HC Deb 07 September 1831 vol 6 cc1220-2
Lord Killeen

presented a Petition from the inhabitants of the Parish of Navan, in the county of Meath, praying that the Yeomanry might be disarmed. He agreed with the prayer of the petition, which stated, that the Yeomanry instead of protecting the people, committed all sorts of outrages. He hoped all the corps would be gradually abolished, although he was free to admit that some of them were well disciplined, and did not deserve the censure which had been heaped indiscriminately upon them.

Mr. Henry Grattan

supported the prayer of the petition. He was convinced that tranquillity could never be thoroughly established in Ireland, until the Yeomanry were wholly disarmed, and the whole body abolished. They were exclusively party corps, in the strongest sense of these words.

Mr. Blackney

said, the Yeomanry were the great cause of dissatisfaction in the county of Carlow.

Colonel Perceval

said, the Yeomanry were never called out but in cases of necessity, it was a passive force.

Sir Francis Burdett

said, it was ridiculous to attempt to keep the peace of a country by the aid of a force which was in itself obnoxious. If a force was necessary, let it be a regular body, under proper discipline, and not a local body imbued with party feeling. He regretted that Irish Members should provoke incidental discussions of this character, which could lead to no practical result, and protested against the practice, particularly when, from the nature of other business it was obvious they could not give that full and undivided attention to Irish affairs which their importance well deserved.

Mr. Shaw

said, the Government would be deceived and overthrown if it depended on the assistance of those persons who desired to abolish the Yeomanry corps.

Colonel Perceval

begged to take that opportunity of putting a question to the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for Ireland. He wished to ask, whether Government intended to adhere to that clause in the bill for establishing Lord-lieutenants of counties in Ireland, which made it imperative on the persons so appointed to reside within the respective counties?

Mr. Stanley

in reply to the question of the hon. Member answered that it was understood that either a resident nobleman or the son of a nobleman who was resident, should be appointed Lord-lieutenant of each county. At the same time, it was not considered necessary that he must actually be resident in the county: he might reside in the adjacent one, provided he had property within the one to which he was appointed.

Petition to be printed.