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cation was denied us; we were not only excluded from every political privilege, but shut out from every honourable profession. The mass of the Irish people appeared to be a dull, inert heap of senseless matter ; yet within it, the principles of vitality were contained. Those principles were brought out by great events. America was freed; the Irish Protestant Parliament asserted its independence ; then came that resuscitation of nations through an appalling process of conjuration, the Revojution of France : but all this I pass rapidly by, and come to events much more proximate to the time, which is within the remembrance of us all.
There are two men in this house, who, of the power of the Irish people, have had the most painful, the most dear-bought experiencethe members for Tamwortli* and for Lancashire. Both entered official life as Secretaries for Ireland—both devoted themselves to ascendancy -and both became its victims. In 1813 the member for Tamworth was appointed Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant; and as he united great capacity with great anxiety to do good, had circumstances been less unfavourable, and had he had just laws to administer, how different would have been his government ? But he was attached to a party which neutralized his talents, and frustrated his purposes. He couli not go to the root of the evil; and although he now expresses a strong disrelish for ecclesiastical abuses, of that disrelish while he was in office he gave no very unequivocal evidence, and allowed sinecures (those objects of his virtuous abhorrence) to remain undisturbed. He had, indeed, no resource, except in measures of repression ; the Insurrection Act was renewed, and on the 3rd of June, 1814, a proclamation was issued under his auspices, to prevent the assemblages of the people. The Catholic Board was put down ; not so the spirit of the people ; it was only dormant; it never can be dead. It was raised again in that celebrated confederacy which embraced an entire people, and made such a display of union and of strength, that in 1825 it was deemed requisite by the ministry, of which the right honourable baronet was a member, to suppress it. Vain and idle effort! We laughed it to scorn. We returned from London, where we had agreed to connect the church by money with the state, provided that by liberty the state should connect itself with the people. The offer was repudiated :-we invoked the Irish peasantry, who were armed with the elective franchise; those gal. lant, devoted, dauntless men rushed to the hustings with the courage and devotion with which Irish soldiers, led by you (pointing to Sir H. Ilardinge), rushed to the breach; the holds of ascendancy were carried; the Beresfords were annihilated in Waterford; the aristocracy was beaten to the earth in Louth : these were, however, but the preludes for the great encounter. In two years after, Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, having vacated his seat as member of the cabinet, stood for Clare: he was opposed by the leader of the Irish people; he was discomfited; the neart of Ireland thrilled with exultation; the national sympathy became contagious; the soldiers shouted, and threw up their caps for joy upon the hills, whence they surveyed the popular ovation. Astonished by what they saw-appalled by what they anticipated—the Duke and bis
7 Lord Stanley
* Sir Robert Peel.
distinguished colleague gave way to the power of which tlıey beheld these marvellous manifestations. But all had not been accomplished; it remained that, having won emancipation for ourselves, we should secure reform for you. There was a majority of English, and a majority of Scotch members against reform; it was achieved by the men whom the Irish people had poured, in a noble exercise of their privileges, into this house. * We did the state some service, and they know it;" and the first to acknowledge it was the noble lord the member for Lancasshire! Strange ! that, with that confession upon his lips, he should not have felt deeply conscious that the power to which he had resorted as an auxiliary, might be converted into an irresistible antagonist; and that when, with that incendiary eloquence of which he is the master, lie was setting the passions of England on fire—strange, that it should never have occurred to him that we should avail ourselves of his example, and that in as strong and peremptory a tone as that in which he had demanded the reform of the parliament, the reform of the church would be required. But he had a great abhorrence for rotten boroughs, while for rotten livings he entertained an equally vehement, and not very unnatural predilection. He set up as the champion of the church, and entered into a struggle with the Irish people. It was not long before he alienated the whole Irish party, not only froin himself, but from those colleagues who have since been released from the incumbrance of his co-operation, and between whom and Ireland, an honest, sincere, and permanent reconciliation, founded upon wise measures, and upon a just sense of the honourable motives from whence they have originated, has been effecten,
The first proceeding on the part of the noble lord, which indeed affords tropas le evidence of his genius for government, was the Stanley
Arms' Bill ;" this even his associates scouted from the cabinet. He then proceeded with his church reform, and in order to conciliate the Irish Catholics, excluded every Roman Catholic member from the Tithe Committee. In 1831, he gave £60,000 to the clergy, and passed a bill by which he transferred certain arrears to the Attorney-General, and commenced in the inferior courts a scene of unexampled litigation.The profuse sliedding of human blood ensued. In 1832, his Tithe Bill, by which a final adjustment was to be accomplished, was produced. It was instantly denounced as pregnant with the most baneful consequences. Mark, Englishmen! mark this :-at the period when that bill was brought forward, the Irish Catholics did not demand a reduction of tithes; there was no £1,000,000 then due; no sacrilice from the clergy, no sacrifice from the country, was required. All we asked was---it recognition of the principle which is, at last, expressed in this bill; and if that principle had been recognised in time, how much misfortune to the actual incumbents, how much loss to the English people, would have been saved!
But the bill was passed, in despite of reiterated admonitions, to which its projector was as insensible as the animal from which the scriptural illustrations of deafness are derived. The people assemIned to petition parliament: their meetings were dispersed at the point o the bayonet, and the petitioners tried and incarcerated under the verdicts of juries from wlucha Roman Catholics were excluded divanoa' time, cu ideigisest point a:id at the general election me
standard of Repeal was planted upon every hustings. The Coercion Bill is passed-£1,000,000 is given to the Irish clergy-the church Tem. poralities Bill is introduced, with a great but latent principle of improvement—the influence of the noble lord prevails, and the 147th clause is struck out; meanwhile the clergy starve. The session of 1834 is opened. The letter of Lord Anglesey—(whose heart was full of the love of Ireland, but whose good intentions were marred by his coadjutor in the Irish government)—is produced: it calls for a new appropriation. Mr. Ward brings his motion forward--the church commission is issued by Lord Grey: the noble lord-(who affects to consider Lord Grey as opposed to Irish church reform, when the commission stares the noble lord in the face)-retires from office, lets go a Parthian and envenomed shaft at his associates—and there he now is, facing his former friends and in juxta-position with his former antagonists. How far he has descended or has risen in public estimation, I leave to be determined by his own judgment and that of the party of which he is the leader, which has been rapidly diminishing in numbers, and has undergone, to use the mathemetical phrase of the member for Tamworth, “ a process of dimiaution.” The government, in 1834, having been relieved from the assistance of the noble lord, brings a Tithe Bill forward, which would have given the clergy bread, and have gone a considerable way towards an adjustment of the question. It receives the approbation of a large body of the Irish representatives ; it is thrown out, and the clergy are left to perish by those sinister auxiliaries who support the church by making martyrs of its ministers-parliament is prorogued—Lord Melbourne is dismissed from the cabinet with as little ceremony as a menial would be discharged from the palace. Suddenly, and to himself, I believe, unexpectedly, the right honourable baronet is raised to the premiership; the fortunes of this great country are placed by his sovereigu in his hands; he arrives, declares himself the champion of the church, dissolves the parliament, strains every treasury nerve to return a Conservative House of Commons; the parliament of his own calling meets ; he is beaten on the speakership, and does not resign; he is defeated on the amendment, and still retains his office ; he is discomfited upon the Irish church, and he no longer considers it compatible with his dignity, his duty, or his honour, to remain in place ; he surrenders the trust reposed in him by his Sovereign, and retires with disaster, but without humiliation—for he fell in a contest with millions; he had chosen a nation for his antagonist, and it was impossible that he should not be overthrown. Far be it from me to dispute the talents, the skill, the various attributes for government, which he displayed ; the greater the talents, the inore consummate the skill, the more various the attributes for government of which he gave the proof-the more unquestionable the evidence of that power against which he sought to make battle, and by which hu was struck down. Of that power I have traced the progress-thas power, vested in millions, deputed to the great majority of Irish repre. sentatives, developed, not created by emavcipation, confirmed by reform upd which, so far from being attended with any likelihood of decrease, 18 accompanied by the splendid certainty of augmentation : 3,000,000 have swollen since the Union to 7 000 000--they return the majority of
the ropresentatives of the country they are led on by men of unaiterable determination-in intelligence and in property they are makiisa rapid advances—with Roman Catholics of high ability the bar is crowded -by them the highest law offices are filled they are within a step of the bench of justice--if there were no further change by the legislature, the advance of the people would be still inevitable--the Corporation Bill (for you cannot legislate for one country on different principles from those which you apply to the other) is at land. Can you wish, and if you wish, can you hope, that this unnatural, galling, exasperating ascendancy should be maintained ? Things cannot remain as they are—it is impossible that they should retrograde--what expedient are you prepared to adopt? Would you re-enact the penal code, let loose Orangeism from its den? Would you drive the country into insurrection-cut down the people—avail yourselves of the most horrible instrumentality that a faction, panting for new confiscations, can apply—and bid the yeomanry draw forth the swords, clotted with the blood of 1798, that they may be brandished in massacre, and sheathed in the nation's heart. From so horrible a conception you instinctively and virtuously recoil. But, shrinking as you do from such a purpose, to what expedient will you fly? Will you dissolve the parliament What !_after you have already had recourse to that perilous expedient: You thought that you could manage the house of your own calling- you declared it at Tamworth. Have you not too deep a stake in fame, in fortune, in property, and in renown, to renew these terrible experiments? If a Conservative parliament should be assembled, its duration must be brief —its existence will be stormy and agitated while it lasts ; but if the excited people should infuse an undue proportion of the democratic element into the representation, you will have raised a spirit which you will ? have no spell to lay, exposed an institution more valuable than the church to peril ; and put, perhaps, what is more precious than the mitre, to a tremendous hazard_and all for what? For what are all these risks to be incurred ?—for what are all these appalling
hazards be run? for what stake is this awful die to be cast ? For what are cabinets after cabinets to be dissolved, appeals after appeals to be made to the people—the public credit to be annihilated--the lords brought into colTision with the master power of the state—the royal prerogative, by its repeated exercise, abridged of the reverence which is due to it--the palace shaken to its foundations—and the empire itself brought to the verge of that gulf to which, by causes of less pressure, so many countries have been irresistibly and fatally driven ? For what, into all these affrighting perils are we to rush : For what, intu those territic possibilites are we madly, desperately, impiously to plunge? For the Irish church !--the church of the minority, long the church of the state, never the church of the people the church on which a faction fattens, by which a nation starves—the church from which no imaginable good can flow, but evil after evil in such black and continuous abundance has been for centuries, and is to this day, poured out-the church by which religion has been retarded, morality has been vitiated, atrocity has been engendered ; which standing armies are requisite to sustain, winch lias cost England millions of her treiwure, and friland torrents of her tout.
IRISHI MUNICIPAL REFORM BILL.
SPEECH IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, MARCH 28, 1836.
THE speech of the honourable and learned gentleman (Sir W. Follett) would have been an exceedingly powerful one against Catholic emancipation, or against the extension to Ireland of parliamentary reform but those measures having been carried, it is preposterous to rely upon a policy utterly at variance with the principles on which they were founded. The honourable and learned member has relied upon a concession made by the government respecting the admmistration of justice. The appointment of the sheriff's has been transterred to the
This, said the honourable and learned member for Exeter, established a distinction between England and Ireland ;-wherefore, since you have made this distinction, not abolish corporations altogether I answer, that the appointment of sheriffs is an incident to the existence of corporate bodies, and not one of its elements,—that Ireland does not require an exact identity in every particular, but a general assimilation -that she does not ask that all the details shall be the same, but that the principles shall be analogous ;—change the elevation of the edifice, but let the foundation of popular control remain untouched. Although an influence will cease to be exercised by corporations over courts of justice, yet over corporations a safe and salutary influence will still be exercised by the people. The nomination of sheriffs is taken away, but much is left behind ; the care of many local concerns, the guardianship of the public peace, the security and convenience of public ways, the imposition of taxes, their allocation and collection, and the management of corporate property. Is the latter of no consequence ? Try it by this test; the Drapers' Company have estates in Londonderry ; suppose that it were proposed to that company to transfer their estates to the crown, how would such a suggestion be received ? How offensive, then, is the project to leave to English corporations their Irish estates, and to strip Irish corporations of their possessions ? I acknowledge that I regard the transfer of the right to nominate sheriffs as not only a concession but a sacrifice; and I, for one, would not acquiesce in it, if I did not feel that something, nay, that much, ought to be yielded, in order to adjust those questions, without the settlement of which peace in Ireland is impossible and prosperity hopeless; and if, after this step towards a compromise has been taken by the government, the bill be elsewhere rejected, or there shall be substituted for it what Ireland shall repudiate, and if, by this expedient, the abuses of corporations, the vitiation of justice, the plunder of corporate revenues, and political proAligacy shall be perpetuated,--the people of England will know where the blame of that scandalous continuance ought to attach, and will deternune between the men who are anxious, as far as it is practicable, to extend the benefit of British institutions, and those who, having had so long and minute a cognizance of those abuses, never applied a remedy ; and who, at last, wher they can no longer be palliated with impunity,