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bers of their own body. A report had Mr. Baring said, the question was one unaccountably gone abroad, that it was which was intimately connected with the in contemplation to place all the turnpikes economy of trade. "It was a fact, that under the immediate control of the go- the establishment of these dock compavernment. He denied that any such in- nies, though it was at first a sort of expetention had ever existed ; and had no he- riment, had proved of the greatest public sitation in saying, that there could be no utility. When they were first established, surer mode adopted of opening the door it was impossible to know how far the to jobs of all descriptions.

rates would or would not afford a suffiMr. Curwen expressed his jealousy of cient compensation for the capital employany measure which should take the man- ed; but now that it had been ascertained agement of the roads out of the hands that they had greatly exceeded such a of those who had local knowledge. The compensation, it was an important quesroads about London were not uniformly i tion for parliament to determine, whether bad, the Uxbridge road for instance, was the charters should be renewed. The a very good one.

charter was granted to the West India Leave was given to bring in the bill.

company, with a restriction that they

were never to divide more than 10 per West INDIA Dock COMPANY.] Mr cent. The obvious inference was, that Marryat rose to present a Petition from if the rates exceeded such a sum as the merchants of London against the re- would afford a dividend of 10 per cent. newal of the charter of the West India they were bound to reduce them. They Dock Company. The hon. gentleman ad- had, however, done no such thing. Indressed the House upon the impolicy as stead of reducing the rates, they had, acwell as injustice of continuing, in an en- cumulated a sum of no less than 500,0001. lightened age like this, such monopolies, Prudent men would not incur the, which were at once injurious to commerce responsibility of dividing so large a sum and to the revenue of the country. He among the stock-holders, for such a divientered into a detail of the many incon- sion without the sanction of an act of parveniences and evil consequences to trade liament would be illegal. generally, and to the trade of London in Mr. Gordon said, he had heard that particular, resulting from the very high 500,0001. had been offered to be placed rates charged by this company.

at the disposal of the government, as a Sir Isaac Coffin observed, that there bribe for the renewal of the charter. never appeared to be much friendship in Mr. Robinson assured the hon. member, trade. Each merchant sought his own that no sum had been offered to be placed interest, monopoly was the order of the at the disposal of government. day amongst them, and beggar my neigh- Odered to lie on the table. bour the object. Mr. F. Lewis animadverted on the abuses

HOUSE OF COMMONS, which crept into establishments of this nature, through the inattention of the Wednesday, February 28. legislature to the precise enactments which Execution of Murat.] Lord Cas. they sanctioned." By a clause introduced tlereagh said, that a gallant officer had into the act for the renewal of the East asked on a former night, whether their India Company's charter, private traders was an English accredited agent present were admitted into the East India Docks. at the proceedings which terminated in

Mr. Robinson said, it was undoubtedly the military execution of Murat? He the duty of the House to watch with was riow enabled to give the gallant officer peculiar vigilance the tendency of any an answer. He had referred to the dismeasure which involved private interests patch of sir W. A'Court, in which he as well as the great commercial interests found it stated, that after Murat had been of the country. There were other docks taken, with thirty of his followers, by which had charters, having a longer period the peasantry, for there were no troups, to run than the West India ; it would be he was tried by his own officers, condemninexpedient, therefore, to make any de ed by his own laws, which were yet in claration of the views of government as force, and suffered the punishment which, to the renewal of the charter of this com- by a proclamation found upon him, he pany, until the whole question, as it respect- bad denounced against the adherents of ed those several charters, had been taken king Ferdinand, No English agent could into consideration.

have been present.

Sir R. Wilson said, the noble lord's ex- | that he was always disposed to object in planation was satisfactory as far as it limine to any plan of this kind, and lie went; but it would be remembered, that now called upon those who wished to what he had asked was, not whether a hand down the constitution unimpaired British agent was present in the military to posterity to oppose the claims of the commission, but in that council at Naples, Catholics. the result of which was the handing over Mr. Grenfell said, that so far was he of the late king of Naples to a military from thinking that by conceding what trial ?

was prayed for they would do any thing Lord Castlereagh said, that the rumour to undermine the constitution, that he was utterly destitute of every colour of was convinced the measure, in question foundation,

would prove one of its firmest supports.

Mr. Warre, when an hon. baronet called Petitions RespecTING THE ROMAN on the House to oppose the claims of CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] Mr. Fitzgibbon the Catholics in limine, wished them to presented a Petition from the Roman remember in what situations they had Catholics of Limerick, praying to be ad- heretofore been called upon to oppose mitted to the full enjoyment of the pri- them in limine. In 1806, when it was vileges of the British constitution. The proposed to admit Catholics to a certain hon. gentleman begged to offer his testi- rank in the army and navy, the hon. mony to the loyalty and respectability of baronet called on the House to oppose the petitioners, and expressed an earnest this proposition in limine. Then the cry hope that the result of that night's debate of “no Popery," was raised, and the would determine that a large portion of proposition failed. Since, the measure the people of Ireland should no longer be alluded to had been carried by the very excluded from participating in the bless- persons who then opposed it. At that ings of the constitution.

time they were told, “ if you do this, Mr. S. Rice supported the prayer of you will pave the way for overturning the the petition, conceiving it to be founded constitution, as it was established at the on justice. No paltry question of expe- period of the revolution.” But this exdiency, if expediency could ever be se- cellent measure had since been carried. parated from justice, ought to induce It was introduced in the Lords and when them to exclude from the full enjoyment it came to the Commons, it was passed of all constitutional rights, men who had sub silentio; and they might now have a proved by their patience under severe Catholic general at the head of an army, privations, how well they deserved them. and a Catholic admiral commanding the He hoped the House would consent to Channel fleet. Had this endangered the go into a committee on the Catholic claims. constitution? It had not, and he hoped If securities were wanted to guard the the Catholics would still go on step Protestant church from danger, he should by step till they gained the consummation vote for them. But he was satisfied that of their wishes. the best security the church of England Mr. Barham objected to the foul cacould receive, would be afforded by an act lumnies urged against the Catholics in one of conciliation and generosity towards petition which had been laid before the the Roman Catholics.

Hlouse. It was stated that the prayer of Sir T. Lethbridge presented a Petition the Catholics ought not to be attended to from Bruton, against the Catholic claims. now, because the concessions formeriy The petitioners looked with great anxiety made were given as their ultimatum. This to the recurrence of this question, but he must declare to be utterly false. They relied on the wisdom of that House, if the had been content to receive so much as subject should go to a committee, to pro- parliament was disposed to grant; but at vide suitable securities for the Protestant no time had any compromise taken place. interest. In this feeling he agreed with Though he was ready to believe that much the petitioners. He should be inclined of this petition originated in ignorance, to consider the appointment of a commit- yet he could not suppose the petitioners tee only a delusion; for he could not so ignorant as to believe that the Cathosee how any thing could be done that lics had a mental reserve when making would relieve the Catholics, and at the oath, under the impressions that faith was same time give security to the Protestant not to be kept with heretics. He thought establishments. It was from this feeling they must know that such were not the

tenets of the Catholic church from the re- sovereign, but they have repeatedly desults of the various inquiries that had nied the charge, and again deny it.” taken place.

Yet on this calumny they They state, that to their sovereign " they founded the bold charge that a Catholic swear full and undivided allegiance: in was not to be believed on his oath. This him alone they recognise the power of was an idea so absurd, that he might defy the civil sword within the realm of Engthe devil himself to produce one more so. land” (these words are the words of the

Lord Nugent said : -I rise to present a thirty-seventh article of the Church of Petition from upwards of 8,000 of the Ro- England). “ They acknowledge in no man Catholics of Great Britain, praying for foreign prince, prelate, state, or potentate, admission to certain civil privileges, from any power or authority to use the same, which they are now by law excluded. within the said realm, in any matter or The petition, Sir, is signed by seven peers, cause whatever, whether civil, spiritual, or sixteen baronets, and seven bishops, be- ecclesiastical.” sides a very considerable body of their Sir, the prayer, then, of these peticlergy, as well as laity. And if I permit tioners reduces, as far as they are conmyself to look forward with the sincerest cerned, this great question to within a and most sanguine hope to the success of very narrow compass.

There remains its prayer, that hope is not founded upon but one plain question of practical justice, an expectation on my part of any very ex- which in fact embraces the whole matter tensive change in the opinions on this sub- so long at issue in this House. Is it ject, of this House or of the country ;- on account of their religious opinions but it is founded upon the increased and only, or on account of presumed political increasing claims of the petitioners them- opinions, that the Roman Catholics of selves upon your favourable considera- your empire are disqualified from pertion:—it is founded upon their uniform and forming certain services to the state ? exemplary good conduct;-upon the tone For the answer, let us look at the oaths and temper of this petition ;-but, above and declarations which are the instruall, upon one new and most important ments of their exclusion, and let us look declaration ;-a declaration, not new in at the terms of the petition which I shall principle, but now for the first time thus move to lay upon your table; and it apexplicitly made, which I trust the House pears, both from the grievances it states, will feel entirely removes the one great and from the relief it prays for, that the obstacle, which has hitherto presented removal of certain tests, of a purely spiitself to the admission of these petitioners ritual effect, and relating to spiritual to a community of privileges with their matters only, would leave your Roman fellow-subjects.- The House is aware, that Catholic countrymen as fully qualified for the oath of supremacy, in the renunciation the enjoyment of every privilege they ask, it contains of the spiritual power of the as you are from whom they ask them : pope, now remains the one, and I may al. that they are excluded, not by virtue of most say the only one, great practical dif- any political test, but by virtue of a spificulty in their way. The declarations of ritual test only; and, ex vi termini, they the thirtieth of Charles 2nd, against the put it to the proof; for they ask you to doctrine of transubstantiation and the invo- abolish the spiritual test only—the politication of saints, are now, I believe on all cal test they are ready to embrace. But hands, allowed to be justifiable only as it is said, that from these spiritual tenets tests subsidiary to the declaration contain certain political tenets may be inferred. ed in the oath of supremacy. On the Then, Sir, let us come at that truth by oath of supremacy, therefore, I conceive, direct means, which by indirect we never now hinges the whole of that long-con- can arrive at. Put to them what political tested question of foreign influence, and test you will. Stronger, if you will, than of what has been called divided allegiance : that already imposed by the nineteenth and on this subject I should wrong these of the late king, in Scotland ; stronger, if petitioners if I presumed to state their you will, than that already imposed by the opinions in any terms but those in which thirty-third of the late king in Ireland; they have themselves so admirably de- the Roman Catholics of Great Britain are scribed them. They state in their pe- willing, and are eager, to meet you. tition, that “they have been accused of Charge it with every security which the giving to a foreign potentate part of that utmost ingenuity can devise, or the most allegiance, which is due to their rightful jealous caution impose, for the safety of

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our Protestant establishment in church principle of religious fidelity to your own and state the Catholics of Great Bri. advantage ; and, by the bond of an oath, tain are willing, and are eager, to meet make it, instead of being the instrument you still. They state their allegiance, po- of their disfranchisement, the pledge and litical and civil, to be as entire and as ex- guarantee of your own security and union. tensive as your own : and they urge no less -And what, let me ask, has been bitherto than character, conduct, the evidence of the operation of these declarations of the history, and even of the very oaths which 30th of Charles 2nd ? Declarations enactexclude them, to support this statement. ed under the belief in two things ;-under

If, then, we refuse this prayer, it is not the belief in the evidence of Titus Oates's that we protest against this or that par. plot; and under the belief in the influ. ticular form of relief, it is not that we ence of what is called the king-killing protest against such or such extent of to- clause in the council of Lateran. True leration, but we must do a great deal that upon the monstrous falsehoods and more: we must do this; we must declare perjuries on which that plot was founded, that, in our deliberate judgment, no man history has long since solemnly proought to be admitted into a participation nounced its verdict; but the effect of in civil privileges with ourselves, who those perjuries is still in operation against dares, contrary to our opinion of the effi- the Roman Catholics. True that no atonecacy of such invocation, to invoke, in his ment could be made for the innocent closet, the intercession of saints between blood of those who were the victims of himself and his Maker ; who ventures to those perjuries ; but the laws of exclusion believe in the spiritual efficacy of the

pope which were enacted upon the belief in in council to interpret the Holy Scrip: those perjuries, still remain a blot, a distures; or who presumes to recognise a real grace, and an anomaly upon our Statute presence of the Deity in the consecrated book. Sir, that monstrous other assumpelements of our Lord's Supper. We tion, namely, that Roman Catholics bemust be prepared to declare, that these lieve themselves absolved from keeping opinions, for it is against these alone that faith with Protestants, although now on the oaths of exclusion operate, are opi. all hands abandoned, and by common connions so full of danger to the state, that it sent brushed away with the rest of the is wisdom to protect ourselves from them rubbish with which this great question at no less a sacrifice than that of one was obscured: still let us remember, that fourth of the moral strength of our whole even this assumption it was for years vain empire-one fourth of the property, one to combat:– vain that the council of Confourth of the talents, one fourth of the stance was urged, abrogating that proflienergy, zeal and integrity, of the whole gate that thousand times denied and disempire, by law excluded from the civil proved clause of the council of Lateran : service of the state. This we must assert, -vain the general and indignant disbefore we can upon principle reject the claimer of all Catholic Europe tendered prayer of this petition. But if, on the to Mr. Pite in 1788:-vain the evidence other hand, it is only that, under cover of of the civil history of every nation in the these spiritualities, you enable yourselves world, where Catholic and Protestant live to exclude persons against whom certain together, with the same privileges, under social tenets are imputed, then, Sir, allow the same laws and the same government. me again to say, come at this directly, for Oaths of exclusion remain upon our Staindirectly you never can; and do not en- tute book, which can exclude only those deavour, in breach of every moral law, to whom their very being excluded by those appeal to the consciences of men on such oaths shows are religiously scrupulous of false pretences, when considered as poli- what engagements they enter into with tical tests, as are these doctrines of tran- Protestant government. By one single substantiation and the invocation of saints. act of that perjury, be it observed,

You find the Roman Catholics of Great which we have so untruly and cruelly Britain professing a religion to which they imputed to him, the Roman Catholic are fondly and firmly attached. How might at any time bave admitted, or fondly, and how firmly attached, the his- might now admit himself to all he seeks, tory of their sufferings, their privations, and from which it is only those oaths the undeserved obloquy they have endured that exclude him. And, having done for now upwards of two centuries, suf- so, he might turn round again, and deficiently, attests. Use, then, that strong clare himself to you and to the world

to bé a Roman Catholic; but that would articles of our own church do not even not exclude him. You exclude him, profess; and now, above a century and therefore, not because he is a Roman Ca- a half since its enactment, when even the tholic, but because he is a Roman Catho- political pretext has long ceased to opelic who does keep faith with Protest rate, this unwarrantable, this horrid deants, and abandons even the common-law claration still subsists upon our Statute privileges of his citizenship for the sake of books. his religion and his oath.

Sir, on the oath of supremacy I will These petitioners submit, that to the say nothing ; because, modified or exdeclaration against transubstantiation is plained in the spirit of this petition (I '10 be objected, first, that, in its terms, it mean as renouncing all temporal suis intemperate and calumnious; secondly, premacy in the Pope, and all spiritual or that it affects matters of belief of much ecclesiastical supremacy which can be entoo subtle and metaphysical a' nature for forced by temporal means, or can, in any human laws to take cognizance of; and manner or for any purpose, conflict or in. thirdly, that, if its terms were as tempe- terfere with the civil duty and allegiance rate, as charitable, as incontrovertible, as which is due to his majesty, and his sucthey are the reverse, still, that in effect cessors; or, with the civil obedience and this declaration nullifies the very securi- submission which is due to his courts in all ties it affects to give, and illustrates how matters affecting the legal rights of his vain the attempt to protect yourselves by majesty's subjects) :--so understood and oaths against a perjurer. For example: declared, I am enabled, I am authorised, to after applying to this doctrine of tran- say, that the great body of the Roman substantiation the word idolatrous (a ra- Catholics of Great Britain are prepared to ther violent and bazardous epithet by the take it with you: and that this is all which

way, and one which I think I could show, you have, on other occasions, thought ne. if strictly taken, is quite untrue), you pro- cessary ; witness your laws concerning the fess"in the presence of God, without elective franchise and civil appointments, any evasion, equivocation, or mental re- the thirty-first and thirty-third of the late ·servation whatever, and without any dis- king in Ireland and Scotland. By these pensation already granted, or hope of acts the admission of a foreign supremacy such dispensation,' and so on. Why, in foro conscientiæ, is distinctly recognized, Sir, if the Roman Catholic had received and such spiritual supremacy is declared such dispensation, or if he hoped for such “ not dangerous to society or civil liberty." dispensation, or if he thought that such Now, farther than this, by these acts you dispensation could avail him in the sight have declared, that there is no necessity of God, he might take currently every to demand :-farther than this you have oath on your table, admit himself to the no reason or right to demand. eligibility he seeks, and Parliament might, Sir, it is singular, that three of our in despite of your laws, be filled not only greatest text authorities in divinity, in law with popery but with perjury too. And and in moral philosophy, concur in almost yet this is what we term security! The prophetically describing the present state security of an oath against those whom of the Roman Catholics of your empire as no oathis will bind! Sir, we know what a state, in which it would be no longer is meant by a bad reasoner arguing in either expedient or just to hold them in a circle; but what shall we say of a law, exclusion from the full enjoyment of the which calls upon us to swear in a circle privileges to which birth, property, talents, thus? If the imputation were true, the or merit, might fairly entitle them. oaths could not secure you: they only shall take the liberty of quoting a short do secure you because you know the im- but striking passage from each of these putation to be untrue. But it is in a authorities. And, first, bishop Hoadley. much wiser, a much more conciliatory The venerable champion of Protestantism, and much truer spirit, that the thirty- the staunch advocate of civil liberty, the 'pine articles, the work of better hands zealous antagonist of popery, connected and of better times, speak of this same as in his day popery was with arbitrary doctrine of transubstantiation. It is there power :-bishop Hoadley thus expresses described as “ having given rise to many himself in his treatise entitled “ The Com'superstitions.” But not a word of ido- mon Rights of Subjects defended.” "I latry. We are therefore, in this House cannot," says he, “justify the exclusion called upon to declare on oath what the of a papist from civil office upon any

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