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“Among the circumstances beneficial to Ireland, f may add, that articles which are essential to her trade and to her subsistence, or serve as raw materials for her manufactures, are sent from this country free of duty, while all that we take back from that island is liable to a duty on exportation. The increasing produce of the chief article of manufacture in Ireland, and four-fifths of her whole export trade, are to be ascribed, not to her independent legislature, but to the liberality of the British parliament. It is by the free admission of linen for our market, and the bounties granted by the British parliament on its re-exportation, that the trade in that article has been brought to the height at which we now see it. To the parliament of this kingdom, therefore, Ireland owes the favor, that a market has been opened for her linen to the amount of three millions. By the bounty which we give, we afford her a double market, and (what is still more striking and important) we have prevented a competition against her, arising from the superior cheapness of the linen-manufactures of the continent, by subjecting their importation to a duty of thirty per cent. Nothing would more clearly shew what would be the danger to Ireland from the competition in the principal branches of the linen trade, than the simple fact, that we even now import foreign linens, under this heavy duty, to an amount equal to a seventh part of all that Ireland is able to send us, with the preference that has been stated. By this arrangement alone, we must be considered, either as foregoing between seven and eight hundred thousand pounds per annum in revenue, which we should collect if we chose to levy the same duty on all linens, Irish as well as foreign, or, on the other hand, as sacrificing perhaps at least a million sterling in the price paid for those articles articles by the subjects of this country, which might be saved, if we should allow the importation of all linen, foreign as well as Irish, equally free from duty.’ After ulterior reference to the opinion of Mr. Foster, respecting the expediency of a more intimate commercial connexion, Mr. Pitt thus continued his remarks: * I am, at least, secure from the design of appearing to deliver any partial or chimerical opinion of my own, when I thus state, on the authority of a person the best informed, and who then judged dispassionately, both the infinite importance to Ireland of securing permanently the great commercial advantages which she now holds at the discretion of Great-Britain, and the additional benefit that she would derive from any settlement which should gradually open to her a still more free and complete intercourse with this country. While I state thus strongly the commercial advantages to the sister kingdom, 1 have no apprehension of exciting any sentiment of jealousy here. The inhabitants of Great-Britain, I know, wish well to the prosperity of Ireland; and, if the kingdoms are really and solidly united, they feel that to increase the commercial wealth of one country is not to diminish that of the other, but to increase the strength and power of both. To justify that sentiment, however, we must be satisfied that the wealth which we are pouring into the lap of Ireland is not every day liable to be snatched from us, and thrown into the scale of the enemy. If, therefore, Ireland is to continue, as I trust it will for ever, an essential part of the integral strength of the British empire; if her strength is to be permanently ours, and our strength to be hers; neither I, nor any English minister, can ever be deterred by the fear of creating jealousy jealousy in the hearts of Englishmen from stating the advantages of a closer connexion, or from giving any assistance to the commercial prosperity of that kingdom. - * If I should ever have the misfortune to witness the melancholy moment when such principles must be abandoned, when all hope of seeing Ireland permanently and securely connected with this country shall be at an end, I shall at least have the consolation of knowing, that it will not be the want of temper or forbearance, of conciliation, of kindness, or of full explanation on our part, which will have produced an event so fatal to Ireland, and so dangerous to GreatBritain. If the overbearing power of prejudice and passion shall ever produce that fatal consequence, it will too late be perceived and acknowleged, that all the great commercial advantages which Ireland at present enjoys, and which are continuallv increasing, are to be ascribed to the liberal conduct, the fostering care, of the British empire, extended to the sister kingdom as to a part of ourselves, and not (as has been fallaciously and vainly pretended) to any thing which has been done or can be done by the independent power of her legislature.” Having thus assigned his reasons for recommending the scheme of incorporation, the premier thought it necessary to notice some objections which had been urged, particularly those which related to parliamentary competency, and to the loss of the independence of the Hibernian realm. He first declared his readiness to enter at any time into a full discussion of the question of competency, and then said, ‘For the present I will assume, that no man can deny the competency of the parliament of Ireland (representing, as it does,

does, in the language of our constitution, “ lawfully, fully, and freely, all the estates of the people of the realm”) to make laws to bind the people, unless he is disposed to distinguish that parliament from the parliament of Great-Britain, and, while he maintains the independence of the Irish legislature, yet denies to it the lawful and essential powers of parliament. No man, who maintains the parliament of Ireland to be co-equal with our own, can deny its competency on this question, unless he means to go so far as to deny, at the same moment, the whole of the authority of the parliament of Great-Britain—to shake every principle of legislation—and to maintain, that every thing done by parliament, or sanctioned by its authority, however sacred, however beneficial, is neither more nor less than an act of usurpation. He must not only deny the validity of the union between Scotland and England, but must deny the authority of every one of the proceedings of the united legislature since the union; nay, he must go still farther, and deny the authority under which we now sit and deliberate here. * This point is of so much importance, that I think I ought not to suffer the opportunity to pass, without illustrating more fully what I mean. If this principle of the incompetency of parliament to the decision of the measure be admitted, or if it be contended that parliament has no legitimate authority to discuss and decide upon it, you will be driven to the necessity of recognising a principle, the most dangerous that ever was adopted in any civilised state; I mean the principle, that, parliament cannot adopt any measure new in its nature, and of great importance, without appealing to

the constituent and delegating authority for directions. I If If that doctrine be true, look to what an extent it will carry you. If such an argument could be maintained, you acted without any legitimate authority when you created the representation of the principality of Wales, or of either of the counties palatine of England. Every law that parliament ever made without that appeal, either as to its own frame and constitution, as to the qualification of the electors or the elected, as to the great and fundamental point of the succession to the crown, was a breach of treaty, and an act of usurpation. * If we turn to Ireland itself, what do gentlemen think of the power of that parliament, which, without any fresh delegation from its protestant constituents, associated to itself all the catholic electors, and thus destroyed a fundamental distinction on which it was formed? God forbid that I should object to any of these measures I am only stating the extent to which the principle (that parliament has no authority to decide upon the present measure) will lead; and, if it be admitted in one case, it must be admitted in all. Will any man say, that (although a protestant parliament in Ireland, chosen exclusively by protestant constituents, has by its own inherent power, and without consulting those constituents, admitted and comprehended the catholics, who were till then, in fact, a separate community) a parliament cannot associate itself with another protestant community, represented by a protestant parliament, having one interest with itself, and similar in its laws, its constitution, and its established religion ? "What must be said by those who have been friends to any plan of parliamentary reform, and particularly to such as have been most recently brought forward, either in. Great-Britain or Ireland Whatever may have been thought of the propriety of the measure, I never heard

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