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of distinction, and say what laws are not fundamental, and what laws are; but here there is no occasion; for here are laws which you yourselves have declared not to be fundamental, but to be provisory. In the Union with Scotland, you expressly say that this is subject to the discretion of Parliament; you say, “ until the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall otherwise provide.” Such is the language on this subject, in the twenty-second section of the Scotch Union, and the twenty-fourth of the Irish Union. These laws, therefore, are only provisory, and not fundamental; you have declared it repeatedly; and you have thus abandoned the great argument against the admissibility of the Catholics. By the Union, the declaration of right did not exclude for ever the Catholics: that declaration which signifies this is subject to a future provision. Who are the parties to these Unions? The King and the Parliaments. When I bring up to your table a petition loaded with the multitude of signatures which it contains, let it not be said that the declaration is against them, which the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, which the Parliament of Britain and the Parliament of Ireland have declared to be no part of the fundamental laws of the land. Why was this clause introduced into the Irish Union? It was introduced for the sake of facilitating the Union; it held out to the Catholics a possibility of the removal of their disabilities in the strongest terms; and it made the King a witness that nothing stood in the way of that removal, that it was a subject free to be debated, that there was no coronation oath against it, and no fundamental law of the land. I appeal to the candour of the House, if this is not a fair construction of the meaning of this clause. I appeal to the common sense and integrity of the nation. I appeal to that old English honour which has, as it were, dove-tailed itself into your constitution. I propose to you a measure which will give you safety, and make your enemies weak. Will you not adopt it? Why then will you support a principle which tarnishes your national faith?

If it is said, we do not like to admit the Catholics to a community of privileges with ourselves, I will ask you


you will allow yourselves to be guided by any such prejudices, to reject a measure which is not more essential to the welfare of the Irish Roman Catholic than essential to your own safety ? What would you think of the conduct of that regiment which should refuse to march with another regiment, and to act along with it, because that regiment was Roman Catholic ? Why will you allow yourselves to be under the influence of such uncharitable prepossessions? What must be the consequence? If you will not tolerate one another, you must at last tolerate the conqueror. England is nothing without Ireland, and Ireland is nothing without England. Do you: not know that the preservation of your own religion, your liberty, and all your privileges depends on the success of your efforts against the French ? Do you not know that your success depends on your union among yourselves, and that, if instead of being united, you split and separate, you are a ruined. nation. The government may tell yoli, you can wait. Yes; God Almighty may wait, but will the enemy wait? I now. tell you, unless you tolerate each other, you must tolerate a conqueror. You will be enslaved and plundered, for confiscation will surely follow in the train of conquest. Thus, your property will go to other hands, and you will be a ruined nation. You may be a very grave nation, and a very wise nation; but if in one part of your policy, which is the most essential, you fail, if you split among yourselves, you are a ruined nation. That one error will be your death. It will render you incapable, with all your valour, to contend successfully against your foe, but even to preserve your existence as a nation. I have often wished that some guardian angel would descend, and raise those sectaries from the plain of this world, above the little Babel of their own dissensions, and show them the calamities which were approaching; show them, in the continuance of their jarring, ruin visible; show them France, or rather, hostile Europe, arrayed against them; and then say, “ if you join you may live; but divided, the destruction must be universal."

Amidst all this discussion and dispute about tests, there is one test which has missed the wisdom of the wise, which the politician has not discovered, and which the divine, in his heavenly folly, has also not discovered, but which has been discovered by the common man, and that is, that you must allow every man to follow his own religion, without restriction and without limitation. Catholicism and allegiance are compatible with one another. The Catholics constitute a great proportion of your armies ; a great proportion of your marine force are Catholics; you continue to recruit your forces with Catholics. A statement has been furnished of the proportion between the Protestant and Catholic part of the forces quartered in the Isle of : Wight, and of the crews of several ships at Portsmouth, and the Catholics were by far the greatest proportion: I do not say that the number of each persuasion amount to exactly what has been there stated; but I say, that in a view of our maritime and land forces, the number of Irish Catholics are such as to be enough to turn the scale

of empire. They have enabled you to vanquish those French, for a supposed attachment to whom you disqualify the Irish Catholics. The Russian, the Austrian, and the Prussian armies fled before the armies of France. Neither the insensibility of the Russian soldier, nor the skilful evolutions of the Prusian, availed them in the day of battle; they all fled before the French armies ; so that, with her collected force, she gave a final stroke to the liberties of Europe. Whatever remained of the glory of Europe fell at the feet of France. In the last contest with Austria, feats of courage were displayed by the Austrians such as could be equalled by nothing but the courage that conquered them, and yet the armies of Austria were in a short time shattered by the armies of France. And if in another part of the continent you have been enabled to oppose that nation with more success, to whom was that success principally to be ascribed ? It was to the Scotch Presbyterian, a steady and gallant soldier; it was to the Irish Catholic, whom you have incapacitated from honours and rank, and who, while he was exposing to every breeze his garments bathed in the blood of France, was also carrying about him the marks of your disqualification. One regiment, which had lately distinguished itself in a remarkable manner, was raised in Dublin, almost entirely of Catholics. Had the gallant officer* who raised these men, raised soldiers on the principle on which we admit members of Parliamenthad he insisted on their renouncing the eucharist, and declaring their abhorrence of mass, France would have had one eagle the more, and you would have had one regiment the less; but that gallant man, far above the folly of theology, did not stop for the sanction of either priest or parson, but told the soldier to draw for his country.

The question is, therefore, whether Irish Catholics are, or are not as capable of allegiance as the Protestants are, of which one should think there could hardly remain a doubt.

And if I can collect at present a general sense in favour of the claims of the Roman Catholics, I shall be of opinion that the country may look to the issue of the present contest without dismay, and that she has such a security within herself, that she may behold the utmost efforts of the enemy with tranquillity. Mr. Grattan then moved, “ That the petition of His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects be referred to the consideration of a committee of the whole House."

The motion was supported by Sir John Hippisley Cox, Mr. Wm. Tighe, General Matthew, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Ponsonby, Mr. W. Smith, and Mr. Whitbread. It was opposed by Mr. Bankes, Dr. Duigenan, Mr. C. Adams, Mr. Stephen, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Percival), who denied that the Catholics could found their demands upon any claim of right. Political power was not the right of any individual. The gentlemen who had spoken so much of the Irish, were themselves not infallible; they were at one time the supporters, and at another time the opposers of Dr. · Milner. They were not only aken with respect to him, but mistaken with respect to the veto. At one time the Irish would grant it ; at another time they would not; this argued a distrust of their declarations. In reply to the Chancellor of the Exchequer,

* Lieut. Gen. Sir John Doylė.

Mr. Grattan rose and observed, that he knew how irksome it was to them to hear any further arguments at that late hour; but something had fallen from the right honourable gentleman who spoke last but two (Mr. Percival), which required animadversion. He had said, that he (Mr. Grattan) had changed his manner of introducing this question. It was his duty to show how mistaken he was, and that he had utterly misrepresented the part which he had taken. He did not abandon the statement which he then made. He had said, that he (Mr. Grattan) had excluded foreign nomination then, and that he abandoned it at present. He did not abandon it. He said it would be necessary to prevent French nomination, but that that was matter of regulation; and he added, that they should act handsomely towards the Catholics in the first place, but also that they should take from them that security which the state might require. He had in this done better than the right honourable gentleman, with his degrading concession. The right honourable gentleman had said, that he had once pronounced a panegyric on a certain doctor; he never had. He had said that he was our little deity; he never said any such thing. The right honourable gentleman said, that he (Mr. Grattan) undertook to speak the opinion of the Catholics of Ireland; he had never said any such thing. He had surely said, that he was informed by Dr. Milner that such were their opinions, but he never undertook to promise for their truth. The

The right honourable gentleman had said, that he had expressed himself, that to pay tithes to the Protestant clergy was against the canon of the Almighty; he said no such thing. He had said, that when they were taking from the Catholics their tithes, and taking away from them their qualifications, that that was against the canon of the Almighty. Let them take tithes : very well; but why also take away their civil qualifications ? This was a doctrine of the right honourable gentleman; and it was an abominable doctrine, though he dared to say it was his sincere faith. Were you to take from a people their civil capacity, because they paid your church? This was an attack on the rights of the Catholics, and went to separate the morals of religion from religion itself. It was of the utmost importance never to separate morals from religion. In taking away from onefifth of the empire their civil qualifications, the right honourable gentleman said, he had no charge to bring against the character of the Catholics. Indeed ! and did he profess that they were eternally to lie under the deprivation of their civil privileges, while no charge was to be imputed to them?. He calls civil capacities power. He (Mr. Grattan) did not care by what name the exclusion went, it was enough that it was an exclusion from the state, from the legislature; and was not that an exclusion from civil capacities? It was not in the art of a minister's declamation to alter the nature of things. The Catholics, he says, will destroy the church; and he goes on and states, that if they destroy the church they will destroy the state; and he goes on to státe, that if they destroy the state they will destroy the church; for this was the whole of his argument; it was echo upon echo, repetition on repetition. He urged no argument; he relied on the force of his vociferation in place of argument; he had never attempted to prove any thing that he said: he said, I think, and I think; and he thought wrong. He had said, he had no objection to the character of the Catholics; and yet, before the Catholics could destroy the church, they must be perjured. This is the having no objection to the character, to suppose them perjured. He had called me the declaimer for the Catholics; I say, that the right honourable gentleman is the declaimer for bigots; and if ever there was one declamation without any share of truth or eloquence, it was that speech which he had made against one-fifth of His Majesty's subjects. He has given another reason for their disabilities; the Catholics serve in your army and navy. (A laugh from the opposite side.) The honourable gentleman laughs; but gentlemen who side with ministers are accustomed easily to laugh. What did he mean but this, when he said, if you had their service under the disabilities, why remove them? Well, then, he gave up his charge; he allowed they were base, because what pretence could be have to refuse these privileges, but disaffection ? If that be his conviction, let him refuse them. But if the Catholics were bravely serving in your army at the expence of their blood, that argument could not be too justly abominated. It showed how much men could be carried away by fanaticism and bigotry; it showed how apt they were to verve from moral duty. What was the solidity of the argument, that if the Catholics fought well in the army abroad, that they would fight equally well

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