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I understood his Majesty to affent. My Lords, fore finding it impracticable to support the bill I cannot repeat in this House the expresion in its modified thape, at length came to a reso. uled by my Sovereign. I have already stated lution, which cannot be defended upon a rigid that I understood his Majesty to afient to the principle, daniely, to let the bill drop altogem:asure. I now find that there was a misun. ther. I am aware, my Lords, that this is the derstanding upon the subject. More than this, least juttihable part of the conduct of bis Mamy Lords, in consequence of our conceiving jesty's Ministers upon itrict and rigid principles; that his Majesty had asented to the measure, but I am sure that your Lord lips will do justice a bill was prepared, embracing the objects to the motives which actuated our conduct; which I have already stated, and which bill and if our conduct in that inítance cannot be one of my colleagues (Lord Howick) pre- justified upou rigid principles, at least these sented to his Majesty, for his approbation, motives will be considered as a justification. previous to its being brought forward in Par. On coming, however, to this resolution, his liament. When I mention Lord Howick, it Majesty's Ministers thought it their duty, is needless to state the strict, high, and punc. aware that there was no hope of preventing tilious huniour which actuates his conduct. He the Catholics of Ireland from prelenting their certainly understood his Majesty to aflent to petition to Parliament, and defrous, although the bill's being proposed. I was waiting to be they were prevented from expreilinz any opi- introduced to an audience of his Majesty, nion of Government favourable to further coc. when Lord Howick quitted his Majesty's pre- ceflions to the Catholics, that they mighe exsence, and stated to me, with the imprefiion press their opinions as Members of Parliament recent on his mind, that his Majesty had con respecting the state of Ireland, and the policy sented to the introduction of the proposed or necessity of such conceffons; convinced, measure. This was on Wednesday the 4th of also, that they ought to reserve to themselves March. The bill, my Lords, was proposed the right of advising his Majesty respecting the next day, by Lord Howick, in another such measures as they might deem neceffary, place; and, supported by that clear and con with reference to the state of Ireland, came vincing eloquence which he always displays, likewise to a resolution, humbly to submit 10 it was approved of by many of the most respect his Majesty, that in giving up the proposed able characters in Parliament. My Lords, it bill, they should not be confidered as restrained was not till the Wednesday following, one from giving such advice or propoting such week afterwards, that I understood bis Ma. measures to his Majesty “ for his decilioa jesty to diflent to the proposed measure; and as in their judgment hould be called for by then, undoubtedly, I did understand that there the itate of Ireland. My Lords, I repeat those
had been a misapprehension in fuppofing that three words, " for his decifion," because they • his Majesty had given his consent to the mea. have been omitted in the partial and garbled
fure to the extent to which it was proposed to statement of the minutes of Council which carry it. Having, however, ascertained that have been published, an omiffon than which his Majesty did disapprove of the measure, the nothing can more clearly thew the design ftep which ought then to be adopted became a which has been attempted to be carried into subject of anxious confideration amongst his eflect, of bafely calumniating our characters Majesty's Ministers—The first resolution to and misrepresenting our condud. My Lords, which we came, in our anxiety to conform on carrying this resolution to his Majesty, I to his Majesty's feelings, and at the same time received a written requisition requiring that co effe&t some part of the object which we we should pledge ourselves not to propole at had in view was, to modify the bill, and to any future time any further conseffions to the render it nothing more than the bill of 1793, Catholics of Ireland, or any measure conneded cxtended to this country without any enlarge with that subject. To this pledge we could ment of its provisions. My Lords, I carried not agice, consistently with our caths as privy this resolution on the Friday following to his councillors, for what, my Lords, does the oath Majesty, who graciously expressed his approba. of a privy councillor require? that he fhould tion of it. When, however, his Majesty's give fuch advice to his Majesty without fear, Ministers came to consider the subject more favour, or affection, as he in the exercile of fully, it was found to be utterly impra&icable his judgment thall deem to be called for by to to modify the bill, and at the same time to the exigencies of public affairs; and how thea support it by any thing like argunient. The can a privy councillor, without violating his bill was already before Parliament, and no ouch, give a pledge which would prevent him pollibility appeared of being enabled to answer from doing his duty, and which would pro Tatisfactorily the questions which would un- clude bim, whatever might be the urgency of doubtedly be put, as to the reasons for thus public affairs, from laying before his Majesty limiting the object of the bi!l, alter proposing these considerations which that urgency might it on a much more enlarged scale; nor dia demand? A privy councillor acting thus, there appear any course of argument by which would, after taking an oath to de his dity, the exclufion of Proteftant Diflenters from the give a plçelge not to do his duty. Is it to the privileges granted to Catholics, or the exclu- codured that a privy council or Oall give a Lion of the latter from becoming Generals on pledye, that whatever circumstances may wife the Statt, as originally propuled, could pollibly in future, and however imperioully try may be supported. His Majcity's Ministers cherc demand the exccution of a particular ceret
be shall not lay before his Majesty the confi- In fact, m member did indicate any such dirderation of it? Can it be posible that the position. No requisition, indeed, of that na. noble lords on the other side, who have suc- ture, was attempted to be made. If any such ceeded us, have given such a pledge as the Aipulation had been asked, most certainly r condition of their coming into office, and that should have felt mysels bound by a sense of whatever may he the future state of Ireland, honour and of duty, immediately to decline we are to be cold whenever that suhject comes it. At the same time, however, that I came before Parliament, that they cannot lay the into office, retaining of course with other of confideration of it before his Majesty.' My my colleagues precisely the same sentiment Lords, such a principle strikes at the root of upon the Catholic question which we professshe conftitution, inasmuch as it tends to over el when out of power, still it could not be throw that excellent'maxim, that “ The King diffemaled that a well known difficulty stood can do no wrong." Nothing can be more fatal in the way of its fuccess. As we came into to the interests of the country, or prægnant power untectered upon this point, and called with more danger to the constitution, than upon, as we felt, by the nature of our situathe adoption and maintenance of such a prin. tion, to advise any mealure which might apo ciple. My Lords, we may have erred in our pear to us expedient to adopt for the general judgment, but we have done that which we security of the country, and the benefit of the conceived to be our duty. Let not those who government, we must naturally bear in mind have fucceeded us imagine
that they have chole points to which we ftood pledged, and fucceeded to an easy task. We did not fuc. for the fuccess of which, from a conviction ceed to "a bed of roses," neither have we left of their re&itude, we must be anxious; but a bed of rofes. The comnierce and the finances fill our refolution was not to press any quesof the country we have left somewhat better tion which might be hostile to the personal than we found them. Our foreign relations feelings of the
king; for any attempt of that we have left in a better state than we found nature would have been, we felt, inconsistent them. : Let me, however, call the serious with the duty, the affe&ion, and the respect and anxious attention of Noble Lords on the we owed to our fovereign. With these prio other side to the state of Ireland. If perse ciples my colleagues entered into the admini. cation for the sake of differences in religious Aration. Their opinion upon the merits of opinions were again to be revived in this the Catholic claims were well known; but country, Can there be a question that it would aware of the obstacles which prevented their produce the most dreadful dillentions, and if, attainment, they hoped, by a prudent and my Lords, the fyftem acted upon in Ireland conciliating system of government, to recon. by the Noble Duke who represents his Ma- cile the Catholics,
and to keep the Catholic jelly in that country, or the Earl of Hard question at reft. They did however "resolve, wicke, his predecessor, is to be reversed, and immediately upon their introduction to
yfem of persecution, coerciun, and restraint, power, to turn their attention, in a very pe to be fubftituted, no human being can foresee culiar degree, to the affairs of Ireland; and the incalculable mischiefs that would refult events occurred towards the close of the laft from such a fyftem, When we know that our year, which ferved to augment their resoluenecay has fired upon one point of the British tion. The state of that most valuable, and, I dominions where he thinks invasion practica- am afraid, most vulnerable part of the empire, ble, and that that point is Ireland, furely it engaged our molt serious consideration ; and the Sequires adore than ordinary care, more than disturbances which notoriously prevailed in the ordinary measures, to remuve the causes of western part of that country naturally operaall those unhappy diffentions which have given ted to increase our solicitude. The conserife in that Country tu chofe infurre&ions quence of these deliberations was a determi. which have produced such dreadful effects.nation to adopt immediate means of tranqüill. If they do not conGder the fate of Ireland zing and conciliating the people of Ireland, with these views, the greatest danger niay to and, although urged by a Right Honourable fult to the interets of the empire.
Gentlenian, Mr. Perceval, much fonder of Lord Howick, on the same day, in the the policy of force than I am, to refort to Commons, role and fpoke to the follow measures of extraordinary severity=although ing effect: e to urged by him, rather eagerly as I remember, Te is well known for it must be in the re
at a very early period of the disturbances, to colleaion of the house and of the country, abitain from all severity not warranted by
have recourse to rigour, we determined to obat principles and opinions were held by the the spirit of the constitution, and, thank God, tre members of the late administration pou the fabjea of the Catholics.
we fucceeded in restoring tranquility by re
Their optiloni, hadeed, were but recently manifeft: forting only to the juft operation of the law.
Ber speacher and their votes. They Among the measures which appeared to us as
of their opinions, and surely it
commiffons in the army and navy suggested capable of giving up his opikes of oltice and emolument, delay, In addition to the other reasons wate
not only safe but proper ro propose without Na
presented themselves in its favour, it struck us, to procure for the Catholics the same privi. in the present state of the enupire, as particular- lege which was granted to them in Ireland by ly material to be attended to, promising, as it the act of 1793. For to this conceffion we did, to augment the means of recruiting our recolled that the secretary of ftate for Ireland, public force by the introduction of men into and the lord chancellor of that country also, the service, which by the ill understood policy stood specifically pledged at the tin.e the law of the present system had been altogether ex was enacted. This pledge, indeed, was on cluded. It was agreed, as I before observed, record in a dispatch from Lord Buckingham, that the catholics should, at least, have the ihen Mr. Hobart, in which the promise of same privilege with regard to the holding of this concession to the Irish Catholics was diso commissions in this country as was granted tinetly made. Considering the measure, there. to them by the law of Ireland. After much fore, not more as an act of policy than as a discussion it was the unanimous opinion of bis necesary evidence of consistency, honour, and Majesty's ministers, that this concellion should good faith, we determined to bring it forward. be promptly made, as it appeared calculated We did hope, indeed, that such reasons as I to contribute to the tranquillity of Ireland; have stated would bave operated so powerfully by holding out an encouragement to the gen. as to obviate any opposition whatever. On tlemen of that country to enter into the arny those grounds, therefore, it was proposed to and navy in the hope of advancement; by lay before his Majesty a detailed dispatch, taking off for the increase of the public force which we thought it expedient to transmit to from what secmed a superabundant popula. the lord lieutenant, stating the nature of the tion; by drawing as it were even from the measure we had in contemplation to propose Very sources of discontent the means of our to parliament, in order that it hould be com. ftrength. Such was our view of the subject. municated to the Catholics, This dispatch We looked to the concession, which I have was sent to his Majesty by a cabinet minifter, not alluded to as an act likely to injure or and his Majesty returned it with an expreffion even to alarm the interests of the establihed of repugnance to the measure. But, upon church, but as one materially tending to for- receiving this intelligence, ministers drew up tify that interest, because materially tending a respectful representation, containing all the to the general interest of the empire. For is reasons which operated in their minds to renot the strength of the country the means of commend the concession proposed, and this security to the established church? 'Can the representation was forwarded to his majesty, one be safe if the other be in danger ? If Ire. who after some deliberation was graciouily Jand were alienated from its connection with pleased to communicate his consent to the this country, where would be the security of measure. . Under this authority the original the empire? If such an alienation were to dispatch was sent to the Duke of Bedford, take place, what, in God's name, would be and upon receipt of it in Dublin, a meeting come of the established church? upon what took place between the lord chancellor, Mr. ground then can this measure be propofed. Eliot, his grace's secretary, and fome diftinwhich has such an obvious tendency to add guilhed members of the Catholic body; to to our strength, by securing the attachment whom Mr. Eliot, in addition, stated, that this of a great proportion of our people? The late bill was not proposed to them as an induceministers were as I have said, clearly engaged ment to any compromise of their claims for in considering ene affairs of Ireland, and had tutal emancipation, but offered to them as an arrived at a certain result when they received act of justice. When the fubstance of the dispatches from his excellency the lord lieu- dispatch was itated to these gentlemen, one of tant, stating, that the Catholics had manic them, Mr. O'Connor, asked Mr. Eliot, felted a refulution to press their claims upon whether it was meant by the proposed meathe attention of parliament. With the opi- sure that all offices, including those on the nions that I hold, and the folicitude that I ftaff, should be accessible to Catholics ? To felt upon the subject, I have no hesitation in this Mr Eliot replied, that the dispatch mensaying, that I did by every means in my tioned all offices whatever ; but yet having power, as far as private advice could extend, some doubt, he could not give a decided anendeavour to disfaude the Catholics from such lwer upon the point re:erred to in the question. a proceeding. The knowledge however of This question having been communicated to their intention was an additional inducement ministers, by Mr. Eliot, a second dispatch with my colleagues to press forward the mea was drawn up, removing Mr. Eliot's doulx sure of conceßion I have already described. and authoriling him to give a decided unWe had a hope that if promptly acceded to it swer tu Mr. O'Connor's question. This fe might have the cffect of inducing the Catho- cond dilpatch was laid before his Majeity, lics to abandon the pursuit of an object which, and his Majesty was pleased to telurn it from certain circumstances, they could not be withouç any objection or comment what unaware there was little reason to hope for'; ever. It was therefore immediately forward while, at the same time we ielt that, both ed to Ireland. However, upon the point from principle and policy, the conceilion ought fome differences of gpinion did arife. Doubts to be made. We hud little appreheation of were entertained, it is bur fair to fay, lay encountering any objoction in our endeavours fond members of the cabinet, as to the
tent of this measure. I state the facts as Bedford, and on the following day stated in they occurred. My object is to fate the this House my intention to propose a clause case literally as it arose. The cabinet mi- in the Mutiny Bill, to answer the purpose nisters I have alluded to, declared that they which I had understood his Majesty to have were not, in the firít inftance, aware of the fanctioned. After some further consideration full extent of the measure, and to that ex- however, it was suggested that in point of tent they Atrongly expressed their obje&tion; form it would not be correct to ingraft such a but the dispatch had been previously trans- clause on the Mutiny Bill. In consequence mitted to the Duke of Bedford.
of this suggestion it was determined to make It has been faced by some persons who have the clause the subject of a separate bill. On animadverted upon this transaction ; that Mi the Wednesday following the adoption of this nifters were not warranted in bringing forward determination, after the bill was brought in i public measure without previously obtaining and read a first time, I attended at St. James's, the consent of his Majesty. But this extrava and after some conversation with his Majesty gant proposition scarcely deserves serious no- about my own office, his Majesty asked me cice. According to any rational publication what was the buliness in the House that evenon the subje&, the duty of a Minister appears ing? I answered, among other things, a moto be two fold. He may aêt in a double capa. tion for the second reading of this bill, which city upon different occafions--namely, as a had been made a separate bill, mentioning Minister, and as an individual member of par- the confiderations I have stated to the House. lament. There was no Minifter who had His Majesty asked, whether the bill was the not a&ted fo occahonally. If indeed it were fame as the ad of the Irish Parliament? i Colpable to pursue the course, some extrava stated the difference to be what I communicatgant writers now maintain, Mr. Pitt's con- ed to his Majesty some days before in the disduct upon the Slave Trade and Parliamentary patch addresled to the Duke of Bedford, and Reform, would have been highly cenfurable repeated the reasons which appeared to me to
for that distinguished ftatesman, in both justify that difference; and here I must acthese instances, brought forward the proposi- knowledge that his Majesty did express bis tions as an individual member of parliament. disapprobation of the measure. Gentlemen - The constitutional diitin&ion which, in may rely that I shall frankly state all the concurrence with my colleagues, I take be- facts; but although his Majesty did not extween the duty of a Minister in the one case press his disapprobation, fill I did not con and the ottier, is this-that when a Minister ceive the consent withdrawn he had originally brings forward any motion as a measure of go- given to the introduction of this measure, and vernment which has undergone any discussion "I was very naturally the less inclined to think in the Cabinet, he violates his duty, unless fo from this circumstance, that Lord Grensuch measure shall have received the fanction ville had an audience of his Majesty after I left of that authority. I should of courfe feel my- him, and his Majesty mentioned not one word self very culpalile, if I attempted to bring for. upon the subject to my noble friend. Upon ward any measure in Parliament as a minifte- the following day also I faw his Majesty, but rial measure, unless I had previously fobmit- heard nothing further of his objection, nor did ted that measure to the consideration of the for the whole of the week, although I had King, and obrained his Majesty's consent to its frequent opportunities of hearing from, and adoption. It was theretore i laid before his fome conversations with the king in confeMajesty all the particulars with regard to the quence of an unfortunate event which occur. mafure refpe&ing the Catholics, and waited red in my family, I was for some days abfent to obtain his Majesty's approbation before I from business and this House, and that abatempted to submit the confideration of that sence produced a poftponeinent of the order medure to this House.
for the second reading of this bill. During The fecond dispach which I have stated to this period I hrid not seen his Majesty, but i have been sent to the Duke of Bedford on the understood that he had communicated to Iech of February was drawn up by me, in con- Lord Grenville his decided obje&tion to the fequence of the indifpofition of Lord Spencer; measure referred to, and that his Majesty conand in this it will be recollected Mr. Eliot ceived the extent of it to be far beyond that was authorized to give a decided answer to to which he had originally given his affent. Mr: O'Connor. That dispatch I sent to From that circumfance I was led to suspect Winllo on Monday for his Majesty's appro- that I had misunderfood his Majesty ; I ac. bation, and on Tuesday following it was re-, cordingly demanded an audience,
in order to tunned without any obje&ion or comment use my endeavours for the purpose of satisiyhaterers a I have already stated. But what ing his Majesty's mind upon the tubje&t, but
more difinaly to impress my mind my endeavours had not the effe& af removing
opinion of his Majesty's complete ac his Majesty's obje&tions, and I had the regret see in the meafure is this, thar I had to find that I had misunderstood his Majesty,
honour of facing him on the Thurfday or that ho had completely misunderstond me. ollowing and he espressed not even a hint of However, from an anxious wish to avoid giv
being to it I immediately forward. ing any pain to hid Majesty's feelings, I ende la I had written to the Duke of deavoured, in concert with my colleagues, fo
to modify the bill as to reconcile it to his Ma. fatement whatever of the grounds npon which jefty's withes. But after a good deal of deli. I was induced to adopt such a proceedingberation we found that it could not be modific and that afterwards, upon the introduction of ed as to obviate his objections, without de- the Catholic Petition, my colleagues and I froying the vital essence of the mealurem should declare our opinion in favour of it withwithout doing away that which would be fa. out any previous intimation of our intention ristactory to the Catholics, or likely to pro. to the King-What would his Majesty be disduce any of the important conseqnences which posed to think of us, and what sort of charge We had in view upon its original introduction; would this House be warranted in making we therefore proposed to abandon it altoge. against us? I say, therefore, nothing can ther, in deference to the feelings of his Ma more Itrongly manifest our deference for the jeity. Any man who has a juít mind cannot King's opinion, and our disposition to act with but beware that it must have been a painful frankness and candour towards his Majesty, facrifice of personal feelinys to public duty. than this precise minute-which only means But I trust that wherever that kind of facri to reserve to ourselves the right which belongs fice becomes necessary for such an object, no to any individual member of parliament, oi man will be found more willing to submit to bringing forward any measure which he may it than I shall.
think neceffary for the public interest. But Having agreed to give up this hill altoge- what will the House think of a proposition bether, we did at the fane time feel it neceflary; ing distinctly made to us tantamount to an ab. for the vin.ication of our character, to inseri a folute surrender of that right? Not contented micute in the proceedings of the Cabinet, with the sacrifice which I have so often men. ftating the grounds upon which we were in- tioned to the feelings of the King, it was acduced to give up the measure that we would tually proposed to us, not only that we ihould not press any proceeding which might appear to withdraw the latter part of the minute, but be hostile to his Majesty's feelings, but that also, subtitute in its place a written obligacion from the opinions and principles we had on of a directly oppofie nature, pledging ourmany occulions exprefied in Parliament, and selves never to bring forward again the mea. from a just folicitude for the interest of this fure we had abandoned; nay more, never lo Empire, we must consistently referve to our propule any thing connected with the Catho. felves the right of submitting at all times for lic Question. his decision, Tuch measures as we might deem Much as this proposition may astonish the advisable and expectent for the benefit of lie. House, I feel fully satisfied from the opportuJand.
nity which my official comniunication has af. With regard to the propriety of inserting forded me of judging of the nature of his this minute, I would appeal to any nian oi right opinions, that he is actuated by the pureft moe feeling, whether in justice to the King and to tives. Of the benevolent intentions of his
purielves, we could abstain from recording the Majesty for the interests of his people in this gsound upon which we acted. One course transaction, lo far as he is perfonaliy conceraonly remained før myseli and my colleagues ed, I entertain not the Nightest doubt, but of in the fituation in which we ftoud, aiter w tlı his advisers I can say nothing. But I will apdrawing a measure of great puolic moment, peal to this House and the country whether through respect for the seelings of the King, such an obligation could be patiently discussed, that is, to listert the minute reterred to, thus much less lubícribed, by any man who ever recording the ground upon which we had to entertained a carre& notion of public duty, acted, and expressing our intentions for the or who was unfutceptiole of a feeling woriby future. Looking to our own reputation- of a respectable public ftation. Need I add looking to the maintenance or our consistency that this proposicion was such as my colleagues looking to the probable introduction of a and myself found it utterly impoñible to af. petition from the Catholics, could we, with fent to; and having respectiully communiany senle we owed to ourselves, helitate to Cated our ditlent irom it to the King, we op record that which meant only to expreís a le the next day received an intimation from his fervation of that right, which, if we had con. Majesty that he must look out for other Mifented to abandon, we must have rendered our. nisters. 1 hete Ministers be bas accordingly felves unworthy the eleem even of ourselves ? fucceeded in finding, and on Wednesday last To this minute. I would reter for the vindica- my colleagues and I delivered up the feals of tion of our view and conduct both with regard office to his Majesty. to our Sovereign and our Country, and parti I trust that, in the statement I have mads, cularly againit the charge advanced against I have established a fufficient guard against any 0s, which can only be supported by an invidi- further milieprefentation. I have hews, I outly garbled extract from that very minute. hope to the latisfaction of the House, there But fuppofing we had omitted altugether to three important facts-14, That the Bill reintert this minute, with which fome persons ferred to was not proposed in this House until affect to find fault, how hould we stand in a bis Majesty was fully apprised of it ;-dly. certain cvent ? Let us take it the other way That whatever misunderstanding might lite trat I had come down to cbis Houle and grifen, the fault was not with us, as his Mawithdrawn this Bild, withou: making any jesty was afforded anıple opportunity, in the