HC Deb 30 March 1814 vol 27 cc385-6

Mr. Mellish moved the second reading of the Hackney Poor Bill.

Mr. Wrottesley

said, this Bill contained a clause, the principle of which had often before been reprobated. He certainly thought some reason ought to be given, why such a was necessary in the parish Hackney. He did not, however, mean at present to oppose the second reading.

Mr. Rose

supported the Bill.

Mr. Byng

said, if the parish of Hackney did not make out a good a case as those parishes which had obtained similar Acts, he should certainly oppose it.

Sir Egerton Brydges

, though desirous not to oppose a measure of this nature, could not approve of the clause in question.

Mr. Mellish

was ready to agree, that unless the House should be convinced of the necessity for the existence of the clause in question in the Bill, it ought not to be supported. But he could not see why the parish of Hackney, which was in a similar situation with the 16 or 17 adjoining parishes, all of which had obtained Acts containing clauses of the nature of that now objected to, should be put on a different footing from its neighbours.

Sir Samuel Romilly

wished the hon. member to inform the House, what there was peculiar in the parish of Hackney, that the inhabitants should not be subject to the same laws which prevailed throughout the other parishes of the kingdom. The hon. gentleman had said that similar enactments had been obtained in the 16 or 17 adjacent parishes. This might be the case, but how did it affect the parish of Hackney? He was not desirous of dividing the House; but he thought it was incumbent on those, who brought forward a Bill so injurious to the lower orders of people, to show what was peculiar in this parish which required so particular a law. There were 10,000 parishes in this kingdom; and by introducing in this manner, one law for one parish, and another for a different parish, the greatest confusion and uncertainty would prevail throughout the country. These Poor Bills were in general passed in silence. The House would be astonished were they to know all the Bills which they had passed. They were not aware of the laws which they had made for particular parishes. It might be right to make the landlord pay the poor's rates, and to place him under the necessity of recovering again from his tenants; but if such a measure were necessary, why confine it to the parish of Hackney, and not extend it throughout the kingdom? There was not a parish throughout the country, which did not contain persons of the peculiar decription alluded to in this Bill; and there was no reason why the same law ought not to prevail in all those other parishes as in this. But the House would have an opportunity of considering this question more fully after the recess, and the general sense of the House might then be taken. He thought, therefore, the second reading of this Bill should be put off till the first Thursday after the recess.

Mr. Wrottesley

observed, that when he spoke before, he did not know that a Bill had been framed according to a report before the House.

Mr. Mellish

wished the learned gentleman (sir S. Romilly) to give his attendance in the committee, when the clause objected to should be introduced. The delay required might be of great detriment to the parish of Hackney. In answer to what had been urged respecting the necessity for the clause, for the clause, he could say that 1,880l. could only be collected from 4,760 houses. This Bill was brought in by petitioners who paid 26,000l. of poor's rates; another Bill was to be brought in by a part of the parish that paid a much smaller proportion; and if the delay proposed should take place, the second Bill would have the precedence.

After a few words from Mr. Wetherall, sir S. Romilly, and Mr. Rose, the House divided.

For the second reading 37; Against it 36; Majority in favour of the second reading 1.

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