« ForrigeFortsæt »
" Gentlemen of the house of Commons,"
« I have ordered the public accounts to be laid before you. 66 _I have the fullest reliance on your approved loyalty to the “ King, and attachment to your country, that a due conside“ ration of the exigencies of the state, will lead you to make « whatever provisions shall appear to be necessary for the pub“ lic expences, and for the honorable support of his Majef" ty's government."
“ My Lords and Gentlemen,"
" I am to recommend in the Kings name, to your ear" neft investigation those objects of Trade and Commerce « between Great Britain, and Ireland, which have not yet re“ ceived their complete adjustment.-In forming a plan, 6 with a view to a final settlement, you will be sensible that “ the interest of Great Britain and Ireland ought to be for as ever united and inseparable ; and his Majesty relies on your « liberality and wisdom for adopting such an equitable system, “ for the joint benefit of both countries, and the support of « the common interest, as will secure mutual satisfaction and “ permanency."
“ The encouragement and extension of Agriculture and « Manufactures, and especially of the Linen Manufacture, « will, I am persuaded, engage your constant concern.- Let « me likewife direct your attention, in a particular manner, " to the fisheries on your coasts, from which you may « reasonably hope for an improving source of industry and ri wealth to this kingdom, and of strength to the empire."
6. The liberality which you have always shewn to the main. “ tenance of your protestant Charter-schools and other public “ inftitutions, makes it unnecessary for me to recommend " them to your care. You cannot more beneficially exert
« this laudable spirit, than by directing your attention to im“prove and to diffuse throughout the kingdom, the advanta“ges of good education : sensible of its effential consequence r to the morals and happiness of the people, and to the dige “nity of the nation, I am happy to assure you of his Majef« ty's gracious patronage ; and shall be earnest to give every “affiftance in my power to the success of such measures, as “ your wisdom may devife for this important purpose."
" It is the province of your prudence and discretion to con“ fider what new.provisions may be necessary for securing the « subjects from violence and outrage, for the regulation of « the police, and the better execution of the laws, as well as « for the general encouragement of peaceable subordination " and honest industry. It will be a pleasing task to me to af“ fift and promote your exertions for the tranquillity of the « kingdom, for upholding the authority of the legislature, “ and supporting the true principles of our happy constitution, « both in Church and state."
“ The uniformity of laws and of Religion, and a common « interest in treaties with foreign states, form a sure bond of 6 mutual connection and attachment between Great Britain « and Ireland.--It will be your care to cherish those inesti“mable blessings with that fpirit and wisdom which will o render them effectual securities to the strength and prof“ perity of the empire."
This speech we see particularly takes notice of the three fol. lowing points--viz, ist. “ Unconftitutional proceedings" which had taken place.-.-2dly. a final adjustment of Trade and Commerce between Great-Britain and Ireland”-dly, a plan" to diffuse throughout this kingdom the advantages of good çducation.”—And accordingly each of these became a subject of Parliamentary difoullion during the present year.-
As to the first, it has been already stated, that attempts. were recently made to prevail on the Sheriffs of counties, &c. to convene general meetings in their respective bailwicks, for the purpose of deliberating on the expediency of a reform in the representation of the people; and for the appointment of a national congress, to meet in Dublin, and then digest a plan of such reform :-Thefe were the unconstitutional proceedings to which the speech alludes.-The conduct of the Court of King's Bench in awarding an attachment on that occasion against the then High Sheriff of the County Dublin, (which was before mentioned) was however confidered by: many, as not founded upon legal authority; and several members in the house of Commons, endeavoured to bring forward that enquiry. At the commencement of this session it. was therefore moved “ that the proper officer do lay before this house copies of the proceedings had in the King's Bench last Term, in the case of the King against Henry Stephens' Reilly, Esq. late High Sheriff of the Co. of Dublin." -But after different alterations had been proposed and carried, this resolution was reduced to the following form, viz: “ that the King's Attorney General do lay before this house, a copy of the charge exhibited by him against H. S. Reilly, late High Sheriff of the Co. of Dublin, in consequence of which he was attached by the Court of King's Bench; as also the excultion of the said H. S. Reilly to tlie said charge.”
On the 18th Febru. the following resolutions passed, ---viz. « Ordere’d, that it be an instruction to the grand Cominittee for Courts of Justice to fit on Thursday next, at three of the Clock.
“ Order'd that the copy of the charge exhibited against Hen. Stephens Reilly, Esq. late High Sheriff of the County of Dublin, upon which the faid H. S, Reilly was attached, as also the order for the attachment against the said Hen. S.
Reilly, now lying on the table, be referred to the said Committee.”
On the 24th, the late Hen. Flood, Esq. brought this subject into debate, but finding he was overpower'd by a great majority, he attempted foon afterwards to re-affume it, in another form :-And we fhall here state that gentleman's speech on the occasion, as it will fully explain the point in question.
“I moved yesterday, (faid he) that the officer of the cours of King's bench should attend on this day, with the rule book of the court, on the crown fide, for the years 1761, 1762, and 1763. I conceived that it contained most useful and neceffary information. I will not say, that for that reafon'it was denied; but it was denied. I moved that the grand committee of courts of justice should fit this day, to receive the subject : that too was refused; though certainly the most parliamentary mode of proceeding. I fhall, however, go on ; for every thing that passed in that committee the night before the last, inakes it more necessary to enter into the present discussion.
« I do not mean to arraign the King's-bench, much less the committee of this House ; but there are moments, and there are cases wherein a prejudice seizes on the minds of
and wife bodies, and induces them to decide in a manner less fui. ted to their wisdom and to their greatness, that one would have expected. The decried aggregate meeting ; the dreaded reform of parliament; the inhabitants as well as freeholders, being invited by Mr. Sheriff Reilly's notice ; the question of catholic franchise; the words representation and congress strangely tortured ; and the reprobated resolution of that meeting pledging their lives and fortunes to the unknown and unformed decision of that congress, and of those reprefentatives ; all these circumstances, heightened by eloquence and prejudice, seem originally to have run away with the discre
tion of the King's bench, and to have had the same effect on the committee of this House, the night before the last. The opinion of that night was an opinion merely founded on Mr. Reilly's case, and that under much colouring and misreprefentation. It becomes necessary, therefore, to bring before you now, the constitutional question, as to the principle of attachment, without reference to any particular court of justice, or to any particular and specific case.
“ The very power of parliament has been questioned, as if we would be competent to impeach a judge, or to address for his removal, and yet not be competent to enquire into hisjudgments, which ought to be our ground for doing either; or as if we could be competent to make laws, and yet have no knowledge or judgment as to the laws that are in being. But the conftitution and the law fay otherwise. The houses of parliament are made the guardians of the integrity of the bench, by recent statute. By the constitution, original judicature, in cases of impeachment, remains to the parliament ; and final judicature, did once belong to both Houses, though now, by compact, it is confined to the Lords. At all events the wisdom of the constitution law that final judicature must never be separated from the legislative power ; for were it, iż is evident that the final judicature might, by degrees, under colour of adjudication, invade the legislation ; whereas, when the final judicature is even in any one body of the legislature, it is not much to be feared that that body will endeavour to exalt its judicial at the expence of its legislative authority.
“ As a strong inference, on the present subject, arises out of this principle, I shall take it a little higher. In the Saxon ära, from whence all the freedom of her constitution is derived, all civil and criulinal law was dispensed in the county courts, when the alderman, earl, or sheriff, being names at different times for the same thing, did preside, being elected by the body of the county, and the freeholders or body of