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persons to gaol, on merely being accounted suspicious; the penalty for the indefinite offence of possessing “any weapon capable of being used as a pike or spear; ” and in all these cases the evidence of one witness would suffice to convict | Lord Eliot had shown himself to be influenced by the most superficial views respecting the state of Ireland; why should the people desire to have arms ? was it judicious to war with the symptom instead of destroying the cause : A far better plan than an Arms Bill would be to ameliorate the condition of the people ; and the evil lies in the relation of landlord and tenant. What other causes of complaint have been removed P. There is still the saw Church, with tithes: a Poor-law has been attempted, but calculated to give no satisfaction. Mr. Crawford urged the certainty that Ireland would be best subdued by equal laws, good institutions, kindness, and impartiality of legislation. Lord Clements seconded the amendment. He regretted that it was so moderately worded, for he would gladly have supported a proposal that the Serjeant should be ordered to kick the Bill out of the House. He thanked Lord Eliot, however, for having introduced the monster in its proper shape, for, in former years, the course had been to bring in a mere continuation-bill of half-adozen lines, whereas now the abomination appeared entire on 1he face of the Bill. There were a variety of measures needed for Ireland, none of which were brought forward by Government; tolls, grand-juries, registrations, manor-courts, and many other subjects required legislation, but

nothing useful would ever be enacted while the Government of Ireland was left in the hands of the clerks of Dublin Castle. The present measure, if it passed, would pass against the sense of the majority of the Irish Members, Sir R. Peel had declared himself generally adverse to extraordinary measures of coercion, as widening the breach between the higher and lower classes, and weakening the efficacy of the ordinary law. Now all these evils would be produced by the present Bill, and a milder measure would have effected all the really legitimate objects of it. Since the year 1792, there had never been a period when Ireland was so long without coercive measures as she had now been. There had been times at which the Arms Act was suffered to expire, and to lie unrenewed for two or three years together, and he did not find that in those intervals all Ireland had been a scene of bloodshed. Lord Clements, at very great length, went on through the list of the enactments passed from time to time for the preservation of the public peace in Ireland, marking thecircumstances under which each had been respectively passed, its date and its duration. The present Bill, he said, contained a clause respecting the arms of the Yeomanry Corps, These corps, though they called themselves loyal Protestants, had refused to give up their arms at the order of Government when disbanded. They had since, in many cases, sold those arms into the worst of hands, and thus it was, that an Arms Bill had now come to be thought necessary. Mr. Bateson considered that Lord Clements's speech itself proved the necessity for this Bill. This

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was not really so much a measure of coercion, as of protection for those who stood in need of being protected, and it was a merciful measure for those whom it would savefrom beinghurried into crimes, by agitators as cowardly in fact as they were blustering in speech, He wished that those who talked 50 loudly about dying for their Country, would take to the easier and more useful duty of living for €r,

Mr. Sheil delivered a vehement and brilliant harangue against the Bill, which he was persuaded would prove wholly inefficient. The spiit of outrage which prevailed in that county with which he was best acquainted, Tipperary, arose, not from the want of an Arms Bill, but from the want of a due administration of justice. The Crown Solicitor who conducted the prosecutions at the assizes was not resident in the county, but at Dublin; he knew nothing of the parties or witnesses, and thus was easily foiled by the legal assistants of the prisoners, men who were acquainted with everything and everybody there. Again, it was the practice of the Crown to bribe informers, but to leave witnesses unprotected. Thirdly, the higher classes were averse to serve on the petty juries at the assizes: the Only remedy for such reluctance would probably be a fine of 500l. or 600l. But he objected to the principle of this Bill: it took from the honest the means of defence; it could not take from the ruffian the means of annoyance; and even if it could deprive him of his most noisy weapon, it would still leave to him the more silent and fearful engines of death. But his main objection to the Bill was founded On the distinction between Ireland

and England which it established. “Repeal the Union — restore the Heptarchy!" Thus exclaimed George Canning, and stamped his foot as he gave utterance to what he regarded as a comparison in absurdity which has been often cited. But that exclamation may be turned to an account different from that to which it is applied. Restore the Heptarchy — repeal the Union. Good. But take up the map of England, and mark the Saxon subdivisions into which this, your noble island, was once distributed; and then suppose that in this assembly of wise men —this Imperial Parliament—you were to ordain that there should be one law in what once was the kingdom of Kent, and another in what once was the kingdom of Mercia; that in Essex there should be one municipal franchise, and in Sussex there should be another; that among the East Angles there should be one Parliamentary franchise, and in Wessex there should be another; and that while through the rest of the island the Bill of Rights should be regarded as the inviolate and inviolable charter of British liberty, in the kingdom of Northumberland an Arms Bill, by which the elementary principles of British freedom should be set at nought, should be enacted: would you not say that the restoration of the Heptarchy could scarcely be more preposterous P Nor would the English endure such a measure. In 1819, an English Arms Bill, one of the Six Acts, was proposed by Lord Castlereagh : it was comprised in a single page; while Lord Eliot's bill was a whole volume of coercion : in the English Act no penalty was inflicted for the possession of arms; under the Irish Bill an Irishman could be transported for seven years for having arms in his possession. Yet when the English Bill was proposed, Lord Grey entered a strong protest against it in the House of Lords; and in the House of Commons, Henry Brougham—not Lord Brougham, asked if he was an Englishman, and offered up an aspiration that the people would rise up in a simultaneous revolt, and sweep away the Government by which a great sacrilege upon the constitution had been perpetrated. What would he have said—how would Lord Castlereagh have been blasted by the lightning and appalled by the thunder of his eloquence, if a bill had been brought forward, under which the blacksmiths of England should be licensed, under which the registry of arms was made dependent on a bench of capricious magisterial partisans, under which an Englishman might be transported for seven years, for exercising the privilege secured to him by the Bill of Rights? Lord Eliot said, that the measure originated with the Whigs: the Whigs o a measure of coercion and relief; the Tories turned them out on the measure of relief; and of the measure of coercion took a conservative care. Alluding to Sir Robert Peel's use of the Queen's name, Mr. Sheil read a letter from Lord John Russell, written by command of the Queen on her accession to the throne, to Lord Normanby, approving of his policy; and he contrasted the spectacle which Ireland now presents with that which it then offered to the contempla– tion of the Sovereign. He concluded by exhorting Sir Robert Peel to follow out in Ireland the

policy which he had pursued in Canada. Mr. Smith (the Attorney-general for Ireland) said, he would not refer to the authority of Lord Grey or Mr. Brougham, he would refer to the authority of Mr. Sheil himself. A former Arms Act was on the point of expiring in 1838; it was renewed by the Whig Government; the Bill for that renewal went through every one of its stages, and in not one of them did Mr. Sheil say a single word against that violation of the constitution of which he now so vehemently complained. In 1839 he became a member of the Whig Government; in 1840, that Government again renewed the Bill, and still Mr. Sheil did not, nor did any one of the Irish members open his lips upon it. In the first Session of 1841, the same Government brought in another Arms Bill, making provisions more stringent than before; that was the Bill now about to expire, and against it, neither Mr. Sheil nor any other Irish member said one j. though Mr. Hume called the attention of the House to it in an especial manner. Mr. Smith then instanced a great number of cases, showing the prevalence and violence of outrage in Ireland, and the consequent necessity of this preventive measure. Before the plea of “justice to Ireland” was set up, we ought to know.what was meant by that sort of justice. In the very year succeeding the

Queen's letter just quoted, the

Precursor Association was set up. The objects of the present repeal agitators were first, the total abolition of the Tithe Commutation Rent-charge, next the extension of the Parliamentary suffrage to all sane male adults not convicted of a crime, next, fixity of tenure— a phrase meaning the transfer of the whole landed property of Ireland from the landlord to the tenant—and with these were required vote by ballot, and one or two other extreme propositions of the same class. This measure had been in existence, with little intermission, for almost a century; its necessity was cogent, and though at so late an hour he should not attempt to analyse its details, he was prepared to vote for its second reading. Lord J. Russell said, that after the speech of the Irish Attorneygeneral, who had put his argument, not upon the merits of the Bill or its present necessity, but mainly on the course taken by the late Government, he begged to have an opportunity of .."; the course which, as a member o that Government, he had pursued on this subject. The o, and circumstances under which the late Government had to legislate were widely different from those under which the present legislation was brought forward. At their accession Ireland had long been misgoverned ; it was necessary to bring her round, but that was a work requiring a mixed policy, kindness to the people, but repression of those who had been but too long accustomed to violence. Lord Normanby so governed as to have the sympathies of the people with him, and as these should have been more and more secured, it would have become practicable from time to time to let go the harsher measures. But when a new Arms Act was introduced, he would ask, whether any attempt was now making to conciliate those popular sympathies? Whether the recent depri.

vations of the magistracy were conducive to the peace of Ireland P He believed that Lord Eliot was sincerely desirous to govern on principles of justice and conciliation, but yet, somehow, the Irish Government was a Government conducted by a small minority. The Irish could not but feel it a hardship that promotion was not distributed in Ireland as impartially as in Canada. Considering, however, the whole case, he would not go so far as to withhold his vote from the second reading of this Bill. As to the Repeal of the Union, he was wholly adverse to it, for the sake of Ireland as well as of England, and if it were attempted by force, the Executive Government must put that force effectually down ; but, while only legal means were taken, he disapproved of harsh inflictions on the part of the Government, as tending, needlessly to aggravate dissatisfaction. Now as to those outrages, which in the time of the late Government had been ascribed to political causes, he must observe, that the last speaker had furnished a defence against that charge, for his enumeration had shown that these outbreaks oc

curred under all Administrations,

and were unconnected with political causes. He and his late colleagues had been unfairly treated by the Opposition in this particular, but they had been generously supported by the Irish people. Lord Bernard thanked the Government for this measure. If Parliament had parted without giving some such protection, Ireland would have been wholly insecure. Lord J. Russell, in taking credit, on the preceding night, for the conciliatory policy of his own Government, had omitted to state Irishman could be transported for seven years for having arms in his possession. Yet when the English Bill was proposed, Lord Grey entered a strong protest against it in the House of Lords; and in the House of Commons, Henry Brougham—not Lord Brougham, asked if he was an Englishman, and offered up an aspiration that the people would rise up in a simultaneous revolt, and sweep away the Government by which a great sacrilege upon the constitution had been perpetrated. What would he have said—how would Lord Castlereagh have been blasted by the lightning and appalled by the thunder of his eloquence, if a bill had been brought forward, under which the blacksmiths of England should be licensed, under which the registry of arms was made dependent on a bench of capricious magisterial partisans, under which an Englishman might be transported for seven years, for exercising the privilege secured to him by the Bill of Rights? Lord Eliot said, that the measure originated with the Whigs: the Whigs prepared a measure of coercion and relief; the Tories turned them out on the measure of relief; and of the measure of coercion took a conservative care. Alluding to Sir Robert Peel's use of the Queen's name, Mr. Sheil read a letter from Lord John Russell, written by command of the Queen on her accession to the throne, to Lord Normanby, approving of his policy; and he contrasted the spectacle which Ireland now presents with that which it then offered to the contemplation of the Sovereign. He concluded by exhorting Sir Robert Feel to follow out in Ireland the

policy which he had pursued in Canada. Mr. Smith (the Attorney-general for Ireland) said, he would not refer to the authority of Lord Grey or Mr. Brougham, he would refer to the authority of Mr. Sheil himself. A former Arms Act was on the point of expiring in 1838; it was renewed by the Whig Government; the Bill for that renewal went through every one of its stages, and in not one of them did Mr. Sheil say a single word against that violation of the constitution of which he now so vehemently complained. In 1839 he became a member of the Whig Government; in 1840, that Government again renewed the Bill, and still Mr. Sheil did not, nor did any one of the Irish members open his lips upon it. In the first Session of 1841, the same Government brought in another Arms Bill, making provisions more stringent than before; that was the Bill now about to expire, and against it, neither Mr. Sheil nor any other Irish member said one syllable, though Mr. Hume called the attention of the House to it in an especial manner. Mr. Smith then instanced a great number of cases, showing the prevalence and violence of outrage in Ireland, and the consequent necessity of this preventive measure. Before the plea of “justice to Ireland” was set up, we ought to know.what was meant by that sort of justice. In the very year succeeding the Queen's letter just quoted, the Precursor Association was set up. The objects of the present repeal agitators were first, the total abolition of the Tithe Commutation Rent-charge, next the extension of the Parliamentary suffrage to all sane male adults not convicted

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