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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

VOL. u.

1805. menom

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
made known to their fellow-subjects in England,
hoping, that the more they should be known to
them, the better would they be liked. That his
compliance with their request would defeat the
attempts of those, who endeavoured to persuade.
the Catholics, that they had been deceived and
duped by the Union. And in order to induce him
to this last proposition, they, informed him, that
their instructions to introduce the petition were
imperative , upon them, and they endeavoured to
impress himn with a sense of the advantages he
would have in being himself the introducer of the
petition, by which he would keep the subject ex-
clusively in his own hands, and preserve the grati-
tude and support, and command the energies of
the Catholic body in all the measures of his Go-,
vernment. Should he persist in declining this last
proposition, the petition would inevitably be in-
troduced by some other member,' who would bring og

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
determination : he remarked, that he should feel
less personal embarrassment at the discussion, if it
were occasioned by any other person than himself.
He neither threw out a suggestion for their apply-
ing to any other channel, nor gave any ground for
presuming, that the introduction of the petition
through any ministerial member would be likely to
soften his opposition. For he very explicitly de-
clared, that he should feel it his duty to resist it.
The only advice he condescended to offer, was to
withdraw their petition altogether, or at all events
to postpone it. The deputies being still desirous
to leave a door open for some arrangement, which
might keep alive the hope of Mr. Pitt's counte-
nancing their cause, entreated him to allow him-
self a day or two to reflect upon the subject of
their conference, and hoped he would then favor
them with his ultimate commands: they suggested
that were he in that instant to decide so firmly
against them, it might appear to the Catholic
body, that their cause had been prejudged, even
before he had seen their deputies, or communicated i
with a single Catholic gentleman upon the subject.
That this would cast an ungracious cloud over their
cause, which they flattered themselves he would :
not wish: for even in that moment they were un-
willing to consider it utterly, bereft of his counte-
nance and support, as they knew it had his kind
wishes and approbation. Mr. Pitt assured them,
he had not decided upon the instant: he had read



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

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