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then had the constitution been acted. They will then admit that often broken in upon. “Finally, the course which I have followed, said Mr. Peel,“ let those, who differ and which I am still prepared to from me in opinion, consider the follow, whatever imputation it altered position of affairs in Ireland, may expose me to, is the only since the annunciation of these course which is necessary for the measures of
grace and favour has diminution of the undue, illegitibeen made. To be defeated now, mate and dangerous power of the to throw the question back upon Roman Catholies, and for the us, when a greater calm has been maintenance and security of the produced in Ireland than I ever Protestant religion." knew to exist there — when there The result of the division was, is no spirit of vulgar triumph dis- 353 for the second reading of the played on the part of the Roman bill, and 180 against it. The Catholics, and, in justice to the whole number of voters was greatProtestants I must say it, when er by 18 than the number who their disappointment has been had voted on the first reading, and marked by the most patient sub- of these thirteen had been gained mission, to lose the advantage by the minority. which we have now gained, and The success of the bill in the to reject the conciliation which is House of Commons was thus scwithin our grasp, would be at- cured. On the 23rd, 24th, and tended with consequences so fatal 27th of March it was in committee. to the repose of the empire, that I During its progress through the cannot, even in fancy, bear to con- committee, many
amendments template them. I am well aware were moved by the opponents of that the fate of this measure can- the bill, but they all shared the not now be altered ; if it succeed, same fate, being each of them rethe credit will redound to others; jected by the same overwhelming if it fail, the responsibility will majorities, which had carried the devolve upon me, and upon those principle of the measure, and, in with whom I have acted. These truth, most of them were tooopposite chances, with the loss of private to the principle on which the bill, friendship, and the alienation of professedly, had been framed, tò public confidence, I must have obtain friends among foreseen and calculated, before I porters. The very first was an ventured to recommend these mca- amendment moved by Mr. Bankes, sures. I assure the House, that, in to the effect of excluding Catholics conducting them, I have met with from either House of parliament. the severest blow which it has The objection to it was, 'that to ever been
my lot to experience in grant every thing else, and remy life; but I am convinced that fuse this, would altogether disapthe time will come, though I may point the object in view, and only not live perhaps to see it, when give the Roman Catholic body adfull justice will be done by men of ditional energy and inclination to all parties to the motives on which break down the barriers which I have acted—when this question stood between them and the legiswill be fully settled, and when lature. Amendments moved upon others will see that I had no other the oath, to introduce clauses, by alternative than to act as I have which Catholics should
they would defend and maintain were now rendered admissible as the property of the church as estab- members and peers of parliament lished by law, and would not, from Scotland, as was proposed to directly or indirectly, attempt to be done by these two clauses of the subvert the present church estab- bill, that the Act of Union with lishment, were likewise unsuccess- Scotland would be thereby repealed. ful.
He could not consent to the articles On the clause being moved, of Union between the two countries which conferred on Catholics the being violated in this manner. It right of voting in the election of might be said that the present was the representative peers of Scot- a measure alike necessary and exland, Mr. R. Dundas called the pedient; but as long as he had a attention of the House, to the seat in that House, he could not effect which the bill would have submit to such an infringement of upon the articles of the Scottish the Act of Union with Scotland. Union. At the time of that Union, The Lord Advocate of Scotland, Scotland was as independent as in answer, admitted, that by the act England; but if this bill passed in question, which undoubtedly into a law, the interests of the formed part of the treaty of Union, one country would in some degree it was provided that no person be rendered subservient to those should represent Scotland in the of the other—we should violate united parliament, unless he subthe principles of the Union—take scribed a certain formula, which it away the securities of the church, was now proposed to repeal ; but which that act established, and the question amounted to this,open the gates of the constitution were the articles of the Scottish to many future dangers. If he Union unalterable? While he adcould prove that this bill in- mitted that the clauses did affect fringed the Act of Union with that Union, the consideration was, Seotland, he thought no one could might not the objection be got rid consider him as acting unreasonably of? One article, and one only of in taking the sense of the committee that Union, had been declared unupon the subject. He then cited alterable. It followed, that, with the act agreed to both by the par- respect to the others, on a fair liaments of England and Scotland, showing of necessity, alterations and appended to the twenty-five might be made. The legitimate articles of Union, and, after proving use of such articles was to defend that it formed an essential part of a weaker country from the attacks the union between the two coun- of a more powerful one; and if tries, added, that it was provided it were meant to injure Scotland by it, for the security of the Epis- by infringing these articles, he copal and Presbyterian religions, would never consent to their inthat the sixteen peers and forty-five fraction. By the articles of commoners, who were to represent Union, there was reserved a power Scotland in the parliament of the to the parliament of Great BriUnited Kingdom, should be Pro- tain to alter those very articles testant. By this statute, Papists themselves, which were contended were effectually excluded from to be unalterable ; and as a consitting in parliament for Scotland. sequence of that power, the House It followed, if Roman Catholics would perceive that, within forty years all the heritable jurisdic. cepted offices that of first lord of tions of Scotland were swept away the Treasury, in order to prevent by an act of parliament. The very a Catholic from wielding the whole year after the Union the power patronage of the church and state of the council, which was to ad- as prime minister. Mr. Peel just most matters relative to the maintained that there was no good returns of peers and commoners reason for the exception. Even if from Scotland to the parliament of a Roman Catholic should attain to Great Britain, was itself invaded the office of prime minister, he and extinguished, whilst the act of could not interfere with the disthe 6th of Anne altered the mode posal of church patronage; for there of returning and electing both peers was a special clause in the bill and commoners, which, until then, which provided that “it shall not had been considered intangible be lawful for any person, professing and unalterable, by any act of the Roman Catholic religion, dithe legislature. He firmly believed rectly or indirectly, to advise the there was nothing in this bill which Crown in the appointment to, or ought to alarm the religious pro- disposal of, any office or preferment, fessors of the church of Scotland, lay or ecclesiastical, in the united on the ground that the privileges Church of England and Ireland, or granted to the Catholics could shake of the Church of Scotland," and the firm and rational ground of which further provided, that a Catheir religion, much less raise on its tholic, convicted of so doing, should ruin the supremacy of the church be deemed guilty of a high misdeof Rome.
meanour, and disabled for ever from Sir G. Clerk, too, maintained holding any office, civil or military, that the declaration in the for- under the Crown. That appeared mula was to prevent the admission to him a sufficient security against of Papists, by requiring candidates the danger of a Roman Catholic, as not to avow that they were of that prime minister, disposing of church persuasion. The formula, how- patronage. From the office of ever, was incidental to, not part lord Chancellor the Catholics were of the Act of Union.
excluded ; because the church paMr. Bankes thought that the tronage in the hands of the ChanHouse would act more properly in cellor was inherent in the office; making the hill recognize the cir- but it was not so with the office of cumstance of that enactment having the First Lord of the Treasury. been passed as a partial repeal of The church patronage did not bethe Act of Union. This would be long to that office, nor was the the fairer course, since it was clear person who filled that office necesthe bill would infringe the articles sarily prime minister. Speaking of Union.— The clause, however, constitutionally, that patronage as it originally stood, was carried belonged to thc Secretary of the by a majority of 158 to 54. Home Department ; for his name When the clause which excluded was introduced in
form Catholics from the offices of lord nected with the disposal of the lieutenant of Ireland, and lord chan- dignities and preferments of the cellor of Great Britain or Ireland, church of Scotland; the law of came under discussion, the Marquis England never recognized such an of Chandos moved to add to the ex- office as that of prime minister, and
it did not necessarily follow, that Mr. Bankes, Mr. Trant, Mr. the person filling that conventional Bright, and others answered, that office should have the disposal of all this furnished the best possible the church patronage, for, accord- reason for acceding to the amending to the law of England, that ment. Mr. Peel's
argument attached to the office of Secretary amounted to this, that the bill itof State. There was but little self would, by its indirect operation, chance that a Catholic would ever keep back a Catholic from climbing be first lord commissioner of the to the office of prime minister, Treasury, and he might be prine and would work out a practical minister without holding that security and disqualification. If office ; and, in any case, he could so, why not declare it directly. In not advise the Crown in the dis- whatever light the constitution posal of church patronage. The might view the office of prime milaw did not recognize such an office nister, it must be acknowledged on as that of prime minister. In the all hands that it was one which eye of the law, the ministers were was perfectly well known, and all upon an equality. There were every man knew the power and three Secretaries of State, and any influence attached to it. The bill arrangement with respect to their to be sure declared that any Cabusiness was merely an arbitrary tholic minister, who should advise and conventional agreement. He regarding church patronage, should apprehended that the signature of be punishable as fora misdemeanour, the Secretary for the Foreign, or and that would be some security, Colonial Department, would be if the offender could be reached. just as valid, if placed to any of But this offence, if ever committed, these documents, as that of the must be committed either in conSecretary of State for the Home junction with his Majesty only, or Department. Although, there else with the knowledge of his fore, there was no distinct disquali- privy council. Now, how was it fication of the Roman Catholics, possible for any court of law in this with reference to the office of country to become acquainted with prime minister,' yet it would be so what passed in the privy council? inconvenient for any person, not What competent witness could be possessing that patronage, to act as brought forward in a court of law prime minister, that it appeared to to give evidence of the misde. him highly improbable, if not phy- meanour? If the House of Comsically impossible, that any Roman mons, indeed, procured proper inCatholic would attempt it. The formation on the subject, it was in security afforded by the bill was, their power to make a privy-counthat there must be a Protestant cillor speak out. The law of imSecretary of State to sign docu- peachment was strong and powerments relating to church patronage, ful enough for that. But what a for they must be countersigned by state of things would it produce, if some minister, and the bill declared privy-councillors were compelled to that they should not be counter- palter with the oath of secrecy signed by a Catholic minister. which they had taken? Parliament would always find the .curity thus offered, therefore, was responsible minister prima jacie in entirely useless and nugatory. the Secretary or other minister Nor was the difficulty got rid of who countersigned.
by saying, that documents connected be banished for life from the United with church patronage might be, Kingdom. A list of all such liand constitutionally ought to be, censes granted within the preceding signed by a Secretary of State. twelve months was to be laid before The only consequence deducible parliament each session. The adfrom this was, that, if ministers dition was made to meet the case were sincere in placing church of eminent scholars, persons engaged patronage beyond the reach of Ca- in historical or other inquiries, or tholic advice, the three Secretaries other individuals who might be of State ought to be added to the specially called hither by their excepted offices.
pursuits of business, or of learning, The amendment was lost ; as The motion for engrossing the bill were other amendments for extend- with its amendments was carried ing the exclusion to the offices of by a majority of 233 to 106; and privy councillor, and governor in on Monday, the 30th of March, any of the colonies.
the third reading was moved by On the other hand Mr. Peel pro- Mr. Peel. The Marquis of Chanposed an amendment, by which, in dos, on the other hand, moved that the event of its becoming necessary the bill should be read a third time to exercise the patronage attached that day six months. A debate ento an office which happened to be sued, in the course of which all held by a Catholic, that patronage that had been already said, more was vested in the Archbishop of than once, on both sides, was said Canterbury for the time being, in- over again. The third reading was stead of a commission to be named carried by a majority of 178, there by the king, as the bill had origin- being 320, in favour of it, and 142 ally proposed
against it. Thus, in only three To the clause which required weeks from the time at which it that all Jesuits, or other persons had been introduced, was passed a belonging to religious orders, al- bill which its own supporters acrestdy within the kingdom, should knowledged to be an infringement register themselves, and that no of the constitution, and which, others should be admitted into whether for evil or for good, inthe kingdom, after the passing of troduced into the frame and spirit the bill, an addition was made to of that constitution, an infinitely the effect, that it should be lawful more important change, than Brifor one of the Secretaries of State, tain had witnessed since the Revoby license, to allow a foreign Jesuit lution. or member of a religious order, to In the mean time, the speech of come into the United Kingdom, sir Charles Wetherell had procured and to remain therein for a period for him an intimation that his Manot exceeding six calendar months, jesty had no further occasion for with power to revoke such license his services. After the indignant if he should see fit; and if such plainness with which he had deforeign Jesuit or other person, did nounced their maneuvring and not depart within twenty days apostacy, ministers could not allow after the license had been revoked, him to retain his office of Attorneyor within twenty days after the general, without admitting that expiration of the license, he should he was their master. be guilty of a misdemeanour, and his dismissal forced them into an