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Kilmainham, they might dine all together in a large hall. Good heaven! what a sight to see them feeding in public upon public viands, and talking of public subjects for the benefit of the public! It is a pity they are not immortal ; but I hope they will flourish as a corporation, and that pensioners will beget pensioners to the end of the chapter."
Mr. GRATTAN now rose, and spoke as follows:
“ Sir, the gentlemen who have urged the most plausible argument against the Bill, baye not taken the trouble to read it. They say that it gives up the control of Parliament over such pensions as shall not exceed the limits of the Bill. No such thing your control cannot be given up without express words ; but here there are express words to save it : here, aware of such a pretence, and that no colour should be given for such an objection, the preamble states the nature of the pensions which are to bave any existence at all, “ such as are allowed by Parliament."
This objection being answered by the Bill, I must advert to another, which has nothing to say to the Bill.
"A right honorable member has declared the Bill to be the most exceptionable that ever came into ' Parliament; and his reason for this. most extraordinary declaration is most singular indeed, “ because it restrains the Ministers of the Crown, and leaves the Pension List open to both Houses of Parliament.”—From thence he iofers that a practice of profusion will ensue, and from hence you would infer that the Pension List was not now open to the addresses of both or either of the Houses of Parliament; but the fact is, that the evil he deprecates, now exists; that the Bill does not give, but finds and leaves a power to both Houses of Parliament to address on such subjects. As the matter now stands, both or either of the Houses of Parliament may address for such charges, and the Minister may also impose such charges with such addresses. You are thus exposed to the two causes of expense, the power of address in us, and the unlimited power, of pensioning without address in the Minister; and the right honorable gentleman thinks you will increase profusion by removing one of its causes ;--the principle ,cause--the notorious cause -the unlimited power of the Minister, the most constant, operative and plentiful source of prodigality. In the same argument he adds, that the power of Parliament, in disposing of the public,
either of the Hous
money, ruined this country, when there was a redundancy in the Treasury, by serving the pur. poses of jobbing aristocracy. According to him, then, the greatest evils which can befal this country are a surplus in the Treasury, and a re. straint on the prodigality of the Minister.—A prosperity which produces redundancy, and a constitutional Bill which restrains the unlimited grants of the Crown, is his receipt for the ruin of Ireland. In the course of this argument my right honorable friend has spoken of economy. Sir, a friend of mine the other night moved a resolution on the principle of economy, « that your expense should not exceed your income;" his motion was founded on an obvious maxim, that in ordinary years a Government should be re. strained by its own estimate of expense and revenue ; his motion was rejected on two idle arguments :--Tbat unforeseen emergencies might arise, was one argument; but neither the com. plexion nor situation of the times warranted the apprehension of danger, and therefore the argument, if it had no corruption in contemplation, was fictitious and idle. The other argument against my friend's motion was, that the maxims of economy were adopted already by the present Administration. On what foundation, fact. or authority, such an
argument was advanced, the catalogue of pensions can best determine. Those pensions are not words, but facts. I always conceived that the public treasure was, like the people's liberty, to be guarded rather by law than coufidence, and I thought the new taxes a good opportunity for establishing such a safeguard. I thought that such a confidence, without such a safeguard, would encourage Administration at last into acts of profusion; but I could not think the act of profusion would accompany the professions of economy and the grants of the people. I could not foresec that peculation would attend the birth of the tax. I will consider this peculation, or the new catalogue of Pensions, and then the Bill-first the grievance, then the remedy.
“ See how this grievance will naturally affect the people : they will, perhaps, be inclined to think that they see in such a measure the old school revived--the old spirit of plunder renewed, when Government in Ireland was 970thing but the division of spoil. They will re. member that they have given new taxes, and that they have not received the commerce which was, I say, promised, or the economy which was professed ; in short, they will see that you have gotten their money, and have given them, as compensation, a new list of pensions.
66 See how this grievance may affect the British Government: when the British Minister sees that he has incurred the odium of the new taxes and of their misapplication, he will naturally expect that bis influence at least is augmented ; but when he finds that he has added nothing to his power, he will lament this attack on his credit. : The British Government will recollect, that to remove the causes of discontent and jealousy in Ireland, Great Britain surrendered her assumed supremacy. Perhaps that Government will pot think itself well used in the present attempt to revive Irish jealousy, by the unnecessary peculation of their ser. vants in Ireland.
“ See again how this grievance affects the Irish Ministry. Why give Ireland a grievance, for no object on earth, but to lessen the credit of the Irish Government ? Gentlemen speak of reflection---that catalogue is the reflection.You cannot conceal, nor justify, nor extenuate; your connivance would be aggravation. The name of his Excellency bas been introduced to sway debate; his friends come in too late to serve him on this subject; they should have dissuaded him from giving the offence; they should have told his Excellency, that his list of pensioners would be prejudicial to his fame, and was unnecessary to his support; that the