HC Deb 01 March 1847 vol 90 c611

thought he had been misunderstood by the Secretary for Ireland in some observations which he had made in a previous part of the evening. His question related, to the infirm poor, who were unable to work on railways, or at any work. As to the impossibility of collecting the rates in Ireland, he might state that the amount collected did not exceed 7½d. in the pound. As to the union of Castlebar, it had been conducted during the last four years at 4½d. only in the pound; and now they had refused to collect any more rates, though the rents had been fully collected.


would not be brought on the present occasion into a discussion of the whole subject of the poor law, especially considering the opportunities that they would have of discussing that subject afterwards. The present poor law in Ireland was inadequate for the relief of the destitute poor of that country; and the Government had admitted that, by the fact of their having declared their intention to introduce a new Bill, which was now before the House. He had risen, however, to guard himself against a misrepresentation of his hon. Friend. He had not, in the answer which he had given, said anything which could infer that a well-organized system of relief, by means of soup-kitchens and the like, would not have a strong tendency to check the extent of misery and destitution in Ireland. He did hope that the measures adopted by Parliament and the Government would relieve the misery which he acknowledged and lamented did exist in many parts of Ireland. But he must say, with reference to what had been said by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. P. Scrope), that, whilst he admitted that a poor law would be beneficial to Ireland, he never had been of opinion that, whatever poor law might be proposed for that country, it could be of itself adequate to meet the present condition of Ireland. He believed that no poor law could meet such a case; and he believed that it was an error to suppose that any poor law could be sufficient to meet and remedy the present state of Ireland.