HC Deb 28 February 1853 vol 124 cc770-2

Resolutions brought up. Nos. 1 to 14 inclusive agreed to.

(15.) Chelsea and Kilmainham Hospitals.


said, that he should move the postponement of this Resolution unless he received the assurance that Kilmainham Hospital should remain open for the reception of pensioners in the same way as Chelsea Hospital was open. In giving this opinion he was only expressing the interest his constituents felt in the subject. One representation from North Dublin Union, to which he alluded, made reference to a guarantee given by the Act of Union, which imported that this institution should be maintained. Some of his constituents stated that they had expected indulgence from the right hon. Secretary at War, who had large property connected with the city of Dublin. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer had said he looked on this subject as of the same nature as the continuance of the office of Lord Lieutenant, adding that the question was whether they were to have a system of centralised Government, or whether Ireland should retain its local institutions. A new light had broken in upon this country, which now saw the necessity of supporting the institutions of Ireland, and more particularly those in the metropolis of that country, because they thereby thought to stifle the cry formerly raised for the repeal of the Union, and to give satisfaction to a people very easily appeased by just and reasonable methods. He should therefore move that the Resolution be postponed.


, in seconding the Motion, said that this was not the first time this subject had given rise to debates in the House of Commons. In 1834, the House came to the determination that the hospital should not be abolished; and the late Sir Hussey Vivian had declared that Kilmainham was not only beneficial to the country, but could not be dispensed with without positive injury.


said, he could not allow the argument used with reference to that part of his property which lay in the city of Dublin to influence his conduct. On this particular case he was not called on to pronounce a decision, because he found that a decision had been taken on the subject with the recorded approbation of the House. A proposition had been made to transfer pensioners to Chelsea, with a view to the reduction of Kilmainham; whereupon it was urged that the reduction should not be immediately pressed, and it was decided that no new appointment should be made to Kilmainham, so that in time Kilmainham should cease to be. To that compromise he had adhered. It seemed to him a just and sound decision. The fact had been brought out in evidence before a Committee that there was no necessity for the maintenance of Kilmainham for the reception of pensioners; and he found that the pensioners at Kilmainham were not exclusively Irish pensioners, so that there were not any feelings of nationality on the part of the pensioners to be consulted; and there were also peculiar circumstances affecting the case—circumstances which the House would ultimately have to consider, in reference not only to the question whether they would have to maintain Kilmainham, but also to the question whether even they would have to maintain Chelsea. Being fully impressed with the wisdom of the decision that there should be no more nominations to Kilmainham, and believing that there was no national reason for maintaining that establishment, he should abide by that decision. He strongly recommended the hon. Member not to press the postponement of the Resolution, for the only consequence would be, not that the resources for the support of Kilmainham would be increased, but that the Hospital would die of starvation.


said, he would remind the right hon. Gentleman, who seemed to take an Imperial view of the question, that there was a strong national feeling in Ireland on this subject. Decisions of Committees were not always ratified by that House; and as far as the particular Committee to which this question was referred, he believed that only one Irish Member, (the late Member for Clare, he believed) served on it. He trusted that the feelings of the Irish people would be considered on the subject, and that one of the last vestiges of their nationality might be left to them.


said, he could assure the hon. Member that he entirely mistook the views of the Committee, and he believed that the two hon. Members would themselves, had they been members of it, have concurred in its recommendation.

The Fifteenth Resolution being read a second time; Motion made, and Question put, "That the said Resolution be postponed."

The House divided: —Ayes 66; Noes 119: Majority 53.

Resolution agreed to.

Subsequent Resolutions agreed to.