HC Deb 24 June 1853 vol 128 cc729-30

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee; Mr. Greene in the chair.

Clauses 1 to 6 agreed to.

Clause 7 (Giving the landlord power to terminate the tenancy at a month's notice).


said, this was a clause most undesirably affecting the position of the cottier tenants. The clause enacted that the tenancy of a house, with or without land, under 7l. annual value, should be terminated at a month's notice. Great oppression might be exercised under such a clause.


said, that considering the clause as an act of oppression towards the class of tenants in question, he should wish to see it expunged.


said, he must remind the Committee that it was introduced for the benefit of the cottier himself. It made no alteration whatever in the law as it now stood, for a landlord could take care that the tenancy should be weekly or monthly, as he thought proper, and then a week or a month would be quite sufficient to turn the tenant out.


said, if he was not mistaken, provision was made in another Bill that compensation should be awarded to a tenant if he was turned out at the very time when he expected to reap the advantage of the labour which he had expended on his garden. Of what use then would it be to strike this clause out? None whatever. On the contrary, it would be a disadvantage to the small tenantry of Ireland; because, as the law now stood, landlords were deprived from letting garden allotments, by reason of their being compelled to resort to an action of ejectment to recover possession of their land, in the event of the tenant not paying his rent.


said, he thought there would be a great deal of hardship if a landlord had the power of turning out this class of tenants at a month's notice in the middle of the winter.


said, he considered the clause intrusted a harsh and tyrannical power to the landlords, and he should most strenuously resist it.


said, the object of the clause was to encourage the improvement of labourers' dwellings. Many landlords were now prepared to erect such improved dwellings, if they were furnished with powers which would enable them to get rid of their tenants at a moderate notice. The clause did not relate to cottier tenants in general, but only to hired agricultural labourers, and he hoped the Committee would not reject it.


moved that the Chairman do report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

Motion agreed to.

House resumed.