§ Sir J. Graham
moved the order of the day, for the House to go into Committee on the Poor-law Commission Bill.
§ Order of the day read.
§ Mr. Wakley
expressed a hope that, considering the late hour of the night, this bill would not be proceeded with, The parties who were opposed to the Poor-law Bill, had made a very great concession in not resisting it in the present Session. He thought, therefore, that they were entitled to consideration, and that the subject should not be brought forward at a time when it could not be fully discussed. If, however, it were the wish of the House to proceed, he would not interpose to prevent it.
§ On the question "that the Speaker do now leave the Chair."
§ The Speaker
called upon Mr. Roebuck, who had given notice of a motion, but that Gentleman was not in the House. The right hon. Gentleman then called upon.
§ Mr. H. B. Yorke
, who rose to move,That it be an instruction to the Committee, that they have power to make provision that the commissioners be not empowered to enforce indiscriminate separation between man and wife; and that in no case shall they sanction or permit separation, when the application for relief shall be substantiated as arising from positive inability to obtain work, or from physical infirmity, and not from idleness, vice, or crime:He submitted this clause to the consideration of the House upon the two scriptural grounds that "those whom God hath joined together, it is not lawful for man to separate," and that it is right "to do unto others as we ourselves would be done by." These were grounds constantly referred to upon the hustings by the supporters of the Government as showing the absolute necessity of an alteration of the existing Poor-law, and he consequently expected that those Gentlemen would feel bound by every feeling of consistency to support the motion which he (Mr. Yorke) 882 now submitted to their consideration. He was fully aware that it was much more easy to talk of a remedy than to provide one; and a remedy in full he knew at that moment it would be premature, if not factious to expect; but a remedy in some degree, it struck him, it would be in the power of the House to give—a remedy to remove from poverty a legislative penalty. He put it to the House whether it would not be more likely to soften the asperity of feeling entertained by vast masses of the population by a judicious relaxation of the law, than to enforce obedience by the execution of its harsh provisions. He was most anxious that the clause he proposed should not be misunderstood. It was to be observed, that it did not go into any unnatural or wild advocacy of the worthless or offending. For them it proposed to say nothing; they were naturally nuisances to the state, and were justly amenable to its most rigorous enactments. But were there no other paupers than these? Did pauperism fall alone upon the head of the vicious and profligate? Was it not evident, from the many truthful statements that bad recently been made in that House, that the country generally was in a state of great distress? It was plain that its resources, comparatively speaking, were stagnant. The national stomach was hungry. Yes; unhappily, the national stomach was hungry, and it struck him that that was rather a subject for sympathy and respect than for ridicule and laughter. Well, then, the country being in that state, he put it to the humane feeling of the House, whether the poor man who necessarily became a pauper ought to be punished for his poverty. That was the point and gist of his argument. A married man, as the law stood, could not obtain parochial relief without submitting to a penalty which was disgraceful to human nature. Considering the hour of the night, and considering also that there were many Gentlemen who were anxious to speak upon this subject, he would purposely forbear from going through a number of long statements which he had collected with much care and trouble. He would, therefore, merely allude to one point, which struck him as being of a very important and pungent nature, and which had been suggested lo him by one learned in the law, in rather a curious way. It was founded upon an extract from our statute-book showing with what extreme care those who framed 883 the Slave Emancipation Act had taken to provide for the preservation of the social ties of the negro. In that act it was specially provided that, under no circumstances, should a negro ever be removed from one plantation to another, if such removal subjected him lo separation from his wife or children, or even from his reputed wife. So that, in truth, as the law now stood, the wife, or the reputed wife, of a negro in out colonies stood in a better position than the wife of an Englishman; and the unhappy pauper compelled in England to ask parochial relief was put to the degradation of seeing his own wife in a worse condition than the reputed wife of the black. That was his case, and without further comment, he begged to commend it to the justice and humanity of the House.
§ Sir James Graham
would avail himself of the opportunity afforded by the motion just made, of announcing to the House the course that he proposed to take, as well with respect to the motion then under its consideration as to the other motions relating' to the same subject which had been placed upon the notice paper. It was impossible to over-estimate the importance of the subject which was thus incidentally brought under the consideration of the House. He did not believe, that it was possible to discuss any subject which touched—more nearly touched—the feelings, or which was more immediately connected with the interests of so large a portion of our fellow-subjects. Feeling this, as lie did most sincerely, he considered it necessary lo approach the subject with particular caution. If he followed the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken into the discussion of this particular instruction, involving a portion of the workhouse regulation, he clearly saw that it would be impossible for him not to follow other Gentlemen in other instructions into other details; and thus incidentally and gradually, but with his eyes open, he should be betrayed into a consideration of all the details of the measure. He thought it necessary to be thus explicit. The object of the Government in the introduction of the present bill was, to avoid precisely the course to which the hon. Gentleman would now lead him. Government introduced the bill simply and solely for the continuance of the Poor-law commission till the 31st of July next, with the view of affording to themselves and to the Legislature time and opportunity carefully and 884 cautiously to consider every portion of the important measure which was adopted by Parliament some five or six years ago. There might be defects in the measure: they (the Ministry), were anxious to correct them. There might be imperfections in it: they were anxious to remedy them. Bui this was a matter of consideration, that required time and caution. To be done safely it must be done by the executive Government upon their responsibility. The Government did not shrink from the arduous task of considering the measure, alluring defects, and supplying imperfections where they were found to exist; but he repeated, that time and caution were necessary, and that the interval that the Government asked was not an unreasonable one. All that they asked was, that the commission should be continued until the close of the next Session of Parliament. Before the commencement of the next Session Government would apply its attention to the subject. In the course of the next Session it would be necessary, imperatively necessary, to legislate upon it. In the last Session the labours of Parliament were of a sudden cut short. The executive Government had brought forward a measure, not dealing with the commission only, but with the whole subject. Some of the proposals made by the Government were withdrawn, other proposals upon discussion were adopted or amended, and a considerable portion were not considered at all. It would be the duty of the present Government to review the whole of those proposals. From some of them they had already expressed a decided dissent. To that dissent they would, of course, adhere, unless some very cogent reasons, such as he could not anticipate, should lead them to adopt a different opinion. To those proposals which the House in the last Session adopted, the Government would give a more favourable consideration, and those which had not yet been discussed, it would carefully weigh. But, upon the whole, he thought he was entitled to call upon the House, not upon that occasion, to discuss the Poor-law in detail, but to confine itself to the simple and single question before it, whether, under the circumstances, it was not expedient that the commission should be renewed for the term he had stated. He would not be betrayed into a discussion of the point immediately raised by the resolution of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Yorke), The hon. Gentleman, had 885 stated most truly that it was much more easy to point out an evil than to supply a remedy, and in the present state of the House, and at that period of the Session, it would be factious, as well as premature, to press his proposition. He was unwilling to enter into discussion of the particular point raised by the hon. Gentleman's motion, but he would just throw out for the hon. Gentleman's consideration, that the particular regulation of the union workhouse system was no new regulation. It was a regulation which had long existed under several local acts. Wherever several parishes had been united under local acts, and large union workhouses built there, where large numbers of both sexes were congregated, from the necessity, the absolute necessity of the case, a division of the sexes was enforced. This had been the case in the Gilbert unions for the last fifty years, and in the Isle of Wight, where, under the operation of a local act, large numbers of both sexes were congregated in one house, and where, from the very necessity of the case, a separation was enforced. It must be observed, that an argument against such a division of the sexes amounted to nothing more nor less than an argument against assembling a large portion of paupers in the same building. It was not his intention, however, to be led at that moment into a discussion of that particular point. It would be his duty to resist the hon. Gentleman's instruction on the ground he had stated; and upon the same ground he should resist all other instructions that might be moved raising incidentally questions which really related to the Poor-law Amendment Bill, and not to the renewal of the commission. He hoped that the hon. Gentleman would not deem this disrespectful; he hoped that the House and the country would not think that arose from any unwillingness to bestow the most careful consideration upon question so full of interest and importance It was because they entertained a deep respect for the feelings of those who would ameliorate the provisions of what they deemed a harsh enactment, and because they were anxious not to make any mistake upon a matter so immediately affecting the interests of so vast a portion of their fellow-subjects, that they thought it would be inexcusable on the part of Government not to weigh carefully and maturely the measure that they intended to submit.
§ Mr. S. Wortley
thought that the House must see the very great reasonableness of what had fallen from the right hon. Baronet, and he trusted that the hon. Member would consider that he would be placing even those who were willing to support him in a position of some difficulty, if he should persist in his motion. The hon. Member would place them in a position of some difficulty for this reason, that it would be repugnant to their inclination to give a vote affirming a principle contrary to the instruction which the hon. Gentleman wished to submit to the House; but, on the other hand, they must feel that to vote with the hon. Member in favour of the instruction, and to take the opportunity of passing a mere contingent bill for the purpose of making an alteration in the Poor-law Act, would only have the effect of opening the door to alterations of all kinds in the law, and that the House would then, in fact, be undertaking to do that which the proposal of Government had for its object to prevent—namely, to commence the entire discussion of this great and extensive question. Under these circumstances he could not help thinking that it was no unreasonable request to make to the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Yorke), that he should give way upon the present occasion, in order to leave the point involved in his instruction as a part of the great question to be discussed hereafter. In saying this he did not intend in the slightest degree to give any countenance, so far as anything that he could say, or do could be taken as affording a countenance to any proposition—he did not intend, he said, to give any countenance to the principle which the hon. Gentleman wished to condemn—the principle which was said to justify the separation of the sexes to the extent to which it had been carried under the operation of the Poor-law Amendment Act. But what the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) had said, was perfectly true—that this question with respect to the separation of the sexes depended upon the question also as to whether large numbers of paupers should be collected in one House. Therefore if the House entered into the discussion of whether the sexes should be separated, it must also enter into a discussion of the prohibitory order, and go through the whole question as to the propriety of enforcing that order, namely, that all those who received relief should be brought into one 887 building. It would be necessary that the House should do this, in order to enable it to judge as to whether it was right or not that the sexes should be separated. Now this appeared to him to be a reason for adjourning this portion of the great, extensive, and important subject to which it related. For his part, he had no hesitation in declaring that if the hon. Gentleman persisted in pressing his instruction it would be extremely repugnant to his (Mr. Wortley's) inclination and feeling to give any vote that would countenance in any degree the principle which that instruction went to condemn; but yet he confessed that, under existing circumstances—[Cheers from the Opposition.] —He knew what that cheer meant. It meant that he was unwilling to face the question which the hon. Gentleman, (Mr. Yorke) was inclined to place before the House, for fear of embarrassing his Friends, the Ministers. Hut that was not his feeling —he intended to take an opportunity of expressing his opinions upon this question fully, clearly, and decidedly. He would not shrink from making known to the Government, or indeed, to any who differed from him, what he thought upon this subject. But for the dignity of the House, he thought it desirable that they should now do one of two things—either proceed at once to the discussion of the entire question—either take the Poor-law Amendment Act in hand, and deal with it as it was intended to do at a future time, or else consent to allow a question like that, raised by the present motion, and which would open the whole question, to remain till the period arrived at which it should appear reasonable to consider the subject at large. When he looked at the instructions, of which notice had been given, he observed that one of them was similar to that proposed by the hon. Member for York; while the second instruction of the two, given notice of by the hon. Member for Rochdale, goes to condemn altogether the prohibitory order of the commissioners He had the same objection to this instruction as he had to that now proposed; for if they allowed these two instructions would they not be obliged also to allow the questions of the bastardy clauses and those in regard to the state of the Unions? Were there not many other points on which hon. Gentlemen would be entitled to offer instructions if the House should agree to the two he had mentioned? In short, they would bare to take the whole question into con- 888 sideration, if they were prepared to discuss propositions like those proposed. But, as he had already said, he thought that the present Government had been placed in power under circumstances in which the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, and his colleagues, were justified in asking for an interval of time for the consideration of this question—a question, be t remembered, which the Whig Government of 1833 and 1834 took two years to consider: they were, then surely, justified in asking a delay of two months, in order to investigate well and fully the subject before they came down to Parliament with a bill for the purpose of placing the Poor-law on a satisfactory footing. While he said this, he begged to state that there was one of the instructions on the paper to which he thought his objections did not apply: it was the first instruction, given notice of by the hon. Member for Rochdale and was in the following terms:—That it shall not be lawful for the commissioners, from the date of the passing of this bill, to declare the formation of any new Unions in districts which are not already placed under the operation of the Act 4 and 5 William 4th, c. 76.He thought such a resolution was in itself reasonable and just, independently altogether of the merits of the general question, which, for the next six months, might be considered to be in a state of suspense. For this reason he thought it but fair that those who felt a strong interest in the question should ask, that during the period in which the question was in such a state of suspense, the commissioners should abstain from carrying the act into operation in places where it did not now exist, and it was on this ac count that he could not help feeling that the second instruction was of a totally different nature from any of the others on the paper. He should unquestionably rejoice if either the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, or the right hon. Baronet the Member for Dorchester, could give the House and the country some intimation—he did not mean in regard to the other parts of the bill, but some intimation that so long as the question was in a state of uncertainty, the commissioners would not proceed to extend the Unions in those parts of the country in which there were none at the present time. He represented a part of the country deeply interested in this question, and there were places in the district which he 889 had the honour to represent, where the law had never yet been introduced, and he was but doing his duty to those constituents, when he said that they had a right to ask that the question should be left in statu quo until the Government were enabled to propose their views on the subject.
Mr. V. Smith
said, that he felt for the embarrassment of the hon. Member who had just sat down, when he recollected the declaration made by him on the hustings at the West Riding of Yorkshire against the Poor-law, and when he saw him now called on, either to take the course proposed by the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dorchester, or to adopt the amendment proposed by the hon. Member. The course which the hon. Gentleman had proposed, would, he thought, be unbecoming the dignity of the House to adopt. The hon. Member did not wish the leading features of the Poor-law to be discussed—he did not seem to consider the separation of man and wife as a point calling for their interference, but gave his support to the instructions which sought to prevent the commissioners from extending the Unions to places in which they had not, as yet, been introduced. He must own, that since they were not to discuss the great question, as the right hon. Baronet had been forced to announce, after much expostulation, they ought not to make a deviation in regard to a question which it might be convenient for some Gentlemen opposite to discuss. If they were not to discuss this question, in conjunction with the question of the Corn-laws—if Gentlemen opposite, whose miraculous powers had been so loudly proclaimed, had really not advised the Crown, because they had nothing to advise—if that was the case, then he thought that the proposition of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dorchester, was not an unfair one on the present occasion. The hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire must attribute his embarrassment to the course pursued by Gentlemen opposite. They had introduced a hill to continue the expiring laws from December next; but it was the commission only that expired. Why had the hon. Gentleman not come forward, and told them the terms on which he meant to continue the commission? He would not move any amendment, because he believed that hon. Gentlemen opposite 890 would be found strong in opposition to the bill. He believed the hon. Member for Knaresborough had declared that a great number of the Gentlemen opposite had come into the House pledged to support those representatives who had gained their seats by declarations against the Poor-law: if that were the case, why had the hon. Gentleman not the manliness to state his views as to the continuance of the commission, and not keep paltering with the House in the way he had done? No man could have been so inattentive to the working of the law, as not to have made up his mind as to whether the central authority over the guardians ought or ought not to be continued. The right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, had no doubt on this point, for he had declared his opinion during last Parliament, that the commission ought to be continued for five years. Nor could the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dorchester, have any doubt on this head. He, of all men, was best able to say whether the commission ought or ought not to be continued. If any man could produce off hand a Poor-law bill, he could, for the right hon. Baronet was chairman of the committee which sat on this subject. [Sir James Graham; No, no; not chairman.] At all events, the right hon. Baronet took an active and a laudable part in the proceedings of the committee. He had lately read the speech made on a recent occasion by the noble Lord, the Member for Monmouthshire. That noble Lord said, he felt glad that the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, had admitted the noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, and the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dorsetshire, into his cabinet, because they were persons of the highest business-talent, and "it would have grieved him," added the noble Lord, "had the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, left them out." Now, this being the case, the business-talent of the right hon. Baronet being admitted, he repeated, that if any one could have introduced a bill for the continuance or alteration of the Poor-law, the right hon. Baronet, from his talents and knowledge of the subject, was the man. As, however, he had not done so, and as the great questions were to be held in abeyance, he could not say that this one should not be of the number, and therefore, if called on, he would vote against the instruction 891 —in order that the sole question might be, whether the Poor-law ought to be continued or not. He saw that many hon. Gentlemen opposite were desirous of speaking, and he anticipated that the hon. Baronet would find the opposition of his own party on this subject to be of rather a formidable nature, for they were even now firing at the right hon. Baronet from behind.
§ Sir R. Peel
The hon. Gentleman is so much excited on tins subject, that, wishing to calm down his subordinate indignation in the absence of his leader, I beg to acquaint him that it was intimated to me at an early period of the present session that the noble Lord the Member for London, and then the leader of the House of Commons, intended that some Bill should be introduced for the purpose of continuing the Poor-law commission to the end of the next Session. And the measure which is now proposed is exactly in conformity with that which the noble Lord, if he had remained in office, intended to introduce. The noble Lord the Member for the City of London, lately at the head of her Majesty's Government, thought it impossible in the present session to proceed with the consideration of those modifications in the Poor-law, to which it was his intention to call the attention of the House at a future time; and it was his intention to have given notice of a Bill for the purpose of continuing the commission during the interval. That was intimated to me on the part of the late Government; it did appear to me rational to make such a proposition, and I confess I was very much surprised when the hon. Gentleman favoured the House with the display of so much unnecessary indignation.
§ Mr. Jervis
was at a loss to understand how what had fallen from the hon. Gentleman opposite could dissuade those who were opposed to this measure from giving their opposition to it. It might be a reason if the hon. Gentleman fairly represented the views taken by the hon. Member for Northampton, but it was no ground whatever for calling upon those who had formerly opposed the law, or those who were returned for the express purpose of so doing, not now to press on the present Government this question, on which at all events, the Secretary of Stale for the Home Department, and the Members of the Government, must be prepared to ex- 892 press an opinion, and with the details of which every Member of the House must be acquainted; for the right hon. Baronet could not urge the necessity for access to information peculiarly within reach of the Government as a ground for delay, information on this subject being as open to all as it was to the Government. But his hon. Friend (Mr. V. Smith) did not apply his observations to the Bill to be introduced by the noble Lord. His complaint was, that this was not a Bill to renew the Commission, but a Bill to renew the law—[No, no]—and when the right hon. Baronet concurred with the noble Lord in renewing the commission for five Years, he thought that he ought now to be prepared to bring forward his measure boldly and openly, though he might alienate the support of many hon. Gentlemen, the opponents of the measure, by whom he was brought into office. He apprehended they had a right to call on hon. Gentlemen opposite to tell them how they would deal with this measure, and having opposed the whole Bill, though he had never lent himself to excite the people against it, he would oppose the Government on the question, so long as they would not boldly declare their opinions upon it. He was happy the right hon. Gentleman had said that this was something like the measure to be proposed by the noble Lord (J. Russell), for that would release the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Wakley) from all his new engagements; for it was certain, that if it had been proposed by the noble Lord, the hon. Member would have opposed it, as also would many other hon. Gentlemen opposite. When the address to the Crown was moved, the hon. Member doubted whether it admitted the existence of the distress in the country, and put the question to the right hon. Baronet, who stated that he admitted the prevalence of great distress. Had they then not time between that and winter, when distress was increasing, and when, in consequence, thousands of people were ground to the dust — had they not time to spare from their shooting and hunting and recreations, to inquire at least into the causes of that distress? He spoke not of the great financial question on which it was said time should be afforded, but of that mode of administering relief by which it was supposed by some that distress was greatly increased. Was further information required or not? or had they not to 893 deal with the one or two main principles which the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) had contested, step by step, with Mr. Walter, the late Member for Nottingham, and beat him on them? When the right hon. Baronet said, that the separation of the sexes was a necessary consequence of assembling a large body of persons in one institution, was he not aware that this assembly was owing to the refusal to grant out-door relief? Anil when they considered that, in order to obtain relief, the poor were obliged to sell any furniture they might possess 10 enter the workhouse, thereby taking from them the means of returning to their homes— when this was considered, and the distressed state of the poor was deplored in that House, but not remedied—when all this was considered, was it too much to call upon the right hon. Baronet to enter upon the consideration of the subject? And would it satisfy the people to know that hon. Gentlemen opposite wanted time to inquire into what they had uniformly opposed out of office, and on which they had excited the people to remedy which, when in office, they had not the courage to undertake the responsibility? [Hear, hear, from Sir R. Peel.] He understood the right hon. Baronet's cheer, but the right hon. Baronet could not accuse him of exciting his constituents on the subject. He had never addressed them on the subject at all. He had been uniformly opposed to the measure, but he had scorned to use it for the purpose of exciting the people. He had scorned to make it the means of his advancement out of the House, and to shrink from the responsibility of opposing it there if it were the means of annoyance to the party with which he was connected. The only excuse that could be made for separating the House at that period of the year was, that it would be convenient for the present to forget the distress of the people.
§ Mr. Pakington
deprecated the acrimony with which it seemed that this debate was to be carried on. With respect to the question of separation of the sexes in workhouses, he believed he might go beyond the right hon. Member for Dorchester (Sir J. Graham), because, not only in the Gilbert union workhouses, but in every well regulated workhouse throughout the kingdom, the separation of the sexes was carried into effect. For his part, he regretted that the House should be 894 troubled with these instructions. He could not see the propriety of them. They appeared to him to form a bad and ungracious return for the spirit in which her Majesty's Government had brought forward this measure. This bill was to continue the Poor-law Commission till next July, thereby offering a guarantee to the House and the country that the whole of the subject should be fully gone into before that period. He thought, therefore, it was undesirable and premature to enter into this discussion at present, for it did seem to him that the manner in which the Government had brought forward this bill was calculated to give them an increased claim to the confidence of the country. The accession of her Majesty's Government to power was in the mode of it, a full proof of the confidence of the country. He did not believe that any Government had ever succeeded to power carrying with them more of the confidence of the country than the present; he thought that no Government had ever fallen from power more generally distrusted than the late Government; and with respect to the conduct of the Opposition, ho must say that their conduct savoured more of faction than that of any Opposition he had ever heard of, pressing as they did, night after night, upon her Majesty's Government, in order to force them to declare with regard to every one of the great questions of the Corn-law, of the Poor-law, of the distress, and of the finances, what measures they were prepared to advise and adopt, and declaring that it was their bounden duty to proceed to legislation immediately. [No, no.] Why, they had been told in his hearing, not three nights ago, that winter was coming on, and that with regard to the Poor-law it was the bounden duty of her Majesty's Government not to admit of any delay, but to agree to proceed with the discussion of the various points of the measure. It was the hon. Member for Dover, he thought, who had used this argument. But if anything could shake the confidence of the country in her Majesty's present Government, it would be their hastily going into this discussion, and not taking time to give a mature consideration to the whole of the enactments of the Poor-law as well as its practical operation. He agreed that, with respect to this question of the Poor-law, the country was in a very critical state; that 895 the finances were embarrassed, trade depressed, and that we were in many respects in a disastrous position. He believed that the history of the year 1841 would be found to be a complete blank as regarded useful legislation, and that hereafter public attention would come to be forcibly directed to this fact; but to whom would they attribute such an extraordinary result? Not to her Majesty's present Government. No; they would attach the cause of all this to the former Government, who, instead of giving their attention, in the last year of their holding office, to the means of removing the existing distress had preferred to devote themselves to a desperate attempt to keep up their own power. But, however this might be, he would say, that he cared not what was represented out of doors, he should not fail to express the favourable opinion which he entertained with regard to the Poor-law. As to the taunt with which the Opposition had been pleased to attack hon. Members on his side of the House—namely, that they had made use of the Poor-law in addresses to their constituencies—he would say, for himself that he had never held other language to his constituents than that which he had held in his place in the House of Commons. And he had no reason to do so, because he believed that the character and tendency of the Poor-law, were such as to entitle it to the approbation of the country. He went further, and he said, with respect to the commissioners, that without concurring in all they had done—on the contrary, he had sometimes had occasion to remonstrate with them—he thought that, placed in circumstances of great difficulty, as they had been, they most ably discharged their duties, and, he believed, with the very best and purest intentions. With respect to the Gentleman who lately filled the office of first commissioner, and who was related to the right hon. Gentleman in the Chair, he had discharged the duties cast upon him, in a situation of peculiar difficulty, in such a manner as to gain universal approbation. Having said so much, he could not withhold the tribute of his applause from those who had to carry into effect the details of the measure; and he would say, that, as far as the gentry of England had been concerned in working out the measure, they had undertaken and discharged the duties imposed by the law without reference to party or 896 political considerations. The gentry of England had shown in their conduct in this respect a perfect freedom from party feelings. Once more he must beg leave most earnestly to deprecate entering into the discussions it was proposed to create by this and the other instructions to the committee on this bill. In his opinion those were no friends of the Poor-law who represented its merit to consist in having effected a saving of rates. That was not the main object of the bill. Such was not the object of the gentry of England in working out the measure, who in doing so had shown an entire absence of party feeling. He wished that hon. Members should study to acquire this feeling, for it was the proper feeling and the proper spirit in which such a subject ought to be discussed. There was no subject more important— there was no subject more deeply affecting the welfare of the people—there was no subject which the House of Commons ought to approach with more of deliberative calmness. He asked hon. Gentlemen whether they were prepared to deny this? Let the House approach the subject, not then, but next Session, with an anxious desire to remove deficiencies and imperfections, and to increase the material comforts of the people. For himself, he would say that he should be most willing favourably to consider any amendments that might be proposed—any that would make the law more acceptable to the great body of the people—but he did hope that her Majesty's Ministers, anxious as they were, he was sure, to make the law more acceptable to the people, would not in doing so depart from any of its great principles.
§ Mr. C. Buller
said, that he so entirely concurred with what had fallen from the hon. Gentleman in the latter part of his speech, that he should make no further allusion to the former part than to say, that he hoped the next time the hon. Member came down with the intention of addressing to the House his exhortations to lay aside party and political feelings, he would not allow himself to be seduced into every possible irritating subject. In the substance of the hon. Member's admonition he fully agreed, and he hoped that on a question which concerned interests that would last, not for a day or a year, or for the duration of a Ministry, on a question which so much and so deeply affected the permanent interests of the people of Eng- 897 land, the House of Commons would be enabled to go to the discussion without indulging in the exhibition of the lowest i party feelings. He had come down, though not very well able to do so, because he thought it his duty to support her Majesty's Ministers on this occasion. He had voted for the Poor-law Amendment Bill when it first was brought forward; he had voted for it ever since; he had supported it before his constituents; and he was ready to support it now, although he was prepared to consider and support amendments of whatever should be found to be harsh or severe in the operation of the law. He had come down to support her Majesty's Ministers in defence of what he believed to be an honest and a wise law, which he firmly believed was meant to promote the best interests of the people, and which, in his opinion, was the best law that was ever constructed in this country, with the best motives, with a view to support the moral and social welfare of the people. This measure of the Government he regarded as a wise measure. Many hon. Members had said, that there prevailed great distress throughout the country; then he should say, if that were so, let not Parliament proceed to deal with a permanent measure under the influence of that feeling which the sense of such distress must necessarily occasion. In his opinion the Queen's Government had done most wisely in proposing the simple continuance of the measure until there should be sufficient time for careful and deliberate discussion. He said this, not merely because the Ministers of the Crown were only recently appointed to their offices, but because it was most important that Parliament should not legislate without full and careful examination. He therefore put it to the hon. Member for York to say whether under the circumstances, he thought it right to press his instruction. Could he fairly, in such a state of the House and of the country, call upon them to pass a single detail, being part of a measure involving matters of so much delicacy and of such great moment as the provisions of the Poor-law Amendment Act? He hoped that the hon. Member for York would be induced to look at his own proposition in this point of view—that voting for it amounted to voting that the act as it now stood required no other alteration than that which his own instruction went to 898 effect—that, in short, every other part of the measure was unobjectionable. To him it appeared, that if they must take the instruction of the hon. Member for York, they ought to go into the whole of the act from beginning to the end, and then with diligence they might, by continuing their sittings till this time next year, make some approach to a conclusion of the undertaking. He scarcely believed that any one of the clauses would escape; he believed that there would be amendments moved upon every line of every clause. That being so, he took the liberty of suggesting to the hon. Member for York, to allow his amendment to share the same fate as all the other amendments which were to be proposed to the existing law. Before he sat down, he wished to make one remark upon the speech which the House had heard from the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire. It appeared to him, that that hon. Member was perfectly consistent. He did not mean to defend the consistency of the hon. Member from day to day—he could not do that for any one; but what he meant to say was, that the conduct of the hon. Member was, upon the whole, consistent—that was to say, that the speech which the hon. Member made that night in the House was not inconsistent with the address which he delivered to his constituents in Yorkshire. Doubtless, the speech made in Yorkshire was nothing like so sensible or discreet as that which he had delivered in the House of Commons, He, of course, did not on the hustings tell his constituents that he would support a motion for postponing the consideration of the subject for six months— the hon. Member said nothing of the sort; if he had he might probably not have obtained the support of so many voters as gave him the benefit of their suffrages; and had he made the same sensible speech on the hustings that he did in that House, he possibly never would have been returned to Parliament. The amendment of the hon. Member for Rochdale stood upon a totally different ground from that now under the consideration of the House, and he confessed he did not understand how those who opposed the present law could fail to see the subject in the same light as the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire. It was impossible for those who opposed the measure to say, that it was equally ob- 899 jectionable all over the kingdom. They might apply to it the most opprobrious epithets; they might say, "Down with the Bastiles;" they might cry out that the law was abominable, that it was diabolical: they might rebel against the tyrannical government of the three devil kings, but with what show of reason could they support a proposition for merely dealing with a part of the subject, and leaving the old system still; to exercise its evil influence over a portion of the country? The hon. Member had spoken: of the status quo; but a status quo could only be said to subsist between equal belligerents, it could not have any existence in a case between a law on the one hand, and those who were agitating against that law on the other. But, whatever he might have to say regarding the conduct of the hon. Member for Yorkshire, he was at least very glad to have the benefit of his assistance in supporting her Majesty's Government upon the present occasion. He did not wish to say anything offensive, but, without meaning the least disrespect to any individual, he must be permitted to observe, that there had been a good deal of humbug on the subject of the Poor-law; there had been a great deal of vague nonsense talked about it, and he would add, there had been a great deal of dishonesty, and what he wished to do was to bring Gentlemen to the test on this subject. He wished to keep the House and the country from being misled by false hopes, and above all, he wished to save the country from being agitated respecting plans which could not be carried out. The question which hon. Members had to put to themselves was this—would they support a measure which the present Government favoured, and which the late Government likewise supported? Did any one in that House hope to be able to show by a majority on such motions as the present, that the Poor-law would be repealed.
Colonel Wood, (Brecon)
thanked the hon. Member who spoke last, for having restored the tone of good humour in which such a debate ought to be carried on, and he sincerely hoped that nothing would induce them to conduct the discussion of this most important question with the feelings of partisans. For his part, he did not think the proposition of the hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire, at all so unreasonable as to the minds of 900 some hon. Members it appeared to be. The Poor-laws had been with him no topic of declamation at the hustings; he had never used them for any purposes of agitation; but the House, he trusted, would recollect, that when the continued existence of the commission was under the consideration of that House, he voted its continuance only for a few years, and he had no hesitation in saying, that when the bill was passing through that House, there was a vast number of Members who had no idea that the measure was to be applied indiscriminately to all parts of the kingdom. The general opinion of the House was, that the Poor-law operated most injuriously in the southern counties, but that many of its evils did not exist in the north. They thought, and as he believed were right in so thinking, that in the north, the wages of labourers were not paid out of the poor-rates, and that the cottage rents were not paid out of them. In the principality they certainly were not defrayed by the rates. He, and those who thought with him, were certainly of opinion that where the evils to which he referred did not exist, the parishes ought not to be formed into unions. That was a view of the subject which influenced his mind at the time, and he could show that the provisions which ought to be founded on it were not in themselves unreasonable. Under all the circumstances he did hope that the hon. Member for York would not press his motion, and it was to be hoped that no hon. Member would suppose that Government made the present proposition from any wish to stave off the evil day. He was sure there was nothing like so much cause of complaint as some people supposed. In the union of which he was ex officio a guardian, they had done all in their power to prevent the separation of aged men and women. They had, he trusted, succeeded in rendering their workhouse what it ought to be, a place of alms and a school for the benefit of all who entered it. He hoped, then, that the whole question would be allowed to stand over till they met after Christmas.
§ Captain Pechell
did not regard the present as a factious opposition; but he wished to know whether it were the intention of her Majesty's Government to take those towns out of the operation of the measure which had local acts of their own, and whether it was intended, under the new bill, to comprehend places now 901 under Gilbert's Act. In the latter class, he believed, that relief was now administered to the poor in a manner that gave satisfaction to all parties. Before he gave his vote, he wished to ascertain what the intentions of the Government were.
Mr. H. Hinde
said, that to every one of the amendments he had originally advocated, he still adhered. He was now, as he had previously been, of opinion, that the administration of the Poor-law ought to be transferred from the commissioners to a responsible. Minister of the Crown, who would always have a seat in that House, and he did not think that such a Minister—still less that the commissioners —should possess the power of legislating: he should limit their authority to the mere execution of the law, for he was unwilling to trust any man with the power of affixing a stigma upon one who had not been convicted of any offence. He well knew that separation could not be avoided in the present state of the unions, and, therefore, he held that out-door relief ought to be granted. He should support neither the one instruction nor the other, but, on the contrary, vote for postponing the whole matter till the entire machinery of the Poor-law could be brought under their consideration.
Sir H. Fleetwood
had recently received two letters from constituents of his in Preston, expressing in the strongest terms the objections which they felt to the re-enactment of the Poor-law. He should not then go into the general question, for he quite agreed with those who thought that it ought to be postponed till the House next met. He wished, however, to say, that he hoped during the approaching recess, no parish not now under the law would be placed within the scope of its provisions. According to one of the letters which he held in his hand, a petition on the subject of the present measure had been forwarded to his hon. colleague, the late Member for Yorkshire, signed by 1,260 of his constituents, every one of whom had appended to his name a statement of his residence and his trade. These petitioners were all out of employment, and were now living upon the bounty of such amongst their neighbours, as were able to give them any support. It surely might be allowed to persons to act on behalf of their own funds, instead of having to look for their administration to the poor, to what he should always consider the uncon- 902 stitutional appointment of commissioners in London. He did not wish to occasion any embarrassment to the Government, and was willing to let the matter rest to the next Session of Parliament, provided discretionary power were given to the boards of guardians in the intermediate lime to try any beneficial measures which might appear desirable to them in their neighbourhoods, for it was from that alone that any proper legislation could come; and that if the discussion of this question was put oft' till next spring, it was to be with the understanding, that any part of the country not yet put under a un on should not be so put, that out-door relief should be enabled to be given, and that all boards of guardians be requested to endeavour to show how improvements may be effected, that that House might come to the discussion of this question with full information before them, free from party feeling, and with the determination to legislate a good law for the country.
§ Mr. Grimsditch
said, he should consent to the delay in the settlement of this question which was demanded, and was anxious to state his reasons for so consenting. When they looked at the number of notices of amendments in the law, which had been given from both sides of the House in the last Session of Parliament, very little less than 140, he thought it would be very inexpedient and undesirable to legislate hastily on this subject; and, therefore, he entreated the hon. Member for the city of York not to press his amendment. He was firmly of opinion, that this law might be carried into effect without the central and unconstitutional power of the Poor-law commissioners. He would undertake 10 say, that in any given district of England—let them take Sheffield, if they thought proper, where the commissioners had been more fortunate than in other districts—if they canvassed the opinions of the middle classes of the people of this country, they would find, that the system on which this law was carried out was universally condemned. The working of the system of the New Poor-law was doing serious injury to our social system—it was drying up the sources of private charity and doing more mischief than the House was aware of. But in the present unprepared state of the Government, he thought it most unfair to press on this subject for discussion. He trusted, that in any bill which 903 the right hon. Baronet might bring in on this subject, he would not rely on information which emanated from Somerset-house, but that he would form his opinions from the experience of others, and from other statements. He would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman, that he should make inquiries in the country as to the working of the Poor-law Bill, and that those inquiries should be made by persons wholly independent, uninterested, and without salary, by experienced persons, and men of character and honour. There were several principles in the bill which he thought highly objectionable— the workhouse test, for example. Out of twenty-six unions, there were six or eight with a population of from 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants, and in each union there were at least from 3,000 to 4,000 paupers, and how was it possible to apply the workhouse test to all these, and fully to carry out this principle? Again, what was the law in one union, was not the law in another. Now, a law to be just and good, ought to be uniform and affect all, and not to be binding on but part of the community. He trusted, that the Secretary of State for the Home Department, before he brought in his bill, would well consider all these points, and that the main principle of his bill would be to abrogate centralization, and to re-establish the system of self-government in the distribution of the parochial funds.
§ Mr. Wigney
said, he was one of those who had suffered so much from the cry against the Poor-law, which had been get up upon the hustings by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that he should support the motion of the hon. Member for York. He really thought, that hon. Gentlemen opposite had brought this question upon themselves, by their conduct on the hustings. He much deprecated, that hon. Members should use questions of this kind in order to mislead and rouse the passions of their constituencies. If the hon. Member for York felt it necessary to divide the House on this question, he (Mr. Wigney) should vote with him. But he thought there was much good sense in the observations of the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dorchester, that it was the determination of the Government to take this measure into deliberate consideration, and to weigh well all its difficulties, in order to bring forward a good measure; yet he had been so used on the hustings and elsewhere on 904 this question, that he was unable to act impartially, and felt called upon to support the proposition of the Member for York.
§ Viscount Sandon
said, as one of those Gentlemen who had been guilty of the heinous crime of having expressed his opinion on the Poor-law, he begged to rise to vindicate his opinion. It was the first time that this language had been used in the House—that on great questions of internal policy Members who appeared before their constituents for the purpose of explaining their opinions should be told they ought to suppress them. Was it only to be allowed to a Whig or a Radical to have an opinion and to express it? Why was it that a Tory alone was not to express his opinion? Why was it lo be allowed to Whigs and Radicals to oppose and abuse the Poor-law if they thought fit, but that a Conservative was to be thought to be only tampering with the feelings of his constituents if he expressed his opinion? This tyranny of opinion was not to be tolerated. The Conservatives had a right to express their opinions; and he would not be deterred by any statements which might be made on the other side of the House from expressing boldly those opinions which he entertained to his constituents. And certainly, for Gentlemen on the Opposition side of the House to talk of "appealing to the passions of the people," as if they so carefully abstained from appealing to their passions, was most inconsistent. The trick of the big loaf and the little loaf was not forgotten, nor yet their habitude of calling the Conservatives tyrants and oppressors. It really came with a bad grace for them to say that those who took the liberty of dissenting from the wisdom and humanity of the Poor-law did so only to inflame the passions of the people. He for one would not submit to such dictation, that a Conservative alone was to be forbidden to express his opinion on that or any other measure. The proposition of the hon. Member for York might be good, but he was not to be driven out of season and out of place to support it. By voting for one or two instructions here or there, they should not do justice to the measure. The question was one of extreme difficulty, and one that required to be looked at as a whole and not in part; and he could conceive nothing more important for the proper consideration of this question than that 905 her Majesty's Ministers should employ the next three or four months in maturely looking into it, and when the whole question was properly reviewed to present the result. And if it did not then appear that the opinion of the Government coincided with that of individual members, that those Members should be at liberty (not with any factious feeling) to come forward and maintain in a straightforward manner their own views. For these reasons he did not feel called on to support the opinions of the hon. Member for York, but concurred most heartily in the policy of her Majesty's Government in referring the measure for due consideration.
§ Mr. C. Wood
deprecated the introduction into the discussion of this question of party and political feelings; and he really felt that nothing had fallen from his side of the House to justify the observations which had been made by the noble Lord. Hon. Members on his side of the House fully admitted the right of openly expressing opinions on this as on other subjects. It was a right they claimed for themselves. He had expressed to his constituents his entire approbation of the whole principle and general tenour of the Poor-law Bill, without, at the same time, agreeing to all its details; and he should, therefore, be the last person to deny to the noble Lord the right of expressing to his constituents his opposition to the measure. But what he and those around him objected to was, that the opposition to the Poor-law Bill had been made use of as an engine of political warfare. That was what they objected to, what they had a right to object to, and what he was sure his noble Friend would not venture to justify. Now, in that part of the country with which he was connected such a course had been pursued, and the best proof of it was, that until the election of 1837 no warmth of feeling whatever had existed upon the subject of the Poor-law in the West Riding of the county of York; while the best proof that the feeling existing at the period of elections was fictitious was to be found in the fact that strong opinions had been expressed in those parts of that riding only where, practically speaking, the due administration of the Poor-law had never come into operation. A petition had been presented to that House last year complaining of the operation of the Poor-law, and the hardship of the workhouse test in the Halifax union. But on 906 examination he found that the workhouse, though large, contained fewer inmates than he had ever known in the parish workhouses, and that the accommodation and food were infinitely better than had ever been afforded under the old system of separate parishes. It was true that the rates had been increased by the building of the workhouse, but as regarded the humanity of the measure no one could assert that the out-door relief was restricted, or that the comforts of the inmates were not materially greater than under the former system. It had been almost universally believed too that the separation of old couples was a general rule; and people were greatly astonished to learn that aged couples were taken into the workhouse without being separated, and that the prohibitory principle had been applied solely and exclusively to the able-bodied. When he found such utter want of information throughout the whole of that district in reference to a measure which the people complained of as inflicting various evils, while of those evils they had had no experience, he thought he might fairly conclude, that the feeling of hostility which had been created and afterwards applied to political purposes, was a fictitious and not a natural feeling. He made no personal allusions whatever, and should cautiously abstain from making any; but it could not be forgotten that the war-cry of one party during the late elections was "No Bastiles." Any man who knew any thing of the West Riding of York could not deny these facts. He entirely concurred in the course which the Government were pursuing upon the subject. He thought they were perfectly right to continue the Poor-law Bill to the end of the nest session of Parliament, although he scarcely thought it advisable to have encouraged discussion upon it at present by the admission of motions, some of which were utterly irrelevant, and which it appeared to him incompetent for hon. Members to make by way of instruction to the committee on a bill of mere continuance. He thought it far better that this bill should merely pass as a continuance bill, and that the discussion of the question, and of those amendments which hon. Members were anxious to effect, should not have taken place until next Session. He could not conclude these few remarks, without expressing a hope that either the right hon. Baronet, the member for Tamworth, 907 or the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dorchester, would utterly deny any such interpretation as had been put upon the course of the Government by the hon. Member for Finsbury, on a former occasion, and by the hon. Member for Preston that evening; in order that it might might not be supposed that the Poor-law would not be fairly carried out according to its present spirit, between this and the period when it should again be brought under the discussion of that House. The hon. Member for Finsbury intimated that he felt himself justified in supporting the Government in the course they pursued upon this question, because it indicated a shrinking from that support which the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tam-worth, gave to the measure of last Session. If such an impression as that were allowed to be produced upon the uninformed portion of the community, the effect might be exceedingly injurious; while those who had to administer the law in the interval, might feel that it was, in a great measure, a law which was condemned by the present Government. That was his only reason for requesting an explanation from one of the right hon. Gentlemen opposite. They need not be under any apprehension as to the opinions of hon. Members on that side of the House, who perfectly understood that the Government proposed this bill for the purpose of affording an opportunity in the next Session of Parliament, of fully and freely discussing the whole question. For his part, he was sure that the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, would feel it his duty, next Session, to propose the continuance of the commission for at least as long a period as he suggested last Session; and that he would, in accordance with opinions which he had already expressed, maintain the principle and main provisions of the present law, as eminently calculated to improve the condition of the poor of the country. If that were so, it was the more incumbent on the right hon. Baronet not to allow any such additional obstacle as he (Mr. Wood) had referred to, to be thrown in the way of the operation of the law, during the recess, by erroneous inferences, and the unfounded expectations to which those references would give rise.
§ Mr. Hardy
said he was extremely anxious, if the consideration of the question were to be deferred, and he thought it 908 desirable it should, that a public understanding should be come to regarding out-door relief, which was of so much importance to that part of the country in which he resided. Having had the curiosity to look into the last report of the commissioners, he there found, to his astonishment, that in an account of the expenditure for the maintenance of the poor in the West Riding of Yorkshire, it was stated, that in the years 1835 and 1836 it amounted to 423,811l.; but that for the two last years—years of great and admitted distress, the sum expended was only 421,129l. There must have been a considerable increase of the population within that period; and in 1835–36 wheat was 39s. and 44s. per quarter, while, during the latter two years, in which the relief amounted to the lesser sum, wheat was 68s. and 69s. per quarter. It was further to be considered how many people had been thrown out of employment by the stoppage of mills, as stated by the hon. Member for Dundee. Those unfortunate people had no resources whatever, but from parochial relief. He was extremely anxious that it should be understood, that the law should be relaxed throughout the coming winter, and that out-door relief might be received by them, as under the old system.
§ Mr. Wakley
said, that as several allusions had been made to him in the course of this debate, he wished to make a few observations upon the subject before the House. In the first place, he would tell the hon. Member for Chester, that he had no more engagements in this House than he ought to have as the representative of-one of the metropolitan constituencies. He had heard, with pain and sorrow, much of the language used to-night on the Poor-law; he had heard it with a sense of pain that it was impossible to describe, because he was satisfied the result would be to produce throughout the public mind the greatest possible dissatisfaction. The new Poor-law had been commended by the hon. Member for Halifax (Mr. C. Wood), the Member for Droitwich (Mr. Pakington), and, indeed, by both sides of the House; it was spoken of in the highest terms of admiration; it was referred to as one of the brightest specimens of legislative wisdom that was ever produced in a civilised country. He only wished, however, that hon. Members who thus spoke of the law felt its effects. He only re- 909 gretted that they themselves were not,. for a short time, the victims of the torture which it inflicted, instead of being the administrators of that which was called the new Poor-law; and he did fear that the present Government was about to commit the mistake of pledging itself to: the principles of this law. He feared that he heard the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, cheer when the principles and the effects of the law were commended by the hon. Member for Droitwich; but he had marked peculiarly the deep-seated anxiety which seemed to exist in the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite, to draw from the executive Government a pledge that it would adhere to the principles of this law. He observed that there was a manifestation of most extreme anxiety to obtain that pledge. Was it done from a kindly feeling? Was it from a generous motive? Was it done for the purpose of aiding the present Administration? He was wholly unconnected—and he thanked God for it!—with party in this House. He came to this House pledged to his constituents to maintain himself perfectly free and unconnected with any individuals who should call themselves or class themselves as parties here. He was therefore free as the air itself to comment on and to notice the new Poor-law. He was free to notice what had been the effects of that law, and for one, representing a large constituency in this metropolis, he did claim for himself the right of exercising his judgment on that law, and in the present Session of Parliament; and he would say, that the executive Government would not act fairly by the law, the public, or the poor of this country, and, above all, in his opinion, in this case they would not act fairly by those who declared they would not offer obstructions in this House to the continuance of the commission, if they did not permit the opponents of the bill, and all in this House, to declare their opinions and point out the objections to the law. He repeated that the public and the poor would not be treated fairly if this were not done. The right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dorchester, said, don't discuss the law now—wait until the next Session of Parliament; in the meantime, the executive Government will apply itself to the subject, investigate all the circumstances of the case, and, on the meeting of Parlament, will be prepared to submit their measures to the House. How many new 910 Members were there in this House? Did not the executive desire to hear the opinions of those new Members? There were nearly 200 new Members in the House; and, he asked, was it fair to those Members, was it fair to the poor themselves, that those parties who had come to the House entertaining hostility to the law should not have the opportunity of stating their objections to it until the measure came down cut and dried from the Home Office, when the executive Government were pledged to the measure. The executive would not yield, after framing and fashioning the measure to the shape in which they thought it should be submitted to the House. They would then be pledged and committed to it; it would be supported by the Government, and it would not be in the power of those in this House who were hostile to it to produce the changes they desired to effect. With regard to the motion of the hon. Member for York, he entreated him not to divide the House upon the subject, because he would see, on reflection, that if he committed a majority of the House to his motion, he would not hereafter be able to induce them to relax. He was satisfied it would be damaging the cause which hon. Gentlemen were so desirous to advance. He was convinced they could not do more injury than would be caused by a premature discussion on the subject; and he now asked the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Dorchester, when he would give the House an opportunity for discussing the provisions of the bill? If he had no other opportunity, he would take it on the motion for the third reading. He did declare, that he thought it would be the grossest injustice to the poor if that opportunity were not given, and that the sentiments of this House ought to be expressed as to the question of out-door relief in the coming winter. It was a subject of great importance, and he was sorry to observe the light manner in which such a serious question had been treated in the present discussion. He predicted that if the present Administration should support the principles of that bill, and bring in a measure for continuing the commission, and for maintaining all the obnoxious provisions that bill contained, it was the last time that the right hon. Baronet would command a majority of that House.
|List of the AYES.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Heathcoat, J.|
|Blewitt, R. J.||Hollond, R.|
|Brotherton, J.||Howard, hon. H.|
|Browne, hon. W.||Jardine, W.|
|Busfeild, W.||Johnstone, A.|
|Collins, W.||Leader, J. T.|
|Colville, C. R.||Morris, D.|
|Crawford, W. S.||Murphy, F. S.|
|Duncan, G.||Pechell, Captain|
|Dundas, Capt. D.||Plumridge, Captain|
|Easthope, Sir J.||Rennie, G.|
|Ellis, W.||Stanton, W. H.|
|Fielden, J.||Walker, R.|
|Ferrand, W. B.||Watson, W. H.|
|Fleetwood, Sir P. H.||Wigney, I. N.|
|Forman, T. S.||Williams, W.|
|Granger, T. C.||TELLERS.|
|Harford, S.||Yorke, H. R.|
|Harris, J. Q.||Jervis, J.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, T. D.||Darby, G.|
|A'Court, Captain||Dawnay, hon. W. H.|
|Acton, Colonel||Dickinson, F. H.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Douglas, Sir C. E.|
|Allix, J. P.||Douglas, J. D. S.|
|Antrobus, E.||Dugdale, W. S.|
|Arbuthnott, hon. H.||Dundas, D.|
|Astell, W.||East, J. B.|
|Bagge, W.||Eaton, R. J.|
|Baillie, Colonel||Ebrington, Viscount|
|Baird, W.||Egerton, W. T.|
|Baldwin, C. B.||Emlyn, Viscount|
|Baring, hon. W. B.||Escott, B.|
|Baskerville, T. B.M.||Estcourt, T. G. B.|
|Beckett, W.||Ewart, W.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Fitzroy, Captain|
|Beresford, Captain||Fleming, J. W.|
|Beresford, Major||Follett, Sir W. W.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||Forbes, W.|
|Boldero, H. G.||Forester, hon. G. C.W.|
|Borthwick, P.||Forster, M.|
|Boscawen, Lord||Fox, C. R.|
|Botfield, B.||Fuller, A. E.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Gaskell, Jas. Milnes|
|Broadley, H.||Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.|
|Brooke, Sir A. B.||Gordon, hon. Capt.|
|Brownrigg, J. S.||Gore, M.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Goring, C.|
|Buck, L. W.||Goulburn, rt. hon. H.|
|Buckley, E.||Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.|
|Campbell, A.||Greene, T.|
|Carnegie, hon. Capt.||Grimsditch, T.|
|Chelsea, Visct.||Grimstone, Viscount|
|Chetwode, Sir J.||Grogan, E.|
|Clayton, R. R.||Hamilton, W. J.|
|Clerk, Sir G.||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Clive, hon. R. H.||Harcourt, G. G.|
|Cochrane, A.||Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H|
|Cole, hon. A. H.||Hardy, J.|
|Collelt, W. R.||Hawes, B.|
|Courtenay, Visct.||Hawkes, T.|
|Cresswell, C.||Hayes, Sir E.|
|Crosse, T. B.||Henley, J. W.|
|Henniker, Lord||Pakington, J. S.|
|Herbert, hon. S.||Parker, J.|
|Hinde, J. H.||Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.|
|Hodgson, F.||Peel, J.|
|Hodgson, R.||Pemberton, T.|
|Hogg, J. W.||Polhill, F.|
|Holdsworth, J.||Pollock, Sir F.|
|Hope, hon. C.||Pringle, A.|
|Hope, A.||Rae, rt. hn. Sir W.|
|Hope, G. W.||Reade, W. M.|
|Hornby J.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Inglis, Sir R. H.||Rose, rt. hn. Sir G.|
|Jermyn, Earl||Rushbrooke, Colonel|
|Johnson, W. G.||Sandon, Viscount|
|Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.||Scarlett, hon. R. C.|
|Jones, Captain||Scott, hon. F.|
|Kemble, H.||Shaw, rt. hon. F.|
|Ker, D. S.||Sheppard, T.|
|Kerrison, Sir E.||Sibthorp, Colonel|
|Knatchbull, right hon. Sir E.||Smith, rt. hn. R. V.|
|Somerset, Lord G.|
|Knight, H. G.||Sotheron, T. H. S.|
|Law, hon. C. E.||Stanley, Lord|
|Lawson, A.||Stansfield, W. R. C.|
|Layard, Captain||Stuart, Lord J.|
|Legh, G. C.||Stuart, H.|
|Leicester, Earl of||Sutton, hon. H. M.|
|Lennox, Lord A.||Taylor, T. E.|
|Lincoln, Earl of||Tennent, J. E.|
|Lindsay, H. H.||Thornhill, G.|
|Litton, E.||Trench, Sir F. W.|
|Lockhart, W.||Trevor, hon. G. R.|
|Lowther, J. H.||Trollope, Sir J.|
|Lyall, G.||Trotter, J.|
|Mackenzie, W. F.||Tufnell, H.|
|M'Geachy, F. A.||Turnor, C.|
|March, Earl of||Vane, Lord H.|
|Marshall, W.||Vere, Sir C. B.|
|Marsham, Viscount||Verner, Colonel|
|Martin, C. W.||Vesey, hon. T.|
|Martyn, C. C.||Villiers, Viscount|
|Masterman, J.||Vivian, hon. Captain|
|Mitchell, T. A.||Ward, H. G.|
|Morgan, O.||Wigram, J|
|Mundy, E. M.||Wood, C.|
|Murray, C. R. S.||Wood, Colonel|
|Neeld, J.||Wood, Colonel T.|
|Neville, R.||Wortley, hon. J. S.|
|Newry, Viscount||Young, Sir W.|
|Nicholl, rt. hon. J.|
|O'Brien, A. S.||TELLERS.|
|O'Connell, M. J.||Fremantle, Sir T.|
|Ogle, S. C. H.||Baring, H.|
§ Instruction rejected.
§ Committee on the bill deferred.