HC Deb 20 May 1853 vol 127 c441

On the Motion for going into Committee of Supply,


said, he would take that occasion to point out the injustice of paying the expense of prosecutions at assizes and quarter-sessions in England out of the national funds, and allowing the same item to fall as a burden upon the county rates in Ireland. In 1846, when the corn laws were repealed, the late Sir Robert Peel promised that the expense of such prosecutions should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund both in England and Ireland. So far as England was concerned, the spirit of that promise had been carried out; but the expense of prosecutions at assizes and quarter-sessions was still left as a local burden in Ireland, and he desired to know, therefore, whether it was the intention of the Government to propose a Supplementary Vote for the relief of Ireland.


said, he was not aware of any promise having been given by Sir Robert Peel such as that referred to by the hon. Gentleman; but viewing the question raised in the light of policy or expediency, he thought it was one which the hon. Gentleman was fairly entitled to urge upon the attention of the Government, and it was clearly the duty of the Government to give it a full and fair consideration. His Colleagues and himself would do so, but, in the meantime, they were not prepared to propose a Supplementary Vote.


said, he would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the debates in Hansard on this subject.


said, he had no faith whatever in promises of the kind alluded to by the hon. Member for Antrim (Mr. Macartney); but he based the present question upon the ground of policy, and believed that if a Committee were to be appointed to investigate this subject, Ireland would easily prove its claim to be exempted from the payment of those charges.


said, the whole subject of local burdens in Ireland was well worth consideration, and the Government would give its attention to the point mooted by the hon. Member for Antrim. He was prepared to go into a full inquiry as to the way in which the local burdens in Ireland were assessed; but that was a totally different question from proposing to place a portion of them upon the Consolidated Fund.