§ Mr. Darby
rose to move again the clause which he had proposed last week in the Committee. He trusted the House would pardon him for a few moments, while he called their attention to the circumstances under which this clause was now proposed. A clause that the guardian should have power to give relief in certain cases, was carried by a considerable majority. He had then intended to introduce the clause which he now proposed, but the noble Lord stated, that if that clause was carried he would probably abandon his bill; yet he admitted, that as the instruction had been carried by a majority, he 98 did think some alteration should be made in the bill. On the noble Lord proposing a clause, the hon. Member for Buckingham moved an amendment to it, thinking it was too large, which amendment was carried; but the hon. Member for Buckingham afterwards joined with the noble Lord, and threw out the clause altogether. There was great confusion in the House at the time, and it was not until some hon. Members had left the House that he was aware he had been made a teller with the hon. Member for Buckingham, otherwise he should have voted against him. However, he had this admission, that with respect to labourers married before the passing of the Poor-law Amendment Act, great hardship existed; and the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Pembroke, admitted, that if the Poor-law Bill was intended to be carried out, according to those orders which prevented any relief except by taking the whole family into the workhouse, it was impossible it could work. The right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tarn worth, had stated that the whole question had better remain over, and be considered at a future time; but that with regard to labourers married before the passing of the Act, one objection to giving them relief in the manner proposed was, that so much time had elapsed since the Act passed. But that was the very reason which urged him to bring forward the subject at this time, because that argument would apply with double force if the bill were to continue for two years more without any alteration. On this subject he would refer to the evidence of Dr. Kay, whose authority the noble Lord would be inclined to admit. Dr. Kay stated, that, as workhouse schools were now conducted, there existed considerable difficulty in imparting to the children the elements of sound secular or religious knowledge, which might, however, be overcome by a different system of management. Dr. Kay said, in his evidence, that imprudent marriages had decreased in those districts in which this law had been brought into operation, and the noble Lord objected to his clause, that, in his opinion, it would be likely to lead to a return to the old system. He did not think the noble Lord had any right to make such an objection to his clause, because it would not encourage imprudent marriages, but only went to remove that which the noble Lord himself had admitted to be a hardship. 99 This clause would render it necessary that inquiries should be instituted as to the time when the parties were married; this would necessarily lead to other inquiries, so that no relief would be administered without a previous inquiry into the circumstances of the family. Having had the admission of the noble Lord that the law, as it now stood in this respect, inflicted a hardship, and having heard the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Pembroke, admit that if this part of the law had been fully acted on in his part of the country, it would have been impracticable, he was at a loss to understand the grounds upon which his clause was opposed. The principle of the Act was to prevent persons entering into imprudent marriages, and there was nothing in the clause which he proposed, to contravene that principle. If this clause should be negatived, he supposed the noble and learned Lord would introduce his own clause, as he had admitted, that, after the decision the House bad come to on this subject, something ought to be done. If the clause should be carried, the noble Lord might, perhaps, propose to put off the bill to another Session. To this he should not object, but he trusted that it would be carried. He bad never made any use of this question for the purposes of agitation; on the contrary, he had always warned the working classes against such proceedings; but he thought this clause was likely to do good, by showing that the House was willing to attend to what the noble Lord himself had admitted to be a hardship. The hon. Member concluded by moving a clause to enable the guardians of the poor to give relief to widows and able-bodied men, having families, out of the workhouse, who were married before the passing of the 4 & 5 Will. 4, cap. 76.
§ Mr. Burroughes
, in seconding the motion, said, he considered the withdrawal of all power to grant relief unless it was accompanied by the confinement of a whole family in the workhouse, pressed with peculiar hardship upon those able-bodied labourers who had large families in consequence of marriage previous to the passing of the Poor-law Amendment Act. It had been said, that if the motion of the hon. Member for East Sussex was carried, it would bear hard upon those who had married only a short time after the new Poor-law came into operation. Grantee that it might do so, it might appear to 100 bear hard upon such persons, but it would be in appearance only, for in reality one man's family would not be worse off because his neighbour was not placed in an equally miserable condition. Moreover, the bill they were now enacting was only a temporary measure, and the provisions of it would have passed away before it was possible that a man who had married since the Poor-law Act passed should have a very large family. He had always understood that one object of the Poor-law Act was to prevent improvident marriages, and such had certainly been the effect of it. In the evidence of Dr. Kay, as quoted by his hon. Friend behind him, it was shown that in a certain number of parishes, from which Dr. Kay had been able to procure a correct return, the marriages had decreased immediately upon the Act coming into operation, whereas the number had been increasing the two previous years. He did not think the lower orders were so dull of comprehension in matters that affected their own interest as might sometimes be imagined. He was well aware of the many defects that had crept into the administration of the old law, and he was far from advocating anything like a, return to the old system; but he thought it was harsh to visit the sins of the system upon the heads of the unoffending victims to it, and to starve the unfortunate offspring of an improvident marriage because the parent could not bring himself to submit to the degradation of being incarcerated in a workhouse, and to suffer punishment differing but little from that inflicted upon persons convicted of crime. The motion did not call for any compulsory provisions, but simply for a discretionary power to afford relief in certain cases where the new Poor-law Act, to all intents and purposes, was an ex-post facto law. He did not wish to speak harshly or disrespectfully of the Poor-law Commissioners, but he did think that boards of guardians would exercise a sound discretion in this matter, a discretion as sound at all events as that which dictated the sending ten or a dozen peremptory orders from Somerset House to different Unions in the county which he had the honour to represent, whilst this discussion was pending in the House of Commons, some of which orders were received upon the very day that the Hon. Member for East Sussex carried his instruction to that committee in that House. Dr. Kay's evidence before the 101 committee last year had been before alluded to; in answer to question 5060 that gentleman said—Generally, I believe that Boards of Guardians administer relief with care, and that discretion may be entrusted to them.In answer to question 5061, Dr. Kay said—The discretion must be entrusted somewhere, and I do not think the discretion can be entrusted anywhere better than to a large body not representing individual interests, but representing general interests, and practically acquainted with the habits and wants of the poorer classes, and which body also comprises persons of great intelligence of the upper classes.One more question from Dr. Kay's evidence and he had done. In answer to question 4793, Dr. Kay was pleased to allude to the union with which he (Mr. Burroughes) was more immediately connected, and of which he was then chairman, and Dr. Kay called it "one of the best managed unions in the County of Norfolk." Now he thought that Dr. Kay was rather too apt to speak in the superlative degree, and as he had very much exaggerated the meaning of the words which he (Mr. Burroughes) had made me of upon that occasion, he would suppose he meant as well managed as any, rather than "best;" and when he told the House that the peremptory order of the Commissioners had never been acted upon in that union, but that the guardians had always exercised the discretionary power now asked for; he trusted that he had made out a case sufficiently strong to induce the noble Lord to consent—or at all events to induce the House to grant a continuance of that small portion of discretionary power which had hitherto been enjoyed by the union where he acted, and to enable other unions to adopt the same if they should think fit.
Mr. C. B. Hamilton
trusted he should not be accused of presumption, having so lately had the honour of taking his seat in that House, if he ventured to say a very few words in support of the vote he intended to give in favour of the clause proposed by the hon. Member for East Sussex. His opinions having been recorded in favour of the New Poor-law in the 2nd volume of the Commissioners' report, he was anxious to state why he considered the clause now under consideration an improvement. The noble Lord 102 opposite was aware that he was, and had been ever since the passing of the Act, chairman of one of the most extensive unions in the kingdom. The board consisted of eighteen exofficial, and thirty-eight elected guardians, and be believed he was speaking the opinions of a majority of those gentlemen, who were well qualified from habits of business and residence in the country, to judge of these matters, when he now recorded his own in favour of the amendment. The clause after all, did not go to say that they must give relief out of doors, but only that they might in certain cases, and where they saw the necessity, give that relief directly, which he would venture to say, in nine unions out of ten, had been given indirectly, for the last two years. If he thought, as some hon. Gentlemen did, that the adoption of the clause would annihilate the whole measure, he would not support it, but he was convinced no such result would ensue. He had ever given the Government credit for having brought in and carried out the New Poor-law Bill in good faith, and without any reference to party feeling, or to serve party purposes; but when he admitted this, truth compelled him to add, that in his opinion there were many provisions in the bill, that pressed severely on the humbler classes. The bastardy clause, he thanked Heaven, was at an end—a measure the most unjust and ineffectual that ever was concocted—unjust to the ratepayer, and most unfair towards the fair sex. The clause, too, respecting widows, he by no means approved of, and there were many others that required amendment. On the present occasion he should content himself with supporting the clause more immediately under consideration, and in so doing, he believed that he was acting in accordance with sound policy, justice, and humanity; more particularly when the present state of the country was taken into consideration.
§ Lord J. Russell
, considering the full discussion which this clause had formerly undergone, would advert as little as possible, to the arguments which had then been urged in its defence, and which had been fully answered. He retained all the objections which he had formerly urged against this clause. He considered it to be at variance with every other clause in the Poor-law Act. It was also a renewal of the worst part of the old system—viz., 103 the allowance system. It would expose the new law to universal relaxation, and would, in that respect alone, be productive of the most pernicious consequences. It would create great dissatisfaction among the labourers, as it would divide them into two distinct classes, one of which would be entitled to relief out of the workhouse, and the other not, and that, too, without the slightest reference either to the goodness or the worthlessness of their character. It would also induce the employers of labour to engage those who were entitled to workhouse relief, in preference to those who were not—and for this reason, that they might employ the one at 10s. a-week, and send him to the parish for 4s. more, whilst they would not be able to get the other, without paying him the full amount of wages. By the cogency of such arguments, and by the want of uniformity thus created in the system of Poor-laws, the House would be compelled to break down by degrees all the efficiency of the present law. With regard to widows, a return recently laid on the Table distinctly proved that there was no necessity for such an enactment as that now proposed by the hon. Member for East Sussex. With respect to able-bodied labourers, he found, upon communication with the Poor-law Commissioners, that they had no objection to relax their peremptory order wherever it should be represented to them by the guardians, that they wished to take one or more children of able-bodied labourers into the workhouse. It would, in his opinion, be better to take this relaxation from the Poor-law Commissioners than to adopt this clause, which would be binding on them as a principle of law: for the Act, if thus altered, would weaken the authority of the Commissioners just as much as it strengthened that of the boards of guardians. He thought that the past conduct of the Poor-law Commissioners, had been such as ought to induce the House to place every confidence in them. As the House would of necessity have to consider the whole of this matter again in the course of next year, it would be unadvisable to proceed further with this clause during the present Session. He should certainly meet this clause with all the opposition in his power.
§ Lord G. Somerset
expressed his intention to support the clause. So far was he from being willing to extend the authority 104 of the Commissioners, that he had every desire to abridge it: for he would tell the noble Lord, that he had no confidence whatever in the Poor-law Commissioners. He had no doubt that they had acted from the best motives; but still he could not conceal his conviction, that they had not exercised their discretion soundly in the administration, or rather in the refusal, of out-door relief. He complained that they had not even acted uniformly upon their own principles. In one district, their rule of refusing out-door relief, was strictly enforced—in another it was not enforced at all. He understood that this want of uniformity was peculiarly visible in the unions of so small a county as that of Sussex. In one of the unions of that county, out-door relief was not allowed to be given, whilst in another, not fifteen miles from it, that restriction was entirely superseded. This created exactly the same jealousy among the labouring classes, which the noble Lord asserted would result from the House agreeing to this clause. He was of opinion, that this clause, instead of going too far, did not go far enough. Though he would not relieve out of doors, the man who had married since 1834, he was not therefore to be precluded from relieving out of doors, the man who had married before that lime. With respect to the clause of which he had himself given notice, considering that it had been strongly recommended by the committee which had sat last year, and which had not been constituted in a manner very favourable to his views, he hoped that it would be supported by the House, and that no objection would be made to allowing widows under certain circumstances, to be relieved out of doors, on very liberal principles. He could assure the noble Lord, that an enormous majority of the boards of guardians throughout the kingdom, were most anxious to see the provisions of the New Poor-law, considerably relaxed.
§ Lord Eliot
said, that though he could not concur in the sweeping reprobation which his noble Friend had just cast upon the Poor-law Commissioners, he could have wished, that they had left in the boards of guardians, under the New Poor-law, a greater discretionary power, than that which they now allowed them to exercise. He could not give his support to the clause now proposed, as it would lead to great discontent in every parish, by 105 dividing its labouring population into two distinct classes. He had no objection, however, to the clause which would allow the guardians to apply out-door relief to widows.
Sir R. Price
expressed himself hostile to the clause, as the power of administering out-door relief under the old law, had been the main cause of the poor being defrauded so long, of the proper amount of wages to which they were entitled. The present law, he considered calculated to accomplish great good, if it were impartially carried into effect. But if hon. Members persevered in first breaking down one of its principles by a side wind, and in then assailing another in the same manner, all the efficiency of it would be lost, and they might as well get rid of it altogether. He hoped the case of widows would be favourably considered, and that the whole subject would engage the attention of the House early next Session.
§ Mr. Wakley
regretted to hear it proposed to delay for another year, giving that relief to the necessitous poor, which they so much required. Was that the boasted humanity of the gentlemen of England? He was astonished that a reformed Parliament could be found to listen to such a proposal with patience. That course was one that had a tendency to degrade the House, and to strip it of all the respect which it ought to receive from the people of the country. Would the gentry of England, because the Poor-law Amendment Act was a measure that relieved their estates in some degree from burdens to which they were liable, put their feet upon the necks of the poor, and say to them, "Our position is comfortable enough, we care not for your miseries?" He did trust that the House would take the subject into consideration now. He had often heard of the great principle of the Poor-law Amendment Act, but had never heard any one define what it was. Would the noble Lord, the Secretary of State, say that its principle was the denial of relief to the able-bodied man in all cases whatever? If that were not the principle, what else could be its principle but the starvation of the poor? He hoped that hon. Members would this night give direct votes upon the motion of the hon. Member for Sussex, and that there would be no weaving of votes. On a former night, the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, bad agreed, to 106 accept the clause of the hon. Member for Sussex, in an amended shape; yet afterwards, when it was objected to, and a division was taken upon it, he was among the most eager to vote against it in that improved form. He thought the poor of this country had a right to relief without being compelled to go into a gaol; for he looked upon the union workhouses as gaols. If the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Home Department, intended to grant any relaxation of the law next year, he was taking a very mistaken course in opposing that which was now proposed. The noble Lord must not expect that the country would endure the continuance of the law in its present state, and especially of the commission. The people were not averse to the reform of the numerous abuses that clung to the old system of administering relief, but they were competent to manage their own affairs without the aid of commissioners, and they demanded to have that privilege. With regard to the present clause, nothing he thought could be so preposterous as drawing a distinction between parties married before a particular day, and those who were married after it. He was satisfied that the law respecting widows, as it at present stood, could not be strictly administered. Indeed, enough had passed in the committee, of which he had been a member, to show that cruelty was not exercised towards them. But he contended that destitution should be the sole and universal test; whenever they departed from that they would fall into grievous errors. The power of administering relief might, with perfect safety, be intrusted to the guardians, who were on the spot, and knew how far each applicant deserved relief, and whether destitution had or had not been brought on by the improvidence of the party. He should be glad to know if the noble Lord intended to grant any relaxation in the article of out-door relief? If so, it was but right that the country should know of it.
§ Viscount Howick
said, the House must now be prepared to declare whether they were to revert to the old practice of giving relief in aid of wages. If they were to revert to that fatal and mischievous principal, he would rather see the House do so boldly and at once, than do it by successive steps, deluding the public as to their real intentions. If they had recourse to the mistaken principle of giving relief wherever they saw distress, they 107 would find that it would be attended with effects the most injurious to the interests of the labouring classes. The hon. Member for Finsbury had talked of the greed of the aristocracy, as if they were anxious to make gain of the sufferings of the poor. Why, they all knew, that it was not their own money that the guardians had to give away in administering relief, so much as the money of that class, which was only enabled by laborious and virtuous struggles to keep its head above those who were obliged to accept of relief. The poor-rates pressed with far more severity upon them, than upon persons possessed of great property. But he would ask any Gentleman who was acquainted with the condition of the country, particularly the southern part of it, previous to the year 1834, whether he did not know, that the real ground on which the bill was proposed, was less the pecuniary benefit it would confer on the rate-payers, than the advantage of those for whose sake the rates were levied. Tyranny, oppression, and cruelty to the poorer classes, and certain demoralization, were the inevitable consequences of the vicious system formerly in operation. These were the considerations, and not pecuniary saving, which induced him to think it incumbent on that House to adhere to the great principle of the Act for amending the Poor-laws. The principle of that Act was to give relief in all cases of real destitution, but to confine relief to such cases. That being then, the great principle of the bill, it was necessary to find some means by which they might prevent that principle from being invaded, because any departure from it would lead directly to giving relief to those who might little deserve it. He need only appeal to the elaborate reports of the Poor-law Commissioners for the proof, that it was perfectly impossible in practice to apply the principle of the hon. Member for Finsbury without its leading directly to abuse. It might be, that a man in health and strength might at times want some relief in addition to his wages, but in practice it was found quite impossible to investigate and see how far each claimant's real wants extended. If the labourer was made to see, that he should be aided out of the poor-rates, whenever wages fell, he was deprived of the great incitement to exertion—namely, the honest love of independence. In short, he was convinced, that the inevitable tendency of the system 108 was to break down the distinction between those who really had claims upon the public benevolence, and those whose misfortunes, being owing to improvidence and want of frugality, had no claims of that kind. He should, therefore, give his decided opposition to the clause. One word on the subject of widows. He wished to recal to the recollection of the House, that the hon. Member for Finsbury, who was so inveterate an enemy to the Poor-law, and the rancour of whose hostility was such as occasionally, as appeared to him, to deprive the hon. Member of his usual good sense, had still, with all his rancour admitted that in the whole of the long inpuiry of two Sessions, which had been carried on by the Committee of the House, there had not been brought forward any proof of harsh treatment of widows, either on the part of the unions or of the Commissioners. If that was the case, where was the necessity for changing the law? If the mode of treatment was such that no fault could be found with it, why alter the system? The recommendations of the committee of last year had been referred to. What did the committee recommend? Why, that the principle which Gentlemen opposite so much condemned, should continue to be applied. He would only add, that he earnestly hoped the House would not permit what had been so well termed the fine end of the wedge to be driven in on this occasion.
§ Mr. Estcourt
said, that the nolbe Lord had not alluded to some parts of the Act, from which it appeared, that the clause was not so much opposed to the principles of the Poor-law Act, as to subject the hon. Member who moved it, to the charge of attempting to overthrow the principle of the Act by means of a side wind. For instance, the bastardy clause was made to have reference only to those children who were born since the passing of the Act. His hon. Friend had followed the exact principle of this part of the Act, and proposed the same relaxation of the law, in the cases he particularized as the Government, and the other supporters of the Act, had introduced in the bastardy clause with respect to those who had illegitimate children since the passing of the Act. He did not think, therefore, that his hon. Friend was liable to the imputation which had been thrown out against him. The clause he thought essentially necessary, and he should, I he re fore, sup- 109 port the motion of his hon. Friend. He was rather inclined to think, that in some cases, the guardians were carrying the practice of giving out-door relief to a greater extent than was intended by this clause, and thought it was infinitely better to have this extension effected by Act of the Legislature, than to have it done by indirect means, as at present.
§ Mr. T. Attwood
professed his disbelief of the real existence of the evils which it was the fashion to attribute to the Act of the 43rd of Elizabeth, nor did he believe, that under the old law, the relief administered was in any place permanently excessive. He believed, that the cases of over relief, were to those of under relief, in the proportion of one to 100. With respect to the present state of the labouring population, he believed, that the Poor-law had nothing to do with anything, that there might be, that appeared favourable in their position. When it was stated, that the new law had contributed to raise the condition of the labouring poor, it ought to be remembered, that during the whole of the five years in which the Poor-law had been in operation, no fewer than 400,000 of the poor had found employment on the railways. Instead of benefitting, the Poor-law was calculated, in his opinion, to coerce and grind the poor; and it was also his opinion, that had it not been for the accidental circumstance of the great demand for labour, which had arisen from the formation of so many railroads, the wages of labour in England, would have been, by this, thrown down, under the operation of the Poor-law, to the Irish level. This he had prophesied five years ago. The noble Lord (Howick) seemed very hostile to mingling relief with wages; he (Mr. Attwood) was not hostile to that at all. When a labourer's wages were too small, he believed, that the labourer had a perfectly constitutional right to ask of the public, that his wages should be raised. That a labourer should do this, was, in his opinion, perfectly just, perfectly right, and perfectly politic too. This, he thought, was the greatest and most valuable of an Englishman's rights; the right of living fairly and honestly by his own labour. He thought, too, that no sort of property was so sacred as property in labour. He never would cease to protest against any attempt, in this House or the Other; to grind down the poor below the 110 level of a full, fair, and plentiful subsistence.
§ Mr. Bramston
, believing that the Act was calculated to enable the labourer to hold up his head before his employer, and ask a fair price for his labour, was determined to support the present system. He thought, too, that it would be impossible to support the proposition contained in this clause without going into the whole subject; and, above all, he could not see upon what principle they were to distinguish between persons who were married in 1834, and those who were married in 1835. He should, therefore, vote against the motion.
§ The House divided on the question, that the clause be brought up—Ayes 42; Noes 77:—Majority 35.
|List of the Ayes.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Hodgson, F.|
|Attwood, T.||Hodgson, R.|
|Blackburne, I.||Hope, hon. C.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Kemble, H.|
|Broadley, H.||Lowther, J. H.|
|Broadwood, H.||Lygon, hon. Gen.|
|Brotherton, J.||Norreys, Lord|
|Brownrigg, S.||Palmer, G.|
|Bruges, W. H. L.||Parker, R. T.|
|Burrell, Sir C.||Pechell, Captain|
|Chute, W. L. W.||Powell, Colonel|
|Cochrane, Sir T. J.||Praed, W. T.|
|Douglas, Sir C. E.||Round, J.|
|Duke, Sir J.||Rushbrooke, Colonel|
|Duncombe, T.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Estcourt, T.||Vere, Sir C. B.|
|Fielden, J.||Vigors, N. A.|
|Forester, hon. G.||Wakley, T.|
|Grimsditch, T.||Williams, W.|
|Hamilton, C. J. B.|
|Hector, C. J.||TELLERS.|
|Hindley, C.||Burroughes, H. N.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Darby, G.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Cowper, hon. W. F.|
|Adam, Admiral||Craig, W. G.|
|Bannerman, A.||Dalmeny, Lord|
|Baring, F. T.||Divett, E.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Donkin, Sir R. S.|
|Barry, G. S.||Eliot, Lord|
|Blake, W. J.||Ewart, W.|
|Bowes, J.||Fitzpatrick, J. W.|
|Bramston, T. W.||French, F.|
|Bridgeman, H.||Gordon, R.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Grey, right hn. Sir C.|
|Bryan, G.||Grey, right hn. Sir G.|
|Buller, C.||Grosvenor Lord R.|
|Callaghan, W.||Grote, G.|
|Campbell, Sir J.||Hawes, B.|
|Cavendish hon. C.||Hill, Lord A. M. C.|
|Chichester, J. P. B.||Hobhouse, right hon. Sir J.|
|Hoskins, K.||Sheil, R. L.|
|Howard, P. H.||Smith, G. R.|
|Howick, Viscount||Smith, R. V.|
|Hutt, W.||Somerville, Sir W. M.|
|Hutton, R.||Stanley, hon. W. O.|
|Lushington, rt. hn. S.||Steuart, R.|
|Macaulay, T. B.||Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.|
|Maule, hon. F.||Thornely, T.|
|Mildmay, P. St. John||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Verney, Sir H.|
|Muskett, G. A.||Villiers, hon. C. P.|
|Norreys, Sir D. J.||Warburton, H.|
|Paget, F.||Wilbraham, G.|
|Pigot, D. R.||Wood, C.|
|Price, Sir R.||Wood, G. W.|
|Pryme, G.||Worsley, Lord|
|Redington, T. N.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Rice, right hon. T. S.||Wyse, T.|
|Rich, H.||Yates, J. A.|
|Rolfe, Sir R. M.|
|Russell, Lord J.||TELLERS.|
|Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.||Stanley, E. J.|
|Seymour, Lord||Parker, J.|
Lord G. Somerset moved the following clause:—
And be it further enacted, that in the case of any widow, who shall be unable to maintain her child or children, being the issue of her marriage, it shall be lawful for the guardians of the union or parish to which such widow is chargeable, if they shall think fit, to give relief in kind to such widow out of the workhouse, or to give relief to such widow by admitting one or more of such children into the workhouse of such union or parish, without requiring such widow to receive relief in such workhouse.
He thought it his duty to persevere in his motion, and hoped the House would support his proposition.
§ Lord J. Russell
said, the Poor-law Commissioners made an exception between the case of a widow in the first six months of her widowhood. He submitted that the clause was not required, and he should therefore oppose it.
§ Mr. Hindley
was much surprised at the opposition of the noble Lord to the clause; it was not in keeping with what he had given the House to understand on this point.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 43; Noes 64: Majority 21.
|List of the Ayes.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Brownrigg, S.|
|Attwood, T.||Bruges, W. H. L.|
|Blackburne, I.||Burroughes, H. N.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Chute, W. L. W.|
|Bramston, T. W.||Cochrane, Sir T. J.|
|Broadley, H.||Douglas, Sir C. E.|
|Broadwood, H.||Duke, Sir J.|
|Brotherton, J.||Duncombe, T.|
|Eliot, Lord||Lygon, hon. Gen.|
|Estcourt, T.||Palmer, G.|
|Fielden, J.||Parker, R. T.|
|Forester, hon. G.||Pechell, Captain|
|Grimsditch, T.||Powell, Colonel|
|Hamilton, C. J. B.||Praed, W. T.|
|Hector, C. J.||Round, J.|
|Henniker, Lord||Rushbrooke, Colonel|
|Hindley, C.||Vere, Sir C. B.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Vigors, N. A.|
|Hodgson, F.||Wakley, T.|
|Hodgson, R.||Williams, W.|
|Hope, hn. C.||TELLERS.|
|Kemble, H.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Lowther, J. H.||Darby, G.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Adam, Admiral||Morpeth, Lord|
|Anson, hon. Col.||Muskett, G. A.|
|Baring, F. T.||Norreys, Sir D. J|
|Barnard, E. G.||Paget, F.|
|Barry, G. S.||Parker, J.|
|Bernal, R.||Price, Sir R.|
|Bowes, J.||Pryme, G.|
|Bridgeman, H.||Redington, T. N.|
|Briscoe, J. I.||Rich, H.|
|Bryan, G.||Rolfe, Sir R. M.|
|Buller, C.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Callaghan, D.||Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A.|
|Campbell, Sir J.||Seymour, Lord|
|Cavendish, hon. C.||Sheil, R. L.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Smith, G. R.|
|Craig, W. G.||Smith, R. V.|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Somerville, Sir W. M.|
|Divett, E||Stanley, hon. W. O.|
|Donkin, Sir R. S.||Steuart, R.|
|Ewart, W.||Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.|
|Fitzpatrick, J. W.||Thornely, T.|
|Gordon, R.||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir C.||Villiers, hon. C. P.|
|Grote, G.||Warburton, H.|
|Hawes, B.||Wood, C.|
|Hill, Lord A. M. C.||Worsley, Lord|
|Hobhouse, r. h. Sir. J.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Howard, P. H.||Wyse, T.|
|Howick, Viscount||Yates, J. A.|
|Lushington, rt. hon. S.||Maule, F.|
|Macaulay, T. B.||Stanley, E. J.|
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
rose pursuant to notice to propose a resolution that no female paupers above the age of sixty-five years should be put to hard labour. He had been informed, that in Holborn (we understood) workhouse, there were forty female paupers kept at hard work, one of the age of eighty, several of the age of seventy-five, and the majority about sixty-five, and these poor women worked eleven hours a-day picking wool. The allowance was 4d. a-day, and they had nothing but water to drink from six in the morning to six at night-—in short, 113 they were much worse off than the felons in the gaols. He concluded with moving a clause to the following effect:—Whereas it is expedient to relax the working days of aged paupers, so as to distress them as little as possible; be it therefore enacted, that no guardians or other persons having the management of workhouses in England and Wales shall have power or authority to set to work or labour any female paupers whose age shall exceed sixty-five years.
§ Lord G. Somerset
said, the allegations on which this proposition was founded were denied. He did not think it right that they should legislate on a statement until it was found to be correct.
§ Motion negatived without a division.
§ Bill to he read a third time.