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civil constitution." But I must pause. The designs and ways of heaven are to us unsearchable !—Another difficulty still remains. It has been asked, why, in all the controversy that has lately been carried on, the Catholic apologists-for that is their proper denomination-have never deviated from the path of honourable defence, and gentlemanly deportment; while their assailants uniformly recur to invective, and disdain not the arms of scurrilous abuse: witness the Durham champions. Can this be explained? In the absence of other reasons, I may recur to the force of a common observation, "That Truth when it combats error is never angry and that Error is never calm, when it combats against truth." To one of those champions, when grossly assailed by him, Dr. Lingard aptly quoted the following lines:

A moral, sensible, and well-bred man
Will not offend me, and no other can.

:

I have been led, Mr. Editor, to these reflections by a circular address, lately put into my hands, from our Catholic Committee, proposing that we should warmly enter into their views, and endeavour to raise some small sums, which may enable them to circulate more extensively such religious tracts as may be judged best calculated to enlighten the public mind.

Again I applaud their zeal, and promise my endeavours to cooperate with them. Doubtless, judgment has been used in the selection of those tracts; but if it be true, as I most confidently believe, that there is not in the kingdom a single person, high or low, friend or enemy, who knows what really are the points of Catholic belief,it then becomes a subject of peculiar consideration, whether the tracts that hitherto have been distributed, mostly of a controversial character, are best adapted to the proposed end. Let me then suggest the plan of printing, in a better form, the children's first catechism, in its two parts of belief and practice, and during the present year, circulating that alone. But let it be the old edition, long in use, and not that lately amended by our bishops, because of this it would be said, as it has been of their excellent Declaration, that it was got up purposely to deceive the unwary.

J. K.

CONSIDERATIONS RESPECTING THE ADMISSION OF
ROMAN CATHOLICS TO SEATS IN PARLIAMENT.
By Sir John Cox Hippisley, Baronet. 1816.

In the debate on Mr. Grattan's motion, on the 31st of May, 1811, Sir John Hippisley adverted to the adoption of a qualified measure, which might tend to remove any apprehension of eventual preponderance on the side of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, should the representative franchise be conceded to them.

The principle recognised in the Treaty of Westphalia, (heretofore considered as the Magna Charta of the German Empire), and the regulations fixing the relative proportion of Catholics and Protestants in the great councils of the Empire-the Aulic Council and Chamber of Wetzlar may be assumed as an authority, or at least as a precedent, in such an eventual measure of parliamentary adjustment as might adequately provide for the exigency.

*

In the recent treaty between the King of Sardinia and the Republic of Geneva, the principle of such an adjustment is admitted in the prescribed elections of municipal officers of the Roman Catholic and Protestant communions alternately or conjointly, in certain instances therein enumerated. By the Treaty of Westphalia, a provision is also made for the alternate election of a Catholic and a Protestant, in the instance of the bishopric of Osnaburg: and we find that king James II., in his address to his son, in contemplation of his restoration to the sovereignty, recommended that the Board of Treasury should consist of "two members of the Church of England-two Dissenters-and one Roman Catholic."+

* Vide Acts of the Congress of Vienna, page 130, 20th May, 1815, Act III.- -"Where the number of Catholics exceed the number of Protestants, two thirds of the municipal officers shall be Catholic:-where equal, they shall be alternately elected to the office of mayor, by the municipal body."But in certain instances, the king of Sardinia avows in the treaty-" being adverse that a part of his territory should be ceded to a state whose religion is different-without securities, &c." Vide Treaty-Papers printed for the office of Secretary of State, and distributed with the Parliamentary Papers.

+ Vide Collection of Stuart Papers, in the Carlton House Library. The Address of the Son of James II. is since published, and annexed in the second volume of the Memoirs of James II., printed by authority of the Prince Regent,

The Roman Catholic subjects of his Majesty, in urging their claims, have often contended that their anxiety is more influenced by a sense of the opprobrium attached to their civil inelegibility, than by a desire of obtaining offices of public trust and emolument : and the Roman Catholic Prelates of Ireland have, in their correspondence, repeatedly urged the prevalence of this feeling.*

If the Catholics were admissible to parliament without limitation, their eventual preponderance, in the Irish representation, might be apprehended as injurious to, if not subversive of the principle of the establishment, which must ever be regarded as essentially and fundamentally Protestant.†

Admitting, hypothetically at least, that the ineligibility of the Roman Catholics to parliament were abrogated, and their admission qualified by numerical restriction, the question would then be resolvable merely into the selection of the best practicable, expedient to fix and regulate such admission without eventual embarrassment and insecurity to the candidates themselves.

It is scarcely necessary to observe, that the population of Ireland, with reference to its predominant religious communion, is in an inverse ratio to that in England or Scotland :—not so, however, is the relation in a financial estimate.

A late writer-and as he styles himself—" a lawyer and an Irishman," has observed," that although the Roman Catholics in the general population may be in a proportion of nearly three to one at the utmost, yet in rank, property, and education, the Protestants are to them in proportion of ten to one."

* Vide Address of the Catholics of Ireland to their Protestant Brethren. 1817.

"We do not ask for offices or honours, we only desire that we may not be pointed out by the law as a Christian community rendered by our faith unworthy of trust, or confidence. It will still rest with those who are invested with the power of conferring rank and office, whether emanating from the crown or the people, to estimate the pretensions of each individual, and to grant or withhold favours according to the qualities of the candidates."

Extract of a letter from Bishop Moylan, of Cork, to Sir J. Hippisley. 10 Feb. 1807.

"But what makes our people at present so anxious is not the expectation of any immediate advantages of emolument-but a wish to liberate themselves from the odious distinctions," &c.

+ Nevertheless, parliament is open to the Sectarian of every, description, with an exception of the Catholic, so considered-the denial of the divinity of Christ is no exclusion, nor is the worshipper of Mahomet or Confucius.

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Statistic writers have also estimated the Protestant population of the province of Ulster, to exceed that of the Catholics in the proportion of thirteen to eight; but that in all the other provinces, to be on the side of the Catholics,-viz. " that of Leinster to be as seven to three; of Munster, eight to one; and of Connaught, ten to one, in favour of the mass of Catholic population."—It is not material, for the present purpose, that it should be accurately estimated.

However imposing the aggregate majority may appear on the side of the Catholic population of Ireland, it is not irrational to contend, that in a state view, the representative proportion of Roman Catholics who may be admitted to sit and vote in Parliament, should be ascertained and regulated not by an abstract numerical computation, but rather by an estimate, taken collectively, in a compound ratio of numerical strength, and of the weight of influence derived from property, manufactures, commerce, and other prominent and essential objects of political economy.

Such considerations, in fact, independently of the distinction of religious communion, constituted the basis of the incorporating Unions both with Scotland and Ireland :-the object at present in contemplation, is to be pursued, indeed, in a less beaten track, and involves greater difficulties ;-but they are not insurmountable.

Whatever might be conceded as the numerical maximum of Catholic representation, we must necessarily consider the greatest weight to be thrown into the scale of Ireland; and, as the principal difficulty, in the existing circumstances of irritated feeling, misrepresentation and misconception, attaches to an adjustment with Ireland, our attention may with propriety be first and principally directed to that part of the suggested arrangement.

We will suppose the aggregate number of the Roman Catholic peers and commoners to be summoned or elected to parliament, to be previously determined in an equitable proportion, and recognized by an act of the legislature: -we may then consider how a practical measure, to give adequate effect to such an arrangement, could be carried into execution with the least possible embarrassment to the public and to individuals.

The election of the Roman Catholic peers* would be attended

The aggregate of Catholic peers, at present existing, in such an arrangement, could not be considered to exceed the quota which might be permanently fixed-or they might be limited with reference to the aggregate of Protestant peers-increasing in a given proportion. In the first instance,

with little or no difficulty, and might be conducted nearly in the mode prescribed by either of the Acts of Union, should the number of existing peers exceed the maximum of representation allowed in the Upper House of Parliament.

Respecting the elections of the commons, it might be said primá facie, that should a greater number of Catholics be actually returned to parliament than the prescribed maximum at a general election, the excess might be reduced by lot or otherwise; but those who are acquainted with the untoward circumstances attending popular elections, will readily anticipate the objections to such an alternativethe collision of heated partizans--the painful disappointment resulting from such a fortuitous exclusion-operating possibly against the individual the most eligible; and further,—what is not of the least consideration, the heavy and often distressing expenditure so fruitlessly incurred :-the exposure to such a hazardous alternative must, therefore, operate to deter a man of prudence from risking an exclusion, even with all the weight of just and general popularity in his favour.

An expedient, however, presents itself, unexposed to such embarrassing results :-after passing an act of the legislature recognizing the admissibility of Roman Catholics to parliament to a certain extent, and also ascertaining the relative proportion allotted to each of the three* integral parts of the United Kingdom, it might

the proportion may be assumed as recognised; they would be called up by writ of summous-and then exceeding the maximum by election. Those once called up should be considered as virtually seated; those of subsequent creation to be subject to election.

It will be recollected that the king is restricted from adding to the number of Irish peers till three peerages become extinct; and wholly restricted with reference to Scotland.

* A separate note will be subjoined respecting the difficulty opposed by an Act of Union with Scotland.

It is somewhat singular that this difficulty should not have been adverted to in the subsequent and the last discussion of the question of Catholic claims in parliament in 1821. The Lord Chancellor has adverted to it in his printed speech (in a note); but the difficulty did not occur to Lord Chancellor Loughborough, when the Duke of Norfolk, in 1793, proposed to concede the elec tive franchise to the Roman Catholics of Scotland. The exclusion, nevertheless, by the express letter of the act regulating the Scotch elections, (and which is made a fundamental part of the Irish union), is very decisive. The only relief of this difficulty seems to be the adoption of a plan analogous to such as is now suggested, namely, that the restriction upon the number of

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