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forming this establishment, you will doubtless consider it as
of your duty to avoid unnecessary expence, and ulti“ mately to secure the utmost advantages to your country.
“ I anticipate the greatest national benefits from the wisdom “ and temper of parliament, when I consider that the general “ election has afforded you an opportunity of observing the “ internal circumstances of the country, and of judging by what “ regulations you may best increase its industry, encourage its
manufactures, and extend its commerce.
“ In the furtherance of objects so very desirable to your“selves, I assure you of every good disposition on my part; “ sensible that in no manner I can better fulfil the wishes and “ commands of our gracious sovereign, than by contributing to “the welfare and happiness of his loyal subjects. With an “ honest ambition of meriting your good opinion, and with the “ warmest hope of obtaining it, I have ventured upon my present “ arduous situation; and with sentiments pure and disinterested “ towards you, I claim your advice, and firmly rely upon your
Lord Sudley moved the address of thanks to the crown, and was seconded by Mr. Totnum Loftus ; to which no opposition was given. His lordship moved also on the first day of the session, an address of thanks to the different corps of volunteers in Ireland for their effectual support to the civil magistrates in suppressing all tumults and riots, and preserving peace and good order throughout the kingdom. And it was resolved nem. con. that the thanks of that house should be given to the volunteers, for the spirited endeavours to provide for the protection of their country, and for their ready and frequent assistance of the civil magistrate in enforcing the due execution of the laws. And the sheriffs of the different counties were ordered to communicate this resolution to the different corps within their respective shrievalties.
This appears to have been a guarded motion on the part of government, calculated to prevent any other motion, likely to have been dictated by the intemperance of some volunteer member, that might have attributed very different effects to the armed associations, as very different effects were unques, tionably produced by them, than the mere suppression of riots : for we read of few that existed from their arming up to that period (except in the south, where they were suppressed by the army.)
On the second day of the session, Mr. Gardiner moved a vote of thanks to the late governor Lord Temple. He said, that this nobleman had received addresses of thanks from
every county in that kingdom, for his conduct as chief governor, as
each of his public measures carried with it so much wisdom and integrity; and in his private character he had concurred in every thing tending to the interest of Ireland ; and had laid down such plans, as would have been a national benefit, had he continued in the government of that nation: that he had been addressed from persons of all ranks whatever; and that nothing but the sanction of this house was necessary to render the thanks of the people of that country universal.
Mr. Cuffe seconded the motion, having been witness to the many anxious days and nights he had spent in preparing plans to promote the welfare of that country, which, had he staid long enough in Ireland to have put in execution, would have been highly approved of.
*Mr. Adderly opposed the motion, and assigned his reasons for dissenting from the vote of thanks. He would be glad to know what good he had done for Ireland: he insisted he had done nothing meritorious. The addresses presented to him were procured by: himself.
Sir Henry Cavendish said, he could very well suppose that some gentlemen had opportunities of knowing the integrity and wisdom of Earl Temple; but in his opinion, it was fit the house should have authentic evidence of it before they passed a vote of thanks to Lord Temple, who never met parliament. In his opinion, this question should be postponed for a few days; they would then see whether he had the economical hand, which had been mentioned. Public fame had not spoken of Lord Temple, as he has been spoken of in that house ; public fame represented him as a jobber.
Mr. St. George also opposed the resolution proposed obserying, that there were some characters of such a nature, that the less he said about them the better; and he looked upon Lord Temple, as a chief governor, in that light: that with respect to the department, to which he belonged, his lordship left the establishment of the barracks greater than he found it, and under his own new ideas of reform had laid the foundation of a considerable increase of expence to the kingdom under that head: that he admitted his lordship deserved praise for his great assiduity in business; and he believed he could not be charged with want of integrity to the public; but that he doubted his wisdom, for he certainly wanted judgment ; that in his opinion, there had not been any lord lieutenant there during the present century, more unfit to govern that kingdom as a representative of majesty, than Lord Temple ; for he was of an arbitrary disposition; and if he had remained there long enough to hold a session of parliament, he was confident it would neither have contributed to his honour, or to the prosperity or quiet of the people.
* Three gentlemen only out of the whole House of Commons, stood forth in the invidious light of opposing this vote of thanks. Mr. Adderly assigned as his reason for it, the lord-lieutenant's cruelty in prosecuting him as a de. faulter to government, notwithstanding his clerk at the barrack board had owned the embezzlement, and he had promised to make good the deficiency in some few months. The attorney-general, and some others, treated both Mr. Adderly and Sir Henry Cavendish, as debtors to the king. The latter denied it : and Mr. St. George boasted that Sir Henry Harstonge for Cork, Mr. John Beresford for Waterford, Sir Samuel Bradstreet fr the City of Dublin, answered for the addresses to Lord Temple being spontaneous and unsolicited. Mr. Adderly, in explanation, confined himself to the addresses of the Roman Catholics: and lie said in debate, that be verily believed he was no Protestant, because his carriage had been seen near the door of a Catholic chapel. (2 Parl. Debates, p. 12.) The honourable member was probably more sore at the lieutenant's communications with the crown solicia ter, than with a priest in the confessional.
* On the 28th of October, Sir Henry Cavendish moved, that the condition of that country demanded, that every practical retrenchment consistent with the safety thereof, and with the ho. nourable support of his majesty's government, should be made in its expences. This motion brought on a division, which ascertained the force of the opposition, which had been raised against the administration of Lord Northington. The truth of the proposition was admitted on all sides of the house: the regularity of bringing it forward before the national accounts had been examined, was denied by Mr. Mason, and all on the treasury bench, who had been at all conversant with the practices of that house and the public offices : the expediency of it was violently opposed by Mr. Grattan, and such of the patriotic whigs as sided with the present administration. Mr. Flood, on the other side, warmly supported his friend's motion ; though he recommended an amendment in it, by introducing the words, and that the military establishment in its present state affords room for effectual retrenchment. If ministers meant economy, they would agree with that amendment; if not, (alluding to the lord-lieutenant's speech) they meant to amuse them only with idle words.
Sir Edward Newnham was remarkably violent in the debate; asserting, that the British ministry had taken the royal closet by assault, under the pretence of economy, and lessening the undue influence of the crown; they had deceived the people: for in Ireland, their substitutes proved the friends of prodigality, and enemies to æconomy: in power, their sentiments and actions were the very reverse of what they were when out of power. The hypocrisy was too daring. This debate became so personal and over heated between the two rival patriots, Messrs. Flood and Grattan, that they were both ordered into custody, in order to prevent any mischievous consequences of their unhappy difference. Their personal invectives were illustrative of many traits of the Irish government.* The division was, for the motion 27, against it 84: a majority of 57 in favour of government.
* 11 Journ. Commons, p. 35.
On the 3d of November, 1783, Mr. Flood returned again to the necessity of retrenchment in the military establishment, as the only solid ground of economy. To reduce the civil list, he contended, would be frivolous, pitiful, and undeserving the name of economy, and therefore ought to bring contempt on such, as would venture to rest solely there. Not that he thought the civil list ought to escape the pruning hand of that house, for cvery little would help: but so materially did their then expenditures exceed their income, that the whole civil list being struck off, would by no means equal them; to begin with that therefore was ridiculous : that that was the proper time for entering on the discussion, no man could deny: if they waited till the committee of the supply sat, they would be told, it was too late. So rapid and constant too had their extravagance been, that no time should be lost in interposing on behalf of their distressed country. In the year 1755 they were not in debt : in the beginning of the late war, they were not in debt. At the conclusion of the war, they owed but 500,000l. yet in the time of peace, they quadrupled that debt, notwithstanding the people and manufactures were burthened with new and excessive taxation. Their revenue had increased, and their debts had kept pace with it: since the augmentation was voted, such had been regularly the course of things. Let the virtue then of 1783, correct the abuses of 1782. The causes had originated in the breach of faith of the minister of that day : a man as able as he was crafty: a man who wanting natural, had substituted pecuniary influence; who unconnected with Ireland, had great native connections to oppose : thus situated, he at first carried his ideas so far, that he applied for an augmentation of 20,000 men: but that was so truly laughable, that it was scouted. This unreasonable plan was reduced to 15,000 men; but foreseeing, that it would not be easy to carry even that point at one stroke, he artfully introduced a resolution, that 12,000 men were necessary for the defence of the country, knowing that we dared not meddle with the 3500, which we had always paid for England. Thus did they become dupes to his ambition, and were saddled with an army of officers, not privates; an army of expence, not of use; an army of the minister, not of the people.
They are given as reported in the second volume of the Parliamentary (Irish) Debates, Append. No. LXX. They exhibit a curious spectacle of two such great orators descending into the most pitiable and invidious personalities.
Then the report of the committee in 1768, stating the burthensome military establishment as the cause of the great national inability and distress, having been read by the clerk, Mr. Flood moved, “ That an humble address should be presented to his “ majesty, stating the same, and that since an augmentation had “ taken place, additional burdens had been laid on, by which
they had been prevented from making any effectual retrenchment, but had much increased the expence of the nation.”
Mr. Denis Browne entirely coincided in the motion of the Right Honourable gentleman, and if ministers should oppose that great ceconomical measure, it must appear to that house, that their intentions and declarations were widely different : and he had no doubt but many respectable gentlemen, whom he saw disposed to concur with the administration, would abandon it.
The attorney general spoke strongly against the motion, as did also Sir john (now Lord) Blaquiere, Mr. Ogle, Sir Her. cules Langrishe, Mr. Conolly, the provost, and several others : amongst whom in particular the recorder referred to the volunteers, whom he now strongly recommended to return to their occupations. Was garrison duty and other military service to be for ever thrown upon the volunteers ? Were agriculture, the shuttle, and the loom, for 'ever to remain neglected ? No: let the volunteers have rest, and return to their occupations. They had used their arms in their country's service, and, he had no doubt, would keep them bright and ready to support the law and constitution of their country when attacked.* On the other hand, Mr. Corry, Mr. Browne of Trinity College, Mr. Par. sons, Mr. Gardiner, and others spoke strongly for the motion : they called upon ministers to act up to their boasted professions of economy: that peace was the only moment, when they could with propriety reduce the military establishment, and then they ought to do it, unless they intended that kingdom merely as a
The Duke of Portland was by many accused of not wishing well to Ireland, and not acting fairly by her or Great Britain with reference to the 100,0001. granted for raising the 20,000 seamen for the British navy: he was charged with employing a great part of that money in raising fencible regi. ments, to bring into disrepute the volunteers ; and on that account Mr. D. Browne moved the House of Commons on the 1st of November, that the proper officers should be ordered to lay before the house an account of the ex. penditure of that sum of money, with the agents receipts for the same. This was afterwards denied by Mr. Yelverton, attorney general, on the 29th of November, who said, that from the investigation of the accounts of the expendi. ture of the 100,0001. it turned out, that the insinuation of part of it being ap. -plied to raise fencible regiments was false. To which Mr. Flood replied, that he had good reason to believe, that men were enlisted for the navy, and were afterwards turned over to fencible regiments, and that they were suffered to retain their bounty money, which was the same thing as if the money had been given to them in ihe first instance. 2 Parl. Deb. p. 224.