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Lord Colville defended the officers of the navy, and said, that the suppression of slavers on the African coast was one of the most disgusting services in which they could be engaged. He had heard with great satisfaction what the noble Earl had said in regard to the conduct of the officers of the navy employed in that service, as he did not think the noble Earl had said so much as he ought to have done on a former occasion. In regard to the mortality to which the noble Earl had alluded, he hoped their Lordships would see from the facts that had been stated, how impossible it was for the cruizers to adopt a system of blockade, or to enter the mouths of the rivers, without hazarding in a tenfold degree the lives of their crews. It was only fair, that the noble and learned Lord, before he alluded to subjects on which he expressed himself so strongly, should be better informed on them; for he had certainly shown a want of professional knowledge in these discussions, by which he had been led away, and had thrown out against the characters of officers aspersions that were not deserved. The noble and learned Lord might be assured, that many of those atrocities had arisen out of well-intentioned, but too hasty and precipitate measures, of which the noble and learned Lord had been the most zealous advocate. In his opinion, emancipation had been granted too hastily, and if we had waited longer, the other powers of Europe might have joined with us, and thereby have prevented much of the abuse that had taken place.

Bill read a third time and passed.

HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Thursday, July 26, 1838.

Minutes.] Hills. Read asecond time:—Oaths Validity.
—Head a third time:—Gibraltar Lighthouse) Judges
Jurisdiction i Extension.

Petitions presented. By Mr. Bainks, from Huddersfield and Macclesfield, by Mr. Mills, from Malmcsbury. by LordTWunmoith, from Bayswater, by Lord Muhpkth, from Doncaster, by Sir F. Buhdett, from Bradfonl, by Mr. G. W. Wood, from Kendal, and by Lord Robert (inoflviNon, from Chester, against encouraging Idolatry in India.—By Mr. C. Lushinoton, from five Inhabitants of Scarborough, to be protected from a notification signed by the Clergymen in the neighbourhood of Scarborough, that the Registration Act was not evidence of Baptism.— By Mr. Bainks, from Huddersfield, and by Sir C Lemon, from Penzance, and other places in Cornwall, Against the Beer Act.—By Mr. Leigh, from the Rural Dean and Clergy of Malmesbury, against the Parochial Assessments Bill.—By Mr. Ward, from Bangor, in the province of Ulster, in favour of the Appropriation Principle—By Viscount MonPKTii, from Temperance Socie

ties in Dublin, against the Suspension of the Spirit Li" cences Act—By Sir T. D. Acland, from Bath, against the grant of any further powers to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; from the Clergy of an Archdeaconry in Somersetshire, against the Parochial Assessments Bill. — By Mr. Hums, from Kilkenny, that the Banking system in Ireland might be placed on the same footing as in England and Scotland.—By Sir R. Inolis, several, from different bodies of Clergy, by Mr. Goulburn, from Clergymen of an Archdeaconry in the Diocese of Exeter, from Clergymen in the northern division of the Diocese of London, and from Clergymen in the western division of the Diocese of Oxford, against the Parochial Assessments Bill; from Brailesford (Derbyshire), against the Annual Grant to Maynooth College; and from Preston, in favour of an Amended Factory Bill.— By Captain Alsageb, from the Rural Deanery of Andover, against the Parochial Assessments Bill.

Idolatry In India.] Mr. Baines had some questions to put to the right hon. Baronet the President of the Board of Control upon a subject which involved the character and honour of this country. He had given notice of his intention to put those questions some months before, but had never had an opportunity. They concerned he thought the honour of the EastIndia Company. His first question was, whether, in the year 1833, there had not been sent out to India an instruction to the following effect, namely, "that the interference of British functionaries in the interior management of native temples, in the customs, habits, and religious proceedings of their priests and attendants, in the arrangement of their ceremonies, rites, and festivals, and generally in the economy of heathen worship, shall cease; that the pilgrim-tax shall be everywhere abolished ; and that, in all matters relating to their temples, their worship, their festivals, and their religious practices, the native subjects be left entirely to themselves"? The next question was, whether, although five years had now elapsed since the instruction went out, it had not been uniformly disobeyed? The next inquiry was, how it was, that no attention had been paid to the instruction, since it was so strict and imperative? The next inquiry was, whether any further order had been sent out to enforce the first order, and, if so, what was its date? Lastly he wished to know whether there would be any objection to place on the table a copy of the last order, and whether any measures had been taken to enforce it, so that for the future the people of this country might have some ground upon which they might rely, to hope that the grievance complained of would be redressed?

Sir J. Hobhouse said, that before he gave an answer to the questions that had been put to him, lie ought to preface it by expressing his pleasure at the discreet line of conduct which his hon. Friend had puifiued, as he could assure his hon. Friend that he had done very well indeed in not making this subject a matter of public discussion, as he must be aware, as well as he (Sir J. Hobhouse) was, that this was one of the most delicate subjects that could be treated of with reference to our Indian government. He thought, therefore, that his hon. Friend had acted perfectly wisely in not making a separate and enliie debate on this subject. The questions put by his hon. Friend were of such a nature that he thought he should be able to give a satisfactory answer to them. It was perfectly true, that in 1833 a dispatch had been sent from this country to the government of India with the purport and intention ascribed to it by his hon. Friend. It was perfectly true, with reference to his other question, that this dispatch had not hitherto been acted upon. With reference to the other question, whether or not the court of directors had subsequently taken any steps to carry their former orders into effect? he had to inform his hon. Friend, as he had done before when a similar question had been put to him, that the court of directors had sent out two despatches, directing that their former order should be carried into effect with as little delay as convenient. Nevertheless, he had to confess that there still remained something to do with respect to this subject, and he was free to own that in his opinion the time was come when the court of directors must issue from this country a dispatch in more positive terms than had hitherto been used, and which should prevent the possibility of any mistake or misapprehension as to its intention. Having these opinions, he had no hesitation in saying that he had pressed on the court of directors the necessity of taking such a course. Within a few days—he might say hours—the subject had been discussed in the court of directors, and he could assure his hon. Friend that he should make a point, as responsible Minister of the Crown, and he hoped the court of directors would agree with him, but at any rate he would say distinctly that he should make a point of using that discretion which, by the act of Parliament, belonged to him in his position as President of the Board of Control, to direct such a dispatch to be sent to India as would render it impossible for

any functionary there to make a mistake. He could assure his hon. Friend that there should, as far at least as depended upon the home authority, be no mistake as to the compulsory attendance of any functionary, military or civil, upon a worship of which he conscientiously disapproved. There should be no compulsory participation in such worship; and he would take care, and he trusted the court of directors would agree with him, to have such a dispatch sent out to India as would perfectly satisfy the most tender conscience. Having said thus much, there only remained for him to refer to that part of his hon. Friend's statement which related to laying any dispatch that might be sent out on the table of the House. His hon. Friend, if he considered it, must see that this would be not only a very inconvenient, but at the same time an unconstitutional course to pursue, to lay on the table dispatches before they were sent out, or seen, or acted upon. He had, however, no hesitation in saying, that he should, when the proper time came, have not the least objection to making these dispatches public. He had not only no objection, but in justification of himself on this most important subject, he thought it necessary that there should be no secret, no concealment as to what had been done by himself and the Government, and in fact, he should make the dispatches public, not ouly to satisfy the public, but in order to show that he at least had a proper sense of the duties imposed upon him.

Mr. Baines said, that the answer was perfectly satisfactory.

Subject dropped.

Tithes (ireland.)] Lord J. Russell moved the Order of the Day for the third reading of the Tithes (Ireland) Bill.

Mr. D. Browne rose, in pursuance of the notice which he had given, to move, that the bill be read that day six months. He threw himself upon the indulgence of the House, and he hoped that it would grant to him its attention for a very short period. In ihe first place, he seldom intruded upon it; and, secondly, he was forced to do so by a conscientious conviction that he had a public duty to perforin, from which he could not shrink, by the wish of his constituents, and by that distinct expression of public opinion throughout Ireland, which forced upon the minds of all the representatives from that country a far different consideration of this measure than that proposed in the bill suggested by her Majesty's Government. He most unaffectedly assured the House, that he despaired of obtaining their attention when he considered how disproportionate his own abilities were to the magnitude of the question he presumed to entertain, and when this painful reflection arose in his mind, that however important any Irish question might be, as affecting in its abstract principle, the social happiness of that country, it did not on that account so much obtain the attention of the House as it did in consideration of how far it might be a matter of party trial to persons contending for place, and in consideration of the adventitious circumstance of who might be the person who called to it the attention of the House. He particularly despaired of obtaining the attention of her Majesty's Government, when he recollected, that when a Gentleman placed immeasurably beyond him, of great talents, and enjoying the general esteem of all parties in that House, called upon the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, to combat the arguments which he propounded, he was treated by that noble Lord with all the dignity of official indifference, the noble Lord leaving this impression on the country, that this matter no longer being a subject of party trial, only merely affecting the happiness of Ireland, was no longer worthy of the consideration of the leader of that House; but he would not shrink from his duty, as it particularly devolved upon him, on account of the extraordinary silence of the Irish Members, a silence which, when contrasted with the loud and distinct declarations of the inhabitants of that country, was singularly unaccountable, as he was of opinion that those Gentlemen should either declare to their constituents, that they differed from them in opinion, or manfully avow an acquiescence in thoseopinions.to that House. He, however, could not pursue that course, but he must denounce this bill as pregnant with evil, and declare that the secession of her Majesty's Government from their professions, was calculated to deprive them of the confidence of the people of Ireland. He took the speech of the noble Lord, the representative of the Irish Government in that House, as the analytical apology of the rest of his colleagues. A speech more unsatisfactory to Ireland, or

to those who wished that the character of the present Administration should be maintained, he had never heard. He wondered that the noble Lord had not the prudence to remain silent. The gist of the noble Lord's speech was, that he still adhered to his opinions with respect to appropriation, but that he would carry a bill, bereft of that principle. Now, he (Mr. Browne) thought, that when the opinions of a statesman were not made the elements of his political conduct, they were of no value to any one but himself, and that it was not prudent in a Minister of the Crown to declare, that he was about to act contrary to his avowed convictions. The noble Lord bad stated, that he passed this bill, because it would tranquillize Ireland. This was the question at issue, and this assertion had become the most perfect " petitio principii" he had ever heard: He would ask the noble Lord, from what demonstration of public opinion in Ireland, favourable to that bill, had he come to this conclusion? And as excitement in that, or any other country, must arise out of the popular impulse, it was only by such a demonstration, he could arrive at such a conclusion. He held in his hand a summary of the proceedings of different meetings held in Ireland, comprehending more than a million of human beings, where not a single sentiment favourable to this bill, had been recorded, and where the united voice of the country had exclaimed against this unnatural compromise. He would not trespass on the time of the House by reading the entire of these resolutions; he would slightly advert to one or two, emanating from the most important meetings. On the 1st of July, at a meeting of the counties of Kilkenny, Wexford, Kildare, and Carlow, 150,000 persons present, Mr. T. Boyse, of Bannow, a Protestant gentleman, of the highest respectability, in the chair, it was resolved, that nothing short of a total abolition of tithes, would satisfy the Irish people, and that after the proposed reduction of thirty per cent., they would seek for thirty per cent, more, and afterwards for thirty more; and even should the residue of ten per cent., being a tithe of the tithe, remain, they would still resist its payment by every legal and constitutional means. At a meeting of twentytwo parishes, South Wexford, where upwards of 50,000 persons assembled, similar resolutions were passed, and it was. resolved, and lie would call the serious attention of the Government to this resolution, "That should the present Session of Parliament terminate, and the petitions of the Irish people, with respect to tithes, remain unheeded, they should consider themselves justified in having recourse to the most stringent measures to relieve themselves from that unjust impost, and to abstain from the use of exciseable commodities, if the Session were allowed to pass without a final arrangement of the question." This resolution reminded him of resolutions which were passed in 1775 in Massachusetts, which were then unheeded by a Ministry, as wise in their generation and as capable of calculating the progress of coming events as the present. Yet America had separated from this country. \le would not pursue the allusion. In every part of Ireland, similar meetings had been held, denouncing a compromise, and calling for the total abolition of tithes; yet the noble Lord felt justified in stating, that this bill would tranquillize the country. He widely differed from the noble Lord; he should like to know, where the noble Lord found, at the present time, or at any time antecedent to it, the slightest shade of popular thought extended to this measure. The people never expressed a single sentiment even in favour of the loudly-trumpeted appropriation clause. When that principle was made the corner stone of an Administration then dear to the people of Ireland—when it was made the sine qua non of their political existence —when the hon. member for Dublin was prudently silent with respect to the total abolition ; and, above all, when the hostility of the Tories to appropriation, was likely to endear it to the people of Ireland, the people of that country repudiated the paltry compromise, and asserted their national dignity in asserting their national consistency. The principle of total abolition wears upon it the strength of a century; it has been cemented by oppression; it received since 1829, an irresistible vitality from religious tolerance; and were we to be told by the noble Lord, that this impotent measure would eradicate that principle from the minds of the people? The noble Lord said, that thrice they scaled the perilous breach, and thrice they were defeated, and that was a reason they should desist from their undertaking. Wag such a principle to v'ide men in any phy

it with

sical or mental

[graphic]

such a spirit, that the barons of England wrested from the tyrant John, the charier of their liberties—was it with such a spirit they obtained their Habeas Corpus, and Bill of Rights? Was it with such a spirit, that many a gallant and hon. Member of that House passed the fatal ditch at Badajes? Was it with such a spirit, the hon. Member for Dublin raised his powerful voice in defence of the liberties of his country, when, in 1799, the walls of the Royal Exchange were lined with an armed soldiery? And was it with such a spirit, the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, propounded his scheme of reform to a listless House of Commons, and did not desist until he accomplished that great measure, which will hand down to posterity the noble name of the house of Russell, associated with credit and honour with the history of the country? He would wish to be instructed by what defined opinion of statesmen was this principle of timidity to be recommended. The noble Lord was reported to have said,

"He could not propose to that House to agree to certain amendments, because a large majority of the other House did not agree to their propositions. He knew full well on another subject, now a matter of history, on the matter of the contest between this country and America, from its beginning those who contended for justice to America, were scarcely at any time more than a fourth part of that House. He had been told by a near relative of his own, that he divided with Lord Chatham when there were only four persons in the House, who so divided in favour of conciliatory measures. It was not, therefore, because there were large majorities in favour of a system, that the House ought to yield to such majorities. He was sure, if the House of Commons should, as it did in the American war, concur in acts of oppression and misrule in respect to Ireland, they would, in the end, be compelled to avow, that their measures had been inefficacious, and endeavour again to repair their error by a tardy, and perhaps ineffectual submission. Let the House, however, reject those measures, and it would be to the people of Ireland what this assembly ought to be."

Such were the sentiments of the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in 1836, when the Lords' amendments to the Irish Corporation Bill were brought down to that House. He would ask the noble Lord, was he prepared to use similar sentiments, when certain amendments should again be brought down for the consideration of the House of Commons? If he did so, they would contradict the timid declaration of the Secretary for Ireland, and be worthy of that high character for consistency, which distinguished the noble Lord in his advocacy of reform. But he heard it said, that consistency was not, in the opinion of modern statesmen, a quality necessary to a Government; that the great principle which should guide modern Administrations, was that of expediency; and what would the country say was the meaning of the word?—that it was expedient to keep themselves in office. He thought, that men could not lose their political consistency, yielding to no impression from without, without a certain loss of political character. He did not mean to say, that they should adhere to the same opinions, when the country disagreed with them, for as all legislation should reflect the opinions of the community, and as those opinions were subject to change with time, the mind of the Legislature must keep pace with time. But when men seceded from principles, which, at one period, they considered to be the essential quality of their political existence, without any external change, they did that which was dangerous as an example, and calculated to annihilate their political reputation. He should be told, that this was a factious speech, that it was dangerous under any consideration to disturb the executive: he could not assent to that proposition, which preferred executive good to legislative good, or rather, to he should say, executive harmlessness; for the merit of the piesent Administration lay more in abstinence from doing evil, than in any positive good they had effected. He disagreed with that declaration, for those who controlled the powers of legislation would soon wield the sword of the executive, and this was the case at present. The Whigs administered —and the Tories dictated, the laws. It was an evident proposition that if matters were allowed to continue, an increasing Conservative constituency in England, a decreasing reform one in Ireland, that the hon. Gentlemen opposite, must come into office ; and as they would come in through the weakness of the reform party, that the sooner they did so the belter, for the more strength the Reformers would have left to resist them. The reason he dissented from the present measure was, that it would

either fasten tithes for ever upon the Catholics of Ireland, or create a servile War betwixt landlord and tenant. The latter was the more likely consequence to ensue, and he was told, that that should be an inducement to accept the bill—that landlord and tenant, suffering a mutual inconvenience, would unite for their total abolition. Now, as this could only be procured by a resistance to rent, and the collisions consequent, he must say, that it was a most unholy means of arriving at an end. As to its fastening tithes upon the people of Ireland, if this social irruption did not take place, it was equally as true; It might be said, that after the expiration of present leases, the tenants would be relieved from the payment of tithes, but what quantity of blood might be shed in the mean time! You would not, then, have men subdued by the feelings of religion, who had other sources to look to in the religious zeal of the community, seeking the tenth of the produce of the soil, but you would have those in whom the whole right of the soil existed, with a spirit inflamed by evil passions, exasperated by a denial of the whole of those rights. And even if the leases were to expire to-morrow, this bill must necessarily fasten the tithe upon the Catholic soil of Ireland, for no Catholic hereafter who by industry might have acquired the means to purchase property, could purchase it m Ireland, without havingattached to it this degrading impost. He was told that 25 per cent, was a boon and ought to be an inducement to accept this measure. That might be the case if it were a pecuniary inconvenience which the people of Ireland suffered in the payment of tithes: but it was not so; if it was, the inconvenience of paying rent would be felt greater in the same proportion as the rent exceeded tithe. This was proved by the fact of nearly all the tithe sufferers having paid their rent. It might be said, that the peculiar method of collection procured that inconvenience, but that he denied; for take an acre of land paying 20s. rent, and 2s. tithe, you would say that the inconvenience arose from the peculiar mode of collecting the 2s. tithe. It did not so arise; it was voluntarily submitted to, when we considered that the 20s. had been paid, for if the tithe defaulter had commenced with the 2s. the inconvenience could not exist. He would state one instance which could be multiplied by a

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