HC Deb 12 February 1839 vol 45 cc346-8
Viscount Morpeth

, in rising to move for leave to bring in a bill to amend an Act of the 1st and 2d Victoria 1., cap. 56 for the more effectual relief of the poor in Ireland, stated that his object was to remedy a considerble degree of perplexity which had arisen consequent upon some of the clauses of the act referred to. In certain districts of Ireland it turned out, that the machinery for carrying the act into operation did not exist at all, consequently, the commissioners were at a perfect stand-still. This would be remedied. Provision would also be made for more accurately defining the boundaries of districts. Provision had been made in the act for certain preliminary expenses. These expenses were of a very limited nature, and provision was intended to be made for raising a limited sum with a view to meet them. It was directed by the act, that appeals should be heard at the courts of quarter sessions, which were presided over by assistant barristers. Now, there were certain towns, where assistant barristers did not preside; this bill would remedy the defect.

Mr. Shaw

said, that difficulties had occurred in the city of Dublin with regard to the operation of this act, which it would be necessary to relieve by some legislative measure. He hoped that every bill on this subject, like the one of last year, would be discussed without reference to party feelings, and he hoped, that this would be the case in Ireland also in all proceedings that might be taken in consequence of this measure, but he was sorry, that in the city of Limerick such had not been the case. He thought, if the House of Industry in Dublin were placed under the superintendence of the Commissioners, a considerable saving would be effected, but he wished to recommend a class of old and deserving officers belonging to that institution, and who would be thrown out of employment, to the consideration of the noble Lord. The noble Lord would make no specific motion on the subject, as he was of opinion, that the Lords of the Treasury were the proper persons to be applied to to make the provision on this subject, but, however that question might be, he hoped that the cases of these officers would receive the consideration they deserved.

Mr. W. S. O'Brien

would take this opportunity of protesting against the delay that had taken place in bringing this measure into operation. It was too bad, that a measure for the relief of the poor in Ireland should thus be delayed—every day the public were shocked with the intelligence of outrages taking place in Ireland, though few were aware, that those outrages generally arose from the consolidation of farms. He would not express an opinion upon the policy of this consolidation, but considering the numbers who were rendered destitute by it, and the latest accounts from New South Wales, describing the advantages of that colony, he would call upon Government to grant some assistance for the furtherance of an extensive emigration which would materially diminish the temptations to crime. He hoped the noble Lord would furnish the House with a statement as to the manner in which this measure had been carried into effect.

Mr. F. French

asked if there had not been some difficulty in obtaining the barracks which were not used by soldiers in Ireland, and which the Ordnance, though it had been agreed that they should be given up for the Poor-law purposes, had refused to part with, except at very high prices?

Viscount Morpeth

was not aware that any very high prices had been demanded for such barracks by the Ordnance, which could not however, it should be recollected, part with those buildings for nothing, but was bound to require a fair price for them, and he did not think that they had shown a disposition to ask more; with respect to the complaint as to the delay in carrying out the Poor-law Act, the hon. Member (Mr. S. O'Brien) was the last person who ought to make that complaint for the county he represented (Limerick) had already been divided into Unions, and the work was going on throughout Ireland as quickly as possible.

Motion agreed to and bill brought in.