British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

2
IRISH LEGISLATIVE INDEPENDENCE: THE TWO RESOLUTIONS MOVED BY LORD SHELBURNE IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS, 17 May 17821
1. That it is the opinion of this House, that the Act of the 6th of George I, entitled 'An Act for the better securing the dependency of Ireland upon the Crown of Great Britain', ought to be repealed.
2. That it is the opinion of this House, that it is indispensable to the interest and happiness of both kingdoms, that the connection between them should be established by mutual consent, upon a solid and permanent footing, and that an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, that His Majesty will be graciously pleased to take such measures as His Majesty in His royal wisdom shall think most conducive to that important end.

3
IRELAND: LORD SHELBURNE TO THE DUKE OF PORTLAND, 18 May, 17822

[Shelburne encloses copies of the two Resolutions of the British Parliament concerning the proposed adjustment in the constitutional relations between Great Britain and Ireland (No. 2 above) and explains the implications. The total repeal of the statute, 6 George I, cap. 5, will have the immediate effect of removing what Ireland declares through its Parliament to be the chief cause of its discontent, and if the question of Writs of Error being received by the Court of King's Bench in England shall still remain a ground for uneasiness to the Irish, Portland is authorized to state that in such case that also will be included in the proposed repeal. The King will be graciously pleased to assent to the modification of Poyning's Law so far as it related to 'the practice of suppressing Bills in the Council of Ireland, or of altering them anywhere', and the same principle will apply to the perpetual Mutiny Bill, 'the duration of which He will consent to abridge to a term of two years '.]

... We have on these several points endeavoured to meet the wishes of the Irish Nation with as much expedition as a subject of such magnitude thus necessarily submitted to the attention of Parliament would admit of in a most unequivocal declaration, relying upon the representations and assurances which Your Grace has given us, and

____________________
1
Printed in Parl. Hist., vol. xxiii, 37-38. On the same day similar resolutions were moved by Fox in the Commons (ibid. 16-35). See also Fox and Pitt in the debate of 1785 (ibid., vol. xxv, 965-82) on the commercial resolutions.
2
H.O. 100/1, pp. 207-9. Lord Shelburne, who had called attention to Irish distress and unrest in 1779 and 1780, was now Secretary of State for the Home Department in the new Rockingham administration. William Cavendish Bentinck, third Duke of Portland, was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland by Rockingham in April 1782. A year later, when Shelbume retired, Portland became first minister. During his period of office as Home Secretary ( 1794-1801) he was again in charge of Irish affairs.

-175-

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