HC Deb 10 July 1835 vol 29 cc421-2

On the question that 1,461l. for the salaries of the Clerks in the office for the Registration of Aliens be granted,

Mr. Hume

said, that this office was originally established against the good old custom of England. Ft should now be put an end to; there never was a fitter time, as the country was as peaceful and as quiet as its best friend could desire.

Mr. Warburton

said, there was no reason for continuing the office, the regulations of which were a source of needless vexation to respectable foreigners, who wished not to evade the laws of the country. He would undertake to prove this if a Committee were appointed, and till the conclusion of the inquiry the payment of the salaries of the clerks might, he thought, be suspended.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

appealed to the House whether the clerks ought to be inconvenienced by being at once deprived of their salaries. The argument of the hon. Gentleman was chiefly directed against the old law, but it should be recollected that that had been ameliorated by the exertions of those at present on the Ministerial Benches when they were embodied in the ranks of the Opposition.

Dr. Bowring

observed, that the United States had long since abolished the system of passports, and from that step had never yet suffered anything. He hoped that England would first set the same example among the great European nations.

Lord John Russell

was not thoroughly conversant with the subject, but he agreed that no reasons now existed for continuing the Alien Act. He was one of those who succeeded in obtaining a cessation of the old system, and the substitution of the present law. The present regulations were not, he believed, effectual; nothing was gained from their continuance, and he certainly thought it was fit matter of consideration whether any good purpose whatever was answered by keeping up the office.

Viscount Sandon

had always voted against the Alien Act, and hoped that England might soon be able to boast, as of old, that her doors were always open to every one, no matter of what country, or whether for ingress or egress.

Mr. Warburton

said, that after what had fallen from the noble Lord, (Lord John Russell) he was willing to leave the matter in his hands.

Mr. Hume

trusted, that one of the noble Lord's Friends would immediately bring in a Bill upon the subject. When so important a principle was recognised, he should not object to pay the pensions of the clerks.

Vote agreed to.

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