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benefit of such a plan would be very questionable. The drain upon the country, which the repayment of so large an advance would produce, would probably occasion much difficulty and discontent; moreover, he doubted the benefit of railways, except as connecting great towns and mercantile neighbourhoods. With regard to the political condition of Ireland, he avowed the opinion which he had always maintained, that there ought to be perfect civil equality and eligibility of Roman Catholics to all offices. He took credit for not making use of his majority in Parliament to enforce Lord Stanley's Registration Bill, and declared his belief that causes were in operation in Ireland tending to reduce the number of voters, and which would require a remedy. Upon the Church question, he contrasted the various opinions which had been avowed; of Mr. Roebuck who would devote the whole of the revenues to state purposes; of Lord Howick, who would not extinguish the Protestant Establishment; and of Lord Palmerston, who would put the two Churches on a footing of perfect equality. What was meant by “equality?" Would they divide the revenues according to the numerical proportion of the respective creeds P Should the Protestant Bishops be excluded from Parliament, or the Irish Roman Catholic Bishops also be admitted 2 and, if they, why not the English Roman Catholic Bishops also 2 He then referred in emphatic terms to the contracts entered into at the time of the Union, as great national contracts, which for the highest reasons of policy, and for the maintenance of #. confidence, ought to be
rmly adhered to, except in cases
of the last necessity. Great concessions had already been made as regarded the Church Establishment—the reduction of the number of bishops—the new appropriation of ecclesiastical revenues —the transfer of the payment of tithe from the tenant to the landlord ; could he hope to obtain peace by any partial and limited concessions, such as Lord Howick had proposed ? If he were to make any declaration now of an intention to provide for the Roman Catholic Clergy, he much doubted whether the discontent in Ireland would not be increased rather than diminished. Such concessions could not be satisfactorily made by him, even if others could make them ; if others deemed that they ought to be made, they were free to express that opinion by their votes; but he was firmly convinced, that it would not be for the public interest that they should be made by him or by those who concurred with him. Sir R. Peel then replied to the demand, that he should declare the course he meant to pursue. He was prepared to govern Ireland on principles of impartiality and civil equality, to give a substantial and not a fictitious right of suffrage, to take into deliberate consideration the relations of landlord and tenant; but, on the other hand, to make no one alteration in the law by which the Church, or its revenues, would be impaired. With respect to the existing agitation, and the pressure put upon the Government to adopt coercive measures for the repression of the disturbances, he claimed for himself and his colleagues the absolute right to judge according to their discretion, with respect to the application of the existing laws or to an application to Parliamentfor new ones. “Believing that the forbearance of the Government—while forbearance can be safely continued — will add rather to their strength than cause weakness, our firm determination is, I repeat, to do every thing that can be done by authority or by power to resist the success of the Repeal of the Union, by any other mode than by the constitutional mode, the deliberate act of the Legislature.” He concluded by reminding the Roman Catholics of the concessions already made to them—of the kindly feeling evinced—of their common country, common cause, and fear of common disaster—as reasons why they should join in firm resistance to the agitation for Repeal of the Union.
Lord John Rnssell declared, that he had listened to Sir R. Peel's speech with, any feelings but those of satisfaction. It was less like the address of a Minister than that of a Member in Opposition, finding fault with the propositions of a Government. In the present alarming state of things he saw cause for fear—the fear of doing injustice. He approved of Sir Robert Peel's resistance to the advice of irresponsible persons, who urged premature measures of coercion; and allowed, that it was impossible to concede all demanded by the multitudes in Ireland; but not less reprehensible was the course taken by Government—the course of doing nothing at all, but waiting to hear the proposals of other Members, cavilling about them, and adopting none. He denied the practical equality of o between England and Ireland; and then he touched upon many of the grievances already pointed out. He would not
entirely destroy the Established Church in Ireland; but, without producing a plan, he said that the Roman Catholic Bishops and Clergy ought to be put upon a footing of perfect equality with the Protestant Bishops and clergy. The whole system of appointing partisans should be abandoned; and Sir Robert Peel should do as Cromwell did when he appointed Sir Matthew Hale to administer justice, though that lawyer doubt. ed the authority of Cromwell himself. Lord John Russell alluded to Mr. Fox's conciliatory measures in 1782, when the Wolunteers were in arms— to Mr. Pitt's promise of Roman Catholic Emancipation immediately after the rebellion in Ireland—and to the Duke of Wellington's concession of Roman Catholic claims, under the avowed dread of civil war, as examples for Sir Robert Peel. Dilating on the possible difficulties which might accrue in our foreign relations, he warned Ministers to beware the consequences of injustice to Ireland. With the speeches of the two chiefs of parties, this debate would naturally have concluded; but another adjournment was stoutly contended for by some Members, and after having been once negatived by a great majority was ultimately conceded. The last night, however, of the exhausted debate, elicited nothing worthy of record, except an avowal of himself by Mr. Benjamin Roche, as a thorough and uncompromising Repealer, a declaration in favour of the Motion by Lord John Manners, a Conservative Member, and a speech of Lord Palmerston, in which he contended for an endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy and recog: nition of their Bishops, answered by Lord Stanley, who spoke with his usual ability, but retraced much of the ground already occupied by Sir Robert Peel. Mr. O'Brien having replied, the House divided : — Against the Motion, 243; for, 164: majority against the Motion, 79. The 9th of August had arrived before the long-contested Irish Arms Bill reached its final stage in the House of Commons. On that day, Lord Eliot's Motion, that it should be read a third time was met by an amendment by Lord Clements, who had manifested an intense hostility to the measure in every stage, that it be read a third time that day six months. Mr. Baring Wall, Capt. Bernal, Mr. Charles Buller, Mr. M. J. O'Connell, spoke against the Bill, and two Members usually voting on the Conservative side, Mr. D'Israeli, and Mr. Smythe, attacked the policy of the Government; Col. Verner, Mr. M. Milnes, and Sir Robert Peel argued in favour of the Bill. Referring to some observations of Mr. Sheil, the Premier thus expressed himself. “The right hon. Gentleman says he is surprised at the apparent apathy and calm composure with which I view the present state of things in that country. I assure the right hon. Gentleman, I view that state of things with no other feelings than those of deep anxiety and pain. I know that I have done all I could. I had a hope that there was a gradual abatement of animosities on account of religious differences. I thought I saw even in the intercourse of Members of this House a kindly and reciprocal feeling. I thought I saw the gradual influence of those laws which removed the po
litical disabilities of Roman Catholics and established civil equality. I thought I saw, in some respects, a great moral and social improvement; that the commercial intercourse of Ireland with this country was increasing; that there was a hope of increasing tranquillity in Ireland, and of a diminution of crime; that the redundant and superfluous capital of this country, which was seeking a vent in foreign speculations of the most precarious mature, would be applied to a sphere more legitimate and more productive—the increasing improvement of Ireland. The agitation has blasted all those hopes.” He retorted in a tone of good humoured sarcasm upon the unfriendly remarks of Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Smythe, and declared the perfect unanimity of his Government. He would not notice unfounded speculations about dissensions in the Cabinet. All the Members of that Cabinet are actuated by one common desire to further the best interests of the nation; taking any alternative rather than resort to physical force: at the same time that they would leave nothing undone to maintain the integrity of the Empire—essential toourgreatness, our prosperity, and our glory. The House divided as follows: —For the third reading, 125; Against it, 59 : Majority, 66. The Bill which had been so minutely discussed and strongly opposed in the House of Commons met with a much easier passage through the Upper House. Two nights' debate sufficed to exhaust the discussion upon it. The second reading was moved by the Duke of Wellington, who briefly explained its nature and object, on the 15th August.
Lord Camoys opposed the Motion. He repeated many reasons urged against the measure in the debates of the Commons; imputing to the Tory Governments of Ireland perpetual coercion, producing perpetual discontent; attributing to the Whig Government an opposite course, which resulted in a feeling of affection towards this country and diminution of crime; and quoting protests, against the Arms Bill of 1807 by Lord Ponsonby, and against that of 1819 by Lord Grey, Lord Fitzwilliam, and other Peers. He did not approve of the Repeal agitation, because he thought that it tended to separation; but if the power ofthe present Ministers were to be permanent, he should have great difficulty to refrain from joining that agitation, because the redress of Irish grievances would seem hopeless. The Established Church was the foundation of all those grievances; its jealousy was the great obstacle to the extension of political rights in Ireland and to improvement. One argument for maintaining it was, that the bulk of property in Ireland belonged to Protestants; but the argument degraded the Church to the level of a mere human institution. And if the Established Church was to be that of the majority, the Roman Catholic should perhaps be the established religion, for the number of petitions against the Factory Bill seemed to indicate that even in England the Established Church does not possess an absolute majority; while the Irish and English Roman Catholics numbered about 7,500,000. He recommended the appropriation of the funds of the Irish Church to the religious instruction of all denominations of the people,
The Earl of Winchilsea thought the views advocated by Lord Camoys inconsistent with his oath, and defended the Irish Church, not as a political engine, but as the bulwark of that religion which had been declared at the Reformation to be the religion of the Bible, and which was the foundation of all our national happiIneSS.
The Marquess of Lansdowne gave the Bill a qualified support. Although he entertained doubts whether it was essential to preserve the peace of Ireland, he was not at that moment prepared to withdraw from Government any power calculated in their opinion to maintain peace and order. He believed, that the Ministers had no other motive than to make the Bill efficacious for its object; but he doubted whether it was wise to excite the irritability of the Irish people by the new partsof the Bill; though during the protracted discussions on it in the Commons, it had been much improved by the admission of forty-three amendments, whereof only seventeen were of a merely verbal character. That the Bill was not particularly called for, was shown. by the decrease of offences in Ireland, in June, 1843, to one-half the amount in the corresponding month of 1842; and, singularly enough, the number of cases of demanding arms had fallen from 20 to 10. Still it might be inconvenient to Government to be deprived of the powers conferred by the Bill. As it presented itself however, in the character of the only measure connected with the pacification of Ireland, the House was bound to consider what it was not : it was not a new link between the Government and the people; and much more was needed to restore, or, if they pleased, to create, tranquillity in that quarter. One remedy for the state of Ireland must be founded in a provision for the Roman Catholic clergy, recommended by all advocates of Roman Catholic Emancipation—and among them, by Pitt, Castlereagh, and Grattan—as an essential accompaniment of that measure. He did not think that provision should be made at the expense of the Establishment: nothing but conflict, irritation, and bitterness could accrue from parcelling out the property of the Establishment among the different parties. He agreed with Lord Camoys, that the argument for maintaining the exclusive Establishment, founded on property, was altogether preposterous; it might pass, if it were a question of instruction in the method of breeding and training cattle, that the method established concurred with the opinions of the landholders, but not where the morality and happiness of a whole community were concerned. The establishment of Maynooth, unaccompanied by any other measure was erroneous; especially as the instruction there was limited to the narrowest and most purely theological kind. The additional Stamp-tax, passed last year, on conveyances and other law proceedings in Ireland, was also injudicious; since much good would be done by raising up a middle class of actual landholders in place of the “middlemen.” Ireland could not remain as it was. He did not call for any sudden measure. He wished no sudden stroke of policy which was at once to reform and tranquillise that country; it would be madness to expect
such a coup de main. But he said no time should be lost in considering these questions. He should not oppose the second reading of the Bill, but reserve to himself the power of watching its future operation, in the hope that the Government would look the real causes of the present disturbances in the face, and apply to them not a temporary, but a strong and lasting j. (Loud cheers.) Lord Brougham expressed his entire concurrence in Lord Lansdowne’s remarks both on the measure before the House, and on the general subject. He then turned to the speech of Lord Camoys. He attacked him for his total forgetfulness of history in imputing constant coercion and irritation of Ireland to the Ministerial party. Were the Irish Roman Catholics irritated by the Duke of Wellington's carrying their own policy in 1829 Lord Camoys spoke as if all the coercion came from one side; but, said Lord Brougham, “I myself must plead guilty to having in 1833 and 1834, enacted, and continued, and carried into execution, one of the most stringent coercion Bills that I believe ever existed in this country towards Ireland. That Bill, too, was suffered to expire; but it was continued in a modified form by the nobleViscount (Melbourne) in 1835: it was only in 1840 that the Venue Bill was allowed to expire; that very Venue Bill, which I was told the other night was to all intents and purposes a coercive measure, was continued till 1840.” Lord Camoys, too, exhibited most extraordinary oblivion of his own personal history, and of what, in that very place, two years ago, he swore to observe; when he took an oath, declaring, “without any