§ MR. ETWALL
regretted that he could not, in deference to the wishes of many hon. Members of that House, postpone his Motion; but he felt that it was one which affected the industrious classes of Andover. He was sure there was but one opinion in that House as to the way in which the Poor Law should be administered—that it should be done with fairness, impartiality, and kindness to the poor, and that those who were the inmates of the Union workhouse should be treated with kindness and indulgence. But that principle had not been acted upon in the case of the Andover 626 Union, and there was now no hope of redress of their grievances for the poor of that Union but by the interference of that House. It was absurd for them to look to the authorities of Somerset-house, or to their own board of guardians. Parliament had delegated enormous and unprecedented powers to the Poor Law Commissioners; and the more trust was reposed in them, the greater was their responsibility to that House and to the country. The Poor Law Commissioners ought ever to be ready, vigilant, and anxious to discover the many abuses that were likely to exist in the Unions, and when discovered, to redress them. But he did not think that the general tenor of the conduct of the Poor Law Commissioners in carrying out the Poor Law, had been in accordance with this view, and that more especially in the case of the Andover Union. It was true, that in their letter to Assistant Commissioner Parker, in August, 1845, they studiously said—The Commissioners do not doubt that for the sake of arriving at the truth, you will take care the inquiry is complete and full, and that every opportunity for substantiating any well-grounded complaint is afforded to the inmates.But the question was, whether that suggestion was offered to Mr. Parker in good faith? Of that he would leave the House to judge when he had quoted Mr. Parker's account of a conversation between him and Sir Edmund Head, three or four days before the commencement of the Andover inquiry:—Sir Edmund appeared to me to be unusually excited by what he had read in the Times, and he expressed a desire that I should exert myself to bring the inquiry to a conclusion with as little delay as possible, in order that the public mind might be quieted.How were these different statements to be reconciled? The conclusion Mr. Parker came to in his pamphlet was, that the public were not satisfied. Even when the Poor Law Commissioners did institute these investigations, they did not appear anxious to give the public the benefit of them; indeed, they seemed to him to take especial care to conceal them. There was the case of the Hungerford Union, where the master was dismissed, although a majority of the Poor Law guardians voted in his favour. The Poor Law Commissioners took great pains to conceal from the public the result of that inquiry. But at least the authorities of Somerset-house ought to be acquainted with the result of such investigations, although the public were not. It was the duty of the Poor Law Commissioners, 627 if they would administer the Poor Law in a proper manner, to make themselves acquainted with the results of all these examinations. Yet this did not appear to be the case. When the former master of the Andover Union was displaced, Mr. Parker recommended Mr. Price as a fit person to succeed him, and gave him an excellent character. He was not prepared to say that Mr. Parker thought otherwise than well of this person; but it was soon afterwards found that Mr. Price had previously resigned his situation as master of the workhouse at Oxford, which he could no longer hold. Mr. Parker, after he had recommended Mr. Price as temporary master at Andover workhouse, called at Somerset-house, where he saw Mr. Austin. This was Mr. Parker's account of the interview, as given in his pamphlet:—When I arrived at the office, I was informed that Mr. Austin, the Assistant Commissioner now in charge of the district comprehending the city of Oxford, was in the office, and accordingly I sought him, and saw him in the presence of Mr. Coode, the Assistant Secretary, and Mr. Sutton. I immediately told him that the object of my seeking him was to ascertain whether he had ever heard anything affecting Mr. Price's character. Mr. Austin replied, 'Why, let me see; no, I do not think I have. Yes, I think there was something; there was some inquiry respecting him, wasn't there?' I replied, 'that I had never heard anything against his character;' and, turning to Mr. Sutton, requested him to get me the papers relating to such inquiry. Mr. Sutton left us to comply with my desire; and after some time he returned and informed me that another clerk had been searching for papers affecting Mr. Price's character, and that no such papers were in existence. Having received this reply, I went to the Commissioners, with whom I found Mr. Austin, who had left me shortly after Mr. Sutton went to look for the papers affecting Mr. Price, when, for the first time in my life, I heard from Mr. Austin, that in July and August, 1844, he had investigated some charges against Mr. Price, whilst master at Oxford; that Mr. Price having resigned his office, he (Mr. Austin) had not sent the papers to the Commissioners; and that he then attended with the papers, having received a note from Mr. Lewis, requesting him to bring them with him.Mr. Parker stated, that then for the first time he had heard of the charges against Price, the temporary master appointed at his suggestion; and the papers relative to the inquiry which took place in the Oxford Union relative to those charges were not sent to the Commissioners till a considerable period had elapsed. That was a singular instance of negligence on the part of those authorities. The Poor Law Commissioners themselves acknowledged that the result of inquiries was not specially recorded 628 at Somerset-house. The Assistant Commissioners, in discharging their duties, should act on sound precedents; and in no way could they learn the proper mode of administering the Poor Laws in the rural districts so well as by making themselves acquainted with the different abuses which had occurred in different Unions. The course pursued in the present case was, in his opinion, most objectionable, most inefficient, and by no means calculated to effect the object of the inquiry. An Assistant Poor Law Commissioner must naturally have a leaning to those laws of which he was an administrator; and any error or flaw in those laws must appear to him less objectionable than to another party. He hoped the right hon. Baronet would take this point into his consideration, and that provision would be made for having such inquiries presided over by an impartial authority—by some one in no way mixed up with the administration of the law. He now came to the disgusting and degrading system of bone-crushing which existed in the Andover Union. The right hon. Baronet had offered to produce the Papers connected with this inquiry; bnt he must be allowed to express his surprise that those Papers had not been published immediately after the investigation was concluded. He had no doubt the right hon. Baronet would be able to explain that passage of Mr. Parker's pamphlet, in which reference was made to a conversation which the right hon. Baronet upon the minutes which had been in possession of the right hon. Baronet. In consequence of what fell from the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Wakley), an Assistant Poor Law Commissioner was despatched to Andover, for the purpose of making inquiry into the system of bone-gnawing, which was pursued there. That system had been brought before the board of guardians, by Mr. Mundy, a guardian and a magistrate, and in conjunction with two other guardians he had examined ten paupers as to the practice. Subsequently to the inquiries made by Mr. Mundy, Mr. Parker, the Assistant Poor Law Commissioner, went for the first time; but, before proceeding further he should read Mr. Mundy's account of his investigations. The hon. Member then read the following document:—Mr. Mundy stated, upon oath; that, accompanied by two guardians and medical men, he examined ten paupers; all, with the exception of two, admitted that they were constantly in the habit of eating the marrow and gristle from the 629 bones. They eat it from old bones, meaning those that had some moisture remaining in them, but still were in a state of decomposition; and some had been in heaps two or three months—they eat it from these as well as from the fresh ones.Some of these bones were in a state of decomposition, having lain in the workhouse yard for two or three months; and though it was supposed to be the principle of the Andover Union that dry bones alone should be crushed, yet there was no instance on record where fresh and clean bones were furnished, whether received from a distance or collected in Andover and the adjoining villages.When a beef bone, or chine bone, was turned out of the heap, there was a scramble for it, described like a parcel of dogs, and the man who got it was obliged to run away and hide it until he had an opportunity of eating the marrow. One man fetched two bones, which he had eaten that very morning in wet ashes; a portion of muscle very offensive was adhering to the ends of the bone. The men said that it was a considerable time before they could make up their minds to do so, but after they had once taken to it they preferred that description of labour to any other, because they could get bones to pick.It was somewhat singular that the master of the Union workhouse should for a moment have tolerated the horrible practice which was in existence. But it was not less singular that the guardians, whose duty it was to visit the House, never interfered. Certain it was, the visiting Committee once, in the heat of summer, did stop the bone-crushing, but they stopped it because the effluvia was so offensive. After they once made up their minds in favour of that mode of employment, they preferred it to any other. The men who were examined by Mr. Mundy spoke of a deficiency of bread; and from Mr. Mundy's statement, which was corroborated by Aaron Astrick, now a labourer, who last year was an inmate of Andover workhouse, it appeared that the paupers gnawed the hones, and dug up all the potatoes that remained after the crop was taken off the ground. Mr. Parker took Mr. Mundy's examination, but did not inform Mr. Mundy that he was going to hold an inquiry into the bone-crushing; and it was a singular fact that out of the ten men originally examined at the workhouse, only two were examined by Mr. Parker; and one man whom Mr. Mundy had particularly pointed out as able to afford great information upon the subject of the bones was never examined at all. The bone-dust was disposed of by a kind of mock auction; the greater part was bought by the guardians, 630 and the transaction was not a profitable one for the ratepayers. For men to be engaged in this horrible occupation of bone-crushing was bad enough; but what would the House say to the employment of boys of thirteen in the same disgusting work, and that too principally in summer and autumn, because there were then fewer able-bodied labourers in the House? The bones were broken in wooden mortars bound with iron; the boys stood opposite each other, and their united strength was used to raise the crusher. They requested more provisions, and they received half an allowance extra of bread. To employ boys in crushing bones, and to give them an extra quantity of food, were express violations of the rules of the Poor Law Commissioners. By Article 21 paupers were ordered to be employed on work according to their capacity or ability, and paupers were prohibited from receiving any compensation for their labour. He now approached a part of the subject which he would not have brought under the notice of the House had he not ascertained that the facts of the case, which he could at first hardly think credible, and was to the last reluctant to believe, admitted of no doubt. For the last three or four years there had been a new church building in Andover on the site of an old one, and the burial-ground had been much interfered with. When the foundation of the new church was dug, quantities of bones were thrown up, and among these there was a quantity of human bones. They were bought by a farmer in the neighbourhood to manure his meadow land. A portion of these bones was most properly buried; but another portion was sold to the collector of bones in Andover, and by him sold to the workhouse. It was well known that they were human bones. There were several persons in the workhouse sufficiently acquainted with the difference between the bones of horses and of men to detect the kind which in this instance had been procured. The attention of the porter was directed to the subject: he went and saw they were human bones. It was singular that the master of the workhouse alone should be ignorant, especially as a part of a skeleton was suspended in the workhouse yard. An inquiry was ordered into the circumstance. No man in Andover was consulted as to the mode of inquiry into this matter; no public notice was given on this subject. The questions were put by the Assistant Poor Law Commissioner. Others were 631 suggested by the master of the workhouse; but no statement was made by the men themselves; and he was in a condition to prove that several witnesses who were examined in the course of the inquiry were afraid to make an unreserved statement of facts in their knowledge. He only regretted that such occurrences should have taken place in a Union with which he was connected. He found in the Report of the Poor Law Commissioners, for 1834, a passage in which fictitious modes of employment in the workhouses were condemned as pernicious contrivances, on account both of their effects on the minds of the paupers, and their tendency to excite sympathy in behalf of the indolent. He had every reason to believe that the right hon. Baronet was opposed to this mode of employing the paupers; but he (Mr. Etwall) had noticed the bone-crushing to show what was the state of affairs in the Andover Union. He considered it absolutely necessary, with a view to the proper administration of the Poor Laws, that a Select Committee of this House should be appointed to look into the different modes of conducting the affairs of the Union. That Augean stable must be cleansed. He should not go into a lengthened detail as to the second Andover inquiry, because his object in making this Motion was not to displace any officer of that establishment, but to exhibit the system of management there, and to show that the Poor Law Commissioners, in stopping the inquiry, had not gone fairly into the evils of the system. Mr. Westlake, who first brought forward a complaint on the state of matters in the Andover Union, had been the medical officer of the Union for a number of years. No fault had ever been found with him by the board of guardians for any neglect, and his salary had been raised, with the sanction of the Poor Law Commissioners. Mr. Westlake had for two years previously suspected that the sick and aged were not receiving their due allowances; and in May, 1842, suggested a more efficient system for checking such irregularities. He proposed that a weekly ticket should be given to the paupers, so that they might each know how much they were to get, and that a book should be kept to register the orders. The book was ordered to be got, but not so the tickets; because the master said they would make him the slave of the paupers. In May, 1845, the medical book, which had been ordered by the Commissioners in May, 1842, was first introduced—a delay 632 which was somewhat surprising, when one of the instructions to the Assistant Poor Law Commissioner was, that they should pay particular attention to the medical reports. It might be asked why Mr. West-lake had not brought the matters which had led to inquiry before the board of guardians. His reason was, that unless he had very strong and all-convincing ground on which to proceed, it would be impossible to get the guardians to think it credible that his statements were founded on reality. He thought the master of the workhouse had so great a sway over the minds of the guardians, that even for him (the medical officer) it would be presumptuous to press the matter on the consideration of that body. He saw the chairman, who thanked him for his zeal, and recommended him to pursue the inquiry. The chairman even hinted that he thought it desirable the master should resign. Why the chairman and the board of guardians should afterwards, in the course of a few days, become so determinedly hostile to this inquiry, it was not for him to divine; he should rather suppose that the board of guardians would have considered it their duty most impartially and zealously to inquire into every allegation brought against the master of depriving the poor of that Union of their extra allowances. The master was accused of fraudulently withholding and misappropriating the allowances of the paupers; he should refer to same cases elucidating these facts, and they should be those which appeared to be the most readily sustained. These cases had been given in The Times newspaper; the reason he alluded to this was, because that journal had been accused of systematic misrepresentation in the reports it had given of this inquiry. Now he (Mr. Etwall) had been present during the whole of the inquiry, and he would distinctly say, that a more faithful or correct narration of everything that transpired before the Assistant Poor Law Commissioner could not be given than that furnished by The Times. The first case that he would take was that of Richard Smith; he was in the house with a broken leg, and he received nothing but the ordinary diet, except beer during the last week. William Norris, seventy-six years of age, was in the house twenty-one days, and the ratepayers were charged with those extras which, as an old man, he was entitled to, viz., one ounce of tea, half-pound of sugar, half-pound of butter, and three pints of ale weekly; he did not receive them. This 633 man's wife died in the workhouse, and the ratepayers were debited with her allowance for three days after her death. He also adduced the cases of Sarah Wells and — Lashley. If there should be any doubt that these frauds were practised on the sick, infirm, and aged paupers, it was clearly proved that, in the quarter ending December 20, 1845, when the contracts were executed at the same price, and when the dietary was the same as in previous years, the decreased expense of keeping each pauper was, compared with former years, 5d. per day; thus proving that the ratepayers were benefited at the expense of the paupers. He should not go into the charges of immorality brought against the master. It was one of the rules of the Poor Law Commissioners that the keys of the work house should be delivered by the porter to the master at nine o'clock every evening; it was proved, and that by persons not too ready to give evidence of such matters, that the master of the workhouse was almost invariably drunk on Saturday nights. A publican of Andover stated that, on one occasion when the master was drunk, the matron sent her son to bring him back; the son did not return, and she then sent the porter; he did not return either, and she then went herself; after her arrival they were seen to leave the public-house, and they all arrived at the workhouse a little before one o'clock in the morning. He asked who, in the meantime, had been entrusted with the regulation of the affairs of the House? It appeared that for several winters past the master had of his own accord established what were called broth-days; this broth was made from the liquor in which the meat had been boiled the day preceding; the inmates received this broth, and those who received it were, on those days, deprived of their cheese; and when the aged and infirm had the broth, they had neither beer nor cheese. In the summer season they had the broth for supper, and then the same species of fraud was practised. There were many other cases in which the dietary of the workhouse was not properly given. An immense quantity of butter was saved by the skimmings of the bacon being given in lieu of it. In the course of the inquiry it was stated by one witness that there was a difficulty in getting hot water, and that they were often forced to drink cold; to this it was replied, that there was always a sufficient supply of hot water, and that sometimes the paupers were allowed to put salt in their water, 634 which was called a luxury. It appeared that the quantity of milk charged was 1,250 pints; the quantity used was 950 pints; so that by the master's own account there were 300 pints remaining due. Very little attention was paid to keeping the books; the master appeared to sum up his accounts in a very extraordinary mariner, and it was unintelligible how he arrived at his sums total. He was asked upon what he founded his calculation of the quantity of beer used; he said he could not take the trouble to keep an accurate account, and that every week he charged the quantity according to what he thought was the sound of the cask! It appeared that the inhabitants of Andover had been accustomed to subscribe for a dinner to the inmates of the workhouse on Christmas-day; from the liberality of the subscription there had always been a residue left, which was deposited in the hands of the master for the use of the poor. A few days before Christmas, 1844, the master addressed the inmates of the house, stating he very much regretted that the inhabitants of Andover were so poor they had not been able to make up a sufficient subscription to give them a dinner; but he proposed that they should give their rations of beef on the Tuesday, that a certain quantity should be taken from the allowances of the children, and that these should be appropriated to the dinner at Christmas. It was stated that the beef, and the materials for the pudding, were derived from the subscription, consequently the master defrauded the inmates of the house out of one meat dinner. The Poor Law Commissioners stopped this inquiry when the master resigned; but they still left charges pending that had not been inquired into up to the present moment, several of these being charges which the Commissioners had given Mr. Westlake to understand would be inquired into. One was of harsh and cruel treatment of the children by the master and mistress, and obtaining of the contractors meat, candles, &c., at the expense of the ratepayers. By the order of the Poor Law Commissioners, at every weekly meeting of the board of guardians, the master must bring an estimate of the stock required for the ensuing week, which estimate must be inserted in the provision book; check-books were to be kept, signed by the chairman, with counter checks, signed by the clerk to the Union. This arrangement was not carried into effect at Andover; these checkbooks were never filled up for a week after 635 the goods were brought in and consumed. It was intended that one of these checkbooks should be given to the contractors, so that when they applied for payment, they might be produced and checked. The mode of doing business at Andover was very different: there, an order given by the master to a tradesman, one of the contractors, was entered into his pocketbook with merely the initials of the master placed under the order. But in addition to the order for what was the weekly consumption of the house, there was also an order for the master's own use, of a quarter of a pound of tea at 5s., the union tea being only 3s. 4d.—a quarter of a pound of coffee at 2s.; two pound of fresh butter; two and a half pound of loaf sugar; and one pound of mould candles; and it appeared this was deducted from the quantity which the poor ought to have received; thus, the tea and coffee were taken from the 28 ounces of tea with which the Union ought to have been supplied, the poor receiving only 19 ounces; instead of 14lb. of candles, the Union received only 12lb.; and so on in proportion; this system existing during the whole of the contract of this individual; and in the same way with the contractor who succeeded him. But, in addition, there was this particular and special fraud—the tea was sent to the workhouse, made up in half-ounce packets, the sugar in packets of half a pound each. These were usually returned and exchanged for tea and coffeee of a better quality for the master's own use. In one week there were returned in these small parcels, 4lb. of sugar and half a pound of tea, which had been supplied for the use of the paupers. During that quarter, also, the master received 70¾lb. of pork and brisket, and 12½lb. of Chedder cheese, deducted from the quantity sent for the use of the house. From 90lb. of cheese at 5½d. per lb. ordered for the poor, the master had 12½lb. of Cheddar at 9d., so that the paupers, instead of receiving 90lb., received only 71lb. The board of guardians were bound to administer the Poor Law to the letter of the Act, especially with respect to cases of relief. A poor man who was employed in the workhouse, and whose family were supported by his labour, on his return home one night, accidentally told an inhabitant of Andover that he had seen an inmate of the workhouse eating a raw potato. This was reported by the person, and reached the ears of the relieving officer. The man was had up, and asked if he had said this; he replied 636 he had, and he was then dismissed; told there was no more work for him, and that if his family wanted relief they might come into the workhouse. He thought the Andover board of guardians ought to have been particularly scrupulous as to the way in which their books were kept, as there had been an instance in which one of the officers connected with that Union had embezzled upwards of 2,000l. He had given bonds; but with respect to them there was rather a curious circumstance: the first bond for 1,000l. had been destroyed, and another for 500l. substituted without the knowledge of the guardians; the consequence was that the parish of Andover lost upwards of 200l. There was another point, viz., that relative to the way in which witnesses had been paid, to which it was desirable attention should be drawn. It had been the most extraordinary and irregular mode of payment of which he had ever heard. There was one particular case—that of Mr. March, a carrier at Stockbridge, who had been employed to go to Andover, and he was stated to have been at the inquiry three days, and to have received only the sum of 16s. 6d. Another case was that of the servant of Mr. M'Dougal's son-in-law, Mr. Chainlout, who received for twelve days' attendance a mere pittance, 7s. Another man, for an attendance over the same period, received a still smaller sum, only 2s. Both of the latter were resident in Andover. [Sir J. GRAHAM: Who paid it?] It was paid, he believed, by the Commissioners at Somerset-house; and there were other witnesses, to whom Mr. Westlake had advanced money with the approbation of the Poor Law Commissioners, money which up to the present moment remained unrepaid. Some of Mr. Westlake's witnesses who were not examined, received nothing at all; while other witnesses, not those of that gentleman, were amply paid. He (Mr. Etwall) had now endeavoured to convey to the House a statement of the way in which the Andover Poor Law Union had been conducted, and of the very extraordinary faults and errors which had been committed there. He conceived that nothing could be more detrimental to the principle of the Poor Laws themselves, than that the execution of them should in any way be permitted to be harsh and tyrannical. He was of opinion that nothing could more injure the effective working of the law than to conduct an inquiry, entered into in consequence of the charges made by inmates of a Union workhouse, 637 in a suspicious or suppressed manner, or to stop such an inquiry until fairly and completely investigated. The Poor Law of 1834 had been recommended by the Commissioners as a measure likely to alleviate the condition of the unfortunate people in workhouses; he trusted that generally, elsewhere, such had been the result; but that the fact was directly the reverse in Andover none could doubt. He hoped that the importance of the subject, and the responsibility which he considered had devolved upon him in bringing forward a Motion of this nature, would be his excuse in having trespassed at such length on the attention of the House. The hon. Gentleman concluded by moving—That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the administration of the Poor Laws in the Andover Union, and into the management of the Union Workhouse.
§ SIR J. GRAHAM
I confess, Sir, I cannot help thinking that it is melancholy, at the present juncture, and in the existing state of public affairs, so much of the precious time of this House should have been consumed in a matter which after all is only, I was about to call it, a workhouse squabble in the south of England. But as the hon. Gentleman, notwithstanding the appeal made to him, has thought it right to occupy so much time, by going into the whole facts of the case, it will be my duty very shortly to follow him in reference to some of the topics he has dwelt upon at so much length. And, first, I must observe that I am not here to vindicate the management of the Andover board of guardians, or their conduct with reference to the greater portion of the transactions of which he speaks. With reference, however, to the practices which were alleged to prevail in the Andover Union, it will be recollected that the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Wakley) first stated a transaction which produced the deepest impression on the feelings of the House, with respect to the employment of the paupers in that Union, in the crushing of bones. I need not remind the House, that on several antecedent occasions, I had in my place expressed the strongest opinion opposed to this particular mode of employment in workhouses. More than once I was called on to state my opinion on this point by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Brighton (Captain Pechell), and repeatedly I have declared I regretted, that in so many Unions throughout the south of England, this particular mode of employment 638 was pertinaciously adhered to. The hon. Member for Finsbury having mentioned a particular transaction as having occurred at Andover, I thought it my duty to call the attention of the Poor Law Commissioners to that statement. I expressed my wish that a full inquiry should be instituted. The hon. Member, in making his Motion, referred to the Report of the Commission of 1833, in which the Commissioners expressed their view with respect to the impropriety of this species of labour in workhouses; and to the principle contained in that Report I give my ready assent. I do think it desirable that the labour of paupers in workhouses shall not be of a penal or of a repulsive character. I do think—I have always thought—that the crushing of bones violates that principle, and is therefore objectionable. Something has been said with respect to the suppression of the substance of the inquiry instituted in consequence of my representations to the Board of Commissioners at Somerset-house following the statement made by the hon. Member for Finsbury. The statement was made towards the close of the Session. The inquiry was not concluded until, I think, within three or four days of the Prorogation; and instead of producing the evidence taken by the Assistant Commissioner with regard to this individual transaction, on the last day of the Session, I stated in my place that an inquiry had been instituted, and the facts which the hon. Member for Finsbury had represented to the House were, in the main, accurately stated. So far from vindicating that transaction, I have considered it as confirmatory of my preconceived opinion; and when asked by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Brighton what measures had been taken as resulting from that investigation, I had the pleasure of stating to the House that by a general order of the Poor Law Commissioners, dated the 1st of January last, notwithstanding much remonstrance from nearly 100 Unions, in which this particular mode of employment had been adopted, it has been suppressed; and although I think in ten or twelve cases the general order has been suspended, on special grounds, for three months, yet from the 1st of April next, within three weeks of the present time, the bone-crushing will, throughout these Unions, entirely cease, and never, I hope, be revived. Before applying myself to other parts of the speech of the hon. Gentleman, I must beg leave to draw the attention of the House to this 639 remarkable fact, that all the abuses of which he has complained are incident to local management, and not in the least chargeable on the Board of Central Authority entrusted with the administration of the Poor Law as it now exists in this country; and I would now state to the House shortly what, as I understand, were the principal complaints made of the management of the workhouse at Andover—the local management, as I have already stated, in which the abuses originated. In addition to other objections to the particular mode of pauper employment complained of, I have always thought it was liable to the very abuse which the hon. Member for Andover has stated existed in that Union, namely, that the fruits of this labour, which was in itself objectionable, might give rise to local jobbing, the guardians employing paupers in crushing bones, becoming themselves the purchasers of the bone dust, and applying it to their own use. I repeat, therefore, that on every ground—on account of the objectionable nature of the employment itself, and the local abuses to which it gives rise—I am strongly of opinion that this mode of occupation for paupers in workhouses ought entirely to cease; and already, as I have stated, effectual measures have been taken for the suppression of that mode of employment, and with the suppression of the employment the cessation of the grievance. But the bone-crushing was only one of many other abuses. The hon. Gentleman described at great length the insufficiency of the dietary in the Andover workhouse. I have to state to the House that in consequence of the inquiry instituted by the Commissioners, a material alteration in the dietary has, by special order, taken place, and one additional meat-day in the week, instead of the lower diet, has been substituted for the dietary that before prevailed. Then again, as to the master of the workhouse: he was appointed by the local guardians; he was sustained by the authority of the Commissioners. An inquiry was instituted on the spot into the conduct of the master. During the progress of that inquiry the governor tendered his resignation; his resignation was accepted. The Assistant Poor Law Commissioner, upon the resignation of the master, did make a recommendation of a successor, which was objectionable; and when the Poor Law Commissioners ascertained that that recommendation could not, with propriety, be sanctioned, they withheld their approbation, and a new master 640 was appointed, sanctioned by the Poor Law Commissioners, against whose conduct I have not heard any complaint. I have referred to three heads of abuses: first, the bone-crushing—that has ceased; next, the insufficiency of the dietary—that has been remedied; and the conduct of the master—who has been removed, and another appointed, against whom no charge has been made. This is not all: a complaint has been made of the gross misconduct which beyond all doubt existed in this Union, by the medical officer. I have no doubt that medical officer first made the representation to the hon. Member for Finsbury; his representation was strictly true; I believe by making that representation he did give offence to the board of guardians, and attempts were made to displace that medical officer; the Commissioners at Somerset-house, who have the veto on the displacement of all officers in the Union, have disapproved of it, and therefore, the person who gave the information has not suffered on that account. Then, again, among the other complaints which were investigated at the inquiry before the Assistant Poor Law Commissioner, was one that the number of relieving officers of the union was insufficient. That evil so complained of has also been redressed, and an additional relieving officer has been appointed to the Andover Union. I know not that I have omitted referring to any grievance which was the subject of inquiry, excepting one, and that was with reference to the insufficient audit of the accounts. Beyond all question, until last year I was quite of opinion that the audit of Poor Law accounts in the various Unions was not satisfactory. I introduced in the course of last Session a measure generally redressing that evil, by the appointment, not of local, but of district auditors—persons of much higher station, and more competent to conduct inquiries into matters of accounts than those who have hitherto performed that function. The Andover Union now partakes of that benefit, and henceforth district, not local, auditors shall be appointed. The hon. Member for Andover has complained of the mode in which the second inquiry has been conducted. I do not stand here to vindicate the mode in which that inquiry was conducted. I certainly, myself—judging only from what I saw from time to time of the daily proceedings before that inquiry — am of opinion that good judgment was not displayed in the mode of conducting it. I do not say that the removal 641 of Mr. Parker from his situation arose entirely from the mode in which that inquiry was conducted; but, be that as it may, these abuses having existed in the district without being reported to the Commissoners, and the inquiry not being satisfactory to the country, and from other matters which have since arisen, the Poor Law Commissioners thought it their painful duty to remove Mr. Parker from his office. Sir, I do not know, if I occupied the time of the House more at length, I could state anything more satisfactory on the different heads of complaint alleged. I have not the slightest desire to keep back any portion of the evidence which has been already obtained with respect to this case. I do think it will be highly desirable, that all the papers connected with the inquiry should be in their hands, and be duly considered by them before they appoint a Committee further to investigate the facts. I, therefore, beg leave, as an Amendment—To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words—'there be laid before this House, a Copy of Mr. Parker's Report, and of the Evidence taken by him with reference to the crashing of bones in the Andover Union Workhouse, together with a Copy of all Evidence taken on the inquiry into the conduct of Mr. M'Dougall, and a Copy of all Correspondence between the Poor Law Commissioners and the Board of Guardians of the Andover Union or their Officers, from the 1st day of September 1845 to the 1st day of March 1846, instead thereof.
§ MR. FERRAND
submitted that it was not competent to the right hon. Baronet to move such an Amendment. He had himself given notice of an Amendment at the sitting of the House, and he therefore claimed priority to the right hon. Baronet.
§ THE SPEAKER
said, it was perfectly competent to the right hon. Baronet to move an Amendment without giving notice. Having immediately followed the hon. Member for Andover, the right hon. Baronet was perfectly free to move any Amendment, without reference to any priority of notice that might have been given by any other Member.
§ Amendment accordingly put.
§ MR. WAKLEY
believed he was in a position to speak both on the original Motion and on the Amendment. He thought it extremely desirable that the House should be in possession of the Papers referred to; and it appeared to him that if there was no objection, the best way of dealing with the subject under discussion 642 would be to adjourn the present debate for three weeks or a month, until those Papers were in the possession of the House. And there were reasons for so doing, of which, probably, the House was not aware. There was already, it should be known, a Committee of the House sitting, and of which he had the honour to be a Member, inquiring into the conduct of the Poor Law Commissioners with reference to the appointment of district asylums in the metropolis. The demands which that Committee was making on the Commissioners occupied the time of the clerks in their office to a great extent, and hitherto they had found the greatest difficulties in furnishing the immense mass of information which the Committee required. It had, so far, been sitting on two days in the week; and he could with confidence assure the House that, if the Committee now asked for were appointed to-morrow, it would be found utterly impossible for the Poor Law Commissioners to devote to it the requisite attention for six weeks to come. If it were desirable at all that the House should have the information which the right hon. Gentleman in his Amendment pointed out, it would also be an advantage to be made acquainted, as fully as possible, with all the facts of the case before they proceeded to any further discussion, because they might now rest assured that all the power of the Government would be brought to bear against the Motion of the hon. Member for Andover. He (Mr. Wakley) felt that if ever there came before the House a subject which demanded from it the most careful investigation it was the present. Since he had been in Parliament there had come under his observation no case which more loudly than that under discussion had called for the scrutiny and strict examination into it of the Legislature; and he felt confident that when the right hon. Gentleman had maturely reflected upon the attendant circumstances, and had well weighed the importance of the facts contained in the Papers which had been moved for, the right hon. Baronet would declare himself of the same opinion. The right hon. Gentleman had not, in his opinion, given to the subject that consideration and attention which, thoroughly to comprehend its bearings, was necessary, and that inference was deduced from the observation marking the commencement of the right hon. Baronet's speech. The remark was, that they could only look upon the matter as merely a "workhouse squabble," and 643 that it was melancholy to reflect upon so important a measure as that which had so long been engaging the care of the Government being obstructed by a Motion so trifling as that of the hon Member. Now, he fully admitted the immense and primary importance of the measure upon which they had been deliberating; and he himself had refused to undertake the responsibility of interrupting even for a moment the passage of that measure by any Motion of any kind. He had refused to do so because he knew that the country was becoming indignant at the manner in which the measure had been treated by the House; and he most sincerely believed, that if hon. Gentlemen opposite were aware of the sufferings which their opposition was entailing upon the trading classes in the community, they would at once withdraw and regret their hostility. But the cause of obstruction was something more than "a workhouse squabble." The Poor Law Commissioners had been officially in existence since 1834; there was in them vested a vast and extraordinary authority; and their powers, which were not incorrectly described as unconstitutional powers, had been exercised without interference or question for ten years. Until that moment nothing had ever been brought forward in reference to the manner in which the Poor Law Commissioners had fulfilled the duties of their office; and now that circumstances connected with those duties, and with which circumstances the public were already familiar, were alluded to, it was the business of the House to consent to and to further every investigation which could elucidate information relative to the officers of whom mention had been made. And this should be done not only with a view to do justice in the matter more immediately under consideration, but also with reference to future legislation. It could not be, with any propriety, therefore, termed "a workhouse squabble." An investigation had taken place: was the result satisfactory? The right hon. Gentleman stated that various abuses had been corrected, and that the dietary in workhouses had been improved; but did the House know this sufficiently? Bone-crushing, they knew from the same authority, had been abolished, and Mr. M'Dougal had been removed; but was there not something behind? Why, it was a matter that had extended its influence to Somerset-house; that had led to the dismissal of an Assistant Commissioner, 644 who for ten years had performed the duties of his post without any of the expressed dissatisfaction of his employers. The guardians themselves were before the House as petitioners, praying for the inquiry asked for by the hon. Member. Mr. Mundy and Mr. Soper, both guardians, and Mr. Westlake, the medical officer to the Union, prayed for an inquiry. Mr. Soper distinctly declared that the board of guardians were conspiring to remove the medical officer, in consequence of that officer having been the man to bring to light the atrocious evils which were now known to have existed in the Andover Union. Would the House of Commons of England be the abettors in such an outrageous act as that? It should also be remembered that the Commissioners were involved in the inquiry. Mr. Parker complained of them, and they complained of Mr, Parker; nobody was satisfied, and every body affirmed and admitted that the inquiry which had been instituted had been prematurely concluded, and was incomplete. M'Dougal complained that the hasty termination put to that inquiry had deprived him of all opportunity of having his witnesses heard, and of rebutting the heinous charges brought against him. The Commissioners had done some of the most unconstitutional and unjust things ever heard of. Allegations were made to them by one of the guardians relative to the bone-crushing, bone-gnawing, and marrow-eating from corrupt and putrid bones; that complaint was brought by him before the House, and a question was put to the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department whether he had been made aware of such having been the case. An immediate inquiry was instituted, and Mr. Parker was despatched to Andover. On the 8th of August the right hon. Gentleman acknowledged that he was justified for having called attention to the subject, and promised on the following day to communicate the facts to the House. Out of that had arisen a second investigation; and what was the result? Mr. Parker, when at Andover, informed the Commissioners that certain allegations against the governor of the workhouse there, as to the manner in which he had treated the inmates of the establishment, had been made; and the Commissioners then had done that which was totally without a precedent in similar transactions. They, acting on their own responsibility, and dealing with public money, compelled the medical officer of the 645 workhouse to appear before the public as the accuser of another officer of the same Union, and, from the first, throwing upon him the entire duty of finding funds, and bringing up the witnesses. From that extraordinary duty, devolved upon him so unwisely, and in a manner so strongly calculated to bring down odium upon the Commissioners, the medical officer had not flinched; the inquiry was proceeded with, and the witnesses examined; and then Mr. Parker interrupted it by announcing that justice demanded that the governor of the workhouse should have time afforded to him of procuring witnesses in his defence. But, when so informed, the Commissioners sent back Mr. Parker to Andover, and compelled him to continue the investigation, and to go at once into the charges affecting the character, and, it might be found, the life of the governor. No one, therefore, was satisfied. And the House, considering the powers exercised by the Commissioners—powers entrusted to no other body of men in the country, superior to the authority of Parliament itself, because enabling them to suspend an Act of the Legislature—considering these extraordinary facts, the House could not be too jealous of the manner in which such an authority was exercised. He entreated the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw his opposition, and to reflect upon the feelings which would be excited among the poor when it was found that in a case where their interests were so strongly affected, neglect only was apparent. The Assistant Commissioner was the last man who should have been appointed to conduct the inquiry at Andover; for whatever was the result, it would come to the public invested with suspicion, when it was known that Mr. Parker had had the best reasons in the world to withhold a verdict unfavourable to the authorities, simply because that gentleman had been inquiring and reporting upon evils which it was his duty to see should not have existed. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would ask leave of the House to make his Amendment a substantial Motion, and use his influence in seeing every facility given to the prosecuting of the inquiry.
§ MR. CHRISTIE
believed that the right hon. Gentleman had, on a previous occasion, regarded and spoken of the subject under discussion in a very different light, and had not even dreamed of terming it a mere "workhouse squabble." The special instructions sent by the Commissioners to Mr. Parker contained an acknowledgment 646 of "the serious nature" of the case. By the same post went private orders from Sir Edmund Head, with an explanation of the reasons of their transmission, which explanation was, that he (Sir E. Head) had seen the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham), and had heard from him that he considered it as a very "serious matter." At length, when inquiry was granted, everything had been done to render that investigation illusory, and worse than useless; yet now, when a Motion was brought forward in that House for the appointment of a Committee, the right hon. Baronet stood up and moved as an Amendment, that all Papers relating to the subject be laid upon the Table of the House. It was, doubtless, well known to every hon. Member who heard him, that the right hon. Baronet made a proposition of that nature at an earlier part of those proceedings, or rather at an earlier period of the present Session, and that was assigned to the hon. Member for Andover as a reason why he should postpone his Motion. But now, it might very fairly be asked, why had not those Papers been produced long ago? The principal portion of the documents to which he referred had been prepared many months ago; and he could not understand how Members could get up in that House and say that they ought to accept the presentation of Papers in lieu of the investigations of a Committee. He did not wish to utter anything unparliamentary; but it did appear to him that the proposition which came from the other side amounted to what might be called a juggle, and he would even add a juggle prepense. What was the state of the case? Papers were now offered to them, though it was obviously too late to turn those Papers to any useful account. If the documents had long since been laid before Parliament, hon. Members could have judged for themselves; but now, with a show of candour which was of no avail, he offered the Papers to the House when the thing really wanted was a close and searching investigation by means of a Committee. They all knew that there had been a special inquiry made into the subject of bone-crushing; and the hon. Member for Andover told them, that when that inquiry took place, the right hon. Baronet promised them a Committee. On the 5th of August a written Report, accompanied by the depositions, was sent up to London from Andover, and those Papers were, on the 7th of August, placed in the hands of the right hon. Baronet. 647 Mr. Parker, by desire of Sir J. Graham, called at the Home-office. During that interview Sir E. Head was announced, and, having been admitted, took a part in the conversation. Upon the last day of the Session the right hon. Baronet told the hon. Member for Finsbury that an inquiry had been made on the subject of the bone-crushing, and the result of that showed that some of the paupers had eaten meat from some of the bones which had been given them to crush; but so soon as that fact was discovered, directions were given that the paupers addicted to the practice should no longer be employed in the work of bone-crushing; the directions were, that paupers of depraved appetites and dirty habits, or of weak intellect, should no longer be so employed. But let it be recollected that at the time when Sir James Graham made that communication he had had in his possession for more than two days the report made by Mr. Parker. Now, that report went much further than the statement of the right hon. Baronet. Mr. Parker, in his report, stated that paupers of weak intellect and depraved appetites had been allowed to eat horseflesh. The statement upon this subject was made in the following words:—Amongst the bones supplied to the workhouse by the bone-gatherers, many are fresh from the kitchens of the gentry; and the inmates, as well as persons who have been inmates, acknowledge having picked out such fresh bones, and eaten the marrow from them. It also appears that when there has been meat left on the bones, some of the inmates have partaken of it. All the witnesses, excepting Green, state that the meat was never eaten unless it was fresh and good; but Green declares that Reeves and Eaton, two inmates, partook of horseflesh found on bones purchased from the dog-kennel, and he avows that he has frequently eaten stale and stinking meat from beef and mutton bones. The man Reeves, whose intellects were of the lowest order, died some time since; and Eaton is an idiot of dirty habits and depraved appetite; the character of his appetite is so well known that care is taken to prevent him from gaining access to the bone store and from going to the hog-tub. It is due to the workhouse officers to observe, that immediately it was mentioned to them that horseflesh had been eaten by one of the inmates, the statement was inquired into by the medical officer, and its truth denied by Reeves, the inmate said to have eaten it.So much for the statement of facts as regarded the conduct as well as the treatment of the paupers; but the facts relating to the conduct and treatment of Mr. Parker still remained to be examined; and he thought it extremely probable that the House would agree with him in considering 648 that Mr. Parker had something to complain of—that he had a right to complain that his own conduct had been judged of upon evidence taken in a loose and unsatisfactory manner. He would read to the House a memorandum of the conversation which took place between Mr. Parker and Sir James Graham, when the former called at the Home-office by desire of Sir James. Mr. Parker assured him (Mr. Christie) that the memorandum to which he referred was substantially correct; that it was made immediately after the conversation closed; and that his recollection had not since then furnished him with any additional particulars which could in any respect be considered material:—After adverting to the facts disclosed in the depositions, Sir James observed, 'I have stated in the House of Commons that the Commissioners cannot prevent the boards of guardians from employing the inmates of workhouses at this hone-crushing; I was right in saying so, was I not?'
§ "Mr. Parker: I think not; I have no doubt whatever that the Commissioners possess authority to issue regulations by which such labour may be put on a proper footing.
§ "Sir James: Is that so? Are you sure you are right?
§ "Mr. Parker: I am very confident in my opinion.
§ "Sir Edmund Head, one of the Poor Law Commissioners, was announced, and Sir James Graham repeated to him what he had said in the House of Commons respecting the powers of boards of guardians to employ the inmates of workhouses in bone-crushing; adding, 'Mr. Parker says he thinks the Commissioners have power to control this kind of labour.'
§ "Sir Edmund: I think we can do so, but—
§ "Sir James: I do not like this kind of employment in workhouses; we shall have some confounded disturbance about it.
§ "Sir Edmund: I am sorry to hear you say so.
§ "Sir James: Yes; this case will be stock-in-trade for The Times for the next six months; but you have not countenanced this description of labour, have you?
§ "Sir Edmund: No, but we have not discouraged it.
§ "Mr. Parker, handing Sir Edmund a copy of the Commissioners' order requiring wayfarers and such casual paupers to break a certain quantity of bones before leaving the Andover workhouse, in a return for a night's lodging and food, said, 'In the cases of mendicants, such labour has been directed by an order of the Commissioners, upon the certificate of the surgeon that it was innocuous.'
§ "Sir James (taking the paper from Sir Edmund), 'Is that so?—why it makes the case worse.'
§ "Sir Edmund observed, that he regretted that Sir James entertained such an opinion, and that he did not think such labour could be abandoned without giving offence to boards of guardians.
§ "Sir James: Now what am I to tell the House about this business? It will never do to produce 649 Mr. Parker's Report and these depositions. I will tell you what I will say. I will begin by adverting to bone-crushing in workhouses; then go on to say that I lost no time in communicating with the Commissioners, who forthwith replied that no information of the practices mentioned by Mr. Wakley had reached them; that Mr. Parker had been directed to make inquiries on the spot; that I had had an interview with Mr. Parker, who verbally reported to me the result of his investigation; that some of the inmates of the workhouse of depraved appetite had eaten meat off the bones; that when the guardians heard of it they directed an investigation by their medical man; that the other workhouse officers had been enjoined to be careful to prevent inmates of depraved appetites gaming access to the bone store. If I say that the Assistant Commissioner made this communication orally, that will possibly suffice. This Report must not be produced. It must be treated as if it had never been made."
After the interview which Mr. Parker had with Sir James Graham, he, on his way from the Home-office, met Mr. Nicholls, who expressed to Mr. Parker his disapprobation of the course taken, and said that the Report ought to be suppressed. After all this, the House could not feel otherwise than dissatisfied that a Motion for inquiry should be met with a proposition for producing Papers. The House saw that the proceedings which took place had produced no practical result; yet the presumption was that the charges preferred had not been groundless, and that unquestionably there had been abuses in the management of the workhouse; and he must say that the right hon. Baronet should not go so far as he had done in urging charges against the master of the workhouse; and, until the charges were proved, the House should hold that person to be innocent. To him it appeared that circumstances had transpired in the course of the present proceedings which rendered the case of the master of the workhouse one of peculiar hardship; and that alone would form, in his opinion, a sufficient ground for the appointment of a Committee. The master said, that if time had been allowed him, he could have produced a sufficient defence. He had been promised time for the preparation of his defence; but that promise was eventually unfulfilled, and then he was driven to the necessity of resigning or of proceeding to his defence without sufficient preparation. His counsel advised him to adopt the former course, and thereby throw upon the Poor Law Commisioners a denial of justice. There were two incidents connected with these transactions which appeared to him perfectly inexplicable, except upon the hypothesis that the Poor
Law Commissioners had been thoroughly scared by the exposure which took place of the affairs of the Andover workhouse, and that they had resolved to get over the difficulties which those occurrences occasioned, no matter at what sacrifice. Then, let it not be forgotten that at the moment when public prejudice was at its height, the master of the workhouse was in effect prohibited from entering upon his defence. The Poor Law Commissioners sent down an order on the 18th of September, in the following words, requiring the master of the workhouse to proceed with his dc fence:—
Sir—I am directed by the Poor Law Commissioners to state that they have this day had an interview with their Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Parker. The Commissioners are informed by him that at your request, and with the consent of Mr. Westlake's counsel, Mr. Parker has adjourned the inquiry into your conduct until Tuesday next, when you would proceed with your defence to the charges preferred against you. The Commissioners are of opinion, that an officer against whom charges of the kind involved in the investigation now pending in the Andover Union have been made on oath, is liable to be called on to give an explanation, and enter upon his defence, with the least possible delay. The time that has elapsed since the investigation began, has been amply sufficient, in the opinion of the Commissioners, to enable you to get together the materials necessary for your defence, more especially as most of the charges relate to facts to be proved or disproved by witnesses on the spot. Had the board of guardians acceded to the recommendation of the Commissioners, and suspended you (a proceeding which would neither have assumed your guilt, nor have prejudiced any of your rights) the Commissioners might have taken a different view of the course they now think fit to adopt. As it is, the Commissioners have requested Mr. Parker to return to Andover forthwith; and they must call upon you to proceed with your defence either to-morrow or Saturday, and continue with it from day to day. An inquiry by an Assistant Commissioner is not a court constituted in such a manner that an adjournment to a future day can vitiate proceedings taken in the interval; and the Commissioners, in thus exercising the discretion necessarily reserved to their board, feel confident that they are not inflicting upon you any substantial injustice.
Two cases had been selected, and charges upon them brought against M'Dougal; one related to embezzlement, the other to taking liberties with some of the female paupers; and on each of these charges one case was to be chosen for investigation. He wished to know upon what principle that course had been taken; for if he were acquitted upon one, that acquittal would not prove his innocence of any other. Then Mr. Parker was sent down with directions to proceed immediately with the
inquiry. He asked for time; but, in conformity with the directions which he received on the 15th, he arrived in Andover on the 17th. He ventured, upon his own responsibility, to grant a delay of five days; he then returned to London, when he found that the Commissioners disapproved of that delay. It was quite true that the Commissioners, in the letter which he had read, stated that an officer was liable to be called on to explain his conduct with the least possible delay; that, he presumed, meant the least possible delay consistent with justice; but in this case the counsel and the solicitor of the master were in attendance every day, taking down the evidence against their client, and had no time during the intervals of the inquiry to prepare his defence. The facts were not capable of proof on the spot, for many parties required by the master were resident at distant places. Mr. Parker said—
On the 17th, I attended at the workhouse, and the examination of such witnesses as could be got together upon the short notice that had been given was proceeded with. The master's counsel then stated, that it was impossible for him to proceed with the defence of his client unless an adjournment was granted; for the witnesses had not been examined, nor the brief prepared, inasmuch as the master's solicitor had not expected the investigation to be resumed; and, moreover, the witnesses were widely dispersed, some living in London, others at Salisbury, Winchester, Romsey, and Stockbridge. The counsel who appeared to support the charges acknowledged that he could not resist the application, and said he thought a few days' adjournment ought to suffice. The master's counsel asked for ten days, but the master's solicitor ultimately promised to be prepared in five. This adjournment for five days was acceded to by all parties; and, considering the indefinite character and nature of some of the charges, it must be acknowledged that an adjournment for five days was not of greater duration than the master might fairly demand. The reasonableness of the adjournment will be apparent, when it is understood that the evidence on the following charge alone—'That he has frequently taken liberties with the younger women and girls in the house, and attempted at various times to prevail upon them to consent to gratify his wishes'—applied to the cases of no fewer than eleven women, and that none of the alleged assaults were of recent occurrence, and the greater number of them were said to have been committed several years since.
Something had been said about Mr. Parker's conduct on the inquiry, and he had heard with great surprise and regret the observation of the right hon. Gentleman: he could only say, that this was the first time he had heard any complaint made by the Poor Law Commissioners, or by any one speaking for them, of the mode in which Mr. Parker conducted the inquiry.
Mr. Parker was dismissed; but the Poor Law Commissioners did not state that to be the reason; and it was unfair in the right hon. Gentleman, when he refused all inquiry, so to state. It was, however, an additional reason for granting the inquiry. Mr. Parker invited inquiry, and the Poor Law Commissioners did not do the same. The public could only draw one inference from the resistance to this inquiry—that the Poor Law Commissioners were afraid of its results. Mr. Parker made an inquiry, and on the supposition that the master's resignation might be immediately accepted, Mr. Parker recommended Mr. Price to take the place. He could only say, that before Mr. Parker returned to Andover, he told Sir E. Head of the application made by Mr. Price, who was then living at Southampton, expressing a desire, if Mr. M'Dougal's resignation should be accepted, to take the place temporarily; he told Sir E. Head, if he could prevail upon the board of guardians to accept the resignation, he should recommend Mr. Price, and Sir E. Head approved of the suggestion:, if, therefore, Mr. Parker were to blame, as the Poor Law Commissioners afterwards thought, or rather as it was inferred by the right hon. Baronet that he was, Sir E. Head, one of the Poor Law Commissioners, must bear a share of the blame. Mr. Parker had known Price some years back, as master of the workhouse at Oxford, and highly approved of his conduct as he there saw it. Nay, more, he had received a letter from the chairman of the board of guardians at Oxford, speaking in high terms of Mr. Price's conduct there, and urging Mr. Parker to get some better situation for him. Mr. Parker had met Mr. Price again last year, at the Highworth and Swindon Union, where he was a candidate, and where he had a testimonial from the noble Lord the Member for Berkshire (Lord Barrington), and from various parties in Oxford. Finding, then, that Price was a candidate for employment, and as he failed at Swindon so late as May last, Mr. Parker recommended him as a candidate for the charge of a training school about to be founded on board ship; and the Poor Law Commissioners entertained the application, and saw Price. Mr. Parker, therefore, was not surprised at receiving a letter from him offering himself to supply M'Dougal's place; and he made the recommendation with the approval of Sir E. Head. It appeared that after Mr. Parker left Oxford, some
complaints were made of Price, and that Mr. Austin investigated the case; but before the end of that investigation Price resigned, and Mr. Austin had felt it his duty to withhold all information from the Commissioners till Price, on the recommendation of Mr. Parker, had been appointed to the situation at Andover, and The Times had commented upon his resignation of his former situation: till those remarks, Mr. Parker had never heard, and the Commissioners had never heard, of Price's resignation; and yet Sir E. Head told Mr. Parker that the appointment was a great indiscretion, and the Poor Law Commissioners must notice it in a marked manner. He had the honour of being acquainted with Mr. Lewis and Sir E. Head, and he entertained different opinions from the hon. Member for Andover and the Gentlemen who would support him, since he warmly approved the principle on which they had conducted the administration of the law; but he thought Mr. Parker harshly and unjustly treated by them, and he thought it his duty to lay private feeling aside, and to bring his case before the House. Soon after the discovery had been made about Mr. Price, with the aid of The Times newspaper, the Poor Law Commissioners sent an official letter to the clerk of the Union, regretting Mr. Price's appointment, and recommending his removal. It was not necessary for Mr. Parker to write any letter, except for his personal satisfaction. However, Mr. Lewis felt it his duty to tell Mr. Parker that if he wrote any letter he was to show it to the Commissioners, and such must be an imputation on his candour and fair dealing. Mr. Parker resented, and showed by his manner he resented, that imputation; however, he showed the letter, which was altered to the following:—
The annoyance that I experienced at Andover has been increased by observations on the character of Mr. Price, of whom I had reason to entertain a favourable opinion. I regret having mentioned his name, because I fear that his appointment to take charge of the workhouse temporarily will embarrass the board of guardians. Circumstances require me to state my knowledge of Mr. Price.
Two days after Mr. Parker received the following commanication from Mr. Nicholls:—
§ "Poor Law Commission Office,
§ Somerset House, October 16, 1845.
§ "My dear Sir—Looking at the importance and peculiar nature of the functions delegated to an Assistant Commissioner, we have, after full consideration, come to the conclusion that we cannot 654 consistently with our public duty retain you any longer in your present office. It is therefore incumbent on us to request that you will send your resignation to the Commissioners. We wish to assure you that we take this stop with the utmost reluctance; and we willingly acknowledge the zealous and efficient services which you have on various occasions rendered to the Commission. I remain, my dear Sir, ever yours faithfully,
§ "H. W. Parker, Esq." "GEORGE NICHOLLS.
There was a peculiar hardship in Mr. Parker's case. Much odium had been brought on the Poor Law and the Commissioners, of which Mr. Parker bore a great part. No steps had been taken till that night to explain why he was dismissed; and the Commissioners had never complained of his conduct of the inquiry. Mr. Parker had presented a petition stating that he would bring such evidence as the nature of the case would admit, to show he was dismissed by the Commissioners to divert the odium from themselves. He did not adopt that view wholly; but Mr. Parker had a primâ facie case for such a statement; and it would be but justice to him as well as the Commissioners to grant the inquiry. The right hon. Baronet had moved an Amendment, which made it necessary for him to wait till that was disposed of; but if he had an opportunity, as he hoped he should have, as he looked upon the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment as a mere juggle, he would move the Amendment of which he had given notice. The right hon. Gentleman might say that the Commissioners had power of removing any Assistant Commissioner at their discretion; but was that power to be exercised without any responsibility? If so, he should think it his duty when the annual vote was before the House to resist it till this act of hardship should be inquired into and explained. It might be said also that Mr. Parker had stated conversations that occurred to him as a public servant, and in confidence; but he (Mr. Christie) thought there were limits to the confidence to be required of public servants; and that, if the Commissioners removed a public servant without reason, and contrary to justice, sheltering themselves from all responsibility, and refusing inquiry; and if the parties injured were prevented from using the information acquired in the public service necessary to make out their grievance and procure redress, such a doctrine would lead to great hardship. The right hon. Baronet wrote to Mr. Parker thus:—
You tell me that I may make any observations which occur to me on this intended publication. I will make only one. It contains statements of
conversations, of documents, and of communications, which, though known to you as a public servant, were strictly of a confidential nature.
But he could not answer the observations of the right hon. Gentleman better than by giving to the House the words in which Mr. Parker replied. [Sir J. GRAHAM: Is that the whole of my letter?] No: but he would read the other parts of it:—
I have received a private note from you, enclosing a letter addressed to me, which you intimate an intention of publishing. You tell me, &c. (as above). … Having called your attention to this fact, I leave it to you to decide whether with propriety and without a breach of confidence you can execute your intention of publishing this statement.
Mr. Parker's answer was this:—
I need not to be reminded even from such high authority as your own, how cautious a public servant, even under the pressure of such injury as I have sustained, should be with reference to all matters of a confidential nature which have come before him. It was for this reason that I have abstained in my letter from recapitulating the conversation on the occasion of the interview which I had with you at the Home Office, and from adverting to the contents of private letters that I have received from the Poor Law Commissioners. With the exception of three documents, all those in my statement connected with the Poor Law Commissioners have been published in The Times newspaper; and these three documents which I have added are not of a nature to involve a breach of confidence in their publication. The most material one, that relating to the bone-crushing at Andover, has already been adverted to by the Commissioners themselves, in a letter to the clerk of the Andover Union, dated the 17th of October, and transmitted by them to the newspapers for publication. I venture to express an opinion that where there is no real breach of official confidence, a public servant, who has in his possession documents that have been already in great part published, is entitled to put together the whole case, as the only means of counteracting misrepresentations, which those who have acted unjustly of necessity resort to, in the security of a partial view of the case. I should be sorry to find that your opinion as to the duties of a public servant, under such circumstances, should differ from my own. Whilst, on the one hand, there are limits to the employment of official materials, which the feelings of a gentleman cannot mistake: on the other hand, the fear that any public statement of official transactions may be stigmatized as a breach of confidence, however it may be guarded, would be a concession to the spirit which has lately rendered every office insecure, and every zealous discharge of duties unsafe in the department where I had the honour to be employed for nearly ten years.
He, therefore, left Mr. Parker's case in the hands of the right hon. Baronet and the House, hoping that, in justice to the Poor Law Commissioners, no less than to Mr. Parker, the right hon. Baronet would grant the inquiry he had asked for. But,
if the right hon. Baronet still refused, he then appealed to the House, and told hon. Gentlemen that this was not the case of Mr. Parker only, but that of every public servant; and that such treatment of a long-tried, faithful, and zealous public officer was against the host and important interests of the country.
§ SIR J. GRAHAM
Although not quite regular, I beg to say a few words with respect to that part of the speech of the hon. Member for Weymouth which more particularly relates personally to myself—I allude to that part of his statement with reference to Mr. Parker. It is not my intention to transgress the rules of the House from the circumstances in which I have been placed, or to make an attack upon Mr. Parker in his absence. Suffice it for me to say, that I shall confine myself to that part of the case in which the hon. and learned Member made use of a harsh term with respect to myself, in reference to the statement made by me in this House in answer to a question put to me by the hon. Member for Finsbury. I answered that question upon the last day of the last Session; and, if I mistake not, my conversation with Mr. Parker was either the day or two days before the last of the Session. It is quite true that I had received a written Report made by Mr. Parker, which I have now moved for; but I do not hesitate to tell the hon. and learned Member that I do not think it was for the public good that I should have produced that document at that time. The hon. and learned Gentleman has produced to-night, a minute purporting to have been taken at the time of a conversation held by me officially with a public servant, and says that in his opinion Mr. Parker has not transgressed the bounds of duty in introducing to-night, through his hands, a memorandum of a conversation held by the Secretary of State with an Assistant Poor Law Commissioner in his capacity of a public servant. It is for the House and the public to determine between the hon. Gentleman and me, whether any such breach of propriety has been committed. Now, I hold it to be admitted that I am quite incapable of misrepresenting any conversation held by me; and I am sure it will be very bad for those who have to discharge public duties in this country, when Gentlemen cannot meet upon that ground; but for any one to take a minute of any such conversation, and above all, having taken such minute, without any 657 previous intimation to produce that document to the House of Commons, and at the same time to intimate that there was another Gentleman present, and yet not to give the party accused the opportunity of conferring with that third party, does appear to me most extraordinary. Fortunately, it does so happen, on the showing of the hon. Member, that Sir E. Head was present. I, of course, have a very imperfect recollection of that conversation; but Sir E. Head will probably have a more distinct recollection of it, and, before long, I shall have an opportunity of communicating with him, and seeing whether his recollection corresponds with mine; but this I say, that in the pamphlet of Mr. Parker, from which the hon. Member quoted so largely, there are reports of confidential conversations held with other official gentlemen, the accuracy of which is distinctly denied by those gentlemen. So much is sufficient at the present moment with reference to that conversation. I must now go on to remark upon the Motion made by the hon. Gentleman, that the power exercised by the Poor Law Commissioners of dismissing Mr. Parker, should be referred for inquiry to a Committee of this House. I beg the House to consider what is the position of a Poor Law Commissioner with relation to his employers. Parliament has given exclusively to that Commission, independent of the Crown, the sole power of appointing their assistants; and what is the reason of such derogation? The Commissioners are responsible for every act of their assistants. Their assistants are their agents. The acts of the assistants are the acts of the Commissioners; and upon that ground that patronage is exclusively vested in the Commissioners. If such be the responsibility of the Commissioners, I ask the House to consider whether it be possible for them to transact with anything like order or safety any part of the important duties confided to them, if they should not have the power of a summary dismissal of agents so appointed? It would be impossible: it would be a complete destruction of the whole power and authority of the Commissioners to ask that the power of dismissal should be taken from them. They have the power of appointing—they have the power of dismissing; and I will tell the hon. Gentleman that it was not on account of the mode in which the inquiry at Andover was conducted; it was not on account of the recommendation of a substitute for Mr. M'Dougal as governor of the workhouse 658 at Andover; it was not for one specific act upon which reliance has been placed, but generally the reason is this—Mr. Parker was a subordinate officer. He had evinced a spirit of insubordination to his employers, which in my opinion fully justified the course taken by the Poor Law Commissioners. They were responsible originally for the conduct of Mr. Parker: they were dissatisfied with his conduct generally, and they dismissed him. If an appeal were made to me in this House upon any private ground, I would tell the House frankly, that I am quite satisfied it would be impossible for that Commission safely or perfectly to perform their duties without being able to exercise such a power. In this case a memorandum was taken at the time of an official conversation, the accuracy of which I am not in a position to deny, because I have really a very imperfect recollection of what took place upon that occasion; but I think, upon reflection, Mr. Parker himself will regret the production of that particular document.
§ MR. FERRAND
most sincerely rejoiced that this quarrel had taken place between the Poor Law Commissioners and Mr. Parker, and that he had written a pamphlet informing them of all the circumstances that had occurred. All he (Mr. Ferrand) wished was, that Mr. Mott had followed his example, and he had no doubt they would have learned from that exposure how it was the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham) became possessed of that written document which he drew from his red box. He agreed with the right hon. Baronet in stating that he had been rather ill used that night by the hon. Member for Weymouth (Mr. Christie), who in common justice ought to have given him notice that he intended to use the memorandum to which he called attention. But if he (Mr. Ferrand) were not very much mistaken, when that foul conspiracy was entered into to crush him (Mr. Ferrand), the right hon. Baronet declared in that House that he never had any communication with the Poor Law Commissioners or their assistants. However, it appeared that he held a communication with them at Somerset-house, and that a speech was concocted, which was delivered in the House. He (Mr. Ferrand) thought the day had arrived when the right hon. Baronet, in common justice, ought to inform the House how it was that that written document came into his hands, and from whom he had received it; for, from the hour when he used it 659 against him (Mr. Ferrand), to the present moment, not only he (Mr. Ferrand), but that House, as well as the country, were not informed as to the manner in which he got it. The right hon. Baronet had said that evening, that this was a workhouse squabble; but he (Mr. Ferrand) must congratulate the people of this country, that it had resulted in bone-crushing being stopped in no less than one hundred Unions. But did not the right hon. Baronet, in the year 1843, on the 15th March, pledge his word to the House, that this system of mills in the different workhouses should be abolished. He (Mr. Ferrand) remembered well the treatment he had received at his hands, as well as at the hands of the Poor Law Commissioners, when he exposed an attempt that was made to erect a rag mill in the Halifax Union. The right hon. Baronet wanted the House not to place any faith in his (Mr. Ferrand's) statement; but he was at last compelled to admit that a rag mill was to be erected in that Union workhouse. The right hon. Baronet thus addressed him on the occasion to which he had alluded. He said—That in consequence of what had taken place on the subject of rag mills, he had expressed a strong opinion against their use to the Commissioners, who had communicated that opinion to all the Unions, and that such mills should not be used again.That was the promise which the right hon. Baronet gave nearly three years ago to that House and to the country; and how had that pledge been kept? They had listened to a most digraceful exposure that night, of a system which had not only created alarm and dismay through the country, but had excited feelings of horror in the minds of foreigners. He (Mr. Ferrand) had been travelling on the Continent, and he could assure the House that the strongest feelings of horror were expressed by foreigners at the idea, that under a Christian Government, and under the sanction of Poor Law Commissioners, such cruelties could be inflicted upon the unoffending poor of the Andover Union. Not only had those cruelties been inflicted upon them, but what proof had the House that the same system of cruelty was not inflicted in the one hundred Union workhouses to which the right hon. Baronet had alluded? Had not Mr. Parker informed them and the country, that the Poor Law Commissioners directed him to bring this inquiry to a speedy conclusion, to allay the public mind, before One-half the evidence was taken? He 660 (Mr. Ferrand) felt that, for the purpose of having those cruelties exposed to the public gaze, it was the bounden duty of that House to insist that a Committee should be appointed. They should not lend themselves to the right hon. Baronet, who was going to crush inquiry, for he dreaded the exposure that would take place. He (Mr. Ferrand) gave notice that afternoon of his intention to move the addition of a few words to the hon. Member's Motion, that the inquiry might extend into his own neighbourhood. The House could not have forgotten the treatment which he (Mr. Ferrand) had received at the hands of the Poor Law Commissioners in the year 1842, when that secret Report was drawn from the red box, and used by the right hon. Baronet with such stage effect against him (Mr. Ferrand). The right hon. Baronet, on that occasion, said that he knew nothing against the character and respectability of Mr. Mott, the Assistant Poor Law Commissioner. It was on the 20th of June, 1842, that the right hon. Baronet made that statement. But what would the House say, when he informed them that Mr. Mott, having been employed by the right hon. Baronet as a special Government Commissioner to inquire into the truth of the statements made by the then hon. Member for Bolton, in August, 1841, was—instead of doing his duty, as he was bound to do, to the House and to the country—charged by respectable parties residing in Bolton to have been guilty of partial conduct—of falsely accusing hon. Gentlemen—of dealing in slanderous imputations—of making false and calumnious charges. Those were the charges that were brought against Mr. Mott, by a gentleman who was formerly a Member of that House; and those charges were made and proved against him by authenticated documents in the possession of the right hon. Gentleman at the very time he was employed as a Poor Law Commissioner at Keighley Union, and at the very time when he drew up the false Report that was used against him (Mr. Ferrand) by the right hon. Baronet in that House. At the very time that he was so employed, he was branded by honourable men in the borough of Bolton as having been guilty of the conduct which he (Mr. Ferrand) had first narrated to the House. With this Report respecting the Assistant Poor Law Commissioner, Mott, in the possession of the right hon. Baronet, he was employed—and he (Mr. Ferrand) used the word advisedly—he was employed for the 661 purpose of drawing up a false Report against him, that that Report might be used in that House for the purpose of crushing him (Mr. Ferrand) as a Member of the British House of Commons. It was on the 30th of April that Mr. Mott appeared in the board-room of the Keighley Union; on the 17th of June, 1842, the right hon. Baronet drew from his red box the Report drawn up in April, 1842, by this Mr. Mott. On the authority of that Report, he charged him (Mr. Ferrand) with jobbing, and sanctioning such proceedings in his capacity as a magistrate. He (Mr. Ferrand) was not going to detain the House by ripping up the whole of the proceedings that occurred at that time: it was sufficient for him to justify himself now before the House and the country. He (Mr. Ferrand) would not have alluded to the subject, had not the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Roebuck) made use of language the other night, for the purpose of injuring him (Mr. Ferrand), by alluding to the Resolution of that House respecting him, which Resolution he (Mr. Ferrand) never condescended even to look at. He treated that Resolution in the manner it deserved at the hands of an honest man. But the hon. Member for Bath was cheered by the First Lord of the Treasury; and he (Mr. Ferrand) having been, in common justice to himself, compelled to allude to the subject again, would vindicate himself in the sight of that House and of the country. On the 20th of June, three days after the right hon. Baronet had produced this secret document, he (Mr. Ferrand) stated that the right hon. Baronet had, on the 17th June, referred to a Report made by Assistant Commissioner Mott, who was sent down to the North of England expressly for the purpose of getting up a case against the Keighley Union, and that that paid officer had produced a Report containing charges for the purpose of misleading the House of Commons. And what said the right hon. Baronet? He said, that, in addition to the Report of Mr. Mott, of the 23d of April, he had the Report of Sir John Walsham, of the 1st of June, that the Union of Keighley was in immediate contact with the Union of Bingley; and Sir John Walsham having been sent down on a Special Commission to inquire into the state of things there, was also directed to go to Keighley, and see if what Mr. Mott had stated was borne out by facts. He (Mr. Ferrand) wanted the House to remark that the right hon. Baronet had, on the 17th of 662 June, quoted Mr. Mott's Report, and also Sir John Walsham's Report dated on the 1st of June. The hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Duncombe) would mark that. He (Mr. Ferrand) subsequently asked the right hon. Baronet if Sir John Walsham had not been sent down to Keighley Union previous to the debate in that House; and he said that Sir John Walsham being in the neighbourhood, he (Sir James Graham) suggested to the Poor Law Commissioners, to remove all doubt on the subject, that Sir John Walsham should be sent there. He (Mr. Ferrand) now asked the right hon. Baronet how it was that he suggested that Sir John Walsham should be sent to Keighley Union to back up Mr. Mott's false Report against him (Mr. Ferrand)—a Report which he had proved to be false by nine respectable witnesses out of that Union? Magistrates, guardians, and professional men had proved, one and all, that his Report was in every respect unfounded. After these statements had taken place between the right hon. Baronet and himself, a Committee was appointed in that House to inquire into the truth of this Report. It was a packed Committee. He (Mr. Ferrand) had said before, in that House, and he now repeated it, that the Report was in direct opposition to the evidence that was laid before them. He (Mr. Ferrand), knowing that the Report of the Committee was not a fair or a just one, came down to the House, a few days after the Report was laid on the Table, and he moved for certain Papers to prove to the House, and to the country, that that Committee had reported contrary to the evidence. The right hon. Baronet opposed the Motion, resisting the production of the Papers, because he knew that when the Papers were produced, they would prove that Mr. Mott had drawn up a false Report, which Report was used against him (Mr. Ferrand); and the right hon. Baronet thought to induce a majority of the Members of the House to support him. But what was the conduct of the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord John Russell)? He had acted a noble and manly part, as he always did. He said he did not know what the right hon. Baronet meant by refusing the Papers. The right hon. Baronet having then counted noses in the House, saw he would be defeated, and therefore had granted the Papers. On the the 2d of August last, immediately before Parliament was prorogued, the Poor Law Commissioners placed the Papers on the 663 Table of the House. Now, the first charge of Mr. Mott against the guardians of the Keighley Union was that they had acted in direct opposition to the directions of the Poor Law Commissioners. But the Poor Law Commissioners themselves admitted they had no written evidence to show in what respect the Keightley guardians had acted in opposition to the Central Board at Somerset-house. The whole of that man's Report, with scarcely a single exception, was false. But how did the Poor Law Commissioners treat Mr. Mott? Before the Parliament again assembled, the Poor Law Commissioners dismissed him, and for some time he was nowhere to be heard of. It was impossible for him (Mr. Ferrand) to bring him to the bar of the House for having maliciously—and he (Mr. Ferrand) used the word advisedly—drawn up a false Report for the purpose of enabling the right hon. Baronet to crush him (Mr. Ferrand). But what employment was Mr. Mott engaged in when they next heard of him? Why he was writing a Poor Law Commissioners' Paper, under the patronage of the Poor Law Commissioners, and of the Longtown Union, of which he believed the right hon. Baronet was the Chairman. That was the way Mr. Mott was patronized by the Poor Law Commissioners and the Longtown Union, after he was dismissed from his office to prevent him (Mr. Ferrand) from bringing him to the bar of that House. The right hon. Baronet at that time did not deny that Mr. Mott was dismissed for drawing up a false Report against him. When he (Mr. Ferrand) appeared at the Leeds meeting, he said that the right hon. Baronet had taken steps to procure a Report that was false. He had proved that he communicated with the Poor Law Commissioners, and suggested to them that Sir John Walsham should be sent down to Keightley, for the purpose of obtaining evidence as to whether Mr. Mott's Report was true or not. He (Mr. Ferrand) had proved to the House that night, that he dated his Report on the 1st of June, and that the right hon. Baronet did not use Mr. Mott's Report until the 17th of June; therefore, he (Mr. Ferrand) called upon the right hon. Baronet to inform the House how it was he became possessed of those two Reports; and until he did so, he (Mr. Ferrand) should, as he had said before, treat the Resolution of the House with the contempt it deserved.
§ MR. FERRAND
begged pardon for having made use of an expression that he ought not to use. He knew what his opinion should be of the right hon. Baronet and that Resolution. He could say, "Mens sibi conscia recti." He was conscious of the integrity of his own conduct through the whole of these proceedings; and he thanked God that he had not lost the friendship of any man, or fallen in the estimation of the people of the country. If the right hon. Baronet could prove to the House that he was not connected with getting up this Report against him, he then would retract any expression he had used against him in that House or elsewhere. But until he did so, not one word would he (Mr. Ferrand) retract that he had ever uttered. What was his (Mr. Ferrand's) conduct after the Resolution of the House was passed? He instantly addressed a letter to the right hon. Baronet, proving every statement that he had made. He circulated that letter amongst the Members of the House, and sent the right hon. Baronet a copy of it. He received that letter, but from that day to this he had never answered it. What was the tone of public opinion on that letter? The press laid politics aside, and (with only a single exception) through Great Britain and Ireland had maintained that he (Mr. Ferrand) had proved his case against the right hon. Baronet. The single exception was a newspaper in London; and he (Mr. Ferrand) had reason to think that the article in that paper, denying that he had justified himself, was written by an Assistant Poor Law Commissioner. He would now allude to what had taken place when the First Lord of the Treasury quoted the Report of Sir John Walsham, with the view of showing that he (Mr. Ferrand) was cognizant of all the alleged misdoings in the Union of Keighley. The observations he alluded to were made by the right hon. Baronet on the 24th of June, 1843. [The hon. Member then proceeded to read a long extract from the speech in question.] This was the language of the First Lord of the Treasury, and was used by him with the view of holding him (Mr. Ferrand) up to ridicule. In his anxiety to heap abuse on him and disgrace on the inhabitants of the Union, the right hon. Baronet read other extracts from the Report of Sir John Walsham, describing the state of the Bingley poor-house, which, however, he would not weary the House with reading. The right hon. Baronet then observed, 665 that when this state of things was known, there was ample time for him to send for an Assistant Poor Law Commissioner to put things to rights. Now what would the right hon. Baronet say when he (Mr. Ferrand) informed the House, that since the period when Mr. Mott was dismissed, at the end of 1842, up to the present time, not a single Assistant Poor Law Commissioner had crossed the threshold of the Bingley poor-house, and that the same state of things existed there as was described in the Report, and that the inmates of it were still sleeping six in a bed? This, be it remembered, was under the government of the Poor Law Commissioners. This was the conduct of men backed up by the right hon. Baronet, and whose proceedings he screened, by refusing to grant a Committee. He trusted such exposures of the conduct of the Poor Law Commissioners and their Assistant Commissioners would convince the House and the country that it was time that the whole office should be abolished. If the First Lord of the Treasury were present he would appeal to him, as Prime Minister—for he had quoted a false Report, got up by the Commissioners, and that for the purpose of holding him (Mr. Ferrand) up to ridicule—whether he would any longer be a participator and supporter of this disgraceful system? The guilty parties in all those proceedings were the Poor Law Commissioners, backed by the right hon. Secretary for the Home Department. He trusted what had taken place to-night would lead to inquiry; and if that was done he should not fear the result. Right glad should he be if the Committee was appointed, as it would prove the commencement of the end of the new Poor Law; and he trusted that before the end of the Session he should see the death of the Poor Law Commission as well as the dissolution of the Ministry.
§ CAPTAIN PECHELL
said, that if the Committee was appointed, he quite agreed with the hon. Member that an inquiry should also take place into the proceedings of the Keighley Union. If the information which he had received was correct, there was something wrong in Somerset-house; and the movement of the straw indicated that there would be some further resignations in that quarter. He knew that Mr. Parker was a most excellent officer of the Poor Law Commissioners; and he thought it only an act of justice to say so. The Commissioners had sent him down to his neighbourhood to institute an inquiry, 666 and they compelled him to make a Report, which he (Captain Pechell) believed he was now sorry for having drawn up. It was not only clear from Mr. Parker's pamphlet and petition, but also from what was stated in the public prints, that the public never would be satisfied until an inquiry was instituted by a Committee of that House, into the Andover Union, Mr. Parker's case, and the Keighley Union. The right hon. Baronet asked for a postponement of the subject until the Papers which he proposed to lay on the Table were printed. Why had not those Papers been already presented to the House, so that they might at once have gone into the case? The right hon. Baronet had that night given them some hopes that he was determined to make himself the master-mind of the Board at Somerset-house. It was clear that the right hon. Baronet had been deceived by the Commissioners, for he had declared last year that a stop should be put to bone-grinding in Union workhouses, where it was clear that in many Unions this disgusting kind of work was carried on to the profit of the Poor Law guardians. In 1842 and 1843, he (Captain Pechell) had brought the subject forward; but the right hon. Baronet did not encourage him to expect the system would be put an end to. In 1844 the right hon. Baronet expressed an opinion against the practice; and in 1845 he said that it was a disgraceful system, and must be put an end to. It was on the same day that he said this that the hon. Member for Finsbury brought forward the case of the Andover Union; and he believed that such a case never would have arisen if the right hon. Baronet had issued the order in 1842 which he did in January, 1846. Anxious as he was for inquiry, he feared that many of the parties who now employed the poor in bone-crushing, would defeat the intentions—not of the Poor Law Commissioners, for they did not appear sincere or zealous in the matter—but of the right hon. Baronet, who had declared that an end should be put to the system. It appeared from a Paper laid on the Table yesterday, that there were thirty-four Poor Law Unions in which the practice still existed; and of these thirteen had been pardoned and been allowed, up to the 1st of April, to employ their respective paupers in this way, so that their stocks of bones might be used up. It was clear from the return on the Paper issued yesterday, that some of the boards of guardians in these thirty-four Unions intended to resist 667 the wishes of the right hon. Baronet on this subject. He would only add, in conclusion, that he trusted that the hon. Member for Andover would be successful in the result of the inquiry before the Committee.
§ SIR R. H. INGLIS
wished to make a few observations on the apparent hardship of the case of Mr. Parker. He did not defend the indiscretion of that gentleman in recommending a person to the board of guardians at Andover to be master of the workhouse whose conduct was not sufficiently known to him. But admitting this and other indiscretions, he could not help feeling that Mr. Parker had been punished more severely than he ought to have been. He had not the honour of Mr. Parker's acquaintance; he did not even know him by sight; but he had read the pamphlet and petition of that gentleman, and from them he learnt that Mr. Parker was induced to abandon an honourable profession, in which he had a fair chance of rising, to accept the office in question, and that for a mere act of indiscretion it appeared that all his prospects in life were likely to be blighted. He might be told that Her Majesty's Government neither appointed nor removed Mr. Parker, but that it was the Act of the Poor Law Commissioners. He had never either in or out of the House said one word against the Poor Law Commissioners, as he believed that they wished to exercise a sound discretion in the discharge of the duties intrusted to them; but still they were men, and liable to err, and he did not believe that the Poor Law Commissioners were any more infallible than Her Majesty's Ministers. He hoped that it was not yet too late to replace Mr. Parker. Without entering into the merits of the case of the Andover Union, much less following the hon. Members who had brought them into Yorkshire and Sussex, he would confine himself to that point alone, and would respectfully submit that the claims of Mr. Parker ought not to be lost sight of or passed over.
§ SIR JAMES GRAHAM
said, he could have wished that the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford had recollected what he (Sir James Graham) had stated when he had last addressed the House. He had been asked by many hon. Members whether the Poor Law Commissioners complained of anything except indiscretion on the part of Mr. Parker; and he had already stated to the House in the name of the Poor Law Commissioners, that they complained not only of indiscretion on the part of that gentleman, but also 668 of a spirit of insubordination in his conduct which was offensive to them.
§ MR. T. S. DUNCOMBE
said, he would ask the right hon. Baronet whether he thought, after what he had just stated, either the House, or his hon. Friend the Member for Andover, or the public, would be satisfied unless an inquiry were instituted. The right hon. Baronet proposed now to lay on the Table certain Returns connected with the administration of the Andover Union workhouse, together with copies of Mr. Parker's Report, and of the evidence taken by him, and also copies of the inquiry into the conduct of Mr. M'Dougal, as communicated by the Poor Law Commissioners; but would the right hon. Baronet recollect that the notice of his hon. Friend the Member for Andover had been on the books for the last six weeks? and, however satisfactory it might have been for the right hon. Baronet to have offered the production of these Papers when the subject was first mentioned, it was clear that the public would not be now satisfied unless the inquiry were instituted. A notice of Motion had also been given by his hon. Friend the Member for Weymouth (Mr. Christie), with regard to the treatment of Mr. Parker. It appeared that Mr. Parker considered himself an ill-used man. He (Mr. Duncombe) had read the pamphlet published by that gentleman; and in his opinion Mr. Parker had made out a very good case. The right hon. Baronet said that when the House read the Papers which he offered to produce, they would be satisfied that the Poor Law Commissioners were unimpeachable in their conduct in this matter—that they would be found to be above all suspicion. Now, that was what the House wanted to find out by this inquiry. They wanted to know the facts of the case; and how was that to be done, except by instituting the inquiry? When the question had been first mooted by his hon. Colleague the Member for Finsbury, Mr. Parker was appointed to go down and inquire into the allegation of the petitioners. Nothing could be fairer than the conduct of the Government in this particular; but somehow or other the investigation then entered upon had terminated most abruptly. Mr. Parker seemed to him to be the most unfortunate man that ever existed; for he would appear to have given no satisfaction to any party. In his (Mr. Duncombe's) opinion he had committed a great mistake in resigning his office, as he ought to have 669 thrown the onus of dismissing him on the Poor Law Commissioners. The Commissioners recommended him to resign, but that was no reason why he should do so. He had heard, over and over again, of Members of the Government, and of Members of Parliament, being called upon to resign, without their thinking it necessary to adopt the recommendation until obliged to do so. Mr. Parker was not, however, a Member of that House; and on being recommended to resign, though the House did not know exactly why, he did resign. They wanted to inquire why Mr. Parker had been required to resign his office; and whether that inquiry would terminate in his favour or not, it was not for him (Mr. Buncombe) to say. He thought the production of the Papers offered by the right hon. Baronet would not, and ought not to satisfy his hon. Friend. It would not satisfy the justice of the case—it would not satisfy the public—and it would not satisfy the parties immediately concerned. He would call upon the right hon. Baronet, therefore, if he would save much trouble and time in this matter, to agree at once to the Motion of his hon. Friend.
§ MR. BORTHWICK
said, if the details which the hon. Member for Andover had presented to the House to-night had been told of some distant or savage land into which civilization had never entered, and where Christianity was unknown, they might have regarded the statement as surcharged, that the picture was over-coloured, but, at the same time, that it was not in human imagination to invent details so horrible. They would have assumed that some foundation must exist for such a representation, and the spirit of English benevolence would have been roused to meet the evil. Public meetings would have been held, subscriptions would have been loyally entered into, missionaries would have been sent forth to reclaim, if not within the pale of Christianity, at least within the pale of humanity, persons who were suffering such wretched privations. Would they then pause in the same good work, because the sufferers were their own fellow countrymen, and the remedy was in their own hands, and could be applied without trouble? The sufferers were Englishmen; the tyranny under which they suffered was a law enacted by that House. On the question of reporting a private conversation he did not wish to enter. Had he been in Mr. Parker's position, he would on no account have been induced to lend himself to the 670 publication of a confidential conversation. He admitted this the more frankly, because he thought that now, when the matter was brought before the House, it afforded all the stronger argument for entering into a full, complete, and ample inquiry into all the circumstances connected with the question. The hon. and learned Gentleman forgot to mention one fact, viz., that a most important document had been suppressed upon the trial—suppressed by the guardians. The fact was made known to the Poor Law Commissioners, and by their connivance the entry in the book of the proceedings of the guardians was erased. It was shameful that persons holding such a position should enter into a conspiracy with the guardians for the purpose of displacing a medical officer.
§ MR. HUME
said, the right hon. Baronet had, from his last statement, rendered it absolutely necessary that the inquiry should be made. The right hon. Baronet stated that Mr. Parker had been guilty of other acts of insubordination; but the House had a right to know what these acts of insubordination were. The Legislature had authorized the appointment of Assistant Commissioners, and had given the appointment of these officers to the Poor Law Commissioners, It appeared now that the Commissioners were to have the power also of dismissing them, and that too on a mere allegation of insubordination. It was most important that the Assistant Commissioners should know what their duty was, and when they would be guilty of insubordination. He could not conceive how the Commissioners could have dismissed any man who for ten years had merited their support and approbation, without sufficient cause; and he would ask the right hon. Baronet, would he sanction the dismissal of a public officer who stood so high for his services in the Commission, without some recorded minute of the grounds on which that dismissal had been resolved upon? The necessity of informing the Assistant Commissioners of their duties, was one reason why this inquiry should be granted; but another reason was, that the public demanded the inquiry. The inquiry had been commenced, and the public had a right to be informed whether Mr. Parker or the Commissioners were in the right. The Government might now refuse the inquiry, but the House of Commons would, he felt satisfied, grant it. He therefore trusted the right hon. Baronet would not persevere in attempting to screen the Commissioners from inquiry, more especially 671 as it was probable that the point would turn out to be some trivial matter which ought not to have been allowed to proceed further.
said, he trusted that in justice to Mr. Parker this inquiry would be allowed to proceed.
§ MR. JERVIS
said, feeling very deeply on this subject, affecting as it did a member of his profession, and believing that the general impression was that Mr. Parker had not been well treated by the Commissioners, he wished to offer a few remarks before the debate closed. He thought the matter had assumed a far more important character from what had fallen from the right hon. Baronet. Mr. Parker had been dismissed. [Sir JAMES GRAHAM: Had resigned.] Or rather had been induced to resign in consequence of being guilty of what were called acts of indiscretion. It was of the greatest importance that the Assistant Commissioners should have their duties defined, and should know what would be considered indiscretion and insubordination on their part. If the House expected that gentlemen of honour and of competency should discharge the duties of their office, it could not be supposed that they would act on all occasions on the mere dictates of men not more respectable or more honourable than themselves. If Mr. Parker had been indiscreet before this inquiry, why was he appointed to it? and if his indiscretion was only shown in the progress of that inquiry, what objection could there be to have the fact made known? Was it in allowing an adjournment of the cass on the application of the master, who, having serious charges brought against him, required time to prepare his defence? That surely was not indiscreet. He should confess that he did not know what was meant by the term "refractory." He was induced to think that there must have been some instructions from the Commissioners to Mr. Parker, which had not been made public, and which he, perhaps, felt himself unable to obey. The right hon. Baronet would forgive him for saying that the profession was no unimportant body in this matter; and neither it nor the public—a still more important body—would feel satisfied at the vague assertion of Mr. Parker having been refractory, without some inquiry being instituted into the matter. It would not be just towards the guardians, towards the Commissioners, towards the master or the medical officer, and it would not be just towards Mr. Parker, and still 672 more towards the public, to refuse the inquiry; and he, therefore, trusted that the Motion would be acceded to.
said, he could not understand on what ground the right hon. Baronet refused the inquiry. All the parties concerned prayed for an inquiry; and yet, without any reason assigned, inquiry was to be refused. True, the right hon. Baronet had not stated that he would refuse inquiry after the Papers had been produced; and if he would give his word that the inquiry would be granted after the Papers had been laid on the Table, the hon. Member for Andover would, perhaps, consent to withdraw his Motion. He was sure the country would, if this inquiry were not granted, think, and with reason, there was something exceedingly black to induce its refusal.
§ MR. AGLIONBY
said, there had been few questions before the House upon which more general unanimity had been exhibited than upon this. The public thought there was some mystery in this case, and the expressions used by the right hon. Baronet to-night would not tend to dissipate that mystery. They would be inclined to think the Commissioners had made Mr. Parker a scapegoat for themselves. It was alleged that Mr. Parker had been requested to resign, not merely for indiscretion, but insubordination; and in those charges the public were deeply interested. The inquiry should be first into the allegations respecting the Andover Union; and the Motion of the hon. Member for Weymouth should be attached to it, so that the investigation might be made general.
§ MR. S. CRAWFORD
urged the necessity of a full and complete inquiry. The people would feel there was no justice in the administration of the Poor Law if it were refused—that they were left to the mercy of guardians and Commissioners, with no court to appeal to for redress. Justice, humanity, and sound policy demanded this investigation; and if the Government wished the Poor Law to be sustained, they would not persist in refusing it.
§ MR. FIELDEN
said, the debate appeared to him to have been carried on, as it were, in defence of the Commissioners. Inquiry ought to be made into the administration of the Poor Law in the Andover Union; but he asked for something more. He asked that a fair Committee should be appointed to carry on the inquiry, and not a one-sided one. Unless the right 673 hon. Baronet granted a fair Committee, he (Mr. Fielden) hoped there would be no inquiry at all. The public took more interest in this business of the Andover Union than the Poor Law Commissioners or the right hon. Baronet imagined. The facts developed concerning it were calculated to make them demand that an end should be put to the Commission. Inquiry was absolutely necessary; and the public would look to the decision of the House upon it with an interest quite as intense as that with which they regarded the Corn Law debate. Every man's vote was marked, and if the right hon. Baronet was disposed to do what was right towards the public, he would, without hesitation, grant the inquiry.
§ SIR JAMES GRAHAM
The hon. and learned Member for Cockermouth (Mr. Aglionby) only does me justice when he says that at all times I am not only willing but anxious to yield to any expression of the feelings and opinions of this House. I mean to do so upon this occasion, but—[Cheers.] After that triumphant cheer, perhaps the House will allow me to finish what I was about to say. I think the House will remember, that when I followed the hon. Member for Andover (Mr. Etwall), I moved as an Amendment the production of Papers enumerated in the Motion now in your hands, Sir: and I stated then, what I repeat again, that I was not unwilling that a Committee of Inquiry should be instituted in connection with the Motion of the hon. Member for Andover, if, after the perusal of those Papers, which contained the whole information, the House should remain of opinion that a Committee of Inquiry should be granted. I think I see plainly that the opinion of both sides of the House is that it is expedient at once to institute that inquiry. I, therefore, with the permission of the House, am perfectly willing to withdraw the Amendment, and to consider the Motion as a substantive Motion, and to acquiesce in it. So much for that. I am afraid I shall not be met with cheers for what I am about to add. With regard to the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Weymouth (Mr. Christie), for the extension of the inquiry into the causes which led to the resignation of Mr. Parker—to that Motion I must offer a decided opposition. I have already stated, and I repeat it, that the power of appointment of Assistant Poor Law Commissioners is vested absolutely in the Commissioners; the responsibility of the selection rests with them 674 exclusively; they are responsible for all the acts of their subordinates; and I repeat my deliberate opinion, that it is not possible for the Commissioners to discharge their duty efficiently and satisfactorily if they are to be interfered with in the selection or in the summary dismissal of their subordinate officers. Having stated that opinion, I cannot, consistently with my sense of duty, consent to the extension of the inquiry in the manner proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Weymouth.
§ COLONEL SIBTHORP
supported inquiry, and taunted the Government for being yet wanting in its Members in that House. There was no Colonial Secretary, no Irish Secretary, no Attorney General for Ireland, no junior Lords of the Treasury yet. No constituency seemed willing to take them at any price. Every day, he believed, would show more and more the impudence, the treachery, and the hypocrisy of the Poor Law. He had tried to annihilate the Commissioners; he had tried to annihilate the Assistant Commissioners; and he had tried to annihilate the law itself. In this he might have failed, but he thought the present case was preliminary to that end.
§ Amendment withdrawn. Original Question again put.
§ MR. CHRISTIE
said, he would move, as an Amendment, the addition of the following words to the Motion of the hon. Member for Andover:—And into the conduct of the Poor Law Commissioners, and their late Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Parker, in reference to the two investigations held at Andover, and into all the circumstances under which the Poor Law Commissioners called upon Mr. Parker to resign his Assistant Commissionership.If there had been a unanimity of feeling in that House in favour of the inquiry into the administration of the Poor Law, there had been the same unanimity in favour of inquiry into the case of Mr. Parker. The debate had turned upon the hardship inflicted upon Mr. Parker. He had listened with great attention to the opinions expressed by the hon. and learned Member for Chester (Mr. Jervis) upon the subject of Mr. Parker's case, and he had heard with equal regret the last observations 675 of the hon. and learned Member. The hon. and learned Member for Chester must not imagine that the demand for inquiry would be abandoned, although the right hon. Baronet was not disposed to consent to it. He (Mr. Christie) repeated, that the question of the conduct of the Poor Law Commissioners towards Mr. Parker was closely connected with the administration of the law in the Andover Union, and that the two questions ought, therefore, to be referred to the same Committee.
§ MR. JERVIS
begged to explain. Notwithstanding what had been said, it was his intention to vote against the Amendment; and he spoke to a certain extent the opinions of the profession, when he said they were satisfied that the conduct of Mr. Parker could be more properly investigated by a separate Committee, than it would if mixed up with the general inquiry. He (Mr. Jervis) was in some measure led to the conclusion, because he was afraid that this measure was to be carried from no conviction of the honesty or integrity of Mr. Parker's case, but from some other feeling in the breasts of the compact body. He was quite satisfied Mr. Parker's conduct would stand more fairly if investigated by a Committee to be appointed after the Committee moved for by the hon. Member for Andover. It was far better to separate the two issues; and on this ground, whether right or wrong, he should vote against the Amendment of his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Christie).
said, he had taken a considerable share in the passing of the Poor Law, but held, at the same time, that if any thing wrong took place under its administration, it would be the duty of Parliament to make searching inquiry; and unless searching inquiry were made into the case now before the House, see what a position the poor must be placed in. Great injustice had been done by somebody in the first instance to the poor resident in the Andover Union; and in the next place something mysterious had transpired between Mr. Parker and the Commissioners relative to that Union. Parliament ought to know the facts in both these cases. Mr. Parker had a right to have his conduct thoroughly sifted; and he (Mr. Miles) contended that the House could not enter upon the general inquiry relative to the Andover Union without taking Mr. Parker's case into consideration at the same time.
§ DR. BOWRING
should vote with the hon. and learned Member for Weymouth. 676 The two subjects of inquiry were intimately connected, and it would be most convenient that both should be referred to the same Committee.
§ MR. WAKLEY
sincerely hoped the decision of the House would be unanimous. The feeling of the House universally was in favour of inquiry, not into a portion of the case only, but into the whole of it. If the Commissioners did possess that arbitrary and undefined power which the right hon. Baronet had described, in Heaven's name let the House know it. If not, let the inquiry be granted, not only for the sake of the Commissioners, but for the sake of the poor. The right hon. Gentleman had been found "squeezable" on former occasions: the pressure was still upon him; and he (Mr. Wakley) advised him to yield this point whilst he could with something like a good grace. He wished to say that his information had not been derived from Mr. Westlake, the medical officer of the Union. The guardians of the Union had endeavoured to eject that gentleman from his office; and, in his opinion, the right hon. Gentleman was bound to make inquiry into the conduct of that gentleman.
§ MR. T. DUNCOMBE
said, that in all these cases there could be no doubt that the Poor Law Commissioners were responsible to the right hon. Baronet (Sir James Graham), and the right hon. Baronet was responsible to that House and the country.
§ The House divided on the Question, that the words proposed by Mr. Christie be added:—Ayes 92; Noes 69: Majority 23.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acton, Col.||Crawford, W. S.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Deedes, W.|
|Aldam, W.||D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T.|
|Allix, J. P.||Disraeli, B.|
|Arkwright, G.||Dodd, G.|
|Bankes, G.||Duncombe, T.|
|Barnard, E. G.||Etwall, R.|
|Benett, J.||Evans, W.|
|Bennet, P.||Fielden, J.|
|Bentinck, Lord G.||Ferrand, W. B.|
|Beresford, Major||Finch, G.|
|Berkeley, hon. C.||Fleetwood, Sir P. H.|
|Bodkin, W. H.||Fuller, A. E.|
|Borthwick, P.||Gooch, E. S.|
|Bowring, Dr.||Halford, Sir H.|
|Browne, hon. W.||Hall, Sir B.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Halsey, T. P.|
|Busfeild, W.||Hanmer, Sir J.|
|Cayley, E. S.||Harris, hon. Capt.|
|Clayton, R. R.||Hawes, B.|
|Collett, J.||Henley, J. W.|
|Collins, W.||Hildyard, T. B. T.|
|Copeland, Ald.||Hinde, J. H.|
|Cowper, hon. W. F.||Hindley, C.|
|Hudson, G.||Rendlesham, Lord|
|Hume, J.||Repton, G. W. G.|
|Humphery, Ald.||Scott, hon. F.|
|Ingestre, Visct.||Seymer, H. K.|
|Inglis, Sir R. H.||Sibthorp, Col.|
|Johnson, Gen.||Somerville, Sir W. M.|
|Langston, J. H.||Spooner, R.|
|Law, hon. C. E.||Spry, Sir S. T.|
|Lawson, A.||Stansfield, W. R. C.|
|Manners, Lord J.||Staunton, Sir G. T.|
|Matheson, J.||Stuart, Lord J.|
|Miles, W.||Stuart, J.|
|Mitcalfe, H.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Neeld, J.||Taylor, J. A.|
|Newdegate, C. N.||Thompson, Ald.|
|Norreys, Sir D. J.||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|O'Brien, A. S.||Waddington, H. S.|
|Packe, C. W.||Walsh, Sir. J. B.|
|Palmer, R.||Williams, W.|
|Palmer, G.||Yorke, H. R.|
|Pollington, Visct.||Wakley, T.|
|Rashleigh, W.||Christie, W. D.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, T. D.||Howard, P. H.|
|Adderley, C. B.||James, W.|
|Baring, rt. hon. W. B.||Jervis, J.|
|Bouverie, hon. E. P.||Jocelyn, Visct.|
|Bowles, A.||Johnstone, H.|
|Boyd, J.||Jones, Capt.|
|Brisco, M.||Kelly, Sir F.|
|Brotherton, J.||Lambton, H.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Lockhart, A. E.|
|Bruges, W. H. L.||Lockhart, W.|
|Buller, C.||McGeachy, F. A.|
|Cardwell, E.||Mahon, Visct.|
|Carew, W. H. P.||Martin, C. W.|
|Childers, J. W.||Morpeth, Visct.|
|Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G.||Morris, D.|
|Cockburn, rt. hon. Sir G.||Pakington, J. S.|
|Corry, rt. hon. H.||Patten, J. W.|
|Courtenay, Lord||Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.|
|Cripps, W.||Peel, J.|
|Davies, D. A. S.||Reid, Col.|
|Denison, E. B.||Russell, Lord. J.|
|Dennistoun, J.||Smith, J. A.|
|Douglas, Sir C. E.||Smythe, hon. G.|
|Escott, B.||Strutt, E.|
|Fitzroy, hon. H.||Sutton, hon. H. M.|
|Fitzroy, Lord C.||Thesiger, Sir F.|
|Flower, Sir J.||Thornely, T.|
|Forster, M.||Trelawny, J. S.|
|Glynne, Sir S. R.||Trotter, J.|
|Gordon, hon. Capt.||Villiers, hon. C.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.||Walker, R.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Wellesley, Lord C.|
|Greene, T.||Wood, C.|
|Herbert, rt. hon. S.||TELLERS.|
|Hill, Lord M.||Young, R.|
|Hope, G. W.||Baring, H.|
§ The words added. Question as amended agreed to.