HC Deb 23 May 1856 vol 142 cc616-20

Order for Committee read; House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 5 agreed to, with Amendments.

Clause 6.

SIR FREDERIC THESIGER moved, after the word "identified," in line 33, to insert the words "and the occupiers thereof at the time of the original presentment or applotment of such sums continue to be in occupation of the same." In page 4, line 2, after the word "thereof," to insert the words— Nor unless a list or account signed by the collector of all sums intended to be re-presented, with the dates of the original presentments under which the same became due, and the names of the houses, tenements, or hereditaments on which the same were originally applotted, and also the names of the persons primarily liable to pay the same sums, shall have been left in the office of the treasurer of the county three weeks at least previous to the first day of the assizes at which the said sums are intended to be re-presented, which list or account shall at all reasonable times be open to the inspection of any person making application for that purpose without payment of any fee; and it shall be competent for any person interested to object to the re-presentment of such sums, or any part thereof, and the Grand Jury shall, before making the re-presentment, hear the objections of such person upon his applying to be heard. His object was to prevent the grand juries from agreeing to re-presentments without reconsideration of the circumstances. The hon. and learned Gentleman supported his argument in favour of his Amendment by alluding to certain abuses he knew to have existed in the system of re-presentment in Ireland.


said, the fact was, the hon. Member for Abingdon (Sir F. Thesiger) was a director of the Law Life Insurance Company, and that the complaints which were made the ground of the argument in favour of the Amendment related to the property of the Company in Ireland.


opposed the Amendment as unnecessary. The law already gave a remedy.


urged that the Amendment was needed, because a re-presentment could not be traversed; nor could a presentment be traversed except at the assizes at which the presentment was made. With reference to certain remarks which bad been made, he (Sir F. Thesiger) begged to say, that, though he was a director of the Law Life Company, the very small interest that gave him in the question had not led him to endeavour to take any unfair advantage.


said, he understood the object of the right hon. Gentleman was that some notice should be given; but the Amendment he proposed was not at all practicable. The great difficulty was to find out who was primarily liable. He suggested that the Amendment should be withdrawn, and that on the third reading a clause should be proposed to effect the object of the right hon. Gentleman.


said, that his object was really as had been stated—to obtain sufficient notice, and he therefore accepted the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman, and would withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment withdrawn. Clause agreed to.

Clause 7.

SIR ROBERT FERGUSON moved to leave out the latter part of the clause, which he said had the effect of introducing a new principle into grand jury as- sessments. The poor-rate and county cess ought to be levied on the same principle.


said, that under the existing Acts, charitable institutions were exempt, but the rents derived from them were charged with half the rate. The object of the clause was to enable a mesne landlord so charged to make a deduction from the head landlord.


protested against the principle of levying upon the landlord, who happened to let his house for charitable purposes, a tax which no other landlord was called upon to bear. He should advise his right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland to strike out altogether a clause which would re-affirm an injustice which it was not desirable to continue; and he (Mr. Butt) should, upon the Report, or upon the third reading of the Bill, be prepared to introduce a clause which would obviate the objections to which the clause as it stood was liable.

Amendment withdrawn.


having intimated his concurrence in the course proposed by Mr. Butt,

Clause negatived.

Clause 8 (Grand Jury Cess to be recovered in same manner as Poor Rate).


expressed a hope that the Attorney General would consent to deal with it as he had done with the 7th clause.


said, he had brought in the clause altogether at the suggestion of county Members.

COLONEL DUNNE moved the rejection of the clause.

Question put, "That Clause 8, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided;—Ayes 87; Noes 71: Majority 16.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 9.


then moved the following proviso:—"In Clause 9, page 4, line 40, leave out 'collected,' and insert 'of the collection,' and add to the clause." Provided always, that the Grand Jury shall not present more than 9d. in the pound; unless it shall be proved to the satisfaction of the Judge of Assize in open court, that great difficulties have occurred in the collection of Grand Jury Cess in that barony or district, and still continue to prevail, and any ratepayer may traverse any application for more than 9d. in the pound as collectors' fees.


opposed the proviso.

After some discussion, Amendment withdrawn.

Clause agreed to.

The remaining clauses agreed to.


then moved, after Clause 6, to insert the following clause:— With reference to any sums of Grand Jury Cess to be presented or re-presented after the passing of this Act, it shall not be lawful to commence any proceeding for the recovery of any sum in arrear or unpaid against any person not primarily liable to pay the same under or by virtue of the original presentment and appointment thereof, after the expiration of two years from the date of such original presentment, anything in this or any former Act to the contrary notwithstanding.


suggested the bringing up of the clause on the third reading.


objected to the clause, and preferred the law as it stood.


thought the clause a reasonable one.


as of the same opinion.


could not vote for the clause, so far as it was retrospective.


did not think the clause retrospective, and would consent to any alteration to meet the view of the hon. and learned Member.

On the Motion of MR. GEORGE, the word "re-presented" was left out of the clause.


then moved to substitute in line 5, "three," years for "two."

Question put, "That 'two' stand part of the clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 95; Noes 42: Majority 53.

Clause agreed to.

MR. H. HAMILTON moved the insertion of a clause authorising grand juries to divide baronies for the purpose of cess collection.

Clause agreed to.


then moved the insertion of a clause authorising the grand jury of the county Dublin to grant the collector of the barony of Rathdown a superannuation allowance not exceeding three fourths of his average fees for the seven years prior to his retirement.


called upon the Committee not to sanction such a monstrous proposal. The collector had been in the receipt of a salary of £800 a year for a long period, and was a man still in the full vigour of life, able to perform any duties that might devolve on him.


defended the clause. The collector had received no more than about £420 a year; he had discharged the duties of his office for a period of thirty-four years, and his emoluments would be materially diminished by the division of his barony, which would be brought about by the clause just agreed to.


said, he did not think there were sufficient reasons for establishing a precedent for compensation.

Clause withdrawn.

House resumed.

Bill reported.