HC Deb 09 June 1841 vol 58 cc1399-400
Sir E. Knatchbull

moved the Committal of the Debts of Parishes Bill.

Mr. F. Maule

wished to know, before assenting to this bill, what the object of it was?

Sir E. Knatchbull

replied that his object was to provide for the payment of debts incurred by parishes before the passing of the Poor-law Bill.

Mr. B. Wood

said, those debts might have been contracted a hundred years ago, and it was, in his opinion, very unjust to saddle the new occupiers with the payment of these debts. He should move that this bill be postponed to that day six months.

Mr. Darby

maintained that the continuance of the payment of the interest of these debts by the parishes was a proof that they coincided in the opinion that they were legal.

Mr. Warburton

maintained, that the investigation of these alleged facts was necessary, and that a committee was the only proper tribunal for adjudicating upon them.

Sir E. Knatchbull

said, that the present bill had received the sanction of all parties at the commencement of the Session, and not only the Poor-law Commissioners but the Government had agreed to it. He would give one instance, whereby they would see the necessity for the bill. A certain parish had been informed that its poor were entitled to a certain disputed property, and they had obtained a loan for the purpose of meeting the expense of prosecuting their rights at law. They had succeeded, and were then in possession of the property, but since the passing of the new Poor-law Act the commissioners had conceived that they had no right to authorise the payment either of the principal or interest of the money so advanced. Cases of that description were frequently occurring,

Mr. Hawes

observed, it was not usual to take the views of the Poor-law Commissioners from the other side of the House. He thought it would be better that the debate be adjourned to Friday.

Mr. Hume

Oven supposing that petitions were before the House demanding this bill, the facts contained in them should be submitted to a committee.

Committee adjourned to Friday.