Imatges de pÓgina

MR. DRUMMOND: Sir, I think that this debate, which no one regrets more than I do, has been altogether occasioned by the ill-advised form in which the Vote has been proposed. If this Vote had been proposed as a general arrangement for the advantage of all classes of prisoners, let them belong to what denomination they might, it certainly should have had my reluctant support, because I think that the true principle is, that you should not give public money to any sect but that which the State supports. I am speaking of an abstract theory, but you cannot stand now in your present circumstances npon that theory. You have gone too far. It is needless to quote the Queen's Coronation Oath with respect to the Roman Catholic Church. You must remember what her oath also says with respect to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland; and you must recollect, also, what the Presbyterian Church of Scotland says to all your episcopacy—

seen men, brought to the verge of eternity | State must act on some plain, honest, by their own misdeeds, persuaded by their recognised, intelligible principle. Then, spiritual advisers, in that solemn hour, that again, it is not because I have the smallest they were suffering martyrdom. This Vote, doubt that Roman Catholic priests will do he believed, was not only not consistent again just what they have done for a thouwith the principle of toleration, but it was sand years, that I take this view of the peculiarly misapplied to the circumstances question. I do not shut my eyes to all of the present time, because it tended to the danger which they will produce in the encourage the ambitious and aggressive State; but I say that this is not the way projects of the Church of Rome, and be- to meet them. You are reverting to the cause recent facts had shown that the old error, which was to meet political danRoman Catholic priests were not in a tem- ger by theological tests. If you find the per of mind to promote among the prison- Catholic priests misconducting themselves ers in our gaols those feelings of reverence in gaols, punish them for so doing, but do for the law and contrition for its infraction not enter into the question of their theolowhich were the objects of all punishment gical tenets. Here, however, is a great pracand all penal establishments. tical difficulty. I would like to be informed how the Government are to know Roman Catholic priests. [Laughter]. Hon. Gentlemen may laugh, but the fact is at the present moment you have no means of knowing them. Will any hon. Gentleman give us a clear and legal definition of a Roman Catholic priest? You have no legal evidence of what constitutes a Jesuit. You brought a Jesuit into the House of Lords and you could not prove it. I revert, then, to the very first words I pronounced in this House-you ought long ago to have redeemed your pledge and established the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, and then you would have had a clear means of knowing who were and who were not Roman Catholic priests, and you would have had some security that they should be respectable men. Certainly I think there is very great danger likely to arise from persons calling themselves priests being employed in connection with your army and gaols ad libitum, but until you have some authoritative means of knowing what they are, you must incur that risk. You have such means with respect to Presbyterians, because you have a Presbyterian Church established in Scotland, and you have the same security with respect to the various dissenting bodies in England, which have all distinct and recognised heads to whom you can apply; but you have no such means of information in the case of the Roman Catholics. But then my hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) says, that in the oath taken by the Queen, the Roman Catholic religion is described as an "idolatrous fable and a dangerous deceit." Why, you may make an idolatrous use of anything. I have known many sailors who would not sail on a Friday. Is Friday an idolatrous day? For my part, I think it as harmless as any other

"Whene'er you see a Bishop, Jock, The Pope's nae far awa'." Now, Sir, I found only this morning, oddly enough, in a provincial paper sent to me, a letter which appears to me a very proper letter, signed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary at War, with respect to the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian clergymen, and the clergymen of all religious sects, who are to attend our soldiers in their different cantonments; and it seems to me that this principle ought in justice to be applied to our gaols. You cannot put aside or make a distinction between one sect and the other. It is all very well for one hon. Gentleman to say, "I have a particular objection to this, and another, "I have a particular objection to that," but it will not do for the State to act on any such objections. The Mr. Newdegate

day in the week. Some sailors are particu- this Vote were passed in favour of the larly anxious to sail on a Sunday. Is Sun- Roman Catholics, there ought to be a simiday an idolatrous day? The truth is you lar Vote in favour of Dissenters of all demay make an idolatrous use of what you nominations; now he begged to observe please; and, after all, I very much fear that the Dissenters objected to the endow that, if we were to come to close quarters, ment of ministers of all persuasions, not my hon. Friend would say that was idola- excepting those to which they belonged. trous, which I believe to be the most holy He altogether repudiated the word "tolerite exercised in Great Britain at the pre- ration," for he believed that God had given sent moment, I mean the holy sacrifice to no one the power of tolerating his relipresented on the Catholic altars. But there gion, and he could neither ask a favour nor is no occasion to introduce theology into this receive one from a fellow-creature with requestion; and what I say is, that unless gard to it. you can prove some misconduct on the part of Roman Catholic priests, of Presbyterian clergymen, and of all persons dissenting from the Church of England, you are bound, in the present state of society, having gone so far as yon have gone in what you call toleration, to put them all on the same footing of equality, whether you agree with them or not.

MR. HORSFALL said, he was as anxious to treat the Roman Catholic Members of that House with as much respect as the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) himself; but he trusted they would not be too sensitive, and that they would not take offence at the bare statement of facts by any hon. Member. The noble Lord said he was as good a Protestant as the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner); but there was this remarkable difference between the Protestantism of the noble Lord and that of his hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire, that whilst the noble Lord advocated what he himself believed to be error, the hon. Member at least advocated what he believed to be truth. Looking at the Vote they were called on to make, and to the consequences of it, he must say he could not be a party to doing in his public capacity what he would not do in his private capacity. They were told that the same rule ought to be applied to all sects; that would be undoubtedly true, as soon as they ceased to acknowledge a National Church; but so long as they upheld a National Church inculcating Protestant principles, let them not adopt the strange and startling inconsistency of paying those whose views were antagonistic to it; and who were bound, if they could, to overthrow that Church. That at least was an inconsistency to which he would not be a party, and, therefore, he should feel it his duty to vote against this grant. The sum, indeed, was a small one

MR. ADDERLEY said, he fully concurred with the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, in thinking that the State should act upon some simple, uniform, and intelligible principle in its dealings with the various religious denominations of the country; and it appeared to him that the State fully met that condition when it established one religion as the national religion, and gave all others complete toleration. In his opinion, the only object of an Established Church was, that the nation, on great publie occasions, and in national institutions, should have a public and national organ of religion; and that in such establishments as prisons, when a chaplin was appointed, he should be a clergyman of the Established Church. If they were to maintain the connection between the Church and State, they should take care that the religious officers of all national institutions and establishments should be connected with the Established Church. In all cases the prisoners were asked on their entrance what religion they belonged to. The noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) said they had a precedent for the present Vote at Millbank; that the precedent had been established by his predecessor; but there was no know--only 5501.—and, therefore, he ran the ing what changes might not be introduced under the argument of precedent. If they were to have chaplains in their prisons, they certainly ought to be of the established religion, or they ought to have no chaplains at all.

risk, perhaps, of being charged with niggardliness. That, however, was not so, for if it were a Vote of 500,000l. for any other purpose than that of inculcating what he believed to be a religious error, he would cheerfully assent to carry it; but in its MR. CROSSLEY said, he rose in conse-present shape he could not support it, as quence of the remark made by the hon. it involved a principle in violation of the Member for North Warwickshire, that if Constitution of the country. He rememVOL. CXXXIII. [THIRD SERIES.]

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bered when Sir Robert Peel proposed the additional grant to Maynooth, hon. Gentlemen who intended to vote against it were told that there was no principle in their doing so, as they had already voted for the smaller sum, and it was, therefore, evident that they only regarded the question in a financial point of view. Well, on the present occasion, he, at all events, was anxious to view the question before the Committee as one of principle, and not of finance; and he could not conceive how any hon. Gentleman who supported the Vote of to-night could hesitate, if Her Majesty's Ministers were to propose to-morrow the endowment of the Roman Catholic priesthood, to support that proposition also.

reverencing was so full of precepts both to visit the prisoner and to reclaim the erring, that he held the ministers of every Church whatever who were deficient in that duty to be so far unworthy the name of Christian ministers, priests, clergymen, or by whatever appellation they might be called. He believed there would be in this country, if the matter were left entirely free, an ample disposition in the Churches of every name, character, and denomination, to provide for the religious instruction of those who had unhappily become tainted with criminality. He believed that Christian charity, as it existed in all Churches, would be sure to inspire zeal in this great work, which would be done all the more effectually from its being undertaken spontaneously, and without any view to remuneration. He believed that disposition existed not only in the various Protestant sects, but he must claim for the Roman Catholic Church the simple justice of acknowledging that her priests and her missionaries had ever been distinguished for the readiness with which they braved dangers and privations, and endured everything that humanity could in their devotion to the sacred functions of their call

MR. W. J. FOX said, that the Protestantism of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down seemed to consist of a desire to allow no portion of the public money to go in support of any but his own Church. The hon. Gentleman seemed to forget that Protestantism originally was a protest against any man's authority over the conscience of another, and therefore that it implied fair and impartial dealing, equal rights and privileges, to all who chose to exercise their own judgment in religion. He confessed that his own Pro-ing, and in their attention to the poor and testantism led him to regard all sects and Churches with impartiality. He thought it must be consolatory to the Nonconformists to find in this debate no serious mooting of any question as the payment of Nonconformist ministers for attending Christians of their denomination who were so unlucky as to get into gaol. It would almost seem, from what had passed in the course of this discussion, that whilst those who did not conform to the rites and observances of the Church of England were a very large majority of the population, more numerous, even, than both the Episcopal and Catholic Churches taken together, the criminality of the country was wholly divided between those two denominations. He would not, of course, assume that as a certainty, but he believed that, when it did so happen that persons belong-nounced his intention to give upon the ing to the various Nonconformist denominations were entangled in temptation, and plunged into crime, there was a disposition always, so far as their ministers were allowed to do it, to attend them in their prisons, and to make every effort to recall them to penitence and to the paths of integrity and honesty. He should be surprised indeed if it were otherwise. That volume which all Christians agreed in

Mr. Horsfall

miserable prisoners, and even to the most abandoned. He thought the history of the Roman Catholic Church was replete with such noble examples, and therefore it was that he regretted to find the Roman Catholic Members of that House, instead of taking equal ground with the other Dissenters from the Established Church, rather striving as it were to compete with it, and to get a miserable pittance out of the public money which was devoted to ecclesiastical purposes. He coincided generally with the opinions which had been expressed by the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Scholefield), and should certainly vote for the Motion of which he had given notice if the Committee came to divide upon it; but he could not agree with him as to the vote which he had an

Amendment of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner). He for one felt himself pledged by his own principles to oppose every endeavour to bestow the public money for religious purposes; and he would feel, in so doing, that he was only dealing by the Roman Catholics as he would deal with the Protestant Dissenters or with any other denomination. In fact, he would as readily vote for the

more especially in the shape in which it had been brought forward. The noble Lord failed to explain how the money was to be distributed, whether upon some fixed principle or otherwise. Another part of the noble Lord's explanation was very unsatisfactory to him, and he thought it must also

abolition of the whole of these grants of the public money for providing religious instruction to the inmates of gaols, as he would vote against any portion of that money falling to the Roman Catholics. Allusion had been made by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate) to the sort of extraordinary enthu-have been so to the Roman Catholic Memsiasm under which certain Roman Catholic criminals had met their fate, but cases of that sort could be easily matched in the records of Protestantism, from which it would be seen that criminals of the deepest dye had made such professions of repentance that they had been almost canonised as saints, aud had attracted enthusiasm and admiration on account of their miserable professions of conversion under the very shadow of the gibbet. He believed that without employing men under the direction of the State, the Church of England could find men better fitted for the task, and who would accomplish their work much more effectually, than was now done under official appointments, which, successful in a few cases, were lamentable failures in the great majority. Acting on the principles which he had laid down, he felt bound to vote with the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Spooner), and on the same grounds he should give his support to the Motion of the hon. Member for Birmingham.

MR. J. BALL said, the question before the Committee was simply this-whether, if from motives of public policy it was deemed desirable to retain the services of ministers of religion, they should have the means of subsistence given them or not. The Committee were now asked to vote against a payment on page 15 of the Votes, and to leave untouched payments for the same objects in pages 28 and 29. It was said that Dissenting congregations would not accept remuneration. Now, the Dissenters from the Establishment in Ireland did receive salaries as chaplains when their services were required in that capacity. If the State required their aid and their time, the State ought to pay them. In Spike Island the services of the Roman Catholic chaplains had been most valuable, and having established the principle in that case, it ought to be extended over the United Kingdom.

SIR JOHN PAKINGTON said, he was desirous that his vote should not be misunderstood. He must say the explanation offered by the noble Lord the Home Secretary was wholly insufficient to justify the placing the Vote at all upon the paper, but

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bers of the House-he meant that part of it already adverted to by the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. W. J. Fox), in which he seemed to assert that every rogue who got into gaol must be either a member of the Church of England or of the Church of Rome. They heard a good deal in that House of the large body of Dissenters throughout the country-of the Wesleyans, Baptists, Independents, and others; but the noble Lord seemed really to think that all these people were so very virtuous that there was no chance of any of them ever becoming inmates of a gaol, and therefore that there was no necessity to provide for their spiritual instruction. Now he wished to make the admission—to make it broadly and in a manner impossible to be misunderstood that he held it to be necessary to provide for the spiritual instruction of all inmates of gaols; and he had already asserted that principle in the Juvenile Reformatory Act for the county of Middlesex. The provisions of that Bill, however, rested upon a very different basis from the grant now proposed. In providing spiritual instruction for the inmates of gaols, the noble Lord must proceed upon one of two principles, either he must appoint chaplains of the established religion of the country, and say every unhappy person who becomes an inmate of a gaol becomes subject to the general law of the country," and be spiritually instructed by the chaplain; or else he must take the more tolerant course, saying," although these unhappy people have entered here, I will do violence to no man's conscience, but will allow him to be instructed according to his peculiar religious opinions." He believed the latter to be the more generous, as it was the wiser course, and it was the course which he was prepared himself to adopt and recommend. But the plan of the noble Lord accomplished neither the one nor the other, for the Vote seemed to him to be founded upon no principle whatever-it had only the character and appearance of being dictated by the pressure of one particular denomination of Christians. He wished it, therefore, to be well understood that he objected, not to the amount proposed, but to the shape in which it was proposed. He



agreed with an hon. Friend of his, that prisoners, there were 88 Dissenters, who the Vote ought to have been a Vote for were not visited by any dissenting minister the spiritual instruction of those inmates at all. The theory of the hon. Member of gaols not members of the Church of was romantic, but the practice at DartEngland. He objected to this money being moor did not seem to carry it out. voted for distribution amongst Roman Ca- the other hand, the Roman Catholic clertholic chaplains only, because, in many of gyman at Dartmoor did the work without the gaols, none of the inmates might be of payment; it was not his theory that the that religion, while many of them might servant was not worthy of his hire. But belong to other dissenting bodies. Were he did the work; and if the money was the Vote brought forward in the shape not forthcoming, he did the work without suggested, he would have no objection the money. Again, at Millbank, besides whatever to it, provided the money was the prisoners belonging to the Church of distributed fairly amongst all classes re- England, there were 115 Presbyterians, 85 quiring aid. But he would most distinctly Dissenters of all classes, 292 Roman Cavote against the grant in its present shape, tholics, and 4 Jews. The Jews sent an asassuming it to be unwise, invidious, and sistant rabbi to attend to the 4 members of bearing the appearance of providing for one their communion confined there; but the class of Dissenters alone. Nonconformists, who had this sublime theory of never taking State money, al

MR. HADFIELD said, he was one of those who repudiated State pay altogether.lowed their 200 prisoners to languish withThe hon. Member for Carlow (Mr. J. Ball) had remarked that the Dissenters in Ireland pursued a different course. It was a great grief to the Protestant Dissenters of England, that the public money should be touched by the Dissenters of Ireland. He deeply regretted that they should come to Parliament like common beggars, and apply for stipends to the disgrace of their own principles. He, as a Dissenter, quired no assistance from the State, and, acting on that principle, he should vote against the proposed grant.

out any religious consolation whatever. That was really an answer to the question why the noble Lord proposed this Vote. The Catholics rendered the service, and they came to the noble Lord and asked him that they might have payment for the service which they rendered. The hon. Member for Oldham advised the Catholics not to take money, but to perform the service grare-tuitously. The truth was that the Catholies did perform the service, and that gratuitously; but the Nonconformists neither performed the service nor did they take the MR. LUCAS said, it was unfortunate money. The hon. Member for North Warthat the noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) wickshire (Mr. Spooner) ought really, in had been placed by the facts of the case in common sense, to strike out of this Vote such a position that he was sure to incur everything of which he did not approve. blame from somebody. The case was just Did he approve of the Vote for Roman Cathis, that the noble Lord had done the tholic priests in Ireland? [Mr. SPOONER: only thing possible to be done. He had No, no!] Part of the sum which the hon. proposed a Vote for Catholic priests, be- Member now proposed to the Committee cause it appeared to be required. He had to vote went to the payment of Catholic not proposed a Vote for Protestant Dis- priests at Philip Town, Spike Island, senters, because it did not appear to be Mountjoy Prison, Newgate Prison, and required. The hon. Member for Oldham two or three other places. He (Mr. Lucas) (Mr. W. J. Fox) had twitted the Catholic was anxious that the hon. Member should Members for making a demand of this not persevere in his Amendment without a kind. He said, why did the Catholics not full knowledge of the facts, and that they imitate the Protestant Nonconformists, and should have the benefit of so illustrious a go and visit such of the members of this convert with his eyes open. The hon. communion as were unfortunate enough to Gentleman was actually proposing a Vote get into prison, from pure Christian love by which he asked the Committee to pay and benevolence, and without pay? That 150l. a year to the Roman Catholic chapwas a beautiful theory. There was some-lain at Mountjoy Prison; and 150l. a year thing romantic in it; but unhappily it was not borne out by experience. For example, he held in his hand a return which showed that at Dartmoor Prison there were 998 prisoners, 761 of whom were members of the Church of England. Among the Sir J. Pakington

to the Roman Catholic chaplain at Newgate Prison; and 2007. a year to the Roman Catholic chaplain, and 100l. a year to an assistant Roman Catholic chaplain, at Spike Island. If we had the blessing of a national Church Establishment, nothing

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