Message

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Having read these Papers, he said the Message contained two propositions, by both which the Parliament of Great Britain were pledged to the Parliament of Ireland, if it should accept the conditions held forth by this Message, to pay for the troops to be sent to America, and to replace them with four thousand foreign Protestants. And further to induce the Irish nation to accept of this insidious bargain, she was to have twelve thousand men within the kingdom, and at the same time to be relieved of a burden of eighty thousand pounds per annum. Such a proposition could only have originated in the worst designs, or must have been the effect of the most consummate folly. For what was the whole measure taken together? The Minister on this or the other side of the water, no matter which, makes the King engage his royal word that the expense shall be borne by the Parliament of Great Britain; but, adding folly to temerity, makes him promise that Great Britain shall pay for eight thousand men, though, if the bargain was accepted, she would actually have but four thousand men in her service. After thus stating, in his opinion, the meaning of the words, he proceeded to show that they were received in this sense by the Irish Parliament, though neither of the offers were received in the terms proposed, and quoted the Speaker' s speech, delivered at the bar of the House of Lords on the 25th December, 1775, in which he offers, in the name of the Commons, to send the four thousand natives out of the kingdom without putting Great Britain to the expense of replacing them, though generously offered. He then stated the complaint in the following words:

"That the Earl Harcourt, Lord-Lieutenant General and General Governour of Ireland, did, on the 23d day of November last, in breach of the privilege, and in derogation of the honour and authority of this House, send a written Message to the House of Commons of the Parliament of Ireland, signed with his own hand, to the following effect:

"‘That he had his Majesty' s command to acquaint that House, that the situation of affairs in part of his Majesty' s American dominions was such as to make it necessary for the honour and safety of the British empire, and for the support of his Majesty' s just rights, to desire the concurrence of his faithful Parliament of Ireland in sending out of that kingdom a force not exceeding four thousand men, part of the number of troops upon that establishment appointed to remain in that kingdom for its defence; and to declare to them his Majesty' s most gracious intention that such part of his army as shall be spared out of that kingdom, to answer the present exigency of affairs, is not to be continued a charge upon that establishment so long as they shall remain out of that kingdom.’

"‘And that he was further commanded to inform that House that, as his Majesty has nothing more at heart than the security and protection of his people of Ireland, it is his intention, if it shall be the desire of that Parliament, to replace such forces as may be sent out of that kingdom by an equal number of foreign Protestant troops, as soon as his Majesty shall be enabled so to do; the charge of such troops to be defrayed without any expense to that kingdom.’"