HL Deb 14 March 1848 vol 97 cc536-7

, in moving the Second Reading of the Passengers' Bill, expressed his hope that the regulations it proposed to enforce, as well upon as in behalf of the passengers in emigrant ships proceeding to North America, would tend to prevent evils which, in the extensive emigration of last year, became so flagrant. A copy of the regulations would be kept stuck up conspicuously on board—a very necessary provision; for when Mr. De Vere went out in one of these ships, he saw great reason to complain of the indiscriminate sale of ardent spirits, but was not aware that heavy penalties could on arrival have been inflicted for such a practice.


had no objection to make to the second reading of the Bill, but should reserve until it went into Committee what he had to say on certain points of detail.


expressed his approval of the Bill. It had been whispered that it was the intention of the Government to sanction a very considerable increase of the emigrant-tax in the colonies; but he hoped they would not adopt such a measure without mature consideration.


observed, that if he thought this Bill would have the effect of discouraging emigration, he would not give it his support; but he was sure their Lordships must admit that the state of things which had existed last year with regard to emigration ought not to be allowed to continue; and he believed this Bill would be attended with beneficial results. At the same time, he was glad it was proposed that the provisions of the Bill should only continue in force for a limited time, because it was probable that the circumstances which had rendered the measure necessary would not continue to exist for any long period. He was glad to find that arrangements were proposed for enabling the emigrants to obtain employment on their arrival in the colonies; for the points of debarcation would thus be relieved from the burden of an emigrant population, while the emigrants would be at once aided in obtaining employment from settlers, who would turn their labour to good account. It was most important that they should take care to prevent emigration from becoming burdensome to the colonies; for nothing would tend to discourage emigration more than to overwhelm the colonies with emigrants. He was satisfied this Bill was intended to promote emigration, and to protect emigrants, and he trusted its provisions would be carefully and efficiently carried out.


considered it advisable that the colonies should have the power of increasing the emigrant-tax under certain circumstances; but he admitted that if the tax was fixed at too high an amount it would be liable to great objection.

Bill read 2a

House adjourned.

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