§ Earl Fortescue
begged to put the question to the noble Duke of which he had given notice. At the late change of Government an impression went forth that great and fundamental changes were about to be made in the Poor-laws in England and Ireland. Statements recently made in another place had tended to remove that impression, but there still remained sufficient doubt on the subject to create a disposition in some quarters to dispute the authority of the Poor-law Commissioners. The questions, therefore, which he wished to put, and to which he hoped the noble Duke would find it convenient to give a clear and explicit answer, were, first, whether in any measure about to be introduced to Parliament, the general principles and leading provisions of the present law would be adhered to; and, secondly, whether it would be proposed to continue the administration of the law in England and Ireland under the direction of the Poor-law Commissioners, whose performance of their duties had fairly entitled them to the confidence of Parliament and to general approbation.
§ The Duke of Wellington
was understood to say that it had been announced in another place that it was the intention of Government to propose a measure for the continuance of the Poor-law Commissioners. As that measure would be introduced at the earliest moment, and as their Lordships would have a full opportunity of knowing and discussing its provisions, he thought it would not be doing justice to the measure or to the public to make any partial statement of its nature or contents.
Subject at an end.