HC Deb 25 March 1841 vol 57 cc596-7
Lord Fitzalan

begged to call the attention of the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, to a paragraph which appeared in the Observer of Sunday last. The noble Lord read the following paragraph:— On Friday, at the meeting of the board of directors and guardians of the parish of Marylebone, the proposition of sending some of the most vicious female paupers to the colony of South Australia, by the emigration ship Daniel Wheeler, which will sail from the London Docks in a few days, was taken into consideration. It appeared, that there would be no surgeon on board, and that the only guarantee of non-communication between the girls and the crew would be the vigilance of the captain. The terms were 20l. per head, and the requisite outfit would cost for each about 4l.; the voyage takes four months, and in the event of their not obtaining places immediately on their arrival, there is no asylum open for their reception. Ten girls of the most infamous and uncontrollable character were selected, and they all consented to go. They are from year to year a burden to the parish, and obstinately refuse to labour for their support. The subject was viewed differently by the various members of the board, who one and all most amiably considered the young women's probable situation as regarded their morals. At length the question was put, when the numbers proved to be equal, and the chairman by his casting vote decided in favour of these irreclaimable and unfit members of any society being sent off without delay. He begged to ask the noble Lord whe-the attention of the Government had been drawn to this matter, and whether they approved of such un application of the parish money?

Lord J. Russell

said, that the only knowledge which he had of the subject was from the newspapers, and, in answer to his noble Friend's second question, he could only say, that he considered the proposed application of the parish funds to such a purpose a very improper one.

Colonel T. Wood

, in reference to the question previously put by the noble Lord (Lord Fitzalan), wished to know whether the parish of Marylebone was under the control of the Poor-law Commissioners so far as that they would have the power of preventing the exportation of the unfortunate females referred to in the report?

Mr. F. Maule

said, that the parish being regulated under a local act, the Poor-law Commissioners had no power.

Subject at an end.