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would have been necessary to have put | weavers of Dublin, praying that the House an end to the contest, long before he was would make some permanent provision for at the head of the poll. He objected the Poor of Ireland. The hon. gentleman strongly to that part of the bill which impressed upon the House the expediency gave additional powers to the returning of attending to the prayer of the petition, officer. In some places, this officer was which related to a subject which was every a common constable ; and he had the day exciting additional attention in Dubpower after three days, of going into a lin, Cork, and other parts of Ireland. He separate place, in company with lawyers, was decidedly of opinion, that if hon. and making his return at once. This gentlemen were to look to the various rebill, in fact, put the whole power of elect- turns on the table they would be coning the member into the hands of the vinced of the necessity of some measure returning officer. He objected also to for enforcing the attention of the gentry of putting the elector to his oath, as uncon- Ireland to the means of employment for stitutional and leading to perjury. It the poor, in the view of their maintenance, gaye a vexatious power to an agent, per- instead of resorting to a system of emihaps a lawyer, to expose the private pecu- gration. The petitioners complained of niary concerns of an elector, and ran the distress brought upon the country by sack all his affairs; because the elector, the drain of capital from it, in consequence after taking the oath, would be obliged to of absenteeism. His own opinion was, answer all questions. Such a practice that some system of Poor-laws must be would have the effect of deterring electors established in Ireland. He had himself from coming to the poll. He was not ascertained recently in Dublin, that three averse to the reduction of the time of poll-thousand looms in that city were uneming, but each particular place must be ployed, and that the persons dependent regulated by the circumstances peculiarly on them, to the number of twenty-one affecting it. No universal rule could be thousand, were in a state of the utmost dislaid down to apply to every city and bo- tress. rough in the kingdom. Though he was Sir J. Newport thought that the Poorno friend to general reform, yet he could laws and Poor-rates, if established in Irenot agree to lessen the franchise by land, would be productive of most excreating new and additional restrictions tensive mischief, and that a very small on its exercise. If a period too limited portion only of the fund would reach the were fixed, the effect would be, that the hands of the poor. He should protest non-resident voters would be deprived of against the introduction of them into that their suffrage. He would be happy to country, as the most dreadful visitation assist the hon. gentleman in curtailing the that could be inflicted on it. time of the poll, but not to six days, as Mr. Maurice Fitzgerald said, that the had been proposed, and compelling the public opinion in Ireland was not favourreturning officer to provide a sufficiency able to the introduction of that system. of polling places; and also, where neces. The statement of his hon. friend was calsary, to remove the place of election to a culated to turn away the attention of parmore convenient place, but not beyond liament from the consideration of the real two miles. He advised, however, that the and practical remedies for Irish grievances. bill should be withdrawn; as, in its pre Mr. Secretary Peel said, that his atsent shape, it would certainly be defeated, tention had often been directed to this if pressed forward.
subject, but the only conclusion to which Colonel Davies, in reply, defended the he could come was, that the introduction enactments of his bill, and persisted in of the English system of Poor-laws into moving, that it be re-committed.
Ireland would be most injurious to that The amendment was withdrawn, and the country. Indeed, he could scarcely imabill was ordered to be re-committed on gine any new country, into which the sysWednesday.
tem of Poor-laws that, under various cir
cumstances, had grown up in England, HOUSE OF COMMONS.
could be planted with safety. Then, the Tuesday, April 1.
peculiar state of the country should be
considered; and, looking to the tendency Poor-Laws in IRELAND.] Mr. James to an increased population already in IreGrattan presented a petition from the silk land, he should rather think that the
application of those laws to it would, by would be to monopolise all the rental of holding out a settlement to the poor, the land. He would admit, however, that remove every check on population, and the closer admixture of the two countries encourage more early marriages, and a still since the Union, and the facility of transgreater subdivision of the land. Then, as mission by steam navigation, must ultito the administration of the machinery, he mately produce a state of things in which could not see how it could be effected in it would be found necessary to equalize the absence of the resident gentry. At the laws relative to the poor in both counthe same time he was willing to admit, tries; and the system of English Poorthat the situation in which Ireland stood laws, if judiciously modified, would, he towards England, particularly in rela- had no doubt, be productive of good; tion to the Poor-laws, was most unsatis provided relief were given only to poverty factory; but then, as to the application of brought on by old age and accidental inthe English Poor-laws to Ireland, even firmities, and if the children were not though its policy were allowed, there reared in the expectation that they were, could not be found for years a machinery in case of poverty, to have a lien on the competent to execute the system. Still land. As to the plan of supporting the there were many circumstances that pressed poor by expending money in procuring the consideration of it on parliament; employment for them, he was sure that such as the relative situation of the two 100,0001. spent in creating that artificial countries since the Union, the facilities of employment, would but aggravate the access in consequence of steam navi- evil; as the labour would produce no gation, and other matters, which, though return for the capital so expended on it. not sufficient to induce him to consent He should, however, have no objection to to the introduction of the Poor-laws into the expenditure of a moderate sum in that Ireland, were enough to call for the atten- way, as an experimental measure, if an tion of parliament, particularly so far as object, such as the cultivation of waste they tended to throw the burthen of Irish lands, could be found, of a nature likely poverty on England.
to give a fair return for the outlay of Mr Wilmot Horton, after declaring his capital. On the whole, the present conentire concurrence in the opinions of his dition of the pauper population of the right hon. friend, took that occasion to three kingdoms, was such as called for deny that he had ever contemplated re- the most serious attention of parliament. moving the unemployed poor to foreign Mr. Calcraft approved of the principle countries; for he could never be brought of the Poor-laws, and had always ascribed to think that British colonies were foreign the evils arising from them to the relaxed countries. If the poor could not get em- administration of them. The introduction ployment at home, what was to be done of them into Ireland, he would oppose, with them? Would it be said, that they as tending to produce more permanent should be supplied with work and sub- destitution in that country than existed sistence at the expense of a parliamentary there at present; nor could he see what grant? If hon. members would say so, good emigration could do, as he was sure, then he would join issue with them on if a hundred thousand paupers were transthat ground, and contend, that such par- ported to the colonies to.morrow, the gap liamentary grant would be better spent in would be filled up, in a few years, with a taking them to the colonies where there hundred thousand more as needy as the was much land unappropriated, than to former. Before the government adopted expend it on them at home, where they any measure of the kind, they ought to could find neither cheap land nor profit. inquire into and remedy the grievances of able employment. The attempt to give the poor. There were many other remeparliamentary support at home to the un- dies for the evils of Ireland. He was sure employed men, women, and children, there would be neither peace nor happiwould cost no less a sum than 300,0001. ness in Ireland until Catholic emancipaą-year, taking the subsistence for each tion was granted. This should be the human being at its lowest rate of 3l, a foundation of all remedial measures : then head. As to the introduction of the Poor- the expenses of government ought to be laws into Ireland, under its present cir- reduced to the lowest possible scale. In cumstances, it would be a hopeless pro- fine, he could not see how emigration ceeding, as the only effect it could produce could cure the evils of England; or the
introduction of the Poor-laws heal the ment attempted to apply those laws to grievances of Ireland.
| Ireland, let them wait, to see to what exMr. Monck thought that the evils of tent they could first be reformed in EngIreland arose from the fact, that her popu- land. With regard to the plans which lation was a nation of producers, and not had been suggested by a right hon. genof producers and consumers, like that of tleman, he must observe, that the finanEngland. Absenteeism also was another cial difficulties of a country could not be
The Poor-laws of England were relieved by schemes which began with the sole partition between English com- borrowing large sums of money, on the forts and Irish misery. If it were possible security of a distant prospect of very to reduce England to the same situation doubtful returns. Neither was it possias Ireland now found herself in, the land- ble that one part of the empire, like Irelords of both countries would become mere land, could be benefitted in her own case, exporters, instead of importers and con- by that which was in effect a loss to the sumers of produce.
empire at large. The only remedies which Colonel Trench was sorry to say that he could imagine for a country labouring there was but too much truth in the state- under the difficulties he spoke of, were ment which the hon. member had just patience, perseverance, rigid economy, made. He hoped, however, that the true strict punctuality, determined enterprise, remedy was about to be applied to the and unwearied labour. These were hard miseries and evils with which Ireland had conditions, he admitted ; but they were been too long afflicted. He could assure the conditions upon which alone the affairs the House, that there was an immense of states could be re-established, and desire throughout the Irish population, to which were at the same time the condiearn by their own exertions and labour tions of the tenure of our common existan honest livelihood. The best proof of ence. this fact was to be found in the constant Ordered to lie on the table. emigration of the Irish poor to England; a grievance so much and so justly com WEST INDIA PRODUCE — DUTY ON plained of, The true cause of the over- Sugar.] Mr. C. N. Pallmer said, he population of Ireland, and of all the trou- had to present a petition to the House, bles which ensued from it, was the infi- and his great respect for the body who nite subdivision of the land ; and he could had intrusted it to his care, induced him not help saying, that the main spring of to entreat their patient attention to its imthe immediate evils which oppressed her portant contents. It proceeded from a was a circumstance to which little or no great national interest-an interest at one allusion had been made; namely, the time, and he hoped still, a cherished object anxious desire of every body who was an of the country's favour-one of the prinIrish land-owner to produce a crop of cipal sources of her maritime strength and free-holders of the smallest possible quan- commercial prosperity. It was from the tity of land.
West-India planters and merchants of Mr. Croker said, it was his firm con- London, and it prayed for a reduction of viction, that the state of England and the tax upon their sugar. He presented Scotland, labouring as they now did under the petition to the House, divested of any what he must call the infiction of Irish political expression or feeling, as a plain, emigration, would oblige this country to argumentative appeal to their impartiality turn her attention towards the necessity and their justice, founded upon figures of providing some great measure of relief which could not err, and facts which could for Irish pauperism.
not be denied. The petition described the Mr. W. Lamb was of opinion, that the rise and progress of the sugar duties from Secretary of State for the Home Depart-3s. 5d. per cwt to the present high rate ment had stated the most unanswerable of 27s., and it particularly adverted to the reasons why it was impossible to extend great addition which was made to the to Ireland the Poor-laws of England, in duties during the late war, under the exany considerable degree. He was quite press provision of the act of parliament, willing to allow, that much of the evil that the same were for the purposes of the which had arisen in Ireland, might pos- war alone. Twelve years had since sibly be owing to the deficiency of Poor- elapsed; every other war duty had been laws in that country. But before parlia- removed; many other taxes had
taken off altogether; but the duty on million ton of British shipping, and from
country, there were others, who, wholly | 1826, amounted to between fifteen and disinterested, would come forward to vin- sixteen millions sterling, while to dicate their character. It did unfortu- other parts of that continent it came nately happen, that the South American to
fifteen millions and those States had enemies in this country-per- sums nearly comprised the direct trade sons who saw with regret their emancipa- with England, although it was much tion from tyranny, and who did not look greater through Jamaica and other islands, upon them with a friendly eye, because which had constant intercourse with the they had released themselves from those Spanish Main. All the accounts, too, aristocratic pretensions, which, however which had lately arrived, shewed that respected and respectable, were more fre- those States were recovering from the dequently accompanied with injury than be- preciation caused by the supply being at nefit. There were also persons who had first greater than the demand, and that the same feelings from party motives, and the consumption of British manufactures who, from dislike to that great man now was greatly on the increase.
He did not no more (Mr. Canning) who had inter- deem it necessary to go at length into posed the Ægis of England between mining speculations, but thought that if South America and the powers confeder- properly managed they might ultimately ated against them, were disposed to un- succeed; there was this strong argument dervalue what he had taken so just a pride in their favour, that in Mexico alone, the in bringing forward. That attempt, how- quantity of bullion produced from the ever, was vain, as the name of that in- year 1733 to 1826, was on the average dividual was consecrated by America 3,000,0001. sterling per annum. He then whilst living, and the order of respect to proceeded to notice the advance made in his memory, which had been published by refinement and civilization, the number of the government of Mexico, and by the books and pamphlets that were circulated liberator of Colombia, had been merely a there, and the general extension of incompliance with the unanimous feelings of tellectual and moral culture. He also the people. The hon. and gallant member called the attention of the House to the then said, that the charges made were, circumstance of slavery having been that one state, for unworthy motives, pre- abolished. It was to the consumption, ferred a corsair war to the benefits arising by these countries, of our manufactures, from peace and industry; the next assertion that we were to look for the employment was, that the trade with South America of our population, and it would ill become generally, was of comparatively little value us, like so many children, to be pettish to the British empire; and the third charge and discontented because a temporary was, that in all pecuniary transactions re-action had occurred. Columbus did with this country, these States had played not change his course, though apparently only the character of swindlers, and had adverse circumstances arose ; neither brought nothing but infamy on themselves should this country, on the first appearand their friends. With respect to the ance of unfavourable circumstances, give first charge, that Buenos Ayres had only up all that she had so nobly achieved. carried on a corsair warfare, to the pre It was by perseverance alone that we judice of others and the benefit of them could hope to reap the benefits of what we selves, the reverse was the fact, because had accomplished. The last charge to Brazil was the only state which gained by which he would apply himself was that of it; and, at all events, before these charges swindling. The South American States were made, it should be shewn that Buenos had been accused of defrauding the people Ayres had rejected the propositions which of this country; now, there never was a had been made. Here the hon. member charge more completely destitute of founwent into details of the trade of Buenos dation. It was alleged that two and twenty Ayres during the years 1823, 1824, and millions had been lost to this country, 1825, shewing that their exports averaged in consequence of its pecuniary transaceleven millions of dollars, and their imports tions with the States of South America. eight; the profits of which were much Now, the fact was, that only sixteen or greater than any they could derive from seventeen millions had been subscribed, and a state of war. Then, as to the value of of that only a small portion had ever been the South American trade generally, the paid. Thus, for example, in the case of value of that to Brazil, from 1822 to the Mexican loan, the whole sum was