HC Deb 22 March 1838 vol 41 cc1126-7
Mr. Gillon

said, that as the Commission was now sitting to inquire into the condition of the Hand-loom Weavers, he would withdraw the motion of which he had given notice with respect to that subject; but before doing so, there were some points on which he wished an explanation from the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade. He wished first to know the cause of the delay in the appointment of the Commission. He understood it was only on Tuesday last, that the Sub-Commissioner was to open the Commission. He, therefore, wished to know the cause of the very great delay. In the next place, only one Commissioner had been dispatched to investigate the subject. Now, as weaving was widely diffused over the country, and as it was necessary the Commissioner should visit every town in which hand-loom weaving was carried on, it was not only necessary for him to make himself master of the subject, but also to impress the people with belief that a real and searching inquiry was to be made. If only one Commissioner should be sent, the inquiry would be protracted to a very inconvenient length of time. These individuals had been suffering for a long series of years the most complicated distress: different Committees had recommended the introduction of bills to ameliorate their condition. These bills, however, had always been resisted on the part of the Government. Now, when a Commission was appointed, he wished no time would be lost in carrying the inquiry into effect. Another subject to which he wished to direct the attention of the hon. Gentleman was this. He understood the Commissioners in Lancashire had refused any allowance to witnesses for loss of time. He trusted they would have the power of allowing some compensation to these people, who were suffering the most extreme distress. He trusted the hon. Gentleman would be able to give some explanation on these points, and with that understanding he should be inclined to postpone his motion.

Mr. P. Thomson

was understood to say, that the cause of delay was the difficulty of bringing the Gentlemen together. With respect to the second question, he was unable to give a satisfactory answer, being unacquainted with the details of the measure.

The motion withdrawn.

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