§ The MARQUESS of LANSDOWNE moved that the Bill be read 3a.
The EARL of WINCHILSEA
said, that unless some measure more stringent than the Bill now before them were introduced, and speedily passed through Parliament, the condition of Ireland would soon be such as to place that country altogether beyond the control of the Government. The evil was every hour increasing—assassination was every hour driving away from Ireland the best of its land- 1342 lords. The case had at length assumed the most alarming character; and he must be allowed to say that on the Government the whole responsibility rested—the responsibility of a Bill which, instead of repressing, would, he feared, give direct encouragement to the crimes and outrages which were at present the disgrace of Ireland.
The MARQUESS of LONDONDERRY
could not agree with those noble Lords who had thanked Her Majesty's Government for the measure, for he thought the measure was by no means sufficient for the occasion; it was not severe nor stringent enough. Last Session he had laid on the table of the House information that in various places in Ireland arms were publicly sold. He brought down a printed list of those arms, and charged upon the Government the responsibility of such proceedings. It had been said in another place that Lord Clarendon was satisfied with the measure. Would to God he might have reason to be so! but he (the Marquess of Londonderry) feared the noble Lord would find himself under a mistake, for this Bill did little more than give the Lord Lieutenant the power to proclaim a certain number of districts, while the great evil was allowed to remain, namely, leaving the people in possession of arms. He (the Marquess of Londonderry) thought there should be a general search for arms throughout the country, for as long as the indiscriminate use of arms was permitted, it would be impossible to prevent secret assassination.
§ Bill read 3a and passed.