asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the particulars in the "Cork Daily Herald" of August 9th, concerning three families of assisted emigrants who were landed at Queenstown the previous day from steamers of the Cunard and National lines; whether it is true, as therein stated, that the head of one of the families, Mary Conolly, has eight children, the eldest of whom is a boy of sixteen years of age; that her husband, who was a herd in Galway previously to his assisted emigration, was killed by sunstroke four days after obtaining employment in Boston; and that in three 461 weeks after his death she commenced her homeward journey to Ireland with her children, utterly desitute; whether Mary Flaherty, another of the returned emigrants, is a widow with two children, one two years old and the other four; whether her husband also died after a few months in consequence of the excessive heat, and whether she now returns to Galway "without any probable means of support;" whether it is true that her mother, described as an old and helpless woman, was left behind in Galway, when the younger members of the family were taken to America under a supposed scheme of family emigration; whether the head of the third family, Patrick Collins, who returns with a wife and live children, the eldest of them sixteen, is a shoemaker by trade, and was so employed in Tralee when he was induced to emigrate; whether the family was disembarked at Now York with a landing allowance of £4 10s.; whether he states that he failed to get employment of any kind, and when his landing money was exhausted applied for a free passage home again; who was responsible for selecting these families for emigration; and, whether any compensation can be made to them for the loss of their moans of living?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Sir, I have received a very full Report with regard to these cases. From that Report it appears that the first two were properly selected cases, and that the Emigration Committee which sent them out cannot be held responsible for the misfortunes which overtook them. The Conollys were favourably started in Boston. They were earning £3 4s. per week when the husband died, during the great wave of heat which passed over the Eastern States in July. It was a period during which I remember seeing, in the newspapers, that 850 babies died in New York from the heat. The family were treated with great kindness and attention after the man's death, and arrangements were proposed to enable them to remain in Boston. The widow, however, preferred to be sent back to Ireland, which was accordingly done without any expense to herself. The Flahertys also settled in Boston, where the husband soon obtained employment. He also succumbed to the heat, and soon afterwards Mrs. Flaherty, hearing that Mrs. Conolly was going back to Ireland, 462 asked to be sent with her, which was done. The two families were emigrated by Mr. Tuke's Committee, and, only for their misfortunes, would have done well. Mrs. Flaherty's mother was over 60 years of age, and would not emigrate. Patrick Collins was not induced to emigrate, and no one endeavoured to influence him to do so; but, thinking to bettor himself, he applied to the Tralee Board of Guardians for assistance to go to New York. I have no doubt, from what I hear, that this is clearly a case in which the man ought not to have been sent out as a State-aided emigrant. He failed to obtain employment in New York, as he said, owing to the fact that the shoe making trade does not become active until September, and he asked to be sent back, which was done without cost to himself.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Why, Sir, the poor people, when they went out, obtained incomparably better wages than in Ireland, and they had the misfortune to lose the heads of the families soon after arriving.
Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to suggest that good employment for four days would reconcile these poor people to the loss of their only moans of support? I would like to know whether an indictment for manslaughter would not lie against the Emigration Committee for having lured them away from their homes?
§ MR. HEALY
gave Notice that, on the Tramways and Public Companies (Ireland) Bill that evening, he should raise the question whether these emigrants had the climatic conditions of the foreign countries they were sent to explained to them, for it now appeared that two men died from excessive heat immediately after being sent out.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
, in reply, said, that, considering the fact that 3,000,000 of Irish people had gone to America, it was scarcely necessary to explain the nature of the climate to emigrants.
§ MR. HARRINGTON
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman had heard anything about the emigrants who had not returned?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Sir, I have a great deal of information, which, if 463 asked for in the natural course, I shall be happy to give.