„Is it wise to say to men of rank and property, who, from old lineage or present possessions have a deep interest in the common weal, that they live indeed in a country where, by the blessings of a free constitution, it is possible for any man, themselves only excepted, by the honest exertions of talents and industry, in the avocations of political life, to make him-self honoured and respected by his countrymen, and to render good service, to the slate; that they alone can never be permitted to enter this career? That they may indeed usefully employ themselves, in the humbler avocations of private life, but that public service they never can perform, public honour they never shall attain? What we have lost by the continuance of this system, it is not for man to know. What we may have lost can more easily be imagined. If it had unfortunately happened that by the circumstances of birth and education, a Nelson, a Wellington, a Burke, a Fox, or a Pitt, had belonged to this class of the community, of what honours and what glory might not the page of British history have been deprived? To what perils and calamities might not this country have been exposed? The question is not whether we would have so large a part of the population Catholic or not. There they are, and we must deal with them as we can. It is in vain to think that by any human pressure, we can stop the spring which gushes from the earth. But it is for us to consider whether we will force it to spend its strength in secret and hidden courses, undermining our fences, and corrupting our soil, or whether we shall, at once, turn the current into the open and spacious channel of honourable and constitutional ambition, converting it into the means of national prosperity and public wealth.“
— Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1813/mar/01/mr-grattans-motion-for-a-committee-on in the House of Commons in favour of Catholic Emancipation (1 March 1813).