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of substantial householders, elected by the general vestry, but * approved by the Justices.' The general vestries or parish meetings are, so far as regards the administration of the Poor Laws, to be wholly superseded, and even the right of voting in he general vestry, is to be regulated according to the property -issessed ; that is to say, a person is to have a number of votes -\roportioned to his property; in addition to all the natural influonce of rank and opulence, he is to be allowed singly to outtwmber any two or three obstinate fellows who may dare stand ... ip and vote against him. No doubt, “in populous parishes, where the substantial householders are numerous,' (too numerus for the parson and the squire to hold in complete subordinaion,) it will be, as Mr. Courtenay says, “very advantageous to -- take the management of parochial concerns from a body so o, susceptible of faction and turbulence as a great parish meetso ing.'. A more unjust and aristocratical infringement of popuear rights was never proposed to the Legislature. We do not oresume to say what may have been the real intention of the oriorinator of the plan; he might not be fully aware of its operation; out we must say that it has the appearance of being intended only to render the power and patronage of the few, still more *absolute than ever, at the expense of the many. It is a matter * of astonishment, that the country at large should have had their attention so little awakened towards the proposed enactment. o With regard to Settlements, the Select Committee recommend a return to the old law, whereby a residence for three years conferred a settlement. This is the case in Scotland, ... according to the statute of 1672; provided that the pauper shall ... not, during that period, have applied for charity. Mr. Nicoli objects, that if residence be the ground of settlement, a regular discharge of the labourer will take place at the end of the second ... year; and he endeavours to shew, that litigation will not, by such a simplification of the law of settlement, be put an end to : ... this spirit, he thinks, can be repressed only by “giving full costs o ‘ on every frivolous appeal, and on every vexatious or even ‘careless perseverance in an order obtained.” We must content o ourselves with referring, on this point, to the pamphlets by Mr. Nicoll and Mr. Courtenay, which we have so often cited.” The establishment of Parochial Benefit Societies, is the last expedient which we have to notice. This, too, according to the representations of both these gentlemen, is liable to the most serious objections. The Committee, says one of them,
* * The average amount of money expended in suits of law, removals, and expenses of parish officers, is given in the Commons Ref port, at upwards of two millions, or more than one fourth part of the s' money raised for the maintenance of the Poor.
“ has proposed a sort of combination between the Parish no e the box of the Friendly society. This is a good deal like giving to labourer indiscriminately a penny roll in lieu of half a ped a When the flavour of the roll has become familiar, the loaf wis: sently follow; when the labourer and the Overseer are once farintroduced to each other; when the mauvaise honte of the first = view is over, I see no sufficient cause in future to break of th: macy.
“This plan implies a general dependance of the labourer = Parish; all the usual barriers, shame, pride, timidity—are to down; a habit of looking up to the rate is solicited. At presentan honest man encumbered by difficulties, reluctantly asks for * feels himself degraded whilst i. receives it, and presses forwrio eagerness to the moment, when, once more supported by his cont ertions, he can look round with confidence amongst his neigo and say, “I am again your equal.” But if the weekly contra F. in the Friendly Society’s box, is met with a proportar rom the Parish; if out of every half-guinea advanced in sco, is obvious half-a-crown is the produce of the Poor rate, does or member become an initiatory pauper, when he subscribes to the xand a completed one, when he receives from it 2 I see no prevent the man who has to-day received half-a-crown in sickoo morrow demanding five shillings on any other occasion of need.” shame of pauperism is stifled; the pride of independence and ** port, sub op cvery man who looks round in this case, sees amidst a group all like himself, followers of the rate; and wheto" is no degrading comparison, there will be little sense of debase
‘....Where there is any thing of a prudential forethought, Pao addition to the Society's box will be wholly needless; and wheto is no forethought, it will be vain: a very small contribution proan adequate payment in sickness. In large payments thereo derable danger; where the allowances in sickness are high, to * man will always be sick; at least a temptation difficult to bewittois thrown in his way.”
... We confess that we do not quite agree with Mr. Nicolo yiew he has taken of the necessary tendency of such soo The plan professes only to be a compromise adapted “” present situation of the country, as affording a facility ‘ effecting the desired transition from the present systeo * relief, to one founded upon better principles.” And who bonus afforded by the parish bears so small a proportion"' Proposed, to the spentaneous contributions of the individual." do not see why ‘the pride of self-support' must needs of stroyed by the arrangement. Such a contributor mus' " himself in a situation very different from the pauper, to * tothing of the good effect which the habit of voluntary contro will have had upon his feelings and character. The Scho" attached to the Bill as amended by the Committee, co"
"uong other rules for the government of such societies, tho".
r o * On the Poor Lancs. 439 o: provision that ‘No allowance on account of sickness will ... to ade, except upon a certificate from the apothecary :’ this ... as to obviate one of the above objections. The Bill must be : it- - - Ized as having a twofold object, the encouragement, and the urity of Benefit Societies; institutions which all allow to be Pted, if they can be guarded from abuse, to be highly useful. WPreamble states that * - Whereas the habitual reliance of poor persons upon Parochial to-ef, rather than upon their own industry, tends to the moral deso oration of the people, and to the accumulation of heavy burthens on the parishes; and it is desirable, with a view as well to the re! E::tion of the assessments made for the relief of the poor, as to the iual introduction of a better feeling among the people, that special ouragement and facility should be afforded to meritorious and inostrious persons, for rescuing themselves from the necessity of a rea tot to parochial relief; and for this ". it is adviseable that such , or sons should be invited and assisted to make provision, while young for healthy, for their own maintenance, when visited with sickness or ox tun old age.” ... And whereas by the contributions of the Savings of many industri...s persons to one common fund, the most effectual provision may be ...ide for the casualties affecting all the contributors; and if parishes ... impowered to afford security to such fund, and to make a small ad; ...ion thereto, the sums now expended by parishes upon the sick and ...,ed may be greatly reduced, at the same time that industrious and to: ... gal habits would be encouraged and rewarded. o * Be it therefore enacted, &c.” is. If, however, instead of instituting Parochial Benefit Societies is:pon this plan, a few respectable individuals would combine to orm a voluntary association for the district or province, holding out the simple advantage of guarantee, every objection would be obviated.” Mr. Courtenay gives his opinion in favour of such a
o ". Upon this subject, Mr. Barton's pamphlet (noticed in our Sepis ember Number) contains some very valuable information and some & J. dicious remarks. Sir F. Eden has stated “ that in 1797, no instance *... had been known of a member of a Friendly Society becoming bur* densome to his parish.” Such instances are even now proved to be "rare, the proportion, in each county, between the number of paupers * *and the number of persons members of Friendly Societies, being, as Joshewn in evidence before the Select Committee, in most cases, in an so inverse retio. Mr. Barton deprecates the bad effects to be appreto hended from legislative interference with such societies, and he shews of that they possess advantages quite distinct from those of Savings’ a Banks, by the admirers of which they are too often depreciated. The ..., number of persons belonging to Friendly Societies appears to be, on the average of the last three years, nearly 8% in each hundred of the o the number relieved from the Poor's rate is 94 in each utltirett.
- **umber of years, should entitle a subscriber to a certain allow*_n account of his chidren; now, it is hardly to be expected, any individuals would commence at a sufficiently early period * marriage, the saving necessary to entitle them to an allowance, lent upon a contingency which, perhaps at that period, it may ** in their contemplation to incur:—but the same ind vidual may - iciently provident to place his savings in a Bank of Deposit. of he should afterwards be inclined to marry, the accumulated --- its will enable him to pay the fine, by which he will be placed, * -- he benefits of the Friendly Society, more nearly in the situation — — ch he would have placed himself, if his savings had in the first -- “ce been applied to the purpose of that society --—shall not enlarge further upon this subject, than to repeat that – :=oposition extends only to a perfectly voluntary arrangement, :== tated to give facilities and powers, of which it is by no means *::= led to compel either parishes or individuals to avail themselves.” - - --42–145 * *-me importance of Saving Banks, as a collateral measure, * -s not be insisted upon. The success of these institutions, so -is can be ascertained by the amount of the deposites, has, we ove, in almost every instance, exceeded the most sanguine *::ctation, and much may certainly be hoped for as the result eir gradual influence on the morals and habits of the Poor. Ioxt to the road to church,” says Mr. Nicoll, ‘I would teach ... e young the road to the Saving Bank." ... We are now for the present to take our leave of this most inte...ing subject. ... Our end will be answered if, by the hasty re...r.orks we have offered on the suggestions now before the public, * -- shall have at all contributed to promote better information goal more distinct ideas upon the important principles which are wo-luded in the discussion. There remain, however, one or two :**ats on which we beg to trespass a few minutes longer on the - iouder's attention. : oo in the Circular issued by the Committee of the General As* * *mbly, one of the queries transmitted to the ministers of paohes, is the following : o o: “25. What are the names (and the numbers as nearly as you can onpute,) of the religious sects in your parish ; are there any (and so, how many) of their poor on the poor's roll of the parish, and gosha: is the annual sum total of relief given to them ’’
o The Report itself states that
o “In many of the parishes, all the poor of the Dissenters are on the :: ***oor's roll; in others they are partially relieved; they draw in one y foase ; and in another case ; of the whole assessment, which is of very oarge amount. Some classes of the Dissenters support their own , 9 'opoor, others contribute to the parish funds by occasional collections, so i. stated annual sum paid, but in most cases they do not contribute zooat all.”