said, that previous to the awful and important measure for suppressing disturbances in Ireland, going into Committee, he wished to say a few words on the subject. He considered that Bill to be a violent and dangerous infringement on the liberties of the people of Ireland. The execution of it, too, would be confided to irresponsible officers. He thought, at least, that an administration of these great powers ought to be placed in the hands of those who were more within the influence of the law; it was, therefore, his intention to submit an important Amendment in the Committee, to which he hoped Ministers would accede.
The Duke of Cumberland rose to Order. This was not the proper time to make such an amendment.
said, that he had also a Motion to make at the present moment. He wished to move for a list of his Majesty's Privy Council for Ireland. He thought the country ought not to be proclaimed without the signatures and responsibility of at least six members of the Privy Council. Nothing could be more objectionable than that such powers should be confided to the Lord Lieutenant. He was willing to give his humble meed of praise to the noble Marquess at the head of his Majesty's Government in Ireland, and he did not doubt that he would use those powers with due mildness and forbearance. But the noble Marquess had not a patent of perpetual Lord Lieutenant. He would not remain at the head of that Government for ever, and they knew not what sort of a governor would follow him; they might have a tyrannical governor—they might have one like Sir Hudson Lowe. Looking to such a possibility, he begged to move an "Address to his Majesty for a list of the Privy Council in Ireland—their residence and abode in Ireland, and the number of times they have attended during the year 1832." It was most material that their Lordships should be in possession of this information, because e believed it would appear, that, although the Bill stated, that the proclamation was to issue with the advice of the Privy Council, most of the members of that Council were resident in England. He, therefore, hoped, that, in the Committee, the noble Earl at the head of the Government would—for the purpose of preventing abuses under this Act—allow of the introduction of an Amendment, to the effect that every pro- 933 clamation must be agreed upon by the Lord Lieutenant, with the advice of not less than six Privy Councillors.
§ The Duke of Wellington
expressed his surprise at the tone in which the noble Lord spoke of one of the most respectable officers in the service. He was surprised that he should throw out such insinuations against a meritorious officer in his absence. The noble Lord said, that the present Lord Lieutenant of Ireland might be succeeded by some Sir Hudson Lowe. Now, he had the honour of Sir Hudson Lowe's acquaintance, and he knew that there was not a more meritorious or respectable officer in his Majesty's service, nor one more generally esteemed by those who knew him.
said, he certainly was amenable to the noble Duke's observations. He had, however, no intention of aspersing Sir Hudson Lowe's character. He had no doubt that his private character was most excellent; but he could not, under such a challenge, stand in that House and perform his duty, if he did not state, that Sir Hudson Lowe, as Governor of St. Helena, had acted in that capacity in a manner which caused all Europe to cry shame upon him—as a man not fit to be trusted with such authority.
§ Earl Bathurst
said, perhaps, by prolonging the conversation, it was giving too much importance to the subject, yet he could not sit still and hear such an accusation as that brought forward by the noble Lord, without rising to offer a word in defence of his gallant friend. He most distinctly denied the truth of the accusation. That gallant officer had performed his duty in a manner which redounded to his honour, and his character was without a stain.
§ Lord Cloncurry
said, that he was desirous of making a few observations upon the measure before the House went into Committee. No circumstance would be better calculated to make a strong impression upon the misguided Irish people than the knowledge that the Supreme Court of Legislature in the kingdom expressed its indignation at the conduct which they were in the habit of pursuing, and its determination to suppress outrage of every kind. It was incumbent upon him, as an Irishman, more especially, perhaps, as the only Irishman present, who, unfortunately, 934 had frequently been called upon to act as a Magistrate under the Insurrection Act, that he should for one moment call their Lordships' attention to one or two particulars. If he did not feel this to be a paramount duty, he certainly would not, at this stage of the business, occupy one moment of their Lordships' time. If it were possible to get the people of his country—if it were possible to get the country gentlemen and the Magistrates to adopt the system of unanimity which had prevailed in that House during the discussions on the Bill in question, the outrages in that country would soon cease. He was sorry, however, to say, that those persons who should have first set the example of determination and presence of mind, were frequently the most deficient. It was certainly an extraordinary thing that he, a Magistrate, and one who had acted as a Magistrate for twenty-eight years, and having a deep stake in the country, should at once admit the merits of the Bill now introduced, and by which the powers of trial would be vested in every case in the hands of young officers of twenty-one, almost strangers to the country. Such an admission was a great proof of the merits of the noble Earl's Bill, which he believed to be, in many respects, better than the Insurrection Act. Out of thirty-two counties in Ireland, only six or seven were in a state of frightful disturbance, and these disturbances had diminished even within these few days. When those disturbances had first commenced, and before they had attained to so frightful an extent, they might have been put down without much difficulty, if the Magistrates had only done their duty. He was connected by property with Carlow, one of the disturbed counties. Kerry and Queen's County were also disturbed. When the disturbances began there, the Magistrates wrote to him—knowing, perhaps, his experience under the Insurrection Act—for his opinion. He said to them it was impossible that the farmers—the industrious classes—the well-disposed portion of the community—could be willing to submit to such bandit dictation. He advised them to arm those people—to call out the constabulary force, to which they were to be added—to act under the orders of the Magistrates, and adopt vigorous measures for nipping the disturbances in the very bud. The Magistrates, however, refused to enrol any men as constables, except those who were chosen by themselves. The people said, take us as 935 we stand upon the Sheriff's books, as ratepayers, as persons liable to serve on Juries, and we will not object to be enrolled. The Magistrates, however, refused to do it, and here they had lost the opportunity of suppressing the disturbances of Ireland by means of that best of all civil forces which had existed from the days of Alfred. In consequence of this neglect, the necessity for more severe measures had arisen. It was certainly hard that the faults of these persons should be visited upon people who had fallen into crime more from ignorance and poverty than anything else. A late Chief Secretary of Ireland, who, he believed, differed in religious opinions from himself, had prepared nineteen bills for the relief of Ireland. The circumstances connected with the great charter of our liberties, which his Majesty's Ministers deemed it expedient to carry, of course, prevented that Gentleman, who was a military man, from bringing them forward; but he firmly believed, that if the measures with respect to Ireland, which Sir Henry Hardinge had proposed when in office, had been carried into execution, the present frightful state of things would not have arisen. One part of the proposed Bill, to which he begged leave to advert, loudly called for reprehension. Many of their Lordships were, doubtless, aware, that there were few women more distinguished for delicacy of feeling, and purity of conduct, than the females of Ireland. He begged their Lordships to conceive a nocturnal search by the police. It might be a subject of laughter to their Lordships, but it would be the cause of many a wail in Ireland. Englishmen did not require to be told by him, that the females of Ireland possessed the feelings of modesty in as great a degree as their own country-women. How would their Lordships like their wives, or their sisters, to be visited at night in such a manner by an insulting and brutal police? This power might be much abused, and, therefore, it was his intention to move in the Committee, that when those to whom the power of search was given by the Bill, came to a house, and called on the names of those who ought to be in it, those who did not answer, should be deemed absent. By this means, that great power which was given by the Bill would be less noxious; those domiciliary visits, even in the present state of Ireland, could not be allowed. Great care ought also to be taken, that the power of proclamation should not be perverted. Some instances had come to his 936 knowledge of the manner in which this power had been abused under the last Insurrection Act. He had known an admirer of female beauty to transport a brother, or a lover, who stood in his way, for no other offence than that. He had also known a debtor Magistrate transport, or imprison, a creditor, because he had asked for his bill. He had known a most respectable man, residing on the borders of one of the proclaimed districts, and who passed the boundary after the limited time, for no other purpose than that of paying the wages of his man, taken up and committed to prison for three months, though, upon representation to the Lord Lieutenant, he was afterwards released. He hoped, therefore, due care would be taken to guard against the abuse of this power, as it was most important, that the innocent should in no case be confounded with the guilty. He had read, within the last two days, a report of two transactions which took place in the county of Clare, that well illustrated the sort of spirit which existed in those districts. Two priests of parishes in that county complained to the Under-Secretary of State for Ireland of the conduct of some missionaries in their parishes; and Sir William Gossett returned for answer, after a period of ten days (it having taken that time to make the necessary inquiries and to ascertain that some feelings of irritation did exist), that he had desired that the police might no longer afford protection to these itinerant preachers. He would also beg to refer their Lordships to the correspondence, lately published in the newspapers, which had passed between a Roman Catholic priest and the Under-Secretary for Ireland, Sir William Gossett, as an instance of the improper conduct of the police. But he was ready to admit, that it was impossible for the Government of this country, or even the Government of Ireland, to watch the conduct of all their subordinate officers. As a further proof of the prejudiced spirit that prevailed amongst the underlings of authority in Ireland, he would appeal to the Lord Lieutenant of Kildare, and ask, whether an inferior officer of police in that county had not dismissed several Catholics from his force, and replaced them by Protestants from the North of Ireland When the whole Administration was thus poisoned through its inferior grades, it was totally impossible for the Viceroy, whatever his talents and vigilance, to counteract that uniform bias, or compel the subordinate 937 authorities to behave in such a manner as to produce satisfaction to himself and advantage to the country. The noble Marquess was strongly and sincerely inclined to conciliate the affections of the nation to Government, and rule them to peace and order, and from his known impartiality and generosity, he was very likely, as far as he himself was concerned, to succeed; but while the inferior places—whether from a predetermined system, or mere carelessness, he (Lord Cloncurry) did not know—were filled with persons of a very different character, it was quite impossible that the country could be happily or peaceably governed. He trusted, that the severity of the law would be still mitigated. The people, generally speaking, were innocent; but he had no objection that those individuals who had exaggerated and excited their feelings, should be tried and punished with rigour. At present, there was violent excitement in Ireland. The evils of absenteeism were loudly complained of; but if the Irish gentlemen applied themselves, with a steady and uniform hand, to the correction of the prominent distresses of the country, they would ensure the restoration of tranquillity, and of the course of strict justice.
The Earl of Wicklow
rose, not to follow the noble Lord in the most strange and incoherent strain of declamation he had ever heard, but to repel the most unfounded accusations against the Irish Magistrates, which had, he believed, ever been made. He could not hear such aspersions without giving them his most unqualified contradiction. He certainly had not as much experience of disturbances as the noble Lord, nor had he lived in such disturbed times; but this he knew, that a more honourable or highminded body of men than the Magistracy of Ireland never existed. Though his life had not been as long as that of the noble Lord, yet he had lived long enough to know the conduct and deportment of the body alluded to, and he was, therefore, enabled to state, that there was no instance, even in the hardest times, when they had failed to discharge their duties honestly and honourably. When the noble Lord should have reflected upon his accusation, he must become aware of its injustice. Those who knew the country and the noble Lord, were satisfied that the Magistracy were not deserving of blame.
The Marquess of Westmeath
, though unwilling to prolong the late conversation, 938 must observe, that when motions were made last Session on the state of Ireland, it was anxiously requested that the powers to be then conferred should not be delegated to the parties praying that inquiry. Much obloquy had been cast on the Irish Magistrates, but he had never seen or heard one instance of oppression by them. It was said, that if they had sworn in the respectable inhabitants as special constables, outrages might have been stopped, but that had been tried without effect; indeed, how could it succeed, when the very police were murdered while performing their duty. Not more than three months since, a gentleman's steward returning from Mullingar, at four o'clock in the open day, was killed: his eyes were torn out, and his brains scattered about the neighbouring hedges. There were four houses not twenty yards distant from the spot, and yet, when Sir Richard Levinge assembled the constabulary, and tried to discover the perpetrator, the inhabitants of those houses actually attempted, despite the evidence before them, to prove that no such murder had ever been committed, while in this, or any other country in the world, the people would have endeavoured to forward the ends of justice.
The Earl of Limerick
vindicated the conduct of the Magistrates in the Queen's County from the aspersions of the noble Lord opposite. Of Lord De Vesci, in particular, he could declare that he was inferior to no man in intrepidity and energy. The noble Lord (Lord Cloncurry) had alluded to a correspondence maintained with two priests—with two priests, he repeated—from which it appeared that some Methodist preachers, by interfering with the meetings of the people at chapels and funerals, had produced much disturbance. This the priests had tried to check, but unsuccessfully; and they asked, how was it possible that peace could prevail while such proceedings were permitted? Such a statement came with peculiar grace from the noble Lord, connected as he was with the county Carlow, where an excellent seminary existed—where an establishment was formed of individuals who excited the lower orders to insurrection.
The Earl of Cloncurry
, in explanation, observed, that he had maintained no correspondence with the priests in question. It existed between them and Sir W. Gossett, who had answered their application after due inquiry.
The House resolved itself into a Committee.
939 The discussion commenced with the first Clause, authorising persons, under the present Act, to enter any house where they might have reason to suspect that an unlawful meeting was held.
§ Lord Wynford
proposed to introduce a proviso, that the authority already possessed by Magistrates in the case of seditious, riotous, or unlawful meetings, should not be curtailed by anything in the present Bill. It was framed upon 10th George 4th, and he intended to move, that two or three omitted clauses should be then inserted. By one, his Majesty's Government, when they received information that an unlawful meeting was about to take place, were authorised to seize the funds collected for such meeting. By the other, the Attorney General was empowered to institute legal proceedings against the holders of them, and to recover double the amount subscribed. Great mischief had been done in Ireland by public subscriptions. Money had been called the sinews of war, and he would say it was the sinews of mischief.
The Lord Chancellor
said, that he had no objection to the introduction of the proviso, though the general saving clause effectually prevented the possibility of trenching on the present powers of Magistrates. He would not oppose his noble and learned friend's Motion; but he thought it wholly unnecessary.
§ Motion withdrawn.
§ The 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Clauses were severally agreed to.
§ On the 8th Clause being read,
§ The Earl of Harrowby
thought it necessary to enact that, in a proclaimed district, no bells should be rung except at the usual hour of Divine Service, and that bonfires should be strictly prohibited. Any person violating that clause should be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, be tried and convicted under the present Act.
The Earl of Wicklow
perfectly understood the noble Lord's intention in inserting those additional clauses; but he (the Earl of Wicklow) had an objection to make to the first. At present priests were in the habit of having bells in their chapels, and causing them to be rung. To this no objection was made, though he believed the practice quite illegal. If, however, a clause to the effect proposed were introduced, it might legalise the use of bells in chapels, which was at present unlawful. He thought it right to state this to the House.
§ Earl Grey
said, that as so much injury had been done by the use of horns and bells, he had no objection to the introduction of the clause. He admitted that fires had been used as beacons, but he believed that, by laws which already existed—as, for example, some which referred to smuggling—bonfires were prohibited. He was friendly to the object of the clause, but he thought, by examining existing Acts, it might be made more effectual.
was also friendly to the clause, but he was sure that, in its present state, it would not answer its purpose.
§ Lord Beresford
referred to the bonfires at Carlow, which, he said, had been the means of collecting together many thousands. He was quite sure that the use of such signals ought to be prohibited.
§ On the 10th Clause, appointing Courts-martial,
§ Earl Grey
referred to the Amendments placed in his hands by the Duke of Wellington. After giving them due consideration, he had no objection to that part of the Amendments which provided that the President of the Court-martial should not be under the rank of a field-officer. As to an approval of the proceedings of the Court-martial before sentence was carried into execution, he was afraid that it would occupy too much time. A great deal depended in such cases on the celerity with which the sentences were carried into execution. It was the case with naval Courts-martial, that they carried the sentence immediately into execution, while military Courts-martial required the consent of the King, or some one authorised by him for that purpose. He was disposed at first to adopt the practice of naval Courts-martial; but, on considering the peculiarities of the case, he would assent also to this part of the Amendment. He had no personal objection either to the noble Duke's proposal of stating that the authority of the King is given to the Lord-lieutenant to hold Courts-martial; but he believed that it was unnecessary. He thought that it was clearly provided for by the Bill. He should wish, therefore, to leave out the declaratory part, or preamble of the noble Duke's Amend- 941 ment, to save the prerogative of the Crown, as not required. The noble Earl then read the Amendment he proposed, to carry the views of the noble Duke into effect.
§ The Duke of Wellington
said, that it appeared to him that the framers of the measure now before their Lordships had not been aware of the manner in which Courts-martial were constituted, and he thought it was desirable that it should be declared that Courts-martial derived their power and privileges from the King himself. There was also another part of this measure which he felt extremely anxious to amend; he alluded to the propriety of a distinct declaration as to the duties the officers serving in the army were to be called upon to discharge, because he felt that the army were not to lend their services in this respect more than was absolutely necessary. Their interference under such a measure as that now under consideration had become necessary, owing to the existence of such a state of circumstances as made it unsafe for other officers or for jurors to come forward in the performance of their duties. The object he had in view was, to confine as nearly as possible the duties that officers in the array were, under the provisions of this measure, called upon to perform, to those which they might be called upon to discharge at military Courts-martial for the trials of officers and soldiers; in short, that they should try none but under the orders of the Lord-lieutenant, and should cause the execution of no sentence they might pronounce, until its confirmation by the Lord-lieutenant should be first had and obtained. It was true, that in the case of naval Courts-martial it was not necessary that the same ceretmony of review and confirmation should be gone through, but the practice and course was otherwise in the army; and referring their Lordships to the terms of the Act of Parliament under which Courts-martial assemble at ail, he must say, that the greatest care should be exercised before these extraordinary powers were granted. It was under these circumstances he had suggested the Amendment in this respect to the noble Earl opposite, and he trusted he would acquiesce in the propriety of its adoption. He should contend that all Courts-martial should take nothing upon themselves beyond the mere trial of the parties charged, and the sentencing them in cases of conviction; but that the carrying into execution that sentence, and all that might follow, should only be done under the orders, and by the authority, of the Lord-lieutenant, or the per- 942 sons properly authorised on his behalf. He felt it not only important that officers should distinctly know their duty, but that there should be kept such a check upon them as would ensure its efficient discharge, and, therefore, it was, that he suggested the propriety of the Lord-lieutenant's reading and confirming the finding and sentence of the Courts-martial to be held under the provisions of this measure.
The Earl of Wicklow
regretted one effect which would result from the adoption of the Amendment proposed by the noble Duke, because the result would be to retard the execution of the sentence of the Courts-martial. This was the more to be regretted, inasmuch as nothing (it was well known) had contributed more to restore peace and tranquillity, when similar circumstances had called for similar measures to be enforced in Ireland, than the promptitude and celerity with which prisoners convicted were sent off from the Courts-martial to the ships destined to bear them to confinement. The same effects, he thought, would not result from the system of delay which would originate if the finding and sentence were to be submitted to the Lord-lieutenant for his approbation.
The Lord Chancellor
was aware that, in these unhappy circumstances, the celerity with which the punishment followed the trial was of considerable importance; at the same time, there would not be that great inconvenience by referring the matter to the Lord Lieutenant which the noble Lord seemed to apprehend. In fact, after the trial was concluded, the court might adjourn for a day or two, as on other occasions courts adjourned over Sunday, and meet again when they received the confirmation of the Lord Lieutenant, which they would then pronounce as the sentence of the court, and that sentence might be immediately carried into effect. Sending the proceedings of the court to the Castle, or wherever they were to be confirmed, while the prisoners were still in custody and not allowed to communicate with their friends, would not therefore occasion any great inconvenience or delay. He apprehended that the inconvenience which the noble Earl dreaded as diminishing the effect of the Bill, would not arise from assenting to the noble Duke's Amendment. With respect to the observations of the noble Duke relative to the prerogative of the Crown, he could assure the noble Duke that it was in the Bill neither abandoned nor trenched upon.
§ Earl Grey
wished to observe, that, besides the general saving of the King's prerogative in the Bill, it should be considered that the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland held all his powers as the King's Representative, and any power given to the Lord Lieutenant was given to him as the representative of the King; and it could not, therefore, trench upon the King's prerogative. He must still object to the preamble, or declaratory part of the noble Duke's Amendment, as not necessary.
§ The Amendment, as proposed by Earl Grey, embodying the suggestion of the Duke of Wellington, with the exception of the preamble, was agreed to.
§ On the eleventh Clause being read, empowering these Courts to try all offences which might be tried by Courts of Oyer and Terminer, &c.
said, that notwithstanding this Amendment, he had a question to put as to the construction of the clause now under consideration. The clause not only gave the courts constituted by this act the same powers and authorities possessed by courts-martial, but also all jurisdiction by law appertaining to courts of oyer and terminer, but no provision was made as to the mode in which the forms of the proceedings were to be regulated. In courts-martial, he believed counsel were not allowed to address the court, or put a question to a witness, except, through the president—a practice quite contrary to the regulations of courts of oyer and terminer, and gaol-delivery. He thought it would be desirable to state the practice intended in these cases to be followed.
§ The Duke of Wellington
was not particularly acquainted with the practice of courts of oyer and terminer, but he well knew that courts-martial had the power, and did try all description of offences that could either be brought before a court of oyer and terminer or of quarter sessions; and those offences the officers constituting the court had competent authority to pass sentence upon, and to carry the same into effect, under the law of England, upon persons guilty of such offences. He was sure, that while officers in the British army would well understand the proceed- 944 ings of courts-martial, they would be comparatively ignorant of the proceedings of courts of oyer and terminer.
§ Lord Wynford
suggested the propriety of striking out the words "oyer and terminer" with the sentence which followed.
wished that their Lordships should remember that this was an entirely new court which they were about to create, and care must be taken in introducing many Amendments, to make the whole consistent.
§ The Clause, as amended, agreed to, as was Clause 12.
§ In Clause 13, relating to the oath to be taken by the Judge-advocate,
took the opportunity of objecting to detaining any person in prison under the stigma of an offence without trial. He contended that every person should be immediately discharged, if acquitted by the court-martial.
The Lord Chancellor
said, that the courts-martial were not possessed of executive power: the prisoner could not, therefore, be discharged until proper application had been made to the Lord Lieutenant. Till his pleasure were known, it would not be competent in the court to dismiss the person accused.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ 15th and 16th Clauses postponed.
§ On the 17th Clause being read,
protested against the enormous extent of the prerogative of mercy which was hereby vested in the Lord Lieutenant;—an extent which even the King had never been possessed of.
§ Lord Wynford
said, that the complaints of the noble Lord would be just if the power of the Lord Lieutenant extended to all offences, but it only extended to the offences enumerated in the margin.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ 19th and 20th Clauses agreed to.
§ On the 21st Clause being read,
begged to ask the noble Earl if it was intended that any person guilty of uttering seditious speeches, within the proclaimed districts, should be tried by the common law Judges, and a Jury, or by court-martial?
said, that meetings might be legal, though the speeches delivered at them might be seditious.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ The 22nd Clause, which provides, "That every person who shall injure either the person or the property, real or personal, of any person who has appeared or shall appear as a Juror, witness, prosecutor, or otherwise, for the purpose of any prosecution, or any civil action or proceeding, for or by reason of anything done thereupon by such person, or who shall, by menaces or otherwise howsoever, deter or intimidate any person from appearing or acting in any such prosecution, or civil action, or proceeding as a Juror, witness, prosecutor, or otherwise, for the purposes of such prosecution, action, or proceeding, or from discharging his or her duty in that behalf, shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall be sentenced to be transported for any terra not less than seven nor more than fourteen years," was then read; upon which
§ Earl Grey
said, that as offences against the person, might, in some instances, be of so serious a nature as to bring them within Lord Ellenborough's Act, he did not know but this clause, if left as it then stood, might be construed as taking away the capital nature of the offence. He would therefore propose, to do away with all ambiguity, that the following words be inserted: "Provided always, that every offence now deemed felony shall still be deemed felony; and every one found guilty of any such offence shall be deemed guilty of felony, and punished with death, anything herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding."
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ On the 23rd clause, which provides that no act done in any of the proclaimed districts, in pursuance of any power or authority conferred by the Act, should be questioned in any court, civil or criminal, in the kingdom; and that the only courts to which officers, non-commissioned officers, or soldiers should be responsible should be courts-martial appointed by the Act, or courts-martial holden under any statute in 946 force for holding general or regimental courts-martial; and that such courts-martial should have full and exclusive cognizance of all such matters as should be objected against such officers, &c.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ The 24th, 25th, and 26th Clauses agreed to.
§ On the 27th Clause being read, which enacts that, "in case of a writ of Habeas Corpus being sued out within three calendar months, by a person detained in custody under the powers of this Act, it shall be a sufficient return that the person so detained is detained by virtue of this act,
§ The Duke of Wellington
suggested that, instead of limiting the provisions of the Bill to the particular districts which now were in a state of disturbance, it might be better to extend them at once to the whole of Ireland.
The Earl of Wicklow
said, that the principle of the Bill was, that it should extend to those parts only in which it was considered necessary, and not that it should apply generally to the whole of Ireland. If the bill were made general it would have the effect, the moment it passed, of suspending the Habeas Corpus Act throughout the whole of Ireland, so that those districts which were tranquil would be brought under the operation of martial law as well as the disturbed districts. He thought that such was not the proposition intended when the Bill was introduced. He considered it better to leave it as it now was, especially as the Lord Lieutenant might, by the powers given him by the Act itself—should the state of insurrection become more alarming, or should he think such a proceeding necessary—extend its provisions over the whole of that kingdom. The great remedy was, therefore, provided by the Bill itself.
The Lord Chancellor
contended that it was not necessary, and would be unjust to 947 extend the provisions of the Bill to such districts as were tranquil.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses agreed to, and the House resumed.