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very numerous. Many of them had been element of popular and religious discord, endowed by the liberality of landowners, this figment of faction, this watch word of who felt themselves more called upon to struggle and anxiety, this hustings cry alienate their property and devote it for the of church rates, would for once and for support of their own district churches than ever be set at rest. for the more distant ones with which they LORD JOHN RUSSELL: Sir, I have had less connection. The right hon. no hesitation in saying that the measure Baronet the Member for Morpeth had con- which has been propounded by the right trasted the last returns with that of fifteen hon. Gentleman has been framed in a most years since, and had argued that church conciliatory spirit, and that a considerable rates were rapidly diminishing everywhere. amount of labour has been expended in its But the House would recollect, that within preparation ; and if I now state some few these thirty years a great revival of earn- objections which occur to me, it is not that estness had taken place all through the I think that there was any other course country, and that the Church, without dis- open to the Government so obviously better tinction of party, was everywhere placing than that which they have proposed that its fabrics in state of repair and comeli- they ought to have adopted it, but that I ness very different from what used to exist. wish the right hon. Gentleman to consider, This, of course, created an extraordinary when he proceeds further with this mea. drain upon the rates, which must have been sure, what may be the effect it will proat its height some ten or twenty years duce. With regard to the former part of since. But now, from the returns which the proposition, which seems to be taken had been just made, it appeared that the from certain clauses in the Bill of my right parish churches of the country, in the hon. Friend the Member for Morpeth, I ratio of 7,000 10 1,000 were in good re-think that there can be no objection to it. pair as compared with those that were not; It may be more or less effective; it may which he (Mr. Beresford Hope) thought provide more or less well for the future was a clear proof that a great stress had maintenance of the Church, but, at all been laid upon church rates during the re-events, the principle involved is unobjecvival of church architecture within the last tionable. But, as I followed the right hon. few years; and that now the churches, Gentleman's argument, I could not but having been put in good repair, the rates perceive, with respect to the second part might be expected henceforward to return to of his measure, by which he proposes to and remain at their normal rate. The true reliere from the payment of church rates test of this question was, not as to the differ- all Dissenters who state that they have a ence between what church rates now were conscientious objection to beir payment, and what they were fifteen years ago, but that he was impairing the principle upon the difference between now and a century which an Established Church resis, and I ago. Making allowance for the difference think that the right hon. Gentleman must of population, he believed the case of have felt this himself. The right hon. church rates would not suffer by a compari- Gentleman said more than once that it was son of the two periods, and that it would fit that those who had not the benefit of be found that owing to the awakened piety the Established Church should not bear the of the present day the rates were paid com- burden of maintaining it.
Now, it has paratively ungrudgingly, where they were always seemed to me that the whole descantily and grudgingly given in the reign fence of an Established Church must stand of George II. His hon. Friend (Sir A. upon this,-not that it is of immediate and Elton) said that gentlemen would not direct benefit merely to those who attend alienate income from their lands to secure its services and hear the preaching of its the repair of their parish churches; but he ministers, but that it is a general benefit to might ask how it was, then, that they the community at large. I have always alienated that income to furnish endow- considered that, placing in every parish a ments for the numerous churches that had minister who is not only to preach the Gosgrown up of late ? In conclusion, he trusted pel, but who is to hold forth an example of that this measure, which had been so much religion and morality in that parish, -wbo canvassed out of doors, but which had been | is to tell the people what is in conformity so well received by the House, would com- with the morality of the Gospel, and what mend itself to the mind of every candid is not,— who superintends and fosters the and moderate man, and he trusted that schools in which the youth of the parish before the end of the Session this great are educated, -who, upon every occasion when Christian charity can be exerted, is | be no more ill blood. You may
maintain ready with his hand to administer to the your churches not so well, perhaps, as you wants of those who are deserving objects have done, but at all events you put an among whom he lives—I have always, I end to quarrelling. But here, by this Bill, say, considered that it was a benefit, not you go, say, to forty or fifty farmers in a to Churchmen exclusively, but to all those parish, and you permit some twenty of who dissent from the Church as well as to them not to pay church rates, because they all those who conform to it, that there have a conscientious objection, while the should be in every parish, independently of other thirty are to go on paying in a somethe caprice, of the generosity, or of the what aggravated form, and of course to an wealth of the persons living in the parish, additional extent. It may be that these such a minister of the Gospel. But if that farmers ought not to feel any discontent view—which I do not claim as an original on this account, but I can't help thinking one of my own, but which I have borrowed when this begins to operate in a parish, from other and wiser persons-be correct, that those farmers will be very apt to say what logic or reason is there in saying, - “ This is unfair towards us, there are our “You, the Churchman, have a benefit from neighbours who paid church rates formerly the Church, because you go there on a for what we all thought a common benefit Sunday and listen to Divine service read - we all imagined that the Established from the Common Prayer-book, and bear Chureh was good for us all ; but they are the clergyman deliver a sermon; but your relieved, and we have to pay more on their neighbours, who live next door or in the account. The Legislature is acting unadjoining street, being Dissenters, have no fairly towards us, and we shall not go on benefit at all, because they do not attend paying this charge much longer.” This the ministration of that clergyman "? is one consequence that may arise. Then, That appears to me to be placing the Estab- the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. lished Church upon too narrow and too low Ball), said very truly, that Dissenters will a ground. And it is not the argument hardly be satisfied when, in consequence of alone, but it is the proposition, because their not paying church rates, they are reyou obviously say to one, You are to pay fused admission to the vestry. Do you for the repairs of the church, because you not think that you must, of necessity, have the benefit," and to another, “ You, create ill blood, when you refuse to admit who live next door, are not to pay, because Dissenters into the parish vestry, and you have no benefit from it whatever." thereby make a distinction which has never By this proposition you at once change the been made before ? And, in making that character of the Church, for you no longer distinction, you again mark that your maintain it as a national Church. You Church is not a Tational Church-that may maintain it, if you will, as a powerful you have divested it of that character. It Church, as a State Church, as a wealthy appears to me that these considerations Church, nay, as a Church that is diffusing are of some value, and it further appears religion and morality among a vast number to me if this Bill passes,—and it is, perof people, but you only maintain it after all haps, the best course that you can adopt as the strongest sect of the community. at present (cheers ).-yes, in the difficul. The right hon. Gentleman, I dare say, ties which surround the question, and which differs from me in that; but I cannot but the right hon. Gentieman stated very fairly, consider that when the Earl of Derby i it is, I believe, the best resource that you placed the charge of the repairs of have at present; but I feel convinced that churches in Ireland, for which provision in a very few years after this Bill has been had been previously made from the Church passed, church rates will continue to exist cess, upon the Church revenues of Ire- in any shape whatsoever. I ought not to land, lie took a measure much better cal. conclude, after making so many objections culated to support the Established Church to the measure, and proposing nothing in in that country than if he had adopted its place, without saying that, in spite of a proposition similar to the present. A the contests that have taken place of late second part of this question relates to the years, in spite of the ill blood that has practical effect of this measure. If you are been excited in some places by these church unable to maintain church rates; if Parlia- rates contests, and by others, of a more ment is of opinion they cannot be maintained polemical and doctrinal nature, my belief and church rates are abolished in that is, that there never was a time when the way dissensions will cease and there will | Church of England might rely with more confidence upon the increase of her strength MR. NEWDEGATE said, he did not than the present. It is quite remarkable rise for the purpose of expressing his opihow much zeal and spirit there have been nion upon the measure which the right hon. of late years in building new churches, in Gentleman had just submitted to the conproviding endowments for ministers, in se- sideration of the House. But there was parating districts from populous parishes, one point on which he was anxious to reand generally in increasing the efficiency ceive some explanation. The right hon. of the Established Church, I have seen Gentleman had told them that if a person those syınptoms with very great satisfac- declared he had a conscientious objection tion : and I feel, whatever may be our to the payment of church rates, he should legislation here, that in this country, where be exempted from the charge. He wished at all events there is perfect freedom for to know whether that exemption was to endowments of this nature, the Church is extend to any property whatever which sure to increase in power and in efficiency such a person might hold. for the great purposes which it has in view. MR. MELLOR said that, notwithstand. I should say in addition to this — and ing the favourable manner in which the without it all else would be as nothing statement of the right hon. Gentleman apthat the ministers of the Gospel, though they peared to have been received, many parts are, unfortunately, in many cases divided of his measure were very objectionable, into different schools, all of them evince and would require great consideration. He a degree of zeal in the discharge of their was afraid that if those objections were not sacred functions, an amount of devotion to removed it would be difficult to pass the the administration of the Gospel, and, above measure. Indeed there was only one point all, an attention to the religion of the poor, on which the right hon. Gentleman opposite which, in my younger days, certainly was could not be considered as too sanguine, not the general character of their minis- and that was his prediction with regard to tration. That is the best symptom of all, the liberality of members of the Church of and with that symptom I cannot but look England. An assertion had been repeatwith the greatest confidence to the future edly hazarded, and it was one which lay of the Church. Perhaps I may be allowed at the foundation of all legislation on this to add, and it arises out of what was said subject, to which he (Mr. Mellor) could not by the hon. Member for Leicestershire assent. The allegation he alluded to was (Mr. Packe), and immediately appertains as to the antiquity of this impost. He ento the subject of church rates, that it will tirely denied that either before the Norbe a matter for the consideration of those man Conquest or at any time since, had who are charged with the revenues of the church rates been an obligation on the land, Church that, while in almost all towns there although they might work out by the vote are ample means by subscriptions and of a majority of the parishioners into such donations for the repairs of the church, yet, a tax. It was well known that they had that in our rural parishes there are many originated in the conscientious offerings of edifices of great architectural beauty, monu- the people. Formerly, when the whole ments of the piety of our ancestors, and in people of this country were all of one faith, some few cases memorable for their his- the Church claimed tithes of all, one portorical antiquities, the fabrics of which, local tion of which, according to the division subscriptions will not be adequate to main suggested by the Pope to the Monk Autain. I think that the Ecclesiastical Com- gustine, according to the custom of the mission might, snpposing they did nothing Holy See and the Canon Law, was else, contribute one-half, or, perhaps, more for the support of the bishop, the second of the sums necessary to maintain these for the support of the clergy, the churches. I am sorry if what I have said third for the poor, and the fourth for respecting this Bill is not in such terms of the repair of churches. In process of praise as the right hon. Gentleman could time the clergy contrived to relieve the wish it to be. At the same time, he will tithes of the claim for the repair of be quite right in thinking that this is the the churches, and persuaded the people very best measure which, under the cir- to raise the money necessary for their cumstances, could be framed. We must repair. This they did by voluntarily make the measure suit the opinion of the agreeing to rate themselves for the purpublic, and cannot expect that the best pose, or by any means they thought measure which could be framed would be fit; and in process of time this became likely to pass.
them to do so was only enforced by spiritual not be wholly disregarded. If the House censures, which, however effectual they did agree to that Motion, which arbimight have been at one time, ultimately trarily precluded the consideration of any lost the whole of their power, and now other alternative than that of absolute there was, in fact, no means at all of com- abolition, it would be a despotic abuse pelling them to do so. This would show of the power of a majority, and in his that it was a fallacy to call the charge for opinion such a course would not carry with the repair of churches a charge upon the it the approval of the country at large, or land. He thought therefore it would not even of the right-minded portion of the be advisable in any change that took place Dissenters themselves. He must confess to consider it as a charge upon land, as he did not expect the Government would was certain to create a great opposition to have brought forward so good a the measure from an important section of sure. He had feared that their old Ecclethe community. He wished to ask the siastical Associations would have made it right hon. Gentleman what course he pro- impossible for them to have made so posed to adopt with respect to those decided a step in advance, as that of towns where no church rates had been the measure now proposed to them. He levied for many years; and he also wished gave them great credit for it, and thought to know, in cases where they had been that they were worthy of the thanks of abolished by Order in Council, as was the the House for the liberality they bad shown means intended to be adopted, he believed, l in the course they had taken. The right by the right bun, Gentleman, were they , hon. Gentleman had come forward in a still to continue in those places till a fund manly and straightforward manner, which had been contributed equal to a certain entitled him to the respect of the House, average that had been collected in church and it was not to be believed that the rates for some years past ?
country would respond to the wish of any MR. DARBY GRIFFITH said, he rose section of the House to stifle the discusto give his approval to the general prin- sion of his proposal. ciples of the scheme proposed by the right MR. ALDERMAN CUBITT said, he behon. Gentleman. The fact was the church- lieved this to be the most important subrate system had broken down through the ject the House could undertake, and at failure of the legal machinery formerly the same time the most difficult. He had relied upon to enforce it effectually. Now, voted for the total abolition of church rates therefore, that they had a reasonable and ou previous occasions, because it was impracticable solution before them of the diffi- possible the present state of things could culties which surrounded the question, it continue. He gave that vote with great ought to be a source of satisfaction to regret, but it was a choice of evils, and it all who were interested in this important was better to get rid of church rates than subject, that such an opportunity for that the heartburnings of which they were its settlement was offered for their ac- the cause should continue. It was a great ceptance. He hoped the hon. Baronet grievance that those whose families had (Sir J. Trelawny! would himself agree been Dissenters for several generations to it. He must see that this was the should be obliged to support a church to only mesne course between the pre- which they conscientiously objected. Nor sent state of things and the total abolition was theirs the only grievance. In popuwhich he advocated. The House must see lous parishes, where the people had outthat if it agreed to the Motion which the grown church accommodation, several new hon. Baronet intended to bring forward on churches had been built. There had been Wednesday next, it would absolutely pre great difficulty in building those churches, clude itself from any intermediate course. and in raising the money necessary for They could not expect to carry a per- their endowment and repair. But tho fect chrysolite of a mesure through the present law of church rates left all these House ; they must give and take, and churches to the voluntary contributions of must abandon a rigid adherence to mere those who attended them, and thus many abstract principles. Right or wrong, Dis- of these Churchmen felt church rates a senters had completely ignored the consi- grievance as well as the Dissenters. Now, derations urged by the noble Lord (Lord if he rightly understood the provisions of J. Russell). They repudiated the idea the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman, they of a national Church'; and they had would offer great facilities in this way; become so powerful that their views could the Bill would enable people to endow because it would be impossible any longer
SIR GEORGE LEWIS said, he thought to levy them. He (Mr. Walpole) believed it would be more convenient that whatever that church rates would be gone because, discussion might arise on this subject by the voluntary efforts of those who be- should be taken on the second reading longed to the Church, it would be found instead of at the present stage. If that possible to maintain the sacred fabrics arrangement met the views of the Governwithout having recourse to a system that ment, he hoped they would fix the second had so long been a source of strife and reading for a day, when the House would contention in many parts of the country. have an opportunity for a full discussion. Before sitting down he wished to make an
MR. SLANEY said, he rose to express appeal to the hon. Baronet the Member for his dissent from the gloomy views taken Tavistock (Sir J. Trelawny). The second the other night by the right hon. Member reading of his Bill on church rates stood for Halifax (Sir C. Wood) and others of for Wednesday next. It would be impos- | the prospects of Indian finance. The debt sible for the Government to bring forward of India amounted before the mutiny to but their Bill for the second reading on that two years' revenue—a state of things calday. He did not, however, see anything culated, when they considered the boundto prevent the hon. Member laying down less and undeveloped resources of that his own views upon the question either country, to inspire confidence rather than upon the discussion of the Government despondency for the future. The people of Bill or his own measure. What he (Mr. India, who had been ground down for many Walpole) would propose was, that the se. centuries by successive conquerors, only cond reading of the Bill should be put required fair play and good Government to nominally for Monday next, and that the render them happy and prosperous, and to hon. Baronet should have an opportunity secure their attachment to our rule. The of putting the second reading of his Bill present condition of the Natives of that next on the Orders for that day. He pro- country was very unsatisfactory. Essenposed this in order that the two Bills tially an agricultural people, they were the might be debated together and the time worst paid, the worst clothed, and the of the House saved, and it must be evi- worst fed people on the face of the earth. dent that by this means no undue advan. No less than three-fourths of the produce tage would be taken of the hon. Baronet. of the land was exacted from them in the He had now only to thank the House for shape of rent; whereas in this country the the kindness with which it had received landlord's share did not exceed one-fourth his proposition. By their experience, ob or one-fifth. If they were properly treated servation, and wisdom, he hoped that they there would, he believed, be an ample would agree upon
some scheme which revenue. To develop the resources of the would prove satisfactory to all parties." country, nothing more was needed than
SIR J. TRELAWNÝ said, he was quite good government and security ; when that willing to accede to the proposition of the was done, the large capital secreted right bon. Gentleman, with the understand. amongst the Natives would start forth. ing that as early an opportunity as possible The country possessed boundless resources. would be taken after Monday for proceed- which only required capital to develop them. ing with the Bill.
There was, however, au immense amount Motion agreed to.
of capital in this country seeking investBill for facilitating voluntary provision ment, and it would find a boundless field in for the purpose to which Church rates are India. The result would be advantageous applicable, and for the extinction of Church to both countries ; India would furnish raw rates where such provision is made, or- produce, and in exchange take a large dered to be brought in by Mr. Secretary quantity of manufactured goods. Under WALPOLE, Mr. CHANCELLOR of the Exche- such circumstances we should hold our QUER, and Sir John PAKINGTON.
empire, not by fraud and force, but by the ties of mutual interest and gratitude ; our
revenue would materially increase, and the EAST INDIAN LOAN-REPORT.
people of India would rise through material Resolution reported :
and moral improvement to that religious “That it is expedient to enable the Secretary of He had no doubt but that
advancement which all must wish them. State in Council of India to raise money in the
the GoUnited Kingdom for the service of the Govern- vernment of the noble Lord every facility ment of India."
would be given for the employment of the