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That certain Securities were actually proposed, to which the Catholics twice assented, and twice retracted their assent; though Securities are now more necessary than ever.
"May I now (continued Sir J. Copley) be permitted to refer to the history of the securities, or rather to the vain and delusive offers of security with which the confidence of Roman Catholic advocates has from time to time been abused; and let us see whether they were really sincere when they declared their readiness to give security. Let us, from the year 1808, down to the present time, fairly, impartially, and candidly consider the subject of securities; and if we can lay our hands upon our hearts, and say that we truly believe they have evinced any sincere disposition to meet the Protestants, and to give that security, without which political power can never be safely conferred on Roman Catholics?
"What are the facts? In the year 1808 a proposition respecting securities was offered by the Roman Catholics. Mr. Grattan came down to this House, and stated that, in consequence of communications which he had with some of
the heads of the Roman Catholic religion, he was prepared to offer, on their behalf, such securities as would take from the concession of their demands all the danger that the most timid could apprehend. A measure founded on that principle of security was introduced; but a very short time had elapsed before Mr. Grattan was compelled to declare, in his place in Parliament, that the authority with which the Roman Catholic prelates had invested him to speak their sentiments on their behalf, had been withdrawn. "When last I had the honour of addressing the House,' said Mr. Grattan, with that warmth of feeling which was peculiar to him, when last I had the honour of addressing the House in behalf of the Catholic claims, I then stated that the Catholics were willing to concede to his Majesty the right of veto on the Catholic nomination of their bishops. I am sorry to say, that I cannot now affirm that such are the sentiments of the Roman Catholics of Ireland upon that subject. Whether I have misinformed the House, or the Catholics have been guilty of retraction, is a question which I shall never agitate, it being my fixed principle never to defend myself at the expense of my country.'
Having detailed the particulars of their first retraction, I shall now bring under the consideration of the House the next circumstance in which the expectations of their friends were disappointed. In the year 1813, Mr. Grattan, in
conjunction with my right honourable friend, (Mr. Canning,) brought in another bill, founded on principles of security, connected with the appointment of the Roman Catholic bishops, giving the same veto to the Crown, and the same control to the government, in that appointment. It was declared by them that this was the only security they had to offer; that they considered it ample and sufficient; and that it was only in consideration of that security they would recommend the adoption of the measure. Through every stage of that bill did the Roman Catholic bishops permit Mr. Grattan to speak in their name and their behalf. But before the bill had gone through its respective stages, when the measure. was on the point of completion, what was the event? The Roman Catholic bishops held a meeting, in which they condemned the proposed concessions; when they retracted, alleging that the veto would place them in a worse instead of a better position; and would revive all the evils of the Penal Laws in their most intolerable shape. In consequence of their refusal to adhere to the pledge which they had thus a second time given, the measure was lost in this House, and the Roman Catholics of Ireland were left in the same state as before. Having stated so much of the history of securities, I will, passing over the intermediate period, come down at once from year 1813 to 1825, in order to show that the Roman Catholics of the present day have not
only no greater disposition than their predecessors to give the securities which are required of them, but when I think it will be most evident that they then evinced a determination to give no security whatever.
"Let us not be charged with bigotry and intolerance when we say, that we are willing to admit the Roman Catholics to political power, if we have sufficient security that we can do so without danger to the State or detriment to the Constitution; for such is the language that has been held by all the illustrious men who have discussed the subject. If I can satisfy the House that there is no disposition or inclination on the part of the Roman Catholics to concede any securities, what right have they to complain of us for refusing to concede their claims? The pledges which they have repeatedly given, they have as repeatedly forfeited. And, I will ask, are we not bound to act with extreme caution when we find them slipping out, one after another, from the pledges they had given, in the expectation, probably, that when the legislature and the government are no longer able to resist them, all will be granted without qualifications, and their claims acceded to on their own terms?
"The discussion of 1825 must be fresh in the recollection of all who hear me. It is now known that the securities then talked of were perfectly delusive. New securities were at different times proposed, and alterations made in them, as must
be known to every gentleman having any thing like a competent acquaintance with the subject. Why, without adverting further to the alterations and omissions made in these proposed securities, I will take the liberty to allude to one which never could have been the result of accident or inadvertence. I mean that most remarkable difference which occurs in the wording of the oath proposed in the bill of 1825, to be in future administered to Roman Catholics,-that most remarkable omission, as contrasted with the oath of 1793. In the oath imposed by the Act of 1793, there is a clause which makes every Roman Catholic, who holds a place under the operation of that statute, bind himself in the most solemn manner that he will not do, or attempt to do, anything calculated to alter, or interfere with, the established and existing condition of property in Ireland. Is it not a little strange that this provision, so necessary in consequence of what is now known with respect to the hopes of the Roman Catholic party,-so indispensable to the well-being of the State, and which forms the most important and vital part of the oath of 1793, should in 1825 be wholly omitted.
"In the oath of 1793 are these remarkable words: I do swear that I will defend, to the utmost of my power, the arrangements of property within this realm, as established by law.' This is the provision, and the necessary provision, contained in the oath of 1793. Every