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imperfect and defalcated allegiance to the State). 1805. into the entire and perfect rights of completely affianced subjects.
The Earl of Westmoreland assumed credit for Earl of his toleration and liberality, because he had re- land. ceived the thanks of the Catholic body for the favours granted to them during his Government of that country, and vehemently opposed the motion for going into the Committee. He went over at great length all the hacneyed arguments against the object of the petition. But, said his Lordship, “ Let the Union alone: let that great measure alone : let it work, as it has begun the settlement of that country, and let not the operations of that great measure be impeded by bringing the Catholics forward at an unfit season to be made the tool and sport of British factions."
Earl Moira was surprized to hear it said, that Earl Meira the petition tended to throw the torch of discord into the country: be on the contrary was con.. . vinced, that if attended to, it would firmly establish that harmony, which was most essential to the country in that moment.
Earl Darnley was impressed with the inexpedi- Fart Dareency of urging the question at ibat particular time, ley. though conrinced, that it was founded in reason and justice, and that it must ultimately prevail. He took a very enlarged view of the subject. He differed widely in opinion from the learned Lord, who had recommended the abolition of the Catho, lic hierarchy in Ireland. He saw no reason, why the Bishops should not be placed under the protec
1805. tion of Government, and why they should not be
both nominated by the King and paid by the
public. Lord Auck- Lord Auckland professed his most determined
opposition to the motion : he scouted the jargon of the term Emancipation : and triumphantly boasted of his now confirmed dissent and regret at the concessions made to the Catholics of Ireland in 1793 : and that he had so dissented in common with his worthy friends, the late Lord Clare and Mr. Foster. Those concessions stimulated the appetite of the Catholics for further claims; and in -1795, Lord Fitzwilliam shewed a strong disposition to gratify them to the full extent of their wishes. “Happily, said his Lordship, he was not supported by the Government of that day, though composed of the same individuals, who were then urging that very measure, for which they recalled
Lord Fitzwilliam from his Viceroyalty. It would .ever be a consideration of just pride to his Lord
ship, that he had borne no small share in adjusting all the details of the Union: and he did not hesitate to declare, that if the concessions now proposed, were in the contemplation of those, with , whom he acted at that time, their views were industriously concealed from * hin, and from others of their associates. If there were any eventual responsibility in this business, it must fall on the
* Mr. Pitt usually treated his colleagues in Administration, as tools and servants. He consulted them no further than he wanted their submission and assent: but never initiated them into the detail or reasons of his plans. . .
heads of those, who first'agitated a question, of 1905., which they must have foreseen the result, if they had duly adverted to the known opinions of the several branches * of the legislature of the whole body of Irish Protestants, and of the general mass of the British people, siis :
Lord King supported the motion as a measure of Lord King wisdom. 'And Lord Bolton from having been for- Bül:un, merly in a high situation, (Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant) recapitulated the whole proceedings of the Irish Catholics in their efforts to obtain concessions and relaxations. He deprecated the language of constructive menace, which many noble Lords had resorted to in the course of that discussion, by asserting, that the prayer of the petition must ultimately be granted, and that sore. ness, discord, and disunion would follow the refusal. The object of the petition did not affect the great mass of the Catholic population, but the
* The anticipated assumption of the opinion of the executive branch of the legislature was unconstitutional and indecent : the sense of the deliberative branches could not be known until the object were submitted to their consideration: the whole body of Irish Protestants was not, like the Orangemen, decidedly against the prayer of the petition. Witness those Frish Meinbers in each House of Parliament, who voted for Lord Grenville's mo. tion, and many of their Protestant friends, relatives, and depen. dents, as well as many other Protestants throughout Ireland, who were not infected with Orange intolerance and rancor. The mass of the British people, when not goaded into acrimony by enthusiasts, bigots, or persons interested in misguiding their judgments are naturally tolerant: nor would they interpose to obstruct the happiness of their Irish fellow-subjects.
1805. few, whom the wished-for concessions could af.
fect, had. no ground of complaint, as they excluded then selves, by refusing to take the same tests as Protestants. Til the Catholics chose to withdraw that barrier (insuperable whilst it remained in force) of divided allegiance, the obligation to papal supremacy, their Lordships should cover themselves with the shield. of self-preserva
tion, and on it' exhibit the warning motto of ne Division plus ultra. against the
Lord Grenville replied to the niost urgent arguments: and upon the division at six o'clock in the morning, 49 voted for going into a Committee,
and 178 against it: leaving a majority of 129 Mr. Fox against the motion.
On the 13th day of May, the House of Commons took the Catholic Petition into consideration; when Mr. Fox drew their attention to the pleasing duty * that had devolved upon him, of
opens the debate in the Cominons.
• Mr. Fox alluded to the harrassing duties of accusation, which he had lately undergone in the enquiry into the charges against Lord Melville. Whoever views not that exalted chaçacter through a jaundiced or corrupt medium, must now at least acknowledge, that there never existed a Statesman and arator of whom it could with equal truth be asserted, that he was an ardent and constant lover of his country, of its constitution, and of mankind. As he lived not to see the completion of the most anxious wish of his heart, and which in every situation he always laboured to promote the security of religious as well as çivil liberty, it will be the author's aim to favor his readers with as fairliful an epitome of his speech on this important question, as the succinct form of this work will admit of. It is a legacy to every patriot of constitutional, wise, liberal, and just policy. The author, who means to hand down to posterity as faithful a pourtrait of united Ireland, as he can draw, offers to the im.
- Winging before them a most important subject, 1805:
which" rested entirely on principles of general affection and good will, connected with views that every man must approve, and no man could condemn. He estimated the Catholic body to compose one-fourth of the population of the British Empire, and could he persuade the House to do thein justice, he should persuade the House to render a most important service indeed, perhaps
the most essential, that remained to be done, or - shat ever had been done for the security, the I greatness, and general weal of the Einpire at large,
whether with regard to its internal policy, or external relations. Upon the general view, he should think it impossible to raise a serious question, whether a fourth of the King's subjects were to be admitted to an equal participation of rights and privileges with the remainder, and enjoy the full benefit of the Constitution and Government of the. Country. The differences upon this subject were theoretical. In practical application, what some called riglıts, were what others called indulgences.
partial public as the most unequivocal.test of his sincerity in the execution of that intept, his cordial subscription to the opinion of some of the most exalted, powerful, and liberal friends of Ireland (consequently of the British Empire). That Mr. Fox, above all men that ever existed, asserted and maintained with the most transcendent force of word and example the principles, ppon which the: Government under our most excellent constitution qught to be administered for the true ani solid dignity of the Crown, and the real security, freedom,,and happiness of the people.