HC Deb 17 July 1845 vol 82 cc642-5
The Lord Advocate

having moved the Order of the Day for a Committee of the whole House on the Poor Law Amendment (Scotland) Bill,

Mr. Lockhart

said, the Bill as it now stood was in many important particulars different from the original measure, and he thought it was only fair that the people of Scotland should have an opportunity of considering it in its amended form; but he should not persist in his Motion for its postponement.

House in Committee.

On Clause 73, providing for the removal of Irish paupers,

Sir J. Graham,

in reply to the observations of the hon. Member for Lanark, said, that when the Bill was first introduced, it was intimated by the Government that it was impossible to make such a measure perfect in the first instance, and that Amendments would necessarily be introduced in Committee, founded on the information and the arguments advanced by those who were locally acquainted with the country. For the change introduced in this particular clause he was himself responsible, as, upon mature consideration, he did not think the clause, as originally brought in, was sufficient.

Mr. P. M. Stewart

said, all that had transpired in regard to this Bill showed the propriety of postponing this measure till a future Session. He had exhausted all fair means to effect the object, and he trusted that he should resort to none that were unfair. He must say that the Scottish Members had not been fairly treated in regard to these alterations, which had been introduced by the Government without any intimation whatever.

Sir J. Graham

observed, that whatever might be the law of settlement in England, and whatever might be its defects, he admitted that Scotchmen and Irishmen were entitled to the full benefit of it on a perfect equality with Englishmen.

Sir G. Clerk

contended, that as to settlement no difference should be made between the natives of Scotland, England, and Ireland. He cordially supported the clause, and denied that there was any general feeling against the Bill in Scotland; on the contrary its principle was approved of, and the petitions against it principally referred to matters of detail.

Mr. Duncan

approved of the provision of the clause, requiring a five years' industrial residence to obtain a settlement. He contended that its application was universal.

Mr. Darby

thought that Englishmen, Scotchmen, and Irishmen, should be put on the same footing respectively in the three countries. He approved of the clause as effecting this object.

Mr. P. M. Stewart

objected to the hurried mode in which alterations had been introduced into the clause. He approved of the provision requiring five years' industrial residence.

Sir W. Somerville

hoped that the poor Scotch in Ireland would be treated as the clause proposed to treat the poor Irish in Scotland.

Clause agreed to with verbal Amendments.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Report to be received.