HC Deb 19 February 1849 vol 102 cc875-905

Order for the Third Reading read. Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third Time." Amendment proposed, "To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this day six months.'"


said, that as the noble Lord the Member for Aylesbury (Lord Nugent) had given notice of his intention to move an Amendment after the third reading, he (Mr. O'Connell) would not trouble the House with two debates in one night on this Bill, but would be content with one debate upon the Amendment of the noble Lord.


said, he was not prepared to allow this Bill to proceed to a third reading without giving the Motion every opposition in his power. If hon. Members acknowledged the principle of the Bill, they would not be in a position to support the Amendment. Among other hon. Members, he found that the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) gave as a reason for supporting this Bill, that the Government would eventually be compelled to introduce some remedial measures for Ireland; and, according to his characteristic consistency, the hon. Gentleman declared his belief that that Government, who had made so many fair promises, and had broken them, would now perform them. Those who supported the present supporters of this measure affected to condemn the practice of yielding to a pressure from without. But who, he would ask, had so practically displayed that feeling as the men who were now in power? Experience had shown that whenever remedial measures for Ireland were suggested, there was always some difficulty to contend with in that House; but when coercive measures were proposed, there then appeared a general concurrence in any attempt to circumscribe the liberties of the people of Ireland. Thus when there was a debate coming on upon the Southampton Small Tenements Bill, there was a very full House; but when that discussion was over, and the division taken on such a Bill, the House was immediately closed, as if by magic. Was the letter of the Earl of Clarendon the indictment upon which the case of the rights of the people of Ireland was to be tried? The noble Earl had stated, that when he was obliged to apply to Parliament for this Bill, the effect had been to ensure tranquillity, and had excited universal joy throughout the country. If such were the case, upon what could the noble Earl base his appeal to the country? The noble Earl had been emphatically addressed, and had received from the corporation of Dublin the most fervent congratulations upon the perfect restoration of tranquillity to the country. Every count, then, in the indictment answered itself. The Earl of Clarendon said, that his object was to put a stop to that system of agitation which, for a period of thirty-nine years, had prevented the influx of capital, and had paralysed industry. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland (Sir W. Somerville), whose whole argument was based on a quibble and juggle, said that the letter of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland had no reference to the repeal of the Union agitation. What system of agitation had been carried on in Ireland, regularly and systematically, for the last thirty years, but agitation for the repeal of the Union? ["Question, question!" and "Time, time!"] He knew well that the noble Lord at the head of the Government wished to bring on the Jewish Disabilities Bill to-night; and many hon. Gentlemen were doubtless anxious that the present discussion should be brought to a close. [Loud cries of "Hear!"] These cheers, then, showed him that more importance was attached by the House to the Jewish question than to the Irish question. But Ministers had always either made Ireland their battlefield, or neglected and misgoverned her. He recollected that the noble Lord, in introducing the Jewish measure last year, had asked, why not admit to the House those who bore the burdens of the country? why should not those who bore those burdens have a portion of the honours? He again asked the House whether they were going to pass this Bill upon the indictment of Lord Clarendon, which was contradictory in every count, and answered itself? But he considered it his duty to take care, as an Irishman having all his life struggled for the emancipation of his country, that no assault should be made upon her liberties whilst he sat silent in that House. If, after the convulsions of March last—and during the Chartist movement—the Government turned out 200,000 military and "specials," and placed the Duke of Wellington at the head of the Army, without calling for a suspension of the constitution, that fact showed that with the watchful eye of Lord Clarendon any danger could have been foreseen and proceeded against without this violation of the constitution, especially where the people were almost all dying men. He appealed to the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel), to whom the people of England and Ireland looked to remove the evils of misgovernment in Ireland, though that right hon. Baronet was about to vote in favour of this measure. All Irish Members were not chargeable with proposing nothing to relieve the people of Ireland. On whatever side of the House he had sat, he had always opposed that agitation which was capable of giving patronage whilst the Whigs were in power. Why did not the Government at once turn their mind upon the Irish landlords? Why? Because they were afraid of them. When the Government talked of giving to Ireland remedial measures, he would ask what those remedial measures were to he? The land was not half cultivated, and there was no provision for the cultivation of the soil. The effect of this Bill would be, not only to stop agitation for the repeal of the Union; but he would ask where, after the passing of this Bill, would be found the man who would dare to agitate, even for his own rights, for his own liberty, or even for justice to himself? Not a man in Ireland would dare to do so. And this was the people from whom loyalty was expected. Now, he would ask, where the loyalty of the landlord would be presently? Where would be the loyalty of the Protestant landlords of the north, now that it was proposed to lay on them an additional tax? It was well to talk of loyalty; but it would be impossible to procure it without doing justice to the great mass of the people. If the Government wished to preserve the loyalty of the Irish people, they must allow them to discuss those measures which they understood better than the Government. He knew the discussion of the question was distasteful to those who had made up their minds, but it was his intention to oppose the Bill as far as he could; and he would ask those hon. Gen- tlemen who had rejected the leadership of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, whether they hoped to sustain their position in the country by their acquiesence in Irish Coercion Bills. He (Mr. O'Connor) would tell them they would come back to the right hon. Baronet: when they were at sea again without a helm or a helmsman they would say to the right hon. Baronet—"For God's sake take us hack again; we are worse off than we were before; we see the folly of our ways—we have no one to oppose the tyranny of a Government, and who is capable of carrying out those healing measures which ought to have followed the repeal of the corn laws!" He asked every independent Member to stand up and oppose the present Bill. Would they tolerate such an infraction of the English constitution as to allow men, without the semblance of a charge against them, and when perfect tranquillity prevailed in Ireland, to be treated like those unfortunate men who had been imprisoned at Kilmainham, and who, because one of them complained of his treatment had been removed from the marshalsea to the criminal side of the prison? The noble Lord opposite (Lord J. Russell), was going to act on the maxim of Robespierre, and to control the clergy by attaching them to the State. But did the noble Lord hope by endowing the Catholic Church to completely silence that revolution which the late Mr. C. Buller said would be incipient as long as Mr. O'Connell lived, but would ultimately break out? He (Mr. F. O 'Connor) said it could not be done. Let them talk of loyalty, but if the struggle came between the Celt and the Saxon, he would rather be found dead among the slaves than alive among the conquering army. Did the Government suppose that America or France would allow them to tyrannise over Ireland, whilst absolute Governments were extending their constitutions and giving the people those rights which they had too long withheld? Let them remember that Ireland was not Poland. Ireland was their superior, and it would be happy for Ireland if she was under half as humane a despotism as Poland. [A laugh.] Hon. Gentlemen might laugh, but he would ask did they ever hear of a million of human beings dying in Poland in one year? The Government would goad and drive Ireland to fury. It was true the people of Ireland were weak, famished, and hungered; but it was also true that famished and hungry men on becoming discontented became dis- loyal men; and men who were disloyal soon became dangerous men. He would now, with the permission of the House, read a few extracts—[Cries of "No, no!"]—and then conclude. Who said "No?" Would the hon. Member who said "no" like to read them himself? He could easily do so, for they were written in a plain hand. The extracts to which he referred were the opinions of Lord John Russell on the British constitution, Blackstone, Hallam, and Bolingbroke. If "no, no" meant that these extracts were not to be read, that would not prevent him from quoting them; but if the hon. Member meant they should be read by the clerk, he was quite content. The reading would not occupy six minutes. [Sir G. GREY: You have already exceeded an hour.] The right hon. Baronet reminded him that he had already occupied the attention of the House for upwards of an hour. It might be so; but he had been compelled to enter fully into the question in consequence of the meagre speech with which the right hon. Baronet had introduced the measure. [The hon. and learned Gentleman then read extracts from Black-stone, Hallam, Bolingbroke, and from Lord John Russell's Essay on the English Constitution, all tending to show the value of the Habeas Corpus Act.] The Habeas Corpus Act was the greatest of those laws, and afforded the best security for the liberty of the subject which had been devised; but it must not be supposed that it was invented during that reign. Dr. Johnson, also, had declared that it was in the Habeas Corpus Act that the people of this country possessed the single advantage over those of other countries. When he (Mr. O'Connor) was in York Castle himself, on a political charge, the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had not condescended to reply to his communications on the subject of his imprisonment; and when he was released and returned to the House, the noble Lord misrepresented the circumstances which had led to his prosecution. He would again quote the noble Lord on the English constitution, and ask the House to mark the difference between the noble Lord's reflections in his own study, and the sentiments which he now uttered with respect to suspending the liberties of Ireland. The noble Lord, communing with himself in his study, had declared that although a suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act might be fairly put in force against the leaders of a conspiracy, it would afford no remedy against some thousands of discontented and unemployed workmen. Would the noble Lord now say that this measure was necessary for suppressing a few dangerous men? The hon. and learned Member next, amid loud cries of "time," read an extract relative to the impolicy of suspending the Act, from Lord Bolingbroke, and said that if the House manifested its impatience again, he would read one of Fox's speeches for them. He reminded hon. Members that the reason alleged for the suspension of the Act no longer existed, the state of Ireland at present being perfectly tranquil. He believed the Whigs had done more to violate the constitution, and destroy the rights of the people, than any other party. They had done their best to destroy one estate of the realm. From 1688 to 1788, there had been been a creation of only 86 Peers. From 1788 to 1818, 106 Peers were created; and, at the time of the Reform Bill, during the nine years that the Whigs were almost constantly in power, they had created no fewer than 82 Peers in order to swamp the House of Lords. He hoped they would be vigorously opposed in their present attempt: at all events, if others stood aloof from the contest, he (Mr. O'Connor), for one, would take his stand by the side of Irish liberties, support conscientiously his own opinions, and promote the cause of justice and of God. Believing the present Bill unconstitutional and unjust, he should give his vote against its passing into a law.


said, that perhaps he owed some apology to the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down, for having reminded him some twenty minutes ago that he had then spoken an hour. The hon. and learned Gentleman appeared displeased at having been informed that he was an hour on his legs; but he had spoken now for nearly an hour and a half, and he had occupied twenty-five minutes after saying he was only going to occupy six minutes. Now, on referring to the list of the minority on the 6th of February, the name of the hon. Gentleman would be found voting on the Motion for limiting the discussion to one hour. [Mr. F. O'CONNOR: But you voted against it, and I was anxious to take your example.] If anything could convince him (Sir G. Grey) of the necessity of limiting the addresses in that House, it would be the speech they had just heard; because if all the extraneous matter it contained had been expunged, it would have been a more effective and a far better speech than it was. He knew not that it was necessary at present to prolong the discussion, because the hon. Member for Limerick had thrown out a suggestion which seemed to meet with the acquiescence of the House—namely, to take the debate on the Amendment of the noble Lord the Member for Aylesbury after the third reading of the Bill, those Members who dissented from its provisions now recording their protest against it. If that course were adopted, there would be another opportunity of speaking on the question, and Her Majesty's Ministers could then defend the line of conduct they bad thought proper to pursue. The hon. and learned Member for Nottingham might have spared himself all the trouble of reading the extracts relative to the constitutional value of the Habeas Corpus Act. Nobody doubted the value to be attached to the provisions of that Act; but the hon. and learned Member must know that the greatest constitutional authorities had held that occasions might exist when, in order to preserve the constitution, it would be necessary to suspend that Act. An extract had been quoted from the Essay of his noble Friend at the head of the Government, in which it was contended that it was not the object of the suspension of the Act to interfere with any persons except the leaders of an insurrection, who were plotting against the State, and deluding victims to their ruin. Why, it was precisely with that object in view, last year, that the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act had been proposed; and if those authorities which were read, as to the value of the Habeas Corpus Act, were to prevail against the general proposition now made to suspend it, the House must recollect that they were of equal force last year to what they were now. The Act had not been enforced against hundreds and thousands of persons in Ireland. It had been enforced against the leaders and instigators of the insurrection; and the House had now by repeated divisions affirmed that this was not the moment when the powers entrusted to the Government by the Suspension Act could be safely withdrawn. Believing that that decision would not now be altered, he hoped the House would consent to the third reading, and proceed afterwards with the debate on the Amendment.


said, that as an Irish Member he must decline to enter into any understanding with the Government with respect to his opposition to this Bill. There was nothing in the speech of the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down to show that it was necessary any further to suspend the liberties of the Irish people. He had complained throughout these discussions that the Government had not advanced a single satisfactory reason for this measure; indeed to any set of men so utterly bankrupt in excuses for the proposal to suspend the constitution of Ireland, it had never been his misfortune at any former period to have to listen. The Government proposed coercion; but he should like to know how the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) would gild the bitter pill? It might be said, with confidence, that, as far as remedies were concerned, the noble Lord had proposed absolutely nothing. It was true there was a Franchise Bill, but that was all. Out of doors, indeed, there were rumours of some reforms in the poor-law system in Ireland; but if the measures so indicated were the measures intended by the noble Lord, he (Mr. Roche) confessed that he could only regard them with pain and disappointment. The noble Lord had said that England and Ireland were one; but the noble Lord proposed to throw upon the funds of Ireland, and not upon the imperial funds, the charge for the support of the poor of Ireland. But if the Government were not disposed to assist Ireland, still less so was the party on the opposite side of the House. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), the leader of the protectionists, had indicated the course he would pursue if he should come into power. The hon. Gentleman said he would not allow the Irish people the franchise, and would forbid them to lay their hands on the Protestant Church in that country. That hon. Member, therefore, was not prepared with any course to raise Ireland from her miserable and degraded position. Then there was another party, led by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth. That right hon. Gentleman had told the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), that he had nothing prepared; that Ireland had always been his difficulty; and that we must wait and take the chance of events. Now what did "waiting for events" mean? The noble Lord had spoken of Ireland tiding over her difficulties; but waiting for events meant waiting until the potato, that root which had been the curse of Ireland, grew again—waiting for the reappearance in abundance of that food which had been at the bottom of Ireland's misfortunes. Save him from your potato statesmen! Ireland could not be governed on the conacre system. Then there was another party on the Opposition side of the House, who put forward their panacea for the relief of Ireland. Now, that party was represented by the hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. Monsell); they proposed limitation of taxation to townlands, and the promotion of emigration. The meaning of all which is, "Go to the poor-house or the transport." Now, if these Gentlemen carried out their principles, the Celtic population would be exterminated. They might have fat oxen and grass lands, but the original inhabitants would be in America, there to become the greatest enemies of the people of this country. A headlong system of emigration would not cure a starving people: a quarter of the national debt would not emancipate them. The free-traders in that House, also, whilst they were prepared to govern Ireland by coercion, were utterly bankrupt with respect to the suggestion of remedial measures. The Government were ready with a palliative, miserable though it was; but the free-traders refused to disburse a sixpence for Ireland. He threw out the challenge to the free-trade Gentlemen in that House, which they were so fond of flinging in the face of the protectionists, when the former were discussing corn-law repeal in their free-trade halls. He called upon the free-traders to discuss this question of Ireland with him, a humble Irishman, and he should be prepared to show that she had been misgoverned by this country from beginning to end. He would ask the hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) this question—Was there upon the face of the whole earth anything so anomalous as that they should have at this moment in Ireland the poorest, most miserable, and most degraded population existing, in contrast with the richest, most luxurious, and rampant religious institution in the world, taking its extent and limits into account? The people were actually dying of starvation by hundreds and thousands in the villages and towns, while the bishops of the Protestant establishment were dying in the greatest opulence, leaving their hundreds of thousands sterling behind them to their relatives. That gross and intolerable monopoly stood at the head and front of Ireland's grievances. How, then, if such were the case, could the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hume) reconcile with justice his support of coercion towards the Irish people, and thereby practically preventing them from agitating for the redress of such a grievance? Why did hon. Gentlemen sit quietly there and neglect to reform the Irish Church, which they admitted themselves to be so offensive to the Irish people, while they were so ready to support the suspension of the liberties of an oppressed people? It was hardly necessary for him (Mr. Roche) to argue the Irish Church question in that House—nobody attempted to defend it by argument; it was like these coercive measures, for no rational grounds could be offered why it should be maintained. Then, with regard to another point, a great deal of claptrap was used out of doors with respect to the social and political rights of Ireland. For his (Mr. Roche's) part, be thought it a hard matter to define where the social part of the subject ended, and the political branch of it began. In Ireland they had a country possessing by nature the richest soil in the world, and yet that country was inhabited by the poorest and most helpless population. Their duty as practical men, was, to bring that rich soil and the poor people together, which they never bad done, and never would do until they were bold enough to give up their squeamishness about what was called the rights of property, and passed a sound, practical, comprehensive, and sweeping measure, regulating the tenure of land in Ireland. They ought to do this without thinking themselves bound to apply the same principles to Ireland, because the circumstances of the two countries in this respect were widely different, and therefore did not call for exactly the same remedies. The Government had done nothing yet to meet the question of the tenure of the land practically—they had allowed the system of extermination to go on; they had done nothing to encourage the landlords to give leases to their tenants—indeed, they had gone further, for they had actually discouraged the landlords from doing so, for the landlords being Protestants, and the tenants generally being Catholics, they had based the franchise upon tenure, and thereby held out premiums to those proprietors who differed in religion from their tenants to withhold leases. Looking at Ireland financially, too, there was much room for retrenchment, and the savings might be judiciously applied to develop the resources of the country. First, they had a mock Court in Dublin to keep up; and he should like to know what good it had ever done to Ireland? A country governed on good representative and constitutional principles would be far bettor without any such travestie of monarchy, which, if persisted in in any other country but Ireland, would have been swept away by the people to be supplanted by a republic. They sot up as viceroy a man who, potentially, was neither fish, flesh, nor fowl—neither a despot altogether, nor a responsible governor. That source of expenditure ought to be dried up for the public advantage. Then there was a million and a quarter sterling levied and spent in Ireland on grand juries—a parcel of irresponsible men who were no longer of any use, and ought to be dispensed with. It was true they had many good roads in Ireland, but the funds for making them were grossly maladministered and mis-spent; because what a board of guardians paid 100l. for, the grand juries often wasted 500l, and even 1,000l., for. He (Mr. Roche) thought he had shown reasons why the Irish people should be discontented; and that being so, why should Ireland, any more than any other part of the empire, have the means and right of expressing their complaints, as legal and constitutional subjects, taken from them? If the Lord Lieutenancy were abolished, perhaps the city of Dublin, which alone benefited by that useless institution, might have some cause to complain; but any loss of this kind would be made up to Dublin a hundred fold, if Her Majesty were to hold Her Court in that part of Her imperial dominions for one or two months in the year, as suited the Royal convenience; whilst at the same time the loyalty and good feeling of the Irish people at large would be strengthened and encouraged. But leaving that rather delicate subject, he would ask why was it that almost all parties—the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) and his Friends, the Irish Members opposite, and the free-traders—differing as they did from each other upon almost every other subject that came under their notice, all seemed united for the purpose of oppressing Ireland? Did they expect to tranquillise Ireland by such a policy as this, or render life or property safer through its means? They never could, as they never ought to be able to tranquillise Ireland by coercion and brute force. The middle of the 19th century was not a time when they could hope to succeed by any such measures. The noble Lord at the head of the Foreign Office (Viscount Palmerston) had it made matter of complaint against him, that he had acted as the general liberator of Europe; but he (Mr. Roche) did not find fault with him; but, on the contrary, approved of his conduct in helping other nations to vindicate and achieve their liberties and their rights. But the Government that had assisted the Lombards by its advice, and encouraged them to shake off the iron yoke of Austria—the Government that had aided to unfurl the flag of a republic to flaunt amid the breezes of the Adriatic—the Government that had aided and encouraged Sicily to defend her just rights, and seek the repeal of the union between herself and Naples—that Government which claimed to be the followers of Hampden and Fox, and the admirers of the illustrious Canning, ought not surely to falsify their character and mar their consistency by clothing with irresponsible power a despot in Ireland, or by perpetuating the unhappy and accursed reign of despotism in that unfortunate country, which remained a scandal and a stigma upon the British name among all civilised nations.


wished to make some explanations relative to the statement which had been made as to the treatment of Mr. Meaney, one of the State prisoners in Kilmainham gaol. Meaney had been placed at first upon the debtors' side of the prison; but owing to breaches of prison discipline—the publication of do-coments from Mr. Meaney in the newspapers—the high sheriff, backed by the board of superintendence, remonstrated with him. Meaney set those authorities at defiance, and he was accordingly removed to that part of the prison allotted to felons, and where originally he ought to have been placed, and where, if he had been confined in the first instance, no such breach of prison discipline would have occurred. As Meany refused to pass from one part of the prison to the other voluntarily, the police were called in, and he was removed with great difficulty. It had been alleged that this prisoner was immured in dark, damp, unwholesome cells, and that he was refused all intercourse with his friends. As to the latter part of the charge, they must all know that it was necessary to keep up the rules of discipline, and in conformity with this rule nobody was admitted to see Maaney, except with an order; but as to the former part, that the prisoner was confined in dark, damp, unwholesome cells, he could himself give it a flat denial. The place in which he was confined was airy and wholesome. He had within the last three weeks visited the gaol, and saw Meaney sitting by a good fire, in a light, airy room, with as much of pen, ink, and paper before him as would satisfy even the hon. Gentleman who complained of his treatment. As to the measure before the House, he begged to thank the Government for bringing it forward; and he only regretted that, instead of asking its operation for a period of six months, they had not called upon the House to pass it for twelve months at least.


said, that a large portion of the speeches of the hon. Members for Cork and Nottingham had been directed to him, as if either he was the oppressor, or had the power of remedying the evils of which they complained, and as if he had directed, or had the power of directing, the policy of the British Government towards Ireland. It was quite true, that for him to advocate the suspension of the Habeas Corpus was an extraordinary thing. He appealed to his past Parliamentary conduct, extending, as it did, over a quarter of a century; he appealed to those who then sat with him on the Opposition, and some of whom were now on the Treasury benches, whether any man had been more anxious, or had proved himself more sincere in his desire to redress the social and political grievances of Ireland? More than five-and-twenty years ago he submitted to the House a proposition for bestowing civil rights upon Irishmen, of all classes and creeds, equal to those of England and Scotland. He would quote an extract from a speech of his own (as reported in Hansard) made in 1824, in which he stated that there was no example of any country being in so lamentable a state as Ireland under the British Government. He called the attention of the House at the same time to the anomalous state in which the religious institutions of that country were, whilst his own countrymen had, by the claymore, established freedom of religious opinion. He asked the House of Commons to give the same privileges to Ireland as to Scotland and to England, and to remedy the monster grievance of her Church Establishment; and he predicted that as long as he lived they would never see any real amelioration of the social state of Ireland, whilst that Church existed in its then and present shape. In 1824, when he made that speech, they were sending out of the country 30,000,000l. to be employed in foreign lands, whilst not a shilling could find its way to Ireland; and he declared that it was hopeless to expect any real improvement there whilst 700,000 or 800,000 of the population were enjoying immunities and privileges which were denied to 7,000,000l, who were, in fact, the slaves of the minority. That was what he then stated, and he still maintained it. At the Union the British Government and Parliament pledged itself to give equal rights to all creeds and classes, and to treat Ireland as an integral part of the united kingdom. She had never been so treated—that pledge had never been redeemed. There were still the grand jury laws and the Established Church to render the people discontented and unhappy. Undoubtedly English misgovernment had been the bane of Ireland. Until they rendered to her justice—and by that term he meant placing her on the same level as Scotland and England, both as regarded religious and civil institutions—there never would be any lasting tranquillity. Was it not a startling, a disgraceful, fact, that amongst the poorest peasantry in the world—in the most miserable and wretched country—three Primates of the Irish Established Church should at their demise leave in the aggregate no less a sum than 800,000l., having when they succeeded to the bishoprics no property? Was it to be wondered at, that with such grievances agitation should have existed? He did not say agitation was wrong—they had not been able even in England to obtain much without agitation, and in Ireland nothing. He blamed the Government for not bringing forward remedial measures; and now that their difficulties were cleared away, he expected they would do so. He did not hesitate to say that, as long as agitation existed in Ireland, no Government could bring in remedial measures. Ireland was now, however, declared to be in a state of perfect tranquillity. They had the assurance of the hon. Member for Limerick that he would agitate; but he would readily give his vote to keep the hon. Gentleman quiet; and considered that, so far from oppressing Ireland by so doing, he was performing an act of mercy both to the hon. Gentleman and to his country. He was desirous of freeing Ireland from the influence of wicked men, who had done her so much mischief. He had always found that in every part of the world he had visited, he saw Irishmen as industrious, active, and orderly as any other people, and that oppression had been the cause, and was still the cause, of their being otherwise at home. He agreed with the hon. Member for Limerick, that some change must take place in the relations between landlord and tenant, and that security must be given to the investment of capital. He would conclude by again calling upon the Government to bring in comprehensive and remedial measures for Ireland. The hon. Member for Cork had asked him (Mr. Hume) to declare the grounds upon which be supported the present Bill; it was this, that his vote in favour of the Bill would keep his hon. Friend the Member for Limerick, and such restless persons, quiet. In mercy to his hon. Friend, and to those by whom he was supported, he would record his vote on the side of the Government.


had not intended to take any part in this debate, because upon the immediate question before the House—the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act—he did not think any doubt could exist as to the propriety of continuing the measure in the present condition of Ireland. Only last week seventeen clubs had met in secret conclave in Dublin. This was sufficient reason why they should entrust to the Lord Lieutenant these powers, which he was equally satisfied would not be abused. Therefore, he (Mr. Napier) would have been quite content to give his vote without offering any observations, because he never wished to obtrude himself upon the House except when a sense of duty compelled him to do so. But, after the challenge made that night with regard to the Irish Established Church by the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Roche), he felt called upon, as one of the representatives of that church, to rise and meet that challenge with as ranch boldness and firmness as it had been given. He never wished to be ostentatious of his religion, but he trusted he should never be the man to be ashamed of it. He was ready to meet the challenge against that church upon every ground—upon the ground of its antiquity, the truth of its doctrine, as being conformable with Scripture—the correctness of its discipline—the unbroken succession of its spiritual leaders from the earlier ages down to the present times—all its long catalogue of bishops, many eminent for their piety and their learning, could trace their descent from the days of St. Patrick. Let hon. Gentlemen of the opposite persuasion remember the solemn oath by which they bound themselves on taking their seats in that House. They therein declared that they "disclaimed, disavowed, and solemnly renounced and abjured, any intention or design to weaken or subvert the present Protestant Church in Ireland by law established." The Irish Church was agreed to be maintained inviolate and intact by the Act of Union, and with that Act she must stand or fall. When the Catholic Emancipation Act was discussed in that House, it was urged against it that the privileges it proposed to confer upon Roman Catholics would be used to subvert the Irish Church; and pledge after pledge, and declaration after declaration was made that no such intention was entertained by that body; and it had been thought proper to frame the oath to which he had just referred, as a greater safeguard and security to the Protestant Establishment in Ireland. He (Mr. Napier) upheld the creed of that church, on which his humble but immortal hope depended. He admitted that others differed with him; but let them show him one point of toleration upon which their liberty was pressed, and he (Mr. Napier) would help to remove their ground of complaint. Nine-tenths of the property of Ireland belonged to Protestants, and support for the church was a tax on property—no personal tax was exacted in Ireland from any man to pay for a religion of which he did not approve; save and except, indeed, so far as funds were regularly taken from the national Exchequer to keep up Maynooth, and for other similar matters. There was a charge on the property, and those who took that property surely ought not to refuse to pay their creditor what they had engaged to pay him merely because he differed in religion. But he would go from the south to the north of Ireland, and trace in all its territorial extension the benefits and advantages of Protestantism. He found it foster no sedition or insurrectionary spirit; and in Protestant ulster in particular, prosperity, industry, and every blessing that gave temporal and spiritual happiness to man reigned co-extensively with that Protestantism, which contained the germs of everything that could make a people prosper for time and for eternity. Upon all these grounds, then, he based his case for the maintenance of the inviolate integrity of the Protestant Establishment of Ireland; and if these were not sufficient to convince the hon. Gentleman who had thrown down the challenge (Mr. Roche), he (Mr. Napier) could not hope to convince him by detaining the House by making a much more lengthened


would ask the hon. and learned Gentleman who had just sat down, what the incendiary fires and disturbances now going on in the north of Ireland, meant? If these acts of devastation and lawlessness could not be called sedition, they could not, at all events, be considered to be very striking evidences of the love of peace and order which the hon. and learned Gentleman had so triumphantly arrogated to himself, as being characteristics exclusively confined to the Protestant districts of Ireland. The freedom from sedition that marked these districts, was owing to the fact that justice was done to the tenant-farmers of Ulster, who had secured to them the profits of their own industry—they had it guaranteed to them that what they had sown they would be allowed to reap. This was in consequence of their enjoying tenant-right in that province. And therefore there was not that which alone had caused the agrarian outrages in the south—the plunder of the peasant by the landlord, and the carrying away by the landlord, or the landlord's agent, of the whole of the produce of the land. He (Mr. J. O'Connell) had been abused during the course of the debates on this question for making very discourteous speeches; but he thought that other hon. Gentlemen who had spoken, particularly on that night, were equally open to the same reproach. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Napier) had given them a speech on the Irish Church, the question under discussion being the suspension of the Habeas Corpus. He (Mr. J. O'Connell) would not then go into an argument with respect to the merits of the two Churches; but certainly he was a little surprised at some of the claims advanced by the hon. and learned Gentleman with regard to the antiquity of the Protestant Church, and its connexion with St. Patrick. It reminded him of an anecdote he had heard respecting an old lady, the daughter of an officer in the Irish Brigade, who resided at Boulogne. Having been asked if she were aware that St. Patrick was a native of Boulogne, she said she was not, but would not be surprised if such were the fact; because, said she, "the Irish Brigade were quartered here a long time." He (Mr. J. O'Connell) was of opinion, that there was as little connexion between the Irish Brigade and St. Patrick, as between St. Patrick and the Protestant Church. With regard to the oath taken by them in that House, and to which reference had been made by the hon. and learned Gentleman, he had merely to say that that question had been already discussed, and he hoped they would never be again obliged to have recourse, in self-vindication, to the short and simple mode in which they had before repudiated that charge. They were willing to give to every man who differed from them full credit for the purity of his conduct; and they would not allow any person to impugn the purity of their motives, or allege that they did not pay a strict regard to their oaths. As to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, he must congratulate him on his love for Ireland; and the fame he had gained as the defender of Ireland, as the man who pointed out the abuses existing in Ireland, who declared what ought to be done for Ireland, and spoke against the temporalities of the Church in that country. But why did he not follow it up? Had he been the friend of Ireland only in the year 1824, and had he been since asleep? How was he now showing his friendship? At one moment he said he had been bringing forward the grievances of Ireland, and at the next moment he was giving a vote to prevent the collection of public opinion in that country against those grievances. And why did he do so? His reason for establishing this most dangerous precedent against the liberties of Ireland, and for trampling them under foot, was to put him (Mr. J. O'Connell) down. He (Mr. J. O'Connell) never thought he was a person of such extreme importance, power, and influence, that it was necessary for the purpose of crushing him to strike down the constitutional liberties of a whole country. He believed, however, there were few men in Ireland who had less influence than he had, and therefore the hon. Gentleman was fighting with a shadow when he talked of putting him down. But if anything could make him of importance in that country, or make his efforts effective and powerful, it would be the singling him out, as the hon. Gentleman had done, and the singling out of the agitation with which he was connected, as the Minister had done, and saying that to put him and that agitation down, they would have recourse to this most disastrous invasion of the constitution. The hon. Gentleman had spoken of getting rid of difficulties—he said one of his reasons for infringing on the constitution was to take difficulties out of the way, and leave Government without any excuse if they did not bring forward remedial measures. He believed he was trying to get difficulties out of the way, for he was assisting those who desired to get rid of the population of Ireland. This friend of Ireland, in the past tense, would smooth away all difficulties; but he would not vote the 50,000l. to sustain the starving people in that country. So far as the hon. Gentleman's vote went, they would be allowed to perish. So much for the hon. Gentleman's humanity, which seemed to be on a par with his policy, concerning Ireland. With respect to an observation made by the hon. and learned Member for Nottingham, he could assure the hon. Gentleman that if he thought he would not oppose the third reading of this Bill, he was mistaken. He had declared that he would take a division on the third reading; but as another Motion was coming on afterwards (the Motion of Lord Nugent, to limit the Bill to three months), he would, for the convenience of the House, avoid two debates. He wished that the hon. Gentleman, at an earlier period of the controversy, and at an earlier stage of the Bill, had come forward to assist him (Mr. J. O'Connell), when he was almost alone in speaking against it. And he might here observe, that whatever other persons might do with regard to the proposition of the noble Lord (Lord Nugent), he (Mr. J. O'Connell) would vote for it; because, if even one day was struck off the duration of the Bill, it would be a gain. He could not advance a single point on the part of Ireland beyond what he had advanced already to prevent this injury being inflicted upon her; but he would say with regard to England herself, they should pause on the dangerous consequences that might result to England before they gave a final vote on this Bill, and put on the records of the House of Commons that they had assented to the suspension of the dearest rights of the subject, upon the most insufficient and ludicrously contemptible ground that ever was presented by any Minister seeking to carry an unjust measure in that House, and thereby establish a precedent which he might yet deeply rue. When they saw the late Ministry going out of office, and leaving as a political legacy to their successors that full and equal jus- tice should be done to Ireland, and when they found that that peaceful gage was taken up by the noble Lord now at the head of the Government, and his fellow Ministers, could they think that within three short years all that would be changed, and they should find themselves without one promise carried out, or one pledge redeemed? Irishmen had thought the men in office were sincere: they had been grievously mistaken. For now Ministers came down, and, flinging all their liberalism to the winds, proposed a measure of coercion far more galling than any which had preceded it. During the sixteen years he (Mr. J. O'Connell) had sat in that House, he had never felt so much the iron of slavery entering into his soul as on Friday last, when this question of coercion was hastily passed through one of its stages; while the Bill which extended to Ireland a petty relief had led to three of the closest divisions which had taken place in this Parliament. This Bill having passed the House of Commons, would be the law of the land in a few days. But what measures of relief had been granted? The 50,000l. would be soon exhausted; and had not the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon, when he gave to the Ministry the much needed assistance of himself and his Colleagues, declared that this 50,000l. would be the last sum to Ireland he would vote for? When that was exhausted, what was to be done? Let the House then address itself in earnest to this great question of saving the lives of the people of Ireland. They would forget everything—they pledged themselves not to utter a word of reproach with respect to all that was passed, even including this tyrannous Bill—if the Government now came forward to save the lives of those miserable people. Let the British Legislature, in a spirit of fairness, justice, and humanity towards the people of Ireland, save the lives of those who were starving, and they would bless them, notwithstanding the seven centuries of wrong, oppression, and insult for which they had too much reason to curse them.


said, he had abstained from expressing any opinion on the various Motions which had been made during the discussion of the Bill then before them, feeling convinced that no Amendment could render useful a measure affecting so violently the liberties of the people. He retained unchanged the opinion which he entertained on the second reading, namely, that no case had been made out for the Bill, and that its effect, far from curing the evils of Ireland, would accomplish the very reverse. He feared there was too much truth in the charge brought against the English Radical party. It was painful to him to think that of those who had been the uniform supporters of English liberty, only twelve could be found to vote against the second reading. The hon. Member for Montrose had not defended himself successfully against the charges brought against him. Unfortunately the Radical party had always been found opposed to coercion when out of office, and had uniformly supported it when in power. That party was certainly entitled either to the credit or discredit of this Bill: it rested on their shoulders; for the Government who brought it forward would never have been able to carry it but for their support. The hon. Member for Montrose said his object in supporting the Bill was, to put down one particular individual; and yet he would destroy the liberties of a whole people for the sake of putting that individual down. It appeared to him to be too had that the rights of a whole people should be sacrificed for such an object. He advocated it further, as a preliminary to remedial measures; but he did not show how the placing this power in the hands of the Irish Executive would ensure the passing of remedial measures. He had reason to expect that the free-trade Members who were about to bring forward an Amendment for reducing the duration of the Bill, would support the proposition which he was about to make. He did not thank them for the Amendment they were about to propose; because if the Bill was to be voted at all, there was no use in that limitation. If they were agreed as to the principle of the Bill, there was no use in opposing its renewal. He (Mr. S. Crawford) opposed the Bill because he did not think it would tranquillise Ireland or improve the condition of her people. The hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin said that the people of Ireland were not called upon to support a church to which they did not belong; but it would be hard to make them believe, that, when the revenues of that church were obtained from the whole of the soil of Ireland, they were not the parties who paid; and he could assure the House that they never could persuade the people that the tribute thus paid by the land was not fraudulently and unjustly extorted from them. He thought the hon. and learned Gentleman had most unfairly imputed to the difference of religion the difference of condition between the north and south of Ireland; but he forgot that in the province of Ulster the people held the land by a very different tenure, and that was one great element of their superior prosperity. He should again record his protest against the Bill by moving as an Amendment, that it he read a third time that day six months.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question," House divided:—Ayes 117; Noes 23: Majority 94.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, T. N. Hodges, T. L.
Adair, R. A. S. Hood, Sir A.
Aglionby, H. A. Hope, Sir J.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Hotham, Lord
Armstrong, Sir A. Howard, Lord E.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Hume, J.
Humphery, Ald.
Baines, M. T. Jackson, W.
Bass, M. T. Jocelyn, Visct.
Bellew, R. M. Jones, Capt.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Kildare, Marq. of
Bernal, R. Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Bernard, Visct. Langston, J. H.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F.
Boyle, hon. Col. Lewis, G. C.
Brocklehurst, J. Lockhart, A. E.
Brotherton, J. Lockhart, W.
Brown, W. Macnaghten, Sir E.
Buck, L. W. Macnamara, Maj.
Busfeild, W. Mahon, The O'Gorman
Clay, J. Maitland, T.
Clive, H. B. Mandeville, Visct.
Cowan, C. Mangles, R. D.
Craig, W. G. Martin, J.
Crowder, R. B. Matheson, A.
Cubitt, W. Matheson, Col.
Davies, D. A. S. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Disraeli, B. Melgund, Visct.
Drumlanrig, Visct. Milner, W. M. E.
Drummond, H. Mitchell, T. A.
Duncan, G. Morison, Sir W.
Duncuft, J. Mulgrave, Earl of
Dundas, Adm. Newdegate, C. N.
Ellis, J. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Nugent, Lord
Estcourt, J. B. B. Ogle, S. C. H.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Owen, Sir J.
Forster, M. Parker, J.
Fortescue, C. Plumptre, J. P.
French, F. Raphael, A.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Rawdon, Col.
Grace, O. D. J. Rice, E. R.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Richards, R.
Grosvenor, Earl Romilly, Sir J.
Gwyn, H. Russell, Lord J.
Hamilton, J. H. Russell, F. C. H.
Hastie, A. Shafto, R. D.
Hay, Lord J. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Hayter, rt. hon. W. G. Simeon, J.
Heathcoat, J. Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W.
Henry, A. Stafford, A.
Heyworth, L. Stanton, W. H.
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Strickland, Sir G.
Sutton, J. H. M. Willyams, H.
Talfourd, Serj. Wilson, J.
Taylor, T. E. Wilson, M.
Thompson, Col. Wyld, J.
Thornely, T.
Walsh, Sir J. B. TELLERS.
Ward, H. G. Tufnell, H.
Wawn, J. T. Hill, Lord M.
List of the NOES.
Anstey, T. C. O'Brien, T.
Barron, Sir H. W. O'Connell, J.
Devereux, J. T. O'Flaherty, A.
Fagan, W. Osborne, R.
Grattan, H. Pilkington, J.
Greene, J. Reynolds, J.
Kershaw, J. Roche, E. B.
M'Cullagh, W. T. Scully, F.
Meagher, T. Sullivan, M.
Moore, G. H. Williams, J.
Morgan, H. K. G. TELLERS.
Nugent, Sir P. O'Connor, F.
O'Brien, J. Crawford, W. S.

Main Question put and agreed to.

Bill read 3°.

Amendment proposed in page 2, line 8, to leave out the word "September" in order to insert the word "June."


said, he had, up to this stage of the Bill, abstained from offering any opposition to it, even by a silent vote. With more reluctance than he had ever before felt in any vote he had ever given or abstained from giving in that House, he had done so, feeling he should not be justified in refusing his assent to what Ministers, on their own responsibility, urged as a measure of absolute State necessity—a remedy, tolerable only under the most urgent State necessity, and for the shortest time during which that necessity should be pressing and manifest. But he had done so, with a predetermination to resist to the utmost so frightful a proposal as that of giving to any Government a renewed lease of arbitrary power for such a term as six months in any part of the British empire; above all, during a Session of Parliament, competent as Parliament is at any moment to renew or continue powers on fresh or continued proof of necessity. He would call the attention of the House to this, as a question of principle, whether at such a time of the Session, specially, it be fit to put aside a statute affecting the very foundations of civil liberty—to part with it, out of our own hands for such a period as six months? He would appeal to those who think a case might arise, under which it might be right even to renew such a measure, even beyond this Session—whether there be common prudence in providing that it shall come before a thinned and wearied Parliament at the very conclusion of a Parliamentary year? He would appeal to those who hoped for hotter things, and had a proper sense of the sanctity of the rights they were suspending—whether they would consent to place them beyond the reach of Parliament for a period of manifestly unjustifiable duration—whether Ireland should hereafter be in a state to require, or in a state not to justify, the renewal? That was the dilemma in which this proposal was placed, He was glad that the earlier discussions had been left mainly in the hands of Irish representatives—those whose country was principally, not solely, certainly, affected by this measure—a measure not to be disposed of as what was too often called a mere Irish question. It was our duty, fully as much as theirs, to guard against the infliction, for any period longer than absolutely necessary, of such a wound upon the vital functions of the constitution in any part of the British empire. If he could bring his mind to consent to all the doctrines of the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister, still he could go no further than that. But their main argument appeared to him a paralogism, as not arising out of the facts they had stated, nor having any coherence with them. The Government, at first, rested their case on not very sufficient or very intelligible grounds—the flagrancy of last year's insurrection, baffled by the extraordinary powers vested in the Lord Lieutenant, and by his prompt and prudent use of them. Small argument for renewing them now, and for six months!—the continuance of that state of insurrection, mark, being distinctly denied by the Government, both in Her Majesty's Speech from the Throne, and in their own speeches here. It then comes to this. We gave extraordinary powers at the end of last Session; the insurrection was dealt with—defeated—demolished. Continue, then, the extraordinary powers, and for six months! The disease has given way; make, then, the extraordinary and dangerous remedy the patient's daily food for half a year after the malady is subdued. "But," said the noble Lord at the head of the Government—the metaphor was the noble Lord's, not his (Lord Nugent's)—"the bloodvessel may break out afresh; keep on the bandage for six months, at the end of which Parliament will be sitting!" An alarming and painful hearing to us, on every account. We might have hoped that this "winter of our discontent" miglit be "made glorious summer" before that time, or at least that we should not thus early be told to prepare ourselves to sit here till September next—to watch the returning but lingering dawn of the constitution in Ireland. But they have since amended their case for this demand. It is to chock the revival of political societies, and of machinations not now in activity, but which, if revived, would be dangerous to the public peace. Why, then, they have chosen just the wrong six months of the year for their measure. If we were now at the end, instead of the beginning of a Session, they might, with some propriety, come down to the House, and tell us—"At the end of last year's Session, when rebellion was menaced, you gave us a suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. Rebellion has been crushed. It may be revived in the approaching autumn, the ensuing winter, nay, in the first month of the prorogation. And Ireland may be in flames before Parliament can be again assembled to meet the danger." On such a representation we might be asked to consent to six months arbitrary government in Ireland, as we did last year. But now, at the beginning of a Session, no conspiracy even alleged. Parliament sitting, and as capable as at the end of last Session to put the remedy into action in a week! It does appear they have chosen just the wrong six months of the year, during which there can be no necessity, and therefore no right, to take away, for such a period, the most sacred of all the safeguards of personal liberty to the subject—a statute on which rests, as on a main pillar, the security of the best rights that are his, under the British common law. There was a good deal in the first exception taken by the Member for Limerick, little as he (Lord Nugent) had the fortune to agree with him in his views of Irish affairs generally. "Give us power," says the Government, "by arrest and imprisonment, to prevent the public discussion of matters impracticable," or as the Solicitor General said, "tending not to proper or legitimate objects." Give power to the Executive to declare, first, what legislative measures may be deemed "impracticable," and what may be discussed as "legitimate and proper;" and give power, secondly, to imprison any man who may persist in discussing any measures it may pronounce to be the reverse—a doctrine, if good for anything, not only good for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, but conclusive against the whole spirit of the Bill of Rights. It is a weakness, perhaps the commonest in our nature, to deem only such things practicable as we may distinctly see the practicability of. Thus it might be very reasonable to doubt the practicability of the repeal of the Act of Union; or, rather, how practicable, except to the infinite prejudice of both countries, specially Ireland. But might not some other Gentleman hold a like opinion respecting the poor-laws? Certainly many Gentlemen had expressed this opinion pretty strongly with regard to reform of the representation—with regard to free trade. Nay, one might appeal solemnly to the gallant Member for Lincoln whether he would consider himself safe for one hour, if Government could act penally on their view of the practicability, the legitimacy, or propriety of his project to reduce the salaries of all the Ministers by one-half? It was said that Ireland was just now in a very peculiar and alarming position. Few can remember a time, or to have read of any time, when Ireland was not in a peculiar position. By a strange anomaly, it was a quality in Ireland that a peculiar position seemed to be her natural state. At all events, those were words stereotyped in almost every page of her history. But she was now divided, more than ever, into factions; more of them, and each contributing its spark to the general inflammation, and, worst of all, no man able to control even his own particular faction. What Ireland wants is repose. And therefore (continued the noble Lord), I am willing, not without great reluctance, to grant these powers for such time as may enable the Government to apply their remedial measures to her real grievances; till the knowledge and progress of these remedial measures shall have brought with them their healing influences, and brought the people to a disposition to be governed by hope and confidence in their Government, and not by the mere slavish sense of being under the control of a power that has no hope or confidence in them. Nor am I, I confess, without a kind of suspicion, a strong one, that by shortening the term of these powers, we may somewhat hasten the healing measures in their progress. I am willing to grant these powers till long after the season of short days and long nights shall have passed—till long after the season shall have arrived when the day shall shine for many more hours on the efforts of in- dustry than the night shall shroud the practices of the assassin, the incendiary, or the conspirator—till you shall have seen the effect produced by the promise and advancing maturity of your healing measures on the affections of your people. But I will not he party to a measure which deals with the Habeas Corpus Act as a thing to be shelved as little matters, whether for a quarter or half a year. To subdue is one thing; to govern is another. You may subdue, but you cannot govern a portion of the British empire—God forbid you should be able to do so!—by placing it for six months aside from the influence of the British constitution. Repose from the secret infusions of agitators—cheerful repose—cheerful labour—during the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act—I do not, I cannot hope, from it. I can hope from it only a very short pause, while you are giving them proof of your good will towards them. But repose. They cannot repose in the pain, the irritation, the degradation, of this temporary excommunication from their common law and statutory rights. They would be unworthy ever again to be free men if they could. Judge from yourselves. All you can hope for is sullen inaction, restrained from outbreak, while you are giving earnest of your remedial measures. They cannot, with ready hands and light hearts, betake themselves cheerily to give effect to your objects of improvement for them. It is freedom that awakens enterprise, that excites to industry—that makes men cheerily follow the lead of their ruler. If they could meet your objects and carry them cheerily into effect, suffering under exclusion from co-equality of rights with their fellow-subjects, they would be contented slaves, and unworthy over to return to freedom. Shorten the term of exception and dishonour. Shorten the term of duress—during which no good can be done, save in giving earnest of a system of good government. I agree with the right hon. Member for Tam-worth that the personal character and reputation of Lord Clarendon have little to do with this question; and, methinks, it is somewhat unworthy in the Government to lean their case upon a eulogy—to lean their case upon the character and well-deserved popularity—of their Lord Lieutenant. It is trifling, it is unworthy trifling, with such a question to say "You may trust to the discretion, firmness, and high-mindedness of Lord Clarendon not to make a captious or tyrannical use of such powers." There is no man who can rate more highly than I do the wisdom, forbearance, or humanity of Lord Clarendon, or can have a more entire sense than I have of the claims he has established for himself on the gratitude of both countries by his admirable government of Ireland. But here I have done; and I return to my position. What is doctrine to-day, becomes precedent to-morrow. To no Minister, while no rebellion is flagrant or expected, and Parliament ready here to give fresh powers on any emergency, will, I grant, arbitrary power for six months; and I, therefore, lay before you this Amendment, that, in the first clause of this Bill, lines 8 and 11, instead of the word "September," be inserted the word "June."


rose to second the Amendment; and in doing so he begged to observe, that those who supported the Government in the preceding stages of the Bill were placed in such a position, that they had no alternative but to vote for the whole measure, or else lie under the suspicion of being disposed to bind the hands of the Government at a moment of great danger and uncertainty. With rebellion in Ireland, they could not adopt any course the tendency of which would be to weaken the hands of the Executive authority; they therefore took the course of not restraining the Ministers of the Crown with regard to those powers which were necessary for carrying on efficiently the government of Ireland. But in so voting with the responsible advisers of the Queen, he (Colonel Thompson) and those who thought with him wished to demonstrate that they were anxious not to permit the Executive to enjoy any power one jot beyond that which the exigency of the case rendered absolutely necessary. He)Colonel Thompson) conceived the powers to be necessary; and he consented the more readily to grant them, inasmuch as he had confidence in those to whom such powers were to be intrusted. The case would be different if authority so extensive were to be intrusted to men like Jeffries or Claverhouse; but in the manner in which similar powers had already been exercised, he perceived a strong pledge that they would in future be moderately used. Still, he saw no reason why there should not be a limitation to three months, at the end of which period the Government might ask for a renewal of the authority with which this measure invested them, provided they could then prove, as they now had proved, that there existed a necessity for such a suspension of the constitution. It had been hinted that if the conduct of the Chartists, or any other body of men, rendered such a measure necessary for England, he and his friends would find themselves placed in an embarrassing dilemma. He believed that there was little hazard of their being called upon to contend with any such difficulty. But, be that as it might, he thought upon the present occasion hon. Members might fairly be said to support the Government, even though they should vote in favour of the proposed Amendment.


said, that the noble Lord who had moved the reduction of the period for the continuance of this measure from six to three months, had said that he supported the Bill upon every one of its previous stages, because he felt convinced of its necessity, and that he, equally with the Government, desired the repose of Ireland. But the noble Lord had said that the objects for which this Bill was to be passed, might all be obtained within the short period of three months. For that opinion he had given no reasons; and if the arguments of the noble Lord had any force, they would go much beyond the conclusions which he founded upon them, and would make it necessary for the House to consider month by month or week by week whether the time had not arrived for dispensing with this measure. The noble Lord had said, that in his opinion this measure was necessary; but he would not give his consent to the continuance of this Bill for six months. It had on the other hand been made a matter of complaint, that the Government had not proposed twelve months as the duration of the measure instead of six? Upon former occasions, when the Habeas Corpus Act had been suspended, it had been for a period of twelve months; but in 1822, about the same time of year as the present proposition was made, in the beginning of February, and early in the Session of Parliament, the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended for six months, as it was considered advisable that the House should again have an opportunity of considering whether it would be necessary to continue it for a longer time. The Government had followed in the present instance the precedent for the shorter term, and had proposed six instead of twelve months, as the duration of the Bill. He thought hon. Members having repeatedly, in the divisions which had taken place in the progress of the Bill, expressed their opinion that it was necessary to extend this power for a time, in order to suppress any attempt which might be made to renew the insurrection of last year, upon the part of persons who might still entertain designs of that kind, that it would be weakening the effect of the measure, and involving the House in interminable discussions, which might be considered as disposed of for the present, and which would interfere with the discussion of other subjects of great importance, if they limited the Bill, as now proposed by the noble Lord the Member for Aylesbury. He (Sir G. Grey) hoped, therefore, that the House would consent to the adoption of the Bill as originally proposed, and negative the Amendment of the noble Lord.


gave the noble Lord the Member for Aylesbury credit for his kindly feelings towards the people of Ireland in reducing the period of the Bill to three months; but the House having affirmed the principle, and the noble Lord having voted with the majority in favour of its continuance for six months, he (Mr. Reynolds) could not understand exactly the meaning of the noble Lord in now moving that it should only exist for three months. If hon. Members would adopt his advice, he would say do not vote in favour of this Amendment. He knew that an argument might probably be founded upon it, that whereas it was quite wrong to suspend the constitution for six months, but that it would be perfectly right to suspend it for three months. He advised the noble Lord to withdraw his Motion, and let the Government go the whole animal.


said, that he had promised the noble Lord to vote for his Amendment; but after the declaration he had heard, that by voting for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland for three months, he should be supporting the principle of the Bill, he begged to decline giving any vote at all on the question.

LORD NUGENT, in reply, said, that, disliking as he did "the whole animal," he could not certainly suffer the whole animal to be in the favour of the House for six months instead of three, if he could get rid of it sooner. He, therefore, declined acceding to the recommendation of the hon. Member for Dublin.

Question put, "That the word 'September' stand part of the Bill." The House divided:—Ayes 166; Noes 11: Majority 155.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, T. N. Gwyn, H.
Adair, R. A. S. Hastie, A.
Adderley, C. B. Hay, Lord J.
Aglionby, H. A. Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.
Anson, hon. Col. Headlam, T. E.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Heathcoat, J.
Armstrong, Sir A. Heneage, G. H. W.
Arundel and Surrey, Earl of Henry, A.
Herbert, H. A.
Baines, M. T. Heyworth, L.
Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T. Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.
Bass, M. T. Hodges, T. L.
Bellew, H. M. Hood, Sir A.
Bentinck, Lord H. Hope, Sir J.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Hotham, Lord
Berkeley, C. L. G. Howard, Lord E.
Bernal, R. Hume, J.
Bernard, Visct. Humphery, Ald.
Birch, Sir T. B. Jackson, W.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Jermyn, Earl
Boyle, hon. Col. Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.
Bramston, T. W. Keppel, hon. G. T.
Brocklehurst, J. Kildare, Marq. of
Brooke, Lord Labouchere, rt. hon. H.
Brotherton, J. Langston, J. H.
Brown, W. Law, hon. C. E.
Buck, L. W. Lemon, Sir C.
Busfeild, W. Lewis, rt. hon. Sir T. F.
Carter, J. B. Lewis, G. C.
Clive, H. B. Lockhart, A. E.
Cochrane, A. D. R. W. B. Lockhart, W.
Cowan, C. Mackinnon, W. A.
Craig, W. G. Macnaghten, Sir E.
Crowder, R. B. Macnamara, Maj.
Cubitt, W. M'Gregor, J.
Currie, H. Mahon, The O'Gorman
Dashwood, G. H. Maitland, T.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Mandeville, Visct.
Davies, D. A. S. Mangles, R. D.
Dick, Q. Martin, J.
Disraeli, B. Matheson, A.
Drumlanrig, Visct. Matheson, Col.
Drummond, H. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Duncan, G. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Duncombe, hon. O. Melgund, Visct.
Duncuft, J. Mitchell, T. A.
Dundas, Adm. Moffatt, G.
Du Pre, C. G. Moody, C. A.
Edwards, H. Morris, D.
Ellice, E. Mulgrave, Earl of
Ellis, J. Mullings, J. R.
Elliot, hon. J. E. Napier, J.
Estcourt, J. B. B. Newdegate, C. N.
Ewart, W. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Farrer, J. O'Brien, Sir L.
Fergus, J. Ogle, S. C. H.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Owen, Sir J.
Ffolliott, J. Palmer, R.
FitzPatrick, rt. hon. J. Parker, J.
Foley, J. H. H. Peel, F.
Forster, M. Plowden, W. H. C.
Freestun, Col. Plumptre, J. P.
Glyn, G. C. Prime, R.
Godson, R. Raphael, A.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Repton, G. W. J.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Ricardo, O.
Grenfell, C. P. Rice, E. R.
Grenfell, C. W. Romilly, Sir J.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Rushout, Capt.
Grey, R. W. Russell, F. C. H.
Grosvenor, Earl Seymour, Lord
Shafto, R. D. Tollemache, J.
Sheil, rt. hon. R. L. Verner, Sir W.
Slaney, R. A. Verney, Sir H.
Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W. Waddington, H. S.
Spooner, R. Walpole, S. H.
Stafford, A. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Stanton, W. H. Ward, H. G.
Strickland, Sir G. Watkins, Col. L.
Stuart, H. Wilson, J.
Sutton, J. H. M. Wilson, M.
Talfourd, Serj. Wyld, J.
Tancred, H. W. TELLERS.
Thornely, T. Tufnell, H.
Thornhill, G. Hill, Lord M.
List of the NOES.
Barron, Sir H. W. Osborne, R.
Grace, O. D. J. Rawdon, Col.
Greene, J. Stuart, Lord D.
Moore, G. H. Wawn, J. T.
Nugent, Sir P. TELLERS.
O'Brien, T. Nugent, Lord
O'Connor, F. Thompson, Col.