HC Deb 10 May 1883 vol 279 cc383-4

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If the State-aided emigration to the United States which is conducted by Mr. Tuke's Committee consists entirely of persons who are likely to be able to support themselves; whether it is true that the United States authorities absolutely decline to take any others; and, by what arrangements Her Majesty's Government hope to relieve the burden of pauperism caused by a system of emigration which compels an ever-increasing proportion of persons who are infirm and ailing to remain behind?


The State-aided emigration conducted by Mr. Tuke's Committee consists entirely of persons who are likely to be able to support themselves and the members of their families who accompany them. I have before stated in the House that the pro-portion between workers and non-workers is carefully observed. The United States Government have made rules to prevent the introduction into the United States of persons likely to become a charge to the public. With regard to the third paragraph of the hon. Member's Question, the Government consider that the emigration of many of the occupiers of small farms, and the consequent enlargement of the holdings in the congested districts, must improve the position of the occupiers of land left behind. ["Oh!"] I think it is a well-founded opinion. I may observe, also, that one feature of the assisted emigration under the Arrears Act is that we assist no one to go who is a means of support to those whom he would leave behind. In the few exceptions of assisted emigration of single individuals this point is carefully observed. Those who remain are not in a worse, but in a better position than they were before.


Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been called to the protest of the Governor of Massachusetts as to persons landing in that State who have no adequate means of support? I would ask, also, whether the exportation of these poor people takes place for the benefit of the ratepayers here at the expense of the American ratepayers?


I would also ask the right hon. Gentleman in what way he considers that the assisted emigration of people who are able to support themselves adds to the prosperity of the district they leave?

[No reply was given.]