religion, that they could not
hold faith with heretics; or that Catholics
were compelled, at the command of the
pope, to disobey their lawful princes. The
evidence of Dr. Doyle had been frequently
made the subject of allusion, and its im-
portance made it worthy of such distinc-
tion. It had always been the habit of the
opponents of the Catholics to say, It is
very well for you Protestants to disclaim
the doctrines which we impute to the
Catholics, but let us hear a Catholic bi-
shop do so." Now, the friends of the
Catholics had given the evidence of a
Catholic bishop; and yet their opponents
were not satisfied with it. It had, much
to his surprise, been made a matter of
complaint, that the oath contained in the
bill, pledged the Catholics to deny the
temporal authority of the pope. He said,
that this objection surprised him; because
it was always on the ground of the inter-
ference of the pope in temporal concerns,
that concession to the Catholics had been
declared to be dangerous. And, whilst
he was on the subject of oaths, he must
declare, that he thought some change was
necessary to be made, with respect to
those oaths which Protestants were ob-
liged to take on entering parliament. It
was not civil to call people idolators; par-
ticularly when it happened not to be true.
It had been stated, by the hon. member
for Derry, that the opinions contained in
the evidence of Dr. Doyle, and in the
letters published under the signature of
I. K. L., of which Dr. Doyle was the au-
thor, were at variance. He had read the
letters in question, as well as the evidence
of the reverend gentleman; and he must
confess that he could not discover any in-
consistency between them, The noble










$1] Roman Catholic Relief Bill. APRIL 21, 1825. [b2
lord here read several passages from the wealthy country to consider. The right
evidence and the letters of Dr. Doyle, to hon. Secretary for Ireland had said, that
corroborate his opinion. The denial of it would be extremely hard to make the
the doctrines which had hitherto been Presbyterians of Scotland, and the dis-
supposed to form part of the Catholic senters and the members of the established
creed did not rest with Dr. Doyle, but church in England, pay for the support
was also made by the titular archbishop of a church which they did not approve
of Dublin, the titular archbishop of Ar- of. That was the very thing of which six
magh, the primate of Ireland, and Mr. millions ofCatholicsinIreland complained.
Blake. Surely, archbishop Murray could They were compelled to support a church
not be answerable for the writings of his to which they did not belong, and of
brother, Dr. Doyle. He believed that which they did not approve. The Roman
the respectable individuals to whom he Catholic church existed in Ireland, and
had alluded were incapable of telling a could not be got rid of; and the only
lie to the committee of the House of question to be determined was, whether
Commons, or of perjuring themselves be- it should exist in a way which was safe
fore the House of Lords. He joined with and advantageous for the country, or in
the hon. member for Armagh in placing a way which must be the source of con-
complete reliance upon the evidence stant danger.-He had now, he believed,
which had been given before the commit- gone through most of the material topics
tees.-He would now say a few words which had been adverted to by his right
with respect to the two measures which it hon. friend. He could not help congra-
was understood were to be consequent tulating the House and the country, on
upon the passing of the bill before the the great progress which this question had
House. First, with regard to the dis- made. He was persuaded that this bill,
franchisenent of the -forty-shilling free- or a bill similar to this, would be found
holders. He would not willingly consent to be the most effectual remedy for the
to deprive any man, however humble, of evils under which Ireland laboured. It
a privilege which he possessed. But, it had been said, that it would be only a
was necessary to consider who were the sedative; but, admitting it to be only a
forty-shilling freeholders. It was in evi- sedative, it was a matter of no slight im-
dence that they felt no attachment to the portance to conciliate the hearts and minds
privilege in question; but, on the contrary, of the people of Ireland; for they might
that they would gladly resign it. He could then apply themselves with effect to the
not conceive that their disfranchisement consideration of such other measures as
would ever he drawn into a precedent; the wisdom of parliament might deem
because, before a similar measure could necessary for the perfect re-establish-
be adopted, it would be necessary that ment of the peace and prosperity of that
there should be a country or district placed country. The misery of the present state
in precisely the same circumstances as of things was, that while the Catholics of
Ireland; and, in addition, that there should Ireland were excluded from a participa-
exist the same motive for the measure. tion in the constitution, no efforts of the
That motive was the tranquillity and hap- legislature could be effectual ; while their
piness of the country. Under these cir- feelings were thus outraged, every thing
cumstances, he was disposed to consent came poisoned to their taste; even the
to the measure which the Protestants of fountains of justice were embittered, so
Ireland called for, and which the Catholics long as they considered themselves a de-
were disposed to agree to.-The hon. graded, stigmatized, and excluded sect.
member for Corfe Castle objected to the He hoped, most sincerely, that the House
expense which would be caused by mak- would proceed in the course of legislation
ing a provision for the Catholic clergy, which it had so conspicuously begun, that
He could not stop to argue the point, it would send this bill to the other House
Economy on such an occasion was mis- of parliament; and, finally, that the united
placed. If he were convinced, that it sense of the legislature would impose on
was necessary for the safety of the state the government of the country the neces-
to pay the Roman Catholic priesthood, sity of carrying into execution the mea.
he would do it without caring for the ex- I sures which parliament, in its wisdom,
pense.' Whether the expense would be policy, and justice, had enacted.
one, or two, or three hundred thousand Mr. Wallace said, that, upon a question
pounds, it was not worthy of a great and of so much importance as that which was
VOL, XIII. G


_. ....


_ _~ ~___ r~^









'83] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
now under the consideration of the
House, he could not permit himself to
give a silent vote. No man could be
more anxious than he was to put an end
to the dissensions which had so long un-
happily prevailed in Ireland, and to re-
store peace and prosperity to that coun-
try; but, he did not think that these
objects were likely to be in any degree
accomplished by the present measure. If
he had really thought that those desirable
objects would be effected by the conces-
sion of the Catholic claims, it would
have been much more gratifying to him
to give a cordial assent to this measure,
even at the expense of a constitutional
sacrifice, than to give it, as he felt it his
duty to do, a reluctant opposition. If
the claims of the Catholics were conceded
at another time, it might be supposed
that they were conceded in consequence
of the respectful solicitations of that body;
but, when he reflected on the tone and
temper of the Catholic Association ; when
he considered, that the legislature had, in
this very session, found it necessary to put
down that Association, what would be
the inference, if at such a moment, the
disabilities under which the Catholics of
Ireland laboured were removed ? At
another time they might have deliberated
calmly and dispassionately on this ques-
tion: at another time they might have
conceded, without compromising the dig-
nity and character of that House; but if
they passed the bill at the present mo-
ment, it would be considered as a peace-
offering, on the part of the House, for
having put down the Catholic Associa-
tion; and a virtual surrender of the digni-
ty of Parliament to the leaders of that
Association. When a great change was
proposed, it ought to be clearly shewn,
that there was a fair and rational ground
to expect that the advantages held out to
them were likely to accrue from it.
There were two views in which this mea-
sure might he considered: it might either
be considered as a measure intended to
give satisfaction to a great proportion of
the population of Ireland, or as a practi-
cal measure directed immediately to the
removal of the evils under which Ireland
laboured. In neither of those views did
he conceive that the measure was calcu-
lated to produce any beneficial effect. On
the other hand, he could not but appre-
hend much danger to the constitution of
the country; for, unless it could be shewn
that the spirit of hostility to Protestant


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [E4
institutions, which characterized the Ro-
man Catholic religion, was changed, he
was not prepared to give his assent to
any further concessions. But, it was
said, that the Catholic religion, had en-
tirely changed its character, and that the
Catholic Church had renounced its high
pretensions Where and how, he should
be glad to know, had those pretensions
been renounced ? Was it on the occasion
of the re-establishment of the Jesuits
The only security that would satisfy him
would be a substantial interference in the
appointment of the Catholic bishops.
The right hon. member went at length into
the various topics connected with the
question; but the noise in the House
prevented us from catching his observe.
tions.
Mr. Portman gave his support to the
measure, because he felt that it was cal-
led for by imperious necessity. In Ire-
land there was no encouragement for in-
dustry. The Catholic peer, or Catholic
gentleman, had no incitement to give
employment to the people; and he felt
that this measure was calculated to re-
move that evil, as well as to promote the
tranquillity of Ireland, and the prosperity
of the empire. Noscitur a sociis" was a
proverb often used against Catholics; but
he would employ it in their defence; and
when he saw the Catholic soldier and Ca-
tholic sailor fighting bravely and fearlessly
beside their Protestant comrades in de-
fence of their common country, he would
call in another proverb to their aid,and say,
" Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur."
He should therefore give the measure his
most hearty concurrence; because he felt
that its accomplishment would confer
glory on parliament, and infuse new vigour
into the constitution.
Lord Valletort said, that he had to avow
himselfanother amongst themany converts
that had been made in support of this
question; and he felt proud of the triumph
which his reason had enabled him to a-
chieve over the strong and early prejudices
which he had unjustly entertained. He felt
persuaded, if others would act with equal
sincerity, that there would be many more
deserters from the opponents of the bill;
and he entertained a perfect conviction
that, although the measure miglt be de-
layed for a season, it would ultimately
succeed.
Mr. Secretary Canning rose, amidst
general cries from all sides of the House,
and spoke to the following effect:-









APRIL 21, 1825. t86


Often as it has fallen to my lot to
address the House on this important
question, I cannot approach the consider-
ation of it on this occasion without feel-
ings of the deepest anxiety. And yet it
must be confessed, that the subject now
presents itself under appearances unusu-
ally cheering. Whether the opinion of
this country be not, in fact, as strongly
opposed to concession to the Roman
Catholics, as I believed it to be at the
beginning of the session-or that the
abatement of the causes which at that
particular period existed (I refer of course
to the proceedings of the Catholic Asso-
ciation) have proportionably diminished
that opposition, I gladly admit that the
number of petitions presented to this
House, is not such as to indicate that
vehement and stirring hostility with which
the Catholic question has been heretofore
assailed. This circumstance is of itself
highly,and to me, I confess, unexpectedly,
satisfactory.
It is an additional satisfaction, that
among the petitions which have been pre-
sented to the House, there is, in many of
them, amidst all the sincerity and zeal
with which they are laudably distinguish-
ed, a manifest ignorance, both of the
state of the existing laws respecting the
Catholics, and of the precise objects to
which the present bill is directed. This
ignorance-this want of accurate know-
ledge as to matters of law-is no dispa-
ragement to any man, nor is it stated by
me in that intent. I state it merely as a
cheering circumstance, because prejudices
founded on error and misapprehension
will, in honest and ingenuous minds,
give way when that error is removed. I
feel, Sir, as strongly as any man, the
duty of throwing open the doors of par-
liament to the petitions of the people.
The opinions of the country, whatever
they may be, are entitled to the most
respectful and attentive consideration.
But, after such consideration, it is the
duty of the House to proceed firmly
upon its own judgment. With respect,
therefore, to all British subjects-but es-
pecially to that class of them who con-
ceive themselves more particularly inter-
ested on the present occasion-who are
placed in advance, as it were, as guardians
of the religious institutions of the country
-with respect to the Clergy of England,
I not only admit their right to make
known their opinions to parliament-but
I should think them wanting in their duty
4 *


if they did not come forward with the fair
and candid expression of those opinions.
Even in the petitions, however, from that
most respectable body, I have found some
erroneous apprehensions, as to the real
state of the law as it stands at present,
with respect to Roman Catholics [hear,
hear]. I repeat, that I impute no blame
to the individuals who have acted under
these erroneous apprehensions. They
share those apprehensions with many other
persons-with some of the members of
this House-who have not thelike excuse
of constant professional avocations to
justify their want of accurate information
upon topics not within their daily occupa-
tion. But, the fact is as I have described
it: and the description applies peculiarly
to one petition (to which I will call the
attention of the House without mention-
ing the place from whence it comes),
which grounds its whole opposition to
the bill now pending, upon an entire
mistake as to the purpose which is meant
to be effected by it. These petitioners
pray, that this House, will not extend
to the Roman Catholics, those privileges
and immunities which are withholden from
other classes of dissenters." Now, if I
were called upon to declare what my ob-
ject is in supporting this bill, I would say,
that it is, to place the Catholic dissenters
precisely on the same footing as the other
dissenters; and I contend, therefore, that,
so far as that object is concerned, this
petition, and the other petitions of which
it is a specimen, do not militate against
the bill before the House. Protestant
dissenters have voices in the legislature.
They have facilities of access to seats in
this House, of which Roman Catholics are
altogether deprived; and I know of no
privileges not enjoyed by any description
of dissenters which would be enjoyed by
Roman Catholics, if this bill were to pass
into a law.
It is a gross and palpable mistake,
therefore, in these petitioners, to suppose
that any privileges and immunities are
intended to be communicated by this bill
to the Roman Catholic dissenters, which
are withholden from dissenters of other
denominations. And the prayer of their
petitions, therefore, being preferred in
error, is to be met with explanation, not
with compliance.
Sir, this bill does not tend, as is
imagined by the petitioners, to equalize
all religions in the state; but to equalize
all the dissenting sects of religion. I am,


Roman Catholic Rcliff Bill.









87] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
and this bill is, for a predominant Esta-
blished Church; and I would not, even in
appearance, meddle with the laws which
secure that predominance to the church
of England-I would not sanction any
measure which, even by inference, could
be shewn to be hostile to that establish-
ment. But I am for the removal of prac-
tical grievance. And in this view of the
subject, what is the fact with respect to
the Protestant dissenters? It is this--that
they labour under no practical grievance
on account of their religious differences
from us; that they sit with us in this
House, and share our councils-that they
are admissible to the offices of the state,
and have, in fact, in very numerous
instances been admitted to them-but
they hold these privileges subject to an
annual renewal by the annual act of
Indemnity;-so with the Roman Catholics,
if this bill should pass. They will be
admitted only to the same privileges, and
they will hold them liable to the same
condition.
I hope, Sir, that I shall have satisfied
the respectable class of' petitioners to
whom I refer, that their particular fears
are unfounded. I must add, with refer-
ence to some of the petitions from dis-
senters, that I am astonished at the hostile
language which those petitions speak,
coming, as it does, from men who them-
selves differ so widely from the established
church; and who, nevertheless, enjoy a
community of civil and political advantages
with churchmen. This language, and the
more than usually theological turn of the
present debate, make it necessary for me
to say a word or two, though very reluc-
tantly, on that view of the question. It
surprises me, I own, that the church of
England looks upon the doctrines of the
Catholic dissenters as so much more ad-
verse and dangerous to their own, than
those of other classes of dissenters, to
whom it appears to avow much less anti-
pathy. What is it that prevents the Ro-
man Catholics from taking their seats in
this House ? The oath against transub-
stantiation.-God forbid that, within these
walls, and before this assembly, I should
irreverently presume to enter into any
discussion upon the articles of the Chris-
tian faith; but, when we select the belief
in transubstantiation, as a ground for ex-
clusion from parliament, is it not ex-
traordinary that the man who believes in
consubstantiation should be invited to sit
by our side in this House, and to enjoy all


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [88
the privileges of the constitution? I do
not presume to define the nice distinctions
by which the two doctrines are separated
from each other; but is that difference of
a nature to justify so wide a political
distinction ? The man who can distinguish
so accurately between them as to pro-
nounce the holders of the one doctrine to
be loyal subjects, and the holders of the
other to be of necessity traitors, may be
envied for an understanding fitted rather
for subtle disputation than for the pur-
poses of common life.
If it is said, however, that the doctrine
of transubstantiation is selected as a test
of political faith, not on account of any
intrinsic vice in the doctrine, but because
the holders of it were once Jacobites: I
answer, that it is then, indeed, most mon-
strous to retain, as a substantive ground
of exclusion, that which (by the very ar-
gument) was originally selected, not be-
cause it was a corruption of faith, but
because it was a symbol of disloyalty, now
that that disloyalty is confessedly and
notoriously extinct.
But the Catholics hold the doctrine of
exclusive salvation. Why, Sir, are not
many other, I will not say almost all,
churches exclusive upon some articles of
faith? Has not the church of England
her Athanasian Creed -of which, without
irreverence, I may say, that it is, at best,
only a human exposition of the great
mysteries of Christianity. And yet it
is expressly declared in that creed, that
they who believe not the truth of that
human exposition, cannot be saved.
With this fact before us, and with the
still more striking fact, that we have
constantly, that we have at this very
moment, sitting among us in this House,
men who do not hold this belief, and
against whom, therefore, we pronounce
the sentence that they are excluded from
salvation, can we exclude Catholics from
the enjoyment of their civil rights, on the
ground that they also preach the doctrine
of exclusion ?
The doctrine of absolution is the next
ground on which the opponents of the
bill rest. Sir, I am not about to defend
that doctrine; but we must in fairness
allow the Catholics to qualify it with their
own explanation. We require the like
privilege in our own case. It appears,
from the evidence before the committee
of the House of Lords, that the efficacy
of the assumed power of absolution de-
pends on the disposition of the party









APRIL 21, 1825. [00


receiving it, and not on the abstract
power of the person who gives it. It
depends on the sincere repentance of the
party who receives it, on his resolution
to amend, and to repair, so far as he is
able, the evils he has done. If this be
so, is this opinion confined to the Roman
Catholic ? I will ask any man to read one
sentence in our own Prayer Book, in the
office for the Visitation of the Sick. I will
not profane the words by quotation in
debate; but I think any candid man who
reads them will admit, that taken nakedly,
by themselves, they appear to mean much
more than they really mean ; and that they
require to be qualified, as in fact they are
qualified, in our Common-prayer, with
explanation.
Do not let it be imputed to me, Sir,
that I mean to say that there are no im-
portant distinctions between the Protes-
tant and Catholic Creeds; differences
wide enough to make me rejoice that we
have separated from the church of Rome;
and have purified the doctrine and the
discipline of our church from its glosses
and corruptions. But the question that
we are discussing is a practical political
question. It is, whether the differences
of faith, such as they are, justify us in
denouncing the creed of the Roman
Catholics as incompatible with the dis-
charge of their duties as good subjects
and useful members of the state ? Sir, I
do not mean to draw the comparison
invidiously; but I own that if theological
tenets are to have the weight which is
assigned to them in the discussion of this
question, I am surprised that some hon-
ourable members, while they turn up
their eyes in astonishment at the thought
of admitting to the privileges of the con-
stitution, those who, like the Catholics,
differ from them in such points as I have
described, yet do not scruple to sit and to
vote, as they do daily-as they will this
night-with those who deny the Divinity
of our Saviour [hear, hear].
The next objection which has been
insisted upon-and it is one which I
certainly did not expect to have heard-
is, that the Roman Catholics ascribe an
overweening merit and efficacy to human
actions. Be it so. But we, who are con-
sidering these several tenets only as they
affect the state, may, perhaps, be per.
mitted to ask, are those who lay so much
stress on works, likely to be worse or
better subjects than those who believe
that good works are of no value, but that


faith alone is all in all ? I presume not *
to decide which is the more orthodox
opinion; but for a good subject of a
state, whose safety I am to provide for,
I, for my part, would unquestionably
prefer the man who insists on the neces-
sity of good works as part of his religious
creed, to him who considers himself con-
trolled in all his actions by a pre-ordained
and inexorable necessity; and who, pro-
vided he believes implicitly, thinks himself
irresponsible for his actions.
But, from theory let us come to facts.
Refer to the history of this country,
and see what it teaches on this sub-
ject. By what political differences has
the country been most violently agi-
tated; and out of what species of secta-
rianism has that agitation arisen? A
Papist, it is said, cannot bear due allegi-
ance to a sovereign of this country. But,
what was the religion which brought
Protestant monarchy to the block ? The
Papists?-Which were the sects that
stripped Protestant episcopacy of its
mitre and its peerage-of its spiritual
authority and its temporal rank ?-The
Papists ?
The next argument is dra*n from the
acknowledgment, by the Roman Catholics,
of the spiritual supremacy of the pope.-
It cannot be denied that such spiritual
supremacy is acknowledged; and the
question for parliament is, whether that
doctrine is liable to be acted upon in such
a way as to threaten danger to the state ?
I do not, on this subject, rest alone on
the evidence of Dr. Doyle taken before
the committees: although (setting aside
the obligation of an oath, which is assumed
by those who oppose this question to be
little obligatory upon Roman Catholics),
I cannot think it probable that a gentle-
man of Dr. Doyle's character and station
-knowing that every word which he
uttered would be read by all of his creed,
by his own flock, and by the pope him-
self-nay, that many of his brethren in the
ministry were, at that very moment, wait-
ing in the next room ready to be ex-
amined themselves, and likely, if he stated
what was not true, to be called in to con-
tradict him;-I cannot, I say, think it
probable that such a man, so circum-
stanced, could utter a deliberate falsehood,
with detection and exposure staring him
in the face. Without giving to Dr. Doyle,
therefore, more credit than I would to any
other moral, educated, and intelligent
man, I am bound to conclude, upon


Roman Catholic Reliff Bill.









91] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Every calculation of probability, that he
spoke nothing before the committee, but
what heconscientiously believed to be true.
-It may, then, be taken to be true, that
the opinion stated by Dr. Doyle to be tlhe
opinion of the Roman Catholics, is their
opinion; and Dr. Doyle solemnly denies,
that the spiritual obedience which Roman
Catholics render to the pope does or can
interfere with their allegiance to their
temporal sovereign. His'own words are,
after a distinct disavowal of the contrary
inference,-" There was an objection
taken, that the promise of obedience,
though canonically made to the pope,
interfered with our allegiance to a lawful
sovereign; and therefore there was a
clause inserted in the oath which removed
that objection."
But, is this a new construction of Dr.
Doyle's, and on that account to be re-
ceived with jealousy and suspicion ? Or,
is it an opinion which has in all times
been held by honest and intelligent
Roman Catholics? Nothing contributes
more to the establishment of truth, than
an unexpected and fortuitous discovery
of circumstances tending to confirm it.
I happened; only a day or two ago, to
fall upon an illustration of Dr. Doyle's
argument on this subject, in the corres-
pondence between Pope and bishop At-
terbury, which struck me as singularly
apposite. Pope, as every one knows, was
a Roman Catholic. His friend the bishop
of Rochester, with a very laudable zeal,
was anxious to convert him to the Pro-
testant faith: for which purpose he ap-
pears to have pointed out to the poet,
the errors of his creed, and then urged
the renunciation of them. Pope's reply
to the bishop's exhortation was as fol-
lows: "I hope all churches and all go-
vernments are so far of God as they are
rightly understood and rightly adminis-
tered; and where they are or may be
wrong, I leave it to God alone to mend or
reform them; which, whenever he does, it
must be by greater instruments than I am.
I am not a papist, for I renounce the
temporal invasions of the papal power,
and detest their arrogated authority over
princes and states; but I am a Catholic
in the strictest sense of the word."
SHere, then, I say, is a complete coin-
cidence with what Dr. Doyle has de-
clared before the committees; and I can-
not help thinking this accidental testi-
mony of a hundred years ago, written
in the strictness of private correspond-


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [92
ence, elicited by no controversy, and
never intended for publication, as one
of the strongest and happiest confirma-
tions that could be brought in aid of the
professions of a Roman Catholic of the
present day. It is true, that this distinc-
tion between spiritual and temporal alle-
giance has, in the course of these debates,
been held up to ridicule as an absurdity:
but an absurdity which governed the de-
cision of Pope, and which satisfied the
judgment of Atterbury, may be received by
less-gifted men with something short of
derision [hear, hear]. It must be ad-
mitted, indeed, that one of these two
illustriouscorrespondents intrigued against
the Protestant succession. But it happens
whimsically enough-as if to confute the
assumption, that Roman Catholic faith
and disloyal propensities are -inseparably
allied-that the popish poet was the loyal
subject, and the Protestant bishop the
jacobite traitor.
It is brought forward, as another ob-
jection to the concession of any political
power to the Catholics, that they are-in
Ireland especially-under the absolute
guidance of their priests and of their po-
litical leaders-men whom they regard
with a veneration bordering on idolatry.
Sir, I admit the fact; but I lay the blame
on another quarter. If the Roman Catho-
lics are idolaters in religion (as we swear
at this Table that they are), we cannot
help it. But if they are (as is now al-
leged) idolaters in politics, it is we who
have to answer for their error. If we with-
draw from themthe morelegitimate objects
ofp6litical reverence; if we deny to them,
as it were, the political sacraments of the
constitution, what wonder that they make
to themselves false gods of the champions
of their cause-of their spiritual and
political leaders? But, fortunately, the
cure of this crime (if it be one) is in our
hands. Let us open to them the sanctu-
ary of the law-let us lift up the veil
which shuts them out from the British
constitution, and shew them the spirit of
freedom which dwells within-the object
of our own veneration. Let us call them to
partake in the same rites, with which our
purer worship is celebrated. Let us do
this, and depend upon it, we shall speedily
wean them from their present political
idolatry; and leave deserted the spurious
shrines at which they now bow down
before their Doyles and their O'Connells.
[hear, hear].
Sir, I am sure it cannot be necessary









93] Roman Catholic Relief Bill.
for me to say, that I am not, by taste nor
in principle, addicted to political innova-
tion; that I am not easily reconciled to
any propositions which recommend it.
But 1 am not, on the other hand, blind to
the expediency which may sometimes
prescribe it; still less, I hope, would I
resist it merely because it is innovation,
when founded in justice. In the measure
now recommended to the House-I mean
in the principle of that measure (this is
not the stage for canvassing its details)
expediency and justice appear to me to
conspire.
Opinion in favour of a settlement of this
so long litigated question, gains ground. I
do not say that it has yet overcome all pre-
judices; but it wins upon them every day.
Is there no danger that, if youdo not anti-
cipate change, change may over-master
you? [hear, hear.] If a change must be
made; it is surely better that it should be
effected while it may be brought about
temperately and amicably. Sir, it is
absurd to deny, that in the case of the
Roman Catholics of Ireland, especially,
there is great grievance. Is it not prira
facie a grievance, that people should
suffer, in their civil and political capacities,
on account of their religious persuasion?
Is it not a grievance, that the choice of
the Crown should be restricted in the
selection of its servants, and in the dis-
tribution of its favours ? Is it not a griev-
ance that a people should wear a badge,
marking them out from the rest of their
fellow-subjects as objects of suspicion
and distrust;-a degrading, disheartening
stigma, which necessarily damps their
industry, blasts their hopes of honour, and
subjects them to a perpetuity of exclusion
from which other sects have been long
relieved? No man, Sir, can deny that in
all this there is great grievance. I do
not say that it is an unjustifiable, an inex-
cusable, state of things ; but I say it is a
prima facie case of hardship, which re-
quires to be justified and excused by those
who approve and uphold it. The burthen
of the proof lies with them.
It is said, that the removal of these griev-
ances, the nature of which is hardly denied,
will be attended with danger to the consti-
tution.
First, Sir, what is that danger? I ask
this question, and I listen for the answer
to it, on every stage of this bill; but, to
this hour, I have not heard one specific
and intelligible attempt to answer it. It
is shewn indeed-and I dispute it not-


APRIL 21, 1825. [94
that with a Roman Catholic monarch on
the throne,-with a Roman Catholic Pre-
tender contending forit,-or with a Roman
Catholic rebellion, either plotting, or in
activity, there has been, and would be
danger in relaxing all the laws against
Roman Catholics. But, that none of
those contingencies exist now, is surely a
proposition not admitting of denial. That
the relaxation of the laws would tend to
create any of these dangers, is one which
I must hear stated and argued (a task
which no man has yet been hardy enough
to undertake), before I am called upon to
assent to it, or to act as if I believed it.
The hon. member for Derry (Mr. Daw-
son) has said, that we are in a situation
which leaves us only a choice of diffi-
culties; and that no conclusion to which
we can come will be satisfactory. I admit
that our situation is one of great difficulty;
but it is a consolation under our misfortune,
and an alleviation of it, that our difficulties
would be still greater if we had made
them for ourselves. We have not created
our difficulties; we inherited them: but
it is our good fortune to have the means
of curing them in our own hands. When
gentlemen deduce an example for our
conduct from that of our ancestors who
framed the penal laws, at, or immediately
after, the Revolution-I beg them to look
a little lower down in the page of history,
to the conduct of our more immediate
predecessors, who relaxed the rigour of
the code which remoter generations had
framed. With which of these two gene-
rations have we the nearer sympathy ?
which of them was in a situation more
nearly resembling our own ? and where-
fore are we, in our retrospect of history,
to skip over the age which commenced a
system of mildness, in order to get back
to one in which severity was justified upon
reasons which have long passed away ?
For, Sir, though we have no responsi-
bility for the enactment of the penal laws,
let us not charge our ancestors with hav-
ing passed them without excuse. At the
time when the greater part of these laws
were enacted, the country was convulsed
with the disorders of a disputed succession;
and the religion of the party hostile to the
existing government was looked upon as
the mark of their politics. It was pro-
scribed not so much with the view of
pulling down a particular form of worship,
as of crushing the political party who
professed it. The Catholics were attacked
by those who had felt their power when









95] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
they possessed the political ascendancy,
or who dreaded it, if they should again
become successful. It is, therefore, unjust
to our ancestors to impute to hatred of
their fellow-subjects professing the Ca-
tholic religion, the precautionary severities
which they exercised towards the Catholic
Jacobites of their day.
But there is another claim which our
ancestors have on our justice. They saw
that reconcilement was impracticable;-
that the enmity between them and the
Jacobites must be permanent and lasting.
They sought, therefore, to weaken and
break down the power 'of those whom
scruples of humanity alone prevented them
from altogether exterminating. They
chose, indeed, a mode of effecting this
object in cruelty little short of extermina-
tion; but the mode which they adopted
has at least this praise, that it answered
the purpose for which it was devised.
The rack, Sir, is a horrible engine, but
it is a beautiful piece of mechanism: so,
the penal code was dreadful, but it was
admirably adapted to its use. It set chil-
dren against their parents-wives against
their husbands-brother against brother-
servants against their masters-and the
hand of every man against his kindred
and his kind. It entered into and dis-
severed all the relations of domestic and
social life. It, in the result, impoverished
degraded, brutified, and paralysed the
whole Catholic population of Ireland; and
plunged them into the most abject state of
moral as well as political debasement.
Such, and so effective for its purpose, was
the penal code against the Catholics. But,
just when this barbarous code had nearly
exhausted its powers,-when the last turn,
as it were, might have been given to the
machinery of the rack, the English legis-
lature grew ashamed of its own work, and
shrunk back from the consummation which
it had taken so much pains in preparing.
Sir, in the auspicious reign of George
3rd, the first relaxation of the penal code
took place. It would be folly to deny that,
from that moment, the policy of this coun-
try was changed. What the legislature
did in 1778, was the first step in this
merciful innovation: what has been done
from time to time since that period, is in
consequence of that first step, and in
pursuance of the benignant system then
substituted for rigour and proscription.
The task which we are now invited to
perform is, to persist in the policy adopted
m 1778, and to follow it to its legitimate
conclusion.


Roman Catholic Relief Bill. [96
I have often, I confess, turned away
with disgust from the consideration of
those cruel enactments, which were mul-
tiplied year after year, with a perverse in-
genuity, each successively appearing to
he aimed at some privilege or comfort of
social life which had escaped the notice
of former enactments, and to be pointed
at some new and tender spot on which a
more acute pain might be inflicted. I
have, I say, contemplated with disgust
those ingenious devices of moral and poli-
tical torture; but I now look back upon
them almost with pleasure,-a pleasure
caused not only by the hope, that I am
looking at them for the last time, and
that justice, though tardy, is at length
about to effect their entire and eternal
removal, but because it is delightful to
compare the slow and painful degrees by
which so monstrous a system as the penal
code was enacted; and to consider that
one vote of benevolence-aye, and of a
wise and prudent benevolence, may sweep
all remains of it away.
"- Who but felt of late,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We sunk thus low ? The ascent is easy, then."
Why am I compelled to add
"Th' event is feared!"
What is there to make us fear it ?-I
again press this question upon my oppo-
nents, and implore that they will conde-
scend to answer it.-What is there to deter
us from this final effort of mercy ?-Is it
the tear that after we have taken the Ca-
tholics into the constitution, they may
turn their newly-acquired political capa-
cities against us ? Is that probable? Is
it practicable ?-How? Where? Why?
And even supposing it possible to be
made, could such an attempt be success-
ful?
But, let us look at the other part of the
difficulties which the hon. member for
Derry represents as besetting us. Can
we go back to the policy of king William
and queen Anne, and re-enact the penal
code? Can we stand where we are? Is
not the opinion which enabled us to make
that stand failing us? Since the com-
mencement of this debate we have wit-
nessed a splendid illustration of the man-
ner in which prejudices of long standing
have yielded to the force of circumstances
and to the voice of reason. It was im-
possible to listen to the manly and candid
avowal of the hon. member for Armagh
(Mr. Brownlow) admitting the prejudices
and apprehensions which birth, education,










APRIL 21, 1825. [98


connexion, habit, had created and con-
firmed in him, and unequivocally renounc-
ing them all,-it was impossible, I say, to
hear that ingenuous declaration and to
consider the space which that honourable
gentleman fills in the eyes of his own
country, without acknowledging, that his
speech was a fact of the most important
nature, and that as great a change was
wrought by it in the practical state of the
question, as it evinced to have taken place
in the feelings of his own mind.
The impressions produced by that
speech, have been deepened and strength-
ened by the successive avowal of a similar
kind from an hon. and gallant officer (col.
Pakenham) whose plain, strait-forward
narrative of the opinions and feelings in
which he had been nurtured, and of the
change which those opinions and feelings
had undergone, composed one of the
most powerful arguments that I ever
heard delivered on this subject,-and from
another hon. gentleman, the member for
the county of Down (colonel Ford),
whose brief but emphatic declaration of
opinion was at once a proof and a model
of honest and honourable conviction.
If these are indications of the state of
opinion in Ireland, can any one have
heard the speech of the hon. member for
Dorsetshire (Mr. Portman), and of the
noble lord behind me (lord Valletort)
without being satisfied, that the settlement
of this great question is an object of
intense anxiety to Englishmen-whose
judgments are as free from bias, as their
motives are from the possibility of sus-
picion ?
Such manifestations of Protestant feel-
ing, I trust, will be met with correspond.
ing feelings on the part of the Roman
Catholics themselves. Our business, how-
ever, is not to negotiate with the Catho-
lics, but to legislate for them-to legislate,
I hope, in accordance with the mitigated
spirit of the times in which we live, and with
the improved condition of the Catholic po-
pulation of Ireland. How greatly has that
population increased in wealth, in intelli-
gence, in activity, in industry, as well as
in numbers! With these advantages must
have increased, in a corresponding degree,
the desire of acquiring that political rank,
which naturally belongs to wealth and
station in society ? In raising them from
the state of degradation in which our an-
cestors had placed them, you have given
them too much if you have not given it
for a noble purpose-if you have only
VOL. XIII


lifted them up to a nearer view of the
blessings which you would yet persist in
withholding from them. Far better, per-
haps, would it have been to have allowed
them to remain in the debased and de-
graded situation to which they were re.
duced, than to raise them partially, and
then to interdict their further elevation,-
to stimulate and excite every generous
principle, and then to deny to those prin-
ciples the opportunity of being called
into action.
My right hon. friend the Secretary for
Ireland, is panic struck at the prospect of
taking one step in advance. He foresees
the overthrow of the constitution from
the admission of a few Catholic gentlemen
into Parliament; but there must be, as
it appears to me, a long chain of deduc-
tion between his premises and his infer-
ence-the links of which chain, I must
confess, I have not the perspicacity to
discern. What can that force be, of
which my right ion. friend is so afraid i
Is it physical force?--Why, physical
force is more likely to be applied to a
door that is shut, than against a door that
is open [cheers, and a laugh]. The
mass which would be broken and dissi-
pated by gradual admission, presses with
accumulated strength against the bar of
an inexorable exclusion. For it should al-
ways be remembered, that it is not politi-
cal power which is proposed to be given
by this bill, but eligibility-not fruition,
but the capacity to enjoy. The Protes-
tant Crown will still be master of its own
choice; and the Protestant population of
this country will have prejudices enough
-honourable prejudices-to oppose to
any symptom of abuse, to any, the most
distant alarm of mischief, from an undue
infusion of Catholics into office or into
Parliament.
My right hon. friend says, the Roman
Catholics will never be satisfied-that they
will go on insisting upon more and more
until his prophecy respecting the over-
throw of the Constitution is fulfilled. But,
can you suppose that the Roman Catholic
gentlemen, or the Roman Catholic la-
bourers, or the whole Roman Catholic
population combined, in all their grada-
tions, can ever hope to seize the powers of
the state ? Is this a probable-is it even
a possible event ? Suppose that, in the
first session after this bill passes, five or
six Catholic gentlemen are admitted into
parliament. The new comers would be,
at first, I dare say, objects of curiosity, of
H


Roman Calkclic ReliffBill.










99] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
distant observation, of cautious and cir-
cumspect avoidance. They would have
some inquisitive glances to encounter;
and some doubts would be excited, and,
perhaps, some wagers laid, as to their
capacity to use the organs of ratiocination
like less superstitious men. We should
naturally suspect crucifixes in their walk-
ing-sticks, and relics in their snuff-
boxes. But all this strangeness would
wear off. In the course of a session
or two we should venture upon a nearer
approach; first, in little knots of two
or three-taking care always to pre-
serve a majority,-at last, perhaps, when
we grew bolder, alone. Nay, the time
would come, when we should actually
manage to sit beside them, with as much
ease as we now manage to sit beside
Unitarians-of whom we think more
favourably only because they believe less
than we do, whereas the Roman Catholics
believe more; as if, to use an expression
of Mr. Burke's, he is the best Protestant
who protests against the greatest number
of doctrines." But, as to what is put for-
ward as the greatest object of apprehen-
sion-the intemperance with, which Ro-
man Catholic members would advocate
the Catholic claims, very sure I am that
no Catholic gentleman will be found to
say such things upon that subject as we
heard a Protestant representative of a
Catholic county say the other night,-
threatening, and almost inviting resistance
if this bill should not pass into law. A
Roman Catholic would not be obliged to
launch into such extravagance of argu-
ment, in order to satisfy his Roman
Catholic constituents of his sincerity.
One of the objections to the bill is, as
to time. But, let me ask, Sir, is there
any man that hears me who conscien-
tiously believes that in ten or twenty years
from this time, the relief sought for by
the Catholics will not be granted And
if there be not among the violent of the
opponents of this measure, one person
who holds this belief, what is the real
question for our consideration ? Is it
not simply, whether the boon to be
bestowed shall now be given, and we
have the grace of giving it while it may
yet be received as an act of grace ? Un-
less it is believed that the present state of
Ireland can continue,-surely the time
is come. Again and again I beg our
opponents to descend from generalities
to specification. What are the injuries
that they foresee as likely to accrue to


Roman Catholic Relief Bill.


[100


the constitution,-to that constitution
which is held up to the Irish as something
for which they are bound to shed their
blood,-but the beauties of which consist
not in the liberties it imparts-not in the
equality of rights which it bestows on all
the people living under it,-butin the scru-
pulous exclusion from its benefits of those
Catholics, whom you call upon to venerate
and uphold it. To reason in this manner
with the Roman Catholic, is not to treat
him as an intelligent being. Show him a
good reason for his exclusion, and exclude
him-and tell him so-for ever. But, if
that exclusion was originally enacted on
temporary grounds,-if those grounds
have ceased to exist-it cannot, it is not
in the nature of things, that it should
continue for ever. And if it is not to
continue for ever, the time for removing
it is now come. In proportion as the
prosperity of the country is great-in
proportion as the country is rich and
powerful,-in proportion as it is free from
external danger, as it is spreading and
widening the basis of its strength, and
unfolding its immense capabilities of im-
provement,-just in that proportion are
we in a condition to give the boon asked
by the Catholics, without being liable to
the misconstruction of its having been
forced from us by necessity, or extorted
by intimidation.
I hope, Sir, that I should feel the dis-
grace of yielding to menace: and I think,
moreover, that I have proved to my right
hon. friend during the present session,
that I am prepared to vindicate the honour
of this House, and to uphold the supre-
macy of the law under whatever pretext,
or with whatever object the violation of it
may be attempted. I could understand
the feelings of those who refused to go
into this question at times when to grant
it might be imputed to the difficulties of
the country, or the consequent weakness
and apprehensions of parliament. But,
Sir, a time is now come, suitable beyond
our hopes and our expectations. Who
can look on the high and palmy prosperity
of the country, and not wish to mark
this auspicious state of things by a signal
act of beneficence to a portion of our
fellow-subjects, who have toiled at our
side in the day of our distresses and dif-
ficulties ;-transmitting the record of this
act to our posterity as a testimony of our
just and grateful sense of the favours which
Providence is now heaping upon our heads,
and thus consecrating the present rera










Roman Calthlic Relief Bill.


for all time to come in the annals of Bri-
tish legislation? Let us do this--and
come a change of fortune when it will, we
may meet it with regret, indeed, but with-
out repentance. We shall have made this
glorious moment irrevocably our own.
-- "Non tamen irritum
Effingit infectum que reddet
Quod fugiens semel hora vexit."
Although this, Sir, is not the time for
entering into a discussion on the particu-
lar provisions of the bill; I will neverthe-
less avail myself of the opportunity to offer
one or two remarks upon them: the rather,
as I fear I may not have another oppor-
tunity of addressing the House during the
progress of the bill.*
My right lion, friend, the Secretary for
Ireland, has divided the bill into three
distinct parts,-the preamble,-the oath,
-and the commission for the security
of the Protestant church. As to the
preamble, which consists of a declara-
tion of the stability of the Protestant es-
tablished church and constitution, my
right lion. friend states, that it is nothing
but words. Why, Sir, so are all laws no-
thing hut words. But, what are the oaths
on which you now rely for safety-what
are your abjurations and declarations at
this table, but words? Harsh and ill-
sounding words many of them, and angry
words, to be sure! but, why cling so fond-
ly to negative legislation, to phrases of
contempt and expressions of abhor-
rence,-and reject, as idle and inoperative,
vows of attachment and professions of al-
legiance? Why :link that a legislature
is to be prone to denounce what it hates,
and never ready to commend what it ap-
proves ?
Again, it has been objected to the oath
in the bill, that it is too long, that it is
more like a bill of indictment in which
every possible crime is enumerated, than
a protestation against imputed doctrines.
Sir, I entirely agree with my right hon.
friend, that it is so. But, my right hon.
friend forgets that the bill has to pass
another House, in which there exists a
very nice sensibility on all these matters.
In the last bill which was sent up from
this House, that oath had been curtailed:
but then it was made an objection to the
measure, by the lovers of ample adjura-

Mr. Canning was labouring at this
moment under a severe attack of the gout;
which afterwards confined him to his
chamber fot some weeks.


tions, that the good old oath was not at
all too long, but that the new one was too
short by the head and tail. Its shortness
begot many surmises of evil intentions.
In drawing up the present bill, therefore,
the old long oath, with all its sinuosities
and superfluities, had been restored (for
my right lion. friend must know that it is
only restored, not now for the first time
established). But, no sooner is this done,
than my right lion. friend turns himself
rapidly round again, and now finds the
present oath too long, forgetting that it
has been let out at the special suggestion
of those with whom he acts on this ques-
tion in the other House of Parliament.
The oath, such as it is, was framed in
1793. It is, therefore, unfair in my right
hon. friend to come forward with these
objections at the eleventh hour; and to
attack the supporters of this measure for
that which is no invention of theirs.-
which they would have omitted, if it had
been left to their own discretion.
Next, Sir, as to the commission for su-
perintending the correspondence with the
see of Rome. My right hon. friend has
argued the matter as if the framers of the
bill were first instituting that correspond-
ence with the see of Rome, and then en-
deavouring to guard against the danger
which they themselves created. But, Sir,
the very reverse of this is the fact. The
correspondence exists; it is notoriously
going on every day, and we are only en-
deavouring to regulate and restrain it.
The question is not so much whether this
security is sufficient, as whether you will
have any security or none: at present you
have none.
I repeat, Sir, that every day a cor-
respondence is openly and notoriously
carried on between the Roman Catholic
bishops in Ireland-aye, and the Roman
Catholic bishops or vicars apostolic in
England too,-and the court of Rome.
Every thing that relates to the affairs of
the priesthood, and much that relates to
the most important concerns of private
life-to marriages and baptisms-forms
the subject of regular communication with
the see of Rome. All this my right hon.
friend appears to view with the utmost
complacency. He has no thought of"
checking it, so far as I can make out from
his speech: and yet all this is in contra-
vention of the existing laws.
It is true that the penalties imposed by
those laws are so enormous that neither
my right hon. friend nor any man of corn-


101]


ArnIL 21, 1825.


[ 102









103] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
mnon humanity would wish to see them
enforced. Therefore it is, that the framers
of this bill endeavoured to cure the evils
of this system by a precautionary super-
vision. It was no peculiar duty of theirs
to do this. The evil does not grow out
of any thing that they propose. They
find it existing in full force: but so find-
ing it, and finding that no one of the
anti-papists has any thought of mending
the matter, they gallantly and generously,
and as a work of supererogation attempt
to deal with it. And what is their re-
ward ? Why, that they are not only re-
viled for the ineffectualness of their re-
medy, but are held responsible for the
existence of the evil.
Sir, for my part, I say, if the opponents
of this measure believe the correspond-
ence with the court of Rome to be so full
of danger, I call upon them to propose a
remedy for that evil which is now in full
existence,-a remedy which they can ven-
ture to carry into execution. The pre-
sent laws are so severe that they cannot
be executed. I call upon the opponents
of the bill, therefore, to say how they
propose to deal with the evil which
the throwing out of this bill, will only
tend to confirm. Than the state of the
law as it now stands nothing can be more
monstrous. I had recently occasion to
know this. Soon after I entered upon my
present office as Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs, a letter was addressed
to his majesty by the pope. It was, of
course, transmitted to my office; but I
could not venture to advise the king to
open, much less to answer it, until I
had consulted high law authorities as
to the legality of such a proceeding. I
accordingly did consult them, and I found,
as I had previously expected, that by ten-
dering such advice to his majesty, I should
render myself liable to the penalties of
prremunire. Accordingly the pope's
letter remains unanswered to this day.
Such is the operation of the present sys-
tem. Can any thing be more stupid?
But, thus it is to remain; because the op-
ponents of this question prefer those laws
with the known, constant, daily, un-
checked evasion of them, by persons less
scrupulous than I was, to some regulation
of the correspondence with the court of
Rome.
So much for the main objections to the
frame of the bill upon your table.
And now, Sir, a few words with respect
to the other measures which, it is said,


Roman Catholic ReliefBill. [104
are to be associated with it. I begin by
saying, that I am perfectly contented to
take the present bill as it stands, without
the proposed auxiliary measures. I must,
in fairness, declare, that upon those mea-
sures I have by no means made up my
mind. With regard to one of them, I
have much to learn before I can make up
my mind to support it. I cannot look at it
abstractedly with favour. But if by rais-
ing the elective franchise in Ireland, to a
higher qualification than that which the
present law requires, I could not only get
rid of the opposition of those who have
long been the avowed and most efficient
enemies of the simple measure of Catho-
lic relief, but convert them into active
and zealous friends, I own the temptation
might perhaps overcome my scruples,-
and induce me, though I fear with a some-
what questionable morality, to consent to
support this doubtful change, and in order
" to do a great right," be ready to do
"a little wrong." On general principles,
I should undoubtedly oppose disqua-
lification. The very word is odious.
I expressly limit my willingness to take
this proposition into consideration, with
the declaration that I do so under the
persuasion that a freehold qualification of
forty shillings in Ireland, is a very differ-
ent thing from a freehold qualification of
the same nominal value in England, and
that in striking at this symbol of free
election in Ireland, I am not, in fact, vio-
lating the essence of freedom. This is
what I expect to have shewn to me by
persons well informed upon the subject.
With respect to the principle of the
second proposed measure, that of making
some provision for the Roman Catholic
clergy of Ireland, it is one which was in
contemplation long ago-in the time of
Mr. Pitt-and for the execution of which
I believe some practical steps were taken
during lord Cornwallis's administration in
Ireland. The principle of this measure
(for of the details I have no knowledge)
has therefore authority which I highly
respect in its favour; and nothing which
I have heard in the course of this debate,
has altered that favourable impression.
The objection that the Protestant part of
the community would thus be taxed, in
order to raise the funds out of which the
Roman Catholic clergy are to be paid,
may be met by asking whether the Ca-
tholics do not contribute to the taxes out
of which the Regium Donum to a portion
of the dissenting Protestant church in Ire-









]05]


Roman Catholic ReliefBil


land is yearly paid ? Observe, I am not
saying that the payment of tithes by Roman
Catholics to the Protestant established
church forms any precedent for this argu-
ment: no such thing. That payment is
necessarily incident to the fact, that the
Protestant church is the legal establish-
ment. To every thing which canameliorate
the system of collecting tithes-to every
thing which can tend to shift the burthen
of it from those who could not, to those
who could bear it, I am willing to give,
(and this and the other House of parlia-
ment have given) the most anxious and
favourable consideration. Any measure
which should go to invade the establish-
ment of the Irish Protestant church, and
to alienate the property assigned for its
support, I am firmly prepared to resist.
But the Regium Donum to the Presby-
terian church appears to be in point of
principle, the very measure which it is
now proposed to extend to the Catholic,
and seems to afford a precedent on which
it might safely be modelled, when the
time shall come for settling the details of
such an arrangement.
Sir, I have thought it fair to state the
present impression on my mind, with re-
gard to the forty-shilling freeholders, and
to the provision for the Catholic clergy,
(subject as that impression is, to be modi-
fied hereafter, by more perfect inform-
ation than I now possess)-because many
gentlemen have stated the carrying of
those measures to be a condition of their
support to the bill now on the table. For
the sake of their support, I shall be anxious
to vote, if I can, in favour of those mea-
sures; but in case they should not be car-
ried, or in case I should myself, on fur.
their explanation and discussion, see rea-
son to disapprove of them, I will not,
therefore, withdraw my support from the
present bill.
Those measures may be auxiliary to
the bill for the relief of the Roman Ca-
tholics from civil and political disabilities;
but I do not intend to wed myself to
them or to either of them. I am wedded
only to the great question itself-that
question which involves the future tran-
quillity of Ireland, and therein the gene-
ral welfare of the British government and
nation.
Sir, this declaration recalls to my mind
the only other point on which I wish to
say a few words, and with which I shall
conclude. In proportion as we become
great and powerful-as our resources con-


. ApniL 21, 1825. [100
tinue to out-grow the resources of other
nations; it is in human nature that some-
thing of an invidious feeling towards us,
should grow up in the world. It is a fact
which implies no sentiment of enmity-no
hostile spirit towards us. It is, as I have
said, in the nature of men, that rivalry
should generate, not hatred-but perhaps
envy-and a desire to seek for consolation
in some weaker point of the character of
a too successful competitor. Never was
there a moment of which the continuance
of peace through out the world was more
probable. But even in peace, the wary
politician will calculate the means, and
forecast the chances of war.
I say, then, that whatever rival nation
looks jealously into the state of England
to find a compensation for all her advan-
tages, and a symptom of weakness amidst
all her power, will fix-does fix-as if by
instinct, its eyes on the state in which we
keep the Catholic population of Ireland.
"There," they say, "is the weakness,
there is the vulnerable point of England."
How sad that they should say this with
so great a semblance of truth!
Shall we then continue still to cherish
a wound that is seated near the vital
parts of our greatness ? shall we not rather
disappoint those who wish us ill (if such
there be) and give comfort and confidence
to those who wish us well-by closing
the wound which has so long remained
open and rankling, and by taking care
that before we are ever again called upon
to display the national resources, or to
vindicate the national honour, it shall be
so far healed, as that not even a cicatrice
is left behind.
Such a state of things, Sir, is, in my
conscience, I believe, as practicable as it is
desirable. My earnest prayer is, that the
House may adopt such measures as will
tend to accelerate so blessed a consum-
mation. And, as it is my hope, that the
bill now before us, if it should pass, will
tend to that result, I give my cordial sup-
port to the motion that it be now read a
second time [loud and long-continued
cheers].
Mr. Secretary Peel said, that the House
would, lie was sure, believe him, when he
stated that nothing would have been
more gratifying to himself individually,
than to have been spared the painful duty
of addressing it upon this occasion. The
subject, though important in itself, was one
on which he had so often obtained an in-
dulgent hearing from the House1 that he









107] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
felt considerable reluctance in claiming it
once more, and that reluctance was rather
increased than diminished, when he recol-
lected that he had not only to follow his
right hon. friend, but also to state the
grounds on which he differed from him
in opinion. His right hon. friend knew
with what cordiality he agreed with him
upon all other occasions; and would
therefore readily give him credit for sin-
cerity, when he declared it gave him
the utmost concern to differ from him on
the present. But, if he saw greater dan-
ger and less benefit arising from this bill
than his right hon. friend did-if he
thought that less evil would accrue to
the country by adhering to the existing
system, than by departing from it-he
was sure that he should not lose the es-
teem of his right hon. friend for publicly
stating the grounds on which he came to
so different a conclusion.
Before he noticed the various topics to
which his right hon. friend had alluded,
he would beg to leave to advert to that
which appeared to form the chief feature
in the present debate-he meant the
conversion of several members who had
formerly taken the same view of this
question that he was now going to take,
into supporters of the measure. He had
heard, and with the most perfect convic-
tion of his sincerity, the avowal of the
lon. member for Armagh, that he had
changed his opinion upon it. If he (Mr.
Peel) had changed his own opinion, he
shouldhave beenmost ready to avow it; but
as he had not changed it, he trusted that his
honourable friends would give him the
same credit for purity of motive in retain-
ing it, that he gave to the hon. member
for Armagh in abandoning it. On this
question he had always pursued a course
which he considered a course of moderate
opposition to the claims of the Catholics,
His opposition to them was decided, but
unmixed, he trusted, with any feelings of
ill-will or animosity. He had never said,
that the number of petitions presented
against them was an insuperable bar to
conceding them; nor had he ever encou-
raged the presentation of any petitions.
If not a single petition had been present-
ed oh the subject, he should have acted
upon his own judgment, and should have
opposed the claims, as lie now intended to
oppose them, just as he should have ad-
mitted that, had the petitions been ten
times as numerous as they now were,
they formed no insuperable bar to the


Roman Catholic Relief Bill.


[108


granting of the claims, supposing the
House felt, that the alarm which had
given rise to them had no justifiable found-
ation. He therefore agreed with his
right hon. friend, that though the num-
ber of petitions which had recently been
presented was an indication that this
measure, if carried into a law, would not
give universal satisfaction, still it left the
House at perfect liberty to grant the
claims of the Catholics, if it should be of
opinion that, in point of equity and expe-
diency, they ought to be granted.
To return, however, to the point from
which he had unintentionally digressed.
He had been noticing the conversion of
his lion. friend, the member for Armagh,
and had been proceeding to offer a few
remarks on the nature of it. His hon.
friend had said, that, in consequence of
the attention he had given to the evi-
dence which had been tendered before a
recent committee, the ground on which he
had formerly opposed Catholic eman-
cipation had been entirely cut away from
under him. If that were the case, he
could only say that it convinced him
that the grounds upon which his hon.
friend had opposed it, had always been
very different from those upon which he
opposed it. His hon. friend declared,
that his opposition to the claims of the
Catholics had relaxed, because he had
heard Dr. Doyle deny that it was a tenet
of the Catholic church that the pope had
power to excommunicate princes and to
depose them from their sovereignty-that
faith should not be kept with heretics, and
that the temporal power of the pope was
not admitted in Ireland. Now, this was
not the first time that all these tenets had
been solemnly disclaimed by the Catholic
church. Had his hon. friend been so
long in the habit of opposing the Catho-
lic claims, without hearing of the answers
of the foreign universities to the queries
propounded to them by Mr. Pitt? If his
hon. friend had at all examined into the
point, he would have found, that all the
answers received by Mr. Pitt contained
an express denial of the three tenets he
had just mentioned: he would have found
the same denial avouched in the oath
which the Catholics now took: he would
have found that they had long abandoned,
in word at least, the temporal authority
of the pope: and, therefore, if he was now
satisfied for the first time upon these
topics, he had not attended with sufficient
care to the evidence which had already










APRIL 21, 1825. [110


been collected and submitted to the
notice of parliament. But, said his hon.
friend, "matters cannot long stand as
they now are: and therefore, in order to
bring them to some better arrangement,
I will vote for the second reading of this
bill." His hon. friend, however, went to
add, that unless some other measures
were attached to it in the committee, his
assent would be recalled, and he should
oppose the bill on the third reading. For
his own part, he must confess, that he was
somewhat surprised by the conduct of
his hon. friend. His hon. friend said, that
he voted for the bill because he wished
to have a better settlement of matters
than now existed; and yet, if the mea-
sures to which he alluded were not car-
ried, he was going to pursue that line
of conduct which would leave matters
just in the same state that they were at
present. Now, as he (Mr. Peel) did not
attach any very great importance to the
tvo measures to which his lihon. friend
attached so much-he meant the altera-
tion in the elective franchise, and the
qualified establishment of the Catholic
priesthood-he thought he was taking a
more consistent course than his hon.
friend was, in giving his decided opposi-
tion to the second reading of this bill.
His right hon. friend (Mr. Canning) had
opened his speech by referring to the pe-
titions which had been presented against
the bill, and had said, that they were
founded in erroneous notions, that they
exhibited absurd apprehensions of danger,
and that they evinced the most extraordi-
nary ignorance of its nature and its pro.
visions. In proof of his assertion, his
right hon. friend had alluded particularly
to one petition, which certainly did make
out the charge which he had advanced
against them. The persons who signed
that petition approached the House with
all humility, and prayed it not to place
the Roman Catholics, as it was going to
do, in a better situation than that in
which it had placed the Protestant Dis-
senters. His right hon. friend had said,
and said truly, that the object of this bill
was only to place the Roman Catholics
on the same footing with the Protestant
Dissenters; and had then proceeded, with
his usual talent for raillery, to ridicule
the error into which the petitioners
had fallen. Undoubtedly, the petitioners,
if they rooked at the bill, would see that
they had committed a mistake; but, their
mistake was pardonable, if they had had


access to a recent speech of his right hon.
and learned friend the Attorney-general
for Ireland, who had demanded in that
House for the Catholics, an equality of
civil privileges as their abstract natural
right, and had said, that a refusal of their
claims would be as unjustifiable, in point
of moral justice, as a downright invasion
of their property. After such a declara-
tion, the petitioners had almost a right
to say, that the effect of this bill was, to
give the Roman Catholics privileges supe-
rior to those enjoyed by the Dissenters,
since the Dissenters were protected by
annual indemnity bills, and yet no such
protection was deemed necessary for the
Catholics.-His right hon. friend had
likewise noticed the petitions of the cler-
gy against this bill, and had thought it
strange that so much theological discus-
sion should have been introduced into
them. Now, he could not participate at
all in that surprise. The second clause
in the preamble to the bill referred to "the
doctrine, discipline, and government of
the Protestant Episcopal Church of Eng-
land and Ireland," and stated, that it
was essential to preserve it "permanently
and inviolably." And yet, such altera.
tions were now contemplated in the bill,
that the clause was quite unnecessary.
For the question was not any longer,
whether the House would admit Catho-
lics to a share of political privileges, but
whether it would consent to a qualified
establishment of a Roman Catholic
church. Now, if the doctrine, discipline,
and government of the church of Eng-
land were to be permanently and invio-
lably maintained, it became necessary to
consider, what that doctrine, discipline,
and government was, and where it was to
be found explained. The doctrine of the
church of England was to be found in
what were called the Thirty-nine Articles.
Amongst those articles he found one
containing a protest against the establish-
ment of the church of Rome. When,
therefore, a clergyman of the church of
England heard that measures were pro-
posed in parliament, for paying professors
of that very religion against which he
was bound, in the discharge of its func-
tions, to protest, what was there in his
religious creed to prevent him from pe-
titioning firmly but respectfully against
such a measure? In the Articles of the
church of England it was stated, that the
administration of the sacrament in a lan-
guage which the vulgar could not under-


Rontan Cathrolic Relief.Bill.


I09]









111 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
stand, was contrary to the word of God
-that the adoration of saints, the wor-
shipping of images, and the sacrifice of
the mass, were not sanctioned by the Bible;
and that the pope had no jurisdiction,
either temporal or spiritual, within this
realm. Now, when the clergyman of the
church of England was told that the doc-
trine, discipline, and government of his
church was established permanently
and inviolably," and yet saw that it was
intended to erect a modified establish-
ment for another church which held as
articles of implicit faith those articles
which it condemned as contrary to the
Bible, and as unsanctioned by the word of
God, had he not reason for thinking, that
the time was at length come in which
his duty compelled him to introduce
into his petition, matter which trenched
closely upon theological discussion ?
He must confess, that he was himself
somewhat surprised at the two first clauses
in the preamble of the present bill. They
were as follow:-" Whereas the Protes-
tant succession to the imperial Crown of
this united kingdom and its dependencies,
is, by the act for the further limitation of
the Crown and the better securing the
liberties of the subject, established per-
manently and inviolably: and whereas
the Protestant Episcopal Church of Eng-
land and Ireland, and the doctrine, disci-
pline, and government thereof, and like-
wise the Protestant Presbyterian Church
of Scotland, and the doctrine, discipline,
and government thereof, are, by the re-
spective acts of union between England
and Scotland, and between Great Britain
and Ireland, therein severally established
permanently and inviolably." Now, why
were these two clauses introduced into
the preamble There was no clause in
the bill which provided for the permanent
and inviolable security of the Protestant
establishment. These clauses had some
connexion with the first bill that was in-
troduced by the late Mr. Grattan; for
they were there followed by a third clause
to this effect-": And whereas it would
tend to promote the interest of the same,
and strengthen our free constitution, of
which they are an essential part, if the
civil and military disqualifications under
which his majesty's Roman Catholic sub-
jects now laboured were removed." That
clause was omitted in the present bill; for
to say that the privileges which it con-
ferred upon the Catholics were intended
to promote the interest of the Church of


Roman Calholic Relief Bill.


England, and to strengthen our free con.
stitution, would be an absurdity too great
for any man at this time of day to think
of believing. He had, therefore, some
apprehension, from these two clauses
being still inserted in the preamble, that
there was, in the enactments of the bill,
something pregnant, with hidden danger
to the constitution. The House would
recollect, that, in the feast in Macbeth,
that tyrant, before he went round the
table to pay his respects to his guests,
expressed an anxiety for the presence of
Banquo,whom he had doomed to die. One
of the commentators had remarked, that
this single touch of nature showed a
greater consciousness of guilt in Macbeth's
mind, and excited a stronger suspicion
that he intended mischief to Banquo, than
a thousand laboured speeches could have
done. He, too, thought, that the anxiety
for the welfare of the church of England
exhibited in the preamble, and not fol-
lowed up in any of the enactments of the
bill, was one of those touches of nature
which showed a consciousness of danger
in the bosoms of the framers of the bill;
and which ought to excite a lurking sus-
picion that all was not so correct in it as
at first sight it appeared to be. The con-
stilution, lie contended, was virtually al-
tered by this bill. The bill of rights was
repealed by it. That bill provided, by an
enactment as solemn as an enactment
could be, that the oath taken by every
person, on his admission to office, should
be the oath of supremacy, which asserts,
' that no foreign prince, person, prelate,
state, or potentate, hath or ought to have
any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-
eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or
spiritual, within this realm." This oath-
he said nothing at present about the de-
claration against transubstantiation, which
stood on different grounds-this oath was
now to be repealed. He did not deny the
right of the House of Commons to alter
this oath, if it thought good; but, he
must say, that, when they told him that
they wished to secure to the church of
England permanency and inviolability,
and when they altered that act which pro-
vided for it most effectually, he had a
right to ask what security they had to
give him for the fulfilment of their pro-
mises ? He was not going to deny, that
the maintenance of the succession to the
Crown in the Protestant line, together
with the necessity of two or three of its
principal officers still remaining Protes-


[112











tants, was an important security. Still himself with Catholic advisers, facilities
it was worth while to examine what it for it would be created which at present
amounted to. It amounted only to this had no existence. He allowed that the
-that the individual who came to the danger he was now describing was merely
throne should make the declaration against speculative; but, when the fundamental
transubstantiation, and should be in com. laws of the country were going to be re-
munion with the church of England. All pealed, it was right to look even at specula-
the security of surrounding him with Pro- tive danger. The hon. and learned member
testant counsellors was altered. This made for Plympton had told them that they
it necessary to consider how it was that were not to look at the clouds with a
James 2nd endeavoured to effect his pur- telescope, and disregard the immediate
poses? By the assistance of divers evil danger at their feet. Agreed; but still
counsellors, judges, and ministers em- they were bound to be cautious; and, if
played by him "-he used the language of they saw a cloud in the sky, which at
the bill of Rights-" did he endeavour to present was not larger than a man's hand,
subvert and extirpate the Protestant reli- they ought to recollect that it might, ere
gion, and the laws and liberties of this long, overcast the firmament, and involve
kingdom." The House would therefore the whole face of nature in gloom and de-
see, that, though the king was obliged to solution. Against this they were bound
be in communion with the church of Eng-' to provide. Let us act towards those
land at his accession to the throne, he was who were to succeed us, with the same
left at liberty, by this bill, to make his caution and prospective regard with which
selection of counsellors amongst his Ro. our ancestors acted towards us; and let
man Catholic subjects. What might be us not, for any temporary convenience,
the consequence of such an event ? He diminish the strength and security of our
would suppose that the individual who institutions. Let it be recollected, that
filled the throne, after he had taken the we were not now deciding on the forma-
oath against transubstantiation, fauni the tion of new institutions. The question
grounds of his creed to be erroneous, and was not, whether our form of government
considered the ancient religion of the was to be republican, where all religions
country to be the wisest and the best. were admitted equally to the participation
He would suppose that he took advantage of political power, but whether, being a
of the liberal doctrine which had been monarchy, with the Protestant religion
that night advanced, that a man's religi- established by law, and interwoven with
ous opinions were not matter of his own that monarchy, we were now prepared to
choice, and that it would be the height abandon those securities by which that
of intolerance to subject him to any dis- government was preserved and supported?
qualification on that account. Now, he It was to be recollected, also, that the
would say, that if a king or queen of this temporalities of the church of Rome had
country, with a mind liable to the influ- been transferred to the Protestant church;
ence of designing persons, after his acces- and that, upon the principles of human
sion, were to become a convert to the nature, those who professed the tenets of
Catholic faith, and were to declare his or the former, must view with jealousy, and
her adherence to it, the peace and tran- consider as an usurping body, the latter.
quillity of the country would rest on Without imputing to the Roman Catho-
the will of a single mind. An attempt to lies any immoral feeling, under the cir-
dismiss that individual from the throne, cumstances in which that religion stood in
because he had, upon conscientious prin- relation to our establishment, he un-
ciples, changed his religious faith, might doubtedly considered it unsafe to legislate
be productive of very serious convulsions for it. In that view, he could find no
in the country. In the reign of James 2nd security in the assurances which the pro-
it had produced them: and in that of posed oath demanded. What, he would
Charles.2nd, the suspicion of such an ask, was the practice of the constitution
event had given rise to the precautions under circumstances analogous? When
which, it was the object of the present bill the legislature disqualified revenue officers
to get rid of for ever. He knew that from voting for members of parliament-
such an event might occur under the pre- when it denied to the clergy the capacity
sent system; but, if the ancient barriers ofsitting inthat House-it at once founded
of the constitution were broken down, its disqualifications on the undue influence
and the sovereignwas enabledto surround by which it presumed, on the general
VOL. XIII. I


113]


Roman Catholic Belief Bill.


APaRIL21, 1825. ( Q4










principles of human nature, those classes trine of transubstantiation, but because
would be actuated. It legislated on that he could not reconcile himself to the ope-
ground, and wholly disregarded all secu- ration of that civil influence which he be-
rities which declarations, under such cir- lived to attach to their religious system,
cumstances, afforded. The recollections and which held a sway over the temporal
of history teemed with illustrations of the conduct of mankind. It was not of the
same principle. When he found, for in- religious, but of the civil tendency of the
stance, such a man as Mr. Charles Butler, doctrines that he complained; and while
a most able and highly-respected indivi- lie was ready to treat with charity and
dual, entertaining the conviction, that the tenderness the private scruples of any
reformation had not led to the temporal man's conscience, he could not behold
prosperity of this kingdom; that it had with complaisance such a branch of faith
not accelerated the revival of learning- as that of Confession, which (and he
opinions which, as conscientiously enter- avowed it with sorrow) tolerated one
tainted by that gentleman, he would not man's communication to another of his
quarrel with-but, he would say, that with intention to commit a murder, but re-
such opinions it was impossible that the strained that other from divulging the in-
individual whn entertained them should formation to the intended victim.- A
not considerthedispossessionof his church good deal had been very adroitly said by
of its temporalities by the church of Eng- his right lion. friend, of the distinction
land, as a great act of injustice; and that between transubstantiation and consub-
therefore, with such impressions, he was stantiation, and of the manner in which
not qualified to legislate for a state essen- the doctrine of absolution was maintained
tially Protestant. He felt the same con- in other countries; but, there was a wide
viction when he was told to refer to the difference in this respect with what was
statements of Dr. Doyle, as given in evi- taught the Catholics, and the impression
dence before the parliamentary commit- made in consequence upon the minds of
tees; and on that point he must declare an ignorant and credulous peasantry, who
his total inability to reconcile the former were disallowed the privilege of reading
acknowledged publications of that very the Scriptures, and forming a just judg-
able and reverend gentleman, with the ment for themselves upon these doctrinal
testimony given by him in those commit- points. He could himself understand the
tees. distinction attempted to be drawn between
The right lion. gentleman here pro- the extent of the power of absolution sup-
ceeded to read extracts from the publica- posed to be enjoyed by bishops, as dis-
tions of Dr. Doyle, addressed to the Ro- tinguished from that held by the priest-
man Catholics of Ireland under the signa- hood; but did the ignorant peasant make
ture of J. K. L., and which in eloquent all these nice calculations, and weigh
language described tile state of the Pro- them justly in a moral scale? Then, as
testant church in Ireland, and the extent to the doctrine of indulgences, and their
of the sacrifices, which, at the expense of natural influence upon the temporal con-
food and raiment, the Irish peasant was duct of the people, it afforded no satisfac-
called upon to make for its support. tion to him to hear Dr. Doyle describe
When such were the acknowledged opi- the scale upon which such indulgences
onions of one of the most acute and learned were estimated, their extension to seven
prelates of the Irish church, he must be years, beyond which they could not pre-
excused for entertaining doubts of the vail, or their shorter quarantine of forty
expected efficacy of the measure of con- days; enough was it for him to know
ciliation, as it was called, now in progress, what must be their effect on the popular
with persons professing to hold such sen- notion of the remission of the temporal
timents. So that, with whatever qualifi- punishment of sin. And these were the
cations this bill was accompanied, he difficulties which met his view whenever
hoped he should be also excused by his he looked at the question.
hon. friend, tie member for Armagh, for But, he was asked whether he thought
confessing himself not to be converted by the law could remain upon its present
the new lights which had been shed upon footing ? That was a question which he
the question. As to the incorporation of was not at the moment prepared to deter-
the Roman Catholic clergy with the state, mine; at the same time that he begged
he would fairly own that he objected to always to be understood as ready to remedy
it, not because they believed in the doc- every just ground of complaint which the


115 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Roman Catholtic Reliff Bill.


Elir










Roman Catholic Relief Bill.


Catholics might have against the adminis-
tration of justice, and to remove every
irritable cause of party excitement. It
was this feeling which led him last year
to express his difference of opinion from
his hon. friend (Mr. Brownlow), who had
then gloried in being an Orangeman, and
with whom he was also under the neces-
sity of differing as strongly now. He was
most anxious to allay these differences,
and to reform and relax the penal code,
so far as was consistent with the stability
of the Protestant establishment. He
would make all reasonable concession to
the Catholic, while he would maintain the
Protestant character of the throne, the
parliament, the church, and the judicial
bench. Short of all these he was ready
to concede; but more he could not relax.
He strongly condemned that line of argu-
ment which went to impress the minds of
the people with a persuasion, that the
present policy of the law could not be
supported, and which was calculated, in
its result, to induce them to swell into
demands, requests which were originally
couched in terms of deference and re-
spect. He could not approve of exciting
the hopes of the people, as they had been
excited with regard to this question, by
appeals to abstract principles of civil right,
and by attacks on the government; for it
was always painful to have to retard the
accomplishment of what many might think
to be a general wish. If he were told that
this was bigotry-if he were told that it
was impossible to abstain from giving the
Catholic religion the perfect toleration
now sought-his answer was, that he was
sorry for it; and that if such concessions
as those now required were granted, he
was apprehensive the time would not be
very far distant, when other concessions
of a very different nature would be de-
manded. That the great body of the
Catholics would experience considerable
dissatisfaction, should parliament reject
their claims, he by no means doubted.
But, to whom would that dissatisfaction
be attributable? Not to himself, or to
those hon. gentlemen who thought with
him, and who had never encouraged the
expectations of the Catholics, but, on the
contrary, had witnessed the growth of
those expectations with deep regret. The
dissatisfaction would be owing to those
who had excited extravagant hopes in
the Catholic mind. Undoubtedly, the
occurrence of any disappointment, on the
part of so large and important a body of


his majesty's subjects, must be to him a
subject of painful contemplation; but he
had the consolation to know, that he
never concurred in the propriety of the
doctrines maintained by the advocates of
what was called Catholic Emancipation,
and therefore could not be considered re-
sponsible for the consequences of those
doctrines. His right lion. friend had al-
ways disclaimed any thing like negotia-
tion with the Catholics, and had said, he
would legislate for them, not treat with
them. But, what had been the course
pursued during the last ten years ? What
was the history of the securities that were
to accompany the relief to the Catholics?
Did it not prove, that whatever might be
said of the disposition to.legislate for the
Catholics and not to treat with them, con-
cession was constantly made to the Ca-
tholics, and no concession to the Protes-
tants? The first security that was offered
was the Veto. Such a security existed
in every Protestant state in Europe. And,
was it not enough to excite surprise, to
find in this Protestant kingdom (for so
it was designated in the bill of Rights)
the Crown called upon to pay the profes-
sors of religion, in the appointment of
whom it was denied any influence? But
thus it was; and any attempt of the Pro-
testants to legislate on the subject was
termed bigotry. The Veto was aban-
doned; and, in 1821, his right lion. friend
produced those securities which he, no
doubt, thought adequate on the one hand
and necessary on the other. On looking
for those securities now, however, they
were nowhere to be found. They had
been entirely done away with, and others
substituted. The securities having thus
grown
Small by degrees, and beautifully less,"
were now become so exceedingly minute,
that they could not well be reduced any
further in size. They had sunk below
zero, and had been almost too minute for
calculation. So insignificant were they
at present, that he implored his right hon.
friend to leave them out of the bill altoge-
ther. They were told, indeed, that the
question of securities could be properly
considered only in the committee. On
this point he would say, that if the great
measure were once conceded, be would
infinitely rather place all its details upon
a principle of generous confidence, than
fetter them with a jealous and ineffectual
system of restriction. To establish a
permanent Catholic commission coming


APitti 21, 1825. [ 1181


117]









119J HOUSE OF COMMONS,
in contact with the Crown, and for the
purpose of advising the Crown; the Crown
being notwithstanding compelled to make
appointments which it might think liable
to great objection, was to him no satis-
factory provision. But then, there was
to be a certificate of loyalty. Now, every
body knew what loyalty meant in private
conversation; but, what did it mean by
act of parliament He did not know
what loyalty meant by law, except that
the individual to whom the term was ap-
plied was never convicted of a crime in a
court of justice. When Dr. Doyle was
asked if, in his opinion, the proposed pro.
vision for the Catholic clergy should be
inalienable, he answered yes, while they
comported themselves loyally and peace-
ably as became subjects; and when he
was asked, whether by not comporting
themselves loyally and in obedience to
the laws, he did not mean their being
convicted by some legal court of such
conduct, he replied in the affirmative.
Now, really, he could not conceive a
more painful duty, than for the commission
to certifyto the Crown the loyalty of those
whom they recommended, It was a de-
lusion also to suppose that such an ar-
rangement would diminish the dangerous
character of the correspondence of the
Catholic prelates with the see of Rome.
His right hon. friend had observed, that
that correspondence existed at present.
True; but how different would be its
character when it became sanctioned by
act of parliament, instead of being carried
on under the terror of severe laws which
might be executed.
He would beg leave to say a single
word with respect to one of the measures
which were to accompany this Catholic
Relief bill, and which by many were con-
sidered as complete securities against the
danger of that bill. He meant the mea-
sure for raising the qualification of the
freeholders. On the first view of it, this
certainly appeared an extraordinary pro-
ject. He hoped it would not be acceded
to without great consideration. He could
assure the friends of Catholic concession,
that he had no sinister intention of at-
tacking one measure through the sides of
another. On the contrary, he was desir-
ous to conlsder each on its own grounds.
But, while he willingly admitted the right
of parliament to regulate any abuse that
existed in the exercise of the elective
franchise, lie could not hut look with
considerable alarm at a proposition for


Roman Catholic RiefflBill.


(cW


disfranchising a large portion of his ma-
jesty's subjects. Whatever might be the
moral effect of such a step, when he con-
sidered that the immense majority of the
population of Ireland was Catholic, he
felt some doubt whether, if the result of
the proposed bill should be, as its advo-
cates predicted it would be, greatly to
increase the prosperity of Ireland, and
therefore especially to enrich the Catholic
body, the raising the qualification might
not, in the course of twenty years, give a
very undue preponderance to the Catholic
interest. Mr. O'Connell, whose opinion
on such a subject was deserving of great
weight, thought that raising the qualifica-
tion would add to Catholic influence.
There were other important considerations
connected with this proposed measure.
He would not then pronounce decisively
respecting it; but he could not deny that
he had serious doubts whether it would
be productive of the effects anticipated
from it; and above all, whether it would
afford any security to the Protestant in-
terest.
With respect to the other measure for
paying the Catholic clergy, there were
also grounds, and those not of a financial
nature, which would render him indisposed
to agree to it. He was not prepared,
therefore, to admit the alleged securities
which these two supplementary measures
contained. The securities in the bill
under consideration lie must entirely re-
ject. If he once admitted the claims of
the Catholic, on the ground that his re-
ligious opinions ought to form no disquat
lification, he would not insult him by
making him take an oath, abjuring the
belief that faith might not be kept with
heretics. On these grounds he should
steadily adhere to the course he had
hitherto pursued on this subject; namely,
that of deeming all securities insufficient
by which Catholic influence was not ex-
cluded from the councils of the state, and
from the legislature. When he compared
the conduct now pursuing by this Protes,
tant parliament, in taking into consider,
tion the expediency of further concessions
to the Catholics, with the conduct of the
Catholic parliament of a neighboring
country, by which a law bad been passed
for punishing with the penalty of death
those who committed what was called
sacrilege, he must say, that he saw in
that comparison an additional reason for
proceeding no further. He could never
contest to any measure whiph diminished









Roman Catholic Reief Bill.


the security of our Protestant establish-
ment, and thereby threatened the foun.
dations of civil and religious liberty.
Mr. Brougham rose, amidst loud cries
for the question. He said, that after
the unanswerable speech of the right
hon. Secretary of State for Foreign Af.
fairs-a speech which replied, as by anti-
cipation, to all the arguments of the right
hon. gentleman who had just sat down-
the House must consider it wholly unne-
cessary to listen to a single further sen-
tence on the question; and he could as-
sure them, that it would be as irksome to
him to address them upon it as it would
be to them to hear him. He rose merely
to make two or three observations, for his
own sake and for the sake of other lion.
members, on a very important feature of
the subject which had been mixed up, and
especially by the right hon. gentleman
who had just sat down, in the latter part
of his speech, with the proper discussion
of that night. In the first place, then, he
declared, that in voting for the bill now
before the House, he voted for a known
anddefinite measure-a measure for grant.
ing relief to his majesty's Roman Catholic
subjects. As to any ulterior measures,
to operate as securities, or as alleged se-
curities, they might be very tit subjects
for consideration in the committee, but
they had nothing to do with the principle
of the bill, which was the question to be
then determined. With regard to the
two bills, one of which was to be intro-
duced to the House to-morrow, and the
other next week, having never yet formed
any part of the Catholic bill, and being in
their essence perfectly novel, it would be
the unfairest thing in the world to suppose
that any hon. member, by his vote of
that night, either directly or indirectly
expressed his sentiments, or insinuated
what would be his opinion upon them.
That those measures were of great import-
ance-of importance hardly inferior to the
bill before the House-he most readily
admitted. But, novel as they were, and
difficult as they were in themselves, they
were rendered still more difficult, by the
various opinions that were entertained re-
specting them. He could not find that
those persons who were best fitted, by
their local knowledge, to form an opinion
as to the expediency of those bills, were
able to give him any of that light, as to
their nature and probable effect, of which
he stood so much in need. Those who
were connected with the ecclesiastical in-


terests of the country, while they enter-
tained no doubt of the expediency of the
civil measure, entertained the greatest
doubt as to the expediency of the eccle-
siastical measure; and, on the other hand,
those who were connected with the civil
interests of the country, while they en-
tertained no doubt of the expediency of
the ecclesiastical measure, entertained the
greatest doubt of the expediency of the
civil measure. He should certainly come
to the discussion of both measures, with
all the deliberation which their importance
demanded; and he trusted with that wil-
lingness to be convinced of their expedi-
ency, which must be produced by the
temptation held out by the declaration of
some of the supporters of the Catholic
claims, that they were induced to vote
for the Catholic bill in consequence of the
security which those ulterior measures
promised. But, he should also come to
that discussion with the spirit of delibera-
tion and impartiality, with his mind ready
for conviction from any arguments which
could reconcile the seeming incongruities,
but remembering always his general con-
stitutional principles. In one case, any
thing which but seemed to approach to
the idea of disfranchisement must power-
fully affect his mind. In the other, a
large increase of the influence of the
Crown, implied in the assignment of a
provision for an extensive and powerful
hierarchy, to be paid by the Crown out
of money to be levied upon the public
at large, must equally affect him with
jealousy. These were reflections of an
astounding kind, which he had to encoun-
ter upon the mere threshold of this sub-
ject. Did the House mark the tenour of
that expression which had fallen from a
right hon. gentleman opposite, in advising
the adoption of the plan? Pay the
Irish clergy," said that right hon. gentle-
man, and the government will have an
officer in every parish." He repeated,
that he should come to the consideration
of both these ulterior measures, prepared
to hear every thing that could be urged
in their favour. Greatly disappointed
should he be if he found that he could not
agree to them; but, before he did agree to
them he must be convinced that theywould
leave the constitution untouched: and the
rights of all parties-of the Protestant
freeholder, who was to get no boon, as
well as the Catholic freeholder, who was
to get a boon-undiminished. He must be
convinced, that these measures would pot


ABRUL21, 1825.


(I[









123] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
render Catholic Emancipation pregnant
with matter hostile to the conciliation of
all classes of the community; the object
which, next to emancipation itself, was
the principal aim he had in view. He
had thought it right to express the doubts
which he entertained on these subjects.
All he now did, however, with respect to
them was to say, that he must pause be-
fore he consented to their adoption. He
might be wrong in entertaining any doubt
on the subject; and, if the success of the
Catholic bill rested on the success of those
other measures, he most sincerely hoped
that he should be proved so. On the
Catholic question itself he was quite clear.
He considered now, as he had always
considered, that considerations of expe-
diency, no less than considerations of
right and justice, demanded the adoption
of the bill before the House. It stood,
as it stood before it was mixed up with
any other measure, on the ground of
right, of expediency, almost of necessity.
The safety of the empire depended on
the conciliation of the people; and par-
liament should avail themselves of, per-
haps, the last opportunity that would be
offered them of granting that as a favour
which might otherwise be extorted from
them as a right. He rejoiced heartily
that he could anticipate with confidence,
that the result of that night's debate
would be a majority in favour of the bill
so triumphant, as to afford the best chance
of its success in that other House of par-
liament, in which alone it had hitherto
been for many years rejected.
The question being put, That the
word 'now' stand part of the question."
The House divided: Ayes 268. Noes
241. Majority for the second reading 27.
The bill was accordingly read a second
time.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Friday, April 22.
TREASON FORFEITURE REPEAL BILL.]
Lord Holland rose, pursuant to notice, to
bring in a bill to Repeal the Law of Attain-
der and Forfeiture, in so far as the rights
of others besides the persons offending
were prejudiced. It was not necessary for
him to state to their lordships what the
law was; but, the state of public opinion
was such, as induced him to think that
the proper time for altering the law was
now arrived. The object of the bill was,
to prevent forfeiture in cases of treason


Elective Franchise in Ireland.


[124


from extending further than to the person
and property of the offender himself, or
from extending to any titles descending to
others, and in all cases in which the pe-
nalty was not already so confined. As
the bill he held in his hand might be con-
sidered as a bill for reviving two acts, the
act of queen Anne and George 2nd., and
for repealing the act of the 39th of the
late king, it would be proper, in the first
place, for him to move that these acts be
read. Their lordships would allow the
first reading to pass; and, soon after the
bill should be printed, he would give
notice of a day for the second reading.
The acts referred to above were read
pro forma, after which the bill was read a
first time, and ordered to be printed.

IIOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, April 22.
ELECTIVE FRANCHISE IN IRELAND.]
Sir R. Wilson said, that some misunder-
standing had arisen in consequence of a
conversation between the hon. member
for Staffordshire, and the learned mem-
ber for Winchelsea as to the course
meant to be pursued respecting the bill
for altering the Elective Franchise in Ire-
land; and as it was his intention to op-
pose the principle of the measure, he was
desirous to know what course it was in-
tended to follow ? Should the discussion
take place that evening upon it, it was his
determination to take the sense of the
House.
Mr. Lyttleton said, that some misunder-
standing had certainly arisen on the sub-
ject, in consequence of which, several
gentlemen who had intended to take a
part in the discussion, and particularly
those who meant to oppose it, were not
then in their places. But, it was impos-
sible he could lose that opportunity of
taking some step in the business, and he
should be contented simply to ask leave
to bring in the bill, and let the discussion
take place on a future day. He should
be sorry to be called on to make any
statement, unless he had an opportunity
to make a complete one. He therefore
trusted the House would allow him to
bring in the bill now, and take the discus-
sion on Friday.
Mr. Brougham suggested the necessity
of as early a discussion as possible, in
order that that explanation might be given
which would either remove or confirm the
doubts which were entertained of its









123] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
render Catholic Emancipation pregnant
with matter hostile to the conciliation of
all classes of the community; the object
which, next to emancipation itself, was
the principal aim he had in view. He
had thought it right to express the doubts
which he entertained on these subjects.
All he now did, however, with respect to
them was to say, that he must pause be-
fore he consented to their adoption. He
might be wrong in entertaining any doubt
on the subject; and, if the success of the
Catholic bill rested on the success of those
other measures, he most sincerely hoped
that he should be proved so. On the
Catholic question itself he was quite clear.
He considered now, as he had always
considered, that considerations of expe-
diency, no less than considerations of
right and justice, demanded the adoption
of the bill before the House. It stood,
as it stood before it was mixed up with
any other measure, on the ground of
right, of expediency, almost of necessity.
The safety of the empire depended on
the conciliation of the people; and par-
liament should avail themselves of, per-
haps, the last opportunity that would be
offered them of granting that as a favour
which might otherwise be extorted from
them as a right. He rejoiced heartily
that he could anticipate with confidence,
that the result of that night's debate
would be a majority in favour of the bill
so triumphant, as to afford the best chance
of its success in that other House of par-
liament, in which alone it had hitherto
been for many years rejected.
The question being put, That the
word 'now' stand part of the question."
The House divided: Ayes 268. Noes
241. Majority for the second reading 27.
The bill was accordingly read a second
time.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Friday, April 22.
TREASON FORFEITURE REPEAL BILL.]
Lord Holland rose, pursuant to notice, to
bring in a bill to Repeal the Law of Attain-
der and Forfeiture, in so far as the rights
of others besides the persons offending
were prejudiced. It was not necessary for
him to state to their lordships what the
law was; but, the state of public opinion
was such, as induced him to think that
the proper time for altering the law was
now arrived. The object of the bill was,
to prevent forfeiture in cases of treason


Elective Franchise in Ireland.


[124


from extending further than to the person
and property of the offender himself, or
from extending to any titles descending to
others, and in all cases in which the pe-
nalty was not already so confined. As
the bill he held in his hand might be con-
sidered as a bill for reviving two acts, the
act of queen Anne and George 2nd., and
for repealing the act of the 39th of the
late king, it would be proper, in the first
place, for him to move that these acts be
read. Their lordships would allow the
first reading to pass; and, soon after the
bill should be printed, he would give
notice of a day for the second reading.
The acts referred to above were read
pro forma, after which the bill was read a
first time, and ordered to be printed.

IIOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, April 22.
ELECTIVE FRANCHISE IN IRELAND.]
Sir R. Wilson said, that some misunder-
standing had arisen in consequence of a
conversation between the hon. member
for Staffordshire, and the learned mem-
ber for Winchelsea as to the course
meant to be pursued respecting the bill
for altering the Elective Franchise in Ire-
land; and as it was his intention to op-
pose the principle of the measure, he was
desirous to know what course it was in-
tended to follow ? Should the discussion
take place that evening upon it, it was his
determination to take the sense of the
House.
Mr. Lyttleton said, that some misunder-
standing had certainly arisen on the sub-
ject, in consequence of which, several
gentlemen who had intended to take a
part in the discussion, and particularly
those who meant to oppose it, were not
then in their places. But, it was impos-
sible he could lose that opportunity of
taking some step in the business, and he
should be contented simply to ask leave
to bring in the bill, and let the discussion
take place on a future day. He should
be sorry to be called on to make any
statement, unless he had an opportunity
to make a complete one. He therefore
trusted the House would allow him to
bring in the bill now, and take the discus-
sion on Friday.
Mr. Brougham suggested the necessity
of as early a discussion as possible, in
order that that explanation might be given
which would either remove or confirm the
doubts which were entertained of its









Elective Franchise in Ireland Bill.


policy. There were difficulties which a
further inquiry might clear up. He was
not a member of the committee himself;
and had therefore, no opportunity of ac-
quiring official information, but he knew
that there were certain questions, which
could be best cleared up by inquiry before
a committee. He therefore hoped that
an earlier day than Friday would be fixed
for the second reading.
Mr. Calcraft said, he was no party to
this arrangement. The bill required an
explanation: its object was perfectly mis-
understood, and it ought to be made intel-
ligible to the people both of England and
Ireland. The bill was generally thought
to enact the disfranchisement of the forty-
shilling voters, but that was not its object.
If it were, he would be the last to give it
his support. Even those who were in
the habit of daily conversing with Irish
members, entertained a complete misap-
prehension of the objects of the bill. How
strong, therefore, must be the misconcep-
tions upon the subject in the minds of the
people in general.

BUTTER TRADE IN IRELAND.] Sir
H1. Parnell presented a petition from the
Butter-makers of Doonane, in the Queen's
County, praying for a repeal of the laws
for regulating the Butter Trade of Ireland.
Mr. Hutchinson hoped, that if a com-
mittee were appointed to investigate this
subject, due notice of its formation would
be given, so as to afford those who were
interested in the trade an opportunity of
stating their sentiments.
Mr. Grattan said, that the abuses in
the trade appeared to be so great, that he
hoped a committee would be appointed
in the present year to examine the evil,
and to recommend measures for its cor-
rection.
Sir G. Hill was of opinion that no new
measure should be adopted respecting
this trade, without a very serious and
extended inquiry.
Mr. S. Rice said, that the subject
might be fully discussed, without altering
the law this session.
Mr. L. Foster felt that the subject was
one of deep importance. Ifanyalteration
were made in the law, it ought to be pre-
ceded by a very minute inquiry.
Sir J. Newport said, he had no objec-
tion to inquiry; but, in his opinion, it
ought to take place at the commencement
of next session. If the examination were
now set on foot, it would have a great effect


on the exportation of butter. Day after
day the price of that article would be in-
fluenced by the evidence given, or the
statements made before the committee.
Sir H. Parnell said, that the corrupt
practices carried on under the butter
act were a most severe infliction on poor
and industrious people. Complaints were
particularly made of the butter-tasters.
It had been represented to him, that those
persons were often induced to neglect
their duty for a bribe; that they some-
times attended to perform their functions
in a state little short of intoxication; and
that they often decided on the quality of
the butter, not as it really deserved, but
in proportion to the emolument which
they were to reap from their corrupt prac-
tices. He had inquired into these points;
and had found the allegations well-found-
ed. In one instance, five guineas had
been given to the wife of a butter-taster
to induce her husband to certify that
butter of second quality was of first quality,
that it might be exported in this fictitious
character. Parliament were called upon
to inquire into this subject; and he could
see no reason why that inquiry should
not commence now.
Mr. C. Grant said, that ministers were
quite ready to go into the committee,
either in this, or the next session.
Ordered to lie on the table.

ELECTIVE FRANCHISE IN IRELAND
BILL.] Mr. Littleton said, he now beg-
ged leave, on the understanding to which
the House had come last night, to move
for leave to bring in a bill "to regulate the
exercise of the Elective Franchise in Ire-
land." He would, in consequence of the
understanding to which he had alluded,
abstain from making any observations on
the introduction of this bill. He hoped,
however, that an early day would be fixed
for reading it a second time, when gentle-
men would have a full opportunity for
the expression of their opinions. To
himself, it was a matter of no importance
whether he opened the grounds on
which he introduced this measure on the
present occasion, or reserved his state-
ment for a subsequent period. The
House had come to an understanding on
that point early that morning, and that
understanding had been renewed this
evening. The consequence was, that a
vast number of members had left the
House. Amongst them were many who
were especially unfavourable to the views


[126


APRIL 22, 1825.









127] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


which he took relative to this measure;
and therefore he felt himself bound in
honour simply to explain what the nature
of the intended bill was. The hon. mem.
ber for Wareham was of opinion, that the
disfranchisement of the 40s. freeholders of
Ireland would be a measure of a very
arbitrary nature. He thanked the hon.
member for having called for informa-
tion on this subject; and he would take
the liberty to observe, that he did not
mean to extend the provisions of the bill
to those freeholders who held their free-
holds under the same practice that pre-
vailed in England at this period. The
bill would only refer to freeholders whose
votes were subject to registration. The
sum which gave to those individuals the
right of voting at present, it was the ob-
ject of this bill to raise. He would not
state positively, although he had formed
a strong opinion on the subject, how high
the qualification ought to be raised; but,
in his opinion, 101. per annum would be
an eligible qualification; that, however,
he left entirely in the hands of the House.
Another point which had been alluded to,
was the period at which the act should
begin to operate. It might be suffered to
operate forthwith; or at the period when
the present registry expired, or at the ter-
mination of the several leases. Hethought
the end of the registration would be the
proper time for the act to begin to take
effect. But he felt that this was a proper
matter for consideration in the committee.
The hon. member then moved "That
leave be given to bring in a bill to regu.
late the Exercise of the Elective Fran-
chise in Counties at large in Ireland."
Mr. Brougham observed, that, in conse-
quence of the understanding to which it
was stated the House had acceded, a
number of gentlemen had undoubtedly
gone away. This being the case, it would
be inexpedient to go into a discussion of
the measure now: but, it ought to be
stated, that on this occasion, leave to bring
in the bill was only called for. If there
were any hon. members who wished to
defeat the measure at once, they would
have an opportunity of stating their argu-
ments against it on the first reading.
Mr. Bankes said, that this was a mea-
sure of so alarming a nature, that the
attention of the House, and of the public,
ought to be particularly called to it. He
would take the first opportunity, when this
bill was brought forward, to divide the
House upon it; and he should therefore


wave, at present, any further observation
on the measure. In his opinion, the bill
was open to the most serious objections.
It was one of the most unconstitutional
and arbitrary measures that ever was in-
troduced to the House.
Mr. Grattan said, he looked upon this
as a very alarming proposition.
Mr. Secretary Peel merely rose to say,
that, in acquiescing in the motion for leave
to bring in the bill, he made no concession
whatever. The rule of the House former-
ly, was different from that which now pre-
vailed. It was now customary to grant
leave to bring in a bill, merely for the
purpose of considering what its effect was
likely to be. Afterwards its contents
were debated; and it might be rejected
on the second reading. In consequence
of the understanding which was come to
last night, he would not offer any objection
to the present motion: but his opposition
to the measure should be precisely as de-
cided in the stage when it came to be
debated, as if he opposed its being brought
in originally.
Mr. Brougham trusted, that he might be
understood, after what he had stated that
morning, as not having pledged himself to
support this measure. On a future day
he should take an opportunity of stating
his opinion on this question.
Mr. Calcraft said, that if ever there was
a bill brought into parliament which re-
quired the most minute detail, it was this
identical bill. This he would assert, that
if members in the House understood it,
very few persons out of the House did.
He, for one, did not understand it in de-
tail; and therefore he was anxious for ex-
planation.
Sir T. Lethbridge said, that, in his opi-
nion, the bill which it was proposed to
bring in was not at all calculated to answer
the expectations which it had raised. A
great deal had been said about relief to
the people of Ireland; but, he could not
see what relief they would find in being
deprived of privileges which were really
valuable, and which made them of some
importance, and in receiving instead of
privileges, an imaginary good. An hon.
friend of his, whose conversion had created
so great a sensation in the House, had
said, that he would not vote for the bill
which had been discussed last night, unless
the bill now before the House, and that
for providing for the Catholic clergy,
should also be carried. Now, in the com-
mon course of proceedings in parliament,


Elective Franchise in Ireland Bill.









129] Elective Franchise in Ireland Bill.


the first of these bills would have passed
through all Its stages before the fate of
the other two bills could have been de-
cided. The hon. member for Armagh
must, therefore, either not vote at all, or
he must vote inconsistently with the de-
claration he had made.
Mr. Calcraft rose to order. He sub-
mitted that it was neither parliamentary
nor delicate to allude to the words of a
past debate; and particularly when the
member by whom those words were sup-
posed to have been used was not present.
Sir T. Lethbridge thought he was per-
fectly justified in alluding to the declara-
tion made by his hon. friend, the member
for Armagh. He thought he had much
more reason to complain of the interrup-
tion of the hon. member, which imputed
to him an intention to speak of the decla-
ration ,made by his hon. friend in an in-
jurious manner-an intention which he
altogether disclaimed.
Mr. Wymnn said, it was beyond all ques-
tion contrary to the practice of parliament
to allude to expressions which had been
used in a debate that was past, and still
more so in the absence of the member by
whom they had been used. It was true,
that the House allowed a great latitude
beyond the strict letter of its orders ; but
he believed, that in no instance, after the
objection had been taken, a member had
been permitted to persist in violating the
established custom of parliament.
Mr. Secretary Peel said, there could be
no doubt that a direct reference to the
words of a debate was not parliamentary;
but, the hon. baronet had not dohe this.
He had referred only to an intention ex-
ressed by the hori. member for Armagh,
y which that hon. member had said he
should regulate his conduct. This was
very different from quoting the words in
.which that intention had been conveyed.
Whether to do this were delicate or not,
was another question, which each indivi-
dual must decide for himself, but of
which theHouse, he conceived, could take
no notice.
Mr. Wynn said, he thought that to refer
to a declaration, as the hon. baronet had
done, was not less irregular than to refer
to the precise words in which it had been
made; and for this reason-that the person
by whom it had been made being absent,
he could have no opportunity of explain-
ing or justifying what he had said.
I The Speaker rose amidst loud cries of
Chair." He said, that having been so
VOL. XIII.


APRIL 22, 182.


SISO


distinctly appealed to, he could not hesi-
tate to express his opinion, that the irre-
gularity spoken of did not depend upon
the fact of the person to whom the allusion
was made being present or not, although
the question of delicacy certainly did;
because the House considered that all its
members were present in every debate.
The question, then, was, whether it was
according to the practice of parliament to
refer to the matter, or to the distinct
words, of any part of a former debate.
Now, it was altogether disorderly to refer
to the express words ofa debate; and this,
as he had already said, whether the mem-
ber by whom they. had been used was
present or not. With respect to a refer-
ence to the subject matter of a debate, it
was the practice of the House to allow
great latitude. If it were not for the ex-
cuse which this practice furnished, the
whole debate had been irregular from its
commencement; because if it was opposed
to the forms of the House to refer to a
former debate, it was not less so to refer
to an understanding that leave should be
given to bring in a bill. In his opinion,
however, nothing could be so inconvenient
to the progress of business in that House,
as for the Speaker strictly to watch every
violation of the letter of their orders. He.
therefore commonly left such subjects to
be regulated by the general sense of the
House, taking from them the hint, and
declining himselftointerfere, unless under
circumstances likely to obstruct the public
business.
Sir T. Lethbridge bowed to the decision
of the Chair; but lie could not avoid ob-
serving, that it was some consolation to
him to know, that if he had been out of
order, he was not so alone, the whole dis-
cussion being, as the Speaker had said,
irregular. Still he contended, that, if the
House should give the hon. gentleman
leave to bring in his bill upon no other
statement than that which lie had made,
they would do a very uncommon thing :
andadmit a bill, of the principle of whichno
one had said a word in recommendation.
Dr. Phillimore said, he believed there
was a general understanding, that in con-
sequence of the late hour to which the
debate of the preceding night had extend-
ed, the discussion of the principle of this
bill should be postponed. For his own
part, he had no doubt that the measure
which it proposed to carry into effect was
calculated to do away a great abuse, and
to confer a lasting benefit'on Ireland.
K










131] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Sir J. Newport said, that notwithstand-
ing the sentiments which the hon. baronet
had expressed, he did not believe that the
Catholic freeholders of Ireland would
give him any credit for the new-born-zeal
which he seemed to feel for their interests.
They would rather be inclined to suspect
that he intended, by throwing obstacles in
the way, to defer the passing of that other
and greater measure, of which he had been
so long the opponent. For his own part,
he confessed that he was most anxious to
see this bill passed: and, notwithstanding
the assertion of the hon. baronet, that it
was hostile to the interests of the people
of Ireland, he was ready to go before that
people in competition with the hon. baro-
net, and abide their decision on the sub-
ject. He should support the measure,
because he believed it would materially
aid the success of the other and more im-
portant one of emancipation, and because
it would prevent the demoralization of
the lower orders, of which the present
system was the cause.
Mr. Wodehouse said, he had seconded
the motion of his hon. friend the member
for Staffordshire, and he saw no reason for
withdrawing the support which he had
given to this measure.
Mr. Secretary Peel deprecated any
partial discussion of a measure, which, at
a proper time and season, would come
regularly under the consideration of the
House.
Mr. Littleton said, he had the bill now
ready to present to the House. He pro-
posed that leave should be given for it to
be printed; and he would take any day
that it might be convenient for the debate
on its second reading. He hoped the
House would not oppose any difficulty in
the way of this proposition, otherwise he
must be under the necessity of meeting
the dilemma in which he was placed by
now giving notice of a motion on the sub-
ject.
Mr. Bankes would only beg, that, if any,
an early day might be appointed for the
discussion of the subject.
Mr. Hutchinson said, he had never re-
quired any security for passing the great
bill for emancipating the Catholics. Al-
though it has been asserted, that the 40s.
freeholders of Ireland were degraded men,
le nevertheless felt it his duty to protect
them, with as much regard to their civil
rights as the highest commoners. In the
instance of his own constituents, he could
say, that he had found as honourable and


Spirit Duties. [132
as high-minded men among the 40s. free-
holders, as among any other class of
voters.
Mr. S. Rice did.not wish to prolong the
discussion; but there were two important
points on which he wished to be informed.
The first was, whether his hon. friend
meant to confine the disfranchisement of
the 40s. freeholders only to those counties
where corruption and fraud had existed ?
The second was, whether he considered
this bill as strictly conditional upon the
passing of the Catholic Relief bill.
Mr. Littleton answered both these ques-
tions in the affirmative.
Mr. Hume considered the bill as a mat-
ter of expediency. He wished the prin-
ciple of the measure to be discussed; but,
to admit the bill without discussion, was
to admit also the principle. He objected
to bringing in the bill that night, because
the greater portion of the members had
left the House, on an understanding that
no discussion would take place on the
subject.
Lord Althorp trusted, that the bill to
be brought in would prove of the greatest
advantage. The 40s. freeholders had not
independent votes. He therefore consi-
dered it quite consistent with his wishing
for a reform of the representation, to de-
prive of the right of voting those who had
no independent votes.
Leave was then given to bring in the
bill. It was shortly after brought in by
Mr. Littleton, and read a first time.

SPIRIT DUTIES.] The House having
resolved itself into a committee on the
Spirit Duties Acts,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
he had upon a former occasion explained
to the House the grounds upon which he
thought it expedient to place all the laws
relating to distilleries in England on one
identical and intelligible footing, and to
do away with the inconveniences which
were daily found to result, from the cir-
cumstance of different laws prevailing in
different parts of the kingdom. It would
not, therefore, now be necessary for him
to advance any general reasoning on the
subject; and he flattered himself that the
House would readily concur with him in
thinking, that something was necessary to
be done to effect this object. It appeared
to him, that no alteration would be so ef-
fectual as that which should assimilate the
distillery laws of England with those of
Scotland and Ireland. He would state









1 3] Spirit Duties. ArmL 22, IS'5. [131
generally the sort of regulations which he between the two kinds of spirit. He was
proposed to adopt for this branch of the therefore determined to make the duty
trade and manufacture of the country, uniform, without reference to its being
In the first place, it was necessary to im- distilled from malt or grain. It would be
pose certain restrictions on the persons in the recollection of the House, that a
carrying on this trade: he should be glad bill had past last session for regulating
if this had not been necessary, but the weights and measures, which was.to take
large amount of the duties renderedit im- effect next year. According to that bill,
possible to wave them. In Ireland and in the standard by which measures were to
Scotland no persons were allowed to carry be hereafter regulated was the imperial
on the trade of a distiller without the cer- gallon, which differed from the ordinary
tificate of a justice of the peace. This re- wine measure on which the duty on spirits
gulation,which the peculiar circumstances was at present taken. The imperial gallon
of Scotland and Ireland rendered neces- might be represented by six, whilst the
sary, he did not propose to adopt in Eng- common wine gallon might be represented
land. The qualification which he should by five. If he had fixed the duty on the
suggest instead was, that persons carrying common wine gallon at 6s., the relation
on the trade of distillers should inhabit which it would have borne to the imperial
and pay the rates of houses of the rent of gallon would have been inconvenient; as
201. perannum. This would facilitate the it would have left an indescribable fraction
collection of the duty; while, if persons of a farthing unaccounted for. The duty
who could distil in a tin kettle were per- of 5s. 10d. on the common wine measure,
mitted to do so, the excise would be cheat- however, corresponded exactly with the
ed at every turn. The next regulation duty of 7s. on the imperial gallon; and
was, that all persons licensed to carry on thus any intricate calculation would be
the trade of distillers, should be resident avoided in the settlement of questions
within a quarter of a mile of a town in which might arise between the excise-
which there should be 500 inhabited officer and the dealer. The right lion.
houses, in order to secure a sufficient gentleman concluded by moving several
number of excise officers for the preserva- resolutions to the effect which he had
tion of this branch of the revenue. With stated.
respect to the size of the stills, it had been Sir J. Newport expressed his satisfaction
found necessary in Ireland and in Scotland, at the statement of the right hon. gentle-
where smuggling was extensively carried man. Great advantages must be the re-
on, to use stills of small dimensions, be- suit of a free intercourse. He hoped that
cause larger ones were ineffectual to pre- with this measure, all the trammels that
vent it. In England there was not the now interrupted the commerce between
same necessity, and it was therefore his England and Ireland would end, and that
intention to reduce the size of stills from full scope would be given to the exercise
3,000 gallons, the present rate, to 400, the of the industry and energies of both
dimensions at which they had formerly countries. Ireland and Scotland should
stood. He would now state to the com- be considered as much a part of England,
mittee the alterations which he intended as Essex or Kent. He therefore gave his
to propose respecting the duties. The cordial approbation to measures, which
existing duty was 10s. 6d. per gallon, at equally tended to advance the interests of
7 per cent over proof. It would, he all parts of the united kingdom.
thought, be a great improvement on the Mr. IV. Smith opposed the measure, and
present system, to adopt the rule which said that it would, in his opinion, contri-
was observed in Ireland and Scotland; bute more to the disadvantage of England,
namely, to fix the duty according to the than any measure that could have been
proof strength of the spirit, and that duty adopted. The immorality of the thing
he proposed should be 5s. 10d. per gallon. was beyond all question; for there was no
He would shortly explain why he had fix- necessity to enable a man to get drunk for
ed on that particular sum; which might a shilling: he could do that easily enough
otherwise appear somewhat singular. The already; and as to the proposition laid
first idea was to fix a duty of 5s. upon spirit down by the right hon. gentleman, he
distilled from malt, and 6s. on that distil- considered it as fallacious, as if any one
led from grain; but, on looking into the were mathematically to assert, that by
details of the subject, he found that it adding unequals to equals the result would
would be difficult to make a distinction be equals. In the report on the Police of










135] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the Metropolis in 1817, it appeared, from
the most incontestible evidence, that al-
most every crime of the most atrocious
character, such as murder, robbery, and
burglary, was committed under the in-
fluence of ardent spirits. If this were so,
he would ask whether that could pos-
sibly be a measure of good tendency
which went to reduce the price of spirits,
as he was satisfied it would be reduced, to
little more than half the present amount ?
But, it was said, that though the duty was
to be reduced one-half, double the quan-
tity of spirits would not be drunk, nor
would the quantity drunk by the same in-
dividuals, be increased in any very great
proportion. The right hon. gentleman,
however, argued very differently when he
proposed the reduction of the duty upon
wine. He then talked with great confi-
dence, of the increased quantity of wine
which he hoped would be drunk; and,
could he suppose that the reduction of
the price of spirits would have a different
effect on the lower classes of the people,
than the reduction of the price of wine
would have on the higher classes? It was
said, that the Scotch were a sober people,
notwithstanding the low price of spirits in
Scotland. The fact was, that the poverty
of the lower classes of the people in Scot-
land was a check upon their intemperance.
Low as the price of ardent spirits was in
that country, they could not afford to pur-
chase them. He might remind the House
of the reply of Dr. Johnson to a person
who observed, that a man might buy a
Solan goose in Scotland for two-pence.
" Granted," said the doctor, "but where
will he find the two-pence in Scotland?"
He confessed that he apprehended serious
results to the morality of the country from
the reduction proposed by the right hon.
gentleman. Whatever might be theeffect
of the measure, he had delivered his own
soul. The righthon. gentleman had taken
no means to encourage the brewers, and
to turn the people from dram-drinking to
the consumption of beer. He sincerely
regretted that he should have proposed a
measure, which was calculated to have so
demoralizing an influence on the habits of
the people.
Mr. Hume strongly recommended the
Chancellor of the Exchequer to equalise,
to a greater degree than he had proposed,
the duties between England, Scotland,
and Ireland, and also to reduce the duties
on malt. He could not agree with the
ihon. member for Norwich, as to the


Spirit Duties. [JG6
danger to be apprehended to the morals of
the country, from the adoption of this
measure. He begged his hon. friend to
look to Holland and France, where the
price of brandy and gin was half what it
was in this country. Would he find in
those countries such scenes of drunken-
ness and crime, as he apprehended from
the low price of spirits ? He believed,
that in the countries where the price of
spirits was highest, the .greatest excesses
took place. And this was easily account-
ed for: it was the disposition of man,
when he could only obtain an indulgence
occasionally, to get as much of it as he
could; but, if circumstances enabled him
to obtain the gratification regularly, the
temptation to commit an excess was re-
moved. He was satisfied, therefore, that
the reduction of the duties on spirits, so
far from operating as a temptation to in-
temperance, would only have the effect
of enabling the lower classes of the people
to indulge regularly and temperately, ra-
ther than irregularly and without modera-
tion, in the use of spirits; and the moderate
use of spirits he believed to be much more
salutary and beneficial than it was com-
monly supposed to be. Besides the coun-
tries to which he had adverted, he would
mention the United States of America,
where, though the price of spirits was
much lower than it would be in this coun-
try after the reduction of the duty, there
was no disposition to intemperance among
the people. Good wages and low prices
were the best security for good conduct.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
he had felt great difficulty in determining
what should be the amount of reduc-
tion of duty. He admitted that it would
have been very desirable to approximate
still further than he had proposed towards
a complete equalization of duties. He
should not have feared to reduce the duty
in England still lower, if he had felt him-
self warranted in increasing the -duty in
Ireland and Scotland. If he had lowered
the duty still further in England, the
revenue would have suffered too much, if
he had not increased the duty in Scotland
and Ireland ;and such an increase of duty,
immediately after the success of the
recent experiment, would have operated
as a fresh encouragement to smuggling.
As to the apprehensions of the hon. mem.
ber for Norwich, that the country would
be deluged with drunkenness, in con-
sequence of the reduction of the duty
on spirits, he thought that hon. member a









Roman Catholic Claims.


anxiety for the morals of the country had
led him to take unnecessary alarm at this
measure. He did not participate in those
fears; and he thought the objections of
the hon. member had been satisfactorily
answered by the reference which the hon.
member for Aberdeen, had made to the
state of countries, in which the price of
spirits was much lower than it would be in
this countryafter the reduction of theduty.
Mr. Hutchinson supported the resolu-
tion, and trusted the right hon. gentleman
would adopt the suggestion of the hon.
member for Aberdeen by reducing the
duty on malt.
Captain Gordon thought the country
greatly indebted to the right hon. gentle.
man, for a measure which was calculated
to suppress illicit distillation in all parts
of the empire.
The resolutions were agreed to.

BRITISH MUSEUM-MR. RICH'S COL-
LECTION.] The House having resolved
itself into a committee of Supply,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, ad-
verting to the report of the committee
appointed to consider the expediency of
purchasing for the British Museum the
collection of coins, antiquities, and manu-
scripts of the late Mr. Rich, observed,
that that report was so explicit and satis-
factory, that it was quite unnecessary for
him to trouble the House with any details
or arguments on the subject. Nor could
it be necessary for him to impress upon
the House how highly honourable it was
to the country, to make every effort for
the due cultivation of literature and the
arts. The collection in question was one
of undoubted value, and was declared by
competent judges to be well worth the
sum required for it. He would therefore
move, "' That a sum not exceeding 7,5001.
be granted to his majesty, for the purchase
of Mr. Rich's collection of manuscripts,
antiquities and coins, to be placed in the
British Museum, for the benefit of the
public."
Mr. Hume cordially supported the mo-
tion. He said he would take the present
opportunity of expressing his regret at
the condition in which many of the valuable
monuments in the country now were, and
of asking the right hon. gentleman if
he would have any objection to the
appointment of a committee to inquire
what was the state of the monuments
which had been erected to the memory of
our distinguished countrymen, where


they were placed, the expense that had
been incurred in their erection, and how
far they were at present accessible to the
people ? If the right lion. gentleman had
no objection to such a proposition, he
hoped that either he, or some other mem-
ber of his majesty's government, would
make it, in order that the public might
know what was the result of the great
expense on the subject which they had
incurred. Among other things, he was
informed, that the shillings which were
collected at the doors of Wesminster
Abbey went into the pockets of the
persons who were appointed to take care
of those monuments; but he also under-
stood, that there was another fund from
which those persons ought to be paid,
and which the dean and chapter put into
their own pockets. He thought this was
a subject which should be inquired into.
Mr. Bankes admitted that the expense
which the public were put to in the erec-
tion of those monuments gave them a fair
claim to inquire how the funds received
for exhibiting them were applied; but he
thought the onus of such inquiry ought
not to be thrown upon the chancellor of
the Exchequer. The subject was, he
granted, a fair one for inquiry.
Mr. Hume disclaimed the slightest im-
putation on the right hon. gentleman.
All that he wished to know was, whether
government would sanction the appoint-
ment of such a committee as he had
alluded to; as otherwise, any proposition
for its appointment would be nugatory.
Sir C. Long did not know any thing of
the fund to which the right hon. member
had alluded, as being provided for the
care of the monuments in Westminster
Abbey. He could assure the hon. gentle-
man that his majesty's government had no

other wish on the subject, than that the
public should have the full benefit of the
money that had been expended upon it.
As to the present vote, there could be no
difference of opinion about the value of
the collection which it was to secure;
and he thought it but common justice to
observe, that there had never been any
collection offered to the trustees of the
British Museum, in a more fair, liberal,
and handsome manner.
The resolution was then agreed to.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, April 25.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] His


[158


137)


APnI 295, 1825.









123] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
render Catholic Emancipation pregnant
with matter hostile to the conciliation of
all classes of the community; the object
which, next to emancipation itself, was
the principal aim he had in view. He
had thought it right to express the doubts
which he entertained on these subjects.
All he now did, however, with respect to
them was to say, that he must pause be-
fore he consented to their adoption. He
might be wrong in entertaining any doubt
on the subject; and, if the success of the
Catholic bill rested on the success of those
other measures, he most sincerely hoped
that he should be proved so. On the
Catholic question itself he was quite clear.
He considered now, as he had always
considered, that considerations of expe-
diency, no less than considerations of
right and justice, demanded the adoption
of the bill before the House. It stood,
as it stood before it was mixed up with
any other measure, on the ground of
right, of expediency, almost of necessity.
The safety of the empire depended on
the conciliation of the people; and par-
liament should avail themselves of, per-
haps, the last opportunity that would be
offered them of granting that as a favour
which might otherwise be extorted from
them as a right. He rejoiced heartily
that he could anticipate with confidence,
that the result of that night's debate
would be a majority in favour of the bill
so triumphant, as to afford the best chance
of its success in that other House of par-
liament, in which alone it had hitherto
been for many years rejected.
The question being put, That the
word 'now' stand part of the question."
The House divided: Ayes 268. Noes
241. Majority for the second reading 27.
The bill was accordingly read a second
time.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Friday, April 22.
TREASON FORFEITURE REPEAL BILL.]
Lord Holland rose, pursuant to notice, to
bring in a bill to Repeal the Law of Attain-
der and Forfeiture, in so far as the rights
of others besides the persons offending
were prejudiced. It was not necessary for
him to state to their lordships what the
law was; but, the state of public opinion
was such, as induced him to think that
the proper time for altering the law was
now arrived. The object of the bill was,
to prevent forfeiture in cases of treason


Elective Franchise in Ireland.


[124


from extending further than to the person
and property of the offender himself, or
from extending to any titles descending to
others, and in all cases in which the pe-
nalty was not already so confined. As
the bill he held in his hand might be con-
sidered as a bill for reviving two acts, the
act of queen Anne and George 2nd., and
for repealing the act of the 39th of the
late king, it would be proper, in the first
place, for him to move that these acts be
read. Their lordships would allow the
first reading to pass; and, soon after the
bill should be printed, he would give
notice of a day for the second reading.
The acts referred to above were read
pro forma, after which the bill was read a
first time, and ordered to be printed.

IIOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, April 22.
ELECTIVE FRANCHISE IN IRELAND.]
Sir R. Wilson said, that some misunder-
standing had arisen in consequence of a
conversation between the hon. member
for Staffordshire, and the learned mem-
ber for Winchelsea as to the course
meant to be pursued respecting the bill
for altering the Elective Franchise in Ire-
land; and as it was his intention to op-
pose the principle of the measure, he was
desirous to know what course it was in-
tended to follow ? Should the discussion
take place that evening upon it, it was his
determination to take the sense of the
House.
Mr. Lyttleton said, that some misunder-
standing had certainly arisen on the sub-
ject, in consequence of which, several
gentlemen who had intended to take a
part in the discussion, and particularly
those who meant to oppose it, were not
then in their places. But, it was impos-
sible he could lose that opportunity of
taking some step in the business, and he
should be contented simply to ask leave
to bring in the bill, and let the discussion
take place on a future day. He should
be sorry to be called on to make any
statement, unless he had an opportunity
to make a complete one. He therefore
trusted the House would allow him to
bring in the bill now, and take the discus-
sion on Friday.
Mr. Brougham suggested the necessity
of as early a discussion as possible, in
order that that explanation might be given
which would either remove or confirm the
doubts which were entertained of its









139] HOUSE OF LORDS,
Royal Highness the Duke of York
stated, that he had been requested to
present to their lordships the petition of
the dean and canons of Windsor, praying
that no further concessions should be
made, to the Roman Catholics. He
considered it unnecessary, in bringing
before their lordships the petition of so
learned and respectable a body, to assure
them it was worded so as to ensure its
reception; but, before he moved that it
should be read he must be permitted to
say a few words.
Sensible as his roval highness was of
Iis want of habit and ability, to take a
part in their lordships' debates, it was not
without the greatest reluctance that he
ventured to trespass upon their time and
attention 5-but he felt that there were
occasions when every man owed it
to his country and to his station, to
declare his sentiments; and no oppor-
tunity could, in his opinion, offer, which
required more imperiously the frank
avowal of them than the present, when
their lordships were called upon to make
a total change in the fundamental princi.
ple of the constitution, and, in his royal
highness's view of the question, to strike
at the very root of its existence.
His royal highness observed, that
twenty-eight years had elapsed since this
question had been first agitated, under
the most awful circumstances, while this
country was engaged in a most arduous
and expensive, though just and glorious
war; that the agitation of it had been the
cause of a most serious and alarming ill-
ness to an illustrious personage now no
more, whose exalted character and vir-
tues, and whose parental affection for his
people would render his memory ever dear
to this country; that it had also pro-
duced the temporary retirement from his
late majesty's councils of one of the most
able, enlightened, and most honest states-
men of whom this country could boast.
Upon this question they were now
called to decide; and from the first mo-
ment of its agitation to the present, his
royal highness said, he had not for one
instant hesitated, or felt a doubt, as to the
propriety of the line of conduct he had
adopted in reference to it.
That he must also call their lordships'
attention to the great change of language
and sentiments which had taken place
since the subject was first introduced,
among the advocates for Catholic eman-
cipation.


Roman Catholic Claims.


[110


That at first the most zealous of these
had cautiously and yet strenuously endea-
voured to impress upon the minds of the
people that Catholic emancipation ought
not to be granted without establishing
strong and effectual barriers against any
encroachment on the Protestant ascen-
dancy. But, how changed was now their
language! Their lordships were now
required to surrender every principle of
the constitution, and to deliver us up,
bound hand and foot, to the mercy and
generosity of the Roman Catholics, with-
out any assurance even that they would
be satisfied with such fearful concessions.
His royal highness said, he had, upon a
former occasion, taken the liberty of
stating his sentiments fully upon the sub-
ject, and had endeavoured to convey to
their lordships that no person was more
decidedly inclined to toleration than his
late majesty, but that it must be admitted
there was a great difference between tole-
ration, participation, and emancipation.
He would not now enter into this discus-
sion, convinced as he was that, if the bill
should again be brought under their con-
sideration, its merits would be much more
ably discussed by others of their lordships.
There were, however, one or two points
which appeared to him to have been kept
out of view in the different debates that
had occurred in various places, and which
seemed to him of such vital importance
that he could not help touching upon
them.
The first was, the situation in which
the church of England would be placed
should Catholic emancipation pass. If
his royal highness were mistaken he would
doubtless be set right ; but, he had always
understood that the established church of
England stands in a very different situa-
tion from any other religious persuasion
in the world; different even from that of
the Sectarians in this country. The es-
tablished church was subject to its own
government, and did not admit the inter-
ference of the civil authorities. It was
placed under the authority of the king as
the head of it, and under the control of
parliament, so much so, that the church
was not only not represented as'a body in
the lower House of parliament, but no
clergyman was admitted to a seat in it.
Surely, their lordships could not wish
to place the established church of Eng-
land upon a worse footing than any other
church within these realms: nor allow the
Roman Catholics, who not only refused









141] Corn Laws.
to submit to our rules, but who denied
any authority of the civil power over their
church, to legislate for the established
church; which must be the case if they
should be admitted to seats in either
House of parliament.
The other point to which his royal
highness had to advert, was one which lie
felt to be of a more delicate nature. He
must, therefore, begin by stating to their
lordships, that he spoke only his own
individual sentiments ; as he must not be
supposed to utter in that House the sen-
timents of any other person. He was
sensible that, by what he was about to
say, he should subject himself to the scoffs
and jeers of some, and to the animadver-
sions of others; but, from speaking con-
scientiously his own feelings and sen-
timents, he would by no apprehension
whatever be appalled or deterred.
That he wished to ask whether their
lordships had considered the situation in
which they might place the king, or whe-
ther they recollected the oath which his
majesty had taken at the altar, to his
people, upon his coronation. He begged
to read the words of that oath:-" I will,
to the utmost of my power, maintain the
laws of God, the true profession of the
gospel, and the Protestant reformed reli-
gion established by law-and I will pre-
serve unto the bishops and clergy of this
realm, and to the churches committed to
their charge, all such rights and privileges
as by law do or shall appertain to them,
or any of them."
Their lordships must remember, that
ours is a Protestant king, who knows no
mental reservation, and whose situation
is different from that of any other person
in this country. That his royal highness
and every other individual in this country
could be released from his oath by the
authority of parliament; but the king
could not. The oath, as lie had always un-
derstood, was a solemn obligation entered
into by the person who took it, from
which no act of his own could release
him; but the king was the third part of
the state, without whose voluntary con-
sent no act of the legislature could be
valid, and he could not relieve himself
from the obligation of an oath.
His royal highness said, he feared that
he had already trespassed too long upon
their lordships, and he thanked them for
the patience with which they had heard
him. If he had expressed himself too
warmly, especially in the latter part of
S


APRIL 25, 1825. [142
what he had said, he must appeal to their
liberality. That he felt the subject most
forcibly; and that it affected him yet
more deeply, when lie remembered that
to its agitation must be ascribed that
severe illness, and ten years of misery,
which had clouded the existence of his
illustrious and beloved father. That he
should therefore conclude with assuring
their lordships, that he had uttered his
honest and conscientious sentiments,
founded upon principles which he had
imbibed from his earliest youth; to the
justice of which he had subscribed, after
serious consideration, when he attained
more mature years; and that these were
the principles to which lie would adhere,
and which he would maintain and act up
to, to the latest moment of his existence,
whatever might be his situation of life-
So help him God!
Ordered to lie on the table.

CoRN LAWS.] The Marquis Camden
presented a petition from several Land-
owners and Land-occupiers, against any
alteration of the Corn Laws. The subject,
he said, was one involving very important
interests, and required that their lordships
should proceed with great caution.
The Earl of Lauderdale, seeing the
noble earl opposite in his place, rose to
ask what were the intentions of his ma-
jesty's government on this subject ? He
did not mean to enter, in the smallest
degree, into the general question ; but he
could assure their lordships, that there
prevailed a great degree of agitation on
the subject; and as long as the question
was left open, numerous petitions would
be sent to their lordships. Not only the
agriculturists and the manufacturers were
interested in it, but the monied men in the
City, as every body must know who at-
tended to the state of the exchanges, were
affected by this question being kept open.
He, therefore, hoped the noble earl would
state whether his majesty's ministers
meant to propose any alteration in the
corn laws during the present session.
The Earl of Liverpool said, he had no
objection to give as satisfactory an an-
swer as possible, to the question of the
noble earl. At the same time, he could
not, consistently with the importance of
the subject, and the duty which he owed
to the public, answer the question of the
noble earl without troubling their lord-
ships with a few observations. Their
lordships were aware, that the last time









14)] HOUSE OF LORDS,
the subject was brought under considera-
tion, was in the year 1822. At that time
the parliament did not adhere to the sys.
tem of 1815: some alteration was made;
and it appeared from the report of the
committee of the House of Commons,
that it was in the contemplation of the
committee to recommend a further altera-
tion in the whole system of the corn laws.
Thus the question stood at the beginning
of this session, and now stands, subject,
however, to a small qualification which he
should hereafter mention. He had no
difficulty in stating to their lordships, what
he had previously stated in private, that,
in his opinion, some alteration ought to
be made in the general system of the
corn laws; he thought, however, that it
would not be expedient to make that al-
teration during the present session. He
said this present session, because it was
probable that, in the next session, it
would be found necessary to take up this
great and important question in all its
bearings.-There were some points to
which he would briefly allude, in order to
show their lordships, that enlarged inquiry
and considerable discussion would be ne-
cessary, before they could hope to settle
the question on any sure and proper
grounds. Their lordships all knew the
difference of opinion which prevailed on
this subject; and no one knew it better
than his noble friend who had put the
question. If the country were allowed to
remain in any uncertainty, their lordships'
table would be crowded with petitions.
Petitions would come from one large and
respectable body, praying for an alteration,
which would have the effect of lowering
prices; and there would also be petitions
from another class equally respectable,
against any measure which might have a
tendency to produce any such effect.
Their lordships must not conceal from
themselves the truth, though it was clear
to every enlarged view, that no statesman
could doubt, that all the interests of a
state were closely combined, and that
whatever promoted the welfare and pros-
perity of one, also ultimately promoted the
welfare and prosperity of others. Still,
those who would come to their lordships
with petitions on this subject, did not take
this comprehensive view. On this ques-
tion there was one branch of the great and
leading interests of the country, which
always endeavoured to prevent the price
from falling too low; while there was ano-
ther branch which always wished to keep


Corn Laws. 144
the price as low as possible. No states'
man could overlook this difference of opi-
nion, or perhaps condemn the persons
who entertained these different opinions;
but, it was his duty to attend equally to
all the great interests of the country. On
this important question he had had many
communications from more than one quari
ter: he had heard numerous doctrines
about free trade; but, in the course of all
the discussions of this question which had
fallen under his notice, its true difficulties
were never fairly considered. He hoped
and believed that their lordships would
give him credit for saying, that no man
could be more desirous than he was, to see
the trade of the country placed on the
most liberal footing; but, when commer-
cial principles were applied to corn, ob-
stacles arose which were not easily over-
come. In all other kinds of manufacture,
if a fixed protecting duty were imposed,
it would be easy to abide by it. Whatever
might be the state of the home supply at
a particular time, things would at length
come round, and the manufacture would
find its level. But, it was not so with re-
spect to corn; because, at however equi-
table a rate the duty might be fixed, still
periods and seasons might occur, in which
no protecting duty whatever could be ad-
hered to. In a time of great scarcity it
could not be said to a starving population,
that they should pay any thing in addition
to the natural price of corn. He threw
out these observations merely to show,
that there was a great difficulty belonging
to this question; but, he was perfectly
satisfied that their lordships must proceed
to its consideration, with the view of mak-
ing some alteration in the present system,
This, he thought, would appear to be
called for on several grounds. The price
of corn in this country was now nearly
double what it was in 1815, when the
present system was fixed. The argument
used in making that arrangement was, that
it was necessary to raise the price, in
order to secure a reasonable profit on cul-
tivation. This appeared to be by no
means necessary now, with 80s. for the
importation price. He felt, however, that
he should not be rightly discharging his
duty, if he ventured to give any opinion
as to what ought to be the duty, or im-
port price. Next session an opportunity
would be afforded their lordships for a full
consideration of the subject. In the mean
time, he should only state what appeared
to him to be the different principles on









145] Corn Laws.
which their lordships would have to de-
,cide. He had stated, that the present
system could not be maintained-that was
to say, with respect to the importation
price-in consequence of the effect which
it had on the value of labour. Their
lordships would, therefore, have to pro-
ceed on one of three principles. First;
they might alter the importation price,
and in other respects retain the system.
Secondly; they might alter the existing
system altogether, and, adopting the re-
commendation of the committee of 1822,
impose protecting duties with a maximum,
beyond which importation should be per-
fectly free, and a minimum, under which
no importation should be allowed. Third-
ly; a general protecting duty might be
fixed, getting rid of the present system of
averages. Either of these latter plans
would form a complete alteration in the
present state of the Corn laws; but, the
Jas mode could not be resorted to, with-
out placing somewhere a discretionary
power to remove the duty altogether in a
time of scarcity. Much difficulty would
be found in establishing a maximum or
minimum along with a fixed protecting
duty. If, therefore, a fixed duty should
be rejected, their lordships would have
the option, either of adhering to the pre-
sent system with an alteration of the im-
port price, or establishing a system of
protecting duties with a maximum and
minimum; or else of taking a maximum
and minimum without any protecting duty.
He knew not whether he had made him-
self intelligible; but, he thought it right
to lay before the House the different sys-
tems which it was likely their lordships
would have to discuss. He must again
repeat, that it was not his intention to
propose any alteration in the Corn laws
during the present session. He did not
know, however, but that one particular
part of the present system might sooner
be brought under their lordships' consi-
deration; he meant the question relating
to the bonded corn which had been and
still was in warehouses. That question
had already undergone some alteration
with respect to Canada corn. With re-
gard to the other bonded corn, those
members of the landed interest whom he
had consulted on the subject were favour-
able to the contemplated alteration. As
to the general question, he certainly could
not think it right to enter on its consider-
ation at that late period of the session;
but, aware that it must in due time come
VOL. XIII.


APRIL 25, 1825. [146
under consideration, he was anxious to
put the House in possession of his views
and feelings on the subject.
The Marquis of Lansdown said, he had
a petition to present from the city of Lon-
don, praying for a revision of the Corn
laws, which he should submit to their
lordships to-morrow. He concurred in
much of what had fallen from the noble
earl opposite; at the same time, he must
observe, that the result of much delibe-
rate and serious reflection on this subject
had brought him to the conclusion, that
it would be ultimately impossible for par-
liament to continue a system of restrictive
Corn laws. It would, therefore, be the
duty of parliament to look forward to the
doing away of the system altogether. He
agreed with the noble earl, as to the dif-
ficulty of fixing a duty which would not
be found very inconvenient in periods of
scarcity or abundance; but, at the same
time, he regarded such a plan as the best
calculated to prevent scarcity. While,
however, he entertained this opinion as to
a fixed duty, he was far from regarding
parliament to be now in a situation to de-
termine the average price, which would
afford a sufficient guarantee to the British
cultivator, and next the average rate of
productiveness on the continent. He
was sure that most erroneous notions pre-
vailed as to the average cost and price of
agricultural produce on the continent,
and that there was great difficulty in de-
termining what it was likely to be, in such
a way as to enable their lordships accu-
rately to fix a rate of duty. In coming
to a determination, it would be their lord-
ships' duty to endeavour to conciliate all
the interests in the country, and to take
care that the balance should not incline
too much to the one side or the other.
Their great object should be, to arrive at
something fixed and permanent; for, bad
as the present system was, he would rather
retain it with all its faults, than change it
for one still liable to fluctuation. It was
obvious that if too high a price were fixed,
the manufacturing interest would have
just reason to complain of the dearness of
provisions, which must raise the price of
every kind of labour. If the price were
fixed too low, the landed interest would
be injured, and with it, as recent events
had most strikingly proved, every other
interest in the country would be seriously
affected. Their lordships would then be
assailed with a clamour, and parliament
would be again compelled to raise the
L









147] HOUSE OF LORDS,
price. On these grounds, he thought he
could not too strongly impress on their
lordships, the necessity of considering this
important subject in all its bearings; and,
in their revision of the present system, of
looking to the establishment of a perma-
nent law, which would be capable of con-
ciliating the interests of all the different
classes of the empire.
The Earl of Lauderdale thanked the
noble earl for the exposition he had given
of his views on the Corn laws. It was not
his intention then to deliver any opinion,
as to any particular plan which it might
be proper for parliament to adopt; but,
he must remind their lordships, that while
they were considering the subject, specu-
lation would be at work. It was there-
fore necessary to delay their determina-
tion as little as possible, and to make the
new system one of more certainty than
the present. A fixed and permanent ar-
rangement ought to be adopted, suited to
a time of peace. The noble earl had
stated, that under the present system,
corn was in this country twice the price
at which it was sold for on the continent;
but, he should recollect, that when the
last arrangement was made, the agricul-
turists were told that 80s. was to be the
minimum. Their complaint, however,
was, that the price had never reached 80s.
However, during the existence of the ar-
rangement, bread had never been at an
unreasonable price. If it were intended
to come at last to a permanent arrange-
ment, he did not conceive that the task
could be accomplished, without a most
laborious inquiry, not only into the state
of agriculture in this country, but into its
relative situation in the other parts of
Europe. When their lordships considered
that the present system, under various
modifications, was the same which had
endured for more than a century, they
could not be too cautious in departing
entirely from it. He did not say that it
was perfect; but, it was one under which
the agriculture of this country had long
flourished. On this ground, he dreaded
alteration. He dreaded it, because, if any
change was to be, it ought to be to a per-
manent system, which was difficult; and,
because the situation of the landed interest
was different from that of any other.
Capital was embarked on land under
leases of twenty-one years, and the value
of that capital would be instantly affected
by any alteration of the law. All he
should say at present was, that he hoped


Corn Laws.


[148


the inquiry would be extensive, and that
the discussion would be conducted with
liberality.
The Earl of Liverpool wished to make
one observation more, in consequence of
what had fallen from the noble lords op-
posite. He fully agreed with them in the
Importance of a careful investigation, and
that if a change of system were made, it
should be one of as permanent a nature
as possible. But, if they were to look to
the price of grain in this country and
abroad, they would find that nothing could
be of a more varying nature. To be con-
vinced of this, they had only to refer to
the prices of the last thirty years. The
different rate of taxation in this and other
countries necessarily caused a great dif-
ference of price, and rendered it difficult
to come to a decision on the question of
duty. The variation in the weight of the
taxation, too, from seventy to forty mil-
lions, was a cause of fluctuation. Prusgia,
Poland, and other countries, from which
foreign corn was usually imported, were
all poor; but, as they increased in wealth
and civilization, their power of supplying
us would become less. These were all
circumstances hostile to that permanency
which was so desirable. Their lordships
would have to consider, whether they
would adhere to the present system, or
adopt one of protecting or fixed duties;
but, in whatever way they might proceed,
it appeared to him, that they never could
expect to obtain that certainty which
would enable them to fix an unalterable
price.
Lord King said, he wished a determi-
nation to be come to on this subject as
speedily as possible; for, in consequence
of the agitation of the question, bargains
between individuals must be at a stand,
until a settlement took place. He was glad
that the noble earl opposite was to call
the attention of parliament to the subject;
and he hoped that an understanding would
be brought about between the landed in-
terest and the manufacturers. Wheat in
some of the continental ports was 18s.;
but, if the market was opened in this
country, it would rapidly rise perhaps to
56s. or 60s.; but, whatever might be the
present price, great difficulty would be
experienced in founding on it a fixed
rate for importation. One great incon-
venience of a high rate was, that when
the ports were suddenly thrown open, an
immense importation took place. Some
measure ought to be adopted, to restrain










149] Corn Laws.
the excessive importation which took
place in such cases.
The Earl of Rosslyn hoped, that no-
thing would be done in this matter without
a complete inquiry, and without having
the whole subject sifted to the bottom.
The burthen of proving the necessity of
change lay upon those who proposed to
alter the present system. As the change
would affect the state of every contract
throughout the country, the intended
investigation would require great caution
and delicacy.
Lord Calthorpe, after expressing his
opinion in favour of the proposed inves-
tigation, presented a petition from the
Chamber of Commerce of Birmingham,
praying for a revision of the Corn laws.
The Earl of Darnley was glad to hear
that this important subject was to be
inquired into. He always regarded the
landed and commercial classes of the
country as having one common interest.
Of this he was certain, that if the landed
interest was injured by any change in the
cornlaws, the British manufacturers would
lose their best customers. He approved
of the plan of coming to no decision until
next session.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, April 25.
CoMaINATION LAWS.] Mr. Hobhouse
presented a petition from a deputation
from the weavers of Rochdale, who had
arrived in London, praying that they
might be examined before the committee
to whose consideration the Combination
Laws had been referred. The hon. gen-
tleman observed, that in the course of the
evening a petition would be presented
from above 4,000 weavers of Rochdale,
praying that the act for the repeal of the
Combination laws, which had passed last
session, might not be rescinded. It was
evident that even the repeal of bad laws,
if those laws had been long in existence,
might, in the first instance, have an un-
favourable tendency; and therefore that
it would be extremely unjust to pronounce
upon the expediency of such a repeal
after only six months' experience. He
confessed that he was astonished when
he heard the other evening, the president
of the Board of Trade complain of the
enactments of last session upon this sub-
ject, as-if he had not been a party to them.
Now, he had attended the committee upon
it pretty regularly, and he considered the
5 *


APRIL 25, 1825.


[150


right hon. gentleman a complete party to
what had been done. He was, therefore,
astonished to hear the right hon. gentle-
man disclaim any participation in it. He
was confident, that the more the House
and country considered these important
topics, the more they would be convinced
of the propriety of continuing the repeal
of the Combination laws.
Lord Stanley presented a petition from
the operative woollen manufacturers of
Rochdale, against the re-enactment of the
Combination laws.
Mr. Sykes observed, that, on a former
evening, remarks had been made on the
conduct of the committee of last year,
on the Combination laws, which, had he
been present, he certainly would have
answered. He thought that committee
had been very hardly used. It was a com-
mittee composed of a number of most
intelligent gentlemen, with the excep-
tion of one ; and they had most carefully
investigated the subject. Some evils did
undoubtedly arise from the operation of
the new law; but those evils were nothing,
when compared with the state of things
which existed before the law was altered.
By that measure hundreds of thousands
of people had been released from the un-
just shackles which had before been im-
posed on them. He was not so much
surprised, under the circumstances of the
case, that a few acts of violence had been
committed, as that they were so small in
number. If an attempt were made to re-
enact those laws, it would, he was sure, be
prejudicial to the peace and tranquillity of
the country.
Sir M. IV. Ridley thought it right to
say, that the committee had no such in.
tention, as that to which the hon. member
had alluded. They had only considered
what the effect of those laws had been.
To that simple inquiry they confined them-
selves, without indulging in any idea as to
whattheirfuture conduct should be. They
had opened their doors to petitions from
all quarters ; they had endeavoured to get
as much information as possible; and,
whatever they might ultimately recom-
mend to the House would depend entirely
on that evidence.
Ordered to lie on the table.

CORN LAWS.] Mr. T. Wilson rose to
present a petition, signed by a numerous
and respectable body of the merchants,
bankers, ship-owners, and other inhabi-
tants of the city of London, amounting to









Roman Catholic Claims.


anxiety for the morals of the country had
led him to take unnecessary alarm at this
measure. He did not participate in those
fears; and he thought the objections of
the hon. member had been satisfactorily
answered by the reference which the hon.
member for Aberdeen, had made to the
state of countries, in which the price of
spirits was much lower than it would be in
this countryafter the reduction of theduty.
Mr. Hutchinson supported the resolu-
tion, and trusted the right hon. gentleman
would adopt the suggestion of the hon.
member for Aberdeen by reducing the
duty on malt.
Captain Gordon thought the country
greatly indebted to the right hon. gentle.
man, for a measure which was calculated
to suppress illicit distillation in all parts
of the empire.
The resolutions were agreed to.

BRITISH MUSEUM-MR. RICH'S COL-
LECTION.] The House having resolved
itself into a committee of Supply,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, ad-
verting to the report of the committee
appointed to consider the expediency of
purchasing for the British Museum the
collection of coins, antiquities, and manu-
scripts of the late Mr. Rich, observed,
that that report was so explicit and satis-
factory, that it was quite unnecessary for
him to trouble the House with any details
or arguments on the subject. Nor could
it be necessary for him to impress upon
the House how highly honourable it was
to the country, to make every effort for
the due cultivation of literature and the
arts. The collection in question was one
of undoubted value, and was declared by
competent judges to be well worth the
sum required for it. He would therefore
move, "' That a sum not exceeding 7,5001.
be granted to his majesty, for the purchase
of Mr. Rich's collection of manuscripts,
antiquities and coins, to be placed in the
British Museum, for the benefit of the
public."
Mr. Hume cordially supported the mo-
tion. He said he would take the present
opportunity of expressing his regret at
the condition in which many of the valuable
monuments in the country now were, and
of asking the right hon. gentleman if
he would have any objection to the
appointment of a committee to inquire
what was the state of the monuments
which had been erected to the memory of
our distinguished countrymen, where


they were placed, the expense that had
been incurred in their erection, and how
far they were at present accessible to the
people ? If the right lion. gentleman had
no objection to such a proposition, he
hoped that either he, or some other mem-
ber of his majesty's government, would
make it, in order that the public might
know what was the result of the great
expense on the subject which they had
incurred. Among other things, he was
informed, that the shillings which were
collected at the doors of Wesminster
Abbey went into the pockets of the
persons who were appointed to take care
of those monuments; but he also under-
stood, that there was another fund from
which those persons ought to be paid,
and which the dean and chapter put into
their own pockets. He thought this was
a subject which should be inquired into.
Mr. Bankes admitted that the expense
which the public were put to in the erec-
tion of those monuments gave them a fair
claim to inquire how the funds received
for exhibiting them were applied; but he
thought the onus of such inquiry ought
not to be thrown upon the chancellor of
the Exchequer. The subject was, he
granted, a fair one for inquiry.
Mr. Hume disclaimed the slightest im-
putation on the right hon. gentleman.
All that he wished to know was, whether
government would sanction the appoint-
ment of such a committee as he had
alluded to; as otherwise, any proposition
for its appointment would be nugatory.
Sir C. Long did not know any thing of
the fund to which the right hon. member
had alluded, as being provided for the
care of the monuments in Westminster
Abbey. He could assure the hon. gentle-
man that his majesty's government had no

other wish on the subject, than that the
public should have the full benefit of the
money that had been expended upon it.
As to the present vote, there could be no
difference of opinion about the value of
the collection which it was to secure;
and he thought it but common justice to
observe, that there had never been any
collection offered to the trustees of the
British Museum, in a more fair, liberal,
and handsome manner.
The resolution was then agreed to.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, April 25.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] His


[158


137)


APnI 295, 1825.









151] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
upwards of 5,000 persons, on a most im-
portant question; namely, a revision of
the Corn laws of this country. He hoped,
ns the subject was one of deep and general
interest, that the House would favour him
with their attention, while he made a few
observations upon it. The petition was
the result of one of the most numerous
and respectable public meetings that ever
was convened. The meeting was so un-
animous, that but a single hand was held
up against two of the resolutions on which
the petition was founded. The petitioners
begged leave to express their opinion,
that a high price of food generally, as
compared with the price ofother countries,
was a very great evil: it deprived the
mass of the people of many comforts; it
lowered the energy of labour in this coun-
try ; it retarded the production of wealth:
it had an injurious effect on commerce;
and was prejudicial to the English charac-
ter, generally, in foreign markets. They
were also of opinion, that the constant
variation in the price of corn was an evil
scarcely less than the existence of extra-
vagant prices themselves. Under the exist.
ing system, the people never could have
the benefit of corn the growth of foreign
countries, until that article had reached a
very high price here. In consequence,
they had to pay nearly double thesum which
ought to be paid for that article when im-
ported, because the foreign markets were
guided by ours; they assimilated as nearly
as they could to our prices; and when
those prices rose, a progressive rise took
place in the continental markets. By
delaying to open the ports until corn was
at an extravagantly high rate, they were
ultimately obliged to pay double the price
for which they might have purchased it,
had the ports been opened a few months
before. There was another inconvenience
produced by this extraordinary rise of
price. When the price mounted up to a
great height, foreign countries were im-
mediately induced to unlock their surplus
produce, for the purpose of deriving the
benefit of that high price. When corn
thus came in from all quarters, the market
was completely deluged with it; and it
afterwards took three, four, or five years
to relieve the country from it. During
this time the landed interest must bring
their corn to market under circumstances
of great disadvantage. They were com.,
pulled to sell it for what they could get;
which would not be the case, if there was
a fair protecting duty, and the ports were


Corn Laws. [152
allowed to be commonly open. Under,
these circumstances, and considering,
likewise, that the present law was subject
to great abuse, and that the regulation of.
the trade had not operated in the way
which was contemplated when the law was.
framed, the petitioners came to parliament
to request that the act should be repealed,
and that a different ind more beneficial
system should be pursued. They stated,
that a fixed duty on the importation of
corn appeared to them to be the most wise
and efficacious measure that could be
adopted. It was, they conceived, the
only way in which a fair trade could be
carried on; since by it they would get rid
of the mischief to which the country was
at present liable from fraudulent returns;
and, if the landed interest did not get such
very high prices as they did from time to.
time, they would receive fair remunerating
prices, and would enjoy a steady market.
The petitioners took the liberty of stating
their belief, that the difference between
the charges in one country and in another
afforded the best criterion of what a pro-
tecting duty should be. The petitioners
wished such a duty to be levied as would
allow corn to be sold at a fair price. They
were by no means desirous that it should
be so low as to induce a depression of
price, that would be injurious to the land-
owner. The petitioners observed, that it
might be supposed, by those who had not
considered the subject, that the manufac-
turing interest was at variance with the
landed interest. This they denied; and
they declared their film conviction,
that the principles advocated by them,
would, on the contrary, lead to an increase
of trade which would be most beneficial to
both parties. As he had been intrusted
with this petition, he would say, that as no
man would go further than he would to
place this trade on a proper foundation,
so no man would approach the subject
with greater delicacy. It was hardly pos-
sible for any person to say what was the:
exact price which would afford a fair pro-
tection to the landed interest. In appor-
tioning that protection, if he erred, he
certainly would rather err by giving too
much than by giving too little. He
was anxious, as far as possible, to place
trade of every kind on a footing con-
formable with the sentiments of the right
hon. gentleman who was at the head of
the Board of Trade. XThere was one
circumstance which rendered it awkward.
to hripg thi4 subject before tm Home at









153]


. Corn Laws.


the present moment-he meant the returns,
from the British consuls, of the prices of
corn at different markets on the continent.
They were so low, that he feared the cir-
cumstance would stagger the feelings of
some gentlemen. But, it should be recol-
lected, that for five or six years this coun-
try had not been open to the grain of the
continent. There must, therefore, during
that time, have been a great accumulation
of corn; and it was no argument to say,
because wheat was now at 20s. the quarter,
that it would not rise to 30s. or 40s. when
the ports were opened, and a part of the
superflux disposed of. If the landed gen-
tlemen consulted their own interest, they
would take the present time, when the
manufacturing and mercantile system was
in a course of revision, and when agricul-
ture was well paid, to assist in the altera-
tion of the Corn laws. The petitioners
were most anxious that their sentiments
should be laid before the House, previous
to the discussion of this subject, on the
motion of the hon. member for Bridge-
north. He feared that he had stated their
opinions in an imperfect manner; but he
hoped he had said enough to show, that
the petitioners were not hostile to the land-
ed proprietors; but thatthey merely wished
to remove a system, which produced fraud
and inconvenience, and for that purpose
were desirous that a fixed rate of duty
should be established.
Mr. Gooch said, that the petition was
certainly entitled to the attention of the
House, as it came from a most respect-
able body of individuals. He should
not, therefore, object to its being receiv-
ed; but, if any subject ought to be less
tampered with than another, it was this
very subject. He would ask, was there,
before the hon. member for Bridgenorth
gave notice of his motion, a single peti-
tion on the subject of the Corn laws?
Did not every class of his majesty's sub-
jects appear contented? Did not his
majesty, in his gracious speech from the
throne, declare that tranquillity and hap-
piness reigned in every part of the coun-
try? If this was the case, he must call
on the hon. member for Bridgenorth
to state a much stronger case than he had
yet made out, before he could assent to
the intended alteration. He did not
mean to say that the Corn laws did not
want revision. The time might come
when it would be necessary to revise them.
But that time had not arrived. At pre-
seat, corn was only kept up to a fair price.


APRIL 25, 1825. [154
He wished the hon. alderman and his
friends in the city, had let this question
alone. If interference were necessary,
the country gentlemen could act for
themselves. At present, he believed, the
workmen in the city received greater
wages than they ever did. They had
nothing to do on Sundays and Mondays,
but to stuff themselves with roast beef
and plum-pudding. To talk of poverty
in the city, was all a mere humbug. The
agitation of this question had created a
ferment throughout the country; and he
had received many letters expressive of
the great apprehensions that were enter-,
tained with respect to the proceedings of
parliament. Individuals were afraid, if
the system were altered, that they would
be reduced to the same situation as that
in which they were placed some years
ago; and that they would be again borne
down by the poor-rates. He would say
to the country gentlemen, that they would-
be duller than the fat weed that rots on
Lethe's wharf," if they did not exert
themselves on this occasion. He would
ask of the right hon. gentleman, whether
his majesty's government intended to
make any proposition on this subject in
the present session?
Mr. Huskisson said, that the hon. gen-
tleman wished to know whether it was
the intention of his majesty's government
to propose any general measure of relief
with respect to the state of the Corn laws
in the present session, and he had no
difficulty in stating to him in answer, that
his majesty's government had no such in-
tention. If it had been contemplated in
the present session to introduce such a
measure, he thought it would have been
the duty of those to whom it was intrusted
to have taken an earlier opportunity for
bringing it forward. But, viewing all the
circumstances connected with the present
state of those laws, and all the considera-
tions which were embraced in so extensive
a subject, it would, he thought, tas" up
much more time than was convenient, if
he entered into any detail, until the ques-
tion was fairly before them. He would
himself suggest to parliament, at an early
period of the next session, the propriety
of entering on a general revision of the
state of the laws for regulating the trade
in corn between this and foreign countries.
If the hon. member for Bridgenorth
brought forward his motion on Thursday,
he would have an opportunity of stating
the reasons which had induced him and









155] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
his colleagues to adopt the opinion, that
it was not desirable, in the present state
of the session, to go into the inquiry. At
the same time, he felt no difficulty in say-
ing, that he had a proposition to submit
to the House on a matter that was con-
nected with this subject: he alluded to
the wheat which was now shut up under
bond. He thought it would be useful,
even to that class of persons who objected
to an alteration in the Corn laws, if that
wheat, under certain regulations, were
suffered to come into the market.
Mr. Heathcote earnestly hoped, that
the hon. member for Bridgenorth would
not bring this question forward. The
subject was now agitating the country in
an alarming degree. Why should they
go into this question now, when they
were told that they would have it all over
again next year ?
Mr. Whitmore said, he was sorry it was
not in his power to comply with the sug-
gestion of the hon. gentleman. He was
persuaded that considerable advantages
would arise from the discussion of this
very important subject; and therefore he
should bring it forward on Thursday. So
far from creating that degree of alarm
which gentlemen declared had been pro-
duced by the notice on this subject, he
felt a firm conviction that the statement
he should make on the occasion would
considerably allay any unpleasant feelings
which existed at present. A few words
had fallen from his right hon. friend, as
to the late period of the session, which he
held to be a reason for not bringing the
subject before the House at present.
That, however, was not his (Mr. Ws.)
fault; as he had given notice of his motion
at a very early period of the session.
But it had been postponed on two dif-
ferent nights, to make way for the Roman
Catholic Relief bill. He hoped the House
would come to the discussion on Thurs-
day, fully and firmly resolved to inves-
tigate it with that temper and coolness
which he was persuaded it deserved.
Mr. Curwen said, that, although he
should not probably agree with the hon.
member for Bridgenorth in his whole view
of the subject, there was one point in
which he would agree with him; and that
was, in the conviction, that there was not
a sufficient quantity of grain to serve the
country until another harvest arrived. He
was satisfied that they had been for some
time consuming more in proportion than
they grew. He was therefore favourable
to inquiry.


Corn Laws. [156
Mr. Alderman Thompson wished to
know whether his right hon. friend meant
to persevere in his intention of bringing in
bills for the repeal of the duties on foreign
manufactures? If he did, the present
state of the Corn laws would inevitably
prevent our manufacturers from compe-
ting with those of foreign countries; par-
ticularly if protecting duties were to be
reduced from 60 to 10 and 15 per cent,
as was contemplated.
Mr. Baring said, that the House and
the Country could not possibly be placed
in a more unpleasant situation than that
in which it would assuredly be plunged
by the course which government intend-
ed to take on this occasion. The hon.
member for Suffolk had asked a question,
as if he had a right not only to an answer,
but to such an answer as he wished him-
self. The right hon. gentleman had said,
in return, that the government would do
nothing this year, but that they would,
early in the next session enter into an ex-
amination of the whole subject of the
Corn laws. Now this was the most dis-
advantageous step that could be taken.
The hon. member for Boston had told
them, that there was a considerable fer-
ment in the county of Lincoln; and the
course his majesty's ministers were about
to adopt was calculated to produce a state
of excitement throughout the entire coun-
try. Whilst this question remained unde-
cided, no landlord could tell what his
lease, what his agricultural property, was
likely to be worth; for it was an un-
doubted fact, that the value of the lease
depended on the scale of protection
which was extended to the growth of
corn. In such a state of things, landed
gentlemen could not make settlements
and arrangements regarding their proper-
ty. They could not tell what provision
they might make for themselves, or for
those who were to come after them. All
this depended on what would be done to
regulate the price of corn. When the
right hon. gentleman said, that nothing
would be done now, but that next year
the question should be looked into, did
he not perceive that, during all the inter-
mediate period, he was keeping up a clash-
ing of interests? It was saying, You
shall go through the whole year under a
vicious system, which government intends
to cure next year." The hon. mem-
ber for Suffolk had admitted, that the
law. was most unsatisfactory; but then he
said, "O you must do nothing with it."









157] Corn Laws.
He should like to hear from that hon.
gentleman, why the present was not a
proper time for considering this question.
He should like to know why the country
was to be kept in a state of alarm for a
whole twelve-month. It did not become
them, in the discharge of their duty, to
sit there, and do nothing with this ques-
tion until next year. He conceived that
the protection afforded by the present
law was too high. There ought to be
a protection; but he objected both to the
form and the amount of the present pro-
tection.
Mr. Alderman Wood said, that the
meeting at which the petition was got up,
had assembled at a very recent period.
He could not, therefore, conceive how
their proceedings could have disturbed the
country. When so many measures were
adopted in furtherance of the principles of
free trade, it was fitting that an alteration
should be made in the corn trade. The
country would be placed in a most unfa-
vourable situation, if, when the duties
were lowered on foreign manufactures,
the price of bread was continued at its
present high rate. Under such circum-
stances, it would be impossible for Eng-
land to compete with foreign countries.
Sir E. Knatchbull expressed a hope, that
the hon. member for Bridgenorth would
see the expediency of putting off for the
present the motion of which he had given
notice. He deprecated any alteration in
the existing laws, until the necessity of
such alteration had been proved by the
actual experience of some inconvenience.
After the declarations which had been
made by ministers, that it was not their
intention to propose any alteration in the
course of the present session, to procure
the appointment of a committee would be
altogether useless.
Lord MVilton said, that, as he had pre-
sented so many petitions to the House on
both sides of this subject, he could not
allow the opportunity to pass without
making some remarks upon it. The pe-
titions to which he alluded came from
two classes of the people. One was, that
of the landed proprietors, who wished for
no alteration in the laws; the other was,
the class comprising the manufacturers,
who felt that the price of food was en-
hanced by the existing regulations, and
who therefore wished them to be abro-
gated. The first class of petitioners com-
plained, that they were just recovering
from a state of great depression, and that


APRIL 25, 1825. [158
they required the protection which was
now afforded them. The manufacturers, on
the other hand, stated, that they were
entitled to share the benefits which were
at present exclusively enjoyed by the
growers of corn. They urged, that, as
the agriculturists had very lately received
a considerable boon in the free exporta-
tion of wool, they were entitled to be re-
lieved from the restrictions on the import-
ation of corn. He expressed his regret
at the decision which had been come to
by his majesty's ministers to postpone for
the present any alteration. He thought
it was their duty to come to a decision
on so important a subject at the earliest
possible period. He perfectly agreed
with the lion. member for Boston in
thinking, that the country would be in a
state of ferment and alarm; and he would
ask whether it was right that such a state
of things should continue until the next
session, and, perhaps, until a general elec-
tion took place? But, it was urged, that
such a question should not be agitated,
unless upon the most pressing necessity.
He would ask, whether the price of the
food of thepeople was not at all times a
question of importance, and of pressing ne-
cessily ? He would ask too, whether it
was not better to discuss such a question
at a time of general prosperity, than wait
until additional protections were prayed
for on the one hand, and petitions for
cheap bread preferred on the other ? At
a period like the present, when the pros-
perity of the country was increasing,
and when the minds of men were cool and
undisturbed, it was, that a question of
such vast national importance should be
discussed. He hoped, therefore, that the
hon. member for Bridgenorth would per-
severe in his motion; as he was sure that
much advantage would be derived from
discussion.
Mr. Wodehouse expressed his dissent
from the view which had been taken of
this subject by the petitioners.
Mr. Frankland Lewis said, that as for
any idea which might be entertained of
setting this subject at rest without a very
full discussion, it was wholly out of the
question. The matter was too important
and too generally interesting to admit of
any other mode of disposing of it. The
law, as it existed, was bad, because it was
placed upon a very inconvenient footing;
and it was also wrong in two points; first,
because the degree of protection was fixed
in a depreciated currency, and it was










1591 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
therefore impossible now to ascertain its
just amount; and secondly because the
returns were made in an incorrect man-
ner. He was perfectly ready to admit, that
although he had voted in the year 1815
for the law as it was then altered, he was
now sorry that he had done so, being
convinced that the alteration between a
free importation on the one hand, and
the entire exclusion of corn on the other,
was a most injudicious and erroneous regu-
lation. He thought, however, that it was
highly preposterous, that his right hon.
friend, whose attention was occupied with
so many subjects of not less importance
than this, should be called upon at once
to come to a decision upon a topic which
would require such deliberate discussion.
It was far too mighty to be grasped by
any individual, and could only be safely
and satisfactorily treated by the united
consideration of the government and le-
gislature.
Mr. Calcraftthought, that ministers were
bound to fix the earliest day for the deci-
sion of this important subject. His com-
plaint against them was, first, that they
had not done so; and, secondly, that they
had not given the House timely intima-
tion of their intention not to touch the
question during the present session. He
maintained that it was not too late to
to enter into a revision of our Corn laws ;
and if it were, he agreed with his hon.
friend, in thinking, that the session ought
to be extended, in order to afford time
for doing so. It was well known that
the country was imposed upon by frauds
in taking the averages, and that a reme-
dy for the evil was loudly called for. He
thought originally, and thought still, that
the protecting duty was too high; but, not-
withstanding this, and the great facility
given to fraudulent returns of the prices,
the right hon. gentleman was not inclined
to go even so far as the averages. The
course adopted by his majesty's ministers
was, to say the leastofit, the most inconve-
nient that they could possibly have hit
upon. The House and the country had a
right to find fault with them for not having
taken an earlier opportunity of making
known their intentions on the subject.
He hoped, at least as far as the averages
were concerned, that ministers would con-
sider their decision and immediately do
something to correct the evils of the
system.
Sir T. Lethbridge said, that the landed
interest had nothing to do with the bring-


Corn Laws. [160
ing forward of this question at present.
Since it had been agitated, considerable
excitement had taken place in the coun-
try; and he thought that the right hon.
gentleman ought to come forward with
some measure, and take the subject
out of the hands of his hon. friend. He
never wished to see prices higher than
they were at that moment, and should be
happy to see the old principle of open
ports and fixed duties again acted upon.
There were at that moment 400,000 quar-
ters of wheat in bond, which might be re-
leased with great benefit to the public.
With respect to the amount of the duties,
all le had to say was, that it was better
they should be too high than too low ?
because it would then be easier to alter
them.
Mr. Huskcisson hoped that the House
would allow him, under the peculiar cir-
cumstances of the case, to go beyond the
strict limit of an explanation. The hon.
member for Wareham had complained,
that ministers had not given notice that
it was not their intention to bring for-
ward any measures regarding the Corn
laws this session. Now, he appealed to
the experience of every member who
heard him, whether it was at all the custom
for government to give notice, not only
of what they'did, but of what they did
not intend to do. He had said, however,
that it was not his intention to take up the
subject until next year; he had made no
secret of it, but had undisguisedly told
every member who chose to ask him the
question. Another hon. member had in-
quired, whether the hon. gentleman had
given his notice in concurrence with the
wishes of the ministers ? That question
had been already answered. The hon.
member for Taunton had complained of
the present state of the Corn laws, as if it
had been now for the first time admitted
that they ought not to be permanent.
He would, however, take that opportunity
of observing, that, so far from the present
laws being permanent, it was expressly
stated in this report of the committees, in
1821 and 1822, to be only a temporary
arrangement. He felt obliged to throw
himself on the candour of the House, in
the situation in which he found himself.
He had entered the House at the close of
the speech of the hon. member for the
city, and had scarcely heard one word of
it, when the question had been put to him,
out of which the present discussion had
arisen. He had replied-and it was the










149] Corn Laws.
the excessive importation which took
place in such cases.
The Earl of Rosslyn hoped, that no-
thing would be done in this matter without
a complete inquiry, and without having
the whole subject sifted to the bottom.
The burthen of proving the necessity of
change lay upon those who proposed to
alter the present system. As the change
would affect the state of every contract
throughout the country, the intended
investigation would require great caution
and delicacy.
Lord Calthorpe, after expressing his
opinion in favour of the proposed inves-
tigation, presented a petition from the
Chamber of Commerce of Birmingham,
praying for a revision of the Corn laws.
The Earl of Darnley was glad to hear
that this important subject was to be
inquired into. He always regarded the
landed and commercial classes of the
country as having one common interest.
Of this he was certain, that if the landed
interest was injured by any change in the
cornlaws, the British manufacturers would
lose their best customers. He approved
of the plan of coming to no decision until
next session.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, April 25.
CoMaINATION LAWS.] Mr. Hobhouse
presented a petition from a deputation
from the weavers of Rochdale, who had
arrived in London, praying that they
might be examined before the committee
to whose consideration the Combination
Laws had been referred. The hon. gen-
tleman observed, that in the course of the
evening a petition would be presented
from above 4,000 weavers of Rochdale,
praying that the act for the repeal of the
Combination laws, which had passed last
session, might not be rescinded. It was
evident that even the repeal of bad laws,
if those laws had been long in existence,
might, in the first instance, have an un-
favourable tendency; and therefore that
it would be extremely unjust to pronounce
upon the expediency of such a repeal
after only six months' experience. He
confessed that he was astonished when
he heard the other evening, the president
of the Board of Trade complain of the
enactments of last session upon this sub-
ject, as-if he had not been a party to them.
Now, he had attended the committee upon
it pretty regularly, and he considered the
5 *


APRIL 25, 1825.


[150


right hon. gentleman a complete party to
what had been done. He was, therefore,
astonished to hear the right hon. gentle-
man disclaim any participation in it. He
was confident, that the more the House
and country considered these important
topics, the more they would be convinced
of the propriety of continuing the repeal
of the Combination laws.
Lord Stanley presented a petition from
the operative woollen manufacturers of
Rochdale, against the re-enactment of the
Combination laws.
Mr. Sykes observed, that, on a former
evening, remarks had been made on the
conduct of the committee of last year,
on the Combination laws, which, had he
been present, he certainly would have
answered. He thought that committee
had been very hardly used. It was a com-
mittee composed of a number of most
intelligent gentlemen, with the excep-
tion of one ; and they had most carefully
investigated the subject. Some evils did
undoubtedly arise from the operation of
the new law; but those evils were nothing,
when compared with the state of things
which existed before the law was altered.
By that measure hundreds of thousands
of people had been released from the un-
just shackles which had before been im-
posed on them. He was not so much
surprised, under the circumstances of the
case, that a few acts of violence had been
committed, as that they were so small in
number. If an attempt were made to re-
enact those laws, it would, he was sure, be
prejudicial to the peace and tranquillity of
the country.
Sir M. IV. Ridley thought it right to
say, that the committee had no such in.
tention, as that to which the hon. member
had alluded. They had only considered
what the effect of those laws had been.
To that simple inquiry they confined them-
selves, without indulging in any idea as to
whattheirfuture conduct should be. They
had opened their doors to petitions from
all quarters ; they had endeavoured to get
as much information as possible; and,
whatever they might ultimately recom-
mend to the House would depend entirely
on that evidence.
Ordered to lie on the table.

CORN LAWS.] Mr. T. Wilson rose to
present a petition, signed by a numerous
and respectable body of the merchants,
bankers, ship-owners, and other inhabi-
tants of the city of London, amounting to









County Transfer of Land Bill.


only reply he could make under such cir-
cumstances-that when the time for de-
bating the subject should arrive, he
would be ready to enter into it. At the
same time, he did not hesitate to say, that
he thought it would be impossible to
come to any conclusion during the pre-
sent session. The hon. member for
Kent had said, that he wished no alter-
ation to be made until some actual in-
convenience had been felt. That, how-
ever, was begging the whole of the
question; because, the very reason put
forward by those who advocated an alter-
ation in the law was the general inconve.
nience which had been experienced. He
again appealed to the House, to give him
credit for having weighed well the reasons
which had induced him to withhold any
proposal on the subject, and to wait until
the motion of the hon. member for Bridge-
north should be before the House, when
he intended to explain the operation of the
change in the system of duties on the
manufacturing interests, and the conse-
quent effect which must be wrought in
the corn laws. He should also be then
prepared to state what it would be more
easy to accomplish in the next session,
with respect to those laws, and to show
the expediency of adopting some protec-
tion, by means of duties, instead of the
present objectionable alteration between
a free trade in, and the entire exclusion
of corn.
Mr. T. Wilson expressed his satisfaction
at the last part of the right hon. gentle-
man's speech, though he thought he had
been guilty of some little inconsistency
with respect to the Corn-laws,as compared
with his other commercial regulations.
Ordered to lie on the table.

MR. ROBERT GOURLAY.] Mr. Hume
presented a Petition from the parish of
Forfar, praying that a commission might
be appointed to inquire into the case of
Mr. Robert Gourlay. The petitioners
were impressed, like many others, with
an opinion, that Mr. Gourlay had been
severely and unjustly treated.
Mr. Peel wished it to be understood,
that Mr. Gourlay was not detained at
the instigation of government. He was
merely under the operation of the laws.
If any person could be found to give se-
curity for his peaceable demeanour, he
would not be detained one hour longer.
Mr. Brougham concurred with the
right hon. gentleman, but observed, that
VOL. XIII.


owing to the solicitor for the Treasury
having attended at Mr. Gourlay's exami-
nation at Bow-street, an opinion had got
abroad, that he was detained at the in-
stance of government. This he knew to
be incorrect; and he wished it also to be
understood, that he (Mr. B.) had in no way
been the cause of the poor gentleman's
being kept in prison, nor had he taken any
one step to have him lodged there. He had
had no quarrel with Mr. Gourlay, and the
circumstances under which he had commit-
ted the outrage upon him (Mr. B.) were
such, as, whatever opinion they might give
him of the soundness of his intellect, could
not create any anger towards the individ-
ual. The petition of which he spoke he
had put into his (Mr. B's) hand three or
four years before, and it related to the
education of the poor. Mr. Gourlay
wished him to introduce upon that occasion
a statement of his own case; and he,
although it had nothing in the world to do
with it, had complied, and had made that
statement. When Mr. Gourlay commit-
ted the outrage upon him, lie had said,
"Let the dead bury the dead," alluding
to the case of Mr. Smith, the missionary ;
and he had added,"Ifyou can find time to
attend to the affairs of a dead missionary,
why do you not attend to mine'' He
believed that Mr. Gourlay had experien-
ced very harsh and unjust treatment in
Canada. The learned gentleman conclu-
ded by declaring, that, as far as he was
personally concerned, he had no objec-
tion to the liberation of the petitioner.
Mr. Peel said, that the petitioner was
treated in the same way as any person
who was detained under similar circum-
stances. He was originally detained for a
breach of privilege in assaulting a mem-
ber in the lobby of the House, in doing
which lie had declared that he was only
imitating a high example-of scourging
sinners out of the temple.
Mr. J. Williams said, that Mr. Gourlay
had given him a petition to presentto the
House, in which he complained of the
manner in which he was treated with re-
gard to the food which was given him ;
but, at the same time, he spoke with the
greatest respect of the magistrates, and
particularly of the humane conduct of
the governor of the House of Correction.
Ordered to lie on the table.

COUNTY TRANSFER OF LAND BILL.]
Mr. F. Palmer moved the second reading
of this bill.
M


161]


APRIL 25, 1825. E 16










I63] HOUSE OF LORDS,
Mr. Peel characterized the bill, as a
very important measure, and declared
himself in favour of its principle. He
wished, however, the hon. member would,
after it had been committed, allow it to
stand over, to afford opportunity for local
inquiry on the subject.
The Solicitor-General was also of opin-
ion, that the measure was one of consider-
able importance. The object of the bill
was, to enable magistrates of counties to
purchase isolated parcels of land which
belonged to other counties from those in
which they were naturally placed, and
thus caused much inconvenience, with
respect to the administration of justice,
the collection of taxes, the raising of the
militia, and other matters. There was, he
believed, a piece of land of this descrip-
tion in Berkshire, which belonged to the
county of Wilts, and there were many
others in other parts of England. He
was of opinion, that it would be intrusting
magistrates with too great an authority,
to enable them to determine what parts of
counties, as at present existing, should be
annexed to others. The principle of the
bill was too important, and the details too
complicated, to allow of its being carried
into effect, except by a committee of the
House of Commons.
Sir T. Acland said, he was much inter-
ested in the measure; which he hoped
the hon. member would withdraw for the
present session.
The bill was then read a second time.

COURT OF CHANCERY.] Mr. J. Wil-
liams begged leave to ask the right hon.
the Secretary for the Home Department,
whether there was any prospect of the
report of the commission appointed to
inquire into the practice of the Court of
Chancery being laid before the House ?
Mr. Peel said, he was not prepared to
give a satisfactory answer to the question.
He could have no official communication
with the commissioners until the report
was made. As to the progress made
in the inquiry, or the approximation to-
wards the completion of the report, he
really possessed no official information.
He would advise the hon. member to ad-
dress his inquiry to the hon. member for
Exeter, or some other member of the
commission.
Mr. Brougham expressed his surprise,
that the commission had not yet laid any
information before the House, as to their
proceedings; particularly as the Solicitor-


Equitable Loan Bill.


[164


General had, some time ago, informed
the House, that they might soon expect
a "partial report," to use his own words,
on the subject.
Mr. W. Courtenay said, it would be
improper for him to attempt to fix any
time at which the report of the commis-
sion would be made; but, this he would
state most distinctly, that the commission-
ers had not been idle. There was, he
could assure the House, no wish, on the
part of any member of the commission,
to create the least delay as to the presen-
tation of the report. He believed he
might say, that the report would be pre-
sented in the course of the session ; but he
would not be understood as pledged to
that declaration. He was sure the House
would see the propriety of his speaking
thus guardedly, when they recollected,
that the object of the commission was, to
inquire into the practice which had exis-
ted for centuries in the highest court of
judicature in the kingdom. Whatever his
hon. and learned friend might think on
the subject, the commissioners were of
opinion, that no alteration should be made
in the practice of that court, without full
and deliberate discussion. The commis-
sioners had reviewed the whole practice
of the court from its very commencement;
and before they could be prepared to re-
commend any improvement of the present
system, they must take time to consider
the subject deliberately.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, April 26.
EQUITABLE LOAN BILL.] The Earl of
Lauderdale presented a petition against
this bill from the sugar-bakers of London.
He would take that opportunity also of
calling their lordships' attention to the
present state of the bill. The bill had
been brought before their lordships and
read a first time; but no noble lord had
yet given notice of any intention to move
the second reading, unless a private in-
formation he had received from a noble
friend behind him might be considered as
such a notice. Since the measure had
been introduced, he had employed him-
self in laying before their lordships all the
information connected with the subject,
which could enable them to come to a
right decision, and form a correct judg-
ment of the petitions which stated that
the company was illegal. He had moved
that these papers should be printed; and










165] Corn Lawts.
lie trusted, that until they were printed,
no noble lord would move the second
reading of the measure. After they
were printed, he would move that the pe-
titioners, who prayed to be heard by
counsel at the bar, and who alleged that
the company was illegal, should be heard;
and, if their assertions were made out, he
was sure that there was not one noble
lord who would be ready to grant privi-
leges to an illegal society: more especi-
ally so immediately after the bill for put-
ting an end to an illegal society in Ire-
land. This case stood on its own footing,
but it involved questions so important,
that he should certainly move for the
attendance of the judges, to put to them
questions relative to the legal question.
Their lordships would at the same time
agree with him, that the time of these
learned persons was too valuable for their
lordships to occupy it needlessly: he
should therefore move that the question
of law be argued separately from the
other details of the bill.
Lord Dacre rose to give notice, that
he intended to move the second reading
of the bill; but he should wait until the
papers were printed.

CORN LAws.] Lord Melville presented
a petition from the commissioners of sup.
ply, justice of the peace, and freeholders
of the county of Edinburgh, praying that
no alteration might be made in the pre-
sent system of the Corn Laws.
The Earl of Roseberry presented a
similar petition from the commissioners
of supply and freeholders of the county
of Ross. He was happy to hear that the
opinion of the noble earl opposite was,
that some change was necessary: but,
entertaining such an opinion, he could
but regret that the general question
should not have been gone into during
the present session. He was not himself
prepared to say what change was desira-
ble. There were many and great difficul-
ties connected with a fixed duty; but, at
the same time, the present system, by
which corn was altogether excluded until
it reached a certain price, was very inju-
rious. He was happy, however, to see
That ministers, by the introduction of the
two measures, relative to Canada corn,
and corn in bond, had taken precautions
.which would prevent the ports from being
open. These were both good measures ;
and he hoped no person connected with
the landed interest would feel any jea-


APRIL 26, 1825. [166
lousy concerning them, or endeavour to
oppose them.
The Marquis of Lansdown rose pur-
suant to notice, to present a petition,
praying for the revision of the Corn laws,
from the merchants, bankers, manufactu-
rers, and others, of the City of London.
It was his intention to have called their
lordships' attention to the subject on
presenting their petition; but, after what
had been elicited from the noble earl op-
posite yesterday, he felt that he should
only be trespassing on the House to go
into the general question at any length.
At the same time he felt it a duty which he
owed the petitioners to say, that the peti.
tion was most respectably signed, having
attached to it 6,000 names, and among
them those of the principal bankers, mer-
chants, and commercial men of London.
It was also his duty to state, that while
the petition prayed for an alteration in
the Corn laws, it by no means contained
an unqualified demand of free trade. It
called for importation under a protecting
duty, capable of counterbalancing the
burthens imposed on the British cultiva-
tor; and the petition could not, therefore,
be said to come from persons who were led
away by abstract principles, or theories.
-He had already stated his own opinion
of the necessity of some alteration in the
Corn laws; and he fully concurred with the
noble earl opposite, as to the impossibility
of doing any thing on the subject at this
late period of the session; but here he
must observe, that he was convinced the
alteration could not be long delayed with-
out great danger. The keeping up the
present system with the avowed deter-
mination to alter it, must be attended
with great inconvenience, from the incite-
ment it would give to speculation. It
was impossible to look at the prices of
corn in this country compared with the
rest of Europe, without entertaining the
apprehensions of their being run up here
to 85s., whicl would open the ports, and
cause an influx from all parts of the world.
Such an event might bring the price of
corn down to 40s. or even to SOs. the
quarter, and thus produce one of the
most violent revulsions this country ever
experienced. Under these circumstan-
ces, he approved of the admission of corn
from Canada, and of the intention to re-
lease the foreign corn bonded in the
warehouses. He hoped that the effect of
those measures would be to prevent corn
from rising. Against such a revulsion as









167] HOUSE OF LORDS,
the opening of the ports would produce,
it was the duty of parliament to provide,
and that he thought could only be done
by something like a fixed duty; but, the
security to be derived from such a mea-
sure, would mainly depend upon the duty
being of a permanent nature. He admit-
ted that there were difficulties in the way
of determining what that duty ought to
be. It was undoubtedly true, that war
would have the effect of altering the
price of agricultural productions, by in-
creasing the burthens on cultivation; but,
at the same time, war gave the agricultu-
rist an additional protection against impor-
tation, by increasing the price of freight.
Thus there was a certainty of a counter-
vailing protection, in the very circum-
stance which the noble earl had adduced
as most likely to prevent the establish-
ment of a permanent duty. Before he sat
down, he must advert to one other point.
As it had been positively stated in ano-
ther place, that the agitation of this
question had caused an alteration in the
course of exchange unfavourable to this
country, he would take that opportunity
of assuring their lordships, that he had
been informed, from the best authority,
that that unfavourable course of exchange
was in operation previous to any intima-
tion of an intention to alter the Corn laws.
It had been produced by a great demand
from this country for cotton, coffee, and
various other articles of foreign produce,
which were paid for in money. The agita-
tion of the question of the Corn laws
might, in some degree, have contributed
to the present state of exchange; but
it certainly was not the sole, nor the
main cause.
The Earl of Limerick agreed in opinion
with the noble marquis, as to the mis-
chievous consequences of a sudden
opening of the ports, but could not concur
with him in what he had said, as to the
admission of corn from Canada, and the
releasing of the bonded corn in ware-
houses. The consequence of the admission
of Canadian corn would be to afford an
inlet to the corn of the United States.
There being only a river between the two
territories, it was impossible to prevent
smuggling; and the corn of the United
States would, in future, be brought to
this country, under the name of Canadian,
as the timber of those states now was.
The Earl of Lauderdale did not rise to
discuss the important question to which
their lordships' attention had been called,


Corn Laws. [168
but to makeone brief remark on what had
fallen from his noble friend. The noble
marquis had stated, that he had it from
authority that the alteration which had
taken place in the rate of exchanges was
occasioned by the importation into this
country of raw produce from abroad; and
he had also said, that that importation
originated in a demand for our manufac-
tures. [Here lord Lansdown observed
that he had been misunderstood.] Well,
then, he was wrong in his manner of
stating what had been said, but that
made no difference as to the argument,
because a demand for raw materials could
originate in nothing else. But, if the
demand were both ways equal, there could
be no variation thereby produced in the
exchanges; there would then be only an
equal value going out and coming in. If
there was any difference, it must arise
from the state of the demand for home
consumption. And here he wished the
manufacturers would bethink themselves
in time, of the consequences which would
infallibly ensue, if the landed interest was
impoverished. It was only when the
landed interest was in a state of opulence
that the manufacturer flourished. In this
country the landed, mercantile, and manu-
facturing interests could not be separated.
If the landed interest were thrown into a
situation in which they could not consume
largely, no class in the country would
suffer therefrom so much as the manu-
facturers.
The Marquis of Lansdown, in alluding
to the alteration in the course of exchange,
observed, that he had stated that it oc-
curred before the agitation of the corn
question; so long ago as thirteen or
fourteen months. He believed it to have
been chiefly produced by a demand for
produce from abroad ; but he had not said
that the importation was paid for by
manufactures. On the contrary, he ought
to have gone on to say, that the foreign
articles had been paid for in specie. In
consequence of a great demand for coffee
and cotton, persons had speculated on a
great rise in those articles, and importa-
tions had in consequence taken place from
all parts of the world. He admitted the
justice of the general principle stated by
his noble friend, and agreed with him in
opinion, that the true foundation of the
manufacturers' prosperity was the growth
of the home demand. He hoped the
manufacturers would remember, that it
was to the increase of that demand that









169] Corn Laws.
they had recently been indebted for their
relief from a state of great difficulty and
depression.
The Earl of Liverpool observed, that
when the object was, to ascertain the
cause of any difficulty, it was not unusual
with inquirers to run into speculative ex-
tremes. In the present instance, his
opinion was, that the truth lay between
the noble marquis and the noble earl.
He agreed, that one great cause of the
alteration in the rate of exchange was the
demand from the continent for manufac-
tures which we paid for in cash; but he
did not believe that the noble lord was
correctly informed, when he alluded to
the possibility of the ports being opened
without producing any great effect.
There were at the present moment, as he
was informed, extensive speculations going
forward on the continent, in the article of
corn; but things must take their course,
and these speculations should not be
permitted to alter the proceeding which
parliament might think proper to adopt.
As to the propriety of attempting no
alteration at the present session, he would
rest it upon this consideration-that it
was not probable they could come to any
conclusion in the course of the session.
As to the apprehension that was expressed
on the subject of the exportation of corn
from the United Stales of America, he
thought it was considerably over-rated;
for if they looked to an account of tlhe
corn brought from the United States in
the shape of flour, and all the corn was
brought in that shape, their lordships
would see that there existed no reasonable
ground of alarm. They would find that
the great supply in times of scarcity came
not from America, but from the countries
bordering on the Baltic. The immense
expense of conveyance, and the long
passage from the United States, would
always operate as a sufficient check in that
quarter; even if they had such immense
supplies as seemed to be anticipated by
those who were fearful of the amount of
exports from America. That objection
being removed, and there being other
means of checking the interference of the
United States, Canada was entitled to a
preference as a part of the Bsitish do-
minions, above all other countries, if it
should be found necessary to give en-
couragement to any.
SLord Ellenborough thought it was im-
possible to legislate permanently on the
subject; for that could only lead 'to
absolute freedom or absolute prohibition.


APRIL 26, 1825.


[170


If they would legislate with equal justice
between the consumer and the producer,
they must change with the changing cir.
cumstances of the times. What would be
a fair duty this year, would not be a fair
duty next year; and he regretted much,
that at a period when the manufacturing
and agricultural interests were in a state
of prosperity, the question should have
been introduced, and the inconveniences
of a prospective change incurred without
any necessity.
Lord King observed, that the noble
earl opposite had stated that some change
would take place. Undoubtedly some
change must take place. And, why must
it? Because corn was too dear. Now, if
that was the case, a great injustice would
be done to the consumer by not adopting
it without delay. Why should it not be
adopted this year, instead of next year ?
The delay was injurious to the landed
interests, now that it was announced that
a change was to take place; seeing that it
was calculated to unsettle their bargains
and other transactions. He conceived
that the landed interest, who paid poor
rates, and church rates, and tithes, had a
right to call for a protecting duty. About
10 or 12s. a quarter on wheat, and a pro-
portionate duty on barley and oats, would,
he thought, afford the landlord a fair
compensation for those rates which were
paid exclusively out of the land. This
question, however, ought to be a measure
of government. It ought to be settled,
as it was termed in courts of justice, out
of court; and he would rather choose the
noble earl opposite and the president of
the Board of Trade to settle it, than any
parliamentary committee.
Lord Dacre wished to abstain from
giving any opinion upon this subject, until
it came fairly before the House; nor should
he now have offered any observations
upon it, but for the manner in which his
noble friend had just spoken of it. His
noble friend had said, that 10 or 12s.
would be a fair protecting duty. But,
their lordships could not decide whether
or not that would be enough to pay the
expenses of the grower, until they first
ascertained the relative expense of living
in this and other countries. There were
many other considerations which must be
also well weighed first. The system
hitherto pursued had been beneficial to
all interests: whether the one about to be
introduced would be beneficial to the
country, remained to be considered.
Ordered to lie on the table.




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