HC Deb 25 March 1844 vol 73 cc1531-2

House in Committee on the Mutiny Bill.

Captain Pechell

observed, that it had been declared that the Stromboli steamer had been engaged in assisting the collection of poor-rates. He had heard that the Comet had also been so employed, although the fact was denied the other evening by the hon. Baronet, the First Naval Lord of the Admiralty. It was a service not fit for the Navy, and he wished to know whether, in fact, Her Majesty's ships had been employed in this odious service?

Sir J. Graham

said, happily a truce at present existed between the hon. and gallant Officer and himself upon the subject of the Poor Law, and he thought it would be a pity now to disturb it. He was sure that the hon. and gallant Officer, who had served so long under the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, the Member for Ripon, was perfectly aware that he was incapable of making a statement with the view of deceiving that House. The facts were, that on a remote portion on the coast of Galway there was a formidable and organized resistance to the payment of the arrears of poor-rates. The civil force was not sufficiently strong to be effective, and one or two steam-boats from the river Shannon were sent to assist the civil power. That transaction, he believed, did take place, but he was quite sure that his right hon. and gallant Friend was not aware, when he denied it, that the circumstance had occurred. On the part of her Majesty's Government he (Sir J. Graham) was quite prepared to justify the proceeding upon which so much stress had been laid, when the proper time should arrive.

Bill went through the Committee.