HC Deb 09 June 1843 vol 69 cc1305-20

On the question that the Speaker do leave the Chair for the House to go into committee on the Poor Relief (Ireland) Bill.

Mr. Redington

rose to move, that the bill be referred to a select committee. Having closely watched the operations of the existing law, he by no means desired to obstruct the passing of the present bill during this Session; on the contrary, he was satisfied that the present Session should not be allowed to pass without adopting many and important alterations, with the view of rendering the whole measure palatable to all classes of the Irish public. Some change of the existing law was absolutely necessary; but he also thought that the bill now introduced required several alterations and amendments. He had been in favour of the original law, and of the principle on which it was based, because he had felt that some large measure of statutory relief was required in the great and wide-spread destitution of the lower classes in Ireland. He had been in favour also of those clauses of the original bill which had conferred on the commissioners great and most extensive powers, but he had been much disappointed; and for the sake of the principle of the bill itself he much regretted the fact, at the manner in which the commissioners had exercised the powers reposed in them by the act. He had not been one of those who expected that the measure would have been received with much favour by the great body of the people, inasmuch as it was in character new to them, and it brought considerable additional taxation, which could not fail to create some degree of discontent in the already impoverished condition of that country. But when he saw how the act had been worked out, he felt that the greatest operation had been made to countervail the benefits of the principle, and was calculated in the greatest degree to increase and perpetuate discontent. The instances were numerous, in which the powers vested in the commissioners had been most unwisely and arbitrarily exercised. To go through all those cases in detail would exceed the patience of the House, but he might be permitted to advert to a few. In very many instances, the sites for the union workhouses had been selected by the commissioners, and taken or purchased by them on most exorbitant terms, as compared with the value of lands in the immediate neighbourhood—and those expensive sites had been chosen and taken without the concurrence of the boards of guardians, and in some case before the boards were actually aware of any such intention. Again, the workhouses had been erected upon a scale of unnecessary splendour, and had entailed on the unions enormous expense—this, too, without the concurrence of the guardians—and when the respective boards complained or remonstrated, their complaints and remonstrances procured them no redress; from the arbitrary decision of the commissioners there was no relief. It must have struck the commonest observer, whether a resident or a temporary sojourner in Ireland, that the Poor-law workhouses had been erected on the most expensive and magnificent scale—they stood forth in painful contrast with the dwellings of the people among whom they were placed. In fact, the dwellings of even the wealthier classes in Ireland could not pretend to compete in style and expense with those workhouses. Such was not the case in England, nor should it be the case in any country. No private individual ever managed his own affairs with less prudence or economy, than had the Poor-law commissioners managed the important interests entrusted to them. In some instances, the building of the workhouses had exceeded the original estimates by sums so large as 1,500l. and 2,000l. And this great additional expenditure had been incurred without the concurrence, nay, often without the previous knowledge of the boards of guardians. Another great objection to the conduct of the commissioners was, that they had excited the suspicion of the Irish people by the arbitrary exclusion of the public, and particularly of the public press, from the meetings of the guardians. And to that rule of exclusion they doggedly adhered, against the express and urgent wishes of the boards themselves. The rate-payers were most anxious to see, or to be made acquainted with, proceedings that so nearly concerned them; and it certainly seemed unjust, as well as impolitic, to attempt to deny them that privilege. It had been urged that, as the poor-rate would impose on the great majority of individual rate-payers no heavier payment than that of 5d, or 6d. in the pound, it could not really affect the interests of the people much, nor afford any ground for exciting among them jealousies or discontent. But they who thus argued, either did not know much of that country, or permitted their own observations and experience to be overruled by mere conjecture, or they must admit, that a large mass of the rate-payers felt the payment of that small sum quite as great a burthen and hardship, as the payment of a much larger rate was felt by persons differently circumstanced, and took as keen an interest in the object and mode of its allocation. The commissioners had further gone out of their way, and, by unnecessary interference, incurred much unpopularity, in prohibiting the boards' giving a Christmas dinner to the paupers. He was most desirous that the existing law should be at once and materially altered. In the provisions of the bill now before the House, he saw many things that were objectionable. He must condemn the contemplated increase in the number of ex-officio guardians, as tending to supersede pro tanto the guardians elected by the rate-payers, and consequently to diminish the interest of the rate-payers themselves in the well-being of the poor, and to greatly increase the already strong jealousies and disapprobation evinced towards the whole measure in very many localities. One change proposed by this bill was, that 8l. householders in towns should be subject to exemption. Now, why should the 8l. householders in such places as Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick—persons who were on an equality, he supposed, with the 10l. voters here—be exempted from the payment of the rates? It was only by gentlemen practically conversant with the details that this bill could properly be discussed, and it was with a view to render its provisions as perfect as possible, that he begged to move it be referred to a select committee upstairs.

Lord Eliot

could not acquiesce in the proposition. If it were adopted, he believed, whatever might be the feeling of the committee, the whole matter would be re-opened, and the remainder of the Session would be consumed in the discussion of the abstract question of a Poor-law for Ireland; no report would be made, or if made, not in time to be acted upon. The bill consisted of clauses which every Gentleman was now in a condition to discuss, and no real advantage would be gained by referring the bill to a committee upstairs. The hon. Gentleman had pronounced a diatribe against the commissioners; but it was the duty of those who sought to impugn their conduct, instead of making individual charges without notice, to move for a committee of inquiry; but even admitting the allegations respecting valuations and improvident contracts to be correct, he did not think they furnished any argument at all against the measure as now proposed. He would not at present enter at all upon the details; they would best be considered in committee. He had several amendments to propose, which he would have laid on the Table yesterday, had there been a House. The principal one was in the tenth clause, with a view to guard against the possibility of any interference with the elective franchise. Considerable feeling, he was aware, existed upon the Subject of the Irish Poor-law; but there was every desire on the part of the Government fairly to discuss every provision, and there would be no disinclination on their part to pay the utmost attention to every suggestion or recommendation that might be made with a view to render the measure as complete and satisfactory as possible.

Mr. M. J. O'Connell

was inclined to support the proposition of his hon. Friend; but, after the statement of the noble Lord, he hoped it would be withdrawn. He admitted, that the guardians had not managed the valuations in a proper manner, but he strongly objected to leave the valuations, which were the basis of the elective franchise, entirely in the hands of the commissioners.

Sir R. Ferguson

supported the amendment. The great defect in the bill was, that it proposed no sufficient check upon the powers of the commissioners.

Lord Bernard

said, that he would oppose the amendment of the hon. Member for Dundalk, for referring the bill to a select committee, as it would be neither satisfactory in itself or to the country, With regard to the concessions proposed by the noble Lord, be never could See the advantage of the 7th clause. If the valuation were bonâ fide, it was unnecessary, and if not, it would not make a good valuation. He deprecated the concessions which had been made by the Government, in giving up the clause increasing the ex officio guardians, and said, that the expression of opposition arose from misapprehension. It was supposed that the guardians ex officio waste to be increased to one-half instead of one-third of the whole board, in proof of which he quoted the following from the Dublin Evening Post:— The new bill introduced by Lord Eliot might justly be described as an act to deprive the ratepayers of all confront in the administration of the law, and to vest the entire power of management in irresponsible officers chosen by the Crown, for such would be the inevitable effect of the clause increasing the number of ex officio guardians from one-third to one-half. Again, the hon. and learned Member for the county of Cork in one of his speeches said,'— The bill introduced by Lord J, Russell was an atrocious bill, and he rejoiced in having opposed it on principle and detail, yet bad as it was it gave the people a selection of two-thirds of the guardians who were in general sufficient to prove an obstacle to the domination and tyranny of the commissioners, but under the new bill one-half of the guardians were to be ex officio, and the commissioners would only have to get a majority of one out of the other half, in order to have a sufficient number to carry their measures. He did not mean to impute intentional misrepresentation, as he knew it was a common error. He believed that the alteration in this respect, originally proposed by the noble Lord, would have done much to remove the grounds of complaint from those who were the owners of property. What possible good could it do to exclude magistrates from the board, if all political grounds of objection were removed, all political powers taken away? on the contrary, would not. the results be most beneficial if magistrates, gentlemen of intelligence, of experience, and of property, Were willing to undertake what he could assure the House Were onerous duties, the attendance of weekly boards and visiting committees. He then directed the attention of the House to the 22nd clause, which by requiring a month's notice instead of a week, placed difficulties in the way of the owners of property exercising their right to claim their votes, and contended that on that ground the ex officio guardians ought to be increased, and alluded to the cumulative and proxy votes not having afforded to the landed property that protection which was intended, and instanced the case of the Bandon Union, where the number of owners and proxy voters were very small compared with the votes of the occupiers of property. He believed the cause of the failure (or rather the partial want of success) of the law was, that the Poor-law was made the basis of the Municipal Franchise, and this, associating it with political interests, made it a fruitful field of party agitation. It is evident there must be something more than meets the eye in a discontent which did not manifest itself as it did in England, in complaints about the separation of husband and wife—of parent and child, and to severities of the workhouse system. Each clause in the bill was carefully considered. First—the 4l. and 8l. exemptions; then the ex officio guardians were thrown into the scale, while the popular attention was directed to see in favour of which party the political beam would gravitate. He would show what had happened in Cork, by reading an extract from the letter of a gentleman which he had received:— In the first place, the coming into operation of the Municipal Act depended upon the declaration of the Union; and the board first elected for the Cork Union, the majority of whom were Liberals, prematurely forced on the declaration of the rate before we had the machinery completed for the working of the act; to which is to be attributed in a great measure the difficulties we have since laboured under; and further, the municipal franchise depending on the Poor-law valuation, which, and the times for striking the rates being dependent on the acts of the board, it is quite evident that party politics entered into the decisions of the board. He had presented a petition from the aldermen, and others of the Custom-house Ward in Cork, in which were these words:— Your petitioners further beg to call the attention of your honourable House to the injurious effects of the Irish Corporations on the working of that great experiment, the Irish Poor-law, by parties becoming guardians of the unions in cities and corporate towns, not for the purpose of promoting the benevolent objects of the act, but that by political majorities they may be enabled to use the Poor-law valuations as engines to create a franchise. In the first place, the coming into operation of the Municipal Act depended upon the declaration of the Union, and the board first elected for the Cork Union prematurely forced on the declaration of the rate, before we had the machinery completed for the working of the Act, to which is to be attributed in a great measure the difficulties we have since laboured under; and further, the Municipal Franchise depending on the Poor-law valuation, which, and the times of striking the rate being dependent on the acts of the board, it is quite evident that party politics entered into the decisions of the board. The instances were frequent where guardians had openly avowed that they had become so on account of political and partisan objects, and with the view of furthering political and party interests. He thought the House ought never to have granted to the commissioners so much political influence. The power of fixing the amount of the Poor-law franchise, which at the time of the passing of the law, would have been a delicate subject for discussion now in the House, was left to him to determine. They had also the power of fixing the boundaries of electoral divisions. These were matters susceptible of being made subservient to party and political purposes, and they should have been placed on a footing raised not only above suspicion, but above the possibility of it. Again, he thought it equally unwise to have delegated to the commissioners, the selection of chaplains. He did not wish to revive any discussion of a religious nature, he would not therefore, further advert to that particular objection. Another cause of discontent was, the supposed intention of consigning to the Poor-law commissioners the administration of the medical charities of Ireland, which supposed intention had done more to injure the Poor-law than any other cause whatever; but not only had the law been made unpopular by being the basis of the municipal valuation, but to this was added another ingredient, that it was supposed that the Poor-law valuation would be made the basis of the parliamentary franchise. There now was no chance of improving the law, except by freeing it from the obstructions and difficulties created by its association with political affairs. Let the valuation be placed in the hands of the executive, above the reach of party politics and local interests. Let the administration of the law be conducted on the direct responsibility of the Executive Government. He had already given notice of his intention to move a resolution as an instruction to the committee, which, if put in practice, he was sure would work well; it was, that the business of the central board should be conducted in London instead of Dublin; so long as it was managed in the latter place, so long would it be subjected to party influences and party jealousies. Even at present, every appeal was practically made to the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Home Department.

Sir D. Norreys

rose to order, and suggested, that the noble Lord had wandered from the question at issue.

Lord Bernard

really thought, that he was not now out of the strict line of the debate that had been usually the practice to allow, and surely not so much as hon. Members had been, throughout the recent discussion on the Irish Arms Bill. He could not help saying, at the same time, that the law had not had a fair trial in Ireland, for no law could be administered, when those who ought to administer it sought to frustrate it. In a pamphlet addressed by Mr. Godby, Sheriff of Lei-trim, to the landowners of the county, after advising them to give the bill their support, he says: — Far from this being the case, I hear an universal outcry of complaint before any one can have any possible ground to know that there is ground for it. I find among the ratepayers opposition to the collectors—among the guardians opposition to the commissioners —and to the very principle of the act, among the whole population, a disposition not to make the best of the law, but as far as in them lies to embarrass its working. Now, if this be the case, how can it succeed? The objects of the best law in the world will be defeated, if those to whom the execution is entrusted, are determined to defeat them. They first endeavour to make it fail, and then complain because they have been successful. If he (Lord Bernard) could think that anything said within these walls could reach the people of Ireland, he would implore those who opposed the law to reflect what would be the effect of their conduct on their own interests. It was commonly said, by the capitalists of England, even before the late melancholy events in Ireland—" How can you expect us to invest money amongst you when you cannot collect your own poor-rates?" He firmly believed, that if this and other sources of agitation ceased, and agriculture were earnesly prosecuted, the produce of Ireland would be twice as much as it was. He thanked the House for the attention with which they had listened to him.

Sir D. J. Norreys

quite agreed with the noble Lord as to the unfortunate effect of the connection between the municipal act and the Poor-law. For that, however, hon. Gentlemen on his side of the House were not responsible. If it had not been for some words which were introduced into the municipal bill by the present Lord Chancellor, none of this bad result would have to be deplored. There was one point connected with this subject on which he begged to ask the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) a question—he meant the removal of Scotch and Irish paupers from England to their respective countries. The commissioners did not appear to have referred to the subject in their report in a way that was calculated to be effectual, so as to establish a reciprocity, in this respect, between the coun- tries. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would be kind enough to state what was meant to be done in the matter?

Mr. Sergeant Murphy

said, the connection between the municipal franchise and the poor-rates in the Cork union had led to much inconvenience. So great was the political ferment, and so much had the workhouse been converted into an arena of political discussion, in order to strengthen the Tory interest in the city, that many of those who otherwise would have gladly aided in carrying out the law, had been obliged to discontinue their attendance. With respect to the removal of paupers, the evil was monstrous. In Cork they were accustomed continually to see shiploads of paupers who had been embarked in the port of London, set ashore and turned adrift among them. In addition, the paupers from the country infested the streets. Now, considering that they had from 1,650 to 1,800 paupers of their own to support, it was most grievous to have between 200 and 300 paupers thrown on the union from time to time, without having anything similar to the law of settlement in this country to provide for their transmission to their proper localities. Surely, it was not just, that the labouring classes of Ireland, after having wasted their strength and employed the best part of their lives, in lending their aid in the construction of the public works, and gathering the harvests of England, should when decay rendered them no longer serviceable, be thrown back on the destitution of Ireland, where, from the lapse of time, their local connections had cooled in their attachment, and were no longer so ready as before to render them assistance. How they were to be relieved from this constant influx of paupers from England, ought to occupy the immediate attention of Government. He was fully disposed, from all he had seen of the noble Secretary for Ireland, as well in public as in private, to give him full credit for wishing to act, with respect to this measure, in a spirit of perfect fairness. For himself, he was quite ready to meet the Government in the same spirit. There was one observation he had to make before he sat down, and that was, that in his opinion, the commissioner was undoubtedly too much in the habit of following his own judgment, instead of listening to advice from those whose local knowledge gave them a right to offer it. An instance of this had occurred at Cork, where the commissioner had had the workhouse built on a quarry, the effect of which was, that the building could not be drained and, of course, miasma and deleterious effects might be apprehended.

Mr. G. Hamilton

said, as the proposition of the hon. Member for Dundalk was not to be pressed to a division, he would not take up the time of the House by adverting to it; but he would avail himself of the opportunity of stating, that it was his intention to move some clauses in reference to the manner in which the clergy were at present rated. With regard to the present Irish Poor-law, he felt that it was very imperfect; and he did not hesitate to add, that its imperfections had been greatly aggravated by the injudicious administration of the Poor-law commissioners in many cases. He was most anxious to see the measure improved. He had had the honour of a seat in Parliament when the measure was first introduced, and he could not forget, that it had exhibited an almost solitary instance of an Irish measure being discussed and carried through the House without any exhibition of party feeling. As a measure, therefore, proposed by the late Government, and supported by the late Opposition, he felt that it came to the present Government under very peculiar circumstances. He thought it was entitled to a fair trial; the time and circumstances had not admitted of that fair trial as yet; and he thought, also that Members on all sides of the House, ought to co-operate in rendering it now as efficient as possible. Although fully sensible, as he had stated, of its imperfections, he could not admit that the measure had been altogether a failure. He thought the state of the workhouses, as respects the class of their inmates, exhibited anything but an indication of failure. If, indeed, the workhouses had been filled with able-bodied men, he should have despaired of the result of the experiment; but such was not the case; the persons who asked admission into the workhouses were, for the most part, the aged, the infirm, and children, and in cases in cities, able-bodied women. No one, he thought, could complain that relief had been administered to such classes; and indeed the consideration of the comparative comfort which those poor people enjoyed, went very far, in his estimation, to overbalance any objections that were made to the system itself. There was another point likewise in which he thought the poor laws had operated beneficially. He was perfectly aware — as had been already stated—that in large towns the boardrooms of guardians had been made arenas for violent political discussions and struggles; but he believed that was very much confined to towns. He could not help thinking that in the country unions the administration of poor relief had tended to an amalgamation of parties in bringing together on neutral ground men of different classes and politics. It had been his lot to have been engaged in three very hard-fought election contests for the county in which he lived, all of them attended with no ordinary political excitement; the parties who had opposed him most strenuously, were the very parties who constituted the great majority of the guardians of his union, and yet these same persons—differing from him in politics—differing from him in religion—differing from him in almost everything, except in the desire of benefitting the poor—had on two occasions elected him the chairman of the board. He stated this simply as an illustration of the effect which had been produced in connexion with the Poor-law system in diminishing hostility, and softening down party feelings. There were one or two matters which he felt would contribute greatly to the better working of the system in Ireland. He thought nothing would tend more to improve it than if Government would throw themselves more upon the good sense and good feeling of those who administer the law locally—be meant the boards of guardians; and if the Government would pin their faith less upon the commissioners—he thought also the executive government ought to be made more directly responsible for the administration of the system—or the Poor-law commissioners made directly responsible to the Irish Government. At present there was a divided and an uncertain responsibility, which he thought very objectionable. He was sorry to have to add that he feared the present bill would go a very short way indeed in remedying the defects of the system. He was well aware that many most important suggestions had been offered to Government by persons of practical knowledge, and most fully competent to give them the best information. He regretted that those suggestions appeared to be overlooked or disregarded by the noble Lord—amongst them he might enumerate that evil to which the hon. and learned Member for Cork had alluded— the transmission of paupers from England; I that the Government had no intention of and he could assure the hon. Member that? he fully agreed in every word he had spoken on that subject, and felt the hardship as strongly as he did.

Sir J. Graham

was anxious that the House should go into committee with as little delay as possible, because it was in the committee that the details of the measure could be best discussed, and therefore, under ordinary circumstances, he should be most unwilling to prolong this debate; but as the hon. Baronet opposite, as well as the hon. and learned Sergeant and the hon. Gentleman behind him, had remarked upon the subject of the removal of Scotch and Irish paupers from England, he would, with the permission of the House, offer a few words in reply to them. It was, he need scarcely observe, hardly possible in an Irish Poor-law bill to deal with this subject. In England there was the right to relief and the law of settlement. In Ireland there was neither. In England a removal took from one specific spot to another specific spot. With respect to Ireland the removals were to a country, and not a specific place. He admitted that both with respect to the Scotch and Irish paupers the law as it at present stood did inflict upon those who had been resident in England very great hardships. The pauper, who had helped to increase the wealth of England by his labour, ought to have some greater consideration shown to his health and comfort when he was worn out than at present fell to his lot. He intended to introduce a bill on the subject before the close of the Session, which might lie over during the recess, so as to give some time for consideration, and be was not without hopes that checks might be devised to guard against abuses in the plan he should propose. With respect to the question of franchise, he must disclaim, on the part of the Government, any intention to interfere with the franchise in establishing the connexion, as it was called, between the Municipal Act and the Poor Relief Act. The Government was inclined to adopt the sum of 10l. with regard to the larger towns in Ireland, but upon further consideration, and viewing the effect which the rating would have upon the municipal franchise, they had adopted the lower sum. If it could be shown in committee that any particular sum would interfere with the exercise of the municipal franchise, the point would be mooted in committee, and it would then be found that the Government had no intention of interfering with the franchise. The several impediments to the working of the Irish Poor-law could then be smoothed down, and it would be seen that the Government was anxious to do all in its power to ameliorate the condition of the poorer classes in that country.

Mr. Redington

would, with the permission of the House, withdraw his motion.

The amendment withdrawn. House in committee on the bill.

On clause 1 being proposed, enacting " that the lessors of property of less value than pounds to be rated for the same," it was proposed to fill the blank with the word "eight."

Sir R. Ferguson

objected to fixing the standard of rate in any part of the country, as he thought it would be better to adapt it to circumstances. In Londonderry many holdings under 5l. were in arrear of rent; whilst in other neighbouring places such was not the case. The noble Lord, the Member for Bandon, said the rate was a light one, and never exceeded 10d. in the pound; but in his electoral division, it in some instances amounted to 2s. 6d. He would therefore move as an amendment, that the Poor-law commissioners might be empowered to issue an order from time to time, directing the guardians of an union to make a rate according to circumstances upon property not exceeding 8l., and to include both lessee and occupier. The clause as it now stood, whilst relieving all holders under 4l., would throw the burden upon the landlords. As the law at present stood, all parties had a common interest in the rate being levied; but the clause now proposed by the bill would bold out an inducement to landlords to get rid of their poorer tenants.

Lord Eliot

thought the power proposed to be vested in the commissioners by the amendment was too arbitrary. The recommendations of the commissioners in the first instance were, that occupiers under 5l. should be exempt, or that the rate should be paid by the landlords. Persons at present holding under 5l. were exempted from the payment of the county cess, and as it had been represented to Government, that the subdivision of holding in the west of Ireland especially, was carried to a very great extent, it was supposed that 4l. would form the best average. If, however, a uniform rate was considered objectionable, and another mode would be more applicable to the circumstances of the country, any suggestion to that effect should receive due consideration. He was not at present, however, in such a position as would enable him to give his consent to a proposal of that kind, though he could not, at the same time, say he would oppose it.

Mr. S. Crawford

objected to any additional powers being vested in the commissioners. It should be for the House, and not the commissioners, to fix the amount of property to be assessed.

Mr. George Hamilton

could not agree in the proposition of his hon. Friend, the Member for Londonderry city, for he thought it would be productive of a constant struggle between landlord and tenant —the one claiming, and the other resisting the exemption; he was, however, very favourable to the exemption of the occupiers of small tenements, but he thought the clause liable to serious objections. It was the principle of the present Poor-law, that the occupier is liable to one moiety of the rate on the grounds, and in consideration of, the profits of occupation; and the landlord to the other, on the grounds of his ownership, but occupiers of very small tenements, scarcely removed from pauperism, who are unable to pay, and the recovery of the rate from whom would be attended with distressing results—and these the bill proposes to exempt. But if inability to pay was the ground of exemption in the case of such small holders, the exemption ought to have been extended to lessees of similar holdings. There was another great objection to the clause as at present framed. It appeared to him to introduce a new principle—it made the landlord liable not only to his ownmoiety as owner, but to the moiety to which his tenant was liable, in consideration of the profits of occupation. Again, from the exemption being confined to cases of tenants at will, it appeared grounded upon the supposition, that the landlord would recover from his tenant the amount of the rate, in the shape of an increased rent. If this were the case, the effect of the clause would be to shift the odium of collection from the collector to the landlord; and it would also be said, " Is it fair to disfranchise the tenant?" If it was not so, if the occupier in those cases is supposed to be totally exempt—why place one class of landlords, because they happen to have tenants at will, on a different footing from; other landlords? He should have thought; that the fairer and better plan would have been to exempt all tenants under a certain value, and to leave the landlord, as; at present, liable to his moiety of the rate. He feared the clause, unless so altered, ' would occasion great dissatisfaction.

Sir R. Ferguson,

would withdraw his amendment, or allow it to be negatived, and bring it forward again on the report.

Amendment negatived.

Mr. Redington

moved to fill up the blank with the word " four" instead of " eight."

The Committee divided on the question that the blank be filled with " eight;"— Ayes 119; Noes 18; Majority 101.

List of the NOES.
Acland, T. D. Gladstone, Capt.
Acton, Col. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Aglionby, H. A. Gore, W. R. O.
Aldam, W. Graham, rt. hn. Sir,
Alford, Visct. Greenall, P.
Antrobus, E. Grogan, E.
Archdall, Capt. M. Hamilton, G. A.
Baillie, Col. Hamilton, W. J.
Baring, hon. W. B. Hamilton, Lord C.
Barron, Sir H. W. Hardinge, rt.hn.Sir H.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Hayes, Sir E.
Bateson, R. Heneage, G. H. W.
Bernard, Visct. Henley, J. W.
Blackburne, J. I. Herbert, hon. S.
Boldero, H. G. Hodgson, F.
Bowring, Dr. Hope, G. W.
Boyd, J. Hussey, A.
Brotherton, J. Hussey, T.
Browne, hon. W. James, W.
Bruce, Lord E. James, Sir W. C.
Buckley, E. Jermyn, Earl
Bunbury, T. Jervis, J.
Burroughes, H. N. Jones, Capt.
Christopher, R. A. Kemble, H.
Collett, W. R. Lefroy, A.
Connolly, Col. Lincoln, Earl of
Coote, Sir C. H. Mackenzie. W. F.
Corry, rt. hon. H. M'Taggart, Sir J.
Cripps, W. Manners, Lord J.
Damer, hon. Col. Marsland, H.
Darby, G. Masterman, J.
Denison, E. B. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Dickinson, F. H. Meynell, Capt.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Mitcalfe, H.
Douglas, J. D. S. Morgan, O.
Drummond, H. H. Morris, D.
Duncombe, hon. A. Murphy, F. S.
East, J. B. Napier, Sir C.
Eliot, Lord Neeld, J.
Ellis, W. Newry, Visct.
Flower, Sir J. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Forester, hon. G.C.W. Northland, Visct.
Gisborne, T. O'Brien, W. S.
Gladstone, rt.hn.W.E. O'Conor, Don
Palmer, G. Talbot, C. R. M.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Thesiger, F.
Polhill, F. Thornely, T.
Pollock, Sir F. Trelawny, J. S.
Pringle, A. Trench, Sir F. W.
Rice, E. R. Trollope, Sir J.
Roche, Sir D. Verner, Col.
Ross, D. R. Vesey, hon. T.
Round, J. Wellesley, Lord C.
Russell, Lord J. Wilbraham, tin. R. B.
Sheppard, T. Wood, B.
Smith, rt. hon. T.B.C. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Smollett, A. Wrightson, VV. B.
Sotheron.T. H. S. Young, J.
Stuart, W. V. TELLERS.
Stuart, H. Freemantle. Sir T.
Sutton, hon. H. M. Gaskell, J. Milnes
List of the NOES.
Barnard, E. G. Scholefield, J.
Collett, J. Tancred, H. W.
Corbally, M. E. Tuite, H. M.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Watson, W. H.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Westenra, hon. J.
Gore, hon. R. Williams, W.
Hindley, C. Wyse, T.
Hollond, R.
Martin, T. B. TELLERS.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Redington, J.
O'Connell, M. J. Crawford, W. S.

The three first clauses of the bill were agreed to.

House resumed. Committee to sit again.

House adjourned at half-past Twelve o'clock.