HC Deb 24 July 1822 vol 7 cc1736-7
Mr. Spring Rice

presented a petition from Middlesex and Surrey, recommending the establishment of poor-rates in Ireland.

Mr. Hudson Gurney

said, he wished the petition had been from two Irish, instead of from individuals of two English counties, as he was perfectly convinced that the great calamities which at present afflicted Ireland were entirely occasioned by their having no poor-laws. He was far from stating that all the provisions of the English poor-laws were to be recommended, or that their administration was not susceptible of great amelioration; but until there was, in some shape or other, a localized provision for the sustenance of the poor, under the pressure of adverse circumstances, the state of Ireland could never be other than it was—a perpetual recurrence of misery and insurrection.

Mr. Dawson

said, that if the poor-laws were introduced into Ireland, the result would be, that the poor would have to support the poor.

Mr. S. Rice

thought the introduction of the poor-laws into Ireland would be productive of additional evil to that country. He called upon the hon. member to consider that the poor-laws in England had no other effect than that of depriving the poor of that independence of character which had formerly distinguished them.

Mr. Hume

deprecated the idea of introducing the poor-laws into Ireland. Let the hon. member look at Scotland. There existed no poor-laws in that country, and yet in no part of it was any severity of distress experienced. He hoped that the ruinous system of poor-laws now existing in this country would, in the course of a short time, be much altered, if not entirely abolished.

Ordered to lie on the table.