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Irish parliament full security to their pro- the intervention of other persons and other perty, complete personal liberty, and a interests, obstructed that communication perfect toleration of their religion. A wise and intercourse between landlord and teand liberal policy induced the legislature nant which were equally advantageous to of this country to relax, at the same pe- both, and the community at large. The riod, the strictness of the Act of Naviga. predominance of numbers, as had been tion, and of our colonial system: and an already mentioned, was on the part of the unqualified participation of the foreign Catholics, that of property on the part of trade of Great Britain was accordingly the Protestants. The new philosophy given to his majesty's subjects in Ireland. had taught the dreadful lessoil that was Farther concessions, of a political nature, to be derived from such a disproportion : were made in the
The con- religious bigotry, for the first time came trol of the privy council under what was in aid of principles always formidable, and called Poyning's law, was abolished; and aggravated the danger arising from the the act of the 6th of George Ist, affirming physical strength of numbers, and the new the power and authority of the king, by doctrines of the Rights of Man. and with the consent of the Lords and With the particulars of the convulsion Commons of Great Britain, to make laws that had recently taken place, all were too and statutes to bind the kingdom and well acquainted. He would not now people of Ireland, was repealed. The in- enter into them, but confine himself to a dependence of the parliament of Ireland consideration of the various plans which was thus fully and completely established, had been proposed for restoring tranand, in the subsequent year, the appellant quillity to Ireland, and for perpetuating jurisdiction of the British House of Peers her connexion with Great Britain. Of from the Courts of law in that country these, Catholic emancipation, as it is cal. was done away. Without calling in ques: led ; the re-enactment of the popery laws, tion the wisdom or expediency of the in the whole, or in part; and an incorporameasures last described, it would not, he tion of the legislature of the two countries trusted, be thought disrespectful or impro. had each its separate advocates. The obper to observe, for the observation was jections to Catholic emancipation, coupled warranted by a resolution of that House, as it was, according to the general opithat, however sufficient they might be for nion of its advocates, with parliamentary the removal of the grievances of which reform, were, in the language of Mr. FosIreland then complained, they were de- ter, whose name he could not mention but fective, and incomplete for the purpose with sentiments of respect, “ that it of adjusting the relation in which the two had the tendency to give the influence to countries were thenceforward to stand, as numbers, and take it from property,
and branches of the same empire; that they to overwhelm the rights of the Protesloosened the ancient ties of connexion, tants of Ireland.” and that they substituted no others in Mr. Speaker acknowledged, that he was their place. Such a state of things might anxious for the removal of the most obpossibly have subsisted for a time, during noxious grounds of complaint against what a period of tranquillity: but it was ill. was termed the Protestant ascendancy : suited to bear the agitation of that tem- but he sought for the attainment of this pest, which soon convulsed a considerable desirable object, by no other means than part of Europe, and extended its malig- those of a legislative union : and not at nant and desolating principles to the sis- the hazard of those formidable conseter kingdom. For its influence and its quences, which Catholic emancipation, ravages it there unfortunately, found an with all that belonged to it, was, in his ample field: there were wanting in that opinion calculated to produce. Indeed, country (as he had before stated), ihose if the Catholics were true to their conlinks by which the body of the people science and their creed, the Protestant should be connected with the government : establishment must be xposed by such a there were not, in the degrge, at least, change to immediate, and, perhaps, inethat could be wished, those ties between vitable danger; and the state of the Prothe higher and the great mass of the lower testants, under such circumstances, be orders of the community which are, perhaps, rendered worse than that of the Catholics the best security for internal peace and tran during any period of the present and quillity. In many parts of the country ceding century. If actuated by interest the non-residence of proprietors, and and passion (by which he did not suppose that they were likely to be more or less to imply that the rebellion had been carried influenced than others), they could not be on by Catholics only; a supposition which supposed to possess, without exercising it, the accounts received from the seat of it, the power of recovering that property of and the characters and confessions of many which they conceived their ancestors to of the united Irishmen, would effectually have been wrongfully deprived: and if, disprove. The proposed discrimination under the present circumstances, the in- would, he was persuaded, if adopted, add conveniences arising from the discordant fuel to the flame, and create new sources proceedings of distinct legislatures have of dissension and hostility. It should, been regarded with anxiety and apprehen- besides, be observed, that many who, from sion, he could not but conceive such sen- motives of hypocrisy, or of regard to their sations would be applicable, in a far personal safety, had not given way to the stronger degree, if political power was malignant suggestions of their own minds, possessed by those, between whom, and by taking up arms against the government, the parliament of Great Britain, a greater would thereby be countenanced; whereas, variety of differences from various causes, in other parts, that had been the scene of might be supposed to arise, and on points insurrection and rebellion, the Catholic, less capable of reconciliation and adjust- who had yielded to a momentary, though ment.
an unjustifiable impulse, would, by one His hon. friend who spoke last thought rash step, be excluded for ever.
This was that it would be expedient for the parlia- not a mode, according to his opinion, of ment of Ireland to iread back some of the healing the divisions, and of establishing steps that had been taken, and to re-enact the tranquillity of Ireland: it could not the whole code of the Popery laws (the have the effect of allaying the irritation repeal of which had been the subject of of the Catholics, nor of conveying to the such general encomium and satisfaction) Protestants a greater degree of confidence against the Catholics, who did not produce and security. certificates of their peaceable and loyal Mr. Speaker then adverted to the meaconduct during the late rebellion: and to sure of 1793, by which the competency provide that those by whom such certifi- to enjoy and exercise the elective franchise cates were produced, should be admitted and to hold certain offices, was afforded to all the rigits and privileges enjoyed by to the Roman Catholics of Ireland, and Protestants; but he had also intimated to the opinion wliich had been stated consuch an opinion of the Catholics, as to cerning it, from an authority to which he leave little hope that many of them would had before referred. " For that measure,” be entitled to the benefit of such a dis- Mr. Foster had said, “that he could not tinction. That disaffection had spread thank the Irish minister, though he did widely amongst that body, could not, he for many others; for that from his soul he feared, be contested: that it had been so considered it as the prelude and certain nearly universal, as some persons had forerunner of the overthrow of the Proimagined, he thought there were solid testant establishment in Ireland "_" that grounds to deny. Many individuals of the it hazarded the Hanover succession, and yeomanry and other volunteer corps, and the connexion with Great Britain." From most of those of whom the militia regi- these opinions, he was far from dissenting; ments consisted, were of that persuasion; he had quoted them, not only to mark the and yet they had in general manifested the danger which was apprehended from the utmost degree of ardour and alacrity in re- proceedings of 1793, by a gentleman sisting the internal, as well as the foreign known to be friendly to the Protestant esenemies of their country. He was, how. tablishment, and to the connexion with ever, concerned to think that, on the part Great Britain, but for the purpose of of a large proportion of the Catholics, founding upon them an argument in favour strong prejudices against this country must of the measure in question. If the prebe confessed to exist ; but he was con- dictions of Mr. Foster were well-founded, vinced that they arose in a great degree, and he confessed that they accorded in a from the persuasion that the Protestant great degree with his own sentiments and ascendancy was principally maintained by apprehensions, he saw no means by which British connexion and British power. their accomplishment could possibly be
He said, that the proceeding which had averted, but by a legislative union, or by been recommended by his hon. friend, a renewal of the restrictions and disabili. would, if his advice was followed, appear ties which were done away by the act of 1793. Of the former measure Mr. Foster committee reported, “ That upon, due had very recently disapproved; and it consideration of the present constitution. could not therefore but be supposed, that of this kingdom, such a humble repre.. it was by the latter only that he could hope sentation be made to the queen of the state to prevent those calamities which, he was and condition thereof, as may best incline convinced, were deprecated by no one her majesty, by such proper means as to more anxiously and sincerely than by that her majesty shall seem fit, to promote such hon. gentleman himself. He would, how- an union with England as may best qualify ever, acknowledge, that if he were obliged the states of this kingdom to be represented to make an option between a recurrence there.” The proposition was not listened to so much of the system of the Popery to by the queen's ministers, and, as has laws as was repealed at that time, or to been stated by lord Clare, “it was not Catholic emancipation, coupled with par- till this attempt to unite the parliaments of liamentary reform, he should conceive that both countries had proved abortive, that he best consulted the tranquillity of Ire- the great code of the Popery laws of Ireland, and the interests of the empire at land was enacted : a code," he admitted, large, in giving the preference to the for- “ of great severity, but evidently forced mer: but that it was, in a great measure, upon the parliament by necessity." To because his objections to both were radical these authorities, and many others might, and insuperable, that he was compelled to be cited in support of them, he had the give his cordial and entire support to the utmost satisfaction in adding those of lord measue of a legislative union.
Clare, lord Carleton, lord Kilwarden, and He said, it was a satisfaction to him particularly of lord Yelverton, who had been to know that the opinion which he enter- called the Father of the Independence tained on this subject was sanctioned by of the Irish Parliament,'' but whose sengreat and respectable authorities. It could timents at this time were by no means innot be unimportant to the weight and consistent with his conduct in 1782; as it credit of such a measure, to state that it was only by the establishment of the indehad been countenanced by distinguished pendence of the parliament of Ireland, and enlightened men in the last century; that a legislative union could be the result that it had the approbation of sir Matthew of the compact between the two countries. Decker, sir William Petty, and sir Josiah Without that measure it must have been Child ; that Molineux, the friend of an aci of power on the part of Great Locke, who had incurred, as the Journals Britain. could testify, the displeasure of that To the opinions of these great and en, House, for his bold assertion of the inde- lightened men, who have proved thempendent authority of the parliament of his selves to be the true friends of Great Brinative country, anxiously wished for its tain and Ireland, by their constant endea. adoption. After having referred in his vours to encourage and promote a close publication on this subject, to many an- and intimate connexion between the two cient documents, for the purpose of prov- countries, he desired to add those entering, that, at an early period of our his- tained by Dr. M.Nevin and others, of tory, delegates from Ireland had been sent that, which (with reference to their own to the parliament of Great Britain, Mr. views and projects) they justly denomiMolineux adds-If from these records nated a fatal measure. It would be reit be concluded that the parliament of collected that these persons have declared England may bind Ireland, it must also that, on their parts, Catholic emancipabe allowed that the people of Ireland tion was a mere pretence, and that sepaought to have their representatives in ration was the real and invariable object of the parliament of England ; and this I all their hopes and all their efforts. On the believe we should be willing enough to 9th of April 1795, the committee of nine, embrace, but it is a happiness we can of which Dr. M.Nevin, Lewins, Ryan, and hardly hope for.” It was also material to others of the same description, were memsate, that in the second year of the reign í bers, assembled at the chapel in Francisof queen Anne, when, as had been said, street, Dublin, and came to the following, it had become difficult for the Protestants amongst other, resolutions: “ Resolved to keep their ground in Ireland, a com- unanimously, That we are sincerely and mittee of the House of Lords of that unalterably attached to the rights, liberties, kingdom was appointed to take into con and independence of our native country; sideration the state of the nation: and the and we pledge ourselves, collectively and
individually, to resist, even
the spirit of the unrepealed statute of emancipation, if proposed to be conceded Henry 8th, which enacts that “ the king. on the ignominious terms of acquiescence dom of Ireland is inseparably annexed to, in the fatal measure of a union with the and dependent upon, the crown of Great sister kingdom.—That the thanks of this Britain, and that whoever is king of Eng, meeting be respectfully presented to our land, is thereby ipso facto king of Ireagent, Theobald Wolfe Tone, esq. for the land." Upon every thinking mind a deep readiness with which he accompanied our impression was made by these transacdeputies to England, and the many other tions; and a very respectable gentleman, important services he has rendered to the who now holds a high office in Ireland, is Catholic body, in pursuit of emancipation reported to have said, in a debate at that -services which no gratitude can over-rate period—“ If these sentiments are to preand no remuneration can over-pay.” vail, what shall prevent us to-morrow from
It was not, however, upon authority adopting a different mutiny-bill, or disonly, much as he was inclined to respect claiming a uniformity in religion? The it, nor upon the repugnance of United unity of the executive magistrate has been Irishmen to this measure, that he was dis- well called the solitary bond of union; posed to support and recommen it. He but can it exist for a moment, if a possithought that it was calculated to avert bility remains of the two legislatures being much probable evil from both countries, discordant on this subject? Unless one and to produce positive and substantial is suffered to take the lead, the alternative advantages to both. One of the leading is obvious: with two legislatures so liable considerations in its favour was, that it to pull different ways, no authority can would in fulure preclude the inconve- govern." nience and danger, of which recent expe
His hon. friend who preceded him, aprience warrants the apprehension, arising peared, however, to be under little apprefrom the discordant determinations of se- hension upon the subject of a possible parate and independent legislatures. He difference of sentiments and conduct, in reminded the committee of the proceed the two legislatures. He thought that as ings of the Irish parliament, upon the sub- the king of Great Britain was the suject of the commercial propositions in preme executive magistrate, and there1785, and the question of the appointment fore vested with the same prerogatives in of a regent, which occurred in 1788. In both countries, it was not to be supposed the former, the sensitive jealousy of the that those embarrassments and dangers parliament of Ireland deprived that coun- would arise, which might be occasioned iry of the obvious and undisputed-advan- | by a declared difference of opinion on the tages which were held out to it, by a free subject of treaties, or on the great quesaccess to the home market of Great Bri- tions of peace or war. The Speaker said, tain; in the latter, it would be recollected he knew and respected the prerogatives of that the diversity of opinion, which oc- the crown, but he likewise knew and recurred in the two parliaments, led not only spected the privileges of the people. Of to a difference as to the extent of the these the power of the purse was the most power and authority, but as to the identity important; it was the great instrument of of the person, by whom, during the illness support and control; the check upon the of his majesty, the functions of executive abuse of power on the part of the advisers government were to be exercised. The of the crown, and the safeguard and guarsame illustrious personage was indeed dian of the interests and liberties of the nominated by both, but by one as a matter people. It would not be contended that of choice; in virtue of a supposed right this great privilege was to be borne down by the other: in one with more limited by prerogative ; and if not, it might, at a powers; in the other with powers as un- period of public emergency, be differently limited as those of the monarch himself. exercised in both countries. In one, supIt was therefore obvious that the discord- plies might be liberally granted; in the ant principles, which operated at that other, absolutely withheld; and the cojuncture, and which actually occasioned operation of the two great branches of the ihe delegation of different degrees of au. empire could never be ensured, even on thority, might also have led to the nomi- occasions in which its security and indenation of different individuals; and this at pendence were deeply and essentially in the hazard of the tranquillity and safety volved. The Speaker, however, declared, of the empire, and in direct violation of that his hopes went farther ; he thought, that if the present measure was carried | be contended that it would be possible to into effect, it would not only preclude such mention any immediate advantage to the a discordance as he bad described, but Roman Catholics of Ireland : from this that it would lead to a coincidence of assertion, however, he must beg leave to views and sentiments in the great body of dissent. The elective franchise itself, the people of both kingdoms ; that they bestowed by the parliament of Ireland would all look the same way: and that in 1793, could hardly be considered as a their feelings and opinions would inva- boon to the Roman Catholics, whom it riably recognize the same interests, the was hoped and intended to gratify: the same allies, and the same enemies. right, with the limitation annexed to it,
He must however declare, that no con- could not be exercised in most instances, sideration so forcibly impelled him to wish without some degree of violence to their for the adoption of this measure, as his opinions and their feelings: it could only conviction of the beneficial consequences be made use of for the purpose of contriwith which it would be attended to the in- buting to form a House of Commons, the ternal situation of Ireland ; his hope and whole body of which they too generally belief were, that it would lead to the re-conceived to be adverse to their interests, moval of a principal ground of animosity, and those of the individuals, to whom, from by precluding that species of contest, a coincidence in religious opinions, and which had hitherto subsisted for obtaining from other causes, they had been accus. political authority and power. Among tomed to look up with the utmost respect. the lower orders of society, he was con- Whereas the same franchise, if employed vinced that its salutary effects would be in contributing to form the representation found in that change of manners, the re- in a united parliament, might be accomsult of habitual industry, which would panied with the satisfactory reflection, necessarily be produced by the transfer of that the individual in whose behalf it was a part of the capital of Great Britain to exercised, would be mixed with those, a that country. Could it be supposed, he majority of whom were uninfluenced by would ask, that persons of opulence the prejudices which they have imputed, would be so much inclined to embark any whether on sufficient ground or otherwise part of their property from hence in the is not now to be considered, to the partrade and commerce of Ireland, if the liament and to the great body of the Proparliament of that country were still to testants in Ireland. remain distinct from, instead of being in- With respect to the expediency of ex. corporated with, that of Great Britain ? tending to the Roman Catholics of Great Of the consequences which must be pro- Britain and Ireland, in the event of such duced by such an application of part of a measure as was now in contemplation, a the wealth of this country, no doubt more ample participation of the rights of could be entertained; it would operate Protestant subjects, he would not now offer on every class of the community, and dif- an opinion'; he would, however, quote the fuse itself throughout every part of that sentiments of a person (Dr. Duigenan) kingdom : and notwithstanding what had whose good sense he admired, and whó been said of the aggravation that would would not be accused of a strong bias tobe occasioned by a legislative union to the wards the Roman Catholics of Ireland : evil arising from the non-residence of the “ It has been the opinion of very great opulent proprietors of land in that coun- and able statesmen, that a union with try, he was convinced, that whatever had England, on just and equitable terms, a tendency to give security to property would be very advantageous to Ireland, and improvement to manners would prove would contribute greatly to increase her the fallacy of such a supposition ; and that trade and her opulence, and conduce to even those wastes and fastnesses, which the strength of the empire at large; and now afford retreat to the marauder, the in any event, it could not be more prejuassassin, and the rebel, would be the dicial to the Romanists of Ireland, than scenes of cheerful labour and protected to any other class of his majesty's subjects industry, of mutual confidence and social here, but much less (if it could be at all intercourse, under the superintendance prejudicial, which I cannot admit), inasand guardianship of well-administered and much, if we were one people with the bencficent laws.
British nation, the preponderance of the It had been said, that amongst the con- Protestant body of the whole empire sequences of such a measure, it could not would be so great, that all rivalship and