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embody, as the principle of the Government, those bigotted doctrines, which, after weakening the strength of the empire in war, occasion the necessity for a standing army, that exhausts its resources and undermines its liberties in nor is it one class of His Royal Highness's subjects alone who have to lament the injury to their constitutional rights which this fatal session has brought about: that the measures so disastrous to public liberty, which His Royal Highness's advisers have prevailed upon Parliament to sanction, are all the answer that has been given to the petitions of the people; all the return made for their unalterable attachment to the Constitution; all the means taken to justify or fulfil their anxious expectations: that on the eve of a prorogation, which will leave, for the first time since the revolution, the most precious of their rights at the absolute disposal of those advisers, we deem it our duty, alike towards his suffering but faithful subjects, and towards His Royal Highness, solemnly to desire that so vast and perilous a trust be not abused: that when we consider into whose keeping the personal freedom of each individual in the kingdom is delivered, and reflect that among the confidential servants of His Royal Highness, are to be found both those who exercised the powers of Government in Ireland during the darkest period of her history, those whose general incapacity has been recorded by their colleagues, and those whom recent proceedings have stamped as inadequate to contend with the wiles of their own agents, we may well be alarmed at the prospect of the approaching recess; but we deem it a sacred duty not to separate without expressing our earnest expectation, that His Royal Highness will discountenance, by all means, the employment of persons pretending to be spies, and in reality contrivers of sedition for the sake of gain, the encouragement of whose unworthy artifices must end in the destruction of innocent individuals, endanger the public tranquillity, and irretrievably alienate the affections of his faithful subjects : and that we pledge ourselves to institute a rigorous inquiry at the beginning of the next session into every thing that concerns the execution of the new laws during the prorogation of Parliament."

Mr. CANNING* said, he was as unwilling as the honourable gentleman (Mr. W. Smith) who last addressed the House, to prolong the debate; but after the revival, not for the first nor the twentieth time, of charges which had been as often refuted as they had been brought forward; after the renewal of calumnies which, generally from their nature, and particularly from the appearance of candour and moderation with which they were now introduced, were calculated to make an undue impression, he could not suffer the question to go to that division which must consign it for ever to the contempt of the House and of the country, without offering a few observations

the matters and the conduct of the discussion. Every man who had witnessed the course lately adopted, on more than one occasion, by the honourable member who spoke last (Mr. W. Smith), must have been surprised at hearing him profess his ignorance, whether the defendant in the cause to which he referred was alive or dead. The dead or the absent had been, in late instances, the objects of the honourable gentleman's attack. The former, he had found, might sometimes make reprisals, the latter were wholly precluded from reply; and for the satisfaction of the honourable gentleman, he (Mr. C.) could assure him that the person he had named on this occasion was now no more. But however convenient this species of hostility might be, it would at least be more fair and more generous if the honourable gentleman were to confine his future attacks to the living, if not to the present. The honourable gentleman had entirely mistaken the nature of the plea of his noble friend (Lord Castlereagh). He (Lord Castlereagh) had not endeavoured to evade inquiry; on the contrary, he had most assiduously courted it; and that too in the manner which would be best calculated to elicit truth. He had courted a distinct examination into the matters charged. It was the present mode of introducing the accusation against him which his noble friend deprecated. He required what justice dictated, and what no man who had a feeling of justice could deny ; that the matters of charge should be distinctly brought forward, that he might be sent to his trial fairly, and with due notice, and that his conduct in Ireland might not be mixed up with that infinity of detail, that mass of irrelevant matter, from foreign politics to cotton twist, with which they had been jumbled on the present occasion. His noble friend had justly to complain of the manner in which this accusation had been brought forward; for how did he stand with respect to it? He was now, not during the currency of a session when there was space for discussion and opportunity for refutation, but on the very eve of a prorogation, when reply was almost impossible, at least was thought to be so, charged with what, if true, would not only render him unfit for the high situation which he filled, but would justly expose him to the most severe animadversions of Parliament, and to the execrations of his country. He (Lord Castlereagh) had to complain, not only that the transactions to which allusion had been made, were those upon which a

which a period of twenty years had closed, but also, that the charges extracted out of them were thus incidentally thrust forward for no other reason than because there was some chance of their remaining unrefuted. But let the House examine a little farther into the sources from which these charges emanated. Had the honourable member (Mr. Bennet) ventured to give a direct answer to the

question of, from whom he procured his affidavits ? Had he informed the House whether it was from a pardoned traitor or pilloried libeller ? He (Mr. Canning) did not presume to assert that information procured from such sources was altogether to be discredited; but, conforming to the generally received opinions of mankind, it might have been as well, if the honourable gentleman had stated to the House what the nature of those sources was; that though to him they might have appeared perfectly pure and acceptable, yet still they were such as, to ordinary minds, would carry with them an aspect of suspicion. Calumnies, founded on the authority of a traitor who had been pardoned, or of a libeller who had had the advantage of standing in the pillory, might, no doubt, be very

satisfactory to some gentlemen's minds: but still it seemed right to disclose the channel through which they were procured, from compassion to the poor, feeble understandings of those who, not yet up to the times, thought, as of old, that the less polluted the sources of intelligence, the better.

Putting these considerations for a moment out of view, and wholly abstracting the transactions to which these affidavits related from the connection which had been endeavoured to be established between them and his noble friend, he would ask, was this the time when such circumstances ought to be brought forward for discussion ? Was this the time when we were to go back to that unhappy period in the history of Ireland, to take up and bring to view all the disgusting effects of those dissensions, which, unhappily, convulsed that kingdom twenty years ago ?

No doubt it was possible, it might even be easy, to drag forth instances of atrocity, of public treason, and private violence, to equal if not to exceed the crimes of the present day; but what purpose would that answer?

would that answer? Was there a man who valued the tranquillity of his country, or had at heart its proper place where

security, who did not wish that the veil of oblivion should be drawn over scenes so long passed and so deeply to be lamented: or, who, if he should feel it to be an act of duty to call back the public attention to them, would not wish to do it with all the solemnity of a judicial inquiry? What was this night, and in this place, the apparent object of their introduction ? Was it satisfaction and reparation to the individuals said to be injured? That could not be; for the House of Commons was not the such reparation could be made. Was it to bring the individuals said to be concerned in such atrocities, to justice ? Why, then, was not the proper form resorted to? Why was not an inquiry proposed, or an impeachment instituted ? The present mode of noticing these transactions could lead to none of these ends. For let the fate of the motion be what it might, the imputed guilt or real innocence of the individuals thus collaterally accused would still remain undecided. The only object that could by possibility have been attained, was one which the answer of his noble friend (Lord Castlereagh) had defeated, that of giving a temporary triumph to unfounded calumny. But notwithstanding the advantage which truth and justice had given to his noble friend on this sudden and unprovoked attack upon his character, what was the situation in which the present charges had placed him, compared with his unnamed accusers? They who, perhaps, had shared in repeated pardons, who had hid their heads beneath a general amnesty ; what is the general use now made of their immunity from punishment ? Pardoned traitors, who are indebted for their safety, perhaps for their existence, to the clemency of his noble friend, were produced as his accusers, as witnesses on whose evidence he was to have been convicted, if, in his oblivion of the heats and animosities of those days, he had also (as well he might) cast aside the

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