Sayfadaki görseller

anticipate a very important consequence, not merely such as relates to ministers, but such as relates to the public welfare; namely, that the two nations are disposed to agree. It is a symptom you would do well to cultivate ; for if when a question is started in this country, regarding the extension of the privileges of the other, a serious alarm be created; if your country should take that opportunity of expressing its horrors of the religion of a great portion of the people of the other; if you are to disqualify the talents of a portion of that country on account of religion, and disqualify a portion of the talents of your own country, because they will not agree to that disqualification, and excite a general alarm on such a ground, depend upon it we are ruined — you, more particularly, because you have more to lose. We are ruined, not by religion, but by folly, not by the purity of truth, but by a miserable littleness of understanding

The Irish Catholics see their interest as well as you do, and must know that their property is secured by concord;

but if your country should ever make them or their religion the subject of abhorrence, they will forget their policy, and feel the indignity more than their interest; they will feel as you would feel. While they fight the battles of the English the English have no right to attack their religion; against such an attack I protest; it is one thing to refuse to enlarge their privileges, and another thing to raise a cry against their religion. The ministers and the opposition are fair game, and the consequence of an attack on the character of either is comparatively of little public moment. But an attack on a great portion of the community by the other members, is an attack on the community itself, a division of the public interest, and a fatal diminution of her strength ; the one is only party, the other national schism, it is recruiting for France in Protestant colonies. You cannot say, let us have no distinction of Parliaments, but preserve distinctions of people. What! deprive her of her Parliament, with a view to an identification of people, and then exclaim against the religion of the people so to be identified. Thus, in the face of the enemy, to protest against one another, first against her Parliament, then against her people, would under any guise, or any pretence whatever, be ruinous to your character and ruinous to your interést, there is no reason for it..

Your people have not generally done so. They have obtained popular triumphs over religious discord, a greater enemy even than France. You will no doubt press on them the importance of such a victory, it is the best you can obtain; it is one on which the unanimity of the two islands depends

your efforts abroad must be precarious; but, at home, you may effect great achievements, and by nothing more than by inculcating above all things the value of concord; this is the great western barrier; that can resist continental inundation, and the interim which Providence, should be em, ployed to raise it.

The principles of safety are like those of motion, or like any other that are necessary for the human preservation ; few and simple; it is perverse ingenuity that complicates ; tests should be few and intelligible; political tests should be few and simple; nor is this an indifference about religion, it is religion; the opposite is not so; it is interest, or it is pride, or it is spite; but it is not piety. You said at the time of the union, you would enlarge your horizon. We say to those who urge the cry, you should enlarge your horizon: confined in his views like the peasant in the valley, he sees a few villages with different interests and divisions ; raise him to a view of other countries, those divisions vanish, and those villages appear one nation, with the same interest: he knew his countrymen before by their different features; he now knows them by their resemblance; and he despises their petty distinctions and animosities, his parish jealousies, which fired his little mind and shook his little intellect. So the author of the cry against the Catholics ; he must answer his arguments, not by reforming their understanding, but enlarging his own. There is now but one question in Europe, whether she shall exist; you are a principal in the determination of that question, and a false move or a false division on your part sinks your empire and ruins the globe.

At half-past five in the morning the House divided on Lord Howick's amendment: Ayes 155, Noes 350; Majority in favour of administration 195. Tellers for the Ayes, Mr. Calcraft and Earl Temple.

Noes, Mr. Huskisson and Mr. Charles Long. The address was then agreed to.


July 15. 1807. THE House went into a committee of supply. Mr. Foster

(Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland) observed, that Maynooth College had been originally intended for the education of 200 priests; for that purpose 80001. was granted, but in the last Parliament 50001. additional had been granted, for the purpose

of increasing the number from 200 to 400, and for new buildings :

66 that

as part of the expence had been incurred, he would move, 13,0001. be granted from January, 1807, to January, 1808." The impolicy of continuing the grant in future was argued by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Percival), Mr. Leslie Foster, Mr. Hawkins Browne, Dr. Duigenan, and Col. Barry. They conceived it to be dangerous to support the members of a religion contrary to their own; it tended to give the Catholic religion an advantage over the Protestant. The principle of the grant was supported by Lord Howick, Lord Henry Petty, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Windham, Mr. Dillon, Mr. Parnell, Sir John Newport, and Lord Milton.

Mr. GRATTAN thought it remarkable, that while the gentlemen on the other side agreed to the resolution, they pursued a course of argument directly against it. Their argument, indeed, would militate not only against the proposed increase of the institution, but against its original establishment. The principle of the original establishment was to provide the means of educating and domesticating the Catholic clergy of Ireland, and thus to protect them from the opportunity of imbibing foreign principles. With that view the College of Maynooth was instituted, and the state of the continent at the time rendered such an institution peculiarly necessary. Did any alteration take place in the state of the continent, to abate the amount or character of that university ? It was absurd to say, that the same number of Roman Catholic clergymen would suffice for Ireland now that was thought requisite in 1795, for that would be to suppose the popula. tion at a stand, and nothing could be imagined more absurd than to suppose that 200 clergymen would be sufficient. There were no less than 2,400 parishes and 1,100 benefices in Ireland; and if so many clergymen were appointed to instruct one million of Protestants, or rather half that number, (for the other half, at least of those denominated Protestants belonged to the different classes of dissenters,) how could 200 clergymen be considered competent to perform the ecclesiastical duties of Catholicity to three millions of people? The idea was preposterous. And as to the expense, the Catholics were generally unable to educate their clergy, and they must be educated at the public expense, or they must be ignorant and a disgrace to Christianity. The expense was trifling, and the object was material. Would


friend to toleration or comimon policy starve religion to save the treasury 5,0001.

Mr. Grattan then animadverted in terms peculiarly em- . phatical upon the statements of those who dwelt upon what they called the uncivilized state of Ireland. Some, indeed, said the right honourable gentleman, affect to say that the great body of the Irish people are mere savages. I will not

defend the Irish against such a charge, but I will defend you. If Ireland, after having been so many centuries connected with you, has not learned enough at least to rescue it from the savage state, while the world has been. progressively improving, its connection with this country has not been a blessing, but a nuisance. I will never hear any



the morals or manners of my country, without rising to resist it. I shall always protest against any reflections upon a country, to which I owe so much to which you owe so much — which is still ready to oblige you, and from which, I trust, you will continue to derive the most active and ardent support.

Mr. Foster's resolution was then agreed to.




July 24. 1807.

ON the 9th, the secretary to the Lord-lieutenant in Ireland,

(Sir Arthur Wellesley,) obtained leave to bring in a bill for the suppression of insurrection in Ireland. He said, that an act had passed in the Irish Parliament in 1796, to prevent unlawful assemMr. Croker proposed an amendment, that ten minutes should be allowed after admittance was demanded, before the officers should have a right to enter by force; the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Percival) proposed to substitute the words “ reasonable time” in place of " ten minutes.” To this proposal Mr. Croker acquiesced; the substitution


it authorised the Lord-lieutenant on the report of the ma. gistrates, to proclaim any county where disturbances existed; that act required all persons in such counties to keep within their houses from sun-set to sun-rise; and empowered the magistrates to send persons offending, on board His Majesty's navy. The bill he proposed, contained similar provisions with regard to the power of the Lord-lieutenant to proclaim, and the magistrates to arrest; but it so far differed, that instead of enabling the magistrates to transport, it required that the persons arrested should be tried at the quarter sessions, by the magistrates and assistant barrister, together with the aid of a king's counsel, and a serjeant at law, specially sent down for that purpose. He also moved for leave to bring in a bill to prevent improper persons from keeping arms, by obliging them to register, and authorizing the magistrates to search; he proposed seven years for the duration of these bills. Mr. Grattan expressed his concern that a bill of this description should be necessary; it was violent in its nature, and therefore should be short, and could only be justified by imperious necessity. Leave was accordingly given to bring in both bills ; and on this day (the 24th), Sir Arthur Wellesley moved the committal of the 'insurrection bill. On the clause empowering magistrates to search houses,

was opposed by Sir John Newport, Sir Samuel Romilly, Doctor Lawrence, Mr. Whitbread, Mr. Abercrombie, and Mr. Laing : it was supported by Colonel Vereker, Colonel Barry, Mr. John Claudius Beresford : it was urged by those who opposed the measure, that the necessity of such a severe proceeding should be established; that there was no proof of any disturbances in Ireland ; that the country was loyal and tranquil; and that the discontent, and the administering unlawful oaths, which had existed some time ago, no longer existed at present.

Mr. GRATTAN said, that the committee were about to invest an extraordinary power somewhere. It ought, therefore, to be done with caution ; but who were the persons to be invested with the power ? perhaps some lawless miscreant, some low officer, or perhaps the discretion of their “reasonable time,” was to be lodged in the bosom of any convenient menial, some postilion, coachman, ostler, or plough-boy, who, under the sanction of the law, was to judge when it would be a reasonable time for him to rush into the apartment of a female, while she was hastily, throwing on her clothes, to open the door to this midnight visitor. This would give a wound that would be felt long, it would throw a general odium about the bill; if the character of the bill would be saved, any thing admitting the possibility of such abuse should be sacrificed to it.

The Solicitor-general (Sir Thomas Plomer) conceived, that the case put by Mr. Grattan was not very probable; he confessed he did not feel so very nicely on the subject, as the right honourable gentleman. He thought the words “ reasonable time" were much fitter for the purpose, than “ ten minutes.”

Mr. Grattan said, that the learned gentleman had told the committee what it ought to argue upon, and what it ought not to argue upon. It was good in that learned gentleman to give the committee the aid of his instruction ; but is the

gentleman quite sure of being himself altogether right? In the first place, all the other questions are not wholly gone; for I may agree to the clause or its modification, or reject both, and afterwards agree to or dissent from the principle of the bill itself. Again, has the learned gentleman been right in his statement of the question ? he has argued on the propriety of vesting the magistrate with the discretion of judging of the “ reasonable time;" but this is not the question. It is,


« ÖncekiDevam »