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The other auxiliary measure pense would be about 250,0001. was, to make a public provision per annum. The resolution was for the Catholic clergy. With carried by a majority of 205 to this view, lord Francis Leveson 162: but no ulterior proceedings Gower, on the 29th of April mov- were taken upon it. ed the following resolution : “That it is expedient that a pro- The frequent discussion of the vision should be made by law to- Roman Catholic question, which wards the maintenance of the secu- had been brought forward so relar Roman Catholic clergy exer- peatedly, that the public mind had cising religious functions in Ire- become comparatively insensible land." This resolution he pre- to any lively impression with refaced by a statement of the general spect to it; the dissipation of old outline of the plan which he was
terrors and alarms by the support to submit to the House. The given to the principles of concesnumber of Catholic priests in Ire- sion by men in whom the nation land amounted, he said, to about had great confidence; and the prea thousand, and that of the coad- valence of certain speculative opijutors or curates was nearly the nions concerning the origin and same ; making the whole estimate nature of political rights, had unof parish priests about 2,000. He doubtedly diminished both the proposed to divide these into three keenness and the numbers of the classes, and to allot to 200 of them opponents of Catholic equalization. an annual stipend of 2001. each; In the course of the present sesto 800, a stipend of 120l. ; and to sion, however, the spirit of resist1,000, a stipend of 601. The four ance to the Catholic claims seemed archbishops were to have each to gain strength. Though many 1,500l. per annum; the 22 bishops, petitions in their favour were pre1,0001.; and the 300 deans, 3001. sented, yet the petitions against each. The total amount of ex- them were much more numerous ;
and they increased in number, the Sligo
longer the subject occupied the Stafford
public attention; and the failure Granville Wellesley Melbourne
of the proposed measure was geneEARIS.
LORDS. rally acceptable both in England
Belharen Buckinghamshire Carrington
plies to sir Francis Burdett's bill, Carlisle Churchill
and indeed to every other which Carysfort Clinton
has been brought forward on the Cassilis Crewe
same subject. The reasonings of Cornwallis Ducie
the advocates of the Catholics, if De La Warc
Erskine Derby Grenvillo
good for any thing, destroy the Egremont Gwyder
principle of exclusion in its full Elgin Hili
extent, and raise the Catholics to Garnard Hutchinson
an equality with Protestants in all Harrington
Mary borough Hopeloon
respects. But the details of the Saye and Sele Lucan Sondes
bill speak a very different doctrine: Mulgrave
Bishop. for they exclude the Catholics Waldegrave Rochester
from a few offices, while they ad
mit them to all the rest. Thus to perfect equality, so that they the fundamental principle of ex- may now gain such a vantage clusion is practically admitted ; and ground, as may hereafter render then what beconies of the reasonings resistance to the utmost of their on that side of the question ?-If a demands altogether unavailing. Catholic is excluded from wearing If the apparent contradiction bethe crown, from intermarrying with tween the principles of the advothe sovereign, from being chan- cates of the Catholics and the meacellor, and from being lord lieute- sures which they propose proceeds nant of Ireland; what are the from the latter cause, the country grounds upon which it is proved, has some reason to complain. In that it is unjust not to admit him questions of such vast importance, to fill the situation of prime mi. policy ought to give way to the nister, president of the council, most complete frankness and holord chief justice, lord president of nesty; measures like this ought the court of session, or to hold any not to be brought forward partially other of the higher offices of state? or carried by piece-meal: the whole Do the Catholics admit the pro- extent of the required concession priety and justice of a limited ex- should be avowed openly and at clusion, such as that contained in once. For the legislature must sir Francis Burdett's bill? Or do walk in blindness and error, if it they and their friends deem it deliberates on a bill as a complete prudent not to carry as yet their and final measure and decides on principles to their full extent, but it in that view, when in truth the to soothe alarm and bribe opposition bill is merely a portion of a wider into quiescence by not laying claim scheme.
Committee of the Lords appointed to inquire into the State of Ireland
Evidence given before the Committee Subdivision of Farms-Extreme Poverty of the PeasantryTheir want of Employment -Their absolute Dependence on their Landlords- The Operation of the Tithe System in Ireland-Abuse of legal Proceedings-Distraining the growing Crops-Civil Bill Ejectment- Abuse of the Process of Custodiam and the Civil Bill Process Miscellaneous Topics of Investigation before the Committee- Motion on the State of Ireland with respect to Religious Animosities--Misrepresentation of Lord Liverpool's Conduct-Mr. Hume's Motion against the Irish Church Establishment --State of the Irish Charler Schools.
N the former session, a commit- sustaining animal existence by a pointed to inquire into the state of the most wretched kind. In of those districts in Ireland, which this state of misery they were the were subject to the operation of absolute slaves of their landlords ; the Insurrection act.
and their dependence, poverty, deEarly in the present session a moralization and degradation were committee was appointed, upon increased still further by the mode the motion of lord Liverpool, to in which tithes were collected, and inquire into the state of Ireland by the defective administration generally; and this committee was of justice by the local tribunals. composed of the same members Such were the general features of that of the preceding year, with the condition of the rural populathe exception of lord Aberdeen, tion of the greater part of Ireland, who was abroad, and earl Fitz- as delineated by the best-informed william, who wished to withdraw of the witnesses. But on a topic from the labours of the investiga- of so much importance, we cannot tion. The duke of Devonshire do better than allow some of those and lord Fitzgibbon were substiwitnesses to speak for themselves. tuted for these two peers.
The result of the labours of the The following is the language of committee was a very brief and Mr. Blackburn, an active and vague report ; accompanied, how- learned magistrate, who had meever, by a most voluminous mass rited the confidence and esteem of of evidence, which threw great all parties by the firmness and light upon the condition of the prudence with which he had sugeneral body of the Irish pea- perintended the operation of the santry. It showed that they lived Insurrection act in the county of in the most degraded state-with- Limerick. “The population in out property, without the possi. Ireland has been, at least, in that bility of acquiring property, barely part of Ireland to which my tęsti
mony refers, rapidly increasing ; 1 them, and intermediate ones, have believe the Irish peasant scarcely been dealing upon that fallacious ever forms, at least, while he re- principle. Rentals have been mains at home, an idea of bettering formed upon that principle, debts his condition; they are improvident, have been contracted upon it, anand either from that improvidence, nuities have been sold, and the or the high rents, are seldom able to whole system originating in that realize personal property. When error has produced mischief and
. a farmer who has a few acres of ruin at this moment in every deland (I mention this as an in- partment of Ireland. Then, again, stance) has his children to portion the temptation to multiply freeout in the world, and they are holds has, but in a very minor deabout to be married, he has no- gree, contributed to increase the thing to give them but land. The quantum of the evil.”
The state farm is subdivided; the portions, of the lower orders,” said Mr. which each member of that family O'Connell, “is such, that it is asgets, are in the next generation tonishing to me how they preserve liable to be again subdivided ; and health, and above all, how they then subdivision of land, and the preserve cheerfulness, under the multiplication of the species, go total privation of any thing like on pari passu. The increase of comfort, and the existence of a population, in a country where state of things that the inferior land forms the only means of sub- animals would scarcely endure, sistence, has produced, in Ireland, and which they do not endure in the effect of creating, in my judg- this country. The houses are not ment, a perfectly erroneous crite- even called houses, and they ought rion of the val of land. The not to be ; they are called cabins; value of land in Ireland is regu- they are built of mud, and covered lated, not by what in other coun- with thatch partly, and partly with tries is considered the criterion of a surface which they call scraws, its value, but by the quantity and and any continuance of rain necesdegree of competition for it; and sarily comes in. In these abodes, the principle that a thing is worth there is nothing that can be called what it will bring in the market, furniture ; it is a luxury to have which is applicable to every other a box to put any thing into; it is article, appears to me to be totally a luxury to have what they call false as applied to land; for in- a dresser for laying a plate upon, stance, a farm of fifty acres, let to or any thing of that kind they may one tenant at a certain rent, may have; they generally have little be well worth that rent: subdi- beyond an iron cast metal-pot, a vided into ten tenements, it has milk tub, which they call a keeler, then to support a population of over which they put a wickerten families; and it appears to me basket, in order to throw the pothat that subdivision, though it tatoes, water, and all into the has the actual effect of increasing basket, that the water should run the rental of the landlord, ought into this keeler. The entire fato have the effect of decreasing it; mily sleep in the same apartment; but it has had the effect of increase they call it a room; there is some ing the rental of landlords; and all division between it and the part states, head landlords, as we call where the fire is. They have
seldom any bedsteads, and as to neer, had extensive opportunities covering for their beds, they have of accurate observation, gave an nothing but straw, and very few equally unfavourable picture of the blankets in the mountain districts. situation of the Irish peasantry. In Limerick, and in a portion of “I conceive (said Mr. Nimmo) Clare, and in parts of the county the peasantry of Ireland to be, in of Cork, they sleep in their clothes; general, in almost the lowest state I know that near Dublin they of existence ; their cabins are in sleep in their clothes, and that the most miserable condition, and upon recent investigation within their food is potatoes with water, eight or ten miles of Dublin, out very often without any thing else, of fourteen or fifteen families, there frequently without even salt; and were only two found in which I have frequently had occasion to there was a blanket. Their diet meet persons that begged of me on is equally wretched. It consists, their knees, for the love of God, except on the sea-coast, of potatoes to give them some promise of emand water during the greater part of ployment, that, from the credit of the year, and of potatoes and sour it, they might get the means of milk during another portion ; they supporting themselves for a few use some salt with their potatoes months, until I could employ when they have nothing but them. water; on the sea-coast they get “The poor of Ireland are in fish, the children repair to the general left to obtain their subshore, and the women and they sistence by mendicancy; and acget shell-fish of various kinds, and cording to the best information I indeed various kinds of fish.” Mr. have been able to procure on that O'Connell stated four-pence a-day head, in various parts of the kingto be the ordinary rate of wages; dom, the expenditure of every fain 1822, the peasantry were glad mily on the begging poor cannot to work at two-pence a-day with be averaged at less than a penny
a out victuals. Yet even at this low per day, or half a stone of potarate of wages, there is no possibi- toes, which, for one million of lity of obtaining constant employ- families, would be per annum at ment for the population. The least 1,500,000l. Admit that we consequence is, that “every man include in this sum the result of cultivates the food of his own fa- public charities, hospitals, &c.; mily, potatoes; and land becomes but add to this the grand jury absolutely necessary there for presentments, which are for purevery Irish peasant; he cultivates poses mostly avoided by the poorthat food, and he makes the rent, rates of England, 750,0001. Inin general, by feeding the pig, as dependent of an indefinite sum well as his own family, upon the levied in Great Britain every seasame food, and if it be not wrong son, by emigrant poor from Ireto call it so, at the same table, land, we have raised in the country upon the same spot — by that and on residents alone 2,250,0001. pig he makes the rent, besides any This is more than half the public chance that he gets of daily la- revenue, double the tithes, a fourth bour."
of the land rent, and at least a Mr. Nimmo, who, in the course twentieth part of the entire conof his employment as a civil engi- sumption. The poor of England