HC Deb 10 March 1851 vol 114 cc1180-2

desired to put a question to the right hon. Baronet opposite, the Secretary for the Home Department. It could not have escaped the recollection of the right hon. Gentleman that in the year 1848, when the institutions of this country were thought to be in danger, the Orangemen of Ireland felt it to be their duty to forward for presentation to their Sovereign several loyal addresses, and he held in his hand letters from the Under Secretary, and from the Principal Secretary for the Home Department, acknowledging the receipt of those addresses, stating that they had been laid before Her Majesty, and that they were most graciously received. There was also a loyal and dutiful address from Orange lodges in British America, which were described in the letter of acknowledgment as loyal and dutiful, and which also Her Majesty was stated to have most graciously received. Similar addresses were presented to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the receipt of which was acknowledged by Mr. Corry Connellan, and the addresses were described by him as satisfactory to the Lord Lieutenant; and another letter, signed by Sir T. N. Redington, acknowledged in similar terms addresses of the same character. But in the month of December, last year, when the majesty of the British Crown was insulted by the aggressions of Rome, and when addresses offering to our gracious Sovereign the strongest assurances of loyalty and affection were transmitted to the Home Office, the Secretary for that Department refused to present such addresses to the Queen. The same individual Minister who refused to present addresses from the Orangemen of Ireland in 1850, was quite willing, and did present, such addresses in 1848. He wished to know the grounds on which the right hon. Baronet refused in the one case, and consented in the other?


in reply, said, that there had been three addresses of the kind to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman referred: one was from the grand lodge of the Grand Protestant Association of Loyal Orangemen of Great Britain; it was signed by the Earl of Enniskillen, as grand master; by the deputy grand master, by the grand secretary, and it bore another signature, to which the letters "G. T." were added, probably meaning grand treasurer. Another of these addresses was from the members of the Loyal Orange Institution in Ireland, which was signed on behalf of the Orangemen of Ireland by the Earl of Enniskillen, as grand master. The third was from the Orangemen of Liverpool; but, as that address was returned at the request of the gentleman by whom it was transmitted, he (Sir G. Grey) could not now say how it was signed. Adverting to a resolution of the House of Commons, agreed to on the 24th of February, 1836, which was in these words— That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that His Majesty will be graciously pleased to take such measures as to His Majesty may seem advisable for the effectual discouragement of Orange lodges, and generally of all political societies, excluding all persons of a different religious faith, using secret signs and symbols, and acting by means of associated branches"— he thought it not consistent with his duty to lay any such address before Her Majesty. In the year 1848, which the hon. and gallant Gentleman said was a time of danger, there had been two addresses from Orange lodges, one of which was from Canada; that and the other, transmitted in the same year, were presented to Her Majesty, and were graciously received; but if such addresses were presented inadvertently, among many others, the censure attached to him rather for having presented those, than for having refused to present the more recent addresses. One of the addresses was framed with a view to inculpate the Ministers of the Crown; and, as he did not wish to stand between the Sovereign and any complaints of Her people, he felt himself, as regarded that address, placed in rather a delicate situation. With respect to the addresses presented to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he had no information, and he now merely rose to defend and explain his own acts, which were in strict accordance with the resolution of that House.


gave notice that he should move for the production of the papers connected with this subject.