§ Mr. O'Connell
said, that at that hour of the night it was impossible that the public business could be well done. He admitted that more business was gone through at that hour than at an earlier hour, but not done—at least, not well done. If there were really so much business before the House, why did not the Session begin at an earlier period of the year, and why did it not continue to a later period? Hon. Gentlemen had a great anxiety to be returned to that House, but had they an anxiety to do 528 the public business? For himself he knew how to manage the matter by moving a call of the House. The fact was, that in their proceedings it was important to connect them with public opinion, and to ascertain the public sentiment with respect to them; and it was well known that they could not collect public opinion relative to what took place in that House at an advanced hour, for their later proceedings were not made known; therefore with respect to them, their constituents, and the public at large, could not be said to exercise any judgment. On a late occasion discourses were pronounced which would have excited some attention had they gone before the public. For these reasons then, he should move an adjournment.
§ Mr. Doherty
said, his noble friend the Secretary for Ireland had moved that the Speaker do leave the Chair, and that the Bill in question be re-committed, with a view to its being printed. It was of great consequence to Ireland that that Bill should pass, and the House could not help observing that the hon. member for Clare had taken that opportunity of attempting to arrest the progress of the Bill, by moving an adjournment; but he had not stopped short there—he had read the House a lecture, and it was to be expected that he should teach them by his precepts and his example a better performance of their duty than they could yet boast of. He had told them that speeches had been made in that House which deserved further notice. Yes, it was true, speeches had been made there which did demand a reply; but until that reply had been made, the hon. and learned member for Clare would do well to refrain from lecturing the House in the tone which he had then thought proper to assume.
said, that the hour was not late, nor the number of Members present small, and he hoped, therefore, that the hon. member for Clare would not press his motion.
Lord F. L. Gower
observed, it was the intention of the Government to reduce the expenses of the Foundling Hospital in Dublin; but as to the present Bill, it did not commit the House to anything. His object merely was, by printing the Bill, to put Members in possession of its contents. Mr. Rice would support the adjournment if the motion before the House com- 529 milted them to any proposition whatever. Business could not be done, however, if bills were not allowed to come unopposed to a certain stage, and then be printed; nor could it ever be done if these first steps were prevented on account of the lateness of the hour.
§ [No division took place, the hon. member for Clare not pressing his motion, and the House resolved itself info a committee.]
§ Mr. O'Connell
said, that he did not wish to revive topics connected with the late condition of Ireland, but they had been forced upon him. Recent feelings were no doubt acute, but still more recent circumstances had tended to mitigate them. For himself, he had but one wish, which was, to bury the whole in oblivion; but instead of being met by a reciprocal sentiment, such direct attacks were made upon him, that even the English Gentlemen around, whose knowledge of him must necessarily be imperfect, felt the justice of extending their reproof to the violence of that assault. Though unwilling to press such a subject, he could inform them that he was prepared to bring forward such proofs as would establish every assertion he made, there or elsewhere, respecting the trials that had been alluded to. He confessed he was unwilling to introduce into Parliament that Irish squabble; but after what had occurred, he thought it incumbent upon him to state, that to-morrow he would present petitions relating to the trials at Borrisokane, and to what was called the conspiracy at Doneraille. He had looked at some of the newspapers, and he declared himself perfectly ready and able to support anything he had ever said, and even much of what had been imputed to him. He possessed evidence which there was only one way of avoiding, and that was by the House refusing to give him an opportunity of laying it before them; for every fact he stated he could produce the testimony of the most trustworthy persons; and he had no doubt that the result would be, that the House and the public would feel that those trials were mismanaged, to say the least. On the present occasion his object was to aid, as far as his power permitted, in doing away with the practice of carrying through business at a late hour, particularly business which related to a country in which people had been silenced in more ways than one, including the despotic power possessed by the Irish government.
Lord F. L. Gower
said, the hon. and learned Member should recollect that he had indulged in assertions in Ireland that might do mischief, and could not at the moment be answered. As to the latter observation of the hon. and learned Member, he could only say that he was ready to vindicate every act of the Irish Government.
§ Mr. O'Connell
said, he gave notice that to-morrow he should give the names of the petitioners and of the witnesses. He had said nothing that he would not readily repeat. He was sorry that the subject had not been brought forward at an earlier period of the Session, and then the House could perhaps have formed a better judgment. The fact was, that the people of Ireland had become reconciled to each other without the aid of the Government, and contrary to the effect of its measures. He regretted to say that the government of Ireland had done nothing to make the Relief Bill effectual. The gentlemen of the bar, he thought, had some reason to complain: not one Catholic barrister having been elevated to the rank of King's counsel. He did not allude to himself: he had been too long in opposition to the Ministers to admit of their stooping to offer him anything—they would have done wrong in making such a submission as appointing him. If he had not already brought forward the question alluded to, it was from his unwillingness to raise the question of Protestant and Catholic Juries.
§ The Bill passed through the Committee, and to be further considered on Monday.