Imatges de pÓgina

cipitate step in the business. And, instead of an Address, pledging the House to proceed immediately in the discussion, he should move fome amendments deprecating any discusfion of it at all.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed, that the Honourable Gentleman had given notice of his intention to pursue a line of conduct which no man could have anticipated. What was the tendency, what the effect of the observations the House had just heard? Why that the House would be acting unwisely to move an Address to his Majesty, giving their alsurance that they should proceed without further delay to the consideration of the Message which he had been pleased graciously to communicate. Was this perfectly respectful? Was it the manner in which that House ought to proceed conlistent with its solicitude for the welfare and happiness of the country, for the independence and safety of Ireland. The Address which the House would be required to vote, would merely contain those sentiments which even the Hon. Gentleman himself, and certainly every man in that House who wished well to the common interests of the two Countries, would be ready to concur in. It would pledge the House to take such steps as it fhould think in its wisdom moft fitted to consolidate the interests at present sublifting between Great Britain and Ireland, and the most efficacious means of perpetuating the connection between the two kingdoms. With what kind of arguments the Hon. Gentlemen meant to oppose such an Address, it was not poslible for him diftinctly to apprehend; with what arguments he meant to oppole a meafure avowedly for the purpose of frustrating the infidious designs of the enemy, and by defeating them in their schemes of Navery and plunder, secure the frcedom and advance the prosperity of Ireland—with what arguments, in short, the Right Hon. Gentleman would oppose an Address uniting the thanks of that House to his Majesty for his paternal care extended to every portion of the empire, to the aisurance that they would immediately take his Meslage into consideration --- with what arguments those great and important interests were to meet the cold opposition of the Hon. Gentleman, he was at a loss to guess; and as he would have an opportunity of going regularly into the subject, he should on that evening abstain from further commenting on what had fallen from the Hon. Genticman. He would, therelore, content himself by briefly stating, that to-morrow he should propose only an Address of thanks to his Majesty, accompanied with an assurance that the matter shall be considered with the attention which its importance deserves; and then he should propose a day for that pnrpore. A fufficient interval, should elapse, before there should be any consideration of the subje&.-He should propose Thursday se’nnight for that purpose—nor should he even then propose to proceed until after the general plan shall have been so opened, that every Gentleman may turn it in his mind. On that day he should bring forward certain Resolutions, which would form the outline of the plan, which he should move to be printed; and after this he should propose the consideration of the measure in its detail, on such a day as would allow a sufficient interval to consider of the measure with that deliberation, calmness, and attention which were due to its transcendant importance.


Mr. Sheridan said, the Right Hon. Gentleman took up this subject as if something difrespectful had been urged by him towards the communication from the Throne; nothing was more distant from his intention; at the same time the Right Hon. Gentleman must give him leave to remind the House, that while he was talking of the anxious solicitude and parental goodness of the Throne towards the welfare of the British Empire,” every member of Parliament had a right to treat the Message from his Majesty as the Message of his Ministers ; nor was it necessary for him to wait any time to see whether he should assent to any proposition upon this measure, because he deprecated, at this hour, any discussion at all upon the subject. With regard to the arguments with which he should endeavour to prevail upon the House to be of his opinion, he hoped the Right Hon. Gentleman would wait until he heard them before he judged of their force.

The question was then put for taking the Meffage into consideration to-morrow, and carried. --Adjourned.

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Wednesday, January 23. Lord Grenville moved the Order of the Day, for taking into con Gideration the Message from his Majesty--which being read by the clerk, his Lordship rose and said, that in pursuance of the notice he had given last night, he should on the present evening move an address of thanks to his Majefty for his moft gracious Message, he would now beg leave to submit the said Address to their Lordfhips' confideration. Lord Grenville then read the Address, the substance of which was nearly to the following purportino

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“ That this House beg leave to return his Majesty their humble thanks, for his Majesty's most gracious communication in his Message of last night; and to ailure his Majesty, that this Houle will be ready to co-operate in, and to support and forward any measure, which upon due and mature examination and deliberation, should be deemed neceffary to strengthen, support, and consolidate the general interests of the British empire.'

His Lordfhip faid, that as he had no doubt there would be an entire coincidence of fentinients among their Lordfhips' on this Address, he did not think it would be necessary for him to take up their Lordships' time by entering upon any argument in support of it.

The Lord Chancellor read the Address, which was agreed to nem. dil. The House adjourned to Thursday the 31st.


Wednesday, January 23.
A writ was ordered to be issued for chusing a new mem-'
ber for the Borough of New Woodstock, in the room of
Lord Lavington, appointed Governor of the Leeward islands.

Mr. Dundas brought up a number of papers relative to the conduct of the Members of Treasonable Societies in Ireland, and their conspiracies for effecting a separation between the two countries.

Sir W. Anderson brought up a Petition from the Vicar and Churchwardens of the parilli of St. Bride's, praying for a Bill for the better relief of the Poor; which was ordered to lie on the table.

UNION WITH IRELAND. Mr. Dundas moved the Order of the Day, for taking into consideration his Majesty's most gracious Message of yesterday. The Order, and his Majesty's Message having been read accordingly,

Mir. Dundas said, that in the present early stage of the important business which the House was invited to take inte its consideration, he deemed it unnecessary for him to say no more, than simply to move an Address of Thanks to his Majeftv.

His Right Honourable Friend had yesterday stated to the House, that it was not intended to move the immediate confideration of the topics in the Mesiage, but only to move an Address fignifying the readiness of the House to take them into their serious confideration; and to move a farther day


for refuming the subject; and even after it has been refumed, to appoint such a day for the further difcuffion of it, as would give every Gentleman an opportunity fully and dispassionately to examine the whole of the queftion, bath as it might affect this country and the fister kingdom. The House being in poffeffion of this information, he should not enter more at large at present, especially as he could not conjecture what opposition would be made to the motion which he should now make. He should therefore move, That an humble Address be presented, thanking his Majesty for his most gracious Message; to acknowledge his Majesty's par ternal concern for the interest, security and happiness of Great Britain and Ireland ; and to assure his Majesty that the House, impressed with a due sense of the magnitude and importance of the objects recommended to their attention, and anxious to avail themselves of every opportunity to improve the connection between Great Britain and Ireland, and to promote the strength and prosperity of every part of the empire, would not fail to take the subject recommended into their most serious consideration.'

As soon as the Address had been read from the Chair,

Mr. Sheridan faid, "Sir, I will frankly declare that I do not coincide in opinion with the Right Honourable Gentleman, that nothing more was necessary to be done on the present day than to move an Address of Thanks to His Majesty for his Message. The subject is too important lightly to be passed over in any stage of its progress, and the interests that will naturally come into discussion too vaft to be bounded over with an unreflecting rapidity. Not one man in the country would be free from reproach, if he could regard with apathy or with an ease of temper approaching to indifference, a question that at once involves every thing dear to Irishmen, and which ought to be dear to every fubject of the British empire. A$ I cannot view these matters wholly with unconcern; I must think 'that more is neceffary on the part of his Majesty's Ministers than merely to move an Address of Thanks. Sir, I say, I cannot be of that opinion, because, when we hear a complete and final adjustment proposed, I think it was incumbent upon His Majesty's Ministers to have explained how and in what respect the last folemn adjustment between the two couttries has failed. The Right Honourable Gentlemany adopt. ing the language of the metlage, has assumed that the House is already in possession of the facts and arguments on which are to be founded the policy, justice, and expediency of


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agitating at this time such a discussion; in this way telling the whole world that a final adjustment ratified in 1782, was not a final adjustment in point of fact, but an adjustment to be held final at the pleasure of the Englih Government. Sir, I say the House are not in poffeffion of ch facts. I contend the first ground should have been, before we had proceeded to take into consideration any plan for a new adjustment, to have made it manifest, that the last folemn pledge had not been productive of that alliance, unity, and co-operation between the two countries which it was believed would result from it. And we had more reason to expect this, because we cannot but recollect, and the Honourable Member's passing it by makes it more necefsary for me to advert to it, the solemn declaration of the Irish Parliament, which declaration was fanctioned by the British Legislature, and the recollection of which, I affert, increases the peril of this discussion.--The declaration of the Irish Parliament was "To represent to His Majesty, that his subjects of Ireland are entitled to a free Constitution, that the imperial crown of Ireland is inseparably annexed to the crown of Great Britain, on which connexion the happiness of both nations essentially depends. But that the kingdom of Ireland is a distinct dominion, having a Parliament of her own, the sole legislature thereof. That there is no power whatsoever, competent to make laws to bind the people, except the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland; upon which exclusive right we consider the very essence of our liberties to depend; a right, which we claim as the birth-right of the people of Ireland, and which we are determined in every situation of life to assert and to .maintain.” When I find this declaration of the Irish Parliament, and acquiesced in by the English, that they did come to a final adjustment is obvious; yet the words “a solid permanent basis," convey some reflections on the proceedings of the Parliament fince that period, and it might fairly be supposed, that

only its delinquency would have inftigated his Majesty's Ministers to adopt a course of conduct, by which if they succeed in the enterprize, they shall. accomplish for ever the subjugation of Ireland, and the Davery of its inhabitants. But, Sir, I must think the peo, ple in that country who really cherish a love of rational Jiberty, who have dwelt with delight on the recollection of that till now auspicious period, when independence came upon them as it were by surprize, when the genius of freedom rested upon their iðand, The whole people, in fort,

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