HC Deb 20 April 1812 vol 22 cc494-5
Sir John Newport

. I have the honour of presenting to the House the Petition of the Roman Catholics of the county and city of Waterford, from a very numerous, opulent, and respectable body of his Majesty's subjects, praying to be restored to the full participation in the privileges of the constitution with their Protestant fellow subjects. Possessed of large landed and monied property, feeling their best interests intimately connected with the welfare of the state, they claim from the justice of this House a candid and dispassionate consideration of their Petition. They pray that at a crisis of unexampled danger to the empire, their efforts in its defence may not be impeded by unjust restrictions; that their tried loyalty may not be sullied by unmerited degradation; that no bar of separation may remain to alienate them from their native country, but that sharing in her dangers, they may share in her honours also.

I have peculiar pleasure in presenting this Petition, as I am enabled here to disprove, both from the magnitude of property, and the nature of its tenure, the un-warrantable assertions which have been hazarded in this House by a right hon. and learned civilian, as to the intentions entertained by the Roman Catholics of Ire-land. I know that 200,00l. have been vested by some of the petitioners, with-in these ten years past, in the purchase of landed property, principally on those very titles which the learned doctor has accused them with a wish to subvert. It is impossible to furnish a more complete refutation of the learned doctor's assertions than the petitioners have done, supplying by their practice the most unanswerable commentary upon the monstrous theoretical opinions with which he has so often attempted to mislead this House.

Mr. Pole Carew

called the right hon. baronet to order, conceiving it to be irregular to allude to former discussions.

Sir J. Newport

.—I contend that I have not been out of order, as the right hon. doctor had published his speech, and sent it into general circulation, which made it public property, and of course subject to comment; especially as the Catholics of Ireland generally, and my constituents in particular, most justly complained of the unfounded, calumnious assertions contained in that publication.

Dr. Duigenan

.—In any thing I said against the Roman Catholics of Ireland in any former debate, I said against the whole body, and not against those of Waterford, or any other corner of Ireland; therefore I cannot see why the right hon. baronet should have made any allusion to me. He reminds me of Harlequin in the pantomime, building up a castle of pasteboard that he might knock it down with his wand of lath; besides, it would have been more proper if the hon. gentleman reserved the eloquence of which we hear so much every night, when he shall have plenty of opportunities to answer my opinions about the Roman Catholic sect.

The Petition of the Catholics of the county and city of Waterford was then brought up, presented, read, and ordered to lie on the table. It was the same as the General Petition of the Catholics of Ireland.