Imatges de pàgina
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"May it please your Majefty, we your, &c. "in Parliament affembled, conceive the repeal "of the fixth of George the Firft to be an ex"tremely wife measure; and THEREFORE it is fo "plain, (and follows fo inevitably from the pre"miffes,) that the connexion between the coun"tries fhould not be placed, by mutual confent, "on a permanent foundation, that we fhall not "trouble your Majefty, by ftating so obvious a "conclufion, or by more explicitly rejecting the "fecond Refolution, which has been proposed for our confideration." Such logick might be parliamentary; but I doubt its being Ariftotelian.

But I am digreffing from my subject: for though you fhould have fucceeded, às completely as you have failed, in fupporting your pofition, that the Irish Parliament had rejected the second Refolution of the British Houses, yet this would not difprove Mr. Pitt's affertion, that further meafures were in the contemplation of the Government of that day; nor would it diminish the weight of that evidence, which the English address, and answer, and the fecond Resolution, abundantly fupply in fupport of his affertion. It would at most prove only this, that the temper of Ireland, and the filence with which their Parliament paffed this refolution over, made it neceffary that Government, content to appease the jealoufies of the Irish nation, and conciliate their affections by liberal conceffion, fhould arrest the grand imperial

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imperial fettlement in its career, and poftpone its confummation to a more favourable moment.

And what a generous foundation did England lay! By the first refolution, the registered her confent that Ireland fhould be independent; and fubmitted the fecond to the new tribunal, which she had thus liberally erected. She first made us a high contracting power; and then folicited us to treat on equal terms. Confiftently with the tenor of that first British refolution, which had renounced all pretenfions to legiflate for Ireland, the fecond admitted that the connexion between the countries could not be placed on a folid foundation, unless by mutual confent.

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The Irish Parliament did not reject the fecond refolution; but, under the influence of fome of the party which then prevailed, tacitly poftponed entering, as the fifter country had recommended, on measures that might be calculated to strengthen the connexion. They withheld that confent, which the liberality of Britain had but just then rendered requifite or efficacious; and preferred inhabiting the ruins of the fabrick which they had demolished, to building a firm imperial establishment in its room: whilft the fifter country on her part, refpecting the independence which the had conferred, acquiefced in the delay of that confummation which the defired. The regency, and commercial propofitions followed: the contagion of french principles foon after got amongst us; and feparatifts have been long demonstrating the truth of that opinion, pronounced by the British Legiflature

giflature in 1782, (and to which it is your boast that our Parliament paid no attention,) "that the "connexion between the countries ought, by "mutual confent, to be placed on fome folid and 66 permanent foundation."

A few words more on this part of the subject, and I have done.

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After mentioning that paffage in the Irish Addrefs, where it is faid that we conceive the "refolution for the unqualified, unconditional "repeal of the fixth of Geo. I. to be a measure "of confummate wifdom," you add that you

drew that addrefs; and introduced those words 66 exprefsly to exclude any fubfequent qualifica"tions, or limitations, affecting to clog or restrain "the operation of that repeal, and plenitude of "the legislative authority of our Irish Parliament."

This paragraph in your fpeech I confider as very well deferving of attention.

The object, you tell us, of this Irish address was to negative the fecond of the British refolutions; and with this efpecial view was that paffage introduced, in which the wisdom of repealing the declaratory act is extolled.

What then, (on your statement,) was the qualification which you were defirous to exclude, and which you were apprehenfive might clog the operation of the repeal? The placing the connexion between the countries, by mutual confent, on a folid and permanent foundation.

This was the limitation which you were fo anxious to exclude: this was the clog on Irish independence,

independence, which you feared: this was the abridgment of Irish legislative authority, which you were fo ftudious to avoid.

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To place the connexion between the countries on a firm and permanent foundation-is, by your account, to restrain the efficacy of the repeal of the fixth of Geo. I. and abridge the legislative authority of Ireland.

Sir, you may have advanced thefe doctrines. rafhly, or I may have mistaken the tendency of your pofitions but if this be not the cafe,-if you have deliberately made the affertions which I attribute to you, and have acted the part which you describe, then to me you appear to have fpoken the language, and (inadvertently I prefume) further'd the cause of separation.

Those who regarded the Independence which we acquired in 1782, not as their end, but as their means, who valued it not as a grant of freedom, but prepared to wield it as an instrument of feparation, will naturally oppofe all measures which tend to strengthen the connexion; and must abhor Union, as utterly destructive of their hopes to them, the act of annexation will feem a clog on the plenitude of Irish legislative authority; and while they declaim on the finality of the adjustment to which we have been alluding, they will in fact agree with the minifter, in confidering it as preliminary and defective: the only difference between them will be this,that while he may value it as a step towards Union,

Union, they will efteem it as a ftride towards" feparation.

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I call not upon fuch men: I addrefs not thofe, who reprefent the prefent connexion of the countries as a state of fmothered hoftility, and mutual intimidation: who derive the fecurity of Ireland from her power of annoying Britain; and vaunt our cordiality, in forbearing to ftrike the blow, which however they would have continually to impend. I fpeak not to thofe, who mingle fuch bitter and repulfivé doctrines, with their wheedling rants about ftanding or falling with Great Britain. I addrefs myfelf to a very different defcription of perfons: I call upon the well affected men of Ireland, the loyal opponents of the measure now propofed, to attend to the language of their new allies, and refift, if they can, their arguments for Union.

I now proceed to difprove the charge which you have brought against Mr. Pitt, of "denying a "recorded act, and difclaiming the final ad"justment of 1782;"-and in order to preclude controverfy as to facts, and to fhorten difcuffion, I fhall keep my promife of taking, as my premises, the statement which you have made.

Where are we to look for that disclaimer, which you have fo directly afcribed to the British Minifter? In the language which he has ufed, or in the conduct which he has purfued? If I examine his expreffions, I am fo far from difcovering there, denial of Irish Independence, that on the contrary I find it explicitly acknowledged, and even

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