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claims of the Catholics cannot be with- The substance of the Petition and the held; they will do wisely to consider this, place where it lay, were advertised in all and before it be too late, to conciliate the newspapers; and as fast as pames those, whom they cannot much longer in were obtained, they were copied in large sult and oppress with impunity.
characters and hung up in the room for The Petition now presented is offered public inspection. Indeed when the conto the House of Commons as expressive of ductors of the Petition reckoned much on the favourable opinion of the Protestants the influence of the great names signed to of Ireland on the subject of the Catholic it, and which, on the very first instance, claims, as far forth as that sense bas been comprehended many of the highest in collected or declared. It is the first ge- rank, in property, and in character, it neral appeal to parliament from this body, was too preposterous to suppose that they in approval of those claims, and there is bad, as the learned doctor charged, conno counter Petition. These are facts in- cealed such signatures. controvertible, which cannot be too often But, to settle the point, I can inform repeated, too strongly, too confidently re- the learned doctor that I have in my pos
session a printed list of the first two thouSir George Hill.-I did not assert that a sand signatures which had been circulate challenge had been thrown out to the Pro- ed, and that the entire of the names will testants. With respect to the observa- be speedily published ; and on that pubtions of the hon. gentleman, I can as-lication, I challenge an investigation in sure him that I shall always express my proof of what I have already stated, that sentiments, whether he liked them or not; the Petition has been signed by a majority and further, that I will controvert any ob- of the landed and commercial Protestant servation of the hon. gentleman, when I property of Ireland: but on what authofeel it necessary to do so.
rity did the learned doctor and his adherThe Petition was then brought up, and ents make their denials to the respectabion the question being put that it should lie lity of names which the learned doctor on the table,
himself declared he never had seen. If Mr. Mauricc Fitzgerald said, I am indiffe. not on his own knowledge, he was merely rent to which of the strange and contradic- the echo of that ribaldry and vulgar abuse tory accusations made by the learned doc- with which the hired press of the Irish tor he adheres, because they are equally government had impotently sought to and totally unfounded. He has stated at suppress or impede the noble expression one moment “ that the Petition was care of Protestant liberality. ried about in an indecent canvas for signa- The learned doctor has also, with equal tures;” and in the next, “ that it was accuracy, denied that the signatures from concealed in a dark room where no one the North of Ireland are numerous and could either read its contents or see the respectable : he states, “ that with the names signed to it." The absurdity of exception of some misguided me these inconsistent charges is a sufficient county of Down, no person of any wealth refutation of them.
had signed it.” Is the majority of the But, for the purpose of affording an ex. commercial body of Belfast and Newry press contradiction to what has been so deserving of that description ? That confidently asserted by the learned doc- class of men whose capital and spirit gives tor, I shall state the mode in which the life to all the industry of the great manu. Petition was conducted. The persons facturing district, the North of Ireland ? with whom the Petition originated, thought Is the commercial body of Dublin, of it right, confident as they were in the wis. Waterford, and of Limerick, nothing in dom and justice of their cause, to appeal the scale of Irish property? Will the to the judgment of the Protestants in the learned doctor, in the hearing of those most calm and deliberate manner. For who know Ireland, call such classes “ an that purpose, county and aggregate insignificant portion of the wealth of Iremeetings were discouraged, to avoid any land." I therefore again assert, without agitation of the public mind; and instead the possibility of being refuted, that the of a canvas for signatures, the Petition was majority of the landed and commercial placed in a room in the commercial build Protestant property of Ireland is subscribings of Dublin, the central spot for mer. ed to that Petition, cantile business, and the most accessible Dr. Duigenun.— I maintain that the Pesituation in the city.
tition was smuggled about in a clandestine
manner. I know instances where persons The Petition was then read; setting who went to see it were asked first of all, forth, if they meant to sign it? And if they « That the petitioners do most humbly declined saying whether they would or petition the House in favour of their not, they were refused the perusal of it. brethren and fellow subjects, the persons When the names were printed, they professing the Roman Catholic religion, would then know whether they did repre. who apply to parliament to be admitted sent what they were asserted to do; but I to the privileges and franchises of the conam certain that there were many Protes- stitution; and that the petitioners, their tants of the first eminence who reprobate Protestant brethren, do consider such apCatholic Emancipation. With regard to plication to be just, and they do most the Protestant Petition, I know that vari- heartily join the Catholics in this their ous arts were used to obtain signatures : loyal and reasonable riquest, and, conmany shop-keepers in Dublin, whose sub- vinced of its policy as well as its justice, sistence depended upon their trade, were they do most zealously implore the House threatened with a general combination to to comply with the prayer of the said ruin them, if they did not sign it. I Petition, and to relieve the persons proknow this could be proved.— I could men- fessing the Roman Catholic religion from tion several counties where the Petition all civil and political disabilities.” was rejected with disdain by the grand Ordered to lie upon the table. juries, and therefore I have grounds for saying that it does not contain the majo. PETITION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS OF rity of the commercial property of Ireland. WaterFORD.) Sir John Newport. I have I will mention an instance of a dissenting the honour of presenting to the House the minister in the country, who signed the Petition of the Roman Catholics of the Petition, who was hunted out of his church county and city of Waterford, from a very by his congregation, and reproached numerous, opulent, and respectable body with the opprobrious name of another Ju- of his Majesty's subjects, praying to be
restored to the full participation in the Mr. Craig.-I do believe that three privileges of the constitution with their fourths of the Protestants of Belfast are Protestant fellow subjects. Possessed of favourable to Catholic claims. As I re- large landed and monied property, feeling present a Northern city, (Carrickfergus) their best interests intimately connected I know that several signatures could have with the welfare of the state, they claim been obtained, if the necessary form of a from the justice of this House a candid petition had been prepared'; and the and dispassionate consideration of their member for Belfast is a subscriber to the Petition. They pray that at a crisis of Petition.
unexampled danger to the empire, their Mr. Robert La Touche.—The right hon. efforts in its defence may not be impeded doctor alluded to me and my family, as by unjust restrictions; that having been particularly concerned in loyalty may not be sullied by unmerited promoting this Petition, and as if the Pe- degradation; that no bar of separation tition had succeded only by the agency may remain to alienate them from their of some of my connections. Certainly, native country, but that sharing in her Sir, the head of my family has signed his dangers, they may share in her honours name first to the Petition, and although also. formerly in the separate state of Ireland, I have peculiar pleasure in presenting he was hostile to the Catholic claims, he has this Petition, as I am enabled here to disa changed his opinion with the change of prove, both from the magnitude of procircumstances, and very much to his perty, and the nature of its tenure, the unhonour, bas candidly avowed that change. warrantable assertions which have been haHe is totally unfounded in supposing that zarded in this House by a right hon. and this Petition has been produced by any learned civilian, as to the intentions ensuch agency or management. It has been tertained by the Roman Catholics of Iremost respectably signed, by persons of land. I know that 200,000l. have been the utmost independence and above any vested by some of the petitioners, with, influence.
in these ten years past, in the purchase Colonel Vereker said, that a great pro- of landed property, principally on those portion of the Protestants of Limerick very titles which the learned doctor has was not favourable to Catholic Emanciaccused them with a wish to subvert. It pation,
is impossible to furnish a more complete | sure, and until some necessity was shewn, refutation of the learned doctor's assertions he could by no means give his vote in its than the petitioners have done, supplying favour. The House had heard from a noby their practice the most unanswerable ble lord (Castlereagh) that the Bill would commentary upon the monstrous theore- be of considerable importauce, and was tical opinions with which he has so often in truth much wanted in the north of Ire. attempted to mislead this House.
land. He did not, however, feel disposed Mr. Pole Carew called the right hon. ba- to take the noble lord's ipse dixit, and ronet to order, conceiving it to be irregu- should therefore wait for better evidence lar to allude to former discussions.
of the fact, before he could give it impliSir J. Newport. I contend that I have cit credence. A committee ought to be not been out of order, as the right hon. appointed to enquire into the state of Iredoctor had publisted his speech, and sent land, and if they reported that such was it into general circulation, which made it the state of that country as to render such public property, and of course subject to a Bill necessary, he should have no obcomment; especially as the Catholics of jection to give it his sanction, At present Ireland generally, and my constituents in he could only regard it as the worst of particular, most justly complained of the evils, the only effect of which would be unfounded, calumnious assertions contain- to destroy the compact between man and ed in that publication.
man, and create dissentions and disagree. Dr. Duigenan.— In any thing I said ments which could not be too strongly against the Roman Catholics of Ireland in deprecated. He had heard it stated that any former debate, I said against the Ireland was precisely in the same state, whole body, and not against those of Wa- as far as regarded the powers of this Bill, terford, or any other corner of Ireland; as England This he begged leave to
; therefore I cannot see why the right hon. deny. In Ireland a special agreement baronet should have made any allusion to was entered into by the tenant to pay his me. He reminds me of Harlequin in the rent in specie. Would the House then pantomime, building up a castle of paste dissolve these compacts? Would they, board that he might knock it down with | by passing this Bill, completely overthrow his wand of laib; besides, it would have those customs which had so long existed, been more proper if the hon. gentleman without question or inconvenience ? He reserved the eloquence of which we hear could not help thinking that the facility so much every night, when he shall have already given to paper currency had given plenty of opportunities to answer my rise to something like depreciation, and opinions about the Roman Catholic sect. had little doubt that a one pound note and
The Petition of the Catholics of the a shilling would not purchase so much as county and city of Waterford was then a guinea. An hon. gentleman had sug. brought up, presented, read, and ordered gested as a nostrum for this evil, that the to lie on the table. It was the same as
Bank should be suffered to regulate their the General Petition of the Catholics of
own issues; that country banks should be Ireland.
obliged to pay their notes in specie ; and
that government should pay to the Bank GOLD COIN AND BANK Note AMEND- the sum due to them by the country. He MENT Bill.) Mr. Wharton having ap- should be glad to know how these mea, peared at the bar with the report of this sures, if adopted, would have the desired Bill, the question being put for its being effect? Or, how the payment of that sum brought up,
would draw back to the country that coin Mr. Pole Carew expressed his total dis- which appeared to have totally evaporatapprobation of the principle of the Bill, ed ? He was firmly persuaded that the inasmuch as it would create an inducement connection between the government and to give more for coin than its nominal or the Bank was extremely ruinous; but legal value, thereby creating a crime when government allempted to legislate which could not be prevented by any le. for them, and to give value to their notes, gislative act.
the consequences would be fatal. As long Sir Thomas Turton contended, that if as the war in the peninsula continued, the this Bill passed into a law, it would com. country could expect to have no other coin pletely do away the sacred contracts be than the pocket pieces which were at pretween landlords and tenants. He could sent in circulation. He did hear of a flag of see no necessity whatever for such a mea- truce baving arrived, and of some overtures having been made from France. thereto, the prosecutions had amounted to These, he hoped, would meet with that 471. This statement, however, he did not sort of attention the state of the country esteem a just criterion of the real state of required. In conclusion, he declared, that facts; for, although the amount of Bank if the necessity of the measure was clear- notes said to have been discovered to be ly established, he would give it his support, forgeries amounted only to 101,000l. he but otherwise he should certainly vote could by no means suppose, from the numagainst it.
ber of prosecutions, that that sum was in Mr. Taylor took a short view of the mis- anywise proportionate to the number chievous effects which had ever been ex- really in circulation. He conceived the perienced in all ages, and in all countries, present Bill to be perfectly nugatory. by the substitution of a paper currency for Amongst other anomalous principles which the legal coin of the realm. He particu- he had observed in it, was one which he larly instanced the consequences of this thought particularly striking. It was an substitution in the American war, in Aus- old mathematical axiom, that if two things tria, and in France; and, drawing deduc- were equal to one, they were equal to one tions from these examples, he strongly another. Now, by this Bill, a Bank of contended that the present Bill was highly England note and a shilling were made impolitic, and likely to prove highly de- equal to a guinea, and the same regulation trimental to the interests and welfare of was made with respect to an Irish Bank the country.
note and a shilling, although it was well Lord Folkestone expressed his surprise, known that there was a return of discount that so many gentlemen who had expressed - he knew the discount to bave been equal their opinions upon this Bill, should set to 10 per cent. Here, therefore, was an out by declaring their disapprobation of inconsistency for which he could not acits principle, and yet afterwards find some count; it was, in fact, making the Bank of qualifying circumstance which might in England and Bank of Ireland note of equal duce them not to withhold their assent. value; the fact, in truth, being directly Such had been the tenour of the speech of otherwise.--He would not go into a detail the hon. gentleman who had spoken last of all the arguments which history and reHe perfecily agreed with the hon. gentle. cent occurrences would amply furnish, man who spoke first in the evening, that upon the impolicy and ruinous tendency the Bill went to create crimes which did of a paper circulation. Examples had not offend against any moral duty. It been afforded sufficient to induce the would be utterly impossible to prevent the House to pause before they gave their exchange of gold for notes at a discount. sanction to a measure fraught with evils, In a political point of view, so far from and pregnant with the most calamitous being considered an offence, he thought events. Nor would he state the reasons such a traffic was very desirable in the why, from time immemorial, gold and present state of scarcity, as by there being silver had been preferred as the circulating a gold price and a paper price for things, medium of every nation. Their imperishthe specie, if any remained, would be the able nature, their scarcity, every thing in more likely to continue in the country. fact had pointed them out as the best reThe present Bill, however, only went to presentatives of wealth. In addition to increase the temptation to the crime ihe political inexpediency of a paper curwished to be guarded against, and after it | rency, there were a variety of other rea. passed, guineas would be still less in cir- sons, equally strong, against it. Its inconculation than ever. It was well known, venience, its liability to accident and to that the traders in guineas in Dublin, after forgery, rendered it peculiarly objectionthe passing of lord Stanhope's Bill, became able. Supposing a poor man, who had remore anxious in their traffic than ever, and ceived one or two pounds for his week's be had no doubt the system would now be wages, on his way home should get carried to a still greater extent. From the drenched in the rain-what would be the report on the table of the House, relative consequence? his notes, which would no to the number of Bank notes discovered to doubt be consigned to his pocket, would be forgeries by the Bank, it appeared that come out a perfect pap, the numbers would for fourteen years previous to the suspen- be destroyed, and the fruits of his labour sion of cash payments, there had been but would be completely lost. (A laugh.) four cases of prosecution for forgery; Gentlemen might laugh, but such might whereas in the fourteen years subsequent really be the case, and such were the ac(VOL. XXII.)
cidents constantly occurring. He knew Lord A. Hamilton proposed a clause to an instance of a poor man, who had saved confine the dividend of profits to the proup a sum of money, from the fruits of his prietors of the Bank of England to 101. labour, which was in the shape of Bank per cent. during the operation of the Bill. notes, and which he had deposited in a His object was that the Bank might have cupboard in his room. On going to an interest in the recommencement of seek for it afterwards, however, he found payments in specie. that his notes, as well as his bread and This clause was opposed by Mr. Mancheese, had been eaten by the rats. The ning and Mr. Vansittart, and supported by noble lord concluded by declaring his dis- Mr. Brougham ; but it was negatived sent from every principle of the Bill. He without a division. would propose as an amendment, “ That Mr. Taylor proposed a clauze to compel the Report be brought up that day six the Bank to employ the surplus, above months.”
10l. per cent. to the purchase of bullion, Mr. Simeon opposed the amendment. which was also negatived, after some im
Sir John Newport deprecated the inter- portant discussion. ference of the legislature in cases of this Mr. Johnstone proposed a clause to limit kind; as it only afforded to the ministers the issue of Bank notes, which was likeof the day a temporary relief from their wise negatived.-The Bill was then reembarrassments, and went to subvert all committed. principles of political economy.
The Chancellor of the Erchequer proposed Mr. M'Nughten thought it but fair that what he termed a valuable amendment, the Irish tenantry should have as much taking away from the landlord the right of protection as the English.
ejectment after a tender of Bank notes in Mr. Johnstone spoke against the Report payment of his rent by the tenant. It was being brought up. He said the Bill would warmly opposed by Messrs. Horner, be destructive of public credit; and the Brougham, and others, on the ground that only difference between us and foreign it was a most important alteration, deprivnations was, that they bounded into banko ing the landlord of his only remaining reruptcy in three or four years, while we medy, and making Bank notes to all inshould be longer in doing 80; but say tents and purposes legal tender. The what ministers would, it must come to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. same end at last.
Simeon maintained a contrary position, Mr. Vansittart was favourable to the Re- insisting that nothing new in principle was port being brought up. He said, we were suggested, and indeed that the alteration no doubt in a state of difficulty and em- had been in contemplation from the combarrassment, but denied that Bank notes mencement. The amendment was passed were at all depreciated. He believed a without a division; the Report was brought great majority of the House approved of up, received, agreed to, and the Bill orthe Bill, and a much greater majority of dered to be read a tbird time to-morrow, the nation; and therefore it had his hearty support.
HOUSE OF LORDS. Mr. Horner, at considerable length, opposed the general principle of the Bill.
Tuesday, April 21. The invariable effect of legislative inter- PETITIONS
THE ORDERS IN ference was to increase, rather than diini- COUNCIL.) The Duke of Norfolk pre. nish the evil. The root of the evil, the sented a Petition from certain manufacexcessive issue of Bank notes, ought to be turers, traders, and others, of the town of struck at. The rate of exchange was now, Birmingham, against the continuance of in consequence of the measures taken by the Orders in Council, which was ordered government, lower than at the time the to lie on the table. Bullion Committee sat. He remarked upon Earl Fizwilliam presented a Petition to the extraordinary coincidence, that the the same effect, from the body of merrise in the price of bullion exactly kept chants, manufacturers, and other loyal in. pace with the augmented issue of notes habitants of the town of Sheffield, in the from Threadneedle-street.
county of York, and its vicinity. The PeA division then, took place on the questition expressed, in strong language, the tion that the Report be brought up, when opinion of the petitioners respecting these the numbers were--Ayes 138; Noes 29. measures, and praying their lordships to The Report was accordingly received, adopt such measures as in their wisdom when