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February, by 226 against 96. The he would say that it was necessary debate on both occasions was long the bill should pass without hearandanimated; but the topics urged ing the petitioners. If it affected on either side were merely a repe- them, it could do so only because tition of those which had been they had done what they ought not previously brought forward.
to do. On the 1st of March the bill was The motion was supported by read a first time in the House of lord Grey and lord Holland, and Lords. On the 4th of that month was negatived by 69 to 23. lord Caernarvon presented a peti- On the same evening the second tion similar to that which Mr. reading of the bill was carried ; the Brougham had been entrusted with Contents being 146; the Non-conin the other House, and moved tents 44. The debate was between that the petitioners should be lord Liverpool and lord Harrowby heard by themselves or their on the one side, and the duke of counsel. The motion was opposed Sussex, the marquis of Lansdown, by lord Liverpool and the lord and lord Grosvenor on the other. chancellor. The bill, said the noble On the 7th of March, the bill and learned lord, proceeded to was read a third time, and passed legislate upon a general principle; without a division. On the 9th of and the rule was, that no man March it received the royal assent. could be heard upon petition, unless By the first section of this act, in cases where his own particular every society or other body of perinterests were affected. If he was sons acting for redress of grievances asked, whether there were not ex- in church or state, or for the purceptions to this rule, he would say pose or under the pretence of carthat he believed there were many: rying on or assisting in the prosebut it was always at the discretion cution or defence of causes civil or of parliament, whether they would criminal, renewing its meetings for preserve the rule, or act on the ex- more than fourteen days, or colception. Cases might be adduced, lecting or receiving money, is dein which bills, on the demand of clared unlawful. One clause extraordinary exigency, had passed enacts, “ That any society, comin the course of one day, which mittee, or other body of persons in would subject the parties to the Ireland, assuming, or in any manner greatest possible punishment. This or by any means or contrivance was a departure from the usual exercising the power of acting, for practice of the constitution ; but the purposes or under the pretences it would be easy to suppose a situa- aforesaid, or any of them, which tion, in which much danger would society, committee, or other body result from allowing the process of of persons, or the members thereof, deliberation to go on, and the or any of them, shall appoint, aumeasure itself might come too late thorize, employ, or make use of to remedy the evil against which any committee, or other select body, it was directed. If the general or any member or members of such measure applied to the proceedings committee, or other select body, or of the Roman Catholic Association, any president, secretary, delegate, it would put an end to them. If agent, or other officer or member it did not apply, they might go theretofore, within the space of six on. Acting upon the general rule, calendar months next preceding,
appointed, authorized, employed, plan of a new Catholic Association or used by any society, committee, in the following thirteen articles : or other body of persons, which “ 1. As it is desirable that the would have been an unlawful com- proposed New Catholic Association bination and confederacy if the should combine Irishmen of all meetings or proceedings thereof had religious persuasions, it is expressly been continued or renewed by ad- declared that no persons professing journmentor otherwise, for a longer any of the forms of religious faith term than fourteen days from its allowed or tolerated by law shall first meeting, shall be deemed an be excluded therefrom ; but, on the unlawful combination and con- contrary, Christians of all denomifederacy within the meaning of this nations are invited to become act, and the meetings thereof shall be members thereof. unlawful assemblies." All persons “ 2. No member of the New Caoffending are deemed guilty of a tholic Association shall be required misdemeanor, and may be punish- to take any oath, or make any deed by fine and imprisonment. Per- claration whatsoever. sons knowingly permitting any “3. To avoid the possibility of its meeting of such unlawful assem- being alleged, even by means of any blies in their houses, are, for perverse interpretation of the act the first offence, to forfeit the of 6th George IV., cap. 4, that the sum of five pounds, and for a new Catholic Association can come second offence, to be deemed guilty within the provisions thereof, it is of an unlawful combination and expressly declared that the new confederacy in breach of this act. Catholic Association shall not asThe act was to commence ten days sume, or in any manner, or by any after it should be passed, and was means or contrivance, exercise the to continue two years in force. power of acting for the purpose or
The Catholic Association did not under the pretence of procuring the attempt to resist the law, and ex- redress of grievances in church or pired without a struggle. But state, or the alteration of any matafter the close of the session of ters by law established in church or parliament, an aggregate meeting state, or for the purpose or under of the Catholics appointed a com- the pretence of carrying on or mittee of 21 persons to consider, assisting in the prosecution or dewhether there could be framed, fence of causes, civil or criminal. without any violation of the exist- “4. That the New Catholic Asing law, a permanent body, to sociation shall not be composed of assist in the conducting or manage- different divisions, or of different ment of such portion of Catholic parts, acting inany manner separate affairs as it might be by law per- or distinct from each other; and mitted to have managed, without that there shall be no separate or resorting to the too frequent hold- distinct secretary or delegate, or ing of aggregate meetings, and, in other officer, elected or appointed particular, without in any way in- by or for any particular part, or fringing on the recent statute. authorized to act for any par
On the 13th of July, lord ticular part; neither shall the Killeen presented the report of new Catholic Association commuthe committee to another aggregate nicate or correspond ; neither shall meeting. This report proposed the its constitution contain any provision for communication or corres- Catholic Association is, and shall pondence, with any other society, be, to promote all improvements in committee, or body of persons ; science, and in Irish agriculture, neither shall it in any respect act to encourage the consumption of in any manner inconsistently with Irish manufactures, and the extenthe said statute of the 6th George sion of Irish commerce. IV. cap. 4.
“ 11. The sixth purpose of the “ 5. The New Catholic Associa- New Catholic Association is, and tion can and may be formed merely shall be, to encourage, as much as for the purposes of public and possible, a liberal and enlightened private charity, and such other press, to circulate works calculated purposes as are not prohibited by to promote just principles, and the said statute of the 6th Geo. mutual toleration and kindness, IV. cap. 4.
and to vindicate the principles of “6. The first purpose of the New the Catholics against the unjust and Catholic Association is, and shall slanderous attacks daily made upon be, that of promoting public peace them. and tranquillity, as well as private “12. The seventh purpose of the harmony and concord, amongst all New Catholic Association will be, classes of his majesty's subjects to prepare a detailed statement of throughout Ireland
the various charges made against “7. The second purpose of the the Catholics, in the petitions preNew Catholic Association is, and sented to parliament during the shall be, the encouragement and recent sessions, and to publish extension of a liberal, enlightened, authentic refutationsof such charges and religious system of education, in the places where they respecfounded on the basis of Christian tively originated. charity and perfect fair dealing. “13. That every person who shall
“8. The third purpose of the New think fit, on or before a day to be Catholic Association is, and shall named, to pay the sum of il., on be, that of ascertaining the number this admission, shall be a member of the population of Ireland, and of the New Catholic Association ; the relative proportions which the and after that day, each person professors of the various Christian paying 1l. and procuring one mempersuasions bear the one to the ber to propose and another to second other; and in particular to ascer- him, shall also be a member.” tain the number of children of A subsequent part of the report each persuasion in a course of stated, that, as the New Catholic Aseducation.
sociation could not interfere in any "9. The fourth purpose of the way to procure redress from parliaNew Catholic Association is, and ment, or the courts of law, it was shall be, to devise the means of incumbent on the Catholics to adopt erecting suitable Catholic churches other means, altogether unconnectfor the celebration of divine wor- ed with the New Association, of ship, and to procure and establish preparing and presenting petitions Catholic burial-grounds, wherein to parliament, and also for preventthe Catholic dead may be interred ing and punishingacts of individual without being liable to any species oppression and of party violence. For of contumely or insult.
this purpose the committee gave 10. The fifth purpose of the New the following suggestions:
“ The petitions to parliament extraneous matter, or any details must of course be altogether un- on subjects of any other description, connected with the New Catholic we being convinced that the simple Association, and must originate and single object of obtaining with, and be conducted by, general unconditional and unqualified relief or aggregate meetings, which, as from our disabilities, should be the law now stands, may be con- solely attended to as well by the tinued by adjournment for fourteen Catholics themselves, as by their days, and no longer.
friends in parliament." “ It is obvious that it would be The report was received with impossible to arrange all the peti- clamorous applause, and was aptions necessary to be presented to proved unanimously. The lanparliament during the ensuing guage of some of the speakers was sessions in the space of 14 days. violent in the extreme. Mr.
“ It is deemed advisable to have O'Gorman, who had not the exa petition presented from every cuse of eloquence for his vehemence, parish in Ireland.
in returning thanks for his appoint“ The country should be there- ment to the office of secretary, obfore taken separately by counties. served, that his majesty's ministers There can, in point of law, be 14 were not lying on a bed of roses. days given to each county separate- Independently of their internal disly and distinctly, but the business sensions, which he hoped God of petitioning for such county Almighty would increase, their must be conducted by general or finances were in rather a ticklish aggregate meetings, unconnected situation; England was beginning with the New Catholic Associa- to get uneasy, and a cloud appeared tion, and such general or aggre- to be gathering in the North, gate meetings can continue to sit which there was no knowing how for the petitions of each county soon it might burst, for Russia had during fourteen days, according to thirteen hundred thousand men in the provisions of the statute. arms. All these cheering prospects,
“ Thus the New Catholic Asso- he added, were sufficient to inspire ciation will have to attend to de- Irishmen with hope. They, who tails in Catholic affairs, consistent call upon Catholics by the hate they with the duration of our present bear to Protestants, to be peaceable, grievances, and with an acquies- show a consistent spirit, in regardcence in our present sufferings. ing the anticipated misfortunes of
“ The separate or aggregate England and of Europe as cheering meetings must and will seek for prospects for them. But it is methe redress of grievances, and the lancholy to think that men like alteration of those matters in church lord Gormanstown and lord Killeen and state by which we are op- should submit to be insulted by pressed
language, which is not treasonable “ The Committee,” said the re- only because it is so vague as to be port,“ further beg leave to suggest, almost without meaning ; and still that in the management of the more melancholy is it, that any future petitions of the Catholics of numerous assembly of men of eduIreland, care be taken to have our cati should be so devoid of paclaims for relief brought before triotism as to lend to such lanparliament, and kept free from any guage even a momentary applause.
State of the Question concerning the Roman Catholic Claims-Scheme
of Measures proposed with respect to these Claims-Motion of Sir Francis Burdett on the Subject : Debate : Speeches of Mr. Plunkett and Mr. Peel-Resolutions adopted by the House of Commons-Bil for the Relief of the Roman Catholics-Frame of the Bill— Its Progress through the House of Commons- Debates on it-Declaration of the Duke of York on the Subject-Effect of that Declaration-The Bill passes
the House of Commons-Discussion on it in the House of Lords—It is rejected by the Lords—Bill for regulating the Exercise of the Elective Franchise in Ireland-Resolution for making a Public Provision for the Catholic Clergy--State of the Public Mind concerning the Roman Catholic Question--Inconsistency between the Frame of the Bill and the Principles of its Supporters.
N all the discussions on the members of the cabinet who were
the advocates of the ministerial The question was brought for' measure had carefully separated the ward in the present session under
question of the conduct of that a form very different from any body from the general question of which it had previously assumed. the Roman Catholic claims. In It was made the subject of three deed one of the heaviest grounds distinct measures. One of these of complaint in the minds of many was to remove the Catholic disagainst the Association was, that abilities; another was to establish a its intemperance was injurious to species of connection between the the very interests which it was Catholic ecclesiastics and the state, intended to support. The Catholic by making a public provision for cause, therefore, was in no degree the clergy of that church ; and the involved in or prejudiced by the third, in order to prevent the Procondemnation pronounced on Mr. testants from being overpowered O'Connell and his associates. On in elections by the overwhelming the contrary, it was now deemed to majority of the Catholic populabe in a fairer road to success than it tion, proposed to raise considerably had been for several years. The the yearly value of the freehold to ranks of its friends had been aug- which the elective franchise was mented by various deserters from the annexed. adverse parliamentary array, among
On the 1st of March, sir F. whom perhaps Mr. Brownlow was Burdett presented the general pethe most distinguished. But it tition of the Roman Catholics, and had acquired a still better ground moved, in an eloquent and temof hope in the increased and in- perate speech, for the appointment creasing influence and popularity of a committee of the whole House, of Mr. Canning, and those other to consider of the state of the laws