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religion. In the name of religion Roman | 6,000,000 of people, but particularly Catholicism was a political system, the against the priests in whom they repose operation of which, in the opinion of the confidence, and by whom they are taught ate Sir Robert Peel, was utterly at variance the principles of their religion. Surely, with the social interests of the country. if there be, as there unfortunately are, a The canon law, which was in force to the good many members of that Church who, full extent of the power of the priests, set being in poverty and ignorance, fall into at defiance every principle of social order, crime and are thrown into prison, what and sanctioned murder, theft, perjury, and can be more proper than that they should every violation of the common law. The there receive religious instruction? The Commissioners in 1853 reported that they hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalcould not refer to books for the purpose of ley) acts on the assumption, that if any ascertaining what doctrines were taught of these persons are brought into contact in Maynooth. The system was one of with a priest, they are more likely than practice, and the result was seen in the they otherwise would be to commit a crime. renewal of assassinations and agrarian Therefore he would be glad to shut them outrages in Ireland. There were two so- out from the instruction which the hon. cieties in Ireland-St. Patrick's Brother- Gentleman proposes they should receive. hood, at the head of which was Father Now, you cannot exterminate the Catholics, Labelle; and the Catholic Young Men's nor can you convert them by any process of Society, at the head of which was Dr. which the hon. Member for Peterborough is O'Brien. He might quote the opinion of the apostle. I undertake to say, that if there Dr. O'Brien a leading authority in the be any man who is responsible more than Roman Catholic Church, to the effect that another for anything that may be deemed there were men who had taken oaths of disloyal or disaffected towards the Governconspiracy in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and ment on the part of the Roman Catholic elsewhere; and that the aim of the com- population or Roman Catholic priests of bination was the suppression of public opi- the United Kingdom, it is the man who nion. He also cited a statement of Father here and elsewhere takes every opporLabelle to a similar effect. tunity of making it appear that there is in the conduct or belief of 6,000,000 of our countrymen something which makes them unworthy of being treated by Parliament with common generosity and justice. I do not think that the Committee sympathizes with the hon. Gentleman. It is obvious that it does not, for I have heard from both sides of the House exclamations which we all understand, and which should have led the hon. Gentleman to abbreviate his speech. I beg of him, for the sake of his own character, for the sake of that Protestantism of which he professes to be the champion, and for the sake of the House of Commons, to refrain from heaping unmeasured abuse upon the Catholic priests of Ireland and England, and to allow us to deal with such questions as the one before us with calmness and justice.
MR. MAGUIRE said, he was sure that every hon. Member in the House would appreciate the kindness of the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright), but he would assure him that it was not worth while at any future time to take the trouble to rebuke the hon. Member for Peterborough. In common with many others, he hoped that hon. Member would persevere in his course, for he firmly believed he had turned the whole anti-Catholic cause
MR. BRIGHT: I understand the hon. Gentleman has, in accordance with one of our rules, moved the House into Committee for the purpose of asking leave to introduce a Bill, which is supposed, in some degree, to refer to the subject of religion. I am not aware that the hon. Gentleman proposes to ask the House to vote any sum of money in addition to what may be already granted by Parliament for Catholic priests or Catholic instruction. The hon. Gentleman's object appears to me very proper, and one which need not create much alarm here or elsewhere. We know there are about six millions of persons in the United Kingdom who are in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. They are called upon to pay taxes; they are subjected to the control of the laws; they form an important element in the population and power of the United Kingdom. The hon. Gentleman does not ask anything for them which Parliament does not constantly and willingly grant for the rest of the population. That being the case, I cannot understand the wisdom, patriotism, generosity, or Christianity of any Member of this House who seizes an opportunity like this to make a violent and abusive attack directed generally against Mr. Whalley
into ridicule, and it was now very little matter what he said. The hon. Member for Birmingham besought the hon. Gentleman, for the sake of his character, not to persist in his present line of conduct. Why, it was this mission which gave him a character, and it would be the height of cruelty to deprive him of it. For his own part, he really liked the hon. Gentleman, and thought him exceedingly entertaining. Instead of going to hear Buckstone, he stayed in the House and listened to the hon. Member for Peterborough. The question before the House was one of common justice and prison discipline. There was unfortunately a large percentage of the poorer Roman Catholics who got into gaols from crimes to which their poverty had driven them, and they ought not to be sent back to the world worse than they went into prison. As a matter of policy and common fairness, the Catholic culprit ought to have the benefit of the ministration of the priest whose religion he professed. The object of the law should not be to punish, but to reform; and if a criminal was to be reformed, it would only be by the precept of religious teaching in the prison.
SIR GEORGE GREY: I am not acquainted with the nature of the Bill, and therefore I do not resist its introduction. But the question is evidently one that does not in the least affect the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church; and I think it is very much to be regretted that the doctrines of that or any other Church should become the subject of discussion in this House. Whether the hon. Gentleman behind me is well founded in his objection to the Bill or not, he ought to be the first to move for leave to introduce a measure on the subject, because the law as it stands distinctly recognizes the right of every Roman Catholic to be attended at his own request by a priest of his own Church and, moreover, persons under sentence of death are by law exclusively under the care of the priests of their own religious persuasion. The law at present is certainly in an anomalous condition, and therefore, though I do not know what the Bill of the hon. Member is, I think it quite right to allow him to lay it on the table, and I shall be very glad to consider its provisions carefully and impartially.
to amend the Law relating to the Religious Instruction of Roman Catholic Prisoners in Eng
land and Wales.
That the Chairman be directed to move the House, That leave be given to bring in a Bill VOL. CLXVII. [THIRD SERIES.]
Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. HENNESSY and Mr. SCHOLEFIELD.
Bill presented, and read 1°; to be read 20 on Tuesday next, and to be printed [Bill 140].
RETURN MOVED FOR.
MR. WHALLEY, in moving for Returns connected with the course of education at Maynooth, said, he had obtained the consent of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland to his Motion, as well as that of hon. Gentlemen who usually took a prominent part on the question on the opposite side of the House. He therefore believed that the Returns would have been granted, as a matter of course; but as he found that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Limerick was about to oppose the Motion, he was compelled to make a short statement. The details which he now sought to obtain were called for under the terms of the Motion of last year; but, at the suggestion of the then Chief Secretary for Ireland, an alteration having been made to meet the wishes of the authorities of the college, they took advantage of that circumstance and kept back the most material portion of the information, alleging that there was no record kept of the subsequent destination of the students on leaving the college. But in the Report of the Commissioners of 1853 it was recommended that a record of that very nature should be kept, and it was stated that there would be no difficulty in obtaining the information. The object of his Motion, therefore, was to supply the omission. He denied that he had ever used violent language against the Roman Catholic population. All he had maintained was, that the priests who left Maynooth, and were scattered over the world, preached doctrines antagonistic to the intentions with which Maynooth was endowed. The return would enable him to prove the particular teaching at Maynooth and other Roman Catholic seminaries.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That there be laid before this House, a Return of the names, ages, and number of Stu
dents attending the College of Maynooth on the on the 31st day of August 1844 (being the end of the academical year); the names and number who have entered each year from that time till the 31st day of August 1861, with the age of each Student at entering; the names and number who have left College during that period who have not completed their course of education, with the date and cause of leaving, and
the classes which they have respectively at
MR. MONSELL said, he only desired to call attention to the last line of the Return asked for "The names and number who have left College during that period who have not completed their course of education, with the date and cause of leaving." He would put it to the House whether it would not be a most improper thing to ask for such a Return. Persons who had left College, and were now leading useful and creditable lives, would not desire to be stigmatized by the entry of "stupidity," or other more discreditable epithet against their names.
MR. VINCENT SCULLY said, that some strong course ought to be taken to put a stop to the proceedings of the hon. Member for Peterborough, which were becoming intolerable. It was no recommendation of his Motion that it had the consent of the Chief Secretary for Ireland. Would the hon. Member like to have such a Return as that moved for respecting the school which he had attended? Perhaps it might show that he was insubordinate, or offensive to his schoolfellows. Hon. Members who had been guilty of boyish ricks wo not like to have them put on Parliamentary record. The hon. Member for Peterborough, who denied that he used abusive language in speaking of Roman Catholics, was reported to have said, at one of the meetings he had addressed when "starring" in the country, that "If a Roman Catholic lived next door to him, he might consider him to be a very good fellow, but he would not trust him." Was not that offensive language for one gentleman to use towards another? The hon. Member would not venture to address it to him outside of that House. He hoped the hon. Member would keep the anti-Popery subject from getting into more serious hands, in which it might be made more mischievous.
lobby that it would be better to leave out the clause why students had left the college and the classes they had attended. It would be very unfair that a student after a lapse of ten or fifteen years should be affiché in the manner proposed by this Return. If the hon. Member would withdraw these words, he should not object to
SIR ROBERT PEEL said, he felt bound to say that he had not been consulted on the subject. The right hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. Mongell) would bear him out that he had urged in the
MR. WHALLEY said, the statement of the right hon. Baronet would imply that he (Mr. Whalley) had had no communication with him. Would the right hon. Baronet say that?
MR. KENDALL observed, that it must require some little courage in the hon. Member for Peterborough to bear up against the attacks made, as he (Mr. Kendall) thought, rather unfairly upon him. The hon. Member said, "I am accused of being unjust to Maynooth. Give me the Return of the persons educated there, and I will prove to you that they have not acted justly towards the persons who have been called upon to pay for their education-that they have not discharged their duty to their Queen and country.' The hon. Member for Peterborough had from time to time attacked the priests educated at Maynooth, and had pointed out many evils resulting from their teaching. He now sought substantial proofs in the Return he moved for. That was the fair and honest way of putting the question, and he did not think the hon. Member should be run down for seeking the information.
SIR GEORGE GREY said, the question was whether the hon. Member would agree to omit the words.
MR. O'BRIEN observed, that if this Return had been asked as from Oxford, Cambridge, or any other place of education in Ireland, it would have been scouted by every Member in the House. Let the hon. Member attack the Roman Catholic priestood in his annual Motions, but do not let him indulge in this eccentric abuse of them.
MR. WHALLEY said, he was willing to withdraw the words to which exception had been taken, and should not have inserted them if hon. Members had communicated their objections to him privately. He must, however, state that he had not only obtained the consent of the right hon. Chief Secretary, but that, so far from wishing to offend Roman Catholics, he had consulted several hon. Gentlemen of that religion before moving for the Return.
He felt it very hard that he should be constantly accused of making sweeping at tacks upon the Roman Catholics, when in 1847 he had saved the lives of many members of that body in Ireland, and that at the risk of his own.
MR. HENNESSY said, that in justice to the hon. Member he must say that he had done him the honour of consulting him previous to making the Motion, and that he (Mr. Hennessy) had-on his own account only-said that he saw no objection to the fullest inquiry being made into the working of the College of Maynooth. Motion, by leave, withdrawn. Return ordered,
"Of the names, ages, and number of Students attending the College of Maynooth on the 31st day of August 1844 (being the end of the academical year); the names and number who have
entered each year from that time till the 31st day of August 1861, with the age of each Student at entering; the names and number who have left College during that period who have not completed their course of education, with the date of leaving." EDUCATION OF PAUPER CHILDREN BILL-[BILL No. 87.]
Order for Committee read. House in Committee.
Clause 1 (Guardians may send Children to Schools and Institutions).
MR. HENLEY said, that guardians of the poor would have under the Bill power to send "children thereinafter described" to certain schools. He thought that the clause should define the class of children. He would also suggest that some words should be inserted which would meet the expense to be incurred in their education and maintenance.
SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE said, that that point had been considered by the Select Committee to which the Bill had been referred, and it had been thought the object of his right hon. Friend would be attained without the introduction of any set form of words into the clause. The intention was that any excess over the ordinary cost of the child's maintenance in a workhouse should be defrayed by private charity.
MR. SOTHERON-ESTCOURT said, the children to which the Bill applied were principally orphans, and there was little reason to fear the boards of guardians would incur undue expense on their account.
MR. HENLEY said, he had not the same confidence in boards of guardians, and preferred that some check should be imposed upon them. The clause extended to other children besides orphans, and would give an advantage to parents whose children were supported by the parish over those whose children were supported by industry.
MR. HENLEY said, he thought that some limit should be named, such as that the expense should not be greater in these institutions than in the workhouse, for the guardians would take no care except in reference to money which came out of their own pockets.
MR. SOTHERON-ESTCOURT said, that if the limitation was mentioned, in all likelihood it would be adopted in almost every case; whereas, if left open, he thought the guardians, in a matter of expenditure, might fairly be trusted.
MR. AYRTON said, he concurred in the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Henley). The Education Commissioners had possessed the public mind with the idea that the workhouse schools were the worst in the country, whereas they were really the best.
MR. C. P. VILLIERS said, the Poor Law Board had no reason to be dissatisfied with the present provision made for educating pauper children, which was, in fact, the bright part of the Poor Law system. That provision was liberal: as an experiment it had been followed by great results, and what was most striking about it was, that the improvement thus effected was progressive. An opposite opinion, however, pervaded the community, and the Bill proceeded on the assumption that the workhouse schools were attended with positive evil. He was inclined to think the measure would prove a dead letter, though some persons of experience were confident it would operate beneficially. As it stood, the Bill was, he believed, a perfectly innocent one, and he was not therefore prepared to oppose it. In the Bill before the Committee, there was a provision that the guardians should not contract with a school unless it had previously been examined and certified by the Poor Law Board. As the system about to be adopted was an experiment, it might be advisable to adopt the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Henley), and limit the expense.
MR. KENDALL said, he hoped that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire would persevere in the course he had adopted.
SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE said, he would propose to insert the following words to meet the difficulty:
"Not exceeding the average amount of maintenance and establishment charges incurred in respect to children maintained in workhouses."
Amendment agreed to.
Clauses 2 to 5, inclusive, agreed to.
Clause 6 (Continuance in School not to be compulsory).
MR. HENLEY suggested that children, instead of being kept at school till sixteen years of age, should be sent out as apprentices at fourteen. He considered it absurd that children educated in workhouse schools at the expense of other people, should be kept there after other children in the same rank of life were sent out into the world to get their own living.
MR. C. P. VILLIERS said, the power given to the guardians by the clause was merely discretionary; and at present they had a similar power in respect of keeping children in the workhouse up to the age of sixteen. He was not, however, adverse to the Amendment of the clause, if it could thereby be rendered more effective.
MR. LYALL said, he was in favour of giving the guardians the discretionary power provided by the clause.
MR. PULLER said, he agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire, that as a general rule it was not desirable to keep children in workhouses after the age of fourteen, but there were exceptional cases; and if there was a discretionary power in respect to keeping them in workhouses up to sixteen, it would be well to allow the same discretion in the case of the schools. It might meet the right hon. Gentleman's view to leave out the words referring to age.
SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE said, he had no objection to strike out the words with reference to the age of children, leaving the matter entirely within the discretion of the guardians.
Words struck out; Clause agreed to.
Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow.
SALMON FISHERIES (SCOTLAND) BILL.
Clause 6 (Duties of Commissioners). MR. W. LESLIE said, he objected to that portion of the clause which empowered the Commissioners to define the boundaries between the river and the sea, and between an estuary and the sea. Such a power was too great to intrust to any body of men.
THE LORD ADVOCATE stated, that the Bill of the last Session proposed that the boundaries should be determined by a judicial process; but fishery proprietors having represented to the Government that that would be too expensive a process, and that the Commissioners ought to fix the boundaries, the Government had adopted their suggestion. The boundaries would be fixed, not arbitrarily, but upon scientific principles.
MR. MURE said, he should oppose the clause, which would interfere with vested rights to an extent never proposed by any previous measure.
MR. BLACKBURN said, he thought that intelligent Commissioners would be far more competent than a jury to fix the boundaries.
MR. E. ELLICE (Kilmarnock) said, the unanimous opinion of several fishery proprietors with whom he had communicated was in favour of the clause.
MR. LESLIE said, he would agree to withdraw the Amendment, but he must at the same time protest against handing over to any persons the irresponsible powers conferred on the Commissioners.
MR. WEMYSS said, he hoped the hon. Member would not withdraw the Amendment.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.