HL Deb 26 August 1846 vol 88 c1021

On the Motion of the EARL of CLARENDON the Constabulary (Ireland) Bill was read a Third Time and passed.

The following Protest against the Third Reading of the Irish Constabulary Bill was entered on the Journals:


  1. 1. Because a transfer to the State of that portion of constabulary charge now borne by the real property of Ireland, is a relief rather to the owners of land than to those classes who, under existing circumstances, are the most entitled to the sympathy and the assistance of Parliament.
  2. 2. Because the relief thus proposed to be given to landowners, amounting as it does to somewhat less than 1l. on every 100 acres of the superficial contents of Ireland, will be unproductive of any material benefit to them, whilst it entails on the State a loss of 180,000l. annually.
  3. 3. Because the repeal of this local tax is in its operation contrary to all justice and sound principle, acting as a measure of relief in proportion to the turbulence of the several counties; conferring the greatest benefit where disturbance and crime have most prevailed, and the least benefit where peace and order have been maintained, and where the laws have been respected and obeyed.
  4. 4. Because the amount of national revenue thus wasted, if wisely appropriated in aid of the industry of the people, and for the development of the national resources, would have raised the wages of labour, improved the condition of the labourer, advanced the general interests of Ireland, and have ultimately flowed back to the Exchequer in the shape of increased revenue.
  5. 5. Because, at a period of great emergency like the present, when the majority of the Irish people are deprived of their usual means of subsistence, the sacrifice for the benefit of the richer classes of an annual sum representing a capital of 5,000,000l., whilst 50,000l. only are appropriated for grants in aid of national industry, is wholly unjustifiable, and therefore is but ill calculated to recommend the Imperial Legislature to confidence and respect.
  6. 6. Because the withdrawal of the constabulary from all local authority, makes an unconstitutional change in the character of that force; rendering it less a body of civil constables than an organized militia, irresponsible to the magistrates, without being made amenable to military law.
  7. 7. Because the repeal of this local change must, in justice to Great Britain, lead to a much wider application of the same principle, in respect to all other analogous burdens; a public provision for new and undefined expenditure being thus rendered necessary, at a period, too, when there is but too much reason to apprehend the perpetuation in time of peace of the existing tax upon property. MONTEAGLE, of Brandon.

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