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Dublin News-Letter (Newspaper) - March 7, 1840, Dublin, Dublin Vol. V., The RICHARD R E I L L T. J ews-jug iter. Numb. 437 From Saturday March the 7/^, to Tuesday March the 10/// There being two Packets due, we hope the following Debates in the Houfe of L-s in E--d, will be agreeable to our Readers. fbe Speech of the R-1 R--d the L-d B-pof-- My L--ds, AS this Bill, or a Bill of the like Nature and Tendency with this, has been ofien before us, and as often rejected, as it has been brought into this Houfe. I have feveral Times had an Opportunity to give my Sentiments upon it. I have always given jjr Vote againft it, and have before given my Reafons for odoing. My Opinion is ftill the fame, becaufe my Realms have never, I think, been anfwered ; nor has the leaft tare been taken in the forming of this BUI, or in its Proofs thro' the other Houfe, to obviate any of thofe Objec mns that have formerly been made againft Bills of the fame Jia'.ure ; therefore "I am convinced, that every L-d in this Houfe remains fixed in his former Opinion ; znJ from tknee one may judge of the Fate this Bill may probably meet with here. I could declaim againft Corruption, and the Dangers we are txpoied to from that Quarter, tho' not with fo much Eloquence, yec J hope with as much Zeal and Sincerity as any L-d in this Houfe : but Corruption, my L-ds, is not, nor ought it, I think, upon this Occasion, to be the fu.ject of our Difcoure. It is, i know, 1 popular Topick : it is a Crime wmch thofe without Dorrs are always ready, without the leaft fhadow of Rea(bn,Ao lay to the Charge of thofe wi hin ; and theref ie thefe without, who are by far the raoli numerous, arc always delighted, when they hear it inveighed cgiinft, without tonfider-ing whether it be properly brought inio the Debate. The Bilnowbsi re us has, 'tis true, the Refemblance of being a Bill againft Corruption ; bit under thit ipecious pretence is concealed a moil dangerous A (tempt, to eilabl Ih in the oiher Houle a ciiltinct I'ower, which may reader thtin altogether independent of, and confequenty fuperior tevthe other two Branches of our Legiflature. Upon fuch Occafi-ofls, my L-ds, we ought to confider, thit all Usurpations have been founded upen the moil fpecious and plau-fibte Pretences; and I (ha 1 nadily gram, that .nc other Houfe could not have thought of a more fpecious or plaafi ble Pretence for acquiring to themfeives a new and dangerous Power, than char, of preventing Corruption; but I hope your L-;-ps will fee thro' the Difguife, and prevent oor Conftitution's being caught in the Snare. If the other Houfe were by this Bill to acquire no new Powers, the principal Objection I have formerly made a-gainft luch Bills as this would, ine'esd, be removed ; but, my L df, iris evident thai they are, evcr> by this Bill, to acquire a new and adui.net i'ower. The Members of that Houfe ate ali to aeciarc, ami give an Account of every Gratuity, Reward, or Prefent, they receive from the Crown. Is there no Ufe to be made of this Declaration? If it Ihouid be turned to no Ufe, why fbould it be made ? Why mould the Neceflity of making it be im;*of.d upon any Mao in � he Kingdom ? If an Ufe is to be made of it, by whem is that Ute to be made ? Why, by the other Houfe, in adiftinct and feparate Capacity, and without the Concurrence of either of the other two Branches of the Le giflature. Nay, they are to become fuperior to the ch.ef Branch of our Legifl ,'ture, to the Crown iilelf ; for they are to judge of the Actions of the Crown, and may determine, that a well meritedReward given by the Crown for the moft eminent pu^lick Services, was a corrupt Reward given for a Gentleman's corrupt Behavour in their Affcmbly. Is net this, my L-ds, a new and a molt dangerous Power? It i is, in my Opinion, a Power abfolutely incunfiftent with our Conftitution; for if the other Houfe fhoutd once render themfeives fuperior to the Crown, they would of courfe become fuperior to this Houfe likcwife, ard would foon en-grofs, as they have done before, the whole Power of our Government. They would either vote this Hyufe uie-Je/% as they have once done already, or they would render it infigmficant, by making it entirely fubfeivient to them. Thus, I think, it is apparent, that our happy Confutation would be brought into greater Danger by this Bill's being pa^ed into a Law, tft-n it is in at pr;frm, or can eyer vve;l be, irom Corruption. But, my I.-ds, J&ow dots this. Bill guard againft Corruption ? In my Opinion, not in. the leaft Toe Membeis are to dtchre upn Oatheveiy Gratuity or Reward the) receive. If thatGra-tu-ty or Reward ftibuld be paid md lereived from a corrupt Mo'ivc, will this ever compel a Difccvery ? Can we fup p "'e, that a Wretch to abanaoned as to betray and fell his Country for a {mail Reward, �i>l ever nave any Regard to an Oath, efpecially in Cafes where it is allowed, there is no Probability of convicting him of Perjury ? We may as well, I thinlj, make a Law for obliging a fu;p.cted Man ta fwear., that he bas naver robb'd upon tne Higflway. I hope I ihall be allow'd to fliew fome Regaid for Religion, by re'ufirtg to proftitute the facred Solemnity of an. Oath, in Cafes where it is almoft certain a Man will ratder perjure hiinfelf than confefs his Guilt. The Laws of this Kingdom have always been extremely cautious of fubjecting a Man to an Oath, in any Cafe where his intcreil may be concerned. By the Common Law it is never dene : Even in Equity^ Frauds only are dilcoverable by tne Oath of the Party ; for if a Man be in any Danger of fubjecting him/elf ;o a. Penal1 ty, he is not obliged to anfwrr ; and even as to Fr.u d?, we feldom find any Difcovery.made, except in G�fe.� where the D:fendantis fufpicious of the Plaintiff's having fome latent Proofs againft him. In thisCafe, therefore, as in all others of the like Nature, an Oath will be no Check upon wicked Men, who are ready to fel their Country for a Bribe or corrupt Reward; and it may be a Trap for the Hone It and Virtuous, who have ierved their Country faithfully and effectually, and have moft juftly received from the Crown, a fmall Reward for their Service. But fuppofe, my L-s, there were in this Cafe no fuch Danger ; yet furely every Oath that is impefed by an exprefs Law, ought to be fuch a one as may be underftood by thofe that are to take it. Tfce Oath propofed by this Bill is, I ihink, fuch a one a? can be underllood by no Man. Gratuity or Reward arelVords fo vague and indeterminate, tiiat no Man can tell what to make ot them. It is extremely difficult to fettle the Boundary between a Favour and a Gratuity ; and the Favours that may be conferred by the Crown upon t^e Subj ct aie fo various, and lo frequent, that there would be no End of declaring them, nor any Poffi-bil.ty of determining what was a Favour, and wuai a Gratuity. A Poll given to a Gentleman's Brother or -V>n, nay tven to his Footman, at his Requeft, might be interpreted asa Gratuity ; and would very probably he foby 'he otner Houfe, in Cafe the Majority of them did nor like his Fac., a .d he had for fome time neglected to declare it. I his would introduce lo much Confufion, and is epparently (o inconvenient for every Gent-emin that h3s, or may hate, the Honour to be a Member cf tue other H.u'.e, that, I am per-fuaded, they would n;ver hove agreed to Regulation fo inconvenient, and �t the fame time fo ineftVctual for the End pretended, if they h^d net had fome other View than merely that of preventing Corruption. Whether they were feiibi.s or not in paling this Bill, can be of no Cor.f-qucr.ce, my L-s, iO us. if it were a good BiL, 1 ihould be for palling it, whether they were lerious or not. Bur, aj I ihi. k it a bid Bill, as I think it a Regu-laiion altogetn-.r intff il for the E.id prettr.d-.d, and ve y d-ngerous with regad to the End which I fuppofe to be concealed, therefore, i fn-.'l be Eg;inft its palling wi hcut con-iidcnr.g in the leaft, wi.eiher or no the other Houle, or any Number of them, w.-nger, wbile we erjoy the Happinefscf havirg his pefent Majcfty upon the Th one He will never ssk, he will never allow bis Parliaments to be ask'd to do any Thing, but what is n^ctffary for tht publkk Good ; and. for fuch Purpofes no Pennon or Gratuity to any of the Members will ever be necellary. unlefs Faction, Sedition, and DiLffection fhould get Poff:flicin of a greac Majority of the Na ion, which, I hope, will never be the die. We have, therefore, no immediate Call to contrive any new Barriers againft Corruption, and if any of his Majetly's 3uc-ctllbrs fhoutd form ambitious Views againft our Liber.ies, and think of rendering thofe Views fuccefs/ul by Corruption, tht Barriers we have already, wiJ, I hope, be abi.' to- defend our Liberties againft fuch Attemp's, till our Pofterity can raife new and more effectual Barricades againft the Approach of that political Diftemper. I hope, my L-s, I ftall always be as j alousof the Liberties of my Country as any reafbnab e Man oigbt to be, and I confefs, we ought always to look with a jealous Eye upon the new Projects lorm'd by Minifters; but there is wether Set cf Men, upon whom, we ought likewife to look wiih a jea'ous Eye, and that is, thofe Gentlemen who, u; d.r the Pretence of pieferviDg or fecuring our Liberties, are for new modelling our Coi.ititu.ion, at a time when the.e is no apparent, much lefs an imminent Danger. Securing our Liberties has been before now made a Pretence for deiiroying them, and the Vu Thing that's new, them, and the Vulgar and Ignorant are dways fond of eveiy v, which has too often tendei'd fuch De fig s iaccefsful. The Bill now before us, 1 think, I have fome Reafon to confider in this Light, and the more lo, b.�-caufe of the Motion that was lince made in the other Houfe, lor excluding all Placemen, except a very few, from hiving Se=t3 in that Aflembly. Bath thefe Regulations were, I find, promoted by the fame Men ; and if both had fucceedtd, our happy Confti-tition would have been brought into the moit imminent Danger ; for the Crown wot*id then have been under a Ne-cefli.y of employing none hut Perfons of low Rank in its acrvice, which would of courfe have renderfd ihe Service contemptible, and might very probably have o oduc d fu�h a Civil Wax as �e i*au but latt Cmtury, between our Sovereign and his Parliament. ' A noble Hillorian has obferved, that in King Charles the Firlfs Time, the Arts acd Clamours of tne.dilafFccted Party at latt fo fa; prevailed, that it'became fcaadalous to fervethe Ciown* which fo weakened the Hands.of the Crgwa, aud fo much exalted the Pow- er cf the leading Men in tiic -:hf:r 7'o'jff. that they involved their Country in a blcnuy ard deprudive Civil War, o- verfet rur Monarchy, and at laft turned vour L-fhip's out of Doors. Thefe wicked Defgns be-^tn to .' rmed in the Ytsr 1640, and if thefe two new I'egul. ti r.-, had met with iiuccets, I fiioulci have had the Sorrow to fu pect, that fome fuch Defigns were now in Embryo ; bur, :h nk God, cne of them was defeated, upon it* firft App:-r-:ice, in the If-of C-; and I hope the other will be defeated by your L- -flii ps. The L- flood up next, and fpoke in fubllance as follows, viz. My L-s, IT fignifies nothing to make Declamations againft Corruption, unltis we do fomething againft it. 1 b_-Iieve, na Man ever yet ventured to decJaim ferioufly in i s Favour ; but many have declaimed powerfully againft ir, and yet. at the lame Time, 5have as powerfully, and much more effectually, recemmended it by their Practice. The People with> ut Doors will but li'tle regard what we fay agaai.t Corruption ; but the Example cf this Houfe will have a great Effect. Let us convince them by what we d , that no- L- of this Houfe is guilcy cf being corrupted, wnich I sm convinced is the Cafe, and the Crime will fink by the U eight of its own Infamy. But if your L--(hips, by rejecting this B:li ihould raife but a Sufpicior, that any of you are guilty, that very Suipicion will give Countenance to the low Tools of Corruption , and your fuppo-fed Example will eitablith and propagate a real Practice. I am extremely forry, my L--s, to hear his Ma- jefty's Name mentioned upon this Occafi>n. I would not ce 10 unjnft, even to his Majefty's Mmifters, as to attempt to vindicate them upon fuch an Occalion ; brcauie a Vindication aiwr^ys fuppofes leme previous Repro-rch. The Confidence we h'-ve in his M^jefty'. V,'i:dom and Jufiicf, inkes luch a Vindication, with relpedt to nim, abtolute^y unnecefiary ; and. I hope, no one of his Miniiiers ftands in need ot ri- y Vindication upon th^ Head. But fuppcfe fome one cf his Majclly's SuoceiL-rs .d be fu'.pect-.-d, fhould, be known to have Defigns againft our Liberties, fuppofe his Minifters fttiu'd i>c known to imkc ufe ot Pcrfions and Bribes, in order to render their Mailer's Defigns fuecefsful, and fuppofe fuch a Bill as this fhould be brought into eitneeJ Houfe of, Parliament, in order to put a Su p to fuch dangerous Practices, would any Member rife up in his Place, and. accufe his Sovereign of having fuch Defigns ? Would any Member of either Houfe Hand up in his Place, and directly accufe a Minifter, even tho' he had the moft tvident Proofs of his being guilty of corrupting the Members ? My L-s� no Member would be fuch a Madman, nnlefs he were well sffured of having a Majority in both Houfes againft Corruption ; and this he could no way be 2iTured of, but by the Succefs of the Bill. Were thofe Defigns of the Prince, and thofe Practices okhis Minifters, as.apparent as the Sua at Noon day, borh. the Prince and the Minifter would. he vindicated by their Tools in Parliament; and the Patrorii of the Bill, till they faw its Fate, would then do, out of Prudence, what we now do out of Juftice, at leaft witji r^fpect to his Majefty. They wou'd pafs Compliments np-on the Prince then upon the Throne, they would, perhaps; even compiment his Mtoifters s but as Icon as they ha^ by the Succefs and Effect of their Bill, cleared the two Holies from Corruption, they might then probably begin to t.lk in another Strain, with regard to the Minifters; bs-caufe upon removing the Corrupted, it would be eafy to m.'ke the Crimes of the Corruptor appear. The Queftion now before us, my L-s, does not relate to Perfons, but to Things. It does not relatetohis prefent Majefty, or his nexjt Sucreflor ; nor to the prefent, or any future Adminillration. The Queftion is, whether we ihoald be in Danger of having our Conftitntion overturned bjy Means of Corruption, fuppefing we had a Prince upon tae Throne that would attempt it, and an Adminiftration tblc wou'd, in the moft canning Manner, ufe all the Method* now in the Power of the Crown for eccompliihir.g it. Thjii is the proper Queftion now before us, and if your L-fhtps do not anfwer this Qeftion i� the Affirmative, I will be bold to f.y, you airier in Opinion from nine teriths of the Nation, 1 believe, I may fay, f�m ninety nine out of a hundred of t.iofe who are r.o: miffed in their Judgment by fome corrupt Prejudice. But if yoit do anfwer it in th? Affirmative, you moft allow, that .the Danger idllf is prefent, tho' we may depend upon our not falling in o it during his prefent Majefty's Life, Therefore, in Prudence, we ought to provide againft it, whilft it is in our Power ; for it is a Sort of Dangjrr from whence there is no legal Recovery ; if we once fait into it, it will be impofhble to get any Law pa�*:d lot' pi eventing Corruption. The Rev. Prelate, when he law,' be hopes, our Pofterity may at fuch a C njurcture be aflte: to raife new Barricades againft Corruption, item? to forget, tnat no new Barricade an be raifed without the Royal AflVnt ; and will a Prince who intends to rule by Corruption, give the Royal Aff-m to any B11 for preventing it ? Will not all Corrupt Methods be made ufe of to prevent such a Bill's pafling both Houfes ? And if it fhould, by a miraculous Flow of Virtue on one Sideband very irapradent or ra(h Management on the other, be carried through both Houfes, tn\y not the Pririca prevent its bs-ng palled into a Law, till that Flow! of Virtue ;