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public money could be devoted that were so easy of defence. The right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) said, that the better way would have been to have ascertained the amount of the arrears. He was not of the same opinion. He had but one other observation to make. As the right hon. Baronet had said, it was perfectly competent to the House of Lords, if they thought fit, to reject this arrangement. It was not competent to them to alter the arrangement. Having said, that they would devote a portion of the public money to certain purposes for the Lords, to modify or alter the application of that money was not consistent with the privileges of that House. It was consistent with their Lordships'privileges to reject the grant; and he had no doubt but that the hon. Member for Kilkenny would be disposed to concur very much with them if they took this view of the subject. He (Lord J. Russell) certainly hoped, considering the benefits that would accrue from this bill, that it would be accepted as a whole. He considered that this bill would be a very considerable mitigation of the evils that afflicted Ireland on this subject. He did not expect, he could not expect, that the great body of the people of Ireland would be satisfied with the state of the Protestant Church; but as far as the Church was concerned, he thought that this bill would render it more secure, and, as far as the people were concerned, he thought it would render them more tranquill and more satisfied.
Major Bryan said, he did not think this measure would satisfy the people of Ireland, although it might for a short time procure tranquility.
The House divided on the original motion. Ayes 148; Noes 30;—Majority 118.
List of the Ayes.
Bramston, T. W.
A Court, Capt.
Douglas, Sir C. E.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Stanley, E. J.
Bill read a third time.
Some verbal amendments having been made in clause 38 on the question that it stand part of the Bill as amended,
Mr. Hume rose to move that the 38th clause be excluded from the Bill, on the ground of the purposes to which it appropriated various sums of money, amounting to nearly one million sterling. He was pleased at the discussion which had taken place on the bill that evening, as it would enable the people of England to see the reasons on which this money was to be voted away. The noble Lord opposite had told them that night that he had adopted.the principle of expediency, because he saw no other principle on which he could support this measure. He begged to call the attention of the noble Lord to the fact that it was not to the amount of the money that the people of England would object, but to the purposes for which, according to this clause of the bill, that money was to be applied. When the noble Lord himself, on a former occasion, brought forward a measure for the reform of the Irish Church, he (Mr. Hume) and others supported it, because it provided for the abolition of the sinecures of that Church. All their hostility was directed against the system on which that Church was supported, and not against the Church itself. What they objected to was the principle that the Establishment should be maintained as a dominant Church in Ireland—and they looked upon the payment of this money as a sort of payment of black mail. Were they, as guardians of the public purse, doing their duty in consenting to it? It was pledging the Treasury to the payment of a million more in addition to the existing deficit of the revenue, which was sufficiently great without any further addition to it. The noble Lord had said that the hon. Member for Southwark was mistaken as to the amount of the arrears, and that only one quarter of them
remained at present unpaid. But if all but that one quarter had been paid, then he held that the remainder ought also to be paid. It was the hon. Gentlemen opposite who had themselves, by their cooduct on former bills, introduced for the purpose of settling the tithe question in Ireland, brought the Irish Church into the position in which she was at present; and they now had recourse to the noble Lord (Stanley) who came forward to assist them in propping it up. The hon. Member concluded by moving the exclusion oi the clause.
Mr. Harvey said, that he could not allow the statement which had been made by so high an authority as the noble Lord (Stanley) with reference to the observations which he had addressed to the House that evening to pass uncontradicted. The noble Lord had imputed to him an ignorance of the subject before the House, because he had said, that the arrears due to the tithe-owners in Ireland during the four years preceding the present migh' amount to 2,400,000/. But he had not said it was so. He had only said, that the arrears might amount to that sum—and surely if in 1832, 1833, and 1834 tithes did not exceed 1,000,000/. it was not an unfair inference that a very much larger amount of tithe would be due at the present time. But if it was only 300,000/. that remained uncollected, then he would say that that sum ought to be collected as well as the rest—and it was a farce, until f was proved that it could not be collected,» call the tithe debtors the poor people of Ireland. If the state of the law in that country was such that it could not be enforced but at a ruinous expense, was that a reason why they should forego the property in tithe? Why not bring in a bl" to facilitate the collection of tithe? The noble Lord said he supported the bill because it would tend to the tranquillity » Ireland, first, by reducing the amount » tithe to be paid by twenty-five per cent.; and, secondly, by the payment of the arrears. But the arrears were due from who borrowed the money of this country— and why, if the Irish people were so poo', were the people of England to pay tlie debt? TheChurch of Ireland ought tosupply the fund out of its own overgrown resources—for itwas notorious that ,the Irish hierarchy possessed upwards 'of 600,00° of the finest acres in the country, and son>c to be made avwl*
of their product ought i
able in cases of emergency like this. The payment of these arrears ought not to come out of the Treasury of England, which ought not to be robbed for the purpose of paying what was due from the socalled poor of Ireland to the wealthy proprietors of that country. They would next be called upon, he supposed, to pay the debts of persons confined for debt in Ireland if they sanctioned such a principle as this, Peace neither could, would, nor ought to be purchased at such a price— and when the noble Lord asked him why he (Mr. Harvey) did not bring in some bill of his own on this subject, let him ask what chance any bill would have, even of an introduction into that House for the reform of the Irish Church, if moved for by a Protestant Dissenter? He would most cordially support the motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Kilkenny.
The House divided on the original question :—Ayes 96; Noes 39: Majority 57. Bill passed.
List of the Ayes.
Acland, T. D.
Bramston, T. W.
Rice, rt. hon. T. S.
Mails On Railways.] On the question that the Mails on Railways Bill be read a third time,
Mr. Easthope said, that, before the bill passed, he wished to enter his protest against the language which had been held against those who opposed the bill as it was introduced to the House. Those who had taken an interest against the bill had been represented as a set of men who desired to appropriate the Post.office revenues to their own uses. The proprietors of railways had been held forth as a set of rapacious adventurers, reckless of all principles of justice and fair dealing. He felt particular regret, that any one connected with the Government of the country should have sanctioned such a tone as this. No desires or feelings of this character actuated the individuals who were so grossly maligned. Parties connected with railway interests were held forth to the public as though on their trial; and, forsooth, on their trial for what? For promoting at their own risk great national undertakings, of the value and public utility of which there were now not two opinions, and without the prospect of any advantage beyond that which Parliament itself had declared to be equitable. Any lion. Gentleman who looked at the evidence before the railway committee on this subject would find, that that evidence was all one way, and the resolutions moved under the auspices of Government all the other way. The bill, as it was first introduced, was in utter defiance of all the acknowledged principles of the rights of property—of all the principles which had ever been deemed essential to the security of the property of the country: it proposed to take possession of the property of railways, without any remuneration whatever. This proposition was in absolute defiance of the evidence taken before the committee, in defiance of all the great and acknowledged principles of justice, whilst those who opposed the bill were held up to the country as a set of rapacious adventurers, eagerly bent upon appropriating the Post-office revenues to their own benefit. Again, they were told, that if, upon the original introduction of railway bills, it had been claimed to insert a clause by which mails should be passed along the railways free of charge, the claim would have been readily conceded; and it was said, that the public interests had been injured by the non-introduction of such powers in the first instance. Now, he did not mean to say but that there might have been parties connected with the original promotion of some of these bills, such as the legal gentlemen, whose interests in them were mostly temporary, and the engineers, whose interest was in their construction: he did not mean to say but that these parlies, in their anxiety to secure their temporary advantages, might have given their assent to what he (Mr. Easthope) should ever consider a most monstrous proposition; but he would put it to the House whether it was to be borne, that individuals who had advanced their capital in undertakings in which they could not be by any means certain at the time of realizing a return were to be stigmatized as rapacious adventurers, because they claimed what had been guaranteed to them by Parliament? And he would ask, whether it was honest or proper on the part of the Government, to sanction a measure by which the property of railway proprietors was invaded, and by which the rights secured to them were so shamefully infringed? He was
sorry that a Government which he had generally supported, should be justly considered an anti-railway Government. The bill was far from creditable to them; it would afford them no advantage which they could be proud of; and when this precious bill was compared with the evidence, and whenever the discussions upon it were fairly considered, he should not envy them any merit or credit they might think to derive from their original bill, or from these discussions. A vast deal had been said about the whole of the Post-office revenues being assigned over to the railway proprietors. What was the fact? In the commencement of two or three of the railway bills there was a proposition made by the Duke of Richmond, Postmastergeneral at the time, to introduce into theni certain stipulations, which were to be the measure of the advantage, or payment, to the railway proprietors; and what said the evidence? That that which was taken by the railway proprietors as a remuneration for their services was not equal to what the Duke of Richmond, by his minute, intended to give them. The Duke of Richmond never contemplated passing the mails along railways without payment: he never, for a moment, conceived the idea of taking possession of the lines of railroad without any remuneration to the proprietors. Nothing of this sort had been started, yet it was with great facility assumed, that had such a proposition been made to the proprietors of railways they would have readily assented to it. It had been asked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a former stage of the bill, why any consideration should be given to proprietors in respect of "the enormous and improper amount paid by them for land?" He, in return, would beg to ask where would be the equity, the honesty, of refusing them a consideration in respect of the sums they had paid for land? Had not Parliament itself dictated the principle on which land should be paid for? Was not land essential to the formation of railroads? Obviously. Why, then, were they to be asked to waive their claim to a consideration in respect of what they paid for land? If what had been really expended for land in the original construction of railroads was, in some instances, improper and enormous in amount, let it be remembered that the companies had paid it under the dictation of the Legislature, and that land was essential to the formation of railroads. The fact, as he believed, was, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer apprehended a considerable reduction of the Post-office revenue by a reduced charge for postage, and, at a time when it was even uncertain what would be the extent of duty prospectively required to be performed by railroad companies, it was sought covertly to cast a great part of this additional burthen on the railroad companies. Thus they were abused as rapacious, and charged with being grasping in their intentions, by parties who sought by fraudulent legislation to throw burthens upon them, against every principle of reason and justice. A bill more destructive of the rights of property, more unfair and unjust towards individuals, than this bill, as originally framed, had never been introduced into Parliament; and, if he were to be denounced because he felt indignant at the measure,he was content to be sodenounced. The bill, in its present state, was sufficiently hard and stringent upon the railroad companies: as originally proposed it was characterised by gross dishonesty. As, however, it had been freed from its most obnoxious qualities he should not oppose the third reading.
Bill read a third time and passed.
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Mikutrso Bills. Received the Royal assent:—GUuu
Petitions presented. By Viscount Msi.Bot'aNg, from Warrington, against any alteration in the Beer Act. [A Conference on the Amendments made by the Commons in the Irish Poor Relief Bill was held with the Commons, when their Lordships reasons for disagreeing with the Amendments were communicated to the ('ommons, subsequently the Commons sent up a message stating that they did not insist on their Amendment.]
Copyright.] Lord Brougham said, he had to present to their Lordships a bill on the same subject—the protection of copyright—as had lately occupied the attention of the other House of Parliament. The people of this country took great interest in the success of a measure of this nature; and a learned Friend of his, Mr. Sergeant Talfourd, had introduced a bill
on the subject. That bill had encountered much opposition elsewhere, and, undoubtedly, it was liable to very great objections. Still, though that attempt had failed, there was a general feeling throughout the country, that a better protection should be extended to the labours of literary men. It was deemed right, that greater security should be given to authors and to their assignees than at present existed. Now, though he did not agree with all the provisions of the bill which had been withdrawn, still he was of opinion, that a measure should be passed doing justice to authors on the one hand, without, on the other, neglecting the interests of the public. He proposed by his bill—first, to do justice to authors, at the same time not extending their claim to copyright to too long a term. The bill which he now introduced had met with the approbation of many individuals of the legal profession, and had also been approved of by some of the learned judges. The plan which he proposed was similar to that which had been adopted with respect to patents. It was his object to enable authors, or their assignees, by application submitted to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, to obtain an extension of time, when their term of copyright was about to expire. And, to enable the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to perform this duty without adding much to their labours, he proposed, that one member of the Judicial Committee, with two others not members of the judicial Committee, should form a quorum, empowered to decide on such applications. Experience had shown, that the labours of the Judicial Committee with reference to patents since 1835 had been most successful. They had recently refused a renewal of Kyan's patent whilst they had, after a brief but searching investigation, extended for seven years Stafford's patent for a safety coach. He hoped that his noble Friend, the President of the Council would assist him in getting the Bill, which he now laid on the table, passed before the termination of the Session.
Bill read a first time.
Municipal Coiipoiiations (irf.Lahi)),] Viscount Melbourne rorto for the purpose of moving, that the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Hill be read a third time. Ho had b'-fore stated, with reference to the amendments which had been