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place on the clauses suspending the Habeas Corpus act, and protecting those who should act under the bill, but they were both carried by large majorities. Mr. O'Connell's objection that, under the act, any place might be made a gaol, was obviated by a proviso, that persons arrested should not be detained in any place, not a public gaol, longer than twenty-four hours after apprehension.
On the 29th of March, the bill was read a third time, and passed by a majority of 345 to 86, and was immediately sent back to the Peers for their concurrence in the alterations which had been made by the Commons. Their lordships took them into consideration on the 1st of April. The conservative peers expressed much dissatisfaction with some of the amendments, and more particularly with the proviso, that no district should be proclaimed merely because tithes were not paid in it. The duke of Wellington, the duke of Buckingham, lord Rowden, and the bishop of London, considered it as being almost equally mischievous with a declaration, that no tithe should be paid in Ireland; and it would have been better to have done so at once, than, by drawing so invidious a distinction between this and other species of property, to connive at the injustice to which the Irish clergy were subjected by the bill. It was now, in fact, announced to the people of Ireland, that a combination for the non-payment of tithes was the only combination against property that was to be excepted from this bill. The people of Ireland would think, that the proviso had been inserted for some purpose, and that purpose they would hold to be the encouragement of the tithe-resisters to perVOL. LXXV.
severe in refusing payment. The
that was the leading
stance in the clause, yet it gave an indication that Parliament had different feelings on the subject of tithes from that which it had, and ought to have, upon the subject of tithes. Now, he looked upon this as hypercriticism. He could discover nothing in the rest of the act which gave the least reason to suppose that Parliament was not determined, so long as the law remained as it did, to secure to property of every description all the rights and privileges which it enjoyed at present. In regard to the second amendment-the restriction on courts-martial by excluding from their jurisdiction certain offences cognizable under the statute of the 27th of George III. on full and mature consideration, he was now prepared to say, that those cases were well and properly excepted from the courts-martial. By that amendment the other House had rather improved than injured the bill; for offences of combination and conspiracy were the most difficult, he would not say for juries, but even for judges, to decide on, of any which came into our courts of justice, and were, therefore, in his opinion, wisely excluded from the decision of military tribunals. Again, in the 27th clause, there was an exception from this exception, by which, if the combination for the non-payment of tithe was accompanied by threats or violence, it was brought back under the jurisdiction of the courtmartial. Earl Grey, too, admitted that the proviso was far from being unobjectionable. But, as it would be wholly inoperative in point of fact in the light contemplated by its opponents, and as the church property would be much better protected by the bill, while the collection of tithes would not be
prejudicially affected by it, he would urge their lordships to acquiesce in it.-The earl of Harrowby moved, as an amendment, which seemed to him calculated to take the sting out of the clause by depriving it of its exclusive and partial character, to add, that neither should any district be proclaimed merely for non-payment of rent or taxes. The amendment was lost by 85 to 45.
Along with this, the leading measure, government carried through another bill for the more impartial trial of offences in Ireland. It rested on the same foundation with the Coercion Act, viz. the necessity of extraordinary measures to prevent crime from triumphing over the law. By its provisions power was given to change the venue from the county in which the offence had been committed, not merely to an adjoining county, but to the county, or city, of Dublin. The removal was to take place, by an order of the Court of King's Bench, granted on affidavits proving that intimidation had been used towards prosecutors, witnesses, or jurors, and provision was made for allowing a party tried in Dublin his expences, if he was acquitted. It was opposed in the Commons by the Irish members who had fought so obstinately against the Coercion act, and on the same grounds-that no intimidation existed, or had been proved, and they called for a select committee to establish that such was truly the case.
On the 10th of April, the lordlieutenant issued a proclamation suppressing the association of Irish Volunteers, the association itself having previously passed a vote that, "from the period it shall be dissolved by legislative coercion, all
its acts and functions shall be confided to one individual-the parent of his country-Daniel O'Connell," that learned person thus becoming in his own person the whole army of Irish Volunteers. So soon as the act had received the royal assent, the lord-lieutenant proclaimed the county of Kilkenny, and the city itself, to be in such a state of disturbance and insubordination as to require the application of the provisions of the act. This proclamation was bitterly attacked by Mr. O'Connell, in the House of Commons (April 17th), in so far as it was extended to the city of Kilkenny, in which he said there was no more disturbance than in Dublin; but the propriety of including the city was defended on the ground, that a great number of persons who were not only suspected, but known to be implicated in Whitefeet outrages, were inhabitants of Kilkenny and its suburbs. If the town had not been included in the proclamation, it would have become a place of refuge for these individuals; they might have been absent nightly on their marauding excursions, and there would have been no means of applying to them the provisions of the act. Even in Kilkenny, it was not found necessary to bring a single court-martial into action. The more daring outrages diminished, and the following list of offences during the month of March which preceded, and the month of May which followed, the passing of the act, was
The discussions on the Coercion act had produced many personal conflicts in debate between Mr. O'Connell and the more devoted of his followers, and the Irish secretary. The former seemed to regard Mr. Stanley with bitter individual hostility. The reason of this temper was perhaps to be found in the belief, that he was more determined than some of his colleagues were suspected to be, not to give up the Irish protestant church to be plundered by the Catholic repealers; and it was in no degree mitigated by the energy and effect with which the secretary, in debate not only repelled these assaults, but carried the war into the enemy's country, much in the same spirit in which that enemy had waged it. The bill having passed the Commons, Mr. Stanley, accepted the more tranquil office of Colonial Secretary, which had become vacant by viscount Goderich being made Lord Privy Seal, and advanced a step in the peerage by being created earl of Ripon. Sir John Cam Hobhouse became Irish secretary.
Bill for regulating the Irish Church, introduced into the House of Commons-Ministers refuse a delay of a week between the bringing in of the Bill and the Second Reading-Second Reading opposed on the ground that the Bill, being a Tax Bill, ought to have originated in a Committee of the whole House-Committee appointed to report on this question, and reports against the Bill-Resolutions agreed to, and Bill read a first time-Question whether it could be read a second time without a royal message-Debate on the Second ReadingSecond Reading carried-Instruction moved, to take away all the temporalities of the Irish Church, rejected-In Committee, Motion to exclude the Irish bishops from Parliament-Ministers abandon the provision for applying part of the funds to purposes not ecclesiastical -Debate thereon, and omission of the Clause-Carried-Bill passed, the Irish opposition members now voting against it-Motion for a call of the House on the day of the Second Reading of the Bill in the House of Lords, opposed by Ministers, and lost.
W these measures for the restor- had probably been, in their own
HILE carrying through a conclusion the premises of which
ation of public tranquillity in Ireland, ministers had uniformly admitted that there were grievances in that country, which ought to be removed, and had declared that they were ready to propose expedients for their redress. At the head of these grievances had always been placed the Irish church, standing in the unpopular predicament of possessing the property of a wealthy national establishment, while the great majority of the people belonged, not merely to a different, but to a hostile faith, whose clergy had once been the possessors of that opulence. The object of the repealers was to pare it down to nothing, while they disclaimed any wish to see its property bestowed on their own religion. Others, not Irishmen, regarding every religious establishment as an evil
minds, that such an establishment is the appropriation of money to an object which they did not value
looked on the property of the church as a fund which might be seized for what they called the purposes of the state. The government resolved to steer a middle course, conceding much, but not conceding all.
On the 12th of February (apparently to render more palatable the approaching introduction of the Coercion bill), lord Althorp opened, in the lower House, the measures which ministers intended to pursue in regard to the Irish church. church. He began by stating, that although, comparing the amount of the Church establishment in Ireland with that of the church establishment in England, the amount of the former was in
proportion to the population of the two countries by far the greatest, there existed, as to the amount of the revenues received by the Irish church, greater exaggerations than upon any other political topic that had ever come under his consideration. Until he looked into the subject, he had exaggerated even to himself the amount of the revenues of the Irish establishment. One great exaggeration related to the revenue attached to the different bishoprics of Ireland. By the returns of the actual amount of revenue received by the bishops of Ireland, it appeared that the gross amount of all their revenues was 150,000l., but, owing to the expenses of collection, &c., the nett amount was not more than 130,000l. It was true that a large tract of country belonged to the Irish bishops; but then it ought not to be forgotten that the Irish bishops had not any beneficial interest in it; on the contrary, it appeared that their tenants and lessees had full five-sixths of the value of that land. The estimated amount of the annual value of those lands was 600,000l. Of this sum the bishops did not themselves receive more than 100,000l. The whole amount of revenue belonging to the deans and chapters was 23,6001.; but the necessary expenditure to which this sum was applied was 21,4007.,-so that the surplus of 2,2001. was all that was left for the deans and chapters. As to the amount of value of the other benefices in Ireland, returns had not been received from the incumbents of all benefices, but only from the greater portion of them. The only estimate which he could make of their value was by judging, from the average value of those benefices where the incum
bents had made returns, of the
Amount of the revenue of
Revenue of the other
He, therefore, thought that he should be justified in stating that all the revenues of the church of Ireland applicable to the support of the ministers of that church did not exceed 800,000l. and there could be no doubt-without entering into any argument with those who thought there should be no religious establishment at all— that on these funds the church had the first claim. Another fund arose from the first fruits of each benefice, which were applied in England to the augmentation of small livings, and, in Ireland, in the first instance, to ie repair of churches. In both countries, however, from the change which the lapse of time had made in the value of money, the first fruits could hardly be said to exist. Ministers, therefore, thought it better