§ Mr. Ross
observed, that the House would recollect the question put the other night to the right hon. Baronet, by the hon. Member for Finsbury, as to whether there would be any objection to place some tenant farmers on the Land Tenure Commission in Ireland, in order to remove the suspicions which, undoubtedly, in some quarters, attached to it. The right hon. Gentleman expressed some doubts on the subject, and asked whether any tenant farmers would serve without pay. He was of opinion that many could be found, and he knew that this was the case, with respect to the tenant farmers in the northern part of Ireland. The next day he was informed, on good authority, that several tenant farmers in the west and south of Ireland, paying rents varying from 2,000l. to 300l. or 400l. a-year, could be found who would be willing to undertake the duty without payment. He thought that the right hon. Baronet seemed rather inclined to yield to the wish expressed by the hon. Member for Finsbury. The question which he wished to put was, whether, as there was no difficulty in finding respectable tenant farmers to act upon the Commission without payment, the right hon. Gentleman would consent to add some of that class to it. Supposing his answer to be in the negative, whether he would consent to associate sonic of the humbler class of tenants with those already named in the Commission, paying them for their time and trouble?
§ Sir R. Peel
replied, that the hon. Gentleman must have misunderstood the answer which he gave the other evening to the question put by the hon. Member for Finsbury. He meant to have said, and he thought that he had stated on that occasion, that he was not prepared to advise any alteration in the constitution of the Commission. As for the class of tenants paying 2,000l. a-year rent, they rather might be placed on the footing of landed proprietors, than in the same class with the great mass of the occupying tenants. The Commission had already made great progress in their inquiry, and he had reason to believe that the period would not be very long before some portion of the Report would be laid on the Table; 518 he, therefore, was not prepared to sanction any alteration in the constitution of the Commission.
§ Mr. Ross
said, he thought, that the right hon. Baronet had not answered the second part of the question put to him, namely, whether he would object to some of the humbler class of tenants being placed on the Commission; and also, whether any of such class were to be examined before the Commission?
§ Sir R. Peel
said, that with respect to paying salaries to certain tenants of the humbler class for sitting on this Commission, he conceived, that he had answered the question when he remarked, that he did not think it advisable to alter the constitution of the Commission. He wished to speak with every respect of the humbler class of tenants, and he hoped, that he might say, without offence, that as it was probable that many of the humbler class of tenants would be willing to receive appointments on the Commission, from the prospect of pecuniary reward, he did not think that it would be an improvement of the Commission to adopt any suggestion of that nature. With respect to the evidence of this class of persons, there could be no doubt but that it would be most valuable, and it was most desirable that every inducement should be held out to them to express the iropinions before the Commission.