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HOUSE OF COMMONS.—THURSDAY. THE IRISH CHURCH. Some time was occupied in presenting petitions for and against the Irish Church, and the renewal of the debate on Mr Gladstone's Resolutions was preceded by a conversation as to the precise mode in which the division is to be taken. Mr Yorke, referring to the somewhat ambiguous lan- guage of the" Ministerial whip," circulated yesterday, which warns members that the first division will be taken on Mr Gladstone's motion, That the Speaker do now leave the chair," asked Lord Stanley whether he intended to withdraw his motion. Lord Stanley replied that he had no such intention, and the language of the circular, he added, merely ex. plained the formal mode of putting the question; upon which Lord Cranborne asked the Speaker to explain how the matter stood-whether those who went out would not be abstaining from voting in favour of Lord Stanley's Amendment ? and The Speaker, in effect, replied that, practically, the House had hitherto been engaged on the Amendment, and if the division were against the Government it would be fatal to the Amendment, so that the motion to go into committee would then remain to be decided, unem- barrassed by it. Mr Whalley asked Mr Gladstone whether his resolu- tions contemplated the abolition of the Maynooth Grant, and Mr Gladstone promised to give further explanations in his speech to-night, but pointed out that he had already expressed his own opinion that the Consolidated Fund should be relieved from all obarges for religious purposes. The debate was then resumed by Mr Roebuck, who stated, by way of preface, that, having always held Establishments to be mischievous institutions, he should vote for the resolutions, though, he added, with a sneer at the front Opposition bench, it would neither be for preii, nor personal ambition. Ex- amining the arguments by which the Resolutions were supported and the intentions of its movers, Mr Roebuck insisted that the real badge of conquest" was not the Protestant Establishment, but the Papal Church in Ireland for before we conquered Ireland the Church there had no connection with Rome. He denied, too, that the dis-establishment and disendowment of the Church would content the Irish Roman Catholic people; what they desired was separation, and the feeling was a relic of the conquest, which had its countetpart even in Wales. The tithe rentcharge, he maintained, was paid neither by landlord nor tenant; it was in the nature of a reserved rent, which belonged to the state, and was to be applied at.its discretion for the benefit of the people; and in some respects and to some extent it was now so applied. For instance, the presence in each parish of an educated gentleman was a great advantage. Remember- ing, therefore, that the Irish Protestants were the most loyal portion of the population, no statesman, unless blinded by the desire of pefsonal aggrandisement, would propose to disendow the Church at a blow. Passing to the personal part of the question, and calling to mind the Appropriation Clause and the Reform Resolutions of 1859, Mr Roebuck warned the Opposition leaders against playing the same trick again, and asked Mr Gladstone very pointedly whether he was prepared with a Bill. Looking at this question as an "Imperial Englishman," and believing that the Irish Catholics were hostile to English rule, be strongly deprecated rushing headlong into measures fatal to the public welfare. Mr Henley, Mr Lowe, and General Peel rose together to follow Mr Roebuck, and there were loud cries for General Peel, but the Speaker named Mr Henley, who, in a brief speech, connected the Resolutions with the Fenian demands, and objected to them that, while they had no chance of pacifying Ireland, they would strike at the root of all Establishments. He pitied the fate of Mr Gladstone (whom he described as a kind of compound Fenian ") to have been condemned for 25 years to carry the Irish Church in his belly," and he warmly deprecated this attack on an institution which be contended rested on a sacred treaty. General Peel declared that his vote would be governed entirely by the unconstitutional character of the Resolu- tions, without reference to the Amendment. He re- gretted deeply that Mr Gladstone should have selected the destruction of the Protestant Church as the instru- ment—to "ralIy the rabble would be an offensive ex- pression,-but to carry with him into the lobby the followers who would not follow and still more to be,regretted was it that at so short a notice he should, in'an abstract Resolution, call upon the House to repeal the Act of Union and the Coronation Oath, and to abolish the Established Church. Adopting Sir G. Lewis's ar- gument, that the tithe was a reserved rent, paid neither by landlord nor tenant, and resting the title of the Established Church to it on Lord Cairns's speech last year, General Peel predicted that this attack, which he bad foretold at the time of the Emancipation Act, would, if successful, lead to the separation of Church and State in this country and the repeal of the Union. Repudia- ting altogether the Amendment, which might mean any- thing, and founding his hopes entirely on Mr Hardy's speech, General Peel pronounced emphatically for a policy of no surrender," and exhorted all Protestant electors at the next election to require the strictest pledges from their members; for himself, he should give a direct negative both to the Amendment and the Resolutions. Mr Lowe pointed out the strongest argument against the Irish Church, that of the whole population 78 per cent. were Roman Catholics, and 12 Episcopalians, and those who had no State aid were the poorest, and those who received it all were the richest. Therefore, there could be no country in which voluntaryism could be better tried, for the vast majority of the people already supported their own priests; and the establishment of the complete political equality of all religions he held to be conditio sine qua non of the settlement of Ireland. Answering the taunt-why bad the Opposition moved in the question just at this moment ?-he retorted that the Ministry were primarily answerable by the spirit of change which they had set in motion last year, and Mr Disraeli had challenged them-by Lord Mayo's scanty programme-to teach him what a truly liberal policy is. More than that, said Mr Lowe, amid loud cheers, pointing to Mr Gladstone, "the hour has come-and the man." Mr Lowe examined rapidly the arguments offered in support of the Church. To the "Act of Union and the compact" arguments he replied How could the Parliament of 1800 bind its successors ? And what share had the Roman Catholics in a compact which in reality was made by two Protestant Legisla- tures ? As to vested rights, the revenues could not be Tested in the Church, for the Church could hold no pro- perty nor in the clergy, because they could be pensioned off; nor in the laity, because in no way could they be compensated for them by money. The garrison ar- gument he disposed of by pointing out that if we are strong enough to impose an injustice on the majority we could more easily compel the minority to acquiesce in an act of justice. Mr Lowe next dissected minutely, in a humourous and closely-reasoned argument, the con- duct of the Government, following it through what he called its numerous zigzags." and commenting with trenchant sarcasm on its daily recurring inconsistencies; The Amendment;he analyzed with great skill, showing, with the aid of Lord Stanley's speech in support of it, that, though produced on the same day as Mr Disraeli's high Protestant letter, it contemplated dealing with the Irish Church revenues, not by mere internal modifica- tions, and that it positively invited the new Parliament to undertake the task. Lord Stanley, he maintained, bad given up the establishment, while Mr Hardy threatened to resign rather than be a party to it, and he animadverted with great severity on the discredit reflected both on the Government and Parliament, and the danger to every institution of the country, from the fishing policy of the Government, from what he called Mr Disraeli's audacity in laying before the House on this question two contradictory lines of policy. But exten- sive as had been the Premier's experience of human gullibility, he would find that he had over-calculated it in this case the Ministry would neither be able to save the Irish Church, nor would the country give to them the means of destroying it. Mr Lowe concluded by a jigorous appeal to the Jlouee to root up thia foreign exotic planted in uncongenial soil and stricken with the curse of barrenness-" Cut it down why cumbereth it the ground ?" Throughout the remainder of the evening there was unusual competition to catch the Speaker's eye, particu- larly on the Liberal benches, where at one time more than a score of members sprang to their feet. Mr Lowe was followed by Mr Horsfall, who exhorted the Government to take their stand on the Irish Church, and predicted that the country would stand by them. Lord Claud J. Hamilton made a remarkahly able maiden speech in defenoe of the Church Establishment, and Mr lefroy spoke on the same side. Mr Clive argued against the application of the volun- tary principle to Ireland, and Sir John Gray quoted numerous statistics in illustration of the anomalies of the Establishment. Mr Osborne reminded the House that he was not a recent convert on this question, having himself frequently made motions for the reform of the Irish Church, which, by the way were always opposed by those who were now hurrying the House along at headlong speed. He denied that the Liberal party had not always been staunch on this question; it was their leaders who had deserted them. They had used the question as a means of getting into office, and then laid it on the shelf. Distinguishing between dis-establisnment and dis endowment, and deprecating the discussion of the question on money grounds, Mr Osborne said the worst feature of the Irish Church was the unequal distribution of incomes, and he went trhough the statistics, showing that if the English Church were officered on the same scale we should have 240 bishops in this country. Expressing his deep disappointment at the mode in which the Government had mot the Resolu- tions, he criticised first the speech of Lord Stanley, drawing a felicitous parallel between him and his an- cestor, the Lord Stanley of Richard 111and next of Mr Hardy, who, he said, had carried his party with him by an appeal to all the old obsolete sentiments which everybody thought hnd been buried long ago with M r Spooner at Bonsai Green. He examined next, in his u ual witty at d bantering vein, the arguments urged in favour of the Church, and, while agreeing in the expe- dience of disestablishment, he threw some doubts on the necessity of complete ditendowment. On the contrary, he shadowed out a scheme which, be contended would meet all the justice of the case. The number of the bishops was to be reduced to four, with salaries of £ 2,000 a year each; deans and chapters were to be suppressed, and other reductions made, by which a saving of £300,000 a year might be made. And to a member who called out too late,' Mr Osborne quickly replied that this was an enormous question they were taking in hand, and in all probability it would last their lifetime. With- out holding out any decided hope that this measure by itself would pacify Ireland, Mr Osborne concluded by earnestly pressing Mr Disraeli not to commit himself to a policy which would involve Ireland in perpetual broils and prevent, all substantial union there. Sir S. Northcote. though not complaining that this question bad been selected as a rallying cry for the Liberal party, and an instrument, for turning out the Government, insisted that it ought to have been con- sidered with more care and fulness than was apparent from the Resolutions. They were evidently drawn so as to include the maximum of what would be unacceptable by the Government, and the minimum of what would -create division of opinion among its supporters. The Government objected, first of all, to the time at which the Resolutions were proposed, and next to their terms. Lord Stanley had stated their objections to the oppor. tuneness, and Mr Hardy had explained the light in which they would consider the Resolutions if the House should go into committee. Not denying the competence of this Parliament to deal with the question, Sir Stafford pointed out that when It was elected there was no expectation that the Irish Church would become a practical question, and it had never been considered by the constituencies in that light. Looking to all the circumstances of the Session, the Government were of opinion that this was a rao>t inopportune season for moving in the matter; but if the House insisted upon going into committee they would take care that it was fully discussed in all its bearings, and that all the collateral issues—very few of which had yet been mentioned in the debate—should be fully hammered out. Of course it would be necessary that the House should extend its sittings and sacrifice some of its holidays for the purpose (here there was a protesting cry of 'No, no,') but, above all, he urged that the" matter should not bo huddled up in an abstract Resolution, and that Mr Gladstone should be compelled to give definite answers oji all those questions the im- possibility of answering which bad hitherto prevented legislation. Sir Stafford indicated some of these—such as 'What will you do with the money?' How is the dis- cipline of the Irish Church to be enforced when it is dis- established ?' &c. and he ended by a confident prediction that to destrow the Irish Church would be a fatal blow to all Establishments, The adjournment of the debate was moved by Mr Cole- ridge; and Mr Disraeli, in reply to Mr Gladstone, engaged not to move the adjournment for the holidays untillhe main business of this evening had been disposed of, adding that he had no doubt the debate would close on Friday night. A vote of £1,200,000 was taken on account of the Civil Service Estimates in Committee of Supply. Some other business was disposed of, and the House adjourned at a quarter past twelve. FRIDAY. THE IRISH CHURCH. The adjourned debate was then resumed by Mr Coleridge, who argued that the State had as much right to deal with the social and temporal incidents of the Church, which made up the idea of an Establish- ment, as with any other institution-the Statute Book, indeed showed that Parliament had always olairoed a right to deal with this kind of property more freely than with any other. Dealing with the objections to the Resolutions, he maintained that this could be no attack upon the English Establishment, unless its circum. stances should become exactly the same as those of the Irish Church; and on the 'compact' objection, he observed, that no Parliament would bind Its successors, and that this Parliament had as much right to deal with the Act of Union as any other statute. Nobody bad defended the Irish Church on principle. Mr Disraeli, in his letter, and Lord Stanley, in his speech, had not said a word which excluded the idea of disestablishment, and even Mr Hardy's speech was not irreconcilable with it. This interpretation of his speech, however, Mr Hardy promptly contradicted, and repeated that the Government would offer every opposition to the Resolutions, and would take no part in the disestablishment of the Irish Church. Mr Coleridge went on to contend that the Go- vernment had ample information at their disposal for dealing with the question at once, and the strongest argument in favour of passing the Resolutions was the assurance they would give the people of Ireland that we were willing to look at Irish questions from an Irish point of view. That it might not turn out to be a com- plete panacea for Irish grievances was no argument against its acceptance. Mr Beresford Hope warned the House that it was about to alienate the Protestants of Ireland, and that in removing one so-called grievance it was running the risk of setting up another infinitely more serious. Mr Stansfield insisted that the Irish Church was an indefensible institution; it had not fulfilled its duty as an Established Church, and its disestablishment was an act of necessary justice. He warned the supporters of the Church that their struggles against this attack were vain, and that if they resisted too long they would involve the English Establishment in its certain ruin. The Earl of Mayo retorted that this prophecy had fre- quently been made, but nevertheless, the Irish Church, he believed, would for many years longer-though amended, no doubt, and reformed-flourish in security and full activity. Replying to Mr Lowe's charges of in- consistency, he maintained that in all the Ministerial speeches the intention ot resisting the disestablishment of the Irish Church had been unmistakably expressed. The Government did not deny the competence of this Parliament to deal with the question, but they held it to be of such magnitude and importance that it ought not to be taken up in a Session so encumbered with other business, and by abstract resolutions. Lord Mayo ar- gued next at length that the Voluntary principle which Mr Gladstone proposed to establish was utterly inappli- cable to Ireland, and that it would increase the animosi- ties already prevailing there. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland was not now purely voluntary, and its efficiency, he maintained, would be increased by an extended application of the principle of endowments. Of late it had been growing rapidly in wealth, and he warned the Roman Catholics that their present allies in this scheme of confiscation would be the first at some future time to attack their endowment. Examining Mr Gladstone's scheme in detail, be showed its impractica- bility in various lights. The compensation he contem- plated would swallow up pretty near all the capital value 01 the Church revenues, while merely to allow the in- cumbents to die out, and then sequester the living?, would delay indefinitely the voluntary arrangements which must follow the destruction of the Irish Church In like manner he showed that all suggestions which had been made for disposing of the surplus would only open so many new causes of animosity. Though he had never used the garrison argument, he warned the House that the destruction of the Church would increase absenteeism in many rural districts, and he denied emphatically, sup- porting his contention by numerous extracts from the opinions of Fenian sympathisers, that the discontent ot Ireland had any connexion with the Irish Church. The resolutions were supported by Colonel Greville and Sir Thomas Lloyd, while Sir Charles Lanyon and Lord Hamilton defended the Establishment. Mr Cardwell appealed to Mr Disraeli to state whether the issue to be laid before the country was to be found in the speeches of Lord Stanley, of Mr Hardy, or Lord Mayo, and to explain distinctly whether he adhered to his speech of 1844, or to his recent letter. In Ireland, as must be obvious to the most superficial observer, there were two distinct peoples, and the Irish Church was at once the symbol and the cause of their complete separa- tion. Pronouncing unreservedly for the abolition of the Irish Church, Mr Cardwell argued that the time had now arrived for calling on Parliament for a decided opinion, though the ultimate decision must be left to the new constituencies. Mr Disraeli rose just at half-past 10, in a crowded house, and was loudly cheered by the Ministerial benches. He began by stating his views of Mr Gladstone's meaning —that he proposed to terminate the connexion between Church and State as far as the Irish Church is concerned; that ho intended a disestablishment, which must lead to a disendowment. This question having suddenly been brought before Parliament, the Government had to con- sider how they would meet it. Considering that it was brought forward by the leader of the Opposition, and the other circumstances attending it, the previous question' was impossible-a direct negative would have led to an inference that the Government did not admit any modi- ) fication to be necessary, which was not their opinion. The third course open to them was an amendment, and in defending Lord Stanley's amendment Mr Disraeli quoted a dictum of Sir R. Peel, "Never attempt in your amendment to express your policy." In that amendment there were two points taken on which the Government were prepared to stand and, commenting on the second of them, Mr Disraeli declared that by his phrase "denying the moral competence of Parliament" he had meant that when a fundamental law of the country was in question, a House of Commons could not decide upon it, elected ) by a constituency which had never had an intimation that such an attack was contemplated. That this House was not elected with any view to deciding the Irish Church question was shown by Lord Palmerston's manifesto at the last election and Mr Gladstone's letter quoted the other night, and though he had never held the Act of Union to be irreversible, it certainly was pre- posterous to ask Parliament to reverse such a solemn muniment at eight days' notice. After replying, in his happiest and most effective vein of repartee, to the attacks of Lord Cranborne and Mr Lowe, he went on to examine the circumstances under which Mr Gladstone had proposed what he described as a 'vast and violent' change. Admitting that Ireland was not in a satisfactory condition, though the people were better off socially and politically than at any other time, he ridiculed Mr Gladstone's picture of a 'crisis' gathered from the dark reminiscences of seven centuries, and refused to argue the Irish question on this fallacious assumption. Vin- dicating the Irish policy of the Government, he claimed for himself and his party, in or out of office, always to have acted on the principle of reconciling races in Ire- land, and strongtbening Protestant interests by doing justice to the Roman Catholics, and ot putting both creeds on a footing of perfect equality. But the policy i now recommended by Mr Gladstone was in complete antagonism to a policy of conciliation; it would foster anomalies and indefinitely defer the restoration of political tranquillity. His attack on the Irish Church involved a violation of the nights of property neversuggested before in Parliament by any statesman in aposition of responsibility; and though recognizing a difference between public and private property as far as the State is concerned, he pressed upon the House to weigh well what effect upon private rights this attack upon Church property might have. To deprive the Church of her property and to indicate no mode of disposing of it was sheer confiscation. but above all, he protested strongly against the applica- tion of it to secular purposes. In the latter part of his speech Mr Disreli, responding to Mr Cardwell's request to have a clear and definite issue submitted to the House, dilated on the importance, not so much to the Church as the State, ot maintaining the connexion between political authority and the religious principle; and the only mode of securing that connexion was by an Establishment. If that connexion were terminated in Ireland where would you stop? Why should it not be terminated in Scotland and Wales, and even in England. It was the ulterior consequences of this attack on the Irish Church which he wished to impress on the public mind. Mr Gladstone appeared here as the representative of a combination of the high Ritualistic party and the supporters of the Pope in Ireland, and under the guise of legislating in "the spirit of the age," an attack was made on some of the most precious privileges of the subject, which he pledged himself as long as he remained First Minister he would resist to the utmost of his ability. Mr Gladstone rose to reply just about one o'clock, and dismissing Mr Disraeli's speech with the remark that most of it was irrelevant, and much of it due to a heated imagination, he explained the figures by which he made out that his schemo would leave the Protestants in possession of three-fifths of the present value of the Church property. Answering the various arguments urged in the course of the debate, and acknowledging its general fairness towards himself, he ridiculed the fears expressed of the irritating effects of this change on the minds of the Protestants, and pointed to numerous instaneesof disestablishment. Mr Disraeli's argument that a fundamental law oftheoountry could not be dealt with by Parliament without reference to the constituencies, he described as ultra-democratic, if not anarchical. He did not concea his intention to separate Church from State in Ireland, and that he argued was the most effectual mode of preserving what Mr Disraeli called the connexion between Government and the religious principle. And to the objection that this would lead to th6 destruction of the English Church, Mr Gladstone replied that each Estab- lishment must stand on its own merits, and the Irish Establishment could not be maintained by its appli- cability to England. Examining the varying declarations of the Premier, the Home Secretary, and the Irish Secretary, and extracting from it the conclusion that their plan was to endow the Catholic Church, he em- phatically condemned it as too late, and contrary to the sense of England and Scotland, and repudiated by the Irish Catholics themselves. Replying to Mr Roebuck's inquiry whether he was prepared with a Bill, he dis- claimed heartily the idea of "huddling the question up in an abstract resolution," and be pointed to the second and third resolutions as a proof that it was not intended once again to mock the people of Ireland with idle words. But while no unreasonable demand was made on the time of an expiring Parliament, he asked it to pronounce an opinion which would clear the way for its suc- cessors. The division was called at 20 minutes past 2, and the humbers were— For Lord Stanley's amendment 270 Against it 330 Majority against the Government — 60 The result was received with loud cheering from the Opposition benches. There was a second division on the question that the House go into Committee, and the numbers on this were— For the motion 328 Against it 272 Majority for the motion — 56 The House then went into Committee, and after the first resolution had been formally put, the Chairman was ordered to report progress. At a quarter-past 3 o'clock the House adjourned until Monday, the 20th inst. DRUNKENNESS.—The number of persons proceeded against for drunkenness and disorderly conduct per each 1,000 of the population in 1866-67 was—at Cambridge, 2 09 at Colchester, 1-81 at Coventry, 3'17 at Derby, 9.04 at Great Yarmouth, 3-79 at Ipswicb, 2 70 at Lin- coln, 291 at Northampton, 2.43 at Shrewsbury, 9 17; at Walsall, 2 46; at Worcester, 7 65 at Birmingham, 4*49 at Leicester, 4-62 at Norwich, 1-25; at Notting- ham, 213 and at Wolverhampton, 4 14. Norwich would thus appear to have been of these 16 towns the least disgraced in 1866-67 by outrageous drunkenness, while the most unfavourable figures fitaud against Shrewflbury,