Friday, December 30, 1740

Dublin News Letter

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Dublin News-Letter (Newspaper) - December 30, 1840, Dublin, Dublin Vol. V. The RICHARD REILLT. Numb. 418 ublin News-Letter. From Tuesday December the 30th, to Saturday January the 3d, 1740. There being two Packets due, we, According to our Pro. mife, have inferred the following Debates of the H-fe 0fC-sofE-d upon the Place Bill, which we hope will be agreeable to our Readers. The SPEECH of G-e L-le- Efq;. AN Honourable Gentleman at the lower End of the Houfe, threw out a Pxopofol, to fend us all to School again for the re-farming csr Manners. Sir, I think, our Care fhould be to prevent Members of Parliament from being at School when they are here, from being under the Lafh of an infolent Minifter, as, if we may credit Hiflory, has happened in fome former Parliaments. Sir, I do not mean the Parliament in Queen Elizabeth's Reign, however fertile they are reprefented jto have been, by an Hon. Member over the Way. I am afraid the Practice of Mi-nifters naming Members to Boroughs at their own Will and Pleafure, which he told us was ufed by the Earl of Leicefter, has not been dropt fine* that Time, and I wifh our Pcfteriry may never fee Days lefs advantageous to Liberty. Elizabeth loved her People, defired their Honour, regarded their Intereft, flic heard thrir Complaints againft the greateft, the moft favoured of her Miniilers; and yet I will own, Sir, there were many wrong Things done in her Reign, becaufe fufficitnt Rtftraints were not .then laid upon tfte Power of the Crown : And therefore ^Example of her Reign holds out a ufr ful Leflbn to u5, dM even to the beft of Princes we mould not allow fuch a dangerous Influence, as may tempt them, by the Advice of bad Miniilers, to encroach on our Freedom. Sir, confidering how this Bill comes recommended, I ihould have imagined, Gentlemen would have thought it owing to thsmfelves, if not to their Country, to feem to treat it ith a little Refpect. But not To much as to allow i: to be brought into the Houfe, to oppofe the Principle of it, is indeed very extraerdieary. There have been times, when only for the fake of that Principle, Bills of a much lefs moderateNature.and to which there lay many Objections that cannot be made again<l this, have p�ft here without Oppofition. Sir, for my own Part, I think, when I am promoting this Bill, that I am contendiag for all 1 ever thougnt myielf bound to contend for, that 1 am oppofing all I ever thought it my Duty to oppofe: All Faults and Mii'managements in the Adminiilration of Government, the Mil underftanding, the Neglect, the giving up of all national Interefts, Difcontents at home, Difhonour abroad, whatever can be conceived moft detrimental to the Good of the Publick, is all (o clofely inwoven with the Evil this Bill would prevent, that it cannot be guarded a-gainft, or remedied by no other poffible means. Sir, how far I am from iuppofing, that merely to have an Employment, without other Caufe of fufpicion, implies any Notion of Guilt or Corruption, I need no other Proof than the fcnfe I mull have of my own fituation But though I have an Employment myfelf, I think it ftill undeniably true, that the Nation has Reafon to be jealous of the Number of Placemen in Parliament; becaufe Nations always regard Things, and not Perfons, becaufe they confider the Temptation in general, not a particular Power of refilling it; and becaufe the publick Wifdom ought to proportion the Degree ol Reftraint to the Degree of Danger, that is either felt or forefeen. While this Houfe is full of independent Gentlemen, or with fuch Placemen only whole Places are not fo much the beft of their Property, that they cannot rift the Lois of them without a Ipirit of Martyrdom, who have fomething of their own fufficient to outweigh their Employments, and while the Number of thefe fhall be confined within fome moderate Bounds, a Minifter muft regard this Affirm-bly as an awful Tribunal, before which he is conftantly to account for his Conduct: He muft refpect your Judgments, he muft dread your Cenfures, he muft feel your fuper-in-tendency. But I can imagine, a future Houfe of Commons fo crowded with Placemen, that a Spectator in the Gallery might be apt to miftake, and think himfelf at the Levy of a Mnifter inftead of a Parliament. The Benches here may be cover'd not only with Officers of Rank in the Government, not only with the fervants of the Crown, but with the femnt?, perhaps, of thofe fervants ; and what fentitnentt, Sir, have we reafon to think the fight of a Houfe fo filled would excite in a Minifter ? Would he think himfelf in the Prefence of his Country, or in the-midft of a Guard ;hat would enable him to defy its Joftice, and deride its Refentment? The Poflibility of this happening hereafter, is the Ground of this Bill, which therefore the People of England do not only confider as a Angle Point to be gained for them upon any prefent Ne-ceffity, but as a general fecurity againft all they apprehend for the future. x Sir, my worthy Friend, [John Selwyn, Jun. Efq;] who made you this Motion, in the Opening of it, explained to ycu fufficientry, that there is no Intent of running into any Ext ream;. If I thought there was, I would oppofe it as much as any Man here. I know but one Thing more prepoftercus than fuch a geneial Place Bill, as would exclude all Perfons in Office from a Seat in this Houfe, and that is to leave them under no Limitation at all. But, for fear of ftarving, muft we die of a Surfeit ? Be;ween thefe two Abfurdities, can no Medium be found ? Can't we continue thofe among us who are of any life to t hp Houfe, who can give any Affiftance, any Weight^.any Facility, any Grace to our Proceedings, and fhut the Door againft others whom it is neither decent, nor fafe to admit i Sir, the doing this is eafy; it will budone by thisBill; it is what the Wifdom of former Parliaments would have done lorg before now. But the Reafon they did it not was, it never entered into their Thoughts to conceive that fome, who have fines fat in Parliament, would attempt to come there ; I do not mean from any Perfonal Incapacity, but from the Nature itfelf of their Offices, incompatible almoli with the very Idea of a Member of Parliament. It is a lur-prizing Thing, but it is verified by what we fee every Day, that the common Practice of fome Ages goes beyond even the Fears of the p*ft. We muft therefore fupply from Experience what our Predecefibrs faii'd to forelte ; and we are called upon to do fo by the unanimous Cry of the Nation. Sir, the greateft Affairs before us are of lefs Importance than this: It is better Spain fhoufd invade trie Freedom of the American Seas, than the Crown of tr.g j land violate the Independance of Parliament. It is no; 1 Spanifh or French Arms, but Spanifh anc French Max ms of Government, that we fhoujd have moti to kar from, if the vigilant Caution, the jealous Spi. it of Liberty in this Houie did not concur with the Goodnefs, the natural Goodnefs of his Majeity, to fecure our free Conititution. Let the Cortcz of Spam, let thp Parliament of Paris be a Warning to this; let them fhew us what we may come to, if we don't prevent the Growth of Corruption, before it pioduces here the infenfibie,; gradual, fatal Change it did there. Sir, I am trying to recollect'what Objections have been made to this Bill, and I proteft I can find none that fern tome to want a Reply. Oris chiefly infilled upon is, that it carries an Air of Suspicion. Sir, in all the States that I have reed of, antient and nxdern, the moft fufpicious People have always been the'Jateft enflaved. To lufpect human Frailty in tempting C"cumftauces iia very natural Jealoufy, and too lecure a Confidence will hardly be thought a Parliament; ry Virtue. It is pain'u1, indeed, to be fufpected, but the greater the Pain, the greater uie Defire fhould be to remove that Sufpicion But, Sir, a-gainft the prefent Houfe of Commons, no fuch fufpicion can be conceiv'd.-Upon what G'ounds mould it be founded, upon what Probability ? Has <he private Dif-courfe of Gentlemen here, ever been difreiem from their publick Behaviour ? Have they ever talk'd one way, rnd voted another ? Have there been any Indications of a private Intereft, that of any one Mm ever prevailing over that of the Nation, againft Fact, Reafon, or Jaltice ? Have not the Majority heie conftantly (hewn the ftrongeft Conviction, that their Conduct was ftrictly conformable to the moft difinterefted Love of tbeir Country ? buch a Houfe of Commons ought not to be, is not fufpected , But granting fuch a Doubt to have been formed, is this the way to remove it i Will the rejecting this Bill clear our Character, or can all the Art and Power of Calumny give half the Weight to an Imputation cf that kind as fuch a Proceeding ? Sir, to thofe who treat this Bill as a chimerical thing, an idle fpeculative Project, I will fay but one Word, that the moft chimerical thing in Nature, is the Notion of a free Conftitution, where the reftraining Powers are not en tirely exempt from Dependency. Such Liberty is, in. deed, a Speculation fit for School-boys alone ; ior what would Terms and Appearances avail, if Independence were loft? You might retain, indeed, the Enfigns of your former Authority, but would they give ycu any Dignity, would they be of any Ufe to the Publick ? The Mace there upon your Table what would it fignify ? It might be borne before you with ridiculous Pomp, but h would be what Cromwell call'd it once, a mere Baeble; or if it had any Weight, it would be only to opprefs, not to prefect. Sir, the prefent Form of our Government, keep it but free from Corruption, is fo wifely conftituted, the Powers in it are fo happily mixed, that it has all the Advantages of a Republick, without the Defects and Evil* attending one. But, on the other fide, I muft fay, that if it fhould be corrupted, if the Controul of Parliament fhould be bought off by the Crown, the very reverfe would be tree; and it would have all the Defects all the Evils of an ab-folute Monarchy, without the Advantages ; it would be a more expenfive, and worfe adminifter'd abfolute Power. Sir, I hope it is underftoed, that in what I have faid, I am only contending for a' provifional Security againft a Mifchief not yet felt ia all its. Malignity, but yer, of fo increafinga Nature, and fuch ruinous Confequences, that we muft be blind not to forefee them, and worfe than carelefs oat to DreveaC I will enjy add, that every Year we delay this Security, may probably add both to the Ne-ceffity and Difficulty of obtaining it ; and that people out % doors may be apt to judge from the SuCcefs of* his Qae-ilion To day, if even now, it does net come a lutle coo bte. j The SPEECH of Sir R. -e. SIR, IWas a little furpriz'd to hearit -faid, by the Hon. Gen-. tleman on the other Side, that this Motion's being op-poi'ed by Minilters and Placemen, is a ffrong Argument in it Favour. In my Opinion, this is a fort of bevg.ng the Queition. Before we cm fuppofe this t3 be an Argument in favour of the Mo'.ieii, we muft !upr , or Perfons of no Fortune or Credit in tii-ir Country, were employ'd, and by uVgal Methods brought into this Houfe, for by fair means they could not, there might be fome room lor making fuch a Suppou ion, ind then there would be fome Caufe for bringing in fuch a Bill as is now propoled ; bat v. hen I look round me, and confider the particular Circumliances of tholV Gentlrmen now here, who have the Honour to be at the fame time in thefetvice of the Crown, I mull look upon the D-itger now pretended to be lo real and imminent, to be as chimerical a Danger, as the molt :uxuriant Fancy can invent. I fhall agree with the Hon. Gentlemen who f?em fb fond of this Bill, that it the Crown could g^in an sbfolute and uncantroulable Power over all, or a Majority of the Ejections ia the Kingdom, every Parliament thus chefen by the Power, would be under the Direction of thxCrown, and in this cafe oar Conftitution would be at an tad ; but this I think impoffible. W nil ft the Crown purfues right Meafures; whilft none but Gentlemen cf good-Credit and Fortune are employ'd in the Adminiilration, or in any fu per ior Poft or Office under the Adminiilration, the Crown wiil certainiy have a great Influence, both in Parliament, and at Elections; but this proceeds from the Wifdom and Uprightnefs of its Meafures, and from ths natural Weight of thofe that are employ'd ; and it would certainly ceale, as foon as theCrown began to purfue contrary Meafures; becaufe, we muft fuppofe, the Aomini-ftration would then certainly be defertrd, and oppoied by all, or moft Gentlemen of any Fortune or CreSitin their Country. This, I fay, we muft fuppofe, un/e^s we can fuppofe that Gentlemen of Fortune and Credit in their Country, would unite in Meafures far makings Sicrlflct of themfilves, as well as their Country ; which is a Sup-pofition that cannot, I think, be made, nor pretended, by any Man whofe Head is found, and Heart fincere. In all Queftions, Sir, which do not admit of Demon-ftration, there muft be a Variety cf Opinions; and as Queftions of a political Na'ure are iefs capable of Demon-ftration than any other, it is natural to fee a Difference of Sentiments in every Country like this, where the People have not only a Power to judge, but a Liberty to talk and write againft the Meafures purfued by the Government: This is natural, and even necefifary in every Country, where the People are free; and as every Man is fond of his own Opinion, and fully convinced of his having Reafon on his fide, he is apt to imagine, that thofe who differ from him, muft be governed by fome Prejudice, or by f me felfifh Confideration. From hence it is, that ail thofe who difapprove of the Meafures of the Government conclude, that the Approbation of thofe who dirTsr from them, proceeds from the Influence of fome lucrative Poft they are in Poffcflion or Expectation of; and on the other Hand, thofe that approve of, and fupport the Meafures purfued by the Government, are apt to conclude, tfcat the Oppofition is entirely owing to Parry Prejudice, or to Malice and Refentment. For my Part, I fhall always endeavour to keep in the middle Courfe, and to b-lieve that both are in the Wrong ; and, therefore, I fhall always be againft any Alteration in our Conftitution, when I think, that the Alteration propofod, is founded upon one or other of thefe Miftakes. I fhould be as much ag3mft reftraining the Liberties of the People, in orde^ to prevent that Influence which is fuppofed to proceed from Par.y Prejudice, Malice or Refencmenr, as I fhall be againft :e-ftrining the Power or free Choice-cf the Crown, in order to prevent that Influence which is fuppofed to proceed from the difpofal cf Places and Preferments. There may perhaps, I believe there always will, be a Utile of each in tae Nation ; but neither can ever be of any dangerous Corrfequence to our ConHitutien : On the Contrary, they ferv�

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