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that which, in the hands of those who spend less than their income, escapes contribution altogether. Laying aside the proud idea of the vigour, permanence, and renewing energy which this measure secures, there is one case which, with a view to that class who are really willing to save for the benefit of those for whom they are bound to provide, makes some modification. It is in favour of those who have recourse to that easy, certain, and advantageous mode of providing for their families by insuring their lives. In this bill, as in the assessed taxes, a deduction is allowed for what is paid on this account.
Such is the general view of the merits of this important question. It is one which has engaged much of my serious attention, and I am far from presuming that it has already attained the perfection of whịch it is capable. The inequalities objected to it are not peculiar to its nature; they arise from our social state itself, and the correction of that order we cannot, as we ought not, attempt to alter. It would be a presumptuous attempt to derange the order of society, which would terminate in producing confusion, havock, and destruction, and with a derangement of property, terminate in the overthrow of civilized life,
The motion for the further consideration of the report was carried ;
The House, pursuant to the order of the day, proceeded to take into consideration the following message from his Majesty relative to an Union between Great Britain and Ireland :
« GEORGE R. “ His Majesty is persuaded that the unremitting industry with which our enemies persevere in their avowed design of effecting the separation of Ireland from this kingdom, cannot fail to engage the particular attention of parliament; and his Majesty recommends it to this house to consider of the most effectual means of counteracting and finally defeating this design ; and he trusts that a review of all the circumstances which have recently occurred (joined to the sentiment of mutual affection and common interest), will dis. pose the parliament of both kingdoms to provide, in the manner which they shall judge most expedient, for settling such complete and final adjustment as may best tend to improve and perpetuate a connexion essential for their comnon security, and to augment and consolidate the strength, power, and res sources of the British empire.
G. R." After an address in the usual form had been moved by Mr. Dundas, and an amendment upon it by Mr. Sheridan entreating his Majesty not to listen to the counsel of those who should advise an Union of the legislatures of the two kingdoms under the existing circumstances of the empire,
Mr. Pitt rose :
SIR,--Considering the manner in which this subject has been agitated, I feel that I ought to make an 'apology to the house for creating any delay in the determination of a point, upon which I really think much difference of opinion cannot subsist; I mean upon the vote to be given on the question which is now before us.
But as this point, clear as in itself I take it to be, is connected with others on which depends the best interest of the whole of the British empire, I must ask the indulgence of the house, while I advert to the general principle of the subject which is now before us. It is far from being my intention to do now, what indeed could not now be regularly attempted, and what hereafter it will be my duty to do-I mean, to lay before this house a detailed particular of a plan, the spirit of which is only alluded to in general terms in the gracious communication from the throne to this house ; that is what I shall have the honour of doing hereafter : the matter for the discussion of the house at this moment is comprised in the original motion of my right honourable friend,* and the amendment proposed by the right honourable gentleman.t
The address proposed in answer to the message, pledges the house to nothing more than that of assuring his Majesty, that you will take into your serious consideratiqu a subject which is recommended to your care, and which is highly interesting to the welfare of the British empire. The amendment of the hou
* Mr. Sheridan,
nourable gentleman calls upon you at once to declare, you will not deliberate upon the matter. The honourable gentleman produced one argument only in support of the conclusion he calls upon you to w, and which he says he has established. He said, near the end of his speech, that which, if it were true, would indeed establish his conclusion. He has told you, that you have no legitimate power of making your deliberations effectual. He has told you, without much argument, what no other person has hitherto told this house in this house, but what has been told it and the public, upon whom by the way it is intended in the first instance to operate, in pamphlets and various other publications which are daily ushered forth in this country and in Ireland, that you have no legitimate power to determine upon this measure. The honourable gentleman adopts that doctrine.' He has taken upon himself to deny the right of the parliament of either kingdom to deterajine upon this matter. I say the right of the parliament of either, for he cannot make any distinction between the two. If the parliament of Ireland has no just power or legitimate authority without the immediate instruction, not of its constituents merely, but of the people of Ireland in the mass -I say, if the parliament of Ireland has not any legitimate authority to determine upon this subject without the instructions of the people at large, as little has the parliament of England such authority--as little had the parliament of Scotland that authority-as little had the parliament of England and Scotland that authority when they agreed upon the ' union between the two kingdoms-an union under which has grown up and flourished
he prosperity of both ; under which the laws of both have been improved; under which property has been protected; under wbich has been cherished a principle of cordial co-operation, which has led to the happiness of GreatBritain, and has rendered it the envy, and, I trust, will make it the protection of surrounding nations. You sit in that chair, Sir-I stand here before you-the honourable gentleman himself * addressed you this night, called upon this house to entertain a debate, without any right whatever; we are all totally destitute
of legitimate authority, if the honourable gentleman is right in the principle be contended for this night upon this part of the subject. Indeed if he be right in that principle, you have no parliament in England possessed of legal and just authority at this hour; there is no act which you have performed for the last ninety years, however well intended, or however effectual for the happiness of the people of Great Britain, that can be said to be legitimate or legal.
I know not what ideas the honourable gentleman may enter. : tain, or what aid he expects, or what aid he will find ready to be given to his doctrine, that “parliament is not competent to the discussion of this subject." I know it leads immediately to the system of universal right of suffrage in the people ; to the doctrine, that each man should have an actual share in the government of the country, by having a choice for bis representative; and then goes back to the whole system of jacobinism, which I thought had been pretty nearly exploded as soon as it came to be pretty well understood all over Europe. I say, if the honourable gentleman avows this, then, but not till then, will his argument upon this head of the subject be intelligible and consistent; for without this, the whole of what he said upon the matter will be quite obscure, if not altogether without a meaning. The honourable gentleman, I believe, is not in his heart any advocate for any such doctrine; and yet to this length his argument leads, or there is an end of that part of the topic he brought before you. If you deny the competence of parliament which fully and freely represents all the people of this country (and bere let it be remembered that I am using no language of my own, but am following the approved language of our ancestors), there is an end of all your authority, not in this point only, but in every other point. Now, let us see how this will apply to the argument of the honourable gentleman in the rest of his speech to-night. He complains that a question is agitated, and an address is moved upon this subject. The address is moved, as I said yesterday in this house it was intended to be moved, and it involves a question upon which I thought
there would be no opposition.- Why? Because the detail of the matter would not now be brought forward. That is reserved for another opportunity ; and however necessary the measure may be, and I ain convinced it is, yet I know it has, and must have its difficulties. I know it is liable, necessarily liable, to a thousand difficulties, because subject to a thousand prejudices and partial objections; to sentiments hastily conceived by some, and eagerly adopted by others, to local and confined views, to personal affections, and to a multitude of impediments, which, however firm our own opinions may be of the indispensable necessity of the measure for the happiness, and even the security of the British empire, yet have induced his Majesty's ministers not to enter upon the detail at this moment. Upon these topics, therefore, I shall decline for the present entering upon any explanation, But although I do not think it right to detail the subject at this moment, and although I may have that honour at another time, yet I must say that the honourablé gentleman's complaint against surprise is extremely ill founded. I think that if any complaint could fairly be urged against us upon that subject, it would be that we have shewn perhaps too much caution against surprise; and although, for the reasons I have alleged already) I shall decline at present entering upon any detail of the plan which is intended to be submitted to parliament, I must be allowed to answer the objections of the honourable gentleman. Here then let me again observe, that after a mes. sage comes from the throne, recommending in substance an union between the two kingdoms, nothing in the first instance is proposed but a general address, pledging the house to nothing more than that it will take the subject into serious consideration. A day is stated, on which the outline of the plan to be submitted to parliament is to be opened, that is the general principle of the measure,
The discussion is further to be postponed, nor is it proposed that parliament shall be called upon to determine upon it until after due time has been taken for ample deliberation, I should have thought the honourable gentleman himself would