said, that he was now in a position to corroborate the statements he had laid before their Lordships on a previous evening, in reference to the immigration of Irish paupers into England and Scotland. He had since received accurate and most undeniable information; and, from what he had heard from the authorities of Greenock, the magistrates of Glasgow, and the parish officers of Liverpool, it was proved, beyond all doubt, that in many cases money had been furnished to poor Irish people to induce them to cross the Channel and leave Ireland by the landlords, and in some instances by the priests. It appeared that Mr. Rushton, the stipendiary magistrate at Liverpool, was in the habit of asking the Irish paupers who came before him how they had obtained those funds by which they had been enabled to sail for England; and the answers given fully demonstrated that a bonus, in the shape of passage-money, was paid to them to quit that country which should be responsible for their maintenance. An end ought instantly to be put to so iniquitous a system; and he thought that the plan suggested at Glasgow, the publication of the names of the parties from whom the money had been procured, would act most effectually. He would also suggest to those relievers of the poor in Ireland, who relieved themselves by sending them over here, that it was a dangerous experiment, for he recollected the case of two churchwardens tried in York for relieving a parish by furthering a marriage in another parish, and that was said to be a conspiracy.
The EARL of WICKLOW
would not attempt to justify such a system as that alluded to by the noble and learned Lord; but it seemed to him to be utterly impossible that emigration, on any extensive scale, could have been promoted in the way stated. The guardians, or the proprietors of public works, could not be chargeable; for, if any such proceedings had taken place under their auspices, the expenses must have been paid out of their own pockets. In those cases, probably, where landlords were anxious to make a clearance of their land, they might have availed themselves of the opportunity, by paying the passage-money of a pauper to 256 England, to get rid of what they consisidered a superfluous population. He did not, however, see how the evil was to be met; and he feared that six months hence it would be still more difficult to deal with. He did not think that a poor law, similar to that in operation in England, would tend to diminish the present burden, or to avert the future calamity.
replied, that it was quite clear somebody must pay the money, for the unfortunate people had no money themselves. There was the evidence given in the correspondence of the Commissariat, that the funds raised in this country for the relief of the destitute, had, on more than one occasion, been applied to the payment of the passage-money of paupers from Ireland.
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
expressed his indignation at such an application of funds which were given for the relief of distress. They ought to have been restricted to such relief, and not used to send over poverty as a burden to England, which should be relieved in the country to which it belonged. He could not imagine any more complete desecration of money devoted to charitable purposes; but he thought the cases in which money had been so applied must be the exception, and not the rule.
did not apprehend it was the public money; it was more likely to be funds supplied by private charity.
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
thought, that the expenditure of money so given could be properly checked and accounted for.
The MARQUESS of CLANRICARDE
said, the benevolence of England at this crisis had been excessive, and, in many cases, money had been sent to individuals in Ireland, to be laid out at their discretion; he had no doubt this money was a portion of the funds so sent.