HC Deb 20 April 1849 vol 104 cc540-96

The House then resolved itself into Committee on the Motion for the advance of money on the security of the rate in aid.


said, he would state as briefly as possible some of the considera- tions which had induced him to resist the proposition which had been brought forward by the Government, to raise a certain sum of money for the relief of distress in certain districts of Ireland, under the name of a rate in aid. He regretted to perceive, from the observations addressed to the House last evening by the noble Lord at the head of the Government, that he was disposed to re-echo the clap-trap, and, as he must think, most unjust cry of those few Members who wore in favour of the Ministerial project. It had been stated, most unfairly and unjustly, that the majority of the Irish Members, by opposing the proposition, placed themselves in the position of men who were prepared to pass a sentence of death upon a large portion of their fellow-countrymen. The noble Lord had stated that the people of Ireland would starve if this plan was not adopted.


remarked, he had stated that the greatest distress would arise if these proceedings wore not speedily brought to a close one way or the other.


denied that this proposition would give any permanent relief. So far from it, he was convinced that it was not only an unjust and delusive proposition, but that it was calculated to extend the circle of destitution and suffering, which he was sure the noble Lord was anxious, as far as possible, to reduce. He considered a rate in aid was contrary to the main principle of a poor-law. It would take away a most powerful stimulus to industry and to the principle of self-reliance. He regarded it as the worst description of income tax imposed on the small tenants and traders in the towns of Ireland. These classes of persons were exempted from the payment of an income tax in England, but they would be compelled by this plan to pay it in Ireland. The tenant occupier who had to pay this sixpenny rate in aid, practically had to advance 50 per cent of the tax for the landlords. The tenant occupier would be obliged to pay up this rate with the current gale of rent. The natural consequence of the excessive taxation on Ireland under the poor-law, and the depression which had taken place in the value of farming stock and agricultural produce, would be such that it was idle to imagine that the tenant occupiers could pay up the 300,000l., proposed to be raised by this rate. It was vain to hope that any extent of potato or other cultivation, or a return of a better state of things, would put these persons in such a situation as had been pointed out by the noble Lord last night. It was supposed that the burden of this rate would fall upon only one province, and that the pressure would be experienced in Ulster; but he was convinced that a much larger proportion of this tax must be contributed by the provinces of Leinster and Munster. One of the most direct and immediate effects of this rate in aid would be to diminish employment. It was notorious that the Irish poor-law had failed as a stimulus for useful employment. He should have no difficulty in demonstrating to the House that there were many proprietors who had at a great sacrifice given employment to the poor of their respective vicinities; but this rate in aid would render it impossible to continue this description of employment. He was glad that the Government had at length felt it to he their duty to bring under the notice of the House the revolting destitution which existed in the pauperised unions in Ireland; but he also thought that it was desirable to place directly before the House the condition of the smaller tenantry and labouring classes in other districts, where it was supposed that destitution did not exist to a very considerable extent. He knew that several hon. Members laboured under the delusion that there was comparatively little distress in the provinces of Leinster and Munster; but he would refer to some documents on the table to show how erroneous this opinion was. He would first refer to the county of Waterford. The Poor Law Commissioners had directed Mr. Herbert, the inspector, to make inquiries of some of the most respectable pawnbrokers in the district as to the state of their trade as connected with the destitution of the people. From Dungarvan, the district inspector obtained the following report from Mr. Hannagan, and Mr. Kennedy, pawnbrokers in that town:— We, the undersigned pawnbrokers of this town, give the following reasons for the great decline in business, consequent on the blight of crops—both of potatoes and corn—for the past four years, namely—First, the small cottiers and struggling farmers, with artisans and other trades, are greatly diminished by emigration, deaths innumerable by starvation, and a vast number obliged to resort to the poorhouse, thereby rendering so much of the working population totally unable to apply to pawn offices either to buy, pledge, or redeem; and the remaining part thereof are reduced to utter destitution, and are also unable to resort to the pawn offices in the usual manner, which, in our opinion, is the cause of the pawnbroking trade being so languid as it is at present, and very likely to be worse. Then, again, from the Kilkenny union, was the following report from a pawnbroker:— From my knowledge of the state of the people at present, I think the poor farmers the worst off of all classes; next to them the trades and labourers. The farmers commenced pledging heavily in 1846, and have continued to pledge and increase with the exception of the harvest seasons, and are commencing now again. Since 1846, more persons in a respectable rank of life have resorted to pawn offices than usually were used to it. Heretofore about five to ten per cent were left unredeemed; but since 1846, fully fifteen per cent were left unredeemed. The description of goods pledging at present by the poorer classes are very bad, and getting worse every day; and the clothes belonging to nearly all the trades and labourers are at present in pawn. The quantity of bedding pawned since 1846 is very great, and is still on the increase. Such was the state of distress in the counties of Waterford and Kilkenny, which were thought to be in a most flourishing condition. In the county Carlow, which was the most comfortable and prosperous portion of Ireland, Messrs. M'Donnell and Fitzgerald, pawnbrokers, certify to the same effect. In the Queen's County, Mr. Goodberry, clerk of the Mount Mellick union, addressing Mr. Flanagan, one of the commissioners, states that such a thing as good clothes with any of the poor people, was not to be seen. Again, with reference to Tipperary, which was notoriously a rich county, he would refer to an extract from a report from a pawnbroker to Captain Haymes, the inspector of the poor-law in that district, respecting an extremely rich part of the country known as the "Golden Vein:"— I have addressed myself to Mr. Ferguson, the only pawnbroker in my union, who, being a very intelligent person, has afforded me much interesting information on the subject. I cannot do better than transmit to the Commissioners Mr. Ferguson's letter to me, together with the returns, for the last five years, of the number of pledges made and released month by month; but it must be borne in mind, that for the last two years the clothes of the peasantry have been wholly excluded from these returns, as being too worthless to take as pledges. Then follows the pawnbroker's statement:— I have been making the most minute inquiries from the conductors of my establishment, relative to the cause of the great falling-off in pledges, and the consequent reduction in the profits of the concern of more than half what it was before the failure of the potato crop. It appears that before that period there were various establishments that afforded the people an opportunity of renewing their clothes, such as loan offices, and woollen drapers were in the habit of giving out materials for clothes to the people on their joint security, from one to four pounds' worth, payable at one shilling per week for each pound. Those resources were immediately discontinued after the potato failure, and the people's clothes became so bad that no pawnbroker could receive them as pledges, and such as were pledged remain forfeited; and when brought to a sale, scarcely or never realised the original sum lent on each article. Therefore pawnbrokers had to limit their business; and the class of persons I understand who resort to the establishments latterly, are the small farmers, who were in comparative comfort some time since. He had received a letter from Mr. Hamilton, of Roundwood, in the Queen's County, a gentleman who had made extraordinary efforts to give employment to every person in this electoral district. Notwithstanding his efforts, aided and abetted by those of two other proprietors in the district, he states that the poor-rate estimated for the present year was 3s. 6d. in the pound, not for the sustainment of a single ablebodied labourer, but for the weak and the helpless poor in the workhouse. He states that, in addition to this 3s. 6d., they would have 6d. as a general rate, and 1s. 6d. as union rate in aid, making, in the whole, 5s. 6d. in the pound, for poor-rates. He further remarks, that if this rate in aid passes, he must of necessity cease giving the employment that he had hitherto contrived to give—that he had saddled himself with a debt of 196l. a year as rent-charge to the Board of Works, which was equal to an additional rate of 8s. 9d. per acre on his land for a period of twenty-two years. But some hon. Gentlemen had had the folly to describe the opposition to this Motion as one of a sectarian and religious character, and as an effort on the part of the Protestants of Ulster to exonerate themselves from the liability of assisting to alleviate the destitution and distress in their country; but that could not possibly be the case, because the greater part of the constituencies represented by Members in that House, from the north of Ireland, were Catholics; and therefore it was a most unjust statement, which had been put forward with the view of advancing some prejudice in favour of those objections among the uneducated masses in Ireland. Hon. Gentlemen should also bear in mind the principle on which the rate in aid was to be levied as a tax. It was to be levied on a valuation which was not uniform—not uniform even in any one union throughout Ireland, and the practical effect of that would be, that whilst the more comfortable classes in some districts would not practically pay 2d. in the pound, others would be paying 6d. in the pound; because every hon. Gentleman at all acquainted with the principles on which the poor-law valuation was carried out in Ireland, must know perfectly well that a sixpenny rate in aid might be a sixpenny rate in aid in one district, but would not amount to 3d. or 4d. in other districts better circumstanced and better able to bear any additional impost at this moment. The noble Lord at the head of the Government, contrasted the very small amount of the poor-rates in the fair and prosperous localities of Ireland with the poor-rates levied in some of the worst localities in England. He (Mr. Sadleir) did not think that was afair comparison, because in many of those districts the poor-law had been kept down by the resident proprietors in those districts. The principle of remitting the arrears of poor-rates was similar to remitting arrears of rent in cases of estates in Ireland administered under the Court of Chancery, and equally mischievous. One of the effects of this measure, if passed, would be to give a stimtilus to the most destructive and exhausting system of emigration in the country. It was idle to conceal the fact that a more exhausting process could not be permitted to continue than that species of emigration which was now increasing. The proposition was delusive with reference to the people of Ireland, and also the English people and their representatives. If the Government would frankly and fairly place before the House a statement with respect to the social condition of Ireland, it would only then require a simple calculation of figures to prove that nothing could be more delusive than that any sum which it was possible to levy under the rate in aid would be sufficient to check the awful and unnatural mortality which was taking place daily in Leinster and Munster. Numbers were dying from starvation in the most fertile districts of those provinces, and he defied the Government to contradict the fact. In consequence of the failure of the potato crop, the diet of the people had been changed; but it had not been changed from potatoes to corn, but from potatoes to turnips. He himself was acquainted with the cases of farmers who held from twenty to twenty-two acres of land, and who were obliged to restrict themselves to turnip diet, and who had died in consequence. Now, he believed it took about six or eight weeks on a turnip diet to kill an able-bodied man; and he knew that many died from dysentery superinduced by turnip diet. Unfortunately, then, the period had not yet arrived when the peasantry of Ireland were to be blessed with a corn diet. The noble Lord represented the Government project as a cure for an acute evil. That acute evil must be the process of starvation; and he utterly denied that the sum of 300,000l., which was the highest estimate he had heard, of the product of the rate in aid, could be conceived as adequate to arrest that starvation. It was the duty of the noble Lord to declare fairly to the people of England that the rate would not be efficient for its purpose. The argument in favour of the proposition, grounded on the principle of vicinage, could not be maintained; for there was more communication, for example, between Connaught and Lancashire, than between Connaught and Ulster. When the hon. Member for Manchester laboured to make out that the rate in aid ought not to he extended to Manchester, or Stockport, or Glasgow, he should have remembered that Manchester had never protested against using the labour of Ireland when it stood in need of it. The people of Manchester should recollect, that when it had been necessary to uphold the power, supremacy, and honour of England, these paltry distinctions had never been taken. Everywhere had the prowess and bravery of Ireland been conspicuous in defending the commerce and manufactures of England, and maintaining the glory of the empire. It was said, that some districts in Ireland had repudiated a portion of their liabilities to the imperial exchequer—that the non-payment of the instalments due for the erection of union houses evidenced the repudiation of the debt. No case had been made out to justify that assertion, and he denied that any districts in Ireland had repudiated the debt. He had read the correspondence on this subject, and found that an appeal had been made by the guardians in certain instances for time, and that that appeal had been unheeded. They were told that their resources were not yet exhausted, and that their request could not be complied with. Not so were appeals of the kind treated in England. When the tenant farmers in Kent applied for a little indulgence in reference to their hop-duty, they were not told that their resources were unexhausted, and that they must pay; but the Chancellor of the Exchequer—and very properly—gave them that extension of time for payment of the duty which circumstances entitled them to ex- pect. But the appeal of the poor-law guardians in Ireland for a short breathing space, till the next harvest, to pay up their instalments, was met by the stern response—"Your resources are not utterly exhausted, and your request cannot be listened to." But the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, who seemed perfectly alive to the difficulties with which all classes in Ireland had to contend—who seemed disposed not to shrink from the responsibility attaching to the people of this country in regard to Ireland—and who seemed anxious that the worst should be known, that the worst features of Irish society should not be concealed—he said he could wish to see great exertions made by Ireland to alleviate the destitution of her suffering people; and that if he was satisfied she had done so, he would then be willing to entertain any proposition calculated to cope with the great difficulties and dangers which imperilled society in that country. If the right hon. Baronet had visited Ireland so recently as he (Mr. Sadleir) had done—if he had entered the cabin of the tenant farmer, the home of the Catholic priest, the abode of the Protestant clergyman, the dwelling of the local landlord—if he had cast an eye upon the condition of the insolvent broken-down trader, and seen the enormous sacrifices that had been made of every kind of property in order to raise voluntary contributions wherewith to allay the cravings of hunger in the land, then the right hon. Gentleman would acknowledge that exertions had indeed been made in Ireland—exertions such as the history of nations could scarce present an analogy—exertions honourable to the people of Ireland, and which had contributed vastly more than any of the grants from the Treasury to the preservation of human life. The plan of emigration proposed by the Government could never be carried out with satisfaction. The surplus agricultural population of Ireland was about 2,000,000; but they were persons who were unfit, so far as physical power was concerned, to be sent to our colonies. If other measures for giving relief, and measures of a remedial character with regard to the general condition of Ireland, were not speedily adopted, he saw no other result from the policy of the Government than the process of absorption—the absorption of the grave—to diminish the number of the labouring but unemployed classes in Ireland. The question was, what was to be done with that surplus? By what measure, or series of measures, did the noble Lord propose to grapple with that difficulty of population? To persist in the policy of compelling the industrious and solvent minority to maintain the helpless inertion of the unemployed masses, was an absurdity. Those who desired a diminution of the area of taxation had been most unfairly censured as the advocates of a system which would sanction and encourage extermination; but he had arrived at the conviction that no system could be more productive or stimulative of extermination than the extended area at present existing. The diminution of that area, accompanied with a good law of settlement, would be the best course. What could be more delusive than the prospect held out for Ireland in the speech of the First Minister of the Crown, that all that disease and all that destitution would disappear with the next potato crop; or if they continued to prevail this year as they did in the last, that then the surplus population would disappear, and with it the social difficulties of Ireland? It was a mockery thus to deal in loose speculations with the fearful condition of that country, where everything betokened the crisis of change. The potato itself, once valuable for feeding pigs, was now superseded in its purpose by the importation to the western shores of Ireland of fresh pork from America. Merchants, commission agents, and salesmen had combined, and placed their agents in different quarters, on both sides of the Atlantic, the better to facilitate a trade, which was thus depriving a large class of the Irish tenantry of one chief means of subsistence. Their difficulties would, therefore, be increased, with no prospect before them of alleviation. Yet when anything was said in the House touching the relation of landlord and tenant, the answer immediately was—"Well, gentlemen, why don't you meet together, and settle it between yourselves? It's all a question of rent, and cannot be at all affected by any measure of free trade. It's a question of rent only. Why, then, don't you settle it among yourselves?" He differed entirely from those hon. Gentlemen who spoke in that way, and he did so just because the relation of landlord and tenant differed in Ireland from that existing in England. In England, among landlords and tenants, besides that moral feeling which was itself a law to moderate the mutual proceedings of the two classes, there was capital and there was skill, both requisite for the proper culture of the soil, and requisite also to sustain the farmer. But in Ireland if a tenant should go to the mansion of the middleman, or to the house of the incumbered proprietor, and appeal to him for a reduction of his rent, to enable him to meet the difficulties of last year, such an appeal, for a reduction of 20 per cent, or even of 10 per cent, considering the present condition of landlords in that country, would amount to a sentence of expatriation; it would be a virtual intimation that he must abandon his position as a landlord in that country. The position of the landed proprietors there was such, their difficulties so great and increasing, with their estates daily swelling the catalogue of those that have been drawn within the meshes of the Court of Chancery, that they were unable, at that moment, to support the burden of additional taxation. In a letter which he; had received from Mr. Wood, of Borris-in-Ossory—a most respectable man, whose extensive knowledge of the neighbourhood enabled him to speak with truth of the estates in the neighbourhood of Borris-in-Ossory and of Donougbmore—it was stated that there were 3,000 acres of land there lying perfectly waste; that the land which was entirely without either hoof or horn on it, meaning thereby cattle and horses, could not be less than 6,000 acres; and the occupants on 4,000 acres more, if they should be called upon to pay the poor-rate, could pay it only by selling the farm horse, or the single cow, by which the tillage of the farm and the food of the family were provided. He said he had made his quotations and urged those facts concerning the present destitution of Ireland to show, first, that Her Majesty's Ministers ought not to impose any rate in aid on a class already impoverished; and secondly, for the purpose of laying before the House the facts that justified him in declaring, that to impose an income-tax on Ireland at present, considering the circumstances of the classes on whom it would fall, would be most unjust and unwise: unwise in regard to the interests of the empire, because it must be seen that anything unfair, pressing unduly upon any one class in Ireland, would recoil upon all classes in England; and unjust to increase the difficulties of men almost unable to struggle with those they were now endeavouring to overcome. He was, therefore, opposed to a rate in aid; and he was opposed to an income tax being laid upon any class or profession in Ireland. He was opposed to both, because the state of all classes in Ireland was such as to render them wholly unable to sustain any increase of their burdens. With a failure in the staple produce of the country, with disease and destitution on the increase, what, he asked, was there in that country to make it wise, or politic, or constitutional, to impose any new tax on any of the classes in that country? He knew the condition of the people there well; he knew what had led to the increasing poverty which now existed; and he said that any now impost would drive their professional men into insolvency, and their commercial men into bankruptcy. These were facts which could not be controverted; and the noble Lord, with sources of information not open to a private Member, knew that they were well-authenticated facts; and he therefore felt called on to declare, that any rate in aid could not be wisely imposed—that it was most impolitic as a measure, and most inadequate as a means of relief for the destitution of Ireland, whilst it would press with undue severity on certain classes of the community. He said he had received a letter from Mr. Purdy, a mining agent in Kilkenny, in which it was stated that whereas 160,000 barrels of coals had been sold at his mine in the year 1845, the sales of last year were only 24,000; and this great falling-off was attributed to the poverty, apathy, and despair of the small farmers, who, instead of burning their lime with culm and small coal, and so preparing their land for wheat crops, were merely ploughing up the lea land, evidently with the intention of removing in the autumn. The writer of another letter from Queen's county, stated that a poor-rate collector, whom he was about to employ in gathering up debts, described his duties in his usual capacity as being unfit for a Christian, for he was bound to carry out the law in every case, without mercy, and that often under the most heartrending circumstances. The writer having named certain of his tenants as persons to whom he was inclined to give money if they would give up their holdings, was answered by the same poor-rate collector, who said—"Do not trouble yourself. Sir; they are dying by inches, and in a few months they will not trouble you." He considered the proposition of the Government, in presence of these great difficulties, to be absurd trifling; certainly nothing better than a postponement of the difficulty with which Ministers ought to grapple. Yet Ministers knew well what the condition of Ireland was, and he wished that England and that the House might have the benefit of their knowledge, that a fair representation of that state might he made to the House and to the country, and that after such a statement by the First Minister of the Crown a measure adapted to Ireland might be proposed; and if the House should refuse it, if the House proposed instead any such measure as that about to be brought in, that the representatives should be sent back to their constituents, as supporters of a system which was tantamount to sentence of death upon their fellow-subjects. It had long been the custom, however, to hold up the people of Ireland to the scorn and indignation of this country, as a people that were lawless and disloyal. Yet, what people had exhibited greater patience under suffering, and what nation had been more submissive under her accumulated evils—embittered by the sense of neglect on the part of the Imperial Legislature? He asked why it was that the noble Lord had never adopted some machinery, such as existed in England, for ascertaining the nature and the statistics of the disease and mortality prevalent in Ireland? He would have the Government introduce such machinery into that country as would put the House into possession of a most thoroughly statistical knowledge of it; he would have returns, not merely of the cattle, the poultry, and the pigs, that were in Ireland; but in order that their knowledge might be most comprehensive as as to the state of the country, he would have them avail themselves of the assistance of the clergy of Ireland, the sheriffs, the coroners, and the police of Ireland, whereby the House would be no longer left in ignorance of the great and disgraceful mortality prevailing in that country. He had no intention to trouble the House further with any remarks on the destitution of the country; he had adduced so many details to show why it was that he opposed the Government scheme, and also the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry—the rate in aid, and the income tax. The Government rested upon the rate in aid as the most just tax that could be imposed upon Ireland. It was a delusive and an aggressive impost, and calculated to be injurious to that Union which so many of them had struggled to maintain. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said last year that he did not see why a professional person or merchant in Ireland, making 4,000l. a year, should not pay an income tax. Now, he said there were not more than six members of the Irish bar making 3,000l. a-year, and the majority of them were barely able to meet their current expenses; as to merchants in Ireland, it would be difficult to discover amongst them those making 4,000l. a year. The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted the landed interest paid 2,000,000l. in poor-rates, and to this was to be added another million paid by the tenant class for county cess, for which very little advantage was gained. As regarded the income tax, it had already been stated, as the opinion of Her Majesty's Ministers in that House, that it should not extend to Ireland. On that point he would trouble the House with an extract from the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the 17th of March, 1848, when a Motion was made for extending the income tax to Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman said *He should commence by stating, that he should resist this Motion; and he would then state the reasons which, in his opinion, rendered it inexpedient that the operation of the income tax should at the present time be extended to Ireland. His hon. Friend had asked him one or two questions on this subject; the first one being whether he conceived it just that the income tax should not be imposed in Ireland as well as in this country? Upon the strict principle of justice, he could not deny that the tax ought to be equally imposed in both countries, and that a landed proprietor' or a merchant, or professional man in Ireland, receiving 3,000l. or 4,000l. per year, should, upon the strict principle of justice, pay the same proportion of tax upon that income as a person receiving the same amount in England. It was however very different when, laying aside the strict principle, the question of the benefit to be derived from the extension of this tax to Ireland came to be argued; and the House had to consider whether it were at this particular time expedient or wise to impose the same taxes on both countries. It never had been thought—as was well known to the House—indispensably necessary that identitically the same taxes should be imposed on England and Ireland. There was no reason, in point of justice, why spirits in Ireland and Scotland should not pay the same amount of duty as in England; but when the Government made the attempt practically to carry out that principle, they found it perfectly impossible to exact the same amount of duty on Scotch and Irish spirits as on English. The experiment had been tried more than once, and had been found impracticable. An additional shilling duty had been imposed on Irish spirits in 1842; but in a very short time the increase was found to produce no additional revenue. This would show that it was impossible to have precisely and identically the same * Vide Hansard, Vol. xcvii., p. 743. taxes in both countries. The grounds on which he thought it inexpedient that the income-tax should be imposed on Ireland as well as on this country were precisely the same as those stated on a former occasion by his noble Friend. His noble Friend stated that after they had for four or five years abstained from imposing an income tax on Ireland, and that, too, when she was in reasonably prosperous circumstances, it would be hardly justifiable to impose, for the first time, an income tax when she was suffering so fearfully under calamities of no ordinary nature. Everybody in that House knew the dreadful distress under which that country had so lately laboured, and from the effects of which she still suffered; and everybody knew that the greatest exertions were being made to obviate those evils as much as possible. * * * He thought it would discourage and check these exertions, on which the welfare of the country so much depended, if an additional burden was imposed upon them at the present moment. He thought, even if they went no further than the experience of last year, they must be convinced that the interests of the two countries were permanently bound up together, and it was impossible that any evil could fall upon Ireland without also entailing evil upon this country. * * * The Irish proprietors were, he believed, finding employment for their poor to a very considerable extent; and at the present moment, when they were barely recovering from the infliction of the last year, and were exerting themselves to promote the future prosperity of their country by an outlay of money in giving employment, he thought that if they imposed this tax on Ireland, they would discourage those efforts; they would leave the evil of pauperism in Ireland without even the commencement of an effectual remedy; and in the end they themselves would suffer that which the hon. Member for Marylebone had stated as the grievous burden imposed upon the ratepayers of this country by the efforts made for the relief of the Irish pauper immigrants. * * * In the circumstances in which Ireland was at present placed, it would be a hardship to inflict this additional burden upon her; and it would be prejudicial to the interests of the empire at large, because we should discourage that enterprise and improvement from which alone we could hope to see that country placed in a situation to bear those burdens which, he fully admitted, one year with another, she ought to bear. Such was the language of Ministers last year in regard to Ireland, and it was fearfully applicable still to the same country when any proposition was made to increase her burdens. He wished to see an effort made to relieve her of the difficulties with which she was struggling; and he would suggest that they should confer great and extraordinary powers on a commission authorised to deal with the landed property in Ireland. If they were to use the machinery of a court of equity in dealing with these encumbered estates, the Government would only increase the difficulties with which the people had to contend. A commission ought to be appointed, with power to ascertain all claims upon the estate; to ascertain the statistics and resources of it; to prepare a rent-roll; to draw out the conditions of sale, unaccompanied with expenses, the amount of which usually deterred the purchaser; and to offer a secure Parliamentary title, under which the lands could be held without suspicion of insecurity. That was not a new idea, or any newfangled proposition, for it had long existed in Ireland, and he had himself attended upon a commission vested with these powers, and had seen their proceedings, which were characterised by simplicity and attended with success, being unburdened with expenses, and giving satisfaction and security to those with whom the commission had to deal. He was perfectly sure, if the same process were attempted through the machinery of the Court of Chancery, it would occupy twenty years, and require an expense equal to between thirty and forty per cent upon the income. With these observations he should conclude by repeating his intention to give the proposal of Her Majesty's Government his decided opposition.


considered the speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down to be in favour of the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry—for an income tax in preference to a rate in aid. Much had been said as to the great difficulty of levying a new tax in Ireland. But it must be remembered that Ireland was in no ordinary position. Whether rightly or wrongly, the feeling of the representatives of England was against affording any further pecuniary aid to Ireland. It was, at the same time, unquestionable that the distress in the western districts must be relieved. Where, then, must the money come from for that purpose? It was perfectly clear it could only come from Irish resources; and the question now was, not whether Ireland ought or ought not to be taxed, but what tax could be paid with the least inconvenience. It was to this point he intended to address his observations. Everything that had been stated as to the injustice of throwing the rate in aid upon the farming classes, who were least able to bear it, spoke trumpet-tongued in favour of the proposition involved in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Kerry. He expected to have heard from the noble Lord at the head of the Government, and the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the grounds for their preference of a rate in aid over an income tax; but they had assigned none. In fact, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had admitted that very much might be said against the principle of a rate in aid; the fact being that the principle sought to be established by the Amendment would get rid of the very worst features sought to be established by a rate in aid. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had given an assurance that if the Irish Members preferred an income tax to a rate in aid, there would be no objection on the part of the Government to its substitution. But he (Mr. Clements) was sorry to say, that the mode in which the noble Lord had thought it right to propose the substitution had done anything but tend to facilitate a solution of the difficulty in which all parties were at present placed. The collection of a new tax in Ireland would be a matter of extreme difficulty; but the difficulty would be very much diminished if the tax had the support of any tolerable number of the representatives of that country. His hon. Friend the Member for Kerry, upon learning from Her Majesty's Government that they were ready to entertain any proposition for the substitution of an income tax, placed his Amendment upon the Paper; and it was about to be considered by the Irish Members, when the noble Lord, instead of leaving the matter as it stood, called them together, and stated that if the Government were to adopt the income tax as a substitute, they must also propose some additional tax to make up an imaginary deficiency between that and the rate in aid. The Irish Members had not been favoured with the grounds upon which the noble Lord supposed this imaginary deficiency would arise. But taunts were thrown out against Irish Members who preferred an income tax of 7d. in the pound to a rate in aid of 6d. in the pound. Such a preference was thought to be rather an Irish mode of reducing a burden. But it must be remembered, that to realise a net amount of 6d. would require the collection of a rate of not less than 9d. in the pound. It was perfectly clear, upon this explanation, that the alleged inconsistency on the part of some Irish Members in preferring an in-come tax, was illusory. It was unfortunate, however, that the Irish representatives should have been frightened from the position they were inclined to take by the threats so held out to them by the Government, that further taxation would be required. He could not understand upon what ground it was believed that an income tax would not realise so much as a rate in aid. The only reason he could suggest for it was, that as a portion of the income tax paid in England was paid upon income derived from Irish sources, a very great reduction would, on that account, be the consequence. If it were so, he really thought that Ireland ought to have credit for it, and not be told that, on account of an imaginary deficiency, some other tax must be proposed in addition. He entreated hon. Gentlemen from Ireland not to be frightened, by any threat of additional taxation, from considering the question fairly and calmly which was raised by the Amendment. By accepting an income tax they would avoid the adoption of the grating principle of a rate in aid, by which Ireland would be made a separate area of taxation for purposes which belonged to the united empire. Let them also reflect upon the moral effect which a rate in aid would have upon the entire farming class, whose apprehensions, in relation to it, he was at a loss to find adequate expressions to describe. They had struggled through the famine, and the panic which it caused, as well as they could, because they saw their way to better times; but the Government must not measure the comparative distress and poverty of different districts in the country by the amount of the poor-rate. In many districts, where the poor-rate was comparatively low, distress and poverty were excessive; but in these instances the people were resolved to grapple with the difficulty, and to do all they could to keep down the rates. In other districts there were places where distress had not been so great; but the rates had been forced up by almost the whole population throwing themselves upon them. The inference he drew from this state of things was, that everything should be done to avoid placing additional pressure on those who have already made such great exertions, by which alone progress could be made in meeting the existing distress; but let the principle of a rate in aid be adopted, and this class of people would feel the uselessness of any further effort to combat the difficulty. It would, therefore, lead in many localities to a depreciation in the value of land. Believing, then, that a rate in aid was likely to be most disastrous in its consequences, but that Ireland should meet the crisis by submitting to some new tax, he should cordially support the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry.


should have been content to have given a silent vote in favour of a rate in aid, if the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Kerry had not, in some sort, made this an English question. England was heavily burdened, and the people felt it was hard that they should be called upon to pay taxes from which a large portion of the empire was entirely exempt. He had already voted in favour of the income tax being extended to Ireland; and for this, among other reasons, it was necessary to state why he intended now to vote for the proposition of Her Majesty's Government. The rate in aid would meet the present exigencies of the case, and save the people from starvation. An income tax would not have that effect. The rate in aid was to be but 6d. in the pound, and to last only two years. But Irish Members said they were not sure that it would be limited either in amount or duration. This was an objection which the Government ought at once to set at rest. The rate ought to be limited both in amount and duration; and in Committee upon the Bill he should be prepared to support any proposition for limiting it to 6d. in amount, and to one year in time—but, upon this condition, that at the end of the year, when the rate ceased, the income tax should commence. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] He was glad that his proposition had been received with such good humour; indeed, he was happy to observe that the debate had taken a much better tone than was evinced in the beginning of the discussion, when some hon. Gentlemen were pleased to say—"We in Ulster are Protestants and prosperous; while you in Connaught are Catholics and in distress—become like us, be Protestants, and be prosperous, and then you will need no one to relieve you." Such had been the language used in these debates. This feeling had been changed, however, and lie was glad of it. It was most praiseworthy on the part of the hon. Members for Kerry and Leitrim to declare their feeling that they were prepared to support an income tax. The noble Viscount the Member for Down said he wished the tax to have an imperial character; but he must remember it would also have a permanent character, like the income tax of this country. He himself possessed no information with regard to Ireland, but he gave credit to the Government for having some knowledge upon the subject; and he had confidence in the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the rate in aid was necessary to save the lives of the people. In such a case, he was not the person who would stand upon small objections. The rate in aid might be objectionable in principle, but the people must not perish from starvation. He was, however, in favour of doing justice to the people of England, by imposing, as far as possible, equal taxation upon the people of Ireland.


was sorry the information of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover respecting Ireland, was derived from no other source than Her Majesty's Government. The hon. Gentleman had given no reason whatever why a rate in aid should be supported; and though he said it ought to be limited in duration and amount, he (Mr. Scully) knew enough of the condition of Ireland to be able to assure him it would, if once adopted, be neither one nor the other. It was an absurdity to expect that so small a sum as sixpence in the pound from the solvent districts, could maintain the distressed districts for two years, or even one year. The hon. Gentleman, however, wished both for the rate in aid and the income tax together. Let the Irish Members know the worst at once. Ireland could never support either a rate in aid or an income tax. But there were other sources from which relief could be obtained. He thought that a due proportion of the revenues of the Irish Church ought to be applied to the relief of the Irish poor. The Members of the present Government, when out of office, had pledged themselves to the abolition of that monster grievance, the Irish Church. The present Secretary of the Admiralty had admitted in a debate that took place in that House on the 11th January, 1844, that the Church revenues, from the Union to that time, amounted to 3,339,000l.; and eight of the Irish bishops, out of those revenues, had been enabled, in a few years, to make bequests to the amount of near 1,500,000l., being an average of 180,750l. to each bishop. Now, when it was recollected that one of the objects for which tithes were collected in ancient times was, that a third of them might be appropriated to the relief of the poor, be certainly thought that it was but just to call upon the clergy of the Established Church to contribute to-the relief of the distressed people of Ireland. No less than eight millions a year were remitted from Ireland to this country, an account of absentee rents and mortgages, and that sum ought also to be taxed for the relief of the distress which its expenditure in this country, instead of at home, produced. The funded property should also be taxed for the exigencies of the country, and they might also impose a tax on the salaries of public officers. When the Irish Members had been invited to a recent interview with the noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government, he had hoped that some such propositions as these would have been brought forward by the noble Lord, and that they would have heard no more of the rate in aid, or of an income tax. More than enough of time had been already lost in dealing with the great evils of Ireland. From all parts of that country the people cried out for the adoption of a more energetic policy. It was melancholy to witness the despair which pervaded every class at the present moment, at the almost total neglect with which Irish interests were treated by the Government. He had only to add, that if they were about to separate the two countries in matters of taxation, why would they not repeal the Act of Union at once? What Ireland required was a more energetic policy to be pursued by her rulers, in whom she had almost lost confidence. Ireland had waited too long for those great and comprehensive measures which had been so frequently promised to her, and he besought the Legislature, notwithstanding Ireland's present prostrate condition, to take care that she did not, like America, release herself from the grinding oppression of Great Britain.


said, that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was no doubt surprised to see Irish Members rushing forward with propositions for the imposition of an income tax, and the other unknown taxes that had been hinted at, in a time of such unexampled distress. For his part, he objected as much to an income tax as to the rate in aid, on the ground that both were alike inconsistent with the provisions of the Act of Union. He appreciated fully the motives of his two hon. Friends by whom the proposition of an income tax for Ireland had been brought forward. They had done so because they thought that some tax ought to be at once imposed to meet the destitution of the country, and because the House of Commons would not allow any portion of the tax to be drawn from England. But this consideration could not make him give up the great argument to be derived from the express provisions of the Act of Union. But he did not want the people to starve; and if he could receive any assurance from the Government that they would grant a Committee to inquire into the relative taxation of the two countries with a view to its equitable ad- justment, he would vote for any tax that it might be thought necessary in the interim to propose. Unless he got some such assurance, he could not consent to vote either for the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry, or for the rate in aid. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth stated, in bringing forward his proposition for an income tax in England, that he intended the increase in the stamp duties, which he proposed for Ireland at the same time, and also the increase in the spirit duties, to be an equivalent for the income tax. The increased duty on spirits failed in consequence of the inability of Ireland to bear it; but the Irish spirit distillers were again sacrificed last year when it was thought desirable to confer a boon on the West India interests. [The hon. and gallant Gentleman read an extract from the speech of Sir R. Peel on the occasion alluded to, in order to show the view which the right hon. Baronet then entertained on the subject of increased taxation in Ireland, and then continued.] Mr. Sergeant Murphy, who at that time represented an Irish constituency, stated on the same occasion, "The great want of Ireland was admittedly the scarcity of capital; but by laying a tax on the proprietors you diminish the capital, already too small, for the employment of labour." The hon. Member for Louth, now a Member of the Government, also expressed himself on the same occasion as being strongly opposed to the extension of the income tax to Ireland. The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire had been rather severe in his speech, on the preceding night, on the noble Lord at the head of the Government, for convening what the hon. Member had called an unconstitutional meeting of the Irish Members; but if that charge were well founded, the Irish Members on both sides of the House had also acted unconstitutionally in obeying the noble Lord's invitation; but he was quite ready to bear his part of the blame. But at that meeting the noble Lord had given them only the classical choice of selecting between the dagger and the bowl. He had left them to choose between two most unpalatable taxes, the rate in aid and the income tax; but he (Colonel Dunne) would object to do so, for one, unless a promise were held out that a Committee would be appointed to readjust the taxation between the two countries; and if that course were acceded to, he would, as he had before stated, support any additional taxation for Ireland that would be found just or neces- sary. His hon. Friend the Member for Kerry had described the rate in aid as an unusual proceeding, but it was in perfect accordance with the policy of Government towards Ireland, since the first introduction of the poor-law. Originally, the poor-law was passed contrary to the opinions of all those best acquainted with the condition of Ireland, including the late Mr. O'Connell. Since then, outdoor relief had also been extended to Ireland, contrary to the opinions of every one connected with the country; and now the rate in aid was introduced against the views and judgment of the Irish people. It was greatly to the credit of Mr. Twisleton, an Englishman, that he had resigned his situation rather than be a party to carrying so unjust and impolitic a measure into effect. The Labour-rate Act was another instance of the opinions of Irishmen being set at nought by the Government. There could be no doubt but that the poor-law had added materially to the embarrassments of Ireland. The repeal of the corn laws had also done them great injury, which was only now beginning to be felt. There could be no doubt but that the repeal of the corn laws would cause a difference of six-and-a-half millions in the value of Irish produce; and of this, at least one-third might be regarded as total loss to the country. He believed that the whole loss to Ireland by the failure of the potato crop was no loss than 42,000,000l. The Earl of Fitzwilliam had calculated that loss, in his admirable letter, to be 32,000,000l.; but all those who were best able to form an opinion on the matter, concurred in thinking that the noble Earl had much understated the amount. Was this, then, a time for imposing an additional tax upon the country? He could not conceive how his hon. Friends the Members for Kerry and Longford, or their supporters, could at such a moment vote for any additional tax upon Ireland. But at the same time, if it appeared upon inquiry that Ireland did not bear her due proportion of the taxation of the empire, he believed there was no Irish Member who would object to the imposition of any additional taxation that might be proposed. The revenue at present collected in Ireland was, he believed, 4,500,000l.; but for domestic purposes no such amount of taxation was required. The military establishment in Ireland would for the present year probably not be less than 2,500,000l.; but in a country yielding a gross revenue of only four millions and a half, and where the greater portion of the population was obedient and peaceable, no such force ought to be required. But the fact was, that vast military force was necessary for a purpose for which he would always wish to see it maintained—for the protection of the commerce of the empire; but of that commerce Ireland, unfortunatly, possessed only a very small share. In 1790, the exports of Ireland wore 368,804l.; while in 1846 they were under a million. A great deal of the Irish customs duties were collected in England, and went to the credit of this country; and the amount of which Ireland was thus deprived, had been calculated by the hon. and learned Member for Limerick at 500,000l. Whatever the precise sum might be, the amount ought to be allowed to the credit of Ireland. He had a great objection to the poor-law—an objection which would never be removed unless there was a radical change in its administration. It had been proved that no less than 200,000l. had been spent in distributing to the poor the sum of 500,000l. While such a system continued, how on earth could parishes maintain themselves? It was plain that the rate in aid must be eternal. Much had been said about the advantage which would result to the peasantry in the west of Ireland from a change in food; but he thought it was worthy the consideration of the House whether a cereal food would really be better than a potato food. He believed it would be impossible to support the population now existing on the west coast of Ireland on any other food than that of the potato, because the bleak winds that blew across the Atlantic would prevent the growth of any other crop. With regard to the other improvement which had been suggested in the scheme of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth—the giving of titles to land—he would remind the House that that was no new thing in Ireland; it had been attempted in the time of Elizabeth, of James, and of Cromwell; and he had no reason to think that any scheme attempted now would be more successful than those that went before.


wished, in a few words, to give his reasons why he could not vote for the grant proposed by the noble Lord at the head of the Government. It was with great pain that he had come to that conclusion, because, though he was willing to vote for the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry, yet after what had passed, he could not contemplate the probability of that proposition being adopted. It was now said by the noble Lord that if the Amendment should be carried, he would consider it his duty to make additions to that Amendment; he had not thought fit to state to what extent—but that he would fix upon Ireland some additional taxation. It would, therefore, be idle to expect the support of the Irish Members to a proposition standing in that predicament. But the reason why he troubled the House on this occasion, rather than content himself with giving a silent vote, was, that he was not one of those who were prepared to sit still and see the Irish people starving, without any prospect of relief from the House of Commons. Nor did he anticipate that such would be the case. Either the Government would have such a majority as to carry this measure, which he did not approve of, and of which he could not share the responsibility, or the Government would fall into other hands, and then there would be hope for relief for the Irish Under other circumstances. At the present moment he Would have great reluctance to sec the income tax fixed upon Ireland. It was true that when the income tax was last fixed upon Great Britain for the space of three years, he did consent to the proposition of the hon. Member for Montrose, that it should also be extended to Ireland. But even at that time he declared that he was willing to exempt them so long as the famine existed. He shared, indeed, the belief of the noble Lord and of the House, that this severe visitation would not last for more than one year; but he was willing, so long as the visitation lasted, that they should be exempted. It would, therefore, give him great pain to vote for the imposition of the income tax upon Ireland at the present moment, when he was told by the Irish Members that, instead of the condition of the country having improved, it had deteriorated, not only from those causes over which man had no control, but also from those causes to which the hon. and gallant Member for Portarlington had alluded, by which man had aggravated the disaster, from those unhappy changes in the law which had fallen with still greater severity upon Ireland than upon the country to which he (Mr. Bankes) belonged. He held, then, that this was not the time to add anything to the taxation of Ireland; and he thought that the Government should have waved for the present those economic principles which alone stood in the way of an arrangement, and furnished money to Ireland without any new taxation of that country. [Lord J. RUSSELL: You opposed that.] He was not aware that anything of the nature to which he was about to refer had ever been opposed by his side of the House. If it had pleased the noble Lord to continue for one more year the import duties which expired on the 1st of February last, he would have had a revenue which produced last year the sum of 900,000l.—a sum fully adequate to remedy the distress in Ireland; and not only so, but which would also remedy, in some degree, the evil to which the hon. and gallant Member for Portarlington alluded. It would have been no great sacrifice if the noble Lord had waved for that portion of time any promise—He knew the noble Lord would never wave any promise he had made; but his supporters should have waved for a time their claim upon him for the fulfilment of that rash pledge, which, contrary to his own judgment, he gave against the imposition of a fixed duty on corn. But there was another source of revenue, with regard to which the noble Lord was under no special pledge—a remedy of which he might have immediately availed himself, and which would have been quite sufficient to meet the exigency. Why not, for a limited time, have doubled the rate of postage? He admitted at once, that if they doubled the rate, that would not double the produce, and that if they raised a million and a half by a penny rate, they would not, by doubling the rate, obtain 3,000,000l. But then they might obtain 200,000l. or 300,000l. more than at present, which was all that was required from them. If nothing but economic principles stood in the way of a proper arrangement, he asked the economic Members in the House, had he not a right to call upon them to wave for a time their principles of economy, as much as they had a right to call upon him for money which his constituents, he knew, were not able to pay? For, as to the question of repayment, whether by the mode of a rate in aid or an income tax, they were all aware that repayment stood at a very distant day, if it ever came at all. He complained of the predicament in which the men in power placed him while in opposition. While in opposition they taunted the Government of the day with having contributed to disunite the people of the two countries through gross mismanagement and evil legislation. And what were they doing now? They sought to make England the creditor, while Ireland was to be the poor ruined debtor—they gave the English the right to seize, for non-payment of the debt, the stock and crops of the inhabitants of Ireland; and this was the situation in which they placed those whom they had before told to live on terms of friendly brotherhood. He could not think of consenting to advance money on the security of the rate in aid, denounced as it had been almost universally by the representatives of Ireland. Under these circumstances, if the noble Lord persisted in this scheme, it would be the duty of the English Members to stand in the apparently odious situation of refusing the money which others needed; but he begged for himself and others that it should be understood that they refused, because it was not asked for, as it might have been asked for, in a way which would have enabled them to give it not only readily but cheerfully. The consideration of this measure had given rise to a large scheme for the benefit of Ireland, which, however, he regretted to see brought forward at the present time, when it was impossible to discuss it fairly. The question now before them was, could they grant the money on the terms which the Government had proposed? He said no; and therefore he would give his assent to the Amendment, though he feared it would not be successful.


said, no one could possibly know the condition and sufferings of Ireland better than the noble Lord; and no one could accuse the noble Lord of wishing to see the people of Ireland suffering from destitution and disease. The noble Lord was placed in a painful position. He was hound to come and ask for money, but with the knowledge that the House would give no more grants of money. The responsibility of saving life was forced on the Irish Members, and he, for one, was willing to take his share; but he could not consent that it should be in the shape of a rate in aid. He had examined the question of a rate in aid in all its bearings, and he had found that it would produce nothing but detrimental effects—that it would paralyse industry, and would press with undue severity on those parts of Ireland which were sustaining themselves best under the burden of the poor-laws. He had not left out; of the question the fact that the sufferings which afflicted the west of Ireland extended I even to the most flourishing portions of Ireland. The labouring population of Ulster lived chiefly on the potato, and they had suffered nearly as much from the failure of the crop as the people of Connaught. Be- sides, it ought not to he forgotten the extent to which Ireland had contributed this year towards the support of its poor. He did say, considering the exertions which the Irish people had made, and the great distress which prevailed, that the same spirit of generosity ought to pervade the House now as did in former years. The sum contributed by the Irish under the operation of the new tax amounted to 2,000,000l. on a valuation of 13,000,000l. It should also be recollected, that, in addition to the failure of the potato crop, the other vegetable crops suffered to a great extent. In the present year, the green crops were nearly as great a failure as in the previous year, and the turnip crop was very defective. He had heard the hon. Member for Montrose say the other night that he wished to throw on the representatives of Ireland the responsibility of preserving the lives of the starving Irish people. He would not adopt a similar tone in his reply. He would merely ask, was the hon. Member for Montrose prepared to cast off the principle of brotherhood? The Irish people were as much the brothers of the English and Scotch people as the people of Munster were the brethren of the people of Ulster. No English Gentleman belonging to Somersetshire would refuse to contribute towards the relief of destitution in Middlesex, merely because he lived 150 miles off. He was called upon to contribute towards the relief of the people of Mayo; and he could no more refuse than the gentleman of Somersetshire, because he lived 150 miles off. He hoped hon. Members would cast aside the language and the feelings which had hitherto pervaded this debate. The feeling was a vicious feeling, and only produced irritation. With reference to the difficulties of Ireland, he would state what had come under his own personal knowledge. In two unions on his estate, three rates of 5s., 3s. 4d., and 3s. 4d., amounting to 11s. 8d. had been levied within twelve months. He spoke of the union of Ennistymon. The consequence of these heavy rates was, that the ratepayers found themselves in an embarrassed condition, and it was at this period that Government proposed to throw on them the additional burden of a rate in aid. As far as he was concerned, he was willing to lose all he had rather than see the poor die of want. He could not, however, help referring to the poor-laws, and to some of those portions of them which were so iniquitous and oppressive, that if the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland would not bring in a Bill forthwith to remedy the evil, they ought to be driven from their places as being unworthy to occupy them. He was certain the English people would never bear the iniquities of the Irish poor-law. Take, for instance, the tenements valued under 4l. yearly. The landlords could get no rent from the occupiers, and yet some were called upon to contribute as much as 500l. towards the poor-rates. He would vote against the proposition of his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry for an income tax now. He would, however, give the question his best consideration; and if he found the measure brought forward with all the responsibility of the Crown at a fitting time, he might not be indisposed to give it his support. But at this particular moment he would oppose both rate in aid and income tax. The great object that was required to be attained was the restoration of confidence. At the present moment all were equally without confidence, landlord, tenant, and banker. Confidence was the parent of all improvement, and without confidence improvement could not take place. Talk of Sending capital to Ireland! why Ireland did not want their capital—she had capital enough of her own. Give Ireland confidence, and farmer, banker, and trader would get a fair return for their outlay. There would be no deficiency of capital experienced if there were but confidence. The plan of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth was intended to promote the restoration of confidence. If it did this, it would do good; but if it tended to shake confidence, then it would only be productive of additional evil. He thought it necessary to throw out these hints to the right hon. Baronet, whose great experience in public matters would enable him to consider them. Last year he had opposed the Bill for the sale of encumbered estates, not on its general provisions, but because some portions of the measure seemed to trespass against the rights of the people.


said, he had been much struck by an observation that had fallen from the hon. Member for Dorsetshire with reference to the propositions of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, which had deservedly engaged so much of the attention of the House and the country. The hon. Member for Dorsetshire seemed rather inclined to deprecate those suggestions, and to think that the House had been too precipitate in judging favourably of them. Now, of all persons he thought that the hon. Gentleman ought to have been the last to make such a complaint, because, if his memory did not very much deceive him, he (Mr. Bankes) was foremost in making a personal appeal, as eloquent as it was touching, and complimentary to the genius and experience of the right hon. Baronet, to come forward and help Her Majesty's Government out of their embarrassments, and the country out of its difficulties. Yet now, when the oracle had spoken, and the plan had been developed, the hon. Gentleman began to repent. He could neither endure the silence of the right hon. Baronet nor his speech. He was as little contented with the counsel he gave in opposition as he had been with his guidance as ministerial chief of a once united party; and the words of the old epigrammatist might have appropriately risen to the hon. Gentleman's lips:— Difficilis, facilis, jucundus, acerbus es idem; Neo tecum possum vivere, nee sine te. The hon. Member for Cockermouth had made a still more extraordinary speech. He had undertaken to inform the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth what he conceived to have been omissions in his plan; and he had also undertaken to suggest various alterations in the plan itself, which he assured the House were indispensable to its success. But it might be safely averred that no two things ever presented a more remarkable contrast than the right hon. Baronet's statement, and the hon. Member's commentary. Though some hon. Members might not be satisfied with the plan as propounded, yet he was sure that no man of good taste or sound judgment could have differed from the vast majority of the public who recognised in the speech of the right hon. Baronet that befitting circumspection, caution, and, he would say, that humility of wisdom, which was one of the most natural results and one of the best accompaniments of great experience, long habits of responsibility, and that power of grasping details and principles, which the House cheerfully accorded to the right hon. Member for Tamworth. But the House had observed as great a profusion of over-confidence on the one side, as there had been singular diffidence on the other. There was hardly anybody who had not been lectured. As for Ministers, they were pronounced as incapable and ignorant, as their measures were miserable and mean. But the laudation appeared to be as undiscriminating as the censure; and there was one item of praise somewhat strangely awarded, which the susceptible mind of the right hon. Baronet must have peculiarly relished. The hon. Member for Cockermouth had told them that already the plan had broken bargains and destroyed contracts, and, in fact, that the right hon. Baronet, notwithstanding his caution, had been unintentionally rigging the land market, and thereby defeating the very object which he had in view. With respect to the speech of the hon. Baronet the Member for Clare, he (Mr. M'Cullagh) would not say much. He was sorry at hearing the tone of it; but he estimated that hon. Baronet's sincerity and many estimable qualities too highly to seek for grounds of cavil in what had fallen from him. And he would frankly own that in his opinion the Irish Members wore not in a position just then to be over critical towards each other. But other topics had been introduced during the course of the debate which he could not allow to pass unnoticed. The hon. Member for Cocker-mouth, by citing particular portions of the evidence given before the Poor Law Committee, had challenged in a certain sense the expression of opinion upon the substance of that evidence. Prom many of the sentiments which had been thus quoted, he (Mr. M'Cullagh) felt constrained to record his entire dissent; but he should endeavour to do so, in terms as respectful as possible to the witness whose testimony had been more especially relied on, for whom personally he entertained a high esteem—he alluded to Mr. Twisleton. Doubtless, there were few persons in cither country who were so competent to judge of the practicability of the rate in aid, and its effect on the poor-law system, as Mr. Twisleton; and had he, when giving his opinion on these subjects, confined himself to the reasons on which it was based, he (Mr. M'Cullagh), for one, should perhaps have hesitated as to the vote he ought to give. That gentleman had surrendered his office in Ireland sooner than be a party to the administration of the rate; and if it were possible to add anything to the weight of his testimony, such an act was calculated to do so. But, on reading his evidence, he (Mr. M'Cullagh) felt surprised and disappointed at the reasons he had assigned. When asked whether it was on account of the administrative difficulties which he anticipated in carrying out the provisions of the Bill he had thrown up his office, he promptly and frankly answered, that he resigned because he feared the effect of the measure in Ireland, with reference to the stability of the Union; and he stated that he could not be a party to administering a law by which such a result might be caused. Now, with submission, he (Mr. M'Cullagh) did not hesitate to say, though he was the junior and least competent of the Irish Members in the House, that he was as competent to form a correct opinion upon this point as Mr. Twisleton. The latter had spent his time in Ireland in a public office, where he had discharged his duty with indefatigable zeal; but surely that was not the place best suited to the formation of a judgment as to how a measure like the present would operate upon the feelings of the Irish people. He conceived Mr. Twisleton to be as much mistaken as to what its effect would be on the people, as he was in error in assigning such a reason as the chief one for his resignation. He did not find that the measure was regarded in Ireland in the same manner as it was looked upon by hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House. The matter about which they were contending affected the lives or deaths of thousands; and he did not believe that the sentiments expressed by the representatives of Ulster—sentiments shared in by Mr. Twisleton and others, were so general as was supposed. Had petitions emanated from any great public meeting held south of the Boyne? Where were the petitions of the great cities, with the exception of Belfast, against a rate in aid? He believed that the corporations of Dublin and Limerick had petitioned in its favour. But there was an index of opinion in Ireland still more important than the votes of corporations or grand juries—he meant, the voice and influence of the teachers of the great body of the people; and he begged to remind the House that the Catholic clergy had said that sooner than risk life or combine with those who preferred the imposition of an income tax, they would call for the rate in aid. This was a most important fact. But Mr. Twisleton had given evidence yet more important, and from which he differed quite as strongly. When asked what would restore industrial life in the western parts of Ireland, he stated that his chief hope lay at present in the revival of the potato crop, and that in case that crop should fail once more, he thought supplies must come from the sources whence they had hitherto been drawn. He (Mr. M'Cullagh) dissented from both the one and the other of these opinions. He could conceive no advice more fatal than to tell the people of Ireland to depend on that crop, which, though it had long kept them in existence, had been the greatest traitor to their social safety, prosperity, and improvement. Why, what was such a doctrine, after all, but the political economy of national gambling? Were they to tell a whole community that their destiny was to oscillate between chronic misery and periodical destitution—to be alternately mere sponges for rent for the absentees or stipendiaries on the imperial exchequer? What man was there who desired to see the people of Ireland raised to the condition of the people of this country who could look with complacency on the probable recurrence of such alternatives? But the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire had put this question, in a few words, on its right basis. He had told the House the night before that he would vote for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Kerry, because it involved the same principle which he had lately contended ought to be applied in England—that the property at present rateable to the poor should not be exclusively rated, but that personal property should be compelled directly to contribute. Well, that might be a very friendly aid to the hon. Member for Kerry's Amendment; but was it prudent in hon. Members for Ireland to ague that the matter should rest upon that ground? If they invited the support of the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire upon that principle, did they not raise here a preliminary controversy on Irish ground, involving the whole question of where the burden of the support of the poor should lie; and did they not warn English Members that they were not safe in tampering with the principle, that in any portion of the empire there should be imposed an income tax in aid of the poor-rates? For clear he was, that if they once admitted the principle of an income tax in aid of rates, they would very soon be driven to an income tax instead of rates. It was not for him to enter on the wide field of discussion which this aspect of the question opened; but he warned them that, when the question of the rate in aid was put on that ground, they must regard it as involving them as partisans on the one side or on the other. The hon. Member for Buckinghamshire and the hon. Member for Cockermouth united, for once, in declaring that they wanted a policy; that all the amendments of the poor-law would not do; and they had asked what was to come next, and whether propositions of the present kind would alleviate permanent evils and stanch those deeply-seated wounds that had so long been flowing? He (Mr. M'Cullagh) answered that he did not believe they would. He believed it perfectly impossible to look at the present state of things in Ireland, and say that any amount of poor-laws or police, or temporary expedients, could do that, which he believed in his conscience no legislation could do, until a change took place in the tone and sentiments of that class from amongst whom the greater number of those who represented Ireland on both sides of the House were chosen. Until the Irish landlords, who did their duty, and who kept faith with their tenantry, should no longer feel bound to make common cause with those who did neither—until they ceased to be haunted by a superstitious sense of obligation to defend those of their class or kindred who had abandoned their country, who made the people the mere tools of their exaction so long as the potato lasted, and when the potato failed, cast them for support upon the imperial treasury—until the good landlords renounced all common cause with the bad—neither they nor their country could hope for extrication from its present deplorable condition. He knew landlords who discharged their duties well; but he must say, that they would become accessaries after the fact by upholding those who had not done so. Some landlords were in the habit of saying—"You mistake; we live at home—we employ our people." No doubt they did; but they knew that half the landlords of Ireland did not do this. They could not by a poor-law rescue Connaught. It was beyond the power of any legislation to do so, except they exercised differently the rights of property; and that they would not do. But if they would persist in maintaining the rights of property for men who did not deserve it, they would be told that there were the wrongs of labour and industry; and for the sake of those rights of property, as well as for the sake of the people, therefore, he implored hon. Gentlemen opposite to consider whether they would not come forward and support stringent and unusual measures, and which were intended to meet an unprecedented state of things.


considered the real question to he debated was, whether they should accept the rate in aid, or support the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry. For his part, he could not understand how any hon. Gentleman who acknowledged the pressing urgency of the case, and the necessity for immediate relief being afforded to the people, could oppose the rate in aid, without being prepared to vote for some substitute for it. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had dealt with the Irish Members somewhat unfairly with reference to the question. Professing to wish to decide it in accordance with the wishes of the Irish Members, he had, by the course he had pursued, rendered it impossible for them to express any opinion on the matter; for he had held up before them a veiled figure of indefinite taxation. He had asked them to decide, without telling them what it was that they wore to decide upon. The hon. Member for Dundalk had spoken of the question before the House as if it were a landlord question. He (Mr. Monsell) asked him, could he get up in his place and say the adoption of an income tax, instead of a rate in aid, would not relieve the great majority of the farmers of Ireland from the great weight of the taxation? Why, the great majority of them were to be rated under 300l. a year. The great majority—almost the whole of the farmers of Ireland—would not have to pay one halfpenny of income tax. Were the Amendment of the hon. Member for Kerry adopted, he, as a landlord, would have more to pay than he would have under the rate in aid; and his hon. Friend the Member for Dundalk well knew it. He said, then, it was unfair for him to come forward and make so unfounded an assertion as to the statement that the larger cities had petitioned in favour of the rate in aid. He believed that the Dublin corporation and the local body in Cork had done so; but were those two petitions to be placed against the hundreds which had been presented against the measure? Only this evening he had presented one from the Limerick hoard of guardians. It was proposed by a man in business, seconded by one of the largest fundowners in the north of Ireland, and adopted unanimously by a board consisting of merchants, shopkeep- ers, landlords, and farmers. He would read the resolution on which it was founded:— That as the real principle of a rate in aid obviously is to obtain that rate from other sources rather than those most distressed already, and as the present poor-law presses solely upon real property, it is the opinion of this board, that for any rate in aid to be levied on such property is not only a palpable contradiction in terms, but also a most grievous injustice. That the average of such rate not exceeding 2½ per cent, or enduring beyond two years, is, in the opinion of this board, wholly valueless; but they believe, on the contrary, if once the principle be conceded, this noxious tax will be unlimited in amount and indefinite in duration, higher and higher upon the solvent unions, as others, one after another, become bankrupt through such fatal legislation, and only repealed in consequence of the too sure recurrence of those unhappy scenes which some few years since (tithes) compelled the abandonment of an intolerable impost. That if the Imperial Legislature should see fit in their wisdom to refuse all further succour to Ireland, it is, in the opinion of this meeting, far more just to invoke all the resources of this island in aid of the common emergency, rather than to tax merely a fraction of those resources, especially as recent changes in commercial legislation forbid us to expect high or even remunerative prices for the staple productions of this island. That without pledging ourselves to the details of the present English income tax, we are of opinion that a tax upon property and income, from what source soever derived, would be less unjust and impolitic than an additional tax upon rateable property. That resolution expressed the universal feeling of the county he represented. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had endeavoured to find a precedent in the case of an Act passed during the last century, for the relief of famine in the Highlands of Scotland; but that Act allowed the distressed counties to tax themselves. There was no poor-law—it imposed a temporary poor-law, with the county for the area of taxation—but it did not tax one part of Scotland for the support of another. The Lothians were not taxed—although the area was large, yet the tax was only a local one. Every precedent was against the proposition of the Government; and he begged to call attention to the fact that all great writers who had written on the subject had denounced such a tax in the strongest manner. Recollect that the tax was not a local but a general tax. Mr. Mill had said— Except the proposal of applying a sponge to the national debt, no such palpable violation of common honesty has ever been entertained as an exclusive tax on realised property. And Mr. M'Culloch had said— If such flagitious schemes be ever entertained, they will form a precedent that will justify the repudiation of the public debt, and the subversion of every right. But in supporting the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry, the House would not think it irrelevant if he called attention to the present state of taxation in Ireland as compared with England, and to the disproportion between the amounts of rateable property in the two countries. In England the rateable property was estimated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at 103,000,000l. a year. In Ireland it was valued to the poor-law at 13,000,000l. before the famine; but that estimate being considered low, he would take it at 15,000,000l. a year. From that they should now deduct at least 20 per cent, leaving 12,000,000l.; the charges upon which were, for county cess, 1,142,000l.; for poor's-rate, 1,700,000l.; for repayment of relief advances, 272,821l.; for relief advances under Sir J. Burgoyne's Commission, 953,000l.—amounting nearly to 4,000,000l. A portion of this last had been already paid, so that some deduction should be made on that account. The case might be fairly stated thus:—In England 100,000,000l. pays 12,000,000l. a year; in Ireland 12,000,000l. pays 3,500,000l. of local taxation. In England local taxation amounts to about 1s. 8d. in the pound; in Ireland, to 5s in the pound. He asked whether such a state of things in Ireland did not claim a liberal consideration from that House? He asked whether, if the House should consent to the imposition of this tax on Ireland, that country had not a fair right to call upon Parliament to change that system of policy which had produced such disastrous results? He asked whether a system could be longer permitted to prevail which in the words of the noble Lord opposite, or of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was one continued course of squeezing of all the rates which could be collected out of the different electoral divisions, without making any exertions for the introduction of remedial measures of a permanent character? The measures which were necessary for Ireland had been indicated by the hon. and learned Member for Cookermouth (Mr. Horsman) in the course of the present debate, and by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth upon two remarkable occasions; but he would refer to one case which had come within his own knowledge, and which he thought illustrated three of the important measures which it would be essential for the House to enter- tain in considering a remedial policy for Ireland. At a distance of twelve miles from Limerick there was an estate of 4,500 acres, which for a long period had been subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery. The tenantry were in a miserable condition, and poverty prevailed throughout the district, and was accompanied by crime. A few years ago, a Limerick merchant of great note purchased the estate, and by the course which he pursued, the district had become both tranquil and prosperous. Now, what plan had that gentleman adopted, for it was important to consider it? Why, he assisted the surplus population of the place to emigrate. Not the capitalists, be it remembered: he kept the capitalists at home; but the surplus population. The course which that gentleman had pursued, had restored the people to prosperity; but in the same electoral division, another estate, which still remained in the hands of the Court of Chancery, remained in a state of misery and degradation. For the paupers of that other estate, a heavy charge was placed on the remainder of the electoral division. Here, then, was an illustration of the necessity of making the area of taxation small, of assisting emigration, and of substituting some more rapid tribunal than the Court of Chancery for the sale of encumbered estates. Without dwelling on the present occasion at any length on the benefits to be derived from emigration, he would mention one case more. It referred to two different electoral divisions, having in each 6,000 persons. In the one, which contained the estate of the noble Viscount the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 2,000 of the 6,000 had been sent, in the beginning of 1847, to another country, where they were now prospering, and whence they were sending money to the remaining 4,000. In the other district, where this plan had not been adopted, 2,000 men were now in their graves, and the remaining 4,000 were dragging on a miserable existence. It would be impossible to exaggerate the miseries which prevailed in large districts of Ireland; and it would be well to avert the judgment of Heaven by commencing a course of legislation which should put an end to those miseries. He repeated the hope that hon. Gentlemen would not allow themselves to be deceived upon this question, but that they would remember that by not voting for the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry, they were practically supporting the proposal of Her Majesty's Government. He feared that if they did not accept the Amendment, they would have both the income tax and the rate in aid, before the expiration of two years, imposed upon Ireland.


felt himself placed in a very difficult position on account of the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry. Knowing the great misery which existed among all classes—knowing personally that every man in Ireland was involved in the deepest distress, he could not conscientiously vote for the imposition of any additional taxation on that unfortunate country. In Clonmel, Dundalk, Waterford, Kilkenny, and many of the most important towns, the shopkeepers, and many other persons who were formerly considered in good circumstances, were selling or pledging their stock in trade much under prime cost, in order to meet the poor-rates. Many of them were nearly without custom. Many gentlemen who had formerly possessed largo incomes, had been obliged to discharge their servants, thus adding to the misery of the country. A great number of the farmers were flying to America, leaving their rents unpaid, and many of the smaller farmers were either in the poor-house, or receiving outdoor relief. He feared the House had but a choice of evils on the present occasion, because the noble Lord at the head of the Government and many hon. Members had declared that the British people would not aid their brethren, as they had hitherto done, with the common resources of the common exchequer. Now he could not agree to that principle, and the sin and shame must rest on the heads of those who had brought the people of Ireland to their present state of destitution. The House had acknowledged the principle that the people of Ireland ought to be maintained out of the common exchequer; but now, after three years of the direst misery in Ireland, they were about to abandon the principle upon which they had acted in relieving that misery. If he was to have a choice in the present case, he should unhesitatingly prefer the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry. The House ought to bear in mind the present circumstances of Ireland before they inflicted additional taxation upon that country. Within the last four years there had been imposed on Ireland nearly 2,000,000l. of additional taxation, and that, too, after a loss of the capital of Ireland to the amount of between 30,000,000l. and 40,000,000l. And now the Government proposed to inflict a still further increase of taxation to the amount of 300,000l. annually. That which aggravated the un-fairness of such a proposal was the Government pressing it upon Ireland at a time when her agricultural produce had fallen in value from 20 to 30 per cent from what it was some five years ago. He should not now enter upon any discussion as to the effect of the abolition of the corn laws; but he could not help stating the fact—notorious to everybody who had experience in agricultural matters—that a great decrease had taken place in the value of agricultural produce of Ireland. He begged the noble Lord to recollect that the infliction of an odious and unpalatable tax lost Great Britain her North American colonies. The attempt to inflict an odious tax on the people of England had cost a monarch not only his crown but his head, and had led to a revolution and civil war. He did not mean to insinuate that the present prospects would be followed by any like effect, but it would create in Ireland a bitter animosity to the English Parliament and to the English connexion. It had been often said, with reference to the American war, that taxation without representation was injustice. How much greater was the injustice when there was merely a mockery of representation, and when a majority, a great majority (59 to 14) of the representatives were opposed to the tax. Surely such a proceeding was not in accordance with the spirit of the English constitution? Ministers were thus treating Ireland worse than America was treated, by inflicting taxes, not without, but contrary to, representation. Let the noble Lord, whom he once supposed an admirer of the constitution, ask himself if this was not clearly unconstitutional? Would the English people submit to any burden so unjustly imposed? Believing this tax contrary to the constitution, he would protest against it in the strongest terms; and, relying on the poverty of Ireland, and on the protest of Irish Members against this tax, he called on the House to reject it.


should not have thought it necessary to address the House, but for the speech of the hon. Member for Dundalk. Amongst the many Gentlemen, Members of that House, upon whom the hon. Member had cast his censures, the first he had singled out for attack was the hon. Member for Cockermouth (Mr. Hors-man). Now he (Lord C. Hamilton) had not the honour of that Gentleman's acquaintance, and since he had had a seat in that House had found himself generally opposed to him; but he could not be insensible to the talent and upright bearing of that hon. Gentleman, or of the manly way in which he invariably expressed his opinions in that House, even when those opinions might be in opposition to the feelings of his constituents. Yet this was the Gentleman whom the hon. Member for Dundalk thought proper to select as the first subject of his attacks. He (Lord C. Hamilton) had listened with great pleasure and profit to the hon. Gentleman's talented and able speech; and although he generally differed with him in political views, yet he must say he considered that that hon. Gentleman always advocated his own opinions in a clear, lucid, able, and argumentative manner, which could not fail in imparting instruction to the House, or in deserving the highest respect from all parties. The hon. Member for Cocker-mouth, however, was absent at the time, and therefore the hon. Member for Dun-dalk was pleased to take the opportunity of pouring out the phials of his wrath upon him. ["No, no!"] "No, no!" Then he (Lord C. Hamilton) must have made a mistake; but he had at least thought the hon. Gentleman had not been peculiarly delicate in casting his censures upon that hon. Member, and he felt bound to make these remarks, because the hon. Member had stood boldly forward to vindicate what he, in his conscience, believed to be justice to Ireland, even although he did so at the risk of alienating from himself the feelings of his constituency; and if any trait in the English character was more dignified than another, it was its sympathy with those who unflinchingly spoke out their deliberate convictions, although it involved the sacrifice of their own private feelings and interests for them to act so independently. But the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dundalk did not stop there. He had next fallen foul of Mr. Twisleton, and passed upon him some of his most unmerited strictures; and then, having raised himself to a high moral pinnacle, by dint of venting unlimited quantities of censure upon others, the hon. Gentleman had thought himself justified in still farther widening the circle of his denunciatory remarks, and proceeded to launch his unmeasured invectives upon the landlords of Ireland. Standing on his elevated point of superiority, he had gone on to warn them not to allow themselves to be brought into contact, or become accomplices after the fact, with those "bad men and deserters of their country." Now he (Lord C. Hamilton) had not learnt what public services the hon. Gentleman himself had done to entitle him to assume the vocation of admonisher and censor-general, as he had so arrogantly and unscrupulously done that night towards almost everybody who differed with him in opinion. But, however liberal the hon. Gentleman had been in his censures, he had certainly been a great deal more stinted in his arguments in favour of the rate in aid. Putting in contrast the rate in aid and the income tax, the only thing he had attempted to palm upon the House, wishing it to be taken as an argument, was simply this—and as many hon. Members were not in the House at the time it was used, they would scarcely believe him (Lord C. Hamilton) when he mentioned it to them. The hon. Gentleman had stated that "the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland had come forward and petitioned that their poor flocks should not be burdened with an income tax." So that the hon. Member for Dundalk actually seemed to imagine that the "poor flocks" of the Catholic clergy consisted of men having more than 150l. a year, and liable to the income tax. If the hon. Gentleman did not mean that, then what did he mean? for he had stated that the Catholic clergy had petitioned that their flocks might be spared the burden of an income tax; but the truth was, this was part and parcel of another argument, of which the hon. Gentleman was not the originator, and which some parties had endeavoured very industriously to spread, namely, that the device of an income tax was an attempt of the landlords to shuffle off and get rid of the burden of this tax. He did not wish now to go into the general question as to the policy or impolicy of a rate in aid. But he would observe, that the Irish Members now stood in a peculiar position in this debate. When the second reading of the Bill was under discussion, the question was a simple one, but after what had since taken place, the subject had become more complicated. After the views expressed in the House on a former occation, his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry had proposed this substitution of an income tax for the rate in aid, with the view of embodying in a specific resolution what he believed to be the general feeling of many who had voted against the proposition of the Government, and who, whilst they nevertheless considered it necessary that some money should be levied in Ireland to meet the case of the distressed districts, yet considered that funds might be raised in a much less objectionable mode than by a rate in aid. The hon. Gentleman's motive, at least, was one of which they all must approve. He knew that a strong opinion was entertained by the majority of the House, on the former occasion, that after all the exertions made by England for the last few years in her behalf, the time was at length come when Ireland herself must be willing to submit to some further taxation for the relief of her distress. The hon. Member and himself had acquiesced, to a great extent, in this view in the former debate; and the grand juries of the counties of Londonderry, Louth, Limerick and Tyrone, and several others, had all petitioned, expressing their readiness to meet the emergency by receiving a new tax, but all concurring in saying—let it not be from a rate in aid, because that would fall most unfairly and unjustly upon those who should not be saddled with such a burden. Many of the English and Scotch Members, who had assisted them in their opposition to the rate in aid, had done so under the impression that it was but fair that Ireland should pay something; and his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry had, therefore, brought forward his Amendment, not because he wished to shirk a fair burden that Ireland ought to bear, but because he wished to see it allotted more fairly and equitably to the taxpayers who had come forward in the way he had pointed out. His intention simply was to embody in a resolution what had been previously expressed, and to carry it out in fairnesss—that opposition to the rate in aid not being founded upon the amount, but upon the method of the proposed taxation. He must just notice an observation of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, attempting to solve the doubt and clear up the mystery of the origin of this scheme of a rate in aid. He said it came out at first in the shape of a representation of delegates in Dublin; but he had entirely mistaken the nature and character of that body. The real facts of the case were these: there were 131 unions in Ireland, and about forty gentlemen connected with the unions met in Dublin. They were not delegates—they were not elected, and were not competent to take upon themselves so important a question as the amendment of the poor-law. They appointed a committee of seven from among themselves, and this committee drew up certain queries to send to the different unions; and one of these queries was—whether, under the peculiar circumstances of Ireland, a rate in aid would be advisable? Now, the fact was, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had founded his argument upon the circumstance of this question being put to these 131 unions; but he had paid no attention whatever to what was the answer to it. And what did they think was the answer? Why, that all these 131 unions, with scarcely a single dissentient, decidedly deprecated the imposition of anything in the shape of a rate in aid. But with regard to the Amendment before the House, Ireland was ready to receive a new tax, not that she thought herself able to bear it—far, far from it, but she had no other resource left her, after the exertions Parliament had already made in her behalf, but to submit, distressed as she was. But what she did ask of them was, if they must have the money, that they at least would not demoralise the parts of Ireland, that were still sound—that they should not check what Prudence, improvement, enterprise, and self-reliance she had still left to her; but that she should take the money from her in the way that would be least burdensome to the contributor, and not in such a way as would render the actual sum they levied the least part of the burden which they imposed.


said, that however unwilling he was to trespass on the time of the House, and however he participated in the feelings and wishes of a great number of persons, who he believed were more opposed than any others to this rate in aid, bethought it right to state the reasons why he should vote for it. He believed, that of all classes of Her Majesty's subjects those who were most opposed to the rate in aid were the Presbyterians of Ulster; and when he spoke of them, he alluded more particularly to the Presbyterian farmers, who would be called on to pay the tax, and with whose feelings and wishes on the subject he was well acquainted. Every person, he believed, would agree that the state of distress in the west of Ireland was such as to require immediate assistance. Most persons would also concur in the opinion that the means of relieving that distress should be sought, in the first in- stance, in the vicinity of the places where that distress existed. But it was acknowledged on all hands that the means of relieving that distress from such a source was now totally exhausted. There was no mode of collecting the means of relief where the distress existed; and he was not prepared, nor, he believed, was the House prepared, to say, that it would be fair or right, in respect to a rate merely imposed by Parliament, forcibly to take their land from the owners of property in those districts, in order to sell it for the non-payment of a tax which they had not the means of paying. Such a power never was, and he hoped never would be, exercised. It would be most unjust to adopt such a measure against persons for a debt which had been contracted against their will, and which they were totally without the means of paying. That being so, and every person being agreed that relief should come from some quarter, the question arose where was it to come from. He talked not of abstract principles, but he would ask any man whether it was not right, that in respect to Irish distress Ireland should pay in the first instance. ["No, no!"] An hon. Gentleman said "No;" but he put it to every person in that House whether it did not strike the feeling of each, without at all reasoning on the matter, that Ireland, Scotland, and England should be each primarily responsible for the relief of any distress that might exist in these countries. He had heard, indeed, that Ireland was to be considered a part of England, and should be looked upon in the same light as Yorkshire or Lancashire: but he believed it would be absurd to consider both countries in that light; and although no person was more favourable than he was to the maintenance of the Union, he nevertheless hoped that Ireland would always remain to some extent a separate country. He therefore wished that Ireland should, in the first instance, be called on to support its own poor; and after the millions upon millions which had been given to Ireland during the last three years, he did not see how this could be considered an unreasonable proposition. Government had, therefore, proposed a rate in aid, to be imposed on the whole of Ireland. Then, objections had been made to this proposal by the hon. Member for Buckinghamshire in his speech last night. In the first place, he said that there was no security that this tax, which was now proposed for only two years, would not be extended for an interminable period. Now, he was prepared to state, that if the people of Ireland, after the experience which they had for the last three years of the failure of the potato crop, still persevered in its cultivation, they must take the consequences upon themselves. ["Oh, oh!"] Gentlemen might cry "Oh, oh;" but he could assure them, if such a practice were continued, and if the same results followed from it as had followed for the last three years, the time would come when relief from others must cease, and when the people of that country must be left to their own resources. If they did not take the common ordinary course which prudence dictated, to help themselves, they must take upon themselves the consequences of such a course of conduct. The second objection was, that those upon whom this rate in aid was now to be thrown, were unwilling to bear their portion of it. That was quite true, and for his part it would give him infinite pleasure if the Irish Members of that House took upon themselves the payment of this 6d. rate. He believed it would cause extreme satisfaction amongst a class of persons who were well entitled to the consideration of that House for their good conduct, their prudence, their industry, and their constant loyalty. But if the owners of property in Ireland took it upon themselves, it would not be such a heavy tax. Those who had 1,000l. a year would be called on to pay 25l. per annum for two years. He did not think that this could be a matter of such great consequence to the gentry of Ireland, who, he hoped, were disposed to show some sort of national feeling on the subject. The other objection was one connected with the income tax. Now, he believed that no person who knew Ireland would deny that it was better for Ireland that she should pay this tax for two years, than that she should pay an income tax of 7d. in the pound for an interminable period, which would cause au enormous expenditure for collection in the first instance, together with the annoyance of having every one's affairs inquired into. With respect to the objection that personal property was not liable to the rate in aid, and that it would be liable under the income tax, he believed that the amount which would be levied on personal property under the income tax would be very small. These were the reasons which induced him to support the proposition of the Government.


said, he thought the support which had been given by the only two English Members who advocated the measure of the Government—namely, the hon. Member for Dover, and the hon. and learned Member for Pontefract, who had just sat down, was of a very questionable nature. The former hon. Member alluded to, had only, in fact, supported the Government proposition; for he had said, if any one had proposed to reduce the time to one year instead of two years, he would have voted for that suggestion. The hon. and learned Member for Pontefract had said that he intended to vote for the measure of the Government, for the not very logical reason, that he wished the Irish people to be taught to depend upon themselves. The hon. and learned Gentleman had assured the House that his well-beloved Presbyterians of the north—that class whose feelings and opinions he appeared especially ambitious of representing—had learned the art of depending on themselves; but most assuredly the hon. and learned Gentleman was adopting a very singular, and somewhat original, mode of testifying his approbation of their commendable conduct in that respect, when he proposed to tax them in the proportion of their industry, self-reliance, and providence, for the support of districts where the people were less energetic and thrifty than themselves, and had yet to learn the art of self-dependence. The hon. and learned Member was horrified at the injustice of proposing to sell the property of defaulting landlords in Connaught and Munster, in order to make their defalcations good; but if his sense of sacredness of property was so overwhelming in the case of the western and southern proprietors, was it not remarkable that he should not be visited by some feelings of an analogous description when he came to deal with the proprietors of Ulster? With respect to the general question, he would take leave to say that the division which was about to take place upon it, seemed likely to be characterised by unprecedented circumstances. During his Parliamentary experience he did not remember ever to have seen the House so thin on an evening of an adjourned debate, when it was universally understood that a division was to take place on an important subject. It was possible that certain sentences which had fallen from the noble Lord at the head of the Government, in the course of his address the evening before, might satisfac- torily explain the absence of some of the English Members. The noble Lord had stated, that if the Irish Members should prefer an income tax to a rate in aid, he would not be prepared to view their preference with disfavour, but, on the contrary, would consent to adopt their opinions as they might be expressed that evening in the lobby. The effect which this announcement had, in all probability, produced on the minds of the English Members was, that their attendance in the lobby that evening was an unnecessary luxury, and might be advantageously dispensed with. The hon. Member for Kinsale had a delicate part to play. He, no doubt, would be consulted as an Irish Member, and, uninfluenced by the trammels of party, he would manfully make up his mind between the two questions—the income tax, which was probably viewed with the greatest favour by his constituents, and the rate in aid, which was notoriously the favourite of the Government. The future course of the Government would no doubt depend on the result of the examination of the division lists at Downing-street to-morrow; and the English Members had for this reason absented themselves from the present division. By the last division which had taken place on this question, the doctrine was affirmed that succour should be given to the distressed districts of Ireland, but that that succour must be derived, not from the imperial treasury, but from funds to be furnished by the Irish themselves. The alternative put by the noble Lord in his courteous invitation of the Irish Members to Downing-street, and the question to be decided on this division was, not by any means whether one farthing should be advanced by a grant from the national bounty, but whether they would have an income tax or a rate in aid. The noble Lord reminded him of Prior, who, addressing a lady under similar circumstances, said— Now, Emma, now thy Last reflection make Which thou wilt follow, which thou must forsake. For by ill-omened stars and adverse Heaven, No middle object to thy choice is given. But whatever the decision of the Irish Members might be, the 100,000l. loan was an unpleasant certainty, and it therefore became them as men of business to look whether the noble Lord or the hon. Member for Kerry offered the best security for the mortgage. In answer to a question put by the right hon. Gentleman the Mem- ber for Northampton, the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated, last night, that about 250,000l. was the sum which he expected to raise by the rate in aid. Now, the official valuation in Ireland was put down at 13,000,000l., which, in round numbers, at 6d. in the pound, would yield about 329,000l.; while the utmost which the Chancellor of the Exchequer expected to raise was 250,000l., which would give a capital of about 10,000,000l.; denoting that, taking the most favourable estimate, the property of Ireland had sunk since the valuation to which he had referred, 3,000,000l. a year. But the papers laid before the Lords' Committee showed that, on the 25th September, 1848, there remained 800,000l. of uncollected rent in Ireland; and they had also to consider that, by a return lately presented to the House, it appeared that more than 7,000 armed men had been engaged in the collection of rates last year in Ireland. The Chancellor of the Exchequer read a statement which made it appear that not only was the condition of the distressed unions worse, but that the circle of destitution was spreading. Therefore, considering the amount of armed men employed to collect the rates last year, the amount of uncollected rate last September, and the worse condition of these unions and the property of Ireland, it might well become them to consider, as men of business, how far the security was good, or why they proposed to raise this 100,000l. The hon. Member for Kerry, on the contrary, offered the security of the whole property of Ireland not at present submitted to the property tax. He found that, on the 11th of March, 1842, the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth, in bringing forward his scheme for an income tax, estimated that the tax, if extended to Ireland, would amount to somewhere about 410,000l. What calculation the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made when he stated that the income tax would not yield even so much as the rate in aid, he would not assume the province of determining; the right hon. Gentleman himself stated none whatever, and, in this respect, he thought him open to censure. He hinted that a supplementary tax would be required, but did not state what that tax was to be, or to what amount it would go. He complained that the Government should not have put two alternatives before the Irish Members; for it was not more than two months ago that he had ventured to say that it would have been fairer to the Irish Members to have given them the alternative which the Government had now offered them. That suggestion, however, was received with no favour, but met with something very like ridicule. At the morning party, or meeting of the Irish parliament in Downing-street, however, the noble Lord had taken his advice. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated, over and over again, that there was hardly any amount of deference which he was not willing to pay to Irish Members. If this were the case, why not yield to the strong opinion expressed against the rate in aid, and substitute for it a tax which they themselves admitted to be more just and fair? The right hon. Gentleman had stated that this tax was no novelty, no new idea. He must say that he was not one of those who accused the Government of originality. Independent of this measure, they deserved to be called the rate-in-aid Government, for they seemed to spend the whole of their official lives in seeking suggestions from others as to the government of Ireland. They had only two Irish Members with them, and all the rest against them; and they ought not to turn a deaf ear to the voice of public opinion out of doors, and in that House, which called loudly for the taxation of all property alike. The hon. Member for the West Riding, whom he was sorry not to see in his place, in his addresses to two large assemblies which he had graced with his presence during the recess, said that corn was now at 44s. a quarter, and would have been, if the sliding scale had been in force, 70s.; and he attributed this reduction to the free importation of corn. Whether that might or might not be attended with counterbalancing disadvantages, he would not now inquire; but the argument which he drew from this was in favour of the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry. Whom was the reduction to benefit? Of course, they would say the consumer. Who were those whom it was likely to injure? Of course, they would say the producer. It was the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth who brought forward the measure which, according to the hon. Member for the West Riding, would have made the price of wheat 70s. at this moment; and he also was the author of the Bill under which it was now admitted at a nominal duty. He would not now discuss which of these two measures was right; but it behoved him to ask hon. Members how they could justify fettering by this tax those who were most likely to suffer by the measures which they had passed? Whatever might be their opinions as to the policy or impolicy of a free import of provisions, it must be admitted that it had had the effect of reducing the price; and it must be equally obvious that it would be extremely impolitic, under the circumstances, to tax that class on whom the diminution of price fell. It was all very well for hon. Gentlemen to say that it was a question of town against country. He conceived that the towns of Ireland were mainly dependent upon the property of the country, and that they found in the landlord class their best customers. Even those who were not disposed to view the question in the light of its justice and fairness must be satisfied that even in a mercenary point of view it would be better that the whole country should tax itself lightly than that the towns should combine to ruin their best customers. He must be permitted to say, that if the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth was going to vote against the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry, he hoped he would do that House the favour, and the people of Ireland the justice, to state the reasons that actuated him upon the present occasion. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman that his speech had attracted a good deal of attention there. Having recently returned from that country, he was enabled to tell him that in the district with which he was connected, it formed the general topic of conversation, and none was so generally debated as the proposition which he had put forward for the amelioration and regeneration of Ireland. If the right hon. Gentleman intended to give a vote against the agricultural interest, he would ask him how he intended that capitalists should be induced to invest money in land in Ireland, if he assisted in imposing upon them that additional burden? It would be sanctioning the principle that all extra taxation, and all extra burdens, should be placed upon real property; and he would ask how, in addition to the many difficulties that capitalists would have to encounter in Ireland, they would be enabled to make head against that new and most serious difficulty? An hon. Gentleman on the other side of the House, when he spoke of the tax being unjust because it was levied upon only one portion of the community, had recommended the landlords of Ireland to pay the whole tax themselves. The suggestion, therefore, was to levy it upon the fraction of a fraction of the people of Ireland. It was somewhat extraordinary that while the English poor-law placed the whole of the rate equally between the landlord and the tenant, and while the principle of the Scotch poor-law was the same, the Irish should have an arbitrary arrangement which made the incidence of the rate dependent on the amount of the rent, and in that difficulty they gravely proposed to throw the whole of the rate upon the land. It might, perhaps, be well for those who were prepared to vote against the Motion of the hon. Member for Kerry to consider in what company they would find themselves in the lobby. Those who sought to reject the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry were not those who loved the land or its interests; it would be well for those hon. Members to consider how they joined their worst enemies to defeat their own class, which was the best support and the brightest ornament of the country. He could not believe that more than a few weeks would elapse before they had ascertained by bitter experience the wisdom of the course now suggested by his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry, who, without pledging himself to the details of any supplementary tax, simply adopted the principle of choosing the least of two evils, and laid it down that it was better that the whole should be taxed than that the most wretched, and the poorest, and the most oppressed, should alone suffer. The House might probably not be aware that in the south of Ireland many of the shopkeepers invested their little savings in houses and land, and upon that class the rate in aid would press most heavily. Assuming, however, that the principle of the English income tax was applied to Ireland, that class would not feel the pressure at all. Therefore in the proposition his hon. Friend had made, he not only guarded the frieze-coated, the small farmers, from the incidence of any such tax, but also the shopkeepers—and they were an oppressed and impoverished class in the small towns of Ireland—were exempted. If they voted for the income tax, there might be difficulties in the mode of arrangement; but if they voted for the rate in aid, they would find difficulties in the management of the poor-law which would seriously embarrass its working in Ireland. They might depend upon it that at the present moment it was as much as they could do in many of the unions of Munster to administer that law. He only wished the Government could see the difficulties they had to contend with in Ireland in carrying it out—if they saw the amount of the pauperism that was to be relieved, and the difficulties that were to he grappled with, he was sure the noble Lord would see the force of the arguments that had been urged against the proposition; and he might say that in the present circumstances the least clog in the machinery of the Irish poor-law would bring the whole thing to a dead lock. He did not say that the military or police would be required to enforce its enactments—he did not mean to threaten, but in the present condition of the country it might be said that it was the last straw that would break the camel's back—it would complicate their difficulties, and render the confusion insurmountable. The plan might appear to the House simple and easy enough at first, but the remedy was only temporary and apparent; it would recoil upon themselves. There were only two alternatives for the Irish Members to adopt. The noble Lord had, he thought, very fairly said that he would not bind himself to one or the other; but that if a strong expression of opinion was elicited in favour of the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry, he should feel it competent to entertain the proposition and to act upon it. He believed that if they carried the proposition now submitted to them, it would be the dearest 6d. they ever procured from Ireland; and if the Irish Members refused the offer that was then made them, it would be the worst speculation they had ever made. It would be a source of high gratification to him, and to all those who were proud of his friendship, if the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry was adopted; and he congratulated his hon. Friend on having so honourably, so spiritedly, and so gallantly come forward in the present emergency to give the Irish Members an opportunity of proving themselves true to Ireland and to themselves.


, who arose amidst loud cries of "Divide," said that he did not wish to interfere to prevent the division, but he was anxious to say a very few words on the question immediately before the House. He was unable to support either the proposition of Her Majesty's Ministers, or of his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry. He had given his con- tinued opposition to the rate in aid, and he should continue to do so, and he should oppose the other proposition, as he conceived that the alteration, in the shape of an income tax, was extremely objectionable. Hon. Gentlemen were pleased to support Her Majesty's Ministers in carrying this grant of 100,000l. out of the Consolidated Fund on the security of the rate in aid, although they had been told, by all the persons employed in connexion with the poor-law in Ireland, it was the very worst security that could be given for its repayment. He would be no party to vote for this grant, but if it was the pleasure of the House to do so, he would not oppose the Motion. He felt bound to observe, on the question before the Committee, that it was rather a strange proposition from an Opposition Member, to come forward and urge Her Majesty's Ministers to impose a property tax upon Ireland, when two able financiers—he meant the present and a former Chancellor of the Exchequer—had both stated that they should be very glad to be able to extend it to Ireland. Under these circumstances, he could not vote for the Amendment which had been proposed. Before he sat down, he would read an extract from the speech of the noble Lord at the head of the Government, in 1846. when he proposed the measures of relief, and which observations at the time attracted great attention and a strong feeling in Ireland. The noble Lord, on that occasion, said— As I stated at the commencement, this is a special case, requiring the intervention of Parliament. I consider that the circumstances I have stated, of that kind of food which constitutes the subsistence of millions of people in Ireland being subjected to the dreadful ravages of this disease, constitute this a case of exception, and render it imperative on the Government and the Parliament to take extraordinary measures for relief. I trust that the course I propose to pursue will not be without its counterbalancing advantages; that it will show the poorest among the Irish people we are not insensible here to the claims which they have on us as the Parliament of the united kingdom; that the whole credit of the Treasury and means of the country are ready to be used—as it is our bounden duty to use them—and will, whenever they can he usefully applied, be so disposed as to avert famine, and to maintain the people of Ireland; and that we are now disposed to take advantage of the unfortunate spread of this disease among the potatoes, to establish public works which may be of permanent utility. I trust, Sir, that the present state of things will have that counterbalancing advantage in the midst of many misfortunes and evil consequences. He would request the House to draw a contrast between this opinion and the course that was now taken by the noble Lord.


said, that he only wished to say a very few words previous to the division. He was sure that the House was placed in a very singular situation in consequence of the course taken by the noble Lord at the head of the Government and the hon. Member for Kerry. He had hoped that the House would have been spared from the alternative of deciding that night on those two propositions. His object in rising was to ask the noble Lord to be so good as to explain what additional taxation he intended to propose with regard to Ireland, in the event of the proposition of the hon. Member for Kerry being carried. He confessed that he never before was called upon to make such a leap in the dark. He, certainly, could not vote for this proposition.


observed, that he regretted that he could not, consistent with his duty, give any further explanation to the noble Viscount, beyond what he had already stated.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be loft out stand part of the Question."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 194; Noes 146: Majority 48.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, T. N. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Adair, R. A. S. Craig, W. G.
Anderson, A. Crowder, R. D.
Anson, hon. Col. Dalrymple, Capt.
Anson, Visct. Devereux, J. T.
Armstrong, Sir A. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Baines, M. T. Duff, G. S.
Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T. Duff, J.
Bass, M. T. Duncombe, hon. O.
Bellew, R. M. Duncuft, J.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Dundas, Adm.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Dunne, F. P.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Ebrington, Visct.
Birch, Sir T. B. Ellice, rt. hon. E.
Boyle, hon. Col. Ellis, J.
Bright, J. Elliot, hon. J. E.
Brockman, E. D. Emlyn, Visct.
Brotherton, J. Euston, Earl of
Brown, W. Evans, J.
Browne, R. D. Evans, W.
Bulkeley, Sir R. B. W. Ewart, W.
Butler, P. S. Fergus, J.
Buxton, Sir E. N. Ffolliott, J.
Cardwell, E. Filmer, Sir E.
Carter, J. B. Fitzroy, hon. H.
Chaplin, W. J. Fordyce, A. D.
Childers, J. W. Forster, M.
Clay, Sir W. Fortescue, hon. J. W.
Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G. Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.
Clifford, H. M. Glyn, G. C.
Cobden, R. Goddard, A. L.
Cockburn, A. J. E. Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.
Coke, hon. E. K. Greene, T.
Grenfell, C. P. Patten, J. W.
Grenfell, C. W. Pechell, Capt.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Grey, R. W. Peel, F.
Guest, Sir J. Pennant, hon. Col.
Hallyburton, Ld. J. F. G. Perfect, R.
Harris, R. Pigott, F.
Hastie, A. Pinney, W.
Hawes, B. Plowden, W. H. C.
Hay, Lord J. Power, N.
Hayes, Sir E. Pryse, P.
Hayter, rt. hon. W. G. Reid, Col.
Headlam, T. E. Ricardo, J. L.
Heywood, J. Ricardo, O.
Heyworth, L. Rice, E. R.
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Rich, H.
Hobhouse, T. B. Romilly, Sir J.
Hogg, Sir J. W. Russell, Lord J.
Howard, Lord E. Russell, hon. E. S.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Rutherfurd, A.
Howard, hon. E. G. G. Sadleir, J.
Hume, J. Salwey, Col.
Jervis, Sir J. Sandars, J.
Johnstone, Sir J. Scholefield, W.
Keating, R. Scully, F.
Keppel, hon. G. T. Seymour, Lord
Kershaw, J. Shafto, R. D.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Langston, J. H. Shelburne, Earl of
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Sheridan, R. B.
Lawless, hon. C. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Lennard, T. B. Smith, J. A.
Lewis, G. C. Smith, M. T.
Littleton, hon. E. R. Smith, J. B.
Loch, J. Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W.
Locke, J. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Lockhart, A. E. Stuart, Lord D.
Lushington, C. Stuart, Lord J.
M'Cullagh, W. T. Sullivan, M.
M'Gregor, J. Talbot, C. R. M.
Magan, W. J. Talfourd, Serj.
Meagher, T. Tancred, H. W.
Maitland, T. Thicknesse, R. A.
Marshall, J. G. Thompson, G.
Marshall, W. Thornely, T.
Martin, S. Towneley, J.
Masterman, J. Townshend, Capt.
Matheson, J. Trelawny, J. S.
Matheson, Col. Vane, Lord H.
Maule, rt. hon. F. Villiers, hon. C.
Mitchell, T. A. Wall, C. B.
Mowatt, F. Walmsley, Sir J.
Mulgrave, Earl of Ward, H. G.
Norreys, Lord Watkins, Col. L.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Willcox, B. M.
O'Brien, Sir L. Williams, J.
O'Connell, J. Williamson, Sir H.
O'Connor, F. Wilson, J.
O'Flaherty, A. Wilson, M.
Ord, W. Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.
Paget, Lord A. Wood, W. P.
Paget, Lord C. Wyvill, M.
Paget, Lord G.
Pakington, Sir J. TELLERS.
Palmerston, Visct. Tufnell, H.
Parker, J. Hill, Lord M.
List of the NOES.
Adair, H. E. Barrington, Visct.
Arkwright, G. Barron, Sir H. W.
Baldock, E. H. Bennet, P.
Bankes, G. Bentinck, Lord H.
Baring, T. Beresford, W.
Blackall, S. W. King, hon. P. J. L.
Blackstone, W. S. Knox, Col.
Blair, S. Lennox, Lord H. C.
Blandford, Marq. of Leslie, C. P.
Bourke, R. S. Lincoln, Earl of
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Lindsay, hon. Col.
Bowles, Adm. Lockhart, W.
Bramston, T. W. Long, W.
Bremridge, R. Lowther, hon. Col.
Brisco, M. Lowther, H.
Broadley, H. Mackenzie, W. F.
Bromley, R. Macnaghten, Sir E.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Mahon, Visct.
Burroughes, H. N. Manners, Lord G.
Charteris, hon F. March, Earl of
Christy, S. Meux, Sir H.
Clements, hon. C. S. Miles, P. W. S.
Clive, hon. R. H. Moffatt, G.
Cobbold, J. C. Monsell, W.
Cochrane, A. D. R. W. B. Morris, D.
Cocks, T. S. Muntz, G. F.
Codrington, Sir W. Mundy, W.
Cole, hon. H. A. Mure, Col.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Neeld, J.
Coles, H. B. Newdegate, C. N.
Compton, H. C. Newry and Morne, Visc.
Corry, rt. hon. H. L. Nugent, Lord
Currie, H. Packe, C. W.
Currie, R. Palmer, R.
Damer, hon. Col. Philips, Sir G. R.
Dick, Q. Pigot, Sir R.
Disraeli, B. Plumptre, J. P.
Drumlanrig, Visct. Portal, M.
Drummond, H. H. Prime, R.
Duncan, Visct. Renton, J. C.
Duncan, G. Repton, G. W. J.
Edwards, H. Richards, R.
Egerton, Sir P. Rushout, Capt.
Egerton, W. T. Sandars, G.
Ellice, E. Scrope, G. P.
Estcourt, J. B. B. Shirley, E. J.
Farnham, E. B. Sibthorp, Col.
Fellowes, E. Sidney, Ald.
Ferguson, Sir R. A. Simeon, J.
Fuller, A. E. Smyth, J. G.
Gaskell, J. M. Somerset, Capt.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Stanley, hon. E. H.
Godson, R. Stuart, H.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Stuart, J.
Granby, Marq. of Tenison, E. K.
Granger, T. C. Thesiger, Sir F.
Greenall, G. Thompson, Col.
Gwyn, H. Trollope, Sir J.
Haggitt, F. R. Turner, G. J.
Halford, Sir H. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Hamilton, Lord C. Vyse, R. H. R. H.
Harris, hon. Capt. Waddington, H. S.
Heald, J. Walpole, S. H.
Henley, J. W. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Williams, T. P.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Willoughby, Sir H.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Wodehouse, E.
Hindley, C. Worcester, Marq. of
Hood, Sir A. Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.
Hornby, J. Wyld, J.
Howard, Sir R. Young, Sir J.
Jocelyn, Visct. TELLERS.
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. Herbert, H. A.
Jones, Capt. Stafford, A.

wished to know what course the Government intended to take with respect to the advance of any money for the relief of distress in Ireland, now that the proposition for imposing an income tax upon that country had been rejected by the House?


stated, in reply, that the Government were not disposed to advance any money on the credit of the rate in aid until the Act imposing that rate was passed. Still it certainly would be in their power to issue money from the Exchequer in case of any unforeseen contingency arising, and then to come down to the House and ask for a vote on the subject.


said, that, in his opinion, the Government could not, by any possibility, issue money upon the security of this Bill until it had received the Royal assent. The only fund from which they could relieve the distress was that which the House had placed entirely at the disposal of the Government, under the head of "Civil Contingencies," subject afterwards to the opinion of the House on its appropriation.


said, that the declaration of the noble Lord at the head of the Government was to the effect that the Government would not issue any larger sum than five or seven thousand pounds, on account, until the Act had received the Royal assent. Every person, therefore, who supported the measure would do so upon the assurance that the sum would not be exceeded.

Original Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 201; Noes 106: Majority 95.

List of the AYES.
Abdy, T. N. Brown, W.
Adair, R. A. S. Browne, R. D.
Anderson, A. Bulkeley, Sir R. B. W.
Anson, hon. Col. Butler, P. S.
Anson, Visct. Buxton, Sir E. N.
Armstrong, Sir A. Cardwell, E.
Baines, M. T. Carter, J. B.
Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T. Chaplin, W. J.
Baring, T. Charteris, hon. F.
Barrington, Visct. Childers, J. W.
Barron, Sir H. W. Clay, Sir W.
Bass, M. T. Clements, hon. C. S.
Bellew, R. M. Clerk, rt. hon. Sir G.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Clifford, H. M.
Berkeley, hon. H. F. Clive, hon. R. H.
Berkeley, C. L. G. Cobden, R.
Birch, Sir T. B. Cockburn, A. J. E.
Bouverie, hon. E. P. Coke, hon. E. K.
Bowles, Adm. Cowper, hon. W. F.
Boyle, hon. Col. Craig, W. G.
Bramston, T. W. Crowder, R. B.
Bright, J. Dalrymple, Capt.
Brockman, E. D. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Brotherton, J. Duff, G. S.
Duff, J. Matheson, J.
Duncuft, J. Matheson, Col.
Dundas, Adm. Maule, rt. hon. F.
Ebrington, Visct. Mitchell, T. A.
Edwards, H. Moffatt, G.
Ellice, rt. hon. E. Morris, D.
Ellice, E. Mowatt, F.
Ellis, J. Mulgrave, Earl of
Elliot, hon. J. E. Norreys, Lord
Emlyn, Visct. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Euston, Earl of Nugent, Lord
Evans, J. O'Connell, J.
Evans, W. O'Connor, F.
Ewart, W. Ord, W.
Fergus, J. Paget, Lord A.
Filmer, Sir E. Paget, Lord C.
Fordyce, A. D. Paget, Lord G.
Forster, M. Pakington, Sir J.
Gibson, rt. hon. T. M. Palmerston, Visct.
Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E. Parker, J.
Glyn, G. C. Patten, J. W.
Goddard, A. L. Peel, right hon. Sir R.
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Peel, F.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Perfect, R.
Granger, T. C. Philips, Sir G. R.
Greenall, G. Pigott, F.
Grenfell, C. P. Pinney, W.
Grenfell, C. W. Plowden, W. H. C.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Power, N.
Grey, R. W. Pryse, P.
Guest, Sir J. Reid, Col.
Haggitt, F. R. Ricardo, J. L.
Hallyburton, Ld. J. F. G. Ricardo, O.
Harris, R. Rice, E. R.
Hastie, A. Rich, H.
Hawes, B. Romilly, Sir J.
Hay, Lord J. Russell, Lord J.
Hayter, rt. hon. W. G. Russell, hon. E. S.
Headlam, T. E. Rutherfurd, A.
Heald, J. Salwey, Col.
Henley, J. W. Sandars, G.
Herbert, rt. hon. S. Sandars, J.
Heywood, J. Scholefield, W.
Heyworth, L. Scrope, G. P.
Hindley, C. Seymour, Lord
Hobhouse, rt. hon. Sir J. Shafto, R. D.
Hobhouse, T. B. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Hogg, Sir J. W. Shelburne, Earl of
Howard, Lord E. Smith, rt. hon. R. V.
Howard, hon. C. W. G. Smith, J. A.
Howard, hon. E. G. G. Smith, M. T.
Hume, J. Smith, J. B.
Jervis, Sir J. Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W.
Keppel, hon. G. T. Stuart, Lord D.
Kershaw, J. Stuart, Lord J.
King, hon. P. J. L. Talbot, C. R. M.
Labouchere, rt. hon. H. Talfourd, Serj.
Langstem, J. H. Tancred, H. W.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Thesiger, Sir F.
Lewis, G. C. Thicknesse, R. A.
Lincoln, Earl of Thompson, Col.
Lindsay, hon. Col. Thompson, G.
Littleton, hon. E. R. Thornely, T.
Locke, J. Towneley, J.
Lockhart, A. E. Townshend, Capt.
Lushington, C. Turner, G. J.
M'Cullagh, W. T. Vane, Lord H.
M'Gregor, J. Wall, C. B.
Maitland, T. Walmsley, Sir J.
Marshall, J. G. Ward, H. G.
Marshall, W. Watkins, Col. L.
Martin, S. Willcox, B. M.
Masterman, J. Williams, J.
Williamson, Sir H. Wyld, J.
Wilson, J. Wyvill, M.
Wilson, M. TELLERS.
Wood, rt. hon. Sir C. Hill, Lord M.
Wood, W. P. Tufnell, H.
List of the NOES.
Adair, H. E. Knox, Col.
Alexander, N. Lawless, hon. C.
Archdall, Capt. M. Lennard, T. B.
Arkwright, G. Lennox, Lord H. G.
Baldock, E. H. Lockhart, W.
Bankes, G. Long, W.
Bateson, T. Lowther, hon. Col.
Bennet, P. Lowther, H.
Bentinck, Lord H. Macnaghten, Sir E.
Blackstone, W. S. Magan, W. H.
Blair, S. Meagher, T.
Bremridge, R. Manners, Lord G.
Brisco, M. March, Earl of
Broadley, H. Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Bromley, R. Meux, Sir H.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Mundy, W.
Burke, Sir T. J. Neeld, J.
Castlereagh, Visct. Newdegate, C. N.
Christy, S. Newry and Morne, Visct.
Cobbold, J. C. Packe, C. W.
Cocks, T. S. Pechell, Capt.
Codrington, Sir W. Pigot, Sir R.
Coles, H. B. Plumptre, J. P.
Compton, H. C. Portal, M.
Currie, H. Prime, R.
Disraeli, B. Renton, J. C.
Drumlanrig, Visct. Repton, G. W. J.
Drummond, H. H. Richards, R.
Duncan, Visct. Rushout, Capt.
Duncan, G. St. George, C.
Duncombe, hon. O. Shirley, E. J.
Dunne, F. P. Sibthorp, Col.
Egerton, Sir P. Sidney, Ald.
Estcourt, J. B. B. Smyth, J. G.
Farnham, E. B. Somerset, Capt.
Fellowes, E. Stanley, hon. E. H.
Fitzroy, hon. H. Stuart, H.
Fortescue, hon. J. W. Stuart, J.
Fox, R. M. Sullivan, M.
Fuller, A. E. Tenison, E. K.
Gaskell, J. M. Trelawny, J. S.
Godson, R. Trollope, Sir J.
Greene, J. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Gwyn, H. Vyse, R. H. R. H.
Harris, hon. Capt. Waddington, H. S.
Hayes, Sir E. Walpole, S. H.
Herries, rt. hon. J. C. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Williams, T. P.
Hill, Lord E. Willoughby, Sir H.
Hood, Sir A. Wodehouse, E.
Hornby, J. Worcester, Marq. of
Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H. TELLERS.
Jones, Capt. Beresford, Maj.
Keating, R. Mackenzie, W. F.

Resolution to be reported on Monday next.

The House adjourned at One o'clock till Monday next.