§ Mr. Sturges Bourne
rose, pursuant to notice, to move for leave to bring in a bill to amend the Poor-laws. He did not anticipate any objection to the principle of the bill; but in case any should arise on the details which it would embrace, he thought it would be more convenient to allow it to be brought in and printed, and then both its principle and its details would be more intelligible. It was unnecessary for him at present to enlarge on this subject; he thought it sufficient for him to refer to the facts stated in the report of 1817. As many gentlemen who now heart him had not been members of the House at that time, he would just say what the House well knew, that the bill had failed in the last session in consequence 613 of certain alterations which had been made in it in the other House of Parliament. He was desirous not to subject the proposed measure to a similar inconvenience; although he should contend that the clause thrown out by the House of Lords was one most essential to the character of the bill. He concluded by moving for leave to bring in the bill.
§ Sir. R. Wilson
wished to know, whether the committee appointed in the present session had yet had an opportunity of ascertaining whether there had been any increase or diminution of the poor-rates since last year?
Mr. S. Bourne
replied, that it was a subject into which the committee had not yet been able to inquire. He himself had been able to attend the committee but once; his presence having been necessary in an election committee. If he might be allowed to risk a conjecture on the question, he was apprehensive that, in the agricultural districts, the poor-rates had at least not diminished since last year.
§ Leave was given to bring in the bill.