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As to the ap
with a prohibition altogether of compound persons might be found. He fully agreed spirits.
with his noble and learned Friend opposite Resolutions agreed 10. House re. (Lord Brougham) as to the importance of sumed, and adjourned at a quarter before the office of Advocate General of Bengal, 2 o'clock.
as the Governor General of India had no
other legal authority whatever to refer to NOUSE OF LORDS,
for advice in matters relating to questions
of international law, or the interpretation Tuesday, July 8, 1845.
of Treaties. Interests of the greatest imMINUTES.] Bills. Public.-21. Seal Office Abolition; portance might depend upon the proper Statute Labour (Scotland); Documentary Evidence.
exercise of the office; and the efficient disReported. Arrestment of Wages (Scotland); Jurors (Ireland) : Brazil Slave Trade : Drainage by Tenants for charge of its functions, too, in courts of
Life; Timber Ships; Assessed Taxes Composition. justice was most essential. 34. and passed :-Games and Wagers.
pointment to which allusion had been made, Private.-14. Marsh's (or Coxhead's) Estate. - Wakefield, Pontefract, and Goole Railway; Edin- he agreed in the condemnation passed upon burgh and Northern Railway ; Wear Valley Railway.
it. The juries at Calcutta were willing Reported.—North Wales Mineral Railway: Keyingham enough to find verdicts against the GovernDrainage ; Cork and Bandon Railway; Great Western Railway (Ireland) (Dublin to Mullingar and Athlone) : ment, and it required the best advocate to Great North of England, Clarence and Hartlepool Junc. conduct a case before them. Not only was tion Railway ; Forth and Clyde Navigation and Union this gentleman not the best advocate, but Canal Junction ; Cockerinouth and Workington Rails he was perhaps the very worst in the way ; Lynn and Dereham Railway; Liverpool and Manchester Railway; Richmond (Surrey) Railway. court ; and, for his own part, he (the Earl zá. and passed :-Shepley Lane Head and Barnsley Road. of Ellenborough) had never heard any PETITIONS PRESENTED. By Earl of Clancarty, from Guardians of Ballinasloe Union, for Inquiry into the
reason alleged for his appointment, but that Powers and Conduct of Poor Law Commissioners, and he was the son of the chairman of the Board also for the Adoption of a Measure for the Better Relief of Directors. Now, he would ask, what of the Sick Poor (Ireland); and from Guardians of Bala would be the opinion of the people of this rothery Union, for Inquiry into the Operation of the Poor Law Act (Ireland).
country, if a Prime Minister thought fit to
appoint his son to be Attorney General, 'TAE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF BENGAL] merely because he happened to be a lawLord Brougham wished to know whether yer, and was, from standing or practice, in the office of Advocate General of Bengal, no other way qualified for the office? an office which he held to be of the greatest Would not the Administration of such a possible importance amongst the Colonial Minister be put an end to within twentyappointments of this Empire, and second four hours, by the public scorn and indigonly to tlie office of the Governor General nation which such an appointment would of India himself, had been yet filled up? excite? And yet it really was of less im
The Earl of Ripon could not say cer- portance that the Attorney General should tainly whether it had been yet filled up, be chosen for his eligibility for his office, but he believed it had. There was no than that the Advocate General of India doubt of the high importance of the office should be a person really and truly qualialluded to, but it was not very easy to in- fied for that most important office. He duce persons properly qualified for it to had, however, on the present occasion only
to express a wish that on this matter in Lord Brougham condemned the last ap- future all former precedents, but not the pointment, which, he said, was clearly owing last one, would be followed, and persons so to the connexion between the party and well qualified as Sir Laurence Peel and the Board of Directors.
Mr. Serjeant Spankie selected for the The Earl of Ellenborough said, the office office. In making the appointment, above was one of great importance, and the emo- all things, care should be taken to have the luments were very considerable. The sa-party selected in no manner whatsoever lary attached to it was 5,000.; and if the mixed up with local interests, otherwise individual appointed to it was a competent the result must necessarily be that every person, and of experience in his profession, advice which he gave the Governor General he might make, in addition to that salary, would be looked upon with mistrust and about 6,0001. a year more by private prac- suspicion. tice. With such prospects to hold out, he Lord Campbell know of no office under really thought, if due diligence and discre- the Crown which had been filled by pertion were exercised in the selection of a sons of greater competence; whether there person !o fill the office, fit and competent was an exception in the last case he did not
know. He was astounded, however, to Earl of Clancarty said: My Lords, I beg hear that the office was going begging in to present to your Lordships, from the Westminster Hall; for he had always con- Board of Guardians of the Poor Law Union sidered it a prize for a young lawyer of of Ballinasloe, a petition of which I lately great eminence; and he had no doubt that gave notice, upon the subject of Medical men of the highest lionour--the brightest Charities in Ireland. The petitioners pray ornaments, without local connexion, would for the speedy establishment of a sound
system of relief for the sick poor of IreThe Earl of Ripon begged to correct an land. The subject is one of great and urerror into which the noble Earl had fallen gent importance, and in reference to which with respect to the salary attached to the it has been admitted by Parliament and office-it was only 3,5001. a year, though by the Government that the laws require the emoluments from private practice might great alteration and amendment. If, my make it reach 10,0001. Certain it was Lords, an improved and enlarged system that this office had, upon this occasion, been of medical charities would involve (which offered to eight or ten individuals of very I do not think it would, at least to any distinguished talents, with respect to whose sensible extent) an increased taxation, it is competency every means had been taken to those who now approach your Lordships as ascertain the truth, and that it had been petitioners that will have to pay the tax; declined by them one after another, as not nor are they singular as poor law guardians being consistent with their professional in their desire to see the medical charities views.
of the country placed upon a proper and Lord Broughum said, nothing was so efficient footing. I hold in my hand a easy as to make the offer to those by whom copy of an address of the Ballina board of it was certain to be refused, that under the guardians, unanimously agreed to at a cover of these refusals an incompetent, meeting with twenty-six guardians prethough a worthy and well-meaning man, sent, praying the attention of the Lord might be appointed.
Lieutenant of Ireland to that important Lord Denman said, the office had been subject. Those whose petition I have now very properly offered to many gentlemen the honour of presenting to your Lordof ability, whose situation at the Bar of ships, did also address the Irish Government this country could not make it a safe spe- in the first instance: I regret to say, how. culation that they would be sure to refuse ever, without any effect-that no prospect this appointment; they were gentlemen of whatever was held out that Her Majesty's moderate business, though of high expec- Government would take any steps whatever tations, and of great talents and learning: in the matter. It is, therefore, that they With regard to the last person who had now approach your Lordships; and I canheld the office, he had the slightest pos- not do better than read to your Lordships a sible acquaintance with him, and had no portion of their petition, as placing the evidence to bear of his position at the Bar; subject clearly and in a few words before but many persons who well knew him had you :formed the highest opinion of his ability: “ Petitioners represent that the present systhey would hear with pain the observations tem of inedical charities is most unsatisfactory, now made, and their opinion was, that he and inadequate to the wants of the country, was overcoming his difficulties, and was and oppressive to a numerous portion of the getting into a position in which, by his ratepayers, who can derive no advantage application and his industry, he would in whatever from the medical institutions for
which they are taxed. That, under the exisia time have removed the objections to him. He had heard this from several individuals ing law, a want of due economy prevails, and
many great abuses are practised, as must for whose opinion he entertained a high necessarily be the case in the absence of unirespect.
formity of system and of efficient inspection. The Earlof Ellenborough would very wil. That the present county infirmaries, though lingly do justice to the good intentions of most useful in their several vicinities, are, from that gentleman, but he did not enjoy the their inadequacy in point of number, necespublic confidence; and the strongest evi- sarily too far apart to be of any benefit 10 the dence was, that he had no private business great majority of the population, who are whatever.
equally iaxed for their support. That the
same objection applies to the fever hospitals. Subject dropped.
That ihe law only authorizing the establish
ment of dispensaries, where private subscripMedical CHARITIES IN IRELAND.] The tions can be obtained, it follows that the poorer
the district, and, consequently, the more needy / great dissatisfaction at the powers conthe population, the more unattainable is medi. ferred by the Act upon the Commissioners, cal aid, although such district is taxed in and at the manner in which those powers common with all others for the support of have been exercised; and pray for an inquiry medical charities. That Her Majesiy's Go- into the conduct of the Commissioners, and vernment, to whom, in the opinion of your into the whole system and working of the petitioners, it properly belongs to bring subjects of this nature before Parliament, did, Poor Law. At this late period of the Sesabove two years ago, fully recognise the ina- sion, I, of course, could not support the dequacy of the existing law, by introducing prayer for a Committee; and I may obinto the House of Commons a Bill for putting serve, that I should feel at any tiine very the whole system of medical charities upon an reluctant to press upon Parliament to unentirely new footing; but, nevertheless, now dertake the duty and responsibility that I refuses all assistance upon this very important think properly belongs to the Government matter, not because there is less necessity for I mean, that of originating inquiry, now, it, but because a Committee of that hon. House did not then agree as to the details of the Bill certainly, become very necessary, for the before them. Your petitioners further submit, purpose of amending and duly carrying that the whole case loudly calls for immediate out the principle and objects of the Poor altention, and requires to be met by such a Law. The Government, I think, is, and comprehensive measure as shall bring medical ought to be, held responsible not only for and surgical aid within a moderate distance of the proper administration of the law, but every poor man's dwelling, relieving distress also for the duty of proposing to Parliathe most revolting lo humanity.”
ment such amendments as may be necessary It is not, I think, necessary that I should to promote its success. And whether such add anything to what is here stated, to amendments result from the suggestions of give the subject a stronger claim to your evidence taken before a Parliamentary Lordships' attention. I only regret that, Committee, or before a Commission speyour Lordships and Her Majesty's Govern- cially appointed for the purpose, or from ment being in general little acquainted the unaided judgment of the Members with the circumstances of those on whose themselves of the Government, I trust that behalf this petition is presented, precedence another Session will not be allowed to should have been given to any other acts pass over without the Poor Law being of legislation in reference to Ireland. You amended, improved, and carried out to its have lately evinced an anxious interest in legitimate extent. I the more anxiously the comforts of the innates of Maynooth
Her Majesty's GovernCollege, and in upholding the Roman Ca- ment; as I think that much of the ill suctholic religion in Ireland : I would pray cess that has hitherto attended the measure, your Lordships and the Government now has arisen from their refusal, in 1842, to to give some attention to the physical wants comply with the general desire of the peoof the more humble professors of that faith. ple of Ireland, of the gentry of all parties The long-neglected consideration of the and denominations, for an inquiry into the interests of the sick poor ought to have working of the law-not proposed for the had precedence of the endowment of May. purpose of repealing the Act, but for the nooth, that has occupied so much of your purpose of placing it upon a satisfactory and attention. In this observation I mean no effective footing. Had that inquiry been direspect to the Roman Catholic priests, granted, its present unpopularity would many of whom, I am sure, would agree have been obviated. I also press the subwith me in opinion upon this subject ; for, ject upon the attention of Government, beas far as I have had opportunity of ob. cause the dissatisfaction of the public has serving, I am happy to bear my testimony been of late much aggravated by the reto the fact, that the Roman Catholic clergy, sponsibility of the measure having been in as well as the clergy of the Established a manner disowned by two of Her MajesChurch, have been always forward as con- ty's Ministers, whose positions render their tributors, according to their means, to the opinions upon the subject of the Irish Poor medical relief of the poor. Before I put Law of the greatest weight. 1 allude to any question to Her Majesty's Govern- the speech of Sir Robert Peel in the dement with reference to this subject, I will bate on the state of Ireland last Session, present to your Lordships another petition, when he is reported to have taunted of which I likewise gave notice, from the Lord John Russell with having supported same board of guardians, on the subject of and perfected the Poor Law Act, which the Poor Law. The petitioners express he described as having in its opera
tion occasioned great dissatisfaction, and, is in such a state that it is overrun by numbers been among the causes of the Repeal both of marauders and of mendicants, having agitation. I allude also to expressions of no proper means of subsisience, a prey on the a like tendency that have more recently industry of the country, and relying on the infallen from the Secretary for the Home Julgent charity of others, the introduction of
Poor Laws serves several important objects. Department. The Times newspaper of in the first place, a Poor Law acts as a mea. April 3, reports Sir James Graham to have sure of peace, enabling the country to prohisaid, in answer to Mr. French, that the bit vagrancy, and 10 prohibit those vagrant Government, although they did not intend occupations which are so often connected themselves to institute an inquiry into the with outrage. It is an injustice to the comPoor Law, would not oppose such a Motion mon sense of mankind, when a single person if it had the general concurrence of the or family are unable to obtain the means of House; that he must observe, however, subsistence—when they are altogether with
out the means of livelihood from day to daythat Her Majesty's present Government were not responsible for the application of endeavour to obtain, from the charity of those
to say they shall not go about the country to the Poor Law to Ireland, and he had him- who are affluent, that which circumstances self expressed great doubts when it was have denied to them. But when once you introduced, whether it would be found to
can say to such persons, here are the means of answer." I do not suppose that those subsistence, as far as subsistence is concernMinisters feel themselves, or intended to ed-ihat is offered 10 you—when you can say convey an opinion, that they really were
this on the one hand, you can say on the exempt from a responsibility with which other hand, you are noi entitled to demand they are peculiarly invested by the offices charity—you shall no longer infest the coun. they respectively have accepted ; indeed, which is favourable to imposition and out
try in a manner injurious to its peace, and the fact that they have since their accession to office introduced an amendment of the Poor Law, shoirs that they do not; | Lord John Russell then lays much stress but unpopular as the Poor Law has been in upon the fact, that outrage and disturbIreland from the very commencement, the ance are the common results of able-bodied poor rates requiring even now, notwith- vagrants and mendicants being permitted standing the exeinption of the poorer to infest the country, and gives it as his classes from payment of the tax, to be col- opinion that these results have been exlected in many instances with the military emplified; and, I think I may add, they aid -- anything said by those in authority are daily exemplified in Ireland ; and then at all reflecting upon the soundness or proceeds, with respect to the relief of the good policy of the measure, is calculated to ratepayers, to observecompromise its success by increasing and “There is no doubt whatever of this, that a sanctioning its unpopularity. An experi- large portion of the people of Ireland, espe. ment such as the Poor Law, involving of cially those not having land, do practise men
I necessity a compulsory assessment, could dicancy for a great portion of the year.
have made inquiry with respect to the amount not but be unpopular, unless compensated and extent of the relief afforded to that mene hy some corresponding advantage to those dicancy; for it is to be remembered that a upon whom the tax falls. These advan- very considerable tax is now raised on the tages were originally promised to the great farmers of that country by mendicants, and body of the ratepayers, and great reliance which, I may say, is now raised as a compul. was placed by the framers of the measure sory rate. With this view, I asked of my upon the benefit it would be to the shop- obtain as accurate an account as possible of
noble Friend, the Secretary for Ireland, io keepers and to the farmers, as well as to the amount paid in this way from two or the peace of the country, and the general three farmers, in ten or twelve districts, the interests of society, by the relief of the amount that was paid for rent-the amount country from mendicants and vagrants. paid for tithes--the annount paid to the Ro. This was put forward as one of the chief man Catholic priests, and the amount paid to objects of the introduction of Poor Laws mendicants. The result is, I should say, that iuto Ireland. I will, with your Lordships' in most cases a shilling an acre is paid in the permission, read, in reference to this sub-course of a year by the farmers for the sup. ject, an extract I have made from the port of mendicants. In some cases it has speech of Lord John Russell, on proposing case, where a person had a farm, not very
been 6d. an acre, in others 9d.; but in one the law :-
considerable in extent, it was more than 25. an “It appears, from the testimony both of acre. That person paid 10l., not in money, theory and experience, that when a country certainly, bui in food. There was more than
2s. an acre paid for mendicity. Now, this in in the Poor Law for charging to electoral itself is a very heavy tax, and which cannot divisions or parishes those paupers respecbe assumed, upon the whole, to amount to tively belonging to them, and thereby less than between 700,0001, and 800,000l., perhaps a million in the year ; and, let it be creating a local interest in the diminution
of observed, that this practice of mendicancy,
pauperism. The effect of this clause, which raises so vast a sum in the country, is since more exactly defined by the Irish not like a well-constituted Poor Law, which Poor Law Amendment Act of 1842, would affords relief to the really indigent. It is the probably be found quite a sufficient law of practice in Ireland for the farmer to give re- settlement for carrying out the principle lief to the mendicant who asks for it: the po- of a good and effective Poor Law. If unitatoes are there ready for him; there is no in. |formity of poor law administration be duly quiry into the circumstances of the mendicant maintained-and it should be one of the the begs at a distance from home, where he tirst duties of the Commissioners to preis not known.”
serve uniformity as far as practicable in Now, my Lords, what is the state of things every workhouse—if efficient workhouse after a lapse of seven years since this Poor inspection be provided for, the regulations Law, so pregnant, as it was supposed, with for the government and discipline of every great benefits to the peace and welfare of workhouse being the same, and the dietary the Irish people, has been enacted? The in all upon the same scale of economy, a workhouses, good, substantial and salubri- pauper would not find any temptation to ous buildings, have been erected at consid- resort to one workhouse more than to anerable expense, and prepared for the re- other. Except, however, in very peculiar ception of three times the number that cases it would be necessary that the applinow occupy them, and the staffs requisite cation for relief should be taken as the for their entire complement are paid for; test of destitution; and, from my experibut Ireland still presents the same dis ence, as a member for some years of a graceful exhibition of vagrancy and beg, board of guardians, I do not think it gary, with the superadded evil of general would be often an untrue view to take of dissatisfaction with a law which was in- such applications. The existing worktended, but has hitherto failed, to remove house accommodation, it might, in the it. The promise implied in Lord John absence of more exact information, be asRussell's speech to the middle and lower sumed, would be sufficient to do what it classes of occupiers not having been ful. was originally designed to do; and I think fille:, they feel that they have been de- there is the inore probability of the origiceived, and only recognise in the poor nal calculation being correct, from the fact rates a new grievance-in the enactment that less than one-third, in some Unions of the Poor Law a new ground of objec- less than a fourth, is the amount of accomtion to legislation by the Imperial Parlia- modation actually in use.
The present ment-a new argument for the Repeal of occupants are, certainly, the first objects the Union; and thus a law, conceived in of compassion, namely, the aged, the helpa spirit of charity and benevolence, in- less, and the orphan; and, rather than tended for the relief of the industrious that the law should be repealed, I would, poor, as well as to provide a refuge for the upon the ground of humanity alone, conhelpless and destitute, and calculated in tinue it even in its present very imperfect its operation to cement the bonds of so- It is no trifling consideration that ciety, by uniting all classes in the interest those really destitute and helpless objects, and endeavour to promote the general im- who now alone seek admission, should feel provement and development of the indus- that they are cared for by the State, which irial resources of the country, has only they formerly were not that a refuge added to the embarrassments of the coun- should be afforded to them where they can try, and to the feelings of discontent that receive, with the necessaries of life, that pervade it. It is often objected that a law medical aid and religious consolation which of settlement would be necessary for a is scarcely enjoyed, and could certainly not Vagrancy Act, and that this difficulty be imparted, by those upon whose kind would be a bar against its enactment; I sympathies and charity they before for the think this is a mistake in speaking of Ire- most part relied for subsistence; and it is land. There already exists a law par. in the highest degree important to the intially of settlement; for which, I t hink, terests of the conmunity, that orphan and the country is much indebted to the noble otherwise destitute children, in place of Duke (Wellington)-I mean the clause being, as formerly, brought up in ignorVOL. LXXXII.