Imatges de pÓgina

THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE: I think the noble Earl is trespassing somewhat beyond the well-recognised rule in such cases, in calling upon me to explain what were the instructions given to the Admiral with regard to these transactions. The noble Earl must see that the instructions given to the Admiral will not bear merely upon this particular operation, but upon any others that may yet take place; and I must therefore decline to disclose what those instructions are. I can, however, assure the noble Earl and this House, that it is the strong feeling and desire of the Government that in the conduct of this war private and neutral property should be, as far as possible, respected, and that as little destruction should be caused to that property as is consistent with the effective carrying on of the operations.

cumstances narrated in those despatches. | violation of the flag of truce. If that were At the same time, I think I ought to men- so, he thought no punishment too strong tion to your Lordships that this despatch to avenge such an act of barbarism. But and its inclosures give a most positive and would the Admiral have been entirely jussatisfactory denial to the statements which tified in attacking Odessa from the mohave been put forth relative to this affair in ment war was declared; or were they to behalf of the Russian Government. From infer that the orders to the Admiral were the despatch and its inclosures it clearly such, that if this outrage had not been appears that our flag of truce was most offered to the flag of truce, he would not undoubtedly fired upon by the batteries of have been justified in attacking Odessa Odessa; and when the account of that out- and the shipping there as he did? The rage and violation of the law of nations was general impression was, that the Admiral conveyed to Admiral Dundas, Admiral Dun- made this outrage the prime reason for das was not satisfied in a case of that bombarding the port; and it was desirable kind, with the reports of the captain and that that point should be cleared up. crew, however conclusive these reports might be to his own mind, but he took information from another person who was present on the Mole of Odessa when the gun was shotted and fired by the Russians. This fact is stated in the despatch; and on the receipt of this information, Admiral Dundas wrote to General Osten-Sacken, the General Commandant of Odessa, informing him that his excuse was found to be destitute of foundation, and, as a reparation for the insult offered to the flag of truce, he demanded the surrender of all the English, French, and Russian ships in that port, allowing a certain time for the Russian General to return either an assent or a refusal to the summons. No answer having been received, the Admirals took the course, the circumstances and consequences of which have been correctly related in the newspapers. I am happy to add to that statement, that the loss on the part of the English fleet was only one man killed and ten wounded, most of them slightly. As to the second question of the noble Earl, I have to state that the Government will publish the despatches through the Gazette to-morrow, and that will be the means in future of acquainting the public from time to time of the events of the war, as the Government receives its intelligence. I can also assure the noble Earl, that in all cases of important events, the Government, having a full appreciation of the interest and anxiety of the public, will not wait for the usual day for publishing the Gazette, but a supplemental Gazette will in such cases be instantly issued.

THE EARL OF MALMESBURY said, that be understood the noble Duke to state that the accounts in the newspapers of this event were correct. Now it appeared from the newspapers that the chief cause of the attack on Odessa was the The Duke of Newcastle

THE EARL OF DESART said, there could be no second opinion as to the great credit the operations at Odessa reflected on all the officers concerned.

Order of the Day for the Second Read-
ing read.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.

THE BISHOP OF OXFORD said, there was one provision in this measure savouring of the principle of the Bill, to which he had an objection. In the Bill which this was intended to be a continuance of, it was provided, that if a reversion of tithes, or land in lieu of tithes, were to be sold, as a previous condition of such sale, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners should be required to take the present spiritual wants of the district into consideration. by the present Bill, this condition, which operated in the nature of a safeguard for the claims of particular localities in regard to spiritual instruction, was altogether


omitted; and on that ground he objected | year, which was the professed basis of to the measure in its present shape. In their operations when Parliament, allowed Committee he should take measures to remedy this great defect.

them to borrow that sum of money. Moreover, it was utterly impossible in these accounts to distinguish the income from the capital. If, therefore, the powers of the Church Estates Commission against which, abstractedly, he had no objection were to be renewed, he thought that an understanding should be first come to for submitting proper and decent accounts to Parliament in future. He might be told that it was a difficult thing in this case to distinguish revenue from capital. But if that were so, surely it was high time that the difficulty should be grappled with and mastered, and that they should not go on in this hand-to-mouth manner, utterly unable to determine whether their expenditure was justified or not. There was no reason, with which he was acquainted, why these accounts should not be given in such a shape that Parliament might be able at once to see whether the Commissioners had or had not incurred an amount of liabilities which was disproportionate to the means at their disposal. This system of grants and consumption of capital had gone on for seventeen years, and he defied any one to ascertain from the accounts submitted to the House whether, at this moment, Church property was better or worse to the extent of hundreds of thousands of pounds than it was when the account began. Not being aware that the Bill was to come on for second reading today, he was unprepared to enter upon details. But having endeavoured to form some idea of the prudence of the transactions in which the Commissioners had been engaged, he could venture to assert that their accounts were utterly defective, that they did not furnish the information which Parliament was entitled to have, and would not enable one to form an opinion as to the

THE EARL OF POWIS said, that in his opinion the House should have in the first instance full information as to the action of the Church Commission-what they had been about, what the result of their proceedings had been, how they had expended the immense sums that had been placed at their disposal, and whether the calculations on which they had acted in the distribution of ecclesiastical revenues had proved correct. Since 1837 vast quantities of property had been sold under the Act. From 1837 to 1840 episcopal property alone was dealt with, but from 1840 to 1850, under the Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues Bill, a large amount of augmentation had been given out of capitular property to the poorer benefices. The Commissioners had received power to borrow 600,000l. from Queen Anne's Bounty fund, to be consumed in twenty years, in the expectation that by the end of that time the leases would become so much more valuable as to enable them to repay it, interest and capital, as well as to meet their grants to poor livings. From that time to this, however, not a single intelligible statement had been made as to whether their calculations were real or whether they were fallacious. By the account of last year the Commission had expended 9,5007. more than their annual income; the sum of 10,000l. being originally stated as the utmost limit, which they could not overpass. The episcopal portion of the accounts, which was formerly favourable, was now unfavourable; that was to say, the amount paid to the smaller sees was nearly 10,000l. a year more than was received from the larger ones. He found that in conformity with a promise which had been made when he brought the sub-accuracy of the principles or calculations ject forward last Session, there was, in the accounts of the present year, some attempt to make a distinction between revenue and capital; but he complained that in respect of the whole of the transactions from the year 1837 to the year 1853, not only had no information been given, but there was not even the vestige of an attempt to give it. The result was, that the House must be in perfect ignorance whether the Commissioners had made an extravagant amount of annual grants and incurred extravagant annual liabilities, or were acting within that prudent margin of 10,000l. a

upon which their proceedings were conducted; and he trusted that the Government, in continuing the Estates Commission, would give Parliament some security that more specific and intelligible accounts should in future years be laid upon the table,

THE EARL OF CHICHESTER was understood, to say, that for a considerable number of years the Church Estates Commission had incurred no expenditure for grants except such as were obligatory under Acts of Parliament; but that calculations which had been made justified the hope that in a few years the Commissioners

would be able to resume the making of grants. He to a great extent agreed with the noble Earl (Earl Powis) that the kind of account to which he referred would be a useful document; but he denied that fuller accounts could be published. The accounts now published were as complete as they could be, though they were not on the plan desired by his noble Friend. That plan, if adopted, might not be so satisfactory to the House as it would be to his noble Friend, and he had rather therefore pause before altering the present system. On Question, agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly; and committed to a Committee of the whole House.


sidered the tendency of such deputations to be very injurious, he believed the intentions of the particular deputation to which he referred were perfectly harmless, and such deputations would not be prevented for the future. The Bill would only apply to such cases as that of Mr. Smith O'Brien, or that of the deputations which went to France in 1791, where there was an intention to carry out views prejudicial to the interests of this country.

LORD BEAUMONT wished to know what was left in the Bill, now that the noble and learned Lord proposed that it should not apply to persons, who, though their proceedings might be injurious to the country, had no evil intentions. It appeared to him that the Bill with the moSe-difications proposed by the noble and learned Lord, would apply only to the case of persons who were engaged in conspiracies with foreign Powers against this country, and he conceived that persons who entered into such conspiracies could be punished under the existing law. He wished to know, therefore, why their Lordships were asked to sanction such a measure?

LORD CAMPBELL said, that there remained in the Bill provisions which he regarded as very important, and which his noble and learned Friend (Lord Lyndhurst), who was not now present, fully approved. The Bill would include the enactments of the American law, which were admitted on all hands to be highly salutary, and would also make certain proceedings which English subjects might now do abroad with

LORD CAMPBELL, in naming the lect Committee on this Bill, said, that he had not the most distant intention that the Bill should interfere with the enforcement of the private rights of any portion of Her Majesty's subjects. It was intended by the Bill, as originally framed, to prevent such deputations as that to Florence upon the case of the Madiai. His own opinion was, that such a proceeding was not in the exercise of any constitutional right, that it was not, generally speaking, calculated to gain its object, and that with regard to the great Powers of Europe, it might be attended with inconvenient results. After hearing the opinions which had been expressed by noble Lords for whom he had a sincere respect, particularly by the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Shaftesbury), he would willingly aban-perfect impunity punishable, for the fudon that part of the Bill which applied to ture, as misdemeanors. He thought he such cases, and would consent that the had stated the other night, without any operation of his measure should be con- risk of being misunderstood, that, by the fined to such deputations as should seek to law of England, cognisance could not be attain objects injurious to the British em- taken of acts committed beyond the terripire, where there should be an intention to tory of England. Acts, however misthwart the measures of the Government, chievous, which were committed beyond or to do that which would be productive of the seas, might be committed with perfect inconvenience to the public service. With impunity; and one object of this Bill was, that restriction he hoped that the Bill to render English subjects amenable to the would meet the approval of their Lord-law of England for acts committed in foships.

THE EARL OF CLANCARTY wished to know if the Bill would apply to such a deputation as had recently proceeded to St. Petersburg from the Quakers of this country.

LORD CAMPBELL said, the Bill, in its restricted form, would not apply to such a deputation as that which had recently proceeded from the Quakers of this country to the Emperor of Russia. Although he conThe Earl of Chichester

reign States, which acts might be detrimental to their own country, although they might not be punishable by the existing law.

THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE wished to remind the noble and learned Lord that there were some 5,000,000 of British subjects in Ireland who professed the Roman Catholic faith, and who necessarily must communicate through their bishops, or other persons, with the Pope of Rome.


Spiritual Destitution of {MAY 11, 1854} the Labouring Classes.

He hoped the noble and learned Lord would take care that his Bill did not interfere with such communications.

LORD CAMPBELL said, that he believed that the Bill, as it originally stood, would not have interfered with the spiritual intercourse between Roman Catholics and the See of Rome; and he was quite certain that as it was now framed there was not the smallest possibility of its offering any obstacle to that communication.

Committee named.


Order of the Day read.


because the whole of the nation did not entertain their peculiar doctrines. They had a scriptural Church connected with the State of the country, and during the thirty years that he had had the honour of sitting in that House, he had frequently endeavoured to draw the attention of their Lordships to this great and important subject; for he held it to be among the first of their duties to give to the people of this country every necessary means of religious instruction, alike as regarded Church accommodation, a resident clergy to administer to their spiritual wants, and schools to afford them a sound scriptural education. He knew it was said to be impos

THE EARL OF WINCHILSEA moved sible, in the present state of society, for to resolve

"That the Religious Wants of the great body of the Labouring Classes employed in our Manufacturing Districts (from the extensive Deficiency of Church Accommodation, of resident Clergy to administer to their Spiritual Necessities, and of Schools to afford them a sound Scriptural Education) demand the earliest Attention of Parliament,"

He would not detain their Lordships by entering into details at any length. The necessity which existed for making provision for the religious wants of the people, and the establishment of schools for their sound scriptural education, was so generally admitted, that he might almost content himself with laying the Resolution affirming it upon their Lordships' table, without adding a single observation of his own to enforce or recommend it; for if any man, either in or out of that House, holding the position of a legislator, admitted their existence and denied his responsibility to lend a helping hand for their removal, any arguments which he could advance would be quite useless, for he was convinced that by such a man even a voice from Heaven denouncing such a dereliction of duty to our country and to God would pass unheeded and disregarded. It was a notorious fact that the people of England anxiously desired an extension of religious knowledge; and he felt it to be an imperative duty on the part of the Legislature of this Christian country no longer to delay looking into the subject of the spiritual wants of the great body of the people. The repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, he begged to remind their Lordships, was effected by members of the Protestant Church, and they ought not now to be told they were not to have a particular system of religious education,

the Government to establish schools confined to the teaching of the peculiar doctrines of the Established Church; but, for his part, he was of opinion that schools might be established where at least the teaching of the Holy Bible should be one of the fundamental rules; and he was convinced that the great body of Protestant Dissenters, especially the Wesleyans, would readily come forward and give their support to such a scheme as that. On a recent occasion this great Christian conntry was engaged in a solemn act of public humiliation and prayer, and, although they could only judge from outward appearance of the feelings which influenced the human heart, the manner in which that day was observed, not only in the metropolis, but through the length and breadth of the land, must have afforded deep gratification to every Christian well-wisher of the country. It appeared by the last Census returns that during the first half of the present century upwards of 10,000,000 had been added to our population; and within the last ten years no less than 2,700,000. It appeared, also, that there were upwards of 2,000,000 of people who, if disposed to attend places of worship, would be altogether without church accommodation, and it was, therefore, necessary that increased means of spiritual instruction should be provided. But he was not one of those who considered that the mere building of churches was the first step towards the religious instruction of the people. He believed that the establishment of sound scriptural schools and a resident missionary clergy would prove the most efficient means of reaching the mass of those who, through the neglect of their duty by the Legislature, had been allowed to grow up around us in a state of

perfect infidelity and absolute heathenism; | posed; to much that he has said I willingly and that, then, if new churches were assent, for it is difficult to exaggerate the built, they would be crowded by earnest amount of spiritual destitution which preand devout worshippers. Let their Lord- vails in some parts of the country, particuships reflect for a moment upon the pre-larly in the manufacturing towns. My sent circumstances of the country, and Lords, I know the zeal and sincerity of the national judgments which had visited the noble Earl in his endeavour to meet the land. Let them reflect upon the late those evils, and, agreeing as I do with awful famine, which had carried off so many of the sentiments he has expressed, many hundreds and thousands of their I willingly assent to the Motion he has countrymen; that fearful pestilence which made. But I would submit to 'the noble even now continued to hover on our shores; Earl that, when he moves this Resolution, and the great war upon which we had just it must be surely with some particular entered, and the result of which no man view; it cannot be that a mere barren deliving could foresee, or tell how it might claration could satisfy any object, but it affect the greatness and the prosperity of must be with a view that Parliament should the empire. They could not contemplate act in consonance with the Resolution. these national judgments without, as Chris- My Lords, I cannot say that I think it is tian and responsible beings, asking them- at all probable that Parliament would be selves if, as a nation, we had given any induced to meet the deficiency of the cause for such a visitation, and yet fail to church accommodation of which he has perceive and honestly to declare that we had complained by grants made for that purshamefully neglected the first duty of the pose; at least I should be very unwilling country. He charged it on no particular to propose to Parliament any such grant. Government-he charged it on the Legis- Agreeing with him, as I do, in the great lature. They had all been guilty of neg- amount of spiritual destitution and the lecting their duty towards God, and if on extent of the want of church accommodathe day of national humiliation and prayer, tion, I still think we have great reason to which had lately been observed throughout congratulate ourselves upon the efforts the land in such a manner as must have which have been made of late years to excited heartfelt gratification in the breast supply that want. I think that during the of every well-wisher of his country, they latter part of the first half of this century had closely examined the sins of the na- individuals have done so much to provide tion, he believed that they must have con- means for extending church accommodafessed that the most prominent of those tion as to show much more may yet be sins had been the great neglect of which done without coming to the Government they had been guilty in failing to meet the for assistance for such a purpose. I will spiritual wants of the poorer classes, over for a few moments call your Lordships' whom, in the providence of God, they had attention to what has been done since the been placed. He could not believe that commencement of the present century in the noble Earl at the head of Her Ma- order to show you the rapid progress which, jesty's Government would refuse his sanc- through great energy and activity on the tion to the Resolution he had now to pro- part of members of the Church of England, pose. He knew well the pressure of the has been made in supplying the means for war, and how much the time of the Go- remedying the evil complained of by the vernment was occupied in taking measures noble Earl. In the commencement of this to mitigate the evils which it necessarily century, from the year 1801 to the year brought upon the country. He did not, 1811, the number of churches built in therefore, ask their Lordships to agree to England and Wales was 55; in the next any specific measure upon the subject, but ten years that number had increased by. simply to acknowledge the existence of 97; between 1821 and 1831, the number this pressing evil, and to declare that when built was 276; between 1831 and 1841, the proper opportunity arrived, they would that number increased to 667; and during take it into their consideration, and endea- the ten years preceding the last Census, vour to apply a remedy. The noble Earl the number of churches built in England concluded by moving the Resolution. and Wales amounted to 1,197. Now, we find that the greatest increase-that which took place within the last twenty yearshas been effected without Government aid, and solely by the energy, and piety, and

THE EARL OF ABERDEEN: My Lords, I should be very sorry to appear to say anything at variance with the spirit of the Resolution which the noble Earl has proThe Earl of Winchilsea

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