§ LORD J. RUSSELL
Sir, I rise to make a proposal to the House on a subject of the greatest importance, not only to the administration of Ireland, but to the future welfare of the united kingdom. Before, however, I enter upon the immediate subject of the Motion I have to make, I wish to clear away two misapprehensions which have been sedulously circulated upon the subject of that Motion. The one is, that there is an intention to follow up this measure now, or in a short time, by the removal of the courts of law from Dublin to London. I can only say that there never was the slightest foundation for such a supposition, and that we never had in contemplation a measure which we think would be injurious to Ireland, and to the administration of justice in that country. A second rumour, which has been spread through the means of an anonymous publication, is, that the determination to which the Government have come in making this proposal is one which has been very recently adopted, and has arisen from the proceedings which took place some months ago in Ireland. With regard to that report, I have to say, that it is totally without foundation; that, in fact, the Members of the present Government have for a very long time had in contemplation the measure I now have to propose, and that when Lord Clarendon went to Ireland, he went there on a distinct understanding with me that the office of Lord Lieutenant would—if Parliament should concur with us—be totally abolished; and that, whether that abolition should take place within a few 172 months, or should be postponed to a later period, must depend upon the state of Ireland, and the opportunities that might arise which we might consider favourable to such a measure. The House will perhaps recollect that, whether in office or out of office, I have always stated, that though I thought this object desirable, I considered that it ought to be left to the Executive Government of the day to choose the time when the measure should be carried into effect. I will now proceed to the Motion. I think no one will deny that, upon general principles, the two countries being united, there ought to be one single administration. Of course the administration of affairs must be more uniform, must be more steady, must be more easily determined upon, if those who have to carry on the Government can meet together and arrange the measures they consider it advisable to adopt. This was so strongly the opinion of one of the greatest men this country ever produced, who took an active part in the Revolution of 1688, and who was mainly instrumental in carrying the union with Scotland, that he strongly objected even to a temporary continuance of the Privy Council of Scotland at the time of that union. We have, in the Hardtwicke Papers, the minutes of a speech Lord Somers addressed to the House of Lords upon that occasion, some few words of which I will read, as bearing upon this question, and showing how strong an opinion that great man had formed of the importance of having one administration when the Parliaments were united. The proposal was to continue the Privy Council for several months. Lord Somers said—True concern for preserving the public peace. Heartily desirous of the union. No less desirous to make it entire and complete. Not at all perfect while two political administrations subsist. The advantage of Scotland is to have the same easy access to the prince; to be under the immediate personal care of the prince; and not to owe their protection and countenance to any subordinate institution. This was my argument at the union. Will not prevaricate. Worse state after the union, if a distinct administration continue. Now no Parliament to resort to in Scotland. The marks of distinction will continue.The House will see that these were merely the heads of his argument, and no doubt, in the hands of Lord Somers, that argument received its full elucidation. The opinion of Lord Somers clearly was, that the state of Scotland would be worse after the union than before, if, with a united Parliament, two separate administrations 173 were continued. There were reasons which, at the time of the union with Ireland, prevented the Government of that day from taking the same course which had been taken with regard to the union with Scotland; but that fault was pointed out in this House when the propositions for the union were brought forward, and Mr. Sheridan, referring to the speech made by Lord Somers, declared he thought the time for a union with Ireland could not yet have arrived, because it was not proposed to make that union complete by uniting the administration. The House will remember, that at the time the proposition of that union was first made, we were in a state of war. It was then considered necessary to maintain an administration in Ireland, and especially to have some person at the head of the Executive who could apply all the means of war against any enemy who might attack that country. It appears, however, that at the time of the union with Ireland, the subject of the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy was taken into consideration by the Sovereign who then ruled the destinies of this country. I have been kindly furnished by a friend with a copy of a letter addressed by George III. to Mr. Addington, showing that though His Majesty thought it inexpedient to abolish the Lord Lieutenancy at that time, he considered it a measure that might at some future period be wisely adopted. The letter, which has reference to the general question, is as follows:—Mr. Addington must not think that the King-will unnecessarily take up his time with letters; but, at the outset of our business, it would be highly wrong to have anything omitted that occurs. The more the King reflects on the conversation of last night and the proposed arrangements, the more he approves of them. But he blames himself in having omitted to mention the natural, nay, necessary, return of the Marquess Cornwallis from Ireland. He well knows many have thought the office of Lord Lieutenant should altogether cease on such an event. The King's opinion is, clearly, that perhaps hereafter that may be proper, but that at present it is necessary to fill up that office with a person that shall clearly understand that the union has closed the reign of Irish jobs that he is a kind of President or the Council there; and that the civil patronage may be open to his recommendation, but must entirely be decided in England. Earl Chatham, if he can be persuaded, is the man whose honour, rectitude of mind, and firmness, is best calculated for that station, particularly from his love for the military profession, to which he is again returned.This clearly shows that George III. thought the office might at some future time be abolished, and also that he considered that 174 a person, in order to be qualified for it, should belong to the military profession, and should be able to command the forces. The question now occurs, therefore, whether the time has come to which George III. refers in the letter I have read when it may be proper to abolish this office; and in considering that question I shall first advert to the general reasons which seem to me to make such an office ill calculated for the government of Ireland, and in the next place to the particular objections which may be made to the Motion. Now, Sir, with regard to the question of administration, I think there can be no doubt it is advisable that the persons who have to carry on the administration of Ireland should be able to have that oral intercourse with those who are carrying on the general government of the country, which is found of so much use in all the departments of administration. There is no department of administration in which you have not the benefit of some person at the head of that administration, either a Member of the Cabinet, or having immediate access to the Cabinet, who may state what measures are considered necessary, and what course it is expedient to pursue, or who may afford explanations and meet objections which may be made to the course proposed. With regard to any transactions that may take place with respect to our most remote dependencies, you have ft Colonial Secretary who is ready in Parliament to propose and defend such measures as may be necessary. You have likewise, in the Cabinet, a Foreign Secretary, who can state to the Cabinet what course he deems it expedient to pursue with regard to foreign affairs. But with respect to the Government of Ireland, a country so near us, you are obliged to communicate on all matters relating to measures to be proposed to Parliament, and measures of administration by despatches or by letters—a most imperfect mode of communication when compared with those explanations which can take place by conversation with regard to every other department. It is adverse, also, to the genius of our system of government, because I believe there is no Government in the world by which suck important decisions are taken without being committed to writing, as by the Government of this country. Now, with regard to the Government of Ireland, though it has happened when I have been in office that those who have been Lord Lieutenant of that country have always been personal 175 friends of mine, with whom I have kept up a constant correspondence, I have always felt the difficulty of being obliged to ask by letter for explanations of matters of administration in Ireland, and to answer objections to measures that might be proposed by us. I consider this a disadvantage to the Imperial Government of this country; but I also regard it as a much greater disadvantage to Ireland. I consider that Ireland is a great loser from not having a Minister in the Cabinet, who can explain the interests of that country upon any question, who can state what course he thinks it desirable to pursue, and who, from his peculiar knowledge, and by the abilities he is able to bring to the task, can enforce the adoption of the course he recommends. So much has the disadvantage to Ireland of conducting the government of that country by a Lord Lieutenant been felt, that upon more than one occasion a Chief Secretary for Ireland has been placed in the Cabinet for the purpose of discussing Irish measures. The House must see that that is a remedy to which recourse would not have been had but for the deficient construction of your administration for Ireland; because, to have the chief in Ireland, and his secretary in the Cabinet a concurrent party to giving orders to the Lord Lieutenant his own chief, is, in principle, most objectionable. Sometimes it has been found exceedingly convenient; but at other times, as I can testify myself, it has been attended with much inconvenience, as it obviously must be when the Chief Secretary is a man of great talents and energy, when, in fact, the Government of Ireland is vested in the Chief Secretary, and the views that are carried out are not those of the Lord Lieutenant, but of his Chief Secretary, who ought to be the instrument of carrying into execution the measures of the Lord Lieutenant. It would have been a great benefit, both on general principles of administration, and also in the practice of administration, if we had the chief in the Cabinet and his under-secretary, like other undersecretaries, consulted and advised with upon all measures, but acting subordinately to the Chief Minister for Ireland. But, Sir, while this inconvenience has—at least whenever I have been in office—been felt to be considerable, it has been maintained that it was necessary to have an executive officer in Ireland, on account of the delay which must occur in communicating with that country. The necessity for such an 176 officer has been urged, because on most important occasions—such, for instance, as the reprieve of convicts by the Crown—a change of wind, or some delay in the journey, might retard the communication from this country, and so prevent persons from receiving the benefit of pardon, or of a commutation of sentence. Now, Sir, however valid this argument may have been in former times, I think its whole force is done away with now by the changes which have taken place, and the facility and rapidity of the means of locomotion tween the two countries. There is no document to which I could appeal—no papers I could lay before the House—which would be so convincing on that subject, as a work well known to the Members of this House, called Bradshaw's Rail-may Guide; for any person who consults that interesting volume will find that a steamer arrives in Kingstown harbour at half-past 10 at night, conveying the intelligence which has left London the same morning. It will be found, also, that the journey from Dublin to Cork by the South Western Railway can now be performed in about seven hours. That is a rapidity of communication far exceeding the facility of communication between London and Edinburgh at the time of the union between Scotland and this country, and when the separate administration was abolished; it is a rapidity of communication which, I say, refutes all those arguments that were derived from the difficulty of communication, and the consequent necessity of maintaining an Executive in Ireland, in order to carry into effect the measures and desires of the Government. Sir, these are, generally speaking, the reasons relating to general administration and legislation which make it appear to me to be advisable to abolish the Lord Lieutenancy, and to put a Secretary of State in the place of the Lord Lieutenant. But if we refer to Ireland, land, and ask what are the benefits which that Lord Lieutenancy confers upon Ireland, I think we shall then find that in many respects the existence of the Lord Lieutenancy is far from injurious than beneficial. There are several points of view in which that injury can be shown to the House. In the first place, the Lord Lieutenant is placed there in a kind of anomalous position, asked for everything, appealed to for everything, blamed for everything, and yet not having that power which should belong to this situation. He has the semblance but not the immunity of royal dignity. He 177 has the responsibility but not the freedom of action of a Minister of the Crown. He is therefore obliged to bear much without, answering; to appear to defend himself with great reserve; not to take that free line which a Minister of the Crown can take in defending his own acts; and, at the same time, not looked to with any of that reverence which attends the person of a sovereign. The "divinity which hedges a king" gives but small protection to a viceroy. We have seen in our own time that it has seemed rather a tempting object—rather a temptation for attack and for violence, to have in Ireland what appeared the representative of Royalty, whom faction and sedition could attack. We have seen that no character, no kind of politics, no former services, have saved the Lord Lieutenant from such attacks. We can remember the violent outrage committed against the Marquess of Wellesley, who went to Ireland with all the character and the fame that had attended his viceroyalty in India. We can remember that, as was truly said, some vagabond exposed the Earl of Haddington to the imputation of being a partisan Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. We can all recollect that the Marquess of Anglesey, with the best and kindest intentions towards Ireland, was denounced as "the Algerine Anglesey," was considered as a violent despot—was denounced to the people of Ireland by every odious name that could be applied. When the Marquess of Normanby was in Ireland, the great majority of the Roman Catholics were disposed to favour his viceroyalty, and then we had a great number of persons of high rank refusing to attend the leeves and drawing-rooms at the Castle, not paying that respect which they would otherwise do to the representative of the Sovereign, because they disapproved of the line of policy which he pursued. We have had since then other demonstrations of a similar kind; I will not refer to those which have very recently taken place, but all these instances have shown that which I think from previous reasoning you would naturally expect, that those who are disposed to oppose the politics of a particular viceroy are rather incited to that attack than deterred from it by the appearance of representation and of reflection of Royalty which he may be considered to exhibit. It seems to be a very great thing, a sort of show of patriotism, to be able to brave and to beard a viceroy in the Castle of Dublin. A Secretary of State, we all know, may be at- 178 tacked, may be blamed, may be violently assailed, but a Secretary of State has his own freedom of action; he takes his part in this or the other House of Parliament, and neither the Crown nor the service of the Crown suffers by the debates which take place in regard to acts for which he is obviously and in the first place responsible. In the next place, I think that with regard to all parties in Ireland, the past history of the viceroyalty shows that it tends to prevent the harmony and effective impartial administration which ought to exist. In former and past days the viceroyalty was the semblance of a party power, strong, powerful, energetic, but unjust and intolerant. That has passed away. No Government that has existed of late years has wished or attempted to govern by means; of that party. But, at the same time, the consequence of that change has been, that those who formerly held this power, and who considered themselves entitled to support at the Castle, are rather irritated and embittered by finding that they have no longer that power, while the great body of the Roman Catholics of Ireland are apt to feel a jealousy lest that partial administration should not have altogether ceased; and they look at the viceroyalty with some fear that that partiality may be revived. Now, by mixing and confounding the administration of Ireland with the general administration of the united kingdom, you would get rid of those feelings. You would neither have a minority of the Irish people thinking that they had a separate local administration for themselves; they would be bound up together with the great body of the Protestants of that country; and the Roman Catholics, on their part, would not look to anything else than that fair and equal share which they ought to have in the administration of the united kingdom. I do not know that against these objects, which seem to me of vast weight, it will be objected that we ought not to destroy a separate local administration in Ireland which is of benefit, for the purpose of the expense which may take place in Dublin, and the access which it gives to a court to a great number of the gentry and nobility of Ireland. I own it appears to me, while I think that all those taunts that have been thrown out against the society of the viceregal court in Ireland are very ill placed, yet that there is no reason, while the Queen herself is but twelve hours' distant, why there should be any need of any 179 other court than that of Her Majesty; and that those who wish to pay the homage of their loyalty may very well resort to Her Majesty herself to pay the homage I and the respect that is due. And I think; that the presence of a viceroy, and the levees and the drawing-rooms, rather tend to hide than to reflect the splendours of the Throne. On the other hand, I cannot but think that in this respect, as in many others, the Irish are losers by the continuance of a viceroy. I think the habits of expense into which persons are led by the short distance there may be to Dublin, and the carrying their families there, when otherwise they would be contented to remain in the country, or sometimes to pay an occasional visit to Dublin—I think those habits cannot but be injurious. Moreover, there is with regard to this general subject another evil in that facility of resort to Dublin. I have said that the Lord Lieutenant is appealed to for everything, asked for everything, and blamed for everything, Now, upon many subjects, no person in England or Scotland ever thinks of asking for the advice or the judgment of the Secretary of State. There are many questions upon which magistrates and others are content to come to the best decision that they can, and to leave to the course of law any ultimate judgment of their proceedings; but the having this viceroyalty in Dublin—the having the viceroy with his legal advisers close by him, continually leads to appeals to Dublin for the sake of getting an opinion—for the sake of getting some advice from the Lord Lieutenant, which it really does not belong to any Minister of the Crown to give. It is far better that, according to the practice of England and Scotland, the magistrates and the people should be taught to rely on their own interpretation of the few, and that only upon rare occasions should they resort to the Ministers of the Crown for advice. I think that will be the result, in many instances, of the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy. But with regard to other and more important occasions, the resort that they have would be far more useful and effectual than it is at present. It continually happens that a largo deputation is sent to the Lord Lieutenant; the Lord Lieutenant accepts their memorial; he can only say that he will transmit it to England. It is sent to the Treasury or to the Home Office; it is there considered; the whole case, perhaps, is not fully before the 180 Treasury or the Secretary of State, and the Lord Lieutenant not having the power to decide, and the Treasury or the Secretary of State not having all the information, neither the appeal nor the decision upon it is so satisfactory as it ought to be. But in those rare and important cases, if the resort was made to a Secretary of State in London, the whole case might be gone over, the whole circumstances might he explained, and a decision come to, which would be effectual. I do not think it would be desirable that Ireland, when deprived of its Lord Lieutenant, should never have the opportunity of seeing its Sovereign; and I have great pleasure in stating, without being able to name any particular time at which Her Majesty would visit Ireland, that it is Her Majesty's gracious intention from time to time to pay a visit to Ireland, and to have the residence in the Phœnix Park maintained for Her Majesty. And I can truly say, that the manner in which Her Majesty was received, upon her visit last year, the demonstrations of loyal affection which sprang so universally from the people, have left the deepest impression, and will induce Her Majesty at all times to he happy to take an opportunity to revisit her subjects in that part of the united kingdom. I come now to the manner in which I propose that this change should take place. I propose that it should take effect by an Order in Council, after the Act was passed, at any time that Her Majesty may deem it expedient that that Order in Council should be made. I propose that another Secretary of Slate should be added to the present three Secretaries of State, for the purpose of carrying on the important business connected with Ireland. I will not say that the arrangement that may be made will be exactly the arrangement that subsists at present, because there may be some of the functions which are now exercised by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland which it may be more convenient shall be exercised by the Secretary of State for the Home Department; but I own, considering the immense amount of business connected with Ireland, necessarily connected, without those unnecessary appeals to which I have alluded, and considering also the number of measures which it is necessary to prepare for the consideration of Parliament respecting Ireland, I do not think it would be possible for the Secretary of State for the Home Department, charged as he is of late years with many important duties 181 which formerly did not belong to his office, efficiently to perform all the duties which are now performed by the Lord Lieutenant and Chief Secretary for Ireland. I believe it would be better upon the whole to keep the Lord Lieutenancy, with all the disadvantages which I have stated, than to attempt to throw this immense mass of business into an office which is already sufficiently, if not overloaded with business of the State. I propose, therefore, that there should be a power of appointing a fourth Secretary of State, not of course dividing his functions from those of the other Secretaries of State; he would be charged with the affairs relating to Ireland, but, like the other Secretaries of State, he would be capable of discharging any of the functions and duties belonging to a Secretary of State. It would be, I think, inconvenient in administration if he should not be able to take the place and discharge the duties of other Secretaries of State, in case they were absent, or if they were not in his absence to despatch the business of Ireland that might require urgent attention. The Bill which I have had drawn up provides that the different powers now exercised by the Lord Lieutenant and Privy Council, should be exercised by Her Majesty and the Privy Council; and that the powers usually given to a Secretary of State should be exercised by a Secretary of State, recognising the power to appoint a fourth Secretary of State; and that, if appointed, he and one Under Secretary should have the power of sitting in the House of Commons. There are certain powers belonging to the Privy Council in Ireland which are of a judicial nature, and which we propose to leave with that Privy Council, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland being constituted President of the Council, or in his absence some other Privy Councillor named by Her Majesty. With regard to several other powers that belong to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, upon the advice and representation of the Privy Council in Ireland, we propose that recommendations should be made by the Privy Council in Ireland to Her Majesty, and that Her Majesty shall exercise those powers. There is a board which was very recently created in Ireland, namely, the Board of Poor Law Commissioners for Ireland, which could not subsist in the manner in which it is at present constituted; at present the Chief Secretary and Under Secretary are members of that board. We propose to abolish the office of assistant 182 commissioner, to make the assistant commissioner one of the Commissioners, with a salary to be appointed by the Lords of the Treasury, and that one other person shall be named to complete the Poor Law Board. We do not contemplate any additional, expense for the purpose of the Poor Law Board; but I think it necessary that the assistant commissioner should have a place at the Board of Commissioners, and have power to exercise the functions now exercised by the chief of the Poor Law Commissioners in case of his absence. The present assistant poor-law commissioner is Mr. Ball, and he would naturally become, under this Act, one of the Commissioners. I know not that there is any other matter which in this early stage I need explain to the House. The Bill has been for some months under the review of the Government of Ireland, as well as of persons in this country; and the Lord Chancellor of Ireland has very carefully looked at its provisions, with a view to its bearing upon existing Acts. Of course, when the Bill is before the House, that matter will require great attention, and those who are fully cognisant of the Acts which give powers to the Lord Lieutenant, will see whether the object has been carried into effect in a manner which will provide for the future good government of Ireland. I have not touched upon one part of the subject which, in the eyes of some persons, may be of considerable importance, but which I regard as nothing to the great magnitude of this change—I mean the question of expense or economy in carrying this change into effect. Of course, upon the whole there will be a saving by the reduction, but at the same time there will be many clerks and other persons in Ireland who cannot well, after a very long period of service, be removed to this country, and to whom compensation and superannuations, and so on, therefore will be given. It is right to say, also, upon this part of the subject, that as there is no provision in the civil list for any expenses that may be incurred in such visits as I have stated that the Queen may be disposed to make to Ireland, there may be occasions when, not to the amount that there was when George IV. went to Ireland, but to some amount, there may be a call for a vote of this House, in order to defray the extraordinary expenses of the visits. I should say that it is so important that the Queen of tills country should visit every part of her kingdom—that those visits tend so 183 much to make Her Majesty acquainted with the feelings of Her people, and give such gratification to the feelings of Her subjects, that it is most desirable that those visits should take place—and I do not think there will be any difficulty in regard to the expense for that purpose. I will now resume my seat, only stating that this change has been some time in contemplation; that it is, as I think, an improvement with a view to the general government of Ireland; that it will enable the Irish Minister, whoever he may be, to bring Irish measures before the Cabinet and before the Parliament far more completely, far more successfully, than he is enabled to do when he is resident in Dublin. I have stated that, as far as Ireland is concerned, I think there will be a great advantage to Ireland in this change. I have stated likewise that I think, with regard to the local effect of the presence of a viceroy in Ireland, that, however able that viceroy may be, however disposed to act impartially between parties, it is imponsible for him often to take such a line that he will not incur the resentment and the obloquy of men of one extreme party or another, and that his presence there tends to keep alive and to embitter party feelings. I have stated likewise that I think the presence of a Government in Dublin tends to perpetuate reference to Government upon matters upon which a Government ought not to be consulted at all, and that the cessation of those references will of itself be a benefit to the people of Ireland, and the future administration of that country. I have stated likewise, that I think there is nothing in the maintenance "of a court in that country which ought to induce the House to refrain from abolishing the institution, and that resort to the Queen's Court in London is the natural and proper resort for all Her subjects of the united kingdom. I will state finally, that I think, whether persons are favourable to the Parliamentary union of the two countries, or unfavourable to it, they must all agree that this institution ought not to be kept up. If they are favourable to the union, and adhere to it as a settled and established part of the institutions of this kingdom—as I do myself—I would say, I think, that if Mr. Pitt had been able to propose this completion of the union at the time when he originally brought it forward, he would have followed the example of Lord Somers; and that we are more fortunate, half a century afterwards, in having circum- 184 stances favourable to it. I would say, also, that those who think the union ought not to exist, should not be satisfied with this partial representation, which does not give a Parliament—which does not give power; but in fact, while it docs not give to the people of Ireland the right of taking a part, and of having a representative among the Ministry of England, gives them nothing in the shape of local power as a substitute for that loss. I would say in the end, that I trust the circumstances of the present time are favourable to this abolition; that the Earl of Clarendon, who in his administration of the viceroyalty has had to encounter the effects of famine, the dreadful sufferings among the people caused by scarcity and by disease, and who has had to meet the outbreak of an insurrection which was intended to overthrow British power in that country—has overcome some of those difficulties, and I trust by the mercy of God we are not going to have again the infliction of others; and now, when the country is tranquil, now when the country is governed peaceably, and at the same time firmly, by the Lord Lieutenant, I think the time has arrived when we may safely provide for the abolition of that viceroyalty, and merge that substituted and delegated into the general powers of the united kingdom. I now move for leave to bring in a Bill to provide for the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That leave be given to bring in a Bill for the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and for the appointment of a Fourth Secretary of State.
§ MR. GRATTAN
said, the speech of the noble Lord at the head of the Government was without argument, without solidity, without point, and without anything to characterise it as the production of a great man and a great Minister. He (Mr. Grattan) rose to raise his voice to preserve the remnant of Irish dignity and nationality. He had not joined the Manchester school, and he should not take any lessons from the financial reformers. The noble Lord said, there was to be a Secretary of State for Ireland; but what was his next sentence? That he was not to be confined to Irish business. The noble Lord said, that the representatives of royalty in Ireland had been bearded; but he seemed to have forgotten that in England they had not only bearded, but cut off the head of royalty. He liked to approach royalty, he 185 liked to look at the Sovereign's face. Now they could not look at the Sovereign's face across the water, or even through the tube that the noble Lord had alluded to. It was like the Frenchman who was looking at the king through a telescope when the sentinel interrupted him, saying, "Monsieur, on ne lorgne pas le Roi." That was the sort of Government they should have. Who was it that had made the Irish Lord Lieutenant so bad? Why, it was the English Government. He charged them with having, as Englishmen, not only mismanaged the affairs of his country, but with having poisoned the minds of honest men till they had made them a by-word and a reproach, and then the Government did not distinguish between the men and the office, but abolished the office. The Earl of Clarendon had made himself so unpopular in Ireland that the only party who supported him were the men he wanted to hang in Ballingarry. The men who supported him were the supporters of democratic government. He took the liberty to say, that if her Majesty's Ministers withdrew the Lord Lieutenant, they must send two commanders-in-chief to Ireland. The noble Lord was not the Prime Minister, he was not the Minister of the Home Department; but he acted there as the Solicitor of the Treasury. It was Downing-street against Dublin. Now, he (Mr. Grattan) denied the right and power of the court; he challenged the array. He told the noble Lord that he was seeking that which was above his powers, and that which he could not accomplish by law. In the nineteenth century they had discovered some objections to the Lord Lieutenancy. Why, since the year 1361 they had had ninety-four Lord Lieutenants, and they had not found these objections. And they had had thirty-seven kings, and there had been no objection to the office by any one of them, except that there was a miserable letter from George III., and the letter of Lord Somers. Allusion had been made to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Allow him to state that persons had gone to those cities, and had reported against the state of nudity—he did not mean personal nudity—but the state of nudity those cities were in. They had no court in Edinburgh or Glasgow; there was no court at Holyrood-house; but when Scotchmen came to London, they stopped as long as they could. It went to denationalise the people, and that was the object of this measure. This office was created by the people of Ireland. The peers, princes, 186 and magistrates of the land chose to make the English monarchs lords of Ireland; they gave to them the rights, titles, and prerogatives of chief magistrates, and exacted from them that they should give charters and laws. What was that but a compact? They would find it in the British Museum, in the works of Andrew Paris, in Giraldus Cambrensis, and in Brant. The office was afterwards performed by deputy, and in the time of King Henry VIII. an Act was passed making him king of Ireland, and hence the name of deputy was changed into that of Lord Lieutenant. The noble Lord had said that if Mr. Pitt had lived, he would have supported the measure. Now, in 1799, when the question of the Union came before the House, Mr. Pitt made use of these words, "Ireland cannot justly complain, because it is not proposed to remove the Lord Lieutenant." Then at that time Mr. Cooke, who was the friend and secretary of Lord Castlereagh, published a pamphlet in which he told the Irish people that this office was not to be abolished. And Lord Kilwarden said, "Dublin will remain the perpetual residence of the representative of Her Majesty." And Mr. Foster, who was Speaker of the House of Commons, went further. He said, "Dublin will continue the metropolis of the kingdom, in which, as in all other countries, its nobility and its gentry will reside." The noble Lord at the head of the Government said they were not to resort to Dublin, but to London. Mr. Foster went on to speak of the university and of science, and he said, "This will become the tranquil site of eloquence, of arts, and of learning." There was a justice in Providence that the very men who meant to do mischief turned evidence against them. Did not this evidence show that Ministers were not to be trusted? Trust them not; they were all alike, saving a little difference in stature, and a little difference in intellect. And then Mr. Cooke said—The union is to make no change in the establishment of your viceregal court, which will distinguish and adorn your society, and which will remain in all its splendour. It will continue to draw within its circle from all parts of the king dom the rank, the fashion; it will give employment to your manufactures, and secure a supply of the luxuries as well as of the comforts of, life.Now, he asked, was the noble Lord about to do this—was he about to improve and enrich Ireland? The noble Lord talked of jobs. He (Mr. Grattan) did not wish to 187 press Government severely, because when he had the advantage of a man, when he had him down, he did not wish to knock out his brains. He asked the noble Lord how dare he talk about jobs? He would read him a lesson. Do not mention Downing-street in connexion with jobs. He would call their attention to a certain transaction connected with Ireland. The noble Lord had alluded to one revolution. He would allude to the revolution of 1782. Ireland had at that time 100,000 men in arms to assert her rights. When the Government of England was changed, and William III. was set up here—a name he should always revere, however much it was reviled—a Lord Lieutenant was sent to Ireland, who was thought likely to assist in bringing their honesty to the Downing-street standard. In 1782, just as a proposition in favour of Ireland was about to be brought into the House, an English Secretary was sent over, who addressed himself to Lord Charlemont and Mr. Grattan, and wanted to bribe them. Aye, a Downing-street Secretary offered a bribe to Lord Charlemont and to Mr. Grattan; and what was the condition? "Delay the question; don't bring it on in Parliament (those were the very words); wait till we have fixed ourselves in the Cabinet, till we have shown our force to the English Ministry, then you may bring forward your proposition." Those two men had the wisdom of Fabricius, as well as the honesty of Cato—they were incorruptible, and Irish honesty carried them through. They brought forward the question a few days afterwards, and carried it triumphantly. They made a convert of the English Secretary, who found out that Hibernian honesty was much better than the dusky commodity of Downing-street. Those patriots came to the following resolution, and he would recommend the sentiment to the attention of Englishmen:—That we cannot forbear expressing our gratitude at His Majesty's appointment of the Duke of Portland to the government of this kingdom; that we are convinced that his representation was faithful (alluding to the representations which the Duke of Portland and Mr. Fitzpatrick had made to the English Court); and that a free people and an uncorrupt Parliament will unite to give a constitutional Chief Governor decided support.That accounted for Governors being bearded in Dublin. When they ceased to be constitutional and frugal, and wished the Irish people not to be free, then they were bearded, either by a man at Ballingarry, or a man at Dolly's Brae. Whenever a 188 Minister had come from Downing-street on an important occasion, he had been the author of mischief in Ireland. He would give an instance. In 1785, under the viceroyalty of the Duke of Rutland, he and Mr. Orde brought forward eleven propositions in favour of the trade of Ireland; they were accepted, and Parliament granted 140,000l., having before granted 100,000l. in 1782, and raised 20,000 seamen, who had afterwards fought in the naval battles and helped to gain the victories of this country. The eleven propositions were sent over to England. What did the "fourth Secretary," as he might style him, then do? He proposed twenty-two resolutions, trenching upon the rights and liberties of Ireland, and sowing dissension between the countries; these were adopted in preference to the others; but the 140,000l. was never returned. In 1795 Lord Fitzwilliam had come over, with a promise, in the very words Mr. Pitt had used, in favour of the Catholics; and on the strength of that, the Parliament granted 200,000l. There was no doubt that while the English Government sent them good Lords Lieutenant, and coaxing, pleasant Secretaries, such as the hon. Baronet now on the Ministerial bench, they were able to get all the money they wanted. In this case the Government obtained the grants, but the promised measure of relief was never passed. In proposing this measure. Ministers were laying down a bad principle; they ought to adhere to compacts and treaties. Nothing could be more dangerous than for a Minister to lead the van in popular infidelity, for such it was. The example would be readily seized on by those whose conduct began with treachery and ended with treason. But he would give the House English as well as Irish examples of the purity of Downing-street—that polyglot museum of virtuous Secretaries—where they were enshrined in cases, and only let out ad libitum, either at the will of the Minister, or the dictation of the Sovereign. Did they never hear of the names of Mr. Trotter, or of Mr. Steele, or of a defalcation in the Navy department, or of the impeachment of Lord Melville? Was it to be tolerated that the occupants of Downing-street should turn round and tell the Lord Lieutenant that he was a jobber? Had the House forgotten the names of those military officers who figured in an examination at its bar, along with Mary Ann Clark, in the case of the Duke of York? He would 189 advise his countrymen to rely on their own Irish integrity and honesty, and to mistrust that of Downing-street, even when presided over by the noble Lord. The proposition now made arose from frenzied folly on one part, and angered ambition on another. Lord Clare had tried to coerce Ireland, but he fell into his grave in the net. He could not forget the virtues, notwithstanding many errors, of Lord Hardwicke, of the Duke of Richmond, and of the Duke of Bedford. The noble Lord deceived himself if he thought he could walk up and down Downing-street with Ireland under his arm—dressed in tabinet, he supposed? The idea was so ridiculous that it would, doubtless, be laid hold of in Punch. The noble Lord might imagine this would reconcile all parties, with the help of some additions to the peerage—such as the Marquess of Ballingarry and the Duke of Dolly's Brae. The truth was, if these continued attacks on Ireland were persisted in, Irishmen would be compelled to hate Englishmen. This was no economical measure; for it would involve several new appointments. The time was ill chosen for bringing in this measure, when there were 40,000 soldiers in the country, besides police, and the people were flying from the country as fast as they could get out of it, leaving it in despair, because it had been beggared and made uninhabitable. Both Orangemen and Catholics were leaving, not because they hated each other, but because the English Government would not let them love each other. Would the House believe it, that in the last ton years no fewer than 912,000 persons had left Ireland, of whom 178,000 had gone to New York. The people had gone from his own lands; he could not help it; he could not keep them at home. What was more, in 1848 and 1849 no less than 408,000 had gone to America—not to British America, but to the United States. In that country the whole expense of the Government was eight millions; here it was sixty-five millions; but the people went there not so much for cheap government as for good government. The noble Lord was driving them away by his measures. He might get rid of a viceroyalty in one country, on grounds of economy; the socialists and communists would get rid of a royalty in another, for the same reasons. Let the noble Lord beware of the encouragement which this would give to the democratic principle. The people of Dublin complained, not of the removal of offices 190 or emoluments, but because they would be shut out from all communication with the Government. By taking away the Irish court, gentry with dilapidated fortunes would be brought over here to associate with similar persons in this country; and thus an unfavourable impression would be created of the morals of the people of Ireland. The noble Lord was an advocate for going further, though he would not do away with the Irish courts of law. If they lost their Ambassador to France, he would advise them to keep the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland. Remove the court, and what would become of the charities? Now durst any one teach them to violate the rules of charity, and to neglect their first duty towards their poor fellow-creatures? The grants for charitable purposes in Ireland had been reduced from 400,000l to 175,000l., and the letter of Mr. Redington said they were further to be reduced ten per cent every year till they came to nothing. Thus while the court was taken away, the direct Government aid to the charities was rapidly diminished. The number of these charities was great; there were thirteen dispensaries, and seven convents, the benefits of which were very great, especially that established by the Sisters of Mercy. Out of sixty-one charitable institutions in Ireland, only eleven were supported by Government, the remainder were supported by Dublin; but how would it be if the court was removed? If such things were done now, what would take place when they got a fourth Secretary in Downing-street, and had no longer the Lord Lieutenant to appeal to? Were the sheriffs and juries, who had representations to make in criminal cases, to be sent through "the Bangor tube" to wait upon "the fourth Secretary" in Downing-street? Representations of this kind were frequently necessary. The Fever Hospital of Dublin had already suffered from the diminished support; the institution had been obliged to give up its cars for the removal of patients, who were now conveyed in hired public vehicles, to the imminent risk of the public at large who used them. Another institution, the Lying-in Hospital, had been compelled to appeal to 400 noblemen and gentlemen, in consequence of the diminution of the Government grant; and to these 400 applications they only got fourteen answers, with donations of fifteen guineas. It was idle to say that the country was prospering, or to talk of good news from Ireland, True, the sun shone; but 191 were not the people fleeing from the country, and leaving their rents unpaid? At one place he had seen forty evicted individuals, who had slept all night in an open field upon straw. The gentry of Ireland were obliged to stay and witness these scenes of misery. Let no one dream of restored prosperity and peace from the operation of such a measure as the one now proposed. He would call upon the House to repent in time. Let them not delude themselves with the notion that the appointment of a fourth Secretary of State would restore that wealth, prosperity, and peace of which the Irish metropolis had been deprived since the Act of Union. At the time that measure was adopted, there resided in Dublin one Duke, four Archbishops, twelve Bishops, three Marquesses, forty-one Earls, twenty-one Viscounts, and nineteen Barons. The property of Dublin then amounted to 2,000,000l. In 1831—thirty years after the Union—Dublin was favoured occasionally with the residence of one Duke, and the resident nobility had been reduced to two Archbishops, five Earls, and three Barons; and the property, instead of 2,000,000l., was only 96,000l. In 1850, Dublin had the advantage of the occasional residence of one Duke—the Duke of Leinster—and amongst the residents were only one Archbishop and one Earl, and the property had become reduced to 20,000l. He hoped that time would, at least, be afforded to the people of Ireland to express their sentiments on the measure. He contended that this office was granted to Ireland not by charter but by compact, and that that House could not break the solemn compacts and treaties of nations. He defied any lawyer to say that this Bill, if carried, would not be an infringement of the principles of the constitution. He maintained that the proposed Secretaries for Ireland would not be more honest than many of those individuals who filled the office of Lord Lieutenant. With reference to the state in which Ireland had been placed by the conduct of Lord Clarendon, he might say—Jacet ingens littore truncus Avulsumque humeris caput.Or he might apply a still apter quotation—Quid Crassos, quid Pompeios evertit et illum Ad sua qui domitos deduxit flagra Quirites.Should he say—Hibernos? He would merely add that Ireland had made herself the slave of England; she had given England her blood and her treasure. She had 192 sent forth men to reap and gather in the harvests of England, to build her palaces and to ornament her cities; she had given to England money and blood to fight her battles and win her triumphs; she had given to England a Wellington and a Gough; and, for thus immortalising the name of Englishmen, this abolition of the remnant of her past prosperity was presented to her by way of aeknowledging her services.
§ MR. GROGAN
begged to give his cordial support to the views of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Meath; and the fact of his doing so ought to be a proof to the noble Lord, who unfortunately was not present, that the evil to result from this measure was not felt alone by one party, but that it was the universal opinion that it would inflict a great injury on the city of Dublin. He regretted that on this occasion not a single Cabinet Minister was on the Treasury bench. [Mr. Fox Maule, amidst loud cheers, took off his hat and hawed to the hon. and learned Member.] He had not seen the right hon. Gentleman; but unquestionably the noble Lord by whom this measure was brought forward, or the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department, or the right hon. Baronet the Chancellor of the Exchequer, ought to be present; yet not one of them would condescend to remain there and hear the case of the Irish Members. That bespoke a foregone conclusion; it proved that the Government were determined to carry their measure, he the arguments against it what they may. He would proceed to answer the arguments which had been used in support of the proposition of the noble Lord at the head of the Government. It was not their fault that the power vested in the Lord Lieutenant was restricted, much less should it be used as an argument to deprive the city of Dublin of the benefits which his residence there conferred upon it. The facilities for oral communication which the new Secretary of State would have with the other Members of the Government had been urged as a reason for abolishing the office of Lord Lieutenant; but on that point he begged to refer to the opinion expressed in the year 1830, when the subject was formerly under discussion on the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose by the then Secretary for Ireland, Lord Francis Levason Gower, the present Earl of Ellesmere. What he (Mr. Grogan) wanted to show was, that though it might be convenient for the Secretary for Ireland to have an 193 opportunity for oral communication with the Members of the Government here, there was a still greater necessity for having facilities for communication with the officers of the Irish Government. It was said on that occasion by the noble Lord to whom he had referred, that he was never more convinced of the advantage that accrued from oral communication with the officers of the Irish Government and the legal advisers who were acquainted with the feelings of the people, than during the late trials; and that that advantage could not be compensated for, by affording a facility for communicating with the Secretary for the Home Department. But, under the present system, there was no difficulty, if necessary, of having that oral communication between the Irish Secretary and the Members of the Government. There were times when the Secretary for Ireland was a Cabinet Minister. The Earl of Lincoln was a Cabinet Minister when Secretary for Ireland, and so was the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade when he filled the same office. It was said that it would be a benefit to the Irish gentry not to have to resort to the Irish court, as they would spend their money in the metropolis; but in the same breath, with singular inconsistency, the noble Lord said they could resort to London to pay their respects to Her Majesty. Another reason urged was, that the magistrates and other parties charged with internal duties, resorted to the Irish office for information on a variety of points, when they ought to decide those points themselves. He (Mr. Grogan) thought that was an unfortunate objection on the part of the noble Lord. The magistrates of Ireland had good reason to know that if any course were safe, that was their safe course. When, according to the best exercise of their intellect, they endeavoured to carry out an Act of Parliament, they had been reprimanded for so doing. What had occurred the other day in the north? They saw three magistrates dismissed from the bench, because they exercised their own independent judgment, and differed from the opinion of the Attorney General; but their opinion was confirmed by other benches of magistrates and by the Chief Baron. It was likewise said, that the Secretary of State would be on the spot to defend himself in Parliament; but there was as little weight in that argument as in any other, for he must get communication from Ireland, and should be guided by the advice received 194 from that country as to the policy which the state of the country required. Every argument urged by the noble Lord might be used as an argument for the maintenance of the office. The economic question had altogether been avoided, and the noble Lord said, that if that were the sole consideration in view, it would not weigh with him at all. Taking all things into account, there might be some small annual saving in pounds, shillings, and pence; but he was afraid that there would be an annual loss in the shape of dissatisfaction and discontent, and, above all, of suffering and injury to the city which he had the honour to represent. It was the last remnant that remained to Ireland of what she was previous to the Union. There were many men alive who remembered what Dublin had been before the Union; but where now were the noblemen that then resided there? They were in this country, to which all their public establishments, one by one, had been removed. And for what reason was this blow to be inflicted upon them? Who had applied for this measure? There was no petition for it—there was no allusion to it in the Speech from the Throne—no notice that would have induced the Irish people to protest against it. He begged to read an extract from the argument in favour of the Union in the Memoirs of Lord Castlereagh:—Thirdly, though our Parliament will meet in England, there will be always a court in the capital; and, therefore, so far as the amusements of polished life are concerned, there will be no increase of inducements to resort to the great capital of the nation.But now it was proposed to abolish that court. A great decrease had taken place since 1800 in the productive industry of Ireland. He referred to a statement made in 1841, from which it appeared that up to that period a great reduction had occurred. For instance, in Limerick, in 1800, there were fifty-six lace manufactories; there were now only twelve. In the town of Roscrea there were 900 linen manufacturers; in 1840 there was not one. In Dublin there were 2,500 silk manufacturers; there were now only 250. These were only instances; the same was the result of every other trade. Of stuff serge manufactories, there were twenty-five before the Union—in 1840 there was only one; at the period of the Union, ninety-one master manufacturers and 4,389 operatives; but in 1841 the masters had dwindled down to twelve, and the operatives to 195 682. A similar decrease had taken place with respect to wool-combers, carpet-manufacturers, the blanket-manufacturers of Kilkenny, and other trades. They had sunk under the great power and capital and superior commercial talent of England, and now it was proposed to remove what he might call the last remnant of their nationality. The diminution had even gone further than he had stated, and so far only were the returns incorrect. Their police and their crime had, during the same period, increased, and a great portion of that was the necessary consequence of their poverty. The population were leaving the country. Those who had escaped the pestilence were fast emigrating to the united States—the Government of which might, perhaps, to-morow, he found in a hostile attitude to this country. It would be well for the Government to pause in the course which they were pursuing. They all knew the complaints which had been made of the manner in which some districts of England had been inundated with Irish pauperism. They had also seen the manner in which the Irish poor had been sent back to their own country, and how a lazaretto had been established to chock the communication between one part of the united kingdom and another. They had overladen Ireland till she could no longer bear up against the burden. Look at what was passing in the Encumbered Estates Courts. Some bold men were found to purchase, and he hoped they would continue to do so; but what had become of the original owners of the soil? They were being swept away to make room for new proprietors, who could not be expected to cherish the same sentiments and attachments to the spot as their predecessors. The result of the course they were pursuing would soon be to drive every man of consequence from Ireland, which would then become a wretched colony, governed by tax-gatherers and excisemen. It was not the loss of the sum that was allowed for the maintenance of the office which they complained of, for that was comparatively trivial, but they complained of the loss of the expenditure of wealthy families who frequented the court in Dublin, for that expenditure would be removed to London. He believed that there existed throughout Ireland a very strong feeling upon this subject, and that had the people of that country received due notice, or believed that it was really the intention of the Government to bring forward the mea- 196 sure, the petitions against the Bill would have been far more numerous than they were at present. The measure, if passed, would in his opinion inflict a lasting and ruinous injury upon the inhabitants of Dublin. He could not see how the numerous artisans and poor persons of the city of Dublin could be benefited by the saving in public expenditure which would be effected by the abolition of the viceroyalty, especially when that abolition would be accompanied by the withdrawal of the few remaining nobility and gentry of the country. The allowances made to the various medical and other charities had been constantly reduced, and it had even been said, that in order to carry out more effectually the system of centralisation, it was the intention of the Government to discontinue the establishment at Kilmainham for the poor worn-out soldiers of the country. Feeling as he did most strongly upon the subject, he should give his most strenuous opposition to the measure in every form in which it might be brought forward.
§ MR. W. FAGAN
, though he was in the habit of acting in political matters according to the dictates of his own judgment, would candidly confess that if there were a general expression of opinion in Ireland against the measure of the noble Lord—nay, more, if the people of Dublin had exhibited any very decided hostility against it, he would act in that case against his own judgment, and oppose the Bill; for it was a principle in politics with him, that the people are generally right—that they are seldom wrong, and never very long wrong. But he perceived in Ireland no such very general expression of sentiment against the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant; and, even in Dublin, with a population of over 300,000 inhabitants, the feeling must indeed be languid, when the only petition produced there was the one presented that evening by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, having only ten thousand signatures. He, therefore, felt himself at liberty to adopt the course his judgment suggested, and support the measure of the noble Lord. He agreed in opinion with the noble Lord, that in either of two cases—whether the people of Ireland were desirous of a real and complete union with this country, and of trying the experiment once more whether an English Parliament could legislate with justice for a people of different race, religion, and character; or whether, on the other hand, they still clung to the hope; of having a domestic legislature for the 197 management of their own affairs: in either case, as was stated by the noble Lord, the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant would be beneficial to Ireland. In the first ease, it is impossible to have a real and complete union with England, and to participate fairly in all the institutions of that country, unless Ireland is directly governed by the Sovereign through a Secretary of State having a seat in the Cabinet. In the second case, he always held the opinion, that without union amongst all classes, creeds, and parties in Ireland for a common purpose—without a strong and general national sentiment, the repeal of the Act of Union could never be achieved. Now, there is no hope of such union so long as the office of Lord Lieutenant remains—so long as "the reign of jobbery," as George the Third called it in his letter to Mr. Addington, quoted by the noble Lord—so long as that reign of jobbery continues—so long as intrigue and faction are upheld in order to maintain English interest against the measure of the repeal, so long will division exist—and so long will the repeal of the Union be impracticable. But the moment that fruitful cause of discord and faction is removed, then they might hope to find Irishmen working together for a common object—the regeneration of their country. Was there, he would ask, anything in the history of Lord Lieutenants to induce them to hope, judging from the past, that there was any benefit to be derived from the continuance of that office? He would take a cursory glance at the history of the Irish Government from the commencement, to show how injurious and hostile to Ireland it ever was. From the time of Henry the Second to the reign of Anne, Ireland was governed by military chiefs, whose vocation it was to trample on the Irish within their rule, to resist the attacks of the natives from outside the pale, and to oppress the Catholic population of that country; and when their military duties were suspended, they turned their attention to destroy the infant manufactures of Ireland, as witness the conduct of Strafford in the reign of Charles the First, and of the Lord Deputy in the time of William the Third, who so ably seconded his master that he most effectually crushed the woollen manufacture in that country. From the reign of Anne to 1782, during which period the Catholic population of Ireland had no political existence, and when the only national party in the country were the Protestant gentry; 198 during that period—he referred particularly to the times of Swift, of Lucas, and of Molyneux—the unceasing efforts of the Lord Lieutenants were to crush that national party, or to corrupt it, to raise up an English interest in Ireland in opposition to that party which every chicanery and cajolery were employed to divide and weaken. Every reader of the history of that period recollects the conduct of the Lord Lieutenant of the day, when the Irish House of Commons refused to pass a Money Bill because it did not originate with them, but, as the law then required, with the English Privy Council. He came down to the House of Commons to browbeat and intimidate them for this noble patriotism, and insisted on placing a protest against their proceedings on the Journals. This conduct of Lord Townsend was but a specimen of the unvarying hostility of every Irish local Government to Irish interests. From 1783 to the Union, the Lord Lieutenants, with one exception, to which he would take occasion shortly to allude, appear to have had but two objects in view—to obtain commercial advantages for England over Ireland, and by every means, even to the instigation of rebellion, to carry the Union. From 1801 to the present time, the history of Irish Viceroys is easily told—from the Union to 1806, it was the system alternately to cajole and insult the Roman Catholic population. During the short administration of the Duke of Bedford the policy was to give a triumph to neither party. Then came the Duke of Richmond, whom he was surprised to hear his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Meath praise. That Lord Lieutenant governed avowedly and openly for a party, and through a party, and that the Orange party, and for years the same policy was followed by his successors—by Talbot, Northumberland, Haddington, and others. The Marquess of Wellesley was generously disposed towards Ireland, but he was controlled and thwarted by his own officials—by the right hon. Member for Cambridge University, for instance. He, backed by the English Government, prevailed, and the Marquess of Wellesley's good intentions came to nothing. The Marquess of Anglesey, in his first government of Ireland, showed a noble and chivalric disposition to do justice to that country; but the moment that disposition openly displayed itself, he was recalled for daring to advise the Roman Catholics to persevere in their efforts for Emancipation. Then there was 199 the Marquess of Normanby, the most popular Viceroy that Ireland ever had. But what was the result of his generous and noble conduct while in that country? Was he not persecuted without cessation in both Houses of Parliament, and was he not but poorly sustained by his own party, and all because he loved Ireland not wisely but too well? The other Viceroys since 1836 he need not mention. They had on that occasion but one duty, namely, to discourage and repress the national sentiment then rising up in favour of a repeal of the Union. Of Lord Clarendon he would say nothing, from motives that may easily be appreciated—because, feeling as he did towards that nobleman, he feared that if he spoke of him as he had often before—he would be, as he had been already, subject to misrepresentation. From the very commencement to the end, he could but point at four Lord Lieutenants who had shown a disposition to sustain and forward the interests of Ireland, and the result was their own sacrifice. The first was Sir John Perrot, in the reign of Elizabeth, who was tried for high treason, because of his generous conduct in Ireland, and he only escaped execution by dying in the Tower. The next was the Earl of Fitzwilliam, who came to Ireland as Viceroy in 1795, with the view of emancipating the Catholics; and the moment he developed that determination he was recalled. The third was the Marquess of Anglesey; and the moment the chivalry of his character made him come forward to support Irish interests, he was sacrificed. And, lastly, there was the Marquess of Normanby, a thorough friend of the Irish people, who feel to this day that he was badly treated by his enemies, and poorly supported by his friends, because of his sympathy for them. It is clear, then, that, with few exceptions, the object of these Lord Lieutenants, from the beginning to the end, was to break down public spirit in Ireland—to oppress, and then divide, in order to rule—at one time governing on the principle of giving a triumph to neither party; at other times, and far oftener, on the principle of ruling for a party, and through a party. It cannot then be denied, that, in a political point of view, the office of Lord Lieutenant was not advantageous to Ireland. But it was said by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, that the removal of the office would be carrying still further the baneful system of centralisation which now-a-days was so much 200 the fashion. Now he (Mr. Fagan) was opposed, as much as any one, to that system; and he was free to admit, that if the viceregal government was now surrounded, as it used to be, by various State departments—by an Exchequer—by Excise and Customs—by military establishments, and that these all were to be swept away, he would abandon his objections on political grounds to the office, and would oppose its abolition. But all these establishments have long since been centralised in London, and the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy centralises nothing—it merely uproots a bad system of jobbing, intrigue, faction, and place-hunting, and gives to Ireland the advantage of being governed directly by its Sovereign, and not by a proconsul. This, of necessity, as in all large monarchies, entails centralisation towards the seat of government; but the only remedy for that is local institutions of a truly national character. The noble Lord the First Minister has stated that the courts of law are not to be removed, and indeed any man with ordinary reflection must see how impossible it was to do so. The police establishment would also be retained; so that, in point of fact, there was no centralisation at all. He was very much struck with a remark of the noble Lord, with which he fully concurred. It was this—that the existence of a Lord Lieutenant close at hand, took away all self-reliance on the part of the local authorities and magistrates in that country. This was quite true: day after day, from all parts of Ireland, the Castle of Dublin was inundated with applications for advice on the most trivial subjects, and the magistrates seemed afraid to act on their own responsibility. They will henceforward feel more self-reliant; at the same time, when advice will be really necessary to be obtained, there will be the Chancellor, an Irishman—and long may he continue to fill the office! ready to afford the information. The noble Lord did not refer much to the expenditure occasioned by the residence of a Lord Lieutenant in Dublin. He was right; for, in his (Mr. Pagan's) opinion, the expenditure was but of trifling advantage. Supposing there were 100,000l. a year so expended, he maintained that the greater part of that was expended amongst a few retailers of English and foreign manufactures, and amongst English domestics, and that the Irish artisan received very little benefit from it. It was true, some few shopkeepers would for the pre- 201 sent suffer by the change—for this he was sorry; but it was always so—no great public benefit ever takes place without injuring some. But after a time it would be more advantageous to all employed in trade and business. [The hon. Member then quoted a passage from Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, to show how far more those great towns prospered by their persevering industry that had no court resident there; and, on the other hand, how the population of all towns that were dependant on the expenditure of a court languished in poverty without exertion, and without self-reliance.] There was another objection to the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy, which was made in the debate in 1823, by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University—which would show the light in which the office was regarded by modern statesmen. The right hon. Gentleman used this argument against the Motion in 1823 of the hon. Member for Montrose, for the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy. He said—It was necessary that there should be some emblem of royal authority kept up amongst them as a sort of relief from the painful feelings of subjugated men.There was a reason for the retaining the office! a toy for the people. But he would tell the right hon. Gentleman that whatever may be the state of mind of the Irish nation in 1823, it was not now to be cajoled or dazzled by such a bauble as that. No, the very contrary was the case; for, as Sir Henry Parnell said in the same debate—The people had suffered so much injustice from local Irish government that they never would place confidence in it; and if you wish them to change that feeling—if you are desirous of trying yourselves how you may succeed in winning their confidence, you must abolish the Lord Lieutenancy.In that opinion he (Mr. Fagan) concurred. The Proconsular Government of Ireland must be got rid of—the intrigues and faction and place-hunting at the Castle must be abolished, and Ireland must be governed by Her Majesty directly through her Secretary of State having a seat in the Cabinet, and responsible for his acts. He was glad to hear it officially announced that Her Majesty would occasionally—he hoped annually—visit Ireland, and that the Viceregal Lodge was to be kept up for her accommodation. The expenditure which those visits would occasion, even for one fortnight, would exceed the expenditure for a whole twelvemonth occasioned by the 202 residence of the Viceregal Court. But putting these considerations aside, he would reiterate that he supported the abolition of the office, because of its political consequences to Ireland, and principally, and above all, because of the union amongst Irishmen, for the nation's good, which would unavoidably follow.
MR. M. O'CONNELL
declared it to be his intention to vote against the Bill. On the present question be considered himself to stand in that House, not as an Irish Member, but as a Member of the Imperial Parliament, and as one who was bound to look to imperial interests. Now, in his view of the case it was the interest of all Her Majesty's subjects to continue the connexion between England and Ireland as long as possible. If he were to argue this matter as one who was ready to adopt any means to gain a desired end, he should vote with the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken; but, feeling himself pledged to endeavour to preserve as long as possible, as a Member of that House, the connexion between the two portions of the united kingdom, his opinion was that he was bound to vote against this measure. As a repealer, he should not ask a greater boon than that the measure should be carried. As a Catholic, it offered him the strongest and most speedy means of getting rid of the temporalities of the Church in Ireland. But they were now dealing with a subject which was neither an Irish nor an English subject. They were dealing with a matter with which, in his opinion, they were not thoroughly acquainted. They were not aware of the inherent love of the people of Ireland for any institution which had been long established amongst them. After this Bill had passed, the question would be, not repeal, but separation. It would be no mock rebellion, no mock insurrection—12 policemen with a few fellows before them in a farmyard—but it would be likely to unite the people against the Government—to bring the people into collision with the law. The object of Mr. O'Connell always was to keep peace and good faith between the two countries; and it was because he (Mr. M. O'Connell) was anxious to do the same that he should oppose this Bill.
§ MR. B. OSBORNE
said, he could not help admiring the extravasated genius of the hon. and learned Member for Meath, as exhibited in his opposition to the Bill; nor could he refrain from congratulating the Lord Mayor of Dublin, on his having 203 found a colleague that evening who had made one of the best repeal speeches he had ever hoard. However important the question at issue might be—and in point of fact it involved the whole future government of Ireland—to him it appeared to rest within the narrowest compass. It was nothing more nor less than whether the government of Ireland was to proceed on the same principle as the government of Scotland or Wales, and whether Ireland was to be finally incorporated with this country? If it could be shown that the difficulties of communication with Ireland were such as to place her in a totally different position from Scotland; if it could be shown that under a Lord Lieutenant Ireland had prospered, her people had been in a state of comfort, and her commerce had increased, or if, further, it could be proved that the retention of the office was bound up with the feelings of the Irish nation, in either of these cases the office ought not to be abolished, seeing that it was as cheap a pageant as the most ardent financial reformer could devise; but if the reverse of all this were true, then hon. Members might well consider whether they ought not to support the Bill under consideration. Now he did not give his support to this Bill from any abstract love of political uniformity, for he believed that the greatest mischief had arisen from attempts to engraft English institutions on Irish habits. But, on the other hand, he was not to be deterred from voting for the Bill by the cuckoo cry of centralisation. If indeed it was proposed to remove the courts of justice from Ireland, or to abolish all the local boards of charity, or if, further, it were proposed to rob his hon. Friend the Lord Mayor of Dublin of his civic crown, and to place it on the brow of the Lord Mayor of London—then would be admit that this was the most mischievous scheme of centralisation that could be imagined. But he apprehended that nothing of this sort was contemplated. So far from thinking that the office was a proof of nationality, or that there were any sentiments of national pride connected with it, he considered it as great a parodox in government as in nature, that the shadow should remain when the substance had departed—that the Viceroyalty of Ireland should flourish when the Irish Parliament had ceased to exist. He regarded the existence of the office of Lord Lieutenant as a proof of national serfdom, and knew of no other office which tended so much to 204 demoralise Ireland and to weaken England, The office of Lord Lieutenant was originated at a time when the difficulties of going to Ireland were greater than those attending a voyage to Nova Scotia were at present, and when the inspired words of Grattan were nearly true, that "the sea protested against the union of the two countries." When Lord Stafford was about to proceed to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant in 1633, he was delayed three months by contrary winds, and having started, he was unable to proceed, because the Irish channel was infested with pirates, until a ship of war had been sent round; from the Thames. But now that the skill of the engineer had outstripped the genius of the legislator, and the science of Stephenson had done more to incorporate Ireland with England than all the laws which had been placed on the Statute-book—distance at least formed no ground for retaining the office of Lord Lieutenant. The hon. and learned Member for Meath had asked the House whether they would abolish a national institution which was dear to the hearts of the Irish people. A national institution! Why, if ever there was an institution which was anti-Irish in its tendency and anti-national in its design, it was that of the Lord Lieutenant. From the year 1172, when the first Lord Lieutenant was appointed to rule over a miserable territory under Henry II., down to the pro-sent time, how many Irishmen, he would ask, had been appointed to fill the office? From 1711 to 1800, only one Irishman held the office; from 1800, down to the present day, it had been held by two Irishmen. If they ran over the list of Lord Chancellors, he thought the case would be found the same; it was certainly the same as regarded the Chief Secretaries for Ireland. The hon. and learned Member for Meath had referred to the history of Lord Lieutenant, and had quoted early writers to show that the existence of this office was the subject of a compact between the. Irish people and Henry II. Why, surely the hon. Gentleman must know that the people did not then exist. A few Anglo-Norman barons attempted at the time to make some compact with the king, but, notwithstanding that, the argument used would not hold water. What were the histories of the Lord Lieutenancies? Could any Irishman look back to them with pride? He would quote to the hon. Gentleman a passage from the life of one of the most successful Lord Lieutenants of his day—Lord Mountjoy. 205 These were the results of English policy under Lord Deputy Mountjoy, in the words of Sir John Davis:—Whereupon the multitude being brayed as it were in a mortar, with sword, famine, and pestilence together, submitted themselves to the English Government with demonstrations of joy and comfort.What was the project of the Lord Deputy Surrey in 1528? Why, to transport the Irish altogether from the country, and to stock the land with English. [Colonel DUNNE: They are doing so now.] It was not fair in anybody, far less in a Member of that House—to say that the Government were transporting the people of Ireland. That sort of thing might do well enough for an obscure print, but it was unworthy the position of a Member of Parliament. In 1633 Lord Stafford, being Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, said in a letter to Charles I., "The benefit of this Crown shall be my principal and sole end." He came now to the reign of Queen Ann. The following was the description given by Dean Swift—that patriotic Irishman, who was always boasting that he was not an Irishman—of Lord Wharton:—He contracted such debts in England, his friends were forced to leave Ireland at his mercy. He has sank his fortune by endeavouring to ruin one kingdom, and hath raised it by going far to ruin another. He has gained 45,000l., half in the regular, half in the prudential way.The following was Mr. Grattan's description of the Marquess of Buckinghamshire:—This was the man who made his entry into Dublin, seated on a triumphal car drawn by public credulity, on one side fallacious hope, on the other many-mouthed profession; a figure with two faces—one turned to the treasury, the other presented to the people, with a double tongue speaking contradictory languages.What was the description given of the Lord Lieutenancy by a popular agitator in 1850, a friend of the Lord Mayor? He termed the castle a sink of corruption, &c.—I believe that if that sink of corruption, that hot-bed of sycophancy, Dublin Castle, as a vice-royal institute, be removed from Ireland, Orangemen and Roman Catholics, Whigs, and Tories, will see the folly of their divisions, and unite for the good of their common country.The hon. and learned Member for Meath knew very well that until lately it had never been customary for the Lord Lieutenant to reside in Ireland. Of twenty Lord Lieutenants in one century, Lord Townsend was the only one who resided there; and what did he do? Why, he 206 left a debt of 260,000l. amongst the Irish people; and Dean Swift, lamenting the state of Dublin, said—We are so far from having a king to reside among us, that even the Viceroy is generally absent tour-fifths of his time in the Government.What was the consequence? Why, that there never was any settled government at all. Lord Thurlow said, in a celebrated letter—The people are scarcely settled with a representative of the Crown before intelligence arrived they were to part with him, and that another was appointed in his stead. This circumstance is sufficient to make them have a very poor opinion of British councils, and to produce a belief they were guided by caprice and whim.He really thought that after his having made these quotations, the plea that the office of Lord Lieutenant was a national institution could hardly take its place among the claptraps usually submitted to that House. He found that whenever the Lord Lieutenant had been disposed to treat with consideration the native Irish, he was sure to become unpopular in England, and to be accused of sacrificing English interests. It was for this cause that Sir John Perrot was denounced and impeached in 1588; and Lord Fitzwilliam was recalled in 1795 because he wished for the emancipation of the Lord Lieutenant, and did not choose to be the tool of the English Minister. But, to come to their own days, why was the Marquess of Normanby ostracised by the Protestant nobility? For this single reason—because he presumed to recognise the existence of Roman Catholics. Another objection which he made to this office was, that being an office partly for show and partly for business, and being attended with a certain degree of parade, it had a great tendency to make royalty ridiculous. In this country, whatever might be the vices or defects of the sovereign, the king's name was a tower of strength; no one thought of entering into the consideration of the monarch's private life. But the inmate of Dublin Castle was the tenant of a gilded pillory to be pelted by every scurrilous vituperator. When a Tory Lord Lieutenant went to Ireland to succeed a Whig, orange flags were waved. The Castle tradesmen, too, were changed, being appointed, not so much for the goodness of their wares, as for the pliability of their votes. What happened if a Whig Lord Lieutenant succeeded? A new set attended the levees; the Viceroy's actions were severely scrutinised; if he advanced a Roman Catholic to an office, the cry was 207 raised of the Church in danger; but if he extended the courtesies of the Castle to a popular leader, great was the commotion, frequent the meetings in the Rotundo; the Lord Lieutenant was anathematised from the pulpits, and denounced in the boudoirs of Dublin. He had himself heard the Marquess of Normanby likened by a popular preacher to Nebuchadnezzar, because he had asked Mr. O'Connell to dinner; and he had good reason to believe that the hon. and gallant Member who had lately been returned for Cork, owed his seat to the grave imputation which had been cast upon Mr. M'Carthy, that he had dined with the Earl of Clarendon. Her Majesty's deputy in Ireland was often treated worse than the unpopular candidate at a Westminster election. Earl de Grey, whose charities were always distributed as equally in Ireland as in England, has his name placarded because he had given away a shin of beef. Even the ladies did not escape, as would appear from the following paragraph, which had recently appeared in the Dublin Evening Mail:—If the festivities of Dublin Castle are to continue to be conducted as they were at the late St. Patrick's ball, it were better the viceroyalty it-self were abolished than to suffer the indecorums exhibited on that occasion to be engrafted on the social system of private life. If, however, the extinction of the viceregal office be thought too strong a measure of remedy, we would at least recommend that the closing ball of the season be given upon an anniversary less under the peculiar influence of our national saint, than St. Patrick's day. We are most unwilling to advert to a topic so ungracious; but pressed by so many curious revelations as encumber our table, and urged by the serious remonstrances of the truly polite and accomplished circle of fashion which still lingers round the castle with a view to sustain the dignity of the viceregal court, we cannot but say that public decency requires the extensive and rigid reform of a festivity which of late has degenerated into a saturnalian revel. We shall not be more explicit; but we trust that on the recurrence of the festival the incidents of the night will not require an announcement from the chamberlain's office, that 'stretchers have been provided for the accommodation of the ladies.'Did the Marquess of Wellesley meet with better treatment? The Roman Catholics of Ireland could scarcely forget that, in 1812, that distinguished man refused the highest rank in the Cabinet on their account. The historian of the Roman Catholic Association, however, said that in spite of all his abilities and intentions, the Marquess of Wellesley left Ireland without having conciliated one party, and being disliked by the other. Similar was the treatment of the high- 208 minded Marquess of Anglesey. To come down to the present day. Lord Cornwallis never held the Government in such perilous times as Lord Clarendon. What had been the conduct of Lord Clarendon? He had pursued "the even tenor of his way" without looking to Irish or English interest, but looking to the public weal. In fact, such had been the treatment of all distinguished Lord Lieutenants, that a Viceroy could only hope to escape censure when he observed a decorous mediocrity; he could only elicit praise when his dinners were frequent, or when his cook was of first-rate character; in short, it is an office where an Amphytrion would be preferred to Solon, Beau Nash before Burke; and the convivial memory of a Rutland lingered longer in the minds of the people than the exalted wisdom of a Wellesley. There was another evil. He could not conceive a greater evil than a divided Executive. He asked, who was the responsible Minister, the Lord Lieutenant or the Chief Secretary? In 1822 there was no responsible Minister for Ireland. Who was the responsible Minister for Ireland in that House? There were certainly two responsible officials in the House, both men of undoubted ability. There was first the Solicitor General for Ireland; but if any one asked the hon. and learned Gentleman a question, he was first referred to the Solicitor General for England, then to the English Attorney General, and then to the Home Office; and it was only by a sort of Cæsarean operation that any information could be got from the hon. and learned Gentleman. There were the office of Chief Secretary. Although the chief secretaryship was a sort of preparatory school for English statesmen, the office was paid higher than of any Cabinet Minister. He received 5,500l. per annum; he had two houses besides the usual perquisites. When he first heard of the appointment of the right hon. Member for Drogheda, he had great hopes, from his known talent, and tried integrity, that he would have proposed measures for Ireland; he was the political partisan selected in 1846, who moved the Amendment which destroyed the late Government; he was the political Milo who rent the oak, and now, caught in the rebound, his hands were fettered. If he escaped from being devoured, it was only from his conciliatory demeanour and desire to please everybody. Was it not notorious that he was not allowed to propound any question connected with Ire- 209 land? Was it not notorious that if a question were aked, he was obliged to communicate with the Lord Lieutenant? Was it not notorious that Bills were dropped carelessly on the table, and were never more heard of? The House was told that they were hereafter to be brought into life by the sunny suggestions of Irish Members. The Government of Ireland was a perfect anomaly. Sometimes the Lord Lieutenant controlled the Chief Secretary. Occasionally the Chief Secretary controlled the Lord Lietenant. Sometimes the Under Secretary controlled both; and there was that mysterious personage who was termed the law adviser of the Castle, who occasionally pulled the strings of the Fantoccini of the Castle when they were called into action. With that state of things, the House was bound to give a responsible Minister to Ireland. He had heard something about the Irish people being unanimous that this office should be retained. He would read an extract upon this subject from the Nation:—The appeal of Dublin to the provinces in favour of Lord Lieutenancy has obtained no support except in Sligo. Kilkenny, Drogheda, and Limerick refused. In the centre of Dublin only twenty-four inhabitants of Post-office Ward attended an anti-abolition meeting. At meeting of custom-house board only twelve persons attended.He found no other men who were in favour of this retention of the Lord Lieutenant. In fact, this question, so far from being a national question, narrowed itself to a Dublin consideration; and he would not believe that Dublin, with all the advantages of its port, its population of 280,000, with its courts of law, its charities, and boards of all sorts, he would not believe that Dublin depended for its prosperity on the Lord Lieutenant. He felt confident of this. A packet station in the west of Ireland, a dockyard at Cork, would be considered much more a national object; and Dublin would prosper herself much more by a thriving people in the provinces, than by the continuation of a mock court and a party-coloured Viceroy. Some argument had been attempted to be founded upon the Act of Union. He found there no word about the Lord Lieutenant. There was a clause there stating that the Privy Council should not be extinguished. That proved that Mr. Pitt intended to extinguish the Lord Lieutenancy. So far from relying on the Act of Union, Mr. Pitt, if he could be brought to life, would tell the House that he intended to do away with the Lord 210 Lieutenant. In arguing for the abolition of this office, he thought, first, that the grievances of Ireland must be redressed, and its real wants relieved, before other changes would do any good. He thought in the first place that they must revise the system of poor-laws in that country if they mished to have any people in the land; and as long as they retained the Protestant Church in its present shape, they could have neither peace, prosperity, nor content in Ireland. He was happy to hear from the noble Lord at the head of the Government, in stating the purport of the Bill tonight, that it was the gracious intention of the Sovereign of these realms to visit Ireland more frequently. He hoped that would not be merely a promise in the House; he did not wish Her Majesty to reside there only for a fortnight; he wished Her to take up Her residence in Dublin every year for a certain number of months, and he should feel no objection if this Parliament held its sittings occasionally in Dublin. Hon. Gentlemen must not expect Ireland, with a population of eight millions, to be treated as a petty province; he could not connect national independence with the existence of the Castle of Dublin. Sure he was that the spirit of Irish nationality would burn with a purer flame when it ceased to light its torch by the lurid and corrupting glare of Castle influence. Sure he was that Ireland would not cease to be a kingdom, because she was no longer regulated as a colony, or governed as a dependence.
§ SIR L. O'BRIEN
could not give his assent to the measure which the noble Lord had introduced, and thought that the loss of the Lord Lieutenant would be very injurious to Ireland. The noble Lord, however, had thought it necessary to promise them the visits of Her Majesty as some compensation for that loss; but he (Sir L. O'Brien) was afraid, that when Her Majesty found herself at the Phoenix Park, She would very soon grow tired of that residence, and remain there but a short time; and that would be but a small compensation for the loss of a permanent court. He thought the Government would be among the first to feel the inconvenience which would be occasioned by the loss of this office. The Secretary of England would be obliged to depend for information on the statements of persons who came to his office in Downing-street; whereas, under the present arrangement, every inquiry could be carried on on the spot. He was 211 convinced they would incur a great risk by passing a measure of this kind. If, however, in the progress of the discussion on this subject, he should have reason to believe that his present impressions were erroneous, no one would be more ready to acknowledge it.
§ MR. REYNOLDS
trusted, as the representative of the city of Dublin, he should be excused for throwing himself on the indulgence of the House, and, above all, as so many allusions had been made to him. It was the habit of the late Mr. O'Connell, during the heyday of his political glory, in addressing his countrymen at any large public meeting, to say, "This is a great day for Ireland." The hon. Member for Montrose might on that occasion say, "This is a great night with me." Although the noble Lord at the head of the Government had introduced the Bill, yet any merits or demerits to which it was entitled, should be assigned to the hon. Member for Montrose. If it was intended to deprive the kingdom of Ireland of a resident Viceroy, it was entirely due to the exertions of his hon. Friend. He found in the annals of that House that in May, 1823, his hon. Friend brought forward a Motion for the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; but on that occasion, not receiving much support, he withdrew his Motion. In the month of May, 1830, he repeated his experiment, and divided the House; but his Motion for an address to the Crown for the removal of the Lord Lieutenant was lost, 115 voting for it, and 229 against it. On looking over the list of the minority, he was happy to find only four Irish Members voting with him; on the present occasion he found several Irish Members cheered the noble Lord. The hon. Member for the city of Cork (Mr. Fagan), pursuing the course which was followed by the Members for that place when Ireland was robbed of its domestic legislature, was one of the supporters of this measure. The hon. Member said, that if the people of Cork and Dublin were adverse to the proposition, he should doubt his own judgment, and vote with them; and added, that he was satisfied that the people of Ireland were favourable to it; he did not stop there, but boldly asserted in that House that the people of Dublin were favourable to it. He (Mr. Reynolds) thought that he was a better authority on the point than his hon. Friend, and to this assertion he would venture to give the flattest contradiction. His hon. Friend did not seem 212 to know what passed in Dublin within the last two months. Within that period, the high sheriff of the county had called a meeting to take into consideration the proposition of the noble Lord at the head of the Government. This meeting was held with open doors in the largest room in Dublin, and was attended by the most respectable classes, and it unanimously adopted petitions to that House, as well as to Her Majesty, praying for interference to stay an act of injustice and spoliation on them. The citizens of Dublin, not satisfied with that, a fortnight afterwards called upon him (Mr. Reynolds), as Lord Mayor, to convene another meeting on the subject. He did so, and a more numerously and respectably attended meeting was never held in that city, and the petition adopted at it had been signed by upwards of 10,000 names within a very short time; the corporation of Dublin and the two boards of guardians also petitioned unanimously against this ill-advised measure. This was his answer to the calumny of his hon. Friend the Member for Cork. It was true that not many petitions had been presented on the subject, but there were good reasons for this. One was that the people of Ireland had not much confidence in that House, and they considered it would be a waste of time and paper to petition it. He was sent there to tell the truth, and he would do so at all hazards. They said it was a foregone conclusion, and however much Whigs and Tories might differ on other points, they never disagreed when the principle of centralisation was to be carried out; they had always sacrificed Ireland to it, and would do so now. In May, 1830, when the hon. Member for Montrose brought forward his Motion, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge, not only voted but spoke against the proposition. In May, 1844, the noble Lord at the head of the Government, and the right hon. Member for Tamworth, both spoke against the Motion. He wished to know where the two right hon. Gentlemen were that night. At any rate if they could not have these right hon. Gentlemen present, they could at least refer to their speeches in Hansard made on other occasions. In 1830, the right hon. Member for the University of Cambridge said—The hon. Member for Limerick had mentioned the embarrassments which, he said, arose from the state of the government in Ireland. He did not 213 concur with the hon. Gentleman in his opinion; he knew, on the contrary, that his opinion was most erroneous; and that hon. Gentleman had failed to prove the existence of the evil to which he alluded, and of which he said the people of Ireland had a right to complain. For his own part, he could assert that no such evils existed; but if they did, would they he remedied by removing that authority which at present secured some control over them? But, supposing the office of Lord Lieutenant to be abolished, what was the system proposed as a substitute for it? The only one he had heard of was that of his hon. Friend behind him, to appoint a Secretary of State for Ireland, who should reside in this country. But how could such an officer living in this country attend to the affairs of Ireland? How could he obtain that information which he must possess, to discharge the functions of his office properly? He could have no means of obtaining any such information; and he put it to the House whether it were not more probable that the system which formerly prevailed in Ireland, and to the ill effects of which no one could be insensible, would revive under such a change, and would lead again to all those evils which the Legislature had ever been most anxious to check, than that the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant should lead to the improvement of Ireland.Again, he observed—He would not detain the House by entering more largely into the subject, which had perhaps already been sufficiently argued. He would merely say, however, that the House ought, in deference to the feelings of the people of Ireland, who were interested in retaining the administration of an officer of the Crown of such rank as the Lord Lieutenant, and of keeping amongst them gentlemen of such wealth as those who are generally appointed to fill that office, out of deference to the people of Ireland, the House ought to reject the Motion of the hon. Member for Aberdeen.The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth also stated that he thought a local Government in Ireland was essential to the well-being of that country. He had the opinion of another authority on this subject. Mr. R. Martin, the then Member for Galway, in the first debate on the question, stated that he had a large share in bringing about the Union, and at the time it was a positive understanding that the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland should be regarded as a permanent office. But he wished to call the attention of the House to the opinion of the noble Lord at the head of the Government in 1844. In that year the noble Lord, when resisting the Motion of the hon. Member for Montrose for an address to the Crown for the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant, said—The noble Lord had stated that such a change as the Motion of the hon. Member contemplated, would be very unsatisfactory to the people of Ireland. He (Lord J. Russell) had had occasion to consider in former years whether it were advisa- 214 ble to abolish the office of Lord Lieutenant, and although he thought there were reasons of great force in favour of such a step, yet he came to the conclusion that it was not expedient at that time to make such a change; and he should think that this likewise was a time in which it would not be expedient to carry that change into effect. He thought the noble Lord was justified in saying, that in the present state of the country it could not with safety be done.That was the opinion of the First Minister of the Crown in 1844. And what had he said this night? That the Lord Lieutenant had pacified Ireland, that everything was tranquil and going on satisfactorily, and that therefore he would abolish the office. With great respect to the noble Lord, he must say that that did not appear to be a very good reason. If Ireland was now peaceful and obedient to the law—and be believed she was—and if that pleasing and satisfactory result was to be attributed to the government and exertions of the Lord Lieutenant, it would rather seem to be a good reason for continuing him in office, than a reason for abolishing his office. It was plain from the speeches of the hon. Members for Cork and Middlesex, that they had been reading the history of Ireland, in connection with the administration of the Lord Lieutenant; but he thought that the allusions they had made to Strafford, and other political delinquents who had followed him in the office, were beside the question now before the House. The hon. and gallant Member for Middlesex had this advantage—that he had graduated in the Castle of Dublin, and had passed four years of his military life in it. He was therefore an excellent authority, and he gave him credit for not having revealed any of the secrets that had come to his know-lodge. But when it was proposed to remove the Lord Lieutenant from Ireland, he would ask what had already been done in the way of removal? They had removed the Board of Customs from Dublin; they had removed the Board of Excise from Dublin—in a word, all the public boards had from time to time been removed, and had been settled in this country; so, that if even a letter-carrier were to be employed in Dublin or Cork, or the remotest town in Ireland, he must receive his appointment from the General Post Office in London; or if a spirit-dealer or distiller was treated unjustly, he must memorialise the Board of Excise in London. They had, in fact, taken everything away; and now it was said to the Irish 215 people, Why should the Lord Lieutenant be left in Dublin? Are you not an integral part of the British empire? Then they passed the free-trade measures, and by the Act of Union withdrew the nobility from Ireland, and poverty followed. What had they done next? In 1800 they found Ireland in a comparatively prosperous condition, with a national debt not amounting to 30,000,000l., and in 1816 they divided their own burdens, by amalgamating the English and Irish Exchequers, and made her owe 130,000,000l., charging her with the expenses of a war in which England had involved her. The present Motion was supported by one party on grounds of economy; and their Nestor would say, that the revenue from Ireland was 4,500,000l. per annum; that it cost 4,000,000l. to pay the interest of her debt, and 3,000,000l. for Ordnance, miscellaneous expenditure, &c., 7,000,000l. in all; that, therefore, Ireland cost the British nation 2,500,000l. per annum. Had the people of Ireland kept their Exchequer separate, and not been dragged into the ruinous expenses of the war, they would have been out of debt, and could not have been taunted with being beggars at the door of the British Parliament. The currency of the two countries had been assimilated, with a loss to Ireland of 1,000,000l. The protecting duties that existed between the two countries had been repealed; and the coarse linen manufacture of Ireland had vanished as well as the woollen. However their merchants might be embarrassed, it would still be said, "Are you not an integral portion of the British empire?" But, to return to the opening speech of the noble Lord in proposing this measure. The noble Lord said that it was inconsistent to have a Lord Lieutenant not having sufficient authority, whereby his action was paralysed; and the noble Lord said there was party feeling. But who had encouraged that party feeling? Both Whigs and Tories—it was to be seen in both parties in Ireland. The noble Lord said also it was desirable that whoever had the official care of that country should be here in order that there might be oral communication. But must he not have oral communication elsewhere also—in Ireland? But there was another point. Everybody knew that there were savings banks in Ireland under English management. This he knew was an unpalatable subject; but what had been done in respect to savings banks? An Act had established savings banks all 216 over the united kingdom; but an Act so imperfect, that it released the parties who received the money from all responsibility. The English Government had insisted upon managing the local affairs of Dublin in the office of the Commissioners of the National Debt, and insisted upon having the custody of the money; and what had been the result? The sum of 64,000l. was owing to the unfortunate depositors in a bank, the well known St. Peter's Bank, Cuff-street, Dublin, that was insolvent in 1820 or 1821. That was the result of British management. He was told that if this office was abolished, everything would go smack smooth in London; but in his opinion it would be only transferring the sin of jobbing to that place. First, it had been said that the office was to be abolished on principles of economy; and now it was to be abolished on scientific grounds, because Mr. Stephenson the engineer had invented a tube to connect the two countries more closely together; but some fine morning the tube might break down; and God help the country which depended for prosperity and for the maintenance of her institutions upon an iron tube! The case of Scotland had been referred to. Scotland, it was said, had gone on very well without a chief governor. But the causes were very different. Scotland had made a good bargain for herself. The transaction was one of taking a poor country into partnership with a very rich country. But in the case of Ireland it was taking a rich country into partnership; a country rich in the elements of wealth and in population. But it was said, "You are an idle race in Dublin; but lose the Lord Lieutenant and you will become industrious." The noble Lord promises to leave Ireland the Privy Council and the Poor Law Commissioners. In the name of his fellow-citizens he would say, that if the office of Lord Lieutenant were abolished, he would make the Government a present of the Privy Council, and of the Poor Law Commission, which the noble Lord so kindly said he would leave behind. With respect to the Queen's visits to Ireland, he should be rejoiced to see Her Majesty in that part of the empire in every year of Her life, which he sincerely hoped would be a long and happy one. But had the noble Lord put that in the Bill? lie paused for an answer. Had the noble Lord inserted such a clause in the Bill? He might be told that that would be trammelling Her Majesty's actions; but 217 the Irish people would accept all reasonable excuses for an omission, in the hope that on her next visit Her Majesty would make a longer stay. He believed that the noble Lord intended well to Ireland; but he thought that the noble Lord had been badly advised. And let him remind the noble Lord that he was inflicting this wound upon Ireland at a period unparalleled in her history—after four years of destitution and famine—a period when she had lost half a million of her population by a forced emigration from the land of their birth, and another half million by famine, and when the soil remained uncultivated, and the population unemployed. The case of Scotland presented no analogy. Scotland had her own religion; England had forced her own religion upon Ireland. Presbyterianism was the established religion of Scotland, and he rejoiced that it was so, as an acknowledgment that the Church of the majority should be the established religion. But what had been done in Ireland? The Protestant religion had been forced down the throats of the Catholic people, the vast majority of whom were compelled to support the religion of the small Protestant minority, and yet they were told that Ireland was an integral part of the empire. Let there be nothing said of equality of rights in the two countries until the temporalities of that Church had been abolished. The noble Lord said that this was the time for the abolition of this office. That proposition he denied. He gave notice to the hon. Member for Cork, and the other Irish Members who would vote that night on conscientious motives, that if the people of Ireland had a vote on the question, they would not be with them on this occasion. He believed that if the people of Ireland were polled, 19–20ths of both sexes would be found to vote against this Bill. It was said that the Nation newspaper was for this Bill, and so, no doubt, would be the people of Ballingarry. If he were a republican, he also would be for the Bill, and not only that, but he would go down on his knees to say a Pater and Ave for the noble Lord for having introduced it. With regard to Ballingarry, he would tell them that they might as well call a collision between a wheelbarrow and an omnibus an earthquake, as apply the term rebellion to the proceedings that had taken place there. In conclusion, he implored of the noble Lord to withdraw the Bill, as he could assure him he would not live 218 twelve months after it passed without regretting that he had followed the counsel of the hon. Member for Montrose on the subject.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, the Motion before the House is for leave to bring in a Bill to provide for the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and for the appointment of a fourth Secretary of State; and the House must, doubtlessly, be aware that, during the interesting and prolonged discussion which has taken place, no observation has been made upon the second object of the Bill. I am far from wishing to treat with disrespect its first object; and if I do not allude to it at length, it is because it has received considerable attention from hon. Gentlemen well qualified to give an opinion upon a subject naturally very interesting to them—I mean the Members connected with the sister kingdom. Generally speaking, I must say that, with reference to the office of Lord Lieutenant, I should feel disposed to defer to the feelings of Irish Members; but I am sorry to say that upon this, as upon every other occasion, it is extremely difficult to ascertain what are the feelings of the Irish Members. If I had the good fortune to be an Irish Member, I should not hesitate as to the course which I should adopt. I cannot pretend to have given very deep consideration to the question. It is true I have heard, as many hon. Gentlemen have no doubt heard, what the popular opinion is upon the subject; and I admit, no matter what might have been my opinion upon the question as a matter of sentiment, that I had a vague idea that there were important political reasons for the abolition of the office. This was my impression until I heard the address of the noble Lord the First Minister of the Crown. That impression, however, has been completely removed by his address. I listened to the speech with the utmost attention, and it appeared to me that no one ever more successfully demolished the proposition which he presented than did the noble Lord. He said there were great political reasons which influenced him. He said, "The measure which I am going to propose is a measure for the abolition, in the first place, of the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland. Ireland is extremely tranquil—particularly well governed—and there is an individual who is Lord Lieutenant of that country, and who is the most successful governor that ever flourished, and I am 219 going to take him away." This is the great political reason which the noble Lord gave for the course which he intended to pursue. Then, after the political reason, there was a moral reason. He said, "The expenditure of private families is more considerable than desirable. The Irish gentry are put to considerable expense in going to court in Dublin; but, to avoid this for the future, they will not have to pay their court in Dublin, but they will have to come to the Court at London." There was also a third reason, which I cannot exactly describe as a political or as a moral reason, but as rather a loyal one. The noble Lord said nothing could be more gratifying to Her Majesty than to visit Ireland, and that nothing could be more commendable than the loyalty of Her subjects in that portion of the empire. This was a communication which we did not doubt, and one, I am sure, always gratifying to the House to hear; but because nothing could be more complete than the gratification of our Sovereign, or nothing more sincere and united than the ebullition of loyalty which greeted Her, the noble Lord says he will put an end to all the circumstances and causes which bring about these results. The noble Lord was ably supported by several hon. Gentlemen who followed him in the debate. The hon. Member for Cork made a powerful address to the House. The hon. Gentleman called attention to the conduct of the Lord Deputies in the time of the Plantagenets, and framed upon it an argument on the possible conduct of Lord Lieutenants of the present day. But if the Lord Deputies of the time to which the hon. Gentleman alluded were strangers to Ireland, and had no sympathies in common with the people; it might as well be urged that the Plantagenet kings of England were strangers to the people; yet no one would pretend that the state of England was not very flourishing in those days. I protest against legislating in the present day on the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland by appeals to the time of Henry II. The hon. Member for Cork, after indulging in these historical associations, proceeded to show the practical inutility of the present measure. He said, "As long as you have a Lord Lieutenant in Ireland, you will destroy the self-reliance of the people, because they are in the habit of constantly asking the Lord Lieutenant for advice on all imaginable subjects, and unless you abolish the 220 Lord Lieutenancy you cannot develop a spirit of self-reliance in the Irish people." The hon. Gentleman then went on to say, "Give the Lord Chancellor the same functions as those now exercised by the Lord Lieutenant, and you will have a person who can communicate with those who seek his advice, and one to whom the people can write for advice by every post." I should like to know in what respect the proposition of the hon. Gentleman meets his own difficulty, because I cannot see how the self-reliance of the people is to be more developed if the Lord Chancellor is to have delegated to him all the functions which were formerly discharged by the Lord Lieutenant. The hon. and gallant Member for Middlesex, whose accurate knowledge of the condition of Ireland, I am sure, is acknowledged, though he is not an Irish Member, made an able speech, as he always does, and supported the Motion on the assumption that the government of Ireland under a Viceroy had been a government of jobbing, corruption, and misrule. But I could refer to periods in the history of this country, and make as good a case against the Parliament and the Government of this country as he has made against the Government of the Castle of Dublin. I, too, might refer to backstair influences which affected our administration and Parliament even in comparatively recent periods; but would any such reference be said fairly to apply to the present period? The institutions of a country take their character from the age in which they flourish. No doubt, the Castle of Dublin was once, like other courts, as corrupt as the country could bear. But public spirit is improved since those periods, and just as you could not have such illegitimate influences acting upon the Government in England now, so it is quite possible for you to have a Lord Lieutenant pure and just in the relations of life, and who will administer the government with justice and impartiality. I protest, therefore, at being called on to decide upon the character of an institution by reference to scenes and characters that flourished in the Castle of Dublin under circumstances quite different. But if libels published in newspapers are to be cited as evidence against the character of a court, I would remind the House that at a period comparatively recent, the person of the British Sovereign was very freely libelled, and yet that was never adduced as an argument for the abolition of the Monarchy. It is 221 not my intention to vote against the Motion of the noble Lord—a Motion merely for leave to bring in a Bill, because that would be an act of discourtesy to a Minister of the Crown; and the noble Lord, of all persons, is not the Minister to whom I would so act; but I wish to observe, that no hon. Member has alluded to the second portion of the object of the proposed Bill. It is an important one. It may, or it may not, be necessary to abolish the office of the Lord Lieutenant. I have no doubt, however, that, before it takes place, we shall have an ample and satisfactory discussion upon that head; but I think it would be perfectly consistent to accede to the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant, without acceding to the proposition of appointing a fourth Secretary of State. I hope the House will consider the importance of separating these two points. It is only recently since we appointed a third Secretary of State in this country; and we should remember that Secretary of State had a province allotted to him, and an office the duties of which, in all probability, may be soon greatly diminished. I allude to the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Night after night you are telling us that the colonies must be allowed to govern themselves. If this permission be accorded them, the duties of the Colonial Office may soon be very much diminished. Well, you are now crudely and suddenly called upon to appoint a fourth Secretary of State. This is a proposition different from that involving the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy, and also different from the proposition made some time since by the hon. Member for Montrose. Remember what Sir William Wyndham said, speaking of Secretaries of State, "These great officers never appear without an equipage of clerks." There were considerable objections raised at the time to the appointment of a third Secretary of State; and it was then urged that the appointment would not materially, or at all, add to the expenditure of the country. But what has been the result? Why, the expenditure on account of the third Secretary is 80,000l. per annum; and yet we are now called upon to appoint a fourth Secretary of State without any man in the Cabinet, or out of it, having any precise idea what the nature of his duties are to be, or what the expenditure is likely to be. Even the noble Lord has not told us, for he told us that there were many duties of the Secretaries of 222 State which were not to be performed by the new Secretary. I cannot consent to the appointment of a fourth Secretary of State with his equipage of clerks, unless we have more information from the Government. I see no reason why the affairs of Ireland may not be placed under the direction of the Secretary of State for the Home Department. The affairs of Scotland and of Wales are under the Secretary of State for the Home Department; and, since there is a desire for a similarity of administration, why should not Ireland be placed with the others? It may be necessary that there should be subordinate assistance. That assistance I would give; but hesitate, I beg of you, before you sanction the appointment of a fourth Secretary of State, with all the patronage of such an office, until you have ascertained whether there will be sufficient work for the three Secretaries of State whom you have already appointed. I remember my ever to be lamented friend Lord George Bentinck—who was extremely jealous of an increase of patronage, and who thought that the Whig administration had a peculiar talent for multiplying offices—saying (and the statement was never contradicted) that the Irish famine was in one sense a godsend, for it gave the Whig Government 16,500 places. Now, Sir, we have a new proposition, upon which I will not give any very decided opinion, except that it savours somewhat of fantastical reform. No one doubts that Ireland might continue to be governed as well, and I think better, without this alteration; yet, under the shadow and colour of this alteration, you are called upon to appoint another officer of State of the highest class, and of the greatest salary, and, moreover, whose appointment must lead to an equipage whose salaries will in all probability quintuple in the first year that of their chief. If this were not a House of financial reformers, those suggestions might have some influence; but I know that in a House of financial reformers, economy is a subject which is never considered. In the good days of that great man whose words I have quoted (Sir William Wyndham), if a Minister had brought forward a Bill like this, you might have had a Place Bill brought forward, and perhaps carried; but, with an association of financial reformers, I feel we have a barrier to deal with against any proposition for reduction, which no one can surmount. In olden times we might have opposed this measure with sympathy out of 223 doors, and perhaps success within; but in a liberal age this is impossible. And why? We Lave just been listening to one of the most earnest supporters they have in this House—the Lord Mayor of Dublin—who has come here in all the paraphernalia of his office—to add weight and importance to the great authority which he lends the Government. What says the right hon. Gentleman the Lord Mayor of Dublin? He says, "If I had time I would really impeach the Government. The question of the savings banks alone is one upon which they ought to be called over the coals. "But if the existence of the Government was at stake, why then the right hon. Gentleman, who thinks they ought to be impeached, would at once come down and vote for them. What is the state of the country at this time? When you are telling us night after night that you cannot bear the burden of taxation, and that you only vote against Motions, the object of which is to relieve that burden, because you are afraid that the existence of the Government would be endangered, what is the real state of the country? Why, Her Majesty's Ministers themselves, who take a favourable view of the state of the country, what do they say? They say that the country is not ruined—that only the middle classes are ruined. But surely that is enough to make you pause before you accede to the appointment of one of the most expensive, and, as far as any data have been placed before us, one of the most unnecessary of offices, with an establishment of a very great and necessarily increasing amount. We on this side of the House know that, as far as our constituents are concerned, we are not justified in acceding to any proposition the object of which is to increase the public expenditure. The greatest portion of the ruinedmiddle class that we represent, really cannot view the institution of a new office of this description without considerable alarm. I know very well that Her Majesty's Ministers may tell us that practically there will not be any great increase of expenditure, because, on the one hand, they are abolishing an expensive office; and, on the other, are only applying the funds which have hitherto been appropriated to it to the payment of the expense of the new offices which were now projected. But we must not be permitted to indulge in such a dream. The noble Lord has not spoken with very considerable frankness upon the subject. One might say, indeed, that, to- 224 night, frankness has not been the forte of the noble Lord. But he has given us a hint that increased expenditure must accrue from the new system. He has told us that there are necessarily pensions and superannuations to be given to officials who cannot be removed; and certainly I am the last person who would give a vote which would unjustly press upon individuals of that class. But, whatever may he our feelings of justice, the bill must be paid, and in providing for those individuals, who, I am informed, are no scanty class, a considerable portion of the funds which now go to the Lord Lieutenant will be required. That, however, is only a fraction of the greater expenditure which the noble Lord shadowed forth. He offers to Ireland the gracious boon of an annual visit of a beloved Sovereign, but also reminds us that there must necessarily be a vote—an annual vote—for that purpose, in addition to the civil list. [Lord J. RUSSELL: I did not say an annual visit, nor an annual vote.] Ah! You see already the visit is not to be an annual one! But if the visits are to be occasional only, then I maintain that occasional visits are more expensive than annual ones. An annual visit, always expected, and for which all are prepared, would be much more economical than an occasional visit, often delayed, long procrastinated, and compensated for by a lavish and profuse expenditure when it arrives. Though, under all the circumstances, it may be gratifying to all of you that the visit should take place, still, in an age of economy and in a House full of financial reformers, we must take into our serious consideration the facts which influence the Government in making such a proposition. I assume that the whole expenditure of the office of Secretary of State for Ireland will be an addition to the general expenditure of the country; and I believe that the great majority of the House are also of that opinion. What I want the House to feel is, that they are called upon to-night for the first time, not merely to assent to the abolition of an office which, upon the surface of it, has a character of economy, but to embark in a course which, independent of every consideration of policy, must be a source of increased and, I believe, of lavish expenditure. Let those who represent the ruined middle class, whether they live in those towns in the north which, two or three years ago, were to rule all England—who, whether they reside in Manchester or Liverpool, or in the 225 districts and counties which we represent—all equally agree in thinking it to be impossible for them to meet the present claims of taxation; let them well consider what the nature of the present proposition is. Are we to sanction the institution of another department of State, and that one which necessarily entails a vast expenditure? I was not before aware that our external condition was such as to justify increased expenditure. I should say, so far as I can form an opinion, that we should treasure up all the resources we have, and rather curtail our domestic expenditure and prepare for coming storms—that we should rather await the hour when increased expenditure may be necessary to maintain our national honour and the national safety. Whether I look to our position at home or our position abroad, I cannot justify to myself a vote that will greatly increase the public expenditure of the country. What will the Committee upstairs upon Public Salaries say to this Motion? Does the noble Lord mean to refer the fourth Secretary of State to the Committee upon Public Salaries? Perhaps he thinks, from experience, that it is a safe tribunal. But "the galled jade may wince." He may carry his system too far. Even the patience of a Parliamentary Committee, managed by a Minister, may be exhausted in a moment of domestic disaster and foreign peril. I know that it is almost useless and presumptuous on our part to make these observations. I know that it is impossible to induce the House, by a vote, to sanction the disapprobation which even they probably feel. We cannot endanger the existence of the present Government. That is clearly out of the question. We know it. We have numbers in this House not contemptible, and a party in the country tolerably numerous; but we have no practical men amongst us, and we feel it. Give us practical men, and we might govern the country. Give us a Chancellor of the Exchequer who would only break down four times before Easter in his budget, and we might then look to office. Give us a practical man like that, and even the defunct Tory party might once again exist. Give us a practical Secretary for the Colonies, who finds only three insurrections in Her Majesty's dominions at the same moment—with such a practical Secretary of State we could do wonders. But, above all, give us a practical man for our Secretary of State for Fo- 226 reign Affairs—let him deprive our Sovereign of all Her allies—with such a practical man we even might form a Ministry.
§ MR. HUME
considered that the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire had not formed a correct impression of the Bill. The House ought to be jealous of any appointment of a new department; but the hon. Member forgot there was a Secretary for Ireland with a large establishment, which the Bill would materially lessen, and the only difference was, that the new Secretary would, with great propriety, have a seat in the Cabinet. If Ireland became in course of time as quiet as Scotland, her affairs might be managed by the Secretary for the Home Department. One of the main effects of this measure would be to remove those abuses which arose from governing Ireland as a colony. The Bill would create an additional Secretary of State, who might be consulted on all occasions as to the administration of Irish affairs; and that feature of the Bill induced him to believe that the measure would work well. Let any man look to the state of Ireland for the last fifty years, and he would find that a great portion of her evils were attributable to the focus of faction in Dublin Castle. He did not believe that this Bill had been introduced with the view of increasing the patronage of the Government; on the contrary, it appeared to him that it would effect a very great and a very proper reduction in the expenditure of the country. For one, he begged to tender his thanks to the noble Lord for having introduced this measure, which he considered to be one step towards the redress of those grievances of which Ireland had such just reasons to complain. He agreed that it was only one step, which should be followed quickly by many others in the same direction. He sincerely trusted that every one of those institutions of which Englishmen were proud, and to which they attributed the properity of England, would be extended to Ireland. Ireland expected such extension, and the Legislature was bound to fulfil her expectations. No Irishman in that House had regretted more deeply than himself the misgovernment of Ireland, and it had ever been his desire to remedy her grievances. He had frequently introduced practical measures to remedy the abuses by which Ireland's prosperity was prevented. As long as the domination of the Established Church was permitted to exist, Ireland need not hope to become a prosperous 227 country. He had often stated in that House that if he had been horn in Ireland he should have been a rebel; for he would never have submitted to the injustice with which that country was treated by England, at least he would have exerted himself continually in attempting to free her from foreign oppression. It was his belief that this was a most important and useful measure, and it should therefore have his warm support.
§ The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
would certainly not attempt to follow the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire into that field into which he had invited the House to enter, because he was desirous that the debate of the evening should have a practical conclusion, and that they would not separate before they gave the noble Lord at the head of the Government permission to introduce the Bill, so that it might at once be printed and circulated throughout Ireland, whereby the inhabitants of that country would have an opportunity of becoming acquainted with its provisions at the earliest opportunity. He rose for the purpose of correcting an impression which the speech of the hon. Gentleman opposite the Member for Buckinghamshire might convey as to the economy of the proposed measure. Now, it was not in any way whatsoever on account of economy that his noble Friend had submitted this measure to the consideration of the House; he introduced the measure believing that it would tend to the good government of Ireland. But the lively imagination of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, the light of which they often admired, had certainly led him into the strangest notions of economy that ever were heard of; because, if the hon. Gentleman had paid the slightest attention to the estimates which were on the table of the House, he must have seen that the result of the measure, in all probability, must be to save the country a considerable portion of the expense of a great establishment. And what was the position of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire? Why he said, "You are going to abolish the office of Lord Lieutenant and the offices connected therewith, and for those offices you propose to substitute a Secretaryship of State, which substitution must entail a large additional expense on the country;" and the hon. Gentleman went on to say that, in his opinion, the expenses attendant on the new office would be about 100,000l., instead of 20,000l., the sum now paid to the Lord Lieutenant 228 of Ireland. Now, really the hon. Gentleman's imagination had soared rather higher than usual; he had gone far beyond those bounds by which he ordinarily limited himself. But what were the facts? The new Secretaryship of State for Ireland would in every way resemble the Secretaryship of State for the Home Department. Now, the expense of the Home Secretaryship appeared by the estimates to be, in round numbers, 26,000l. a year. The expense of the Colonial Secretaryship, including foreign postage, which amounted to a considerable sum, was 37,000l. a year. Now, the expenditure of the Viceroyal establishment, including the salary to the Lord Lieutenant, 20,000l.; his household, 6,000l.; and the expense of the Irish Office, 22,500l.—amounted to 48,500l. Therefore, putting the expense of the new Secretaryship of State at the highest, namely, 37,000l., there would be a saving to the country of 10,000l.; and, supposing it to be, as it most probably would be, more like an expense to the Home Secretaryship, instead of the Colonial Secretaryship, there would be a saving to the country of 22,000l. a year by the change. He of course did not mean to pledge himself that the expense would be no more than 26,000l. a year. As the measure had been fully and fairly discussed—as important speeches on the question had been delivered on both sides, he hoped that the House would permit his noble Friend to introduce this Bill, so that those whose interests would be more immediately affected by it might have as early an opportunity as possible of considering its details.
§ MR. LAWLESS
said, the question had not been fairly discussed, and he therefore proposed the adjournment of the debate; and he did so for three or four brief reasons: first, because neither the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, nor the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge, had taken part in the debate, and were not then in the House; and as both of these right hon. Gentlemen had spoken on the subject on previous occasions, it was of the utmost importance to the people of Ireland that before the debate concluded they should express their opinions on this Bill. Another reason was, that the right hon. Gentleman the representative of the city of Dublin had not had a fair hearing. As he (Mr. Lawless) was anxious that the representatives of Ireland should have an opportunity of fairly meeting the question, he hoped that 229 the House would consent to an adjournment of the debate.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That this debate be now adjourned."
MR. M. J. O'CONNELL
was of opinion that the majority in Ireland, both in Members and people, would be found to be decidedly in favour of the Bill. He hoped that they would not have a repetition of those vexatious divisions which had taken place on the previous night after twelve o'clock. He hoped that the opponents of the measure would see that they could not effect any real object by entering into such petty contests. He was very much surprised to hear the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, in the small portion of his speech which he devoted to the question of the office of the Lord Lieutenant—[Mr. LAWLESS: The hon. Gentleman is not speaking to the question before the House.] There could be no doubt that he was perfectly in order. The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, in that small portion of his speech which he had devoted to the question before the House, coquetted in a strange manner with the Gentlemen on that (the Opposition) side of the House who were opposed to this abolition. He (Mr. M. J. O'Connell) held in his hand a volume of Hansard which reported the hon. Gentleman to have said, in his place in that House—"Thus they had in Ireland a starving population, an absentee aristocracy, an alien Church, and, in addition, the weakest Executive in the world." That was the hon. Gentleman's description of the office of Irish Viceroy in 1844. That phrase was itself a strong argument in favour of the abolition of the office of Lord Lieutenant. He believed that whatever might have been said against the abolition in 1844, when Dublin was within twenty-four hours of London, now when it was within twelve hours for travellers, and, would shortly be within five hours for the electric telegraph, it was quite absurd to say anything against it now. But his objection to this Motion was, that in the hands of the ablest man it was impossible that it should work well. In a home portion of the empire they had an institution combining part of the properties of a colonial government, and part of the qualities of a foreign ambassador. They had all the irresponsibility that belonged to a colonial governorship in addition to all the encouragements to intrigue and jobbing that were inseparable from the carrying on of a colonial governorship in connexion with the 230 working of the present system. The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was in the condition of an ambassador in a strange land. Diplomacy was perhaps rather a delicate subject to touch upon in the present state of affairs; but a great deal of the evil that had existed in Ireland, even under the ablest administration, appeared to him to be the result of the semi-diplomatic character of the Lord Lieutenant. His belief was that Ireland ought to be governed in the same way that Scotland was. In the speech of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, to which he had alluded, the hon. Gentleman expressed a hope that in future there would be a bettor government in Ireland; and he founded that hope on the existence of a power that had arisen in the world, but was not yet sufficiently recognised—a power that doomed a system which could not bear discussion. He (Mr. M. J. O'Connell) believed that this office could not bear discussion, and that therefore its existence was doomed.
§ COLONEL SIBTHORP
said, this was nothing more nor less than a job. Believing, as he did, that instead of lessening the expense, notwithstanding what the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said, it was only another measure of dangerous reform—where it would end God only knew—he should support the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Meath. He did not think the measure had been sufficiently discussed. Though he was sure everybody would be gratified if Her Gracious Majesty should visit that country, he was convinced that the present system was more likely to benefit Ireland.
§ COLONEL DUNNE
said, in the last fifty years there had been no measure introduced into that House which would have such an effect on the destinies of Ireland as this measure would; and he thought it was but reasonable that every Irish Member should have an opportunity of expressing his sentiments upon it. Therefore, he should support the Motion for an adjournment. Almost all previous organic changes in the country had been ushered in by a notification in the Speech of Her Majesty at the beginning of the Session; but no such notification was given in this instance. It was true that reports were spread that it was the intention to abolish the office; but seeing that no Bill was introduced in an earlier period of the Session, people began to think it would not be introduced; and it was owing to that, he believed, that there was so much apathy on the subject in Ireland.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 19; Noes 213: Majority 194.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."
The O'GORMAN MAHON
, although he was prepared to vote against the Bill, yet could not support the present Motion. He trusted his hon. Friend would withdraw it, or else he would place him and several of his hon. Friends under the necessity of retiring from the House without voting, for he would not be a party to a factious opposition to the introduction of this Bill.
MR. M. J. O'CONNELL
begged to remind the House that there were several Gentlemen whose opinions were valued in Ireland who had not yet had an opportunity of delivering them.
§ LORD J. RUSSELL
said, that the opinion of the House had been very clearly expressed against the adjournment. His object in proposing that the Bill should be brought in before the Whitsuntide holydays, was that the Bill might go to Ireland in a printed shape, that time might he had for its consideration, and then that the House should come to the discussion of the Bill on the second reading, after opportunity had been given to the constituents of hon. Members to express their opinions upon it. But if hon. Gentlemen persisted in their Motions for adjournment, he (Lord J. Russell) should not lose the opportunity which those hon. Gentlemen, he thought, gave him of showing the nature of the opposition which was offered to the introduction of the Bill. The people of Ireland would see that if a very considerable time were not given them before the second reading was moved for considering the details of the Bill, it was not the fault of the Government, but of those hon. Members. With this declaration he would not object to the adjournment of the House; but if hon. Gentlemen moved the adjournment, he (Lord J. Russell) would close with that Motion, and would accept it.
§ COLONEL DUNNE
denied that the noble Lord had any right to charge the Irish Members with offering a factious opposition to the Bill. He had not given them time to consider the measure, and express their sentiments upon it. The custom was, when organic changes were to be proposed, to give notice of them in the Queen's Speech. The details of the Bill were wholly indifferent to the Irish people. The question with them was not whether a 232 fourth Secretary of State or any other officer was to be appointed, but whether the Lord Lieutenancy was to be taken away from them. The Bill had been brought in by surprise; and the mode in which the noble Lord now proceeded, had more the appearance of an order or mandate from a despot than anything else.
§ LORD NAAS
put it to hon. Members opposite whether the course they were pursuing was either creditable to themselves, or likely to be beneficial to the public. He had intended to express his opinions to-night; but, being anxious that the Bill should go to Ireland and be discussed during the Whitsuntide holydays, he should reserve what he had to say respecting the Bill until the second reading. The Motion for leave to bring in a Bill was never refused, except under very extraordinary circumstances. It had been said that this Bill had been brought in by surprise; but the House would remember that almost before Easter—[An Hon. MEMBER: Before Easter?] Yes, before Easter, the noble Lord at the head of the Government gave notice of his intention to bring in a Bill providing not only for the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, but also for the appointment of a fourth Secretary of State. He had heard that proposal very much discussed in Ireland during the Easter recess, and it was therefore hardly fair to say that sufficient notice had not been given of the intention of the Government to propose this measure.
§ MR. TAYLOR
was also anxious to address the House on the introduction of this Bill, and he should vote against the introduction of the measure. But he could not support the Motion for adjournment.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 170; Noes 17: Majority 153.
|List of the AYES.|
|Abdy, Sir T. D.||Berkeley, Adm.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Bernal, R.|
|Adair, R. A. S.||Best, J.|
|Anson, hon. Col.||Birch, Sir T. B.|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||Blackstone, W. S.|
|Armstrong, Sir A.||Boyd, J.|
|Armstrong, R. B.||Boyle, hon. Col.|
|Arundel and Surrey, Earl of||Brand, T.|
|Baldwin, C. B.||Browne, R. D.|
|Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T.||Carew, W. H. P.|
|Bass, M. T.||Carter, J. B.|
|Bennet, P.||Caulfeild, J. M.|
|Cavendish, W. G.||Marshall, W.|
|Childers, J. W.||Martin, J.|
|Clive, H. B.||Martin, C. W.|
|Cobden, R.||Masterman, J.|
|Cockburn, A. J. E.||Matheson, J.|
|Coke, hon. E. K.||Matheson, Col.|
|Colvile, C. R.||Maule, rt. hon. F.|
|Conolly, T.||Miles, P. W. S.|
|Cotton, hon. W. H. S.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Monsell, W.|
|Craig, Sir W. G.||Morris, D.|
|Crowder, R. B.||Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.|
|Cubitt, W.||Mulgrave, Earl of|
|Davies, D. A. S.||Naas, Lord|
|Dawson, hon. T. V.||Newport, Visct.|
|Dodd, G.||Norreys, Sir D. J.|
|Duncan, G.||O'Connell, M. J.|
|Duncombe, hon. O.||O'Flaherty, A.|
|Dundas, Adm.||Ogle, S. G. H.|
|Dundas, G.||Osborne, R.|
|Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.||Packe, C. W.|
|Du Pre, C. G.||Paget, Lord A.|
|Ellice, E.||Paget, Lord C.|
|Elliot, hon. J. E.||Parker, J.|
|Estcourt, J. B. B.||Pilkington, J.|
|Evans, J.||Plowden, W. H. C.|
|Fagan, W.||Power, Dr.|
|Ferguson, Sir R. A.||Powlett, Lord W.|
|Fitzwilliam, hon. G. W.||Price, Sir R.|
|Foley, J. H. H.||Rawdon, Col.|
|Fordyce, A. D.||Ricardo, O.|
|Forster, M.||Rice, E. R.|
|Fortescue, C.||Rich, H.|
|Freestun, Col.||Romilly, Sir J.|
|Glyn, G. C.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Gore, W. R. O.||Russell, hon. E. S.|
|Greene, J.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Greene, T.||Rutherfurd, A.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Sadleir, J.|
|Grey, R. W.||Salwey, Col.|
|Hall, Sir B.||Sandars, G.|
|Hall, Col.||Scholefield, W.|
|Hallyburton, Lord J. F.||Seymer, H. K.|
|Hardcastle, J. A.||Seymour, Lord|
|Hatchell, J.||Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.|
|Hawes, B.||Simeon, J.|
|Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.||Slaney, R. A.|
|Headlam, T. E.||Smith, J. B.|
|Heald, J.||Smollett, A.|
|Heneage, E.||Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Spearman, H. J.|
|Heywood, J.||Stafford, A.|
|Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J.||Stanford, J. F.|
|Hobhouse, T. B.||Stuart, H.|
|Hope, H. T.||Sullivan, M.|
|Horsman, E.||Thicknesse, R. A.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Thompson, Col.|
|Howard, P. H.||Thompson, G.|
|Hughes, W. B.||Thornely, T.|
|Hume, J.||Tollemache, hon. F. J.|
|Jervis, Sir J.||Trollope, Sir J.|
|Keating, R.||Turner, G. J.|
|Keogh, W.||Vesey, hon. T.|
|Kildare, Marq. of||Villiers, hon. C.|
|King, hon. P. J. L.||Walmsley, Sir J.|
|Lascelles, hon. W. S.||Westhead, J. P. B.|
|Lewis, G. C.||Willcox, B. M.|
|Lindsay, hon. Col.||Williams, J.|
|Locke, J.||Wilson, J.|
|Lockhart, A. E.||Wilson, M.|
|Lowther, hon. Col.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Macnaghten, Sir E.||Young, Sir J.|
|Hill, Lord M.||Bellew, R. M.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Butler, P. S.||O'Brien, Sir L.|
|Dickson, S.||O'Brien, Sir T.|
|Dunne, Col.||O'Connell, M.|
|Fagan, J.||Reynolds, J.|
|French, F.||Scully, F.|
|Frewen, C. H.||Sibthorp, Col.|
|Grace, O. D. J.||Taylor, T. E.|
|Hamilton, J. H.||TELLERS.|
|Lawless, hon. C.||Grogan, E.|
|Mahon, The O'Gorman||Grattan, H.|
§ Bill ordered to be brought in by Lord John Russell and Sir George Grey.