The MARQUESS of WESTMEATH
rose to present a petition from the board of guardians of the union of Carrick-on-Shan-non, complaining of the management and misconduct of the late vice-guardians and other official persons connected therewith, and also to move for a "Select Committee to investigate and report upon all the allegations and charges contained in the said petition." He said, that his wits had been sharpened upon this subject in consequence of his having been made personally a victim of the maladministration of the poor-law. If it were asked why he had given notice of this Motion, he would reply that he wished to show to the country and to Parliament that the people had no protection whatever, especially in Ireland, wherever the system of the poor-law was carried out without check and without control. A Committee of their Lordships' House had sat on this subject last year, and his agent (Mr. Kincaid) appeared before that body as a witness; that gentleman, who was well acquainted with the condition of Ireland, and was the agent for several large estates as well as for his own, had stated to that Committee many of the acts of oppression under the Irish poor-law to which he should have occasion that evening to refer. In the year 1847 the Legislature passed an Act of Parliament, by which the immediate lessors were made responsible for all the rates levied on farms under a rent of 4l. per annum. Up to that period he had himself always paid his rates to the last farthing, but in that year a demand was made upon his agent for a sum of money alleged to be due as poor-rate upon property belonging to him in a particular parish in Roscommon—a demand to which his agent did not think him liable. The liability was disputed, and the names of the persons occupying were asked for, which the commissioners refused to give. The commissioners then issued a writ of privilege, as it was termed, against his property; and the result was, that a distringas for 91l. 11s. 3d. was issued through the sheriff of the county of Westmeath for alleged poor-rates due in another county, the amount 539 of which turned out to be but 27l. 3s. in the first instance. In the November following he had applied to the Court of Common Pleas to stop the proceedings enforced against him, which might and ought to have been settled in the inferior courts, as such was the intention of the Act of Parliament. The particulars of the demand upon him were certainly concealed from that court, before which he was brought by the Poor Law Commissioners, who, though they were empowered to proceed against defaulters by civil-bill process in the county courts, had also the power of proceeding against them in the superior courts, and of aggravating costs thereby. The Lord Chief Justice of that Court, blinded as to the real facts in issue—because the only possible motive for his resistance was, that the vice-guardians would not, and did not, inform his agent the particulars of the demand, that he might be satisfied the party for whom he was acting was liable—subsequently declared that his was a very bad case, and that Lord Westmeath had set a bad example; and the consequence was, that the adverse costs were made to amount to 23l. 2s. 3d., and those to his own attorney to 21l. additional. A levy for the amount was made, not on his property in Roscommon, but on his property in Westmeath, on the ground that he had no residence in Roscommon, but only a fishing-lodge. Now, the fact was, he had a residence and large property in Roscommon, and was one of the oldest magistrates in that county. He instanced this personal circumstance to show the vexatious way in which the poor-laws were administered in Ireland, which would not be endured in England for one moment, and he had been actually robbed of 45l. 2s. 3d. costs to recover 27l. 3s., which he was willing and anxious to pay, merely for the gratification of the attorney of the vice-guardians in Dublin, to whom this job was given to conduct in the superior courts, which might have been done in the civil-bill court at the expense of four shillings. The petition which he had then the honour to present set forth the sum at which the union was valued, and the number of rates which had been levied in it since the period at which the vice-guardians Were appointed to administer its affairs. He had no doubt that the noble Marquess opposite expected that the administration of all the unions to which vice-guardians were appointed was conduct- 540 ed in a proper manner; but he must inform his Lordship that in that expectation he was greatly deceived. He might, perhaps, be permitted to refer to the fact that when Lord J. Russell spoke, in 1836, of the introduction of the poor-law into Ireland, he said that the expense of its administration would not exceed 260,000l. annually; but, in the last year, the expense of it had amounted to nearly 2,000,000l., to which their Lordships would see that the board of guardians of this union had contributed no small sum, when he mentioned that 45,257l. had passed through their hands within the last twenty-one months. Now, this measure of the poor-law had been adopted in Ireland contrary to the opinions, founded on experience, of every intelligent landowner in that country, and he might even go so far as to say that it had been forced upon Ireland by the Legislature in direct opposition to the wishes of the people. All the waste of money, and all the injustice which had since been committed, in Ireland, were therefore chargeable upon the original authors of the measure, who had enforced it with great pressure in almost every part of the country. When a Minister told him that 260,000l. would be the expense of administering all the unions in Ireland, and when he found that 45,257l. was expended by a single union within twenty-one months, was he to be told that it was a miscalculation founded upon a desire to legislate more tenderly for his unfortunate country? The statement which the noble Marquess had made on a former evening, that there had recently been a great diminution in the amount of outdoor relief given in Ireland, was, he was sorry to say it, not supported by the fact. That measure of the poor-law, which had brought Ireland to the very verge of ruin, had not been of the slightest benefit to the other component parts of the three kingdoms, which might be seen by looking at the petitions complaining of the immigration of Irish paupers, with which the people of England and Scotland had filled the tables of both Houses of Parliament. And what was the consequence of that immigration of Irish paupers into England? The father of the family emigrated to England. As soon as he was out of the reach of an Irish warrant, the wife complained that she and her children were deserted by her husband, and the consequence was, that by this blundering Act of Parliament she and her children were entitled to an order to come 541 into the workhouse. A vast number of women and children were thrown in this manner upon the unions of Ireland. Whilst this state of things was going on, there were two or three other circumstances which greatly aggravated the misery of his unfortunate country. There was no standard valuation in Ireland by which the amount and justice of the rate could be clearly understood. The mode by which the payment of the county cess was enforced was also ruinous. Government ought to adopt measures to prevent the county cesspayer from being called on to pay his cess a second time. The security which the grand juries are supposed to take from the collectors of the county cess may be valueless or not, as those ephemeral bodies may choose; and as a proof of it, he mentioned that one collector of county cess in the county of Roscommon had recently quitted the country, leaving a deficit of 10,000l. in his accounts, and others, in all amounting to 27,000l. in that county, all which the ratepayers will be reassessed to pay. It would be inexcusable if the Government allowed such a state of things to continue. The petitioners in the Carrick-on-Shannon case, which he had now to bring before the House, complained that in their union 5,283l. of rates were now uncollected, and that the law was not put in motion against those who were either unwilling to pay, or were cunning enough to conceal the name of the patty in possession. This was an inexcusable blunder on the part of the Executive, as it obliged the honest man to pay an increased rate at the very moment when the skulker was evading payment of his arrears altogether. The petitioners likewise complained that they had been compelled to impose a new rate of 15,000l., which they could not collect; that they had requested leave of the Poor Law Board to collect it in two instalments, which had been refused by the Commissioners. They also complained, that on the vice-guardians being displaced by the local board, they advertised on the very day of their leaving office for contracts, which bound their successors. He was happy to say that the Lord Lieutenant, on hearing of such proceedings, immediately took decisive measures to put an end to them. The result, however, of all this mismanagement on the part of the vice-guardians was, that an execution was now in the workhouse of the union. He declared himself ready to prove all these allegations by incontestable evi- 542 dence before a Select Committee, which he hoped that the noble Marquess would not refuse. He denied that the poor-law was now working well in Ireland, and contended that the authors of the evils which had been produced under its operation ought to be visited with severe punishment. He gave no credit to the Government for the introduction of the Encumbered Estates Bill; for such was the state of confusion in which all its measures were prepared that it did not enable parties to bring property to the hammer, until there was no purchaser of land to be found in the market; and even now the law advisers of the Crown, as a proof that they considered their own measures lame and liable to be regarded with contempt, were bringing in a rider to that Bill to enable a purchaser to mortgage the estate he bought for half its value. Let not Englishmen suppose that the estates sold under that Bill were sold for anything worth mentioning. Portions of property well situated here and there might have produced a reasonable price; but in general, estates had not produced anything like their real value. He considered that Ministers were responsible for all the evils now afflicting Ireland; and he was glad to be in a position to describe to their Lordships the lamentable condition to which the landowners of Ireland were now reduced. Their estates were all but gone—their sons and daughters were reduced to beggary—there was no remunerating price to be got for corn—and bad laws and bad agriculture had left the landowner without any control over his property. Free trade and the poor-law combined had consummated at last the ruin of Ireland. He concluded his observations by denouncing the poor-law as cruel and unconstitutional, as liable to the grossest abuse for purposes of oppression in the hands of unprincipled men, and as calculated to crush the honest and independent man, if he had not the means as well as the spirit to resist its tyrannical operation.
The EARL of MOUNTCASHELL
, in seconding the Motion, said, he had always considered that the poor-law was not a measure suited to Ireland. The circumstances under which the law was introduced into the two countries were wholly different. In England it was gradually introduced, extending with the prosperity of the country; but in Ireland the poor-law was introduced in a season of the greatest adversity—when the crops had failed, and when the people were in distress. Free 543 trade diminished the resources of the ratepayers, and had, in short, reduced every one to a state of ruin uuexampled even in the history of Ireland. The Irish poor-laws were not as lenient as the English, for the fee-simple of the Irish land might be sold to pay off the arrears of poor-rates. At a period the most unfavourable when the cup of Irish misery was full, they passed a Bill compelling Irish landlords to dispose of their estates—a measure which was nothing less than legalised robbery. Again, paid guardians had been forced upon many unions—men who took no real interest in the welfare of those districts, who often left the unions worse than they found them. Many of the Irish unions were ruined; others were on the verge of bankruptcy; and the event was, that the ratepayers were driven out of a country in I which they could no longer obtain a subsistence. The landlords were left without their rent, the tenants ran away, and if matters remained as they were, the old fee-simple of Irish property must he sold to pay off the arrears of Irish poor-rates. How could it be expected that men of capital in this country would purchase them under such a ruinous state of things?
§ The Motion having been put,
§ The MARQUESS of LANSDOWNE
considered it necessary to recall to their Lordships' attention that the question brought forward by the noble Marquess related simply to alleged misconduct in one particular union in Ireland, although, indeed, it might be inferred from the speeches of the noble Marquess and the noble Earl that it was a Motion for the repeal of the poor-law, the abolition of county cess. Sir R. Peel's finance measures, and the removal of free trade altogether. When those questions were brought before their Lordships formally, and with all the weight that would attach to them from being brought to their attention by the noble Marquess and the noble Earl, it might be necessary to enter into the consideration of them; but the petition which the noble Marquess had presented related only to the misconduct of certain vice-guardians in Ireland. The noble Marquess had complained of the expenditure of those vice-guardians. He was not prepared to say that in Ireland, either under the administration of the guardians or the vice-guardians, there had not been great profusion and abuse; and he had always thought that the introduction of the poor-law into that country could be effected only with 544 expense, and subject to the objection of very great abuse, from the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of at once finding in that country fit instruments to carry such a law into effect. Every effort, however, had been made by the Government and the Poor Law Commissioners in Ireland to prevent those abuses before they arose, and to correct them when they existed. The poor-law inspector, to whom reference has been made, has been dismissed, but no charge has been substantiated, and, consequently, no punishment has been inflicted. In examining what were the abuses under the vice-guardians, it was right to remember the difficulty of choosing proper persons for the office of vice-guardians; also that in many cases they had done great service, and received the strongest acknowledgments for it. It would be right, also, to remember what was the administration of the unions in Ireland by the guardians and elected guardians before the vice-guardians were appointed, and what were the abuses, some of omission and some of commission, which had risen to that extent that their Lordships and the other House of Parliament had felt it absolutely necessary, however contrary to principle and the habits and prejudices of their Lordships, to look for the administration of this law by nominating vice-guardians. In every instance to which this petition referred, the vice-guardians were appointed in consequence of repeated representations made to the Poor Law Commissioners that the guardians would not do their duty—in consequence of some specific allegation made to them, and confirmed by inquiry, that the whole mass of relief was suspended, from the guardians not performing the specific duty they had undertaken, namely, under the severe pressure of the famine, of sitting from day to day, so that the poor were brought from all parts of the union for relief; but no arrangements were made to meet the cries of the starving multitude, and the great danger and suffering which would have been incurred to the fullest extent but for the exertions of the poor-law inspector, who found the whole duties of the guardians cast upon him, and was able to meet the difficulty and provide for the wants of the people. So deficient, too, had been the guardians in their duty, that from the rates not being collected to meet the personal demands made upon them by the contractors, those contractors, as he was informed, had refused to supply provisions at the former rate, and that was one rea- 545 son of the increased expenditure. He was authorised to say, that the Poor Law Commissioners had not received any information with respect to the matters alluded to by the noble Marquess; as to the charge that was made against a certain officer, involving a breach of trust, and a charge of personal motives that would be of a most discreditable nature, he was authorised to say, that that person was most desirous there should be an inquiry into it, and he was now taking steps for that purpose in a way that would be more satisfactory than by a Committee of their Lordships' House, namely, an action for libel against those who had published the charges. He had that day received a communication from the Poor Law Commissioners, stating that that gentleman—and he would name him, because he himself wished it to be known—Captain Wynn, said that this was in its origin a foul conspiracy and misrepresentation against him; that he was in communication with his legal advisers on the subject, and that his intention was to institute such an action. Putting the case aside, however, he believed that the single fact that there was no evidence of neglect on the part of the vice-guardians, was sufficient for their Lordships not to grant the Committee that was asked for. But the figures would convey a general notion whether the vice-guardians were reprehensible or not. Under the extended poor-law, the largest number receiving outdoor relief in 1848 was 19,651; in 1849, the year after the vice-guardians were appointed, the number was 8,560. That reduction was not evidence of very gross mismanagement on their part as compared with the management of the guardians. Again, when the vice-guardians took the management there was only room for 860 persons in the workhouse; but when they went out of office there was room for 1,810, and the number receiving outdoor relief had been reduced to 778. He would also state that the strongest testimonials had been given as to the fitness of Mr. Robinson for all the duties of the office to which he was appointed. From unavoidable circumstances, he had unexpectedly become a needy man, but there was not less regularity in his proceedings than before; and he (the Marquess of Lansdowne) found no evidence of corruption on the part of that gentleman, and certainly nothing attachable in a court of law to inflict punishment upon him. Under these circum- 546 stances, he thought an inquiry into the conduct of the particular persons to whom the statements of the noble Marquess related, would not be attended with any beneficial results. The noble Marquess, however, had referred to a speech made by the noble Lord at the head of the Government in 1836, and seemed to think that the noble Lord had said that no more than 260,000l. should be levied in Ireland in the shape of a poor-rate; but he thought it highly improbable that the noble Lord should have undertaken to give any such limit to the amount of the rate. Something might have been passing in the mind of the noble Lord as to the probable amount; but that the noble Lord, or any other Minister possessed of the greatest foresight and knowledge of the future, should have said, that under the pressure of famine, or any other circumstances, a certain limit would not be exceeded, would have been more than he or any other Minister would have undertaken in that or the other House. But, that there should be a constant effort made to bring back the poor-law of Ireland to the principle of the poor-law here, and that its administration should be watched, and, if possible, corrected, he was as anxious as the noble Marquess could be. He believed that great progress had been made towards bringing back the law to the test of indoor relief, and that great reduction had been made in outdoor relief. Every preparation was now made to increase that progress; and in every instance in which it had been practicable to extend the test of indoor relief it had been attended with the almost instantaneous result of reducing the expenditure and the number of paupers. He thought that the inquiry asked for by the noble Marquess would not be beneficial, and he, therefore, hoped their Lordships would not agree to the Motion.
confessed he had listened with some surprise to the answer which had been given by the noble Marquess opposite, and to the very light and almost contemptuous manner with which he had treated the allegations in this petition. He had said, there might be some little negligence and some trifling profusion on the part of the vice-guardians, but that, on the whole, their administration had been productive of service. He did not deny there was some profusion; but remember, said the noble Marquess, that the charge equally applied to the elected as to the appointed guardians. He (Lord Stanley) 547 thought they were bound to draw a distinction, which the noble Marquess did not draw, between the necessity for an investigation into the conduct of vice-guardians appointed by the Government, and into the conduct of guardians appointed by the persons out of whose properties the rates were levied. The control over the local guardians in the ordinary course of law was vested in the ratepayers themselves; where-as the control over the vice-guardians, who were appointed by the Government, rested not with the ratepayers, but with Parliament, who were entitled to see whether those instruments had been properly selected or not, and whether or not they were fit to discharge their duties; and it was for Parliament to make those who appointed them responsible for the consequences of their acts. Not one of the facts of the case put forward in the petition had been denied, with one exception—the charge against Captain Wynne, which they now heard denied for the first time, but which the Government was challenged to inquire into, and which was ready to be deposed to by unexceptionable witnesses. With regard to the charge, the noble Marquess near him (the Marquess of Westmeath) had personal knowledge that the charge could be substantiated by the most unexceptionable testimony. This petition had been lying on their Lordships' table for a considerable time. It was notorious for six weeks that such a petition was about to be presented, and that such a resolution was agreed to by the board of guardians; yet now they were informed for the first time that Captain Wynne was beginning to think it was necessary to take some steps to vindicate his character, and was in communication with his law adviser as to whether it would be desirable to institute an action for libel against the parties by whom he had been charged. The mere fact, however, that he was in communication with his legal adviser to ascertain whether it would be desirable or not to determine to bring an action—
Oh then he has gone one step further, he has determined to bring an action. Would the noble Marquess say when he determined to bring it? Was it since notice was given to bring this case before the House of Lords? Sufficient time had elapsed for him to have brought forward this case if he had thought fit, and there was no reason in the course 548 he had taken why their Lordships should not inquire into the conduct of Captain Wynne, as laid down in this petition, before a Committee of their Lordships' House. It might be said that if this charge were established against him, he might not be liable to any legal consequences; but he (Lord Stanley) was not so sure of that. The case was this—contrary to the earnest entreaties and remonstrances of the relieving officer, he, the inspector appointed by the Government, compelled the relieving officer to place a woman of notoriously bad character on the list, who was not in need of relief, but with whom that officer was said to be cohabiting. He would say that such a charge brought forward against an officer, and offered to be substantiated before a Committee of their Lordships' House by evidence on oath, was not one that was to be passed over in the light trivial way in which the noble Marquess had treated the case.
Then he would pass over that charge, and take up those to which the noble Marquess did not attach importance—those trifling instances of profusion, and the vice-guardians not being quite so accurate as they should be in the administration of affairs. He (Lord Stanley) did not wish to throw a general censure on the vice-guardians, who were appointed by the authority of the Government. He was not desirous of saying that there might not be instances of profusion on the part of previous guardians. He was not going to say that many unions had not got into disorder, in which it was necessary to have substitutes for the elected guardians appointed; but he would refer to a paper that had been furnished by Her Majesty's Ministers, which did not lead him to think that on the side of economy matters had improved while affairs were conducted by the vice-guardians. This was a return from thirty-five unions for a period varying from one year to twenty-one months, during which they were under the control of vice-guardians, and he found that only in five, or six, or seven, or eight of those unions, the expenses had been reduced; while the total amount of liabilities in those thirty-five unions under the administration of the vice-guardians bad increased from 111,021l. to 233,744l. In addition to having so doubled their liabilities, those unions had received out of the 549 rate in aid, a sum of not less than 164,532l. That was a paper furnished by Her Majesty's Government, and contained an exemplification of the economical working of the poor-law under vice-guardians. There had been augmentation of liabilities in thirty-five unions of 100 per cent, with an addition of 150 per cent besides supplied to those unions out of the rate in aid contributed by other unions in Ireland. What was also the case? 60,000l. was the total valuation of the union of Carrick-on-Shannon—45,000l., three-fourths of the whole valuation of the union, had passed through the hands of this board of vice-guardians, uncontrolled by the local ratepayers, in a period of twenty-one months; and at the period of quitting office they insisted upon levying a further rate of 15,000l.—that was, 5s. in the pound on the valuation of the union, in addition to 15s. in the pound, which they had previously spent in twenty-one months. If the Poor Law Commissioners were responsible for anything, it was for the character of the persons they appointed. He knew nothing of Mr. Robinson, whom the noble Marquess opposite had described to be a needy man. That might be some excuse, but afforded little satisfaction to the ratepayers, who lost by the default of Mr. Robinson, or to the tradesmen, who were ruined by the non-payment of Mr. Robinson's bills, which they contracted on the faith of his being an officer appointed by the Government. But Mr. Robinson had the misfortune, with many of his neighbours in Ireland, in consequence of the measures of Government, to be a needy man, and he ran a bill with the same persons who were contractors for the union. He was processed by five of those persons at the expiration of the time of his service, and he finally quitted the place in which he was appointed on the responsibility of the Government, and did not pay the tradesmen. That was not a case of trifling profusion or slight negligence—that was a case of gross misconduct on the part of a Government officer. It appeared that to such an extreme state of disorganisation had the workhouse arrived, that the inspector attended the board, and recommended a general clearance of all the officers save the clerk; and 196 persons were found to be on the registrar, but not in the house, for whom rations were regularly drawn for a period of six months under the vice-guardians. It was further stated that 4,000 quarts of milk per week were paid for during the four weeks of October for 550 the supply of the house, in which there were 1,637 persons, 335 of whom were infants; yet, when in the last week of October those guardians were superseded, there was not a sufficient supply of milk for the persons in the house. It also appeared that the contractor for fuel was in the habit of charging the ton as 28 cwt., and that 4,372 articles were found to have been abstracted, or were wanting, of which there was no account. Was that only a slight case of negligence? The straw in the beds of the paupers had not been changed for a period of seven months, though he had no doubt that hundredweights of straw were charged for to the ratepayers. It was no wonder there was an accumulation of filth, and from this gross and flagrant neglect that there was an increase of sickness. Yet the noble Marquess opposite said, it was not a case for a Committee to inquire into. The clothing that was left was found to be all rotten; it was mixed up with the paupers' rags. They were compelled to burn it to avoid infection, which imposed an additional charge on the union; and all this occurred under the superintendence of officers appointed by the Government. Their Lordships, he conceived, would not do their duty if they did not consent to an inquiry into the conduct of those vice-guardians. He wished to notice one point mentioned by the noble Earl, with regard to the sale of property in Ireland. They might rely upon it, that if all the causes which deterred capitalists from coming forward to invest their money in the soil of Ireland—if all the causes which tended to paralyse the exertions of the inhabitants, and rendered it impossible that the efforts—almost superhuman—that were required to raise Ireland from her present condition, could be made, the most fatal in effect was the lax administration and the possibility of an indefinite extension of the poor-rates. He rejoiced that the principle of diminishing the area of taxation had been sanctioned by the Boundary Commissioners, because he believed nothing more likely to induce purchasers and tenants to occupy or cultivate the land in Ireland than a knowledge that they would have it in their own power to prevent that indefinite extension; but as that must greatly depend upon those who had the local administration of affairs, it ought to be shown, if it were possible, that the vast expenditure incurred in Ireland had not all been occasioned by the increase of pauperism, or been incurred with the consent of those in whom the power was 551 now vested; and if it were proved that a large proportion of the excessive outlay arose from gross neglect and gross fraud, the unwillingness to purchase Irish property would doubtless considerably diminish. But if this were the case, it was most important that the facts should be made known, and the delinquent officials held up to public judgment and public censure; and it was no excuse for declining to enter into an investigation of the facts, which were not attempted to be denied—to say either that such cases were common—(that he did not believe to be correct either in Ireland or elsewhere, to an extent comparable with the grievances and hardships in question), or to say that the parties no longer held office, and therefore that neither they nor the Poor Law Commissioners who appointed them, nor the Government who sanctioned such appointments, ought to be held responsible for the consequences, not, as had been said of any mere profusion or extravagance, but, he maintained, of a gross and culpable neglect of duty.
§ The MARQUESS of LANSDOWNE
observed, that his only reluctance in acceding to the Motion was, that the persons against whom the charges were made were no longer in office; but the noble Lord having given his mind to this subject, and having said that charges of gross misconduct and acts of corruption could be proved against certain parties, he (the Marquess of Lansdowne) begged distinctly to state, that he was the last man who would attempt to screen any public officer from the consequences of any charge of that kind. He was therefore quite prepared to withdraw his opposition to the Motion, and to assent to a Committee to inquire whether any proceedings ought to be taken against the parties. It was only just to state, that all he had heard of Captain Wynne was of a favourable character, and he believed that the moment that gentleman was made acquainted with the kind of charge made against him—which was not till he had ceased acting as inspector—he gave instructions to his attorney to institute proceedings for the purpose of vindicating his character in a court of justice.
, after the consent given by the noble Marquess to this inquiry, wished to guard himself from misconstruction, by saying that he had no knowledge of this case beyond the allegations contained in the petition, and supported by the personal authority of the 552 noble Marquess who presented it; and, therefore, all that he meant to commit himself to was, that if these allegations were well founded—and it was into the truth of these that the inquiry should take place—the charges, in his judgment, amounted to a degree of neglect of duty involving corruption and fraud. He was glad the noble Marquess had consented to the investigation; and if he (Lord Stanley) were thought, in the heat of the debate, to have used any undue warmth, he hoped it would be attributed to his anxiety that that House should not make itself a party to passing over, as mere ordinary neglect, charges of so grave a character.
The MARQUESS of WESTMEATH
said, that the noble Marquess was not justified in vouching for Captain Wynne to the extent he had done, for the very person who made the charge against Captain Wynne, in June, 1848, avowed, in the presence of Captain Wynne himself, that he did so, and that he was prepared to substantiate the charge before any tribunal. The noble Marquess had taken great credit to the vice-guardians for the increase of workhouse accommodation; but the fact was, they did not deserve the slightest credit in the matter. The fact that there had been eight executions in the workhouse, at the suit of different tradesmen, was of itself a sufficient sample of their management. If the House would permit him, he would move on Monday for the production of the correspondence.
§ On Question, Resolved in the Affirmative. The Committee to be named on Monday next.
§ House adjourned to Monday next.