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doubt could be entertained of his ability to carry such a measure through the two Houses of Parliament, although he might not succeed in carrying a bill, which could not be perfected without the con. currence of all the three branches of the Legislature. That although the measure petitioned for might not then be attainable in toto on account of certain objections, yet the adopting and sanctioning of a bare principle of expediency by both or either of the Houses of Parliament could not break in upon scruples supposed to exist in a high quarter, or offer any violence to conscience in that regard.'. That on the contrary, it would tend powerfully to facilitate the final adoption of a measure, wbich he himself had at heart and deemed politic and expedient, whenever the proper time should arrive for proposing it. That to have obtained a recognition of those liberal principles, upon which he had acted, and by which he had acquired such a commanding influence upon the public mind, would greatly forward his views and policy by ensuring ultimate success to the measure. The minister still persisted in declining to present the petition, even for that subaltern purpose. He positively asserted, that at that moment with all the strength of Government he could not carry such a vote or resolution. That he could not entertain any measure, which should tend to a discussion; where the adoption was impracticable. That such a proposition would 'inevitably produce a discussion, and that every such discussion must be highly injurious to the state... That as he could not carry the
measure, he must decline undertaking to propose it. For should the declaratory vote or resolution be carried, it ought to be immediately followed up by an effectual adoption of the measure. The deputies, respectfully submitted to Mr. Pitt, that a declaratory vote by its very nature waived the im. mediate adoption of the measure, and rested it upon the assertion of a principle, to which they resorted, when the temporary difficulties should have been removed : and they strongly insisted upon the operative precedent of a declaratory vote in Parliament in favor of the abolition of the slave trade. The Minister barely repeated, that he could not carry the measure, and that at any rate he could not consistently with his sense of his duty take any step, which could produce a discussion of
the subject. in'.;.,3.; ; : : Ciose of the i, As Mr. Pitt had so inflexibly declined acceding
ce, to either of the two first propositions, the depumatum.] alti- ties urged him still more anxiously upon a third.
They assured him, that the Catholics were determined to cling to bim and to his Majesty's Government, as long as they could : that they should with, extreme reluctance be forced to separate themselves and their 'cause from him, to whom they had ever looked up as to their patron and most powerful supporter. That so far were they from wishing in any manner to embarrass Ministers, they had preferred to embarrass their own cause and clog its progress, than subject themselves to such an imputation. They therefore proposed to him, that if he would introduce their pe
conf and Mr. Pitt's ulti
-tition, and lay it on the table of the House of 1805..
Commons; they would authorize him to state to, Hi the House, that they did not press the immediate
adoption of the measure prayed for., In a word, they were earnestly bent upon his presenting and countenancing their petition, and obtaining the notice and regard of Parliament. They assured him,' that the entertaining of the petition at all,
though it should be rejected or postponed, would á be far more grateful to their feelings, than utter
neglect and disregard. That they wished to be
on a discussion certainly less agreeable, and pro- bably more injurious, than if regulated and mode
1805. rated by himself. Mr. Pitt, without noticing any
of those observations, drily repeated his negative
and attentively considered their petition, had been 1805. regularly, apprized of all their proceedings, had very fully revolved the whole matter in his mind, and had, well deliberated and finally decided the course he should pursue. He had given them the fixed result of that decision. „Under the assurance of Mr. Pitt's (consequently Catholic de of all the ministerialist's) decided opposition to the ply to Lord Çatholic petition in every form, the deputies held and Mr. several meetings, to arrange their future steps for fox carrying their instructions into full effect : the result of which was to apply to Lord Grenville and Mr. Fox. They gave credit to Lord Grenville for the sincerity, with which he declared the necessity of carrying the Catholic question to have been the real cause of his retiring from office in 1801, and as he had not returned to power with Mr. Pitt, they anticipated his steadiness to their cause. With him they reckoned as sure friends, Lord Spencer, Mr. Wyndham, and some other members, who had formed a part of Mr. Pitt's former administration, and had resigned with him and upon one common principle. In the liberal policy and inflexible -integrity of Mr. Fox, the de-, puties were sure at all times, and under all circumstances of cordial support, as well from him as from all his true friends. They considered the then coalesced party of opposition to comprize an assemblage of the leading characters in point of talent, rank, influence, political virtue and experience: and therefore Lord Grenville and Mr. Fox as their heads appeared the most eligible members