HC Deb 02 March 1847 vol 90 cc678-9

wished to call the attention of the Government to the distress of poor emigrants in Montreal, and to ask whether there was any check to the emigration of such poor persons from Ireland?


said, by the 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 92, sec. 18, the guardians were empowered, subject to the regulations of the Commissioners, to be made with the consent of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, to assist any destitute poor person who had been three months an inmate of a workhouse, and who had been approved by the Commissioners, to emigrate to a British colony, subject to a limitation as to expense. The attention of the Commissioners having been directed to Mr. Buchanan's report, it appeared that the number and description of emigrants reported by Mr. Buchanan to have arrived at Quebec from three unions in the north of Ireland, in the ship Belinda, did not correspond with the number and description of persons who had been allowed by the Commissioners to emigrate. They, therefore, directed Mr. Senior, their assistant commissioner in Ireland, to make an inquiry into the facts; and they had obtained from him a list of the names and ages of the emigrants sent out from these three unions, including Coleraine. That return certainly did not support the statement that the emigrants sent out from that union were mostly old and sickly people, and helpless children. The following was the return:— In Armagh Union, the number of children under 5 years of was 2; from 6 to 15 years, 7; of adults, between 15 and 30 years, 9; between 30 and 40, 2; between 40 and 50, 1; between 50 and 55, 1; total, 22. In Coleraine Union, children under 5 years, 17; from 6 to 15, 16; adults, between 15 and 30, 16; between 30 and 40, 6; between 40 and 50, 6; between 50 and 55, 1; total, 62; In Magherafelt Union, children under 5 years, none; from 6 to 15, 7; adults, between 15 and 30, 2; between 30 and 40, 1; between 40 and 50, 2; between 50 and 55, none; total, 12. Total number of children under 5, 19; from 6 to 15, 30; of adults, between 15 and 30, 27; between 30 and 40, 9; between 40 and 50, 9; between 50 and 55, 2. Grand total, 96. The Commissioners said that they had not, in any of these cases, sanctioned the emigration of persons who could reasonably be supposed incapable of earning their support. Only two persons above 50 were sent out in the Belinda from these unions; and the proportion of children to adults did not seem unusually large.