HC Deb 11 July 1843 vol 70 cc910-1014
Mr. M. J. O'Connell,

on resuming the debate, said, there were two features in the debate last night which afforded some satisfaction. In one the satisfaction was of a negative character, and was to be found in the speech of the hon. and gallant General the Member for Liverpool (Sir H. Douglas), and the want of support to the extraordinary amendment he proposed. He called it extraordinary because the gallant officer's experience had not been confined to the routine of military duties, for he had acted in the civil affairs of a colony, and if the reports in the newspapers were true, had had some experience of popular discontents. He was glad to see that even on the gallant General's own side of the House, there was no one to second him. The other cause of gratification was the frank and manly speech of the Gentleman on the opposite benches, the gallant Member for Westminster. He recollected when, two years ago, he had read in the newspapers the astounding news of the gallant Officer's success in Westminster; he viewed it with alarm, foreseeing the majority that was coming, and that there would no longer be a fair chance of the redress of grievances. He owned, however, that he was not more surprised then than he was last night, though of course the latter surprise was of a more gratifying character. The gallant Officer was one of those who did not shut themselves up in the closet, but went abroad, and, as he believed, spoke the sentiments of those among his constituents who were not tied to the car of any party, whether Whig, Tory, or Radical, and who began to open their eyes to the true state of Ireland. To come, however, to the question immediately before the House, he did not think an inquiry into the troublesome state of Ireland was a waste of the time of the Legislature, for great as might be the inconvenience to the progress of public business, the neglect of the state of Ireland would create greater. He would not go back to a long history of past times, which had been so strongly deprecated, but he must go into the history of the last few years to find the causes of the prevailing discontent. Four years ago the right hon. Baronet, now on the Treasury Benches, but then in Opposition. admitted that his chief difficulty was he land. They had found it so since. Why was this? and why was Ireland so peculiarly the difficulty of hon. Gentlemen opposite? Their own policy had done much to make it so and to increase it. The gallant General who made the unsupported proposition last night, had referred to the inconvenience of submitting to agitation, and had contended that it was necessary to put down agitation in the first instance, without removing the causes. They might as well endeavour to dry up a river without turning off the waters. There was no way in a free country of putting down discontent except by removing its causes, What were those causes? It had too often happened that the claims of reason calmly put forward were not attended to, and that it was only when they were clamorously asserted that they obtained attention; and if this were generally the case in England, it was universally so in Ireland. His gallant Friend the Member for Wycombe had referred to the year 1778; he would refer to the year 1793, when the franchise was granted to Catholics. In 1792 the petition of the Catholics was ignominiously rejected by the Irish House of Commons by a majority of twenty-three Members. A convention sat in Dublin in the winter of that year. That was aided by the success of the French over our armies in the Low Countries; and at the moment of popular strength at home, and of Government weakness abroad, the franchise was conceded to the Catholics of Ireland. With the usual ungraciousness, however, of parties who were obliged to yield, and with an impotent malevolence against the body, they had been unable to resist, the Government did not follow up the conciliation. The Act of I793 was succeeded by the Convention Act. He did not mention this for the sake of a mere useless reference, but because they had seen the same policy adopted in our own time: they had seen those who had conceded Catholic Emancipation in 1829 follow it up in the same old spirit, and every attempt was made to render it practically inoperative. What was the first great measure, in reference to Ireland, which the House had to consider after Catholic Emancipation? The Irish Reform Bill. They were then told by hon. Gentlemen opposite that the concession of Parlia- mentary reform to Ireland ought to be resisted on different grounds from those on which it was resisted in England, because its concession would endanger the Established Church in Ireland, would strengthen the hands of the hon. and learned Member for Cork, and promote the designs of those who sought a dissolution of the Union. Irish Members did not stand alone in this, English Members and the leader of the party expressed similar sentiments. There was one among that party now who then warned the House that, by resisting reform on such grounds would tend to a Repeal of the Union, and singular to say, that the same man, on the same ground, afterwards resisted the municipal Reform Bill. On this ground the House resisted municipal reform for three years, and sought to destroy the municipal franchise. From that they were driven by the spirit of fair play which existed in England, and then they said they were were willing to concede corporation reform to Ireland, but the large cities were alone to be favoured, so that the franchise was given with one hand and taken away with the other. Still, however, a system of exclusion was prevalent. In all these cases they had shown the same indisposition to grant any substantial power to the people of Ireland; and he believed that the same reason had prevailed from the beginning to the end—namely, the fear of strengthening those from whom they differed in religion. It had been well if this feeling had gone no further than to restrain the granting of new power; but that stationary line of policy would not suit all persons, and the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies had brought forward a Registration Bill, of which it was unnecessary to say more than that it had been condemned, even by that man who, above all, might be said to belong to the peculiar party of the noble Lord—he meant the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir J. Graham). The measure had met with the condemnation of the right hon. Baronet—it had elicited a confession from him that the bill would diminish the Irish constituency, and that he knew that the Government would be unable to bring forward any measure upon that subject until they made an addition to the franchise. What was the result of the first division on that bill? The Government succeeded in carrying the second reading by a majority of sixteen, and the result was, the establishment of that very body which now disturbed them and Ireland—though he used the term in very different senses in applying it both to the Government and that country—that body which was now the subject of so much alarm—he meant the Repeal Association. The Repeal Association was established in the year I840, within a week or two only after the second reading of the bill of the noble Lord. He would now refer to a subject which bad been before alluded to, he meant the appointment of Roman Catholics to office by the late Government. Hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed to forget the howl of indignation with which the announcement of the appointment of the right hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Shell), the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. Wyse), and the promotion of the hon. Member for Kildare (Mr. O'Ferrall), was received in this country? In that House not a word was said upon it, those who sat in that House were too careful to make attacks on such appointments. But what was the language employed out of the House? What was the language of petitions presented to that House? What was the language held at public meetings, from which Members of that House were not excluded? It was a complete attempt to revive in this country that species of excitement which the hon. and gallant Member for Westminster (Captain Rous) had last night so much deprecated, the unchristian and uncharitable No-popery cry of the last century. And surely it was not now for the Government to repudiate the efforts of those persons whose exertions had brought them into power? Did they forget the allusions made to the conduct and the fate of James 2nd? Did they forget the outcry which was made when the Queen appointed the right hon. Member for Dungarvan to be of her Privy Council? He wished that he could forget all this; and he only recalled it to the memory of the House, not in a spirit of anger, but to show them how these disturbances had been created, and how alone they could hope to avoid the recurrence of such events. In the midst of all, however, there was one part of the subject to which he could refer with pleasure and pride; and that was, that amongst all the assaults made on the Established Church by those with whom he was connected, there had never been one word uttered disrespectful to the religion of hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House. Such as he had described had been the policy of hon. Gentlemen opposite whilst labouring under the responsibilities of opposition. What had they done since they had acquired the greater responsibility of conducting the affairs of the State? Much had been said of the appointment of the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland (Lord Eliot). That noble Lord had, it was true, shown his fitness for governing Ireland by differing from his Colleagues upon a question apparently, after all, of no very great importance, but affecting to a considerable degree the interests of Ireland—he had voted for an 8l. instead of a 9l. rating. It was in truth a trifling difference; but the more trifling the concession, the more plainly it served to mark the conduct of those who opposed it. But whatever provision the Government might have made for Ireland, it was soon seen, that connected as they were with a party who tied their hands both in this country and in Ireland, had little to hope for either in the way of the Irish new measures of relief, or in a fair administration of the existing laws. It soon became obvious, that they were pursuing such a course as would neither conciliate their opponents nor give satisfaction to their supporters. But since the late excitement had arisen in Ireland, he must do the Ministry the justice to say, that they had taken a step, but, like most other proceedings, unwillingly adopted, it was in the wrong direction—a step, above all others, most. absurd and most dangerous—that of the dismissal of the Irish magistracy. And the Government, he believed, was already aware of their folly. What was the answer of the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) the other evening, when he was asked by the hon. Member for Waterford, whether it was true that a certain number of magistrates, who had attended certain repeal proceedings at Clare, had been dismissed? He said that it was; and the reason given for their dismissal was not, that they had attended repeal meetings, but only a public dinner. Was this the avowal on which the Government intended to act—that they intended to dismiss magistrates because they went to public dinners? There was the case of Mr. Clancy, in which this course was justified; and when the hon. Member for Waterford asked whether this was the general rule to be acted upon, it was evaded by a dexterous movement, and the question was not answered. There was another case—that of Mr. Roe. He had been chairman to a dinner in Tipperary; but Mr. Clancy had not been even chairman, and he must have been dismissed solely because he had ventured to listen to Liberal toasts and speeches. If ever there had been a step properly characterized as absurd and dangerous, it was this. Such measures had produced a great deal of ill-feeling and of disgust in the minds of the Irish people. He did not mean to say that this was the only cause of that excitement which now prevailed. Unfortunately, many causes of that lay much deeper; and the practical question now presented itself, of what was to be done with a view to the removal of such reasons for discontent as existed? It became the duty of the Government now to determine what step should be taken. As yet they had held out no hopes of any measure. The right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) had spoken the other evening of the obstruction offered to measures of importance to the public peace, alluding, of course, to the Arms Bill; but this seemed to be the only measure which they could hope for to sooth the prevailing discontent. He did not wish to go into topics of minor importance; but he must correct the extraordinary misapprehension of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Shaw). The right hon. Gentleman said, that the revenues of the Church had been reduced to the amount of 400,000l. This was a most extraordinary statement. From the return published by the commissioners appointed to inquire into the ecclesiastical revenues and expenditure in Ireland, it appeared that the property of the Church, up to the time of the Tithe Commutation Act, amounted for bishops to 151,000l.; for prebendaries and canons, 45,000l.; and parish incumbents, 610,000l. That made the gross total, at the time of the passing of the act, in 1838, 806,000l. per annum. The total amount of the tithe composition was 520,000l.; and taking away 130,000l.,1 which was 25 per cent. on the amount, it left out of the 806,000l. a sum of 676,000l. There were some sums charged twice, but deducting these, as well as various expenses paid, a gross total of money now received was 605,277l. per annum. This sum was paid as the remuneration for the services of 2,200 clergymen, required for 850,000 of his countrymen. He could not see how so small a number of persons could require so large an amount of religious instruction; but the class to which he belonged, numbering 7,000,000 of persons, were instructed by a body of no more than three thousand priests. The duties of the priests were as extensive in their nature as those of the clergy of the established Church; but if 3,000 of the former were able to attend so large a number of persons, how was it that 2,200 Protestant clergymen were required for a body of Protestants so much smaller in number? Then it was said, that the principle of the appropriation clause had been rejected. So it had, but long before it was proposed by that (the Opposition) side of the House, it bad certainly beers adopted in principle by the noble Lord who was at present its great opponent. That noble Lord (Lord Stanley) took 60,000l. a-year from the Church in the shape of vestry cess, and the noble Lord had diminished the number of the bishops, because he said, they had not sufficient duties to perform. How, after that, the noble Lord could refuse to reduce the number of clergymen, if it appeared, that they too, had no duties to perform, he was unable to understand. He did not think that the people of Ireland would object to a respectable provision for the Protestant church in that country; but what they wished, was, to see those funds which were not wanted for that purpose, applied to some object in which they possessed an interest. The promotion of education had been mentioned as a proper purpose to which it might be applied. He believed the time had passed when the Roman Catholic minister, or his flock, wished to receive anything out of such funds. But there were purposes unconnected with the payment of the Catholic clergy to which they might be applied. He might suggest the application to a purpose, and in aid of that which had been the subject of much vituperation, the grant for the better education of the Catholic clergy. Many of those men were blamed that they were not the polished gentlemen which the ministers of the Established Church were; but what was the answer? The education at Maynooth was hasty, rough, rude, and imperfect, because the funds were small. For his own part, he did not care much to in- sist upon the Maynooth grant, and if the Parliament were prepared to go with him and give up the 600,000l annual revenues of the church, he would abandon Maynooth altogether. That was an extreme measure, which he did not think he should obtain; but he really believed, that a little enlightened liberality in this matter would do much to relieve that discontent which now prevailed in Ireland, and to assure the Catholics, that there was some prospect of their interests and desires being cared for. He repeated, that there existed no wish in Ireland, that the priesthood should be paid out of the revenues of the Protestant church; hut, he thought, that the Government might wisely follow up the proposition of the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland, and remove those enactments which prohibited the Catholic clergy from assuming the title of bishop. A priest ordained by a bishop, not duly authorised, was held to be no priest; but, if he conformed to the Established Church they, who were the great advocates, and insisted most strongly on the necessity of episcopal ordination, admitted his ordination to be good. He called upon the Government, then, to frame a measure to admit these bishops to their right titles, and position; and he begged the Government not to keep up a petty contest on this point for the sake of gratifying the most miserable of all feelings which, under the disguise of religion, could creep into the human breast. He would pass on now from this question, and would come to another of great importance in the present state of Ireland—the relation between landlord and tenant. This was a grievance which it was said could not be got rid of by that House without adopting an extreme remedy. He was sorry, that his hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale had been prevented from bringing forward his motion upon this subject. That hon. Member was peculiarly entitled to respect; as a landlord, he was second to none in his conduct of his estate; he came from a part of the country in which the custom of recognizing the tenant's right existed, and where this custom prevailed, these disputes about the position of land were unknown. The hon. Member proposed to adopt a rational and moderate course—to give to the tenants by law, what the people in his part of the country gave by custom, namely, compensation to all tenants who had made improvements on their holdings. He believed that such a measure would go far to ameliorate the condition of both landlord and tenant. However difficult it might be to carry out in detail the principle of his hon. Friend, it would still be a valuable experiment, and an experiment, of the ultimate success of which no doubt could he entertained. Then, as to the question of the franchise; something, he thought, must be done on this subject, There was a great unwillingness on the part of landlords to grant leases to their tenants; and it would be worth while for the House, when they came to consider this matter, to take care, first, that they must not give too much power to the landlord to take away the franchise from the occupying tenant, and, secondly, not to put the tenant too much in the power of the landlord, and render his vote that of the landlord. These were difficulties, which he feared Government would not sincerely grapple with. It was objected that this motion implied a want of confidence in the Government, For his own part, he did not think, that any hon. Member could have been found better fitted to bring forward this motion, because more moderate in his views, than the hon. Member for Limerick. But if such want of confidence was implied, was this a time, he begged to ask, at which they should attend to a petty point of honour and trifle with the interests of a great country. This was a time at which they ought to admit the wrong they had committed, and to hold out some hopes that they would adopt a different course of conduct for the future. For his own part he supported the motion with no desire to embarrass the Government, but because he believed that whatever party should be in power, the subject of Ireland must be taken into consideration. The subject of repeal had been referred to. Those who entertained a belief that repeal would have a favourable effect upon Ireland, were entitled, he maintained, to express that opinion; but those who entertained a different view were entitled to contend against the arguments of their opponents. He was told that the repeal of the union would lead to a separation of Ireland from this country. He declared his belief, and four-fifths of the repeaters he was confident entertained the same opinion, that nothing could be more in- jurious not only to England, but to Ireland, than the separation of the two countries. With this full conviction he asked the House to recollect, that if there were any danger of separation from the repeal of the union, the present state of things did not leave the country free from such danger. Whatever danger there might be of a collision of two Parliaments, whatever danger there might be of a collision of the two countries, or of the population of one country with the Parliament of the United Kingdom, it was for the Legislature now to say what they would do. The right hon. Baronet had been frequently called upon to express his views, but he had made no sign. He implored the Government not to allow this debate to pass without telling the people of Ireland what they meant. If they meant even to do nothing, dangerous as such a course would be, let them say so; but if they would do that which was most essential to the interests of Great Britain, as well as of Ireland, they would immediately take this subject into their serious consideration. No one could ask them to decide on such a subject in less than a few days; but let them hold out some rational hope that a remedy would be applied to the grievances under which the people of Ireland now laboured. The people of Ireland were not a suspicious people; they were often too credulous in their nature. Let the Government honestly admit the wrongs which they had committed; but, above all, he implored them that when they did make concessions—and sooner or later they must do so, to avoid the fatal errors of past times; let them follow out the concessions in a generous and confiding spirit. Let them not first create a power, and then, by a mischievous course of policy, induce the people to make a hostile use of that power; but let them give to that people full and liberal confidence, for by that means alone could they unite the people of Ireland to this country in the true and lasting bonds of peace and friendship.

Mr. G. A. Smythe

believed, that the difficulties by which the Government was at present beset, arose, not so much from Ireland as from England—from the Popery of Ireland, not so much as from the No-Popery of England. Some of our suburban pulpits were still disgraced by exhibitions which would be revolting if they were not ridiculous, Those feelings of No-Popery, unfortunately productive as they had been of mischief in this country, still lingered in the classic precincts of Exeter Hall. The table of that House was still invaded with petitions, which, to say the least of them, were couched in terms not complimentary to the faith of our Roman Catholic fellow subjects in Ireland. In that Session of Parliament he found by the reports published on the subject of public petitions, that thirty-nine petitions had been presented against the grant to Maynooth; thirty-nine was the number—a number sacred to the character of Calvinism. But if this No-popery feeling had proved, as he had no doubt it had, an obstacle in the way of conciliation, he thought that there was another no less formidable obstacle—he meant the perpetual Toryness of the policy of this country. It was much to be deplored that Mr. Pitt had been thwarted in his designs—it was untoward that he should have been driven to resign, as he did in 1802. It was untoward that the same attachment to the same question should have estranged Mr. Canning from his own political friends, and should have thrown a gloom over the last moments of his existence; and he should not scruple to say—no party considerations should induce him to refraim from saying, that he regretted that it was not he, but the right hon. Baronet—that not the hand that had been raised in its defence, but the hand always ready for attack, should have been the means of carrying that great measure. If that act had been passed by Mr. Canning, instead of the right hon. Baronet, he believed that the good that would have resulted from it would have been infinitely greater than had been felt. And what were the inducements of the right hon. Baronet to pass that measure? Was it from sympathy with the sufferings they had undergone?—was it an indignation at the treatment they had experienced? Had he become alive to the truth of the observation of the old Tory Dr. Johnson, who said that not even the cruelties inflicted under the Two Persecutions were so great as those perpetrated by the Protestants towards the Catholics of Ireland. Or was it from some strange fancy that no religious distinctions should longer be allowed to interfere with civil rights? On the contrary, the right hon. Gentleman told the House that no reasoning of this kind influenced him, but he used some memorable observations in his last words, on the second reading of the Emancipation Bill, for they contained a summary of the motives which influenced him. He said, that those who were then opposed to him would hereafter see that the course which he had followed, and which he was still prepared to follow, whatever imputations it might expose him to, was the only course which was necessary for the diminution of the undue, illegitimate, and dangerous power of the Roman Catholics, and for the maintenance and permanent security of the Protestant interests. Did the right hon. Gentleman afterwards give any explanation or modification of those opinions? No. Was this boon not so conceded that it must almost necessarily fail in its results? Was it wise or politic on such an occasion to assert that the power of the Roman Catholics was dangerous and illegitimate in reference to Protestant interests? He doubted whether, when the motion of the hon. Member for Sheffield came forward, it could be shown that the proceedings then taken had rendered the Protestant Church more stable or secure. When the right hon. Gentleman passed this measure of Catholic Emancipation, accompanied with restrictions of a trifling, but vexatious, nature, he might have supposed, as the result had shown, that they would become void in operation, and that the Roman Catholic hierarchy of Ireland would not be deterred from assuming a title to which they had been accustomed from the paltry consideration of a fine of 1001. But even when that measure was brought forward it was most strenuously opposed by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Kent, and by a noble Lord who was now a Member of the other House, and who was also a Member of the Government; and when they had so constantly put forward opinions so adverse to the concession of these claims, would it not have been graceful and becoming if the right hon. Gentleman, since his accession to power in 1841, had removed those restrictions which lie had thought fit to continue by the act of 1829? It might be said, that the removal of those restrictions was of little importance, as they were inoperative. But he would observe that, although they might be said to be a trifle out of Ireland, it should be remembered nothing was regarded as a trifle in the estimation of people whose feelings were excited, An hon. Member had said, that the people had no interest in doing what he had suggested; but he begged the House to recollect that the Government was not so much estimated by its intentions as by the feelings of sympathy which it manifested with the people, and it often happened that the slightest indication of good feeling was estimated in a high degree, and this was often observable from—to use a familiar expression—almost the turn of a straw. To make use of a term applied by the journal, the first in circulation in this country, that under some circumstances matters of apparently the least consequence have great weight. There were many means of comparatively small amount by which that House might show its sympathies with the people of Ireland. It was not generally known that the college of Maynooth was in debt. He knew that the amount of this debt was a very small sum, and he also knew that the noble Lord the Member for Cornwall was fully aware of this. Now, he was sure that the Government would not think it a matter of reproach to take measures to do something more for that institution. He had recently visited that institution, and if there was one thing which struck him more than another in that college—and he believed that he might say that the same feeling was entertained by his noble Friend the Member for Newark, who had accompanied him in his visit—it was the decent poverty and respectable humility of its inmates. He knew that a feeling existed against that institution, and more particularly on his side of the House. He had heard with regret, hon. Members say, that the Maynooth priests were of the lowest possible popular extraction, and that they were descended from those who were in the very penury of poverty, and contrasted them with what were termed the old continental priests, who were educated at Douay, or other foreign colleges; and they were told that these latter men were of learned and refined manners, but he did not find that their learning exempted them from the pains and penalties of the penal code, or that their politeness saved them from persecution. For one, he should not have the slightest hesitation to join issue as to the charges which had been brought against that institution. He thought that it was a fortunate circumstance that the priests were of this popular character, for he believed that priests for the people should be of the people. This was his deliberate feeling and opinion. They were like the priests of La Vendee, where their parishioners might almost be regarded as the sons of the priests. If at the commencement of this century the Government had pursued the wise system of fostering the priesthood, and not adopted the beggarly system of doling out a paltry allowance to this institution —if they had carried out the wise designs of Mr. Pitt, by attending to this matter, in which the people were so deeply interested—if they had followed the example that had been set them elsewhere, the priests would have been found, as in the west of France, the advocates of order and peace, and the preventers of agitation and excitement. He had given expression to similar opinions two years ago, and he had brought down upon himself a strong censure, but he had felt no reason to alter them. He had been in hopes that her Majesty's Ministry would at last be induced to govern Ireland in the spirit which actuated Lord Chesterfield about a century ago. At that time Scotland was in a state of rebellion, and England was also in a state of rebellion, and Ireland was momentarily expected to break out in rebellion, from the well-known attachment of that country to the Stuarts as well as to their common religious feelings; but the Minister who then governed Ireland had the courage to resist the pressing the penal laws into operation; and the Roman Catholic population of Ireland did not disappoint his expectations, for they remained peaceable. If the Government now came forward with large measures of conciliation—if they came forward with those measures which his noble Friend, the Member for Newark had advocated, and which, if carried out with the same ability and manliness that was displayed last night by the noble Lord, the Member for Sunderland, much would be done. But again he must repeat, yon must govern Ireland in the spirit in which Mr. Pitt proposed to govern it. But do not suppose, that a Minister, who, fifty years ago, would have passed the Emancipation Bill, would now be satisfied with that measure. Do not suppose that such a statesman would say, that having given Emancipation, he would go no further. Do not suppose that he would say, that because fifty years ago he gave 9,000l. a-year to Maynooth, that he would now go no further, and confine the grant to that pitiful sum. Do not suppose that the tithe commutation, which had graced the hands of the noble Lord below him, which, if proposed at the commencement of the present century, might have done much, and would have proved of great moment, would now be regarded as satisfactory, or compensate for numerous evils which proceeded from causes far more deep than were formerly supposed. Certainly such a Minister would not have come to the House with an Arms Bill as a remedy. He would not have come down with an Arms Bill, and an Arms Bill alone. Nor did he think, that if such a Minster should introduce such a measure, that he would one day propose a clause in it, which was certain to excite the greatest alarm, and the next day come down and abandon this clause, because it had given rise to alarm. What should he say of the Minister who— Back recoil'd, he knew not why, Ev'n at the sound himself had made. Now, he had thought, when they came to the resolution to bring forward an Arms Bill, that it hardly would have been accompanied with such a declaration of policy as had proceeded from the noble Lord, the Member for Cornwall, in which he had endeavoured to show that all opinions with respect to the Government of Ireland were right, except his own, and in which the noble Lord expressed himself as being everybody's humble servant by turns, and that, notwithstanding all that had recently occurred in Ireland, he was the humble servant of events, as Cardinal Mazarin said of Monk. The noble Lord was waiting for something to turn up. The noble Lord seemed to have no fixed plan either to conciliate affection or to put down agitation; but of one thing he was sure, that he could show nothing but shades of opinion on what was going on around him. In conclusion, he earnestly prayed that as the name of the noble Lord was known in history by the armistice which bore his name, that it would not be attacked for a contrary result in the Arms Bill, and that as the greatest horrors of civil war were put a stop to in Spain by the convention of Logrono, that the Arms Bill would not give rise to a directly opposite result, and establish a contrary character for the Eliot government in Ireland.

Mr. Hawes

said, that the Government seemed determined to leave matters to drift down the tide of opinion, and to trust to events to escape from the difficulties in which they were involved in Ireland. When he found that speeches like those of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, and the noble Lord, the Member for Sunderland, were allowed to pass unnoticed by any Member of the Government, he could not hope that anything that he or any one else could say, would elicit any explanation; and that, therefore, the speeches made in that House might be supposed to be addressed to people out of doors. Any attempt to obtain information from the Government seemed a hopeless task. He would say, on behalf of the commercial interests of the country, that those signs of reviving trade which appeared some time since, had been materially checked by the conduct of Ministers with respect to Ireland. The allowing the present state of things to continue was most detrimental both to England and Ireland, and if care was not taken, a storm would be excited in England, in comparison with which, that which now prevailed in Ireland would be but as a summer's gale. He believed that the right hon. Gentleman was actuated by the purest feeling in passing the Catholic Emancipation Act, and he called upon him now to act upon the same principles that had then actuated him. The right hon. Gentleman then said, that by the concession of the Catholic claims alone could they hope to obtain tranquillity in Ireland. By that measure they might expect to benefit the Catholic nobility and clergy, but not the great body of the people. The right hon. Gentleman must have been then fully aware that he could expect no peace without popular concession, after granting the Catholic claims, for the right hon. Gentleman had stated as much himself in 1817. The right hon. Gentleman must also have been aware of this from the opinions of many eminent persons, given antecedent to the passing of the Emancipation Act. Dr. Troy, in his evidence before the other House, in 1825, said that— After passing the Emancipation Act, if you did not endeavour to ameliorate the condition of the people, you would not have peace. Again, Dr. Doyle, in a well-known publication, said — The Irish will become Reformers. Ay, to a certainty they will, if you continue to treat them unjustly, and Reformers of the very worst description; they will ally themselves with any enemy that political corruption may have: Reject them—insult them—continue to deprive them of hope—and they will league with Beelzebub against you. Revenge is sweet, and the pride of a nation is like the vanity of a woman when wounded—it is relentless. They will repeal the Union. Yes, undoubtedly. The present generation will not pass if you continue the old system, until yon will find the cry for Emancipation turned into a clamorous demand for that very measure. This was precisely in conformity with what had been said by the right hon. Baronet in his speech in I8I7. In addition to this, he had the evidence of a gentleman who was examined upon a committee of the House in I832, which was after the Catholic Emancipation Bill passed, the rev. N. O'Connor, who said— I have often heard these conversations amongst the peasantry. What good did Catholic Emancipation do us? Are we better fed or clothed, or our children better fed or clothed? Are we not as naked as we were, and eating dry potatoes when we can get them? Let ns notice the farmers to give us better food and better wages, and not give so much to the landlord, and more to the workmen; we must not let them be turning the poor people off the ground. This evidence only confirmed the opinion that as long as the social condition of Ireland was allowed to remain as it was, that the great object which you had in view in passing the Emancipation Bill, namely, the tranquillity of Ireland, would not be effected. He had met with a striking passage on this subject in a pamphlet written by an intimate friend of the late Lord Holland, he meant Mr. Allen, of Dulwich College, on the subject of national property, written after the policy of the opposition had been developed. That gentleman said: We are accustomed, and justly, to treat with contempt or indignation the grounds on which the Repeal of the Union is demanded; but if the Imperial Government refuses or neglects to inquire into the truth of these statements, or, supposing their truth to have been ascertained, to apply a remedy, that question will assume a very different aspect. There was now an agitation in Ireland which was more dangerous in its tendency and in its extent than any that had ever appeared before in Ireland, and the Government, apparently, paid no attention to the causes which gave rise to it. The right hon. Gentleman had said, that Catholic Emancipation was not a measure in itself to tranquillise Ireland; why, then, were not such measures now brought forward by the right hon. Baronet, when he had such a large majority behind him, as would have the effect of tranquillising that country? Why had anything with respect to Ireland been delayed until nearly the end of the Session? The right hon. Baronet, and other Members of the Government complained, that they were prevented proceeding with measures which would be attended with the greatest benefit to the country by the lengthened discussions that had taken place. What beneficial measures had been impeded by discussions? Was it the Ecclesiastical Courts Bill? That measure, when it was first brought forward, had received the support of the opposition: and it was opposed by Members on the Ministerial Benches. The measure had been put off from time to time by the negotiations that had been carried on respecting it, and it was now cut down and frittered away to such an extent, that it should be thrown aside as utterly inefficient. Was it the County Courts' Bill? It had never been brought before the House in a shape for discussion. The Arms Bill could hardly be called a bill to amend the social condition of the people. He thought, that they had a right to expect that, in such an emergency as the present, the right hon. Gentleman should be prepared with measures to meet it, for surely the right hon. Baronet must have been as fully aware as other persons what was about to take place. He confessed, that if he were in the place of Mr. O'Connell, he should have adopted the policy pursued by that gentleman, as the only one likely to get from the fears of the Government such measures and concessions as were necessary to ameliorate the condition of Ireland. The question, however, was, did the Government mean to concede, or to resort to measures of coercion? One course or the other must be pursued. For his own part, he relied so far on the love of the right hon. Gentleman for constitutional proceedings, as to feel tolerably well assured that he would not adopt a coercive policy. He knew, that there was a decided spirit out of doors against resorting to any such course, and he would venture to say, that any attempt to adopt a coercive policy towards Ireland would be resisted by the good sense of the people of England. It would not be safe to peril the cause of future good Government in Ireland by going beyond the present bounds of the law. Was the right hon. Baronet prepared to resort to this unwise policy, or to adopt the old Whig policy of concession. The noble Lord, the Member for Sunderland, had truly told her Majesty's Ministers last night, [that if they adopted a course to uphold the law, and that if they were prepared to bring forward measures of concession, with regard to the religious feelings of the people, he would have the cordial support of that side of the House. He (Mr. Hawes) represented a large constituency, and he was sure that the general feeling there would go with the right hon. Baronet if he took a wise and just course. It must be obvious to every reflecting mind that the right hon. Gentleman could not maintain the Irish church, if the present, or any policy touching on coercion was adopted. If this policy was pursued, it was obvious that the Irish Protestant church was doomed—. and nothing could save it. He greatly feared, that if' they persisted in a course of coercion, or even attempted to maintain the present state of things, that it would be their fate, as it was the fate of a former Tory Government, to drive the country to rebellion. They had lost one of the most important parts of the empire through a want of timely concession, and, if they persisted in maintaining the Church in Ireland—they might look to the most disastrous results, and perhaps even the disorganization of the empire. He could not, however look back to the right hon. Gentleman's long and useful public life without entertaining better hopes. He could not bring himself to believe it, until he saw the message from the Throne on the Table, that the right hon. Baronet was determined, through a course of bloodshed and violence, to maintain the Irish Protestant Church in its present unjust state. No doubt the right hon. Baronet might succeed at first for a time by force; but even his victories would be dangerous. This effect could not be produced in Ireland, without producing a similar effect here; and the right hon. Gentleman would have demands made on him here, with almost resistless force, and the granting of which would be perilous to the institutions of the country. He took Ireland to be actually in a state of legal insurrection at the present moment. It was in the hands of an individual who cared nothing for the declarations made in that House or elsewhere, or the dismissal of magistrates; and he persisted in his agitation in defiance of the law. If they waited until some blow was struck, they would involve themselves in a most dangerous position, for it was inviting people to commit crimes, and it was giving up the very functions of Government. The course that had been adopted by the Government, in refusing to enter upon any explanation, was treating the House and the country with contempt. He would say, that the debate ought not to terminate until the House had received a clear view and explanation of the policy intended to be pursued by her Majesty's Ministers. The effect of concealing the future policy of the Government, as regarded Ireland, had been most disastrous to the commerce of the country and to all the various interests involved in it. All foreign nations were looking with more or less earnestness towards Ireland; all our great colonial and commercial interests were waiting, with more or less anxiety, for the Government declaration on this most important subject. The whole country was eagerly expectant to hear what would fall from the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government. The right hon. Baronet at the head of the Home Department had said nothing, or, rather, he had said worse than nothing, for he had de-dared to the House and to the country that conciliation was at end—a declaration, indeed, which would have very fairly led those who heard it to infer that something decisive was about to be done in the way of coercion, since conciliation was at an end; but the right hon. Baronet in a second speech modified his first statement, and left the matter where it originally stood. The noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland had also spoken. His speech was. an able and kindly one, but it was the play of Hamlet with the character of Hamlet omitted, for not a bare notion did it convey of what was intended to be done for Ireland, or whether anything at al was to be done. Then, again, the Attorney-general for Ireland had, it was true made a speech, but what did he say to the purpose? Not a word. Tall of the House of Commons being made ridiculous in the eyes of the public! Talk of the time of the House being wasted ! Why it was the Government who were making the House of Commons ridiculous, it was the Government who were wasting the time of the House. If the Government had at once taken a decided and manly course, if they had boldly and distinctly declared what their policy was to be—if, instead of this trumpery Arms Bill, they had brought forward a measure or measures conveying some decided indication of policy, whether those measures were coercive, or whether they were conceived in a spirit of conciliation and justice, the Irish question would have assumed a very different character. There would have been no complaints then of the time of the House being wasted. But he thought by this time the right hon. Baronet had had quite sufficient indications from both sides of the House that the course of policy, if so it might he termed, which he was now pursuing, was not likely long to meet with the support of the House, or even of his own party; that assuredly out of doors there was hut one opinion on the subject; and no better indication of what that opinion out of doors was could be furnished, than had been supplied by the manner in which the newspaper which had been referred to had, on more than one occasion of late, found itself under the necessity of declaring the voice of the people upon the matter. That journal, regarded as the great sup- porter of the Government, told the right hon. Baronet in the most distinct terms, that it was essential for him to make up his mind to pursue one course or another, for that his present lethargy would be fatal to all parties. The actual state of England itself was not one which would much longer bear this state of suspense. Any person who considered the existing condition of agitation and angry excitement prevalent in Scotland, and in this southern portion of the empire, must feel convinced that if effectual measures were not taken to remove the causes of that excitement, the evils which now so cruelly disturbed Ireland would, ere long, come home to our own doors. He, speaking as one of the representatives of no unimportant portion of the people of England, implored the right lion. Baronet to lose no further time, but at mice and boldly to speak out— to tell the House, to tell Parliament, to tell the country, whether he proposed to do anything to remedy the social and political condition of Ireland, and to tell them distinctly what it was he proposed to do. The social condition of that country was, at least, no party question. The relation of landlord and tenant there, every one must admit, could not be allowed to remain in its present state; and the Government certainly could do something towards remedying this great and most mischievous grievance. But, whatever was to be done, let the House and the country know what it was to be. If the silence of the Government were to be persevered in, the only remedy remaining would be an appeal to the people—the getting up a strong demonstration of opinion out of doors, which should either force into office another Government, more able or more willing to speak and to act, or compel the present Government to alter altogether its course. The right hon. Baronet could not charge that side of the House with factious opposition to his measures. Almost the only measure, indeed, which they had had an opportunity of opposing at all was this Arms Bill; and he considered it perfectly legitimate and right to oppose that measure to the utmost extent, and by every means permitted by the forms of the House. He was aware that if this measure were persisted in, it would be impossible for the Government at the present advanced period of the session to do much in the way of proposing other measures. How remarkable a subject for reflection would it be, that a Government priding itself upon the number of eminently practical men it possessed, with a majority at its back far larger than any Ministry had possessed for many years, should have gone through a whole session without proposing a single measure of utility, without having introduced any measure at all which in its progress through the House had not been materially altered from the form given to it by its framers. When the present Ministry came into office, it was said—well; at all events, we shall have a strong Government, able to carry through measures which the Whigs could not carry. What was the result up to the present period There had been no great measures carried by this strong Government of their own framing; and the measures which the) borrowed from their predecessors had been stripped of their fairest and most useful proportions. What was the explanation of all this? Was it that the right hon. Baronet was encumbered beyond release by the principles and pledges he had advanced when in opposition, and the friends those principles and pledges had got him. Was it that the course which, when in opposition, he had so pertinaciously acted upon, of obstructing every useful measure the then Ministry proposed, now served to obstruct himself as Minister? Was it that the system then pursued of feeding every violent party man on the then Opposition side of the House with the hope that when the right hon. Baronet should come into office, then would be the glorious triumph of the old Tory principles, now fettered the right hon. Baronet as Minister? Was the right hon. Baronet in this most perplexing and difficult position, of being at once ashamed to adopt the measures which, when out of office, he opposed and obstructed, unable to adopt measures of his own, and afraid and unwilling to adopt the measures of others. He could not say how long the friends of the Government in that House might remain satisfied with this state of things; but he knew very well that the people would not long remain satisfied, or even quiescent. The time was coming on when the country would stand up in masses, and express an opinion not to be withstood, against a Government which, having turned out a Ministry who, at least, attempted to effect great public objects, did nothing whatever of good for the people—but having involved one portion of the empire in such dangerous agitation and excitement, that civil war seemed almost impending over us—at the very moment when decided action of some sort was called for, seemed struck with a fatal lethargy, and left the vessel of State to wander helplessly on, without rudder or compass, showing themselves as weak in office as they were factious in opposition.

Mr. Colquhoun

would, in the first instance refer to the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland, and he could but express his admiration of the eloquent and accurate history of the causes detailed by the noble Lord, which had contributed to the unprecedented increase in the population of Ireland, and some of the consequences which had flowed from this increase. He would instance the case of the Highlands of Scotland to show that great distress consequent on a rapid growth of population was not peculiar to Ireland. It was his opinion, therefore, that one of the causes which produced the evils under which Ireland was now labouring, was the rapidity with which the population had extended itself. The noble Lord, the Member for Sunderland, had further stated, that another difficulty under which Ireland laboured, was the want of capital, and the reason the noble Lord assigned for this was the want of due security. Now, he would just ask the House to consider what the condition of Ireland must be, when capital was so redundant in England, and capital. ists so enterprising, which prevented capital from flowing into it, though it was otherwise a part of the empire where there was every possible inducement for the employment of capital, where every facility existed for manufactures, and where the most advantageous field for trade courted the investment of capital? What was the reason? The reason had been correctly stated by a gentleman who stood aloof from party, who agreed in politics, not with him, but with the other side, who was a most unexceptionable testimony — Mr. Pierce Mahony, of Dublin, an eminent solicitor and an intelligent gentleman. This gentleman said:— He had in the course of his business again and again received applications to invest large amounts of capital in Ireland; but when the state of the country was brought under the notice of these parties seeking investments, they abandoned their intention. He knew one party who wished to invest no less a sum than 500,000l., but when the political agitation broke out in 1829, that gentleman gave up his intention. Now, he should very much like to hear some reason assigned for the fact of political agitation breaking out in Ireland the year after emancipation, which agitation was led by the same party, created in the same manner, and conducted by the same individual who headed the present agitation. It was impossible to devise any measure which would have the effect of tranquillizing Ireland, and of producing all the beneficial results which peace and good order would ensure, so long as political agitation was suffered to prevail to the extent which it now prevailed. If the House would permit him, he would bring under its notice some extracts from letters of respectable parties in Ireland, which letters he should be happy to place in the hands of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with the view of showing what was the real state of that country and the necessity for some change. He added his voice to what had been said on both sides of the House—that the condition of things, which had been shown to exist, and which these statements could confirm, ought not to he allowed to continue. It was absolutely necessary that some definite course should be taken by Government. It was indispensable that the peaceable part of the Irish nation should know whether the present agitation was to continue or cease. He would begin by reading to the House an extract of a letter from a magistrate near Tipperary:— I never recollect the alarm and excitement to be so great or so general amongst both Protestants and Roman Catholics. Some of the gentry about me are putting their houses into a state of defence to resist attack in case of the outbreak of the peasantry. Several families are leaving their homes. I, myself, have prevented my wife and family from leaving England to pass the summer here, as I do not consider that it would be safe for them to do so. We expect an insurrection, and the peasantry are full of hope and confidence of success. We know that England must ultimately conquer, but what is to become of ns in the meantime? Many of ns may be massacred, our houses burned, and our property seriously injured. The Romish priests are the most active and violent agitators. They never at any former period came forward so openly. In their speeches they tell the assembled multitudes that England has not the power to resist them. What is called passive resistance to the payment of rates, county cess, and rent, is becoming general here. 2. From a magistrate from the county of Tipperary:— On Friday, night, the 16th of June, we perceived signal fires blazing in all directions for several miles round, and could hear the people collected about them yelling and shouting in a most ferocious manner. They were heard to cry, Repeal or blood.' As we were before led to believe that these fires were to be the signal for a rising and attack upon us, we remained up and armed the greater part of the night. We are in a very unprotected state in this part of the country. 3. From Limerick:— There is an universal feeling of insecurity arising from the fact that the whole of the humbler classes are, through Repeal clubs, completely organized, so that the whole country is, as it were, covered with one huge train of gunpowder ready to explode on the slightest spark being applied. 4. From a magistrate and land agent:— I have lately taken a tour through the counties Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath, Kildare, Dublin, Meath, Cavan, King's and Queen's Counties, and Tipperary; Repeal is the universal theme. The great danger to be apprehended from the Repeal agitation is its military character, and the manner in which large masses of the people are marshalled and brought together, under the leadership of priests in the different parishes, with Repeal wardens as subordinate officers, each having its chapel, or, more properly, its military band, with wands, banners, &c. Paraded and marshalled in this way, they march in pretty good military order to a central place of rendezvous for the purpose of holding meetings for the Repeal of the Union; and, in many instances, under pretence of promoting the temperance movement. Thus, in a few hours, a large army can be collected by a notice from the Repeal Association in Dnblin—a much larger army, in fact, than could be collected under the military authorities of the country. Some steps should he taken to prevent such masses of men from collecting together. 5. From a magistrate of Westmeath:— My conviction is that the outbreak will be local and partial, but that there will he one I can have no doubt. Collectors have been appointed to raise subscriptions, They go from house to house; they ask for 1s. from every adult. If refused, they say, Then yon are no Repealer,' and I hear that on the following Sunday the defaulter is proclaimed by the priest from the altar. 6. From Waterford:— The display of these organised bodies. coupled with the inflammatory speeches of the agitators, and the power of the priests, have inflamed the minds of the lower orders of the people to such a degree that they are satisfied some great crisis is at hand. Many persons of rather a higher class, small farmers, are thus induced to join the movement, in order to prevent their being marked men; and although the great majority of respectable Roman Catholics have kept aloof, yet, unless protection be afforded by the suppression of these illegal meetings, I fear greatly that not only Roman Catholics but also Conservatives, will, for their protection, be obliged to join. 7. From a magistrate of Galway:— A general feeling of insecurity has arisen amongst the Loyalists who reside in remote districts, where they are surrounded by vast bodies of Repeaters; and I have heard instances of persons in such situations, small tradesmens, carpenters, &c., who have received sums of money from their employers, and who have requested them to take it back and keep it for them till better times, knowing that they would be the first to suffer from pillage in case of an outbreak. 8. From a magistrate of the county of Sligo:— The Protestants of this county have, in a great measure, lost their confidence, and among the lower orders a wish to emigrate is, I think, increasing. 9. From Westmeath:— The names of those who refuse to subscribe to the Repeal rent are given in to the priest, who proclaims and denounces them from the altar. One Roman Catholic gentleman, a magistrate, has been held up in this way, and everything done to insult him and make his life miserable. Such was a picture of the present condition of Ireland. The hon. Member for Drogheda had told the House that he had never known agitation so general and deep as that which now prevailed, and which had so completely taken hold of the hearts of the people. How was it possible to expect, while this dangerous state of things lasted, that persons would be inclined to vest their capital in undertakings in Ireland? How was it possible to expect commercial enterprise, when men were flying from their homes, actuated by apprehensions, and not unreasonable apprehensions, of the results of political agitation. Gentlemen were leaving their homes—the peasantry were resolving upon emigration. How could they expect in a country so disturbed, and where person and property were so insecure, that capital, which both sides admitted was needed, but which was sensitive of disorder and shrunk front the slightest appearance of hazard, would be attracted from this country to improve the lands and to foster and extend manufactures? Any kind of system, any plan or policy would be better than a system which left the country in so convulsed and alarming a state as to inspire terror in the higher and lower classes, and to drive them away into other lands. He was bound to say, he did not think it was the duty of Government, who had, doubly taken the subject into their serious consideration, to refrain from stating the determination they had come to—whether agitation was to be repressed, and repressed by coercion or by conciliation. But whatever course was incumbent on them, at least Members of the House of Commons, as honest men, seeking the security and stability of the empire, were entitled to call on the Government to indicate the course by which they meant to put down that formidable state of things. The hon. Member for Lambeth had said, that they must either adopt a course of conciliation or coercion. [Hear] He understood the hon. Member to say, that they should take a course either of coercion or conciliation, and his hon. Friend had pointed out, a very strong indication, in a leading journal, of what might be called the spirit of the Times—that course being one of coercion; but he (Mr. Colquhoun) was not prepared to say that either course was necessary. If he rightly apprehended the remark of the hon. and learned Attorney-general for Ireland, these meetings were in his opinion not illegal; but with every respect for the Attorney-general's dictum, he would call the attention of the House to a memorable debate, in which strong opinions on both sides were expressed by legal Gentlemen, and among them by a lawyer who had filled the highest official situation under the Crown in Ireland, he meant Lord Plunkett, whose authority was of the weightiest character. Lord Plunkett was, on that occasion, corroborated by every constitutional lawyer in the House; and what had he said? Speaking of the right of petitioning, which he laid down in the broadest and boldest terms, as the inherent right of every freeman, he said:— He had no hesitation in asserting that any assemblies of the people, held under such circumstances as to excite in the minds of the King's peaceable and loyal subjects reasonable grounds of alarm, in this respect were illegal assemblies, and liable to be dispersed as such. a *** A vulgar notion may have prevailed that if the avowed and immediate purpose of such meetings were not illegal, or if they had not arms in their hands, or if no force was actually used, or immediately threatened, the assembly was legal; no opinion could he more unfounded, and he did not fear contradiction from any constitutional lawyer, when he asserted that any assembly of the people, whether armed or unarmed, whether using or threatening to use force, or not doing so, and whether the avowed object was legal or illegal if held in such numbers, or with such language, or emblems, or deportment, as to create well-grounded terror in the King's liege subjects for their lives, their persons, or their property, was an illegal assembly and might be dispersed as such. And then he summed up as if with that spirit of prophecy which able and eloquent men frequently speak with, and by which in describing actual scenes they prefigure future events:— If bodies of the people were entitled to assemble, not in thousands, but in tens of thousands, to march with banners displayed, in military array, into the hearts of populous cities, and if the laws were not competent to assure the people of this country against the panic and dismay excited by such proceedings there was an end to the constitution. Now, he appealed to those who had read the accounts in the newspapers, whether the agitators in Ireland had not their 10,000, and even their 500,000 assembled together, creating terror among all classes of the Queen's subjects? He appealed to the House, seeing those things, whether it were not high time, that the common and ordinary powers of the law, if there were any such, as had been said by Lord Plunkett, should not be put in force to terminate such dangerous proceedings. He, for one, following the advice and adopting the frank declaration of the noble Lord, the Member for London, on a former occasion, and the statement of the hon. and learned Attorney-general for Ireland on the previous night—he for one was prepared to say, that the House would desert its most paramount duty if it did not in the face of any obloquy, assure the Government (at least those who placed confidence in it, and his confidence was deep and sincere) that they were prepared to supply any powers that might be necessary to terminate such proceedings, which, were so fatal to the tranquillity of the country, and so subversive of all order. [Hear.] Hon. Members objected to this view. He hoped they would allow him to state his opinions as frankly and freely as he was at all times prepared to concede that privilege to others. What he stated might not, perhaps, be palatable to them or to the Government, but believing that to be the necessary consequence of such a state of things, he should as soon expect Government to allow Chartist organized assemblages to march over England, putting a stop to industry, destroying manufactures, and ruining trade, as to see those things that were now proceeding in Ireland, permitted with impunity. He trusted British liberty was to be maintained, and that organised assemblages, fatal, as the right hon. the Secretary of State for the Home Department had said, to the peace of the country, would not be allowed to continue, endangering the peace of the country, and subverting the security of life and property in Ireland. Br. O'Connell had recently pointed out the sympathy that had been expressed towards Ireland by America and other countries. He confessed that his apprehensions did not turn that way—they pointed to home—they pointed to the state of England and the condition of the manufacturing classes. Every man who knew anything of the state of those parts of the country knew that they were walking on a volcano: — Incedis per ignes suppositos cineri doloso. That did not arise from any fault of the Government, but from the peculiar condition of the country—from its growing population —from the decline of its manufactures and the demoralised state of its manufacturing and labouring population, which had been so well depicted by the noble Lord the Member for Dorsetshire. If that were so, was it wise or well to hold out to those parties that these organised assemblies, of enormous amount and formidable display, which an able and unscrupulous man might use, might meet to throw out the most desperate menaces against all their institutions,—was it wise to tell them that the Government was paralysed, and that no proceedings were to be taken to restore peace? He, for one, could riot advise such a course. The I hon. Member for Sheffield, in his usual straightforward manner, had recommended their dealing with the ecclesiastical wealth of Ireland; but he would say that if there was a remedy, it was to be found far more in improving the social condition of the people—it was to be found in whatever would promote industry and diffuse capital I through the country—whatever would induce the landlords to reside at home and invest money in the cultivation of their lands—and, above all, whatever would induce the manufacturer, who was at present confined to the north of Ireland, to transfer his wealth and industry to the south. What would do that? The hon. Member for Lambeth had told them the remark made by the peasantry to a Roman Catholic priest of the Queen's County. They said, "You have given us emancipation, but what good has that done us?" And did hon. Members think that an alteration of the ecclesiastical revenues of the Irish Church would produce greater results than Emancipation? The Act of Emancipation had been passed, but, so far as the peasantry were concerned, as appeared by their own testimony, to them it was utterly valueless. What they wanted was clothing and food, and they could not have these without employment. There could be no employment without capital; there could be no capital without security; therefore, his first demand was for security, that peace should be preserved, and capital protected. He had lately seen in the journals of the day, that a noble Marquess opposed to the present Government, had proposed to invest capital in improving his estate in Queen's County, and to introduce a new system of draining; but the noble Lord's agent had been obliged to forego his plans, in consequence of the menaces of the peasantry; and the Scotchman who had been employed had stated that no consideration on earth should induce him to remain in that country. Now would it be said that the substitution of one set of clergymen for another would be a remedy for this state of things? In his opinion, and in that he was supported by a distinguished Roman Catholic barrister, the remedy was to be found in the firm and temperate but inflexible administration of the law. By taking care that the law should punish crime, and that the law of the land should have more power than the law of agrarian combination, which was at present more dreaded than the law, striking down the landlord in his demesne, and the capitalist in his investment — whether that was effected by an alteration of the Jury-law or by any other means, that formidable agrarian combination, as had been said by Mr. Howley, the assistant-barrister of Tipperary, must be put down. One hon. Gentleman had advised the putting the two Churches upon an equality, while the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland had proposed to divide the property of the Church between both. Another hon. Member, said, give the property in the proportion of seven-eighths to one Church, and one-eighth to the other. The object of all these plans was to establish what the hon. and learned Member for Bath called a golden link between the Roman Catholic clergy and the State, which would make them the ministers of order instead of being, as of late, the leaders of every popular movement. It had been stated in the course of the debate, that the revenues of the Established Church in Ireland were about 400,000l. or 500,000l. What then was the revenue actually drawn by the Roman Catholic clergy in, Ireland? They had had some indication of that from the statement made by an hon. Member opposite that there were at least 3,000 Roman Catholic priests in Ireland, and they had the unexceptionable evidence of Dr. Doyle, a man of the greatest experience and talent, who told, them in his evidence before a committee of the House of Lords, that each clergyman of his Church drew about 300l. per annum. [An hon. Member: " He meant the parish priests, not the curates.] It might be so; we have then to take the proportion which the parish priests bore to the curates. [An hon. Member: " About 1,000."] In a publication of the diocesan statutes of the province of Leinster by Archbishop Murray, it was stated that the dues exacted by the priests from the people were ten in number, the lowest in amount being 2s. 6d. annually. Now two of these dues from 1,200,000 families would amount to 180,000l., and if anything like a fair calculation of the remainder was made (for he had taken the lowest amount), some of them being as high as 40s., he did not think they could estimate the revenues of the Roman Catholic clergy at less than from 600,000l. to 800,000l. per annum. What, then, did they propose in the plans which had been brought forward? They proposed to give the Catholic priests, possessing incomes of 300l. per annum, one-half of the sum which was possessed as income by the clergy of the Established Church, or 75l. a-piece, and they expected that for that sum of 75l. per annum, they would give up the dues, which produced an income four times the amount. Did the Roman Catholic clergy in France surrender their dues? Not at all. They returned them. But if the dues were not abandoned, then look at the position in which they placed themselves—they offered a salary to detach the priests from the people and attach them to the state, and that salary was so paltry in amount that they remained as dependant on the people as before. The priest would naturally say, "We have 800l. per annum from the people, and do you expect us to forego for 75l. per annum the course of action which we believe the people approve of?" The hon. Member for Kildare bad plainly told them that the Catholic clergy were dragged after the people and obliged to go with them; and if they proposed as a measure of State policy to pay the Catholic clergy in order to detach them from the people and attach them to the state, was there ever anything so preposterous as to offer them a sum less than one-fourth of that which they obtained from these dues. he did not know whether the object of the noble Lord (Lord J. Manners), who had addressed the House on the subject a few nights previously, and had proposed to obtain a concordat, was to place the Roman Catholic clergy under the control of the State by a compact with the Papal See. In the dicussions on the Scotch Church in that House the question had been fairly raised, whether the clergy were to be paid by public funds, without any control being exercised over them by the State? The House had declared, that they never would consent to endow any body of clergymen without having over the Church an effective civil control; and yet they were asked to give to the Roman Catholic clergy, what no country in Europe had up to this time ever permitted, an endowment without any security whatever for their subjection to the control of the State, a project which they had characterised in the case of the Scotch Church as utterly extravagant. But on the other hand, if they attempted a bargain with the Catholic clergy to exercise a control over their Church, then came the remarkable warning of the hon. Member for Kildare, that they would not permit such terms, and that on such a ground, there could be no hope of an agreement. Part of these propositions was, to allow the present holders of Church livings, where the congregations were small, to drop off without supplying their places, and thereby to deprive Ireland of a body of men as distinguished for their benevolence and attention to the physical wants of the people as for the purity and excellence of their lives. Such a proposition had been condemned by every statesman, nut excepting the noble Lord the Member for London, and a noble Marquess in the other House (Marquess of Lansdowne); and he fully agreed with these and other statesmen who had spoken upon this subject, that to withdraw a body of men who had been the means of effecting so much good for Ireland would be fraught with the greatest evil and disaster to that. country. He begged pardon for having detained the House so long, hut he had one word more to add. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department had called on the House to support the Government on this occasion. Most unquestionably he should give his cordial and decided opposition to the motion, from a strong confidence that the Government were about to indicate the course they intended to pursue, a course which he hoped would terminate a state of things which no one could look upon without dismay. In that reliance upon the Government, believing that they would not listen to the advice of hon. Members opposite — advice which had been freely offered, but which he believed would lead to the most sinister results if adopted, and ultimately to the severance of the two countries, he should oppose the motion of the bon. Member for Limerick. He hoped that while the Government studied to promote the advantage of the people of Ireland, by such a system as would secure the introduction of capital into that country, by improvements in the tenure of land, and by other measures of a beneficial tendency, the present organised resistance to the law would be put down: repressed by the existing law, if adequate, if inadequate, by further powers which, he had no doubt, the House would grant, when con. evinced of their necessity; and that thus while practical remedies were applied to practical evils, to those who menaced the constitution and assailed the public peace, that House would offer a firm and inflexible resistance.

Mr. Sharman Crawford

complained that none of the recommendations of the various committees and commissions which had been appointed, and of which the reports were on the Table of the House, had been alluded to. Not one remedy for the many evils which those reports pointed out bad been applied. Certainly, a general measure for drainage had been introduced, but that was very inadequate. Nothing had been done to give employment to the people. Nothing had been done to promote agricultural schools; every thing who which had been recommended was neglected. Again, the relation between landlord and tenant in Ireland, totally different from the same relation in England, was allowed to remain unaltered. It led to numerous ejectments, and lie believed as many as seventy thousand had taken place in the course of a year. That was one of the greet sources of the disturbances in Ireland, and it was impossible there could be any permanent tranquillity till that was remedied. The same relation led to the consolidation of farms. He did not say whether large or small farms were good, but be contended that the consolidation of farms at present led to enormous evils in Ireland. In Ireland the landlord put up no buildings on the farms; he made no improvements on the land; he left it all to the tenant; and when the tenant's lease was at an end, the landlord got all the improvements. He contended that the landlord should make the tenant a compensation for every improvement he made on the land. All these circumstances must be corrected before Ireland could be restored to peace. There was no country in the world more susceptible of improvement. He asked why should they send the people abroad to cultivate other countries when there was yet much land to be cultivated in Ireland? He objected to emigration while there was land to be improved at home. There was a material difference between the powers of ejectment in this country and in Ireland. An ejectment, could, in Ireland, be enforced by a civil bill decree. There was then the important question of the Union introduced into this debate. He was a supporter of the Union; but the system of legislation must be our establishing perfect equality of rights. On that ground he supported the Union. His allegiance to it, however, was conditional; and the condition was, that it should be upheld by equal rights. The connection could, he believed, be maintained by the Imperial Government. If however, the Parliament did not give satisfaction, the connexion could be better maintained without than with a Parliament that did not give satisfaction. If legislation 'were not based upon equal rights, then separate legislation would be better than the Union. If the Irish were unjustly treated, they would not basely submit to it. He hoped this Parliament would let the people of Ireland feel that there was the disposition to redress their grievances, and if the Irish were once convinced of that, notwithstanding the agitation that now prevailed, they would prove themselves that which they were most disposed to be, the devoted friends of England, and the loyal subjects of the British Crown.

Br. Bateson:

As an Irishman who had resided in that country, and had taken some pains to make himself acquainted with its wants, wished to make a few observations on the present subject of debate. It was almost unnecessary to say, he should vote against the motion of the hon. Member for Limerick, because he conceived that no reasonable person could imagine that any benefit, or even any practical result could be obtained if that motion were to be carried. And first, he thanked the right lion. the Secretary for the Home Department for his manly, honest, and straightforward statement the other night, that the Government were determined to maintain the Irish church in all its integrity. It would be most amusing, if the subject were not of too grave and deep importance to admit of anything like levity, to listen to the speeches of Gentlemen who have never been in Ireland, or if they have set foot in it, have only had the time and only taken the trouble, to examine it, though the windows of one of Mr. Puroell. Mr. Croal's coaches, who have acquired their ideas of the feelings of the people and their list of grievances, probably from some car-driver, too glad to amuse himself by gulling the simple Saxon. It would be most amusing, if the impressions made by them were not often dangerous, to hear such Gentlemen speak as if they were not only competent to prescribe for Ireland but licensed also to denounce particular classes, and particular establishments in that country, which their ignorance or their prejudices induce them to regard with an evil eye. And with respect to some speeches on his side of the House, he thought, those who delivered them must have had a most immoderate appetite for blarney, considering the quantity they must have swallowed before making those statements. But he must particularly express his astonishment at the extraordinary speech of the gallant Member for Westminster, (Captain Rous), who, returned to Parliament as a Conservative, had, however, now declaimed against the established church, as the great grievance of Ireland, and had unwarrantably denounced Protestants and Presbyterians as bigoted and intolerant, and as "bullying" their fellow-countrymen. If he, a young Member, might give advice to an older man, he would recommend the gallant Officer not to allow his indignation to be at the command of every one who had a pitiable tale to tell—but to enquire first whether there were any foundation for the story. And as it seemed that the gallant Member had changed his political opinions since the general election; he would advise him to follow the example of his predecessor Sir Francis Burdett, some years ago, who in a similar ease, most honourably and manfully resigned his trust to his constituents, and called upon them again for their suffrages. The hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Ward) had made a most unjust attack upon Irish landlords, including, therefore, resident landlords, and had stated, that, according to Lord Clare, sixty years ago, "the peasantry were ground as in a mortar; "and that this state of things still continued. He was happy to give a most unqualified contradiction to that statement. In the north of Ireland the Roman Catholic as well as the Protestant tenantry placed full confidence in their landlords, and were always disposed to co-operate with them in improving the country, and in promoting tranquillity. He could state, for example, that at a meeting which was attempted to be got up at Toome, on the borders of Derry, on the 25th June, scarcely a Roman Catholic tenant of the three neighbouring estates in the county Derry attended, knowing that the meeting took place contrary to the wish of their landlords, and that it was injurious to the public peace; and he was sure, that, notwithstanding the present excitement, this good understanding between landlords and the Protestant and Roman Catholic tenantry would continue. The hon. Member for Rochdale said, that while the present system of government continued, there could be no peace and tranquillity in Ireland. He would answer that by stating, that, in a letter just received by him, he was informed there was but one prisoner in Derry gaol for trial at the approaching assizes! As regarded fixity of tenure as a panacea for Ireland, he believed that in no other country had the tenant such a fixed interest in the land as in the North of Ireland. He could not sanction legislative interference with private contracts of property, as it would establish' a dangerous precedent. It was not by legislative enactment, but by public opinion, that this evil was to be remedied, if landlords had not the common sense to understand their own interests, and if they were not actuated by common justice—but he was convinced they were. He distinctly stated, it was not the church, it was not landlordism, or, as a French writer, M. De Beaumont, called it, the lauded aristocracy, which was the curse of Ireland. No; it was not landlordism, but a want of landlordism. The two great evils were absenteeism and agitation; and, unfortunately, these acted and re-acted one upon the other—mutually increasing one another and augmenting the evil—for in each of them might be observed both the cause and the effect of the present misfortunes of Ireland. Let agitation cease, and let there be security for life and property, and proprietors would reside, and capital must enter the country. Again, make proprietors reside, and agitation must diminish. [An hon. Member: " How."] By taxing them. If they resided, and set a good example in the country they must acquire an influence over the people; for in no country perhaps, did the people look up to their superiors more than in Ireland, in some places with almost feudal feelings; and, as the influence of the landlords increased, so would that of the selfish agitators pro-portionably diminish. The Irish people were most easy to be led—a little kindness, a little sympathy for their misfortunes, was the best passport to their affections, [cries of "Hear, hear," from the Opposition.]—yes, he knew hon. Members opposite were aware of it, and, therefore, they had invented for the Irish wrongs, they had imagined grievances, and having promised to redress them, took advantage of their generous, and excited feelings to further their own party purposes. He repeated they were a most manageable people, for it was from their being so easily managed, so easily led, that Ireland was now in this state of "smothered war." From this cause we required an arms bill, lest the populace should be drilled into a violation of the law, and should obey the dangerous commands of their leaders. Absenteeism, then, was the great evil, and residence was the remedy. In all ages, and in every nation, the populace have had their leaders. Man had an innate consciousness of his own weakness—he required protection—he longed for some one on whom he could depend for support: and would not then a poor people, destitute often of the necessaries of life, look around for some one to relieve their wants? They were in distress and required assistance—in sorrow and desired consolation—in sickness, and they have need of relief. Who, then, was there to administer to their necessities? Take the south of Ireland—where was the proprietor of the soil? Probably he was an absentee, and was squandering their hard-earned gainings in selfish luxury in another land, having, perhaps, never seen those whom it is his bounden duty to protect. Their priest—yes, he was at the bed-side, doing his duty, administering to them the consolations of religion, fearless of pestilence, regardless of the dangers of infection. Was it then, wonderful, when this minister of their religion, holding, as they supposed, the keys of Heaven—when this friend issued his summons, that the generous warm-hearted peasant, bound to him not only by religion, but by the strong ties of gratitude, comes forth prepared to place in him entire confidence, and implicitly to obey his commands, whether for good or for evil. No; but it was wonderful, that, with such intense faith in his leaders, believing everything, imagining he is wronged, grievously treated, labouring under this intense delusion, hoping everything, and fearing nothing—convinced that he, "hereditary bondsman," as he is told he is—has only to strike, to be freed from his fetters—only to strike to live from thenceforward in possession of lands and power, was it not wonderful, he repeated, with these mighty temptations, power, wealth, revenge—with these almost irresistible bribes—that he masters his passions, and abstains from striking the blow? Were they not then a manageable people? And might they not be led to good as well as to evil? What, then, was required? Simply and solely, good example and good advice; but good advice administered only by those in whom they could place confidence—by those who proved by acts that the interests of both were identical. Capital, then, was but a secondary consideration. Residence was the first, the great thing needful, and having obtained that, capital must flow in. Every one had admitted that the state of Ireland was truly alarming—that the evil was extreme, and that a remedy was necessary. If, then, absenteeism was the root of that evil, absenteeism must be checked even by extreme and harsh measures if necessary. An extraordinary evil required an extraordinary remedy. The property, then, of absentees must be taxed, heavily taxed if necessary, until they were forced to appear in the country; and the proceeds of that tax should be employed in employing the people in public improvements. if in this alarming crisis he might advise absentee proprietors, he would say to them, "you must reside even for the sake of retaining your present rents. Place yourselves at the head of your tenantry in your proper position. Show them you take an interest in their welfare, not the selfish interest only of increasing your rental, which may be the reason why some improve their estates; and the people, these now misguided and deluded multitudes, will place confidence in you, and this mischievous agitation, and these agrarian outrages will gradually die away. But if they would not make this necessary sacrifice, if to the wealthy and the great it be a sacrifice to make themselves acquainted with the wants, the wishes and feelings of their countrymen, to take the trouble of encouraging the peaceful and the industrious, and of repressing turbulence and agitation; if, then, they were so infatuated as not to make this necessary sacrifice of ease and comforts—if they had not the moral, and the physical courage necessary to meet the danger, and destroy the evil at its root —then, he believed, the salvation of Ireland and the future happiness and glory of England were in jeopardy and peril."

Mr. Ross

would endeavour to state what were the main causes of the afflictions of Ireland, and to seek for the remedies that he thought would be applicable and efficacious in their cure. No one could well deny that discontent existed in Ireland; and no one he believed could be disposed to affirm that discontent was a vice inherent in the minds of the Irish people. If any fault could be found with them, it was they were too ductile, too submissive to station, too deferential to authority, too ready to throw themselves into the arms of any one who professed to be a friend. No people could be more easily governed, if those in whose hands their destiny was placed manifested the desire to treat them with kindness, and exhibited the determination to do them justice. This experiment, however, had not yet been tried; one Government had gone on after another in the same beaten track, and their only means of ruling the country was that of coercion. Why not adopt an opposite policy? Why not do that which would alter the position of the people of Ireland, as compared to that of the people of this country? Any one who looked attentively at the state of Ireland, must see that its evils were of a social, religious, and political character. He thought, then, that those were in error who merely took up one class of the particular evils that afflicted Ireland, and who supposed that by the correcting these evils merely, he could restore Ireland to that state of tranquillity which it had enjoyed a little while ago. His countrymen were hopeful of good where the smallest sympathy was shown towards them—they were tranquil, they were content, when they believed that something would be done to relieve their distress. With respect to the Tory party, it had long been their policy to conjure up phantoms in order to terrify the misguided men who followed in their ranks. It had been endeavoured to counteract the prejudices thus excited by devising a system of education in which the children of both sects should equally participate. But this did not suit the views of those who agitated these prejudices, and in consequence of their resistance this most useful measure, which under other circumstances might have been the means of doing away with the elements of social disorder which had so long existed in Ireland, and, in his opinion, would in the course of ten years have removed the line of demarcation between the two antagonist sects in that country, proved a lamentable failure. With respect to the relation existing between landlord and tenant in Ireland, he believed that the influence derived from that relationship had been very much perverted before the abolition of the 40s. freeholders. Land-owners endeavoured to subdivide their farms to the utmost for the purpose of political influence; and now that that franchise was abolished, the same parties were as eager in their desire to throw their lands into large holdings. Under the former system the tenants were, in time of elections, often treated absolutely as sheep. He knew, for instance, a case where a landowner, debated whether to keep his tenants in the goal or in the parish pound until the hour of election, and he eventually decided on the latter. Now their services in a political way being no longer required, these unhappy men were turned away from their lands in the most cruel manner, their landlords allowing them what, perhaps, was sufficient to satisfy their consciences —a twelvemonths' rent, and then leaving them to shift for themselves. Was it astonishing that any agitator should go amongst a people thus treated, and be able to excite them to call for any changes which they could be made to believe likely to conduce to their advantage? The country was anything but rich. Beginning from the gentry, and going downwards, he believed that the majority of every class were in an embarrassed condition, and this circumstance naturally aggravated the oppression with which the tenantry were visited. He thought that if any means were adopted for procuring employment for labourers thrown out of their holdings, it would prove of immediate advantage to the estates of these gentlemen, and that the latter would exert themselves still further to increase the comforts of the people connected with their estates. He believed that there were undoubted proofs that a conspiracy bad long existed amongst the landlords of Ireland gradually to extinguish the franchise; and he should be very glad if her Majesty's Government would consider of something in the nature of what the hon. Member for Waterford had proposed with regard to the grand jury system. With regard to the Church establishment, he must say, that weighing the evil of it against the good which it effected, he thought that the evil preponderated. Looking at all the struggles and heart-burnings attendant upon the continuance of this institution, he must say that he thought it would be better that it should be adopted as a principle, that everybody should confine his instructions to people of his own creed. The right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department had spoken of a compact having taken place at the time of the Union, by which any legislation to alter the Church Establishment, or to effect a redistribution of its funds, should be interdicted. But he must say that if the views of those then in power was that they should be secured for ever in the enjoyment of certain privileges, upon consideration of sacrificing the liberties of their fellow-subjects, he thought that such views were most erroneous, and that a compact based upon such considerations should not be considered binding upon posterity. The time was now come when things should stand or fall by their merits, and that no national establishment should stand unless it could be shown that it existed for the national good, and that it was dear to the hearts of the people. Of other social considerations, he considered it highly important that the administration to whom the affairs of the people were confided should enjoy that people's confidence and esteem. The present administration was most unfortunate in this respect, not, perhaps, so much on account absolutely of the Members of the Government, as of their supporters. The people of Ireland were strongly impressed with the feeling that Toryism was a principle hostile to their interest, and he must say, that some of the acts of the present Government had shown something like a confirmation of that impression. Such, for example, was the unfair conduct of an agent of the Government, who, when a search for arms was made, retained all the arms which belonged to Catholics, and returned those which belonged to Protestants; and such also was the late mail coach. contract which had been most unfairly conducted. There had been two;sorts of remedies proposed for the discon- tent which prevailed in Ireland; the first was a Repeal of the Union; the second, a reformation of existing abuses. He considered that the Repeal of the Union, whatever other arguments might be urged against it, was not a practicable scheme. But even if it were practicable, he did not know that he could assent to it. He believed that two countries, having several co-ordinate legislatures, but one supreme head, could not go on for many years. He would beg to remind the lion. Gentleman who had moved this resolution, that his grandfather, in the Irish House of Commons, got up and proposed that, in consequence of the injuries resulting to the Irish people from the operation of the Methuen treaty, an humble address be presented to the Crown, praying it to go to war with Portugal on account of Ireland, and giving, at the same time, the promise that they would provide the means of carrying on that war; and that this motion was carried amidst the loudest acclamations. If such things as this were likely to occur, what should hinder the Irish from being friends with America or Spain, at the same time that England was at war with either of those governments. He could not, therefore, conceive that, under any circumstances, the two countries could go on in peace and harmony if the Legislature of the Union were severed. With respect to the other remedy for the existing distress, he thought that some means to remedy the abuses complained of were imperatively called for, and that, if they were not timely provided, the country might be driven into all the horrors of civil war—a calamity which he would rather be in his grave than live to witness. He believed the Government might overcome all the difficulties which they now had to contend with, if they had a mind to do so. He believed also, that the English people were beginning to awaken to the great emergency which existed in this department, and to the rightful nature of the demand made by the Irish people. He believed that the most sincere sympathy existed in England and Scotland for the Irish nation; and he found confirmation of this opinion in the loud and hearty applause which was given to Mr. Cobden some days ago on Penenden-heath, when he spoke of Ireland; and in the speeches of hon. Gentlemen, not only on this side of the House, but the other also, when many hon. Gentlemen had done them- selves honour by the generous sentiments they had avowed. He believed that the time was not far distant, when a sincere and strenuous effort would be made to remedy the grievances of Ireland; and if the House of Commons were not prompted to undertake the task by their own generous emotions, their interests might and ought to prompt them to do the Irish justice.

Mr. M. Manes

could not but congratulate the House and the country, and especially the people of Ireland, upon the quiet tone in which the present debate had been conducted. After hearing the manner in which the various Members on both sides had spoke of this subject, he should say, that if any man in or out of this House, should say that the interests of that country were not regarded in this House with the deepest interest; that the affairs of Ireland were not attended to in this House; that, in fact, their affairs were not the great cardinal point of all their debates; that man either misunderstood their feelings, or wilfully misrepresented them. Nor did he think the time unfit when this motion was brought forward. For when the affairs of Ireland were in that state that men of all parties asked of a morning, "What news from Ireland?" why should not they discuss" what news there was for Ireland? For his own part, he thought that the present relative position of England and Ireland was very important and imminent. He would not take upon himself to say, that the disturbances now going on in Ireland might not subside of themselves—that the passive resistance of the Government might not prove successful; but the event itself, and the probable recurrence of such a state of things were, in his opinion, sufficient to call upon her Majesty's Ministers to do something to prevent a repetition of such occurrences. The question agitated in Ireland was the repeal of the Union—in this House it was the grievances of Ireland. There was a connection between these, but not of so close a nature as some seemed to imagine. He did not think that any immediate remedy which Government could bring forward could so captivate the imaginations and please the Irish people as to disabuse them of the fatal error that a repeal of the Union would be advantageous to them; and lie hoped that it would go forth to the people of Ireland, that as yet, during these de- bates, not one man has risen to speak one word in favour of a Repeal of the Union. He did not regard the Union as a mere simple contract. There was no such thing as making contracts with nations. They could break them like so many whisps of straw. The Union existed upon no such simple contract. It rested upon the broad 'basis of the common sense and the mutual interests of the two countries. They could not, for their own safety, permit the independent existence of Ireland They must remember that to Ireland was to have gone the Spanish Armada—that to Ireland went James 2nd—and there too went the French revolutionary army. Remembering these things, they could not allow an independent political existence to Ireland, and they felt that it would be a most injurious and fatal measure to that country itself were its relations with England to be discontinued. But after all, so far from Ireland becoming independent, if the Repeal should be carried, she would, in fact, become more dependent than ever. All that Repeal would do, would be to place contending factions and adverse parties face to face, and hand to hand, without the power of English public opinion and common sense to interfere between them. Let them, however, in considering this subject have no more exhibitions of party feeling. Let them have no more allusion to appropriation clauses on the one side, or to registration bills upon the other. He thought that in discussing this subject it was most foolish not to see the enormous difficulties to which any Government must be exposed in grappling with it. In the excellent and statesman-like speech, delivered last night by the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland, the noble Lord seemed to him to have left out of his argument all allusion to two classes, whose interests and feelings he should have consulted, the Protestant landlords and the Protestant people of Ireland. They could not attempt practically to remedy the evils of Ireland without referring to those subjects. The Protestant feeling was the great difficulty which Government had to deal with; there was no use in blinking the matter. England had established a Protestant ascendancy in Ireland—she had gifted it with the property of the country—she had fostered it and nurtured it into superiority to the co-existing Church, and now they could not turn upon the establishment at once and say, "We will treat you as if you were never there at all." Remembering, too, that the No Popery feeling in this country was not merely a religious feeling, but one connected with and supported by traditions existing since the Revolution of I688—traditions which caused the memory of old persecutions still to rankle in men's minds; remembering all this, he did say, that a Government, having to deal with all these feelings and sympathies, was in one of the most difficult positions in which it was possible for a Government to be placed. He believed that these feelings were somewhat abated. But they must be allowed to subside. Let it not be said that they could be put down at once. It was not fair for the noble Lord to call upon a Government to do what—if they should do—their tenure of office would not be worth a week's purchase. Feeling deeply the grievances of Ireland, he could not listen with patience to constant and reiterated allusions to those grievances, and to old historical facts, which it would be the best and wisest course to bury in oblivion. They heard it continually repeated, that England had conquered Ireland. But did not the history of England begin with her conquest. Conquest was the mother of civilization all the world over. The ground of complaint should not be that England conquered Ireland, but that she did not improve the conquest. But they could not always go on conquering. They now stood in such a relation to Ireland, that civil war was possible—barely possible. At this moment Mr. O'Connell was the guardian of the peace of Ireland. If he chose they might have civil war to-morrow. Now, it had been said, and evidently strongly felt, that Government should not have permitted this state of things to come about. He did not share in that opinion. He approved of the prudence of the conduct of the Government in this matter. He thought that Government had done right in saying as clearly as deeds could say, if bloodshed did ensue, that that blood rested solely upon you. As to the dismissal of magistrates, he thought that more had been said upon that matter than its importance warranted. It might or it might not have been a prudent line of policy. If it was imprudent, it was so in this sense—that it might have had the effect of alienating from the Government some very particularly sus- ceptible people. But the real statesmanlike meaning of the whole was nothing more than that it was the strongest form of civil reprobation in which Government could express its opinions as to the conduct of the dismissed magistrates in joining the repeal agitation. He would now offer a very humble suggestion to the Government, with reference to their future policy towards Ireland. He had said upon a previous occasion, that he did think that Government had sufficiently regarded the religious feelings of the people of Ireland. He agreed with the noble Lord who had spoken last night that it would have been the highest and best statesmanship to have made the priesthood of Ireland their mediatorial governors. He did not say that that object could now be gained; but at all events, the Government could do this much: they had it in their power to give proper and adequate payment to the Roman Catholie clergymen of Ireland, and he earnestly wished this to be done, defending himself however from the notion that by paying the priesthood they would diminish their power and influence, or that they would be willing to avail themselves of Government aid. It did strike him on reviewing the grievances of Ireland as the only one particular grievance which came home to Roman Catholic Irishmen. —that they believed that indirectly they were supporting the Protestant Church at the same time that they were supporting the ministers of their own religion. The notion of paying the Roman Catholic clergy was not a new one. A resolution for their payment had passed the House of Commons, and it wss only from the unexpected opposition of Lord Eldon and Lord Liverpool that it was prevented from passing the House of Lords and becoming law. Upon that occasion Mr. Peel expressed himself against the measure; he said, it would he in direct hostility to the spirit of the Revolution to select any religion distinct from the Protestant Church as by law established for a permanent provision and settlement. But the same authority had stated that he would not object to the measure, provided the House would remove the disabilities under which Catholics then laboured. These disabilities had been removed, and, therefore, the objection of the right hon. Gentleman to the principle so far fell to the ground. Besides, they had already admitted the principle by endowing Maynooth. But it was asserted that the Roman Catholic clergymen would not receive a state provision. He would tell the House an anecdote upon the point, of a dialogue between an English minister and a Roman Catholic prelate. The minister asked the prelate whether the Roman Catholic clergy would take a provision from the English Government. The reply was, "It is my belief that no one archbishop, bishop, or priest would consent to take such a provision from the English Government." "Then," said the minister, but if a grant was actually made, it' the money lay at the banker's, if it was a mere question of signing a check payable at sight?" "Then," pursued the prelate, "in that case not an archbishop, bishop, or priest in Ireland would dare to refuse it." Yes, in that case, they could not, and would not press further upon their flocks for maintenance. He thought that the present state of confusion in Ireland would help Government to carry into effect some such proposition as this. If they were to say to the country we must either have some additional money to pay the Roman Catholic clergy, or we must lay on one or two per cent. more upon the income-tax to defray the expenses of a civil war, he was pretty sure what the answer of the people would be. A measure of this sort should also be accompanied by a renewal of our relations with the court of Rome. He believed that he was authorised in stating that the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton had while in office occasion to take advice on the subject from the legal functionaries of the Crown. Au opinion was expressed perfectly satisfactory as to the legality of entering into diplomatic negotiations with Rome, and the record of that opinion still lay in the Foreign-office. Nothing, therefore, would have to be done, further than to acknowledge our present unrecognized intercourse with Rome. He had said on a former occasion that the present position of the Protestant Church in Ireland was not a practical grievance. He wished to modify this statement in a small degree. There did, he thought, exist a grievance, distinct and palpable on the part of the Catholic landholders, namely, that a part of his rent seemed to be taken from him to pay for the maintenance of the Protestant Church. He thought that some arrangement might be come to by which a portion of the tithe falling upon Catholic landlords might. be expended for some other religious or secular purpose. He would conclude by entreating. Government to continue, even more perseveringly if possible than before, in -the moderate and temperate course they were pursuing. The Ministry had a most difficult and embarrassing question to grapple with —a question very nearly as embarrassing to English statesmen as was that of negro slavery to American statesmen, both of them by their difficulties and intricacy, showing how the sins of the fathers were visited upon the third and fourth generations; and showing how Providence wrote upon the history of the world the lessons of its own immutable justice. The right hon. Baronet had once told them that his chief difficulty was Ireland, and right was he in saying so. He (Mr. Mikes) saw no way of getting nut of this difficulty, but he did see two very different kinds of difficulty into which Government might plunge itself— two different orders of difficulty—the difficulties of action and of inaction. No doubt in pursuing the course of action Government would have to meet with all the difficulties of attempting to curb violent passions, and to moderate strong religious feelings — all the difficulties of good intentions continually misrepresented, and honest hopes long delayed; but they would be cheered on in that course by the approbation of all that was good and honest, and moderate in the country, and by the approbation of the civilized nations of the world. Adopting the other course of difficulties, the Government might pass over this year and the next year; they might pass over many years; but, nevertheless, they would always be in danger of having to choose between submission, on the one hand, to a violent party, and having, on the other, to appeal to the violence of another party. It was possible that Government might be placed in a position, in which they would have to depend solely for aid and assistance upon what he considered the undue religious feelings of the Protestants of Ireland. This might come about, but it should be, if possible avoided. The two courses he had alluded to lay before Government: let them choose between them. He said to them throw yourselves boldly and courageously upon one of them, or you may chance to fall helplessly and powerless into the other.

Mr. Roebuck

My hon. Friend who has just concluded his observations to the House, commenced them by congratulating the country upon the debate now proceeding upon the resolution of the hon. Member for Limerick. As far as I am able to judge, I do think that, whether or no this debate ought to be a subject of gratulation to the country, there is at least little of congratulatory matter in it, or of satisfaction to those Gentlemen who now rule the councils of this great empire. It has been acknowledged by all parties that at the present moment a difficulty has arisen, that an imminent danger threatens us. We have been discussing for many nights this extraordinary crisis, and what is the spectacle which has been exhibited by our present rulers. Sir, in the observations which it may be my duty to make—the feeling predominant in my mind is not simply one of disappointment, but of grief—grief to find that those who are now in power—that those who alone at the present time can guide the destinies of this country—are so totally unequal to the position which they hold. Sir, so remarkable a debate as the present has never occurred in my Parliamentary life. This is an occasion which should have called forth the energies, the intellect of those in whose hands are placed the destinies of this country. And what spectacle have we before us ! A debate without a guide, not a single principle intimated for the country to judge how the future is to be with respect to one great and important part of the empire. The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary has left us, in no doubt as to the importance of the question; on the contrary, he concluded his observations in a tone which marked that he at least was fully possessed with the notion that we have arrived at a point from which it is impossible to go back without danger, and past which it is almost impossible to advance without nearly equal danger. The right hon. Gentleman said, that we were not merely discussing the existence of the Union, but the very life of the empire. And what was the consequence? Has any one who holds office got up and told us what is to be done? Can any person gather, from what has occurred in all these long discussions, what will be the course which Government will see fit to take? Is there a man out of doors, or within these walls, that at this present moment knows what will be the future course of the Government with respect to Ireland? And was there ever so marked a contrast as that which has been presented to this House, and to the country, between the simple but dignified, and calm and temperate mode in which hon. Gentlemen from Ireland have laid their grievances before the House, and the petulant appeals to party prejudice made by Gentleman opposite, in their attempts to bring a damaging fire to bear upon their leader, from whom they are in a state of revolt? On the one side there has been calmness, dignity, straightforwardness—the Gentlemen from Ireland have stated what they believed to be the grievances of their country in a way which does them honour—how have they been met? The person who was first put forth to meet the statements of the hon. Member for Limerick and the lion. Member for Waterford, was a Member of Government who certainly should know—if any one does know—what Government intends to do with Ireland. With every respect for that noble Lord—for I believe that no one ever held the destinies of Ireland in his hand who wished her better, or who cherished more kind, more generous feelings towards her —I must still be permitted to say, that kind intentions and generous feeling must be supported by intellect, by industry, by energy. Good intentions of themselves are not enough to form a statesman—and I appeal to any one who listened to that noble Lord, whether he manifested any qualities other than those of good and kind intention. The speech which the noble Lord made—on an occasion when Ministers have themselves acknowledged that the very existence of the country is at stake—in what way did it enlighten this House as to what they had to expect at the hands of the Government? Did he not forego the discussion of every question which has as yet been started for our consideration, and he did not, in fact, enter on the topics of the debate more in the spirit of a third-rate clerk of his office than of the head of such a department? Who followed the noble Lord? The right hon. Secretary for the Home Department. Any one who knows the right hon. Gentleman, and who has had the gratification of hearing him in this House, must know his peculiar qnalities—vigour, clearness, great power of speech, great effect in argument, and great bitterness in sarcasm. But on this occasion the right hon. Gentleman sunk beneath his subject. His energies seemed to have left, him, as if they were utterly beyond his control; he grew frightened by the subject he was handling, and at last lost all power over this House and then over himself. He finished, and this was the second great blunder the right hon. Gentleman has committed this Session with regard to the affairs of Ireland—in a temper, (for as to the ideas of the Government, they have not yet been discovered,) which if it correspond with that of the remainder of his colleagues, gives Ireland little to expect from his administration. The re-kindling of a bitter animosity: the recurrence to old feelings: a total forgetfulness of our present position: a constant looking back to the feelings engendered in the mind by the contemplation of past misery: a narrow contracted retrospect of by-gone times, without a single enlightened or generous view as to the course to be taken for the fnture—this is a fair, though it may be a severe description of the right hon. Gentleman's disquisition. That right hon. Gentleman was succeeded, amongst the Members of the Government, by the Attorney-general for Ireland, and what light did that right hon. Gentleman threw upon our deliberations? Sir, we need not wonder that Ireland is not well governed, if that is the sort of intellect that directs its councils. On an occasion when Mr. O'Connell sways Ireland as it were his footstool—when the millions of that country are up in arms, or at least so banded together as to enable them to take up arms in an instant—when the destruction of the Union is threatened—when blood any be spilled any moment, and, as a consequence, a civil war ensue, the first law officer of the Crown in Ireland harangued this House until he pretty nearly harangued everybody out of it, on some idle tales respecting his own election, and respecting his grandfather. Was ever anything so lamentable? And during all this time there occurs this remarkable incident, that the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, the most sagacious manager of Parliamentary debates, seems to be whirled along unthinking, uncontrolling—the mere slave of accident and chance—and never steps forward as he ought to show the governing mind of his party. Why his own ranks exhibit symptoms of disaffection. He sits like a general in his camp, to whom every successive messenger brings the news, "Some have left your army, and some are going one by one over to the enemy." Amongt these deserters is the hon. Member for Canterbury. The hon. Gentleman who indulged in such liberal expressions (I hope we shall also have from him some liberal votes), told the right lion. Baronet that lie had now a graceful opportunity of redressing the grievances of Ireland. The hon. and gallant Member for Westminster spoke last night, and what did he say? That the Arms Bill was useless, worse than useless; that we were acting like bullies, and that having acknowledged our debt, and paid part of it, we refused to clear it off, because we were the stronger party. But, alas ! he finished by declaring that he voted for the Arms Bill, though he doubted its expediency, and he left us in anything but a state of certainty as to his vote on the present motion. The hon. Member for Canterbury, too, condemned the Government—their whole scheme of polity. I hope he will not refuse the only thing of much importance which could emanate from him on this occasion —viz., his vote. The speech of the hon. Gentleman was marked by much feeling; but those bitter sentences—those glittering antitheses— those apt illustrations, were prompted by some strong emotion. I would fain believe that all that fine feeling was not thrown away; that none but a noble emotion suggested so great a sacrifice of friendship on the shrine of patriotism; but I can only be convinced by his vote. Otherwise the hon. Gentleman may boast of the qualifications necessary to make a good opposition speech, with the comfortable assurance of having done no real harm to his party. There was also the speech of the right hon. Recorder for Dublin. He is the mouthpiece of the Protestants of Ireland, and he told the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, if he pins his faith to that party, what course he must pursue. The alternative is before him. "Govern Ireland he was told for and by the Orange party, and you may assuredly reckon on our votes. But if you would govern for English and for Irish welfare, you must govern without our assistance. The right hon. and learned Gentleman's speech was marked by that sort of mockery, that pride which apes humility, that sort of pharasaical consideration of his own deserts, and those of his party, which prompts the exclamation, "We are not as other men are. I fast two days in the week, and pay tithe of everything I possess, therefore am I possessed of all the virtue, all the loyalty, all the worth, as I have all the wealth of Ireland !" Now, this is the alternative— are, we to govern Ireland as a conquer ed country, by means of the garrison we have placed there in the Protestants of Ireland; or are we to govern it in the more enlightened and generous spirit of the times, in the spirit which teaches us to consider not merely the happiness of a small section, but how the welfare of the millions may be secured by an upright and virtuous administration of affairs? I speak of justice on its broadest principles; not enshrining itself in a Protestant government, or dressed out in orange ribbons. We must be guided by the condition of the whole people; at the happiness of the whole we must aim, utterly regardless of the prejudices and opposition of that orange tribe. We are told, however, that this party has the land of Ireland, the whole wealth of the country. If it were true, what has it to do with the question? They are in the proportion of 800,000 to to 8,000,000; and if they possessed every farthing of the money, and every acre of the land of the country, I would not for one moment place the happiness of the one in the scale against that of the other. It is clear that 800,000 could not possess the whole of the land if the country was well governed. And when we recollect the distinction made by religion—when we not only have the poor and the rich, but the Catholic and the Protestant; and when, by our system, we thus foment other grievances by the bitterness of theological hatred, common justice demands that we should not stand aloof from the discussion of the wrongs we have inflicted, but that we should take the part of the weak against the strong—of the many against the few. Such is the system which you are upholding in Ireland. Is there anything ennobling or generous, great, manly, or statesmanlike in such conduct? But we are told that we should be ready to suggest improvements as well as criticise the acts of the Government. I am ready to accept the challenge. I perfectly agree with the hon. Gentleman who spoke last, that all government is a question of difficulties—a choosing out of the least evils, and that we do not do our duty by pointing out the mischief of a certain course, if we cannot also suggest the remedy. Therefore, I quarrel with the speeches delivered on our side—I do not mean those of the noble Member for Sunderland, or the Roman Catholic Gentlemen who have spoken —but I do quarrel with the representatives of the past Government, for they have addressed themselves to the question in pretty nearly the same narrow spirit as I have condemned in those opposite. They caught at quibbles, rather than grappled with the great subject before us. I trust the display of the right hon. Member for Edinburgh will not be imitated. The right hon. Gentleman knew that the right hon. Baronet had difficulties of a peculiar character to contend with. I quarrel with the right hon. Baronet because I could not expect in one of his enlightened mind that he should not see that, having for the first time the destinies of England on his hand since the Reform Bill and Catholic Emancipation, he did not determine on a different policy from that of his party with regard to Ireland, as he discarded their views respecting England. I quarrel with him not because he has done actual mischief, but because he has not shown himself equal to the new exigencies of the case, and ready to grapple with the difficulties which surround him. No one can for a moment look at Ireland, and not see that the population is undergoing great physical suffering. A state of mind necessarily arises, which exposes them to be worked upon by agitators, but no people in a state of more physical suffering ever exhibited an organised spirit of insubordination, unless they also were excited by some feeling of injury or wrong. But if there be mixed with physical suffering, every day presented to their mind, wrong and insult, then you have all the elements of a powerful opposition. The great mischief of Ireland is agitation. You may as well complain of the heat of a fever. The fever itself must be grappled with, and to stop the agitation, you must allay the causes of discontent. I do not think Mr. O'Connell is at the bottom of all the misery of Ireland. I think the course he has pursued has often done great mischief; but by his great and wonderful abilities, his untiring energy, he has wrought for them changes no other man could effect; and though we may complain of the means which he employs, and, in many things, I think him wholly indefensible, still it must be clear to the people of Ireland that he is their friend; and it 4 also certain that he has for the first time made you think seriously of the wants of the Irish people. Like all enthusiastic men at the head of an enthusiastic people, he has been already a dupe and an impostor. I never can suppose that Mr. O'Connell believes that the Repeal of the Union will produce the halcyon days he promises. I cannot believe that he thought that a true description of the effects of Repeal which he gave lately in Dublin; but it answered his purpose, and I suppose he thinks the end justified the means. He has produced certainly one effect, that in spite of the indifference so long exhibited towards Ireland you are at last driven to consider her grievances. It was the only way of separating the English Government from the Orange faction to make you fear the resentment of the large masses of the people. Beside the physical evils of Ireland, you have that badge of conquest, the Church. Palliate it as much as you will that is the undeniable fact. The hon. Member for Pontefract said that the right hon. Baronet could not hold office for a week if he should propose to destroy the domination of the Protestant Church in Ireland. But if the right hon. Baronet does not propose it—if some Government shall not propose it, the people will destroy it themselves. Aye, it is extremely uncomfortable to think of, but it is certain to happen. Just see how easily it could be done. Mr. O'Connell governs Ireland; let him suggest that no tithe shall be paid, and let him go a step further, and say that no rent shall be paid, and it would be found extremely difficult to get either tithes or rent. Do not fancy that we are whispering secrets to one another here. Do not, fancy that we are carrying on a debate upon the state of Ireland, sotto voce, and that what we say is not known outside these walls. Do not, for an instant, believe that so sagacious a matt as Mr. O'Connell has not well weighed each step of the process by which he will compel you to right the wrongs of his country. If the Protestant feeling of England be of that strong description—if it be of that bigotted nature which the hon. and gallant Member for Westminster described, that it will not endure a proposition for legally and quietly relieving the people of Ireland from what they conceive to be a badge of slavery, then I say that the Protestant feeling of England must receive a lesson at the hands of the Catholics of Ireland. Protestant zeal overflows in some bosoms; I wish Christian charity also found an abiding place there. Why, because you are Protestants do you assume to have all the virtues? Why do you assume that between seven or eight millions of people, holding a faith respectable from the time it has existed, and which in many of its sacred doctrines is similar to your own creed, are utterly wrong, without at the same time assuming infallibility to yourselves? You cannot deal with a religion so nearly allied to your own, and so truly (in all circumstances) worthy of respect, as if you alone were worthy of consideration, and other men's feelings were not to he in any way consulted. Well, then, you see ranged before you seven millions of people writhing under a feeling of degradation, and alleging that you are insulting them and doing them wrong; and are they to be told, forsooth, that the Protestant feeling of England must alone be consulted, and that no Ministry would dare to face it. If, indeed, there can be no minister to raise himself up to the height of this great argument, woe to the country. If the right hon, Baronet shrinks from the task, he will find that he will have to meet things that will wring his heart—he will have to meet difficulties that will make him feel deep sorrow and great misery, for he will see his country miserable. On such occasions as the present in a nation's history, great minds step out and teach great lessons, and guide the people into the path of truth. Shall we be told that we have no man of that kind amongst us—that we have no man so bold, so just, so virtuous, so enlightened? Such men have never yet been wanting among us, and if the right hon. Baronet be wanting, we shall find others to pursue the track which he refuses to follow. If you purpose to do away with the domination of the Church in Ireland, what have you to face? The Protestant feeling of England. What misery can arise from facing that feeling? Dismissal from office. Is that a great misery? Is that a thing not to be met? Will you risk civil war for your love of office? On the other hand, remember, if you do not face the Protestant feelings of England, you have to face the per of eight millions of the people of Ireland, and that power You can control only by the bayonet. It will come to that. If the people of Ireland refuse to pay tithes, by which the domination of the Church is maintained, on the ground that they are the badge of slavery, you have no alternative but to collect them at the point of the bayonet. By-the-by, we were told by the Secretary for Ireland, that tithes belong to the landowners. Why, what could he have been doing all the years of his life? It does so happen that the landowners are precisely the persons to whom tithes do not belong: they belong to everybody else before them. The landowners bought the land, subject to the ' charge of tithes. If I buy a field, subject to the payment of tithe, 1 calculate the amount of the tithe, and I pay the price of the produce of the field, deducting the value of the tithe. I do not—I cannot pay for the tithe. The tithe remains to—it belongs to the nation. And when heard a noble Lord connected with Ireland (Lord Jocelyn) assert last night that the nation has not the power, or what the noble Lord called the right, to appropriate tithes to any purpose it pleases, it was clear to me that the noble Lord had not considered the circumstances under which tithe property was created. Tithe was created by Roman Catholics, and dedicated to Roman Catholic purposes. That dedication has been wholly changed—by what? By the will of the people. When this division took place tithe property was as sacred as it is now. If tithe could be diverted from its original Catholic to Protestant purposes, by the will of the people why cannot the same power divert it from Protestant purposes, to any other object? Tithe, I say, is national property, and may be, and must be, applied by the national will. We are told that a sacred ordinance exists with respect to this point, which we cannot break. I want to know who tells me that. My fellow man. Shall I assume to be right against seven millions of my fellow subjects? Who says that tithe property cannot be diverted from its present purposes? Why, he is merely a man, who owns some Protestant feeling, he must get rid of his Protestant feeling, if it stands in the way of the happiness of seven millions of the people. I admit that there exists an anti-Catholic feeling in this country. The right hon. Baronet faced it once when he passed Catholic Emancipation. I believe that if the people of England had been polled at that period the majority would have been found to be against Emancipation. The right hon. Baronet, however, faced that feeling; and why? Because the danger in Ireland was great, and how easily did the right hon. Baronet oppose the Protestant feelings of England? I believe that the only loss the right hon. Baronet incurred was, the gratification of representing the mind and Christian virtue of the university of Oxford. That was all. The right hon. Baronet's countrymen have shown him since, that he has not forfeited their goodwill in this respect. There was no man—there is no man who stands higher in his countrymen's opinion than the right hon. Baronet, although he faced the Protestant feeling of England on that occasion. If he fear to face it now again, some one else will be found to do so. The thing must be done. The Irish Church, as a badge of slavery, must be, and will be, utterly put down. In saying that, let no man misunderstand me. I attack not any man's belief; I attack no man s Christian feeling—I attack only the desire, on his part, to make other people pay for the services which he receives. Nothing else. What supports the united Church of England and Ireland? Money. It means nothing else but money. If your object is to propagate your faith, you do not effect it by means of the establishment. Every day the number of the members of the establishment are diminishing. You are more likely to propagate your faith if your Church be humble and poor than you are whilst it remains rich and insolent, and therefore, for Christian purposes, it is desirable that the Church of Ireland should be reduced. Let no misunderstand me. It am not attacking the Protestant faith. [A laugh.] That laugh teaches me what is meant by the domination of the Protestant Church. When I am distinctly stating that I attack no man's faith or Christian feeling, but object only to one man being compelled to pay for services rendered to another, I am laughed at. This shows that, in the opinion of the laughers, the Protestant faith and Christian feeling mean money. I say, that if you want to allay agitation in Ireland, you must get rid of the badge of slavery. I believe, that the feeling of injury and wrong in the minds of the Irish people is, very naturally, exaggerated; but that feeling is connected with another feeling, namely, that of nationality, without which no nation ever yet was great. We should foster nationality in Ireland. We cannot get rid of the feeling of injury and wrong, without destroying national feeling, and we can no more do that than we can turn back the sea. The national feeling of Ireland is influenced by a sense of injury and wrong, arising from the existence of the badge of oppression, and if you wish to tranquillise Ireland, you must remove that badge. But I no not think our endeavours should end here. We have heard much of the landlords of Ireland; they are described as kind, humane, and beneficent. No doubt they are; but I wish they had an immediate money interest in the well-being of their tenants. It unfortunately happens that in Ireland, the whole of the population, with the exception of the landlords, consists of tenantry. The land is divided into very minute portions, and up to a very late period, the landlords were in no degree responsible for the welfare of their tenants. If the Poor-law of England were to be imported into Ireland, the landlords of that country would, in a very short time, receive no rent at all. And why? Because those duties which were said to belong to property, would require the whole of the rent to he expended in the maintenance of the poor. I think that that would be a great evil; but I do hope to see a gradual approximation to the English Poor-law in Ireland; and if you impose the poor-rate not on the poor tenant, but upon the landlord, you will have taken the first great step towards the arrangement of the difficulties connected with the tenure of land. Do that, and maintain, as far as you can, the Catholic clergy, in a decent and proper manner, as suggested by many hon. Members, in everything you do, show that you desire to promote the well-being of the people, and, above all, utterly and completely renounce all connection with that dominant party, the Orangemen of Ireland. Combine your forces — throw yourselves on the country—have faith in the good feelings and good sense of the people of England—do this, and you will find difficulties vanish before your prudence and firmness. Ireland will then be what she ought to be, the stay and support of this country; and not as she is, an ulcer eating into the vitals of England, and threatening every hour, as was stated by the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Home Department, the very existence of the empire.

Sir R. Peel:

Sir, in considering the character of the motion which is now under discussion, and in noticing some of the topics which have been introduced in the course of that discussion, I shall commence by observing that I entertain the intention—an intention to which, I trust, I shall be enabled to adhere—of obliterating altogether the recollection of everything which may have passed during this debate of a mere personal or party character. It may be necessary for me, in the course of my observations, to defend the Government against charges which have been brought against it, but in doing so, I shall rest no part of that defence upon recrimination of others, or upon a vindication of the course which the Government has pursued, by attempting to show that it has not been more objectionable than the course which others had previously taken. I feel too deeply the importance of the subject before us not to wish not to be diverted from it by those considerations which are frequently introduced in the heat of debate, which, perhaps, are necessary in party conflict, and which adds so much zest and excitement to the debates. But, if I forego the advantages which belong to the interest that such topics excite, yet the attention with which all have been heard who have spoken in this discussion, and the disposition which seems to be entertained to attach due weight and importance to all that may be addressed to the House on the subject, convince me that I shall receive as much attention by confining myself strictly to the matter before us, as if 1 were to indulge in party feelings or recriminations. If I thought that the object of the motion which the hon. Member has brought forward were to obtain a calm and deliberate inquiry into matters connected with the condition of Ireland, my difficulties in opposing the motion would be immensely increased—but I do not believe that it has been brought forward for the purpose of producing that inquiry. We are charged with resisting inquiry—but many who support the motion admit that such an inquiry as I have described is not the object, and some will vote for the motion, because they believe it implies a want of confidence in her Majesty's Government, and an opinion that the settlement of the questions involved ought to be transferred to other hands. No doubt the inference which the public must draw will be, that the carrying of this motion will be tantamount to a declaration of want of confidence in her Majesty's Government, and if those who placed us here think that we are not fit for the settlement of affairs—that there is something of party connection which prevents us from taking a proper course—that there is something in the policy which we have pursued with regard to Ireland upon which they differ in opinion from us—then I agree with the lion. and learned Member for Bath that the present is too important a question to permit party connections or party considerations to prevail over their opinions. It will be better for hon. Gentlemen to follow up a speech indicating any such feeling, by a vote to the same effect. It is with no unfriendly feeling, that I say of this debate, as I say of the Arms Bill that if any hon. Member think the motion should be carried, and that we proposed measures connected with Ireland which have a tendency to offend, whilst no good can result from them, it is then the duty of those who entertain such opinions, whatever the consequence may be, to give the legitimate and practical expression to those opinions. So far from considering that hostile or unfriendly, I think it would be a more manly and Parliamentary course, and one infinitely more friendly to the Government, that they should thus practically express their opinions than to imply a difference of opinion from the Government, whilst they lent it a hollow support. I speak, Sir, not only of those who have expressed their opinions in this debate, but also of those who have not had an opportunity of speaking; and I say that no party or personal consideration ought to deter them, on an occasion like the present, from giving their honest and sincere opinion—that practical expression which is best implied by a vote. I must now revert to that part of the speech made by the hon. Member who introduced this motion, wherein the hon. Member said, that he intended his motion to be an arraignment of the conduct of the Government, and of the Imperial Parliament, towards Ireland. I shall first refer to that part of his impeachment of the conduct of Parliament, which relates to its conduct as to liberality towards Ireland in a pecuniary point of view. The hon. Member says, that one of his reasons for being inclined, at least, towards the Repeal of the Union, is a strong opinion, that the conduct of the Imperial Parliament towards Ireland, in respect of pecuniary grants for her peculiar domestic interests, has been parsimonious and niggardly in the extreme, and he also charges Parliament with having showing a disposition to do injustice to Ireland with the pecuniary burthens imposed upon her. My firm impression is, that that accusation is unjust and unfounded. You may say, that these are matters of small importance, and I would not have noticed them if they had not been brought forward as one of the prime grounds for the impeachment of the imperial Parliament. In point of fact, however, they are not matters of small importance, for they are calculated to make a deep impression on the minds of the people of Ireland. The hon. Gentleman repeats, what has been said before, that Ireland has been treated in a parsimonious spirit. Now, Sir, these are topics that have undergone repeated consideration. They have been submitted to the tribunals best qualified to examine them with temper and impartiality, to committees of the House of Commons, composed of Members actuated by no unkind or unfriendly spirit towards Ireland. There was a committee appointed, some years since, at the instance of a noble Lord then a Member of this House, from whom I differ in political opinions, but who, during his tenure of a seat in this House, was always remarkable for his attention to the affairs of Ireland, and for his desire to see justice done to her. I allude to the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, the present Lord Monteagle. Charges similar to those now raised against Parliament had then been brought forward, and I now hold in my hand an extract from the report of the committee on the Irish miscellaneous estimates, it says: That the committee in discharging the duty intrusted to them by the House, felt it their duty to refer in the first instance to the principle under which the Irish civil estimates were originally made a part of the public expenditure. By a clause of the Act of Union, the Parliament of the United Kingdom was bound to provide, that a sum not less than the sum granted by the Parliament of Ireland, on an average of six years, immediately preceding the 1st of January, 1800, in premiums for the internal encouragement of agriculture and manufactures, or for maintaining institu- tions for charitable and pious purposes, should be applied for a period of twenty years, to such local purposes in Ireland, in such manner as the Parliament of the United Kingdom should direct. That was the contract made. The report then proceeds— The sum so voted by the Irish Parliament was 73,277l. per annum, which, for twenty years, would not have exceeded the sum of 1,465,540l.; but the Parliament of the United kingdom had not confined its liberality within the limits prescribed by a rigid adherence to that rule—for not only have those grants been continued, but considerably augmented. I will nut read the details; but the sums granted by the Irish Parliament as the rule—if there had been a niggardly spirit in the Imperial Parliament—would have been 1,460,000l. whilst the total amount for twenty-eight years voted by the Imperial Parliament was 5,348,000l. making a sum exceeding in a three fold proportion, the amount contemplated by the precise terms of the Act of Union. It was also necessary to call the attention of the House," proceeds the report, "to the additional sums voted under the head of Irish miscellaneous estimates and civil contingencies. On an average of six years preceding the 1st of January, 1800, they amounted to 127,860l. The total amount for twenty-eight years since that time was 5,003,062l. in addition to the other 5,000,000l., making together a total 10,000,0001. under these two heads. It is impossible, then, that the ground of accusation against Parliament for want of liberality towards Ireland can be main-tamed. If I compare the sums expended on Ireland with those that have been voted for Scotland, I find an immense preponderance in favour of the former country. And here I entirely exclude the expenditure for the Lord Lieutenant's establishment, and other expenses connected with the civil Government, which are necessarily much heavier in Ireland; but, excluding these, I find, that the aggregate expenditure on Scotland in the last seven years, amounts only to 668,000l. while that of Ireland is no less than 2,262,000l. Do I grudge this expenditure? Do I say, that this liberality has been misplaced? Not at all. And I would not even have referred to the subject, had it not been for my desire to disprove the allegation of the hon. Gentleman, that Parliament has acted in a penurious and niggardly spirit towards Ireland. If I take the fulfilment of the obligation contracted at the time of the Union, and test the liberality of Parliament by that, I find that the sum voted, amounted to three times the sum which Parliament contracted to vote. And if I contrast the votes for Ireland with those for Scotland, I find the latter in seven years amounting to about 660,000l., and the former to the sum of 2,260,000l. So much for the contrast of Parliament with respect to the votes. Now with regard to the burthen of taxation; can it be truly said there is a spirit in the Imperial Parliament hostile to Ireland? The hon. Gentleman referred to the scale of contribution proposed at the time of the Union, and considered that the 2-17ths required from Ireland, was too great an amount in proportion to her revenue. Surely the question now is not what Ireland was required to pay at the period of the Union; the question is, what is now the animus and feeling of Parliament towards Ireland?—what is the burthen Ireland is required to bear?—what is the confidence Ireland must feel that she shall not have justice done to her in respect to taxation? If the two countries are to be united in respect to indirect taxation, it is exceedingly difficult to make any discrimination. The great object is, if you are to be united, to oppose no obstacles to perfect free inter-commerce—to have no system of drawbacks—to oppose no checks to Irish produce coming over to this country or to the introduction of British produce into Ireland. And, therefore, in respect to indirect taxation, nothing would be more difficult or unwise for Ireland herself, than an attempt to establish a discriminating duty. Your Customs' duty, as a general rule, must be the same, or you would place impediments on commerce which would be highly injurious. With regard to the Excise, the principle was nearly the same. But when there is a distinction drawn with respect to indirect taxation, it is just, perhaps, as it ought to be, in favour of Ireland. Then, as to direct taxation, what is the truth? Would Ireland benefit as to direct taxation by a repeal of the Union? Considering the establishment she would have to maintain, is it possible that a repeal of the Union would benefit Ireland with respect to direct taxation? They pay no window duty in Ireland, though every other part of the empire pays it. There are no assessed taxes there; but other parts of the empire are subject to them. And in a great financial crisis, when we found it necessary to raise a large sum of money ! by direct taxation—when we proposed the property-tax, Ireland was exempted from its operation. Now take the Post-office. Why, at this moment, the whole of the Post-office service in Ireland is conducted at the public charge. There was not, I think, in the last year, more than a sum of 1,000l. remitted from Ireland on account of the Post-office, and perhaps a sum of 1,000l. in the year preceding; but with the exception of that 2,000l., since the new arrangement of the Post-office duty, Ireland has remitted nothing. The whole advantage of the penny postage is given to Ireland gratuitously, at least the charge of the establishment is equivalent to the amount of the duty. Every other part of the empire has a duty upon soap; Ireland alone is exempt. Am I claiming credit for these things? Am I bringing them forward as a reason for especial gratitude upon the part of the Irish people? No. I would not have mentioned them had not an overcharge of taxation been stated as a proof of our disposition to do injustice to Ireland; and I think the facts o which I have referred, afford conclusive proofs that there is no such disposition, either with respect to grants for the benefit of that country, or to the share she is called upon to take in the general burthens of the empire; and that the argument in favour of the repeal of the Union upon this ground is utterly unfounded. The hon. Gentleman then proceeded to attack the executive Government of Ireland, and others have followed in the same course. Why, what are the charges that have been brought against us? Have you charged us with any act of injustice or intolerance? Have you brought forward any proofs on our part of a disposition to encourage or revive religious animosities? Have we rescinded any of the acts of our predecessors, done with the intent of marking disapprobation of a religious spirit hostile to the Roman Catholics? On the contrary; the only things you have to refer to as a proof of misconduct on the part of the Irish Government are almost confined to the appointment to judicial offices of two gentlemen, against whom it seems the only objection is, that they may have been too merciful in the administration of justice. Sir, I am surprised to hear such sweeping condemnations of the Government, and to find, when we come to facts, that they rest on such narrow foundations. It is disparaging to Ireland to hear such peculiar importance attached to what relates to judicial patronage. The hon. Gentleman says, that one of his charges is that Ireland is made use of to provide for the dependents of ministers. [Mr. S. O'Brien: I stated it merely from the papers.] Yes, you stated it from the papers, but you went on and adopted the charge, and you repeated that patronage was made use of in Ireland for the benefit of the friends and relations of ministers. Now, if there is one source of patronage in Ireland likely to be more fruitful than any other, the hon. Gentleman will probably admit that it will be found in the Irish church. Now, in vindication of myself and the Government, I shall take the liberty of reading the first letter written by me to the Lord-lieutenant of Ireland on the subject of the patronage of the Irish Church:— Let it be understood that in respect to the church preferments you will act upon your own sense of duty, and on the result of your own inquiries; and, if that sense of duty prompts you to prefer the claims of professional merit, let your inquiries be directed to the ascertainment of those claims. I am perhaps unwise, in some respects, in reading this letter. But we are charged with being subservient to party, with thinking of nothing but Parliamentary support, with sacrificing the interests of Ireland to our political friends. I believe, however, the communication I have just read, and which was addressed by me to the Lord-lieutenant, is calculated to disprove the charge. This communication, will, indeed, account for some of the difficulties we have had to contend with, in attempting to govern Ireland otherwise than by the intervention of a party. My letter proceeded,— It is absolutely necessary, fur the best in-tests both of Church and State, that the patronage of the Irish church should be applied on such principles. I will willingly forego any Parliamentary support which would only be conciliated by the disregard of those principles; though, indeed, the fact is, that, (if such considerations are to be attended to), the interests of Government are in the long run much better promoted by the honest exercise of patronage than by administering it to favour individual supporters. That letter, Sir, I addressed in September, 1841, to Earl De Grey, little thinking that an occasion would ever arise when I should be called on, in reply to an unjust charge, to refer to what I then wrote., The hon. Gentleman has also referred to Mr. Purcell's mail. coach contract. For the sake of Ireland, not for the sake of the Government, I deprecate such charges made in the old spirit of Irish partizanship. For what purpose has this House directed contracts to be made by public tender, but to prevent unfair favour by encouraging open competition? Public notice of die contract was given. The Irishman was at perfect liberty to underbid the Scotch-man or the Englishman. The result of the open competition is, that the Scotch-man offers to take the contract for 2,000l. less, and the Scotchman gets it. And then we are told that we are insulting Ireland by transferring the contract from an Irishman. I regret that the contract passed out of the hands of an Irishman. I wish most heartily that an Irishman had made the lowest offer, and I did what I could do, consistently with my public duty, to prevent any injury in the individual case; but you are disparaging Ireland when you make a public grievance out of such matters as this. [Hear; Yes.] These are small matters, but they make a great portion of the charge against us—[No, no.] Then you concur with me that these things are not worth notice? [Yes, yes.] I am glad to hear it; but still these charges have been made against the Government. Then on the subject of education a most ungenerous charge has been made against us. Had we on this point been disposed to consult party considerations, with a powerful majority in this House, had we determined to withdraw the vote of public money from the national system of education, or had we been disposed to follow a course recommended to us by many plausible arguments, namely, to establish a separate system for the members of the Established Church, we should have gained great additional support. The strongest feeling existed on this subject in Ireland, and I was urged from many quarters to establish a separate system of education. There is no one act by which we could have more conciliated the Conservative party in Ireland; no act which would have been attended with less danger to us in this House than by yielding to the representations of our friends. We carefully examined the advantages of the present system and the dangers of the separate system, and we hoped that by persevering in the continuance of the national system, we might lay the foundation of an abatement of religious animosity, and in that hope we determined to adhere to the national system, though we thereby incurred much hostility. And what is now the return made to us here in the House of Commons? Why, the hon. Gentleman says that the Protestant clergy are disgusted with the course we have taken, and he goes on to say that they have good reason to be so; and he makes himself the advocate of a spirit, to which, if I had acceded, no charge would have been urged against me with so much pertinacity. So much for the charges urged against the executive Government by the hon. Gentleman. I can truly say the intention of the Government has been to act fairly towards all parties, to follow out the spirit of the law, which, by abolishing the civil disabilities of the Roman Catholics, established equality between them and the rest of their fellow-subjects. The hon. Gentleman accuses the Government of neglect towards Irishmen, and he read a number of appointments which Irishmen have not received, as if the test of good Government was appointing his countrymen to efficient situations. He charges us with not having given a sufficient number of good things to his countrymen. I deny the charge altogether, but it applies to the noble Lord opposite rather than tome and I must allow him to answer for himself. The original Poor-law appointments, the commissioners of police, and several others, were all made by the noble Lord. But the hon. Gentleman should not confine his views exclusively to Ireland—he should have inquired whether there was not a corresponding number of Irishmen employed in England. I am sorry to hear such charges brought forward; but as they have been, I must observe, that I recollect that some years ago I had to appoint two commissioners for the metropolitan police. Now, these were two exclusively local appointments, and I remember that I neither thought of the religion or of the country of the persons I appointed; but it so happened that I selected two Irishmen to act in England, and I never heard a question raised as to the propriety of that appointment. I believe that the same principle holds in other appointments, and that the fact of a man's being an Irishman never operates to his prejudice. There is only one occasion on which I have heard the question raised. I had recently to appoint, in consequence of the liberality of Parliament in voting, monuments to naval heroes, to be placed in Greenwich, three sculptors; and it so happened that two out of the three were Irishmen, and the first time I heard of the fact was in consequence of a paragraph in a newspaper in which it was said that such is the favour shown to Irishmen, that two out of the three sculptors were Irishmen. I hope that this will remove from the hon. Member's mind the impression, though the noble Lord is responsible for the appointments in the police and the poor-law, that Irishmen are not equally favoured with Englishmen and Scotchmen. I am convinced that at least the desire of the Government is to do equal justice to all three parts of the empire, and whether a candidate be an Irishman or a Scotchman, to appoint the man best qualified for the situation. In the course of the debate, it has appeared that the chief grievances of Ireland may be arranged under three heads—the social grievances, the political grievances, and the religious grievances. By the social grievances described those are meant—and it is impossible to deny their existence —which are connected with the state of the peasantry and of the great majority of the people in Ireland, the demand for land, which, on account of the poverty of the inhabitants, is the only source of existence and the relation of landlord and tenant. I will first address myself to this social grievance. No man, Sir, can deny its existence; but it is not now known for the first time. It has formed the subject of repeated inquiries, and there are reports of committees of this House whose labours have lasted through whole Sessions, containing the fullest information as to the state and condition of the peasantry of Ireland. No man can deny that it is most unsatisfactory, both with respect to the demand for labour and the possession of land; but when hon. Gentlemen press the Government to apply an immediate remedy, does not experience and commonsense teach them that it is impossible for the Government or the Legislature to devise an immediate remedy for evils of this nature? It is said amend the law of landlord and tenant. With respect to any such amendment, my opinion is, that any alteration of the law which seriously affected what I understand by the right of property—namely, the free possession of property—any alteration of that great principle which distinguishes civilized from barbarous communities, would be most injurious to the interests of Ireland. If we tell the possessor of wealth that in Ireland the purchase of land will not be uncontrolled, we shall, in my opinion, strike a fatal blow at property. I speak, however, generally of the rights of property, and not of its abuses. If the hon. Gentleman had proposed a committee of inquiry into the state of the law in England and in Ireland which regulates the relation of landlord and tenant, who is there who would have opposed such an inquiry conducted on a fair principle, for ascertaining whether there is any difference in the law between the two countries or whether there exists in Ireland any law which inflicts injury upon the people? I, Sir, for one, would certainly not have offered any opposition to such an inquiry, and it is fair to say, that if a remedy can be devised for an undue exercise of power by the landowners in Ireland, without affecting the rights of property, I will give my most attentive consideration to the subject. If you tell me that a tenant-at-will improves the property he occupies, relying upon the justice and generosity of his landlord, and that, having so improved that property, he gives a vote, or does some other act, hostile to the feelings of the landlord, and is ejected from his tenancy, no compensation being made to him for his outlay,—if the landlord takes advantage of such hostile vote or act, for the purpose of availing himself of any benefit he may gain by taking possession of the land without affording compensation to the out-going tenant,—that is undoubtedly a gross injustice. I trust, and believe, that this is a case of rare occurrence; and if so, it may be difficult to apply a legislative remedy. But if such cases were of frequent occurrence, and a legislative remedy could be safely applied, I think it would be the duty of the House to afford such remedy. It is, however, a subject of great difficulty. Do not charge the present Government with the neglect of it. The hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. S. Crawford), in a previous session, brought in a bill to apply a remedy. I was not a party to oppose that measure. I think, that the most vigorous opposition came from the hon. Member for Limerick. [" No"] Did not the hon. Member vigorously oppose the bill of the hon. Mem- ber for Rochdale, for regulating the relation of landlord and tenant? At any rate words to that effect were attributed to the hon. Member for Limerick—but as he says, that the words are not his, he could not have used them, but he is reported to have said, that he would not permit the bill to be introduced without the fullest explanation, as it would establish a dangerous precedent. [Mr. S. O'Brien: I have not looked at the report, but I cannot have used those terms.] It is evident there has been some mistake. The noble Lord the Member for Sunderland suggested measures of a very comprehensive nature, for the purpose of remedying some of the evils connected with the condition of the Irish people; and the noble Lord expressed his opinion, that this House would act wisely in making grants on a very extensive scale for the construction of railways in Ireland. The noble Lord went so far as to say, that if even a sum of 8,000,000l. or 10,000,000l. was expended in the formation of railways in Ireland, he thought it would be a cheap outlay on the part of this country. If I could agree with the noble Lord that, such expenditure would really conduce to the permanent advantage of Ireland, I should be very little disposed to grudge a considerable outlay in order to lay the foundation of ultimate tranquillity. But I do entertain strong doubts as to the policy of making such extensive outlays for the construction of public works, unless you are most cautious as to the principle on which you proceed. Nothing is more fair than to apply the capital of a country to the execution of such works, if you are perfectly certain those works will succeed as a speculation—that profit will be derived from them, and that from the profit so obtained there may be a return for the advance of capital. But if that is not to be the case—if the railway is to be uuprofitable—if there is to be no equivalent return, I doubt the policy of taxing the people of one part of the country for the purpose of erecting public works in another. As I said before, I do not object to the principle of the application of capital, provided the work you undertake to execute is likely to succeed, and to lay the foundation of permanent benefit; but if this is not the case, what is it but applying a temporary stimulus to the industry of the country? What will be your situation after this extensive outlay has been made, when there is no further demand for labour? But the noble Lord the late Secretary for Ireland (Lord Morpeth) said, I would demand a security from the Irish public. I would take a collateral guarantee, by requiring the counties to assess themselves to repay these advances. I confess, I greatly doubt the policy of establishing such a relation between the executive Government and the counties of Ireland. The same result would follow which has been witnessed in the case of the union workhouses. You advanced some 1,200,000l. or 1,500,000l., for the purpose of building workhouses in Ireland, requiring repayment from the poor-rates. While the workhouses were in progress there was apparent satisfaction; the masons had plenty of work, and the carpenter was covered with chips, but the time came when they were finished, and the Poor-law brought into operation—they had then to be paid for; and you so contrived it, that the charge fell on the poorest occupiers—the people were assessed at their twopences and fourpences. [Lord J. Russell: The Parliament.] Undoubtedly, for I gave my vote in favour of the bill; but still the fact was so. Then, Sir, came a sudden fall in prices—cousequent distress; and, to add to it, came the demand for the repayment of the advances made on account of the workhouses. I mentioned the sudden fall of prices, but, let me add, not in consequence of the tariff of last Session, but in consequence of the abundant harvest of the last year. However, that fall in prices [naturally enough produced discontent; and what has passed in Ireland since that period, proves that any immediate or sudden disturbance of the laws relating to the introduction of corn into this country without some special legislation for the case of Ireland, must tend very much to aggravate the distress which now prevails there. Then, Sir, with respect to railways—the noble Lord proposed, that we should get a guarantee for our capital from the counties of Ireland in which they were formed. But, Sir, suppose the railways completed, and I must say there seems to be a very mistaken notion very prevalent in the public mind as to the effects of railways. If they are the connecting links between two great manufacturing towns, or pass through a largely mercantile country, then no doubt they must naturally prove of the greatest advantage to those towns; but as to the country through which the railway itself passes, I cannot think that the passage of the merchandise contributes to promote any great prosperity. It is a convenience to the inhabitants; but as to the railway, except as the connecting link between large places, I doubt its great advantage. After we have executed the railway, however, unless it be a profitable undertaking, I conceive we should have made a bad application of the national wealth, and we should establish a conflict between the land and the executive Government, for we should have to come upon the land and demand repayment, and it would be very difficult to adjust the proportions, or to say, that those parts of the country which are distant from the railroad should pay as much as those which are near. There can be no relation between the Government and the land in Ireland, which can place them in a worse position than by calling upon the land, years after the work has been executed, to make a repayment. It is therefore on this account that I distrust the recommendation of the noble Lord to execute the great lines of railroad, except on a guarantee for the repayment of the advances, by the personal security of those who are willing to undertake the speculation, or from the natural source of the returns from the speculation. I think, Sir, that another recommendation of the noble Lord, to promote emigration as a means of relieving the distress of the people, is better entitled to serious consideration than the factitious stimulus to industry by the promotion of public works; be it understood, however, that I am not speaking of the application of the public revenue to the undertaking of works which are likely to be profitable, to which I think we ought to limit the advance of public money. With respect to the social condition of Ireland, therefore, there can be party question—there can be no difference of political feeling; and in my opinion the interest of the landlord is mainly concerned in giving security to the tenant, and in inducing him to effect improvements in the land. So far as the condition of the country in its social relations is involved, there is fortunately no difference of opinion or of party views; and we are all at liberty, without reference to party considerations, to consider how far the law can be improved to redress the social grievances of Ireland. Now, Sir, with respect to the political condition of Ireland. In my opinion, and to the opinion I have often given expression there ought to be perfect civil equality. There is an equality so far as the letter of the law is concerned, and I have stated before, when I sat on that side of the House—and if I had any interest in exciting prejudices, that was the time to raise them—that the Government ought to act strictly upon the law, recognizing practically its spirit. If I am asked now whether there ought to be any objection offered to the appointment of a person to civil office because he is a Catholic, or differs from me in religion, I say that there ought not. I know of no civil office for which he ought to be so disqualified. If it be a judicial office I say there is no disqualification. If the claim of a Catholic entitled him to the judicial seat he ought not to be excluded from it. In no civil office ought the fact of a man's being a Roman Catholic to he an impediment to his obtaining it. The noble Lord says that attacks were made on the late Government in consequence of the appointment of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Sheil), of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kildare (Mr. O'Ferrall) as Secretary to the Admiralty, and of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Waterford (Mr. Wyse) as a Lord of the Treasury. I recollect, Sir, to have distinctly stated my opinions on this subject in a debate in this House, and it is too much to hold any Government responsible for the violent speeches out of doors of hon. Gentlemen professing to be its supporters. I never complained, nay, I entirely approved, of the selection to office of those gentlemen, and I cannot be charged with sanctioning these unjust imputations, for I distinctly stated to the House that I did not countenance that objection. Then the noble Lord complained that we have not removed front the statute-book an oath that is hurtful to the feelings of the Roman Catholics, and he has said that every person taking it charged Roman Catholics with idolatry. This, Sir, only shows that impressions of a grievance may be excited which are not perfectly well founded. I may, Sir, claim credit to myself for having been the person who removed from the statute-book this oath, which the noble Lord thinks now remains, and is an offence to the feelings of the Roman Catholics. On proposing the Roman Catholic Relief Bill in 1829. I said, It is proposed to repeal altogether for Parliament, and for office generally, the declaration against transubstantiation. There is no object in retaining it as a test to be taken by the King's subjects in respect to any office or franchise for which the Roman Catholic is to he hereafter qualified. It was applied originally solely as the instrument of exclusion. It is the mere abjuration of belief in certain doctrinal tenets of the Roman Catholic faith; and I believe there are few Protestants who would not have rejoiced in being relieved from the necessity of making that declaration as a qualification for the enjoyment of a merely civil privilege, even if it had been determined to continue Roman Catholic exclusion, and if other means of effecting it could have been devised. But when exclusion is to cease, let us he spared the pain of pronouncing an opinion for mere temporal purposes, in regard to the mysteries of religion, and branding as idolatrous the belief of others. That, Sir, was the spirit with which was actuated in 1829, and the way in which I gave practical effect to that spirit was by repealing altogether the declaration against transubstantiation as a qualification for office. Now I hope that the noble Lord will think that answer satisfactory. Proposing then to omit many things heretofore in the oath, likely to be offensive to the feelings of the Catholics, I said: It will perhaps be observed, that this form of oath omits some abjurations and disclaimers which are inserted in the oaths now required from Roman Catholics. Sir, it does so, and purposely and advisedly. Why insult the Roman Catholic, on whom we are about to confer the equality of civil privilege, by compelling him to reject, in terms, the impious position that it is lawful to murder heretics,' or to record his detestation of the unchristian principle that faith is not to be kept with heretics?' We cannot suspect the Roman Catholics of these countries of entertaining such opinions; and if we do suspect them, we have been wrong heretofore in giving them their existing privileges. I will neither detract from the force of those disclaimers, which the oath will contain, by the addition of useless incumbrances; nor mortify, by galling and unjust suspicions, the fellow-subjects whom we are inviting, in the spirit of peace and confidence, to share the blessings of equal and undiscriminating laws. I am quite sure that the noble Lord could not wish me to have expressed myself in a spirit different from that; and that is the spirit in which I believe the Legislature is now disposed to act in respect of those persons who profess the Roman Ca- tholic religion. Then, with respect to the franchise, I will not follow the noble Lord through his speech on this subject. Front my respect for his great abilities, and the experience I have had of the general tone of the speeches which I have heard him deliver, I confess I was sorry that, on this occasion, he occupied so great a portion of his speech with accusations. I shall not follow him through, those charges which he brought forward. I will not enter into that question, but I will refer to the bill for the registration of voters, brought forward by my noble Friend (Lord Stanley). My noble Friend, then in opposition, sensible that there were very great evils admitted by all—that there was very great opposition and inconvenience in the registration of voters—did attempt to apply a remedy, without at the same time feeling himself competent to introduce any complete and satisfactory law on the subject of the franchise. Well, we came into power; you say we have a majority, but at any rate we have not used it for the purpose of diminishing the privileges of the Roman Catholics. We were not induced, by the possession of a majority, to persevere in a measure which was said to be a restriction on the franchise. But why should we not have persevered in our own course, if we had been disposed to act in a spirit of hostility. Give us, at least, the credit for having been unwilling to apply our majority for the purpose of working injustice. There are other causes not connected with the registration of voters which tend to diminish the number of voters in Ireland, and we are not willing to propose any measure which shall have the effect of diminishing the franchise without at the same time, introducing other measures which shall provide an ample and just compensation for any diminution of the franchise caused by the amendment of the law. What the exact principle of such a measure may be, this is not the time to inquire. You say, give us the English franchise; but I greatly doubt if we gave to Ireland a law precisely like that which prevails in England, with the same construction of course which is applied to the English law, whether the franchise in Ireland would not be very much limited. I except the case of the 40s. freeholders in fee-simple, but if this class of voters were introduced into Ireland, under the same rules which exist in England, I do not think that the franchise would be' very greatly extended. But without reference to the circumstances of the two countries, if you apply the same law to the franchise in both countries, you must in that case adopt the construction put upon the English law as to beneficial interest; and if you did that you would inflict the greatest injury upon the elective franchise as it exists in Ireland. There cannot be a question upon that subject. I say that in the case of the application of the English law to Ireland—of a literal, exact application of it—so far from its being beneficial, in your sense, I believe that it would be of great injury to that country. But I do not wish to act on that narrow spirit; I wish to consider what was really the intention of the Reform Bill, to carry out that intention, and to make compensation for any diminution of the franchise which amending the registration may have caused. I approach now a much more difficult and important part of the question—I mean the ecclesiastical establishment in Ireland. The hon. and learned Member for Bath (Mr. Roebuck) calls on rue to give a pledge that I will consent to the abolition of the Established Church in Ireland; and he tells me that if I am not prepared to give that pledge, some other person will be found to give that pledge who will receive the place which I hold. I concur with the' hon. Member in thinking that on such a question the defence of power is a most subordinate consideration. I do hope that, if I believed it to be for the public interest to propose an alteration of the law in respect of the Established Church in Ireland, that it is a matter of so much importance, that I should not be deterred from acting on my honest and conscientious conviction by the fears of the public sentiment on the subject, or of the consequence of finding a majority in this House opposed to me. If I believed that the public necessity required, or the public interest would be promoted by any particular course, I should feel it to be my duty, as a Minister of the Crown, to recommend that course to the adoption of Parliament, and to take all the consequences of that act upon myself; and I should not consider it a sufficient excuse for forbearing to submit a proposition to Parliament on a matter of great importance, that the state of public opinion would, in consequence of taking that step, prevent me from continuing in office. I am prepared, therefore, for the consequences of not giving that pledge required of me by the hon. and learned Member, and to devolve on others that responsibility which now rests on me, if it can only be returned by pledging myself to destroy the Established Church of Ireland. The hon. and learned Member proposes that the whole of the ecclesiastical revenues in Ireland should be appropriated to the purposes of the State. The hon. and learned Gentleman considers the Established Church as a badge of slavery as a proof of dominion — as an insult to the people of Ireland. I cannot regard it in that light; nor do I believe that the people of Ireland so regard it. The hon. and learned Member who has expressed himself the most explicitly of all who have spoken on that side of the House, said he would not say that he would confiscate, but that he would take possession of the whole of the revenues of the Church of Ireland on the part of the State, and leave for subsequent consideration whether any portion of them should be applied to the maintenance of religious establishments, or whether religion should not in all cases be left to the voluntary principle, and those revenues be applied to State purposes. Which of the two should be done he did not state; on that point he has not quite made up his mind; but if the revenues were to be applied to purposes of religion they ought, he said, to be applied to all religions alike. Sir, other opinions have been put forward in the course of this debate. The noble Lord the Member for Sunderland does not go the whole length of the hon. and learned Member; he is not prepared to extinguish the Protestant Church in Ireland. Then the noble Lord the Member for London is prepared to maintain the Established Church as he finds it; the noble Lord doubts whether or no that Church is not too liberally provided for, and whether some portion of its revenues might riot be diverted to other than ecclesiastical purposes; but he would maintain the Established Church, because, considering its history, and considering the relation in which it stands to the established churches in other parts of the empire, he thinks it would be dangerous to sweep it away. I am sorry that the noble Lord does not take some higher ground for maintaining the Established Church than this; for I think that all apprehension of its affecting the Established Church in other branches of the empire is not either a valid or satisfactory ground of argument. The noble Viscount the Member for Tiverton, (Viscount Palmerston) has expressed also his opinions upon this subject. If I understood him, he would maintain the Church upon its present basis: he thinks that the tithes having been transferred to the proprietors of the land, and they being generally Protestants, it is not felt by the people generally as a burthen. I did not understand from the noble Lord that he was prepared to curtail the revenues of the Church, but he proposes a qualified establishment of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, to he effected by a communication with the See of Rome; and one particular measure which he suggested was, that permission should be afforded to individuals to grant endowments to the Roman Catholic clergy. While these are the suggestions of the hon. and learned Gentleman and the two noble Lords, it is contended by others that there should be perfect equality between the two religious establishments — Protestant and Roman Catholic. [" Hear."] The noble Lord, (Lord Palmerston), then maintains that principle? Will the noble Lord inform me what he understands by equality of religious establishments? Does he mean an equality of revenue? The noble Lord said, and said justly:— Before you disturb that which is established, look well at the consequences; see what are likely to be the legitimate consequences of your first step, and take care that you do not make one which can only lead to conflict and contention. Carry out your measure to its full and legitimate length when you determine upon taking the first step. What then does the noble Lord mean by "equality of the religious establishments?" Will the allotment of the revenue in proportion to the population be that equality for which he contends? Shall I give to the Roman Catholics who constitute, say six-sevenths, or whatever the proportion may be, of the population of Ireland—shall I, after I have appropriated to the department of the Woods and Forests the whole of the ecclesiastical revenues of the Church in Ireland, shall I apply six-sevenths of that revenue for the maintenance of the Roman Catholic religion, leaving the one-seventh in the possession of the Protestant Establishment? If I do that will it produce contentment? Will the noble Lord be satisfied? Will others be satisfied after I shall have adopted that proposal? What shall I do with respect to the religious edifices? If I adopt the principle that the Protestant Establishment is to have only one-seventh of the revenue of the Church, shall I maintain for him the possession of the whole of the churches of the Establishment? When I have reduced the means of serving those churches shall I leave them still nominally appertaining to the Protestant/ Establishment, or will not the noble Lord press me to go one step further, and after I have divested the Protestant religion of six-sevenths of the revenue of the Church, won't he then tell me that the churches are too abundant—that the Roman Catholics stand in need of religious edifices, and that I must carry out my principle further, and appropriate the churches of the Protestant Establishment to the Catholic worship? [An hon. hon. Member: " Certainly."' Certainly ! Well, but when I have done that, will that be equality? The Established Church stands in a certain relation to the State. It is represented as a part of the State. Its members occupy seats in the House of Lords. Will it be equality if I leave the Protestant bishop, with his seat in the House of Lords, and tell the Roman Catholic prelate that he is to have no corresponding voice in that House? Will not the principle of equality, then, extend either to the exclusion of the Protestant prelate from the House of Lords, or to the admission of the Roman Catholic prelate into that branch of the Legislature? If the principle of equality applies not merely to ecclesiastical revenue, but to the political relations of the religious establishment with the State all that I can say is that the change you propose to make is of a much more extensive and complex nature than that which you may at first contemplate. If that is to be the relation of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Establishments in Ireland, as between them and the State, what is the arrangement I am to make with respect to the Roman Catholics in this country. Are the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland to have seats in the House of Lords, and the Protestant Bishops of this country to have seats, and yet the Roman. Catholic Bishops of England are not to have seats? What relation is the Roman Catholic church in England to bear to- wards the State? Should the hon. and learned Gentleman succeed in his measure of confiscation of the revenues of the Church, or should the noble Lord succeed in his more limited application of that revenue to general ecclesiastical purposes, it appears to me that they will have many important matters to consider before they shall have established that perfect equality for which they both contend as being essential to the ecclesiastical establishments of the country. Now these, I admit, are extreme cases. There may be some principle in the course which the hon. and learned Gentleman proposes. I think it unjust—I think it most unwise—I think it most disadvantageous, so to alter the relation in which the Protestant religion stands towards the State in this country; but, at all events, I think the proposal of the hon. and learned Gentleman is established upon some principle. But with respect to the two propositions which the two noble Lords opposite contemplate, partial in their extent, they would merely have the effect of weakening the foundation and lessening the security of that which they would leave to the Church without giving any satisfaction whatever to the Roman Catholics whom they wish to serve. Why, supposing I should say—I will consider what livings exist in Ireland, where there is a very small population of Protestants—I will respect existing and vested rights, and will merely provide that, in cases where there shall be only forty or fifty inhabitants—some ten years hence, the revenues of those livings, amounting to 300l. or 400l. a year each, shall go to constitute a fund for the use of the Roman Catholics in those parishes; let me ask, in the first place, what would such a fund amount to? And, secondly, let me ask, supposing I did apply that fund to the purposes I have mentioned, should I give the least satisfaction to the Roman Catholics of Ireland? Supposing the noble Lord (the Member for Tiverton) would invert the proposition of the noble Lord (the Member for Sunderland), and instead of giving six sevenths of the revenue of the Church to the Roman Catholics, he would retain six-sevenths to the Protestants and give one-seventh to the Roman Catholics, I ask whether an arrangement of that kind would be in the slightest degree satisfactory? Would it not, if there exist now any objection to a dominant church, leave that objection as perfectly in force as ever? But by establishing that principle should I not have made it infinitely more difficult to adopt those other means which the noble Lord opposite proposes for me to do? I must, therefore, take the opposite extreme. I look to the Act of Union, but I at once admit that no contracts of that kind can be successfully pleaded, if necessity requires their alteration. I should think it most unfortunate to be compelled to depart from it. I should think it would have a great tendency to shake public confidence in contracts of that kind, if anything short of absolute necessity made me to depart from it. Such acts are great national compacts. You overcome great prejudices and obstinate objections by making such contracts. You give them all the force of law. You guarantee, as far as the Legislature can guarantee, a permanence in their duration. It has a great tendency to shake public confidence in the measures of the Legislature to depart from them without the strongest proof of the necessity of such, a course. You may again have to overcome violent objections and prejudices; you may have again to offer equivalent measures, precautions and securities, for the purpose of abating the force of those prejudices. If you preserve your former compacts with them, the public may place reliance in your new assurances, may accept your new securities, and may again relinquish to you long cherished prejudices. But if they find they cannot place confidence in you, that after having entered into a compact of this kind you break that compact with them, your future acts will be accompanied with this great objection, that you diminish your power of doing a public good by diminishing public confidence in your measures. In I825 what were the assurances given to the people of this country by the greatest advocates of the Roman Catholics? An hon. Gentleman has referred to the speech I made on that occasion. I certainly did say that I feared that the predictions of those eminent men would not be fulfilled. I hope the hon. Gentleman will at least believe that I might have been sincere as to my apprehensions of the result of the concessions at that time proposed to be made; that I might have mistrusted those who gave us the assurance that the removal of the political disabilities of the Roman Catholics would not in the slightest degree affect the stability of the Protestant Church. No one could doubt that there was great objection on the part of the people of this country to those concessions being made. But the "influence of argument," the apprehension of greater danger if they were withheld, and the positive declarations of the most eminent men, tended to remove the strong objection which had existed against the removal of those disabilities. Mr. Grattan, who boasted, mid with justice, of the desperate fidelity with which he adhered to the cause of Ireland, and to the interests of his Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen-Mr. Grattan positively assured the House and the Protestant subjects of the Sovereign, that in his opinion the removal of the Roman Catholic disabilities would add new security to the Established Church. In the preamble of the bill proposed and brought forward by that right hon. Gentleman, there was distinctly stated and embodied a declaration to maintain the Established Church in Ireland; and in addition to this often expressed determination of that eminent man, I find that Mr. Canning concurred in this determination, and even that Mr. Plunkett concurred in it. All these eminent men agreed in saying, that they never would be parties to any act by which the foundations of the national Church would be shaken. The maintenance of that Church, therefore, was not only provided for by national engagements, but also by the most positive asseverations and declarations made by the most eminent and distinguished advocates of the Catholic claims. Unprepared, then, as I am to travel one step in the direction pointed out by the hon. and learned Gentleman, shall I advance with the noble Lord the Member for the City of London, and the noble Lord the Member for Tiverton, as far as the Established Church is involved, and try to purchase a supposed preservation of it by the relinquishment of a small portion of its revenues. I doubt whether I should succeed in the latter; nor do I think that it would stand on sounder or better ground. I say this with the more confidence, seeing what were the engagements and assertions of the most eminent advocates of the Catholic claims—seeing the engagements that were made at the time the Relief Bill passed—seeing what has been done with respect to the Established Church in the reduction of the number of its bishops, in the reduction of its ecclesiastical reve- nues—seein g that provision has been made for a new appropriation of them, and a new distribution of them, so that there should not be excess here and starvation there—seeing that the people have been relieved from the payment of church-cess —seeing also, that we have taken the payment of tithes from the occupier, and transferred it to the owner—if all this has been unsuccessful in giving content and tranquillity, am I to expect to obtain it by a partial concession like that which the noble Lord proposes. Is it likely, ask, that, the appropriation of so small a sum as by such means could be applied to the Roman Catholic religion, would be productive of general satisfaction? Seeing no advantage that is likely to arise from the adoption of a proposition of this partial nature, I therefore am the more disposed to stand on the law as I find it. After all these attempts that have been made to remove abuses that existed in Ireland, I hope and trust that the great body of the Roman Catholics of that country will not be induced to view the Protestant Church there in the light which the hon. and learned Member for Bath did, or that they would be prepared to give their support to any such proposition as he has suggested. The noble Lord alluded to some kind of qualified established Catholic religion in Ireland, and some objections were made that at the time when I brought forward the measure for the removal of their disabilities in 1829, I did not take the opportunity of placing on a more satisfactory basis the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. I am satisfied that if any provision or proposition respecting the relations of the Roman Catholic religion with the State had been united to the bill for the removal of the Catholic disabilities, that it would have obstructed the success of that measure. The expressions used by me on this subject in 1829, namely, as to the relations of the Roman Catholic religion to the State, were as follow:— I am not insensible to the force of those arguments which have been urged in favour of admitting the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland to a qualified and subordinate establishment, by giving stipends to the Roman Catholic priesthood from the public funds. This was the measure contemplated by Mr. Pitt in 1801, and uniformly urged by Lord Castlereagh, as an arrangement which ought to accompany the removal of the political disabilities of the Roman Catholics. But, on the other hand, there are formidable objections to such an arrangement. Such interference. if accomplished by measures for connecting that Church with the State, would provoke much greater objections throughout the country, and would give much greater offence, than the mere relief of the Roman Catholic from civil incapacities. If we treat the Catholic question as a question of policy, and confine ourselves to the grant of civil privilege, we shall rest the discussion upon grounds totally different from those upon which we should have to discuss it, if we were to imply any sanction of the tenets of the Roman Catholic faith, or to make public provision for the inculcation of its peculiar doctrines. These were the grounds which induced me in 1829 to think that it would be most unwise to mix up the religious question with the political question, and being most anxious to carry the political measure, I thought the Government adopted a wise discretion in refusing to enter upon the subject. I think also that at the present time, it would be most unwise to make a declaration on this subject. I think that if the Government made a sudden declaration that it intended to attempt the establishment of a concordat, and to make provision for the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland, that it is as doubtful whether, instead of allaying excitement and agitation, it would not rather have the effect of increasing dissatisfaction in Ireland. The noble Lord, the Member for Tiverton, spoke of permitting individuals to make some provision for the maintenance of the Roman Catholic church, by giving small portions of land as glebes to the Catholic clergy. On that subject, also, I shall decline expressing any opinion rather than in a general debate of this nature going into the subject. I am, therefore, forced back on the proposition of the hon. and learned Gentleman. I do not believe that it would be wise to make such concessions as the hon. Gentleman and others have recommended, or that they could be granted consistently with the public interests. I cannot consent to do so, or to agree to adopt any of the propositions that have been suggested. But if others, and this House, and the majority of it, believe that the time has arrived for considering any further concession, let them fairly express their opinions by their votes. I believe that the best mode of arranging matters of this nature is by looking to public opinion, expressed by its proper organ, namely, the ma- jority of this House; and believing, if such should be the opinion of this House, that these questions could be much better arranged by others than by myself, or by those who have concurred with me in opinion — I trust that no partiality for the present Government—that no former declaration of intentions to support it— that no false delicacy—will permit hon. Gentlemen who entertain opinions contrary to those which I have expressed, from recording their votes in accordance with their opinions in a matter of vital importance to the empire. I approach the last subject to which I shall advert, namely, the question of the Repeal of the Union. On a former occasion, I stated that it was the determination of her Majesty's Government to use all the power and authority which Office can confer, to maintain inviolate the Legislative Union between the two countries. I then understood, and I still understand, that upon that subject there is an almost unanimous feeling in the House. By the late Government, his Majesty King William was induced to announce to Parliament that he considered that the Repeal of the Union was tantamount to the dismemberment of the empire, and a public and solemn declaration was made by both Houses of Parliament, and by the Crown at the instance of the Government, that all the power and authority of the State should be exerted for the maintenance of the Union, and the Crown appealed to all its loyal subjects to co-operate in support of this object. All the Members of the then Government who gave their opinions upon the subject now under the notice of Parliament, declared in the most emphatic manner that there was no extent to which they would not resort for the preservation and the maintenance of the Legislative Union. Of course when they talked of resorting to extremes, they did not allude to constitutional attempts that might be made in that House to get a Repeal of the Union, but to all attempts by physical force or intimidation that might be made to attain that object. I was sorry, however, to hear the noble Lord say, that he regarded the discussion of the Repeal of the Union as on the same footing as the repeal of any other act of Parliament. Does the noble Lord mean to say that after the declaration on the part of the Crown to which I have adverted, that there is to be an equal liberty of discussing the Repeal of the Union, as the rescinding any common act of Parliament. I apprehend that in regard to other measures, such a declaration on the part of the Crown would not be resorted to. Surely the Crown would not pronounce with respect to any ordinary act of Parliament, that under no circumstances —under no consideration—could its repeal be entertained—that the Crown would do everything in its power to prevent such repeal, and that, in fine, it considered the Repeal of the Union would be tantamount to severing the two countries, and a dismemberment of the empire. Surely, with respect to the Corn-law, or other acts of Parliament, it would not be the case that all loyal subjects should be called upon to combine in resistance against agitation for its repeal. It is undoubtedly a question of discretion and policy. The Crown did pursue an unusual course in declaring that opinion with regard to the Repeal of the Union. It was the opinion of the Government then in power. The opinion of the present Government is the same. We consider the Repeal of the Union tantamount to a dismemberment of the empire. We hold that it would be utterly impossible to conduct two independent Legislatures under one Executive. In the case of war what are you to do? Is the Irish Parliament to have perfect liberty to take its own course with regard to war? In the case of revenue, what are you to do? Is the Irish Parliament to have its own cruizers for the purpose of protecting its revenue? Is the Irish Parliament to have its own army? If it is to be perfectly independent, why not? If it is to have these things, is it not perfectly clear that the seeds of collision are immediately sown, and that there must be war? The interests of the two countries might be differently affected. The hon. Member for Limerick talks about non-intercourse. Sir, of the consequences flowing from the establishment of two independent Legislatures, one of the least noxious would probably be that protective duties would be immediately applied, to the detriment of industry and the interruption of commerce. For if you are to have a separate revenue, if you are to have a separate government, if you are to have a separate army, if you are to have a separate fleet for the protection of your revenue, how you are to continue to act harmoniously under one Executive, for the period of one year is a problem that utterly passes my comprehension. Sir, I consider that the injurious effects of a measure of this kind, are comparatively and fully demonstrated, but, independently of that, you have the solemn declaration made from the Throne to Parliament—made from the Throne by the advice of the late Government, which could leave no doubt on the minds of his Majesty's subjects as to the construction which his Majesty and the Government put upon this important question. We, therefore, have, without seeking for any new laws, felt it to be our duty to exercise all the authority of the Government, for the purpose of discountenancing the agitation of the question. We have also taken all the measures in our power to adopt for the purpose of preventing the disturbance of the public peace. But I am asked what course I intend to pursue? I am told—Declare your course. Sir, I am prepared to pursue that course which I consider I have pursued already; namely, to administer the law in Ireland upon principles of justice and impartiality. I am prepared to recognise the principle established by the law—that there shall be equality in civil privileges. I am prepared, in respect to the franchise, to give substantially, although not nominally, equality. In respect to the social condition of Ireland—that point upon which, as I have said, no party feeling can prevail—with respect, I say, to the social condition of Ireland, as to the relation between landlord and tenant, I am prepared to give the most deliberate consideration to the important matters involved in those questions. With respect to the Established Church, I have already stated that we are not prepared to make an alteration in the law by which that Church is maintained. But, Sir, it is said, Why do you do nothing? Why do you stand with folded arms? Why do you not bring in measures of coercion? I know well what a tendency there is to press for measures of coercion; and not content with pressing for the employment of the powers and means in the possession of the Government to demand the instant proposal of new coercive laws, and to rely upon them for the suppression of agitation. I claim for the Government the entire right to judge with regard to the discretion to be exercised whether as to the application of the existing law, or as to the appeal to Parliament for new laws and new powers. I am not ashamed, Sir, of acting with forbearance and moderation in a matter of this kind. I believe, whatever may be the clamour for new restrictions and new coercion, that the hasty and precipitate demand for them does not add to the strength of the executive. I think that the agitation which exists in Ireland cannot proceed without ranging on the side of the Government many who must be alarmed for the consequences which must infallibly flow from it. I speak not now of Protestant or Roman Catholic—I will make no distinction between them. But I ask, can the Roman Catholic proprietor, or can the Protestant proprietor feel himself safe if the principles which are contended for in the course of this agitation are to prevail? What will be that constitution in Ireland which is to be founded upon their appeals to the passions, their appeal to the credulity of ignorance or to distress. Do you believe that the first act of the Irish Parliament —if you were to carry your repeal—will be one to realise the expectations that have been excited? As loyal subjects can you join in the appeal to foreign countries without dishonour? I will not do you the injustice to suppose that you participate in such disloyalty. If the necessity should arise hereafter, I know that past forbearance will only strengthen the claim of the Government upon the assistance of Parliament. Some, from weakness or timidity, may have been driven down the stream, and swept into the vortex of this agitation, but as regards the calm, intelligent, and reasoning men in Ireland, I cannot believe that this display of physical force will induce them to join in the ranks of repeal, or blind them to the danger to property, to peace, to security, which is inseparable from this agitation. For myself I say, in answer to these demands for measures of coercion, that I feel a source of strength to the Government in showing confidence in the loyalty of those who I believe are well affected to the Government. And I believe that forbearance in a Government, when it can safely be maintained, will rather add to the strength than cause the weakness of that Government. I say then, Sir, our firm determination is to do everything than can be done by authority, or by power, to resist the success of the Repeal of the Union by any other mode than the constitutional one of a deliberate act of the Legislature. The Roman Catholics say to me, "If we support you against repeal, what argument can we assign to our constituents?" Surely this—that you are convinced, after full consideration of the relations between the two countries—after the endurance of the Union for the long period of forty years—after the proofs you have had of the consequences of a separate Parliament—after the demonstrations that must have been shown to you that the re-establishment of a really independent Legislature must lead to collision and to war, and that the arena of that dreadful warfare must probably be your own island—surely, I say, you can state that as a reason for refusing to support the agitation for repeal. Other reasons, too, I submit, with all deference, you may assign to your Roman Catholic constituents. Review the events of the past fourteen years, the immense social revolutions that have taken place. Consider that in that period you have been placed on a footing of civil and religious equality with the Protestant part of the community. I speak not of this as a concession; I claim no gratitude for it, as a concession; it was entirely a sense of duty which impelled me to do what I did. But it cannot be denied, that in that period there has been a great transfer of power—the municipal franchise, it may be, is still incomplete and imperfect, but still there has been a transfer of power from the Protestants to you, the Roman Catholics. Has there not been manifested, on the part of the Imperial Parliament, towards you, and towards the country to which you belong, the most kindly feeling? Can you doubt, that on the part of the Imperial Parliament there exists that kindly feeling —evinced, as it has been, by a sincere desire, amid all our difficulties, to promote the social welfare of Ireland; by the whole events of the period of which I have spoken; by the indications which have from time to time been manifestly given of the gradual disappearance of the hostility which once grew out of religious differences. Let me appeal to you, by one common fame, by one common glory, by the remembrance of the conflicts in which the men of the two countries have been engaged, and by which they have achieved higher renown than any other country ever yet attained—let me appeal to you whether the honour of our common glory, the fear of common distress, are not argu- ments upon which you, in turn, can successfully appeal to your constituents, and your fellow-countrymen, whether these arc not a sufficient justification of your resolution to stand by us in our determination to resist the agitation for the repeal of the legislative union of the two countries.

Lord John Russell

spoke as follows; ٭ I am ready to address the House even at this late hour (it was half-past one o'clock) but I trust the House will extend to me its indulgence, the more particularly as I labour under great disadvantage in rising at the close of so protracted a debate, and after a declaration from the first Minister of the Crown, which has naturally excited so much interest. I must, in the first instance, declare that I have heard with any thing but satisfaction the speech which the right hon. Gentleman has delivered. During the greater part of it I could have thought that I was listening to the address of some Member in opposition, who, finding the noble Lord the Member for Sunderland, the hon. Member for Sheffield, and several others in power, was making use of the most ingenious arguments in order to show that the plans of their Government were totally inefficient. That line of argument, however proper from an Opposition leader, certainly did not seem to me to be the course suited to the position of the first Minister of the Crown in discussing so important a matter as the present. Disguise from ourselves, we cannot, that Ireland is in a most critical situation; that meetings not only attended by great multitudes, but, by persons of every class except the highest, assemble to promote the object which they seem to have at heart, but, which we consider—I hope, as the right hon. Gentleman has said, unanimously—as tantamount to the dismemberment of the empire. That this state of things is serious, no one can doubt; that it is alarming, few will deny; but the fear with which it ought to inspire us should be rather of that sort which the great Lord Chatham described as "magnanimous fear "—a fear of doing injustice—a fear lest we should not prove ourselves equal to the high duties which we have to perform—a fear accompanied by every consideration which should make us endeavour to be acquainted with the extent *From a pamphlet published by Messrs. Longman. of the danger, and by every precaution which should make us know how to avoid it. Now, Sir, with respect to the avoidance of the danger, different courses have been advised. I shall first refer to that which the right hon. Baronet has mentioned—the course of bare coercion; of the introduction of laws, if the present should not be found sufficient, in order to put a stop to the public meetings, and to suppress the public feeling and the declarations of public sentiment in Ireland. Sir, I think the right hon. Baronet is perfectly right in not taking the advice of irresponsible persons who are urging the Government into abrupt and premature measures of coercion. I think that the Government have acted wisely in not asking for new powers hostile to the liberty of the subject. Another course which I shall mention in passing, is, that of conceding what the multitudes in Ireland demand. We all, I believe, agree that it is impossible to take such a course. I am ready to repeat now, what I stated in the declarations I made, I think, some ten years ago, that we cannot have the Repeal of the Union. without its being followed by war between the two countries. T think, that short of war—short of that dreadful extremity—one immediate consequence of closing the markets of this rich country to the produce of Ireland, or restricting its importation, would be still more to depress those who even now can scarcely obtain a fair price for the products of their industry. But I shall say nothing more on this subject; for, indeed, I believe that on this head we are all so agreed as to render any remarks unnecessary. I shall proceed, therefore, to deal with another course—that on which the Government seem to rely—the course of doing nothing at all; of proposing no measures to the Legislature—of waiting to hear what other Members have to say—of remarking that this Member made a proposal, but that there are "doubts as to its advisability"—that that Member threw out a plausible suggestion, but that "it requires consideration"—that another Member had a large plan which might be worthy discussion, but which is attended with so much danger, that "on the whole it is better not to adopt it." That is a course which, being taken by the Government, adds much to the apprehensions I feel as to what is going; on in Ireland, because it seems to me to argue a want of capacity, a want of energy, a want of all which the state of the times and the present disturbances require. Sir, I could well understand that this was a course advisable to be taken if any Member on either side of the House could really declare that there were no considerable grievances in Ireland—that every thing the law could do by wisdom—that every thing the Government could do by beneficence and vigour had been done for that country, and that therefore any expression of discontent is only the expression of a wanton desire of change. But, Sir, is that the state of Ireland? The evils which afflict that country are social and political: of the former class some have been referred to particularly in the course of the debate, with respect to which I wish to make a few observations. I allude to the relation between landlord and tenant, and what has been called fixity of tenure. When the question was on a previous occasion before the House, although my information was too imperfect to enable me to make any suggestion for the removal of the evil complained of, still I felt that the state of the law was such as to require amendment. I will not weaken the effect of the suggestions which have been made by various hon. Members connected with Ireland on the subjects of these particular causes of discontent to which I have al-hided, by any remarks of my own in connection with that subject. Some of these suggestions struck me as worthy of adoption. They are consistent with the rights of property. There can be no reason why the present Government should not have adopted some of those suggestions, and brought forward on its responsibility some measure of improvement. It certainly cannot be said that the Government has been deterred from doing so by any violent language made use of in this debate by the representatives of Ireland; for never have I witnessed in this House speeches characterised by a more temperate spirit, or suggestions that were more moderate or practical. From their tone and temper it was demonstrated that these topics were not taken up as themes of complaint, but adduced with a view to redress grievances which press hardly upon the people. I will not attempt to weaken the force of these suggestions; but I trust they will have the proper effect upon the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite. I will now come to topics of a political nature. I have on a former occasion expressed my opinion with respect to the treatment which Ireland has received from this country. I am more and more convinced of the justice of my views on that subject. I still maintain that we ought to deal with Ireland as we deal with England. The rule ought to be a perfect equality of privileges between the two countries. I see no reason why the Queen's subjects in Ireland should not enjoy the same benefits of the free constitution of this country which we do in England. With respect to many of these privileges, with regard to personal liberty and the rights conferred by the Habeas Corpus Act, I must say, in spite of the language which has been addressed to the people of that country, that Irishmen have the full enjoyment of those rights. With respect to those rights, the citizens of France and Spain have not equal securities with the Irish people; but, I will ask, have they the rights of the people of England? I say certainly not. They have not the rights of political franchise which we enjoy in this country. I consider the mode in which the First Lord of the Treasury and the Secretary of State for the Home Department have dealt with this question amounts to mere quibbling. Is it not true that the counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire contain nearly as many registered electors as exist in the whole of Ireland? If you say that a right of voting for a freehold in fee would not be an advantage to Ireland, I say you have recourse to a quibble. The Irish possess no such franchise. The plain meaning of equality is, that where one kind of tenure does not afford a basis for a right of voting equal to both countries, some equivalent franchise should be granted. The noble Lord said, if such was the case, I was to blame, inasmuch as I was a party to the Reform Bill, which settled the question of the franchise. Before proposing that franchise, I took every opportunity of ascertaining the opinion of Irishmen. I consulted Mr. O'Connell on the occasion, and asked him to tell me what franchise would place Ireland on the same footing with England. I stated to the noble Lord what that opinion was. I then left the question in the hands of those Members of the Government who had charge of the Irish Reform Bill. But this I must say, that Lord Duncannon understood the words which conferred the county franchise differently from the mode in which the majority of the Irish judges have since interpreted them. I have no doubt the judges may have given a strictly legal interpretation of that franchise; but I contend, if it is the case that some of those who were parties to the Reform Bill did not understand the words introduced in the bill to have the legal meaning which they were afterwards ascertained to have, and if it is found by practice that the franchise is restricted to such an extent that the county voters in Ireland will be reduced in a few years to a very small body, I say that is a reason for reconsidering the whole question of the franchise, and making it in reality equal. We are told, indeed, that it is not now the intention of Government to introduce a bill on this subject. I cannot see why, instead of interrupting the discussion on the Irish Poor-law, it that bill was necessary for the formation of a measure on this subject, we did not go through the committee on those?points on which there was a general agreement in the House; and then Government might have proceeded to introduce their liberal and extensive plan. Or, indeed, when the House was generally agreed, as I think they were on the main provisions of the Poor-law Bill, without going into committee, if you had introduced a bill establishing a large and liberal franchise in the counties of Ireland, that would have afforded a reason for putting some degree of confidence in your intentions towards Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman used a very extraordinary phrase on this subject. It was this—that if Ministers had a majority, an overpowering majority, and if they had not used it for the purpose of passing the Irish Registration Bill of the noble Lord, whom I see opposite, it was a clear proof that they had refused to use this powerful majority as a means of committing injustice against the people of Ireland. No doubt, extremely kind and forbearing ! But when they introduced that measure as an opposition, and without an extended franchise, did they then mean to commit an injustice? My right hon. Friend, the Member for Edinburgh, is much blamed for having introduced party into this question; but really I am met in some of these questions by the necessity of alluding to the conduct of those now in office, when they were in opposition, and I am obliged to come to the conclusion that they did as an opposition—not feeling the responsibilities of Government, and not feeling what my right hon. Friend so well alluded to as the responsibilities of opposition — that they then intended to commit injustice against the people of Ireland; or else 1 am forced to this other conclusion, that they introduced the bill merely as a party manœuvre, in the hopes of acquiring votes in a nearly balanced House of Commons. I say, therefore, on the admission of the Prime Minister, that with respect to the franchise, the two countries are not on a footing of equality. I do not think that what is to be done would require very long time; ten days or a fortnight would be sufficient to prepare a bill which would effect this object. With respect to the municipal franchise, it has been well remarked, that if you had placed the question entirely on the ground that you thought this the most convenient franchise for the towns of Ireland—that franchise in itself would not have been considered so offensive; but you especially refused that franchise, because the bill applied to Ireland. You agreed to a popular franchise for England and Scotland; but you denied it to Ireland. Could it then be expected that the people should not be excited? They are said by hon. Gentlemen to be of a sensitive character, and easily excited; and does it not then become you to do something to soothe their sensibility by attending to their claims for an equality of the franchise. Passing now from the question of political rights, I will proceed to notice some other matters which have been urged in these debates, and particularly with respect to the Church of Ireland. I am happy to have an opportunity to explain my opinion on this subject, which has been misunderstood by the right hon. Gentleman, and not only by him but other hon. Members. I do not blame them for misapprehending my argument on this subject; for what I said was introduced incidentally, when I did not intend to address the House, and my argument was not sufficiently full to free the matter from obscurity. It will be recollected, perhaps, that I was applying myself to an argument of Mr. O'Connell, which had been repeatedly used in the House and in the country. He said, that in England you have a church of the majority: in Scotland you have a church of the majority; while in Ireland you have a church of the minority. My argument was, that if you followed out this argument to its legitimate consequences, the necessary result must be, that you must establish the Catholic Church in Ireland, as that is the church of the majority. I proceeded to argue as a friend to an Established Church, that there were many reasons, and these amongst others, for supporting an Established Church. An Established Church is intended to promote religion and morality, and also to promote those minor purposes of order and regularity, which it is one of the duties of Government to promote. I said, that this is found to be the case with the Established Church in England; it is the case with the Established Church in Scotland; but with the Established Church in Ireland it cannot be the case. The same general principle applied to the Protestant Church of Ireland, shows that it is a complete anomaly. My argument was this, that the Established Church of Ireland ought to act beneficially on the hearts, minds, and affections of the people, inspiring greater reverence for God, and good-will to man. If the Established Church be the church of a small minority only—one-tenth, or one-seventh, or onesixth—how can it have those effects on the minds of the country? The right hon. Gentleman, the recorder of Dublin said, that the doctrines of the Church to which he belongs are sound. That may be a topic of congratulation for the right hon. Gentleman and those who belong to the Church, but it will not be any satisfaction to those statesmen who look to the Government of the country, and wish to govern it in peace and tranquillity, to find that the Established Church has no useful operation on the minds of six-sevenths of the people. It can be no satisfaction to the Government to find that the Church makes no impression on the minds of the people. I ask the House, can this be right? What then is to be done? In comparing the state of Ireland to that of Scotland, I find, that on the accession of King William 3rd, Scotland was disturbed pretty much as Ireland now is, several districts were in a state of great agitation, and a plot was formed against his Government; one of the first things he did was to establish the Presbyterian religion as the religion of the State, and abolish episcopacy. The number of Episcopalians in Scotland comprised but a very small portion of the richest and highest rank in that country—the general body of the community—the learned and the noble as well as the poor and middle classes belonging to the Presbyterian religion. If you were to follow the same course in Ireland as had been followed in Scotland, and establish the Roman Catholic religion as the sole religion of the State, you would not find the case to be similar; you would find that the great portion of those who possessed property in the country, and some 800,000 or 900,000 of the people, and a large proportion of the members of the law profession, the merchants, and other influential classes, would belong to what would then be a dissenting sect. That would not then be doing as you had done in Scotland, and the institution as an Established Church would still be defective. I should say, then, that we ought not to subvert the Protestant Established Church in Ireland, but that the Roman Catholic Church, with its bishops and clergy, should be placed by the State on a footing of equality with that Church. I take the term which had been already employed—the term equality. This is my principle. I am not now called upon to propose a plan, because, standing in the position I do, it would riot be my place to do so; but any plan I should propose would he to follow out that principle of equality with all its consequences. Then, with respect to practical measures, no practical measure could be adopted by a Government on this subject more than upon any other without first consulting the parties most interested in the intended change. When I was in Government, and had in view what changes it might be right to propose on this subject, I asked my noble Friend, Lord Normanby, to ascertain what were the sentiments of the Roman Catholic prelates as to the payment of the Roman Catholic clergy by the State; and my noble Friend having made the inquiry, reported that their opinion was averse to that proposition. I state this to show that the subject had not escaped my attention, and to show also the difficulty of carrying such a plan into effect. The object could not be effected by proposing any concordat with the court of Rome, or any law in this country which should bind and fetter the freedom of the Roman Catholic prelates and clergy. On this, as on all other subjects, we most consider the feelings and respect the scruples of the people—we must weigh well their objections, and anxiously endeavour to secure their affections by convincing them that the object of the Government was the same as ought to be theirs—the uniting ail the three kingdoms in one common bond, in which there should be no superiority, and in which all should enjoy the benefits of the constitution. I do nut know that I can use any expressions which could convey my meaning on this subject so good as those which were once employed by Mr. Fox, in one of his many admirable speeches in reference to Ireland. Mr. Fox said,— The Protestant ascendancy has been compared to a garrison in Ireland; it is not in our power to add to the strength of this garrison, but I would make the besiegers themselves part of the garrison."* And that I maintain was, and is the true line of policy. Then there remains another question on which the Members of the Administration who have spoken have made their defence,—namely, the general administration and distribution of patronage in Ireland. I must confess that if they persuaded me that as a party, they could not do otherwise, and that having to choose from amongst their friends they had chosen those persons most fitted for the office to which they nad been appointed, though they might make that a sufficient defence of their own personal conduct, they would convince me the more that they were unable to carry on satisfactorily the Government of Ireland. If they had made three or four unsatisfactory appointments by mistake, or through carelessness, something better might be expected for the future; but when they said, this is our system, and defended their acts on party grounds, it was evident they could only resort to a small minority of the Irish people from whom to select to fill the Government offices, and I know nothing more calculated than this to give offence to the majority of the people. The right hon. Member for Dublin University had asked, was anything so absurd as to suppose that if Sir M. O'Loghlin had been alive, the present Government would have appointed him to a judicial situation? I say why not? The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the * Fox's Speeches, May 14, 1805. Government four years ago made the singular admission that Ireland was his difficulty. If, then, he foresaw the magnitude of the difficulty, why did he not adopt a remedy of equal magnitude? This is a case in which that right hon. Baronet, if he wished to govern Ireland well, should have looked beyond mere party connexions and have fixed upon some man or men in whom the people of that country would have felt confidence. An instance might be taken from a still more extraordinary time—when Cromwell found this kingdom under his rule. He sent for Mr. Hale, afterwards Sir Matthew Hale, to take office; but the objection of that lawyer was not merely that he was of another party, but he objected to the lawfulness of Cromwell's authority. What did that great man say? That it was no reason whatever why he should not appoint him. He must, he said, govern England either by the red gowns or the red coats, and he preferred the former. He therefore sent Mr. Hale to go forth and administer justice impartially to the people of England. The present case is not so very different. Either you must govern by the ordinary means of justice, or you would be obliged to govern by force. Indeed, I am tempted to ask by what means is Ireland governed now? By what means is tranquillity maintained there, if it is not by the declaration of the popular leader, that he wishes for tranquillity, and by the presence there of the great military force that has been introduced? Is it intended to govern Ireland by the permanent presence of a large 'garrison there, the Government in the mean time hesitating what measures to adopt, saying they do not see their way to anything beneficial, but that in the mean while they will put down resistance if it take place; and resting satisfied, though without the support and affections of the people whom it it is proposed to govern? We cannot disguise from ourselves that the party of the Repealers has been gaining ground within. the last three mouths—nay, within the last three weeks. Every day some new person, either a country gentleman or a member of the middle orders of society, is to be found joining its ranks—in the first place, from despair of any thing being proposed by the Government, and next from disgust at the coarse means and inefficient measures hitherto adopted to resist the agitation; in dismissing magistrates who ought never to have been dismissed; introducing n a most unfit manner the name of her Majesty into your declaration to resist Repeal of the Union, and thereby giving great advantages to those who were promoting the repeal agitation; marching troops about in a way which, to use the expression of an hon. Friend of his lately come from Ireland, made the Government ridiculous. All these things show that there are not any large or great measures of legislative or executive government in contemplation and also exhibits that kind of weakness and vaccination which induces many to desert a cause, in supporting which such errors are shown. In the course which I propose I am not proposing any thing different from what has been done at different periods of our history. In 1782, when the volunteers were in arms, and the peace of Ireland was threatened, and when those who prided themselves on their firmness and resolution were for having them put down before measures of conciliation were adopted, Mr. Fox brought to this House a message from the Crown recommending that there should be such a final adjustment of the matters in dispute as should give mutual satisfaction to the people of both countries.* The settlement proposed gave up many points to which the Government had hitherto been accustomed inflexibly to adhere. When by the corruption of the Irish Parliament that settlement was perverted the Union was carried; but unfortunately omitting the concession of civil rights to the Roman Catholics, A few years after, the people of Ireland again showed themselves in a state of discontent, not in arms, but in such a manner as to disturb the relations of society. What was done then? Why emancipation was granted, and at the same time the Catholic Association was put down. At that time the Duke of Wellington made a speech which would be remembered by future generations. He said, that much of his life as had been spent in war, he would rather sacrifice that life than see one mouth of civil war in any country with which he was con- *" G. H. His Majesty being concerned to find that discontents and jealousies are prevailing among his loyal subjects in Ireland, upon matters of great weight and importance, earnestly recommends to this House to take the same into their most serious consideration, in order to such a final adjustment as may give a mutual satisfaction to both kingdoms. nected. To that sentiment of a great man he added the reflection of a wise one. He remarked, that when the rebellion broke out in Ireland, both Houses of Parliament offered and gave their full aid to the Government to put it down; but the first act of Mr. Pitt, after it was put down, was to declare his wish to make concessions to the Roman Catholics of Ireland. With that brevity which distinguishes all the political declarations of the Duke of Wellington, he went no further than that statement—leaving others to draw the moral, which was, that, notwithstanding the victory which this powerful country must obtain in such a struggle, after all the desolation of civil war, and those miseries which he declared he would give his life to prevent, your best course, after all, was to make those concessions which, if made in the first instance, might have prevented so lamentable a result. That was the warning which the Duke of Wellington deduced from the conduct of Mr. Pitt. If I might be permitted to offer my humble opinion on the acts of so great a man, 1 would say that his proposal of that day placed a still more immortal wreath on his brow than did the victory of Waterloo itself. I ask the Government then, to look at these two examples. It is not beneath the dignity of the right hon. Gentleman to follow in the steps of one of the greatest statesmen and one of the greatest warriors who ever lived in this country, or to refuse to do what Mr. Fox did in 1782, and the Duke of Wellington did in I829. I cannot think it necessary for the right hon. Baronet now to be more stern, more dignified, or more full of pride than were then those two great men. See the wisdom of entering on a course of conciliation. If you have not any measure which is like the measures of those days, the instant granting of which would produce peace, yet there is a series of Incasures, but measures that must be accompanied by the administration in Ireland of men who belong to the people of Ireland, and having acted with the people of Ireland, that would attain that desirable end. But when they see persons promoted who are to be the instruments of your measures who have within these four or five years, accused the Roman Catholics of violating their oaths—who have denounced the system of national education, of which you are yourselves the patrons—don't wonder that they have no confidence in you. I hope the House will not think I am unduly going into what may be represented as party feeling; but it is a matter much affecting your decision on this great subject, and your future course of government. The people of Ireland have seen as the people of England have seen, during the last four or five years, a contest carried on upon religious grounds, in which offence against the Roman Catholic religion and abuse of Roman Catholics admitted (into office formed great part of the weapons that were used in that warfare. And don't think that when they see that those who in that savage encounter raised the loudest warwhoop, and those who in that conflict steeped their arrows in the deadliest poison—when they see the instigators and chiefs of such barbarous warfare the great supporters and instruments of your government—do not wonder if, from such hands, the people of Ireland are not quite ready to accept, with perfect confidence, the boons that are offered them. It is for this House, as the right hon. Baronet has said, to decide upon the immediate question of this debate; but let him not believe that by merely putting the Ministerial question" Have you still confidence in the Government?"—and thereby bringing those who may still have some doubts as to the wisdom of his career to swell his ranks and produce a majority; let him not think that such a decision will end this question. The arguments of the Government, the temper of the Government, the fear with which, I must say, the Secretary of State for the Home Department spoke on this question—not what Lord Chatham called a magnanimous fear, but what I should rather call a craven fear—must make the people of this country reflect on their present position. They must, they will be forced to take into consideration the state of Ireland in relation to the present position of this country. Who knows with regard to our foreign affairs, how soon we may see the attempt of Louis 14th and of Napoleon Buonaparte to place a member of the French dynasty on the throne of Spain renewed? We are on the best terms, I trust, with the United States of America. I heartily hope that we may be enabled to enter into still more intimate commercial relations with that vast republic, as a great many of her leading men seem also to desire; but there, again, I see that Irish Repealers are proposing to disquiet your frontiers in Canada in order to weaken your strength in Ireland. These things must be considered by the people of this country; and if they ponder on them, as I believe they will, I think they will come to the conclusion that if you are-1 will not say conciliating—I will not say beneficent—but if you are just to Ireland, you will be invincible; if you hesitate, you will be in the utmost peril; if you are unjust, the fatal consequences of all injustice will rightly fall upon your heads.

The House then divided, on the question that the debate be now adjourned, which was moved by Mr. Sergeant Murphy: Ayes 82; Noes 216; Majority 134.

List of the AYES.
Aglionby, H. A. Hill, Lord M.
Archbold, R. Hindley, C.
Armstrong, Sir A. Hollond, R.
Barnard, E. G. Howard, P. H.
Barron, Sir H. W. Hume, J.
Blake, M. J. Johnson, Gen.
Blewitt, R. J. Miles, R. M.
Bowring, Dr. Muntz, G. F.
Brotherton, Napier, Sir C.
Browne' hon. W. O'Brien, W. S.
Buller, C. O'Connell, M. J.
Carew, hon. R. S. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Chapman, B. Ogle, S. C. H
Clements, Visct. Palmerston, Visct.
Cobden, R. Parker, J.
Collett, J. Pechell, Capt.
Collins, W. Pigot, rt. hon. D.
Corbally, M. E. Plumridge, Capt.
Crawford, W. S. Power, J.
Curteis, H. B. Protheroe, E.
Dennistoun, J. Ricardo, J. L.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T. Roche, Sir D.
Duff, J. Roche, E. B.
Duke, Sir J. Ross, D. R.
Duncan, Visct. Russell, Lord J.
Duncan, G. Scholefield, J.
Dundas, Adm. Stuart, W. V.
Dundas, D. Thorneley, T.
Ebrington, Visct. Towneley, J.
Elphinstone, H. Trelawny, J. S.
Esmonde, Sir T. Wallace, R.
Ewart, W. Ward, H. G.
Fielden, J. Watson, W. H.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Wawn, J. Twizell.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Williams, W.
Gibson, T. M. Wood, B.
Gisborne, T. Worsley, Lord
Gore, hon. R. Wyse, T.
I Granger, T. C. Yorke, H. R.
Hall, Sir B.
Hastie, A. TELLERS.
Hatton, Capt. V. Murphy, F. S.
Hawes, B. Duncombe, T.
List of the Noes.
Ackers, J. Acland, Sir T. D.
A'Court, Capt. Feilden, W.
Adare, Visct. Ferrand, W. B.
Adderley, C. B. Filmer, Sir E.
Ainsworth, P. Flower, Sir J.
Alford, Visct. Follett, Sir W. W.
Allix, J. P. Forster, M.
Antrobus, E. Fox, S. L.
Arbuthnot, hon. H. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Archdall, Capt. M. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Astell, W. Gladstone, Capt.
Bailey, J. Godson, R.
Bailey, J., jun. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Baillie, Col. Gore, W. R. O.
Baldwin, B. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Baring, hon. W. B. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Beckett, W. Granby, Marq. of
Beresford, Major Greenall, P.
Berkeley, hon. C. Greene, T.
Bernard, Visct. Grey, rt. hn. Sir G.
Blackburne, J. I. Grimston, Visct.
Blackstone, W. S. Grogan, E.
Blakemore, R. Hale, R. B.
Bodkin, W. H. Halford, H.
Boldero, H. G. Hallyburton, Ld. J. F. G
Borthwick, P. Hamilton, J. H.
Botfield, B. Hamilton, G. A.
Boyd, J. Hamilton, Lord C.
Bramston, T. W. Hampden, R.
Broadley, H Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Broadwood, H. Hayes, Sir E.
Brooke, Sir A. B. Heneage, G. H. W.
Brownrigg, J. S. Henley, J. W.
Bruce, Lord E. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Buck, L. W. Herbert, hon. S.
Buckley, E. Hervey, Lord A.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Hinde, J. H.
Bunbury, T. Hodgson, F.
Burroughes, H. N. Hodgson, R.
Chetwode, Sir J. Holmes, hon. W. A'C.
Cholmondeley, hon. H. Hope, G. W.
Clayton, R. R. Hornby, J,
Clerk, Sir G. Horsman, E.
Clive, Visct. Howard, hon. C.W.G.
Clive, E. B. Howard, hon. J. K.
Codrington, Sir W. Howard, hon. H
Collett, W. R. Howick, Visct.
Compton, H. C. Hughes, W. B.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Jermyn, Earl
Courtenay, Lord Jocelyn, Visct.
Craig, W. G. Jones, Capt.
Cripps, W. Kelly, F. R.
Dalrymple, Capt. Kemble, H.
Damer, hon. Col. Knatchbull, rt. hn. SirE
Darby, G. Labouchere, rt. hn. H.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Lawson, A.
Denison, E. B. Lefroy, A.
Dodd, G. Lennox, Lord A.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Leveson, Lord
Dowdeswell, W. Lincoln, Earl of
Duncombe, hon. O. Lockhart, W.
East, J. B. Lowther, J. H.
Easthope, Sir J. Lowther, hon. Col.
Eaton, R. J. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Eliot, Lord Mc. Geachy, F. A.
Escott, B. Mangles, R. D.
Estcourt, T. G. B. March, Earl of
Farnham, E. B. Marsham, Visct.
Martin, C. W. Scarlett, hon. R. C.
Maxwell, hon. J. P. Scott, hon. F.
Meynell, Capt. Scrope, G. P.
Miles, P. W. S. Sheppard, T.
Mitchell, T. A. Shirley, E. J.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Sibthorp, Col.
Morgan, O. Smith, A.
Morris, D. Smith, rt. hn. T. B. C.
Morison, Gen. Somerset, Lord G.
Murray, C. R. S. Spry, Sir S. T.
Neville, R. Stanley, Lord
Newdigate, C. N. Stewart, J.
Newry, Visct. Stuart, H.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Sturt, H. C.
Norreys, Lord Sutton, hon. H. M.
O'Brien, A. S. Talbot, C. R. M.
Owen, Sir J. Taylor, E.
Packe, C. W. Tennent, J. E.
Paget, Lord W. Thesiger, F.
Pakington, J. S. Thompson, Mr. Ald.
Palmer, R. Thornhill, G.
Patten, J. W. Tollemache, J.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Tomline, G.
Peel, J. Trench, Sir F. W.
Phillips, G. R. Trollope, Sir J.
Polhill, F. Trotter, J.
Pollington, Visct. Turner, E.
Pollock, Sir F. Vesey, hon. T.
Ponsonby, hn. C. F. A. C Vivian, J. E.
Praed, W. T. Whitmore, T.
Pringle, A. Wilbraham, hon. R. B.
Pryse, P. Williams, T. P.
Reid, Sir J. R. Wilshere, W.
Repton, G. W. J. Wodehouse, E.
Rice, E. R. Wood, Col.
Richards, R. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Rolleston, Col. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Rose, rt. hon. Sir G. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Round, J.
Rushbrooke, Col. TELLERS.
Russell, C. Baring, H.
Russell, J. D. W. Young, J.

On the question being again proposed, and the opposition to bringing the debate to a conclusion being again manifested, the debate was adjourned.

House adjourned at Three o'clock.

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