HC Deb 28 June 1839 vol 48 cc1019-21

House in Committee on the Public Works (Ireland) Bill.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, his present object was to move a resolution on which to found a clause, to make an application of a sum of 50,000l., voted last year, for the purposes specified in the Acts 1 and 2 William 4th, and the 1st of Victoria. The right hon. Gentleman moved a resolution to that effect.

Mr. Hume

inquired how much of the 50,000l. remained to be appropriated.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, the original sum voted was applicable to the purposes of both the statutes he had alluded to, but that this sum of 50,000l. had been limited to the purposes of the first of those statutes. The object now was to appropriate it to both. He was not at present able to state whether any portion had been appropriated. Speaking from recollection, he should say none; but in a future stage of the bill he would be prepared to answer the question.

Mr. Lucas

did not expect this question would have been brought forward to-night, and, therefore, could not be blamed if he was very much astray as to the purport of the returns on this subject which had been furnished to the House. He had, however, a very strong recollection that these monies had been lent by the Government in every possible variety as to the mode of loan. There had in some cases been grants, in others loans, in proportion to the amount of tithe commutation; and without being prepared to state what ought to be done in such matters, he thought he had a right to suggest that there ought to be some more fixed principle in these transactions.

Captain Boldero

said, he saw three money bills on the orders of the day for Ireland, exclusive of the project for advancing money for railways, the report on which had been withdrawn. He wished to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much money he intended to advance for Ireland this year in the shape of loans and grants, and how much he intended to give for England.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

was glad the hon. Member had asked the question. The hon. Gentleman had asked the question with the view of insinuating that extravagant aid was given to Ireland by means of the three bills now in progress. The first bill, the Loan Bill, though it had an alarming sound, and was calculated to produce on the minds of English Members an apprehension of gross inequality of aid as regarded Ireland, was to enable a charitable society to lend sums not exceeding 5l. to needy persons, and took nothing from the public purse. The second bill was to have the authority of an Act of Parliament for the appropriation of a sum which had already been granted. And the third bill, the Shannon Navigation Bill, was a subject which had been thrice under the consideration of the House, and was a subject entered upon during the Administration of the Earl of Liverpool, and which had been before Parliament ever since.

Captain Boldero

never heard a question so neatly avoided in his life. The question he had put was this—what was the sum which was advanced to Ireland by loans and grants, and what the sum advanced to England?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

had told the hon. Member that the first bill was a charitable bill, and nothing at all was advanced by it, that by the second nothing was voted; and when he looked at this grant of 50,000l., that it was taken from a sum of 500,000l., of which a sum of 460,000l. was appropriated to England, he thought he ought not to complain.

Mr. S. O'Brien

thought the Irish people were entitled to this meagre grant when the sum of 70,000l. had been granted the other day for building up her Majesty's stables at Windsor Castle.

Vote agreed to.—House resumed.

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