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On Question, that the word "now" | Motion, which was equivalent to a poststand part of the Question? Resolved in ponement of the Bill for another year, parthe Affirmative: Bill read 2a accordingly. ticularly as his hon. Friend acknowledged, Their Lordships adjourned at a quar- consistently with the fact, that the people of Scotland were in favour of an alteration ter past twelve o'clock. of the present law.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Monday, July 21, 1845.
MINUTES.] BILLS. Public.-10. Court of Chancery (Ire
2o. Games and Wagers; Real Property (No. 2); Turn
pike Roads (Scotland); Unions (Ireland); Testamentary Dispositions, etc.; Joint Stock Banks (Scotland and Ireland); Compensations; Drainage of Estates.
Reported.-Highways; Railways (Selling or Leasing);
Valuation (Ireland); Slave Trade (Brazil).
3o and passed: -Grand Jury Presentments (Dublin);
land); Jewish Disabilities Removal; Bonded Corn.
3° and passed:- Epping Railway (No. 2); Heaviside's Divorce; Brighton, Lewes, and Hastings Railway (Has
Mr. Wakley said, he had supported the Bill originally in the hope that alterations. might be made in it with the view to its improvement; but, unfortunately, the many alterations in it were anything but improvements, and as it now stood, it never would work well for the poor of Scotland. He most particularly objected to that part of it by which the able-bodied poor in Scotland were denied relief when out of work. A Scotchman being in distress in England was sent off to Scotland, where he was met by this Bill, which refused him all aid. Why, this was enough to set the Scotch poor mad, particularly when they saw that a different law prevailed in England and Ireland.
Mr. Lockhart believed, that it was the general opinion in Scotland that relief to the able-bodied poor in that country would PETITIONS PRESENTED. By Mr. Maxwell, from Bally-degrade its peasantry; but he could not
tings, Rye, and Ashford Extension).
jamesduff, for Encouragement to Schools in connexion with Church Education Society (Ireland).-By Lord J. Stuart, from Presbytery of Ayr, for Better Observance of the Lord's Day.-By Lord Dalmeny, Mr. Macaulay, and Mr. Ward, from several places, for a Change of Policy towards New Zealand.-By Mr. Duncan, from Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council, of Dundee, complaining of Delay of Edinburgh Mail.-By Sir G. Strickland, and Mr. Bankes, from several places, in favour of the Ten Hours System in Factories.-By Mr. T. Duncombe, from Surrey, for Inquiry into the Treatment of Lunatics, etc. -By Lord J. Stuart, from Town Council of Irvine, for Postponement of Poor Law Amendment (Scotland) Bill. House met at twelve o'clock.
allow the third reading to pass without again entering his protest against the Settlement Clause, which would greatly interfere with the working of a measure in other respects unexceptionable. The grievance which that clause would entail on Scotland was unknown in England. The Irishman who laboured there during the greater part of a long life gained no settlement; and in his own country he had no absolute right to relief under any circumstances; yet hon. Members combined to give him a settlePOOR LAW AMENDMENT (SCOTLAND).] ment in Scotland after a residence of five On the Motion that the Poor Law Amend-years; so that what could not be effected ment (Scotland) Bill be read a Third Time, by an industrious residence of fifty years at Mr. Hastie said, that as considerable al-one side of the Tweed, five years of indoterations had been made in the Bill, upon which the people of Scotland had no time to express an opinion, he felt it to be his duty to move that the Bill, as amended, be printed, and read a third time that day week. He thought that the Bill, under the circumstances, was pressed with unjustifiable haste. He did not deny that the people of Scotland were in favour of an alteration of the Poor Law; but at the same time, they were anxious to have another year to consider the Bill more fully. Mr. Dundas seconded the Motion. The Lord Advocate hoped, after the thorough discussion which the principle and almost every clause in the Bill underwent, that his hon. Friend would not press his
lence would gain him on the other. Hence, Irishmen who exhausted themselves in other parts of the kingdom would flow into Scotland, in order to gain a settlement. This, he repeated, was most unjust and ungenerous to Scotland.
Mr. Escott said, that the Bill, as it now stood, altered the present law of Scotland with respect to the rating of funded property for the relief of the poor. Under the existing law such property was rateable for the relief of the poor; but the present Bill gave the parish authorities the power of assessing or not assessing such property as they pleased. He certainly thought this alteration was objectionable.
The House divided on the Question, that
the word “now” stand part of the Ques, held to be conclusive evidence that gamtion:“Ayes 33; Noes 7 : Majority 26. bling was carried on in the House. With
regard to the second portion of the meaList of the Ayes.
sure, relating to wagers, the Bill entirely Baring, rt. hn. W. B. Henley, J. W.
followed the recommendation of the ComBenbow, J. Hussey, T.
mittee. It took away all cognizance of Bentinck, Lord G. Hutt, W.
wagers from the courts of law. But at Bowes, J. Jones, Capt.
the same time it made parties who made Brotherton, J. Lincoln, Earl of
wagers and gained undue advantage frauBruce, Lord E. Lockhart, w.
dulently, subject to the penalties to which Clerk, rt, hn. Sir G. McNeill, D. Clive, Visct. Meynell, Capt.
persons who obtained money under false Cripps, W. Pringle, A.
pretences were subject. It put an end to Dick, Q. Rolleston, Col.
all qui tam actions altogether. He, thereDuke, Sir J. Rous, hon. Capt.
fore, considered the Bill would prove very Duncombe, hon. 0. Scott, hon. F.
beneficial to the public, and he recomFlower, Sir J.
Stuart, Lord J. mended it to the adoption of the House. Forester, hon.G.C.W. Warburton, H.
Mr. Hawes said, that the Bill did not Fremantle,rt.bn.Sir T. Wortley, hon. J. S.
confine itself to the recommendation of Fuller, A. E.
the Committee; for it interfered with liGoulhurn, rt. hon. H. Cardwell,
censed victuallers in a manner that was Hawes, B. Mackenzie, W. F.
not contemplated. There was an attempt
in the Bill to define an unlawful game; List of the Ayes.
but that definition was so extensive as to Berkeley, hon. C. Wawn, J.T.
include any innocent game: added to this, Berkeley, hon. C. F. Yorke, H. R. Mitcalfe, H.
they were going to do that by the Bill Sheridan, R. B.
that would operate as a further heavy tax Hastie, A. Wakley, T. Dundas, F.
upon the licensed victuallers, if they had a
billiard table the licensed victuallers Bill read a third time and passed. were a body, he thought, who were suffi.
ciently taxed already. The Bill, in fact, GAMES AND WAGERS.] Sir J. Graham, went beyond the description of it given by on moving the Second Reading of the the right hon. Baronet, and beyond what Games and Wagers Bill, said, that he was was contemplated by the Gaming Comquite confident that the changes proposed mittee. Unless the right hon. Baronet in the existing law by the present Bill would insert a clause exempting the liwould be found most salutary in their censed victuallers from the operation of operation. The objects of the Bill were the Bill, he should vote against its second twofold. Firstly, it gave additional fa- reading. cilities for the suppression of gaming Mr. Henley said, he had no objection to houses kept open for the purpose of gam- support a Bill to put down gaming, but he ing; and, secondly, it amended the law had a most decided objection to the 8th with regard to wagers generally. With Clause, which put upon the owner of
any regard to the operation of the first portion house in which a person might be found of the measure, it gave to the justices of with a pack of cards in his pocket the nethe peace, not included in the metropolitan cessity of proving that it was not a gaming districts, a power of granting warrants, on house. information given, to make a search, a Mr. Spooner hoped the hon. Member power analogous to that now exercised for Lambeth would not persevere in his within the metropolitan dissricts. Within opposition to the second reading of a Bill, the metropolitan districts the Bill enlarged the object of which they must all concur the existing power. To issue a warrant in approving. There were some of the heretofore it was necessary to get the in- clauses to which he had a strong objection ; formation signed by two householders; but he thought the Bill might be so but, as might be supposed, there was an amended in Committee as to get rid of the unwillingness on the part of householders objections to which it was at present to grant this information. The Bill, liable. therefore, proposed that the warrant to Sir J. Graham denied that the present search might be granted on the in ma- Bill was brought in to meet the special tion of the superintendent of police, and case of certain individuals. He brought the finding of gaming implements was the measure forward on public grounds,
and for the purpose of putting down, hoped the House would assent to the secgambling, which had lately very much ond reading. increased in the country, and produced Mr. Craven Berkeley concurred in what such pernicious and fatal effects. He de had fallen from the hon. Member for Lamnied that the Bill left gambling by the beth, who, he hoped, would persevere in upper classes untouched. The 2nd Clause his opposition to the Bill. He considered was especially levelled against the gambling that the licensed victuallers were hardly of the higher classes--namely, against ha- dealt with by the Bill. He would give his zard, roulette, and other games, where the support to the right hon. Gentleman, if he bank was kept by the person to whom the would strike out all the clauses in the Bill house belonged, and where there was a except those that related to qui tam actions. dead pull against the player. The object Sir G. Strickland considered the Bill of the Bill was to protect the public, high contained the foundation of a good prinand low, against improper gambling: He ciple, and one from which the public would followed the Report generally, but he did derive great benefit. He should, therenot feel bound servilely to follow all the fore, support the second reading of the recommendations of the Committee. It Bill; but he certainly thought Clause 8 was found, since the Report of the Com
was too stringent. mittee, that French hazard was played in billiard houses after twelve o'clock. It
Captain Rous said, that it was evident that
the licensed victuallers would not be placed was, therefore, necessary to include such houses in the Bill . He thought that the than they were under the existing law,
in worse position by the present Bill 8th Clause, which made the finding of which gave the police the power of entering certain implements a primâ facie evidence their houses at all times. He thought of gambling, would be indispensable to the the principle of the Bill was a good one, efficiency of the measure. He admitted the terms of that clause were large, and and he hoped the first conviction under it were studiously made so ; but he would be would be the Crockford Club house. willing to consider in Committee whether
Mr. Wakley hoped, as a friend to the li. those terms might not be restricted. With censed victuallers, that the hon. Member regard to the licensed victuallers, the hon. for Lambeth would not divide the House, Member for Lambeth seemed to labour as such a course would be likely to prejuunder an error. Under the present law, dice their case. He never knew any matter the police had the power of entering pub- of police regulation to come before the lic houses at all times, so that there was
House, that the licensed victuallers were nothing new in the provisions of the pro- not selected for persecution. With respect posed Bill. The Bill might not be good to informers, he thought they were the pests for the publican, but it would be good for of society, and were entitled to no sympathy, the public. He did not anticipate any ob- whether they proceeded against the rich or jection to the Bill, and he should be sur- poor. prised if the House of Commons rejected
Sir J. Graham said, that if the House the second reading of such a measure.
went into Committee on the Bill, he would Mr. Warburton thought that the Bill endeavour to meet the objections which had dealt most unfairly with respect to inform- been urged against the Bill in a fair aud ers. They were first made necessary to conciliatory spirit. With regard to the carry into effect the Acts of the Legisla- Stl Clause, he admitted that the terms of ture, and then, when they gave informa- it were stringent; but he believed they tion, they were prevented from proceeding would be necessary to put an end to the with the action.
practice which prevailed in Doncaster and Mr. Bickham Escott said, that he was a other places of persons taking lodgings Member of the Committee which sat during the races in private houses where upon the subject of qui tam actions, and gambling was carried on. Unless they the Committee were clearly of opinion that armed the authorities in those localities the Statute of Anne was never intended with strong powers, the evil they sought to to apply to betting on horse racing. It suppress would thrive and increase. He should be recollected that the informers did not wish to press harshly on the licensed with respect to the qui tam actions had victuallers, further than to prevent the proceeded on an old and obsolete Statute. growing evil of gambling. He considered that the principle of the
Bill read a second time. present Bill was a good one; and he At the sittings after five o'clock,
CAPTAIN BOLDERO AND MR. BONHAM.) to this matter, and directed him to confine Mr. Hawes wished to put
a question to the himself exclusively to the proper functions right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the of his department. With respect to Mr. Treasury, upon a subject of great public Hignett, who was Solicitor to the Board of importance; of his intention to do which, he Ordnance, his right hon. Friend the Master had already given the right hon. Gentle. General of the Board of Ordnance had felt man notice. The question had reference it to be his duty absolutely to dismiss Mr. to the Report of the Committee which had Hignett from his situation. sat upon a subject connected with the
Captain Boldero : Sir, I feel confident South Eastern Railway Company. He that the House will indulge me by its atten. had delayed putting this question, in order tion for a few moments. I feel that there that the Government might be the better could scarcely be any position more painful enabled to act upon their own discretion to myself than that which I now occupy, and responsibility in a matter of this kind. in rising to address you upon the subject His question was, whether Her Majesty's which has just been brought under your Ministers had had under their consideration consideration. The House is aware that the Report of that Committee, and whether the South Eastern Railway Company had they had taken any steps in consequence, presented a petition to this House, accomin reference to the names of certain parties panied by a letter, in which certain charges mentioned in that Report-namely, Cap- were made against my friend Mr. Bonham tain Boldero, Mr. Bonham, Mr. Hignett, and myself. That petition was referred to and Mr. Wray; and if so, whether they the consideration of a Select Committee ; were prepared to state what those steps and that Committee, after the most diligent were which they had taken?
and scrutinizing inquiry, came to this conSir R. Peel : Sir, I am prepared now to clusion. In the Report laid upon the Table state to the House, in consequence of the by the Committee, I find it statedquestion which has just been put to me by the hon. Member for Lambeth, and which Though, however, Mr. Hignett admitted I understood would be put to me, the that he had written the letter referred to, he course which has been taken by Her' Ma declared to your Committee, that when he
wrote it, he had no authority to use the name jesty's Government, after a full consider- of either Mr. Bonham or Captain Boldero ; ation of the Report of the Committee to that he had no conversation whatever with which the hon. Gentleman refers. Shortly those gentlemen upon the subject;' and that he after the Report was presented to the used their names, considering that it would House, Mr. Bonham and Captain Boldero "give weight to' his application for the shares signified to me their wish to tender their he was soliciting from the Company. Mr. resignations of the situations which they i Hignett further declared, that the siatement respectively held under Her Majesty. They that he had spoken to Mr. Bonham was
* untrue ;' and that the presumption intended stated, that although-speaking with re
to be raised by this use of the names of influ. ference to transactions of the present year ential members of the Board, that the demands which had been brought under the con- of the Company on the Board might be as. sideration of the Committee they felt sisted by the course suggested by the letter, conscious of their perfect integrity, and was without foundation, as they had not the that their conduct as public officers could power to further the objects of the South Eastnot, in the slightest degree, be influenced by ern Company'—the questions at issue being the holding of shares in any railway, yet, deemed of a purely military nature, and the at the same time, they believed that their decision upon such questions resting solely
with the Master General, and not with the efficiency and usefulness as members of a
Board." public department were likely to be impaired by that Report. They, therefore, Now, I can declare that this is the undefelt themselves called upon to tender their viating course in every question connected resignations, and I considered it to be my with railways. The Committee further duty to advise Her Majesty to accept addthem, and Her Majesty has accepted them. In respect to Mr. Wray, who holds the
“That they feel it to be their duty, in the office of Receiver General of Metropolitan transpired leads them to suppose that the des
first instance, lo state, that nothing which has Police, my right hon. Friend the Secretary cisions of the Master Ceneral upon any of the of State for the Home Department has for- questions brought before him by the parties warded to Mr. Wray a communication, in promoting either the South Eastern, North which he seriously animadverted on the Kent, or the London, Chatham, and Kent proceedings of this gentleman in reference lines of railway, were influenced by any other than strictly public considerations. Nor has, which the line was proposed to pass; and your Commitiee any reason to suppose that that perhaps I might be called upon, as a any act of the Board of Ordnance was affected Member of the House, as then holding an or influenced by the conduct of Mr. Hignett; official situation in the Board of Ordnance, however well calculated that conduct was to suggest the suspicions expressed in the peti- to explain some acts of the Master General, tion of the South Eastern Railway Company, who was not a Member of this House. I Your Committee entertain no doubt that the immediately decided upon selling those decisions of the Master General and the acts shares. The 8th was Sunday; on Monof the Board of Ordnance, in reference to these day, the 9th, I disposed of the forty shares; railway companies, were the result alone of a and I acted solely on the principle that, desire to protect public interests, and to afford, should I be called on to give evidence or to consistently with them, a reasonable and pro- take part in a debate in this House, I might per accommodation to the public in the diso do so without the slightest bias, even if it tricts through which it was proposed that these be possible that the small amount of forty railways should pass."
shares should bias any gentleman. The Thus the Committee (both on the letter sale of these forty shares had no reference, and the petition) enter into a complete no, not in the remotest degree, to the posiexculpation of my friend Mr. Bonham and tion I held as a member of the Board. myself. Sir, when I was under examination There is a paragraph in the Report worded before the Committee, I exposed every pri- with extreme severity against me, although vate transaction connected with the few rail. I bow to the decision of the Committee. way shares, without hesitation, in which I In that paragraph, it states that the pro. had been engaged. I stated that I had pur- gress of the North Kent Bill depended chased in the North Kent line, and other upon the consent of the Board of Ord. lines, as I thought them advantageous, but nance. Of course I am sensible this was that I was not in any degree influenced by the impression then made ; but I can assure my position as a member of the Board. In the House that it is entirely and totally the Committee, very few questions were inconsistent with the mode in which public put to me; and I was led to suppose that business is carried on in that Department; the explanation I had given was satis- for the Board has no power whatever in factory, otherwise I should have explained such matters, either in the negative or some points in detail, which now appear to the affirmative; it is solely in the Master me to have been misunderstood by the General's hands: the decision and the conCommittee. If I had not considered my sent rest with him, the acts of the Board evidence had been conclusive and satis being ministerial only. If there should be factory to the Committee, I would have any doubt about what I now state, I think added to its weight. I had not the oppor- the evidence of the Master General of nity of hearing it read by the clerk, nor the Ordnance, and of my gallant Friend were the notes of the shorthand writer the Surveyor General, should be brought sent to me. The Committee have done forward ; and I will undertake to say that me the justice, in their Report, to notice both will corroborate every word I have that oversight. How it occurred I know uttered ; and in that case the paragraph not. Such is the fact. On a perusal of should not have been inserted. However, the evidence, I find I gave one answer there is the paragraph ; and I am not which does not appear to be sufficiently ashamed to own it deeply affected me; explanatory of my intention, and it had re- and the more I reflected upon it, the ference to my motive for selling forty shares deeper was the wound. I ask the House, which I then held in the North Kent Rail. with such a paragraph published to the way. The real facts of the case connected world, what course was open to me but with these forty shares I will now state. On one dictated by an honourable pride Saturday, the 7th June, after the business of and that was, to place in the hands of the the day, I read the public journals; and from right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the the Times newspaper I received the first Treasury the resignation of my office as intelligence that military officers had been Clerk of the Ordnance? In the letter I then examined before the Committee on Group wrote, I thought it my duty to state the A of railways, touching a powder estab- only ground which actuated me. The words lishment at Faversham, not the property | I used were to this effect:- It is with re. of the Board of Ordnance. It struck me, ference solely to the impaired degree of usethen, that possibly the same course might be fulness to the Government and to the public pursued with reference to the Ordnance service which might arise out of the temproperty at Chatham and Woolwich, through porary impression made by recent proceed