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counterbalanced by the operation of the system in other respects.
“ If it be true that this measure has an inevitable tendency to admit the introduction of that British capital which is most likely to give life to all the operations of commerce, and to all the improvements of agriculture ; if it be that, which above all other considerations is most likely to give security, quiet, and internal repose to IreJand; if it is likely to remove the chief bar to the internal advancement of wealth and of civilization, by a more intimate intercourse with England ; if it is more likely to communicate from hence those habits which distinguish this country, and which, by a continued gradation, unite the highest and the lowest orders of the community without a chasm in any part of the system; if it is not only likely to invite (as I have already said) English capital to set commerce in motion, but to offer it the use of new markets, to open fresh resources of wealth and industry, can wealth, can industry, can civilization increase among the whole bulk of the people without much more than counterbalancing the partial effect of the removal of the few individuals who, for a small part of the year, would follow the seat of legislation ? If, notwithstanding the absence of parliament from Dublin, it would still remain the centre of education, and of the internal commerce of a country increasing in improvement; if it would still remain the seat of legal discussion, which must always increase with an increase of property and occupation, will it be supposed, with a view even to the interests of those whose partial interests have been most successfully appealed to; with a view either to the respectable body of the bar,to the merchant, or to the shop-keeper, of Dublin (if it were possible to suppose that a transaction of this sort ought to be referred to that single criterion) that they would
not find their proportionate share of advantage in the general advantage of the state ? Let it be remembered also, that if the transfer of the seat of legislature may call from Ireland to England the members of the united parliament, yet, after the union, property, influence, and consideration in Ireland will lead, as much as in Great Britain, to all the objects of Imperial ambition; and there must, consequently, exist a new incitement to persons to acquire property in that country, and to those who possess it, to reside there, and to cultivate the good opie nion of those with whom they live, and to extend and im. prove their influence and connections.
“ But, Sir, I need not dwell longer on argument, however it may satisfy my own mind, because we can, on this question, refer to experience. I see every gentleman anticipates that I allude to Scotland. What has been the result of the union there ? An union, give me leave to say, as much opposed, and by much the same arguments, prejudices, and misconceptions, as are urged at this moment; creating too the same alarms, and provoking the same outrages, as have lately taken place in Dublin. Look at the metropolis of Scotland ; the population of Edinburgh has been more than doubled since the union, and a new city added to the old. But we may be told, that Edinburgh has engrossed all the commerce of that country, and has those advantages which Dublin cannot expect. Yet while Edinburgh, deprived of its parliament, but retaining, as Dublin would retain, its courts of justice; continuing, as Dublin would continue, the seat of national education, while Edinburgh has baffled all the predictions of that period, what has been the situation of Glasgow ? The population of Glasgow, since the union, has increased in the proportion of between five and six to one ; look at its progress in manufactures; look at its
general general advantages, and tell me what ground there is, judging by experience in aid of theory, for those gloomy apprehensions which have been so industriously excited.
“ There remains, Sir, another general line of argument, which I have already anticipated, and I hope answered, that the commercial privileges now enjoyed by Ireland, and to which it owes so much of its prosperity, would be less secure than at present. I have given an answer to that already, by stating, that they are falsely imputed to the independence of the Irish parliament, for that they are, in fact, owing to the exercise of the voluntary discretion of the British parliament, unbound by compact, prompted only by its natural disposition to consider the interests of Ireland the same as its own; and if that has been done while Ireland is only united to us in the imperfect and precarious manner in which it is, while it has a separale parliament, notwithstanding the commercial jealousies of our own manufacturers ; if under these circumstances we have done so, if we have done so with no other connection than that which now subsists, and while Ireland has no share in our representation, what fresh ground can there be for apprehension, when she will have her proportionate weight in the legislature, and will be united with us as closely as Lancashire or Yorkshire, or any other county in Great Britain ?'
“ Sir, I have seen it under the same authority to which I am sorry so often to advert, that the linen trade would be injured, and that there will be no security for its retaining its present advantages.
I have already stated to you (and with that very authority in my favor) that those advantages are at present precarious, and that their security can only arise from compact with Great Britain. Such a compact this measure would establish in the most solemn manner; but besides this, Sir, the
natural policy of this country, not merely its experienced liberality, but the identity of interests after an union, would offer a security worth a thousand compacts.
“ Sir, the only other general topic of objection is that upon which great pains have been taken to raise an alarm in Ireland the idea that the main principle of the mea. sure was to subject Ireland to a load of debt and an increase of taxes, and to expose her to the consequences of all our alledged difficulties and supposed necessities.
“ Sir, I hope the zeal, the spirit, and the liberal and enlarged policy of this country, has given ample proof that it is not from a pecuniary motive that we seek an union. If it is not desirable on the grounds I have stated, it cannot be recommended for the purpose of taxation; but to quiet any jealousy on this subject, here again let us look to Scotland : Is there any instance where, with 45 members on her part, and 513 on ours, that part of the united kingdom has paid more than its proportion to the general burdens? Is it then, Sir, any ground of apprehension that we are likely to tax Ireland more heavily when she becomes associated with ourselves? To tax in its due proportion the whole of the empire, to the utter exclusion of the idea of the predominance of one part of society over another, is the great characteristic of British finance, as equality of laws is of the British constitution,
“ But, Sir, in addition to this, if we come to the details of this proposition, it is in our power to fix, for
any ber of years which shall be thought fit, the proportion by which the contribution of Ireland to the expences of the state shall be regulated ; that these proportions shall not be such as would make a contribution greater than the necessary amount of its own present necessary expences as a separate kingdom ; and even after that
limited period, the proportion of the whole contribution from time to time might be made to depend upon the comparative produce, in each kingdom, of such general taxes as might be thought to afford the best criterion of their respective wealti. Or, what I should hope would be found practicable, the system of internal taxation in each country might gradually be so equalized and assimilated, on the leading articles, as to make all rules of specific proportion unnecesary, and to secure that Ireland shall never be taxed but in proportion as we tax ourselves.
“ The application of these principles, however, will form matter of future discussion. I mention them only as strongly shewing, from the misrepresentation which has taken place on this part of the subject, how incumbent it is upon the House to receive these propositions, and to adopt, after due deliberation, such resolutions as may record to Ireland the terms upon which we are ready to meet her; and, in the mean time, let us wait, not without impatience, but without dissatisfaction, for that moment, when the effect of reason and discussion may reconcile the minds of men in that kingdom to a measure which I am sure will be found as necessary for their peace and happiness, as it will be conducive to the general security and advantage of the British empire.
“Sir, it remains only for me to lay these resolutions before the House, wishing that the more detailed discussion of them may be reserved to a future day.
ResolvedFirst, that in order to promote and secure the essential interests of Great Britain and Ireland, and to consolidate the strength, power, and resources of the Britith empire, it will be advisable to concur in such mea. sures as may best tend to unite the two kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland into one kingdom, in such manner, and on such terms and conditions, as may be