HL Deb 18 February 1833 vol 15 cc837-51
The Earl of Wicklow

said, he felt it was impossible for him to allow this Bill to pass without making a few observations—though it was far from his intention to throw any impediment in its way. Indeed, after the melancholy, though not too highly-coloured picture laid before their Lordships by the noble Earl a few evenings back, he felt himself bound to give his support to a measure which had for its object the relief of his native country from that state of degradation to which it was reduced, and which rendered it a disgrace to civilized nations—a situation which would appear horrid even to the eyes of the brute savages of the Sandwich or the Friendly Islands. He and those on his side of the House had frequently urged this dreadful state of the country upon the consideration of Ministers; he and those on that side of the House had repeatedly urged them to take some measures for restoring tranquillity—not as the noble Lord had done, by introducing strong measures, but by vindicating the law—by affording protection to the well-disposed portion of the community—and by declaring their determination to support them against every attempt at outrage. He had called on his Majesty's Government to afford such protection during the last Session, but in vain. It was a subject, therefore, not certainly of much gratification, but of extreme surprise, to hear the new tone which his Majesty's Ministers now assumed—to see the new system which was about to be pursued—the new light which had so suddenly broken in upon them. During the past year—indeed during the last Session of Parliament—crimes occurred of equal atrocity, though, perhaps they were not so frequent as those detailed by the noble Earl—for it was the nature of crime, when unchecked, to advance with rapid strides. Crime, however, was equally atrocious—the state of the country was repeatedly pressed on the Ministers—they refused to take any steps. The Magistrates in Ireland were left paralyzed and exposed to every possible risk from those against whom they had to contend—deserted and unprotected by the Government. This, too, at a time when it was alleged that they had power sufficient—the first legal authority in that House declaring it to be his advised opinion, that the Government already possessed power as great, or greater than that which they now sought at the hands of Parliament—no less a power, namely, than that of suspending, by the authority, of the Lord Lieutenant himself, the Habeas Corpus Act. The authority of the law, however, was not vindicated—and not only were the perpetrators of these crimes not punished, but they were decked out in silk trappings, favoured with patents of precedency, and elevated to high rank and place. But it was then deemed necessary by the Government to conciliate the breakers of the law in Ireland, for the sake of passing a measure which they were ready enough to support, inasmuch as it would tend to consolidate their power, and weaken that of the Government. But as soon as that measure was passed through the Legislature, the aid of the Irish Agitators was no longer necessary—the Ministry became independent of and cashiered their allies, and, having served its turn, down went the scaffolding of priests and demagogues, by means of which the building had originally been erected. He believed, however, that the Ministers intended well on the present occasion. The present Government, indeed, possessed very little power in Ireland; and it was very natural, therefore, that they should seek to strengthen their influence in that country. He would ask that House merely to refer to the Irish elections. In almost every case, the contests took place between the extreme Radicals and the Conservatives. The Whigs were completely scouted from the field of contest. It was necessary, there fore, for the Government to consult one of these contending parties, and strengthen itself by an alliance with their interests. No better mode could have been adopted to gain the support of the Conservative party than by the introduction of measures tending to tranquillize Ireland. His Majesty's Ministers well knew that they who had ever opposed them would readily give them their support to such measures. They knew that no party feeling was entertained on that side of the House. As the Ministers had arranged their plans, however, it appeared that they hoped to conciliate one party by the introduction of one set of measures, into that House, and the other party by the adoption of another set into the other House. Of the working of such a system as this it was easy to predict the consequences. What must their Lordships think when they saw the first Minister of the Crown coming into that House with such a measure as that introduced by the noble Earl—a measure calculated to tranquillize Ireland, and relieve that country from its distresses—whilst the leading Minister in the other House was introducing measures and broaching doctrines which it was impossible to contemplate without the most serious alarm? A measure, however, founded on such doctrines had not yet reached the Upper House, and it was to be hoped it never would. He could not contemplate without horror the spirit, the animus which could dictate to the Government to lay its sacrilegious hands on the venerable pile of the Church of England. It was impossible to think of such a measure without believing that it was intended to destroy that branch of the Church of England, which extended itself into Ireland for the purpose of creating in its place some flimsy fanciful structure, calculated only to gratify the eyes of the agitators and demagogues of the present day. No doubt their Lordships would be told, as they had already been, that it was necessary to introduce some measure of conciliation, in company with their measure of coercion; but no sooner would Ministers carry into effect some other measure of conciliation, than the agitators would find some new class of property of which they would demand the sacrifice, and some new set of men to immolate. Nothing could be more dangerous than proceedings of this description. They operated as a premium on dissatisfaction and turbulence—a premium, too, for those who required nothing to stimulate them in their course of agitation. He thought the system a bad one. They ought rather to uphold the authority of the law, in the first instance, and then let conciliation follow in such a manner as that it might be received as the voluntary act of a beneficent Legislature, rather than as a forced concession, unwillingly wrung from them. He thought the principal cause of the measures which the Government was bringing forward was the agitation of the proposition for a Repeal of the Union. Much more importance was, in his opinion, attached to that subject than it really deserved. If it was apprehended that that question had taken such deep root amongst the Irish people, and if it could be proved that a large number of the Irish population were looking forward with eagerness to a measure which should separate the two countries, to the destruction of both, then he thought that Government was bound to take much more rigorous measures to put it down, and the agitation of that question should be deemed the greatest offence which the eye of the law recognized; but he did not believe that such an impression was general in Ireland. At first view, indeed, when he observed that nearly forty Members pledged to the Repeal of the Union were returned to the House of Commons, it did appear as if a large portion of the constituency had adopted that question; but it should be remembered, that more than half of those who voted were not of the description of people to whom the representation naturally belonged. The Repeal of the Union was, in fact, but the watchword of a faction—the Repeal of the Act of Settlement, or any other cry, would serve the purpose as well. The wonder was, that such a large portion of the constituency had been found to support Gentlemen opposed to that measure, in spite of the threats held out to them. In his opinion, there was never a question which had so little to recommend itself to Parliament. It was impossible not to consider into whose hands the powers of this Bill were to be placed. It was a curious fact, that there was but one point upon which all parties in Ireland were agreed. It was, in condemning the conduct of the Lord Lieutenant. He entertained the highest opinion of the noble Marquess at the head of the Irish Government, and he thought the noble Marquess had been unjustly treated. He believed there existed not one individual more disposed to further the tranquillity of Ireland than the noble Marquess—he believed that the errors of that Government were not to be attributed to him. One of the great evils arose from the noble Marquess not having sufficient authority. He (the Earl of Wicklow) would contend that it was a great misfortune for the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to have a Secretary who was a Cabinet Minister. He was inclined to think that a person going there clothed with such authority was apt to assume a spirit of dictation, inconsistent with the duty of a Secretary. He did not blame the right hon. Gentleman who now held that office it was an ambition worthy of him but when that right hon. Gentleman first went as Irish Secretary to that country, he was not a Cabinet Minister, and when he was appointed a Cabinet Minister, nobody thought he would ever have returned to that country as Secretary. He had no intention of blaming the right hon. Gentleman but the fact of his being a Cabinet Minister had caused serious evils to the country. Indeed, from the time of his accession to the Cabinet, he had taken care to spend very little time in Ireland. If he was promoted to some higher situation, and a person with less talent and more experience were appointed Secretary, then the noble Marquess would exercise those powers which properly belonged to his office with credit to himself. He placed much confidence in his manliness, humanity, and prudence. He would behave with vigour when necessary, and forbear to exercise the great powers confided to him, unless when they were absolutely required. He would give no opposition to the measure.

Viscount Melbourne

rejoiced that it was the intention of the noble Earl, who had just sat down, to offer no opposition to the Bill upon the Table, inasmuch as he was thereby relieved from the necessity of arguing the question at length with the noble Earl. But some remarks of so much asperity and bitterness—conceived, indeed, in a spirit quite unsuited to the occasion—had fallen from the noble Earl, that it was quite impossible for him to permit the Bill to pass without making a few observations in reply. The noble Lord had asserted, that there was a culpable neglect on the part of the Government—that they showed a reluctance to use the ordinary powers of law to repress disturbance—and that those powers, exerted in due time, and with proper energy, would have effected the pacification of the country. This charge he pronounced utterly without foundation. Without intending any offence, he would still boldly deny, that on the part of either the English or Irish Government, had there been any want of energy or firmness. It was true, he was aware, and he admitted the fact, that the present application for additional powers had been so long delayed, as to render harsher measures necessary than might have been originally employed. But, admitting this, he begged leave to state the cause of the delay. It was because Government hoped that, considering the time and circumstances of the country, the powers of the Common Law, wielded with the energy which he contended had been displayed in its application, would have repressed disturbance. And he would maintain, that it was better, situated as affairs were then, to bear with even certain evils, than prematurely exert those powers to which they had even now recourse with the strongest regret and reluctance. For a considerable period even after the prorogation of Parliament, there did appear a prospect of preserving order without appealing to Parliament. A sanguine hope had been entertained, that a prospect existed of repressing outrage and restoring general tranquillity by the ordinary powers of law. For a time this flattering prospect continued; but at length it became totally clouded, and gave place to a scene of disturbance, disorder, and murder, that imperiously demanded the powers to which their Lordships' sanction was now required. But the noble Lord had charged the Government with looking for the support of the persons who instigated those crimes, and supporting those individuals in return. This charge he met by a flat denial. In language as respectful to the noble Lord and the House as he could employ, he asserted that the fact was not so. The Government never was influenced by any such sinister motive. But his Majesty's Ministers, had introduced measures of conciliation, remedies of old acknowledged grievances. He admitted that they had done so, and in his opinion they behaved with wise, sound, humane, policy. The noble Lord, indeed, thought that the disturbances should have been repressed in the first place, and that the remedy of grievances should follow. But their Lordships would probably feel that the very circumstances which now called for vigorous measures had in part proceeded from such policy. Similar language and conduct was used to meet the measures proposed by that great, prudent, and eloquent statesman, Mr. Grattan, in 1786 and 1787 on the very subject of those tithes which created so much disunion at present. It was to the principle which then prevailed, of putting down disturbances by coercive measures alone, that the evils, the disorder, and disturbances of the country were to be attributed. He had therefore no hesitation in admitting, that the necessary measures of coercion were to be accompanied by others of concession and salutary improvement. He should be glad to find the noble Lord's view of the state of the "Repeal" question well founded; that it had made little progress in the feelings, and no impression on the understanding of the people of this country he was satisfied, but he was not convinced that the impression on the mind of Ireland was feeble and transitory. When certain proceedings of the public called the attention of the Government to that question, it was the duty of the Government to declare at once their opinion of such a measure, and call upon the House to maintain the Union strictly and entirely. The noble Lord, though he had been willing in some respects, to do justice to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, had cast some censure on him. He (Viscount Melbourne) was certain that the general feeling of the House was one of confidence in the noble Marquess, and joy that there was at the head of the Irish Government an individual so well qualified to exercise the great powers that would be placed in his hands. But if any errors had been committed, they certainly did not arise from the cause assigned by the noble Lord. The whole of that statement was entirely without foundation. Nothing of the sort stated had occurred.

The Earl of Longford

was of opinion, in opposition to the noble Peer who had just addressed the House, that the Marquess of Anglesey deserved censure, and that it was the duty of their Lordships to express their opinions. For several years that noble Marquess had misgoverned Ireland, and by his conduct and exhortation increased agitation in it. He knew, to be sure, that the noble Marquess meant only constitutional and legal agitation; but the noble Marquess's advice ought nevertheless to have incapacitated him for any share in the government of Ireland. Although he had seen agitation pursued every day, and spreading through the country, he had so much forgotten justice and prudence, as to publish a letter, which filled the Protestants with consternation, and redoubled the efforts of the agitators. He (Lord Longford) therefore thought him an improper man to govern Ireland. In private life he believed he was a good man, and he was ready to acknowledge his immense military talents but he was not a person to be intrusted with the reins of power. The Protestants of Ireland were in a state of constant anxiety. They had been violently convulsed by the conduct pursued some time since by the noble Marquess. They were perfectly aware that the ordinary powers of the law were not sufficient to quell outrage, and if Lord Anglesey, after spending the two last years in Ireland, was of a different opinion, he was unfit for the situation he held. These remarks he had not uttered with any tinge of personal asperity; but when his country was at stake, it became necessary to speak with truth and plainness.

The Earl of Roden

agreed in what had fallen from the noble Viscount. It would be in the recollection of their Lordships, that on the first day of the Session, after the noble Earl on the opposite side of the House had stated what were the intentions of Government with respect to Ireland, that he had taken the opportunity of saying that, if the measures which the noble Earl had stated were best calculated to effect the object which he had in view were brought forward, they should have his support. He had carefully examined the Bill which the noble Lord had now moved should be read a second time. He found in it some things which required alteration, but, upon the whole, he could not help bearing his testimony, that the noble Earl had redeemed his pledge upon the subject and he thought the noble Earl entitled to the praise of every good subject, for coming forward as he had, with great pain to himself, and submitting such measures to the consideration of Parliament. Their Lordships would give him leave to say, as an individual connected with Ireland, that any thing short of this measure would have been altogether ineffectual. Therefore it was, that he thought every credit was due to the noble Earl, and he should be the first person in the House to bear his humble testimony to the noble Earl's conduct. He must, however, say, that he was sorry that what had taken place in the House during the last Session of Parliament, and which many of their Lordships might bear in mind—he alluded to a motion of his own—had not been more considered and more inquired into than it was. He had taken upon himself to say, at the time he submitted that measure to their Lordships notwithstanding what had fallen from the noble Viscount as to the situation of Ireland at that time, and as to the common law of the laud being able to meet the difficulties then existing—he bad taken the liberty of presenting the opinions of men well known and much respected, stating that it was impossible to meet the difficulties, or give security and peace to the lives and property of his Majesty's subjects. But notwithstanding these repeated declarations, his Majesty's Ministers seemed unwilling to inquire into them, and he was now glad to see that they took shame to themselves for not having, at an early period, introduced measures which would have prevented serious evils, and preserved many valuable lives, which had since then been sacrificed—the victims of assassination. He knew himself one who, at that period, was in being, and had since fallen a victim to the assassin, whilst merely following his own duty as a clergyman of the Established Church. He, therefore, felt strong upon this point, and he must say, that it was little consolation to those who had these things to lament, that the Government took shame to themselves that they had not, at an early period, taken the state of Ireland into serious consideration. If they did not, he lamented it; he was sure they ought, when it was considered what were the offences which had been produced by their apathy and inattention. The noble Viscount had taken credit to himself for a vigorous exertion of the law at that period. For himself, he (Earl Roden) could never hear any individual talk of a vigorous exertion of the law, without remembering the case of Captain Graham, which made the Magistrates of Ireland feel that it was utterly impossible for them to act as they ought and would have done. That case was a blot upon the character of the Government of Ireland, which they never would be able to wipe out. It was the greatest act of injustice, and the greatest lot that could possibly stain their characters. As to the Bill now before their Lordships, he trusted that it would be carried by Ministers—he sincerely trusted that they would not in this instance give way to clamour; he trusted that when the Bill. came into another place it would not be mutilated, and have those points which were strongest cut off, and rendered altogether nugatory. He trusted that the Government would show that they were decided, and that they would not rest till they had restored to a loyal people peace, tranquillity, and security for property. The noble Earl in his impressive speech had Stated that it was a source of gratification [Earl Grey—I did not say gratification.] He understood the noble Earl to express that sentiment at reflecting that these evils were not confined to one party, but were equally attributable to both parties. If the noble Earl meant that the Protestant peasantry of Ireland, or any individual of the Protestant religion in Ireland, had been engaged in these acts of insubordination, he would take the liberty of stating that there had not been one.

Earl Grey

—I said that both parties were equally the objects of attack.

The Earl of Roden

would assert that no Protestant Dissenter in Ireland favoured these deplorable proceedings. He believed that some of the Roman Catholic farmers and some of the Roman Catholic people, who were favourable to the state of things as they were, and who were opposed to the Repeal of the Union, had fallen under the rod of persecution. But looking to the whole system, it appeared to him to be a systematic attack upon the property of Protestant gentlemen—a guerilla warfare against the property of the Church—an attempt to overturn the Protestant religion. Yes, he would say, that it was a conspiracy—a Jesuitical and subtile conspiracy—against the Protestant religion. The main object of those individuals who were engaged in this insubordination—high and low—he excepted none of them—was to extirpate Protestantism. He should be guilty of a dereliction of duty if he was not to declare that to that conspiracy many well-meaning individuals had fallen victims. Day after day the conspiracy was unfolding itself in those acts to which the noble Earl had referred. Reference had been made to a measure which he could not look to without considering it as being the door through which all the present miseries of Ireland had entered. He alluded to the Catholic Relief Bill, as it was called, of 1829. The noble Earl, in bringing forward the present measure, had said, that he was disappointed by the fruits which the Bill of 1829 had produced. He believed that the noble Earl was disappointed as well as his friend, the noble Duke (the Duke of Wellington), who had made a similar declaration. Such a declaration afforded, however, but poor consolation to those who prognosticated the evils that the measure would produce. He had conscientiously opposed that measure on political as well as on religious grounds, because he felt that from it would flow all the evils now complained of. That being the case, the question was, whether they were not to unite with the Government however different on some points their opinions might be, for the purpose of removing those evils. It was because that was the object of the noble Earl's Bill that it had his sincere and anxious support. One word as to the power to be given to the Lord Lieutenant of the country. He had always had the greatest private regard for the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; he had known him long, though he had differed from him politically. "I think" said the noble Earl, "his politics extremely prejudicial to the best interests of the country, but I trust that, in the discharge of the duties connected with this Bill, he will show, what I am sure is the object of his heart, a desire to uphold the laws of the land to give peace and protection, and put down insubordination, wherever it may be. As a resident landlord of Ireland, I shall offer my support to the noble Marquess in the district with which I am connected." He would not then refer to another measure, the Church Reform Bill, which had been introduced elsewhere. He should, when it came into that House, have an opportunity of discussing its provisions. At present he should only say, that he could not contemplate it otherwise than a measure having for its object the spoliation of the Church of Ireland; and that point once effected, the same principle would be speedily extended to the Church of England. The ruin of the Church establishment in both countries would, he was convinced, be the result of that measure.

The Marquess of Clanricarde

said, it was erroneous and unjust to argue against emancipation, from the disappointment felt by the noble Duke opposite, or other individuals who had changed their opinions. Some hopes which he (the Marquess of Clanricarde) had formed were disappointed, but he could yet declare, that in the main and great features of its advantages which had been stated to the Legislature, it had not failed. In fact, the great consideration was not so much the utility of the measure, as the evils of refusing it. If the full advantage it promised had not been reaped, that arose from the length of time the measure had been delayed, all the suggestions of wisdom and prudence having been too long rejected. As to the efficiency of the existing laws to crush disturbance, he could declare, that about fifteen months ago, the county with which he was connected was in a state of extreme disturbance, but, by a vigorous use of the common law, it was restored to as great a state of tranquillity as any part of the country. It was singular that the sole ground for impeaching the fitness of Lord Anglesey to command Ireland should be his having written, on a particular occasion, a letter, in which objections were taken to one sentence. But if one letter were to be a ground for declaring incapacity it would apply not to the noble Marquess, or persons on that side of the House alone. The noble Duke (Wellington) had been the author of a letter, which he afterwards declared might as well not have been written. If this was the case with so eminent an individual, it was not quite fair to bear hard on the noble Marquess. As to the idea of excluding Lord Anglesey from his Majesty's service on account of that letter, never was any thing more ridiculous. There was no one who could be employed in Ireland with more benefit to the State; no one in whose courage, talent, and humanity more confidence could be reposed. As to the distinction drawn that night between Catholics and Protestants, he hoped to God that those names would never again be heard in Parliament, and that all exertions would be devoted to the restoration of general peace. The Bill would restrain, he believed, even those to whom it did not immediately apply. The bigots of all parties would be restrained and prevented from sowing dissension and strife, stirring up envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitable-ness. The Bill went to improve the law of the land, and on that ground he gave it his cordial support. If he believed that it was intended to serve any party or factious purpose, he would meet it with his determined opposition.

The Earl of Longford

explained. He believed that the letter alluded to as written by a noble Marquess (Anglesey) was written when that noble Marquess was in office. The particular word mentioned was not a hasty word, but a word deliberately chosen and repeated. The noble Marquess (Clanricarde) had not only defended the noble Marquess (Anglesey), but he had attacked a large body of men. The noble Marquess had attacked the Protestants of Ireland, and particularly the Orangemen; but he could tell the noble Marquess that but for the Orangemen in 1798 his property would not have been saved. [The noble Earl was reminded by Earl Grey that this was not explanation, and he proceeded no further.]

The Duke of Wellington

wished to call their Lordships' attention to the true circumstances of the case. His Majesty's Government had brought in this Bill, and if his Majesty's Government could carry it through, it would be a good measure. It appeared to him, therefore, wise in their Lordships not to look back into past transactions, and not to inquire into the influence of the character and conduct of individuals in bringing about the state of things which at present existed. That state of things was such that the remedy of this measure was necessary. If it were not necessary it ought not to pass. He begged to remind his noble friend (the Earl of Longford) that if the recall of the Lord Lieutenant, or the recall of any other officer, would render the measure unnecessary, it ought not to be adopted. The truth, however, was, that the measure was most necessary. It would put arms into the hands of those who supported the Government, and put down those who opposed it. They ought not, therefore, he repeated, to recur to what the Lord Lieutenant had done or said; they ought not to look back, but only to look at the present state of things, and see what existed. They ought not to look back with a view of casting reflections either on one side or the other. On that ground he supported the Government. He believed the measure to be essentially necessary. On that ground alone he gave it his support. He wished that the measure had been brought forward before; but he was glad that it was now brought forward. On a former occasion he had been disposed to believe that certain parts of it might be made much better than at present. There were some parts of it which he believed would be difficult of execution, while they were anomalous in relation to that profession to which he belonged. He had since examined the Bill, as was his duty to do, and had some amendments which he wished to propose, in respect to the formation of Courts-martial under the Bill. He intended at the proper time, in the Committee to propose these amendments, and if the noble Earl would in the mean time consider them The noble Duke handed some papers across to Earl Grey, he should be much obliged. His object was to put these Courts-martial on the foundation of its being the duty of the officers to form these Courts-martial. No doubt it was part of his Majesty's prerogative to order Courts-martial, and by virtue of that prerogative he could empower the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to order Courts-martial to try offences in Ireland, but he wished the officers to know that such was the case, so that they should know it was a matter of duty and not of choice. He thought that there were some other deficiencies in the Bill. The noble Earl had not, he thought, in some other parts of the Bill, taken sufficient power to put down the evils which exist. At the proper time he would state what amendments he thought necessary, and if the Government should think proper to adopt the Amendments he meant to propose in the Committee, he had no doubt that they would improve the Bill. Again he would repeat that the measure was calculated to do good. If it were carried into execution in the same spirit in which it was passed through that House, he had no doubt that it would have the effect of insuring the protection of his Majesty's subjects.

Earl Grey

would say first, with reference to the Amendment which the noble Duke thought would render the measure more effectual, that he returned his thanks to the noble Duke for the candid manner in which he endeavoured to improve the provisions of the Bill which he thought necessary. He could assure the noble Duke and the House, that he would consider the Amendments in the same spirit in which they were proposed; as it was his most anxious wish to forward a measure so important. But it was in the Committee, and not in that stage of the Bill, that he must consider and discuss the many hints which noble Lords had thrown out. He could only say, that the Bill had been most carefully considered, and particularly in reference to the formation of Courts-martial. If the suggestions of the noble Duke could render it more efficacious, he should be most ready to adopt them. He rejoiced that he had not risen before the noble Duke, who had so ably and clearly stated the proper objects for their Lordships' consideration, or he might have been tempted to say something, by the very unreasonable remarks which had been introduced. He agreed with the noble Duke at the unseasonableness of those observations and must again thank him for the handsome manner in which he had recalled the attention of the House to the grounds of passing this Bill. He agreed with the noble Duke that they ought to apply themselves only to the circumstances of the present time; and resting on those circumstances, to prove from them the necessity of passing the Bill for the good of the country. That was the sole object which ought to be kept in view, without making any reference to party feelings. He would not say more on the subject of the introduction of the Bill, which was a measure of painful necessity, and he had hoped as such, that it might have passed through their Lordships' House without exciting any of those party-feelings which were frequently mixed up in their discussions, but which were unsuitable to a measure calculated only to provide for the public security—to preserve the public peace—to assure the authority of the law—and to maintain the power of the Government so that it might insure the protection of the people and the liberties of the subject; if indeed, the power of the Government and the liberties of the people were not the same in effect and what destroyed the one must destroy the other. He did hope, he said, that a measure of this nature would have been discussed with entire deliberation and without that mixture of party zeal which, whenever it mingled in their discussions, was painful to witness, and injurious to their own high privileges. A measure of this kind ought to be discussed with that calmness which was due to the people whose rights were to be suspended, and due to that necessity of supporting the authority of the law which was the only condition which could justify a Bill of this description. He trusted such remarks would not again be made. He would not say one word in reply to the insinuations which had been thrown out against him self, as if all that had been done had been done for his own personal advantage, and not from a sense of public duty. He appealed to the House and the country to look at a long life spent in the public service, and let that decide whether he, and those who acted with him, were not above the reach of such imputations. He would say no more, except again to express his satisfaction at the tone and manner in which the noble Duke had recommended them to consider the subject fairly and dispassionately, to lay aside every consideration but those which the public good required, and in canvassing the provision of the Bill, to consider only the necessity which demanded such a measure. It was only by following the recommendation of the noble Duke, that the Bill could be properly discussed. He would not say more, but that in the Committee he should be happy of the assistance of the noble Duke to make the Bill effective for its purposes, so as to make its duration as short as possible, in the hope that by it public peace in Ireland and the authority of the law would be restored.

Bill read a second time.