HC Deb 03 April 1849 vol 104 cc282-4

moved for leave to bring in a Bill to promote the employment of labour in Ireland.

Motion made, and Question put—" That leave be given to bring in a Bill to promote the employment of Labour in Ireland, by a proportionate exemption from Poor Rate."


opposed the Motion. A Bill upon a subject so important, ought to be introduced with the authority of the Government; and he wished to know whether the people of Ireland were to understand by the Government sanctioning the introduction of this Bill, they admitted the principle of a labour-rate?


had not attached great interest to the bringing in of this Bill; but as the hon. Gentleman had raised the question, and thought it necessary to oppose the measure in the first instance, he (Lord J. Russell), would state that he was quite opposed to the principle of the Bill; and if the House came to a division upon it he must vote in opposition to it.


said, the principle of the Bill had been discussed on both sides of the House before he uttered one word respecting it. He did not know where the hon. Member for Northamptonshire obtained his information respecting the Bill, for he certainly had not obtained it from him. He had merely asked the House to extend to him the same indulgence which it scarcely ever refused to any Member—namely, to have his Bill read a first time without discussion, so that the object of the Bill might be known. He wished it, however to be remembered that he was prevented by the hon. Member for Northamptonshire from laying before the House a distinct proposal for meeting one of the most difficult questions in the social state of Ireland. He was prevented from doing this by an hon. Member who was remarkable for the urgent and pertinacious manner in which he was ever recommending his own particular panaceas for the cure of Ireland.


sincerely trusted the hon. Member for Stroud would not withdraw his Bill. He, for one, desired most earnestly to see his proposition; and he must add that it was a rather ungracious proceeding upon the part of the hon. Member for Northamptonshire to refuse to the hon. Member for Stroud the usual courtesy extended to all Members.


, although he differed very widely from the hon. Member for Stroud, felt, along with several other Gentlemen around him, great anxiety to see his proposition. The hon. Gentleman, although he took many erroneous views, was actuated by the purest motives. He trusted that he would not withdraw the Bill.


observed, that there were some Bills so objectionable in principle, or so unworthy of consideration, that it was right to refuse leave to bring them in. But in the present state of Ireland, considering the demand there was that some remedy should be applied to that condition, and considering the great attention which the hon. Member for Stroud had paid to subjects connected with the interests of the poor and destitute in Ireland, and the obloquy to which he had exposed himself on that account, he thought that hon. Gentleman ought to have the opportunity of bringing in his measure. It might perhaps be better if the hon. Gentleman would withdraw his Motion for that night, and appoint it again for a time when he would have the opportunity of explaining the principle of his measure. That hon. Gentleman had, however, brought it forward at so late an hour, because he would not offer any obstruction to another Motion of great interest to Ireland; and if he thought it right to press his Motion to-night, he (Sir R. Peel) would most cordially support him.


said, that he perfectly agreed with the right hon. Baronet thinking it extremely desirable that they should have an opportunity of seeing the measure proposed to be introduced.


was anxious to have an opportunity of judging of the scheme of the hon. Member; he therefore trusted that he would adopt the suggestions of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth.


could not understand how any Irish Gentleman could refuse leave to bring in the Bill. The Bill, as he understood it, was of a temporary nature, adapted to meet a temporary exigency, and it would be an extremely hard case not to permit the Bill to be introduced. He trusted the hon. Member would not withdraw the Bill.


said, they knew nothing of the nature of the Bill. He trusted, therefore that the hon. Gentleman would adopt the suggestion of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth. If it came to a division, he would be forced to oppose the Bill.


said, it was well known what the hon. Gentleman's opinions were. The introduction of the Bill would be mischievous, as it would excite hopes which would not be gratified.


considered it much better to excite hopes than despair. Differing as he did from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud in many things, he nevertheless thanked him very much for bringing forward anything which would excite or raise a hope in Ireland. It would have a very had appearance that hon. Gentlemen, who monopolised all the loyalty of the House, should refuse to give leave for the introduction of a Bill. The motives of the hon. Member for Stroud were pure and good, and however he might be mistaken in his views, he had devoted very great energy and considerable talent to a consideration of the Irish question. As to the argument of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, all he could say was that they knew nothing of the majority of the Bills which were introduced into that House. In the absence of any other plan, he looked upon the proposition of the hon. Gentleman with satisfaction.


said, he was quite willing to yield to the wishes of the House—[Loud cries of "Divide!"] As the wish of the House seemed to be that he should proceed, he could not consent to a postponement.

The House divided:—Ayes 108; Noes 15: Majority 93.

List of the NOES.
Adderley, C. B. Magan, W. H.
Baldock, E. H. Somerset, Capt.
Bourke, R. S. Stanley, hon. E. H.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Taylor, T. E.
Christy, S. Verner, Sir W.
Conolly, T. Young, Sir J.
Forbes, W. TELLERS.
Granby, Marq. of Stafford, A.
Grogan, E. Herbert, H.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Powlctt Scrope, Mr. Sharman Crawford, and Mr. Fagan.