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the bishop, because I would not put into his hands the talents and suffrages of the parochial clergy. I would not enable him to say: "Sir, you have written too freely on constitutional subjects, you must reside": or, "Sir, you have voted for the popular candidate, and must reside". I would not make residence an instrument of undue influence, nor would I wish to make the parochial clergy mean and subservient to their bishop. I would compel residence by a tax, and that should be moderate, with certain allowances; my principle with respect to the residence of the minister being this his parish ought to be his home, but not to be his prison.
I have submitted the resolutions-I mean to put the House in possession of them. All I desire is, that they may have a fair examination. Of government, all I ask is impartiality; all I deprecate is predetermination. I do not desire that they should assent to either my facts or principles, but I desire a fair trial for both. I desire, moreover, that in holding their deliberation, they may not take into their cabinet the enemy. If these principles are false, they will die of themselves, without the interposition of government. If right, they will at last prevail, and then government would be obliged to retract a resistance precipitately made. As to the southern peasantry, all I ask on their part is peace. If the Whiteboys break out again, I give up this business. I will be the first to support strong measures of coercion. The gentlemen of the south should inform them, that if they had originally represented the oppressions they suffer under tithe, by humble petition to Parliament, they must have been redressed. The parson and the tithefarmer would not have chosen to have defended, or to continue, demands publicly stigmatised for extortion and avarice. In a free country, the mere promulgation of injury is the certainty of redress. But those desperate wretches had not the courage to apply to the legislature, and had the despair to apply to outrage; the consequence was, as always must be, they consigned their bodies to the hangman, and left to their families a continuation of the grievances, and involved in their disgrace a great part of the peasantry, who were equally oppressed and entirely innocent. The truth is, the tithe-farmer had no case but the Whiteboy; they both stood on the crimes of the other, and murder was a greater offence than extortion.
With respect to a right reverend bench, I mean a part of that bench, all I ask is temper. I stated several allegations-I am ready to prove them. I stated that in some parts of the south the demands of tithe had exceeded the bounds of law; I repeat that allegation.
I stated that the proctor had in many places demanded and received a certain per-centage called proctorage, against law and charity; I repeat that allegation. I stated that in parts of the south, certain ministers or their proctors had been guilty of exactions which were unconscionable, and I stated also that they had recently and greatly and unconscionably increased their ratages; I repeat that allegation I stated that the tithe-farmers did very generally, in the parts dis turbed, oppress the common people, and had exceeded their legal powers, or had most grossly abused them; these allegations I repeat now, and am ready to go into proofs whenever gentlemen choose to give me such an opportunity.
I am not responsible for the precise quantity of every return stated to me. Some of the statements are official, and cannot be disputed, and are enormous; others come from the oppressed, and may be sanguine. I am not responsible for the precise quantities in such a case; but I am responsible for this allegation, that there exists great oppression; I repeat it again, there exists great oppression.
As to the resolutions which I now submit, and which, next scssion, I shall move, the right reverend quarter will consider, that some of those propositions are in their principles already the law of England. With what justice can they attempt to deprive Ireland of the right of such laws? Ireland, a country requiring so much more encouragement, and paying abundantly more to the Church. A cclebrated bishop in England has calculated that the income of the church in England, including all bishoprics, and even the estates of the universities, would, if distributed, amount to £150 for each clergyman. A learned bishop in Ireland has calculated that, excluding bishoprics and universities, the income of the church in Ireland would amoun: to £148 for each clergyman. Thus, by this calculation, excluding their great riches-I mean the bishoprics—the ministers of the Protestant church of Ireland have within £2 as much as in England; and, including bishoprics, must have, beyond all comparison, more than in England, where the extent of the cures is incomparably less, even supposing our clergy were all to reside, and while this kingdom has two other orders of priesthood to support. Such of our bishops who came from another country, and have intercepted the views of some of the younger branches of our best families here, will naturally wish to make some compensation. The laws of the country to which they owe their birth, they, I suppose, will not object to communicate to this country, to which they owe their situation.
Some of the resolutions are not only founded on principles of husbaudry, but maxims of Christianity. These, I hope, will not meet
with inveterate opposition from any of the right reverend bench; those of them the most adverse and inveterate will soften, when they consider the Christianity of clothing the naked and feeding the hungry, or rather, indeed, of suffering the naked and the hungry to feed and clothe themselves by encouraging their manufacture, giving certain privileges to their infant labours, and by leaving in their principal food the poor unoppressed by avarice and exaction under any pre'euce whatsoever. However, if this shall not be the case—if these sound doctrines and these charitable principles are received by some of a certain quarter with hardness of heart, and their author with clerical scurrility, I cannot help it. I shall persist, notwithstanding, n making my solemn appeal against such men to their own Gospel; which, as it is the foundation of their power, so must it be the limits of our veneration.
CORRUPTION BY GOVERNMENT.
February 1, 1790.
MR. GRATTAN said: We combat a project to govern this country by corruption: it is not like the supremacy of the British Parliament —a thunderbolt; nor like the twenty propositions—a mine of artifice; but, without the force of the one or the fraud of the other, will answer all the purposes of both.
I have read books on the subject of government—I have read books on the subject of British government; I have heard, of the different principles or foundations of authority-the patriarchal right, the martial right, the conventional rights of kings, the sacred rights of the people. I have heard of different principles applicable to different forms of government-virtue to a republic, honour to a monarchy; but the principles of our ministry, or rather, indeed, their policy, which is a dissolution of all principles, can only be read in the ruin of the nation! You have too lately recovered your liberties not to know wherein exists their virtue: it is not merely in the laws; these the lawyers may pervert to the jargon of slavery; these the lawyers may explain away; they did so in England; they did so in the case of arbitrary arrests of members of Parliament; in the case of ship-money; they did so in Ireland; they did sc in the case of embargoes, without authority from Parliament; in the case of
the British supremacy, and in the case of the regency: for great lawyers, on constitutional questions, have given not legal but political opinions in favour of their great and mighty client, the Crown. But if you attend to them, you may sit in that chair, the mace before you, the clerks at your feet, the members all around, and the serjeant of arms at your back, and yet not be a parliament; for you will want the spirit and energy of a parliament. No; it is the vital spirit that inspires, the independency that actuates. This principle of independency which is implied in your constitution, is re gistered in your laws passed in England in the time of William ; they were conceived to guard the rights of the electors against the influence of the revenue, and the purity of the elected against the inundation of the treasury; they were conceived to preserve the popular balance of the constitution, and to form a sort of fence or barrier against those rank majorities, which not seldom swarm from the hive of the treasury, and blacken the seats of the senate; and yet these were feeble laws. Lord Bolingbroke complains of them; he expostulates with the framers of the revolution; they had, says he, guarded liberty against open force; they had secured her against the assaults of prerogative, but not against a secret enemy-against clandestine influence; here she was left naked; this was her vulnerable part. Parliamentary integrity is your palladium, With it "you need not fear the force of an enemy; no Agamemnon, no Ulysses can invade you; without it, Thersites himself will be sufficient for the purpose". Had he seen our policy, what had ne said? a minister like the last forming his faction, and prolonging his government by the mere arts of bribery and corruption, or rather, indeed, by bribery and corruption, without any art whatsoever; then had his lordship exclaimed: "Thersites himself is sufficient for the purpose".
Mr. Locke, who established and rooted the revolution in the minds of the English, maintains that an attempt on the part of the executive power to corrupt the legislature, is a breach of trust, which, if carried into system, is one of the causes of a dissolution of the government. "The executive", says he, "acts contrary to its trust, when it uses the force, the treasure, or the offices of the society to corrupt the representatives and to gain them over to its purpose. To prepare such an assembly, and to endeavour to set them up as the real representatives of the people, and the lawmakers of the society, is surely as great a breach of trust, and as perfect a declaration of a design to subvert the government as can possibly be". To which, if we add rewards and punishments visibly
employed to the same end, what had Mr. Locke thought of your policy? A set of men possessing themselves of civil, military, and ecclesiastical authority, and using it with a fixed and malignant in tention to corrupt the morals of the people, in order to undermine the freedom of the community, and to make the nation individually base, in order to make her collectively contemptible. How soon must such proceedings accomplish the prediction of Montesquieu, who says, that when the legislative is as corrupt as the executive (as corrupt, for more is scarcely possible), then there is an end of the constitution.
Blackstone having summed up the array of court influence, stops to tremble at it. "Surely this never could have been the design of our patriot ancestors, who abolished the formidable parts of the prerogative, and by an unaccountable want of foresight, established this system in their place". He concludes with a pious wish, that this influence may be diminished, and with a parental admonition to the youths of England to guard their country against that monster which, in the hands of the present government, shakes this realmı— the servile and corrupt influence of the minister. The late Lord Chatham, bending over the corrupt decline of England, confesses this influence. Give her a more popular representation; pour in a new portion of health to enable her to sustain her infirmities: pour in a new portion of poison, says the Irish minister, that she may sink under the accumulation of her infirmities. This danger of exravagant influence the Commons of England have confessed. Exasperated by defeat, exhausted by war, the effect of twelve years' implicit compliance under that very influence, they at last proclaim. "It is true, the influence of the crown is too much; it ought to bo diminished". Here I shall be stopped and told that the fact has falsified the prophecy, and that the constitution of England has stood; but let us not therefore infer, that it is not much impaired, nor confound the slow decline of a state with the rapid mortality of a man, nor forget what moral symptoms she has given, both when the people, as in 1769, appealed to the Crown against their Parliament, and when the Crown, as in 1783, appealed against Parlia◄ ment to the people. Let them further recollect that the constitution of Great Britain has been, from time to time, shocked back to her original principle, by a number of acts, some of which I have referred to; acts which disable the crown from splitting commissions to multiply placemen; acts which disqualify all persons holding offices created since a certain period from sitting in Parliament; acts which disable all commissioners of customs, of excise, stamps, col