« السابقةمتابعة »
mon cause. Ireland has never made a single step in its progress towards prosperity, by which you have not had a share, and perhaps the greatest share, in the benefit. That progress has been chiefly owing to her own natural advantages, and her own efforts, which, after a long time, and by slow degrees, have prevailed in some measure over the mischievous systems which have been adopted. Far enough she is still from having arrived even at an ordinary state of perfection; and if our jealousies were to be converted into politicks, as systematically as some would have them, the trade of Ireland would vanish out of the system of commerce. But believe me, if Ireland is beneficial to you, it is so not from the parts in which it is restrained, but from those in which it is left free, though not left unrivalled. The greater its freedom, the greater must be your advantage. If you should lose in one way, you will gain in twenty,
Whilst I remain under this unalterable and powerful conviction, you will not wonder at the decided part I take. It is my custom so to do, when I see my way clearly before me; and when I know, that I am not misled by any passion, or any personal interest; which in this case, I am very sure, I am not. I find that disagreeable things are circulated among my constituents; and I wish my sentiments, which form my justification, may be equally general with the circulation against me. I have the honour to be, with the great est regard and esteem,
MR. BURKE'S SPEECH,
ON PRESENTING TO
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,
(ON THE 11th FEBRUARY, 1780,)
FOR THE BETTER SECURITY OF
THE INDEPENDENCE OF PARLIAMENT,
THE ECONOMICAL REFORMATION
RISE, in acquittal of my engagement to the house, in obedience to the strong and just requisition of my constituents, and, I am persuaded, in conformity to the unanimous wishes of the whole nation, to submit to the wisdom of parliament, " A plan of reform in the constitution of several parts of the publick economy."
I have endeavoured, that this plan should include in its execution, a considerable reduction of improper expence; that, it should effect a conversion of unprofitable titles into a productive estate; that, it should lead to, and indeed almost compel, a provident administration of such sums of publick money as must remain under discretionary trusts; that, it should render the incurring debts on the civil establishment (which must ultimately affect national strength and national credit) so very difficult, as to become next to impracticable.
But what, I confess, was uppermost with me, what I bent the whole force of my mind to, was the reduction of that corrupt influence, which is itself the perennial spring of all prodigality, and of all disorder; which loads us, more than millions of debt; which takes away vigour from our arms, wisdom from our councils, and every shadow of authority and credit from the most venerable parts of our constitution.
Sir, I assure you, very solemnly, and with a very clear conscience, that nothing in the world has led me to such an undertaking, but my zeal for the honour of this house, and the settled, habitual, systematick affection I bear to the cause, and to the principles of government.