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books—and the correct result appears to quished in Ireland, and the subjects there me to be as follows:- Restrictive taxes should turn their industry and skill to the had been laid so far back as the period of settling and improving the linen manufacthe Edwards, on the importation of woollen ture, for which generally the lands of goods into this kingdom, whether from that kingdom were very proper, they Ireland, or any other country beyond should receive all favour, countenance,
But not to go back to any earlier and protection, from his royal influence, period than the Restoration, by the act for the encouragement and promoting of of 12 Car. 2, chap. 4, s. 1, 8s. 6d. per the "said linen manufacture to all the adyard were imposed on all woollen cloths, vantage and profit that kingdom could be and ls. 3d. on woollen stuffs imported into capable of (9th June 1698)." The EngEngland. These last mentioned duties lish Commons, in like manner, had imhave never been repealed. They have, plored the king to “make it his royal indeed, been increased to 1l. 178. 5d. per care to discourage the woollen, and enyard on cloth, and 5s. 6d. on stuffs, by courage the linen manufactures in Ireland, the operation of new and general subsidies, to which they said they should always be affecting them in common with all other ready to give their utmost assistance (30th articles of importation. But the duty of June 1698).” And, the king, in answer, 8s. 6d. per yard alone amounted, and had said, “ I will do all that in me lies to would of itself still amount, to an entire discourage the woollen manufacture in prohibition. Thus stood the law at the Ireland, and encourage the linen manuperiod when the supposed bargain took facture there (2nd July 1698)." place. The House will see that England It was after this that the Irish act I did not then want the concurrence of have just mentioned passed. The English Ireland, nor had any occasion to purchase laws at that time, as to Irish linen, stood that concurrence by any concession on thus: by the 7th and 8th W. 3, c. 39, her part, in order to exclude Irish woollens Irish linen was made importable into Engfrom her own home market. But, it seems, land duty free; but a new subsidy of 5 the English legislature and government of per cent on all goods imported, having that time thought it good policy to listen been granted in the year after to continue to the representations made by the Eng. till the 1st Feb. 1699, without any exceplish manufacturers, of the danger their tion as to Irish linen, that article became staple trade was exposed to from the liable to this new duty: and from the competition of the Irish in foreign coun- state of the war in 1698, it was probable tries. The Irish parliament, on the other that this subsidy would be renewed, as it hand, seem to have been satisfied, that it accordingly was from time to time, and was upon the whole for the interest of continued for the life of queen Anne; it their country, to obtain the favour and may therefore be conjectured that the protection of England to her linen manu- great wish of Ireland, as to her linen factures, which had been even then car. trade, then was, a restoration to the exried to a considerable height, by an ami. emption granted by the first-mentioned cable understanding, and the relinquish act, so as again to open a free market for ment of that hostile competition in the her linens in England. This was not obwoollen business abroad, which had occa- tained during the remainder of William's sioned so much ill-humour on this side of reign; but by 1st Anne, stat. 2, c. 8, the the water. Accordingly, they passed a importation of Irish linen into this counlaw, in the 10th of W. 3rd, imposing an try, duty free, was restored, and that has ad valorem duty of 4s. in the pound on all continued to be the law ever since. Is it broad cloth, and 2s. on serges, baize, &c. not therefore probable that Ireland was exported from Ireland to any part of the satisfied with this freedom of importing world. This amounted, in effect, to a her linen goods, exempt from duty, into prohibition; but no act was passed in Great Britain At least the case cerEngland on the occasion, to check or tainly stands so on the face of the acts prohibit the exportation of English linens. of parliament. The Irish act which was Will it be said, Ireland had reason to ex. only temporary, expired in 1702, and pect such a law to pass ? Where is the was not renewed; but a very strong, and evidence of this? The English House of certainly harsh act, and not temporary, Lords, in an address to the throne, had, was passed in England (10th and 11th indeed, pressed the king to declare, Will. 3, c. 10,), totally prohibiting the " that if the woollen tra were relin- exportation of Irish woollens to any fo. reign country. The power of the English Irish parliament; the extinction of which parliament to make such a law was at that takes away a security we have found adetime strenuously insisted upon in this quate, and leaves it without the protection country, and, if not acknowledged, at of its natural guardians."* According to least acquiesced under in Ireland; so that the same address we are to believe, it this last-mentioned statute did in effect seems, that as the compact in 1698 was prevent the export to all foreign parts of and is the security for the linen trade of Irish woollen cloths. While this conti- | Ireland with Great Britain, so the more oued to be the case, it might have been solemn and important compact of 1782, unjust, and a breach of faith in England not only supplied a new guarantee to that or Great Britain to impose any duty which security, by confirming to the former the might have cramped or injured the expor- birthright of a sole and independent partation of Irish linens, either to this or to liament, but also, by the same means, foreign countries; but that has been so far roused a new spirit of exertion in the from being done, even to this day, that, traders and manufacturers in general of on the contrary, besides the continuation that kingdom, while a legislative union of the free import, various British acts would at once destroy the independence have given the same bounties to Irish as of the parliament, because it would be no to British linens exported from hence; longer solely Irish, extinguish the spirit and by the imposition of a heavy tax on which had been awakened, and remove foreign linens brought into Great Britain, every safeguard of permanence to whatshe gives in that respect also an equal ever advantages it might hold out as a premium to the Irish as to her own manu. temptation to those weak and deluded facture.
persons who might ignorantly form any But does the condition on the part of opinion in its favour. Ireland still continue ? Is her part of the Much has been said and written on the supposed compact still in force? and did subject of that transaction of 1782. It she, when Great Britain renounced the appears to me chiefly of importance now, claim to bind her by her statutes, renew, in as far as it may afford evidence of what by any law of her own, the prohibition the opinions were which eminent statesof the exportation of her woollens ? men on both sides of the water then enQuite the contrary. Before the boasted tertained, many of whom must be still æra of her independency, in 1779 and anxious to have those opinions rightly 1780, she had wisely, boldly, and suc- understood. But, if their present senticessfully addressed to the British governments correspond with what they formerly ment and parliament her complaint, that thought, this uniformity will be a strong this restriction was injurious to the indus- argument in favour of those sentiments, try and prosperity of her people; and by and in that point of view, it becomes certhe British act of 20th Geo. 3rd, c. 6, thc tainly a matter of public concern also, to statute of Wm. 3rd was repealed, and a ascertain what they were. Whatever they free exportation of her woollens allowed were, however, they are not binding upon from Ireland to all foreign places. It is them; much less upon us, or upon either the natural, obvious, and just observation the Irish or British parliament. Nay, no of a writer on this subject, that “ This act of either parliament at that time would law, of course, put an end to the com- be binding on those of the present day; pact between England and Ireland, re- and, therefore, had each legislature sepaspecting the woollen and linen manufac- rately declared that they meant the artures.” This country has, indeed, still rangement, then made, to be such a final continued her encouragement to the Irish adjustment of all relations between the two linen trade, the free entry into Great countries, as that no nearer connexion, Britain, and the bounties on exportation no legislative union in a word, should ever from thence; but she has done so without be formed between them, that declaration any tie, contract, or other obligation, but would not be obligatory now, nor stand what the general principles of good policy in the way of the two present legislatures may impose. One is therefore a good concluding such a union. But I think I deal surprised to read, in Mr. Foster's can prove, that nothing which appears on Address to the Freeholders of the County the records, or usual reports of the proof Lowth, the following words:-" If the Jinen manufacture rests at all on any com- * Continuation of Anderson's History pact, that compact was made with the of Commerce, v. 4, p. 287.
ceedings in parliament, or on the face of it came to the resolution, and voted the the thing, shows that either party meant, address. I say they clearly were. What on that occasion, to shut out in future all is the argument triumphantly pressed to question of union, but quite otherwise ; show the contrary? Why, that the resothat the progressive improvement in the lution and address were voted before the trade, manufactures, and general pros- bill for repealing the Declaratory act of perity of Ireland since, has not been George Ist, and renouncing the claint to owing to that transaction; that this pros bind Ireland, was presented. [Mr. Fosperity is not secured by it; that it de- ter's Speech, p.19.] Surely, Sir, this is pends, in a very principal degree, on the a strange fallacy. policy and wisdom of Great Britain ; and The minister of the day, when he moved that the only certain safeguard of its per- the two resolutions, is stated to have in. manence would be found in that very troduced them by a speech, mentioning measure, which it is pretended would have the four grievances of Ireland, the claim the contrary effect.
of legislation, Poyning's act, the Mutiny There were four grievances then stated bill, and the appellate jurisdiction. on the part of Ireland: one and the prin first, he said, was to be redressed here, cipal of which was the claim of the British the others by acts to which the lord lieuparliament to a legislative power over that tenant was to be instructed to give the kingdom. The messages from the throne royal assent in Ireland; and after having to both parliaments (9th and 16th April, explained this clearly and forcibly, he pro1782) mentioned “ the king's concern to ceeded to express himself to the following find that discontents and jealousies were effect :- " That Ireland could have no prevailing on matters of great weight and reason to complain; the terms acceded to importance; and recommended that the by England were proposed by herself; same should be taken into consideration, the manner of redress had been prescribed in order to such a final adjustment as might by herself, and all her wishes would now give mutual satisfaction to both king. be gratified in the way which she herself doms.” The addresses of the Irish House liked best; but as it was possible, that if specified the four grievances, “ as the nothing more was to be done, than what principal causes of the present discontent he had stated to be his intention, Ireland and jealousy" of that country. The only might, perhaps, think of fresh grievances, one of the four which a British act could and rise yearly in her demands, it was fit redress, was the claim of legislation. On and proper that something should be now the 17th May, a resolution was come to done towards establishing, on a firm and in this House, that the act asserting that solid basis, the future connexion of the claim should be repealed, and immediately two kingdoms. But that was not to be afterwards another, declaring it to be “in proposed by him here in parliament; it dispensable to the interests of both king would be the duty of the Crown to look doms, that the connexion between them to that; the business might be first begun should be established by mutual consent by his majesty's servants in Ireland; and on a solid and permanent basis.” This it afterwards it should be necessary to enlast resolution, and the address by which ter into a treaty, commissioners might be it was communicated to his majesiy, have sent from the British parliament, or from given rise to a great deal of ingenious the Crown, to enter upon it, and bring cavil and chicane. The right hon. gentle- the negotiation to a happy issue, by givman who moved the present resolutions, ing mutual satisfaction to both countries, in mentioning that address of 1782, had and establishing a treaty which should be expressed what he had endeavoured to sanctioned by the most solemn forms of prove to be its true import and meaning, the constitutions of both."* After readviz." that his majesty would take farther ing this, can it be seriously argued that no measures to strengthen the connexion be- ulterior, no farther measures, were then tween the two countries;" on which it in his contemplation and in that of the has been remarked, with a hypercritical ministry, whose organ he was, and of nicety, that the word “ farther,” is not which he formed so eminent a part? in the address. Neither, I believe, is the This difficulty scems, indeed, to have word “strengthen.” But the point is, been a little felt, and therefore another whether the meaning was not, that mea method is attempted of reconciling to sures ulterior to those then proposed were in the contemplation of the House when * See Mr. Tox's Speech, Vol. xxiii. p. 20. (VOL. XXXIV.)
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what really then passed, the idea that all nual mutiny act in Ireland ever since ? political or constitutional arrangements Has Poyning's law; has the appellate juwere meant by the parties to this business risdiction of this country been restored ? of 1782 to be finally closed, so as that Secondly, a hope, somewhat too sanguine this country could never, with good faith, perhaps, that no question on constitutional agitate in future, or propose to Ireland for points would any longer exist between the her consideration and voluntary adoption two nations. This hope the Irish house or rejection, any thing of that sort. "The of commons expressed in the form of an fact,” we are told, “scenis to be, that the assertion, which it would seem his maresolution, in respect to future measures, jesty was no farther advised to adopt than had commerce only in view.” [Mr. Fos- by declaring the pleasure it gave him to ter's speech, p. 21.] But, Sir, what does find they entertained that belief. But the same minister say on that point? He does it follow from thence, that either is stated to have declared in this House, parliament meant to preclude themselves in 1785, " That, no idea of a commercial from treating together on any measures regulation had been entertained by the which the king might recommend, or they administration of 1782, in proposing the think beneficial to both countries ? By resolution in question."** After the duke the phrase "constitutional questions which of Portland communicated the two reso. might interrupt their harmony:" was lutions of 1782 to the Irish House of Com- clearly meant disputes and claims on the mons, [27th May], and informed them one part or the other : not proposals from also of the king's disposition to give his the one to the other, or from the soveassent to bills to be passed there for re- reign to both, which either might approve dressing the other grievances, they assure or reject as they saw fit. Such is the his majesty, in a new address, “ That, gra- present proposal, which I therefore think tified in those particulars no constitutional they never meant to bind themselves not question between the two nations will any to entertain ; which they could not exlonger exist, which can interrupt their clude us, their successors in both kingharmony. In the answer to this, the doms, from entertaining; which in my king told them " that this declaration was conscience I believe many of the wisest very pleasing to him.” At the close of and best men in both then hoped might, the session, the Commons say to the lord some time or other, be brought forward lieutenant, “ We shall have seen this great with success; which the second resolution national arrangement (the sole and exclu- I have mentioned, as come to by this sive right of legislation in that parliament) House, and received with satisfaction in established on a basis which secures the Ireland, seems in some degree to sugtranquillity of Ireland, and unites the af- gest; and which, when I recollect the refections as well as interests of both king- ports I have read and heard of the minisdoms." Lastly, his grace, in his speech ter's speech who moved those resolutions, on the
prorogation, says, “ Convince the I can never cease thinking his mind was people in your several districts, as you full of on the occasion, till I shall learn yourselves are convinced, that every cause that he himself has declared the contrary. of past jealousies and discontents is finally Is it to be taken for granted, that the imremoved; that both countries have pledged provement beyond example which the their good faith to each other; and that trade, manufactures, and wealth of the their best security will be, an inviolable people of Ireland are said to have expeadherence to that compact: convince them rienced during the last sixteen or seventhat the two kingdoms are now one, in- teen years, must be ascribed to the renundissolubly connected in unity of constitu- ciation by this country of the claim to letion and unity of interests.”
gislate for them? It seems very difficult Now, I must confess I cannot see any to see how a mere pegative act of that thing in all this but the expression of, first, sort could possibly have such an effect. an opinion that the past causes of discon- Had the British legislature, by its usurped tent and jealousy were then finally re- authority over that country, for many moved ; and what has happened to prove years previous to that time, interfered that they were not ? Has the parliament with the internal or external commerce of Great Britain renewed her claim to of Ireland ? Had the Irish parliament bind Ireland ? Has there not been an an. been restrained from regulating and en
couraging that commerce (the export * See Mr. Fua's Speech, vol. 25. p. 966. woollen trade excepted) in the way they
might think most likely to promote its | years before the export of linen and yarn increase ? Or did the abolition of the ap- was only about 500,0001.: but that it was peal to the British House of Lords produce then from 1,200,0001. to 1,500,0001 ;" * a new influx of British capital into Ire that is, it had been nearly trebled in that land? The great points gained by Ire- time. By the same proportion and proland from this country as to commerce gress, if only the same causes which then have, I believe, hitherto been considered existed, and had produced the great spirit to have been the fruit of those several mentioned by lord chief baron Foster, had acts of the British parliament in 1779 and continued to operate, this export would, 1780 (19 Geo. 3, c. 35 and 37, and 20 in six or seven years lience, amount to Geo. 3, c. 6, 10 and 18) of which one four millions and a half. Now, Sir, with has been already observed upon, and all the supposed assistance it has derived which first opened to her a general free- from the transaction of 1782, when a fair dom of trade, not only with the rest of account is taken, it will not be found to the world, but with our American and have gone on increasing in that ratio. The West India colonies, the best mart for her annual rated value of Irish exports of commodities as well as ours. And if the every sort to all parts of the world, of advantages then obtained have been far- which provisions made probably more ther improved by the permission to trade than one third, is stated from the official with those colonies in every respect on accounts of that country, on an average the same footing as Great Britain does, of the three years ending on the 25th of which was granted in 1793 (33 Geo. 3, March 1798, to have been in Irish money c. 63); was the British act of that year, only 4,642,779). I own, therefore, I giving such permission, a consequence think it much more reasonable that we of what has been called the emancipa- should ascribe the growing improvement tion of Ireland ?
of Ireland in the chief article of her ma. But, Sir, I think some here must know, nufacture to the spirit which began in and many may recollect to have heard, 1750, and appears to have continued in that Ireland was growing fast in industry, full force during the interval between that enterprise, manufactures, trade and agri- time and the date of Mr. Young's tour, culture, long before either the acknow. than either to a new spirit said to have ledgment of her independence, or the been roused by the arrangement of 1782, grant of what was called a free trade. In an arrangement which had no direct condeed, I believe it will be found, whatever nexion with such objects, or even to the may have been the cause, that all the British act of 1780, which had. three kingdoms, and his majesty's domi- The next question is, Whether the arnions in general, have flourished with an rangement of 1782, though it may not accelerated degree of rapidity in all the have caused, does not secure the permabranches of national exertion, productive nent continuance of a flourishing comof trade and wealth, for a period of about merce to Ireland ? After what has been fifty years to be dated from the time of said, this question seems to answer itself; the general pacification of Europe by the yet we find that transaction alleged to be treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. With regard the foundation of such security, and which to Ireland, besides general memory, I it is supposed a union would entirely might appeal to the weighty testimony take away. Did the acts of the 22 Geo. recorded by Mr. Arthur Young, of the 3, c. 53, and 23 Geo. 3, c. 28, while they late lord chief baron Foster, in whose renounced all powers in this parliament family an enlightened attention to politi- to make laws to bind Ireland, impose any cal economy and the sources of national indissoluble restraint on Great Britain, as prosperity seems to be hereditary. In to the repeal of whatever British statutes Mr. Young's account of a visit he paid to might then exist, or might in future be that learned person during his tour through enacted, of a nature beneficial to that Ireland in 1776, he says he gave him a country? We have seen in part the envariety of information relative to the state couragement the Irish linen trade derives of that country uncommonly valuable, from mere British laws; and it might here and among other things mentions his be a proper time to take a more general having told him, “ that Ireland was more and connected view of all the commercial improved in the last twenty years than advantages Ireland enjoys, both in that in a century before ; that the great spirit began in 1749 and 1750; that thirty Young's Tour in Ireland, vol, i, p. 153.