by 197 to 52-The Amendments made in the House of Commons are opposed in the House of Lords by Lord Stanley and Lord Monteagle, but adopted on a Division by 27 to 10, and the Bill is passed.

URING the early part of this Session the discussion of Irish questions occupied a less proportion than usual of the time and attention of Parliament. A Bill to facilitate the sale of encumbered estates in Ireland, to which we shall hereafter refer more particularly, was introduced by the Lord Chancel lor early in the year, though it did not finally pass into law until many months afterwards; with this exception, during the spring of the present year, Irish measures engaged little of the public notice. But as the summer advanced affairs in that unhappy country began to asume a very threatening aspect. Menaces of a general insurrection had, indeed, for several months been openly thrown out, but the people of this country had been so accustomed to the vapouring threats and treasonable harangues of Irish agitators, that they turned for some time an incredulous ear to the rumours of an outbreak. The preachers of rebellion were, how ever, for once in earnest. They had gained, in the person of Mr. Smith O'Brien, a leader of rank and influence, who, however fanatical and wild in his views, was at least sincere in the cause which he had espoused, and willing to stake his own life and fortune in the desperate game in which his party were engaged. He was supported by a number of active coadjutors, less eminent indeed than himself in social rank and position, but possessed of no mean powers of talent and education, which made them formidable instruments in stimulating disaffection and in

flaming the minds of the distressed
peasantry to unlawful designs. The
narrative of the events that marked
the Irish insurrection of 1848 be-
longs to another part of this work.
Happily it proved too insignificant
to be worthy of any serious regard,
and to a certain extent it answered
a good purpose, by exposing to the
eyes of the English people the real
weakness of that much vaunted
agitation, which was crushed, al-
most without an effort, the moment
it broke out into overt acts. The
ignominious defeat of Mr. O'Brien's
ludicrous attack on the civil
power, and the unresisted capture
of his person, annihilated at once
both the dignity and the danger of
a conspiracy which had been mag-
nified by the vanity of a few con-
ceited demagogues into a civil war.
Nevertheless, frivolous as the out-
break was, and chimerical as the
alarms which had been entertained
were proved to be, it was impossible
to doubt, from the evidence as to
the state of public feeling which it
brought to light, that a wide-spread
and deep-rooted disaffection per-
vaded a large part of the popula-
tion. However little apprehension
therefore might be felt that the dis-
tempers of the country would break
out into war, there was the greatest
reason to dread that they might ex-
plode in the shape of outrage and
crime, and that although the right
of the Crown might be in no jeo-
pardy, the life and property of in-
dividuals would be seriously en-
dangered. Under these circum-
stances the necessity for making
the bands of the law more strin-
gent, and arming the heads of the

Queen's Government with more extensive powers, was admitted by almost every class of politicians in England. The absurd and frantic efforts of the Irish demagogues had disgusted even the most tolerant friends of their nation in this country, and produced an unanimity in the councils of the British Parliament which no other event could in so short a time have brought about. The repugnance to entrust summary and arbitrary powers to Ministerial discretion, which is generally found to exist in the minds of liberal politicians, had given way to more urgent considerations. On the other hand, the voice of Conservative opinion in both countries demanded in the strongest manner a reinforcement of the law, and the enactment of additional securities for the life and property of the Queen's loyal subjects on the other side the Channel. To this demand the Government promptly yielded. It was a happy circumstance that at this time the highest executive authority was vested in a Lord Lieutenant in whose energy, judgment, and sagacity all parties entertained confidence. In the Earl of Clarendon the public knew that the Crown would find a firm but temperate asserter of its rights, and rebellion an uncompromising opponent. It was well understood, also, that between that nobleman and the Members of the Government in England the most cordial understanding existed, and that every measure of their Irish policy would be dictated by his information and advice.

It was under these circumstances, that, on the 21st July, Lord John Russell made the following announcement in the House of Commons:-"I rise, sir, to

give notice that I propose, at the sitting of the House to-morrow, to ask leave to bring in a Bill to empower the Lord Lieutenant or other Chief Governor or Governors of Ireland, to apprehend and detain, until the 1st day of March, 1849, such persons as he shall suspect of conspiring against Her Majesty's person or Government." (Loud cheering.)

It happened that the Earl of Glengall had given notice, for the same evening, of a motion in the House of Lords for papers, with the view of bringing the proceedings in Ireland, and the necessity for further legislation, under the consideration of Parliament. Before this motion was called on, the Marquis of Lansdowne communicated to the House the notice which his colleague had given in the House of Commons: he, however, invited Lord Glengall, nevertheless, to proceed with his motion, as affording an opportunity to the Government for a further statement. In accordance with this suggestion, Lord Glengall moved for copies of such reports as had been received by Her Majesty's Government from the stipendiary magistrates, constabulary officers, and police, respecting the formation of clubs in Ireland.

Lord Glengall glanced at the recent history of Ireland, - the schism in the Repeal party; the growth of the clubs; the atrocious counsel given to the people not only to prepare pikes and blunderbusses, but to destroy the soldiery with vitriol and burning turpentine; the military array; the treasonable communications with France and America; and the evident intention to effect, not only a political but a social revolution, by

exterminating "the English garri son"—that is, the 8000 Protestant landlords of Ireland. He complained that neither the Crime and Outrage Act, nor the Seditious Speaking Act, had proved sufficiently powerful: nothing short of suspending the Habeas Corpus Act would do; for anarchy was in the ascendant, and insurrection must follow.

The Marquis of Lansdowne admitted that the facts stated by Lord Glengall were notorious, but he thought the motion unnecessary; extracts from the papers in question-for no more than extracts could be given with propriety would only weaken the case, as it stood upon facts which were notorious. Lord Lansdowne then proceeded further to explain the views of Government:-"It is unnecessary to gauge the actual extent of the clubs; but they must be stopped at once by the strong arm of the law. These clubs have reached to a pitch in Ireland which I affirm to be, on the authority of the Lord Lieutenant, and not on his authority alone, but on the concurrent authority of all observers, subversive of the public peace, and nothing but a prelude to civil war. There is not a doubt about it, because their proceedings are open to the world. What is secret among them I do not pretend to discover; but what is open and palpable is enough for me. When I look at the numbers, the language, and the objects proposed by those clubs, and the amount of military array by which it is sought to attain those objects, I say you have all the elements of proof before you, and that there is nothing wanting in the framework of rebellion but the actual declaration


of war. I see that in carrying out the military array they have been directed by a person who not long ago went to Paris, for the avowed purpose of connecting himself with the clubs in that metropolis, and who, after meeting with something like rejection from the then Government of France, went forth knocking from door to door, seeking where he could find the greatest hostility to the Government of his own country. When that person, returning from this expedition, was placed at the head of these institutions in Ireland, I knew what the issue of these proceedings must be."

Lord Clarendon, however, had employed the powers already at his command more effectively than Lord Glengall seemed to allow. By the help of the Crime and Outrage Bill the peace of the city of Limerick has been comparatively restored. An existing Act against illegal training had been useful: it would expire at the end of that Session, but would be renewed. Other powers, including those conferred by the common law, had been carried into effect; and the law had been supported by the juries.

"I nevertheless agree," added Lord Lansdowne, "that the clubs are capable of being used, as I firmly believe they are intended chiefly to be used, for the purpose of intimidation. ("Hear!") They have acquired that charac ter, and are enabled to exercise it with effect upon every class of the community, rich and poor, Roman Catholic and Protestant; openly avowing, as they have done within the last week, that those who did not yield to their arbitrary authority, and appear armed at their call, are to be considered as ene


mies; and in the name of liberty they are endeavouring to establish a most cruel authority, subversive of all liberty, destructive of all conscience, and leading, as these associations have always led, to murder and bloodshed, and finally to anarchy and perfect despotism. Is this, or is it not, a state of things which ought to be met by all the vigour of the Government, supported, as I trust it will be, by all the authority of Parliament?"


We are arrived at that state of things in which loss of time is loss of power. (Cheers.) Use that power while you have it (Renewed cheers)-and the effect of your using it will be, not to destroy or impair liberty, but to save and preserve life. It was upon these considerations that the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in the responsible situation which he fills, has told Her Majesty's Government here that the time has arrived when it has become necessary to arm him with power to detain all persons justly suspected of treasonable intentions. I will not say that no other efforts will be made; but I believe that this is the measure which is called for, because it goes at once to strike at the leaders having those objects: for, considering the state of the Irish people-their poverty, their sufferings, their national tendency to excess, and their ignorance-I feel that much may be said in extenuation of their conduct. Against the leaders, who mislead the people by wilful falsehood, the punishment cannot be too severe. And I know that Lord Clarendon would exercise the powers intrusted to him with safety and forbearance."

"Before I sit down I will state, not only upon the authority of my

noble friend, but upon the authority of others also, though more especially upon my noble friend's, that in this formidable movement, although there is reason, doubtless, to apprehend that many individuals of the Roman Catholic clergy have been engaged, yet nevertheless the conduct of the great portion of that body has been most meritorious. And I again state, upon the authority of my noble friend, who has from day to day examined the progress of this disorder, that although, whilst such disorder is preying upon society, they have been without the means of exerting the same vital energy in opposition to its progress, yet some of the Roman Catholic clergy have been most active in preventing the propagation of these clubs; and instances could be quoted, amidst this progress of sedition and planting of disorder, of the greatest benefit having attended their exhortations to peace, and their endeavours to defend their unfortunate flocks from the contagion they had received. It is but justice to them to make this statement. In that great conflict which I fear is coming, though I trust it will be short, I believe that the Government of Ireland will have the aid of one portion at least of that highly respectable and religious body. As to the measure to which the noble Earl alluded, notice of its introduction has already been given to the other House of Parliament; and when it comes here I trust that your Lordships will give to it the most attentive consideration."

Lord Brougham cordially approved of the course now taken by the Government; adducing in support of it the authority of the late Mr. O'Connell. A declaration

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made by him, then leader of the Irish people, had been furnished to him (Lord Brougham) by a highly respectable individual, whose communication he read to the House. "The writer said-'Three weeks before Sir Robert Peel's Coercion Bill was introduced, in 1846, the late Mr. O'Connell deliberately stated to me and Dr. and Mr. now M.P. for an important place, and lately and at that time in a situation under Government,'-'that in his opinion the true remedy, which would be a safe and constitutional cure in the then state of certain districts in Ireland, as Limerick, Tipperary, and so forth, was the power commonly called,' though not very accurately, the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act,-as it would cure and not irritate the very words, observed Lord Brougham, that I used, in ignorance of having this authority; and he said, that if Sir Robert Peel made out a case to entitle his Government to possess such a power, he would support his application to Parliament for it, provided-now, I thought that what followed would take away the whole value of the opinion as to the Habeas Corpus suspension provided Sir Robert Peel would give '-I expected to find what he termed 'justice to Ireland,' and there was no saying what that might be, and the pledge in favour of coercion might soon be forgotten: but it was, 'provided Sir Robert Peel would at the same time introduce to the House those measures of relief and justice not in general terms, according to Mr. O'Connell's own notion of justice, but which he (Sir R. Peel) had so often promised to bring forward.' The writer then added, With Mr.

O'Connell's permission, I stated on the following day the substance of that conversation to Mr. M.P.; and I got leave also to show it to Sir Robert Peel and Lord John Russell.'"

Lord Stanley rejoiced too much at the present resolution of the Ministry to criticise their past conduct: he only hoped that the measure adopted would be strong enough, and not hampered by needless details, and he undertook that, without regard to party consideration, the Government should receive the unanimous support of that House.

Lord Lansdowne stated that the Ministers would make everything give way to the progress of the measure, which should be pressed forward as speedily as the forms of legislation would allow. In the event of any unfortunate delay taking place with respect to the passing of the Bill-if, in the present feverish state of the people of Ireland, they should be tempted to break out into actual rebellionthere existed an Act of the Irish Parliament passed long before the Union, under which the Lord Lieutenant could immediately seize and detain every person whom he might suspect of being an accessory to that rebellious proceeding. He would go further, and state that the Lord Lieutenant was prepared to take that course the moment an outbreak arose. (Loud cheers.)

Lord Brougham said he was aware of the Irish Act referred to. In order to bring it into operation, it was not necessary that there should be a general outbreak; any insurrectionary movement was sufficient for the purpose. He had no doubt that the Lord Lieutenant would do his duty vigorously and fearlessly.

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