§ The Earl of Clare
presented a petition from the City of Limerick, complaining of certain proceedings under the rate-paying clauses of the Irish Poor Law, by which districts 1601 were united within the elective boundary. His Lordship also presented a petition from the same city, complaining of the Distress which existed in that town: the petition described various features of the existing Distress, and particularly referred to the crowded and filthy state of that part of the town inhabited by the poorer classes. The noble Earl said, that he concurred in general in the prayers of this petition, and he was sure that the noble Marquess opposite, who was well acquainted with this town, would concur with him that it was a petition well deserving of the serious attention of their Lordships. [The Marquess of Lansdowne: "Hear, hear."] There was one of the prayers of the petition in which, however, he dared say their Lordships would not be disposed to concur; it was this—that an additional tax might be laid on absentees, in order to relieve the distresses of the poor. He had called the attention of the House to this petition, under a strong conviction that the grievances which oppressed Ireland were more of a social than political nature; and he hoped that Government would, with as little delay as possible, give their best attention to this subject.