HC Deb 19 April 1852 vol 120 cc872-3

Order for Second Reading read.


said, that he entertained great objections to this Bill,' but as the present Government had only been in office so short a time, he did not think it was unreasonable that they should propose to continue the present state or things for a limited period; and as he did not wish to offer any factious opposition or to obstruct the progress of public business, he should not therefore oppose the second reading. He thought, however, that the continuance should be for as limited a period as possible, and he should, therefore, in Committee, move an Amendment, limiting it to the year 1853, instead of 1854, as at present proposed. He should also move the addition of a Clause, exempting from the jurisdiction of the Poor Law Commissioners all parishes in which the administration of the Poor Law was provided for by local Acts.


said, he wished to ask the right hon. President of the Poor Law Board, whether it was true that the vestry of the parish of St. Pancras having dismissed the governor of the workhouse for incompetency, the Poor Law Commissioners, knowing nothing of what had locally transpired, had, under the authority vested in them by the Act of 1834, refused to allow the dismissal?


said, that the vestry having dismissed the governor of the workhouse, that officer had appealed to the Poor Law Board to inquire into the circumstances under which he had been dismissed. The vestry had, however, refused to furnish the Poor Law Board with any information on the subject, and they had, therefore, in order to get at the facts of the case, been compelled to call upon the vestry, through the medium of a Court of Law, either to reinstate the governor of the workhouse, or to give valid reasons w his dismissal. The Poor Law Board had no wish to withhold their assent to his discharge, but they wished to obtain that information on the subject which had tip to the present time been refused.


said, that he had found a correspondence had been going on with the parish of St. Pancras, in which serious charges were made against the master of the workhouse. The vestry dismissed him. He then applied to the right hon. Gentleman lately Secretary of the Home Department for inquiry. The vestry refused information, and there was no course by which to get at the bottom of the matter unless they were brought into a Court of Law. There was no course but to call on the parish to reinstate that person, or to give a cause for his dismissal. Possibly the vestry decided rightly. All the Poor Law Board did was to ask for information. They could only call on the vestry to reinstate an officer against whom no charges were proved.

Bill read 2°.

House adjourned at One o'clock.