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gates.' Now, even by this bill, a Catholic | ant ambassador from Catholic Bavaria' could not sit as a delegate. He would and a Catholic minister from Protestant therefore, if eligible to the bench, be ex- Denmark. Nay, he had even understood posed to the invidious exception of ineli- that that minister was about to be replaced gibility to the court of delegates. Great by an English Catholic, who had found that additional solemnity was acquired to the encouragement abroad which he would office of a judge, by his attending divine willingly have accepted at home. He service before the opening of the assizes. could not avoid calling the attention of The effect of this attendance to the duties the House to the analogous condition of of religion on such an occasion he consi- Hungary, connected as it was with Ausdered very important; and he was at a stria. It contained about seven million loss to see how a Catholic judge could inhabitants, one-third of whom were uphold the same reverential interest in Protestants; the hierarchy was Catholic, the situation in which he might be placed. of great opulence and power ; but forHe concluded by moving as an amend- merly the most bitter contests had prement, that after the offices from which vailed in consequence of differences of Catholics are to remain excluded, the faith. In 1791, however, the emperor words “ or the office of privy councillor," Leopold summoned the Diet of Hungary be inserted. He should afterwards move and a proposition was then made to give to add to the excepted offices, those of the Protestants an entire and absolute advice-chancellor and master of the rolls, mission to every office of the state. It was and chief justices of the King's-bench, carried by a majority of 291 to 84 ; and and Common pleas, or justices of either since that period the utmost tranquillity bench, and chief baron of the Exchequer, and harmony had prevailed. One part and the other barons of the Exchequer, in of the proposition was to exclude barrisEngland and Ireland.
ters from the bench, but to give them a Sir John Newport said, that many silk gown. He was not disposed to unmembers of the Scotch church were also dervalue a silk gown; but he did not members of the privy council. How, think the Catholics would accept that then, was the argument of the right hon. alone as a considerable boon, when they gentleman made out, that because the sove- were to be shut out from the dignity of reign and his wife were not to be of the the bench. The right hon. gentleman who church of Rome, therefore his ministers introduced this bili had most impressively and councillors must all be of the church claimed for the Catholics an admission to establishment? The inference was de. the bench-that they should not be destroyed by the fact, that members of the prived of their chance in the race of church of Scotland were allowed to be honour. Let the House look at the the advisers of the Crown. This was peerage and see how many distin. the only case in which the British con- guished ornaments it had acquired from stitution rendered the sovereign respon- the profession of the law, and how many sible. He was liable to the loss of his of those ornaments had been raised from Crown if he became a Papist. If it were the lowest ranks of society. The people meant to limit and restrain the sovereign at large therefore looked to it with hope, in the choice of his privy councillors, why as the
means of aggrandizing their families; not say so at once? and the exclusion and the Catholics ought not to be ex. might in time extend even to particular cluded from the same advantage. It had individuals. As to the oath of the privy been said that Dissenters were excluded councillor, it ought to be recollected that from the bench; but the fact was otherit was statutable: and when the special wise: sir M. Foster and lord Russlyn wording of it was relied upon, the right both lived and died Dissenters. Not seehon. gentlemen seemed to have forgotten ing the necessity of the exclusion now that it was framed and enacted before the proposed, he could not give it his conReformation. It was not very creditable to sent. this Protestant country, that it should ex- Sir. J. Nicholl declared, that he meant, hibit such intolerance, while Catholic nothing offensive to the Catholics, when countries set it such an example of en- he stated it to be his opinion that their lightened liberality. Abroad, differences exclusion from the degree of political of religion created no invidious distinc power which they sought, was incontion; and it was worthy of remark, that sistent with the safety of a state which at the present moment we had a Protest- was essentially, fundamentally, and permanently Protestant. If the number of on which the union stood was the insepathe Catholics were few, there might be rable establishment of the Protestant less danger in allowing their admissibility church of the two kingdoms. It was to the offices alluded to; but their num- true that external force might overthrow ber was so considerable, that if they were the system; but he could not conceive admissible not only to the judicial bench, that granting political power to a few but to the counsels of the sovereign, Roman Catholics was at all likely to great danger might arise to the security hasten the application of external force. of the Protestant succession. There was, But he denied that, under the act of he was willing to admit, no danger of Union the Protestant church of Ireland that church being altered or affected could be at all modified. No man could while parliament remained as it was; nay, suppose that any of the covenants of that he would, in justice to the Catholics union could be made the subject of legisthemselves, believe that even if a number lation. It was a question which, as far of them were introduced into parliament, as parliament was concerned, was placed they would not, in the face of day, make beyond the reach of legislation. But his an attempt of that kind ; but what he learned friend would here allow him to put feared was, that this point would be laid this distinction that it was one thing to eshold of by demagogues and agitators to tablish a religion, and another to protect it disturb the peace of the church; and by that qualified degree of endowment that the measure, instead of uniting and which parliament had, in other instances knitting together the members of the two sanctioned. Thus, the Catholic clergy of religions, would lead to constant bicker- Scotland were at this moment in the posings and warfare. If he conceived that session of that description of provision these concessions could be made with which was the only provision he had ever safety, he would readily concur with the heard “suggested for the consideration promoters of the measure; but he was of that House, with reference to the afraid that that was quite a vain hope, Irish Roman Catholic clergy. His learned and that religious opinions, which formed friend must certainly know that in Ireland, the most powerful of all human incentives also, a state provision was granted to a body would be made a sort of rallying point for connected with the church of Scotland political contests,
he meant the Presbyterian synod of Lord Castlereagh said, that whatever Ulster. He would not say under what parliament might now grant, he would, circumstances that provision had been as far as his power extended, endeavour granted; but he would contend that in 'to carry into effect; and be would use its practical results no measure was ever his best efforts to induce the Catholics to more beneficial. The Protestant church receive with gratitude, the boon which it of Ireland was, by a solemn covenant might please the legislature to bestow. between the two parliaments, placed If parliament thought fit, it was doubt- beyond the reach of becoming an object less in its power to surround the measure of legislation in that House. He did not with various qualifications ; but if those know that the omnipotence of parliament qualifications had the tendency to keep could not repeal the Union ; and having alive a Catholic question in the country, separated the two legislatures, that of and to destroy that conciliatory temper Ireland might proceed to re-model its which now prevailed, he should be be- church. But that the united parliament traying the interests of the cause he pro- could interfere with the united Protestfessed to advocate, if he were to give up the ant church he wholly denied ; since it ground he had previously taken, and was directly contrary to the act of union. adopt a proceeding which must have the With respect to the qualification which effect of protracting this long-agitated his right hon. friend proposed, he would question. The two great principles on offer a few observations to the which his learned friend had argued the House-He agreed with his right hon. subject were ; 'first, the question of friend, that the right to exercise the safety with reference to the Protestant principle of exclusion, where the safety church, and, next, the number of Cal of the state required it, was inherent in tholics who, under this measure, would all governments. The truth of that get into power. Every one would go position could not be shaken, without along with his learned friend in admitting affecting the monarchy of England. But that one of the fundamental foundations he must also observe, that the admissibi.
lity to certain offices was a question of agree with him, that if the Catholics policy and prudence. His learned friend maintained mischievous prejudices, that had argued this part of the subject as if by House was the place in which they were some strange principle of magic, the go- most likely to be eradicated.The noble vernment was to become wholly Catholic. lord then proceeded to argue against the His learned friend had forgotten those proposed qualifications. He knew there securities which necessarily arose from were some offices in which it would not the Protestant population and wealth of be proper to place Roman Catholics ; but the realm ; and he argued that the ad. the question was, whether it would not ministration of the country would be, to be best to leave the selection to the a great extent, Catholic--that Catholic sovereign? He maintained that it would authority would surround the Crown; and contended that there was little fear and that the state would be shaken to its that a Protestant king would select a foundation, Now, for his part, he saw Catholic administration. At the same nothing in Catholic power, even if it time he did not see that a Catholic miwere extensive, that should cause any nister in the cabinet could overturn the apprehension of danger. They found constitution. But his right hon. friend amongst the Roman Catholics of Eng. would say—“ If so few Catholics can land men of high rank, of large fortune become privy councillors, is it not and of extensive influence; but to con. as well to exclude them at once?" He tend that there was any portion of them thought not ; because it was keeping up one who, if they procured political power, of those bars which the Catholics comwould exert it for the dangerous pur- plained of for the purpose of securing poses that had been alluded to, was a a very inadequate object. With respect position unworthy to be argued. At one time to Roman Catholics becoming judges, it had been stated that the number of the in all probability it would only be in cases Catholics in that country, as compared with where the individual had raised himself the Protestants was as four to one; and to the summit of his profession by his that the Protestants of the church of talents and assiduity ; and such a man, he England formed only one eighth of the contended, having the eyes of the whole whole population. But Dr. Duigenan, country on him, would be induced, more who had received correct information on than any other individual, to conduct the subject, denied the fact. He said himself in an exemplary manner. Such that, instead of 6 persons to each House, were his sentiments. Should the House there was not more than 51 or 51, giving differ from him in opinion, he hoped that a total of 3,500,000, of which not more the Catholics would frankly accept such than 2,000,000 were Catholics. With advantages as their Protestant brethren respect to property 49 out of 50 parts of were willing to accord to them. the landed property belonged to Pro- Mr. Wetherell argued, that the promotestants, and 9-10ths of the personal ters of the bill, having acknowledged the property."—When such was the state of ineligibility of Catholics to judicial situa. Catholic numbers and property in Ire- tions, connected with ecclesiastical func. land it was not likely that many Catholics tions, would be guilty of inconsistency, if would be returned from that country; they did not follow up their principle by especially when it was recollected that excluding them also from offices of temthe Catholic freeholders were compara- poral judicature, on the ground that the tively few. He had made some inquiries temporal courts took cognizance of many into the state of Catholic property in matters of an ecclesiastical nature. Besides, Ireland and he found that there were not there were duties which the temporal above 14 or 15 places where the Catholic judges had to perform, that a Catholic interest could make itself extensively could not discharge. He could not, for felt, and, he believed, conscientiously, instance, sit in the court of Delegates, if they passed the bill to-morrow, that upon appeals in spiritual matters, nor pot more than 5 or 6 Catholics would could he act as a coadjutor in the ecclesi. be returned. He did not think, indeed, astical courts. The supporters of the bill that Roman Catholics would find their were also guilty of an absurdity in allow. way into that House to the extent ing Catholics to be eligible to the situawhich he thought would be beneficial tions of privy councillors, and yet making to the state and to the Protestant esta- it a misdemeanor in them to advise the blishment. For his learned friend would sovereiga upon matters of ecclesiastical interest. This was an impracticable pro-, first place, Catholic peers could advise his hibition. The advice of the privy coun- majesty as hereditary councillors of the cillor to his sovereign was secret and con- Crown in the House of Lords, and Cathofidential; and therefore the prohibition of lic commoners could advise the king, as giving advice on ecclesiastical matters, members of the House of Commons; but which advice could never be known, was then they were not to be allowed to a mere nullity. The safest and most con- aspire to the higher and more sacred sistent way, therefore, was to exclude functions of privy councillors. If parliaCatholics from this office altogether; and ment acknowledged this, it would be to remove the necessity for so absurd an equivalent to declaring that it was not the exception, by a practicable general rule. great and paramount council of the nation;
Sir James Mackintosh agreed with the but that there was another council, higher right hon, mover, that anomalies were and of a more important character than not objections in the formation of a itself. Again, the members of that House scheme of religious government. Upon had hitherto been looked upon as equal ; such a subject it was almost impossible to but, if this principle was admitted, then reduce legislation to a symmetrical form. there would be recognized within those He took the present question to be alto. walls a race of inferior and outcast memgether a question of compromise, of de- bers, divided from all others by an imgree, of the arrangement of opposing feel passable line of separation; and the ings and inconveniences—a question upon House would consist of a privileged mawhich it became impossible to follow any jority and a degraded minority. In the one principle to its utmost logical conse- third place, it was always understood, quence. The learned member had laid that the Crown chose its ministers from great strees upon the difficulty of en- among those men who, by their abilities, forcing the provision against advice to the had risen to eminence in the councils of sovereign from Catholic privy councillors the nation; but if this principle was adin matters of ecclesiastical interest. The mitted, then there might be persons in learned member asked, how was the giver that House, who, by their talents, intelliof such advice to be detected. The gence, or civil virtues, might rise to the question reminded him of a brief dia- highest eminence, and yet be for ever logue between the republic of Venice and precluded from being chosen as the the see of Rome. The republic of Venice responsible advisers of the Crown. The once asked-where was the original deed danger to the republican principles of our of conveyance by which the keys of constitution had been already stated; but Heaven was vested in the disposal of the he would ask, was there no danger to be l'ope? To which his holiness replied, apprehended to the monarchy itself
, from that it was upon the back of that instru• driving to despair a body of people, whose ment which gave the Adriatic sea to the active abilities would not be allowed to be dominion of the doge. Now, he would devoted to the service of the sovereign? tell the learned gentleman how the advice The very same principle which gave secu. which the Catholic privy councillor gave rity to the rights of the people, would give to his sovereign might be known, if he stability to the prerogatives of the throne. would only inform him how the advice | There ought not to be, therefore, in that which any other privy councillor gave House a body of men, whom the Crown was to be ascertained. It was stated, that had no hold of, like others who aspired the country had once undergone great to public offices. As to himself, he was dangers, from having a king who listened likely to spend the remainder of his life to Catholic ads ers; but it should be re- in Opposition, and if he could look only to collected, that there was then no exclu- the interests of party, he might not regret sion of a Catholic king; and yet the coun- that such a principle should be acted try had proved too strong both for king upon, because it would give to the ranks and ministers, when they entertained of Opposition a set of men who must be designs subversive of the religion of the irreconcileable enemies to the ministers of state, and the liberties of the people. But the Crown-men of blasted hopes and what would be the consequence of ad- acrimonious temper. But he would rather mitting Catholics to seats in parliament, see men choose Opposition from principle, and yet excluding them from the situation than be driven into it by the exasperation of privy councillors ? Why, to introduce of hopeless exclusion. The hon. and new principles into parliament. In the learned member then proceeded to answer the argument, that judicial characters of of the committee. The object of it was, the Catholic church, not being capable to exclude Roman Catholics from being of partaking of the communion of the governors of colonies. To those who church of England, could not be present objected to the admission of Roman Caat the observance of those decent cere- tholics to any office, it was not necessary to monies which usually preceded the exer- adduce any argument, as it was impossible cise of their judicial functions. He ob- to anticipate opposition to this particular served, that although they could not par exclusion, and indeed the grounds upon take of the communion of the church of which it rested were founded on principles England, there was nothing to prevent so precisely similar to those on which the them being present at the celebration of its promoters of the bill had acted in the excluworship, any more than in the case of Non- sions proposed by themselves, that it would Conformists, several of whom had been have been equally impossible for him (but judges, and he instanced sir M. Foster. for what had fallen from the noble secreHe then went on to remark upon the tary of state) to have expected any opgreat effect which the opening of judicial position from them. It appeared to him, situations to Catholics would have upon that little more was necessary than to state the body of the Catholic community, in the duties which devolved on governors of conciliating their affection to the laws and colonies, and which could not be withdrawn institutions of this country, more espe- from them in order to prove that they cially in Ireland. He considered this as a ought not to be Roman Catholics. The privilege that would have more extensive House then should be aware, that governconsequences in this way, than even the ors held the office of ordinary, and holdconcession of seats in parliament, because ing that office, exercised within their gofew could aspire to the latter, but all who vernments episcopal functions; that they reared up their sons to the bar, would had in that capacity a control over all have expectations of their rising to the the clergy; the presentation to all vacant most honourable station in their profes- benefices ; the regulation of all that resion. The example, too, of a Catholic in lates to the repairs of the churches and Ireland, raised to the distinguished and to the general discipline and good venerable situation of a judge, would have order of the establishment. His noble more practical influence in making that friend had indeed stated, that it would be people understand and value the equal a great benefit to the colonies to divest blessings of the British constitution, than the governors of their present right of the most eloquent statements of general presentation to livings, and to vest them in principles; and as to any bias operating the government at home. He must beg upon the mind of a Catholic judge where leave to differ even on this point from his ecclesiastical interests were concerned, he poble friend. It did not appear to him a did not believe there was any ground for trifling inconvenience to leave the presenthe assertion. He had himself, when tation to a living in a distant colony, deholding a judicial situation in India, fre- pendant on an authority with which no quently to decide questions which in- communication could be had in less than volved different ecclesiastical interests, four or five months, and perhaps more, and opposing religions, and he never felt after the vacancy had occurred; and that his mind swerved for a moment from the too in climates which, from their unhealstrictest impartiality. He claimed no thiness rendered vacancies much more frefarther credit on this account, than for quent than in more favoured countries. the possession of common sense; and he But when it was farther considered that could not think so meanly of the Catholic the governor's authority was not limited lawyers, as to suppose they would sacrifice to the mere presentation, that it compristhe dignity of the bench, the honour of ed every possible regulation as to the dis. their profession, and the virtues and cipline and good order of the church, and character which alone could raise them to as to the proper conduct of the clergy in that exalted station, on account of bigotted their respective situations, he would ask notions, and doctrinal predilections. whether it was possible, consistent with
Thecommittee divided: For the Amend any regard to the established church in ment, 169; Against it, 188: Majority 19. those colonies, to leave all these matters
Mr. Goulburn then rose to propose an to the precarious regulation of a distant amendment, which he Aattered himself authority. The mover of the bill had would meet with the general concurrence thought it necessary to make some excep