HL Deb 02 February 1832 vol 9 cc1146-7
Lord Ellenborough

begged leave to inquire from the noble Viscount, if any paper could be laid before the House which would afford a view of the progress of emigration for the last, two years.

Viscount Goderich

said, he would make inquiries, and if such documents were in his office, he did not anticipate any objection to the producing of them.

The Earl of Carnavon

wished to know if his Majesty's Government had it in view to propose any legislative measures for the facilitating of emigration. He wished to know if a plan which was mentioned some time since was still to be pursued, by which it was contemplated to allow parishes to mortgage the Poor-rates for the purpose of raising a fund to defray the expense of removing to the colonies the superabundant population.

Viscount Goderich

said, that it was not the intention of his Majesty's Government to propose to Parliament this Session the same bill which was submitted last year. Many practical objections were taken to it at the time, which, on consideration, appeared to him to be just and reasonable. He had, therefore, declined renewing the bill; nor was it either his intention to propose any measure similar to that mentioned by the Noble Earl. Indeed, he did not think that a necessity would arise for the Government going out of its way to afford pecuniary assistance to those persons disposed to emigrate, as the number of voluntary emigrants to the Canadas had considerably increased within the last year, and he was happy to say, that their settlement had been attended with the most beneficial effects, both as regarded themselves, and the places where they were located. The voluntary emigration last year from England and Ireland was nearly double that of any former year; and he repeated that it was with much satisfaction he had it in his power to say, that the people who had gone out had benefited themselves and the country which they had adopted. Notwithstanding the immense influx, the price of labour had not fallen in the Canadas, and there was still plenty of good land and profitable occupation for those industrious persons who sought it.

The Marquis of Lansdown

thought, that the good example set in some parishes in the west of England had induced other parishes to afford the same encouragement to emigration. The expense of transport was now materially reduced, and, therefore, no measure similar to the bill of last Session was called for.

The Earl of Carnarvon

begged to ask, further, whether a rate made for the purpose of facilitating emigration from any parish was not illegal, and if the Law Courts would not order it to be quashed on application to them.

The Marquis of Lansdown

replied, there was no doubt that if the whole of the rate-payers agreed to discharge the rate they could do so, but as the law at present stood, if any one of the rate-payers objected, it was illegal.