HC Deb 02 May 1845 vol 80 cc143-4
Mr. F. Maule

said, that he recently had his attention called to a paragraph in a northern newspaper, stating, that in the county of Ross as many as 400 tenants had been served for the ensuing term of May with notice to quit. Each family contained upon an average five individuals; this gave a total of 2,000 persons driven from their houses. The journal in which this statement appeared did not enter into the reasons for this removal, nor should he endeavour to investigate the motives which led to this extraordinary proceeding, but should merely confine himself to saying it was greatly to be regretted that such a course should have been adopted at a time when they were about to legislate on the subject of the Poor Laws. He hoped that the right hon. Baronet would mention the subject to the Lord Advocate.

Sir J. Graham

ventured to hope that there was some gross exaggeration in the statement put forth. The right hon. Gentleman had been so obliging as to call his attention to the subject ten days ago, and he lost no time in bringing it under the notice of the Lord Advocate; and it was intended by that noble and learned Lord to institute an inquiry into the subject. But the right hon. Member for Perth must from his own official experience in the Home Department know that he had no power to interfere unless for the purpose of preserving the public peace. It appeared to him, however, that no circumstances could justify a landlord in giving notice to so many tenants in one district at once, and he felt that he could not condemn in terms too strong such extensive removals.

Mr. F. Maule

said, that the objects which he had in view were fully answered by the expression of opinion which his statements had elicited.

House adjourned at twelve o'clock.