British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

to resist every concession and to defeat your Administration. You know very well the state of the great bodies here is very much calculated for such a confederacy, the Protestant interest would be an excellent bond for such a union. . . . Picture only to yourself the state of your Administration without the confidence of the majority in Parliament;--place Bill, responsibility Bill, sale of Peerages, which would immediately be directed against Lord Buckingham; the Parliament in the hands of the aristocracy, guided by the Portland Party, and made an engine to embarrass you wherever opportunity offered, on the India trade, Mint, or any other occurrence that might vex and perplex....

What could be the sense or use of my declaring that England would not interfere, when upon the face of things she unavoidably must? To my mind I could only give disgust.... I can conceive no objection to your authorizing me to say, that England would support the maintenance of the law in Ireland, because, say so or not, you must do it. . . . Consider another consequence of this policy. You raise Mr. Grattan and every determined enemy of English concession and sacrifice the Chancellor [Fitzgibbon], Beresford, Forster, and every attached adherent to British Government. . . . The plain and obvious policy is to keep the country in its present peaceable state by giving a firm countenance to the Protestant existing power, granting to the Catholics such indulgence as may tend to attach them and the temper of the times makes it expedient.... I am at a loss to understand why, when you were convinced of the impracticability of carrying the franchise, it was decreed to be tried. In my poor opinion it only would give jealousy to one Party and unfounded expectation to the other. . . .


9
IRELAND: LORD WESTMORLAND TO WILLIAM PITT, 13 November I7921

Dublin Castle.

.... There cannot be a doubt of the good policy of the Protestants holding out to the Catholics future indulgence, and I will endeavour to impress it as far as I dare,... but so rooted and universal is the sentiment that admission of the Roman Catholics to political power must overset the property as well as the political importance of the Protestant possessors, that I fear I shall only create jealousy and not conciliation. . . .

[The upheavals in Europe have hardened the Protestant attitude.]

The Protestants frequently declare they will have a union rather than yield the franchise to the Catholics. The Catholics will cry out for union rather than submit to their present state of subjection.

____________________
1
Chatham Papers: PR0/30/8/331.

-191-

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