HC Deb 06 February 1837 vol 36 cc130-2

Mr. Bradshaw moved for a return of the proclamations issued by the authority of the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, for the apprehension of persons concerned in murders, fire-raising, forcible entry of houses, and other outrages, during the six months ending the 31st January, 1837, with the rewards offered thereon.

Mr. Hume

said, that he had moved for a similar return in the last Session of Parliament, to which he would refer the hon. Member, as it might save the trouble of urging the present motion. If these isolated returns were made, they never could be able to judge of the state of the country; he would, therefore, suggest that the hon. Member should postpone his motion.

Mr. Henry Grattan

said, the object of the hon. Member was quite clear. He was not aware that such a motion had been made before. The return of the last Session, however, was a totally different one. He must say, that a speech made at the Glasgow dinner contained the falsest statements concerning Ireland. There never were more erroneous or more unfounded statements put forward, and he only regretted that the right hon. Baronet was not present, that he might set him right upon that subject. The hon. Gentleman opposite was warranted in his motion by the extraordinary proceedings which had taken place in Dublin, and when the foulest and most maglignant libels were uttered against his Majesty's Government in the Mansion-house of that city, in an assembly of such a character that the Lord Mayor did not think proper to attend, and refused to preside at the meeting. For his own part, he regretted that such statements should have been made— that such charges should have been uttered by a partisan body, who represented themselves to be the Protestants of Ireland. The language used at that meeting by noble Lords and Members of that House was little creditable to the individuals who had used it. The terms made use of, whether they were advanced by Lord Charleville or by Lord Roden, be rebutted with the utmost indignation. The hon. Member (Mr. Bradshaw) might -be warranted in thinking that the state of Ireland had been bad, when his Majesty's Representative in that country was described as going about seeking for persons to perjure themselves. If he could believe the reports which had appeared in the public papers, a charge had been made against the Lord-Lieutenant, that he had selected individuals for the mere purpose of perjury, in order to create fictitious votes for the support of Government. As one of those individuals so calumniated was a relation of his own, he would recommend the calumniaters to be more sparing of their charges for the future. When such gross charges were made, it was but fair that there should be an opportunity for refuting them. If in the time of the Duke of Richmond's administration, in any assembly one-fifth part of such charges had been made against the Government, the Attorney-General would have filed an information in less than twenty-four hours. He would just call the attention of the House to a statement of the case, in order to show the malignancy of the charges which had been made against Government. He held in his hand the return of Mr. Kennedy—he believed that the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, would bear testimony to the high character of Mr. Kennedy—he had procured those returns up to December,] 836, in order to show the effect which the Mulgrave Go- vernment had on the peace of Ireland. He begged the House would listen for a moment to this short exposition of the case. He found that in December, 1835, the attacks on the police were thirty-five, which, under the administration of Lord Mulgrave, had been reduced to six; riots eighty-nine; which, under the same Government, had decreased to eighteen. Threatening notices, forty-nine; which had been decreased to twenty-four; the attacks on houses twenty-four, reduced to ten; and illegal meetings, thirteen; which had been reduced to one—if the new association were to be denominated an illegal meeting. All the insinuations that had been made against the present Government of Ireland, he would fearlessly say, had arisen out of a malignant spirit, because that Government was the first which had given satisfaction to the people of Ireland: and the noble Lord at the head of that Government was the first Lord-Lieutenant who had endeavoured to conciliate the people. He owed nothing to the Earl of Mulgrave, but he felt bound to say that the candid and impartial manner in which he had acted, had secured the affections of the people of Ireland.

Motion agreed to.

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