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physical comforts, or they will bring down the peasantry of England to their own level. Steamboats and railroads have done more to amalgamate the two countries, than political enactments could ever have effected. This facility of intercourse blends together the various elements of society ; transfers the labour of Connaught to Liverpool or London in a few hours, and at a small cost ; enables even the professional beggar, who can no longer obtain a potato from the poor cottier of Mayo, now reduced to destitution greater than his own, to remove his business to a richer people, exposing them to the contagion of his physical disease and his moral degradation. Quarantine regulations are useless. The attempt to enforce them has only served to aggravate the difficulty. The power of removal or sending back to Ireland will prove equally inefficient. Those sent back at the parish expense will have no perceptible effect on the whole number ; a small sum will enable them to return again.* Labour will move to that coun
* This statement may be illustrated by the following extract from the proceedings of the Glasgow Parochial Board, taken from a local paper, and copied into Saunders' News Letter, 3rd Sept., 1847.
“ Return of Irish Arrivals by the Steamers. — Mr. Willock, the “ interim inspector, made the following return of the number of deck “passengers landed in Glasgow from Ireland during the week ending “ 10th August, 1847 :-By steamers, 5, 134, by railway, 741; total, “ 5,875_increase over the previous week, 3,509. Of that number 170
try where a better demand exists, as surely as water finds its level ; and no means exist to prevent our peasantry flocking to England, and forming an Irish quarter in all the English towns and cities, as they have already done in Liverpool, Manchester, and London, unless they be enabled to obtain employment at home; unless their condition be so raised, that they may have no inducement to
“were quite unable to work from old age. From the 10th to the 17th “ August, the arrivals were by steam boat 6,085, by railway 1,410; total “7,495; increase on the previous week 1,620. Of that number 134 were “aged people unfit for labour. The total number landed from Ireland “ from June 15th to August 17th, 1847, has been 26,335.
“ Mr. M'Clure asked if Dr. Thompson could state what proportion of “ the patients in the new fever hospital were Irish ?
“ Dr. Thompson said that out of 1,150 patients, 750 were Irish, 380 “ Scotch, 15 English, and 5 foreigners.
“ Mr. M'Clure wished to know if any answer had been returned by the “ government to the memorial praying them to put a stop to this im“ mense immigration ?
“Mr. Rutherglen said the memorial had not yet been presented, as “ they were awaiting the conclusion of an investigation of the conduct “ of some of the steam-boat proprietors, who had attempted to evade, " and he believed had evaded, in many instances, the quarantine laws.
“ The chairman expressed his disapprobation very strongly of the “ manner in which the steam-boat proprietors had acted. The chairman “ read a letter which had been transmitted to him by the Lord Provost, “ from the authorities of Belfast, complaining that Irish paupers were “ sent to Belfast from Glasgow whose settlement was in the counties of “ Meath, Tipperary, or Dublin, and who ought therefore to have “ been sent to other ports. He could not see with what grace “ such a complaint came from a town from whence, for every 100 paupers “sent back, 1000 were sent to Glasgow.
“ Mr. Willock said the paupers were always sent to the port nearest “ to the place of settlement."
leave their native land for another. This is an Irish question, but it is also an Imperial question, a great and pressing difficulty, which is well worthy of the closest attention on the part of the people of England. Even the complete political separation of the two countries would not meet the difficulty. It could not prevent intercourse between countries in such close proximity. Nothing can meet it, unless the peasantry of Ireland be placed in a position, in which they can raise themselves to that degree of comfort, which will induce them to remain at home. *
• Extract from Lord Stanley's speech on the Poor Relief (Ireland) Bill, (Times, 11th May, 1847):
“Do not dream that by your legislation, legislate as you will, you can "prevent that, which I know is acting strongly on the public mind now, “and which is kindling a flame in this country against Ireland, and every“thing Irish; do not hope that you can prevent the influx of a large body “of labourers from among the poorest classes of Ireland into this country. “ (Hear.) So long as your rate of wages here is higher than the rate in “ Ireland, so long will that influx take place. (Hear.) The more you “ keep down the rate of wages in Ireland, the more you will add to this “evil; the more you encourage pauperism, and the more you discourage " the occupiers of land from giving employment to the labourers, for the “purpose of keeping them off the poor rate; the more you reduce, in “ short, the amount of labour in Ireland, the more you will have of that “influx of pauperism which is threatening to overwhelm this country.”
Small number of proprietors of land in fee_Tenants in possession very
numerous—Large grants of land in Munster-Long leases_Many subordinate interests—Smaller grants in Ulster-Cromwell's grants Property accumulates --Estates rarely sold in parts-Mortgages, &c. -Unsuitable agents—Land but little improved-Settlement of Ulster - Tenant-right compared with copyhold tenure in England—Cannot be safely interfered with where established—Agrarian outrages_Their objects_Insecurity of possession—Its depressing effect upon industry
-Subdivision of land—Consolidation—Consequent sufferings of ejected tenantry_Difficulty of obtaining another farm-Wretched condition of labourers living by con-acre-Difficulties attending this state of things.
From the Report of the Commissioners for the Census in 1841, we find the whole number of farms in Ireland, exceeding .one acre in extent, to be 691,202, of which nearly one-half, or 310,436, are under five acres. If we add the number of holdings under one acre, (which the census does not state) it will make the holdings under five acres much more than half. The proprietors in fee are probably fewer than in an equal area in any part of Western Europe,—Spain only excepted ; whilst the tenants in possession of land are more numerous. *
* The number of proprietors in fee has been estimated at about 8000.
These remarks apply more strongly to Connaught than to any other of the provinces. The estates in Connaught are peculiarly large. Several proprietors have more than 100,000 acres. The proportion of small farms is greater there than in the rest of Ireland, being 100,254 from one to five acres, while the whole number of farms is only 155,842.*
By far the greater part of Ireland has been confiscated since the reign of Henry VIII. The grantees of confiscated lands in Munster received from Elizabeth large tracts of 4,000 to 20,000 acres of good land, besides mountain and bog. The result has in many cases been, that the owners preferred living in England, and let their lands on long leases, or for a perpetuity, to others, who in their turn let the lands in smaller portions, at a profit rent; thus becoming inferior landlords, or middlemen. It frequently happens that two, three, or four of these intervene between the head landlord and the actual possessor of the soil, each of them holding by a long lease, and deriving a profit rent. This multiplication of subordinate interests is a great bar to improvement.f
* See Appendix D. + The following is the substance of a statement made by an applicant to the Relief Committee of the Society of Friends, respecting a townland in the county of Roscommon, for which he asked