HC Deb 07 May 1847 vol 92 cc544-6

Order of the Day for going into Committee on the Poor Relief Supervision (Ireland, No. 2) Bill, read.


wished to ask what was the cause why this Bill was different from that proposed for England? There was a considerable difference between the two, and it did not tend to the improvement of the present Bill. One difference was, that the Commission in this Bill was made perpetual, whereas in England it was limited to five years.


said, that as to the perpetual duration of the Commission, the Bill had been drawn in conformity with the intention that was first entertained as to England; but as there had been an alteration made as to the latter Bill, the same alteration would be adopted in this, and its duration, therefore, would be limited to five years. Of course, it was impossible to make every provision exactly the same, as there were not the different Cabinet Ministers in Ireland to be appointed to the Commission that there were in England; but the principle of the two measures was the same. The President would be the President of the Board, to which there would be other persons attached, similar to the provisions adopted in the English Bill. There was certainly a great difference in this respect, that the President of the Irish Board would not sit in Parliament: he should have been very glad if they could have had an officer as President of the Board sitting in Parliament; but it was found impossible to effect that object.

House in Committee.

On Clause 1,


said, he hoped that one of the chief offices in the Commission would not he conferred upon Mr. Twisleton, a gentleman whose conduct in the administration of the former law had given rise to such opprobrious remarks.


said, it would be very inconvenient to discuss such a question on the present occasion; but he might say that he considered the public were indebted to Mr. Twisleton for the manner in which he had performed his public duties.


was confident that whatever duties were intrusted to Mr. Twisleton they would be most zealously and ably performed.


said, that the hon. Member for Stroud had stated nothing that could be supposed to reflect on the character of Mr. Twisleton. He himself had never ceased, both in the time of the late as well as the present Government, to attack the manner in which the principal public appointments in Ireland were made. He had repeatedly stated that in twelve departments in Ireland the chief offices were filled by Scotchmen or Englishmen, although there were Irishmen as able and intelligent, and as perfectly cognizant with the circumstances and condition of that country as those who were appointed.


said, his hon. Friend (Mr. F. French) could not justly complain that the present Government had not appointed Irishmen to the high offices of the Irish Government. He was not personally acquainted with Mr. Twisleton, the resident Poor Law Commissioner in Ireland; but he had always heard the same high character of him that had been given that night by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Labouchere) and his hon. Friend near him (Mr. Young). With reference to the evidence of Mr. Twisleton, before the Poor Law Committee of the House of Lords, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud (Mr. P. Scrope) did not fairly represent it—for Mr. Twisleton rested his objection to out-door relief not so much on the injury to property, as on the demoralising effect on the labouring population that it would produce; and if a principle of exclusion were to be attached to that opinion, then it would be but fair to begin with the noble Lord himself (Lord J. Russell), and he believed it would he found applicable to pretty nearly every Member of the noble Lord's Government.


said, he had no per- sonal feeling whatever in the matter. He had merely wished to call the attention of the Government to what appeared to be the general opinion on the subject.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

House resumed.