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sf her legislature to Ireland, you empanelled a jury of twelve Protestants for his conviction ; that despite the protest of one of the first judges of the land, you threw him into prison, and when an inquiry was demanded into the machinery by which your jury was manufactured, you shrank from investigation, and left your adversary in the prisonhouse to whichi, at the age of seventy, he liad been consigned ; do you not think-does not your own heart inform you, that history, in whose tribunal juries are not packed-history, the recorder whose lists are not lost-stern, inflexible, impartial history, upon this series of calamitous proceedings will pronounce her condemnation? It is in your power, it is yet within your power, to give to history something nobler to tell-to commit to it the better office of telling, that having the magnanimity to confess yourself to have been mistaken, rescuing yourself from the trammels of vindictiveness, animated by the feelings by which the minister of the greatest Sovereign and the noblest empire in the world should be inspired, you disdained the luxuries of vengeance, you did not wait for the tardy adjudication of the men by whom it is acknowledged that difficulties are entertained, but winning, by a generous action, a victory over your adversary, and over yourself, you gave back his frec. dom to the man to whom millions are indebted for their liberty-you acquired a title to their confidence by the only possible reparation you can make for the great injustice you have done to the Irish people. If this measure were adopted by the right honourable gentleman, if the wound could be healed by the hand which inflicted it, Ireland would be made susceptible of the arneliorations which we are assured by the government that they have iu view. But Daniel O'Connell is detained in the prison to which he ought never to have been committed. What advantage have you obtained--what benefit can you expect ever to gecure-from the imprisonment of Daniel O'Connell? His spirit is as much abroad as if he stood on the theatre of Mullaghmast, and tens of thousands were gathered at his call. His mind still agitates the greate mass, and with the mighty millions is still blended and commingled. After the verdict (it is a remarkable fact) the Repeal rent suddenly fell, and after the execution of the sentence, it rose four-fold. You have imprisoned three proprietors of newspapers, and yet the press, undeterred by your verdict, is more exciting and more intrepid than ever. The Vation newspaper, distinguished by the rare eloquence with which it is written, circulates more than 11,000 copies a week--that most remark able publication circulates in every hamlet of the country, and ministers the strongest stimulants to the high spirit of nationality which it has made it its chief object to awaken. The Catholic clergy are, almost to & nan, against you. In Dublin a great and well-organized association, which to law can reach, holds its weekly meetings ; and, although not elected by the people, must be admitted to be a faithful representative of the national feelings. What, then, have you gained by the imprisonment of Daniel O'Connell? what other has been the result of that rash ineasure, excepting the creation of a deep feeling of hostility to the Euglish government, which, if it is any time most injudicious—it is, under the existing circumstances of the country, most perilous to pro
voke! There are those who tell you that Ireland is tranquis; but I who know Ireland well—who have had a long and painful experience in Irish agitation, who have, however, near at heart the peace and fecurity of the country, and who have taken no part, direct or indirect, y the recent excitement of that country-I, anxious only that my admosition should have the effect of inducing you to adopt a wiser course, vell you, that however ostensibly tranquil, Ireland is not safe. There can be no doubt that your competitors for the masterdom of Europe, who have begun to think that they could dispute your supremacy upon the ocean, have assumed a tone which they never would have adopted if they did not calculate upon the internal debility of England, and upon the weakness resulting from the alienation of Ireland. You have adopted a tone at last which becomes this great country, and have declared that a reparation for the outrage offered to a British subject would be required; but, having adopted this tone, it becomes you to secure yourselves against every hazard, and to marshal the people of Ireland in your cause. The higher the position you have taken, the stronger the bulwarks with which you should encompass it, and you may rest assured that you will find a muniment in the affections of the Irish people far better than the martello towers in the Bay of Bantry can Bupps:
SPEECH IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, 19TH FEBRUARY, 1845, ON JIR,
ROEBUCK'S MOTION TO EXTEND IT TO IRELAND.
Sir, my honourable friend (he will permit me to reciprocate the phrase of parliamentary endearment) has often expressed his solicitude fir Ireland, but as the dismal agriculturists, by whom that locality is pccupied in this house, which in the vocabulary of an American may be designated as “the bench of repentance,” have reason to offer up it prayer that heaven should save them from their friends, in that proverbial ejaculation Irishmen have cause to coincide. My honourable friend is determined to give us, in the form of an income tax, the benefit of British institutions—a benefit analogous to that which we derive from the English church. My honourable friend has thought it judicious to advert to many Irish members in language of exceedo ingly unqualified and exceedingly unprovoked condecvation I do not agree with them in the view which they adopt, because I consider it to be wiser to attend in parliament and to do my utmost to obtain redress for the grievances of my country ; but if my honourable friend will reflect a little, he will see that his censure of Mr. O'Connell anıl his associates is most undeserved. The case they make is this,—they insist, and with melancholy truth, that year after year they have endeavoured to obtain justice for their country, and that all their efforts have been vain; that the Irish members are swamped and overwhelmed by a great and prejudiced English majority ; that Ireland has not an adequate representation in this house ; that while Wales sends 33 memhers to parliament, with a population of 700,000, the great county of Cork, with 800,000, returns only five ; that while towns in England, with a population of 2,000 or 3,000, return two members, there are towns in Ireland, Carrick-on-Suir and Thurles, for example, with a population of 12,000 each, which do not return a single representative; that the elective franchise of the two countries is not the same, and that Ireland has a miserable constituency, because you deny her a fair registration bill. This is the justification of my Irish parliamentary friends, who conceive that a bitter parliamentary experience affords a warrant for their secession. The member for Bath has often expressed a coincidence with the views of Irish meinbers in reference to the denial of justice in these important reg irds, and when these men remain in their own country, he surely ought not to visit them with such unmeasured reprobation. I do not coincide in the view which they have adopted respecting the policy of staying away ; but, while I state this, I cannot forbear from adding, that there is more than plausibility in the suggestion that it is better to array the people of Ireland, and form them into a vast and united mass, in order that by a pressure from without, the minister may be induced to afford redress where redress is so much required, than to deliver themselves pf speeches in this house which will not be followed by any practical
advantage to the country. I have thought myself bound to state thus much on behalf of men of whose love of country I have seen such proof, and I turn to the proposition of the honourable gentleman. My friend, the member for Kendal, wishes the income tax to be perpetual ; my friend the member for Bath wishes it to be universal. Eternity!" cries out the one; “infinity !" exclaims the other. The member for Bath would spread the perpetual blister over the whole imperial fraine. But not the whole of the blister, because while schedule D and all the other schelules are fastened upon England, he would put schedule Å only upon my impoverished and emaciated country. He is in this particular singularly incorsistent. My honourable friend has adverted to a recommendation I presumed to give him. I ventured, indeed, to tell him that he might usefully avail himself of the interval which should elapse between Tuesday morning and Wednesday night, in order to peruse with attention the speech of Edmund Burke upon the conciliation of America. I do admit that in my judgment that speech might have been perused by my honourable friend with signal benefit to himself, because there are contained in it many most salutary admonitions, given by that great and prophetic statesman with an almost ralleled eloquence. Bright as was his imagination, and although subjects the most obscure were illuminated and became transparent in the blaze of his fancy, yet his philosophy was as profound as his power of illustration was astonishing, and his wisdom was not the less oracular for ihe magnificent embellishment of the temple—the gorgeousness of the shrine from which his predictions were pronounced. My honourable friend has intimated that I meant more in speaking of Edmund Burke and of America than I expressed. I was sufficiently intelligible, and do not shrink from the construction which my honourable friend has put upon the reference, which he thinks it adventurous on my part to have made. But I might have referred the member for Bath to the authority of wother great statesman—the distinguished advocate of Lower Canada and its Assembly in this house. Of that eminent person the member for Bath may think humbly, but everybody else must form the righest estimate of him. In the speeches of the champion of Lower Canada, principles will be found which it were well if the member for Bath were to apply practically to Ireland. He warned the government not to lay their hands on the rerence of Lower Carada- . I warn him not to attempt to extort from Ireland a revenue which she cannot afford, and which we ought not to be compelled to pay. No minister by whom an income tax has ever been yet proposed erer thought it possible to extend it to Ireland. Before the Union, Mr. Pitt, although he had fatal proofs of the ignominious complaisance gi the Irish Parliament, which surrendered itself at last in a moment of fatal and weak compliance, never availed himself of his influence, and of those seductive means at his disposal, to induce the Irish Parliament to impose an income tax upon Ireland. After the Union the income tax was repealed at the peace of Amiens, because it was held to be & war tax—a tax to be reserved for danger-a tax sacred to public peril, and to which, excepting in a season of great emergency, no minister
was justified in resorting. The tax was, however, renewed wheu the war broke out again, and the terrific struggle with Napoleon was renewed. Yet in the midst of the exigencies of England the income tax was not extended to Ireland. It was renewed by Mr. Fox, by Mr. Perceval, by Lord Liverpool, yet by no one of those ministers was the income tax extended to Ireland ; and when the right honourable baronet became Prime Minister, and propounded his projects of tiscal inno vation, he explicitly declared that this grievous iinpost should not be iuflicted upon the sister island. I do not rely upon the fact that there is no machinery in Ireland adapted to its exaction. The imposition of an income tax upon Ireland would be unjust, and what is unfortunately of still more importance iu the estimate of public men, would be in the last degree impolitic, and unsafe. The income tax in Ireland would be most inequitable. Before the Union Ireland had a surplus revenue expended in Ireland, and the country flourished. You induced us to enter with you into a ruinous co-partnership, of which you have had all the profits, while we have deeply participated in the loss. The impolicy of England plunged her into debt, of whose load we are compelled to bear a part; bad we remained in the enjoyment of our legislative independence, of your ruinous expenditure we should not be the victims. It is most unfair that you should now call on us, after all the detriment which we have already suffered, to bear a portion of the vast cost incidental to this experiment Youdrain us through the absentee system-an inevitable attendant op the Union—of millions of money, which, instead of circulating through Ireland, swell the overflowings of the deep and broad Pactolus of Britisla opulence. You have transferred all our public establishments to this single point of imperial centralization ; the revenue which Ireland yields is expended not in Ireland, but here; , and of this evil I cannot present to you a more striking exemplification than in appealing to the fact that the crown-rents and quit-rents of Ireland hare been laid out on the splendours of Windsor Castle, and the embellishment of this vast metropolis. I may parenthetically suggest to the head of the government, that in the quit-rents and crown-rents of Ireland he has a fund at hand with which his projects in reference to education can be readily and largely accomplished. When froru Ireland you already tike so inuch, it would be inust unjust that you should endeavour to extract still inore. But, if the proposition be most unjust, it is still nore unwise. If Swift, with Wood's halfpence was able to do so much,*
* Lr. Johnson, in his “Life of Swift," says: “ He delivered Ireland from plunder anu oppression, and showed that wit confederated with truth, had such force as authority was unable to resist. He said truly of himself, 'that Ireland was his debtor.' It was from the time that he first began to patronise the Irish, that they may date thcir riebes and pros. perity. He taught them first to know their own interest, their weight, and their strength, and gave them spirit to assert that equality with their fellow-subjects, to which they have been ever since inaking vigorous advances; and to claim those rights which they have at last established. Nor can they be charged with ingratitude to their benefactor ; for they revered him as a guardian, and obeyed him as a dictator."
The Author of "The Sketch of the State of Innland, Past and Present," published to