Abbildungen der Seite

P. 68.]

tinuance of Arkwright's patent, this fabric respects with the manufactures of this was subject to a heavy charge on that country ?* account; but though such exclusive pri- The statement as to the woollen goods vilege did not exist in Ireland, no English made in Great Britain, would lead an money was ever employed to fit up his inattentive person to suppose that this machinery there.” (Mr. Foster's Speech, manufacture was almost entirely confined

to Yorkshire. That county, or rather a You will perceive how much stress circuit within that county, of not more is laid, in tliis enumeration of difficul- than ten miles every way, is called its ties, on the circumstance of fuel. But “old and great settlement." [Mr. Foslet us not take it for granted, either that ter's Speech, p. 69.] But the fact is, cheapness of fuel is so indispensable a that the trade there is confined chiefly to requisite to cheapness of manufacture, the coarser kind of cloths, while the prineven in the instances in question, as that cipal seat of the manufactory of fine cloths, it may not be compensated for by other as well as of the light and fancy woollen circumstances; or that abundance of coal goods, is in a part of England where coals is a benefit which nature has so absolutely are much dearer than in a great many parts denied to Ireland as seems in this part of of Ireland, namely at Bradford, Trowbridge the argument to have been assumed.- and Chippenham. The real case as to Take the case of iron: I am informed the Irish woollen trade is, that Ireland that some of the articles made of that works up all the wool she produces, though metal which require the greatest con- she now only exports to the value of about sumption of coals, for example anchors, | 12,5001. yearly, instead of 110,2071. her are manufactured in this metropolis, where export of that article a century ago, and fuel is, I believe, dearer than in almost she receives from this country to the anany other part of the kingdom. Labour nual amount of 580,7231. This is no is also dearer here than in most of the other longer owing to the restrictive condition sea-port towns, to which those anchors of a compact long ago at an end; nor are to be sent. Yet other circumstances does it appear that the goods of this mahaving occasioned the employment of the terial which she does make, are dearer or capital, and the cultivation of the skill necessarily so than those she imports necessary for that business in this place, from hence, the quality of each being it seems that it can be carried on, on the considered ;- we are told the true reason ; whole, to more advantage here than where it is, “that agriculture and the linen manuboth coals and labour are much cheaper. facture are found to give better profit in The importance of the cheapness of fuel land than sleep afforded " [Mr. Foster's to the manufacturing of other commodi- | Speech, p. 72.]; a reason which, no ties made of iron, is much over-rated; it doubt, as to that manufacture, will conis certainly a very material circumstance tinue to operate, whatever may

become in regard to coarser articles; but it will of the present duties upon it, in its transit be found, by consulting the proper docu- either from Ireland to this country, or from ments, that four.fifths of the goods made hence to Ireland.-In the cotton business of iron, which are annually exported from I understand the consumption of coals is, Great Britain to Ireland and other parts of comparatively speaking, very inconsiderthe world, consist of goods in the manufac

* I am informed that the city of Leige any perceptible effect: the principal value affords a striking example of the small relaof those goods is derived from the skill labour, to the success of the most valuable and labour of the artisan; but labour is manufactures in iron. That city had been also dearer in the places where they for many ages noted for those manufactures; made, chiefly Birmingham and Sheffield coals may be dug almost at the very gates than in most parts of the world. The of the town, and at a very trifling expense, as only advantage therefore Great Britain the veins are to be found within a few feet possesses as to such articles, arises from of the surface, and there is hardly any part the superior skill, expertness, and ce.

of the continent where provisions are cheaper lerity of the workman. But with the and more abundant ; yet Birmingham and

Sheffield now undersell Leige in those very encouragement which a new state of

manufactures for which she had been long things would hold out to the Irish

so famous, with the exception of a very few manufactures, is it to be doubted that articles, at the rate of not less than 15 to 25 they will attain to an equality in those per cent. (VOL. XXXIV.)

[3 L]

able. Fuel is not more abundant now in been always ready and liberal in furnishing England than it was 25 years ago; yet public aid to works promising to prove of during that period the quantity of cotton public benefit. But experience has long wool manufactured in Great Britain has shown that public money, even to proincreased from three to near thirty mil- fusion, will not perform the functions of lions of pounds. The importation of the private capital, the utter deficiency of raw material is alike open to Ireland; which appears to have occasioned the that country abounds in weavers; and I failure of every undertaking hitherto am told the workman who is in the prac- formed for completing the works necestice of weaving linen, is capable, with sary to furnish the metropolis and country little or no previous instruction or practice, of Ireland with this valuable commodity of becoming an expert weaver of plain from her own mines. After all, while cottons. What, then, is the real cause coals brought coastwise from one part of of her paying to this country more than England to another, exclusive of London, 100,0001. a year for cotton goods manu- are subject to a duty of somewhat more factured here? what but the want of that | than 58. 9d. per chaldron, and if to Loncapital which alone excites the iudustry don, of no less than 98. 5d. ; when exand attention, and thereby improves the ported to Ireland, they pay but ls. 9d. in skill of the workman, furnishes the means Great Britain ; and, if for the use of the of dividing labour, which diminishes its manufactories, no Irish duty; and an incost beyond any difference a difference exhaustible supply from Wales, Whitein the amount which wages and expense haven, and the west of Scotland, is open of living can ever occasion, and enables to the whole extent of the eastern shores the opulent trader to give long credit, of Ireland. In regard to the flint and support accidental losses, and thrive under clay used in the pottery wares, that Eng. a much smaller profit than is requisite to land is far from possessing such great others less fortunate in that respect, who natural advantages over Ireland as has might attempt to become his rivals. been supposed. The late Mr. Wedgwood,

But, does Great Britain possess such on his examination before this and the advantages over Ireland in respect of fuel other House of parliament, when the as has been supposed !--Many coal-mines Irish propositions were depending, stated, exist, and are worked in Ireland [Mr. that some of the flints used in this manuFoster's Speech, p. 88, and Mr. Beaufort's facture are brought from the Irish shore, Memoir, p. 27]; and I believe in many being picked up from the ballast of Irish parts of it the veins are rich and exten- vessels discharged at Liverpool ; and that sive. Mr. Evans, engineer to the Grand the finer clay is procured on the coast of Canal, in his evidence laid before the Irish England, and can be shipped at 6 or 78. House of Commons in 1783, said, “ That per ton; but that from the additional the Kilkenny collieries, if properly worked, charge of the inland carriage, it costs were capable of producing 300,000 tons when it reaches Staffordshire from 1l. 16s. of culm yearly; that this might be carried to 21. 2s. His conclusion was, that if the by the canal, and sold at the distance of propositions had been adopted, Ireland forty miles for 1s. 6d. per barrel of 4 cwt.; might have undersold Great Britain in that there were collieries at Lough Allen, pottery goods 40 or 50 per cent. equal in quantity, if properly worked, to To show that British capital will not, the supply of the whole kingdom, and in in consequence of a legislative union, be quality equal, if not superior, to the best vested, or British credit pledged, either in Whitehaven coals." There are seams of the establishment of new Irish manufaccoal at Drumglass and Dungannon tures for foreign markets, or in the farther [Young's Tour, vol. 2, p. 91,], said to cultivation and extension of the existing be of such thickness and goodness as to linen trade of that country, the reasoning be more than equal to six times the con- drawn from the experience of what has sumption of Dublin ; and those collieries happened while there was no such union, are within a few miles of a canal by which proceeds on a direct petitio principii, on a water communication is already open to the assumption that such union will neither that city, and every other part of Ireland. furnish invitations which cannot be exWhat has been the real cause that those pected, nor remove obstacles which canmines have not hitherto been turned to not be done away, by any other means. account? Not the want of encourage- Indeed, the great staple commodity of ment from the Irish parliament: they have Ireland, her linen, is even now much more.


indebted to British credit than, from the bloodshed which has deluged our sister statements I have referred to, would be kingdom, charged to the recall of a resupposed. It may be true that, in a strict spectable and amiable nobleman from the sense, British capital has not settled” lord lieutenancy in 1795. Is it, then, be (to any extent) in Ireland, that is, that lieved, that all would have been well if persons from this kingdom have not re- lord Fitzwilliam had been left to govern moved with large capitals to reside in Ireland, on the principles which he had that country for the purpose of carrying been advised, or was resolved to adopt? on a traffic in Irish linens. But is it a Is it thought that the disciples of Tone, correct inference from thence, that British , whose political gospel was framed and money has had no influence in promoting promulgated years before the appointment the fabric of those linens? I' have the of that chief governor, would have been

best reason to believe, that in general satisfied with his intended grant of Catholie the linen manufacturers and merchants in emancipation, and his intended refusal of Ireland, in order to be able to carry on parliamentary reform? Sir, we have detheir business, find it necessary to draw on monstrative proof that the concession of the agent or factor here to whom their both would not have satisfied them. That consignments are made, immediately after preacher of revolution, and his disciples, the goods are shipped, for about two were to be satisfied with nothing that his thirds of the amount of their value, al majesty's government, or his parliament, though a very considerable part of those could give; they were to be satisfied only goods often remain on the hands of such by the establishment of a democratic reconsignee for six or nine months, and he public with a Gallo-Hibernian Directory; is afterwards frequently obliged to con- while the imaginations of their mad and tinue still longer out of his money by the deluded followers were inflamed-not with credit he is expected to give to the pur- considerations of religion or legislaturechasers.

of this or that set of dogmas-or this or Sir, the security and advancement of that form and right of election-but with trade and manufactures are unquestionably a rage for the invasion of property; the matters of great national concern; but I abolition of tithes and even rent, on the can never look upon them as the chief, true French plan, without compensation much less as the exclusive objects of or equivalent; the extinction of all law, government. I am satisfied Ireland would civil and criminal !-Others admit that gain by a union with Great Britain ad- the misfortunes of Ireland are not solely vantages much more important; general imputable to the recall of lord Camden's civilization ; settled habits of morality and predecessor, or to what I believe they true religion, in the room of the blind modestly and charitably denominate the superstition and fanatical rage, now too weak and wicked policy of his majesty's commonly to be found among the different present ministers. They are willing to sects in that country; a uniform submis- allow that former administrations, for a sion to law; and that which is essential to long course of years, are entitled to their the attainment of those great ends, the share in the blame. In truth, Sir, if the mitigation and gradual extinction of the servants of the crown, at different periods, spirit of disturbance, insurrection, devas- were answerable for those inveterate and tation, plunder and massacre, which has ever-recurring disorders of that country prevailed among the Irish peasantry with which have prevailed during their respec more or less violence, but almost without tive administrations, not one could be intermission, as far back as we can trace exculpated. of all those who have at any their authentic history. I own I have been time had a share in the government of the often astonished to find men of sense and empire, from the days of Burleigh, Bacon, information imputing this melancholy con- and Walsingham, down to those of their dition of society in Ireland, to this or the present successors in the responsible deother measure, or system of this or the partments of the state; neither lord Strafother ministry of the present reigo; a ford, a name not free, perhaps, from just reign, too, which has been distinguished reproach, but illustrious also for talents by a continued series of acts of lenity and virtues, to which his descendant, the and beneficence to that country. But I noble earl I have mentioned, must look was particularly surprised, upon a late back with satisfaction and pride; nor lord occasion, to hear all the miseries and dis- Clarendon, the dukes of Ormond, lord cord we have lately witnessed, all the Somers, lord Cowper, sir Robert Walpole, Mr. Pelham, &c. &c. any more than those | ment will be unacquainted, it seems, with whom we ourselves have known at different the local circumstances of a kingdom times entrusted by his present majesty " which it never sees,” and will be at too with the conduct of public affairs. But do great a distance to administer in time to gentlemen seriously believe that all the the wants or wishes of the people, or to successive measures of so many great, guard against excesses or discontents enlightened, and liberal statesmen, have [Mr. Foster's Speech, p. 65.]. One been inspired by blind ignorance, tyran- might suppose from this statement, that nical oppression, or infatuated folly Sir, the Irish parliament is in a continual proI cannot agree in such a lampoon, both on gress through the island, or ready to fly the memory of so many great men whom at a moment from one end of it to the I have learned to reverence and admire, other, whenever wishes are to be gratified, and on the general principles and practice or discontents suppressed. Does the of the English government for more than British legislature, in its aggregate state, two centuries. I believe every thing which ever see more of Great Britain than is wise and impartial policy could suggest contained within the walls of this or the has, at different times, been tried, and, other House of parliament; or is it not alas ! tried in vain, during that long pe- the province of the executive ministers of riod; though it cannot be denied that government, not of the legislature, on occasions have also intervened, where sudden emergencies, to dispense instant passion, prejudice, and short-sighted favours or apply instant coercion, if the maxims of government have prevailed. good of the community shall require the But, on the whole, the unavoidable con- one sort of interposition or the other ; clusion is this to adopt the words of one subject, no doubt, to the censure of the of the learned barristers to whom I re- legislature, if they shall unnecessarily on ferred in an early part of what I have sub- such occasions transgress, but entitled to mitted to the House, as I have seen them indemnity if they shall appear to have reported." There is some radical error acted wisely, in exceeding the bounds of in the system of Irish government, and their lawful authority ?Since," as bas this should be sought for and corrected, been truly said, “neither peace nor war else the seeds of discontent will fructify necessarily require the act of either legisfor ever.” The gentleman, indeed, seems lature,” [Mr. Foster's Speech, p. 53], to have meant a radical error, not in the and the supreme executive government frame and constitution, but in the admi. in London is, by the constitution of the nistration of the Irish government. That empire, entrusted with the care of repelopinion, I have, I think, clearly refuted. ling any sudden and unexpected invasion To what remaining source, then, are we even of Ireland, by a foreign enemy, one to trace this fundamental defect, whose would imagine that branches of that exeexistence is so manifest? To what other cutive government which will continue can it be traced, but to the imperfections resident in Dublin, might be supposed incident to a local and distinct parliament, adequate to whatever immediate measures in a country forming but part, and the any emergency alike sudden and unexleast powerful part, of an extensive em- pected may call for, towards the supprespire; to that parliament which, though sion of riots, insurrection, or rebellion often, and now I believe particularly, con in that country. I am most willing and Laining in it men of as much talents and ready to allow extraordinary merit to the integrity as can exist any where, has yet, energy of the Irish parliament during the after the experience of ages, been found late fatal rebellion, which the concurrent inadequate to provide an effectual remedy exertions of both legislatures, of the for the bitherto incurable maladies of the executive government of both countries, country?

and, above all, of the brave troops of Permit me, Sir, here to advert to cer- Ireland and Great Britain, under the betain arguments I have lately met with, to nign Providence of God, have so fortuprove that it cannot be expected that an nately repressed, though I fear, not toincorporated legislature, assembled at tally extinguished; but I should think it Westininster, should be able to tranquil an ill compliment to the Irish parliament Jize Ireland, or gradually establish civili and the Irish nation, were I to suppose zation and a peaceable submission to the that the distinguished share they have had authority of the laws among the lower in the happy change which has been ef, order of its inhabitants. Such a parlia- fected, could be in any great degree as,

[ocr errors]

cribed to the impression made by a pro- brated Answer to Mr. Grattan-that Cacession of 200 members of that parlia. tholic emancipation, as it is affectedly ment, with the mace at their head, through called, might, in case of the legislative the streets of Dublin, from College Green incorporation of Ereland with this country, to the Castle [Mr. Foster's Speech, p, be acceded to without danger. The words 66]. It seems this idea of a resident le. of Dr. Duigenan are remarkable: as the gislature is to be carried so far as to war. passage is short, I will take the liberty of rant the supposition, that if Scotland had reading it:~" If we were one people with had its parliament sitting at Edinburgh, the British nation, the preponderance of the conspiracy which has been traced to the Protestant body of the whole empire that country, would have been sooner de would be so great, that all rivalship and veloped, and more completely crushed. jealousies between Protestants and RoIs it then recommended that the Scotch manists would cease for ever; and it would union should be dissolved? Or is the not be necessary, for the safety of the emparliament in London only competent to pire at large, to curb the Romanists by preserve tranquillity on the south side of any exclusive laws whatsoever."-If the the Tweed ? It is asked, if a resident Catholics should not be admitted into the parliament and resident gentry cannot united parliament, still they will not then soften the manners, amend the habits, or have to complain that they are excluded promote social intercourse, will no par. by a great minority of the nation; nor liament and fewer resident gentry do it will they be any longer exposed to that [Mr. Foster's Speech, p. 64]? 'I an- sense of a mortifying and galling infeswer this by another question, Has what riority, which they say it is the habit, is called a resident parliament done it? which I fear it is in the nature, of their It has not: it is not pretended that it has. local legislature to excite, acted upon and

It has been said, Will a legislative union stirred up to perpetual exertions of severe appease Catholic discontent, or assuage authority, by the jealousy and apprehenthe animosity of the Protestants ? I an- sions to which the struggles of the Cathoswer, I am satisfied the separate parlia- lics continually give rise. ment of Ireland never will, perhaps with We have seen the invalidity of the reasafety it never can, admit the Catholics sons by which some of the supposed disto participate in the higher political privi- advantages to Ireland, likely to arise from leges of the state; and the Catholics will the assembling of the common legislature never quietly submit to an Irish parliament out of that island, and at the metropolis exclusively protestant, having learned to of the empire, have been attempted to be consider that exclusive jurisdiction as an proved. Another of those supposed disoppressive tyrannical usurpation of the advantages remains to be noticed. It is few upon the many. Perhaps a united said, the present state of things keeps the parliament may find it safe to admit them; purse of the Irish nation in the honest and if their admission were safe, their ex- hands of an Irish parliament; and that if clusion would thenceforward be unjust. I a number inferior to those chosen by Great will not now enter into the argument of Britain shall be sent from Ireland to a that grave and momentous question. I united legislature, they will carry this have often and long reflected upon it; purse over, and, laying it at the minisand, if the occasion shall ever require it, ter's feet, deliver it up to his full power I shall be ready freely to deliver my senti- and uncontrolled discretion. [Mr. Fosments in regard to it. I do not think the ter's Speech, p. 58.] The strict ecopresent occasion calls for its discussion. I nomy of the Irish parliament, and its pruI will only observe, that it seems to be dent resistance to the calls of the executhe opinion, as well of some of those who tive government for pecuniary supplies, best understand the interests of the Pro- however just its claim to that praise, will testant establishment, and are most pecu- not, I believe, be admitted by the majo. liarly bound in duty to guard and maintain rity of those who have opposed a union. them, as of some who have come forward But has any body ever supposed that York, in public the earnest and zealous opposers Bristol, and Liverpool, or Limerick, Cork, of the Catholic claims, should the present and Waterford, have run a greater risk local parliament remain-of the venerable than Westminster and Dublin, in confiding primate of Ireland, as declared in his the power of their purse to parliaments speech on the 22nd of January last, and assembled in those last-mentioned cities ? of Dr. Duigenan, as stated in his cele- Suppose a partner in a mercantile house,

« ZurückWeiter »