Imatges de pÓgina


some Plan for a Final Adjustment between the two Countries, and wishing to know what were the grounds of the grievances of which they complained. In answer to this Message, the Parliament of Ireland stated certain grievances, the principal of which was, the power claimed by the Parliament of Great Britain of making Laws to bind Ireland; but, with respect to that part of the Meffage which related to the propriety of adopting some Measures for a final adjustment between the two Countries, they were wholly filent. This Address was laid before the Parliament of Great Britain, to whom a similar Message had been fent, and on that ground was moved the Repeal of what was called the Declaratory Act, which Motion was assented to by the British Parliament. This fatisfaction was complete to Ireland, as far as related to the grievance of which her Parliament had complained, viz. the Power of the British Parliament of making Laws for Ireland, because, by the Repeal of the Declaratory Act, that power was given up. But fo far was the Minister of that day from considering that the Repeal of that Law finally terminated all differenees, and established the Connection between the two Coun



tries upon a solid basis, that he thought it necefsary to move that a farther Settlement was indifpensable for the maintenance of that Connection.


[Mr. SHERIDAN across the Table, desired that that part of the Journals to which Mr. Pitt alluded, might be read. )

tleman may,

'Mr. PITT continued. Sir, I have stated the substance of the Journals correctly; they were read on a former night, and the Honourable Gen

if he chooses, have them read again.* If he does he will find that they fully justify the statement I have made, but I beg that at present I

may not be interrupted. I do maintain, that upon a reference to the Journals of the period to which I have alluded, it will appear that a farther agreement between Great Britain and Ireland is there stated, in the opinion of the Administration of the day, to be absolutely neceffary.


I beg farther to state, that after the Bill of which so much has been said, was passed, an Address to His MAJESTY was moved and carried, praying him to take such further measures as to him seemed proper, to strengthen the Connection * Vide Appendix.

between under

between the two Countries. His MAJESTY'S most Gracious Answer, stating, that in compliance with the Address, he would immediately take such measures as might be necessary for that purpose, was delivered to the House by an Honourable Gentleman who then filled the office of Secretary of State, and whom we have not lately feen in the House, though he still continues to be a Member of it. I do assert, without the least fear of contradiction from any Gentleman whatever, that it was in the contemplation of the Government of that day, to adopt some measures of the nature alluded to in the Address; since that period, however, no such measure has been taken. I do also maintain, that that very system which by these very Ministers who brought it forward was found to be imperfect, even for the purpose of maintaining the Connection between the two Countries, remains at this moment in the same imperfect state. It leaves the two countries with separate and independent Legislatures, connected only with this tie, that the Third Estate in both Countries is the same that the Executive Government is the same that the Crown exercises its power of assenting to Irish Acts of Parliament

[ocr errors]

D 2

under the Great Seal of Great Britain, and by the advice of British Ministers.

[ocr errors]

This is the only principle of Connection which is left by the Final Adjustment of 1782. Whether this is a fufficient tie to unite them in time of Peace; whether in time of War it is sufficient to consolidate their strength against a Common Enemy; whether it is sufficient to guard against those local jealousies which must necessarily sometimes exist between countries fo connected ; whether it is calculated to give to Ireland all the important commercial and political advantages which she would derive from a closer Connection with Great Britain ; whether it can give to both Nations that degree of strength and prosperity which must be the result of such a Measure as the present, I believe need only to be stated to be decided.

[ocr errors]

But I have already faid that I have upon this point, the authority of an opinion to which I before alluded-an opinion delivered

delivered upon

upon a very important Measure, very soon after the Final Adjustment of 1782. The Measure to which I refer, was that of the Commercial Propositions which were brought forward in 1785. I'am not now going to enter into a discussion of the merits of that Measure. " The best, perhaps, that can be faid of it is, that it went as far as circumstances would then permit, to draw the two Countries to a closer Connection. But those who think that the Adjuftment of 1782 was final, and that it contained all that was neceffary for the establishment of the Connection between the two Countries upon a firm basis, can hardly contend that the Commercial Propositions of 1785 were necessary to prevent the danger of separation between the two Countries, and to prevent the conflicting operation of Independent Legislatures. Yet, if I am not mistaken, there will be found, upon a réference to better records than those in which Parliamentary Debates are usually stated (I mean a statement of what passed in the difcuflion upon those Propositions fourteen years ago, made, as I have understood, by some of the principal parties themselves) that the CHANCELLOR of the ExCHEQUER of that day in Ireland, in a Debate upon the Irish Propofitions, held this language-" If “this infatuated Country gives up the present ofg fer, she may look for it again in vain.” Here the


[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinua »