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man Catholics would throw them Upon a division the motion was selves on the protection of France. carried by 138 to 115.
Lord John Russell regretted On the 22nd of June, after the that the question had been brought presentation of a great number of before the House. Two years ago, petitions for and against the Bill, the House objected to a Bill on Sir Robert Inglis moved the second the same subject; and there ought reading. After praising the moto be very strong grounds indeed deration of the measure, he cited for again introducing it. Was evidence to show that it was necesthere any class of persons to whom sary. He particularly urged the the ordinary laws afforded insuffi- House to remember that the Councient protection ? if so, then, not cil of Trent had recognised the only for thein, but for all classes probability of young women being should greater securities be pro- confined in convents, and had divided. Let the House see the rected the censures of the church special case made out. There were against those guilty of confining certain ladies living in communi. them. ties, many of whom entered them Mr. Phinn moved as an amendin a spirit of sincere and deep de- ment, that it be referred to a select votion; there were others who pre- Committee, “ to consider whether sided over large institutions for the any and what regulations are nepurpose of educating young girls; cessary for the better protection of and others who visited the sick. the inmates of establishments of a Now, he was not asked whether he conventual nature, and for the preapproved of these institutions; vention of the exercise of undue but he was asked to put special re- influence in procuring the alienastrictions on them, and specially tion of their property." Apart examine their houses, and find out from the religious difficulty, the who were discontented. But the Bill was unconstitutional in its naonly law that could prevent that ture. It began with a false restate of things, would be a law cital, and terminated with a proviforbidding the existence of con sion destructive of the first prinvents altogether; because, if you ciple of English law, that every went to release a discontented nun, man's house was his castle. He you would probably find that it was challenged any one to point to a not locks and manacles that de. case where a habeas corpus had tained her, but her sense of the been applied for and had failed. obligation of her sacred promise. He traced the prevailing feeling to Lord John threw discredit upon the proceeding of those Protestants the anonymous stories told respect- who are playiug at Roman Cathoing forcible detention ; and was lics—like the Sisters of Mercy," disposed to think that had the evil at Plymouth; and again repeated existed, the Roman Catholic gen- his challenge respecting the writ tlemen would come forward and of habeas corpus, which writ the demand a remedy.
preamble deciares there are diffiMr. Drummond and Mr. White culties in obtaining and applying. side spoke in favour of some mea Were the Roman Catholic gentlesure of the kind, but thought this men so much under the control of Bill would not effect the object their priests as to allow their sisaimed at.
ters, nieces, and cousins, to be im.
mured against their will? He its deficiencies was, that it did not showed that under the Bill the enable the inmates of convents individual liberties of the country freely to dispose of property under would be in the hands of the their control. He cited two inGovernment, as the Bill gave the stances of ladies who, under undue Commissioners the right of forcible influence, had assigned their proentry into any house between eight perty to the members of the con. o'clock in the morning and eight vent. o'clock in the evening, upon “rea
Lord John Russell repeated the sonable grounds" shown. If there arguments he had urged against were grievances, with respect to the Bill on the previous occasion, property, which persons who took and declared it would establish a vows were bound by those vows to general tyranny. Differing from renounce, Parliament was bound Mr. Phinn, however, in this, he to legislate; but they should first contended that if the Bill raised inquire. Having alleged this as a an alarm in conventual establishreason for the appointment of a ments, the proposed inquiry would Committee, Mr. Phinn said there only increase it.
The general were four points on which legisla- policy of the law with respect to tion would be beneficial. In the the disposition of property may
be first place, it ought to be provided a fit subject for legislation, but that these establishments should don't restrict it to convents." The be under registration ; secondly, case cited by Mr. Napier showed no persons should be allowed to that justice could be obtained in take the vows until they have ar the ordinary courts. rived at the age of 21 ; thirdly, Mr. G. H. Moore denounced the proper restriction should be placed measure in very free language, upon their power of alienating Mr. Henchy reproved Mr. Moore. their own property; and in the but opposed the Bill. Mr. Rounfourth place, it ought to be enacted dell Palmer supported the amendthat every person upon entering a ment. He thought some measure convent should name two persons for the regulation of convents neof her own family who should have cessary. Sir George Grey spoke access to her at proper and stated against both the Bill and amendperiods. He believed that if im- ment. Sir John Pakington, speakproper imprisonments had taken ing for a great number of gentlem place, the Roman Catholic rela men on the opposition side, antions of the persons who had suf. nounced his intention to vote fered would themselves have come against the second reading, in forward to denounce and subvert order to vote for the amendment. such a system. (Cheers).
The House had become clamorous The amendment was seconded for a division, and the debate had by Mr. Isaac Butt, who used simi- been continued for some time lar arguments.
amidst great noise and confusion. Mr. Fagan thought the amend. Mr. Chambers having replied, upon ment as offensive as the original a division there appeared for the motion.
second reading 178, against it 207. Mr. Napier supported the amend. But as it was six o'clock no diviment, considering the Bill inade. sion upon Mr. Phinn's amendment quate to meet the case. One of was taken.
Next day, the 23rd, Mr. Phinn Committee to inquire into the moved that the debate be further ecclesiastical revenues of Ireland, adjourned until the 20th of July. with the view of ascertaining how After a brief debate upon an amend- far they are made applicable to the ment of Mr. G. H. Moore, that the benefit of the Irish people. He debate be adjourned to that day observed that this was six months, which was rejected by question, and that it involved a 85 to 35, the debate was post- great imperial danger in its influponed to the 20th of July; on that ence upon the loyalty of the Irish day the Speaker explained the people, and in the manner it afstate of the question, and the de- fected their position towards the bate upon
Mr. Phinn's amendment law. The cause of that state of was resumed.
things was to be found in the reliMr. John Ball and Mr. Edward gious policy of England towards Ball opposed the amendment; the Ireland. That policy had been former, on the ground that the condemned by all authorities course proposed was
among English statesmen. By sary, unprecedented, and danger- Lord John Russell, Mr. Disraeli, ous to all classes in the country;" Lord Campbell, Lord Brougham, the latter, because conventual esta- and Mr. Macaulay. Were not blishments are most useful chari. Irish members warranted by such ties, and the proposition would in- testimonies in calling for inquiry fringe the principle of religious into the operation of an institution liberty. On the other hand, Mr. which the present Chief Justice of Whiteside and Mr. Henry Drum- England had declared to be one of mond supported the amendment. the most mischievous in existeuce? It was necessary to take measures He maintained that the Church to protect ladies in convents, as we revenues were a fund set apart by protected prisoners and lunatics; public authority for a public purand to prevent the alienation of pose, and not a tax paid by the property without their willing con Protestant owners of land, or by sent. It was also necessary to re- the people, to a minority. Those sist the pretensions of the Roman revenues were set apart for the Catholic priesthood, who could not education of the people and the be loyal to a Protestant monarch, maintenance of religion, and they or share with Protestant freemen ought not to be diverted from their in the conduct of a Protestant original purposes. The proportion Government.
of Catholics to Protestants was Mr. Cornelius O'Brien and Mr. still as five to one ; and yet reveJ. D. Fitzgerald opposed, while nues which, by proper manageSir John Tyrrell supported the ment, might be made to yield a amendment.
million a year, were given to the On the motion of Lord Palmers- minority. But the policy of Eng. ton, the debate was adjourned (at land was even more evil in prin. the instance of Mr. Newdegate) ciple than destructive in practice; until the 10th of August, when for it contained the evils both of the order for the adjourned debate the voluntary and the endowment was discharged.
principles-endowing the religion On the 31st of May, Mr. George of the rich, and handing over the Henry Moore moved for a Select religion of the poor to the volun
tary principle. Mr. Gladstone had Moore had overlooked her bad defended the establishment in Ire- commercial system and other land on the ground that Ireland agencies to which those evils were was an integral portion of the Bri- attributable. If, in the opinion of tish empire, and that Protestant- Parliament, Protestantism should ism was the religion of the great be the established religion of Iremajority of the people ; but if this land, and if the parochial system were a sound argument, why not was to exist, then the revenues of pay for this Imperial Church out the Irish Church were not greater of the Imperial revenue ? The than were required for an adequate case of Scotland, too, which was maintenanco of its clergy. Inquiry also an integral part of the United into the revenues was superfluous, Kingdoin, but where the Episcopal if the real aim was to get rid of Church was not, however, made the Church altogether. Feeling the established religion, entirely that the Irish Church had been destroyed the force of such an greatly reformed, and that most of argument. Then it was argued the abuses complained of-pluralithat the Act of Union must be ties and non-residence-no longer maintained in all its integrity; existed, he thought that if the and that the establishment is part House assented to this motion, of the Act of Union; but if both public opinion would receive a parties agreed to alter that Act, great shock, and a belief be inhe did not see that there could be duced that no faith would be placed any objection to that course. It in solemn contracts and in tho was said that the Irish Reforma- security of property. tion Society had made converts ; Mr. Murrough and Mr. Pollard was it true, then, that the esta- Urquhart supported the motion. blishment, with from 500,0001. to Sir Robert Inglis said he did 1,000,0001. a year, had failed to do not consider the object of the mowhat the subscriptions of a few tion to be the gratification of absthousands had effected ? He wished tract curiosity, but as the speeches " to give Protestantism fair play, in support of it disclosed, the overin order that it might meet its throw of the established Church in great adversary before a free peo. Ireland; and this, notwithstandple; and then God defend the ing its existence, was guarded by right.” (Cheers).
the act of Union and by the oaths Mr. O'Connell seconded the of the Members of that House, motion with pain, as it was rash and it was an integral part of the and imprudent to approach the institutions of the whole empire. question at present.
Mr. Gardner was opposed to tions, he said, damage the cause establishments on principle, and they are intended to serve. believed that nothing would be
Sir John Young characterised worse than the existing state of the motion as one really for the things in Ireland; he therefore total destruction of the Established supported the motion, though he Church in Ireland, which a Roman should have preferred that it Catholic might be expected con should have come from another sistently to advocate: but in attri- quarter. buting all the evils of Ireland to Mr. Newdegate denounced the her Church establishment, Mr. motion as an organised attack upon
the Irish Church, and aimed di- Where Roman Catholic priests had rectly at the Protestant religion in not confederated to stop the proIreland, and remotely at Protest- gress of Divine truth, the Irish antism in England.
Protestant church had advanced. Mr. J. Phillimore said the sim. He implored the House to act on ple question was, whether the Irish principle in this matter, and that Church, as at present constituted, principle should be the maintenance fulfilled the high and important of Protestantism; for he believed function of administering to the the Papacy had two objects in view spiritual wants of the Irish people. —the destruction of Parliamentary The result of his inquiries led him Government and of Protestantism. to believe that the source of ani Mr. Lucas found it difficult and mosities in Ireland was to be found painful to speak upon this question, in religious discord and religious which ought to pass as a matter of inequality.
course; it was difficult to restrain Mr. R. Moore resisted the mo. his feelings of indignation when he tion, and contended that the reve. considered the injustice done to nues of the Irish Church were 5,000,000 Roman Catholics in Irebarely sufficient for the spiritual land; and it was painful to wound wants of the people.
the feelings of Protestants in Mr. Drummond looked upon the dwelling upon a case of enormous question as one of political justice, injustice. The claim submitted to and not of religion. He thought the House by this motion had been the time had arrived when it mistaken and misrepresented; it should be decided whether the was for inquiry into all ecclesiIrish Church was such as the Irish astical endowments in Ireland ; it people ought to be satisfied with.
was not a question of the abolition Mr. Maguire quoted various re- of the Irish Church, but of justice turns to show the necessity for in- to all classes of the community in quiry, which he said was the only Ireland; and inquiry was proposed object of the motion.
in order to see how justice could Mr. Whiteside said, that coming be done by the establishment of as this motion did from one who perfect equality of treatment in had openly advocated the selling respect to all religious classes by the whole property of the church Act of Parliament. This motion by auction and vesting the pro was said to be unconstitutional; ceeds in trustees, and looking at but how could they talk of a conthe speeches of its supporters, it stitution in Ireland when they were would not be doubted that its real discussing the monstrous iniquity purpose was not reform, or even of the Established Church there, moderate spoliation, but legislative and when inquiry into this despotannihilation. He contrasted this ism was refused? purpose with the disavowal on the Lord John Russell said, that he part of Roman Catholic bishops in did not agree that the Roman Ireland, in 1820, in the oath under Catholics were in a state of social the Emancipation Act, which dis- and political degradation ; that they claimed, disavowed, and solemnly had any social inequalities to coms bjured any intention of subverting plain of; and if Roman Catholics the present church establishment, of former years had expressed As settled by law, in Ireland. gratitude for concessions made in