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venue to be kept, and separate articles of produce to be placed in the way
of debtor and creditor between the two kingdoms, as between two unconnected parties, and though they state, acknowledge, and attempt to form regulations for all these many distinct interests, which no laws can identify or consolidate, and, though even the legal interest of money remains different in the two kingdoms without their attempting to assimilate it, yet they take away the Irish Parliament, which these distinctnesses ought rather to have suggested the creation of, if it did not exist, and they lay the foundation of distress, discontent, and jealousies in this kingdom, if not of worse evils, and tend to familiarise ideas of separation instead of union, to the utter ruin of this
ancient kingdom, and your loyal subjects therein.
“ In regard to manufactures, they acknowledge the interests in them to be so distinct, that they are forced to provide, in express terms, against a free intercourse being allowed between the two kingdoms, in more than twenty general denominations, and they establish countervailing duties on the mutual import of at least twenty-four species of goods, on account of the necessary difference in taxation and the distinctness of revenue, which, from the separate interests of the two kingdoms in them, will not admit of consolidation.
“On the mutual interchange of corn, that great necessary of life, they not only continue duties, but they provide for retaining prohibitions and bounties, and instead of even alledging an identity of interest in so important and general an article, they avow such separate interests to exist in it as law cannot remove; and an interdict is necessary to be laid on its free communication between two kingdoms, while Your Majesty's ministers have at the same time the hardiness to tell us, their project is to unite, identify and consolidate, throughout all their interests.
6 We see with them that these interests are distinct, and we therefore raise up our voices to Your Majesty against their impracticable attempt to consolidate them; an attempt which they themselves acknowledge to be so by their many provisions, all intended to secure a continuance of their distinctness.
“ But however separate these interests are in taxes, in revenue, in trade, and in manufactures, and, however incapable of being identified, we have the happiness of knowing, that in the great point of constitution, no difference exists; both nations have a full right to all the blessings of the British constitution, and we have an identity, not a distinctness of interest, in the possession of it; yet such is the strange passion of Your Majesty's ministers for innovation, that not finding any such distinctness, they do, by these articles, create several highly alarming to us, and to all Your Majesty's subjects of this kingdom, who claim an equal right with Great Britain in the full and free enjoyment of that constitution.
“ All the Irish Temporal Lords, except twenty-eight, are to be incapacitated by this measure from exercising their rights and duties as peers and hereditary counsellors, while every British Temporal Lord is to retain his full functions.
“Four Spiritual Lords only are to have a share in the legislature, while all the British Spiritual Lords are to continue theirs, and two-thirds of the Irish commoners are to be disqualified, while every British commoner remains.
“ The articles further declare, that all Irish peerages shall be considered as peerages of the United Kingdom, whereby the Irish peers who are to be incapacitated from legislating as peers are to continue peers, and may legislate as commoners, against every known principle and established practice of the constitution; nay even when chosen commoners they are not to represent any place in Ireland, the country from whence they derive their honours, although their voices as commoners will extend equally with that of every other commoner to all the concerns of this kingdom; and thus the Irish purse will be eventually put into the hands of the Irish peerage, in direct defiance of a great and fundamental principle of the Constitution.
“ All these degrading, dangerous, and unconstitutional distinctions are not only created in the Irish peerage, but are to remain for ever without power of alteration, by a provision being made in the articles for a constant creation of peers for Ireland.
“ That the Irish peerage is to be kept for ever a distinct body from the British, though the project professes a union of the two kingdonis of Britain and Ireland, and attempts a union of the two Parliaments, of which the peerage is a constituent part ; and this continuance of a separate Irish peerage, stripped as it will be of all parliamentary function, perpetuates a distinction insulting and degrading to this kingdom, which our ministers, if they had solely in view, without any
regard to influence, a lasting union of the Parliaments, to which this continuance no way contributes, would have avoided by providing that the Irish peers, when reduced to the proposed number of twenty-eight, should be declared peers of the United Empire equally with the British, and thus would have dissolved all national distinctions between them for the time to
“ But it is not in trade, revenue and manufactures only, that distinct interests are declared to exist, nor in constitution alone that separate interests are to be created : the same distinctness is to be preserved in the administration of justice, every difference of law, every variation of practice and of regulation which now prevails is to be allowed to distinguish the civil and ecclesiastical courts, with this one exception only, that in the ultimate appeal, every Irish suitor is to be again at the expense and hazard of going to Westminster, instead of having a court in Dublin to resort to.
“ We enlarge the more on these several enumerations of separate interests, avowed or created by Your Majesty's ministers, because the many provisions they propose for their future regulation are so many acknowledgments, that no force of law can identify them, so as to admit of their consolidation ; provisions all in themselves presumptuous and insufficient, inasmuch as it is not in the power of human wisdom to foresee the events of time, and provide now, by a system declared immutable, for the varying changes which must naturally take place in the lapse of years.
“ Under the same conviction, though they profess a union of the two Parliaments, they do not attempt to form out of them one with equal and common powers for both kingdoms; it is to be free in all its functions in respect to Britain, but shackled and bound: up by restrictions as to Ireland.
« In this they deprive Your Majesty's Irish subjects of a Para liament, such only as the British Constitution acknowledges, free in its deliberations for every part of the empire it is to legislate for; such as we have a right to enjoy, equally unrestrained in its powers and unfettered in its proceedings as to the interests of this Your Majesty's kingdom; and such a one, free and independent in all its functions, as we solemnly claimed to be our birthright in 1782, and as Your Majesty, in your wisdom and justice, did then graciously confirm to this kingdom for ever, but which claim and gracious confirmation your ministers now seek to take away
from the kingdom for ever.
“ That having thus shewn to Your Majesty how very inefficient the project of Your Ministers is to answer even the purpose it avows, and how very ruinous its operations must be, if you
shall not be graciously pleased to interfere, we feel it our further duty to expose fully to Your Majesty's view, not only the artful delusions which those ministers have presumed to hold out of supposed advantages in commerce, in revenue, in taxes, and in manufactures, to deceive the people into an approbation of their Scheme, but the corrupt and unconstitutional means which they have used, the undue manner in which they have employed the influence of the Crown, and the misrepresentations which they have made of the sense of Your Majesty's people of Ireland on the measure.
“ Were all the advantages, which without any foundation they have declared that this measure offers, to be its instant and immediate consequence, we do not hesitate to say expressly, that we could not harbour the thought of accepting them in exchange for our Parliament, or that we could, or would, barter our freedom for commerce, or our constitution for revenue ; but the offers are mere impositions, and we state with the firmest confidence, that in commerce or trade their measure confirms no one advantage, nor can it confer any; for by Your Majesty's gracious and paternal attention to this your ancient realm of Ireland, every restriction under which its commerce laboured has been removed during Your Majesty's auspicious reign, and we are now as free to trade to all the world as Britain is.
“ In manufactures any attempt it makes, to offer any benefit which we do not now enjoy, is vain and delusive ; and, wherever it is to have effect, that effect will be to our injury. Most of the duties on import, which operate as protections to our manufactures are, under its provisions, either to be removed or reduced immediately; and those which will be reduced, are to cease entirely at a limited time; though many of our manufactures owe their existence to the protection of those duties; and though it is not in the power of human wisdom to foresee any precise time when they may be able to thrive without them.
" Your Majesty's faithful Commons feel more than an ordinary interest in laying this fact before you ; because they have, under Your Majesty's approbation, raised up and nursed many of those manufactures, and by so doing, have encouraged much capital to be vested in them; the proprietors of which, are now to be left unprotected, and to be deprived of the Parliament on whose faith they embarked themselves, their families, and properties, in the undertaking.
« In revenue we shall not only lose the amount of the duties which are thus to be removed or lowered, and which the papers, laid before us by the Lord-lieutenant, shew to amount to the immediate annual sum of 50,0001., but we shall be deprived of nearly as much more by the annihilation of various export duties, which have subsisted for above a century, on other articles of intercourse, without being felt or complained of by us; and this whole revenue of 50,0001., which operated beneicially to our manufacture, and of near 50,0001. more, which oppressed no manufacture, is to be wantonly given up without the desire or wish of either nation, at a time when our income is more than ever unequal to our expenses, and when the difficulty of raising new taxes to supply its place, is alarmingly increased, by our having been obliged, in this very session, to impose new burthens to the estimated amount of 300,0001. a year; and we cannot but remark, that in this arrangement, while we give up this revenue of near 100,0001. a year, Great Britain is to give up one, not amounting quite to 40,0091.; an inequality no way consonant with the impartiality or justice professed by Your Majesty's ministers, nor anywise consistent with the comparative abilities of the two countries to replace the loss.
“. But the imposition of Your Majesty's ministers is still more glaring, in their having presumed to fix a proportion of contribution towards the general future expenses to be observed by the two kingdoms, in the ratio of one part by Ireland, for every seven parts and a half by Britain.
“ If they had any plausible grounds, whereon they calculated this proportion, they have not deigned to lay them before Your Parliament; and the usual and established forms of committees to investigate into matters of such intricate and extended calcuJation, have been superseded by them.
“ Your Majesty's faithful Commons are satisfied that the calculation is extremely erroneous; and, that on a just and fair enquiry into the comparative means of each country, this kingdom ought not, and is not able, to contribute in any thing like that proportion.
“ They feel it a duty too, to protest, most solemnly, against any arrangement of taxation, on which they have had no documents, or made any enquiry, to guide their judgment, and in which, they . understand, no consideration, whatever, has been had to the different legal interest of money in this kingdom, which causes a disadvantage of 201. per cent. in procuring capital ; nor to the relative quantity of shipping possessed and used by each country,
nor to the export trade in foreign articles ; nor to the extent of manufacture for home consumption ; nor to the balance of trade, which shews the annual increase of its clear profit, and, of course, the annual increase of the fund, it creates to contribute from; in all of which, the means of Britain very far exceed the foregoing proportion, and particularly in the balance of trade, which in in Ireland, amounts to little more than half a million with all the world ; but, is stated by authority, to have amounted to 14,800,0001. in Britain; exclusive of an annual influx of money from the East and West Indies, to the amount of four millions, to the proprietors resident in Britain ; and of two millions from Ireland, to the proprietors of Irish estates resident there; and of another million from Ireland, for the charges of her debt due in Britain ; wliereas the only known or visible influx of money
into Ireland, is the above balance of trade of half a million only ; and these two sums, of two millions and one million, while they add to the wealth and means of Britain, unfortunately take away, in the same amount, from the ability of Ireland.
“ Thus had a due investigation been made, and a fair enquiry gone into, with a view to obtain a true knowledge of facts whereon to ground a just calculation, it would have appeared that this proportion for Ireland is not only unjust, but far beyond what it will be in her power to discharge; and the rashness of Your Majesty's ministers in hazarding such a measure is the more to be lamented or wondered at, because should Ireland engage to pay more than she is able to answer, the necessary consequence must be a rapid decrease of her capital, the decline of her trade, a failure in the produce of her taxes, and, in the end, her total bankruptcy; but under such circumstances she cannot be alone a bankrupt, and should she fatally become so, by an injudicious or avaricious apportionment of constitution, Great Britain must share in her ruin, and our great and glorious empire be brought to the brink of destruction, by an innovating attempt to take from Ireland its constitution, and substitute a theoretic, visionary, and untried system in its room.
- We should therefore earnestly supplicate Your Majesty to oblige your ministers to defer the measure, until a full and satisfactory investigation should be made, if we did not feel that it ought to be entirely relinquished, and that the injuries and dangers attending on it could not be removed by any change of that proportion, or reconciled by any modification of detail whatsoever.
“ Subordinate, however, as the consideration of it is, we cannot omit remarking to Your Majesty that there is cunningly and insidiously annexed to it a provision for its ceasing, even within the short period of three years, should the war continue so long; and that when we shall increase our debt so as that it shall bear the like proportion to the permanent debt of Britain, all the delusive benefit held out by this proportion is to cease, and we are to undergo common taxes with Britain.
« We lament that such delusion should be resorted to; it is too palpable not to be seen, and instead of the confidence which ought