HC Deb 15 July 1836 vol 35 cc246-7

Mr. Lynch moved for leave to bring in a Bill to enable tenants for life of estates in Ireland to make improvements in their estates, and to charge the inheritance with the moneys expended in such improvements.

Mr. Lefroy

observed, that this was a Bill to do away with settlements, and to enable tenants for life to rob their children. If it were brought in, he should most certainly oppose it in every stage.

Mr. A. Trevor

said, he was so strongly opposed to it, that he would take upon himself the responsibility of dividing the House on the motion of the hon. Member.

Mr. Wyse

hoped the hon. Gentleman would not do so. It would be a great matter to afford the public an opportunity of considering the merits of the Bill during the recess.

Viscount Morpeth

said, the Bill had been recommended in the Report of a Committee, and he hoped the House would not object to its being brought in.

Mr. Lefroy

said, it really was with great reluctance he persisted in his opposition to the proposed measure, but he did not wish even so much countenance to be given to the principle of it, as leave to bring in such a Bill. Why should such a Bill be brought in for Ireland, when he would venture to say, no man ever even contemplated such a Bill for England? He did not understand why it should be proposed to bring in a Bill for Ireland in particular, which would have the direct and immediate effect of annulling settlements, and enabling tenants for life to charge the inheritance with any amount of expenditure they might think proper to make; he, however, knew what use would be made of this Bill in Ireland. In fact, no remainder-man, under any settlement in Ireland, would be safe if this Bill were to pass. Even as the law stood at present, they knew what waste was frequently committed by tenants for life on the property of infants, who were unable to protect their own interests; but, if tenants for life were to be enabled to charge estates with the moneys expended by them on those estates, it would be better at once to bring in a Bill to annul all settlements. If the Report of a Committee was before the House, as had been stated, they could judge of the Bill from that just as well as if they had the Bill itself upon the table, and he could not see what object was to be attained by giving greater publicity to the measure than what that report afforded.

Mr. Lynch

said, that as a law of a similar nature existed in Scotland, he did not see what objection ere was to its introduction into Ireland. The people, no doubt, might be a little startled by it at first, but when they would see the restrictions he had to propose, he was sure that that surprise would subside. He only now asked for permission to point out what the restrictions and conditions were upon which he would propose this measure.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he felt great difficulty about the measure, but upon that very ground, he was ready to assent to the proposition of his hon. Friend, the Member for Galway.

Motion withdrawn.