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1805.

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tuations, to which their rank entitles them. They 1805. placed in the hands of the former the means of in, surrection, and they took from the latter the power they might have by their influence to repress commotions. It was a principle of social **'7.. nature, to require to be placed on a footing of 'is equality with one's fellow subjects, and to the honor of the laws of England, that principle was particularly sanctioned by them. Tor argue, as some did, that whilst the Catholics were pressed by the whole rigor of the penal code, they were tranquil during the rebellions of 1715 and, 1745 ; but after they had received large concessions, they joined in the rebellion of 1798 to subvert the moi narchy and constitution; would against every prin. ciple of liberty go to support the cruellest tyranny and most degrading slavery. Mr. Fox ascribed the Irish Union, which was worked into rebellion in 1798: to different causes, such as the French re, volution, the mind and energy of those, who felt the grievance of oppression and persecution in the North of Ireland, and the consequences of disap pointing the Catholics by the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, when the cup of expectation was indignantly dashed from their eager lips in 1795. Much stress had been laid upon the sayings of Mr. Arthur O'Connorand Mr. Emmett, that Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform were not considered by the people of Ireland as of more value than a bit of paper or a drop of ink." But it would also be recollected, that those same persons, who wished to revolutionize Ireland, explicitly ad.

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continua

1303. mitted, tirat i tliose ineasures hait: been carried

(they apprehended it under the Administration of Lordi Pitzwilliam.) their intentions would have been

utterly defeatedi :,;': ! ..ginamis 19 of Mr. Fox in si Mr. Fox theri" adserted to the late measure of tion. legislative Union, which he had always sopposed,

and had never since found' stasón do: alter his opis
mion upon its He readily admitted that no eis-
tinct promise of redress was: tbrens nade to the
Catholics : :før no Minister could proníise what
depended upon the determination of Pavlianienti
But ithe Right Hon. Geltbeman did all heicould;
he protrised to recommend their cldims and they
in full confidence of Hisi support generally gave
all the weight* they could command to his ptopoe
sition for the Union and Mr. Fox k new several fat
who felt less/ kindness, for the Catholics on that ac
count. . Theigeneral persuasion was that after the
Unión the Catholic claims would be fully granted:
and this persuasion was encouraged by the very
Gentleman, who was; uow understood to be most
hostile to them to It was impossible then; that the

The predominant interest of the Catholics was certainly info favor of the Union. No public act of the body ever passed upon it. Many Catholics in Dublín entered into very spirited and judicious resolutions against that fatal measure. And several of the most indepcrident and best informed Catholičs individually opposed it. Of all the King's subjects the Irish Catholics had eminently the most urgent reason. to oppose the Union, by which they lost their own consequence. "* + Dr. Duigenan's letter to Mr. Gratian contained the following parágrăph. If we were one people with the British na*tion, the preponderance of the Protestant interest in the whole

passing of the Union should not have been consi- 1805. dered by the Catholies as the signal for the redress of their grievaneet. The printed speech of Lord Sidniouth, ipablished and circulated by authority; confo:medthem in that persuasion, by referring to a passage in Duit Duigeban's letter, in support of the opinion, that no restraints would be necessary after the Union. Some hearty, approvers of the measure objected to press it, when there was no chance of success : especially whilst an impression continued in a certaiu quarter, that to consent to the repeal of the remaining restrictive laws would be an infringement of his Majesty's coronation oath. This weak and wicked doctíine was calcu. lated to produce the greatest confusion, and completely, to overturn tlie constitutions. How could the oath framed by Parliament, and administered to King William affect the repeal of statutes passed after he had taken it? And how could the cons stitution we preserved, should the executive once be prevented from consenting to laws, which the deliberative branches should have advised ? If it had been the practice, that nothing should be moved in that House, but such questions, as Gentlemen had a reasonable hope of carrying, the country would have been deprived of most of the laws, which now cônstitute its greatest pride and boast: for the best imeasures have in general been first resisted, and have at length succeeded by the per

“ State would then be so great, that it would not be any longer s necessary to curb the Roman Catholics by any restraints " whatever.

1803. severance of those, who had introduced them and

the good sense of Parliament. Whilst he gloried in being an Englishman, he never could say, that any thing, which Parliament thinks fit to be done, cannot be done. He never could believe, that any branch of our constitution would forget its duty. He lamented, that an opinion on this subject, should have been circulated, said to have been given by one, who had a legislative voice, but who had no right to pronounce any opinion upon matters pending in that House. His Majesty's lawful authority was one of the corner stones of the constitution, which he would ever exert himself in supporting : but he could not remain silent, when he saw interested persons endeavouring to extend that influence beyond its due bounds.' It would be a great and incalculable evil, were it to be established as a maxim in that House, that no person must move any measure, however great its benefits, if it were but once whispered about, that it could not be successful, because another branch of the constitution was hostile to it. He could wishi to see any sacrifice made for the gratification of the Crown, except the sacrifice of the welfare and security of the country. The man, who countenanced such a sacrifice, was not a loyal subject, was not one, who loved his King, but one, who

flattered him in order to betray him. ; Mr. Pos Nr. Fox then touched briefly upon several minor Conseludes.

considerations, which he urged as reasons for going into the Committee, and which would not pledge them to the entire concession. He adverted

1805.,

to the anomaly of the military and naval services
being legal in Ireland, and criminal and penal in
every other part of the British Empire. Even in
Ireland a Catholic might arrive to the rank of a
General, but not a General on the Staff. Catho-
lic soldiers were restricted from the exercise of their
religion sometimes in Ireland, and generally in
England. Some alterations were also necessary
for the regulation of Catholic marriages. There
were many other parts of the question, which ought
to induce such persons, as thought the petitioners
worthy of redress to go into a Committee, what-
ever their objections to the general question might
be. A great portion of their time in the present
and last Session of Parliament had been consumed
in considering the best means of recruiting the
army, and of encreasing our local and disposable
force : but he would venture to assert, that no
scheme whatever of parish recruiting, limited ser'
vice, or militia volunteering, could equal the effect
of that measure. All those schemes were tardy
and trifling, mere rivulets compared to that great
ocean of military resource, which would be at their
command, were the laws against the Roman Ca-
tholics repealed. Now even in violation of the
laws they received Roman Catholics into their
army and navy: but what might not be expected
from the zeal and gratitude of a nation famed for
warmth of temper and generosity, fondly exulting
in a triumph obtained over illiberality and preju-
dice ? Were that salutary measure adopted, there
would be no differences, no discontents; but all

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