HC Deb 27 November 1826 vol 16 cc142-3
Mr. Hume

presented the following petition:— To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, the Petition of Robert Gourlay,

"Humbly showeth, That your petitioner, while travelling through England, in the year 1800, became acquainted with Mr. Arthur Young, secretary to the Board of Agriculture, and was prevailed on by him to visit certain counties, examine and report concerning the condition of the labouring poor; that he then saw that substantial benefits were required to better their condition, and thenceforth made the subject his leading pursuit.

"That, in the year 1809, your petitioner removed from Scotland, and rented a farm in Wiltshire, chiefly to ascertain more correctly how the system of the poor-laws could be reformed; and by the year 1817 had nearly satisfied himself, when he had occasion to go abroad to Canada, where his views of such reform were expanded, and became clear, by connecting this with a grand system of emigration.

"That, ever since then, your petitioner has been overwhelmed with misfortune, but never for a moment has he relinquished J the great object of his life; and now feels confident that, by simple means, and within twenty years, the poor-laws of England may become a dead letter, and all need for such in Ireland be done away.

"Having had petitions presented to the House of Commons every session of last parliament, on the subjects of Poor-law, Reform, and Emigration, your petitioner now intreats that a select committee may be appointed to examine these petitions, and gravely consider these subjects, as by far the most important and pressing business of the present time. And he will ever pray."

Ordered to lie on the table.

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