§ On the 18th clause, empowering guardians of unions to contract with guardians of other unions for the maintenance of their poor for a period not exceeding seven years,
§ Lord G. Somerset
said the object of this clause was to enable guardians of any parish or union having more workhouse room than the poor of such union required, to let out their surplus room to any other parish or union having a pressure of paupers more than they could accommodate. He admitted, that cases might arise when, from some temporary pressure, such a power might be convenient. But there was that expressed in the clause which raised some jealousy in his mind: it was this, that such board of management should have the power to contract with the guardians, &c. of any parish or union for the maintenance and management of such poor in such manner and for such period not exceeding seven year?. This be thought, was an improper provision, for it went not to remove the source of any tem- 774 porary difficulty, but enabled any union to make permanent arrangement for the support and maintenance of the poor out of such union. He objected to this power on many grounds. First, it would have the effect, so far as the principle was concerned, of re-introducing one of the evils set forth so prominently by the commissioners in that report on which the present act was founded. Those contracts would lead to competition, and those who would supply the cheapest would be taken, and thus the poor would suffer. The clause gave the power of selecting classes from one union and transferring them to another and a distant workhouse; thus the husband might be separated from the wife, the child from the parent, and, still farther, the pauper might be removed from all his connexions, and all genial ties and kindly attentions might be severed. He had spoken so far of those who were in the habit of receiving parish relief; but the objection in respect to the able-bodied labourer was still stronger. What could be so hard as to remove the able-bodied labourer, as the condition of some temporary relief, from that district wherein he has long resided, wherein he has borne a good character, and where he has the best chance of obtaining employment, to a distant part of the country, where he would be unknown? In this respect, he thought the clause would be most unjust to the labourer, and disadvantageous to the ratepayer. One chief ground on which the workhouse test was defended was, that it tended to make persons depend upon their own exertions, and to deter them from applying for parochial relief till actually compelled to do so. He did not, however, think, that the momentary cessation of employment was the time when that test should be carried into effect in all its rigour.
§ Mr. Wakley
here said, that he intended to move the omission of the whole clause, and he apprehended that his amendment would come in order before that of the noble Lord.
§ Lord G. Somerset
said he was about to explain, that he intended to propose the omission of the clause, should he not succeed with his amendment; but he thought he would first endeavour to make the clause as good as he could, lest he 775 should not prevail upon the House to agree to its being struck out. The noble Lord then moved the following proviso:—Provided always that nothing herein contained shall authorise the placing of men and their wives, children and their parents, in separate establishments, or the removal of any paupers, whatever, out of the precincts of the union in which they may be settled, against their consent.
§ Lord J. Russell
wished to address a few words to the House as to the purport of this clause. The intention of it was not quite what the noble Lord opposite supposed. One of many reasons for it was, that there were many unions where the workhouses were not sufficiently large to receive the inmates who were sent there, and it would therefore be more advantageous to the poor to be sent from a workhouse of that description to another where there was a sufficient establishment and more accommodation. However, that was a temporary reason; but there had been certain cases where it would have been desirable to remove paupers from one workhouse to another. At the same time that that was the general object of the clause, he admitted there was great force in the noble Lord's objection, so far as it related to the clause in the words in which it was then drawn up, as it might be hereafter used for purposes for which it was not intended, and might not only cause considerable dissatisfaction among the poor, but might produce much practical inconvenience. With respect to amending the clause, there were two modes in which it occurred to him that that might be done. One way would be to prevent a contract being made with any union so that paupers might be removed to any great distance—they might say perhaps greater than ten miles:—from the precincts of their own union. The noble Lord proposed, that the paupers should not be removed without their consent; but surely the noble Lord would see, that such an amendment would practically defeat the operation of the clause, because guardians would not contract if afterwards they had to ask the consent of the paupers in the workhouse; besides which, it was hardly possible to say they asked the consent of the paupers as to their removal from one workhouse to another, when they afterwards required them to be taken back to their own union. But the consent was uncertain: and it would therefore be im- 776 possible for any person to attempt to put the clause into operation. Another mode which occurred to him of amending this clause, although it might be giving up the original object of it, would be to confine it entirely to the management of the infant poor, so that they were not removed beyond ten miles from their own union. If either of those words should meet with the concurrence of the Committee he was ready to propose such an amendment; only saying that, he could not agree with the last words of the amendment of the noble Lord as to the consent of the paupers, because he thought they would render the clause altogether nugatory. With regard to this last question, he had stated, that as to the infant poor, he thought the Committee would see there might be circumstances in which it would be desirable that they should be removed from one workhouse to another. It would also be more desirable to use buildings that were already erected, and the boards of guardians might agree together for that purpose, rather than erect new buildings.
§ Mr. Goulburn
could not think that either alternative of the noble Lord would meet the difficulty of this particular clause. He entertained this apprehension as to the working of this part of the law:—It frequently happened that work-houses were for a considerable period destitute of inhabitants, and during that time the guardians were anxious to receive persons into them who might be willing to pay for their maintenance there, in order to meet the expense to which the establishment was subject; but if those guardians contracted for seven years to receive at all times persons who were distressed, they would block up their own work-houses effectually, and when the period arrived at which their work-houses were not competent to accommodate those who were desirous of being received into it, they would find it necessary to resort to outdoor relief to a considerable degree. That was a serious danger which the clause of the noble Lord was likely to produce, and for that reason he thought it better that the clause should be withdrawn. He very much objected to making the clause apply only to children, because the general ground on which they had proposed that the schools for children of the poor should be distinct from the workhouse was that they might give them better instruction; but if they only removed them from 777 one workhouse to another, where there was not a separate system of education under the control of a board of management, he should object to that mode of proceeding, and he thought those who were most anxious on the subject of education would unite with him in that objection.
§ Clause withdrawn.
§ Mr. Gisborne
wished to ask the noble Lord whether there was any objection to those amendments which had been already agreed to being printed and delivered with the votes?
§ Sir E. Knatchbull
did not know whether the practice of the House allowed of that being done; but if it did it would be very convenient. The next week would be the vacation; and when he returned to the country, he had no doubt one of the first questions he should be asked would be, "Well! what are you doing with the New Poor-law?" But he should really have great difficulty in giving an answer, ft was most desirable that all hon. Members should have a distinct knowledge of what had already been done on the subject.
§ Lord J. Russell
said, he believed there was no objection to the request of the hon. Member being complied with, it being understood, however, in the first place, that particular words in particular clauses were not to be considered as words that might be finally adopted; because in several cases they were introduced rather to show the intention of the committee than to express correctly that intention; and, in the next place, that they should do something that was conformable to the rules of the House. Now he did not know whether there was any objection, after the bill being considered in committee to-morrow night, that they should agree to the remaining clauses in the bill, it being understood, however, that when they should go into committee again, they should begin where they really left off in the consideration of the clauses. If the House agreed to that course, the bill would be reprinted, and he thought hon. Members might then see what was the general substance and intention of its provisions. And he hoped that the right hon. Gentleman, as well as others, if they were asked any question on the subject, would explain that the committee had still to consider various words 778 in the clauses, which were intended only to give, some knowledge of what was intended to be done.
§ Viscount Sandon
thought it would be desirable to show in some way how far they had really proceeded in the bill.
§ Lord G. Somerset
understood that could not be done; but he had heard from a high authority in that House that there was no objection to the clauses as amended being re-printed.
On the 19th clause, which enacts,—
That so long as the husband of any woman shall be beyond the seas, or in custody of the law, or shall be a lunatic or idiot, his wife shall, notwithstanding her coverture, be legally bound to maintain herself and her children in the like manner in all respects as a widow, and that relief to the child or children of any married woman, whose husband shall refuse or neglect to maintain his family, or shall leave his family chargeable, or so that it may become chargeable, shall be considered relief to the mother.
§ Mr. Wakley
said, the right hon. Baronet the Member for Kent had just observed, that he should not know what to say when he was asked what they had done with the New Poor-law. He believed there were many hon. Members in that House similarly circumstanced, and he thought many of them would not know so well even as the right hon. Baronet how to answer; because the right hon. Baronet had given the bill his most strenuous opposition; and he believed that many hon. Members would be very glad if they had had the opportunity of doing the same. The 18th clause they had expunged; and certainly he had reason to rejoice at such a circumstance. That clause was probably the most savage in principle that the bill contained. [Cries of No, no.] Yes, he had no desire to revive it, that was not his business; but he was about to compare it with the clause that followed, the 19th. What did that clause do? It had been conceived in the same spirit, and in the same place, and with the same view. How ought it to be treated by that House? Ought such a clause to be deliberately and coolly and calmly sanctioned there? He knew it had been stated that they ought not to speak on that bill which excited feelings; but various clauses of it contained such an insult to the ordinary feelings of humanity, that there was the greatest difficulty in controlling the reason so as to discuss any proposition of it with that calmness which the subject should 779 demand. Now as to this clause, the 19th, suppose a man absent—who had forsaken his family—and his wife was left destitute; relief to that woman under such circumstances, or to her children, was to be deemed such relief to her as to make her responsible for it in law. She was, in fact, to be placed in the same circumstances as a widow. The widow might have lost her husband in the ordinary course of nature, or by disease, without his having been instrumental by his own misconduct in producing that disease; but in the other case, the woman might have been abandoned by her husband for twenty or thirty years; her husband might have neglected his offspring? he might have treated her and them like brutes, and yet what did this clause propose? That after a woman had suffered so much torture she should be put in debt to the guardians all her days. And this was a clause made for relieving the distress of the poor. The noble Lord with great candour, and good sense, and good feeling, had consented to expunge the last clause; he would then, entreat him to exert his manly and masculine disposition with respect to this clause, and to protect these unfortunate women and children against what was designed for them by the framers of this vile proposition.
§ Captain Pechell
was sorry the learned Attorney-general was not present whilst this clause was being discussed, because the hon. and learned Gentleman in the year 1835 had declared the state of the law to be clear and defined against the unfortunate petitioner whose case he had on a former occasion brought before the House. He trusted the noble Lord would relieve these unfortunate wives who were deserted by their husbands from the persecution of the Poor-law commissioners.
§ Lord John Russell
said, that the hon. Member for Finsbury had spoken of the former clause as being conceived in a savage spirit, and had described the bill in general as an insult to humanity; and the hon. Gentleman who last spoke had talked of the persecution of the Poor-law Commissioners. If any censure was cast upon them with respect to their own conduct, they were then exceedingly sore and sensitive; but when the Poor-law commissioners were concerned they were immediately charged with a degree of inhumanity, cruelty, and savage spirit hardly found among barbarians. The hon. Gen- 780 tlemen who made these charges would not bear to have imputed to themselves anything but the purest motives and the most sublime humanity. He must say that there was inhumanity in needlessly and improperly throwing a burthen on those classes who contributed to the Poor-rates. Take the case of a labouring man who performed his duty, working from morning till night, and employing his earnings in the support of his wife and children. Was this man to be burthened in order to support another family, from which the father went away collusively? Was there to be no feeling for the man who acted steadily, and laboured honestly for his own support and that of his family, and were the only persons to be cared for those who endeavoured to evade the duties they ought to perform, and throw their families on the parish? He remembered bringing before the committee of the House of Commons, sixteen years ago, a labourer who supported a wife and eight children, and earned but moderate wages. He brought them all up, and never once applied to the parish for relief. He thought the House ought to take into consideration the case of such men as this, and when they found, as he was informed, that the instances were now exceedingly common of men going away and leaving their families chargeable to the parish, they ought to do their utmost to prevent such an evasion of the law. This was the whole object of the clause. He understood that with regard to the case of persons transported or in custody no objection was made. With respect to the case of men going away from their wives, who were in a condition to support their children, the clause left them liable to the same obligation as was imposed on widows, and he believed the enactment was perfectly fair.
§ Mr. Darby
was of opinion that the whole of the clauses of the bill required explanation, and he was sure that the noble Lord did not understand the intention of many of them. With respect to the clause under consideration, he confessed he did not know what the effect of it would be. If a man left his family, the clause enacted that relief to the children should be relief to the mother. Now, according to the existing law, this was relief to the husband, and was it intended that he should be discharged from that obligation? This clause could not possibly act as ex- 781 ample, and thereby tend to the saving of expense. No man who was heartless enough to desert his family would return to them because he saw them forced to enter the workhouse. There could be no doubt that less burthen would be thrown upon the parish by allowing women deserted by their husbands a little out-door relief than by compelling them to enter the workhouse.
§ Mr. Slaney
apprehended that the intention of the clause was to place these women in the same situation as widows. The Committee would presently come to the discussion of the case of widows, and would have then an opportunity of deciding whether relief should be allowed them out of the workhouse or in the workhouse. He was of opinion that there should be some discretion left to allow the relief of widows out of the work-house; and if the Committee were of the same opinion, it would follow that women deserted by their husbands would be allowed relief out of the workhouse.
§ Sir E. Knatchbull
thought he must be a bold man who ventured to say he understood the clause. He agreed in the general principle stated by the noble Lord, that the industrious labourer ought not to be taxed to support the idler. The hon. Member for Finsbury was good enough to say, that he was a strong opponent of the bill. Now, he had acted solely on the same principle has had guided the hon. Member. He had determined to consider the bill in committee, solely for the purpose of making it as good as he could. He felt throughout, that the provisions of the first act were more stringent than they need be, and he wished to see how far they might be relaxed. As the Attorney-general was not present, the Solicitor-general would probably favour the Committee with his opinion as to the intention 782 of the clause. Women deserted by their husbands must have, it in a state of destitution, relief given them, either in or out of the workhouse, and, in his opinion, the latter mode would, in many instances, be found the less expensive. As a magistrate, be had often been compelled to send the father of a family to gaol, and immediately the wife and children asked in what manner they were to be supported. If they were able to support themselves, he, of course, refused to grant them relief, but in a case of necessity what was to be done? He repeated, they must either be relieved in the workhouse or out of the workhouse. If they were consigned to the-workhouse for the whole period of the lather's imprisonment, he was then told by the parish officers that the cost of the parish would be much less if a small pittance were allowed to them out of the workhouse.
said, it was not material for the purpose of deciding whether this clause should be adopted or not, what was formerly the state of the law (though there might be some analogy in the cases which had been put;) but let the old law be as it might, still the propriety of this clause remained the subject for the consideration of the Committee. It was generally considered that the wife of a person who was transported beyond seas was, for most purposes, a femme sole. That, however, was subject to some uncertainty, as there were, some doubt whether a woman so situated could be made a bankrupt of. But whether a married woman were liable was not a matter pertinent to this clause, because it, went further to create a liability on the part of a married woman. It was plain that this clause met the ease of transportation, because it applied to so long as the husband should be in the custody of the law, or should be a lunatic or an idiot; he took it, therefore, that whenever the, husband was absent from the wife, the effect of this clause was to charge the wife with the support of the children, as if she had been a widow. This would entitle her to those considerations which the House might think fit to apply when they came to the clause applying to married women. One pan of the clause dealt with the case where the husband was present or absent, the other portion applied to the case where the husband refused or neglected to support his family, or left his wife and 783 children, and in the latter instance relief given to the children was to be regarded as relief given to the mother. The proper matter for the Committee to determine was the degree of responsibility which should be thrown on the married woman under the circumstances to which he had alluded.
§ Lord G. Somerset
was sure that the committee felt obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman for his explanation. With respect to this clause, it was quite plain that a very extensive and severe alteration of the law against married women was now for the first time brought forward. The hon. Gentleman the Solicitor-general had properly divided the clause into two parts. With respect to the first portion of the clause, he could not help thinking that if they left the words of the clause as they stood, they would revolutionize the condition of the married women of this country more extensively than any bill of this kind ought to do. Now it would not, as the clause stood, be confined merely to persons seeking parochial relief, but would apply to all married women whose husbands happened to be beyond the seas. He did not think that it was in committee upon a bill of this kind they could with propriety introduce an alteration so wide and so extensive as this. So far as that portion of the clause was concerned, it should have his (Lord G. Somerset's) most strenuous opposition. The committee ought to consider that this clause would apply to a very large class; namely, the wives of soldiers and sailors, in whose condition it would make a very severe alteration. By this clause new obligations would be thrown on them. Even if the clause went to affect no other class, he was sure that the House would never sanction it. We there any justice in throwing the burthen of supporting her family on the wife when the husband refused to maintain them. The fact of the husband refusing showed that he was within the law, and why not then enforce the law against him instead of throwing the whole burthen upon the wife. He did not wish to speak harshly of the Poor-law commissioners, but he thought they were too prone to recommend a one-sided remedy. In this case they merely looked to the necessity of providing a check against women of bad character, without considering the disadvantage they might inflict upon women 784 of good character. Now there was another point of view in which the hardship of this clause ought to be considered. If the wife was frugal and industrious, and preferred the utmost severity of toil and exertion to support her family rather than go into the workhouse, in that case no one had an interest in seeking out her husband. But the moment she came upon the workhouse, then the parish officers at once had an interest in endeavouring to find out the husband, in order to relieve the parish from the burden. He hoped the noble Lord would see the necessity of withdrawing the clause.
said, the object of the clause was explained to be to prevent collusion between the husband and wife. But in the case of a husband who was an idiot there could be no collusion, and suppose a wife in such case able to maintain herself, would they in that case add to the misfortune of her situation by throwing upon her the burthen she was unable to bear, of supporting her family.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
had not been able to gather from the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman whether he was in favour of or opposed to the clause, but he must say, that the noble Lord opposite had completely made out the charge made by his hon. Friend the Member for Fins-bury, that it was inhuman. The noble Lord had even gone further; he had spoken of it as a revolutionary clause—a clause which created a great revolution in the state of the married women of this country. When this bill was first proposed the object was stated to be not only to amend the Poor-laws, but to remedy many of its rigours. It had at all events been satisfactorily proved to the committee by the speech of the Solicitor-general that by this clause the law would be made much more rigid as against married women than it had been hitherto. What right had they to do that? Was public feeling sufficiently in favour of this bill to justify them in proposing such a clause? He thought the speech of the noble Lord would satisfy the committee that the clause ought to be expunged. His hon. Friend the Member for Somerset, had argued in favour of the clause: and upon what ground? Why upon the ground of the possibility of a fraudulent application for relief. Were all the applications necessarily fraudulent? Might there not be many virtuous and industrious 785 women who, with five or six children, had been deserted by their husbands? Yet such persons were to be compelled to come into the house and suffer all the indignities to which individuals were exposed in a union workhouse. He sincerely hoped that the committee would expunge the clause.
§ Sir C. Grey
said, that this clause would have the most beneficial effect on those to whom it was intended to apply. Its main object was to preserve those family ties which were so often broken by the neglect or misconduct of a husband. The object of the clause was to hold out no inducement to a wife to desert her offspring when they had been abandoned by their father. The object, on the contrary, was, to maintain the family ties. The effect of the clause was merely to give the children a title to the protection of their remaining parent. It was a humane clause and beneficial to the parties to whom it related.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
could assure the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, that nothing was farther from his thoughts than to treat the clause with ridicule. It was only in reference to an expression of the right hon. Gentleman, that he had been induced to smile. He heard nothing to induce him to support the clause.
§ Captain Pechell
said, the noble Lord had found fault with his remarks with regard to the conduct of the Poor-law commissioners, but he begged to state that his remarks merely applied to individual cases, and more especially to that of Jane Champion.
Sir T. Acland
did not think the committee was quite ripe for the decision of the clause then before it. He did not think there was any situation in which a woman was entitled to greater commiseration than that of widowhood—and in the temporary widowhood to which the clause applied, he was willing to place her in the same situation as the law placed a widow in reality. He thought the case was one in which a discretion might very fairly be left to the Board of Guardians, and he would suggest the propriety of postponing the clause.
earnestly hoped that this clause would not be pressed upon the House for its adoption; for, having listened to the arguments which had been advanced, it appeared to him that the 786 objections urged by the noble Lord opposite (Lord G. Somerset) had not been satisfactorily answered. But, allowing the consistency of the clause, let it be remembered that they had not the power to entitle the married woman to those rights which were given to others differently situated. But the hardship in this clause was the case of wives of seamen, for instance; and that objection remained unanswered. Surely there was a paramount duty on the part of the Legislature to make provision, temporarily at least, for the wives of men who were engaged either in the navy or in our commercial marine. Theirs were cases in which there could be no collusion. So in the case of insanity, surely there could be no possibility of collusion. Now, take a married woman with two or three children of seven to eight years of age. If she came for relief (though the husband might return within a certain period) she was to be told that, because she required relief, she should be compelled to go into the workhouse. He entirely protested against this hardship. As regarded children above seven years of age, the objection would be equally strong. He therefore trusted his noble Friend would not press the clause.
§ Sir H. Verney
would not vote against the clause, but he should certainly concur in the recommendation to postpone it. He had had some experience in the working of the Poor-laws, and he believed, that they could not compel the wives of sailors to go into the workhouse.
§ Mr. Ainsworth
would vote for a discretionary power being placed in the hands of the guardians as to whether the woman was entitled to relief or not. If they thought the case was one in which she should go into the workhouse, they ought to have the power to compel her to do so.
§ Mr. Wakley
had moved the expulsion of the clause, and ample grounds had been given for it. Gentlemen of the highest professional acquirements had spoken upon the clause, and had given the most opposite opinions upon it.
§ Lord John Russell
admitted, that the general opinion of the House seemed against the clause as it now stood. Before he stated what he meant to propose, he would allude to the hardship of the law at present, and he would remind the House that in considering the relief that should be given to certain classes, it, 787 should be remembered, that there were no abundant funds from which to draw, but while you relieved one class you imposed a burden on another. Now, what was the actual state of the present law? Suppose a man went to sea at high wages, having made an agreement that his wife should receive a certain sum every month out of his pay, that woman might yet, under the law as it now stood, apply to the parish for relief for her children. If the children were under seven years of age, she might get out-door relief for them; if they were above that age, they must be taken into the workhouse, but the woman would not be asked for anything towards their support. Again, if a woman, whose husband had gone to work at a distance, and who was transmitting to her a part of his wages, thought proper to keep the wages to herself, she might do so, and apply to the parish for assistance for her children; but, as regarded a man working in the neighbourhood if he should apply to the parish for relief, stating that his wages were insufficient for the support of his family, the answer would be, "You and your family must come into the workhouse—relief will be given on no other terms." So also in the case of a widow under the present law, it would be competent for the commissioners or the guardians to say, "though you are destitute, and though, if your husband were alive, you might be supported by his wages, still there is no other relief for you now than to come into the workhouse." Now this being the state of the case at present, was it not a hardship to say that the law in that respect should be maintained, while an advantage would be given to those women who had husbands at sea, part of whose wages they received, and those who were assisted by husbands working at a distance? Was it not a hardship that the husband working near home on insufficient wages, and the widow, should be treated with such severity? He therefore, thought, that some amendment in that part of the present law should be effected, bearing in mind at the same time, that while we proposed to relieve a certain class, many of the rate payers on whom the burden would fall were themselves very poor. But after what had been said by his right hon. Friend the Solicitor-general and others, he would not now press this clause. He was willing to postpone it.
§ Lord G. Somerset
suggested, that the noble Lord would do better to strike out the clause altogether, and he could bring in another after the amendments coining before the House had been discussed.
§ Clause struck out.
§ On clause 21, respecting the management of children within the bills of mortality, being proposed,
§ Mr. Grimsditch
objected to the clause as giving too much power to the commissioners to interfere with and supersede at their pleasure the laws of the land.
§ Mr. Wakley
asked whether the Act 7th of George 3rd, was to be considered as repealed by this clause, or was it to be left to the commissioners to set aside acts of Parliament, or allow them to have force just as they pleased.
§ Lord John Russell
said, the clause would not repeal the 7th of George 3rd, which one hon. Gentleman had alluded to, and of course while one authority was acting the other would not. The machinery proposed by this clause would be found much better for the interests of the children than that of the 7th of George 3rd, and he had the greatest confidence in the use the Poor-law commissioners would make of their powers.
§ Colonel Sibthorp
objected to the clause, and thought that as so many clauses were objectionable, and so many had already been struck out, the best and shortest way would be to strike out the bill altogether.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clause 22, giving additional powers to guardians within the metropolitan districts to borrow money on the rates for building workhouses, being proposed,
§ Mr. Thomas Duncombe
would oppose the clause unless an amendment were introduced to the effect, that the cost should not be incurred without the consent of the rate-payers. The clause, as it stood, would give the board of guardians, who were under the complete control of the Poor-law commissioners, the power to tax the rate-payers without the consent of the latter, and to any extent they pleased. In some of the metropolitan parishes, there were, in fact, two sets of guardians acting in opposition to one another—one being elected under the Poor-law, and the other under a Local Act. How was this clause to be carried into effect in these parishes? The bill, instead of producing uniformity would produce confu- 789 sion. If the noble Lord would not agree to the words he (Mr. Duncombe) proposed, he hoped at least that the clause would be postponed.
§ Mr. Fox Maule
said it was necessary that the guardians within the metropolitan police district should have the proposed extended powers, which would be greater than those allowed to rural boards, because within the metropolitan district larger workhouses were required, and it was generally more difficult to procure materials.
§ Mr. Wakley
hoped they would have the aid of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth to throw out this clause, us in the case of a former clause, when the right hon. Gentleman raised great hopes amidst those who desired to retain the benefit of their local acts. It was monstrous to see how popular rights and popular privileges were, night after night, frittered away by persons who call themselves advocates for liberal principles. Me hoped he was not saying anything unpleasant to certain hon. Gentlemen in that House, which would be especially unbecoming him on this occasion when he was about asking a favour from them, which ought, on the contrary, to induce him to indulge in the most sweet and dulcet notes he could command; but, at the same time, he could not but feel how annoying it was to be obliged to petition those who, while they call themselves friends of the people, were bringing forward and supporting laws which were prejudicial to their comforts, and abhorrent to their feelings. He confessed he could not speak with forbearance on the present question, conscious, as he was, of what would be its pernicious effects if passed into a law. He would, however, intreat the noble Lord to consent to a postponement of this clause until the House should be made acquainted with the noble Lord's determination with reference to those districts which had local acts of their own.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, that if this clause were necessarily connected with the subject matter of the third clause, he would of course advocate the postponement of it as he had done with the former clause, but he really could not understand how the hon. Member for Finsbury could prove the connection. This was a clause which proposed to give power to the guardians of the poor to raise or borrow 790 and charge the future Poor-rates of such parish or union with such further sums of money as may be necessary for the purchase of any land, or interest in land, required as the site of such workhouse or of additions to any such workhouse. "Now it appeared to him that this was a most reasonable proposition, and one which ought not to be objected to. He thought that there were some of the metropolitan districts neglecting their duty in this respect, and not acting with the same propriety us the country districts in building good and efficient workhouses, and such as were capable of accommodating the numerous inmates who sought protection in them. That fact, which he believed was well established, would of course furnish an additional reason for the enactment of the present clause. He thought that this bill should be viewed without the slightest reference to party considerations. He had always looked at it with such feelings. And he never offered any suggestions upon the subject of it which he did not deem both fail and reasonable. With these views he should continue to watch the progress of the measure, and would offer suggestions which be would consider necessary to render it as efficient as possible. He should, of course, be happy to join in opinion with the hon. Member for Fins-bury when he proposed such amendments as he (Sir H. Peel) considered advantageous to the law; but on the other hand, he begged leave to say, that he would not allow himself to be cajoled into certain opinions with which he could not honestly and sincerely concur. He entirely approved of this clause, and unless stronger reasons were adduced than what he had already heard, he should certainly wish to see it stand part of the bill.
§ Mr. Hawes
said, that whatever tended to compel parishes to build proper and efficient workhouses would have his hearty support. There were many of the metropolitan districts which neglected doing this, and this clause was introduced for the purpose of obliging those districts to do their duty in this particular. This was not a measure of severity or harshness, but one of morality and humanity. He held in his hand a statement which had reference to one of those metropolitan districts, and after reading it to the House, he would put it to the hon. 791 Member for Finsbury if he would be a party to the continuance of the evils which were here complained of. In a particular workhouse, in the month of March, 1830 (before the Poor-law bill passed) the following report was made of the number of inmates and their situation for three weeks:—
Which number of 1,351 persons were accommodated by only 331 beds. On the following week there were—
Men 313 Women 538 Boys 295 Girls 194 Additional during the week 11 1,351
Out of this number there were 180 boys obliged to sleep in twenty-four beds. In numbers were—
Men 299 Women 524 Boys 288 Girls 131 1,242
Out of this number there were 174 boys distributed among twenty-four beds. At one period there were but twenty-four beds for 190 boys, and in a ward with only twenty-one beds were fifty men and twenty-four boys. And 123 girls had only twenty-three beds. Now, in the month of March, 1831, when it should be observed, the Poor-law bill had not been in operation, there were in this same workhouse, 754 persons, for which there were only 364 beds. He would therefore ask, were these things to be allowed to continue? Or, where the hardship existed in giving further power to the Poor-law guardians to increase the accommodation? This was Bethnal-green workhouse, and he would give the hon. Member for Finsbury the paper to make whatever use he pleased of it. He would say that he could vouch for the respectability of the source from whence he procured it. The building of work- 792 houses, he thought, was a great precaution against the increase of pauperism.
Men 295 Women 515 Boys 273 Girls 132 1,215
§ Mr. Fox Maule
said, that the amount which had been fixed under the Poor-law amendment act, was the average amount of the rate for the previous three years, which sum had not been found sufficient. This clause was then introduced to give the guardians power to raise more money for the purpose of giving increased accommodation in the workhouses. The clause was solely for that purpose, and that alone.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
quite agreed with the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth, that this was a subject which should not be considered with any reference to party objects, for this was as much a Tory bill as a Whig bill. This was a measure which evinced as much despotic Toryism as philosophical Whigism. He supposed the hon. Member for Lambeth had received his information from Somerset-house, and it was very well known that the gentlemen there were not remarkable for their candour. If it were true that under the old system there were only twenty-four beds for 190 boys, the fact could be easily explained. The hon. Member for Lambeth should have said bedsteads, which would then have made the case much different as to the hardship which had been practised. He understood that the beds were then placed upon the floor, and were much larger and more comfortable than those which had been formed under the new system. If the House would not consent to postpone this clause, they should come to a division upon the amendment, and then he would test the sincerity of those hon. Members who boasted of being the advocates of the poor. He would therefore propose, that, after the words "metropolitan districts," the following words should be added, "with the consent of the rate-payers in public vestry assembled." The right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth said, what could be more reasonable than to give the guardians power to raise money for the purchase of a site so as to give the necessary accommodation to the inmates of the workhouses? but he (Mr. Duncombe) begged to remind the right hon. Baronet that there were other objects mentioned in the clause beside that, for it would also empower them to make "additions to any such workhouse" as they may think fit,
§ Mr. Hawes
begged leave to disclaim the charge of having procured the document he had read from Somerset-house, He assured the hon. Member for Finsbury that he had not received his information, either directly or indirectly, from the Poor-law commissioners, nor from any person connected with the Poor-law commissioners. He received it from a highly honourable independent professional gentleman.
§ Mr. Grote
said, the hon. Member for Finsbury, although in the habit of indulging in vituperation against the Poor law commissioners, should not impute to them acts which they had never done, for the manifestation of his spleen. The hon. Gentleman had dwelt upon these topics usque ad nauseam. At one time the hon. Gentleman used as an argument, the confidence which the House might place in the guardians, but now, when there was a clause in which the words "Poor-law commissioners" did not appear, the hon. Member for Finsbury told them that no more confidence was to be placed in the guardians than in the Poor-law commissioners; and that no confidence could be placed in any body but a vestry of rate-payers, thus carrying them back to all the evils of the old system. He trusted the House would not be disposed to assent to any such proposition. The question of local acts was really not involved in the present discussion, whatever determination the House might come to with regard to the degree in which they would permit interference with the local acts, there was no necessity to introduce any such words as the hon. Gentleman proposed. There were, to his own knowledge in many London parishes good and roomy workhouses. The powers in this clause were required to make up the deficient power of the guardians, especially in the London parishes, where the site of ground was so dear. He would also make one remark on the observation in the speech of the hon. Gentleman with regard to this clause, namely, that the Poor-law amendment act and the authority of the commissioners was becoming more and more unpopular. He did not know if this were the case in the district the hon. Gentleman represented, but in that which he represented he was able to say that the hostility which existed against the bill, when it was first introduced, had almost entirely subsided, 794 and that there was a friendly and well disposed leaning towards the law and the commissioners in all the three unions comprising the constituency which he had the honour to represent. He stated this with the greater pleasure, because, in 1834, when the bill was first proposed, there was undoubtedly a decided opinion against it: and having taken a decided part in its support, although he felt great pain in taking such a step against the feelings of his own constituency it was a great satisfaction to him to state that that feeling had now almost entirely subsided, and that the law in this district was regarded favourably by the great body of the rate-payers.
§ Sir R. Peel
wished to say, in explanation to the observations which had been made by the hon. Member for Finsbury, that this clause was not proposed for the purpose of giving power to enlarge workhouses, for the guardians possessed that power already; but it was only intended to give them the power to purchase sites for enlarging them.
could bear testimony to the great care that was bestowed upon every thing relating to the well-being and education of the poor in that part of the metropolis which he had the honour to represent. He was opposed to the amendment of the hon. Member for Finsbury. If the clause was passed with the amendment of the hon. Member it would be necessary in such a parish as that of Shoreditch, for instance, to consult 5,000 or 6,000 persons before any of the provisions contemplated by the clause could be carried into effect, the vestry in that parish consisting of that number of ratepayers. He was of opinion that the word "guardian" included not only those elected under the new Poor-law act, but those elected under the local act, so that under the clause the rate-payers would have a voice in the making of the rate. That, however, was his opinion of the law. How was it possible that in parishes comprising such immense populations as those of Shoreditch, Whitechapel, St. George's in-the-East, and other such places, the act could be administered directly by a vestry of rate-payers? No one could deny that the clause was a necessary one, and he trusted it would pass without any such amendment as that proposed by the hon. Member.
§ Mr. Wakley
said, that if the construc- 795 tion put on the law by the right hon. and learned Gentleman, which was to the effect that the guardians elected under the local act would have the same power as those under the Poor-law amendment act—if that construction was correct, which he would not presume to dispute, though no other hon. Member had put the same construction on the act, he would advise his hon. Colleague to withdraw his amendment. The statement read by his hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth, respecting the dreadful state of the poor in the workhouse at Bethnal-green in the year 1R30, had been made out by him after he had inspected the workhouse, but the state of things described in it was not attributable to the law of Elizabeth. His hon. Friend seemed to think that he had not paid much attention to parochial matters. Now, he was churchwarden of a parish in 1837, in which office he was succeeded by the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies, being genteelly ejected from the office a fortnight before his term expired, because certain parties wanted to make the vestry a close one. But the state of things described in the document read by his hon. Friend, and which he had drawn up, was not attributable to the churchwardens. It was true he had never witnessed more harrowing scenes than those presented to his view on that occasion. In one part of the workhouse he had seen twenty-two women and children lying in the last stage of the typhus fever, with only nine beds among them. He remembered two children were dead—one of them in the arms of its mother, who was dying also. The cause of this misery was, that the Spitalfields weavers were nearly all out of employment at the time, and the workhouse was crowded to an almost unprecedented extent. The Minister then at the head of the Government, he believed Lord Grey, sent down a sum of money to relieve the distress prevailing in the district. So that the fault was not either with the churchwardens or with the law of Elizabeth. As to what his hon. Friend the Member for London had stated, that in the City districts the opinion of the public was becoming daily more and more favourable to the curious monster called the Poor-law Amendment Bill, the fact was, that the boards of guardians in London could do as they pleased, and were hardly ever interfered with by 796 the commissioners. And he would like to ask the hon. Gentleman whether outdoor relief was refused to able-bodied paupers in the City? If the question was not answered, he should take pains to get the best information in another way. If such relief was not refused, that accounted for what the hon. Gentleman stated about the bill not being so unpopular; but did the law itself permit such relief? He confessed he could not without surprise hear the hon. Member, who held up the ballot as the panacea for all the ills of the country, talk of the "confused" manner in which business was carried on at vestries, where every thing was done by ballot.
§ Mr. Grote
said, he had no objection to answer the question put to him by the hon. Member for Finsbury. It was quite true, as the hon. Gentleman stated, that the prohibitory order had not been issued to the city of London. Let the House recollect that the hon. Gentleman stated that the Poor-law Bill was most unpopular in the metropolitan districts, and more so now than at its first promulgation. Was not he (Mr. Grote) then entitled to answer, what he believed was the fact, that it was unpopular when first introduced, but not now? If the hon. Gentleman thought there was nothing in the Poor-law Bill but the prohibitory order forbidding out-door relief, he was exceedingly mistaken. There were other unions beside that of London in which the order referred to was not enforced; but the system was carried fully into effect in every other respect in the city of London, and he maintained that in its working it gave general satisfaction.
Mr. W. Attwood
hoped that as so great an extent of authority and control over the funds of the unions was about to be granted by this act to the boards of guardians, they would be prepared to exercise this power over the purse of the unions with great moderation.
§ Mr. Estcourt
said, that great hardships would be inflicted on the rural parishes to which the metropolitan police district extended by the large sums of money which the commissioners were empowered to raise. The district which the operation of the clause would affect included every parish in the counties of Middlesex, Kent, Surrey, Essex, and Herts, within twelve miles of Charing-cross. Hon. Gentlemen who represented these counties should be 797 on their guard, in order to oppose any provisions that would unfairly affect their constituencies.
§ Mr. Hume
hoped his hon. Friend would reserve his objection until they arrived at the 36th or 37th clause, which fixed the mode of electing the guardians in the union. He felt, and he thought his hon. Friend would feel also, still stronger objection to that mode of voting prescribed by the clause—namely, by proxies and by accumulative voting. This was highly objectionable, and if opposed with success by his hon. Friend, he believed that much of his hon. Friend's objection to the extensive nature of the powers confided to the guardians would be obviated.
§ Mr. T. Duncombe
said, he was afraid, if he suffered himself to take the advice of his hon. Friend, his opposition would come too late in the instance of the clause relative to the mode of taking the votes of the parishioners for the election of guardians. It reminded him of the advice once said to have been given, to lock the stable door after the steed had been stolen; for this was too much of a tory measure not to be carried through the legislature this Session. He was ashamed to hear the nature of the support given by persons calling themselves reformers to the unfair and unjust mode prescribed for taking the votes at the election for guardians. What! were they afraid of submitting the election of guardians to the parishioners in vestry assembled? What became of their consistency? But he would ask also what were they to do with those unions over which, as in the case of the Holborn union, there were appointed two separate boards of guardians which were continually squabbling, falling out, and opposing each other? If he were compelled to go out alone, he felt that his objections to the clause were so strong that he should refuse all solicitation to withdraw his amendment, and divide the Committee.
§ The Committee divided on the question, that the words "with the consent of the rate-payers in vestry assembled" proposed by Mr. Duncombe be inserted in the clause. Ayes 22; Noes 216: Majority 194.
|List of the AYES.|
|Attwood, W.||Grimsditch, T.|
|Collins, W.||Hawkes, T.|
|Dick, Q.||Hector, C. J.|
|Fielden, J.||Hodges, T. L|
|Gore, O. J. R.||Hollond, R.|
|Humphrey, J.||Trotter, J.|
|Johnson, General||Turner, W.|
|Leader, J. T,||Walker, R.|
|Monypenny, T, G.||Williams, W.|
|Parker, R. T.|
|Round, J.||Duncombe, T.|
|Sibthorp, Colonel||Wakley, T.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Ellis, W.|
|Acland, T. D.||Estcourt, T.|
|Adam, Admiral||Evans, Sir De Lacy|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Evans, W.|
|Ainsworth, P||Ewart, W.|
|Ashley, Lord||Farnham, E. B.|
|Bagot, hon. W.||Fazakerley, J. N.|
|Baker, E.||Fellowes, E.|
|Baldwin, C. B.||Filmer, Sir E.|
|Baring, hon. W B.||Fitzalan, Lord|
|Barnard, E. G.||Fitzroy, hon. H.|
|Barrington, Viscount||Fleming, J.|
|Basset, J.||Follett, Sir W.|
|Bentinck, Lord G||Forester, hon. G.|
|Berkeley, hon. H.||Fremantle, Sir T.|
|Blake, W. J.||Freshfield, J. W.|
|Botfield, B.||Gaskell, J. M.|
|Bowes, J,||Gisborne, T.|
|Bramston, T. W.||Gladstone, W. E.|
|Broadley, H.||Gordon, R.|
|Broad wood, H.||Goulburn, rt. hon. H.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Grant, Sir A. C.|
|Brotherton, J.||Grey, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Brownrigg, S.||Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.|
|Bruges, W. H. L.||Grimston, Viscount|
|Buck, L. W.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Buller, E.||Grote, G.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Halford, H.|
|Burr, H.||Hawes, B.|
|Burroughes, H. N.||Hawkins, J. H.|
|Busfeild, W.||Herbert, hon. S.|
|Cantilupe, Viscount||Hill, Lord A. M. C|
|Cavendish, hon. C||Hobhouse, rt. hn.Sir J.|
|Cavendish, hon. G. H.||Hobhouse, T. B.|
|Chute, W. L. W.||Hodgson, V.|
|Clay, W.||Hodgson, R.|
|Clayton, Sir W. R.||Holmes, hon. W. A'Court|
|Clerk, Sir G.|
|Clive, E. B.||Horsman, E.|
|Clive, hon. R. H.||Howard, F. J.|
|Coote, Sir C. H.||Howard, P. H.|
|Copeland, Mr. Ald.||Howard, hn. C. W. G.|
|Corry, hon. H.||Howick, Viscount|
|Courtenay, P.||Hume, J.|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Hurst, R. H.|
|Dalrymple, Sir A||Hurt, F.|
|Darby, G.||Hutt, W.|
|Denison, W. J.||Hutton, R.|
|Douglas, Sir C. E.||Inglis, Sir R. H.|
|Douro, Marquess of||Irton, S.|
|Duncombe, hon. W.||James, W.|
|East, J. B.||Johnstone, H.|
|Easthope, J.||Jones, J.|
|Eaton, R. J.||Kemble, H.|
|Egerton, W.T.||Knatchbull, rt. hon. Sir E.|
|Egerton, Lord F.|
|Ellice, rt. hon. E.||Knight, H. G.|
|Labouchere, rt. hn. H.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Lascelles, hon. W. S.||Salwey, Colonel|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Sanderson, R.|
|Lennox, Lord A.||Sanford, E. A.|
|Loch, J.||Seymour, Lord|
|Long, W.||Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.|
|Lowther, J. H.||Slaney, R. A.|
|Lushington, C.||Smith, G. R.|
|Lushington, rt. hn. S.||Smith, R. V.|
|Lygon, hon. General||Smyth, Sir G. H.|
|Lynch, A. H.||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Macaulay,rt.hn.T. B.||Somerville, Sir W.M.|
|Marshall, W.||Staunton, Sir G. T.|
|Martin, J.||Stewart, J.|
|Marton, G.||Stuart, Lord J.|
|Maunsell, T. P.||Stock, Mr. Sergeant|
|Mildmay, P. St. J.||Strutt, E.|
|Milton, Viscount||Style, Sir C.|
|Mordaunt, Sir J.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Morgan, O.||Teignmouth, Lord|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Thornely, T.|
|Morris, D.||Thorahill, G.|
|Morrison, J.||Tomline, G.|
|Muskett, G. A.||Townley, R. G.|
|Neeld, J.||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|Neeld, J.||Tufnell, H.|
|O'Brien, W. S.||Turner, E.|
|O'Ferrall, R. M.||Tyrell, Sir J. T.|
|Ord, W.||Verney, Sir H|
|Paget, Lord A.||Villiers, hon. C. P.|
|Palmer, R.||Vivian, Major C.|
|Palmer, G.||Vivian, J. H.|
|Palmerston, Viscount||Vivian, rt. hon. Sir R. H|
|Parnell, rt hn. Sir H.||Waddington, H. S.|
|Patten, J. W.||Wall, C. B.|
|Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.||Warburton, H.|
|Pigot, rt. hn. D.||White, A.|
|Pollen, Sir J. W.||Whitmore, T.C.|
|Price, Sir R.||Wilbraham, hon. B,|
|Pryme, G.||Wilde, Sir T.|
|Pusey, P.||Wilmot, Sir J. E.|
|Rawdon, Col. J. D.||Wilshere, W.|
|Rice, E. R.||Wood, C.|
|Rich, H.||Wood, Colonel|
|Richards, R.||Wood, G. W.|
|Rickford, W.||Wood, B.|
|Roche, W.||Worsley, Lord|
|Rolleston, L.||Wyse, T.|
|Rose, rt. hon. Sir G,||Yates, J. A.|
|Round, C. G.||Young, J.|
|Rumbold, C. E.||TELLERS.|
|Rushbrooke, Colonel||Stanley, E. J.|
|Rushout, G.||Maule, hon. F.|
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Mr. B. Wood moved an amendment to the 23d clause, which clause empowers the commissioners of the Poor-law Commission, by order under their hands and seal, to define the classes of poor children who may be apprenticed, the trades or businesses to which they may be apprenticed, the cases in which any premium or apprentice fee may be paid with such poor children out of rates raised for the relief 800 of the poor, and the amount and mode of payment thereof. The hon. Member moved the clause should be amended by the insertion of the words, "with consent of the guardians," after the word "commissioners."
§ Lord J. Russell
said, the clause was introduced in order to give the commissioners a control over a practice which had been found to prevail in some unions—namely, that of inducing too many young persons to enter into particular favoured trades in the districts, though such trades were very limited or on the decline: thus artificially forming apprenticeships in that trade. The commissioners would, by this clause, be empowered to repress that practice, by proper rules and regulations:
§ Mr. Goulburn
said, the clause had been rendered unnecessary in consequence of the same power being given to the commissioners under the 61st section.
§ Colonel Rolleston
would admit, that there might be irregularities under the present system, but that was not the question. The question was, whether they should give the commissioners a power never yet intrusted to a public body—that of saying how lads should be apprenticed, to what trades, and with what masters. He must support the amendment.
§ Sir R. Peel
said, he thought it would be impossible to lay down, with regard to apprenticeship, any general rules applying equally to the metropolitan and rural parishes. Trades might be overstocked in some parishes, which were not so in others. He thought it should be explained that the commissioners should have the power of modifying their rules according to the special circumstances of each case. He did not at all understand the words "defining the classes of poor children," and should be glad to hear them interpreted by the noble Lord opposite. He thought the clause would run better thus,—"that the commissioners may, by order under their hands and seals, define the trades to which children now liable to be apprenticed by law may be apprenticed."
§ Viscount Howick
said, that the effect of the clause would be to restrain, and not to extend, the power of apprenticing. The guardians had already the power of apprenticing and giving premiums. This power had, under the old law, been grossly abused; lads had been apprenticed out to a master without any inquiry being made 801 as to his character, or any attention being paid to their morals. This practice had been checked by the act of 1834, but the system was still acted upon without the requisite care and caution. The clause would give no power to apprentice a single child, but it gave power to control the boards of guardians, and lay down certain rules under which those boards might act. It was a clause strictly for the protection of poor children, and he hoped the House would not consent to its rejection. He thought the amendment of the hon. Member for Southwark would make absolute nonsense of the clause; for how could the boards of guardians, who were to act under the rules of the commissioners, be allowed to interfere in framing them?
§ Sir R. Peel
was not opposed to the power sought to be conferred by the clause on the commissioners, but he was of opinion, that they should have the additional power of modifying their own regulations. What was applicable to one parish would not be so to another, and, therefore, he desired, that the definition of the trades, rather than the class of persons should be substituted in the bill.
Sir E. Wilmot
thought, the best way to proceed would be to expunge the clause altogether, and substitute in its place a proviso, of which he had given notice, to the effect, that the persons to whom pauper children were apprenticed should be obliged to send the said apprentices to the half yearly meeting of the guardians of the union in which such persons resided, in order that their treatment and condition for the time might be examined into, and ascertained.
§ Viscount Howick
said, that the power sought for by the right hon. Baronet would be conferred by the clause as it stood.
§ Lord John Russell
I think the power to make rules ought to be left to the commissioners without any concurrent power to the guardians, as proposed by the right hon. Gentleman; and I am, therefore, also opposed to the suggestion of the hon. and gallant Member; but the right hon. Gentleman is quite correct in saying, that the rules of the commissioners should be different in different parts of the country, and I do not think, that 802 there is anything in this clause to preclude the attainment of that object. I should have no objection to alter the wording of the clause, if, upon consideration, I find it necessary; but I am inclined to think, that the words, as they stand, will be perfectly effectual.
§ Mr. Grote
said, that, at present, the boards of guardians had an almost unlimited power of apprenticing. The object of this clause was to restrain that power, and he hoped, that it would pass without any material alteration; for in the metropolitan unions the present system had worked very badly, and a uniformity of system had been found to be very desirable. That uniformity could only be obtained by giving these general powers to the commissioners.
§ Mr. B. Wood
said, he would withdraw his amendment, as he understood, that the noble Lord was willing to make some alteration in the clause.
§ Mr. B. Wood
said, that he certainly was not disposed to submit the sole authority in this matter to the commissioners.
§ Lord John Russell
I said, that with regard to the words "defining classes," I was willing, if they would not carry into effect the object of the clause to alter them; but that the commissioners are to make the rules independently of the guardians or any other authority.
§ Mr. B. Wood
said, that he would allow the clause to pass then, as he should have an opportunity of seeing it after it had been amended.
§ Colonel Sibthorp
said, that if the noble Lord would not postpone the clause, he should move that it be expunged.
§ The Committee divided on the question, that the clause stand part of the bill:—Ayes 143; Noes 74: Majority 69.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Bagot, hon. W.|
|Acland, T. D.||Baring, hon. W. B.|
|A'Court, Captain||Barrington, Viscount|
|Adam, Admiral||Bentinck, Lord G.|
|Ainsworth, P.||Berkeley, hon. H.|
|Ashley, Lord||Berkeley, hon. C.|
|Blake, W. J.||Martin, J.|
|Bowes, J.||Mildmay, P. St. J.|
|Bramston T. W.||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Buller, E.||Morris, D.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Muskett, G. A.|
|Busfeild, W.||Norreys, Lord|
|Cavendish, hon. C.||O'Ferrall, R. M.|
|Cavendish, hn. G. H.||Paget, Lord A.|
|Chalmers, P.||Palmerston, Viscount|
|Cholmondeley, hn. H.||Parker, J.|
|Chute, W. L. W.||Parnell, rt. hn. Sir H.|
|Clay, W.||Patten, J. W.|
|Clayton, Sir W. R.||Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.|
|Clerk, Sir G,||Philips, M.|
|Clive, E. B.||Pigot, rt. hon. D.|
|Corry, hon. H.||Plumptre, J. P.|
|Courtenay, P.||Powerscourt, Visct.|
|Dalmeny, Lord||Price, Sir R.|
|Denison, W. J.||Pryme, G.|
|Douro, Marquess of||Pusey, P.|
|East, J. B.||Rawdon, Col. J. D.|
|Easthope, J.||Rich, H.|
|Eaton, R. J.||Rickford, W.|
|Ellis, W.||Roche, W.|
|Evans, W.||Rose, rt. hn. Sir G.|
|Ewart, W.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Fazakerley, J. N.||Salwey, Colonel|
|Fitzalan, Lord||Seymour, Lord|
|Fleming, J.||Sheil, rt. hn. R. L.|
|Forester, hon. G.||Slaney, R. A.|
|Fox, S. L.||Smith, R. V.|
|Gaskell, J. Milnes||Somerset, Lord G.|
|Gisborne, T.||Somerville, Sir W. M.|
|Gladstone, W. E.||Stanley, hon. E. J.|
|Gladstone, J. N.||Stewart, J.|
|Gordon, R.||Stuart, Lord J.|
|Goulburn, rt. hon. H.||Stock, Mr. Sergeant|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir C.||Strutt, E.|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Style, Sir C,|
|Grimston, Viscount||Tancred, H. W.|
|Grote, G.||Teignmouth, Lord|
|Hastie, A.||Thornely, T.|
|Hawes, B.||Tomline, G.|
|Hawkins, J. H.||Townley, R. G.|
|Herbert, hon. S.||Troubridge, Sir E. T.|
|Hill, Lord A. M. C.||Tufnell, H.|
|Hobhouse,rt. hn. Sir J.||Tyrell, Sir J. T.|
|Hobhouse, T. B.||Villiers, hon. C. P.|
|Holmes, hn. W. A'C.||Villiers, Visconnt|
|Howard, hn. E. G. G.||Vivian, Major C.|
|Howard, F. J.||Vivian, J. H.|
|Howard, P. H.||Vivian, rt.hn. SirR.H.|
|Howard, hn. C. W. G.||Waddington, H. S.|
|Howick, Viscount||Warburton, H.|
|Hurst, R. H.||White, A.|
|Hurt, F.||Whitmore, T.|
|Hutt, W.||Wilde, Sir T.|
|James, W,||Wilshere, W.|
|Jones, J.||Wood, C.|
|Knight, H. G.||Wood, G. W.|
|Labouchere, rt hn. H.||Wood, B.|
|Lascelles, hon. W. S.||Worsley, Lord|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Wyse, T.|
|Loch, J.||Young, J.|
|Lushington, rt. hn. S.||TELLERS.|
|Macaulay, rt. hn. T.B.||Maule, hon. F.|
|Marshall, W.||Horsman, E.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Johnson, General|
|Attwood, W.||Jonstone, H.|
|Baillie, Colonel||Kemble, H.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||Leader, J. T.|
|Boiling, W.||Lowther, J. H.|
|Broadley, H.||Marton, G.|
|Broadwood, H.||Maunsell, T. P.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Monypenny, T. G.|
|Brotherton, J.||Morgan, O.|
|Brownrigg, S.||Muntz, G. F.|
|Bruges, W. H. L.||Neeld, J.|
|Buck, L. W.||Neeld, J.|
|Burroughes, H. N.||O'Brien, W. S.|
|Cantilupe, Viscount||Packe, C. W.|
|Collins, W.||Palmer, R.|
|Copeland, Mr. Ald.||Parker, R. T.|
|Dalrymple, Sir A.||Pechell, Captain|
|Darby, G.||Pollen, Sir J. W.|
|Duncombe, T.||Richards, R.|
|Duncombe, hon. W||Rolleston, L.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Round, C. G.|
|Evans, Sir De L.||Round, J.|
|Farnham, E. B.||Rushbrooke, Colonel|
|Fielden, J.||Sanderson, R.|
|Fellowes, E.||Smyth, Sir G. H.|
|Filmer, Sir E.||Thornhill, G.|
|Fitzroy, hon. H.||Trotter, J.|
|Freshfield, J. W.||Turner, W.|
|Gore, O. J. R.||Vere, Sir C. B.|
|Grant, Sir A. C.||Wakley, T.|
|Grimsditch, T.||Walker, R.|
|Halford, H.||Wilbraham, hon. B.|
|Hall, Sir B.||Williams, W.|
|Hawkes, T.||Wodehouse, E.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Wood, Colonel|
|Hollond, R.||Sibthorp, Colonel|
|Irton, S.||Wilmot, Sir J. E.|
§ The House resumed.
§ The Committee to sit again.