HC Deb 02 February 1846 vol 83 cc432-5

The Order of the Day for the further consideration of the Report on the Public Works (Ireland) Bill having been read,


wished to take that opportunity of expressing his regret to find that his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Cork (Mr. O'Connell) was so much in favour of compulsory presentments. Since 1833 the money on account of the compulsory presentments amounted to 1,300,000l.; yet it was proposed to give all the powers they possessed in a more objectionable form than that in which they originally stood. By the 5th Clause every power to which objection had been taken as to the extraordinary presentments was renewed, and he thought that they had great cause of complaint with his right hon. Friend in thus pressing upon them this course, inasmuch as they understood from him that the power given in this clause would be withdrawn.


said, he had merely stated on a former occasion that he would withdraw the clauses to which his hon. Friend referred, but that he would bring up other clauses in place of them. He was then acting in conformity with that engagement; and he thought that the provisions to which his hon. Friend objected ought to be maintained. He proposed to omit the words relating to repairs in the 4th Clause, and he hoped that that alteration would, to a certain extent, meet the objections of his hon. Friend.


said, the words having reference to repairs were to be withdrawn, but still the same thing would be included under the word "improvements." He proposed that the Government should leave out the 5th Clause altogether; it was impossible they could ever make these compulsory presentments justifiable under any form. The compulsory powers possessed by the Board were a great subject of complaint in Ireland.


should be sorry to retard a measure which the Secretary for Ireland was so anxious to advance, and which it was desirable should be enacted as soon as possible, with the view of giving some employment to the people; but he quite agreed with the two hon. Gentlemen opposite, that the county Members were called on to object to the proposed compulsory presentments; because the very fact of their being compulsory cast an imputation on the grand juries, which he did not think they deserved, by superseding them in those very functions for the performance of which they were elected.


moved the omission of the 5th Clause, on the ground that it would give to the Commissioners unlimited powers.


said, that the power of the Commissioners would not be unlimited, as they would extend to a sum of only 50,000l.


felt it his duty to support the Motion of the hon. Member for Londonderry.


said, that no one who understood the point under discussion could suppose that the clause involved any violation of principle. The course now in Ireland was, where the Treasury gave one half the sum required, there was a compulsion on the grand jury to pay for the remainder of the work when finished. The present Bill provided, that if there was any manifest improvement to be made to an existing work, and the Treasury made the grant to that work, then the grand jury should provide for the repair of that work in the same manner as if the work had been a new one. As to the compulsory clauses, neither the Treasury nor the grand jury could move unless first a meeting of the cesspayers had been held to decide whether the work should be undertaken or not; and on their petition to the Treasury, and on the grant being made according to that petition, the grand jury should act; but only in that case. Under the present circumstances of the country, when it was desirable in particular districts to set about works of a more extensive character, in order to give persons scattered over a great extent of country occupation near their homes, he thought there could not be a more reasonable proposition than that of his right hon. Friend.


said, the right hon. Gentleman was mistaken with respect to the cesspayers. It was not the cesspayers in general that possessed the power to which he had alluded, but a small number selected that had to decide on the propriety of the work. He disapproved entirely of compulsory presentments.


hoped hon. Members would not persist in their opposition.


persisted in his Motion, and

The House divided on the Question, that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill:—Ayes 97; Noes 3: Majority 94.

List of the AYES.
A'Court, Capt. Hawes, B.
Acton, Col. Herbert, rt. hon. S.
Antrobus, E. Hodgson, R.
Archbold, R. Hogg, J. W.
Baillie, H. J. James, W.
Baillie, W. Johnstone, H.
Baldwin, Barry Lennox, Lord A.
Barron, Sir H. W. Liddell, hon. H. T.
Borthwick, P. Lincoln, Earl of
Bowring, Dr. Lindsay, hon. Capt.
Bright, John Lygon, hon. Gen.
Brotherton, Joseph Macnamara, Major
Browne, Hon. W. M'Neill, D.
Bruce, Lord Ernest Mahon, Visc.
Buller, Charles Maule, rt. hon. F.
Buller, Sir J. Yarde Morris, D.
Busfield, William Napier, Sir C.
Butler, P. S. Neville, R.
Cardwell, E. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Cayley, E. S. O'Brien, C.
Chapman, B. O'Brien, J.
Clements, Visc. O'Connell, D.
Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G. O'Connell, M.
Cochrane, A. O'Connell, M. J.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. O'Connell, J.
Collett, W. R. Patten, J. W.
Collett, J. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Craig, W. G. Peel, J.
Crawford, W. S. Plumridge, Capt.
Curteis, H. B. Rawdon, Col.
Dawson, hon. T. V. Reid, Sir J. R.
Denison, E. B. Repton, G. W. J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Ross, D. R.
Drummond, H. H. Russell, Lord J.
Duncan, G. Smythe, hon. G.
Escott, B. Smollett, A.
Esmonde, Sir T. Somerset, Lord G.
Forbes, W. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Fremantle, rt. h. Sir T. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Gaskell, J. Milnes Strickland, Sir G.
Gladstone, Capt. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Gore, hon. R. Thompson, Mr. Alderm.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Thornely, T.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Trench, Sir F. W.
Greene, T. Turner, E.
Gregory, W. H. Wood, Col. T.
Grogan, E. Yorke, H. R.
Hall, Col. TELLERS.
Hamilton, G. A. Young, J.
Hamilton, W. J. Cripps, J.
List of the NOES.
Conolly, Col. TELLERS.
O'Brien, A. S. Ferguson, Sir R.
O'Conor Don French, F.

Report agreed to; Bill to be read a third time.