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n old days the Secretaries of State were Estates of the Realm, and as such was nearly always clergymen; and Ambas- properly represented by Lords Spiritual sadors were more often clergymen than in the other House of Parliament, and not. Gardiner was the Minister of that it was unconstitutional for the Henry VIII., and the religious and Church to seek to extend her rights secular elements were combined without in that House. If clergymen were addifficulty. There was another difficulty, mitted into the House of Commons, there which it would be well if the hon. Mem- would be a demand that the Bishops ber took into consideration, and that should retire from the House of Lords. was the question of Crown patronage as MR. T. D. SULLIVAN said, he rose it would effect clergymen. Would a for the purpose of referring to the point clergyman holding a seat in the House, mentioned by the right hon. and learned accepting preferment from the Crown, Gentleman the Home Secretary with rebe required to vacate his seat? The gard to the disabilities of Roman Caobject of the Act of Queen Anne was tholic clergymen. He would have great clear; and he thought this question pleasure in supporting this Bill if it would be a thorny one for a Committee went the whole way in the direction it to determine. point was raised as to professed to take; but it did not go the clergymen being engaged in corrupt whole way. The Bill proposed to repractices. Well, they all hoped that move the present disability of clergyunder the Bill of his hon. and learned men of the Established Church to sit in Friend the Attorney General those prac- the House; and he contended that if one tices would cease to exist. But there denomination of the clergy were to be was a much more formidable danger allowed to sit in the House he did not which threatened the right hon. Mem- see why the Roman Catholic clergy of ber for Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope) Ireland should be excluded. If the and the right hon. Member for Oxford Bill passed it would keep out the clergy (Sir John Mowbray), and that was the of all Denominations, except those of the formidable rivals which this Bill would, Church of England, and this at a time when carried, raise up. He should not be when the doors of the House of Comsurprised to find his right hon. Friends mons were being thrown open to Infidels determined opponents of the Bill, for a and Atheists. He should like to see in more formidable rivalry he could not that House the Bishops and Priests of Ireimagine. It had been advanced by the land, and he believed they would make hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. Hinde efficient Representatives of the Irish peoPalmer) as an argument against the Bill, ple. He had no doubt, if the law were that it would create a new evil by tempt. altered, they would see in that House as ing clergymen to turn their pulpits into the Representative of Tipperary, Archpolitical rostrums; but he (Sir William bishop Croke with Mr. John Dillon. Harcourt) did not think that that was an He should be very glad to see in that evil which would be “created” by this House Dr. Nulty, who was, perhaps, measure, inasmuch as they had already better acquainted with the Land Question had some experience of it. He did not than any Member of that House. Ho think, therefore, that that was an argu- should like to see in that House Canon ment that they need be afraid of. There Doyle and Father Sheehy, because they must be some restriction in the Bill upon would be a great advantage to its debeneficed clergymen; and, subject to the liberations. The Bill, if passed, would considerations he had advanced, and on exclude the Irish Catholic and Protestant the general principle that religions dis- clergy; and if it were passed they would abilities ought not to be allowed to in- soon have a new and a lively agitaterfere with the choice of constituencies, i tion in Ireland, because the Catholic he would support the second reading of and Protestant clergy of that country the Bill.
would not submit to lie under the disaMR. WARTON protested against the 'bilities which had been removed from historical disquisition, not of Histori- the clergy of the E-tablished Church in cus," but of the learned Professor the England. If the Bill were passed, the Member for Southwark, and urged, as an Irish people would send those clergyargument against the Bill which had not men to the House of Commons to fight been mentioned by any of the previous' out their battle in the same way that sponkers, that the Church was one of the, Jr. Bradlaugh was doing, and then it
would be found that Parliament would SIR GABRIEL GOLDNEY said, it
sentative of All Nations. It seemed to MR. S. LEIGHTON said, that the Act him that if the ultra-Liberal disposition of 1870 had relieved the clergy from to remove all restrictions were to prevail
, the professional grievance-complaint of aliens, now excluded, would be admitted to which was made by some persons on seats in that House, and then Mr. Speaker their behalf, but not by themselves. He would occupy a position analogous to might refer to the case of barristers and that of Anacharsis Clootz. If the reofficers of the Army, to show how incon- strictions upon the admission of Atheists sistent the two functions of being Mem- were to be removed, he should see little bers of Parliament and being actively reason for maintaining them against the engaged in their Professions were with clergy. Until professed Atheists were the proper discharge of their duties in admitted, he should abide by the excluthe latter capacity. The combination of sion of the clergy. He asked the House the two functions exercised a demoral- to consider for a moment the probable izing effect on the Bar as a Profession; consequences of the measure it was now the same result would be produced in invited to assent to. It was his belief the case of the clergy if they sat in that the clergy were best represented by that House, seeing the vast amount of the Bishops in the House of Lords; but patronage which was in the hands of the authority of the Bishops was con: the Government. Suppose a number tested, and even openly defied, and if of aspiring and able clergymen con- benefíced clergy were admitted to that stantly attacking the Government, and House, their action might further weaken hon. Members could easily conceive how the authority and
power of the Bishops, great would be the temptation to stop He saw no advantage to an Episcopal their mouths by giving them some eccle- Church in counteracting the authority siastical preferment. Suppose the Dean of the Bishops; and that must result of Westminster, as had been suggested, from the admission of the inferior clergy were in the House, he might in a little to seats in that House, for their admistime become Prime Minister, and then sion would inevitably encourge those recommend himself to the Archbishop among the clergy who were inclined to of Canterbury and hold the two Offices rebel against the authority of the Bishops. together, as they had been held toge- It was upon the practical ground that ther before. They would thus be going the measure tended to introduce a prinback to the state of things that existed ciple of confusion into the Constitution in the time of Henry VIII. It was an of this country that he took objection error to suppose that constituencies to it. Moreover, the admission of the might return whom they liked, and that clergy to seats in that House was not the House was bound to admit the per- demanded by any considerable section son elected. Clergymen in that House of them. On the contrary, he believed would not represent the Church, but that the wishes of the clergy pointed in their own particular opinions, or the a distinctly different direction. opinions of their constituency or of their Friend Nr. Leighton had stated that Party. The benefit which the Bill pro- many persons objected to the clergy posed to confor was not desired by the acting as justices of the peace, and, no Church, and ho hoped the House would doubt, that was the case ; but he (Mr. not assout to the socond reading. Newdegate) did not concur in that ob
Sir II. DRUMMOND WOLFF rose jection. The function of a magistrate to a point of Ordor. Ho had to com- was consistent with the Constitution of plain of tho manner in which the Bill the Church of England, which defined hind been introduced. It was religious herself to be a congregation of faithful in its mannor and nims, and ouglit
, ho men, and her clergy as citizens. There maintained, to havo been brought in in was, however, a broad line of distinction Committee of the Wholo House.
to be drawn between the making and Mr. 7. D. Sullivan
2 asked the E ent the pride asure it was i was hiale it representa e of Lords shops vỉ ; defed
, 2 dimitted to further reset of the Bay
an Eyes the anthe 6 must inferiores - their side
the administration of the law. The advantage of the Bill should resign his
Main Question, as amended, put, and ing advantage to the House itself. agreed to.
MR. W. FOWLER said, the real Second Reading put off for six months. question to be decided was whether there was any good reason for the exclusion
SMALL DEBTS (LIMITATION OF of a large body of highly intelligent men
ACTIONS) BILL.-[Bill 78.]
Sir Henry Wolff, Mr. Gorst.)
Order for Second Reading read.
LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, Member of Parliament. But there were in moving that the Bill be now read a many clergymen who were not beneficed, second time, explained that its object but who objected to make the declara- was to diminish the evils of the longtion under the Act of 1870 which they credit system which obtained so largely must do before they could become Mem- in this country by limiting the period bers of the House ; and why should during which debts under £100 could be Parliament exclude them? The true recovered to 12 months. Among the test of qualification was that a Member upperand middle classes it was a common should be the choice of a constituency, thing for bills to run on for three or four and it was not for the House to say that years, and, as the result, people were such or such a man should not be elected. tempted to buy articles which they could It was absurd to suppose that a clergy- not really afford; minors ran up enor. man could be defiled more than any other mous bills without the knowledge of man by having to pass through the tur- their parents or guardians, and wives moil of a contested election. He was and daughters in a similar way deceived glad, he might add, to find that no their husbands and fathers; while the speaker, not even the hon. Member for tradesman charged an excess of 16 or 17 North Warwickshire (Mr. Newdegate), per cent, or even more—there was a had opposed the Bill on the ground that tailor's case not long ago before the if it were passed its provisions should Courts in which as much as 50 per cent be made to include the Roman Catholic was charged—to recoup him for the loss clergy.
he sustained by waiting so long for his SIR GABRIEL GOLDNEY said, he money. He heard the other day of a was in error in stating that the Bill had man owing as much as £14,000 to his been introduced in Committee of the fruiterer. The lower class, though Whole House. It had, however, been affected in a lesser degree, suffered a brought in in a perfectly regular way, good deal from the "tally” system. On in accordance with the precedent set the whole, therefore, the Bill would, no in Horne Tooke's case. He would only doubt, be of great public advantage. add that if the Bill were read a second Tradesmen, as a rule, he believed, would time he should be prepared to refer it welcome it, though he was not surprised to a Select Committee, by whom the to hear that it had been condemned by various suggestions made for its amend some of the West End tradesmen, who, ment might be considered. He should having a wealthy clientèle, were inalso be prepared to introduce a clause terested in keeping up the long-credit providing that any clergyman taking system with its attendant surcharges,
denizmi aithful There
Even to West End tradesmen, however, make the Bill compulsory ; it would
Motion made, and Question proposed,
" That the Bill be now read a second seldom paid for necessaries on the spot. time.”
—(Lord Randolph Churchill.) The long-credit system was peculiarly English. It was, at all events, quite THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir unknown in France and America, the HENRY JAMES) said, no doubt, the subprincipal commercial rivals of England, ject was an interesting and important the ready-money system obtaining al- one. He entirely agreed with the noble most entirely in those countries. Finan- Lord the Member for Woodstock with cially, English society at the present respect to the evils of long credit; but time was in a very unhealthy state, and the question was whether the Bill which the habit which so many people had of he had now introduced would have the living beyond their incomes was greatly effect he had in view. Under the Bill, stimulated by the long-credit system. the tradesman would not be able to As minor evils of this system, it would refuse credit altogether; but he wouldbe within the knowledge of many hon. except in cases of special debts exceedMembers that young at the ing £100—be able to give credit for 12 Universities ran themselves head over months, and recover the amount within ears into debt, and that people who were that time. The consequence would be not careful with their receipts were not that although the credit would be limited unfrequently made to pay a bill twice or from six years to 12 months, they would thrice over. He was aware that there not diminish the number of times during was another Bill before the House on which credit was given. They would the same subjectthe Limitation of put a
weapon into the tradesman's Actions Bill which had come down power of being able to give the credit
, from the Lords in the name of Earl and of having the excuse to enforce Cairns. But that Bill applied to all payment within 12 months. The Bill, debts, no matter of what amount, and therefore, would not abolish the evils of did not limit credit to less than three the credit system; on the contrary, its years. He thought that in the case of effect would be, in some measure, to ag. large commercial transactions inter- gravate them by giving a kind of legislaference of this kind would produce great tive sanction to credit in the case of the embarrassment. Hence he had re- smaller transactions of life, and by pro, stricted his own Bill to debts incurred ducing a crop of summonses at the end on account of necessaries, for which a of every year.
Besides, the foolish year's credit seemed ample. It would undergraduates and dressy women, to be well, of course, to allow some interval whom the noble Lord the Member for to elapse before it passed into law, so Woodstock had referred, would be that tradesmen might prepare for it; | tempted to raise their bills to more but a period of commercial depression than £100, so as to escape the limitalike the present was, perhaps, the most tion of credit proposed in the Bill. There favourable for securing the public ac- was a Bill before the House, sent down ceptance of its provisions. People, he from the House of Lords, which had believed, would welcome any legislation been introduced by Lord Cairns, and which promised to enable them to bring had received the approval of the Lord their expenses within their diminished in- Chancellor, reducing the limit for special comes, and which would place the coun- debts to six years, and for simple contry at large in a sounder financial condi- tract debts to three years. To that Bill
, tion. Of course, he did not propose to which would obviate the evils attending
Lord Randolph Churchill
the present Bill, the Government were greatest advantage, and when it preprepared to give their assent; and it vented working men from falling into would be perfectly open to the noble a state of absolute destitution. He did Lord the Member for Woodstock, when not think this measure was wanted. The that Bill came into Committee, to move period of limitation was at present six Amendments embodying his present pro. years; and even, as the law now stood, posals.
the Judges did not look with favour on Sir R. ASSHETON CROSS saw the any person who pleaded the Statute. In hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Bass) in conclusion, he moved that the Bill be his place, and he wished to state publicly read a second time that day six months. that he had considerably changed his MR. BIGGAR seconded the Motion. opinion on the subject of imprisonment There were, he said, several objections for debt since they both sat on the Select to the Bill, and the chief one was that Committee on that subject a few years it did not apply to either Ireland or ago. Without pledging himself to any Scotland. There ought to be a providefinite measure, he should like to see sion in it to prevent Irish landlords rean alteration of the existing law, pro- covering their rack rents when a year in vided that some provision was inserted arrear. As it stood, it would be so much preventing the fraudulent contracting of waste paper. If, too, it were framed in debts. He thanked the noble Lord for such a way as to prevent shopkeepers having brought the subject under the charging frightful prices for articles of notice of the House ; but, speaking for household use, it might be of avail, and the Friends with whom he usually acted, should have his support. Under all the he preferred the Bill of Earl Cairns, circumstances the measure was unworthy which, he thought, would secure the of the consideration of the House, and advantages which the noble Lord desired he hoped the Motion of the hon. Memwithout the inconveniences which would ber for Brighton (Mr. Marriott) would attend the present measure. We hoped be accepted. the noble Lord would agree to the post
Amendment proposed, to leave out ponement of the further discussion of the word “now," and at the end of the this measure until Earl Cairns' Bill was Question to add the words “ upou this brought forward for consideration.
day six months.”—(Ur. Marriott.) MR. MARRIOTT said, he had put an Amendment on the Paper that the Bill
Question proposed, “ That the word should be read on that day six months,
'now' stand part of the Question.” and he did not feel inclined to withdraw MR. BROADHURST thought the it after what had been said from the two House was much indebted to the noble Front Benches. He did full justice to Lord the Member for Woodstock for inthe intentions of the noble Lord, but troducing this question. It was a misobjected to the principle of the Bill. take to suppose that the working classes The chief argument against the Bill was did not want the Bill. At the annual that it was not wanted. The shop meeting of the Trades' Unions Congress, keepers had made no demand for the which represented more than 1,000,000 measuro; on the contrary, they were of our organized working people, a deopposed to it. If, as the noble Lord mand had been made for a number of contended, co-operation had been caused years past for a measure of this kind. by the high prices charged by shop- Credit such as this Bill was designed to keepers, why not let co-operation bring I limit was the bane of the life of the down the prices of West End tradesmen? working classes. It was not natural The noble Lord had also said that ininors credit, but artificial and false credit, and wives could run up bills without the from which they suffered, and from knowledge of their guardians or hus- which the Bill would relieve them. He bands; but, in point of fact, the law also thought the noble Lord had rendered took good care that neither guardians another service in eliciting from the Atnor husbands were charged too much. torney General and the late Home SeNo people would be so much affected cretary their strong language in support by this Bill as the working classes. He of the abolition of imprisonment for was well aware that credit had many : debt. evils, and that it might be abused; but Sir EARDLEY WILMOT said, he there were times when it was of the should not have risen at that late period