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been disappointed to a great degree. It was said by a great and eminent character, that he pirjed that man who would endeavour to aggravate the crime of treason. That crime, however, must be felt to be highly aggravated by the circumstances of the present moment, when the whole body of the people of this country appear to be united, and co-operating with Government in the support of our glorious conftitution. Notwithstanding all that has yet happened, I am convinced that the great majority of the people in Ireland are cqually unanimous in respect to the defence of their country, are equally loyal to their King, and cqually anxious to support the present happy conftitution with those inhabiting this part of the united kingdom. The crimes of high treason must, I say, be peculiarly aggravated, when, notwithstanding all the measures which have been adopted by Government, a spirit of disaffection and disloyalıy should have been manifeft. ed in any quarter of his Majelly's dominions; and that, too, at the very moment when we are employed in planning meafures, and adopting the most prudent precautions, for the ex. press purpose of supporting our most excellent constitu'ion. Lamentable, indeed, it was, at this critical conjuncture of affairs, that any portion of his Majesty's Subjects should have been laying plans which were detrimental to the very existence of that glorious constitution under which they have lived and enjoyed so many blessings. I must view it as a circumstance deeply to be deplored, that in one part of the united kingdom, any set of men should be endeavouring even to encourage that enemy against whom we, in this part of the kingdom, are so firmly uniting, to repel from our shores, in case he thould dare to approach our country. I am perfuaded, however, that the nuinber of those who are so rebelliously disposed, even in that part of the united kingdom, is but finall, and that there is still a strong and prevalent disposition existing to oppose our mutual enemy. I shall have the honour of laying before the House, after this question is disposed of, information concerning the particular instances of insurrection contained in the proclamation issued by the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland ; but I cannot conceive that any information can be reckoned necessary to persuade the House to agree to the address which I am about to propose. I am convinced that the mind of that man who is ardently interested for the welfare and prosperity of his country must ficken with indignation and shame, on the very inention of schemes tending to the 4 U 2
fubversion of its conftitution. Parliament, I think, has a sight to expect the admiration, the thanks, and the gratitude of the whole body of the virtuous and loyal inhabitants of the united kingdom, for their activity and exertion on all fuch critical occalions, in order to restore tranquillity. In the full persuasion, therefore, that there will be no difference of opin on, I beg leave to propose,
“ That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, to return his Majesty the thanks of this House for his molt gracious message; to assure his Majesty, that we learn with the strongest feelings of regret and indignation, that a treasonable and rebellious spirit of insurrection has manifested itself in Ireland, which has been marked with circumstances of peculiar atrocity in the city of Dublin ; that his Majesty may be assured of the readiness and determination of his faithful Commons, to adopt forth with such meafures as may appear to them to be belt calculated to afford protection and security 10 his Majesty's loyal subjects in that part of the united kingdom, and to reltore and preserve general tranquillity.”— After this question has been disposed of, I shall then submit to the Houle the proclamation which has been issued in Ireland by the Lord Lieutenant.
Mr Windham said, Sir, having heard the motion which has jult now been proposed by the right hon. Gentleman, I can. not fobear exprelling my sentiments on the subject. The proposing of an address to the throne’upon the very same day on w ich his Majesty's message has been delivered, is a thing which is exceel ingly unusual in parliamentary proceedings. I think it may be reckoned respectful to the Crown, to make a small nterval of time betwixt his Majesty's message and the address which is now proposed ; because it teftifies more strongly that degree of aitention which we, his Parliament, have paid to it. It is exceedingly desirable for the House that such delay should be interposed, that they may know what answer in their wisdom seems to be most proper, The objects comprehended by this message, however, are not at present fit for mature conside ation. In the present instance, I entertain no doubt of the propriety of the House afsenting to the purpose of his Majesty's message, but there might be a question, whether or not that message really contained all thai was conformable to our feelings on the occasion? The assent which must be given to any message from the Crown, must not only express our general concurrence in the matters
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bitants; but even as to that circumstance, in our present fituation, we are not able to say yes or no. Soon after the existence of the last violent insurrection in that kingdom, we had heard reports very different indeed from those which are teftified by the present message. We were given to underftand by our Government, that every thing was perfe&ly franquil in that part of the kingdom. An hon. Officer, (Colonel Archdale) who has often distinguished himself in ihis House, not long ago observed, when converfing upon this very topis, that, without a knowledge of the local facts, it was imposible to procure accurate information as to the seal si nation of a country; but that it consisted with his knowledge that all was perfe&tly quiet in that part of his Majesty's dominions. For my part, however, l-muft confess ihat I cannot conceive it possible, except by the interference of fome miracle, that the peasants of that country, whose minds were lately so agitated, and whose hands were employed in forging pikes for the destruction of all the loyal inhabitants within their reach, should, all of a sudden, be converted into the very contrary description of men, and become perfectly loyal and peaceable subjects. In addition to these conciliatory accounts I may obferve, by way of question, how caine Government not io have been better prepared for emergencies such as the present? How comes it to pass, that the capital of that part of the united kingdom was within an ace of being taken, and the Government overturned? It appears from all these circumstances, that the Government of the country may be !na:ched away, without the least no tice being previously given to the House, as to the real existing dangers. This being the state of things, it required the greatest confideration of Parliament to know what ought to be done. The delay of even i wenty-four hours has been objected to in the presenı inslance. Nor can I determine, whether the urgency of the case can be so great as to preclude the urgency of confideration. I really think it is a little curious, that the fortifying of London, which has been a subjc&t Jately under discullion in this House, and which has been ftated by Ministers to have been in contemplation for a series of years past, especially during rumours of invafion, has to this day been delayed, but has now at this present mom nt become a matter of such extreme urgency, as not to admit of the smallest delay; within these few days indeed, of so great importance was expedition and promptitude reckoned as to fortifying London, that Ministers could not even allow
themselves time deliberately to discuss the subject in this House, so as to determine whether the top of a hill or the bottom of a valley were the most proper places for the erecsion of fortifications. Such a conduct on the part of Ministry is perfectly inconlistent. I may conclude by saying, that if this address is at present to be agreed to, it hould in my opinion be done only pro forma, and then the matter taken into consideration and deliberate discussion; it being a pradice not countenanced by the general rules of the House, to vote an immediate address to any message from his Majelty.
Mr. Sheridan said, I do not rise for the purpose either of voting for the present address, merely pro forma, nor do I rise to reply to the observations which have fallen from the right hon. Member who has just sat down ; I know that no answer becomes necessary, in the present instance, to any thing that Gentleman has said. No reply is requisite, in order to do away any argument used against the proposed measure ; for sure I am, that a cordial agreement already prevails in the House as to the motion now under discussion. As for
argument, I may fay, that the right hon. Member has urged none, and therefore I rise principally to express my astonihment that there should be a man in this House, who could think of staring the least objection, or hesitate a moment as to the propriety of adopting the proposed measure on such a presling emergency. He has stated the usual pra&ice of the House ; but, Sir, I would ask, are not even forms to give way to such an important matter as that now under discurfion? I like the scheme the better, because we are obliged to proceed in an unusual manner. He has said, that even iwenty-four hours are not of great consequence in such a case as this. I beg leave to differ most decidedly from the right hon. Gentleman as to that particular. I would wish him so reflect, what effe&t such a delay would have in Ireland. When Thousands in that country would be trembling and looking with anxiety to our present deliberations, and others perhaps at this inoment Maring the same fale as that of the unfortia nate Chief Justice in that country, who has already fallen a sacrifice to a most rebellious and audacious mob, what would the people of Ireland think, if they understood that we had adjourned for the space of ewenty-four hours ? No, let us not make the smallest delay in returning that answer which the emergency of the case requires. The right hon. Genuleman wishes to reproach Ministers for having discouraged the