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the secretary of state for that department, a first lord of trade and plantations. ,
The defection of a young nobleman, who then possessed, and had for some years held, a sinecure office of considerable emolument and distinction, and who had constantly been one of the warmest and most able advocates of administration in that house, was not more a matter of obser vation or surprize, than the exceeding severity of censure, and bitterness of language, whicli marked his exposure and condemnation of their conduct and measures. Such a desertion, at such a period, and so untoward a direction of abilities, of no ordinary form, might well have been considered as ominous to administration, if the sudden death of this nobleman, which happened almost immediately after, had jiot put an end to all expectation and apprehension in that respect.
The question being at length put, at half after one o'clock in the morning, the amendment was rejected, upon a division, by a majority of just two to one; the numbers being 82 to 41. The address was then carried without a division.
The debate of this day in the House of Commons, was distinguidied by a circumstance, at that time, rather unusual in parlia
ment. The representation of something in the news-papers, which had fallen from Mr. Charles Fox in his speech, and which was passed over at the time without any particular notice, as sording some dissatisfaction to Mi. Adam, another member, be thought it necessary to require of the former gentleman, a pablic ( disavowal "and contradiction of it, through the fame Vehicles of intelligence in which it had appeared. This requisition or demand, being deemed highly improper by Mr. Fox, he absolutely refused a concession, which he thought it would be inconsistent with his character to make. The consequence was, a message from Mr. Adam, and a duel with pistols in Hyde Park, in which Mr. Fox was wounded. The novelty of the affair would, in any cafe, have excited much curiosity; and this was not only greatly increased, but blended with scarcely a less degree of anxiety, through the interest which the public took in the life of that gentleman. At the fame time, that the affair being generally attributed rather to the animosity or views of party, than to the ostensible motives, so it contributed, not a little, to spread and inflame that spirit without doors, from which it was supposed to have originated within *.
* For the particulars of this duel, fee the Chronicle part of our last volume, page »3j.
Vote es unsure against ministers, relative to their conduct with refpeil to Ireland, moved by the Earl of Shclburne. Debates on the quejiion. Part taken by the Ute lard president os the council. Motion rejected upon a division. Similar motion in the House es Commons by the Earl of Upper OJsory. Defence os administration. Animadversion. Motion rejected vp:n a division. Motion by the Duke os Richmond, for an arconomtcal reform of the civil list establishment. Motion, aster con. sjtratle debates, rejected upon a division. Minister opens his propt.fiticxs, in the House of Commons, for affording relief to Ireland. Agreed to ix.it/-otit opposition. Tiuo bills according/y brought in, and fofied hftre the recess. Third bill to lie open till after the holidays. Earl of Sbelburne's motion relative to the extraordinaries of the army; and introductory to a farther reform in the public expenditure. Motion rejtclcd on a division. Aotice given of a second intended motion, and the lirds summoned for the 8th of February, Lttlirs of thanks from the city of London to the duke of Richmond and to the Earl of SbelLurne, for their attempts to introduce a reform in the public expenditure; and similar letters Jent to his royal highness the Duke of Cumberland, and to til the other lords iiho fuppirted the two late motions. Mr. Burke gives notice of his plan of public reform and (economy, vibich he proposes bringing forward after the recess.
AS the affairs of Ireland held a principal place in point of importance, so they took the lead in the business of the present sesj» a sion. The subject was first brought forward in the House of Lords, where the Earl of Shelburne prefaced an intended and avowed vote of censure on ministers, by shewing from the journals, that their ad. dress, which had been moved for by a noble marquis, and unanimously passed on the nth of May last, had strongly recommended to his majesty's most serious consideration, the distressed and impoverished state of that loyal and well-deserving people; at the same time requiring, that such documents, relative to the trade and manufactures of Great Britain and Ireland might be laid be
fore them, as would enable the national wisdom to pursue effectual measures for the common interest of both kingdoms; and likewise, that the answer, returned from the throne on the following day, was entirely consonant to the ideas and requisition held out in the address.
He then referred to the addresswhich he had himself moved for, and which had been rejected by a great majority on the second of the following June, which restated the necessity of giving speedy and effectual relief to Ireland, and offered the full cq. operation of that house for , the purpose; at the same time recommending, that if the royal prerogative, as vested in the throne by the constitution, was not adequate to the administering of the relief wanted,
wanted, that his majesty would be pleased to continue the parliament of this kingdom fitting, and give orders forthwith, for calling the parliament of Ireland, in order that their just complaints might be fully considered, and remedied without delay.
He obierved, with respect to the first-mentioned address, that it contained, in its original state, as framed by the noble marquis, an implied and just censute on ministers, for their so long and so shamefully neglecting the immediate concerns of our sister island, and in so doing, endangering the union, and sacrificing the prosperity of both kingdoms. That the noble earl, then at the head of his majesty's counsels, proposed an amendment, by which the censure was omitted, and the address reduced to its present form. That, although the amendment did not meet the ideas of many lords on that side of the house, any more than his own, yet they agreed to accept of it, lest their rigid adherence to the original terms of the address, mould produce the absolute rejection of the whole. They beheld a people already driven to the verge of despair, and they could not look forward, without the greatest apprehension, to the fatal consequences which were to be expected, from the rejection, by a majority in that house, of any proposal, which at so critical a period, carried even the appearance of being in their favour.
That the noble framer of the address, with several other lords on that side, in consenting to the modification, which extracted the sting against ministers, did it exprelsly on the condition, that its great object, the obtaining of ef
fectual and immediate relies for Ireland, was to be fixed and inviolable. He then observed, that a similar address had on the fame day been passed by the House of Commons; so that these two addresses, with the answers from the throne to both, held out the full concurrence of every part of the legislature in granting the proposed relief.
Thus, he said, a new acra was commenced in the affairs of Ireland. This furnished a ground of hope, and even of certainty to that kingdom. But what mast her indignation and resentment be, when soe discovered that her hopes were totally unfounded; and that no reliance could be placed on any sanction, however solemn or sacred, held out by the British legislature? Three weeks had elapsed, without a single step being taken, or a single measure adopted which could tend to the proposed business. That, in order, if possible, to prevent the fatal and inevitable effects of such a conduct, he had himself, on the zd of June, moved for that second address which had been just read. The ministers set their faces directly against the remedy, which their own faults had rendered necessary. The lateness of that season, the waste of which constituted no small part of their crime, was the ostensible argument which unhappily prevailed in that house to the rejection of his motion; and thus the fate of Ireland was, by a British ministry and parliament, committed to fortune, chance, or accident.
The situation and circumstances of that country were at the time singular. She had long maintained, for internal defence and security, cority, a great military force, at an expence which exceeded her ability. Of this, contrary to royal faith and compact, she had been stripped, for the support of the American war; a contest in which she had no other national concern, than a well founded cause of apprehension, that the principle from which it had generated, would, in the next instance, be applied to the subversion of her own constitution. 'Struggling, as slie had been before, under long continued oppression, this additional misfortune was decisive. For to crown the climax, in this state of weakness, she was known to be the marked object of hostile invasion from our powerful and inveterate enemies.
Still, however, she thought that the wisdom and justice of a British parliament would afford full redress to her domestic evils; and that deprived as she was of her internal strength, in the support of oar quarrel, the power of this country would be her sure protection against the designs of the enemy. Bat the time was now arrived, which was to shew her hopes to be equally delusive in both respects. After appearances, which seemed only intended as a mockery of her distress, every prospect of relief was finally closed by the rising.of the British parliament. On the other hand, as to the point of defence, the ministers told them plainly they mult take care of themselves; they would spare them some arms; but « to protection, they acknowledged openly, and pleaded, inability.
Thus exposed, defenceless, and abandoned, Ireland was reduced to the simple alternative, of cither
perishing, or finding the means of preservation within herself. Through the public spirit, and gallantry of her sons, she was happily saved. With a peculiar magnanimity, the most divided people in the universe instantly forgot all their differences, and united as one man to ward off the impending destruction of their country. The miracle in this in-v. stance, could only be equalled by that which ministers had already produced, in the union of the thirteen American colonies. Above forty thousand men were already arrayed, officered, and formed into regular bodies. This, already formidable, and daily increasing force, was not composed of mercenaries who had no interest in the cause for which they armed; it was composed of the nobility, gentry, merchants, respectable citizens, and substantial farmers; men who had each a stake to lose j and who were willing and able to devote their time, and a part of their property, to the defence of the whole.
By this union and exertion of native strength and spirit, all ideas of invasion were effectually erased from the designs of the enemy. But the Irish became sensible at the same time, of the respect due to that internal force, which, until it' was called forth through the weakness of government, they were unconscious of possessing. The means were in their hands; and they seized the occasion with that spirit and wisdom, which shewed they were worthy of whatever advantages it was capable of affording.
In these circumstances, Ireland
only acted the part, which every
thinking thinking man must have foreseen. The government had been abdicated, and the people resumed the powers vested in it; a measure in which they were justified, by every principle of the constitution, and every motive of self-preservation. But being now in full possession, they wisely and firmly determined, that in again delegating this inherent power, they would have it so regulated, and placed upon so sound and liberal a b..r>:;, as would effectually prevent a repetition of those oppressions which they had so long experienced.
Their parliament, usually at the devotion of the court, found itself, for once, obliged to conform to the universal sentiments of the people. The late address to the throne from both Houses of the Irish parliament declares, that nothing less than a free trade could save that country from certain ruin. This was the united voice of that kingdom, and conveyed through its proper constitutional organs; there was but one dissenting voice in both Houses. All orders and degrees of men, church of England Protestants, and Roman Catholics; Dissenters, and sectaries of all denominations j Whigs and Tories; placemen, pensioners, and country gentlemen; Englishmen by birth, all join in one voice, and concur in one opinion, (or a free trade. But however guarded and temperate the language held by the Irish parliament upon that subject may be in their address, the public at large, in that country, were by no means disposed to consider the freedom of trade as a matter of favour or affection; on
the contrary, their eyes were now opened in such a manner, that they viewed it as a natural, inherent, inalienable right; and as it is natural to men to fly from any extreme to its opposite, they do not by any means stop there; they not only call in question, but they absolutely deny, the right of the British parliament to bind that country in any case whatever; and upon that principle, have actually freighted a vessel with woollen goods for a foreign market, in order, that upon the stoppage, or refusal of clearance by the custom-house, the question might be brought to an issue in the common courts of law.
It was obvious, that at the time the noble marquis moved the fint address, very moderate concessions would have afforded a full gratification to Ireland; that she would have thankfully received 'them, both as a proof of present affection, and as an earnest of further favour, when a more auspicious season should present a happier opportunity; and all who know the character of that country would acknowledge, that with such a proof of our kindness and good disposition, stie would have disdained to press us, during the time of our troubles and difficulties, for any thing more, than what her own necessities rendered indispensably and immediately necessary.
On the other hand it was equally evident that through the obstinacy of ministers, no less than their incapacity, and the contempt with which they rejected the advice of parliament, the happy season of conciliation and gratitude was now irrecoverably