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ting our trust in what may very possibly fail, and, if it should fail, leaves those who are hurt by such a reliance without pity. Whereas honesty and justice, reason and equity, go a very great way in securing prosperity to those who use them, and, in case of failure, secure the best retreat and the most honorable consolations.
It is very unfortunate that we should consider those as rivals, whom we ought to regard as fellow-laborers in a common cause. Ireland has never made a single step in its progress towards prosperity, by which you have not had a share, and perhaps the greatest share, in the benefit. That progress has been chiefly owing to her own natural advantages, and her own efforts, which, after a long time, and by slow degrees, have prevailed in some measure over the mischievous systems which have been adopted. Far enough she is still from having arrived even at an ordinary state of perfection ; and if our jealousies were to be converted into politics as systematically as some would have them, the trade of Ireland would vanish out of the system of commerce. But, believe me, if Ireland is beneficial to you, it is so not from the parts in which it is restrained, but from those in which it is left free, though not left unrivalled. The greater its freedom, the greater must be your advantage. If you should lose in one way, you will gain in twenty,
Whilst I remain under this unalterable and powerful conviction, you will not wonder at the decided part I take. It is my custom so to do, when I see my way clearly before me, and when I know that I am not misled by any passion or any personal interest, which in this case I am very sure I am not. I find that disagreeable things are circulated among my constitu
ents; and I wish my sentiments, which form my justification, may be equally general with the circulation against me. I have the honor to be, with the greatest regard and esteem, Gentlemen,
Your most obedient and humble servant,
WESTMINSTER, May 2, 1778.
I send the bills.
S P E ECH
ON PRESENTING TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
(ON THE UTH FEBRUARY, 1780)
THE BETTER SECURITY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF
R. SPEAKER, -I rise, in acquittal of my en
gagement to the House, in obedience to the strong and just requisition of my constituents, and, I am persuaded, in conformity to the unanimous wishes of the whole nation, to submit to the wisdom of Parliament " A Plan of Reform in the Constitution of Several Parts of the Public Economy.”
I have endeavored that this plan should include, in its execution, a considerable reduction of improper expense; that it should effect a conversion of unprofitable titles into a productive estate ; that it should lead to, and indeed almost compel, a provident administration of such sums of public money as must remain under discretionary trusts; that it should render the incurring debts on the civil establishment (which must ultimately affect national strength and national credit) so very difficult as to become next to impracticable.
But what, I contess, ac uppermost with me, what I bent the whole force of my mind to, was the reduction of that corrupt influence which is itself the perennial spring of all prodigality and of all disorder, which loads us more than millions of debt, which takes away vigor from our arms, wisdom from our councils, and every shadow of authority and credit from the most venerable parts of our Constitution.
Sir, I assure you very solemnly, and with a very