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require separate parliaments, resident in each kingdom to attend to them. That such Union is only nominal, and that it does not effect that complete and entire Union recommended by his majesty, but shews that from the circumstances of the two na. tions, the same is totally impracticable.
3. Because the adjustment of the numbers of the Irish members to be added to the two houses of the imperial parliament, has been determined upon without any official documents, or other authentic information, having been laid before parliament. That upon the Union with Scotland, such proportion was adjusted by the commissioners appointed for England and Scotland, upon an examination of their respective claims, having thereupon agreed that the number of commoners to be added to the English commoners, consisting of five hundred and thirteen, should be forty-five on the part of Scotland; and the number of English peers, being then one hundred and eighty-five, they calculated that sixteen were the same proportion to that number which forty-five were to the English House of commons, and therefore determined upon that number of peers. This calcu. lation justified the propriety of such adjustment, and we cannot conceive upon
what principle the number of Irish peers duced to thirty-two, when, according to the proportion aforesaid, it ought to have been fifty-three. We must consider such conduct as unjust in its principle, and wantonly casting a stigma upon the Irish peerage, by depriving twenty-one of their body of their just rights of sitting in the united parliament.
4. Because, that however proper it may have been for two parliaments to mark out the great outlines for forming an Union i between the two nations, we think that from their situations in different kingdoms, and the impracticability of communication between them, they were ill suited to the adjustment of matters which required detail.
That the mode of proceeding adopted by the great Lord Somers upon the Union with Scotland, of appointing commissioners on the behalf of each nation, is proved by experience to have been well adapted to that purpose. That such commissioners having the means of procuring information, and communication with each other, were thereby enabled to settle with propriety, and to the satisfaction of both nations, such matters as should be necessary to be adjusted between them. That instead of adopting that wise and rational mode of proceeding, the adjustment of the numbers to be added to the imperial parliament has been established in pursuance of the mandate of the British minister, without laying before parliament any official document
whatsoever, or taking any step to procure information concerning the respective claims of the two nations.
5. Because by the original distribution of power between the two houses of parliament, it has been established, as a leading and fundamental principle of the constitution, that the commons should hold the purse of the nation without the interference of the peerage ; notwithstanding which, and that the said bill declares that Irish peerages shall be considered as peerages of the united kingdom; it directs that Irish peers shall be eligible as commoners to represent any place in Great Britain, whereby the purse of the nation will be eventually put into the hands of the peers
of the united kingdom, under the description of Irish peers, in direct defiance of the aforesaid principle. That it is evident, that such innovation was introduced by the minister, for the purpose of preventing the opposition which the mesure might receive from such Irish peers as were members of the British House of Commons, which is clearly evinced by their not being made eligible for any place in Ireland, from whence they derive their honours.
That by the provision in the bill for a constant creation of Peers for Ireland, the Irish peerage is to be kept up for ever, thereby perpetuating the degrading distinction by which the Irish peerage is to continue stripped of all parliamentary functions. That the perpetuity of such distinction would have been avoided, by providing, that no Irish peer should hereafter be created, (which is the case of Scotch Peers.) And that whenever the Irish peers shall be reduced to the number of twenty-eight, they should be declared peers of the United empire, agreeably with the British. From which time all national distinctions be. tween them should cease.
6. Because, when we advert to the corrupt and unconstitutional language held out by the ministers, to such members as claimed property in boroughs, intimating to them, that they should be considered as their private property, and should be purchased as such, and the price paid out of he public purse, such language appears to us to amount to a proposal to buy the Irish parliament, for government, and makes the Union a measure of bargain and sale between the minister and the individual.
7. Because, when we compare the relative abilities of Great Britain and Ireland, we find the contribution to be paid by two kingdoms to the expences of the united empire most unequally adjusted, and that the share of two-seventeenths, fixed upon as the proportion to be paid by Ireland, is far beyond what the resources will enable her to discharge. Should Ireland undertake to pay more than she shall be able to answer, the act will be irrevocable, and the necessary consequences will be a gradual diminuLion of her capital, the decline of her trade, a failure in the pro
duce of her taxes, and finally, her total bankruptcy. Should Ireland fail, Great Britain must necessarily be involved in her ruin, and we will have to lament, that our great and glorious empire will be brought to the brink of destruction by the dangerous and visionary speculation of substituting a new system of government for Ireland, in the place of that constitution, which she has experienced to be the firmest security for the preservation of her liberties. We think it proper to observe, that if the ministry had any plausible grounds whereon they have calculated the said proportion, they have not deigned to lay them before the parliament, nor have the usual and established forms of proceeding to investigate matters of intricate and extended calculation been resorted to, by appointing committees for their examination, neither have commissioners been appointed, as was done upon the Union with Scotland. Had the minister applied his atten. tion to that very necessary enquiry, of ascertaining the relative ability of the two nations, he would have compared the balance which Great Britain has in her favour from her trade with all the world, amounting to fourteen millions eight hundred thousand pounds, with that of Ireland upon the whole of her trade, amounting to five hundred and nine thousand three hundred and twelve pounds, bearing a proportion to each other of about twenty-nine to one. He would have examined into the amount of the revenue out of which the said proportions must naturally be paid, namely, the produce of the permanent taxes of each nation, which he would have found to have produced in Great Britain in the year ending the fifth of January, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, the sum of twenty-six millions, and that the permanent taxes of Ireland in the corresponding year did not exceed two millions, bearing a proportion to each other of about thirteen to one. He would have been informed, that the only influx of money into Ireland which can be discovered, is the said balance of her trade of five hundred thousand pounds, and that she remits to Great Britain annually seven hundred and twenty-four thousand seven hundred and fifty-three pounds, a sum exceeding by upward of two hundred and fisteon thousand pounds the amount of such balance.
That the remittances to her absentees, as stated by Mr. Pitt, amount to one million, but are computed realls to amount to double that sum, and must necessarily greatly increase, should the Union take place, such drains exhausting in a great degree the resources of this kingdom, and adding to the opulence of Great Britain. The facility with which large sums of money have lately been raised in Great Britain, compared with the un. successful attempt to raise so small a sum in this kingdom as one million and a half, would have afforded to him the strongest proof of the opulence of the one, and the poverty of the other, . From the Irish minister's own statement, he has computed, that the sum for which this kingdom shall be called upon annually in time of war as her contribution, will amount to four millions four hundred and ninety-two thousand six hundred and eighty pounds, but has not attempted to point out the means by which she can raise so enormous a sum. When the minister shall find, that the circumstances of Ireland are such as have been herein stated, and shall recollect, that this new project has been suggested by him, and forced upon this nation, he will feel the immense responsibility, which falls upon him for the disastrous consequence which it may produce, not only upon this kingdom, but upon the whole empire. He will be alarmed at the discontents, which an imposition of taxes beyond the abilities of the people to pay must produce, and the fatal consequences that they may occasion.
8. Because the transfer of our legislature to another kingdom will deprive us of the only security we have for the enjoyment of our liberties, and being against the sense of the people, amounts to a gross breach of trust, and we consider the substitute for our constitution, namely, the return of the proposed number of persons to the united parliament as delusive, amounting indeed to an acknowledgment of the necessity of representation, but in no sort supplying it. Inasmuch as the thirty-two peers and the one hundred commoners will be merged in the vast disproportion of British members, who will in fact be the legislators of Ireland; and when we consider, that all the establishments are to continue, which must add to the influence of the minister over the conduct of parliament, and advert to his power in the return of Irish members to parliament, we conceive, that such portion is more likely to overturn the constitution of Great Britain than to preserve our own.
9. Because we consider the intended Union a direct breach of trust, not only by the parliament with the people, but by the parliament of Great Britain with that of Ireland.
Inasmuch as the tenour and purport of the settlement of one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, did intentionally and expressly exclude the re-agitation of constitutional questions between the two countries, and did establish the exclusive legislative authority of the Irish parliament without the interference of any other, that the breach of such a solemn contract, founded on the internal weakness of the country, and its inability at this time to withstand the destructive design of the minister, must tend to destroy the future harmony of both, by forming a precedent, and generating a principle of mutual encroachment in times of mutual difficulties.
10. Because, that when we consider the weakness of this kingdom at the time that the measure was brought forward, and her
inability to withstand the destructive designs of the minister, and couple to the act itself the means that have been employed to accomplish it, such as the abuse of the place bill for the purpose of modelling the parliament, the appointment of sheriffs to prevent county meetings, the dismissal of the old stedfast friends of constitutional government, for their adherence to the constitution, and the return of persons into parliament, who had neither connection nor stak: in this country, and were therefore selected to decide upon her fate : when we consider the armed force of the minister, added to his powers and practices of corruption, when we couple these things together, we are warranted to say, that the basest means have been used to accomplish this great innovation, that the measure of Union tends to dishonour the ancient peerage for ever, to disqualify both houses of parliament, and subjugate the people of Ireland for ever. Such circumstances, we apprehend, will be recollected with abhorrence, and will create jealousy between the two nations, in the place of that harmony, which for so many centuries has been the cement of their union.
11. Because the argument made use of in favour of the Union, namely, that the sense of the people of Ireland is in its favour, we know to be untrue ; and as the ministers have declared, that they would not press the measure against the sense of the people, and as the people have pronounced decidedly, and under all difficulties their judgment against it, we have, together with the sense of the country, the authority of the minister to enter our protest against the project of Union, against the yoke which it imposes, the dishonour which it inflicts, the disqualification passed upon the peerage, the stigma thereby branded on the realm, the disproportionate principle of expence it introduces, the means employed to effect it, the discontents it has excited, and must continue to excite : against all these, and the fatal consequences they may produce, we have endeavoured to interpose our votes, and failing, we transmit to after-times our names, in solemn protest on behalf of the parliamentary constitution of this realm, the liberty which it secured, the trade which it protected, the connection which it preserved, and the constitution which it supplied and fortified: this we feel ourselves called upon to do in support of our characters, our honour, and whatever is left to us worthy to be transmitted to our posterity. Leinster
Rd. Waterford and Lismore Arran
Powerscourt Mount Cashell
De Vesci Farnham
Charlemont, Belmore, by proxy
Kingston, by proxy Massy, by proxy
Riversdale, by proxy