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who hold their privileges by the fame right that our fovereign wears his crown, or that we whom they have delegated to maintain these rights affemble here in parliament.

It has been faid, fir, that the king has recommended this bill to us-I have ever confidered that the constitution has wifely placed between the throne and the parliament refponfible minifters who are anfwerable for the measures they propose; upon this idea depends all freedom of fpeech in parliament, and therefore I will confider the fpeech of the minifter using his majesty's name.

A gentlenian has quoted a part of his majefty's coronation oath. By the coronation oath, eftablifhed at that which heretofore was called the glorious revolution, his majefty fwears that he will to the utmost of his power maintain and preferve the proteftant religion by law established; and whatever Mr. Pitt, or his neceffary man, Mr. Dundas, may put into the speech in favour of Roman catholics, it muft have this extent, fo far as the fame is compatible with the fafety of the proteftant eftablishmentno more: In this fenfe I am ready to embrace the Roman catholics: But does not this bill endanger the proteftant intereft? It does-if you give to thrée times their number the elective franchife, they must be overwhelmed, What will then avail the barrier you think you are now erecting, by denying to them the reprefentative right? They will tell you 'tis abfurd to say they may be electors, but they may not be reprefentatives; that they are competent to delegate, but incompetent to execute; and there. fore by what you grant render what you withhold infecure! Sir, if they cannot fit in parliament them. felves, they will find equivocating, accomodating proteftants, worfe than papifts, to reprefent them.

Perhaps, fir, I fhall not live to fee the utter aboItion of the proteftant afcendancy, tho' that gloriFf2


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ous establishment which came in with therevolution, to which England owes her liberty and her profperity, which is congenial to and blended with our conftitution will not, I fear, long furvive; however fir, I never will give a vote injurious to it; and I call upon this house, in the name of the proteftant elec tors who fent us here, not do defert their interest.

Mr. Hobart There being fo little difference upon the principle of the bill, and indeed no objection to going into a committee upon it, I fhould not have thought it neceffary to have troubled the houfe with a fingle word were it not for what fell from the hon. gentlemen who fpoke laft.

That hon. gentleman has truly stated that no man has a right to argue that a fubject debated in this houfe is fuppofed to be influenced by the command of his majefty; his majefty in his good pleasure may recommend a fubject to the confideration of parlia ment-parliament in their duty and affection will give the most refpectful and attentive confideration to what his majefty recommends to their notice ;but when the measure comes before parliament in the fhape of a bill, it is then the measure of the member who introduces it, and his majefty's name is no longer to be ufed in its fupport; and there. fore the gentleman who fpoke early in the debate was not juftified in faying this bill was by his ma jefty's command.

I agree alfo with the hon. gentleman, that his majesty has recommended to us the care of the proteftant establishment, and that it is our duty to guard it from injury; and therefore, fir, the queftion is, how far can we go in behalf of the Roman catholics without fhaking the fecurity of the proteftant. establishment?-On this question, fir, I have confulted with fome of the moft experienced and beft informed men in this country, and it did appear to them, that the measure now offered would give effectual relief to the Roman catholics, with


out fhaking the proteftant establishment: the Roman catholics themfelves feel it fo: and I am convinced it will not injure the proteftant establishment. Though I differ from fome gentlemen, for whom I entertain the highest regard, I know that what we are doing will effentially ferve the country: it will conciliate the Roman catholics-it will cement a common union of intereft and affection amongst his majesty's fubjects and enable this country to repel all her enemies.

He was afhamed to have troubled the house fo long, as there had not appeared any difference of opinion on the principle of the bill. He would make but a fingle obfervation more, a learned gentleman had faid, why not accept the tests which the Roman catholics offered themfelves? For that very reafon, because they freely offered to take tefts, he thought it would be unjust and unneceffary to impose them.

Mr. B. Ponfonby begged leave to take up the attention of the house a few moments.-He said he felt rather hurt in finding himself obliged to express fentiments different from thofe other gentlemen, for whom he entertained the highest refpect, had expreffed before him. He would however, he faid, not confider the bill in the same sense other gentlemen had done. They confider it only as far as it will tend to affect the political and focial interests of this country: He thought it every man's duty to come forward and take it in another view - as it refpects our connection with Great Britain-That every member in the house was under a neceffity of admitting that that connection must be materially affected by fuch conceffions. And why? It will throw the whole catholic interest on one fide: It will drive us into direct oppofition to England-may not catholics be admitted in England as well as in Ireland ?-Why are they not?-The natural and neceffary confequence will be, it will drive every man having


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an intereft in the church into the arms of adminif tration. It will fubject him to government influence. Will not the catholic then, when admitted to the elective franchise and to a fhare in the legiflature, complain of influence?

Mr. Geo. Ponfonby-Sir, it will be acknowledged I enter with reluctance on a fubject, on which I would avoid faying any thing-It was for this reafon I deJayed declaring my fentiments, after what I have already faid upon the prefent queftion, until I had first heard fo many other gentlemen explain themfelves fully on this very important bufinefs, I am therefore, fir, anxious that every gentleman in the house fhould be convinced by what I have to offer, as far as I can flatter myself with being able to effect-If I err in judgment I can fay it is an error of the understanding, not of the heart. As to that body of men who are the fubject of the bill, no one can have a higher opinion of their merits than I have; yet I would not wish to be thought intriguing by popularity. I wish to give my thoughts freely, without disguise or reserve, to fee the fame mode purfued by those who have fpoken before me. Was I the

person who voted againft the catholic bill? No. Was I the one who ever objected to our catholic brethren's participating of thofe rights towhich I am convinced every man in this houfe does in his foul believe them fairly entitled? No. I would rejoice to see that no distinctions were known in Ireland, but that of a good or bad citizen: But at the fame time I utterly difavow giving any confent to the bill as it ftands.

The bill in its prefent form, and the patrons of the bill propofe to give all rights whatfoever civil and militaty, to the catholic; to put him in all refpects on the fame footing with the proteftant.

Now, fir, I fay that that bill itself is the most abfurd, the most unjustifiable, the most unconstitution


al bill, ever yet brought into this house. It is, I fay and will maintain, the greatest nuifance ever brought into parliament.

It is, fir, utterly impoffible, it is inconfiftent with reason to give the great body of the inhabitants of any country under any reasonable government any portion of political power-do you propofe to give to three-fourths of your people the power of your houfe of commons, that power without whofe aid your fovereign can not undertake a war, or if he does, will undertake it in vain, for who will furnish him with fupplies? that power which is the grand machine that directs the motion of the whole nation.

Will the catholic gentleman, a man of genius, of knowledge and information, when he fees the meanest man in the ftate, poffeffed of every privi lege he himself has; will he, think you rest his claims here, or will he acquiefce in your decifion? No, And this will be the confequence, if you give the catholic a right of fuffrage, and deny him the right of representation. When you diftribute thus partially, the more eagerly will every man demand what he thinks is ftill due to him. When, therefore, you give the catholic this power of fuffrage, will you perfuade him to be content, and to afk no more? You will by giving only a part, confirm him in the belief that he has a right to more; and what still remains will have in his eyes ten times more value than its intrinfic worth. What was it first formed thofe feparate and diftinct interefts of proteftants and catholics? Not virtue nor wisdom. It was political jealousy, and political iniquity. It may be fairly affirmed there were no proteftants before the time of Henry the 8th. At the conqueft the conquerors and the conquered were of the fame perfuafion as to religion.

In the reign of Charles the firft, the old and new Irish formed a complete confederacy, the revolution.


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