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missioners cannot refuse renewing for them (it would tend much to secure the confidence on receiving the renewal fine. This new and gratitude of the Irish people. construction of the law diminishes very MR. LAWLESS seconded the Motion. considerably the income of the Commis- Motion made, and Question putsioners. To remedy this, an Amendment “ That this louse will, upon Thursday next, of the Church Temporalities Act was pro- resolve itself into a Committee, to take into conposed by the Commissioners. This Amend-sideration the Law relating to the Rate or Tax ment, which is printed in the Appendix of called Ministers' Money, in Ireland, with the view
to repeal so much thereof as relates to the said the Report, he proposed to embody in his Rate or Tax; and further to take into consideraBill, and thus in another important way tion the Act 3 and 4 Will. 4, c. 37, called the increase the income of the Commissioners. • Church Temporalities Act,' for the purpose of Again, the under-tenants of bishops' lands amending the same, so as to provide thereby a holding under toties quoties leases were al- substitute out of the Revenues of the Ecelesi
astical Commissioners as a provision for the lowed to purchase the perpetuity of their Protestant Ministers in certain corporate towns holdings. But there was such difficulty in Ireland, in lieu of the annual sums now rein ascertaining the value of their interests ceived by them under and by virtue of the Act that no purchases could be effected. To 17 and 18 Charles 2, c. 7." enable this to be effectually done, the Com- MR. WALPOLE said, that the hon. missioners also drew up a set of clauses, Gentleman the Member for the city of which are also printed in the Appendix. Cork (Mr. Fagan) had brought forward These clauses, if they became law, would his Motion in a spirit of great moderation again very considerably increase their re- and good temper, and that he had done venue, and, therefore, he proposed to in- everything which he could to avert a relitroduce them in his Bill, if he were allowed gious discussion. It would be his endeato bring it in. Lastly, he proposed that vour to follow the excellent example which the Government should relinquish any fur- the hon. Member had set, while explaining ther claim on the funds of the Commis- the views which he (Mr. Walpole) took sioners for the outstanding debt. Of the upon this subject, and the course which the 100,0001. which was lent to them at the Government intended to pursue. He be. commencement of the Commission, 20,0001. lieved that there were inconveniences atprincipal is still due, though the principal tending this impost, and objections to it and interest already paid come to 120.0001. which ought to be removed. The objections This money was borrowed to meet the de- pointed out by the hon. Gentleman as to mands for Church purposes at a time when the mode of valuation were very considerno revenue existed, the Legislature having able, and he believed that some alleviation abandoned all claims for the arrears due of the hardships they produced was exof Church cess. Having given up these pedient and necessary.
The House was arrears, the money lent to replace them probably aware that a house rented at 601. might reasonably be charged on the Con- a year was valued at 601., although it solidated Fund; and certainly it would not might be worth treble that money, and now be too much to expect that the balance that in many parts of Ireland the same due should be wiped off, if it tended to assessment remained in force, although the the final settlement of this vexed question. houses had fallen into decay. But there One million sterling was paid the clergy in was another objection stronger than these, lieu of the arrears due to thein of tithes. and that was that the clergymen them20,0001. would not, therefore, be a great selves objected to receive their money from sacrifice for a great nation to make towards their poorer Roman Catholic fellow-subthe tranquillity and contentment of even jects. Perhaps the House would permit a small portion of the Catholic people of him to draw attention to the Report upon Ireland. He had placed before the House the subject drawn up by that able and the proposition which he made for the eloquent statesman whom they had lost, abolition of Ministers' Money. He assur- Richard Lalor Sheil
. After stating seveed the House that he was actuated by no ral objections, the Report goes on to sectarian or party feeling in making this sayMotion. He did so with the sanction and
But the paramount objection to ministers' concurrence of many respected clergy of money is of a political and religious kind. The the Established Church. Its success would direct payment of an ecclesiastical tax from give great satisfaction in Ireland. He en
Roman Catholic occupiers to Protestant incum
bents, as a remuneration for services in which the treated the House to grant the prayers of former do not partitipate, is as obnoxious as the petitioners for relief in the matter, and church cess, and since its abolition, and the com
mutation of tithes, is the only remaining impost tion which had for its object the abolition which is immediately levied upon the Roman of the tax. Catholic occupier, who is not also owner of the lect it was not an impost upon persons,
For the House should recolpremises in respect of which the charge is made. This tax is rendered more obnoxious by the course but upon property; and the House could pursued in reference to other ecclesiastical de- not admit that property was to be relieved mands, and is regarded as the remnant of a sys- from the burdens of an impost, merely tem of which the continuance has been practically because there was an inconvenience atcondemned. It not an exaggeration to say
If the House that popular odium attaches to this tax, nor is it tending its collection. to those by whom it is paid that this antipathy is abolished the tax simpliciter, they would confined. This source of livelihood is an object leave the clergymen in those towns in of aversion to the clergy, by whom it is most which the tax at present was levied totally painfully collected froin the reluctant and the
without poor. Several clergymen have been examined in
any means of discharging their the course of this inquiry, all of whom concur in
duties. Upon this point the evidence of the expression of a strong desire on their own part, the Rev. Mr. O'Sullivan was conclusive. and on the part of the clergy, that some substi- He said that the Protestant clergymen tute for ministers' money may be provided. From
were generally opposed to Ministers' Mo. a feeling of compassion, which does them great honour, and from an anxiety to avoid a collision ney, and he thought that they would with those towards whom they are placed in the prefer receiving their stipends in any other relation of pecuniary creditors, and not of reli-mode. He would quote from the Report gious pastors, the Protestant incumbents have the answers to Questions 1863 to 1869 :made large sacrifices of their incomes. Evidence was given that the Rev. Mr. Roe, formerly a “ Have you had an opportunity of forming an rector in the city of Kilkenny, had for nine years opinion regarding the effect of ministers' money relinquished a claim from which his principal sup- in Cork ?-Certainly; as an officiating clergyman port was derived. It is obvious that some mea- among the people, it necessarily has come under sure should be adopted to rescue the clergy, by my notice. You consider the tax to be very obwhom important duties are performed in the noxious ?—Particularly so. Have you had an optowns already mentioned, from the deprivations portunity of speaking to members of the Estabto which they are exposed. Ministers' money ope- lished Church, as well as to members of your own rates as a tax upon the lenity of those who have persuasion on the subject ?—To a great many, hardly any other income for their maintenance. lay and clergy. Are the Protestants, generally Strongly impressed with the conviction that a mode speaking, opposed to ministers' money ?- The of payment attended with so much hardship to the Protestants of Cork, principally; I think they clergy themselves should be discontinued, our prefer any other mode of payment for the clergy. attention has been directed to various expedients Does the collection of ministers' money lead to which have been presented in lieu of this tax. discord and rancorous feeling as between the clergy It has been suggested that a commutation of and the inhabitants of Cork ?-I would hardly ministers' money, grounded on the same princi- call it a rancorous feeling ; there is a feeling of ple as the commutation of tithes, should be dissatisfaction, and a feeling that it is an injustice ; adopted; but the number of Roman Catholic but except in cases here and there, where collecproprietors of houses is so great, and after the tors may have been oppressive, there is no feeling remedy by distress had been abolished, the diffi- of rancour. The inhabitants of Cork, I presume, culty that must attend the collection of the com- would think that the clergy of the Established muted tax, and the litigation in which the clergy Church, who have duties to perform, should not be would, in all likelihood, be involved in suing for deprived of their livelihood ?--On the contrary, I small sums, of which the payment would be re- think that the general impression among the sisted from the motives which are now in opera- respectable classes of Roman Catholics in Cork, tion, induce the belief that this project ought not and indeed generally, is, that any arrangement to be entertained. Neither do the Committee con- which would take from the present incumbents ceive that the mischief for which it is essential to their full amount of subsistence, becoming their find a cure would be alleviated by any process of rank as clergymen and gentlemen, would be unredemption which could be devised. If voluntary just. And you say that it is the wish of the it would be inoperative ; and if compulson was to Roman Catholic inhabitants that the clergy of be resorted to, an aggravation of evil would en- the Established Church in Cork should be paid sue. A charge upon the Consolidated Fund fully for the duties they perform ?-No doubt; would be repudiated by the people of England. and as I know that my examination must be a Convinced that by none of these means a satisfac- short one, I hope I do not intrude on the Comfactory abolition of this tax could be brought mittee in saying that from experience for the last about, your Committee directed their attention to several years, as secretary to the relief committee the fund administered through the Ecclesiastical of Cork, there has been such a cordial feeling beCommissioners, by the application of which the tween the clergy of both Churches, they have purposes formerly effected by church cess have acted so well and so zealously together, that I do been so usefully accomplished.”
believe that if this cause of irritation were re
moved in cities a very beneficial change would He would not object to a Committee of be produced upon the face and surface of sothe House to take into consideration the ciety." subject, although he should have felt it When the Church Temporalities Act was his duty to object to an abstract Resolu- passed, a clause was brought in expressly to keep alive Ministers' Money. The hon. which required information before he could Gentleman said that the funds of the Ec- finally give his assent to it. That was the clesiastical Commission were now sufficient state of the case as far as the Government to justify the appropriation of a portion of was concerned. Under those circumstances, them, to get rid of an impost which was a thinking that something ought to be done cause of disagreement between Roman Ca- with reference to the question, but that it tholics and Protestants in Ireland. The should be done with great deliberation, he hon. Gentleman should first prove that should certainly not attempt to negative those funds were sufficient; because by the the Motion of the hon. Gentleman; and if Church Temporalities Act trusts were im- he would accept what he (Mr. Walpole) posed upon those funds which must be now proposed --namely, that by way of discharged—1st, to provide what was ne- an Amendment he should move the precessary for the celebration of service in vious question, he would undertake after the church; 2nd, for the payment of sex- the recess to bring the matter forward. tons and clerks; 3rd, for the repair of the
MR. MURPHY said, it was quite apchurches; 4th, for the maintenance of parent that this was a subject which was the churchyards; 5th, for building new not mixed up with any spirit of sectarian. churches ; and, 6th, for augmenting the ism, but was one with reference which smaller livings. It was clear that all the those who differed in religion might agree preceding trusts down to the last must be in point of charity, and which it was as satisfied before funds could be appropriated essential for Protestants as for Catholics to the object proposed. But he was told, should be speedily settled. But he asked in point of fact, that the funds in the what further pledge had they now for its hands of the Commissioners were not suf- settlement than they had had from a series ficient for any such purpose, and he should of Governments ? it was now some eleven object that those funds should be taken years since he had first presented this quesaway from the great purposes for which tion to the consideration of the House, and they were placed in their hands until those he was then met by the Government with purposes were satisfied. The House should words as conciliatory in spirit as those not altogether forget that a great portion which the right hon. Gentleman the Home of those funds came, in fact, from a rate Secretary had just made use of. The anor charge now placed by virtue of that Act swer had always been that they concurred upon the benefices of all clergymen in the in the propriety of abolishing this impost, Church of Ireland, that charge varying and that they believed it to be a vexatious from 2 per cent to 15 per cent per an- one, engendering heartburnings; but, while num upon the value of the bevefices. That they made specious promises from time to portion of the fund, therefore, was derived time, nothing had been done. In his opinfrom the clergy themselves, and to do ion they ought to have a more definite proaway with this impost, and to place it in mise, and they ought to be informed as to the bands of the Ecclesiastical Commis- the nature of the measure proposed to be sioners, would amount to first depriving introduced. Another very great objection the clergy of a great portion of their to this impost was the mode in which it incomes, and taxing them afterwards. was levied.
Houses which formerly let at He assured the hon. Gentleman that he high rents, were now occupied by poor fahad taken great pains to settle this ques- milies, at 2s. or 3s. a week. The rating tion. He had had much conversation with was still kept up to the maximum; and it the Lord Lieutenant, with the noble Lord often happened the last remnant of housethe Secretary for Ireland, and with the hold goods was torn from these wretched right hon. and learned Gentleman the people to satisfy this unjust demand, whilst Attorney General for Ireland, upon the many rich Protestants, who were more in subject. The result of all those commu- arrear, were never distrained upon at all. nications was, that he thought the matter if the right hon. Gentleman's objection to could be settled, and the last conversation the proposition were founded merely on which he had had with the Lord Lieutenant the fact that this was a charge imposed upon the subject, when in England the upon property, and not upon persons, let other day, was in fact arranging the him look at the Report of the Select Comgreater portion of the measure which he mittee upon the Edinburgh Annuity Tax, thought it would be the duty of the Go- which was a precisely analogous case, and vernment to bring forward after the recess. he would there see it recommended that There were details in the measure, however, the funds should be taken from the Church, and remitted from the property of Edin- in the failure on any substitution of the burgh. If that were a wise proposition mode of raising the amount, whether the with regard to a rich city like Edin- inconveniences of the present system might burgh, surely in justice it should be applied not be met. With regard to the rating of to Ireland, where many houses which had houses which had fallen in value, to which once been valuable belonged to most im. the hon. and learned Gentleman, who had poverished owners, upon whom this tax just sat down had alluded, he freely adpressed with peculiar severity. He pressed mitted that it was most desirable to exit
upon his hon. Friend (Mr. Fagan), that empt houses of small value entirely from he should not be contented with this sort this charge. But while he concurred in of yea-and-nay promise on the part of the that view, he did not think it fair or equitGovernment, and that he should rest satis- able to seek to put this tax upon the poor fied with nothing short of a declaration clergy, many of whom were in humble cirthat the Law Officers of the Crown had cumstances, for there were many beneficed prepared a Bill, or were about to draw one; clergymen in Ireland whose average income that such a Bill should be laid upon the did not amount to much more than from table after the recess; and that it should 1201. to 1701. a year. It was important sweep away the anomaly of an impoverish- to consider that in its origin this impost ed Roman Catholic population paying for a was a charge on property, and not on perministration which they did not receive. sons, and that at the time when the Act They had abolished Tithes and Cess, and, was passed, in the reign of Charles II., if they did not adopt this principle, his be- the inhabitants of these towns were mostly lief was that it would prove to be but the Protestants. Circumstances had changed, narrow end of the wedge, which, as the and he thought it was desirable the humrefusal in the East Redford case had oc- ble population should be to a certain extent casioned the Reform Bill, might have the ef- exempted. As to the amount when exfect of materially interferring with the entire emption should conmence, that was a establishment of the Church in Ireland. matter of detail, but the great object was
MR. NAPIER said, when his right hon. to make the whole valuation equitable. In Friend the Secretary of State for the Home conclusion, he might say, he would pledge Department stated last Session, that it himself to bring in a Bill on the subject, was the intention of Her Majesty's Go- to endeavour to settle the question on vernment to take this question into con- equitable principles, and to do justice sideration, that was no idle promise for among all classes. the purpose of postponing it, but with MR. HUME said, that ever since he had the bonii fode object of having it consid. been a Member of that House, Ministers' ered. He might say that since that time Money had been a subject of annual disHer Majesty's Government had very fully content and discussion, and he could not considered the question, and he had him- understand how any Government should self given great attention to it; indeed, if not see it to be their interest to have the his time had not been so much occupied, question settled as speedily as possible, he should have been prepared with a Bill especially when the Church Establishment on the subject. During the time the late was possessed of such ample funds, and Government was in uffice, though he had when the sum in dispute amounted only to no wish to thrust himself forward, he had some 15,0001. a year. There was also been always willing to give his assistance the Edinburgh Annuity Tax, which stood to any measures for the good of Ireland. iu the same category, and which involved With regard to the late Government, also, the sum of 17,0001. a year; and this, too, he believed that their honest desire was to was a grievance which the Government have settled this question; but he knew that should endeavour to remove.
The right the matter which stood in their way was, hon, and learned Gentleman the Attorney that on examining the funds of the Eccle- General for Ireland had stated that he siastical Commissioners, it was found that would, after the recess, bring in a Bill on this could not be placed upon those funds the subject of Ministers' Money; but he without postponing or displacing trusts had not told them what was likely to be which he was confident, when they were nature of the measure. Would it remove considered, the llouse would not con- the stigma which the present system cast sent to see postponed or displaced for upon the Roman Catholic in forcing him, the purposes connected with this particular while professing one religion, to pay for
It was then to be considered, another? or hat was the grievance which ought to be remedied. And how Church under the head of rebuilding, enlarging, could they remedy it more advantageously painting, enclosing of churchyards, and other nethan--if there were funds in the hands of cessary works connected with the existing fabrics,
even though they should be assisted largely by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, as his private subscriptions, until their income shall hon. Friend (Mr. Fagan) said there were have been further augmented under the operation by applying those funds to the payment of the Church Temporalities Acts, inasmuch as it of Ministers' Money, even if the Church appeared from the architect's report, furnished at should be called upon to make a small 258,0001. was required for those purposes.”
the commencement of this year, that a sum of sacrifice thereby ?--for surely the interests of religion and the peace of Ireland were He could bear personal testimony to the of much more importance than 15,0001. fact that in the county in which he resided a year. He trusted, therefore, that the there were a number of churches in a most Government would endeavour, without de- dilapidated state, and that the Commislay, to settle this vexed question of Minis- sioners told the inhabitants that they had ters' Money in Ireland, as well as that of no funds to repair them. He knew of the Annuity Tax in Scotland, for he be other cases of incumbents who had relieved there were ample funds for both frained from applying to the Ecclesiastical within the respective Churches of those Commissioners, from the knowledge that countries.
from the numerous claims upon that body VISCOUNT BERNARD said, that hon. their application would be ineffectual. The Members should recollect that this was a members of the Church, at the same time, preliminary Session of Parliament, the were under the necessity of subscribing to avowed object of which was to settle an societies for supplying additional curatesimportant commercial question, and that thus plainly showing that, if the funds of they ought not to bring forward questions the Ecclesiastical Commissioners were as of this kind on the present occasion, but much enlarged as some hon. Members allow the Government time to bring for- imagined them to be, they would all be reward the measures they had in contempla- quired to support the Established Church. tion. The right hon, and learned Gentle- MR. MAGUIRE threw himself on the man the Attorney General for Ireland had indulgence of the House for a few minutes, told them that he had directed his atten- as he was a new Member, and as this was tion to the subject now under discussion, the first occasion he had attempted to adand that he had the details of a Bill in the dress them. He assured them that he course of preparation. This ought to be would not have risen on this occasion had sufficient to satisfy the House for the pre- it not been that the question before the sent. The House should also bear in mind House was one which was considered exwhat had already been stated, that when ceedingly important in some of the printhis tax was originally imposed, it was im- cipal localities of Ireland. The immediate posed on the property of Protestants, and object for which he rose was to urge upon that all who had purchased the property the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Fagan) to since had purchased it subject to the tax; persevere in his Motion; and he did so in and it should likewise be kept in view that no spirit of hostility to the Government, supposing the mode of collecting the tax for he had no hostility towards them on were changed, and they were to place it this question; but because the Government on the basis of the Poor Rate, two-thirds bad given the Members representing Ireof it would still fall upon Protestants, as land no assurance that this subject should the great bulk of the property in the cities be taken into especial consideratiori, and subjected to the tax belonged to them. because the Attorney General for Ireland The hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hum had given the House no idea of the princi-following the hon. Member for the city ple on which he intended to found his proof Cork (Mr. Fagan)—had proposed to mised Bill. Had the Government given take the Ministers' Money out of the reve- them any assurance that they would pronues of the Established Church of Ireland. vide a satisfactory substitute for the existNow, in the Report of the Ecclesiastical ing mode of levying Ministers' Money, he Commissioners for Ireland, which was is would have advised his hon. Friend at once sued only the other day, he found it stated to withdraw his Motion, and accept the that, although some improvement had re. terms of Government. The right hon. cently taken place in the state of their funds, Gentleman had spoken of the importance the Commissioners could not promise to of avoiding religious controversy ; but he "provide for the many pressing wants of the should remember that nothing was more