• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Half Title
 February, 1825
 March, 1825
 April, 1825
 Addendum - Unlawful societies in...
 Index to debates in the House of...
 Index to Debates in the House of...
 Index of names - House of...
 Index of names - House of...














Group Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Title: The parliamentary debates
ALL VOLUMES CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073533/00012
 Material Information
Title: The parliamentary debates
Uniform Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Physical Description: 20 v. : ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Great Britain -- Parliament
Hansard, T. C ( Thomas Curson ), 1776-1833
Publisher: Published under the superintendence of T.C. Hansard
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1820-1829
 Subjects
Subject: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 1820-1830   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: New ser., v. 1 (1820)-v. 20 (1829).
Numbering Peculiarities: Covers Mar. 1820-Feb./Mar. 1829.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073533
Volume ID: VID00012
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 07655703
lccn - sn 85062629
 Related Items
Preceded by: Parliamentary debates for the year 1803 to the present time
Succeeded by: Hansard's parliamentary debates

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
        Table of Contents 3
        Table of Contents 4
        Table of Contents 5
    Half Title
        Half Title
    February, 1825
        Page 1-2
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 3
            Page 1-2
            Page 3-4
            Page 5-6
            Page 7-8
            Page 9-10
            Page 11-12
            Page 13-14
            Page 15-16
            Page 17-18
            Page 19-20
            Page 21-22
            Page 23-24
            Page 25-26
            Page 27-28
            Page 29-30
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 3
            Page 31-32
            Page 33-34
            Page 35-36
            Page 37-38
            Page 39-40
            Page 41-42
            Page 43-44
            Page 45-46
            Page 47-48
            Page 49-50
            Page 51-52
            Page 53-54
            Page 55-56
            Page 57-58
            Page 59-60
            Page 61-62
            Page 63-64
            Page 65-66
            Page 67-68
            Page 69-70
            Page 71-72
            Page 73-74
            Page 75-76
            Page 77-78
            Page 79-80
        House of Commons - Friday, February 4
            Page 81-82
            Page 83-84
            Page 85-86
            Page 87-88
            Page 89-90
            Page 91-92
            Page 93-94
            Page 95-96
            Page 97-98
            Page 99-100
            Page 101-102
            Page 103-104
            Page 105-106
            Page 107-108
            Page 109-110
            Page 111-112
            Page 113-114
            Page 115-116
            Page 117-118
            Page 119-120
            Page 121-122
            Page 123-124
        House of Lords - Monday, February 7
            Page 125-126
        House of Commons - Monday, February 7
            Page 127-128
        House of Lords - Tuesday, February 8
            Page 127-128
            Page 129-130
            Page 131-132
            Page 133-134
            Page 135-136
            Page 137-138
            Page 139-140
            Page 141-142
            Page 143-144
            Page 145-146
            Page 147-148
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 8
            Page 149-150
            Page 151-152
            Page 153-154
            Page 155-156
            Page 157-158
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 10
            Page 159-160
            Page 161-162
            Page 163-164
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 10
            Page 165-166
            Page 167-168
            Page 169-170
            Page 171-172
            Page 173-174
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            Page 195-196
            Page 197-198
            Page 199-200
            Page 201-202
            Page 203-204
            Page 205-206
            Page 207-208
            Page 209-210
            Page 211-212
            Page 213-214
            Page 215-216
            Page 217-218
            Page 219-220
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            Page 225-226
            Page 227-228
            Page 229-230
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            Page 237-238
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            Page 241-242
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            Page 261-262
            Page 263-264
            Page 265-266
            Page 267-268
            Page 269-270
            Page 271-272
            Page 273-274
        House of Commons - Friday, February 11
            Page 275-276
            Page 277-278
            Page 279-280
            Page 281-282
            Page 283-284
            Page 285-286
            Page 287-288
            Page 289-290
            Page 291-292
            Page 293-294
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            Page 297-298
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            Page 307-308
            Page 309-310
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            Page 337-338
            Page 339-340
            Page 341-342
            Page 343-344
            Page 345-346
        House of Commons - Monday, February 14
            Page 347-348
            Page 349-350
            Page 351-352
            Page 353-354
            Page 355-356
            Page 357-358
            Page 359-360
            Page 361-362
            Page 363-364
            Page 365-366
            Page 367-368
            Page 369-370
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            Page 373-374
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            Page 377-378
            Page 379-380
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            Page 399-400
            Page 401-402
            Page 403-404
            Page 405-406
            Page 407-408
            Page 409-410
            Page 411-412
            Page 413-414
            Page 415-416
            Page 417-418
            Page 419-420
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 15
            Page 421-422
            Page 423-424
            Page 425-426
            Page 427-428
            Page 429-430
            Page 431-432
            Page 433-434
            Page 435-436
            Page 437-438
            Page 439-440
            Page 441-442
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            Page 447-448
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            Page 451-452
            Page 453-454
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            Page 457-458
            Page 459-460
            Page 461-462
            Page 463-464
            Page 465-466
            Page 467-468
            Page 469-470
            Page 471-472
            Page 473-474
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            Page 477-478
            Page 479-480
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            Page 519-520
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 17
            Page 521-522
            Page 523-524
            Page 525-526
            Page 527-528
            Page 529-530
            Page 531-532
            Page 533-534
            Page 535-536
            Page 537-538
        House of Commons - Friday, February 18
            Page 539-540
            Page 541-542
            Page 543-544
            Page 545-546
            Page 547-548
            Page 549-550
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            Page 559-560
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            Page 563-564
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            Page 567-568
            Page 569-570
            Page 571-572
            Page 573-574
            Page 575-576
            Page 577-578
            Page 579-580
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            Page 583-584
            Page 585-586
            Page 587-588
            Page 589-590
        House of Lords - Monday, February 21
            Page 591-592
        House of Commons - Monday, February 21
            Page 591-592
            Page 593-594
            Page 595-596
            Page 597-598
            Page 599-600
            Page 601-602
            Page 603-604
            Page 605-606
            Page 607-608
            Page 609-610
        House of Commons - Tuesday, February 22
            Page 611-612
            Page 613-614
            Page 615-616
            Page 617-618
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            Page 625-626
            Page 627-628
            Page 629-630
            Page 631-632
            Page 633-634
        House of Commons - Wednesday, February 23
            Page 635-636
            Page 637-638
            Page 639-640
        House of Lords - Thursday, February 24
            Page 641-642
            Page 643-644
        House of Commons - Thursday, February 24
            Page 645-646
            Page 647-648
            Page 649-650
            Page 651-652
            Page 653-654
            Page 655-656
            Page 657-658
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        House of Commons - Friday, February 25
            Page 661-662
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            Page 701-702
            Page 703-704
            Page 705-706
            Page 707-708
            Page 709-710
        House of Lords - Monday, February 28
            Page 711-712
            Page 713-714
            Page 715-716
        House of Commons - Monday, February 28
            Page 717-718
            Page 719-720
            Page 721-722
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            Page 749-750
    March, 1825
        Page 751-752
        House of Lords - Tuesday, March 1
            Page 751-752
        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 1
            Page 751-752
            Page 753-754
            Page 755-756
            Page 757-758
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 2
            Page 845-846
            Page 847-848
            Page 849-850
            Page 851-852
        House of Lords - Thursday, March 3
            Page 853-854
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        Hosue of Commons - Thursday, March 3
            Page 899-900
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            Page 905-906
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            Page 913-914
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            Page 919-920
        House of Lords - Friday, March 4
            Page 921-922
            Page 923-924
        House of Commons - Friday, March 4
            Page 925-926
            Page 927-928
            Page 929-930
            Page 931-932
            Page 933-934
        House of Lords - Monday, March 7
            Page 935-936
            Page 937-938
            Page 939-940
            Page 941-942
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 7
            Page 949-950
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            Page 953-954
            Page 955-956
            Page 957-958
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            Page 961-962
        House of Lords - Wednesday, March 9
            Page 963-964
        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 9
            Page 965-966
            Page 967-968
            Page 969-970
            Page 971-972
        House of Commons - Thursday, March 10
            Page 973-974
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            Page 977-978
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        House of Commons - Friday, March 11
            Page 989-990
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, March 15
            Page 1013-1014
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 15
            Page 1019-1020
            Page 1021-1022
            Page 1023-1024
            Page 1025-1026
            Page 1027-1028
            Page 1029-1030
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 16
            Page 1047-1048
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        House of Commons - Thursday, March 17
            Page 1073-1074
        House of Commons - Friday, March 18
            Page 1073-1074
            Page 1075-1076
            Page 1077-1078
            Page 1079-1080
            Page 1081-1082
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 21
            Page 1089-1090
            Page 1091-1092
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            Page 1095-1096
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 22
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 23
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 24
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        House of Lords - Friday, March 25
            Page 1193-1194
        House of Commons - Friday, March 25
            Page 1195-1196
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        House of Commons - Monday, March 28
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, March 29
            Page 1269-1270
            Page 1271-1272
            Page 1273-1274
            Page 1275-1276
        House of Commons - Tuesday, March 29
            Page 1277-1278
            Page 1279-1280
            Page 1281-1282
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, March 30
            Page 1313-1314
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    April, 1825
        Page 1325-1326
        House of Lords - Wednesday, April 13
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        House of Lords - Thursday, April 14
            Page 1335-1336
        House of Commons - Thursday, April 14
            Page 1337-1338
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        House of Lords - Friday, April 15
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        House of Commons - Friday, April 15
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        House of Lords - Monday, April 18
            Page 1361-1362
        House of Commons - Monday, April 18
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    Addendum - Unlawful societies in Ireland bill
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    Index to debates in the House of Lords
        Page 1389-1390
    Index to Debates in the House of Commons
        Page 1389-1390
    Index of names - House of Lords
        Page 1391-1392
    Index of names - House of Commons
        Page 1393-1394
        Page 1395-1396
        Page 1397-1398
Full Text




THE


PARLIAMENTARY



DEBATES:


FORMING A CONTINUATION OF THE WORK ENTITLED

" THE PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF ENGLAND,

FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE YEAR 1803."


PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF

T. C. HANSARD.


COMMENCING WLTII THE ACCESSION


VO L. XII -

COMPRISING THE PC D
FROM < .
o'" -" ,"
THE THIRD DAY OF FEBRUARY,
TO


THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF APRIL, 1825.




LONDON:

printeb bt (c. C. Wattngatrb at the patevnaoter-Utan Pmref,
FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY; J. BOOKER; LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND CO.;
J. M. RICHARDSON; KINGSBURY AND CO.; J. HATCHARD AND SON; J. RIDGWAY
AND SONS; E. JEFFERY AND SON; RODWELL AND MARTIN; R. H. EVANS;
BUDD AND CALKIN; J. BOOTH; AND T. C. HANSARD.

1825.
f4 ,














TABLE OF CONTENTS

TO

VOLUME XII.

NEW SERIES.






L. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF III. KING'S SPEECHES.
LoDas. IV. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.
II. DEBATES IN TUE HOUSE OF V. PETITIONS.
COMMONS. VI. LISTS.



I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.

1825. Page
Feb. 3. Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session .. 1
Joint-Stock Companies .................... ............ 31
7. State of Ireland....................................... 126
Clerk of Parliament .................. ..... ........ 126
Scotch Judicature .................................. 127
Joint-Stock Companies ............... ... ............ 127
8. The Marquis of Lansdown's Motion for Copies of Despatches
from the Lord Lieutenant, relative to Unlawful Societies in
Ireland ........ .......... .......................... 128
10. Committee on the State of Ireland ...................... 160
21. State of the Navy ...................................... 591
24. Spring-Guns Bill ............................ ......... 641
Petition of the Roman Catholics of Ireland ............... .642
Petition of the Protestants of Dublin in favour of Catholic
Emancipation ..................................... 644
28. Scotch Juries Bill ...................................... 711
Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill-Petitions for and against .. 711
Mining Speculations.................................. 751
Mar, S. Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill ........................ 854
4. Spring-Guns Bi .................................... 922
7. Roman Catholic Claims ............................... 936
Spring-Guns Bill ......................... ....... 937


_ ___







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
litr. 7. Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill ........................ 942
9. Roman Catholic Claims-Petition from Kilkenny in favour of.. 964 1 ,j
15. Spring-Guns Bill .................................... 1014r
25. Equitable-Loan Bill-Joint-Stock Companies .............. 1194.'
29. Roman Catholic Claims-Petitions of the Clergy against.... 1270
Apr. 13. Roman Catholie Claims-Petition$ for and against .......... 1326
14. Roman Catholic Claims ............................... 1935"
Conduct of Judge Kendrick......... ................. 1336
15. Equitable-Loan Bill'.................................... 150
18. Roman Catholic Claims ................................ 1361


II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Feb. 3. Address on the King's Speech at the Opening of the Session .. 31
4. Address on the King's Speech at tile Opening of the Session .. 82
Unlawful Societies in Ireland-Call of the House............ 124
7. The King's Answer to the Address........................ 128
8. Usury Laws Repeal Bill ............................... 150
County Courts-Small Debts Bill ............... .......... 152
Irish Marriage Acts ..................................... 152
1,0. Roman Catholic Association ............................ 166
Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill ........................ 168
11. Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill ........................ 275
14. Navy Estimates........................................ 348
Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill ...... ................ 352
15. Roman Catholic Association-Petition against .............. 422
Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill ..................... 424
17. Petition of Catholic Association of Ireland against Unlawful
SSocieties in Ireland Bill ............................ 522
Game Laws Bill........................................ 528
Turnpike Trusts .......................... ......... 529
Usury Laws Repeal Bill .............................. 531
18. Thames Quay ........................................ 540
Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill-Petitions for and against .. 542
Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill-Mr. Brougham's Motion
for hearing Roman Catholic Association at the Bar of the
House ............................................ 544
21. Navy Estimates.....:................................... 592
Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill ...... ................. 598
22. St. Catherine's Docks Bill ........................i.... 612
County Transfer of Land Bill .......................... 614
Parish Vestries in Ireland Bill ............................ 617
Landlords and Tenants in Ireland .................. ... .. 621
Justices of Peace in Ireland ............... ............ 624
Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill ............... .... 626
23. Votes of Members on Questions in .which they are personally
interested .................. ... .............. i .... 635
24. Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill-Petitions for and against 646







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page"
Feb. 21. Norfolk Assizes................................ .. P 8
Export of Tools and Machinery ........................... 651
Removal of British-born Subjects from India .............. 652
Bear-baiting Prevertion Bill ............... ........... 657
Navy Estimates.................... ........... ........... 661
25. Standing Orders-Isle of Dogs' Railway .................. 662
British Museum........................ ............. 664
Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill ....................... 666
28. Joint-Stock Companies................................. 717
Financial Situation of the Country ...................... 719
London Water Company Bill ....... .......... .......... 752
Call of the House ...................................... 753
Roman Catholic Priests-Petition of John Kirby ............ 754
Roman Catholic Claims-Petition of the Catholics of Ireland for
an Equalization of Civil Rights ....................... 757
Sir Francis Burdett's Motion for a Committee on the Claims of
the Roman Catholics ................................ 764
Mar. 2. Standing Orders-Liverpool and Manchester Railway Bill .... 845
3. Unlawful Societies in Ireland-Orange Lodges .............. 899
Mr. Maberly's Motion for the Repeal of the Assessed Taxes .. 901
4. Army Estimates .................... ................ 925
7. Game Laws Bill...................................... 950
Army Estimates ..................................... 957
9. Peruvian Mining Company's Bill ................... .. 965
Metropolitan Fish Company Bill ......... ................ 965
Juries Regulation Bill .................................. 966
10. Mr. Hume's Motion respecting Votes of Members on Questions
in which they have a pecuniary Interest.................. 973
Reduction of Duties on Foreign Spirits, Tobacco, and Tea .... 986
11. Saint Catherine's Docks Bill ............................ 990
Metropolitan Water-Works Company .................... 992
Quarantine Laws-Petition of Dr. Maclean ................ 993
Duties on the Importation of Iron, Copper, &c. ............ 996
Army Extraordinaries-Cape of Good Hope-Lord Charles
Somerset ....... .................................. 998
Mutiny Bill ......................................... 999
Cruelty to Animals Bill ............................... 1002
15. Metropolitan Fish Company Bill.......................... 1020
Thames Quay ....................................... 1022
Roman Catholic Claims-Petition of the University of Cam-
bridge against...................................... 1030
Canadian Waste Lands Bill .............................. 1033
Irish Bankers Co-partnerships Bill ........................ 1039
Irish Butter Trade .... ......... .............. .... 1045
16. Peruvian Mining Company Bill .......................... 1048
17. Clergymen holding Offices in Corporations ................ 1073
18. Joint-Stock Companies ............................... 1074
Irish Miscellaneous Services .......................... 1076
Irish Linen Board ................................... .. 1078







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Pdge
Mar. 18.' East India Sugars ....................................................... 1081
21. Civil Contingencies-Diplomatic Expenditure ................... 1090
Colonial Policy of the Country....................... ......... 1097
Police Magistrates Bill ...................................... ........... 1128
22. Private Committees-Want of Accommodation................... 1132
Roman Catholic Relief Bill ......................................... 1134
Irish Poor Relief Bill.................................................... 1136
Law of Settlement ......... ........... ............................. 1138
Wine Duties Bill ...............................................,........ 1189
Caledonian Canal Bill ......................................:........... 1143
23. Roman Catholic Relief Bill ........................................... 1143
24. Ill-treatment of Animals Bill ............................. ......... 1160
Threatening Letters Punishment Bill ............................... 1162
Felonies Pardon Bill ................................ .. ...... 1162
Indian Army ............................................................. 1167
25. Foreign Commerce of the Country ................................... 1196
Dissenters Marriages Bill ........................................... 1236
28. Corn Laws............................................................... 1245
Roman Catholic Claims.................................................. 1246
Roman Catholic Clergy ........... .................................. 1246
Irish Elective Franchise ............................................. 1246
Miscellaneous Estimates ........................ ..................... 1257
Public Buildings ....................... ....................... 1257
British Museum ........................................................... 1264
29. West India Company Bill............................................... 127S
Joint-Stock Companies......................... ................. 1279
Repeal of the Bubble Act .................. ......... ............ 1279
Petition of R. Carlile .................................. 1285
Combination Laws ............ ........................................ 1288
TMar. 3O. Joint-Stock Compqnies--Mr. Buxton and Mr. Robertson ...... 1314
Quarantine Laws Bill ........ ........................................ 1315
Apr. 14. Breach of Privilege-Forging of Names to a Petition ........... 1338
Linen Trade of Ireland .................................... .......... 1340
Episcopiil Unions and Pluralities in Ireland ....................... 1341
State of the printed Reports of the House, &c. .................. 1347
Sierra Leone ........................................................... 1349
15. Thames Quay Bill...................................................... 1351
Combination Laws ................ ....;..... .......................... 1351
Grant to Mr. M'Adam.................................................. 1352
The Custom-House-Mr. Peto ........................ .............. 1354
Irish Miscellaneous Estimates ......................................... 1355
Emigration from Ireland to the Canadas............................. 1358
18. Roman Catholic Claims........ ......................................... 1363
Scotch Jurors Bill ...................................................... 1372
F:eb. 14. ADDENDUM.-Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill.-A more cor-
rect Report of the Speech of Mr. Dawson than the one given
at p. 357................. .....................................1373








TABLE OF CONTENTS.


III. KING'S SPEECHES.

Page
Feb. 3. KING'S SPEECH on Opening the Session .......................


IV. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.

Feb. 28. Resolutions of the Commons, in a Committee of the whole
House, on the Claims of the Roman Catholics .................. 44
Mar.23. Copy of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, as brought in by Sir
Francis Burdett ...................................................... 1151


V. PETITIONS.

Feb. 17. PETITION of the Roman Catholic Association of Ireland against
the Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill................. 523
28. of the Roman Catholics of Ireland for an Equalization
of Civil Rights ..................................... ... 758
Mar. 11. -- -- of Dr. Maclean for a Repeal of the Quarantine Laws.. 993
Apr. 13. - of the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Totness against
the Roman Catholic Claims ........................ 1328
- of the Rev. John Pike in favour of the Roman~Catholic
Claims ........................................... ........... 331


VI. LISTS.

Feb. 15. LIST of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Goul-
burn's Motion for leave to bring in the Unlawful Socie-
ties in Ireland Bill ........................................ 52 1'
21. of the Minority in the House of Commons, on the second
reading of the Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill........ 611
25. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the third
reading of the Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill,....... 710
28. of the Majority, and also of the Minority, in the House of
Commons, on Sir Francis Burdett's Motion for a Com-
mittee on the Claims of the Roman Catholics ........... 840
Mar. 3. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Ma-
berly's Motion for a Repeal of the Assessed Taxes...... 921
7. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Army
Estimates ......................................... ..... .. 964
24. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr.
Hume's Motion respecting the Stat sof the Indian Army 1193


VOL. XII.




.w


PARLIAMENTARY


VEBA T E S.








THE


Par iamentaryDebates


During the Sixth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Third Day of
February 1825, in the Sixth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, February 3, 1825.
THE KING'S SPEECH ON OPENING THE
SEssioN.] This day the Session was
opened by Commission. The Lords Com-
missioners were, Lord Chancellor Eldon,
the archbishop of Canterbury, and the
earls of Westmorland, Harrowby, and
Shaftsbury. The usher of the black rod
having been ordered to require the at-
tendance of the House of Commons, he
withdrew. In a few minutes after, the
Speaker, accompanied by a considerable
number of the members, having appeared
at the bar, the lord chancellor opened the
Session with the following Speech to both
Houses:-
My Lords and Gentlemen;
We are commanded by His Majesty
to express to you the gratification which
His Majesty derives from the continuance
and progressive increase of that public
prosperity upon which his Majesty con-
gratulated you at the opening of the last
session of parliament.
There never was a period in the his-
tory of this country, when all the great
interests of the nation were at the same
time in so thriving a condition, or when
a feeling of content and satisfaction was
more widely diffused through all classes
of the British people.
. It is no small addition to the grati-
fication of his Majesty, that Ireland is par-
ticipating in the general prosperity. The
VOL. XII. {,,,.})


outrages, for the suppression of which ex-
traordinary powers were confided to his
Majesty, have so far ceased, as to warrant
the suspension of. the exercise of those
powers in most of the districts heretofore
disturbed.
Industry and commercial enterprise
are extending themselves in that part of
the United Kingdom. It is, therefore,
the more to be regretted, that associations
should exist in Ireland, which have adopt-
ed proceedings irreconcilable with the
spirit of the Constitution, and calculated,
by exciting alarm, and by exasperating ani-
mosities, to endanger the peace of society,
and to retard the course of national im-
provement.
His Majesty relies upon your wisdom
to consider, without delay, the means of
applying a remedy to this evil.
His Majesty further recommends the
renewal of the inquiries instituted last
session into the state of Ireland.
His Majesty has seen with regret the
interruption of tranquillity in India, by
the unprovoked aggression and extrava-
gant pretensions of the Burmese Govern-
ment, which rendered hostile operations
against that state unavoidable.
"It is, however, satisfactory to find
that none of the other native powers have
manifested any unfriendly disposition, and
that the bravery and conduct displayed
by the forces already employed against
the enemy, afford the most favourable
B








THE


Par iamentaryDebates


During the Sixth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Third Day of
February 1825, in the Sixth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, February 3, 1825.
THE KING'S SPEECH ON OPENING THE
SEssioN.] This day the Session was
opened by Commission. The Lords Com-
missioners were, Lord Chancellor Eldon,
the archbishop of Canterbury, and the
earls of Westmorland, Harrowby, and
Shaftsbury. The usher of the black rod
having been ordered to require the at-
tendance of the House of Commons, he
withdrew. In a few minutes after, the
Speaker, accompanied by a considerable
number of the members, having appeared
at the bar, the lord chancellor opened the
Session with the following Speech to both
Houses:-
My Lords and Gentlemen;
We are commanded by His Majesty
to express to you the gratification which
His Majesty derives from the continuance
and progressive increase of that public
prosperity upon which his Majesty con-
gratulated you at the opening of the last
session of parliament.
There never was a period in the his-
tory of this country, when all the great
interests of the nation were at the same
time in so thriving a condition, or when
a feeling of content and satisfaction was
more widely diffused through all classes
of the British people.
. It is no small addition to the grati-
fication of his Majesty, that Ireland is par-
ticipating in the general prosperity. The
VOL. XII. {,,,.})


outrages, for the suppression of which ex-
traordinary powers were confided to his
Majesty, have so far ceased, as to warrant
the suspension of. the exercise of those
powers in most of the districts heretofore
disturbed.
Industry and commercial enterprise
are extending themselves in that part of
the United Kingdom. It is, therefore,
the more to be regretted, that associations
should exist in Ireland, which have adopt-
ed proceedings irreconcilable with the
spirit of the Constitution, and calculated,
by exciting alarm, and by exasperating ani-
mosities, to endanger the peace of society,
and to retard the course of national im-
provement.
His Majesty relies upon your wisdom
to consider, without delay, the means of
applying a remedy to this evil.
His Majesty further recommends the
renewal of the inquiries instituted last
session into the state of Ireland.
His Majesty has seen with regret the
interruption of tranquillity in India, by
the unprovoked aggression and extrava-
gant pretensions of the Burmese Govern-
ment, which rendered hostile operations
against that state unavoidable.
"It is, however, satisfactory to find
that none of the other native powers have
manifested any unfriendly disposition, and
that the bravery and conduct displayed
by the forces already employed against
the enemy, afford the most favourable
B








3] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [0
prospect of a successful termination of his Majesty has directed to be laid before
the contest. you.
S Some difficulties have arisen with re-
"1 Gentlemen ofthe House of Commons; spect to the ratification of the treaty for
His Majesty has directed us to inform the same object which was negotiated
you that the Estimates of the year will last year between his Majesty and the
be forthwith laid before you. United States of America.
The state of India, and circumstances These difficulties, however, his Ma-
connected with other parts of his Majesty's jesty trusts, will not finally impede the
foreign possessions, will render some aug- conclusion of so beneficial an arrange-
mentation in his military establishments ment.
indispensable. "In conformity with the declarations
His majesty has, however, the sincere which have been repeatedly made by his
gratification of believing, that, notwith- Majesty, his Majesty has taken measures
standing the increase of expense arising for confirming by treaties the commercial
out of this augmentation, such is the relations already subsisting between this
flourishing condition, and progressive im- kingdom, and those countries of America
provement of the revenue, that it will which appear to have established their
still be in your power, without affecting separation from Spain.
public credit, to give additional facilities So soon as these treaties shall be
to the national industry, and to make a completed, his Majesty will direct copies
further reduction in the burthens of his of them to be laid before you.
people. His Majesty commands us not to
My Lords and Gentlemen; conclude without congratulating you upon
the continued improvement in the state
His Majesty commands us to inform of the agricultural interest, the solid
you, that his Majesty continues to receive foundation of our national prosperity; nor
from his Allies, and generally from all without informing you, that evident ad-
Princes and States, assurances of their vantage has been derived from the relief
unabated desire to maintain and cultivate which you have recently given to com,
the relations of peace with his Majesty, merce by the removal of inconvenient
and with each other;- and that it is his restrictions.
Majesty's constant endeavour to preserve His Majesty recommends to you to
the general tranquillity. persevere (as circumstances may allow)
SThe negotiations which have been so in the removal of similar restrictions; and
long carried on through his Majesty's his Majesty directs us to assure you, that
Ambassador at Constantinople, between you may rely upon his Majesty's cordial
the Emperor of Russia and the Ottoman co-operation in fostering and extending
Porte, have been brought to an amicable that commerce, which, whilst it is, under
issue, the blessing of Providence, a main source
His Majesty has directed to be laid of strength and power to this country,
before you, copies of arrangements which contributes in no less a degree to the
have been entered into with the kingdoms happiness and civilization of mankind."
of Denmark and Hanover, for improving The Commons then withdrew. After
the commercial intercourse between those which, the Speech being again read by
States and the United kingdom. the Lord Chancellor, and also by the
A treaty, having for its object the Clerk at the Table,
more effectual suppression of the slave- Viscount Dudley and Ward observed,
trade, has been concluded between his that in rising to move an humble Address
y ad te k o to his Majesty, in answer to his gracious
Majesty and the king of Sweden, a copy Speech, he trusted that any apology was
of which treaty (as soon as, the ratifica- rendered less necessary by the advan,
tions thereof shall have been exchanged) tageous circumstances under which he








5] The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


had undertaken this task. For a long
period those who stood in his situation
had to ask their lordships to support the
Crown in an anxious, doubtful, and pro-
tracted struggle, and in which success
itself was purchased by severe sacrifices;
and sometimes even to apologise for mea-
sures which, until the causes of them were
fully understood, were of a nature not
only to make us despond of the event of
the war, but even to shake the public
confidence in the wisdom of those by
whom it was conducted. At a later
period, and after a series of astonishing
successes terminated in a triumphant
peace, it was their equally difficult and
still more irksome task, to entreat their
lordships to set an example of patience
under those embarrassments, agricultural
and commercial, in which they so largely
shared; and which, from whatever cause
they flowed, so long obstructed the be-
nefits of restored tranquillity, and were
the more severely felt, because it was im-
possible to foresee them in their full ex-
tent and duration. These were tasks which
required both confidence and ability. He
had no such sacrifices to ask; no such
hard lessons to teach. After more than
thirty years of effort and endurance, it
was his good fortune to ask their lordships
to carry to the foot of the Throne their
unmixed, and, he hoped, their unanimous
congratulation, upon a state of prosperity,
such as he believed was unequalled in this
country, and had never been surpassed in
any country and in any age. Peace, in-
deed, had crowned England with glory,
and secured to her the highest place
among the nations of the world; but still
there remained that long period of ex-
haustion and derangement; and it was
only now that, refreshed as it were from
the toils of victory, she enjoyed the full
reward of all she had acted, and of all she
had suffered. His majesty's government,
his parliament, and his people, now reaped,
in honour and in repose, all that they had
sown in courage, in constancy, and in
wisdom. If there were any persons-and
probably there were many-among those
who surrounded him, whose attention,
like his own, had at an early period of life
been first awakened by the storm of the
French Revolution; who had afterwards
watched with anxiety that great struggle,
which we so long maintained with all
Europe, under the dominion, and impelled
by the genius of a warrior and statesman,
.who had since shared in those sufferings


which long clouded the triumph of a
victorious nation; he must look at our
present situation with delight and amaze-
ment. Still more striking must be the
contrast to those, still livelier must.be
their satisfaction, themselves the actors in
this great scene, who, having guided our
civil and military affairs, and been answer-
able for measures of a high and intrepid
policy in these times of trial, had contri-
buted to this result by their counsels and
by their arms. And all this had been
accomplished with unbroken faith and
with unaltered institutions; or, if any de-
viation from our free constitution had
been forced upon us by the union of
foreign and domestic danger, still, as soon
as that pressure was withdrawn, it returned
with elastic power to its better form, and
we enjoyed under it all the happiness and
all the liberty that was ever possessed by
our forefathers. This was a prosperity
extending to all orders, all professions,
and all districts, enhanced and invigor-
ated by the flourishing state of all those
arts which ministered to human comfort,
and by those inventions by which man
seemed to have obtained a mastery over
nature by the application of her own
powers; and which, if any one had ven-
tured to foretel only a few years ago,
would have appeared altogether incredible,
but which, now realized, though not yet
perfected, presented to us fresh prospects,
and a more astonishing career. That
world, too, which had first been opened
to us by the genius of a great man, but
afterwards closed for centuries by a bar-
barous and absurd policy, was, as it were,
re-discovered in our days. The last rem-
nant of that veil which concealed it from
the observation and intercourse of man-
kind had just been torn away; and we
saw it abounding, not only in those metals
which first allured the avarice of greedy
adventurers, but in those more precious
productions which sustain life and animate
industry, and cheering the mind of the
philosopher and the statesman with bound-
less possibilities of reciprocal advantage
in civilisation and in commerce. He re-
membered that a great historian and
statesman, after describing what appeared
to him (and what, according to the im-
perfect nature of those times, undoubtedly
was) a period of great prosperity, still
complained, that there was wanting what
he called a proper sense and acknowledg-
ment of those blessings. That, of the
want of which lord Clarendon had corn-


F.B. 3, 1825.








The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [8


plained, was not wanting to us: the people
of England felt and acknowledged this
happiness: the public contentment was
upon a level with the public prosperity.
There never was a time when the spirit of
useful improvement, not only in the arts,
but in all the details of domestic adminis-
tration, whether carried on by the public,
or by individuals, was so high. His ma-
jesty (said the noble viscount) has alluded
with becoming satisfaction to the flourish-
ing state of our finances. It is not neces-
sary for me to go into any detail upon
this subject-even if this were the proper
place, and I were capable of doing so.
The documents are in the hands of every
one, and the inferences from them are
such as cannot escape the most careless
observer. Vast as was the debt that ac-
cumulated upon us in the last war, it has
not increased in a proportion greater than
the national means for discharging it.
Public credit is as high as it was in the
year 1792; capital is more abundant; and
we walk as lightly under our present bur-
thens, as we did under a fifth part of it at
that celebrated era of financial prosperity.
But this prosperity is not singular; and I
am told there are countries in which the
public revenue bears a greater proportion
to the public debt than our own, and
whose financial situation may, on that
account, be considered as more brilliant.
But, my lords, there is this difference in
our favour, which amply consoles me
under that superiority. Our faith has
been inviolate from the beginning to the
end. With us there has been no cruel
sacrifice of the weak to the strong-of the
helpless minority to what may be con-
sidered as the over-ruling interests of the
community. With us there is no class of
unfortunate persons mourning in neglected
wretchedness the contrast of their own
ruin with the public prosperity that has
been founded upon it. In a war under-
taken, I will not say upon disinterested
motives, but upon the noblest and most
extensive views of self-interest, as com-
prehending the independence of other na-
tions, we raised our debt to eight hundred
millions, and never, thanks to the fore-
sight and integrity of the councils by
which we were guided! did we shrink
from the acknowledgment of it; and the
only criticism now to be made upon our
financial system is, that we have, in fact,
acknowledged a greater debt than we
incurred, and are actually over-paying the
creditors of this enormous sum.-The


noble viscount said, he fully concurred in
the latter part of the Speech from the
Throne, which alluded to the benefits
which had arisen from the removal of
commercial restrictions, and recommend-
ed that the principle should be perse-
vered in. In every case in which the
principle had been acted upon, the effects
had been highly beneficial. He should
mention only one instance, which he was
more disposed to notice as it had its origin
in that House-he alluded to the bill
for the removal of the restrictions on the
silk trade. Their lordships must re-
collect well how numerous and weighty
were the complaints which were made
when that bill was brought forward; but,
so far from the trade having decayed, as
had been anticipated, it had flourished
since that period more rapidly than before,
and had since extended almost as fast as
the manufacture of cottonhad done. We
no longer dreaded the rivalry of the
foreigner in our market, and were able to
contend with him in the markets of the
continent. We were now fully taught,
that the great commercial prosperity of
England had not arisen from our com-
mercial restrictions, but had grown up in
spite of them.-His majesty (continued
the noble viscount) has recommended to
your lordships' attention the state of Ire-
land, not indeed as a distressed, but as a
divided country; for Ireland,hardlyin a less
degree than the rest of the empire,partakes
in the general prosperity. It has increa-
sed in wealth and in industry; some be-
nefit is already perceptible from the care
that has been taken to diffuse over it the
advantages of education; and in spite of
religious differences, that savage turbulence
which used to disgrace the country has
given way to the progress of law and order.
We may even flatter ourselves that the
people of that country are gradually be-
coming more sensible to the benign and
friendly spirit of the government under
which they are placed. It has been too
much the fashion to speak of Ireland as
of an ill-used country. Now, if that be
meant of old times, it is undoubtedly true;
but as we approach to our own days it
becomes more and more exaggerated, and
at last an entire false statement of the
fact. True it is, that in former times
England governed Ireland as one bar-
barous country governs another, still in-
ferior to it in civilisation and in strength.
It is equally true, that for some years after
the Revolution, and whilst success was


7] HOUSE OF LORDS,








9] The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


still doubtful betwixt the parties, Whig
and Protestant England did not behave
with entire moderation and forbearance
towards Popish and Jacobite Ireland; but
this harshness ceased with the contest that
gave it birth; and whatever may be said
of the period before the Union, certain it
is, that, since that event, Ireland has at-
tracted the constant attention of parlia-
ment, and that every institution 'has been
cherished, that every object has been pro-
moted, that could advance its interest or
gratify its just pride. Ireland has been
treated not merely with justice, but with
indulgence, partiality, and favour, as if
we were sensible that a long arrear of
kindness was due to her from days of
dissention and disaster. But then comes
the Catholic question, which may probably
be considered as an exception to this rule.
On an occasion of this sort, I am naturally
desirous to avoid controverted topics;
and yet Ireland enters for so much in the
state of the empire, and the Catholic ques-
tion enters for so much in the state of
Ireland, that I cannot help declaring my
opinion upon a subject that so much
divides your lordships, though I have the
misfortune to differ from the majority
of those whom I address. My lords, I
have always thought, and I still think,
that the fixed and tranquil settlement of
Ireland depends upon this great conces-
sion being made-not that it is everything
-not that it is an unmixed good-but
because it is indispensable, and, I believe,
sooner or later, inevitable. But I am far
from agreeing with those who think that the
delay of this concession is to be considered
as an act of wilful injustice on those by
whom it is withheld. Nor can I condemn
those statesmen, who, though they think
it ought to be carried, do not consider
it their duty to dissolve the administration
of which they form a part, in order to
establish another for that especial purpose.
The fact is, that thisjis too great a change,
and shocks too many inveterate habits and
opinions to be carried with less delay and
resistance than it has actually experienced;
and the Catholics every where labour
under great error, and do great injustice
to their opponents, if they allow them-
selves to be persuaded, that in refusing
to them that boon of which they are so
naturally and anxiously desirous, their
Protestant fellow-subjects are under the
influence of a merely hostile and exclusive
spirit.' It is from no such base and cruel
motive, but because they are guided by


sentiments and opinions which belonged
to other times, and which have not very
long ceased to be correct; and because
they entertain what I believe to be an ill-
founded, but what I am sure is a sincere,
alarm for their church and religion-things
dear to them on their own account, and
doubly dear because their final establish-
ment was connected and coeval with that
of our civil liberties. The Catholics are
suffering, unjustly if you please, but natu-
rally, for the faults of their ancestors. If
in the days of Roman Catholic persecution
or Roman Catholic power, any friend to
toleration had been arguing with some
minister or prince of that persuasion, he
would naturally have said-" Consider
what may happen hereafter: you are now
a majority : you now stand upon the van-
tage ground-but if you once lose that
superiority-if ever power should pass
into the hands of those heretics whom
you endeavour to destroy with -fire and
sword-then will your pride, then will
your cruelties, then will those maxims so
formidable to the civil magistrate, be
remembered to the disadvantage of your
posterity, and to the terror of succeeding
generations. What any reasonable man
might have foretold is now accomplish-
ing; men do remember these cruelties:
men do remember these maxims; and
the terror and aversion of them endure,
when, as I trust, there is no longer any
danger of their being revived and acted
upon. My lords, I believe it is a prejudice
that stands in the way of Catholic eman-
cipation ; but it is a natural, a warrantable
prejudice, and one that can only yield to
mild and gentle means. It is therefore
with infinite mortification that I see so
much in the language and conduct of the
Roman Catholics themselves that is cal-
culated to keep alive the remembrance of
old times-to fix upon their church the
charge of being semper eadem in its most
odious sense-and to strengthen the ar-
guments and embitter the feelings of
those who are determined, at all hazards,
to resist their claims. Their language has
become menacing, and their conduct
treads upon the utmost verge of the law;
provoking the hostility of their enemies,
and terrifying their friends. And yet
they do well to remember, that the body
by which they are opposed-though I
trust it is to be softened and convinced-
is not to be intimidated; and that if (a
thing which I mention only to deprecate)
the contest were ever to be carried on by


lFn. 3, 1825. [1(3








11] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [12


other weapons than those of reason and
argument, that in the dreadful calamity
that would involve our common country,
they would bear the greatest share. There
is only one way in which this measure can
be beneficially accomplished-only one
way in which I desire to see it brought
about-and that is, by the well-earned
and cordial consent of the Protestants of
this empire. Any thing like menace or
hostility-any attempt to set up a state
within a state-to establish a separate re-
venue and independent resources--only
serves to delay the event to an indefinite
period. It tends to bring the whole ques-
tion to the calamitous issue-who is the
strongest ? Now, my lords, the Protestant
interest of Ireland, though less numerically
than the Catholics, is infinitely superior in
wealth, power, and intelligence. It may
however, be said, that they would perhaps
be aided by foreign arms, as they had
formerly been, and with such aid I admit
it is possible the Catholics might prevail
against an undoubted superiority of do-
mestic force in Ireland ; but it is not likely
that they could also prevail against the
power of this country; and if they did,
what would the consequences be? What
they desire, naturally and reasonably as I
think, is admission into the state-parti-
cipation of privilege-an equality of civil
rights. And what would they then at-
tain? They would enter by violence into
a broken and dismembered state: they
would participate in half-extinguished li-
berty and anxious independence, and be
admitted to a complete equality of wretch-
edness and degradation under a foreign
yoke. It is better to wait for a share in
a prosperous, rather than triuntph in re-
bellion and treason over a ruined, country.
From small beginnings they had once ac-
quired, by moderation and perseverance,
almost an equality of votes in their favour
in both houses of parliament; and though
I am inclined to believe that in this in-
stance parliament had outrun the sense of
the country, yet the omen was favorable;
and I have no doubt but that, in a short
time, the public would have followed its
natural guides. What effect ought to be
produced by what is now going on, I can
hardly venture to say; but what effect
will be produced, I well know. They
have already lost all those that wavered;
and they may ere long shake those that
are still firm. It is only by reverting to
another line of conduct, that they can
justify the cordial .o-operation of their


friends, or conciliate opponents, too strong
to be overcome except by the entire sub-
version of the state itself. They should
keep in mind that this is no country for
rapid changes-that even our liberties
were of slow growth. If they will but
compare their own condition with what
it was forty years ago, they will see am-
ple reason to be content with the past,
and sanguine as to the future. There
are now living-perhaps there are pre-
sent-persons who had grown up to man-
hood before their claims in their actual
extent had ever been heard of, and before
any statesman would have ventured to
espouse them had they been advanced.
Yet, my lords, much as I disapprove of
their conduct, still I would entreat your
lordships not to be diverted by a just in-
dignation at these extravagant proceed-
ings, from the true and permanent state
of the question. You will probably feel
it to be your duty to concur in some
measure to curb this licentious spirit; but
that done, I would entreat you to consider
anxiously, whether the state of the Ca-
tholics be one that can continue.; I do
not mean for one year, or for two, during
the lieutenantcy of this noble lord, or
during the administration of the other;
but whether our policy is sound and con-
sistent; and whether, if the admission of
the Catholics to the stations from which
they are still excluded, be an evil, it is
not a less evil than their discontent in
good times, and their possible disaffection
in bad ones.-The noble viscount then
adverted to that part of his majesty's
Speech which relates to foreign relations.
He was happy, he said, to find it stated,
that his majesty continued to receive the
strongest assurances, not only from his
allies, but generally from all the govern-
ments of Europe, of their amicable and
friendly dispositions. This general peace
rested on the secure foundationof strength
united with moderation. The only con-
test which existed in Europe was, not be-
tween governments, but parties. There
were two great parties-one desiring to
restore the ancient order of things, and
the other constantly striving after some
new order. That party which wished to
restore the ancient order of things, were
not contented with that order which ex-
isted before the revolution, but they
wanted something more despotic; such
as had been adopted by mankind in an
uncivilized age. This party did not like
our constitution. They were vexed with







13] The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


it, and naturally looked on our national
institutions as a pregnant and dangerous
source of principles which they always
dreaded, and wished to repress. The
other party were desirous of destroying
every thing which existed, and the only
remedy they could find for all the evils of
mankind, was the sweeping away all the
institutions which had long been held in
veneration. They were, while they boast-
ed of their attachment to freedom, ex-
tremely narrow and illiberal; and however
they might differ among themselves, they
were all actuated by a bitter hatred to-
wards this country. They were not sin-
cere in their love of liberty, of which they
talked so much, for they had crouched
down before Buonaparte, had worshipped
him, and had endeavoured to reduce Eng-
land to an imperial province. They were
the enemies of all the principles of na-
tional liberty or national independence ;
and the institutions of this country they
above all things abhorred. They resem-
bled their predecessors, the Jacobins, but
with less sincerity. These men were, in-
deed, worse than Jacobins. When they
were subdued by their opponents, they
called out loudly for liberty, by which
they only meant power. They now com-
plained, that this country did not do that
which would prove its injury, if not its
destruction. They threatened, and would
willingly carry their threats into execu-
tion; but they knew that we possessed
ample means of resisting aggression. Eng-
land had, for a considerable time, been
connected with the great powers of the
continent for various purposes, one of
which was, to resist the overwhelming
power of France; but now that a regular
order of things was established, it was our
duty-to consider our true interests, and
not to lend ourselves to any party in
France, or any where else, whether its
object was, to establish despotism, or to
resist all law and regular government.-
In alluding to the South American states,
the noble viscount observed, that an at-
tempt had been made to institute a com-
parison between our conduct to Spain in
the present instance, and that of the allies
to us during the contest with our North
American colonies. Now, nothing could
be more unjust, in point of fact and rea-
soning, than that comparison. The French
ultras complained, that we had not acted
towards Spain with the same forbearance
which was formerly shown to us. We
have acted towards Spain with all the


good faith that was due. to.a friend and
ally, and with all the delicacy that was
due to a friend and ally in distress. We
have disdained to run a race of popularity
with other nations, in order to secure to
ourselves any exclusive advantage; and
we refrained from this step, as long as any
hope of accommodation betwixt the par-
ties remained. But, when that hope had
completely vanished, it would have been
absurd to risk the advantage of an ex-
tended intercourse with that vast conti-
nent, either out of tenderness to the pre-
judices of an obstinate and misguided
people, who seem to unite the most in-
vincible pertinacity as to ends with the
most supine negligence and incapacity as
to the means, or out of respect to the high
political notions of other European cabi-
nets. I do not understand that we take
this step from preference to any political
creed, or as a mark of approbation to any
particular form of government. The co-
lonies are republican. They might have
been monarchical-they might have been
aristocratical-they might have been im-
perial, like the Brazils. With that we
have nothing to do. But we find them
independent. We know by experience
that they are all able and willing to main-
tain what are called the accustomed re-
lations of amity with foreign powers, and
we acknowledge them to be so. Indeed,.
my lords, if we were challenged to go
critically into the matter, it might be
easily maintained, that the independence
of Old Spain is much more questionable
than that of her colonies; and that if we
were in want of a minister to go to Mexico,
one might be spared from Madrid. In
Mexico the domestic government is sus-
tained by a domestic force : no man dare
hold up his finger against it; if he does,
he mounts the scaffold next day. But
Spain is garrisoned by 20,000 Frenchmen,
who now protectthe government, but who
may oppress it or supersede it, if they
please; and who may march, as they have
marched, without resistance, from the foot
of the Pyrenees to the rock of Gibraltar.
A comparison has been drawn, I must
say absurdly, between the situation of
Spain and her colonies, and the situation
of this country and our colonies, during
the American war. I will not enter into
the question of that war, I will not say
whether the conduct of this country was
right or' wrong; but at least we had fleets
and armies to support our pretensions.
We had a powerful king, and that king


TE% 3,-, 1825. [14







15] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's ,Speech on Opening the Session. [16
had.a people. But Spain claimsidominion the interests of the country, while he car-
over colonies situated in a, distant coun- ried into effect the prejudices of neither.
try, having no force in them, and without He needed not to remind their lordships
a ship to send to sea, or a regiment to of past times, when the Irish administra-
embark, with a tottering throne bolstered tion was in different circumstances-when
up by an army of foreigners, detested by agitation was kept alive by acts of intem-
all people, and without either funds or operate violence-and when scarcely a day
credit. We may be blamed for not tak- passed without witnessing some outrage.
inog this step earlier, but we cannot be The government of lord Wellesley furnish-
censtured for taking it now. We have ed a striking contrast to this order of
proceeded with caution and delicacy, for things. By his judicious measures, the
it is; a difficult question to decide, where turbulent had been restrained, the deluded
insurrection ends, and legal government brought back to their duty, and the peace
begins. His majesty's government have of the country restored and maintained.
proceeded slowly, prudently, and justly. The constabulary force had been put in
They have not pretended to determine full action-confidence had.been re-esta-
where allegiance ought to end and lawful blished-agriculture was improving-the
resistance begin; but have acted openly value of land had been raised-and com-
upon the undisputed fact of the states of mercial and industrious establishments.
South America, with which treaties have were forming. So much good had resulted
been concluded, being actually indepen- from the wise measures of lord Wellesley's
dent., We had proceeded cautiously, that government, that he hoped soon to be able
we might have nothing to retract. Our tocongratulatetheir lordshipson thegrow.
intercourse has grown with their growth, ing prosperity of Ireland. But, while this
and strengthened with their strength; and was the situation of affairs on one hand,
has now become complete, as their inde- he could not, on the other, omit bringing,
pendence has become unquestionable.- under the notice of the House the conduct
The noble viscount concluded by stating, and the pretensions of the Catholic Asso-
that he did not consider the other topics citation. That body had assumed the
of the Speech from the throne to be of rights, and exercised the powers of a
such importance as to render it necessary parliament. It imposed taxes, issued pro-
for him to detain their lordships by any clamatiops, and made laws for the Catho-
.observations upon them. lic community. Its professed object was
Lord Gort said, that in seconding the Catholic emancipation, but its real ten-
address, he felt that few observations dency was, to overthrow the constitution.
would be expected from him, after the He should have an opportunity hereafter,
able manner in which it was introduced by of offering his opinion on the Catholic
his noble friend. He would therefore question, when it was brought distinctly
confine himself to the expression of his before.the House. Under.that persuasion
opinions on that part of the royal speech he would abstain at present from entering
which.referred to the state of Ireland. It into the subject; but thus much he would
gave him pain.to observe someof the pro- say, that, if he was the worst enemy of
ceedings of the Catholic body in that part the Catholics, he could not advise them to
of the empire. The noble marquis at the a course more destructive of their in-
head of the Irish government had con- terests, or the purpose they had in view,
ducted his administration in a temperate, than that which they were now taking. No
wise, and impartial manner, so as to gain man could hear of their proceedings, with-
the confidence, and merit the approbation, out feeling that they were acting.in direct
of every moderate and unbiassed mind. hostility to their own success. They in-
He could not, indeed, satisfy all parties, dulged in the most inflammatory speeches;
but he satisfied all those whose wishes-de- they told the people that they were slaves,
served to be consulted. On theonehand, and that the Protestants held them in
there were the violent agitators of the Ca- bondage. Was this a language calculated
tholics, who wished to turn the discontent to advance their claims ? There were, as
which they created to their own advan- matters now stood, two parliaments in this
tage: and on the other, were the no less empire; there was the Catholic parlia-
violent opponents of their claims. Lord ment of Ireland, and the Protestant par-
Wellesley, in conducting his government liament of England. The two parliaments
n -reasonable principles, and in a tempe- could not exist together. He therefore
ate mariner, had shown that he consulted agreed fully in that part of his majesty's







17] The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


speech, which alluded to the putting down
of this association. The collectors of the
Catholic rent, and the debaters by whom
it was promoted, affected to issue procla-
mations, with a view to tranquillise the
people. It would be recollected, how-
ever, that the people were tranquillized
before by the active measures of lord Wel-
lesley's government. The claim of those
partisans to the credit of tranquillizing
Ireland was therefore absurd. He did not
mean to insinuate that any of the leaders
of the Catholic body were capable of ad-
vising the people to resist the laws, but he
would say, that the power which they now
assumed was too great to be left, consist-
ently with prudence, in the hands of the
people. He did not think that any ob-
stacle should be thrown in the way of the
Catholics on coming forward to petition
parliament; but, when they came to the
House they should come as petitioners,
not as dictators; and then he had no
doubt that their prayers would be consi-
dered with all the patience which their
importance demanded; they should bear
in their hands the olive branch, and not
the sword.
Lord King said, that he perfectly ap-
proved of those measures which had for
their object the promotion of the industry
and commerce of the country.
The Earl of Lauderdale here reminded
the House, that the address was not yet
known to their lordships; that it had
neither been read by the noble mover or
seconder, nor from the woolsack, nor by
the clerk; and that the debate could not
formally proceed until their lordships
knew on what they were debating.
A conversation here ensued, in which
lord Holland, the earl of Lauderdale, the
earl of Liverpool, and the lord Chancellor
took part. Lord Liverpool allowed, that
the forms of the House required the read-
ing of the address, and took blame to
himself forbeing the cause of the omission.
The lord Chancellor said that he was not
anxious to save his lungs, but it was his
fault that the address was not read. He
would, however, repair the omission and
read it. The address was then read from
the woolsack.
Lord King observed, that he agreed
with the address of the noble lords, that
the resources of the country had been
relieved, and its industry stimulated and
improved. He gave his cordial approba-
tion to those measures by which this
result had been produced. It was the
VOL. XII.


more pleasing to him to state this appro-
bation, as the commercial regulations and
measures of foreign policy on which their
lordships were congratulated had been
pressed upon the government by himself
and his friends. They had given an advice
to ministers, which, though at first op-
posed and neglected, had at last prevailed.
As ministers had thus come round to the
opinions of opposition, he hoped it would
not be the last time that he should have
to congratulate them on their docility.
He hoped that they would take advice on
a very important question, the corn laws,
and that ere long they would introduce
consistent measures for the trade in grain.
As far as the Speech from the throne was
the speech of the chief magistrate of the
country, he received it with all respect
and honour. He admitted that the situa-
tion of England was prosperous and fortu-
nate; but their lordships should not forget
that such was not the situation of six
millions of Catholics on the other side of
the Irish channel, suffering under a mis-
government which was a disgrace to our
age and country. The world, in general,
was now too wise to allow governments to
inflict penalties, or to withhold privileges,
on account of differences of religious faith.
States now left their subjects to adopt any
creeds they chose, without depriving them
of their civil rights. The English govern-
ment was the only government which
carried on a contest with a large portion
of its empire on account of religion.
Ireland and Turkey might be cited as the
only countries in Europe, where whole
races were oppressed and punished on
account of their faith. The grand sultan
had been endeavouring to make converts
of the Greeks, as the government of Eng-
land had been endeavouring to make
converts of the Irish Catholics ;but they
had not succeeded. When the unhappy
Greeks complained of the sufferings which
they endured, and applied to be treated a
little better than Mussulman dogs, the
sultan sent for his grand vizier, to ask him
what was to be done. This grand vizier
had at first been a friend, and then an
enemy of the grand sultan. He had thus
lost much of the favour of his master, and
therefore much Gf his influence. The
head of the Turkish ministry then
suffered himself to be bearded in his own
divan, by his officers and serving-men.
He was understood to be hostile to some
of the claims of the Greeks. The next
person in the divan, in point of influence,
C


FEB. 3, 1825. [is







19] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [20


was the Reis Effendi, who was friendly to
the just demands of this persecuted people.
This officer, it was well known, was mi-
tiisterfor foreign affairs. His foreign policy
deserved and obtained general approba-
tion. In this part of his duties he con-
ducted himself with remarkable liberality
and talent. He had done great good, and
gained considerable popularity to the
government of the.sultan, and would have
done more had his measures not been
opposed by his less enlightened colleagues.
He, in fact, was the only man of real
genius in the whole divan (a laugh), and
was esteemed an ornament among Turkish
statesmen, being gifted with poetical
talents, and capable of showing The rage
of the vulture, and love of the turtle," as
best suited the occasion. The Kiaya-Bey
or Turkish minister of the interior was
opposed to him, and was likewise an enemy
of the Greeks. In his capacity of Kiaja-
Bey, he was a fair minister, but was no
match for the Reis Effendi. He had dis-
missed his predecessor as useless from the
divan, and certain verses of his were re-
membered, in which he had held him up
to ridicule in somewhat of the following
manner:-
"Cheer him, cheer him, brother Hiley,
Cheer him, cheer him, brother Bragge."
The triumph of the Reis Effendi over
this officer, who was an enemy of the
Greeks, was complete. The capitan pacha,
another member of the divan, was likewise
against the Greeks, in their claims for
civil privileges; but the leader of the
opposition to their cause was the head
mufti or chief of the Mussulman law.
This officer was an enemy to all change.
He had regularly opposed all improve-
ments in trade-all improvements in law-
all improvements in foreign policy. He
had been, and always proclaimed himself,
the greatest champion of existing abuses.
He was the most consummate intriguer of
thewhole divan. [Alaugh.] He had at
one time taken up the cause of the Sulta-
na; but he turned against her when he
found that by continuing to support her
he would forfeit his place in the divan.
He then took up the cause of her enemies.
At one time there was a proposal to admit
some Greeks into the regular troops, or
body of Janissaries. He then raised such
a fanatical cry against this measure-very
similar to the cry of No Popery" in this
country-that he turned out of the divan
the members who had adopted it. He
succeeded himself to office, and he no


sooner got in than he agreed to the very
thing against which he had clamoured.
He kept the sultan's conscience and his
own; but it was never remarked of him
that his conscience opposed his interests.
He was first employed in office by the
grand vizier, who weathered the storm."
He went out after his death, but having
afterwards come in again, as an enemy of
the Greeks, he had ever since continued
to act with some of their friends rather
than again lose his office. Having minute-
ly studied the Turkish constitution, he
had found out that it was essentially
Mahometan, and therefore hostile to
Greek privileges. He had resolved, there-
fore, to continue staunch to the cause of
intolerance, and was surrounded with the
Mollahs, the Imans, and the Dervishes,
who encouraged him in his hostile purpo-
ses. To complete the picture of this
divided divan, the members who composed
it had resolved, that in certain questions
they should agree, and in certain questions
they might continue to differ, without
breaking up their union. Such was the
harmonious discord of this Turkish coun-
cil. Having seen the evils resulting from
such divan-having seen the Mussulman
empire torn by this intolerance of some
members of it to their Greek brethren,
and their quarrels among themselves-he
would pray that this country might not be
delivered up to such a divided cabinet.
[A laugh.]
The Marquis of Lansdown said, that he
would not have troubled their lordships
with any observations, unless in order to
express his dissent from one part of the
address. With regard to most of the
general topics which had been discussed
that night, there could not be much diver-
sity of opinion. The country could not
fail to feel the justice of the sentiments
expressed generally by his noble friend
who moved the address, even though they
had not been enforced with so much elo-
quence-an eloquence which he should
always hear with pleasure, from whatever
side of the House it came. He gave his
hearty concurrence to all that had been
said about the internal prosperity of the
country, and the wisdom of its foreign
policy in the recognition of the independ-
ent states of South America. As he gave
his hearty approbation to this last mea-
sure, he would not stop to refer to the time
or the circumstances in which it had taken
place, or to decide whether it ought not
to have been adopted earlier. He thought







21] The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


that this country should look to the recog.
nation of American independence as a
bright object, not only on account of the
commercial interests which it would pro-
mote, but of the just principles which it
would establish. For the sake of no com-
mercial object should we act upon prin-
ciples contrary to what we owed to our
own honour, or what was due to others.
He saw no reason why this acknowledge-
ment should not have taken place nine
months ago. He was happy to see that
when it did take place, it was connected
with no stipulation for commercial advan-
tages. He was likewise glad to see that
it had no reference to particular forms of
government-that it admitted of aristo-
cratic, republican, or monarchical institu-
tions. The broad principle which the re-
cognition supported was, that every na-
tion had a right to choose its own govern-
ment, without foreign interference; and
this sufficiently distinguished our policy
from that of the nations of the continent.
It showed that we had no community of
feeling with those governments which
claimed this right, and it embraced a wider
space than could have been done in any
particular instance, without exciting re-
sentment, or placing our system in direct
opposition to theirs. Nothing had been
said by the noble mover or seconder of the
address on the state of affairs in India, or
the Burmese war; yet it had been said,
that this war had created such an alarm,
that it required an addition to our army
of 10 or 15,000 men to allay. He did not
know the force or the pretensions of the
Burmese; but a war with so distant a
power, which required so great an addi-
tion to our army in a period of otherwise
general tranquillity, would, no doubt, be
made the subject of a special communica-
tion to parliament. Distance should not
so far diminish our interest in such a state
of things, as to make us insensible to so
great an increase of our establishment.
Some communication, therefore, would,
no doubt, appear necessary ; and he would
say nothing further on the subject, until
it was laid before the House. With re-
ference to that part of his Majesty's
Speech which touched upon the state of
Ireland, he regarded it as peculiarly de-
serving the attention of the House. He
did not mean to enter-nor would he do
so until more fullyinformed-into the pro-
ceedings of the Catholic Association of
that country, either in the way of justifi-
cation or attack; but he must caution


their lordships to beware hofv they suffer-
ed themselves to be beguiled into an ex-
pectation, that, by merely removing the
outward symptoms of the malady submit-
ted to their treatment, they gained any
thing against the cause which brought
those symptoms into exhibition. In a
state of irritation like that which prevailed
at present-irritation arising out of the
discontent of five or six millions of people,
placed with respect to their law, their
church, and their exclusion from political
power, in a state entirely different from
that of any other body equal in numbers
in any country in the world-in this state
of things, he conjured noble lords not to
believe that, by checking the present mea-
sures of the Catholic Association, how-
ever those measures might call for check,
they would cure the disease which affect-
ed the body of the Irish population. The
existing symptoms might be quashed; but
new troubles must and would arise, arrest-
ing the prosperity of the sister kingdom,
and unnerving the vigour of our own.
With this view of the difficulty to be sur.
mounted, he should look at any specific
measure which might be proposed ; but
he thought it fair to say, that he set out
with the conviction, namely, that in any
country situated as Ireland was, there
must always exist a large fund of discon-
tent ready to be drawn upon for evil pur-
poses. Such being the case, was it not
more desirable that public opinion should
make its way by open channels than by
secret ones-that correspondence should
be carried on, and that that sort of system-
atic relation which would always prevail
between different bodies of men labouring
under similar disabilities, should circulate
openly and avowedly, than that it should
be conducted in darkness and conceal-
ment, working its ends unheard and un-
perceived, and producing mischief where
it perhaps might have been harmless, had
the eye of authority been able to pursue
it. It was not, he repeated it, the out-
ward and visible signs, however unfortu-
nate they might be, that government had
to dread-these signs did not embody the
disease with which Ireland was afflicted,
The freemasonry which government, had
to dread, was that which bound men to
each other by a common sense of interest,
which taught them to strengthen them-
selves by alliance, and to aid each other
in evading the law. What the nature of
the evils anticipated from the proceedings
of the Catholic Association was, he did


FEB. 3, 1825. [ 9








23] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [24


not know. The noble lord who had se-
conded the address had adverted to the
danger, but had not distinctly expressed
the nature of it. When he should have
full information upon this point, he should
be ready to consider of any measure pro-
posed, and to adopt such measure if the
Necessity for it should be shown; but still
with a caution which he hoped to commu-
nicate to the House generally, not to in-
crease the evil by checking its outward
display rather than striking at the root of
it; and certainly not to be too hasty in
putting down the public manifestation of
discontent in a country where discontent,
so long as the present system lasted, must
inevitably manifest itself in some shape or
other.
The Earl of Liverpool said, that he
should not have addressed any observa-
tions to the House, but for some of the
statements made by the noble marquis
who had just taken his seat. When a
spirit of general satisfhctinn seemed to
pervade the country, and when the noble
marquis himself appeared to join in it, and
admitted that it had increased in prospe-
rity, no difference of opinion existed be-
tween them. After the eloquent descrip-
tion that had been given by the noble mo-
ver upon the state of the country, he
should not weaken its effect by attempting
to say any thing upon that subject; but
he could not pass one topic relating to it
upon which he peculiarly congratulated
himself, and that was, that after all the
difficulties which England had contended
with successfully during the progress of
the war, she had found that difficulties
scarcely less trying remained yet to be
surmounted in a state of peace. The
same question which circumstances had
brought into discussion frequently before,
was now agitated again, and with redou-
bled violence. Vast numbers of persons
concurred in thinking, that the country
could never again return to a metallic
currency, and yet keep faith with the
public creditor. The House could not
but fully recollect these opinions, connect-
ed as they had been with the difficulties
sustained by the country in its transition
from a war of twenty years' duration to a
state of entire and absolute peace. Their
lordships knew the clamour which had
been raised-the numerous publications
which had issued from the press upon this
subject. In the midst of distress and dif-
ficulty, government had been called upon
toreduce the burthens of the people-bur-


thens which, indeed, pressed heavily, but
which, nevertheless, at that time, it had
been impossible to take off. But if the
two Houses of parliament had displayed
firmness in the course of the great struggle
which they had carried on against France,
they had shown no less firmness in meet-
ing the pressure consequent upon the con-
clusion of that struggle. Parliament had
determined-and they had carried their
determination into effect-to attain that,
without which the prosperity of the coun-
try never could have rested upon a solid
foundation : they had determined to return
to a sound metallic currency; and they
had accomplished this without violating a
single previous engagement which they
had entered into with the public creditor.
The task had been a Herculean one ; but
we had accomplished it, and were now
enjoying our reward-England had reach-
ed a state of prosperity, greater than any
other country enjoyed, nay, greater than
she herself, at any antecedent period, had
ever attained. This, then, being the in-
ternal state of the country, government
might fairly proceed to the agreeable task
of removing those restrictions which,
under less prosperous auspices, it would
have been unsafe to meddle with. With
respect to his own conduct, and the princi-
ples which he advocated, however he might
have held that, up to a certain time, those
restrictions ought to be maintained, par-
liament was bound, he thought, always to
act with caution ; but, the general princi-
ples of free trade he had always laid down
as the great foundation of national pros-
perity, and as those which ought to be
resorted to at the earliest moment that
the situation of England would permit.
With respect to the recognition of South
American independence, the noble mar-
quis who had last spoken, expressed his
entire approbation of that measure. The
question, in fact, had been, not whether
South America should be open to the
commerce of Great Britain, but whether
she should be open to the intercourse of
mankind at large. Important as he had
always thought that question with respect
to South America-important as he had
considered it with reference to other politi-
cal interests than those immediately deve-
loped-still he should have felt himself
unworthy of the situation which he filled,
if lie had allowed that question, as far as
his opinion was concerned, to be argued
upon any narrow principle of commercial
interests whatever. On a former occasion







25] The King's Speech on Opening the Session.


he had stated, when the South American
business was discussed, that he did not
think that England, or any other country,
had a right to set itself up in judgment
between the mother country and the colo-
nies. We had no right to dispute the in-
dependence; but, on the other hand,
we were not entitled to assert and main-
tain it. The noble mover of the ad-
dress had adverted to the existence of
two parties in another country, one of
which was disposed to bring back all
abuses, the other to uphold the doctrines
of insurrection and resistance to authority.
It seemed to him, that in this country
it was a strange arrangement of political
opinion, that the very same parties fre-
quently, who could only hear of one na-
tion planning an invasion against another
with expressions of indignation, would,
where any colony rose against its parent
state, express nothing but astonishment
that its struggles for liberty should not
be instantly assisted. Now, what he
maintained was, that, except as far as was
necessary to her own safety, England had
no right to interfere, or to set herself up
in judgment between Spain and her South
American colonies.. The immediate ques-
tions were several, prior to a decided re-
cognition. Was there any dispute still
pending between the colonies and the pa-
rent state ? Were there any measures in
progress likely to bring about a reconci-
liation ? Was there any considerable
party in the colony in arms in favour of
the mother country ? In either of these
last cases, he should say, that no foreign
power had a right to interfere; but, if no
such courses were any longer in opera-
tion, then the right accrued to interfere-
not for the peculiar benefit of either party,
but for the advantage of the world at
large. We had acted with caution in this
affair; and it was our duty to do so.
Spain was our ally, and had been so long,
and our treaty had been a treaty to main-
tain her entire. From time to time, in
the commencement of the disputes, we
had offered our mediation to the Spanish
government; and it was now clear, that
to Spain-not in her state of bondage,
but in her period of independent action-
great part of the colonies, if not the whole,
might have been preserved, if that media-
tion had been listened to. This, then,
being the case, the duty of England was
clearly to put to herself this question-
Were any of the colonies any longer in
that state which rendered foreign inter-


ference improper ? Were there any as
to which a reconciliation with the mother
country seemed probable; or any in which
a strong party in favour of that country
was still in arms ? avowing that, in all at-
tempts at, or offers to the effect of, me-
diation, the principle should be to give a
preference to the rights of the parent
state. The noble earl then entered into
a brief view of the circumstances under
which Mexico, Colombia, and Buenos-
Ayres had been struggling for indepen-
dence, in order to demonstrate, that the
steps now taken by England in their fa-
vour could not properly have been taken
at an earlier period.-With respectto the
affairs of India, and the increase con-
templated in the military establishment
of the country, the noble marquis who
had last spoken, had alluded to certain
reports which were abroad. He, how-
ever, begged the noble marquis to take
nothing more for granted than was de-
clared in the Speech from the throne.
It was not by any fault or neglect on the
part of the executive government, that
earlier information upon this subject had
not been given to parliament. Papers
would shortly be produced, and if farther
explanation were desired every possible
disposition existed to afford it. It re-
mained now therefore, only to trouble the
House with a few words, and they should,
at present, be but few, upon the state of
Ireland. To enter fully into detail upon
the questions connected with that coun-
try, would occupy more time than it was
now desirable to devote to it. In con-
sidering that matter, which was adverted
to in the royal Speech, and would come
under the consideration of the House-
in considering that matter, he could not
treat it as wholly unconnected with the
general Catholic question, because there
was no subject which affected Ireland at
all, which some persons would not be
disposed to mix up with that question;
but he certainly should treat it as a matter
by no means growing out of, or immedi-
ately connected with it. For the mea-
sure which was to be proposed, there was
nothing about it which should prevent its
being discussed upon its own independent
merits. There was nothing about it which
touched the question of Catholic claims,
nothing which the advocate of those
claims might not vote for as freely as he
who stood most opposed to them. With
regard to the proceedings taken at this
moment by the Catholic Association,


FE. 3, 1825. L[6







S7] HOUSE OF LORDS, The King's Speech on Opening the Session. [28


there could be no doubt that they amount-
ed to an evasion of the provisions of the
Statute-book. They were undertaken,
and carried on in that spirit which said,
determinately-" Whatever law you make,
our business shall be to evade and to
nullify it." The proceedings of the Ca-
tholic Association at this moment were in
decided hostility to the intent of the con-
vention act. It was for parliament to de-
clare, whether it would authorize the eva-
sion of a statute so important. There
might be those who would say generally,
that they disliked the effect of the re-
strictive laws operating upon Ireland, and
that they would do nothing to strengthen
or to extend them; but whenever those
persons looked at the conduct of the party
which called itself the Catholic Associa-
tion, and saw it actually levying an un-
authorized tax upon the Catholic popula-
tion of Ireland-would they say that the
existence of such a body was consistent
with the constitution of this country, or
compatible with its peace? He protested
that, if he stood before the House as the
advocate of Catholic claims, the first act
which he would vote for should be the
putting down of that convention, the Ca-
tholic Association; because, if the Ca-
tholic claims were granted, they ought to
be granted upon their own merits, and
not to the demand of such an Association,
acting in the way that that body was dis-
posed to act. He renounced every de-
sire, every idea, of interfering with the
right of the Catholics to assemble and
petition parliament; but that right was
not now the question; the question was,
whether that conduct should be tolerated
which was decidedly inconsistent with the
spirit of the laws. He said this, not with
reference to parliament alone, but to the
nation at large. There were abuses with
respect to Ireland, which had in some
measure been mitigated since the last
session. The House might remember the
opinions he had then expressed. It had
been attempted to connect those abuses
with the Catholic question, with which,
however, they could not necessarily nor
properly be connected, and he had there-
fore refused to consider them as relating
to each other. He felt that parliament
owed it to the peace and prosperity of
Ireland, to take some measures to put
down any convention in that country.
What, he would ask, had prevented Ire-
land from being equal in prosperity to
this country? England was heavily


taxed, while the taxes drawn from Ireland
were comparatively light. Then what
could make the difference between the
two ? He answered, it was the spirit of
political and religious dissention existing
in that country. If that were the case,
he would boldly ask any man whether any
greater bar to the prosperity of a nation
could exist, than such a convention as the
Catholic Association, which must keep
alive those dissentions ? For the sake of
the peace of Ireland, parliament were
bound to look to this Association; and in
order to bring it definitely before the
House, he now gave notice that he should
shortly move for a renewal of the com-
mittee to inquire into the state of Ire-
land.
The Earl of Donoughmore said, it gave
him extreme pain to rise in opposition to
what had fallen from the noble lord ; parti-
cularly as the Speech from the throne had
his approbation, with the exception of
only one particular passage. In address-
ing their lordships, he should speak as an
individual who had taken the strongest
part in the administration of justice in
Ireland, and whose endeavours to admi-
nister the laws with impartiality had not
been altogether without effect. In the
present tranquil state of Ireland, and after
that country had been so long without
disturbance of any sort, the coercive mea-
sures alluded to by his majesty's ministers
ought not to be resorted to. He main-
tained that the Catholic Association had
produced no evil, but, on the contrary,
had effected much good. The Catholic
priesthood had been most active in dis-
couraging sedition and tumult, and their
efforts had been attended with more than
ordinary success; for he would ask, in
what other period would that country
have proceeded so tranquilly in the pur-
suit of such an important measure, and
when was she in a more tranquil situation
than at present? The government ought
not therefore to pass a Convention act
against six millions of people, who were
in a state of tranquillity, and had done
nothing to render such severity necessary.
While the people of Ireland were submis-
sive to the laws, was it not prudent to
leave them alone? And that they were
in such a state, was acknowledged in the
Speech from the throne. He was really
surprised at one clause in the Speech, and
upon which the noble earl had said that
he would explain himself to the House
in the course of a week, Now, he thought







29] The King's Speech on Opening the Session. FEE. 3, 1825. [3(0
that when the government was going to been a subscriber to that Association,
take away the liberties of a country, their and, by the blessing of God, would con-
explanations ought to precede their mea- tinue to be so, until the government
sures, and not follow them. It was a could contrive to make it illegal. The
strange proceeding to put down a people Catholic Association would claim to be
by the most severe measures, and then heard at their lordships' bar. Their
tell why they had so put them down. lordships might talk of the abuse poured
One cry was, that the Catholic Associa- out by the Association against their op-
tion spoke the language of sedition; but ponents; but did they not also hear of
the law courts had decided otherwise; the calumny circulated against them in
and, after appealing to the laws of the newspapers, until they had, at a vast ex-
land, was the government dissatisfied with pense, been obliged to set up opposition
their decision, and therefore going to papers, upon the principle of self-defence.
make fresh laws? Others had complained For the attacks upon the Catholics, he had
that the Association spoke their senti- only to refer to the Orange Association,
ments aloud. Did they, then, wish them and to the Bible meetings. He knew that
to plot and contrive in the dark? Go- one noble lord, a prelate of Ireland, the
vernment might legislate; but they would archbishop of Tuam, highly disapproved
find that the magic of an act of parlia- of these Bible Associations. Their very
meant would not put down six millions of object was, to make proselytes, and he
men, who had a just cause to complain of would like to know how Protestants would
grievances. He should not propose any feel, if their children were exposed to such
amendment; but he could not help de- a system of conversion from the faith of
declaring, that he had a strong objection to their fathers. However the government
that part of the Speech which related to might suppress the Catholic Association in.
the Roman Catholic part of the commu- its present form, they could notprevent pri-
nity. vate subscriptions, and other measures of a
The Earl of Roden rose to express his similarnature. But, hefeltparticularlypro-
satisfaction at the hope held out in his evoked at the government bringing forward
majesty's speech, and repeated in the this measure at a period when all Europe,
speech of the noble earl at the head of the except Spain, was without any of these
treasury, that ministers would propose religious exclusions. The measure was
measures for putting down the Roman most strangely in opposition to a procla.
Catholic Association, which had, for up- mation of his majesty, dated 18th Decem-
wards of twelve months, been allowed to ber last, and addressed to his Hanoverian
pursue their dangerous course without subjects. This proclamation expressly
molestation. He spoke in the presence set forth, that no difference of religious
of persons who had passed the winter and tenets could justly lead to any difference
summer in Ireland, and who could bear in the enjoyment of civil rights, in the
testimony to the baneful effects which the countries comprehended in the Germanic
Association had produced on the minds of confederation. It further declared, that
the peasantry. The time had arrived, every christian sect, of whatever denomi-
when it became necessary for parliament nation or description, was to enjoy a per-
to show that they would not be dictated feet equality of civil rights, that the no-
to by the Roman Catholic Association. tion of a predominant and merely tolerant
It was by decisive measures alone that the church was entirely abolished ; that every
agitators could be made to crouch, and species of christian was entitled to the
not by weak and variable proceedings, free exercise of public worship, and that
such as had lately been exhibited in Ire- the clergy were to take their fees, emolu-
land-he meant the prosecution of this ments, and entire revenue solely from the
and that individual, which tended to keep people of their own persuasion. The
up the irritation which already was, un- same freedom to the Irish Catholics had
fortunately, but too prevalent in that been held out to them by Mr. Pitt, who
country. had left office upon this question in 1801.
Viscount Clifden felt himself compelled Fox, Burke, Grattan, Sheridan, Grenville,
to address a few words to their lordships and other illustrious men, had unanimously
upon the subject of the Catholic Associa- upheld these principles, and surely all
tion. He had perused the address of that these men could not have been wrong,
Association, which had been read from the and only the other part of the cabinet
pulpit of every chapel in Ireland; he had right. The Catholics and Dissenters, in-








31] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
eluding Methodists, decidedly out.num.
bered the church, and it was impossible
that such a system of proscription could
Continue much longer.
The address was then agreed to nem.
con.

JOINT-STOCK COMPANIES.] The Lord
Chancellor said, that at the close of the
last session, he had taken the liberty of
stating, that he would, in the course of
the present session, move for leave to
regulate a system which was now going
on to a mostmischievous extent-he meant
Joint-Stock Companies not yet formed,
and which never might be formed, and
where, before their formation, the shares
of the persons adventuring therein were
made the subject of sale, to the enormous
profit of those who set such companies
afloat. It was his intention to ask their
lordships to consent to a bill to check
that sort of proceeding. He had thought
it right to mention the subject on the first
day of the session, because he intended
that the operation of the bill should affect
all sales of interest on shares in those
companies which might be proposed to be
established, but not yet formed, from and
after the first day of the present session.
After having thus stated his intentions,
there could be no ground for complaint
with respect to the want of notice, sup-
posing their lordships should think proper
to approve of the bill. With respect to
the past, he would either leave it to be
dealt with according to the common law
as it at present stood, or he would intro-
duce into the bill a declaration as to what
he conceived to be the intent of the com-
mon law on the subject.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, February 3.
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT
THE OPENING OF TIIZ SESSION.] The
Speaker having reported the Speech of
the Lords Commiissioners, and read it to
the House,
Lord Francis Leveson Gower spoke to
the following effect:-
I rise, Sir, for the purpose of moving
an Address to his Majesty, to express to
his majesty the sense which this House
entertains of the gracious Speech which
which we have just heard. I believe, Sir,
there are sometimes periods in a nation's
career when the national prosperity is


Address on the King's Speech [32
either raised so high, or depressed so low,
that but one general sensation as to the
real state of the country pervades every
class of the community; when one uni-
form feeling springing up spontaneously,
and arising from no process of reason or
argument, exists in every bosom; when
those who are uninitiated in the mysteries
of government, or the details of Adminis-
tration, are conscious of the same great
truths as those to whom the direction of
our political machinery is committed. I
believe the present epoch, to which it has
fallen to my lot to director the attention of
the House, to be one of those to which
I have alluded. Classing myself, Sir,
among the uninitiated persons to whom I
have just alluded-laying no claim to that
extent and accuracy of knowledge with
regard to the interests of the country,
which I respect and envy in the many
honourable gentlemen whom I see before
me and around me, it is my own share of
that general feeling which I believe to
pervade the country, on which I ground
my confident anticipation, that this House
will meet with its cordial concurrence,
the language expressed in his majesty's
Speech, with respect to the general pros-
perity of the country. I am happy to
think, Sir, that the present circumstances
of the country render it unnecessary for
me to enter into any minute details. At
periods when any particular interest, or
any peculiar source of the wealth, pros-
perity, and power of the country is de-
pressed below the level of others, it may
be the duty of a member of this House,
to call its attention to such a particular
subject separately and distinctly. But, at
the present moment, such is the general
state of prosperity at which the country
has arrived, that I feel in some measure at
a loss how to proceed; whether to give
precedence to our agriculture, which is
the main support of the country; to our
manufactures, which have increased, and
are increasing to a most unexampled ex-
tent; or to our commerce, which dis:ii-
butes them to the ends of the earth, which
finds daily new outlets for their distribu-
tion, and new sources of national wealth
aid prosperity. With the distress, Sir,
under which the country lately laboured,
and which has vanished from the face of
it, the too frequent concomitants of dis-
tress-exasperation and sedition-have
happily disappeared. Those whom the
immediate pressure of the times may have
induced to listen to the evil suggestions








it the Opening of the Session.


of others, and who may have been betray-
ed into acts of crime, have returned to
habits of honest industry; while the few-
and few, I trust, comparatively, they are
-who, wicked in principle, may still
walk the land-walk it comparatively
despised, unknown, and unregarded. The
torch of sedition, for aught I know, may
still be lighted, but the fuel is wanting on
which that torch can fall.
In speaking, Sir, of the general pros-
perity of the country, I know of no local
or geographical exception, if I may be
allowed that expression. I know of no
exception as to any particular district or
province of the British dominions, whether
in England, Wales, Scotland, or, I am
happy to add, Ireland. Honourable gen-
tlemen have been so accustomed to the
voice of lamentation, whenever the state
of Ireland has been alluded to, that some
may feel disposed to start at language
more cheering and consolatory. I think,
however, Sir, that the indications of im-
provement in that country fully bear out
the language of his Majesty's Speech.
British enterprise is already beginning to
exercise a salutary operation in that coun-
try, by giving increased energy and ac-
tivity to those pursuits which tend to the
improvement and civilization of mankind.
British capital, the instrument of that en-
terprise, is already insinuating its salutary
juices into the exhausted veins of that
country. Above all, Sir, that tranquillity
which is the only basis on which improve-
ment can permanently rest, reigns, I be-
lieve, in Ireland to a degree which is
unparalleled in our recollection. These
are the indications of improvement which
warrant us in indulging the hope, that ere
long the tide of affluence and prosperity
which is fertilising the land in this country,
will set in all its strength and richness upon
the shores of Ireland. So far, Sir, I have
approached a name, which is too often
the watchword of all the virulence of de-
bate, and which is apt to give rise to the
angry expression of every conflicting
opinion, without touching on any topic
which is calculated to elicit any material
difference of opinion. But it cannot be
disguised, Sir, that there are featuresin the
present situation of Ireland-that there are
topics connected with its present circum-
stances, on which I do not feel myself at
liberty to be entirely silent, although they
may be less pleasing than those to which
I have hitherto adverted. If, Sir, any hon.
gentleman who hears me should indulge a
VOL. XII.


hope that any alleviation ofthe evils which
may still exist in that country is likely to.
be effected by the proceedings of the body
which calls itself the Catholic Association
-if any hon. gentleman should found his
hopes of the regeneration of that country
on the efficacy of such particular means-
I cannot but express the strong feeling
which I entertain of the visionary and
chimerical nature of such an expectation.
As a friend to every measure which can
promote the happiness of that country-
as a steady friend to one measure, which
though not a panacea for all its evils, ranks
high among the remedies which may be
applied to them; as a friend to Catholic
Emancipation, I cannot omit the oppor-
tunity which the present occasion affords
me of expressing my feeling with regard
to the Catholic Association-ofexpressing,
not any animosity, not any unbecoming
contempt of that body or its members,
nor, I will add, any undue degree of fear
of its power and influence, which I believe
to have been grossly exaggerated, but my
regret, my sincere regret, at its existence,
and my ardent wishes for its speedy anni-
hilation. I think it would be difficult for
the wit of man to devise any more effect-
ual method, at the present time, for check-
ing every measure of improvement, and
counteracting every remedy which can be
applied to the evils of Ireland. I grudge
the orators of that country no vent for
the exuberance of their diction, and the
richness of imagination, which so honour-
ably distinguish them; but I anticipate no
possible beneficial result from the proceed-
ings of this body, and see many evils likely
to arise from a continuance of the power
of indulging in the flow of their eloquence,
and the richness of their periods. I have
no wish to exaggerate, on the one hand,
the indications of improvement which I
think may be observed in the aspect of
Ireland, nor, on the other hand, toexagge-
rate the evils which may spring from the
Catholic Association; but I cannot but
express my hope, that neither the vio-
lence of that body, nor the equally per-
nicious virulence of Orange insanity, may
long be allowed to check the progress of
improvement in that country. I know that
the power and influence of that body have
been grossly, and I think cruelly, exagger-
ated throughout the country. Every phan-
tom which terror can conjure up, has been
employed to excite alarm. Ireland, it is
said, may be tranquil for the moment;
some rents ae paid; some landlords sleep
D


Fits. 3, 1825. [3







35] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
in their beds with the hope of rising in the
morning; but this is only the calm which
ig the precursor of a hurricane. I can
only say, Sir, that whatever information
his majesty's ministers have received with
regard to the state of Ireland, has not
supplied the grounds of any such visionary
fears. But we may be told that fresh
troops are to be raised. It is true that
fresh troops are to be raised but not for
Ireland. I believe I am correct in stating,
that it is not in the contemplation of his
majesty's government to increase the forces
in Ireland by a single man.
The observation, Sir, which I have just
made leads me to that portion of his
Majesty's Speech which I think calculated
to excite considerable interest; I mean that
in which his majesty announces his inten-
tion of requesting this House to supply
the means of increasing the armed force
of the country. I have hitherto, Sir, en-
deavoured to make myself the temporary
organ for expressing the satisfaction which
I believe is very generally felt through-
out the country, at the continuance and
progress of those blessings which derive
their origin mainly from the preservation
of the tranquillity of Europe. But this
House cannot forget, that while the main
trunk of the empire is digestingits strength
and recruiting its energies by repose, its
extremities have not been allowed to par-
ticipate in that salutary inaction. In
India, a large force has been necessarily
put in motion to repel the unjust aggres-
sion of a barbarous neighbour. The
distance of the scene of operations and
the want of information on the subject in
consequence of that distance, have pre-
cluded us from obtaining any minute
details. Suffice it, however, to say, that
wherever the British arm has been raised,
either to smite or to save, its terrible
reputation has been upheld in that, as in
every other quarter of the world. But it
will be obvious to the House and the
country, that a war, such as that which
existed in India at the time the last ac-
counts reached us, called for arrange-
ments, by which the ordinary system by
which exchange of regiments between
this country and India was conducted,
must necessarily be deranged, and I am
sure the House will see the necessity of
supplying the vacancies which must have
been produced from this cause. The
increased supply of troops destined for
the service of India-will not, however,.add
to the burthens of this coiintry, since


Address on the King's Speeck [36
India is capable of supporting her own
expenditure, I think, Sir, upon examin-
ing the numerical strength of the forces
in other parts of our foreign possessions,
we shall be equally convinced of the ex-
pediency of the proposed increase. With
a war raging in the immediate neighbour-
hood of our possessions in the Mediterra-
nean, it may be supposed expedient, that,
without attempting to rival the standing
armies of the Continent, we should have
some more disposable force than would
be strictly necessary for mounting guard
at Gibraltar, and doing garrison duty at
Malta or Corfu. On the other hand, in
other quarters of the world-for instance,
in the West Indies-troops have naturally
been drawn away from the complement
which was necessary for the protection of
Canada. Upon these local grounds I feel
confident, Sir, that the House will fully
concur in the necessity of a further in-
crease of the forces of the country.
There is this additional reason for such
an increase. We must all remember that
during a period of distress, his majesty's
ministers did their duty in paring down
the establishments of the country to the
smallest possible area commensurate with
the national security. But, Sir, I have
said that it is only on local grounds that
I consider this measure necessary; and I
feel that I am fairly borne out in assert-
ing, that his majesty's ministers in re-
questing this sacrifice of a portion of re-
venue which might have been applied to
other purposes, do not anticipate the ne-
cessity of resorting to any other than
peaceful measures, for the purpose of sup-
porting that line of policy which his ma-
jesty chooses to pursue in our commercial
relations.
There is no reason to suppose that there
will be any interruption in our amicable
relations with other powers ; but there is
one observation which must be so obvious
to every Member of this House and every
subject in his majesty's dominions, that he
who runs may read ; namely, that a variety
of causes have contributed to alter very
materially the face of Europe in politics,
and that, though the-time may have exist-
ed when something like calculation, some-
thing like a prophetic spirit might have
been applied to them, he must be a bold
astrologer who can venture to predict
what will happen, and a still bolder one
who will venture to form any prognostic
as to what will not happen in a system
where the figures are so complicated, and







at the Opening of the Session.


the motions so excentric and confused.
At such a period, it is satisfactory to
know, that the good offices of England
have been available in every quarter of the
world, to draw closer the bonds of friendly
communication between nation and na-
tion. The House will have pleasure in
theinformation which hisMajesty's Speech
conveys, that the mediation of this country
has been successfully exerted between
Russia and Turkey, and that the efforts
of this country have been gratefully ac-
knowledged by both those powers. The
House must also have learnt with pleasure,
that his Majesty's endeavours to effect
the abolition of the Slave Trade in every
part of the world, have'continued unre-
mitted and unabated, and that a treaty
between this country and Sweden has been
concluded for the promotion of that object.
It cannot but be deeply lamented, that an
obstacle arising from the nature of the
Constitution of the United States of
America should have prevented the com-
pletion of a similar treaty. The diplomatic
papers relative to this subject are, I believe,
in the hands of the House, from which
they will beenabled to form their own judg-
ment, as to the transactions which have
taken place. In this instance, a treaty
which had already been ratified by his
Majesty, was returned, not only with
alterations, but one of those alterations,
a vital one, and which originated entirely
with America itself-I allude to the alter-
ation relative to the right of search, inad-
missible in its own nature, and utterly
inadmissible from the circumstances under
which it was introduced. I perfectly
concur in the course which has been pur-
sued by his majesty's government, which
was, I believe, to annul that treaty en-
tirely, and to open a new negotiation, the
basis of which negotiation was essentially
the treaty which had been returned by
America, with the single exception of the
article which had originated with herself.
The time has not yet permitted us to re-
ceive an answer to that proposition, which
will, I trust, be as satisfactory as its fair-
ness deserves.
I now, Sir, proceed to notice a part of
his majesty's speech, which cannot fail to
excite the most intense interest in this
country, and in every part of the civilized
world-I allude to the announcement of his
majesty's intention to enter into commer-
cial treaties with certain newly-organized
states of South America, which, it ap-
pears, have established their own form of


government. The object of these treatica
is one of which I need not point out the
necessity to the representative Assembly
of the greatest commercial nation that
ever existed in the world: it is that of
consolidating those regulations of com-
mercial intercourse, without which the
merchant is apt to assume the character
of an adventurer, and trade become a
speculation. But, Sir, while I acknow-
ledge and feel, as deeply as any man can
do, the necessity of such regulations-a
necessity which has been felt by those who
are practically interested, and which must
be obvious to the nation at large-I think
both the politician and the merchant, the
warmest advocate for political liberty, and
the most zealous guardian of our com-
mercial interest, must acknowledge, that
circumstances did exist, which rendered
it imperative on the government of the
country to act with caution, to deliberate
on the measures by which they would
afterwards be bound, ard on the time and
manner of executing them. No one can
be surprised that, in cases such as these,
a government may be led on to adopt a
course of policy, in pursuance of her own
fair and honourable interest, which policy
may subsequently lead to measures per-
fectly compatible with the rights of every
human being; and yet it may be such a
course of policy as another government,
under different circumstances, would find
it difficult to carry into execution. It is
needless to remind the House, that in no
one instance did the consideration of this
subject lead his majesty's government to
contemplate, for a moment, any inter-
ference in the struggle between these
provinces and the mother country. A
bill, Sir, which was much disputed and
argued upon in this House, whatever may
be its original merits, is a further standing
testimony, that the government of this
country did not sanction any British en-
terprise, any unusual exertion of that
valour which its possessors carry about
them to every quarter of the world, and
which has, in some instances, assisted those
provinces against the mother country.
But, his majesty's ministers while pursuing
this course, could not avoid foreseeing
that the periodwould probablyarrive, when
the measures now in progress, or similar
ones, would eventually be called for.
The course of policy which they would
then feel themselves bound to pursue, was
traced out with mathematical accuracy,
was laid before the power most interested;


FPH. 3, 18f25. Ca








39] IOUSE OF COMMONS,
if any objections were made, they were
answered; if any explanation was request-
ed, it was given; and, in the fulness of
time, the political prediction is now in the
progress of accomplishment. This, Sir,
is what I mean by the manner in which
our government has acted. In asserting
that the essence of that policy is free from
any just cause of offence to God or man,
I know that I coincide with the general
feeling of this country-I know that I as-
sert a proposition which is too palpable to
require proof. But, I have no wish of
disguising the fact, that the opinions of
some of the continental cabinets are at
variance on this subject as they have been
on others, with our own. But, I have no
apprehension, that any such difference
will induce any breach of those friendly
relations which it is the wish of this
'country, and the interests of all parties,
to cultivate. If even violence of lan-
guage, if menace, could have been
deemed, by any power, an expedient
weapon for inducing this country to
change its opinion, I cannot but think
that weapon would have been used when
its application might, by supposition, have
availed-when no irrevocable step had
yet been taken. The surest test that can
be applied to the conduct of man to man,
or nation to nation, is that which supposes
the application of our conduct to our-
selves. We may be told, Sir, that we are
a nation possessing a large colonial em-
pire-that those colonies may revolt.
They may, Sir. If they do, then I say,
let every power which is interested in a
commercial intercourse with those colo-
nies, pursue a course towards us, which
we have pursued towards Spain. I ask
no more. We may be told, Sir, that we
are merely pursuing our own interests.
We are, Sir : and that is the interest of the
whole world, though all nations may not
be equally well situated for it. But, Sir,
I can suppose a case, in which we might
have followed the views of that interest,
and taken a course which would have
given just cause of offence to Spain-
which would have irritated the pride of
the king of that country, and of the
council of the Indies-which would have
given them just cause for calling upon
whatever allies they had to make common
cause against our aggression-which would
have given them a ground for rearing the
standard of a war, and that war, Sir, a
war of principle-next to a religious con-
test, the most inextinguishable source of


Address on the King's Speech (40
misery and destruction. We might, Sir,
have thrown in the weight of our recog-
nition, at a time when the struggle was
yet in its progress. We might have pro-
claimed the constitution wherever the irn-
surgent flag had been hoisted-by that
conduct, the mere act of recognition,
without sending forth fleets or armies,
would have been an essential act of hos-
tility. If I wished, in this point of view,
to set the conduct of his majesty's govern-
ment in a light in which I thought it
would look best, I would wander from
imaginary suppositions of my own; I
would appeal to history; I would place it
side by side with the conduct of France
throughout the American war-from the
first moment when she began to tamper
with the American agents, to the moment
when, "willing to wound, and yet afraid
to strike," her timidity was forced into
the struggle by the fear, not of our con-
quest of those states, but of our recon-
ciliation with them. I would refer to the
state papers and speeches of that day, the
declaration of France, the reply of Gib-
bon, and that admirable specimen of
political narrative, the speech delivered in
this House by governor Pownall.* I
trust, Sir, the House will acquit me of ab-
solute recrimination against France. I
mention the fact, because I think it bears
directly on the present case. I trust these
treaties will fully attain the important ob-
ject for which they are in progress. I
trust they will tend still further to increase
the commercial prosperity, which has even
now attained a height unparalleled in our
history. Of our internal trade, it is diffi-
cult to obtain any test which amounts to
any thing like arithmetical accuracy, but
every indication exists, which can afford
a proof, short of what the exact sciences
furnish, to induce us to believe it stands
higher than it ever did before.. To our
foreign trade a test may be applied, even
amounting to such accuracy; and I be-
lieve it will be found to exceed, by one-
tenth, the scale of the preceding year.
On the subject of the newly-acknowledged
states of South America, I wish to make
one observation, which I have seen in two
different works on the subject. The one
is the production of a Frenchman; the
other is written by a citizen of the United
States, and in both there is a very strong,

For the speech of governor Pownall,
referred to by the noble lord, see Parlia.
mentary History, Vol. XVI. p. 494.








at the Opening of the Session.


and atthe same time, averynatural national
jealousy expressed at the direction which
the trade of those countries was taking
towards England. I sincerely hope that
those treaties will foster and improve this
fortunate tendency. Our commerce is
now happily in the progress of being freed
from many restrictions, which, bottomed
upon false principles, impeded its free
course. Those absurd enactments are now
expunged from the text-book of the politi-
cal economist. To what extent our com-
merce may reach-what or whether any
limits can be affixed to the spirit of British
industry-is a subject for the speculations
of the political philosopher, or ingenious
traveller. I shall therefore leave these
matters to the Halls and the Humboldts of
the day: and shall remain satisfied with
the conviction, that England has not yet
run her course; that the soil is not ex-
hausted,, out of which the sturdy growth
of this great empire has sprung up and
that many rich harvests still remain to
be reaped by generations yet unborn
[loud cheers].-The noble lord concluded
with moving,
That an humble Address be presented
to his majesty, to return his majesty the
thanks of this House, for his most gracious
Speech delivered by the lords commis-
sioners; and to assure his majesty, that
we sincerely participate in the gratification
which his majesty derives from the conti-
nuance and progressive increase of that
public prosperity upon which his majesty
congratulated us at the opening of the last
session of parliament, from the thriving
condition of all the great interests of the
nation, and from the feeling of content and
satisfaction so widely diffused through all
classes of the British people :
That it is to us, as to his majesty, no
small additional gratification that Ireland
is participating in the general prosperity ;
that the outrages, for the suppression of
which extraordinary powers were confided
to his majesty, have so far ceased as to
warrant the suspension of the exercise of
those powers in most of the districts here-
tofore disturbed; and that industry and
commercial enterprise are extending them-
selves in that part of the United Kingdom;
we regret therefore the more deeply the
existence in Ireland of Associations which
have adopted proceedings irreconcilable
with the spirit of the constitution, and cal-
culated by exciting alarm, and by exas-
perating animosities, to endanger the peace
.of society, and to retard the course of na-


tional improvement; and that his majesty
may rely upon our readiness to consider
without delay the means of applying a
remedy to this evil :
To assure his majesty, that we will
lose no time in renewing the inquiries in-
stituted last Session into the state of Ire-
land :
That we learn with regret the inter-
ruption of tranquillity in India, by the un-
provoked aggression and extravagant pre-
tensions of the Burmese Government,
which rendered hostile operations against
that state unavoidable; but that, as none
of the other native Powers have manifested
any unfriendly disposition, we look to a
speedy termination of the contest from a
continuance of that bravery and conduct
which has already been displayed by the
British army :
To thank his majesty for directing the
Estimates of the year to be forthwith laid
before us :
To assure his majesty that we will give
our best attention to the proposal which his
majesty announces to us, for an augmen-
tation in his majesty's military establish;
ment, required by the state of India, and
circumstances connected with other parts
of his majesty's foreign possessions :
That it is the highest gratification to
us to be informed by his majesty that,
after providing for any expense that may
be incurred by such augmentation of force,
the flourishing state and progressive im-
provement of the revenue will still enable
us to giveadditional facilities to the national
industry, and to make a further reduction
in the burthens of his people:
To thank his majesty for the informa-
tion that his majesty continues to receive
from his allies, and generally from all
princes and states, assurances of their un-
abated desire to maintain and cultivate the
relations of peace with his majesty, and
with each other; and to acknowledge his
majesty's goodness and wisdom, in his ma-
jesty's constant endeavours to preserve the
general tranquillity:
To congratulate his majesty on the
amicable termination of the negotiations
between the emperor of Russia and the Ot-
toman Porte, through his majesty's am-
bassadors at Constantinople; and to thank
his majesty for having directed to be laid
before us copies of arrangements which
have been entered into with the Kingdoms
of Denmark and Hanover, for improving
the commercial intercourse between those
states and the United Kingdom, and of the


FEB. 3, 1825. [Vz









treaty for the more effectual suppression of contained in his majesty's most gracious
the slave trade, which has been concluded speech, has relieved me from much of the
between his majesty and Sweden: arduous task I have undertaken. I shall,
To express our anxious hope that any therefore, abstain from trespassing upon
difficulties which have arisen with respect the indulgence of the House, being most
to the treaty for the same object, which anxious to avoid the risk of weakening
was negotiated last year between his ma- the favourable impression which the
jesty and the United States of America, noble lord appears to have so successfully
may not finally impede the conclusion of so made upon both sides of the House; an
beneficial an arrangement: impression which justifies me in fondly
To express the satisfaction and the ac- anticipating, that the address, in answer
knowledgments which we feel to be due to to the speech from the throne, will meet
his majesty for having, in conformity with with the unanimous approbation of the
the declarations which have been repeat- House, distinguished as that speech is,
edly made in his majesty's name, taken by matter of the deepest interest and of
measures for confirming by treaties the proud exultation, furnishing a theme of
commercial relations already subsisting be- congratulation for a state of things more
tween this Kingdom and those countries of gratifying than it ever fell to the lot of
America which appear to have established the monarch of this or any other country
their separation from Spain, and for his to communicate to his people.-It cannot
majesty's gracious promise that so soon as fail, Sir, to be highly satisfactory to the
these treaties shall be completed his ma- country, that his majesty continues
jesty will direct copies of them to be laid to receive from foreign powers assurances
before us: of continued friendship, and of their dis-
To assure his majesty that we contem- position to cultivate with his majesty
plate with'the same feelings as his majesty those friendly relations, which it is equally
the continued improvement in the agricul- the interest as well as the sincere desire
tural interests, the solid foundation of our of the British empire to maintain, and in
national prosperity: furtherance of this object, it must be
To express to his majesty the pleasure highly gratifying to the country to learn,
that it affords us to hear that evident ad- that through the mediation of his ma-
vantage has been derived from the relief jesty, the differences which existed be-
which we have recently given to com- tween the emperor of Russia, and the
merce, by the removal of inconvenient re- Ottoman Porte have been brought to an
strictions; and to assure his majesty that amicable issue; that there is no prospect
we will, in obedience to his majesty's most of the harmony and friendly intercourse
gracious recommendation, persevere (as which subsist between this country and
circumstances may allow) in the removal foreign powers being disturbed; but that,
of similar restrictions, confidently relying on the contrary, there is a well-founded
on his majesty's cordial co-operation, in expectation of a continuance of that good
fostering and extending that commerce, understanding which has now existed for
which, whilst it is under the blessing of many years, and which has chiefly con-
Providence a main source of strength and tribute to raise this country to a state of
power to this country, contributes in no unexampled prosperity.-Whilst upon
less degree to the happiness and civilisation this branch of the subject, the House, I
of mankind." hope, will permit me to advert to an
Mr. Alderman Thompson rose, and event which has lately occurred in France,
addressed the House to the following the circumstances connected with which
effect:-Mr. Speaker; I rise to second have afforded strong evidence of the
the address, which has been moved by happy change which has taken place in
my noble friend; and in presenting my- the feelings and opinions of the people of
self to the notice of the House, I feel that country, and offers a substantial
conscious that I stand in need of a greater pledge of permanent tranquillity, I al-
portion of its indulgence than it has lude to the demise of the king of France,
usually been called upon to extend to any an event which was contemplated with
individual upon similar occasions; at the no inconsiderable degree of anxiety by
same time, I must, in justice to the noble the people of every state in Europe, and
mover, acknowledge, that the very able which, by the common course of nature,
and eloquent manner in which he has considering the age and bodily infirmities
illustrated the various important topics with which Louis 18th was bitterly


431 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Address on the King's Speech







at the Opening of the Session.


afflicted, could not be very distant. The
termination of the eventful life of that
monarch was regarded as the last hope
of the advocates for revolution; but,
thanks to a benign Providence, their ex-
pectations have been disappointed; we
have witnessed the sceptre of France pass
into the hands of his legitimate successor
without the slightest disorder, thus satis-
factorily exhibiting to the world, that the
present dynasty of France rests on the
most solid foundation. I am led to these
observations, to show how permanent are
likely to be the advantages of peace we
now enjoy, and that the country is ra-
pidly advancing to a state which may be
viewed as affording an indemnity for the
vast sacrifices she has made in the ac-
complishment of that great purpose-the
general peace and tranquillity of Europe.
With respect to the fallen state of Spain,
the declarations of the government of
France regarding that country, may, I
think, safely be confided in. I believe
Charles 10th to be sincere, when he
declares, that his object in maintaining a
military occupation of a part of Spain, is
not for the purpose of territorial aggran-
dizement, but with a view of protection
to his own dominions; and in proportion
as that danger subsides, in the same ratio,
will he, no doubt, withdraw his army from
Spain; and I think the House will admit
the conduct of the king of France, during
the short time he has occupied the throne
of that country, offers the most satisfactory
pledge of the future. His accession to
the crown has been distinguished by a
liberal policy, exemplified, indeed, strongly
in the restoration of the liberty of the
press, and other institutions, which are in
unison with a progressive state of tran-
quillity and civilization. But, Sir, while
our relations with the continental powers
of Europe have acquired so auspicious a
character, and great and unprecedented
as have been the benefits which Great
Britain has derived from this happy state
of peace, his majesty's ministers have not
been inattentive to the opportunity, when
they could consistently with existing cir-
cumstances, increase the advantages, and
extend the means of commercial inter-
course, by forming a connection with the
new Transatlantic States. Three centu-
ries have now elapsed since those states
fell under European dominion, unfortu-
nately not of the Protestant part of Eu.
rope, nor of a country like Great Britain,
capable of imparting useful institutions


to its colonies, and cultivating a mutually
beneficial intercourse; they fell under the
dominion of the Spanish government-a
government unfortunately blind both to
its political and commercial interest.
What a picture of the baneful effects of
monopoly in trade and bigotry in religion
has been exhibited in the case of Spanish
America, how differentthe prospect which
is now opened to these countries! the
removal of all restrictions on their trade
with other parts of the world-a passage
of two months wafting to the western
hemisphere the manufactures of England,
and thus laying the foundation, by means
of an interchange of commodities, for
sound principles of trade, advantageous
to both; whilst we receive in return sup-
plies of produce, adapted both to the
luxury of the higher classes and the in-
dustry of the lower. Had the councils
of Spain been guided by enlightened men,
she never would have suffered so valuable
a portion of the globe, inhabited by twenty
one millions of people, to be held in a
bondage disgraceful to civilized nations;
she would not have suffered the contest
for liberal institutions, and an emancipa-
tion from colonial monopoly and oppres-
sion, to be prolonged for a period of four-
teenyears, but have acquiescedin change
corresponding with the improvement of
the times. Spain, however, pursued a
different course, and fortunately an un-
successful one; but, while the struggle
was doubtful, England prudently remained
neutral. The contest being virtually
ended, his majesty'sministers have adopted
decisive measures; they have taken steps
to form a diplomatic intercourse with
those states, which will contribute to give
them stability and a confirmed influential
station amongst the independent nations
of the world. If there are any among
those whom I have the honour of address-
ing who were of opinion that measures
for the recognition of those countries
were too long delayed; if there are any
who doubted the friendly disposition of
his majesty's ministers towards those new
states, I think they will now readily ac-
knowledge that parliament acted wisely
in confiding in the government; and when
reflecting on the events which have oc-
curred within the last six or nine months,
they will also be of opinion, that the ad-
ministration have selected the most suit-
able period for the opening of a diploma-
tic intercourse with those states-a
period indeed, when the Spanish forces


FEB. a, 1825. [46i







47]. HOUSE OF COMMONS,
in that country have been vanquished in
almost every engagement, and Spain no
longer can lay claim even to the seeming
title of a military occupation; when a
system of government has been establish.
ed in Colombia, Mexico, and Buenos
Ayres, exhibiting conclusive evidence of
a knowledge of liberal systems of govern-
ment, and evincing a desire to cultivate
the advantages derivable from the ex-
perience of a part of the globe deeply
skilled in arts, and most advanced in ge-
neral civilization.-Having now given a
sketch (and I fear an imperfect one) of
the happy state of our foreign relations
generally, and the advantages which we
are likely to acquire from an intercourse
with the South American states, I must
also notice the war which has unexpect-
edly sprung up in India; the measures
which have, however, been taken, will, I
trust, speedily lead to an adjustment of
the differences; if not, we may safely
confide in the tried valour of our army
in that quarter, and look forward to an
early and satisfactory termination of hos-
tilities. The House has been apprized of
his majesty's intention to augment the
army. A more efficient force in British
India has rendered this necessary. The
reductions also which took place in the
military force of the country since the
peace, regiments having been reduced
from 1,000 to about 600 men, has pressed
inconveniently upon the service in our
distant possessions. The proposed aug-
mentation will afford much relief upon
those stations; and it is gratifying to
reflect, that from the flourishing state of
the revenue, no additional burthens on ac-
count of such increase will beimposed upon
the people.-With respect to the slave
trade, from the perseverance, temper, and
firmness with which that important subject
has been espoused by his majesty's govern-
ment, I think the House may safely confide
in their continued exertions towards the
completion of the wishes of the country.
The state of Ireland is a topic which has
been at various periods recommended to
the attention of parliament, and has suc-
cessively occupied its deliberate con-
sideration. It is to be lamented, that, at
a moment when British capital is begin-
ning to diffuseitself throughout that fertile
country, when the benefits of an unre-
stricted commercial intercourse between
the two countries are daily exemplified,
whilst measures are also in progress which
cannot fail to ameliorate the condition of


Address on the King's Speech [48"
the lower order of the Irish population;
I say, it is to be lamented, that those be-
neficial effects should be impeded in their
rapid march by the obtrusive interference
of misguided individuals; who by their
acts are exasperating animosities, divert-
ing the attention of certain classes of his
majesty's faithful subjects from honest
industry, and levying a species of tax
upon a portion of the people of that
country, with no other object than to
enable those mistaken individuals to at-
tempt to overawe the parliament of the
united kingdom. Whatever difference of
opinion, Sir, may exist in this House
with respect to a question which is now
made the protecting mantle for covering
the errors and false notions of certain in-
fatuated persons, I apprehend, that under
existing circumstances, but one opinion
will be entertained in this House, as to
the course it will be fitting to pursue.
For myself, I will take this opportunity of
declaring, that my opinions are decided-
ly adverse to further concessions; my
reasons for which I shall, upon a suitable
opportunity, be ready to assign.-I trust
the House will grant me its attention,
while I advert to that part of his ma-
jesty's speech which relates to theim-
proved and improving state of our agri-
cultural interests, of our trade, commerce,
manufactures, and negotiation, present-
ing a faithful picture which cannot fail to
be most gratifying to the mind of every
Englishman, to behold our country after
a war of unprecedented length, carried
on at an expense to the people to
which history affords no parallel; not
merely recovered from the state of un-
avoidable exhaustion attendant upon such
an unexampled struggle, but actually
raised to a degree of prosperity and glory
unknown at any period. In proof where-
of, I will advert to the increase of our
revenue. The branch of Excise, which
affords the best test of internal prosperity,
alone has exceeded the amount of the
preceding year, by upwards of 1,100 0001.;
and the Customs, after deducting the repeal
of duties within the year, to the amount
of 1,250,0001., only falls short of that
of the preceding year 166,4851.; conse-
quently, there is an increase in this de-
partment of our revenue nearly equal to
that in the Excise. These form a just
and unerring criterion of the increasing
prosperity of our foreign and domestic
trade: but, indeed, it is unnecessary to
have reference to such proofs-whatever








part of England you visit there are pre- July, 1823, and in 1824, as compared
sented to your view a happy, contented, with a like period of twelve months pre-
and industrious population; whether they ceding, in 1823, there is an increase in
are employed in the manufactories of our value of upwards of 1,200,0001. The
great staples, or in the cultivation of the sound policy of diminishing duties on the
soil, the scene is equally gratifying. What raw material, and acted upon by the
a pleasing contrast does the present state right hon. the Chancellor of the Exche-
of the countryformto that ofthe year 1820, quer, has been most fully exemplified in
a period within the age of the present Par- the following articles. In consequence of
ligament. Yes, Sir, within the short period that diminution, and the increased en-
offive years I have heardgentlemen,whose couragement thereby given to the indus-
opinions have justly been entitled to great try of the country, duties were paid upon
weight and authority, declare, that Eng- nearly half a million of pounds weight of
land was a declining country; that in silk more than in 1823, and on sheep's
commerce, manufactures, and navigation, wool upwards of five millions of pounds
she was incapable to enter into successful weight since the last session of Parliament.
competition with any foreign rivals; that The consumption of colonial rum has
the means by which she must sustain her also increased during the same period
public credit were rapidly diminishing. I 165,700 gallons. With respect to our
take leave, Sir, to remind the House of shipping interests, they are all in a state
the gloomy predictions with which it was of rapid improvement. About two hun-
assailed from certain of the manufacturing dred more merchant vessels, yielding
and shipping interests, at a period when about 40,000 tons, have been constructed
the important improvements in our navi- during the last twelve months in England
gation law, warehouse system, duties, &c. and Scotland alone, as compared with
were under the consideration of Parlia- the preceding year. The value of ship-
ment; predictions which had no other ping, according to their respective ton-
foundation than in the hereditary attach- nages, has risen from twenty to forty per
meant to ancient prejudices, unsuited to cent.; and ships employed in the timber
the present times, and unsound in prin- trade, the owners of which it was pre-
ciple. And may I not now ask, trium- dicted would be ruined by the alteration
phantly, how have those gloomy predic- of the Timber duties, and reciprocity of
tions been verified ? Are those Members duties' act, have risen full 60 per cent in
of this House, few indeed, who advocated value; freights have increased 20 per
a continuance of the restrictive policy, cent, and there is plenty of employment.
become converts at last to the liberal Of the increased trade of the country the
system of trade ? Are they now prepared port of London has had its full share.
to co-operate in the encouragement of During the last year, as compared with
open competition, the discontinuance of the preceding, 2,800 more vessels entered
monopolies and restraints upon our trade the port from foreign and home ports;
and navigation ? If not, let me entreat and if but due encouragement be given to
their attention for a short time, whilst I an extension of the wet-dock accommo-
detail to the House the happy effects dation, so highly essential to the trade of
which'have resulted to the country, prin- the metropolis, and the places of deposit
cipally from the improved state of our for landing, the rates and charges of the
commercial code. In the first place, Sir, port will undergo material reduction, and
the official value of the exports of British thus, by inviting the foreign merchant to
manufactured goods during the year 1824, avail himself of our capital, and the faci-
ending in October last, being the latest cities offered to trade under our improved
period at which the public accounts have commercial code, we shall soon compete
been made up, as compared with the pre- with our neighboring continental rivals.
ceding year 1823, exhibit an increase of The improved and improving state of the
no less than 4,500,0001. sterling, bringing revenue of the country will, it is hoped,
the total value of exports in 1824 to enable his majesty's government to pro-
50,758,800/., being by far the largest ex- ceed progressively with a diminution of
port ever made by this country. The taxation. The right hon. the Chancellor
Transit trade has also, under the'bene- of the Exchequer most decidedly enjoys
ficial influence of the improving ware- the full confidence of the country, and I
.housing system, experienced a marked am satisfied he will not disappoint the
increase: the Act only took effect in just expectations the country may have
VOL. XII. E


FEBn. 3, 1825. [50B


at thle Ol~eningol~the Session..








51] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
formed. The prosperous state and im-
proving condition of our agricultural in-
terest form a topic of pleasing reflection.
I am anxious, however, to state my opi-
nion, that such prosperity is not in any
manner attributable to the existing Corn
Laws, which I believe is admitted by all
parties, ought to undergo alteration. I
am an advocate for their repeal, and the
substitution of a protecting duty equal to
a fair equivalent of the poor-rates, tithes,
&c. paid by our farmers as compared
with other countries. I repeat, Sir, if
the situation of the country in 1820 was
correctly portrayed (the period to which
I have first alluded), how pleasing is the
present contrast! Our trade last year has
increased to an extent unprecedented;
and happily England no longer cherishes
visionary notions of advantage from com-
mercial monopoly. The men who guide
our councils, the merchants who invigo-
rate our national industry, concur in dis-
claiming the doctrines of prohibition and
restrictions. I will venture, without flat-
tery, to say of England what the people
of Rome said of one of their Emperors
with a great deal of flattery-
" Nil oriturum alias, nil ortum tale fatentes."
Mr. Brougham regretted to state, that
he was under the necessity, not only of
expressing his dissent from, but also of
entering his solemn protest against, some,
and those not the least important, parts
of the Speech which had just been read
to them. He felt, however, great satis-
faction in being able, before he stated
them, to take notice, which he should do
as shortly and clearly as he could, of those
parts of the address to which he could
give his most cordial and willing assent.
In giving that assent, and in joining his
congratulations to those contained in the
address upon many of the points noticed
in the Speech, he could not claim for
himself any extraordinary stretch of can-
dour. He was rather withheld, as indeed
were many of the friends around him, by
a feeling of modesty, from giving their
due meed of praise to the measures al-
luded to, since those measures which
were now the theme of so much praise
and so many congratulations, were mea-
sures which the gentlemen on his side of
the House years ago had urged, but in
vain, upon those who at that time were
intrusted with the administration of the
country. He was rather restrained by
this feeling of modesty, from praising the
wisdom and vigour of the legislature in


Address on the King's Speech [52
making the great mercantile reforms which
had been recently effected; he was afraid,
lest in bestowing any commendations of
his upon them, he should seem to be
bestowing commendation upon himself.
He was, however, encouraged to get rid
of his modesty; and to bestow upon them
the honour that they merited, by there-
collection that they were not so much
his own propositions as the propositions
of those friends with whom he had been
in the habit of acting, both in parliament
and out of parliament, ever since he had
had the honour of being returned to it.
The principles, let it be said in parlia-
ment, and be heard with rejoicing and
edification throughout the country-the
principles were at end which had so long
hampered the industry and cramped the
energies of the people of England. Those
doctrines of narrow, shop-keeping, hux-
tering policy, which wise men had for
many years treated with contempt, both
at home and abroad, but which for ages
had been reverenced by the ignorant as
the only base upon which commercial
property could be firmly established-
those doctrines which, for two generations
back, had been the topic of unqualified
scorn, and the theme of unmixed repro-
bation with all writers of enlightened un-
derstanding, but which had been regu-
larly defended by each successive minis-
ter during that period as the real founda-
tion of national greatness-those doc-
trines, he was happy to say, were now
exploded for ever, and could never more
be advanced to obstruct the welfare and
prosperity of the country. For years the
House had been told, that it was either a
wild chimera, or a dangerous innovation,
to talk of the doctrines of a free trade,
and of the right of men to employ their
capital and their industry according to
their interests, their wishes-ay, or even
according to their caprices. At one time,
when it pleased the ministry to view them
with contempt, these doctrines were de-
scribed as a visionary code, specious in
theory, but impossible in practice; and
at another, when it pleased it to excite
alarm against them, they were viewed
with as much detestation and abhorrence,
as if they had been a leaf taken out of
that book which some men thought they
could never sufficiently detest and abhor,
he meant The Rights of Man," by Tho-
mas Paine. He had himself heard them
treated as idle chimeras by one set of
ministers, and as jacobinical innovations







53] at the Opening 2f the Sessio
by another, just as it was the fashion of
the day to treat them as objects of con-
tempt or of abhorrence ; and yet he, who
had seen them first contemned and then
abhorred, had now the happiness to say,
that they had reached the consummation
of their glory, not merely in being adopt-
ed by ministers, but in being publicly re-
cognized, not only in the Speech which
had just been delivered to them from a
high quarter, but also in the addresses
which were going to be returned to it by
both Houses of Parliament. The House
would see that it required but little can-
dour in him to approve those parts of the
Speech which referred to the late mercan-
tile reforms. Let them look, for instance,
at the recent modification of the navigation
laws. Eight years ago he had himself
expounded-very inadequately, he ad-
mitted, but still he had expounded-the
very alterations which had lately been
adopted. He claimed no merit for them,
the invention was not his own, but that
of greater and much wiser men. He had,
however, proposed them, and by so doing
had drawn down upon himself the heavy
disapprobation of a right hon. gentleman,
a great guardian of the commercial in-
terests of the country. That right hon.
gentleman was now no more. He had
been blamed by that right hon. gentle-
man, the late Mr. Rose, for advocating
such doctrines; he had ventured, how-
ever, to preach them more than once-
ineffectually, indeed, at the time, but, as
it now appeared, with undeniable ultimate
success. At the same time he had also
proposed the changes which had recently
been adopted with regard to the silk trade.
They were assailed, on his first propound-
ing them, with great and extraordinary
severity. He was told over and over
again, that nothing could be more specu-
lative, nothing more absurd: he was in-
formed, that though they might appear
very plausible in theory, every person in
the trade considered them inapplicable to
practice: he was even met by the taunt,
that what he advanced might be very true,
but that it looked very much like an in-
genious sophism. I trust," said one
hon. gentleman, whom he now saw be-
fore him, that I shall never see any mi-
nistry attempting to legislate upon such
a subject." God protect us," said
another, if any man should attempt to
withdraw this corner-stone of our com-
mercial policy. Let no man meddle with
it by day or by night;" and he might


11. FEB. 3, 1825. [54
have added, "in the interval between mid-
night and morning," which of all times for
meddling was certainly the worst and
most objectionable. The moment it is
withdrawn," continued he, confusion
and ruin will be at no great distance."
" Thank God," said a third, in a fit of
pious enthusiasm, we shall never live to
see the day, when the principles avowed
by the gentlemen opposite shall be sanc-
tioned by those who hold the highest
place in his majesty's councils, or when
those who hold such principles shall dare
to act upon them as his majesty's minis-
ters." Ministers had, however, sanc-
tioned such principles: they had carried
into effect all the detestable nostrums of
that side of the House: they had taken
an entire leaf out of the book of their op-
ponents: they had even enacted measures
to legalize the damnable heresies of Adam
Smith and the Scotch economists, and to
stamp with that odious name the opinions
of their adversaries: nay more, the country
was now called to thank God for having
ministers who had courage to support
such measures, though it was formerly
called upon to thank God for having mi-
nisters who had courage to oppose them.
Though he could not formerly concur in
the gratitude which the country had been
called upon to feel towards his majesty's
ministers, he could now concur in it cor-
dially and sincerely. He thanked God
that measures had been taken by them
to recognize the principles for which he,
and those who thought with him, had long
contended with so little immediate suc-
cess. He thanked God that they were
never more likely to be troubled even
with the visions of those old, mean, ab-
surd, senseless, inconsistent, shopkeeper-
like, huckster-like, beggar-like doctrines,
which had at last given way before the
manly, generous, and philosophical prin-
ciples, which the king's ministers had been
compelled to adopt, by the almost unani-
mous sense of the country.
He trusted that the House would allow
him, now that he had pointed out the
concessions which his majesty's ministers
had made to doctrines which they had
formerly reprobated, to express a hope
that they would go on in the course on
which they had entered. If they did not,
their work would be only half accom-
plished. What they had done was chiefly
to be prized as a pledge that a better
policy than the past would be pursued in
future. For example, they had adopted








55] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the recommendations which he had pro.
posed in 1817 regarding the navigation
and the silk laws. Now, another of the
measures which he had recommended was
one that had never been described as
either so chimerical or so abominable, as
either of those which had been recently
adopted, and might be easily and success-
fully, if willingly, carried into effect. Itwas
a well-known observation ofDr. Swift, that
in political arithmetic, two and two did not
alwaysmakefour. Now,thisobservation he
had applied to the consumption ofcommodi-
ties which were heavily taxed; for instance,
wines. Now, there it was quite clear,
that by increasing the tax upon the article
they did not find that two and two made
four; but different was the result in the
case of coffee, for there, by lowering the
duty, they had increased the consumption;
so that where they meant to add two-and-
two in the arithmetic of taxation, in the
case of wine they had failed, and had not
doubled the amount of duty; whereas,
when they reduced the duties upon coffee
one-half, they found they had doubled, or
nearly doubled, the consumption, and,
necessarily, maintained the full amount
of the revenue. He hoped, therefore,
that in the article of wines, as in that of
coffee, they would profit by a departure
from an unproductive estimate of calcu-
lating their amount of revenue. Why not
do so speedily in the article of wines ?
Why not, in the path of reduction, make
that the next step ? Let the wine duty,
then, at once be reduced; and, above all,
let there be not only a reduction, but an
equalization of these different wine duties
for all foreign countries-he meant, in
fact, a general and total revision of that
arrangement which was made under the
name of the Methuen treaty, in a time,
and under circumstances, when a far
different foreign and domestic policy pre-
vailed from that which ought at present to
regulate the affairs of such a kingdom as
Great Britain. One good effect which
would immediately arise from such a re-
vision, would be the establishment of a
better understanding with the French go-
vernment, the lowering of the duties upon
other French articles, and the increase,
which he had no doubt would be conse-
quent upon such a reduction, of the foreign
consumption of British manufacture.
These instances of better policy were, he
hoped, on the eve of consummation ; so
that whatever amelioration had been al-
ready effected, he was quite sure they had


Address on the King's Speech [56
not yet seen the last of those reformatory
measures, which had been so long delay-
ed, although so essentially called for by
the best interests of the community.
There was another branch of his majes-
ty's Speech which gave him sincere satis-
faction: he alluded to the approach lately
made by the king's government to that
sound,and not more sound than expedient,
and no less expedient than just and liberal
policy, so often recommended from that
side of the House, and so unanimously
called for by the general voice of the
country-he meant the recognition of
some of the great empires in South Ame-
rica. How much of this policy, great as
it undoubtedly was, belonged to the coun-
try, which had so strongly and repeatedly
called for it-how much of it belonged to
the executive government-how far the
ministers had been driven into it-how
little was the speed of their march-how
small was their reluctance, or what was
the measure or degree of their readiness,
to do this justice to the country and to
those new states, it were now, perhaps,
unnecessary, if not invidious, to inquire.
But, all men would know and feel how
much of it belonged to his hon. and learn-
ed friend (sir J. Mackintosh) who had'
shown himself the uniform, powerful,
learned, and consistent advocate of those
early and liberal views of enlightened
colonial policy which now met at length
the assent of his majesty's government.
How much of it was due to the inimitable
speech delivered by his hon. and learned
friend upon the foreign enlistment bill-a
speech than which there never had been
one delivered within their walls more de-
serving the admiration of every wise and
liberal mind-how much of it was, he re-
peated, due to that eloquent and powerful
speech, as well as to his learned friend's
equally great, though more elaborate ad-
dress, during the last session, upon the
state of South America-it was not easy
to say : but sure he was, that there was no
man, either within or without that House,
who could fail to ascribe a portion-a
large portion-of this great triumph of
right policy over wrong policy, to his
learned and excellent friend [hear, hear].
He would not, however, on this occasion,
quarrel with the share which the govern-
ment had had in promoting the recent im-
provement. It was a great good to the
country, at all events: if done by the
ministers themselves, they deserved thanks
fbr it ; if done in obedience to the voice








at the Opening of the Session.


of the country, equally ought they to be
praised for listening to the suggestion.
The good was done, and by whatever pro-
cess it had been effected, it was gratifying
to find, that there was now a government
ready to yield to the wishes of the people ;
so that upon this subject he would not
criticize too nicely the operation by which
the improvement was effected. The re-
cognition had luckily taken place at last ;
it was an act of justice following the un-
doubted fact of the assertion of their in-
dependence by the people of the South
American States; and, however tardy the
acknowledgment, still it would be gratify-
ing to find, that it was not the price of any
unworthy traffic, or paltry barter for mere
commercial views. He was glad it was
done at all events; for it was a measure
fraught with justice, and calculated to
produce the most beneficial results ; and
right was it, therefore, that both in the
King's Speech, and the Address, the sub-
ject should have been introduced in the
manner in which it had been. When
touching upon this branch of the Speech,
it could not fail to recur to him, that many
a long year before Mexico, Colombia,
Buenos Ayres, or Peru, had even dreamt
of nobly struggling for, and establishing
their independence, there was a struggle
for liberty, a fighting stand to conquer
national independence, made by another
people, who had embarked in a successful
contest for personal and individual free-
dom-he meant the great island of St.
Domingo, which had long and long since
succeeded in establishing its entire inde-
pendence, upon a more peaceable, and now
a more assured footing, than even Buenos
Ayres or Colombia, the best established
of the new South American States. His
belief was, that at the onset of the St.
Domingo revolution, England was hos-
tile to the interests of the natives of that
island; she became so from the cruel situ-
ation of her people as slave-masters. This
it was which blindly led her to dislike the
emancipation of the slaves of St. Domingo.
But, a new state of things had since arisen,
and the question of slavery, so far as St.
Domingo could be connected with it, had
been long since set at rest; for the natives
had entirely emancipated themselves, and
the island had become a thriving and
powerful empire-one which had a right
to be included in the protecting branch of
the British colonial system : it was clearly
the interest of their own colonies that it
should be so: they owed this policy as


well to the protection of their own colo-
nial whites as they did to their own un-
happy slaves; and, in carrying it into ef-
fect, they ought to lose no more time than
was actually necessary for arranging the
acknowledgment, in the same manner as
they had lately, in the South American
States, and for more than the same rea-
sons which had, at length, produced-
some might say extorted-that just and
salutary policy. Now, he would ask; was
this display of liberal policy to stop here ?
Was this essential administration of justice
to be confined to their foreign colonies ?
Was it to be restricted to the operations
of their foreign trade, the branches of
which were guided by men who were at
the elbow of the government, and supposed
to have a certain degree of colonial in-
fluence in certain quarters ? Was this to
be the circumference of their liberal sphere
of action ? Were they never to do justice
nearer home ? Were they never to listen
to the voice of Ireland [Hear, hear].
Was it there alone that sound policy was
to be overlooked ; and that, too, where one
half of the empire, or thereabouts, was
concerned; where a great population was
oppressed by a continuance of matchless
impolicy, and worse injustice, where a
state of things prevailed, which put to im-
minent peril the responsibility of any
British minister, who suffered the whole
civil fabric of a large portion of the king's
subjects to remain in jeopardy, because he
withdrew from the adjustment of a ques-
tion, which ere long must be definitively
settled. He hoped that, upon the state of
Ireland, they were not to be met by any
crooked policy of expediency-he hoped
the time was now past when they were to
be told, O, touch not such a topic, it is
too delicate, there are too many, and too
irreconcilable, and too various opinions
afloat upon it: we must leave that alone
-it is too harassing and complicating to
be mooted. All other difficulties you will
find us ready to meet and overcome, hut,
by common consent, we have arranged to
steer clear of this question: the fact is,
what can we do with it ?-we have not two
members who think alike upon this topic."
Was this the way, he would ask, in which
the government of this country ought to
be conducted ? Could they tolerate this
exception from the general policy, in the
case of a country so inseparably identified
with their internal interests, when they
had an absolute right to have upon it the
undivided opinion, clearly expressed, of an


FEB. 3, 1825. [b8







59] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
intelligible and distinct cabinet ? It was
worse than idle to say that the condition
of Ireland was the only question on which
a cabinet might be divided. We had
proof, that there were too many opinions
in which they were far from concurrence.
It was no later than the last session, that
the House witnessed-the country wit-
nessed-one honourable colleague intro-
ducing in that House, a change in the
silk laws; and witnessing also, the same
measure thrown out in the upper House
by another noble colleague; upheld also
in that object by other members of the
same administration. We had seen also
measures since adopted by all the mem-
bers of that cabinet which once were de-
signated by some of its members as Jaco-
binical, when they were suggested by
those who surround me, carried, I will
say, by the wisdom and manliness of the
right hon. gentleman opposite (Mr. Se-
cretary Canning); because, backed as
he is by public opinion on this question
-backed by the hon. friends who fill the
benches around me, and on which he
would have triumphed even had he been
obliged to have left office on such grounds.
Is he not bound, then, to follow up his
principles? Is Ireland, I again ask,
bound as we are to that near, that inti-
mate connexion, on whose peace and se-
curity such momentous interests hang,
on which so much danger stares us in the
very front; danger, I would say, growing
out of our own neglect, and on which we
are probably on the verge of a great
crisis, never to be approached? Sir, it
can no longer be said, or insinuated, as it
was formerly said or insinuated, that scru-
ples exist in a certain quarter which des-
troy all hope of giving to the Catholics
the relief which they seek. Such lan-
guage, indeed, I always held to be most
unconstitutional -most unjustifiable -
most factious. It was language of which
even the ministers of Charles II. would
have been ashamed. It was language
which, in the better times that preceded
the reign of Charles II., would have
brought the minister who dared to utter
it to the block [hear, hear! from Mr. W.
Lamb]. I should like to hear my hon.
friend, who by his cheer challenges the
justice of that observation, refute it. Ac-
complished as my hon. friend is in con-
stitutional knowledge, having examined
every opinion respecting it-for I am sure
no man is better informed on the subject
.than my hon. friend-I should like to hear


Address on the King's Speech [60
what he could say in reply to that which
I have advanced. This I know, that the
greatest statesman this country ever saw,
would cheerfully have gone to death
rather than use such language; and yet,
when so humble an individual as myself,
temperately, and I trust, not immodestly
repeats a doctrine which has been inva-
riably maintained by those statesmen, to
whom the constitution is so highly in-
debted, he is to be met with a cheer. My
hon. friend cheers because a whig ventures
to say, that the king's name ought not to
be mentioned in this House, for the pur-
pose of overawing or influencing our de-
terminations. And yet, that is a principle
which was never departed from, until the
period to which I have alluded, and the
propriety of a departure from which was
never openly avowed in parliament until
this night. In ancient times, it was in-
variably admitted, that of every act that
was gracious and conciliatory, his majesty
ought to have the credit; but, that when-
ever odious and unpopular measures were
proposed, the ministers of the Crown
should take the responsibility of them
upon their own shoulders. This principle
has been laid down by all our writers, and
has been invariably acted upon even in
the very worst periods of our monarchy.
Yet I was only drawing a corollary from
this principle when I was interrupted by
my hon. friend'scheer. Unquestionably,
it is a principle which has been departed
from by many of the individuals of whom
the present administration is formed. If
any odious step is to be taken, any mea-
sure by which, perhaps, a political oppo-
nent is to be run down and injured-
nothing is more common than to hear
them exclaim, "' 01! I assure you it is
no fault of ours, that Mr. So and So is
thus used. You may easily guess who is
at the bottom of the treatment he has re-
ceived. It is our wish to do what is
right. We are above all petty per-
sonal jealousies: we have no inclination
to injure a political adversary: but there
are impressions existing in a certain high
quarter which prevent us from acting as
we would otherwise do." And thus, Sir,
is it constantly attempted to throw the
load of odium on the sovereign and his
immediate friends. Even when creditable
measures are proposed by these indivi-
duals, the same system is resorted to;
They talk of the difficulties they have ex-
perienced; and declare that God only
knows the prejudices they have had to








FEB. 3, 1825. [62


conquer. So it used to be in the late reign
with respect to Ireland The language was
(I thank God that it cannot be now held),
"Wearefree from prejudiceon thesubject;
we acknowledge that the proposition to
emancipate the Catholics is just and
reasonable; but there exist in a certain
illustrious quarter objections which it is
impossible to obviate, although the pre-
cise nature of those objections our so-
lemn oath as state councillors forbids us
to divulge." Sir, it is a source of great
satisfaction to me that that argument is
at an end. No one who has marked the
course of the illustrious individual who is
now seated on the throne of these realms,
more especially on that gratifying occa-
sion, his visit to the sister kingdom, can
doubt for a moment, that his opinion re-
specting the policy that ought to be pur-
sued towards Ireland is consistent with
the soundest and most enlightened prin-
ciples. But this is a fact of which we
cannot regularly have any knowledge of
here. The private opinion of his ma-
jesty is in this country of no weight.
The royal acts are the acts of the ministry.
The speeches from the throne are the
speeches of the ministry. But, there is
a country in which such is not the case.
I may advert, in support of my convic-
tion of his majesty's opinion on the ques-
tion of religious liberty, to his conduct in
a country in which he acts not through
his ministers, but directly as a sovereign.
England has had frequent occasion to
lament her connexion with Hanover.
It is an ill wind,, however, that blows
nobody good. That connexion has
proved highly serviceable to the cause of
Ireland, by showing the sentiments en-
tertained by the king, on the subject
which now agitates Ireland. I allude to
the royal proclamation issued last Decem-
ber, at Hanover, for the purpose of re-
moving doubts respecting one of the ar-
ticles of the act of the German confede-
ration of June 1815. This, Sir, is the
proclamation of George the 4th king of
Hanover. It is his proclamation indivi-
dually. It does not proceed from respon-
sible advisers. Whatever blame or credit
belongs to it, belongs to his majesty per-
sonally. It was, therefore, with no small
delight that I read this, which I consider
as a test of his majesty's real opinion. It
is a proclamation deserving of the highest
praise. Our government has too fre-
quently been in the habit of imitating
the governments of the continent. Ii


wish they would do so in the present
case. I hope they will take this whole
leaf out of the volume of the practice of
Hanover. It is a valuable hint which has
been given to them-a useful admoni-
tion-a sound example of liberal policy.
At least, it will for ever stop ministers
from insinuating, that any one is to blame
but themselves for whatever fate may await
Ireland. The annunciation of the king
of Hanover is one which ought to be
echoed in this country. It is most wise
and most enlightened. The several
professors of the Christian faith," it de-
clares, enjoy a perfect equality of civil
and political rights in the kingdom; and
in conformity with the said article, the
notion of a predominant and of a merely
tolerated church is entirely abolished.
This, Sir, is indeed the real doctrine of
toleration. The man who really means
to tolerate, does not use the word. He
never speaks of it as a boon. He con-
siders it as a right, not as a favour, that
every man should worship his maker in
whatever mode he conscientiously prefers.
He holds, that a man may be erroneous
in his religious opinions, but that if he
be sincere in them, it is an insult to him
to say that he shall be tolerated in pro-
fessing them. When, therefore, his ma-
jesty, in this proclamation, says, that the
idea of a predominant and of a merely to-
lerated church is not to be endured, he
speaks the language of a wise and liberal
policy. More is added in the same sound
spirit. All Christian religious commu-
nities" (ALL;-the expression is net
confined to Hanover; it is equally ap-
plicable to Ireland) "have a right to the
unobstructed and free exercise of their
religious worship." More than this can-
not be desired. Further than this no
man would wish to go. But I ask, why
not apply to Ireland the principle which
has been thus wisely applied to Hanover ?
Why will his majesty's ministers in this
country, in spite of this noble example, per-
severe in their present offensive and un-
just policy ? Why do not at least some
of them manfully, frankly, and boldly
maintain the necessity of concession to
the Catholics ? I will for the present put
aside altogether the consideration of the
Catholic Association. I will for a
moment suppose that the refusal to grant
the claims of the Catholics has not pro-
duced this, its natural and genuine fruit
[hear, hear !]. Sir, I have no doubt of
the fact. I never had a doubt that, sooner


at the Openivg- Qf the Session..








63] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
or later, that refusal would be productive
of the most injurious consequences. I
told the House so last year. I then said,
" If harsh language, if extravagant pro-
positions, if a vehement spirit, if pro-
ceedings which may be termed violent
and alarming, have emanated from, and
been manifested by the Catholic Associ-
ation, do not blame the Association itself;
but blame those who have made the As-
sociation what it is, by treating the
Catholics as they have been treated;
blame those who by their conduct have
turned reasonable to unreasonable expec-
tations, and converted a dutiful request
into an insolent demand."
I will now, however, lay aside all con-
sideration of the Catholic Association. I
'will suppose that that association, and the
evils arising from it have not been created
by yourselves; that they are not your
handy-work. I proceed, then, to ask the
friends of Catholic emancipation in his
majesty's government, why, having as
councillors of the king, been enabled to
carry measures which were opposed by
the self-same persons, who refuse Catholic
concession, they do not exercise the
power which has been triumphant in the
one case, in the other? They have not made
the experiment. How, then, can they
tell that it would not be successful? Of
what are they afraid? What is their
ground of alarm? Are they apprehensive
that the result would be the resignation
of any of their colleagues? Do they
think that any one of their co-adjutors,
some man of splendid talents, of profound
learning, of unwearied industry, would
give up his place? Do they think he
would resign his office; that he would
quit the great seal ? Prince Hohenloe is
nothing to the man who could effect such
a miracle [hear, and a laugh]. A more
chimerical apprehension never entered the
brain of a distempered poet. Any thing
but that. Many things may surprise me,
but nothing would so much surprise me
as that the noble and learned individual
to whom I allude, should quit his hold of
office while life remains. A more super-
fluous fear than such an event never
crossed the wildest visionary in his dreams.
Indeed, Sir, I cannot refrain from saying,
that I think the right hon. gentlemen
opposite greatly underrate the steadiness
of mind of the noble and learned indivi-
dual in question. I think they greatly
underrate the firmness and courage with
which he bears, and will continue to bear,


Address on the King's Speech [64
the burthens of his high and important
station. In these qualities the noble and
learned lord has never been excelled-
has never perhaps been paralleled.
Nothing can equal the forbearance which
he has manifested. Nothing can equal
the constancy with which he has borne
the thwarts.that he has lately received on
the questions of trade. His patience
under such painful circumstances can be
rivalled only by the fortitude with which
he bears the prolonged distress of the
suitors in his own court; but, to appre-
hend that any defeat would induce him to
quit office, is one of the vainest fears-
one of the most fantastic apprehensions-
that was ever entertained by man. Let
him be tried. In his generous mind, ex-
panded as it has been by his long official
character, there is no propensity so strong
as a love of the service of his country.
He is no doubt convinced, that the higher
an office, the more unjustifiable it is to
abandon it. The more splendid the emo-
luments of a situation-the more exten-
sive its patronage-the more he is per-
suaded that it is not allowed to a wise and
good man to tear himself from it. I con-
tend, therefore, that the right hon. gen-
tlemen opposite underrate the firmness of
their noble and learned colleague. Let
them make the experiment; and if they
succeed in wrenching power from his
gripe, I shall thenceforward estimate
them as nothing short of miracle-mongers.
His present station the noble and learned
lord holds as an estate for life. That is
universally admitted. The only question
is, whether he is to appoint his successor.
By some it is supposed that he has actu-
ally appointed him, and I own I have
observed several symptoms of such being
the case. If it be so, I warn that succes-
sor, that he will be exceedingly disap-
pointed if he expects to step into the
office a single moment before the decease
of its present holder [a laugh]. How-
ever, I do intreat, that the perseverance
of this eminent person may be put to the
test. Let the right hon. gentleman say,
he will resign, if the Catholic question is
not carried in the cabinet: let the noble
and learned lord say, that he will resign
if it is carried. I am quite sure of the
result. The Catholic question would be
carried; but the noble and learned lord
would retain his place. He would behave
with the fortitude, which has distinguished
him in the other instances in which he has
been defeated; and the country would







85] at the Opening of the Session. FEB. 3, 1825. [66
not be deprived, for a single hour, of considerations. When the feelings of
the inestimable benefit of his services [a men are roused, it is not surprising that
laugh]. they should go a step beyond strict pro-i
To return, however, to the state of priety. But, making the allowance which
Ireland. Wearied by the disappoint- it is but just to make under tile peculiar
merit of the expectations which they have circumstances of the case, I take upon
year after year indulged ; the country ex- myself conscientiously to say, after the most
periencing one crisis of distress after ano- attentive observation and vigilant inspec-
ther; it is not surprising that the Catholics tion of all which the Catholic Association
of Ireland have at length become impati- have done and said, that I cannot discover
ent; and that, out of that impatience has' a single word or act which justifies the
arisen that Association which we are charge conveyed in his majesty's Speech.
called upon in his majesty's Speech, to The language used by the Association has
put down by strong legislative measures, been sneered at by the noble lord who
The Speech talks of Associations" in moved the Address. It would be more
the plural. That is not without an object. prudent on the part of the noble lord to
I warn the House, however, not to be endeavour to imitate their eloquence,
taken in by the contrivance. That little instead of venting sarcasms upon it. At
letter s, is one of the slyest introductions the same time, the noble lord observed,
that Belial ever resorted to, in any of that he was not disposed to treat the As-
those speeches which are calculated to sociation with contempt. That the noble
" ------ make the worse appear lord should not be disposed to treat with
The better reason, to perplex and dash contempt the most respectable members
Maturest counsels : for his thoughts are low." of the Catholic church, in Ireland, and
I am perfectly aware, Sir, by whom through them, a population of six millions
that s was added. I know the hand- of persons, who will now, probably for
writing. I know the reflection which the first time, hear of the existence of
passed through the mind ou the writer, the noble lord, does not surprise me.
" I must put the word in the plural. It Surprised I certainly should have been
will then be considered as applicable to had he said he was disposed to treat them
Orange as to Catholic Associations, and with contempt, especially when -I took
the adversaries ofboth will be conciliated." into the account the noble lord's good
Let not that little letter s, however, de- sense, moderation, and liberality. To
ceive a single person. However it may treat such a body of men with contempt,
be pretended to hold tie balance even would require a degree of superciliousness
between the Catholic and the Orange greater than even signior Pococurante
Associations, depend upon it it will be could boast. Is there any one who can
only a nominal equity. It will be like one deny that the leading members of the
of those subtile equities" so weii known Catholic Association are men of great
in the court over which the noble and influence in Ireland ? Is there any one
learned lord to whom I have been alluding who can contradict my assertion, that the
presides. Let tile proposed measures be Association receives the hearty support of
carried, and the Catholic Association will the whole body of the Catholics in Ire-
be strongly put down with one hand, land Sir, I am greatly misinformed-and
while the Orange Association will receive I am misinformed by those too who must
only a gentle tap with the other. That possess the best means of knowledge-if
will be the result, if we allow ourselves the Catholic Association in Ireland does
to be deceived by this apparent equity. not actually and virtually represent the
I will, therefore, not ascent to the pro- wishes and feelings of almost all the
position, come in what shape it may. Catholic body in that country., It is true
Unquestionably, it is to be regretted that that the whole of the proceedings of that
the proceedings of any Association in Association may not be approved by every
Ireland should be irreconcilable with the body. The right hon. and learned
constitution, or calculated to create alarm attorney-general for Ireland thought (I,
by exciting animosities. For my own for one, certainly did not agree with him)
part, I do not entirely approve the mea- thatoneofthemeirbersofthatAssociation,
sures of any of the Associations. I never, in the warn.,th of his eloquence, had gone
that I remember, rippr,:,e:l of all the beyond what moderation would have dic-
measures of any public body; especially tated. But when the right lion. and
where religious were mixed up with civil learned gentleman submitted that ob-
VOL, XII. F







67] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
noxious speech to the consideration of
23 impartial individuals, they differed from
him. To that right hon. and learned
gentleman the Catholics are, however,
indebted for the most inestimable services.
If any man in England, or in Ireland, has
contributed more than any other to place
the Catholics in the condition of power in
which they are now placed, he is that
man. If not the father of the Association,
he has armed them with their present
authority. For who, after the venerated
Grattan, ever pleaded the cause of the
Catholics with half the strength of reason-
ing and brilliancy of eloquence? There
are many who may not approve of all the
measures adopted by the Association-of
the rent for.instance-but who may still be
ready to adhere to the Association with
their lives. To attack, by act of parlia-
ment, an Association thus representing
the sentiments, wishes, and feelings of the
people of Ireland, would be to attack the
people of Ireland themselves. And, how
are you to draw the line ? How can you
put down that body, and not put down, at
the same time, hundreds of bodies of
similar construction ? Subscriptions are
raised by other bodies. They are raised
by other than Catholics, and for other
purposes than to prevent the circulation of
the bible. What is to become of the
bible societies, the annual contribution of
which is, I understand, ninety or hundred
thousand pounds; and which spread their
branches all over the realm? These
societies have enlisted under their banners
many of the leaders of the great sects.
They include many dignitaries of the
church. At their head is a peer of the
realm. One of the most active members
of the Auxiliary Bible Societies is a noble
lord with whom in his commercial policy
I have now so often the honour to act; I
mean the earl of Liverpool [a laugh] ;
not to mention another noble lord ( Bex-
ley), who, however we formerly differed
on questions of trade, would now, I sup-
pose, be ready to meet me at least half
way upon such questions. There are
other Associations which ought to be put
down on the principle on which it is sought
to put down the Catholic Association.
Some of them are of a much more perni-
ciouscharacter. Howcan those individuals
attack the Catholic Association who sup-
ported an association to which the duke
of Wellington was a subscriber-the
Bridge-street Association ? Oh, but,"
:ey will say, that Association merely


Address on the King's Speech [6t
prosecuted the writers of libels; they did
not attempt to regain the rights of their
countrymen." But, is the latter a less
laudable purpose than the former ? Are
they only to be punished who complain of
the grievances they suffer ? But, Sir, I
mention these things merely to show the
extreme difficulty of legislating on the
subject. I fear I shall have but too many
occasions for being more diffuse respect-
ing it. From the very first to the very
last of the proposed proceedings-on the
first reading of the projected bill-nay,
on the production of the papers on which
the motion for leave to bring in the bill
will probably be founded, I, for one, will
take my stand, and give to it every oppo-
sition which a man soindifferentlyendowed
for so great a task as I can make, to what
appears to me to be an enormous mischief,
bottomed in the grossest injustice, pregnant
with the most fatal consequences; and
which, in my opinion, must lead, sooner or
later, to the severance of thetwo kingdoms
[hear, hear,]. Sir, it would at present
be no difficult task to alienate the minds
of the people of Ireland from this coun-
try. They were taught to look to the
British parliament for support; that sup-
port has failed them. They were advised
to look up to their representatives, but
there again they found themselves de-
ceived. There is not in this House any
man who more laments the fact than I
do; but so it is, that the peace of Ireland
is secured by the Catholic Association,
and the Catholic Association alone. Ire-
land is at this moment tranquil. Never
were the laws of the land more regularly
enforced, more cheerfully obeyed in that
country, than they are at present. It is
true that some abuses of the administra-
tion of the laws are still complained of;
yet, such is the luxury of even an ap-
proach to an equal distribution of justice
amongst these poor people, that they al-
ready rejoice and feel comparatively
happy. But has this feeling been produ-
ced by the government of the country ? I
deny it; it would be but to cloak the truth
to make such an assertion-it has been
produced by the exertions of the Catholic
Association [hear, hear !]. The people
of Ireland placed their trust in you. They
found themselves disappointed. They
threw themselves upon theirformer friends,
those friends who had supported and flat-
tered them at a period when we were sur-
rounded by war and by danger, and they
found that the war being over, and the







69] at the Opening of the Session. FEs. 3, 1825. [70
danger subsided, their friends took to of- Ireland; they must know the strength
fice and to power, and deserted them. which it has attained, and the deep root
Having found this, I then ask, Sir, what which it has taken: they may try to put
resource had this body ? They discovered it down by an act of parliament; and
that they had no hope from parliament; they may do so, in twenty-four hours
that they could not trust their friends; they may do so; but, if they do it, or at-
at least those leading friends who forsook tempt to do it, then I say they are un-
them for office: what then, I ask, could worthy of the smallest portion of that
they do, but throw themselves upon those praise which they have received, for the
persons who continued to advocate their I removal of even the most trifling restric-
cause and support their interests? But, tion, which in their liberal policy, they
his majesty's ministers complained of this ; have removed from our foreign com-
and why ? just because it is their own merce, and for the which no man is more
handy work ; a piece of machinery of ready to give them credit than my-
their own creation, and, therefore, they self. I say you may put down the Catho-
hate and abuse it. They say, and very lie Association in twenty-four hours,
naturally, this is our own work; we may but if you do, it is your own fault. You
thank ourselves for allowing this Catholic are conscious of the injuries you have in-
Association, this new power to grow up; flicted on that body; you feel that you
but now that it has grown, we dread and have denied to it even common justice,
would crush it." Let me ask, Sir, how and now its ghost haunts you. If, how-
can they do this? It has been well said ever,, you really wish to pu that body
by Swift, that nothing is more common in down; if you wish to annihilate it for
society than that men should first render ever; then, I say, let the Roman Catholics
themselves ridiculous by their actions, know that you are determined to carry
and then turn round and feel angry be- the question of emancipation. Let them
cause other men laughed at them. And, know that you are determined, though
Sir, there is nothing more unreasonable, late, to do them justice, and there is at
and yet more common, than that bad once an end to the Catholic Association.
rulers should create mischiefs, and after- That you may be so wise, so just, as to
wards, turn round, and find fault with, and do this, instead of waging a harsh and im-
feel enraged at, those who, whilst they politic war against six millions of oppres-
complained of the evil, pointed out the sed subjectsis mymost sincere wish; would
remedy. But, what is to be done? They I could say my most sanguine hope. I
tell us that the government must be kept beg pardon for having trespassed at such
'in motion, while at the same time they length upon the House. I have little
vituperate and find fault with some of the more to add, than that I have, upon this
members who are connected with it, and occasion, been prevented from taking a
the alarm of rebellion is spread abroad, more decided course, solely by the reflec-
Sir, I mean to cast no reflections on any tion, that at this period it would be injudi-
set of persons. I thank God there never cious, in my view of the question, to take
was a period when disaffection was less to the sense of the House upon it, many of
be apprehended in Ireland, than at pre- its most sincere and zealous supporters
sent; and, in my opinion, there is only one being absent. So convinced, however,
way by which those unfortunate disturb- was I of the justice of my cause, that I
ances can be rekindled: namely, by could not refrain from giving this warning,
taking legal steps to put down the Catho- and thus liberating my own mind from
lic Association. If, Sir, you introduce the guilty responsibility of an acquiescence
such a measure as this; if you turn a in the measures alluded to in his majesty's
deaf ear to the complaints and sufferings Speech.
of that unhappy country, if, I say, you Lord F. L. Gower, in explanation, dis-
annihilate that body which your own neg- claimed any thing like an intention to cast
.ligence and misgovernment have allowed ridicule upon any of the gentlemen who
to grow up, you will give an additional were considered orators in the Catholic
proof of the impolicy of your measures, Association.
and the want of attention to the interests Mr. Brougham rejoiced that he had
and happiness of Ireland [hear, hear!]. given the noble lord .an opportunity of
This House, as well as his majesty's minis- explaining a matter which had been mis-
ters must know, Sir, that the system apprehended both by himself and some
now complained of, has so grown up in friends who sat round him.








71] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Address on the King's Speech [72
The Hon. William Lamb said, he he was now, as he had ever been, the
would not have intruded himself so upon staunch friend of Catholic emancipation;
the House were it not for the observation Let the conduct of the Catholic Associa-
that had been so pointedly directed against tion be what it might, still le felt that all
him by the hon. and learned gentleman, religious distinctions ought to be removed.
The cheer to which the hon. and learned Whenever that question came forward, he
gentleman alluded had been drawn from should be found its firm supporter; but
him for no other reason but this, that he he could not help observing, that the suc-
thought the hon. and learned gentleman's cess of it was in a great degree endangered
language somewhat too exaggerated when by the imprudence, if not the violence, of
speaking of the effect that would havebeen some of its advocates. It should not be
produced in the times preceding those of forgotten, that there were in this country
Charles 2nd if any person dared to talk deep and well-founded objections to that
of scruples in a high quarter. This he question, and that however time and cir-
had thought tended to weaken the hon. cumstances might have quieted or removed
and learned gentleman's argument; and those prejudices, they ought not to be
that was his only motive for expressing aroused by any injudicious conduct on
what he felt, in the usual manner, by a the part of those, or the friends of those,
cheer. The hen. and learned gentleman who seek for emancipation.
was pleased to observe, that he had tried Mr. Secretary Canning said, he consi-
all parties and opinions. He was not dered the speech of the hon. and learned
aware on what facts this assertion was gentleman opposite as directed rather
founded. As lie had never been one of against errors, supposed or imputed,
those who despaired of the resources of which were not of o serious a nature as to
the country, even when most depressed, tempt him to violate the unanimity which
so he did not wish to encourage a too at present prevailed. It might be taken in
sanguine feeling with respect to the ex- the light of notices for discussion for the
tent to which our prosperity was likely to future, of the various topics upon which
go. In the one case, as in the other, he he touched. The hon. and learned gentle-
would recommend moderation, both in ac- man had reviewed the principal topics of
nation and in expectations. With respect the Speech from the throne, visiting, some
to the Catholic Association, he begged to with no very gracious approbation, and
observe, that he conceived a case was treating others with no very sparing repro-
likely to be made out against it, sufficiently nation. With respect to one subject-
strong to induce him to vote for its regu- that of Catholic emancipation-prbtfesing
nation, if not suppression. There were, it as he had at all times to support it, he must
was true, other Associations of a nearly still reserve to himself the right ofjudging
similar description, but they differed in as to the time the most proper for giving
this, that they did not interfere in political effect to that support; nor could lie on any
subjects. If an assembly of persons met, account consent to take his instructions
and, under the pretence of seeking re- from the hon. and learned gentleman.
dress for particular grievances, proceeded Upon that part of the Speech from the
to discuss the whole political affairs of throne which referred to the Catholic
the empire, then he maintained, that such Association, he had no hesitation in ex-
a society was a fit subject for legislative pressing his entire accordance with his hon.
interference. Again, subscriptions for friend who spoke last-that, so far from
particular public purposes were perfectly the Association being identified with the
legal; but, if he found that the Roman interests of the Catholic people, its insti-
Catholic clergy were actively engaged in tution, and the conduct of its members,
collecting what was called Catholic rent, he more resembled the scheme of an enemy,
should say that it was a symptom to be who had devised this as the best invention
viewed with great alarm. When it was for throwing back and thwarting the fur-
considered, that the Roman Catholic their progress of the question of emanci-
clergy arrogated to themselves the power pation. If the worst enemy of Catholic
of absolution-the power of totally for- emancipation had purposely sat down to
giving sins-then he maintained, that devise means to exasperate the people
their operations ought to be looked to against that measure, he could not have hit
with great caution, and only tolerated upon means more certain-he could not
when directed to purposes purely spiritual. have imagined a plan so successfully mis-
Notwithstanding these opinions, however, chievous -as the institution and conduct







73] at the Opening of the Session. FEa. 3, 1825. [74
oftheCatholic Association. Toone argu- station had been suffered to pursue its
ment of the hon.and learned gentleman he course unimpeded, and to have flowed
would advert, as particularly deserving of through the land, unmixed with any of
an answer, connected as it was with a sub- these waters of bitterness.
ject to which he and his colleagues had "Doris amara suam non intermisceatundam." a
given their most serious consideration. Whatever disappointment awaited the
They had asked themselves, if no steps greater measure of emancipation must be
were taken by the government for that ascribed to that body. It was well for
purpose, might not the mischief die away the Catholics that they had no more con-
ofitself? That, for a time, was his sincere sideration in the public mind. He as
opinion : ad he appealed for proofs of it to much confided in the eventual carrying of
his conduct during the last session of par- that measure, as he was convinced of the
lament. Had the hon. and learned gen- certainty that it would be opposed, if now
tleman forgotten how ministers were then brought forward, by this whole country as
goaded to bring forward some measure to by one man. It seemed that the Catholic
stifle the restless spirit which was then said Association was the cause of the peace
to prevail ? Had he forgotten the answer which prevailed. By what charm had they
then given-that they (the ministers) brought about this object. Whence did
thought it better to wait until it should die they obtain their magical elements of con-
away of itself: and that at all events they cord ? From the pit of Acheron Their
declined calling upon the Houseor any ex- combination was cemented by an adjura-
traordinary expedient until the effect of tion of horror and loathing-" Be peace-
patience should have been fairly tried ? able, by the hatred which you bear the
The mode of treating this subject taken by Orangemen !" This was the charm by
the hon. and learned member was a sin- which they worked-These the means by
gular one. To prove that the existence which they proposed to extract peace out
of the Catholic Association was admis- of hatred. Good God! was it for reason-
sible, he ought to have shown that they ing men deliberately to put such a bond
were a body perfectly harmless-a meet- of union into writing, and when called
ing of a few zealous individuals, who did upon to explain themselves, deliberately
"not in any manner profess to represent the to affirm the deed ? To inculcate peace
whole people of Ireland-who had no de- among themselves, through their steadfast
sign of assuming the character of a govern- hatred of their fellow subjects? Could
ment. On the contrary, the hon. and this be Catholicism ? He trusted that it
learned gentleman had exaggerated even was not. Sure he was it was not Chris-
-beyond their own most gross and exagger- tianity. He protested against any mea-
ated account. He had told the House that sure which might be brought down to
the Catholic Association was the govern- keep the proceedings of that body within
ment of the country. You are indebted," the proper limits of the laws and the con-
said lie, to the Catholic Association for stitution being treated as a measure di-
the peace and tranquillity of Ireland." reacted against the Catholic people of Ire-
He remembered correctly the extent of land, or as any device to throw impedi-
his own prophesies with respect to the ments in the way of discussing that great
fate of Ireland. He forgot entirely, or question. Did the lion. and learned gen-
else overlooked, the administration of the tleman know-did the Catholic Associa-
last three years. He left out of view the tion know-so little of the English people
eminent talents and merits of the marquis as to suppose that menace and intimida-
Wellesley, in retrieving, by the firm and tion could avail them ? Could they really
equal justice of his government, the re- suppose that these would be as arms in
spect and authority due to the laws. The the hands of their advocates? Did they
steps taken by that great man to secure not feel that every sentence of that kind
the enjoyment equally for Catholics and must operate as an injunction to their
Protestants of the sunshine of government advocates to hold their peace, till the
and the favours of the Crown,were nothing. impression of that violence could be ef-
SIt was to nothing of all this, that the com- faced from the minds of the English
parative tranquillity of Ireland was attri- people ? Let no one consider him, there-
butable. No : her repose was the work of fore, as opposing the just claims of the
'the Catholic Association Most ear- Catholics. He did them good in every
- nestly was it to be wished, that the cur- thing which he did towards ridding them
Tent of that wise and benevolent adminis- of that incubus which now rode them.,







75] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
He made their cause look better by re-
moving all that was unsightly and unbe-
coming, and advanced it in the estimation
of every man who hated to be bullied and
brow-beaten. He wished to separate the
Catholic Association and the Catholic
question : the hon. and learned gentleman
-wished to confound them.-There were
.parts of the speech of the hon. and
learned gentleman which from being ad-
dressed to himself so personally, placed
him in a difficult situation, inasmuch as he
'must either pass by that which obviously
meant to apply to him, from affected in-
,difference, or he must detain the House
with explanations which referred chiefly
to his own conduct. The hon. and
learned gentleman had-almost in so
many words-asked him "Why do not
you, who have felt your power in carrying
a particular question against the views
of an opposing minister, adhere to the
same means" (probably alluding to a
supposed alternative of resigning office),
"and insist upon carrying the Catholic
'question also ?" He objected to both
premises and conclusion. Suppose the
premises true, did the hon. and learned
gentleman see no difference between the
South American and the Catholic ques-
tion? "What had a minister to fear,"
asked the hon. and learned gentleman,
" with this House, these benches the coun-
try, all England, at his back?" To which
hewould propose another question, "What
would a minister do with only these
benches, and with no England at his
,back ?" [Cheers.] His answer to the hon.
and learned gentleman was, that he must
reserve to himself the right of judging
-how, when, at what period, and in what
manner, to give up either his office or his
life in support of that or any other cause:
he would not consent to have the oppor.
tunity chosen for him, especially by one
* who might happen to have some col-
-lateral interest in the event. One assump-
tion of the hon. and learned gentleman's
he must positively deny. He assumed the
notion of a cabinet divided into two parties,
and that ascertain member of it who wasop-
* posed to him upon the Catholic question,
was also opposed to him on that of South
.America. He was entirely mistaken. He
assured the hon. and learned gentleman
that the line which was frequently
.drawn between the supposed liberals and
illiberals of the cabinet council was by
ono means a straight but a serpentine line.
. As it zegardsd, the Catholic question, it


Address on the King's Speech t676
was nearly straight, and direct; but,
wherever habit did not arbitrarily prevail,
or personal honour was not pledged, the
members brought their minds to the dis-
cussion totally disengaged. The project
of breaking it up and forming a completely
new one from the different benches of that
House, would be found not quite so easy
in practice. No doubt a competent
ministry might be selected from the
benches opposite; but if the hop. and
learned gentleman could have the satisfac-
tion of ousting him, he would not, in all
probability, have the satisfaction of suc-
ceeding him. All he desired, either of
him or the House, was to consider rightly
the terms which were objected to in the
Address. The king stated in his Speech,
that associations existed in Ireland which
had adopted proceedings not recon-
cileable with the laws and the consti-
tution. As "those proceedings tended
to public mischief, it was recommended to
parliament to consider of an adequate
remedy. The House of Commons was
about to reply by promising that it would do
so. What less could the House do, unless
they took the description given by the
hon. and learned gentleman of the Ca-
tholic Association, asa body possessingthe
whole authority in Ireland, enjoying undi-
vided allegiance, exercising all the powers
of government, issuing the only commands
which were effectually obeyed, and levy-
ing revenues? Unless they were pre-
pared to say, that a power thus formid-
able ought to exist-that it had a right to
sit beside the government, or to tower
above it-they could not refuse their
assurance to the Crown, that they would
take an early opportunity of considering
the means of putting down so enormous
an evil. Nothing less could be proposed
in reply to the Speech, unless they were
prepared to say, that the Catholic Asso-
ciation ought to exist in this unlimited
authority and plenitude of power.-The
hon. and learned gentleman seemed to
treat lightly all those measures which the
prevalence of a liberal policy had adopted
for the advantage of the silk and other
trades, and the steps taken towards the
recognition of the new South American
States. The hon. and learned gentleman
was not an unfrequent speaker in that
house, and when he did favour them, he
was not generally remarkable for being
concise; having, in the course of his par-
liamentary life, proposed and supported,
oliBest every species and degree ufinnova-








at the Opening of the Session.


tion, which could be practised towards the
constitution, it was not very easy for minis-
ters to do any thing in the affair of South
America, without borrowing, or seeming
to borrow, something from the hon. and
learned gentleman. Their views might be
shut up-by circumstances which they
must consult, though he need not-like
as among ice in a northern winter. In
time the thawing proceeds so that they
were able to come out. But, break away
in what direction they would, whether
they took to the left or right, it was all
alike. Oho!" said the hon. and learned
gentleman, "I was there before you-
you would not have thought of that, now,
if I had not given you a hint." In the
reign of queen Anne there was a sage
and grave critic of the name of Dennis,
who, in his old age, got it into his head,
that he wrote all the good plays that were
acted at that time. At last, a tragedy
came forth with a most imposing storm
of hail and thunder. At the first peal,
" That's my thunder," said Dennis. So,
with the hon. and learned gentleman there
was no noise or stir for the good of man-
kind, in any part of the globe, but he in-
stantly claimed it for his thunder. All
the commercial advantages which the
country had reaped by the repeal of the
duties on silk or cotton, or the reduction
of the taxes; in fact, all popular mea-
sures whatever, were selected by the hon.
and learned gentleman as his peculiar
handy work. One thing, he had, how-
ever, kindly thrown overboard, which
was to be divided between government
and his hon. and learned friend the mem-
ber for Knaresborough, and that was the
subject of South America. He wished
to hear from the member for Knares-
borough to what degree he claimed South
America for his thunder. The hon. and
learned gentleman was very cautious in
his praise. Much had been done to
which he could not object; but then, for
fear that ministers should feel too proud,
he suggested that things might have been
better, especially as to time. Now, if he
piqued himself upon any thing in the
South American negotiations, it was upon
the subject of time. As to the propriety
of admitting states which had success-
fully shaken off their dependence on the
mother country to the rights of nations,
there could be no dispute. There were
two ways of proceeding where the case
was more questionable-recklessly, and
with a hurried course, to the object,


which might be soon reached, and almost
as soon lost-or by another course, so
strictly guarded, that no principle was
violated, and no strict offence given to
other powers. The three States with
which the British government had to deal,
were Buenos-Ayres, Colombia, and
Mexico. He flattered himself that he
could satisfy the House, that no earlier
could either of them have been recognized,
As to Buenos Ayres, it was undoubtedly
true, that the Spanish forces were sent
away many years since. Long ago the
contest with the mother country had
ceased. But his hon. and learned friend
knew well, that Buenos Ayres comprised
thirteen or fourteen small and separate
states, which were not till very lately
collected into any federal union. Would
it not have been an absurdity to have
treated with a power which was incapable
of answering for the conduct of the com-
munities of which it was composed? So
soon as it was known that a consolidation
had taken place, the treaty with Buenos
Ayres was signed. Next, as to Colombia.
As late as 1822, the last of the Spanish
forces were sent away from Porto Cabello,
which was, up till that time, held for the
king of Spain. It was only since that
time that Colombia could have been ad-
mitted as a state of separate existence.
Some time after that, however, Colombia
chose to risk her whole force, and a great
part of her treasure, in a distant war with
Spain in Peru. Had that enterprise
proved disastrous, the expedition would
have returned with the troops to re-es-
tablish the royal authority. The danger
was now at an end. The case of Mexico
was still more striking. Not nine months
ago, an adventurer who had wielded the
sceptre of Mexico left these shores to
return thither, and re-possess his abdi-
cated throne. Was that a moment at
which this country ought to have inter-
fered to decide, by recognition, the
government for Mexico ? The failure of
the attempt of that adventurer afforded
the opportunity for recognition; and, the
instant the failure was known, the decision
of the British cabinet was taken. There-
fore, so far from the time being ill
chosen-so far from the measures being
tardily adopted-it was not physically or
morally possible to have anticipated them,
even by a few weeks. Now, with respect
to the mode in which this great object
has been effected, he was bound to say,
whatever fault had been found with it,


FEB. 3, 1825. [78








79] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
that it was the best and wisest that could
have been adopted. His noble friend,
who had opened this debate so creditably
to himself, and who, lie would add, had
discovered, in his subsequent observa-
tions, short as they were, powers to vin-
dicate himself, which proved that he was
perfectly able to take a conspicuous part
in the deliberations of that assembly, had
already touched upon this topic in a very
satisfactory manner. Still, however, he
felt it necessary to say something further
qn the subject. The hon. and learned
gentleman had said, that there was some-
thing mean and paltry in negotiating a
treaty, as the prelude to recognition. He
wished the business to have been con-
cluded in a more summary way. He
approved of the act itself in the abstract,
but he objected to the mode in which it
was effected. Now, to go back to a period
of British history which was perfectly
well known to all, he would ask what
was the conduct of France with respect
to the United States of America? The
fact was, that the ambassadors of the
United States were not admitted to the
court of France, until the signature of a
treaty. Such was the mode of recog-
nition in that case; and the treaty was
quoted to this country as a confession of
that act. But, this was not all. France
not only acknowledged the independence
of the United States before it was recog-
nised by the mother country; she entered
into a treaty of alliance, offensive and
defensive, with those states; and thus
she became the enemy of England, with
whom she had previously maintained re-
lations of amity. He wished that those
who opposed the course adopted by his
majesty's ministers would speak out: lie
wished they would state explicitly why
they objected to the mode in which the
recognition was effected. Did they in-
tend to argue, that this measure was im-
perfect, because it was not accompanied
by war ? Did-they dislike it, because it
was not accompanied by military prepa-
ration? The task which he had to per-
form was, to arrive at this great object-
an object in unison with the wishes of
the country-without giving just cause of
war to France or any other power.
There might be something mean and
huckstering in this mode of proceeding, at
least so the lion. and learned gentleman
seemed to suppose; but, if he thought
that war was not to be had, without some
little dexterity (a laugh), he was exceed-


Address on the King's Speech [80
ingly mistaken. War lay here and here ;
it was on the right and on the left of our
path; our course lay in the middle: we
took that course, and arrived at the
object of our solicitude honourably and
peaceably. Was this mode of proceeding
unsatisfactory, because there did not
exist in the archives of his office a single
document relative to this question which
Spain had not seen, and of which the
powers in alliance with this country had
not been supplied with copies? Was this
transaction deemed unsatisfactory, be.
cause Spain was told, that if she would
take the precedence, in recognizing the in-
dependence of the colonies, this country
would be content to follow her steps, and
to allow to her a priority in the markets
of those colonies ? Was the arrangement
unsatisfactory, because, proceeding alone,
England disdained to take any unfair ad-
vantages of a friendly state ? Was it un-
satisfactory, because we saw, that whoever
might follow us in recognizing the in-
dependence of those states, would be
placed by our side, and would enjoy equal
advantages with ourselves ? The hon. and
learned gentleman admitted that he ap-
proved of the measure, but stated that he
disapproved both of the mode and the
time. Now, he would say to the hon.
and learned gentleman in return, that the
credit of the measure might be his, or it
might be that of his hon. and learned
friend (sir J. Mackintosh); but he (Mr.
C.) would claim for himself the merit of
that to which the hon. and learned gentle-
man affixed blame-namely, selecting the
time, and devising the mode, in which this
object was to be effected. And he trust-
ed, that by this plain conduct,by this tem-
perate-this tardy policy, if they pleased
so to call it-the country had got rid of
all the dangers which otherwise would
have accompanied the recognition. Did
they not know-could he attempt to con-
ceal-that by this step England had of-
fended many interests ? Had she not
called forth many regrets? Had she not
excited much anger ? Had she not raised
up considerable ill-feeling? Had she not
created passions of no favourable nature ?
This was the fact. Still, however, he en-
tertained the most sanguine hopes, that
those evil feelings and angry passions
would exhale themselves, and subside ini
mere words, and that the peace of the
world would continue to be preserved.
Notwithstanding the unsparing blame,
which the hon. and learned gentleman







FEB. 4, 1825. [82


had cast on the work which had been
just completed, he (Mr. C.) thought that
ministers had done their duty, on this
point at least; and he was ready to abide
the judgment of the House and of the coun-
try. He did not think there was in the
speech of the hon. and learned gentleman
any other topic that called for particular
notice. The hon. and learned gentleman
had satisfied himself by entering his pro-
test, with respect to the only matter of
dispute that was likely to grow out of this
Address. He was ready, when the pro-
per time arrived, to meet the hon. and
learned gentleman on that subject, feel-
ing perfectly confident, that he should
be able to show that the interposition of
the legislature was absolutely necessary.
There were one or two points which he
was not exactly called on to notice, but
on which it would, perhaps, be proper
that he should say a few words. He al-
luded more particularly to the treaty with
the United States of America relative to the
slave-trade. The House would recollect
that, at the beginning of the last session
of parliament, a proposal was received
from the United States of America, to
carry into effect a measure for putting an
end to the slave-trade, by giving to each
power the right of mutual search. The
treaty was drawn up by the ministers of
the United States; and in the course of
the negotiation, some alterations in the
treaty were made in it here. By the con-
stitution of the United States, the power
of ratification was placed, not in the Ex-
ecutive, but in the Executive and the
Senate also. This country, therefore,
had no right to complain, when a treaty,
regularly negotiated and signed by his
majesty, was refused by the American
authorities, unless alterations were made
in it by the United States. But, the
singularity of the case was this-that the
alteration proposed by the United States
had no reference to the alteration introdu-
ced by the British Cabinet, but was an
alteration of their own original draught of
the treaty, by withdrawing the clause
granting the reciprocity of search. The
right of mutual search on the coast of
America wasthe condition of the original
treaty, but this the United States with-
drew; the consequence of which, if we
consented to it, would be, that the Ameri-
cans would have the right of search in the
West-India seas, while it would be denied
to us on the coast of America. As a
matter'of justice to the West Indies, it
VOL. XII.


was impossible to acquiesce in this propo-
sal; since it would admit, by implication,
that the Slave laws were evaded by our
colonists, which he denied, and were not
evaded by the Americans on their own
coast. The course we then took was
this-the United States had made an
alteration which we could not admit, and
we proposed to cancel the first treaty,
and had sent out full powers to negotiate
another treaty, verbatim like the for-
mer, with the single exception of the word
America. The refusal to ratify such a
new treaty on the part of the United
States could not stand the test of
public discussion. By raising the offence
of slave-trading into piracy, we gave a
test of our sincerity, which admitted of
no contradiction. It seemed to him,
therefore, that after a little cool reflec-
tion, the Americans would feel that they
had no choice but to adopt the course
we had recommended. He had much
satisfaction in adding; that the whole
discussion was carried on without the
slightest breach of amity, and with the
best personal feelings on the part of the
Executive towards this country. He
was not aware of any other topic that
required explanation. He would abstain
from going more into detail until some
future period, when detail would be more
necessary, and would therefore trouble
the House no further.
The Address was unanimously agreed to,
and a committee appointed to draw it up.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, February 4.
ADDRESS ON THE KING's SPEECH AT
THE OPENING OF THE SESSION]. Lord
F. L. Gower brought up the report of the
Address in answer to the King's Speech.
Mr. Hobhouse said, he could not al.
low the report to be brought up, with-
out expressing his hope that the House
would indulge him in one or two observa-
tions. It had been for some time so much
the fashion to consider his Majesty's Speech
at the opening of the session, as a mere
matter of form, and that no member of
the House was pledged by any assent he
might appear to give-to it, that it was un-
necessary to. divide the House on points
which might appear, and which to him
certainly did appear, of the utmost imln
portance. Were-it not for the prevalence
of this opinion,, he was sure there were
very few gentlemen on his side of the
G


at the Opening ofthea Session.







83] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
-House, who would not have thought it
.necessary to take the earliest oppor-
tunity protesting against the Address
which was voted last night. -For his own
part, he had never heard an address in
answer to a King's Speech, which called
more imperiously on those who consider-
ed the true state of the country, to pro-
test against portions of it, than that which
he had heard last night. He was sure,
that, in the very able and powerful speech
which was addressed to the House by his
hon. and learned friend (Mr. Brougham),
there were many points introduced which
would engage the most serious and anxious
attention of the country. His majesty's
Speech told them, that the country was
enjoying the highest state of tranquillity
and prosperity, and it congratulated them
on the general tone of amity which
characterized our relations with foreign
powers. But he would call upon the
House and the country to mark what it
was that his Majesty's Speech, after having
laid down these premises, requested them
to do. In this state of internal tran-
quillity, when even Ireland was said to par-
take of the common prosperity, the first
thing they were called on to do was to
change the penal code of that country,
and even of England itself; and then with
respect to our relations with foreign
powers, we were called upon to do what
must naturally excite their suspicions. If
we were afraid of exciting their suspicions,
which he was sure we were not, and which
the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Canning)
had shewn he was not, by an augmenta-
tion of the number of our forces ; what
more could they have been called upon
to do, if the right hon. gentleman had
dome down and stated that there was
every probability that, in a short time,
Ireland would break out into open re-
bellion, and that the Holy Allies would
march their:armies to the shores of France
to menace our own coasts? It was im-
possible that hon. gentlemen, who enter-
tained'the opinions of his (Mr. H.'s) side
of the House, could sit quietly in their
places, and allow such a speech to be
made, without taking the earliest oppor-
tunity of entering their protest against it.
There was one topic which had been so
ibly handled by his hon. and learned
friend, arid which would so shortly be-
come'the subject of discussion, that it
was not necessary for him now to allude
to it. At thesame time, he must say, that
if the House had not shewn a disposition


'Address on the King's Speech [84
to cut short all debate after the very elo-
quent speech of the right hon. Secretary,
he should have taken the liberty to object
to one or two points which the right hon.
Secretary had stated, as if he knew them,
and they were therefore to pass as cur-
rent facts. There was one point in the
right hon. Secretary's speech which he
could not forbear noticing. The right
hon. Secretary, in alluding to the new
penal law which was to be enacted against
the Catholics of Ireland, had stated, to
his great surprise, that none but the ene-
mies of Ireland could consider the Catho-
lic Association as a body representing
the feelings, wishes, and interests of the
Catholics of Ireland. He should like to
ask the right hon. Secretary, what por-
tion of the Catholics in Ireland were the
dissentients? He could refer to docu-
ments, which furnished the most irresis-
tible evidence that there were no dissen-
tients. He was not now giving any
opinion as to that Association, but he
should like to know, if it did not speak
the feelings and opinions of the Catholics
of Ireland, who did speak those feelings
and opinions? Was it the right hon.
Secretary who spoke those feelings and
opinions ? Was it the learned gentleman
opposite (Mr. Plunkett), who, with all
his talents, he was sorry to say, did not
seem entirely to merit the eulogium which
he thought his hon. and learned friend
had improperly pronounced upon him last
night. He hoped he should never be
accused of putting his own opinions in
competition with those of a gentleman of
such high and splendid talents; yet at the
same time he must judge of men by their
acts. It was in vain to talk of the abili-
ties of learned persons, who were placed
in responsible situations, if unfortunately
it should seem that there was the stamp
of folly upon every thing they attempted ;
certain it was, at least,'that ill success had
attended all the efforts of the right hon.
and learned gentleman opposite. The
right hon. and learned gentleman, some-
how or other, had contrived never to at-
tempt anything in which he had not failed,
and never to join any party which did not
seem glad to take the earliest opportunity
of getting rid of him. If the Association
was not,the representative of the feelings
and opinions of the Catholics of Ireland,
he again asked who were; and where were
the dissentients? So far from; the Asso-
ciation not representing the feelings and
wishes of the Catholics of Ireiand, if he









had not misread what he had seen in the instead, of being treated as dangerous
public papers, he believed it to be the enemies of the constitution, were they
representative, not only of the feelings not rather treated with disregard and con-
and wishes of the Catholics of Ireland, tempt? Having alluded to what appeared
but of the Catholic population of England. to him to be a strange inconsistency in
How did the right hon. Secretary account the speech of the right hon. Secretary, he
for the most numerous assemblage of the must declare that he would never give the
Catholics of England that ever met in this humble sanction of his vote to any penal
country having agreed to a vote of thanks enactment against the Catholic, or any
to the individual who was the life and other association. Good God! how long
soul of the Catholic Association ? It was had Orange Lodges been endured ; and
in vain for the right hon. Secretary to say not only endured, but supported.; and not,
that he did not think that Association only supported, but encouraged and con-
ought to represent the feelings and wishes tribute to, by some of the most influen-
of the people of Ireland. He might think tial men in his majesty's government. He,
the proceedings of that body extremely was quite satisfied, that any penal enact-
indiscreet; but it would require something ment against the Catholic, or any other
morethan the word of the right hon. gen- association, would be a much more fatal
tleman-it would require something more inroad on the constitution, than any thing
than his mere assertion, to prove to the that could be effected by that body, power-
people of England and Ireland, that the ful as he believed it to be, and powerless
Association did not, at this moment, re- as the right hon. Secretary thought it, or
present the feelings and wishes of the rather thought it ought to be.-He now
Catholics of Ireland. If they did not came to a topic, which, to his extreme
represent them, why, in God's name, astonishment, had not been touched upon
legislate against them-why was the right at all last night; he alluded to the aug-
hon. Secretary afraid of them ? Why mentation of the army.-They were told
did his majesty, in the Speech from the that the Burmese had made an attack
throne, take the earliest opportunity of upon some of our settlements in India.
recommending parliament to put down The unprovoked aggression which the
those who, according to the right hon. Burmese had made upon the territories of
gentleman, were not worth putting down? the merchants of Leadenhall-street---a
If they represented nobody-if they had body, which, from the language it used,
no power-no injurious effect could result could never have made an unprovoked
from their proceedings. The fact, how- aggression upon any state [a laugh]-the
ever, he believed to be just the contrary of unprovoked aggression of the Burmese,
whatwas stated by therighthon.Secretary. he repeated, was now assigned as one of
He believed, and indeed he knew, that the the reasons for this unexpected augmen-
Catholics of Ireland were never so united station of our military establishments. The
as at the present moment. This was the whole excuse for this extraordinary mea-
fact that terrified the right hon. Secretary sure, as given in his majesty's Speech,
-this was the fact that terrified those, at was the state of India, and circumstances
least, who recommended the insertion of connected with other parts of his majesty's
that paragraph of his majesty's Speech, foreign possessions." He hoped heshould
which related to the Catholic Association, not be thought intruding improperly on
who were not really regarded as an insig- the attention of the House, if he asked,
nificant body, and as the non-representa- before this address was brought up, what
tives of the Catholics of Ireland. So far was meant by the words I"the other parts
from the Catholic Association being an of his majesty's foreign possessions." The
incubus, pressing down the exertions of noble lord who had proposed the address
the Catholics of Ireland, it was the una- last night with so much eloquence and
nimity, the spirit, and the practical energy good taste, had told them, that Ireland
which that body had given to their exer- was not included in the words other
tions, which had excited the alarm of his foreign possessions." As he had the noble
majesty's ministers, and had made them lord's authority for it, he believed that
think it necessary to put it down. It had assertion to be correct. He was glad,
been styled an imperium in imperio; and very glad, to hear that it was not intended
yet the right hon. gentleman represented to increase our military establishment in
them as possessing no power, no authority. Ireland; but unless ministers intended 'to
Where, then, was their empire? .Why, back their new penal law against theeCa-


vi the 01)cniNg of the Smesiun..


FFBa. 4., 1825. 1 sir







87] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
tholics with a military force, it would be
in vain for them to try the effects of mere
acts of parliament. To what part, then,
of our foreign possessions-was this allu-
sion to apply ? The augmentation of our
force was rendered necessary, said the
noble lord, in consequence of the struggle
that was now carrying on in the Mediter-
ranean-alluding, he supposed, to the
war raging between the Ottoman Porte
and Greece. It would be gratifying to
every man in the country to find that the
right hon. gentleman opposite felt himself
strong enough in the cabinet to take some
decisive measures in favour of that unfor-
tunate but glorious nation. At the com-
mencement of the last session he had
stated his opinion to be hostile to our in-
terference with Turkey in behalf of the
Greeks; but events had occurred since
that time, which made it proper, in his
opinion, for-the British government to in-
terfere, and to urge upon the Ottoman
Porte the utter impossibility of its ever
again recovering possession of that part
of the continent and islands of Greece
that had now achieved their freedom. If,
therefore, it were possible, some attempts
should be made to put a stop to a struggle
which could only be protracted to the in-
jury of that country, which the policy of
England seemed to have an interest in
supporting; and if it was the object of the
government to maintain that empire as a
bulwark against Austria, or the more to
be dreaded power of Russia, their wisest
policy would be to render Greece inde-
pendent. But he could not flatter himself
that that was the view taken of the sub-
ject by the noble lord; he could not flatter
himself with the thought, that the British
government meant to tell the Turks, that
it was necessary to the preservation of the
balance of power in Europe, and the dif-
fusion of the happiness of mankind, that
they should never again impose on the
Greeks their accursed yoke. What, then,
was he to think of the augmentation of
the army ? Was the right hon. Secretary
afraid that Canada was in danger? He
had heard it whispered, that in case a
certain gentleman, should be elected to the
presidency of the United States, his well
known opinions, with respect to England,
were so hostile, as to excite alarm. He
mentioned this circumstance in close
ignorance and darkness; but this dark-
ness and ignorance were not his fault, but
the fault of the government, who, in the
ninth year of peace, proposed the aug-


Address on the King's Speech (88
I mentation without assigning the reasons.
Without presuming to pry into the secrets
of cabinets, he might, perhaps, be allowed
to ask, whether this increase of our mili-
tary establishment had any reference .to
the new line of policy, if it were new,
which had been adopted by the right hon.
Secretary, with regard to the Holy Al-
liance? He only asked those questions,
which were put to him by every man he
met in the street, and what every man
had a right to demand to be explained,
before he consented to any increase of the
army. We had now an army of 73,000
regulars-a body of troops which far ex-
ceeded any thing that was contemplated
twenty years ago as a peace establishment.
We had a right to know to what extent, and
for what purpose, this increase was to be
made. Some said 5,000 men, others 10,000,
others 15,000, and others again as much
as 20,000 men ; and to these inquiries the
country had a right to categorical answers.
He could not find, either in the Speech
from the throne, or in that of the right
hon. Secretary, any mention made, or even
the least allusion, to the military occupa-
tion of one friendly power by another
friendly power; a circumstance which had
been pronounced on all hands, even by the
right hon. Secretaryhimself, asthemost un-
justifiable aggression which could be found
in the annals of usurpation. The people of
England had a right to know, whether this
monstrous injustice, which no time could
efface, was to be perpetuated for ever.
We had suffered one of our allies to annihi-
late the independence of Italy; and there
had been no call for arming then ; on the
contrary, it was contended in that House,
that every thing which Austria had done,
had been done with a justifiable view of
consolidating her power, and preserving
her own dominions from danger. We had
suffered another of our allies to subjugate
the independence of Spain; but there had
been no call for arming then, or at least
only from that side of the House whose
calls were not often attended to by the
majority of it. But now, because the
Burman empire, of whose very existence
few men knew any thing, chose to attack
the East India Company, and because
there were other circumstances connected
with our foreign possessions, which were
not specifically mentioned, and of which
nobody knew any thing, our army was to
be augmented, and no inconsiderable ad-
ditions were to be made to it. He con-
tended, that the House would be guilty of








FEB. 4, 1825. [90


an act of flagrant injustice to the people
of England, and of a gross neglect of its
own duty, if it permitted the address to
be brought up, without demanding from
ministers a further explanation than any
which they had hitherto thought proper
to give. There was another topic on
which he had heard no observations made
last night. It was said, that this augmen-
tation was not to cost the country much,
because the East India Company was to
pay most of the troops of which it con-
sisted. He cared riot who paid them; he
had rather, however, that the people of
England did not. His objection went
deeper, and was to the augmentation itself.
It must, however, at any rate, cost some-
thing; and he thought that the chancellor
of the Exchequer, when he came to ex-
plain his budget, should tell them how far
his intention of making further reductions
in the weight of taxation had been para-
lyzedby thisscheme to augment the army.
He hoped that some of the reductions
which the right hon. gentleman intended
to make would apply to the direct tax-
ation of the country. Much as the peo-
ple were inclined to applaud the liberality
of his policy, still they laboured under a
conviction that a reduction of direct tax-
ation was imperiously called for. He
had thrown out these observations not
with any intention of dividing the House,
but that he might not be supposed to con-
cur in many of the topics which the Speech
contained. He joined, however, in the
congratulations upon the improvement of
the agriculture and commerce of the coun-
try; and, he might also add, upon the
Improvement of ministers. He cared little
who was to have the credit of the changes
which had taken place-he minded not
whose was the thunder : if it spared the
subject, and beat down those who were
proud, he was glad that it had descended,
and was perfectly regardless as to the
quarter from which it had come.
Mr. Pelham addressed a few words to
the House, which were quite inaudible in
the gallery.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer ob-
served, that at the very moment that the
hon. member for Westminster had made
his appeal and put his question to him, he
had furnished him (the chancellor of the
Exchequer)with the answer which it would
be his duty to give. The hon. member had
said, that it had now been the practice for
many years to frame his majesty's Speech,
and also thi reply to it, in such a manner


as not to involve the House in any specific
pledge as to the course of measures it
might subsequently pursue. If such were
the case, was it not a little inconsistent in
the hon. gentleman to call upon ministers
to explain in detail the propositions which
they intended to submit to parliament,
and also the reasons on which those pro-
positions were founded? The hon. mem-
ber had stated that he had no doubt but
that he (the chancellor of the Exchequer)
would be ready, when he brought in his
budget, to state the reasons why he con-
ceived this augmentation of the army
necessary, and also the measures whereby
he intended to provide for the payment of
it, and to effect a further diminution of
taxation. It would be his duty 'at an
early day to take the course which the
hon. member had pointed out; and he
should then certainly enter into the
amplest details of the propositions which
he intended to submit to the House. It
might, indeed, be more convenient to the
hon. member, to hear those details on the
present occasion; but he was sure the
House would see very many reasons why
it would be highly absurd for him to give
them. He should therefore postpone his
explanation to a future day. At present
he would merely observe, that though the
augmentation of the army seemed tor him
absolutely necessary, he should be able to
accompany it with a reduction of taxation,
which he trusted would appear to be
founded on sound principles, and be ge-
nerally acceptable to the country. He
was glad to have this annunciation to make
to parliament; because he had been told,
in the course of the last session, that the
reductions which he had made at that time
left the public a blank and dreary prospect
for the future. He had not then ventured
upon any prognostics; but he felt at the
time a strong presentiment, that at the
commencement of the present session he
should be enabled to persevere in the
course on which he had entered; and he
now had the heartfelt satisfaction of stat-
ing to the House, that that presentiment
had been fully realized. The whole bur-
then of the speech which the hon. mem-
ber for Westminster had just made was
contained in these words, What are the
grounds on which you, the ministers, call
upon the House to sanction this in-
crease of the army ?" The hon. member,
in putting that question, had alluded to
what had fallen last night from the-noble
mover of the address; namely, that there


of the Opening of the Session.







91J HOUSE OF COMMONS,
was nothing in the state of Ireland to re-
quire an increase of our military establish-
ment. His majesty's government did not
pretend to say that there was any thing
in Ireland which required the presence of
a single additional soldier. The same was
also the case in England. Indeed, his
majesty's Speech distinctly stated, that the
augmentation of the army had reference,
not to the internal, but to the external cir-
cumstances of the country. The hon.
member had also treated the Burmese war
as a matter of great indifference ; but that
was not surprising, considering that most
people treated with indifference a distant
danger. The hon. member had also said,
that he knew nothing of the Burman em-
pire, except its geographical situation;
but for all that, it might be a very formid-
able power, and calculated to inflict no
small detriment upon our possessions in
India. Any man who considered the pe-
culiar nature of our empire in India, and
how it had arisen, almost in spite of its
rulers, into its present extent and mag-
nitude, would see that whatever tended
to disturb the tranquillity of any part of
it, was calculated to produce effects much
more important than any which would
enter into the imagination of a casual ob-
server, or of one who only knew the Bur-
man empire by mere hearsay. When the
subject of our Indian relations should be
brought before the House he trusted his
majesty's ministers would be fully able to
show that the proposition was founded in
sound policy, and was not liable to the
objections which the hon. member had
urged'against it; for it was not an increase
made in time of profound peace, but an
increase made in time of active war. With
regard to the words, our other foreign
possessions," he referred him to the time
of the debate for information of the details
regarding them, which his right hon. friend
would at that time willingly afford. He
could not conceive how the hon. member,
who generally looked abroad with a philo-
sophic eye, could view our foreign posses-
sions without seeing how widely different
their present state was from their state
twenty years ago. The establishment
which defended them twenty years ago
was utterly inadequate to their present
defence; so great had been the change in
their relative situations to each other, and
also in every thing which surrounded
them. In England, in case of any sudden
danger, the.minister could call upon the
people to support the government with its


Address on the King's Speech [92
resources; and if the call was just, it was
certain to be successful: but, in our
foreign possessions, which were widelyy
scattered over the face of the earth and.the
waters, those resources could not be im-
mediately called into action; and it would
therefore be unwise to leave them exposed
to all the dangers of sudden invasion.
These were the general grounds, with-
out entering into'further details, on which
he thought that it would be successfully
argued, that there were just causes for in-
creasing the army. He expected, how-
ever that the hon. gentleman, if he took
his information of the extent of that in.
crease from the sources which were open
to the public, would be greatly disap-
pointed, when he learned what that in-
crease was really to be.
Colonel Palmer said, that, notwithstand-
ing the speeches he had heard upon the
address, he rose with exactly the same
feelings which he had stated to the
House when last lie ventured to address
it, and which he must still avow in the
face of all the praises which had since
been showered upon the government, and
especiallyupon theright hon.gentlemanwho
had been declared to be its brightest or-
nament, and the object of the esteem and
admiration of all parties: for if such
praises had been merited, his own opinions
were as unjust as illiberal, and he owed
to the right hon. gentleman,his colleagues,
and himself, to defend the language he
had held, or to acknowledge his error.
And first, as to the right hon. gentleman:
what had been the ground of the un-
qualified applause bestowed upon him, in
the last session, by hon. and learned
friends, whose talents and political in-
tegrity had given the greatest weight to
their opinion ? The right hon. gentleman
was said to have done himself the greatest
honour, by the way in which he had
spoken of a gallant member of the House,
because his language had been a severe
rebuke to the governments who had en-
deavoured to degrade that gallant
individual; but, if the right hon. gen-
tleman's language had been a rebuke
to other governments, how much greater:
to his own, who, in that very instance,
had set the others the example? Nor
could he help telling the right hon.
gentleman, as he had told him in the
case of her late majesty, that as a,
minister he would have acted more con-
sistently by the Crown and. by his col-:
leagues, as well as by the interests of the







FEB. 4, 1825. [94


,parties, in defending them in the cabinet
rather than in that House, and by making
the adoption of his opinions there the
condition of his holding office. Where,
then, in this, had been the great merit of
the right hon. gentleman, or what the
real difference betwixt his colleagues and
himself, but that others had acted openly,
whilst he would conceal his conduct?
For as foreign minister, he had stood
foremost in the cabinet, the betrayer of
his country; whilst, like Judas, he denied
it to the people, and had thought to screen
himself by dining with a radical lord
mayor, or by his brilliant speeches, which,
like brilliant tricks, were most admired
when least understood. If he had mis-
represented the right lion. gentleman, he
hoped to be set right; for nothing could
be further from his intention, nor more
painful to himself, than the personal at-
tacks which public duty had compelled
him to make; but, considering the right
hon. gentleman, as minister, the enemy
of his country, the greater his talents and
popularity, the more dangerous le was,
and the more necessary to grapple with,
and endeavour to unmask him to the na-
tion. As an actor on the political stage,
the right hon. gentleman stood unrivalled,
both as to the variety of parts he could
assume, and his excellence in each. But
the merit of an actor was no merit in a mi-
nister; for he should.appear but in one
character, and that so fair and open, as to
leave no room to hang a doubt upon;
whilst that of the right hon. gentleman
was neither to be found in his conduct nor
his speeches, wherein he always charmed
bis hearers and brought down thunders of
applause, but as to his real policy, con-
trived to keep them in the dark. What
stronger instance than his late speech,
wherein he boasted of the applause of the
whole nation to the very echo which ap-
plauds again, whilst he deplored her im-
morality, and taxed her with being ready
to assist Ferdinand to strangle infant
liberty in Spain. And who but himself
could understand his meaning; whether
as the friend of liberty to exclaim against
the baseness of his country, or only as the
greater rogue to cry out first, and reproach
the majorities of the House, in like man-
ner, but in less homely terms, than were,
said. b have been used by a certain kitchen
article when abusing its companion on
the fire? The conduct of his opponents:
in the' cabinet was at least open and in-
telligible,. and in ftct more wise : they


saw the folly of his half measures, and
the necessity of either abandoning their
system, or of joining despotism to support
it. In the mean time, betwixt the stools
of their contention, Spain had fallen'to
the ground; and England, without a
change of measures, must fall at last.
Never yet did she stand so degraded and
despised in the eyes of Europe and the
world, as under her present government,
composed of parties openly professing op-
posite principles, whose mutual jealousy
and hatred were notorious to the whole
country, and who literally agreed in no-
thing but to keep in place at the expense
of their own honour and consistency--a
ministry of whom one half were endear
pouring to destroy the press, whilst the
other encouraged her defenders. Who,
for instance, had so boldly contended for
the freedom of religious discussion, and
so loudly condemned the prosecutions of
the government for libels, as the late lion
member for Portarlington (Mr. Ricardo),
whose loss was deplored in the last ses-
sion by the liberalsiofthe Treasury bench,
as of one of the most enlightened and
valuable members of the House; whilst
the secretary of the home department de-
clared his feelings upon the subject, by
rejecting the prayer of a wretched pe-
titioner, who had suffered nearly four
years imprisonment for a libel not half so
dangerous to the system of the. govern-
ment, as the last motion and speech of the
late lamented member. Or, what had been
the guilt of this offender, compared with
the author of a late political history of
Ireland, which, at the present alarming
crisis in the state of that country should
be read by all who wished for real infor-
mation upon thesubject? Heremembered,
at the close of a former session, meeting a
party of the cabinet at the; Caledonian
chapel, where a popular preacher con-
cluded one of his orations with earnestly
exhorting the ministers present to carry
the bible with them to their country seats,
to purify their souls during the recess;
but, considering the little benefit they had
derived from the advice, he would recom-
mend the trial of another remedy, of a
more searching nature, which had been
expressly prepared for their own case by
the. celebrated captain Rock, being the
publication he had alluded to; and if this
should fail to move their consciences, he
knew: of nothing but the liquid lake de-
scribed. by their Scotch pastor,, that was
likely to bring them to a sense of their


at the Openinag of the Session -







95] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
errors. But, however that might be, he
challenged them to read and answer this
book, which contained a short but com-
plete history of the causes of the present
state of Ireland, and a true picture of the
moral and religious feelings of the patrons
of the bible society. The great Founder
of Christianity reproached the high priests
and pharisees of the Jews with being
hypocrites; but, what would he have said
to the present gospel-teaching ministers,
who propagated his doctrines throughout
the globe in the teeth of their conduct to
that unhappy country? If further proof
were wanting, what stronger than the
case of the late missionary Smith ? For
who, after all, were the real authors of the
insurrection at Demerara? Not the zealous
missionary; not the unhappy slaves; nor
their more unhappy masters, whom he
believed, if not for humanity, at least for
their interests' sake, to be as anxious to
protect their slaves as the estates they
worked upon; nor, lastly, did he accuse
the military or civil authorities of the
settlement, placed by the government in
so cruel a state of responsibility and
danger; but the ministersthemselves, who,
to serve their political purposes, had en-
couraged these missionaries, in the teeth
of their own admission of the folly and
danger of their proceedings: for, in the
last session, they had declared the mis-
sionary Smith to have been the cause of
the insurrection, whom the bible society
had held up as their best and most ex-
emplary agent. And what was the truth
betwixt them ? The right hon. gentleman,
with the usual consistency of his speeches,
condemned the missionary as guilty,
whilst he deeply lamented his fate; but
in justice to the character of the deceased,
he should have proved his charge, and
spared his lamentations, which only in-
jured the accused by their semblance of
candour. For himself, he believed that
no unprejudiced mind could have read the
evidence without a conviction of the truth
and sincerity of the deceased's declara-
tions of his innocence; that, however
mistaken in his religious feelings, he had
been actuated by a pure and disinterested
zeal in the cause, and, like the apostles, in
going forth to preach the gospel, had
taken neither scrip nor purse. But, in
thus defending his moral character from
the base motives which passion, prejudice,
or cold-blooded policy had imputed to it,
he must equally avow his contempt of all
these bible societies, which, whether com-


Address on the King's Speech [96
posed of knaves or dupes, were alike false,
absurd, and dangerous to the last degree,
but connived at by ministers to cover the
still greater imposture of their govern-
ment. The right hon. gentleman, to adapt
his eloquence to the spirit of the times,
and to tickle the bible society, as he had
tickled his learned friends, by his praise of
the gallant member for Southwark, had
declared the Shibboleth of his policy; and,
comparing its treacherous and inhuman
consequences with his far-fetched story
from the bible, he could not have hit upon
a better word; but for his policy, he had
always proclaimed it to be Mr. Pitt's
system, or to quote his religious muse-
" Elijah's mantle," which, according to a
psalm of his own composing, had been
tried by all, and fitted nobody but himself;
and now, when at last he had got it on
his back, he foundit too old and threadbare
to serve his purpose; and instead of re-
placing it with a new one, was vainly
endeavouring to repair it: but who, in
the profession, but himself, would patch
an old coat with new cloth, in mending
his old system with his new principles of
free trade, which could not hold together ?
This fallacy had been well exposed in the
last session, by an hon. member, who
maintained, that without a repeal of the
corn-laws, the attempt must ruin our
manufactures. Would that the judgment
of the same hon. member had been
equally unbiassed upon the question of
that worst of impostures, the sinking fund,
to support which the assessed taxes were
continued! And here he must take the
liberty of reading to him his own lecture
to another hon. member, who, in the last
session, had soared above all in his flight
of humanity, upon a question wherein he
had no private interest; but upon another
question, betwixt the brewers and the
public, had stuck to the golden rule of
every man for himself. So the other hon.
member, who had fought like a lion in the
cause of the people throughout all the
stages of the. corn-bill, turned tail upon
the question of a sinking fund, to which
he could only look with the eye of a loan-
contractor. Here lay the root of the evil,
which nothing but reform could cure; for
it was to this feeling of self-interest in
those who held the remedy in their own
hands, that all the miseries of Spain, of
Ireland, and of sufferinghumanity through-
out the world, were mainly to be ascribed.
The right hon. secretary had declared,
that his Shibboleth was England. Would







97J at the Opening of the Sessio:
to God it were so, and that he would-only
prove it, in setting that example of public
virtue which alone was wanting to raise
her to a prouder station than she had yet
filled amongst the powers of Europe-
Oh England I model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart;
What might'st thou do, thathonour would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!"
and what prevented her, but that unnatu-
ral system of her government, which had
wasted her strength,blastedherreputation,
and reduced her to the lowest state of
moral and political disgrace? For what
was her real situation, and the short
answer to all the vain boastings of her
ministers? Look to her debt of 800
millions, which neither ten years of peace,
nor all the retrenchments forced upon her
government had one jot diminished; and
this was the key to that new system
of her policy, wherein the same ministers
who had expended millions upon millions
to deliver Spain from France, and uphold
the liberties of England in the general
liberties of Europe, had now, forsooth,
discovered that her true interest was to
stand alone, and (as the right hon. Secre-
tary had expressed it) to move within the
circle of her own orbit. But, for once,
let him quit his tropes and metaphors, and
answer in plain language to the charge of
conspiracy against the liberties of his
country. The ministers, in the king's
Speech, had again openly boasted of their
friendly relations with those powers, who
had as openly declared their hostility to
all constitutional governments, and proved
their intentions by their acts, in destroy-
ing that of Spain. What, then, could be
the basis of such friendship, but their mu-
tual understanding and agreement upon
that vital question of public liberty, the
existence of which was incompatible with
the principles the Holy Alliance stood
pledged to establish? And that this was
the fact, he boldly asserted, and as firmly
believed; whilst of all parties concerned,
the ministers of England stood deepest
involved in the guilt. As to the others,
with the exception of him whose mon-
strous abuse 'of the power to which his
brother legitimates had restored him,
seemed to have been ordained by Provi-
dence to mark the folly of their cause,
and the justice of the cause of the peo-
ple, there was not an individual of those
exalted personages, whose private charac-
ter, from all he had seen, heard, and be-
lieved, he did not respect, whilst he con-
VOL. XII.


n. FEB. 4, 1825. [98
sidered their political feelings to be only:
the natural consequence of the causes
which had excited them; but he'could
find no excuse for those who, born in the
land of liberty, educated in her school,
and indebted to her protection for the'
wealth and honours they had acquired,'
would now desert her cause, kick down
the ladder which had-raised them, and'
trample on the people's heads. But,'
whatever the motives of the parties, for
which they must answer to their God, it'
was their conduct the people had to look'
to; and whether the government-of France'
and Spain, the governments of the Holy'
Alliance, or, above all, the government of
England, he denounced the whole as con-
spirators against the liberties of mankind,'
and called upon the ringleaders to answer
to the charge. Most gravely and delibe-
rately he accused them of having wilfully
neglected that glorious occasion, which
the return of peace, and the destruction
of Buonaparte's power, had afforded, of
re-establishing the liberties of Europe
upon a firm basis, and of setting up a
more dangerous and detestable tyranny in
its place; and that, instead of availing
themselves of that dear-bought but invalu-'
able lesson, which the history of the'
French revolution had taught both crowns
and people, in pointing out to both their
true interests, once more, like their proto-
type Pitt, but with still less excuse, they
had conspired with the powers of Europe
against the liberties of the people, solely
to prevent reform in the abuses of their
own governments. And, let the people
look to the progress they had made.'
Three years since, Spain was free, and'
France boasted of her charter; but now,
Spain was groaning under a doubleslavery;
France was plainly told by her ministers,
she must expiate the crimes of her revo-
lution by returning to her former state;
whilst the ministers of England, who be-
gan their part in the performance with in-
vectives against Bourbon treachery, and
prayers for Spanish independence, were
now praying in their hearts for the re-
establishment of that system in' France,
which they found to be the only chance
for the continuance of their own; for they
well knew, that peace could not be main-
tained betwixt the two nations, without a
fairer balance of the conditions of the
people in both, and that neither tithes nor
excessive taxation could be much longer
imposed on the one, without being re-
generated in the other. But, if the dis-
H







,P1: HOUSE OF COMMONS,


tresses of the people could not move the
spinisters, let them, at least, turn their
eyes to their own danger, and the rotten
foundation on which their power rested;
for whilst the government of France rode
triumphant over the people, and found it
needless to dupe them longer, even with
the name of their charter, the ministers
qf England had no real power whatever,
but, like dishonest servants, only kept in
place by imposing on the credulity of
their masters. What better illustration of
thestrength, courage, and generosity of
the nation, contrasted with the weakness,
cowardice, and baseness of her govern-
ment, than the act of the right hon. gen-
tleman, who, as one of the people, had
advertised his subscription to the relief of
the Spanish patriots, from whom, as minis-
ter, he had withdrawn the trifling sup-
port thegovernment had allowed them; and
whilst thus meanly truckling to foreign
powers, what greater proof of their tyran-
ny, at home, and the insolence of that fac-
tion which had usurped the powers of the
constitution, and lorded it equally over
the Crown and people, than that the same
sovereign who had proclaimed the equality
of civiland political rights toallhisGerman
subjects, was prevented by his ministers
from doing the same justice to the Catho-
licpopulation of his united kingdom. And
what was their excuse ?-the danger of
the Protestant religion. But, was ever
assertion so false, or hypocrisy so great,
as that which pretended to believe it, but
which well knew that the danger was not
to the established religion, but to an enor-
mous church establishment in Ireland,
which required the expense of a large
standing army to support it, in the teeth'
of all justice and true religion, and the
sense and feeling of the people ? As to
Catholic emancipation, if no other benefit
were to accrue from the measure but
the transfer of the tithes collected from
the Catholic people to the Catholic church,
he should consider it an act of justice
and sound policy, and appeal to every ar-
gument of the right hon. Secretary, upon
his motion to enable Catholic peers to sit
in parliament, to confirm his own opinion ;
and as to others of his piebald cabinet,
who would scare the nation with the
danger of Catholic ascendancy, he called
upop them at once to put an end to
all religious differences, and unite Catho-
lip, Protestant, and Dissenter in their
cogtry's cause, by graciously permitting
their own sovereign to do that by the


4ddressson the King's peeck


[o00


people of the united kingdopi, whig. he
had done by the people of Hanover.
Nothing short of this could give that
strength to the government, which, under
whatever form, was essential to support
it; and, if such had been the advancement
of general knowledge and education, that
this concession had been deemed neces-
sary to the slaves of a despotic govern-
ment, to whom the freedom of the press
was still unknown, how much more neces-
sary to that people, who, in the establish-
ment of their liberties, beheaded one king,
dethroned another, and set up a third, to
the exclusion of the legitimate heir to the
crown, whom the voice of the people de-
clared to have forfeited his right? And,
unless the ministers could make up their
minds to this measure, which if not con-
ceded, would eventually be forced upon
them, they had better at once drop the
curtain upon the farce they had so long
been playing in that House, and either
shut its doors, or at least march those out
of it who dared impeach their conduct,
as the deputy Mandel was marched out of
the French chamber.
Sir John Newport complained of the
manner in which the condition of Ireland
had been treated in the Speech from the
throne. What was mainly stated as a
fact respecting Ireland in that Speech, he
absolutely and of his own knowledge de-
nied. He denied that the Catholic Asso-
ciation had tended to disturb the peace
of the country. On the contrary, he be-
lieved that that body had tended, and most
efficaciously, to tranquillize Ireland, and:
had powerfully co-operated with the Irish
government in producing that salutary
effect. As, however, the government
unfortunately thought otherwise, he now
desired to know in the first place, when
it was intended by ministers to bring in
any bill on the subject of Ireland; for it
was fit and right that, upon so momentous
an occasion, all the members of thai
House should be in their places to speak
their mind upon the proposed measure,
f9r they must all feel that every measure
tnow affecting Ireland must equally affect
England, and therefore called for the fixed
attention of the imperial parliament. It
was important that ministers should at
once state what they intended in this re-
spect, unless, indeed, they were disposed'
to frame a measure for Ireland in a shape.:
so odious, as they would not dare to.franme
for the people of England: it was essea-
tial,. he repeated,: that the House should







at the Opening f the Session.


:have an explicit and ample notice of the
intentions of his majesty's government.
He also wished to ask, whether they
meant to ground any measure upon the
report of a committee, or meant merely
to lay explanatory papers before the
House, and then proceed to legislate upon
assumed facts? If the latter were in-
tended, then it was indispensable that
thbse papers should be some time in the
hands of members, before any proposition
were founded upon them which was in-
tended to affect the rights of the subject,
and to rob the people of their ancient
right to communicate, in their own way,
to the legislature, their grounds of com-
plaint ; for that alone was the object of
the Catholic Association. If the Catho-
lic Association were really dangerous,
then the country had to thank the lord
chancellor of England, and the right hon.
Secretary for the home department; for
their existence; for it was these gentle-
men who had, in each House of parlia-
ment, declared, that the people of Ireland
had, in point of fact, no interest, and felt
no concern, in the discussions upon the
Catholic question which had been pressed
upon the government; that the agitation
of such subjects was kept alive only by a
few. Now, what was the fact? The
Association prepared their petition, and
the Catholics, from one end of the coun-
try to the other, came forward to testify
their deep interest in the proceedings of
that body, and to contribute, from their
exhausted purses, the necessary means
for defraying the expenses of their mea-
sures. At first, it was said the people
cared nothing about the matter: then
followed the establishment of the Associa-
tion, and the demonstration of the popular
feeling, in unison with the sentiments of
their leaders. When it was said, that
equal justice had been done the Catholics,
and that they ought to rely patiently upon
the *isdom of the legislature, he begged
to cill upon the House to take a retro-
spect of the legislative measures which
had been adopted for the relief of the
Catholics. In the first place, he called
upon them to recollect the motion which
had been made by his right hon. friend
(Mt'.Wvynn), in 1813, to put down the
legal society of Orangemen. In the de-
batd upon that motion, as well as upon
anodthr which was nearly simultaneous
witl it,, the right hon. gentleman opposite
(Mr. Canning) had used these words-
,' Itis'i coibsoitory reflection, that among


all the digressions to which this debate
has given rise, no honourable member
has stood forward tb defend the anomaly
of these societies, and that all have con-
curred in the opinion, that the members
of them are guilty of a breach of the pub-
lic peace." A noble lord then in the go-
vernment (lord Londonderry) had also
declared, that he relied upon the common
sense of the country rejecting and putting
down such associations; and yet, not-
withstanding these declarations from such
high quarters, it was only now that his'
right hon. friend, the attorney-general for
Ireland, had come prepared to say, that
the existing laws were not sufficient to
meet the evil, and that new and more
coercive ones were necessary. It was
quite clear, he thought, that against the
Catholic Association this measure was di-
rected, and against them alone. And
yet, with this experience before them,
they talked of dealing equal justice to the
people of Ireland. They might make the
laws equal, but the evil in Ireland was
always the mal-administration of these
laws; and it was of the mode of executing
them, that the people of Ireland had al-
ways had cause to complain. Was it not
notorious that high officers of his majesty's
government in Ireland were members of
Orange associations ? Did they not
know that official persons acted as Grand
Masters and Deputy-Grand Masters in
these illegal associations? If any such
were found so managing the Catholic As-
sociation, how loud would have been the
complaints of the opponents of that body.
The only remedy for the distemper of
Ireland was a redress of her grievances.
They would never succeed in stifling the
voice of discontent, until they removed'
the oppression which had generated it.
He readily concurred in the praise of
liberality which had been bestowed upon
some of the late measures of the govern-
ment; but why not extend the same wise
policy to the affairs of Ireland? The fact
was, that they never acted wisely or libe-
rally towards Ireland, and their periods of
relaxation were always dictated by sad
necessity. Let them trace the question
historically. In the year 1792, when the
present lord privy seal (lord Westmor-
land) was viceroy of Ireland, and the late
earl of Buckinghamshire, then Mr. Hobart,:
his secretary, an humble petition from
the Catholics was actually driven out of
the Irish- house of parliament by accia-i
mation: a petition merely asking fior a


101]


FEB. 4, 1825.


IwA







1031 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


very moderate share of privilege; and
yet, in the veryyear after, a measure em-
bodying far more relief than was suppli-
catedfor in the previous petition, was
introduced and carried triumphantly
through parliament; under the auspices
qf this very secretary. The state of things
had altered since the preceding year, and
the war with France, and not a spirit of
liberality and justice, had led to the re-
laxation. He was old enough to recol-
lect the whole course of this question, and
to remember, that the eye of parliament
could not be brought to look upon it,
until the fleets of France and Spain rode
triuinphantly in the British Channel. Let
no man, then, be duped by the notion,
that ihe Catholics had reason to confide
in the liberality of the British govern-
ment. If, at the time to which he alluded,
the Catholic body was important when a
crisis befel the empire, how much more
important had it since become! It was
never so consolidated as it was now; and
that consolidation had been effected by
the misgovernment of this country, and
the repeated refusal of the just claims of
the people. He lamented exceedingly
the course which his majesty's ministers
seemed now disposed to take. He had
lived long enough in Ireland to know the
evils which would inevitably follow from
such-a system. He felt warmly in thus
expressing his sentiments, because he fore-
saw the misery which would flow from
perseverance in a coercive policy. He
deplored the sad condition of that coun-
try, in whose interests he was wrapped
up, and where was placed the little all
which formed his means of support in this
world. Again and again he would depre-
cate think policy, at once baneful and ab-
surd: this wretched perseverance, upon
every flimsy pretext, of refusing the just
claims of the people, until the arrival of
some impending danger, which compelled
the government to bestow ungraciously,
arid thanklessly, what, if conferred under
other circumstances and other times,
would have been received as a boon. He
had now done his duty: he could con-
scientiously say, liberavi animam meam.
But few years remained to him in the
course of nature; but, with his dying
breath he would admonish ministers not to
proceed thus towards Ireland; and his last
sords would be to warn them against the
danger, the sure and certain danger, of
prosecuting a system of coercion.
Mr. Secretary Peel said, that he would


not be provoked by any expressions which
had fallen from the right hon. baronet, to
anticipate the regular discussion which
would soon take place upon the topics to
which he had adverted. It was, as the
right hon. baronet had justly observed,
most true, that by giving an assent to the
Address, no member was pledged to sup-
port the specific measures with respect to
Ireland, which it was in contemplation to
submit to the consideration of the House.
In the course of the evening, his right
hon, friend, the secretary for Ireland,
would give notice of the steps which it
was intended to pursue. In taking that
course, his majesty's government was
prepared, upon its own responsibility, to
submit certain measures to the considera-
tion of parliament. With respect to the
Catholic Association, though, on a future
day, that subject would come before the
House more directly, he did not hesitate
to say, that he considered its existence
not consistent with the popular privileges
and liberties of the representative body
of the kingdom. He could not help think-
ing, that such must also be the conviction
of many persons who, on other questions,
did not agree with him. He spoke not of
those who considered the existence of
that Association, as trenching on the su-
premacy of the Crown, and the preroga-
tives of the executive, but he would put
it to any unprejudiced man who valued
the popular institutions of the country,
whether its continuance was not incom-
patible with the privileges of parliament,
and the due administration of justice.
Could the House of Commons tolerate a
body which assumed to itself the power
of levying a tax on a portion of the king's
subjects? Was it consistent with the
pure administration of justice, that an un-
recognised assembly should presume to
overawe the judicial administration of the
country? As he before stated, he was
unwilling to enter at large upon a ques-
tion which would be the subject of future
discussion; but he was convinced, that
when fully and impartially considered, no
man who valued the popular institutions
of the country could give his support to
an association, which, though perhaps to-
lerated by an evasion of the law, was ma-
nifestly opposed to the spirit of the Con-
vention act. He could not believe that
the acts of the Association received the
deliberate support of the great body of
the Roman Catholics of Ireland. He
could not believe, though opposed to their


[104


addresss on the King's Speechr







Fai. 4, 1825. [106


claims, that any great and respectable
class of the community could subscribe to
that doctrine which was recorded in their
published proceedings, of appealing to
that hatred which, as Catholics, they were
presumed to bear to another portion of
their fellow men. And yet, when a Ro-
man Catholic gentleman, attending a
meeting of the Association, proposed the
erasure of such language, as inconsistent
with the dictates of religion and the spirit
of Christian charity, his objection had been
unanimously over-ruled. Again he would
repeat, that he never could bring himself
to believe, that any large portion of the
people would tolerate such a sentiment as
was expressed in the address which had
emanated from the Catholic Association.
If, however, the Catholics generally par-
ticipated in such feelings and opinions,
then, indeed, how additionally strong be-
came the reason for excluding from po-
litical power persons capable of holding
such tenets! No; he could not believe
that the Catholic community would adopt
such principles; for he had always hither-
to heard their best advocates entreat that
the errors of the few should not be visited
upon the heads of the many. It was not
a little strange that, whilst several gentle-
men called upon the government to per-
mit this.association to remain, they were
loud in their denunciation of another as-
sociation in this country, against which
the same cause of complaint did not ex-
ist. An hon.' and learned gentleman
(Mr. Brougham) had last night alluded
to some supposed difference of opinion
among the members of the cabinet upon
particular subjects: he had talked of those
who .were always ready to sacrifice their
opinions for the preservation of their
places, and that there was one who would
pocket any popular opinion of the day, to
preservehis official power. Hewascertainly
much disinclined to speak of himself-
* Mr. Brougham.-I did not mean you.
SMr. Peel said, he did iot wish to sepa-
rate himself from his colleague, the lord
chancellor of England, to whom the ob-
servations he alluded to were understood
to apply. Of that eminent individual he
could not speak in terms of adequate
praise. He believed his name would go
down to posterity, as that of a man of
great and exalted merits, and that not-
withstanding the failings imputed by some
men to some of his acts, he would go
down to posterity as being the most con-
sistent politician who had ever held the


great seal. The whole tenor of his official
life was the best answer to all the calum-
nies which had been heaped upon his
character. With respect to his own opi-
nions-and for them he only meant now
to answer-he could declare, that his ori-
ginal view of the Catholic question had
been strengthened and confirmed by the
experience of subsequent events; and he
claimed credit for the sincerity of his
opinion, when he declared, that he was
prepared to make any official sacrifice,
rather than abandon his principles. The
right hon. bart. had said, that he (Mr. P.)
and the lord chancellor, were the persons
who ought to be held responsible for the
establishment of the Catholic Association.
For himself, he could assure the right
hon. baronet, that the imputed responsi-
bility was groundless; for he had never
opened his lips upon the subject, in the
manner in which he was supposed to have
done. He was ready to discharge his
duty, and he called upon parliament to
put down an Association calculated to en-
gender hatred, strife, and every kind of
bitterness. If it should be the decision
of parliament that the Association ought
to be put down, he never could believe
that the Catholics would not acquiesce in
the decision. The hon. member for West-
minster had stated it to be his opinion,
that if the legislature should make a law
declaring the Association illegal, nothing
but the employment of military force
could obtain obedience to it. He never
could believe that. He was quite sure, if
such a law was passed, that law would be
readily obeyed by the Catholic body.
Mr. Hutchinson warmly defended the
Catholic Association, which, he con-
tended, had done more than any body
previously constituted, to promote the
tranquillity of Ireland. Let them be talked
of as a representative body or not, still
this salutary consequence had, most cer-
tainly, attended their proceedings; and
the Catholics, as a body, would feel that
any blow aimed at the Association was
directed against themselves. Upon the
impolicy of ministers in their policy to-
wards Ireland, he entirely concurred in
every 1vord which had fallen from his
right hon. friend, the member for Water-
ford. For years he had deplored this fatal
policy towards his country, and marked,
step by-step, the affliction of which it had
been the cause. It was painful to have
to-repeat such sentiments on the occasion
of an address to the throne, when the


art the opening Sf the Session.








1071 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
inost dutiful feelings to the sovereign
ought to be, expressed; but he should
violate ejery principle which he cherished,
if he su5ered the passage in the address
respecting Ireland to be discussed, with-
out pronouncing upon it his most unqua-
lified reprobation. The ministers had so
far forgotten their duty, as to put into his
majesty's Speech that which was not true;
they had recorded a false fact, and pro-
nounced a gross libel upon the Catholics
ofIreland. It was asserted, that the pro-
ceedings of the Catholic Association were
1irec.OQciJeable to the principles ,of the
constitution. That he positively denied;
and be would go further, and declare, that
there was nothing valuable in the consti-
tltion which had not been obtained by
exertions similar to those which the Ca-
tholic Association were making. The
right hpn, gentleman opposite contended,
that the proceedings of the Association
were calculated to create alarm. Aye ;
bit to whom ? To the right hon. gentle-
man-to those who thought with the right
hon. gentleman-and to the faction in
Ireland) which, for above a century, had
oppressed that unhappy country. But,
why was the alarm thus created ? Lest
Mr. O'Connell, and the other respectable
heads of that Association, should continue
to proclaim the grievances of the Catholics
in such a manner, that it would at length
become impossible for the most prejudiced
persons to contend that their chains ought
not to be broken. In that sense, certainly,
an alarm might exist. The persecutors
9f the Catholics might justly be alarmed.
They were alarmed by the prospect, that
if things continued to go on as they were
going on, the Catholic question must,
eventually, be passed by acclamation. It
was evidently impossible, if the Catholics
continued to proclaim their grievances as
phey were doing, and as they had a right
to do, hut that the Catholic question must
speedily be carried. It was the calamity
1f Ireland, that the British government
had ever iWied her in a spirit of fac-
tion. Discord, and not peace, had ever
beentheir motto; and now they were again
about to exasperate real grievances by
coercion, instead of opening the Statute-
book, and expunging from it those bitter
penal enactments which disgraced the
Protestant, while they oppressed and de-
graded the Catholic. He rejoiced as much
as any:mana at the liberal principles which
the gojernmnent had lately evinced, and
at some'af their latemeasures with regard


Addreis.on the King's Speech


to Ireland. He had been for years en-
treating successive administrations to at-
tend in time to the sad condition of the
Irish people; and many of the measures
which were once scouted, had been since
adopted and acted upon by ministers. He
implored the government to pause before
they precipitated themselves into fresh
measures of violence towards the people
of Ireland. The Catholics would not, in
the present state of society, tamely sub-
mit to an unjustifiable exclusion from the
privileges which they ought to enjoy; nor
ought they to submit to this political ie-
gradation. It was idle to suppose that this
question would not ultimately be carried;
in spite of the opposition of any portion of
the government. He denied the assertion
made by the right hon. gent. (Mr. Canning)
last night, that the proceedings of the
Catholic Association had indisposed the
public mind in .England to the Catholie
question. He absolutely denied that asser-
tion, and dared the right hon. gentleman
to proveit. That individuals disapproved
of some of the acts of the Associationj
he admitted; but he denied that any ex-
pression of hostility had emanated frotrn
any portion of thee British public against
the measure itself. The ministers, by
their conduct towards Ireland, had placed
themselves in a sad predicament. They
were fortunate in having succeeded, by
the glorious efforts of our troops, in bring-
ing the late war to a happy conclusion.
They were fortunate in having struggled

successfully through the difficult period of
peace that immediately followed. In being
enabled to state, in the Speech from the
throne, the great prosperity of the empire
in its commerce and manufactures, and
the benefits derived from those liberal
measures relative to foreign trade, which
had acquired for them the approbation of
the country, they were most fortunate.
But when, in the Speech conveying these
statements, they had the infatuitioh to
insert a call on the two houses of parlia-
mnent to legislate, for the purpose of op-
pressing and gagging six millions of the
population of the empire, who, feeling
that they were aggrieved, did not hesitate
to express that feeling, they were most
unfortunate indeed. Much had been said
of the employment of English capitufrin
Ireland; but he would ask the right hon.
gentlemen opposite, what chance there
was that the monied man of Edgland
would risk his property in that cduntf
when he was told bygovernment tbatlit


[iOS







at the Openifig of the Sehaion.


was necessary to pass a measure tanta-
mount to a declaration of war against the
whole Irish people ? How could the right
lion. gentlemen feel that they were doing
their duty, in thus sounding an alarm, the
effect of which must of necessity be, to
deprive the inhabitants of Ireland of the
benefits which it had been anticipated
would flowin upon them from that source?
It had been said, that since the Union,
Ireland had been treated with great par-
tiality and kindness. That he denied. On
the contrary, he complained of the neg-
lect with which, year after year, Ireland
had been treated. In vain had he, from
time to time, assured that House, that
every thing was wrong and rotten in that
country. A deaf ear had been turned to
all his expostulations. Latterly, indeed,
a, rather better system had been adopted;
but most tardily and inadequately. No
minister had a right to take credit for that
remission of taxation, which was rendered
indispensable by the poverty of the country.
Sir Thomas Lethbridge said, that being
as anxious as any man could be for the
peace, security, and happiness of Ireland,
he could not refrain from applauding most
sincerely the measures which his majesty's
government had declared it to be their in-
tention to introduce. He was firmly con-
vinced that, for the sake of the Irish
Catholics themselves, the Catholic Asso-
ciation ought to be put down; and being
so convinced, he felt that he should not
do his duty, if he did not stand up in his
place, and thank his majesty's ministers
for the course they were adopting. Unless
something had been proposed by govern.
ment, it would have been utterly impossible
for a single week of the session to have
passed over without notice having been
given of a similar measure. This was
rendered the more necessary, if, as he
understood, the Catholics of England had
united with the Catholics of Ireland in
their proceedings. The Catholic Associa-
tion might be considered as a second
parliament. But, as two parliaments were
not contemplated by the British constitu-
tion, he trusted that this new parliament,
which had commenced its functions by
levying money, taken out of the pockets
of the poorest of their constituents, would
be put an end to. A body which trenched
so much on the spirit of the constitution
ought no longer to be permitted to exist.
AS a representative of the people, he had
felt:-it incumbent on him to take the
earliest opportunity of thanking his ma.


jesty's ministers for the measures they had
declared it to be their intention to origin-
ate; and he thanked them also, that they
were about to originate these measures on
their own responsibility, instead of making
any previous application for the advice. of
parliament. That was the principle on
which, under such circumstances, all
governments ought, in his opinion, to act.
Lord Nugent observed, that the right
hon. gentleman opposite began his speech
by a most unfortunate attempt to draw a
parallel between the Roman Catholic
Association, and the body once kown in
this country by the name of the Consti-
tutional Association. And this parallel
the right hon. gentleman accompanied by
a taunt against those who had implieda
that in their opinion the latter was illegal.
But, did not the right hon. gentleman
perceive that the weapon he. was using
was double-edged ? Good God Had not
those who were of opinion that the Coni
stitutional Association was illegal, a'right,
to say to his majesty's government, I* If
you think the two societies on a par in
point of legality, and if you maintain that
the Catholic Association is illegal, why.did,
you not institute proceedings against the
Constitutional Association, which, accord-
ing to your reasoning, must be illegal
also?" No proceeding was ordered.to be
instituted against that Association by the
attorney-general. It was true, that a bill
had been found against it; but, under the
direction of the judge, the proceeding
terminated in an acquittal. But if, as
was asserted by the opponents of the
Catholic Association, that Association
was illegal, why not put the existing laws
in force against it, instead of proposing
new ones ? He should not, however, have
risen on the present occasion, had it not
been for some observations which fell
from the hon. baronet who immediately
preceded him. That hon. baronet had
talked of the unanimous feeling .that ex-
isted between the Catholics of Ireland aid
the Catholics of England. He begged
leave to bear his public testimony to the
correctness of the supposition, that such
a unanimity existed. The hon. baronet
was perfectly right. He believed hewas
justified in stating, that the Catholics of
Great Britain were disposed to concur
entirely, in feeling and in spirit, with~the
Catholic Association in Irelan&d:, and
agreed with them in the propriety'of the
policy they were now-pursuing.. He. was
informed that he should very shortly have


109]


Yzis. 4, In& E7110Q







111] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the hofiour to submit to that House a
petition on the subject, from the Roman
Catholics of Great Britain. He was. told
it was likely that on that occasion the
number of signatures would be three times
as great as it had hitherto been. If he
was correctly informed, he was most
happy that such was the fact; because it
rendered it evident, that the Roman
Catholics of Great Britain would not be
deterred from coming forward at the pre-
sent crisis, to petition for those rights,
the being deprived of which was the
grievance which they suffered in common
with their brethren in the sister kingdom.
Mr. Secretary Peelrose to explain. He
disclaimed having stated that the hon.
and learned gentleman opposite had said
that the Constitutional Association was
illegal. The learned member for Peter-
borough had, he believed, doubted its
illegality. The noble lord misunderstood
the sense in which he meant to apply the
word "illegal." He merely meant to:say,
that the hon. gentleman opposite had con-
tended, that the Constitutional Associa-
tion was an Association inconsistent with
the spirit of the constitution, and that all
the objections which could be urged
against any society confederating to insti-
tute prosecutions, applied with still greater
force to the Catholic Association. That
wa& the whole extent of his observations.
Mr. Trant said, that in his opinion the
apprehension expressed by the hon. mem-
ber for Cork was without foundation.
The hon. gentleman seemed to think,
that if measures were instituted to put
down the Association, it would have the
effect of preventing capital from flowing
into Ireland. He had attended a meeting
that day, at which the establishment of
provincial banks in Ireland was the sub-
ject under consideration; and, so far from
the contemplated measure of putting
down the.Association having thrown any
damp on the business, it had on the con-
trary had a favourable effect. He should
rejoice if some of that capital which began
to overflow here could find its way to Ire-
land. It would be productive of the best
effects.
Mr. Denman, adverting to what had
just fallen from the hon. gentleman,
observed, that a decision which had taken
place that morning in the court of King's-
bench,: namely that a similar company
was in direct contravention of the letter of
an existing, law,. might, perhaps, affect
the company to which the hon. member


Address on the King's Speech


ClI2


had alluded. If either that company, or
the Catholic Association, were against
the spirit of the constitution let them be
put down by the existing law; but let not
new laws pregnant with injustice and ruin,
be enacted for that express purpose.
By, the declaration of his majesty's go-
vernment, however, it was evident, that
they were determined, if they could not
put down the Catholic Association in any
other way, to put it down by coercion,
by the sword, or by an army of twenty
thousand men. And that at the very
moment when they were complaining of
the Association as being contrary to the
spirit of the British constitution! He
remembered a right hon. gentleman, not
now in the House-he meant the late
chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr.
B. Bathurst) -undertaking the defence of
the celebrated Association called, in this-
country, Constitutional." That, how-
ever, was an imperium in imperio-an
Association totally opposed to the spirit
of the constitution-an Association which
arrogated to itself the official duties
of the Attorney-general. Yet, backed asit
was by thousands of persons of rank and
consequence, it was allowed to pursue an
uninterrupted course. His majesty's mi-
nisters were perfectly silent with respect
to it, unless, indeed, when they spoke in
its defence. The fact was, that the Con-
stitutional Association was allowed to go
on, because it played the game of power..
On this ground was the silence of govern-
ment to be accounted for. What was the
danger here, compared with that which
was threatened to the constitution by the
Constitutional Association ? Defend, the
Catholic Association! God forbid that.
he should ever attempt it. He would not
be bound to defend the proceedings of
any public body-not even the body which-
he was then addressing. What.was it that
the Catholic Association had done They
had united for the purpose of defending
themselves against the undue administra-
tion of the laws [cries of hear, hear !]
He repeated it, the undue administration
of justice in that country. For let the
marquis of Wellesley' have that just
praise to which his liberal conduct enti-
tied him, and let the lord chief justice also
receive that applause which he so richly
deserved, still he maintained, that there
was an undue, an unfair administration of
justice to the Roman Catholics of Ireland.
What was the situation of that large and..
respectable body at present ? After hav-







148J atthe Opening of the Sessi(
ing their hopes excited from year to year
-after having suffered such a variety of
misery, that the oldest men could only
call to mind the register of their hopes and
their disappointments-was it, he asked,
too much to suppose that they had a right
to combine in their own defence ? Was
such an association to be placed on a
footing with one which arrogated to it-
self the privileges of the Crown-a society
which went out of its way, and which said,
We have no object of our own to effect,
but we are determined to put down every
person'who gives vent to a liberal or a
patriotic feeling ?" Was it to be put in
competition with a system which ended as
it began-in jobs and trafficking? He
maintained that it ought not. The Catho.
lic Association had claims on the people
of England, inasmuch as itspoke the sense,
and: represented the feelings, of six mil-
lions of their fellow-subjects. Their
cause was one which it was the duty of
that House to take into its most serious
consideration; it was a question which his
majesty's ministers were bound to bring
forward, but in such a manner as to
secure the object sought to be at-
tained; and it was singular, that in this
great country, surrounded as we were by
danger, and opposed as we were by more
despotic powers, we should omit to con-
ciliate so large a portion of our fellow-
subjects, by giving to them that equality
of rights and privileges to which they
were so justly entitled. In a little time,
it would hardly be believed that such dis-
qualifications could have existed. Their
removal could not be long delayed; but
.the misery that might fill up the interval-.
could not be even imagined without horror,
by any man anxious for the welfare of
England and Ireland. They all remem-
bered the disasters occasioned by the
American war; but, by persecuting the
population of Ireland by this measure,
they were bringing America to their very
doors, and were giving the last stroke to
ages of oppression and misrule. They
had been told by an hon. baronet,
that the people of England were op-
posed to the Catholic Association and
to Catholic interests. This he took leave
to deny. He, too, thought he knew
something of the feelings of the people of
England, and he would venture to assert
that they were not opposed to the interests
and liberties of the Roman Catholics..
Such opinions might be expressed in pub-
lic houses and othei" holes and corners,
VOL. XII.


FEB. 4, 1825.


[lt.


but-they were not the opinions of the
people of England. Let not the horn
baronet lay any such flattering unction
to his soul; he would go farther, and
express a hope, that the hon. baronet's
election did not depend either upon that
fact, or upon the assertion of it. It was
only two years ago that a celebrated
orator, now one of his majesty's ministers,
proposed a measure for extending the pri-
vilegesof the Roman Catholics of England.
That measure was rejected by parliament;
and yet he maintained that those in the
country opposed to it formed but a very
small minority indeed. Had the opinions
just broached by the hon. member for
Somersetshire originated with himself, it
would not have surprised him: but he
did feel surprised at hearing, on a former
evening, similar opinions expressed by
one of his majesty's ministers; but that
surprise was increased when he found
that same minister descending to the most
vulgar language, and asserting, that the
English people were not to be "bullied!'
into an admission of that which the
Roman Catholics claimed as a right. This,
he confessed, was a style of language
which he was not prepared to expect. It
was not his intention to go much further
at present, as many opportunities would
occur of offering his opinions upon the
proposed measure; but of this the House
might rest assured, that he should be
found at his post, determined to raise his
voice, however feeble, against its being
passed into a law. The hon. member for
Hertfordshire (Mr. W. Lamb) had told
them, that he expected the facts alleged
against the Catholic Association would he
proved, and that he should then be ready
to acquiesce in the proposed remedy.
But, if he understood rightly, there were
no proofs to be brought forward, and
ministers intended to rely on thenotoriety
of the facts. To do this would, in his
opinion, be madness; it would, in fact, be
drawing the sword and throwing away the
scabbard. Should ministers act in such a
manner, he trusted that the hon. member
would abstain from giving his powerful
support to their measures. If they did this
what would it be short of saying, that
they were determined to act entirely upon
public report? He had read the address
put forth by the Catholic Association, and,
with the exception of the one sentence,
quoted by the right hon. gentleman (Mr.
Canning) last night, he entirely approved
of it, If he was rightly informed, his
I








115] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
majesty's attorney-general for Ireland
could give ministers a convenient caution
against confiding too implicitly in news-
paper reports. Was it criminal to raise
money for any purpose not favoured by
government ? If the attorney-general for
;Ieland maintained such a doctrine, he
must never have heard of the Whig Club ;
*for there money was subscribed and
objects effected certainly not very pleas-
ing to his majesty's ministers. But further,
:if it was unlawful to subscribe money at
all, what becomes of those who contribu-
ted their money for the prosecution of
'poachers ? In order to contribute to that
'object, a revenue must be raised by col-
lections from individuals. Oh, but the
people of Ireland must not subscribe even
'for their own protection; and least of all
.must the priesthood be found concerned
in the collection of such subscriptions!
And why not the priesthood as well as
ether members of the community ? Were
not they British subjects, and therefore
entitled to an equality of rights and privi-
'leges? Were they not the sons and
brothers of the middling classes of society;
for the fact that they were so had at length
slipped out from their opponents? And
if so, why were they not to be allowed to
participate in any measure which had for
its object the attainment of their rights and
privileges ? What would their opponents
have ? Did they wish that the Roman
:Catholics should resort to secret cabals
andconspiracies for the attainment of that
equality of rights to which they felt them-
selves entitled ? Much better it was, that
they shouldd come openly forward, and
,state to that House and to the country
the disqualifications under which they
laboured, and the redress which they
were anxious to obtain. The right hon.
gentleman had been last night very pleas-
ant with the tale of Dennis and his thun-
der. But here was Jupiter himself select-
'ing his sharpest bolts for the Catholic
Association. Much as the gentlemen
:opposite dreaded Irish oratory, ought
they not to give an opportunity for justifi-
cation, defence, and explanation ? This
was the thunder which they least ap-
proved. The hon. and learned gentlemen,
in conclusion, cautioned the House against
entertaining a measure calculated to pro-
,duce in the minds of the Catholics of
.Ireland feelings of irritation; a measure
which they would justly consider as an
'act of aggression on the part of the Brit-
*ish parliament,, and likely to be produc-


Address on the King's Speech


[l11i


tive of consequences which would make
every lover of his country shudder.
Mr. Martin, of Galway, assured the
House, that the Catholic Association
possessed the entire confidence of the
Roman Catholic population. This was a
feeling predominant in every county in
Ireland. But, while he said this, he felt
bound, in justice to the Roman Catho-
lics, to state, that they did not agree in
all the sentiments uttered in that Associa-
tion. No man lamented more sincerely
than he did the degraded state in which
the Roman Catholics of Ireland were
kept; but he must observe, that they owed
their present situation, and their present
feelings, to no less a personage than the
Lord Chancellor of England; for did they
not see that that high personage had taken
the lead in refusing the Catholics of Eng-
land an equality of privileges with their
Irish fellow subjects ? Having witnessed
this, they felt convinced, that if his lord-
ship were possessed of the power, he
would deprive them of those privileges
which they now enjoyed, and bring back
every proscription and punishment former-
ly in force against popery. This was a
natural and a just feeling. How, indeed,
could they argue otherwise, when they saw
the Catholic population of England, the
most loyal body of persons in England,
still restricted even from the privileges ex-
tended to those who were falsely desig-
nated as factious and disloyal subjects in
the sister kingdom. He could assure the
House, that on returning to his own coun-
try, he had found that a great many gen-
tlemen, who had previously avoided all
public matters, had determined to co-ope-
rate for the purpose of rescuing themselves
from the disabilities under which they
laboured. He wished to advert to another
point, upon which a serious error
prevailed in this country: he meant the
impression, that the Roman Catholic Cler-
gy were in the habit of forgiving sins.
He assured the House that there was not
a more fallacious idea. The Catholic
priests, in giving what was called absolu-
tion, did nothing more than was done by
the Archbishop of Canterbury upon simi-
lar occasions; aye, and precisely in the
same words; that was to say, they promi-
sed forgiveness to those who declared
themselves penitent, and expressed a wish
and hope to be forgiven. That forgive-
ness was pronounced by the Protestant and
Roman Catholic clergy, precisely in-the
same words, and the same spirit.








at the Opening of the Session.


Sir Henry Parnell rose to confirm what
had just fallen from the hon. member
for Galway, with respect to the confidence
reposed by the Catholics of Ireland in the
Association. He felt it important to
dwell upon this point, because they had
been told, that his majesty's ministers in-
tended to introduce the measure for the
suppression of the Catholic Association
upon their own responsibility, and that
public rumour and report were the only
grounds to be advanced in favour of its
necessity. Upon this the right hon. gen-
tlemen on the other side rested their case.
An hon. gentleman had told them, that
the Catholic Association represented the
feelings and interests of the great body of
the people of Ireland. If so, upon what
grounds could they pretend to pass those
bills. He cautioned them to take care
how they aroused sentiments of a more
serious nature in the minds of the Irish
people: he implored them to be careful
how they drove that ill-fated country to the
last extremity. That House was bound
to weigh well the consequences of the
step they were about- to take; to consider
that that step, once taken, would be looked
upon by the Catholics of Ireland as an
act df aggression. He would go further
than many gentlemen who had preceded
him, and assert that it was not in the
power of ministers, to support the allega-
tions .contained in his majesty's Speech.
He defied them to the proof; and, upon
a conviction that that proof could not be
adduced, he was determined to oppose
every measure which had for its object a
restriction of the rights and privileges of
the Catholics of Ireland.
Mr. Maurice Fitzgerald said, that
though that was not the proper time for a
regular discussion of the question, he
could not avoid rising for the purpose of
warning his majesty's ministers against
taking a step so fatal to the interests and
welfare of Ireland. It had often been his
fortune to witness the ignorance which
his majesty's government displayed with
respect to the affairs of Ireland ; but never
did he perceive a greater degree of igno-
rance upon their parts than upon that oc-
casion. If any danger existed from the
Catholic Association, he agreed that it
ought to be abolished ; but, if such dan-
ger did exist, if the Association was
illegal, it could be put down under
the Convention Act, without even the
intervention of his majesty's attorney-
general. They had been told, and truly


told, that the Catholic Association ex-
pressed the feelings and sentiments of the
Catholic population of Ireland; and that,
therefore, it was a formidable body. True,
it was so; but how was it formidable?
Because it expressed the sentiments of
six millions of persons, who, feeling them-
selves rejected by the state, felt themselves
bound by one common sentiment of in-
dignation; a sentiment which no English-
man would blame them for feeling, but
for which he would despise them if they
did not entertain. He maintained that
there was safety, and not danger, in this
public expression of the feelings of the
Roman Catholics. They were reduced
almost to a despondency of feeling, and
it was better that the expression of that
feeling should have vent, than that it
should be concealed. But what, he ask-
ed, were the grounds upon which minis-
ters intended to introduce the proposed
bill ? Upon their own shewing, it was
to be founded on some hasty, or, if they
would, some criminal expression, which
had crept into an address of the Catholic
Association. And this, giving it its full
value (he did not mean to defend the ex-
pression), was the sole ground upon which
they were called upon to legislate against
six millions of their fellow subjects. Now,
what was the peculiar expression at which
his majesty's ministers cavilled ? To un-
derstand it perfectly, a man must be an
Irishman. No man abhorred more than
he did the sentiment contained in that
expression; though, as an Irishman, he
presumed he understood it better than the
right hon. gentleman opposite did. It
was this, that the Roman Catholics were
called upon by their hatred to Orange-
men to preserve peace. What was
meant by this was, though you are op-
pressed by Orange-men, and they're your
declared enemies, still you are desired
to remain in peace." But, giving an.
interpretation, the most favourable, to the.
words, they indicated alamentablestate of
things in Ireland. He trusted, however,
that the employment of indiscreet words
by a few, would not involve the whole
body of the Catholics in one sweeping
measure of injustice. If this Association
was perilous to the peace of Ireland, the
course about to be pursued by ministers was.
fraught with danger of a much more ap-
palling kind. If the Association was put
down, the great mass of the Catholics
would resort to other modes of asserting
and enforcing their rights. He had in-


117]


Fez. 4 1825. [118







[120


1193 HOUSE OF COMMONS,


deed heard one other mode mentioned;
and certain he was, that the Association
would take some shape or other, as long
as Catholic disabilities existed. The pay-
ment of rent, as it was termed, had been
called last night the levying of revenue.
He did not think it deserved that name;
for he believed it to be merely a subscrip-
tion by the population, for purposes essen-
tially their own-for their protection from
the oppression of Magistrates in various
parts of Ireland. In the county he then
represented, the rent had hardly been
collectedat all; and the reason was, thatthe
Catholics there met with no oppression, the
two sects living in the most perfect har-
mony together: a subscription was there-
fore wholly needless. But it was little
less than ridiculous to talk of any real
danger to the government from the sum
of 9,0001. being collected in this way, and
vested in the Public funds. But, if any
objection could be raised to this sum, and
the manner in which it had been collected,
how could any other similar subscriptions
be justified? That of the Methodist
Conference, for example, which was in-
finitely larger in amount, and which was
unquestionably applied to political pur-
poses. Although the Catholic interest
in that House was comparatively feeble,
the Methodist interest was very powerful.
He recollected that, in the last session, he
had seen more external influence brought
to bear on a question in which the Metho-
dists were interested, than on any other of
which he knew-he meant that relating
to Smith, the missionary. He had heard
with delight the protest so solemnly en-
tered that night by his right hon. friend
(sir J. Newport). All the Catholics
must deplore the loss of so valuable and
so sincere an advocate, and he trusted
that the date of that loss would be long
postponed; but, after what had fallen last
night from the secretary of state for fo-
reign Affairs, no man, however young,
could expect to witness the accomplish-
ment of the great measure of Catholic
relief. For one, he had abandoned all
hope; and, if the same feeling pervaded
the Catholics, what a dismal prospect
would be presented! Yet how could they
feel otherwise, when they saw the House
about to adopt a system of government
by which the Catholics were to be pre-
vented even from meeting to petition for
the consideration of their undoubted
claims ?
Mr. Brougham wished to explain an ex-


pression he had used -last night. He had
been supposed by several hon. gentlemen
to have said, that the Catholic Association
represented the whole body of Catholics.
He was quite aware, that if they had done
so, they would have been liable to the
penalties of the Convention Act. He
had, therefore, expressly qualified the
word represented" by the addition of the
adverb virtually."
Mr. Butterworth begged to contradict
most unqualifiedly the assertion, that the
Methodists levied a tax upon themembers
of their society. Whatever sum was
raised consisted of mere voluntary con-
tributions. The Methodists were influen-
ced by no compulsion, and great numbers
of them did not subscribe at all. The
right hon. member for Kerry did not
seem well informed upon the subject,
more particularly if he thought that mis-
sionary Smith belonged to that body.
The Methodists had never interfered in
any political question, and the objects of
the subscriptions were entirely religious.
Now, he knew it for a fact, that a con-
siderable number of Protestants in Ire-
land had suffered very materially in theit
circumstances, because they had not con-
tributed to the Catholic Rent. Their
business had fallen off in consequence;
for secret influence was at work to injure
them. Thus the innocent and inoffensive
had been punished because they would
not accede to what was arbitrary and
illegal. He was satisfed also, from the
most respectable authority, that in the in-
terior of Ireland the Catholic Association
had created the utmost alarm, and many
families had been obliged to leave the
country, and to take up their residence
in towns. He thought that ministers
would be extremely negligent of their
duty, if they did not at once put down the
Association. He called upon the right
hon. member for Kerry to prove, if he
could, the fact he had asserted; and on
his own part, he totally denied that the
society of the Methodists had any politi-
cal tendency.
Mr. M. Fitzgerald expressed'his regret
that the hon. member should have so mis-
understood him. In alluding to the Me-
thodists, he intended to say no more thani
that the collection of the Catholic Rent in
Ireland was, in every respect analogoiu
to the Methodist contributions in this
country ; both these payments having the
common property of being voluntary, and
not being made under -any eomprulsit


Address on thei King's Spech~







FAn.4, 1825; [fle


He had never said that the Methodist
contribution was a tax.
Mr. Butterworth repeated, that the con-
ference money was collected only for
religious purposes, while the Catholic
Rent was devoted to the employment of
newspapers, and perhaps the bribery of
individuals, to support certain political
notions.
The report was then brought up. On
the question that it be agreed to,
Mr. Hume remarked, that it had been
his original intention to have moved an
amendment, but the debate had taken so
beneficial a turn, that he was not dispo-
sed to lessen its effect, by interfering with
the solemn farce of the Address, for such
the right hon. secretary for foreign af-
fairs had himself admitted it to be. His
amendment would have stated, that the
address contained assertions false in point
of fact; for ministers had been convicted
of putting the grossest misrepresentations
into the mouth of the sovereign. He had
never seen a cabinet so degraded and
humbled. The attorney-general for Ire-
land had. been bearded in vain: he knew
the pitiful figure he already cut before the
world, and was unwilling to add to it by
attempting and failing in his vindication.
A libel upon the whole Irish nation (for
the Catholics, were the nation) had been
pronounced from the throne, repeated in
the address, and reiterated in the speech
of the foreign secretary. The Association
had been formed for the assertion of
rights: it'had asserted the just rights of
the Catholics, who had been too long quiet
and had now come forward in a consti-
tutional manner. He trusted yet that
they would be heard; that persecution
would be at an end; and, anticipating
such an event, he had rejoiced last year
to hear that it was the. intention of the
Irish government to administer the laws
equally between Protestants and Catholics.
In what way was the measure now pro-
jected consistent with such a declaration?
On what pretence was the Catholic Asso-
ciation to be put down, or why was it
more obnoxious than the Dissenters' As-
sociation, which had existed for many
years,.for purposes, as the annual report
testified; very similar to those of the
Catholic -Association? Oppression could
only be borne to a certain point, beyond
that point there was a remedy, to which
our ancestors had resorted, and to which
it was. the4 pride and boast of their suc-
cessorfsthat they had appealed. Ministers


seemed anxious to bring on a crisis-to
hasten and compel resistance; and they,
and especially the right hon. andlearned
gentleman who sat by their side, would be
responsible for the consequences. On them
mustthe blood rest, if blood should be shed.
With respect to the proposed augmenta-
tion of the military force of the country,
he should say, in the first place, that it
was directly contrary to the liberal spirit
and policy professed by ministers in the
last session. For what purpose could a
larger army be needed if it was not that
more troops might be kept at home to use
the bayonet in Ireland ? For the ten
years preceding 1792, the standing army
in England had never exceeded 33,000
men, and in 1821, the House unanimously
voted an address (an amendment on a
motion made by himself), recommending
his majesty to reduce all the establish-
ments, but particularly to lessen the enor-
mous military establishment then existing.
The amount of force then was 86,000, and
he had proposed to diminish it to 76,000;
yet, in the tenth year of peace, at a time
when all Europe was tranquil, and, accor-
ding to the king'sspeech, likely to continue
so, the army was to be increased by the
additionof 10,000men. Already ministers
had no less than 73,000 men under their
orders. Last year parliament had agreed
to an augmentation of 3,000 men, in con-
sequence of the disturbed state of Ireland;
and though it was asserted in the speech
that Ireland was not only tranquil, but
contented and flourishing, instead of redu-
cing the standing.army, it was to be aug.
mented. Whatever statements might be
offered by ministers to account for this
addition, it would be believed on the con-
tinent, that Great Britain was arming for
some unknown purpose, and her proceed.
ings would be viewed with distrust and
suspicion. The address to the throne was
admitted on all hands to be a mere mock.
ery and farce, and of late years it had
been the custom in the royal speech to
avoid every topic that could disturb una.
nimity. Thus, the king and his parlia.
ment no longer dealt in wholesome and
useful truths; but a system of artifice and
delusion was kept up, that nothing at all
unpleasing might reach the ears of majesty.
This year, however, some statements. had
been made in the speech from the throne,
of which proof was required at the hands
of the responsible advisers of the Crowns
but they refused all explanation, and witbe
held all evidence. In future, he: recom.


121]


dt thie Dpiniig f the Saision.








133] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
mended, that the proceedings of the first
day of a session should be regarded as
mere forms; and that nothing should be
said on the address, by those who disap-
proved of it, until twenty-four hours had
been allowed for consideration. In the
name of the Irish nation, and of the
Catholics who formed that nation, he pro-
tested against the address, because it con-
tained libellous falsehoods; and he lamen-
ted the deplorably pitiable situation in
which ministers were placed before the
country.
SSir C. Forbes lamented that the ad-
ditional force about to be despatched to
India, was so much smaller than the
occasion required. Instead of sending
out men in driblets, 40 or 50,000 ought
to be embarked at once, to put a speedy
termination to the war with the Burmese;
for if it were not soon concluded, circum-
stances might arise out of it, to shake the
security of the whole of our Indian
possessions. Whatever reinforcements
were destined to that quarter of the world,
ought to be conveyed thither as quickly
as possible. The grossest ignorance had
been betrayed in the distribution of the
force which was under the command of
the governor-general. The troops had
been quartered in unhealthy places, and
the season of action had been allowed to
expire before they commenced operations
against the Burmese. It was the duty of
the board of control, but this had not
been done for these fifteen years past,
to lay before the country an annual
budget, containing a description of the
real state of India. He lamented the
want of this document at present; since it
would have shewn how, precarious was
our situation, when war was raging on
every side.
Mr. Wynn said, that papers were now
in the press which he should be able
shortly to lay before the House, contain-
ing a body of information on the subject
alluded to, and which papers it was
necessary that hon. members should be
in possession of before any discussion
should be entered upon. The war had
begun in consequence of the unprovoked
aggressions of the Burmese, and their ex-
travagant pretensions, which could have
been resisted by no other means than
those which had been adopted. When
the House should be acquainted with the
particulars relating to this affair, he should
be ready to enter upon the case of lord
Amherst, as fully as the papers might


Unlawfui Socidies-in Ireland.


[124


enable him. Further accounts had been
received, by whichit appeared, that the
sickness at Rangoon had materially abated.
It happened, unfortunately, that all the
entrances to the Burmese territory,
whether by the northern or southern
frontier, were extremely unhealthy. This
was of course an evil, for the consequences
of which the governor-general was not
responsible. It was, however, an evil
which must be surmounted as well as
might be; and he had high authority-
that of the late president, and of captain
Symes-for believing that the course
adopted was most likely to effect that
object.
Mr. Alderman Heygate said, that
unless the Catholic Association were
speedily put down, it must govern Ireland.
There was no alternative. No government
could safely tolerate an establishment,
holding its sittings daily, levying money
by intimidation, and prosecuting those
who opposed them. He was also highly
gratified at the recognition of the inde-
pendence of the South American states,
and the manner in which it had been
effected, so as to maintain the tranquillity
of the world. As to the reduction of
taxation, he hoped that ministers would
do away with theassessed taxes altogether.
The independence of the people was more
affected by what were called direct
taxes, than by any other species of con-
tribution, because they were brought more
immediately into collision with:the tax-
gatherer. He was sure the feelings of
the country, with respect to this class of
taxes, were so unequivocal, that if the
question of a reduction of duty on French
wines, or the cessation of these taxes were
put in issue, nineteen out of twenty would
hold up their hands for the latter. He
had said thus much, because he thought
the ministers had the interest and pros-
perity of the country at heart. They
were justly popular now, and lie hoped
they would continue to be so.
The address was then agreed to.

UNLAWFUL SOCIETIES IN IRELAND-
CALL OF THE HOUSE.] Mr. Goulbourn
gave notice, that he would;,on the 10th
instant, move for leave to bring in a Bill
to amend certain Acts relating to Unlaw-
ful Societies in Ireland.
SMr. Brougham hoped that, upon his
humble representation, the right hon.
gentleman would be induced to postpone
the notice he had given for a week. He







125] Clerk of Parliament.
intended to move for a call of the House
on the day when that motion should come
on, in order to show whether or not the
cry of No Popery!" which had been
raised was really countenanced by the
constituents of hon. members, and whether
the people of England were on this
occasion opposed to the wishes of the
people of Ireland. He trusted the insinua-
tion which had been made to this effect
was an unfounded one against the good
people of England; but if it were other-
wise, they ought to have an opportunity
of openly expressing their opinions.
Whatever the consequence of it might be,
it seemed to him absolutely necessary,
that there should be a call of the House on
a measure of so much importance.
Mr. Goulbourn could really see no
reason for the postponement. He had
already informed the House, that it was
intended the bill should be discussed
in every stage. The motion of which he
had now given notice was only for leave
to bring in the bill. Its principle and its
details might be discussed when it should
be before the House.
Mr. Brougham, in the hope of inducing
the right hon. gentleman to accede to his
request, would offer a compromise. He
had well observed, that at present the
House was not acquainted with the form
in which the measure would be submitted
to them. He (Mr. B.) hoped that what
had passed last night would have the effect
of modifying and reducing its shape.
Perhaps, in the mean time, if delay were
allowed, some other papers might be laid
on the table. [Mr. Goulbourn said across
the table, he had no intention of doing
so.] Then there was to be no information
between the exposition of the measure
and the debate on the principle of the bill.
Perhaps he might find it expedient to
delay the call of the House, if the measure
were to be postponed for a fortnight.
Mr. Peel proposed that the call of the
.House should not take place until the
second reading of thebill, which might be
fixed for Tuesday week.
Mr. Brougham said, that would hardly
give him time enough. He was disposed still
to press for a delay of a fortnight. If
ministers considered a couple of days of
such paramount importance in the passing
of the bill about to be introduced, they
ought to have called parliament together
sooner. He then moved that the House
be called over on that day fortnight,
The motion was agreed to.


FEB.7, 1825. CIS1
.HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, February 7.
STATE OF IRELAND.] The Marquis
of Lansdown wished to ask the noble earl
opposite two questions. The noble earl
had given notice of a motion for a com-
mittee to inquire into the State of Ireland.
Last year, when a similar committee was
appointed, he (lord Lansdown) had pro-
posed, that the inquiry should be extended
to the whole of Ireland, and not be con-
fined to the disturbed districts. The
powers of the committee of last year were,
however, limited, and he was afraid that
that example might be followed on the
present occasion. He therefore wished to
know, whether it was the intention of the
noble earl to limit the committee he was
about to move for in the same way as that
of last year.
The Earl of Liverpool said, that the
motion he intended to make would not be
the same as that of last year. He would
propose that the inquiry should extend to
the whole of Ireland, or, in other words,
that no part of Ireland should be exempt
from the investigation of the committee.
The Marquis of Lansdown said, he
apprehended, from what had passed on
Thursday, that it was not the noble earl's
intention to lay on the table any papers
connected with that part of his majesty's
Speech which related to Ireland.
The Earl of Livepool observed, that he
did not intend to lay on the table any
papers relating to the state of Ireland.
The Marquis of Lansdown being so
informed, gave notice that he would to-
morrow move for copies of all despatches
received from the lord-lieutenant of Ire-
land relating to the origin, progress, and
consequences, of the political and religious
societies in that country.

CLERK OF PARLIAMENT.] Lord Col-
chester laid on the table the report from
the committee appointed to inquire into
the duties of the Clerk of Parliament. '
Earl Grosvenor congratulated the House
on the result of the. labours of the com-
mittee. By it, there had been a consider-
able saving made, and the service would
henceforth be more efficiently performed.
It was not his object in abolishing sinecures,
merely to save expense, but to have the
service better performed; but, when the
two objects were both attained by the
same measure, he thought it a proper
subject of congratulation..








197? HOUSE OF LORDS, Unlk4iful ssociations in Ireland. [t(1
SCOTCH JUDICATURE.] The Lord an enormous profit the shares of that
Chancellor called to their lordships' re- company; which was nothing more nor
collection a bill for regulating the Judi- less then laying a bait for their own
cature of Scotland, which had passed! benefit, by which innocent individuals
that House in the course of the last were great sufferers. The object of his
session. Before that bill was brought in, measure would therefore be, to prevent
a commission of inquiry had been ap- the transferring of shares of any Joint
pointed. The commissioners were selected Stock Company, until such Company
from among the persons best qualified shall have received the sanction of a
and able to give information on the sub- charter or an act of parliament.
ject. A report was made by the commis- The Earl of Lauderdale wished the
sion to the House, and a bill conformable learned lord to consider what the House
to the recommendations of the report was ought first to do, in order to ascertain the
introduced and passed, and sent down to law. The regular mode of proceeding in
the Commons, where it received con- such a case would be, .to ask the judges
siderable amendments in consequence of what was the law, and upon their answer,
some Scotch publications on the subject. a declaratory bill might be introduced.
It was not thought fit by their lordships The Lord Chancellor did not think that
to adopt the amendments thus made, and declaring the law would answer the pur-
the bill was lost. He intended, therefore, pose he had in view, as the penalties in-
to bring in a new bill in precisely the flicted by the 6th Geo. 1st. were so severe.
same form as that of last session, and if The transgression of the statute might be
any further light could be thrown on the allowed to go on; because, the effects of
subject, that bill might undergo altera- premunire, or loss of goods and chattels,
tions when before their lordships' com- were so enormous, that it was probable
mittee. nobody would be disposed to enforce
them. His object was, to prevent persons
JOINT STOCK COMPANIES.] The Lord out of doors from transgressing the law
Chancellor said, that as he was now on his with impunity; which would nhot be ac-
legs, he would address to their lordships complished by a declaratory law.
a few words relative to Joint Stock Com-
panies, on the subject of which he had, HOUSE OF COMMONS.


on Thursday last, given notice that it was
his intention to bring in a bill. He did
not mean to go further than he had then
stated : but he-thought it right to observe,
that in point of fact he was not aware,
that a suit which related to the subject to
wttich he proposed to call their lordships'
attention was actually pending before the
court of;King's-bench, and that the lord
chief justice gave judgment on that on
the'very day on which he had addressed
their lordships. He did not mean to say
what the law was; but, whatever it might
be-and he did not wish it to be under-
stood that he had not made up his mind
upon that point-the public ought not to
be left in the present state of uncertainty
on the subject. His lordship then pro-
ceeded to state, that his bill would not
apply to companies already constituted,
or which might be constituted by charter
or act of parliament. But, whatever might
be the existing law, it could never be in-
tedded, that the public should stand in
this situation-that before the authority
of their Crown or of parliament shall be
given to'constitute a Joint Stock Compa-
ny, persons should be permitted to sell at


Monday, February 7.
THE KING'S ANSWER TO THE ADDRESS.]
His Majesty's Answer to the Address
of the House was reported, as follows:
"I receive with the highest satis-
faction this loyal and dutiful Address.
Your cordial concurrence in the principles
which I have declared, and your assuran.
ces of co-operation with respect to the
objects which I have recommended to
your attention, afford me the surest
pledge that I shall be enabled, under the
favour of Divine Providence, effectually
to uphold the honour and interests of my
subjects, and to preserve the blessings
which they enjoy."

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, February 8.
UNLAWFUL ASSOCIATIONS IN IRE-
LAND.] The Marquis of Lansdown rose,
in pursuance of notice, to move an humble
Address to his Majesty, praying that he
would be graciously pleased to lay before
the House any despatches which may hav-
been received from the.Lord Lieutenant








197? HOUSE OF LORDS, Unlk4iful ssociations in Ireland. [t(1
SCOTCH JUDICATURE.] The Lord an enormous profit the shares of that
Chancellor called to their lordships' re- company; which was nothing more nor
collection a bill for regulating the Judi- less then laying a bait for their own
cature of Scotland, which had passed! benefit, by which innocent individuals
that House in the course of the last were great sufferers. The object of his
session. Before that bill was brought in, measure would therefore be, to prevent
a commission of inquiry had been ap- the transferring of shares of any Joint
pointed. The commissioners were selected Stock Company, until such Company
from among the persons best qualified shall have received the sanction of a
and able to give information on the sub- charter or an act of parliament.
ject. A report was made by the commis- The Earl of Lauderdale wished the
sion to the House, and a bill conformable learned lord to consider what the House
to the recommendations of the report was ought first to do, in order to ascertain the
introduced and passed, and sent down to law. The regular mode of proceeding in
the Commons, where it received con- such a case would be, .to ask the judges
siderable amendments in consequence of what was the law, and upon their answer,
some Scotch publications on the subject. a declaratory bill might be introduced.
It was not thought fit by their lordships The Lord Chancellor did not think that
to adopt the amendments thus made, and declaring the law would answer the pur-
the bill was lost. He intended, therefore, pose he had in view, as the penalties in-
to bring in a new bill in precisely the flicted by the 6th Geo. 1st. were so severe.
same form as that of last session, and if The transgression of the statute might be
any further light could be thrown on the allowed to go on; because, the effects of
subject, that bill might undergo altera- premunire, or loss of goods and chattels,
tions when before their lordships' com- were so enormous, that it was probable
mittee. nobody would be disposed to enforce
them. His object was, to prevent persons
JOINT STOCK COMPANIES.] The Lord out of doors from transgressing the law
Chancellor said, that as he was now on his with impunity; which would nhot be ac-
legs, he would address to their lordships complished by a declaratory law.
a few words relative to Joint Stock Com-
panies, on the subject of which he had, HOUSE OF COMMONS.


on Thursday last, given notice that it was
his intention to bring in a bill. He did
not mean to go further than he had then
stated : but he-thought it right to observe,
that in point of fact he was not aware,
that a suit which related to the subject to
wttich he proposed to call their lordships'
attention was actually pending before the
court of;King's-bench, and that the lord
chief justice gave judgment on that on
the'very day on which he had addressed
their lordships. He did not mean to say
what the law was; but, whatever it might
be-and he did not wish it to be under-
stood that he had not made up his mind
upon that point-the public ought not to
be left in the present state of uncertainty
on the subject. His lordship then pro-
ceeded to state, that his bill would not
apply to companies already constituted,
or which might be constituted by charter
or act of parliament. But, whatever might
be the existing law, it could never be in-
tedded, that the public should stand in
this situation-that before the authority
of their Crown or of parliament shall be
given to'constitute a Joint Stock Compa-
ny, persons should be permitted to sell at


Monday, February 7.
THE KING'S ANSWER TO THE ADDRESS.]
His Majesty's Answer to the Address
of the House was reported, as follows:
"I receive with the highest satis-
faction this loyal and dutiful Address.
Your cordial concurrence in the principles
which I have declared, and your assuran.
ces of co-operation with respect to the
objects which I have recommended to
your attention, afford me the surest
pledge that I shall be enabled, under the
favour of Divine Providence, effectually
to uphold the honour and interests of my
subjects, and to preserve the blessings
which they enjoy."

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, February 8.
UNLAWFUL ASSOCIATIONS IN IRE-
LAND.] The Marquis of Lansdown rose,
in pursuance of notice, to move an humble
Address to his Majesty, praying that he
would be graciously pleased to lay before
the House any despatches which may hav-
been received from the.Lord Lieutenant







Unlawful Associations in Ireland.


of Ireland, relating to political and reli-
gious societies existing in that country,
their origin, progress, and consequences.
He was induced to obtrude himself on
the House, because, in the Speech by
which the session had been opened, his
majesty was made to say, that Ireland
had partaken in the general prosperity of
the empire, and that, with respect to
tranquillity, a great improvement had
taken place in the state of that country;
but it was added, that there existed in
that country associations of a mischievous
nature, irreconcilable with the spirit
of the constitution. Combining these
passages of his majesty's Speech with
that which immediately follows, and which
contains a recommendation to their lord-
ships to adopt measures for the remedying
the evil thus pointed out-combining
with this recommendation, too, the in-
disposition shown by the noble earl op-
posite, to communicate that information
which would be necessary to enable their
lordships to form a right opinion on the
subject-combining, he said, all these
circumstances, he felt the House to be
placed in a most singular and unpreceden-
ted situation-unprecedented, because he
did not remember an instance of any new
restriction, even in time of war and public
danger, having been imposed on the rights
and liberties of the people, without a
committee having been appointed, in the
-first place, to inquire into tile alleged evil,
or the whole proceeding having been
preceded by a communication of the docu-
ments containing the evidence on which
it had become necessary to impose restric-
tions on the freedom hitherto enjoyed by
his Majesty's subjects; and it was not
upon any one class of his subjects, but
upon all classes, that this new measure
was to fall. The freedom of individuals
was, it appeared, intended to be limited
in a way hitherto unprecedented. He
had a right to assume this; for if there
-was any law capable of correcting the
evil complained of, he could not suppose
that there was any indisposition, either in
-this country or in Ireland, to enforce it.
The acts of the associations, then, which
were referred to in his majesty's Speech,
whether morally right or not, must be
legal as the law now stood. Their lord-
ships were, however, called upon at once,
without any knowledge of the evil said to
exist, to apply a cure, to provide a remedy,
for a danger, at the moment when that
Danger was not pretended to be imminent
VOL. XII.


-at the moment when the country was de-
clared to be in a state of uncommon pros-
perity-at the moment when, however
much men might differ as to the causes,
all parties agreed that unusual tranquillity;
prevailed in Ireland, even in those parts
of the country hitherto most disturbed.
Different accounts of the cause of this ex-
traordinary tranquillity were given by dif-
ferent parties. The friends of the Catho-
lic Association asserted, that it was- all
owing to their endeavours to promote
peace. The friends of the lord-lieu-
tenant said, that it was owing to his pru-
dent management, and his firmness in the
exercise of the power confided to him.
The friends of his majesty's ministers in-
sisted, that it was entirely owing to the
wise measures which the Administration
had, for the last two years, adopted with
respect to Ireland. Other persons, he did
not mean members of their lordships'
House, but of the other House of parlia-
ment, might allege, with at least equal
truth, that the present tranquillity of Ire-
land was owing to the many judicious
amendments introduced by them into
those muchboasted measures of his majes-
ty's ministers. But, whatever difference
of opinion might exist as to the cause of
the tranquillity, there was but one as to
the fact; and he had, therefore, a right to
assert, that either there was not in Ireland
a body willing to disturb, or, what would
answer his argument equally well, a body
able to disturb the peace of the coun-
try. What a moment, then, was it,
which was chosen for this extraordinary
proceeding! As if some great conspi-
racy had been discovered, as if some dread-
ful treason had burst forth, their lord-
ships were to be called upon to impose
new and unheard-of restrictions on the
liberties of the people, without giving
themselves the trouble to inquire into the
existence of the supposed evil, or its
specific nature, if it existed. This, too,
they were called upon to do in a case
which, as he should show by-and-by, was
one which no law could reach. But
he should perhapsbe told, that all inquiries
of the nature of those which parliament
was accustomed to institute on similar
occasions, were unnecessary on this, be-
cause their lordships had only to govern
their proceedings by the notoriety of the
case. If, however, there was any one
case or subject on which it was impossi-
ble to use this argument of notoriety the
present was that one, because, it was a
K


1291


FEB. 8, 182,.


[130







131] HOUSE OF LORDS,


case in which the persons who had the
best opportunities of information had
been most notoriously deceived. He did
not mean to allude to the imperfect know-
ledge of persons in this country, or sitting
in that House; but to the actual law-
officers in Ireland, whose business it was
to inquire into the nature of the case, and
who had the best means of obtaining a
knowledge of it. They had, however, as
it appeared-and this seemed to be owing
to the very nature of the subject-allowed
themselves to be completely deceived.
That the Irish public was not hostile to the
Catholic Association, might be inferred
from the result of the late prosecution
of one of its members. In that case, the
witnesses produced to support the charge
Turned round and contradicted themselves;
and this defeat of the law officers of the
Crown took place, not before a petty, but
before a grand jury. He should be doing
injustice to the talents of the legal persons
to whom he had alluded-and no one
rated their talents higher than he did-if
he supposed that they were accurately
acquainted with the state of the facts
when they went before the grand jury.
The subject, indeed, was one on which
they were liable to be deceived, and all the
information they had received had left
them in the dark, as to what really passed
within the walls of the Association against
which they had proceeded. He, there-
fore, must conclude, that the present
was, in a peculiar manner, one of those
subjects, upon which their lordships,
instead of relying upon assertions, loose
reports, and newspaper statements, ought,
before they committed themselves in
so difficult a task as finding a remedy
for the evil, to inquire strictly into
its nature. When any measure was
proposed to be adopted, arising out of
any imputed danger, more especially
when that measure was one which affected
the rights and privileges of the people, all
persons would surely agree with him, that
it was necessary for their lordships to
satisfy themselves on three points. They
had, in the first place, to satisfy them-
selves that there existed a great evil to be
corrected. They had next to satisfy them-
selves as to what was the nature of that
evil, and by what remedy it could be put
down. They must, in the third place,
satisfy themselves that in thus extinguish-
ing the evil of which they complained,
they did not create a greater mischief in
its stead. Now, in all these points, their


lordships required information, which
could only be obtained through the des-
patches he called for. Considering, how-
ever, the uncertain nature of the evil--
considering how difficult it was to apply
a remedy to it-their lordships must per-
ceive how particularly necessary it was,
in this case, to learn what the nature of
the evil was, from those who had the best
opportunities of knowing it. This was
the only method by which they could
judge what remedy ought to be applied.
They were about to engage in a task, the
execution of which, even with the infor-
mation he called for, and most certainly
without it, would be of a most difficult
nature. It was one of which their lord-
ships might see the commencement, but
of which they could not foresee the end.
The noble and learned lord on the wool-
sack was reported to be the parent of the
forthcoming measure; but, under what-
ever auspices it might be introduced, he
was sure that it required so much nicety,
such exquisite legal tact, that it could not
be committed to any other than the
highest and ablest hands. The noble and
learned lord had undertaken a task which
would require all his ingenuity. No man
had a higher sense of his talents than he
had; but, after all he could conjecture,
and every estimate he could form of the
abilities which the noble and learned lord
wasbringing, or hadbythis time brought to
the task, he could not anticipate any suc-
cess to the measure which was about to be
introduced. In the absence of all infor-
mation, he was under the necessity of col-
lecting from report what the intended
measure was to be. If, as was said, the
object of the measure was to extinguish
the Catholic Association and the Catholic
rent-if the noble and learned lord could
accomplish this without disturbing, in a
very considerable degree, the existing re-
lations of society, he must acknowledge
that the noble and learned lord would sur-
pass any chancellor that ever existed be-
fore him; but he would tell him that un-
less he could pass a law making it penal
for persons to say that they placed confi-
dence in others-unless he was able to
prevent people from giving away their
money-unless he could prevent the sen-
timents expressed by the mouth of one
man from reaching the heart of another,
and the money of one man from passing
into another man's pocket-unless he
could do all this, he would do nothing.
The noble and learned lord would do


Unlawful Associations in Ireland.


[132








133)


Unlawful Associations in Ireland.


well to look at the difficulties of the task,
for it was most difficult and hazardous;
but he must say, that if the noble and
learned lord were capable of doing it, he
would immortalise himself.-Before he
proceeded further he would just notice an
argument that would probably be urged
in support of the intended measure. In-
deed, he knew, that the noble earl oppo-
site, in order to smooth the proceeding
through that House, had said, that it was
not a substantive bill, but merely an
amendment of the Convention act. Now,
there was a most material difference be-
tween the two measures, and one which
those who brought this forward would do
well to consider. The Convention act
was passed to prevent a form of proceed-
ing which, whether it was an offence or
not, was a tangible object. He would not
enter into any discussion: of the principles
of government at the present moment;
but, while waving all questions of that
sort, he should be sorry to give an un-
qualified opinion against delegation; be-
cause, the greatest and best men this
country ever produced, had considered
delegation a fit and constitutional mode
for the people to resort to, to obtain a
redress of grievances. The Catholics
might, on this question, quote the opinion
of a noble friend of his-the noble lord
who lately moved an address to the
throne, and whose opinion can surely have
lost none of its authority with the other
side of the House,-that delegation was
not only innocent, but a proper and legal
remedy for grievances." He, however,
admitted, that delegation was a practice
perfectly tangible by law; and one, he
must also own, which he thought ought
not to exist in Ireland, in the present state
of the country. In like manner, the law
against secret oaths was a law capable of
application. Their lordships might say,
that the outward form of an oath should
not be administered, for that form was,
like the conventional delegation, a tangible
object. But now, when there was no out-
ward form, when no compulsion or bind-
ing by oath was resorted to, and when all
that was done was founded in confidence,
he would ask, what could be accomplished
by any law, more than merely getting rid
of certain words ? The noble earl oppo-
site might object to the term "associa-
tion," or he might object to the term
"rent," especially to the latter, as it was
an object with many people that every
thing under that name should take a very


FEB. 8, 1825. tl34


different direction. Their lordships would
recollect, that a secretary for Ireland had
set himself against the word "committee,"
and succeeded in getting rid of it; but
the term association" took its place;
In like manner, the noble and learned
lord might get rid of the words "associa-
tion" and rent," but the question was,
would not the people still meet, and still
pay rent in spite of the law ? The noble
and learned lord would find his task more
difficult than even that which another sort
of chancellor encountered, when he en-
deavoured to make the people of Ireland
pay money against their inclination. Find-
ing it extremely difficult to make them
pay any thing, he applied a remedy to the
evil, which was by not asking them to pay
at all-namely, by remitting the taxes,
The noble and learned lord would find it
a hard task to prevent the Irish from pay-
ing their own money in any way in which
they wished to pay it. Whatever might be
the law, it was always difficult enough to get
money into one's pocket; but he had never
heard of any difficulty in getting money
out of it. He was perfectly convinced
that the noble and learned lord would not
obtain his object either with the associa-
tion or the rent; the people would still
fall upon some method of assembling; and
with regard to the rent, which was thought
so alarming, the noble and learned lord
certainly could never cause it to be less,
but his measure might very well cause it
to be more. The effect of the noble and
learned lord's measure was likely to re-
semble that of a proceeding which occur-
red in the French Academy. The poet
Piron being about to publish a work, ap-
plied to a member of the Academy to
make a speech against it, and state that it
was a most detestable work, as he should
then be sure to sell every copy of it.
Now, had he been a member of the Catho-
lic Association, and could have gained
access to the noble and learned lord,
knowing that parliament was going to
meet, he should have asked him to say
that the Catholic rent was a very bad
thing; and then he was sure that it would
soon be doubled. And here he would
venture to tell their lordships an anecdote
which, though relating to ancient Irish
history, was not unconnected with the
present subject. In a remote period of
the connexion of the two countries, he
believed as far back as Henry 8th, when
those acts of violence which had always
been too frequent in Ireland, prevailed to








1S5] HOUSE OF LORDS,


a great extefit, the Irish were accustomed
to vociferate two exclamations, or invoca-
tions, he did not know which to call them,
but the words were Crom a boo and Butler
a-boo. The correspondents of the Eng-
lish government wrote representations,
stating that those words were doing great
mischief-that they were the cause of all
the outrages which were committed. A
meeting of the cabinet immediately took
place; but history did not inform us
whether there was on that occasion any
difference of opinion, or whether the di-
vision, if there was any, was straight or
serpentine. It was resolved, however,
that the obnoxious words must be put
down, and an act was passed for abolish-
ing the words from the Irish language.
This might be seen upon examining the
act: but, considerations of humanity dic-
tated a provision, which stated, that as
the Irish, in their then state of excite-
ment, would not be quiet if they were not
allowed to use some exclamation, they
might be permitted to call out St.
George," but that if they persisted in
using the proscribed words they should be
hanged. Now, history did not relate
whether this law had the effect of making
the Irish discontinue the mischievous
words, or whether they adopted in their
stead the more loyal exclamation pre-
scribed for them: but, the outrages con-
tinued as violent as ever. This act, then,
had failed; but he could not tell how far
the subtile refinements of modern poli-
ticians might succeed in the present. He
doubted, however, their success. Their
lordships must recollect that it was against
words, and words only-things which
could not be made subject to law-they
were called upon to legislate. Their
lordships, however, would do well to con-
sider what might be the consequences of
their legislation; for this was one of those
serious and important subjects in which,
if they should fail, they could not say that
they would be able to return to the state
in which they stood before their failure.
It became them to consider whether, by
expressing an apprehension of the Asso-
ciation, they would not give importance
to it, and increase substantially the very
powers which they were about to abridge
nominally, and thus furnish arms against
themselves. It was not necessary for his
purpose to take any opportunity of apolo-
gizing for, or explaining, the proceedings
of the Association. He thought nobody
had any right to judge of thpse proceed-


ings from report; but he had no object-
ion to state, that if the reports of the pro-
ceedings of the Association which had,
from time to time, reached him were cor-
rect, he saw much in those proceedings
to disapprove, both with respect to the
body collectively, and the members of it
individually. But, having said that, he
must also say, that he did not think it was
possible-certainly it was not probable-
that any large assembly, composed of
persons labouring under political griev-
ances, and agitated by what Protestants
called religious passions, or even those
circumstances apart, could meet and carry
on frequent debates on all subjects-
though God forbid that they should not
have the power-without circumstances
arising, or much being said and done,
which he and other persons, taking a
totally different view of the subject, must
disapprove of. He was likewise bound to
state, that there were some of the pro-
ceedings of the Association, of which he
entirely approved; but, because the pro-
ceedings of the Association were of that
mixed character, he would not therefore
attempt to put it down and extinguish it,
conceiving, as he did, that it grew almost
necessarily out of the condition of the
great majority of the population of Ire-
land. There existed on the surface of
society evils of all descriptions, resulting
from the habits and passions which de-
graded human nature, which no reason-
able man thought of attacking, because
they eluded the grasp, and deceived the
eye of legislation. If this was the case
with respect to the habits and passions of
society, how much stronger did it apply
where the opinions of society only were
concerned. In a country divided by
opinions on religious and political matters,
it was proper that individuals should have
an opportunity of presenting their opin-
ions publicly before the rest of the com-
munity. Whether the opinions promul-
gated were right or wrong-whether the
prejudices which existed were well or ill
founded-it was desirable that they should
be expressed openly, and not in secret
and confined places. Opinions resembled
those fluids and vapours with whose ex-
traordinary powers the world was daily
becoming more intimately acquainted,
which, if pent up, would explode and
sweep every thing before them; but
which, if allowed to mix with the free
and unadulterated air, lost at once their
mischievous powers. On that account,


Unlawful Associationls in Irelatid.








Unlawful Ass ciatioks in Ireland.


he thought that parliament ought to pause
before they attempted to suppress the
expression of opinions of which many
persons might even justly disapprove. He
would now move, That an humble Ad-
dress be presented to his majesty, praying
that he would be graciously pleased to di-
rect, that there be laid before the House,
copies of all despatches from the lord-
lieutenant of Ireland, relative to the reli-
gious and political Associations in that
country, and their consequences."
SThe Earl of Liverpool said, that when
any individual in that or any other assem-
bly was about to make a motion respect-
ing a particular proceeding, it would be
as well if he would take the trouble to in-
form himself 'of the nature of that pro-
ceeding. If the noble marquis had
thought proper to wait two or three days,
he might have fully satisfied himself with
respect to the proceeding to which his
motion referred. It was perfectly true,
that in the Speech from the throne, his
majesty after congratulating parliament
on the tranquil state of Ireland, alluded
to certain political associations, stated to
be pregnant with the worst consequences,
and called on their lordships to consider
whether any remedy could be applied to
those evils. It was also perfectly true,
that their lordships had carried up an ad-
dress to the throne, wherein they stated,
that they would take the subject into con-
sideration, and endeavour to ascertain
whether any remedy could be applied to
the evil pointed out by his majesty.
There the matter rested at present. The
noble marquis might know, from the votes
on the table, that it was the intention of
his majesty's ministers, in a few days, to
introduce, elsewhere, a measure applicable
to the subject which had been brought
under their notice byhis majesty's Speech;
and he conceived that it would have been
the proper and regular course for the noble
marquis to have waited to have seen, be-
fore he made his motion, what that mea-
sure was, with respect to which he ap-
peared to be completely mistaken. But,
he would argue the question on the sup-
position of the noble marquis. Thenoble
marquis said, that no attempt ought ever
to be made to abridge the liberty of the
subject, without an inquiry being insti-
tuted on information laid before parlia-
ment. If the noble marquis meant, that
no measure having for its object to
abridge the liberty of the subject ought
ever to be adopted without their lordships


being put in possession of sufficientgrounds
to justify such a proceeding, he perfectly
agreed with him in that proposition. But,
those grounds might be, as he should
have occasion to explain, facts of general
notoriety, which were as well known to
all their lordships, or might be, as they
were to the executive government. The
noble marquis had asked, on what princi-
ple the proposed measures were to pro.
ceed ? On the principle upon which
their lordships acted two years ago, when
they adopted a measure affecting what
were called Orange societies. Their
lordships on that occasion did not ask for
a tittle of evidence, or enter into any in-
quiry on the subject: but, could it be
said that any of their lordships knew half
as much of those societies as they did of
the Catholic Association ? He was not
arguing that their lordships, in acting in
that manner regarding the Orange socie-
ties, had acted rightly. He merely stated
the fact, that they acted without any in-
quiry or official information, and only on
the notoriety of the case. The advocates
of the Orange societies, if there had been
any in that House, might, with some
reason, owing to the nature of those so-
cieties, have asked for information re-
specting them; but, not so with respect
to the Catholic Association, the whole of
whose proceedings were public. If it
were intended that the measure about to
be brought forward should rest on official
information, or upon any principle of con-
fidence in his Majesty's government, he
would agree with the noble marquis, that
before their lordships adopted the mea-
sure, there would be fair ground for call-
ing for inquiry or information. He had
no difficulty in saying thus much-that
the measure intended to be introduced
would not be founded on any official in-
formation, nor on any principle of confi-
dence in government, nor, indeed, upon
any circumstances which might not be
equally as well known to any one of their
lordships as to his majesty's ministers.
It was the boast of the Catholic Associa-
tion-he alluded only to the fact, making
it neither matter of praise nor blame-
that all their proceedings were public-
that every thing they did, was done in the
face of day, and laid before the whole
world. If their lordships should think fit
to adopt any measure affecting the Asso-
ciation, they would adopt it on that which
was admitted by the Association, and
which nonmember of.it would deny. He


I FEB. 8, 1825.








Unlawful Associations in Ireland.


had already quoted one precedent for the
intended proceeding, and he might, he
had no doubt, have found manyothers if
he had sought for them. He could see
no ground for adopting such a motion as
the one proposed by the noble marquis,
at any time, much less when the mea-
sure to which it referred was not yet be-
fore their lordships.-The noble marquis
had thought proper to suggest all the dif-
ficulties which would occur in framing an
act which was to affect the Catholic As-
sociation, or other societies. Why should
their lordships discuss the subject in the
dark ? Let them wait till they could dis-
cuss it in the light. They would soon
have the measure before them, and might
deal with it as they should deem fitting.
The noble marquis assumed-for what
reason he could not divine-that the pro-
posed measure was the contrivance of the
noble and learned lord on the woolsack.
Why it should be supposed that the noble
and learned lord must be the contriver of
any measure of the kind, he was really at
a loss to imagine. Undoubtedly, the
noble and learned lord being one of his
majesty's official advisers, the measure
could not be introduced into parliament
without his concurrence, but certainly it
was not any part of his duty. The noble
marquis said, that the Irish government
had nothing to do with the measure. He
denied the correctness of that statement.
The measure was the measure of the Irish
government, approved of by the English
cabinet. It was the measure of the Irish
government, resulting from a deep sense
of its necessity to preserve peace and
tranquillity in Ireland.-He would not
then allow himself to be led into a dis-
cussion of the provisions of the bill, or of
the proceedings of the Catholic Associa-
tion; but he would ask, what must be
the effect of the political and religious ani-
mosities which such a society as the Catho-
lic Association must produce in that part
of the empire where it existed ? Could
the matter stop as it at present stood ? The
noble marquis had said, that there would
be inflammatory speeches made in all pub-
lic assemblies. He was disposed to admit
that to a certain extent, and also that such
speeches sometimes served as a vent for
angry feelings; and so far were not without
their advantages. But there was, in his
mind, a great and important difference
between inflammatory speeches made in
a divided assembly, and inflammatory
speeches made in an assembly whose


whole principle and object was plofessedly
to be united. If men of different persua-
sions were brought together to discuss a
particular measure, warmth on one side
would produce warmth on the other, and
it was impossible to contemplate it with
any degree of asperity. But, in an as-
sembly of men having all the same object,
and professing all the same thing, inflam-
matory addresses must be looked upon
with a different feeling. He was, how-
ever, willing to admit, that with those
qualifications, he was not disposed to lay
much stress on inflammatory speeches,
except in so far as they were constructive
of acts. The inflammatory speeches de-
livered in the Catholic Association had
been acted on but he would not go fur-
ther into that subject at present. The
noble marquis said, that some evidence
of what was the state of feeling in Ire-
land with regard to the Association was
to be found in the result of the proceed-
ings which had been instituted against one
of its most able and powerful members.
The case had failed before the grand jury.
He did not know the noble marquis could
draw any inference from the not finding
the bill, as to the opinion of the grand
jury, or any other body, with respect to
the Catholic Association. The individual
was indicted for uttering certain words,
which were considered by the law officers
of the Crown in Ireland, to be seditious.
The grand jury, however, did not ascribe
the same interpretation to the words that
the law officers had done; they therefore
ignored the bill, and the individual was
not sent to trial. Did that circumstance
lead to any inference whatever as to the
conduct of the Catholic Association, or
the light in which it was viewed in Ire-
land? He knew of nothing more in-
jurious to the liberty of the subject, and
the due administration of justice, than the
drawing of general conclusions from in-
dividual cases. It was the law of Eng-
land, that an accused individual was to
have the benefit of any doubts which
might exist in the minds of the grand or
the petty jury. He would be the last
man, after an accused individual had
been acquitted, to bring the case forward
again, unless it were a very gross one in-
deed. With those feelings, he bowed to
the decision of the jury: it was good for
the case under consideration, but he must
deny that it was applicable in a general way.
Having said thus much, he would add a
word with respect to the conduct of indivi-


[140


139] HOUSE OF LORDS,







141] Unlawful Associations in Ireland. FEB. 8, 1825. [142
duals; it was on the acts of the body itself now repeat, that if it were only for the
that the opinion of parliament should be interests of the Catholics themselves, the
founded. Whether, when the intended intended measure ought to be adopted.
measure came to be discussed, he could It was calculated to advance their inter-
or could not bring sufficient evidence of ests more than those of any other class.
the improper conduct of the Association, His objection to the motion was, that it
he would not at present discuss; but it was unprecedented, and that it had refer-
was impossible for him to allow the sub- ence to a measure of which the House at
ject to pass without alluding to one cir- present knew nothing. He also must
cumstance. If there had been inflamma- contend, that their lordships would stand
tory proceedings on the part of the Catho- in need of no information respecting that
lic Association, there never was a time measure, because it would be founded on
when they were less justifiable than the no special knowledge or official corres-
period at which he was speaking. There pondence in the hands of ministers, but
never was a time when they were less on that which was matter of notoriety,
justifiable on account of the prosperity of and might be in the possession of every
the country-if that were a consideration ; one of their lordships.
and by some it would be deemed so, be- Earl Grosvenor said, he should give his
cause distress always produced a moral decided support to the motion. It seemed
effect on the minds of individuals. There to him that the noble earl had altogether
never was a time when they were less misunderstood the drift of his noble friend.
justifiable on account of the general con- He had forgotten that the motion, which
duct of government for he called upon he referred only to a future bill, had arisen
the warmest advocates of the Catholics, out of the Speech of his majesty. The
and those who most strongly condemned noble earl had assumed that the Associa-
the policy by which Ireland had been tion was destructive of the peace and
hitherto governed, to declare, whether happiness of Ireland; but he should recol-
there ever had been a period when jus- lect that there were many persons, both in
tice had been more fairly administered and out of parliament, who had avowed it
between all parties, or when government as their opinion, that instead of producing
had shown a stronger desire to act with mischievous effects, it was calculated to
kindness towards the Catholic body, than secure the peace and advance the pros-
during the last few years. But that was perity of that country. For his own,
not all. The subject remained to be con- he would say to the Catholics of Ireland,
sidered in another point of view. He Persevere, and do not relax in your
had stated, on the first day of the session, legal endeavours to obtain your just
that he looked upon the Catholic Asso- rights and to secure the blessings of equal
citation, and those who supported it, as law for yourselves and your posterity."
being-unintentionally perhaps, the most Lord Holland observed, that the noble
of them-the greatest enemies of Ireland, earl opposite had commenced his speech
since they checked its prosperity, drove by an argument on the course of proceed-
wealthy people out of the country, stopped ing. The noble earl conceived that his
the flow of capital into it, and excited noble friend had submitted a motion which
animosities which it was the wish of the had reference to some measure about to
government to allay and remove. It be introduced to that House, and he was
was impossible such a body could ex- so prodigiously pleased with the discovery
ist without creating opposite associa- that he had ended his speech with a re-
tions, and thus defeating the object of go- capitulation of what he had said about it
vernment, who anxiously desired to ex- at the beginning: but, both at the com-
tinguish all religious differences, and to mencement and the end of his speech, and
promote peace and charity among all through the whole course of it, the noble
mankind. If parliament should not deal earl had very carefully and prudently ab-
equal justice, and put down all associa- stained from stating to their lordships
tions, what would be the consequence ? what the motion was, or from giving any
They must permit all associations; and if reasons why the information which it
they did, they would produce a state of sought should not be granted. He had
rancorous religious, and political ani- contented himself with saying, that the
mosity, totally incompatible with the well- motion had reference to something of
being of any country in the world. He which the House knew nothing. Now he
had said on a former night, what he would (lord H.) said, that the motion had refer-







43] HOUSE OF LORDS, Un
ence to the King's Speech, and to some
points stated in that document. The re-
fusal, and not the demand, of the infor-
mation on the present occasion, would be
unprecedented, indecent, and radically
unjust. How often had the noble earl
and his colleagues come down to that
House calling for committees, and furnish-
ing papers and information, which were all
to end in laws abridging the liberties of
the people? He had never heard any
person on his (lord H's) side of the House,
when the noble earl had brought down
his accursed green bags containing
volumes of papers libelling the people of
England, cry out What is the meaning
of all this? There is no bill before us:
it is in the House of Commons." Al-
though no man could feel a stronger ob-
jection than he did to the appointment of
committees for the purpose he had men-
tioned, he had never been heard to say,
" Do not go into the committee, because
you do not know what may be the result
of your inquiries." It was a strange pro-
position, that when the House was called
upon to apply a remedy to an evil, they
should not inquire into the nature and
extent of the evil because they did not
know what remedy might be adopted.
He was of opinion, that if the nature of
the motion were properly understood, it
would beimpossible for the House, if they
had any respect for their character, or
wished the measure about to be proposed
to carry any weight or consideration out
of doors, not to agree to it. The noble
earl said, that a precedent for the intended
measure was to be found in the bill which
the House passed respecting the Orange
Societies. He denied that it was a pre-
cedent. The noble earl was fond of pre-
cedents; and if he could have found any
better, he would not have been content
with such a curious one as that which he
had brought forward. The noble earl
took it for granted, that the House was
unanimous with respect to the bill which
affected the Orange Societies. Though
he (lord H.) did not take a strong part
against that bill, he said not content" to
its passing; and he felt that he ought to
be ashamed for not stating his reasons for
doing so at the time. He certainly enter-
tained no great predilection for the per-
sons affected by the bill, but he said not
content," because he disapproved of the
principle. How was it that the House
nwas reconciled to the law which the bill
enacted ? It was merely the extension


lawful Associations in Ireldnd.


of a law already existing in England. And
how did the House suppose that law
was originally introduced ? In a commit-
tee by the late lord Melville, then Mr.
Secretary Dundas, after a long and pain-
ful inquiry. The conduct of government
on the present occasion was quite unpre-
cedented. From what had fallen from
the noble earl, it seemed, that the pattern
and model to which he looked with respect
to the intended measure, was the Irish
Convention act. If he (lord H.) were
going to look for the model of any legis-
lative proceedings, it would not be in
the Irish Statute-book that he would
look for it. If he were going to look
for a precedent it would not be in the
frightful epoch of 1798 that he would
search for it with the least distrust. But
after all, the Irish parliament must have
justice done it. At the time the act
was passed there was a threat of a con-
vention to be held at Athlone, for pur-
poses legal in description, but there was
reason to suppose with other designs.
The opinions of the first lawyers of that
day were collected on the subject, and the
result was, the passing of the act. It
should be recollected, likewise, that we
were then on the eve of a war with that
country which held forth its arms to
receive the discontented of all countries,
but more particularly those under the
dominion of his Britannic Majesty.
What was the course then taken? The
noble keeper of the Privy Seal, sitting
opposite (the earl of Westmoreland),
was then viceroy of Ireland. He did not
know whether the noble earl would take
it as a compliment or a censure, when he
said, that he was never particularly squea-
mish with respect to what measures he
thought necessary for the protection of
government. Whatever might be the
merits of his oratory, the noble earl was
never very meally-mouthed in denouncing
against those who plotted against the
government. But, surrounded with all
the dangers to which he had alluded, what
had been the conduct of the noble earl
when he came down to the Irish parlia-
ment ?' Did he, as ministers had done on
the present occasion, mark out conven-
tions- for the notice of parliament in the
Speech from the throne? No, he recom-
mended conciliation and concession to the
Catholics. He began by a boon, and
-afterwards proceeded to adppt the mea-
sures which he thought necessary for the
safety of the'state. The Convention.aut


[141








of the 3$rd of the king was preceded which have adopted proceedings irrecon-
by the 29th of the king, which conferred cileable with the spirit of the constitution,
upon the Catholics almost the only privi- and calculated, by exciting alarm, and by
leges which they enjoyed. He was glad exasperating animosities, to endanger the
that his majesty had not himself delivered peace of society, and to retard the course
this Speech, in which he had been advised of national improvement." Now, there
to mark out byname this Association. He was nothing here to warrant haste on the
contended, that the nature of his noble part of the ministry, nor did his majesty
friend's motion was mistaken. The ques- recommend the hasty adoption of any
tion was not whether or not the alleged measure: the words were--" His majesty
grievance required a remedy; still less relies upon your wisdom to consider with-
was it, whether it was to be remedied in a out delay, the means of applying a remedy
particular mode; but the question before to this evil." Now, he knew no means of
their lordships was, whether they were to applying a remedy to an evil better than
proceed to the adoption of an important by inquiring what the nature of it was. A
measure with or without information on noble lord said, Let us hear what is the
the subject? It might be said, they nature of the evil in Ireland." To which
had the King's Speech. He admit- the noble earl replied, "6Yes you shall hear
ted they had; but first, he would consider it, but it shall be from my own mouth."
that paragraph of it which referred to Ire- There was, certainly, to use a term which
land. He had read that paragraph over hadbeenwellappliedelsewhere, something
and over again, and still he knew not how serpentine" in this part of the Speech.
to understand it. It began by saying, that On the one hand, there was a recommen-
the Irish were more prosperous and in- dation of inquiry, and on the other hand
dustrious than ever, and then it stated, an allegation of the existence of certain
that Associations existed in that country, evils. Let the House have all the infor-
which were an evil that called for a re- nation that was to be had on the subject;
medy. Now, if the noble earl meant that for surely it would not be treating the
no information should be afforded to the people on the other side of the water well
House until after the remedy was brought to recommend the adoption of some mea-
forward, why recommend an inquiry ? sure, without first letting the House know
Sure, after the remedy was adopted, their what that measure was. But before dis-
lordships might then go into the inquiry! cussing the necessity of removing any
*' This motion," said the noble earl is danger, it might be right to see if any
unparliamentary-Why, before you have danger existed. Let them 'look at the
a bill introduced, will you inquire whether passage upon this subject in his majesty's
you want a bill or not ?" He now came to Speech:-" It is therefore the more to be
the only information they had upon the regretted, that Associations should exist
subject; namely, the King's Speech; and in Ireland which have adopted proceed-
even according to that, if any measure ings irreconcilable with the spirit of the
were to be adopted upon it, it ought not constitution, and calculated by exciting
to be adopted rashly; for it was stated in alarm, and by exasperating animosities, to
that Speech, that the condition of Ireland endanger the peace of society, and to
was prosperous, therefore there was full retard the course of national improve-
time for inquiry. But, what was said of ment." Now, when he read this passage,
the evil ? With their lordships' permis- he looked round him to see what this As-
sion he would read the whole of that part sociation was; and it struck him that it
of the Speech. It is no small addition was the Irish cabinet. That, indeed, was
to the gratification of his majesty, that an Association contrary to the spirit of
Ireland is participating in the general the constitution of this country; for it
prosperity. The outrages for the suppres- was formed upon a system of disunion and
sion of which extraordinary powers were counteraction, which might be seen in
confided to his majesty, have so far ceased every one of its measures, and which was
as to warrant the suspension of the exer- only equalled in this respect by the English
cise of.those powers in most of the districts cabinet. It now seemed that the spirit
heretofore disturbed. Industry and com- of compromise which pervaded the acts
mercial enterprise are extending them- of this cabinet ran further, and found its
selves.in that part of the united kingdom. way into the King's Speech. It was
It is, therefore, the more to be regretted marked by the greatest inconsistencies,
that Associations should exist in Ireland like the conduct of the Attorriey-genoral
VOL. XII. L


1451


U1,14wtful Associations in Ireland.


F;Ev. 8, 1825. 146'







147] HOUSE OF LORDS, Unlanwful Associations in Ireland. 148
of Ireland, who ran into the opposite ex- I conjured them, as they valued the safety
tremes, and cried Crom-a-boo," and i of the empire-he conjured them, as they
(I Butler-a-boo" also. Could any thing valued the liberties of their fellow-subjects
be more likely to perpetuate the animosi- -he conjured them, as they valued the
ties alluded to than this ? It pervaded character of the laws of this country-
not only the actions of ministers, but the not to have recourse, without full and
Speech of his majesty to that House. substantiated evidence of that necessityY
The serpentine line pervaded every part to so baneful and disgusting a measure.
of it- Earl Bathurst said, his noble friend had
---- Penitusque in viscera lapsum not contended for the proposed measure,
Serpentis furiale malum, totamque pererrat." i except upon such public information as
The real question before their lordships would leave no doubt of its necessity. He,
was, whether or not, when they were however, must despair of the vote of the
called on from the throne to legislate on noble baron opposite, if, looking to the
evils said to exist in Ireland, they were to spirit of the proceedings of the Catholic
do so in the dark? The evils here Association in Ireland, he did not consider
described were, exciting alarm and ex- it essential to the tranquillity of that
asperating animosities, and thereby en- country that such an Association should
dangering the peace of society, and not be permitted to exist. His noble
retarding the prosperity of the country. friend had stated, that he would not be
Now, the line of conduct adopted by the drawn into a premature discussion of the
government seemed to him to be exactly means by which associations were to be
calculated to keep up these animosities, putdown. When the bill should bebrought
until one of the parties at length carried forward, their lordships would have an
its object by force; for he could not help opportunity of judging whether the means
thinking the present measure the most suggested were adequate to the end pro-
impolitic that ever was proposed. When posed on the one hand, or trenched too
the Convention act was passed in Ireland, much on the liberty of the subject on the
that great and good man, Mr. Grattan other. The individual who was to bring
(the greatest and the best his country ever forward this bill was the secretary for
produced), called it an act for the gratifi- Ireland. It was, therefore, to be considered
cation of spleen. That act empowered a strictly as an Irish measure, recommended
magistrate to dissolve any assembly, and by the government of Ireland.
take the Speaker's chair away, and turn The Earl of Carnarvon stated, that he
him out of doors, save and except the was surprised that the noble lord on the
knights, burgesses, and citizens in parlia- other side should oppose the motion, after
ment assembled (which saving clause, by so many things had been brought forward
the way, did not save them, for they by his majesty's ministers, which they
shortly afterwards ceased to sit), and were pleased to call statements; though
save and except the congregation of a he could not find that any thing had been
church. Now they (the House of Lords), stated. The noble lord refused them in-
in framing a similar act at present, must formation, although he wished to persuade
draw up a clause, saving and excepting them that there existed in Ireland some-
his majesty's cabinet of ministers, and thing dangerous to the constitution, and
those councils to be summoned for the that it was that something that had
advice of his majesty-He had, perhaps, induced them to put into his majesty's
trespassed too long upon the attention of Speech words for the purpose of inducing
the House, consideringthe narrow grounds the House to adopt measures likely to
on which the question before their lord- trench on the liberty of the subject. In
ships rested. If they took the necessity what a situation were they placed by the
of any measure for granted without re- noble lords? For his own part, he sup-
ceiving any information respecting it, posed, that as the cabinet was made up of
contrary to all custom, and all reason, members of very diversified opinions, so,
such a measure, when adopted would have in type of the disarrangement contained
the character of passion or of servility, and therein, the Speech had been organized by
not the character of justice. If the each putting in a sentence, some of which
necessity did exist, where so many millions were contradictory of others, and the
were to be affected by the measure, it address that had been returned in answer
was,indeed, afrightful necessity, still their to the Speech, was, as usual, an echo of
lordships were bound to obey it; but he what it contained. To that address he







FE. 8, 1825. [150


had said Not-content, and he had done
so, because it did not pledge them to
make every inquiry, and give his majesty
such advice as they might think essential
to the safety of the kingdom, but pledged
them to adopt measures for the remedy of
an evil with which they were not to be
made acquainted. And then they were
told, that it was no business of theirs; that
they were to gather their information
from another place; that they were to
wander on in the dark. To the address,
therefore, he had not give his consent,
as he considered the pledge that it con-
tained a rash one. For even if they were
to receive any light on the subject, whence
was it to come ? Was the bill that should
be sent up to them from the House of
Commons to be their only source of in-
formation ? Were their lordships to say
Content or Not-content, without asking
for further information, or exercising their
own judgment ? Were they to proceed in
this way, upon such a measure as this,
when they would require evidence before
them in support of the most unimportant
private bill? The noble earl said, that all
the information was to be derived from
the newspapers; and in the same breath he
stated, that the proposed measure was to
be founded on the despatches received
from the lord lieutenant of Ireland, and
not on the notoriety of the circumstances
which called for it. The ministers said to
the House, We act on despatches; the
newspapers are enough for you." Why
not give the facts, and the reasons on
which the Irish government asked for this
step ? Ifa rebellion or conspiracy was to
be put down-if captain Rock was in the
field-then would they have loaded the
table with documents. But Ireland was
now tranquil. The people had appealed
to the laws. By their peaceable and con-
stitutional conduct they had disconcerted
the cabinet. But, was it really true, that
this information was withheld from a
feeling, on the part of the noble earl at
the head of the law department, that no
bill could be framed to meet the exigency
of the case? Was this the true cause of
this reserve? It was quite wonderful that
the usual topics of declamation should no
longer find a supporter amongst them.
Strange. that their lordships should hear
nothing of" steady loyalty," and rally-
ing about the throne"-topics which used
to be so eagerly seized upon by the noble
lords opposite, upon occasions such as
this. The real cause of fear on tie palt


of the cabinet, was the unanimity of the
people of Ireland. They had reason to
apprehend much from the harmony, the
unprecedented concord, of the Catholics;
and, when they talked of the dangerous
acts of this body, they ought to be told,
that the most dangerous acts which could
be committed, were those of passing
measures of severity, without exhibiting
to the world the facts that would justify
them. He should give his support to the
motion.
The lords then divided ; for the motion
20. Against it 42. Majority against the
motion, 22.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, February 8.
UsURY LAws REPEAL BILL.] Mr.
Serjeant Onslow rose, in pursuance of
notice, to submit to the consideration of
the House, a subject which, in the course
of the last session, had met with consider-
able support, the numbers in favour of the
second reading of the measure being 120,
and the amendment having only had the
support of 23 hon. members. Recollecting
the manner in which the Speech from the
throne had approved of those liberal mea--
sures which the House had adopted,
respecting free trade; recollecting the
unanimous address of the House favouring
the removal of all those absurd restric-
tions which had been heaped upon com-
merce, he could not but anticipate, in
favour of his proposition, the strongest
support. If ever there was a system of
laws founded, he would not say in bad
policy, but in no policy at all, it was the
system of regulations respecting usury.
But he had so often had occasion to enter
into arguments on the subject, that he
thought it unnecessary to fatigue the
House at present. In the course of the
discussion last year, no objection had been
made to the principle of the measure, but
they had heard many predictions of the
evil consequences likely to arise therefrom.
Now, in the first place, he would take
leave to say, that the fear of some incon-
veniences was no answer to his argument.
In legislation, we must look at the greater
and the lesser evil; and it appeared to
him, that there never was a period more
suitable for such an alteration in the law
as he proposed, than the present. No one
could deduce an objection from the pre-
sent state of the money market. Many
contended that no alteration ought to be


149]


Usury Laws Repeal Bill.








1511 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
made, because at present the law was
inoperative; but, it seemed to him much
wiser to make the change now, than to
defer the improvement to a period of dif-
ficulty and danger. The learned serjeant
then entered into the further objections
urged against his measure, and concluded
by moving, for leave to bring in a bill to
repeal the laws prohibiting the taking of
Interest for Money, or limiting the rate
thereof."
Mr. Davenport opposed the motion, on
the ground that it would involve the
landed interest in ruin; and expressed his
determination to take the sense of the
House upon it.
Mr. John Smith expressed his regret at
the disposition he perceived to resist the
introduction of this very beneficial mea-
sure. It was certainly in the hon. mem-
ber's power to do so, though the practice
was now extremely rare. Indeed, he
looked upon this species of opposition as
a triumphant proof of the excellence of
his learned friend's bill, which had been
supported by arguments which he had
never heard answered. He trusted that
his hon. and learned friend would not
pursue the course which he did last year.
That course-he spoke it without the
slightest intention to blame his hon. and
learned friend-had led to the ultimate
defeat of his bill. His hon. and learned
friend had deferred his measure, not once
or twice, but a dozen times at least, to
meet the convenience of the gentlemen
who opposed it; and the result of his
conciliatory conduct had been, that they
had assembled one night, when no dis-
cussion was expected, in numbers suffici-
ent to throw it out. He hoped that if
his hon. and learned friend carried his
motion that night, he would bring forward
the second reading of his bill on a very
early day, when there was certain to be a
full attendance of members. He was
convinced that the opposition which was
threatened by the landed interest, origin-
ated entirely in mistaken notions on the
subject.
Mr. Curwen said, that he was one of
those who had invariably opposed tlhe
measure, and with his views upon the
question he did not think that he should
have performed his duty if he had not
stated, and acted upon, his sentiments.
He thought that the present was a most
injudicious period for bringing forward
the subject, when the money market was
so overstocked, and speculative theories


Irish Marriage Acts.


[152


were so numerous. He would hold by
the old laws, and would even propose
to enact them, if they did not exist, iii
consequence of the numerous speculations
now abroad, which viere such as to stagger
credibility. If he was rightly informed,
these speculations would require a capital
of 160 millions to carry them into effect.
Mr. Serjeant Onslow considered the
argument just advanced by the hon.
member for Cumberland, to be the most
extraordinary of all he had ever heard in
support of tie usury laws. If the hon.
member for Cheshire thought fit to take
the sense of the House upon his motion,
it was, though not very courteous, cer-
tainly parliamentary for him to do so.
The House then divided ; for the motion
52. Against it 45. Majority, 7.

COUNTY COURTS SMALL DEATS
BILL.] Lord Althorp, rose to move for
leave to bring in a bill, "for preventing
delays and expenses in the proceedings
of County Courts, and for the more easy
and speedy Recovery of Small Debts in
England and Wales." He observed, that
after the former discussions on the princi-
ple of the proposed measure, it was not
necessary to enter into any details, as the
bill he should have the honour to intro-
duce, was precisely the same as that of
last year, with one exception. It was in
the recollection of the House, that the
reason of the rejection of that bill was,
that it did not provide compensation for
the sinecure offices. It certainly was his
individual opinion then, that such officers
should not be compensated, and that con-
victionhe still entertained. As, however,
the want of such a provision hazarded the
passing of the bill, and as he felt that
the value of the principle was more than
an equivalent for the exception, he should
introduce a clause granting such compen-
sation. He should, however, propose
the appointment of a select committee,
with the view of ascertaining how many
officers were entitled to compensation,
and he believed that the inquiry would
prove that the number was smaller than
was apprehended.-Leave was given to
bring in the bill.

IRISH MARRIAGE ACTS.] Dr. LuSh-
ington rose to move for the copy of a
committal of four persons to the gaol of
Londonderry, on an alleged violation of
the Irish Marriage Acts. It appeared,
from the statement of the citctnstances







158]


IrI Marriage Acts.


which had been given to him, and which
he had every reason to believe correct in
all the main facts, that two men, profess-
ing the Popish religion, were married by
a Roman Catholic clergyman to two
females of the Church of Scotland, Pres-
byterians. On that event taking place, it
so happened, that an information had been
laid before certain magistrates of the
county of Londonderry. On the receipt
of such information, they issued summons.
es to the four married persons, and called
upon them to give evidence as to the
Catholic clergyman who married them.
They refused, and were committed to the
common gaol, there to remain for three
years without bail or mainprize. In that
prison the husbands and wives were kept
apart. That, at least, was no part of the
statute. The only offence, it would be
recollected, of which these husbands and
Wives were guilty, was, that they refused
to give evidence of what the law called the
illegality of the celebration of the mar-
riage, and refused to betray the clergyman
*hom they solicited to perform a certain
tct. He held in his hand an abstract of
the various statutes passed, from time to
titie, by the parliament of Ireland, to
prevent the intermarriage of Protestants
and Catholics, through the intervention
of a clergyman of the latter persuasion.
Such a catalogue was a melancholy il-
lustration of the merciless spirit which
actuated the legislature in that country.
It shewed the object at which they aimed,
and that they were actuated by no regard,
whether or not the principles of justice
and of law stood in their way. Such a
violation they disregarded, as well as the
feelings and natural disaffection of those
persons on whom these laws were to ope-
rate. Though the severity of those very
enactments was calculated to render them
inoperative, the men who acted under
such a spirit of legislation were never
awakened to the real evil. Severity
followed severity, and each succeeding act
exceeded the other in the malignity of its
provisions. The act of the 8th of Anne
made the celebration of a marriage by a
Catholic clergyman, between a Catholic
and a Protestant, a capital felony; and in
Order to secure a conviction, it presumed,
that the mere fact of one of the parties so
married being a Protestant, was compe-
tent evidence against the Rddian Catholic
priest, thht he knew it. In all our penal
statutes-auid every 6eilighteied mashre-
gretted their number-. he watcohfvindci:


FnB. 8, 1895. [154
it was iiipossible to adduce one where the
first principles of justice were so Violated,
and where that great dictate of morals
and law was so sacrificed; namely, that
innocence was to be presumed unfil guilt
was proved. Mark the preamble oftheact
of 12th Geo 1Ist, which made'the trime
a capital felony. One would have sups
posed that some crying evil called for
such an enactment. No such thing. Ai
act, that thus created a capital felony
satisfied itself with merely declaring that
it was necessary to prevent these clandes.
tine marriages in consequence of the in-
convenience which they produced tW
private families. Nay, mores The ma-
gistrates were empowered, if they but
suspected that such a clandestine marriage
was celebrated, to summon the parties
before them, examine them on oath, and
in the event of their refusal to giv6
evidence against the clergyman, or to be
bound in special recognizances, to etotaft
them for three years to gaol, withuu
bail or mainprize. The last act, that of
1793, voided the marriage thus celebra-
ted, and imposed a fine on the clergyman
of 5001. A difference of legal opinion
existed in Ireland, whether by this act
the former Marriage acts were repealed or
not. If they were not repealed, there arose
the anomaly, that the clergyman inlght be
hanged by one act, and aftertaeds fined
5001. by another. It became the bounden
duty of that House to prevent such odious
and repugnant occurrencess as that to
which his present notion referred. With
that view, he had felt it his duty to bring
forward the subject and to move forthe pro-
duction of a copy of the committal of the
imprisoned parties. He was most glad
to be the humble instrument of providing
against the repetition of such enormittiei
and of taking care that the sacred institu-
tion of marriage, in which were'involved
the dearest blessings of humanity, was no
longer perverted into a source of national
disquietude and party exasperation. The
learned gentleman concluded with moving
for the "copy of the committal in No.
member, 1824. of W. Quigley, J. Kyle,
F. O. Kane; Anne and Martha Loudin,
to the gaol of Londonderry."
Sir G. Hill did not rise to oppose the
motion, nor yet to discuss the policy 6f
those statutes, which made it highly penal
fdr a Popish priest, to celebrate marriage
between Protestants and Roman Catho-
lids. They might be tIo -evere; they
might afford doubt respecting the atenht








155] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
of their legal operation; it would be for
future discussion how far they ought to be
altered or amended. Their object was
to prevent the growth of Popery, and the
learned doctor must be aware that the
English as well as the Irish Statute Book
was fully provided with enactments to
that intent. He rose for the purpose of
vindicating the characters, and justifying
the proceedings of six magistrates of the
county of Derry; and although they were
treated by the learned doctor with deli-
cacy, yet the very nature of his motion,
that a copy of commitment signed by
them against individuals, the proceed-
ings against whom he reprobated, should
be produced, unnecessarily called down
some reproach upon them. He would
satisfy the House that those persons were
free from the slightest blame; that they
had acted correctly as magistrates. They
were men of independent fortune, of in-
dependent minds, of education, intelligent,
active in performance of all their duties
as magistrates and resident country gentle-
men. Yet all these qualifications did not
protect them from being arraigned, tried,
found guilty, and punished, before the
Catholic Association. That omnipotent
body took cognisance of their proceed-
ings; and he would shew that it was
one of the hundred instances where, in
that nest of evils insufferable, interference
with the constituted authorities had been
exercised. They were arraigned each by
name, by the leading director there.
They were charged with unworthy mo-
tives towards the Roman Catholic popu-
lation, menaced with their hostility, .re-
probated in the severest terms, and, finally,
a decree was passed to apply sufficient
means from.that all-powerful engine, the
Popish Exchequer, to bring actions
against them. He would now state the
circumstances which led to the displeasure
of this disgusting assembly. A Mr. Neil
O'Flaherty, a Roman Catholic clergyman,
had, in the course of last summer, excited
much uneasiness in Newtown-Limavady,
in the county of Derry, amongst the Pres-
byterian congregation, by celebrating mar-
riages between females of that persuasion
and Roman Catholic men. The families
and parents of the women applied to
the presbytery of Derry for protection.
Instead of immediately prosecuting Mr.
O'Flaherty, the Presbytery adopted the
milder method in the first instance, of
remonstrance. He acquiesced at once to
all appearance, andwrote an address to the


Irish Marriage-Acts.


Presbytery, in which he acknowledged his
error, which arose from hissupposition that
the law meant only to apply to the people
of the established church when it named
Protestants; that he sincerely regretted
what he had done; and concluded with
giving an assurance that he would not
ever again transgress in like manner.
But Mr. O'Flaherty had a curate, whose
name was O'pagan, and in autumn last he
went to work in a similar manner. This
excited much agitation amongst the Pres-
byterians; and on the 4th or 5th of
Nov. last the magistrates before-named
were assembled in the town of Newtown
at petty sessions for general purposes,
when the parents and relations of two
young women named Loudin, complained
against priest O'Hagan for having cele-
brated a marriage between Anne Loudin,
a Protestant, and John Kyle, a papist;
and Martha Loudin a Protestant, and
William Quigley, a papist. All the parties
were summoned, and all' appeared ex-
cept the priest. They refused to be ex-
amined, and were committed to the county
gaol for three years, or until they should
submit to be examined. They did not
remain in gaol, as the learned doctor had
stated, for some weeks. After being con-
fined for two or three days, they expressed
a desire to be brought before a magistrate
for the purpose of obeying the law; and
he (sir G. Hill), with the mayor of
Derry, waited upon them in the gaol on
Sunday the 8th Nov., took their informa-
tions and recognisances, which they most
cheerfully gave, and they were liberated.
The magistrates had no discretion in this
commitment. The complaining parties
were before them, calling for the exercise
of the law, which directs, that those sus-
pected of being present at the celebration
of the marriage shall, on refusing to be
examined, be committed, as was done in
this case. Although the learned doctor
had for the most part quoted the statute
with much correctness, he was mistaken
if he supposed an idea was ever enter-
tained, that the priest was liable to the
penalty ofthe 12th of George 1st., by which
his offence was made felony without
benefit of clergy. The warrant for his ap-
prehension was for having incurred the
penalty of 5001. under the 33rd George
3rd. which' was bailable. He would not
argue that the law ought not to be amend-
ed; but, to what extent or with what
policy, he would not now offer any opin-
ion. He had risen merely for the purpose


[156







157] Irish Mrriage Acts.
of vindicating his valuable friends from
the unworthy imputation of mixing any
other feeling than conscientious discharge
of duty in their proceedings as magis-
trates, and to deprecate the mischievous
interference of the Catholic Association
with the constituted authorities of the
land.
Mr. John Smith begged leave to ask
the right hon. baronet what he meant,
when he charged the Catholic Association
with an attempt to excite rebellion and
hatred against the magistrates who acted
in this affair ? What language had they
made use of, or what were those particular
acts, which shewed any wish to excite the
Catholic population to vengeance ? He
had read their speeches, and observed
their conduct, and his memory did not
supply him with any thing that could be
construed into a threat of personal ven-
geance. It was true that they shewed a
disposition to apply part of the funds they
had collected to prosecute individuals
where circumstances seemed to warrant
it, against injustice. Such an object ap-
peared to him not only right, but most
excellent. He saw no better way in
which their money could be disposed of,
than in affording the means of protection
against injustice and personal oppression.
Mr. Dawson said, that if the hon. gen-
tleman had paid sufficient attention to
this particular case, to the events that
were passing last summer in Ireland, and
the effects produced by the speeches and
conduct of the Association, he would not
have found it necessary to put such a
question to his right hon. friend. He
would tell the hon. gentleman that the
Association did excite the people to feel-
ings of hatred and hostility against their
Protestant fellow-subjects, and those
worthy magistrates in particular. In
their debates the names of these gentle-
men were held up to reproach, by one of
the most furious of their demagogues.
The reports of his speeches were pub-
lished and sent down to that part of the
country in which these gentlemen resided.
They were read by the Roman Catholics;
and the consequence was, that they who
before were held in the highest estimation
and respect, and were on the best footing
with their Roman Catholic neighbours,
could not stir from their houses without
being assailed with expressions of hatred,
and menaces of violence from the Catholic
population. Previous to this time they
were so much respected among all classes,


FEB. 8, 1825. [1b8
that they had no reason to apprehend any
thing of the kind; but, the moment the
furious language of reproach and hatred
uttered by Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Shiel, and
other demagogues, became known, from
that moment these worthy magistrates
were placed in a state of terror and alarm.
This he thought was a pretty fair answer,
and it was a true answer, to the question
of the hon. gentleman. In every part of
the country, the speeches and proceedings
of this infamous, unconstitutional, and
most mischievous body, had gone forth to
sow discontent. In the north, the Ca-
tholic mind was thus alienated from their
Protestant fellow-subjects, and they were
taught to look upon them as their worst
enemies. Many of the gentlemen of that
part of the country were, it was true,
from principle, opposed to any further ex-
tension of privileges to Roman Catholics;
but, in all other respects, they were their
friends. The Association was the cause
of this. They were chargeable with the
whole of the evils; with having scattered
distrust through all the relations of life.
He thanked the learned doctor for the
manner in which he had brought forward
this question. He had confined himself
to the statement of the law upon the sub-
ject, and to the view he took of it. The
Catholic Association did not act in this
manner; but endeavoured to turn it into
a source of bitterness and hatred. He
concurred in opinion with the learned
doctor, that the law required alteration.
So far as he was informed, it was the
opinion of every lawyer in Ireland, that
the 33rd Geo. 3rd. repealed the penal part
of the previous statute, which made it
felony without benefit of clergy for a Ca-
tholic priest to marry two Protestants or
a Catholic and a Protestant. By 33 Geo.
3rd. the penalty of 5001. was substituted
in place of the punishment provided by
the other statute. This was now the
generally received opinion. If, however,
any doubt remained on the subject, the
law ought to be altered. At all events,
whatever the state of the law might be,
the conduct of the magistrates was com-
pletely free from blame. His right hon.
friend had detailed the facts of the case
very correctly. He had omitted, however,
a few circumstances. He had stated,
that the name of the priest who celebrated
the marriage was O'Flaherty, and that the
Presbyterian clergyman, when the fact
became known to him, threatened a pro-
secution. The priest wrote a letter ace







159] HOUSE QF LORDS,


knowledging his error, and promising that
he would in future abstain from offending
in the same way. Now, Mr. O'Hagan
was aware of the promise that had been
thus made, and yet he married these two
young women, having previously bound
them and the other parties by an oath of
secrecy not to appear as witnesses. In
consequence of refusing to give evidence
they were sent to prison. When relieved
from the apprehensions of incurring the
censure of the priest if they should give
evidence against him, they were very
ready to appear. Mr. O'Hagan, however,
had thought proper to fly the country.
Mr. North said, that happening to
know the state of the case, he would take
upon himself to declare that few offences
were of more serious consequence than
the transactions in question. For as, by
the law, all such marriages were invalid,
the children by them were of course ille-
gitimate, and in nine cases out of .ten the
women were abandoned, and left to desti-
tution. The joke of the learned doctor,
that a man might :be changed first, and
fined 5001. afterwards, was a very stale
one in Ireland; although, perhaps, it
might still amuse Doctors' Commons in
this country. As to the fact, no lawyer
doubted that the 33rd of the late king
repealed the former act, by which the
offence in question was constituted a
felony. He by no means, however, meant
to give an opinion on the merits of the
acts under consideration ; nor, on the
other hand, was he desirous that his silence
should be construed into hostility against
them. It was a serious question whether
such marriages should be invalidated or
not. Still less was he disposed, on the
present occasion, to say any thing of the
Catholic Association, except that the
steps which they took in the instance
alluded to, were of a piece with the whole
of-their conduct.
Mr. Grattan.was so far from consider-
ing that the conduct of the Catholic Asso-
ciation had been injurious in Ireland, that
he was persuaded the country was never
quieter than at present. Hie was ac-
quainted with facts which proved, that if
any disturbance had occurred, it was
attributable to that party-to which the
hon. under-secretary was attached. He
put it to the hon. gentleman, whether it
wasquite fair to attack, as he had done,
individuals who were pot present to de-
fen4 themseislv. iThose individuals were
menof :high haracter. With respect to


the subject before the House, he felt
grateful to his learned friend for having
brought it forward, as it was one of con-
siderable importance.
Dr. Lushington said, that notwithstand-
ing what had fallen from a learned gentle-
man opposite, considerable doubts existed
whether or not the penal statutes that
had been alluded to were absolutely
repealed. No one could deny, that to
compel the parties to give evidence
against those whom they had induced to
commit the offence, was a gross violation
of the laws of God and man. The right
hon. baronet opposite had pronounced a
splendid panegyric on the magistrates in
question. He (Dr. L.) haol never at-
tacked them. But, so it always was. Let
the slightest imputation be thrown out
against an individual, and immediately
they were overwhelmed with the praises
of the whole body to which he belonged.
It was singular enough, that in this case,
where the magistrates were represented
to be popular with the Catholics before
this act, they became the reverse after-
wards; which was a conclusive proof of
the impolicy of the statute that could
lead to such a spirit of animosity.
The motion was agreed to.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, February 10.
COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF IRE-
LAND.] The Earl of Liverpool rose, in
pursuance of the notice he had given, to
move the appointment of a committee .to
inquire into the State of Ireland in a more
extended manner than the inquiry which
took place last session. In doing this, he
did not think it would be necessary for
him to trouble their lordships with many
words; but he should beg leave first .to
state the general object of the motion,
and the course of proceeding which .he
thought ought to 'be followed. Their
lordships were aware, that last session a
committee was appointed by their lord-
ships, to inquire into the state of certain
disturbed districts in Ireland, which were
subject to the Insurrection act. The
principal ground for appointing that com-
amittee was, to enable the House to judge
of the necessity'of continuing that act,
and the inquiry was very properly con-
fined -to the counties which were then
subject to -the operation of the act; and
likely toremain so. But, though the in-
quiy. was, in point of ,fprm, limited as-to


Cotq#Oeeb~ on tA;1-Xqtp of Ireland.







16i1


Committee on the State of Ireland.


locality, it was extended to many other
subjects than the state of the disturbed
districts; and, indeed, became almost
general. The noble lords who composed
that committee would do his majesty's
government the justice to say, that no
disposition was shown on their part to
narrow the inquiry, and that a more con-
venient course of investigation could not
have been pursued. In consequence of a
question put the other night by the noble
marquis opposite; namely, whether the
powers of the committee proposed to be
appointed would be such as to enable
them to extend their investigation to the
whole of Ireland ; he had then answered,
that he had no objection so to extend it;
but that he meant to introduce some
words into his motion which he thought
it would be right for him now to state.
Those words would, however, be intro-
duced more with the view of directing
the committee to the object of investiga-
tion, than from any wish to limit the in-
quiry. He would, therefore, move for a
committee to inquire into the state of Ire-
land, and more particularly with regard
to the circumstances which led to the dis-
turbances in those parts of the kingdom
which were the subject of inquiry last ses-
sion. Under these terms, no fair subject
of examination would be excluded. But,
in thus appointing a committee to inquire
into the actual state of Ireland, he cer-
tainly did not mean to refer to it that
particular subject which was commonly
called the Catholic question. That was
a subject of too paramount importance
to be consigned to an inquiry of this kind.
It was competent for any member of their
lordships' House to propose the discussion
of that question; but he could not con-
sent to itsbeing specifically referred to ase-
lect committee, or to any committee which
did not include every member of their
lordships' House. It was, therefore, not
with the view of having the Catholic
question considered that he made the
present motion. But, while he said this,
it was not his intention to limit the in-
quiry, as to those facts which might re-
late to,, or have a bearing on, the Catholic
question. If there were facts connected
with that question which, in the judgment
of any noble lord, might throw light on
the inquiry, he would not object to their
being investigated. With regard to the
composition of the committee, he should
name for its members the same noble
lords who composed the committee of last
VOL. XII.


FEB. 10, 1823. [162'


year, with the exception of some who
were either absent or wished to be ex-
cused from attending. A noble friend of
his who sat on the committee of last year,.
was absent on the continent, and he should;
therefore move to appoint lord Fitzgibbon
in the room of the earl of Aberdeen; and
as earl Fitzwilliam, on account of his age,
did not wish to continue on the committee,
he would propose in his stead, the duke,
of Devonshire.
The Earl of Darnley reminded their
lordships, that twelve months had not
elapsed since he had, in vain, pleaded for
that general inquiry into the state of Ire-
land which the noble earl now proposed.
Upon that occasion the importance of the-
subject procured a very numerous attend-
ance of their lordships, and his motion
was negatived by a great majority; six-
teen only having thought fit to support it.
In stating this, he did not mean to claim
the present motion as his thunder." On
the contrary, he assured their lordships,
that he was perfectly well content to'
leave the thunder in the hands of the
Jupiter who had undertaken to wield it.
If, however, the noble earl meant to in-
quire into the state of Ireland without
making the Catholic question his main
object, and obtaining information respect-
ing that question from those most capable
of furnishing it, his inquiry would be use-
less. Their lordships would recollect,
that when he brought forward last session.
the motion to which he had alluded, the,
Catholic question was the principal ground
on which he founded it. Indeed, to over-
look the Catholic question in an inquiry
into the state of Ireland, was to imitate
the strolling company who advertised the
performance of the tragedy of Hamlet,
with the part of Hamlet, for that night,
omitted. The more their lordships ex-
amined the subject, the more would they
be convinced that Ireland never could be
satisfied, until the just claims of the
Catholics were satisfied. It would be
well for ministers now to look the ques-
tion fairly in the face. He was not sur-
prised that they wished to check the
Catholic Association. That was only
the consequence of their own neglect. If
that body had become, as was said, dan-
gerous to the state, the fault was theirs,
who, in defiance of common sense and
common justice, had uniformly refused to
listen to the just claims of the Catholics,
The Marquis of Lansdoztn did not rise
to oppose the motion, which in so fa as
M








f131 HOUSE OF LORDS, Committee on the State of Ireland. [164
it proposed an inquiry into the state of exclude from the constitution the great
Ireland, free from the limitation under majority of the people of Ireland must
which the inquiry of last session was un- not be looked into by the committee."
dertaken, met his approbation. He wish- The noble earl in his caution on this
vd to learn from the noble earl whether question, resembled Marc Antony, who
the report of the commissioners appointed gave licence to men's tongues on all his
to inquire into the state of education in other faults, but not a word of Cleopatra.
Ireland was likely to be soon presented to The noble earl was willing that the com-
the House. That was an inquiry of great mittee should take the state of Ireland
importance; second only to that which fully into their consideration ; but as for
the noble earl was about to institute, the Catholic question, on that they must
The Earl of Liverpool understood the not touch. He had admitted the exist-
report was in a state of considerable for- ence of disease, but not a word must be
wardness. He was anxious that the re- said about the remedy. It could not but
port should be presented as soon as pos- be confessed, however, that the inquiry,
sible; but from the great importance of though late, was still acceptable. He re-
the subject, he did not think it consistent joiced most sincerely at the appointment
with his duty to press for its completion of the committee, because he was sure its
with a haste which would not allow time labours must prove useful. It was true,
for its proper digestion. the thing was unexpected. It was not
Lord Holland believed there would be easy to tell whence it came, and still more
an unanimous vote in favour of themotion, difficult to say whither it would go. The
but, considering that the noble earl had noble earl certainly could not say that it
always shown himself so fastidiously criti- grew out of the committee last year, for
cal on the subject of parliamentary in- it was a proposition of a different nature,
quiry, he could not help thinking it strange and the ground on which that committee
that the noble earl should consent to the was appointed did not now exist. After
present investigation, without assigning all, it was, perhaps, intended, that the
any reason for so extraordinary a change proceeding should be a kind of historical
of opinion. Instead of laying any new inquiry-an investigation into the causes
ground for his motion, the noble earl had of the late disturbances; for there were
merely stated his disposition not to limit now no disturbances to inquire about.
the inquiry. Now, their lordships would He acquiesced, however, most cordially,
recollect, that many persons whose rank, in the motion; for he believed it impos-
wealth, talents, and intimate connexion sible to go into a general inquiry on the
with Ireland entitled their opinion to re- state of Ireland without seeing the neces-
spect, had repeatedly urged the noble sity of including the Catholic question.
earl to agree to a general inquiry into the Notwithstanding the noble earl's attempt
state of Ireland, but without success. A at the exclusion of that question, he was
motion for that object, made by his noble glad the measure was proposed. The
friend last session, had been rejected ; and measure in itself was good, though the
the only inquiry to which the noble earl point of time was bad. It had come at
would consent, was one which was limited last, it was true; but coming so late, the
to the disturbed districts. The disturb- advantage to be expected from it was not
ances in those districts was then ground so great as-it might have been. It was
for inquiry; but now that their lordships the maxim of a great man of antiquity,
had come to the present session, what did that the whole art of war consisted in
they learn ?-that there was no disturb- being in time; and in the same manner
nnce at all: so that the only ground which he would say, that the whole art of poli-
the noble earl had for his former inquiry, tics consisted in being in time. If the
was cut from him. But, upon looking noble lord had consented to this inquiry
further at the subject, we find there is one in due time, much evil might have been
thing in the state of Ireland-the situation prevented. The noble lord's conduct
of the Catholics-one evil for which a reminded him of what had been said
remedy is required. Olh, ho! we have of a man much given to procrastination
got it now. Here is something to inquire -that he lost half an hour in the morn-
about! "No," says the noble earl, "that ing, and was running after it during
is not to be inquired into. In appointing the whole of the day. The noble earl, in
the committee, no reference must be the morning of his administration, had,
made to that subject. Those laws which with respect to this question, lost his half








165]


Roman Catholic Assucialion.


hour; and it could not now be recovered.
Owing to this delay, to which the noble
earl had prevailed on their lordships to
consent, parliament had lost the proper
opportunity for conciliation. A small
concession might have been sufficient at
first; but, as the season for conciliation
had been allowed to pass away, much
more must be done than was at first
expected or desired.
The Earl of Harrowby was persuaded
that the noble baron had totally misunder-
stood his noble friend. The House would
recollect that the last committee was not
appointed for a general inquiry, but that
the proposed renewal of the Insurrection
act was the only reason for its institution.
The intended measure rendered an in-
quiry necessary into the nature and ex-
tent of the disorders which appeared to
call for the continuance of the act. There
was far from being any difference of
opinion between his majesty's ministers
who had seats in that committee, and the
other members who composed it, as to the
extent of the inquiry. He and his noble
friends did not attempt to confine the in-
vestigation to the geographical limits
specified in the motion. There was no
question of importance in the state of
Ireland, of which some evidence of its
consideration was not to be found in the
proceedings of that committee. In the
very short report which was presented to
the House, the committee stated, that
they had not completed some points of
their inquiry, and expressed a hope that
the House would allow them to renew it.
The House, then, in compliance with that
recommendation, and the recommendation
from higher authority contained in his
majesty's Speech, were called on to re-
new the committee. As to his noble
friend's observation on leaving out the
Catholic question in his motion, their
lordships would recollect that his noble
friend had distinctly stated that lie had no
objection to the inquiry being so extend-
ed, that every fact bearing upon that
question might be introduced; and he
would on his own part state, that he had
no objection to the introduction of evi-
dence of opinions, for that would also be
fact, as it would prove the existence of
certain opinions held by certain persons.
He, however, did not think that their
lordships would do right to refer the
question of Catholic emancipation to any
committee.
Lord King thought this a very singular


FEB. 10, 1825.


[ 1(6


proceeding on the part of his majesty's
ministers. They resembled empirics,
who mixed up their medicine and ad-
ministered it to the patient, before they
had held any consultation. Nothing
could be more ridiculous than this. They
were now beating up the dose in the state
mortar; but why not have the consulta-
tion first. Sometimes steel medicines
were thought good for the disease, and
sometimes opiates, but they were always
administered before consultation. It was
thought that there was one medicine-
bark for instance-which could not fail to
bring about a cure. Every body said,
that bark ought to be tried; but the empi-
rics declared that bark the patient should
not have.
The motion was then agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, February 10.
ROMAN CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION.]
Sir George Hill presented a petition from
the gentry, clergy, magistrates, and free-
holders of the county of Londonderry,
praying for the suppression of a certain
assembly in Dublin, calling itself, The
Catholic Association." He should at
present abstain from making any com-
ments on the various evils arising from
that most mischievous body, and should
confine himself chiefly to stating the
origin of this petition. Great alarm was
naturally felt in the county of London-
derry at the assumption of the Catholic
Association to rule and govern the popu-
lation of Ireland, taking them under their
special protection, and alienating their
affections from the constituted authorities
of the country. Still, however, the in-
habitants of Londonderry had come to a
determination to confide in parliament,
and not interfere, until an attempt should
be made to collect the Catholic rent; and
a circumstance occurred which rendered
further abstinence impossible. It was
this: a person in the neighbourhood had
prevailed upon the inhabitants to sub-
scribe a sum of money for erecting a
Catholic school-house: but instead of ap-
propriating it to its proper purpose, he
sent it to the Association. In consequence
of which, the inhabitants of Londonderry
thought it high time to express their sen-
timents. Accordingly, a requisition was
signed by 340 most respectable freehold-
ers. A meeting was held, at which the
petition was voted, and in a short time it








167] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill.


received no less than 1,700 most respect- spect to property, he would remind the
able signatures, together with the names hon. member of the petition presented
of twenty-nine clergymen, and thirty- by the Protestants of Ireland, a few years
nine magistrates, ago, in favour of emancipation.
Mr. Abercromby said, that, as the right Mr. Maxwell said, in opposition to the
hon. baronet was in the act of extolling statement of the hon. baronet, that he
the moderation of the good inhabitants of had presented a similar petition in the
Londonderry, perhaps he would favour course of the evening, from his consti-
the House with an accurate report of the tuents, containing, 4,700 signatures.
speeches delivered by some of those gen- Mr. Abercromby said, he had one re-
tlemen previous to the voting that pe- mark to make, to which he should not add
tuition [hear]. a single comment. A requisition had been
Mr. Dawson said, that nothing could presented to the sheriff of Waterford,
exceed the moderation and forbearance containing, amongst others, the signatures
-evinced by the Protestants of London- of many respectable magistrates, calling
derry. No single individual, holding the upon him to convene a meeting for the
sentiments he did with respect to Catho- purpose of petitioning in favour of Catho-
lic emancipation, had done a single act lie emancipation. The sheriff refused to
to cause a difference with their Catholic call the meeting, and it was for that gen-
fellow-countrymen. As the Catholics tleman to state his reasons for so doing.
themselves had thrown down the gauntlet, Mr. Denis Browne said, the only per-
they must abide by the consequences. manent foundation for the prosperity of
The Protestants remained tranquil, until Ireland, was a total relinquishment of all
the Catholic Association set on foot the civil distinctions founded upon religious
collection of that abominable rent" in differences. For a long period he had
Londonderry, and then they felt it their advised the Roman Catholics in his neigh-
-duty to come forward, to deny the bold bourhood to place their trust in the wis-
and impudent assertion of the Catholic i dom of parliament. For some time they
Association, that the Protestants of Ire- Ihad done so; but at length, when the pro-
land were favourable to their claims. The position for placing the Roman Catholics
Protestant feeling was not in their favour. of England on the same footing with the
In Londonderry, for instance, the Protes- Irish was rejected, they asked him how it
tants were, in point of numbers, two to was possible they could have a chance,
one; and as to property, intelligence, and when that measure failed, notwithstanding
industry, they were a thousand to one; the support of the prime minister of Eng-
and, when the Catholics thought proper land ? He was unable to give them an
to make this boast, he felt it his duty answer, and they then joined the Catholic
boldly to proclaim, that the Protestant Association.
feeling of Ireland was decidedly opposed Ordered to lie on the table.


to any further concessions to the Catholics.
Sir H. Parnell said, he hoped the
House would pause before they placed
implicit confidence in the statements of
the hon. member. The petition just pre-
sented was the only petition offered to the
House on this subject from Ireland, and
he was not aware that any other was in
contemplation. The hon. member had
thought proper to assert, that the Protes-
tant feeling of Ireland was opposed to
Catholic emancipation. It was painful to
hear such assertions : but when they were
made, he was under the necessity of ris-
ing to make an assertion of a completely
opposite nature. Two thirds of the re-
presentatives of Ireland had voted for
emancipation. Now, if they did not
represent the feeling of the country, it
cast a great stigma on the state of the
representation in Ireland. And, with re-


UNLAWFUL SOCIETIES IN IRELAND
BILL.] Mr. Goulbourn rose, pursuant
to his notice, to move for leave to bring
in a bill to amend certain acts relating to
Unlawful Societies in Ireland. He had
truly felt, at the close of the last session,
a most confident hope-a hope in which
the House participated-that from the
character of the measures which the go-
vernment pursued, and the parliament
recommended-from the mild, and tem-
perate, and impartial manner in which
they executed the high trust reposed in
them, and the result of which was prac-
tically felt in the most beneficial effects
throughout Ireland; he had undoubtedly
felt, as he before said, confident hopes,
that a far different duty would have been
imposed upon him than that which he
then rose to discharge. He sincerely


[168







Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill.


regretted that circumstances had since
arisen to interrupt the realization of these
hopes. He regretted, that when the
outrages which some time back disgraced
a portion of Ireland, had altogether, or
almost altogether, ceased-that when its
agriculture was thriving and its trades in
activity-that when commercial establish-
ments were about to be put in operation,
heretofore unknown in that country-that
when there existed generally an enjoyment
of ease and comfort, indicating a more
progressive increase; he regretted, lhe
would say, sincerely, that another evil
should have grown up, which demanded
the vigilance of the government, and
whose continuance was not only incon.
sistent with good government, but parti-
cularly opposed itself to the prosperity
and improvement of Ireland. The House
could not be ignorant of the circumstances
to which he alluded. At the latter part
of the last session, it was the expressed
opinion of many of its members, that these
circumstances demanded the peculiar
vigilance of the Irish government; but with
its characteristic forbearance, it was indis-
posed to any direct interposition, until it
found the apprehended evil assume a
formidable complexion. He said it with
sorrow, that since that period the scene
was changed. That assembly, which in
its origin was doubtless an object of
vigilance, had now assumed a character
calculated to excite the highest degree of
alarm, because the direct tendency of all
its efforts was to deprive the country of
the enjoyment of that returning peace and
prosperity, which they were beginning to
experience, and in place of rational
authority, to substitute their wild and
violent denunciations. There were two
acts to which he should address himself
particularly. They were the Irish act of
1793, and that which the House passed
the year before last with the view of
putting down secret societies. With
respect to the first, known as the Conven-
tion apt, it was historically true, that it
was introduced to meet a case where the
parties about to be convened were sup-
posed by themselves, or at least assumed
to represent the people of reland. Indeed,
whoever turned his attention strictly to
the proceedings of that country must be
convinced that all conventions did assume
a representative character. But, it would
be a very wrong conclusion to draw, that
the Convention act of 1793, had limited
itself, at least in its spirit, to the mere


assumption of such bodies being a repre-
sentative body. It was true the Irish
parliament grappled with that assumption
as its distinguishing feature. All such
meetings had heretofore assumed the re-
presentative character, and the legislature
thinking that designation at the time
sufficient, believed that it could counteract
all the other evils which were likely to
follow such an assemblage. The particular
assembly, however, to which the amend-
ment he should propose was applicable,
set out with the denial that they possessed
any representative character; but it pro-
ceeded, nevertheless to acts which were
equally incompatible with the principles
of rational government. Indeed, it made
a merit that it was a self-elected associa,
tion-that it departed altogether from
the representative character: but as it
felt its way, it threw off all shackles, and
exercised powers which it was within the
scope and merit of the Convention act
to declare illegal. The hon. and learned,
member (Mr. Brougham), whose opinions
possessed, so deservedly, great weight in
that House, had, on the discussion on his
majesty's Speech, declared, that the
Catholic Association virtually represented
the Roman Ca'iolic body. Was there
not good reason, then, for the Irish
government to call for the interposition of
the legislature when they found an
assembly setting out with a declaration,
that they possessed no representative
character; yet, as they proceeded in their
course, assuming such a tone and com-
plexion, as justified an hon. and learned
defender of the Association, in that House,
to recognize them as the virtual represen-
tatives of a great portion of the people of
Ireland ? Surely, the very power to effect
virtually, what they could not do actually,
without a violation of the law, was ajusti-
fiable ground for the Irish government to
seek an amendment of an act of parliament
thus evaded. If he virtually calumniated
any man, and the effect was injurious, was
he to be considered less reprehensible
than if he had been guilty of a direct libel?
He could not suppose that any one in that
House would contend, that an assembly
ought to be permitted to execute that
virtually, which the law positively pro-
hibited.-It would be his duty that night
to call upon the House, for the adoption
of remedies adequate to meet the evil. As
he trusted that evil was but temporary, he
should have to propose only a temporary
corrective. It bad been the boast of the


[170


169]


FEB. 10, 1825.







Unlawful Societies in Irelanid Bill. .[ 172


Catholic Association that all their pro-
ceedings had been published. It had
been their unceasing effort, by every
means within the scope of human inge-
nuity, to have their discussions circulated
in the widest manner possible, and ob-
truded on the notice of the world at large.
The Catholic Association began to act in
1823; and in its first reportit was declared,
that its object was confined to the further-
ance. of the question of the Roman
Catholic claims. It was to him a matter
of perfect indifference whether its object
was limited to that question, or whether,
as was avowed in their debates, it em-
braced reform in parliament, and eventual
separation: with him it was no question;
because it was no shield or security that
the object was inoffensive, when the means
of carrying that object into effect were
incompatible with good government. In
discussing the object and the proceedings
of the Catholic Association, he felt the
disagreeable necessity ofadvertingto trans-
actions, with which the House wasalready
acquainted, heshould endeavour to relieve
them, as much as possible, by restricting
himself to the general tenour and scope of
their discussions, and decline individual
quotations. The House would bear in
mind that this Association, though a public
body, differed from most public meetings
in this point-that they were all of one
mind. There was no competition of
opinion: no opposing voice was heard.
Every speech was previously arranged,
and every decision was unanimous. Indeed,
if any unhappy adversary had the hardi-
hood to present himself, he would most
probably get a reception which would
prevent any repetition. Formed as such
a body was, there was a danger in the
indefinite qualities of its constituency, and
in its indefinite duration. Under different
circumstances the fickleness of the multi-
tude might operate as a check to the
probable evil results of such an associa-
tion; but he was compelled, with regret,
to say, that a most influential body, whose
duty it was to impart religious consolation,
and to keep themselves apart from politi-
cal contention; not only encouraged, but
assumed a part of its powers. Next, in
upholding that association were to be
found men of disappointed ambition and
considerable talents, who exerted them-
selves, no matter whether on real or
imaginary grievances, in exciting the
public feeling against the government;
and in inflaming the population against


the laws, and what they described a
prodigal and corrupt administration of
them. It was of importance also to
understand, that a union had taken place
between the Association and the surviving
members of the committee of 1793-that
very committee against whose establish-
ment the Convention act was enacted to
provide. These very men were now
enlisted with the Association. There were
to be found also men who were most
familiar with the traitors of old times-
Tone, Russell, and Emmett-traitors who
were arrayed against the strength of the
government, and who were only put down
by military force. It was, indeed, too
true that in that Association were to be
found also a great proportion of the Roman
Catholic gentry and aristocracy. It was
impossible, on looking at the situation of
Ireland, not to feel that such a connection
was not altogether voluntary on their
part. A great number of that class were,
he believed, as much alarmed at the pro-
ceedings of that Association as its most
determined opponents in that House.
They had been, however, led, either from
a want of firmness of character, or a
reluctance to lose the confidence of the
people, to swell the triumph of that body.
Thoughthe Association avowed they were
arrayed to obtain that which parliament
had refused, they still condescended most
strictly to imitate its forms. They ap-
pointed their committees of grievances-
of education also and of finance. They
had almost copied verbatim the sessional
orders of that House. In one point,
indeed, they abstained from imitation-
they had not appointed a Speaker; pro-
bably because in an assembly in which
there existed such an universal ardour for
speech-making, no candidate could be
found who would pledge himself to be
perpetually silent laughgh. It had been
also the practice of that Association, from
time to time, to convene aggregate meet-
ings, as they were called, of the Roman
Catholic body of Ireland, and .these
meetings were convoked in such a manner
as to appear contra-distinguished to the
Catholic Association. But of whom were
those aggregate meetings composed
Principally of the very persons who
belonged to the Catholic Association
itself, and who played off this juggle upon
the people, making them believe that the
proceedings of the aggregate meetings
conveyed a distinct approbation of the
conduct of the Catholic Association, the


1711 HOUSE~ OF COMMONS,







173]


Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill.


fact being, that those proceedings were
merely self-gratulatory and complimentary
to the very individuals in whom they
originated.
There were several important topics
connected with this subject, to which he
now felt it his duty to call the serious
attention of the House. The first was
that which, although by some it was
supposed to be a voluntary contribution,
was by many considered in the light of
an onerous and grievous tax-he meant
the Catholic Rent. The fact was, that,
under this name, large sums of money
were collected from the people of Ireland,
no one could pretend to doubt. Now, he
thought that no man who understood the
constitution of the country, could contem-
plate the levying of money upon his ma-
jesty's subjects by an irresponsible body,
to be applied to objects not previously
defined, but at the discretion of the self-
constituted authority by which such
money was called for, with any other
feeling than that of unequivocal disappro-
bation? But, if the House went further,
and looked into the details of this
system, and the means resorted to by
the inferior persons employed in its
enforcement, they would find evil conse-
quences and dangers far exceeding those
which were to be apprehended from the
appropriation of such funds being left in
the hands of an irresponsible body. The
order upon this subject emanated from
the Association. The particular amount
to be raised was not stated ; that was left
to depend on the liberality of the con-
tributors, and on the exertions of those
by whom the subscription was to be col-
lected. The mandate of the Catholic
Association was, however, issued to the
priest of every parish in Ireland, calling
upon him, in distinct terms, to use every
means in his power to produce a large
contribution. Besides furnishing him with
the necessary instructions for this purpose,
lie was supplied with books to enrol the
various contributions; and his ready ac-
quiescence was secured, not only by the
political ascendancy which the Association
would naturally have over him, but by
the subordination which, as a minister,
he owed to his bishop. On the receipt
of this mandate, the priest announced
its contents from the altar of his
chapel, as well as the names of the
individuals on whom he fixed for payment;
which individuals were, according to the
duty imposed upon him, to have no option


FEB. 10, 1825. [.174


Son the subject. Cases however were not
rare in which, the mandate of the Asso-
ciation having been issued, and some he-
sitation in its execution having been ma-
nifested on the part of the priest, he re-
ceived a censure from the Association in
terms too distinct to be misunderstood;
and in some cases in which the priest had
forborne to execute the orders sent to
him, he had been held up to the congre-
gation of his chapel as undeserving their
confidence and attachment. The instruc-
tions to the priest went still further. He
was told to enter into the books which
were sent him the names of the individuals
who contributed to the fund. Thus, the
allies of the Association, those on whom
they could call in any case of emergency,
were recorded. But, that was not all.
What would the House think when they
were informed that there was another
book, in which the refusals to contribute
were also recorded. Every man who
dared to refuse, whether Roman Catholic
or not, whatever might be the wants or
necessities which prevented him, was
comprehended in this register. But the
Association went a step further. In a
country in which the gentry were of
different persuasions, it was obvious that
some of them would consider themselves
bound to oppose the collection of the
Catholic Rent, conceiving that as the
peasantry were in penury, and unable
to provide for their families, it was their
duty to advise them against this unneces-
sary expense. What was the consequence
of this? That the Catholic Association
actually wrote letters to the priests of

the parishes, denouncing the individuals
who thus acted, holding them up to
reprobation and scorn; he would not say,
to vengeance [hear, hear!]. When the
House came to look into the application
of the money so raised; so torn from.
the people [cries of hear, hear!]-he
begged to say a few words to the hon.
gentleman, who by that cheer, seemed
to think that the Catholic Rent was
a voluntary subscription. Were they
really so ignorant of the absolute power
of the Roman Catholic priesthood in
Ireland as to doubt, that when their
authority was exercised, especially over
the lower and more ignorant portion of
their flocks, it must prevail? Did they
recollect the means which the priests pos-
sessed of enforcing their authority ? Whe-
ther they had availed themselves of all
these.means in the present case. was a.








175] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
question into which he would not then
enter [hear, hear !]. He begged not to
be misunderstood on this subject. What
he maintained was, that the orders of the
Catholic Association, and the operations
under those orders, had the effect of pro-
ducing what was actually an obligatory
payment of sums, which many of those
who contributed them were very unwilling
and little able to pay.
He would next inquire into the applica-
tion of this money after it had been so
collected. On this topic he would confine
himself to a few facts, and would detain
the House as little as possible by his ob-
servations upon them. He had no desire
to prevent the Catholic Association from
giving briefs to members of their own
body. He did not quarrel with them for
employing an agent in this country
constantly occupied in the furtherance of
their purpose. He did not quarrel with
them for acts which merely impugned
their discretion, and which had no opera-
tion on the general tranquillity. Nor
would he enter into any consideration of
the kind of regard which a society, pro-
fessedly established for the security of the
rights of the people, had shown for the
liberty of the press. He did not quarrel
with them for having retained as advocates
a considerable portion of the press. He
did not quarrel with them for having
instituted prosecutions against that part
of the press which was hostile to
their cause. He did not quarrel with
them for their union with Cobbett. He
did not quarrel with them for expend-
ing the money of which they had drained
the population of Ireland for such purpo-
ses; not because those purposes were
unattended with serious evil, but because
other acts of theirs were attended with
evil so far exceeding in extent, that he
should consider it unworthy of himself
to detain the House for a moment on the
points upon which he had just touched.
It was the interference of the Catholic
Association with the ordinary administra-
tion of justice of which he mainly com-
plained [hear, hear!]. He knew perfectly
well, that on that part of the case he
should be met by arguments deduced
from the recent existence of an Associa-
tion in this country, instituted for the
purpose of prosecuting offences against
the well-being of society. He knew that
an hon. and learned gentleman opposite
was prepared to tell him, that what was
legal in England must be legal in Ireland;


unlawful societies in Ireland Bill. [176
that what was fit to be permitted in the
one country, must be fit to be permitted
in the other. But he (Mr. G.) could
show the House, that even where what was
fit to be permitted in one country was fit
to be permitted in the other, the course
pursued by the Catholic Association in
their interference with the administration
of justice in Ireland, was followed by
consequences which could not result from
any similar proceedings in this country ;
by consequences fatal to the interests of
peace and tranquillity ; by consequences
which sooner or later would, if that course
were allowed to go on, render it impossible
for any man in Ireland to obtain justice
before any tribunal in that country. For
these gentlemen were not content with
exerting themselves to influence the ad-
ministration of justice in its final decisions;
they mingled, by themselves, or by their
agents, with all the preliminary proceed-
ings of the law. They sent down their
agents to the courts of petty sessions, and
poisoned the administration of justice at
its outset, with all the bitterness ofpolitical
discord. In this country it would be im-
possible to introduce party questions into
a case of felony. -The reverse was the fact
in Ireland. There was no felony, no mis-
demeanor, which interference might not
instantly render a party question. Before
the courts of petty sessions the agents
of the Association employed themselves
in making statements, favourable to their
objects, and calling on the magistrates,
either to espouse the cause of the suffer-
ing Catholic against his Protestant adver-
sary, or to shield the Catholic where the
Protestant was the accuser. In all these
cases, an endeavour was made to load the
Protestant with the odium of crimes which
he might or might not have committed;
but the very endeavour prevented the
trial from being fair and uninfluenced.
If the system was allowed to continue, a
court of petty sessions in Ireland would
be rendered merely a theatre for the exhi-
bition of the talents of a Catholic Asso-
ciator; and the magistrates composing it
would be perplexed with subtleties having
nothing to do with the real merits of the
cases before them. He spoke in the hear-
ing of lion. gentlemen who well knew that
such had already been the consequences
of the interference of the Catholic Asso-
ciation with the administration of justice
and that several magistrates, most respect-
able, active, and impartial men, had been
induced to retire from those courts in







Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill.


which individuals deputed by the Catholic
Association were present.
But, putting out of view the evils
which arose in minor courts in conse-
quence of the interference of the Asso-
ciation, he would proceed to call the at-
tention of the House to what had taken
place before higher tribunals. He would
not trouble them with many cases; but
there were one or two which would afford
sufficient proofs of the existence of the
evil. It happened about the end of last
July that a statement was made in the
Catholic Association respecting a sup-
posed murder in the parish of Ballabay.
It was declared, that a most unprovoked,
brutal and wanton murder had been per-
pettated by a Protestant on a Roman
Catholic. A letter was published in
some of the Irish papers, calling on the
Catholic Association to interfere. When
the subject came before the Association,
that body emulated all the dignity of
parliament. Mr. J. D. Mullen moved
for the appointment of a committee to
investigate the circumstances of the case ;
with authority to adopt such measures as
circumstances might require. On Satur-
day, the 31st of July, the report of the
committee was read, detailing the sup-
posed circumstances, and stating that
those circumstances called for the inter-
ference of the Association i and Mr. Ca-
vanagh was in consequence appointed by
the Association to conduct the prosecu-
tion. Here, then, was a man charged
with murder going to trial with a declara-
tion from the body representing the whole
Catholic population, that they had investi-
gated the facts, and that the result was,
their conviction that the murder had been
committed, and that the individual so
charged ought to be prosecuted by the As-
sociation [hear, hear]. But, let the pro-
ceeding be pursued further. When the
trial came on, a host of evidence swore
to the infliction of a great many wounds
on the deceased, and to the manifestation
of the most horrid cruelty. Witness
after witness declared upon oath, that the
prisoner jumped on the throat of the de-
ceased, kicked him in the spine, broke his
ribs, &c. What was the fact? The sur-
geons who had examined the body, and
who were brought forward by the prosecu-
tion, proved to the satisfaction of the
court, that there was not a word of truth
in all this previous evidence, and that the
body had suffered no such violence. It
appeared, that the deceased person suf-
VOL. XII.


feared in consequence of an accidental
fall over a short post, which broke one of
the small vertebrae of the back ; and even-
tually the prisoner was acquitted. When
the verdict of not guilty was pronounced,
the judge even considered it his duty to
address the prisoner to the following ef-
fect:-"I do not think it would be right
to discharge you without expressing my
entire satisfaction at your conduct, It is in
evidence that you endeavoured to preserve
the peace from being disturbed, and your
efforts entitle you to great approbation."
Yet this individual, not only innocent, but
as it turned out meritorious, had been de-
nounced a fortnight before by the Asso-
ciation as guilty of the great crime of
murder; as having, he being an Orange-
man, murdered a Roman Catholic r and a
hostile feeling was thereby strongly ex-
cited against him.-It had been said by
the hon. member for Midhurst, that if he
admired any thing in the conduct of the
Catholic Association, it was their inter-
ference with the administration of justice;
for that the administration of justice in
Ireland was so bad, that any interference
with it mustbe productive of benefit. He
hoped, however, that the hon. gentleman
would allow that the interference which
had just been described was not of a very
advantageous character.
There were many circumstances con-
nected with these transactions on which
he would not trespass on the patience of
the House by dwelling. Among others,
it would be observed, that the greater
part of the jurors before whom trials
took place, were subscribers to the Catho-
lic rent. He might, perhaps, be excused
for thinking that it would be better, in-
stead of calling on such individuals to
decide upon prosecutions instituted by
those to whom the rent was paid, to leave
the administration of justice to its natural
course. The only other case with which
he would trouble the House, was that of
a soldier, who was tried in the county of
Kildare, for administering unlawful oaths.
In January last, it was announced to the
Catholic Association, by one of their
agents, that a private in the 25th regiment,
had been discovered in the act of seduc-
ing several Catholics to take an oath,
the obligation of which was, to kill all the
Protestants, all the soldiers, and all the
Orangemen; his object being, of course,
to lay informations against them after hav-
ing thus inveigled them. The Assoc'ation
declared, trat the case was clearly one of
N


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FEB, 10, 18M [. 178r








179] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


guilt; thatthesoldier wasevidentlyaruffian,
who deserved the punishment of transport-
ation; but that, unless the Association
sent down an agent, the fellow might
escape. This declaration was read by the
priests in all the chapels. He confessed,
that, when he saw this declaration, he did
not believe that any man could be wicked
enough to invent all the circumstances of
the tale. What followed The Catholic
Association employed an agent to prose-
cute the soldier. The case came on be-
fore one of the most numerous benches of
magistrates ever known, comprehending
no fewer than 43 individuals. The evi-
dence, however, adduced on the part of
the prosecution, developed so much in-
consistency and contradiction, that the
43 magistrates decided unanimously, that
there was no foundation for the charge.
It was not enough that this soldier had
been so unjustly denounced as a ruffian by
the Association-it was not enough, that
he had been so denounced from the altars
of the chapels-it was not enough that
counsel had been employed by them to
endeavour to bring him to punishment;
but search was actually made for his
wife, and for other branches of his fa-
mily, in order to compel them to leave
the country [hear, hear] With such
specimens of the conduct of the Associa-
tion before him, it was not surprising that
he should prefer leaving the administra-
tion of the law to its natural course,
rather than admit of any interference on
the part of that or any other body. Sup-
pose the case of this soldier had been the
other way-suppose he had been taken up
under the Insurrection act suppose,
in that event, a course had been pursued
against him by the magistrates similar to
the course actually adopted by the
Association-suppose that, previously to
his trial, he had been proclaimed a ruf-
fian, justly deserving of transportation-
suppose the magistrates had used means
to expel his wife or his family from the
country, what would have been said of
their conduct [hear, hear !] ? Why were
the members of the Catholic Association
to be dealt with more mildly? Why
were acts which would be pronounced
criminal on the one side, to be palliated
on the other? Was the House to bow
to the authority of the Association, and,
however gross and indefensible their acts,
to allow them to pass without animadver-
sion? He might pursue the subject much
further. Consequent to this transaction


respecting the soldier, was a similar one
with reference to a member of the police,
the object of which, he was bound to say,
was to render that body odious. The
whole tendency of their proceedings was
to excite, in any case in which Catholics
and Protestants were concerned, all the
acrimony of party feeling. Considering to
what extent the payment of the Catholic
rent had gone, the means of influence pos-
sessed by the Association were very great.
So long as they possessed those means,
he was persuaded the House would agree
with him, that justice could not be purely
or satisfactorily administered in Ireland.
He came next to the conduct and exer-
tions of the Catholic Association within
the last year ; and in the observations
which he was about to make, he would
confine himself to their position in. the
month of December last. It appeared
from their proceedings, that in that month
they began to collect a revenue for the
purpose of furthering the object which
they had in view-namely, that of influ-
encing the minds of their Roman Catho-
lic countrymen, and impressing them with
the necessity of supporting their system.
In order still further to advance this, their
great object, they put forth a document
entitled Address of the Catholic Asso-
ciation to the people of Ireland" [hear,
hear from both sides of the House].
The House need not feel alarmed, it was
not his intention to read at length that
celebrated address; some few passages of
it, however, he felt it necessary to advert
to. In one place it said, we advise you
to refrain totally from all secret societies;
from all private combinations; from every
species of whiteboyism, or ribbonism, or
by whatever other name any secret or
private association may be called." The
Association proceeded to point out the
other inducements to their Catholic breth-
ren to remain quiet-namely, the power
of the law, the inconvenience and injury
caused by indictments, and so on; at
length they came to a point to which he
begged the most serious attention of the
House, it was one in which they pointed
out the number of innocent persons who,
during former disturbances, had suffered
for the guilty. Thus it appeared that they
could not caution the people to remain
tranquil, without libelling the laws of the
country. This too, was told, not to the
well-informed and well-judging part of
the population, but, to the ignorant and
illiterate-to men most likely to be led


Unlawyful Societies in Irelaind Bill.


[180








Unlawful Societies in Ireland Bill.


away by any statement made to them from
such a -quarter. In the name of the
government of Ireland, and those high
authorities by whom it was administered,
he begged to repel this charge. There
was nothing which had more seriously en-
gaged the attention of the present lord-
lieutenant of Ireland than the fair and
impartial administration of justice to all
ranks and classes of society. He appeal-
ed to those gentlemen who interested
themselvesin Irish affairs, and who re-
membered the bill introduced by him last
session, whether the most scrupulous at-
tention had not been paid to this point :
nay more, he challenged any instance
where the severest punishment of the law,
,or even transportation or imprisonment
had been inflicted in any case where there
remained a shadow of doubt of the pri-
soner's'guilt. There was no man better
acquainted with the truth of this state-
ment than the gentleman who was at the
head of the Catholic Association. He
was a man not belonging to the low and
uninformed class of society; he was a
man, who, from his professional habits,
must be convinced that such was the
fact.
He next came to the motive-the prin-
*ciple of action-most calculated to make
an impression, resorted to by the Associa-
tion. Their address contained in conclu-
sion this memorable passage: "In the
name, then, of common sense, which for-
bids you to seek foolish resources, by the
hate you bear the Orangemen, who are
your natural enemies; by the confidence
you repose in the Catholic Association,
who are your natural and zealous friends ;
by the respect and affection you entertain
for your clergy, who alone visit with
comfort your beds of sickness and deso-
lation. By all these powerful motives,
and still more by the affectionatereverence
you bear for the gracious monarch, who
deigns to think of your sufferings with a
view to your relief; and, above all, and
infinitely beyond all, in the name of reli-
gion, and of the living God, we conjure
you to abstain from all secret and illegal
societies, and Whiteboy-disturbances and
outrages" [hear, hear !]. And this was
the address which it had been boasted
was the work of the Sabbath! Gracious
God was such an address to be put forth
under the sanction of piety and religion ?
Who ever before heard it boasted, that it
was doing the work of God to couple his
holy name in the same sentence with the


hatred which men bore to their brethren ?
He maintained that in the breast of the
man who wrote that address, as well as in
the breasts of the Association who pro-
mulgated it, the love of God, if it did
exist, must have a different interpretation
from that given to it in the mind of any
man-of any antecedent period professing
the Christian faith [hear, hear-!]. And
yet, this was the doctrine infused into the
great body of the Roman Catholics of
Ireland They were told that they were
to look upon the Orangemen (and let it
be recollected that in many parts of Ire-
land the terms Orangemen and Protes.
tants were nearly synonymous).--They
were told to look upon every Orangeman
as their natural enemy-as a person with
whom they were to keep no faith-as one
to whom they were to extend no justice,
but against whom they were not only al-
lowed, but justified, in exercising every
violence, and perpetrating every outrage.
What must be the feelings of the Protest-
ant, or, as they were called by some, the
Orange population of Ireland, when they
found themselves so generally denounced
-when they found themselves so formida-
bly opposed by a body professing such
principles ? Let them look to the discus-
sions which took place in the Catholic
Association itself, and they would find a
full confirmation of his statement. One
individual of that body (Mr. Lanigan),
much to his honour, pointed out the inex-
pediency of putting forth this address, and
particularly recommended the omission of
the objectionable passage to which he had
just called the attention of the House. It
was, he said, a passage which would be
misunderstood by those to whom it was
addressed, and also misunderstood, per-
haps misrepresented, by their enemies.
What was the result? A debate arose
upon the objection, and such was the ma-
jority against it, that the address was sent
forth without any revision. He had a
right to maintain that these were the prin-
ciples by which the Catholic Association
were actuated; nay, more, that they
were the principles upon which they were
ready to act, the moment they obtained
power over their Protestant brethren. He
asked, then, could the Irish government
look with indifference at such a state of
things ? Could they avoid perceiving the
danger which threatened, if they delayed
a moment in calling for the intervention
of parliament, for the purpose of at once
putting a stop to them.


181]


Fri;% 10, 1825. [ I s




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