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3. That the majority of our house of commons is not chosen by the people, but returned by the mandate of peers or commoners, either for indigent boroughs where scarce any inhabitants exist, or considerable cities or towns, where the elective franchise is vested in a few, who are thus suffered to place the highest trusts of society, against the interest and will of the many, in the hands of men who seldom act as if they considered themselves accountable for their conduct to the people.
4. That by the ancient constitution of our parliament, elections for representatives were for centuries annual, and in many instances more frequent, and the exercise of suffrage among freemen more universal.
5. That every approach to those fundamental principles tends to a renovation of, not an innovation in the constitution.
6. That the elective franchise ought of right to extend to all those, and those only, who are likely to exercise it for the public good.
7. That the present inadequate representation, and the long duration of parliaments, destroy that balance which, by our constitution, should subsist between the three estates of the legislature, render the commons' house independent of the people, procure certain majorities in favour of every administration, and threaten either an absolute monarchy, or, that still more odious government, an aristocracy.
8. That therefore the present imperfect representation, and the long duration of parliaments, are unconstitutional, and intolerable grievances. '
9. That as the voice of the commons of Ireland is no less necessary for every legislative purpose, that that of either the king or lords, the people have a just and inherent right to correct the abuses of representation, whenever such abuses shall have so increased, as to rob them of their constitutional share in their own government.
10. That it is the interest of parliament itself, to effect a substantial reform, as the very existence of that assembly must become precarious, when it shall lose the confidence of the people, to whom it originally owed its creation, and from whom alone its powers are derived.
11. That we solemnly pledge ourselves to each other, and to our country, to seek a speedy and effectual redress of our grievances, and to cooperate with our fellow-subjects in every exertion necessary to obtain it. We call for the aid of every upright senator; of every man, whether in Ireland or Great Britain, who bears, or wishes to acquire, the title of a Freeman.
12. That we have attended with admiration, to the noble, though hitherto ineffectual efforts, of those illustrious characters, and virtuous citizens, who in England and Scotland strenuously labour to procure redress of similar grievances. May the examples of the sister nations mutually animate the inhabitants of each, to persevere with unremitting ardour, until the glorious labour be finally completed!
13. That a committee (of five persons from each county) be now chosen (by ballot) to represent this province in a grand national convention, to be held at noon in the Royal Exchange at Dublin, on the 10th day of November next, to which we trust each of the other provinces will send delegates, to digest and publish a plan of parliamentary reform, to pursue such measures as may appear to them most likely to render it effectual, to adjourn from time to time, and convene provincial meetings if found necessary.
Resolved unanimously, that it be an instruction to said committee, that the delegates from each county do prepare, and carry with them to the national convention, an account of all the cities, towns, and boroughs in this province: the mode of election at present in such as return members to parliament: as near as maybe, the proportionate number of protestant and Roman catholic inhabitants in each; and a conjecture of their comparative properties.
That we are decided in opinion that the representatives of the people ought not in future to consent to any bill of supply for a longer term than six months, until a complete redress of the aforesaid grievances be obtained.
They further invite the Volunteers of the other three provinces, to join in the glorious undertaking, whose success would crown all their labours, and give stability and permanence to the benefits already conferred on their country.
"To the Volunteer Armies of the provinces of Munster, Leinster, and Connaught. Fellow subjects, the transcendant events, which our united efforts have produced, present an eminent instance of the protecting hand of Heaven; whilst the progressive virtue, and the general union of the people, naturally prompt them to revive the spirit of an unrivalled constitution, and to vindicate the inherent rights of men.
"The most important work yet remains; which neglected, our past attainments are transitory, unsubstantial, insecure! an extension to thousands of our fellow-citizens of a franchise, comprehending the very essence of liberty, and drawing the line which precisely separates the freeman from the slave.
"Suffer us, therefore, to conjure you, by every endearing tie that connects man with man, with unceasing zeal to pursue one of the most glorious objects that ever agitated the human mind; a restoration of virtue to a senate long unaccustomed to speak the voice of the people; a restitution of the ancient balance of our government; and a firm establishment of the first rights of nature, on the ruins of an avowed corruption, at once the banc of morals, and of liberty.
"From a grand national convention, distinguished by integrity, and inspired with the courageous spirit of the constitution, every blessing must result. With one voice, then, the voice of united millions, let Ireland assert her claim to freedom.
"Through her four principal assemblies let her temperate declarations flow to one common centre; and there matured into an extensive plan of reform, be produced as the solemn act of ttie volunteer army of Ireland: as a demand of rights, robbed of which, the unanimated forms of a free
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government would be a curse, and existence itself cease to be a blessing.
"Friends and countrymen! The eyes of an enlightened world are this instant upon us; Munster has in part already led the way; and millions of our fellow-subjects in Britain, in whom the flame of liberty still burns with lustre, behold with delight our exertions in the common cause, and in our success see the harbinger of their own \
"Let the reflection, that Greece, the seat of liberty and of science, that Rome, the mistress of the world, now lie prostrate by the hand of tyranny, teach Ireland wisdom. To our deliberative assemblies they convey awful warning to be spirited, unanimous, and Arm; lest the present wretched condition of other countries be soon the fate of our own.
"May the Supreme Ruler of the Universe crown his other blessings by being present with us, by promoting union and the love of our country among all ranks of men, and by finally directing our exertions to virtue, liberty, and peace!"
The mode, thus proposed, was adopted. The delegates met, appointed the Earl of Charlemont chairman, entered into resolutions expressive of their sentiments, and requested Henry Flood, Esq. to introduce a bill for the reform of parliament into the house of commons.
Mr. Flood moved for leave to bring in the bill, which was rejected by a great majority. The corrupt body stickled for corruption, obsti