HC Deb 05 July 1831 vol 4 cc796-9

The following Resolution was reported, "That the Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, be empowered to direct the issue of any sum not exceeding 50,000l. out of any monies in the Exchequer, or out of the growing pro- duce of the Consolidated Fund arising in Ireland, for the purpose of making or repairing of Roads and Bridges, and other Public Works in Ireland."

Mr. Hume

objected to the grant, until he knew for what purposes it was required. He had seen last night, among the Orders of the Day, a notice of an advance of money, but was not aware it was to be a grant. He now wished to be informed, whether it was to be a grant, or only an advance of money.

Mr. Stanley

said, the hon. Gentleman had made an objection to this Resolution in the Committee of Supply, on Monday last, but the vote had then passed, and the report was now brought up. He thought, therefore, the hon. Gentleman was a little irregular in his opposition: similar grants of money had been applied to works in the Highlands of Scotland. If the hon. Gentleman wished to oppose this Resolution, he would have ample opportunities of doing so in every stage of its progress, and he (Mr. Stanley) should be most happy to meet his opposition.

Mr. Hume

must repeat, he was much surprised at the language of the right hon. Secretary. If he understood the meaning of the terms, he asked him—did an advance mean a grant? He believed, it would be found that the advance of money to Scotland was made upon the report of a Committee; but he wished to know, why the right hon. Secretary applied for the money—for what purposes—and under what circumstances? Did he think his will was a sufficient explanation?

Sir Robert Harty

complained, that the revenues of Ireland were not spent there; had that been the, case, the necessity of such giants would have been obviated.

Mr. Spring Rice

wished to explain, in a few words, the cause of the hon. Member's opposition. There had evidently been some mistake in the wording of the report, but if the hon. Member would allow the resolution to pass through its present stage, there would be many opportunities of discussing its merits. The hon. Gentleman wished to know where, and under what circumstances, the money was to be applied. He answered, this was merely a preliminary step, and that at a future time he should be ready to give all the information the hon. Member required. But in the mean time, he could assure him no portion of it was to be advanced except to those district? where individuals would come forward and advance an equal sum. It was matter of great public importance, that a Bill in conformity with the Resolutions should be brought in, when it would be open to objection in detail.

Mr. Wyse

wished the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer would inform him, whether any portion of this 50,000l. was to be appropriated to the construction of piers, and other public works, in Ireland? Mr. Telford had stated, that such works would be of considerable benefit to Ireland, and would, in the course of a few years save double or treble the expenses of their erection.

Mr. O'Connell

said, his only objection to the grant was, its being so small. The hon. member for Middlesex wished to know, for what purpose it was wanted. He would tell him, for the carrying on of public works, the construction of roads, bridges, piers, &c. Ireland, in consequence of her income being spent abroad, required a much larger grant than this.

Mr. Hume

wanted to know how the money was to be applied; if it could be shewn, that it was for any particular harbour, or other public work, he was quite prepared to go as far as this grant. If Ireland paid all her debt, he should have no objection to go further. But he again said, if this grant be for any public purpose, and not to be applied for the improvement of the property of private individuals, let that purpose be first shewn.

Lord Althorp

assured the hon. Member, that the money was to be applied solely for carrying on public works, and by no means for the improvement of private property. As to the mode in which it was to be applied, that would be stated in the Bill. In the last Session of Parliament, Commissioners had been appointed to manage the grant of 500,000l., who were responsible for its proper application.— With respect to the present nominal grant, it went directly from the Exchequer, and was to be applied to the improvement of the country.

Sir J M. Doyle

said, if the hon. Member would allow the money to be granted, he could afterwards be informed of the object of its application.

Mr. Hume

said, that was quite an Irish method of doing business, to give the money first, and then inquire for what you gave it. His plan was, to ascertain first for what the money was wonted, and whether it would be properly used.

Mr. Callaghan

thought there was something delusive in the whole proceeding; he understood that 500,000l. was to be appropriated to the carrying on of public works in Ireland, and now the Ministers came forward and applied for a mere vote of credit for 50,000l.

Mr. Stanley

said, the hon. Member was totally mistaken; the 500,000l. was already appropriated, and the 50,000l. was merely a temporary addition.

Mr. Leader

said, it was merely to complete the unfinished public works in Ireland, which the late Administration had begun.

Mr. Warburton, the explanation given was all that his hon. friend wanted; had it been given at first, he would have made no objection to the vote.

The Resolution was agreed to.