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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 Chape, at length came to a reso. used by my Sovereign. I have already stated lution, which cannot be defended upon a rigid that I understood bis Majesty to asient 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, leaft justifiable part of the conduct of bis Ma. my 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 Lordships 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 instance cannot be one of my colleagues (Lord Howick) pre- justified upon 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 honour which actuates his condu&. He the Catholics of Ireland from presenting their · certainly understood his Majesty to assent-to petition to Parliament, and desirous, although

the bill's being proposed. I was waiting to be they were prevented from expresline any opi-introduced to an audience of his Majesty, nion of Government favourable to further cocwhen Lord Howick quitted his Majetty's pre- ceflions to the Catholics, that they might ex. sence, and stated to me, with the impression press their opinions as Members of Parliament recent on his mind, that his Majesty had con- respecting the state of Ireland, and the policy

fented to the introduction of the proposed or necessity of such conceffions; convinced, * 'measure. This was on Wednesday the 4th of also, that they ought tu 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 to 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 thould not be confidered as restrained was not till the Wednesday following, one - from giving such advice or propofing fuch week afterwards, that I understood bis Ma. measures to his Majesty “ for his decifion" jesty to diffent to the proposed measure; and as in their judgment should be called for by then, undoubtedly, I did understand that there the state of Ireland. My Lords, I repeat those had been a misapprehenfion in fuppofing that three words, " for his decihon," because they bis Majesty had given his consent to the mea. have been omitted in the partial and garbled lure to the extent to which it was proposed to tatement 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 nicre clearly few che defign "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 chara&ters Majesty's Ministers-The first resolution to and misrepresenting our conduct. 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 to effect some part of the object which we we should pledge ourselves not to propofe at had in view was, to modify the bill, and to any future time any further conretions to the render it nothing more than the bill of 1793, Catholics of Ireland, or any measure conneded extended 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 oaths 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 councillur require ? that he fhould tion of it. When, however, his Majesty's give such 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 in pra&icable his judgment thall deem to be called for by to co modify the bill, and at the same time to the exigencies of public affairs; and how thea support it by any thing like argument. The can a privy councillor, without violating his bill was already before Parliament, and no oach, give a pledge which would prevent him possibility appeared of being enabled to answer from doing his duty, and which would prefatisfactorily 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 bill, after proposing these considerations which that urgency mighe it on a much more enlarged scale; nuor di demand? A privy councillor acting thus, there appear any courle of argument by which would, after taking an oath to do his duty. the exclufion of Protestant Diflenters from the give a plçulge not to du his duty. Is at to the privileges granted to Catholics, or the exclu. cadured that a privy council'or Dall give a con of the latter from becoming Generals on pledge, that whatever circumstances may arife the Staff, as originally propuled, could pollibly in future, and however impericully tou may be supported. His Majesty's Ministers therein demand the exccution of a particulus Beauté

be shall not lay before his Majesty the conf. In fact, a member did indicate any such dir., deration of it? Can it be possible 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 Atipulation bad been asked, most certainly I conditio a 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 told whenever that subject comes it. At the same time, however, that I came betore 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 Loods, such a principle strikes at the root of upon the Catholic question which we professthe conititution, inasmuch as it tends to over- ed when out of power, still it could not be throw that exerllent maxim, that “ The King di Nem led that a well known difficulty stood can do no wrong." Nothing can he more fatal in the way of its fuccess. As we came into to the interests of the country. or prignant power untertered upon this point, and called with more danger to the constitution, tban upon, as we felt, hy the nature of our fituathe 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 havé fucceeded us imagine that they have those puints to which we ftood pledged, and fucceeded to an caly tak. We did not fuc- for the success of which, from a conviction ceed to "a bed of roses," neither have we left of their rectitude, we must be anxious; but a bed of roses. The comnierce and I he finances still our resolution 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 itate than we found nature would have been, we felt, inconsistent them. Let me, however, call the serious with the duty, the affection, and the respect and anxious attention of Noble Lords on the we owed to our sovereign. With these prin. other fide to the state of Ireland. If perse ciples my colleagues entered into the admini. cation for the sake of differences in religious ftration. 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 theit produce the most dreadful dissentions, 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 Cathulic jefty in that country, or the Earl of Harde queition at reft. They did however resolve, wicke, his predecefTor, is to be reversed, and immediately upon their introduction to a lyftem or persecución, coercivn, and restraint, power, to turn their attention, in a very pea to be subtituted, 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 last from such a system. When we know that our year, which served tu augment their resoluenemy has fixed upon one point of the Britith tion. The fate of that mut valuable, and, 1 dominions where he thinks invasion practica- am afraid, most vulnerable part of the empire, sequires more than ordinary care, wore than disturbances which notoriously prevailed in the ordinary measures, to remove the causes of western part of that country naturally operaall those unhappy diffentions which have given ted to increase our folicitude. The confe. rise in thac Country tu chofe infurrections quence of these deliberations was a determi. which have produced such dreadful effects. nation to adopt immediate means of tranqüili. If they do not consider the fate of Ireland zing and conciliating the people of Ireland, with these views, the greatest danger niay re- and, although urged by a Right Honourable fult to che interests of the empire.

Gentlenian, Mr. Perceval, much fonder of Lord Ilowick, on the farne day, in the the policy of force than I am, to refort to Commons, rose and tpoke to the follow

meaiures of extraordinary severity--although ing effect

urged by him, rather eagerly as I remember, it is well known for it must be in the re. have recourse to rigour, we determined to

at a very early period of the disturbances, to Collection of the house and of the country, abitain from all severity not warranted by what principles and opinions were held by the the spirit of the constitution, and, thank God, several members of the late adıninistration

we succeeded in restoring tranquility by reupon the subject of the Catholics, Their opinions, indeed, were but recently manifeft. Among the measures which appeared to us as

sorting only to the juit operation of the law. et in their speeches and their votes

. They expedient to be adopted for the conciliation of came into adminiftration with this general Ireland, the admillion of Catholics to bold knowledge of their opinions, and surely

it commilions in the army and navy soggested could not be supposed that any of those mem- itself as one of the first. This we conceived bers would be capable of giving up his opi- not only safe but proper to propose without sign for the fake of office and emolument. delay, in addition to the other reasons whuic


prefeuted presented themselves in its favour, it struck us, to procure for the Catholics the fame privi. in the present ftate of the enipire, 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 folicy 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 then Mr. Hobart, in which the promise of same privilege with regard to the holding of this concession to the Irish Catholics was discommissions in this country as was granted tin&tly 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 his neceílary evidence of consistency, honour, and Majesty's minifters, that this conceflion 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 army 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 seemed a superabundant popula. the lord lieutenant, itating 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 expression even to alarm the interests of the established 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 respe&tful 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 majefty, one be safe if the other be in danger? If Ire. who after some deliberation was gracioudy land 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 proposed, Eliot, his grace's secretary, and some diftinwhich has such an obvious tendency to add guished members of the Catholic body; to to our strength, by securing the attachnient 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 faid, clearly engaged ment to any compromise of their claims for in conlidering ine 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 fubftance of the dispatı hes from his excellency the lord lieu- dispatch was stated to these gentlemco, one of tant, stating, that the Catholics had manic them, Mr. O'Connor, asked Mr. Eliot, felted a resolution 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 fuhject, 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 difraude the Catholics from such iwer 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 douls, sure of concellion I have already described. and authoriting him to give a decided anWe had a hope that if promptly acceded to it {wir tu Mr. O'Connor's question. This fe might have the effect of inducing the Catho- cond dispatch was laid before his Majeity, lics to abandon the pursuit of an object which, and his Majesty was pleased to iclurn it from certain circumstances, they could not be withouç any objection or comment whasunaware there was little reason to hope for ; qver. It was therefore immediately forward. while, at the same time we ielt that, both ed to Ireland. However, upon the point from priuciple and policy, the concellion ought some differences of apinion wid arife. Doubts to be made. We had little apprehenfion of were entertained, it is bus fair to tay, by encountering any objoction in our endeavours fore members of the cabinet, as to the e


tent of this measure. I state the facts as Bedford, and on the following day stated in they occurred. My object is to ftate 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 nifters I have alluded to, declared that they which I had understood his Majesty to have were not, in the first inftance, aware of the fanctioned. After some further confideration fell extent of the measure, and to that ex- however, it was suggested that in point of tent they strongly expressed their obje&tion; form it would not be correct to ingraft such a but the dispatch had been previously tranf- 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 a public mealure without previoully 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 tice. According to any rational publication what was the business 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 act in a double capa. tion for the second reading of this bill, which city upon different occifions-pamely, as a had been made a separate bill, mentioning Minifter, and as an individual member of par- the confiderations I have stared to the House. liament. There was 110 Minifter who had His Majesty asked, whether the bill was the not atted ro occafionally. If indeed it were fame as the ad of the Irish Parliament? I Culpable to pursue the course, some extrava- stated the difference to be what I communicatgant writers now maintain, Mr. Pite'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 censurable repeated the reasons which appeared to me to -for that distinguished statesman, 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 distinction which, in may rely that I shall frankly itate 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 conand the other, 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 discution I was very naturally the less inclined to think in the Cabinet, he violates his duty, unless fo from this circumstance, that Lord Grenfuch measure thall have received the sanction ville had an audience of his Majesty after I left of that authority. I should of course feel my. him, and his Majesty mentioned not one word feli very culpable, 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 saw his Majesty, but rial measure, unless I had previously tbmit heard nothing further of his objection, nor did ted that measure to the confideration of the for the whole of the week, although I had King, and obtained his Majesty's consent to its frequent opportunities of hearing from, and adoption. It was therefore I laid before his some conversations with the king. In conteMajeity all the particulars with regard to the quence of an unfortunate event which occurmeasure respecting 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 abe attempted to submit the confideration of that sence produced a poftponement of the order measure to this House.

for the second reading of this bill. During The second dispach which I have stated to this period I had not seen his Majesty, but I have been sent to the Duke of Bedford on the underitood that he had communicated to 19th of February was drawn up by me, in con- Lord Grenville his decided objection to the sequence of the indisposition 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 aflent. Mr. O'Connor. That dispatch I sent to From that circumstance I was led to suspect Windsor on Monday for his Majesty's appro- that I had misunderstood his Majeity; l'ac. bation, and on Tuesday following it was re- cordingly denganded an audience, in order to turned without any objection or comment use my endeavours for the purpose of facis.ywhatever, as I have already stated. But what ing his Majesty's mind upon the lubje&t, but served more diftinaly to impress my mind my endeavours had not the effect of removing with an opinion of his Majesty's complete ac- his Majesty's objections, and I had the regret quiescence in the measure is this, that I had to find that I had misunderstood his Majesty, the honour of seeing him on the Thursday or that he had completely misunderstood me. following, and he expressed not even a hint of However, from an anxious with to avoid givany objection to it. I immediately forward. ing any pain to his Majesty's feelings, I ened the dispatch I had written to the Duke of deavoured, in concert with my colleagues,


to modify the bill as to reconcile it to his Ma. Atatement whatever of the grounds npon which jesty's wishes. But after a good deal of deli. I was induced to adopt such a proceedingberation we found that it could not be modifi. and that afterwards, upon the introduction of ed as to obviate his objections, without de. he. Catholic Petition, my colleagues and I froying the vital essence of the measure should declare our opinion in favour of it with without doing away that which would be fa. out any previous intimation of our intention rist actory to the Catholics, or likely to pro- to the King-What would his Majesty be dif. duce any of the important consequences 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 strongly manifest our deference for the jerty. Any man who has a jult 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 perfonal feelings 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, of man will be found more willing to submit to bringing forward any measure which he may it chan I shall.

think necessary for the public interest. But Having agreed to give up this hill altoge- what will the House think of a proposition bis. ther, we did at the tanie time feel it necefiary, ing distinctly made to us tantamount to an ab. for the vin ication of our character, to inferi a folute surrender of that right? Not contented micute in the proceedings of the Cabinet, with the sacrifice which I have so often men. stating 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 vily that we should 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, fubátitute in its place a written obligacion from the opinions and principles we had on of a directly opposite nature, pledging ourmany occutions exprefled in Parliament, and selves oever 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 reserve to our- propose any thing connected with the Catho. felves the right of submitting at all times for lic Question. his decision, luch measures as we mighi 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 afWith regard to the propriety of inserting forded me of judging of the nature of his this minute, I would appeal to any man or right opinions, that he is actuated by the pureft mofeeling, whether in justice to the King and to tives of the benevolent intentions of his purselves, we could abstain from recording the Majesty for the interests of his people in this ground upon which we acted. One course transaction, fo far as he is perfonaliy conceraonly remained for myseli and my colleagues ed, I entertain not the lightest doubt, but of in the ftuation in which we stood, a.ter w tla 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 feelings of the King, such an obligation could be patiently difcofled, that is, to insert the minute referred to, thus much less subscribed, by any man who ever recording the ground upon which we had lo entertained a correct notion of public duty, acted, and expressing vur intentions for the or who was unsutceptiole of a feeling woriby future. Looking to our own reputation of a respectable public ftation. Need I add looking to the maintenance of our confiftency that this propofition was such as my colleagues looking to the probable introduction of a and myself found it utterly impoffible to af. petition from the Catholics, could we, with tent to; and having refpe&tully communiany sense we owed to ourselves, hefitate to cated our diffent from it to the King, we op Jecord that which meant only to express a le- the next day received an intimation from his servation of that right, which, if we had con. Majesty that he must look out for other Mifented to abandon, we must bave rendered our nisters. I hele Ministers he has accordingly felves unworthy the efltem 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 seals of tion of our view and conduc both with regard oflice to bis Majesty. to our Sovereign and our Country, and parti- I trust that, in the atatement I have made, cularly against the charge advanced againit I have eftablished a suflicient guard against any -0%, which can only be supported by an invidi- further misreprétenturion. I have thewo, I oudly garbled extract from that very minute. hope to the lacistaction of the House, these But fuppofing we had omitted altugether to three important facts-1.ft, That the Bill rs. inter: tliis minute, with which fome persons ferred to was not proposed in this Hours until affeet to find fault, how frould we ftand in a bis Majesty was fully apprised of it ;-dly, certain event? Let us take it the other way That whatever misunderitanding might late that I had come down to this Houle and grifen, the fault was not with us, as his Na. wuhdrawn this Bild, withou: making any jesty was afforded aniple opportunity, in the


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