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chilsea, Shrewsbury, and Wicklon, Lords Beaumont and Campbell, The Bill read a Second time without Division–Brief Discussion in Committee—The Bill is passed.

O Session has passed by for several years, without a large portion of time being occupied in the discussion of the affairs of Ireland. The Session with which we are now engaged formed no exception to this rule. The debates on Irish questions were not only as long, and as copious, but several of them were as much signalised by party animosity and excited feeling, as those of preceding years. Towards the latter part of this Session, indeed, the unusually agitated state of the country, produced by the Repeal movement, to which it will be necessary to allude more fully in a subsequent chapter, lent an additional element of exasperation to the debates in Parliament. The measures of repression which the Government deemed it necessary to adopt in this emergency, were met by the advocates of the popular party in the House of Commons, with all the resources which an angry and determined spirit of resistance could supply for their purpose. Towards the latter part of May a Bill was proposed by the Ministry, nearly similar to one which had been passed by the Whig Cabinet in one of the troubled pe iods under their rule, requiring the registration of firearms, and restricting the importation of arms and ammunition. This Bill was opposed by some of the Irish Members with an unusual vehemence and pertinacity, every stage of its progress was obstinately though vainly resisted, nor did it finally pass into a law, untila great deal of the latter part of the Session had been consumed in reiterated discussion of the same tos

pics to the postponement of several other Government measures of importance, nor until both Parliament and the country had become wearied with a controversy so tedious and unsatisfactory. All the grievances which the Irish people or their advocates had to urge against the English Government were canvassed and contested in these discussions, and all the details of the policy of the existing Government, and of the Whig Cabinets which preceded it, were contrasted at the utmost length and with quite the usual amount of acerbity and party-feeling. It would require the larger part of this volume to follow the course of the numerous discussions on these subjects, and present even an abridged summary of the arguments which were used on either side. It will, however, be sufficient for the purpose of exhibiting the main grounds on which the policy of the Government was supported and opposed, to give some passages of the more important and effective speeches that were delivered, and to notice the few more striking features of a discussion, for the most part remarkably destitute of novelty and attraction: The second reading of the Bill was moved on the 29th May by Lord Eliot, the Secretary for Heland. In introducing the subject, the noble Mover gave a short his. tory of the origin and successive renewal of the Irish Arms Acts, beginning with the 33rd Geo. III. ch. 2, and ending with the bill introduced by Lord Morpeth, in 1838. He admitted that all such enactments were, in some degree, restraints upon the liberty of the subject, and in that respect objectionable; but he urged that the present state of Ireland made it necessary to impose them. The reports of the leading persons connected with the constabulary force contained important evidence respecting he propensities of the Irish peasantry to violence and intimidation, and their extreme avidity for the possession of arms. Now the possession of fire-arms facilitated the assassinations which had unhappily been so numerous of late years, and murders committed with such weapons were more difficult to be traced, than where death had been inflicted in any other way. He referred, by way of example, to the cases of the late Lord Norbury, and of several other victims, whose murderers had never been detected, and to a great number of attacks made upon houses with a view of procuring arms. He then explained some of the provisions of the bill. All fire-arms, for whatever purpose, in the possession of individuals, were to be registered and their owners licensed, under certain regulations, with penalties for non-compliance. With respect to the possession of unlawful arms, as pikes and daggers, the existing law imposed a punishment of a twelvemonth's imprisonment for the first offence, and transportation for the second, without discretion to the Judge: by the bill, a discretionary power would be given to the Judge, as no minimum of

unishment would be fixed; and if the accused could show that the arms were deposited in his house without his knowledge or sanction, he would be altogether exempt. Instead of the warrant of two Justices in order to search districts

for arms, which is required by the existing law, and which in practice has been found inconvenient, one Justice is to grant a searchwarrant ; in which, however, the Police, to whom it is intrusted, are to be named. And it was proposed to give to the Lord Lieutenant power to issue his warrant to certain members of the constabulary force not below the rank of Sub-Inspector, which was that of an officer in a regiment. The existing law forbids the purchase of more than two pounds of gunpowder at a time, of any one dealer, but does not prevent the purchase of that quantity from each of any number of dealers; the bill would abolish that restriction, but would impose a penalty on the selling of gunpowder to any person not licensed to purchase it. The term of imprisonment on the non-payment of such fines would be reduced from two to one month. The debate thus commenced was continued for three successive nights. Mr. Sharman Crawford led the opposition to it, by , moving that it be read a second time that day six months. He said the time was come when Ireland should be governed by good legislation and not by coercion; but the bill, providing that license to possess firearms should only be granted on certificate from two householders, would have the effect of placing it in the power of Protestant householders to prevent the Catholics from procuring arms. Mr. Crawford proceeded to condemn as unjust and oppressive other parts of the bill : the requiring every person in whose possession arms are found to disprove a guilty knowledge; the inquisition by constable, meeting persons with arms in their hands; the power to commit No Session has passed by for se

chilsea, Shrewsbury, and Wicklon, Lords Beaumont and Campbell, The Bill read a Second time nithout Division–Brief Discussion in Committee—The Bill is passed.

veral years, without a large portion of time being occupied in the discussion of the affairs of Ireland. The Session with which we are now engaged formed no exception to this rule. The debates on Irish questions were not only as long,and as copious, but several of them were as much signalised by party animosity and excited feeling, as those of preceding years. Towards the latter part of this Session, indeed, the unusually agitated state of the country, produced by the Repeal movement, to which it will be necessary to allude more fully in a subsequent chapter, lent an additional element of exasperation to the debates in Parliament. The measures of repression which the Government deemed it necessary to adopt in this emergency, were met by the advocates of the popular party in the House of Commons, with all the resources which an angry and determined spirit of resistance could supply for their purpose. Towards the latter part of May a Bill was proposed by the Ministry, nearly similar to one which had been passed by the Whig Cabinet in one of the troubled pe iods under their rule, requiring the registration of firearms, and restricting the importation of arms and ammunition. This Bill was opposed by some of the Irish Members with an unusual vehemence and pertinacity, every stage of its progress was obstinately though vainly resisted, nor did it finally pass into a law, untila great deal of the latter part of the Sesision had been consumed in reiterated discussion of the same too.

pics to the postponement of several other Government measures of importance, nor until both Parliament and the country had become wearied with a controversy so tedious and unsatisfactory. All the grievances which the Irish people or their advocates had to urge against the English Government were canvassed and contested in these discussions, and all the details of the policy of the existing Government, and of theWhig Cabinets which preceded it, were contrasted at the utmost length and with quite the usual amount of acerbity and party-feeling. It would require the larger part of this volume to follow the course of the numerous discussions on these subjects, and present even an abridged summary of the arguments which were used on either side. It will, however, be sufficient for the purpose of exhibiting the main grounds on which the policy of the Government was supported and opposed, to give some passages of the more important and effective speeches that were delivered, and to notice the few more striking features of a discussion, for the most part remarkably destitute of novelty and attraction: The second reading of the Bill was moved on the 29th May by Lord Eliot, the Secretary for Ireland. In introducing the subject, the noble Mover gave a short history of the origin and successive renewal of the Irish Arms Acts, beginning with the 33rd Geo.III. ch. 2. and ending with the bill introduced by Lord Morpeth, in 1838. He admitted that all such enactments were, in some degree,

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restraints upon the liberty of the subject, and in that respect objectionable; but he urged that the present state of Ireland made it necessary to impose them. The reports of the leading persons conhected with the constabulary force contained important evidence respecting he propensities of the Irish peasantry to violence and intimidation, and their extreme asidity for the possession of arms. Now the possession of fire-arms facilitated the assassinations which had unhappily been so numerous of late years, and murders committed with such weapons were more difficult to be traced, than where death had been inflicted in any other way. He referred, by way of example, to the cases of the late Lord Norbury, and of several other victims, whose murderers had never been detected, and to a great number of attacks made upon houses with a view of procuring arms. He then explained some of the provisions of the bill. All fire-arms, for whatever pur1086, in the possession of individuals, were to be registered and their owners licensed, under certain regulations, with penalties for non-compliance. With respect to the possession of unlawful arms, as pikes and daggers, the existing law imposed a punishment of a twelvemonth's imprisonment for the first offence, and transportation for the second, without discretion to the Judge: by the bill, a disCretionary power would be given to the Judge, as no minimum of punishment would be fixed; and if the accused could show that the arms were deposited in his house without his knowledge or sanction, He would be altogether exempt. Instead of the warrant of two Justices in order to search districts

for arms, which is required by the existing law, and which in practice has been found inconvenient, one Justice is to grant a searchwarrant; in which, however, the Police, to whom it is intrusted, are to be named. And it was proposed to give to the Lord Lieutenant power to issue his warrant to certain members of the constabulary force not below the rank of Sub-Inspector, which was that of an officer in a regiment. The existing law forbids the purchase of more than two pounds of gunpowder at a time, of any one dealer, but does not prevent the purchase of that quantity from each of any number of dealers; the bill would abolish that restriction, but would impose a penalty on the selling of gunpowder to any person not licensed to purchase it. The term of imprisonment on the non-payment of such fines ; would be reduced from two to one month. The debate thus commenced was continued for three successive nights. Mr. Sharman Crawford led the opposition to it, by moving that it be read a second time that day six months. He said the time was come when Ireland should be governed by good legislation and not by coercion; but the bill, providing that license to possess firearms should only be granted on certificate from two householders, would have the effect of placing it in the power of Protestant householders to prevent the Catholics from procuring arms. Mr. Crawford proceeded to condemn as unjust and oppressive other parts of the bill ; the requiring every person in whose possession arms are found to disprove a guilty knowledge ; the inquisition by constaoble, meeting persons with arms in their hands; the power to commit O Session has passed by for several years, without a large portion of time being occupied in the discussion of the affairs of Ireland. The Session with which we are now engaged formed no exception to this rule. The debates on Irish questions were not only as long,and as copious, but several of them were as much signalised by party animosity and excited feeling, as those of preceding years. Towards the latter part of this Session, indeed, the unusually agitated state of the country, produced by the Repeal movement, to which it will be mecessary to allude more fully in a subsequent chapter, lent an additional element of exasperation to the debates in Parliament. The measures of repression which the Government deemed it necessary to adopt in this emergency, were met by the advocates of the popular party in the House of Commons, with all the resources which an angry and determined spirit of resistance could supply for their urpose. Towards the latter part of May a Bill was proposed by the Ministry, nearly similar to one which had been passed by the Whig Cabinet in one of the troubled pe iods under their rule, requiring the registration of firearms, and restricting the importation of arms and ammunition. This Bill was opposed by some of the Irish Members with an unusual vehemence and pertinacity, every stage of its progress was obstinately though vainly resisted, nor did it finally pass into a law, untila great deal of the latter part of the Session had been consumed in reiterated discussion of the same tos

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chilsea, Shrensbury, and Wicklon, Lords Beaumont and Campbell, The Bill read a Second time without Division–Brief Discussion in Committee—The Bill is passed.

pics to the postponement of several other Government measures of importance, nor until both Parliament and the country had become wearied with a controversy so tedious and unsatisfactory, All the grievances which the Irish people or their advocates had to urge against the English Government were canvassed and contested in these discussions, and all the details of the policy of the existing Government, and of theWhig Cabinets which preceded it, were contrasted at the utmost length and with quite the usual amount of acerbity and party-feeling. It would require the larger part of this volume to follow the course of the numerous discussions on these subjects, and present even an abridged summary of the arguments which were used on either side. It will, however, be sufficient for the purpose of exhibiting the main grounds on which the policy of the Government was supported and opposed, to give some passages of the more important and effective speeches that were delivered, and to notice the few more striking features of a discussion, for the most part remarkably destitute of novelty and attraction: The second reading of the Bill was moved on the 29th May by Lord Eliot, the Secretary for heland. In introducing the subject, the noble Mover gave a short history of the origin and successive renewal of the Irish Arms Acts, beginning with the 33rd Geo.III. ch. 2. and ending with the bill initroduced by Lord Morpeth, in 1838. He admitted that all such enactments were, in some degree,

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