« AnteriorContinuar »
people to submit to their sufferings. But | The clergy were already abundantly paid, when ministers asked them to put off the and it was indecent to call on the poor to question till next session, and to trust to pay the Protestant clergy mạn, who was their inquiry, what was it but to ask them not even expected to perform a single cleto trust to what had already deceived them rical duty, a baptism, or a burial for them. year after year. This had been a stale to prove this, the hon, gent. quoted a practice in the Irish parliament for 25 passage from a pamphlet attributed to. years. It was ever, “ do not agitate the Dr. Duigenan, published in 1787, and public mind while you have no digested stating the danger of any portion of the plan,” but this was postponing the ques- laity from the want of Protestant pastors iion for ever. As for exciting a flame of becoming the prey of rambling Popish expectation, he was desirous of seeing it friars. The hon. gent. then proceeded excited. It would be a new flame, and to argue from the nature of the original totally different from the flame of despair, institution of tythes, that they were in. which would be excited, should the House tended for various other purposes besides of Commons reject inquiry altogether. In that of the maintenance of the clergy. It quiry they called for, because tythes were appeared that in the times of Richard the not levied in Ireland as in England; be- 2d, Henry the 4th, Henry the 6th, down cause the same class of persons did not pay to Edward 4, that but a fourth part of the them; because they fell upon the poor ; tythes then collected was appropriated to because these poor had not the same legal the clergy merely. He perfectly con, remedies; and, from the terror of apply-curred in the opinion, that the clergy ing for redress to the spiritual courts, were should be liberally provided for; but driven to enter into civil contracts, on could not acquiesce in the proposal that. which the proctor levied costs, and dis- their emoluments should arise from the tressed the people. In Ireland the church misery of the people. He wished tha: the establishment was supported by the same
House would act upon rational principles, class of people who in this country were
and consider that such a mode of draining the objects of parochial relief, and were the country was completely inconsistent placed in the poor-houses. In England with justice, especially if the present conthe tythes were paid by the rich, who had dition of Ireland was at all an object of capital, machinery, and great extent of attention. land. In Ireland they were paid by the Mr. William Fitzgerald wished that an poor, without capital, and whose only ma-inquiry should be instituted, of a candid chinery to cultivate a small spot of ground, and legitimate nature, but differed from was the sinews of themselves and sons. the hon. gent., who had proposed the A member for one of the most arable coun- motion, as to the grounds upon which it ties in England, (Mr. Coke of Norfolk) should be supported. had complained of the tythes being to the Mr. Grattan said, that he had for a conamount of 5s. an acre, but what would siderable time entertained the same opi-' they think, when they were told that nion, upon the oppressive nature of le. wheat in Ireland paid two guineas, and vying tythes in Ireland, and that he had potatoes 36s. an acre? The hon. gent. not in all that time heard one argument ihen answered the arguments of the last that could prevail on him to alter that opi. speaker but one, as to the vote against nion. He was more and more convinced tythes of the agistment in 1786. This, he of the propriety, and of the necessity, and contended, was an argument for, instead of the practicability of a commutation, it of against inquiry ; as it made all the ca- was not the commutation that was imprac. pital farmers withdraw from arable to pass ticable, but it was the strict levy of the ture farming. The remedy proposed by tythe that was so. The Irish clergy the hon. gent. was to extend the tythes ought not to attempt to levy a tenth of again to the pasture land. In his opinion Irish produce, because the measure itself this was no remedy. It would be to dou- was an impossibility; they could not do ble the income of the clergy, without re- it, and what was more, they would destroy lieving those now burthened. The idea themselves by attempting to do it, the atwas preposterous, and even had not the tempt would involve their destruction as matter been settled by the articles of a corporation. But were it practicable, Union, the hon. gent. would find it ex- would it be expedient? Let the church tremely difficult to prevail on parliament take the tenth of the national wealth, and to double the revenues of the church. what do either the country or the corpora,
tion gain? The church may become too ployer. And what were those tythes, so rich for devotion, and then a comparison much talked of? To his knowledge no will naturally grow out of the wealth of more than five shillings an acre was levied the established clergy, and the poverty of in the diocese of Dublin; and he begged · the tolerated, the one will have its odium, leave to ask whether such an imposition and the other will have its praise, the was too heavy; and if it did not on the odium and the praise being both popular, other hand appear almost insignificant
, may be equally excessive, but not on that when the immense produce of the land account the less mischievous. He did not | was considered? But the conduct of the wish to touch the present income of the clergy in making these demands upon church. He would make it the basis of their parishioners was very indulgent and any arrangement that was to be proposed. kind; for, after the tythes had been due Tythes, though abolished, would not affect for some time, they were content to take an income derived from a different source; a nole at a year's date, for the amount ; the country was able to provide for their this was surely a very great convenience. established clergy, unless gentlemen would It was wrong to call tythes a tax; they say that it was easy to provide for the were no such thing, as the clergy were as moderation of the Catholic clergymen, well intitled to them, as the land propris. but impossible to provide for the hungry tor to his lands: and to their being a seambition of the Protestant; who would vere and partial exaction upon the prolisten to no other commutation than that perty of the Roman Catholics
, he conof a tenth for a tenth. But that would not tended that that could not be the case, be said; he would not say it; for he could | wbile forty-nine parts out of fifty of the speak from knowledge in testimony of the landed property of Ireland were in the moderation of the majority of the Irish hands of Protestants. Protestant clergy. There were a few General Matthew could pay little attenwhom he found to be sufficiently acute, tion to the observations of the last speaker
, furnished with a quick scent in the pur- having understood from a noble lord not suit of clerical profits
. They were, how. now in that House, when he was made a cver, but few; the generality were of a member of the privy council in Ireland, different order. But the tythe proctor so little confidence was he thought entiwas of another species and another stamp, tled to, that he was to be the muzzled a public factor of public rapine ; he ex. doctor. He (the general) had a petition tended beyond himself the infamy of his on the subject of tythes during the last galling and griping character. The church year from his county (Tipperary) which, suffered from the officious ministry of those trusting to the assurances of the Chancel. sordid harpies. The tythe proctor can- lor of the Exchequer, he had not brought not help being a tythe proctor. He only forward; but he now found him to be a follows his nature when he grinds. But slippery person. He was therefore, in the clergy should be removed to a jealous favour of the motion. distance from the contagion of such a The Chancellor of the Ercheguer declared connexion. He was for going into a com- that it would be holding out a most mis mittee, if it were only to shiew the Irish chievous delusion to the people of Ireland public that their interests were not wholly were a Committee to be appointed
, from indifferent to that House.
which nothing could be expected, since Dr. Duigenan said, that the grievance of the gentlemen who proposed it, bad not paying rent to a landlord, might as well themselves any distinct idea of the object be complained of, as that of paying tythes. which they had in view. If they would He contended that the true cause of the bring forward any distinct proposition, he poverty of the lower classes of the people assured them that he would examine it of Ireland, was very different from what with the greatest candour and attention. had been represented. The people, in He completely denied that the clergy fact, were not by any means in such a were not entitled to tlft tythes. They state of indigence as had been described. were the inheritance of the church; and, Attacks had been made upon the proc- if commuted, ought to be commuted to tors; bat the most avaricious proctors the valae of a tenth, with a diminution for could never act in such a manner, as the the expences now attendant on their cola House was given to suppose. It was im lection. In that case he was persuaded possible for a proctor to levy prie little the tenantry of Ireland would pay much more than had been ordered by his em- larger sums than they did at present.
Mr. Hutchinson warmly asserted the object to the practice of reporting, nor necessity for the appointment of a commit- was it his intention to follow up what he tee. Atverting to the neglect which he should now say with any motion. He observed the atfairs of Ireland experienced only wished to awaken the House to the in the imperial parliament, he declared situation in which this indulgence of adthat should motions of this nature be sys- mitting strangers to hear the debates of tematically negatived, and should no steps that House, and to communicate what they be taken to ameliorate the condition of heard to the public, now stood. Any inthe people of Ireland, he should feel it his terruption to the practice of reporting, in duty to propose the dissolution of a mea. his opinion, would be ill-advised. "Nosure to which he owed the honour of a seat thing could be more distant from his inin that House.
tention than to restrain this practice. Mr. Wilberforce was clearly of opinion Some gentlemen might think it more adthat it became parliament to inquire mi- vantageous, others less so; for his own nutely into the situation of the Irish peo- part, he thought the advantages arising ple, with a view to its improvement. The from the practice were greater than its interests of Ireland were the interests of disadvantages. Two things, however, Great Britain; the strength of Ireland was were absolutely necessary to be observed the strength of Great Britain; and he in carrying it on. First, a respectful dehoped that the House would enjoy the cency towards the House ; secondly, all honour and happiness of ameliorating the that fairness in detailing the 'speeches of condition of the brave and generous inha- individual members, which, in the circumbitants of the sister country.
stances of things could be attained. WithSir G. Hill opposed the motion, as tend out the first, the sufferance would be daning to hold out a false hope to Ireland.. gerous—without the second, the practice
The House then divided; For the mo- be useless. He particularly meant to altion, 48 ; Against it 69; Majority 21. lude to a speech of a right hon. baronet (sir
John Anstruther) a short time ago, which List of the Minority.
had appeared in a morning paper in such Abercromby, hon. J. Manning, W.
a manner as to throw ridicule on the Adams, C. Maxwell, w.
speaker, being accompanied with annotaDabington, T.
Mathew, hon. M. tions, and some parts of it printed in a Bernard, S. Maule, hon. W. R.
different character from the rest, so as eviBernard, Thos.
dently to betray the intention of the reCalcraft, J. Moore, Peter
porter. He reprobated the idea of enCampbell, D.
Newport, rt. hon. sir J. couraging such a practice. He had also Cavendish, w. O'Hara, C.
remarked that the speeches of some of the Creevey, T. Parnell, H.
most considerable and distinguished menCurwen, J. C.
Ponsonby, right hon. G.
bers of that Housé were suppressed, and Fitzgerald, Wm. Power, R.
even where any allusion was afterwards Fitzgerald, right hon. M. Prettie, F. A.
made to the arguments or observations of Grant, G. M. Sharp, R.
those members such allusions were also Grattan, right hon. H. Smith, w.
omitted. In this manner did the proHalsey, J.
ceedings of that House go before the pub. Hutchinson, hon. C. H. · Temple, earl of
lic in a mutilated and partial form. If Latouche, John Tierney, right hon. G.
they were to be reported at all, they ought Leigh, J. N.
Tracey, C. H. Lemon, C.
to be reported fairly. By suppressions of Western, C. C. Lloyd, J. M. Whitbread, s.
this kind the most destructive system of Lockhart, J.J.
Wilberforce, W. unfairness and misrepresentation might be Macdonald, J. Wynne, C.C.
introduced, and the liberty given by the House of reporting its proceedings fairly, would be completely perverted to an op
posite purpose. He should make no moMonday, April 16.
tion on the subject at present, but should (BREACH OF PRIVILEGE-NEWSPAPER feel it his imperious duty to call on the PARLIAMENTARY REPORTS.) Mr. Wallace House to resort to the measures, which called the attention of the House to a di- might seem necessary on the occasion, if rect breach of its privileges, in the way in what he had now said was oot taken as a which the speeches of some of its mem- sufficient warning. He should expect in bers were reported. He did not wish to this endeavour the support of every genVOL. XVI.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
tleman in that House, particularly of himself right with the House and the counthose who were most friendly to reporttry, and should even have been anxious to ing; and he was also satisfied that he would be allowed to answer the arguments which confer an obligation on the public, who had been urged against him. But he would naturally wish to see a fair, a full, should never for the sake of any object and impartial account of the proceedings personal to himself, or from any idea of of the House.
enforcing his own opinion on any subject, Mr. Tierney disclaimed all knowledge however important, think of risking the of any intention on the part of the hon. imprisonment of an individual even for a gent. to submit any observations on the single day. He submitted, that now, at subject to which he had now alluded. He least, the imprisonment of Mr. Jones had never thought of doing any thing in would be admitted to have been a suffirelation to the subject, so far as he him. ciently severe punishment for the offence self was concerned.
committed. He believed it had been geMr. Wortley hoped that all combinations nerally the practice of the House not to of the kind alluded to would be broken listen to applications on the part of persons through, and that some paper would set imprisoned under their authority, but on the example of taking up the matter in a petitions, admitting the justice of the senfair point of view, by giving the speech tence, and the contrition of the party for every member impartially.
the offence of which he had been guilty. The Speuker said, the hon. gent. must He could not pretend to be so well acbe aware that this was an irregular con- quainted with the practice of the House
as to say whether this was an invariable (Mr. John GALE JONES.] Sir Samuel rule. But he did not conceive that there Romilly rose, pursuant to the notice he had could be any practice, or any rule of given, to move that John Gale Jones be
practice so binding upon the House as to discharged from his confinement in New- preclude them from proceeding on their gate, for an alledged contempt of that own ideas of humanity, and from recolHouse. Though the opinions he had de lecting that, in the dispensing of justice, livered in that House on the subject of the it ought to be tempered with mercy. Was legality of his commitment remained un- it to be esteemed" an unalterable rule of altered, it was not his intention to call on proceeding in that House, that they were the House to do any thing on the ground not competent to discharge any person of the opinions he had then delivered, but who might have been committed under he now built his motion on the simple, their authority, because he did not chuse ground, that the punishment already in- to confess the justice of his punishment, flicted was sufficiently severe for the of- and to express his sorrow and contrition ? fence. He understood, at least so he was If that House had such a rule, it was one informed, that, when the matter was for- which did not belong to any court of jus. 'merly before the House on a similar mo- tice in the kingdom; and it was extremely tion made by an hon bart. now in the difficult to understand on what ground Tower; several gentlenen had said, that the House could have such a dominion as they would have agreed to the motion for did not extend to the measure of punish. getting Mr. Jones at liberty, if it had been ment alone, but entitled them to call on made on any other ground, than that the the individual to abjure any errors or prin proceeding of the House in committing ciple which he might maintain. This him to prison was illegal; and though might have been the privilege of relimany agreed at that time that the punish- gious tribunals, which were content to 'ment was even then sufficient, yet they make hypocrites 'when they could not did not feel themselves at liberty to as- make converts, but he hoped it would sent to his liberation, because they were not be contended for in that House.afraid that ihey might thereby seem to Let gentlemen but reflect what might acquiesce in the doctrine on which the in such a case be the situation of indirimotion for discharging him was then duals who might from conviction enterfounded and supported. On this ground tain particular doctrines. . One might he (sir S. Romilly) should be careful not publish a declaration, that this governe to say a word which could deprive him of a ment was a pure monarchy, and that the single vote of any gentleman who might two Houses of Parliament were emanations be thus situated. He should however have from it, which might be spared. Would been happy of the opportunity of setting the House contend, that previous to the
liberation of such a man from confine- for a breach of the privileges of the House; ment, he must abjure and renounce his , and he had since suffered an additional theoretical opinions, and so complete by punishment, by imprisoning for five weeks a confession of what he was satisfied was longer, for the omission of presenting the not true, the measure of his own disgrace? petition, in other words, for not complying If the House had such a power it was with that formality which was usual on greater than that which any court in the such occasions. No man, surely, would kingdom possessed. To insist on such a contend that the breach of privilege for power, was to contend for what amounted which Mr. Jones was originally committed to the height of degradation, against the was not an offence of much greater magperson who was exposed to it. It went nitude than this latter omission; if so, and infinitely beyond any corporal punish- he ought to have been discharged five ments whatever. If such a power as this weeks ago, having then suffered sufficient was to be asserted and maintained, if after punishment for the greater offence, who imprisonment the person committed was would contend that he ought not now to to be forced to retract--if this was to be be discharged for the smaller offence, one of the privileges of the House it was unless, indeed, it was to be insisted, that high time that the line of distinction should besides submitting to an adequate, or more be drawn, and that it should be seen how than an adequate punishment, he must also far the principle was to be carried. It undergo that torture of confessing that to
be in ,
subject, to look back to times past, when not feel to be one. On this principle, if they would see, that the form of proceed- he could not bring his mind to admit as, ing with respect to the privileges of the true what he knew to be false, he must re, House in this respect, had undergone as main in prison till the close of the session, great a change as our general manners. which might not be sooner than the latter Formerly, when a person was called to end of July-a punishment which he (sir the bar to be discharged, it was not suffi. Samuel Romilly) could not but conceive cient for him to petition and to express to be inordinately severe.-Supposing sorrow for the offence, but the prisoner was Gale Jones to have an opinion, however obliged to ask pardon on his knees. It erroneous, that he had committed no such was now half a century since such an ex- breach of the privileges of the House, as, hibition had been made, and he believed warranted them in committing him to the last person who had kneeled at the prison, and holding that opinion, to be imbar in that manner was Alexander Mur- pressed with the idea that it would be crie, ray. Not only was kneeling at the bar minal conduct in him to confess the conformerly the practice, but on the occasion trary-nay, that such a confession was a of a Cornwall election, two persons of con- line of proceeding which as a British sube, siderable rank, one of them a baronet, ject he could not adopt-he asked, if such who had incurred the displeasure of the were his conscientious feelings, was there , House, were ordered not only to kneel at a gentleman so intolerant as to contend, the bar to receive the Speaker's repri- that on this account he ought to remain mand, but also at the assizes to acknow- in prison as long as the House had the ledge their offence before the judges and power of keeping him there, and that it the county. He did not suppose the would not relax even at the end of the House would think these precedents on session, were it not that its power then which they should act. He begged them ceased ? Supposing him to think that it, therefore to consider, whether they now would be an unpardonable crime in him, felt themselves intitled to impose any to acknowledge guilt in this case and exthing beyond an adequate punishment? if press his contrition, no judge could dis. they did not, the question would then be charge him by Habeas Corpus. Was this, What was the punishment whicb 'the ina then, so serious an offence, that he must dividual bad suffered in this case? It was remain in prison after he had already sufimprisonment for nearly two months. On fered adequate punishment? What credit the 12th of March ļast, at which time Mr. could the House acquire by such a proJones had been in prison only 20 days, it ceeding? From the homage of so humble was the general sense of the House that if an individual as Mr. Jones, who gained his a petition had then been presented, he livelihood by presiding at a debating should have been discharged. He had society, what additional honour could then suffered an imprisonment of 3 weeks, accrue to that House? Noman of common