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" Honourable gentlemen," said the noble lord in continuation, "might question the policy of Ministers - they might libel their motives - it mattered not; but this he would take leave to say, that they would never withdraw the opinion deliberately given, that property had its duties no less than its rights, or cease to urge, with even more deliberate warning, upon friends or opponents - all without exception - that there were proceedings which, while Ireland continued what it long has been, and long, ho feared, must be, would generate resistance. 'The flesh will quiver where the pincers tear.'... Without risking a conflict upon the new Poor Law Bill, or any analogous measure, he could not conclude without the declaration of his own deep conviction, that it was by operating, in the first instance, upon the outward circumstances of the people that they could afterwards cope with their moral condition, by creating new links between the employer and employed - by planting new hopes and new habits in their bosoms - deepening the channels of industry, and developing all natural resources. By these means alone could they effectually obtain the great ends of civil government and social order."

This Irish debate was distinguished by a speech from the chief agitator of Ireland, which presented the greatest possible contrast to the speech of the Chief Secretary. It created a tumultuous scene, and brought into conflict on the floor of the House the fierce passions of the two conflicting Irish parties. Speeches, said Mr. O'Connell, were made there by Irish gentlemen, who came for the purpose of vilifying their native land, and endeavouring to prove that it was the worst and most criminal country on the face of the earth. "Yes," he exclaimed, "you come here to calumniate the country that gave you birth. It is said there are some soils which produce enormous and crawling creatures - things odious and disgustful. (Loud and continuous cheering from the Opposition.) Yes, you who cheer - there you are. Can you deny it? Are you not calumniators? Oh, you hiss, but you cannot sting. I rejoice in my native land; I rejoice that I was born in it; I rejoice that I belong to it. Your calumnies cannot diminish my regard for it; your malevolence cannot blacken it in my esteem; and although your vices and crimes have driven its people to outrage and murder ----- (Loud cries of ' Order.') Yes, I say your vices and crimes. (Cries of 'Chair.' The Speaker interfered.) Well, then, the crimes of men like you have produced these results."

The debate was adjourned till the following Monday, when it was resumed by Mr. Lefroy, who was followed by Mr. French, after which the House was counted out, and the question dropped; but it was taken up in the Lords on the 21st of March, when Lord Roden moved for a select committee of inquiry on the state of Ireland since 1835, with respect to the commission of crime. His speech was a repetition of the usual charges, and the debate is chiefly worthy of notice on account of the elaborate defence by Lord Normanby of his Irish administration. " I am fully aware," said the noble marquis, " of the awful responsibility that would lie upon my head, if these charges rested upon evidence at all commensurate with the vehemence of language and earnestness of manner with which they have been brought forward; but they rest upon no such foundation. I am ready, with natural indignation, to prove now, on the floor of this House, that I have grappled with crime wherever I have found it, firmly and unremittingly, and have yielded to none of my predecessors in the successful vindication of the laws." Among the mass of proofs adduced by Lord Normanby, he quoted a vast number of judges' charges, delivered from time to time between 1816 and 1835, which presented only one continuously gloomy picture of the prevailing practice of violence and atrocious outrage. Passing from this melancholy record, he proceeded to refer to numerous addresses of judges delivered on similar occasions since 1835. All of these contained one common topic of congratulation, viz., the comparative lightness of the calendar - a circumstance, the noble' marquis argued, which went far to establish his position, however it might fail to prove the extinction of exceptional cases of heinous crime. With regard to the wholesale liberation of prisoners, Lord Normanby distinctly denied that he had set free any persons detained for serious offences, without due inquiry; or that any persons were liberated merely because he happened to pass through the town, who would not have met with the same indulgence upon facts stated in memorials. " No, this measure," he insisted, "had been adopted upon the conviction that, in the peculiar case of Ireland, after severity had been so often tried, mercy was well worth the experiment. It was one which was not lightly to be repeated; but while he had received satisfactory evidence of the success of the measure, it was in his power to produce the testimony of judges with whom he had no political relations, to the pains taken in the examination of each case, and the deference shown to their reports."

Having given proofs of this allegation by a reference to the various classes of cases, Lord Normanby proceeded to say that it might be urged that the lavish use of the prerogative had promoted the presentation of memorials. But how stood the case F In 1824 it was stated incidentally to another question, that no less than 2,600 memorials had been brought before Lord Wellesley in the preceding year, and capital sentence set aside in 400 cases; whereas only 1,600 memorials had been sent to him in fifteen months, and no more than nine capital sentences remitted, all upon the recommendation of the judges. Turning to another charge, the exclusive promotion of Roman Catholic functionaries, the noble lord read a list from which it appeared that in various legal and constabulary appointments the preponderance of Protestant appointments was in the following proportions: - 8 to 6, 69 to 37, 27 to 8, 40 to 37. Lord Normanby took just credit for two measures adopted during his administration - the establishment of local prosecuting solicitors, which facilitated the punishment of crime; and the remodelling of the constabulary upon its present efficient system, under a central authority in Dublin. Having defended himself on other points, Lord Normanby concluded by saying that no decision of their lordships could take away the consolation which he should find in the approval of his own conscience, and the gratitude of the Irish people.

Lord Melbourne defended the Government. He was followed by Lord Brougham, who thought this was a case for inquiry, and that too free a use had been made of the prerogative. Lord Plunket replied to him, and regarded the speech as a fresh proof of the noble and learned lord's political versatility. The motion for a select committee was carried by a majority of five. In consequence of this result, Lord John Russell announced his intention, next day, of taking the opinion of the House of Commons on the recent government of Ireland, in the first week after the Easter recess.

O'Connell was exasperated, by the vote of the Lords, to extraordinary energy. "It is not possible for us," says the editor of the " Annual Register," " to give any adequate picture of the almost supernatural activity of the great agitator. Day after day he was in the Corn Exchange. On Sunday, after mass, at each of the parochial meetings, we meet with his encouraging presence; and the columns of the newspapers were filled in the intervals with the exercitations of his indefatigable pen." On the 6th of March he appeared at a meeting of the "Precursor Society" in Dublin, exclaiming, "What am I here for? To call upon all Ireland to rally round the Ministry - to call upon my two millions of Precursors - to call on the inhabitants of all the counties, towns, boroughs, cities, and villages in Ireland to meet at once and second me in my undertaking. Let Sunday week be the day, and on that day let every parish in Ireland meet and adopt petitions on the subject. We want not those who look for places to join us - no packed juries, no dishonest judges. We want only equality. Refuse us this, and then, in the day of your weakness, dare to go to war with the most insignificant of the powers of Europe." The great day of this agitating campaign was the 11th of April, when an immense meeting was held in the Theatre Royal, Dublin, which might be regarded as an aggregate meeting of the liberal party, including all sections. Most of the Whig nobility and gentry either attended or sent apologetic notes expressing their approval of the object, which was to sustain the Ministry against the Tories. The chantas occupied by the Duke of Leinster, and the proceedings, which were of a very animated character, were wound up by Mr. O'Connell, who concluded his impassioned appeal in the following terms: - "The shout which that day emanated from that theatre would be heard at St. Stephen's, and would cheer the heart of the Queen at St. James's. Let Her Majesty be menaced by the ferocious despots of the northern deserts - let the more steady tyrants of Europe combine - let France, a country in which the king and the people seem affected with a periodical insanity, break her fetters again; but let Ireland be governed as she had been by Normanby and as she would be by Fortescue, and if any hostile foot dared to tread on the Queen's dominions, the foe to the throne should either surrender or submit to be dashed into the sea."

As soon as the House assembled after Easter, on the 8th of April, Lord John Russell, in pursuance of his announcement, gave notice that he would, on the 15th, propose the following resolution: - "That it is the opinion of this House that it is expedient to persevere in those principles which have guided the Executive Government of late years, and which have tended to the effectual administration of the laws, and the general improvement of that part of the United Kingdom."

On the following day Sir Robert Peel gave notice that he would move an amendment to that resolution. After a long preamble, consisting of a recital of admitted facts, the amendment stated in substance, that the appointment of a committee of inquiry by the House of Lords did not justify Ministers in calling upon the House of Commons, without previous inquiry, or the production of information, to make a declaration of opinion with respect to one branch of the public policy of the Executive Government, still less a declaration of opinion which was neither explicit as to the principles it professed to approve, nor definite as to the period to which it referred; and that it was not fitting that the House of Commons should adopt a proceeding that had the appearance of calling in question the undoubted right of the House of Lords to inquire into the state of Ireland, more especially when the exercise of that right did not interfere with any previous proceeding or resolution of the Commons, nor with the progress of any legislative measure assented to by it, or then under its consideration.

When the 15th arrived, the two great parties commenced the contest on their old battle-field. Lord John Russell moved his resolution of confidence in the Irish administration, which he supported in a long and able speech, in which he said: - " After all, it is idle to expect any immediate removal of misery, the seeds of which were sown in days long passed away. As a great statesman has said, 'Men do not live on blotted paper; the friendly or the hostile mind is far more important to mankind, for good or evil, than the black letter of any statute.' Deeply impressed with the truth of these principles, I now invoke your approval of a course of policy conciliatory to the Irish people; and although, in adherence to the condemnatory judgment of the House of Lords, you should reject this resolution, be yet assured that the Ministry who would succeed the present one would find no favour in the eyes of Ireland; rankling suspicion would still abide that impartial benefits and indifferent justice were not to be expected at their hands. Should the amendment of the right hon. baronet attain a majority in this House," concluded the noble lord, " that event, however dangerous to Ireland, and disadvantageous to the whole empire, will leave us no reason to regret. And come the dissolution of this Ministry when it will, there will ever be consolation in the reflection that we have not shrunk from incurring obloquy, or impairing our popularity, with a view of strengthening the whole United Kingdom, by knitting together the hearts of all Her Majesty's subjects, and founding a government in Ireland which should secure the good will and the affections of the people."

The noble lord was immediately followed by Sir Robert Peel, who assailed the policy of the Government in a speech of great power, abounding in irony and sarcasm. In conclusion, he said, " Nothing could give me greater pain than to be obliged to condemn Lord Normanby. From his very early youth I have known and esteemed him, and, in common with all others who shared his acquaintance, I rejoiced in the development of those brilliant natural parts with which he is unquestionably endowed. I believe, like Lord Glenelg, the noble lord has displayed great official aptitude, and has conscientiously discharged his duty; and though he has not conciliated his political enemies in his public career, he has not alienated a single public or private friend. But I cannot vote for this resolution. I cannot affirm that Lord Normanby has acted upon the principles I have just laid down. He has not sufficiently set his face against agitation; and in the exercise of mercy, he has been, not indeed corrupt, but far too reckless and indiscriminate. Nevertheless, L shall move no vote of censure." The right hon. baronet ended by warning the House against entering into a collision with the Lords in a position of affairs so little promising as the present, both at home and abroad.

Mr. Spring Rice was the next speaker. When he concluded, the debate was adjourned, and was resumed the following day by Mr. (afterwards Sir J. E.) Emerson Tennent, Colonel Perciyal, Mr. Lascelles, Mr. Sidney Herbert, Colonel Conolly, and Mr. Lucas on the side of the Opposition. The Government was defended by Mr. Smith O'Brien, Mr. Bellew, the O'Connor Don, Sir William Somerville, and Mr. Henry Grattan. The House on this occasion was thin and inattentive, and the debate was again adjourned on the motion of Mr. Barron, who resumed it next day. Mr. Grote spoke in favour of the resolution, but restricted his approbation altogether to the Irish policy of Government. Sir E. Lytton Bulwer supported the Government; and with regard to the general question, he said: - "If this were a general vote of confidence, he would ask his friend Mr. Grote to point out, in the history of the country, any administration more closely identified with great and imperishable ameliorations; and he called on him, as a practical man, to indicate the elements of any Government which, on the whole, would keep better' faith with the gradual development of popular civilisation."

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