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tiny bill, habeas corpus act, nullum tempus act — a great work! You will exceed it, and I shall rejoice. I call my countrymen to witness, if in that business I compromised the claims of my country, or temporised with the power of England; but there was one thing which baffled the effort of the patriot, and defeated the wisdom of the senate, it was the folly of the theologian. When the Parliament of Ireland rejected the Catholic petition, and assented to the calumnies then uttered against the Catholic body, on that day she voted the Union : if you should adopt a similar conduct, on that day you will vote the separation : many good and pious reasons you may give; many good and pious reasons she
and she lies THERE with her many good and her pious reasons. That the Parliament of Ireland should have entertained prejudices, I am not astonished; but that you, that you who have, as individuals and as conquerors, visited a great part of the globe, and have seen men in all their modifications, and Providence in all her ways; that you, now at this time of day, should throw up dykes against the Pope, and barriers against the Catholic, instead of uniting with that Catholic to throw up barriers against the French, this surprises; and, in addition to this, that you should have set up the Pope in Italy, to tremble at him in Ireland ; and further, that you should have professed to have placed yourself at the head of a Christian, not a Protestant league, to defend the civil and religious liberty of Europe, and should deprive of their civil liberty one-fifth of yourselves, on account of their religion - this surprises me; and also that you should prefer to buy allies by subsidies, rather than fellow-subjects by privileges; and that you should now stand, drawn out, as it were, in battalion, 16,000,000 against 36,000,000, and should at the same time paralyze a fifth of your own numbers, by excluding them from some of the principal benefits of your constitution, at the very time you say all your numbers are inadequate, unless inspired by those very privileges.
As I recommend to you to give the privileges, so I should recommend the Catholics to wait cheerfully and dutifully. The temper with which they bear the privation of power and privilege is evidence of their qualification : they will recollect the strength of their case, which sets them above impatience; they will recollect the growth of their case from the time it was first agitated, to the present moment; and, in that growth, perceive the perishable nature of the objections, and the immortal quality of the prin. ciple they contend for. They will further recollect what they have gotten already — rights of religion, rights of property, and above all, the elective franchise, which is in itself the seminal principle of every thing else: with a vessel so laden, they will be too wise to leave the harbour, and trust the fallacy of any wind: nothing can prevent the ultimate success of the Catholics but intemperance. For this they will be too wise; the charges uttered against them they will answer by their allegiance : so should I speak to the Catholics. To the Protestant I would say, You have gotten the land and powers of the country, and it now remains to make those acquisitions eternal. Do not you see, according to the present state and temper of England and France, that your country must ultimately be the seat of war. Do not you see,
children must stand in the front of the battle, with uncertainty and treachery in the rear of it. If, then, by ten or twelve seats in Parliament given to Catholics, you could prevent such a day, would not the compromise be every thing? What is your wretched monopoly, the shadow of your present, the memory of your past power, compared to the safety of your families, the security of your estates, and the solid peace and repose of your island ? Besides, you have an account to settle with the empire: might not the empire accost you thus ? “ For one hundred years you have been in possession of the country, and very loyally have you taken to yourselves the power and profit thereof. I am now to receive at your hands the fruits of all this, and the unanimous support of your people: where is it? now, when I am beset with enemies and in my day of trial.” Let the Protestant ascendancy answer that question, for I cannot. Above twenty millions have been wasted on their shocking contest, and a great proportion of troops of the line locked
in the island, that they may enjoy the ascendancy of the country, and the empire not to receive the strength of it. Such a system cannot last: their destinies must be changed and exalted; the Catholic no longer their inferior, nor they inferior to every one, save only the Catholic; both must be free, and both must fight, - but it is the enemy, and not one another; thus the sects of religion renouncing, the one all foreign connection, and the other all domestic proscription, shall form a strong country; and thus the two islands, renouncing all national prejudices, shall form a strong empire-a phalanx in the west. to check, perhaps ultimately to confound the ambition of the enemy. I know the ground on which I stand, and the truths which I utter, and I appeal to the objects you urge against me, which I constitute my judges, to the spirit of your own religion, and to the genius of your own revolution; and I consent to have the principle which I maintain tried by any test, and equally sound, I contend, it will be found, whether you apply it to constitution where it is free
dom, or to empire where it is strength, or to religion where it is light.
Turn to the opposite principle, proscription and discord -it has made in Ireland not only war, but even peace calamitous : witness the one that followed the victories of King William, to the Catholics a sad servitude, to the Protestants a drunken triumph, and to both a peace without trade and without constitution. You have seen in 1798 rebellion break out again, the enemy masking her expeditions in consequence of the state of Ireland, twenty millions lost, one farthing of which did not tell in empire, and blood barbarously, boyishly, and most ingloriously expended. These things are in your recollection : one of the causes of these things, whether efficient, or instrumental, or aggravating, the proscriptive system I mean, you may now remove; it is a great work! has ambition not enlarged your mind, or only enlarged the sphere of its action? What the best men in Ireland wished to do but could not do, the patriot courtier, and the patriot oppositionist, you may accomplish. - What Mr. Gardiner, Mr. Langrishe, men who had no views of popularity or interest, or any but the public good; what Mr. Daly, Mr. Burgh, men whom I shall not pronounce to be dead, if their genius live in this measure; what Mr. Forbes, every man that loved Ireland; what Lord Pery, the wisest man Ireland ever produced; what Mr. Hutchinson, an able, accomplished, and enlightened servant of the crown; what Lord Charlemont, superior to his early prejudices, bending under years and experience, and public affection; what that dying nobleman; what our Burke; what the most profound divines, Dr. Newcome, for instance, our late Primate (his mitre stood in the front of that measure); what these men supported, and against whom? Against men who had no opinion at that time, or at any time, on the subject, except that which the minister ordered, or men, whose opinions were so extravagant, that even bigotry must blush for them : and yet those men above mentioned had not before them considerations which should make you wise — that the Pope has evaporated, and that France has covered the best part of Europe. That terrible sight is now before you ; it is a gulf that has swallowed up a great portion of your treasure, it yawns for your being -- were it not wise, therefore, to come to a good understanding with the Irish now; it will be miserable if any.thing untoward should happen hereafter, to say we did not foresce this danger; against other dangers, against the Pope we were impregnable; but if instead of guarding against dangers which are not, we should provide against dangers which are, the remedy is in your hands - the franchises of the constitution. Your ancestors were nursed in that cradle, the ancestors of the petitioners were less fortunate, the posterity of both born to new and strange dangers; let them agree to renounce jealousies and proscriptions, in order to oppose what, without that agreement, will overpower both. Half Europe is in battalion against us, and we are damning one another on account of mysteries, when we should form against the enemy, and march.
The Attorney-General (Mr. Percival) and Mr. Alexander opposed the motion. The debate was adjourned to the next day. It was opposed by Sir William Scott, Mr. J. Foster, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Pitt), Mr. Archdall, Mr. Shaw, Lord de Blaquiere, Sir William Dolben, and Sir George Hill; it was supported by Dr. Laurence, Mr. George Ponsonby, Mr. Windham, Mr. Maurice Fitzgerald, Sir John Newport, Mr. John Latouche, Colonel C. Hutchinson, and Mr. Hawthorn. Mr. Fox replied. The House divided; for the motion
Majority against the motion
For the Noes, Attorney-General and Sir Geo. Hill.
As certain observations appear in the publication of the Catholic
debate, which were not heard by Mr. Grattan, or should have been answered, he authorises the following narrative:
That the Catholic question came forward in 1791, from the Catholics themselves, and that they applied in the spring of 1791 to Mr. Grattan and some others of the then opposition, and received the following answer : • Not to link themselves with the
opp0+. sition, who could not carry their question, but to obtain the consent of the government, and to resort to the Lord Lieutenant's secretary."
That in the beginning of 1792, after the Catholics had taken their measures, Mr. Richard Burke put to the same gentlen.en the following questions,
1st, Whether they would support the Catholic claim ?
2d, Whether they would present the Catholic petition ? to which he received the following answer,
“ That they would support the Catholics, and that they would not present that particular petition." Another petition was then formed, and it was presented, and supported by those gentlemen.
That the petiton being rejected, the Catholic committee being attacked, and a Catholic convention, of which Mr. Grattan did entirely approve, substituted, the same gentlemen did support the propriety of the petition of that convention, and the bill, pursuant to its application.
That certain overtures being made in 1794, from leading characters in the administration, to certain gentlemen of Ireland, and Mr. Grattan among others, they did decline the same, unless assurance was given, that the wishes of the Catholics should be acceded to.
That the reform of Parliament was not connected with any of the above measures, but that after the Irish House of Commons had voted a committee in 1793, to enquire into the state of the representation, Mr. Ponsonby, with the entire approbation and support of Mr. Grattan and those gentlemen, did in 1794 ask leave to bring in a bill for the reform of Parliament.
That said bill was formed in opposition to the principle of personal representation, and to the sentiment then prevalent in the north of Ireland, and being founded, as was conceived, on the true principles of the constitution, was attacked by two parties, the courtier and the democrat.
It follows from the above statement,
1st, That it is not a fact, that the Roman Catholics were excited by Mr. Grattan to bring forward their petition.
2d, That it is not a fact, that* his speeches advised them to rely on their physical strength.
3d, That it is not a fact, that Mr. Grattan “ bid” for the Catholics by emancipation.
4th, That it is not a fact, that Mr. Grattan “ bid” for the presbyterians by reform.
5th, That it is not a fact, that he "bid” for either.
6th, That it is not a fact, that the speeches of Mr. Grattan on those occasions caused the association of the United Irishmen.
7th, That it is not a fact, that his speeches on those occasions caused a convention in the North.
8th, That it is not a fact, that Mr. Grattan canvassed for Catholic petition in 1795, in Lord Fitzwilliam's administration, at that time, or at any time.
It is not possible it should be a fact, that the speeches alluded to should have caused the association of the Irishmen, that association existing above a year before those speeches were made.
It is not possible it should be a fact, that the Catholics were excited by those speeches to come forward, the Catholics having come forward before those speeches were made.
It is not possible it should be a fact, that those speeches caused a convention in the North, no such convention having existed after his speeches on reform were delivered.
To every one of the above charges we are authorized to give a distinct contradiction ; most of them are impossible, not one of them is a fact. As it has been signified to Mr. Grattan, that no personal offence was intended, to say more is judged unnecessary.
* The above remarks were made in consequence of the published speech of the member for Londonderry.