HL Deb 16 May 1820 vol 1 cc422-4

The following Protest was entered on the Journals;


"1st, Because it is, in my opinion, the duty of parliament to consider the practicability, arid the means of alleviating the distress which at present exists in consequence of the want of employment for the poor, particularly as that distress has in many parts of the country rendered dangerous the machinations of the disaffected and has already produced much discontent, which, unless relief should be afforded, must be expected to continue, and even to increase.

2nd, Because I cannot contemplate without deep regret, and serious apprehension, the continuance of those calamities which are at present caused by the want of employment for the poor, which tend to disturb the public peace, as well as to destroy the public prosperity, and which, from every consideration of humanity and policy, are much to be deplored.

3rd, "Because it appears tome, that a very considerable number of the poor might be provided with employment: 1st, By encouraging the public fisheries, which might prove an abundant source of occupation and subsistence. 2ndly, By promoting the cultivation of waste land, of which many millions of acres still exist in this island. And 3rdly, By adopting proper regulations respecting the use of the machinery, which, by abridging labour, has deprived many industrious persons of employment, both in agriculture and in manufactures.

4th, "Because the adoption of such measures would, in my opinion, diminish very considerably the amount of the poor's rates, and thereby tend to relieve the severe distress which is now suffered by the agricultural interests of the country, and to revive in the labouring classes, those habits and feelings of independence which are inseparably connected with their welfare.

5th, "Because the relief which might be afforded to the poor by such measures would not be precarious, transient, of an eleemosynary nature, and would not be attended with such an expense as would be onerous to the state.

6th, "Because the inquiry which was recommended, seems particularly expedient, under the present circumstances of the country, which is afflicted with a grievous burthen of debt and taxes, and which suffers also from a stagnation of trade, arising in great measure from causes which may prove to be not of a temporary nature, and which it may not be in the power of this country to control.

7th, "Because if the measures which were suggested for the employment of the poor were considered to be impracticable, or inexpedient, the appointment of the committee which was proposed, would, in my judgment, have been proper, in order to consider of other means by which that most important, and most desirable object, might be accomplished.

8th, "Because the appointment of that committee would have been highly gratifying to the people, and would also have afforded an additional proof, that this House is anxious to investigate the causes of any public distress, and as far as is practicable, to administer relief.

9th, "Because that committee would, by its inquiries, have furnished more ample and satisfactory information, than this House has yet obtained, on a subject most interesting in itself, and peculiarly important at the present moment, the state and condition of the labouring classes.

10th, "Because it has not been shown by any argument which has been adduced, that it would in any respect be inexpedient to institute the inquiry which was recommended, and which seems to be imperiously demanded by the wants and wishes of the poor. (Signed) STANHOPE."