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The right honourable gentleman had talked of the measures of the volunteer army in Ireland, during the last summer, as a matter of diversion and amusement. This was language which he confessed he did not expect to hear. He should not have been surprised if the right honourable gentleman had said of them, that their measures were alarming to the government of Ireland; it might have been said with truth, that they had been conducted with bravery; perhaps that they originated in neces: sity ; certainly in the love of their country, in virtue, and in the support of their independence, as a people: bat that the secretary to the lord lieutenant, and one of the ministers of the kingdom, should talk of their measures as a matter of diversion and amusement, was beyond all the absurdity that he had ever heard. The right honourable gentleman had said, that the opposition which the government of Ireland had met with, was that sort of opposition which a government would always choose to have Was it so? Was an opposition composed of all the integrity, the talents, and the respect of a country, such as a ministry would choose to meet with? An opposition composed of a Charlemont, a Grattan, a Burgh, a Yelverton, a Flood, &c. was not to be wished for by any ministry, who desired to stand well with their country,
The Lord preserve him from such an opposition ! He would not wish to be the minister who proposed measures, which such men as those must in their hearts oppose. The right honourable gentleman had, by a strange mode of reasoning, called the administration of the Earl of Carlisle fortunate and successful. Fortunate and successful surely must that administration be, which concludes with a motion from the secretary for reducing this country to conditional submission, and humbling her at the feet of Ireland! Fortunate and successful must that administration have been, when the secre. tary, after opposing every claim that is made, comes over post, and declares, that all his opposition is fruitless, and that the requisition must be complied with! Fortunate and successful surely the administration of the Earl of Carlisle could not be called; but in denying that the noble lord had been successful in his administration, he by no means intended to say, that he was to blame. He believed it was the fault of the late ministers of this empire, whose total inattention to the affairs of that king. dom, had made a part of that system of negligence and lethargy which prevailed throughout. He had always thought, that the affairs of this country under their management had suffered most materially; that they had taken away the pride which was natural to Britain, and had brought us into most alarming circumstances. But within the last fortnight he had received such additional information, and such insight into the affairs of that country, that all his former conjectures were now ripened into complete judgments; all his former apprehensions were most alarmingly increased, and he found that our situation was much worse even than he dreaded. Bad as he always thought those ministers were, he had never believed them to be so inattentive, so remiss, or so totally careless of every thing that regarded the interests of their country, as he had found them. He trusted, that the present servants of the crown wouid think it their duty to make up a state of the affairs of the country as they found them at this time, and lay it before parliament' for their information. This was a digression which the house would pardon. It was, however, not totally foreign from the question; for their neglect of the affairs of Ireland was one of the most material parts of their guilt.
The right honourable gentlemen said, that he trusted in the candour of the house for the confidence which they would have in the intentions of his majesty's ministers towards Ireland.; and that they would believe, that they meant and wished most ardently to bring the matter forward in the most speedy manner. He would again assure them, that it had always been his political sentiments, that it was unjust and tyrannical to attempt to hold a country in subjection, and to govern against the will and opinion of the people. It had always been his sentiment with regard to America as well as to Ireland, that they could not, much less ought not to be governed by laws which they rejected as unconstitutional. All just government must consist in the perfect consent, good will and opinion of the people ; it was the best and purest system of government, where harmony prevailed; and without it, it was not government, but usurpation. This was always his idea on the subject, and he maintained it in opposition to all theories of men, because it was the only system, which in the end was practicable. It was certainly the most consistent with true policy, as well as justice. To bring about a final settlement of the dispute between Great Britain and Ireland; to state and precisely to declare, not for a moment, but for ever, what was the relative situation of the two countries with respect to each other; to take in and conclude all points of difference, and to establish such a system of connection, intimacy and relation between them, as should be immediately and permanently for the interest of both, would require much discussion, and a considerable deal of time; for both countries must come to the discussion of the great and important subject, that by mutual consent it might be settled for ages, and not, as had been the conduct of the late ministers, sear up the wound for a moment, without completing the cure. When those ministers agreed to the extension of the trade of Ireland, they should have ultimately settled the claims and fixed the situation. They failed to do this at the proper time, and they ought to answer for it to their country. That measures, however, would be taken for accomplishing this desirable end, he might safely assure the house. He thought that deceit was always pernicious, and he wished to speak with as much openness and information as the nature of his office could justify. He would, therefore, move for the order of the day, as the best means of postponing the motion of the right honourable gentleman. He wished for this to give time to the king's servants to determine with precision on the plan to be offered to both countries; and he had the utmost reason to hope and believe, that the matter would be finally settled without any of those consequences, which the conduct of the right honourable gentleman in this business had been calculated to produce. He wished, he confessed, that the right honourable gentleman would withdraw his motion, as the best means; and by which an honourable friend of his, Mr. Crewe, would be able to move for leave to bring in a bill, which he had introduced some years ago, for disqualifying excise and custom-house officers from voting at elections. This was a part of the plan, which had been formed when they were out of office, for reforming the constitution of parliament, and which they seriously meant to undertake now with the same zeal and attention as before. Not a day would be lost until the task of reducing the improper influence of the crown, and settling the representation of the people upon more equal grounds, was fulfilled. The right honourable gentleman, had said, that his opposition to the various motions that had been made in the Irish House of Commons had been supported by great majorities. He said, that he wished these majorities had been less : it was the greatness of these majorities, and the manner, in which they were constituted, that had given offence and jealousy to the people of Ireland. They, no doubt, desired to see a free representation, declaring honestly their voice in the senate. To correct the abuses in influence and representation, would be the steady endeavours of his majesty's ministers. He concluded with moving for the order of the day; this he would not have done upon any other account, than that the motion of such a sort, and came at such a time; but he hoped, that the right honourable gentleman would yet withdraw it.
Mr. Eden rose to explain what he meant by saying the opposition to government in Ireland was such, as no person need be fearful of; it was not to infer, that they were men of no respect or talents, but that they were men of such moderation, that no fear was to be apprehended from them. With respect to the volunteers taking up arms as amusement, they certainly did so at first, and at the same time with a laudable zeal to protect the country from the danger of an invasion, which was said to threaten it; but that amusement had grown into a formidable
body of men, who seemed determined to have a total repeal of the declaratory law, without properly weighing, whether it would not be in some measure detrimental to them. He mentioned again, that he should leave England to-morrow ; and was feariul, that if the motion were not carried into execution, notwithstanding what the right honourable gentleman (Mr. Fox) had said of the intentions of government, it would be too late.
Lord Mahon said, he thought it extremely indecent for the right honourable gentleman, who spoke last, to bring in the motion, as he had refused giving his majesty's ministers the information respecting Ireland, that it was his duty to have done. His lordship read the preamble of the act 6th George I. which asserted, that the reason of its being made, was the abuse of power committed by the House of Peers of Ireland. The de. claration of the right honourable secretary (Mr. Fox) had been such, he said, as ought to appear fully sufficient, that it was their intention to take up the business with all possible dispatch.
Colonel Luttrell said, he hoped that he stood free from any censure in the business; that the sole reason of his calling on the right honourable gentleman, was from a certainty, that, as he was just arrived from that kingdom, he could be able to give the house much information on the state of affairs ; that he was himself at first much inclined to second the motion; but as the right honourable secretary (Mr. Fox), had so openly declared that councils had already been held, and that every consideration possible was meant to be given to the business, he thought it would be bes for the right honourable gentleman, (Mr. Eden), on his return to Ireland, to state fairly to the house, that the present ministry had fully declared their intentions of redressing the grievances complained of, and to desire they would post, pone their decision for a short time, until they saw what ministers did do on the subject.
Lord Newhaven said, he by no means would wish to embarrass government; that he believed the right honourable secretary on the treasury bench was sincere in his declarations; yet. he was fearful of an impression going over to Ireland, that we had rejected the offer of repealing the act complained of in the motion.
The Right Hon. General Conway owned himself surprised that any person, who was a servant of the public, (for as such he undoubtedly considered the Irish secretary), should dare to withhold information from his majesty's ministers, because they were not a set of men that were favourable to the wretched system that had occasioned the dispute of the present hour. Since the new ministers had come into place, no time had been lost
in thinking of the most speedy and effectual means of quieting the troubles that unfortunately raged in Ireland; no less than three or four cabinet councils had been held solely on that business; and the new appointed lord lieutenant would be empowered with such terms, as he trusted would establish a firm and happy union between the two countries, which were so inseparably connected together by every tie of interest. It was extremely indecent in the right honourable gentleman who moved the business, to bring the matter on in the manner he had, without ever hinting the least idea to any of his majesty's ministers of his intention, or knowing whether ministers did not intend themselves to move something similar to it.
Mr. Eden said, he found it absolutely necessary to declare the whole of his transactions since he came to England. He arrived in town on Thursday last, he said, with a letter of Lord Carlisle’s resignation, and was surprised to find that a new lord. lieutenant had been appointed in his stead, two days previous to his arrival, by which it might possibly happen, that his Grace the Duke of Portland would be the messenger of his own appointment: that treatment he thought extremely indecent: it was not using Lord Carlisle well, to recal him without any notice, or alleging any fault against him; making no more ceremony in the removal of him, (although business of the kingdom might materially require his attendance,) than they would in the removal of a chancellor of the dutchy court of Lancaster, or any other sinecure place. He likewise found on his arrival, that the lord-lieutenancy of the East-Riding of Yorkshire, was also taken from his lordship: he looked on that as an additional insult of. fered to his lordship; and he had therefore detewnined to hold no conference with men, that had treated the noble earl in such an unprecedented manner. He had offered to wait on any of the ministry that wished to see him; but he had undoubtedly declined giving his opinion on any point whatever.
Mr. Secretary Fox said, with the right honourable gentleman's leave, he would read his own letter, which he did, stating his reason for not giving them any information on account of his thinking Lord Carlisle ill treated. It was extremely curious, he said, that the right honourable gentleman should think Lord Carlisle ill treated, by a successor being appointed, when he had written home a positive and unconditional letter of resignation. He had the honour, he said, to be well acquainted with Lord Carlisle, and was certain that he was possessed of too much sense to think himself ill treated in his resignation being accepted. With respect to the Marquis of Carmarthen being restored to the lord-lieutenancy of the East-Riding of Yorkshire, it was a measure so proper, that he should have thought himself no ways fit for the trust reposed in him, if he had ne.