§ MR. POLLARD-URQUHART
said, he rose to call the attention of the President of the Poor Law Board to the circumstances attending the deportation of an aged Female Pauper from Liverpool to Dublin on the night of the third April, 1860. The poor woman to whom he referred had been 52 years in England, and had for 29 years been the wife of an Englishman, yet the moment circumstances obliged her to seek workhouse relief she was shipped by the union authorities at Liverpool for Dublin on a very inclement night. He did not blame any one, for the Liverpool authorities had only acted in conformity with the law, but the cause of humanity required that the right hon. Gentleman should turn his attention to the present very unsatisfactory state of the law of settlement. He was aware that the rules of the House would prevent the right hon. Gentleman from replying to him on the present occasion, but he sincerely hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would not lose sight of so momentous a question.
§ MR. VANCE
said, that as one of the representatives of the city of Dublin, he could bear testimony to the accuracy of the facts stated by the hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the House. The case was not an exceptional one; for poor people who had spent their lives in honest industry in England were landed in shoals at the port of Dublin, and the burden of giving them relief fell upon the union in which the quay on which they were landed was situated. It was, he thought, not a matter with which a private Member ought to deal, and he trusted the Government would before long turn then-attention to an improvement of the law on the subject.
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, there could be no doubt of the hardship of the case, both as to the poor persons who were subject to removal, and also to the unions, on whom the burden of receiving them was chiefly placed. As to the particular case referred to, however, the hon. Member for Liverpool had requested him to say that he had received a statement to the effect that between the 1st and 8th of April no person was sent from that port answering to the description of an aged woman. He had himself been constantly in communication on this subject with the Poor Law 259 authorities and others, and no one, he was certain, was more sensible of the hardship of the existing law than those who directed the machinery of the Poor Law in Ireland. His right hon. Friend the President of the Poor Law Board had already communicated to the House his intention of moving for the renewal of the Committee to consider two important questions connected with this subject—first, the propriety of reducing from five to three years the period of residence necessary to acquire the privilege of irremovability; and second, the propriety of extending the area of residence for the same purpose from the parish to the union. His right hon. Friend would soon move for that Committee, and hoped on the termination of the inquiry, which would be of short duration, to be prepared with a measure on the subject. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman opposite, that the removal of a grievance of this kind was the proper function of the Government. Former Governments had not been unmindful of that duty, but had been unsuccessful in their efforts to remedy the evil. He hoped, however, that his right hon. Friend would be more fortunate.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ House at rising to adjourn till Monday next.