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to the House a partial account, upon which they woull not endeavour to judge, because they could not judge fairiy; it was therefore impotlible that this information thould be produced withour either not being relied upon at all, or if relied upon, would conduce lo an unfair decision. The House would therefore not iequire, because it would not deterinine, upon information that was imperfect, and he cruited he had now Culisfied his hon. Friend hiintelt, that this inquiry was improper at ihe present moment. As to what was formerly done, his hon. Friend had no ground for this motion by way of reference to former proceedings. On the former occasion the House had acted on his motion for the renewal of martial Jaw in Ireland; the ground on which he urged that subject was, the preiling or immediate danger that was felt at that time, but he refted it on the foundation of a precautionary fystem. There was no argument a: that time on the subject of the production of all informa:ion in the hands of Government; the arguinent then was an argument upon the incon. venience of delay, apd Parliament thought they beit dir. charged their duty by granting that power to Government for a thort period, and leaving the matter to be afterwards reconfidered by Parliament when the time thould expire. The proclamation in Ireland declared that ircafon had appeared in the open streets of Dublin, and if Parliament believed the tact, this was a foundation for their proceeding to provide for the safety of that country by declaring martial law; for certainly, in many cases, Parliament had acted on the notoriety of an evil, without any formal or specific communication from the Executive Government; and theretore, he trusted, his hon. Friend would no longer pasfilt in censuring · Governinent for bringing forward the measure of martial law, without laying more information before Parliainent upon this occasion. Another part of the charge that day was, the criminality of the Irish Guvernment for not counteracting the meatures of the rebels. l'pon his his Lordhip laid, he begeed to be understord as not designing in impute to any one any improper views, yet he thought it was due to decorum, tha', however willing the Executive Government might be to discuss all matiers rela'ire 10 ineje condust, yet it was due to decusum, 10: ww cake it up col. laterally or accidentally, but that queftion of brir conduct thould b: made one large general question, capable of embracing the whole of that conduct. Now his honourable Friend had accused the Government of Ireland for not taking measures of precaution; he differed from his hon. Friend upon that subject. The amount of the daily guard in Dublin was very greai. As to the garrison not being ready to turn out immediately in the streets of Dublin-nothing appeared to make ihat a reasonable expectation in itself at the time : a body collected in that part of the town which was the scene of outrage, and in which unfortunately fell a venerable chasacer, whose loss was much to be deplored, but it was a thing that might have happened to any other person who had become conspicuous for his virtue, and the object of hatred to the affalsins; but if this event of the inurder of this ele. vated person in ihe open street had not happened, the insurrection would not have been considered in the serious light in which it was confidered in consequence of that event. It was a rebellion to be sure, for the men were in arms commiting a rebellious act; but they were soon dispersed; and there was no proof whatever that Dublin was not sufficiently guarded ; and he would observe, that if the hou. Gentleman made this a charge against his Majesty's Guvernment in Ireland, he would only observe that this was not the proper course to be taken for that purpose; but certainly there was nothing in ihe nature of the rebellion in Thomas-street that demanded more force than the Government brought against The rebels. There was no'proof that the arrangements made by Goerựment on that occasion were not adequate for the purpose of protecting the city. He had gone through the two points, which had been ftated against his Majesty's Government in Ireland, namely, want of information from Governmeni to the House, under the present circumstances, and negligence, in not providing against the mischief. As to the general observations inade by the hon. Gentleman, he went into much too wide a field for him to follow on the present occasion, and therefore he should decline it for the present; but as to the censure which had been cast on the Executive Governient or Parliament of Ireland, he could not, conlittentiy with the sense he had of his duty, fit filent. He considered that the Parliament of Ireland had shewn itself as jealous of public liberty as any body of men had ever been, under circumstances fimilar to theirs. He observed, that the clause which was inserted in an act of Parliament for the protection of the Magistrates who had done their duty in fupprefling the rebellion, was a very just and wife one.
In some cases there had been excess of authority, and actions were brought by persons who had suffered by such exceffes.
Juries adopted in some cases a wrong rule of decision, which was, by calling on the defendant in such actions to thew the cause of his conduct, and find a verdict against him, if he could not do fo to their satisfaction. This introduced a complication of hardhips upon magiftrates in many instances, from the very nature of the butinels in which they were engaged, from the death of winefles, and a thoufand other circumítances incident to a rebellion ; and many magitirales who had acted with the purcit love of their country, might have been ruined ; Parliament therefore enacted, ihat inftcad of calling on the detendant in such actions, in thew that he acted bona fide, the Court should call on the plaintiff 10 prove the marus animus of the defendant before a verdict ihould pass against him, and this his Lordihip maintained was an act of justice. The noble Lord then proceeded to defend the Government of Lord Camden and Lord Cornwallis in Ireland, which he fraised highly, and observed that they had been so far from being rigorous, as fume had imagined, that they were remarkable for leniny; that the miliiary power had never been employed, excepi in cafis where ihe civil power had been tried in vain: that if there could be any deteci imputed to them, it arose from 100 much disposition io lenity; but he was glad i had so happener', because in Ireland it was most effeniial that the current of pubiic opinion should go with Government, ind that could not be the case voless rigorous measures were a good deal delayed; and, speaking in the abstract, rigorous measures had been delayed too long, but, considering all circumstances, it was wise. As to outrages, there had been many in both sides, but there never was a rebelliin without them. !le had no doubt that the hon. Gentleman who brought this fubject forward was persuaded that the public interest demanded that these topics should be raked up, and all the evils of the late rebellion brought forth anew; but he differed from the hon. Gentleman on that subject. The distress of Ireland, which had been stated to have been general, was by no means the case: the statements of the distress of Ireland, as well as the difpofition to rebellion, had been very much exaggerated: he would venture to affirm, no Power in Europe had made more rapid ftrides in wealth and general happiness for the last fifteen years, than that part of the British Ea pire had done. He was persuaded that its prosperiry and its happiness were'increaling fill very rapidly, and that the treason which had lately been found there, and which had Vol. IV. 1802-3.
been so much lamented, arose from objects different from those which the hon. Gentleman recommended remedies for; most of the topics touched upon by the hon. Genileman. were of delicate discullion, on which, fromihe nature of things, it was unreasonable to expect unifornity of opinion; and, therefore, the last day of a Sellion of Parliament was but ill adapred to their discullion, and that the more especially, when the hon. Gentleman did not state, thai, in his own mind, the proposition which thould follow the difcullion was made up; but even if he had, what practical means were there, ai this instant, of carrying that propofition into effect. The hon. Gentleman feli himselt jurified in bringing this subject forward before the very few Gentlemen who had the opportuni:y of hearing the discussion of it, or of listening to his statement. He had no doubt but the hon. Gentleman had satisfied his mind that he was performing a public duty by taking this course, but the noble Lord said he thoughi it was calculated rather to distract the country to talk of grievances without proving what they specifically are, where they are to be found, or what the remedies of them are; and that at a time when the vigour, the energy, the wealth, the honour of the empire are and ought to he embarked in the great contest in which we are engaged. Whatever questions may arise on the minute points which might be calculated to diffuse in tine ftill greater wealth and happiness in Ireland, many of them difputable in theory, and on which a great dr versity of opinion prevailed, and on which a disquisition would be long and tedious, because it must be minute, and, therefore, it thould be suffered to sleep until one great previous ques. tion, namely, whether the British empire shall retain its wealth, its honour, and its happiness, or the whole shall be laid at the fuot of a merciless foe? That was the question now for us to consider and to act upon, instead of dwelling on general points of supposed defeats in our Government, which was well calculated to oppose us to the enemy, and to preserve our glory.
Mr. Elliot explained. Mr. Windham faid, if the noble Lord who had firft fpoken (Lord Hawkesbury) had objected to the proposed motion ; that that was probably the last day of the session ; that there was a thin attendance, and no time to deliberate upon the subject; so far as the objections applied, they were of confiderable weight; but thole objections applied much more to the speech of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hutchinson) than to the motion.
That speech contained a variety of general topics respecting which he must give a general opinion. The state of Ireland, improved as it had been of late years, wanted a great deal more to bring it to perfection. To use medical terms, that country wis afflicted with a chronic complaint, attended with violent paroxysms; the former required the flow operation of a remedy, wbiht the latter, when they occurred, required an immediate application : and out of the embarrassment which these circumstances occafioned, arole the difficulty of treating that country in a proper way.
He thought, at the same time, that speeches like thole of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hutchinson) tended to operate good, inasmuch as they fhewed a disposition in the Legillature to attend to thofe objects more immediately connected with the welfare of Ireland. The objections of the other noble Lord (Lord Caftlerengh) more immediately applied to the question. That noble Lord had urged the general danger which would result from the information called for being laid before Parliament: the degree of danger to result depended upon Government, as they might make such communication as they thought proper. No other information was asked for than thould be confidered compatible with the public interest and safety. With reference to this subject, as much had been said lately of parliamentary grounds, he would ask how much they knew of the affairs of Ireland upon parliamentary grounds? The knew, it was true, that the King's procluination fated the existence of a rebellious infurreétion, but what other information upon the subje&t was before Parliament when they fufpended the habeas corpus act in Ireland, and enacted the martial law bill? If that insurrection was merely a sudden thing, why fuch strong measures? if it was permanent, why not information ? Upon the discussion of the message relative to that subject, he was charged with calling out for delay, but what he proposed was either to defer the confideration of it till the next day, according to the established usage of Parliament, or to return an address, containing a general declaration of the sentiments of that House, and then to bring in the bill after a short interval. The noble Lord had alluded to a message brought down to the Irilh Parliament, May 22, 1798, but there was then this material difference, that it was fiated that the insurrection then expected might break out that very night, and the whole of this transaction took place in the very city where the insurrection was expected to break out, and consequently where all were more competent to