HC Deb 28 May 1847 vol 92 cc1274-6

On the question that 6,464l. be granted to defray the expenses of the officers of the household of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,


said he should object to one of the items included in the vote. He thought it both unreasonable and inhuman, when the people of Ireland and Scotland were dying from starvation, to grant 1,574l. for a Queen's plate to encourage horse-racing. He therefore hoped that the House would object to this part of the vote.


thought the argument of the hon. Member was altogether ad captandum, and made merely to catch popularity. The hon. Gentleman might have selected the vote for the Ulster King-at-Arms, or York Herald, or any other expense for the pomp and state of the office of Lord Lieutenant, and ask the Committee on the same grounds to refuse it. However ad captandum that argument might be, he did not think it ought to be yielded to. The question was, whether the vote was a proper expenditure of money or not. If it was not, then, without any reference to the circumstances of Ire- land, the House ought to stop it; but the existing distress was no reason why the House should cease to give what it had been accustomed to give for a laudable and proper object. In England various plates were given by the bounty of the Sovereign to encourage horse-racing, out of the civil list; this was formerly the case also in Scotland and Ireland. But the Committee of 1832 transferred the civil list of those two countries to the annual estimates, and the same Committee thought 1,500l. not an enormous sum to be applied to this purpose. To retrench the sum in Ireland, while it was continued in England and Scotland, would not he a popular proceeding. In Ireland, not only the gentry, but the people down to the lowest class, took great interest in the races. They afforded them a very harmless amusement, and, notwithstanding the hon. Gentleman's appeal, he hoped the Committee as well as all other Committees had done, would sanction the vote.


had expected to hear stronger reasons than those given by the right hon. Gentleman for taxing the people to support horse-racing and gambling. Suppose he had proposed a vote for dog-fighting, and badger-baiting? Both these practices encouraged gambling. He should propose that the vote be reduced to 4,964l.

Vote agreed to.

On the question that 22,788l. be granted for the Chief Secretary's and Council officers (Ireland),


said, though particular circumstances prevented him at present, he would as soon as possible take the sense of the House on the propriety of continuing to maintain the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Eighteen years ago the House divided on the question, and the abolition of the office was negatived by a majority of only 20. One of the grand mischief's of Ireland was this delegated authority: the country should be placed on the same footing as Scotland, and treated in the same manner; and they would remove the cabals that had hitherto done so much mischief, and give that unfortunate country some rest from political agitation. He believed the Lord Lieutenants had acted like the governors of most colonies, and gathered factions round them. If he should be in the new Parliament, the first Session should not pass without his bringing the question before the House. He was sure there was not a man who wished well to Ireland but would rejoice at seeing an end put to that focus of cabals in that country. He deprecated in every respect the practice of making Ireland a colony, instead of governing it as an integral part of the United Kingdom.


was sure the hon. Gentleman would feel that whatever opinions he might entertain upon this question, the present was not a fitting time for discussing it. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman, that whatever might be the proper system with regard to the government of Ireland, the mere expense of that system was a minor consideration. The only point ought to be, what was most for the benefit of Ireland; but at the present moment it was quite obvious that it would be wrong to enter upon a discussion so wide and important.

Vote agreed to.