HC Deb 11 February 1825 vol 12 cc275-347

On the order of the day being read for resuming the adjourned debate on Mr. Goulburn's motion, "That leave be given to bring in a Bill to Amend certain Acts relating to Unlawful Societies in Ireland,"

Mr. C. Pelham

addressed the House in a tone of voice which was inaudible in the gallery. He said, that although he was desirous of steering clear between both the parties principally involved in this discussion, yet he was averse to the introduction, in a time of profound peace, of any measure which had a tendency to restrict popular rights.

Mr. Grattan

declared it to be his conviction, that all the evils, even if true, which honourable gentlemen affected to apprehend from the existence of the Catholic Association, were to be attributed to the really unlawful societies which had so long existed in Ireland. The right hon. Secretary for the Home Department had last night stated, that if that Association was not put down, counter societies would be formed. But, what was the fact? It was this—that the Catholic Association was the counter society, and had been brought into action by the Orange insti- tutions. It was not true that the Association consisted exclusively of Roman Catholics. There were also Protestant members. He did not himself belong to it, because he could not justify all its proceedings; though much might be said to extenuate them, in consequence of the provocation they had received. The right hon. Secretary for Ireland had spoken of the prosecutions instituted by the Association, and of their general proceedings. But in fairness, the right hon. gentleman should not have omitted to say something of the conduct of the opposite party. When he spoke of the conduct of the Roman Catholic clergy, did he not know that a clergyman of the Established church had been, for a long time, publishing in the Irish papers most furious attacks upon the Catholic body? In fact, it was the conduct of the opposite party that had given birth to the Association. They associated for self-defence; and he had no reason to think that their proceedings were mischievous. Their conduct was justified by the conduct of some of the clergy of the Established Church. Before such a measure as was now proposed was enacted, let the Association be heard by counsel at the bar of that House. It was his most solemn opinion, that if the present course was pursued, the greatest danger to the tranquillity of Ireland would be the result. It was worse than idle to speak of the impartiality of the measure. The bill was nothing less than an Orange bill—a declaration of war against the Roman Catholics. It came from the north of Ireland. He would nut say the people of the north; for no man more highly valued the character of his northern countrymen; but it was hatched at Deny [hear, hear!]—and the united parliament was to be persuaded to mature it into life. It was because he regarded most sincerely the interests of the Protestants of Ireland, that he should oppose it; as he believed in his heart, it would operate hostilely to their interests and happiness. It would lead to a general jarring of parties, and to the exasperation of factions and religious strife. So strongly was he impressed with that feeling, that he conscientiously declared, that if he did not believe that, as a member of that House, he might be of some little service to his native country, he would gladly remain an exile from it for ever. Much had been said of plots. Catholic plots there certainly were none. There might be plots invented by some of the magistracy, who wished for the consequences that were likely to follow, in the shape of commissions in volunteer corps, &c. What was called the interference of the Catholic Association with the administration of justice had also been complained of. He would not say that the administration of justice in Ireland was not pure; but he knew that there was a strong feeling among the peasantry of Ireland that they could not obtain justice; and, consequently, considerable satisfaction at any means which might yield them protection and support. He was persuaded, that if the proposed bill were passed, many persons would be alienated from the country, and all speculation in it would at once be put an end to. It would prevent any disposition to reside in Ireland; and for himself, he repeated, that rather than Jive in Ireland under that act, he would live in this or any other country. The wrongs of which Ireland had to complain were heavy and numerous. The union was one of them; and since the union nothing had been done for the people; who were kept down only by the bayonet. The expression in the declaration of the Catholic Association, invoking the Catholics "by their hatred to Orangemen," to him it appeared a very natural expression. The Catholics hated the Orangemen, because the Orangemen hated the Catholics. It was very well to say, that when you received a slap in the face you ought to turn the other cheek; but who in the world did so? What were the mild names by which the members of the Catholic Association were called by the organs of the Orange party? Demagogues, arch fiends, rebels. The vituperation of the Orange press in Ireland was boundless; and it might give the House some notion of the state of that press, to be told, that while "The Dublin Mail," "The Antidote," and "The Star," newspapers were prosecuted by one part of the Irish government, they were supported by the other.

Captain Maberly

declared, that he viewed with the deepest regret—no, not regret—with the deepest indignation, the introduction of the proposed bill. He charged his majesty's ministers with bringing forward this most ruinous measure on the flimsiest pretexts. Notoriety was said to be its basis. Notoriety! when even those who supported the proposition were not agreed as to the facts on which they pretended to found it. The right hon. Secretary for Ireland said, that the Catho- lic Association was a virtual representation of the Catholic population of Ireland. The right hon. Secretary of State for Foreign affairs contended, on the contrary, that the Catholic Association was not a virtual representation of the Catholic population of Ireland: and maintained that it ought to be put down on that ground. The term "virtual representation" had no meaning. It was a term coined in this country, at the period of the American revolution. The Americans were told, that they were virtually represented in the English parliament. Their reply was, "we will be really so." Finding some difficult}' in understanding the expression, they speedily cut the Gordian knot, and had a parliament of their own. The right hon. Secretary wished to convince the people of England, that the Catholic Association affected to adopt modes of proceeding similar to those of the British parliament; but, that was by no means the case. They had a president, undoubtedly; because, without some head, their proceedings could not be conducted; but there the analogy dropped. All their other forms were modelled with a regard to convenience and to the despatch of business. They had divisions, and subdivisions of their body; because the body at large could not get through the business so satisfactorily and effectually. His majesty's ministers were very desirous to put down the Catholic Association. Let them put it down as they liked, it would not fail to appear in some other shape. When the Convention act was passed, it failed in its effect. It was successfully evaded. How could it be supposed, that what took place on that occasion would not take place on the present occasion? Ministers deceived themselves if they thought the contrary. Every possible manoeuvre would be resorted to, to defeat the measure. The adversaries of the Catholics in the cabinet, forgot that their heavy-armed troops would have to combat with a light active enemy in the Catholic Association. If the existing Catholic Association were put down, Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Shiell, and a reporter, would make a Catholic Association of themselves. An attempt had been made to compare the Catholic Association with the Constitutional Association, which had recently existed in this country. They were wholly dissimilar. The Constitutional Association was established expressly for the purpose of instituting prosecutions; a purpose altogether indefensible; as individuals were placed under circumstances of considerable disadvantage, when contending with an irresponsible body. The state of Ireland was not such as to require any measure like that under consideration. He had lately visited that country; and, in the parts which he had seen, there appeared to prevail the utmost tranquillity and submission to the law. There were no murders; no plunderings; no burnings. The rents were regularly paid; nay, the arrears of rent were paid; and, what was still more, the people were anxious to obtain leases; a strong proof, that nothing like disturbance was expected; for every one who knew Ireland, knew, that when disturbance was expected, the peasantry abstained from applying for leases, trusting rather to the chapter of accidents. But, while he complained of the proposition which was now before the House, he was disposed to give his majesty's ministers credit for a part of the measures which they had adopted with regard to Ireland. The Tithe Commutation act was certainly a good measure. The Insurrection act had had amostsalutary effect. He was bound also in candour to acknowledge, that the Police act had been attended with beneficial consequences. But then he must say, that the course of proceedings which they had adopted, required a most active and vigilant control. It had all the inconveniences of a military system, without the effective discipline which such a system insured. Nor could any man doubt that the Catholic Association had greatly contributed to produce the tranquillity at present existing in Ireland. No man could read the eloquent address of the Catholic Association to the Catholic population of Ireland, without feeling that it must produce a powerful effect. Issuing, as it did, through their priests, for whom they cherished the greatest veneration, that effect would necessarily be much increased. Nor could he view with the detestation which had been expressed by others, the expression of hatred to Orangemen which that declaration contained. It was used as an inducement to the Catholics to maintain the existing tranquillity, which it was believed the Orangemen were disposed to violate, with a view to such ulterior measures as the present. While he was in Dublin, and in communication with a number of Catholic gentlemen, he found that a strong impression existed in their minds that the Orangemen wished to create insurrection in Ireland. With this impression, was it not natural that the Association should speak in the language of strong prejudice of the Orangemen? When they invoked the Catholic population by their hatred of Orangemen, it was that they might not fall into the snares which they suspected the Orangemen had laid for them, by adopting any proceeding calculated to disturb the public peace. In that view of the expression it did not appear to him to deserve the reprobation which had been bestowed upon it. Unquestionably, there had been several imputed plots, all of which had turned out complete fabrications. There was the supposed plot at Roscrea, the groundless character of which had been discovered and exposed by the hon. member for Tipperary. The same was the case at Carlow. Throughout the counties of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, &c. a strong persuasion had been spread, that the Protestants were all to be massacred on last Christmas-day. In every case, however, these supposed plots wereproved to be utter fabrications, the object of which it was not difficult to divine They had heard much of the tranquillity of Ireland, and the various causes to which that tranquillity was to be ascribed. But there was one great point in which all others merged—the great secret of the tranquillity of Ireland, was its improved condition. The people of Ireland were quiet because they were happy—at least happy, compared with their previous wretched and forlorn condition. It was not to the measures of government, as had been asserted on the one hand, neither was it to the efforts of the Catholic Association, as had been stated with equal confidence on the other, that the peace and tranquillity of Ireland were to be ascribed, but to that increase of comfort and prosperity, which they at present enjoyed. But that tranquillity might be, and, indeed, had, to a certain extent, been already interrupted, by two or three circumstances. One of those circumstances had been already strongly dwelt upon by the hon. member for the Queen's county. That hon. baronet, than whom no man was better informed, as to the situation of Ireland, had stated last evening, that the discussions produced by the Bible Societies and Bible Missionaries had produced much irritation throughout many counties in Ireland. This was a statement which he (Captain M.) was, from personal observation, fully able to corroborate. Almost the whole of the south of Ireland had been converted into a scene of outrage and disorder, by the young crusaders who went from this country upon a Bible mission to Ireland. Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, Clonmel and Carlow, had been thrown into a state of the utmost confusion by the discussions introduced between those persons and the Roman Catholic priests. They were opposed by the priests; because it was felt, that whilst they had education in their mouths, they had proselytism in their hearts. This system of disputation carried dissention and disunion throughout Ireland; for it was found that those families of respectability who took a part in favour of the Bible meetings became detested; they lost their influence in their neighbourhood, and were totally unable to control or manage the peasantry. Before he concluded, he begged to read to the House an extract from an account of the proceedings which took place at a disputation between the Bible missionaries and the Roman Catholicpriests, which took place in the town of Carlow. It was as follows:—

"Mr. M'Sweeny: I choose to personate a Socinian: how will you convince, on your own principles, of the divinity of the Saviour 'Meus Pater est major me'—my father is greater than I. How do you explain that?

"Mr. Pope: by fair and legitimate reason. If the Redeemer be declared God in very many passages, as I have shewn you this morning that he is, then we must look for some explanation of the passages, that will not militate against them. I inquire, is there any verse in which the Saviour was inferior to the Father without compromising his essential divinity? The answer is obvious—in his mediatorial office and in his human nature. This, then is the explanation I would give—Christ, while one with the Father, and equal to him in his Godhead, is inferior to the Father in his mediatorial capacity and in his manhood.

"Mr. M'Sweeny replied: That will not do, Sir; you have proved nothing; you have given an explanation that may satisfy yourself of there being nothing in the passage inconsistent with the Father, considered as to his divine nature.

"Mr. Pope said; I don't know what the gentleman means by proving nothing.

"Mr. M'Sweeny: 'The Father is greater than me!' You have not, Sir, explained this text, so as to satisfy a Socinian, though you spoke for three hours and a half, and during your speech you wandered considerably from the subject.

"Mr. Pope: I certainly did speak for a long time, but I deny that I wandered from the subject [this was followed by loud cries of 'No, no!'—'Answer the question now.']

"Mr. Daly: Mr.Pope has answered the question. I appeal to you all if this is not fair play. Should he not answer the question now? You are all honest Irish fellows, and I am sure like fair play.

"Mr. M'Sweeny: I will refer to the chairman whether you answered the question or not.

"Colonel Rochfort: I must decline giving any opinion upon this subject [Bravo! bravo! and loud cheers].

"A gentleman here said—' From the feeling which has been manifested, I think the meeting ought to adjourn for the present.' The scene of tumult that followed this lasted for several minutes. The chairman endeavoured to calm the meeting. The rev. Mr. Shaw endeavoured to address the meeting. It appeared to be the intention of the mob not only to prevent the rev. gentleman from being heard, but to proceed to acts of personal violence against the Protestant clergy assembled on the platform. With this view the temporary barriers were thrown down, several of the candles extinguished, and a scene of riot and confusion took place, the most disgusting and disgraceful. The doors of the chapel had been closed, and and the violent knockings and yells of those without, contributed not a little to the horror of the scene. The officer commanding the police intimated to the clergy of the Established Church, that from information of which he was in possession, as well as his own personal observation, he could not undertake to be answerable for their lives, unless they immediately retired. The rev. Mr. Winfield, Daly, Pope, and Jamieson, were obliged to scale a wall eight feet high, whereby they escaped the insults and attacks of an infuriate rabble. The meeting was adjourned, sine die.

"The rev. Mr. O'Connell then ascended the pulpit and gave thanks to God for the triumph that had been achieved; and also to colonel Rochfort for the maimer in which he had contributed to it."

This was a specimen of the effects produced by the efforts of those who went over to Ireland for the purpose of educating, and giving religious instruction to the Catholic population of Ireland. He would ask the House, whether they were in possession of any grounds sufficient to warrant them in adopting the proposed measure? He had himself attended a meeting of the Catholic Association in Dublin, and had heard a discussion carried on with temper. At that time the Catholic Rent was from 40l. to 50l. a-week. In the course of three months, the rent amounted to about 400l, per week. In the mean time, however, the Bible discussions had taken place; the people became irritated, the priests engaged in the discussions; they interested themselves in the subscription; the peasantry followed their example; and the consequence was, that the Catholic rent now amounted to about 1000l. per week. This being the case, was not the hon. baronet right in stating that the increase of the Catholic rent was owing to the acts of the Bible Society and to the attacks in "The Courier," which followed hard upon them? There was another ground of alarm. Were they not to take into their consideration the high expectations with which the lower and middling classes of society regarded the efforts of the Catholic Association. What, then, must be their feelings, when they found that their most sanguine expectations was to be disappointed. The House was called upon to legislate in the dark. It was extremely injudicious on the part of ministers to introduce a question of such vital importance, without laying before parliament such information as would enable them to judge of its expediency. He, for one, looked upon the Catholic Association as a body whose efforts had the effect of injuring the cause they advocated; and whose proceedings would have the effect of intimidating many persons in England. He felt that every step taken by the Association in Ireland tended to retard their cause in England. But he must say, that though he could not justify the proceedings of that body, there was much to excuse and extenuate in their conduct. They had been for a long time abused and hardly dealt with. When their numbers were few, and their subscriptions were small, they were told that they did not possess the confidence of the people; and when their numbers increased, and the rent amounted to a large sum, they were pointed out as factious persons, opposed to the Jaws, and determined to make inroads upon the constitution by storm. He cautioned ministers to be circumspect upon the present occasion; for it was his firm belief, that if they passed this measure, without ameliorating the political condition of the great body of the people, they would spread insurrection and dismay throughout the country. If the House consented to such a measure, they must make up their minds to deprive the Roman Catholics of their property, and, Cromwellike, drive them into one corner of Ireland: they must do this, or at once grant them an equal participation in the rights and privileges enjoyed by their Protestant fellow-subjects. They might now grant this as a matter of justice; if they refused it, a time might come when it would be exacted from them by a sanguinary rebellion.

Sir N. Colthurst

said, he could not give his consent to the continuance of an Association, whose objects were inconsistent with the constitution, and incompatible with the well-being of Ireland. He was ready to make every fair allowance for that effervescence of feeling and expression, which frequently occurred at such meetings; but, when he found in the Catholic Association a systematic interference with the administration of justice in Ireland—when he found that they called upon the people to confide in them, and had formed a tribunal to which they invited every grievance, real or imaginary—when he found that they proceeded to levy money upon the people, and used the most despotic means for its collection, even to the extent of denouncing those who refused to pay it—when he found all this, he felt it his bounden duty to give his vote in favour of a measure calculated to suppress such an Association. He had been informed, that a respectable gentleman, residing in the south of Ireland, had cautioned his tenantry not to pay any money towards the Catholic rent. In a short time, he received a letter from the parish priest couched nearly in the following terms: "Dear Sir; It has been reported to me that you have cautioned your tenants against contributing to the Catholic rent. I know that this report is without foundation; yet, as it has had the effect of decreasing the rent in this quarter, I hope you will allow me to contradict it, particularly as I am obliged to render to the Catholic Association, within a few days, an account of those persons who have opposed themselves to the collection of the rent [hear, hear!]." He left it to the House to draw their own conclusions from this letter. It was alleged, as a redeeming clause, that the Catholic Association had been instrumental in preserving tranquillity in Ireland. He denied that such was the case; but even if it were, that was no argument for its continuance. He wished to see Ireland governed, and rendered tranquil, by the mild but firm exercise of the law. Precarious, indeed, must that peace and tranquillity be, which depended upon the acts or opinions of any Association. That Ireland was at present tranquil, he was ready to testify; but that tranquillity was owing, not to the causes ascribed, but to the exercise of the extra powers wisely vested in government, and to the improved condition of the people, and the minute attention paid to their wants, their feelings, and their interests. To these causes it was, that Ireland owed that improvement and prosperity, the increase of which would, he had no doubt, sooner or later, place her on a level in happiness with her more fortunate sister country. It was because he felt that the Catholic Association, whilst it outraged the feelings of the Protestant, was injurious to the interests of the Catholic, that he should give his full consent to the measure proposed to be introduced by the right hon. Secretary for Ireland.

Colonel Davies,

in opposing the present motion, said, he was willing to admit, however unwilling to legislate on particular cases, that cases might arise in which government were bound to depart from the ordinary course, and provide an extraordinary remedy for a growing evil. And, if it could be shown to him that the Catholic Association was a body of this description; if it could be once proved to him that they wished to usurp the powers of the constitution, then he would say, that the House would, not do its duty, if it did not enact new measures for their suppression: nay more, if it did not follow up those measures by the power of the Sword, if necessary. Now, he did not feel that such was the case, and therefore he was opposed to the bill; but he was further opposed to it because of its inutility. If the bill went only to put down meetings which continued to meet beyond a certain time, whilst it tolerated others who met differently, how easy was it for the Catholic Association to fashion themselves upon meetings of the latter description. In short, nothing would be more easy than to evade this part of the measure. When he looked to the bill itself, and to the character and feelings of the noble and learned lord, by whom he presumed it was framed, he could not help thinking that, though its professed object was to put down Orange societies, as well as others, it was directed, in reality, against the Roman Catholic body only. It was in the highest degree fallacious, to say, that this measure was levelled equally against the Orange societies as against the Catholic Association. The former body could always elude that provision which prevented them from making a difference of religious opinion a ground for refusing to admit members, by agreeing to make their elections by ballot. The Orange society was held together by ties much stronger than their hatred to Catholics; and the power they found themselves in possession of was a much firmer bond of union than any oaths by which they might bind themselves. If his majesty's ministers seriously wished to put down the Orange Associations of Ireland; if they wished to shew their discountenance of all Orangeism; then they had only to close the public offices against the admission of Orangemen, at least to divide those offices, to which Roman Catholics were eligible, equally between both, making it a test of eligibility to office, that the candidate should not, directly or indirectly, belong to any such society or association. This was the only effectual method by which such societies could be put down. He maintained, that, unless they adopted some such measure as this, the proposed bill would be abortive, and the Catholic Association would continue as powerful and efficient as it was at present. He was not the advocate or apologist of the Catholic Association; but he thought it was rather too hard to notice with scrupulous niceness, the expressions which fell from the lips of men in the warmth of debate—of men, too, who belonged to a country, not at any time distinguished for the caution with which its inhabitants delivered their sentiments. It had been said by the right hon. Secretary, that the Catholic rent amounted to 50,000l. a-year. How the right hon. gentleman arrived at that conclusion he was at a loss to conceive. If the rent amounted to 1,000l per week, he of course was right; but such was not the case. The fact was, that the Catholic rent was dying a natural death, when his majesty's government stepped in with their remedies; and the consequence was, that the amount of subscriptions was almost immediately doubled. He had been informed, upon extremely good authority, that of a gentleman residing in the south of Ireland, that in his parish not a single shilling had been subscribed, and that such was the case in a great part of his county. But, who could at once condemn the efforts of the Catholic Association? They were struggling to protect the Catholic people: for it had been said that in Ireland, there was one law for the rich, and another for the poor. He firmly believed, that if the laws now in existence were impartially administered to all classes of persons in Ireland; if the poor man felt convinced that an equal measure of justice was to be dealt out to him; the Roman Catholic peasant would not be easily induced to give up his little pittance to swell the Catholic rent. The hon. colonel next adverted to the small number of Roman Catholics employed in public offices in Ireland. There were, according to the return, 2,000 offices to which they were eligible, and yet no more than 111 Catholics were employed; being in the proportion of about twenty to one. But, the oppression was not confined to the middling and tipper classes to whom he then alluded; it extended to the lower class of the population. Could we, then, be surprised that the people of Ireland should feel a soreness at such treatment; or that they should express their feelings in somewhat unguarded language? An instance which he recollected of the manner in which justice was sometimes administered in Ireland, would further prove how much cause the people had to complain. A young man, who had been out shooting, happened on his return to pass the farm-yard of a Catholic in which there was a dog. For some cause or other, this person shot the dog; and, when the son of the farmer came out, he shot him also. The father then came out, and seeing his son lying dead before him, did not address the perpetrator of the crime in very measured terms, upon which he was shot also. For this, the person who had committed this outrage was tried for the murder and acquitted; although he was clearly proved to have committed a crime for which, if he had had a thousand lives, they would have been too few to expiate it. The hon. colonel concluded by expressing his determination to oppose the measure,

Mr. Doherty

said, it had been his lot more than once to have heard it said, that the Catholic body in Ireland had never been encountered with a greater enemy than the Catholic Association. If he had ever entertained a doubt as to the truth of the observation, it would have been removed by the two speeches last delivered. The gallant colonel who had just taken his seat had said, that he had been systematically opposed to the Catholic claims, yet he gave his very able and not less strenuous support, to the Catholic Association. His hon. friend who spoke last but one, the distinguished representative of the city of Cork, had been the invariable and consistent advocate for emancipation, yet he now came forward with great reluctance, and with little ostentation, to give his vote for putting down the Catholic Association. Could there be a better practical proof of the light in which the body was viewed, not only by the friends of the Catholic population at large, but by its steady and persevering foes. For his own part, he never had an opportunity in parliament, of giving any opinion upon the great question of Catholic emancipation. Out of parliament he had purposely abstained from doing so; not that he did not hold it a matter of great weight and importance; not that his wishes had not been strongly excited regarding it—the Catholics had his heartfelt wishes that the result of calm reasoning might at length be, to throw wide the doors of admission to every member of the excluded body. Whenever the question was introduced again, let it be brought forward by whom it might, he trusted that nothing would intervene—that no obstinate perverseness on the part of enemies and would-be representatives, should prevent his feeling himself conscientiously at liberty to give his vote to allow the Catholics a full participation in all the benefits of the British constitution. On this point he claimed no merit to himself; he believed that it was the anxious desire of all the hon. gentlemen round him to be able to concede to the Catholics; if every man could vote consistently with his wishes, he felt assured that every man would much more willingly take the popular side of that great question, than that side which was stigmatised with illiberality. But it was a difficult, a delicate, and a momentous question, and he much respected the feelings of those, who, after calmly investigating all the bearings of the subject, reluctantly came to the decision, that it was not prudent nor safe to grant further privileges, and manfully avowed and acted up to that conviction He was sorry to have been even thus far led away from the immediate subject of debate, for the general topic of the Catholic claims was a little beside the question; but it had been so mixed up with that, that it was hardly possible for a man whose sentiments were not known, and who might be suspected of entertaining narrow and illiberal views, to avoid it entirely. Proceeding, then, to the measure before the House, he must, in the outset, say that he should be wanting in duty to his country, if he did not assert, that the Association now existing in Ireland, for a length of time had adopted proceedings utterly inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution. When he informed the House that an alarm at that instant prevailed in Ireland, deep, general, and, to his mind, just; an alarm not confined to any particular class, not limited to the Orangemen who are held forth as opposed to the feelings and wishes of the Catholics, but pervading the Protestants generally, unconnected with party, and, therefore, uninfluenced by party spirit, he thought it would satisfy all honourable gentlemen, that parliament was called upon to interpose, to remove the cause of apprehension. The feeling in Ireland, among the persons to whom he alluded, was this, that the proceedings of the Association were calculated to keep alive a spirit of discontent, by exaggerated representations (or he should rather say misrepresentations) both of the state of law and fact, which daily exasperated the population against the government of the country. Any man at all acquainted with the history of Ireland, must know, that the great evil of which that country had had to complain, was the assembly of delegated bodies—in England, the evil had been riotous mob-meetings. The law of each country, therefore, had been directed to remedy these respective evils; in Ireland, by such laws as the Convention act, and in England, by the statute of Charles 2nd. Without any risk of contradiction, he would assert, that of all the delegated assemblies that had ever ex- isted in Ireland, none had gone to such lengths as the Catholic Association. The hon. member for Northampton (Mr. Maberly) had complained, that ministers had proved nothing—that the House was not properly acquainted even with the existence of the society it was called upon to suppress; yet the hon. member himself admitted that he had been present during the debates, although by peculiar good fortune, he had witnessed no intemperance—he had selected a peculiarly calm day for his visit to that assembly; he had been so fortunate that he would say to him— Hunc, Macrine, diem numera meliore Lapilio. But, if others were not well informed as to the proceedings of the Association, he (Mr. D.) had felt it his painful duty to read attentively the whole of its debates from the most authentic sources he could procure, and he was therefore prepared to maintain, that no assembly had ever yet sat which, week by week, and day by day, presumed to publish discussions of so inflammatory and irritating a character. What, he would ask, could be the tendency of such publications, but to rouse passion, and to increase discontent? When it was complained that the Association was unconstitutional, and that the interposition of the House was necessary to check its course, the supporters of the present measure were told, not that the assembly was a positive good, nor a necessary evil, for even gentlemen on the other side allowed that it was highly objectionable, but that some persons or other were responsible for its creation. Neither he (Mr. D.) nor those with whom he thought and acted were so responsible. The Catholics of Ireland maintained, that they had certain rights, and that those rights ought to be conceded, and because concession was withheld, they established an Association to "fright the isle from its propriety," by exciting ill blood, and fomenting a spirit of insubordination. Was such a course argument, or was it intimidation? Would such an Association be endured in England? The experience of legislation in this country satisfied him that it would not be tolerated for a single week. If, then, it would be so dangerous in England, give him leave to ask what would be its effects in Ireland? As a reply to this question, he required no more than the description given in the Assembly itself of the state of the people, of their irritability and inflammability. One of the orators of the Association, speaking of the state of the people of Ireland, said, "there is in this country an immense mass of population, uniformly acting under the influence of passion more than of reason; men who have injuries to avenge—who are bound to the soil by no tie, and cheered by no solace, and have nothing but animal instinct to attach them to existence—who mount the scaffold with a laugh, and leap from it with a bound;" hence he proceeded to talk of the prospect of success thus afforded to an invader, and of the peril to which the country was exposed. The House would recollect, that this representation was no hypothesis, no prediction of what might be the condition of Ireland twenty years hence; but a representation of the actual state of feeling in the Catholic population at the present moment.—In the course of this debate, frequent allusion had been made to the administration of justice in Ireland. Upon that part of the subject, he was extremely desirous of making a few observations. In all the eulogiums pronounced on the British constitution, no part was more fully warranted than the applause bestowed upon the well-merited impartial administration of justice. He spoke from the experience of some years, when he asserted of Ireland, that the Roman Catholics there enjoyed the-fullest and fairest measure of justice. He feared no contradiction upon this point, from any Irish member acquainted with the subject, when he said, that the courts of justice in Ireland were open alike to the rich and to the poor, without distinction of religious sects. He was the more anxious to touch upon this point, because, when aspersions had been cast upon the administration of justice in Ireland, passing over the Irish members who had a knowledge of the facts, the duty was always entrusted to English hands. Two years ago, a petition on the mal-administration of justice, had been consigned to the charge of one of the most able and eloquent members in the House, the representative for Winchelsea (Mr. Brougham), who complained that he had been sent into the House briefless, and without facts to sustain the charges adduced. It might, indeed, be said that the whole rested on assertions on both sides; but assertions were of different kinds—accurate and inaccurate—partial and impartial. The assertions he had made he would confirm by such evidence as would be deemed sa- tisfactory—satisfactory, he meant, to those who took the same view of the subject that he did. In the course of the day, the minutes taken before the committee of last year on the state of Ireland, had been laid upon the table, and from those minutes it appeared, that the administration of justice had, among others, formed an important branch of the investigation. The first person examined was a gentleman of the name of Blackburne, who possessed an experience of eighteen years, and who enjoyed the highest character. Being asked how far the administration of justice was or was not pure, he gave a reply which was perfectly convincing to every candid mind. Mr. Bennett had been next examined: he also was a king's counsel of eighteen years standing, and his evidence was precisely of the same character. The next witness was entitled to every respect, and to implicit credit; he alluded to Mr. Justice Day, of the court of King's-bench, and with the leave of the House he would read a portion of the information he gave the committee. The question was:—"From your observation, do you consider that the body of the people of Ireland have as much confidence in the equal and fair administration of justice as the people of England, not so much in the principal courts as before local magistrates, and generally in the administration of justice by the intervention of a jury?" The answer was:—"My opinion is, that justice is very fairly administered, generally speaking, in Ireland. I know that on the circuits I have gone, juries have been composed indifferently of Catholics and Protestants, and they have conducted themselves most properly. The grand juries consist of more Protestants than Catholics, because the Catholic gentry are not so numerous." The latter part of this reply would perhaps explain to the hon. colonel who spoke last, a point of which he had appeared ignorant. The next question to Mr. Justice Day was this:—"Have you not found Catholics and Protestants acting indiscriminately, both in civil and criminal cases, and acting impartially." And the reply of the learned judge had been, "Oh, Lord! in executing their duty as jurors, religion never seemed to enter into their imaginations. I never had the misfortune to encounter any religious feeling to prejudice the course of justice on any of the circuits I went. "God grant that after the labours of the Association to poison the fountains of justice, the judges might still have the power of saying with Mr. Justice Day, that religion never prejudiced its course! He feared that such a reply could never again be given, if the Association were allowed to interpose as public prosecutor or defendant. He might appeal with confidence to any of the learned members opposite, whether with this public body—this Joint-Stock Company (he might call it, in compliance with the fashion of the day), to carry on and foster litigation, it was possible that justice could be fairly administered. He was not for any change in this respect in Ireland; but if it were necessary, sure he was, that a subscription like the Catholic Kent could effect no beneficial alteration. He had seen that the Association had appointed a committee to investigate a case, and subsequently directed that an action should be brought. That action was now pending, in one of the most Catholic counties of Ireland. He need hardly say, that the gentleman against whom it was brought was a Protestant; and as in that county, the Catholics and Protestants were as ten to two, it was evident that the jury to decide would be five to one against him. Let it not be forgotten, also, that the Association had voted, that the conduct of the magistrate had been most flagrant and unjust, and that one of the most distinguished prelates of the Catholic Church, in the same spirit, had declared—"that the Catholic who was not with the Catholic cause was an enemy to his religion and his country;" it was not very likely that the jury would come to the decision with minds unbiassed by prejudice.—What had been advanced by the right hon. Secretary for Ireland on the Catholic Rent, had been disputed by the hon. baronet from the Queen's county (sir H. Parnell), but he (Mr. D.) was in a condition to confirm fully the original statement. The hon. member then referred to the report of the secret committee of the Irish House of Lords, which sat in the year 1798, and which, referring to the origin of the disturbances then existing in Ireland, stated, that in 1791 large sums of money were collected from the Catholic population, by a committee of persons of that persuasion, who assumed a control over the body—he then proceeded. No gentleman had been bold enough to support the existing Assembly in Dub- lin, as perfectly constitutional. But, if it were not only constitutional, but legal, he had the high authority of the hon. and learned member for Winchelsea for saying, that even the legality of such an Association ought not to prevent the House from interfering with its existence where abuse existed. He asked them whether any Assembly had been guilty of grosser abuse than the Catholic Association? The errors of the Catholic Committee of old were trifles in comparison. He remembered the manner in which that body had been formerly characterised and described; but, what would then have been thought of a combination like the present, which, day by day, and week by week, met, debated, published its debates, mimicked and travestied the proceedings of parliament in every way, appointed committees, received reports, and, while it attempted to overreach the legislature, overawed the administration of justice? The levy of a tax was the last finishing touch of the full-length likeness; but this, it was contended, was a voluntary contribution. They knew but little of Ireland, who thought that wealth was there so redundant, as to make this sacrifice of trifling moment. But the most powerful engine was set to work to obtain the Rent; the authorities of the Church had been called in aid. He should be the last to object to the exertion by the priesthood of its legitimate influence; but here the purpose for which it was employed was for the creation of a body of representatives, distinct from the House of Commons, but exercising similar powers. It could not be borne that two Houses of Commons should exist at the same time. The members in Ireland might endeavour to disguise the resemblance, and they did diguise it; they might well say they did not represent the Catholics—for, if they did, they would have fallen under the wise provisions of the Convention act. They nevertheless admitted, that they were virtual representatives: the difference was, that, instead of being appointed, they were adopted by the Catholics; they were representatives by adoption, not by appointment. For all bad purposes they were as efficient as if they acted under an undoubted delegation—nay, on this very account they were, perhaps, more dangerous. If one or the other must be tolerated, he would infinitely prefer such a body as the Catholic committee; because, in that case, where there was something like election, there must be something like responsibility. If, however, the Catholic committee could not be endured, a fortiori the Catholic Association ought to be suppressed. In the evidence taken before the committee, on the state of Ireland, he found the testimony of a Catholic gentleman of the name of Dunn. He had said, that he was not a member of the Catholic Association, though he had been a member of the Catholic committee, having been appointed to represent the Queen's county there. He disapproved of some of the proceedings of the Association, and considered the speeches intemperate, and calculated to injure the Catholics. He (Mr. Doherty) was precisely of the same opinion. Whatever seeming animosity there might be at present, he was satisfied that, on reflection, every rational and dispassionate Catholic must disapprove of the course pursued by the Association. He hoped to God that such would be the result, and that the main body of Catholics would separate themselves from these obtrusive and assuming leaders of their cause, who had tyrannically compelled them to send in their tardy and reluctant adhesion to their body. He trusted that the Catholics would be taught by experience, and take a lesson from the overwhelming majority of the House, which, he anticipated, would vote in favour of the bill now proposed. If they did not timely grow thus wise, the effect might be an indefinite postponement of the consummation of their wishes. In the opinion of the hon. gentleman, the Catholic Association had, in point of fact, from the nature of their operations, exercised a species of tyranny over the Catholic body generally; and, he believed, a greater service could not be done to the Catholic cause, than to rid them from that species of tyranny. Indeed it was said, that the Association had achieved some good deeds in the cause, and which should redeem them from their fate. Forsooth! they had tranquillized Ireland. That Ireland was tranquil the hon. gentleman well knew—that the Catholic Association existed was also true—but, between these two facts, there was no connexion whatever. He believed that the tranquillity of Ireland was owing to the justice, the equanimity, the moderation, and the policy of lord Wellesley, and certainly not to the measures of the Catholic Association.

He should rather say that Ireland was tranquil notwithstanding the Association. But, if they looked beyond the present, and supposed that parliament neither attended to the threats nor the petitions of the Association, and emancipation were refused, what then was to be expected for the tranquillity of Ireland at their hands? Let the House look to the language which had, from time to time, been made use of by the leaders of the Association in and out of that assembly. They would find the people of Ireland addressed thus:—"Every field is a redoubt, and every mountain a tower of strength, six millions of people cannot long remain unattended to, and Ireland may shake off her oppressors, Like dew-drops from the lion's mane.'" Was this the language of intimidation or not? Was it from such language as this that the peace of Ireland was to be expected? He, however, desired to be understood as not joining in the apprehensions which some persons expressed. He believed that in the progress of the Association, its promoters might have gone further than they intended. They did not, he believed, at first contemplate the use of language of an equivocal nature, winch any person could construe as seditious, from any seditious intention he fully acquitted them. He knew that many of the leading members of the Catholic Association were honourable men; but the applause of public assemblies was seldom given to the most moderate, and thus men were led to adopt sentiments, such as, in the moments of sober reflection, they would disclaim. If a strong feeling against the Association were expressed by that House, he did not share the apprehensions of those who predicted a more tenacious adherence to their object on the part of its leaders. He believed that they would have too much consideration for their own characters and honour to engage in a mean contest of evasions, although he knew that their talent could supply them with the means of evading the power of Parliament for a considerable time. Sure he was at least, that the peers connected with that body would never stoop to such a course. The Kenmares and the Fingals would never lend the sanction of their high names, in order to oppose what was the decided sense of that House, by a system of pettyfogging and contemptible equivocations. He was sensible that no such degradation of honourable minds could be anticipated, and that the decision of par- liament would be respected. The speech of an hon. and learned member opposite supplied him with a case which bore directly upon this point; and as one precedent, to a member of the hon. and learned gentleman's profession, was worth many arguments, he would revert to it, as a splendid example for those who had the power of adopting it upon the present occasion. He alluded to the conduct of the volunteer Association, which spontaneously dispersed, upon a disapproving resolution being expressed by the Irish House of Commons. The hon. and learned member then read a passage from a speech delivered by Mr. Justice Day, in the Irish House of Commons in the year 1793, in which, alluding to the conduct of the volunteers, he states, "that having been rebuked on the 29th November, 1783, by the nervous and manly eloquence of Mr. Yelverton, the then attorney-general, who had no hesitation in pronouncing their assembly to be unlawful, they broke up their assembly, separated to their homes, and to the cultivation of the pursuits of peace." That such may be the conduct of the Catholic Association on the present occasion, I will not presume (said the hon. member) to say that I expect; but, surely I may be permitted to express my carnest hope, and fond desire, that they may profit by this noble example; convinced as I am, that such conduct will best promote the interests of the Catholics themselves, and tend to the general tranquillization of the country.

Mr. Dominick Browne

apologised for rising so soon after the learned gentleman who had just sat down; but there were some remarks which he had made relative to Catholic jurors which he felt it his duty to notice. First, perhaps, he should say, that he did not know how the Association could be put down; or what utility there would be in doing so, if it could be effected. Generally speaking, there could not he said to be a denial of justice to the Catholics; the fault was not in the law, but in the System which placed the Catholic and the Protestant in a false position towards each other: and men must be more than men usually were found to be, if their prejudices had not some operation upon them, either in the jury box or elsewhere. In the faults of so vicious a system he attributed no blame to lord Wellesley or to his right hon. friend the attorney-general for Ireland. They had effected a beneficial change; but enough had not yet been done. The Protestant and the Catholic should be placed on the same equality. The Catholic Association sought for the people that equality; and, whatever their faults might be, there could be no doubt that the Rent had been the means of uniting all the Catholics of Ireland, and the Catholics of England with them. Their proceedings might frighten the timid in this country; but the greatest step they had taken, in furtherance of their claims, for the last ten or twenty years, was decidedly the institution of the Catholic Rent. He wished to say nothing which had a tendency to produce inflammation, either in this country or in Ireland; but he was bound to speak the truth, as he had ever done on the all-important question of the Catholic claims, which he considered to be involved in this discussion. He was not prepared to say abstractedly that the Association was consonant to the British Constitution; but when he looked to the condition of Ireland he thought it as small an evil as could well be expected to grow out of that condition. Although Ireland had now been many years united to England, what he would call the colonial system was still maintained, and every place of importance, in church and state, was given to Englishmen. That of itself was sufficient to create discontent amongst the mass of the people. It had been said, that the Catholic Association was not consonant with the spirit of the British constitution; but other things might be mentioned which were in opposition to the spirit of that constitution: for instance, the Insurrection act, the Whiteboy act, and the 20,000 troops kept up in Ireland. And yet he neither wished the army to be reduced, nor the Insurrection act altogether dispensed with. But he wished to see the Catholics in possession of their just rights; and he would not therefore vote for any further abridgment of the liberties of the people. He was satisfied, that it would be better for Ireland if the ministers were unanimously opposed to the Catholic question, instead of being divided for and against it. He had rather that the question should not be brought forward by any part of the cabinet, until it could receive the support of the whole body. Ministers seemed to consider the Catholic question as a matter of secondary importance. In his opinion, it was a subject of primary importance, and su- perior in interest to the recognition of the states of South America, or the proceedings of the Holy Alliance. The worst government which Ireland could have was one divided, like the present, on the subject of the Catholic claims: the next best government she could have would be one united against those claims; but, the best government of all would be one that would come manfully forward and say to the people of England, that the Catholics of Ireland ought to be admitted, within the pale of the constitution, and until that should be done that Ireland would be only a burthen and a source of disquietude to this country. He did not think that any danger would be removed by passing the bill. The danger was not in the Association itself, but because it represented the grievances of the people of Ireland. If the bill should pass, it would only have the effect of changing the shape of the danger. He did not mean to say that the people of Ireland would be driven to rebellion. He knew, from his own observation, that the Roman Catholics, from the highest of the body down to the meanest peasant, were perfectly convinced that the strength of their cause consisted in their submission to the will of the legislature. He was speaking only of the present moment; but disappointment must produce disaffection; and disaffection in Ireland would now be a more serious matter than it was twenty years ago; for, since that period, the people had become richer and better educated. He was satisfied that if the system of coercion should be persisted in, parliament could not stop with a bill for putting down what were called illegal assemblies, but must pass a perpetual Insurrection act, and maintain an army of 100,000 men in Ireland; and after all, that would be insufficient. The people of Ireland, at the present moment, were full of hope; and it behoved the parliament and the people of this country to take care that that hope should not be deferred, or disappointed. [hear, hear.]

Mr. William Williams

remarked, that, of all those who had spoken in favour of the Catholic Association no one had gone the length of completely justifying it. For his own part, he looked upon that body as being most inimical to the interests of the Catholics of Ireland. Having expressed those sentiments with respect to the Association he would shortly state what appeared to him the great evil under which Ireland laboured. In his opinion, the chief, indeed almost the only cause of the present unfortunate condition of Ireland was the religious animosities which pervaded every portion of society in that country, and entered more or less into every, even the most private, transaction. It must be admitted, that it was a desirable object to allay those animosities, and to unite Catholics and Protestants in the bond of Christian love. That being the case, he was of opinion that it would be a serious evil to negative the motion before the House; for that proceeding would be considered in no other light than as a triumph of the Catholics: and he believed that to give a triumph to the Catholics at the present moment would be dangerous in the extreme. On that ground, he would give his vote for the bringing in the bill, though he would not pledge himself to support it in all its details. He conceived that the putting down of the Association would be most beneficial to Ireland. He was a friend to civil and religious liberty, and felt as sincerely as any member, the claims which the Catholics had upon us. The proceedings of the Association were calculated materially to defeat the objects of the Catholic body. Feeling, as he did, the blessings that he enjoyed under the British constitution, it was his most anxious desire to extend those blessings to every class of his fellow subjects.

Mr. Dennis Browne,

in allusion to an observation which had fallen from Mr. Dominick Browne, said, that religious feelings in Ireland were not carried by the parties into courts of justice. Throughout the whole of his experience, and that of many individuals, upon whose statements he could rely, this had never been found to be the case.

Mr. Martin,

of Galway, said he was perfectly ready to admit all that was said by the right hon. Secretary for Ireland in submitting his motion to the House; he was ready to accede to all the deductions from the arguments laid down by the right hon. gentleman; he was also prepared to concur with the hon. member for Louth as to the magnitude of the evils resulting from the state of Ireland. But he did not think it to be his duty, notwithstanding all this, to assent to the proposed bill, because he knew perfectly well that it would fail in its operation. He did not approve of all the proceedings of the Catholic Association. He had attended a Meeting of the Association himself, and when there, he had represented to them many of the errors into which they had fallen. When he heard it stated, in defence of the Catholic Association, that a word from that body could, and actually did, pacify the whole of the south of Ireland, and that it was strong enough to allay the angry storm, he confessed that he felt alarmed. The association could awake the storm by the same means by which they allayed it. When they extended their trident over the agitated billows, could they not use the same trident to rouse the calm into a raging storm? As they converted the storm into a calm, so could they turn the calm into a whirlpool. He would, however, warn those who introduced this bill, that it would fail of the desired effect; and if it did, we were [a laugh]] not where we set out from before. The proceedings of the Catholic Association had excited a general opposition to their claims throughout England; and a knowledge of that fact might operate as a salutary lesson to the Association, to conduct themselves better. He thought, however, that it would be convenient to have a standing committee of Catholics, to communicate with on the subject of the Catholic claims. Although he approved of some of the acts of the Catholic Association, yet he disapproved of the intention of putting them down in the manner intended by the right hon. gentleman. He thought that the Catholics had acted unwisely in seeking an alliance with some hon. members on the other side of the House. It was surely not wise to confide their petition to the hon. baronet, the member for Westminster; for whom he had a great respect. It would have been much better for the Catholics to have consulted with their old friends. If he could have any influence with the Association, he would certainly advise them not to give their petition into the hands of the hon. member, who, with eleven or twelve of his friends, had taken up their hats and walked out of that House, when the Catholic question was proposed in the session before the last. How could the hon. baronet now take up the petition after he had before made his bow at the bar, and walked away with himself calling the proposition an "annual farce?" For his own part, although he did not approve of the proceedings of the Catholic Association, yet he would not give his vote for the introduction of this bill; because he knew that it would fail in its operation.

Mr. Warre

observed, that there was no denying that Ireland was in a deplorable state, but he believed that the disease proceeded from causes that required a very different remedy from the one proposed. Much boast had been made of the salutary effects of the Insurrection act, which, as far as he could find, was without foundation; since, in the course of the year 1823, 497 persons had been apprehended under that act in the county of Tipperary, of which number no less than 461 had been acquitted. That was a strong instance of the abuse of those unconstitutional powers. He had heard nothing from the king's ministers to convince him, that if the Catholic Association were put down by strong measures, it would not be revived and renewed in some other shape. It was the expression of the feelings and sentiments of six millions of people; and, as long as they remained in the anomalous and irreconcileable state they were in at present, they would, to borrow the language of government, "give a dangerous expression of their feelings." He would have been very glad if the state of Ireland had been different from what it was; but, looking at its present condition, he could not help expressing it as his firm and unalterable conviction, that there was only one remedy. He could not but remember in the late Hanover question, the triumphant way in which the right hon. Secretary had read the new Federation of Germany, and had appealed to the excellence of its formation. There was likewise a speech of lord Liverpool's against the Catholic question on record, in which that noble earl had laid it down as a dictum, that it was absolutely necessary that there should be an exclusive religion, and had cited Holland in proof of his assertion. It was true, that old Holland bore him out in what he had advanced; but, what was now the state of religious feeling in Holland? One of the express articles of the new constitution of that country was, that no religious persuasion should disqualify an individual from serving in a public capacity; and even in the union between Holland and Belgium, in which there was much bickering and discontent, and where they were continually differing in the articles of commerce and taxation, religion was the only thing on which they did not quarrel. It appeared as if it was determined that this country should stand still, while all others were making rapid advances in enlightened notions on matters of religion. In England it was as though we were still living in the days of William or Anne. He felt it to be his duty to oppose the bill, not only because it was his conscientious feeling that it would fail in its purposes, but because he thought that that failure would leave Ireland in a worse state than it was at present.

Mr. Wynn

said, he certainly was of opinion, that this measure was not likely to tranquillize Ireland, if it was not accompanied with the great measure that had so long been in agitation. It was to that alone that he looked for the restoration; but he did not therefore agree, that when the main question could not be carried—when the grand remedy for existing evils in Ireland could not be obtained—therefore the House should sit still supinely, let those existing evils take their course, and not apply to the more pressing of them the best remedy that lay within its power. He hesitated not to declare, that he had always felt the passing of that great measure absolutely necessary and, heregretted the conduct of the Catholic Association, chiefly for the mischief which it had done to the Catholic cause. That Association had done more harm, more real harm, to the Catholics, than any other body which had at any time existed. It had not harmed their cause in his mind, because whatever their conduct might be, he was still convinced of the necessity of granting their claims, the more so, because he felt assured that the very granting of those claims would weaken the power of the ill-disposed among them, and put strength into the hands of those who had the prosperity of their cause at heart. But still, if it was out of his power to carry the best measure into effect, was he therefore bound to do nothing? Mischievous as the operations of the Catholic Association had been thus far, the country might rely upon it, that the worst effect of those operations was yet to come. He would not dwell upon the state of exasperation into which such a body, left to act, would at last provoke itself: let the House look at the effect, in the way of exasperation, which such a body would produce upon others. It was a well known principle in natural philosophy, that action and re-action were the same; but in political matters that was not the case, the re-action always exceeding and provoking an increase of the action again. But there was another effect likely to be produced from this cause. The principle upon which the Catholic Association had formed itself once recognized, what was to prevent the formation of counter-associations among the Protestants? What would be the end of this? Would such bodies proceed meekly? Would they compete with each other coolly, and with forbearance? Or would they not go on contending, from day to day, with increasing exasperation—one act of quarrel or violence leading only to another still more outrageous, until, in the end, the whole country became inflamed, and involved in the dispute? This last was the only result which he could anticipate. The House therefore had no alternative: it must either put down the Catholic Association, or repeal the laws forbidding and restraining all other Associations. The principle the only true principle, was, not to repeal those laws, but to make them equally operative. He had always been desirous to put down the Orange Associations; not so much from a fear of the mischief which they did in themselves, as from the dread that they would lead to the formation of such bodies as the Catholic Association. In fact, the system of Association, generally, was one of the great curses which afflicted Ireland. Whether it was a Catholic Association, or a society of Shanavets, Caravats, Peep-of-Day-Boys, Whiteboys, Defenders, or Hearts of Oak—no matter the name, so long as such Associations existed, the peace of the country was hopeless. The origin of these societies was differently laid—some said that they proceeded from the feebleness of the law in Ireland, and the uncertainty of its administration; others contended, that that very feebleness and uncertainty they themselves produced. Perhaps it was impossible to say precisely how the fact stood upon this point: the cause and the effect probably played a good deal into each other's hands. Where the law was weak and its administration uncertain, men would be driven into Associations for the sake of obtaining justice: on the other hand, while such private leagues were in operation, public justice never could be fairly administered. This principle was universal; history was full of examples of it. In Scotland, for years after the Union, the administration of justice had been most feeble. It was perfectly understood that before a jury of one clan, a man of another clan, could not have a fair trial. No longer back than the year 1752, a most curious instance to this effect had occurred in the trial of a poor man named Stewart. The panel had observed, that it was the first time it had been supposed possible that a Stewart could have a fair hearing before a jury of Campbells, with a Campbell (the duke of Argyll having gone down expressly for the occasion) sitting as the judge.* With reference to the immediate proceedings of the Catholic Association, the hon. member for Queen's county had insisted, that, admitting the statement of the Association's interference as to the case at Ballybeg to be true, still, in that case, as well as in the other alluded to, the innocent persons had been acquitted. Why, they had been acquitted no doubt; but for that they might rather thank their own innocence, than the justice of the Catholic Association. They had been acquitted, because their cases had been so clear as not to leave a shade of doubt; but what effect might not the calumnies heaped on them have produced, if the matter had admitted of a question? The principle it was, that he contended for. Could there be a hesitation in any man's mind upon the subject? The question was not, had an improper interference procured an unjust verdict—or had it power to do so? The country was bound to prevent the possibility of such a consummation. Why, what would be said in England—in any country where there was even a semblance of administering justice—of every means taken to prejudice the case of a prisoner, be his crime what it might, in the mind of his jury, before he went to trial? It was a course too monstrous to be even argued about, far less to be defended. He saw no way of ending these evils, but by an act like that which was now proposed. Had it been an act peculiarly to put down the Catholic Association, he would never have consented to it—for he never would have consented to any law which went to make a difference between Protestant and Catholic; but he felt that the system of Association had always been one of the most mortal banes to the prosperity of Ireland; and therefore he supported the present bill, as one which struck equally * See Howell's State Trials, Vol. XIX. p. 11. at societies on one side and on the other. Honourable gentlemen had said, that the measure would be ineffectual: he hoped otherwise, and he believed the prophecy would not be found a true one. He thought that the mere expression of parliamentary opinion would have its effect. Let the House look at the acts of coercion which it had been found necessary to pass in this country. They were full of loop-holes, every one of them, by which they might be evaded; but they had succeeded, and perfectly, for the country had a willingness to conform itself to the desire of the legislature; nor had he a doubt that even the discussion which had already taken place with respect to the Catholic Association would induce many to abandon it. Those who really desired to promote the nominal object of that Association, the restoration to the Catholics of their rights—he did not mean to use the term "rights" invidiously, but claims to which no sufficient objection could be made might be termed so—those persons who were really anxious for the promotion of Catholic interests, would feel that, in continuing with the Association, they injured the cause which they supposed they were supporting. Some doubts had been raised as to whom the measure originated with; some had mentioned this person, and others that, but he could assure the House, that it was not a measure proceeding either from one part of the cabinet or another, but a measure that had been universally adopted by his majesty's ministers, from a general conviction of the great utility that was likely to be derived from it. With respect to the question of Catholic emancipation, into whatever hands it might be trusted, he felt it to be a great public question, and he should give it his warm support.

Mr. Calcraft

said, he never recollected a question of deeper importance, and which affected more nearly the vital interests of the empire, than that which was now under the consideration of the House. He was satisfied, that if it were attempted to stifle the voices of the Catholics, by this or any other measure, and if the just rights of that body were not conceded, visitations would be perpetually occurring, in the shape of conventions, Catholic boards, and Catholic Associations. Notwithstanding the professions of the right hon. gentleman, he must say, that he could not put much faith in the sincerity of those who, while they expressed their desire to do justice to the Catholics, continued to form part of a government which declared concession impossible. The right hon. gentleman had said, that he would put down the Catholic Association, because it would lead to counter-associations. Why; it was in itself nothing more than a counter-association, created in opposition to those Orange associations, which the right hon. gentleman had declared himself as willing as any man could be to denounce. The House was told of acts of coercion passed with respect to England; but, there was no body in England situated as the Irish Catholics were situated. He confessed he hoped that the Catholics of Ireland would continue united; and, as long as they assembled in a legal and constitutional manner, he trusted they would continue to press their claims upon parliament until they obtained them. He never remembered to have heard a minister come down to the House of Commons and ask that body to prevent the subjects of the realm from meeting to discuss their grievances, upon proof so lame and defective as that offered by the right hon. secretary for Ireland. Here was the country itself in a state of tranquillity greater than any man recollected; a society the proceedings of which were all open; there was no insurrection threatened, no green-bag produced, none of the ordinary paraphernalia to give weight to such a demand; and yet the House was called upon to pass a bill, which forbad the Catholics from seeking to obtain those rights which they were entitled to. True, it was alleged, by the hon. member for Louth, that great fears as to this Association were entertained in Ireland; but these fears were feigned. From sources which he could not doubt, he was assured that no such apprehension existed. The timid might be alarmed; the tyrannical and the designing would pretend to be so; but the ministers of government knew that no cause for alarm existed, and that rumours had been set afloat, tending to create it, which had no foundation. The right hon. gentleman who had last spoken, expressed his belief that the Catholic Association would not resist the bill before the House. He (Mr. C.) felt convinced that they would not resist, because they would anticipate it. Long before the measure could pass, the Association against which it pointed would have faded away, to meet again directly in some other form, equally suited to its purposes. It could not be suspected that the Catholics had any thought of carrying their rights by force. They could not entertain such an idea, and be attached to the state and the constitution, as he believed them to be. But, if the House thought it possible that by bringing in this bill the progress of their great work would be impeded—that the concentration of their numbers would be checked, and their collections of money for general purposes be prevented—if hon. gentlemen expected to see that, they would find themselves disappointed. The formation of this Catholic Association was deplored. What less than the formation of such societies, under the circumstances of the country, could be expected? Did hon. gentlemen remember the visit of his majesty to Ireland? He (Mr. C.) had happened to be in the country at that period; and never had he witnessed so enthusiastic a burst of loyalty. Had this expression been confined to the Orangemen? The Catholics had been the most forward in it, and the most sincere. And yet, any man might have seen, without possessing the gift of prophecy, how the cause of Ireland would be disposed of. His majesty came with lord Sidmouth in one hand, and with the marquis of Londonderry in the other. From such a conjunction, was there any thing to be hoped? At such a sight, well might Ireland have exclaimed "My bane and antidote are both before me! This in a moment says the bill will pass: but this assures me it can never be!" The warmth of language used by the Catholic Association had been complained of; but what was more natural than for large bodies who had substantial grievances to complain of, to give vent to their complaints in warm language? The expression in the Address issued by the Association had been made the subject of complaint. An invitation to peace, "by the hate you bear the Orangemen," was an expression which, no doubt, sounded strangely to English ears. But, the meaning of this passage had been greatly perverted. The hatred alluded to was not the hatred of Orangemen personally, but of a system of bigotry, tyranny, and misrule. It was the hatred of those who barred the adjured of the blessings of the constitution of their country: who had plundered them, crushed them, trampled on them for centuries. It was in the name of their hatred to this course, and to the inventers of it, that the Address charged them to forbear from joining illegal socie- ties, from associating with Whiteboys, or any other boys. The point the Association had to carry was an anxious one: and It used the language most likely to impress those they were addressing. He had no affection either for Catholic or Orange Associations, but he knew what would be the result of endeavouring to keep Ireland under the brand by which she was at present degraded. The only remedy for the grievances of Ireland—the only means of restoring complete tranquillity to that country.—was the concession of her just claims: all other nostrums would prove ineffectual. It had been said, that the Catholic question was more unpopular in this country now than it had been before the Catholic Association existed. He denied that this was the case. On the contrary, he believed that the Catholic Association had directed the attention of the people of England to the strength, power, and resources of the Catholics, and that this country was more prepared than ever to concur with any government which would restore the Catholics to their just rights. It had been asked whether we could safely suffer the Association to go on? He saw not the slightest danger in suffering it to go on, so long as its proceedings were legal. His own opinion was, that any Association, where money was collected in the poorest country in the united kingom, would naturally go off in a very short time; as far at least as the collection of money was concerned. Immense sums had been talked of; but, what was the real amount of the money that had been collected? Why, the whole sum that had been collected did not exceed 9,000l. If they looked to the sums collected by Bible societies (which he was not calling in question, for he believed their funds to be very properly and constitutionally collected) they would be found to be treble, quadruple, and quintuple the sum which was considered so dangerous in the hands of the Catholic Association. He could not conceive for what possible purpose the prospect of a calm and tranquil session had been disturbed by the introduction of this measure. It had been said in another place, that this was an Irish measure adopted by the English cabinet; but he would not do the marquis Wellesley the injustice to believe that he had advised this measure, without doing what, if rumour did not speak falsely, he actually had done; namely, proposing, at the same time, some alternative, the adoption of which would have rendered the measure totally unnecessary. His despatches had not been produced, because they were not in tune to the ears of his majesty's ministers, and they preferred therefore to legislate in the dark, or upon the statement of the right hon. secretary, who, in his very singular speech, had made two or three admissions, which completely overturned the whole of his case. One point which had been much insisted on was, that there was no opposition in the Catholic Association; it was not surprising that this should be deemed a capital defect by so divided a cabinet as that of Ireland, which had so uniformly acted upon so paltry, tinkering, pettyfogging a system of administration. He had the highest respect for the character and talents of the marquis Wellesley; he had accepted the situation of lord-lieutenant under circumstances of extraordinary difficulty; but, the moment he found the right hon. gentleman opposite was appointed his secretary, he felt that no good would be effected for Ireland. When the chancellor of Ireland absented himself from Dublin, because he would not swear in the lord-lieutenant, this was a pretty strong omen as to the sort of government Ireland was to expect. After this, when he found that the marquis Wellesley did not stand out, and insist either upon his own recal or the dismissal of the chancellor, he felt that the fate of Ireland was sealed during his ad ministration. He (Mr. C.) denied that any alarm existed in Ireland, except what was raised by the Orangemen, who, he believed, wished to double the army, in order to put down the Catholics. He did not expect any resistance on the part of the Catholics. They were fighting the way by the legitimate force of property, and education, by increasing numbers, intelligence and wealth. If we refused to give emancipation to the Catholics now, he was satisfied that not many years would elapse before we should be obliged togrant it.

Mr. Plunkett

said, he stood in a situation which required the utmost indulgened of the House. The subject before the House had been so fully discussed in a! its parts, that he felt it impossible for his to add to the arguments that had already been adduced in its favour; and he should not have obtruded himself on the House in the course of this debate, if it we not to declare his view of the state of that country to which this question immed ately related. That was his object, rather than the hope of throwing any additional light on the subject then before the House. He confessed that he never had risen in that assembly with emotions of greater pain, nor did he ever approach any question with feelings of deeper apprehension than he approached this. It was said, that the measure now proposed was contrary to the popular principles of the constitution; and that it was intended, through a breach of those principles, to wound the cause of the Roman Catholics. The measure had been denounced, by gentlemen whom he highly respected, as one that was likely to be attended with circumstances of the most ruinous nature. These, certainly, were very heavy imputations on the proposition made by his right hon. friend; but he must say, that down to the present moment, they rested on mere assertion, and were unsupported either by argument or proof. Coming, however, from persons of so much sincerity and ability, as those to whom he had alluded, he was led almost to doubt the evidence of his senses, and to distrust the proofs which the converse of the proposition laid down by those gentlemen was capable of receiving. He trusted that, upon consideration, it would appear to the House, that the proposed measure did not interfere with any of the popular privileges of this country; he trusted also it would be found that it did not affect the Catholic question; and he confidently trusted that none of those disastrous consequences would flow from it, which some gentlemen seemed to anticipate.—The question rested not on ordinary grounds; it rested on the ground of imperious and essential necessity. The safety of the state made the adoption of this measure absolutely necessary. Before he proceeded further—before he touched on incidental points he would call the attention of the House to the real nature of the question which was proposed for consideration. It had been argued very generally on the opposite side of the House, that this measure attacked, most materially, the privileges of the Catholic body: but he begged leave to say, that it went to attack all illegal and unconstitutional institutions, whether arrayed on behalf of the Roman Catholics or against them. This was not a single measure—it was not a measure hastily taken up: it was adopted in consequence of a communication from the throne, which commu- nication also recommended, that the entire state of Ireland should be taken into consideration in the course of the session. The situation of that country was to be considered, not with reference to any particular point, but with reference to all points; and from those of course it was impossible the Catholic question could be excluded. It was necessary to pursue this course, for the purpose of curing the evil, of which the Catholic Association was only a symptom. He could not, therefore, conceive, let the individual be ever so sincere a friend to Catholic Emancipation, how he could object to the proposed measure, accompanied as it was by the declaration contained in the speech from the throne. It was said, and truly said, that, at the moment when the peace of the session was likely to be disturbed by the bringing forward of this measure, Ireland was in a state of peace and tranquillity. And his hon. friend, who spoke last, wondered why such a measure, under these circumstances, had been resorted to. He would admit that Ireland was in a state of peace and prosperity. She had participated in the general prosperity of the empire. She had been enabled, by the noble lord at the head of the government, and by the measures which he had matured (measures of the most wise and temperate description), to enjoy the blessings which were the offspring of internal tranquillity. Those measures had been properly administered; and public confidence had, in consequence, been restored. The noble marquis, when sent to Ireland, had found that country in a state nearly bordering on rebellion. He softened down the feelings of exasperation that existed, and the people soon placed confidence in the justice and benignity of his administration. It was a great blessing—it was a most gratifying object—to, behold that country now floating on the tide of public confidence and public prosperity. She was lying on the breakers, almost a wreck, when the noble marquis arrived; and if he had not taken the measures which had been so successfully adopted, she never could have floated on that tide of public prosperity.

He could not agree with the hon. and learned member for Winchelsea when he asserted, that the return of peace and tranquillity to Ireland was attributable to the exertions of the Catholic Association. But, even if that position were true, still it formed a reason for adopting the present.

measure; because, as the hon. member for Galway (Mr. Martin) had very properly said, all argument as to the necessity of this measure was at an end, if once the existence of so formidable a power was admitted. If the Catholic Association could put down those who were illegally inclined, could they not raise them up again, if they thought proper? "Tollere seu ponere vult freta." And here he would beg leave to say, that amongst the persons who were most active in effecting this restoration of order and tranquillity, and in convincing the people of the advantages which were derived from an equal administration of the laws, were the Catholic priests of Ireland not the Catholic Association, who arrogated to themselves all the merit, who wished to run away with all the praise that was due to the nobility, clergy, and gentry, of the country [hear]. The Roman Catholic clergy had, without any dictation from that body, preached to the people the principles of religion and of peace. He said this in justice to that most useful and most calumniated set of men. Having borne this testimony to the tranquillity and prosperity of Ireland, the question naturally was—"Why, when the state of things is soflattering, do you bring this measure forward?" He would answer, that, although he never remembered a period when greater prosperity prevailed in Ireland, yet he never recollected a time when so great, when so violent a degree of excitation existed in that country; and he knew that much alarm was felt on account of the danger that might arise, if the present system were allowed to go on with a progressive increase of strength. That very considerable alarm existed in the minds of many Protestants, it was impossible to deny. He did not mean to contend, that this alarm had not been exaggerated: that it had been very much raised by wicked and interested persons, he readily admitted: but the desperate conduct of this society had tended to verify the justice of the fears and apprehensions that had been conjured up. An hon. member had, in the course of his speech, admitted that in the parts of Ireland in which he had been, he had observed that this excitation was powerfully alive. He further said, that amongst the Roman Catholic population, he had observed more excitation and expectation, than he ever remembered to have witnessed before; and he asked, whether this was not a reason for imme- diately granting the Catholic question? He (Mr. Plunkett) sincerely wished to grant the claims of the Catholics; but if they could not grant them, were the legislature, therefore, not to make provision for any circumstances of danger which they might have reason to apprehend? [hear, hear, from sir F. Burdett.] The hon. member for Westminster appeared to notice this proposition. He wished him to do so. If this measure of Catholic emancipation were not granted by the House, was the refusal, he would ask, to be submitted to, or to be resisted? Because, the answer to that question involved the justice or the reprobation of the measure now before the House. The fact was, that if the Catholic question was felt to be of that paramount importance which called for instant adoption (and to that point he went), there was no necessity for this institution; but if the measure of Catholic emancipation was not adopted, and if the refusal was to be resisted by the physical force of Ireland, then, he contended, that this was an Association which ought to be opposed as well by the friends of the Catholics as by those who were adverse to their claims [hear]. Before he proceeded further, he would very shortly remind the House of the nature of this Roman Catholic Association. He did not mean, after the luminous statement of his right hon. friend, and the remarks which had been made in the course of the debate, to give more than an outline of the Association; confining himself strictly to those points which he deemed essentially necessary. It appeared that this society was formed on a plan different from those numerous defiances of the law which had existed in Ireland. A number of gentlemen had, it seemed, formed themselves into a club, not merely for the purpose of forwarding the Roman Catholic question, but "for the redress of all grievances, local or general, affecting the people of Ireland." He quoted the words of their own address; and he must say, that those parties undertook, on the moment, as many important subjects as ever engaged the attention of any body of legislators. They undertook the great question of parliamentary reform—they undertook the repeal of the Union—they undertook the regulation of church-property—they undertook the administration of justice. They intended not merely to consider the administration of justice, in the common acceptance of the term, but they determined on the visitation of every court, from that of the highest authority, down to the court of conscience. They did not stop here. They were not content with an interference with the courts; they were resolutely bent on interfering with the adjudication of every cause which affected the Catholics, whom they styled "the people of Ireland." Here was a pretty tolerable range for their exertions. He did not deny, that if a set of gentlemen thought fit to unite for those purposes, it was in their power to do so; but then comes the question as to the means which they employ; and those means I deny to be constitutional. They have associated with them the Catholic clergy—the Catholic nobility—many of the Catholic gentry, and all the surviving delegates of 1791. They have established committees in every district, who keep up an extensive correspondence through the country. This Association, consisting originally of a few members, has now increased to 3,000. They hold permanent sittings, where they enter upon the discussion of every question connected with the peace and tranquillity of Ireland. This I think is a pretty strong case in favour of the opinion, that their existence is not compatible with the security of the state. With this, however, they were not satisfied. They proceeded to establish a Roman Catholic Rent; and in every single parish of the two thousand five hundred parishes into which Ireland is divided, they established twelve Roman Catholic collectors, which, taken together, makes an army at once of 30,000 collectors [hear, hear!]; un armed I admit; unarmed in every thing but prayers, entreaties, and influence. Having raised their army of collectors, they brought to their assistance two thousand five hundred priests, the whole ecclesiastical body of that religion; and thus provided, they go about levying contributions on the peasantry. Now, I say that this is a direct violation of the principles of the British constitution. I do not say that it is illegal in the strict sense; for if it was, the Irish government would be able to prosecute, and need not have come here for a remedy; but it is going far enough to say, that parliament is the recognised legislature, and that the Association has gone so far as to assume its functions, to justify the position, that they had violated the principles of the constitution.

In proceeding to state my view of the constitutional question, I am aware of the high authorities in whose presence I speak, and of what I owe to them and to myself. But, nevertheless, I will say, that an Association assuming to represent the people, and in that capacity to bring about a reform in church and state, is directly contrary to the spirit of the British constitution [hear, hear!]. Let me not be misunderstood. Do I deny the right of the people, under this free constitution, to meet for the purpose of promoting the redress of grievances in church and state, by discussion and petition? Most certainly not. Do I mean that they have a right to increase their numbers, and to form themselves into clubs and bodies?, Certainly not. But I do deny that any portion of the subjects of this realm have a right to give up their suffrages to others—have a right to select persons to speak their sentiments, to debate upon their grievances, and to devise measures for their removal, those persons not being, recognized by law. This was the privilege alone of the Commons of the United Kingdom; and those who trenched upon that privilege, acted against the spirit of the British constitution. I will not assert that there may not be cases where no danger would be likely to arise from such an assumption of authority. But I must treat the case now before the House as it really stands; and I contend, that if there be a body of people in Ireland—I care not whether they amount to 6,000 or more—who stand forward as the representatives of six millions of their fellow-subjects, such an assembly is illegal. That is the point which the House has to consider. So far as that assembly is opposed to the authority of the House of Commons, it is, I maintain, guilty of a daring infraction of their rights. It was not (Mr. Plunkett said) the amount of "the rent" that he complained of: it was the principle that he complained of. For some purposes, such a contribution might goon fairly: but, in this instance, might not the Association, through the medium of the priests, declare, "We are the persons who represent the Roman Catholics, and we have a right to wield the power of the state." Was this a state of things to be endured? If they did not put it down, would it not, on the part of the legislature, be an abandonment of that duty which they took upon themselves to discharge for the benefit of the country? Could the government answer such a dereliction of duty to the country at large? If the power of the country was seized and wielded by those individuals, who could answer for the consequences? Even if they were the wisest and worthiest men that ever wielded the resources of any state, he would not allow them to have a government of this description. He would allow this species of power to no man, unless he was subjected to that wholesome control, to that salutary check, which was formed for a purpose the most beneficial—that of preventing those abuses which might exist under any system of government. But, to whom were these individuals accountable? Where was their responsibility? Who was to check them? Who was to stop their progress? By whom were they to be tried—by whom were they to be rebuked—if found acting mischievously? If the executive in the state wielded great powers, the constitution pointed out the mode in which it was to be done. But, in this instance, the society assumed the power both of the legislative and executive bodies, and rejected all the checks by which the latter was hemmed in and surrounded. Let the House look to the nice balance which was preserved in this (for so he must denominate it) our popular constitution. If the House of Commons could assemble when-ever it pleased—if it could continue to sit as long as it pleased—why, in a short time the entire authority of the state might be swallowed up in the representative body. In that case, however, there was an efficient check; but these gentlemen were subject to no control. They met when they pleased; and in point of fact they were in the habit of sitting from January to December, and of exercising their powers with as much strictness and severity as any absolute monarch could do. Gentlemen in that House who did not know what was passing in Ireland were not aware of the formidable instrument—more formidable than the sword or the purse—which was exercised by this Association in Ireland. Individuals connected with them went into every house and every family; they mixed in all the relations of private life, and afterwards detailed what they had seen or heard with such a degree of freedom, with such a degree of publicity, with so great a want of restraint, that it really required more courage than belonged to ordinary men to express a fair and candid opinion. The numbers of the Association were increased, in consequence, from time to time, by a body, he believed, of right unwilling conscripts. That body which, in its outset, was viewed without jealousy, had increased to three, thousand, who had actually met.

There was but one other topic, and on that his right hon. friend the Secretary for Ireland had already touched, to which he felt it necessary to refer—he meant the interference of the Catholic Association with the administration of public justice. He could not conceive a more deadly instrument of tyranny, or a proceeding more irreconcileable with justice, than this was. The Association claimed to represent—whom? To represent six millions of the people of Ireland; and then they claimed the right of denouncing, as an enemy to the people of Ireland, and of bringing to the bar of justice, any individual whom they chose to accuse (no matter on what grounds) of having violated the rights of that people. Was not this a mockery? Could the party so accused come safely to trial, when the grand inquest of the people of Ireland were his accusers? and when those accusers had in their power the application of money levied on the people of Ireland? The consequence must inevitably be, that magistrates and persons in authority must yield to such a power, or else they must array themselves against it. Looking to the consequences, he knew not which was the worse alternative. In either case the country must be a prey to wretchedness. The courts of justice would be converted into so many arenas, where the passions of those who appeared in them would be displayed with the utmost malignity. There party would be opposed to party, and thus would those courts become scenes of factious contention. And, when such was the state of things, the marquis Wellesley must be content to lie under the heavy reproach, the painful imputation, of not having allowed this institution to die of its own follies! The noble marquis, in accordance with the rest of the government of Ireland, wished to put that Association down; and, in his (Mr. P's) opinion, the determination was a wise one. Was it, he asked, to be desired, that an institution of this kind should be kept up, merely because it was supposed by some individuals, that it was impossible to carry the measure of emancipation by any other mode? Of what materials did gentlemen think the Protestants of Ireland were composed, if they imagined that the Protestant body would not establish a counter-association? Would they not seek the means of defending themselves? He did not believe that amongst the Catholics there was any present intention of having recourse to force. He believed they were peaceable in their intention; but he would say they were not their own masters. They must obey the command and behests of those under whom they had placed themselves. Was it the intent of those leaders to adopt violent measures? He did not say it was; but he would say that even those leaders were not their own masters. If they got the dregs of the population under their command, and if that population became irritated, they might rest assured, however good their intentions might be, that desperate men would take the lead of them, and produce a catastrophe which they did not now contemplate. They would be forced down that precipice where they now meant to stop, as surely as a man, placed on the brink of a steep rock, and pressed from behind by a million of persons, must give way to the power which pushed him onwards. It was, therefore, no answer to his argument to say, that the intentions of the Association were now honest and peaceable.

He would now turn to another part of the subject. The Convention act, notwithstanding all the reprobation that had been bestowed upon it, was a very useful act. It was framed by one of the ablest lawyers of the day—the late lord Kilwarden, at that time Mr. Wolfe. He was an honest man, a sound lawyer, and an ardent lover of the constitution. At the very period of his death, he proved his attachment to the constitution. He expressed a wish that no man should be brought to trial, or punished for his murder, except in accordance with the established and known law of the land. The Convention act provided for the case of election and actual delegation. It did not, however, touch the Catholic Association, where no election or delegation actually took place. But did it not come to the same thing, if an individual assumed to act on behalf of a great body, and called meetings in every county throughout the country? Was not the principle precisely the same? Here were persons who proposed to act in the name and on the behalf of the people. Surely those against whom the Convention act was directed did no more. It was not too much to say—as he had said in the outset—that they were called on to legislate in the spirit of the constitution. The salus populi, which was truly the suprema lex, demanded that they should put an end to this institution.—

But gentlemen said, "although the mischief is great, you ought not to proceed, because there is another remedy—that is the granting of Catholic emancipation." He would state his opinion once for all, on this subject. He considered Catholic emancipation, and he had always done so, as that measure, without which all other measures to render Ireland contented and tranquil must be ineffectual. He looked upon the emancipation of the Roman Catholics as a claim of right and justice. It would baffle human ingenuity to furnish any good argument against it. On public grounds of justice emancipation ought to be granted; and he thought it was utterly impossible much longer to delay it. Early in life he had set out with that impression, and he was daily more and more convinced of the accuracy of his opinion. He felt the policy as well as the urgency of granting it. These were his sentiments. They were such as he had always expressed, and which he never would abandon. But, when this alternative was proposed to the House instead of the measure now before them, the question was, "Can we have it?" He thought not. But those who opposed the proposition now under discussion, turned round and said, "Because we cannot have that measure, do not put down the mischief, the existence of which we admit." This appeared to him to be bad reasoning. The question, then, arose, "By whose fault was it that we could not have it?" Let that question be examined, and let those by whose fault it arose give the answer: but, whether or not they could name those with whom the fault lay, if fault did exist, still there were circumstances which obliged them to resort to the present measure, as the only one which could immediately give an effectual check to a great growing evil. He would repeat, if there were persons who had the power to do away with the necessity for the present proceeding, and neglected the means, they were answerable for the consequences. [Hear, hear].

He would now, with the leave of the House, endeavour to examine that question and to meet it fairly, and would be ready to take his own share of responsi- bility on the occasion. Before he proceeded, he entreated of hon. gentlemen on the opposite side, that if in any thing which he might feel it necessary to say for his own justification, he should appear even for a moment to bear hard upon them they would not consider it as an intentional attack. He assured them he had no such intention. Nothing was further removed from his wish than any inclination to attack any members for the line of conduct they might have thought proper to adopt; but, it was necessary that he should state ail that bore fully upon the point. He only wished that, while he thus placed his own conduct under examination, and put himself upon his trial, he might be allowed to file a cross-bill, and put those who accused him on their trial along with him. The right hon. and learned gentleman then alluded to his former conduct with respect to the Catholic question, and to ministers, in nearly the following words—"Sir, in the year 1813, I was, as I trust I ever have been, a zealous friend of the Catholic question. In that year the question was introduced by my lamented friend Mr. Grattan, to whom the Catholics had already owed so much. My friend, on that occasion, was pleased to put a value on my services to which they were not entitled; but undoubtedly he could not overrate the zeal which dictated them. Sir, at that time, I argued the question on its plain and firm grounds—those on which it had formerly been so ably urged by others. The speech which I then delivered was afterwards published. Hon. members may be familiar with parts of it, for they have, from time to time, been quoted here by several gentlemen. A part of it was last night read by the hon. and learned member for Lincoln (Mr. J. Williams), and a part on a former occasion by the hon. member for Westminster (sir F. Burdett). I do not mention this as having any objection to it; I would not even object to the whole being entered among the standing orders of the House, to be read by gentlemen as often as it answered any purpose. In that speech, I said, that it was to be lamented that the Cabinet were so divided upon the question of Catholic emancipation. I added, that if after having given the subject their most mature consideration, they could not, as a body, make up their minds upon it in one way or another, they were answerable to the public for the consequences of leaving such a measure as a constant source of irritation. If the hon. baronet (sir F. Burdett) does not think that this is the meaning of what I said—if I added any thing more, that might seem to militate stronger against my subsequent conduct and my present opinion, let him point it out, and I assure him I will read it to the House immediately. I admit, with him, that the fair import of my observations on that part of the subject was, that as a friend to Catholic emancipation, I did not think I could, with honour, join any administration so divided upon it as the then cabinet was. This, Sir, is, I think, a full and fair admission of what were my sentiments in the year 1813. Now, Sir, I as frankly and distinctly declare, that I have since changed that opinion. I once did think that I could not with honour join an administration, divided as were the cabinet of that day on the question of emancipation. I have now altered that opinion. [Loud cheers from the opposition—echoed back by the ministerial benches]. This declaration cannot be considered an evasion of the charge brought against me. It does not extenuate it, when I say that once I firmly held a strong opinion, which I have since changed and have acted on that change. But here I admit the question arises—Am I justified in having made that change? Have any circumstances occurred since then, which called for that change on my part? I think I shall satisfy the House that there have; and, in defending myself on the ground of those circumstances, I cannot avoid throwing some blame on the conduct of hon. members opposite. In my observations, in 1813, I stated, that I did not think the support given to the question by some members of the cabinet was much to be depended upon. [Mr. Plunkett here turned round towards Mr. Canning who sat near him, and said]—I can assure my right hon. friend, that my opinions in this respect had never any reference to him, whose sincere support of the measure could never be doubted for an instant. My doubts had reference to the conduct of a noble friend, now no more (lord Londonderry); and I confess I did at that time believe that in the support which he gave to the Catholic question, he was not so sincere as I afterwards found him. My noble friend, on that occasion, stated that I myself was inconsistent in expressing my unwillingness to act with a cabinet divided on the question of emancipation.

as I had before acted with a ministry who were not all united on that question—I allude to that which existed when the duke of Bedford was lord-lieutenant of Ireland. In the Grenville administration, it was urged by the noble lord, that there were some who were decidedly opposed to the Catholic question. Lord Sidmouth was one, and lord Ellenborough another. I own I did not think, at the time this argument was urged, that it was sufficiently conclusive to alter the opinion which I had formed. I did believe that the administration of 1813 were unfriendly to the claims of the Catholics; and I doubted, at that time, the sincerity of some members of it, who appeared to be favourable to those claims; but I did think that an administration altogether disposed to the concession of those claims might be formed out of that side of the House with which I had then the honour to act. Sir, in making this declaration of my former sentiments, and of the change which has since taken place in them, I beg to be understood as doing so, solely in justice to my own character and motives. I do not consider that I am bound to give an explanation of my conduct to any man or particular set of men in this House. There was not one of the gentlemen with whom I had formerly the honour to act, by the wisdom of whose counsels I would in all matters be guided, except lord Grenville. With respect to all the other members of that administration, I might have departed from them at any moment, without incurring the risk of being upbraided as having given up a party to whom I stood pledged.—

But, to return to the progress of the Catholic claims. The measure founded upon those claims continued to make its way. Through the zeal and activity of lord Castlereagh, it obtained an extent of legislative support which, while it left me no doubt of its ultimate success, also removed every suspicion that I had entertained of the sincerity of that noble lord in its support. It was at that time argued with reference to the objections supposed to exist on the part of the people of England, but not with reference to what were, or what were not, the opinions of any boards or committees which had been constituted to support it. As the discussion of the measure proceeded, the number of its advocates increased, and before the death of Mr. Grattan it had already gained very con- siderably on the public attention. After the lamented decease of my valued friend, I had the honour of introducing the measure. It was warmly supported by some of his majesty's ministers, and though opposed, conscientiously no doubt, by others, it passed this House, and was carried to the Lords, and there, after a warm discussion, it was rejected, only by a very inconsiderable majority. Now, Sir, when I saw those things take place, had I not a right to believe that the question could be carried by a divided administration? I had seen it pass this House, and I saw it accidentally negatived by a small majority in the other. Was not this one fair ground for the alteration of the opinion I had formed in 1813?

But, I had other reasons for the change of that opinion. The gentlemen who sit on the opposite side of the House will do me the justice to believe, that, whether as a body, or individually, I entertained and do entertain, the highest respect for them. I respect the manly manner in which they put forward their objections to what they conscientiously believe to be wrong on this side. I do not for a moment assert that because I may differ from them, they must be wrong and I right: but, whichever was right, it must be remembered, that without ceasing to sit on their side of the House, and joining them where I could, I had frequent occasions to dissent from their opinions. They no doubt adopted the course which they honestly believed to be best. I claim the same construction of my conduct in that which I pursued. In that which I looked upon as the best, I had daily occasions to differ from them. On the question of the continuance of the war—a question the most important in its nature—I differed from them. On the question which arose out of the disturbances in 1819, I felt obliged to take my stand; and, on public grounds, I differed wholly from the view which they took of the situation of the country. On the question of parliamentary reform, I also differed from them. In short, upon almost all the cardinal points connected with the general administration of public affairs, I found that our opinions were wholly different. But, it was not I alone who differed from them in their views on many important questions; I found the public also differed from them on many most material points; and that, not possessing the confidence of the public on so many questions, they did not contain within their body the materials out of which a Cabinet could be formed with any prospect of carrying the question of Catholic emancipation. When I thus found, that on the one side there were a set of men, who, though not altogether agreed on the subject, could carry that question—wlien I found on the other a party, who, though agreed upon that point, did not possess sufficient influence to carry it—and when I knew that on many very leading questions of great importance I was conscientiously opposed to that party, to which I had never stood pledged, where, I ask, was my inconsistency in taking office, in obedience to the gracious commands of my sovereign? I have thus stated the reasons which induced me to take office, and to change the opinion I had expressed in 1813. I am not ashamed of those reasons, or unwilling that my conduct should be judged by them, either in this House or before the public. And though I think those reasons a sufficient justification of the course I have pursued, yet, if there should still exist any one who, directly or by implication, should impute to me, that I have accepted office merely for the sake of place or of profit, and without any regard to political consistency, I will appeal to the history of my life, and to the sacrifices I have made for that consistency, for a proof of the fallacy of the imputation. Let me but be judged by the facts connected with ray whole public conduct, and such imputations will fall as unfounded calumnies [Hear, hear].

It was stated, Sir, in the first discussion of this session, by the hon. and learned member for Winchelsea, that the influence of the Catholic Association originated from a feeling, on the part of the Catholics, that they were deserted by their old friends. If this was intended as an allusion to any supposed conduct of mine, or to any supposed irritation on the part of the Catholics at that conduct, I must say that the hon. and learned gentleman's statement is not borne out by the fact. I have on four occasions, since I accepted office, received the public thanks of the Catholics, assembled in aggregate and other public meetings, for my services in their cause, and those thanks accompanied with expressions of confidence in my continuance of those services. I here bold in my hand these published resolutions to that effect, but I will not read them. I should rather that were done by any other than myself. At a time when the Catholic petition was sent to me to be presented, I refused to undertake it, unless it were left to myself to use my own discretion as to the time when I should present it, and whether I should bring the question forward in that session or not. Those terms were conceded, and the confidence of the Roman Catholics in my exertions on their behalf remained unabated. That confidence was not withdrawn, even when I refused to present the petition as from the Association. In November last, when it was resolved that the Catholic petition should be confided to the care of the hon. baronet opposite (sir Francis Burdett), Mr. Wolfe, a gentleman of whom it is but justice to say, that a man of greater merit or more promising talent did not exist in that Association—I say, that in November last, on the motion of Mr. Wolfe, it was resolved, that the Catholics, though they had confided the petition to another, still relied confidently upon the continuance of my usual support of the measure. I do not think they could have placed their cause in more efficient hands than those of the hon. baronet; and I beg to assure him, that when he brings the question forward, he shall have my unaltered support. When he introduces the measure to the House, he may feel assured that I shall not get up and walk out, leaving him in the unpleasant situation in which I was placed on a former occasion. [Hear, hear, from the Treasury benches]. When I say this, I am far from intending to cast any imputation upon the motives of the hon. baronet on that occasion. He did that which he thought best. I do not blame him; for I do not believe that either in or out of parliament there exists a more just, consistent, and honourable character, whether viewed in the various relations of public or private life [hear, hear], I am aware that the hon. baronet needs not any praise of mine, but justice compelsme to say thus much.

I beg pardon for having occupied so much of the attention of the House in speaking of matters personal to myself; but what I have stated was, I submit, called for by the fact of my being mentioned, day after day, as one cause of the existence of this Association, as if that could have proceeded from my alteration of an opinion which I expressed twelve or thirteen years ago." The right hon. and learned gentleman then adverted to an extract from his speech in 1813, which had been read yesterday by the hon. and learned member for Lincoln, as a sort of evidence of another act of inconsistency on his part. He would now repeat the passage which the hon. and learned gentleman had quoted, and show the very unfair advantage which had been taken, by separating two passages which followed close one upon the other in the speech. The passage was—"Sir, it appears to me most unfair to visit on the Roman Catholics the opinions and the conduct of such public assemblies as profess to act for them; if they labour under a real and a continuing grievance, and one which justifies on their part a continued claim, they must act through the medium of popular assemblies, and must of course be exposed to all the inconveniences which attend discussion in such assemblies. In all such places, we know that unbounded applause attends the man who occupies the extreme positions of opinion, and that the extravagance of his expression of such opinion will not be calculated to diminish it. That there may be many individuals anxious to promote their own consequence, at the expense of the party whose interests they profess to advocate, is an evil inseparable from such a state of things: and amongst those who sincerely wish to promote the interests of the cause, much may fairly be attributed to the heat naturally generated by long-continued opposition; much to the effects of disappointed hope; much to the resentment excited and justified by insolent and virulent opposition." The arguments which he (Mr. P.) then used were by no means inconsistent with those he now held. He then condemned such Associations; so he did at present; but he thought now as then, that the conduct of a few individuals ought not to be visited upon the whole body. If this was the whole of what he had then said on the subject, it would not prove inconsistency, but would show that he was consistent on both occasions; but, as he had made another remark at that time which would more fully explain his present meaning, he thought it a want of candour in the hon. and learned gentleman not to have made any reference to that part of the speech. When he attacked a man for the inconsistency of his present opinions with those which he had delivered thirteen years ago, he ought, in common justice, to have stated what those opinions were. If he had only read the paragraph of his speech immediately preceding that which he quoted, it would have put his present and former sentiments on this point in their proper light, and shown that in both he was perfectly consistent. The passage omitted by the hon. and learned gentleman was this:—"Sir, the conduct of the Roman Catholics of Ireland has been resorted to as an argument for abandoning the pledge of the last session. Sir, I am not an advocate for their intemperance; I am free to say that there have been some proceedings on the part of the public bodies who affect to act for them, altogether unjustifiable. Their attempts to dictate to the entire body how they are to act on each particular political occurrence—their presuming to hold an inquisition on the conduct of individuals in the exercise of their elective franchise, and putting them under the ban of their displeasure, because they vote for their private friends, and abide by their plighted engagements—all this is a degree of inquisitorial authority, unexampled and insufferable; and this by persons professing themselves the advocates of unbounded freedom and unlimited toleration, at the moment when they are extending their unparleying tyranny into the domestic arrangements of every Catholic family in the country." One would have thought, in reading this passage, that by a happy anticipation he was foreseeing at that period that which was happening at the present. The passage proceeded thus:—"Sir, I am equally disgusted with the tone of unqualified demand, and haughty rejection of all condition or accommodation so confidently announced by them; nor can I palliate the intemperance of many of their public speeches, nor the exaggeration and violence of some of their printed publications. To this tone I never wish to see the legislature yield; but as this indecent clamour is not to compel them to yield what is unreasonable, I trust it will not influence them to withhold what is just." Now, he thought that if he had been endeavouring, without the appearance of egotism, to procure some gentleman to introduce his former conduct as compared with his present, he could not have selected any person who could have been more effectual in showing his consistency than the hon. and learned gentleman on this occasion.

One word more as to the effect of the Association. It was, he thought, calculated to check the disposition of the people of this country, which he perceived was daily inclining them in favour of the Catholic claims. He differed from his right hon. friend (Mr. Peel) on this point, and thought that the public feeling on this point was not so confined as his right hon. friend had supposed. The people of England were beginning to see the question in its proper light. They perceived that the game of governing by division would no longer succeed, but that to have any hope of success in the mode of treating that country, a system of conciliation must be adopted. They began to be aware, that if a great deal was not done to blight the gifts which Providence had bestowed upon that country, Ireland would not hang as a burthen on, but become one of the most fertile sources of, British prosperity. The idea of the separation of the two countries was idle and absurd. It was possible, that in the lapse of ages England might share the fate of other great empires. Whenever she did fall, Ireland would most certainly fall with her; but separate they never could be. To hold out the idea of their separation as a threat to this country was puerile nonsense. In the event of a war England might rely upon Ireland. It was but an act of justice to his countrymen to say, that they would be ever found foremost amongst the defenders of the empire. But foreign nations not having the same means of knowing the real state of that country, but judging from slight appearances, might be led to form opinions with respect to its disposition towards England, as might involve us in a foreign war. So that to the people of England the state of the sister kingdom was of great importance, inasmuch as it might be the means of inducing other nations to disturb our peace.

He would not trespass longer on the attention of the House. It was almost unnecessary to add, that amongst the mischiefs which the Association was calculated to produce, that was not the least which removed the discussion of the Catholic question from the ground of sound argument and good policy, on which they were invulnerable, and substituted an idle display of physical force, as if physical force were intended to be arrayed against them. As a sincere and zealous friend of the Catholics, he would advise them to leave off the high tone which they had so long used. Their cause had great merits, and needed not such adventitious aids. With respect to the effect of the proposed measure, he was decidedly of opinion that it would be most favourably received by the best-informed and most respectable of the Irish nation. He did believe that people in that country were beginning to see the advantage which would result to them, from taking their cause out of such hands. But it was said that the Association spoke the sentiments of the Irish people. So they did—so did he (Mr. P.), and so would every man who advocated the cause of emancipation. But, beyond that, the Association did not represent the feelings of the country; and he most positively denied that the people of Ireland would think of resenting the abolition of that Association. The clergy and the country gentlemen were beginning to get tired of seeing their just influence with the people taken from them by this body; and must naturally be favourable to any measure by which it would be restored. Even the members of the Association itself would acquiesce quietly in the law which would put an end to their power. Very many of them were sensible and clever men, and must be aware of the inutility of opposition to the will of the legislature. The gentleman who was the most prominent member of that body—Mr. O'Connell—would himself be of this opinion. Mr. O'Connell was a man of great talent and acquirements. He filled the highest rank at the bar which the laws permitted a gentleman of his religion to occupy; and was deservedly considered as a man of eminence in his profession. He only knew him professionally; but he had reason to believe him to be most amiable in all the relations of private life. In his political sentiments, he looked upon him as wild and extravagant; but, nevertheless, he was persuaded that if this bill passed, neither he, nor lord Fingall, nor lord Gormans town, nor any other gentleman connected with the Association, would ever descend to any pettifogging tricks to evade its operation. He believed that the great body of the people of the country would gladly seize the passing of the proposed bill as a favourable opportunity for getting rid of the influence of that body.

Mr. Tierney

said, he had no desire to occupy the attention of the House after the able speech of the right hon. and learned gentleman; but he wished to avail himself of the earliest opportunity of stating his opinions upon a subject of such vast importance. It had so happened, that he had never once opened his lips in any debates on the question of Catholic emancipation. He had given that measure the support of his vote, and every other support in his power, except the slight one of speaking upon it; nor should he have thought it necessary to do so at that moment, did he not consider the present to be a crisis of great danger to the empire. The proposed measure was one, which, as it appeared, the right hon. and learned gentleman would rather resort to than another which would render it wholly unnecessary; but as that other could not, in his opinion, be obtained, he preferred the present to the having none at all. The cabinet, it would seem, could not agree among themselves upon a measure which would have the effect of a general conciliation: so, in lieu of it, they hit upon the happy expedient of proposing one which was to have directly the contrary effect. Was it not somewhat strange that this cabinet could never pull together, except when some privilege of the people was to be invaded? Upon such measures they were happily unanimous; but the moment it was proposed to enact a law which would have the effect of general conciliation to a numerous class of the king's subjects, then the right of each minister to judge for himself was recognized, and nothing was agreed upon except not to agree upon any thing which had a pacific tendency. He did not rise on the present occasion as the advocate of the Catholics: for any thing he might have done for them, they owed him nothing. What he had done in favour of their claims, he did for the general benefit of the country. His principles, habits, and opinions, did not lead him to become the advocate of the Catholics. He was not blind to the imperfections of the church of England, and no man would be more zealous than himself to oppose any measure called for by the Catholics, if he thought it in the slightest degree calculated to produce the mischief which some persons thought would arise from it. On the present occasion he was not called upon for any such opposition; but he was called upon to oppose a measure pregnant with dan- gerous consequences, which measure might be wholly avoided by the adoption of another, equally within the reach of parliament. In giving his decided negative to this notable project, he was not the advocate of the Catholic Association. He could have wished that they had adopted a different course from that which they had pursued; but though he would not say he approved of all they had done, he could not consent to have the liberty of the subject infringed upon by the attempt to put them down. In offering his reasons in opposition to this attempt, it was unnecessary for him to go into detail on the Catholic question. Its merits were well understood by all who heard him, and had on more than one occasion been recognized by majorities of that House. The question was now in a different situation from that in which it stood many years ago. We had no danger of a Popish pretender, nor any chance of a Popish succession to the throne. Those dangers, such as they were, had all gone by; but there was a danger of another kind to be dreaded, and to that he would confine himself. It was not his intention to follow the right hon. and learned gentleman through all the details of his long and able speech. He had not strength or ability for such a task; but, as far as his memory served, he would advert to the leading points which the right hon. and learned gentleman had introduced to the House. The learned gentleman, in alluding to the King's Speech, had spoken of it as recommending a committee, out of which something might spring favourable to Ireland—

Mr. Plunkett

observed, that what he had said was, that out of the inquiries of that committee might come facts on which something might be founded.

Mr. Tierney

continued. If that something was to be understood as relating to the Catholic claims, no facts were necessary to be sought through a committee or any other source. There never was a question discussed in that House, which was less a question of facts. It was solely a question of reasoning. It was not a little singular that the learned gentleman was willing to concede inquiry where facts were not wanted, and to refuse it where every kind of information was most desirable. It was, he thought, unprecedented in the annals of parliament, that they should proceed to legislate against a particular body, without having a single fact before them, that the acts of that body were wrong. It was to be assumed throughout, that that body, in all their acts, were uged on by evil intentions. What right had any man to make such an assumption? What right had he to assume, that, in the application of the money collected by the Association, evil was intended to the public peace? If any such thing was believed, why not inquire, and let the matter be decided by the facts which that inquiry might disclose? He would admit, that the result of inquiry might be, that it might be necessary to put down the Catholic Association; but he would not take that for granted on the mere statement of the right hon. and learned gentleman. That Association might be extremely objectionable; but, in God's name, let that be proved by some better evidence than a speech from a few gentlemen who called upon the House to put it down. Although he wished the Catholic Association had not assumed the shape it had assumed, yet he saw none of those great objections to it, which were pretended upon the other side of the House. The Association undertook the cause of Catholic emancipation; there was surely nothing very criminal in that; they undertook to inquire into the Church establishment; there was nothing very objectionable in that; they further undertook to investigate a variety of circumstances, all of which were fair matter of discussion; and there appeared to him nothing very alarming in such objects, unless the right hon. gentleman could shew that there was something at the bottom of their proceedings, from which great mischief would ensue. Unless they did this, they established no one ground on which to rest the present measure. He implored the House to consider that they were not dealing with a little knot of men, who might be ill-disposed but powerless; but that they were dealing with six millions of people, all united. He cautioned them against sanctioning any act which would tend to sour the great body of the Irish people; for when the Catholics were admitted to be six millions out of the seven, they might well be called the great body of the nation. It was admitted, that this measure was not in itself a remedy for the great evils affecting Ireland; but that a remedy might grow out of it. Now, this was a contingency upon which he did not, and could not, calculate. Why not take a measure out of which a certain benefit must flow, in preference to one whose effects, if at all doubtful, were only so as to the extent of evil which they might create? It was urged, that danger existed. He confessed he had not very minutely followed the proceedings of the Association; but, as far as he had seen accounts of them in the newspapers, he saw nothing to create in his mind an apprehension of danger. He saw indeed a few intemperate speeches. Oh! but those were made, it seemed, by men who assumed all the functions of an executive government; and the House were told of the very pernicious effects of having prosecutions carried on by such men: of the ill temper it generated; and of the difficulty of obtaining an impartial administration of justice under such circumstances. No doubt these things sounded highly, and were calculated to catch the attention of the country gentlemen: but how was this account of the spirit in which those prosecutions were conducted borne out by the facts? It appeared from some reports of those proceedings, that one of the magistrates appointed to preside at these trials, publicly testified his approbation of the temper and moderation in which they were conducted. Mr. Blackburn was the magistrate to whom he alluded. On one of those occasions, he thanked Mr. O'Gorman for the temper with which he had conducted those proceedings, and the humane and temperate manner in which he had acquitted himself on that occasion. With regard to these cases, therefore, it should seem, that hon. gentlemen brought no proof of their assertions. They offered only something in the nature of newspaper evidence. Now, while they were about it, they might as well have given the whole of that newspaper testimony. But then it was urged, that they purposely declined to adduce evidence; and he (Mr. T.) thought they were right; for certainly they would not have found any body to say that the individuals connected with this Association had acted harshly or oppressively in their prosecutions: but, however much he dissented from such a course of proceedings as had been adopted by the Irish government, no man was more averse than he was to this kind of assumed or usurped authority, exercised by any Association whatever, whether constitutional, Catholic, or any other of that nature. All that he meant to contend for on this subject was simply, that the Catholic Association had done nothing worse than their neighbours and cotemporaries.—The right hon. and learned gentleman had surely made use of much exaggerated statement when he was alluding to all the dreadful consequences that must follow, as he said, upon the acts of that Catholic Association. Among other alarming assertions, the right hon. and learned gentleman, had stated, that they had an army—an army, as he was pleased to call it in a parenthesis—an army of 30,000 men; armed with nothing but—a little leather bag in their van; and a slate, in order to register their collections [a laugh]. And this army was headed by—what, did the House think? no less than 2,500 priests! And he should like to know why this should not be so? If the right hon. gentleman meant to insinuate that these 30,000 collectors, and 2,500 priests, applied their collections to an improper purpose, why did he not say so at once? Or, if he meant to state that they collected subscriptions in Ireland to such an enormous amount as to be absolutely dangerous and alarming, why did he not speak out, and plainly tell the House so? The House would then know what was the real state of the case; and knowing that, they would know what to do in respect of it. But, what was the fact? Was there any such enormous amount so collected? No: here was, at best, a miserable subscription obtained by pence, raised upon all the counties of Ireland. It was the general contribution furnished by the whole country; and yet it amounted to no more than the paltry sum of 10,000l. When the right hon. secretary, on a former night, stated, as he did very clearly state, the various details upon which he had framed this bill, he (Mr. T.) did not understand from him, that he felt any great alarm upon this subject: and it would be ridiculous to suppose that he did. But, did the right hon. gentleman really think, that if he could get his bill passed into a law, and put down this Catholic Association, he could at the same time stop this collection? He was utterly mistaken if he imagined any such thing. Why; that collection was at present confided to, or principally made by, priests. Well! priests might be prohibited by a law from collecting this rent for the Association; but it was very well known that the Catholic priests of Ireland collected monies among their flocks for other purposes besides those of the rent. And, did the right hon. gentleman really suppose that he, or any body else, could possibly find out, if the Roman Catholic population still continued their weekly subscriptions of three-halfpence each for ordinary purposes what became of the other halfpenny? He could not be so absurd. Why, then, the only difference which the bill could make as to that matter, would be to convert that which was at present an open and avowed contribution for a declared purpose a secret and a clandestine proceeding. By passing the bill, the House would be compelling the Irish Catholics to resort to this secrecy, in furthering what that bill would declare to be an illegal object. And what could be more impolitic and foolish, than thus to compel men, who now acted in the face of day for the attainment of a given object, to work in the dark—to conceal their operations, though it was evident and certain that they would still tend to the same point—But, the right hon. gentleman might tell the House, that he had graver objections to this Association—to its constitution; and he said to the Irish Catholics, You shall not have a body investing itself with these powers, meeting and adjourning from time to time, and deliberating upon the various grievances submitted to its consideration by their constituents. You shall not have a body exercising these functions, which go to make it a separata establishment in the state." Now, it was not denied that the Roman Catholics of Ireland, the vast majority of her people, did labour under some grievances; and it was in the nature of man to complain of grievances when he endured them. But, if the right hon. gentleman's objections to the constitution of this society were to avail on account of the extent and multiplicity of its functions, the necessary consequence must be, that in Ireland they would have a separate Association for every one of their grievances. If the right hon. gentleman's objections were merely objections of form, he should like very much to be informed by him what was in future to prevent a body of 3,000 men, for instance, from meeting every week in Dublin, for the purpose of stating and declaring that grievances did press hard upon them, provided merely that they did not call themselves an Association. And upon what grounds would the right hon. gentleman found a preference for such weekly meeting without a name, over a body like the Catholic Association—It was by no means his wish to make any observations that could be considered, under any circumstances, to have an inflamma- tory tendency; but this he would say, that their grievances did press heavily upon the people of Ireland; and that if these collections were so employed as to serve the great and proper object of obtaining a legal redress and remedy for those grievances, they were laudably appropriated, and such efforts were entitled to success, and to the good wishes of the best friends of this country. Now, what was the declared purpose of this Association? The individuals composing it declared, that their meetings were held with a view to obtain, by legal means, such redress; and, to be sure, it was not to be supposed that they who felt themselves aggrieved should not endeavour to get themselves righted. Well, but the right hon. and learned gentleman objected to the Association altogether—and why? Because, he said, it was contrary to "the spirit of the constitution." The spirit of the constitution! This was a phrase that was very much used in that House; and particularly by gentlemen on the other side, at the very moment of introducing any measure of the same kind as this bill. The worst of it was, that, much as was said about "the spirit of the constitution," nobody could learn what it was. There was no getting at the definition attached to the words, even by the speaker who used them; especially if they fell from a lawyer, or occurred in the course of a discussion with him. It was in Vain, that you would explain your own notion of the subject, and fortify it by the most powerful argument; for he would directly meet you with some act of parliament, applying to the matter in debate; and there was an end of your argument, and" the spirit of the constitution"[a laugh]. But, what was the right hon. and learned gentleman's own version of these words? Why, that for a body representing six millions of people labouring under admitted grievances, to meet together in order to proceed for the legal redress of those grievances by their own exertions, and with their own means, was contrary to the spirit of the constitution [hear]. For his own part he (Mr. T.) thought that the Roman Catholics of Ireland were right in taking up the matter themselves instead of delegating that task as heretofore, to others. But, it was clear that, after such repeated disappointments, and the failure of so many promises, they had been driven to seek their remedy by themselves. Why had they been led to believe—(and most honestly led to believe, as regarded the right hon. and learned attorney-general for Ireland, to whose support and exertions the cause of the Roman Catholics was exceedingly indebted)—why had they been led to believe that their cause was also the cause of the most enlightened men in the country? Why had the right hon. gentleman himself displayed such extraordinary eloquence in their behalf? Why did the right hon. Secretary for Foreign Affairs, who had so nobly distinguished himself in their behalf by the exercise of those great talents with which he was endowed, from time to time hold out to them the expectation, that the day would soon arrive in which the government would be enabled to give them all that they asked for at its hands; and now, when that day was come, say to them, in effect—"We are in a condition to give, but you cannot have, what you want; therefore, do go home without it and disperse yourselves quietly and peaceably. It is true you are cruelly disappointed, but be quite satisfied, for you have the assurance from me that you cannot now have what you want. Nothing can be clearer than all this; therefore go home; and if you say another word, I will put you all into gaol" [hear, hear]. But, the right hon. gentleman had said, that every measure that proceeded from the government was in a spirit of conciliation to Ireland; and if language like this in effect was in the nature of "conciliation," undoubtedly here was a very pretty specimen of it [a laugh]. But the right hon. and learned gentleman would have the House suppose that there was something about this question that could not be apprehended by vulgar minds and ordinary men—that there was some principle, in short, that must always operate to prevent Roman Catholics from ever rising to office and authority in the state—that an insuperable difficulty existed in the constitution of this government, at present, to the concession of their claims. But, why was it impossible to carry this question? He would ask that right hon. and learned person to look back—not to the year 1813, to which he had referred, nor to the circumstances under which it presented itself to parliament, in 1813; but—to the year 1821, when the bill which had been adverted to was carried in that House. He had not forgotten how ably the right hon. gentleman had advocated the cause in 1813; and he heartily thanked him for all his constant and most eloquent exertions on the same subject, in the period intermediate between 1813 and 1821: but he now asked him to look what the state of Ireland was in 1821; when, according to the right hon. Gentleman "Ireland was a wreck upon the breakers" [Mr. Plunkett expressed his dissent from the observation]. He was very much mistaken, if that right hon. gentleman when lately speaking of Ireland and reviewing the progress of events in that country, did not use this expression—he indeed apprehended at the time that the right hon. gentleman's neighbour the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, would soon have to add a new stanza to his old song about "the pilot that weathered the storm," in compliment to this new pilot [hear]. For now, it seemed, all was sunshine again; there were no more breakers; not a thought about a wreck; and the water we were sailing in was as smooth as a mill-pond. All this beautiful calm and tranquillity, we were told, was owing to the right hon. and learned gentleman; by whom, together with the marquis Wellesley, it had been entirely effected. But he desired to learn what the right hon. and learned gentleman had done to tranquillize the feelings of a disappointed people—what he had effected towards ensuring the general peace and happiness of Ireland. Again he said, let that right hon. and learned gentleman look back to 1821, when, instead of having left Ireland "a wreck upon the breakers," he brought the great question of the Catholic claims through a triumphant majority in that House, though it was afterwards foiled and defeated by a very small one in the other. It was important to look back at that majority and that minority. In this House they obtained a triumphant majority; in another House—(a particular place which he did not feel himself at liberty to describe, at present, in any other way than by saying it was a place wherein there sat certain gentlemen who had the privilege of wearing white sleeves) [a laugh]—in that other House there was a majority of 38 against them. But of those 38 individuals, it so happened that no less than 25 were adorned as he had already mentioned. Now, was it quite impossible to believe, that if the government should ever be disposed to sacrifice their opposition to the measure, these white sleeves might be found in some other side of the division? Could any body blame the Catholic, if he thought, at that time, that his triumph was completed?—that without any direct assistance from the government, but by the mere force of reason and argument, he had, at length, attained that which would end, in the course of the next year, in the acquisition of all that he had ever asked for Certain it was that the Catholics were again disappointed; and that, in the autumn of that very year, the right hon. and learned gentleman took office. He (Mr. T.) was not intending to impute bad motives to him, by any means, for this acceptance of office. He was ready to believe, on the contrary, that the right hon. and learned gentleman accepted office with the most honourable and legitimate intentions. But he took it; and at the same time strode over from that side of the House (the opposition side) to the other. Why the right hon. and learned gentleman was made attorney-general for Ireland, except for his conduct with respect to the Roman Catholic claims, he was at a loss to know. But, if it was on that account that he was chosen attorney-general, it might be supposed that if the right hon. gentleman persisted in his support of the same question, the government would make him lord chancellor. He should say to that right hon. and learned gentleman—"It is most extraordinary that you who kept to your opinion in adversity—when you sat on this side of the House, I mean—[a laugh], should not keep to it in prosperity, when you might adhere to it with effect. If while you sat among us, you were consistent in this respect, why should you be otherwise the moment you crossed the floor to the other side?" This did seem to be about the strangest thing in the world. But, the attorney-general for Ireland had informed them, that he had since changed his opinion. And that he had changed it upon the purest and most conscientious principles, there could be no doubt; for he had told them so himself. The right hon. and learned gentleman said, too, that he had previously taken office and joined himself to the administration of that time. But however irreproachable his own motives might be, it could not be denied that he owed a duty at the same time to others as well as himself. When he joined that administration, did he reserve for himself this great point? Did he stipulate for this vital question? Did he make his own price? He meant pot to use the word in any offensive sense: he was speaking only of the conditions which an individual who took with him to ministers such an accession of talent and influence had a right to expect, and might honourably propose. Did he say to those ministers, "Here I come with my wares in tins bag. You see what I have done for Ireland with regard to this important subject; take me with all the value of my talents and my eloquence, but secure to me the successful result of all my exertions in support of this question?" But, the right hon. and learned gentleman had done nothing of all this: and he said, that his reason for such conduct was a conviction that no administration could be formed on the opposition side of the House, that would be capable of carrying the Catholic question. Perhaps he was right, though it was not a very complimentary estimate: but surely he might have found there members enough to make up half such an administration. Now, withdrawing from that to which the right hon. gentleman was attached, the half for example, who might be indisposed towards the success of this question, there would still be a moiety of an administration favourable to the claims of the Catholics. Pray did the right hon. and learned gentleman, in his difficulty, ever try the experiment of forming an administration composed of one half from the opposition side of the House, and one half from the ministerial side. Had he proposed any such experiment in 1821, when he brought that question forward? No such thing; and the reason seemed to be, that at that very time he was about to take up his quarters on the other side. The right hon. and learned gentleman was at that moment, to use a sailor's phrase, with his anchor a-peak to the Treasury benches. He did not mean to quarrel with him on that account: for he confessed that, at that time, a sort of cloud hung over gentlemen of his side of the House, which to old practitioners was not very encouraging. The right hon. and learned gentleman said, he had never been attached to any party; but when he crossed the floor, they made him attorney-general for Ireland: and, to make a man attorney-general, used always to be considered as recognizing the individual to be of the party of the administration to which he was attached. But then he said, he was attached not to a party, but only to lord Grenville. Now, he (Mr. T.) very well remembered when the right hon. and learned gentleman was once as warmly attached to a noblefriend of his (Mr. T.'s), as he had ever been to lord Grenville. Some differences arose between that noble friend and lord Grenville upon the question of the war, and the right hon. and learned gentleman came and told him, that notwithstanding his attachment, he thought lord Grenville had taken the most wise, and enlarged, and statesmanlike view of the case and that therefore—he should support that noble lord. No blame was attributable to the right hon. and learned gentleman on that account. He probably foresaw that the greater number would take the same view as lord Grenville had done; and soon afterwards the Grenvilles came into favour. It was curious enough to mark the effect of circumstances upon the opinions of the right hon. and learned gentleman, while he sat with his (Mr. T.) friends. On the question of the war he was very much alarmed. Then came the six acts, which put him in a state of dismay. Then something else happened, which threw him into an absolute panic; and then—he took a place! [a laugh]. All this might be very well: but he begged to be informed why it was that this Catholic question should now be openly avowed by the right hon. and learned gentleman to be one that nobody but an insane person would imagine could be carried? Why, in the cabinet itself the balance of opinion on this point was understood to be as six on one side and seven on the other. Now he (Mr. T.), who had been in a great many minorities in his life time, should, under such circumstances, and in such a minority, consider himself to be in rather a winning situation; and, to be sure, if the whole administration were divided after the same proportion, six to seven, he should not despair of seeing the right hon. and learned gentleman on his own side of that House again. But, it would not surprise him if that right hon. and learned gentleman should find that they could not get up an administration after such a division, even on their side. Why did they not bestir themselves on this vital subject? Only let the House consider the delicate and anomalous situation in which it was placed by the proposition now before it. The Secretary for Ireland brought in a bill, the penal consequences of which must seriously affect a vast body of the people of Ireland; but here was this question of the Catholic claims, which, if carried, would make that bill altogether unnecessary. Then, let the House see precisely how it stood in respect to that question and the proposed bill. "You are," said Mr. Tierney, "obliged to blink a question that six out of seven members of the Cabinet support; and you are called upon to support a penal bill which would be altogether needless if that question were decided favourably by one additional vote in the cabinet. In that question you are offered an effectual and permanent remedy for those evils which this bill proposes to meet by severe punishments. Why, then, you say, let us have the remedy. But no, the remedy must not be touched; it would be the act of an insane person to attempt with it the cure of the disease." Was ever country more insulted than Ireland? If he recollected rightly, the right hon. gentleman had said, that government were in possession of a measure that would tranquillize the whole kingdom of Ireland. Why, then, this delay? Why was it not put in motion? Why was not this remedial measure brought forward? But the Secretary for Foreign Affairs said, "Oh, would you have me break up the government?" He (Mr. T.) had every reason to believe that the measure he spoke of would have no such effect; and if the passing this great question should ever operate to induce some of its members to retire, the six men in the cabinet minority at least would not turn tail in consequence and go away. There was one very noble and learned person, of the most considerable influence and importance in that cabinet, too, "who (observed Mr. T.)" I feel quite sure would not go away on this account, notwithstanding the apprehensions that some gentlemen entertain for him. If such a proposition as the retirement of himself and those of his colleagues who vote with him, on account of the passing of this question, should ever be made in the cabinet, I am sure that the legal habits and precaution of that learned person would not desert him on such an occasion, but there would be so many hearings on the case—such re-hearings, and such arguments or exceptions to the proposition, that the end of these wise and prudent delays would be (to use a phrase which I often read in the newspapers), that the noble and learned personage would say to the parties 'Oh! you may have leave to mention this matter to me next Tuesday'"[cheers and laughter]. Let the friends of that great question be stout; and they might be assured that its enemies would be weak. But, what was the meaning of people's alarms on this subject? Could it be believed that the great champion of England by her constitution—the defender of all her civil and religious rights—the existence of whose throne and empire depended on the maintenance of the Protestant faith—had been sincere in calling in these six individuals, forming the minority in the cabinet, for the sole purpose of raising up the Catholics to an elevation incompatible with the security of his Protestant subjects? If this was believed, the colleagues of those six members would hardly quit their posts when so much danger threatened them. But he really had no doubt that all the members of the cabinet would be as reconciled to the matter, and as friendly, in the space of one week, as they were at present, if the minority of six would only do their duty as well in the cabinet as they did who were out of it. Another reason existed why the question should be passed without delay. From a beneficent and liberal decree made by the greatest and most illustrious personage in this kingdom in another country, occasion had been taken to infer, that when he was not fettered by the advice of his ministers, that illustrious personage was strongly disposed to measures of this enlightened and generous nature. Why, it seemed from the speech of the right hon. gentleman, that it was only upon the most vital of all questions, on which, perhaps, the safety of this country might depend, that that monarch was not advised by his ministers. He was left to pursue his own course in this momentous matter, unassisted by those counsels which were afforded under such difficult circumstances to every other sovereign in Europe. Could that kingdom be said to be safe in which so dangerous an anomaly existed?—After some further observations on the pressing necessity of conceding the Catholic claims, as a measure at once calculated to remove all the evils which were said to have called for the right hon. Secretary's bill, and to ensure lasting tranquillity, the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Tierney) remarked, that the Attorney-general for Ireland (giving him all due credit for his powerful assistance to it) had certainly found, in all the respects of fortune and honours, the Catholic question a very profitable concern for the last five-and-twenty years. All that he (Mr. T.)—all that the other friends of the measure—asked of him in return was, that he would now be good enough either to retire from his office, or to change his opinion again [hear, and a laugh]. The secretary for Ireland might say, indeed, that if there was any change of this kind, he could not go on. But the Attorney-general might reasonably, nay, gracefully, state, that he had exerted himself to the utmost in this cause, and in vindicating his own principles; but finding the sense of the country to be against him, he must in conscience retire. Something had been said by him (Mr. T.) about principles changing with office. He did assure the right hon. Home Secretary of State (Mr. Peel), that he meant no sort of allusion to him. He had pleasure in saying, that that right hon. gentleman's conduct had been always too manly and upright, and consistent, to subject him to any such imputation; he was an enemy to the question, but a consistent one. Gentlemen ought to look at the consequences of the measures they were pursuing, and not to suppose that the Catholics would be satisfied with this bill. The Catholics were offered, in 1821, what was considered to be conciliation. They were required to suffer under the grievances which the right hon. gentleman had described, and they were required to suffer under them with patience; and that was what the right hon. gentleman called conciliation. Unfortunately, they were not satisfied with such conciliation. What followed next? Why, they took their affairs into their own hands; and they thought, and he believed they thought justly, that by so doing they would produce some considerable effect. He was not prepared to defend the acts of the Catholic Association, but he thought great deliberation was required before this question was determined; for the prosperity of the whole country might be involved in this night's determination. The Catholics were no longer the body they had been in times past. This should be borne in mind by the advocates for the present measure. They had increased in population. They engrossed nearly all the manufactories and all the distilleries. The people concerned in those manufactories and distilleries were all in favour of Catholic emancipation; and they must naturally be expected to be so, as that was the only means they had of continuing and preserving these manufactories and distilleries. No man could doubt, that, in time, Ireland would assume a very commanding situation. She would then obtain what she required. The only difference would be, that what the parliament granted to day as a boon, might be imperiously demanded and obtained as a right to-morrow. It had been observed, that the Catholics were not to be trusted—that they could not be depended on for keeping their faith. Now, he did not believe that assertion to be founded in fact. But, though the Catholics were at present well-disposed, it should never be forgotten that, like other men, they possessed feelings alive to insult and injury. If they were neglected too long, there was no saying what might be the consequence; and, if any evil should arise, it must not be imputed to them, so much as to that irritation which had been excited amongst them. Twenty-five thousand men might now march from one end of Ireland to the other, in spite of the army of thirty thousand rent collectors, headed by its two thousand five hundred priests; but, who could say that such would always be the case? If war should happen to come, great injury might arise to the empire, and that portion of it might be placed in positive jeopardy. In the event of war between this country and a continental power, would not Ireland be considered a vulnerable point? If some disaffected paragraph should find its way into a newspaper—be circulated in foreign journals, and if a war should happen, might not the discontent of Spain at our recognition of the independence of her colonies, induce her to return the obligation, by acknowledging the independence of Ireland? She might then, perhaps, become a separate and independent state; and one means of our strength, and one great source of our prosperity, would thus be cut off. Why, he would ask, should all that risk be incurred? Was it simply because six out of thirteen of the cabinet did not act exactly in the manner they ought. Let gentlemen well consider what would be the probable result of the measure now proposed. If it should happen to sour the temper of the people of Ireland, no one could say what, at the end of six months, might be the consequence. The right hon. and learned gentleman had said that he was ready to vote for Catholic emancipation whenever the hon. baronet should propose it. He might be so; but he could tell that right hon. and learned gentleman, that, in the present state of affairs, there was no chance of carrying it. That object could never be carried but by a government that was unanimous in its determination to carry it. Such a government, he knew, might be formed. If the right hon. and learned gentleman, and the others of his majesty's ministers, who voted with him on the question of the Catholic emancipation, would withdraw, a new government, he was certain, might be formed with the full approbation of the people of England. It had been said, that this country was never more indisposed than at the present time to grant Catholic emancipation. Now, he doubted that very much. He certainty saw "No Popery" chalked upon a few walls, but that was not the sense of the country. Education had extended, and with it a corresponding spirit of liberality, if, therefore, the right hon. gentlemen to whom he had alluded, would withdraw themselves from the government, the chancellor would not merely have to find one, but almost all the new ministers. He must find a new lord Privy Seal—a president of the Council—a first lord of the Admiralty—a chancellor of the Exchequer—a secretary for Foreign Affairs—a lord-lieutenant of Ireland—an attorney-general for Ireland—and a president of the Board of Control. He could as soon raise the dead as do all that. Then, let not right hon. gentlemen delude themselves by saying, that the measure could not be carried; for, if that were done, it could and would be carried, and carried triumphantly [loud cheering]. He would not vote for the measure now proposed: he would not vote for any such measure without Catholic emancipation being first carried. He thought that investigation must take place at some time. It ought to be resorted to now, and, if it were, he was confident that the consequence would be the removal of grievances, and not the passing of new penal enactments [hear, hear!].

It being now half past one o'clock, Mr. Brougham moved "That the debate be now adjourned." Upon this the House divided: Ayes 70. Noes 252. A second division took place on the motion, "That this House do now adjourn:" Ayes 76. Noes 231. The minority declaring their resolution to persist in dividing the House, it was agreed that the debate should be further adjourned till Monday.