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tremely imprudent to do any thing, which might tend to estrange Ireland from her respect and veneration for her elder sister. His lordship, as well by his details as in arguments, contended, that administration had neglected its duty towards Ireland ; that all care and protection had been withdrawn; and that Ireland was precisely in that situation, which, if not speedily remedied, would, in the opinion of many, justify resistance. He said, the people of Ireland, by the most accurate computation, amounted to two millions three hundred thousand souls, whereof five hundred thousand were believed to be Protestants, in the proportion of three hundred thousand Dissenters to two hundred thousand of the established church. The Irish Catholics, it was true, had been favoured with some degree of religious toleration, and he was happy to say, so far as the example set by England could be supposed to operate upon the ruling powers in our sister kingdom, he took a share in the merit of that measure. On the other hand, so respectable and powerful a body as the Irish Dissenters were, ought not to be treated with contempt and unkindness, as they certainly had been in one instance ; he meant the clause inserted in the bill for giving an indulgence for Ro. man Catholics, which clause was lost in the privy council of this kingdom. But he did not found his argument upon this or that distinction. People of all ranks, qualities, and religions there, were united as one man; they forgot all animosities and jealous sies in the ruin, which threatened them; and the great point of union and national cement which kept them together was, not to import, purchase, or deal in any article of the produce or manufacture of this country.
In this part of his argument he censured ministers highly, for their total neglect of the defence of that country; and pointed out the danger of permitting the people there to associate and embody in troops and companies contrary to law. When he said this, it was his opinion they had done very properly, in endeavouring to defend themselves when neglected by government. But ministers should have prevented the necessity of having recourse to such military associations ; or if that were not practicable, in the present state of affairs, the people should have been legally commissioned and enabled to take arms. The matter now wore a very serious appearance ; for though he were firmly persuaded, in case that country should be invaded by a foreign force, which was generally believed to be in contemplation, the Irish, with their usual loyalty and spirit, would defend themselves, and bravely repel the invaders, yet it was worth considering how far the same spirit might be exerted in resisting oppression and injustice from any other quarter. After recapitulating the many and very important advantages we derived from Ireland, through the
medium of our trade and cominerce, the accession of strength she afforded in time of war, and the immense sums she remitted to her absentees, monies paid officers, pensioners, or spent on motives of pleasure or business, at the universities, inns of court, appeals in law and equity, &c. he observed, how unkindly she had been treated in every instance, how cruelly and oppressively in some. He reminded their lordships of the compact made between both kingdoms in King William's time, when the parliament of Ireland consented to prohibit the export of their own woollen manufacture, in order to give that of England a preference, by laying a duty equal to a full prohibition upon every species of woollens or even of the raw commodity; and of the solemn assurance given by both the houses of the British parliament, that they would give every possible encouragement, and abstain from every measure, which could prevent the linen manufacture to be rendered by the staple of Ireland. But how had England kept its word? by laying duties or granting bounties to the linens of British manufacture, equal to the prohibition of the Irish, and at the same time giving every kind of private and public encouragement to render Scotland a real rival to Ireland, in almost every species of her linen fabrics. After describing the private as well as public distresses of Ireland in the most feeling language, his lordship proceeded to contrast the deserts of the Irish nation, whose loyalty kept pace with the extent and magnitude of the calamities they felt. He instanced, in particular, their friendly and affec. tionate behaviour since the commencement of the American war; the zeal and fidelity of that kingdom in the time of the two last Scotch rebellions; the uncommon efforts she made during the late war, and her uniform loyalty and attachment to this country in every trying exigency when engaged in a foreign war. He said, he hoped, the importance of the object would strike every noble lord with the propriety, nay, the absolute necessity of his motion; that the house would treat it with that temper, coolness, and moderation, which it so apparently merited; and attend to it as a matter in which every man in the nation was most deeply interested. He trusted, that their lordships would not be led away by any partial ideas or narrow distinctions of local benefit or advantage, but meet it fairly as a question of state, in which both kingdoins had an equal interest. He would be extremely sorry, that this or that town or district, that Manchester or Glasgow, or any other place, would supersede or render of none effect the wisdom of their lordships' deliberations. He wished farther, that on the present occasion, all party or personal considerations would give way to the general good, and that as they meant all the same thing, the interest of both kingdoms, their lerdships would not entertain a second opinion on the subject. It was a great object, and should neither be lost, abandoned, or evaded. It had for some years been unfortunately too much neglected, but maiters were at length arrived just at that critical state, which would render it not only unwise and impolitic to lose a moment, but would afford an instance of obstinacy and want of feeling, little short of political insanity, His lordship concluded a very long speech, in the course of which, he spoke to a great variety of matter of less importance with making the following motion : “ That this house taking “ into consideration the distressed and impoverished state of “ the kingdom of Ireland, and being of opinion, that it is con
sonant to justice and true policy to remove the causes of “ discontent by a redress of grievances, and, in order to demon
strate the sense, which this house entertains of the merits " of that loyal and well deserving nation, this house doth think it "highly expedient that this important business should be no “ longer neglected, and that an humble address be presented to “his majesty, that his majesty would be graciously pleased to “ take the matter into his inost serious consideration, and direct “his ministers to prepare and lay before parliament such par6 ticulars relative to the trade and manufactures of Ireland, as
may enable the national wisdom to pursue effectual measures “ for promoting the common strength, wealth, and commerce of “his majesty's subjects in both kingdoms.” Lord Viscount Weymouth rose in reply, and opposed the marquis's motion on two grounds; because the house had no paper whatever regularly before them, relative to the distressed state of Ireland, which was held out as the ground of the motion that amounted to a matter of fact; secondly, because if a relaxation or repeal of any of the restrictive laws relative to the trade of Ireland should be moved, that could properly originate only in the other house. His lordship, after expressing his best wishes for Ireland, said, the matter at a future period might be taken up, and the necessary measures for affording relief to Ireland be adopted; but at present, without proof sufficient to warrant the terms in which the address was couched and without the means of originating specific relief, he thought it his duty to move the previous question. Duke of Chandos, after giving his opinion, that that part of the address which conveyed a censure or a charge of neglect in ministers, did not meet his idea, both because he thought with the noble viscount, that the house were not in possession of any evidence of the fact of neglect therein charged ; and, that he had a full confidence in the conduct of administration. He highly approved, in other respects, of the motion made by the noble marquis; and said, one principal cause of the distress felt by Ireland, was the continual drain from that country, in order to pay the great land owners resi. dent here, many of whom, in their whole lives, never spent a shilling in the country from whence they drew their incomes. That, he said, was systematic grievance, which admitted of no remedy but a tax upon absentees. Though he possessed a considerable property in that country, he should cheerfully assist in any measure for giving the Irish that species of relief, for he was persuaded, that whatever else might be done to relieve them, if that cause of impoverishment should not be met in some way or other, the same principle would continue to produce similar effects, in a greater or less degree. His grace before he sat down expressed his approbation of the previous question, the propositions inade by the noble marquis being such, as that he could neither give it a direct negative nor affirmative. Marquis of Rockingham rose, he said, to take notice of some expressions, which had fallen from the noble viscount high in office, and the noble duke who spoke last, affirming, that he had heard with much surprise the objections now started. He repeated, with some warmth, that Ireland had been cruelly and injuriously treated, and that it would present a mixture of folly and ingratitude, which nothing but the dullest obstinacy and ignorance could explain, if we refused to lighten those intolerable burthens, which the restriction of our trade laws laid upon that loyal, affectionate, and enduring people. As an additional argument, why it made it necessary and prudent in the king's servants to agree to his motion, he adverted to the formidable military associations now on foot in that kingdoin; and desired to know if they had been informed of their nature and extent. This, he said, as a matter truly alarming, if the British government meant to adhere to their former sys. tem of oppression and injustice; and therefore it highly be. hoved ministers, if they were obstinately bent to throw every part of the empire into a flame, to seriously investigate the des gree of resistance they were likely to meet. With regard to the particular sentiments of the noble viscount and the noble duke, he confessed, he was unable to repress his feelings, when they imputed to his motion that it was so framed as to contain a censure upon administration. Nothing on earth was more distant from his thoughts, as he endeavoured all in his power to draw it up in such a manner, as to prevent the possibility of any objection that might arise on the ground of personality. When a motion was made a short time since for the removal of a noble earl over the way (Sandwich) from his majesty's councils, he did not at all wonder at his brethren in office rising to oppose
the motion; no, let our noble friend's crimes be ever so great, we cannot abandon him, We do not care a farthing " about that; he is a pleasant companion, and we do not chuse " to part with him." There is, added the marquis, nothing extraordinary in all this; but it appeared to him very unaccountable indeed, how ministers should object to the giving relief to Ireland, for certainly any opposition to it could admit. of no other fair or rational construction. Lord Townshend rose, he said, to defend his own administration against the general charge of an increased establishment, which the noble marquis said, at the opening of his speech, had gone on in a progressive state of augmentation since the viceroyship of the Marquis of Hartington, afterwards Duke of Devonshire. He compared the establishment during his lieutenancy with those of his predecessors and successors in office since the year 1763. In that year the civil establishment amounted to no more than 105,000!' In that of the noble earl over the way (Hertford) there was a small addition. In the administration of Lord Bristol 8000l. had been added. During his own admi. nistration, in the course of six years, from September 1767 to 1772, the civil expences were less by 80001. but since that time the civil expences had risen to 137,000l. His lordship, in expressions of the warmest affection for the people of Ireland, pleaded their distresses and deserts in very forcible language ; said, he should be wanting in the feelings which gratitude ought ever to inspire, if he did not take the present opportunity of testifying his regard for them, and his earnestness to procure them every degree of redress and indulgence, which their melancholy situation demanded, which justice dictated, and generosity and national gratitude rendered a positive duty on the part of a great nation. His lordship adverted, in confirma. tion of those favourable expressions of the noble marquis, to the many proofs Ireland had given in the course of almost a century to assist Great Britain in her wars; and contended, that all the public distresses she now felt were in consequence of her loyalty and affection, particularly her recent distress, which solely arose from the assistance she had given to this country in carrying on the war against our rebellious subjects in America. With regard to local or partial distinctions, he disclaimed them, as beneath a wise and great nation; they should never be permitted to mix in questions of such vast magnitude and extent as the present.
He resided himself in a country full of manufacturers. His estate and property were within that county (Norfolk), and if the manufacturer was to be affected by granting any indulgence to Ireland, he must suffer his share of the loss; but though he wished them and himself every thing which could be derived from trade and manufactures carried on upon a liberal plan, God forbid he should, upon any motives of prejudice or self-interest, give countenance to measures formed upon a narrow or partial scale of politics. He should, in point of union and national strength, ever consider England and Ire