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enact laws which have a tendency to keep us from improving. The most important objection to localizing the assessment in small districts, is the consequent inequality of taxation; that some electoral divisions will have very low rates to pay, while others will be heavily burdened, and in some cases may even be totally unable to support their poor. This is certainly correct. In a well managed electoral division, where the labouring poor are employed, and the sick and infirm destitute economically relieved, the taxation will be moderate ; but where the owners of property neglect their duties, and allow the law to be badly administered, and a course of wasteful expenditure to be pursued, the inevitable consequence of their neglect will surely be felt, in a greatly increased amount of poor-rates. Such is the uniform result of prudent management or of negligence in every situation in life. And will not the institutions, which most closely connect prosperity with prudence in the management of public or private affairs, best conduce to the general prosperity of the state 2 But even with the greatest care and attention, there can be no doubt that some districts must be more heavily burdened than others. Under present circumstances, the country towns, in which little trade or manufacturing industry exist, will feel the pressure of a superabundant population, which have for some time past sought refuge in them, when unable to obtain employment or land in the country. The rates in many electoral divisions in which such towns are placed, will probably be considerably higher than the average; and the rate-payers in such cases may naturally think, that their interest would be served, by having a uniform rate over the whole union. But it is by no means certain that this would be the result; if the extension of the area for taxation lessened the attention to economy, the increased expenditure would in many cases raise the uniform rate above the highest amount previously paid, and thus all parties would lose by the change. The danger of harsh measures being resorted to for the clearance of estates, affects any system of poor-laws, by which the property of a country is made liable for the support of its poverty, whether the assessment be on larger or smaller districts, and can probably be met only by a law of settlement. It is well known that such clearances took place, previously to the introduction of poor-laws into Ireland. The circumstances of many parts of the country render it necessary either to diminish the population, or to increase the capital for employing them. When an owner of land cannot procure the latter, or wants the enterprise required for its proper application to the improvement of the estate, his only resource is to get rid of the people. The act passed last session contains a settlement clause, under which the expense incurred for the relief of a destitute person, is to be charged to the electoral division in which he resides, or has resided for thirty months out of the last three years. This is so far well. If the dispossessed tenant make immediate application for relief, the expense is fixed on the electoral division in which he so resided ; but if, in any manner, he be enabled to support himself in any other electoral division, for more than six months, the cost of relieving him must be charged to the union at large ; as in such case he will not have resided for thirty months out of the last three years in any one electoral division. In this case, therefore, the landlord who has ejected his tenantry escapes the expense, if they have removed to another electoral division ; but even if they should preserve their settlement in the electoral division in which they have heretofore resided, as long as these districts continue of their present great extent, the portion of the cost of maintaining the ejected tenants which

falls on their former landlord, must be so small, that it will have very little influence in preventing the clearance of estates. The subject is one of considerable difficulty. The English law of settlement has evidently interfered with the freedom of labour, and is liable to other grave objections. It may probably be simplified with advantage. The attention of Parliament has been given to it, and some alteration may be made before long. It is injurious to both countries, that a law of settlement should exist in one and not in the other. It creates many anomalies. It is certainly desirable that the poor-laws of England and Ireland should assimilate as much as practicable. If a residence for three years without receiving public relief conferred a settlement, would it not greatly simplify the arrangement, and be likely to work well ? The original settlement should not be lost, until a new one was obtained by settlement as above. Law-suits between parishes might be avoided by the appointment of official arbitrators, or by empowering the commissioners to decide all cases of difference, on a written statement or statements to be submitted to them by the parties concerned. The expense of removal might easily be prevented, by giving the district in which a pauper is relieved a right to claim a certain fixed allowance for his support, from the parish or electoral district in which he had a settlement. It is certainly unjust that any English parish should be burdened with the support of Irish destitution. Liverpool and some other of the western ports of Great Britain have suffered seriously from this cause. The only remedy provided is the power of removal, which is very expensive, and which inflicts an injury on the Irish port in which the paupers are landed ; as there is no power to compel them to remove from it, or to send them to their original homes. The power of sending back Irish paupers has in some cases proved very oppressive, but the Act 9 and 10 Vict, cap. 66, which, with other limitations, forbids removal from a parish in which a poor person has resided five years, has to some extent lessened this hardship for the future. Still, if an Irishman go over to Manchester, and marry an Englishwoman ; and, after supporting his family for four years by his industry, become a pauper, his wife and children, (none of whom perhaps have ever been out of Manchester) are liable to be shipped off along with him for some port in Ireland, as Irish paupers. Cases in some degree similar are of constant occurrence ; and many removals have taken place, involving

circumstances of very great hardship.”

* The Act 9 & 10 Vict. chap. 66, does not confer a settlement; it

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