HC Deb 09 February 1838 vol 40 cc947-90

The order of the day was read for the House to resolve itself into a Committee on the Poor Relief (Ireland) Bill. On the motion that the Speaker leave the chair,

Mr. O'Connell, in pursuance of his notice, rose to move as an amendment that the bill be committed that day six months. When the bill was before the House of Commons last year, on the 28th of April, he had addressed the House at consider- able length on the measure. If there was any value in the arguments adduced by him on that occasion, they were in opposition to the bill, and to its second reading, and yet he had then avowed that he had not the moral courage to take the course of direct opposition to the bill, although he was perfectly convinced, not only that it was not a useful, but that it would be an injurious measure. Since then he had grown older and somewhat firmer; and he was now determined to take the sense of the House upon the committal of the bill, as he was thoroughly convinced that it could effect no benefit, and equally satisfied that it was calculated to inflict deep injury. He could not, however, enter upon the present question without congratulating himself and the House upon the manner in which the measure was discussed last Session. That discussion took place in the absence of all party feeling; and its effect was such, that any stranger reading the debates upon the subject would not know, such was the unanimity among the Irish Members, to what party any of the speakers belonged. He hoped that so excellent an example would be followed on the present occasion. He had no doubt that it would: he had no doubt that the present discussion would be carried on in the same spirit as the last. He frankly avowed that his own opinions were adverse to the principle of the introduction of any poor-laws into Ireland: at least, he was opposed to any such introduction as far as it regarded able-bodied persons and those capable of working for themselves, as it might induce them to refrain from their habitual industry and economy, and might prevent them from providing for the wants of age, and throwing themselves on the support of the law. He did not think that any such plan could be adopted without the production of the most injurious effects. It would be calculated to diminish self-reliance, to paralyse industry, to decrease economy, and above all, to clamp and extinguish the kindly and generous feelings of nature towards parents, children, relations, and friends. Such were the natural effects of a general Poor-law; and it was in vain to hope by legislative means to supply the deficiency which it occasioned. He was, therefore, opposed to a general Poor-law; but, supposing that he was wrong in that respect, then he would take up this particular bill and object to it. As, in making that objection, he must necessarily go into an investigation of the different clauses of the measure, he might be met by a statement that those clauses might be amended in the Committee, and therefore, he ought not to rely upon the details of the bill in objecting to its principle. His answer would be, that it was not his intention, in his opposition to the bill, to rely upon any of the clauses which might be altered in the Committee. He would not rely upon the emigration clause, although an exceedingly mischievous one. He would not rely upon the clause making magistrates guardians of the poor; he would leave them eligible to be elected to those offices. He would not rely upon the clause excluding clergymen from filling the office of guardian. All those clauses might be altered in the Committee; nay, he would take it for granted that those clauses would be altered. But certainly he thought that no alteration could render them of any use whatever in diminishing his aversion to the bill itself. The first objection that he entertained towards the bill was, that it was introduced by itself; it was accompanied by no concomitant measure. In the last discussion on the subject the hon. Member for Donegal had expressed his surprise that her Majesty's Government had not suggested one accompanying measure to this bill. It must be taken by itself or not at all. The bill proposed to give relief to the able-bodied as well as to the aged and infirm. It gave relief to all classes of poor—to those who could work, and were prevented by various causes, as well as to those who were not prevented. No person, however, was to have an absolute right to relief. The decision on that point was to be in the hands of the Poor-law Commissioners or guardians. The bill excluded settlement Of course, there being no claim of right, there could be no settlement; but even were that not the case, the bill would exclude settlements. All relief was to be confined to the workhouse. Such was the frame of the bill. The result was, that there would be no Poor-law in Ireland, except by name. The reason was, that the model of the bill had been taken from the Poor-law of England. But how different was the poor population of England from the poor population of Ireland! In England the Poor-laws had absolutely created a new species of population—a pauper population: a set of persons who indulged themselves in idleness at the expense of the parish, a set of persons who affected destitution without experiencing it. In England matters had at length arrived at such a point that 7,000,000l. were expended annually on the poor; and principally on individuals who were able, but who were unwilling, to labour. The consequence of all this was, that when any check took place the greatest dissatisfaction manifested itself; it burst forth in injuries to persons and property, in burning homesteads and farm-yards; and those outrages were especially prevalent in the southern provinces, where the Poor-laws had been most extensively carried into effect, and where the relief which they prescribed had been most extensively afforded. This was an example pregnant with proof how little at any time, and in any place, it was wise to expect advantage from poor-laws. The Bill was entitled, "A Bill for the more effectual Relief of the Destitute Poor in Ireland." It seemed to be an odd kind of phrase—" the more effectual relief of the destitute poor." It seemed to assume as a fact, that there was an existing "effectual relief." Was the present Bill to be considered an improvement on "effectual relief?" At present the destitute in Ireland had no relief. Was this Bill, therefore, an improvement, or was it only a blunder? But relief to the destitute poor was all that the Bill purported to give; relief of the destitute poor was the sole scope of the Bill. Mr. Nicholls, in his Report, made this strange distinction between England and Ireland. He stated, that there was much more poverty in Ireland than in England; and, unfortunately, he told the truth; but he likewise said, that there was much less destitution in Ireland than in England. But thin partitions separated the terms poverty and destitution, and it was sometimes almost impossible to discriminate between them. The distinction was almost like one of the national mistakes: at least the phrase was an odd one to legislate upon; and yet a great deal of legislation was involved in that—proposition he would not call it—that distinction between poverty and destitution. Let the House now consider, what extent of relief the Bill, such as it was, could furnish. He was not arguing, that there was no direct poverty in Ireland; he knew too well there was: he was not arguing, that there was no destitution in Ireland; alas! he knew too well there was, the question was, how much of the destitution (but none of the poverty) was to be relieved by this Bill. The first thing that the Report on which the Bill was founded suggested was, that the Bill should take away one expense from the poor of Ireland; that it should relieve the poor not by direct but by indirect operation; for it was suggested, that at present the poor in Ireland were supported by a class poorer than themselves. No doubt a considerable relief to the poor was thus furnished. It had been stated, that the value of one million sterling was given away annually in Ireland, principally, if not exclusively, by the poorer classes to those who were one degree poorer than themselves. He remembered, that in the last discussion on this subject he had made that assertion himself. He would not now say if it was accurate; for he was in possession of no evidence on the subject—of nothing tangible with respect to places, times, and persons. He had no doubt, however, that considerable relief was afforded to the poor in Ireland in this manner. But this he would add, that no persons in Ireland ever complained of the relief thus afforded. On the contrary, when remonstrated with on the subject, they expressed their determination to continue it, and connected the giving of such relief with religious obligations, and considered, that it was productive of kindly feelings, and had a tendency to secure a reward in another and a better world. That was the feeling which generally prevailed. The relief was not afforded in money; it was afforded in a way not burdensome to the giver. A cottier planted a few more potatoes than he wanted, that he might distribute his superabundance among his poorer neighbours. Nobody felt this; nobody complained of this as a giving of alms; and it appeared to him, that it would be a delusion and mockery to say, that a poor-law would take away the necessity of such an expense. Upon this part of the subject he wished he could venture to bring before the House the mass of evidence which had been given as to the kindly disposition of the Irish poor. Their anxiety to afford each other relief; the watchful care of parents over their children, the filial affection of children toward their aged parents; the brother refusing to go abroad, when tempted by high American wages, because the mother was alive or the sisters were unmarried; the great sacrifices made for the gratification of these, the purest and kindest emotions of the human heart, which elevated the moral character of the Irish people above the population of any country on the face of the earth. To relieve Ireland from the exercise of all the domestic affections which he had described was the object of this Bill. To declare that a son should not remain at home to support his declining mother, to declare that a daughter should not cherish the last days of a venerable father—such were the objects of this Bill. Why, let them pass a hundred Bills, the Irish poor would continue to do their duty towards all who were endeared to them by relation and affection. The truth was, that in no country in the world was there a deficiency of benevolence to administer to the wants of the poor if there was property enough to enable that benevolence to effect its purposes. It was the want of property that caused destitution in Ireland; and it would be fruitless to attempt to supply that want, not by any scheme of raising free money, not by dispensing twenty millions, as in the case of the negroes, but by a Bill of taxation, to remove money out of the pockets of those who earned it into the pockets of those who did not earn it. Such was the scheme introduced for the purpose of forcing benevolence in Ireland! It was another feature of the Bill that this taxation was inflicted upon the occupiers of land in Ireland. That was another ingredient in the Bill which he was now opposing. The occupier of land, who held it without any profit, was to pay one half of the taxation; the occupier of land, paying more than it was worth, was to pay one half of the entire rate, because he was the occupier. The other half was apportioned thus:—Whenever the landlord received his rent out of the land, the tenant's profit over and above that rent was calculated; and where could there be a more fruitful source of litigation? The profit varied from year to year, according to the extent of the stock, or the capital laid out. Here was a running cause of litigation; in Ireland—in a country, in which,, hitherto, at least, as had been said by a learned person, there was one law for the rich and another for the poor. Whether the state of things had been since ameliorated, he would not say; but enough remained in remote parishes to make the subject a constant source of agitation and violence—an incessant wrangle between the landlord and his tenant; and if the tenant refused to admit having a larger income than he really had, in how many instances might the landlord make it exceedingly dangerous to allege that he had not an income that would mitigate the landlord's taxation. It had been said that the poor-laws did not increase the property of the country, but merely altered its distribution. That had been taken up on another ground, and it had been said, that although it did not affect other countries, it would be beneficial to Ireland; because six sevenths of the income collected there was spent elsewhere, and contributed nothing to the poor. "Give poor laws to Ireland," it was said, "and you will reach that income." But this bill prevented that income from being come at. It charged the tenant with a proportion of the second half of taxation equal to his profit. If the tenant paid a fine and laid out that amount, instead of diminishing his taxation and increasing his profit, he increased his own taxation and diminished his landlord's taxation. A person who resided in Ireland paid this tax in a double capacity, which the absentee did not. The poor law would, therefore, be a bonus on absenteeism. The argument in favour of it, therefore, was totally annihilated, when it appeared that it gave an absentee a bonus, because he was an absentee; and injured the occupier in consequence of his being one. If, however, there really was any necessity for the measure, the way in which it was to be carried into effect was ridiculous. One of the purposes which the bill had in view was the erection of a hundred workhouses in Ireland. Each was to cost but 7,000l. and was to accommodate at least 800 poor, besides the Protestant chaplain, the Roman Catholic chaplain, the Dissenting minister, and a large staff of other officers. Now, it was impossible that such a building could be erected for 7,000l.; it would cost at least 10,000l. There would, therefore, be at once an outlay of a million to establish these hundred workhouses. The expense was to be charged on the counties by certain instalments. There would be thus 80,000 poor to begin with. But that number would no more do for the purpose than 800. Mr. Nicholls had made two journies of inquiry into Ireland, each of six weeks' duration. Evidently those journies must have been made with great rapidity; a rapidity, indeed, which could not have been achieved unless in the improved state of the post roads. The compliments which had been paid him upon the first report, were withheld from the last and no wonder. The first report had been preceded by the anxious and laborious investigation during three years, of individuals eminently qualified for the undertaking. They had delegated persons to inquire into the condition of the poor in every town, in every village, in every parish. They obtained minute evidence in every county through all its districts. They endeavoured to bring into their reports a great mass of matter of statistical value. And what became of these reports? They were thrown overboard; they were utterly neglected. It appeared that Mr. Nicholls hardly looked at them. They were considered as mere waste paper. The speed of the railway was triumphant. The labour of three years was held as nothing, that of six weeks as everything. There were hon. Members from Ireland also on both sides of the House, who would have been earnestly disposed, on the grounds of charity, to have contributed to the information necessary to form the basis of the undertaking; but they were never consulted, and were as much thrown over as the eminent persons to whom he had already alluded. The measure was founded on the sole opinion of Mr. Nicholls. Mr. Nicholls had got at 80,000 as a proper number in an extraordinary manner. He said it was proved that one per cent of the Irish poor were destitute; and to that observation he annexed some memoranda derived from various counties in England. One per cent of the poor, according to Mr. Nicholls, were relieved in England, in the poor houses. But he omitted to state that four per cent were relieved out of the poor houses. Let that be applied to Ireland, and it would appear at once that 400,000 instead of 80,000 ought to be relieved in that country. He (Mr. O'Connell) had pressed that point last year, and he believed that Mr. Nicholls had given it up, and had admitted it was a mistake. There was a second gentleman concerned in the inquiry into the state of the poor of Ireland, who bore a high name, although he (Mr. O'Connell) believed he was not highly connected: he meant a gentleman of the name of Stanley, of one of the public offices in Dublin. Mr. Stanley was represented by Mr. Nicholls as a most competent person to the undertaking in which he was engaged. The passage he was about to quote would be found in Mr. Nicholl's second report page 24, paragraph 80. It was that part of the report which spoke of the proportions of the destitute in England and Ireland. Upon that subject Mr. Nicholls said, "Very different estimates, it is true, have been formed; but these, as before observed, appear to have been framed in total disregard of the distinction between the poor and the destitute." This was the favourite distinction of Mr. Nicholls; he denied any kind of identity between poverty and destitution. "There is more poverty," said he, "in Ireland, in proportion to its population, than there is in England; but I doubt if there is more, if so much, destitution. There is this difference, however, between the two countries; in England, the destitute are relieved at the common charge; in Ireland the destitute are, for the most part, supported at the charge of the poor, of those persons who are only elevated one step above the destitute in the social scale, and who, by the custom (amounting in practice to a necessity) of affording such support, are themselves reduced to the very verge of destitution." Might he (Mr. O'Connell) be permitted, by way of parenthesis, to ask whether this class of persons, when called upon to pay money for the support of the poor, would not be more rapidly driven into that state of destitution which already threatened them? "Under such circumstances," continued Mr. Nicholls, "to confound poverty with destitution is a mistake easily made, and hence the discrepancies adverted to; but I am relieved from the necessity of entering more at large into the consideration of this point by a statement which has been drawn up, at my request, by Mr. William Stanley, of Dublin, the author of an able pamphlet on the Poor-law measure. Mr. Stanley's local knowledge and position, and his intimate acquaintance with Irish statistics, peculiarly fitted him for the task; and I solicit your Lordship's attention to the important document which he has produced, a copy of which is inserted in the appendix No. 13." It would thus be seen, that Mr. Nicholls disembarrassed himself from any responsibility for the calculation of limiting the relief to 80,000 persons, because upon that point he quoted the authority of Mr. Stanley. He turned, therefore, to Mr. Stanley. There were many curious things to be found in his report; and the House would, perhaps, be surprised to hear that one of them was the superior chariness and caution with which the people in Ireland avoided early marriages. There was nothing, according to this report; about which the Irish people were so extremely cautious. Mr. Stanley showed that one-fourth of the adult population in Ireland was unmarried, whereas in England there was only one-eighth unmarried, and in Scotland only one-sixteenth; so that the Irish, upon this point of early marriage, were twice as cautious as the English, and four times as cautious as the Scotch. If any Gentleman required to find a proof of this fact, he would only have to turn to the forty-second page of the appendix, where Mr. Stanley gave the round numbers upon which his calculation was founded. Well, then, Mr. Stanley was to be taken as the great oracle upon the subject of the Poor-laws. He was the man who was in possession of all the necessary information—the man whose "intimate acquaintance with Irish statistics peculiarly fitted him for the task "of giving any explanation that might be required. Mr. Stanley, then, acting upon his profound statistical knowledge, gave an estimate of the destitution of Ireland, which estimate would be found at page 51, of the report. It was upon that estimate that the calculation of 80,000 persons being a sufficient number to relieve was based. Mr. Stanley, however, found himself hard pressed upon that point; but he was an accurate man, and made his calculations with great exactness; he was not one of your round-number calculators, one who indulged in loose and vague calculations of so many hundreds or so many thousands, but a man who reduced his calculations to units, and even to fractions, with the utmost exactitude. Mr. Stanley, then, had discovered that the exact number of destitute persons in all Ireland was 82,506—not one more, nor one less. Certainly, there was nothing like precision. Your general wholesale calculators were in the habit of taking things by the lump; but here was a man who was particularly recommended to the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) for his knowledge of Irish statistics, and who had ascertained to a man the number of the destitute in Ireland. This admirable calculator said, "Mr. Nicholls is greatly mistaken, when he tells you that the number of the destitute is 80,000; I have made my calculations upon the subject, and I find, reckoning every man, woman, and child, that the real number is 82,506." In another instance, the result of Mr. Stanley's calculations went to prove that Mr. Nicholls was in error. Mr. Nicholls had estimated the destitute in the proportion of one per cent, of the whole population. How did that apply to the city of Dublin? Mr. Stanley made the total number of the destitute poor in Dublin 5,646. Now that happened to be two per cent of the population. But Mr. Stanley had an explanation for every thing; and in reference to this point he said, that as more paupers crowded into Dublin than into any other town in the kingdom, it was only fair to calculate that there were twice as many in the capital as in any other part. Why so? But admit that it were so, admit that in Dublin the exact number of the destitute was 5,646, admit that Mr. Stanley was right in that calculation, still he (Mr. O'Connell) had an answer to it. An answer! from whom? From Mr. Stanley himself. Mr. Stanley, upon another occasion, made out the destitute poor of Dublin at fifty-seven thousand and some odd hundreds. He (Mr. O'Connell) would give the precise number—57,672. Mr. Stanley was an accurate man; he never spoke in broad; he reduced his calculations to the utmost exactness; yet there certainly appeared to be some discrepancy between the two estimates which he had given of the number of the destitute poor in Dublin. It would, perhaps, strike the House, as it did him (Mr. O'Connell), that there was a material difference between 57,672 and 5,646, yet there could be no doubt that each of these calculations had been most profoundly entered upon, and most carefully worked out; because there was no man who had a more "intimate acquaintance with Irish statistics" than Mr. Stanley. Lest it should be supposed, that he (Mr. O'Connell) was misrepresenting Mr. Stanley, he would give the House the benefit of an extract from one of that gentleman's prize essays, for Mr. Stanley bad gained two prizes of 100l. each for essays upon the condition of the Irish poor. In one of those essays he said, The indigence of Dublin roomkeepers is, perhaps, without a parallel in all the world besides. According to a report from a benevolent society which collects alms for them, there were 5,424 families, containing 21,283 persons, relieved at their places of abode in the months of January, February, and March, 1831 (see Saunders's News Letter of the 13th April, 1831); and it appears by the report of the society for 1830, that there were relieved in that year no less than 9,622 families. In addition to this mass of miserable human beings, depending on voluntary alms, there are always in the Mendicity Institution about 2,000 persons; and there are many vagrant beggars in the streets, who beset any respectable person seen entering a shop. They are also to be found in large numbers at the doors of every Roman Catholic House of worship. Now, taking the number of destitute families at 9,622, and allowing, according to Mr. Stanley's own calculation, a proportion of 5½ persons to constitute each family, the total number of the destitute in Dublin would be 52,921. But now, when he came to furnish the statements which were to form the basis of a measure for the introduction of a system of poor-laws into Ireland, Mr. Stanley abandoned all his former calculations, and reduced the number of the destitute in Dublin to 5,646. Was such a man to be published to the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) as one upon whose statements he was to rely, and who was to supersede Mr. Nicholls in the office of making any calculations at all? He (Mr. O'Connell) now begged to call the noble Lord's attention to the evidence on which this Bill was founded. There was no evidence that the affording relief to 80,000 persons would be sufficient except the evidence of Mr. Nicholls, who had since admitted that he had been mistaken in calculating the amount of pauperism at one per cent, only, the real amount being five per cent. Mr. Stanley's evidence was of the nature he had described. There was no other evidence to support the Bill. Could any reliance, then, be placed upon a measure concocted upon such bases as the report of Mr. Nicholls and the calculations of Mr. Stanley? But what was the real amount of the destitution of Ireland? Alas! it infinitely exceeded any of the calculations of the Poor-law Commissioners, who, taking man by man, found that there were 585,000 heads of families in a state of actual destitution during the greater part of the year. These 585,000 families would comprehend a population of about 3,000,000, of whom two-thirds might be classed as destitute for a part of the year, and one-third for the whole of the year. Here, then, was a population of, at least, 1,000,000 for whom, if the species of support which they at present received were taken away from them, it would be necessary for the Legislature. to provide for by the poor-law. He begged the House to look at the facts before it, and to deal with them as they really were. Let them have no legislation upon the subject by mistake, nor deception or delusion of any kind. The state of Ireland certainly was a frightful one. Taking its poverty and every thing else connected with it into consideration, no one could deny, that the state of Ireland was frightful. It was known from the Report of the Commissioners, that there was a mass of population amounting to not less than 1,000,000 in a state of actual destitution. Was there no other test to show what the destitution of the country was? Take the agricultural labourers of the two countries. The House would probably suppose, that there were more agricultural labourers in England than in Ireland; that was not the fact. There were in Ireland 75,000 more agricultural labourers than in England. The gross population of Ireland was much less than that of England, but the number of agricultural labourers was, as he had stated, much greater. The actual number of persons employed in agriculture in the two countries was as follows:—In Ireland, 1,131,715; in Great Britain, 1,055,982; giving an actual surplus to Ireland over the rest of the kingdom of 75,733. When it was remembered, that the agricultural labourer received his wages out of the produce of the land, it would at once be perceived, how great was the disadvantage under which Ireland laboured, in consequence of the surplus of agricultural population. Observe the disproportion between the two countries. In England about one-fourth of the whole population was employed in agriculture; in Ireland the proportion of agricultural labourers to the whole population was fully two-thirds. The only source from which these labourers could receive payment of their wages must of necessity be the return procured from agricultural produce. Now mark the difference that existed between the two countries upon that point. Ireland had a greater number of agricultural labourers than Great Britain; but had she a greater number of cultivated acres of land? Far from it. In Great Britain there were 32,250,000 acres of cultivated land; in Ireland there were only 14,600,000. That, to be sure, was nearly one half; and when the greater productiveness of the soil (supposing it to be properly cultivated) was considered, it might be reckoned as equal to nearly two-thirds. But the soil of Ireland was not sufficiently cultivated, and, therefore, notwithstanding its natural fertility, it was much less productive than the soil of England. In Great Britain the produce of agriculture amounted in money to 150,000,000l. a-year, whereas in Ireland it amounted only to 36,000,000l. Thus it appeared, that although the quantity of cultivated land in Ireland was within a fraction of equal to one-half of the quantity of land cultivated in Great Britain, the value of the produce of the land cultivated in Ireland was less than one-fourth of the land cultivated in Great Britain. Whence did this arise? The soil of Ireland was more fertile than that of England. Why did it produce less? The cause was well known. It was the want of capital to lay out in the land to make it as productive as it would be. This was the cause of the evil; and what was the remedy? Truly a most notable one—a remedy that met the evil to a miracle. The cultivators of the land were too poor to improve its natural fertility; therefore, to assist them in their exertions, and to make their labours more profitable, it was proposed to place an additional tax upon them. Was that wise? Would that increase the produce of the land? Would it tend to the improvement of the condition of the poor? Did the House forget that every shilling taken in the shape of taxation from the capital employed in agriculture was in fact a shilling taken from the wages of the labourer? Was it not obvious that by adopting such a course the House would be taking away the means of improvement and annihilating all prospect of future advantage? There was another view of the poverty of Ireland which he thought might be interesting to the House. The House was aware that at present all the taxes, except the assessed taxes, which were payable in England were equally payable in Ireland. He had looked over the finance returns which had been made up to the 5th of January, 1837, to ascertain the relative productive- ness of the two countries. He found, that for the year ending the 5th of January, 1837, the total gross revenue of Great Britain was 55,085,150l. 9s. 3d. [Mr. Cobbett used to say that he loved the three-farthings at the end of the account of the national debt], whilst the gross revenue of Ireland during the same period amounted only to 4,807,402l. Is. 3d. The assessed taxes were included in the gross revenue of Great Britain; but the assessed taxes amounted only to 3,926,550l. 16s. 6½, which, deducted from 55,085,150l. 9s.d. left an amount of revenue derived from the same sources as in Ireland of 51,158,599l. 12s. l0¼d. So that Great Britain, with a population of 16,000,000, produced on the same taxation more than ten times and one half, indeed more than eleven times, the revenue produced by Ireland with a population of 8,000,000. Could anything more strongly demonstrate the inferiority of Ireland in point of property? And what was the remedy proposed? Why, to add another million to the amount of her taxation; to increase her taxation by one-fifth. Ireland certainly had suffered much—nobody could deny that—from her connexion with England. Century after century Ireland had been the victim of harsh and tyrannical laws: for a century education was prohibited in Ireland—no one of her inhabitants could be educated—it was a crime to learn—a crime punishable with transportation, and return from transportation was death. For another century there was a law to keep the people from being industrious, and to prevent their acquiring property. During that century, if any Roman Catholic purchased an estate, the moment he did so it was only necessary for any one of his Protestant neighbours to make a statement of the fact—to say, "This man is a Papist, and has purchased an estate—give me his estate and let him go without his money," and the law immediately gave a decree in his favour. Was it surprising, then, that the country should be found unenlightened and poor after it had been subject for so long a period to the operation of such laws? He did not mean to introduce anything polemical or litigious into the discussion upon that occasion; but he must be permitted to ask were these laws abolished altogether now? Was there no remnant of them in the municipal corporations of Ireland? Before the House legislated for Ireland upon the subject of poor-laws, let it reflect upon these things. But when he (Mr. O'Connell) showed such causes of misfortune and distress, let it not be supposed that he was contending that Ireland had not secured some remedy for some of her grievances. All that he was contending for was, that before she was made subject to the operation of a poor-law, she ought in all other respects to be placed upon a perfect equality with England. If he were asked what poor-law he would give to Ireland, his answer would be this: place her upon a perfect equality with yourselves—let her be part and parcel of your realm—give her the advantages which you enjoy, and she will maintain her poor without difficulty to herself, and without trouble to you. That was the poor-law he would prescribe. It might be said, that the English Members in the House were interested in the establishment of poor-laws for Ireland. If, indeed, there were any who felt an interest of that kind, he thought he might appeal to their justice as well as to their common sense upon this point. It involved nothing of politics, nor of religious distinctions; but he wished to put this point to the English Members of the House. Mr. Nicholls had reported—and reported truly—that in no part of the world were the people less disposed to go into workhouses than the Irish. Mr. Nicholls need not have gone beyond Bristol, Liverpool, and Manchester, to ascertain that fact. Everybody who knew anything of Ireland and of the character of the Irish peasantry, could have informed him of it. What was the consequence? Why, that the Irish adult labourer would never go into a workhouse in Ireland as long as he could earn twopence a-day in England. At present, if the labourer remained in Ireland he had usually some friends to fall back upon when employment was scant or not to be procured; but under the operations of this Bill that resource would be taken away from him, and the only alternative for the labourer would be to go into the workhouse or to seek employment in England. He would invariably prefer the latter; so that the effect of the Bill, instead of diminishing the emigration from Ireland into England, would be most materially to increase it. The Irish poor would flock over here in troops—they would be content to work at the very lowest rate of payment—they would thus diminish the wages of the English labouring population, and increase in a tenfold degree all the inconveniences and all the injustice which were supposed to result at the present moment from the competition of the Irish in those fields of labour which belonged of right to the English. He was anxious to close his observations as speedily as he could, but there was one other point which he wished to bring under the consideration of the House. He wished to direct the attention of the House to one particular portion of Ireland, with the view of pointing out what the distress there was, and what the conduct of the peasantry had been. In Mr. Nicholls's report, page 12, paragraph 29, he spoke of the necessity of applying his panacea as well to the north as to the south of Ireland. He said, "In speaking of the north of Ireland I ought to except the county of Donegal, the inhabitants of which differ materially in character and circumstances from those of the other northern counties, and approximate more nearly to those of the extreme west and south. Small holdings and minute subdivisions of land prevail in Donegal to a greater extent than I have found in any other part of Ireland; and the consequent growth of population has been there so great as to press hard upon the productive powers of the soil, and to depress the condition of the people to nearly the lowest point in the social scale." He implored the House to bear with him whilst he read one paragraph more, the thirty-first paragraph, describing the state and character of the population of Donegal;—"Nothing can exceed the miserable appearance of the cottages in Donegal, or the desolate aspect of a cluster of these hovels, always teeming with an excessive population. Yet if you enter their cabins, and converse with them frankly and kindly, you will find the people intelligent and communicative, quick to comprehend, and ready to impart what they know. They admitted that they were too numerous, 'too thick upon the land,' and that, as one of them declared, 'they were eating each other's heads off,' but what could they do? There was no employment for the young people, nor relief for the aged, nor means nor opportunity for removing the surplus numbers to some more eligible spot. They could only, therefore, live on, 'hoping,' as they said, 'that times might mend, and that, their landlords would sooner or later do something for them.' Yet, with all this suffering, no disturbance or act of violence has occurred in Donegal. During the severe privations of the last summer, when numbers were actually in want of sustenance, there was no dishonesty, no plundering—the people starved but they would not steal; and although their little stock of cattle and moveables have been notoriously lessening these last four years, and especially in the last year, which seems to have swallowed up nearly all their visible means, they have yet paid their rents—the occupier's share of the produce has been insufficient for his own support, yet the landlord's share has generally been paid in full; and I was assured by the agent of one of the largest proprietors, that he had no arrears worth noticing." Now what was the poor-house remedy for this distressing state of things? What did the poor-house do to enable these poor people to pay their rent? How was their condition to be improved by boxing them up in a workhouse? Was it supposed that this system of imprisonment would improve the morals of the people, or increase their affection and respect for those who ruled them? Donegal was greatly distressed; but there had been no disturbance, no violence in that county, nothing to prevent capital from flowing in there, nothing to prevent industry from being promoted and encouraged. Yet what a picture of destitution was drawn there; and how melancholy a contrast was found between the moral conduct of the people on the one hand, and the utter and complete wretchedness of their physical condition on the other. But you would imprison them. Imprison them! For what? Why would you imprison them? They had committed no crime—they deserved no punishment. Why, then, were they to be shut up in a workhouse, which in every point of view was tantamount to close and severe imprisonment? Oh, Sir, (continued the hon. and learned Gentleman), this is no remedy for the ills of Ireland—if you think to quiet her by these means, I tell you you are totally mistaken. My opinion is, that by holding out a prospect of relief, which this Bill will not give you, will be stopping to a considerable extent the natural flow of charity, which now enables the poor to live. Hereafter, if this Bill shall pass, when a poor creature asks for aims the cold reply will be, "Go to the workhouse!" Is there anything more likely to create distraction and confusion, disturbance and trouble? The idea of the workhouse is so hateful to the people that, unless great care be taken they will adopt some violent course. But supposing the people to submit to the imprisonment which is to be made the condition upon which they are to be fed, is it not probable that, deprived of every family comfort, and of all that tends to mitigate the asperities of the human character, they will come out of your great prison houses infinitely more disposed to enter into a desperate præ2dial warfare than at any former period. I feel satisfied that by this Bill, instead of tranquillising the country, you will be sowing the serpent's teeth, which hereafter will rise up armed men to oppose and distract you.

Lord John Russell

thanked the hon. and learned Gentleman for the temperate tone in which he had discussed the measure. If the hon. and learned Gentleman paid a very just compliment to the disposition of the House during the last session to discuss the question without any mixture of party feeling, he must say, that the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech of that evening was well calculated to keep up that disposition; for nothing had fallen from him that could possibly tend either to excite party feeling, or to produce an acrimonious disposition with regard to the proposed law either in that House or in Ireland. He differed very widely from the view of the hon. and learned Gentleman. He had stated on a former occasion the grounds upon which he thought the introduction of a Poor-law advisable for Ireland, and many of those reasons it was unnecessary for him to repeat; but at the same time he would state some of the grounds upon which it appeared to him that the hon. and learned Gentleman was mistaken, both in his general conclusions with respect to the operation of Poor-laws and in the ground of his opposition to the present Bill. The hon. and learned Gentleman had very fairly and very candidly declared at the outset of his speech that he was against compulsory relief altogether—that whatever the merits or demerits of the Bill, no system of Poor-laws for Ireland which imposed compulsory relief would satisfy his objections. The hon. and learned Gentleman held that compulsory relief was altogether an error—that it dried up the sources of private charity, and ought not to be resorted to by any state. That was perhaps too large a question to enter upon at that moment; but he must refer again to what he stated in some detail last year—that, with respect to this country as well as other countries, compulsory relief to the poor had been one of the means by which the prosperity of those countries had been advanced. And now, without alluding too particularly to the circumstances of this country, he would ask, in the first place, in what countries had the abuse of the Poor-laws been carried to the greatest extent—in what countries had there been the greatest profusion, the greatest improvidence., the most extreme prodigality, in administering compulsory relief to the poor? He should say, that those countries in Europe in which this prodigality had been carried to the greatest extent were England, Holland, and the canton of Berne. In all of these countries abuses very nearly similar, and all having the same origin, had existed. But if any person were to travel through England, Holland, and the canton of Berne, and were to compare the condition of the people in either of those countries with the condition of the people in other countries in which Poor-laws were unknown, he would ask him to judge by the result, whether general prosperity and general comfort did not exist in those countries in which Poor-laws were established; and whether misery and destitution did not prevail in those countries where they were unknown? Speaking of England more particularly, he (Lord John Russell) would say, that the introduction of the Poor-law was the introduction of the means of order. He would presently refer to the particular interests of the landlords, of the farmers who paid the rates, and of the destitute poor themselves, all of which were materially influenced by the Poor-laws; but with regard to the general order of the country, he must say, that from the introduction of the Poor-laws in the reign of Elizabeth was to be dated the period at which the general—he would not say anarchy and confusion—but the general mendicancy and robbery which prevailed throughout the country gave way to a system of laws which compelled every being to account for himself—to state why he was a beggar, and either to receive relief or to submit to the discipline of the laws. Under the operation of that law a better state of things was speedily produced. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, that in Ireland there was a want of capital, that there were millions of persons in a state either of poverty or of great distress, and that the great remedy for these evils was the introduction of capital. There were general rules and general principles which governed these matters, A man could not say—and this was one of the mistakes into which those who proposed laws had frequently fallen—a man could not say, that by any particular law—by the introduction of any special measure, either legislative or administrative—he could produce prosperity in a country. That which he could say—that which he ought to say—that which good legislation effected and good administration forwarded—was this: that every individual being disposed to exert his industry to the utmost—being disposed to look for a reward for his exertions by securing to himself an increased degree of comfort—every individual seeking by honest endeavours to advance his condition in the world, should be able to effect that in consequence of the good laws and good administration which prevailed. What were the obstacles to attaining such advantages? One of them was the absence of freedom and the existence of a system under which the liberty of every man was at the mercy of tyrannical laws. Such a system would prevent, and did prevent, a country from proceeding in a course of prosperity. But there was another obstacle which might be quite as hurtful and quite as injurious, and that was where regular order did not prevail, where there was no security for person or property, and where a person who was willing to lay out his capital, and to endeavour, by means of industry and the exertion of his skill, to obtain the honourable and just reward of wealth and distinction, was prevented from so doing by the imperfect security which the state of society afforded him. Now, was that or was it not one of the evils which for a long course of years had afflicted Ireland, and exercised a disastrous influence upon her interests? He maintained, that whatever the Government and the Legislature could do to put down outrages in Ireland, and to prevent persons from invading property would tend materially to promote the prosperity of the country. A Poor-law by giving the people the means of subsistence tended more certainly than any direct law could possibly do to introduce prosperity at once amongst the inhabitants of any country. Amongst the evils which afflicted Ireland must be considered the great number of persons who were dependent for support upon the resources of private charity. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, that in his opinion, there were at least a million of persons in Ireland in a state of destitution. Now, supposing that that calculation was any thing near the truth could it be imagined that amongst a million of persons entirely dependent for subsistence upon the charity of private persons, and traversing the country from one extremity to the other—could it be imagined, he asked, that amongst such a mass of persons there should not be many who would naturally seek to disturb the peace of the country, and who, if unable to obtain their subsistence from charity, would endeavour to obtain it by depredation? That, therefore, was one reason, and, he thought, a very principal reason, why something in the nature of a poor-law ought to be introduced into Ireland. The hon. and learned Gentleman, at the commencement of his speech, stated that this compulsory mode of relief would impose a very large tax upon the occupiers of land, that they would be very great sufferers by the introduction of a poor-law, and that, instead of bestowing charity, they would have to pay a tax. But let the hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind the comparison of the present state of things with what would then exist. Everybody must admit, that a very large amount was now given by the occupiers of the land in order to maintain those persons who lived upon charity, the greater part of whom were regular and established mendicants. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, there were a million of persons in Ireland in a state of destitution, and that he believed a sum not less than 800,000l. or 1,000,000l. was given to them in charity. Now, if they could suppose that there were a million of persons in a state of destitution, surely they could not imagine that the sum of 800,000l. or 1,000,000l. was an adequate relief for them; on the contrary, it must be considered very inadequate. The persons who gave this relief, and supplied the whole subsistence of the destitute, were the occupiers of the land. What the Government proposed then was, that instead of this mode of affording relief there should be a tax levied partly upon the owners and partly upon the occupiers; which tax would, of course, come into every calculation made between landlord and tenant with respect to the renewals of leases, the amount of rent, and the other arrangements for the holding of the land. Was it not evident, then, that that burden which even the hon. and learned Gentleman must admit at present to exist, and which now fell entirely on the occupier, would be in future a charge divided between the owner and the occupier, and of which the absentee proprietor would necessarily have to bear his share? And having so to do, the absentee proprietor would consider more narrowly and closely what were the means by which the land might be improved, and by which the burden of destitution might be diminished. He was surprised that the hon. and learned Gentleman, in the various speeches and letters which he had addressed to the people of Ireland, should have argued that by this tax the landlord would be benefitted and the occupier oppressed. On the contrary, he (Lord John Russell) conceived that nothing was more plain and undeniable than that at present the farmer, however poor, however bordering on a state of destitution himself, had to bear the whole burden of relieving the poor, while by this measure it would in future have to be borne equally between the landlord and the farmer—if, indeed, the landlord would not have to bear the greater part of the burden himself. He need hardly go into a consideration of the great advantage that would arise from the distinction which would naturally be drawn, when method and regularity were observed, between the impostor and idle mendicant, and the deserving and destitute poor. That distinction must and would be made, when relief came to be administered regularly by a board of guardians possessing the requisite local knowledge, and aware of the real circumstances of the country—a distinction which could not now be made by the poor farmer, who, though he might in general give relief from charity, often, no doubt, gave it because it was almost impossible to refuse. In many cases alms were demanded from fear, not solicited from benevolence. The farmer would, of course, be relieved from that portion of the burden, which the State would take care should not be obtained by persons who had no clear or just claim to relief. There was another consideration deeply affecting the landlord, to which he had already alluded, and which he had no doubt would before long be felt, and that was, that the landlords having to pay a part of this burden would take a very deep interest in all the local concerns of Ireland, and in the improvement of their own estates—even those among them who had hitherto been the most neglectful in that respect—and in the general prosperity and advancement of that district in which they had a more peculiar personal interest. Therefore, in that way, as well as in others, the general amount of poverty would be diminished. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to deny the distinction between poverty and destitution. But, notwithstanding the hon. and learned Gentleman's denial, there appeared to him to be an obvious difference. There might be a whole country almost entirely filled with persons who were in a state of poverty, and none of them of large means or possessing anything like wealth, and yet there might be none of those persons so near the condition of destitution that they would think it necessary to submit to any privation of personal liberty in order to obtain food. Now this he believed to be the condition of a great portion of the people of Ireland. He conceived their condition to be very wretched, very unfortunate; but, at the same time, he thought that a very large proportion of them, if relief were tendered to them coupled with restrictions on their personal freedom, would not be induced to accept that relief. The hon. and learned Gentleman had asked what remedy would be afforded for the condition of all these persons by the adoption of a Poor-law? Now he had always expressed a desire that neither in that House nor in Ireland should any extravagant expectations of immediate relief to the poor be indulged in. He did not believe, as some persons supposed, three or four years ago, when the question was first discussed, that by means of a Poor-law they could remedy the poverty of the country, or that they could make labourers who were now receiving very low wages receive high wages. If they were to attempt, by any project of that kind, to raise the condition of the labourer by endeavouring to make up the rate of wages to anything similar to the rate of what was received for labour in England, so far from advancing the prosperity or curing the poverty of Ireland, they would be sinking the whole property of the country into one abyss, from which it would never be recovered. Nevertheless, he considered that a Poor-law was one of the means by which the condition of the people of Ireland could be improved. At the same time he thought that the House would do well when in Committee to take care that every check was devised by which abuse should be prevented. In enacting a Poor-law, they would do so in the most prudent and cautious manner, and would be careful to hold in their hands the power of enlarging it, but not to enlarge it in the first instance upon the notion that they could at their pleasure afterwards limit and restrain its enactments. The hon. and learned Gentleman had complained that the Government had overlooked the report of the Poor-law Commissioners of Ireland, and that they had entirely neglected their recommendations. He thought that in this instance the hon. and learned Gentleman had very much exaggerated the deviations which the Government had made in the Bill from the recommendations of the Commissioners. It must have been supposed from the hon. and learned Gentleman's statement that all that was now proposed emanated either entirely from Mr. Nicholl or, as might almost be inferred from one part of his speech, from Mr. Stanley. Now, whether upon consideration the recommendations of the Poor-law Commissioners could be taken simply as they stood in their report, or whether they required alteration and amendment, he would not say; but as the hon. and learned Gentleman had said that their recommendations had been entirely neglected, he would take leave to read an extract from their report. The Commissioners say, Upon the best consideration which we have been able to give to the whole subject, we think that a legal provision should be made and rates levied as hereinafter mentioned, for the relief and support of incurable as well as curable lunatics, of idiots, epileptic persons, cripples, deaf and dumb, and blind poor, and all who labour under permanent bodily infirmities; such relief and support to be afforded within the walls of public institutions; also for the relief of the sick poor in hospitals, infirmaries, and convalescent establishments, Dr by external attendance and a supply of food as well as medicine, where the persons to be relieved are not in a state to be removed from home; also for the purpose of emigration, for the support of penitentiaries to which vagrants may be sent, and for the maintenance of deserted children; also towards the relief of aged and infirm persons, of orphans, of helpless widows with young children, of the families of sick persons, and of casual destitution. He really must ask the hon. and learned Gentleman, who was an enemy to all compulsory support, and who stood for the character and credit of the Commissioners, which of the two propositions he chose to adopt? If he were an enemy to compulsory relief, he could not be the friend and supporter of the Commissioners; and if he were a friend to the Commissioners then he could no longer be an enemy to all public and compulsory relief; because a system of public and compulsory relief, contemplating more classes of persons within its range, and more various modes and sources both of giving and obtaining relief—several of those sources not free from the liability of abuse—than this report of the Poor-law Commissioners recommended he never had the chance to meet with. What, then, was the object of the Government? Was it entirely to discard and throw aside that report? No. Their object was to ascertain whether the recommendations which the Commissioners had made, according to the opinions of persons conversant with the actual administration of relief to the poor, could be carried into effect, safely and beneficially, or whether it would be advisable to adopt other modifications or propositions in aid of these recommendations. The result of that inquiry had been that in the first place they ought not to give one of the kinds of relief proposed by the Commissioners, namely, the relief to the sick poor at their own houses, on the ground that sickness would then be an excuse for out-door relief being generally given; and, in the second place, if they gave relief in public institutions they could not help giving relief to the able-bodied poor more than the sick poor. These were changes made in the measure from the report of the Irish Poor-law Commissioners. He thought from the passage he had just read, it could hardly be said that the Commissioners were really of opinion that no compulsory relief should be afforded, or that the Government had entirely neglected the recommendations of those Commissioners. On a former occasion he stated that from some of the propositions of the Commissioners he differed. He thought, and the Government thought, that it was advisable—that it was an object of immense importance, and the importance of which could not be over-rated—that they should take everything into consideration, that they should obtain the opinions as well of persons in Ireland who were locally acquainted with the state of destitution in that country, as of persons in England who were equally well acquainted with the mode of administering relief; and that they should combine the results of every opinion that was practicable before any proposition was adopted. The Government had pursued this course, and they believed that they had afforded to the House the best possible information that could be acquired upon the subject. If, with this information before them, the House were now prepared to say, with the hon. and learned Gentleman, that no compulsory relief should be adopted—that it was an error in legislation to recognise such a principle—that it would be fatal to the prosperity and injurious to the property of Ireland—let them declare it. If, on the contrary, the House were in favour of the adoption of a Poor-law in Ireland, let them go with the Government in the further consideration of this Bill, taking every care with respect to all its details that it was sufficient for its purpose, at the same time that it was not carried too far. If the House would adopt that course, he believed, from the attention which had been given to it, without any reference to party considerations, by all sides, they might hope to succeed in framing a measure by which they would hereafter be enabled to say, that they had effected a great and permanent good, and essentially contributed towards the future improvement of that country.

Mr. Sham

agreed with the noble Lord that the time was come when some mode of public relief must be afforded to the poor of Ireland. When, on a former evening, he ventured to say, that he anticipated on all sides of the House a general concurrence in the proposition that there must be a Poor-law in Ireland, so far as he referred to the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for Dublin, he certainly rather bore in mind the observations which the hon. and learned Gentleman made on the subject last year than the notice upon which he had moved the amendment tonight. For, if he recollected aright, the hon. and learned Gentleman said last year that he thought the time had come when it was imperative that some legal provisions should be made for the poor of Ireland; he said that he was not sanguine of the success of any such measure, still that he not only would not vote against the measure, but, if necessary, would give it his support. The reasons which the hon. and learned Gentleman on that occasion gave for adopting such a course were, in his opinion, no less cogent at the present moment. On the contrary, he thought that circumstances had rather strengthened them, and that the general social and political condition of Ireland did not now less imperatively demand a remedy. He was not one of those who entertained any very sanguine hopes of the present measure. He did not believe that any one measure, whether a Poor-law or otherwise, could be a panacea for all the evils under which Ireland was suffering. He was quite aware that the great want of Ireland was some means of employing and relieving a redundant population, and he did not think that this measure could hare that effect. He felt, too, that there was justice in many of the observations of the hon. and learned Gentleman in reference to his objections to all compulsory provision for the destitute. He agreed that every impost upon property for the support of the indigent was more or less a tax upon the source of independent labour. But, notwithstanding all these theoretical and political difficulties, he felt it was the duty of the House, as rational men, to consider whether they could not take some step towards the improvement of the poor and destitute in Ireland. A state of abject destitution caused disturbance of the public peace, and created turbulence, outrage, and agitation; rendering both person and property insecure, and thereby preventing capital, skill, and enterprise being employed in their true and legitimate course. These were the causes of the misery of Ireland, and of the existing condition of her people. While on the one hand, however, he thought they ought not to form too sanguine an estimate of the benefit which this measure would confer on Ireland, on the other they ought not to be deterred from taking every practical step towards improving the condition of that country. He agreed with the noble Lord that whatever they did they must take care not to do too much, and to do what they did in a safe direction. Their great object ought to be not to raise expectations which they would afterwards be obliged to disappoint. In contrasting the different circumstances attending the administration of a Poor-law in England and in Ireland, there was one consideration which ought not to be lost sight of, namely, that in any alteration proposed to be made in the Poor-law in England care should be taken not to deprive the poor too suddenly of that relief which they had been accustomed to receive, however improperly so accustomed; whereas in respect to Ireland, inasmuch as the people of that country had not been accustomed to receive relief, it behoved them to be cautious that in whatever they gave they should give it salutarily and safely. Although he agreed with the noble Lord in the principle which he had adopted, namely, the making the workhouse a test of destitution, yet he thought that the noble Lord had gone rather too far in carrying out that principle. If the principle of making the workhouse a test of destitution was considered necessary in England, it was in a ten-fold degree necessary in Ireland. He was persuaded that out-door relief in Ireland would increase the objects of relief to an extent that would finally absorb all the resources of independent industry, and operate as a confiscation of all the property of the country. But he feared that in proposing to give relief to all the destitute, through the medium of the workhouse, the noble Lord proposed to effect that which it was impossible for him to accomplish. In alluding to the various and very conflicting statements of the Poor-law Commissioners on the one hand, and of Mr. Nicholls and Mr. Stanley on the other—to all of whom the House and the country were greatly indebted for the industry and talent they had applied to this subject—he owned he was quite incompetent to come to any direct conclusion with respect to them. The Commissioners said, that there were above 2,000,000 of destitute poor, while Mr. Nicholls and Mr. Stanley had said that there were not more than 80,000. He (Mr. Shaw) was disposed to think that the truth lay between them; but without being able to ascertain the precise number, this, he thought, must be admitted, that the elements of destitution abounded—that on the one side there was a great want of demand for labour, while on the other there was an over-supply of labourers. If that were so, he was very apprehensive that the workhouse test of destitution would not be found sufficient. He feared that the workhouse system would either be altogether useless as a means of relief to cases of able-bodied persons in a state of destitution, the system of restraint in the workhouses rendering those places so unpalatable to the able-bodied poor as altogether to deprive them of the benefit of this law; or that those workhouses would be wholly inadequate to the wants of the destitute, if the various precautions to prevent the people from improperly applying to them should not produce that effect. He owned that he was apprehensive that the latter branch of the alternative would be the result. He feared that the workhouses would be found to be totally inadequate. It was very true that the Irish character was attached to liberty and impatient of restraint, but then distress, and nakedness, and destitution would break down the proudest spirit; and there was also this characteristic about the Irish people, that if once that difficulty of which he had spoken were overcome, they were peculiarly enduring and patient, and far more regardless of suffering than other people. The result of destitution on many of the poor of Ireland was to drive them to the commission of crime, for the sole purpose of finding a shelter and a provision from misery and starvation within the walls of a prison, although, of course, that shelter and provision would be accompanied with all the restraint of imprisonment for crime. He was, therefore, fearful that the restraints would not be sufficient to deter the able-bodied from going into the workhouse. In England the great difficulty was to make the able-bodied work when work could be had, whereas in Ireland the great difficulty was to find work for those who were willing to do it. His desire was to provide for the sick, the impotent, the aged, and the infirm, though he would not draw a very close line in that respect. His great objection was, that by offering relief in the workhouse to all classes they would raise expectations which could not afterwards be realised. Under all the circumstances it occurred to him that the plan of giving relief to the aged, impotent, and infirm, within the workhouse or asylum (aided, no doubt as it was intended, by a well-considered system of emigration of the able-bodied and by an increase of employment on public works, not undertaken merely to give temporary relief to the labour market, but for the lasting improvement of the country), would be found to be, if not sufficient, the least objectionable plan that could be introduced into Ireland. As to the argument that a compulsory provision would dry up the sources of charity that now poured forth its streams to the relief of the indigent poor in Ireland, he entertained no apprehension that any consequence of that description could result from the present measure. It never could be supposed that a measure of this kind could supersede private charity. He trusted, as well for the sake of the giver as of the receiver, that they would always find the spirit of charity continuing amongst them, sweetening, as it ever did, all the intercourses of social life, binding together the different classes of society and promoting the best interests of all. The noble Lord was too sanguine if he expected to put clown vagrancy in Ireland by positive enactment. There were vagrancy Acts already existing in Ireland, and every one knew that these had been found totally inefficacious. Vagrancy, in its legal sense, was a very different thing from mendicancy. But it would be found to be a very difficult matter to carry any law into practical effect making either the one or the other illegal in Ireland. This Bill would, however, go far to remove the existing temptations which induced the poor to ask for relief on the one hand, and the charitably disposed to extend it indiscriminately on the other. He thought the subject of having a local board of commissioners in Ireland, acquiring its information on the spot, and being enabled to adapt the operation of the Act to the variation of circumstances, was one which would deserve mature consideration. Reserving to himself the right of discussing the details of the Bill in Committee, he would conclude by expressing his determination to give his support to the principle, the bare principle, of extending a Poor-law to Ireland.

Mr. W. S. O'Brien

observed, that the objections of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin resolved themselves into two parts—objections to the principle and objections to the details of the Bill—the first of which appeared to be founded in error, and the latter were capable of remedy in Committee. His own experience of the opinions of the shopkeepers and smaller occupiers in Ireland led him to form a directly contrary conclusion to that come to by the hon. and learned Gentleman; for he thought that they did care for the Bill. He lived in the adjoining county to that of the hon. and learned Member, and he had heard frequent complaints of the swarms of what were called "Kerry almanacs." The hon. Member also objected to the Bill that it would tend to repress the kindly feelings of the people. Such to a certain extent he would admit to be probable; but was it just that a poor family, themselves bordering on starvation, should, as they frequently now did, diminish their little allowance by supporting an orphan child; or that a poor cotter, having little enough for his own children, should, as he had known to be the case, receive into his house a child infected with the small-pox, thereby rendering his own children sufferers? Was this a proper state in which to leave the poor of that country? Great stress had also been laid by the hon. and learned. Gentleman on the vast amount of pauperism stated by the Commissioners to exist in Ireland, and the learned Gentleman had made use of this as argument against the Bill. So far, however, from this being a legitimate argument, he thought that the greater the amount of poverty the greater the necessity of this measure, and the greater the reason for its adoption. The number of poor requiring relief was stated to be 2,300,000; he believed that this amount was exaggerated; but at any rate the amount was large enough to demand a remedy. Then, again, the hon. and learned Gentleman had alluded to the smallness of the financial resources in Ireland, but he recollected that a very different estimate was taken when the question of the repeal of the union was under agitation. These were a few of the observations which he had thought it necessary to make on the objections of the learned Member for Dublin; and as the noble Lord had submitted to the House the views of the Government, he thought it but right that the Members for the Irish constituencies should also state their opinions. He conceived that the great defect of the bill was, that it rested entirely on the workhouse system, and he thought that the noble Lord, instead of introducing only this measure, should have produced three or four others to render the change complete. The workhouse system might be necessary and proper for England, but even in England, he thought, that a feeling was fast arising against any extension of this system. But, with all the boast which was made, it appeared that in England not one-fifth were relieved in the workhouse. For this statement, he had no later authority than the report of the Poor-law Commissioners for 1836, but by that report, he found that such was the proportion in seventeen counties, in unions which had been in operation for one year and more. Supposing a poor man who had given up his whole life to irksome labour were seized with illness, and that thus all his resources became exhausted, was he to blame for his destitution? And would they refuse him temporary relief? It was very easy for stern political economists to say, that in the days of his health he ought to lay by something for sickness; but how could a poor Irishman save anything out of his paltry wages of 8d. a day? He thought, that there was only one class for which the workhouse system was fitted—the class composed of the idle, the vagrant, and the impostor; for them, it was the appropriate resource: but if it were attempted to extend it to other classes, the least consideration must lead every reflecting man to the conclusion, that the provision capable of being thus furnished would be totally inadequate. It would be inadequate when in full operation, but what would they do whilst the workhouses were building? By Mr. Nicholls's report, it seemed that the total number of absolutely destitute poor amounted to 80,000, and if they added to these the class of sick and aged persons who would become permanent objects of relief they must double that number, and this would be exclusive of the able-bodied and casual poor. To provide workhouses, even for this number, not less than 2,500,000l. would be necessary. But they could not confine the relief to the aged, the helpless, and the infirm: they ought, and must extend it to the able-bodied, destitute, or sick poor. No reasonable amount of money would thus be sufficient to build the workhouses which would be required; and he could assure the noble Lord, that the poor in Ireland had as great, or a greater, horror of the workhouse as existed in England. Suppose, however, that the workhouse were full, he thought that they ought to enable the guardians to send the applicants to some source of employment, and under any circumstances, he thought the guardians ought to have the power to order at pleasure either in-door or out-door relief. He had often heard of assistance being afforded by public works, but he felt little inclination to trust to that source for permanent help. No person valued more highly than he did a system of emigration, and he hoped that the noble Lord would not withdraw the clauses to effect this desirable object, in deference to the wish of the hon. Member for Wicklow, or of any other hon. Gentleman. From emigration, the whole country derived a benefit, and he thought that in proportion to the value derived by the country a corresponding part of the expenses ought to be paid out of the general funds. They were going to spend in building workhouses double the sum which would be necessary to send the poor as emigrants to the furthest part of Upper Canada. If 100,000 or 150,000 labourers were to be induced to emigrate, the wages of the remainder would, in a short time run up, and would furnish a resource for employment to the willing labourer particularly applicable to the present state of Ireland. With respect also to the question of establishing the Boards of Commissioners in Dublin or in London he would not then decide, but he could not comprehend how one Irish commissioner could discharge all the onerous duties which would devolve upon him. The parties must be seen, and the communications must be received in Dublin; and how one individual could possibly undertake the duty was to him a mystery, and he hoped that, in this respect, the noble Lord would review his scheme. Another part of the bill, in which powers were given to the Commissioners, he trusted also would receive the reconsideration of the noble Lord. For himself, he thought that the powers given to the Commissioners of appointing paid officers to assist the guardians, and to order valuation of parishes, how applicable so ever they might be to the English system, ought to be resisted, and ought not to be introduced into the bill for Ireland. The noble Lord proposed also to divide Ireland into 100 unions, giving an average population of 80,000 to each. He (Mr. O'Brien) thought that these were too large, and that there would be difficulty in procuring the attendance of guardians at such a distance from their houses. He was of opinion, however, that the noble Lord had done well to avoid the introduction of a law of settlement, for without a legal title to relief, which was not granted to the poor by the bill, any settlement law would remain a dead letter. He thought, that the small class of occupiers so far from being injured would be benefitted by the bill which he had recommended, for one shilling in the pound was all that would be necessary to carry that bill into effect; and if one-third were charged to the occupier and two-thirds to the landlord, the tenant would be benefitted, and there would be the saving of great difficulty in the imposition of the rates. He had some other objections with respect to the Bill which he would state on some subsequent occasion, and he would then simply add that it was his intention to submit to the House a plan for amending the scale of voting under the bill, which he considered unjust on large occupiers. He should recommend a scale more just to the occupiers, and more in accordance with what existed under the English bill. He had to apologise to the House for the details into which he had entered; but as millions of property as well as millions of men would be affected by that bill, he thought it but right that they should thoroughly discuss it. It was a measure which demanded the grave consideration, as well of the landlords as of the people of Ireland; and when so much time was daily wasted in party debates, and in discussing mere measures of the day, he could not consider it a waste of time to consider its details. Having been one of the first advocates for an Irish poor-law, he was peculiarly anxious that, when the bill came into operation, it should not call forth clamour and unpleasant feelings on the part of the Irish; and he gave his cordial support to a bill professing to be a bill for the relief of the poor in Ireland.

Mr. Lucas

would not support the amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, because he could not coincide in his opinion, that, as there was a great deal of poverty, perhaps destitution, in Ireland, therefore they should make no legislative attempt to afford relief to the one or the other. He thought they should enter upon the subject, as they had done last year, free from all party feeling, determined patiently to consider the Bill before them, to allow it to go into Committee, and there endeavour to render it, as far as possible, what it professed to be. He concurred in the principle, but not in all the details, of the Bill. It was certainly highly desirable, that the poorer classes in Ireland should be relieved from the burthen of almsgiving to which they were at present subjected, and he would, if on that account alone, give his support to a Poor-law Bill. That burthen was deeply felt in Ireland. He agreed with the hon. and learned Member, in the fullest extent, as to the humane and meritorious feelings which induced the people of Ireland to bear that burthen. There was no people under heaven who made such sacrifices to relieve their distressed relations, or performed so much casual charity, as the people of that country; but he did not agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman, that that was not felt by them to be what it was—a heavy burthen, or that they would not be very glad to get rid of it, if a substitute were provided. He would mention a very creditable circumstance to bear out that opinion. An excellent landlord, watchful of the comforts of his tenantry, and who was in the habit of having their cabins annually whitewashed, was thus addressed by one of them, after the interior of his habitation had undergone that operation:—"For God's sake, Sir, don't let my house be whitewashed outside. It is a quarter of a mile from the road, and cannot now be seen by the beggars as they pass along; but if it be whitewashed, I shall be ruined, and shall never be able to pay my rent." The hon. and learned Gentleman had advanced topics unworthy of his talents, and made use of arguments which appeared to him (Mr. Lucas) quite fallacious. The hon. Gentleman stated, that the tenant was in all cases to pay, at least, one half, and, in many cases, very nearly the entire, of the rates. By the provisions of the Bill the tenant was no doubt to pay one-half—a principle which he considered only just; but it was as clear as the sun at noonday, as had been observed by the noble Lord, that whatever imposition of rate they might make by law on landlord and tenant—whatever disturbance they might make in their existing relation, it was perfectly clear, that, according as the leases should expire, that burthen would fall upon the landlord. Place the burthen as they would now, it would eventually come out of the pocket of the landlord. It was impossible for anything to fall from the hon. and learned Gentleman that would not have an important effect upon his countrymen. He had not, however, addressed the House that evening in the same tone as he had lately adopted out of it. He had written two letters upon this subject which differed in tone and temper from his advocacy that evening of the same cause. The hon. and learned Gentleman, for instance, had eluded some of the topics contained in those letters. In one of them he said, that, "in giving a Poor-law to Ireland, they would diminish wages, because they would necessarily lessen the means of the occupiers." Now, if the occupiers were to be burthened with a voluntary tax, and if no compulsory tax, as imposed by this Bill, existed, it was quite clear, that the Bill was not exposed to that objection, merely substituting, as it did, a compulsory for a voluntary tax. Whenever the distressed condition of the people of Ireland became a subject of discussion or conversation, men's minds naturally turned to the occasional assistance given to the poor by the wealthy and liberally disposed, either in that part of the United Kingdom or in this. Although the subscriptions from England and from a few persons in Ireland of good fortune were exceeding liberal, yet he could, from his own knowledge of the facts, affirm that they were but as a drop of water in the ocean compared to what was contributed by the farmers, high and low. In 1817. a period of extreme suffering, the farmers saved the great mass of the poor from actual starvation—not certainly by giving them money, for that they had not to bestow, but by giving them provisions; this produced no eclat, it made no impression, except upon the recipients of the bounty, and on those few who, being resident in the country, had an opportunity of witnessing its effects. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite treated the proposition of compulsory relief as worse than the union, alleging that the tenant must pay the impost. This statement was contained in one of the letters of the hon. and learned Gentleman. In his opinion there could not be in the mind of any man a shadow of doubt that, eventually, the charge must fail upon the landlords; but, in the present relation of landlord and tenant, it was evident that the measure might be said to take them unawares; justice, therefore, required that, under the existing bargains between those two classes of the community, the burthen should be apportioned equally on both. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, in another of his letters, said, in reference to the proposition for enacting a Poor-law, that his determination was to double the agitation, and to entreat the clergy to explain the effects of the intended measure; he also expressed his decided conviction that the tenant would have to bear the burthen. Surely it did not require a moment's reflection to see that this was a most erroneous view of the subject. Every charge of the sort must, in the end, be borne by the landlord. He admitted the imperfections of the measure, but, under existing circumstances, he thought it was in principle the best that could be proposed; he should, therefore, vote for going into Committee, though he should object to one or two of the details, and he feared that if the measure was attempted to be worked with its present machinery, it would prove a failure. With reference to the objections which he intended to make in Committee, he should just observe, that in England the whole of the Poor-rate was to be paid in the first instance by the occupying tenant; the necessary result was, that that class of the community watched over not only mendicancy itself, but over the administration of the funds intended for its relief. A payment in the first instance by the oc- cupier could not be proposed with regard to Ireland; if it were, the Bill could never be executed; but he thought in the measure then before the House there ought to be some substitute provided for the vigilance which the English practice super induced. He thought it was incumbent on the Government to show that they had provided such a substitute. He thought it was also incumbent on them to show that they had provided a substitute for the operation which the law of settlement had in England. Another objection which he entertained against the present measure, was the great size of the unions proposed to be created under it; which was such, that the means of superintendence would be totally lost to the rate-payers; they would be so numerous that there could be no discussions and no voting. From official documents, accessible to any hon. Member, and to the public generally, it appeared that in the province of Munster the farms were from five to fifty acres; twenty-five acres he would take to be the average, of 17l. 14s. value. In Ulster, the farms were eight to twelve acres, being an average of ten acres, at a value of 71. Is. 8d. In Leinster, the farms varied in extent from one to five acres, at a value of 21. 16s. 8d. In Connaught, subdivision attained its utmost extent, and almost defied calculation. There were in Ireland about 20,400,000 acres; the highest average of the farms was in Munster, being twenty-five acres. It was calculated that the whole number of farms in Ireland was 816,000. Now, if hon. Members would only look at the number of unions, they must see that the rate-payers would constitute assemblies too unwieldy for either voting or discussion. Mr. Nicholls was decidedly opposed to what he (Mr. Lucas) called the vice of the bill; he observed that the cordial co-operation of all parties was, as regarded the working of a poor-law, necessary to the well-being of all. Bearing that opinion in their minds, he begged hon. Members to look at this fact, that in Leinster the more numerous class of farms would be exempt from rates. The majority would then have no interest in watching the administration of the law, but rather have an interest opposed to its effective and just application; and that was in a greater or less degree true of the other provinces. The system of rating proposed by the bill was by much too complicated, and would lead necessarily to the greatest inconvenience. It would act, no doubt, so far as a penalty upon high rents; but the temptation to harsh landlords would very slightly, if at all, be diminished by the bonus it offered to low rents. Much as he objected to many of the details of the bill, and firmly as he believed, if passed in its present shape, it would prove altogether inoperative, he still cordially approved of its principle, and wished the measure every possible success.

Mr. Redington

believed, that the Irish people were the most charitable on the face of the earth; but notwithstanding the amount of charity which they dispersed, there existed still a vast amount of destitution in the country, and when voluntary charity was not sufficient to meet the exigency of the case, it was incumbent upon Parliament to interfere. He did not regard a Poor-law as the panacea for all the ills of Ireland. No one legislative enactment could remove the accumulated evils of a long course of misgovernment; but the adoption of a well-regulated system of Poor-laws would do much to beget a better order of things in Ireland, under which the country would improve; it would destroy undue competition for land, and while it would relieve the occupier, would tend to connect the proprietor of the soil, wherever and whoever he might be, with the tenants on his estate. He could not support the amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, and he hoped when the bill had reached the Committee that the hon. and learned Gentleman would do all in his power to make the measure as unobjectionable as possible. The bill, if passed in its present shape, would be altogether inefficient. With respect to a law of settlement and the workhouse system, he was as much opposed to the former as he was favourable to the adoption of the latter. No doubt the workhouse was a severe test, but if it were not adopted, there would be no check to the greatest abuse; and, beginning with the workhouse system, they might afterwards extend the measure as much as the necessity of the case might be found to require. But if they did not commence with the workhouse, it would be impossible ever afterwards to resort to it. He objected particularly to the powers of the Commissioners; indeed, although he acquitted the Government of any such intention, it appeared to him as if the object of the bill were to appoint Commissioners to frame a Poor-law. As an Irish landlord he felt no reluctance to undertake a large portion of the rate, and he believed that feeling was general in Ireland. He thanked Government for having taken up this question; he hoped they would energetically apply themselves to the settlement of those other not less important measures by which the public mind in Ireland was so much agitated and disturbed. This would give security; when security was obtained, capital would be more largely invested, and with increased means, the people would be better able to bear larger contributions.

Colonel Conolly

was afraid the present plan was one of too great magnitude. It would have been much better, in his opinion, if they had confined themselves in the first instance, to an immediate provision for the infirm, the aged, and impotent. Relief might afterwards have been gradually and beneficially extended to the other classes of the poor. He hoped the rating would be as local as possible, confined to the barony, if not to the parish. Economy would then be strictly enforced. The hon. and learned Member for the city of Dublin had said, there were many most impoverished districts in the county he had the honour to represent; it was so undoubtedly, and in his own opinion it was incumbent upon the landlords to pay for their improvement—for he considered this Poor-law practically in the nature of a penalty on the neglect of Irish property. He was inclined to think the proportion of rating suggested as fair and equitable between the parties, and he believed the landlords of Ireland would gladly submit to bear a heavy charge for the purpose of adequately relieving the prevalent distress.

Mr. O. Gore

supported the amendment, and objected to the Bill for two reasons, The first was the system of workhouses, and the other that of emigration, which its provisions embraced. He considered that the workhouse principle would be prejudicial to the habits and utterly subversive of the best feelings of the Irish people, and would be productive of evil, inasmuch as it would force a great mass of the Irish pauper population to quit Ireland for this country, where they could live at little expense, and where they would much rather live than be driven into a workhouse. With respect to the rates, in his opinion no rate could be levied in Ireland that would not eventually fall upon the owners of property, and he had not heard a single word upon this point, among all that had fallen from the hon. Member for Monaghan, which did not support and favour the amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. He had always had a strong feeling against emigration, because he considered that by it a country always got rid of what might be justly termed its best seed. In Ireland, there were eleven millions of acres out of cultivation, and immense numbers of the population of that country were most ready and willing to work, if they were afforded the opportunity. Ireland was at the present moment in the same position with regard to the introduction of a poor-law as England was in the time of Queen Elizabeth; and why not give her the benefit of some such measure as was then given to this country? Another objection he had to the Bill was the principle of centralisation. It would be necessary to have a central board either in London or Dublin, with several branches, all entailing a great deal of unnecessary expense; and, taking all these things into consideration, he felt that he must support the amendment of the hon. and learned Gentleman, in the hope of getting rid of the Bill altogether.

Mr. Litton

considered, that the Bill was at least worthy of the attention of the House, if it should only be found calculated to settle two or three important points. At all events, the destitution of the aged and infirm ought to be provided for, and the least that could be said of this Bill was, that it would have the effect of providing a remedy against such distressing cases; and that alone shewed that the subject was one of great national importance. It was impossible to frame a Bill that was not liable to objections of some sort, and he considered this measure ought to be allowed to go into Committee, if only on the principle that they were bound to try some remedy for destitution. It was a work of charity in which they were engaged, and he had little doubt that he should see the measure ere long supported by all the hon. Members from that country for whose benefit it was introduced.

Mr. Barron

approved entirely of the principle of the Bill, and agreed with most of its details. He considered it so good a measure as it at present stood, that he did not see how it could be materially amended in Committee. With respect to a law of settlement, it would be an absurdity to introduce a measure giving a settlement without, at the same time, giving the poor aright to relief. It was neither fair to the supporters of the Bill nor to the landlords of Ireland to call it a landlords' Bill, when any tax that would be created by it must of necessity come out of the landlords' pockets. The motion of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin should have his most determined and strenuous opposition. With regard to the observations of the hon. Member for Shropshire, relative to the workhouse system, he could inform the hon. Gentleman that that system had been already tried in Waterford, and there had been no complaint whatever as to the confinement; on the contrary, there was a constant increase of applicants for relief under that system—and the only complaint which he had heard of was that of want of funds to work out the principle more fully. This was an answer to the hon. Member for Shropshire, and one example must be allowed to be better than a thousand theories. The hon. Gentleman concluded by expressing his full approbation of the measure, and his conviction that it would have the most beneficial effects in mitigating the poverty in Ireland.

Mr. John Young

said, that amidst all the objections which had been made to the proposed measure, no one offered any plan in its room. He was very glad that a plan of emigration formed part of the Bill. He was disposed to think this among the best of the means of affording relief to the pauper population of Ireland, and he preferred it infinitely above the project of home colonization, to which allusion had been made, and with regard to which he thought that there were reports and papers enough on the table to show satisfactorily that pauper labour never could remunerate the state which employed it. With respect to the system of poor relief embodied in this Bill, let it be remembered that amidst all that had been said and written on this subject in this country for many years past, this was the only one that came recommended by the opinions of practical men. He thought the establishment of workhouses would prove most beneficial to the people of Ireland, especially if managed on the wise and benevolent system which had been adopted in most workhouses in England, and which he found detailed in the last report of the Poor-law Commissioners, and detailed (he was informed by a gentleman who had paid great attention to the state of the workhouses in different parts of the country) with much fidelity; and there it was stated that the necessary effect of the rules and regulations which had been established by the Poor-law Commissioners was to provide the poor man with wholesome food, and warm clothing, with a better bed, better and more regular medical attendance, and that on the whole he was placed in a better and more comfortable condition than before. He thought there was very little in this to make such a place look like a prison, and the statement gave the he to that which they had heard so much of, that the poor were illtreated in the workhouses. Such a system as this, if established in Ireland, would render the workhouse what it ought to be—an asylum for the poor cotters when misfortune overtook them; and he could not help thinking that the poor man would convey some portion of the order and regularity which he would find established in the workhouse back with him to his own home. He hoped that, partly by the operation of this law, and partly by other means now actively in force in Ireland, the country would be relieved from the strictures which Mr. Moore had passed on the state of rural architecture and accommodation in his work on the history of Ireland, where, after speaking of the miserable style in which the chiefs lived at an early period, he added that the condition of the poor must have been still more wretched, and he intimated that that portion of the people continued now in much the same deplorable condition as at that period. He should vote against the amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin.

Mr. J. Gibson

should support the amendment. A Poor-law, however valuable in itself, was not applicable to Ireland, owing to the peculiar circumstances of that country. To establish workhouses without law of settlement was, in his opinion; altogether chimerical; but, above all, by the operation of this law, the burden of a pauper population, arising in a vast number of instances almost entirely from neglect of duty on the part of the absentee landlord, would be thrown on the resident landlord—the very man who was accustomed to spend large sums and devote much time and labour to the improvement of the pauper population.

Sir F. Trench

hoped, notwithstanding the panegyric which had been pronounced by the hon. Member for Waterford upon workhouses, that he should never see 100,000 of his unfortunate countrymen shut up in a workhouse. He agreed with the hon. Member for Shropshire (Mr. O. Gore) that the present Bill was deserving the reprobation of every man who took an interest in the welfare of Ireland. However, as the result of the discussions upon the Canadian question clearly showed that her Majesty's Ministers were made up of "squeezable materials," he did not despair of their being found equally so on the present occasion. He trusted, therefore, that before the Bill passed through a Committee, it might be in such a state as to allow him to give it his support.

The House divided on the original motion.—Ayes 277; Noes 25:—Majority 252.

List of the AYES.
Acland, T. D. Brownrigg, S.
Adam, Sir C. Buller, Sir J. Y.
Adare, Viscount Burroughes, H. N.
Aglionby, H. A. Busfield, W.
Aglionby, Major Butler, hon. Colonel
Alexander, Viscount Callaghan, D.
Alford, Viscount Campbell, Sir H.
Alsager, Captain Cantilupe, Viscount
Alston, R. Cave, R. O.
Archbold, R. Cavendish, hon. G. H.
Attwood, W. Cayley, E. S.
Attwood, M. Chalmers, P.
Bagge, W. Chapman, Sir M.L.C.
Bagot, hon. W. Chisholm, A. W.
Bailey, J. Clive, hon. R. H.
Baillie, Colonel Cole, Viscount
Baines, E. Collier, J.
Baker, E. Colquhoun, Sir J.
Ball, N. Compton, H. C.
Baring, H. B. Conolly, E.
Barnard, F. T. Coote, Sir C. H.
Barneby, J. Copeland, Alderman
Barrington, Viscount Corry, hon. H.
Barron, H. W. Craig, W. G.
Barry, G. S. Crompton, S.
Baleman, J. Curry, W.
Beamish, F. B. Dalmeney, Lord
Bellew, R. M. Darby, G.
Benett, J. Denison, W. J.
Bentinck, Lord G. Dennistoun, J.
Berkeley, hon. H. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Bernal, R. Duckworth, S.
Bethell, R. Duke, Sir J.
Bewes, T. Duncan, Viscount
Blackett, C. Dundas, C. W. D.
Blake, M. J. Dundas, F.
Blake, W. J. Dundas, hon. T.
Blennerhassett, A. Dundas, hon. J. C.
Blewitt, R. J. Dundas, Captain
Blunt, Sir C. Easthope, J.
Bramston, T. W. Eastnor, Viscount
Briscoe, J. I. Eaton, R. J.
Broadley, H. Ebrington, Viscount
Brocklehurst, J. Egerton, Sir P.
Brodie, W. B. Eliott, hon. J. E.
Brotherton, J. Ellis, J.
Evans, Colonel Lushington, C.
Evans, W. Lygon, hon. General
Farnham, E. B. Mackinnon, W. A.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Macleod, R.
Fergusson, rt. hn. R. C. Maher, J.
Forbes, W. Maidstone, Viscount
Fort, J. Marshall, W.
Glynne, Sir S. R. Marsland, H.
Goddard, A. Marsland, T.
Gordon, R. Martin, J.
Goring, H. D. Master, T. W. E.
Grattan, J. Maule, W. H.
Grattan, H. Maunsell, T. P.
Grey, Sir G. Melgund, Viscount
Grimsditch, T. Mildmay, P. St. J.
Halford, H. Miles, W.
Hall, B. Miles, P. W. S.
Halse, J. Morpeth, Viscount
Harcourt, G. S. Morris, D.
Harland, W. C. Murray, rt. hon. J. A.
Hastie, A. Muskett, G. A.
Hawkins, J. H. Nagle, Sir R.
Hayter, W. G. O'Brien, W. S.
Heathcoat, J. O'Callaghan, hon. C.
Herbert, hon. S. O'Connell, M. J.
Hillsborough, Earl of O'Conor, Don.
Hindley, C. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Hobhouse, rt. hn. Sir J. Ossulston, Lord
Hobhouse, T. B. Paget, F.
Hodges, T. L. Pakington, J. S.
Hodgson, R Parker, M.
Holmes, hn. W. A. C. Parrott, J.
Holmes, W. Patten, J. W.
Hope, G. W. Pease, J.
Horsman, E. Pechell, Captain
Hoskins, K. Pendarves, E. W. W.
Houldsworth, T. Perceval, Colonel
Howard, F. J. Philips, Sir R.
Howard, P. H. Philips, M.
Howick, Viscount Philips, G. R.
Hughes, W. B. Phillpotts, J.
Hume, J. Planta, right hon. J.
Humphery, J. Plumptre, J. P.
Hutton, R. Poulter, J. S.
Irton, S. Powell, Colonel
Jackson, Sergeant Power, J.
Jephson, C. D. O. Price, R.
Jervis, J. Protheroe, E.
Jervis, S. Redington, T, N.
Johnstone, H Rice, E. R.
Johnston, General Rice, right hon. T. S.
Jolliffe, Sir W. Rich, H.
Jones, W. Roche, E. B.
Jones, T. Roche, W.
Knatchbull, hn. Sir E. Rolleston, L.
Knight, H. G. Rose, right hon. Sir G.
Labouchere, rt. hn. H. Round, C. G.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Rushbrooke, Colonel
Lefevre, C. S. Rushout, G.
Lennox, Lord G. Russell, Lord J.
Lennox, Lord A. Salwey, Colonel
Lister, E. C. Sanford, E. A.
Litton, E. Scarlett, hon. J. Y.
Loch, J. Scholefield, J.
Logan, H. Scrope, G. P.
Long, W. Seale, Colonel
Lucas, E. Seymour, Lord
Shaw, right hon. F. Vivian, rt. hn. Sir R. H.
Sheppard, T. Wakley, T.
Shirley, E. J. Walker, C. A.
Sinclair, Sir G. Walker, R.
Somerville, Sir W. M. Wallace, R.
Spiers, A. Ward, H. G.
Stewart, J. Whalley, Sir S.
Stuart, H. White, A.
Stuart, Lord J. White, S.
Stuart, White, L.
Strangways, hon. J. Whitmore, T. C.
Strutt, E. Wilberforce, W.
Style, Sir C. Williams, W.
Surrey, Earl of Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Talbot, J. H. Wilshere, W.
Tancred, H. W. Winnington, T. E.
Thomson, rt. hn. C. P. Winnington, H. J.
Thornley, T. Wood, G. W.
Townley, R. G. Worsley, Lord
Troubridge, Sir E. T. Wrightson, W. B.
Tuffnell, H. Wyse, T.
Turner, E. Yates, J. A.
Vere, Sir C. B. Young, J.
Vigors, N. A.
Villiers, C. P. TELLERS.
Vivian, Major C. Parker, J.
Vivian, J. H. Steuart, R.
List of the NOES.
Attwood, T. Lockhart, A. M.
Bodkin, J. J. Macnamara, Major
Brabazon, Sir W. Maxwell, H.
Bridgeman, H. O'Connell, J.
Chester, H. O'Connell, M.
Buncombe, hon. W. O'Neil, hon. J. B. R.
Evans, G. Parker, R. T.
Fitzsimon, N. Pryme, G.
Gore, O. J. R. Scartlett, hon. R.
Gore, O. W. Verner, Colonel
Granby, Marquess of Westenra, hon. H. R.
Hayes, Sir R. TELLERS.
Ingestrie, Viscount O'Connell, D.
Kemble, H. Gibson, J.

The House went into Committee pro forma, and resumed.