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Adverting to the conduct of the Irish Gorernment, he observed, ihaulhe discovery of the scoret powder-mill, and the carrying about of animunition in the nighi, were two freng facis to induce a fuppofirion that a ferions attack was in. tended. The incafure of doubling the guards was a pilry and inadequate precaution: he thould like to hear the alledged pari explained, that when the ycomanry of Dublin, with that zeal and promptitude which always animated them, applied for ammunition, they were told they could not get it. To answer this charge would not require much time He thought great practical advantages would arise from the acciding to the motion--one of which was, it would tend to strengthen the confidence of the loyal and weli affccted people of Ireland in the Government. The discomfiture of the rebels in their first attempt, was chiefly owing to the fortunate circumliance of some of thein gering drunk, anni comiencing their operations too foon. I thould be known what state of preparation the garrison was in at the time: the inquiry ihouli go to exculpate the Irish Government; were it, as was then contended, irreproachabie, and which would be another advantage: for his pari, the conduct of those who opposed the motion, hud rather given hiin unfavourable impresions. He wished to say a few words refpecting the fate of Ireland--Much had been laid of such difcutions terding to unhinge the minds of the people of this country. Ile believed, however, that what fell from a learned Gentleman would send to thai. more than any thing which fell from Gentlemen at his Gue of the Houie. The present was by no means a Catholic war, regarding is in a religious lighi-- but much discontent mighi centainiy arise from the ca-n lideration that four-fiths of the inhabitants of that country are deprived of many of the advantages their fellow-fubje&s enjoyed. If ever that quellion thould be agitated in the United Parliament, in his present views of the fubje&i, he should support it. At the same time he was free to say, it would be proper to thew ibern, that any alicmp's to redress themselves by force would neer with punithment, and he hoped that l'arliament would unani. mouily ftrengthen the hands of Government to puniin aitempts of that description.
Mr. Serjeant l'cji observed, that ceriain topics which had been introduced into the discullion were unadv. sediy done fo: it thould be considered that the proceedings alluded to
might be productive of injurious consequences on this side the water their effects would not be confined to Ireland alone ; the civil inftitutions of this country were liable io be affected: at any rate, the subject was of extreme delicacy, and should be handled with the uincit caution. Were it held out as unfit the Catholics in Ireland should pay siihes, the same queftion may be agitated in this country, and the Englith Catholics and Diflenters might claim exemption on fimilar grounds: this would go to frike at the very 100t of the Constitution of Church and State. The agitation of such questions were highly improper, the more, elpecially on the very lait night of a Szi n.when no opportunity couldiffer of giving the fubject a full and adequate confideration. With respect io the original motion, though it had supporters, no: one of them fupporied she honourable Mover on his own grounds; they argued it in a manner very differeni from him ; and it was a matter of Surprise 10 him (Mr. B) that though three weeks had elapsed since the insurrection took place, nu mention was made of the present motion till last Friday. Why was such an interval fuffered to escape ; and why did They come forward on the list night of the Session? Ile deprecated the introduciion of the Catholic question into the discussion, more especially as it appeared great numbers of th.at body were eager to manifest their determination in fupport the Government of leland. He attributed the present uchappy disturbances in Ireland to the machinations of the cominon enemy : to proceedings of that kind, which, ainong the happiest communities, and best regulated Governments, would find some supporters, who, on account of their poveriy or waywardness of dit fillinn), were prope !o in urreciion and revoir. The motion should have bis deciiled negative.
Colonel Cranfur? spoke forly in explanation.
Mr. Alexander delivered his feniments at foaie length. He deprecated the introduction of such a fubjeft at that par. ricular period, when Gentlemen could neither be qualitied to judge of its meriis, nor have time to give it a full and d-liberate discussion. He adverter collie pauciiy of the Irish Miembers then present; when they returned form that COUN!sy next Seffion, with the advan'ages of person.linter mation and inquiry, then would be the proper time for dircutling the subject. He had the highest respect for the mo. rives of his hon. Friend, but he mult deprecate the giration
of the subject at present. He spoke favourably of the political sentiments of the great majority of Catholic proprietors; they were friendly to the British Government and connexion ; but among the lower classes appeared a rooted determinazion, to attempt at least to acquire the estates, which, the course of events had wrested from those they called iheir ancestors. This he considered as one great cause of the continued ferment which prevailed in Ireland ; but among the proprietors, even 99 out of 100 were radically attached to Great Britain. After dwelling upon these points for some time, and adverting to the present state of parties in Ireland, he concluded by expressing his heariy negative to the motion.
Colonel Craufurd and Mr. Alexander spoke severally in explanation.
Mr. Hutchinson spoke at considerable length in reply, and first, he wished to set those honourable Gentlemen right, who had certainly very much mistaken him with respect to what he said on the measure of indemnity; it was by no means his wish to throw an indiscriminate cenfure upon the parties : no man was more deeply impressed with the conviction of the zeal and loyalty of great numbers of them; but he would ftill persist in contending, there were many acts of enortnity committed under the colour of law, and that the bill brought in, operated as a screen to the offenders. With respect to his motion, it had a double tendency, the first was, to procure fuch information as Government were in poffeffion of refpecting the late acts of rebellion : the fecond, fuch general information as had been received as to the actual sale of Ireland. He was free to cor-ss it was no part of his idea to induce unnecessary or improper disclosures, on the one hand, or, on the other, to throw a llur upon the Government of Ireland. On the contrary, he thought the noble Lord at the head of the Government of that country had acted in a proper manner, and liad Ministers on this side of the water conducted themselves as properly, the present discussion would be unneceffary. He had, in the first instance, prepared an address to his Majesty on the general subject of the affairs of Ireland; but, afterwards, learning that it was informal, he declined moving it, and íhaped his proposition in the way which it was now before ihe House. The address he originally meant to propose went strongly to express the sense of the House, as to the present situation of Ireland,
to implore his Majesty to take the same into his serious conlideration, and to direct such measures to be adopted, as in, his wisdom may seem best calculated to tranquillize that part of his dominiops, and 10 strengthen its connection with Great-Britain. The great object he had in coming forward, was to draw the attention of Ministers and thai ilouse to the state of Ireland. It had been alledged against him, that he proposed his motion without fufficient notice, and that he neglected to come forward until the last day but one of the Séltion : this consideration, however, did not lie with him, he insisted he had given timely notice of his intention ; so long as a fortnight lince, even the very day after the ads paffed. He had faid, if Ministers did not speedily turn their setious attention to the affairs of Ireland, he ihould deem is his duty to bring forward the subject. Farther, he had no hesita. tion in saying, that if Ministers had in their places the preceding night, or even then, told him they had no time, under the imme. diale circumstances, to pay due attention to the subje7, and; self-moved, have pledged ihemselves to heep it in iheir contemplation ; ,such a declaration would do more towards tranquillizing Ireland, than the adop:ion of any motion he could bring forward ; more especially one, which, from its peculiar nature, could not, evidently, be carried into immediate effe&t. In acting as he had done, his view was to enforce upon the convi&tion of Ministers the neceflity of their taking up the subject with all that attentive consideration, which belonged to one of its importance, and with as little delay as poflible. In making this observation, he must express his regret af having occasion to remark, that this great national questioni was treated of by some Gentlemen, as if Ireland was in another hemisphere, or even as if that country had no exiftence. At the same time he would repeat, that he did not expect the remedy to be immediately applied; he only was anxious for an avowal of the determination of Ministers upon the point. With respect to the insinuations that his wish was to unhinge the public mind, he regarded them with the contempt they deserved; however, he must deprecate a great deal of what fell from a noble Lord, and express his decided disapprobation of the principles on which he seemed to consider the subject in question. These considerations were the more serious, when the fituation in the Government Glled by that noble Lord was recollected, and the correSpondent degree of the royal confidence he must be supposed VOL. IV, 1802-3.
to enjoy. His conduct on this occasion almost reminded him of the words of the poet :
Eis glass ellence, like an angry ape,
As make the Angels weep! He agreed, however, to a certain extent, with the noble Lord, as far as he panegyrised the conduct and administration of a noble Marquis in Ireland; but with respect to the Administration of another noble Lord, he could not say as much ; and he must pronounce the noble Lord, so far as that part of his speech went, to be a moft unfortunate apologist: he hoped, however, his Lordship would manage his present situation better than he did the affairs of his own country: a part of the world which the noble Lord seemed completely to have forgotten so far, that any subject appeared to be the object of his care and solicitude, in preterence to the concerns of Ireland. The noble Lord, hoxe ever callous he may seem to be to the situation of his country, Thould recollect the important fare he had in the arrangemenis under which it was now governed; he well knew the wants of his couniry, and it was peculiarly incumbent upon one, so circunstanced as the noble Lord, seriously to attend to them. Adverting to the consideration of the Catholic question, he was glad to hear, he said, that its merits were not thought to be implicated in the present subject of discuffion; and after some allusions to the firuarion of the Catholics in Ireland under the existing system, he observed thai the last rebellion in Ireland, so far from being a C2tholic one, all its leaders were either Protestants or Prefbyterians; the great majority of those who bure arms during the rebellion, numerically speaking, were undoubtedly profetiors of the Catholic religion, but that was of necesity the cale, because it was well known the great mass of the lower orders of the people in Ireland were of that persuasion ; they were, therefore, used as the instruments of those who projected the rebellion, and by whom it was conducted; however, religion formed no part of the confideration. The firft symptoms of sedition appeared in the north of Ireland, a