Imágenes de páginas

the men who now conducted the his family for what they would affairs in that country, we soon probably have to undergo, it was a should see it added to the list of re. duty incumbent upon him to lay be. publics which our fatal measures fore his sovereign the reasons for bis bad been the cause of ereating all conduct, flattering himseif that lie over Europe : but with this conse- mould be allowed that gracious quence- if a revolution took place hearing which his majetty had to in Ireland, it inevitably would pro- often given to one from whose lips duce a revolution in Great Britain. he never heard but the dictates of To prevent these evils, there was the heart, as sincerely as they were but one effective remedy, which he now delivered to their lord ships. earnestly recommended to the con Lord Romney said, he differed fideration of their lordflips-a par- from the noble duke in every fenliamentary reform; without which timent, except the fincerity which our constitution would lip from he professed." He asserted that the under us. There were not wanting war was necessary, and had not people who might say, these disats been disastrous. One palsage in the ters had befallen us by chance; but proposed motion might produce, (continued his grace) let us not he thought, the most pernicious condemn chance for our situation consequences : speaking of the or our sufferings, but the ministers people of Ireland, he mentioned their who were now before us, and had being “ an oppreffed people.” What brought us hither. Their lordships would they say, if this address was had to this day given them their voted, and the sentiments of that support; but let them give it no house made known as such upon longer: wisdom was never more the subject ? He contended that conspicuous or amiable, than in the our ally, the emperor, was faithful acknowledgment of error-but all and magnanimous—that the muti. aslistance bestowed on the same mi. ny on board the fleet was owing to nisters from this moment ought to French intrigues - and that, if the be bestowed openly, and in the sailors would be true to their couneyes of the public, that it might in- try, we might defy the combined volve the person with the minister attack of every nation upon earth. in the guilt of every future fatal The earl of Guildford attributed project. For himself, he protested, the aggregate sum of our calamities that, fo far from abetting the perni- to the mil-conduct of ministers, nor cious councils which had brought could there be any hope of peace on the downfall of the empire, le without their dismissal.' To all the had endeavoured by constitutional other effects which the proposed means to avert them. If this mo- measure would produce, would be tjou was to be received with the added a correction of the extrafame cold indifference which had vagance in blood and treasure for had been shewn in common times, which the present administration and if the saine confidence was had been distinguithed. He becontinued to the ministers, he feeched their lordfhips to weigh fhould not think it necessary to well the side on which they gave trouble the house with his remarks their approbation this evening. It again. But before he retired to was an important crisis, big with fortify his own mind againft the ap- the fate of empires. prouching calamities, and prepare

The earl of Suffolk fupported


the motion as a step towards the ferted by our allies, we only had 18 falvation of the country. It was consider our own intereft ; and the as idle as false, to atfirm that Eng. cause therefore, to him, was inexland did not at this tine suffer from plicable. He trusted they had not the most alarming disorders which the madness to make Austria renew only could be remedied by chang. the contest. He remembered its ing' men and measures. If those in having been stated, that it was impower yet denied the existence of poflible for the king of Sardinia to such circumstances in England, let desert us. It had been said, that them turn their eyes to Ireland, the ministers of his Prussian majefwhere would be found a great deal ty were the best in Europe! When to fear and to lament. He pro- he himself had mentioned the sende duced a letter from a private friend ing a subsidy to the king of Prussia, of his own, in which it was stated, ministers had exclaimed, “ Do you that Ireland was nearly in an in- call it a fubfidy? it is a cheap ecosurrection : but the earl of Weft- nomical contract.” The marquis moreland calling him to order, and observed, we had had plenty of censuring the impropriety of giving such contracts; whether the Pruf. the opinion of any private indivi- fian was an economical one or not, dual upon that fubječt, the earl of he could not pretend to say; per Suffolk declined proceeding with haps it was cheaper than those enthe letter.

tered into in St. Domingo. He The marquis of Landsdowne expected to have heard that the expressed surprise, that ministers bank of Vienna, upon the return of would not give the public any fa- peace, would have resumed its paytisfa&tion upon subjects so interest. ments, and that not only the inte. ing to the country; and that they rest of the money we had lent to carried their secrecy so far, as to the emperor would have been put a negative upon information punctually paid, but that the capioffered from another quarter. The tal would have been gradually liquipresent calamities, he said, mightdated. Not one word bad the noall be traced to their mysterious ble secretary uttered upon this condu&, and it had uniformly point: he even siniled at having proved mischievous to the commu- cheated the country out of fix milnity. As he wished rather to hear lions of money--and it deserved to than to speak, he had come down be so cheated, whilft it submitted to on that day, prepossesed with an be taxed in light and in air, without idea that some notice would be one remonftrance !

As to progiven by the ministers, that a nego- fpects of peace, he confeffed he had tiation had commenced between the sin of believing that the French this country and France. Had this government were always inclined been announced, he llould have to pacification, and he recommend been lilent; though he confessed ed it to the ministers to make a dehe had no ground for the fuppofi. claration that they were willing to ne tion but public report. He was gotiate ; which, if it served no other urterly at a loss to divine what purpose, would at least folve a procould retard fuch overtures: we blem which had never yet been had no longer the opening of the folved what had been the real obScheldt to refift; the fate of the ject of the war. He adverted with Low Countries was decided: de much severity on their silence


when their measures were attacked, that oppofition. With respect to and on the mystery in which they the subsidies made to Prutlia, on involved every thing belonging to which the marquis of Lansdowne the country. He reminded their had been so pointedly severe, he lordihips, that about two years ago Mould merely observé, that it was he had ftated the neceffity of refore the bett mode of hiring troops for mation in the navy, but without public service. As to our alliance success. He declared upon the with Austria, could any one assert belt authority of the most enlight- with justice, that we had not gainened men in Ireland, that coun- ed by that proceeding great and try was then placed in a fitua- succesive advantage to the real in. tion of imminent danger. He terests of the nation. It seemed to could not exprefs in a manner too be considered by those who sup, forcible the evils likely to arise ported the motion, that the removal from the fyftem pursued by his ma- of ministers would be grateful to the jesty's present minifters. They public mind; but would it be equally were laying the foundation of ani- lo, that these lords thould occupy modity between both kingdoms, by their places: The present ministers sending over troops thither. He had prevented that anarchy to which concluded his speech with the ad- the language of the opposition imvice given by M. Necker to kings mediately tended, but which he on the subjeót of coercion: “Wife had not heard before now expressed, ftatesmen ítrongly advised them ne. nor expected to have heard in that ver to provoke the people; to avoid house. A reform of parliament with the utmost caution coercive, was a chief measure proposed. For and adopt conciliatory, measures, himself, he objected to that innoeven in cases of the most preffing vation as a complete alteration of nature, as the most effectual to our constitution. He had even opmake their subje&ts comply with posed a temperate reform; but this their juft views, and reconcile them now offered for discussion was peto a state of tranquillity.”

culiarly objectionable it went to Lord Grenvilic affirmed, that the pluck up by the roots every right tone of diftreis im puted to the planted by the constitution : it country began and ended with the would exchauge every election over lords who supported the motion. the kingdom into the nature of a Were the question to be carried in Westminster election - with which the affirmative, he said, it would every one of their lordfains was ne. impart to him the most serious con- ceffarily acquainted. Parliament cern; not on account of his own did not pofiess so unlimited, so expersonal ease or safety, but that he traordinary a power as to authorise should be prevented from giving such a reform; and if the flood. his efficient support to the execu- gates were once opened to jonotive government for the happiness vation, the torrent of anarchy of the whole community. If, in would spread so forcibly and so fact, the ministers had ever opposed wide, that it would not be in the those noxious political principles power of their lordships, by oppofwhich aimed at the subversion of ing their feeble hands as a barrier to all regular governments, they were deftruciion, to prevent the contti. called upon at the present noment tution from being overwhelmed in to continue with additional firmness ruin,


The duke' of Leeds entreated were off Bantry Bay, the Irisli go* both sides in the most earnest man vernment, under the influence of ner, to proceed calmly in a difcuf- the British cabinet, heltated in refion which involved in itself conse- fusing them a community of priquences of the utmost importance. vileges. He hoped, however, ibat He thought the noble secretary had it was not too late to conciliate; made the constitution depend, as it but this could not be done by half were, upon the continuance of the measures : ministers must speak out present ministers in office, rather fairly and explicitly, and not leave than on its own intrinsic merit. a loop-hole for suspicion. He de. He did not assert that these mini- nied the affairs of Ireland being fofters were intentionally wicked, but reign to the British cabinet; and he could not help considering them therefore, should a convulsion hapas peculiarly unfortunate. His pen in that country, it would be grace disapproved of parliamentary but justice to infli& punishment upreform.

on those on this side of the water Lord Grenville protested, that if who had not laboured to avert conthe motion merely concerned the sequences so ruinous. He conremoval of ministers, he should not cluded with lamenting the slumber have risen to oppose it; but he be into which the house had fallen in lieved the object was to promote this season of danger. not a change of men, but a revolu. Earl Spencer objected to the motion in the country.

tion on the same ground with lord The earl of Moira denied that Grenville. It was connected with the motion was of a personal a change of measures which would nature; and vindicated the noble prove ruinous to the country; and duke who made it on constitution- if our situation was really dangeral grounds. He, for one, was ous, every one should support the not disposed to ascribe to mini- conftitution. sters that prosperity which arose The duke of Bedford was fur. from the energy of our merchants. prised to hear the secretary aftert, Their genius and enterprising spirit that there were fundamental rights would ever carry the country to of the people which the parliament the height of glory, if administra- could not take away: what (faid his tion did not put bars in their way. grace), nci after repealing, in fact, The motion, indeed, was meant to the bill of rights, and striking at inflict a penalty on ministry for the fome of the most valuable and inill fuccefs of the war. It had been disputable privileges of the peoopposed, left the conftitution Nould ple? be overturned--but this was a fal. The question being called for, lacious and pernicious mode of ar the lord chancellor rose. He said, gument, because then all our pre- the drift of the motion was not on. fent evils and disasters would be at ly to criminate ministers, but to in. tridated to government, not mini- troduce a new fyftem of goverafiers; and the subversion of it ment, under the pretence of a parmight inhdiously be pointed out as liamentary reform; that it tended the only remedy. Of Ireland he to disfranchise all corporations, to wished to speak with caution: empower the house of commr ons to when the catholics had mown their urcreate their creators, and deftroy loyalty at the time that the French the rights of the very men who


made them members of parliament. reform in the reprefentation of the The term freeholder had hitherto, people. He said, he was sensible been the pride of the best part of he thus exposed himself to many the nation; but by the plan pro- uncharitable imputations; and if posed, this was to give way to the in refifting the deftruétive system more favourite appellation of pot of minitiers, he with his friends boilers; it would cut up by the had been accused of 2 with to graroots whatever entered into the na- tify personal interest and private ture of franchise-property or privi- anbition, of a wanton delire to lege, and introduce, instead, the prin- thwart the executive government, ciple of an agrarian law. He alked hey could not in the present in the duke how he would like the ap stance expect to escape fimilar, or plication of this doctrine to his still more odious, imputations. own estates? He reminded him of ; His speech was of considerable all which had happened in France length, and he ftated with much in the years 1789 and 1790. There, strength of argument and brillian. it was observable, that those who cy of language our former profpewere foremost in the revolutionis- rity, and our present distrelies. He ing the couotry, fell amongst the folemnly affirmed, that he fought first victims of the pernicious prin- not to alter any part of the consticiples they had laboured to infuse. tution; his fole object was, to obHe entreated their lordships to tain for the people a full, fair, and pause, and consider the tendency free representation in the house of of the motion, and then did not commons. He wished our estadoubt their strenuous disapproba- bliment should remain as it was, tion of it.

composed of king, lords, and comThe duke of Bedford, after an mons. He proposed that the counobservation on the uncandid pro- ty representation should continue ceeding of speaking after his reply, nearly upon the fame footingdenied the interpretation put upon there were, however, a few alterathe plan of reform; and pointed tions which he thought might take out the fallacy of comparing the place : instead of ninety-two coun: elective franchise, a right pof. ty members which there were at sefied by individuals for the good present, there should be one hunof the whole, to private pro dred and thirteen; for instance, inperty. Were votes to be consider- stead of tuo for the county of ed as private property because they York, there should be two for each were bought and sold ? It was a riding, and so in other counties right, which, so far from being in- where the present representation jured by being extended, would be was not proportionate to the extent improved, because extension would of the population. give efficacy. But whatever ob In order to put an end to comjections there might be to the bill, promises, &c. each county or ridthey were no argue ents against its ing Mould be divided into grand introduction, since it was meant to divisions, each of which Mould rebe printed, and left open for dif- turn one representative. The next cuffion till next year.

proposition he had to make was The house divided, contents 12; in the qualifications of electors. non contents 65.

Instead of confining the right of May 26. Mr. Grey moved a election to freeholders, as it now 1797.



« AnteriorContinuar »