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ECAUSE, that in the pre
when the most unremitting induftry is made ufe of to unhinge every eftablished government in Europe; when revolutionary principles have produced the overthrow of feveral ancient established governments, we think every loyal fubject who regards the liberties of his country called upon to rally round the conftitution, and to preferve its ftability; we therefore cannot help protefting against the rafhnefs of the minifter, who, in fuch times, hazards the experiment of annihilating that conftitution which has for fo many ages maintained the connection be tween Great Britain and Ireland,
and of fubftituting in its ftead (in oppofition to the general voice of the nation) a new lyftem, totally fubverfive of every fundamental principle of that conftitution which we confider as the beft fecurity for thofe liberties which the fubjects of Ireland now enjoy.
28ly, Becaufe, however willing we now are, and always have been, to contribute in proportion to our means to the fupport and defence of the empire, we hold it our bounden duty, before that we shall irrevocably enter into any engagement, to take upon ourselves any particular proportion of the expenfes of the empire, to afcertain the proba ble amount of fuch proportion, to inquire into the ability of Ireland to difcharge the fame, and to examine whether fuch part be propor tionate to the relative abilities of the two nations. Upon fuch inquiry we find that the expenfe incurred by Great Britain in the year 1799, amounted to upwards of -32,000,000l.; and that which was incurred by Ireland in the fame year, amounted to upwards of 6,000,000!.
propofed proportion) amount to upwards of 4,400,000l. which added to the prefent intereft of the debt incurred by Ireland, and the dif charge of her annuities, amounting to 1,400,000l. and the intereft of the loan of this year, amounting to about 250,000l. will make the annual charge upon Ireland to amount to 6,050,000l. It appears to us that the produce of our revenue, including the estimated amount of the taxes laid on this feffion, does not exceed 2,800,000l. and confequently they will fall fhort by 3,250,000/ of the fum neceffary to discharge fuch proportionate part of the ex
penfes of the empire. In order to afcertain the relative abilities of the two nations, their respective balances of trade with the whole world have been compared, and it appears from thence that fuch balance in favour of Great Britain amounts to the fum of 14,800,000l. and that, fuch balance in favour of Ireland, according to the returns laid before this houfe, amount to the fum of 509,312.; taking therefore the balance of trade as a criterion of ability, the proportion would be as 29 to 1. Inquiry likewife having been made into the current cash in circulation in both kingdoms, it appears that in the year 1777, the current cash in Great Britain was calculated at 43,000,950l. and it is computed by perfons the best informed upon that fubject in this kingdom, that the current cash in Ireland may now amount to be tween 3,000,000l. and 3,500,000l.; taking it therefore at the latter, the proportion fhould be as 12 to 1; confidering it in another very effential point of view, the influx and efflux of money into the refpective kingdoms, it appears that Great Britain receives by remittances to perfons having property in the Eaft and Weft Indies, who refide in Great Britain, 4,000,000l. fterling. We do not know of any influx of money into Ireland, fave that of 509,3127. the balance of her trade; and it appears to us that he an nually remits to Great Britain, on account of her debts, the fum of 720,000l. and on account of the pay of 3234 men, ferving in Great Britain, the fum of 101,570.: thefe annual drains, together with the remittances to abfentees (probably little fhort of 2,000,000l.), we confider to have occafioned the high
rate of exchange with Great Britain during the laft twelve months, from 3 to 5 per cent, above par, notwithstanding that during that period 3,000,000l. have been borrowed in Great Britain, and remitted to Ireland. We do not know of any fund to refort to for raifing the faid deficiency of 3,250,000l. fave by taxation, an addition to which cannot in any confiderable degree be fupported; and by reforting to her landed property, the grols contents of which being but 11,000,000 plantation acres, we cannot eftimate at more than the annual rent, of 5,500,000. We obferve the large fums of money borrowed by Ireland within these four years have been for the most part raised in Great Britain, owing to the total difability of procuring them in Ireland. The facility of raising money in Great Britain, and the difficulty found in raifing any in Ireland, clearly demonftrates the opulence of the one nation and the poverty of the other. Under fuch circumftances it appears to us, that if this kingdom fhould take upon herself irrevocably the payment of twofeventeenths of fuch expenses, the will not have means to perform her engagement, unlefs by charging her landed property with 12 or 13s. in the pound. It must end in the draining from her her laft guinea, in totally annihilating her trade for want of capital, in rendering the taxes unproductive, and confequently in finally putting her into a state of bankruptcy. We think ourfelves called upon to protest against a meafure fo ruinous to this country, and to place the refponfibility for its confequences upon fuch perfons as have brought it forward and fupported it,
For thefe reafonis, and believing the above statement to be accurate, we thus record our diffent.
3dly, For thefe and many other reafons, too tedious and too obvious to be here dwelt upon, we have deemed it our bounden duty, both to ourselves and to our defcendants, thus publicly to declare our diffent from thefe refolutions, approving of the measures of a legislative union, which have pafled this houfe, calling on our lateft pofterity to entreat, that in virtue of this, our folemn declaration, they will acquit us of having been in any wife inftrumental to their degradation, and the ruin of that country which they may hereafter inhabit. Leinster, Downhire,
Ludlow, by proxy,
Riverfdale, by proxy,
De Vefci, by proxy,
W. Down and Connor,
R. Waterford and Lifmore,
and entire union between Great Britain and Ireland, to be founded on equal and liberal principles. We cannot help,obferving, that the terms propofed in the faid bill are incon fiftent with thofe principles, and are totally unequal; that Great Britain is thereby to retain entire and undiminished her houfes of lords and commons, and that two-fifteenths of the Irith peers are to be degraded and deprived of their legiflative functions, and that two-thirds of the Irish houfe of commons are to be ftruck off. Such a proceeding appear to us totally unequal, both in refpect of numbers, and the mode of forming the united parliament; and we cannot fuggeft any reafon for reducing the number of the members of the Irish houfes of parliament, which does not apply with more force to reducing the number of the members in the British houfes of parliament, whofe numbers fo greatly exceed that of the members of the Irish houfes of parliament.
2dly, Because the measure recommended by his majefty was a complete and entire union between Great and Ireland, by which we understand fuch an union as fhould fo perfectly identify the two nations, that they fhould become as one nation, and there fhould not exift any diftine interest between them.When we confider the provifions of the faid bill, we find, that al
Maffey, by proxy,
Proteft against a legislative Union with Great Britain: entered on the Journals of the Irish House of Lords.
ift, BECAUSE the measure, recommended by our most gracious fovereign, was a complete
a perfect union between them, it does not in any fort effect it. It unites the legislatures, but does not identify the nations; their interefts will remain as distinct as they are at prefent; Ireland will continue to be
"governed by a viceroy, affifted he an Irish privy council; her purle, her revenues, her expenditure, and
her taxes, will be as diftinct as they are at prefent from thofe of Great Britain; even their intercourfe of trade must be carried on as between two feparate nations, through the medium of revenue officers. Such diftinctneffes of intereft prove, that they require feparate parliaments, refident in each kingdom, to attend to them; that fuch union is only nominal, and that it does not effect that complete and entire union recommended by his majefty, but thews, that, from the circumftances of the two nations, the fame is totally impracticable.
3dly, Because the adjustment of the numbers of the Irish members to be added to the two houfes of the imperial parliament has been determined upon without any official documents or other authentic information having been laid before parliament. That upon the union with Scotland, fuch proportion was adjufted by the commiffioners appointed for England and Scotland, upon an examination of their refpective claims, who having thereupon agreed that the number of commoners to be added to the English commons, confifting of 513, fhould be 45 on the part of Scotland, and the number of English peers being then 185, they calculated that 16 bore the fame proportion to that number, which 45 bore to the English houfe of commons, and therefore determined upon that number of peers: this calculation juftified the propriety of fuch adjustment, and we cannot conceive upon what principle the number of Irish peers was reduced to 32, when, according to the proportion aforefaid, it ought to have been 53. We must confider fuch conduct as unjust in its principle, and wantonly cafting a
ftigma upon the Irish peerage, by
4thly, Becaufe, that, however
5thly, Becaufe, by the original diftribution of power between the two houfes of parliament, it has been established as a leading and fundamental principle of the conftitution, that the commons fhould hold the purfe of the nation, with out the interference of the peerage; notwithstanding which, and that the
said bill declares, that the Irish peerages fhall be confidered as peerages of the united kingdom, it directs, that Irish peers fhall be eligible, as commoners, to reprefent any place in Great Britain, whereby the purfe of the nation will be eventually put into the hands of the peers of the united kingdom, under the defcription of Irifh peers, in direct defiance of the aforefaid principle. That it is evident that fuch innovation was introduced by the minister for the purpose of preventing the oppofition which the meafure might receive from fuch Irish peers as were members of the Britifh houfe of commons, which is clearly evinced by their not being made eligible for any place in Ireland, from whence they derive their honours. That by the provifion in the bill for a conftant creation of peers for Ireland, the Irish peerage is to be kept up for ever, thereby perpetuating the degrading diftinction by which the Irish peerage is to continue ftripped of all parliamentary functions. That the perpetuity of fuch diftinction would have been avoided, by providing that no Irish peer fhould hereafter be created (which is the cafe of Scots Peers), and that whenever the Irish peers thall be reduced to the number of 28, they fhould be declared peers of the united empire, equally with the British, from which time all national diftinctions between thema fhould cease.
6thly, Becaufe, when we advert to the corrupt and unconftitutional language held out by the minifter to fuch members as claimed property in boroughs, intimating to them, that they should be confidered as their private property, and Thould be purchased as fuch, and
the price paid out of the public purfe, fuch language appears to us to amount to a propofal to buy the Irish parliament for government, and makes the union a measure of bargain and fale between the minif ter and the individual.
7thly, Because, when we compare the relative abilities of Great Britain and Ireland, we find the contribution to be paid by the two kingdoms, to the expenfes of the united empire, moft unequally adjufted; and that the share of twofeventeenths, fixed upon as the proportion to be paid by Ireland, is far beyond what her refources will enable her to discharge. Should Ireland undertake to pay more than fhe fhall be able to answer, the act will be irrevocable, and the neceffary confequence will be a gradual diminution of her capital, the decline of her trade, a failure in the produce of her taxes, and finally her total bankruptcy. Should Ireland fall, Great Britain muft neceffarily be involved in her ruin, and we have to lament that our great and glorious empire will be brought to the brink of deftruction, by the dangerous and visionary fpeculation of fubftituting a new fyftem of government for Ireland, in the place of that conftitution, which he has experienced to be the firmeft fecurity for the prefervation of her liberties. We think it proper to observe, that if the minifters had any plaufible grounds, whereupon they have calculated the faid proportion, they have not deigned to lay them before parliament, nor have the ufual and established forms of proceeding to investigate matters of intricate and extended calculations been reforted to, by appointing committees for their examination; neither have