HL Deb 27 July 1854 vol 135 cc800-1

Bill read 3a (according to order).


moved the introduction of a clause providing that if any person, being a Malay, Lascar, or native of the territories under the government of the East India Company, should be brought to the United Kingdom on board ship, and should be found, while in this country, to be in want of food, clothing, or other necessaries, it should be lawful for the Lords of the Admiralty to supply him with necessary relief, and to send him back to, or near to, the port from which he was shipped.


considered the clause was unnecessary, and that if it were introduced it would not meet the object in view. It was enacted by the East India Company's Act that they should be at the expense of maintaining such persons, if belonging to their territories, while in this country, and of sending them back by ship to their own country; and they had power to prevent sailors going on board ship without giving security that they should be taken back. With regard to persons from the Sandwich Islands and similar places, the clause would not meet their case, for it only referred to Malays and Africans.


was sorry he could not compliment the noble Lord upon the soundness of his argument. Whatever technical objections might be urged against it, common sense would say that nothing could be more reasonable than the clause proposed by his noble Friend. He could not imagine any greater hardship than to allow merchant shipowners to bring foreign seamen from distant parts of the world, pay them off in the port of London or Liverpool, cast them adrift in the streets, and leave them chargeable to the poor rates or the charity of the public. This was a hardship alike to the sailor and the public; and in his opinion the clause was a most just and useful one.


said, that the Poor Law Commissioners had been communicated with as to whether they should not bring in a Bill for the correction of the evil complained of. To apply a remedy would be very difficult in any case; but if a mode of doing so could be devised, he had no doubt they would be glad to adopt it. After all, however, the evil chiefly applied to very few persons— namely, the natives of those countries which had no Consul or Minister here. In the case of civilised countries that were represented here, it was a part of the duty of the Consul or Minister to send home their own distressed subjects. Lascars and natives of the East Indies were provided for by the East India Company; and the evil only affected, therefore, natives of Africa, the Sandwich Islands, and the other islands of the Pacific Ocean.


hoped the Board of Trade would, at all events, consider the matter before the next Session of Parliament, and see if they could not next Session introduce a measure to remedy this admitted evil.

Amendment negatived: Bill passed, and sent to the Commons.

On the suggestion of Lord REDESDALE, Moved to resolve, That this House, having adjourned on Monday last before a Bill intituled 'An Act for allowing Gold Wares to be manufactured at a lower Standard than that now allowed by Law, and to amend the Law relating to the assaying of Gold and Silver Wares,' could be brought from the Commons House, after being passed there on that Day, by which Accident alone the Second Reading of the said Bill could not be moved on Tuesday last, it is reasonable that the same be allowed to be read a Second Time this Day, if the House shall think fit so to order.

On Question, agreed to,

Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the whole House Tomorrow.

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