HL Deb 22 March 1855 vol 137 c942

said, he wished to put a question to the noble Earl the President of the Council, of which he had given him a very short notice. It was simply to ask whether Her Majesty's Ministers had received any communication from the Governor General of Canada relative to the contribution of certain tribes of native Indians in Canada towards the Patriotic Fund? Although great evils attended the war, thus much good was obtained, that it had created a generous sympathy among all classes of Her Majesty's subjects in the most remote parts of Her Majesty's widely-extended dominions; and of that no evidence could be greater than the fund to which he alluded—a fund which, under the heavy pressure of the public burdens, had yet risen to upwards of a million of money. The largeness of the sum proved how universal was the sympathy; but it was to the small fractions of it they must look for the intensity of that feeling. He would mention a case in our own country. In the London Reformatory for Adult Criminals the poor inmates wished to contribute something towards the fund. Having no money, they abstained totally from food for twenty-four hours, on a day when meat was allowed, and applied the proceeds to the purpose. It was in a kindred spirit that these poor Red Indians, from their wig-wams in the Far West, had contributed the enormous sum, to them, of 100l. He understood the meeting at which the contribution was made took place on the 4th of the month. He also understood that notice of it had been sent to the Governor General; and, as it was probable some intimation would reach the Home Secretary, he had ventured to put the question to his noble Friend. It was not a matter of much importance, or requiring the particular notice of their Lordships; but he was sure he needed no excuse for mentioning an admirable trait in the character of their fellow-subjects inhabiting the prairies of a distant continent.


said, he had not been able to obtain any sufficient information as to the facts mentioned by his noble Friend, but he would certainly endeavour to ascertain the circumstances which were so highly creditable to the inhabitants of the Far West.