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and those persons were therefore placed BOARD OF Works.] Mr. Bankes said, out of the operation of the relief intended he had a motion to submit to the House, by the legislature ; for their condition through which he hoped to be able to rendered it impossible that they could throw some light upon the conduct of the make a demand under the provisions of the Board of Works. When the office of
The bill passed in 1794 was in fact, surveyor-general was first instituted, it was no relief at all; and some other measure held by sir W. Chambers, but the surveyorought to be adopted. It might be pro- general not being in these times a proposed to throw an additional burthen on fessional man, he could not exercise that the Protestant landholder in the same control over the expenditure of his office, hundred; but this was equally unjust. He which it was the intention of parliament to could see no remedy but that of making ensure. Very large sums were lavished the loss fall on the public at large. Inde- upon works the most tasteless and the pendent of the injustice of throwing it on most inconveniently contrived, that it was the Protestants, there were many in- possible to imagine, while there seemed to stances in which the Land-tax had been be no other control over the actions of redeemed by the greater number of landed the architect than his own whim or caprice. proprietors in certain districts; and if such There were, in fact, three architects whose à mode of relief were resorted to, the power in their respective governments was burthen might fall on one individual. He as absolute as that of any Roman prætor could see no remedy but by a sacrifice of in his province. So jealous were these the public income; and, considering the gentlemen of their authority, that for one injustice of the tax, he was sure that every architect to pass the brook or rivulet which member would submit to such a step. separated his province from that of another,
Mr. G. Dawson said, that although he was an infringement upon the rights and opposed what was called Catholic eman an insult to the dignity, of his brother cipation, yet none of the reasons which architect, whose province he thus invaded. influenced him upon that question, had The government, therefore, instead of havany bearing upon the present. As the ing, as was intended, three architects, of justice of the proposed measure appeared whose united abilities they could avail to be generally admitted, it would not be themselves, were limited to one, who necessary for him to say any thing about never consulted his supposed coadjutors, it ; although he thought thai the injustice and who was perfectly absolute in his own of the present system had been overrated. district. The consequence was, that That injustice could operate only in a few gentlemen saw many fine and expensive instances. He believed that, hy' appealing buildings, but not one, either well adapted to the commissioners, relief might be to the purpose for which it was intended, obtained; but only by throwing the sur or calculated to reflect credit upon the charge upon the Protestants. This opera- national taste. In order, if possible, to tion was doubtless very complicated, from ascertain the reason of this failure, he begthe many statutes upon the subject, and ged leave to move for “ an account of the from the Land-tax, in the time of Mr. Pitt, Salary and Commission granted to each of having been made redeemable. The prin- the three Architects attached to the Office cipal sufferer was, undoubtedly, sir R. Bed- of Works, under Statute of 54 Geo. 3, c. dingfield. On his estate there was a parish 157, and of the amount of the same, since where the act might be brought into the appointment of each of them; and also, operation; but, unfortunately, he was the of any payments or allowances made to owner of the whole parish, and all the in- each of them during that period, in respect habitants were Roman Catholics; so that of any of the Royal Palaces, or other there could be no apportionment through public Buildings." which relief might reach them. He could Mr. Hume said, that the late chancellor see no remedy for the grievance, but an of the Exchequer, lord Goderich, had act which would at once relieve the Catho- rendered himself responsible for the good lics, burthening the Protestants of the taste of all public buildings in future. On same district. The loss to the revenue, him the blame ought to fall, and not upon he trusted, would be trifling; but it would the surveyor-general, or the architects. be only an act of justice.
Mr. Bankes did not intend to cast the Leave was given to bring in the bill. slightest blame upon the surveyor-general,
who was a highly honourable man. The truth
was, that not being a professional man, he them, by saying that there was no necesknew nothing of the business of the office, sity to take notice of the situation of Ireand left the whole to the architects. As land? Four millions of people had atto the pledge of the chancellor of the Ex- tended those simultaneous meetings, of chequer upon the subject of taste, all he whom not less than one million were caknew was, that it had not been redeemed, pable of bearing arms. They might make and he did not think it was a matter of a field-marshal premier-every member which any chancellor of the Exchequer of the cabinet might be a field-marshalought to take cognizance.
but, in his view of the state of the country, The motion was agreed to.
it would give the legislature more dignity
in the eyes of foreign nations, if they gave HOUSE OF COMMONS.
peace and tranquillity to Ireland. The
Protestant Dissenters of England were Tuesday, February 5.
united as one man, in calling for relief ROMAN CATHOLIC Claims.) Mr. A. from civil disabilities; and both the ProDawson said, he rose to present several testant and the Catholic Dissenters botpetitions in favour of Catholic Emancipa- tomed their request for relief on the same tion, to which he wished to draw the par- ground ; namely, that every man had a ticular attention of the House. The peti- right to worship God according to the dic- . tioners complained that they were, in vio- tates of his conscience, and to exercise his lation of the Treaty of Limerick loaded judgment freely in matters of religion.with civil disabilities; and they contended The hon. gentleman concluded, by prefor the right to follow the dictates of their senting sundry petitions from Louth, in consciences, in matters of a religious na- favour of Catholic emancipation. ture, without thereby incurring any dis Mr. G. Lamb presented a petition of the qualification whatever. In reference to same nature from the Roman Catholics of this subject, he begged leave to state, that Dungarvon. When he last presented a he, in common with many others, felt con- petition on this subject from his constisiderable surprise and disappointment, in tuents, he had expressed a hope that that consequence of no notice having been would be the last time that they would taken in his majesty's Speech of the situa- find it necessary to come forward with a tion of Ireland, or of those feelings on re- similar petition. But he could not now ligious subjects, which not only agitated cherish any such expectations ; seeing that, that country, but had obtained ground in since that time, an event had occurred England. It was said by the noble lord which presented a bulwark against the opposite, that the omission was of no con- claims of the Roman Catholics; namely, sequence, as nothing had occurred in Ire- the appointment of a prime minister who land since the last session that called for was decidedly hostile to their demands. any mention of that country. But he | It was, however, gratifying to him to obwould state that this was not the fact; serve, that the Catholics had never refor matters of the deepest importance to moved their eyes from the great object the welfare and happiness of Ireland had which they had held so long in view : it was occurred since that period. What could pleasing to contemplate the fact, that they be a more important feature in the history had not slackened their zeal in endeavourof Ireland than that with one accord, and ing to attain their just rights; and he from one extremity of the island to hoped they would continue to pursue the another, millions of people had assembled same course, until they secured those rights on the same day, and at the same hour, which belonged to them, as citizens and for the purpose of respectfully petitioning subjects of a free state. the legislature for justice? This, it must Mr. H. V. Stuart presented a similar be admitted, was a most important event: petition from the Roman Catholics of Newit showed the fixed determination of one ton Barry. He said, that his constituents, portion of our empire to press their claims and the Catholics at large, deeply deplored on the attention of the legislature. If this the change that had taken place in his were a time of war--if this country were majesty's councils. He begged leave in a threatened with invasion--would not the few words to explain what his feelings legislation attend to this call?
And, were with respect to the present ministry. would they now slumber on their posts? Some there were who thought a ministry Would they now allow ministers to satisfy ought to be supported, if they enabled the
country to pursue a successful commercial state of the case, he would abandon any career; some would give their support to particular feelings which he himself enteran able financial ministry; and others tained on the subject, and concede the would found their adherence to the minis
But the statements to which he try on the ground of the ability which had alluded were, he believed, not only they displayed on subjects connected with groundless, but pregnant with mischief. our foreign policy. Now, though these It was desirable that the state of Ireland were important considerations, yet they should be changed from one of wretchedyielded in his estimation, before the con ness and horror to one of tranquillity and sideration of the conduct which any go- happiness : but to say that the concession vernment intended to pursue on the sub- of Catholic emancipation was the only ject of the emancipation of the Roman Ca means by which that object could be eftholics. He hoped ever to steer his poli- fected, was to practise a delusion on the tical course by that question alone. On people whom those gentlemen wished to the way in which it was treated would he serve. The hon. member who spoke last form his opinion as to the character of the said, he disdained every qualification in a ministers of the Crown. Were they the best ministry, unless that ministry were friendly financiers, the most able diplomatists, the to the Catholic claims ; he would not supmost profound masters of political economy; port the present administration in making were they perfect in every other science that any financial reductions, because they should distinguish ministers; still, if they were hostile to those claims. Now, if he were opposed to the cause of the Roman were called on to give his support to an Catholics, he should disgrace himself, and administration, that support should be belie his long-formed opinions, if he did most readily given to men who evinced a not say that such men, the friends of ex desire to look with a steady, undeviating clusion and the enemies of civil and re eye to the expenditure of the country, for ligious liberty, were not fit to govern a the purpose of relieving it from the burfree country. It had been his fortune to thens under which it at present groaned. change seats in that House on two occa Mr. Spring Rice said, he had heretofore sions; but though he had changed seats, cautiously abstained from any discussion he had not changed sides or opinions. on this question, and he should not have The government of the earl of Liverpool been induced to take a part in it now, if it opposed the claims of the Catholics, and had not been for the extravagant misreprehe therefore lifted up his voice against it. sentation of argument and of reasoning, in The government of Mr. Canning was de- the speech of the hon. gentleman who had cidedly in favour of that measure, and just sat down. · If the Irish members could therefore he thought it to be his duty to at all participate in the opinions of that support that government. Those two go hon. gentleman, they would forfeit all vernments had passed away, and another claim to the respect of that House. He had succeeded. The new government he would not, however, adopt the hon. memmust judge of by the same test; and having ber's representation of his (Mr. Rice's) done so, he felt himself called on to op- feelings and his arguments ; and he was sure
there was not one of the representatives Mr. D. W. Harvey wished, when any of Ireland who would not disclaim that gentleman representing a borough or a representation, if it were necessary. The county in Ireland rose to present a peti- members for Ireland could speak for themtion on this subject, that he would enable selves; and if they wanted a mouth-piece, him to collect, if possible, what he had they certainly would not select the hon. never yet been able to do with reference to member for Colchester. There was one the Catholic question. After describing, point on which he wished to touch, which with an eloquence peculiarly their own, the was not important as proceeding from the distressed situation of their country, those hon. member, but which did derive imgentlemen always came to this conclusion, portance from its having been adopted by that there was no other mode of shedding other individuals. The hon. member said, light on that benighted country, that there that if it could be proved to him, that the was no other way of restoring tranquillity physical evils which afflicted the people of to seven or eight millions of people, ex Ireland would be removed by granting Cacept by granting Catholic emancipation. tholic emancipation, he would be willing If it were proved that such was really the I to join with the friends of that question,
and assist in procuring it. Now, he was
HOUSE OF COMMONS. ready to join any hon. gentleman, at any
Wednesday, February 6. time, on that particular issue. He would rest the whole of the argument on that very Roman Catholic Claims.] Majorpoint. He was prepared to prove, by ar- general King, in rising to present a petigument and evidence, that the miseries of tion from the Roman Catholics of a parish that unfortunate country arose out of the in the county of Sligo, said :-Although I abuses of the law, occasioned, not only differ totally from the petitioners as to primarily but exclusively, by this pecu- their prayer, which is for the removal of fiar cause. His hon. friend opposite (Mr. the civil disabilities imposed on them, I G. Dawson) might differ from him on the feel it to be my duty to state that the point of granting the claims of the Catho- petition is properly worded and respectalics, but he would agree with him that bly signed. `In moving that it be brought there was no one question of greater im- up, as I am one of those members who portance. His hon. friend might advocate have been denounced by an illegal associapositive resistance to those claims, but still tion, acting in the name of the Roman they both agreed, that the question was Catholics of Ireland, as an enemy to my one of the utmost importance. Neither country, because we give our support to was the subject unconnected with financial the present government, I am desirous economy in Ireland. By doing justice in most clearly to state, that I will never be that country-by reducing the establish- intimidated by any menace from any body ment-by altering the tithe-system-they of men belonging to any party, from folwould produce retrenchment. That would lowing the line of duty my conscience be a large, a wise, a liberal, economy, may point out to me. In the present head although the honourable member for Col- of the government I place the utmost conchester might take a different view of the fidence. I am convinced the noble duke question. The hon. member for Colchester will be as tenacious of the rights and libersaid, he would come down early and late to ties of his country in the cabinet, as he support a system of economy. The hon. was of its safety and honour in the field. member would, perhaps, vote for some I feel a degree of pride in recollecting that miserable reduction, by which the country I was a witness of hisexertions in that theatre would not be benefitted. Principles, such of glory. It is with gratification I refer to as the hon. member had thrown out, ren the brilliant period when I was serving dered it necessary, in 1798, to keep up an under him, and saw with admiration, the establishment of a hundred thousand men zeal and ability which he displayed. I -a larger army than the duke of Welling- feel convinced that, in the situation in ton commanded on the continent of Eu- which he is now placed, he will show an rope—and to raise by loan (the interest of equal degree of attention to all the duties which they were now obliged to pay) the which, in peace and tranquillity, are resum of ten millions, over and above the quired from him, as the first minister of the ordinary supplies. If a different policy country, as he did in carrying into effect had been pursued, this army of a hundred the energetic measures by which he inthousand might have been spared—this sured its safety and independence. I canloan of ten millions would have been ren- not accede to the opinion I have heard dered unnecessary. Such was his idea of stated in this House, that the distress economy, in contradistinction to that of the which exists in Ireland ought to be attrihon. member--an economy connected with buted to the exclusion of the Catholics higher feelings, and better views, than the from political power. I think that to very narrow economy of that hon. gentleman. different causes it should be assigned. It He called on the House to go on in the is absurd to suppose that the violation of work of justice with respect to the Roman the Treaty of Limerick, admitting all that Catholics; and he trusted, when their case the petitioners say on this head to be corcame to be argued, that the legislature rect, could have any effect, at the end of would take the representatives of Ireland a hundred and forty years, in producing as witnesses or advocates, rather than the the aggravated distresses which afflict that hon. member for Colchester.
country. Nor do I believe that the adOrdered to lie on the table.
mission of the Catholics to political power would have the least tendency to ameliorate the condition of the Irish, or ad
vance their civilization. I by no means have the honour to represent. But I will deny the natural powers of that country, not sacrifice one item of my principles. if they were rightly directed: but I must If not only the representation but the feegive my decided negative to the assertions simple of the whole county depended on that are continually made as to the in- my vote, I would not desert my principles. crease of population at the astounding Whatever may befal me, at least, I will rate at which it is estimated by some gen- not deprive myself of the consolation of tlemen. We hear of millions added, al- having, under all circumstances, done most every session, to that population. what I conceived to be my duty to my king, We have heard, that the places of worship and my country. are not sufficient to contain the Catholics Sir John Brydges said, he was desirous of Ireland; but last night we were told, of taking that opportunity of making a that no less than four millions assembled few observations. He would, in the first simultaneously in those places of worship, place, state, that he was as much opposed to prepare petitions to the legislature. If, to the measure of Catholic emancipation, then, there be accommodation to that ex as ever. Nay, his opposition was strengthtent, can there be any foundation for the ened by all that he had lately witnessed. complaint, that the Catholics are in want He alluded particularly to the declaration of chapels wherein to perform their reli- of the Catholic Association, that every gious duties? I have also heard a state- member of parliament should be considered ment still more extraordinary, and which an enemy to Ireland who supported the seemed to me only calculated to influence present administration. He agreed with the votes of members through fear; the hon. member for Colchester, that namely, that one million out of the four emancipation, as it was called, would not are capable of bearing arms. I leave that tend to the establishment of tranquillity question to be decided by others; but in Ireland. Let the population have emwhy, I ask, was the allusion made? Was ployment, and that would have a tendency it not to gain by intimidation and menace, to fill their pockets and make them satiswhat there was no chance of obtaining by fied. He was at a loss to divine why all fair argument? I am as much disposed these petitions were presented at this time. as any man to acknowledge the right of He could only account for it by supposing, every person to judge for himself in mat- either that since last session some new ters of religion. I am as earnestly as any circumstances of importance had occurred man the advocate of civil and religious in Ireland, or that those who advocated liberty. Man has a right to judge for the cause of the Catholics derived their himself, but no man has a right to dictate principles from the position of the seats to others. That is my creed. What I they possessed. Last year, after they had ask for myself, I am ready to concede to obtained office, they made no effort for others. I am surprised, I confess, at the the Catholics. Now they were out of arrogant manner in which some honoura- office, they were beyond measure anxious ble gentlemen deny to those who differ for the immediate success of the measure. from them on this question, almost the With regard to the present administration, right of expressing their opinions. I see he was glad that the duke of Wellington them rise « Fire in their eyes, and papers was at the head of it, and he would give in their hands,” and denounce all who it his utmost support, thoroughly believing dare to question their authority. As to that it would uphold the best interests of the menaces that are thrown out against the country. those who are opposed to the Catholic Mr. Leycester expressed his regret, that claims, I am not one who can be induced the command of the army and the situato give my vote contrary to my conscience, tion of First Lord of the Treasury should from any interested views. I will adhere to be united in the same individual. He the course I have pursued for upwards of half could not very well imagine how the duke a century. I will support the Protestant of Wellington could wean himself from his constitution which has been the preservative long-acquired military habits and avocaof our liberties and rights. Every artifice is tions. He did not think that a military used to influence the votes of members. | life was the best school for rearing up a I have heard insinuations, that unless Iconstitutional minister. What was, or
me a convert to the Catholic question, ought to be, the attributes of a constituI should never again sit for the county i|tional minister ? He ought to have a deep