HC Deb 04 June 1850 vol 111 cc752-5

Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, said, its object was simply to extend to Ireland an Act which had worked well for twelve years in this country. The expense of ejectments would he saved in the removal of squatters.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill he now read a Second Time."

MR. P. SCROPE moved that the Bill he read a second time that day six months. The effect of the measure would he to facilitate still further the process of ejectment and eviction in Ireland. Was it prudent in Parliament, therefore, to pass such a measure at a time when small tenants had been got rid of by hundreds and thousands? Since the famine began, 92,000 small tenants had been turned out, their houses pulled down, and themselves exposed to perish. Chief Baron Penuefather stated that for sixty years past Acts without number had been passed to increase the power of the landlords in Ireland, but none to ameliorate the condition of the tenants. This Bill would add another to the number of the former. Recently 600 ejectments had been brought against the tenants of a single estate. Surely the power of eviction was sufficiently extensive at present.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said, that he should support the measure if it conferred any benefit on the resident landlords of Ireland. With regard to the statement of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud, he begged to say that it was not an Irish landlord who brought the ejectments that he had spoken of. They were brought on behalf of a London Insurance Company. He hoped the hon. Member for Stroud would bear that in his recollection when he referred to Irish landlords. He should vote against the measure.


said, that the court of quarter - sessions gave the landlords ample power to get back lands which had been overheld. He should, therefore, support the Amendment. It was proposed by this measure to give the power to the bench of magistrates. He did not think that a new tribunal was wanted, and this time it would be very inexpedient to create such a tribunal. He did not wish to say anything disrespectful of the magistracy in Ireland, but it was better that they should not be called upon to decide in cases in which they themselves or their friends might be interested.


said, that there were not such facilities for evicting tenants as the hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to suppose, because a year's notice was requisite. The difficulty and expense of the present process was one of the main causes of the ejectments which had taken place, and been complained of, and he believed that the passing of a more summary mode of ejectment would be beneficial, not only to the landlords, but to the tenants.


said, that this Bill applied to a great body of the tenantry of Ireland, and it would scarcely lead to peace or confidence if such powers were given to the magistracy of Ireland, however pure and well disposed to discharge their duties they might be.


said, that the only ejectment that could he brought was an ejectment in the title, which was a sufficiently expensive process. It was not the landlord, but the poor-law for which the hon. Member for Stroud voted to-night, that caused these ejectments. He believed that some such measure as that proposed was necessary, but he would not pledge himself to all its details.


thought that it would put an end to some of the distressing scenes which accompanied ejectments in Ireland if a more summary process existed. He was not prepared, however, to give the power to the magistrates of deciding upon cases to the amount of 20l., which he thought was too high.


hoped the Government would not now, or at any future period, support a measure founded on the principle of this Bill. The power of ejectment existed in the assistant barrister's court, and he did not think that there was any necessity for another tribunal.


admitted the necessity of having a more speedy and effectual law of ejectment, but thought the present measure required some modification.


said, there was not a single clause in the Bill of the hon. Member for Sussex that would meet the grievance which existed in Ireland. The great evil in that country was, that no landlord could obtain possession of his property from a trespasser without going through the whole process of ejectment; and this Bill did not in any way remedy that evil. He cordially joined with the noble Lord the Member for Kildare in imploring the Government to take the subject into their hands, and to legislate effectually upon it.


suggested that the simple fact of a tenant owing one year's rent should be sufficient to cause eviction.


hoped the hon. Member for East Sussex would not press the second reading of the Bill. No good reason had been assigned for the extension of the provisions of the Act of the 1st and 2nd of Victoria, cap. 74, to Ireland.


said, that as the Solicitor General for Ireland was opposed to the Bill, and as Her Majesty's Ministers appeared also to be against it, he would not trouble the House by dividing upon the Question.

Question put, and negatived.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Bill to be read 2° upon this day six months.

The House adjourned at half after One o'clock.