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the evidence of that committee, and appointment of such as he finally de. according to that evidence it appear. termined upon. That mode of elected, that some persons saw many evils ing them was certainly preferable to in the present mode of appointing the the present ; and he had no hesitation sheriffs, and others thought it the best in giving a pledge, on the part of the that could be adopted. For himself, government of Ireland, that that systhough he certainly thought the mode tem should henceforward be recurred of appointing them might be impro. to. ved, yet the practical evils of the ex- “ As to the general revision of the isting one was not, in his opinion, 80 magistracy of Ireland, he had made great as was imagined. The persons every enquiry into the practicability of who were examined before that com- such a revision, but he apprehended it mittee were many of them members of would be found impossible. In the that House-Lord Jocelyn, Sir John first place, it was usual for the chanNewport, Sir Henry Parnell, the cellor of Ireland to have a more arbia Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ire- trary power in the dismissal of magisland, Colonel Crosbie, and others. trates than was possessed in this counThe evidence they gave established try, where they were never dismissed the existence of many evils, but it was but upon the sentence of a court of not so conclusively against the pre. law, or for some gross irregularity of sent system of appointing sheriffs as conduct, which rendered them totally might be imagined. It was generally unfit for the office. He was willing stated that the evil was not one of the to admit that there were many persons present day. It had long subsisted. placed in those situations who were But certainly he should be ashamed not qualified for them, either by their of himself if he felt any reluctance to property or rank in life. But then, change a practice merely because the he must again beg the House to reacquiescence in it on the part of the go- member the great difference in the vernment, of which he formed a part, manner in which society is constituted might be involved in some degree of in Ireland. With respect, however, censure. It should be remembered, to the selections generally speaking, however, when they were drawing a he did not recollect more than ten or distinction between the magistracy of twelve cases of recommendations taIreland and that of England, how king place, and he believed they were great the difference was between the all of them made from a conscientious state of society in the two countries. impression of what was considered to With respect to the nomination of be the best for the tranquillity and sheriffs, the ancient practice was dif- safety of the country. It might be ferent from the modern. The judges true, that there were persons now in of the assize required from the out- the commission, who were put into it going sheriff the names of three per. in 1798, on account of their zeal and sons who were thought most fit to loyalty to the government ; but if the serve the office. These names were general revision were to apply to them, afterwards examined by all the judges he did think it would be most unjust in the chancellor's chamber, and they to deprive them of their places, withselected from them a certain number, out some better ground for such a according to the circumstances of the proceeding. How, in fact, was the recommendation, &c., which they lord-lieutenant to judge what persons transmitted to the lord lieutenant, who were fit but from recommendations ? thereupon issued his warrant for the And what a tremendous power it
would be giving to leave him to de- of those societies. He could only cide what precise degree of character say, that for the greater part of those was necessary in order to qualify a imputations he had the most profound man to be a magistrate. What crite, contempt ; but if the right hon. barorion could be adopted for retaining net believed, for a moment, that any him in office after he had once acqui- such encouragement was afforded, di. red possession ? Would
you take the rectly or indirectly, he could only encriterion of property ? That would be treat him to dismiss it from his mind, a most fallible one. However plausi- for he was perfectly wrong. He held ble or popular the idea might be of ef. in his hand proofs to the contrary ; fecting what was called a general re. proofs, that the government had exvision of the magistracy, he was con. erted itself to repress the tumults arivinced it would be productive of great sing from those causes, and to dimi. injustice. That, however, was his opi- nish the operation of the causes themmion, and he knew it was the opinion selves. It must be perfectly notorious also of the person at the head of the to every one, that where opposite par. department which was most con- ties existed, where personal animosities cerned.
ran high, offence might be conveyed “ He now came to that single point, on either side in a thousand different as affecting the grievances of Ireland, ways, which no legislative interference in which it was supposed the govern- could reach. But so far as the go. ment was deeply implicated ; and he vernment could exercise any influence, could assure the right hon. baronet, he would venture to say that it had from whatever sources he had derived never neglected the opportunity. It his information, it was most erroneous might be easily imagined, for instance, Those societies which he had alluded that much inflammation and angry to, did not exist, generally speaking, feeling would be excited by playing in those counties which were disturb. what were called party tunes. Now, ed, and he had never heard them accu. how could that be prevented by law ? sed as being any part of the causes How could you define the particular which produced the present condition sort of tunes which could be consider. of Ireland. But, it was asked, why ed as party tunes, and therefore not to do you not prevent the celebration of be played? But even in that respect, particular days and events ? He should the government had been careful to do like to know how the right hon. ba- all that lay in its power. By a generonet himself would do it. He must ral order, issued on the 24th of June, be aware that it would be impossia' 1814, a kind of circular letter, adble to exercise any effectual controul. dressed to the brigade majors of the There were a thousand ways in which yeomanry, the lord lieutenant called the law might be eluded. They might their attention to a former circular prevent any particular body of per- letter of a similar description, issued sons assembling, who were united for in 1810, and which he desired should specilic purposes, and bound together be considered as still in force. The by illegal oaths : but it was inipossi- object of that letter was, to prevent ble to counteract those celebrations of any assemblages of the yeomanry, and particular occasions to which the right to forbid them from wearing their mi. hon. baronet had alluded. He was litary clothes, or carrying their arms, aware that he himself had been subject. except when on duty. It further staed to many imputations, as if he had ted, that there were some particular encouraged the formation and growth tunes whicla gave offence when play.
ed, and it was requested they might be upon. The consequence of such geavoided as much as possible. That was neral and indiscriminate abuse as defi. the only kind of influence which could led the public press of Ireland, involbe beneficially exerted in such cases, ving every person whose station, rank, and that influence, it would be found, or conduct, rendered them at all pub. had never been neglected by the go- lic, was, that no one dreaded censure, vernment.
and the force of public opinion, there“ Among the other causes which fore, that great auxiliary to a free had unquestionably contributed to press, was utterly destroyed. The produce the present disturbances and House could not form any idea of the outrages in Ireland, might be reckon. licentiousness to which he alluded, by ed the press of that country. He was reflecting upon what was called licenfar from meaning to say that the be- tiousness in this country. As a spenefits which resulted from a free press, cimen, he would read to them a pas. did not greatly, if not wholly, overba. sage from a work which was too conlance the evils of its abuse. He would temptible to notice, except as such an even venture to assert, that what might illustration : he meant the Irish Mabe called the extreme licentiousness of gazine. They would see the nature the press, in a former period of our of the poison which was disseminated. history, mainly assisted in securing to Until the present year it had had a us invaluable privileges. But what wide circulation among the lower or. could be said in favour of a press ders in Ireland, and they would judge which never sought to enlighten the the sort of influence which its infamous public mind—which never aimed at and detestable falsehoods were calcuthe dissemination of truth-which ne- lated to have upon that class of ver endeavoured to correct the morals, ple. As a proof of the motive for or improve the happiness of the peo. circulating it, he would state, that it ple? On the contrary, the most stu- was generally distributed gratis, or at dious efforts were made to keep alive least at a price r very much below and foment discord, and the malignant what the mere cost of printing must influence of the worst passions of our be, that it was evident profit was not nature. Their only object was, to considered, but only the accomplishmake it be believed, that the very ment of the most pernicious and vilsources of justice were corrupted, that lainous purposes. In an article, purthe verdicts of juries were always ve- porting to be upon the persecution of nal, and the conduct of magistrates als protestants in France, it said, 'if the ways base. By those insinuations, in- pious Britons are so indignant, as by dustriously and perseveringly spread, their cant they pretend to be, why do many persons were driven into the they not exhibit some portion of their commission of some paltry offence, humanity in behalf of the ceaseless when, in his opinion, they were infi- massacres of the Irish Catholics? It nitely less guilty in a moral point of may be asserted in the face of all Euview than those vile and degraded be. rope, that more Irish Catholics have ings by whom they were instigated. been murdered since the month of The most infamous falsehoods and May, 1814, than ever suffered in calumnies were uttered against magis. France during the most bloody pertrates, thus pointing them out to the secutions, either before or after the vengeance of those misguided men revocation of the Edict Nantes.' whose passions were easily worked That specimen, he apprehended, would
peo. be sufficient to show to what kind of persuaded no advantage would result abuse and licentiousness the press of to Ireland from its adoption. He was Ireland was perverted.
persuaded that such a measure would “ He would now advert to one by no means operate beneficially on other topic which he conceived ought the existing state of things in that to be considered as a part of the country. If he were asked to declare causes which had tended to place I re- from what measure he imagined the land in her present condition. He greatest benefit to Ireland would acalluded to the actual state of the elec. crue, he would say, without hesitative franchises. The manner in which tion, that any measure calculated to they were exercised by the Catholic induce, or if that were not sufficient, freeholders was most injurious. It to compel those individuals to reside was far from his intention to urge any in Ireland, who now spent the money thing against the wisdom or policy of which they derived from that country the act of 1793, by which these fran. elsewhere, would be more immediate chises were extended to the Catholics. ly felt in its advantageous operation He did not think that either the dan- than any other proposition which could gers or the benefits which were pre. be made by any party. He firmly dicted at that period had been reali- believed that Ireland was precisely in zed; but at the same time he did not that state in which the benefits of rethink that it had invested the Catho. sidence on the part of her gentry would lic democracy with any substantial be most sensibly felt. The opinion of power or advantage. The real advan- the lower orders of the Irish, with retage which had been derived was not spect to their government, was too by those who possessed the freehold, loose and undefined. It was a machine but those who possessed the freehold- too large for their comprehension ; it
In registering the freehold pro. machine too distant for effective perty, he had been told the greatest operation, and the influence of resiabuses existed. Perjury was frequent. dent landlords would do more to prely committed. Leases were made out vent disturbances, and to effect all the merely for the occasion, and persons legitimate objects of a wise governswore to the possession of property ment, than could be accomplished in which they never saw. If it were any other manner whatever. In supasked, why such persons were not port of this opinion he would appeal proceeded against, the answer would to all those who had been in those be, that if they were committed, they parts of Ireland in which the gentry would be immediately bailed out, and did reside, to testify the inestimable never found afterwards. He certainly advantages which arose from the practhought, therefore, that the manner tice. in which the elective franchise was now “ The right hon. baronet had someexercised, required some legislative re- what misunderstood his sentiments on gulation.
the subject of education in Ireland. “ With respect to Catholic eman- He had never asserted that from a cipation, he would not say more more general system of education any than that the opinions which he had immediate advantages were to be exformerly entertained and expressed on pected. He had never asserted that that subject, had been confirmed by education was the only way by which every observation which he had since the people of Ireland could be renderbeen enabled to make, and that he was cd tranquil and industrious. He had
always said that the only mode by lity, gentry, and clergy of England. whick that people, as well as any other The subject of these petitions was dispeople, could be rendered industrious, cussed at great length, but without any was, by adopting such measures as introduction of new arguments ; 80 would make it their interest to be so that were we to enter into any narra. But while he would encourage all those tive of the debates, we should only be measures which were calculated to repeating what we have already given produce so excellent an effect on the in several of our preceding volumes. existing generation, he would not ne. It is sufficient to mention, that the glect to afford that general instruction general question was again lost by a from which so much future good was large majority in both Houses, al. to be justly anticipated. It was the though, in the House of Commons, peculiar duty of a government that Lord Castlereagh still separated him. felt the inconveniences that arose from self, in regard to this great question, the ignorance of the present genera. from the great body of ministers, and tion, to sow the seeds of knowledge in was found once more in the minority. the generation that was to succeed. Very near the close of the session, Sir It was, because he felt strongly the John Coxe Hippesley brought up the many excellent qualities of the Irish report of the committee appointed in character; it was, because he saw the preceding session to enquire into even in the midst of the extravagancies the customs of foreign nations, in reand errors which were to be deplored, gard to the privileges allowed to bo. qualities of the highest description dies of their subjects professing a relicapacity for great exertion, and apti- gious persuasion different from that of tude for great virtue that he enter- the majority. The documents brought tained on this subject an anxiety which forward on this occasion presented, it he could not describe. The attach- must be allowed, a very pleasing spec. ment to that country, which the many tacle of the liberal manner in which, excellent qualities of its inhabitants throughout Germany, the members of had created in him, would long survive the Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformany political connexion that he mighted churches mutually extend to cach have with it."
other a free share in all the honours The full abstract which we have and privileges of the states in which given of these speeches, will entirely they severally compose the majority. preclude the necessity of any com- Mr Canning, too, who had lately rementary from us on the subjects dis- turned from the continent, stated to the cussed in them. Intimately connect. House many pleasing anecdotes, illused with them is the great question of trative of the good understanding of Catholic emancipation, which was this which the catholics and protestants in yearagain brought before both Houses the south of France, (more particularof Parliament, by the usual method of ly of the department of the Gironde,) petitions. Onc petition from the Ca- were now living among each other. tholics of Dublin, was presented to The manly manner in which this great the Lower House by Sir Henry Par. statesman expressed his own leaving nell ; another, from a still more exten. towards the cause of his catholic fel. sive portion of the same body, by Mr low subjects, awoke, in the usual chamGrattan. Mr William Elliot present. pions of that cause, the expectation ed, about the same time, a petition that, through his influence, it might in signed by almost all the Catholic nobi. the next session of parliament be in