§ Mr. Redington
seeing the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government in his place, wished to ask him two questions. On Tuesday last, in reply to a question put to him by the noble Lord the Member for Lynn Regis, the right hon. Gentleman repeated to the House a declaration of the ruling Sovereign, in the year 1834, with 331 respect to the Union, in which it was stated:—This bond of our national strength and safety I have already declared my fixed and unalterable resolution, under the blessing of Divine Providence, to maintain, inviolate, by all the means in my power.The right hon. Baronet had informed the House, that that declaration contained the expressions of King William in 1834, and that he was authorised by her Majesty to repeat that declaration of King William. Now, inasmuch as that declaration, made in reply to a joint address of both Houses of Parliament against repeal, contained a passage which gave some consolation to many of the Irish people, and which ran thus:—I shall at all times be anxious to afford my best assistance in removing all just causes of complaint, and in sanctioning all well considered measures of improvement.But which passage was not repeated by the right hon. Baronet, he wished to know (not being a repealer), in the first place, whether the right hon. Gentleman was authorised by her Majesty also to repeat to the House that further declaration of King William in answer to the joint address of both Houses; and, secondly, whether Government intended to introduce any measures for the removal of " those just causes of complaint " other than the two bills at present in the Books of the House.
§ Sir R. Peel:
The declaration which I made upon Tuesday last, was in reference to an express question put to me by the noble Lord behind me. The hon. Gentleman asks me whether I am authorised to make a corresponding declaration to that made by the late King, with reference to the particular matter to which the hon. Gentleman has called the attention of the House. I presume upon the accuracy of the hon. Gentleman as to the words which 1 quoted, being from the answer returned by King William to the joint address, I thought that these words formed a passage, which by my advice had been inserted in the speech from the Throne in 1835.
§ Mr. Redington
said, that he had taken the passage with reference to the "just causes of complaint," from the answer to the address as read by the Lord Chancellor in the House of Lords.
§ Sir Robert Peel:
The words which I 332 used, were given to me as the answer returned by the King to the joint address of Parliament, and which ran as follows:It is with the greatest satisfaction that I have received this solemn and united expression of the determination of both Houses of Parliament, to maintain, inviolate, the Legislative union between Great Britain and Ireland.It was added,I shall, at all times, be most anxious to afford my best assistance in removing all just causes of complaint, and in sanctioning all well considered measures of improvement.But I will not quarrel with the hon. Gentleman as to the precise words of the royal answer, because whether his version or mine he correct, I am authorized on the part of her Majesty, to announce her adherence to that declaration of King William. With respect to any measures to be introduced, with reference to Ireland, it has been the wish of Government to conduct the executive administration of Ireland, in a spirit of forbearance, moderation, impartiality, and justice. So much for the spirit in which it is our wish to carry on the administration of affairs in Ireland. With respect to our intentions as to new Legislative measures, such a variety of opinions exists as to the probable effect of any new measures, that it is very difficult for me to say beforehand, what measures shall, or shall not, be introduced. In the case of municipal corporations, measures have been introduced to make the provisions of the former bill accord with the intention of the Legislature, and a measure has also been brought in to amend the Irish Poor-law Act; but there are so many, and such various opinions, as to the effect of these measures, that I cannot undertake to say whether they come within the category of " acts to take away the grounds of complaint." All I can say is, that there exists the strongest desire, on the part of the Government, that both the executive and the administration should do nothing inconsistent with the just rights of the Irish people.
I wish to ask the right hon. Baronet under what head of measures for the amelioration of Ireland does the right hon. Gentleman class the Arms Bill.
§ Sir R. Peel:
Sir, I consider that measure calculated to preserve the personal safety of those who reside in Ireland, and to prevent the commission of such terrible crimes as have taken place within the last 333 two years, and therefore calculated to improve the condition of that country.