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terms actually obtained by the Church were more liberal than had been promised at any period of the controversy, and the Government repudiated the imputation of being the enemies of the Irish Church. On the contrary, protesting against the disheartening predictions of her future, he avowed a deep conviction that, though there might be trials to be passed through, the Irish Church would at some future day look back to the passing of this Act as the day of her regeneration.
Mr. Hardy discussed the concessions Mr. Gladstone had made, contending that there had been throughout a want of generosity to the House of Lords, and a contempt of equity and justice towards the Irish Church.
A Committee was then appointed to draw up reasons for not agreeing with the Lords' amendments.
Thus far the prospects of conciliation or compromise between the two Houses appeared to be by no means encouraging. The partisans of neither seemed disposed to concede or waver. The tone of Mr.
Gladstone in the House of Commons, and the attitude taken by the majority of that assembly, evinced a firm resolution to concede no point in the Bill which was regarded as essential to the principles of disestablishment and disendowment, but rather to sacrifice the Bill altogether than to consent to its mutilation. On the other hand, those who regarded the measure with aversion and horror, and as one of dangerous precedent for the future, did all in their power to stimulate the Peers to stand firm in the position which they had taken up, and to defy all consequences in maintaining the rights of the Church and the interests of Protestantism. Affairs wore a very anxious aspect when the House of Lords met on the 20th of July to consider the message from the Commons respecting their amendments. Earl Granville rose and stated reasons why their lordships should adhere to the main provisions of the Bill in its original state. Had all the sixty-two amendments been contumaciously rejected by the other House, he should have felt himself in the position of a Minister repudiated by his colleagues, or of one who had deceived their lordships. But in fact, out of the total number thirty-five had been adopted, fourteen re-amended, and only thirteen positively rejected. The House of Commons had increased the sum it originally offered to the Irish Church by 840,0007.-viz. 410,0007. in the seven per cent. to be added to the commutation fund, from 100,000l. to 150,000l. to the curates' compensations, and 270,0007. under the head of compensation for private benefactions. It was not, therefore, fair to say that no attention had been paid to the expression of views in the House of Lords. But, he argued, the amendments which had been disagreed with fell within a very different category. While the concurrent endowment plan was altogether impracticable, the postponement of the application of the surplus he maintained to be utterly unstatesmanlike, tending to the destruction of all independent energy in the Irish Church itself, and to one continued battle of rival beliefs. He moved that the House
do not insist on its amendment by which it had struck out the prohibition in the preamble against applying the surplus for the maintenance of any Church, or for the teaching of religion.
Lord Cairns contested the propriety of severing the discussion of the two amendments, and moved that the House do insist on its amendment in the preamble. If it did, the Government could hardly feel justified in relinquishing the Bill on this account, for this would be simply to postpone the application of the surplus, as the amendment now did. The amendments generally he divided between those which he considered vital-such as the scale of commutation and the curates' compensation-and those on which, as there existed some difference of opinion on his own side of the House concerning them-e. g. the date of disestablishment, and the right of the Church to retain the Ulster Glebes-he should advise the House not to insist.
The Earl of Kimberley maintained that the House of Commons had in effect extended the compensation to curates. As for the increase in the Commutation Fund, he asserted it to be inconsistent with the principle of the Bill to give a bonus to the Church, and denied that the Bill now gave a bonus to Maynooth. He defended the proposal of Earl Granville to sever the consideration of the two amendments in the preamble.
Earl Grey regarded the question of the preamble as in itself of little importance. He feared, however, considering the manner in which the amendments had been treated, that the Government attached less importance to passing the Bill than to degrading the House.
Viscount Halifax defended the proposal of Earl Granville to sever the amendments in the preamble. Although himself in favour of a certain measure of concurrent endowment, he advocated, in the interest of peace and order, the non-insistence of the House on its amendment to omit the words forbidding an application of the surplus to religious teaching, which, whatever their real insignificance, would be construed by the country as implying concurrent endowment.
The Earl of Shaftesbury believed the Bill to be a revolutionary one, but, persuaded as he was that not merely the House of Commons, but the nation, was determined to carry the measure, and that if it could not have this there would soon be a cry for concurrent disendowment throughout the entire United Kingdom, he appealed to the House not to insist on its amend
Earl Russell defended the policy of concurrent endowment. He thought the Government ought to have been satisfied with carrying a measure of practical disestablishment and disendowment, without inserting in the preamble abstract dogmas, which might be interpreted as a device for entrapping the Legislature into an admission of the inexpediency of all religious endowments. He apprehended that the proposed application of the surplus might be
employed as a means of aiding the return of Government candidates. He should vote for the amendment.
The Marquis of Salisbury said that his reason for opposing the Government project for appropriating the surplus was that it was false and that it was foolish. In the first place, it implied a partial application of the fund for spiritual teaching, and in the second place it was a vain attempt of the House of Commons, which distrusted its own resolution against concurrent endowment, to bind itself, like a drunkard taking the pledge, against changing its mind in the future. In truth, the only argument for it was that the House of Commons had passed it, and the only reason why that House had done so was that the Prime Minister had bid it. Why the Prime Minister bid it he could not search deep enough into the labyrinthine recesses of that mind to detect, unless it were that Mr. Gladstone had desired to give this House a slap on the face. So far from agreeing with the Earl of Shaftesbury's appeal to the House to waive its amendments in deference to the Commons, he believed this was just an occasion on which it was the duty of this House to interpose between the country and the arrogant will of one man.
The Bishop of London intimated his intention to vote for Lord Cairns' amendment, on the ground of his objection to the secularization of Church property, which he would not declare must be always unjustifiable, but which he was convinced was in this case both unjust and inexpedient.
Earl Granville repudiated the imputation of Earl Grey, which he characterized as both offensive and without foundation. He entreated the House not to be induced to take a course which at so critical a moment must have the most grave and serious results.
The Lord Chancellor vindicated Mr. Gladstone and the Government from the injurious criticisms of Earl Grey and the Marquis of Salisbury, and he justified in eloquent terms the proposed application of the surplus to the relief of physical suffering and destitution. After a warm, and, in the conclusion, somewhat disorderly debate, the motion that the House do insist on the amendment in the preamble was carried, on a division, by 173 to 95. Upon this, Earl Granville declared that after such a manifestation of opinion, he could not take the responsibility of proceeding farther with the Bill without consulting with his colleagues. The debate was therefore adjourned to the 22nd. Meantime, the political situation seemed highly critical, and serious forebodings were entertained, should the Lords persist in their attitude of antagonism to the other House, as to the consequences which might ensue to the Bill, the Government, and even to the upper branch of the Legislature itself. No rumour of a pacific solution of the controversy had transpired when the Peers met at the usual hour on the 22nd, and, therefore, the arrangement that was shortly afterwards announced took the public entirely by
surprise. There was an unusually large attendance of peers, as well as of strangers of both sexes, when Earl Granville rose, and informed the House that, having consulted his colleagues with regard to the course to be pursued after the decision of their lordships on the 20th, he found that, although they viewed that decision as one of a grave character, they were unwilling to prevent the further consideration of the other amendments, and were anxious that the discussion of them should be conducted in a spirit of peace and conciliation. He then moved that their lordships should not insist upon their amendment altering the date for the operation of the Bill from January 1, 1871, to May 1, 1871; and that the words as they originally stood in the Bill should be restored, at the same time intimating that if the feeling were against the adoption of that course, he would not press his motion to a division.
Lord Cairns then rose, and stated that a conference had been held since the last meeting of the House between himself and Earl Granville, and that the result had been an understanding that the questions in dispute were by no means incapable of solution. He should not insist on the date. On the point of the liability of incumbents for the salaries of curates, he could not consent to the amendment of the Commons as it stood, but his objection would now be in some measure removed by the offer of the Government to confine the liability to the case where the curate had been employed for five years, in connexion with certain other limitations. Next came the scale of commutation. In place of the plan comprised in the Earl of Carnarvon's amendment for a compulsory general commutation at fourteen years' valuation, the Commons had devised a scheme of diocesan commutation, and had added a sum of 7 per cent. to the amount of the annuities. There were grave objections to this arrangement, but they had been met partially by the readiness of the Government to add another 5 per cent., and to make the acceptance of three-fourths instead of four-fifths of the clergy of a diocese of a commutation sufficient. The Government had also agreed to except from the commutation any residence and land in an incumbent's own occupation, if the incumbent should so desire. He understood, indeed, that the Government still refused any concession on the point of the building charges on glebe-houses, and he expressed his concern at this; but as the sum at issue, after the last-mentioned concession, was scarcely more than 100,000., he was not prepared to advise the House to hold out on such a question. Lastly, not to dwell on more trifling matters, there was the question of the disposal of the surplus. The Government, on this point, had consented to amend clause 68 to the effect that it should provide for the employment of the surplus for the relief of unavoidable calamity, and in such manner as Parliament should hereafter direct. He apologized for having entered on such a negotiation without the express authorization of his party, and intimated his own opinion, much as he disliked the whole Bill,
that concessions were preferable to leaving the whole controversy in suspense for an indefinite time.
The Archbishop of Canterbury admitted that the sum of 500,000%., offered by the Government in substitution for private endowments, was a very favourable bargain for the Church, and would go some way to make up for the refusal to concede the Ulster glebes. He professed himself generally content with the terms of the compromise as sketched by Lord Cairns, and although he held the sacrifice of an Established Church, where a nation possessed one, to be of the gravest import, it was yet something saved to retain, as the Irish Protestants, to a certain extent, under the present plan would, an endowed instead of a purely voluntary Church, to which he declared his profound objection, as a kind of ecclesiastical machinery which might indeed present the truth, but not in the purest form.
The Earl of Carnavon allowed that the extraordinary difficulties, affecting alike the question and the House itself, excused the very unusual course which Lord Cairns had adopted. He felt bound, under the circumstances, to accept the substitute for his own amendment, and also the rest of the arrangement offered, although he doubted their equivalence to the benefits which the amendments of the House had secured for the Church.
The Marquis of Salisbury admitted the perplexity and responsibility of Lord Cairns' position, and by way of a set-off to the lenity of the bargain struck with the Government, he suggested that any delay would have diminished the value of the lives on which the Church had to rely for its future support.
Earl Russell congratulated the House, and especially the Opposition and its leaders, on the arrangement. He regretted that the glebe-houses could not have been granted free from building charges to the clergy; but this was impossible, without conceding corresponding advantages to the other religious bodies.
The Earl of Malmesbury agreed to the compromise, and was convinced that after the House had affirmed the principles of disestablishment and disendowment, it would have been a scandal both to it and to the country, could no arrangement have been made. As it was, if the House had not got all it might have desired for the Church, it had, at least, vindicated its place in the Constitution.
Earl Grey was satisfied with the compromise, as well as with the conduct both of the Opposition and of the Government, which had now given the best possible answer to the charge he had brought against it on a former occasion. He congratulated the country and himself on his views respecting the Irish Church having been now, after five and thirty years, acceded to.
Viscount Halifax thought no grave question had ever been satisfactorily settled except by mutual concessions. He was persuaded of the fairness of the present compromise.
The Earl of Harrowby, while retaining his former objections to the Bill, rejoiced at the compromise, but he reminded the House