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public papers, between the administrations of lords Westmoreland and Fitzwilliam, are interesting, inasmuch as they lead to the detection of Pitt's treacherous duplicity.
Lord Westmoreland's administration.—Session 1st. Sale of peerages; creation of fourteen new parliamentary places to buy the members. Attack on the rights of the corporation of Dublin. Protection to the abuses of the police. Rejection of place bill, pension bill, responsibility bill, and revenue officers bill.
Session 2d. Evasion of plan proposed to encourage the brewery, and discourage the excessive use of spirits. Resistance to an East India trade. Protection of the abuses of the police. A rejection of the above bill, and defence of fiats.
Session 3d. Rejection of the catholic petition. Instruction to the grand juries to enter into resolutions against the catholic franchise. Defence of the abuses of police, and rejection of the above bills.
Session 4th. Gunpowder bill, convention bill, and protection of the abuses of the police. On the other hand, the pension bill, and, in an imperfect shape, the place bill of the opposition at last adopted; together with another measure of the opposition, a relief, but a partial one, to the catholics. The East India trade given up for a more ample possession of the West. All the regular army sent out of the kingdom. A Treasury board established in expeuce, but not in power nor utility. Session 5th. Recommendation to the bishop of
Cloyne to the provost, who was to have been also bishop of Ossory, and to have had two boroughs for the use of government. Plundered of every great reversion in the country. Breach of law by the illegal expenditure of money without account or authority. Leaving the country without an army or arms; and that most scandalous and swindling business, the new regiments. Lord Fitzwilliam's administration of six weeks. Hearth-money taken off the poor. Excise taken off the beer and ale. All restrictions, pains and penalties, taken off the trade of a brewer. Check given to the excessive use of spirituous liquors. Responsibility in the expenditure of public money established. Abuses of the police abolished. Inquiry into the expenccs oi collecting the revenue permitted. Forty-three thousand men proposed for the defence of the kingdom. Roman catholic emancipation propounded. The oppressive office of first commissioner of the revenue abolished. The primacy rescued from a monopolizing brood of jobbers, and given to learning and piety. The college rescued from a stranger, an intruder, and a jobber, and committed to the care of one of its own body.
The despotism of clerks deposed, and the triumph of vice in private as well as in public, interrupted.
For the crown they got a greater body of force than ever was before granted, and a greater supply than formerly. After all done in favour of trade and the poor, yet on a calculation it appeared they raised the revenue ^200,000 per an.
This contrast is strong enough, but a reflecting reader may notice, that the merits or demerits of the two administrations, are not so much imputable to the two noblemen, as to the different instructions they acted by. The only imputation to them lies in a reasonable supposition, that the character of each was congenial with the plan of bis orders and government.
If it be asked, wherefore the premier encouraged by his agents in the castle, a stern opposition to catholic claims in parliament, supported by the resolutions of corporations and grand juries, sturdy lives and fortunes men, and afterwards gave the catholics a temporary fallacious gleam of halcyon days, soon closed by mortifying disappointments. He wished to widen the breach between the adverse partizans of ascendancy and emancipation. He succeeded in this wish, and, in inflaming the opposition between the two parties in the legislature. Lord Fitzwilliam undoubtedly acted agreeably to the powers entrusted to him, in turning out of office the veteran hacks of the government party. Hereupon the whole phalanx of corruption took the alarm, and keenly applied for redress to their usual employers. Pitt having humbled that unpopular party, by showing them he could rule Ireland without them, and confer pre-eminence on their adversaries, thus humbled to his views, and implacably hostile to the catholics and the patriots in parliament, whose joint influence had turned them out, and threatened the downfall of their whole party, they rushed headlong to ezecute whatever orders were transmitted to them. Thus he agitated, irritated, and committed the contending parties, religious and political, with increasing animosity. He had one thing to whisper to the patrons of ascendancy; another and opposite he spoke to the delegates of the catholic convention; back again to the protestant, and again to the catholic; until be set them together by the ears: these were among the means he employed to lead Ireland gradually to that provincial state, long planned by English statesmen. According to the fore-mentioned letter, deferring the catholic question would be the means of doing a greater service to the British empire, than it has been capable of receiving since the revolution, or at least since the union!!! And the other passage, if the consideration of this question could be deferred until peace was established, bis grace should have no doubt but it would be attended with advantages, which are not to be hoped for in any other supposable case. No other intelligible meaniag can be extracted from these two passages, but the legislative union, since accomplished. For why should deferring catholic emancipation be necessary for attaining to Britain so great an advantage, as great at least as the union with Scotland? The advantage must be gained over Ireland, through her divisions and agitations, to which deferring, after promisiog emancipation, would necessarily supply fuel. On the other hand, possession of equal rights would greatly tend to produce unanimity in the land. For when neither party po»
sessed ascendency, any rights to withhold or claim from the other, their agitations would subside into internal calm. Now as the human mind cannot totally stagnate, but must be moved by the opposite springs of hope and fear, salutary while moderate, the different factions, finding no aliment for mental exertion in pretensions extinguished by justice, would turn the activity of their minds on the greater concerns of national importance. They would see, they had a common interest, as well as a common country; common grievances to redress, common rights to demand, and common injuries to repel. Therefore it is, that the real enemies of Ireland, have always opposed the restoration of catholics to their rights; and, for the same reason, the recal of Fitzwilliam, and the delay of the emancipation, until the great advantage was obtained over Ireland, equal in magnitude to the revolution, or the union with Scotland. It was unanimity obtained great advantages to Ireland, during the American war: it was, shortly afterwards, by driving them to the contrary course of strife, division, and civil war, to despoil them not only of their acquisitions, but of legislative power, that no saucy demand of rights should ever again be made. The incorporate union was here manifestly alluded to; equally so in the second passage, why it was expedient to defer emancipation, i.e. to prolong the divisions of the Irish, until the establishment of peace, for the sake of gaining the great advantage. The English cabinet entertained little doubt of the conquest, or at least of