HC Deb 22 August 1846 vol 88 cc954-5

On the Motion for the Third Reading of the Constabulary (Ireland) Bill,


said, that he thought it was a bad thing to enact one set of laws for Ireland with respect to the police, and another for England. He did not wish to impede the progress of the Bill, but he would just point out, that if they paid the police from the Consolidated Fund, the profit would go into the pockets of the landed gentry. He would warn the Government that next Session they would have to bring in another Bill to amend it.


would also raise his voice in reprobation of the principle of this Bill, for he could not see why the landed gentry of Ireland should be relieved from the expense of the constabulary force—a force which was rendered necessary by the conduct of these gentry themselves. He had listened with approbation for five years to the cry of those who now occupied the Treasury bench for equal law between England and Ireland; but was this equal law? Certainly not; it was neither more nor less than relieving the gentry of Ireland, not the people of Ireland, at the expense of the people of this country.


said, that when Sir Robert Peel brought in his great measure for the repeal of the Corn Laws, he had expressly stated that Ireland was entitled to some compensation.


had objected to this Bill in its previous steps, on account of its unconstitutional character, as giving, in fact, the command of a standing army to the Lord Lieutenant. He did hope, however, that there would be no necessity for the use of the extraordinary powers; but that Her Majesty's Ministers would now take an altogether new course. He believed that they would do so, and that the public would hear no more of Coercion Bills, and the exasperation arising from them. He saw an earnest of that new line of conduct in the restoration of those gentlemen to the commission of the peace who had been deprived of that office by the late Lord Chancellor. He trusted also that in Ireland, where this measure was duly appreciated, that the landed gentry would be induced so to act as to render those on their estates an honour and an advantage, instead of, as they too often were, a mischief and a disgrace.


said, that this Bill was brought in on what the present Government considered a pledge on the part of their predecessors; at the same time they did themselves conceive it to be a good, and wise, and necessary measure. So far from its being an unconstitutional measure, it was precisely constitutional; for it gave the Lord Lieutenant the power to protect the lives and properties of Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland, through the aid of the police force of that country, obviating the necessity of employing the military power.


thought that the Irish Members had behaved so generously, so justly, so fairly, and so nobly on the repeal of the Corn Laws, that Ireland was entitled to any relief that could be afforded her. It was but right that every advantage should be given that could be given to the Irish gentry; yet he must say that the people of this country would rather see money spent in Ireland for any other object, than that for which this grant was to be made.

Bill read a third time and passed.

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