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would cease to take any interest in his location, and would • leave it.'-(Report, p. 149.)
The error of the Committee on this point, has proceeded from a laudable desire to recommend any system that promised to lessen the expense of emigration. But though we are most inimical to every species of wasteful and extravagant expenditure, we are no less inimical to that spurious and illjudging spirit of economy, that would prevent the adoption of a highly useful measure, or clog it with impracticable conditions, because it could not be effected without a considerable sacrifice. The many and signal benefits that would be derived from the conveyance of a million of Irish emigrants to America, would be a most ample return for the greatest possible expense that could be incurred in accomplishing it. And sound policy would therefore suggest, that all idea of resorting to the complex and impracticable machinery of annuities, and so forth, should be abandoned ; and that public provision should be made for discharging, at once and forever, the entire expense of the emigration.
As Ireland would certainly derive the greatest advantage from the adoption of the proposed plan of emigration, it is but fair that she should contribute to defray its expense in a larger proportion than Great Britain : And as the removal of the redundant population dispersed over the country, would be espécially advantageous to the landlords, it is on them that the principal part of the expense ought certainly to fall. The Bishop of Limerick suggests that parochial assessments, at some such small rate as sixpence an acre, would, if authorized by law, be perhaps generally adopted. But we are satisfied, and several of the best informed Irish members of the House of Commons hold the same opinion, that no plan of this sort could ever succeed generally, though it might be adopted in some particular cases. To be effectual, the operation of the system must be rendered universal and compulsory. It must be conducted with zeal, vigour, and consistency. It is calculated that there are very nearly 19,500,000 English acres in Ireland : which, supposing them to be assessed at sixpence an acre, would yield an annual revenue of nearly 500,0001. The rent of an estate would, however, be a much fairer criterion for estimating the sum which it ought to pay than its extent. It would indeed be difficult, from the want of sufficiently accurate information with respect to the rental of Ireland, to estimate the per-centage of the tax that would have to be imposed on it, to defray either the whole, or any given portion of the expenses of the emigration. Dr Colquhoun estimated the rent of Ireland at ten millions; but taking it at only eight, an assessment of fire per cent. would yield 400,0001. a year; and this sum, added to the produce of the tax, which we shall afterwards show ought to be imposed on cottages both in England and Ireland, would afford ample means for defraying the interest of the loan which it might be necessary to contract, in the first place, on account of the emigration, and for forming a sinking fund for its final and speedy extinction.
It will perhaps be said, that, though it is true that, as a whole, Ireland is vastly overpeopled, there are certain districts and estates that are not in that situation, and that it would be unfair to tax them for the advantage of the others. But this is a radical mistake. It is the duty of Government to provide for the general welfare of the community: And it is easy to see that every part of the country, that the estate of Lord Fitzwilliam as well as that of Lord Courtney-would be incalculably benefited by the adoption of the measure now proposed. Security would be increased according as the pressure of pauperism was diminished; and the value of all sorts of property would be universally augmented. And though it is perhaps true that Limerick or Clare would reap a greater immediate benefit from the emigration than Wicklow or Dublin, it would most certainly afford the same essential and lasting advantages to every part of the kingdom.
It has been suggested, in the evidence given before the Emigration Committee, that a Board of Commissioners should be appointed to conduct and superintend its details and execution. This Board might consist of three or five commissioners, who should be authorized to determine all matters with respect to the emigration; to arrange with the landlords whose estates were to be cleared; to decide on the mode of disposing of the emigrants, &c. &c. As we mentioned before, it would be desirable that, as far as possible, every thing should be executed by contract; superintendents being appointed to see that the terms made with the contractors were properly carried into effect. The Board of Commissioners ought to be instructed to make full, regular, and frequent Reports of their proceedings to Parliament, to which it would be most desirable that every sort of publicity should be given ; for, such is the only means by which abuses could be speedily and effectually rectified, and the whole business conducted in the best and cheapest manner.
Supposing, however, that the policy of conducting emigration on a large scale were admitted, still it is most true, that, unless measures were at the same time adopted for checking the excessive increase of population, and preventing the dimi
nution that would be made in the numbers of the people from being again filled up, no permanent advantage would be derived from the measure, and in a few years the population would be as redundant as ever. Emigration, by itself, would really give an additional stimulus to the principle of increase; and the hydra of pauperism would derive new strength and vigour from the very means resorted to for its suppression ! But, while we should be the first to oppose any measure for the encouragement of emigration, which was not accompanied by, and combined with, other measures for preventing the vacuum that would be made in the population from being filled up, as an idle and unprofitable waste of the national resources, we are at the same time convinced that the organization of an extensive plan of emigration can alone enable such supplementary measures to be adopted, and that it is quite possible to make them completely effectual to their object.
It is clear, as has been previously stated, that the removal of the cottier population would give the landlords the means of consolidating their estates into larger farms; and the Act of last Session has armed them with powers to prevent their being again split into minute portions. But it would be incons siderate in the extreme to trust, in a matter of such importance, entirely to this security for the repression of so great an evil; nor can any one doubt, that Government would be guilty of a great dereliction of duty, if, after laying out a large sum in the encouragement of emigration, they did not adopt whatever other measures might be deemed necessary for opposing an insuperable barrier to the future increase of pauperism. Every one knows, that it is quite impossible, but for the facility with which slips of land and huts have been obtained in Ireland, that population and beggary could have increased so rapidly as they have done; and it appears, from the evidence taken before the Committee, that the same cause, or the comparative facility with which cottages have lately been obtained in England, has had an equally destructive influence in that part of the empire. Mr Curteis, M. P. for Sussex, and a most intelligent witness, Mr Hodges, Chairman of the West Kent Quartersessions, informed the Committee, that several parishes in Kent and Sussex had sent out a considerable number of pauper emigrants to America; but that it had had no effect upon the rates, for that the instant after they were removed, the cottages they had occupied were again filled with fresh paupers ! I • am quite satisfied,' says Mr Hodges, that the erection of cottages • has been a most serious evil throughout the country; and I have • been induced, acting on that conviction, lo concur with other cottage proprietors, who are going to take down from twentysix to thirty cottages as soon as these persons are out of them,
if they emigrate, as we think they will do; for, if we leave the • buildings standing, young persons of seventeen and eighteen years of 6 age, and even still younger, would marry immediately, and thus the
evil would continue !' (Report, p. 136.) And, in another place, Mr Hodges says, ' Perhaps I am taking a liberty in adverting • to what I stated the other day, but without an attention to the • fact then disclosed, of the prodigious increase of cottages of late years, all other regulations will be nugatory; and I cannot forbear urging again, that this, or any similar measure, having for its object the relief of parishes from their over-population, must
of necessity become perfectly useless, unless the Act of Parliament • contains some regulation with respect to the erecting and maintaining
of cottages.' (Report, p. 185.) The evidence of Mr Curteis is to the same effect, and is even stronger than that of Mr Hodges.
It is, therefore, quite indispensable, if we are really anxious to set limits to the tide of pauperism, that an effectual blow should be levelled against this ruinous system. And we are not sure, that this could be better done than by adopting the principle of the suggestions made by Mr Curteis and Mr Hodges, with respect to the taxing of cottages ; and passing an Act, which should be applicable to both England and Ireland, imposing an annual duty of at least 21. or 31. on every cottage occupied by one family, and doubling or tripling, &c. the duty in the event of its being occupied by two or more families, that shall henceforth be erected, either in the country or in villages; it being at the same time enacted, that this duty shall be levied from and made directly payable by the proprietor of the lund on which the cottage is built. Mr Hodges suggests, that the proprietors of existing cottages in England should be made responsible for the support of their occupants, in the event of their becoming destitute. But we are inclined to think, that there would be a sufficient inducement to contract the number of cottages to the extent required for the accommodation of the necessary supply of labourers, were the proprietors of estates, on which cottages are now built, directly taxed at the rate of 20s. or 15s. a year, for each of their cottages during the next seven years, the duty being then increased to 25s. or 35s. Such an act would not only prevent the farther increase of the mischief, but it would provide for its gradual diminution. And if it were, as it ought to be, distinctly stipulated, in removing the surplus inhabitants from the estates of such Irish landlords as the Emigration Commissioners might resolve upon clearing, that the huts the emigrants had occupied should be rased to the foundation, and that the landlords would be charged with a duty of 21. or 31. a year on every hut or cottage for the accommodation of one family, and so in proportion, that might in future be erected on their estates, an effectual obstacle would be interposed to the farther progress of pauperism; and a great and beneficial change would very speedily be effected in the habits and condition of the people, and the appearance of the country.
It might, perhaps, be expedient, that some restrictions should be laid on the influx of Irish labourers into Great Britain during the period that the emigration was in progress. But no compulsory measures to force any individual abroad ought ever to be resorted to, or would be required. There would, in truth, be a large excess of voluntary emigrants. At present the disposition to emigrate is exceedingly prevalent in Ireland; and if the landlords were enabled, as they would be under the operation of the proposed system, to set vigorously about clearing their estates, this disposition would acquire new force. The difficulty, we apprehend, would not be to find voluntary emigrants, but to make a judicious selection among the myriads that would be anxious to be removed from the destitution and wretchedness in which they are now involved.
ART. III. Stockton on the Practice of not allowing Counsel to
Prisoners accused of Felony. 8vo. pp. 149. London, 1826. ON
n the sixth of April 1824, Mr George Lamb (a gentleman
who is always the advocate of whatever is honest and liberal), presented the following Petition from several Jurymen in the habit of serving on Juries at the Old Bailey
That your petitioners, fully sensible of the invaluable privilege of Jury trials, and desirous of seeing them as complete as human institutions will admit, feel it their duty to draw the attention of the Ilouse to the restrictions imposed on the prisoner's counsel, which, they humbly conceive, have strong claims to a legislative remedy. With every disposition to decide justly, the petitioners have found, by experience, in the course of their attendances as Jurymen at the Old Bailey, that the opening statements for the prosecution too frequently leave an impression more unfavourable to the prisoner at the bar, than the evidence of itself could have produced; and it has always sounded harsh to the petitioners to hear it announced from the Bench, that the Counsel, to whom the prisoner has committed his defence, cannot be permitted to address the Jury in his behalf, nor reply to the charges which have, or have