HC Deb 28 July 1864 vol 176 cc2161-82

said, he rose to call attention to the subject of Emigration to the United States of America in reference to the prolongation of the war now raging in that country, and to move an Address for Papers. He certainly should not have attempted to intrude on their attention at that late period of the Session had it not been that a case had presented itself which it appeared to him necessary he should bring before the House. In the course of his duty as a member of the Distress Relief Committee at Glossop, one of the towns most affected by the cotton distress, it became necessary to have a census made of the population of the district, and one of the elements of that census was the character of the emigration which prevailed. It appeared from that census that there had been a very large emigration from that district, and from the inquiry which supervened he found it was also large from the cotton districts in general. In twenty-two towns, taken promiscuously from the cotton districts—and he did not know that they were the largest towns—there had been within a few months, setting aside single men, no less than 1,460 married men who had left this country for the United States of America, of whom no fewer than 780 had deserted their wives and families, leaving 2,160 chargeable on the rates. He had also the names of fourteen persons who had emigrated within three months from one spot near Manchester, and of these no fewer than twelve had deserted their wives and children. In all probability the 780 married men who had deserted their families were young and able men not long married, and in the most active period of their lives. That emigration, attended by such calamitous results, must show that there were deep causes at work for the present state of things, which was to be lamented, not only for its anti-social results, but for the country generally. It would not meet the argument to say that these men had emigrated with a view afterwards to send for their families, because he knew that there had been instances in which the manufacturers of America had sent for manufacturing hands from England, had paid for the passage of those who went over including not only the working hands, but their families also, and the money thus advanced was afterwards repaid out of the men's wages on their arrival in America. He had further to say that great caution was exercised by the agents who were instrumental in taking these people out of the country, for they did not give written documents or money until the emigrants were safe on board the vessels which were to convey them to America. He would read a few extracts to show how some, at all events, of those who emigrated were disposed of when they got to the other side of the water, and in order to present the case in the most condensed form he should mainly confine himself to printed or written statements. Here was a well-authenticated case:—A young man who was a private in the Manchester Volunteers was decoyed over to New York, and he held in his hand a letter which was written by an officer of the corps relative to the case— A companion of his had seen an advertisement in some newspaper requiring first-rate mechanics for a workshop in Canada. He searched out and found the advertiser, who assured him that work; was plentiful in Canada, and that he would have permanent employment at 35s. a week. At the next interview wish the advertiser (which took place on the steps of the Manchester Exchange) the man went with his friend, and they agreed to go. They were only told to provide for their voyage, because on their arrival in Canada they would obtain employment immediately, and could get cash on account of their wages. Six men were thus induced to go, When they arrived at Liverpool there was a conveyance waiting for them, and they were driven down to the pier head. On getting on hoard the steamer (called the Virginia), however, they found she was bound for New York, and in reply to their inquiries were told that they would be reshipped at New York for Canada. However, when they arrived at New York, the advertiser sent them to a place to get some refreshment, paid for it, and also intimated that he had paid their passage to Long Island, He then disappeared, and they never saw him afterwards. The poor fellows knew nothing about Long Island, and went. They were penniless and friendless. Two enlisted at once. Four escaped to New York, and then enlisted. One man concealed himself in the hold of a Cunard steamer and returned to England, sadly ashamed of himself, and a miserable victim of Yankee rascality. Long Island, mentioned in this letter, was a place where recruits bound themselves for service in the Federal army. He could quote a case even more startling than that, but he did not wish to trespass too long on the time of the House, It was not a solitary case. He held in his hand the statement of a man named Macartney, whose case was before the Foreign Office, who was landed at New York with a letter of credit for £10. He was drugged, robbed, and while in a state of stupefaction enlisted in the Federal army. There was reason to believe that in all the passenger ships from the Mersey to America there were emissaries from the Federal Government on board with the view of enlisting young men as recruits. A case had been told to him two days ago by an hon. and gallant Member of that House. A man sailed from London in a ship for America. He did not like the provisions, but a very civil and kind person who was on board produced a quantity of potted meats, and induced the emigrant to partake of them. When about to land, this person asked the emigrant to come to his house in New York; the emigrant consented, was drugged with whisky, and found himself a Federal soldier. He deserted, and found himself in gaol. Here was another case:—A letter had been received by Mr. Whinham, of Hull, from his nephew, who stated that he left Liverpool in an American ship. On the voyage he was very much ill-used by the captain and crew, and he stated that immediately after he had landed he was seized by soldiers and taken by force to an island near New York, the name of which he did not give—though no doubt it was Long Island; here he met with several other Englishmen, all of whom had been impressed into the Federal service. This letter, which was dated June 23, stated that the recruits were being drilled daily, and that the writer almost hourly expected to receive orders to join the army. He complained loudly that the British Government did not interfere to prevent these scandalous outrages upon Englishmen, apparently forgetting that by going to America and on board an American ship he forfeited all reasonable claim upon the country he deserted. A case in the Irish Court of Bankruptcy a few days ago threw some light on the system of Federal recruiting in Ireland. In the case of a bankrupt named Ellis, an application was made for the assistance of the court on behalf of a poor woman named Comyns, whose son had enclosed her a cheque for £40, which he had received from the Federal Government for "emigrating" to that country. He was now a soldier in Grant's army on his way to Richmond. Similar cases were referred to by Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, in a charge he delivered the other day in Ireland. He had also in his possession a proclamation of the Lord Lieutenant on the subject, and the numerous cases cropping up everywhere showed that they ought to be inquired into. He was aware that some manufacturers were of opinion that when their mills were reopened many of the persons who had gone to America would return to this country. He could not indulge in such a hope. In the first place many of these men would never turn up again, being under the ground, having been food for powder. Others would have succeeded in obtaining better wages than they obtained at home; while others, again, would have found new friends and connections which would disincline them for returning. He, therefore, thought it was a great mistake for the manufacturers to look with equanimity upon the large emigration in the belief that the men would return, and he was informed by good authority that in some parts of the country labour was getting so scarce and dear that when happier times should arrive, and the mills be again employed, the manufacturing interest would be seriously embarrassed. He, therefore, hoped that the manufacturers would set their mills to work if even only to a limited extent, as it would be nothing but an act of wisdom and prudence to do so. It was known that all the passages on board the vessels from this country to America were engaged for months in advance, and he learnt from the newspapers that there were 10,000 men from Switzerland waiting for passages to join the Federal army. What was the condition of emigrants when they got to America? To show what folly it was to emigrate at present he had a letter from a young man who wrote from Lawrence, Massachusetts, in which he said— I am very much surprised that people keep coming to this country, knowing that paper money is at such a discount and provisions so very high—clothing the same. Tell Cousin—from me, that 15s. per week in England is hotter than 8 dols. per week, which is as much as he would get. For hoard he would have to pay 4 dols. per week; that would leave 4 dols., which would be of the value of 6s. in English money. I am getting 9½ dols. per week, which is worth no more now than 16s. per week—so you see, that I am doing worse than I was in England. The war is ruining the country; flour, that used to sell for 7 dols., is now 15 dols. per barrel. Sugar is 35c. that was 12c. per lb. Coals are 14 dols. per ton, that sold for 7 dols. Wood is 11 dols. per cord that was 6 dols. Tea, that was 00c. per lb. when we were here before, is now 1 dol. 40c. per lb. Things are still advancing, and likely to do so. Prints and calicoes are selling at a monstrous price. Clothing of every description is enormous. We are trying to make the best of a bad job. Caution any one that thinks of taking on with —. He is misleading scores, telling them what good wages they get here, but not telling them what they have got to pay for everything; 30c. in England will bring more than 1 dol. here, take things altogether. Things are very uncertain here. I should not be very much surprised if all the places of business are stopped up in three months from now. My wages are not worth half as much as when we came here first. That was not a very encouraging prospect for those persons who left this country in the hope of improving their position in the United States. Within the last few days some papers had been presented to the other House and had also been issued to the House of Commons which were well worthy of the consideration of hon. Members, and he thought that few would rise from their perusal without deep feelings of sorrow. The scene opened, as it were, upon a melodrama, only in this case, unhappily, the more jocose portions of a melodrama were wanting. The melodrama opened with two rascals—the one pretending to have the means of giving employment upon railways in America, and sending forth the other rascal—whom, he hoped, he was not uncharitable nor indecorous in styling an imp of the devil. That other man went to Ireland. There he plotted and made his bargain so well that, upon the plea of railway employment, he induced many persons—even some who were receiving good wages—to take up with him and to accompany him to America. He got 120 men to go with him in a steamer. It seemed as if one of these men was a match for him, for that man, wearing his hat in a peculiar manner over his forehead, it was not until they arrived in the middle of the Atlantic that it was discovered that he had only one eye. The man was, therefore, not fit for a soldier, although he would have been qualified as a navigator or railway labourer. The agent Feeny, however, complained that he had been deceived, thus showing that he wanted the men for soldiers and not for railway works. He need not enter into the sad history of that transaction, which hon. Members might have road in the papers. He would only briefly state that when they arrived in America these men were supplied with abundance of whisky even before landing. When they did land they were again dosed with whisky, made drunk, and got into the police cells, when, through the collusion, it was said, of the police with the recruiting agents, many of them were induced to become soldiers in the Federal army. It appeared that they did not like their position, for they applied to the Bri- tish Minister and Consuls, the result of which was the correspondence which had been laid before Parliament, from which he would read one or two extracts. Consul Lousada, at Boston, on March 15, 1864, wrote:— The bounties both of the United States and of the several States, added to local premiums, amount to 700 dols., and even 820 dols., besides 15 dols. to 25 dols. to the bringer in of a recruit, and as the poor Irish are generally made drunk and given at the outside 25 dols., the sharks who prey on them collect the balance, and thus a cargo of 120, as in this instance, would net a very large profit to the speculators. There are some features in these transactions which involuntarily recall to my mind my experiences in Cuba. I trust, however, that the publication of what those who hire themselves as labourers may expect on this side will cheek the traffic. It was also stated that the recruiting agents cleared 500 dols. by each man. It must also be stated, in order to show how plausibly these things were carried on, that this man Feeny, who took out a cargo of what might be called slaves, had been arrested in Ireland upon a charge of inducing men to enlist in the United States army, but he was released because it was thought he showed sufficient proof that his enterprise was legitimate, and that his object was simply to obtain men to work upon railways. With regard to many of the men who were thus taken out, they could not help enlisting. As soon as they arrived in America they were surrounded by enlistment brokers, were threatened with sixty days' imprisonment for being drunk and disorderly, and, by the collusion to which he had referred between the police and the recruiting agents, they finally became soldiers in the United States army. Consul Murray, in a letter to Lord Lyons dated April 7, 1864, wrote— There can be no doubt that there was a systematic attempt made to get these emigrants drunk for the purpose of enlistment. Policeman Berrick's evidence on this subject is most important. He states, 'While in Mr. Bradley's (liquor store) there were two or three well-dressed men, I do not know their names, but have seen them in this city, who appeared to be liberal with their money. These men were not drinking themselves, but the emigrants were. I saw a man who said he was from Augusta, who appeared to be talking with the men out on the railroad track. This man said to me he was a recruiting officer, and wanted some of my help to get some of the men. I told him the police had nothing to do with business of that kind. He insinuated to me that if the men wanted liquor to aid them in getting it. I told him no, that I did not drink myself, and would not assist in procuring any for the men. Consul Murray further said— The evidence given by the police officers and the recruiting officers proves that there was a very good understanding between these functionaries, and that the latter were even called and admitted to the cells with the object of inducing the men to enlist. That statement showed that persons might, without secondary or improper views, be taken out to America, and there, finding themselves in difficulties, might be compelled to enlist. There was the case of a man named Ainsworth, who left Blackburn for Canada with the praiseworthy motive of finding the means of employment for his distressed fellow townsmen. Two bodies of thirty each went out, but the enterprize appeared not to have been successful, and Ainsworth was last heard of at Portland, while it was unknown what had become of his companions. He did not desire to raise any charge against the American Government, but he only wished to warn his fellow-countrymen of the dangers they might incur. He had brought the case before the House of Commons because he believed that the circulation of these facts throughout the country might, at all events, enable, some who might otherwise be deluded and inveigled, to steer clear of the dangers which lay in their path. He would now read an extract from a despatch of Lord Lyons, dated Washington, May 3, 1864, and in doing so he would state that all his information had been obtained from this side of the water, and that he had had no correspondence whatever upon the subject with any person in America. Lord Lyons, writing to Earl Russell, said— Washington, May 3, 1864. My Lord,—The number of British subjects who are serving in the United States' army and navy is very considerable; and complaints are constantly made to me of the practices by which the enlistment of many of them has been effected. I may say, indeed, that the most laborious and most painful and unsatisfactory part of the duties which have devolved upon this Legation, since the breaking out of the civil war, is connected with these complaints. No pains have been spared by Her Majesty's Consuls and myself in investigating them, and every effort has been made by us to obtain redress for those which have appeared to be well founded. In few cases, however, have our efforts produced any satisfactory results. Lord Lyons then went on to give the following extracts from a Report by Major General Dix, the military commandant of New York, to the Secretary of War:— Almost every imaginable form of outrage and deception has been developed in the cases in which Mr. Clapp was agent for the payment of bounties. … In some cases boys have been seduced from their homes to secure their enlistment. In others men have been drugged, and enlisted while unconscious. … In short, there is no artifice or fraud which has not been resorted to in carrying out this system of pillage. … Old men and boys, and persons labouring under incurable diseases, were in numerous instances thrust into the service under this system of public plunder, alike fraudulent to the recruits and the Government. … The enormous sum of 400,000 dols. has been plundered by the brokers. … The outrages practised on recruits are too unjust to be borne, and, in some cases, too loathsome to be detailed. Boys have been seduced from their families, drugged, and then enlisted. Two were so sadly drugged that they died—one on his arrival at Rikers Island, and the other the following day. He wished to be fair to all parties, and would fully admit that this system was discountenanced by many honourable men in the United States, and even in the ranks of the Federal army. General Dix, in writing to General Wistar, said— There seems to be little doubt that many—in fact, I think I am justified in saying the most—of these unfortunate men were either deceived or kidnapped, or both, in the most scandalous and inhuman manner in New York city, where they were drugged and carried off to New Hampshire and Connecticut, mustered in, and uniformed before their consciousness was fully restored. … Nearly all are foreigners, mostly sailors, both ignorant of, and indifferent to, the objects of the war in which they thus suddenly find themselves involved. … Two men were shot here this morning for desertion, and over thirty more are now awaiting trial or execution. He would particularly call the attention of intending emigrants to the concluding sentence of the extract which he had just read. He saw that General Dix had expressed his determination to do his best to prevent the recurrence of those outrages; but when they remembered the enormous profit which accrued to the kidnappers of those poor wretches, they would at once perceive the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of putting an end to the system. The system itself was contrary to the express regulations issued by the Government to recruiting officers— They will not allow any man to be deceived or inveigled into the service by false representations, but will in person explain the nature of the service, the length of the term, the pay, clothing, rations, and other allowances to which a soldier is entitled by law, to every man before he signs the enlistment. It was, however, evident that people, after being drugged, had been admitted into the army even before their return to consciousness. He did not wish to be unfair to the United States Government, but he must say that he feared that evasions were often-times practised, and justice impeded. Lord Lyons had asked the Government to keep seven or eight men from going into battle until their cases had been decided, but the result of his efforts was recorded in the following despatch:— Washington, May 23, 1804, My Lord,—Since I first became acquainted two months ago with the circumstances under which some of the Irish passengers on board the Nova Scotian had been enlisted in the United States army at Portland, I have never ceased to urge the United States Government to take measures to prevent their being brought into collision with the enemy pending the investigation of the lawfulness of their enlistment. The copies of notes to Mr. Seward, which have been inclosed in my despatches to your Lordship, will have shown your Lordship how often I have insisted upon this in writing. I have pressed it still oftener and still more urgently in verbal communications. My endeavours have, however, been of no avail. One of the men called at the Legation the day before yesterday. He had been badly wounded in the head, and sent back from the army to a hospital here. Another of the men had, he said, been wounded; a third was reported to be killed; three others, when he last saw them, were advancing against the enemy under a heavy musketry fire. From another statement elsewhere it appeared that two of these men were killed, and possibly the third might have met with the same fate. For his own part he must say that he deplored the fate of the poor wretches who met with such treatment. It appeared to him that a war of defence was a just war, and that it became the duty of men to assist in the defence of their country. But a war of aggression was undoubtedly very wicked, and when persons who had nothing to do with the dispute took part in the warfare, such con-duet was in reality nothing better than murder. It was true that there was a class of filibusters and buccaneers whose eon-duct was frequently viewed with a certain amount of approbation by some portions of mankind. They knew what an evil effect the adventurous deeds of such highwaymen as Dick Turpin and Claude Duval had had upon the minds of large numbers of youths, and even older people; and the same feeling of approbation would, to a certain extent, be accorded by many to those who distinguished themselves by bravery, although they might have been engaged in a quarrel in which international law and justice were alike opposed to them. He did not, however, believe that such a feeling would be entertained when hordes of people went from this country and mingled in the distressing conflict now going on in the United States; and when their participation in that warfare was the result of treachery and deceit everybody would exclaim against it, and demand that every exertion should be made to put an end to such a system. He had no desire to say anything against either the Government or the army of the United States. He cared not what form of Government regulated the affairs of a country, so that it protected industry and international right, so that it took means fairly to administer justice and find employment for the energies of mankind, and so that it were a Government under which the people could live and enjoy a fair amount of happiness; and, as long as that was the case, he cared not whether the Government were monarchical, constitutional, or republican. Still less did he desire to say anything against the brave army of the United States, which, as well as its opponents, had exhibited powers of endurance and fighting rarely paralleled in history. The character of the United States army for bravery would never in future be disputed, but he thought it would be but justice to the brave soldiers who composed it that the slaughter, if it could not cease, should not at all events be maintained by supplies from other countries. Their bravery entitled them to something better than being reduced to dust and being made food for gunpowder, and it was high time that we should cease to contribute to such a result, by sending forth such hosts of emigrants from this country. The widows, orphans, and mourning relatives of these brave men were entitled to some consideration. He believed that many on both sides were now praying most fervently, though from motives of prudence, the prayer might not be readily expressed, for the cessation of this conflict. It was due to them as well, that we should do all we could to prevent any fuel being supplied to this devouring flame. What was the opinion of the man; in this country who, from his position, was most competent to decide upon this question, who held in his hand the various webs of negotiation within the last few years, and who, he hoped, when the proper time came, would have the discretion to exercise his power in the interests of peace? the wishes of the Government must, of course, be to give peace to an afflicted continent, and to take away so great a stain from the human race. Meanwhile, Earl Russell had expressed the following opinion in a despatch to Lord Lyons, dated May 27,1864: Her Majesty's Government have considered, in communication with the Law Advisers of the Crown, your Lordship's despatches of the 11th of March and 19th of April, relative to the case of the Irishmen recently enlisted at Portland and Boston for service in the United States army; and I have to state to you that it appears to Her Majesty's Government to be clear from these papers, and from the reports on the same subject which have been received from Her Majesty's Consuls at those ports, that no doubt can be entertained that the enlistment of these Irishmen was the result of a fraudulent scheme, contrived and executed in disregard of the laws and neutral rights of Great Britain. Her Majesty's Government consider that the men enlisted at Portland were induced, in evident bad faith and under false pretences, to leave their own country for the purpose of obtaining employment, which was not really ready for them on their arrival in the United States; that on landing at Portland they were designedly plied with drink, and that they were then dealt with in a manner which (although it might be the legal consequence of their disordered condition) made it natural and almost inevitable that they should easily yield to the persuasions of the recruiting officers, who were on the look-out for them, and who obtained access to them while in confinement, by the aid of the police authorities. These facts having come to his (Lord Edward Howard's) knowledge, he felt it to be only his duty to bring the Question before the House with the view of warning those who might still be seduced into these ruinous engagements. He had also communicated with the Secretary for the Colonies, thinking that he might be better able to warn the public generally through the many emigration agents against this abominable system. The right hon. Gentleman, he believed, had applied to the agents at Liverpool on the subject, but they said that they could not aid him in his object. He had, however, since seen a ticket which was delivered to emigrants, advising them to beware of persons whom they mot, and giving them other suggestions which were, no doubt, very good and unobjectionable. All he objected to in the ticket was this statement,—"Remember the American dollar is equal to 4s. 2d. English money, and the cent is equal to one farthing." Now, he had shown that the dollar was worth nothing like that sum, and he hoped that upon this point some better information would be supplied to emigrants. He had made this plain statement in the interests of humanity, and hoped that it might do some little good by keeping, if possible, some few of these poor wretches away from the war, and by so doing assist in preventing that unnecessary effusion of blood which was a disgrace to humanity, He did not wish to embarrass the Foreign Office or the Government, or to give rise to any bad feeling, but he appealed to the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Layard) and the House of Commons for some expression of feeling on this subject, if it were possible. No doubt the Foreign Office would do all it could to get redress for these poor wretches, who, though they might be foolish and misguided enough to "seek the bubble reputation in the cannon's mouth," were still, so long as they remained British subjects, entitled to the protection of the British Government, and should be looked on as the erring children of this country. He wished to use no threats towards any other nation. But the House had lately been told that out-ships of five guns were now as efficient as our ships of 130 guns used to be; our resources were ample; our wealth never was greater; we were in a position to be the arbiters of the world; and at all events our voice should have the weight which had always attached to the voice of England. He trusted that the Government, conscious of the national strength, conscious of the goodness of the cause, and conscious moreover of the truth of what he had stated—for he had not stated one hundredth part of the evil—would lose no opportunity of remedying and relieving the sufferings of these poor people, and of distributing such information throughout the country as would serve for a warning to others from being in a similar manner led astray. He trusted also that they would take every means in their power, if the opportunity presented itself, by a kind and charitable mediation, of bringing to a close this disastrous internecine war, so that pence might once more resume her sway over the American continent. He begged to move an Address for Copy of Papers on the subject of Emigration to the United States of America, in reference to the prolongation of the war now raging in that country.


thought his noble Friend had done good service by the able and impartial address which he had just delivered. This was a most difficult Question for the Government to deal with, and he really did not know how the undoubted grievances which existed were to be avoided more effectually than by the publication of the important statement which the noble Lord had addressed to the House. He hoped that what his noble Friend had said would go throughout the length and breadth of the land, and that those individuals who were being induced to cross the Atlantic might be placed on their guard, and warned of the dangers to which they would be exposed on arriving in America, It was impossible for the Government to deal with this question in any other way than by reiterating the warnings of his noble Friend, and by doing all that lay in their power to instruct those who went to the United States as to the dangers which awaited them there. For this purpose the caution on the cards read by his noble Friend had been addressed to emigrants. But although a great many of these persons were seduced on their arrival in the United States and were treated in the way described, being forced against their will to become soldiers of the United States, a large number of them were not exposed to this risk. They were induced to go to America upon the representations—many very just representations—that on their arrival they would receive immediate employment and much higher wages than they would receive in this country. It was therefore not wonderful that large numbers of persons, especially in Ireland, should wish to cross the water. As to the persons who had been guilty of seducing these unfortunate victims, they so carried on their business in this country that it was impossible for the Government to touch them. It was exceedingly difficult to bring home the offence to those persons, because they took care, while under the laws of this country, not to infringe them openly. The description which his noble Friend had given as to what awaited those unfortunate persons on the other side of the ocean was too true. Almost daily communications on the subject were received at the Foreign Office. He had rarely come down to the House that Session without having a letter placed in his hand, giving some heartrending accounts of the sufferings of poor creatures who had been entrapped into the ranks of the American army. It was only the other day that an hon. and gallant Friend gave him a letter which disclosed a most melancholy case. A man went to the States in search of employment, intending as soon as he obtained it to send for his wife and family. He fell in with an agent on board the ship who gained his confidence, and invited him to his house on their arrival at New York. There the poor man was made drunk, and found himself next day engaged, without his know- ledge or consent, as a soldier in the Federal army. In a fit of desperation he deserted; and his wife had lately received from him the last letter probably he would ever write, announcing that he had been arrested, convicted by a court-martial, and sentenced to be shot. Now such cases as that occurred over and over again. Her Majesty's Government had done all in their power to counteract this nefarious system. Lord Lyons had been quite indefatigable in his efforts for the protection of British interests in the States. A Return was moved for in the other House of the number of cases in which representations had been made as to the lives and property of British subjects in America. It took a gentleman in the Foreign Office three months to prepare that Return, and in doing so he had to consult many thousand documents. In fact, an incredible amount of work had been undertaken by the Ministry in regard to these matters. He did not say that the American Government had not, in most cases, expressed themselves willing to do justice; but as his noble Friend stated, the references from one office to another, and he was afraid the evasions of officers in command of regiments, who were unwilling to surrender any of their men, defeated the ends of justice, Mr. Seward exhibited every desire to do justice, but it sometimes happened that when they had traced a man, he was killed or removed out of reach, before measures could be taken for his release. Every endeavour would be made to give protection to these unfortunate emigrants; but nothing would be of greater practical utility than the able speech of his noble Friend. He trusted that that speech would go throughout the country, and servo as a warning to intending emigrants of the tricks and seductions to which they would be exposed on the other side of the Atlantic. It was the duty of all persons connected in any way with emigration, as, for instance, persons residing in districts from which emigration was taking place, to circulate the warning as much as possible. His noble Friend's remark as to the change in the value of the dollar and the cent was perfectly true, and he would take care to bring the matter under the notice of the Colonial Office in order that the circular might be corrected. Having been under the impression, until he arrived in the House, that the Motion of his noble Friend would be answered by his right hon. Friend the Colo- nial Secretary, he was not prepared, as he otherwise would have been, to supply any further information on the subject. All the facts stated by his noble Friend were, he believed, strictly accurate, and had been brought forward, not in any spirit of hostility to the American Government, which all must deprecate, but in a way that could give offence to none. He could not but hope that the American Government would do what they could to prevent those great abuses from taking place in the seaport towns. If the Federal authorities desired, they might do a good deal in that direction, and he hoped the speech of his noble Friend would produce an impression on the other, as well as on this side of the ocean. If such a state of things existed in this country, he was sure every honourable man would desire to put a stop to it, and no Government would hesitate to punish those who attempted to infringe the laws. His noble Friend was right in saying that the laws of the United States were opposed to any proceedings. Of course nothing could be done to check emigration, but emigrants might be put on their guard as to the reception they had to expect in New York. A despatch bad been received within the last few days from Lord Lyons, stating that five or six men had recently been released from the army, and that Mr. Seward had promised to institute a stringent inquiry, and to set free any others who had been improperly enlisted. He would endeavour, during the recess, to collect the information which his noble Friend desired.


said, the working classes of this country, as well as of Ireland, must feel greatly indebted to the noble Lord for his able and important speech. He concurred in the opinion that that speech ought to be circulated throughout the country. The expense of doing so might be great, nevertheless he would ask the Government whether they had not some funds in hand—secret-service money for example—which could be usefully employed for that purpose.


said, he would be glad to ascertain from the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether since the debate on Irish emigration he had received information that the departure of men, evidently for the American army, was still going on. By the most recent communications from Ireland it appeared that the number of vessels and emigrants leaving Cork was as great now as at any time during the early part of last year. In his opinion, the noble Lord had performed an important public service in directing attention to this subject, and his speech contrasted favourably with that of the noble Lord at the head of the Government on the occasion referred to, who had attributed that emigration to the action of the law of level in Ireland, and declined to take any measures with the view of arresting it. They were then told that as employment and high wages were to be found in America, emigrants must go there, and the Government would not consent at that time even to the Resolution he moved, that the decline of population in Ireland was to be regretted. So far from his poor countrymen being well off in America, the papers since laid on the table disclosed a very different picture. One writer said— The condition of the men the morning after their arrival in Charlestown was anything but gratifying. Their number had already been diminished by those left behind at Portland, and of these the recruiting agents had snapped up eight. Without money, without friends, with scanty clothing, with no means to procure sustenance, they would have suffered greatly, had not kind hearted country-women supplied their wants. Recruiting agents hovered round them, and in the course of the day gobbled up several. On the evening of Thursday they had another interview with Mr. Kidder, when they were told the hall must be cleared, and they would not have had a place to lay their heads had not Captain John Warren, who keeps an establishment on that street, near by, bestirred himself and procured billets for them upon the neighbours round. Yesterday morning they were still in Bunker-hill-street, subsisting upon charity, and still pestered with recruiting agents. Again, this was the sort of food they got— Their supper, when they arrived in Bunker-hill-street, after fasting all day, consisted of a barrel of crackers and a cheese, with a knife on it, and the question was, 'Who shall? and there was a scramble, some getting enough for five, others getting nothing. For breakfast they had buckets of whisky. That night, without beds, or even straw, enlisting agents were among them all the time. Such was the condition of the unfortunate Irish emigrants, who were tempted to leave their country by representations of the high bounties to be obtained in America, which were made, not merely by American agents, but by Members of Her Majesty's Government. He trusted that the Government would, in future, look to the real facts of the case as stated in authentic papers, and not to theoretical doctrines of the law of level. He hoped, also, that they would afford to the suffering agricultural population of Ireland the same assistance, in the shape of advances for public works, which had been furnished to the manufacturing districts of Lancashire.


said, he also hoped that the very able and excellent speech of the noble Lord would obtain wide publicity, although he hardly knew how its circula-ton could be undertaken by the House. These poor emigrants might not be aware of the fact, that the American dollar at the present rate of exchange was worth only about 1s. 6d. of English money; consequently, a man in this country earning four shillings was as well off as the man earning three dollars in the United States. The House was perhaps not aware of the enormous number of men drafted into the United States army. The Report of Mr. Wilson, the Chairman of the Military Committee of the Senate, showed that, between the 30th of May, 1863, and the 30th of May, 1864, no less than 700,000 men were drafted into the service of the United States, and he believed were drilled and marched into the field. Altogether, from the first outbreak of that dreadful and vain war, down to the 30th of June last, there had been drafted into the Federal service and placed upon its pay-roll no less than 2,300,000 men. He presumed that there were now close upon 1,000,000 men upon the pay-roll of the Federal Government, although there could hardly now be more than 500,000 of them in active service. But even supposing the whole million to be available, what had become of the other 1,300,000? That was a matter which the young men of Ireland and Germany who thought of emigrating to the United States would do well to ponder over. Half a million, and more, of those men were either in their graves or disabled for life. England was directly interested in preventing the recruiting which was going on in this country on behalf of the United States. We had subscribed and voted in that House about £3,000,000 for the relief of the distress in Lancashire caused by that lamentable war. Again, the cost of manufactured cotton goods to the people of this country in 1860, before the outbreak of the war, was about £25,000,000 per annum, and the value of those same goods now was close upon £60,000,000, so that the actual direct loss upon cotton goods alone to the people of this country was about £35,000,000, besides the money voted and subscribed. If the people of this country thought the war would result in the restoration of the Union or in the accomplishment of the objects of the Federal Government, perhaps they would be willing to bear these evils; but nine-tenths of them believed that it was a vain war, in which the North could never attain its end of subjugating the South. He was glad to hear the answer given that day by the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. An opinion prevailed in and out of that House, that if Her Majesty's Government had used the same diligence to find out these enlistments for the Federal service as they had used to find out whether certain vessels were being built for the Confederates, these enlistments would have been stopped. But the matter was no doubt attended with difficulty; and he believed that the authorities of the Foreign Office had more than once said, "Only give us proof that a man has been enlisted in this country, only give us something to go upon, and we will act with promptitude."


said, he should have come to the House prepared with details which he thought would have refuted the hon. and learned Member's assertion, that emigration and enlistment were still going on in Ireland in the same degree as was the case some time ago, if he had expected that the question would have been raised again that day. That question, it would be recollected, had already been fully discussed in the House, when the views of the Government in this matter were fully stated. Since then the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland had issued a proclamation on the subject, which had been circulated throughout the country; and he hoped, and indeed believed, that it had had a salutary effect in checking emigration for the purpose of enlistment. The Government could not stop the emigration, but they warned the people as much as possible against the traps and snares that were likely to beset them on their arrival on the American continent. He had listened with great attention to the interesting speech of the noble Lord, and thought it was a most admirable demonstration of humane and charitable feeling, which would certainly be productive of great good. It was only by such kindly and temperate expressions of opinion as the noble Lord had uttered that these poor people who were contemplating emigration could be induced to open their eyes and give ear to the advice which had already been given to them by the Government. He could only say that so far as the Executive in Ireland was concerned they had taken all the steps in their power to place before the people the gross fraud which was practised on them, as shown in the documents which had been quoted. The individual who had been referred to had not been lost sight of as long as he was in Ireland. In fact, one of the detectives in the Irish force had slept in the same bed with him, and he could assure the House that the most vigilant attention of the authorities was directed to the whole movement. The measures ordered by the Lord Lieutenant would, he felt confident, tend to diminish very materially the evil which had hitherto been so justly complained of.


said, he thought it unfortunate that the noble Lord's excellent speech should have been supported by the hon. Member for Sunderland. The noble Lord's Motion was couched in the calm and impartial spirit which was most likely to produce an effect in that House. He advocated the rights of his countrymen without regard to political parties in America, and in this impartiality lay the strength of the argument of the noble Lord. But the name of the hon. Member for Sunderland was most unmistakably connected with the idea of his being a warm partisan of the Southern Confederacy. He, however, disagreed with one or two of the points in the noble Lord's speech. The noble Lord spoke of the hardships which emigrants experienced on landing in America, owing to the enormous price they had to pay for provisions—twice as much as before; but his Lordship seemed hardly to bear in mind that this was the effect of the change of the value of money. Another point in which he disagreed with the noble Lord was this: he said that what this country was desirous of was simply peace. He (Mr. Taylor) denied this. Large masses in this country desired peace, but they desired peace that should be honourable to the United States of North America, and that such peace should not come till the hideous curse of slavery that had blighted America and was the real cause of the war should be swept away. He was aware that these sentiments were not popular with the upper ten thousand or the upper twenty thousand of this country; but he believed that out of 200 public meetings on the subject, only six or eight had been decided adversely to the Northern States. When the interference of British subjects in the American struggle was so much deprecated, it should not be forgotten that our countrymen were pursuing an exactly similar course in China and in Japan. Some people even thought we were censurable for not interfering in the quarrel between Denmark and Germany. The noble Lord said that, although he desired that the Government should hold out no threats against the United States, still England was in a condition to use such threats. However that might be, he thought it a most injudicious supplement to the speech of the noble Lord, that after saying the Government should not interfere against the United States, he should add that the country was in a position to do so. The sympathy of the hon. Member for Sunderland crept out in every word he uttered about America. What but intense sympathy for the South, and a strong desire for the defeat of the North, should induce him to repeat so astounding an assertion as that 2,300,000 men had been drafted into the army of the United States, of which 1,300,000 had been killed or wounded. He must have obtained his statistics from Mr. Spence's treatise, and his principles from the letters of "Manhattan." He (Mr. Taylor) thought this was simply a question of the determined will of the North to put down the rebellion, and with it slavery, and he believed the North would succeed. The hon. Member for Sunderland thought there should be mediation. Mediation meant favouring one party in the struggle. But the North would neither desire mediation nor submit to it. Mediation, therefore, meant giving a moral support to the South. It would be intervention with a vengeance, since no one who had read the recent despatches could fail to perceive that the reign of the South was rapidly approaching its close. Why, there was hardly a State in the South that was not more or less occupied by Federal troops. Their capital, if not taken, was closely beleaguered. It was Richmond, not Washington, that was in danger. He trusted that the speech of the noble Lord would have its effect in warning those who emigrated of the danger they would run of being seduced into a war in which they had no interest on either side. But when the practice of the Americans with regard to enlistment was so much reprobated, he could not help reminding the House of the old English pressgang and the enlistment shilling placed in the hands of a drunken man.


said, the speech of the hon. Member for Leicester appeared to have been directed, not against the very temperate and practical speech of the hon. Member for Sunderland, but against such a speech as the hon. Member (Mr. Taylor) might have supposed his hon. Friend (Mr. Lindsay) intended to make, had he brought on his Motion about mediation. The noble Lord thought that the hon. Gentleman with his appeal in favour of the North was the last man to bring accusations against his hon. Friend for entertaining-views in favour of the independence of the South. He wished to thank the noble Lord for his excellent speech, and he concurred in the desire which had been expressed, that means could be devised for its circulation, as a warning in the places where such warning was most required. It seemed from the speech of the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs that it was not only by the enlisted party that such a warning was required, but that the bonâd fide emigrant needed quite as much a warning as to the traps awaiting him on his arrival in the land of his adoption. He trusted, then, that the Emigration Commissioners, in their next circular of advice to emigrants, of whatever character, would warn them of the peril which in one direction awaited them, and that till the war was at an end it was not well for our fellow subjects to select America as their future home. The hon. Member for Leicester said the great masses of the people of this country were in favour of the war being prosecuted by the North. The hon. Member, though not a Leicestershire man, represented the chief town of his (Lord Joins Manners's) native county. Did the hon. Member, when he made his statement, carry in his mind a great meeting that took place not long since at Leicester? He (Lord John Manners) did not believe that the statement of the hon. Gentleman represented fairly the feelings of the great mass of that thriving and important manufacturing town. He did not believe in the existence of that feeling; but were that feeling existent or not, there was no man in the House who would not concur in the recommendations of the noble Lord that the Emigration Commissioners would do well to issue a warning to emigrants, whether their intentions were military or otherwise, of what was likely to occur on landing at New York. The noble Lord believed that none would regret, not even the hon. Member for Leicester, if the result should be largely to diminish those armies which were now devastating the American States.


in reply, said, that if he were to consult his own: feelings only, he could not but be deeply gratified by the kind approval of his speech that had been expressed by hon. Members on both aides of the House, but he could not avoid knowing that that approval was due to the goodness of his cause: and the aptness of the materials he had employed. He hoped that some means would be found of putting the public upon their guard against unconsciously venturing upon a step which might involve; them in disaster and ruin. While thanking the hon. Member for Leicester for his approval of part of his speech, he must say; that he thought the hon. Member had mistaken the purport of those remarks of his which he supposed to militate against his impartiality. Had he desired to embitter the discussion, he could have mentioned a case in which the great power of this country had been used and with immediate effect. He referred to the case of the Trent. He had, however, rather appealed to the propriety of international law and to the justice of international feeling, with a view that the present state of things might cease. The hon. Member for Leicester seemed to think that he had overstated the enhancement of prices in America, but he had quoted the letter of one who was on the spot, and there could be no doubt that since that letter was written prices had still further advanced proportionately with the increase in the price of gold. He thanked the Under Secretary of State for his offer to grant all the information in his power to give, and he trusted that some means of making public that information would be found. It was, after all, by the usual means of public information that the greatest amount of good might be done in this matter, as, if the information was published, not only in the London newspapers, but also in the local and Irish newspapers, it would be brought effectually within the reach of all classes. He should be grateful to think he had a share in any good result which this discussion might produce.

Motion agreed to. Address for "Copy of Tapers on the subject of Emigration to the United States of America, in reference to the prolongation of the war now raging in that country.

House adjourned at a quarter before Seven o'clock.