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Lismore, by proxy Ludlow, by proxy
Sunderlin, except for the 7th Moira, by proxy, for the 8th, reason. 10th, and 11th reasons
DISSENTIENT. I. BECAUSE I conceive that this bill, in radically altering the organization and powers of the state, in and for the respective kingdoms, does essentially adulterate the spirit of the constitution as to both.
That in depriving Ireland of her local resident parliament, it divests her of those essential benefits of the British constitution, protection and control.
That by reducing the kingdom of Ireland to a British province, it merges essential powers of the crown and parliament of Ireland, not in the imperial crown, but in the imperial parliament of Great Britain, thereby rendering the British constitution by so much the more aristocratic, and by so much the less monarchical, in the ratio of the representation of Ireland as set out in this bill. That this radical alteration of the British constitution is most prominently conspicuous in the nomination and appointment of the peers to sit in the incorporated parliament for Ireland, the term of which appointment not only divests the king of one of his elementary and brightest prerogatives, the exclusive creation of the peerage, but by its departure even from the precedent of the Scottish Union, (which, however inapplicable, has been pertinaciously insisted upon by the advocates for the mea. sure, does according to the tenour of this bill, for ever exclude his majesty and his successors, even from the benefit, which might be derived to the monarchy from a periodical return of such nomination.
2. Because I apprehend that this radical alteration of the constitution of both kingdoms, may sooner or later be productive of the most injurious and fatal consequences to the crown and to the people of each, by warping the interests of the minister from the interests of the crown, and by identifying the personal inte. rests of the former with the personal interest of the imperial parliament, thus drawing a line of distinction between those inte. rests, which every principle of the constitution has provided should at all times be one and the same, and blending those per. sonal interests which every principle of the constitution does provide, should be for ever kept distinct, thereby destroy. ing the responsibility of the minister, and with it that great preserver of order and of right, a strong executive under the control of a strong balanced constitution, the possible ultimate consequence of which, however remote, cannot escape the eye of any man, who is capable of taking a prospective view of causes and effects.
3. Because every allegation which has been advanced, and every argument, which has been urged by the advocates for this measure, may with equal truth and consistency be made a plea for a total subversion and abolition of the British constitution as to Great Britain herself, to whom alone, we are now to look forward for the preservation of any vestige of that inestimable blessing. A consideration rendered more weighty to the understanding, and impressive on the mind of every thinking loyal subject of both kingdoms, by the apophthegm, with which this system has been from high official authority wound up, and the alarming innovation to which it is applied. It is as follows, " that in this measure is recorded a main and fundamental prin
ciple of the British constitution, viz. that the liberties of the people do not depend upon their being represented in any one
precise and specific manner, or upon each individual having a “ vote in the representation, but, they result from the admission “ of various modes of election, and from the different combina“ tions of the various interests of the country.
“ This is fully recognized in the article as approved of by “ both legislatures, that there is no species of representation, 6 which may not with propriety and benefit be admitted into the “ constitution, provided it be admitted within a limited degree.” A doctrine, which dangerous in theory, and critical in practice, is here subversively brought into action by the fifth clause of the fourth article of this bill
, which provides, that peers of Ireland may upon certain conditions sit in the House of Commons for the imperial parliament for any British county, city, or borough, for which they may be so elected, though by the thir. teenth clause of the said article, all peerages of Ireland now subsisting, or hereafter to be created, shall from the date of the Union, be considered as peerages of the united kingdom under certain limitations and restrictions therein stated, thereby breaking down the lines established by the constitution, and with them, every idea of distinctness, of function, and of inherent dignity attached to peerage, introducing a principle tending to divert the respective orders of the state from their constitutional channels.
4. Because the plea, upon which this measure is avowedly founded, viz. that of necessity arising from the existing state of things in this kingdom, together with the causes, which are considered as having conduced thereto, is as I conceive, with regard to the necessity of the measure merely factitious in this, that each and every of those causes as to times past, together with every possible consequence as to times to come, might have been, as was suggested, for ever effectually done away, and prevented by an act of the Irish parliament alone, “declaring it and enacting the rightsul supremacy of the British state as to “ all matters of imperial, external concern, upon terms of equal “ benefit to Ireland as to Great Britain, said act further declaring “and enacting, that as Ireland did by original compact derive “ the benefits and enjoyment of the British constitution, com"municated and guaranteed to her upon terms of her mainte“nance thereof, and conformity thereto, the parliament of “ Ireland does for ever disclain all right, faculty, and power of
altering as to herself, without the express consent of the Bri. “ tish state, and of the fundamental principles of the constitu. “tion, whether as originally established, or as since modified," that as the adjustment respecting the act of navigation and channel trade, as likewise the adoption and adji.stment of a contribution on the part of Ireland, have from their nature required, that they be regulated and carried into effect by the respective parliaments of the respective kingdoms, as established previous to the passing of this bill, and until it receive the royal assent, it cannot be assumed, even by the most daring assertion, that those measures could not be validated, and for ever rendered to all intents and purposes alike authentic and permanent, although this bill were for ever to fall to the ground, thus steering clear of the manifold, obvious, and unforeseen dangers inseparable from experimental projects on such vital points, renovating the spirit and faculties, without innovating upon the principles or organization of that imperial constitution of the united kingdom, which for more than six hundred years has stood the shock of time and event. A constitution so founded, upon an union of interests and sentiments, that it has given to cach kingdom such rapid prosperity and solid resources, and to the empire at large, such unexampled energy and authority as have enabled her to stand the unshaken bulwark of religion, civil government, and social order, even at this awful period, when the greater part of the civilized world suffers under the ineffable horrors of innovation, revolution, and intestine warfare, without any apparent practicable object or termination to their selfextirpating distractions. And finally, because in whatever point of view I consider this bill, whether as referring to the monarchy, the aristocracy, or the representation, and people of both kingdoms, throughout every department and order of the entire state, upon the most mature consideration directed for a series of years to this great subject, and to all its relative bearings, tendencies, and consequences, I do most strongly apprehend that this bill will, in its operation and effects, prove alike injurious to all, and that it will so undermine the confidence even of the well-disposed in this kingdom, that the utmost influence which will remain to such of the nobility, first rate gentry, and other
persons of high character, and to this of personal weight, who shall continue to reside therein, will prove ineffectual to prevent the abatement of those affections, and of that zeal, which from the nature and formation of the human mind, ever rise or sink in proportion to that confidence, on which they are founded. For which reasons, together with many others, which it is not my object to enumerate or to set forth, and which are, I fear, already too deeply and impulsively felt by almost the entire kingdom, I feel it incumbent upon me, in assertion of my national pride and personal character, in justice to my political consistency and personal honour, to transmit to posterity this my solemn protest against this dereliction of national right, the degradation of national dignity.
BELLAMONT. DISSENTIENT. TO that clause in the bill recited in the fourth article, which makes it competent to the peers of Ireland to be elected members of the House of Commons of the united kingdom as the representatives of places in Great Britain.
1. Because, as the peers of Ireland are after the Union to enjoy all the privileges of the peers of Great Britain, (with the exception of sitting in the House of Lords) it gives to the counties and boroughs of Great Britain the power of choosing a representative from the peers, and is therefore an anomaly in the constitution.
2. Because I consider the peerage to be degraded thereby, inasmuch as the peer so elected must divest himself of the rights and privileges of the peerage, and assume the condition of a commoner.
3. Because I conceive it to be repugnant to a fixed principle of the constitution, that the peerage with the privileges incident thereto, constitute an indefeasible inheritance, and cannot be surrendered.
4. Because it creates a confusion of the orders of the state, enabling the subject, being a peer, to act in the capacity of a commoner, and then upon his ceasing to be a representative of the commons, to return to his condition of a peer.
Impressed with such considerations, I cannot refrain from recording my opinion thereupon, although these provisions to which I dissent make part of a measure, to the remainder of which I have given every support, and which, considered as to its general scops, and its other relations, will, I am convinced, be productive of the greatest advantages to Ireland, at the same time that it will increase the strength, the security, and the resources of the British empire.
CORRECT LIST OF ALL THE WRITS ISSUED WITH A VIEW TO PARLIAMENTARY ARRANGEMENTS
IN IRELAND, IN THE YEAR 1800... PAGE 316.
3 | Armagh, county
Lorenzo Moore, Esq.
Escheator of Munster
24 | Clonmel