HC Deb 21 July 1845 vol 82 cc791-3

On the Motion that the Poor Law Amendment (Scotland) Bill be read a Third Time,

Mr. Hastie

said, that as considerable alterations had been made in the Bill, upon which the people of Scotland had no time to express an opinion, he felt it to be his duty to move that the Bill, as amended, be printed, and read a third time that day week. He thought that the Bill, under the circumstances, was pressed with unjustifiable haste. He did not deny that the people of Scotland were in favour of an alteration of the Poor Law; but at the same time, they were anxious to have another year to consider the Bill more fully.

Mr. Dundas

seconded the Motion.

The Lord Advocate

hoped, after the thorough discussion which the principle and almost every clause in the Bill underwent, that his hon. Friend would not press his Motion, which was equivalent to a postponement of the Bill for another year, particularly as his hon. Friend acknowledged, consistently with the fact, that the people of Scotland were in favour of an alteration of the present law.

Mr. Wakley

said, he had supported the Bill originally in the hope that alterations might be made in it with the view to its improvement; but, unfortunately, the many alterations in it were anything but improvements, and as it now stood, it never would work well for the poor of Scotland. He most particularly objected to that part of it by which the able-bodied poor in Scotland were denied relief when out of work. A Scotchman being in distress in England was sent off to Scotland, where he was met by this Bill, which refused him all aid. Why, this was enough to set the Scotch poor mad, particularly when they saw that a different law prevailed in England and Ireland.

Mr. Lockhart

believed, that it was the general opinion in Scotland that relief to the able-bodied poor in that country would degrade its peasantry; but he could not allow the third reading to pass without again entering his protest against the Settlement Clause, which would greatly interfere with the working of a measure in other respects unexceptionable. The grievance which that clause would entail on Scotland was unknown in England. The Irishman who laboured there during the greater part of a long life gained no settlement; and in his own country he had no absolute right to relief under any circumstances; yet hon. Members combined to give him a settlement in Scotland after a residence of five years; so that what could not be effected by an industrious residence of fifty years at one side of the Tweed, five years of indolence would gain him on the other. Hence, Irishmen who exhausted themselves in other parts of the kingdom would flow into Scotland, in order to gain a settlement. This, he repeated, was most unjust and ungenerous to Scotland.

Mr. Escott

said, that the Bill, as it now stood, altered the present law of Scotland with respect to the rating of funded property for the relief of the poor. Under the existing law such property was rateable for the relief of the poor; but the present Bill gave the parish authorities the power of assessing or not assessing such property as they pleased. He certainly thought this alteration was objectionable.

The House divided on the Question, that the word "now" stand part of the Question:—Ayes 33; Noes 7: Majority 26.

List of the AYES.
Baring, rt. hn. W. B. Henley, J. W.
Benbow, J. Hussey, T.
Bentinck, Lord G. Hutt, W.
Bowes, J. Jones, Capt.
Brotherton, J. Lincoln, Earl of
Bruce, Lord E. Lockhart, W.
Clerk, rt. hn. Sir G. McNeill, D.
Clive, Visct. Meynell, Capt.
Cripps, W. Pringle, A.
Dick, Q. Rolleston, Col.
Duke, Sir J. Rous, hon. Capt.
Duncombe, hon. O. Scott, hon. F.
Flower, Sir J. Stuart, Lord J.
Forester, hon. G. C. W. Warburton, H.
Fremantle, rt. hn. Sir T. Wortley, hon. J. S.
Fuller, A. E. TELLERS.
Goulhurn, rt. hon. H. Cardwell,
Hawes, B. Mackenzie, W. F.
List of the AYES.
Berkeley, hon. C. Wawn, J. T.
Berkeley, hon. G. F. Yorke, H. R.
Mitcalfe, H. TELLERS.
Sheridan, R. B. Hastie, A.
Wakley, T. Dundas, F.

Bill read a third time and passed.

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