I RELAN D.
el meeting of the General Association was held On the 17th instant, at which Mr. Sharman Crawford brought foi it ard iris Tithe resolu- tions. I le ennInleneed his speech by explai a Mg tile resolutions thetn- Felves. They affirmed, that while in England and Scotland the Church bad been eSt obi jiltedfor the stipport of the religion of the majority, in Ireland the principle had been reversed, arid the religion of a fa- voured sect, at variance with the feelings and faith of the nation, had been endowed by the State; that the Irish Catholics did not wish to have the Cetholic religion established, but that II() Man should be forced to pey the mieieters of a creed from which he diseented ; that tithes should be utter ly extinguished, and in lieu thereof art assessment imposed for the general benefit of the country without regard to reli. giotis distinctions. Mr. Crawford then pointed out the difference between his plan and that brought forward by the Government last session.
" My proposition goes to say that the Cl ore! which is the Church of a aection of Ptotestants, hit a fraction of the testier,, shall be no longer sus- tained by a tax drawn from the hation at large. My proposition goes to de- clare that the badge of slavery shall be torn from the breasts of Iriehtnen for ever. : the proposition which was made to you in the bill brought forward by his Majesty's Government goes to the effect of keeping up the nuisance of the establishment —tithee—for the sake of the minority—to establish that nuisance for ,wer upon the back. I .f the people of Ireland. I admit the bill says, we will throw you some numbs from our abundance; and the proposers of it hurt • gine that if the people get some crumbs off the rich than's tattle, their impor- tunities would be stopped, and their appeals tertniriated ; but that proposition, ahlough advisable to take it as a prelude of better things, under the circum- s:ar,ces which es:stud—I will proceed to ask you whether it is lit and proper to adopt sueli a prereeizion as that limier the present eircumetances. Now, Lav- in:2' stated what the propositions are whiclt have been offered yon by his Ma- jesty's Government, I shall next refer to the proposition winch the Tories make. We have those propositions very clearly and shortly. put behrte us in a speech reported as Laving limn very lately delivered by Lotd Wharneliffo. Iis Lordship asserttd, that it is a hardship to compel an impoverished pea- eantry to pay for the maintenance of a Clawell which they conscientiously believe tube heretical, lint then, his lordship maintained, that it was the direct payment that constituted the griesance,—as if it could Leeoine lighter by pass- ing to the passons' reel:ere from the landlords' hands. If they handed the clergy the exaction themselves, then it would be a grievance; but that it it is reee■ved by the clergy through the medium of the Government, then no grievance et all exits. They are ti be protected and relieved from the direct Feet-eta of the tax ; and it is conceived, forsooth, that the people will be satisfied with this principle. This is the species of relief which the Tory party art you. But there are other points in wIttell the two propositions of Whigs and Tories agree: they agree in one point—that the monopoly of the Esta- blished Church is to be sustained—that the people of Ireland are stili to pay tithes to the Church of the minority."
Mr. Crawford insisted upon the necessity of speaking out, and .ac-
quainting Ministers and the Parliament with the real wishes and wants of the Irish people ; fur, he said, from the manner in winch the last Tithe-bill was received by the Irish Representatives, it might have been supposed that such a measure would really have satisfied the Irish people; which most assuredly it would not. He objected to re- ferring his resolutioe to a Committee ; for all that he wished was to pledge the Association to the principle they contained : he wished to have a distinct declaration that the Association would receive no set- tlement of the Tithe question which did not relieve the land from a tax raised from the majority for the religious instruction of the few.
Mr. 'Alm seconded the resolutions.
Mr. O'Connell said, that he felt the force of the appeal made by Mr. Crawford and Mr. Lalor to the passions of the Irish nation ; but he would repeat the advice which he had in former times given, and which had been listened to and followed- " My advice in former times was, that all questions of mere detail should be referred to the judgment of the Committee above stairs. I never yet saw the harm of taking a man into a private room, where he cannot be under the ex- citements of a public asisemblage. or under the influence of the passions, to de- bate with him a question such as that now before the meeting. In a private rootn, sentence after senteuce can be examined and deliberated upon, with fa- cilities which can never be possessed in a crowded meeting.Men modify opinions in private and confidential discussion, which they previously imagine to be rooted in their minds. I myself have many a tune abandoned _my own impressions under such circumstances, and induced others to abandon theirs. (e4 /Year! ") Acting on these opinions, we avoided in the Catholic Associa- tion dissension which might have entailed upon its slavery to this day. And what objects did not that glorious Association peacefully and successfully accorn• phial! It began just with the cooperation of eight individuals—it ended with the cooperation of almost twice that number of thousands, and the ending was the achievement of the emancipation of eight millions of British subjects. I do not ask this meeting to reject the propositions of the honourable Member for DOndalk—frr from it ; I only desire we should calmly and dispassionately deli- berate upon theirs."
The fourth resolution of his honourable friend—he hoped he would allow him to call hint his friend—said that tithes were a levy on the
profits of land. NOW here was a matter for discussion ; for he wholly repudiated the notion that the landlord was the real payer of the tithe.
it I hold tithes to be a part of the gross produce, and I look upon the occu- pier and labourer as undoubted contributors to tithe taxation. An honourable Member for S iuthwark is of a different opiniou; and imagining that the aboli- tion of tithes would be nothing more than the grantieg of a bonus to the land- lord, he is agasust an arrangement which would be acceptable to the person most difficult to be phased in this assembly. Here, then, is u point for deli- beration, which must be obvious to those most anxious for the adoption of the resolutions as they have been submitted to us. (Mr. Crawford nodded assent.) I am happy to notice that intimation. My task is, I perceive, already per- formed. 1 do not seek a triumph : none of us desire a triumph here," Then, Mr. Crawford had a project regarding Church lands, which interfered with the Church Temporalities Bill, and would materially affect the value of land throughout the island- " Church lands were proverbially the wastes of the country in former timers They did not receive even a tithe of file bad cultivation of Ireland, because every one felt he hail a precarious tenure of them. I do not know whether my friend Terence Dolan is here. I, however, know that I saw him this morning, and that we were speaking of Church lands in his possession, of which he had formerly only a forty. one years' lease, but of which, under the Church Tempo- ralities Act, he has now the fee simple. He begged of me, for the sake of the country, to do all in my power to save property of this description from the depreciation that would result from its bong made a subject even of casual ob.. servation in our debates. Besides all these considerations, the proposition of my honourable friend goes the length of saying, that while it is proper to abo- lish tithes, it is right to substitute something else in place of them. Now I am one of those who think that it is far better to endure the evils we feel than encounter those we know not of. But at all events, this suggests a new reason for calm deliberation. My honourable friend's substitute may require a great deal of explanation here, and may afterwards be imperfectly understood. It has a different fortune to expect front the facilities of a room of private confe- rence. I cannot pretend to divine the substitute in his contemplation ; but I candidly avow, that, if burdens are not to be lessened, I for one cannot be satis- fied. If there is to be flogging. I care not whether it be high or low. (Loud cries of " Hear, hear / " and laughter.) We all wish for the total abolition of tithes. If the question was here, whether in justice or equity they should be totally abolished, we could not be detained three minutes. The People will not be satisfied until tithes are wholly abolished. I expressed this sentiment in the House of Cot»mons. But am J, therefore, to withhold my assent front modificatioas of the system that may m fro time to time be proposed? Why should I reject a revision of the composition? Why should I refuse the taking of 40 per cent. front the parsons ? Why should I oppose an arrangement by which the 60 per cent remaining would be effiertually thrown on the shoulders of the landlords? And am Ito be insensible to the effect of the course we may adopt, on any of the points that may be submitted to the public judg- ment, on the stability of the present Government?"
In this conjuncture, circumspection was a part of their most solemn duty. Miserable would be the lot of that man who, for the sake of a shout in an excited assembly, would hazard even for a season the return of the horrible Tory domination- " I have for airing time preached the doctrine of instalments. I applauded the paltry COMICI,:011 to the Army anti Navy when originally made. German Catholics were cotinnanders of dist' ices inn England, when the son of the Duke of Norfolk could uot possess such a distinction. When this was altered, however, did I not take off my hat and make a bow for the third instalment of twopence three-ferthings which was thus most liberally conceded to us? Is a different policy expedient now ? Suppose we carried here to-night a Wing of thunder- ing resolutions protesting against every thing that would be regarded in Eng. land oa reasonable or practical, would there be no trumpeter to run with the fact to 13righton ? Would it have no influence there? Are we to be insensible to the transactions passing every day in British society? Have we forgotten the gentleman of the ingenious device,' or the other worthy whose name is a lie? Do we not know that they are encouraged and cherished in a large por- tion of English society ? are we not apprized that they turn their abomina- tions into hard gold? Can we be insensible to the proofs they furnish that there is a great deal of active prejudice to be encountered by us all through England, and that wisdom bids us at least to be cautious, and not to embarrass our friends?"
Would the Association do any thing that might facilitat In return of the Tories?
What ! would you have again an incursion of the Shaws and Lefroys? Would you have again Sir Henry Hardinge sending for the officers paid by your taxes to discharge your civic duties, and employing them as poll-clerks and agents to assist in the election of his slaves? Would you have revived the .evolutionary horrors you have so recently eitnessed ? Would any of you think your lives or liberties would be safe under such a visitation, or that the worst evils of a civil war could be averted for twenty-four hours? Keep, I say, Lord Mulgrave in office. Ile conquers the prejudices of all by doing simple justice. The good effects of his sway were visible at the meeting at Dawson Street yes- terday. There were no Protestants of any consideration there. The Protestant gentry are evidently becoming impressed with the belief that their minds have been abused by interested and professional deceivers. They see, by experience, that we want only to achieve the regeneration of the country, and to do it with- out prejudice to the legitimate rights or constitutional privileges of one human being. It was said formerly, that I was opposed to the Government for the sake of throwing the country into anarchy and convulsion. I never opposed former Governments so strenuously or perseveringly as I sin pport the present. Am I now seekiag to throw the country into anarchy or confusion ? The common sense of every thinking Protestant will suggest the proper answer. If I was wrong before, I am right nose; or at all events, I am not acting upon a systematic plan of bringing the country into anarchy and convulsion ' by opposing the King's Government. These truths I believe, are beginning to be felt amongst sensible Protestants and hence the miserable failure yesterday in Dawson Street. And are we, Is; passing hanghty resolutions, proclaiming principles of eternal justice—which no one can question in the abstract, but the unseasonable enunci- ation of which may afford a handle of obloquy to our enemies—are we thus to obstruct the current of honest Protestant feeling which is evidently flowing towards us? I am as ardent in my desires as my honourable friend. I wish as numb as he does. I would be most anxious to cooperate with him in seek- ing every attainable benefit for our common country. I would be satisfied to be of his tail 'in any experiment promising the smallest chance of success for the regeneration of Ireland.
The Irish Reformers must work through the agency of Parliament : and what chance had they of carrying mere abstractions through Par- liament ?—
" We would receive the countenance of a few Scotchmen. But how many English Whigs would be opposed to us? At least seventy-five out of one hundred. I remember a Radical of some notoriety in England, whom I believed at one time to be an honest n an this was the well-known Henry Hunt
NVhen the Reform Bill came to be discussed, my honest Henry Hunt opposed it, and voted for the Tories. The thing did not go far enough for him ; he was, forsooth, too much of a Radical to sanction it. Yet this bill, which did not
satisfy Radical Hunt, abolished fifty-six rotten boroughs at a blow,—boroughs sending one hundred and twelve Members to Parliament, not nominated, per-
haps, by half that number of individuals. I remonstrated with my Radical friend Hunt. I said to him, join me in cutting down the tree with its wide- spread branches of corruption, and when we have that good work executed I will unite with you with all my strength in pulling up the roots. I could not convince my honest Radical friend Hunt ; but the wisdom we have to learn,
or at least to be governed by in the present case is, that if he had his way, the tree would be now flourishing,-trunk, branches, roots, and all."
Mr. O'Connell concluded by moving to refer Mr. Crawford's reso- lutions to the Standing Committee. Mr. Barrett seconded Mr.
O'Connell's motion. After a discussion, in which Mr. Grattan, Mr.
Dillon Browne, and Mr. Finn took part, Mr. Sharman Crawford re- plied. He begged to be allowed to call Air. O'Connell his " friend "— he knew no reason why lie should not regard him as such, their dif- ferences having been only those of political opinion. [Here Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Crawford shook hands, amidst loud cheering.] Mr. Crawford then alluded to several of Mr. O'Connell's arguments. With aespect to instalments, be said-
" I would take an instalment, with the perfect certainty that my doing so would not retard the great principle which we have in view. So far i am ready and willing to take them ; but I will never consent to any thing in the shape of a final settlement short of total abolition."
Of the Government- " I will call the attention of this meeting to a deolaratIon made by Ministers themselves with regard to the Protestant Church. The honourable Member for Kilkenny knows it. They have declared that the Protestant Church is to be permanent in Ireland. There is co man in existence who more justly values Earl Mulgrave and his Administration in Ireland than I do ; but when we have the Ministers of the Crown making a declaration such as I have mentioned with regard to the Church, I would ask, have we any great reason to have con- fidence in them on this question ? I am, therefore, candid when I tell the people of Ireland, that I have not confidence in the present Gavarnment on the Tithe question."
He finally agreed to Mr. O'Connell's amendment; and it was carried unanimously.