HL Deb 29 March 1847 vol 91 cc544-5

having presented a petition from the ratepayers of the Wexford Poor Law Union, complaining of the present system of rating, proceeded to state, that from letters which he had received from Liverpool he learned that that town and neighbourhood still suffered to a very great extent from the influx of Irish paupers, and that they had great difficulty as to the disposal of them. From 80,000 to 90,000 paupers had arrived in that town, about 24,000 of whom intended to emigrate, but 60,000 still remained in Liverpool and Manchester and the neighbourhood.


, in consequence of what had fallen from the noble and learned Lord (Lord Brougham) on a former occasion, had made inquiries as to the accuracy of the allegation that the Irish paupers were sent over by the landlords; and, though he had not obtained what were exactly proofs, yet he was satisfied from all he had heard that the allegation was unfounded. From all the information he had received, he did not believe that in any part of Ireland had there been such a system as the noble and learned Lord had attributed to the landlords and the inspectors. In only one case, in a union in Skibbereen, could he find that such a thing had been done; and he was perfectly satisfied that, taken generally, the charges were without foundation. He was sure that the noble and learned Lord himself would be the first to rejoice that these charges were not true.


said, the noble Lord was perfectly right when he said that he (Lord Brougham) would be the first person to rejoice that what had been alleged against the Irish landlords was not true. Undoubtedly he would rejoice, if he could only be brought to believe that; but everything he had heard confirmed him in the truth of his first statement. He had then given the names of his informants; and, among others, he had referred to Mr. Rushton, police magistrate of Liverpool, who transmitted to him the reports of four inspectors who had examined the parties. In these reports the names of many of the paupers were given, along with their statement that they had received sums of from 3s. to 5s. to carry them over to Liverpool, and that they had received those sums partly from the agents of landlords and partly from the priests. He could also quote the authority of Bailie Liddell, of Glasgow, who ascertained from many of the paupers in that town that the landlords in some cases, and the inspectors in others, had sent them over. Indeed, it was in the highest degree improbable that these people should have come over without assistance, because they were paupers; and the notion that they were paid by the steamboat people was too absurd for any one to believe.

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