§ Order of the Day for receiving the Report of the Amendment read. Amendments reported accordingly.
§ Clause 8, which provided that rent-charges, by way of annuity and jointure, should be made liable to deductions for poor-rate having been proposed, was struck out.
§ On Clause 10,
said, as the clause had been disposed of, he was only anxious that the Bill should be made as generally useful as possible. He wished to call their Lordships' attention to this clause, which provided that occupiers should not deduct from the rent more than one-half the amount of the rate paid. The Poor Law Act provided that where the person occupying any property rated to the relief of the poor shall be liable to pay rent in respect of the same, he might deduct from the rent one-half of the rate paid in respect of each pound of the net annual value (whether such rent shall be greater or less than such annual value), and so in proportion for any less sum than a pound. That was the enactment proposed to be amended by this clause. He wished to know whether the terms of the clause applied only to the immediate occupiers or to the intermediate lessees.
The MARQUESS of CLANRIGARDE
referred, in explanation, to the 17th and 57th Sections of the first Irish Poor Law Act (1 & 2 Vict., c. 56).
§ Clause agreed to.
§ On Clause 11,
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
submitted the Amendments of which he had given notice—first, that all orders made by the Poor Law Commissioners for the subdivision of unions and the establishment of new unions of a smaller size, and therefore better suited for the effectual relief of the poor, and for erecting or providing additional workhouses therein, together with any similar orders for new arrangements made in relation to the area of electoral divisions, with the view of reducing such area, and adopting, as far as practicable, boundaries more generally conterminous with property, shall be included in the reports of the Poor Law Commissioners, and be laid annually before Parliament. The noble Lord observed that the Poor Law Commissioners' powers were most despotic, and his object was to let their Lordships and the public see how those powers were exercised. The next Amendment was that it should be lawful for the Poor Law Commissioners, upon the request of one-third of the guardians of any union, to appoint one fitting and proper person to act as resident guardian, for the unions so applying, in the execution of the duty of guardian for the union to which he may be appointed, in the same manner, in all respects, as if such resident assistant-guardian were an ex-officio guardian or elected guardian for such union; and that the Poor Law Commissioners should be authorised to remove such assistant guardian, and to appoint another from time to time, and, if they should think fit, to discontinue such appointment altogether whenever they considered it expedient to do so.
The EARL of MINTO
said, the great objection he felt to the proposition of the noble Baron (Lord Monteagle) was, that it cast unequivocal reflections upon the Poor Law Commissioners in Ireland. He could not willingly be a party to any such imputations on that most meritorious class of public servants.
§ LORD MONTEAGLE
said, it was because he could not trust the Poor Law Commissioners, nor other parties acting under their immediate authority, but really not under their effective control, that he must press this Amendment. It was of 834 the highest consequence that these assistant guardians should be reappointed.
The MARQUESS of CLANRICARDE
could not understand the ground of his noble Friend's reluctance to confide in the Poor Law Commissioners with regard to any objects coming within the scope of this clause. His noble Friend would be the first to admit the practical fact, that in the general working of the Bill it was not possible to dispense with that degree of trust in the parties in question for the due discharge of their very responsible duties which he seemed so unwilling to concede in this particular instance.
§ Amendment, with a verbal alteration, substituting the words "board of guardians" in lieu of "a majority of the board of guardians," passed.
§ Several other Amendments were then proposed by Lord Monteagle and other noble Lords, some of which were adopted, and the Bill passed through the Committee.
§ Bill to be read 3a To-morrow.
§ House adjourned till To-morrow.