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give their confidence without any ground whatsoever, and notwithstanding the criminal attempts made by his Majesty's ministers, attempts which these country gentlemen cannot deny, and which they, according to their own principles, must abhor. Sir, those gentlemen may for a time afford their countenance to such an administration; but, in order to keep their credit with their country, they must soon withdraw their confidence from such a government, or forfeit their reputation.
Sir, it is impossible that the gentlemen and yeomen, and the people of this country, must not soon discern the wicked designs of such a government, and resist them by every constitutional means. The spirit of the country is too high to suffer such a set of men, upon such principles, to predominate, to insult, to corrupt, and to enslave. Sir, an honourable gentlemen (Mr. S. Moore) has been pleased to reassert what he said on a former occasion; what he said on that occasion was nothing more than a correct and faithful statement of the principles of the present government-corruption! His indiscretion was great; he has fallen a victim to that indiscretion, and to the profligacy of the government to which he belongs. But he has done no more than discover their corrupt principles, with the rattling manners of a country gentleman, but without the principles. He has advanced and asserted the most desperate tenets of a most desperate courtier. He is a fatal friend, and a useful enemy. Were he on our side, I should have deprecated his candour and implored his silence; being against me, I hope he will go on, and not be deterred by the general and just indignation which attends the promulgation of his unconstitutional and shocking opinions. Countenanced as he is by government, what he delivers is what he collects; and, therefore, he betrays their system of governing by corruption. After delivering principles sufficient to damn the party which he supports, he proceeds to condemn the men and the measures of the body he opposes, —that body with which I have the honour to be connected, and in his condemnation he is (all he can be) a negative testimony in favour of our principles and proceedings; for, after making such declarations as he has done in favour of a corrupt government, he has left himself no means of serving us except by condemnation. The measures that meet with his disapprobation are, a place bill, a pension bill, a responsibility bill, and the repeal of the police. He tells us, that the people do not wish for these necessary measures, and he challenges the people to come forth in order to declare their sentiments whether they are destrous to support such measures. He appeals to the people. I have no objection to know their sentiments on these
subjects; but I must observe, that it is he and his friends on that side of the House who now appeal to the great collective body of the people, and call upon them to declare their political sentiments on the present emergencies. They certainly are challenged by the advocates of administration to come forth and declare whether they £re the friends to a place bill, a pension bill, a responsibility bill, and a repeal of the present police. For these admonitions we aro indebted to the gentlemen on the side of government, and particularly the honourable member pleading for all the corrupt practices of a bad government with the thorough principles of a courtier, conveyed with the frank temerity of a country gentleman. That frankness which only befits the cause of truth and liberty, the honourable gentleman unfortunately applies to the cause of venality and corruption. After him another gentleman has come forth, a learned sergeant (Hewit) from the ranks of the other side, with weak artillery, and abundance of little zeal, and he has condemned inuch, and he has reviled much, and this little, gentle, gentleman thinks himself severe; and he has talked of my appetite for power, and my lust of dominion. There is much inoffensiveness in this gentleman, accompanied with a great wish to be severe. Never was a man more innocent in effect. We never had the power he mentions; and when we appeared to have that power, he passed upon us a most unnecessary panegyric; though now when he sees we have no power, he discreetly utters his little invective, just as well received by us as his little encomium. Having thus displayed himself in a most harmless way, had he not better retire into the ranks to which he belongs?
Sir, gentlemen in opposition to the bill under your consideration, have told you that it was rejected before, and therefore ought to be rejected now. They add, that nothing has happened to make the bill more expedient now than at the time when it was rejected. Sir, they forgot what has happened since the rejection of this bill the great abuses of power by his Majesty's ministers, in the creation of new employ ments or of new salaries, for the purpose of extending the influence this bill would restrain. They forgot the fourteen new parliamentary salaries for members of this House, created since the last rejection of this bill; they have by their misconduct made this bill no longer a matter of speculation, but of absolute and immediate necessity. They tell us that we have done very well without such a bill, and therefore necd not adopt it; as well might they say, that we have existed well under the present laws, and therefore need not make any more laws whatsoever. They forget that society exists by annual provisions for its own preservation, and that no free
people can long exist in a state of freedom, unless they shall, from time to time, repair their constitution, and restore and shock back (as is termed) that constitution to its primeval principles. Such has been the conduct of all free nations, and such the sentiments of all learned inen who have written on the history of nations. But gentlemen tell us, that the influence of office is nothing; that no member of parliament is influenced by his place in the vote he gives in this House. That is an argument which they themselves have repeatedly denied. What have they meant by saying that this country was sold, at first, they told you for half a million, and afterwards they increased the sum, and told you she was sold for £1,500,000, and that she must be sold again, in order to combat a prevalent op. position? What, I say, did they themselves mean by this threat, unless to confess this very influence of place and pension, which, it seems, they now deny? What did they mean when it was acknowledged on their part that these new parliamentary salaries were, in fact, political expedients? Will the country gentlemen listen to any man on the side of government, when he roundly asserts to them, that no member of parliament is influenced in the vote he gives by the place or pension he enjoys? But gentlemen are aware of the folly of that argument, and they say that the placemen and pension ers are influenced to support the government in general, but when a great constitutional question, when the existence of the country was at stake, then they would turn out and support the realm! What a fallacious security this! All the intermediate, all the leading questions, according to this, shall be determined by an undue and sinister influence, but the being of the constitution shall have a chance for a fair discussion. Are gentlemen aware how much the being of the constitution must be affected in its strength and its health by all those intermediate questions, and how unable, when the last question comes, it may be to make an exertion for its preservation? Political mortality is gradual, and if you admit the access of death to all its members, the heart will not revive their functions, but must lose its own.
Sir, I am free to allow that some placemen will run great risks and make great sacrifices, but, let me add, that they are never forgiven for so doing, and that they are discountenanced by government, when they are not dismissed for so doing. Let me also add, that it is the principle of the present government to destroy that spirit in the servants of the Crown, and to enforce the severest discipline, and to destroy those aristocratic bodies from whence such occasional resistance may be expected, by reducing and mincing everything into
small, insulated, and abject individuals, who have no confidence in one another, nor respect for themselves.
Sir, in the course of this debate we have been told, that this law, however well suited to England, is inadmissible here. I have wished to hear the reason; I have heard none. We know well that the gentlemen of this country are in principle not more constitutional, nor in fortune so independent, as the gentlemen of England. If we are to pay attention to the secretaries who have governed this country, we must suppose that the gentlemen of it have much less virtue and much more want; for these secretaries have not scrupled to declare, that they have found a venality in the gentlemen of Ireland, which has astonished them; they have not only kept a shop for cor ruption, but they have proclaimed the secrets of it, and, in so doing, have furnished us with an additional argument in favour of this bill, and to the refutation of those who tell you that it is not calculated for the meridian of Ireland. Sir, I cannot avoid observing, that in this day's debate, gentlemen on the other side of the House have adopted a certain tone of power, I presume in consequence of a very indecent and disorderly interposition on the part of one who does not belong to this House, though he has lately interfered in its proceedings. Sir, I am not uninformed to what length that person went within these walls, even during the debates of this House ;* it seems to me somewhat strange, that gentlemen on the other side should dwell so much on the necessity of parliamentary decorum, when they have been evidently spirited up by an interposition which in itself was the grossest violation of parliamentary decency. Sir, I have been told it was said, that I should have been stopped, should have been expelled the Commons, should have been delivered up to the bar of the Lords, for the expressions delivered that day.
I will repeat what I said on that day. I said that his Majesty's ministers had sold the peerages, for which offence they were impeachable. I said, they had applied the money for the purpose of purchasing seats in the House of Commons for the servants or followers of the Castle, for which offence, I said, they were impeachable. I said they had done this, not in one or two, but in several instances; for which complication of offences I said his Majesty's ministers were impeachable as public malefactors. who had conspired against the commonweal, the independency of parliament, and the fundamental laws of the land; and I offered, and dared them to put this matter in a course of inquiry. I added, that I considered them
* Mr. Fitzgibbon (Earl of Claro).
as public malefactors, whom we were ready to bring to justice. } repeat these charges now; and if anything more severe was on s former occasion expressed, I beg to be reminded of it, and I wil again repeat it. Why do not you expel me now? Why not send me to the bar of the Lords? Where is your adviser? Going out of this House I shall repeat my sentiments, that his Majesty's ministers are guilty of impeachable offences, and, advancing to the bar of the Lords, I shall repeat those sentiments; or, if the Tower is to be my habitation, I will there meditate the impeachment of these ministers, and return, not to capitulate, but to punish.
Sir, I think I know myself well enough to say, that if called forth to suffer in a public cause, I will go farther than my prosentors, both in virtue and in danger.
February 2, 1791.
On the 26th of January, Mr. David Latouche stated the great and alarming increase in the use of spirituous liquors, so prevalent, not only in the city of Dublin, but throughout the kingdom, that the industry and morals of the inhabitants were severely affected by it, and parliament was called on to interfere. He therefore moved the following resolution: "That it is the opinion of this House, that the excessive use of spirituous liquors is highly injurious to the health and morals of the people; that a committee be appointed to take this subject into consideration".
Mr. Grattan rose to second the motion; but Mr. Hobart (secretary) having caught the Speaker's eye first, was called on. He expressed himself sensible of the great injury resulting to the country from the immoderate use of spirits, and gladly seconded the motion.
MR. GRATTAN: I have great pleasure in giving my approbation to the motion, and did rise to second it; but the right honourable gen. tleman (Mr. Hobart) has stepped before me. I am, however, happ to see the right honourable gentleman show any activity in any case, where this country 'is to be benefited. I shall always be happy to give him the way-let the country receive the benefit, and let him receive the applause.
I am happy, Sir, at the mode the House has taken; by adopting the resolution, you make it indispensable on the House to proceed to the destroying of this poison, which now destroys the health, the