« AnteriorContinuar »
O'Donoghue) and asked him for a copy of their miserable holdings,' is totally devoid of it ; and on reading it he must confess
foundation." that he did not see that there was much in Yet these very statements, so “totally it to which any Irish Meniber could object. devoid of foundation,” were alluded to toThe speech of his hon. Friend, however, night, by his hon. Friend, as established was not exactly in keeping with the tem- facts. He must make one appeal to perate and moderate words he had proposed; his hon. Friend the Member for Tralee, and, therefore, with great respect for the and ask him if any English Member got up talents, and with high admiration for the in that House and ventured to assail his eloquence, he had displayed, he could not countrymen with language he had himself consent to follow him into the lobby. used, whether he would not, with that gal. Every one who had heard the hon. Mem- lantry for which he is so eminently conber must, moreover, regret that one possess- spicuous, vindicate his countrymen against ing so much ability and kindly feeling such unworthy and undeserved calumnies ? should have allowed either his oratory or The hon. Gentleman had unfairly assumed his imagination to carry him to some of the that Irish questions were put down by lengths which he had gone that night. As English and Scotch Members. He (Lord a county representative of the north of Ire- Claud Hamilton) had sat in that House for land, and the only one who had as yet thirty.one years, and he maintained that spoken in this debate, he entered his pro- such a statement was totally devoid of truth, test against the statements made by the and an unworthy calumny on the Scotch hon. Member (The O'Donoghue) with re- and English Members of that House. He ference to atrocities said to have been had never known an Irish question, when committed in the county of Donegal. The fairly brought forward and practically hon. Gentleman had adverted to them debated, not listened to with attention, as if they were admitted facts ; but he however much it might interfere with the (Lord Claud Hamilton) undertook to meet general business of the country and the him on every point, and show that he had convenience of bon. Members, and he exbeen the victim of the grossest misrepre-pressed his gratitude for the generosity and sentation. He did not wish to rest his de liberality of the Ilouse with regard to Irish nial of these statements on his own words, subjects. If the hon. Gentleman would and he would, therefore, read a few lines only turn bis eloquence and talents to a from the Report of a Committee of the more practical use than he had to night, he House, which sat on the very subject. predicted for him a far greater success than Statements had been made of the heartless, he would be likely to meet with on that cold-blooded conduct of some of the land- occasion. The great fault hon. Gentlemen lords, which it was said had driven the committed was in bringing forward at one people of Donegal to poverty, desolation, time a number of alleged grievances, instead and misery. An impartial Committee, of confining themselves to one subject, and consisting of English, Scotch, and Irish having it fairly and thoroughly discussed. Members, was selected from that House, If they would abstain from that, and bring and they came to the following Resolution forward what they considered solutions for upon the evidence placed before them, by the difficulties they complained of in the the authors of the statements complained manner he had suggested, he should be of. The Committee found
able to recognize in it statesmanlike conThat this poverty among the people is not duct, and his hon. Friends the Members for attributable to the landlords; that no attempt had / Tralee and Cork would thus be doing a far been made to drive the tenants from their hold- greater service to Ireland than by contenting ings or to take from them any lands over which themselves with making discursive speeches they had any real right; and it has been proved which did not suggest any practical soluto your chairman that the statement in the tion of the grievances of which they comappeal "
plained. If he felt as strongly on any The very document relied upon by the supposed grievances as his hon. Friends hon. Member and assumed to be correct
evidently did, from the frequent occasions “Which said that • last year brought a sad on which they dilated on them, he should change upon this warm-hearted peasantry, all feel it to be his first and most solemn duty the landlords of those districts save one simul- to offer suggestions and to bring forward taneously deprived them of the mountains, giving measures which might form a basis on them to Scotch and English graziers as sheep walks, and at the same time doubled and trebled, which remedial legislation might proceed. and in many instances quadrupled, the rents on He protested against what had been said
Lord Claud Hamilton
with regard to Donegal, and he could, if stance which suggested the question. It necessary, show that it was incorrect, but must be remembered that most of the had been got up to excite the feelings of emigrants were young people, whose labour the people. He should support the Ad- had been lost to their own country; and dress as proposed by Her Majesty's Go- he could not but think, therefore, that if vernment.
the money which had been spent on emiSIR FREDERICK HEYGATE, said, gration had been spent on the encourage
full credit to the Irish Government ment of trade and manufactures, a very for the vigour it had shown in the Fenian different result would have followed. It prosecutions. Praise was due to the Lord was to the extension of trade and manu. Lieutenant especially ; and it was gratify- factures he looked for an improvement in ing to find that his Excellency was so well the condition of Ireland ; but, to bring that supported by the middle classes. - In the about, security of property must be a first county which he had the honour to repre- condition. He, therefore, hoped that to sent, the law was still respected. It was one secure this all friends of Ireland would at into which Fenianism had not penetrated present apply their exertions. It was not to any great extent ; but even there the enough when you had to deal with ignobad effects of the conspiracy were felt. Arance to make a statement of the hopelessstop had been put to the establishment of ness of insurrection. You must use some manufactories —capitalists being deterred argument that would be unmistakably defrom embarking their money in a country monstrative. He believed that if 10,000 in which there did not appear to be ordinary men could be sent over to Ireland, it would security for commercial enterprize. His put an end to Fenianism at once. When opinion was that the present was not the a feeling of security was restored, he time for inquiry into political grievances. would be ready to vote for an inquiry When the Fenian conspiracy was put an into the cause of the unfortunate circumend to, and when the law was vindicated, stances which had been brought under the then would be the time for an inquiry such notice of the House. as that suggested in the course of this de- COLONEL VANDELEUR said, he rebate. The landlords had been spoken of gretted that bon. Members should feel so as if they were indifferent to the state of much interest in making it appear that the country. Holding the stake they did Ireland was disaffected. Some hon. Gen. in it, he was at a loss to see how that could tlemen spoke as if disaffection existed all be. In the county with which he was con- over three of the Irish provinces. The nected they had a large measure of tenant-county of Clare, which he represented, right, and there were no religious feuds, was essentially a Roman Catholic county, and yet things were not as they ought to and it was not disaffected. He had had be there ; he was sorry to say there did not conversations with the clergy of both deprevail such a spirit of satisfaction as he nominations, especially with the Roman should like to see. Within the last few Catholic clergy–with shopkeepers, farmers years vast numbers of the population of Ire- --with all classes, in fact, and the feeling Jand had emigrated ; and it could scarcely they expressed was one of extreme horror be expected that the lower classes, receiving of the conspiracy. The conspiracy was as they did by every post, from their rela- one got up in America in 1857 by Mr, tives and friends on the other side of the O'Mahony and others, who appeared to Atlantic, letters speaking of the prosperous think that the whole of Ireland was ready to condition of the emigrants and containing join them. It was sought to be established substantial proof of that prosperity in the in Ireland by American agents ; but far shape of remittances, should fail to draw from there being anything like a universal comparisons between their own position feeling of sympathy in Ireland with Feand that of Irishmen who had left their vianism, the farmers in that country feared own country. Irishmen who came to Eng. that if the Fenians came over they would land or who went to Scotland earned large be ejected themselves that the small wages, and those at home asked why it holdings of the poor would fare no better was that in Ireland wages were so small as than the large ones of the rich. In 1832 compared with those paid to their country. and 1834 the division of the land was the men elsewhere. That was a question which object sought to be achieved ; and in 1843 it was difficult to answer without going into and 1844, when immense meetings were political economy ; but he believed that held, the people did not assemble for nomuch discontent arose from the circum- thing. They took part in the agitation with the idea that when the English were brought forward by the hon. Member for expelled the landed proprietors would be Tralee, which he therefore hoped would expelled with them, and there would be a not receive the sanction of the House. division of land. When, in 1848, physical MR. ESMONDE said, that the discussucceeded to moral force, the leading idea sion had assumed a very wide character, still was a re-distribution and apportion- which was not unnatural considering the ment of the estates. In 1860, when a subject, but he ventured to recall the atmeeting presided over by the hon. Member tention of the House to the proposal imfor Tralee was held in Dublin, for the almost mediately before it. A paragraph in the avowed purpose of inviting the French to Address treated of the Fenian conspiracy, land in Ireland, the late Mr. William Smith and the Amendment proposed to be subO'Brien wrote to the secretary of the stituted for that paragraph had reference meeting protesting, in the strongest lan to the alleged causes of the sympathy guage, against such a proceeding. Ireland which we were told, and which he believed, had been in a state of agitation for the thirty existed to a certain extent in Ireland with years before the last two years—there was that conspiracy. Now, hon. Members who peace until the Fenian movement reached like himself were aware of the existence of that country. He trusted that the Fenians those causes, but who, at the same time, would find the English Government was too were unwilling to give the slightest shadow strong for them. The Motion of the hon. of a reason for any one to believe that Member for Tralee (The O'Donoghue) was they did not entertain the utmost horror in itself harmless, and it might be useful of the conspiracy itself, were placed by to institute an inquiry into the alleged the Amendment in a very unpleasant posigrievances of Ireland ; but if the Motion tion, for to vote for the omission of the were carried, the people of Ireland would clause would be as distasteful to them as think the Fenians were right and had to ignore the causes which led to this really something to complain of. It had sympathy with Fenianism. There was been asserted that Fenianism was caused another consideration which also influenced by the Church Establishment, and the him in this matter, should his hon. Friend opposition to what was called tenant- press his Motion to a division he would right. He did not concur in that view be in a very small minority. Now he of the matter. The Fenians had no- feared this might be misunderstood in Irething to say to the Established Church ; land, and that the people of that country and, as to tenant-right, he might re- might, when they saw the body of English mark that it was largely exercised in Liberals voting in the majority, mistake his county, and, indeed, he knew few the significance of the division, and conlandlords whe did not allow it. He de- sider, however erroneously, that that party nied also what the hon. Member for the bad refused to listen to their claims for city of Cork (Mr. Maguire) had stated— redress ; and that thus the union, or rather namely, that no tenants who had leases he might say re-union, which he was happy had left the country, for he kuew several to say was taking place between English cases of such tenants having gone to Ame- and Irish Liberals, might be in some sort rica. Neither was it correct to state that endangered, and that good feeling which the want of work was a reason for their was growing up between them might run going. He knew of hundreds of men who some risk of being impaired. He would, had been induced to join the Federal army, therefore, suggest to his hon. Friend the and who were under engagement to return Member for Tralee, that should he succeed to Ireland and join the Fenian movement. in eliciting from Her Majesty's Government In his own town twenty young men, ap- a favourable expression of their views upon prentices in different establishments, went the subject of his Amendment, he would all together to join the Federal army and have done good service to his country and several returned to Ireland ; but when they attained his object ; and that he should not, heard that the Government were taking under the circumstances, press it to a divi. strong measures, and that the Commission sion. The Lord Lieutenant and his hon. was issued, they absconded, and no more was Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland at seen of them. In Dublin there were hun- the Lord Mayor's dinner in Dublin the dreds of such fellows lounging about the other day, gave utterance to certain sentistreets. This state of things was danger. ments as to the policy of the Government ous, but it certainly was not one which regarding Ireland. Should those sentiwould be ameliorated by the Motion ments be endorsed by the Government here
he thought that might fully satisfy his hon. I to the Motion which he has made. I take Friend, as it certainly would him, as to their that Motion in the form in which he has intentions. He took the liberty of address himself laid it before the House, as a ing himself more particularly to the leader Motion to omit from our Address a paraof the House, and saying that some of his graph corresponding with the paragraph in speeches during the last Session had raised the Speech which related to Fenianism, hopes in Ireland, and exercised large in- and to substitute for it the words he has Auence upon the late elections there ; and proposed. We are not prepared to part the result was seen in the increased num- with the paragraph which relates to Feber of Liberals returned to the present Par- nianism. It has three objects. In the liament as compared with the last. He first place it aims at denouncing the conbegged very respectfully, then, to appeal spiracy, which, as we believe, is subversive to the right hon. Gentleman, and to ask him of all that a civilized community ought to merely to endorse the expressions of two cherish and maintain. I understand and Members of his own Government.
respect the motives of the hon. Member THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHE- for Cork (Mr. Maguire), when he states QUER: Sir, I have been anxious to fol- that persons of pure and virtuous life are low this debate to its close, and to be unhappily involved in sympathy with this guided entirely by the convenience of the conspiracy. It is an unhappy truth that, House, in either confining myself to the amid the infirmities of human nature, single subject which has as yet been in- purity of intention is no uniform safeguard troduced into the discussions of this even- against the most serious errors. ing, or in addressing myself at once to re- are not here to pass moral judgment upon marks which any Gentleman might wish our countrymen. We are here to denounce to make on any other topic adverted to in a great public evil ; and this solemn dethe Address. As however, during the nunciation which Her Majesty has been whole of the evening, the attention of the advised to utter from the Throne will, I House has been confined to a subject well trust, be sustained and re-echoed by the worthy of that attention, I will follow the general and, I venture to hope, the unaexample of those who have addressed us nimous judgment of the House. In the this evening, and offer a few remarks on second place, the paragraph states a fact the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the as important as it is gratifying. It is Member for Tralee (The O'Donoghue), re- gratifying that this unhappy outbreak has serving liberty to myself, if occasion should developed in Ireland a public opinion which arise, and if other subjects should subse- has sustained and strengthened the arm quently be introduced in the discussion on of law and authority, and has enabled the the entire question, to offer such explana-Government to walk firmly forward in the tion as may be required on the part of the path of repression without fear without Government. With respect to the debate harshness, and without favour. The pubof this evening, I cannot but begin by say- lic opinion to which I refer is happily not ing that I think those who have watched dependent upon any one class or any one it through the many hours during which it portion of the Irish people, however imhas continued will agree with me in the portant or however powerful; but it reprebelief that Ireland has no cause to be sents, as has been truly said in the Speech ashamed of the manner in which her case and in the Address, all who are interested has been stated by her representatives ; in the maintenance of authority, property, whether I look to the ability displayed; to and religion without distinction of creed or the spirit of seriousness and earnestness sect. The hon. Member for Peterborough which marked their speeches; to the strong (Mr. Whalley), however, in the tranquil and unequivocal language which they have period of the evening, uttered a protest held on the subject of the Fenian conspi. against placing upon the same ground the racy; or last, and not least important, to disapprovals which have been emphatically the determined disposition they have shown declared by the Roman Catholic clergy, to prefer the methods of constitutional and those which have proceeded from other action and discussion to other and less quarters, and which are entertained in legitimate methods of advancing political every loyal heart and every enlightened ends. But, Sir, while acknowledging the mind. But, Sir, we differ from the hon. ability, and even the spirit, of the hon. Member for Peterborough, as the especial Member for Tralee, I must explain why it object of this paragraph is to mark the is impossible for the Government to accede satisfaction with which Her Majesty's
Government has announced, and with it intends to state that dissatisfaction is which this House receives the announce- a justification or palliation of Fenianism ; ment, that all who feel an interest in the but, certainly, the proposed paragraph parmaintenance of property, authority, and takes too much of that character, or, at religion, the three great pillars of civilized least, too easily permits that interpretation society, are, upon this occasion, at least, to be placed upon it. In the second place, happily united, and determined to maintain I greatly object to stating that the evils of the law, and to discountenance and con- Ireland are the result of causes which it is demn all who rise in opposition to the law. our duty, thereby implying that it is in our Lastly, Sir, as to the third object of this power, to remove. Why, that very flatterparagraph, I hope, indeed I feel sure from ing and alluring suggestion ? But because what I have heard in the course of this it is flattering and alluring, I suspect it, debate, that our intention is not disap- and hesitate to adopt it all the more. The proved when, in the language which de- evils of Ireland are inveterate. The hon. scribes the methods in which the law has and gallant Member for Longford in an been vindicated, we have invited the House able speech to-night has well pointed out to join with us, at least by implication, in that, in a country where misgovernment or expressing a general approval of those where oppression has prevailed, you must methods, as having been characterized by not expect that by removing the causes fairness as well as firmness. And, although you will immediately get rid of the effect. hon. Gentlemen have reserved their judg- You may withdraw the weapon which has ment-as they had a perfect right to do caused the wound, but it does not follow -respecting the time when the necessity that the process of healing will be immefor repression began, still the opinions diate. Therefore, Sir, inveterate and com. which have proceeded from every quarter plicated as is the great Irish question in of the House have expressed satisfaction all its branches, I hesitate to adopt any with the conduct of the Executive as ad- words which seem to pledge Parliament vised by the Law Officers of the Crown in to a promise which it would be unable Ireland. And here I may be permitted to to fulfil. On these grounds, I respectfully congratulate the Attorney General for Ire- object to the Amendment of the hon. Genland on the manner and results of the first tleman. But I confess that I think there acts of his official life. We cannot, there is a still wider ground for objection. Her fore, willingly at least, part with the para- Majesty has had before her in this matter graph proposed. But let me refer to the the case of a conspiracy subversive of law, paragraph suggested by the hon. Member order, property, and religion. It is well for Tralee ; and I will take it either as in that Her Majesty, and that this House, when substitution of, or as an addition to, that dealing with those who seek amendment of portion of the Address under discussion. the law, should enter frankly upon the disHe proposes that we should humbly ex-cussion raised; but these are not persons press our very deep regret to Her Majesty seeking amendment of the law. They are that a wide-spread dissatisfaction exists in seeking to dismember the British Empire. Ireland, and that we should humbly repre- Now, Sir, it appears to me that the Execusent to Her Majesty that this wide-spread tive, in the face of a fact like this, had one dissatisfaction is the result of causes which duty to perform, not its only duty, but it is the duty of Her Majesty's Government certainly its first duty, and one so distinct to examine into and remove. Now, Sir, in and important that nothing should be mixed the first place, I doubt the wisdom or neces- up with the performance of that duty which sity of the formal announcement by this can possibly be construed into a condition House of the statement that a wide-spread or a restriction. Therefore, I frankly own dissatisfaction exists in Ireland, which may I am loth to the last degree in dealing with be liable to much misrepresentation among the subject of Penianism in the Address persons not so well informed as ourselves in answer to the Speech, that we should of the actual state of the country. I fur- place in connection with what we say upon ther doubt the wisdom of representing that that subject any promises of the nature I this dissatisfaction, which must be inter- have described. Such promises may be preted in the present instance as synony- well enough in their own place, provided mous with Fenianism, is the result of cer- they are limited in their terms, that the tain grave causes which it is our duty to time be fitting, and that they be not liable
My objections are twofold. In to misunderstanding ; but I submit that, the first place, I am far fron saying that either as a substitution for or addition to
The Chancellor of the Exchequer