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agitated in the summer of 1792, all the nature that I should almost be ashamed Protestant friends of government through-of mentioning it in this place, or of taking out Ireland, by grand juries and county up any part of the time of the House in meetings, pledged themselves to oppose endeavouring to confute it, if I did not the Catholic claims in the most solemn know that it had made a deep and serious manner. In less than six months after, impression on the other side of the waterin the beginning of 1793, I happened to I mean the absurd idea which prevails be in Dublin, and, to my utter astonish. there, that the union is a scheme of the ment heard that noble lord, in a speech | minister's to alleviate the burthens of this from the throne, recommend to the Irish | country, by oppressing Ireland with a parliament to grant what they so lately load of taxation beyond what she is able had refused with so much indignation and to bear. Now, my lords, not to argue contempt. The independent parliament on the absurdity of the proposition, that immediately obeyed, and consented, not a very rich country stands in need of the only to eat their own words, but, in my assistance of a very poor one to enable opinion, as a necessary consequence, to her to bear the burthens, or to suppose entail on their country all the horrors and that any man can seriously contend that calamities which she has since experienced. under their present relative circumstances My lords, I see this transaction, on the Great Britain could possibly draw any nature of which I shall not invidiously real assistance of this nature from Ireland, expatiate, in so strong a point of view, I contend, that it is utterly impossible that, if all other arguments and induce that the minister should entertain such ments were wanting to impel me to con- an idea, or that, if he did, he could induce sent to the union, I should think this the united parliament to concur with him. alone perfectly conclusive, and declare I will not rest my argument on any queswith confidence that such a system of go- tionable ground of good faith, generosity, vernment cannot too soon be destroyed. liberality, or the like, which may be conThis transaction alone is sufficient to place sidered, in great public and national transin a stronger point of view, than any actions, as but frail securities to the possible argument that I can use, the weaker party—but upon the clear, manireal nature of Irish independence; and, fest, and direct interest which both the speaking with the feelings of genuine minister of this country and the parliament pride, which should belong to every real will have in the welfare of Ireland, as friend to his country, I should, as an soon as the union shall have taken place. Irishman, reject such independence with Hitherto the interests of the two countries indignation and contempt. But what will have been separate and distinct, a legisthe present measure substitute in the place lative union will make them one and the of it? Degradation! humiliation greater same; and it is as absurd to suppose that than what I have described, and what the interests of Ireland will be less imparpositive facts sufficiently prove-a surren- tially considered in the united parliament, der of real independence! No, my lords, than those of Scotland, Wales, Devonbut an exchange of a shadow and mere shire, or any other part of the united mockery of independence, for the greatest kingdom which have furnished long and and most substantial independence which practical experience of the truth of this the world is capable of affording; an iden. assertion; and, considering the situation tity of interests, a participation of advan- in which Ireland stands, so very inferior, tages, wbich this country so eminently in point of riches, industry, and every enjoys; in a word, a full and equal share species of improvement of which a country in the trade, the manufactures, the wealth, is capable, to Great Britain, it will be as the power of the most commercial, the much the interest of ministers and parliamost industrious, the richest and the ment, as it will be their duty on every greatest nation upon earth. This is my principle of sound policy, and future adidea of real and substantial independence vantage to the empire at large, to favour -This is what all good Irishmen ought and protect, instead of attempting to draw to look to with the veneration and enthu- resources from her which she does not siasm of true patriotism- This is what I possess. trust and believe will at leogth make Ire- The next great popular objection to this land, what she never yet has been, a measure in Ireland, and perhaps the most flourishing and happy country.

plausible of all, is founded on the opinion, The next great objection, is of such a that the union will materially and injuri


riously increase the number of absentees, objections which have been urged against already considered as a great injury to the union ; but although, in endeavouring that country. On this subject, my lords, to answer them, I have incidentally I have always thought that the evil which touched on some of the great advantages has existed has been grossly exaggerated, which it presents to both countries, but and I think the probable increase of it has more particularly to Ireland, there are been equally misrepresented. Whatever some great and essential benefits to that it may be, if the advantages to Ireland country to be expected from it, which which I expect from the union really take deserve our particular consideration. I place, it will every day be less and less am not disposed, nor indeed will it be felt by that country. At present it would proper on this occasion, to enter into the be idle to attempt to deny that some emi- question of Catholic emancipation, as it gration will take place after the union, is called. On this subject, however, I but I by no means sincerely believe to the must contend that a legislative union extent that has been imagined and confi- presents this great and permanent advaodently predicted by the opponents of the iage, that the question will be discussed measure. A certain number of country in the imperial parliament with candour gentlemen will undoubtedly be induced to and liberality; and whatever the alternate prefer London to Dublin, as a town re- decision may be, it will neither be gosidence, in consequence of the removal verned by party, prejudice and animosity of the parliament from the latter place; on the one hand, or by the apprehension their numbers however will be inconsider of consequences on the other. To this able, and it by no means follows that they may be added, that the only chance which will be less inclined to reside upon their now remains of composing the civil disestates in Ireland than heretofore, but sentions, the party violence, the religious rather the reverse, on account of the ad- animosity with which that unhappy counditional value and security which the union try is distracted, is this very measure will give to their property. But whatever against which such an outcry has been their number may be, and however res- raised. But this is by no means the only pectable they undoubtedly are, I cannot advantage which the union promises to but consider them as unproductive capi- Ireland. We all know the inferior situatalists, for every one of which, who are tion in which that country unfortunately induced by the union to leave Ireland, 1 is with respect to Great Britain, in secuconfidently expect that ten industrious rity of persons and property, in babits of merchants or manufacturers from England industry, in submission to the laws, in will be induced to carry their productive agriculture, commerce, and manufactures. capitals to that country, as soon as the ad. On the other hand, nature has been most vantages which it has so eminently re-bountiful to her ; and no country upon ceived from nature are superadded to earth presents such means of improve. those of good government and security ment, such fertility of soil, such excellent of persons and property, which have never ports, harbours, and navigable rivers. In hitherto existed. That the merchants and a word, Ireland is in want of nothing but manufacturers are themselves of this opi- vhat this measure is so well calculated nion is well known; and if other evidence to give her, and which I confidently ex. were wanting, the speech of that most pect will be the necessary result of it. To respectable gentleman (Mr. Peel), pub- every purpose of imperial greatness, to lished last year in the form of a pamphlet, the common strength and security, as would of itself be conclusive: and if such well as to the consolidation of the intershould really be the consequence of this ests of the two countries, it appears great arrangement-if it restores tranquilo directly and necessarily to tend : and I lity, order, and submission to the laws-if hope and trust, that the Almighty, who it creates habits of industry, where they has hitherto so eminently favoured the have never yet existed—if it facilitates inhabitants of these islands, will not in such means of improvement, civilization this instance, by any unforeseen dispenand wealth, as have hitherto been looked sation of his providence, frustrate the for in vain-let me ask any real friend to speculations of human wisdom, but perIreland, whether he can for a moment mit this union to take its full effect in hesitate in giving it his most cordial sup- producing those blessings and advantages port?

which we expect from it! These appear to me to be the principal The Earl of Westmorland rose merely to assert, that the government of Ireland and that nothing but commercial regula. had never authorized grand juries to give tions remained fioally to adjust the situaany promise that Catholie emancipation tion of Ireland with respect to Great should be granted.

Britain. From that period till the preLord Holland commented upon the sent, Ireland had flourished in a degree observations made by two noble earls beyond all former precedent. He was who had spoken in favour of the measure, therefore clearly of opinion, that any and had held high official situations in thing which would trench upon or disturb Ireland. In regard to the consideration the Irish constitution as adjusted in 1782, advanced by the first of these, that the would end in mischief to Ireland, and in parliament of Ireland did not possess the destruction to both countries. He would confidence of the people, it was most speak as an Irishman, and declare his true: but how would the union remedy conviction, that the great body of the that evil? The idea, that the Catholics, people of that country were determined in the event of a refusal to allow their to stand or fall with Great Britain ; they claims, would be less hurt by their rejec acknowledged the supremacy of the lat. tion coming from any united parliament, ter, and were happy to be called her than from the present parliament of Ire- sister kingdom. That they would preland, was a most curious one, particularly serve their connexion, at the expense of when regarded as a principle of concili- their blood and treasure, had been abun. ation ; it reminded him of the old rustic dantly proved throughout the present disaddress to entice the pigs to come to astrous war; and the circumstance of her their owners :" Piggy-wiggy, come and freely adding 17 millions to her debt to be killed !" With respect to what had support Great Britain, was an additional fallen from the other noble earl, he had proof of her attachment. Then why abocandidly acknowledged, that there was a lish her parliament, or abrogate her conrespectable party in Ireland against the stitution? Why were the parliament or union, but asserted that all the traitorous people of Ireland suspected of a wish to and disaffected were against it; and had separate from this country? There exadded, that Catholic emancipation was isted no ground for such a suspicion ; but one of the pretexts of this latter descrip- the measure in question, if pressed, might tion of persons. To this he would say, eventnally lead to separation. He tremwhy not deprive the disaffected of this bled at the probable consequences. The pretext, by acceding to the well-founded taking away so many of the principal reclaims of the Catholics ? Even on the sidents of Ireland, men of influence, proground argued by ministers, that the perty, and friends of British connexion, great majority of the landed interest and as was required for the legislative reprepersons of property in Ireland were loyal sentatives, would be highly injurious to and well affected, and those of contrary Ireland. For his part, he would not principles were chiefly to be found among remain in that country after the measure the lower and middle classes, the union was passed, to see it dying and pining must operate most injuriously, as it must away, after having so anxiously contrinaturally cement a great number of the buted to its prosperity and aggrandiseforiner into permanent absentees, and ment.-Passing then to the consideration cause them to live the greater part of the of the most prominent parts of the plan year out of their country. Upon the of union, he objected to them as impolitic, whole, the union was a measure which, unequal, and likely to produce disturbwhile it impoverished Ireland, would ance and disunion, instead of union and endanger the constitution of England. concord. In many provisions the princi

The Earl of Hillsborough observed, ple of union was violated, and the interthat, until the epoch of 1782, he had ests of both countries kept as distinct as thought favourably of a union; but the ever. He regretted that the prayers of measures then adopted, as well as their the people of Ireland should be deemed consequences, had entirely changed his so little worthy of attention. Twentyopinion upon the subject. At that period six out of thirty-two counties had petihe was a' member of the Irish House of tioned against it; of these twelve were Commons, and understood the minister of unanimous; and ten great corporations that day to declare in his place, that had set their seals of office to petitions every thing with regard to legislation or against the union. After this, to persist political constitution was dien arranged, was little better than to force tlic measure (VOL. XXXV.)


down the throats of the Irish. The mem- | ments they now felt; and 100 commoners bers of the Irish House of Commons who would cease to be actuated by the motives opposed the measure, were men of the which now regulated their conduct? As first talents, respectability and fortune ; to the disposition of the people of Ireland, while those who supported it were men he was certain it was friendly to the meanotoriously under the influence of the sure. Much pains had been taken to Crown. These were his real sentiments inflame their minds; but he rejoiced to upon the question. He had no other find they had produced so little effect. views than the happiness and welfare of His lordship expressed his long and invahis country, the glory and honour of the riable predilection for the measure; and king, and the general good of the British hoped, now that it had proceeded so far, empire. He despised what had been that nothing would stand in the way of its done against him. He had rejected final completion. proffers, and laughed at the efforts of per- The House divided : Contents, 55; sonal malice to disturb his peace. He, in Proxies, 20; Not-Contents, 7. The Noc this instance, felt himself called upon by Contents were, the earl of Hillsborough, his sense of duty to oppose a set of men Fitzwilliam, earl of Carnarvon, and Buchwith whom he had acted seventeen years. inghamshire; and lords Dundas, Holland, He respected them, and on other points and King. they should have his support as before.So far as an Irishman. He would now Joint Address of the two Houses respeak as an English peer, and declare his specting the Union with Ireland.] The opinion, that the introduction of 28 mem- following is a copy of the said Address: bers into the upper, and 100 into the “ Most Gracious Sovereign; lower House of parliament, was pregnant “We, your Majesty's most

dutiful and with danger to the constitution : it would loval subjects, the Lords spiritúal and add much to the ministerial influence, temporal, and Commons, in parliament and even trench upon the prerogative. assembled, humbly beg leave to acquaint Were Ireland suffered to remain under its your majesty, that, in conformity to your present constitution and government, he majesty's gracious message, laying before had no doubt of its speedily recovering us the Resolutions of the Lords and its recent shocks, and becoming as pros- Commons of Ireland, we have proceeded perous as ever. Were the measure in to resume the consideration of the great question persisted in, he feared it would and important subject of a legislative union lead to misery and resistance, and end in between Great Britain and Ireland; and it attempts at separation, and eventual dis. is with unspeakable satisfaction we have memberment of the empire.

observed the conformity of the said resoLord Grenville said, that not a single lutions to those principles which we year had passed since 1782 which was not humbly submitted to your majesty in the marked with outrage and disturbance. last session of parliament as calculated Hence, in addition to those who resided to form the basis of such a settlement. out of Ireland from choice, many persons

• With the few alterations and additions of fortune had abandoned it from fear. which we have found it necessary to sug. To arrest the progress of this evil, there gest, we consider these resolutions as fit was no remedy but a union ; which would to form articles of union between Great give security to property, and transfer Britain and Ireland; and if those alterawealth, industry, and civilization to that tions and additions shall be approved by country. He ridiculed the idea of any the two Houses of the parliament of Ireundue influence as likely to be produced land, we are ready to confirm and ratify. by such a measure. Was it to be suppose these articles, in order that the same may ed, he asked, that a House of Lords, be established for ever by the mutual conwhich had provided so effectually for the sent of both parliaments. prosperity of the country, forgetting all “ We offer to your majesty our humble their interest in its welfare, would be congratulations upon the near prospect guided in their choice of twenty-eight of of the accomplishment of a work, which their body to sit in the imperial parlia- your majesty, as the common father of ment, merely by the influence of the your people, has justly declared to be so crown? Was it to be supposed that these near your heart; concurring, as we do twenty-eight, when so elected, would with your Houses of Parliament in Irecease to be inspired with the same senti- land, in the full conviction that, by incorporating the legislatures, and conso. 3. “ For the reasons contained in the lidating the resources of the two king 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th reasons of a protest, doms, we shall increase the power and entered the 11th of April 1799. * stability of the British empire, and shall

(Signed) « HOLLAND, at the same time contribute in the most

• King.” effectual manner to the improvement of the commerce, the security of the religion, Debate in the Commons on the Poor and the preservation of the liberties of Removal Bill.] March 17. Mr. Baker your majesty's subjects in Ireland.” said, that it would be highly expedient,

The concurrence of their lordships to if, for a time to be limited, parishes were the said Address, and also to the Resolu- obliged to maintain the casual poor retions together with the several amend. siding in them, although they have no ments made thereto, were ordered to be legal settlement. The practice of recommunicated to the Commons at a con- moving them was extremely vexatious and ference. The Commons agreed to the highly impolitic. He knew one parish amendments, and on the 12th, the Ad- which, during the last year had expended dress was presented to his majesty. 2001. in removing the poor from it who

had no settlement there : and in the enThe King's Answer to the Joint Ad- suing summer, the number of persons dress.] To the said Address bis majesty liable to be removed, would be greatly returned this Answer:

increased. The disputes and litigations “ My Lords and Gentlemen ; would be endless, if the practice were “ It is with the greatest satisfaction not for a time prohibited. He hoped that I receive, from my two Houses of therefore that no objection would be Parliament, this dutiful and loyal address, made to his motion. The poor laws stood expressing their concurrence in those re- generally in need of revision, as they solutions which have been proposed by contained the greatest absurdities. For the Lords and Commons of Ireland, as instance, a strong healthy man who had the articles of a legislative union between lived four or five years in a parish, and my two kingdoms. I shall, without delay, enriched it by his industry, did not accommunicate to my parliament of Ireland quire a settlement in it, while a boy did the sentiments and the declarations con- who had served as an apprentice in it for tained in this Address; and the disposi- forty days. Mr. Baker concluded with tions which have been manifested by my moving, “ That leave be given to bring parliaments in both kingdoms, afford me in a bill to prevent, for a time to be lithe best pledge of the speedy and pros. mited, the Removal of casual poor, notperous conclusion of this great measure: withstanding, they may have received an event to which I look forward with the parochial relief."--Leave was given. most anxious expectation, as tending, above all others, to secure and perpetuate March 31. On the motion, that the the happiness of all my subjects.” bill be now read a second time,

Mr. Baker said, that the bill would · Protest against the Joint Address respect- be of the utmost service to those indusing the Union with Ireland.] May 8. trious men who were generally able to The following Protest was entered on the support themselves by the fruits of their Journals:

labour, but who were reduced to depend * * Dissentient:

upon parochial aid from the present un. 1. " Because the Resolutions them- precedented price of provisions. Far selves prove the impracticability of a from being expensive, it was the most complete union in the present circum- economical plan that could be devised, stances of the two countries, inasmuch and would be no less advantageous to as they do not provide for the identity of those who paid poor-rates, than to those the two countries, in the important con- who were supported by them. He did not siderations of peerage, taxation, and mean that every vagrant who came into commercial intercourse.

a parish should be maintained by it, nor 2. “ Because we believe the measure that any one who had not a settlement in of a legislative union is against the sense a parish should have a right to demand of the people of Ireland, and therefore support. The only object of the bill was, unjust in its principle, and dangerous in its consequences.

* See Vol. 34, p. 824.

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