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cious recommendation entered into by the parliament of Great Britain and Ireland in 1782, thereby forming the most solemn compact which can subsist between two countries under a common sovereign; that the result of that compact and adjustment was the increase of our trade and of our revenue, together with the harmony of the two parliaments and the support of the connection ; that the said compact on the part of your majesty's parliament of Ireland, has been religiously and beneficially adhered to, insomuch, that a final termination of all constitutional questions between the two nations took place, and the commera cial points which at that time remained to be settled, have since, without agitation or ferment, been gradually and satisfactorily disposed of.
That under these circumstances it is with the deepest concern and the greatest surprise we have seen a measure pro. pounded, under the name of Union, to set aside this most important and sacred covenant, to deprive this country of her parliament in time to come, and in lieu thereof to introduce an innovation, consisting of a separate Irish government without an Irish parliament, whose power is to be transferred to a British parliament without an availing Irish representation therein, an innovation such as may impair and corrupt the constitution of Britain without preserving the liberties of Ireland ; so that this country shall be in time to come taxed without being duly repre. sented and legislated by a body out of the realm, incapable of applying proper remedies, and remote from the means of knowing her wants, her wishes, and her interests.
That giving the name of Union to the measure is a delusion; the two kingdoms are already united 10 each other in one com. mon empire, one in unity of interest and unity of constitution, as has been emphatically pronounced from the throne by your majesty's former viceroy, bound together by law, and what is more effectual than law, by mutual interest, mutual affection, and mutual duty, to promote the common prosperity of the empire, and it is our glory and happiness that we form an inseparable part
of it. That this union has stood the test of ages, unbroken by the many foreign wars, civil commotions and rebellions which have assailed it, and we dread the rash and desperate innovation which now would wantonly and unnecessarily put it to the hazard; an innovation which does not affect to strengthen the unalterable interest of each country in supporting the revolution that placed your majesty's illustrious family on the throne, for that interest cannot be increased by any law; it is implanted in our hearts ....it is interwoven with our prosperity....it grows with our growth, and strengthens with our strength.
Neither does it profess their connection together, because that interest already exists, and we know and feel that such connection includes all that is dear to us, and is essential to the common happiness and existence of both nations.
We therefore do, with all humility, implore your majesty's protection of that glorious revolution, and of that essential con. nection against the perseverance of your majesty's ministers in their endeavour to enforce this ruinous measure.
Their avowed object is a union of the two nations ; but the only union they attempt is a union of the two parliaments, and the articles which are to attend their partial and defective union, are all so many enumerations of existing distinct interests in the two kingdoms, which it cannot identify, and which require separate parliaments resident in each duly to attend them.
in respect to taxes, the purse of each nation is vested in its own House of Commons by the principles of the constitution; the security of our liberty, and the great constitutional balance of the powers of the state, lie in its being left there; but the articles acknowledge a separate purse, and a separate interest in that purse, by providing for a separate proportion of expence, separate modes and laws of taxation, separate debts, separate sinking funds, separate treasury, separate exchequer, separate accounts of revenue to be kept, and separate articles of produce to be placed in the way of debtor and creditor between the two kigdoms as between two unconnected parties; and though they state, acknowledge and attempt to form regulations for all these many distinct interests, which no laws can identify or consolidate ; and though even the legal interest of money remains different in the two kingdoms without their attempting to assimilate it, yet they take away the Irish parliament, which these distinctnesses ought rather to have suggested the creation of, if it did not exist, and they lay the foundation of distress, discontent, and jealousies in this kingdom, if not of worse evils, and tend to familiarize ideas of separation instead of union, to the utter ruin of this your ancient kingdom, and your loyal subjects therein.
In regard to manufactures, they acknowledge the interest in them to be so distinct, that they are forced to provide in express terms against a free intercourse being allowed between the two kingdoms, in more than twenty general denominations, and they establish countervailing duties on the mutual import of at least twenty-four species of goods on account of the necessary difference in taxation and the distinctness of revenue, which, from the separate interest of the two kingdoms in them, will not admit of consolidation.
On the matual interchange of corn, that great necessary of life, they not only continue chities, but they provide for retaining
prohibitions and bounties; and instead of even alleging an identity of interest in so important and general an article, they avow such separate interest to exist in it as law cannot remove; and an interdict is necessary to be laid on its free communication between two kingdoms, which your majesty's ministers have at the same time the hardiness to tell us, their project is to unite, identify, and consolidate throughout all their interests,
We see with them that these interests are distinct, and we therefore raise up our voices to your majesty against their impracticable attempt to consolidate them; an attempt which they themselves acknowledge to be so by their many provisions, all intended to secure a continuance of their distinctness.
But, however separate these interests are in taxes, in revenue, in trade, and in manufactures, and however incapable of being identified, we have the happiness of knowing, that in the great point of constitution no difference exists; both nations have a full right to all the blessings of the British constitution, and we have an identity, not a distinctness of interest, in the possession of it; yet such is the strange passion of your majesty's ministers for innovation, that not finding any such distinctness, they do by these articles create several highly alarming to us, and to all your majesty's subjects of this kingdom, who claim an equal right with Great Britain in the full and free enjoyment of that constitution.
All the Irish temporal lords, except twenty-eight, are to be incapacitated by this measure exercising their rights and duties as peers and hereditary counsellors, while every British temporal lord is to retain his full functions.
Four spiritual lords only are to have a share in the legislature, while all the British spiritual lords are to continue theirs; and two-thirds of the Irish commoners are to be disqualified, while every British commoner remains.
The articles further declare, that all Irish peerages shall be considered as peerages of the united kingdom, whereby the Irish peers who are to be incapacitated from legislating as peers are to continue peers, and may legislate as commoners, against every known principle and established practice of the constitution; nay, even when chosen commoners, they are not to represent any place in Ireland, the country from whence they derive their honours, although their voices as commoners will extend equally with that of every other commoner to all th
corners of this kingdom; and thus the Irish purse will be eventually put into the hands of the Irish peers, in direct defiance of a great and fundamental principle of the constitution,
All these degrading and unconstitutional distinctions are not only created in the Irish peerage, but are to remain for ever without power of alteration, by a provision being made in the articles for a constant creation of peers for Ireland. That the
to be kept for ever a distinct body from the British, though the project professes a union of the two kingdoms of Britain and Ireland, and attempts a union of the two parliaments, of which the peerage, a constituent part, stripped as it will be of all parliamentary function, perpetuates a distinction insulting and degrading to this kingdom, which our ministers, if they had solely in view, without any regard to inAuence, a lasting union of the parliaments, to which this continuance no way contributes, would have avoided by providing that the Irish peers when reduced to the proposed number of twenty-eight, should be declared peers of the united empire equally with the British, and thus would have dissolved all national distinctions between them for the time to come.'
But it is not in trade, revenue, and manufactures only, that distinct interests are declared to exist, nor in constitution alone that separate interests are to be created; the same distinction is to be preserved in the administration of justice, every difference of law, every variation of practice and of regulation which now prevails, is to be allowed to distinguish the civil and ecclesiastical courts, with this one exception only, that in the ultimate appeal every Irish suitor is to be again at the expence and hazard of going to Westminster, instead of having a court in Dublin to 'resort to.
We enlarge the more on these several enumerations of separate interests, avowed or created by your majesty's ministers, because the many provisions they propose for their future regulation, are so many acknowledgments that no force of law can identify them so as to admit of their consolidation. Pro. visions all in themselves presumptuous and insufficient, inasmuch as it is not in the power of human wisdom to foresee the events of time, and provide now by a system declared immutable, for the varying changes which must naturally take place in the lapse of years.
Under the same conviction, though they profess a union of the two parliaments, they do not attempt out of them one with equal and common powers for both kingdoms; it is to be free in all its functions in respect to Britain, but shackled and bound up by restrictions as to Ireland.
In this they deprive your majesty's Irish subjects of a parliament such only as the British constitution acknowledges, free in its deliberations for every part of the empire it is to legislate for, such as we have a right to enjoy, equally unrestrained in its powers and unfettered in its proceedings as to the interests of this your majesty's kingdom ; and such a one free and indepen. dent in all its functions, as we solemnly claimed to be our birth. right in 1782, and as your majesty in your wisdom and justice did then graciously confirm to this kingdom for ever, but which claim and gracious confirmation your ministers now seek to take away from the kingdom for ever.
That having thus shewn to your majesty how very inefficient the project of your ministers is to answer even the purpose it avows, and how very ruinous its operation must be, if you shall not be graciously pleased to interfere, we feel it our further duty to expose fully to your majesty's view not only the artful delusions which those ministers have presumed to hold out of supposed advantages in commerce, in revenue, in taxes and in manufactures to deceive the people into an approbation of their scheme, but the corrupt and unconstitutional means which they have used, the undue manner in which they have employed the influence of the crown and the misrepresentations which they have made of the sense of your majesty's people of Ireland on the measure.
Were all the advantages, which without any foundation they have declared that this measure offers, to be its instant and immediate consequence, we do not hesitate to say expressly, that we could not harbour the thought of accepting them in exchange for our freedom for commerce, or our constitution for revenue ; but the offers are mere impositions, and we state with the firmest confidence, that in commerce or trade their measure confers no one advantage, nor can it confer any, for by your majesty's gracious and paternal attention to this your ancient realm of Ireland, every restriction under which its commerce laboured has been removed during your majesty's auspicious reign, and we are now as free to trade to all the world as Britain is.
In manufactures any attempt it makes, to offer any benefit which we do not now enjoy, is vain and delusive, and wherever it is to have effect, that effect will be to our injury; most of the duties on import which operate as protections to our manufactures are under its provision either to be removed or reduced immediately, and those which will be reduced are to cease entirely at a limited time ; though many of our manufactures owe their existence to the protection of those duties, and though it is not in the power of human wisdom to foresee any precise time, when they may be able to thrive without them. Your majesty's faithful commons feel more than an ordinary interest in laying this fact before you, because they have under your majesty's approbation raised up and nursed many of those manufactures, and by so doing have encouraged much capital to be vested