HC Deb 21 May 1852 vol 121 c894

wished the right hon. Secretary for the Colonies to inform him whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to apply any portion of the large funds recently received from Australia in aid of emigration from Ireland to that colony; and, if so, whether any part of those funds would be applied in assisting emigration of well-conducted youths from the Irish workhouses?


said, that the best answer he could give to the first portion of the hon. Gentleman's question was to state that the practice of the Emigration Commissioners had been to send out emigrants from the different portions of the. United Kingdom as nearly as possible in proportion to the population of each; but, in consequence of some difficulty in finding the necessary number of emigrants from Scotland last year, it happened that at this moment the Irish proportion of emigrants was in advance of the proportion which had been sent out from England and Scotland to the extent of 6,000 persons. Under these circumstances, the course which the Commissioners would have taken in ordinary times would have been to send out no more emigrants from Ireland until the proportion from the different branches of the Kingdom was fairly adjusted; but, in consequence of the extraordinary state of things which existed at this moment, the Commissioners were not taking that course. On the contrary, their selecting agents were at present in Ireland making arrangements for the emigration of a certain number of Irish families; but a preference was given to families in which the females were more numerous than the males. He begged to remind the hon. Gentleman that in 1850 no fewer than 4,000 young women were sent out to the colonies from the Irish workhouses; hut it appeared that the colonies did not like the emigrants so received, and, consequently, that practice would not be again resorted to. With respect to the hon. Gentleman's second question, he begged to say that as the Commissioners had resolved to give a preference to emigrants with families, it would he inconsistent with that regulation to select young men from the Irish workhouses.