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to seize perfons conspiring against the State, has been given to his Majesty's Government, I have uniformly thought it a mcafure, the policy of which could only be justified by ex. treme neceflity, and that in degree and duration it ought to be commenfurate with such neceffity. Wi.h respect to fuch pariicular measure I mean first to propose, and I assure the House I do it with reluctance, it is for the purpose, according to the title of the bill, of suppressing rebellion, and protecting the persons and property of his Majesty's faiihful futjects in Ireland. The means by which this purpofe is to be effected are, that wherever persons thall be found in a cual rebellion, power thall be given to the Lord Lieutenant to direct that courts martial (hall be called for their immediate trial. Ler ir be recollected, that if the threat of our insolent and implacable enemy should be carried into execution, there would exist in his Majesty, by virtue of his royal prerogative, a power to proclaim martial law throughout his dominions. But what is inartial law? It is not that which I with the Lord Lieutenant should be authorised to put in force, but it is that fyftem which fufpends the ordinary course of justice, and substitutes martial law for the law of the land. Now, Si:, what I wish is, to give a power to the Lord Lieutenant that shall not distu b the ordinary administration of justice, but by which, for the purpose of suppressing rebellion, those who are taken in arms against the Government thall be liuble to be tried by a mili'ary court.. Let it be recollected, I repeat, that this is thort of the power which might be granred, it his Majesty thoughi proper io exercise his prerogative, and that I recommend ihe measure under a molt perfect convic. tion of its neceflity. Sir, I should content myself with this, were it not for a consideration neceliary to be explained, in crder that it may not appear that I am proposing measures of unnecessary rigour, for such they would be if they were beyond the public exigency. It ihe House should adopt the motion for the bill I have stared, I shall follow it up with a motion for the suspension of the habeas corpus act. I may be asked, what is my reason for having recourse to such second measures? I answer, that under this bill for the fuppression of rebellion, a power would be given to the Lord Lieutenant to try all persons taken in rebellion by courts martial. Now, Sir, I do not wish' to consign to trial by couris martial all wbom the Government may think it ne cessary to derain. I wish not to lose the benefit of civil proe cess. If a bill for the suspension of the habeas corpus act


was not to pass, Government would be obliged to take up every one found in rebellion, and adopt the course laid down in the bill for suppreiling insurrection. This bill, therefore, is meant to qualify the rigour of the other bill, by providing that persons may be commired by civil process, without any court mariial. I mean to rest this bill on the grounds I have mentioned. · Having itared the grounds of boils these measures, I must advert io che hands in which such extraordinary powers will be placed. Sir, during the last two years, I have the faisfaction, arising from public and personal consideration, of staring, thai noi a breath has been uttered, or a word spoken, which has called in question the moderation, wisdom, and firmness of the Government of Ireland. Under circumstances of the utmost difficuliy, the conduct of Lord Hardwicke has been marked with no less moderation ihan pruz dence. linmediately after the signing of the peace, when the bill for martial law was in force, and when he was end couraged by the limid, and urged by many enlightened men, to have recourse to it, you know that Lord Hardwicke laid it aside, and refused to exercise the powers and authori'ies The bill gave himn. Immediately upon signing che reary of Amiens, Lord Hardwicke thought the danger the bill provided against did not exist, and he de ermined to give tot e people the benefit of the established forms of the country. Sir, Yince that period, a great character has prelided over the law departmeni, who once adorned ihe chair of ihe House. Of that nobleman, I will not say a word of eu'rgy. There is upon the subject of his great qualities but one opinion in this country. I lay then, that Lord Hardwicke, in addition to his own opinion, diciated by his good fenfc, has had the ad. vice of that great person with regard to the conduct he thought it wise to adopt. We have therefore a freth pledge of the dispolition of the Irish Government to adhere to the genuine principles of the Irish conftitution. In such hands as there, great powers may be placed without any fufpicion of their being abused. I have heard lared, what appears 10 me strong doctrines with respect to the proceedings. I can only fay, that such doctrines are perfectly new to me, ihough much of my time has been passed in attending to che torms of ihe Houle. The doctrines applied to a proceeding merely formal. I was surprised, therefore, when I heard a deciararion from such a quarter, that it was the practice on extraordinary occasions to defer returning an answer to a 4 Y 2

Muflage Message from his Majesty on the same day. I admit the olservation might apply with some degree of force to the proceeding Bow before the House. To a mere formal proceeding, fuch a doctrine would apply, but it never has been admitted that, on great and important occasions, it was necessary to interpose delay, merely with reference to proceedi.


of form. The observation of the hon. Gentleman is inapplicable, because it is premature ; unless this was a case of he utmoft necefTiry. I feel that I Mould not be war. ransed in calling upon the House to dispense with the ordi.. nary forms; but when that hon. Genileman was a Member of his Majeity's Government, he will recollect, for his memory cannot have failed, that the bill for the suspension of the habeas corpus act passed this House in the course of one day, and consequently it is to a similar species of dispatch that his observations founded on precipitation apply. If the mea ures I have proposed are fit io be adopted, they onght to be adopted immediately or not at all. I speak not my own sen'iments, but of those great men, on the fober exercise of whofe judgment the House may rely. You know that they have uniformly discouraged every proposition of this nature. Within these few days they have yielded, and in their conviation of the absolute necessity of the measure, every Member of his Majesty's Government participates. I should therefore hope, that, without fettering, in any degree, the discullions of the House, without implying a with that it flrould be understood the conduct of his Majesty's Government is screened by any proceedings of the House ; I only ask of the House not to expose the public interest to any danger from any want of confidence. It is upon this part of ihe question the conduct of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Windham) forms a contrast with that of some other Members, and particularly of the hon. Gentleman oppofite me (Mr. Cheridan). It has been the prominent feature of that Gentleman's conduct, that in times of public danger he has laid aside all party feeling, and has sacrificed all personal oppofition at ihe shrine of public duty. At the period of the mutiny (I am forry to let the word go out of my mouth) at the time of a threatened invasion, at the dread of a famine, upon the question of the Norihern convention, and upon every other occasion where his talents could be of service to biis country, he has never failed to come forward. What Wis the language he held ? It was this-" The vessel is in danger, the crew must go to the pump, let us save the thip and

bring her captain to account after the danger is over. Let us, in case of invasion, consider not who is the Minister, but who is the enemy.” This, Sir, was his language, and it stamps immortal honour upon him. I have differed from, him upon many political points ; I have not the happiness of being intimately acquainted with him, but I admire and venerate his conduct. I with those by whom he has been attacked would give us the benefit of so good and noble an example. I move, Sir, for leave to bring in a bill, for the suppression of rebellion in Ireland, and for the protection of the persons and property of his Majesty's faithful subjects there.

Mr. Windham said, he wilhed to suggest the real situation in which the House was placed. Whether the measure was right or wrong, he should not attempt to pronounce. He must take it on the representation and knowledge of his Majesty's Ministers, who themselves had taken it from the representation and knowledge of others. He thought it a measure too strong to be taken on the authority of such in. formation. As the question stood, martial law was to be established in Ireland, because the sight hon. Gentleman, for reasons which he could not declare, told the House it was necessary. From this circumstance he might derive a jufrification of what he said before, for every twenty-four hours might bring something. It would be desirable that some further information should be given. All that was known was, that an insurreclion had broken out in the country. It was á circumstance worthy of reflection, that the persons on whose authority they were to rely for the neces. sity of the meature proposed, were the very Ministers by whom the last acts had been repealed. It was very remarkable, that they who, ak no very distant period, repealed the acts, Thould now defire the House to renew them. When the House was not allowed a moment to deliberate, it na. turally created doubt. Perhaps it was the repeal of the acts that hadcreated the necessity for renewing of them. The hon. Gentleman proceeded in a state of irony to observe upon the eulogiums of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Sheridan in favour of each other.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in explanation, stated, that the Government of Ireland had not replaled the acts after the peace, but had suffered them to expire.

Mr. Sheridan said he was not insensible of the eulogium, of which the right hon. Gentleman (Ms. Windham) re

piinded part

minded him, but was highly flattered by it. The right hon. Gentleman, on a former occasion, had said something of his (Mr. Sheridan's) speaking at one side of the House: the right hen. Gentleman, however, had, he believed, himself been upon all fides of the House. Firat, he fat on the bench near him, then crosted the House and fat as long as he would he allowed upon the treasury bench ; then, by a dia opal movement, hic crossed the House, is the bench where he now Sat, and where he was pretty likely to continue (loud laughier). The right hon. Gentleman (continued Mr. Sheridan) has talked of eulogies, but he cannot charge me with being much in the habit of complimenting Ministers, not even himself or his colleagues in office ; neither can he charge me with calling the present Ministers by opprobrious names-fuch as fil:hy dow'as, and afterwards wrapping myself in a skire of thai dowlas. On whatever side of the argument I may have spoken in this House, I defy, and challenge the right hon, Gentleman, and those with whom he acts, to point out in my political life a single act of inconsistency. I never deserted a private friend, a political connection, or sensiment ; nor did I ever regret a vote I gave in this House but one, and that was for the indemnity of the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues in office. It is certain that I have, on many occasions, given my support to his Majesty's present Minifters; but it was because I thought they acted like honest men, 10 the best of their opinions and abilivies, for ihe good of their country. So long as they continue to act fo, they shall have my feeble support to the best of my power ; but it shall be perfedly independent, and perfectly disinterested; and equally regardless of censure or praile from the right hon Gentleman, or his colleagues in or out of office. I thall continue to act as I always have done with the best of my zeal for my King and country: that country which I believe, from the bottom of my soul, contains within it the best, the worthieft, and the happiest communi!y on the face of this globe!

Mr. Hawthorn supported the motion, because he thought the measure would be productive of most falutary effects in the hands of that illustrious nobleman now at the head of the Government in Ireland, whose condu&t he had long witnessed with admiration, and which, he was convinced, was calculated to conciliate the affections, and better the condition of the people of Ireland ; and which he believed it had done in a very considerable degree, particularly in that

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