§ The EARL of ST. GERMANS
, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, briefly called the attention of the House to the importance of encouraging the fisheries of Ireland, and thereby further developing its resources, and increasing employment. Grants were proposed to be made by Government to the extent of three-fourths of the expense of constructing fishery piers and harbours, where the Board of Works thought the advance advisable; 50,000l. would be in the first instance appropriated to this object, and if that sum should be found insufficient, he believed they would be disposed to advance more.
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
agreed in the importance of the measure, particularly at that moment, and gave full credit to the Government for the spirit in which this and similar measures were introduced; he hoped they would be received favourably in Ireland, and that private individuals would come forward to second the endeavours of the Government to give immediate employment to the poor. One word, however, with regard to the Board of Public Works. That Board had given great satisfaction to the public; but it owed its success mainly to the spirit, and skill, and unquestionable integrity of his gallant friend, Sir J. Burgoyne. For the last sixteen years, in consequence of the confidence felt in it, the Government and Parliament had cast upon it every duty which they knew no other way of executing. Now, this was over-weighting a good horse. His gallant friend, too, was now no longer connected with the Board; but he (Lord Monteagle) should be sorry to speak in the slightest degree to the disparagement of his very excellent successor, Colonel Jones. Still, steps must be 11 taken to strengthen the Board; and then, what could be more useful than to place at their disposal competent engineers, to direct not only their own works, but subsidiary works, which landed proprietors would be willing to undertake, if they had a little direction and advice?
§ The DUKE of RICHMOND
said, he should be happy to vote for this and any other measures which might come before their Lordships, costly as those measures might be, which might have the effect of giving employment to their fellow-subjects in Ireland, and permanently improving that country. Ireland might, and would, if a sufficient stimulus were given, produce a great deal more than hitherto it had, and, by improving the land, permanent employment would be given to the people. Whatever might be said of their Lordships, they were all of them deeply interested in the welfare of that country.
§ Bill read 2a.