HC Deb 07 April 1826 vol 15 cc108-9
Mr. Hume

presented a Petition from the Inhabitants of the Scilly Islands, setting forth,

That the population of the different islands of Scilly amounts in the aggregate to nearly three thousand souls; that the greater part of the inhabitants of Scilly have long been exposed to severe distress, (which at the present time is frightfully increased), arising generally from the want of employment, and particularly from the very peculiar circumstances Under which the islands are held from the Crown, whence result the absence of any due form of civil government and administration of the laws; the evils to public morals occasioned by such want of government, and the misery inevitably attendant on the deficiency of labour, and of parochial or other funds for the relief of the indigent and helpless; that about seven years since, when the cry of the numerous starving families of the different islands had made itself heard throughout the parent isle, a large subscription, aided by a considerable grant from his majesty's government, was raised in England for the relief of the sufferers, and for providing them with permanent employ; and had that subscription been judiciously expended, it would have gone far to prevent the possibility of the recurrence of extreme distress, but that, unhappily, no solid and permanent benefit has been received by any class of persons on the islands from that or any other source, nor are the petitioners aware that any public statement has ever been made of the amount so subscribed (though generally understood to have exceeded 10,000l.), or of the manner in which it was expended; the petitioners therefore humbly beseech the House to continue a commission (or to adopt such other measures as to their wisdom shall seem most meet) for the purpose of inquiring into the amount and expenditure of the said subscription, and of the different grants made by government for the relief of the distressed inhabitants of the Scilly islands, since the year 1818; also, to inquire generally into the state of government and the administration of justice at Scilly, the provision in being for the poor of the different islands, and other matters connected with the welfare of their inhabitants, with a view to the adoption of wholesome and effectual measures of relief and employment for a necessitous and starving class of his majesty's subjects.

Ordered to lie on the table.