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likely to arise from the bill which had been lately introduced. Did the noble lords believe that these things were in such a state of purity as to exempt Ireland from the evils which they had formerly inflicted on her? If the noble Secretary of State believed so, his belief must be founded on ignorance of the reports which had been furnished by his own engineers, and which he himself had laid before the House. Indeed, it was impossible that he could hold such an opinion, if he had read the Reports of those persons who had been employed by the marquis Wellesley; for they stated, that the system of robbery in Ireland was now carried to a greater extent than ever. There was another subject on which ministers had also claimed much credit, and with equal reason; namely, the expenditure of a large sum of money in granting out leases of lands to public bodies, for the purposes of cultivation and appropriation to the interest and be nefit of public schools. But, it could not be said that this expenditure had been carried on with a spirit of impartiality. The Catholic deserved assistance as much as the Protestant, and required it more; and yet he had not been so assisted; no grants had been made to schools which were under the direction of Catholic Priests. This might be met by saying, that it was against the policy of the government to encourage the increase of catholic scholars; but there was no principle on which the Catholics should remain uneducated; for, if education did not change their opinion as to their religion, it would, at least, make them better subjects. The noble baron had alluded to reports on this subject. It had been suggested, that public schools should be kept by the parochial clergy, and the noble baron had stated it as his opinion, that two and a half per cent should be deducted from the general income of the clergy for that purpose. This proposition had not been attended to, delays had been suffered to intervene, and time had elapsed without any measures being taken. But, how different was the conduct of government when any particular proposition of their own was to be carried. When any of their officers recommended strong measures, their recommendation was immediately carried into effect, statements were laid before the House, bills were hurried through, parliament was called on to suspend the Constitution

and that call was immediately to be obeyed. He was sorry that these measures, which were so evidently for the benefit of the people, were not treated somewhat in the same manner. He regretted that no vigour, no despatch, no powerful assistance, was afforded to carry them into effect.-The noble marquis apologized for the time he had occupied on this subject, and he confessed that, much as he valued the utility of good public roads; much as he valued the benefit of public education; and much as he hated and condemned those atrocious laws whose existence now tended so strongly to demoralize the people, still he could not say that the adoption of measures for the two first, and the repeal of the last would of themselves be sufficient to root out the evils under which Ireland suffered. It had been stated, that without any effort by the parliament and government, a remedy might be found for the calamities under which Ireland laboured; but this statement came from persons who looked to the effect, and not to the cause. They said, if the landlords were more considerate, if the peasantry were more industrious, and if the gentry would reside more upon their estates, all would be well. But he would ask, were not all these the legitimate consequences of the mismanagement of the country? Were they peculiar to Ireland? they come in the pure air that blew over it, or did they spring out of its fertile soil? No. They might all be traced to natural causes. If the whole history of the country could be effaced, it would not require the acute discernment of a Montesquieu, nor the profound genius of a Bacon, to discover, upon looking only at the physiognomy of the country, that bad management, for the last century, had reduced it to a condition which excited the compassion of this, and something like the contempt of every other, country of Europe. To no common remedy, then, must we look for the extinction of evils of so great magnitude. Alluding to the administration of justice in Ireland, the noble marquis said, that although he would be the last man to impute any thing like partiality to the judges or the great law officers, yet it must be admitted that, from the conduct of the subordinate branches of the legal administration, an opinion prevailed in Ireland, that the law was not friendly to the people, and that they could not look to it for protection.

This notion existed, perhaps, to a greater | avoiding of all the evils of collection degree than the truth warranted. Noble would be so great a benefit, that not a lords were not aware to what extent the peasant would look at it but with the system of exclusion tended to exasperate greatest satisfaction. He could not, howthe people. Its operation was, to exclude ever, believe that lord Wellesley could six-sevenths of the people of Ireland have sent over a bill, the effect of which from that to which the Statute-book said might be to increase the burthens already they were entitled. The number of weighing upon the landholders of Ireland. offices to which Catholics were eligible When he stated, that the average price was 2,540. What proportion did their of the tithes was taken at 73s. for the lordships suppose was held by Catholics? quarter of corn, a price higher than it -106. Until the power which wrought had been for years, he thought the bill this effect was destroyed, it was in vain to must have undergone alterations since it look for loyalty and attachment. Tran- left Ireland. As to all the partial imquillity might be obtained; but nothing provements which had been spoken of by more. He did not mean to blame the noble lords, he would ask them whether, lord-lieutenant. The blame belonged to in the present temper of the people of subordinate agents, whom no lord-lieute- that country, those improvements had nant could control; and least of all a been of the slightest practical good? In lord-lieutenant not supported by the go- conclusion, he declared that he would vernment at home. One of the most support the motion in the hope of producurious results which had come out upon cing some good effect. a recent inquiry was, that upon some unimportant occasion Catholics were permitted to serve upon a grand jury; but upon none in which their rights, and the voting of public money was concerned. From 1798 to the present time, if there was one principle more than another which prevailed among the lower orders in Ireland, it was that they considered oaths taken for private purposes more binding than those administered in courts of justice. But, on a recent occasion, before a tribunal intrusted with the highest inquisitorial functions, a person of a certain importance, and, as he must suppose, well-educated, had despised the authority of that tribunal, and had preferred, at all risks, to retain the oath he had taken for the purposes of a faction, to paying the obedience due to the authority by which he was questioned. He knew nothing more unfortunate for a country than the erroneous opinion which prevailed on this subject; and he could not but regret, that the principle of giving no party a triumph, was suffered to be turned to purposes most injurious to the interests of the country. There was one triumph which ought always to be given-it was that of the laws; and the government which could not secure this, was unfit to govern any country, least of all to restore tranquillity to such a country as Ireland. -Here he should have concluded, but for the mention which had been made of the measure for the commutation of tithes, a measure to which he looked up for the greatest relief to Ireland. The proposed

The Earl of Liverpool said, it was impossible for him to avoid stating, in a few words, the grounds on which he should object to the motion of the noble duke; particularly as he had been so pointedly alluded to in the course of the debate. The motion was not a motion for inquiry merely. It commenced by expressing a regret, in which every one must agree, at the strong measures which were rendered necessary for the safety of Ireland; but it also expressed the noble duke's sentiments as to what the government of Ireland had been. He would admit, that every noble lord who thought there had been a systematic defect in the government of that country, would be fully warranted in voting for the motion of the noble duke. But he should deny the position of the noble duke. He would admit that evils existed. He did not deny the expediency of seeking for some remedy; but he denied the cause to which those evils were attributed, and he could not accede to all the measures proposed for their relief. It had been truly said that the whole of the late reign had been one succession of acts of beneficence.

That much had been done for Ireland, and that she was now reaping the benefit of it, no man in his senses could deny. It had been said, that all which had been done was a mere act of justice. He acknowledged that whatever benefits a government conferred on a country, could only be termed acts of justice; but he would say, that with respect to many of those acts, that that had been done for Ireland, which would

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this fact to show that the government did not act upon any principle of exclusion. There might, indeed, be an apparent inequality in the distribution of offices among Catholics and Protestants, but when it was considered, that forty-nine fiftieths of the property of Ireland were in the hands of Protestants, and when the inferior education of the Catholics was taken into consideration, that which at first appeared to be an inequality, would be found to be no inequality at all. Catholics and Protestants were admitted for the most part, indifferently, to the privilege of sitting on grand juries; and the duties of the magistracy were discharged by Catholics and Protestants on the same bench. He believed, most conscientiously, that the Catholics of Ireland were impartially admitted to all the benefits which they were legally capable of enjoying. The noble marquis had not himself thrown out a single suggestion with a view to improving the state of Ireland, except perhaps one observation as to the expediency of lowering the duties on law proceedings. With respect to the administration of justice, no instance of the intentional perversion of justice had been brought forward; still less any instance of such perversion in which the government could be charged with concurring. He denied that there. was any combination in Ireland against the government or the institutions of the country. Amidst all the disturbances which had taken place in Limerick last year, he had good authority for saying, that if the king had appeared in Limerick at that time, he would have been received with as much enthusiasm as he had been in Dublin. It was not a combination against the government, but against pro

not have been done for England. He was therefore justified in saying, that since the Union they had been in the constant habit of legislating for the benefit of Ireland. Allusion had been made to the pledge that was given last year by his majesty's government; but, could any man be so absurd as to suppose that the measures which he had then spoken of could operate instantaneously as by magic? Certainly, time was essential to their full and perfect operation. The attention of the government had been anxiously directed, however, to every practicable correction of those evils, and the measures which had either been carried into effect, or were now in progress, embraced four great points-a new system of police, a reform of the magistracy, and of the general administration of justice, the commutation of tithes, and a new system for the distilleries. All these objects had been in a great degree matured by the government. The police systein had been carried into effect in several counties in Ireland, and was in progress in others. The reform of the magistracy had commenced, and was in a course of progress; and the other two measures had been submitted to the consideration of parliament. The system for the composition of tithes had been characterised as imperfect; but it was necessary to establish the principle before the details could be perfected. The question of tithes involved difficulties in the details, which could only be reconciled by the union of all parties in the principles of justice. A portion of the clergy might be opposed to the principle of the measure, but he believed that the great body of the parochial clergy were disposed to second the efforts of the government. The pledge of the government had been ful-perty in general, whether in the hands of filled in the introduction of the measures to which he had alluded. With respect to the participation of the Roman Catholics of Ireland in those rights and privileges to which they were by law entitled, the fullest and most distinct instructions had been given by the government of this country to the authorities in Ireland, that they should be equally and impartially admitted to those rights and privileges. He believed that the offices to which they were legally admissible, were fairly distributed among the Catholics of Ireland. In several of the revenue boards, Roman Catholics were admitted; and in one of them a Roman Catholic gentleman was deputy chairman of the board. He mentioned

Protestants or Catholics; and he believed that the exasperation of the people of Ireland against Catholic proprietors was, in many instances, even greater than against Protestant proprietors. In Connaught, the disturbances had arisen from the unwillingness of the people to pay dues to their own priests, and, in many other parts of Ireland, the feeling was as strong against their own priests as against the Protestant clergy. Some of the calamities of Ireland were, undoubtedly, attributable to the great extent to which absenteeship was carried-an evil which it must be admitted had been increased by the Union. But, while he was ready to admit that this, and perhaps some other

horrors which were connected with the subject remain, if possible, undisclosed. By agreeing to the motion of his noble friend, the House would, he was persuaded, do more good than could be effected by all the measures which had been promised by ministers.

The House divided, for the original motion; Contents 43; Proxies 16-59. Not-contents, 66; Proxies 39-105. Ma

List of the Minority.





nconveniences had arisen from the Union, he was satisfied that Ireland had, upon the whole, derived great benefit from that measure. The great object, in which all parties ought to unite, should be, to infuse into Ireland English notions and English feelings, to approximate a better feeling between the higher and the lower orders; for he must repeat, that the evil arose from a disunion between the rich and the poor, and not from a disunion between the go-jority against the motion, 46. vernor and the governed. That disunion had, indeed, produced greater evils than the most tyrannical government could have inflicted-evils which could only be mitigated by promoting a better feeling between the two classes of society. The generality of the noble duke's motion defeated itself with regard to any practical purpose, and the whole debate had, in fact, resolved itself into a discussion of the question of the few remaining restrictions on the Roman Catholics of Ireland. The principle upon which the present lord-lieutenant had acted, in the government of Ireland, had been ludicrously termed a trimming principle; but he (lord L.) maintained that to be the only just principle of government, which held the balance between the Catholic and the Protestant, and which admitted both to an equal participation in those privileges to which they were legally entitled.

The Bishop of Kildare defended the parochial incumbents of Ireland from some aspersions which had been cast on them, and maintained that they had uniformly discharged their duty in the promotion of parochial schools within their different districts.

The Earl of Carnarvon strongly urged the necessity of entering upon an immediate inquiry into the state of Ireland. He had been surprised to hear the noble earl opposite talk of the boons which the government had granted to the Irish nation. Now, if the distresses of Ireland had arisen from causes unconnected with the government of that country, any measure of amelioration might not improperly be called a boon; but, when the evils complained of were the result of misgovernment alone, it was barely an act of justice to remedy them. He was convinced, that if the motion were not carried, no inquiry would take place on the part of government. The state of Ireland seemed to be too appalling for the contemplation of ministers. They shrank from the inquiry, and wished to let all the




























Thursday, June 19.

REFORM OF PARLIAMENT PETI TION FROM NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE.] Mr. James said, he had a Petition to present from 3,107 inhabitants of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, comprising many respectable tradesmen, but for the most part the mechanics and artisans, on whom in case of need, the country depended for defence, complaining that they were excluded from the share to which men

PETITION OF MR. BUTT, COMPLAINING OF HIS CONFINEMENT.] Mr. Hobhouse seeing the attorney-general in his place, took the opportunity of presenting a petition, to which he had already called the attention of his majesty's law officers. The petition came from Mr. R. G. Butt, whose case he should_proceed to state as briefly as possible. It would be in the recollection of the House, that Mr. Butt brought actions of false imprison

were naturally entitled in the representation, and were therefore in a state of slavery. He wished he had seen the hon. member for Bramber (Mr. Wilberforce) in his place, as he would have made him a fair offer. He (Mr. J.) was one of those unfortunate persons who inherited property in the West Indies, and he would willingly bargain to use his utmost endeavours to promote the abolition of the slavery of the blacks, if the hon. member would use the same exertions to abolishment against sir N. Conant and Mr. Newthe slavery of the whites. What was a slave but he who was obliged to give up his will to the will of others? And, when a thousandth part of the population was at liberty to rob the rest, to shut them up in dungeons if they complained, to cut them down when they assembled to remonstrate, what were the majority but slaves? In this free country, as it was called, the slave was allowed to go out of his own house in the morning, but he was waylaid in the evening, and half his earn ings were taken from him. The exciseman arrived with penalties, instead of cart whips, taxed him on the soap with which he washed the sweat from his weary brow, and the salt with which he savoured his frugal meal. By heaven! if the black slave were to change with the white one, the exchange would not be to his benefit. The petitioners, enumerating the evils they had suffered from the want of equal representation, particularized the suspensions of the Habeas Corpus act, the restraints on the liberty of the press, the funding system, which taxed children yet unborn, the Bank-restriction act, and the confiscation act, commonly called Peel's bill. The petitioners prayed for universal suffrage, annual parliaments, and votes by ballot as the only means of national relief; in all which he (Mr. J.) fully con

man, the keeper of Newgate, having been imprisoned before a bill of indictment was found against him, and that the Jury returned a verdict in his favour with 1s. damages. The case was afterwards argued before the four Judges of the court of Common Pleas, who laid down for law a doctrine which he believed to be utterly illegal, and in this opinion he was supported by the authority of lord Camden. The consequence of this decision was, that the costs of the actions amounting to 155/. in that against sir N. Conant, and to 931. in that against Mr. Newman, were thrown upon Mr. Butt. The hard part of the case, however, was, that when the friends of Mr. Butt waited upon the defendants to pay the money, the defendants stated, that they could not receive it, for that the Treasury had paid all their expenses. It was to this part of the case that he was anxious to direct the attention of the House; for he maintained, that the Treasury could not legally pay the expenses of any individual in a law-suit, and by that means become the creditor in place of the original creditor. Sir N. Conant having declared that he could not receive the money without subjecting himself to an action for fraud, as he had already been paid by the Treasury. Mr. Butt applied to the keeper of Newgate, who also declined receiving the money on the same ground. Mr. Butt then applied to the Treasury, and was told that he did not stand as debtor upon their books; upon which he made an application to Mr. Justice Richardson, who recommended him to move the court of Common Pleas. After a learned argument from Mr. Serjeant Vaughan, the rule to show cause was refused. Mr. Butt next applied to, Mr. James observed, that the indivi- lord Sidmouth through Mr. Sheriff Parduals whom the gallant admiral had seen,kins, and lord Sidmouth said that Mr. and whom he represented to be so fat and sleak in condition, must be individuals who lived on the taxes.


Sir I. Coffin expressed his belief that the hon. member and the petitioners, were labouring under mental delusion. He did not know where the distress and misery of which they talked existed. For his own part, he never saw in any other country so many fat, sleek, well-clad, and contented looking people as he saw in England.

Ordered to lie on the table.

Butt was not confined under any Crown process, and that he could not interfere. An application to Mr. Sheriff Waithman was equally unsuccessful; for that gentle3 Z

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