Sivut kuvina

calculated to engender and keep alive reli- | Gentleman to the evidence of the Rev. J. gious rancour than such a grievance as Elmes, where he would find it stated as this of Ministers' Money. He hoped, there the opinion of that rev. gentleman, whose fore, the House would bear with him while authority, he believed, would weigh with he stated some few reasons why he felt the Government, that at the time the tax himself bound by a sense of duty to endea- was created, in the 17th & 18th Charles II., voir to bring this matter to a final and most of the inhabitants and most of the satisfactory adjustment. He, for one, did occupiers of the houses in Limerick were not object to this tax because it pressed on altogether Roman Catholics. But supposone description of occupiers or persons ing that it was right to continue the tax more than another. He objected to it en- from generation to generation upon those tirely on the ground of principle. For the houses which were originally made subject last fifty years the House had, with one to it, how could hon. Members justify the sad exception, legislated in the spirit of imposition of the tax upon property which the principle that no men should suffer re- had since then been built by Roman Castriction—that no one should be mulcted tholics? He knew a district in Cork, for of his property, or deprived of his liberty, instance, where about a dozen Roman because of the religious principles he main Catholic proprietors had, within the last tained. Now, in this spirit he asked the twenty years, built upwards of a hundred House to look upon the present Motion. houses. Now, would it be fair to make Here was a tax levied upon the occupiers these Catholics to pay the tax, whether as of houses in eight of the principal cities owners or occupiers ? He admitted that and corporate towns in Ireland for the sup- places of worship should be kept in a proport of clergymen of the Established per condition ; but the noble Lord 'the Church ; and it was a fact susceptible of Member for Bandon (Viscount Bernard) easy proof that a majority of those occu- had represented a state of things which piers were Roman Catholics. There were, rather existed in his own imagination than besides, a large number of them Protestant was susceptible of proof. But he could Dissenters, including a considerable pro- give the noble Lord some facts with reportion of members of the Society of spect to Protestant churches.

He (Mr. Friends. Now, from these persons money Maguire) knew several Protestant churches was extorted by the power and obligation in the county of Cork without congregaof the law to maintain clergymen in whose tions. There were four parishes in the faith they did not believe, whose ministry diocese of Cloyne in which the congregathey did not solicit, and with whose per- tion consisted of only three persons, and sons, in many cases, they were unac. that congregation was migratory, lending quainted. Was this fair, or was it not? their assistance sonetimes to one parish Surely this must be regarded as a viola- and sometimes to another; such was the tion of the civil and religious liberty which state of human, though not of spiritual, both sides of the House atfected to re- destitution, in the district. spect. There was not a Gentleman in that tion of Catholics to Protestants in the city House, or in the United Kingdom, who did of Cork was about six to one; in the city not reverence the many virtues and active of Limerick it was, he believed, seven to benevolence of the Society of Friends, and one; in Kilkenny it was yet larger; and their admirable exertions for the destitute in the city of Waterford it was larger still. poor in Ireland at a time when their bene- What, he asked, could be more galling and volence was most needed; and yet many of irritating to him as a Catholic than to be callthe members of that respectable body in ed upon to pay ministers whose faith he did Ireland were prosecuted from year to year, not believe, however he might respect them had their consciences outraged, and their personally? He thought he might justly property confiscated, in the most shameful regard such an impost as a badge of conand degrading manner, and all for the quest and a brand of civil and religious payment of this odious tax.

The right inferiority. It must be remembered, also, hon. Gentleman had represented this as a that there were conscientious men in the tax upon property, and endeavoured to various localities of Ireland who were preshow what he (Mr. Maguire) did not be- vented from voting at municipal elections lieve was historically correct—that at the because they would not pay this tax, pretime of the first imposition of the tax a ferring to have their goods distrained. It majority of the ratepayers were Protes- was not impossible that a measure might tants. He begged to refer the right hon. emanate from the other side of the House

The propor

for amending and extending the franchise; | dispensing, with his orthodox hands, the yet, by maintaining this tax, they were ravished four of the Quaker. It appeared continuing a system which prevented men from the evidence given before the Comwho had the right to do so from managing mittee, that in cases where houses had their local affairs and exercising those fallen into ruin, and had been unoccupied powers which were given them by the law. for periods of eleven, eight, and seven In order to show the effect of continuing years, when they were rebuilt by the such a fretting sore, he might refer to a owners, the whole arrears of Ministers' case which was mentioned by Mr. O'Flynn, Money were extorted from the occupiers. one of the witnesses examined before the Let them put this tax into any form they Committee. It was that of a respectable liked, it would still be odious and offensive. man who had formerly been an extensive His own religious opinions were as strong merchant and farmer, but who had been as those of any man; but at the same time, reduced in circumstances. The collector being anxions for the welfare of the councalled upon him for 11. 7s., three years' try, and that every man in his country arrears of Ministers' Money. The wife should live in amity and kindness with his said they were unable to pay, but the col- neighbour, he must declare that he could lector seized all their furniture and sold it conceive nothing more degrading to reliimmediately. The collector admitted that gion than that clergymen and ministers of the little property which he seized had religion should be placed in the odious and been left by the sheriff as an act of cha- invidious position in which they were placed rity; yet what was left this miserable cou- by the maintenance of this tax. A short ple by the charity of the sheriff's officer time since he went, as a member of a dewas torn away from them by the represen- putation, to several of the southern towns tative of the ministers of religion! He of Ireland, with a view of interesting perput it to the most ardent supporters of the sons in the National Exhibition, which had Established Church what must be the ef- been so signally successful, and many of fect of such odious scenes upon a lively those from whom the deputation received and susceptible population? What must the greatest assistance were Protestant be thought of those who were found levy- clergymen. Now, if there ever was a time ing black mail in the name of religion ? when it was necessary that good feeling He had the honour of knowing the Dean should exist between men of all religious of Waterford, the distinguished Protestant persuasions in Ireland, this was that time. Bishop of Limerick, and many other cler- An industrial movement was now going on gymen of the Established Church, who in Ireland; it was becoming more and more benefited by this tax against their own developed every day; and he believed it wish. The Rev. Dr. West, of Dublin, might be the means of laying the foundastated also that the clergy of Dublin were tions of local prosperity in many parts of anxious to avoid having to fight for their that country. Protestants, Catholics, and incomes ; and the Rev. Mr. Elmes desig- Quakers united in promoting and patronnated the tax not merely as obnoxious, but ising this movement, and he asked those as exceedingly obnoxious. lle might here who wished to establish good feeling besay a word or two about the mode of sei-tween Protestants and Catholics, and to zure and of sale. One of the collectors advance the interests of their country, to was asked by the Chairman of the Con- assist in doing away with every cause of mittee whether he gave notice of the sales, rancour and dissension, If, however, he and he replied, No; I give no notice were told that he was to be taxed and when or where the things are to be sold; mulcted, because he was a Roman Catholic, the Ministers' Money Act does not require he could not entertain in his heart those such notice.” Wherever it was sold, how- sentiments which Christian men ought to ever, and no matter what sum was realised, cherish. He asked the House in the name the owner of the property had no means of of religion, which was dishonoured by this knowing what became of it. A few days tax, and in the name of justice, which was before he (Mr. Maguire) left Cork, two outraged by its imposition upon Catholics, sacks of flour were seized from a Quaker Presbyterians, and Quakers, not merely to in Patrick-street by a four-dealing collec- sanction some temporary change of the tor. The Quaker was unable to gain any burden from one shoulder to the other, but intelligence of the whereabouts of his pro- to get rid of it altogether, and to give up perty, but some persons were malicious the building of a few Protestant churches, enough to say that the collector was seen rather than have the principles of the ProVOL. CXXIII. (THIRD SERIES. ]

2 D

testant religion tarnished and disgraced by or not; and he thought his bon. Friend its ministers being placed in so odious à would be in a better position if he showed position.

an inclination fairly to consider the propoSIR JOHN SHELLEY said, he had sal of the Government. come down to the House intending to give Mr, FAGAN said, he felt himself bound his support to the Motion; and what he had by a sense of duty to divide the House. If heard during the discussion confirmed him 'the Government had held out any hope in the opinion that it was necessary this that this obnoxious tax would be abolished, subject should be thoroughly investigated. he would not call for a division, but from He thought, however, after the assurances the sketch placed before the House of the which had been given on the part of Her nature of the right hon. and learned AtMajesty's Government, that they would torney General's Bill, he was quite satisbring in a measure on the subject early fied there was no intention whatever of after the recess, that the hon. Gentleman abolishing this impost, but simply of transwho brought forward this Motion would forring it from the occupiers of the houses rather damage than advance his cause by to the landlords. He therefore felt it due pressing the Motion under the circum- to his constituents, who would not be satisstances.

fied with such an arrangement, to press his CAPTAIN JONES said, that the state- Motion. ment of the noble Member for Bandon Whereupon the previous Question was (Viscount Barnard), that it was absolutely put, " That that Question be now put.” necessary that additional funds should be The House divided : --Ayes 94; Noes appropriated to the rebuilding and repair of 140 : Majority 46. churches in Ireland, was fully borne out by the Reports of the Ecclesiastical Com

List of the Ayes, missioners. He would be extremely glad Baines, rt. hon. M. T. if it were possible to provide for the pay- Ball, J.

Hindley, C.

Hume, J. ment of the Ministers' Money in some Barnes, T.

Keating, R. other way, but he must protest against the Bell, J,

Kennedy, T. charge being thrown entirely upon the Ec- Bellew, Capt.

Kirk, W. clesiastical

Berkeley, hon. C. F. Laslett, W.
Bowyer, G.

Lawless, hon. C. deed, clear from the Reports that the funds Brady, J.

Loveden, P. in the hands of the Commissioners were Bright, J.

Lucas, F. utterly inadequate for the purpose.

Brotherton, J.

M.Cann, J. MR. FORTESCUE said, that he con- Burke, Sir T, J.

Brown, H.

M.Gregor, J, sidered the objects for which this obnox- Butler, C. S.

M.Mahon, P.

Magan, W. H. jous, unfair, and mischievous tax was levied, Byng, hon. G. H. C. Maguire, J. F. ought to be provided for from the funds of Challis, Ald.

Meagher, T. the Established Church in Ireland. He Cheetham, J.

Massey, W. N. thought the revenues of those sinecure

Clay, J.

Miall, E.
Clay, Sir W.

Milner, W. M. E. livings which disgraced that Establishment Cobden, R.

Mitchell, T. A. might, with great benefit, be applied to Cottin, W.

Molesworth, Sir W. this purpose. lle hoped the Government Crossley, F.

Moore, G. H. would not be too scrupulous in applying the Devereux, J. T. Mulgrave, Earl of funds of the Established Church to those

Duffy, C. G.

Murrough, J.P.
Duncan, G.

Norreys, Sir D. J. objects.

Esmonde, J.

O'Brien, C. MR. MONSELL said, he would suggest Fergus, J.

O'Brien, P.
to his hon. Friend the Member for the city Fitzgerald, J. D. O'Brien, Sir T.
of Cork (Mr. Fagan), that he should not

Fitzgerald, Sir J. F. O'Flaherty, A.
Fortescue, c.

Otway, A. J. press his Motion after the promise made Gardner, R.

Pellatt, A. by the Goverument to introduce a Bill on Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Pinney, W. the subject. It appeared to be admitted Goderich, Visct. Pollard - Urquhart, W. on both sides of the House that the tax Goodman, Sir G. Potter, R. was most obnoxious, and its recipients Grace, O. D. J.

Gower, hon. F. L. Power, N.

Price, W. P. objected to it just as much as those who Greene, J.

Roche, E. B. were called upon to pay it. If his hon. Greville, Col. F. Russell, F. W. Friend forbore from pressing his Motion Hastie, A.

Sadleir, J. now, the House would judge, when the

Ilastie, A.

Sadleir, J. Government brought forward their mea- Henchy, D 0.

Heard, J. I.

Scully, V.

Shee, W. sure, whether it met the case satisfactorily Higgins, G.G. O. Shelley, Sir J. V.

was, in


Smith, rt. hon. R. V. Whitbread, s.

quently, hewever, he added one or two Sullivan, M. Wilkinson, W. A.

apparently trivial things to the Bill, the Swift, R. Williams, W.

effect of which was to prevent its passing Thomson, G. Thornely, T.

that Session. And now he had compliTowneley, C. Fagan, W. T.

cated a simple proposition by adding two Villiers, hon. C.P.

Murphy, F. S. others to it-namely, that the period to The House adjourned at a quarter after elapse between the nomination and the Seven o'clock.

Poll should be only one day, and between the Poll and declaration one day more.

To him (Mr. Miles) these propositions HOUSE OF COMMONS, would be an almost insuperable barrier to

the passing of the measure. He thought Wednesday, December 1, 1852.

it right, therefore, that the House should

perfectly understand what was the actual COUNTY ELECTIONS POLLS BILL.

shape which the noble Lord intended the Order for Committee read ; Motion Bill should assume. made, and Question proposed, “That Mr. Lord ROBERT GROSVENOR, in reSpeaker do now leave the Chair.'

ply to the question of the hon, Member for MR. BUCK said, that, as the represen- North Devonshire (Mr. Buck), said, that if tative of a very large agricultural district the Bill were then for the first time intro(Devonshire), he felt that, if the Bill were duced, there might have been some reason passed in its present shape, it would be in that hon. Gentleman's request; but the impossible for his constituency to exercise House would recollect that not only was the franchise without much inconvenience. that not the case, but the Bill was brought It must be evident to every one who was in last Session with the sanction of the acquainted with the county constituencies Government to its principle—that since that the greatest possible difficulty would that time an election had taken placearise from the provisions of the Bill; and and that he had in the late Parliament he now interposed for the purpose of ap- given notice that he should again bring pealing to the noble Lord (Lord R. Gros- forward the measure. It could not be venor), and requesting him to postpone its contended, therefore, that the constituenfurther consideration until after the recess, cies had not had the most ample opporthat hon. Members might have an oppor- tunity of considering it: the hon. Gentletunity of communicating with their con- man would excuse him if he declined to stituents, and ascertaining what were their comply with his request. The hon. Memsentiments upon the subject. If, however, ber for East Somersetshire (Mr. Miles) the noble Lord would not accede to that had desired him (Lord R. Grosvenor) to suggestion, he trusted he would adopt an- state what he really meant to accomplish other course, which he could assure him by his Bill. In the first place, then, the would meet the concurrence of several Amendment of which he had given notice Gentlemen on that the Ministerial) side of for limiting to one day the period between the House, and consent to submit the Bill the nomination and the Poll having been to the consideration of a Select Committee. received with so little favour by the House, It was by no means his wish to defeat the it was his intention, as he had stated on a Bill; all he desired was that it should be previous occasion, to withdraw it; so that, made as satisfactory to the country as it as far as he himself was concerned, he was possible to make it.

proposed now simply to limit the duration MR. MILES said, that, before the noble of the poll to one day instead of two, and Lord answered the appeal of his (Mr. to provide that the official declaration Miles's) hon. Friend (Mr. Buck), be trusted should be made the day following the close he would take into his consideration a point of the poll instead of the day but one which he (Mr. Miles) thought was a ne- after. cessary preliminary to the discussion of Sir GEORGE PECHELL said, he to-day. It was desirable that the noble concurred in the opinion expressed by the Lord should state distinctly to the House noble Lord who had charge of the Bill, what were his intentions in proposing this that the country had had abundant opporBill. In the last Parliament the noble tunity to make itself acquainted with the Lord began by confining his measure to provisions of the measure, and that there the simple proposition that the Poll for was therefore no legitimate excuse for furCounties should last but one day. Subse- ther postponement. He did not believe

that any

evil result would follow from con- MR. G. BUTT said, le proposed to fining the polling to one day, as in bo- move an instruction to the Committee to roughs. In the borough of Shoreham, insert a clause for shortening the time bewhich was of considerable extent, he be- tween the proclamation and the day of lieved there existed no difficulty in taking election in counties, and between the time the poll in one day.

of the receipt of the writ and the election MR. PACKE said, he must complain of in boroughs. At present county elections the haste with which it was endeavoured took place under the regulations of the to pass this Bill through the House, and Act of 25 Geo. III. (1785). The first he thought more time should be allowed duty of the House was to take care that for considering its provisions. The princi. they limited the expenses by every possible pal ground upon which he was opposed to means, and also abridged the duration of the Bill was, that it would certainly ope- those seasons of strife, excitement, and rate as a measure of disfranchisement in dissipation, which were the most crying of the case of a large portion of the county the evils attendant upon elections in the electors, and these of the most important present day. He had heard it suggested class. The state of the weather during -and the suggestion was certainly entithe last fortnight ought to have convinced tled to great weight—that there were cirthe House of the great difficulty which cumstances and times in which it might be would have been experienced in many exceedingly difficult for the electors to get counties by the electors attempting to come to the poll, and the present season had to the poll at all. For these, among other been instanced by one hon. Gentleman as reasons, he should oppose the further pro- illustrative of this difficulty; but he subgress of the Bill, and move, as an Amendmitted that for such extraordinary circumment, that it should be committed on that stances it was impossible for Parliament to day six months.

legislate. They must rather decide upon Amendment proposed, to leave out from general principles, and legislate for orthe word “ That ”to the end of the Ques- dinary circumstances, than attempt to tion, in order to add the words, “ this provide for the many exceptional cases House will, upon this day six months, re- which would be sure to arise whatever the solve itself into the said Committee,” in- law might be. Considering, then, the imstead thereof.

proved means of communication in the Question proposed, "That the words present day--the variety of changes which proposed to be left out stand part of the had been effected in society, and the faciQuestion.”

lities for giving votes-none of which exMR. DRUMMOND said, he should isted in 1785, the time of passing that support the Bill. The whole of the ob- Act, he proposed to limit the period between jections which bad been urged on that the receipt by the sheriff of the writ and (the Ministerial) side of the House might the day of election to ten days, instead of be obviated by inserting a provision for sixteen; and the period between the prothe establishment of more polling places, clamation and the official declaration of and for taking the votes at the houses of the poll to five days, instead of ten. So the electors in the same manner as was far as to county elections. With regard now done at elections of guardians of the to borough elections, the House was aware poor.

that by the Act 3 & 4 Vict. it was proLORD ALEXANDER LENNOX said, vided that these should take place within that as the hon. and gallant Member for eight days after the receipt of the precept Brighton (Sir G. Pechell) had quoted the by the returning officer, three clear days' borough which he (Lord A. Lennox) had notice being given by him of the time for the honour to represent, as an instance holding the election. Now, as he proposed that no inconvenience could arise from to alter the law relating to county elections, having only two polling places, and con- it was necessary that he should also profining the polling to one day, that district pose to alter the law as to borough elecbeing thirty miles long and ten wide, he tions, in order that borough and county begged to inform him that the inconve- elections might not conflict. He proposed, nience was so great, and the complaints so therefore, to alter the time in respect to general, that it was his intention to move borough elections, so that the election a clause to the Bill to place the borough should be held within six days, instead of of Shoreham upon the same footing as eight, after the receipt of the precept by counties.

the returning officer, he giving two clear

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