HC Deb 07 August 1843 vol 71 cc321-4

House in Committee on the Poor Relief (Ireland Bill.

On the question that clause 19 stain part of the bill, the committee divided:—Ayes 37; Noes 13: Majority 24.

Clause agreed to.

Mr. W. S. O'Brien

moved an additional clause, allowing guardians to send orphans out to nurse. The workhouse was the worst place for the education of children, and he believed that the plan he recommended would be found much more economical than keeping them in the workhouse.

Clause read a first time on the question that it be read a second time.

Mr. Shaw

objected on the ground that it would be admitting the principle of outdoor relief. It would also entail an enormous expense on the country; these places where the children were located would be regarded as so many foundling establishments, and children from all parts would be brought and left in the unions.

Sir R. Ferguson

admitted the general inexpediency of the principle of out-door relief, but he thought that an exception should be made in favour of orphans.

Sir J. Graham

was most decidedly opposed to the clause. He thought that the hon. Gentleman who had brought it forward must himself see what would be the consequences of adopting it. The hon. Gentleman by the very next clause of which he had given notice, and which he was about to propose to the committee, intended to give out-door relief to other classes of the poor in Ireland besides orphans, and if the principle was admitted in one instance, it certainly would be difficult to refuse to assent to it in the other. He was of opinion that it would open a door not only to claims of an enormous amount, but that it would be dangerous in the extreme to the landed interest in Ireland; he, therefore, felt it his duty to oppose the clause.

Mr. Wyse

said, he had always been opposed to the general principle of granting out-door relief, but he conceived it was highly desirable that the clause should be adopted, as it made a salutary provision for the maintenance and care of orphan children.

The committee divided:—Ayes 7; Noes 50: Majority 43.

Clause rejected.

Mr. S. O'Brien

proposed a clause to regulate the law of parish settlements in Ireland. If it was not received he threw upon Ministers the whole responsibility attached to rejecting it.

Sir J. Graham

objected to the introduction of such a clause at present. The time had not yet come for an alteration of the law of settlement. In dealing with that law it would be necessary to do so on the general principles upon which the removals of paupers ought to take place. He objected to giving the commissioners the extended power contended for by the hon. Gentleman. If the hon. Gentleman thought that the simple remedy proposed by him was the right one, he ought to take the sense of the House upon it.

Sir R. Ferguson

said that clause 3 had been inserted in the bill for the purpose of entitling the tenants in Ireland to deduct from their rents, whatever might be the distance at which they had fallen due, any advances for poor-rates made by them on behalf of their landlords. The object of this clause was to guard against a system which prevailed in Ireland. The Irish tenants were generally in the habit of paying their rents six mouths, a year, and sometimes a year-and-a-half after they became due, and their landlords did not allow them a deduction for the poor-rates advanced on their behalf, until the payment of the particular rent for the term for which the rates had been assessed. It was thus a long time before they got a return for their advance, and thus a feeling had sprung up among the lower classes that it was entirely withheld from them. Another question has arisen upon this clause in the Poor Law Bill, as to the deduction on tithes. The word "yearly" had been used in the Act, and this had led to the idea, that deductions on rates could not be made on half yearly or other payments. Though the law had been declared to be opposed to this, yet there existed an impression to the contrary, and he thought that after the word "rent," the word "tithe," should be introduced. The hon. Member moved a clause to enable a tenant to deduct his rates from the rent.

Clause read a first time.

On the question that it be read a second time,

Sir J. Graham

took a practical view of the subject. The Irish tenant was generally in debt to his landlord for three half year's rent. If, while in arrear to this extent a moiety was paid up to the landlord, that (were the hon. Baronet's clause carried into effect) would enable the tenant by deducting the amount of poor-rates advanced by him, to sweep away the whole of that moiety.

Committee divided:—Ayes 17; Noes 54: Majority 37.

House resumed.

Bill to be reported.

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