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Crown livings also, in the interval between the two periods, would be filled up on the same principles. To assist in the reorganization of the Church, and to favour the creation of a body which could negotiate on behalf of the Church with the Commissioners, the Convention Act, which prevented the assembling of the clergy and laity of the Church, would be at once repealed; and power would be taken to the Queen in Council to recognize any governing body which the clergy and laity of the Disestablished Church might agree on, and which actually represented both; and that body would be incorporated. Assuming that by January 1, 1871, or some other date to be substituted in the Bill, this governing body would have been constituted, Mr. Gladstone spent more than an hour in explaining the complicated details of the arrangements for dealing with the Church and its property in its disestablished condition. And first he explained how vested interests would be met. A vested interest he defined to be the title of an incumbent (including in this term Bishops and dignitaries as well as beneficed clergy) to receive a certain annuity out of the property of the Church (fees, pew-rents, &c., being put out of the question) in consideration of the performance of a certain duty. The Commissioners would ascertain the amount of each incumbent's income, deducting what he paid for curates; and so long as he continued to discharge his duties, that income would be paid him; but he might apply to have this commuted into an annuity for life. It was not proposed to interfere compulsorily with the position of the incumbent in relation to his freehold or the incidents of his landlordship, with three exceptions that his title to the tithe rent-charge would be vested immediately in the Commissioners; that the freehold of churches wholly in ruins would be taken from the incumbent; and that the peerage rights of the Irish Bishops would cease at once. The compensation to curates would be of two kinds. What Mr. Gladstone called "transitory curates" would be dealt with on a principle borrowed from the Civil Service Superannuation Act, and would be dismissed with a gratuity; but permanent curates-i. e. those who have been employed in the same parish from January 1, 1869, to January 1, 1871, or have left their employment not from their own free will or misconduct-would be entitled to compensation on the same principle as the incumbents. Mr. Gladstone was also careful to point out that this would be paid by the incumbents. Private endowments would not be touched; and these Mr. Gladstone said would be the only "marketable property" conveyed to the Church. But he limited the term to money contributed from private sources since the year 1660, and pointed out that it would not include churches and glebe houses. As to churches, wherever the "governing body" made an application, accompanied by a declaration that they meant either to maintain the church for public worship, or to remove it to some more convenient position, it would be handed over to them; but in the case of St. Patrick's Cathedral, and about a dozen other churches partaking of the character of national

memorials, the Commissioners would be empowered to allot a moderate sum for their maintenance. Churches not in use, and not capable of being restored for purposes of worship, would be handed over to the Board of Works, with an allocation of funds sufficient for their maintenance. On the knotty point of glebe houses Mr. Gladstone said he had seen reason to modify his views of last year. They were not marketable property, for though an expenditure on them of 1,200,000l. could be traced distinctly, their annual value was only 18,6007., and there was a quarter of a million of building charges on them which the State would have to pay on coming into possession. It was therefore proposed to hand over the glebe houses to the governing body on their paying the building charges, and they would be allowed to purchase a certain amount of glebe land round the houses at a fair valuation. The burial grounds adjacent to churches would go with the churches, all existing rights being preserved, and other burial grounds would be handed over to the guardians of the poor. Passing to the mode in which he proposed to deal with the Regium Donum and the Maynooth Grant, amounting together to about 70,0007., Mr. Gladstone said that the Presbyterian ministers, recipients of the Regium Donum, would be compensated on the same principles as the incumbents of the Disestablished Church; and in regard both to the grant to Maynooth and the grants to Presbyterian Colleges in order to give ample time for the necessary arrangements, and to avoid the sudden shock and disappointment to individuals-there would be a valuation of all the interests in these grants at 14 years' purchase of the capital amount annually voted. This portion of his speech he concluded by an elaborate explanation of a scheme for the final extinction of the tithe rent-charge in 45 years. Landlords would be allowed, if they chose, to purchase it at 22 years' purchase, and if they did not accept the offer they would come under another and a general operation. There would be a compulsory sale to them of the tithe rent-charge, at a rate which would yield 4 per cent.; and, on the other side, they would be credited with a loan at 3 per cent., payable in instalments in 45 years. The power of purchase would remain in the hands of the tenants for three years after the passing of the Act, and it was also proposed that the tenants should have a right of pre-emption of all lands sold by the Commission, and that three-fourths of the purchase-money might be left on the security of the land. The financial results of these operations Mr. Gladstone stated thus:-The tithe rent-charge would yield 9,000,0007.; lands and perpetuity rents, 6,250,000%.; money, 750,000.-total, 16,000,0007.; the present value of the property of the Irish Church. Of this the Bill would dispose of 8,650,0007., viz. :-Vested interests of incumbents, 4,900,0007.; curates, 800,0007.; lay compensation, 900,0007.; private endowments, 500,0007.; building charges, 250,000/.; commutation of Maynooth Grant and the Regium Donum, 1,100,000l., and expenses of the Commission, 200,0007. Consequently, there would

remain a surplus of between 7,000,0007. or 8,000,000Z.; and Mr. Gladstone roused the keen attention of the House by the interesting question, What shall we do with it? The indispensable conditions he held to be that the purposes to which the surplus was applied should be Irish, that they should not be religious, that they should be final, and open the door to no new controversy. He discussed at length the various suggestions which had been made, dismissing them all as impossible or radically wrong; and, after keeping the House some time in suspense, he announced, quoting the words of the Preamble of the Bill, that the Government had concluded to apply the surplus to the relief of "unavoidable calamities and suffering" not provided for by the Poor Law. Proceeding to details, he allocated 185,000l. to lunatic asylums, 20,000l. a year to idiot asylums, 30,000l. to training schools for the deaf, dumb, and blind, 15,000l. a year to the training of nurses, 10,000l. to reformatories, and 51,000l. to county infirmaries in all 311,000l. a year. Mr. Gladstone concluded his speech with an eloquent peroration, in which he summed up the conclusions, and declared the principles on which the Ministerial scheme had been framed. "I believe," said the right hon. gentleman, "I have now gone through the chief of the almost endless arrangements, and I have laid as well as I am able the plans of the Government before the Committee. I will not venture to anticipate the judgment of the Committee, but I trust the Committee will be of opinion it is a plan at any rate loyal to the expectations we held out on a former occasion, and loyal to the people of England who believed our promises. I hope also the members of the Committee may think that the best pains we could give have been applied in order to develope and mature the measure, and I say that with great submission to the judgment of gentlemen on this and on the other side of the House. It is a subject of legislation so exceedingly complex and varied that I have no doubt there must be errors, there must be omissions, and there may be many possible improvements; and we shall welcome from every side, quite irrespective of differences of opinion on the outlines of the measure, suggestions which, when those outlines are decided upon, may tend to secure a more beneficial application of these funds to the welfare of the people of Ireland. I trust, Sir, that although its operation be stringent, and although we have not thought it either politic or allowable to attempt to diminish its stringency by making it incomplete, the spirit towards the Church of Ireland as a religious communion in which this measure has been considered and prepared by my colleagues and myself has not been a spirit of unkindness. Perhaps at this time it would be too much to expect to obtain full credit for any declaration of that kind. We are undoubtedly asking an educated, highly respected, and generally pious and zealous body of clergymen to undergo a great transition; we are asking a powerful and intelligent minority of the laity in Ireland, in connexion with the Established Church, to abate a great part of the

exceptional privileges they have enjoyed; but I do not feel that in making this demand upon them we are seeking to inflict an injury. I do not believe they are exclusively or even mainly responsible for the errors of English policy towards Ireland; I am quite certain that in many vital respects they have suffered by it; I believe that the free air they will breathe under a system of equality and justice, giving scope for the development of their great energies, with all the powers of property and intelligence they will bring to bear, will make that Ireland which they love a country for them not less enviable and not less beloved in the future than it has been in th past. As respects the Church, I admit it is a case almost without exception. I don't know in what country so great a change, so great a transition has been proposed for the ministers of a religious communion who have enjoyed for many ages the preferred position of an Established Church. I can well understand that to many in the Irish Establishment such a change appears to be nothing less than ruin and destruction; from the height on which they now stand the future is to them an abyss, and their fears recall the words used in "King Lear" when Edgar endeavours to persuade Gloster that he has fallen over the cliffs of Dover, and says,

"Ten masts at each make not the altitude

Which thou hast perpendicularly fell:
Thy life's a miracle!'

-an era

And yet but a little while after the old man is relieved from his delusion, and finds he has not fallen at all. So I trust that when, instead of the fictitious and adventitious aid on which we have too long taught the Irish Establishment to lean, it should come to place its trust in its own resources, in its own great mission, in all that it can draw from the energy of its ministers and its members, and the high hopes and promises of the Gospel that it teaches, it will find that it has entered upon a new era of existencebright with hope and potent for good. At any rate, I think the day has certainly come when an end is finally to be put to that union, not between the Church and religious association, but between the Establishment and the State, which was commenced under circumstances little auspicious, and has endured to be a source of unhappiness to Ireland, and of discredit and scandal to England. This measure is in every sense a great measure-great in its principles, great in the multitude of its dry, technical, but interesting detail, and great as a testing measure; for it will show for one and all of us of what metal we are made. Upon us all it brings a great responsibility. We upon this bench are especially chargeable-nay, deeply guilty-if we have either dishonestly or even prematurely or unwisely challenged so gigantic an issue. I know well the punishments that follow rashness in public affairs, and that ought to fall upon those men, those Phaetons of politics, who, with hands unequal to the task, attempt to guide the chariot of the sun. But the responsibility passes beyond us, and rests

on every man who has to take part in the discussion and decision upon this Bill. Every man approaches the discussion under the most solemn obligations to raise the level of his vision and expand its scope in proportion with the greatness of the matter in hand. The working of our Constitutional Government itself is upon its trial, for I do not believe there ever was a time when the wheels of legislative machinery were set in motion under conditions of peace and order and constitutional regularity to deal with a question greater or more profound. And more especially, Sir, is the credit and fame of this great Assembly involved; this Assembly which has inherited through many ages the accumulated honours of brilliant triumphs, of peaceful but courageous legislation, is now called upon to address itself to a task which would, indeed, have demanded all the best energies of the very best among your fathers and your ancestors. I believe it will prove to be worthy of the task. Should it fail, even the fame of the House of Commons will suffer disparagement; should it succeed, even that fame, I venture to say, will receive no small, no insensible addition. I must not ask gentlemen opposite to concur in this view, emboldened as I am by the kindness they have shown me in listening with patience to a statement which could not have been other than tedious; but I pray them to bear with me for a moment while, for myself and my colleagues, I say we are sanguine of the issue. We believe, and for my part I am deeply convinced, that when the final consummation shall arrive, and when the words are spoken that shall give the force of law to the work embodied in this measure -the work of peace and justice-those words will be echoed upon every shore where the name of Ireland or the name of Great Britain has been heard, and the answer to them will come back in the approving shout of civilized mankind." The right hon. gentleman concluded by moving for leave to bring in a Bill.

Mr. Gladstone's speech occupied rather more than three hours in the delivery, and however much opinions might differ as to the merits of his scheme, there was but one opinion as to the ability displayed in its exposition. A more masterly or luminous statement of a very complicated case has rarely been made. The arrangement was so skilful, and the order of the various topics so admirably marshalled, that the scheme of the Ministry was made intelligible without any painful effort of attention to all who heard it. It was received with vehement acclamations of applause by his supporters on the Ministerial side of the House.

Upon his resuming his seat, Mr. Disraeli immediately rose, and after passing a warm eulogy on the speech just delivered, not one word of which could be spared, said his opinion, and the opinion of those who acted with him, remained unchanged, that disestablishment was a political error, and disendowment-especially when accompanied by secularization-mere and sheer confiscation. Under ordinary circumstances he should have opposed the introduction of the Bill, but, looking to the verdict of the country at the

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