Imágenes de páginas

which they were to operate; and lastly, rich, and a diminution of their means to the Committee should report on the effect employ the poor, and how would this inwhich the system of Irish Poor-laws would crease the demand for labour? It would have upon the population of Ireland. pro tanto diminish the means of the Nothing could be more plausible and spe- prosperous farmer, to be applied to a cious than the first appearance of the forced labour, which would not otherwise proposal for assimilating the two countries, arise, or be actually necessary; the proor extending the English Poor-law system duce of which being less productive in to Ireland. It might appear that the poor amount, and in every respect of inferior had a natural claim to relief. By poor he benefit to the country than the labour the meant those that were unable to provide farmers would employ with that capital if for themselves; and great injustice arose it were left in their own hands, there practically from the existence of Poor- would ultimately be less employment for laws in one place and from their absence the labourer, and diminished wages, than if in another. The gallant General who no such Labour-rate was imposed. Beseconded the Motion felt the inconve-fore the House consented to the introducnience of the Poor-laws, and he wished to tion of the Poor-laws, under the name of impose the same suffering on Ireland. He Labour Rate, let the House consider the was like the fox who had lost his tail, practical operation of that system; and and who wanted to persuade all other they would find in it no material distincfoxes that tails were an encumbrance. tion, either in principle or effect, from He would give the whole of the English such a rate as was called the Poor-rate in system to Ireland. Many Gentlemen said England. His hon. friend, the Treasurer

-apply all the good of the English sys- of the Navy, advocated the Scotch system of Poor-laws to Ireland, and without | tem, instead of the English. Now what any of the evil. But even if this could be was meant by the Scotch system ? for in done, the question was, could they ex- Scotland the system in the Highlands was clude the gradual growth of what was perfectly different from that of the Lowbad? There was an inevitable tendency, lands and manufacturing districts. By in any such a system, to grow into abuse; the law, the system in every part of Scotand if the poor had an acknowledged legal land should be the same; but practically claim to relief, where could the limitation this was very different. He much doubted of that claim be fixed ? If every man who if, according to the decisions of the Scotch could not support himself were to have courts, there was not a legal claim for rean acknowledged legal claim upon


lief by every one of the poor who was unwealthy, the land of Ireland would be employed. He doubted if the Scotch subject to an Agrarian law, and the pre- system were legal as it existed, or if any sent possessors of the soil would have to system of taxing parishes for the support part with their property, and, what was of the poor could check the ultimate evil more, without any material, and certainly now fell in this country. It was imposwithout any permanent, diminution of the sible for him to discuss absenteeism at distress. if the right or claim be con. that time, although he felt all the inconfined only to those who were diseased, venience of it; but he would at once rethat limitation would not be found much ject the doctrine which considered it prostricter than the other ; for if a man were per that Parliament should attempt to unable to procure employment, and es- interfere directly with absenteeism. It pecially if he had a family, the step from might be thought plausible to impose a poverty to illness was very short. The

absenteeism; but if any man did hon. Member for Armagh had said, entertain such a notion, and wished to be “We won't have Poor-rates, but we will converted, or was open to conviction, let have a Labour-rate, and nothing shall him read the letter of Mr. Burke to Sir be raised on the land except to provide Charles Bingham. In 1774, when Irefor the employment of the poor." The land had an independent Parliament, a hon. Member, by this principle, provided tax on absentees was proposed, and a no relief for distress; he excluded the de- very popular and prevailing impression crepit, and all who could not labour. existed in favour of the tax; but Mr. Was this “ Labour-rate ” to be applied in Burke's arguments were perfectly concluthe parish in which it was raised? What sive, and they had changed the opinions would this be but a subscription from the of many of those who were disposed to de

tax upon

Sure he was,

cide in favour of the measure. But at fortunes, who would not like to be subject
present, when the public duties called the to the additional annoyance of the Poor-
Irish gentry away from their country, and laws. Although he thought it a danger-
when so many possessed property in both ous experiment to introduce the English
parts of the United Empire, how could it Poor-laws into Ireland, yet the proposal
be consistent with justice to impose such ought not to be rejected without the most
a tax? The question was altogether be- deliberate inquiry. The Committee, how-
yond the direct interference of the legis- ever, would only have to consider the
lature. But the most material object to distress which existed among the labourers,
be kept in view by the Committee would and the best means of providing them em-
be, to satisfy the people of England by its ployment and relief. 'In that view of it
inquiries. There was, unquestionably, a he gave his cordial assent to the Motion.
great practical injustice in the working of Mr. Slaney was sorry to observe, that
the Poor-laws at present. Although the the hon. Mover had taken too partial a
greatest abuses existed respecting the pas- view of this subject, his mind being evi-
sage of Irish labourers into England, he dently made up before he moved for the
must confess that he felt averse to im- committee; and he lamented, too, that
posing any restriction on a free passage. the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Peel) op-
His hon. friend proposed imprisonment as posite seemed to think that almost no re-
a check, he would probably confine all lief by a measure of this nature could be
the Irish labourers who came to Liver- introduced into Ireland.
pool in that town at the expense of the that something must be done to raise the
corporation; but, of all checks to immigra- moral character of the Irish peasantry.
tion, imprisonment would be the most use- He saw well the prudence of giving no
less and objectionable.

distinct pledge on this subject, until the General Gascoyne: I said imprison- labours of the Committee should be conment and hard labour.

cluded. He would not detain the House Mr. Peel continued: Then the passen- at that late hour, but reserve to another gers would never come again. But it opportunity the expression of his views. would not be a cheap way of getting rid He begged, however, to be allowed to obof Irish labourers, to build a jail and sup- serve, that unless something were done to port them at the expense of the rest of the prevent the influx of Irish peasantry into this population. The best way would be to country, our own peasantry would soon be find an open market for the poor man's as badly off as the Irish. In the last year labour, his only commodity; and any laws no less than 50,000 deck passengers came to prevent the poor man from passing over from Ireland into this country. The freely from one part of the country to an- injurious effects of this influx must be other would be pregnant with injustice. obvious to every one. He was averse to As to large institutions in Ireland, to re- introduce the English system, with its ceive the poor who were unable to provide abuses, into Ireland, but he must say he for themselves, he despaired of any effec- thought that something might be done by tual remedy from such a scheme. This a system like our own, but relieved of the was the worst system that could be in- abuses which had grown up here. The troduced; for it was providing not only Committee, however, would be the place food but lodging, which ought not, he for investigating this question. thought, to be done, except in cases of Mr. A. Dawson said, that the hon. disease, or decrepitude from accident. He Gentleman who had just sat down, asmuch doubted if the introduction of the sumed that these 50,000 persons from English Poor-laws into [reland would Ireland were paupers, and vagrants, and relieve the poor of England; for England vagabonds. This was not the case; they did not suffer from Irish distress, but paid for their passage to this country, and from the invasion of Irish labourers. The brought with them the gifts which nature English farmer had the benefit of cheap had conferred upon them; their strength labour, by the influx of Irish poor. The and their sinews. They asked for emPoor-laws in Ireland would increase dis- ployment, and, if they obtained it, they tress, as they would prevent the building gave, in their labour, a fair recompense of cottages, and have other injurious ef- for the money they received. He did fects. They would probably banish from not mean to say that vagrants and vathe country a number of persons of small gabonds did not come from Ireland, or

[ocr errors]

that the House might not legislate upon that, by the example of England, this vagrants : but he did protest against the could not be done. On the contrary, industrious Irish, who earned all they while crime was rapidly increasing in received from this country, being con- England, it was on the decrease in Ireland, founded with Irish vagabonds who came with respect to the subject before the to ask English alms. Let him, however, House, he would not detain it by any obtell the House that they could not, by servations of his upon it. He would only legislative enactments, prevent labour from remind the House, that the distress, which finding its level. As to relieving Ireland, was on all hands admitted to exist in Ireand bettering the condition of the people, land, prevailed among an industrious and hon. Members speculated upon emigra- numerous population, who were blest with tion and the Poor-laws, while an obvious a most fertile soil. Would it be said mode, which presented itself to the view that no remedy could be applied to disof every one, was passed over. He would stress in such a country as that ? say, give the Irish employment in Ireland, Sir C. Cole said, that with his experience which might be easily done. There were as a magistrate of the mischiefs of the in that country, 2,000,000 acres of bogs, Poor-laws in this country, he could never which were a standing reproach to the think of advocating the extension of those Government. By the Reports of Commis- laws to the sister kingdom. sioners, it appeared, that if these bogs Mr. Slaney, in explanation, said, that he were drained, they would, in ten years, be had not used the words “moral charac- . converted into fertile land, at a profit ofter," in the sense in which the hon. Mem200 per cent.

ber for Clare had understood them. Mr. Slaney said, that he had applied Motion agreed to, and Committee apneither the term vagabond nor vagrant to pointed. the Irish who came over here. He had Mr. Trant moved, “ That it be an not wished to apply such terms to them, instruction to the Committee, to inquire and if he had so wished, still, surrounded how far the 43rd of Elizabeth might be as he was by so many sensitive Members made applicable to the poor of Ireland.” from the sister kingdom, his prudence The Speaker said, that the Committee, would have got the better of his wish. from the wording of the Motion, had al

Mr. Monck said, that at that late hour ready power to extend their inquiries to he should detain the House but for a very that point; and it was unusual to give an few moments. He did not think that the instruction to it to do that which it already influx of the Irish was so great an evil as had the power to do. had been represented, in regard to its Mr. Hume said, that if there were no effects upon our own peasantry. For, in objection, he would move that Mr. Trant's the first place, the influx was chiefly con- name be added to the Committee, and he fined to London and the great towns. In might submit his own views to it. the country it lasted only during harvest- Lord F. L. Gower could have no pertime. Against this evil, however, such as sonal objection to the hon. Member's name it was, our Poor-laws were oursecurity, and being added to the Committee; but, on did not, as it had been supposed they did, general principles, he objected to the proincrease the evil. For, if the Irish offered position, because other hon. Members their labour at fifty per cent under our might make similar ones, and so extend own labourers, the farmer would not ac- the Committee to the whole House. cept the offer, because he knew that if he did, the English labourers would next day Scotch JUDICATURE.) The Lord Ad. come upon him for relief as paupers. vocate rose for the purpose of bringing for

Mr. O'Connell begged to notice an ex- ward his Motion regarding the Trial by pression which had fallen from the hon. Jury in Civil Causes, &c. in Scotland. Member for Shrewsbury. The expression Mr. Hume and Sir George Warrender was calumnious; and although he was pressed the postponement of the imporsure the hon. Member had not so intended tant subject at so late an hour. it, yet he felt it necessary to notice and to The Lord Advocate consented to defer correct the expression. 'The hon. Mem- the subject till to-morrow, taking the ber had talked about raising the moral chance of being then able to bring it character of the Irish peasantry. Now he forward. begged leave to tell the hon. Member, Mr. R. Gordon wished to hear from the

only Cabinet Minister present, whether the hon. Baronet (the Member for Newcasprojected judicial reforms in Scotland tle), that the Coal-owners at the Tyne, would produce an increase of salary to the would meet the inquiry in the same fair Judges of Scotland. He could not, but spirit. recollect the attempt of the kind last Mr. S. Wortley said, that nothing was Session.

more accordant with the wishes of the Mr. Herries replied, that as the subject Coal-owners of the North, than to meet the was postponed, any statement like that inquiry in the same spirit in which it was now called for would be premature. proposed. He hoped his hon.friend would

Mr. R. Gordon added, that last year not press bis Amendment. The subject it the Chancellor of the Exchequer had also embraced was one of much interest, and refused to answer, and his reason was very an inquiry into it would no doubt be heresoon discovered. He wished to augment after instituted, but it would extend the the salaries of the judges.

labours of the present Committee too

much. It would be of sufficient importCOAL TRADE.] Mr. Alderman Woodance to form the subject of a separate said, it would ill become him, at that late inquiry, and he hoped it would be gone hour of the night, to take up the time of into hereafter. the House. He would therefore merely Mr. Rumbold said, he had now no wish state, that the corporation of London were to press his Amendment. anxious for an inquiry on this subject, as Mr. Liddell assured the House that the well for other reasons as to see if another Coal-owners of the North desired earnestly inethod of selling coals,-namely, by to advance the objects for which the Comweight instead of measure-might not be mittee had been moved. resorted to with advantage to the public. Sir T. D. Acland gave his support to He begged to move that “ A Select Com- | the Motion. He was glad that inquiry mittee be appointed to inquire into the was about to be instituted, and he hoped state of the Coal Trade at the Port of it would lead to the total repeal of the London,-into the delivery of Coals in unequal and very unjust tax which was London, Westminster, the liberties thereof, levied on Coals. and in certain parts of Middlesex, Surrey, Mr. Holdsworth expressed a hope that Kent and Essex,—and into the prices of the other parts of the inquiry would be Coals in the Port of London, and in the taken up at a future time. ports of shipment, with the view of de- Motion agreed to, and Committee aptermining whether any and what restric-pointed. tions should be attached to the supply of Mr. Herries was much gratified at the Coals."

appointment of a Committee of Inquiry Sir M. W. Ridley rose to second the upon that subject, and equally so at the Motion. He assured the House that the selection made. Coal-owners were extremely anxious that Mr. Hume observed, that in the Comthis inquiry should be instituted, and that mittee the Coal-owners were represented ; they would be happy to render all the the City of London was represented ; the assistance, and to give all the information owners of the ports were represented. He in their power to the Committee.

wished to know what names were put on Mr. Rumbold proposed, as an Amend- the Committee on behalf of the public? ment, to add to the Motion, after the He therefore proposed the addition of Sir words“ Port of London,” the words, “and T. D. Acland's name. other ports."

Mr. Herries said, the name of a MemMr.F. Lewis suggested that the Motion ber from each of the counties near Lonalready carried the inquiries of the Com- don, and one of the Members for Westmittee far enough, by including the Port minster, would be extremely desirable. of London and the ports of shipment.

He thought this selection extremely good. Mr. Alderman Thompson, in supporting

Sir T. D. Acland's name was added to the Motion said, that the chief object of the Committee. the City of London, in wishing for this Committee was, to relieve Coals brought

HOUSE OF LORDS. to the Port of London from any unneces. sary charge, and he hoped, indeed he had Minutes.] Petitions were presented praying for the Open.

Friday, March 12. reason to believe, from what fell from the

ing of the Trade to India :-against the Truck System:-and

for the Repeal of the Duty on Coals carried coast-wise. to be brought in to enable the officers of the Ordnance to The Transfer of Aids Bill, and the Exchequer Bills Bill sue by their official names. were read a second time.

Returns were ordered, on the Motion of Sir John NEWPORT,

of the names and places of residence of the nominees in the

Irish Tontines:-on the motion of Mr. HUME, of number of Irish Poor.] The Earl of Darnley Midshipmen promoted to be Lieutenants in the Navy besaid, that he had had an opportunity of tween Jan. 1st. 1827, and Jan. 1st. 1830; of the number of

Lieutenants, promoted to be Commanders during the same ascertaining, by the votes on their Lord.

period; of the number of Commanders promoted to be Post ships Table that a proposition exactly Captains during the same period; of the whole number of similar to one their Lordships had fre

officers in the Royal Navy during the same period, distin

guishing those serving atioat; of the number of persons who quently rejected when he had submitted

have received first commissions in the Marines during the it to them, had been agreed to the night same period ; of the number of otficers on full and half

pay, and of the number who have been brought from half before by the other House of Parliament.

pay to full pay, or allowed to dispose of their commissions ; That proposition was for a Select Com- of the number of Pursers in the Royal Navy during the mittee to inquire into the condition of the same period ; and the number of Clerks promoted to be

Pursers; of the number of Masters; and of the number Irish Poor. It was not his intention then

of Surgeons, with an account of the Surgeons' mates pro10 say any thing on the subject, but he

moted :---of the total number of officers and clerks emwould now give notice, that on Tuesday ployed in the Commissariat Establishment since 1822:

and of the number of Distributors of stamps and the rate of next he would call the attention of the

per centage allowed them in the United Kingdom ;-on the House to the condition of the Irish Poor, motion of Mr. G. Dawson, of the quantity of Corn, Meat in order to know what were the intentions

and Flour, exported from Ireland to Great Britain between

Jan. 5, 1828 and Jan. 5 1830:-on the motion of Mr. Moore of Ministers upon the subject.

of the amount of the Excise duties on leather in Ireland and the convictions for offences against the acts composing

those dutiess ince 1821:-of the persons summoned to serve EAST INDIA CHARTER.) The Mar

on Grand Juries in Dublin since 1823. quis of Lansdown said, he held in his Returns were presented of the sums of money expended for

the Relief of the Poor in each county of England and band a Petition which, he believed, was

Wales, in 1828-1829. the first of that nature that had as yet been decided upon by all the merchants

METROPOLIS TURNPIKE Roads.) Mr. of London engaged in the private trade Byng presented a Petition from several to India. Many of these individuals had inhabitants of the hamlets and places expressed their opinions upon the subject adjoining Kensington, complaining of the separately, upon various occasions, but New Tolls which had been levied on them this was the first time that they had con- under the New Act for Consolidating the jointly sent forth in a public manner their Turnpike Trusts in the neighbourhood of views and sentiments. It had been stated the metropolis. By the new regulations that the merchants trading privately to a toll was levied on vehicles every time India from the Port of London differed in they passed; and as the short stages, with their opinions upon the subject, from the many descriptions of coal and market merchants who were engaged in a similar traffic at the out-ports of the United times a day, these new regulations had

carts went through these gates several Kingdom. He was, therefore, requested added considerably to the expenses. The to state, that the petitioners gave it as toll had also been raised on other coaches, their opinion, that it was highly desirable so as to increase very much the sums taken that some alteration should be made in from all coach proprietors, reducing their the Company's Charter.

In this opinion profits very much. He should, on some be concurred and recommended the Peti- future day, move that the petition be retion to their Lordships' consideration.

ferred to a committee, to inquire into the The Petition was read and referred to facts of the case, unless he learnt in the the Committee upon the East-India trade.

mean time, that the commissioners appointed to carry the Act into execution had given the petitioners relief.

Lord Lowther said, that he had very HOUSE OF COMMONS.

little doubt but that there was some misFriday, March 12.

take on the subject. It had, however,

been settled in a Committee of that House, MINUTES.) Petitions were presented praying against the

Return of the Member for Rye :--for the reduction of the after hearing much evidence on the subduties on Malt and Beer :--for an alteration in the Tytheject from many different sorts of persons, Laws:-against the renewal of the East India Company's that to levy a toll every time a vehicle The Mutiny Bill was read a third time. A bil was ordered passed through the gates, would be the VOL. XXIII.


« AnteriorContinuar »