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ber of heavy prejudices deeply rooted he not at present at his command the in the hearts of men, who think that elements of confusion and anarchy ? herein we serve the time, and speak Is there not, to go no farther, the in favour of the present state, because rancour of religious hostility — the thereby we either hold or seek prefer- bitter and hopeless hostility that must ment; but also to bear such excep- ever exist between exasperated Protions as minds, so averted before- testants and Papists, when not mitihand, usually take against that which gated by education, subdued by loyalthey are loath should be poured into ty, or checked and controlled by the them."
full energy of the laws ? All this is But, my Lords, passing away from admitted it would be idle to deny these considerations, I ask, in what it. Let us then turn to England really consists justice to Ireland ? In
“Look on this picture, and on this.” patiently and accurately enquiring into her real condition, in removing ac- We are struck at once with a disknowledged evils, applying fit reme- tinction between the populations of dies,conferring those institutions which the two countries. That of England are safe, adapted to the circumstances is chiefly a manufacturing one, inof Ireland, and calculated to secure habiting large and wealthy towns, permanently her best interests. Who, possessing all the peculiar wants and then, is the true, the real friend of habits incident to such a situation. Ireland ? He who acts from disinterest- In Ireland, on the contrary, the poed motives; who keeps their object pulation is principally an agricultural steadily in view, equally unmoved by one, scattered at considerable interfattery or menace ;-and such your vals over the country—and what can Lordships, in my conscience, I be- they want with the expensive mechalieve, have ever proved yourselves, and nism and pageantries of municipal the country expect and believe you establishments ? In England, my ever will. And what does a calm Lords, we see, happily, the laws in and independent observer behold in full supremacy-no single instance contemplating Ireland ? On the one of that open combined, armed oppohand, a powerful Protestant minority sition to them which the noble Vis-in point of numbers—stern, inflex- count deplored to observe in Ireland; ible, enthusiastic, lion-hearted, in the the rights of property regarded ; toassertion of their principles ; possess- lerant majorities and minorities-an ed, moreover, of a very great propor- immense preponderance of those protion of the wealth of Ireland, and con- fessing the Protestant religion. Such sequently most deeply interested in being the general character of Engher well-being. On the other hand, land, the noble Viscount and Ňr we behold a Roman Catholic nume- O'Connell see it entrusted with murical majority, consisting chiefly of nicipal institutions-guarded, howthe lower orders, a race of people ever, by most anxiously-contrived peculiarly inflammable, and liable to checks and limitations as to the qualievil influences ; perfectly passive in fications of voters, and the powers, the hands of designing demagogues privileges, and duties of the officers and priests, bound hand and foot in and members of the corporations ; the manacles of superstition. The there is a tolerably fair balance of noble Viscount informed us last year, parties in them; there are important that there existed in Ireland “ a pro- functions to exercise, and no other pensity to combination, and to violent equally efficient mode of providing outrage"_which is proved, alas ! by for their performance. All this the present fearful condition of Ire- having been observed and considered land, notwithstanding the anxious and give us, says. Mr O'Connell; the interested efforts of Mr O'Connell, like institutions in Ireland! We deand his masters, the priests, to make mand them, in the sacred name of the contrary appear-crying, Peace! Justice-by all the terrors of the JusPeace! when there is no peace. My tice-Rent, and of the General AssociLords, does any one doubt that Mration! We claim equal rights ! With O'Connell could, at any moment that us, good government is self-governpleased those whose instrument he is, ment-for we are well fitted to exer. light up in Ireland universal uproar cise it ! Charles, calm and sober, and riot_if not even rebellion ? Has there, is intrusted with a razor ; therefore put one into the hands of undertake the task of self-government, Daniel here- drunk, or delirious, or at least that species of it which is promad! In short, my Lords, the ad- posed in the measure now before us. vocates of this bill shut their eyes to But have I any choice? Is it not the real situation of the people for forced upon me? Here, then, I take my whom it is designed, and ignorantly stand-I say that the present condition clamour for an identity of institutions, of Ireland will not admit of our giving when the circumstances and qualifi- them the corporations now demand cations of two countries are so widely ed—that we cannot do so with safety dissimilar. My Lords, the sober and to the interests of our Protestant estamoderate English burgess must blishments, nor with safety or advanqualify himself to exercise the muni- tage to those whom, it is erroneously cipal franchise, by renting a ten- alleged, they will so greatly benefit. pound house ; the wild and ignorant My Lords, it was observed by the late Irishman—the miserable creature of Lord Mansfield, “there is no magic wicked priests and cunning dema in words”-let us think of this when gogues, is to be qualified by renting a “ Justice to Ireland,” and “ Peace to five-pound tenement_a mere slip of Ireland,” and “ equal laws" are potato-ground. In England - tran- dinned into our ears_ let them not quil, law-observing England -50" fright us from our propriety," but, anxious are we to secure for munici- considering from what interested and pal constituencies persons permanently polluted lips they chiefly proceed, let interested in the well-being of parti- us disregard them, however we may cular municipalities, and for a reason- thereby “ spoil the trade,” alas, too able period known in the neighbour- lucrative of those who are loudest hood, that we require a three years' and most insolent in demanding our residence in a ten-pound house, and assent to this bill. payment of poor's rates and taxes But, my Lords, it was said by the during that period ; in phlegmatic noble Viscount and the noble Marquis Scotland, also, the qualification is oc- opposite, that not only are we guilty cupation of a ten-pound house and a of offering a gross insult to the people six months' residence. But the lovers of Ireland in thinking them unfit for of equal institutions have ordered that the corporations proposed in this bill, it should be otherwise with Ireland, but of grievous injustice in withholdfor there both these qualifications are ing those institutions essential for the to be dispensed with! In England good of Ireland. How, then, I ask, with, thank God! an overwhelming are these corporations essential? majority of Protestants and friends of Surely it is incumbent on those noble the Established Church, we have Lords, and all who think with them, thought it necessary to insert in our to point out distinctly the necessity of Municipal Corporation Aet effective these corporations. Where, then, are safeguards and protections for the the corporate exigencies that demand Established Church. In Ireland, with them? First, with regard to the lightan ambitious, an exasperated Roman ing, paving, watehing, and cleansing Catholie majority, fiercely opposed to of the towns of Ireland, have not the Protestant religion, and openly these matters been long most effiavowing their determination to sub- ciently and satisfaetorily provided for vert it, we must dispense with them! in all the principal towns of Ireland,
My Lords, I might point out many or wherever the inhabitants have felt other equally gross instances of dis- the necessity--by means of the Aet crepancy between the municipal insti- 9 Geo. IV. c. 82, entitled, as your tutions recently conferred upon Eng- Lordships are of course aware, " An land and Scotland and those now Act to make provision for the lightproposed for Ireland, and cite many ing, cleansing, and watching of cities, other instances of the increasing diffi- towns corporate, and market towns in culty of applying that identity of Ireland, in certain cases ?" By this legislation which is declared by Mini- Act, it is provided, that, as soon as sters to be justice to Ireland. But twenty-one householders of any town I forbear. I declare, my Lords, that in Ireland agree in thinking it necesI am deeply pained at being obliged sary and desirable to set that Act in thus to dweil upon the present incapa- operation, they may con vene a meetcity of our Irish fellow-subjects to ing, at which all inhabitants rated at
£5_mark that, my Lords at £5 only, But to proceed. It may be said, in the city, or within a mile of it, may my Lords, that there are so many imvote. If they shall decide upon adopt- portant duties to be discharged by ing the Act, they are to proceed to these new corporations, as not only to elect commissioners to carry it into warrant their immediate formation, effect, who are to be elected from resi: but to forbid their being delayed any dents rated at £20 a-year. Here was longer ; and that then the watching, a popular constituency -- here were pavingand lighting, may be also responsible officers_here were im. committed to them. Is this, however, portant practical duties to perform! so ? No, my Lords—these proposed This Act has excellently delineated corporations are invested with no usethe powers and duties of these commis- ful functions whatever! They are to sioners, and the manner in which they Þe stripped, as the noble and learned were to be attended to, in order to Lord near me stated, in one of his cosecure to any town adopting the Act gent and unanswerable addresses last the full advantage of it. My Lords, year, of the administration of justice ; was that_isit-an objectionable mode with neither civil nor criminal justice of providing for the real wants of such will they have any thing to do--both towns ? Why? How? What is the are vested in the crown ; with the reason why all this admirable and police they are to have nothing to do most effective machinery is to be sud--for that is under the control of the denly stopped and set aside for com- Lord-Lieutenant ; the sheriffs — but mitting the duties of these commis here there has been some alterationsioners to the new corporations ? Has in truth, however, a most paltry comthe Act been found to work ill? Have promise! The charitable trusts are the commissioners abused their pow- to be free from their interference ; ers, or been found inadequate to per- and, with reference to the sea-port form their duties? Was there any towns, the Chambers of Commerce imperfection in the mode of electing are to be exempted from their conor conducting them ? Without, how- trol! If, my Lords, this be so ; if, ever, entering more minutely into besides, the property of the corporathat part of the bill before us which tion is so miserably inadequate—if the concerns these municipal exigencies, only duties these new corporations I would direct your Lordships' atten- will have to perform are those altion to the part of the clause by which ready so unexceptionally provided for, the transfer of these duties from the why is all this cumbrous and expencommissioners and trustees at present sive machinery to be erected; why are exercising them, to the new corpora- the people to be grievously taxed for tions, is effected. Will the noble the support of a body over which they Viscount be so good as to inform will have no efficient control, the mayyour Lordships how he came to ex- or and aldermen being elected by the cept Dublin from the operation of the council ? What will they have to do ? Act? Dublin—the capital of Ireland, Since the noble Viscount cannot, or with three times the corporate pro- will not, or dare not tell us, let us go perty, and a population greatly exceed- to his Mentor-his ing that of thirty-six out of the fortyseven towns which this bih proposes
guide, philosopher, and friend," to incorporate ? Was it, as Ministers Mr O'Connell; who, with irrepreswere asked in the other house by the sible exultation, with extraordinary honourable and learned member the candour, thus answers the question recorder of Dublin, who did not, how- which posed his servants :-“ England ever, obtain an answer-was it that has received an instalment of corpothey were distrustful of their own mea- rate reform, and well she has availed sure ; that feeling conscious of its total herself of it already. The sword is inapplicability to Ireland, they dared fastened in your vitals, and vou feel it not apply it to Dublin? Will any of festering there. Yon the noble Lords opposite give a dis- umphs the Rs.
in tinet answer to this question? If I the munice have drawn the wrong inference from THERE I this peculiar proviso, I shall hope to be set right-at all events, I demand NORMAL an explanation of it,
Ah, my Lords, here the murder is he said he would make it so. Last out--and the folly or duplicity of Mi- year he spoke in such a tremendous nisters apparent! Do they pretend to tone about his intended doings in Iredisregard this avowal of Mr O'Con- land during the vacation-about sumnell ? On what ground? Let them moning simultaneous meetings of his come forward and tell us! Can they “ seven millions" all over Ireland to convert Mr O'Connell into a peaceful petition for this bill, that I expected and honourable citizen ? “ Canst thou to hear at the beginning of this session draw out Leviathan with an hook ; or of all the steam-boats being crammed his tongue with a cord which thou with the parchment results of these lettest down ? Canst thou put a hook meetings, and that we might expect into his nose, or bore his jaw through an irruption of the “ finest peasantry with a thorn? Will he make many under the sun" to back their petitions supplications to thee? Will he speak —had not their friend taken care to soft words unto thee? Will he make deprive them of the means of paying a covenant with thee? Wilt thou take their passage. But how stands the him for a servant for ever? Behold fact? * Exertion has not been wanting the hope of him is in vain !” Do they —but what is the produce of it? Up seriously think this man's power in to the beginning of this present May, Ireland
would decline on the passing I find there have been 225 petitions of this bill ? Are they soothing them for this bill from Ireland, with 117,353 selves with the belief that his Associ- signatures only out of the “seven ation will be dissolved on the esta- millions !" But what is the prayer of blishment of these corporations ?- most if not all of these petitions ? What! the central engine be destroyed Your Lordships are not to suppose it just when all its remoter parts and ma- confined to the bill now before us ; it chinery have been completed ? When is sufficient for me to state that they the declared object of its formation is the are the result of this mandate of Mr total abolition of tithes, and, the “un- O'Connell_“ Petitions for THE TOTAL altered, unalienable determination" of ABOLITION OF Tithes, a speedy reform its contriver, the Repeal of the Union of the Irish Corporations, and vote by Where shall I find words to describe ballot, according to the directions consuch unparalleled obstinacy, credulity, tained in the printed petitions !" And, or duplicity ? Ministers declare their by the way, while speaking about desire to give peace to distracted Ire- petitions, let me inform your Lordland; they deprecate agitation, and ships of the alarming excitement preyet by passing this bill they exclaim vailing in England, Scotland, and “ Agitate ! agitate! agitate!” They Wales upon this subject; which have create centres radiating agitation in sent no fewer than ten petitions in every corner of Ireland, and, having favour of this bill! Let me publicly thus completed all the arrangements enumerate the places which have acfor a simultaneous and irresistible at- quired so much honour! tack from all sides upon the Esta- Brentford, and its vicinity. blished Church in Ireland, and the The corporation of Hull. Union—they come and implore your The mayor, aldermen, burgesses, Lordships to pass this bill, if you are and inhabitants of Richmond (Yorkreal friends to the Church, and resol- shire). ved to resist the repeal of the Union ! Inhabitants of the borough of War
But, my Lords, Ministers, in their rington. despair for arguments, may at length Inhabitants of the parish of ditto. exclaim, that in refusing to pass this The vestrymen of St Pancras. bill, we are wantonly defeating the Provost, bailies, &c., of Paisley. just expectations and eager wishes of Inhabitants of Galashiels !! the people of Ireland ; that they have Inhabitants of Westpool. set their hearts upon this measure, and The mayor, aldermen, and burgesthe refusal of it will exasperate them ses of Carmarthen! to frenzy—and “ they dare
The gross amount of signatures to ture to predict the results." My these petitions—I tremble to say_is, Lords, Mr O'Connell wishes, of course, 4001 ! Four thousand people and that we should be induced to believe one in England, Scotland, and Wales that this bill was the darling object of have persuaded themselves that we his countrymen's hopes and wishes ought to pass this bill !
My Lords, I deeply regret the Ministers, professing to discard the length at which I have been induced exclusive principle of the old corporato address you, and trespass upon your tions, could reconstruct them on the indulgence, but the magnitude of the same objectionable basis ;-investing question will, I hope, plead in my a vast numerical majority of Roman favour, and secure your attention to a Catholics with the powers plucked few concluding observations.
from their Protestant rivals ;-your It appears to me, my Lords—to Lordships determined, last year, to sum up in a word what I have been avoid this dangerous dilemma, to do saying — that we cannot settle this away with what was an acknowledged question without an anxious reference evil, and to allow a reasonable interval to its probable effects upon the Esta- to elapse (making the while due problished Church in Ireland, and, through visions for the welfare of that country) it, upon the general interests of Pro- before recasting the corporations. În testantism in this country; that the that interval, how much might have probable operation of this bill has been been done solidly and practically useshown to be fraught with danger to ful to Ireland, how might the asperithat Church, and those interests; that ties of party have been mitigated, how those who have proposed, and demand effectually might our Protestant instithis bill, avow themselves to be actu- tutions have been secured,—had but ated, in doing so, with deadly animo- Ministers been honest and hearty in sity to that Church, and a desire for seconding the efforts of your Lordits cxtirpation, and also for the sever- ships. Sed aliter Diis visum est—it is ance of the connexion between the two not the fault of a majority of your countries; I have endeavoured to show Lordships that we are now, after a the fallacy and absurdity of the grounds year's interval, not even so far advanon which it is alleged that justice to
ced towards a settlement of this quesIreland, and “ equal laws," demand tion as we were last session! Parliathe passing of this bill ;—the great ment has been called upon by his Mapractical disparities existing between jesty to take into consideration the state the people of the two countries, as of Ireland, to provide for a just settleevidenced even by the corresponding ment of the affairs of the Church, and variations in the provisions of the two for the better regulation of the muni. bills; that this measure is designedly cipal corporations. Why, my Lords, capable of being instantly converted are we to be called upon to settle first into an engine for the subversion of the question of municipal corporations, the Church, and the Repeal of the before knowing the measures that will Union, and for other iniquitous pur- be proposed regarding the Church ? poses; that it is, finally, really not Suppose we pass this bill as Ministers called for, either by the municipal ne- propose it to us, and that having cessities of Ireland, or the voice of the thrown such a prodigious increase of Irish people. These are the points I power into the hands of the popular have endeavoured to make out to the -the Roman Catholic party-in Iresatisfaction of your Lordships, in or- land, Ministers should see fit to dissolve der to show that the course you adopt- the Parliament, having unfortunately ed last year was the wisest you could postponed their promised measure conadopt, and that you are bound to adopt cerning the Church ? Or suppose, it now.
Finding, last year, that the having passed this bill, they should old corporations were indefensible, we then propose a measure concerning agreed to abolish them; and, consi- the Church,—containing, for instance, dering that it was not in human nature an appropriation clause—and being of for one set of fierce political partisans a character far more liberal, and to the to submit calmly to a sudden transfer- Church party objectionable, than any ence of their powers and privileges to hitherto proposed ; that on this being, as the hands of their implacable oppo- it certainly would be, rejected by your nents; that such a sudden transfer Lordships—they should then determine would certainly generate a state of upon dissolving the Parliament, and discord and exasperation, utterly in. with this fresh grievance in their hands, consistent with the exercise of good count with confidence on their power municipal government, and fatal to the being strengthened by the Irish elecpeace and welfare of Ireland ;—that tors? If they have views of this na
VOL, XLI. NO, CCLX.