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suppose that government were not disposed 4 tythes more cheerfully than the Catholies to alleviate the sufferings of the people, if did. But he begged the House to conthey did suffer; but it would be unfair sider the justice of this plan as it renot to take into consideration all the dif- spected the clergyman. The bon. gent. ficulties that presented themselves. The would first pay him, not according to the great difficulty was, that the laudlords full amount of the tythes, but according got more for their lands than they ought to the net value of the living. Now he to get, and, in his conscience he believed begged the hon. gent. to apply that printhat that was the chief cause of the disciple to the parish which he had before satisfaction that subsisted. One of the mentioned. In that parish the incumbent plans which had been most strongly re- let the tythes to the curate, and of course "commended in order to remove the com- the hon. gent. would only allow for the net plaints respecting tythes was, that of sum received by the incumbent, leaving leasing them; but he was convinced, that out of the question all that was received wben gentlemen looked at the state of by the curate, which certainly upon every Ireland, they would agree with him in principle of justice, ought to be taken thinking, that to give power to the incum- into the calculation. It would have been bent to lease the tythes for a certain num- as well perhaps if the hon. gent. had inber of years, would not afford any adequate formed the House in what manner he relief. In considering this subject, he had meant to lay this tax which was to supof course endeavoured to obtain informa ply the place of tythes, so that the mass tion from every quarter, and among others, of the people should not know that they he had applied to the clergyman of the were in fact paying tythes. There was parish in which his house stood, and asked something very extraordinary in the prohim the number of persons from whom he position of the høn. gent. ; did he mean received tythes. The answer he re- to say that the Catholics ought not to pay ceived was, that the number who paid tythes ? If he did, let him state that protythes last year was 1937. This seem- position fairly at once, and he would see ed to be a great number ; but the cler- what reception it would meet with from gyman added in his letter, that the the House. If he meant that the Cathotythes of a very great proportion of lics should be subject to the tythes, why these persons did not exceed from 1 to 10 not let them at once fairly and distinctly shillings. From this statement, the House know what they were paying? One of would at once see the difficulty of granting the grievances complained of certainly leases of tythes. The clergymen would let was the conduct of the proctors of non-rethem to what is called in Ireland a middle sident clergymen, but the great source of man, that person would let them to ano- the evil, he would still maintain, was the ther, and so on, until the person who was circumstance of the landlord taking too to pay the tythe, instead of one shilling, high a rent. With respect, however, to would have to pay five or six. The hon. the grievances resulting from the conduct gent. in his plan for abolishing tythes, of the non-resident clergymen, he hoped seemed to think it necessary to ascertain they would be in a great degree, if not not what the whole value of the tythes in entirely, removed by the bill for enforcing each parish was, but what was the net the residence of the clergy, He regretted value of the living, and then to lay a tas very much that he could not agree with upon the people to pay the clergymen the proposition of the hon. gent. but he the value of this. net receipt, now from thought it would be highly improper to this net receipt the hon. gent. would go into the Committee without having in the first instance, according to his something specific proposed to them. If own principle, have to deduct tythes he had proposed a bill, and stated what paid by all extremely poor persons, whom provisions that bill was intended to conbe meant to exonerate from this burthen. tain, the House could then have proceed- And this tax was to be laid in such a ed to the discussion of those provisions ; way, acording to the hon. gent.'s plan, but to resolve at once to go into a Comthat the Catholics were to pay it without mittee, without at all seeing their way actually knowing that they paid tythes. through the difficulties that surrounded The hon. gent. had himself admitted that them, would, in his opinion, be not only the Catholics were convinced of the jus- useless but injurious. No man could pas. tice of paying tythes, and certainly there sibly feel a more anxious solicitude upon were no people in Ireland who paid their this subject than his Majesty's ministers
did ; they had many plans in their contem- | But it was not alone the expectations held plation; but upon a mature investigation, out to the people of Ireland at the time of they were found impracticable. Still how the Union that intitled them to redress, he ever, they were anxious to putthis subject contended, that they had additional claims upon a better footing; and during the re- to a modification of the tythes. For his cess he would devote the utmost of his at- own part, he must ever regard the marked tention to it, and he trusted that by the inattention of ministers to every applicanext meeting of Parliament, he should be tion for the redress of the Irish people able to propose some plan to the House, 1 upon this subject, as a gross breach of or if he could not, he should at once state those pledges by which the noble lord that he considered the measure as imprac- (Castlereagh) had contrived to accomplish ticable.--He should not follow the hon. the Union. But this pledge was not made gent. through the calculations he had merely by the noble lord, but by the made respecting the number of persons right hon.gent. (Mr. Pitt) whose successor professing different religions in Ireland, the present minister boasted of being, aye, because he did not think that they had any and by the right hon. gent. himself (the application to the question before the Chancellor of the Exchequer) who, immeHouse, though he should have no difficulty diately upon his succession to office, proin shewing that the hon. gent. was in many mised to take up the business. That right instances erroneous. But he believed that hon. gent. however, was contented to propersons of all descriptions were anxious mise, and from session to session to renew to apply some remedy to this evil, as they that promise, without any apparent intenconsidered it. Whether he agreed with tion to fulfil it. The last speaker now them upon that point or not, still he felt succeeded to the same system of promise, that it was the duty of government to allay and he very much feared he would suceven a prejudice, or to shew that they ceed to the same system of performance had done every thing in their power also. The right hon. gent. called upon move the cause of the complaint. But he the House to wait until next session, and thought it would be highly improper to go that then he might do something. But into the Committee without having previ. was it fair thus to deal with the people of ously a rational chance of success; if they Ireland ?--and if they must wait, would were to do so, they would excite a flame the enemy wait also ? Would that enemy of expectation throughout Ireland, which who was ever active in his hostility to the they would not find it very casy to allay. British empire, decline to avail himself of He had shewn that the plan proposed by the neglect of the English government to the hon. gent. was attended with insu- perform its engagements to the Irish peoperable difficulty. The hon gent. had ple? Would he overlook the discontent declared that none of the plans which had with which the severe oppression of the been previously proposed met with his tythe system was perpetually corroding approbation ; under these circumstances, the mind of the Irish ? This was a consihe confessed he did not see any chance of deration to which that House ought to succeeding in the object which they all attend, ere it was yet too late. They had in view by going into the Committee should take care to strengthen Ireland, as at present, he therefore felt himself bound, Ireland was the vulnerable point, and that though very reluctantly, to oppose the strength was best to be produced by remotion.
moving the discontents of its unfortunate Sir J. Newport said that if expectations population. The people of that country of remedy for these evils had not been had really been so very ill treated upon held out at the time of the Union, that the subject of the motion, that it could not measure would not have been so easily be too emphatically urged upon
the accomplished; and contended that go-sideration of the House. At the period vernment, having held oụt these expecta- of the Union, an article was inserted in the tions to the people of that country, were act of Union for abolishing the tythes of bound to take every measure, and consult agistment, because, according to the dis. every means of effecting what was then tinct declaration of a learned prelate in so solemnly held out. But now, instead the Irish House of Lords, that measure of applying the remedy the same expect- must be carried as one of the conditions ations were renewed, and the same offer of an acquiescence in the Union. But the was made, as was made two years ago, of complete commutation of tythes was also doing something or other after the recess. promised. The latter, however, not hay
ing been granted, the effect of the former had spoken of the canting of lands in the was wholly to transfer the burtben of county of Waterford; for himself, he tythes from the rich landed proprietors to could say, that he had never canted an the poor. It might be pretended, that acre in the course of his life, nor had be there was no distinct pledge at the time ever turned out an old tenant. The right of the Union to accede to a commutation hon. gent. had stated what was done in of tythes. There might have been no his parish; and, as it was but fair to set written bond; but there was that which one parish against another, he would state was equivalent to a bond in the mind of what was the case in the parish where he men of honour. There were prospects resided. The effects of a trial of the sys. held out in various directions, and pro- tem recommended by his hon. friend (Mr. mises made by the highest authority, that Parnell) was to throw upon the rich the a commutation of tythes should be one of burden before altogether borne by the the first consequences of the Union; and poor. By a general tax on pleasure these promises he could assert had princi- grounds, &c. they had lightened the tas pally served to reconcile many to the on arable lands and the ground where adoption of that measure.
Still it was
potatoes were cultivated. Then, why possible that the same miserable expe- might not this system be extended dient might be attempted with regard to throughout the country, every corner these promises which had been resorted of which might be made to participate to upon the subject of the claims of the in the benefit? Why might not clerCatholics. How the pledges to the Ca- gymen be content to receive the same tholics had been evaded could never es- in
peace and comfort, which they now cape the recollection of that House or of obtained through everlasting turmoils and the Irish nation. But the evasion was disputes ? As the tithe system at present glaring. He could prove at the bar, as existed, no part of it was favourable to he had before offered, that those pledges the Protestant religion.
It would never had been actually made. He could in- extend it. The letting of the smaller tedeed shew, by irrefragable testimony, how nants to curates was not calculated to the noble lord (Castlereagh) had managed promote the interests of religion; indeed the business how the Catholics had re- it had quite a contrary effect. As for the ceived a solemn promise in one room, right hon. gent.'s argument concerning while a different promise was made to the proctors, it was not correct, for they were Protestants in another-and how the pro- employed by the resident, as well as the mises to both had been grossly violated - non-resident clergy. He had consulted how the noble lord
many clergymen on this subject, and, “Kept the word of promise to the ear, among others, one most valuable autbo“ And broke it to the hope.”
rity, who had been resident in his parish But although all the promises to the for 40 years, and that reverend gent. bad people had been disregarded, promises to said, that if a clergyman for one year individuals were rigidly fulfilled, and Ire- collected the tithes of his parish, he would, land had in consequence to deplore, among from a view of the disasters and distresses other evils, an absolute degradation of it occasioned, be an advocate for comthe judicial function. The right hon. mutation ever afterwards. By these gent. was, in his opinion, extremely wrong proctors a great sum was diverted from the in founding his argument on this ground, pockets of the poor, in vexatious law suits, that all the Irish gentry were most avari- &c. which never came into the hands of cious, raising their rents to the utmost the clergyman.' The mode, too, in which limit, and thereby begetting a feeling of these proctors often concluded their bar. resentment in the tenant, towards the gains with the tenantry was very produce clergy, for exacting dues they were so ill tive of oppression. They would call a able to pay, after discharging the griev. meeting at the ale-bouse, kept by a bro. ous imposition of their landlords. He ther, a nephew, or some relation, and 'could not see how the House could inter- there feed at the expense of the parishfere in the letting of lands, even at higher ioners. Other meetings of the same kind rates than they were worth, between land frequently took place before the agree Jords and tenants. But, because they ment was concluded, and at length it was could not remedy this, it was no reason terminated, after dinner, when the pea, why they should not remedy what was santry were half-drunk, and unable to at within their power. The right hon. gent. tend to their own interests. It was thus
that a cant was called in Sligo, and the , and controuling powers, would be ready tithes sold to the highest bidders; from to state their being entirely favourable to the conclusion of which many disturb- the system of his hon. friend. The House ances ensued. The measure now pro
of Commons were not fully acquainted proposed would not injuriously affect the with all the circumstances attending this clergy. If they had an equal income, Irish question, and, therefore, were not they could not be interested in the mode able to apply the necessary remedy. But in which it was raised; and he knew that inquiry would give them full information, many of the bigher order condemned and and then they might come to a just deabborred the existing system. For these, cision. As for its creating a flame of ex, and many other reasons, it was, that they pectation, this was the usual and general obcalled on government to remedy that jection. The contrary was the case--for vicious system. It was admiited by all to when the people saw that the House was be wrong; therefore, they ought io bave in earnest, prosecuting measures for their a remedy. But the right hon. gent, op- relief, they would be satisfied. They posite said, " No! do not inquire. Trust would be satisfied, even though the result to me, and, by next session, I will propose should be that no remedy could be found. a measure of redress.”. For his part, he If the other course was pursued, and in: would rather trust to the collective wis. quiry stifled, it would be the source of dom of 658 members of parliament. was also sail by the right hon, gent. “ do
de TOMr. W. Pole in explanation stated that not hold out expectations which may he did not mean to cast any reflection never be realized.” This came very ill upon the Irish gentry, but upon the mid. from those who had held expectations to dle men, to whose' conduct, be fully be. induce a nation to make the greatest sa
lieved, was attributable the greater part crifice a nation could make. They were of the oppressions of the poor. Indeed, also told to wait for a year. Would he was warranted in this belief from a fact these gentlemen be able to persuade a fo- which bad lately come to his kaowledge. reign enemy to wait? Would it not be In consequence of some recent disturb. belter to heal and consolidate the empire ances in a particular part of Ireland, against all external attacks. Were one which he had yesterday mentioned to the great part of it to have no inducements right hon. bart., government thought it but promises thrown out and never made its duty to send down a person specially good? Were they to be told without into inquire into the cause, and the result of quiry, that remedy was impracticable. his inquiry was, that the disturbances were As for his hon. friend (Mr. Parnell,) he owing entirely to the manner in which a had not said what was imputed to him. man, who had just obtained a lease of a He said that the Catholics would pay, in large estate, had let out the ground at a an indirect manner, the same rate more rack rent to the people. Such was the cheerfully than they would pay it directly communication officially made to the to a Protestant clergyman.—This argu- Irish government, and such was the nament was held good by the example of ture of the case in his mind, when he that respectable body of men, the abscribed so much evil to the misconduct Quakers, who paid more than they would of landlords. do, were they compelled to pay direct Mr. L. Foster thought it better to en, tythes. The right honourable gentle dare some evils than attempt to remedy man bad also urged the inequality of the them, unless a digested plan were laid collection of tythes. This very inequa- down to proceed upon. Such a plan he lity was what was complained of In had not discovered in any speech he had one parish they took tythes on potatoes, heard.' The hon. gent, opposite had ar. which was not done in another." In one gued on general principles. part there was a modus to relieve from neral principle was the abolition of tythes ; the lythe of flax, which was not allowed his second was, that the treasury should in other parts.
These were grievances, pay the lay impropriators; his third, that and it was indeed strange to hear them a tax should be substituted for the pre now adduced as reasons for not complain- sent tythes. These were all speculations, ing. He would not enter into a detail of in which the hopes of the projector must particular facts; but he knew many of inevitably be disappointed; and there. the parochial clergy of Ireland, who, but fore, he was averse from giving them any from the dread of offending the superior sanction or countenance, by sending them
His first gefor consideration to a Committee. Noment that could be proposed, but would doubt tithes were felt as an inconveni. rather wait for the gradual effect of the ence; so were rents, taxes, &c. ; still they system, than go into a committee to enmust be borne, and it was nothing but courage rash and unfounded hopes '
which folly to contend against them. Gentle must end in dissappointment and necessa. men in that House, arguing from their rily lead to discontent. knowledge of the practice in England, Mr. Herbert agreed perfectly with the were apt to have a very erroneous opi- hon. mover in all his views
ques. nion of the system of tythes in Ireland. In tion. If the statement of the right hon. that country small tithes were unknown, gent. (Mr. W. Pole) was correct, it would and the abolition of tythes of agistment act as an eternal barrier to the commutaexempted pasture lands from any pay. tion of tythes. For he had said the clergy ment. A third of the property in tythes had now only one-lwentieth, instead of too belonged to lay impropriators, and in one-tenth, which they ought to have; this any change would be severely felt, and that any change must have the effect and create much confusion; for in these of restoring their original claim. One the property had for centuries descended | tenth of the produce was one-sixth of the from father to son, and were the founda- | whole value of the land ; and he would tion of family settlements. The House say, that were this to be allowed for the he was sure would therefore be cautious performance of clerical duties, it were of interfering with such property, and much better, instead of the exactions, to consequently the principle of legislation do away with the law itself. He had one now proposed must be exclusively applied other great objection to the system of to the other two-thirds. The hon. gent. tythes—they fell on the industrious, and then adverted to the resolution of the Irish spared the idle. He wished a committee House of Commons in 1735-6, by which to be appointed; as, however it might those demanding the tythe of agistment now be urged to the contrary, he was and those concerned in the recovery of convinced, a better mode of tything, than them by suits at law, were declared ene- that now existing, might be devised. He mies to their country. This vote he con- concluded by warmly panegyrising the demned severely, as having diverted the motion, as calculated to produce the utarable into pasture land, and thereby most benefit to Ireland. being inimical to the population and Mr. M. Fitzgerald had been instructed civilization of the country. By it the tax most earnestly by his constituents, to impassed from the rich grazier and fell upon press the necessity of the measure, prothe poor man's potatoe garden. It was posed by bis hon. Triend, upon
the House. possible, that those who approved of thus Had the pressure of ıythes not been in ges taking one half from the clergy, might nerai very severely felt, he could not bave wish to take the whole; but to him it ap- had such instructions from a county, peared much better to restore the part which, from its nature, was as little liable taken away, than, by secret measures, to to them, as any in the country. He gare form a substitute for the remainder. He his most cordial support to the hon. morer, would stand by what was left them. He, who had stated many aggravated facts
, as much as any man, deplored the system which were sufficient to induce eren the of proctorage; but he could see no means friends of the tything system to call for inof getting rid of it by any legislative mea- quiry: He therefore hoped the House
In itself, he was happy to observe would not withhold it. In their argu, it carried the seeds of decay. In Ireland ments
, the hon. gentlemen opposite had it appeared from the report before the confined themselves to the plan of his House, that there were 1,180 benefices, hon. friend, but they ought to have anon which there were only 740 glebe- swered the numerous observations thrown houses, and 500 of the clergy were non
out by him, which were in themselves sufresident. The late act was, no doubt, ficient to demand inquiry. There were very salutary; but, till the glebe-houses many plans of redress to each of which were completed (which active exertions plausible objections might perhaps be were employed in carrying into effect,) made, but the fact was, there did exist a complete residence could not be expected great evil, and if a committee was appointAs this succeeded, the proctorage would ed, and should even report that no remedy consequently decay. He was ready to could be discovered, that proceeding.it go hand in hand in any rational amend self would satisfy, and induce the Irish