Imatges de pÓgina

cipitate ftep in the business. And, instead of an Address, pledging the House to proceed immediately in the difcuffion, he fhould move fome amendments deprecating any difcuffion of it at all.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer obferved, 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 obfervations the Houfe had just heard? Why that the Houfe would be acting unwifely to move an Addrefs to his Majefty, giving their affurance that they should proceed without further delay to the confideration of the Meflage which he had been pleafed graciously to communicate. Was this perfectly refpectful? Was it the manner in which that House ought to procced confiftent with its folicitude for the welfare and happinefs of the country, for the independence and fafety of Ireland. The Addrefs which the Houfe would be required to vote, would merely contain those sentiments which even the Hon. Gentleman himself, and certainly every man in that Houfe who wifhed well to the common interefts of the two Countries, would be ready to concur in. It would pledge the House to take fuch fteps as it fhould think in its wifdom moft fitted. to confolidate the interefts at prefent fubfifting 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 fuch an Addrefs, it was not poffible for him diftinctly to apprehend; with what arguments he meant to oppose a meafure avowedly for the purpofe of fruftrating the infidious defigns of the enemy, and by defeating them in their schemes of flavery and plunder, fecure the freedom and advance the profperity of Ireland-with what arguments, in short, the Right Hon. Gentleman would oppofe an Addrefs uniting the thanks of that Houfe to his Majefty for his paternal care extended to every portion of the empire, to the affurance that they would immediately take his Meffage into confideration --with what arguments thofe great and important interefts were to meet the cold oppofition of the Hon. Gentleman, he was at a lofs to guefs; and as he would have an opportunity of going regularly into the fubject, he thould on that evening abstain from further commenting on what had fallen from the Hon. Genticman. He would, therefore, content himfelf by briefly ftating, that to-morrow he fhould propofe only an Addrefs of thanks to his Majefty, accompanied with an affurance that the matter fhall be confidered with the at


tention which its importance deferves; and then he should. propose a day for that purpose. A fufficient interval, should elapfe, before there fhould be any confideration of the fubject. He fhould propofe Thurfday fe'nnight for that purpofe nor fhould he even then propofe to proceed until after the general plan fhall have been fo opened, that every Gentleman may turn it in his mind. On that day he fhould bring forward certain Refolutions, which would form the outline of the plan, which he fhould move to be printed; and after this he fhould propofe the confideration of the measure in its detail, on fuch a day as would allow a fufficient interval to confider of the measure with that deliberation, calmnefs, and attention which were due to its tranfcendant importance.

Mr. Sheridan faid, the Right Hon. Gentleman took up this fubject as if fomething difrefpectful had been urged by him towards the communication from the Throne; nothing was more diftant from his intention; at the fame time the Right Hon. Gentleman muft give him leave to remind the Houfe, that while he was talking of " the anxious folicitude and parental goodness of the Throne towards the welfare of the British Empire," every member of Parliament had a right to treat the Meffage from his Majefty as the Meffage of his Minifters; nor was it neceffary for him to wait any time to fee whether he should affent to any propofition upon this measure, because he deprecated, at this hour, any difcuffion at all upon the fubject. With regard to the arguments with which he fhould endeavour to prevail upon the Houfe to be of his opinion, he hoped the Right Hon. Gentleman would wait until he heard them before he judged of their force.

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

Wednesday, January 23.

Lord Grenville moved the Order of the Day, for taking into confideration the Meffage from his Majefty-which being read by the clerk, his Lordship rofe and faid, that in purfuance of the notice he had given laft night, he should on the prefent evening move an addrefs of thanks to his Majefty for his moft gracious Meffage, he would now beg leave to fubmit the faid Addrefs to their Lordships' confideration. Lord Grenville then read the Addrefs, the fubftance of which was nearly to the following purport


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"That this Houfe beg leave to return his Majefty their humble thanks, for his Majefty's moft gracious communication in his Meffage of laft night; and to affure his Majesty, that this Houfe will be ready to co-operate in, and to fupport and forward any measure, which upon due and mature examination and deliberation, fhould be deemed neceffary to ftrengthen, fupport, and confolidate the general interefts of the British empire."

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

The Lord Chancellor read the Addrefs, which was agreed to nem. dif.

The Houfe adjourned to Thursday the 31st.

Wednesday, January 23.

A writ was ordered to be iffued for chufing a new member 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 confpiracies for effecting a feparation between the two countries.

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


Mr. Dundas moved the Order of the Day, for taking into confideration his Majefty's moft gracious Meflage of yesterday. The Order, and his Majefty's Meffage having been read accordingly,

Mr. Dundas said, that in the prefent early stage of the important bufinefs which the Houfe was invited to take inte its confideration, he deemed it unneceffary for him to fay no more, than fimply to move an Addrefs of Thanks to his Majefty.

His Right Honourable Friend had yesterday ftated to the Houfe, that it was not intended to move the immediate confideration of the topics in the Meffage, but only to move an Addrefs fignifying the readinefs of the Houfe to take them into their ferious confideration; and to move a farther day


for refuming the fubject; and even after it has been re fumed, to appoint fuch a day for the further difcuffion of it, as would give every Gentleman an opportunity fully and difpaffionately to examine the whole of the queftion, both as it might affect this country and the fifter kingdom. The House being in poffeffion of this information, he fhould not enter more at large at present, especially as he could not conjecture what oppofition would be made to the motion which he fhould now make. He fhould therefore move, That an humble Address be prefented, thanking his Majefty for his moft gracious Meffage; to acknowledge his Majesty's pa ternal concern for the intereft, fecurity and happiness of Great Britain and Ireland; and to affure his Majesty that the House, impreffed with a due fense of the magnitude and importance of the objects recommended to their attention, and anxious to avail themselves of every opportunity to im prove the connection between Great Britain and Ireland, and to promote the ftrength and profperity of every part of the empire, would not fail to take the fubject recommended into their moft ferious confideration.

As foon 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 neceffary to be done on the present day than to move an Addrefs of Thanks to His Majefty for his Meffage. The fubject is too important lightly to be paffed over in any ftage of its progress, and the interefts that will naturally come into difcuffion 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 queftion that at once involves every thing dear to Irifhmen, and which ought to be dear to every fubject of the British empire. As I cannot view these matters wholly with unconcern, I must think that more is neceffary on the part of his Majefty's Minifters than merely to move an Addrefs of Thanks. Sir, I fay, I cannot be of that opinion, becaufe, when we hear a complete and final adjustment propofed, I think it was incumbent upon His Majesty's Minifters to have explained how and in what refpect the laft, folemn adjustment between the two countries has failed. The Right Honourable Gentleman, adopting the language of the meilage, has affumed that the Houfe is already in poffeffion of the facts and arguments on which are to be founded the policy, juftice, and expediency of agitating

No. 17.


agitating at this time fuch a difcuffion; 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 English Government. Sir, I fay the Houfe are not in poffeffion of such facts. I contend the first ground fhould have been, before we had proceeded to take into confideration any plan for a new adjustment, to have made it manifeft, that the laft folemn pledge had not been productive of that alliance, unity, and co-operation between the two countries which it was believed would refult from it. And we had more reason to expect this, because we cannot but recollect, and the Honourable Member's paffing it by makes it more neceffary for me to advert to it, the folemn 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 difcuffion.-The declaration of the Irish Parliament was :-"To reprefent to His Majesty, that his fubjects of Ireland are entitled to a free Conftitution, that the imperial crown of Ireland is infeparably annexed to the crown of Great Britain, on which connexion the happiness of both nations effentially depends. But that the kingdom of Ireland is a distinct dominion, having a Parliament of her own, the fole 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 exclufive right we confider the very effence 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 fituation of life to affert and to maintain." When I find this declaration of the Irish Parliament, and acquiefced in by the English, that they did come to a final adjustment is obvious; yet the words "a folid permanent bafis," convey fome reflections on the proceedings of the Parliament fince that period, and it might fairly be fuppofed, that only its delinquency would have inftigated his Majefty's Minifters to adopt a courfe of conduct, by which if they fucceed in the enterprize, they shall accomplish for ever the fubjugation of Ireland, and the flavery of its inhabitants. But, Sir, I muft think the people in that country who really cherish a love of rational Jiberty, who have dwelt with delight on the recollection of that till now aufpicious period, when independence came upon them as it were by furprize, when the genius of freedom refted upon their island. The whole people, in fhort,

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