HC Deb 26 April 1847 vol 91 cc1365-6

wished to ask a question of his noble Friend regarding emigrants to the United States. He had, on a former occasion, brought this subject under the noble Lord's attention; but it appeared that there was not then any information received upon the subject. He understood the Bills to which he had before referred, as being under the consideration of the Legislatures in New York and Massachusetts, had since become law. The effect of them was this, that every shipowner taking out Irish emigrants to New York was obliged to enter into his bond in the amount of 100 dollars, that such emigrants should not become chargeable to the State of New York within a period of five years; whilst to Massachusetts the shipowners would be obliged to give their bond in 1,000 dollars, that no emigrant should become a pauper of that State within a period of ten years. He understood that the effect of this law would be to drive all these paupers into the Canadas. He begged to ask his noble Friend to give the House such information as he had received on this subject, and to state whether any provision had been made for the reception of the Irish emigrants in the North American colonies, so that they might not be exposed to great distress?


had not heard of the passing of the Bills to which the noble Lord had referred. But he knew that such Bills were under the consideration of the New York and Massachusetts Governments; and the effect of them "would be to require security from shipowners having vessels freighted for either New York or Boston, that any pauper passengers would not be left destitute and chargeable to the Government. He had applied on the subject to the American Minister here; and the Minister told him that he did not think that emigrants going to New York or Boston would be refused the freedom of remaining there, or the protection of the laws of the country in the same manner as heretofore. But the law was stringent in regard to shipowners and masters of ships. The effect would be, that shipowners would not send ships to the United States with emigrants; and emigrants would be deterred from going, and would go instead to Canada. The Government had given a larger addition to the grant for emigrants than any former year, both for the purpose of taking care of the settlers, and of forwarding them into the interior of the country. It appeared to him to be a matter of serious consideration whether there would, on this account, be a greater tide of emigration to Canada, and whether it would be necessary to propose any further steps in respect to the matter.