Monday, 15 June 2009

Exporting Poverty: Jersey in 1884

Trawling through the UK Hansard, I came across an interesting entry back in 1884, where there is a mention of St Helier and Jersey.

Apparently Jersey was in the habit of sending away poor people to Ireland rather than dealing with poor people locally. This occurence (mentioned in Hansard) predates Irish independence, and was still when Ireland was part of Great Britain, with Member of Parliament. In 1884, William Gladstone was leading the liberal party as Prime Minister. "Trevelan", in the record, was Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet, who was quite a radical politician, supporting women's suffrage, the reform of metropolitan local government, and a drastic reform or abolition of the House of Lords. At the time of the question, he was Chief Secretary for Ireland, which is why he was answering the question in point.

A question asked by Mr McCarthy about one case showed that this was in fact the case with one woman, and it was unclear how legal the Jersey authorities were in dumping their social problems elsewhere, as the law as it stood in Ireland, did not permit this. Mr O'Connor then asked whether this practice of exporting poverty had been going on for 40 years. There was no reply, which suggests that Mr Trevelyan has not been briefed as to whether this was the case, but it is unlike the question was asked unless the questioner was already aware of the answer

Lynsmore Workhouse was in County Waterford, Ireland, and was built for the relief of the distressed between 1839 and 1842. At one stage there were over 700 inmates there, despite the fact that it was built to accommodate only 500.

POOR LAW (IRELAND)—REMOVAL OF PAUPERS

HC Deb 17 July 1884 vol 290 cc1413-4 1413

MR. JUSTIN HUNTLY MCARTHY (for Mr. LEAMY)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If it is the fact that a woman named Hackett, a native of Tallow, county Waterford, which place she left, over thirty years ago, for England, and who resided in Jersey for the last twelve years, was recently obliged to go into the Hospital at St. Helier; if the General Hospital Committee of St. Helier ordered her removal to Ireland, and caused her to be transported to Lismore Workhouse; if the Irish Local Government Board hold that there is no provision in the Poor Removal Acts for the removal of a pauper from Jersey to Ireland; and, if the Local Government Board is correct in its opinion, has the Lismore Board of Guardians or Mrs. Hackett any means of obtaining redress for the action of the St. Helier Hospital Committee?

MR. TREVELYAN
It is, I understand, a fact that a woman has recently been removed from Jersey to Lismore. The Local Government Board for Ireland are not aware of any enactment permitting such a removal; and they have suggested to the Lismore Board of Guardians that they should communicate with the Hospital Committee of St. Helier, and request them to state under what legal authority they acted on the occasion referred to.

MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR
asked if the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the Jersey Guardians had been in the habit of sending people to England and Ireland for the past 40 years?
[No reply.]


References:
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1884/jul/17/poor-law-ireland-removal-of-paupers
http://www.workhouses.org.uk/index.html?Lismore/Lismore.shtml

1 comment:

st_ouennais said...

Reminded me a little of this
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