§ Mr. Sturges Bourne
did not mean to oppose the Motion, but he had an objection to one of the clauses of the Bill. He confessed he felt some surprise that such a Bill should have been brought forward in the absence of the Secretary for the Home Department. It made an important alteration in the law, and ought to receive the most mature consideration.
said, that the principle of the Bill was monstrous, and he was quite certain that it could not pass in its present form.
Mr. Alderman Wood
said, that when those poor persons came to the parishes they must be relieved. Now the effect of this Bill would be to refuse them relief, and therefore, against such a Bill he conceived that every sort of opposition was perfectly fair. He had presented several petitions against it, and was resolved to divide the House rather than allow it to pass.
said, he also had presented petitions against the Bill, and he hoped the worthy Alderman would take the sense of the House upon it.
Mr. N. Calvert
said, that in the parishes with which he was more immediately connected, they were often put to an expense of several hundreds a year for the removal of these paupers. He did not think the Bill so objectionable as his hon. friends did.
§ Mr. Littleton
saw no reason why the more distant counties should not have the benefit of the Act—the Bill ought to place all upon the same footing of equality. Perhaps it might be found advantageous to try the experiment of leaving those paupers without any parish relief; if due notice of such a system were given, it would be found that their 1130 numbers would materially diminish. The expense of passing these paupers, which fell on the midland counties, was enormous and could not be borne, particularly as those counties derived no benefit from their labour.
§ Mr. James Grattan
thought, that if a sufficient provision were made for the Irish poor in Ireland, such a Bill as the present would be unnecessary—it was in effect a Bill to deprive England of the benefits of Irish labour.
understood the object of the noble Lord to be, to have the Bill read a second time and submit it to a committee, for the purpose of seeing if any measure of relief could be devised. So far he meant to support the Motion.
§ Sir E. Knatchbull
anticipated, that in the course of next Session some provision would be made for the Irish poor, but he thought that the present Bill would have the effect of imposing a heavy burthen upon one part of the country at the expense of another; it might be as well to wait and see what measure the necessities of Ireland can into existence.
Sir T. Freemantle
opposed the waiting. Even if they did wait, the counties still might be left without relief.
said, that he looked upon the Bill as so injurious to the metropolis that he should vote against it.
§ Sir John Wrottesley
thought it a very fair proposal of his noble friend, that the Bill should be referred to a Select Committee. That would pledge the House to nothing further than an examination of the Bill.
was convinced, that the large populous parishes of Middlesex had very unnecessarily taken alarm at the Bill; and if it were sent to a committee it might be shown that no such evil would accrue.
Sir R. Inglis
supported the Motion. The principle of the Bill might be hereafter discussed should the Select Committee recommend it.
said, that though he would not refuse to give his consent to the second reading, yet he was desirous that it should have reference to the kingdom at large rather than to any particular parts.
§ Mr. A. Dawson
said, that they ought to inquire into the cause of the evil: that cause was the want of employment; and by finding employment for the people the evil would be removed. He therefore wished that country gentlemen would give 1131 their support to Government making giants in Scotland and Ireland for the purpose of employing the poor.
§ Sir C. Burrell
found fault with his brother Magistrates for not putting the Vagrant Act in force; he contended that sending vagrants to the House of Correction, especially in cold weather, was no punishment at all. A little timely rigour sometimes made the blind see, and the lame walk.
Mr. Alderman Wood
persisted in dividing the House, but there not being forty Members present, the House was counted out.