HC Deb 12 May 1828 vol 19 cc596-675

The order of the day being read, for resuming the adjourned debate on the question, "That this House do resolve itself into a committee, to consider the state of the laws, affecting his majesty's Roman Catholic subjects in Great Britain and Ireland; with a view to such a final and conciliatory adjustment, as may be con- ducive to the peace and strength of the United Kingdom, to the stability of the Protestant Establishment, and to the general satisfaction and concord of all classes of his majesty's subjects,"

Mr. Charles Grant

rose and said:— Sir, before I proceed to offer to the House the remarks which I feel called upon to make upon this question, I beg to express my regret at having offered myself to the House at so late an hour of the discussion on Friday last. I hope I am not guilty of obtruding myself improperly upon the House; and I beg to assure those who hear me, that nothing but an anxiety not to give a silent vote upon the question could have induced me to act as I did upon the occasion. I now hope for the indulgence of the House, while I express the opinions which I have entertained ever since I first came into parliament, and which, upon the coolest consideration which it has been in my power to give the subject, I still entertain upon this great question. I have narrowly watched the working of the present system of exclusion, both in this country and in Ireland; and I make allusion to this fact, in order that hon. members may know the very peculiar situation in which I am placed, and the grounds upon which I have held my present opinions, unchanged. The question now before us has been regularly brought under the consideration of the House during a long period, and upon every succeeding occasion it has become more and more connected with the state of Ireland. At this moment, we cannot enter upon the discussion without looking directly at the internal state of that country; and the more we do so, the more necessary it becomes for us to enter into an inquiry, with a view to our coming to some satisfactory results.

Had I had an opportunity of delivering my opinions upon this question on the first evening of the discussion, I should have entered more at large into details; but the course which the debate has taken, and the impression made upon the House by the speeches of hon. members, prevent the necessity of my doing so. One point peculiarly presents itself to my consideration: I mean the present state of Ireland, and the manner in which the adoption of the proposed measure would affect it. The House cannot have forgotten the speech made the other night by my right hon. friend the member for Kerry, in which such a representation of the state of Ireland was given. I will not say how far that representation was overcharged. I will not stop to inquire whether my right hon. friend infused into that description a little of the warmth of his own feelings; but I will say, that that statement is borne out by all that has fallen from the other Irish members who have spoken during the debate. My learned friend, the Solicitor-general for Ireland, has described the situation of that country, and he is well qualified to give an opinion on the subject, having been lately called upon to deal with those who are the disturbers of Ireland—a task, of which he acquitted himself with honour. In the able statement which my learned friend made to the House he delivered his opinions on the subject openly and fairly; and those opinions were confirmed by the statements of the hon. member for Louth, whom I also look upon as a great authority upon this question. Nor is it upon this occasion only that such statements have been made. If I mistake not, the hon. member for Derry made a statement of a similar nature last year. It appears, on all hands, that there does exist in Ireland a vast and compact body, exercising a power not recognized by the government—exercising, I may say, a fiscal authority, and collecting sums of money from the public, in furtherance of their objects; and no matter whether the statements we have heard on this subject be over-charged, or the deductions made from them correct, I say, that if only a slight portion of those statements be true, it is right that this House should without delay, inquire into the causes by which they are produced. The present state of Ireland affords memorable lessons of the impolicy of retaining a prohibitory and persecuting system of laws, after the necessity which caused their enactment has passed away. Whoever has listened to the statement of the right hon. the member for Kerry, must perceive the necessity of inquiry and amendment. The hon. baronet who introduced the motion has at once pointed out the evil and suggested the remedy of concession. And what, let me ask, are the objections made to that remedy? We are told that the Roman Catholics will not rest satisfied with what we propose to give them, and that, therefore, the tranquillity of Ireland will not be secured. Other hon. members object to any concession, on the ground of the violent language in which the Roman Catholics express themselves in demanding what they call their rights. This, Sir, is a specimen of the kind of argument always used when all improvements are resisted, and when oppressive laws, being no longer necessary, are sought to be removed. If the law be so severe and oppressive as to excite strong feelings, and to urge men on to acts of violence, are these to be made the grounds upon which hon. members contend that there ought, to be no change. But, Sir, such has been the case upon the attempted removal of every oppressive measure When it was proposed to abolish the traffic in slaves, the opponents of the measure grounded their arguments upon the barbarism of the Africans. So in a more recent but minor case, arguments of a somewhat similar nature were urged, in opposition to the adoption of a more liberal system of commerce. The arguments urged in opposition to concessions to the Irish Roman Catholics are of this description. But who is it that produced the present state of things in Ireland? You destroyed the influence of rank and property—you throw the body of the people at the feet of the priest or incendiary— you have deranged the whole system. And why? Because you give to numbers what you refuse to property. I here allude to the elective franchise. I want to know, Sir, what benefit can be contemplated by giving to Ireland small portions of the British constitution, and that by shreds and patches? The very essence of the British constitution is equipoise; but when you give only a part of that constitution, you destroy this balance, and instead of conferring a benefit you probably inflict an injury. You give influence to one party, but you abstain from giving a counteracting influence to the other. This course of things keeps the affairs of Ireland in a continual state of revolution.

Again, the Catholic Association is pointed at as a reason why the Irish people would never be satisfied; and, in support of this argument, the violent language and extravagant demands of that body have been cited. But is it not in the very nature of things that such should be the case? When you refuse everything, is it not natural that the aggrieved persons should ask everything to which they conceive themselves entitled? In such a state of things the most violent persons naturally become the most forward, whilst the more moderate are placed in the background. But let this House take a different course—let us shew the Irish Catholics, that we are willing to hear their claims and examine their complaints, and you will reverse the case. The moderate party will then come forward, while the violent party will be restrained and kept within bounds. But we are told that the Catholics will not be satisfied, inasmuch as they have followed each concession, step by step, and will never rest until they have obtained all. The hon. member for Rippon has taken a course which, I must confess, somewhat surprised me. He has told us, that some forty years ago great concessions were made to the Roman Catholics, with which they ought to be satisfied, and yet they had the boldness to come forward and require more: they had received the right of property, the right of marriage, the right of education, and the right of religion; and yet, forsooth, they still came forward and demanded more. The hon. member looked upon all these concessions as unexampled boons to the Roman Catholics, who expressed their gratitude and satisfaction at the time. But, Sir, let me ask whether it be fair thus to turn round upon and tax them with having expressed their gratitude even for a partial relaxation of the laws by which they were aggrieved? But if they did so express their gratitude for even a partial restoration of their rights, let the House judge from that of the degree of degradation and disgrace to which they were then sunk. Sir, I am ready to admit not only that they did, but that they were entitled to seek more. If we look into the history of nations, we shall find that where any persecuting laws have been relaxed, the persecuted parties, no matter how far sunk in apathy before, immediately aroused themselves, and struggled for the full attainment of their rights. Let the House recollect the quarrels between the Patricians and the Plebeians at Rome, until the latter attained the full enjoyment of their rights. So it was in our own history. But, Sir, it is a delusion to say that, after having so far relaxed those laws, we can now stop where we are; it is contrary to history—it is contrary to nature, and the arguments of the danger to be incurred are totally groundless. As well might a person who saw the tide encroaching on the beach, endeavour to stop it half way, from a fear that when it reached its height it would deluge the country.

There are three clear and intelligible positions, upon any one of which the opponents of this measure might have taken a stand. The first position is that which allowed the Roman Catholics neither the exercise of their religion nor admission to civil or political rights. The second is that which gives them the exercise of their religion, but refuses the exercise of civil rights. The third is that which gives them the exercise of their religion, and the exercise of civil rights also. In the first instance, they were in reality in that situation in which Swift described the Irish to be—they were literally "hewers of wood and drawers of water." As we now stand, I think we are between the second and third positions which I have described; we have given the Roman Catholics the exercise of their religion—we have conceded to them their civil rights to a certain extent, and if our opponents oppose those further concessions recommended by the hon. baronet who introduced this motion, they ought to do so upon good grounds.

The hon. member for Rippon has expressed his apprehension for the safety of the Established Church, in the event of any further concessions to the Roman Catholics. Sir, I am as anxious as the hon. member can be upon that point. Being myself, as well from conviction as education, a member of that Church, I feel bound to it by the strongest ties, and am most anxious to uphold and protect it. But I should like to ask the hon. member, if he is satisfied of the safety of that Church, if we continue in the state in which we now are? I too, as I have stated, am anxious for the safety of that Church, because I look upon its preservation as a security to the nation. But, Sir, the safety of the Established Church rests not in its temporal power, but in the purity of its doctrines, the exemplary lives of its clergy, and in the Christian liberality of its sentiments; which, if it were not before known, must have been proved, by events which have recently taken place—events which have proved, that that liberality exists not in theory but in practice. In no way can the safety of the Established Church be so effectually insured, as by acting up to the principles of its Divine Founder. But when we are told of securities from the Roman Catholics, let us consider what is their situation now. Can we be more unsafe than we are at present? We are told that there is a large, a powerful, and a united, body, seeking to overthrow, by every means which art and cunning can devise, the Established Church of this country. Yet we exasperate that very body, by laws of a most irksome and degrading character, and expose the Church to the odium of being the bar to their admission to civil privileges. To me, it seems impossible to leave the Established Church in a more unsatisfactory state.

I have alluded to the security of the Church, and I know there are many gentlemen sincerely desirous of conceding the claims of the Catholics, provided such concession could be given in such a way as to secure the interests of the Church. They consider it right that the Catholics should have what they demand; but they are deterred by some vague apprehension of danger, not through the medium of this House, but from the interference of some foreign power. Sir, I think that the best security is in the measure itself. At present, I know that all is utterly unsafe. Still I consider that the House is bound to obtain securities, in every way that securities can be given; provided such securities are sought as are not opposed to the creed or the consciences of the Roman Catholics. The pamphlet recently published— and published very seasonably—by Mr. Gaily Knight, is most satisfactory on this point. It proves that a state of things exists in other countries which might, and which undoubtedly would, exist here, if a similar course were adopted. When I heard, the other night, the English Solicitor-general quoting a variety of documents relative to the connexion of the Roman Catholics with foreign powers, I was quite at a loss to guess to what conclusion he would arrive. But when, at his close, to my great surprise, I found my learned friend contending, that if we imposed any securities we pleased on the Roman Catholics, they would submit to them, this was the very argument on which I was satisfied to rest my cause. I always saw and felt, that if the House thought proper to place securities, and if such and such was our law, we ought to say to the Catholics, if you wish to live under this law, you must be satisfied to obey it. But it has been always most difficult to say to what extent you would impose those securities. That difficulty is now removed, for it appears, by various state- ments made in the House, and it is shown by the pamphlet of Mr. Knight, how far we can go in demanding securities, without interfering with the consciences of the Roman Catholics. We may not, perhaps, consider it necessary to go so far, but we are at least aware to what extent we can satisfactorily go. The hon. member for Rippon expressed his strong desire to have satisfactory securities: his complaint was, and the usual complaint has been, that sufficient securities cannot be given to us. But we can now see the point to which we can go; and we are enabled to say to the Catholics, we do not ask whether or not you will give them, because those, and even more, you have given in other countries.

And now, Sir, I am pressed to take another view of this subject, as connected with foreign power. It will not be denied that since the long and protracted war, which has for some years terminated, all the nations of Europe have been placed in a peculiar situation—that all of them have been induced to examine their internal state, with a view to prepare their resources, and to gather strength so as to be ready either for war or peace, as the event might be. This country has been thus engaged. It has been turning its strict attention to its finance, and to all its other internal affairs—trimming the vessel, as it were, to prepare her for the storm which might in time gather around her. We have not been alone in our movements — the exertions and the preparations we have made, have been made by every other European nation. In safety we have been arranging the state of our finances, utterly forgetful of that, for which we might sacrifice all else, the strengthening of ourselves in another way, against the dangér that might arise. Sir, I will not dwell upon the dreary anticipation of a war, but if a war should come, I ask, considering the state in which Ireland is at present, with what feelings could we enter into it,—the more especially when we recollect by what almost miraculous interference we were not long ago saved from a danger the most imminent During the war, and before it, we stood in the almost undisputed supremacy of the commercial world. The war ceased, and channels were opened to other nations for commercial speculations, and the wealth that follows them. If we have the wisdom to adopt the wisest course—if we have energy enough to act as policy as well as justice calls upon us to act, we may for ages to come retain the power and influence we have so long held. But let no man undervalue the effect of a united people— let no man undervalue the importance of union at home. Be it remembered, that foreign nations are no strangers to the complaints which Ireland has been continually making. They have heard of them long, and they have acted upon them. There is no power that can at any time be at war with this country, which would not fix its eye upon Ireland, as the vulnerable part of Great Britain.

Are we, then, to go on in the course we have heretofore pursued? Have any other remedies been proposed? I have heard of none. We only hear from our opponents, that we are to dismiss the question precisely in the same state in which it was introduced—that we are to leave things just as they are, and to be at perfect liberty to reject this proposition altogether. We have heard, Sir, of plans for improving the condition of Ireland; we have heard of plans for exploring mines, for giving education, and for the spread of capital in that country. There are many excellent propositions for bettering its state, and I heartily wish them success; but without this measure of emancipation I firmly believe that none of them can succeed. Not that I pretend that this measure of Catholic emancipation can effectually tranquilize Ireland; but, Sir, it is undoubtedly the preliminary step. All who know Ireland, know well that so long as her present spirit remains, so long will that spirit counteract every effort for her improvement: so long, then, will her irritation be kept up; so long will she be sensibly alive to the most galling recollections; so long will her miseries continue; so long will every means to do her good be of none avail; so long will her progress in arts, and her advance towards happiness, be checked or prevented. Every one who has been in Ireland knows this well: no one who has not been in Ireland can be fully aware of the truth of this statement. With the spirit I refer to I am well acquainted—I have seen it, I have watched its effects, experto credite quantus. I know how deeply it affects, how totally it poisons, all her hopes and prospects; I know with how much subtilty it insinuates itself into all her undertakings, and mars every design for her advantage. I know that it will always destroy the hope of her prosperity, so long as it continues unchanged. How, Sir, are we, then, to change it? What course are we to adopt? All those great subjects are affected by this important question. The energies of the country are suspended, the best designs for her improvement are defeated, and discontent is making daily progress among her people. Like the hero of Virgil, whose perpetual exertions were constantly defeated—whose virtuous labours were ever met by some evil genius— — "quacunque viam virtute petivit, Successum dea dira negat. I would call upon the House to reflect on the state of Ireland, and of this country, as it ought to be and as it is. I have not referred them to any treaties or declarations, nor shall I do so, because, in truth, I do not think that such arguments are available in such a case. I place the claims of the Catholics not upon any grounds of temporary expediency, but on the eternal principles of justice, which neither sovereigns nor warriors can alter. I place their claims upon that high ground, upon that unwritten and undying compact between the governors and the governed, which make protection and allegiance reciprocal duties, and entitle the governed to all the advantages of the constitution under which they live. If these are the principles by which the question ought to be tried and decided, I appeal to the House of Commons, and through them to the people of England, to apply them on the present occasion. That the measure will be carried soon, I do not entertain a doubt. It matters not whether to-day or tomorrow is fated to witness its success, success will come, and shortly. I see the prognostications of it in every thing around us; I see them in this House; I see them out of this House. I may mention, as one instance, the conduct of the two Universities with respect to this question. Oxford has presented but a partial petition, and Cambridge, for the first time, has presented none at all. I say, therefore, that I see in every thing around me, anticipations of the ultimate success of this question. I know there are many who agree with me in thinking that it must ultimately be carried, but who feel reluctant to vote in its favour at present. To them, Sir, I appeal, whether, if it must be carried, it is fair or just towards Ireland thus to delay its adoption? I ask them, whether it is fair to Ireland, (for I will not appeal to their generosity, but to their justice) that this measure should be refused, only that the question of its adoption may be renewed year after year, and the country thrown into a perpetual state of excitement and irritation? If the question must be carried, why should it not be carried now? Why will you not give to an act of justice, the grace of an act of generosity? Let the House enter on the consideration of this subject with the generous feelings of Englishmen, let us fill up the measure of a former legislature, let us complete what they left undone, and make the Union which they created, Union in reality, as it is in name. Let us fill up the large and generous anticipations of those by whom the measure was proposed; let us act according to the views of Mr. Pitt, when he exclaimed, in the language of the poet,— —Paribus se legibus ambæ Invictæ gentes æterna in fœdera mittant. Let us, I say, verify this description— let us teach foreign nations that we are really united. If they knew the point where our weakness existed, let them know where we are now strong; and if in any dreams of hostile aggression, the ruler of a foreign power should, in future wars, look to Ireland as a point where we may be attacked, let us show him that we are most strong where we have been most vulnerable. Let us exhibit the glorious spectacle of a nation formerly weakened by dissentions, but now, by union, improved in resources and stability. Having conquered other nations, let us show them that we know how to conquer ourselves; and let us, on the ruins of our prejudices, erect a monument of imperishable greatness. I intreat the House to listen to these considerations, and, with the strongest confidence as to the result, I leave the question in your hands, fully expecting that in your decision you will be guided by the principles of fair and impartial justice.

Colonel Davies

said, he was anxious to be indulged for a few moments, while he stated, for the first time, the opinions he entertained on this subject. When he first heard of the motion he was disposed to give it his decided negative. He supposed that little new, either in fact or argument, could be adduced in its support. He had been of opinion, that the question was not intimately connected with the existing situation of Ireland, and that the distresses of that country arose from other and different causes. He further supposed that the discussion could do no real good to Ireland, but that, in all probability, it would excite in this country strong feelings against the Catholics. In one respect, at least, he had not been deceived. He had heard many eloquent and able speeches, but in the way of novelty he had not heard any thing offered. He differed from the right hon. gentleman who had just sat down, in that part of his speech in which he had argued, that the Catholics had abstract, indefeasible rights to political power. He denied that proposition. He maintained, that the State had, or ought to have, the power to impose on any of its subjects such restrictions as might be found necessary; and that those who did not think fit to take the tests thus imposed upon them by the legislature, had no right to political power. Indeed, if they were to dispose of the question on the principle of abstract right, to what extent might they not carry that principle? If abstract right was sufficient to give a title to political power, on what principle was it that women were excluded from its enjoyment. A woman might be a queen, and she might exercise peculiar offices in the State, but from the general possession of power she was excluded, on the great ground of expediency.—Much stress had been laid on the faith of treaties, and that on which hon. members had gone most into detail was the Treaty of Limerick. On that subject he should not attempt to add any thing; but he could not but express his astonishment, that men of the acuteness of many of his hon. friends should ever have thought of bringing forward that treaty as an argument. If the claims of the Catholics did not rest upon better grounds than the language of a loosely-worded treaty, which, after all, was nothing without the sanction of parliament, it was in vain to talk of violated rights. It mattered not to him whether Mr. Pitt, or lord Cornwallis had given assurances to the Catholics at the time of the Union. They might, perhaps, have pledged themselves, but they could not pledge him, they could not pledge parliament. When he heard the knight of Kerry, however, in his able and masterly speech describe the Catholic Association as wielding the power of six millions of men, whom they could use like a machine for any purpose they might wish,—when,too, he heard the Solicitor-general of Ireland state that Ireland, could not be tranquillized without the grant of political privileges, he was strongly impressed with the importance of the question before the House. But he could not go the full length of the hon. baronet's motion; he could not agree to surrender to the Catholics the whole of their claims, as the motion of his hon. friend implied. What he had asked for was, a committee of the whole House, and, coupling his motion with his speech, it pledged him to support their claims to the full extent. In fact, it constituted a stronger pledge than ever Mr. Pitt had given. He did not believe that any danger would arise to the State, or to the Established Church from granting many of the privileges sought for by the people of Ireland. He thought the prejudices of the people of this country against granting them were unfounded; but believing, as he did, that the majority of the people were against them, he thought that the members of that House, who were the representatives of the people, ought to hesitate, and consider maturely before they embarked in the cause. While the gentlemen of Ireland differed so widely on the subject, some of them recommending conciliation, and others coercion, as the only mode of putting down the Association, he could not but feel considerable difficulty in approaching so momentous a quesion with conflicting authorities upon both sides. If his hon. friend had moved for a select committee, to inquire into the distresses of Ireland, and ascertain how far they were attributable to the existing disabilities, he would gladly have voted for such a motion. But if the present motion was carried, they could not stop there, they must go the full length of the Catholic demands. Such a course was the more objectionable, as changes were daily taking place in Ireland, which could not be met by one consistent measure, for the measure that might have applied before, could not apply now under a different state of things. The situation of that country could only be investigated by a select committee, with power to examine witnesses. If such a committee were to report in favour of concession, he was confident that the people of this country would surrender their own judgment to a committee so constituted and informed. It was painful to him to differ from those with whom he generally acted, but he could not consistently support the motion of his hon. friend. If the question was carried, it would not pacify Ireland. Ireland was in want of other things. She wanted good government; she wanted justice; she wanted an unpaid magistracy, and an impartial administration of the laws. She wanted to feel and to know that there was not one law for the rich and another for the poor. They would be more tranquillized by one year of really good government than by twenty years' possession of what was called Catholic Emancipation. If he wanted any proof, that emancipation was not looked to by the bulk of the people as the remedy or their misfortunes, he might appeal to the indifference with which they saw their hopes in that respect disappointed by the lamented death of Mr. Canning, and the transfer of his power to those who were politically opposed to them. Was not such an event calculated to exasperate their feelings, if they felt so strongly upon the question as their advocates were fond of representing? But what was the fact? Instead of manifesting any impatience, they were more tranquil at this moment than they had been for many years. They were now in a situation, which, though it might be called disturbance in England, was tranquillity for Ireland. It was true that, when the peasant was told that Catholic emancipation was a remedy for all the evils under which he suffered, he would naturally be anxious to see it carried. But it was a false impression to encourage, and it was evident from their present tranquillity that they harboured no such opinion themselves. For these reasons he should feel himself bound, though with great reluctance, to oppose the motion for u committee of the whole House, but he was ready to vote in favour of a select committee as the best means of ascertaining the true state of the case with respect to the importance of emancipation and its; probable effect in correcting the evils, and; tranquillizing the spirit, of that country.

Mr. Henry Grattan

deprecated the reasoning of the hon. member for Worcester, in denying the existence of unalienable rights on the part of the people. Would the hon. gentleman deny that we had a right to liberty? If so, he might with equal justice go one step further, and deny that we had a right to our existence. It was not from the articles of treaties, but from the principles of the constitution that we derived those unalienable rights, which the hon. gentleman had ventured to question and deny. The question of emancipation was a question of right and wrong: he hoped it would never become a question of peace or war. The conduct of the English government, and of some of the English kings, towards Ireland was marked by bad faith. All the treaties and arrangements entered into by the two countries had been basely and shamefully broken by England. Charles 1st had broken his engagements. Charles 2nd had done the same: and when a final arrangement was pretended to be settled in 1782, the volunteers had no sooner laid down their arms, than the arrangement was violated by England. If hon. gentlemen would refer to the evidence of colonel Curry, they would find that he stated that he had received such instructions from Mr. Pitt, and that he had been desired by him to circulate them throughout Ireland. The document to which his right hon. friend (the knight of Kerry) had alluded on a former evening-, bore on the face of it sufficient marks not only of authenticity, but also of the object for which it was written. He held in his hand a copy of it, which was given by lord Cornwallis to lord Fingal and Dr. Troy, on the 15th of February 1801. The first words of it were—" Sentiments of a real friend to the Catholics of Ireland." Would any reasonable man, after reading the contents of that paper, contend that the meaning which it was intended to convey to the Catholics of Ireland was nothing further than this, that the question should be considered open to discussion, and that there should be no express stipulation for further concession? The people of Ireland must be the greatest simpletons in the world, if they suffered themselves to be deluded by a document which was circulated among them for no other purpose than to tell them that their just claims for emancipation should, after the Union was effected, be put into a train for discussion. What was there to prevent that from being the case even without an union? No treaty between the two countries could prevent any independent member of parliament from bringing their claims forward whenever he thought fit; and therefore he contended, that some more definite promise must have been held out to them in that document, than that which was now relied upon by gentlemen on the other side of the House. Besides, it was quite evident that one of the objects for which that document was issued was, to promote a dutiful and patient line of conduct towards the admi- nistration, on the part of the Catholics.; And, did it effect that object? Let the House judge. In 1801 there was no petition from the Catholics: in 1802 there was no petition: in 1803 there was no petition—in 1804 there was no petition—so that the administration obtained a complete suspension of the Catholic question for four years, by consent of the Catholics themselves. In 1805 they felt it their duty to rest in silence no longer; and when they again presented their petitions, it was not through the agency of the Pitts and the Cornwallises, the ministry of the day, but through the agency of Mr. Fox and those other gentlemen who constituted the Opposition. To argue in such a manner against the solemn promises which were given to the Catholics previously to the Union, was not only futile in itself, but contrary to all the rules of common sense.

One argument on which the other side had insisted was, that the priests had got full possession of Ireland, and had established such an influence over the minds of the people, as to impregnate them with a spiritual allegiance completely at variance with their civil allegiance. If that were the case, it was entirely the effect of our present bad laws; for the public mind of Ireland was not originally imbued with any such spirit. For proof of it, he referred to the debate which took place on the subject of establishing a Roman Catholic college at Maynooth. The propriety of making such an establishment was argued chiefly upon this point—that if you sent the Catholic priesthood for education to Catholic countries, they would imbibe the principles of popery in its most rigid and unrelenting shape; whereas, if you provided for their education at home, they would imbibe the principles of popery as those principles were controlled and mitigated by the spirit of the times in your own country. He would refer to another authority to show that in former times the Catholic priesthood did not possess any despotic influence over the minds of their flocks—the authority of the great lord Clarendon. In those beautiful frescos, which adorned the walls and pages of his historical writings, that illustrious writer, speaking of the Irish, said, "The Catholics, though transported by zeal upon all questions affecting their religion, had steadily adhered to the Crown under all vicissitudes, and had performed every duty which could be ex- pected from good and loyal subjects." Such was the opinion which lord Clarendon had deliberately recorded of the Catholics of Ireland; and he would now say that, if their disposition was altered, it was not owing to any principle in their religion, but to the badness of the laws by which they were governed. Lord Clarendon then proceeded to observe, that by the exertions of the Catholics, the pope's nuncio was driven out of the kingdom, and that in consequence he put it, before he left it, under the ban of excommunication as an apostate nation. Did the Catholics of that day, he would ask, fall upon their knees to obtain absolution and remission of the enormous offence which they had committed against; the pope and his representative? No such thing: they persisted in their misconduct; and, as lord Clarendon observed, the whole of the province of Munster immediately came under the king's allegiance. If, therefore, the disposition of the priests had become adverse to your government, it must he because your laws had deteriorated. Give them good laws, and you will find them loyal and obedient subjects. Give them penal laws, and those who suffer under them, no matter whether they wear black clothes, or gray clothes, or clothes of any other colours, will return you for that reward, that which is always one of the penalties of tyranny—he meant curses, not indeed loud but deep.

On the question of spiritual allegiance, it might perhaps be sufficient to refer the House to the answers which Mr. Pitt received from the six different foreign universities. The answers to those questions were in Mr. Pitt's possession, among the records of the State Paper office, years before he sent his questions to those, universities, not indeed to satisfy his own mind, but to soothe the scruples of terrified lords and ladies of the bed-chamber.—It appeared from certain papers in the State Paper office, which had recently been made public, that in the reign of James 1st. a deputation was sent-from Ireland to complain of the grievances under which that country then suffered. One or two of the members of it were summoned to attend before the king in council, and among these was sir Patrick Barnewall. He was interrogated about the power of the pope, and among other questions he was asked, whether he believed that the pope had the power to depose princes. He replied instantaneously, that the doctrine was profane and irreligious. The leaders of the Irish Catholics of that day, were so offended by the charge insinuated against them by that question, that they followed up sir Patrick Barnewall's denial of it by a petition to the king, in which they disavowed, in the strongest terms, the proposition, that the pope had the power to depose princes, and to absolve subjects from their allegiance. This petition was subscribed by several noblemen and gentry, who signed themselves "all the peers and burgesses recusants in the parliament of Ireland,"— a fact which proved, by the way, that at that time Roman Catholics were not excluded on account of their religion, from seats in parliament. But it was said that the Roman Catholics were unaccommodating, and were actuated by a spirit of opposition to all constituted authorities. Now, he begged leave to deny this charge entirely: for the pope, on more than one occasion, had altered the oath of the English and Irish Roman Catholic bishops to make it less objectionable to the opponents of all concession. The words of the oath were originally "Hœreticos proposse persequar et impugnabo," of which the clear meaning was—"I will persuade the heretics and attack their doctrines;" but to obviate all quibbling, they were changed by the pope into " Hœreticos, proposse persequar et humiliabo." Every one who knew any thing of the Latin language must be aware that "persequar" did not mean to persecute, in the modern sense of the word;—so that the alteration of "impugnabo," into "humiliabo,'' was not made from any conviction of its being necessary, but from a desire to allay the fears of the unlearned part of the community.—Again, to meet the wishes of the English government, the pope had added a clause in the oath of the bishops, stating, that the oath of spiritual allegiance to him was not to interfere with their civil allegiance to their natural sovereign. The Roman Catholic hierarchy had also acted in a spirit exactly conformable to that which had been displayed by the pope—for they had prepared a form of prayer for the safety of his majesty, which now constituted a regular part of the service of their church. Now, if the pope and the Catholic bishops were willing to go so far to gratify a government which had done so little to gratify them, did it seem so very impossible to establish with the pope some concordat which should place the state of the Catholic church in Ireland on such a basis as would be satisfactory to rational men of all parties?

He would call the attention of the House to the manner in which it had for so many years treated the Catholic subjects of his majesty. Look at the Catholic soldier. When he tells you of the battles he has fought and the fields he has won, and when he points out the scars which he has received and the laurels he has wreathed around your brows— what is the answer he receives? A sneer at his loyalty, and a sarcasm on his religion. Had they considered, too, the extensive degree in which, by such infatuated conduct, they had acted, as recruiting sergeants to foreign powers? A calculation had been made of the number of Irish Catholics who, in consequence of the absurd penal laws, had entered the service, and fought the battles of foreign powers. They were found opposing your forces at Ramilies and Fontenoy they were found in the service of the king of France and of the king of Spain—they rendered good service to the Austrians at the battle of Cremona, in 1734—they fought for France, for Spain, for Austria —in short, they might say, Quæ regio in terris nostri non pinna laboris. The result of the calculation to which he alluded, proved, that in fifty years no less than four hundred and fifty thousand of your bravest subjects had entered the service of foreign powers, and assisted them in fighting their battles against you. It was hardly credible, that an assembly, which consisted of men of sense and practical wisdom, could pay so much attention to the religious creed and so little attention to the militant services of one class of its subjects, as to allow a system to continue which had produced such lamentable consequences. It was true, that, after the bursting out of the French Revolution, you began to pursue a different career; you took into your pay six regiments of the Irish brigade; and at their head was—"nomen inter hœreticos non nominundum"—General Count Daniel O'Connell! And yet the spires of Lambeth Palace are still standing, and the Bench of bishops rise and sleep as calmly as before.

He would now call the attention of the House to a point which was established, not by the researches of the government of Ireland—for that government was liable; to such perpetual fluctuations as to be unable to establish any point except its own imbecility—but by the researches of one of the committees of that House, which had produced a report so bulky, that it would require a porter to carry, and months to read it. What was the answer of Mr. Delacour of Cork—of Mr. Driscoll of Limerick — indeed of every man acquainted with the state of Ireland, when examined as to the consequences which emancipation would produce in Ireland? They replied, that it would be productive of every possible advantage to Ireland—that it would be difficult to govern Ireland long without it—that it; would extinguish every dissension which; now distracted that unfortunate country— and that, if it were once granted, no Catholic would ever think of assailing; the Protestant establishment in either church or state. Now, what was the use of referring a subject to a committee, and of taking evidence upon it, if it were not intended either to adopt the opinions of that committee or to avail themselves of the evidence which it had collected?

There was, however, another body, which, in the course of the discussion, had received considerable castigation; he meant the Catholic Association. Now, when we are talking of the Catholic Association, let us not forget what it has already done, in our wild speculations of what it is capable of doing. He would neither enter into the praise or dispraise of that body; but he would merely call on the House to recollect the evidence which had been given upon that point by Mr. Delacour and major Warburton, both of whom stated it to be their belief, that the Catholic Association had been of great service in promoting the tranquillity of Ireland. Indeed, major Warburton, in a letter to the marquis Wellesley, absolutely attributed the preservation of the peace of Ireland to the exertions of that body. Was the country, he asked, to be left any longer in its present condition? and if it was, would they persist in asserting that the Catholic Association was the cause of all the dissatisfaction which prevailed in it, when they had indisputable proof, that it was owing to the exertions of that body, that its tranquillity had remained undisturbed? He did not come forward in that House as the defender of the Catholic Association; but he came forward to sec that justice was done to those who had been wrongfully accused. He contended that not only the Catholic priests but also the Catholic Association, had performed their duty to their country, in a manner that was far beyond his humble powers of praise and admiration. The opponents of emancipation were, however, not quite consistent in their modes of argument; for some of them did not complain so much of the activity of the Catholic priesthood in the present times as of their activity in times that were gone. His hon. colleague (Mr. Moore) had said, that if any disturbances should hereafter break out in Ireland, the priests would be as active in the next rebellion as they were in the last. His hon. colleague had said, that in the last rebellion individuals had been sent over to France to obtain assistance from the French government. It was true that individuals had been sent over to France but it was not by the Roman Catholics of the north, but by the Protestants of the north of Ireland. His hon. colleague, he supposed, alluded to Mr. Wolfe Tone, who, in the year 1796, had several interviews, on the subject of a French invasion of Ireland, with Carnot, then a member of the Directory, general Clarke, the descendant of an Irish family, and general Hoche, who afterwards commanded the force which invaded Ireland. As his hon. colleague had alluded to that subject, he would take the liberty of reading an account of the interview which Mr. Tone had with Carnot and Hoche in July, 1796", on that subject, and which was to be found in the autobiography of Mr. Tone, recently published. "Speaking of Ireland," says he, "general Hoche asked me what I thought of the priests, or was it likely they would give us any trouble? I replied, I certainly did not calculate on their assistance, but neither did I think they would be able to give us any effectual opposition." Now, if it were true, that the priests would not give any opposition to the disaffected at present, might it not be attributed to our persevering in maintaining those penal laws which had hostilized them against us? But Mr. Tone proceeded—" I stated, that their influence over the minds of the common people was exceedingly diminished of late, and I instanced the case of the Defenders, so often mentioned in my memorials, and in these. memorandums. I explained all this at some length to him, and concluded by saying, that in prudence we should avoid, as much as possible, shocking their prejudices unnecessarily, and that, with common discretion, I thought we might secure their neutrality at least, if not their support." It was clear, therefore, from this statement, that the English government at that time had enlisted on its side the Catholic priesthood, or that it had at least neutralized their hostility. If the case were now altered, ought they not to attribute it to the bad system of law, which they had long pertinaciously supported against them? Could any thing be more satisfactory than this evidence, as to the loyal disposition of the Catholic priests during the melancholy period of 1798, and of the lamentable scenes which preceded it? He would next examine the opinions which several Protestant bishops had expressed on this most important subject. They had heard much of the seven bishops who, by their firmness in resisting the despotic commands of James 2nd, had brought about the Revolution; and the conduct of other bishops had been equally meritorious in endeavouring to loosen the fetters in which religious intolerance had bound their Catholic fellow-countrymen. Dr. Horsley, bishop of St. Asaph, had asserted, that there was nothing in the Roman Catholic religion repugnant to the principles of loyalty. That prelate had also expressed his strong persuasion, that the Roman Catholics were sincere in their disavowal of foreign authority; and the venerable bishop of Norwich had expressed opinions equally liberal and honourable. The bishop of Elphin, well known to many individuals, had used this remarkable expression—" My Roman Catholic brethren and myself have but one religion—the religion of Christians," and had maintained that securities were needless for the Protestant establishment. The names of such men were not only venerabiles but venerati, and children were taught with delight to lisp their names—education, vestries, and the burial bill, had been instanced as proofs of obstinacy on the part of the Catholics. As to vestries, was it not known that an archdeacon had declared, that certain votes of vestries were unwarranted by law? So that objections did not proceed from the Catholics only; 800l. had been voted, in one instance, for an organ; and if, in another, 100l. a-year were paid for a curate, what security was there, that they might not, for the same reasons, give him 500l. or 1,000l. per annum? He had been present at one of the ceremonies under the burial bill, and could assert that nothing could be more offensive and disgusting. The allusion made by an hon. member to the subject of marriages was by no means warranted. No doubt it was the wish of the priest, that the children should be Catholic; but the parents would not be controlled by the clergy upon such matters, and might refuse to have their offspring educated in that religion. He begged the House to call to mind what was the law on the subject of marriage in this country not a hundred years ago. Any Roman Catholic priest marrying a Catholic to a Protestant was subject to the punishment of death; and even though he could prove that he acted inadvertently, he incurred the same penalty, for the law concluded, most mercifully, that he did the act knowingly. Such being the law a hundred years ago, the same priest is now punished with proscription for not forwarding and encouraging marriages between Catholics and Protestants. I need not (continued the hon. member) thank the House for the patient indulgence with which it has heard me: the task I have performed has been disagreeable and painful— —" I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, Action nor utterance, nor the power of speech, To stir men's blood. I only wish to discharge my duty to my country and to my Creator, and to unite England and Ireland in the solid bonds of prosperity, or what is infinitely better, of peace and liberty. Until this be effected, Ireland will have no peace, and the Protestant establishment no security. The situation of Irish gentlemen is cruel beyond measure; they are exposed to the foulest calumnies; and if they take part with the friends of emancipation, they are immediately charged with having some political motive for their conduct. Peace at present is unknown in Ireland; and, as the right hon. gentleman who spoke first this evening, said in a speech full of ability and heart, expressive of the sentiments of an upright minister of the Crown, this question harasses all ranks, and mixes itself with the private feelings of every family, sowing discord and dissension where affection ought only to spring. There never was a time when this subject came more home to the fire-side of every individual in Ireland, from the highest peer to the lowest peasant; it has spread over the country a mass of inflammable matter, and whether it breaks out in violent Catholic Associations or Orange Lodges, I care not—the element is equally destructive. The question is, whether you shall put them down by force or by conciliation: they may be considered animals ferœ natureâ, and if they cannot be seduced and tamed by kindness, it may be necessary to follow them and hunt them to their hiding-places. I call upon the British parliament to consider the opportunities it has lost, the fair occasions gone for ever by—for accomplishing this great work of peace and conciliation. Time presses, for who can say how soon we may be involved in a new war, and how soon we may again have occasion for the services of the brave and loyal Catholics of Ireland? Have they not met in America a spirit of sympathy until lately unknown? Let us take care not to excite in our Trans-atlantic colonies a feeling that may lead to their ultimate separation. The Irishman who returns from America exhibits a degree of thoughtful stubbornness, which surprises by its contrast. He goes where the spirit of Washington still survives, and the genius of Washington still animates; and when he revisits his native country, he is no longer the humble and subservient Catholic, but the reflecting and stubborn Irish-American. It is my sincere advice, that the British government should do all in its power to strengthen, instead of weakening, the connection between the two countries. You lost the opportunity of doing this great work in 1782; and in 1795, although there was no distinct plan, there was certainly a general understanding in the words of Mr. Pitt, that the government should give the claims "a handsome support." In 1802,1808, and 1812,opportunities of concession were also thrown away; and even in 1822, when a bill of Relief was actually carried in this House. What now is the situation of my unfortunate country? I saw his present majesty arrive in that fair portion of his dominions, more glorious than the restoration of Louis 18th, who, after having fallen below all hope of recovery—was at length re-established on the throne of his ancestors, mainly by the instrumentality of that great captain, who had the keys of Paris in his pocket; and not only of Paris, but half of the continent beside. The arrival of his majesty in Ireland was hailed as the dawn of liberality and justice: he was looked upon as the harbinger of concession—almost as the great political Messiah, "with healing on his wings"— and was welcomed by the hands and hearts of tens of thousands of loyal subjects, refuting by this display of honest and fervent affection the calumnies of centuries. I saw him thus joyfully received, and it could not fail to remind me of the words of that great queen Elizabeth, who, in her well-grounded confidence in her faithful people, exclaimed, "these are my guards!" Such, too, might justly have been the language of George 4th on his visit to Ireland, when all ranks struggled to evince their loyalty. Here he saw all the securities needed for the Church establishment, in honest hearts and steady allegiance. That opportunity for an act of royal justice was lost; and when will it return? If the nation be at war, concession is refused because the House will not yield to intimidation: if it be at peace, it is asserted that the Catholics, with all their hostility, can do no harm. No harm? Does the House know what the Penal-laws against the Catholics cost Great Britain? Are there not thirty thousand troops in Ireland, and are there not besides, five thousand police to pry into the affairs of every family? To this condition, Ireland has been reduced—: Penal-laws, the violation of all rights, and the wreck of a constitution. I trust, nevertheless, that the two countries will long be united—not by intimidation and tyranny, but by extending to all equal liberty and equal laws, by that system of government for which Vattel, Burlamaqui, Locke, Paley, Milton, and many others, the greatest names in letters and politics, had invariably contended. They will not, surely, re-enact the Penal-laws. The hon. baronet has almost hinted as much; and my honourable colleague said, that if force was used, it would be repelled by force. If so, they will generate a spirit and feeling among the Catholics of Ireland that will produce effects as direful as ever befel any country. I trust that the British lion, while with one arm, it upholds the Crown, will not with the other, tear in pieces the Charier of Irish freedom.

Lord Ennismore

said, it might appear like presumption on his part, in rising to express his opinions, were it not that, being the representative of a large body of Roman Catholics, he felt that he owed it to them to speak their and his own sentiments in the face of that House and the country, with boldness, and with a disregard of all personal consequences. The question had been so ably and eloquently discussed in all its bearings—it was so irradiated with the brightest names of the past and present age—that he was aware it was far beyond his scope to retrace the many powerful arguments which had been urged to prove the justice of repealing the laws imposing disabilities upon the Roman Catholics. This he would say, that those laws were a disgrace to the age, and that they were contrary both to the spirit of the religion we professed, and to all principles of true policy, and at variance with the sense of justice implanted in our breasts by nature. He would not weary the House with details of transactions long since passed. He had no wish to dwell on the stipulations of the treaty of Limerick; but would take his stand on the expediency of granting the concessions required by the Roman Catholics. He contended, that the necessity of the measure grew out of the existing circumstances of the country, and that it was in accordance with the genius of the age in which we lived. He trusted that that House would never lose sight of the principle of expediency, though his learned friend, the member for Lowth, had stated a very different opinion the other evening. In calling on the legislature to remove the disabilities affecting the Roman Catholics, he entreated gentlemen to consider seriously the actual degree of advantage and disadvantage that practically attended the continuance of those disabilities. To begin with the advantages—what were they? Even as stated by those to whom he alluded, they were problematical, uncertain, and remote. Then, as to the disadvantages, their positive existence was equally admitted; they were described as constituting a crying evil of growing and accumulating danger, working its onward way in characters written in blood, and forming an insuperable bar to the peace, happiness, and tranquillity of Ireland, and to the progress of civilization and national improvement. It had been said by those who were in possession of the splendid advantages of the Established Church, "Deprive us not of our rights; trench not upon our prerogatives;" and there were not wanting intemperate advocates, who thought the best mode of defending this church was tauntingly to tell those who were excluded, not to presume "to come between the wind and their most reverend nobility." But when he knew that there were reverend persons on the other side, thus galled, and thus excluded—persons of learning and high moral worth, he could not help appealing, on their part, for the benefit of that divine maxim, which ought to be equally diffused in the conduct of both—" Do unto others as you would be done unto." He would ask, in what respect were these penal laws likely to be borne with more patience by the people of Ireland? If, as was obvious, they must speedily be relinquished, what time was better for so doing than the present, when it was admitted on all sides, that they affected the peace of Ireland, and the security of the kingdom at large. What did Ireland gain by being kept in this state of moral and political degradation? What did true religion, which was an union of moral and peace-bearing attributes, acquire by this system, which was only calculated to subvert the great principles upon which Christianity was founded? It was a system, daily rendering property insecure, repelling the investment of capital, restraining the advancement of commercial enterprise, affording only checkered gleams of tranquillity between the convulsed efforts of faction, and widely afflicting the unhappy country that was subject to it, to the aggravation of every evil which could belong to distrust, jealousy, and galling restrictions. Until these were removed, for the Catholics of Ireland there could be no rest; for the kingdom at large, no hope of peace. Again, if these laws excluding the Catholics were of no use to Ireland, of what benefit were they to England? Were they not, in fact, a thorn in her side? No man living could say that this great country had grown, or could grow, richer and stronger by them; nor could their injustice be palliated by any supposition of their adding to the estimate of her character in the eyes of the world. Why, then, make this stand for their baneful continuance? He was not such a visionary as to assert, that every advantage would arise from the adoption of concession—that the ills of Ireland would instantly cease upon the emancipation of the Catholics. He entertained no such unreasonable anticipation; but he believed, that incalculable benefit would result from the proposed concession. One great barrier to harmony and improvement would be removed; faction and bigotry would be disarmed of their strongest weapon, and a season of calmness must follow, in which prejudices might be removed, and industry be permitted to flow into its proper channels. He admitted the power wielded by the Catholic Association, and he saw no hope of its being extinguished, but by doing justice to the people over whom that body ruled with a double-edged weapon so keen and effective. He was aware of its evil, and deeply sensible that it exercised an influence which ought to be suppressed; not by coercion, for that had been already tried in vain, but by conciliation. They might attack these associators with all the severity of the law, and frame new laws for their suppression; but still a spirit and fire would rise out of the smothered elements of popular feeling, which could never be extinguished but by the allaying of civil animosities, the banishing of social distrust, and the equalizing of religious privileges. In vain would coercion be tried upon these ready materials for wide-spreading excitement; the angry spirit, though silenced for the hour, would rise like the Phœnix from her ashes, or rather, like the water serpent, though it might hide itself beneath the surface of the wave, it would again rear its head above it, at other times and in other places. He implored the House to do itself justice by evincing a kindly disposition to interpose its authority between these conflicting-classes of his majesty's subjects, to lend a healing and a helping hand before the demands were more imperative, and the perils more impending. They would have to grant it in the end, when it could no longer be withheld; and they ought to pause while yet they had time for reflection, before they precipitated so impolitic a result. Then as to securities, upon which so much stress had been laid. If those who opposed this question, would say what securities they required, as a condition for the repeal of those laws, he would be most happy to attend to this expression of their desire. There was one fact quite clear, that the existing state of things gave them no security; and for his own part, he fully believed, that for the full protection of the Established Church, and the preservation of the constitution, the best means were those which were incorporated in the great measure of Catholic Emancipation itself. Emancipate the Catholics, and England would see the germ of national prosperity shooting out from the surface of that unhappy land. He implored this concession, on behalf of the dearest interests of Catholics and Protestants. He wished to render Ireland, naturally rich in her intrinsic resources, already powerful in the great mass of her population, a substantial part and an available portion of the British empire. This she could not fail to be, if once weaned from her animosities, dissevered from her excitements, and imbued with a sense of her own advantages, by having infused into her laws the rational principles of civil and religious liberty.

Mr. George Bankes

said, he could not accede to the proposition he had heard so often advanced in the course of that debate; namely, that emancipation, as it was called, would carry with it whatever securities would be desired. He had listened to the speeches of his right hon. friend, the President of the Board of Trade, that evening, and of his right hon. friend, the Secretary for Ireland, on Friday evening, with some pleasure, but mingled, in no inconsiderable degree, with pain and disapprobation. They had told the House very decidedly, nay, imperatively, what must be done, and he had expected they would tell the House also how it was to be done. His right hon. friend, the Secretary for Ireland, had particularly failed in that respect; and when he considered that his right hon. friend held a station in which it was his duty, mainly to direct his talents to the consideration of the interests of that part of the empire which was most likely to be affected by this question; and when he considered that his right hon. friend had told the House, and the same assertion had been confidently repeated that evening by his other right hon. friend, that this measure, and this measure only, was the remedy for all the evils of Ireland, he thought the House had some right to expect, as this measure must have been under his right hon. friend's consideration so earnestly and so long, that he would have been able not only to tell the House that they must do it, but also how it was to be done. It might be very well for the hon. baronet, the member for Westminster, to bring forward a proposition affecting the constitution of the country, without detailing the steps by which it was to be carried into effect. The hon. baronet had a right to say— "I am not going to submit any finished measure; I leave the completion of it to the government; it is our business only to draw the outline, it is for them to fill it up from the design we give them." But when he heard members of the government using language so strong and decided—when he heard them declare, that they considered this as the great and sole remedy for all the evils of Ireland, he thought they should not forbear to tell the House how it could be done. His right hon. friends had used expressions which were calculated to excite considerable alarm. His right hon. friend this evening had spoken of morsels and fragments of the constitution being given to the petitioners. He wished his right hon. friend had been more explicit, when he used phrases of that description. His right hon. friend the Secretary for Ireland, had also used an illustration not calculated to lower the apprehensions of those who were opposed to this measure. He said, "Look at the Scotch members in your House. Do they give any disturbance to the established religion? Do they bring forward measures calculated to derange that establishment which you justly consider so valuable? "What, then, did his right hon. friend propose?—That the Irish Catholics, with reference to their religious establishment, should be treated on the same principles as the Scotch Presbyterians. The Scotch members in that House certainly did not molest the Established Church of England, because they knew that, the same law which confirmed their religion secured ours also. The vote that upheld one, maintained the other. This illustration should not be forgotten, as respected the religious establishment, for reasons which he would presently suggest. But if the Scotch members did not combine against the Church of England, they had acted together so as to interrupt the general measures of government. Had it never happened that the Scotch members had in a body combined to defeat a measure proposed for the public good? They need not look far back for an instance, in which a great political measure was resisted, and successfully resisted by a union of these very Scottish members whose example had been quoted to prove that such a resistance never had occurred, and was never likely to occur. He would ask his right hon. friend (Mr. C. Grant) how far he was prepared to obviate the difficulties attendant on the articles of the Scotch Union? His right hon. friend was aware that the oath taken at elections in Scotland was in a much higher degree binding, as a security for the Established Church there, than that required in England. The oath besides, in Scotland, was taken by all who were eligible, and was an infinitely stronger test and declaration on the part of those who were to be elected members of that House. His right hon. friend had, it was true, talked something of securities; and had referred to Prussia as an instance of what might be obtained. But, was his right hon. friend sure that the Irish Catholics would agree to the terms on which their religion was governed in Prussia? He wished to draw the attention of the House also to the speech of his learned friend, the Solicitor General for Ireland, who in picturing in no exaggerated colours, the state of Ireland, more particularly with reference to the influence of the priests, endeavoured to shew, that we could not be in a worse condition than at present. His argument was—" You have the Catholics among you now. The Irish members are the representatives of the Catholic priests, for they are by them chosen for their activity, their eloquence, their vigilance, and, he added, for their violence also. You have now in respect of the cause they are sent to promote, in respect of your fears of evil for the constitution, the influence of the priests in this House in its most noxious shape" [cheers]. In this respect he differed from his learned friend. Though he admitted the activity, the vigilance, and the unquestionable eloquence of the Irish members who advocated the Catholic claims, he could fancy that the same power might exercise an influence more noxious, more violent, and directed to more mischievous results. He had heard on a former night, a noble lord, (F. L. Gower) state, to his surprise, that he would prefer that the orators of the Catholic Association should come over to that House and pour forth their effusions of malevolence there rather than elsewhere. Now, this was a choice in which he could by no means concur. He felt that the existence of that Association was a disgrace to the law which it insulted, and to the legislature, which had endeavoured to suppress it. But he would rather the Irish orators should pursue their mischievous course where they were, than be obliged to listen to their speeches in that House. He could not forget that the leaders of this Association had lately proscribed the dawning power of the duke of Wellington. He could not forget that, some time ago, they had libelled the late duke of York in his dying moments. The one was as cruel and wicked a libel as ever consigned its author to the punishment of the law; and the other a proscription the most insolent that ever remained uncancelled and unrecalled. But, though the noble duke at the head of the government was proscribed by the Catholic Association, he had heard with pleasure, the unequalled praises bestowed on that illustrious commander by the hon. baronet who opened this debate. Never was there so just, so glowing, so powerful a tribute to the merits of that great man. He regretted, however, that in another part of the hon. baronet's speech he had treated another great and noble character (the earl of Eldon), with an unkindness so marked and uncalled for. The hon. baronet had alluded in very unkind terms to that noble person's gravity and slowness of decision; and had expressed his surprise that, on a late occasion, the noble and learned lord had been found to act with so much readiness and energy. This was an attack which he considered unfounded and unfair. Was it extraordinary, that when that noble and learned lord's principles had for half a century been known to the public, he should fall under an imputation of this kind, as if he had turned round on a sudden and deserted his former professions? At all events, he thought the noble and learned lord was no longer a fit object for attack, either in that House or in any other public assembly; and for himself, he trusted that the House would excuse him for the expression of his feelings on the subject— feelings which, he was sure, would never change, in whatever situation the noble lord might be placed.—The hon. baronet who had brought forward this question had directed the attention of the House to the other countries of Europe, and even to South America, challenging them to look at what was taking place all through the civilized world, and what progress was making every where, while England alone was standing still. He would adopt the proposal of the hon. baronet, he would look at what was taking place in Spain, in Italy and, above all, in Portugal. Could any one forget what had taken place in that country since the Catholic question had last been discussed in that House. But the House was also requested to look at what was taking place in South America. He was certainly much astonished at such an invitation, for he could not conceive how any one could call upon them to look there for the expression of liberal opinions or feelings. What was the constitution of Mexico? It was true, that their constitution was founded by a liberal Cortez, but that very Cortez was mainly founded on an oath, by which no religion besides their own could be tolerated, or even admitted into the country; and though they boasted of their charters of liberty, those very charters had been burnt by the hands of the common hangman. They had been also told to look to France; but there the spirit of Jesuitism had arisen. It had been said, indeed, that the efforts of that intolerant spirit in France were powerless and insignificant; but he was of an opposite opinion. The spirit of Jesuitism was like the water serpent, of which they had heard so much: you could never know where you had him; when up in one place, he was down in another, and it was of little consequence to him whether or not he had an arrow in his vitals. The attention of the House had been directed to the example of Prussia. He was satisfied that the plan of Prussia was not such as this country could adopt, unless they were prepared to go the length which the hon. baronet had stated in his speech, and to which his proposition certainly went. If they should first adopt the proposal of the hon. baronet, and then talk of securities as baubles only to be sneered at,—if they did that, then, indeed, he would admit that concession would have the salutary effect of conciliation, and that there would be some chance of tranquillizing Ireland. But, unless they were ready to make concession in the manner in which it had been made in Prussia, no such effects would follow in its train. The members of the Catholic religion would always hate the Protestant religion, and would be always indisposed to contribute to its maintenance. With respect to the privileges alluded to in the treaty which had been mentioned, it was said, that the reason why no mention was particularly made in it of parliamentary privileges was, that at that time, and in all times previous, the Roman Catholics had enjoyed those privileges in a manner which made it unnecessary that any stipulation should have been made for them. Let the House consider in what way it was that they held their seats in parliament. This point was material: first, as respected the particular treaty to which he had alluded; and secondly, because it was undoubted, that if Ireland had been governed by a parliament composed of Irish Papists, unrestricted by any oaths, arguments might be founded upon the government of Ireland at that period, which might now be applied to the present question. But let the House look to the history of the parliament of Ireland, and they would find facts utterly inconsistent with the proposition so broadly laid down by the hon. member for Dublin. Catholics might sit in the Irish parliament in the reign of Elizabeth; but, aware of the difficulties that would arise from Protestants and Catholics sitting together in the same House, the latter, being unrestrained, in order to provide against them, she directed writs to be issued to such counties only as she thought likely to return Protestant members. Thus out of twenty counties only ten sent members to parliament during her reign. That was the state of the Catholics with respect to their privilege of sitting in parliament during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. On the accession of James the 1st, the same principle was acted upon. It was true he issued writs to an additional number of places, but it was only to places where he was assured of the sentiments of those who were to return the members. It was not till the reign of Charles the 1st, that that principle was in a manner given up. Then, in the year 1634, the Protestants and Catholics in the Irish parliament were nearly equal in numbers; and they would find in a letter of lord Strafford's that there was precisely that state of things in Ireland which might have been expected from such an arrangement. The noble writer of the letter stated, that in discussions and divisions, the Protestants were all on one side, and the Catholics all on the other, but this arose from no ill feeling on the part of the Catholics towards the govern- ment, or from a wish to embarrass its proceedings; as they adopted this course merely for the sake of shewing their power, and forming for themselves that predominant interest, which should enable them to regulate the supplies that should be granted the government. It had been said, upon the strength of this, that the Catholics were as faithful as subjects could be, and that if they were now treated in the same manner, they would be equally faithful. That might be true, and he would even grant that many of them supported the interests of the Established Church; but when the House came to consider how nearly the Established Church was then accused of resembling popery, the merit claimed for the Catholics on that account must suffer some degree of diminution. It was not, however, his desire now, or on any occasion, to diminish from the high and pleasurable feelings the descendants of the Roman Catholics of that day must have, and which had been so eloquently described to them, in thinking of the conduct of their ancestors He concurred in the praise that had been bestowed upon them by the hon. baronet. He perfectly agreed in what had been stated, that throughout our whole history, jealousy existed on the part of the Catholics with respect to the authority of the pope, but he thought that the right hon. member for Knaresborough had not treated his learned friend fairly, in his allusions to the statement made by him. His learned friend he understood to mean, when he had alluded to the struggles which took place between our Roman Catholic ancestry and the pope, that in spite of their opposition to his power, continual innovations were made by him. It was the fear of his power and encroachments, that procured the passing of the statute of premunire, a statute which made the king that passed it so odious to the pope, that he gave his kingdom over to another. There was but one other topic to which he should advert. In expressing his opposition to the claims of the Catholics, he wished to be understood as entertaining every respect for the religious opinions and feelings of that class of his fellow-countrymen. He felt that claims had been put forward in that House more strongly upon this occasion than formerly. It was for that reason that he had taken that opportunity of expressing his sentiments on the subject, and he had only to hope that his so doing would not be construed into any mark of disrespect to his Roman Catholic countrymen.

Mr. J. E. Denison

said, he could not conceive by what process of reasoning the right hon. Secretary for the Home Department had arrived at the conclusion, that nothing ought to be done in regard to this question. What better witnesses, or what greater authority, could the right hon. gentleman require than the Solicitor-general for Ireland, and the Secretary for that country? As to the speech of the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Peel), it seemed to be a mere recapitulation of the opinions of those who had preceded him: the only arguments which it contained were drawn, as it appeared to him, from those brought forward in the course of the debate, and in this manner, the arguments which the right hon. gentleman had made against the motion, were weaker than those which he had made for it. The hon. gentleman who last addressed the House had asked, how the conciliation of the Catholics could be carried into effect? His answer to that question was,—by the House appointing the committee moved for by the hon. baronet. Great apprehensions were entertained by the hon. gentleman, of the admission of Catholic members, as if they would unite and thwart the measures of government. Had any inconvenience been produced by the introduction of the Scotch and Irish members into that House? "But," said the hon. member, "do we not see many instances of union and confederation amongst them?" That might be a good argument for expelling the Irish members from the House altogether; but it was no argument for the maintenance of that system of exclusion which it was the object of this motion to put down. The hon. member had pointed their attention to the example of Mexico. He, on the contrary, would call the attention of the House to a country belonging to the same continent, but to a different division of it. While they saw in Canada, great divisions and differences, while they beheld the disputes there carried to a high pitch and serious consequences resulting from them, there was one ingredient absent from this civil turmoil. There were no differences upon the subject of religion. In Canada there existed a mixed population of Catholics and Protestants, but they all enjoyed equal rights and liberties. It could not be denied that this great question was making rapid progress in England. Even those who were opposed to it were, in most instances, assailable by argument, and open to conviction. Let the diffusion of knowledge and of just principles proceed, and the final settlement of this question could not be long delayed. Those principles of liberality and toleration which had been adopted in the other countries of Europe, were making great way in England. He would not deny that there existed amongst many persons, a great prejudice against this question; but he was convinced that necessity would force them to reflect on the subject, and that reflection will produce their assent to the measure. They had already admitted Catholics to the possession of property; and why should they deprive property of its just influence? They had admitted Catholic barristers to practise at the bar, and they would not permit them to enjoy the rewards of the profession. They had admitted Catholics to the exercise of the elective franchise, and they would not suffer them to elect the members of their own choice. How could such a state of things subsist? [Hear]. And what were the advantages held out to the people of England to make them satisfied with such an anomalous state of things? On the one hand, a few Catholic barristers were deprived of the honours of their profession; a few Catholic members were kept out of that House; and a few Catholic peers out of the House of Lords; on the other hand, five millions of fellow-subjects were excluded from the blessings of the British constitution. That exclusion was followed by continual irritation and division: the energies of the country were paralyzed; those resources to which the government might look for aid in seasons of peril were dried up, and last, though not the least evil, was the perpetual renewal of the discussion of this question. This question formed a wall of separation between parties in that House, and it was set up as an almost insuperable barrier between honourable minds, who would otherwise associate and co-operate for the public good. He trusted that such an evil would at length be put an end to. Surely there was nothing so enviable in the present condition of the country and the question, as to make them tremble at a change. The greatest men who ever sat in that House had often told them, that those concessions could be safely made. He trusted, therefore, that the House would at length, act upon that principle, and do justice to Ireland.

Mr. North

said, he had been anxious to follow the hon. member for Corfe Castle; for, differing, as he did, so widely from him in his conclusions, he had heard nothing which had given him so much pleasure as that hon. member's speech. Indeed, he hailed that speech as a happy omen of the success of the present motion. The hon. member had endeavoured to obtain a triumph over parallels and comparisons; while he quarrelled not with the arguments of the supporters of the question, he thought it not beneath him to deal with metaphors and similes, while he shrunk from grappling with the arguments upon which the measure was founded. Did that hon. member, when he asked the House what was the mode in which they would consent to Catholic Emancipation, conceive that that of itself was the question before the House? Or did he suppose that the quere might not be retorted upon him, and that he might not be asked, whether the real and practical question before the House was,—not whether they were prepared to emancipate the Roman Catholics, but whether they were determined to effect the tranquillization of Ireland? If the hon. member should object to Catholic Emancipation as the mode of tranquillizing Ireland, could he point out any other mode by which that country could be tranquillized? What was his scheme?—in what consisted his plan? That this House should go on considering this question year after year?— that they should debate it, night after night, and session after session, and never come to a decision?—that they should produce a balanced government and a balanced legislature, rendering every man who otherwise might be neutral or passive interested on one side or other, and each discussion of the question furnishing new topics for irritation and division? This was the hon. member's plan for tranquillizing Ireland! The House should pause long before they adopted such a course. They could not keep back the question. He was glad that they had at length put aside the Treaty of Limerick, and the engagements said to have been made at the Union, or whatever other matters might have been recorded in history, and that the question was put upon its proper basis—The actual slate of Ireland. That it was which pressed them to form a decision, if they were inclined to yield to the voice of wisdom and the force of circumstances. He would not refer this question to the Treaty of Limerick, or to the Union. These topics were now out of the debate; and he regretted that the former had been introduced by the hon. baronet who had brought forward the present motion. That treaty he would not consider as affecting the great question at isssue. He would yield the arguments on that head to the right hon. Secretary, and he would concede that, at the time of the Union, no pledges had been given by the then lord lieutenant of Ireland; and, after conceding all this, he would ask, were the great grounds for the necessity of Catholic Emancipation taken away from under its advocates? Were the great arguments upon which that question had been so often and so ably supported at all impaired? Would they not, on the contrary, press upon their minds with tenfold weight, and enforce a conviction of their justice and their truth? The hon. member for Corfe Castle had laboured under a fallacy which, were it not so general, he would not deem worthy of notice. That hon. member seemed to be of opinion, that by granting Catholic Emancipation they would confer power upon the Catholic body. Gracious God! did they not see that by depriving the Catholics of their rights, whom they might thus have under the control and within the pale of the constitution, a power had grown up beyond them, which did not owe its existence to them, and which was not derived under any statute of theirs? Were they blind to the fact, that, by denying to Catholic talent its just reward, and to Catholic property and wealth its just privileges, that a. power had grown up with which they did not know how to deal—which would not be controlled or brought under their direction—and which the executive government had neither the means to regulate, nor the force to destroy? The hon. member for Corfe Castle was alarmed at the idea of admitting twenty or thirty high-born, educated, well-principled and wealthy Roman Catholics into this House;. but he was not alarmed at the Catholics forming a little parliament of their own in their own country—a parliament that was open to all the base, vulgar, unprinci- pled, and daring characters that thought proper to join it — an Association over whose decisions the voice of the parliament had no control, and in which the eloquence of those who felt themselves aggrieved had full power to act upon the passions of the people. The hon. member had certainly declaimed against this anomalous power, and had complained of its existence as a grievance, but the hon. member did not probe the matter to the bottom. He took things at the surface; the Association was only the symptom of the disease. As long as the original disease was suffered to exist, so long would they have the Association in existence, and so long would it continue to increase and to extend its power. Every session and every year that they delayed the repeal of the statutes which debarred the Catholics from their constitutional rights, would but add new vigour to the influence of the Catholic Association. Honourable members who were aware of the history of that Association, must be convinced of the truth of these positions. There was a period when the Roman Catholic aristocracy kept aloof from the Association, They were now amongst the most open, foremost, and most determined members of that body. It was but the other day, but as yesterday, that the Roman Catholic clergy did not at all interest themselves in the politcal concerns of the Catholic body. They remained perfectly passive; and he knew it to be a fact, that the Catholic agitators themselves were not apprised till lately of the energies of that great power. That formidable engine was in their arsenal, but it had grown rusty from disuse; and no man, it was supposed, possessed skill enough to work it. Now it had been put forward; and what had it accomplished? At its first effort it had beaten down the ascendancy of the Protestant proprietors in their own counties, upon their own estates, on the very thresholds of their homes—and with the arms of their own slaves, the 40s. freeholders. Would it be said that they knew the extent of that power? He would venture to assert, that the Roman Catholics themselves could not say that they had reached the extent of that power. That formidable power could not be measured—they could not fathom it—they could not take its gauge. He would ask any man, whether he was overcharging this picture?—whether he was exaggerating the immense influence now possessed and exercised by the Catholic priesthood in Ireland? They were aware of the existence of that power; and what were they doing? They were only confirming it in its growth, habituating the people of Ireland to its exercise, and binding up their feelings and affections with its existence. It was in this way that that power had risen to its present magnitude, and they vainly imagined they were putting it down, while they were all the time protecting and promoting it. In all countries which were under a well-regulated government, political factions were confined in the regions of power and ambition, and did not descend amongst the vulgar and the lowly. How was it in Ireland? These politics followed the husbandman to the plough, and occupied the mind of the weaver at his loom. In all grades and classes of society in Ireland, politics formed almost the sole and all-engrossing topic of conversation and discussion. They had their political attornies, political farmers, political weavers, and political shop-keepers. In fact, in Ireland every man's first concern was politics, and the next his business. He would appeal to the House, whether such a state of things should be continued? He would ask, whether they would maintain a system which generated division and animosity; which kept alive irritation and discontent; which ministered to all the worst purposes of faction? They had been told by an hon. gentleman, that the Roman Catholics possessed no indefeasible title to political power. On such a question as that he would not enter into metaphysical abstractions and subtle reasonings. He would not tell the hon. gentleman who used this argument, what rights the Roman Catholics possessed, but what rights the Protestants possessed. He would tell him what rights he (Mr. North) possessed. He would tell him what rights the king possessed. They had, then, a mutual right of co-operation to serve and assist their Catholic fellow-subjects, to restore them to their privileges, and to render them every good which lay within their power. It was time that such a co-operation should be acted on—it was time that relief should be afforded to the Catholics, freely, honourably, and effectually—it was time that those barriers should no longer exist between two classes of people, which withheld them from giving the arm of support one to the other—it was time that those disqualifications and disabilities should be removed, and that such measures should be adopted as would assist him in uniting them, for the accomplishment of any and of every object that tended to the general benefit of the country. —He did not mean to go further into the general question. If, in debating such a motion as this, he had suppressed general arguments altogether, that course was justified by the speech delivered early in the evening by the right hon. gentleman who opened the debate that evening. That speech, so highly distinguished by eloquence, by feeling, and by argument, was calculated to carry conviction home to every mind. He therefore should forbear from entering on general arguments. He had, however, conceived it to be his duty, as an humble individual who had long resided in Ireland, to lay before that House the actual state of that unfortunate country; and he should conclude here, but that he felt himself called upon to notice one observation which had been made by the hon. member for Waterford. That hon. member had said, that the time had long since gone by, when the concession of this boon would be viewed as a measure of grace and favour. He hoped it was not gone by—he hoped the hon. member was mistaken—he believed that he was mistaken. It appeared to him, that if ever there were a time when this measure could be conceded as a measure of grace and favour, that time was the present. He thought there was something in circumstances which had recently occurred—he thought there was something in the state of party as it at present existed —that would cause this measure to be now viewed most peculiarly as one of grace and favour. It would be considered not as the triumph of one party over another, but as the triumph of truth over error. Not only would it be considered as a measure of grace and favour, but it would be always viewed, from the eternal nature of things, as an act of great political justice—as an act which must produce great national benefit.

Admiral Evans

expressed his determination to oppose any further concession to the Roman Catholics of Ireland. When he recollected the conduct of that body in 1798, he was not inclined to trust them with power. In that year, one hundred and twenty-five persons were massacred on the bridge of Wexford, because they were Protestants. When the rebellion was first planned in the north of Ireland, those who supported it set out on republican principles; but the moment the Roman Catholics got power in their hands, in consequence of the greatness of their numbers, they abandoned the position they had originally taken; all idea of liberty was forgotten, and nothing filled their minds but the hope of securing the ascendancy of the Catholic religion. Nothing could be more insulting or degrading to the House than the arguments upon which some hon. members supported the necessity of conceding what was now claimed. He had served his country long, and was willing to serve her to the utmost extent of his power; but he never would be guilty of the pusillanimity of granting that to fear, which he withheld from conviction. If the Catholics and their supporters wished to advance their cause, let them not come to us with the language of intimidation. It had been said many times, pending the discussion of this question— "Will you not concede this question to the Catholics—to the Catholic Aristocracy?" But, good God, were there no Protestants in Ireland to be considered? If those hon. gentlemen who were so zealous in their support of the Catholic claims, and their praises of the Roman Catholic hierarchy were sincere in their professions, let them embrace the Catholic religion at once. He had lived eleven years in Ireland, and he knew enough of the kind of amalgamation and dove-tailing which hon. members represented as likely to arise from putting the Catholics on a footing with the Protestants. He had talked a good deal with Catholics on the subject; and he always found that they considered Catholic emancipation as a means of exemption from tithes. He would venture upon making a proposition to the House upon the subject of emancipation. Let the legislature pass a vote by which they would give all the tithes to the priests, and exempt the Protestants from the payment of any tithes at all. If they did so he was convinced they would not be troubled any more upon this subject; for they would have the people of Ireland all of one religion almost immediately. When he first took his scat in that House he had taken a very solemn oath, which he confessed, he felt rather binding upon his conscience. Now, the members of that House, who supported Catholic claims, were quite willing to throw overboard the conscience of the king and the Coronation Oath, but they forget they had an oath to answer for themselves. The hon. baronet, who brought this question before the House, had quite scouted the idea of an oath, and had attempted to persuade them, that nothing could be more childish than the denial of the claims of the Catholics on such pretences. But he confessed he could not look upon the matter so lightly. He would ask the members of that House to tell him, whether they thought the king obtained any power from the retaining the right to nominate the bishops? If it gave the king nothing, then what he had to say came to nothing: but if it gave the king power, then what had they to say to the pope's nominating the Irish bishops and clergy? The gallant admiral then referred to the oath which the members took at the table, by which they pledged themselves to support the Protestant church and the constitution, as by law established, against all attacks; and that, too, without any equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever. How, then, could those who supported the Catholics advocate their claims, when they took an oath which declared that they ought not to be advocated. The gallant admiral said, he spoke the sentiments of his constituents on this subject.

Colonel Chichester

said, that the gallant admiral, though he had talked of the massacre on the bridge of Wexford, and had referred to the feelings of the inhabitants of that town on the subject of Catholic emancipation, was not, he believed, very conversant with the sentiments of those whom he had mentioned. The gallant admiral was not sent to parliament by a large population, but by the mayor and a few burgesses of Wexford. Now, he was perfectly prepared to deny that the gallant admiral had uttered the real sentiments of the town of Wexford.

Admiral Evans

said, that the position of the hon. member was not tenable; because the town of Wexford contained ten thousand inhabitants, and the freemen amounted to upwards of two hundred and seventy [a laugh.]

The Attorney-general

said, that the objection made to the observations of the gallant admiral, on account of the paucity of his constituents, had no relevancy whatever to the question, It would be very hard, if none but those who represented populous places were allowed to offer their opinions on this subject. If such a principle were adopted, his learned friend, the member for Knaresborough, would have been prevented from addressing them as he had done; and his learned friend, the member for Winchelsea, would not be allowed the opportunity of illuminating the House, as no doubt, he intended to do. Such a principle might, perhaps, be adopted, if the debate were on the subject of parliamentary reform; but it ought not to be introduced on any other occasion. He felt it to be his imperative duty to state his opinions on this question. The House had more than once permitted him to deliver his sentiments upon it, and those opinions remained unchanged. When Mr. Canning's administration was formed, he might have retained his public situation, if his opinions on this question had been in the slightest degree altered; but he felt it to be his duty to resign his office, because he thought he might possibly have been called on to support a principle, which he was bound in his conscience and judgment to oppose. He had uniformly been an opponent to what was called Catholic emancipation, because, though he never denied the proposition, that the liberty of sitting in parliament, and of filling offices under the king's government, might be conceded, still he always contended, that if such a concession were agreed to — "damus, petimitsque vicissim." — the most ample security should be granted by those receiving the favour to those who were bestowing it. This was his feeling on the subject. His attention had been laboriously and conscientiously applied to its consideration; such was the conclusion at which he had arrived; such was the principle on which he had set out—and by that principle he would stand or fall. —He did not mean to travel through all the topics which had been introduced in the course of this debate. As many of them appeared to have been abandoned by the supporters of the motion, it was not necessary for him to do so. He intended to have risen after his hon. and learned friend, who had addressed the House just now (Mr. North), who was unquestionably, a very able advocate for any cause which he thought proper to support with his abilities. But he must observe, that his hon. and learned friend, in the course of his speech, had thrown overboard two out of three of the topics on which the hon. baronet who brought forward this motion had relied. He had thrown overboard the ballast, or stones, or gravel, for the purpose of righting the ship, and proceeded to sea, having, rather unceremoniously, got rid of two parts of the hon. baronet's cargo, namely, the Treaty of Limerick, and the engagements said to have been entered into at the time of the Union. Now, they all of them were given to understand, that this Treaty of Limerick was to afford new and substantial grounds for granting the claims of the Roman Catholics, and if the treaty really had been what it was described to be, there would have been an end to the question, because a positive treaty and convention must supersede all argument and reasoning, and must give to the Roman Catholics a right to sit in parliament, and to serve the king in his executive government. Now, as his hon. and learned friend, who never gave up an argument that was tenable—who never threw any thing overboard that ought to be kept on board—did not enter into the question whether the Treaty of Limerick did or did not afford a strong argument in favour of the rights claimed by the Roman Catholics; and, when a celebrated jurist, a professor of the law of nations, one deeply conversant with that law, and whose attention had been particularly called to the examination of treaties—when he, too, if he did not throw the Treaty of Limerick overboard, yet gave it a passing kick, and was marvellously short with a subject which he was peculiarly fitted to deal with,—such being the facts, he did not deem it necessary to call the attention of the House to that, point, as it seemed to have been abandoned [Hear, hear]. If he was to understand by that cheer, that the Treaty of Limerick was not given up by the gentlemen opposite, neither would he give it up. Sir Toby Butler, an eminent lawyer of that day, was said to have drawn up that treaty. He would not go through the treaty at large; but he would call on gentlemen to look at article 7th., which he thought must have caught the attention of his hon. and learned friend, who was, perhaps, reading it at that moment. Perhaps it was a bull from the pope. His hon. and learned friend, he saw, had a paper in his hand, and he thought it might have been the treaty.

Mr. Brougham

intimated, that he was reading an important document.

The Attorney-general

said, that if his learned friend had an important document, he also (producing a book) had another. When it was contended that, by the terms of the treaty, every Roman Catholic in Ireland had a right to sit in parliament, and to serve in office, it was exceedingly strange that Sir Toby Butler, that great lawyer, should leave those important points unnoticed. No stipulation was made with respect to the right of sitting in parliament and of serving in office, but it was stipulated, that every nobleman and gentleman in Ireland might ride, carry a sword, and display a pair of pistols. He might ride on a bay colt or a white colt (Sir Toby Butler did not set forth the colour of the charger or palfrey), but the right was secured to every man in Ireland to ride a horse, to carry a sword, and to have pistols in his holsters. The hon. baronet had said, he should like to see this point argued in a court of law—but if it were brought before lord Tenterden or Mr. Justice Bailey, either of those learned persons would say, "It is too much to say that, under this treaty, such rights can be claimed, when the question of eligibility is wholly left out of it—when the most important part of the subject is not even hinted at. The Roman Catholic may ride about on a palfrey, and carry a sword and pistols—that is provided for; but there is no provision in this treaty which gives him a right to sit in parliament and to serve in office." He was very sure that, if the subject were entertained judicially, the court would hear only one side of the question, and would not ask the counsel on the opposite side to answer it. He concurred entirely with his right hon. friend, the Secretary of State for the Home Department; namely, that if it could be shown that the right claimed by the Roman Catholics was borne out by the Treaty of Limerick, the argument was at an end. There would then be no use in abstract reasoning, with respect to the expediency or inexpediency of conceding those claims. It would be unnecessary to show that expediency, because the compact would give the right. And he thought his right hon. friend acted wisely, when, he saw that the Treaty of Limerick did not give any such right, to apply himself particularly to that point. It was a remarkable circumstance, that Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox, lord Grenville, Mr. Grattan, and Mr. Plunkett, an eminent lawyer,—men who had for a series of years supported the Catholic question—never adduced this treaty as conclusive in favour of the Catholic claims [hear]. If, by the cry of "hear," the hon. baronet meant to negative his statement, he could assure him, that he had travelled through all the debates on this question, and he did not find the Treaty of Limerick mentioned till within the last year or two:—until then, it was only incidentally mentioned; but never as the foundation or substratum of the Catholic claims; never was it pushed to such an extent as had been attempted on the present occasion.—With respect to the next topic, the pledge stated to have been given to the Roman Catholics by lord Cornwallis, and lord Castlereagh.— He would not consider how far it was in the power of lord Cornwallis or lord Castlereagh to enter into such an engagement. The private feelings of those individuals had no power to bind him as a member of parliament; but he felt, in common with every gentleman, that their pledge ought to be carried into effect, if it had ever been given. He, however, after much examination, could not find any pledge of the kind; and it appeared, from a speech of Mr. Fox at the time, that, in fact, no pledge had been given. His hon. and learned friend, like a skilful seaman, not choosing to sail with a load which his bark would not bear, threw also this part of the hon. baronet's argument overboard, in order that he might proceed more glibly with his argument, as to the expediency of Catholic emancipation. He would not go through the whole of that argument, but he would state, why he could not concede the resolution of the hon. baronet. The hon. baronet called on the House to enter into a committee on the Roman Catholic claims, for the purpose of imparting additional security and solidity to the Protestant establishment, and of introducing satisfaction and concord amongst all classes of his majesty's subjects. Now, there were gentlemen in that House, who knew that those points had been considered, not in one committee, but in several. He believed that four committees had been formed to effect those desirable objects. If this were the first time, he should say "Go into a committee; "but, as they had three or four times gone into a committee, and, as the fruits which those committees had produced were not palatable to the House, he did not see the necessity of again pursuing the same course. In 1808 the subject was introduced into parliament under the auspices of persons of the greatest talent, —elsewhere by lord Grenville and other noble lords,—and in that House by Mr. Grattan, Mr. Pitt, and other members of the Commons. By all these high and distinguished persons it was positively declared, that Ireland would consent to the influence of the Crown in the nomination of the prelates of Ireland; and, on that basis, the argument for Catholic emancipation was at that time rested. Many in that House, and lords Grey and Grenville elsewhere, had declared that they had the authority of the Catholics for saying, that there would be no objection to the king, by his veto, exercising his influence in the nomination of the prelates of Ireland. Upon this basis was the bill founded. The bill, however, was lost in both places; and, in 1809, lord Grenville addressed a letter to lord Fingal, in which he stated and admitted, that the authority which the Catholics had given, had afterwards, through Dr. Milner and others of their Church, been withdrawn. That letter, which was approved of by lord Grey and others, declared that, if this concession on the part of the Catholics were withdrawn, the concession on their parts, of Catholic emancipation, must be withdrawn also. There was nothing doubtful, or obscure, or unintelligible, in this transaction. It was admitted by the favourers and supporters of the measure, that there must be security on the one hand, while there was concession on the other; and, if that security were repudiated, there must be no concessions.—Then, in 1813, Mr. Grattan obtained a committee. Many hon. gentlemen might recollect it, but probably many of the young gentlemen did not.—Those young gentlemen who had been the subject of so much eulogy, of whom it had been said that they were all favourers of Catholic emancipation.—He had no doubt that, if not all, at least a great part of these young gentlemen were in favour of the committee now moved for. And why were they in favour of it? Because they did not know what had been done in former committees—because they had never read the Journals of the House. The former com- mittee threw out Mr. Grattan's bill, though it abounded in stipulations, and was fertile in oaths, and entered considerably into detail as to allegiance to the pope and allegiance to the king—oaths and stipulations, and details, framed most elaborately, and with the greatest precision as to the words. That bill, too, had the advantage of clauses, drawn up by a gentleman who was certainly one of the ablest draughtsmen of his age,—he meant Mr. Charles Butler. And what was the nature of these clauses? Why, one of the clauses gave to his majesty's chief Secretary of State—to the Secretary for Ireland, and to others, the power of exercising control over the nomination of the prelates in Ireland. Another clause introduced by Mr. Canning, controlled the intercourse of Catholics with the court of Rome; and by it, every document intended for that court must first be submitted to lay investigation. This was the principle of Mr. Grattan's bill. One clause regulated the nomination of the prelates of Ireland, and another afforded a check to unlicensed communication with Rome. On this bill being brought in, the Catholics, on another occasion, and while the bill which gave the Crown a control over the nomination of the prelates was pending, withdrew the authority which they had given. He very well recollected Mr. Grattan on that occasion, though the precocious young gentlemen might not: he very well recollected Mr. Grattan, upon that authority being withdrawn; and he would not say that Mr. Gratlan shed tears, though he should not be very far from the mark if he did say so; but he would say that Mr. Grattan laboured under the momentary influence of feelings the most distressing, and of depression the most painful. Let hon. gentlemen check him if he was not stating what was correct. He would contend, that the Catholics rejected the bill; and that, too, on the ground stated by Dr. Milner and others, who said, that they would shed every drop of blood in their veins, rather than admit the control of a non-Catholic king over the nomination of the prelates of their church. This was their language. He would say that they called this a schismatical act of interference. He stated this, not only as the result of his own investigation, and of the investigation of others, but as the result of his own personal hearing.—He would now call the attention of the House to another point which had not yet been noticed. In the year 1799, be it recollected, there was a resolution signed by the Catholic prelates, which declared it to be right and proper, that the Crown should have that control, which was subsequently secured by the clauses of Mr. Grattan's bill; and this it was, that led him to believe that, whatever might have been Mr. Pitt's opinions on the abstract question, his idea of a practical measure had reference to that resolution which so acknowledged the perfect propriety of this control on the part of the Crown. But, to continue the history of these measures: in 1822, Mr. Plunkett introduced a bill founded on the same principle as that of Mr. Grattan's; for, though the details were not so minute, nor so long, as those in Mr. Grattan's bill, yet the bill admitted and secured these two concessions of control. This bill was again rejected by the Catholics [Cries of" No"]. Hon. gentlemen might say "No," but he would say "Yes." He recollected very well, on that occasion, that Mr. Canning and Mr. Plunkett said—" We do not care whether they accept or reject it, we will do what is right." Then came a third committee and a third bill. Now, many of the very young gentlemen to whom he had before alluded, might recollect this without possessing as much precocity of experience as they had been declared to possess precocity of genius and talent. But he begged to remind them and the House, that there had been three committees; that the warmest and the ablest of the supporters of the Catholic claims had introduced three bills, and that, on the face of each of those bills it was clear, that it was never intended to make concessions on the one side, unless there were securities given on the other side.— Well, then came Mr. Canning's bill, which exhibited a complete dearth of securities: why, he could not tell. But, when so many eminent persons had not ventured to propose concession without security, it was not very likely that a bill without any securities would pass. If some of those great men had died, surely these securities had not died with them. His learned friend, the member for Knaresborough, had complimented the hon. member for Armagh, the other day, and told him that he would be placed in the page of history by the side of Mr. Grattan and Mr. Fox. His learned friend had said, that Mr. Grattan and Mr. Fox were advocates of the same measure that he advocated: but if his learned friend meant to advocate a bill without securities, he must deny that he was supported either by the authority of Mr. Grattan or of Mr. Fox. Concessions on the one hand, and securities on the other, were the basis on which all the measures which received their support had been founded; and, therefore, though the motion of the hon. baronet was merely that the House should go into a committee, he must take the liberty of inquiring: what it was intended should be done, when they had got into a committee? Did they mean to propose those bills which had already been rejected; or did they mean to propose a bill without any securities at all? He was loth to trouble the House with any discussions which might seem to turn upon parliamentary tactics, yet he thought that they ought to have the bill, and see what it was like. He knew it would be said that they could not see this without going into a committee [cheers]. Hon. gentlemen need not cheer so loudly; though there might be a deal of precocity of talent in the House, they need not be so profuse in their cheers. He would contend that this resolution was adapted to mislead the House, because it asked them to go into a committee to do that which the House could not do; and for this reason, if they intended that the bill should provide security while it granted concessions, then, as they had seen, the Catholics would not agree to it; and if they meant to propose a bill which should grant absolute emancipation without any security, the House would agree to no such measure.—He should now call the attention of the House to some other circumstances connected with this question. The professed object of the resolution was, to produce concord between the Protestant and Catholic subjects of his majesty, and secure the Protestant establishment. Now, in both the bills to which he had alluded, he read the same language. They both departed from the quaint peculiarity of parliamentary diction, and declared the object of their enactments to be the knitting and uniting of all his majesty's subjects: and therefore he must again take the liberty of saying, that the retrospect of what had passed might assist them in forming an opinion of the probability of their effecting this alliance of hearts, this sympathy of affection, this inviolable concord.—Some of the hon. gentlemen opposite had very lightly, and somewhat rashly, questioned whether, at the Revolution, the principle of Protestantism was made irrevocable. He would say, that the constitution was not made to depend upon the existence of a Pretender,—upon the extinction of the descendants of James 2nd.—but that it was intended to be permanent and irrevocable:—and he was at a loss to conceive how any man, with the documents and the deliberations of that period before his eyes, could come to any other conclusion. The perpetual Protestantism in the constitution was secured, in the first place, by declaring that the king must be a Protestant; in the second place, by declaring, that the executive servants of the Crown must be Protestants; in the third place, by declaring, that the parliament must be Protestant; and, in the fourth place, by providing for the security of the Protestant Church of the realm. These four points made one consolidated proposition, by which the constitution was to be regulated for ever. Take away any two parts of this proposition, take away the exclusion of Catholics from civil offices and from parliament, and they would make the support of the other parts depend upon whether certain posts were filled by Catholics or Protestants. Was it not true, that if the king married a papist, he lost his right to the Crown? Did the Bill of Rights say that, in the event of such an occurrence, an act of parliament should be passed to exclude the king from the throne? No; it declared that, ipso facto, the king lost his right to the throne. So also, if the king held any communication with the see of Rome. Part of his fear, too, arose from the circumstance, that the Established Church of Ireland would be endangered, and that, by the Union, was made one of the three fulcra, either of which, if injured, would materially affect the whole. By the principle of the present measure, too, there was given to the Catholic Church all management and control over the whole of the Catholic population of the kingdom. They had had a great deal of discussion upon this subject,—upon certain branches of the jurisdiction of the see of Rome. He admitted that, in all cases the line of demarcation between the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the see of Rome was not very easily drawn. In some cases, this was not difficult. Let them, however, first recollect, that the Irish prelates, according to their own declaration, would, rather than admit the control of a non-Catholie king, lose every drop of blood in their veins. But, to return to the Irish prelates. Let the House consider what their power would be. First of all they would have the right of granting or withholding every spiritual right,—of annulling marriages,—of refusing to perform the rites of baptism or burial. They would influence every question, which, ever since the reign of Henry 8th, had been under the uncontrollable authority of the civil courts. And where would the appeal lie? Not to judges appointed by the Crown, not to any tribunal constituted and sanctioned by the legislature, hut to the see of Rome. Now, though he was not without sympathy, yet he must urge what the effect of this state of things would be upon the population of the country. Would any body here submit to such an exercise of power on the part of the Church? Suppose the prelates here had the same uncontrollable power as the Catholic prelates derived from the see of Rome, would any gentleman say that, in all the points which he had mentioned, involving, as they did, rights purely civil, he would be content to submit to the decision and jurisdiction of the bishops? He thought not; and his argument, therefore, was this.—Would they give to the prelates of Ireland that firm power and authority over the population of Ireland, and leave the final appellate jurisdiction to the see of Rome? —But this was not all. The power of the Church of Rome was still more extensive. Most persons were in the habit of reading the newspapers [hear, and laughter]. Yes, even the young gentlemen; but then, if this were prohibited by the Church, the persons offending would be liable to a sentence of excommunication [hear and laughter]. They; might laugh, but this was the fact. A noble lord (F. L. Gower), who had spoken in language the most classical, and with argument the most forcible, had said, that the doctrines and opinions of the Church of Rome were so mischievous, that they would beat them down with that powerful machine, the press. But what became of their liberty of the press, under such a system as he had described? See how it vanished before the influence and authority of the priesthood! For, in order to do any good by means of the press, two agents were necessary. First, persons able to write, and next, persons able to read. But suppose the priests would not allow of readers? The noble lord, who had argued that the press would do so much good, might choose to engage in polemics; and if the noble lord did, no doubt they would be extremely valuable; but then the noble lord's readers, however clever and convincing his polemics, might be excommunicated for reading them.—There was another argument too, founded on the circulation of the Bible, and the dissemination of tracts intended to dissipate the dark clouds of popish corruption; but it appeared to be forgotten how the pope, even now, had treated these exertions, He was not a member of Bible societies; but some of the first persons in the country, supported by their presence and their purses those associations, whose object was, to extirpate prejudice and remove false notions, by the circulation of the Bible, and religious tracts. Perhaps hon. gentlemen were not aware of the compliments which the pope had passed upon the persons who formed those societies. Probably they were not aware that the pope, in his encyclical epistle, had designated them as strolling players, who went about diffusing plague and pestilence. Besides this, had gentlemen, when they talked of the liberty of the press, forgotten that the Catholics had an Index Expurgatorius, into which the pope or priesthood put any book they pleased? Suppose any gentleman who wished to write a treatise on whatever subject, had his name and his work put into the Index Expurgatorius, the bishops had the power of excommunicating any one who should read such work. And yet the press was the mighty machine on which the noble lord rested—the fulcrum, powerful enough to tear up prejudice, however deeply rooted, and to oppose, with success, the exertions of that power which could at once deprive it of its strength by circumscribing its operations within whatever limits it pleased. Let the House, then, look at the state of slavery to which the population of Ireland would be reduced, if placed under the control of the Catholic priests. The right hon. member for Knaresborough had alluded to the writ de hœretico comburendo. What his learned friend had said on this subject was perfectly correct; but he was afraid that that doctrine still continued in the Catho- lic Church [hear]. Hon. members might spare their cheers. He was not going to subject himself to their badinage by saying that he had any fears on that score; his argument was this,—and he wished the friends of the liberty of the press to answer if they could,—that the priests of the Catholic Church could prohibit the reading of any book they thought proper. What would be said in this country, if the king took upon himself the power of dictating what books should be load and what not read, or delegated that power to the bishops? Would any gentleman present uphold such a system of things in England? No! Then why should, they wish to put Ireland in such a situation? What could the learned member for Winchelsea, whose exertions had been productive of such incalculable benefit in the cause of education, say in defence of a religion by which the people were forbidden to read the Bible, except in a language which they did not understand? But he would request the attention of the House to a still stronger portion of the case. It was not for concession, or even for equality, that the Catholics of Ireland now contended; superiority, intelligibly and almost openly avowed, was the object of the Romish Church. Dr. Doyle and others had asserted, before the House of Lords, plainly and directly, that the bishops appointed by the king were not the legitimate and apostolic bishops of Ireland. In one of the letters of J.K.L., it was laid down, that the lawfully appointed archbishop of Dublin had no right to, or real power in, his office: and it was notorious that the see of Rome treated the Catholic as the Established Church of Ireland, and the Protestant establishment as intrusive. Would any rational man say that there was no danger in having royal bishops named by tin; king, and papal bishops named by the pope? Was the Protestant Church in Ireland secure under such circumstances? In the reign of James 2nd, the see of Rome put forth claims much resembling these; and, although James did not go the entire length of granting them, he allowed the pope to divide the kingdom into four districts, and to appoint to each of them a vicar apostolic, exercising episcopal authority. It would be an utter abandonment of the right, of the king's Protestant subjects in Ireland, if they were left under the do- minion of the court of Rome. Yet that was what the Catholics required. Why, then, go into a Committee on the question? What could be done in such a committee, when the Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland had declared that they would shed every drop of blood in their veins before they would consent to the slightest intervention, on the part of the king, in the affairs of the Church? In the course of the debate he had heard allusions made by the supporters of the motion to the example of the continent; and it had been said that we, as an enlightened nation, ought not, in our policy, to be behind the states alluded to. Particular allusion had been made to Prussia and the Netherlands. What were the facts respecting them? That in Silesia, the king of Prussia named the bishops— an arrangement which, if adopted in the present case, might perhaps be an adequate security; and that in Belgium, the Catholic bishops were made by the Protestant government. As to France, the same control over the Romish Church existed in that country as in England. No rescript of the pope's was allowed to enter France without the king's sanction; and the king appointed all the ecclesiastical judges. The fact was, that those who adverted to other countries could produce no country in the world, in which there did not exist a control over the authority and influence of the see of Rome. What was there then to justify these violent attacks on the rights and privileges of his majesty's subjects in Ireland, by what was called "qualified emancipation?" Not only in no Protestant country, but in no Catholic country, in the world, was there an absence, or even an approximation to absence, of control over the power and influence of the see of Rome. Let it be proved to him that there was no danger to Ireland and to England, in that which was considered dangerous in every other country in Europe, and on the establishment of that solitary principle, he would admit that Great Britain and Ireland ought not to be exceptions to the rule. He had heard it said, that the subject of the Catholic question was wholly exhausted— that it was impossible to say anything new upon it. A pamphlet, however, which he held in his hand, proved that it was very easy to say something entirely new. This pamphlet was written by a right hon. member of that House (Mr. Wilmot Horton) a very ingenious man, who had found out a cure for what had hitherto perplexed I every body else. That cure was to admit Catholics into the House of Commons; but to institute an inquiry into the nature of the different subjects to be discussed, and to compel them to be dumb and inactive on all religious matters, and to speak and vote only on civil questions. On all spiritual discussions the Catholic members were to be like dummies at a game of whist. A committee was to be appointed to inquire what questions were ecclesiastical, and what civil. Dr. Doyle, and the other Catholic doctors, had declared their inability, in many cases, to draw the line between civil and spiritual matters: but the ingenious author of this pamphlet, seemed to think that the distinction could be made without any difficulty whatever. Under such circumstances, the Catholic members would be placed in a situation similar to that of some of the voters of which the House had heard at Penryn and elsewhere, who were called half-men and quarter-men. The members of Parliament whom this right hon. gentleman was disposed to admit would be only half-men; for on only half the subjects that came before parliament would they be permitted to speak or to vote. Now, who, after this proposition, would say that the Catholic question was run quite dry, and that no novelty could be introduced into the consideration of it?—He had witnessed with great pain the departure, during the discussion, from the tone of the hon. baronet by whom it had been commenced; and he could not help feeling great regret at the change. The latter part of the debate had assumed a character which was a total dereliction of that which pervaded the hon. baronet's speech. The House were now called upon, not to treat with equals, but to submit to superiors. We were not to talk for a moment of securities; but a concession of the full and unqualified claims of the Catholics was at once to be extorted from us. We were required to sue for peace,— Oremus pacem, et dextras tendamus inermes. All the doctrines which had been urged by Pitt, by Fox, by Burke, were to be abandoned. Conciliation was to be the sole object; and the unqualified demands of the Catholics were to be at once submitted to. We were to surrender to them, and even without the honours of war, nothing less than the British constitution: we were to surrender to them the Bill of Rights: we were to surrender to them the Coronation Oath: nay, he had heard it stated in broad terms, that the Coronation Oath ought not to be considered binding on the conscience of the king. On these grounds he contended, that the proposed committee ought not to be agreed to. For, from committees of a similar kind two bills had emanated, the provisions and securities of which the Catholics had refused to accept; and he trusted that no man was absurd enough to think that, by intimidation, the Protestants of England would be made to surrender, without protection, the principles of the constitution; or repudiate that Protestant feeling, which both in England and in Ireland, supported the throne, and the civil and religious liberties of the country.

Mr. Wallace

said, that although he certainly was not one of the young and highly-gifted members, of whom the learned Attorney-general had spoken so tauntingly, he would beg leave to trespass shortly on the attention of the House. The last observation which had fallen from the learned gentleman appeared not a little extraordinary. The learned gentleman had used an expression which conveyed rather the watch-word of a party than the meaning of any thing which had been addressed to the House in the course of the present debate; namely, the word "intimidation." In his conscience he believed, that no hon. gentleman who had spoken had had the least idea of saying any thing which could be justly called intimidation. On so momentous an occasion, it was the duty of every gentleman to put forward all that he thought calculated to throw a light on the subject; and to state, honestly and fairly, the black part of the prospect as well as the white. It was scarcely fair, on the part of the learned gentleman himself, to "intimidate" hon. members from explicitly declaring their sentiments by the use of such a phrase. The learned Attorney-general had advanced some singular positions with regard to the Treaty of Limerick. Having observed that the hon. baronet who introduced the motion had dwelt emphatically upon the violation of that treaty as one of his arguments, he had added that an hon. and learned friend of his had tossed both that and the argument grounded on the Union overboard as worthless. The fact was, that the arguments derived from the vio- lation of the Treaty of Limerick and of the Union might aid the present question; but on neither of those arguments did the question mainly rest. When, however, the learned gentleman proceeded to say, that even lord Plunkett had never put forward the violation of the Treaty of Limerick, either as a main or as a collateral argument in support of the claims of the Catholics, the learned gentleman was in error. He well recollected, that in one of the most eloquent speeches ever made in that House, lord Plunkett had described the Treaty of Limerick as a solemn compact between the reigning power of the time and the people of Ireland, and had proved to the conviction of all unprejudiced persons, that that compact had been grossly violated. He did not mean to dwell upon the Treaty of Limerick, but he called the attention of the House to the fact, in order to vindicate lord Plunkett from the charge of having omitted to notice it. He would now pass to the main topics of the learned Attorney-general's speech. The first was the securities, which, it seemed, the learned gentleman would have accepted, if they had been given at an earlier period of the discussion on this great question. He was glad to hear a concession of this kind; for he thought the learned gentleman must acknowledge that he was mistaken, when he treated the committee sought for by the hon. baronet's motion, as a place where it could not be expected that securities would be proposed. He apprehended that the committee sought for by the motion was one which would admit any discussions of that nature; and that an important part of its labours would be, to deliberate on what it might be advisable to require in the way of security from the Catholics, in order to establish the tranquillity of Ireland. This he most earnestly hoped the committee, if appointed, would do. It would, in fact, be an essential part of their duty to endeavour to settle for the people of Ireland such terms as might admit them to a share of the constitution of the empire. And here he begged leave to ask the House whether, if they refused to appoint this committee, they were prepared to have it told to the people of Ireland by their constituents, that parliament had finally decided never to concede to the Roman Catholics their fair share in the constitution? Was that to be the effect of putting a negative on the motion of the hon. baronet? And he apprehended that no other interpretation could be put on the refusal: for, under what, circumstances could the people of Ireland hope that such a proposition would be agreed to, if it were now refused? When could the people of Ireland stand a better chance of obtaining the object which, for eight and twenty years, they had been vainly soliciting the legislature to grant them? The learned Attorney-general talked of the reluctance of the people of Ireland to give securities. But had the legislature ever suggested what securities they required? On the contrary, they left the people of Ireland to guess what securities would satisfy them; assuming the power of rejecting, from time to time, any securities that might be offered them, unless those securities happened by a successful conjecture to hit their taste. Unless, therefore, the House consented to the appointment of a committee, in which it might be stated what securities would be accepted, the people of Ireland would never believe but that the legislature had decided finally (as far as any legislature could be said to decide finally) against their claims. If that was the true construction to be put upon negativing the motion, he would ask the House, if they were prepared for the consequences likely to ensue? Would the people of Ireland immediately forego their claims? Would they cease to entertain the idea that they were entitled to that which they had so long and so ardently sought? Would they sit down in patience and in silence under their disappointment? The House would give him leave to say that the Irish —a nation of united nobility, priesthood, and people—would not be disposed so to relinquish their rights. What followed? That this most mischievously protracted question must go on, year after year, with the addition of fresh grievances. Nor was it too much to say, that the dangers by which it was now environed would be multiplied, until they arrived at a height frightful to contemplate; especially when the character of the men to whose guidance the Catholic population of Ireland had been compelled to commit their interests was taken into consideration. Could it be supposed that those men would sit quietly under such circumstances? When once it became known that the decision of the legislature was against the Catholics, the body to whom he alluded would proceed in their course with an accelerated and accelerating velocity. He had ventured to throw out these observations, not with any view to "intimidate;" but in the hope that they might assist in inducing the House not to refuse the committee. By agreeing to its appointment, they would give no pledge whatever. Every member of the committee would be perfectly free. The only consideration for the committee would be, what were the securities which, under all the circumstances of the case, it would be expedient for the legislature to propose? [The House here began to expres great impatience, and frequently interrupted the hon. member. Cries of "question, question ! time, time!" became frequent; and the noise made by the members, rendered the hon. gentleman inaudible for almost the whole time he was speaking.] The hon. member contended, that the Catholic Association was not illegal. He was not the advocate of that body—no man condemned their proceedings more than he did; but it was not an illegal it was only a mischievous body. If it were illegal, the petitions which had been sent to parliament should have contained accusations against the government, and the law officers of Ireland ought to have been removed. If that body were illegal, why was it not prosecuted? merely because it violated no laws.—He admitted the Protestantism of the constitution. He admitted, that at the Revolution, the connection between the Protestant Church and the State had been established; and he hoped never to see it dissolved. There was no question now, however, affecting that dissolution. The only question concerning it, growing out of the subject then before the House was, whether the measure proposed had any tendency to weaken that connection, or hasten the dissolution? He had listened attentively to the whole debate, and had heard no other argument agaisnt the motion than a metaphor. The metaphor was this—by doing away the disabilities, we should shake off one of the links of the chain; but ho would meet this argument by the same metaphor. He admitted that it was striking off one of the links of the chain; but it was the end link by which the chain would be shortened, not weakened and it would continue to bind the Church and State together more firmly than ever [the cries of "question!" here became louder than ever, and rendered the hon. member inaudible.] We understood him to say, that the legislation on this subject had always been directed by the conduct of some few individuals, and not with regard to the interests of the whole Catholic body. The disabilities had been continued because some individuals were violent. There was Dr. Doyle, on the one hand—[" Oh, oh!" "Question question !" "Time, time !" now became so loud, that the hon. member sat down.]

Mr. Butler Clarke

begged pardon for obtruding himself on the House at that late hour, but he rose at that moment, conscious that another opportunity would not be afforded to him before the close of the discussion. As the representative of a large county in Ireland, not pledged to any party, not sent there, as had been said by an hon. member, by the Catholic Association, but as the representative of a most numerous body of respectable Roman Catholics, he felt it his duty to state his opinion on this question. What an hon. member had said of the Catholics was not correct. They were not hostile to the Church: if so, why had they paid tithes so cheerfully, and why had they agreed to the commutation? The manner in which they acted concerning tithes was a proof of their cheerful obedience. The Catholics were deserving of great praise. That they were increasing in numbers was a fact not to be denied; and if out of seven millions of people, there were two millions of men in rags, who cared nothing for life the House could not expect that they would not show what their feelings were when an opportunity offered. The learned Attorney-general had not thrown overboard the Treaty of Limerick, though he had done so with the Union. Now, he would appeal to every Irish member, whether the Union could have been carried, if Catholic emancipation had not been promised to be conceded? If the Catholics had been hostile to the Union, it never could have been carried; but, in fact, they had been cajoled into an acquiescence in that measure.

Mr. Secretary Huskisson

said:—At this late hour of the night, Sir, I must crave some little indulgence, for offering myself to the House. I confess that, on a preceding evening, I was not sorry at the adjournment of the discussion; and if I was not sorry then, I am much less so now that the postponement of the question has had the effect of preventing the able and eloquent speech of my right hon. friend who spoke first this evening, from being lost. I confess I should, under any circumstances, have very reluctantly given a silent vote; and before I give my vote upon the question, I wish to record, as briefly as possible, the views and feelings by which I am directed in giving it. Having had upon former occasions, an opportunity of stating the views I entertain of this great question generally; having been a member of this House during all the discussions which have taken place upon it since the period of the Union; and not being therefore one of those, "buds of genius"—one of those "young germs" just coming forth, whom my learned friend invited to retire from the debate, and improve their minds by reading all the Journals of the House, I confess I did not expect to hear urged those topics which have been put forth so prominently, and I must say unfortunately, for the cause of the petitioners—I mean the Treaty of Limerick, and the transactions of the Union. With reference to the Treaty of Limerick, I almost entirely concur with what has fallen from the Solicitor-general, and from my right hon. friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department, differing as I do from their general view of the question. Anxious as I am for the success of the hon. baronet's motion, I wish to place the chance of that success upon more cogent reasoning, upon higher and better grounds than any that can possibly be derived from the forced construction of an old and gone-by compact. This, Sir, is all I shall say upon the subject, except that I would, for those other reasons which were so ably stated by my right hon. friend, and which had reference to the characters of public men, as well as of the greatest of monarchs, recommend those who brought forward the treaty to follow the example of my right hon. friend, and give the House a promise never to introduce the topic again. I am sure I am not the only person friendly to the question who would look at it with indifference, if it were to be discussed and settled, not with reference to the existing interests of Ireland, but upon the basis of the Treaty of Limerick. With reference to the transactions of the Union, and the communications which are supposed to have taken place upon that measure, I can state with the most perfect confidence, that no pledge, no promise, no assurance of emancipation, was given, at the time of the Union, to the Roman Catholics on the part of Mr. Pitt. The right hon. member for the county of Kerry has stated, that he was in office when the negotiation of the Union took place, and that pledges were given on the part of the English ministers. Sir, it was also my lot to be then in office in this country, in a situation which peculiarly placed me, independent of habits of private friendship and of confidential communication with Mr. Pitt and Mr. Dundas, within the view of that transaction. I must state, with reference to the explanation given by the right hon. member for Kerry, that, although taking a different course from him in the relinquishment of office, when Mr. Pitt and Mr. Dundas retired from the cabinet, I am prepared to confirm all that the right hon. member has stated, with respect to the views taken by those two statesmen, as to the non-relinquishment of office by gentlemen on the ground of not being able to carry the Catholic question! I was even pressed by Mr. Pitt to remain in office, that I might have the opportunity of serving the Catholic question by not retiring. Mr. Pitt declared, that there was no necessity for my retiring upon that ground, and added, that all who were not members of the cabinet would best consult the interests of the Catholic question by not retiring from office. I relinquished my public situation at that time, and would gladly relinquish the possession of office now and for ever, if I could, by so doing, accelerate by one month, the final and satisfactory adjustment of this important question. But, Sir, when I say, that neither pledge nor assurance was given to the Roman Catholics by Mr. Pitt at the time of the Union, I must, at the same time say, that strong impressions went forth, and became known, and had their influence upon Catholics and Protestants who were attached to the connection of the two countries, and who were impressed with the disposition to support the Union, in consequence of the impressions which they so received. I say, Sir, that those impressions had more or less weight with those respectable persons, in inducing them in the struggle of parties in Ireland, to side with the views of the English government. I speak now from recollection; but I can say, with perfect confidence, that, seeing all that passed in Ireland, between 1793 and 1799, including within that pe- riod the memorable rebellion; seeing the act of 1793, which gave to the Roman Catholics the elective franchise; seeing the hair-breadth escapes which Ireland had from foreign invasion; I say, Sir, that looking at all these circumstances, and foreseeing what, at no distant period, must be the consequences of giving the great body of the Irish the elective franchise, Mr. Pitt did consider, that the best chance of safety to the Protestant Establishment of this country, was to be found in incorporating the Catholics with the Protestants. Mr. Pitt thought that it was by the union and identification of the two great bodies of the people, that the best prospects were afforded of giving the Established Church of Ireland safety and permanency. On the other hand, Mr. Pitt thought the granting of further claims to the Catholics in the Irish parliament, would have the effect of endangering, if not of overthrowing, the Protestant Church —that if the claims were resisted in a separate legislature, a scene of contention, strife, and confusion, would ensue in Ireland. Therefore, the conception of Mr. Pitt's mind—:a conception worthy of such a mind—was, that the two countries and the two parliaments might be united, and that thereby the emancipation of the Catholics might be safely conceded. On these views of Mr. Pitt, many persons of weight and influence in Ireland were induced to give their support to the Union. They were, on these grounds, induced to forego that reluctance which men naturally feel to sacrifice the independent existence of their national legislature. Mr. Pitt had in mind the former struggles of that unfortunate country; and he thought that a Union of the two legislatures would contribute to the safety of property, and of the two countries in general. Of the two parties, one had much to lose and every thing to apprehend from the separation of the two legislatures; the other party, that had every thing to expect, had been disappointed in all their expectations, ever since they consented to the Union. There had been no promise, no assurance, no pledge given by the English government, and consequently there can be no actual breach of contract; but there had been a great disappointment, and he had felt much force in the argument used on Friday night by the hon. member for Waterford, that as the people of Ireland had been deprived of the opportunity of ac- complishing their own emancipation, they could make an appeal, if not to the strict justice, at least to the generosity of the imperial legislature.—The view which I take of the question is the same as I have ever taken of it since it was first discussed in the united parliament. I have retired from every successive discussion, whether successful or not, with an increased sense of the growing urgency of concession. Whatever may be the decision of this night, I shall retire from the discussion with increased confidence that concessions to the Catholics cannot much longer be delayed. The question had occupied more of the time of parliament than any other; and it had, more than any other, elicited the greatest flow of eloquence, the greatest exertions of talents, from some of the ablest men that ever sat in this House. If the exertions of such men have not been brought to maturity, they have tended to form and direct the public opinion upon the subject. The public opinion has been passive; but let it become active, and from that moment the difficulties which are thrown in the way of this great question will be removed. Whatever may be the opinion of the less educated portion of the English community upon this subject, I do believe—or rather I did believe, until something in the course of this discussion induced me to doubt the fact—that among men of education and intelligence there no longer existed any question, that this subject was not one which ought to be mixed up with considerations arising out of mere differences of religious creeds; but that it was entirely a question of state policy. I shall not here stop to compare the purer doctrines of the Established Church of England with the errors of the Church of Rome. Whatever may have been said to the contrary by the hon. member for Louth, I am borne out in my opinion by those whom I consider the established and legal guardians of the Church of England. To their honour, it cannot be too much known that one of the brightest ornaments of the bench of bishops, the bishop of Chester—had declared that the Catholic question ought to be looked at exclusively with reference to the security to the Established Church of England. The right rev. person to whose opinion upon this subject I refer said, "If all can give equal security, let all be admitted,"—and he I concluded by expressing his conviction, that "if parties can be admitted to the enjoyment of state privileges without danger, exclusion becomes indefensible." Sir, I wish these words to go forth to the public—I wish them to be known and read by every man in the country. I trust every obstacle that is to be found in the public feeling of the country may be removed by, and give place to, the statesman-like, enlightened, and liberal doctrine of that right rev. prelate. The case being one of abstract justice we have no right to exclude the petitioners, except a case of special danger can be made out against them. The question, being once made one of admission or exclusion, and being once considered with reference to security only, becomes greatly simplified. Notwithstanding all I have heard from the learned Attorney-general, I am convinced, when the public comes to look at the question in this point of view, they will perceive that, in the absence of the evils complained of, they will find the best security; for the present system creates and perpetuates dangers, far more formidable than are to be apprehended from the concession of these claims. Sir, let us only shew that we appreciate in Ireland, as we have lately done in England, the great value of religious peace; let this be the foundation on which to rely for security; and then, as in a recent instance, there will not be found much difficulty as to the point of obtaining an adequate security, whether that object be accomplished by a statutory enactment, or by a simple declaration. But my learned friend, the Attorney-general, called on "the buds of genius" to take care that they saw clearly that all the securities could be granted which were requisite, and might be considered adequate, before they proceeded a step further in the way of concession. To those young and inexperienced members — whom my learned friend addressed, I, as an old stager, say, that it is amongst the stalest of all arguments for a call to be made for security by those who have already formed the resolution never to concede what is demanded. Sir, I should say, in fairness, let my learned friend, and those who think with him, begin by telling me, that they are not decidedly adverse to the principle of this measure, and it will be time enough then to talk of security. But I repeat, it is not reasonable to call upon me to provide guarantees before they have admitted the principle of concession; and I also say, that before they ask me for security for this, that, or the other, it is incumbent on them to shew the existence of a specific danger, to lay before me its particular nature, to prove how it is likely to work, where it will commence its attacks on the body politic, how it may be expected to sap the vitals of the state. It is impossible, unless the danger to be apprehended, be made evident, for a common understanding to provide remedies for the evil. Sir, when we are talking of these securities and safeguards, which formed so great a portion of the speech of my learned friend, I do not know how to point them out, until I have a more distinct view of the difficulties and dangers in question. If my learned friend will not tell us the precise nature of the dangers to which he has alluded, at least let me be allowed to tell him what dangers are not to be apprehended. We have not to fear the power of the sword, because already the Roman Catholic portion of the community are eligible to high command both in the army and navy, and admissible to every situation of confidence and authority in these formidable branches of the public service. I may be answered, that this is a measure which was procured by stealth. Would to God that by an equal stealth the measure now before the House were conceded, and I am sure as little danger would arise from its concession as from the admission of Roman Catholics to places of trust and confidence in the army and navy. The danger which my learned friend apprehends cannot arise from the power of the Catholics over the revenue of the country, for I believe, at the present moment, Catholics are as eligible as Protestants to fill all situations connected with the management of the public revenue. Here, then, in the exercise of two great powers, with respect to the administration, of which a free and Protestant state may be justified in entertaining feelings of jealousy, it appears we have equal confidence in Catholics as Protestants, without requiring any more pledge or security in the case of the former, than in that of the latter. Is the danger which my learned friend apprehends discoverable in the inability under which we labour to prevent the intercourse supposed to exist between the Catholics and the see of Rome? My learned friend dwelt so much upon the subject, that young members may be under an impression, that in the king of England's domi- nions there is not one individual who is in communication with the see of Rome. Why, Sir, the fullest intercourse exists between the Catholics of Ireland and the Roman see, and that without the inspection or cognizance of government. Docs the danger relate to the nomination of the Catholic bishops? We know full well that this is the only country of Europe in which the government has no power of interference on this subject. But if we remove the Catholic disabilities and pacify Ireland, the pope would not be backward to grant to England what he has granted to Prussia, Russia, Baden, the Netherlands, and other countries of Europe. The Protestant state of Prussia has the nomination of all Catholic bishops, and has a control over all their correspondence with the see of Rome; and only let us act as the king of Prussia has acted, and the pope of Rome will act by England as he has acted by Prussia. This is an important part of the question, and I am anxious to see this intercourse which now exists between our Catholic subjects and the see of Rome brought under proper limits, and regulations. But, so long as the House refuses to entertain the question now before it, so long will it be absolutely impossible for the government to do any thing which can control this intercourse and provide against the evils to which it is liable. I repeat, that I think this is a most important view of the question; for although I do not go the length of the hon. member for Newport, I, am no advocate for the Catholic religion; I view with hostility its institutions and doctrines. This may be a prejudice of early education; but if it be, all I can say is, that it is a prejudice which I have submitted to the most rigorous self-examination. I do not mean to say that the Christianity of the Roman Catholic Church, taken apart from its institutions, contrivances, and devices, is not a good system of Christianity; but, in the dark and barbarous ages, in the times of superstition and bigotry, artful and designing men, profiting by the worst passions of our nature, did, by contrivance and by cunning devices, connect with that religion many of the most dangerous and mischievous institutions. It is against this perversion of religion, it is against this wickedness, that I am anxious to guard the people of this country; and the real question is, whether, by entertaining the present proposal, you are not taking the most effectual steps to effect this desirable object. I agree with the hon. member for Newport, that mankind have experienced much benefit from the Reformation. I wish I could say that I entirely agree with my right hon. friend, the Secretary of State for the Home department, that the measures taken to put down the Catholic ascendancy had contributed to the same end. I entirely concur with what was stated by a noble friend, with respect to the influence of the progress of society, and of the press. We see that in France the Catholic religion has not been able to resist the power of the press, imperfect as it is in that country, and, notwithstanding, that religion received every possible support from the royal family. I say then, Sir, that if this cannot be done in France, where there exists a Catholic court, a Catholic army, and a Catholic population, how can it be done in England, where we have a free press and a Protestant government? Sir, I may lay it down as a general principle, that the Catholic religion could not exist in a country under the influence of a free press and a Protestant constitution, unless sustained by the counter-acting effects of persecution. This, Sir, is precisely the case with respect to Ireland; this is the power which paralyses every exertion; this is the power that taints every boon which we have extended to the people of that country; this is the power that drives the aristocracy and wealth of Ireland into an unnatural association with democracy and the priesthood. Take from that country the influence which persecution gives, and you will find that the evils which we now deplore will dwindle, under the influence of discussion and a free press, into an insignificance equal to that in which the once dreadful crime of witchcraft is now held. But witchcraft, it should be remembered, had its votaries; and doubtless, if the world could again be thrown into such a state of darkness as to re-enact the punishment once attached to that alleged crime, it would again be believed in as fully as it ever has been. I call upon you, then, in the name of the Irish people— in the name of the Protestant church—in the name of Protestant England—in the name of the people of England, who are anxious to preserve peace, to give a free press, to give the Protestant Church and the energies of the country, fair play, by removing these persecutions and restraints, and thereby lessening the influence of the Catholic priesthood. An hon. member has used one argument, which I own appears to me to be a sort of libel upon the people of England, and a disparagement of this House. It is supposed that the introduction of a few Catholic members into parliament would have the effect of setting at nought a Protestant Crown, Protestant representatives, and a Protestant people; in a word, that they would take both the House and the country by surprise. But, Sir, supposing they did take the House by surprise, have we not a House of Lords? Have we not the Throne to interfere between them and such a result? but, above all, have we not that centinel that never sleeps, to put down and annihilate all such attempts—I mean a free press? I really think that this is a sufficient answer to what has fallen from my hon. friend, the member for Corfe Castle.—Again, it has been urged, that if we admit Roman Catholics into this House, we shall find them combining, as the Scotch members are said to have done. I always understood, that all classes of society, agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial, were represented in this House: and we have heard of some interests occasionally combining against others; but that such a combination as that alluded to by my hon. friend could take place, I positively deny. I am ready to concede, that, by the Act of Settlement passed after the Revolution, it was expressly stipulated that the Established Church should be strictly Protestant. God forbid that it should not! God forbid also that that law should not be permanent; and not only Protestant, but Protestant according to the Church of England. The connection between Church and State existed long before the Revolution, and will, I hope and trust, long continue. But am I to be told, that the Act of Settlement was intended to be permanent, without the power of making alteration or amendment? Am I to be told that all points and provisions of that act are to be continued in the same form in which they were enacted in 1688? Why, Sir, that very Act was seriously affected by the Union with Scotland, for by that union persons of a different religious persuasion from the Church of England were admitted into both Houses of Parliament; nay, persons who were looked upon by our Church as fanatics and rivals;—I mean the Scotch Presbyterians. Why not call this an innovation of the law as well as that now proposed.? But there is another deviation from that act. By the Act of Settlement, only hereditary peers, or peers by creation, were to sit in parliament; and yet, upon the Union with Scotland, as well as that with Ireland, elective peers were allowed to be introduced. It is true that this was done, but still the principle of the law was adhered to, and neither Church nor State was in the slightest degree impaired by this partial deviation from the law itself. The hon. member for Yorkshire (Mr. Duncombe), made it a great objection to the Roman Catholic religion, that it admitted of no alteration, and observed, that it was now what it was known to be during all time. Now, when the hon. member said this, I think he would, had he looked around him, have found, from the declarations made at the time of Mr. Pitt, that the vicious doctrines attributed to that Church were disowned by the Roman Catholics of that day, and by those who assumed to be their leaders. When the hon. member said that that religion was always the same, did he mean to assert that the religion which prevailed during the reign of the haughty Louis XIV, when he repealed the edict of Nantz, and sent his bayonets amongst his Protestant subjects, was the same with the religion now established in France, under the mild and beneficent reign of Charles X. The religion is the same, but the times and the people have changed. The lights which have pervaded the whole world have shed their influence upon the Catholic religion, and have made it different from what it formerly was. There was one expression contained in the temperate, able, and eloquent, speech delivered on Friday, by my right hon. friend near me (Mr. Peel), in which I fully concur. My right hon. friend thought it better that a barrier should exist between Catholics and corporate offices, rather than that they should be rendered eligible without being elected. I admit that if such were to be the case, it would be a galling hardship; but, Sir, I think, that if the legislature were once to decide that there was to be no religious difference as to eligibility to such offices, men of talent and character would not be repulsed on the ground of their being Roman Catholics. Roman Catholics are not now opposed when claiming admission to the other offices which are open to them; and if this be the case, how does the argument apply to this House or to the House of Peers? I always thought it one of the proudest boasts of an Englishman, that every office of the State was open to him, no matter how humble his origin. It is not for me to undervalue this great privilege, filling as I do, however unworthily, a principal office in the State; but with what face could I turn to a Roman Catholic and say, "no matter what may be your talent—no matter what may be your qualifications for office, you are a Catholic, and cannot be admitted?" And if I were to say this, and were to be asked the reason why, the explanation must be of a most degrading nature, as I must say, "because you are not considered worthy of trust— because we cannot believe you upon your oath." And yet you call such a person to serve in your army, you call him to serve on juries, you call him to every duty which is dangerous or laborious, but all places of benefit are to be denied to him. And why? Because you say he does not possess moral honesty, and cannot be trusted in a country where he has the same interest as yourselves, and to which he is bound by the same ties of kindred and affection. The public opinion in favour of the removal of Catholic disabilities has made great progress in this country of late years, and that progress is still going on. We ought not, however, to forget, that while good is thus speeding, the progress of evil is not less rapid in Ireland. In this race of contending principles the evil will overcome the good, unless its retardation shall be effected by those measures which are now recommended to the government for the tranquillization of Ireland. When I hear it suggested, that if it shall become necessary, tranquillity may be restored to Ireland by force, I beseech the House to recollect, that if the government should ever be engaged in a struggle with Ireland, it would not merely be a contest with the people of that country, but also with the common feeling and the opinions of the educated and better part of the population of this country. Under such circumstances, and where so many high authorities concur in the views which I take of this subject, and who doubt the wisdom, to say the least of it, of the restrictions which now exist—it would surely be following the path of prudence, if those who are opposed to that view should distrust the conclusions they have come to. They will display the best feeling, and act with the most unquestionable justice and prudence, by yielding at a good time and with a good grace, and by granting now that which they will not be able much longer to withhold. My learned friend, the Attorney-general, has said that it would be useless to go into a committee now, because the House has gone into committees before, without being able to find any satisfactory securities; but I beg to differ from this statement. It might be true that we cannot find such securities as will satisfy my learned friend, because, perhaps, none can be devised with which he would be satisfied; but, as far as the sense of the House is concerned, those securities have been found. The bill of 1813 grew out of a motion exactly the same as that now before the House, and in that bill securities were proposed, although they were, unfortunately, not carried into effect. If, therefore, my learned friend thinks securities necessary, it is clearly not impossible that they may be had. My learned friend has recommended the Journals of the House to the perusal of the younger members. I do not join in that recommendation, but I advise my learned friend to read the two volumes on the table. He will there find that the motion of 1822 was not for a committee, but for leave to bring in a bill. I am, however, inclined to prefer a committee, because, in such committee, any proposition that may be made can be more conveniently considered. I am convinced that the longer the remedy proposed shall be delayed, the greater will be the growth of the mischief to which it is intended to be applied. I should be sorry to see a recurrence of events, such as took place during the last war. We have already made many concessions, and some of them too much in the presence of a foreign power, and having too much the appearance of a parley with an armed population. Let us make this, the most important of all our concessions, an act of grace as it is an act of justice. It will be better to give willingly and while we can, that which may one day be extorted.

Mr. Brougham

assured the House, that it was with unfeigned satisfaction he expressed his intention of detaining them only a few minutes on this very important subject [cheers]; and he took leave to say, that the House could not receive this declaration with greater satisfaction than he, on his part, made it. He should not have thought it becoming in him to intrude at that period of the debate, after the speeches which had been delivered,— particularly after the speeches which had been delivered by those who thought with him on this subject,—most of all, after the speech which the House had heard last,—but for the peculiar situation in which he stood. The House would recollect that to him and to his friend, the hon. baronet, had been intrusted the two petitions which gave rise to the present debate. He regretted as much as the House could do that he was compelled to trouble them with even a single sentence upon a question which had been over and over again discussed—a question upon which so much of learning, talent, and ingenuity, had been exhausted, but not exhausted in vain,—for the efforts which had been made in that House and out of it had led, and were leading, gradually but surely, and therefore wholesomely and safely, to that consummation which he felt assured, had arrived. On what was that confidence founded? Not on authorities only: although those authorities continued in an uninterrupted stream, from those who lived in former days to the hour in which he was speaking,—although all the greatest statesmen of this country, how different soever their opinions on every other subject relating to the Church and State,—however contrary to the interests which, upon other occasions, they advocated, had, scarcely with one exception (he spoke in the presence of that one) delivered their opinions on that side of the question which he (Mr. Brougham), supported. The question rested, however, not upon authority, but upon reason and evidence. He was not going to re-argue the question; still less did he intend to debate the Treaty of Limerick, the very name of which was at no premium in that House: although he was far from abandoning it, for, in the construction of all treaties made between a stronger and a weaker party, the ambiguities should be interpreted in favour of the weaker party. But he passed it over because it was superfluous, and because the main question might be well discussed without it. He would say nothing more than that if it had never been made, the motion had still the strongest claims upon the justice of the House. Nor would he say more about what took place at the time of the Union, between Mr. Pitt and lord Cornwallis; and he forebore, not because he was not convinced that the faith of this country was pledged through its agents, and that they obtained, by means of that pledge, the consent, without which that Union could not have been completed, — we having reaped all the advantages of the mistake into which Ireland was then led—we having had all the benefits, not as great as, if we had been wiser, we might have derived, but as much as we propounded to ourselves—it did not lie in our mouths to refuse to comply with the strict letter of the engagement then entered into, the promise then made on our behalf. He passed that over too, only adding it to the scale of authority, and remarking, that it was a striking practical authority, resting as it did upon the wisdom of those men who acted with a direct knowledge of what was due to Ireland and its Catholic population, and of what the wants of the empire required. He would therefore call it not a pledge, but an authority, and one which must be binding, unless it could be shown that circumstances had so changed, that what was then necessary, instead of being so now was a measure to be deprecated; but, if it was necessary then, it was ten thousand times more necessary now, from the changes which five-and-twenty eventful years had produced. — Those who opposed emancipation asserted that there was no danger, and therefore argued by no very illogical process of reasoning— why ruffle untroubled waters? Why administer medicine where there exists no disease? But, instead of such assumptions, he would affirm that there was danger, great danger; and, if this was the fact, it would remain for the opposite side to show whether the remedy proposed, or the anticipated danger, were the worse alternative. He should wish to see the arguments of his learned friend, and those of the gallant admiral who supported him, tried by such a test. For his own part, he did not profess to adduce a single suggestion which had novelty to recommend it, after the eloquence which had already been expended on the subject during the last two nights,—after the brilliant debates of twenty years during which the question had been agitated. The Attorney-general talked of the dangers to be apprehended from popery,— from a perpetual communication between the pontiff and this country; and had appealed to him more than once, as if he (Mr. Brougham) had preceded him in the course of the debate, In, reference, to what was said as to the pope being a slave to illiberal prejudices, he was very willing to admit that he had acted illiberally in attacking very valuable and useful members of the community,—the society instituted for the purpose of distributing Bibles without note or comment. It was said, that the pope did not advance with the enlightened progress of the age. The argument of the learned gentleman was however felo de se, if he might be permitted the expression. Pope Leo 12th, who had addressed a bull to the Catholics of Ireland against the Bible Society, in 1822, had professed opinions soon after directly contrary to those imputed to the head of the Catholic Church by the learned member. Two years subsequent to that period, he had issued a bull to one of the German states, on the appointment of the bishops. It was not a little remarkable, that the preamble to this bull set forth:—" Whereas, it is necessary to keep pace with the improvement of the age, and expedient to modify our measures according to the exigency of the times," &c.—That state was Hanover. Before leaving this subject, he could not forbear to observe, that the proclamation of his gracious majesty to his people of Hanover, reflected infinite credit on the liberality of his principles. He admitted his Hanoverian subjects to all civil offices, without distinction of sect, creed, or opinion [cheers]. The hon. and gallant admiral (the member for Wexford) was pleased to ask, "Are there no Protestants in Ireland?—have they no interest there?" In reply to this, he answered, that if the two interests were placed in the balance with reference to this question, the interest of the Protestants would be found incomparably greater. They were a small number surrounded by a great number holding an opposite religion. The legislature rendered that religion opposite and hostile, in spirit and feeling, by their disqualifying statutes. In other countries, the members of this religion were neighhourly and amicable to those of the Protestant faith, in consequence of the salutary influence of equal toleration. Could things remain as they were now? He had listened attentively to hear if any hon. member would take upon him to answer in the affirmative. The Attorney-general had not said so. The right hon. the Home Secretary, in his able and temperate gpeech—a speech satisfactory in all things but one—had not so asserted. He found not a word contemplating a continuance of the present order of affairs, from which the hon. member for Ripon derived comfort—he alarm ! His learned friend, the Solicitor-general for Ireland, whose speech had been rivalled but not eclipsed by the eloquence of that night, had put the question fairly.—Let the question be set at rest—let us come at once to the practical subject, without going back a quarter of a century, instead of discussing the question of present expediency. An hon. member had put the supposition of a jury's decision being taken upon this subject. Humouring this idea, he would confidently say, that if any twelve members in that House were called upon to give their opinion as to whether this system could continue, they would come to but one conclusion. The public see the great progress which this question has made in parliament, and the much greater out of doors. In Ireland, it was no longer to be considered by its former designation. It had become essentially a Protestant question. It involved the peace of the country, and affected the property of the people. There were but three courses out of which they must make their selection. One was, to go back, to repeal the acts of 1778, and 1793, to take away the elective franchise and re-enact all the rigours which they had formerly inflicted. This would make the penal code perfect, and consistent; but it was too abominable and detestable an alternative to be entertained for a moment. The choice then was, whether we were to go forward or to continue as we were. Could any one say, he would repeat, that affairs could long continue as they were at present? With respect to the securities—the first great security was the concession of the Catholic bill. If after that, other securities were deemed necessary, he would cheerfully go into a discussion on the subject. Honourable members had said, "we will not be intimidated into any act, as a part of the legislature of the country." He could certainly understand that people might be ashamed of suffering such a feeling to influence their conduct, if they were acting for their own interests, and for the purpose of gaining any paltry personal end: but they ought to remember that they were trustees; that they were guardians. When he said, that he was alarmed for the state of Ireland, he did not mean to convey the notion that he shrunk with fear in his own person. This was the meanest of all motives that could influence human actions. He dreaded rushing by proxy into danger. It was, in his opinion, matter to be rejoiced at that they had come to the present discussion in a much more temperate frame of mind than on any former occasion. He was overpowered with the reflection of what mighty and momentous concerns were at that instant trembling in the balance. Not merely an abstract principle of justice was dependent on the issue of their counsels, but, perhaps, the destiny of peace or war—perhaps the possession of a part of the empire. He felt anxious for the hopes of millions who were their neighbours and fellow-subjects, now poised in the scale against the frivolous, though conscientious, scruples of a few. Before another hour was told upon the clock, the decision must go forth, which will strike dismay into the hearts of a people, or cheer them with the prospect of a glorious disenthralment.

The House then divided: For the Motion 272; Against it 266; Majority in favour of sir Francis Burdett's Motion 6. The House then went into the Committee, Mr. Spring Rice in the Chair, in which it was agreed, upon the motion of sir Francis Burdett, "That it is the opinion of this Committee, that it is expedient to consider the State of the Laws affecting his Majesty's Roman Catholic Subjects in Great Britain and Ireland, with a view to such a final and conciliatory adjustment, as may be conducive to the peace and strength of the United Kingdom, to the stability of the Protestant Establishment, and to the general satisfaction and concord of all classes of his Majesty's Subjects." The House being resumed, the Resolution was reported. — Adjourned at half-past three o'clock on Tuesday morning.

List of the Majority, and also of the Minority.
Abercrombie, rt. hn. J. Baring, F.
Acland, sir T. D. Bective, earl of
Anson, sir G. Belgrave, visc.
Anson, hon. G. Benett, John
Arbuthnot, rt. hon. C. Bentinck, lord G.
Althorpe, visc. Bingham, lord
Bernard, T. Birch, J.
Baillie, J. Boyle, hon. J.
Balfour, J. Bourne, rt. hon. S.
Baring, A. Bouverie, hon. D. P.
Baring, W. B. Brecknock, earl of
Brougham, H. Fergusson, R. C.
Brougham, J. Fitzgerald, rt. hon. V.
Browne, J. Fitzgerald, John
Brownlow, C. Fitzgerald, rt. hon. M.
Bruce, earl of Fitzgerald, lord W.
Bruen, col. Fitzgibbon, hon. R.
Buller, C. Fitzroy, lord C.
Burdett, sir F. Forbes, lord
Buxton, T. F. Forbes, John
Byng, G. Fortescue, hon. G.
Canning, S. Frankland, R.
Calcraft, John Fremantle, rt. hon. W.
Calthorpe, hon. F. French, A.
Calthorpe, hon. A. Gordon, R.
Calvert, N. Gower, lord F. L.
Calvert, C. Graham, sir J.
Campbell, W. Grant, right hon. C.
Carew, R. Grant, R.
Carrington, sir E. Grattan, J.
Carter, John Grattan, H.
Castlereagh, visc. Grosvenor, T.
Caulfield, hon. H. Grosvenor, hon. R.
Cavendish, H. Guest, J.
Cavendish, C. Guise, sir W.
Chichester, A. Hulse, sir C.
Cholmeley, M. Hardinge, sir H.
Clarke, hon. C. B. Hay, sir John
Clerk, sir G. Heathcote, sir G.
Clements, lord Heathcote, G. J.
Clifton, lord Heathcote, R.
Clive, E. Heneage, G. F.
Colborne, N. Heron, sir R.
Cockburn, sir G. Hobhouse, J. C.
Cocks, J. Honywood, W. P.
Coke, T. W. Horton, R. W.
Colthurst, sir N. Howard, H.
Coote, sir C. Howick, visc.
Courtenay, T. P. Hughes, W. L.
Cradock, S. Hume, J.
Croker, J. W. Hurst, R.
Daly, J. Huskisson, rt. hon. W.
Davenport, E. Hutchinson, J. H.
Dawson, J. M. Ingilby, sir W.
Dawson, A. Jephson, C.
Denison, W. Jermyn, Earl
Denison, J. E. Jolliffe, Hylton
Doherty, John Kavanagh, T.
Douglas, W. R. Kennedy, T.
Drummond, H. King, hon. R.
Du Cane, P. Knight, R.
Darlington, earl of Knox, hon. T.
Duncombe, T. Lamb, rt. hon. W.
Dundas, C. Lamb, hon. G.
Dundas, hon. T. Labouchere, H.
Dundas, hon. G. Lambert, J.
Dundas, sir R. Lascelles, hon. W.
Easthope, J. Latouche, R.
Eastnor, visc. Lawley, F.
Ebrington, visc. Lennard, T. B.
Eliot, lord Leycester, R.
Ellis, hon. G. Lester, B.
Ellis, hon. A. Lewis, T. F.
Ennismore, visc. Liddell, hon. H.
Euston, earl of Littleton, E.
Ellison, C. Lloyd, sir E.
Farquhar, sir R. Lloyd, T.
Fazakerley, J. N. Loch, J.
Fergusson, sir R. Lumley, J. S.
Maberly, John Smith, hon. R.
Maberly, W. L. Smith, G.
Macauley, gen. Smith, W.
Macdonald, sir J. Somerville, sir M.
Mackintosh, sir J. Stanley, lord
Maitland, visc. Stanley, hon. E.
Maitland, hon. A. Stewart, J.
Marjoribanks, S. Stuart, lord J.
Marryat, J. Stuart, H. V.
Marshall, W. Sykes, D.
Marshall, J. Talmash, hon. F.
Martin, John Talbot, R. W:
Maule, hon. W. R. Taylor, M. A.
Maxwell, John Tennyson, C.
Milbank, Mark Thompson, P. B.
Mildmay, P. St. John Thomson, C. P.
Milton, visc. Tomes, John
Monck, J. B. Tufton, hon. Henry
Morland, sir S. B. Twiss, Horace
Morpeth, visc. Tynte, C.
Mountcharles, earl of Tuite, Hugh
Newport, rt. hon. sir J. Valletort, lord
Nugent, lord Van Homrigh, Peter
North, John Vernon, G. G. V.
O'Brien, W. S. Villiers, T. H.
O'Brien, Lucius Waithman, R.
O'Hara, J. Wall, C. B.
Ord, W. Warburton, H.
Oxmantown, lord Warrender, rt. h.sir G.
Paget, lord W. Westenra, hon. H.
Palmer, C. F. Western, C.C.
Palmerston, lord White, S.
Parnell, sir H. White, H.
Pendarves, E. Whitmore, W. W.
Philips, sir G. Wilbraham, G.
Philips, G. Wallace, T.
Phillimore, J. Wilson, sir R.
Perceval, Spencer Wodehouse, E.
Planta, J. Wood, alderman
Ponsonby, hon. W. Wood, C.
Ponsonby, hon. G. Wood, John
Ponsonby, hon. F. Wortley, hon. John
Portman, E. Wrottesley, sir John
Power, R. Wynn, sir W.
Powlett, hon. W. F. Wynn, right hon. C.
Poyntz, W. S. Williams, sir R.
Prendergast, M. TELLERS.
Price, Robert Duncannon, visc.
Pringle, S. W. Normanby, visc.
Prittie, hon. F. PAIRED OFF.
Proby, hon. G. Whitbread, S.
Protheroe, E. Boyd, Walter
Rancliffe, lord Howard, hon. G.
Rice, T. S. Mostyn, sir T.
Ridley, sir M. W. Gurney, Hudson
Robarts, A. Tierney, right hon. G.
Robinson, sir G. Lindsay, hon. Hugh
Robinson, G. Wyvill, M.
Rowley, sir W. East, sir E.
Rumbold, C. Smith, J.
Russell, lord W. Cholmondeley, lord H.
Russell, lord John Whitbread, W.
Russell, R. G. Tavistock, marq.
Russell, W. Osborne, lord F.
Sandon, visc. Sefton, earl of
Scarlett, sir J. Ramsbottom, John
Sebright, sir J. Sinclair, hon. capt.
Barclay, D. Innes, sir H.
Arcedeckne, A. Mackenzie, sir J.
Lushington, S. Mackinnon, C.
Hill, lord A. Forbes, sir C.
Phipps, hon. gen. Lombe, E.
A'Court, E. H. Corry, hon. H.
Alcock, T. Cripps, J.
Alexander, H. Cuffe, col.
Antrobus, G. C. Curteis, E.
Apsley, lord Curzon, hon. R.
Arbuthnot, hon. col. Cust, hon. P.
Archdall, M. Cust, hon. E;
Ashurst, W. Cole, hon. A.
Ashburton, hon. P. Chichester, sir A.
Ashley, lord Cockerell, sir C.
Astell, W. Dalrymple, A.
Astley, sir J. D. Davenport, D.
Attwood, M. Davidson, D.
Arkwright, R. Davis, R.
Baker, E. Dawkins, H.
Bankes, H. Dick, Hugh
Bankes, G. Dick, Quintin
Barclay, C. Dickinson, W.
Barne, M. Dottin, A.
Bastard, E. P. Dowdeswell, J.
Batley, C. Downes, lord
Beckett, sir John Drake, W. T.
Belfast, earl of Divet, T.
Bell, M. Dugdale, D.
Benson, R. Duncombe, hon. W.
Beresford, sir John Dundas, hon. H.
Beresford, major Dundas, R.
Blackburne, John Eden, hon. R.
Blandford, marquis of Egerton, W.
Bonham, H. Elphinstone, col.
Borradaile, R. Estcourt, T.
Bradshaw, J. Evans, adm.
Bright, H. Fane, hon. H.
Brudenell, lord Fane, John
Brydges, sir John Fane, col.
Buck, L. Farquhar, J.
Burrell, sir C. Fetherston, sir G.
Buxton, J. Fleming, J.
Byron, T. Foley, E. T.
Calvert, John Foley, J. H.
Capel, J. Forester, hon. G.
Cartwright, W. Fyler, T.
Cawthorne, J. Gascoyne, gen.
Cecil, lord T. Gooch, sir T.
Chandos, lord Gordon, J.
Chaplin, C. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Chaplin, T. Graham, marq.
Clinton, sir W. Greene, T.
Clinton, J. F. Greville, hon. sir C.
Clive, lord Gye, F.
Clive, H. Halse, J.
Cotterell, sir J. Hancock, R.
Collett, E. John Hart, gen.
Cooke, sir Henry Harvey, sir E.
Cooper, Edward S. Hastings, sir C.
Cooper, R. B. Heathcote, sir W.
Cooper, John Herries, J. C.
Cooper, hon. W. A. Hill, sir G.
Corbett, P. Hill, sir R.
Corry, lord Hodgson, F.
Hodson, J. Philips, sir R.
Holmes, W. Pitt, Joseph
Hope, sir W. Petit, Louis
Hotham, lord Peach, N.
Houldsworth, T. Pollen, sir John
Inglis, sir R. Powell, col.
Irving, J. Powell, A.
Jenkinson, hon. C. Price, Richard
Jones, J. Pellew, hon. captain
Keck, G. A. L. Rae, rt. hon. sir W.
Kekewich, S. Raine, J.
Kemp, T. R. Rickford, William
Kerrison, sir E. Roberts, W. A.
King, hon. H. Rochfort, G.
King, sir J. D. Rogers, Edward
Knatchbull, sir E. Rose, right hon. sir G.
Langston, J. Rose, G.
Lascelles, hon. H. Ross, C.
Legge, hon. A. Ryder, right hon. R.
Lennox, lord G. St. Paul, sir Horace
Lethbridge, sir T. Saunderson, A.
Lewis, W. Stopford, lord
Lindsay, J. Scott, hon. W. H.
Lockhart, J. I. Scott, hon. W.
Lott, H. Scott, Samuel
Lowther, lord Scott, Henry
Lowther, hon. H. Seymour Horace
Lowther, sir John Seymour, H.
Lowther, John Shelley, sir John
Lushington, col. Shirley, John
Luttrell, John F. Sibthorp, col.
Lygon, hon. col. Smith, C.
M'Leod, John R. Smyth, sir G.
Macnaghten, Edm. Somerset, lord G.
Macqueen, T. Somerset, lord F.
Maitland, E. F. Somerset, lord E.
Malcolm, N. Spottiswoode, A.
Mandeville, lord Stephenson, R.
Manners, lord C. Strathaven, lord
Manners, lord R. Strutt, col.
Maxwell, sir W. Sugden, E.
Maxwell, H. Sotheron, adm.
Meynell, H. Talmash, hon. L.
Moore, G. Talmash, hon. F.
Morgan, sir C. Taylor, G. W.
Morgan, G. Thompson, alderman
Mundy, F. Thompson, L.
Mundy, G. Thynne, lord W.
Newborough, lord Thynne, lord J.
Nightingal, sir M. Tindal, sir N.
Northcote, H. Tomline, W.
Norton, G. Trant, W.
O'Neil, hon. John Townshend, lord J.
O'Neil, Augustus Townshend, hon. J.
Onslow, Arthur Trench, col.
Owen, sir John Trevor, hon. G.
Owen, sir E. W. Tullamore, lord
Palmer, R. Ure, M.
Pallmer, C. N. Uxbridge, earl of
Palk, sir L. Vaughan, sir R.
Peachy, general Vyvyan, sir R.
Pearse, John Vivian, sir H.
Peel, rt. hon. Robert Walker, J.
Peel, William Walpole, hon. J,
Peel, L. Ward, W.
Peel, J. Wells, J.
Pennant, G, Wemyss, J,
West, F. Dundas, rt. hon. W.
Vetherell, sir C. Carmarthan, marq.
Whitmore, T. Smith, T. A.
Wigram, W. Smith, S.
Williams, Rt. Bouverie, hon. B.
Willoughby, H. Owen, H.
Wilson, R. Hope, sir A.
Wilson, col. Pigott, col.
Worcester, marq. Webb, E.
Wyndham, W. Drake, T. F.
Win, O. Duff, hon. gen.
Yorke, sir J. Manning, W.
TELLERS. Brogden, J.
Dawson, G. Burrell, W.
Foster, J. L. Nicholl, sir J.
PAIRED OFF. Clive, hon. R.
Montgomery, gen. Campbell, A.
Bastard, capt. Downie, R.
Penruddock, J. Grant, col.
Grant, sir A. Cole, sir C.
Fellowes, W. H. Walrond, B.
Martin, sir T. B.